October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Traditionally (over the past 3 years), I haven't been a major celebrator of Halloween... As in, I haven't dressed up, trick-or-treated or anything. This year's different. K has gone all out to celebrate Halloween as indeed they do every year... There are pumpkin-carving contests, Dress-up-your-boss contests, pie-eating contests, a parade and prizes for best costume, etc. Such fun! I think the best part is that we spend all morning preparing for the festivities that last all afternoon! Curious about Halloween? I was too... Read all about it here. Happy Halloween!

Update! - Metallized (my group) rocks - We won the best-dressed-group and the Dress-up-your-boss competitions! Yeaay! Here, check out what we did to the group (I was one of the dress-ers and not the dress-ees)

And here's one of my bosses competing in the pie-eating...

And last, the victorious group.....

October 29, 2007

Drag day

I'm sure this has happened to each one of you. Its happened to me too but it's my turn again today. The day isn't ending! I've forgotten to wear my watch and my eyes remain glued to the clock on the wall 30 feet to my right. And each time I look at it, I marvel as to how the minimal possible time I've imagined has passed by. Maybe coz its a Monday after a usual busy weekend, or coz I am sleepy as hell or coz I have tonnes to do but the machine's occupied and mostly because the Diana book I am reading right now isn't engaging at all, I find myself rendered utterly completely bored. As is usual in such situations, I am wiki-ing away to glory. So far I have read snippets about Nehru and Lady Mountbatten, Britney' run-in with the cops, global warming, the So-Cal fire update, Gandhiji, The Bronte sisters, and all about Capri - just to mention very few; apart from attempting a nap in the library from which I jostled out in such an abrupt fashion on hearing footsteps that it gave me a head ache! And still the day drags on. Gosh! An hour to go!

October 26, 2007


When Apple makes a product, they prefix the i. When I make one, I am going to use j. This is it. Today's the day that I have officially decided that for my own cheap satisfaction (no, its not inexpensive) that I am going to write a book. My close friends will tell you that I have written books (and no - not short stories; actual long long books) in the past. Unfortunately I don't seem to have been prudent with the manuscripts and can't seem to find them at all. But now for all the maturity that I have (or so I think), I plan to write my first scream-out-loud book. Please tell me you will buy it once I publish. All of you.

Coming soon - jBook.

Glow - Part II

When I lugged the huge box from Amazon.com yesterday afternoon from the downstairs mailbox to the apartment on the second floor, I was apparently confused. I was at the first floor (someone had gotten in at the first floor and I'd assumed the elevator was where I wanted it to be) and was fervently jamming my duplicated key into the wrong apartment. Thankfully before being pepper-sprayed or anything equivalent, I fled the place and wormed up to our own apartment. I opened the door - or to phrase it precisely, I turned the lock and yet the door wouldn't budge. Flustered with the heavy package, the useless key and unrelenting door, I whipped out my cell phone to ask S to open the door. Once in, the package really confused me. With the San Diegan fires, I thought I forgot about something I must've ordered a while ago. I ripped it open in anticipation... and my mouth dropped open. There they were... 4 brand new books, each from a different genre, right out of my amazon wishlist, something I don't remember creating now. An early birthday present I guessed. But from which blessed soul? Then I found the receipt and the note. It made my day as nothing else could have. Thanks V. For the books and the choice of the books.

