Tuesday, August 29, 2006

All the nice guys are taken! ;)

The menu:

Stuffed baby eggplants (the chotu baingans I brought all the way from NJ in my checked-in luggage..because of course, in my gaav, one gets 5 staple kinds of veggies, onions and potatoes included)

Bhindi masala (Farm grown okra (bhindi) with tomatoes )

Raita (Salad with yogurt, chopped tomatoes and carrots)

Biryani (Spiced rice with vegetables)

Rotis (Flat bread, bought frozen, pan-heated before serving)

Dessert: Ice cream and fresh fruits

The guests:

S#2 & her boyfriend R. This was a good-bye dinner for S. Her boyfriend R and I have rarely hung out together, and he was a little unsure of coming, but at my insistence, he did, eventually.

The history: S has been one of my closest friends here. She finished much earlier this year but hung around for a bit longer, and it kept getting prolonged, unexpectedly. It was like a new lease of life for our friendship, and I was in complete denial that she would actually move out eventually. We started out being lab-neighbours, and classmates. She is one of those people who lived a full life alongside going to grad school. Has several hobbies she pursues seriously, has a huge friends circle and a very active social life. She introduced me to biking, dragged me out of lab those nights when I was working too hard, and was always there for me when I needed her: to give a listening ear, to bitch alongside, or laugh and cry with me. When I moved labs, and got more busy with life, she made it a point that we met once every two weeks where we took turns cooking the lunch. Those were such fun lunch times and we continued keeping up with each others lives like before. For all our differences in culture, up-bringing and lifestyles, it was amazing how we connected so well and she got to understand my side of things that were often different from how she sees life.

Soon she learnt to differentiate indian spices, relish spicy food, eat with her hands (right hand only, i explained to her why and she never lost a chance to announce that at a table full of people eating food at an indian restaurant..siiigh). She is not one of those people that passes off all indian food as "curry". She takes time to taste, differentiate, and recognize ingredients and flavours in everything that I cook. One of the reasons it's so much fun to cook for her.

The evening: Although R had never come to my apartment before, he picked up on the lack of shoes beyond a certain a point and promptly took his shoes off. (My good friends know this is a pet peeve with me, and I cannot stand people walking with shoes all around my apartment). At dinner, I had to explain all the items on the menu as described above to both S and R. R used a fork and spoon while S relished eating with her hands, proudly breaking off a bit of roti with one hand alone and feeling oh-so-accomplished, :) R is not much of a fan of vegetarian food, so I was a bit concerned. But when he asked for seconds, and later announced that he was stuffed, I took that as a compliment. After a heavy dinner, S and I sat back on the couch, talking, giggling, and recounting memories while R cleared up the table and did the dishes. That's my kinda guy! The laughing and the jokes went on quite late- R has a terrific sense of humour that I was just beginning to get exposed to. He had us in splits and suddenly I was on the verge of getting my second noise warning in this apartment. So we had to stop there. Dessert was served, and we decided to call it a night. If not for R, I would have woken up to a sink full of dishes this morning, and memories of an awfully emotional good-bye to S. I am so glad he decided to come. :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Only 3 days! (long version)

My 3 day short holiday was indeed an eventful one. For starters, this was the first time I went on a holiday and did not take ANY work with me. No laptop, no papers, and no guilt. It was an unadulterated vacation, and it felt great! I will recommend it to all, even if it doesn't feel like the time is right. For me it certainly wasn't, but I just felt like I had to do it. I decided to drive to my cousin J's place, 2 hours away from here, and we were flying together to NJ. The early morning of friday, two of J's friends were also with us taking the same flight. Now after ALL that dhindora peetofying on the news these past few days about inflight luggage, and BIG signs all the way through security, J's friend K decided to carry his shaving kit in his backpack. siiiigh. We were there half-an-hour before departure as it is, and I was already putting this down as another missed flight to add to my repertoire. K, when stopped at security because of his bag, decided to go back to check it in, instead of just discarding the contents there. Now another huge concern to me was why a guy needed 8 different kinds of tubes and creams and lotions in his backpack. Beats me! But whatever. Of course he was too late to check it in and had to make his way back through lines and everything after throwing out the offending items. Like his loyal friends, we were standing near the gate, waiting for him, till the security guy said we could choose between catching the flight or being with our friend. We decided that two of us would go and the other would stay back. The plane had waited about 7 minutes extra now. Finally K showed up, huffing and panting, and we were like a happy reunited family on the plane. Except, we could hear in hushed voices all around us "they're the guys with the shaving cream in their backpack". Apparently word was out, and carrying shaving cream has now clearly acquired criminal status.

