Our trip to Hawaii.....

...was called off. Hawaii is crying it's heart out at not being able to welcome its ardent beach lovers. It has been two years, it sobbed and sobbed until it could barely breathe. Tell me who did this to you, it said, I shall throw pineapples at them. And that's what has caused the Pineapple Express storm, fiercely lashing Seattle, left, right and center. A cute little story to tell to a two year old, maybe. The trees behind my house are swinging wildly as if they are possessed by a ghost. The whoosh whoosh of the wind and the clickety-clack of the twigs and the tiny branches falling all over the deck and the roof has been our lullaby the past few days.

I watched Meryl Streep's It's Complicated during the weekend. It was alright. Could sit through it. Loved her acting as always, but of course cannot watch it again. Whoever said "Once is not enough" is clearly not talking about this movie.

I saw this beautiful kitchen on the Telly, with big windows bringing in bright sunshine, a huge island, shiny stainless steel appliances and stunning light-shaded granite counter tops. I might have just described the kitchen at our house. Yes, except that we have smaller windows, a smaller island and black granite counter top with shiny chips embedded on them. It's called Galaxy or something. It was all very attractive when we bought the house. And I though black was a great color as it would conceal all my slipshodiness on the days when I don't get to wipe the counters. Well, it looks fantastic and has certainly lived up to my thoughts. On the downside, it has made my house appear a little more darker. We are the sun seekers. We like the house to be brightly lit up by natural sunlight. So naturally, when I saw my dream kitchen, I said to A:

Me: Wow......what a beautiful kitchen.....
A: Hmmm.....
Me: So huge and bright and look at the decor.....
A: Hon, it obviously will be beautiful. It is in a movie.

Me: What? How can she marry him? She must be in her twenties and he in his fifties....
A: May be she grew up without her father.....sometimes when women don't have father, they like to be with someone older....

The spoon of ice cream still in my mouth, completely bewitched, I was staring at him, half expecting him to say something along the lines of "When in love, one is crazy". I heard a loud snort, instead. Phew! That's more like him. I almost thought I had married Sigmund Freud.


Me: Hon, you have to make dinner tomorrow night.......
A: Oh no!
Me: Just make something different and nice and hot and spicy......
A: How about this - Let's go out for dinner!


One night, A was busy looking up blackfriday deals on his laptop, and I was nagging him and driving him up the wall, as usual. He opened a new tab and ferociously typed http://www.dollhead.com/. Dollhead! Only he can come up with such names. Can you imagine? Someone with a doll's head, meaning having no brain. http://www.birdbrain.com/ would have been much better.


It's a habit to eat something sweet after dinner, every night. Not for me, but for A. Just a small piece, but he has to have something sweet. Dessert. So, one night, he opened the fridge and asked,

"What would you like to eat for dessert, hon?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yep....what about you?"
"Ummmm....I was thinking of Gulab Jamun...."
"Oh, okay!"
"...with Vanilla Ice cream..... and some gulkand..."
"Whoa! Where did that come from?"


So, we were watching Eat Pray Love and it just ended.
Me: "The movie doesn't have the same effect that the book has on you...."
A: "No, I like the movie!"
Me: "You like the movie, but you will love the book...."
A: "And you are Ketut?"

A snow day

A called at 3pm.
" I am leaving in 30 mins, baby. The snow is going to get worse and the roads are quite icy already.....everyone is leaving now....my bus is at 3:45...I'll see you soon."

"Oh cool! Be careful when you pick up the car and drive back home......"

Yay! A is coming home early, and the weather is below freezing and there is some potato sabzi left over from Alu Parantha. May be I can whip up some hot and spicy Alu Bonda. That with the hot n sweet Maggi sauce, will be an awesome treat, I thought. So I got out the sabzi from the fridge and warmed it in the microwave. I made up a batter with besan and went back to reading Michael Chrichton. I wouldn't have to get started with it until 4:30 pm or so, right when he would be home.

At 4:25 pm, A calls again.
"Baby, the bus just came....delayed because of the icy roads here....I should be home at least by 6:30pm"
"But it doesn't take more than an hour...."
"Yeah, but the road condition is bad....I must be there by 6:30.....will see ya soon."

Poof! My bubble burst. 6:30 pm is too late for an evening snack.....sigh. I curled up on the couch with my book, again.

At 5:30 pm, A calls again.

" What's wrong with your mobile? I am not able to get through to the land line.....have been trying for quite a while now...."
"Ummmm.....it has turned off.....needs to be charged..."
"Okay....am on I-5 and traffic is barely moving. The bus is so packed and there is no place to sit even. They have blocked the Express Lanes.....these f*@# heads. At this rate I think I won't get home for another 3 hours or so."
"Yeah....don't wait for me...have your dinner."
"I thought you are going to get home early and I got all excited and got everything ready for alu bonda......"
"Oh, that's okay dear....I'll have it after I get home."

