The painting

Here's the painting that kept me focussed and occupied for about 5 hours... I am glad for such hobbies, for what would life be without painting, music, scrapbooking, reading , writing, et al, especially when they are your sole companions for the most part of the day?

Getting back into the blogging groove

Namaste! Aloha! Hola! Bonjour!
And so, my brief hibernation comes to an end. A lot has happened in the last couple of months. Here, let me fill you to the brim with the tidbits.

Utah trip was fun. May be not so much for A, who was in training most of the days. It was a much awaited vacation for me. You know, days when you wake up only when your eyes refuse to stay fused shut, when there is hot breakfast waiting for you in the kitchen downstairs (make your own waffles, toast and scrambled eggs, oatmeal, OJ, muffins and of the sort), when the housekeeper changes the towels, makes the bed, scrubs the bath and vacuums the carpet, when you get to play unlimited literati online, when you just laze around with a book and read it from cover to cover in one sitting.....sometimes this kind of a break is very rejuvenating. We managed to see most of SLC and the scenic loops during the weekend. A picture is better than a thousand words. I will do a seperate picture post.
Somehow, the food we eat when we travel ,seems to linger longer in our memories, than the travel itself. And here it was Mazza, the lebanese restaurant. As usual, the food and the flavor (and the waiter, ofcourse ) knocked us off our feet. I highly recommend this place to anyone visiting SLC.

The house was throngging with visitors. Mom and Dad are staying with us for a couple of months. Sis and family visited for a week. Kids, food and touring added to the fun.
And my birthday swooped by. Balloons, cakes and cards. Felt like a little girl again.


A's office has moved to downtown Seattle. He trots off by bus early in the morning and gets back by 6pm. Not too bad, huh? Especially when I get to keep the car :). But I wish his office didn't move. It was so much easier to just call him up and say "Hey, don't forget the spinach from Whole Foods, milk from Fredmeyer, curry leaf from Mayuri, Yogurt from Trader Joes, blah blah", than make trips to the said stores myself. Sigh, the downside to everything!


Summer has brought with it lots of sunshine, heat and picnics. Saturdays are when we pack food and troop off to the lake. Was quite amazed to see the ducks' love for potato chips! Seaward Park and Green Lake have been the best so far.


A got me acrylic painting tools and an easel for my b'day. I am finally done with my first painting. Shall put it up in a seperate post for you lurkers to delurk and say something nice (only nice!) about the painting of a novice.

That's it for now. Will be back with more news soon. Ciao!

Another whacky weekend

Saturday, April 4th. The sun crept up. It was in the 60s. And, that usually calls for celebration. People swarmed out of their houses, like bees, trying to absorb all the sunlight they can, as if that was the only day the sun was ever going to show up. It's amazing, what sun can do the the people of Seattle.

Here A and I were in true Seattlite spirits. With A's leg still healing, we could only do the "sit in the open and chill out with a pint" kinda stuff. Whatever suited the occasion. After some extensive shopping at Kohls and Sears, we drove down to Rock Bottom. A sipped (actually, slurped) some pints while I devoured the chips and guacomole. And then some babble.

A: Uggggh.....the chips have a sour cream flavor to it.. what the hell!
Me: Oh c'mon...I can hardly taste it...
A: The menu didn't say "sour cream flavored chips.....".
Me: (chuckle) I think sour cream is the only thing you HATE so much.
A: It is the same way you feel about coconuts....or cinnamon....or....okay, c'mon, now tell me the list of things that you hate and that I have one min and your time starts now........
Me: .........
A: ...........

and more babble.

We then trotted off to Mediterranean Kitchen for some mouth watering Lebanese fare. Lentil soup, pita bread with hummus and some rich spanakopita. Unlike the Greek version of the spanakopitas, these are more garlicky and come with flavorful saffron rice on the side. Every visit to Med. Kitchen is like a trip to heaven. We left the place feeling stuffed and sated.

Sunday, April 5th. The sun crept up again. A blessing, no doubt. And this time we went to the other side of the city - Alki Beach.

