Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Not-Long Weekend

This had to be the shortest long weekend. Ever.

I guess when you have too much fun or relax more than you're used to over a long weekend, time flies by fast. Well, it did. This past weekend was a long weekend as we had Monday off for July 4th. Well, Monday evening had me thinking - was this an illusion or did I really see an entire long weekend run past me?

So now that I've whined (and you have oh-so-patiently read) about how short the long weekend was, let me tell you what I did.

Saturday - Sandy Hook beach-trip with some awesome friends. Long drive, Beach-volleyball, Drenched-in-the-Atlantic, and then the best part was dinner... my favourite Chopsuey Dosa and Kala-Khatta Golas! It was all very Chowpatty-like.

Sunday - Rainy rainy day. Watched a lot of mindless TV and took a two-hour nap in the afternoon. Nice lunch with the family somewhere in between mindless TV and the napster.

Monday - Laundry, vaccum, cleaned room, cleaned bathroom. Fourth of July Fireworks at 9:30pm!

You can see the pattern right? Come on, of course you do. Fun first, chores last. Always.

Dear Long Weekend - Come back!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Top of the Rock

Last weekend, I took SE to Top of The Rock to for her birthday. Though I have been on the observatory deck of the Empire State Building before, Top of the Rock was something else. 

I mean, if you are on top of the Empire State, it's hard to... well, see the Empire State as a part of the concrete jungle that is New York City! Top of the Rock is unique in that it gives you the fullscape view of upper and lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Upstate NY, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Palisades, Northern Jersey, and a lot more.

After Top of the Rock, the evening was made better by stuffing ourselves with decadent desserts at Max Brenner and then lazing around at the Newport Waterfront, gazing at the same NYC skyline which we saw top-down a few hours earlier. Somehow, that day, I realized that it (literally) took a whole another level to appreciate a city that's been a part of my life for the last decade.

Some memories-in-snaps from the day -

Empire State Building and Midtown/Downtown Manhattan

Uptown Manhattan and Central Park

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight

My intention of reading Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight was not to follow the book and "go on a diet" of some sort. In fact, I don't believe in going on diets... your 'diet' should reflect in your everyday lifestyle and eating habits, and one of the reasons I enjoyed this book was because it pretty much echoed the same sentiment. I picked it up out of general interest in nutrition. Rujuta Diwekar - India's most wanted and celebrity nutritionist - is the author of this book and some of the points she makes really hit home. I quite liked her casual style of writing and the fact that she gets the point across clearly using the fewest of words. I also liked her diction ("lean" instead of "thin"...I was impressed).

What kept me going was that this is a book turned out to be a good supplemental guide. It broke down the basics. It's funny - there was a chapter on Amino Acids and I immediately thought "Amino Acids. Building blocks of protein!" and was quick to pat my back and remember my sixth grade science teacher for having me rattofy the definition. I didn't have too many expectations because it seemed almost too basic, but after I read the chapter, I got a wealth of information out of it on proteins and how one can go way wrong when it comes to incorporating the amount of protein in his or her diet. Anyway, without digressing, the point is that this book starts from ground up and builds up, rather than throwing fancy definitions in your face. The author also gives real life examples, some of which are just hilarious and force you to turn the pages like there's no tomorrow to finish the read.

It was certainly a breath of fresh air from the usual fiction/non-fiction regime. Rujuta, I'm a fan. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cooking up a Storm: Back-Then to Now!

My earliest memories of being in the kitchen date back to when I was about six or seven years old... I would take some atta, roll it out into a loosely shaped geometrical figure and say "Mamma - I made roti!" My Mum was sweet (and patient) to actually take that loosely shaped geometrical figure, roast it as it is, eat it and say it's the best roti she'd ever had.

