Wednesday, November 10, 2004

cleaning out my closet

Reasons I will one day be kicked out of California:
  • My disdain for all things avocado. Something about the texture of avocado just doesn't do it for me.
  • My stance against mixing fruits with foods that are not sweet. I am four square against it. But people insist on putting papaya or apples in a perfectly good salad. I know I am committing some kind of massive California blasphemy but there it is. By the way, this applies to chicken-apple sausage as well... I do not approve.
  • The word organic makes my eyes roll into the backs of my sockets. Most of the time, organic = expensive. And expensive = overpriced.
  • My inability to cheer on most California sports teams. LA Lakers- that would just be wrong. If you ever have cheered for the Celtics in your life, you are officially banned from cheering for the Lakers ever. 49ers- longstanding disgust, even (no, especially) in the Montana years. Raiders- I try to like you, but then you whine and you don't deliver, and going to see one of your games at home means risking life and limb more often than not thanks to your maniacal fans (I'll still pick you over the 49ers any day of the week though). Giants- sorry, I just can't get into it, especially not with the last two years the Red Sox have had.
  • My dependence on Seinfeld references for communication. Somehow, the show doesn't seem to resonate as much on the west coast.

Now that I've purged that from my system, let me also add that I love California dearly. I'm as true of a blue state advocate as you can get, apparently, because I can honestly say that I have loved living on both the east (North of the Mason-Dixon, mind you) and west coasts.

In honor of Diwali, I must bow down to the myth of Ganpati, and how he got his tremendous elephant head. You have to love Hindu myths; they're on par with the Greeks for gore and malice in some ways. My mother loved telling the story of Ganpati to me when I was a child; in retrospect, I have no idea what wisdom she thought she was imparting upon me. Well, actually, I do, but it's twisted, and I'll share it in a second.

Ganesha, the child of Parvati (from some kind of immaculate conception, by the way), was instructed to guard his mother's door while she bathed. The God Shiva, Parvati's husband, returned home having never met this child, and was infuriated when the kid wouldn't let Shiva into the house. Hey, people, he's not called the God of Destruction for nothing- so he chopped off Ganesha's head in a fit of fury.

Parvati returns from her bath, finds the Sopranos-esque situation at her doorstep and gives Shiva a good dose of grief. Shiva barks at his henchmen and tells them to bring him the head of the first living creature they come upon, and of course, it's an elephant. So, the elephant winds up sleeping with the fishes, and Ganesha is brought back to life, albeit with the slight matter of having a trunk for a nose, and massive ears. You know, no biggie.

I'm not telling the story very accurately, but then again, neither did my mother when she recounted the tale to me when I was young. Many of the Hindu myths I have in my head were passed down orally from my grandmother to my mother to me. I've since gone back and read actual books on it, and seen how many liberties they have taken as they've passed the story down. At any rate, when I was going through a mouthy phase with my mom (which was, maybe, 5 years old- present day), I asked her why she was telling me such an awful story. I mean, this kid did what his mother told him, and got his head chopped off by his dad for it. What's the moral?

"See how much he loved his mother?" she would say, shaking a finger at me.

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