Friday, December 28, 2007

As the year winds down...

I am off to Seattle in a couple of hours. The paranoid person that I am, I have packed my entire collection of winter clothes (plus a collection of summer clothes to wear under them - more layers are better, no?) after hearing reports of snow there. When I looked at all the stuff I had gathered to be packed, I felt like I was packing to move out of my apartment :-)!

After the longest time, I actually have check-in baggage while traveling local. To think that all this drama is for a matter of four measly days - heheheh :-)!

See ya all next year! May the year 2008 be the bestest year of your life yet :-)!

Happy New Year folks :-D!

Be good and safe on New Year's eve!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Benefits of blogging - updated

Remember that tag I did sometime back? An "interview" about my blog? This one? Well, it had a question in it:
Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?
I gave some response at that time. But now I think I have the correct answer to the question: Blogging gets me homemade polis :-D!

Here is how:

A few days ago, conversation on gchat between fun blogger Rads and me went like this (English translation of Tamil phrases in italics):
Rads: oy
howdy do
i made polis ;)

me: Good good :-)
enakku venum :-( (I want some too)

Rads: bobbattus = bolis

me: can you fedex some over?

Rads: sure
address tha (give your address)

me: aiii nejamaava :-D? (yippeee, really?)

Rads: yes re
address give

me: ooooooooh super cool
aiii (yippeeee)

Rads: give giev :)

me: wait me sending address immediately
Sure enough, yesterday in my mail box, I found a USPS package with Rads' return address on it. In a super sweet gesture, Rads had actually sent the polis I had asked for :-)! I broke into a huge grin and opened it. Inside were nestled three delicious polis :-). They taste absolutely super-duper delicious. Thank you so much Rads :-D!

I tell ya, if blogging is indirectly giving me such yummy returns, I should seriously consider taking it up full time ;-D!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays folks :-)!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

That's odd

I have written 28 (20 + 8) specific things about myself on this blog already. But this tag which Joy passed on to me asked me to list weird things about myself. So in this time's exercise in narcissism, I shall list 7 weird things about myself (pretending that none of the other 28 things about myself were in anyway weird :-P).

1. Whenever I eat cereals/oatmeal, I *have* to wash the bowl as soon as I am done no matter how much of a hurry I am in. I will not leave the place till the bowl is clean and dripping on the dish rack. Note: this obsession only extends to cereal bowls.

2. Similarly, before I leave my room in the morning I always fold the blankets/comforter irrespective of how lazy or rushed I am. Everything else can be nowhere near tidy but seeing messy blankets/comforters irritates me a lot. By extension, I automatically fold any bed linen lying around when I visit other folks too.

3. Many of my most favorite (current and past) songs are melodious but sad. I can listen to them at anytime, regardless of my mood. Somehow I connect with sad songs in a way which leaves me feeling blissful (!?!) and at peace. Some songs which have been on the list: Engey enadhu kavidhai, Laakad jalke, You'll think of me, Poongatrile, Tadap tadap, Linger, Pesa madanthai ... The most recent addition is Jag soona soona from OSO - the song is just so beautiful.

4. Though the above point might have lead you to believe so, I am usually not a morose person. I am optimistic to a fault, trust almost everyone whether warranted or not and generally think the world is a beautiful place. Kinda like the kid who, when given a crate of worthless manure as a christmas present, starts digging through it enthusiastically, “Because there’s gotta be a pony in there somewhere!”. You can imagine how easily I can get conned :-)!

5. I love croutons. All my plans of having a healthy lunch by hitting the salad bar are nullified by me topping the salad off with a whole lot of croutons. I am pretty confident that I can happily finish a "salad" having nothing but croutons in them.

6. Sometimes, when I am really enjoying something at current time, I start dreaming and longing for the next time of such enjoyment. I know, duh! Some living in the moment I do!

7. I tend to worry about completely running out of essentials and so, like a boy scout, I am always prepared. At my house, you will always find at least two extra cans of salt, tubes of toothpaste, boxes of tea, bottles of moisturizer (ya, that is an "essential" according to me) etc. in addition to the currently used supply. In case of an emergency, I think the grocery store can come borrow from me :-)!


