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Entries in things kids do (129)


Go kart racing

When we are local and want to engage the kids.. the usual drive through Vasona park or playing indoors inside some Jungle type place are not options anymore.. we now have a "tween" and a "teen"!

They had tried this racing once in summer and gave it rave reviews. So we went again to give it a shot. It is 35$ for two races of 10 minutes each (14 laps where the kids average 35-40 seconds a lap) and a 30 minute break between the races to let other folks go. They treat the first race as a warm up!

 The little one likes to compete while Jr. was mostly happy going at her own pace and having fun.

They both yelled at me afterwads because I was cheering them from the side on the long leg where they come straight at me. Apparently it was not a good idea to take their eyes off the track to look at "cheerleader daddy" as it made it difficult for them to turn. How was I to know?! My job was to watch and cheer. Maybe next time I will do a race to figure this out. 


Strongly recommend this if you have teens or tweens bored out of their wits and it is cold and raining outside, when the rest of their friends are instagramming picutures from warm and sunny beaches! 


Some things never get old

Today the little one knew I was about to get an extra large load of laundry on the carpet for folding.. 

and she was ready to do "laundry angel" after I buried her with the warm clothes.

Jr. is not into these fun little things anymore.. now that she is a "teenager". I miss the days when they would both shout "me me me" and lie down on the carpet waiting for a rush of clothes to land on them.

At least someone is still up for it!


Some things never change...

Jr. and the little one cannot be left alone for more than 60 seconds before a fight breaks out.

Somehow this has become the norm in the house these days. They go to different schools now and interact a lot less on a daily basis, but when they do.. all hell breaks in the house.. well, physically things are breaking during their fights.

There is also a competition of sorts for anything and everything.. 

Was wondering if things were always like this and got the answer during our bedtime "baby photos" session..


Some things have not changed much! 


Rudra blues

My taste in music was and is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan. One of my motivations for coming to the US of A more than 20 years ago was to see Dylan. That was checked off within a year after showing up here. Okay, that was not the primary reason!

Most of you also know my penchant for runon sentences and my liking for using not so easily pronounceable words in conversation.

It is very much possible that my memory, vocabulary, run on sentences etc. all have roots in my childhood. As a toddler I used to sit patiently on my grandfathers lap for hours and listen to him recite scriptures. To this day that is my most favorite memory of him. 

Jr. and the little one are always amazed by my memory and I keep telling them that if they just listen to certain sounds, there is a benefit to their brain and the way they can register things. It is true that I don't have any personal experimental proof of this with the western scientific method, but this is based on what the smart elders in my family concur with and it is possibly working in my favor. Nevertheless, not everything needs a proof this way as some experiements go on for generations over thousands of years! Maybe this is one such experiement in progress where these chants are taught?!

Jr. now knows almost 80% of the Chamakam and recites it with the correct pronunciation.  I am not asking her to recite it, but just sit next to me when I recite. So far, so good..

We (Jr. and me) had an idea to do a video of the last stanza with some inspiration from Dylan's Subterranean Homesick blues. 

It is funny that she was introduced to Dylan before she was introduced to Chamakam.. 

Here is the result..

You will see a video here somday where Jr. recites the entire thing. On a side note, we had a funny incident at home a few months ago when she was conscious of her accent when it came time to pronounce some words. Given that she knows neither Hindi or Sanskrit and only Tamil, she was not comfortable reading it in English. 

My initial reaction was to enroll her in Sanskrit class in hopes that she will pick up the Devanagari script and that did not work out. Did find something else to motivate her.. A video where a bunch of Caucasian folks recite Rudram with perfect intonation (catch it from the 55second mark) that taught Jr. that it has nothing to do with where you are born and what your native tongue is and it is just a question of practice and finding a good teacher!

I called it the Rudra blues because sometimes listening to this or chanting this makes me miss my grandfather and the Kapaleeshwarar temple and also sends me back to simple and innocent days from my past. Then again, watching the kids pick it up makes me feel that some goodness is being transferred to the next generation!


When it comes to creating a "build up". . . 

After a long time, decided to update the Cooking section of this website. Given that the MIL is back in Seattle, it is time my hands took a ladle or two up. . . 

Wanted to have a nice banner picture for this page and roped in the little one for a trick photo shoot. Explained the concept to her.. "Daddy will look like Shakti except with cooking utensils instead of weapons?" 

She immediately got it. After deciding which things to hold in Daddy's ten hands, we paired up the things and placed 5 sets of utensils on the floor. The camera was set up on the tripod and ready to go. 

The little one had to click, come remove things from my hand, replace them with two other utensils and go back and click... then repeat this three more times! After downloading the photos and doing an initial merge she was disappointed. "I didn't do that good a job appa.. there are some places where you moved!"

Told her that it was not her problem and that she did an outstanding job. It just needed some quality time for Daddy with Photoshop.

1 hour later.. we present to you Daddy in his Vishwaroopam pose in the kitchen..

Never before has a buildup for cooking seen this in the history of cooking or "buildup".

Pretty sure I will be diagnosed as OCD becaue most of the time was spent in getting the shadow right. 

The most important thing in all of this?

The little one is going to be one hell of a photographer and eventual photoshopper. En kula kozhundhu has been identified!