Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Highlights of living at home:

(1) My mom, the sports freak: my mom opened the paper, grabbed the sports section and say, "Che! Lost again! Goddy goddy." (And then realized it was last Sunday's paper.) Also, she's randomly obsessed with "So You Think You Can Dance". I think that says it all.

(2) My dad, Speedy Gonzales: my father leaves the car in such a rush, while I'm always rolling up the window, taking off my seatbelt, adjusting my messenger bag. Once, he rushed off so quickly that he left his door open. And forget about keeping up with him in the store - unpossible. You just have to hope that through some Brownian motion/chaos theory/happenstance you happen to cross paths again before he decides to andale andale, arriba arriba back to the car.

(3) Little bro, #2. There's no easy way of explaining this. My mom, when feeling deeply put-upon, sighs and says (somewhat phonetically) "Iswara, deva mai." Recently, Mom sighed deeply - and little bro #2 said "Sharaddi, eh Mom?" There was a noticeable pause, hangtime while Mom and I figured out what the hell he was talking about. Yeah, that was his attempt at what she always says. Mom laughed so hard she had to hold the stitch in her side, I had tears in my eyes. Really shocked that he wasn't willing to repeat it for Dad. [Incidentally, the Iswara is also a Malaysian car.]

(4) Little bro, #1. Really needs to get with the program, hasn't done anything that funny - just been nice and helpful. BOOOORING!

P.S. - 2 weeks, mes p'tits!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

how do you catch the sparrow?

All the girls walked by dressed up for each other

Slicking on some lip gloss and checking to see if my mascara had clumped, I realized this was the most makeup I'd had on in weeks, if not months. In fact, this was the most trouble I'd taken regarding my appearance in quite some time - and it was all to meet a girlfriend. There's a lot of truth in that line - my girlfriends are the ones who notice (and appreciate) the new shoes, and know your wardrobe well enough to have a favorie shirt. It's for them, and myself that I dress.

The night was just about perfect: bookstore time with vapid women's magazines I'd hate to support by actually buying, wide-ranging conversation, frites, and a very productive car confab. (Whenever I drop this friend off, no matter how late, we always seem to end up chatting for another hour.)

The evening distilled down to this perfect prism that I'll hang in the bay window of my mind, to reflect on at stoplights and airport gates.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Moving/Sanity: How to keep more of the latter while doing the former

Moving is painful, logistically as well as emotionally. Here are some things I've learned from my recent experience:

(1) Make a plan as soon as you know you're moving. If possible - timeline backwards. Moving on this date, when will packing be done? Do you need to make a trip to the new location to apartment hunt? Count on packing taking longer than you think. What services do you think you'll need? Cleaners, movers, carpet shampooing, etc. etc. Start emailing your friends for referrals.

(2) List companies/addresses that will need your new mailing address. This is easiest if you start a few months before your move: utilities, banks, investments, magazines, Sallie Mae, etc. etc. As your mail comes in, add addresses to the list. Having it all in one place will kick much ass later.

(3) Go through your crap. If you've lived in one place for a while, this will be especially sucky. I divided it up by doing one area each weekend (one closet, one bookshelf, etc. etc.) Triage into throw away, give away, and take with you. Goodwill will pick up, if you have enough stuff and you schedule sufficiently early. Look into other local charities that accept donations. Check out animal shelters - they often need shoeboxes, as well as towels, linens, etc. Many charitable organizations dealing with domestic violence take cell phones. Also, look for charities that accept business clothing, for example Dress for Success.

Here's where the emotional stuff tends to kick in. Remember that everything you are going through is perfectly normal. Try writing, or bitching to friends (even though you will be worried about wearing our your welcome, in that regard.) Take time for yourself as much as possible. Keep a countdown - it is at once a source of stress, and relief.

(4) Collect packing materials. You can often get packing materials from friends, or off of Craigslist. Boxes, packing tape, scissors, newspaper, markers. Keep the things you'll need right away at your new location apart - shower curtain, trash bags, cleaning materials, toilet paper, a towel, etc. Not being able to take a shower after moving - not cool.

(5) Contact the post office and others on your list from #2. You can even change your address with the USPS online. Some subscriptions etc. take 6 weeks to change your address, so get in touch as soon as you know your new address.

