Monday, December 28, 2009

HoHoHo, shouldn't he be San Claus?

Isn't 'Santa' a female saint in Spanish? Aren't all the 'Santa' towns female? Like Santa Monica, Santa Clara, Santa Fe, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara etc.
Isn't 'San' a male saint in Spanish? Aren't all the 'San' towns male? Like San Francisco, San Juan, San Carlos, San Pedro, San Antonio etc.

Why then is Santa Claus a guy? If he is a guy, shouldn't he be called San Claus? 

Anyway, ignore my random questions and continue to rock that party you are at! 
Here's wishing everyone a very happy 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The good-u and the bad-u of the Bengaluru trip-u

The Good: Scout managed the flight very well.
The Bad: We got labeled as irresponsible parents by one couple for letting him crawl over the aisles (supervised). Hey, but at least he wasn't cranky like a bunch of other kids who were forcefully stuck to their parents' laps.

The Good: No real stranger anxiety for the Scout.
The Bad: He couldn't loose sight of me for more than 30 minutes though. Thus were squashed all my gallivanting plans.

The Good: Bought a ton of books.
The Bad: The packing and also managing them in front of the Scout who is in a book-tearing phase.

The Good: Ate at many restaurants and loved them all. The Scout ate too and didn't fall sick once.
The Bad: The mega argument between the GI and me about eating out -- if we are doing the right thing with money that can be better used for some of the other causes we are pursuing.
The ugly: Child labor in one of the restaurants.

The Good: Met quite a few uncles, aunts and cousins.
The Bad: Did not get to meet a few other cousins because of ancestral real estate squabbles even though we are removed from the actual fight by n-degrees.

The Good: Met quite a few undergrad friends who made it a point to call and trekked half-way over Bangalore to meet.
The Bad: Could not contact any of the 3 Bangalore bloggers I know. :( And now that I'm back, I feel even sadder about not meeting them when I had the chance.

Sigh... !

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bengaluru street food: the humble peanut

Got back from Bengaluru weighing some x pounds more. Among the seven sins, I might surely die of gluttony. Can you believe me if I said I ate 5 types of peanuts in Bangalore? Yes, even before chaat, chinese or any others took over the Bangalore street-food scene, there was the humble peanut in its many varieties.

Raw
Sold on carts on the street. Juicy. High in protein.

Roasted
Usually roasted over coal or hot sand stoves. Crunchy munchies. Some eat it with a piece of jaggery. Some eat it with chilli and lime.

Boiled
Boiled in water with a spoonful of salt. Soft and succulent goodness.

Bonda kadalekaayi (Bonda peanut)
Battered in spicy chickpea flour and fried in oil. Can we make it any less healthy? Unlikely. Can we make it any more tasty? Unlikely.

And last but not the least, the Congress:
When Mrs.Indira Gandhi decided to split the Congress party, the snack makers of Bangalore decided they would follow the leader and split the humble peanut. While she split the party, added politicking masala and ruled roost over India, the snack-makers split the peanut, added masala, roasted and ruled over Bangalore. Thus was born the Congress kadaLekaayi (peanut) or simply 'Congress'. A mind-numbing, tongue-burning, cant-stop-eating peanut snack, the likes of which Bangalore had never tasted before.

Friday, November 27, 2009

We are flying some 30000ft above sea level, somewhere over the Pacific. The Scout is cranky. He is tired of sitting. He is tired of the brown-bear and the caterpillar and other toys and non-toys-that-have-become-toys and everything else. He wants to cruise all over the grubby aisles of the plane. I need to think of something else to keep him occupied on this 15-hour long flight. May be in sometime we can cut a birthday cupcake I sneaked in my handbag. May be we will softly sing the birthday song and give the wriggly little one a big hug. May be we will take pictures of the three of us. I always had a thing against big birthday parties for kids but could it get any cozier than this? Happy 1st kiddo.

PS1: Drafted on Nov 25 and scheduled to be posted on Nov 27.
PS2: That's what I think his birthday will end up being as I type this. Will update on what it actually turns out to be.
PS3: We are in India for a couple of weeks. Hoping to blog and comment intermittently.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The taxonomy of Indian restaurant menus.

A friend wanted some suggestions of good Indian restaurants and that got me thinking... on a tangent as always.. about how some of these Indian restaurants make their menus exotic, hard-bind them in leather and emboss with gold lettering. Some of them even go 'French' on you and forget to add the pricing but helpfully include grand descriptions of the items on the menu. Like the masala dosa becomes:

"Light, crispy, golden-brown crepe stuffed with a mashed potato-onion curry. Served with sambar (hot lentil and vegetable soup) and fresh coconut chutney."

The palak paneer might become:

"Home-made cottage cheese cubes served in a rich and creamy spinach, onion, almond gravy."

If that's the state of the humble palak, what of the more shahi ones? Like the biryani:

"Saffron rice and marinated vegetables slow-cooked in a tandoor oven with fresh herbs and spices, garnished with nuts and served with a cool yogurt and cucumber sauce."

I can go to these restaurants just to read their menu although I personally prefer restaurants with the walking-talking-menu-cum-sweaty-waiter-guy who rattles off like:

"idli,ravaidli,vada,masalvada,thairvada,masaldosa,ravadosa,
oniondosa,uthappam,onionuthappam,pongal,parotta,kesaribath,
bisibelebath,masalabath,bagalabath,tea,coffee,mysorepak,
badamhalwa,jamun,icecream"

And then there are the wannabe-McD restaurants where the menu is comprised of pictures on the wall. You pick a combo from the pictures. The pictures have back-lighting.

Then there are the restaurants with the usual menus. A4 sized sheets, laminated to withstand wear and tear.

