Now if only Shawn Wayans was there, too

For my husband’s belated birthday celebration, we had a small party at our house and then he and I went to see a late night comedy show at the Improv Comedy Club.

We had two cakes at our little party because my mom’s birthday is the day after my husband’s and we usually celebrate them together.

How I wish we could’ve spent more time at home with the family.  Instead we ran out of the house in a hurry and left the cleaning up and the kids for my in laws and my mom, i.e. the birthday girl, to take care of.

Whoops. 😳

But they didn’t mind because what else do grandparents want other than to spend time with their grandchildren?

Their words, not mine.

We were headed to the club for a “meet and greet” session with one of my husband’s favorite comedians, Marlon Wayans.

Here are some pics of the night.

All the VIP badge meant was that we paid extra to be first in line.

Seriously.  That’s all it meant. 😐

But being first in line got us a super nice table in the front row, so it worked out.

They didn’t allow any photography during the show, which was fine with me because we were laughing too hard to even eat anything.

Then came time to meet the man.

And here we are with him.  He was a nice guy.  Friendly, polite, and hyper.

That’s us with those fat white circles covering our faces.  Just in case you couldn’t tell.

The night was a lot of fun.  The only thing that would’ve made it better was if Shawn Wayans had shown up as well.  Sumi and I always thought he was the cuter one of the two.

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They gave each group a maximum of 2-5 mins with Marlon, which was a real bummer.  Given the chance, I would’ve loved to have had a conversation with him in which I would mention that I have a sister who is single and finds him quite attractive.

My husband had a great time and so the night was a big success.  He said the fun we had made him forget that he was now closer to 40 than 30.

Now I’ve gotta figure out what I’m going to do for my birthday in order to forget that I’m turning 26 again for the fifth time.

Slow and fat

A few weeks ago, we went to see the Circus Spectacular at the Sears Center arena.

Here we have photos of elephants, elephant butts, overpriced snacks, face paintings, and cute little circus souvenirs.  That’s Kid 1 in the yellow shirt, perched on top of the camel in picture number 8.

There were no lions or bears, oh my.  In addition to the elephants and camels, there were a few tigers, including a black and white one, and some horses/ponies.

The biggest issue/concern with the circus has always been the welfare of the animals involved.  I used to be quite passionate about animal rights when I was younger.  I still am, although these days I can’t devote any time to the cause.

The company’s website claimed to be cruelty free and accommodating all the needs of their animals.

Because it was the tenth consecutive freeze your ass off Saturday and we were all suffering from various degrees of cabin fever, that was enough to convince me it was okay to go.

So we went.

I can’t say whether the company’s claim was legitimate or not.  The animals certainly didn’t look starved.  The tigers actually looked a little overweight.

As evidenced in the video, they also seemed super bored and a little whateverish.

Overall, though, all the animals were well trained and better behaved than my children.

A special mention must be made of the man who sat directly in front of me.  My four year old was not impressed with the show and sat in my lap during most of the four hours we were there.  He cried when the lights went out and when the loud noises went off.

He also kicked the seat in front of me at the rate of around one kick every two seconds.

The guy sitting there must’ve been a saint in a past life.  He didn’t turn around or complain once, not even when Kid 2, perhaps in an effort to rustle up some major drama for his mama, took his index finger and tapped the man’s shiny, closely shaved, nearly bald head three times.

I sucked in my breath at that point and braced myself for the confrontation, but miraculously there wasn’t any.

You have my respect, Mr. Guy That Was Sitting In the Seat In Front Of Me.  He had to have been the world’s most patient and understanding man.  Maybe he overheard me telling my kids don’t make me come over there or you’ll be in time out until you start college and one more word out of you, I’m calling those tigers back and telling them to have a little Indian for dinner.

I’m thinking he decided I’m not messing with that bitch.  She cray.

Abdullah Saleem isn’t the only one

Head of Elgin Islamic School charged in sex abuse of former employee

Can’t say I’m shocked.

Sexual violence happens everywhere in the world and in every type of society.  But few will admit that it is rampant in religious institutions where extreme sexual repression is practiced and endorsed.