October 24, 2007

A city on fire

What is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the United States to live in - San Diego, has been burning these past couple of days. A series of no less than 10-15 major wildfires ignited the path all the way from LA to San Diego wreaking destruction in its path. If you don't know about this at all, click here - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=DVXA%2CDVXA%3A2005-22%2CDVXA%3Aen&q=san+diego+fires. It's surreal being part of a national emergency. Where the roads to the north, east and south are blocked because of all the fires and whats on the west is the ocean. Where you're asked to sit tight at home to await a reverse 911 call to make you evacuate. Where so many of your friends have evacuated and come to your houses in the hopes of avoiding another evacuation and where 10-15 of you are bundled up in a single home with all the important documents to leave at a moment's notice. Where the TV is tuned to CNN as you watch homes burn and yet the 15 of you play Pictionary, watch Mouna Raagam or do something to keep yourselves occupied with no work to report to. It may seem funny.. But everyone has their possessions to guard - be it new clothes (my new winter wardrobe in my case), the exclusive salwar kameez wardrobe, the ghagras or a few precious pictures. But when you see multimillion dollar homes burn down to the ground on TV (though insurance will cover a lot of it) and a parked Benz burn away, you can't help but feel sorry for every single person whose material losses exceed anything you've imagined. What I need to appreciate here is the precautious efficiency with which the evacuations were conducted so as to restrict the casualties to a bare minimum.. and that the animals were given shelter as well. The air's acrid but the spirits are up. In this case, the city, quite literally will rise from the ashes.

October 17, 2007

Glow girl

Yes... I have been glowing since morning... I can feel the warmth in me, I can't stop smiling and people can see it on my face. In the world of academics, we all know of recommendations. Who's ever heard of a personally delivered recommendation? And across continents? Never mind the conference... It was a very very touching gesture. And its left me feeling content and very happy. Thanks, Dr. P. :)

October 10, 2007

A matter of perspective..

You know its just not your day when...

1. The coffee machine takes you for a ride once again (if you're wondering what I'm talking about, read this post)
2. The SEM needs nitrogen just when you have to use it
3. When you have hunger pangs at 11:00 though you had breakfast
4. When you buy a snack mix at the vending machine and it stops millimeters from the edge and doesn't fall..
5. When you kick the vending machine in frustration to make it fall and then you realize your legs are aching from KettleBells... but hey, the snack mix did drop
6. When you're soo hungry that you tear it open haphazardly.. and everything but 3 pieces spill on the floor
7. When the kind cleaning lady tsk-tsks at your clumsiness..
8. When you decide to quench your thirst rather than hunger and settle down with the water bottle at your desk and forget that you haven't "clicked" the spout.. and when it decides to gush down when you knock it over momentarily in a flurry of activity...
and..... big pause...
9. When your superboss asks for your blog address as he catches sight of this post.
10. And its only 12:00 pm.. The day's only just begun

-10 minutes later -

And then just like that.. when I walked out, I saw the poor bug I'd seen crawling an hour ago, lying squashed and lifeless in a corner. That put things in perspective.

Celebrity driving test

This one was funny: http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4025103

Especially the actual test itself. Lol.

October 9, 2007

Above the influence?

Not quite. Unrelatedly, I started thinking about how as we meld with different people, we all tend to pick up certain phrases, expressions from their vocabulary... It's happened so much through college that everyone including our families thought we Kadalais all sounded the same. Even though me n S sound soo different, more often than not if someone who hasn't known us long picks up the phone, they're confused as to who's talking (especially if I take S's call or vice versa). Some famous words have stood the test of time - "Duh", "Aumaaaans", "Galeej", - to name a few. I even picked up P's hai hai which I tend to use with a Hindi-friendly population.. Back in UC, we roomies pretty much had the same expressions for similar situations.. I think that kind of thing just tends to happen. And I can't recall if I have been the trend-setter more than a couple of times. Apparently, I am easily influenced! With the move to San Diego, came some newbies... particularly what we picked from S' - "Orshthuuuu" (a huge play on the word, "Worst"). Now with more new friends, I've identified their three mostly used words - "Bugger", "Sala" (hindi) and "Rascal". Personally, I think I am unlikely to pick up any of these... But time will tell..

October 3, 2007

Television Overload

With the decline of constructive things I do back home, I have a TV line-up for Wednesday that beats anything that mid-week has seen in the past. Thank goodness for S's DVR and I can record all these shows.. So whats in for the night?
1. America's Next Top Model
2. Gossip Girl
3. Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares... and adding a final one to the sequence
4. Pushing Daisies and oh maybe even Private Practice

And all of these are hour-long shows. Gulp.