May be I need to classify my favorite restaurants based on menu-types. :)

What are your favorites based on menu-types?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 goofy things I wish I could do

1. Cartwheels to impress kids at parks.

2. Juggle drink mixers / tumblers. Just for the coolness factor, you know!

3. Turn my eyelids inside-out and shock people who ring the doorbell. :D

4. Hula-hoop. Uhuhuhuh. I guess I just don't have flexi-hips. :(

5. Last but not the least: maaro a long, shrill seeti. Most essential when there is a Matt Damon or a George Clooney on the screen or when the husband is up-to some antics.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Bucket list (tag)

Tagged by starry

Bucket list: 
  • Get life insurance. :P
  • Run a marathon or more realistically, a half.
  • Join as many classes as possible: public policy, investing, anthropology, green energy, film-making, watch-making, tennis, violin, french, dance, dress-making... and apply learnings.
  • See the Himalayas. Hike to the Everest base station.
  • Find an alternate career for the last lap. May be teaching.
  • Kick @$$ at poker.
  • Watch all of IMDB top 250.
  • Sit by a fountain with the GI and watch the kids live their lives.
  • Earn more. Give more.
Bucketed list:
  • Grad school in the US at zero cost.
  • I once told my prof that it was my dream to work for XYZ company and the dream actually came true.
  • Married a guy with whom I see eye-to-eye on most major issues. Here we will not focus on the fact that we don't see eye-to-eye on most minor issues. :)
  • Machu Picchu with the GI.
  • Mentoring younger folk in the family. Got an 'awesome-teacher' certificate from a cousin and her friends for helping them with their college Math. Got a 'best-sleepover-ever' certificate from the niece recently. There is definitely a sense of satisfaction that comes out of being there for these kids when they are at crossroads -- be it entry to college or career planning or boy-friend trouble or just getting to the warp zone in Super Mario bros. :)
  • Organizing social events at work and outside. I thrive on these. Sometimes I think I want to be an event manager if I ever have a second job. I'm sure the friends for whom I organized a bachelor's party will be my clients if not anyone else. ;)
I get this feeling that I'm hitting 'publish' too soon. I'm afraid this is and will always be work in progress. 

If you are reading this, please consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 girly(?) things I wish I could do

(.. God knows, I have tried! ..)

1. Wear heels comfortably. I can manage about 2-inch heels if I'm getting into the car and going straight to a brief event that does not have too much standing or running around, but that's about it.

2. Nails and nail-paint. Can do once in a while but really hate chipped nails and receding polish and don't have the enthusiasm to constantly touchup and all that. High-maintenance if you ask me. 

3. Wear dresses more often. What can I say? I'm a sucker for comfort and comfort equals jeans.
 
4. Shopping trip with girl-friends after a busy week. I can see why it could be cathartic but shopping equals making constant decisions about what could be a good pick and that equals 'work' for me.

5. Bat my eyelids and wriggle my way out of situations. Like out of a Rachel Green - Officer Hanson situation.

Tell, tell. Which of the above can you do well? What can't you do? What won't you do? ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Morning routine scuffle

Before Scout: Wake up 50 mins before I need to be at work. Shower, throw something on. Put jacket and shoes on. Quick look in the mirror to asses the outcome. Nothing can be done about the outcome anyway. Pick up laptop bag(1 number). Rush out.

After Scout: Wake up when he wakes up which could be 2-3 hours before the time I need to be at work. Play with him etc. One of us bathes him, diapers him, dresses him, feeds him breakfast. Shower, throw something on. Put jacket and shoes on for him and self. Pick up bags (4 number). Rush out with him.

What I miss: The quick look in the mirror. Oh, the vanity!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sparring techniques.

Which technique do you use most often?

Sparring technique 1: Self deprecation.
Me: Nobody is stupider than me.
Friend: You can't beat me. I boiled the milk over for the n'th time today.
Me: Yeah? Beat this. I locked myself out of the house for the n'th time.
Friend: Yeah? I went all the way to work this morning in my bathroom slippers.
And so on..

Now, consider someone who cannot spar, then this conversation becomes:
Me: Nobody is stupider than me.
Friend: Oh.
See how that conversation just fizzled out?

====================

Sparring technique 2: Self-aggrandizement
Me: You know me. I walk into a room and poof problem's solved. (Note: That is one of my favorite lines delivered by Elaine in Seinfeld)
Husband: Yeah, right. Like you fixed the tap the other day and flooded the bathroom.
Me: Oh, please. At least I didn't forget plastic in my oven and turn it on.
Husband: Who butted into cousin A's room when she was arguing with her husband and worsened the fight? (I didn't know they were fighting and I didn't do anything to worsen the fight and it was not that big a deal. They are still living happily together. OK!)
And so on..

Now consider the conversation with one who cannot or does not spar.
Me: You know me. I walk into a room and poof problem solved.
Friend: *Silence* (might be thinking *self-obsessed b@#$%)

====================

Sparring technique 3: Leg pulling time-pass
Me: Hey A, why are you taking so many pictures of me?
B: She is just trying to get some pictures for her blog.
A: You see I'm not that photogenic anyway to be in my own pictures.
Me: Oh, really? Pray tell me, who is modeling away all her sarees on Facebook?
And so on..

Now consider this version.
Me: Hey A, why are you taking so many pictures of me?
Friend: I like photography.
And that's the end of that.

====================

Sparring techinque 4: Sarcasm
Me: Arggh, the glare. *mock shielding my eyes from the friend who went and bought himself a supremely flashy phone*
He: Arggh, the humor. *mock shielding his eyes from me*

====================

Sparring technique 5: Political incorrectness
Me: Why are the Yellow pages called *yellow* pages?
Friend: May be because the Chinese manufactured it?
Me: Ahh, if we had manufactured it, it would be called *Brown* pages? :D

====================

Sparring technique 6: Facts (more or less)
Friend: Let's go to this restaurant today. (Said restaurant is 40 miles from home)
Me: Whaa? Too far.
Friend: Far? You have changed! From someone who used to fly coast to coast every month before marriage..
Me: And looks like you haven't. You are so used to flying sorties to ferry girls to their destinations in school.
Blah blah.. 

====================

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Arggghh moment!

These days I'm trying to be friends with a few people on the in-laws' side. When in social situations with them, I'm tired of just going through the same old formal routines every time. I meet them often but still I'm not friends with them in any sense of the word. I watch what I say and I'm wary of joking even in good humor with them. You might be wondering why this is so important to me and I do not know if I can explain my reasons well but for one, it is just taxing to not be yourself and always be watchful of what you say. Two, a conversation needs to have that zing to make it interesting. It is hard to make it interesting if you have to always be complimentary and agreeable. Three, what's a relationship if you can't have a few laughs at your own or others' expense? :) I was just thinking back about other friendships and how those came about. I realized that I'm most comfortable with people with whom I can spar. Yes, the timeless tactic of verbal offense and defense seems to be an integral part of relationships where I'm reasonably comfortable with the people involved. I'm not a goody two-shoes kind of person. I'm usually crude and goofy with friends, letting fly quick repartees. It is only then that I can kickback, relax and have a good time. But said people are mostly the goody two-shoes type or at least that is what they like to portray. I'm having such a hard time cracking this as I get nothing back when I attempt humor in conversations -- be it self-deprecatory or self-aggrandized or simple leg pulling or any other kind. As cliché-d as it may seem, our wavelengths are completely mismatched. Argghh. What do you do in such situations?

Monday, November 2, 2009

What is your idea of heaven?