It happens and it happens often. In secrecy, of course.  Similar to the scandal that rocked the Catholic community.

What I am shocked about is that the perpetrator is facing charges.  People who hold high, powerful positions are not brought down easily.  Major respect to the young lady who had the courage to speak up for herself.  Major respect for the family that supported her.  Her bravery has led other women to come forward about being molested by the same sick bastard.

Laying allegations of sexual abuse against a figure such as Abdullah Saleem is no small feat.  For the Chicago Muslim community, he might as well have been the Pope.  That’s how revered he was, and still is, to some people who believe the victims are lying.

You might be thinking that I’m too quick to judge.  That everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

True.

But I speak from personal experiences and observances that very often (but not always, of course), those who speak the loudest are mostly full of shit.

If you feel the need to sermonize and make a big tada about your actions, odds are you’re speaking from the mind and the wallet.  Not the heart.

And if your actions are from the heart, you don’t need an audience or a spotlight to showcase you.  The beauty of your deeds and your work will speak for itself and be satisfaction enough.

I am also well aware that a victim’s reputation is always at stake in cases of sexual abuse.  To speak up is to be faced with questions and accusations against ones own ethics and principles, especially in a religious setting and against such a highly esteemed figure as Abdullah Saleem.

No woman or man would tackle something of this magnitude were it not for some major, MAJOR shit having gone down.  No amount of money can equal the fight and the heartache of tackling the tsunami that is the  backlash from a large religious community.

Salem Witch trials, anyone?

I can’t sum up in words exactly how awed I am by the young lady who has now given a voice to other victims.

She has more balls than the entire male staff of IIE put together.

This scandal brings to light how powerful a recruiting tool religion can be.  I’m a sexual predator won’t sell, but religious school for the learning of Quran or Bible classes for young boys will have people lining up to patron your holy cause.

Put a supposedly divine stamp on it and it’s amazing what you can get away with.

A fantastic Indian movie I watched recently, PK (yeah, that’s the title, a P and a K), gives an account of how warped religion has become in the hands of man.  It is religion seen through the eyes of an extraterrestrial.  An alien.  Awesome stuff.  Please do give it a look.  You’ll easily find a copy with subtitles if need be.

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And no, I was not paid for the advertising of the movie.

As if.

Lastly, and most importantly, please listen to your children and create an environment in which they feel safe coming to you for any and all problems.  Abdullah Saleem isn’t the only one, of course.  There are plenty of sickos out there, some in guises of holy pillars of the community and many not.  The trauma of living through sexual abuse is something that can easily break an adult.

Imagine what it has the potential to do to the fragility of a child.

New Year, same crappy weather

Happy New Year!  I’m back!  Literally.

We returned late Saturday night from our mini vacation to the in laws house in Terre Haute, IN.

Here are some pics of the view from their huge living room window.

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I wanted to take more pictures of their beautiful home but didn’t get the opportunity.  I’m lucky to have nice in laws that tell us to leave the boys with them and go out and have fun.  In the two and a half days we were there, my husband and I managed to catch the latest Hunger Games movie and have a belated anniversary dinner.

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Here are pics of the condiments that came with the bread and the soup I ordered because I thought it came free with my meal.

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Terre Haute’s a cute little semi-rural town that’s full of farms, hills, woods, and railroads.  I probably think more of it because I associate it with free babysitting and lots of touristy type of fun, but it’s definitely home to some beautiful natural scenery.  I managed to get a few pictures of the area, but neither my phone’s camera nor the fugly winter weather did the landscape any justice.  I’ll post some spring/summer pictures in the future and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I also hope to devote a blog post to the neighboring city of Bloomington, IN, which houses the main campus of Indiana University and was my home for a few months after my wedding.  I was accepted to IU but unfortunately never attended :(.  Bad decision making at its finest.

Here are some really ugly winter pics of Terre Haute for your viewing pleasure.  It was a rainy, foggy day when I finally got the chance to drive around town for some camera action.

