Saturday, October 25, 2008
1) Getting the green light at 4 intersections in a row
2) The tiny speaker that S bought me so that I can listen to songs on my ipod without headphones
3) Frozen custard at Goodberry's. Mmmmm
4) Catching the comedy show on Aahaa FM at nights
5) Discovering the new address of one my favorite bloggers whom I had lost track of and reading all her posts that I had missed in one go
6) Watching Ramany vs Ramany on rajshri.com
In difficult times, it always nice to make such a list! I recommend this exercise to everyone who is even mildly depressed or not in love with life
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Smrithi went back to her Google Reader and continued reading comments on her new blog post. Another tab was open simultaneously where she was googling for tips on switching to Wordpress.
“Vasu, have you kept the dhoti and towel aside to wear to the temple tomorrow?”, Ramanujam intoned. “Eduthu vechuten naa*, I have washed and have let them dry separately on the terrace. And Geetha had come by today, it seems her brother's daughter has given birth to a son. We should go and see the baby next week. Also we should book tickets to Kancheepuram for the Utsavam. We should ask if your sister and her aathukarar** want to come with us. We don't want them to complain like last year.” Vasu droned on, all the while cutting vegetables for the night's dinner. “Ayyoo, I forgot totally about tickets. I have to book soon, else we have to travel in the General Compartment. You think of everything di.” Ramanujam smiled, and then added softly as an after thought, “Kannamma.”
Vasudha smiled and hummed all the time while making kootu***. Some how the pressure cooker's refusal to give a whistle didn't bother her as much today. She decided to serve curd tonight instead of buttermilk and didn't worry about having enough for tomorrow. After all some days are more special than others.
* - I have kept it aside
** - Husband
*** - A vegetable and lentil preparation
Saturday, August 30, 2008
OMG! I just remembered I have not updated this since last month... You would not believe how insane my life has become. But I'm sorry you'll just have to take my word for it..
I am overwhelmed with finding Jesus (after someone told me he was lost), waiting for the onshore winds, just generally being a nuisance to my local police, my day goes from the second I am woken by murderous Teletubbies to I see my darling's 10000 text messages. I am not complaining though. life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
I won't promise anything to you but I will try to remember my blog password more often in future. Until I need your shoulder to cry on, this is for my ever faithful, devoted public..
Thursday, July 24, 2008
>> 1) Printing personal stuff on the office printer
Well this is a moral grey area. But I do tend to print out air tickets, maps etc. But using it for anything more than 10 pages is cheap.
>> 2) Taking office stationery or pens home
Again cheap. But I am guilty of having some office pens, post it notes etc in my bag. This in itself is cheap, but taking thinks like staplers is really super cheap.
>> 3) Buying clothes at Walmart or thrift/second hand clothing stores
No. I could never do this. Walmart clothes are cheap, but they look and feel cheap too. I have heard horror stories of people returning clothes after wearing them and I really don't know if Walmart just places them back on the shelves.
>> 4) Driving without the ac on on a hot day to save gas
Well, this isn't ethically wrong and in fact anything to save gas is a good thing. But again, I don't think I could do this, coz I am a brat and I love my comforts :-)
>> 5) Taking home sugar or ketchup packets, tissues, plastic cutlery etc home from a fast food joint.
Cheap! But I have been guilty of this a couple of times. Sometimes when I am on a long road trip, I do take tissues to the car. And once when we ran out of sugar at home, I took some sugar packets from the campus coffee shop. (In my defense I don't have a car and the nearest supermarket is 2 miles away)
>> 6) Tipping less than 15% or even not tipping
Super duper cheap. But I have noticed a lot of desis doing this. 15% is the minimum tip to leave. It is not a generous tip, but it's a decent one. 20% is righteous. I tip between 15-20% on all times. As should you all. Waiters really depend on the tip for survival, they are paid minimum wage or even lesser in most establishments.
>> 7) Sharing a refill drink
Ewww again. This is so not cool.
