Thursday, June 30, 2005

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Now that I have your attention, 50 random things about me and my life. Some were secrets until now, some were not...
  1. I'm a loner by nature
  2. I have 2 beautiful kids
  3. Guys who can form complete, grammatically sound sentences AND spell correctly at least 90% of the time turn me on
  4. I love carbs
  5. I think I've developed a blog crush on someone (see #3)
  6. I am happily married
  7. I've never tried any illegal drugs
  8. Between age 17-28 I probably went to 150 concerts
  9. Since age 28 I've only been to approximately 5 concerts (2 of them were Peter Gabriel)
  10. I'm jealous of my sister's hair
  11. I don't like to be in the sun for long periods of time
  12. I have a history of migraines
  13. Of the 3 girls, I am the rock of my family
  14. Growing up, I have had 2 cats (Ginger, Casper), 3 dogs (Barron, Elmo, Jordan), 1 hamster (don't remember the name) and 1 bird
  15. I hate birds as pets
  16. I don't tolerate alcohol well
  17. I get a thrill out of turbulence on plane rides
  18. I love traveling
  19. I was detained in Russia for being an "American with an Indian passport"
  20. My husband is hands down one of the nicest, funniest guys I know
  21. I need to get the last of the baby weight off before my sister's wedding in September
  22. I love margaritas and amaretto stone sours
  23. see #16
  24. I believe that the neighbor around the corner flirts with me
  25. see #6
  26. I think I'm going through some sort of one-third life crisis
  27. I can be a real bitch
  28. I go through periods during which I swear too much
  29. I try to go to church every Saturday
  30. I hate pretentious people
  31. I know way too much about my former boss's sex life
  32. I think I'm a great lover
  33. Sometimes I feel guilty that I landed a job working from home for a lot more money while the majority of my former office mates are still working at that pit. Sometimes I don't.
  34. I immediately retract and or flee at the first sign of rejection
  35. I read too much into things
  36. I've been in one car accident
  37. I feel VERY blessed
  38. I was depressed when I found out that I was pregnant 6 months after I got married
  39. My family is the best thing that has ever happened to me
  40. I once broke someone's heart (or so he claimed)
  41. I've had my heart broken once
  42. I've never broken any bones
  43. I don't like broccoli
  44. I try to be a positive person
  45. Sometimes I'm not as laid-back as people think
  46. I think my friend Anne's husband only married her to stay in the U.S.
  47. It makes me a little sad that I'll never learn to play piano or guitar as well as my husband
  48. I love movies
  49. I once had an exboyfriend write me poetry all the time...I cringed each time I read it because he was a horrific speller
  50. I usually hate talking about myself

Anybody else wanna give it a try?'s very therapeutic.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday

For those of you who have known me since March....

(Cue theme from Rocky. Mint enters the arena with her arms raised in triumph)

I did it! I finally cleaned out my office. I forgot that I had carpeting underneath the piles of books.

clean desk

Desk view 2

look at that bookshelf

all clean (ignore the moving boxes)

My cleaning the office was necessitated by the fact that we are hosting at least 4 parties from June-August. The first occurred this past weekend as D's mom and sister's came down to see us. I'm very lucky to have great in-laws and we all had a great time.

OK. There are still a few issues. The closet door won't close completely because I have a hanging door rack that is packed with shoes. My husband said perhaps I should get rid of few. Blasphemy! A woman can never have too many clogs or lavender sandals that only go with one outfit she owns.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Tea in the Sahara

The following is a snippet from the IM conversation the cute British researcher and I had. It has been edited for length (I didn't want to bore you with the minutiae) and the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Cute Brit says:
Well this is good experience. It is teaching (our team) and (your team) to work together. We have to; otherwise the project will fall apart

Mint says:
True. Hopefully your other studies are going smoother

Cute Brit says:
No-this is the easy one!

Mint says:
(stunned face icon)

Cute Brit says:
The site doesn't seem to know what a protocol is!

Cute Brit says:
On one of our other studies

Mint says:
well...the next time you're in California, (My testing partner) and I are buying you a drink.

