Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Someday

Whenever I go on for days or months between blogging, a reader tells me that they miss reading my blog which makes me happy and sad at the same time. And when that happens I try to get my posterior in order and whip up a post. This one is for N.

I am going through a period of restlessness now. I feel like time is slipping away from me and there is so much to be done and I've done so little. Like always I flit between hobbies, one minute wanting to swim like a fish and the other minute looking for ice skating lessons in Madison. I always tell myself that I will accomplish them some day, but I fear I am running out of "days" in my life. The only hobby that I am consitent with has been my French lessons. I've had lessons on and off for almost 2 years now. I will be honest and admit I've not been studying consistently at home. But I enjoy my lessons immensely. I love the language, the way it rolls off my tongue. When I come across something written in French, I try to read it out aloud and when I understand the meaning it makes me immensely happy. Someday (see what I mean when I wrote about "someday" earlier?) I hope to be fluent in French and then I want to learn me some Italiana!

Tomorrow the boy and I complete three years of wedded bliss. I am going to stick my rule of not writing about anything mushy, but I am lucky that I married someone who loves travel as much as I do. We make good traveling partners too. We've been itching to go somewhere because we haven't been anywhere since our Maui trip. Any suggestions? I am planning a vacation to Yellowstone in summer. Where I really want to go is Paris and Venice, but that has been on hold thanks to S' visa issues. Someday...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Notes

I am forced to put up a post because I had signed a blog treaty with my buddy. I figured he would never live up to his end, but he has and so I need to post too. Since the treaty never said anything about quality writing, I figured now would be as good a time as any to post a holiday version of my miscellaneous blather.

Tis the season! I love Christmas - the lights, the cookies and the gifts! Especially the gifts. In case people are wondering, I love receiving gifts. Every time I check my mail, I expect someone to have sent me a gift. This expectation amplifies during Christmas, with the only problem being - there is no-one to buy me gifts. For one thing, my family lives far far away and secondly we don't celebrate Christmas. Last year, I told S that we should exchange gifts. He took that to mean that he could buy himself some random camera crap off the internet and call that his gift from me. The day Amazon delivered it home, he realized he didn't have a gift for me and bought me a perfume from Macy's and gave it to me unwrapped, one week before Christmas. To give him credit, he did remember the name of the perfume that I had tried that last time I was at Macy's. But people of the internet, my whole intent in deciding to exchange Christmas gifts was the act of opening a beautifully wrapped gift on Christmas morning! So this year I am mostly done with my Christmas shopping and I am hoping S gets me something good. When I say good, I don't mean diamonds or ipad good (although those items would be appreciated). It means paying attention to small details good. Let me illustrate. This year for my birthday there was the usual spread of expensive gifts. My favorite was a $10 blender bottle from GNC. Every day I drink a smoothie for breakfast. A couple months before my birthday, someone (who is not me) left my bottle at the gym and it was gone forever. When I stopped at GNC a couple days later I was told that my bottle was not sold there anymore. I wasn't heartbroken, but I was pretty bummed because that had a narrow mouth which was easier to drink from. So for my birthday S scoured the internet and managed to snag one for me. This is what makes a great present!

Speaking about ipads, they seem to make great presents. I sent one to my sis and I was pleasantly surprised that my mother has learned to use it and doesn't the computer anymore. I was also shocked when my technology challenged father told me that he would like to learn to use the ipad because it seems easy. Say what you may about me being an Apple fangirl, but other companies would be wise to learn from Apple as far as usability goes. But for all this talk about ipads, we still don't own one. S and I have iphones and we have a Macbook Pro that doesn't take all day to boot and it sits on our couch or bed all the time. So I don't have a need for an ipad. I am just going to will the universe into giving me one. I will let you know how that works out.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Joyeux Noel!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thanksgiving Edition

Since it is always fun to make lists, here is a list of little things that I am thankful fo.r

1) S making breakfast for me everyday. I like to sleep in until the last minute possible. S makes a smoothie for me everyday and I just drink it on the way to and at work. It helps me sleep for 10 more minutes every morning and more thankful I could be not.

