Friday, November 26, 2004

who you calling turkey?

andy n zirhan, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

So here it appears that I am the man of the house carving the turkey. What you don't see is that soon after this picture was taken I handed the knife to young Zirhan and he, with his best impression of a knight at the king's feast, dismantled the rest of the Turkey with zest and vigor.

Organizing a thanksgiving dinner/potluck is a little different here. Firstly, turkeys are a rare bird which only come out for a few christian holidays like Christmas. We ended up going to the Marriot because their South African pastry chef imports butterball turkeys from the U.S. to cook thanksgiving dinners for ex pats for a small fee. Turns out our turkey came stuffed, with gravy, 3 vegetables and some oddly shaped pumpkin pies. It was all really quite tasty (at least to us Amereeekans).

The day after we went to the Marriot and organized the turkey, we received a phone call stating that we could not have the turkey on Thursday, but they would have it ready for us on Friday. After some indignation and ground standing, we were told it was all a terrible mistake and we would have our turkey on Thursday as planned.

The potluck aspect was a little different as well. Some people brought or bought dishes and brought them, and others brought their raw ingredients and their cook who went in the kitchen to attempt american food. The kitchen was a place of great mirth and awe at the "big" chicken and other american culinary oddities. The big chicken was retrieved by Rohan's driver, Raju, who had to suffer a one and a half hour wait for the turkey probably as payback for our inflexibility about the timing of our turkey.

All told, it was a great feast with suitable levels of mirth and chaos and that staple of american culture--the distended and somewhat painful belly of over indulgence.


PIE!!!, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

happy girl got pumpkin pie

thanksgiving among the indians

thanksgiving, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

complete with dogs underfoot, startlingly charming children, a lovely toast by rohan, flowers, just enough food to be too much (yayy, leftovers!!!) and choice of 3 deserts.
it all pulled together at the last moment to be a good thanksgiving. raja and raju, rohans cook and driver, were very impressed by the looks of the 'big chicken" (actually a medium small turkey) but not so impressed with the taste (lacking in spice). i tried to explain what a turkey was and was met with big eyes and laughter. perhaps my mimes of massive bird size, fan tail, and wobbly chin thing (what is that called, anyway?) were not enhanced by the wine and whiskey.

it could be napa but it's not

rose n grapes, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.


green grapes, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

the late rains didn't hurt the crops after all. everything is green and growing. we're starting to appreciate the fresh air in nasik after 4 months in mumbai has wiped the last clean traces of california air from our lungs.

hindi for industrialists

we bought a book of hindi phrases. unfortunately we unknowingly picked up the one written for.....well.not us, anyway:

repeat after me:
may-rah bun-dook laow (bring my gun)
mayrah bun-dook lay challo - bun-dook key nah-lee doos-ree ta-ruff karo (carry my gun - face the barrel the other way)
maiyn batack cub maar suck-tah hoohn? (where can i shoot a duck?)
tum bud-maash ho (you are a rascal)
up-nay dostohn ko iddar mutt laow ( don't bring your friends here)
moojay toom-ha-rah dung pasand na-heehn (i dont like your manner)
up-nay cup-ray bud-dull lo (change your clothes)
may-ree luck-ree lay aow (fetch my stick)
ya tash-taree saaf na-heehn high (this plate is not clean)
up-nee angoolee-ahn iss-say doo-r ruck-oh (keep your fingers off it)

making friends will be so much easier now.....

Saturday, November 20, 2004

just a quote i like....

Professor Marshall MacLuhan -
"For many years I have observed that the moralist typically sustitutes anger for perception. He hopes that many people will mistake his irritation for insight...The mere moralistic expression of approval or disapproval, preference or detestation, is currently being used in our world as a substitute for observation and a substitute for study. People hope that if they scream loudly enough about 'values' then others will mistake them for serious, sensitive souls who have higher and nobler perceptions than ordinary people. Otherwise why would they be screaming?...Moral bitterness is a basic technique for endowing the idiot with dignity."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

pretty girl

cow, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

cows are often decorated here, sometimes painted with designs or just big swatches of color, sometimes their horns are painted or big garlands are around their necks. i though this one had to be in the running for prettiest cow, though.


elephant, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

what's bigger than a rickshaw, scarier than a cow when encountered on the road but arguably less scary than a monkey if you have a banana in your hand, and can carry telephone poles or circus girls on its nose?

this little piggy went to Goa

piggypiggy, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

you hear about the cows in the streets in india, and mumbai has gotten us used to 10 dogs, 3 cats, and 2 goats and a few skinny chickens per block, but it's not til you get into the countryside a bit more that you see the piggies. huge fat ones surrounded by tiny ones no bigger than some rats i've seen at the train station. these ones aren't so radically sized but andy was glad the mama didnt decide to charge him when he took this.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


punkr stencil, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

I'm sorry, I don't have any recent photos to post so I'm still drawing from photos of London.

photo. text. photo. text. photo. text.

blogging is kind of cool, but quite a restrictive format for those of us to lazy to write our own code or sumpin.

