Thursday, 25 September 2014

7QT: Horrifying Insects, Scrabble Tips and Links


---1---

So I had a creepy deja vu of the Spider incident a couple of days ago. I was in the living room on my laptop one night, when  my room mate BA was in the bedroom. "Hey guys, I think there's a praying mantis in here." "Mm hmm?" I responded. "Well, I think it's a praying mantis." "Maybe it's a grasshopper?" I lazily responded without moving. She didn't seem too freaked out by this potential praying mantis/ grasshopper in the bedroom, so there was no reason why I should be.

A little while later she called out, "Sue! There might be a bug on your bed." She sleeps on the upper half of our bunk bed, and I on the lower. "Okay, I'll be sure to check when I get in." Then a little later "Somebody put on the light! The insect's on my bed!"

I finally felt like I might need to be doing something more supportive than making non commital responses from the next room, so I got up and switched the light on. I peered on to her bed...

and saw THIS:


Okay, not this exact one, because I didn't take pictures, but proceeded to helpfully start freaking out. "Ohmygosh, it's huge!"

Then we both simultaneously started yelling, "EWWW, WHAT is it DOING?"

The Insect was moving in an odd manner and then started SPEWING SOME DARK LIQUID OUT OF ITS MOUTH AND ON TO HER BED RAILING!!! Okay, maybe not spewing, but dripping in a steady and disgusting manner. "Is that BLOOD??" "Sick!"

By this time, our third room mate decided it was time to join us, while I started running around our room looking for a weapon. There didn't seem to be anything big enough to kill it. Plus BA felt like there would be guts everywhere if we smashed it. "What do we do? What do we do?" "Watch out, it can fly!" "Come, Holy Spirit!"

"Get me a plastic dabba (tupperware)" BA finally decided. I did. That must have been the most helpful thing I did all evening. The Insect evaded her, and began to crawl down to my bed. She lunged at it and half missed, while all three of us proceeded to scream loudly (I might have started it.). Past 11 pm in a crowded apartment building. Whatever did our neighbours think we were upto?

Anyway. She caught it. And left it trapped under a plastic dabba on our kitchen floor for the next day, until our guy friends came and rescued either its dead body or its semi conscious body.

---2---

It turns out to be a 'katydid', or a bush cricket. It seems that I am not the only person in whom katydids inspire fear, as I found out as I typed in 'Can katydids...' in Google search, and found these options:


I was also fascinated to read that some species of katydids are 'exclusively predatory, feeding on other insects, snails or even small vertebrates such as snakes and lizards.'

YES KATYDIDS CAN HURT YOU.

Nightmares.

---3---

Moving on.

So two of my guy team mates took me out on brother sister date the other day. They showed me that they knew me well, by pulling out a Scrabble board at the restaurant (much to the bemusement of passersby who have never seen such a thing).


When I was a kid playing Scrabble with my parents used to be so frustrating because my dad always got the 7 letter words, and would be hundreds of points ahead of us every time. But then some years ago I started playing an online game that transformed my seven letter word making abilities and made me a Scrabble master (comparatively):

This game: Eight which just makes you start looking at letters differently as you search for the big word hidden in them.

You're welcome.

---4---

So you know who I'm always thinking of the mechanics and logistics of people finding the right person to marry... I just read this article where Leah Libresco talks about the same thing!

If Someone Put Me in Charge of Yenta-ing You All

Matchmaker, matchmaker...

The funny thing is, I already work in an organization which involves young people working together on service and evangelistic projects. Not surprisingly, there have been several matches that have come out of it.

On the other hand, doing a service project or joining a service-oriented organization that has a large number of young people of the same faith JUST to find someone seems like a bad idea... because then it seems purely self-serving. Or desperate. NOT an attractive quality in a potential life partner, OR a fulfilling way to live your life.

I guess a good balance is to be open to the possibilities without that being your focus.

---5---

Nothing more to say, and almost bed time, so here's a cute song (stolen from Conversion Diary a few weeks ago)



---6----

And here's a WONDERFUL post that made me laugh out loud several time:

The Arm in my Driveway

Heather is always so funny and real.


Plus, that is EXACTLY me every time something goes wrong "Why ME, Lord? Don't you love me? Why is this happening???? Please nooo!!!" Yeah, Super Mature Christian am I.

---7---

Um, I got nothing. Bedtime.

"Discipline is remembering what you want."

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, 19 September 2014

7QT: Courtship, Wars and Links

I haven't written for my blog in too long.

It's a busy life.

Anyway, down to business.

---1---

New favourite website: What If?

You know how sometimes your mind just gets caught wondering about an impossible situations? Have no fear, your questions may be answered. No matter how ridiculous.

If you call a random phone number and say “God bless you”, what are the chances that the person who answers just sneezed?

(Don't click if you're supposed to be working, and not wasting time on the Internet.)

---2---

I have often been annoyed when people say 'God loves me' when things go their way. (Even though I do it sometimes too.) Or if they get a parking spot and they say "It was all the Lord." So if you HADN'T found a parking spot, it was the devil? Who controls these things?