My very first memory cooking dates back to when I was eleven. I was in middle school at the time and one of the classes I took in school was 'Basics of Cooking.' This was one class I thoroughly enjoyed (even as I changed high schools across the country) and I remember always looking forward to learning something new and trying it out at home. So, as I continued to learn about pastries, cakes, breads, cheeses, pastas, sauces in school, I made my family members my guinea pigs and tried these things on them at home. They might disagree - but I think they were lucky to be given this silver-lined opportunity!

As days went by, I not only was more interested about cooking and different types of cuisine, but also started enjoying the process. I would try various Italian dishes at restaurants and come home and experiment with different recipes. I'd spend a good few hours in the kitchen making that Penang Curry, being convinced that I could never make Thai food, only to realize that Thai basil and galangal make a hell of a difference. I came to a realization that yes, mushrooms don't brown well if you crowd them! I loved these revelations. I made this process of trial-and-error my own.

Before I knew it, cooking, instead of a 'chore', became a 'hobby' of mine. And now, my passion. The kitchen is the one place where I felt relaxed, confident, calm, and collected. I felt at ease. A lot of the credit goes to my Mum for being there during my goof-ups. She was always there - to laugh with, to clean up after, and to generously compliment my efforts. Without her, this process of trial and error would not have been half as amazing as it has.

So, why am I talking about cooking all of a sudden out of nowhere? I (finally) watched Julie and Julia today, and I loved it! I could resonate well with Julie. After having a frustrating day at work, the kitchen was where she found her solace. I'm not idealistic about one chef like she was - I'm quite secular in that regard. But somewhere in her, I could place a part of myself.

Movies are a lot more enjoyable when you can relate to a character (and one of their passions), aren't they? A few of my friends have been urging me to start a blog where I can share recipes and my experiences in the kitchen. Does it sound like the right time to cook up a storm in blogsphere? I think so!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mystic, Connecticut

Over the Memorial Day long weekend, SE and I planned a trip to Mystic, Connecticut. It was a perfect day for a road trip, sunny and warm.

Mystic is a quaint village and it used to be a seaport at one point. At the very center of the village is the Mystic River, where you can find many sailing ships, which, despite their age, are quite well-maintained by the Seaport Museum.

The best part about the entire day was lazing about and walking around. There's cute boutiques, winding roads, and home-made ice-cream shops. All-in-all, a good 'day trip' destination and a great change from the daily grind!

Mystic River / Seaport
Blue skies, sunny days... I have nothing more to ask for!

Another Sailboat aboard the Mystic River

Oh, this heat!

The Big Apple is amidst a giant heat wave right now, and the temperatures have been lingering around 90-100F (30-38C) for the past few days. It feels nice to be warm, but I'm not really a big fan of the scorching heat that's keeping us company these days!

But... let's not complain too much. After a dreary, cold, gray winter, a summer in any way, shape, or form is much needed!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wouldn't it be nice if...

Life had a re-wind button?
What was said could be unsaid?
Time didn't fly as fast?
There were no such things as egos?
Some people weren't as closed-minded as they are?
Happy-ness had a permanent residency in everyone's lives?
I wasn't whining so much today? :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Off Coffee?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved coffee. I usually have black coffee with milk and Splenda, but recently, after reading about how Splenda is unhealthy, etc., I decided to give up coffee (If I want coffee, I want it my way... or maybe I'll just give up coffee altogether). Sugar was not an option, as I was on a diet, and wanted to control the amount of my sugar intake.

I was really good for about a month or so. Had completely gotten off coffee and was proud that I was not dependent on that morning Cup of Joe to get my day kick-started. Yet, here I am today, writing this post as I'm sipping my much-needed Monday Morning cup of coffee. Sigh. Self-control, out the window. Even Coffee has 'off' in it. Maybe I should give it one more try.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We are the Champions!

Saturday was a special day. Why, you may ask?

