Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Secret World

eM's post really got me to thinking. I wonder who people perceive me to be based on this blog? The would-be detectives out there have already put the pieces together and linked me to another site which I maintain for the kids. Only over there, they're not the kids, they're the children. I don't refer to them as the boy and the baby, but rather by their lovely birth names. There are pictures of us and various family and friends that I've mentioned. The anonymity of this blog affords me details that would never grace the other, more family-friendly blog.

Unfortunately, I think I briefly resembled one of those people that eM mentioned who think they know you just because they frequent your website. I used to frequent a blog of someone in on the east coast. From the moment I saw the website, I felt as though I was looking into a mirror of my own life. The guy is a Keralite who married a blue-eyed spouse of English/Irish decent. They have one child who is adorable. They, like us, are liberal, out-going, and enjoy family. The more I read his site, the more I related. They actual remind me of close-friends of ours who we hang out with. The only difference is that the fact that he is Indian and, in my mind, I felt a kinship with him and his family. Who else could relate better to my stories of my immigrant parents and our struggle to fit in? Who better to identify with raising kids smack-dab in the middle of two cultures. Anyway, there was a link on his site to send the kid a birthday gift, which in all fairness was probably meant for family and friends. I took the opportunity and sent a book from my kids to his. The link was through Amazon, so it was never like I knew where they lived or anything. This was an innocent gesture with the hopes of sparking a friendship between the 2 families. I received a prompt but somewhat curt e-mail thank you. Unfortunately, they did not want a friendship and worse yet, I think he thought I was a crazy stalker. I was surprised and wanted to write and say "Hey buddy, you'd be lucky to have us as friends!" but decided against it for fear of perpetuating my stalker image. (I pictured Glen Close in Fatal Attraction going "I'm not going to be ignored, am I.")

Lesson learned. Alas, I will continue to enjoy tales of "B" and "Hickey" and "Golfer-ex" in the anonymity of blogland where I belong.

P.S. I'm off to California on Sunday for work. Unfortunately this trip is all business.

Friday, April 22, 2005


I blog because I am bored. It's Friday night and I'm all alone. D has a big project at work that has been rescheduled multiple times because of my travel schedule. This weekend, D and his band of fellow IT peeps, will do some major upgrades to the blah blah blah and then the blah bah blah. I'm not mocking. I just have no idea what the technical terms are for what he's doing. Anyway, the bottom line is that the kids are in bed and I have the evening all to myself. Unfortunately, I've developed the mother of all colds and sound like I'm one inhale away from SARS. To top things off the baby has a cold and stayed home with me all day. Let's just say, today will be filed away as one of my least productive days in the office. D had mercy on me and came home at dinner time to help get the kids settled for bed. Afterwards, I snuggled on the sofa with our warmest blanket, ready to watch whatever's on cable only to discover the volume doesn't work for some reason. I've tried everything to no avail. Alas, I'm blogging because I'm bored. I do have the picture on one of our high definition (HD) channels which has some concert with a bunch of musicians of which Nora Jones and Keith Richards are the only 2 I recognize by sight. There should be a law against having Keith Richards in HD. I can see every pock mark, every crevice on his face. Without sound he looks like Captain Jack Sparrow (a la Pirates of the Caribbean) doing an impression of Keith Richards.

The weekend will be spent split between both in-laws. Tomorrow at my parents, Sunday at D's sister's house. I have self-diagnosed SARS in addition to the fact that I'm celebrating my womanhood so I am not looking forward to any of it. My little sis is driving up from school to spend the night with my parents, not because she necessarily wants to, but because she has to. She has to try on a blouse for a sari she's wearing for a wedding we're going to next month. My dad is completely OCD sometimes and has to have everything in order way before the actually event. In contrast, my mom will wait until the last minute and then scramble to get things done. They both drive each other crazy. Then there are my in-laws. My mother-in-law is OCD/anal retentive but in a happy-go-lucky way. D's stepdad is nice, but has some sort of adult attention deficit disorder. For example, within half an hour of dinner being done, D's stepdad will want to leave whereas his mom wants to stay and visit some more. They squabble at each other like cats and dogs. D's real father died suddenly when he was 5 years old leaving his mom to raise all 4 kids on her own. I wonder what these family events would be like with D's real dad around. Would he be tolerant of the lingering conversations after dinner? Would he make excuses to sneak out for cigarettes like D's stepdad does? Would D and I have even met if the circumstances in his childhood were different? I honestly don't know.

I owe my soul to each fork in the road, each misleading sign.
'Cause even in solitude, no bitter attitude can dissolve my sweetest find
Thanksgiving for every wrong move that made it right.