It felt like everyone in Seattle was heading there. There was so much traffic and so much more challenging to find parking. We parked the car and walked for a good 20 - 25 minutes along the beach to Duke's. A did the routine of downing a pint while I munched on the sweet potato fries. It was then our turn to take our table on the deck. Bright sunshine lit our faces. The beach right beside us. It was an awesome day. We were given bread to start with. We ordered the only vegetarian dish on the menu, the veggie burger. And that is one of the best I have ever had. The bun was toasted with butter and the pattie grilled to perfection with the cheese melting on it. Yumm yumm. Another heartening meal and we started walking back to the car.

What could be more fun than having nothing to do, but just sit on your ass, prattle, devour yummy food, chug a pint and stare at the beautiful beach?

What's your Inner Gender?!?

Completely insane, but turned out to be true for me :)

You Inner Gender is Female

You're sensitive, caring, and willing to connect with anyone who's open to you.

You make friends easily, and you enjoy all sorts of conversations.

You understand most people you meet - better than they understand themselves.

You're totally a woman... or at the very least, your soul is female.

Just for grins :-)

A comes across a notepad on my lappy. The notepad has this on it:


A, who tends to use the left side of his brain more often than the right, stares at it for half a minute.

A: 44a, 36a, 39d, 42a........what are these numbers, hon? Are these bra sizes?
Me: (blush! blush!) They are the flight seat numbers!

Now, tell me, who other than A could be so creative (err....perverted)?

A little of this, A little of that!

Holi 2009 will be remembered forever, not fondly, but with extreme animosity. A slipped on ice and broke his fibula. Rushed to the doc and after an X-ray, the doc confirmed the broken fibula. It will take 4 to 6 weeks to heal, said he. So, A now has a cast/walker fitted to his right foot and walks with crutches. Poor baby. The aloo chaat that was wholeheartedly made for Holi, was consumed heavy heartedly.

We spent the weekend at home, catching up with FilmFare Awards, talk shows and some movies - Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye! , Luck By Chance and Karma Aur Holi !! The first one was a conman kinda movie, the second was nothing great - comman man's struggle to become a star and the third one, put me to sleep :).

The TV hunt continues. A has apparently decided on a 58" Sammy, but wants to check out the newer models that may come out this summer. Nadia was called for again. Once you get used to it, maid addiction gets worser. Sigh.

Taking on the duties of the man of the house has induced blogstipation in me. Shall try to be more regular. Gotta go now.... Necessito ir al bano.


Growing up in India, we had a maid come home twice a day to do the dishes, wash clothes, sweep/mop the floor and sometimes even run some errands. After moving to the United States, it has been different. Weekends are the days we clean the house and do the laundry. All by ourselves. We have to clean up the mess we sometimes make. One way the slipshodiness has vanished and we are becoming more meticulous. We have become the DIY guys (not the American punk rock album!).

The remodeling has left behind a lot of dirt. Unfortunately my DIY skills are not sufficient to get great results in a relatively short time. So, for the first time I hired a housekeeper. Nadia. An adept Russian, who is good at what she does and is very reasonable( $20/hr). Reasons why I will hire her again if need arises:

* No language barrier; can speak good English.
* Reasonable rate.
* Brings all the cleaning supplies - one for the granite, one for glass, one for stainless steel appliances, one for the sink, one for the wooden floor, heavy duty cleaning agent for highly stained surfaces.
* Displays the same enthusiasm even at the end of the day.
* Cleans until am satisfied :)

Me: I want you to first wipe the counter tops....then wipe all these things coated with dust and place them on the counter. Next, clean the cooking range, the cabinets, the windows, patio door, bla bla bla......

Nadia: Alright.Let me get all my stuff from the car and get started!

And in five hours, my house was habitable.

Aaah, the luxuries of having a maid!

Getting creative....

I have been walking around with my nose high up in the air. I feel as proud as a peacock, having made my first comic strip :)

It was a lot of fun - choosing the right facial expressions, background, character pictures, the right words et al. In the end, this is what I got -

PS:- BTW, that is not me and A.