(6) Pack. This is a good time to do more triage. Mark each box with the room it came from, and the contents. If you're really geeky - color code.

(7) Cleaning Or: how to get your security deposit back. Consider hiring cleaners. If the budget won't allow, use your bucket of cleaning materials and hop to it. For white walls, you can use (white) toothpaste to fill in the holes where you hung your artwork collection. For carpets, use ammonia and a brush with plastic bristles (dollar store, baby) to get up the worst of the stains. Rent a carpet cleaner (I got mine from my grocery store) and use Oxiclean detergent in it (skip the expensive stuff they try to sell you at the store.) (For both the ammonia and the rug cleaning, test an inconspicuous spot first.) Take pictures of the place when you're done.

(8) Unpacking. Thankfully, this process is about 5 times faster than packing. Stop at the grocery store for snacks and a flat of water. Make sure your new place is as clean as you'd like. Move boxes into the rooms they have been marked for. Use your "set aside" box to to set up your shower (trust me, you'll need it.) Do as much unpacking as you can the first day, because otherwise the task can suddenly stretch on for days/weeks/indefinitely (we still have packing boxes in our basement from when we moved from Geneva - i.e. when I was 7.)

(9) Pizza and beer. Hey - it's a moving tradition!



Donating eyeglasses

If you have enough time, consider holding a garage sale to get rid of some of your stuff (maybe pool together with other friends who are also moving/looking to scale back.) Another option: use Craigslist or EBay to make some $$ off your unwanted stuff.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Station Identification

So, unexpected shoutouts from Amardeep and Sepia Mutiny. Wow - thanks, y'all.

I've achieved a few of my goals from the La Vie en Rose list: road trip to Lake Tahoe, shopping with Mom, spa trip (although, um, I may need a refill.) More of these goals to come, along with sweeping blog changes including (FINALLY) updating my blogroll.

Mojo Rising

The mojo is coming back on line, kids, and thanggod for that.

I spent a good part of yesterday trying to chat with my neighbor's mom. Since she's from Senegal, the French comes in handy - but not entirely because of the whole Creole/Patois thing. I'm not entirely sure what we talked about but I think that she castigated me for moving without saying goodbye to her (I begged off that I haven't moved yet), she told me that she would pray for me, and then promised to marry me off. Or possibly she was praying that I'd get married. (!!)

Today, even more Home Deepa-age. My favorite moment: I asked a clerk for remnants of 1/2" drywall. The guy raised an eyebrow at me. Oh HELLLLLLLLL no! Don't let the pigtails fool you - I will linoleum tile your ass, mofo!

I'm starting to really enjoy the do-it-yourself thing. I feel like I've forgotten so much about what I was like pre-lawschool, but I used to love putting things together. Apparently, I still do. And you know what? I love IKEA - and I'm not going to feel guilty/cheap about it. Ain't no shame in my game. I love their design sense, and I love putting the furniture together. Mmm.... Allen keys galore. (Aside: from putting together an entire houseful of IKEA furniture with Saj - never try to outthink the Swedes! Follow the damn pictorial instructions.) And I'm fine with just giving it away and starting over when I move. Is that wrong??

20 days, mes p'tits.

55 Fiction Fridays: Twinkle Twinkle


Since she was a child, she’d do it: the quick glance up into the night sky, pick a winner, and scrunch up her eyes and wish for the first thing that came to mind. With the words to the rhyme on her lips, she opened her eyes. The star moved –yet another wish on airplane.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


You think "watching paint dry" is just an expression, but you're wrong - I spent a few hours held hostage by a newly painted front door. The door should have dried in four hours, buuuuuut it was full dark and insects were wandering in to my house and the paint was STILL sticky.

A phone call from brimful helped me pick my chin off my chest, and I set off for "home"....only to realize that I had forgotten my bag containing my wallet etc. at my house. Turn around. Repeat.

Have you ever had an out-of-brain experience? What I mean is that you know that you are processing away on some problem or issue, but at the same time, it's like your brain is floating in the corner of the room observing you deal with the situation? Maybe some kind of cranial astral projection.