Excuse the sappiness of this post. I found the uber remote that controls the master volume so I'm off to find a movie that will no doubt bring me to tears. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Don't Stand So Close To Me

I tried several times to link directly to this post but it didn't work so I decided to cut and paste it. Just so there is no confusion, I did not write this post, Dr Dave did.

what's in a pope-name...?
Well, it looks like our new Pope is going to be Benedict XVI, which I have to admit is a pretty cool Pope Name. It got me wondering though... once you get to be a big-shot Cardinal - do you start dreaming about your Pope Name? Trying to pick the perfect, coolest one like teenage boys name their imaginary rock bands? Or doodling it in the corner of your notebook in big loopy letters like a lovesick 13-year-old girl does with her name and the last name of some unattainable boy?

Pope Honorius V... ... Papa... Honorius... the... FIFTH...

Or even worse... is one of the guys who was in the running for this election just FUMING now, going - "Dammit, I was going to choose Benedict XVI!!! Now I can't use Benedict XVII or I'll look like a copycat!! You SUCK Ratzinger!!" dr.dave
posted by dave at
1:05 PM

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Joker

Motheater's post reminded me of a former boss. She was very intelligent, both book smart and streetwise. She and I met when I was still an undergrad, working in the ER as a patient care tech (nice way of saying girl who did everything from perform CPR to changing shit-stained bedsheets). I loved the thrill of the ER although the back-to-back shifts and the constant hours on the go wore thin after a few years. Anyway, Di was one of my favorite nurses to work with and I was sad when she announced she was leaving the ER to head up a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study at one of the larger hospitals in Chicago. The NIH was like the holy grail for young wannabe researchers like me. Di took a liking to me and asked me to join her team. I was thrilled. The doctor who we were going to work is world-reknowned in his field and I knew Di was going to be a great mentor. Now I knew that some of the ER staff were avid pot-smokers. I don't think they ever came to work high but the parties were like a scene out of a cheech and chong movie. I never had a desire to smoke pot and I was genuinely more amused watching the antics of my friends when they got high. Everyone seemed to know how to handle their dope. Anyway, Di and Dr B were invited to Bethesda Maryland to attend a meeting of all the sites participating in this particular NIH study and they invited me to tag along. My plan was just to sit and watch, take in the scene. Because I was not part of the guest list, Di and I had to share a room. This was no big deal until Di opens her luggage and takes out a bag of what she described as premium weed. Again, I have never had an inkling to light up so I politely decline her offer of a toke and she proceeds to smoke half a rice paddy worth of pot. In deference to me, she only smoked in the bathroom and the living room part of our suite. Anyway, she's completely fine until 3 hours later when we're sitting in a huge boardroom with some of the smartest names in medicine. It first starts with her passing me notes that say "I'm hungry!" It then proceeds to her excusing herself multiple times for the next 2 hours trying to find something to eat. Dr B asks me what the hell is wrong with her and I, thinking quick on my feet, tell him that Di just got her period and she has horrible cramps. I knew from the look of horror on his face that was the end of that particular line of questioning. Anyway the rest of the meeting goes OK. When I told Di what I had said, she laughed for like 15 minutes. (Her embarrassment didn't set in until Dr B gave her a brochure on PMS several months later.) Di taught me a lot over the 3 years I worked with her. How to manage governmental funding. How to get my work published. How to make people think you are listening intently when you have no clue what they are talking about.

I'm still in touch with Dr B who turned out to be one of the biggest influences in my professional life. Di and I went in different directions both professionally and personally. Last I heard, she is close to finishing her PhD and I'm sure she's still enjoying her pot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters

I'm not an Elton John fan but I heard this song today for the first time in many years. Pretty good.

When my dad returned from India a few weeks ago, he gave the boy a book called 7 in One Moral Stories. As the name implies, there are 7 short stories, each with a moral at the end. On the front cover it had a strange cartoon of a man in a pilgrim-type outfit talking angrily to animals. The boy wanted D to read one of the stories before bed last night. They thumb through the pages and decide on one called When the Tortoise Wanted to Fly. The story goes like this: The tortoise is envious of his eagle friend's ability to fly. The tortoise asks his friend the eagle to teach him to fly. The eagle is surprised to hear this impossible wish and tries to tell his friend that tortoises cannot fly. The tortoise is insistent and finally the eagle agrees. He takes the tortoise in his claws and starts flying. As they reach great heights, the eagle says "Beware my friend, I am loosing my grip; try to fly." He lets go of the tortoise who comes crashing down into a rock at high speeds and breaks into a million pieces. "He died because of his foolish wish. MORAL: Do not wish the impossible."