Anyway, I don't know about th rolled up trousers and shirt cuffs with no sleeves (actually that's kind of cool and I would have probably done it at some point in my life if I'd thought of it.) This is just a random stencil in London that made me feel loved.

We just took a holiday trip to Goa for a week. We rented motorbikies (plurals when you make words up can be tricky) and split our time between obese Swedish and English retirees and Israeli trance heads. Kind of like shacking your head back and forth real fast while your watching television--kind of cool and weird and stupid(if anyone is watching you). Anyway, riding a motorcycle in Goa is much more mellow than Bombay, but by no means a Sunday drive. I learned a lot about cows for instance. Cows respect trucks and buses. They begrudgingly acknowledge cars. Motorcycles are smaller than cow size and are therefore insignificant. I watched laureL get completely cut off by a cow who decided to cross the street for a split second before I had to avoid a head on with a taxi passing a bus passing a bike passing a large reddish Swedish woman with western notions about personal space in a land with no sidewalks. She might have been English. Some of my scariest moments involved driving through herds of cows.

We spend one night following the trance train. Huge regattas of motorcycles going from one place to another, trying not to be the last one in the parking lot when the Goan police roll through to hassle anyone too messed up (or more likely, with enough of a conscience) not to ride. That's how we ended up joining in--we were just going to wander down to the beach when a crowd of people left the club we were near because it closed at 10. The police came and started asking us what we were doing and what was wrong and looking at us very suspiciously, so we did what any innocent bystander would do, we split.

It was a fun(ny) night. The trance scene seems to live on in the collective minds of the Israeli youth and some 50+ year old hippies. I spent a bit of time hanging out with 3 Life of Brian style Israeli Jesi (plural of Jesus?) aww. battery is dying. gotta post. end of story.

Monday, November 08, 2004


after a sunny morning and a dry but thundery overcast afternoon, e few lightning blasts have opened up the sky into a full torrential downpour here in nasik. i know it's bad for the grapes (hey, Wil, you know the line), them in the midst of flowering here, but it smells absolutely gorgeous. andy and i went out onto the patio for a bit and watched a happy toad hop by one of the garden lights, soaking up the water so that he can pee on me again the next time i pick him up (he holds about 1/4 cup as far as i can tell, quite impressive.) the guesthouse lights keep going out and lightning flickers every minute or so. it's beautiful.
there was about a week in mumbai when there was lightning every evening across the bay, sometimes branching over 1/4 of the horizon and flickering every 30 seconds or more. we sat in our window, 7 stories up so with a good view, and watched. sometimes bats, which have 2 foot wingspans here, flew below us. if they get between you and a streetlight you can see right through their wings for a split second before they all but disappear again.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Guess who's birthday it is

rohan's b-day w laurel, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Why yes, it's Rohan's birthday. The proud little boy on the left, and guess who just realized its not their birthday so they don't get any presents? Well it's a trick question really, neither laureL or the moose head will get any presents on this day.

This event actually happened before London, but I haven't downloaded any new pictures from my camera and I figured I ought to post something since laureL's been doing all the work and taking all the heat from the right wingers with poor reading comprehension skills and a bit too much righteousness on their side (see the comments of her political rant). Really this picture is just an invitation for me to splutter and mutter for a few minutes so you know that I too am still alive and haven't been eliminated and replaced by an inflatable doll with a baseball hat and 3 day stubble who protects wimin from car jackings and the like. Though this post may be the only thin shield of evidence you have against this theory.

What to say? The winery is coming along nicely. It makes a huge differnce to be able to put down the dog-eared, tattered printouts of computer renderings of the space we have been waving around for the past 3 months and actually see the place resolve itself and life size, 3-D, full surround design. I think it is not going to suck. I think, in fact, it is going to be really cool. I, which means probably laureL, will post more pictures as it progresses. Everything here is done by hand. People cut sheets of plywood with a hand saw and then hand plane them to their final dimension. The only power tools on site are one small circular saw and a power drill, but they are cranking it out. Everything looks a little rough right now, so it's going to all come down to the polish at the end, but I think they will pull it off.


As laureL posted, and maybe I did too but I can't remember because now I am old, the show was poorly publicised and, therefore, lightly attended. Let's just say we made a major "investment" in our art careers. I did get a piece into a show that had just started at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art that includes such art rockstars as Damien Hirst, Fred Tomaselli and Mr. Murakami (I think his first name is Takashi). You know the guy. There are also 3 New York galleries of repute that expressed interest ind doing a show (which ain't bad either), and Black and White Magazine out of Australia (I'm not sure if there is more than one magazine with this name) is supposedly doing a big spread on the "Everybody is Somebody's Terrorist" Series this month. If you see it, let me know how it looks.

ps. We think the lurker is Susannah(#1 choice), followed by Dave or Antje or Michelle. Did we guess it? This is a response to the comment posted to the Comments post. Capiche?

