Writing and editing

Nine or ten hours after Holden was born, a doctor came into my room and told me that he had to take Holden to the NICU because he wasn’t breathing properly. I told the doctor that he could do no such thing. And the doctor looked at me and said, I have to take him. When he lifted my baby out of my arms I cried and cried. The doctor seemed somewhat surprised. The nurse with him told me that she would be back at 8a to take my catheter out and walk me to the NICU.

I watched the clock for eight hours, like a tiger ready to pounce.

The nurse showed up after 9a. She remarked on the amount of pee. I almost tore her head off. She got me out of bed and walked me, maybe 10 feet to the bathroom. And then she chirped merrily, “Well there you go – you can make it to the bathroom! That is far enough for now!”  And with that, she basically shoved me back into bed.

I remember thinking: who the fuck decides to do this shit more than once? What is the point of loving someone so much, so stupidly, within just a few short hours of knowing them that you would be totally willing to put up with the most humiliating bullshit?

Well, I guess I forgot about all that, because guess what? We are having another one! I am 4 months. I’m feeling good after the first horrific three months.

Thoughts on a second pregnancy

1. People tell you after your first, when you get pregnant your body is used to being all stretched out. And when people tell you that, you secretly hope that it won’t apply to you because it sounds not so pleasant. But it is true. In the last two weeks I went from sandwich bloat to full-on belly button popping belly. I think I wore my jeans into my 6th month last time. This week I had to say goodbye to my pants. Last time around, this seemed sort of wonderful and miraculous. This time around, not so much.

2. Now that people know that I am growing a human, they usually ask, “How are you feeling?” And usually because my mind is on fifty different things, I don’t catch their drift and just say, “Oh fine, how are you?’ Sometimes people ask me how the baby is and I have to think for a moment about what baby they are talking about. “Oh, this baby? I eat, it grows itself. No laundry. Amazing.”

3. I am super excited to get some nice baby clothes and think about names. Holden wants to buy some toys for the baby. He has a few picked out already at the local toy store, and that is going to be the best ever. I am buying a crib this time around, and I am happy about that. And then I remember the other shit I need, like a change table. Gross! I can wipe the baby’s poopy ass on that change table and one day that same baby will fall off the change table and I will get to spend time in the emergency ward. Some baby stuff: incredible. Other baby stuff: complete crap. Now that I have had one baby, I know that my child will fall off some incredibly high surface he/she is perched upon. I also know there will be baby shit on the walls. These are facts. Facts, I thought my incredible mothering skills would prevent me from ever experiencing with my first child. I feel at once dismayed at my nonchalance, and also comforted in knowing that I am part of a large group of shitty fucking mothers who let their babies fall from high places.

All this to say, I feel really lucky that I get to have another baby. it is a crazy big honour being someone’s mom. I hope I am up to the challenge. I have a feeling this baby is going to be an incredible person.

On another note: Holden got a camera for Christmas from his Auntie Kim. We uploaded the pictures the other day to our computer. So great.

A lot of the photos of people are at this level.

Sigh, jeans….

He sets up weird photo shoots with his toy reptiles:

He took this awesome shot of me, and he added the emoji. Love!

Once in a while, he takes a really arty shot of something at crotch level:

Holden took this shot of us in Miami. Ashtanga Celebrity time! We are practicing in Kino Macgregor and Tim Feldmann’s backyard. I am on Kino’s mat. And I am practicing next to David Robson. And in that photo I am almost three months pregnant with his child. Ashtanga Celebrity!! Preschooler paparazzi!

Ram Vakkalanka teaches philosophy, chanting and Sanskrit at our studio. Our practice and general studio philosophy is so intense and focused, I think we need to get a little spun out. Also, my home study habits are poor and inextricably linked to deadlines, reading lists and essays. That is to say, when I have a quiet moment, I don’t often curl up with the Yoga Sutras if I could check my email fifteen times in five minutes instead. Taking classes and talking with Ram when I can has added a great deal of depth to my practice and my teaching. Which is not to say that I am not still the same ignorant jerk – I am! But at least I feel like I am getting my toes wet, instead of standing on the beach complaining of the heat. Do you know what I mean?

The ocean metaphor is apt for Ram, because dude knows a whole bunch. Sometimes, David and I meet with him and we can ask him ANYTHING and he will, no joke, talk for an hour on the subject. Often by the end of the hour I feel like i have been tossed about in a strong wave. I am pretty sure I have asked him the SAME question and he has talked for an hour differently about it, trying to get me to catch a glimpse of the surface, or the bottom – I’m not sure which.