>> 8) Sneaking soda and snacks into the movie theatre
Well this isn't very cool either, but I have been guilty of this a couple of times and would really like to do more of this. But these people charge $4 for a small glass of soda. $4 can buy a 12 can pack at the grocery store. I mean I pay $6 for my movie ticket! Move theatre popcorn is of course sacrosanct. Everyone knows a movie is not a movie without popcorn!
>> 9) Insist on separate checks when going out on a group
Well, I guess there is nothing wrong in doing this. I have borne the brunt of this many times (being the vegtarian, non drinker of the group). But I never feel like asking for separate checks. Of course I will happily take advantage if someone else suggests them :-)
>> 10) Cutting coupons and shopping at 3 different stores for monthly groceries
A smart, wise move! I don't do this right now, but I certainly hope to do this once I am married and have my own home. (Imagine me wearing an apron and cutting aprons. I feel all housewife-y :-) )
So there you go gentle readers. I've done my part. You guys go and have a fun weekend.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I have a list of situations below and I have three possible responses to each.
1) This is lousy. It's wrong immorally/legally - Skank
2) Well, I don't think it's wrong, but it's borderline - Cheap
3) Yup, that's a good one. I do it/like to do this - Smart
It would be great if you can classify each situation as Skank, Cheap or Smart. Because I want to be neutral, I am going to reserve my comments until I get good response.
1) Printing personal stuff on the office printer
2) Taking office stationery or pens home
3) Buying clothes at Walmart or thrift/second hand clothing stores
4) Driving without the ac on on a hot day to save gas
5) Taking home sugar or ketchup packets, tissues, plastic cutlery etc home from a fast food joint.
6) Tipping less than 15% or even not tipping
7) Sharing a refill drink
8) Sneaking soda and snacks into the movie theatre
9) Insist on separate checks when going out on a group
10) Cutting coupons and shopping at 3 different stores for monthly groceries
So answer away people!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
So I started my Tennis lessons yesterday. It was fun. It's a group class and has 5 other girls. Minutes before class, when we were warming up and so, memories of tennis classes at school came hurtling across and for a minute I was very very scared. Wehn I was 8 years old, Appa enrolled me in Tennis classes thinking I would grow up to be another Steffi Graf. And I was pretty enthused about the classes too especially 'coz my parents bought me a new racquet, tennis skirt, T shirt, wrist band and such. The classes beagan innocently enough. And I was the only girl in class. Also the only one who couldn't hit the ball over the net. Who was teased incessantly. I started sleeping in late hoping Appa would let me skip class. But he was still nursing Steffi dreams and so he would bundle me up for class every single day no matter how late it was. But that was a blessing in disguise since I would be made to jog around the grounds to warm up before starting which meant missing more class time. This went on for 2 years until I had a small health problem (totally not due to tennis) and the doctor said that it mighhtt be better to skip classes for a month. I grabbed onto those words and didn't go another class. And we used the 2 tennis racquets to play cricket at home.
There have been a lot of things that I have been wanting to do lately. I really want to take art lessons. I am not very good at it, but I am not bad too. I took glass painting classes in Hyderabad (it was just one class and that female charged 1000 for that!!) and Amma tells me that people have been complimenting my work. I want to work on my swimming and atleast get back to where I was when I was in school. I told everyone that I am renting a bike and biking around Lake Monona. But very embarassingly I slept in. I should do this sometime soon to redeem my pride. :-) I also want to learn a new language and I am auditing Beginning Spanish next sem. But considering I have a couple of tough courses next sem, I might have to drop this course. I also want to write more. Ever since S got me a journal I have been trying to write more and I wrote 2 poems in the first couple of weeks. But I seem to be dry once again. Want to write more short stories too, but unable to get beyond the starting sentences. As I was looking back on old posts I find that I used to write much better than now. Perhaps it had something to do with more readership back then :-) This is all for my personal todo list.