No, this time I am not passing the tag to anyone. Only one soul (you rock, SK :-)) I passed the last tag to did it and I am now hurted *pout* *sulk*. Okay, okay, pipe down the celebration, will ya!?!

Update: Just realized that this is post number 250. Yaay :-)! I am too lazy to hunt for dancing numbers this time.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Random weekend notes

- This kinda news might be getting old now, but I met another blogger friend past weekend :-D - Pratap (yeah that's The Kid). It was great to finally meet him in person - he is just like I thought he would be and it was super fun :-)! Seriously, it is awesome to meet people for the very first time and yet feel like you have known them forever. Viva la blogs (and la email, la gchat and la phone) :-)!

- I watched Ajith's Billa. Man, that guy needs some serious exercise - or at least should stop wearing fitting shirts when he has a gently protruding pot belly. He looked like a majestic temple elephant in the dance sequences - I presume his substantial girth precluded fast dancing. The movie itself was unintentionally hilarious - everyone in the theater was ROFL-ing even during many of the so called serious scenes!

- I put my hands on a Wii for the very first time. It is SO addictive - a whole bunch of hours went by without me noticing it till I realized with a start that it was past midnight. I am now actively encouraging the Wii-owning friend to invest in some more games - hehehehe ;-)!

- What is it with the Bay Area this December? A whole bunch of people I know are coming down visiting in the next few weeks! I was feeling sympathy for the poor sods who were going to come to California thinking it is going to be a tropical paradise - only to get a rude shock on encountering the cold weather here. That is, until the next point happened.

- Pratap (who is from the Midwest) showed up in a half-sleeved t-shirt. Ah, he must be thick skinned, I smugly thought. Then I met V and her family from Washington state. All of them, including her 3-year-old daughter, were dressed up like it was summer. V gushed, "Oh man, what awesome lovely weather you folks have here!" - while I gaped at her from my sweater-jeans-shoes attired self. Oh well, at least all of them conceded that night-time was "a bit" chilly.

- I caught up with V after a reallllllly long time. V is an old friend of mine and of course, it was great :-D.

- I am seriously short on sleep now. However a loooooooooong 4-day weekend is right around the corner. Eeeeeeehaaaaaw :-D!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Public Service Announcement

My dear friend Shilpa has resurrected her blog - yaaay! Just thought old readers of this blog who used to follow her blog too might be interested in the info.

Actually, the real reason is I thought I should do something constructive for her blog after pestering her so much to restart posting!

Welcome back, girl :-D!

Sunday, December 09, 2007


A while ago, I had gone to see the latest James Bond movie - Casino Royale. All through the opening credits, I wondered why so much animation based on playing cards was being shown. Sometime into the movie, casinos and playing cards came into the picture sporadically. I still did not make the connection. Finally, when James Bond and the villain started playing a high stakes poker game, it finally hit me - the casino in Casino Royale referred to a gambling casino (duh!) and the cards in the opening credits referred to the poker game (ya, I can be pretty slow that way).

Despite this flash of enlightenment, from that point onwards, I could no longer fully follow the movie. You see, though I have dabbled in a few card games (trump, rummy, judgement, literature, ass and so on) poker is a card game which, though I have heard a lot about, I have never actually played and hence could not follow.

While the movie progressed with lots of excitement (for the people on screen) when words like full house and flush cropped up, I was totally lost. The only full house I knew of was when I had a lot of guests over and flush was something I did whenever I used the restroom. This considered, I just decided to decipher the results of the game in the movie based on the reactions of the actors.

Once I got back home, I looked up poker on the ever-dependable Wikipedia. Of course, nothing made much sense. Nevertheless, I dutifully forwarded the article to my parents, who were going to watch Casino Royale the next day so that at least they could enjoy the movie better. And soon forgot all about learning to play poker.

Yesterday, I went over to visit some friends. They had a poker set and we decided to play. V and me were new to poker having never played before. R and S were three games old and being more experienced, were our instructors. They explained the basic rules of play. Then, to help us all with determining our hand, we opened the wiki page with the hand rank details and used it as reference.

To make it more interesting, the four of us decided to start off with a five-buck-a-person supply of chips. After a trial round which V promptly won ("Beginner's luck!" R and S said), we started proper play.