  1. Recchiuti, San Francisco
  2. La Maison Du Chocolat, London
  3. Spruengli, Zurich
  4. Richart, Paris
  5. Kodaikanal homemade (Couldn't find them online)
A colleague is visiting Kodaikanal and I recommended the chocolates to him. That is where the chocolate-y lunch discussion started at work and ended with people listing their favorite chocolate stores around the world. What is yours?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Scout update

In recent developments, Scout has learnt to use his index finger (pointer) to point to things that catch his attention. He has learnt to say 'adu' (for 'that'). He has learnt to shake his head sideways meaning "no". Now combine all the three together for everyday situations at the Average household. 

Scout: "adu" *pointing finger in general direction of ball, choo-choo train, book etc.*
Amma: "ball-aa?"
Scout: *shakes head sideways*
Amma: "choo-choo aa?"
Scout: *shakes head sideways*
Amma: "book aa?"
Scout: *shakes head sideways*
Amma: *finally catching on* phone-aa?
Scout: "adu.. adu.. adu" *outstretched arms and a mouthful of smiles, grabs phone and proceeds with his business*

Then there was the time the Scout was pointing to Appa and going "adu.. adu". Appa was kicked that his son was asking for him and could be seen running in filmy slow-motion to embrace the son, only to realize that the son was actually going "adu.. adu" for Appa's glasses and not for Appa really. Amma was smirking and declaring that this incident had unquestionably demonstrated son's affinity towards the madre. But even before she could stop preening at the victory, the son made it clear that when he pointed to her and went "adu.. adu", he was only angling for her earrings and not for her. By and large this "adu.. adu" business seems to be showing everyone their rightful place in the household. Ah, well.. I'm waiting for the time I can park a used battered Honda Civic next to a spanking new BMW and tell him "Son, here's your gift from us as you go off to college" and point in the general direction of the cars and say "adu.. adu". :D

Monday, October 26, 2009

Voiceless

Lost real voice completely, virtual voice somewhat, while the voices in my head are as loud as usual. Scout is confused. GI is sometimes relieved, sometimes exasperated. In the universal list of ailments, I can check Laryngitis off.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wedding limericks (tag)

MFT's post reminded me of this game played in weddings where you are asked by aunties and others to "take" your new partner's name by making up a limerick. I believe, like most other games meant for weddings, this helped to build camaraderie between the bride and the groom in the days when people got married without having known each other. 

Here's my (apology of a) limerick from our wedding. 

My husband <GI> knows a Meena
He even knows a Reena
But I have his keys
And also the house lease
Am I not the queen-ha?

Gah, I shudder at how juvenile it seems now. [But Hey! they don't give you even a few minutes before they all gang up on you to make one up right that second.]

I'm forcefully tagging chox, mft, mim and sands to take this up as a tag and kick my lame limerick ass. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why I want to have a second one.

There might be many reasons but right now, my top reason to have a second one is so that the Scout has company when he sleeps in his own room at night. Yeah, my 10 month old has moved into his own room for various reasons, but mostly because he sleeps better when he doesn't see me! Yeah, that's right, as non-intuitive as it might sound. The minute he sees either of us, even in the dark room in the night, he stands up in his crib and gets either excited or cranky, wanting us to hold him. So we decided to try making him sleep in the other room and although I'm not thrilled with the fact, I should say he has been sleeping much better over there, which means we have been sleeping better and everybody is bright and cheerful in the mornings. Baby moving to the other room has somehow resulted in a well-rested, happier family. So far so good. But then when I'm about to drift off to sleep and the night is getting cold and I think about him sleeping all alone by himself, I feel it in my gut that there is something not right about this. I want to give him the company of another. He needs someone he can secretly whisper to, someone with whom he can share his fear of monsters, someone who is just there with him in the same room. Argggh! Damn these maternal instincts. I sure am going to wonder in a few years as to what hit me on the head to get so naively sentimental about it all.

Diwali is in the air!

There's a nip in the air. The prez lit up his house for the festival. People are making sweets. Can smell the aroma of jaggery and ghee from some homes. A party is being planned with friends. Party tasks are divided and delegated and people are enthusiastic about doing their parts. Happened to find some simple paTaaki in a Chinese store which I bought for the group. A candle arrangement contest is being planned as the pre-dinner activity. Thinking of rangoli or other designs (may be a Ganesha or may be the Taj Mahal?) for this. A VIBGYOR potluck is in the works and I have chosen to contribute the 'Violet' to it. Wish me luck with my purple potato tikki. The girls have decided to even wear clothes of the same color as the dish they picked for the potluck. Yeah, so wish me luck in managing my violet (or is it purple?, can never tell the difference between the two!) lehnga along with the Scout in his red kurta.  The guys? I don't know what they are up-to. They are good as long as there's grub, good banter and card-games I guess, which I'm sure there will be enough of. I haven't been so excited about Deepavali in a long, long time. Can't wait for the weekend!

Wishing you all a spectacular festival!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a question you’ve always wanted to ask a fellow blogger but didnt know what she would think… (tag)

The mim and her mo-joe are back and cracking the whip with a joe-cular tag. :)

=============

rules of this tag

ask a fellow blogger one question that youve been puzzling about…

and pass it fwd

===============

My question to choxbox (w.r.t current header pic): How many chox in the choxbox did the choxbox eat?

===============

And to answer mim's question, what can I say but that I married up! :P

Monday, October 12, 2009

palkova contd.

palkova contd from here

He was reading the newspaper and casually remarked -- "That palkova is Diwali bonus from my boss". Her heart sank as she walked into the kitchen to get dinner ready. She gasped! Dinner was ready. Curry, sambar and rassam awaited. As she turned to look at him, he smiled and went back to his newspaper.

Update: continued here.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 10 step guide to being actively passive aggressive

(a.k.a silent treatment in marital terms)

1. Do not read. Then he won't even know you are silent because of something he did. He conveniently assumes you are silent because you are reading! It's OK to begin imparting the silent treatment and then start reading.

2. Do not watch a movie with him. You will forget you are fuming and start discussing the plot.

3. Do not go to a friend's place with him. You cannot be silent there any more and he will happily assume that the storm has blown over. 

4. Do not go for a walk if he has the habit of tagging along and making a 'date' out of it. 

5. A child is a great distraction in this situation. A child has the ability to dissipate such situations with great ease. Beware!

6. Do not cook anything even border-line palatable. He will start showering compliments like it is his last meal and that will be the end of that!

