Vampires 1: Zombies 0 (wherein this is actually about parenting)

twilight breaking dawn

oh those pesky teenage vampires again…

Awhile back, I mentioned Chaeli’s interest in both the Twilight movies and Twilight books.

Since then, it’s all she asks to watch. Fortunately, as a family, we don’t have that much time for movie nights anymore. We’ve been privileged to spend time outdoors together – all seasons – doing various physical activities. And when we’re stuck at home, there’s just so much to do – including game night and hobbies night. Movie nights are becoming a rarer treat. So when it comes time for crashing in front of the TV, it’s a nice change of pace (plus an excuse to have popcorn).

I also mentioned my plan to withhold the last book, Breaking Dawn, from her until we had more conversations about sex.

Well, just some series of events which lead to my failure as a parent here – these are not excuses, mind you, but they do explain how it all just sort of unraveled on me:

  1. My workplace has gone through tremendous changes, including new ownership; I am still employed but the overtime has been pretty steady.
  2. We went to donate some of our old belongings to Variety Village where Chaeli spotted Breaking Dawn, the hardcover, for only $5.
  3. When we got home, due to being drained from event no. 1, and many other crazy things that have happened to us which I won’t bore you with here, I completely forgot to take the book from her room.

I suppose my greatest fault is no. 3 above. A part of my brain did remember it was there from time to time, but then another part of my brain, the one that’s famous for procrastinating, kept on saying that she was still in the beginning of reading Eclipse, the book before. It will be awhile before she gets to Breaking Dawn.

This reasoning seemed to satisfy the part of my brain that usually is pretty good at taking charge. Until one day, I see my 10 year old walking around carrying the Breaking Dawn book.

With her bookmark sticking out from the middle pages.

This past Saturday was one of the rare moments we had time for a movie. Of course, she asked to watch Twilight. And of course, she asked to watch Breaking Dawn, Part 2, her favourite.

When it got to the scene where Edward and Bella were implied to have a 2nd honeymoon (nothing graphic but it was suggestive that they were making love even though nothing is shown), my kid turns to me and says, “You know in the book? They do this for like a whole day.”

I was stunned. And silent. At least at first. Then I started to laugh as I worked out a semi-audible, “Oh yeah – I forgot about that part of the book” to cover up my real reason for laughing.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking, Oh great. Not only did I fail to discuss with her about sex, I’m now laughing like an immature dweeb.

“Yeah, and the only reason why they stop is because they wanted to check up on their baby. If they didn’t have a kid, they would be doing this for days. Maybe weeks!”

Well, not all is at a loss. Chaeli is not completely ignorant about where babies come from. And she has been introduced to sex but I’m not sure if she understood that what they were doing, was sex. Or if she thinks they just spent an entire day kissing and holding each other. (<- my wishful thinking)

It’s a discussion I’ll be having with her soon. *Sigh*

Why can’t she just like zombies? You don’t have to worry about zombies getting down and dirty. They’re too busy being disgusting as they tear into live, human victims.

Warrior Two – Much kinder but still strong


Warrior Two – Much kinder but still strong

I use to be an angry warrior – with little confidence.

Now? I’m the stronger, gentler type – that simply just poses like one. Read more…

the true meaning of the word ‘namaste’

the word ‘namaste’ has been in my life a lot these past several years. it is a sanskrit word which when translated means, “i bow to you.” basically, the etymology behind it  breaks down to namah = ‘bow’ and te = ‘you.’

in modern-day asian culture, it is used basically as a form of both salutation and a way of parting. but even in the indian culture, there are some people who take it as a form of respect and even spiritual meaning.

in western yoga practice, it has become a most definitely spiritual meaning where yogis perform the bowing motion in conjunction of the word at the end of a yoga glass as a sign of respect, equality and a deliverance, so to speak, of spiritual well wishes to their fellow yogis.

why am i bringing this up?

about a year ago, i was having dinner with two of my girlfriends. one is east indian, growing up with hindu traditions. she does not speak her native language but she has been raised in her culture as both her parents were born in india.

i was talking about turning 40 and how i was musing over the idea of doing something to commemorate my rite of passage. i had, in the past, toyed around with the idea of getting a tattoo. alas, i told them, i have not found any type of symbol i could use which would have enough meaning for it to be a part of my body for life.

they asked me if i had any ideas at all. i did mention that it will most likely be something spiritual – and as yoga has become such an important part of me, it might have something to do with the practice of yoga. i mentioned a couple of ideas, one being the use of the sanskrit writing for ‘namaste.’

to this, my one indian friend scoffed and said, “you know that just means ‘hello,’ right?” then she went on a mini-rant about how westerners always do this – we glorify other cultures without truly understanding the meaning behind what we’re glorifying.

i said nothing to this. as the truth is, i was not sure if she was right or not. and regardless, she did have a point. we do do this.

and so, i’ve been doing my research on and off for a year. it’s been difficult to find out exactly whether or not us north american yogis have been lead down the wrong path to the word ‘namaste.’ until i was able to find some solid information, i have been using the words ‘om shanti’ (meaning not just ‘peace’ but especially from buddhist practice, it means ‘inner peace’) during my practice instead, though if my yoga instructor prefers using ‘namaste,’ i do repeat it back as a sign of respect to him or her.