Cute Brit says:
(smiley face icon)

Cute Brit says:
Next time you're in the UK-I'll buy you both a nice cup of tea! LOL

Mint says:
LOL! (Editorial note: even via IM it has a nervous, laughing-too-hard-even-though-the-joke-wasn't-that-funny feel to it)

Mint says:
Have a good night

Cute Brit says:
Yep-thanks. Have a good day-Keep me posted about (the company that is contributing to all our delays)!

This is what happily-married, career women who are in the their early 30's and have 2 kids consider flirty fun...transatlantic offers of tea. Pathetic isn't it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Waves of regret and waves of joy

I am writing this in response to Kafka's post. I started replying in the form of a comment but it got a little long-winded.

I'm in 1st grade. My sister, who is in 5th grade, is going to her friend Kelly's house after school and my mother makes me tag along with her. Kelly's mom picks us up in a green station wagon and I remember she smelled like flowers. Once at Kelly's house, the girls play Barbie while I stay in the kitchen with Mrs C as she makes cookies. The house has strange smells. Sweet, Americany smells that my immigrant nose wasn't used to. As my sister and I enter our house after Mrs C dropped us off, I remember the chill that came over me My mom is sitting on our bed with a yellow envelope in hands, her eyes swollen like a bee-sting (thanks for the line Bono). It was a telegram from my uncle stating that my grandmother had passed away. My mother seems scared. Be good when dad comes home, she tells us. I distinctly remember taking off my green plaid uniform and folding it neatly and placing it on the dresser. When my dad got home, we were all nervous and he sensed something was wrong. At dinner my mother can't stop the tears and she breaks down and tells my dad about the telegram. To this day, I remember the sound of the wail my father let out. He starts bawling and pounding his chest. The rest of the night is a blur. My mom was so uncertain of my dad's mental state that she called one of his friends to come over and comfort him. It was only years later that I learned that my grandmother told my dad as he was leaving for America that she would never see him again. Despite my father's protest, she knew. My father was only 22 days away from seeing her again when she passed away.

The telegram is still in one of our photo albums. When I hold it it all comes crashing back to me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It seems I'm not alone at being alone

My cousin from London called me last night. Actually he has been living in Amsterdam for the past 4 years and working as a stock broker. This is the cousin who my dad insisted was a drug addict because he lives in Amsterdam. The odd thing is that we haven't spoken in about 10+ years but he acted as if he was returning my call from last week. He's 27 and sounds like he's doing well. He just moved into a flat by himself along the canal (all I kept think was red light district!) and was considering buying a house either in Amsterdam or London. He sounded so nice but I just couldn't help questioning why he called. It was 2 am in Amsterdam when he called and he said he had just gotten home from work. Also, I swore I heard him take a hit of a bong twice while we were chatting. He also seemed strangely protective of my sister J. "I need to come over and meet the geezer that's marrying my kid sister" he said. Umm...J is turning 26 this year and she has met him twice. And she doesn't remember either time. Now I can see if his sister had called me. She and I are only a few months apart and she's very cool. I think she has sort of stayed off the family radar since she got d-i-v-o-r-c-e-d. (That's the way my aunt says it. She either spells it out or whispers as if she's at a funeral). I heard the gamut of rumors pertaining to her from all my gossipmongering aunties. Everything from she was an alcoholic to he was using her free miles on British Airways (she worked there) to fly to see his girlfriend in India.

Anyway, D thinks I'm being too harsh regarding the phone call. Perhaps he is going through some sort of crisis and is reaching out to his family he said. Sure. The other option is that he was high as a 747 when he called and he didn't realize who the hell he was talking to.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

That's why I'm easy...easy like a Sunday morning..

Lazy Sunday morning. Sometimes it's as if my life is a continual Sunday, always thinking of all I have to get done next week or of all I haven't accomplished in the last week. Most weeks go by in a blur. How the hell is it mid-June already??