7. Do not accept ice-cream or candy or rasmalai from him just because he offered, ever so sweetly.

8. Do something that you know that he knows you detest like scrubbing the bathtub or doing the laundry. 

9. Do not make eye contact except to glare.

10. Do not smile or laugh. Be dopey, sleepy, anything but not happy. Grumpy works best.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rumi vs. Roomie

[With sincerest apologies if this comes across as being irreverent in any way. The following came up when reminiscing with old friends about roomie squabbles :)]

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. 
I will meet you there.
-- Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. 
Let's take it out there.
--Roomie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Talkathon prep

I'm making a list of things that I need to talk to the GI about when I call him next. The list has mundane things like bills that need to be paid or papers that need to be signed etc, that are boring but important and not to mention urgent, and I'm sure I'll forget a few of them if I don't have a list. Although I make a number of lists, I think this must be the first time I'm making one such list to aid me while talking to the husband. :) This reminded me of a girl in college, years ago, who made a list of things that she needed to talk to her boyfriend about in their regular evening 'talkathon', otherwise they wouldn't have much to talk about, she said. (Note: her list also included corny stuff). I had subtly pulled her leg for having to make such lists. Now my smart mouth comes to bite me back! Sigh! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cereal independence

The Scout is staging a struggle for independence. Independence from being fed cereal and veggies and other such good mush. The spoon is batted away. The head is turned vigorously this way and that and the mouth is clamped shut. But put him on the high chair and lay out pieces of dosa or chapathi or croissant etc in front of him and he picks them up between his thumb and fore-finger and eats them with a great air of confidence. Confidence that I wouldn't have if I had no teeth like him. But he eats and chews and grinds pretty well. Only, I don't have the time to wait for this program to finish, especially at breakfast. Not to mention all the other problems with the finger-foods not being nutritious enough and all that. I'm almost wishing that he hadn't learnt to eat on his own. :(

Friday, September 25, 2009

Attention Deficit Dis.... umm.. err.. huh.. what was I saying?!

Yeah, the Average household suffers from it even though we are armed to the teeth with task lists (on the fridge, on a whiteboard in the room, on the computer etc).

Scene1: I come to make mix dinner for the Scout. Completely forget about it and instead start putting the grocery into the fridge and take a minute to figure it out when Scout starts getting cranky.

Scene 2: I open the laptop to reply to this all important email from my manager's manager but then I start composing a blog post. 

Scene 3: The tea boils over EVERYDAY.. enough said.

Can go on with scene 4, scene 5, ... scene 'n'.

And the husband does not fare any better although he has more lists than me stored on Google tasks and Iphone and what not!  For example: He has to go to some embassy in San Francisco to get some visa stuff done today. His appointment was like right NOW! We got all the paper work ready yesterday. We even discussed half an hour ago the best route he could take to beat the traffic. Then he calls me and says he is in the bank for some other admin work and he is gloating about how he remembered to get me some cash from the ATM before which he got me some books from the library and all that. And then I ever so cautiously ask him about what happened to the trip to SF. *click* Disconnected. Duh! Yeah, he can't show face now, he is I assume racing driving to SF as we speak.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If TPL encountered a bear..


TPL in one of her posts asked what one was supposed to do if one encountered a bear. Here is a picture we took of a list of instructions on what to do when one encounters a bear. We were supposed to read and assimilate the instructions before getting on the bus in Denali National Park, Alaska. 

IIRC the para before what is on camera was also very interesting. Basically it asked us to run in circles around a tree to confuse the bear "until the bear moves away, then slowly back off" (which is the line cutoff at the top of the pic). Does that help, TPL? :)  

Now that we know what we are to do, given a choice do you want to encounter a grizzly or a black bear? :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Childhood shopper-girl trauma*

My dad killed the shopper-girl in me. :) I would come back all pumped up after some shopping trip where I thought I had haggled and got the deal of my life for a pair of Madhuri-Dixit-type baggy pants (yes, as horrified as you may be, that was the trend in those days) and he would jokingly say "You payed Rs.xxx for this? I could get you ten of these for Rs.xx in ChikpeTe". Or he would say "Is this new? Looks like saarso baTTe (mop cloth)" when I thought I had bought this hep top from Wearhouse or Weekenders. (Please note that those two were the "it" stores of our generation or so I thought). The worst was when I was in the fifth standard or something and he got a pair of jeans stitched for me after buying said jeans material from, where else but, ChikpeTe because he thought the ready-made stores fleece you generally. Have you ever heard of getting jeans stitched from the neighborhood tailor unless you were JLo or something and had your personal designer? Before I came to the US he was bent upon getting me a leather jacket stitched but I put my foot down and said I will buy a winter jacket in the US. And you should see him haggling in action. I take him whenever I buy used books and he easily gets me about 50-70% off the price first quoted. So I can never bring myself to pay the full price for anything.

I have imbibed this anti-shopping, penny-counting mentality from him and I have caught myself advising cousins and younger folks to stay away from the brands and the upscale stores.  Having a husband who thinks like the father hasn't helped either. I almost hate shopping in malls as I have no way of knowing if I'm buying at a reasonable price. Shopping online suits me better, as I can take my time to search and research, but then there is always the problem of not knowing if something bigger and better is going to be launched obsoleting my buy. Having choices is stressful. Too many decisions. Too little information. No optimal solution. Gah! And how tragic that now my dad comes and gifts me $xxxx and tells me to buy whatever I like and I'm like "Yeah, right, like I can! Thanks to you!" :) What is this if not childhood trauma*? Is there going to be a cure ever? :)

* - In the Average household, "childhood trauma" in a lighter vein refers to anything that you avoid because of being traumatized by it in childhood. For example, a friend hates bananas now because he was made to eat one everyday in his years at home. So his "childhood trauma" is bananas. :) What is yours? 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Timeless, mapless glyphs.

They reminded me of this. A co-worker spent a day in the desert searching for them. I had no idea that such things existed in California.  There are no maps to get there, in the interest of preservation. Hmm.. one day.. may be I will go.. when I can be without clocks and maps and other baggage.

Hence, proved.

Costco croissant: 1
Baby Gerber puffs: 0 

Home-made dal: 1
Gerber veggie: 0 

Cut up peach: 1
Pureed peach: 0

Park swing: 10
Amma: 0

High-five to daycare aunty: yes
High-five to amma: no

Results:
Scout-wants-to-move-away-from-babyfood test: +ve
Scout-wants-to-be-affixed-to-park-swing test: +ve
Scout-knows-whom-to-impress test: +ve

Friday, September 11, 2009

She wonders if she is careless! Pshaw! What would I be if I told you that I almost failed to stop the Scout from swallowing a band-aid which he tore from the thumb of his right foot by putting foot into mouth sitting in his rear-facing car-seat while I sat in the front chatting with the GI?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beautiful Bangalore

I'm a 4th generation Bangalorean. My great grand parents came from their hometowns and settled in Bangalore. Our roots end in Bangalore. I have never been to my ancestral hometown(s). In fact I think my parents themselves haven't been to those parts although my grandmother sometimes wistfully spoke about her parents' village. Now, we haven't decided if we want to settle in the US or r2I but one of the things that saddens me a lot about settling outside India is the possibility (or certainty) of my kids and grandkids not knowing _my_ beautiful Bangalore.

