Monday, June 09, 2008

reflections of, the way life used to be

so, the grandkids are getting the grandparentals a video slideshow for their anniversary. this meant that on friday evening, up at the family estate, we snuck over to my grandparents' side of the house and grabbed their old albums and started going through them to find pictures for the slideshow. it was definitely a strange, disembodying experience that, in light of my recent frustrations with my family (which really was just the general, regular, and routine necessary by-product of the exothermic reactions that happen when you have a family as close, strong, determined, and whip-smart as mine), really kind of humbled me.

i saw pictures of my mom when she was in university, when she was at the age that i am now (having just gotten her law degree!), my mom as a kid, with my dad, my grandparents celebrating anniversaries past and traveling the world and hamming it up for the camera. it was really sweet and touching.

seeing pictures of your parents and grandparents when they were young resitutates them as people in their own right. it humanizes them, makes them more relatable. you realize they weren't always as they are now, as you're prone to remembering them. you become aware of the fact that the trials and tribulations and joys of your life now, they experienced and lived through. seeing those pictures kind of shook me out of my solipsism (one that i think we're all guilty of), of that bad and myopic habit where i think that my experience is so special and unique, and just doesn't translate across generations. it made me that little bit more okay with my mortality, seeing the fullness and richness of their lives. i really felt, on a visceral, molecular level, how much my family is a part of me, and i feel really comforted in knowing and seeing the familial ties made manifest in the generational lines. chinese culture is big into family and legacy; sometimes those ties can feel oppressive and suffocating with the fulsome weight of expectations compacted by the forces of time and history. at other times, that weight provides a grounding sense of pride and a security in the interminable depths of lineage.

the long and short of it is: i kinda want to have kids. this always happens whenever i see my niece and nephew. although my nephew kind of had to be prodded to be reminded who we are. the dotytron had some problems initially because in the month+ break since the last time we've seen them, his moniker, "dodo" has subsequently been used to denote "donuts" and most baked goods. little ze isn't much of an ice cream fan, but he sure loves his pastries and fried doughs. when the dotytron and i were supervising breakfast on saturday morning and asked him, "where's dodo?" little ze gave us a "what chu talkin' about, mang?" look because there were no donuts in sight. he sorted it out and made peace with it later and was calling out for unky dodo when we were playing hide and seek outside.

we had dinner with the dotytron's nany and poppa last night for nany's birthday and they're basically the greatest. i really want them to experience the joy of having babies around again and of seeing four generations together. it's amazing!

here are some pics of the lobster feast. barnacle bill went down with nary a whimper and obligingly turned a bright crimson in his steamy grave. he yielded piles of buttery, rich flesh and heaps of tamale and roe (my favorite parts). soooo good.

dodgeball yesterday was a gong, of course. i ate way too much dim sum at lunch and was burping it up and then got elbowed in the gut mid-way through the game, which didn't help to quell the rising tide of indigestion. i soldiered through and we had a fun time playing, even though we got spanked by my brother's team.

tonight i'm baby-sitting my niece while my sister and outlaw bro have dinner out on the town. we have leftover lobster meat so i'm making new england lobster rolls for me and the dotytron (for the uninitiated, that's lobster meat, chopped and mixed with mayo, celery, red onion, and stuffed in a buttered, toasted, hot dog bun) with leftover salad and potato salad. i'm probably going to make a grilled cheese sandwich for the little miss, since she's a huge fan. this is after we hit the park and before we go on a hunt for the ice cream truck, weather permitting.

tomorrow is the big hoo-ha for my grandparents' diamond anniversary. they've invited like, 100's kind of a big deal.

in other news: I WON AN AWARD AT SCHOOL!!! i don't know what i won, though? i received an email asking if i was going to be at convocation because i won an award. i'm of course, NOT going to be at convocation, so they're going to mail it to me. i hope it's a cheque!!!!!!! i'm kind of curious what i could have possibly won. the only classes i know i excelled at were: surveillance and identity, information and its' social contexts, and my food course. ????? unless they're starting to give out awards for talking s**t about the faculty, other students, program, and/or slacking off. in which case, i'm graduating summa cum laude with that ish.


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