I switch on the local news channel on TV and listen intently for any traffic updates. I called A at 6:45 pm.

"Hey, was just listening to the news...looks like some disabled vehicle has blocked three left lanes on I-5. No wonder you are stuck. I looked up the freeway traffic map and it is green all the way from UW....you should be here pretty soon."
"UW? But am no where near it. It will be another 30 mins by the time I get there....."
"Oh....I see some black and red patches before UW....I think you are stuck some where there...."
"Hey, House starts at 8 pm, don't forget to record it for me..."

At 7:30 pm, A calls to say it is all clear and he should be home by 8:00 pm. Ah, at last! I start watching House while having my dinner. At 8:00 pm, A calls again.

"Guess what? The bus is stuck in the snow outside Masala Bar n Grill. I will have to just walk it from here to the car...."
"But, that's too far! What if you slip?"
"There's no other choice, dear....I'll see you in sometime..."

After walking for a mile and slipping and sliding on ice, he finally made it to the car. He got back home safely in one piece. Phew! What a day!

And this morning, when I looked out the window, I saw

This and that.....

That time of the year. No, actually, much before that time of the year, when you wake up one morning, draw the drapes, look out the window and your jaw drops at the sight of fresh white snow that has been assiduously working on covering every inch of the ground with a soft fluffy white comforter. Only, it is not all that comforting. Sigh! It is going to be a very looooooong winter.

I have not been feeling very well and could not get myself to write a post or two. A lot has happened at my end. I'll summarize it here-

1. A does most of the cooking these days as am not feeling too well. I get to be picky and blame it on my illness. So, I would do the occasional, "This is not hot!" or "Too salty..." or "Bring it over fast!" and drive him up the wall. But, seriously, he is a much better cook than me.

2. Watched My Sister's Keeper. I had been dodging it for a while just because it is very tragic, but then I wanted to get it off my DVR, so thought, what the hell, let me just get over with it. The movie has touched a part of me and has almost left a scar. It was a lovely concept, but why make such movies? To remind people of what? To be happy with the wonderful life we are blessed with? To live each moment as if it were the last? Yes, I am really thankful to God for the lovely life I have. But I just don't like watching all the suffering. It was very disturbing.

3. I am reunited with Maggie Hot n Sweet Tomato Chili Sauce. I eat it with Alu Parantha, Dosa, chips, just about anything. Cheese and cracker, Chips with the said sauce, roasted nuts, buttered toast with jam and Boost are my favorite these days. Am becoming one of those weirdos.

4. A went to the Huskies Football game last week. I am not sure if he enjoyed the game, but he enjoyed the food and the booze. He had got these VIP tickets where you sit in glass enclosed booths. It is actually great for this biting cold weather.

5. I really look forward to Thursdays because I get to watch Big Bang Theory and S*#%t My Dad Says. So hilarious. And Outsourced is so silly but I like watching it.

6. Saturdays have a schedule of their own. A makes coffee and toast, we have a leisurely lunch at Mediterranean Kitchen, run some errands and get back home to watch a movie or two. What else can one do in this darn weather?

7. Looks like our planets have lined up in some rare favorable positions, because, we are winning things these days. Totally unexpected lucky draws.

Rest, later. I gotto go now.

Diwali ki shubh kamnayen!

Happy Diwali to all my readers! Being a party hopper is not that easy, I realized. Festivity and celebration was in the air from Thursday night, with lights put up everywhere. With Diwali during the Fall and Pumpkins stacked all over Grocery stores like huge balls of fire, I was inspired by Veggie Belly to make Pumpkin Halwa. It was a lot of work but quite delicious indeed.

On Friday, the official Diwali day, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I know, quite a mockery, but we did not want to head out to an Indian restaurant and wait in the long line to be seated and then get crappy service, reason being big crowd for Diwali, and then grumble about the whole experience. So, Chinese it was. We went with some friends and loved the spicy food and the atmosphere. After dinner we went to the old, stinking Indian Movie Theater and watched Golmaal 3. The movie was rubbish, as well. I am not a fan of slapstick comedy. Um...no can't do.

It was also the weekend when we got to meet all kinds of people. My friend K was leaving Seattle for good and so, she had a going away party at her place. It was nice to meet Microsoftees, Ex-Microsoftees who finally realized they need to get a life, Deli owners, Technical Writers, Opera Singer, Stay-at-home mom and many more. I was a little overdressed for the party because I had another Diwali party to go to, right after. With my batik and highly ornate Rajasthani outfit, big hoop earrings, a beautiful necklace and an assortment of red bangles, I received compliments like "Very pretty..", but quite honestly, I must have looked a little scary to them.

