Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy Nauriz

Oh my goodness, what a pain the past few days have been. Late Wednesday afternoon I finally Fed Ex'ed the galleys of my book back to the publisher after a grinding 2 weeks worth of work. They mailed them to me circa March 26 and wanted everything back by April 7. That was a fantasy as there were 100+ corrections and edits that needed to be done. The only way they did get done even 3 days past the deadline was because Veeka came down with a fever Monday and was home sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Never knew what the virus was all about, but I ended up staying home with her, the pile of work on my desk re papal coverage notwithstanding.
Warm weather has finally hit here and the cherry blossoms are fading. That's the best part about living in this area; the heavenly pink clouds of cherry trees planted simply everywhere, plus the white clouds of pear blossoms not to mention plum, apple, you-name-it. A friend was in town Saturday, so we went off to Great Falls Park, with its thrilling views of the Potomac, then to a Nauriz celebration sponsored by the Kazakh embassy. That was downtown and there were all sorts of people running around dressed in Kazakh costumes. Nauriz is the spring new year's celebration observed by lots of Central Asian and Middle Eastern folks. My Kurdish friends said that was the biggest event in their year as well.
This Nauriz began with a concert by Roksonaki, a trio of musicians who played the oddest instruments; kind of like a screeching violin twinned with drums. I felt like I was sitting in a yurt drinking fermented mare's milk on a moonlit night with camels sitting nearby. Miss Veeka put up with this concert for maybe 15 minutes, then began to wiggle, so I had to take her out to the foyer where all the other parents were with THEIR kids. Of course we were all chowing down from the snack table, not that the foods there were all that Central Asian. They were more like Whole Foods.
In other venues, Veeka is more akin to western music; please note the photo I took of her trying to play the church organ on Easter. She actually managed to bang out a few notes on the thing before the organist dashed back to stop her. My Little Prodigy. Next week 2 things happen: the pope flies in on Tuesday and Veeka turns 3 on Wednesday. If anyone wishes to help her observe her big day, may I suggest stockings (we never have enough) or selected picture books (ask her mommy for titles she doesn't have) or one of those new thermometers they advertise in Parents magazine whereby you take a kid's temperature by measuring the heat in their ears. Sounds weird but I need something a lot better than the oral thermometer I tried using this week. Veeka kept on spitting it out. She also thought the grape-flavored kiddie Motrin was pretty yucky.

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