Our last “Chanting the Yoga Sutras” session with Ram, I asked him why my job as a parent made non-attachment or the idea of a dual world of Purusha (pure consciousness, soul or spirit) and Prakriti (our mind-body systems, the physical and not true manifestations of Purusha) seem so unappealing. I feel like I need to believe this reality because my son is in it. I feel confused as to why anyone would want to be enlightened because it might move you further from your children.  How could I want to be un- attached to my child?

He told me that my son didn’t actually belong to me. I don’t own him, the universe is just creating him through me. And somehow this made perfect sense. I see myself in him, and I see David – but Holden is also something entirely different. My three year old corrects me on the difference between jellyfish and siphonophores – and the importance of that difference is not either of us. Funny, how I can know this about myself as a child. That I am same but different from my mom and dad. And while they tried their best to help me learn how to be a good person –  I am my own person, good or bad. Separate from them, but connected to them. I know this, and maybe have always known this about who I am as a daughter, buI have trouble with the same idea as a mom.

Ram said, like a good babysitter. You can love the children in your care very much and make sure they are safe and protected. Teach them right from wrong and be present and engaged with them.  But at the end of the day, a good babysitter knows those children do not belong to her. Non-attachment parenting. I found this so beautiful.

Speaking of attachment parenting. I read a lot about it before I had my son. I tried to follow the tenets to the letter. because so much of it made sense to me like baby wearing. After Holden was born, my reaction to the books changed, and when I read the same books – I felt guilty and cruel. The books didn’t change, I suppose I just became much more tired. I became convinced about my own failings as an “attached” parent to my baby, Recently, I started reading book on attachment parenting and it brought me back to those same thoughts and feelings. Like a little cognitive loop in my head. The lesson here, for me, is that I can’t parent according to a certain set of rules. Most of the time, I just have to get up in the morning and try not to be an asshole. At the end of the day, I have to forgive myself if I was an asshole, apologize to my kid  and attempt to do better tomorrow. I recognize that is a sad parenting philosophy. I think I like the babysitter idea better.

Next week I am going to ask Ram to write a book on Non-Attachment Parenting.

He wasn’t so sure if skating was going to be his thing when he watched every kid go by and wipe out. But I told him he would have to hold my hand so I didn’t fall and that seemed to do the trick.

His favourite part was the “caution/danger” tape strung across the steps to the parking lot so that you wouldn’t be tempted to fling yourself off the rink into a car.

One moon day, David, Vanessa and I had time so we went to a class downtown. It was a beautiful day and the studio was gorgeous and well-designed. The class was great and the teacher was wonderful and if years of Mysore style practice hadn’t turned me into a OCD crazed lunatic, then the whole experience would have been entirely unblog-worthy.

But, alas. I am a total nut job, and even though I am a yoga teacher I can’t just GO to a yoga class and be okay with it like a normal person. I need hours of shivering deconstruction after 75 minutes of asana. David and I went to a class four years ago called “Eye of the Tiger” and we STILL talk about it. But it was called “Eye of the Tiger”, so we are compelled. Part of the problem is the style I practice doesn’t change in very fundamental ways. So, I think I am a bit of a dinosaur in the yoga community. I didn’t know there was a whole playlist creation neurosis for yoga teachers. Because I don’t practice with music ever it threw me off so much that I spent the whole class thinking about how John Mayer dated Jessica Simpson.

Mostly,  I hate the thing where you have to show up at exactly the right time. Appointments are for dentists!  I know for most people when you practice in Mysore, India you have to show up at the exact time minus 15 minutes. But I will let you in on a little secret – if you give birth you can come any damn time you please in Mysore. I know! Reason enough!

Actually, another little secret: when I was pregnant, Sharath told me to come to an earlier led class. But I didn’t want to get up at 4a and waddle down a dark street. Fuck that! So, I just came at the time I wanted to come at. I am pretty sure I would have been yelled at if I wasn’t pregnant. I wagered a guess that he wouldn’t yell – “You! Masala Dosa! What is your time? Your time is 4.30” at the pregnant lady – and the wager paid off. Since then the timings part of my KPJAYI card is left blank.

Dads, just so you know, David gets a time. But he likes it like that.

This year because we are Canadian and Ashtangis and we like to follow rules exactly, we put in our applications too late to go to study with Sharath and it was full and we couldn’t go. We were suddenly looking at the month of November – wide open. And so , we decided to go to Florida.

