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Lost In Translation#248

TO had a good time dancing to Shaitaan Ka Saala on New Year’s eve but didn’t know the name of the song. His Hindi being what it is, half the words just escape him entirely! And when he does utter them, they are so far from where they started out that it’s more of a #dafuq moment than a #LOL one.

He asked me for the name of the song so he could tell Alexa to play it. And this is what happened…

TO-“Alexaaa wake up”. Alexa- I am awake. What can I do for you? TO-” Alexa play Sankranti Masala“. Alexa- goes round and round till she gives up the ghost and begins to reboot!!

Hooman-1. Gadget- still rebooting.

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Retrospection Bloglet

2019 was a very memorable year for me. And blogwise as well. Here’s how Ballisticbong did.

  • 111 blog posts.
  • 3622 visitors
  • Visitors came in from 50 different nations with new entrants being Georgia, Greece, Namibia, Bahrain, Iraq, Czech Republic, Norway, Croatia, Vietnam, Taiwan&Guernsey!
  • Movie reviews and picture blogs ruled the roost as always with this one having the most hits. And for that am glad because it was one close to my heart.

Why do I do this recap? Well barring the histrograms which show me ups and downs and consequently make me grin or arch an eyebrow, I know people do read even unfunny, informative posts.

So if you are a blogging veteran or someone who’s decided to put their digits to the keypad just now, know this, blogging is fun, engaging and very liberating.

Keep writing. Someone will read it for sure!

Cheers!

BB

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Image courtesy: Andrew Neel https://unsplash.com/@andrewtneel
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2020

The year started on a fun enough note. Had plenty of adored people around. There was music. There was dancing. There were hyper kids. Loads of alcohol flowing as well. And lights flashing…the whole shebang!

And then we crashed, bleary-eyed, into bed only to be woken up at what seemed like an ungodly hour but it was actually well past the crack of dawn. Bang into the new year I realized what a smartass a 10 year old can be.

I have…sigh…had a rather favorite coffee mug that’d been a part of my everyday routine for more than 6 years. It was nothing fancy. Just a bright yellow mug with Homer Simpson’s face on it, full of his usual goofiness. I’d bought it during my first ‘mom’s weekend away’ trip with the bestie and it was intended for Red. I don’t remember how it became mine, but it did. So the mug broke fairly early in the morning although after I’d bonded with it for what turned out to be the last time and I was more than a “bit miffed”. He-who-shall-not-be-named had butterfingers as usual and had broken the mug just near his feet while not having any slippers on (as usual). Shards were everywhere and Homer was irreparably broken.

After having realized there were no more storms to come, TO saw me sweeping up the broken pieces and looking sad while doing so. In expressing solidarity with his “favorite mother” he stood in attention, clicked his heels together, saluted and hummed a mournful tune. I have never been more caught between looking stern and controlling my laughter at the same time. Laughter won out. Kids..whaddya gonna do!

Speaking of…guess what the kid who kept whining during most of the train journey to my hometown say when I asked him to shush for what must have been the n(nth)th time? ” Oh! so uptight!!” I’m fairly sure I goggled at him while he cackled and ran away like the sprite that he is.

I’m not setting too many goals this year barring one- minimalism. Wherever possible. Wherever…and of course targets will be set to travel more, read more, do new things and make more good memories.

May 2020 find you all in more states of contentment and as little tumult as possible.

Cheers!

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image courtesy: gadgetfreeks.com
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Movie Review: Spies In Disguise

TO and I started 2020’s fun segment off with a mother&son movie date. That nachos and cheese popcorn were a part of it goes without saying. And that the dust from the nachos and the cheese from the popcorn don’t go without a hard scrubbing; goes without saying also.

Now, onto the movie! A lone wolf master spy and a lonely young brainiac scientist learn about each other and what it takes to be a team in this new offering from Blue Sky Studios. Will Smith is smooth as ever as Lance Sterling, the uber cool, unflappable, repartee-trading spy who always ‘flies solo’. Tom Holland with his vulnerable ‘young man’ voice as Walter Beckett come together and learn what it means to be friends, save the world and why pigeons are rather misunderstood and far more cooler than any of us every imagined.

It’s a fun movie with the kind of appeal fun that works with both the kids and the big kids in their lives. Check it out for the slick animation or if you simply like Will Smith…or pigeons! because this flick sends messages without being preachy, too uppity or without being too in your face about it. No spoilers here barring that there are LOTS of pigeons.