2) Going home for lunch everyday. I live 5 mins away from work, even with the parking. I love going home for lunch and having my lunch alone. It's my me time, when I can watch TV or play a game or just sit and stare at the wall. Even where there is nothing to eat at home, I buy a sandwich and take it home just so I can be alone for sometime.

3) My iPhone. I am often accused of drinking Apple's kool-aid, but it's seriously the best phone ever. It helps me keep on top of everything and best of all, when I press a button it immediately does what I want it to do without hanging.

4) Mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups at work. This is my all time favorite candy. I am both thankful and resentful that they stock this at work. But sometimes this salty gooey deliciousness in a cup can turn r mood.

5) My erstwhile DVR and now Hulu Plus - for letting me watch my favorite shows even when I don't know which channels and when they are on. I am mess without my dose of Parks and Rec! :)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The "I am Back" Post

Is anyone still waiting for me to post something? :) Please fill up the reason for my blog's sad state with your favorite excuse - work, travel, abducted by aliens.

It's that time of the year where the days become shorter and the air gets chillier. This year I have decided that I have to stop complaining about the weather and try to learn why Wisconsinites look forward to winter. I love summer is because every weekend we are usually out in the sun. Maybe I just need to go out more in the winter to enjoy it. During the winter we usually only step out to go to movies, restaurants, bowling etc. Internet, please hold me responsible this winter.

This is also the time of the year when I miss home terribly. Everyday I talk to my parents and I wonder what I am doing so far away from home. I should just pick up and move back home, but since I am too chicken to do that, I will do the next best thing and talk about how much I miss home. Sometimes you miss the weirdest of things. I miss my mother's cooking. Ok that didn't come out right, let me explain. My mother is a great cook when it comes to typical Tam Bram cooking. I am still not able to recreate her mor kozhambu to perfection. But she was pretty experimental in the kitchen when we were younger and she would try to make north Indian recipes, but somehow Brahminize them. She makes this awesome baby corn masala without using any garam masala or garlic. It tasted like nothing you would ever get at a restaurant and yet it was pretty awesome. (I used to think I inherited her cooking, but while I am a good cook, the results are horrific when I stray from a recipe and add my own substitutions.) I also miss the hustle and bustle of Madras. I am always looking for an excuse to go to State Street, because seeing people walk around me reminds me of T Nagar a teeny bit. Most of all I miss being around people who love me.

Now that the statutory missing-Madras bit is out of the way, let's move on to other things. I am enjoying the Nintendo 3DS very much thank you (you thought there would be a comeback post without any mention of Mario?) To give credit where credit is due, S never skimps on the gifts he gets me. Mind you, he still has trouble picking gifts (does everyone remember the robot incident from 2007?), but anytime I hint that something would be nice, he buys it for me the day after. while this sounds very sweet and romantic, it is very dangerous actually. People who know me in real life know that I have no problem buying expensive stuff for myself. And when I deem something is too expensive or wasteful, I have a husband at home who buys it for me. To add to that, we both like to travel too and never balk at buying flight tickets to somewhere. Coupled with some expensive hobbies and our love for takeout in lieu of actually cooking dinner, I think it is time for us to buckle down for sometime. It's going to be an interesting few months ahead. My plan is to blame S for everything and hope to win the lottery. I will keep you posted on how this works out.

In other depressing news, the number of books I've read in 2011 is shockingly low. Despite the Kindle! I squarely blame Angry Birds for this (see how good I am ) I would go through books in hours when I was younger and now I am reduced to this. I am taking recommendations for new books/authors, so suggest away. Warning: I will judge you, point at you and laugh if you suggest Twilight or anything similar.