I have taken up a netflix membership recently and I want to rave about how good it is. Netflix rules. I am currently on a 2 DVD at a time membership and they are very quick to ship the next set. I usually get the new ones the day after they receive my old ones. Which is pretty cool. And also they have the "Watch Instantly" feature that lets me watch selected movies and sitcoms on
Monday, July 14, 2008
when I started looking for online banks, I had 2 options - HSBC Direct and ING. Since HSBC was offering 3.5% as opposed to the 3% offered by ING. Also HSBC allowed me to link how many ever accounts I wanted to the Savings account. Naturally I tried to open an account. It seemed easy enough - fill out basic details and then the trial deposits. But even after confirming my trial deposits, my account was pending - awaiting documentation. They said that they needed some form of address proof (bank statement, utility bill) and so on. Since I am now in Wisconsin, I ask my roommates to send over some utility bills. And I fax them and wait for the prescribed 48 hours, which then becomes 72 hours. So I call the Customer Service. After waiting for nearly 15 minutes (while listening to "exxccitng" new from HSBC) I reach a human. She tells me that they didn't receive the fax and ask me to resend it. By this time I am a little impatient and so I resend the fax and wait another 3 days. I get am email reminding me to send it again. I was raving mad when I picked the phone and called them. They tell me that they did receive the document, but the bill was older then 60 days (it was 63 days old) and so they cannot use it. This seems reasonable enough, but nobody told me this while opening the account. And would it have killed them to send me an email rather than wait for me to call them?? So I fax over another document that's pretty recent and send it out on the same day (last Wednesday morning). On Friday I give them a call to hear them say that they didn't receive the fax and that a specialist would call me on Monday morning 8:00 a.m. It's 10:00 a.m and no call. So I give them a call and after waiting for an eternity I am told that they didn't receive my fax. And when I complain about how it's 3 weeks now since I started to open my account, the customer rep tells me "You are not the only applicant you know"!!!
I have cancelled my application with them and opened one with ING. The experience has been pleasant and hassle free till now. I talked to a Customer Service agent before opening the account (and I got a human within 2 minutes). She was polite and assured me that they needed no documentation from me. Plus I was referred by someone and so I get a $25 referral bonus. Sweeet! And since I am not going to be saving millions, a 0.5% doesn't matter much, in fact it might be lesser than the $25 I earned. And if I things go well with my Savings account, I will open a Checking account with them and you can link as many accounts you want with that. Plus you can write checks. So it's win win win for me.
HSBC just lost themselves a loyal customer (hopefully the business of the people reading this blog too). I am not a person who chases after interest and I would have stuck to them for years.
So the moral of the story is : HSBC Stinks. And it pays to have a good Customer Support and Admin system.
P.S Wanted to write a post on something else, but HSBC irritated me so much that I had to put this up. I am usually patient with such things 'coz once you get the system rolling, you don't have to worry about other things. But they really got my goat.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
For instance chocolate. I was a chocolate lover and I used to say that out. Loudly. To everyone I met. I even had a theory that I would not go out with a guy if he didn't get me chocolate frequently. But since I came to the US, I have started moving towards peanut covered chocolates. The place I am doing my internship has an awesome pantry with hot chocolate (with marshmellows) and a well stocked candy jar. The only candy I take from there are Reese Peanut Butter Cups. And I sometimes scrap the chocolate off the top and eat just the chunky peanut butter. If I ever feel like buying chocolates outside, I buy peanut M&Ms. And I have taken to eating Vanilla ice cream, after eating ONLY chocolate ice cream (sometimes chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate sauce) for the past 24 years. I don't seem to like chocolate so much any more. This is very distressing for me to say the least. Asking a guy to get chocolate on a date is romantic. But asking for a jar of peanut butter or Reese Peanut Butter Cups, and him watching me scrap the chocolate off and gobble the rest, is surely going to crimp my style.
It's not just chocolate. I seem to started to love shopping, even window shopping. All these years in India, I've never had an urge to shop. H had to literally drag me to shops. And even when I did go shopping, it would all be in one shop, and finished in 15 minutes - doesn't matter if I am buying a silk saree or night pajamas. In fact that used to be in USP to attract guys, that they would never have to wait outside a fitting room, carrying 15 bags, knowing there would be no dinner until shopping is done. And I used to hate jewellery of any kind. Amma had to drag me to the jewellers under false pretexes to make me buy gold. But things seem to have changed now. I seem to be shopping with a vengence now, as if to make up for all the lost years. Just yesterday I spent about $200 on clothes, accessories and other associated items. It doesn't help that I have to walk through the mall everyday to get home from the bus stop. Coming to jewelery, though I still hate yellow gold, I've discovered something wonerful called white gold - just as expensive as the yellow one,, but much prettier. And now I know why diamonds are a girl's best friend. I have about 25 new best friends now. It doesn't stop with just these. I seem to be addicted to grocery shopping as well. What used to be a chore once upon a time seems to be a magical time. I spend almost an hour on just the cereal aisle.