Deception Pass

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. We were woken up by Little Miss Sunshine, streaming through the drapes, pleading our bodies to stop the secretion of melatonin. Yawn, stretch, toss, turn and then we were outta bed. It's a perfect day to go to Deception Pass, we thought. After a quick shower and a heavy breakfast we were on our way.

Washington is called the Evergreen State. There are so many mountain ranges, lakes, beaches, national parks and a profusion of natural beauties that I feel it should actually be called "Ever Beautiful State". There is everything here except sunlight. Miss Sunshine somehow visits only between June - Sep. So everytime she decides to peep, just a little, we put on our hats and coats (you never know when should would walk away leaving behind the sky in tears) and start off.
It took us an hour and a half to reach Deception Pass State Park. The drive was beautiful. Mount Baker with it's snow covered peaks was stunning.

Our first stop was at Rosario Beach. I call it the "Pebble Beach", becoz that's what you see there. Lots of pebbles strewn on the shores.

We stopped at the drive through Deception Cafe and Grill for a latte. We then drove to the Deception Pass bridge. The view from the bridge was amazing!
The water was so blue. There are steps on either sides of the bridge that take you down to the beach.

The reflection of the bridge so clearly seen in the water is one of my favorite shots.

And this too...

We walked on the bridge from one end to the other. At one point I felt that I was staring into nothingness. I was so close to the edge that one more step and I would go all the way down as if I were bungee jumping, except that there won't be any rope holding on to me. I try to be witty in such situations.

Me: Honey, what would you do if I just fell down.......deep into the ocean....and you are see me falling but can't do anything to save me?

I half expected A to say things like he would get a rescue team flying in helicopters to dive into the ocean and pull me out. But instead, I was stupefied by what he said.

A: I will fall after you..

And I tell myself, "How sweet, isn't it? Apparently, A can't take serious jokes. He won't let anything happen to me. I guess this is what age does to men. Isn't this what every girl wants - someone who would love them to the fullest and think the world of them? So, I have it ALL now!"
But, within minutes I was transported to the real world. We were walking on the bridge, when
A: Be careful. Don't go very close to the edge.
Me: No, don't worry. Iam fine.
A: I was actually worried about the camera falling out of your hands!

But again, he swung me back to my fantasy land by carving a heart around the letters KK, on a pillar, and prophetically declaring, "Some day we will come back here and see this heart still burning with love!"

A, I should say that life is more fun when you are unpredictable :)

We hiked half way down to the beach and then headed back home. That night we dined at Chef Szcheuan, pretended to be on a date and got back home for what turned out to be a really long night (wink wink).

Uggh...Grow Up!!

Valentine's Day. Every year I tell myself that may be next year I will grow up a wee bit and won't make a big deal of the day. After all, it's just another day. What's the point in celebrating V day when pretty much every weekend is like one? We watch movies, eat out, go for long drives, bla bla bla, anytime we want. So what is so special about V day? But eventually, the next year, the day before the great day, I realize that I haven't mellowed even a bit. I still have the same (or more?) excitement I used to have when I was 16. Somehow, going to a movie and dinner on that day makes me feel like we are a couple madly in love. And I love writing about it. So that, 40 years from now, I will read it and remember the kid that I used to be many decades ago. But who knows, for I may then still be excited about V Day, waiting for the surprises just like the old times!

A had planned a surprise movie and dinner. He had made reservations for "He's just not that into you!", a rip roaring comedy with a touch of romance. Something I really needed to perk me up from my depression. Why was I depressed? Oh well, that's another story that's better left unsaid. We lunched at home and went to the movie at 2:45 pm. It was a slightly longish movie, about 140 mins, but time just flew by. It felt like I was sitting through back to back episodes of "Friends". Ben Affleck was really cute.

After movie we stopped by at Clyde Beach Park to catch the sunset. It was not a very big beach. So, we continued driving to Kirkland waterfront. We strolled through the arty town and grabbed a quick bite at Santorini Greek Grill - hummus with pita and falafel. Their falafels are the best in town! Check it out sometime. After walking around for a while, it was time for dinner. A had made reservations at Firenze Ristorante, where we were greeted with a nice long stemmed red rose. We had the penne gorgonzola, chocolate truffle ice cream and a cappucino.