I was bone tired on the last little stretch, and feeling sorry for myself. Not a good combination, but I really have too much on my plate and not enough space for perspective. I had my cerebral out-of-cranium experience when I saw the deer: I was braking and steering away from it at the same time as I thought, "wow, I'm actually reacting and in enough time to avoid a problem." It all felt so slowed down. The sound of my brakes engaging. Tightening my grip on the steering wheel. The headlight illuminating half her body as she swerved away from my car, and then back towards it. My front left wheel just crossing the double yellow, thinking that I could correct and get back over in more than enough time.

As I was congratulating myself on my reaction time, I realized that I was steering away from Mama Deer...and towards Bambi. I couldn't see the fawn at first because the curve of its spine fell just below my headlight. When it turned to follow Mama, its leaf-shaped ear caught the light.

I didn't hit either of them, and no one hit my car. I drove the next 2 minutes one-handed, the other hand pressed flat against my mouth, holding it all in. Here's what I realized: even at my most drained, I am lucky. My day was bookended by nature. This morning, I watched an irridescent midnight blue and black butterfly sun its wings on my front step. Although I would have preferred to have skipped the encounter with the doe-eyed, I had the opportunity to be (wo)mano-a-deero, and you don't get that every day. Also, near-synchronicity is an eerie, eerie thing.

Savor where you are - there are moments and ideas to be absorbed at that very spot.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I Saw You

You: grey t-shirt, and running shorts. Me: Indian girl bombing through the side streets to avoid traffic. I saw you at the end of your run, hands on knees, sucking in DC's soup-like air. You looked up as I passed you, my radio cranking out "Enter Sandman." I watched you in the rearview - you kept looking, mouth open, confused, and finally laughing. That totally made my day.

So, same time next week? Maybe I'll play some Patsy Cline? Or some Tupac?

- the girl in the Sinatra

The Parent Trap

I was not cut out to live with people. I can be the life of the party, and on occasion I enjoy meeting new peeps - but, generally, I just want to be left alone. I know I've alluded to it before, but seriously - lots and lots of alone time everyday. To the point where my romantic fantasy is to meet someone amazing that I want to share my life with....and have them live next door.

And I'm currently living with my parents. (STRRRRRIKE 1) As my dad and I fix up my place to get it ready to sell. (STRRRRRIKE 2 and 3 and let's make it an even 4, batter.)

I'm a quagmire. My father is helping me out immeasurably, and yet I'm annoyed on at least an hourly basis. Sometimes, I can tell I'm being a bitch as I'm saying something, but I can't bite back the words. I hate this, I really do.

So, some of it is me - and I readily acknowledge that - I'm 30 years old, and have lived on my own for 13 years. Moving back home, even for less than a month, is not going to be easy. But some of it definitely comes from my parents. Here's a little tip (or possibly a note to self, if I ever decide to have kids): whatever your kids are like at 27 - that's it. You're done. No amount of nagging, cajoling, lecturing, or other parental forms of browbeating are going to result in any character-building or breakthroughs on their part. Let. It. Go. And remember that you do not see your adult children the way other adults do: it was nearly amusing to be told this morning that I'm horrendously forgetful, disorganized, etc. Hmm...I managed to graduate from law school, I must be capable of doing something right.

Aargh. I'm booking my flight to California this week. I think it best for everyone's mental health.

Friday, August 19, 2005

55 Fiction Fridays: V-day


He tried to be nonchalant as he opened up the shoebox. It wouldn’t do for people to think he was overly nervous, or anxious. The key was to not draw attention to yourself at all, blend into the crowd. But there was no hiding the disappointment: 30 kids in his class, and only 9 valentines.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Home Depot

I've been spending more time than I'd like in hardware/home improvement stores, and my favorite "kids say the darnedest things" moment is floating on the surface of my mind.

My friend's son, for some reason, could not remember my name. So, he'd be in the midst of telling me a story and run over to his mom to stage whisper, "Um, what's her name again?" This cracked me up because (1) it's not exactly necessary to call someone by name repeatedly in a story, but it is a child's way of making sure that you are paying attention, (2) he could have asked me. I guess he decided to come up with a memory device for himself because the next time he told me a story he called me (ready for it?): Home Deepa.