With all my K headers, I feel like I am some sort of K-Fed propoganza (sic).. Hmph.. But this is good news.. There was an essay contest at K a week after I joined and in the sheer boredom of having nothing to do, I penned in a few pages and submitted it. And guess what? I actually won a prize! No.. not the first couple of prizes .. Just some honorary mention but nevertheless I get some goodies! When I got the 'congratulatory' email yesterday it took me a few minutes to realize what they were talking about... But who cares.. Yoo Hoo!

October 1, 2007

More on Tea...

As a tea maniac and specially one who likes to experiment, I have zeroed in on Celestial Seasonings as my favorite brand. And I tried their Tension Tamer tea just yesterday and boy.. was it good or what. Recently, I have started believing that I may have RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). It maybe that I do have RLS or it maybe that seeing so many ads about it make me wanna wriggle my legs even more. The temptation to jig-wig them is maximum when trying to fall asleep. But believe me, this tea helped distinctly. I felt this soothing calm around me and this blanket of peace surround me. I can't vouch for its "tension taming" capabilities because I wasn't really tensed. But with ingredients like peppermint, cinnamon and lemon, ginger and chamomile, the worst that can happen is to have good herbs in your system! Mostly I believe that these teas work more on philosophy than anything else. In that, when you read the blurb that claims these fabulous things, you will for them to happen and end up realizing that they do.

Amongst others, I tried CS's Lemon Zinger, and this tea oozes red because it has hibiscus... It was supposed to startle you into freshness.. But maybe because of the tangy flavour, or maybe it was 3:00 pm on Saturday afternoon, I was little more sleepy than awake.

But as I already proclaimed... whats the worst thing that could happen? Extra antioxidants in the system? Nice herbs and a refreshing sugar-free drink? More heart-friendly and cancer-fighting capabilities? I'm game.


Now I know why they call it a "sweater". Not because you sweat in it, but because you sweat over it! With San Diego mornings and evenings getting chill and with my winter wear stuck in transit, I had no choice but to buy a sweatshirt at least. And so I went shopping.. After checking out everything sweater-y at Charlotte Russe and for a change not finding anything I liked (I was very particular that it should'nt be an overhead variety but more the zip-up style), I ended up in F-21. I was pleasantly surprised at first to see a large variety there. On closer inspection however, they were all mostly thin, and rough and crazily patterned like 21-year-olds liked I assumed. Displeased, I looked at every sweater the shop housed and finally found the perfect one. It was black, sheer and zip-up. I tried it on.. It fit well and was very very comfortable and soft. $22.50 - Not bad at all.. I took it immediately (and a trench coat which looked very flattering).

As night fell over our (Me, S and V) boisterous dinner @ Bandar and dessert @ Extraordinary desserts, I wore the new sweater. Warm and well comforted, I was very at home in it and we were playing Dumb-C while waiting to be seated and I snuggled my hands into the pockets.. or where they were a few moments ago! I glanced down and to my horror, the right pocket hung straight down. The fabulous sweater had ripped.. in 2 short hours! And past then, I couldn't think straight. I considered it a major misfortune. Yes, I had the receipt. But did I have the tag? While V and S were talking about something, my brain retraced my actions and I decided I'd ripped the tag and put it into the cover.. which meant it might still be there. And the conversation had veered to the poor-little-kid-and-the-vulture-waiting-to-eat-him photograph. As I snapped on to it, insanely unrelated as it was, I felt sorry for myself having picked the devious loser in a storeful of probables.

This afternoon, I was over at F-21, armed with the receipt and the tag (which was in the bag as I'd surmised). To my chagrin and indignation, they actually created a minor fuss about the exchange because the tag was not still attached to the garment! What was I to do? Wear every damn thing for days on the end with the tag on just to see if it tore? I explained my infallible logic to them and with a few other curious customers watching, they didn't want to risk bad publicity and quickly approved my exchange. I picked a more normal-looking replacement (only after tugging it here and there.. but of course) ;)