Not going to Mysore has this funny feeling around it. Like weirdly disconnected and jangly. I am more then happy not to make the flight, or to try to figure out what to do with a tomato, rice and cucumbers every night for dinner. But the longer the time stretches out between trips to India the more out of touch I feel with the international Ashtanga family. I think it is worse for my husband who has already started locking me down for months to go in 2015.

When we go in 2015, what will have changed while were were here in our little cold corner of the world? Somehow, I doubt John Mayer will be played from the Sharath’s office.  If the practice doesn’t change, then why do we go year after year? Why wouldn’t we just go one year, get the jist of it and then save ourselves some money and go to Florida and sit on the beach instead?

I think, every year I go, I have stood on my mat in that shala a different person. The first year I went, I didn’t have a daily practice. The second time I was pregnant and so brave. The third time, I had a little baby, I was sleep deprived and unhappy. The last time, I felt fulfilled and I wanted to teach. In 2015 – who am I going to be? How could the same technique taught by the same teacher have seen me through such dramatic shifts in my life? I often don’t want to go to India because I think it takes too much time. But that might why I should be going. I think practicing creates time and space in my life – at least some reaction time. The shala in India gives me time, whether I take it or not, to listen, breathe, reconnect with my teacher and my family.

Sometimes I think I am the constant, the steady the metronome. But, maybe I am actually very nebulous. And I am here to watch my breath so that I don’t waste it all in the time that it takes to listen to a pop song.

“The family weakens by the lengths we travel.”

Spring:

Spring happened in Toronto in the last couple of weeks. The leafless, grey and brown in between lasted all of April and I felt so lushy rewarded in May. I love the first mutable colours of spring. How can bright pink look green and yellow? I lay down on my porch and looked up at the tree in my back yard. The first reddish oak leaves have begun to bud. Often I look up at that tree and think, “This is MY tree.” And then I feel foolish. The oak is 100 years old and just happens to be within the made-up boundaries of my yard. The tree experts say it will live another 100.. It was there well before I was born, and inshallah, it will be there after I die. Like spring, I suppose I am just passing through.

Primary Series:

After my trip to Mysore in September, I stayed with my Mysore practice – primary up to kapotasana for a couple of months. I slowly added poses on and only just recently dropped primary. This week, David added Karandavasana – the pose I was on in August, my last pose. I didn’t have a big injury or anything, my shoulder hurt a bit. I did feel like I had no stability in my practice. I felt I couldn’t push myself anymore without breaking and I needed to ground. After a month in Mysore I felt so much better, that I decided to keep primary for a while.

Here is a little demo of Karandavasana by David:

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And one by Sharath:

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This is a picture of me doing it:

In August, I couldn’t lotus up legs without support. After a week of trying now, I can lotus them, and although I fall loudly and obnoxiously, I can feel my legs brush my upper arms as I come down. I feel like this is possible, but in August after months of practice it was not even remotely close. All this to say, I think primary series is amazing. It is restorative, and also strengthening. It is a game changer. I love you primary!

Ralph

My son is quite friendly. Friendly and very sensitive. He says “hello” and “Whacha doing?” to every child he meets. Most kids, because they are kids, just stare at him and continue doing what they were doing. And then Holden stands there for a good five minutes “Hello, whacha doing? whacha doing? whacha doing?” Often I start to feel a little embarrassed for him and so I answer for the kids. Which is a little like when people ask your dog a question.

The other day, David and I were talking about the upcoming changes to Holden’s daycare.

David: Does he have friends at daycare?

Stan: The kids seem to like him. He doesn’t hit and he doesn’t get in your face or anything. He is so friendly with everyone, but

David: Is it reciprocated?

Stan: Well, maybe not. But that might be the age.

David. Is he like that boy on the Simpsons?

Stan: “My cat’s breath smells like cat food”

David starts to type away at the computer.

David: Oh god, Stan. You have to see this.

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Oh god, my son might be Ralph Wiggum.

I am happy he is friendly, I would rather he was friendly than he just stared at people who greeted him. And I know enough kids that you often don’t get to choose whether your kid says Hi automatically or stares blankly – at least for the first little while. I worry in the future that he won’t have any friends. But then I worry that my anxiety and worry will crush him and he won’t have any friends because he is all twisted. So, I try not to worry and believe that he is strong enough to have bad days and pick himself back up. And then I worry that I am not worrying enough about this whole thing.

If you are thinking about having kids. don’t.

Hi.

In the last three days, three people have mentioned reading my blog. And three times three makes nine, I think, and that is clearly a message from the Gods that if I don’t write in my blog the sky will fall on me.