WHAT THE??? D said the boy had a confused look on his face. I guess he's used to American the-sky's-the-limit type fairy tales. D was laughing so hard when he came downstairs. He asked what type of crazy ass bedtime stories my parents read to me when I was little. We both had a good laugh over it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

California Dreaming

I'm back home. The past few days went by like a whirlwind. My facial/massage was great...almost worth every penny. That same night we had a dinner for all of our sites and I had a few drinks and stayed out until 11:30. By the time I got to my room and ready for bed it was 12:30. Normally that would be of no significance except:
  1. I was awaken by D and the kids calling me at 5:30 am (2 hour time difference) and I couldn't fall back asleep. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.
  2. We had to be at breakfast no later than 7:30AM
  3. I was giving the last presentation of the day

I had the worst headache throughout the meeting. I went around collecting medication from my team members and by last count, I took 5 different brands of pain relief. The meeting went well. We have an awesome team. My project manager has a difficult personality sometimes but everyone else is really nice. I had the opportunity to meet some folks from our UK office. They are statistician-types but unlike most stats people I know, they are really cool. The woman can drink just about anyone under the table. The guy was more of the shy, reserved, type but nonetheless was very nice. He was also a little eye-candy for us married women which is always a bonus. After the official meeting was over, a small group of us were left and they convinced me to do an early dinner. You know sometimes when you really don't want to go out but there are certain folks who will be there whose mere presence will guarantee a good time? Well, I couldn't say no. We took 2 cars to a seafood place right on the ocean and had a really nice dinner. I drove with a guy from our headquarters who is really one of the nicest guys that I have recently met. I told him I would fix him up with my friend if he would move to Chicago. Anyway, the company that I work for has an office in the UK, which has a supplemental office in Trivandrum, India. The boy brit just got back from a 1 week stay in Trivandrum and said he really enjoyed it. When I said that I'd be out there in December, he said I should definitely stop by that office. I wonder if I can get the pilgrimage written off as a business expense?

Anyway, I'm home and everyone was happy to see me. D did a great job managing the boy and the baby all by himself. I can't guarantee that the kids didn't wear the same clothes for 3 days but they're fine. The house is a disaster. It has hints of regression into a bachelor lifestyle that has long since disappeared. OYE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Where the Streets Have No Name

I'm in San Diego and can I just say...Oh! My! Gawd! I have never in my life been at such a beautiful hotel. The resort is spread across a lush golf course. It has gorgeous gardens with tropical flowers and impeccable landscaping. It also has a world-renowned spa which I have made an appointment at for a facial/massage that will cost me an arm and a leg. I have to say I'm feeling a bit conflicted over the $ that I am about to spend. It's such a frivolous expense that I even left D a message telling him what it cost. The bathroom in my room is as big as some of our bedrooms at home. I wish I had my camera. I can't imagine what it feels like to be rich and have this be my standard for a vacation.

On the flight over, I sat in front of the cutest couple who had to be in their early 70's. When I walked on the plane, they were already seated with their hands intertwined. From the way they were talking, I could tell they found each other late in life. He was looking out the window as we passed the Colorado mountains and telling her stories of his youth climbing the high peaks. She said she hopes one day to see them in person with him. I miss that level of passion. Not only physical passion,but that emotional feeling of devoting your time, attention and feelings towards one person. D and I have lost some of that. I miss the attention we gave to each others conversation. The making of plans with no regard to how we would financially achieve it. The days where we couldn't go 10 minutes without touching each other. The glances we would give each other when we became spontaneously amorous. The passion that drips from 2 people who can't bear to be without each other. I miss that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Little Plastic Castle


I got my hair done. Nothing fancy, just done.

I can't find my keys anywhere. It's a horrible feeling when your memory fails you. I had to borrow D's key for our compact car, which I hate to drive. I know gas prices are up and I know that having a Jeep contributes to America's dependence on foreign oil. I just wish our compact car wasn't so low to the ground. I feel like my ass is inches from hitting the pavement.

I leave for San Diego tomorrow. I'm expecting chaos surrounded by uneventful hours so I'll be in touch.