None of us being pros or even seasoned players, each of us settled into our own style of playing. R would keep raising for no special rhyme or reason - his strategy seemed to be based on blind luck rather than anything else. It did not help that his luck supply was running rather low yesterday :-). S would get super excited whenever she got a good hand and would bet very high early on and thus cause everyone else to panic and fold immediately :-). V would keep raising the stakes. When the time came for him to actually show his hand, he would frantically start looking for all permutations and combinations which might lead to a winning hand. I was playing conservatively. If I stayed long enough in a round, it usually meant that I had something to show for it.

Initially, other than poor R, the rest of us seemed to be doing decently. Then, much to R's and V's dismay, the chips started vanishing from their piles and reappearing on mine or S's. Still, there was a lot of good natured teasing, plotting and joking going on. All the while, the excellent homemade fudge and fudge topping made by S kept us company. It was so much fun and we played on for a really long time.

At the end of the day, I had won the most (yaaay!) followed closely by S. R and V had, of course, contributed everything of what S and I won :-D! I happily said that we should do this more often ;-). V declared that the next time I came over I would probably be reaching for the poker set even before I took off my footwear - hehehehe!

So now I am a poker pro (!?!) . Say "poker" and watch me talk with great proficiency about Straight Flushes, Two pairs and what not.

And yet another item on the list of things I have always wanted to learn checked :-).

Monday, December 03, 2007

A sad hairy tale

Last week, I got it into my head that I should definitely cut my hair before the end of next week (December 9). Why, you may ask? I just decided it should be so for no particular reason. So I called up the salon to make an appointment with my favorite hair stylist, N. It turned out that N was on vacation and would be back only on the 15th of December which was beyond my hair-cut deadline. So though I had misgivings (I really need to start listening to these nagging doubts) I scheduled an appointment with another stylist for last Saturday.

Saturday noon I set off with great enthusiasm to the salon - phew, after months of long (by my standards) hair, finally I was going to get a new look with shorter hair. The new stylist, S, was a very friendly lady. She chatted about general stuff with me and then asked what I wanted her to do with my hair. So I said "Please cut it to shoulder length, with layers around the face".

She was aghast at the amount of hair I wanted to chop off and literally wailed "But why? You have such beautiful hair!" I said I was bored of my long hair. She confirmed with me again before starting to cut, "Are you sure you want to cut this?"

When I confirmed with a "Yes" again, she said more to console herself than me "Oh well, it will grow back." Then the cutting began.

She seemed to be doing lots of "different" kind of cutting with her scissors. Though I was interested by this new style of cutting, I guess I must have unconsciously looked alarmed for S reassured me, "Don't worry, I am just giving you the layers." At that point, my hair was still wet and was looking funky and cool. "Nice!" I thought "Hmm, maybe I should make S my regular hairdresser instead of N."

Then the cutting was done and she started to blow-dry my hair. Which was when I looked at myself in the mirror again and thought "Okay, my hair looks weird now. But maybe it will look better when she is done." Then, after some more drying and styling, S declared she was done and added (I wonder how much effort it took for her to keep a straight face), "You look so beautiful now!"

I glanced at myself in the mirror. Right! I looked like a Roman gladiator with a hair helmet :-(! Finally, I could understand the concern S had before she began to cut my hair! Did S have a premonition of this butchery? There was nothing left to be said so I just tipped her and left.

So right now, I have the ignominy of having hair which has such a weird shape that I can't quite describe it in words. I cribbed about this flop show to L and V during lunch today. L was sweet and told me that it did not look too bad and anyways it would grow out. V gleefully chimed in and chortled, "But you do know that a bad haircut looks even worse when it is growing out. Ha ha!" Sigh!

Now I need to locate my supply of hair clips so that I can hold all the chopped bits of hair in place so that even if it looks dowdy it at least looks non funny :-(.

And in commemoration of this event, here is the famous sher from Maine Pyar Kiya:

Yeh zulfain hain tumhari,
Ya resham ke jaal!
Kitne khush-naseeb hain woh
Kitne khush-naseeb hain woh
Jinhone katre tumhare baal

Sob :-(!

Lessons learnt:
* Listen to nagging doubts.
* Don't have stupid artificial deadlines.
* Wearing scarves/woollen caps when going out might be the way to go this winter.
* If I want to get my hair butchered, I should at least go to a place which will do it at a much lesser cost.