Me: You know what, honey? I like the fettucini alfredo that you make a loooooooooot better than this. What you make is so authentic.....the garlic, the veggies, alfredo sauce, soooo creamy!

A (very proudly displaying the "you can never get it elsewhere" look): Ofcourse, only I can make it taste so good. The main ingredient is "love". And lots of it. You can't get that (pasta or love?) elsewhere, mi amor.

My Valentine was getting all touchy feely and I wished that I could freeze the moment...a little bit longer and make the sensations a little bit stronger....I wished that the time would stand still, forever.

PS :- Pictures in another post :)

A hole in the wall

I seem to have a weird craving for chinese food these days. So much that, A sometimes doubts if I was a Chinese in my previous birth. You must have read about my cravings in the previous posts. I have been on the lookout for a decent Chinese restaurant not too far off, serving super tasty vegetarian entrees.

On Sunday, we found one on Yelp. "Szechuan Chef" is by far the best chinese restaurant I have ever been to.

Located in a strip mall, it is tough to be discovered. Had I spotted it when driving by, I would not have bothered to stop and check it out , as it does not have that "Hey, come try me!" kinda look. I am glad I looked up the yelp ratings and reviews on this one.

The interiors made up for the strip mallish outward appearance of the restaurant. The red walls, Chinese art on the walls and potted plants at almost every table add to the decor.

It was quite neat for a Chinese restaurant. Not that chinki restaurants are dirty. Just that I have not been to one as good as this one! (no offence, chinkees! )The moment we stepped in and saw a number of Chinese families enjoying their food, we knew that we were gonna love it. They have plenty of vegetarian entrees. Their helpings are huge and the cost very reasonable. They even have lunch specials on the weekends. Now, that's something to check out, huh?

We ordered the green onion pancake and dry cooked tofu hotpot. The food was hot and spicy and abundant in quantity, that we carried home the leftovers. The service was good too.

I could have reviewed this restaurant on Yelp and left it at that, but I totally loved the food that I thought it deserved a spot on my blog.

Saturday Saga

It was 9:00 am on Saturday. I was looking forward to some really lovely Chinese dinner that night. I was browsing through Yelp when A's friend Peter called.

Peter : Hey A! Howdy?

A: Hey P, Howdy?

P: Can you guys come over for dinner tonight?

A: Tonight? hmmmm sure! (What?? what about my much awaited chinese dinner?)

P : Can you bring parathas? ( Oh c'mon! I am craving eggplant and tofu in a hot and spicy garlic sauce...)

A: Of Course !

So off we went with parathas and gulab jamuns to the Geoffreys' residence. The Geoffreys' remind me of a perfect Enid Blyton family. You know what I mean? Mommy, Daddy, three adorable kids squealing and giggling away, a dog that happened to fall madly in love with me (sniffing and licking me in places like...ahem! that only A has ever explored), a cat that I never noticed until I bade goodnight and a cute cozy cottage in the middle of a lush green lawn. What it lacked was a white picket fence. They appeared to be a perfect family, complete in all ways.

S, P's wife proudly said that she had made vege chili and brocolli sauted with garlic and ginger for dinner. Wait a minute...didn't you ask us to bring parathas? What do we eat them with? Nevertheless, we wowed at her choice of food and continued wowing at the tales of the stupendous tour de force of the kids at school, home and every where.

"C built this car...and he won an award !"

"D has a hole in her ear drum......but she can hear fine!"

"Di plays soccer, baseball, football......"

"S is in the church choir...."

"P has been working on the yearly newsletter....."

"Cu freezes everytime he sees an animal smaller than him...." (Yeah, you are right, Cu is the dog!)

Alright, time for dinner. I tossed the parathas on the tava, while S laid the table. We all sat down and I was still wondering what we would eat the parathas with. Just before begining to eat, each of them held hands of the person sitting next to them to say a small prayer. A was sitting next to P and jumped a little when Paul gestured for his hand. Hesitating a little, A asked "Should I hold your hand??". I made a mental note to pull him for this and guffawed on the way back home.