And there's more. Where I've sworn to never let my hair loose, I am now refusing to tie them up (thanks to a wonderful hair stylist who has convinced me I have great hair and taught me style it well. Here's a tip for all (or any) Madison woman reading my blog. Rejuvenation Spa on Mineral Point rocks, especially Jeanna for hair) I am wearing my contact lens to work on most days a week (This is an improvement, considering I used to wear them like once in 2 months when I was in India) I am hunting for a pink T shirt, where I've once laughed at H's pink salwar kameez. In fact when I was buying a tennis racquet yesterday (I am starting tennis classes next week you suckers!), when the salesman suggested a pink racquet, I almost considered it. Oh and before I forget, my bargaining and deal sniffing skills seems to have increased substancially (i.e move up from the zero that I used to be, to say 20%)
I don't know what to make of these changes. S seems to be convinced that aliens have abducted the real me and substituted it with a zestier fake. Amma is alarmed at the amount of money that I am spending (which they are sending from India for my "education") and feels that I am doing all this shopping just 'coz it isn't my money. And she want's me to lay off both chocolates and peanuts and start eating fruits instead. Appa either doesn't notice anything or if he did, is too scared to say anything. I am sure Paati will say this is the corrupting influence the West is having on me.
But I feel that I am turning into a woman. I used to be this distracted soul when it came to such matters like shopping or dressing up. So after a quarter century, my mind has grasped that I am a girl and should act and behave as one. What about the chocolate/peanut butter you ask? Well I think that's just to throw off my bf/husband and start an argument "You don't care about me" or "You've changed". Suppose he comes walking in on Valentine's day with a box of dark chocolate, I can just throw it on his face. Yeah, that sounds good.
This really is exciting news. Maybe I will soon start going "Awwwwww" when I see kids and not feel that they are a nuisance. Maybe I will even *gasp* smile indulgently when they start throwing a tantrum in the movie theatre. Well, maybe not that.
So the million people who read my blog, what's your diagnosis?
P.S1 Wanted to title this post "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar", but I was worried that I would scare away readers who think this is a real feminist post.
P.S2 Want to majorly uphaul the blog template. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Friends - This was the sitcom that had the most influence on me, the one that made me realize that I am hooked to sitcoms. Popular vote says that the most irritating person in this is Janice. But since this is my blog and all that, I say that Phoebe is the worst of the lost. She is the least unattractive, flaky and high maintenance too on top of that. I can't believe that Mike married her. So repeat after me here, "We hate Phoebe"
Everybody Loves Raymond - One of my most favoritesht sitcoms ever - I am just 3 seasons short of owning the whole series on DVD. I think I have to go with Marie on this. I know she is integral to the story and all that, but hate her. (Sometimes hate Ray too for being a wuss, but my final vote is for Marie)
Will and Grace - I had to think a bit for this one. H hates Karen Walker, but somehow I can never bring myself to hate her. The person I hate is a tie between Bobbi Adler (Grace's mother) and Tina (Will's father's mistress).
Frasier - Yet another "comfort" sitcom. Frasier never fails to cheer me up when I am down. In fact I am reading "So Far", Kelsey Grammer's autubiography right now. Ironically this is the one sitcom of which I don't own a single DVD (Hint hint ;-)). I can't think of any particular person to hate, so I am going to go with Aswin and give the title to Lilith.
Cheers - I started watching this mainly to understand the "Cheers" comments in Frasier. Ted Danson is brilliant (which is why I started watching Becker) But I am not able to choose between Diane, Carla and Cliff. All the 3 aer irritating in their own right. Since I hate permed hair, I think I am voting off Carla for having the ugliest kind of hair on top of being nasty.