Thursday, June 16, 2005

...And dance by the light of the moon

There was a moderate size earthquake in Southern California today. Frank, my friend from my corporate office sent me an instant message immediately after things settled down. The funny thing is that while I was in California this past week I thought it would be cool to experience an earthquake. I guess I'll file that thought in my Be-Careful-What-You-Wish-For file.

D and I met for lunch. We went to a little Thai place by D's job for some Pad Thai. D has suggested that we should move into a new house. This after we spent one year and a boatload of money adding a master bedroom and bathroom to our current home. I love this house. I remember walking into the Open House preview, 4 months pregnant with the boy, and instantly falling for this place. Of course, it was only after we officially purchased the house that we took off our rose-colored (not a typo. we spell it without a "u") glasses and noticed all the cracks, nicks and dents. It didn't matter to me. This place felt like a home. It's a corner lot with a nice-size backyard. D wistfully looked at the backyard that chilly January afternoon and declared it was big enough to raise a mini-baseball team. Our neighborhood is like a mini UN convention full of children of all shapes, races, and sizes. Ever since he got a new job as big chief, I think D is feeling a need to "play the role". The suburb he is proposing we move to is filled with cookie-cutter new construction with lots of space and no warmth. No squeaky floorboards. No drafty windows. No temperamental water heater that randomly chooses when it is ready to provide hot water. No non-white faces unless they are doing the lawn work. It's upper-middle class hell and it's so not me. When the hell did it become D? Anyway, I nonchalantly say that I don't know how we could afford to live there so maybe he should crunch some numbers to see if it will work. Since this task requires a good amount of follow-through on D's part, I'm pretty confident we'll be living in our good old squeaky house for the next 40 years.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

Still in California. Meeting ended today and I feel refreshed. My flight leaves tomorrow at 8AM and I can't wait to see D and the kids. I just had to write about the TV show that I'm watching called "Hit Me Baby One More Time". It takes several acts that were one-hit wonders in the 80's and have them sing their big pop song. They then come back and perform a more recent hit and the audience votes who goes on to the next round. Tonight they have Loverboy, Arrested Development, Flock of Seagulls, and Tiffany. WOW. The rock lifestyle has definitely been hard for some of these acts. The lead singer of Loverboy looked as if he needed a respirator after singing everybody's Working for the Weekend. Arrested Development won tonight. This show is sort of like a car wreck. You just can't help but stop and stare. The next episode has Wang Chung, the Knack, Howard Jones and Vanilla Ice. Did you hear me. Vanilla-Freaking-Ice will be performing. I'm alone in my hotel room, stuffed from a very large dinner, eagerly awaiting Vanilla Ice's performance. Man, I'm pathetic.

Monday, June 13, 2005

What's the Frequency Kenneth?

Greeting from beautiful Southern California! I knew I had this business trip planned but it still snuck up on me. Just back from a wonderful dinner with new friends. Our company is very big on creating a culture of camaraderie and today's meeting was no exception. We did great team-building exercises and solved several puzzles together in between training sessions. The President and CEO both talked to me about Kerala. The CEO said perhaps I should have some meetings when I'm in Trivandrum. Dinner was fantastic. We sat at 2 tables and the only rule was that the field associates must sit next to an internal associate. I couldn't resist the free drink tickets and had a wonderful time with my table laughing and playing more team-building games. I know it sounds lame but it was so much fun. I can tell that I am going to be close with everyone at my table. I sat by Jo, the gay intern and Col, the cute accountant who has a thing for Indian guys. I told Col that I would find a nice Indian boy for her. I'm looking for an Indian guy in his mid-30's, cute, athletic (must like the outdoors) to set her up with. She's 5'4", athletic, blue eyes, dark hair and a lot of fun. Serious inquiries only. She lives in southern California but is willing to move just about anywhere in the US.

Jo and I talked travel. He and I both traveled Russia around the same period of time. He's going to France with his boyfriend in August and he thinks his flight will have a layover in Chicago so we may get to visit again soon.

