November 30, 2009

The Unpitiables..

You know how you just feel bad for some people for some reason? Like the child putting up posters back in India or those poor Sivakasi kids who are made to work their fingers off? Certainly, these are examples where everyone almost unanimously agrees that this isn't for the child's best interests. But what if you pitied someone's something (it could be a situation, a decision, a purchase or whatever else that you can think of) but they actually thought that they'd done the best for themselves? Then what? You're the fool left imagining the greener pastures that could've been for someone who is perfectly content in their situation whatsoever it maybe. In such cases, is it prudent to burst someone's bubble and show them the "reality" or should be left to the "theory of relativity" - you know.. what's good in your book may not necessarily be at the same benchmark for someone else. And there's never a good time to pull off those rose-coloured glasses from anyone's face even if it is for their good. It's like SO told me... the pity is just wasted. And people these days are smart enough to get what they want and I am probably left their pitying their content life. So what next? I should move on. Live and let live, right?

November 27, 2009

Much ado about nothing

Ah well, this is one of those posts again where I discuss nothing's going on and shockingly it's twice this month! All around me, in most blog addresses I know of, there's hardly any update. Of course for you American soil junta, it means that Thanksgiving is on and that means holidays! So Happy Thanksgiving!! But for the rest of us and apparently a lot of us, either nothing's been going on or we've not found enough things to blog about. Kind of makes me miss those days when I saw blogs in every situation. But that seems to be the problem... apparently most situations that recur have been accounted for at some point or the other on this blog... And that makes November, the hit month of last year, this year's lowest in post count. Hmph. Anyhoo, on a completely unrelated note, S n I got totally hooked to The Big Bang Theory, all by chance. I had downloaded one season having heard of it from someone and turns out, it was one of the easiest serials to get hooked to since Friends. And before we knew it, we downloaded all the episodes that there are and were seeing them at shocking rates of 20 episodes a day. Consequently, we ran out through the weekend. That apart, it's been busy work days, busier evenings with new found sports activity and gaming on the PS3. All that equates to irregular blogger. My apologies. Let's hope the year ends a bang in December, and not like this whimper. Thanks for visiting MindBlogging regularly, y'all n Happy Holidays again!

November 18, 2009

The waiting etiquette

For once I am not out here to brag about my punctuality going by the title of this post. This time for a change I am talking about the etiquette that a good waiter should have in a good restaurant towards his/her customers. Of course this post stemmed from a blog on the NY Times. You can find the blog here -
If you did have the patience to go through all 100 of the things on the list, and if you are anything like me, you will agree that a lot of the list was highly obnoxious. It sort of took the humanity out of the waiter and sort of reduced to them to a robot with no feelings and slave-like chores to do. Some made a point but a vast majority simply assumed that the customers were snooty enough not to respect their waiters as other people.
I had my first opportunity to judge the waiting experience for it's merit since reading the article. Normally I am pretty pre-occupied by the conversation at the table and tend to give the waiting experience a break (unless it's exceptionally bad like I remember once in Bali Satay House in Ames). Our group meeting, a quarterly affair, had it's typical 5-6 course luncheon at our college's exclusive restaurant which can compare to a decent 3-star experience anywhere in the world. And I made it a point to notice what the waiter did/did not do over the entire lunching experience. Here are the salient features -
1. He did serve the women first - no matter where they were seated around the 10 seater table (we were 4 out of 10 just for the numbers)
2. No, he didn't introduce himself or encourage us to call him a nickname to call his attention. But this is probably because ours was the only table that he was tending to through the entire lunch.
3. Yes, he did refill the wine/water and replenish the bread on each n every glass/plate as and when they ran out. But he did this in such discrete fashion that it was hardly discernable.
4. He did wait for everyone at the table to finish before clearing out the plates of all. And yes, there was fresh cutlery with evey course and nothing had to be reued or reserved for usage after being used once. And that was certainly refreshing.
5. On being informed that I was vegetarian at the last moment, I was wholesomely still served a full meal keeping with the theme of everyone else's meal and not a measly salad. Of course this had more to do with the chef than the waiter but I mention it here because this was one of the points that the author of those blogs above happened to mention in one of his zillion requirements.
Well, that was all that I distinctly noticed. It was an excellent meal overall and after reading those articles, I can confidently say that I won't have a 100 things for the waiting staff to do. I'd be just as happy with these 5. I am curious - does anyone ook forward to anything from their waiters apart from the basic decency and clean service? Voice up!

November 17, 2009


Nope, not the new PS3 game that S n I are dying to get... This is about how in our lives for everything we feel the need to have a "plan". I was talking to SP about this the other day on Gtalk. We reminisced those times back at UC - when our evenings consisted of crashing at someone's door with a bottle of Coke and a bag of chips and just improvising as the night wore on. Some movie... maybe some ice cream later in the night.. just sitting and browsing together, or maybe even doing individual assignments whilst yapping, cooking together for a whole bunch of people. Life was simple but very self-contained. No one missed going to the cinema to watch movies, not seeing the outside of the 1km radius we lived and went to school in.Yet we were happy and content. Of course a lot of it had to do with the company. Everyone we knew lived close to us or in that radius. We didn't know of people or places outside this circle of life that saw the need for us to get out at all. And now, all of a sudden when you are thrown into a big city... with the limited friends strewn all over the place, you always need a "plan". Where to meet.. what to do.. where to eat.. what... when.. how.. which route of travel, exact place of meeting, inside the station or outside, blah - just some of the random questions that need to be answered in a whole web of options involving everyone's coordinates for the simple act of "hanging out". Who knew things could get so complicated? Which begs the question of living before the era of cell phones. Now everyone's calling one another for minutely updates on their current coordinates. Back then, people trusted the word that was agreed upon before leaving one's doorstep. Sometimes, just sometimes, don't you wish some things just remained simple? As with everything, much easier said, than done.