Drew Cary Show - Mimi for obvious reasons. No more discussion
That 70s Show - Another hilarious show. I spent a lot of time watching this show when I should have been doing my homework. I guess that explains my GPA :-) And I like both Jackie and Eric. But I do hate Michael's brother, the Kelso who dates Donna. (I think Donna is pretty overrated, especially when she leaves Eric. But nah, don't hate her)
Three's Company - I hate Chrissy! I know all you guys like dumb but hot blondes and thats the premise for a lot of humor. But I've always felt that Chrissy was taking it too far. In fact I liked the seasons in which she was replaced with Cindy.
30 Rock - One of the best comedies that's on air right now. So it's kinda tough to find someone to hate, but I think I do hate Frank. The dumb caps, lazy drawl and slobby looks don't get any love from me.
We are talking about sitcoms and things we hate - my two favorite topics. So I cold go on and on and on. So having my readers' well being in mind, I stop with these.
So gentle readers, I now leave you with lots of people to hate. So hate away and send me a little blog love (read comments)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Given the rise of popularity of fantasy books these days, he has just made use of a good story and written in a racy manner. If it is one thing I hate, it is written Hinglish or Tanglish. Why Banker chose to intersperse dialogues with colloquial Hindi is something I don't understand. It isn't as if all dialogues are in Hindi, why choose to write just a few in Hindi? I can understand use of some sanskrit words like brahman, but why Hindi?? And he's added a lot of cheese to his book. For example, Lakshmanan is called Luck and Shatrugnan is called Shot! These reminded me of those Danish Prophet cartoons. I wonder if anyone in the Shiv Sena has read this book. Another thing that rankled me was the use of the phrase "brahman sorcery" very freely. What does Banker want to convey with this? I have not read the original Ramayana by Valmiki or Kamban and my source is mainly grandma stories and the TV. I don't want him to conceal facts about Dasaratha's wives or Lord Rama's follies. I just wish he would choose a language to write in (Hindi/English/Assamese or whatever) and stick to it.
If you think of it as just another book, leaving the religious part aside, I would say the book is well written. The narration is fast and descriptive. But another irritating thing that Banker does is to switch between scenes in the same chapter without warning. It is misleading and quite annoying especially towards the end. I suggest he read The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud to see how it should be handled. Also the review I read, gave an impression that Banker's works contained soft porn - it talked of orgasms and fondling of breasts. I've read the whole book and there is no mention of those anywhere! You can buy these books for kids - the ones who loved Harry Potter would love these too.
Final verdict: Read if you want to reread the Ramayana and don't have the patience to read lengthy Sanskrit translations
P.S. Coming up next post, a list of characters I absolutely hate from famous sitcoms. Any ideas?
Friday, June 13, 2008
I am not going to do a review 'coz I don't want to give away spoilers. I loved the movie through and through. It had me laughing in some parts, crying in others and spellbound in most parts. I think Appa can now be a little relieved that his girl has some amount of Iyengar ness in her, 'coz the scenes of Govindarajar moved me to tears that my Lord had faced all this in the past. I am thankful to this movie for a near perfect portrayal of brahmins, especially Iyengars after the mockery that was Anniyan. The diction, pronunciation, costume was authentic.
The few people who still read my blog, do go and watch the movie as soon as you can!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The tag asks us to state 5 previously unknown quirks/facts about yourself
So after 4 strange facts and one mini rant, I think I am done with the tag. And since no-one reads this blog I don't feel the need to pass this on.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
There are lots of these, coz I am the best planner and the worst implementor. Some of my recent plans are
* Volunteer at a community theatre
* Learn Spanish (I am already registered for Elementary Spanish for Fall 08 Woohoo! )
* I would like to go for some art classes. But I feel so intimidated since I have had no formal training after my school days.
* I would really really really like to learn to play tennis! But again, the intimidation factor. Maybe I should join a class in Madison.