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Terre Haute is home to Indiana State University, which my husband tells me is famous for Larry Bird.  Whoever he is.  The city also contains the Wabash river state park, which we didn’t get a chance to visit, a huge federal correctional facility, and what seems like half the country’s railroads.  It’s definitely train town there.

We had to stop at the local Walmart for some essentials while we were vacationing.  When we got back to the car, I adjusted my scarf and found this. IMG_4752

Yes, those are two and a quarter old french fries stuck to my scarf via crusty old ketchup stain.  I’m on a low carb diet and mostly sticking to it, so they weren’t even mine.  They must have come from my four year old’s lunch, where he was sitting on my lap, and I missed it because they got lost in the folds of an infinity scarf that wraps around your neck a few bazillion times.

And here I was thinking the people at Walmart were staring and giving me the kind of pitying smile you save for homeless people because of the fabulous new way I did my hair.  I was slightly embarrassed at first, I must admit, but compared to the other social and fashion faux pas I’ve made, this is pretty minor.  Let’s just laugh and move right along, shall we?

We came home to a lovely dinner put together by my family <gushing family love> and this. IMG_4856 IMG_4857

Have I mentioned I find winter fugly?

I’ve given up on football for the season, but my husband is still into it because his team, the Indianapolis Colts, are in the playoffs.  He’s not loving the outcome of the first round, though, where Dallas beat Detroit.  My husband feels bad for the Lions because they live in Detroit they play in the same division as the Bears and the Packers and he feels they never get a fair chance.  Lucky for them that this year the Bears decided to suck ass.

I hope not to spend so much time away from blogging in the future and want to thank the internetters who have been wondering where the hell I have been.  I started this blog as a means of catharsis after the demise of my social life around (how old is firstborn child?  oh, yeah, seven) seven years ago and as a way to keep my writing mojo intact.  Soon after, though, I realized I do have a life and it keeps me busy, apparently.  But no worries.  I return, fashion faux pas and all.

You were meant to read this

Prayers for the innocent victims of the violence in Sydney and Peshawar and for their loved ones.  Posting one of my favorite poems in their honor and memory.  Poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

It’s been a sad week.  Disturbing images of death and grief have kept me from wanting to do anything but just sit and hate the world.  That doesn’t do anyone any good, especially not me.  Too much sitting negatively affects my slower than the turning rate of a dead gerbil’s spinning wheel metabolism.  I realized I needed to get off my ass and just do something, so I decided to blog, even though I have no idea what to blog about.  If this post make any sense, it’ll have the good fortune of being published.  If not, then why should you care. You don’t even know about it.

Now that you’ve read the last paragraph, you can see what the title is implying.

I’ve attempted to blog three times this week and all three times I fell asleep with the laptop warming my thighs and the light from the screen reflecting off my face.  Once I woke up from a nightmare where I was being fondled by a giant i-pad.  I kid you not.  That shit cray cray.  I think my laptop conned its electronic brethren into sending me a subliminal message.  Do this for me or I’ll tell Apple you’re sleeping with Motorola. 

If it could talk I’m sure my laptop would say either fucking write something or get the eff off of me.  Being upset really messes with your blogging mojo.  I don’t write very well in dramatic.  When I try to, my stories come out sounding less like The Fault in Our Stars and more like the script of a bad episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  That’s not really narrowing it down, though, since they’re all pretty shitty.  Pick one of your choice.  There.  That’s how bad my drama is.

And please don’t say it.  Don’t.  Believe me, it’s scripted.  All that botox can’t emote on its own.

Sarcastic smart ass is more my dialect.  But there was nothing to be sarcastic or smart ass about within the past week.  There was only sadness.  So I stayed away.

What’s on my mind right now is that a whole group of people will be judged for the actions of the few or the one.  While things have been bad in the past, they’ve never been this bad.  We’ve had to change what we wear.  Alter our plans for the weekend.  Take well lit and more populated roads home at night.  That’s right, folks.  That’s right.  There’s a long, hard road ahead for us Bears fans.

Wait, what?  What did you think I was talking about?