We slipped in the occasional "Ummmm this is so gooood!" or "The chili is didja make it?" Not that am ever going to make it. I devoured the parathas with brocolli. The dinner was good....but soup and salad was not what I had in mind, you know? After dinner, time for some dolce. Chocolate ice cream with roasted almonds and marshmellows. Ummmm I ate a good three scoops, drowning all my sorrow in it.

We settled down at the table once again for poker. P taught us the differernt games and I teamed up with A. It was fun. A is still working on the poker face. Every time he got good cards he would beam at the rest, giving himself away, and the others, to play it safe, would end up folding their cards.

What seemed like a really long day finally came to an end. On the way back home A and I grumbled, "Funny people.....they eat parathas just like that!'

Fashion Vs Function

The weekend came and zipped by in a whim. A and I did quite a bit of research and window shopped for recess lightings, mini pendant lights, tiles, mosaics and shower faucets. Given that A and I like the exact opposites, it took us quite a while to find somehting that we both agreed upon. Ofcourse, A usually likes most of my choices, but vice versa is very seldom. So you can imagine A's choices! Or am I picky ? Am sure A would nod to that. Our conversation goes something like

A : hey, which of these three shower heads do you like ?
Me : hmmm....all except the round ones.
A (with big eyes and a sad smiley): really? not the round ones???
Me : oh, you like the round ones?? (actually meaning, C' can someone even like it?)
A : yeah...those are the multi function shower heads with variable spray patterns....
Me : Okay....if we don't find the same functions in a slightly flatter shower head, we will take round ones......

The research continues.....

******** *********

We were at Home Depot, shopping for recessed lightings, when

Me: hey, the white eye ball looks really stylish.....
A: yeah, that looks cool...
After looking around for a while, I still stick to the white eye ball, whereas A has spotted a plain white trim with back interior.
A: Doesn't this look good?
Me: yeah.....but the I like the eyeball better....
A: Why don't you forget the eye ball and look at something else?
Me: Why? I like the's more stylish...
A: Six eyeballs won't look nice....instead these plain white trims with black interiors are better as black absorbs light and hence the light won't be too bright when turned on......
Me: but the black interiors don't match with the other trims that we already have......
A: eyeballs don't match with them either....
Me: hmmmm........
A: Or, let's have two eyeballs and 4 plain white trims...huh?
Me : That won't look nice.....okay let's just get the plain white trims. We'll have dimmers instead of switches.....

So, it is always a clash of fashion Vs function :)

We treated ourselves to some great vegan chinese food at Vegan Garden Restaurant in the international district. We smacked our lips at the Golden Rolls and Eggplant Tofu Hotpot. I can't get enought of it and crave for it, nonetheless.

Then, came the Super Bowl on Sunday. With our house getting remodeled and no flat screen TV at our disposal, we went to Rock Bottom to watch the game admidst the other screaming fans. I was more interested in the brewery nachos and the spicy cheese dip with pita bread, than the game itself. I would look up at the screen everytime A went "Oh! what a touch down!" , and then wait for the Ads to come.

Thus, came to an end, an eventful weekend.

A new begining

After contemplating for a while, I settled on "Topical beach bums". For, that is what I am, a beach lover. Of course, A too. And hence the plural "bums".

We got back from India, after a short 3 week vacation, to a water damaged home. We have been moved to a hotel (has been three weeks now) until our sweet home is restored. While am enjoying the luxuries of living in a suite, I truly miss my home ... boo hoo. The luxuries include 15 min drive to work, daily maid/housekeeping facility, hot buffet breakfast, 3 days of evening social and what not? But I can't wait to get back home.

It is true that something good comes out of something bad. The floors have been ripped and we are thinking of replacing it with a better wood. The ceilings have been torn apart and we are gonna add more lighting. New tiles and shower system in the bath. So we will be moving into an almost brand new house.

With the new year has come the new home, new life and a new beginning. May we be blessed in our future endeavours.