So, I just turned on the lights here at  Miss Stan headquarters. Dusted the cobwebs off the compooter, powered it up and made some cracking noises with my fingers. Read some fascinating comments from Mr. GetRidOfManBoobs. Now I’m  ready to get everyone caught up

1. Holden, David and I went to Miami, or “Miamit” as Holden calls it, last month. David had a workshop at the Miami Life Center. We stayed at Kino’s house, which was very fun. Now, I get why parents don’t go anywhere with small children unless there is a beach. Holy crap, beaches are entertaining. Holden told me today that he was going to take an airplane to Miamit. His favourite part was when he saw a crab. My favourite part was South Beach fashion.

These pictures are when we just decided to take a walk on the beach, and Holden decided to go for a swim. In his clothes.

2. That picture basically sums up the experience of parenting a toddler on a good day. Your kid wants to do something fun and silly like 98% of the time and 97% of the time you have to be somewhere not soaking wet. But sometimes you catch a break, and you can actually be a total mess and your kid totally jumps on the chance. And it is awesome.

3. Because I don’t want to give my son a crew cut, I have become one of those parents who gets asked constantly if her child is a girl or a boy. Often I pick Holden up at daycare and the teachers have put his hair in a ponytail. Okay, maybe I am also a bit lazy about cutting his hair. I recently cut it after staring at this picture for a while and realizing that I was raising a dirty hippy.

When I cut his hair in the bathtub he cried, “Hair fall down!” And I had to pretend that I was gluing his hair back on his head.

4. Holden is collecting potato bugs that he finds in the basement to show his dad when David gets home from Edmonton and Ottawa. I suppose I should be alarmed that there are that many potato bugs in my house but I figure it could be so much worse. Anyway, all the potato bugs have “fallen down”, which is such an elegant toddler euphemism for dead. Funny that the hair on his head and his nails have also met the same disastrous fate.

5. Yesterday, on a whim I visited the rat-infested Pusateri’s. Well, I guess it was rat-infested last year. Anyway, it was my first time and I bought something in a bottle. I got to see a little old lady who had a driver in a very fancy suit helping her with her crap. And best of all: when I was leaving I was about to turn right out of the parking lot because Avenue Road was a bit busy – but there was a cop there. And he stopped traffic to let me turn left. Imagine that! He went to cop school and he is helping rich people who shop at rat-infested stores turn left. It was so great to turn left and not have to go around, so I was indeed very grateful to the prosperous, if somewhat filthy Pusateri’s.

Life is good.

Christmas happened and it was pretty outstanding. Holden was all over the Santa thing and then I got all weird and into Santa too – I’d find myself blabbing on and on about Santa to Holden on the way home from school. We read the NIght Before Christmas about 50 times, (and I would catch myself muttering under my breath as I heaved my winter boots on every morning “The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave lustre of midday to objects below”) and David and I both found ourselves chirping out “Better be good for Santa!!”

Santa has to be up there on the top ten dirtiest, most lowdown crummy parenting tricks ever. Like srsly. You guilt trip your child for at least a month – possibly a year – over the amount of gifts some imaginary person will give them, except that it is really you giving the presents. And it is such a parenting fail because if your kid really is a shitty person all year, are you going to take it out on him or her by not buying a Ferbie at Christmas? Actually, maybe you would/should. Never mind.

Anyway, we had a beautiful Christmas. Holden was so excited, he was not a shitty person at any point so we were spared the wrath of Santa and we are still enjoying the lights in the neighbourhood. The holiday was happy and warm and comfortable. Next year, as Santa is my witness, I will take Holden out of daycare for two weeks so that we can do more sledding and skating. Also, I think I am supposed to be sick of him and rejoicing his return to school yesterday but I was just sad.

Some More Stuff:

1. Holden got a bird clock from Santa. Actually, David brought it back from Calgary and then it showed up in the movie Bernie and then in a New Yorker cartoon as one of the Re-gifts of the Magi. Mercedes and I call it a car alarm clock. Every hour there is a different car alarm. It is supposed to be light sensitive, but it is really just louder when it is darker outside. But I kinda love it anyway. Thank you, Santa!

2. We enjoyed hot chocolate together. That is nice.

3. David made a cooking video!!!! He is so funny and we have been saying “Cookies!” In high pitched voices ever since.

http://www.vimeo.com/55893660

4. Speaking of the Night Before Christmas, did anyone have the edition that was illustrated by Arthur Rackham? I did and it made the whole story sinister and juicy. I long to see it again. LIke this illustration – there are supposed to be sugar plums dancing in their heads, not creepy death angels.