after all, during the practice of yoga, there’s no room for debate on semantics.

as mentioned above, i have gotten as far as the true meaning of where the word was derived from. that i am quite sure is correct. it is not just ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye’ though it is used for the moment of greeting and parting. but it does mean ‘i bow to you’. no one can deny that such an act and statement obviously is showing a sign of respect. it is a peaceful gesture.

the popular meaning “the divine light in me shines to the divine light in you”, however, might very well have been populated by western interpretation. it’s more like a ‘step up’ from the etymology of ‘namaste.’

so the question still has not been answered – are we essentially adding a bit of pretentiousness to the true use of ‘namaste?’

honestly, when i hear my yoga instructors say it to me and others in class, i do not feel any sign of pretentiousness. i feel, actually, only peace and love – because regardless of whether or not the meaning of the word is being used properly or not, their intent is pure, all good, and yes, even divine. i even have one instructor who says this and  concludes the class with an additional, “i love you all!” and while this seemed so foreign to me at the time, i believe him when he says this. it is on that level of how he sees the good in all humans and that is the part of humanity he wishes to send his love. it is, therefore, where he concentrates his positive energy so that the good in us, in all of us, is fed and nurtured.

at the end of the day, i see nothing wrong with this.

perhaps i’m still leery of getting a tattoo that says ‘namaste’ as i prefer the word ‘shanti’ anyway, but i have decided that it’s okay to follow the concluding ‘namaste’ ritual at the end of one of my yoga classes, leaving my friend’s sarcastic comment at the door of the studio (i love my friend, but that doesn’t mean i always agree with her).

i also mentioned that should i get a sanskrit word as a tattoo, i would also consider a illustration of a lotus flower to tie in my chinese heritage and my connection to my buddhist traditions. she did add another sarcastic comment, “and that probably is just a flower to people in china.”

in reply, i smiled back and said, “no… it actually has a deeply rooted meaning for those who practice buddhism.”

what are your thoughts on how north american yogis use the word, ‘namaste?’

romance in a zombie apocolypse world

walking dead daryl and beth

yay or nay?

daryl dixon and beth greene – i’m just sayin’.

there’s a lot of people on the ‘daryl hearts carol’ bandwagon. and i’m not one of them. i suppose it depends how old you think both daryl and carol are. form my perspective, carol looks like she is in her 50′s. and daryl, i say early 30′s.

beth is young – but i believe she is now legal.

will we see sparks fly between these two? i sort of hope so. but…. and i say this as a big but

not quite yet. i think what we will witness is a beth that gets a little bit tougher and more mature. she’ll still have a heart of gold which she got from her father, the beloved hershel (i’m still mourning after him) which keeps daryl’s heart from turning stone-cold, as it seems to be at the brink of… pretty much all the time.

michonne is another one people have felt would be a good match for daryl. and i would see this more than carol but lets take a look at the personalities. both these women are a lot tougher than beth. they’re hearts and souls have become more jaded.

and that’s not what daryl needs.

if anything, michonne and carol are lethal zombie-killing matches for daryl. sort of like any superhero duo. and it’s best to leave romance out of that type of zombie-fighting partnership. after all, batman and robin never got into each other pants (that we know of).

i am rooting for a daryl-beth romance. but not until, perhaps, next season when there’s a bit of time lapse as beth leaves her teen years behind, passes through her adolescence and becomes a strong, young woman.

and then, us daryl-lovin’ fans can finally see this strong, silent type get some action (he’ll be strong but tender). at which point, we call then blog about how jealous we are of beth and that we hope she dies. ;)

letters no. 2 (new years resolutions)

[on-going documentation of new year’s 2014 resolutions - sub-section under letters]

Dear A. & A.,

This morning, I took Hobbes out for his morning outing and it was just too cold for me. With the wind, we are hitting -25ºC today which isn’t what we are used to here in Toronto. I actually like winter, but this is colder than I would like it to be! Burrrrrr!

Hobbes doesn’t mind, though. His fur is very thick and curly. When the wind blows he jumps around in it all happy.

Yesterday, Chaeli had her first tryout for the Varsity Co-Ed Badminton team (grade 4 to 6). She has her second tryout session next Thursday morning so we will let everyone know if she moves on from there.

It is hard for people in her grade level because they are up against kids much older and who have been playing badminton for a while. But that’s okay. We told Chaeli to just try her best and more importantly, to have fun! Because if trying out for a sport isn’t fun, then what’s the point?

She did have fun, she said. A lot of fun and is looking forward to next week’s tryout.

Chaeli’s school is also celebrating International Day next Friday. They have to bring some type of food that represents where they are from. In the past, Chaeli has brought things like Italian meatball to represent Grandma’s Italian side and Tatty-Scones to represent Papa’s Scottish side. This year, we think she will bring some Chinese deserts to represent the Chinese side of my side of the family. She will probably where a Chinese outfit customary to what girls use to wear in China (and still do on special occasions).

Anyway, attached to this letter is also a recipe I would like to pass on to your mom and dad. It is a no-fail recipe we enjoy making a lot. Please tell your mom and dad to substitute the chorizo sausage for Italian sausage if they can not get a hold of that type of Spanish sausage (here in Toronto, we would have to go to a special butcher to get them).

Hope all is well! Stay warm!

Love, Auntie Shy.