What would you miss (apart from family) if you were to settle outside your country?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And his social life starts..

Scout got back home from the daycare with a fancy balloon, a reasonably big bag of candies and a toy -- all part of the goody-bag from a kid's birthday celebration at the daycare. With that we mark the beginning of the boy's own social life. :) He lovvveees the balloon. Has breastfed, eaten, pooped, bathed and crawled while clutching the string in his hand. 

PS question: Are we supposed to reciprocate by having a similar celebration with goody-bag and all when his birthday comes around?


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Six with the GI

One: number of children with the GI.
Two: times 10 pounds is the weight gained (by me) after living with him.*
Three: average number of arguments in a day with the same person.
Four: average number of waking hours spent with him in a day.
Five: times five Illayaraja songs learnt from his bathroom singing.**
Six: years of documented togetherness.

Happy anniversary and more power to us. :) ***

* he hasn't gained a single pound in all this while.
** at least five times five.
*** We went to this (non-Indian) vegetarian restaurant (using organic, locally grown ingredients) and had a fantastically flavorful dinner. The dear boy co-operated as well. He bore a shy smile and stared (!) at people sitting or walking around and they were almost forced to make cutesy conversations with him.
**** Happy teacher's day to everyone.

[Posting delayed]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whose recipe is it anyway?

Which of the following do you think irritates me the most?

(1) I make a crispy yet fluffy bajji and an aunt from the mom's side asks me if I learnt cooking from the mom.
(2) I make a tangy saaru (rassam) and an aunt from the husband's side asks me if I learnt cooking from the mil.
(3) I make a mean bisi-bele-baath and the sil asks me if I learnt cooking from the husband.
(4) I make a reasonably well-textured dhokla (never mind that it came from the instant mix) and the friend from grad school asks if I learnt cooking from my Gujju roomie.

I'm irritated that nobody gives credit where it is mostly due,  where people use standard measures to write recipes, where people don't use words like "kaNNaLathe"(roughly translates to "as measured by the eye") or "andaaju"(roughly translates to "more or less") as terms of measurement. Thank you internets. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The ABC of Scout

[Posting delayed..]

Age: 9 months to this day.
Boy/Girl: Boy.
Chews on: Everything although he doesn't have teeth yet.
Dotes on: the grandpa (before he left). Now he spreads his attention equally between amma and appa.
Eats: Cereal, Mashed Veggies, Fruits. 
Finds: the teeniest bit of paper or dust on the floor and picks it up ever so carefully between his thumb and fore-finger.
Gagged: On a band-aid that the nurse stuck to his toe on his right leg after she pricked it for a blood test. On the way back from the doctor's our man sat in his car-seat, put the toe in his mouth and pulled the band-aid off and tried to swallow it, only to be caught in-time by amma when she stopped the car at a red-light.
Hi-fives: Sometimes.
Ignores: older toys.
Jumps: when amma says 'jump-jump-jump'.
Kicks: his blanket off.
Loves: his 'Shapes' book. Wires. The pedestal fan. Tearing paper. The laptop.
Moves: by crawling.
Notices: swaying branches of trees. aeroplanes. chanda-mama (moon).
Opens: Books. Kitchen cupboards.
Poops: daily.
Questions: with an 'eh?' sound and actually expects an explanation.
Races: to bang keys on laptop left unattended.
Says: thathatha, mamama, apapapapa, buvabuva (I think he means 'huva' (flower)).
Toys: Likes household utensils, dabbas, paper etc more than the standard toys.
Uses: Aveeno lotion, soap and shampoo.
Vary of: being left alone in the crib.
Wants: to chew on the phone.
XOXO: Doesn't initiate a hug or kiss yet.
Yawns: widely when sleepy..
Zzzzz:  but takes forever to actually fall asleep.






Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another one..

What do you call it when someone (read aunty type) claims that deep frying uses only as much oil as shallow frying? And also adds a "idu yella scientific" ("It's all scientific") to it. 


Friday, August 21, 2009

MiM orders a 55-er

Continuing from here as ordered by God herself in the comments section ... :)

She addressed him as 'Sri Sri' instead of 'Sri Sri Sri' but that didn't make him laugh. She said his 'Vatapi Ganapatim' was in 'Kalyani' but even that didn't make him laugh at her. She used her final weapon. She called her mother a great vocalist. Out came his side-slapping guffaw and the buck teeth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What do you call..

the dad who puts hazaar fundae all thru' the day about sleep training the li'l one and then turns into putty and pleads to be permitted to pick the baby up on the first wail of the night? :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What do Bose, Dev, Dravid, Gandhi, Khanna have in common?

They not only have first names of 'Rahul' but a bunch of us girls in college had what we thought were insufferable crushes on all of them. We thought they were incurably 'hawwt'! So we did some "desk graffiti" (aka scrape-writing-desk-in-college-classroom-with-a-blade) on this topic. We listed all their names and ranked them by marking stars next to their names. I think Bose got 5 stars (highest) and Gandhi got 3 stars (lowest) and the others fell somewhere in between. Smug to have found some outlet to the uhh hormones, we moved to the next lecture in a different classroom discussing Bose's latest movie and Dravid's batting average and such like. What we did not realize was that the next class had a bunch of girls (or guys?) whose sense of hotness was as cheesy as ours. For when we came back we saw that the ranking we had assigned to the Rahuls had been modified. So we drew a box around *our* Rahuls and wrote 'No trespassing' next to it. The next day the folks from the other class wrote 'Whose property?' and so the conversation continued on the desk. Adding to the cheesiness, one of the friends, a very sensible girl otherwise, wanted to name her son 'Rahul' hoping that he would turn out to be cute, and ahem, yours truly hoped that she would find a boyfriend named 'Rahul'. In retrospect all of the girls in the gang are married now and guess what, each of us has a son also. Let alone getting married to a 'Rahul', none of us have even named our sons 'Rahul'. (Note: Nothing wrong in naming your kid Rahul. In fact it is a lovely name but it would have been extremely amusing to still be stuck with a senseless college crush). Wonder what happened to the folks from the other class. Wonder if people elsewhere around that time had a thing for the Rahuls as well. Did you? :)

Note: This post inspired by cluelessness's comment here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Another phase is over..