5. I hope your holidays were lovely dear blog readers.

p.s. See that list thing I ddi above. It makes me look all organized, like in a brain way. Plus, when you write for the interweb you are supposed to write in bullet points so that people can just read the first three words of every paragraph. But really it was just my lazy lazy way of getting around writing actual paragraphs and connecting lucid thoughts together or fleshing out an idea.

Hurray for lists! Hurray Christmas!

My husband was away for 10 days in the Canadian Texas (read Alberta) teaching the nice folks out there. There are many reasons I married my husband: he is handsome and he makes me laugh everyday. Perhaps most importantly, he keeps me from becoming a neurotic mess. When he came back he had to listen to me for hours on the subject of how I am ruining our son.

David: Look, there are kids who were put in a closet and fed scraps. And they turned into….

Stan: ….

David: uhh. ….people.

And that is going to be the title of my new book (I’m writing that like I already have a book). “How to Raise your Kids so They Become People”

I think it will be a best seller. I mean – isn’t that enough? Look, I gave you life and I like you more than I like anything else in the universe. I’m not going to stitch hemp nappies for you or rock you to sleep when you are 15. I won’t drill you on Mensa tests or help you gain early acceptance into Harvard. Just go play in the closet. I’ll help you with the therapy bills later.

I don’t put Holden in the closet, but I have noticed lately that there is some room for improvement:

1. Hair brushing. Two weeks ago I found a little dreadlock in Holden’s hair. I cut it out and then promptly forgot about it. This week I noticed he had two dreadlocks. Oh dear. Since then I have brushed his hair TWO DAYS IN A ROW. Total record!

2. Fingernails: Why is it always the pinky fingernail or toenail that grows the longest? If you take a quick look at your child’s hands, the nails don’t look that bad, until you realize  – oh dear – my son has a coke nail. A dirty coke nail. In my defence, cutting Holden’s nails is about as dangerous as running with a pride of lions. Often I tell myself his nails are okay because I’m so scared to broach the subject.

3. Musical Education: I’m not big on kid’s music but I decided the drive to school would be more peaceful with some Raffi (who I do like). Holden doesn’t like my music, and he is so-so on most of the Raffi album except for the song “Joshua Giraffe” We listen to Joshua Giraffe on repeat all the way to school and all the way back. That is about 1 hour and 10 minutes of Joshua Giraffe everyday. I like the anti- zoo message, but I am going to stab myself in the ear if I  have to listen to that song again.

Oh well, I manage to get him to daycare without food on his face, like 50% of the time, and maybe 90% of the time he isn’t wearing his pyjamas. Sometimes I worry about being those awful smelly vegan yoga hippy parents. But then I just love it when I see him with his hair all wild and too long and hands dirty from picking up rocks outside. When he sees a lobster he says in a a high pitched voice, “Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!” And when he does stuff like that, I think, “He is going to be AMAZING.”

It is okay if it ends up only being me who thinks so, right?

My son is two and so sometimes I look at babies and I think, “That shit is so easy.” Of course, when I had a baby I thought it was the most complicated, difficult and anxiety producing job ever – and maybe it is. I might have forgotten. But you can put babies down and they don’t move. They sleep a lot – okay not when you want to sleep – but a lot anyway. Also you just have to show them a shiny piece of paper and they will be in awe. One day when Holden was just a couple months old I came down with a flu. Everyone was at work and so I lay down on the couch with a plastic bag and whenever he made a sound I would crinkle it by his ear. That bought me, like, two hours.

Now my son is two and people who spend time with us say, “Wow, he is really energetic.” or “He really seems to know what he wants.” or the worst, “He is so spirited.”  That is all a nice way of saying he is a little tyrant. His teachers at school say he is easy going and happy all day, and they have only seen him tantrum when I come to pick him up. I know that is a good thing –  and totally normal – but really?  Do parents ever catch a break?

Lately, every night there is a really serious blow out.. i suppose there is an art to picking your battles with your kids  On one hand, there are times when it makes sense to put your foot down – even with a two-year old.. They want to be independent and so often it is a good idea to avoid conflict if it can get you through the day calmly and sweetly. The problem is I am not skilled in figuring out what I should be bothering about. Most of the time after we have had a big power struggle, I wonder if it was even worth it. Here is a shining example:

1.Before we go out Holden sits on the stairs and waits for me to put his shoes on. At school he can almost manage to put them on himself. But at home, he just sits like a little boy King and waits. So, I said to him,”Help me put your shoes on.” He starts singing and then gets up and dances a monkey dance in the living room.