The three days at my sister's were typical family stuff. I worked on befriending my niece right from the airport where she and her father came to pick us up- and by the time we reached home she chose me over her father. He wasn't impressed, while I was busy gloating. Ironically, for being on vacation- I was waking up at 6 AM everyday! Perhaps to make the most of it..sleeping took a backseat. (literally, even, when I was dragged to see that stooooopid movie KANK). Lots of plans were made and argued over and cancelled over what to do, where to go, blah blah. Gosh, put four adults in a room and it's so hard to come to a consensus. Luckily there were some areas in which we all had our priorities common- one of them being eating. My cousin and I coming from small gaavs with excuses for desi restaurants, wanted to eat at all the chaat-samosa and dosa places that abound in South Jersey. So we made sure that was given enough and more coverage. Monday since the hosts had jobs to do and offices to go to, my vela cousin and I decided to go see New York City. Although it was not my first time there, I was overwhelmed and wide-eyed as always, to be in the midst of crowds and tall buildings. One of my favourite things about NYC is the huge variety of people- of races and backgrounds you see milling about in a crowd, all striding quickly with a purpose..(and irritated at stupid tourists with cameras). :) hehehe. The other thing I love about going to NJ is taking the trains to get around..something I miss so much. Again at NYC we chose to spend 2 hours at what they call Greenwich Village- which has quaint little eating joints and restaurants that offer cuisines from all parts of the world- quite a laid-back section of the city in fact, very european feel to it. I had the most kick-ass Italian gelato there, and some other yummy food as well. My idea of a perfect afternoon- eating ice-cream and walking on the streets- it's sunny yet breezy- and you've no where to get to. W-O-W!

Tuesday morning we left NJ at the unearthly hour of 4 AM to make our 6:30 AM flight. (that's what you get for discount tickets). After an uneventful flight as I set out to drive back home, Basanti decided to act up- even after getting warmed up- she would keep stalling. Perhaps she was just angry for being neglected in a strange parking lot for three days. (What attention seeking-draama- certainly a laterally transferred trait, methinks). Anyways, just before getting onto the interstate, she refused to move and we had to pull over to the shoulder. I was experiencing very painful deja-vu, and this time all I knew was to check all the fluid levels and the battery. They all seemed okay. Now we didn't know what more to do. A good samaritan stopped his van and came over to help us. He diagnosed the problem almost correctly (as to why the engine was idling too long) and said that I could keep driving it and pushing the accelerator everytime it started stalling..do that till I reached a mechanic to take a look or even do that all the way home. After driving around in the town for 5 -7 miles and dropping my cousin off, the weird behaviour stopped, so I confidently drove the 2 hours back on the interstate to home, occasionally chatting her up and pleading with her to behave. I reached home safe, relieved, and actually happy to shower in my own shower and get back to the lab. I think the parasites missed me too, they looked as happy to see me back! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

"You've changed"

Hell yeah I have changed. If you haven't been influenced by all the on-goings during one of the most active phases of your life, that's what I'd be worrying about.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Life is so unpredictable

A few months back, one of my closest friends here had to leave town in the middle of his program for an unexpected emergency. Now he cannot come back and has left me the task of closing up his affairs here- like vacating his apartment, selling off his car, etc. While I'd like to do all I can to help him out in this difficult time, I was dreading the idea of having to clean up and vacate his apartment for him. Today I went there, and found (to my surprise) that it was spic and span. He is so organized, so neat and tidy. A far cry from what my apartment looks like, what with my style being more "organised chaos". Emptying his place is going to be so much more simpler than emptying my own place! He knows exactly what papers he wants to keep, throw, where they are, and has almost no junk in the apartment. I got started on boxing things at his place, and came home and began putting some of my own things in some respectable order.

Only three days!

and I miss my darling niece so much!

and that was wayyyy tooooo less to have all those long chats with my sister, bug my b-i-l and play with my niece.

and I crave even more for big-city life now.

and I must've put on a good few pounds with all that eating.

and I am SO happy to be back to MY apartment, MY shower, MY lab, and MY bed. :)

Highest high point of my trip: my niece! and discovering that she is displaying left-handed traits. Mera naam roshan karegi! :)

Lowest low point of my trip: Refer to picture.

I want those two hours back. (yes, i forced my sis and cousin to leave in the middle of the movie, just could not take it)
P.S: Am I the only one who's surprised to see a bollywood hoarding at a train station in this country? or is this just normal for New Jersey? (kya karoon, gaav ki chori hoon na)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Just for the heck of it

Sometimes I'm forced to post just to displace a post. This is one of those times. Bohat ho gaya love shove. kya bakwaas.