Yup, especially from a 5-year old that is friggin' brilliant. I laughed so hard that he kept calling me that. AND it's original!! So few jokes/plays on names are original by the time you're out of high school. I was really impressed.

A few days later, I was interviewing gyms, and the sales rep said to me, "Oh, like Office Depot?" I gave him quite the withering look and told him that a 5 year old had made the same joke. FIVE.

Poor thing, his timing was off - if he'd said it a week earlier, I would have been amused.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I left my heart in San Francisco

High on the hill
It calls to me

The movers have left. All of my things are winding their way towards the city by the bay. And I'm excited.

After they left, I walked around my (former) home and said goodbye. It's been so good to me.

I sat in the middle of the living room floor and thought of the present,past, and future: a Christmas Carol come to life.

When I come home to you
San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me

Electric Cosmetic

The movers are here. The rip of packing tape and the rustle of paper fill the house, and I'm hiding away. I've come a long way (baby), but this is the part that I find really hard: watching what you until very recently called home being transformed, drained of your life.

In college, I remember sitting in my dorm room the first day, looking at the bare walls and wondering what the year would hold for me. My parents had dropped me off early, on a Saturday. The banks had closed, and I had no access to Canadian money (I had to open an account Monday morning.) After feeling up to my hairline while living with my family for so long and longing for a room of my own, that afternoon was one of the loneliest times of my life. My mom had packed an air freshner for me - Glade Country Garden scent. To this day, a whiff of it and I feel lonesome, and I can all but see myself perched on the twin bed, looking at a blank corkboard, while somewhere outside a lawnmower whined.

It was just as hard at the end of the year. Packing up my things, saving for very last the task I dread - taking down the posters. When those come down, it's really over. The room returns to its original state. You have to face that you don't live there anymore, and that someone else will the next year.

This time around, I'm not doing the dismantling. I sat and had a good look at "the first home I ever owned" before the movers came. I made my peace. And then I scurried away and hid in the spare bedroom so that I wouldn't get in the way, and so that I couldn't watch.

The ship has been launched, California here I come (right back where I started from.)

55 Fiction Fridays: D-day

Check this ish out, see how this one moves you.

The dreaded box of personal items, and the resulting exchange. Does the size of the box indicate how much you care(d)? If so, apparently this last relationship could be valued at a box holding a ream of paper. He would have said it was more and she, of course, would have said it was less.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sad songs they say so much

Follow-up on my last post: wow, my shuffle contains a lot of down-beat songs. Here's my new (and growing) list of music not to listen to when cornflower blue:

  • Portishead
  • Pink Floyd
  • Tori Amos
  • Joni Mitchell
  • the Cure
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Counting Crows

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Note to self:

When you're feeling a little down, Portishead is not a good idea.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I don't want the world, I just want your half

It's a cliche to draw an analogy between one's emotions and the weather, but there you have it. The clouds can't make up their mind: one minute it's kindasorta spitting, the next its raining in earnest, and 5 minutes later, clear skies. And it all repeats on the hour.

Last night, as I was falling asleep, a teeny tiny voice said, "Maybe you can still change your mind and just stay here." I awoke this morning to newly sorted bookshelves, and joy: I know I've made the right decision. I'm ready to go.

The problem, as I see it, is that I made this decision ages ago, or at least started down a pretty inevitable path, anyway. I'm moving for a job that I received after working at The Firm last summer, after interviewing for the job the October before, after being screened for the interview in July of 2003, after applying for a screening spot in April, after deciding in 2000 that it would be cool if Pat and I could somehow live in the same city in 5 years.

It's been a long, long time coming. I'm angsting a little bit because of that, because there's a lot going on, but mostly because change - no matter how much you want it, and no matter how much you've planned for it - is hard.

As usual, I need to be more patient with myself.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cha gheil!

Here's another column from the Savage Love archives, which are housed at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. One day scholars of human sexuality will pore over old Savage Loves, pondering archaic sexual practices like solo piss play and ancient slang terms like "whack."

So he forgot the apostrophe, still, as an alum, this announcement in Dan Savage's weekly column made me proud. And it makes sense - after all, our school song is the Oil Thigh.

Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!