Things sometimes work out the way you hope they will, and sometimes they don't, and that happens to those who know and love God, and those who profess no faith at all. And yet I DO believe that God answers prayers, God shows us His love in practical and tangible ways very often. I've experienced it myself, too often for it to be coincidence.

So when Simcha Fisher addressed this, I knew I wanted to share her article:

Why I Don't Say "I'm Blessed"

(Although I DO say I'm blessed... even when I don't like my 'blessings'. It's all out of love.)

---3---

I'm kind of freaking out that I knew almost nothing about the Indo-Pakistan war of 1972 until last night. Well, I knew vaguely that India and Pakistan had fought, but had never thought of when and why. Then a few months ago I read Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, which is about the period after India's Independence... and whoah! I read about Pakistan (then West Pakistan) invading (now) Bangladesh, about the rape and murder, the genocide, and I thought 'Could this be fiction?'



Then last night I looked it up: Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. And it's all true! It all happened! Pakistan tore apart Bangladesh, and India stepped in to help. The international community turned a blind eye.

General Tikka Khan earned the nickname 'Butcher of Bengal' due to the widespread atrocities he committed. General Niazi commenting on his actions noted 'On the night between 25/26 March 1971 General Tikka struck. Peaceful night was turned into a time of wailing, crying and burning. General Tikka let loose everything at his disposal as if raiding an enemy, not dealing with his own misguided and misled people. The military action was a display of stark cruelty more merciless than the massacres at Bukhara and Baghdad by Chengiz Khan and Halaku Khan... General Tikka... resorted to the killing of civilians and a scorched earth policy. His orders to his troops were: 'I want the land not the people...' Major General Farman had written in his table diary, "Green land of East Pakistan will be painted red". It was painted red by Bengali blood.'

Millions of refugees poured into India. When I visited Kolkata, I saw how poor and underdeveloped the city was. Part of the reason was the thousands of penniless refugees who flooded the country at that time. My great uncle who was a priest then and Mother Teresa worked with the refugees.

Did I not learn this in school? Was it not said in a way that I understood? This is a part of India's recent history! I should have known!

---4---

Someone recently emailed me this article:

Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

She sent it to me because I am pro-courtship, and she wanted my opinion. I started reading it somewhat defensively, like anyone would while preparing for a pet idea to be attacked. But by the time I reached the end, I realized we were on the same side, we just use different labels for the same ideas.

Basically the theory of courtship that I believe does not exclude 'low-stakes dating'. That means, go ahead and go out for coffee with guys who ask you out on a date. (We call it the acquaintance stage.) It doesn't mean you have just promised to grow old with them. Go out for coffee with multiple guys!


BUT I am still against long-term intense dating relationships with one person... which are not headed towards marriage (preferably sooner than later.) Those seem to play at marriage without the long term commitment, which has so many potential negative consequences.

I think that the 'courtship' that the author refers to is something very different than we understand it, and starts a lot earlier. That's probably why the parents are so heavily involved. My theory is 'If marriage is not something realistic for years to come, don't date yet.'

Of course all this is just theoretical, because India's still caught between arranged marriage and love marriages (which usually seem to follow long-term intense dating relationships), and no one's talking about courtship OR low stakes dating yet.

Leah Libresco writes more about it in her article 'Why is it easier to ask out strangers than friends'.

---5---

Remember how this was supposed to be 'quick' takes? Oops, sorry.

Here's a recipe that I just made, and loved, so I want to make it every day! (But won't because who has time to cook everyday?)

Cauliflower Dum Masala

2 cauliflowers (broken into pieces and par-boiled)
2 pureed onions
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 chopped tomatoes
turmeric powder
chilli powder
curd
chopped fresh coriander
sliced boiled eggs
sugar
salt

Fry the onions, ginger garlic paste and spices well, then add the tomato, and then the cauliflower. Mix with curd (seasoned with sugar and salt), and garnish with eggs and corinader.

Yum!

(If only I had taken a picture. Oh well, next time.)

---6---

(Am I only on 6??)

For married couples.. I liked this:

5 Things We are Getting Right in our Marriage

---7---

It was teachers' day in India a few weeks ago. At the programme the kids organized in our tuition room in the slum, one of my twelve year old students read this speech she had written.

Good evening one and all,

Today at teachers day I, Karuna from Std VIIth want to say few words.

First of all I want to wish all the teachers a very happy teachers day. Till ow which-ever tution changed I did not get a tution and teachers like you all. In my school also there is no teacher like you all who encourges us, appreciate us in little-little things.

As you all know that I am a newcomer in this tution so I wanted to give you this surprise and I hope that you will like it.

You all teachers are the bestest teacher that I have ever seen, who never beat children, who never scold children, the talk polielty with us. I want to say thank you for your all encorages. Once again a Happy Teachers Day to all the teachers. Thank you.

Makes it all worth it, right, teachers?

More quick takes at Jen's.