So gentle readers, how is life treating everyone?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

On Route to Maui

Hello Interweb peeps. I love you all so much that I am blogging from my phone at the Denver Airport. S is off to get me a panini from "Pour La France" and I decided to let you all know what's up.

When we finally made it to the airport this morning, I was sure that we were going to miss the flight. But we didn't. However the bag we checked in was overweight and we had to stuff some stuff into our carryin. Which was of course flagged at security and they took everything out to make sure we weren't carrying anything suspicious. So S had to sit on that tiny suitcase and close it twice at the airport. Nothing else interesting happened at the airport, except for the flight desk guy asking if we were going back "home" to Hawaii. :)

Am going to wrap it up now as S is back with my eggplant panini. Expect more updates and pictures the next few days.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Contact Lens Saga

I am back to doing what I do best - ranting. This time you get to read about how to order contact lens that you will not get in time for your vacation

As I wrote in my last post, I am going on vacation next week. About six weeks ago, I realized that I was on my last pair of contact lens. I tried to order them online, but my contact lens prescription was too old. So I tried to setup an appointment to get fitted for contact lens and was told that I need to pay for an eye exam to do that. I was really angry about that because I had had an eye exam just eight months ago and I couldn't understand why I had to pay for one again. But I decided to let things slide and asked to make an appointment. The earliest appointment was a week away. I mentioned my upcoming vacation and said that the reason I am making the appointment was to get contact lenses before that. I was assured that my brand of contact lenses would definitely arrive before that. So I went for my appointment and met the doctor. She was really nice to me and I told her about my need to get contact lenses before my vacation. She gave me a trial lens and said that she would order another trial pair and another pair of the one she gave me so that I would be covered for my vacation and after coming back I could order a year supply of the one I liked best. I was wary about this, but agreed to go along because the trial she gave me was different from the one I used before and I was not sure if I wanted to order a box of them. I have astigmatism, so I know and understand that it takes time to order and get lenses for my prescription. But she assured me time and again that I would definitely get the lenses in time. When I didn't get a call from her office, I called them last week to ask about my trial pairs. The person who picked up my phone told me that she hadn't gotten it yet and had no information about when it would arrive. I was seething with anger, but I didn't want to create a scene and hung up politely. So this afternoon, I called them again to be told just just one pair of trial lenses were ordered for me (though the doctor told me she was ordering two). She said that that particular lens usually takes 2-3 weeks to come in and that I could probably expect them sometime next week! When I told her that there was to be another trial lens for me, she said she would put it in now and I would get that in 2-3 days. When I persisted and told her about my vacation and she said that I do have that one pair of trial lens that the doctor gave me the day of the exam and that will have to do.

Gentle readers who have been following the story so far, am I wrong in being angry at the situation? I feel like I have been blindsided here. When I called 1-800-CONTACTS they told me that if I took an eye exam at Walmart, they would get the prescription from them and I would get my lens in a week or 10 days tops. I wanted to support a local business and order the contact lens from the nice local doctor and this is the kind of thing I deal with. While talking to the doctor, I told her that I would be wearing my lens while snorkeling and I was worried that I would lose them in the water and so I wanted more than one pair to tide me over that week. I realize that the doctor's office is not responsible for the delays in getting the lens (unless they forgot to put the order in rightaway), but a little empathy would be nice. Or atleast not promise me 2 pairs of lenses when only one has been ordered. I am eligible for a free eye exam in a couple of months and I would have just waited instead of paying upwards of $100 for an eye exam and no contact lens. Next time I think I should just go the warehouse route and swallow my feelings about Walmart and just get my eyes tested there.

Updated : I got a call yesterday saying one of the trials had arrived. I was ecstatic. When I went to pick them up this afternoon the other one had come too. So this is what I had planned exactly. The only caveat is that, the lens that had taken longer to arrive (the ones that are supposed to match my prescription better) are expensive and they want it back if I don't decide to buy a box. Which means I can't wear them while snorkeling. I can deal with that :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mish Mash Post

Hello my dear lovelies. I forgot to sign up for the Indie Ink Challenge this week. I went through the archives of past challenges and I picked one - a story of how I fell in love with my husband. But as I started writing it, it was too long and mushy and not very interesting (think Ross and Rachel from Friends). So I thought I could do a general post about what's happening in my life right now.