Coming here has made me realize how much I miss going to an office everyday.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hello Goodbye

I still have best friends who knew me when I was a chubby, 6th grader. We still hang out, sans our significant others, giggling about intimate details that only the 3 of us appreciate. D and I have made new friends through the birth of the kids. Moms and dads who share our sense of humor and whose idea of a night out is pizza and a Disney movie. Before I worked from home, I had a lot of friends at the office, some of whom I was very close with (i.e. would visit them first thing every morning to see what time we were meeting for lunch/attended my wedding/fixed them up with their future spouses).

Since I now have a home office, blogging has turned into my virtual lunchroom/water cooler. I have a list of blogs that I visit every morning and I feel disappointed when there's not a new post...sort of like stopping by your friend's office only to find out they called in sick. Imagine my surprise when one of my favorite bloggers had a message posted that says he will no longer be maintaining his site. I liken this to finding out he got a new job...I know we'll still chat now and then but it won't be the same. Since his site no longer takes comments I just wanted to say "Bye". You would have definitely been one of the people at my daily lunch table.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Violently Happy

Feeling very hyper today. Can't seem to concentrate on any of the tasks at hand. Listening to Bjork. More pictures of profiles and hidden faces. We set up the play tunnel in our living room and it was amazing how they amused themselves for 20 minutes.

Tunnel Boy

Traffic Jam

Tunnel Fun

I'm letting you in closer and closer to the real Mint. From these pictures you can see that my living room is painted Gold Leaf. I have wood floors in need of refinishing. I have a green sofa. Wow...I feel so exposed...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I see you baby...

Thanks eM!

Total number of books owned? This is tricky because when D and I bought the house we had boxes with nearly 250 books. Since then, we've condensed it down to around 100. There are always 15 stray books (mainly children's) from the library at any given time.

The last book I bought? Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction by Kurt Vonnegut. I am a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan so when I saw this one in an airport book store I had to have it.

The last book I read? The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom- This book has been passed around and it eventually got to us. Very light read. I am currently reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

5+ books that mean a lot to me? These are books that I own and have no problem picking up and ready for the 10-millionth time.

1. Welcome to the MonkeyHouse by Kurt Vonnegut
This is a collection of short stories that blew my mind. The most powerful story shares the title of the book and is about a future time in which the government controls every aspect of your reproductive rights.

2. The catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
I first read this book in high school and what can I say....classic. Anyone who can't empathize with Holden Caulfield has no pulse.

3. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
In my opinion, one of the few movies that does the book justice. Hollywood did take some creative license on subplots but I forgive them.

4. The indispensable Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson AND Night of the Mary Kay Commandos by Berke Breathed
It doesn't matter how bad my mood is, these 2 will perk me up in no time. For those of you unfamiliar with the Bloom County series, please do yourself a favor and find some.

5. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
I have distinct memories of being in 3rd grade and having the librarian read bits and pieces of this book each week. It's a little surreal having my son enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Girls on Film

I just had an hour-long phone conversation with my friend (Cio) whom I haven't talked with in months. Cio is originally from Spain and she's a little spit fire. She and her ex-husband met when he was on an exchange to Spain in high school. She then came to the States to be with him and in the process went to college here. She now has her PhD and is one of the coolest psychologists I know. Unfortunately the birth of their son broke their already fragile marriage. After a few years on the sidelines, she is back in the dating scene and when she is not busy with her practice, she writes "women-friendly" erotica. Now, as an aside I have no problem talking to my girlfriends about stuff, but this woman's candidness makes me blush. Case in point, a group of us helped Cio move into her apartment when she and her husband split. She had a bunch of boxes marked with "!!" and when we asked where we should put them she proceeded to tell us it was her sex toys and dress up outfits, etc, etc. Anyway, Cio would like to do scripts with an Asian theme and asked for my opinion. Hey, just because I'm Indian doesn't mean that I've read the Kama Sutra. I suggested she stay away from anything stereotypically know sari-clad village girl or convenient store owner stuff. Rather, she should do a regular script and just use Asian/South Asian characters. She told me about an unfinished story of internet dating which we refined to be about a male blogger from India and a female blogger in Singapore, etc, etc. I would be lying if I said I didn't think specifically about certain people and their lives while I was talking with her. I was good on providing ideas on conveying emotional connections while she provided some of the other...ummm... details. As with most conversations any of us have with Cio, it's one sided as she goes off at a million miles an hour allowing the other person only enough time to respond with a periodic "that's good" or "no, don't write that". I joked at the end of our conversation that I wasn't sure if I needed a cigarette or a cold shower.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Let My Love Open the Door