The in-laws have left as planned. Real parenting begins. Power to us. Luck to Scout. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First award and tag













Got my first award and tag from the wonderful MiM and I have been gushing like a 12 year old since then. Thank you MiM! Like Zeenat Aman had Dev Anand giving her the first break, like Madhuri Dixit had Subhash Ghai-ji, like MJ had Quincy, I have MiM. :) 

So here are the answers to the questions in the tag. 

1.What is your current obsession?
Reading up on how to make Scout sleep through the night (and not acting on it).

2. What are you wearing today?
Capris and a white sleeveless top.

3. What’s for dinner?
I think it's chappathi and capsicum curry cooked by the good mil.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
A school bag for the niece. And a 1:24 RC Ferrari for the nephew.

5. What are you listening to right now?
'thathathathatha' goes the Scout.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
She is my Godfather in blogdom. Now-a-days she is being called Mygodblogger-in-Malaysia (MiM)

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Right here in this freakin' expensive neighborhood. Go ahead, make my day!

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
I wonder why my wardrobe is full of winter clothes in summer and why it is full of summer clothes in winter. Sigh!

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Somewhat realistic answer: To the swimming pool.

10. Which language do you want to learn?
Tamil or Telugu as I have many friends who speak these languages.

11. What’s your favorite quote?
Right now? I'm trippin' on what 'Confucius say'.
Confucius say 'You want handsome doctor, you got to be patient'. Tehehe!

12. Who do you want to meet right now?
My late grandfather

13. What is your favorite colour?
Blue

14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own closet?
All the pre-marriage clothes which I'm hoping to fit into. 

15. What is your dream job?
Own a restaurant.

16. What’s your favorite magazine?
Don't read mags these days. 

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
A cool red diaper bag.

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
I'm in a fashion coma these days. Wouldn't know a legging from a stocking.

19. Who are your style icons?
Don't care much for 'icons' but do admire a few friends who put themselves together nicely. 

20. Describe your personal style.?
In the land of the geeks, anything goes.

21. What are you going to do after this?
Eat some yummy mango cake. You want?

22. What are your favorite movies?
Schindler's list, Chocolat, My cousin Vinny, Rainman, Cinema Paradiso
Could go on.. 

23. What are three cosmetic/makeup/perfume products that you can’t live without?
Don't do make-up on a daily basis except for some moisturizer and lip balm.

24. What inspires you?
People who are passionate about their jobs. 

25. What do you carry in your bag?
Wallet, cellphone, sun glasses, keys etc. Nothing really interesting or scandalous.

26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
Dig through and find something that I haven't worn in a while and hope that it miraculously fits.

27. Coffee or tea?
Either. Neither. Depends.

28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Rant. Rationalize.

29. What is the meaning of your name?
Not suffering from the Lake Wobegon effect

30. Which other blogs you love visiting?
Some mommy blogs. Tech blogs. Home decor blogs. Real estate blogs.

31. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Flavor of the week: Tres Leches

32. Favorite Season ?
Fall 

33. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
(Bangalore) Masala puri.

Will take a raincheck on the tagging part till I can comfortably say 'you are out' to some fellow blogger but you are most welcome to 'out' yourself. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Questions you must ask the guy or girl you are seeing..

... if there's even the remotest chance of you ending up married to him or her. :) These are anecdotes gathered from married friends of various backgrounds. Many of these couples knew each other for ages before getting married but were still zapped by some of these daily nits. These questions are not based on big earth-shattering differences but they are daily pain points that won't go away. Heck, it might be even useful to ask the in-laws to answer the questionnaire while at it. ;) All disclaimers apply! I'm not paying for your shrink fees if these questions backfire. :P
  1. Are they a bread-eater or a rice-eater or both? Even among the rice-eaters there are those who like each grain of rice to be separate when cooked and those who like everything mashed up. It matters because I wouldn't expect to cook two types of rice everyday in a 2-member household. Other questions on commonly used condiments (like preference for thickness and consistency of yoghurt or the general healthiness of food cooked) might be valid questions here.
  2. In summer do they want the fan on or the window open when they sleep? (Or other corollaries of this question.)
  3. Do they do their accounts daily or do they never do them or where do they fall in that range? Really, who cares about accounts before marriage but, it is going to come to bite you soon after. :P
  4. Do they shop for grocery in the street market or in the upscale all-organic store?
  5. Do they research like there is no tomorrow before buying even a pin or do they go and impulsively splurge and bring home a bimmer?
  6. Are they a Friends person or a Seinfeld person? Go on, make them admit it if they secretly like Chandler Bing or George Costanza. Gives you an idea of the TV-remote-wars that might happen once married. 
  7. What is their tolerance to left-overs? I have known husbands (never the wives somehow) reluctantly throwing away the smallest part of the vada or pizza that was fungi infected and eating the rest. On the other hand I have known wives and husbands who cannot bring themselves to eat even the afternoon's lunch for the evening's dinner.
  8. Is Sat morning the time to catch up on Himesh Reshamiyya's latest crooning while eating a big breakfast or is it the time to scrub the bathroom floor clean?
  9. and of course this...
  10. and this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The saga of the blouse piece

The Scout whined and writhed his way through his first *symbolic* haircut at the temple on Sunday. Symbolic because just five wisps of hair were cut. This was followed by a festive lunch at home with friends and family. Lunch included poori, saagu (vegetable kurma), bisi-bele-bath (heavenly-rice-preparation-lost-in-translation), alu bonda, anna(rice), saaru(rassam), towwe(dal), kosambri, gulab jamun and a few other accompaniments. Co-ordinating all that was the easy part though, I swear. Co-ordinating the various blouse pieces, bangles and assorted gifts to be given out to people, according to their distance from the center of the universe and other celestial objects to merit such gifts, was the hardest part of the event. The critical section here was actually the blouse piece gifting. A logistical nightmare because of the differential and integral calculus level formulae that need to be applied to determine who gets what kind. For example, if you are a close friend who helped us with something once, you might get a pure silk one. If you are a friend who is acting off lately, you might get a silk mix in a totally random color. If you are just an acquaintance you might get a cotton blend. If you are "too modrren" you might get a smaller piece. And please do not ask about the utility of gifting a piece of unstitched cloth of unmeasured length, random material, and arbitrary color unless you want to incur the wrath of a million aunties for whom the joy of receiving and giving blouse pieces easily compares to the glee with which kids receive and give candied goodies at their parties. I'm glad to report that said blouse piece gifting was accomplished smoothly on this occasion. Commanded by the mil, who is the font of all knowledge when it comes to fast and accurate calculation of the degrees of separation and the gift exchange history of each family member, strategic military precision planning happened to organize said gifts in advance. Queueing theory was applied and an efficient supply chain was established to streamline the process. And all the maamis returned home with their own precious 'blouse piece' goody bags. Now with the expertise acquired after my first successful mission, I want to create a 'blouse piece' gift on Facebook and generously gift every unsuspecting friend and non-friend with it. Isn't that a neat way of upholding the tradition? Would the mil agree? :P

