September 30, 2008

Lessons in Obfuscation

John McCain must think Americans are complete imbeciles. Or, he has us (after all, I'm now one) nailed completely. I refer to his choice of a VP candidate in Sarah Palin. After all, it would be too grievous to suggest that John McCain is himself an imbecile. George H.W. Bush chose Dan Quayle, and look at how much fun those four years were. I'm sure everyone started brushing up on their Latin before heading off to Latin America once Dan was done. So now here we have the adorable Gov. Palin. In one way, her being a born-again Christian is almost a requirement for me to support her. Maybe that was her biggest credential. Or maybe its her ability to string together every buzzword and catch -phrase in a sentence and pretend it makes sense.

Here's a clip from Saturday Night Live - first the skit with the adorable in real life Tina Fey, and then the interview of Sarah Palin with Katie Couric.

Here is the full SNL skit. This would be hilarious, if not for the fact that the wording is almost identical with the actual interview.

September 27, 2008

Grandparents visit, etc.

We got to see Dave and Jody after several months when they came over for a visit. The plan was for them to come and all of us to visit Shedd Aquarium during one of their free days. Every museum in Chicago has free days during most weeks, and if you're able to go then, then its a great deal!

Armaan really took to Grandpa

Can you tell...?

Priya enjoying the millions of fishes everywhere

Remember the flood that I've been talking about for the last several posts? We drove by the neighborhood a mile from us to see how things were. We saw streets and streets of this...

Walking Priya to her school

What Priya would look like if she had straight hair

Movie night

School field trip to the firehouse

Here's the latest project - paint the kitchen and dining room. We have possibly the ugliest wallpaper in our dining room, but many, many other things have kept us from getting to it. No more. Its time has come. Taking down wallpaper is probably the most frustrating jobs there is. But the end result is truly worth it. This project won't be finished anytime soon, but stay posted for the final result!

One of these combinations will win out (most likely the one on the right)

September 21, 2008

The aftermath

It's exactly a week after the big flood. We've had a very surreal week. It is almost like living in a different place. On Monday, one of the houses that was submerged in Munster blew up. Like literally blew up. I was upstairs with Armaan and the whole house shook. The pictures on the walls got crooked. There was a natural gas explosion in the house, the cause of which is still uncertain. When you see the house now, all that's left is the foundation. Amazing stuff.

As for the flooding in our basement, well.. we've gone back and forth on what to do. Earlier in the week we were absolutely sure that we would need to get the carpet replaced. I was not looking forward to the unexpected expense we can't really afford. But after a week of constantly running fans, you can't smell any mold. So even though the carpet is stained beyond redemption, we think we will not replace it, but wait till we can really do it.

On top of all the basement work, the pool needed to be taken down and put away. Armaan and I spent a couple of hours taking down the pool. You can see he had a good time with it! After about four days of drying out, I finally folded the liner and put it away in the garage - ready to be brought out next year!

Priya home from school

No one feeds me

September 15, 2008

Natural disaster

It's a quarter to three in the morning, and for the last 12 hours I have been bailing water out of the basement. It has been raining non-stop for the last three days and all the water had to go somewhere.

A little history here. The office in the basement downstairs has a pit and a sump pump. When we moved in the house in 2000, I knew that the sump pump didn't work. But then all the other house projects took over, and I never got around to replacing it. The years went by, and finally it slipped my mind. The amazing thing is that in 8 years there was never any water in there to make me think that I need to replace the pump. I was convinced that the drain-tile around the house didn't really drain into that pit. Well.. I was wrong.

When I walked down to the basement in the afternoon, I was greeted by water pouring out of the closet. Luckily our neighbor had a pump that I could borrow.

Along with the pump, these buckets helped get rid of over 200 gallons of water from the pit. No kidding.

Now I have the first shift as I keep watch. The water is slowly rising, and I have to turn the pump on every half hour or so. The only sump pump available in the entire area was at Ace Hardware going for 270 bucks. There were 8 in the store, 7 of which had been purchased already. To give some perspective, a regular old sump pump that doesn't see a lot of use can be had for under $140. So sleep is substituting for savings. Tomorrow I will have to make the round of the stores to see if the regular pumps are back in stock.

Oh. And to top it all, as I was putting Priya in the van in the pouring ran, my phone popped out of my belt. Five minutes later as I was driving away, I realized I'd dropped it. I found it lying in four inches of water. Do I even need to say what the outcome is?

September 04, 2008

First day of school

So like I mentioned last time, Priya started her pre-school a couple of days ago. She has loved it so far (after the second day), and shows no sign of not wanting to go back. I think having Skylar there as a friend has helped her a great deal to not be afraid of being in a new surrounding. Plus, the class size is really small so it isn't very overwhelming. Having the school just minutes from the house is also a great help. This way Armaan can still have a short morning nap.

Going off to school

The two friends starting a new phase of life

Priya's spot to hang her stuff

Ahhh the modern education system... There's actually nothing much in the backpack

The rodeo queen

Armaan just LOVES fresh cherries!