I am most excited about our trip to Hawaii next week. This is the first trip and S and I are taking together that is longer than 4 days (not much longer, it's just a week) I feel so nice and adultish to tell everyone that we are going away to Maui for a week, especially since our honeymoon never happened. S and I are the kind of people who take their travel booking very very seriously. We stayed up an entire Friday night (till 6am, no kidding) arguing and trying to decide which island to visit. S won that round (I wanted to go to Oahu), so if anything goes wrong in this trip, I can always blame him. When we picked the island, we had the harrowing choice of picking the hotel. Do we pick a resort or a condo? Do we want to cook during the vacation? Will the island have enough vegetarian friendly restaurants so that we aren't eating salads for every meal? Finally my parents came to our rescue and my Dad said that he didn't want his first born princess cook while on vacation (He actually said that since we do so much takeout during regular days, he didn't foresee us turning on the stove while on vacation. He also said Oahu has a lot more historic significance and to go there for our first visit, but we chose to ignore that) Once we figured out that we were going be staying on a resort, I had my heart set on this hotel on Ka'anapali Beach (The reason I liked this hotel was because it has a gigantic kickass pool - I know the beach is just a few meters away and I am weird for fixating on the pool, but humor me). We were pricing the vacation on Priceline and it gave us a number slightly more than our budget if we left on that particular week in August. S okayed it (the man has a problem saying no to me, he would buy me the moon with his credit card if he could) And then Priceline turned on us, it kept telling us that this price was not available though it turned up on the results. We started looking at other, more affordable hotels on the Ka'anapali Beach and me finding faults with all of them and wistfully going back to the website of the one I liked to ooh and aah at the pictures. After two hours of this, S put his foot down and booked this hotel on expedia (Yup I am that spoiled :)) And this is how we came to book our most expensive vacation to date which cost almost 2 months of my paycheck.

So we are off to Hawaii in 2 weeks and I am most excited. I will be taking my laptop with me and I am planning to post a picture everyday. We are planning on snorkeling, snuba diving, taking a rainforest and waterfalls hike, watching the sunrise from Haleakala Crater, driving on the Road to Hana, rafting the sea caves at Kanaio Coast and taking in a luau. So much for a relaxing vacation. But we may end up not doing all of these, especially considering my limited swimming skills. I hope to write a recap when I get back and I guess that will cover what we did do.

In other earth shattering news, we canceled our satellite TV service. I can hear a collective gasp from all cable stations right now! It's not because we want to cut down on our TV watching (honestly, we don't watch a lot of TV) But I would DVR a lot of sitcom reruns and all we were doing was watching Seinfeld, That 70s Show, Will & Grace and Frasier over and over again. We figured getting rid of cable would force us into watching shows that we really want to watch, but we don't because we don't want to hunt for it on Netflix or iTunes - like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Pushing Daisies etc. Also S and I are huge fans of Lost and we are thinking about re-watching the series. And if we save some $$ every month by doing this, why not? We connected one of our old laptops to the TV and bought a nifty little wireless keyboard and mouse the size of a remote and use that to stream what we want to the TV. We plan to get a HD antenna for the TV so that we can watch the local channels. People tell me that it is possible to build your own DVR on your laptop and if the antenna works out well we plan to build one as well. It's been working well so far. I am more motivated to go to the gym in the evenings now since I can watch TV there. There are some things I miss - like Conan on TBS. But they upload the entire episode on teamcoco.com the next day. I will survive. The icing on the cake - no commercials.

If you have been reading so far, congratulations, you are now at the end of the post. The only thing you need to take away from this post is - I am going to Maui in a week and you are not :)