The sort-through-my-crapathon is on, and stressing me out. I hate, hate, hate moving - which is why I never do it. I lived in the same house in college for three years. I've lived in my current place for four. Which means the sortage is EPIC. And it needs to be completed by Friday.

That's the background. My mother called me yesterday and asked me if I'd like to come over for dinner, and oh, while you're here, go through some boxes in the basement and some up in your room. I'll admit it - I semi-flipped out on her. I've got a lot going on right now, you keep making me go through the same stuff. Half the time it's not even my stuff, etc. Yeah, I'm not proud of myself.

When she called, I was on my way to the gym. There are certain moments of every day that are ripe for revelations. My first few moments waking up are like that. (Even though I'm a night owl, I'm also a morning person - disgusting, isn't it?) When I was a programmer, I used to wake up and have these realizations about whatever had stymied me the day before. "Oh, but if I code a semaphore..." (Note: outside of my CS degree, I never coded a semaphore.) Time spent brushing teeth is also thought-productive. And, finally, working out. I was mid-hamstring curl when the thought that I had been a complete, unmitigating bitch to my mom struck me. I resolved to apologize to her. Thinking on it, I couldn't remember a time when I'd ever apologized to her. Was that possible? Because I've certainly been super-obnoxious to her!

Thanggod for cellphones - I was able to call her right away. I apologized for my behavior, and her response was, "Okay, you're still coming for dinner, right?" WHAT? I tried it again, with the same kind of stonewalling on her part. Third time's the charm, though: she said, "I just want you to enjoy your things, and not forget anything here that you may want." Aww, how sweet. Which made me feel worse, and better at the same time.

Ah, mothers - they program your buttons, so they can push 'em at any time.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

You better (net)work!

Ah, Rupaul.

For once, I decided to practice what I preach. SO - we're approximately T-minus 1 month until I move to the Bay area. When I get there, I need to find a place to live, buy a car, set up a bank account, select a salon (and I'm girlier than I'd like to admit - hair, nails, threading, waxing, and the list goes on and on), etc.

I'm soliciting (doesn't that sound naughty?) your input, on any of the above and more. Cool bar? Your favorite coffeeshop? A restaurant I should check out? Basically - any recommendations of people, places, services, things (or warnings, for that matter) that will make my transition easier/more fun are greatly appreciated.

If you don't feel comfortable leaving info as a comment, please drop me a line.


Saturday, August 06, 2005


So, um, yeah - despite my masterly procrastination in actually setting the date, the movers are coming to pack up my house on Friday.

The wheels have finally been set in motion for The Move. My chattels are moving to the West Coast well before me - I'll probably be there around Sept. 15th to house and car-hunt.

I'm headed home to "triage" and reflect.

Friday, August 05, 2005

55 Fiction Fridays

Something I've enjoyed on Neel Mehta's blog, and am considering implementing ici.

First attempt:

"But, M-o-o-o-o-m….” The child’s high-pitch whine was the most effective form of birth control he’d ever heard. 23-Across, japanese sash. Would crossword makers ever tire of “obi”? The rank smell of D.C. public transportation in August distracted him from the paper. Aren’t you glad you use Dial, indeed.

That did it – he’d buy a car.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Lingua franca

I speak many languages: I'm fluent in female-to-female communication: the little slights, jabs and nuances that pass by my male friends. Although I've been out of the "industry" for years now, I can still pick up on techie talk - the obscure references, the almost hopeful geekiness. I'm intimately familiar with the FOB-ABCD interface (The Indianer-than-thou of "Oh, but you weren't BORN in India", and the stunned silence when I explain that I was, in fact, born in Madras.)

But how much is out there that I don't pick up on? There must be male-to-male communication that I can't parse. Maybe that's what all the sports talk is about. My incredibly stereotyped assumption, based on watching my guy friends interact with each other, has been that guys talk sports because they are uncomfortable talking about just about anything else with each other.

What passes in the interstitial zone between ages? And, how much of this is realistic? In the words of Aaliyah, "Age ain't nothin but a number." Recently, my mom claimed that people my age are always irresponsible. I pointed out that she had TWO children by my age - how irresponsible had she been? I knew I'd made my point when she laughed and changed the subject.