Stan: Holden, come here and help me put your shoes on.

Holden: EEEE OOOO

Stan: Holden come here now to put your shoes on so we can go.

Holden: EEEE OOOO

Stan: :Holden, if you don’t come to help me put on your shoes we aren’t going.

Okay – really? We aren’t going? Awesome parenting. And then what ensues is 30 minutes of total breakdown before the two of us are sitting on the floor, Holden snivelling and basically just touching his shoe as I put it on his foot. Does he learn that putting his shoes on by himself is a great thing to do? No, he learns that his mother is a controlling crazy person. I felt so embarrassed about the whole thing that I just dropped the shoe thing, making the whole event meaningless. Complete parenting fail.

2. The same day: Holden is wearing underpants and is standing on the kitchen counter when he pees.

Holden: I peed!

Stan: Oh well!

First of all, what is he doing on the kitchen counter? He was on the kitchen counter because I am a really amazing parent. .

Secondly: It was clearly an accident, but really peeing on the kitchen counter is unacceptable everywhere in the world.

Oh my god, I am screwing him up!

And speaking of screwing up – since when is Black Friday a thing in Canada? We had Thanksgiving last month – I thought Black Friday was one of the bad things about being an American along with expensive hospital stays and having to stomach Rush Limbaugh. I’m not on board.

category: baby
tags:

Conversations with a Two-Year Old

Part One: Muffins

Stan: Holden, what would you like to do?

Holden: Make MUFFINS!

S: Okay, well, just give me a moment to get a few things ready.

H: Make MUFFINS WOOOHOOO!

S: Yay! Okay, just let me get a few things…

H: Make MUFFINS!

S: Yep, make muffins.

H: MAKE MUFFINS!

S: (rushing) Okay we are going to make muffins…

H: MAKE MUFFINS!

S: Just let me grab the flour and your chair so you can help mix.

H: MAKE MUFFINS MAKE MUFFINS MAKE MUFFINS (Starts to cry)

S: Okay, no problem – look I am ready.Now you can help me mix.

H: (stops crying) Make MUFFINS!

Part Two: Grilling

Stan: What is your favourite colour?

Holden: Blue

S: What is your favourite animal?

H: Crocodile

S: What do you want to be for Hallowe’en?

H: Peacock

S: What is your favourite food?

H: Monkeys.

Part Three: Driving

(We go under a bridge)

Holden: Dark!

Stan: It is dark under the bridge.

H: Bye bye dark!

(We pass a crying baby)

Holden: Sad

Stan: Yeah, that baby was sad.

H: Baby sad.

H: Bye Bye sad!

Two practices to go, before the marathon home starts. Going home is usually a bit easier because you have been camping in Mysore for the last month and are used to cramped quarters and a natural suspicion of any food you are given. Today was led primary for me, but I rush out atfter urdhva danurasana so that David can make it in time for practice. I had a weird sideways spot in the room that was hot with the occasional blast of cold stinky air from the bathroom – so my practice was a bit ridiculous. But I still like practicing to Sharath’s count.

My cold that turned into a sinus infection that ebbed back into a head cold has now evolved into a bronchial hacking cough that actors use in movies to indicate their characters are dying soon. I’m sad to leave my practice here, but if I don’t eat something green soon, I might actually perish.

Holden’s Walk for Farm Animals was a success. We took a rickshaw out to Chamundi HIll and we made it up – okay maybe 50 steps. We didn’t see any monkeys at first, which was totally disconcerting, because usually they are all up in your shit there. Instead the steps were occupied by goat families. When we got down we saw some monkeys hopping around and eating the bugs off each other.  Holden was only groped by one person, before David pushed them off – which is an improvement on our other experiences of tourist destinations in Mysore. Holden also raised almost $1400 for charity, which is awesome, and can be mostly attributed to the greatness of his hair

Last night while reading No Roses For Harry.


Holden: There? (points to a picture of a man in a store)

Stan: That is a man going shopping.

H: There?

S: That is a family going shopping.

H: Shopping. There?

S: That is a lady going shopping.

H: There?

S: I think everyone on the street is doing a bit of shopping.

H: (points to cats) Cat.

S: What do you think the cats are doing?

H: Shopping.

S: What do the cats need to buy at the store?

H: Brushes.

True say, Holdy, true say.