November 15, 2009

Girly me

Well well well.. who saw this coming? The girl in me fully evolved and suddenly emerging, completely unbeknownst to the part of me that considers myself the biggest tomboy ever? I for one, didn't. Whenever I saw the stereotypical girl that loved shoes and bags, I always thought that that wasn't me. It took my husband to point out the million pairs of shoes and handbags that I had amassed for me to realize that it was a stereotype for a reason. And this birthday, he took me shopping... which really was the best gift for me. No sooner were we in the mall, 5 things jumped out at me, each which I would have loved to have. And before the end of the afternoon, I had them all. I don't have expensive tastes. I have realized that I am more of a quantity trumps quality person. For the 500€ that an original Louis Vuitton handbag would cost, I'd rather own a million less expensive yet trendy and good quality stuff. Variety is the spice of life for a reason. And that's one thing that guys don't get with us girls. Why do we need so many shoes/bags? I don't know either. But it's like the dude says in The Devil wears Prada - "Accessories are not meant to be utilary... they're a piece of iconography. Plus they're pretty." Amen.

November 11, 2009

Behind cloudy eyes...

For those fortunate many who don't use glasses or contact lenses to correct vision in their eyes, this post may be weird or just come across as silly or funny. But for the rest of us who count on these visual aids, they most certainly form an integral part of our lives. Recently I took to swimming once more and once while doing a dip, I forgot to pull down my swim goggles over my eyes and my eyes remained open. It's pretty easy to guess what happened next. Of course water went in. But I was wearing my contacts. So that meant that the chlorine started irritating my eyes a bit and even worse, water got into the place between my eyeball and my contact lens. Urgh, how I hate that! It forms a misty cloud of spots and sometimes you can even see spots. And in all reality, it sucks. Indeed there is lesser relief for the contacts-wearing person than removing once this cloud forms. It's literally like a mist lifting off before your eyes and the world is clearer again. Not to mention that the 'cloud' tends to dry out your eyes. And your eyes produce tears to try to compensate the irritation. And intensifies the mist... there, you get the idea. Gosh...
On a different note, fortunately I don't have too much of a problem with my contacts otherwise.. I can wear as much eye makeup as I like and indeed I am no dainty darling when I am handling them either and now it's almost second nature to me. And did you know that if you cut onions when you are wearing contacts, you don't cry at all? My theory is that the chemical that triggers the 'crying' doesn't reach the eye because of the lens sitting on it. Pretty cool, huh? On the other hand, it's like the onion is out to get you if you ever start cutting on one fine morning when you haven't worn your lens till then. The onion has it's revenge I tell you. Even if it is as infrequent as one day a year..

November 9, 2009

Gossip girl here...

Ever feel sometimes like you know a little too much? Often times, this is just something someone confided in you and swore you to "never ever tell anyone". Don't you just hate it then when one fine day not too much later, the same information (with added spice) is shared with you once more by someone else with the same tag line to "never ever tell anyone". On a comic note, if everyone kept everyone else's secrets, life would be a big big bore. But come on, sometimes you just wish that the information passed on to you was different each time. Lol. I have played "agony aunt" to more people than I can count. And most of the time, I tend to forget what the original problem was after dealing with it. This doesn't bide too well with my confiders when they come back with a version update of everything . And half the time I am left pretending to understand exactly where we stand while in reality I am figuring it out from the ongoing conversation. Obviously this has it's funny repercussions, random accusals of forgetfulness and what not. But it's all part of a healthy gossip life.. And indeed in the past few days, gossip has run dry. Like I lamented once before, everyone's leading textbook virtuous lives, good old jobs, same old partners and limited freakouts, ergo limited things to talk about. I guess that's what happens when you reach that beyond-college stage. Everyone settles down. Gone are the days of non-stop partying, flirting and whatever it is that got us talking. We are back to leading lives of sincerety, savings plan, kids, blue n blah. Don't you just miss those days when pieces of juicy gossip just kept throwing themselves at you? I know I do. You know you love me. Xo xo.

November 8, 2009

Wakeup MindBlogging!

Holy crap! This has been my slackiest period ever as far as MindBlogging is concerned (except for the lull after the first post ever). But it's unimagineable that I haven't blogged in weeks nor checked updates on anyone else's blog. Of course this could mean one of two things - I've been terribly busy or that I've lost interest in blogging. Mercifully, it's the first one. Either ways, it seems inexcuseable at the moment. So what've I been upto ever since I last blogged?

We've been to Parc Asterix for Halloween
We've been to many restaurants in Paris celebrating everything from birthdays to Wednesdays....
We've met all our friends here more regularly than ever before...

I've become terribly serious about my PhD. It's not a joke anymore.
The weather in Paris has deteriorated as quickly as the light has faded from our days..

I've fallen back on tried and tested recipes. Time to break the mould again.

We've had more people at the new house than ever before at the old one..

And last but not least, we went to the beautiful wine region of Chablis here in France. The white wine from here is world famous. And from everything I saw and tasted, it well deserves the reputation. I leave yo
u with a taste of Chablis right here...

Here's welcoming my month of the year! And where are my loyal commentors? I miss you guys!