My need to people-watch is bubbling up to the surface. I long to observe the interactions, overhear the cellphone conversations (all the better to make up the other side, my dear.) People watching feeds my critical, "what was she thinking with those pants" side, but it also melts my heart - the elderly couple holding hands, the son holding open a door for his mom or the toddler with chocolate ice cream stains everywhere.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Groundhog Day

The ever-fabulous brimful graciously picked me up for dinner and afterwards drove me to the airport. We stopped for dinner at Bombay Garden (Aside: are Indian restaurants going the way of Chinese restaurants? Can you just "mad lib" it? One from Column A: Bombay, India, Curry, Indian, Maharaj; and one from Column B: Garden, Palace, Village, House.)

During our free-ranging (not like chicken) conversation, I was reminded that I promised y'all stories of my mom, the Jedi Ninja. So, here is installment one. I lived with my parents for a few months after I graduated from college. My parents have wonderful fruit trees in the backyard, but don't collect the fruit. (The one year we sprayed for worms, we ended up with a bumper crop of apples: baked apples, apple pie, applesauce, etc. etc. I couldn't eat an apple for years.) The backyard abuts about 60 acres of parkland, so we also get fauna traversing the yard: deer, fox, rabbits, etc. etc. My mom is very attached to the groundhogs that live just over our property line. They come up and gorge on the apples that have fallen to the ground.

This particular summer, my mom hadn't seen the groundhogs for a few days and she was convinced they were slowly starving because there were no apples on the ground. Most people would think "they're animals, they'll find a way", right? Nope, Mom decided that the groundhogs needed to have apples plucked from the tree and dropped on the ground. And the person doing the plucking? Yeah, that would be me. It wasn't enough that she was sending me off into the hot, wet blanket of August in DC - no, no - she declared that the groundhogs would not eat apples I had picked with my bare hands because they would be able to smell me. So she made me wear dishwashing gloves. DISHWASHING GLOVES! I do not wear dishwashing gloves to actually WASH dishes because I find them so uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I headed out into the swelter armed to the elbow in bright yellow dishwashing gloves.

I thought the flesh on my forearms might just melt away like the fat in those 80s infomercials about "slimming belts." But, I did it - I plucked apples while wearing latex gloves in August because my mom had commanded it. I don't know how she does it, the miracle of "Mom voice." She asks me to do the most unreasonable things, I protest, sometimes vociferously - but it still gets done. She has this power over our family, of course, but also over her coworkers and strangers as well. Mom doesn't open doors - they are opened for her, even by people carrying packages. I think she has cultivated an air about her. Or she's using Jedi mind tricks. Showing my true geekosity: if someone told me she was a Bene Gesserit, I'd believe it.

The best is the aftermath: a few days after the "forearm-reducing" episode, I was having a cuppa in the kitchen and saw a groundhog that had climbed into the branches of an apple tree and was jumping up and down to dislodge fruit. Yeah, the hairy beasts did NOT need my help. When I pointed this out to my mom, she, as usual, thought it was kind of funny that I had put myself out on her directive for something that so, so did not need to happen.

Next time: when little brothers and moms collide!

To my peoples in the East

Home again, home again jiggity jig.

Except it doesn't feel like home, really. I'm not one to "turn on a dime." Although I've become much, much more laid-back with age (thanggod), I still take a while to process, consider, and accept. I couldn't be more shocked than in the few short days after the Bar, I've come to consider the Bay home. That's not entirely fair - I've seen this day coming for a long time, so I've been mulling it over in the back of my mind. (The backup hamster and wheel, if you will.)

It's sweltering and nasty here, and I'm already missing my "sunglasses and sweatshirt" weather out west. I miss Pat and the Star and it hasn't even been an entire day.

But all in good time, my first order of business is moving. The next colossal task is selling my house (I'm sure my retired father will ably assist me in that endeavor.) After that, it's all a slow waterslide to living and working in the Bay.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket

Favorite moment of the "adventure":

1 am, driving back from a spontaneous trip to Tahoe: he's contorted in the passenger seat watching the night sky, when he inhales sharply. He explains that he just saw a shooting star, and I urge him to make a wish.

After a full minute, he turns to me and whispers, "You know life is good when even your wishes are small."