I've been humming Ani Difranco songs for the past few days and then Ostrich randomly mentions her. I love when that happens.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Things that annoy me:

  1. My "boss" on my current project. She needs to get her medication regimen worked out because the mood swings are driving me crazy. I leave Wednesday to spend 3 days with her at a resort in California. Bartender, start pouring the drinks now and for the love of all things sacred, don't stop.
  2. Sequels/rip offs. The American version of The Office bites. Had there not been an original, the producers may have gotten away with such shotty writing. I'm old school. If it were up to me there would be no Terminator II or III, no Godfather III (although I kinda enjoyed II), no Lethal Weapon XI, no Die Hard XXIV. The main exceptions are the 3 original Star Wars (I refuse to even acknowledge the prequels) and the Indiana Jones Series, because Harrison Ford can do no wrong (on screen).
  3. Jane Fonda. I normally don't mind Jane but these days I can't turn around without seeing her mug all over the place hocking her new book. Jane, you're 70 years old and you were a hippie. Are we supposed to be shocked that you had group sex, did drugs, and developed an eating disorder?
  4. My Federal Express delivery guy. I either get or send a courier package everyday and clearly leave instructions that everything is waiting on the front porch. Nevertheless, the driver rings the doorbell, usually when I'm still in my pajamas, and tries to make small talk while obtaining my signature. This morning I didn't bother brushing my hair and had a horrendous case of bed head. I think I scared the daylights out of him when I answered the door. he he he
  5. My hair. I need my hair cut so bad but can't find an hour out of my work schedule to go get it done. Maybe if I wasn't spending time cruising everyone's blogs...

Things I like/love:

  1. My cousin is home from Iraq. He and I will never see eye-to-eye on the war but we're so thrilled he's back in one piece.
  2. My little sister will be home for good in 2 weeks. She's spent the last 8 years in school and I only get to see her in little chunks here and there. In a few weeks she'll be J, doctor of veterinary medicine. YEA!
  3. My dad's home from Kerala. He'll go back after J's wedding in September. I'm glad because my mom will have help and companionship. I feel bad for J who will be moving back home from May-September and will have to put up with my parent's quirkiness.

Recent movies I saw:

  1. 13 going on 30 - I love D with all my heart but if Jennifer Garner asked me to run off with her, I would seriously consider it. My sister saw Daredevil in the theater and during a scene with Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, she turned to her boyfriend and said "I don't know who I'm more hot for at this moment". She looks like she could kick your ass and have a pedicure-gossip session all in the same afternoon.
  2. Something’s Gotta Give - I actually liked this movie. (D says I'm a movie snob and won't give anything without subtitles a fair shake). The boy slept over at my parents on Saturday and the baby went to bed early. D had a craving for tandoori chicken and went to Devon Street (little India) to pick some up. We ate dinner while we watched the movie. I'm not usually a huge Keanu Reeves stalker but I found him hot in a subtle way in this picture. I'm Amanda Peet's age in the movie and there is no way I would have found Jack Nicholson remotely attractive.

My office is looking better. I'm almost ready to show you guys a picture.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Question: When do you know that Christiane Amanpour, US CNN's chief international correspondent, is clearly sleep deprived while covering the death of the Pope?
Answer: When she says the following "John Paul the II was of course the first non-catholic pope elected in over 450 years".

Ummm...Christiane sweetie, I think you meant non-Italian. Although I went to Catholic schools for the first 9 years of my educational career, I am by no means an expert on Catholicism. BUT, I'm fairly certain that the Vatican would want one of its own peeps running the show.

Had a great lunch with my 2 best friends on Saturday. I live in a city with many great restaurants and we try a different one each time. Because we were pressed for time, we ended up at a pancake house for a good, old fashion greasy American breakfast. Location doesn't matter because we can dish the dirt no matter what the surroundings are. D was horrified the first time he realized the exact level of detail I talk with Ley and Nik about. I grew up with Nik and Ley, who happen to be sisters. Nik is a lawyer who is married to a lawyer and has a 1 year old daughter. Ley, is a 30-something grad student who works at a publishing company. Our conversations inevitably always end up about Ley's boyfriend Lanky and his inability to commit. Ley has always had a thing for tall, lanky, brunettes who are usually 2-3 years younger than her. I have also found that Ley's boyfriend are always eccentric in one way or another. Lanky is a slow-talker who always has some random thought that usually brings any lively conversation to a screeching halt. He's nice and he's cute in a youngish, lanky way but I personally think Ley can do better. But he apparently makes Ley happy the majority of the time and some days that's all I can ask for. Oh, by the way, Ley's last boyfriend was also a quirky, commitmentphobe. She was devastated when he suddenly broke up with her and was completely mortified when he came out of the closet a year later. You would think that this would make Ley wary of Lanky's inability to say I Love You, even after almost 3 years together. In Ley's case, she has made excuse after excuse as to why the relationship still works. But at lunch, I could tell things were different. Lanky is now in counseling and hopes to have some answers "very soon". For the first time Ley sounded tired of all the excuses and even briefly talked about life without Lanky. I told her that I would always be honest with her but would support any decision she made. But I also mentioned that I would have to throw down some major attitude if she enters year 4 of this relationship no closer to answers than when they started.