Rating: 3***

 

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Fowl Language Redux

Brian Gordon…redefining the reasons we sometimes want to flip our kids off!

Note: all images are sourced from the book Fowl Language: Winging It: The Art of Imperfect Parenting by Brian Gordon.

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Wonky Wednesdays

I admit, I should be caffeined up before doing anything pertaining to my child on weekday mornings. Actually that’s a good rule of thumb to follow all through now that I look back on the last 10 years.

Like every kid on a “winter” morning, he was snuggling deeper under the covers and refusing to get up, saying he couldn’t go to school because he was soooooo sleepy. That’s when my uncaffeinated, let’s also call it my lizard brain, decided I should open my mouth.

Instead of just yanking the covers off him or alternating between kissing him and pinching his butt, I chose to say (most unwisely), ” You shouldn’t have been walking around like a bhatakti aatma last night when you should have been in bed then, shouldn’t you?”

See, giving any sleep-addled person unfamiliar info that their brain needs to process first thing in the morning is just wrong. Especially in the case of a linguistically-challenged child who’s decided that he cannot process anything else barring English. So an unpronounceable word first thing in the morning was like dumping a whole world of WTFiveness on his drowsy head.

Our conversation went like this- TO: What’s a batati aatma? Me: BH-takti. TO: Bakati? Me: BH! TO: Butt-aakti? Me: BH-BH-BH!! TO: just gimme a hug Ayu and I’ll get up.

Now he tells me..

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Movie Review: Frozen II

Disney’s latest offering is a testimony to parents’ love for their children. A) They buy the movie tickets and then spend a bomb on snacks the kids didn’t need to eat and B) They sit through the entire movie while a small voice in their minds keep going, ” Gag me with a spoon!”

The fact that I have a boy doesn’t stop us from watching a movie which is firmly in the “girlie” territory. The sequel had giants, magic, mysticism and lots more but it also had its characters breaking into a song at the drop of a pin and was very reminiscent of the Bollywood dramas where people gaze off into the unknown and sing their hearts out due to love, fear, doubt…any damn thing that catches their fancy!

But the main things which stand out in this movie are the lack of a strong storyline which was the foundation of the earlier one. It’s almost as if Elsa needs a new drama in her life because being queen and having a normal existence is so humdrum. She begins to hear voices which she cannot resist and that starts off the chain of events which unfold in predictable cliche after cliche. The animation too, doesn’t delight like the previous one. There are one or two instances and those are best watched in 3D but the rest is fairly meh.

So unless your kids *really* love the princessy feel, skip this one. Go watch Inside Out or Hotel Transylvania instead; again. I’ll take Adam Sandler’s Drac over Kristoff singing his heartbreak in a sequence reminiscent of a 90s boyband video.

Sigh…

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The Grubby Tales

Surf&turf paella
Catch of the day
The gourmand goes gourmet
Pesto and avocado galore!
They even make eels look good. Almost.

Mercado San Miguel is all about fresh seafood displayed to perfection.

A night cap (or caps) of sweet vermouth really hits the spot!
The peppers are always prominently displayed and are huge!
Wine, meats and cheese- can’t go wrong with that combo.
A regular supermarket or mercato is a riot of glass jars filled with olives, fruits and tangy things that tickle the tastebuds.

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Viva La Flamenco!!

The cries of Ole resound in the small room. The lights are dim but bright enough to shine on sheen of sweat on the faces and bodies of the dancers.

Suddenly a deep baritone growls out notes to a song you don’t understand but can feel all the way down to your toes.

The thudding off the heels, the snapping of the fingers and the flinging of the fringed shawl in a frenzy is enough to create a tempo that you are moving along to; even without knowing.

The sangria is forgotten, the fatigue of the day is parked for a while…and you just watch the fury that is the flamenco!

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Discovering Barcelona-III

This was our last day in Barcelona. We decided to skip the beach in the less than balmy weather and spend the day in the Gothic Quarter instead. A good decision as it turned out.

Browsing through a flea market, listening to street musicians and having a perfect lunch in a quaint, hole-in-the-wall place in one of many warrens of the Gothic quartets was a leisurely way to see not just see the tourists but also see how the locals look at the likes of us.

Street artists who busk all day at the main square
The wall of an art museum there.

Huge wooden doors with wrought iron knockers dot the area
A Brit watercolor artist who’s called Barcelona his home since the 70s.

Lladro statues being sold so casually at a flea market.

The saints outside Barcelona cathedral