I had a moment of bliss yesterday. I was surrounded by people at our yard sale who were buying up all my clutter, D was making the baby laugh, and the boy was manning his lemonade stand using his charm to force people into imbibing in his tart elixir. Life is good. Of course good things don't last forever. By the end of the day, everyone is hot and cranky and in need of a good nap, but I didn't let the initial moment pass. I've been thinking a lot about my best friend Ley. She confided in me last week that she has been suffering from sudden panic attacks. One moment she's fine and the next she's filled with overwhelming fear that harm will come to her loved ones. She's suffered silently for a month but now the attacks are affecting her work life and leave her paralyzed in finishing her graduate degree. I'm sure the stress of trying to find an internship, dealing with a job she hates as well as a boyfriend who won't commit to marriage is getting to her. She's decided to seek professional help and I applaud her for that. In the meantime, I advise her to take one day at a time and try to focus on the good. So yesterday I transformed the moment when my front yard was crowded with people and D was lounging on a blanket with the baby and the boy was spilling lemonade all over the table into my moment of bliss. Life is good.

Picture time. I almost posted a picture of the family but decided instead to use my version of Jay's All-Disguising Black Bar Across The Eyes trick.

Here we have the boy.
He was eating an ice cream cone and it's a wonder he got any in his mouth. He proceeded to get his sticky hands all over the interior of the car. As hard as I tried, I couldn't find the bliss in that.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Baby I'm Amazed...

I'm back. New York was nice in a hectic, chaotic sort of way. My cousin from New Jersey picked us up at the airport. She and her family are hands down some of the nicest relatives we have. Her kids are SO sweet and beautiful and polite. Her boy is in high school and he plays the guitar so he and D bonded over music. Her girl is in college on the East Coast and is SO pretty but is one of those people who don't act like they know how pretty they are. Anyway, the weekend was long and full of pomp and circumstance and it made me realize just how amazing D is. He only complained about the traffic a few times otherwise he was so patient with all the waiting around and the traditional Indian events that seem to go on for-freaking-ever. The bride's brother came to the wedding and his mom was over the moon about it. He walked his mom down the isle and she was floating on cloud 9. The actually ceremony was long and D held the baby the entire time while people fawned over her and the boy. There were some cute guys and lots of pretty girls. The reception was long as the bridal party took a million pictures while the guests ate appetizers. There is no easy way to control 525 people in a room with appetizers set up against one wall. The bride and groom danced to Sade and then we had speeches and toasts that went on a little long but were all sweet in sentiment. They then played really, really loud bhangra remixes with a pulsating bass that the boy loved. When we left, I was sad that my dad had missed it all. That night, when my mom went back to the house with my aunt and uncle (the bride's parents), my dad called to find out all the details. My uncle and my dad were talking about how my cousin (bride's brother) came and did his part and both my uncle and my dad started crying. Everyone was stunned because my uncle always acts like a tough guy yet he was so emotional that his son came.

Anyway, here are a few vague pictures so you can get a feel for my weekend.

NY-Way in the distance, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge. Actually I have no idea which bridge it is.

the guys
The groomsmen at the rehearsal

The bridesmaids - (I'm related to one of them)

back shot
The back of my uncle, aunt and cousin. In front of them is my cousin, the bride.

hairstyle 1
I think I want to wear my hair like this for J's wedding.

The reception before the bride and groom were announced

The centerpieces were beautiful.

I can't imagine how much money was spent on this wedding. As fancy and extravagant as it was, I'm sure it's a little anticlimactic now that it's all over. My exciting plans for the weekend include having a yard sale and taking the boy to a movie.