Our next stop was a Desi Diwali Party. Lots of food, fire crackers and games and gupshup. We got back home past midnight. Sunday, there was yet another Diwali Party, at an ABCD's place in Downtown Seattle. More food, Bollywood Dancing and meeting a very different group of people. Now, I am done with parties. I am tired of the -

"Hi, I am so and so....Nice to meet you!"
"What do you work?"
"Where are you from?"
"Where do you live here? Oh, so far!"
"How do you like it here?"
"Miss your family?"
"Do you plan to go back?"
"Oh, you bought a house! Then, you are not going back!"
"How do you know so and so?"
"What's happening otherwise?"
Blah blah blah!

Oh no...not for a while, at least!

Happy Spook Day!

As usual, the weekend zipped by in a frenzy. Saturday was another gloomy day. We woke up quite late. Well, not that late, around ten to ten. Weather.com said Rain God was eager to shower his blessings on us, ruining every chance of a trip to Arboretum to see the Fall colors. Darn! Coffee in hand, A was browsing through the channel guide to see if there were any interesting flicks to watch and I almost decided that the best thing to do was to bury ourselves in thick, woolen comforters, turn the heater on and catch up on some zzzz, when my ears perked up at the Macy's one day sale ad! My mind was busy cooking up excuses to get A to go to the mall with me and then it struck me. Diwali!  I took him down a guilt trip. It is Diwali, and I haven't bought anything, I said. That was all it took. After a hundred trips to the fitting room and A rejecting quite a few of the very sexy outfits because they fit too snug or because they were a little too short or because they had huge black holes in the place of sleeves, we rounded off to three pretty subtly sexy dresses. Oh, I love Alfani's summer clothes line. After shedding a few calories and plenty of moolah, we picked up some seasonal veggies at TJ's and  drove to Italian Spaghetti House for dinner. Ever since we read Mediterranean Summer, daal chaawal is less sought after and spaghetti marinara is welcomed by a growling stomach and a drooling mouth.

And today is Halloween. Happy Spook Day! We look scary as such. Why put efforts to try and appear scary, we thought.

As am typing this, A is boiling water to cook Rigatoni and is having a seance with his seasonal friends, alias Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts. I am waiting for the man to create something magical with the sleight of his hand. Hmmmmm...Mario Batali has a lot to learn from him!

Cold gloomy winters are when....

I blame the weather to work from home.

it is gray all around me, as if someone mixed black and white water colors and splashed it everywhere.

we spend the weekend evenings at Fierabend. A and I would cozy up with our glasses of port and fries with curry sauce and chat endlessly of life and times.

the fireplace in the family room comes to life for most part of the evenings, making it warm and cozy.

I like soaking in tub than using the shower.

steaming hot Pho is preferred anytime of the day.

the stew magically cools down from a boiling hot, the moment the stove is turned off.

we socialize more. More potlucks and parties.

hitting the malls is the only form of Cardio I like to indulge in. I even freeze my Gym membership for a few months.

the restrooms in the malls play "Santa Baby...." and "Feliz na vida.....".

Coffee shops nestled in Bookstores get to see us more often. Coffee, scone and a book in hand is a favorite pass time activity.

Friday nights are usually meant for dinner and a movie. We hit the theaters and sometimes watch two movies in a row. A would love to camp there the whole night, though.

as though on bail, Mr.Monkey Cap is happy to leave the confines of the closet to see the outside world a few hours everyday, taking his place on my head.

We travel more. To places where we can see the sun. And the beach. Mostly Caribbean, Mexico or Hawaii.

Spaghetti and Tank tops retire for the season while much thicker, heavier, woolen clothes take their place. How I hate it.

even when we are freezing our ass off, the fan in the bedroom runs at full speed during the nights. The sound apparently lulls us to sleep.

everyone is happy. There is festivity in the air. Streets are brightly lit, everyone is shopping for gifts and the restaurants have a long line waiting to get in.

I love the different seasons - spring, summer, fall, winter.... but, I prefer the hot summers. I prefer spaghetti and tank tops. I prefer cold Mediterranean salads. I prefer the Lake to Ski mountains. I prefer a straw hat to the monkey cap. I prefer the Gym to the mall (for Cardio, I mean). I prefer relaxing on the deck to sitting by the fireplace. But I like winter too. I just hope it won't be a very long one.

What do you do in Winter?