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trivial pursuit

The niece's  somewhat random question on Beethoven's life brought forth some happy memories from a past life in the quizzing circuit way back in school and college. When knowing and spouting trivia was considered cool. Nerds that we were! But there was many a cute trivia that I got to know only because of quizzing. The one about the Asimov/Clarke treaty. The one about Newton being a member of the British parliament and the only words he said during his term were 'Close the window'. That the BMW insignia actually depicts the white nose of an airplane against a blue sky. That Persis Khambatta was a Miss.India turned super-model turned Trekkie. That Jughead had a cousin called Souphead. That Playboy's first issue was undated because Heffner thought there wouldn't be a second issue and that he had wanted to call the mag 'Stag Party' (yikes!). That Wassim Akram's wife never watched cricket although she counseled many of the players in the Pak team. That Baywatch was at one time the series that was dubbed into the most number of languages. That Heisenberg's epitaph read 'He lies here somewhere'. Right now I'm lying here thinking about all the juicy questions that I liked or nailed all those years ago. Do you have a favorite trivia piece that you like to spout given half a chance?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

To all the aunties who think card playing will result in children becoming drunken penny-less gamblers: think again! There is Math in it. There is logic, strategy, memory, discipline and of course, chance! Valuable lessons I would think. What do you think? Would you let your let's say 8 year old learn or play card games with friends?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Milestones

The mil is one of the most tenacious women I have known. She is as hardy as they come. She is multifaceted. She can easily converse in 6 Indian languages. She is the president of her Mahila Mandali back home. She wins Rangoli competitions as well as debating competitions. Playing hard and winning are not new to her. She rode on buses to attend debating competitions in high schools (in the early 60s) in neighboring towns, much against her dad's wishes. I have never seen her express her feelings freely other than in some situations with her daughers. But she shed a tear today. Today, was the Scout's first day at daycare.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This blog might be the only thing that is not infected.

Everything and everybody in the Average household has a cold right now. The littlest one is being the bravest about it.  This also is the first cold of his life. He still is doing everything that he normally does on a given day including creeping and crawling around, tasting unidentifiable objects, yelping with glee at the sight of taatha and such. The rest of us are sniffling, gargling, saying "ayappa, can't take it no more" and in general tearing each others hair apart. The GI (who has a thing for creating and using slangs) sums it up best when he says "We are WOOST"*. 

* -- Woost
       Pronunciation: Like boost
       Function: Adjective
       1. goner 

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm glad I married a morning person..

despite the well-meaning advice from an aunt to not do so, me being a night owl. And I'm glad because: the GI buys fresh bagels and croissants on weekends even before I see the first light of the day. He irons my clothes and packs my laptop on weekdays. He does the daddy duty for the Scout who (uhuhuh!) wakes up at least 2 hours ahead of me. So here's a big yay to the early riser in this house for once!

Coming soon: "I'm grrrr I married a morning person.. "

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harry Potter (and the Half-Blood Prince) happened with the co-workers. I liked the movie and couldn't agree more with BRangan's review. This is the second movie I'm watching in the theater since the Scout was born. The first was Star Trek, watched with the GI where I drooled over Spock (more the character of Spock, than the actor) while the GI drooled over Uhura (less the character and more the you-know-what :P) while Scout was home with the grandparents. The GI and I are also thinking of catching 'Up' on one of our days off (when Scout is in daycare) and that would be our round up of movies for this summer. 3 movies within the first year of the baby. Is that something I should be ashamed off (for going to a movie without the guilt of not being with the baby) or is that something I should be proud off for being there and doing that? I ask because when new parents meet there seems to be this boundary between 2 groups of parents -- the one who actually get a sitter to take care of the baby while they go do their own thing and the other who condemn such action as if it were sinfully wrong. Never has parenting been more analyzed than by the current gen parents, methinks. Me, right now, is happy to just go with the flow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's with husbands and their unending love for their mom's cooking?! :) On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate my mil's cooking to be 9 on the taste-scale, 4 on the health-scale and 5 on ease of preparation. While I rate my cooking to be 8 on taste, 7 on health and 7 on ease of process. The husband mostly agrees with my scoring as well. Yet he will profess his love for his mom's cooking even before the vada she is deep frying turns the slightest shade of golden brown. ;-) At the same time if I used as much oil or coconut or masala in my cooking I'll be gently admonished by the hubby for cooking and eating unhealthy. He gets away with it if I'm willing to humor him but most other times he gets a "oh, yeah? No vada for you" and that usually sets him right until his mom fries the next batch of vadas. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The combat crawler

We have a cute, cuddly, combat crawler in our midst. The Scout (I know, what an apt name in this context!) has started to crawl exactly like how the GI's do in those war movies. Upon siting an object of interest across the room, he musters up all his energy to combat crawl till the object is at arms-length. Then he stops and lunges for the object, stretches and tries to grab it with his finger tips. It is "oh, so cute" to look at but sometimes I feel like just giving him the object that he is vying for instead of having him put all this effort from all the way across the room. Thank God he doesn't seem to have inherited my lazy bones yet.

I was mistaken for an Amway..

and ouch, that hurts! So I was in the local Indian grocery store doing my weekly run. I noticed something that looked like fresh Aware kaaLu (it is a very sought-after bean in Karnataka and is not available fresh in the grocery stores here as far as I know). I wanted to buy some and impress the hell out of the mil who wouldn't hesitate to give an arm and a leg for a bunch of said beans. But I wanted to confirm that they were in fact the said precious variety. So I asked this guy, who was carting a bagful of them, what they were called. The vagueness of his answer (he said -- "it's just some beans") and the speed with which he disappeared out of my sight made me suspect that he considered me an Amway candidate* and so ran for his life. I'm impressed by the impact these Amway agents have made on the average desi shopper.