* Go to the gym regularly (This has been on my list for many many years)
* Read some non-fiction
Well I guess I covered all of them in the above category
Well, I am a big dreamer and half the time I kind of zone out and forget where I am. I used to do a lot of role playing when I was younger and even drew maps of imaginary islands (I drew them in detail right down to cities, states, rivers, their tributaries and so on)
I would also like to take a year off from work and spend it on trying to write a book. I don't fancy myself to be an awesome writer, but still it would feel great to have a book. Even if it doesn't get published, the very idea of writing one appeals to me. But then, I don't deal very well with self-imposed deadlines (I should be studying for my Wireless Networks finals right now). So I guess the year might just be spent more on TV and other things than writing :-) )
So that is it, tag is done! Thanks Fathi for tagging me. Writing this has been cathartic.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So as I was sitting here, wondering what to write, I realized that it is easiest to write about things I don't like. After all I do have a lot of them.
So what's it with these companies who interview and then don't get back? The least you can do is to send a line saying you are not interested. I don't expect a response from every company I send my resume to. But if you are going to set up an interview and have people talk to me, the least you can do is to send me an email saying you found some "stronger" candidate or some other corporate balderdash.
And while I am at it, what's up with these catty mommy bloggers anyway? I mean they go around bitching about anyone and everyone and when someone disagrees, they pounce on them say that its their blog and they can write what they want. But God forbid, if someone actually disses mommy blogs, they get their claws out, head out to that blog and actually try to tear the blogger in question apart. So its one rule for you and one for them?? Grow up first so that you can raise your kids right. (Since exactly three people read this blog, I can say what I want without having the mommy brigade behind me :-))
Oh I almost forgot the "Hi how are you" group on gtalk, who ping thus when they want something done. I know you don't ping me unless you want something. So cut the crap. I don't wanna talk niceties with you for 15 minutes. Just tell me what you want and if I can do it and want to do it I will. Don't start asking about my parents, sister and teddy bears in India.
Thats a lot of vitriol for you guys. I feel so much better, this is cheaper than therapy! :-) So long!
Friday, March 28, 2008
And yet, here I am blogging. Slaving away for you all, my kind readers. (Thanks will be accepted in the Comments box. Thanks in cash will be appreciatively accepted)
So how are you all doing? Yes you, you and you. Tell me what's happening. As for me, I am just turning into a sitcom fairy. I am hooked to abc.com, cwtv.com, hulu.com and all the other magic sites that just keep dishing out new episodes of my favourites - like How I Met Your Mother. I mean, I absolutely love that show. Esp Barney and his suits. Even as I am typing it, I have a window with the latest episode with Britney on. (PS I think Britney looks adorable in that episode). And it doesn't stop with just that. I have just sobbed through half a season of "8 Simple Rules". I also watch "Aliens in America" and trying to find Dharma and Greg online. And LOST! Where do I start?
So if any of you have any idea about how to kick off this addiction, comments box please. Rest of you, just grab some popcorn and visit hulu.com
PS1 - I am soo pschyed, I totally wrote this post in 10 minutes. It usually takes hours!
PS2 - So, I write this deep come-back post that just pours my heart open and NO COMMENTS?? C'mon guys, someone notices that I've come back right?
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Raghuvaran has always been one of my favorite actors who commanded respect in all his roles. Right from his first movie (Ezhavadu Manidhan), to a villain, to a gentle father (Anjali). I have always felt that he was capable of much more. In fact in the mid-late 90s there were some rumours that Shankar was going to use Raghuvaran as the hero in his next movie and I kept waiting for that to happen. Still remember seeing him, Rohini and his son at the Devasthanam temple in T.Nagar when I was still in school. RIP!
Death is the most irrevocable change I can think of and every time something like this happens, I wonder about my own moratality and if I will truly start existing after I die. I know the brain controls my thoughts, but I always think of my mind as being right behind my forehead and not in the middle of my head. So what happens to my thoughts, my feelings when I die. I have trouble believing eveything vanishes when blood stops going to the brain. But there are cases of amnesia, where damage to some parts of the brain, causes people to forget things. So is this all there is to an individual, some pieces of wrinkled tissue bathed in blood?
Updated: Was talking to my dad about this and he said that I was named Sujatha (which is what my family calls me) 'coz my dad was a big fan of his work.