The answer is, Saturday was a very special day in India's cricket history because after 28 long years, Team India won the ICC World Cup! The final match, held in Mumbai, against Sri Lanka, was simply gripping. I'm sure many Indians had a couple of heart attacks as the Indian innings saw Tendulkar's and Sehwag's exits pretty early on. Gambhir, Kohli, and Dhoni turned the tables, though! That last sixer that Dhoni hit will be watched and re-watched for many many more years to come. Felt so good to cheer for India and see us win. Also what helped the cheerful mood of that day was to watch the match with a gang of 7-8 friends. The celebrations that followed on the streets of Newport were great! So many Indian cricket fans rooting for Team India, cheering, chanting 'We are the Champions!' - it was really quite a sight!

It's still sinking in though. I've re-watched the match highlights many times in the last couple of days, and that moment when Dhoni hit that sixer and all of us just screamed on top of our lungs is still flashing in front of my eyes!

Rock on, Men in Blue! You bled blue and won us the World Cup! :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

De Ghuma Ke!

Oh, my, GOD! The semi-final today between India and Pakistan was something else. Mohali roared and cheered as India beat Pakistan by 29 runs. My day off from work (first time ever for cricket) was one hundred percent worth every minute!

The way India batted today... good lord! Especially Sachin Tendular... my goodness, I think 2.4 billion+ pairs of eyes were glued to him, and I'm sure many were on the verge of having nervous breakdowns during the two reviews and the ball-drops! India batted well and bowled well, so all-in-all, it was a terrific match. The Men in Blue have now paved their way to Mumbai for World Cup Finals!

I'm so thrilled for this coming Saturday. I can barely wait. But, for now, I'm happy with today. A day off from work, 5am-alarm for the match, Spending the day with a close friend (SE), Cheering for India, The feeling of winning against Pakistan and keeping the record of not losing against them in the World Cup, Celebrating by going on a nice drive and a cup of coffee! If these aren't memories to cherish 20 years down the road, then what are?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Wednesday

What usually would have been a typical day was actually a pretty good one!

What's the kind of stuff that makes boring weekdays special?
  • A great day at work and fun with colleagues
  • Gorgeous weather and a walk around the corner to grab lunch
  • A very very productive afternoon
  • Getting an email from SE who's excited to meet me this evening
  • A quiet evening out and chatting with SE over dinner
  • Making it home in time to watch an episode of FRIENDS to de-stress!

One of the things that I look forward to is change, and a change in pace over the week is always welcome :-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm doing the snow dance!

So, I'm crazy for doing the snow dance, but who wouldn't, with 8-14" of snow predicted overnight?! This is our second blizzard in two weeks, so... yes, winter has struck us hard. And it's only the second week of January. Good luck to us for February and March!

This week is going well, but what I'm really looking forward to is this weekend, when I'll get to meet lots of friends. I'm planning a visit to A&R's (they just got married!). Also, N and S are coming back from India, so I'm extremely excited to go meet up with them after a month. Plus, what's great is that this is a long weekend, so I'm planning to catch up on some reading, movies, and of course, sleep. It's one of those weekends where I've got no items on the 'to-do' list, so only two items I'm planning to put on there are: 1) Have Fun and 2) Do Nothing.

Toodles for now and more later this week.
Till then, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1.1.11 - Happy New Year!

Aaah, the feeling of the new year. A new leaf turning. A fresh page. A clean slate. It's great!

I'm really looking forward to this year's new developments. I'm anxious, and I'm also excited. The feeling of what's unknown did worry me at once, but my resolution is to let it not worry me anymore.

2010 was a great year. Lots of happy times. Lots of challenges as well, but it feels rewarding to know that I've overcome them. The holiday break from work was very relaxing and productive at the same time. I got done what I needed to get done (well, almost!).

I wish 2011 turns out to be happy, healthy, and prosperous for not just me, but also my family and friends. I think I have the world's most supportive and loving family, and the best bunch of friends. I couldn't be more content with the company of those I'm amongst today. Really, I'm lucky.

So, Hello 2011 - and I'm looking forward to see what you bring on!