* -- For those of you who have had the good fortune of not knowing what Amway is, they are a "multi-level marketting" company in the US who hire agents to market their products, who lurk in popular stores and introduce themselves by making small talk with other bakra desi (mostly) shoppers in an attempt to hire them to become agents for Amway. Their aim is to start with small talk (weather, "native place", "mother tongue", shopping preferences and such) and the end goal is to steal your phone number so they can latch on to you and suck you dry. So anytime you get a somewhat stupid question from a fellow desi, please run like the above person did. To my credit, my question was by no means a stupid question. I should know because for sometime in grad school, I couldn't differentiate between toor dal and channa dal, then how can I trust myself to recognise the rarer kinds!?!?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The busy bees

I'm busy but I hate to admit that. When people ask me "How's work?" I usually reply with an "Alright" or "Pretty good" etc.  Never a "Gosh! I'm so busy I can't breathe" even when that is true. I find it amusing that some people get a lot of mileage from ranting about how busy their work is, how hard their boss is making them work or how their colleagues are slacking off while they themselves are slaving away. I find it amusing because when I'm busy it is usually because I have chosen to be busy either because I want a promotion (or some such concrete end goal in mind) or because hard work actually *gasp* makes me happy and makes me feel like I deserve my dinner that evening. So why do some people crib about their busy lives? 

Friday, June 26, 2009

I remember the time..

I remember rewinding his cassettes a million times to mug the lyrics of his songs. Especially "Annie are you okay?" had us flummoxed. I still sing it with my own bullshit lyrics most of the time. I remember screaming "Beat it" and "Bad" on hot summer afternoons with our own un-cool moves. I remember him as the one who introduced the words "break dance" into our vocabularies. Remember many a wannabe kids going to classes to learn the moonwalk (and making a joke out of themselves). I remember the time when MJ was our window into that hallowed world of western pop. RIP. You were the greatest icon of our generation. We will always remember the time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Daddies are for catching fireflies..

The Scout and I gifted that book to the GIJoe with a little poem written inside wishing him a Happy Father's day. Right now Scout is using it more like a chew toy, like he does with every other thing that comes into his life. :) He sits on his appa's lap and chews the book(s) out while the appa tries to save the book(s) and quickly read in the small intervals when the chewing stops. Quite a cute scene that! :) 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scout update

The Scout is about 6.5 months old. He can role from one end of the room to the other. He can say many consonant sounds -- "thatha", "papa", "mama", "kaka" etc. His favorite is "thatha", although he has not made any associations with any of those sounds.  He looks up at the flowers on the side-stand when his ajji asks him "hoov yelli?". He blows raspberries and likes doing it especially when he drinks water, ending up lightly showering the person feeding him. He is delighted when GIJoe or I dance with him in our arms. He especially likes it and giggles away when I do my own random head-banging to any kind of music. Every weekend his other ajji, taatha video chat with us to see his antics. But then he becomes the "good boy" and refuses to indulge them with any kind of "entertainment". He only wants to bang the keys on the keyboard and lick the screen. Oh, yeah his main aim in life is still to grab and shove everything that walks or doesn't into his mouth.  Hand-to-mouth existence this!

The unbearable lightness of being.

The unbearable lightness of being: Outcome of a nice long unwinding session with a close friend. Heartfelt discussion of everything ranging from parenting to Ph.D topics to in-laws to internet protocols to Hawaiian vacations and such. Things that a perfectly lazy Friday evening is made of.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Help yourself!

So we have this new co-worker / intern in our cube. He just started yesterday. Today I ate lunch at my desk and after I was done I was about to go to the kitchen to bring some water and such. And this guy asks me to take his coffee mug as well with me. I was truly shocked, especially since I have barely know him for like a day. It must have shown on my face for he added -- "oh, can you just leave it in the sink? I'll wash it later." I'm all for dignity of labor and all that but whatever happened to helping oneself?!

Friday, May 29, 2009

All 6 yards

I love sarees. Especially the traditional ones. I'm always eyeing amma's traditional Kanjeevarams and Benarasis. Although I have a few newer ones of these types of my own, I love how her older ones feel on the skin. And the zari looks so much richer on the really good, old ones. I make deals with amma to flick her sarees whenever possible. :-) My ajji had lovely silks as well. One was this pitch black silk with a 2-inch gold border with the story of the Ramayana woven into it. What I would have given to have preserved that one. But due to family feuds that cannot be delved into I do not even know where my ajji's sarees are.

I wish I could one day own (and elegantly wear) as many different types of traditional sarees as possible. I have Kanjeevarams, Dharmavarams, Mysore silks, Tussars right now. Waiting for the chance to buy Kota, Patola, Lucknow chicken, Bengal cotton, Phulkari, Bandhni, Kantha, Taant, Gadwal, Pochampalli etc. I must have missed quite a few varieties. I don't even know where to find good ones of many of these. Looks like I have a good 20-30 years worth of work to build a reasonable collection. Any and all tips / suggestions will be much appreciated.

PS: Wearing a deep fuchsia Mysore silk with little green and blue peacocks embroidered on it for a house warming this weekend. The GIJoe and Scout will be in appropriately matching kurtas as well. :)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This day, that month

Nov 26 '08. Six months ago. We were four days away from Scout's expected due date. The doc lady had sad that if she had to put money she would estimate that the actual date of arrival might be a day or two beyond the EDD. Bored of waiting, I badgered the GIJoe and my mom to go watch Quantum of Solace and more specifically the awesomeness that is Daniel Craig. Off we went and watched the night show with strict instructions from both the GIJoe and the mater that we were to leave if Scout moved or kicked even a bit. The Scout in fact was very accommodating of my interests in the double-o. He did not kick at all. Hmph, he is still not so ready to make an appearance I thought. But then kids like to prove their parents wrong all the time. He had reserved his strength for the next day and kicked and boxed his way out in less than 8 hours, from start to finish. Happy 6th month birthday dear Scout!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What I would give for someone to do a psychoanalytic study on mil-dil relationships!?
Update: For the record, this is not about my relationship with my mil. I have a reasonable relationship with my mil. But in general I hear stories of all kinds from everywhere. Wanted to understand the psyche better.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Horroscope mismatch :-)

Him: King bed. Two separate blankets.
Her: Queen bed. One single blanket.

:-) 

Do you have your own "mismatch" story? :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Introducing G.I.Joe and the Scout

Why is it so endearing to see a grown man sing rhymes or play peekaboo with his baby? And if the man happens to be your husband, aren't you just plain lucky?! GIJoe babysat the Scout on Mother's day while I hung out and did some pottery with some girl friends. He fed him his bottle, put him to sleep, took him for a walk on the Bjorn and in general aced at the daddy tests. Here's to a father on mother's day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

And the best phase is over.

My parents leave in 10 days. I have been living a life of luxury like I have never known before, with them taking care of my every need and want even without me asking for it. I realized I'm not afraid of taking care of the little one without them. I'm scared because I'm afraid I can't take care of myself without them.