Thursday, November 04, 2004


tastingroom, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

We've been in Nashik working on the tasting room. I say working but we're not allowed to actually make or even help move anything, which is frustrating for both of us. Our job here consists of a barter-like exchange of ideas and stubbornness with the building contractor over our design and how he wants to build it. Andy having built furniture and both of us having some sort of construction experience probably makes us more difficult for this man as we're rarely willing to accept his constant appraisal of, "this is impossible." Each day we change designs slightly to make construction easier or take stands and insist on details remaining as per our drawings. It's a constant wrestle of stubbornness on both sides - but equally both sides are not only compromising but really concentrating on figuring out different ways to accomplish difficult tasks. It's a good relationship, I think. We've made a lot of progress.

loLo gets political

My big hope for America. Oh boy. I can only hope that this is a phase we’re going through that will end in us becoming a country that understands that we’re part of the international community and our actions have consequences. My own naivety admitted freely and allowed for, I hold onto a shred of trust, however slim, that my country is reacting to a violent smack upside the head with fear and stubborn close-mindedness that will fade into a willingness to work with the rest of the world as the next stage of maturity sets in. Reactionary violence occurs throughout the world and can’t be stopped by making more enemies. In the past 4 months I’ve spent time with Irish, French, and English people as well as many, many Indians and read newspapers in both India and England. The sentiment is overwhelmingly anti-Bush and anti-American policy. Bush’s intellect and cowboy posturing is almost daily the object of media ridicule, hatred, and fear. Everyone asks us how our country could do this, how we can act this way. We joke among ourselves that we’re moving to Canada or Mexico instead of coming home but I do love and believe in my country and am more likely to move to Ohio to try and make a difference. But GODDAM people, who forgot to teach americans to think about a bigger picture than their fear and dumbass pride? If we can't be better than this there's nothing to be proud of anymore.


raki2, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

this is Raki 2, winery greeter, on the newly poured tasting room balcony. he's strangely undoglike and quite charming.

party dresses at work

girl, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

This is the little girl of some of the construction workers. For the last few days that we were here in Nashik she's been playing quietly in gravel piles and balancing things on her head in imitation of the workers. Kids here entertain themselves with whatever they have at hand or playing with each other, 5 year olds carrying babies on their hips as they run around. In Mumbai they play inches from traffic in the street - sometimes you'll even see them pooping a few feet from traffic throwing stones into the cars to entertain themselves while they take care of business. Here in nasik they play at the work they see adults doing, even toddlers holding wood between their little bare feet while they pound nails in with the biggest rocks they can lift. As adults the construction workers build with very few tools and no safety equipment but don't seem to get hurt too often (makes me wonder if we do a disservice to our children when we sanitize their worlds for safety). The guys building the tasting room share one tape measure, one little skill saw and 2 or 3 small hand saws, a pair of nippers, a few small hammers and some planes. And immense patience for the work and the constant changes that are asked of them. In other parts of the winery we have seen them build brick and cement walls only to have to chip them down and rebuild them in a slightly different spot 2 or 3 times. There's something in my western mind that would want to sit down and refuse to put the wall back up until they were sure where it went but for these guys its all the same to them as long as they have work to do and get paid. If someone wants to pay them to keep knocking down and rebuilding the same wall, that's fine. Of course, that's an assumption on my part based on the lack of reaction I see, it could be very different when they talk about it amongst themselves. A common theme I hear from management here is that no one will question or respond to their statements so they don't get any feedback. I've certainly been guilty of smiling and nodding at work when it's all swearing and cussing inside my head.


lungiman, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

We're both pretty shy about taking people's pictures but they usually like it, especially if we show them the image on the little screen. Our plan is to get a bunch of pics of the winery construction crews printed out and bring them back as presents since we're always walking through their worksite. This guy actually squealed when I showed him his picture on the back of the camera and called his friends over to see, too. There does seem to be a cultural tendency to try and look very serious for the shot, then get really excited and smile afterwards.

when manti attack

mantis, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

Just before lunch we were standing in the courtyard and a big butterfly visited the lemon tree next to us but flew to the other side as I pointed it out. I feel like a dork here for always getting excited about plants and animals that no one else pays attention to. “Hey, an iguana! Look, a banana tree! Oh cool, the hawks here sit on the ground instead of in trees - they have different hunting and social patterns! Wow, a frog! I caught it! It peed on me!” I have no pretense of cool here in anyone’s eyes. Anyway, I slipped around the tree to see the butterfly again and saw it get nabbed by a preying mantis hanging upside down from a leaf, so I stayed to watch some of the battle. Later in the day a few butterfly wings littered the ground beneath a very fat green mantis.