I also admitted to my friends that I have been thinking about an exboyfriend. Definitely not in any sort of emotional or sexual way. More in a I wonder what he's up to way. I broke up with him because there was no chemistry there whatsoever on my part. In all honesty, I knew by month 8 that I no longer wanted to be in the relationship but stayed with him through month 12 because I wanted to say I had dated someone, anyone for a year. We had a great time hanging out and going to concerts together. I continually told him that I thought that we made better friends than boyfriend-girlfriend but he disagreed. The last time I saw him, he said that he knew I loved him and it was a matter of time before we were together again. I disagreed, politely at first, but grew more and more annoyed the more he tried to tell me what I was feeling. He needed to be away from a lot of family stuff that was going on and decided to transfer to college in Alaska of all places. He said he would write every week and I told him not to bother. That was the last thing I remember saying to him besides "good luck". I've been wondering if he was ever able to get his life in order. My friends agreed with my decision not to pursue it because he would probably take it the wrong way and think I wanted to rekindle something. Back then he had the emotional maturity of a gnat. He's probably graduated to a tadpole by now.

Lastly, I watched The Terminal starring Tom Hanks. It's cute in a completely improbable way.

Friday, April 01, 2005

If I Was a Rich Girl...(na na na na na na na na na naaa)

I can't get that song by Gwen Stefani and Eve out of my head.

I woke up with the worst headache this morning. I stayed up to watch In America which has been showing nonstop on cable. The end was sweet and I shed a few tears. Not like Terms of Endearment bawling my eyes out, but more than any Bruce Willis movie. If I cry at the end of a Bruce Willis movie it is most likely due to the realization that I probably wasted 2 hours of my life. (Except Sixth Sense...I loved Sixth Sense). I'm particularly emotional this week (shout out to the ladies who know what I'm talkin about). Anyway, the combination of the tears and the fact that the weather has been all over the board this week, lead to a massive sinus headache this morning. My husband and I were supposed to go out during lunch but all I can think about is going back to bed.

My little sister called last night. Her fiance confirmed that he will be able to take time off in December, hence the family pilgrimage to India is on. I called my mom and worked on a plan to convince my older sister to join us. My sis says that she has work and stuff but I know that it stems from the fact that some in my family still look at her sideways since she got divorced. My sister did everything according to the great Indian plan in the sky. She married an Indian doctor who was prescreened and chosen by my aunts and uncles. They had a grand wedding with 50 of our closest family members and an additional 250 strangers, neighbors and distant, distant relatives. She brought him to America and immediately set about trying to have babies. Who knew he was a less than stellar guy with a penchant for drinking and gambling, and who apparently used her to obtain a green card. The fact that they had difficulties conceiving also added to her heartache. After they decided to go their separate ways, his exgirlfriend came to the States and they were married 2 years later. My sister has so moved on but my mother...oye...that guy better pray every night that he never sees my mom ever again. I don't think my little sister and I set out to marry American men, it's just the way it worked out. My mother smiled when I told her D and I were engaged (for she knew it was coming). She said that she knew he was a good man from the moment she met him... the fact that he loved her cooking and could eat chicken biryani 24/7 sealed the deal. As for my little sister, she met R while in college. He was willing to wait 5 years and put up with all her mood swings while she did her rotations and internships. He is most definitely a keeper. She'll be (almost) 26 when they get married this year. I keep thinking that is too young except when I do the math and realize that I had just turned 27 when I got married. That was almost 6 years ago which makes me *pulling out a calculator* 33. Our wedding was small and simple by anyone's standards. D's Irish family and my Monsoon Wedding family mixed with our friends and coworkers made it all look like a United Nation's convention. A lot has happened between 27 and 33. 2 kids. 2 mortgages. 2 cars. 2 job changes. Red dining room.

Speaking of dining rooms (how's that for a transition?!). Vig wanted ideas for his apartment so I volunteered pictures of our new dining room. We instantly fell in love with this house 6 years ago and overlooked its many deficiencies, including lack of space. We have since added a master bedroom and dining room which I have had lots of fun decorating. Decorating the house has temporarily relieved me of my shoe shopping addiction.

dining room

Everyone loves the red except for my mom. Her reaction was "it's red".

Have a great weekend everyone!