Oh, that.  Pshaw.  I have a cousin in Sydney whose husband is a police officer.  When they visited us a few summers ago, he would go on and on about how everything’s better in Australia, from the food to the weather.  Even the pots and pans.  And we’d get irritated, because while Australia is awesome, you know everything in the US is the bestest.  Including the people.

With the weekend just around the corner, this suck ass week will come to an end, thank god.  This weekend means watching the football game where Jay Interception Cutler will be warming his ass on the bench it’ll be perched on.  Nice to see that he’s working hard for the salary that Chicago will have to, I don’t know, sell the fucking Willis Tower for? 

I don’t want to pick on the guy.  He’s not the only player on the team that sucks ass.  But when you’re being paid one of the highest salaries in the NFL, if not the highest, it’d be nice if you did something other than help the other team win.

Tried to throwback thursday that too was interceptedI’m not a big football fan.  I only got into it because my husband likes it.  I understand precisely half the game and less than that of the terminology, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what it means when you throw the ball and a player from the other team catches it.  You can always count on me to get excited for the local team,  but not this season.  No.  Not this season.  *Shudders*

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Now for some The View Through The Window household news.  That’s the “diamond” my son got me as a present from his school’s holiday gift shop.  He was excited when he handed it to me but said I can always take it back! when I punished him for being naughty later on in the day.  I tried to explain to him that gifts should come from the heart and aren’t conditional, to which he made a quacking duck sort of movement with his right hand and replied blah blah blah.

This is the same child who answered eat more salad when he overheard me asking my husband what my husband would tell me if he could be completely honest.  It’s a measure of how much I love the kid that the remark only got him a time out.  More than being a gift, the fake giant diamond is proof that he has a softer side to him somewhere in his utterly spoiled and sarcastically rude self.  He does love me, I just know it.

Last week we accidentally left the front door to our house wide open on our way out to run some errands around town.  So basically for over an hour our house’s welcome mat stood for my owners are sleep deprived idiots, please come rob them.  When we got back and saw what we had (or hadn’t) done, the accusations went flying even faster than the ones racking up against Bill Cosby.  I blamed my husband, he blamed me, and we both blamed the kids even though we didn’t say it.  Some shit had gone down in the van where they had dropped water on the seats and in the ensuing confusion, I guess we forgot to lock up.

I might have been sleep deprived before, but that night I was a freaking insomniac.  Even with the alarm system on I couldn’t close my eyes for more than a split second.  Behind every corner I thought I saw an axe murderer with a passion for hacking off people’s heads while they slumbered.  Luckily nothing happened, except that the next night I was so tired that I dozed off while putting my son to bed and instead of telling him a bedtime story, I started sleep talking the plot line to While You Were Sleeping

I kid you not.  You can’t make this stuff up.  This shit cray cray.

Poem retrieved from http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep.  Throwback Thursday pic from everywhere you look, because woah, Chicago is pissed.

Getting our interfaith dialoguing on

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The Christmas tree our son wanted is now up in our living room!  It’s a cute little addition.  We know nothing about tree selection and yes, this is the one you saw on sale in your Big Lots catalog.  It gets the job done.  My kids are giddy with excitement and the little one wants to check the chimney to make sure Santa isn’t stuck up there.  The man has to be the only celebrated fat person on the planet.

Yesterday we went to see some lovely Christmas lights at a park near my husband’s office.  The only bad thing that happened was that we got honked at for a full two minutes by some jerk who apparently was going to shit his pants or have a reindeer crash land into his car.  I felt guilty about giving him the finger, in light of the holiday season and all, but come on mofo, get into the Christmas spirit.  Take the candy cane outta your ass.

Here’s to some more peace and harmony in the world.  And much less snow.  I know people like a white Christmas and all but I really really hate the stuff.  You can’t blame me because I live in Chicago, a beautiful city where a white Fourth of July is within the realm of possibility.  I’ll wrap it up here with a little joke about how Chicago has two seasons, winter and construction.  Thanks to the effects of global inequality we have now added corruption and violence.  You know what they say.  Come to Chicago for the fun and stay because you got shot.  I don’t know who says that but it’s pretty funny.  I love you, my frozen little icecap of a hometown.