There is going to be no deep thinking this weekend. I am going to visit my 11 month old niece!! I went to "Toys-R-us" to get her something today..and was so kicked by all those cute little outfits in the store! Am going to see her after 8 months, and cannot believe how fast she is growing up! So after I exercised a lot of self-control and stopped myself from buying out the whole store, I was grinning from ear to ear just excited at the prospect of seeing her. I realised I was walking all around the store looking silly like that, when someone gave me a look as if I was mental or something. Quickly tried to gather myself into displaying some semblance of sanity, paid and scurried out. Continued grinning all the way on the drive home. Haven't stopped yet. This is going to be problematic at security at the airport, for sure. :)

Yay! See you all next week! :) :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oops! you did it again

Post inspiration: QSG, in more ways than one!

Being jaded and cynical, apart from being the "in" thing, is one of the by-products of life. It happens to you somewhere along the way, and occasionally, you may mourn the loss of that innocent, naiive mindset you once had. You become extremely self-protective, cautious, and are unwilling to risk hurting the self anymore. It's a plain and simple defense mechanism, in response to all the hurt you may have let yourself suffer through at various times. You are now happy to be in control, and will always put yourself first, because you owe it to yourself. You never let yourself slip.

And then, unbeknownst to you, and all the promises you made to yourself, you actually let go. It starts off with a very self-controlled agenda, you tell yourself that you've nothing to lose, because you will not fall. But inspite of the resolves, you fall, if only very gradually and less dramatically than earlier. So that the bruises develop over time, unlike earlier when the fall was one big thud, and the wounds might have just bled for a long time and eventually stopped. This time around, you don't even realise you have fallen until that lingering pain surfaces. That all-too-familiar pain. You become angry with yourself for slipping without looking. For not being careful. For going back on your word to yourself. Much self-flogging accompanies the hurt, irrespective of the fact that the fall came with it's own share of tiny moments of excitement and joy on the way, even if transient. That is exactly what you were supposed to guard yourself against!, you tell yourself.

This time you are primed, so you recover faster, and soon you're up and about. And it really wasn't so bad. The repentance, however, continues. Until you realise- hey, inspite of everything, it can happen again! :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Don't

give yourself so much credit. You don't affect me that much, if at all.

p.s. dear readers, this is not aimed at you. :)

p.p.s I found a nifty tool (stumbled upon it at this blog) to play music on my blog, that also gives you the option to shut it up. (This is a very important feature in all things in life). Please to be checking it out and telling me what you think.

p.p.p.s I took the tool down, since atleast two people mentioned it was slowing the page-load considerably. I don't like it when blog pages load slowly, makes me lose my patience.
y'all can now go back to making assumptions/ drawing conclusions on this post. ;) j/k.

Small town girl

When I first came to the US, to join grad school, I HATED this city..or rather town. I remember calling up my friends back home in Bombay and crying "main gaav mein rehti hoon!!". Coming from Bombay, where everyone was all always on the go, and having to run behind buses all my life, to a place where the buses actually wait for you, was a big change for me. It took me a while to get used to the concept of "university town". Where the university, and perhaps a popular college sport, is what the town is all about. But soon enough, it grew on me. One of the things I loved was the amount of greenery. Having lived in a concrete jungle all my life, this was a complete treat for me. The music scene was another big plus- "Downtown" may consist of all of 3 streets, but is very vibrant and there's all kinds of live music to suit everyone's taste. This was another thing I began enjoying. I realised that a "small-town" was the perfect place to spend 5 - 6 years working on a Ph.D. Easy-going, peaceful, and minimum hassles such as traffic jams, pollution, and other things that can be a pain in big cities. If you stick around in such a place long enough, you become familiar with several people. And that's a nice feeling- to frequent your favourite cafe or bar and build up a rapport with the guy at the counter. Or have the waiter at your favourite restaurant recognize you and always remember to bring you a tall glass of water, no ice, with a slice of lemon. Or to just walk about downtown and run into at least 2 or 3 people you know.. Or the fact that there's just one fedex guy who does the package deliveries for the entire town...(and he's cute too) AND he knows me by my first name- so if there are deliveries that are sent to my home address, he automatically brings them to the lab! I can't tell you how kicked I am by that! :-). Then there's Bob, the handy-man I run into every now and then and chat him up. So if I've a leaking faucet or something to fix, it is not too hard to catch hold of him and he does it for me in a jiffy.

I can enjoy living in a one-bedroom apartment by myself and not pay an arm and a leg for it. I can even own a garden plot if I want. I can avoid driving to some extent, and bike or walk around. I need not be afraid of losing my way (yes, even if it's a small town, i'm often losing my way while driving in new localities :) ) because wherever you are, one can never be too far from the main beltway that loops around town. People are nice- the town has a nice cosy feel to it, as against the impersonal vibes that one gets living in a sprawl of suburbs. Being in a university town also means that at the same time, people are quite liberal and forward, and it's not hard to find a bunch of people with a common cause or interest as yours and get involved with them.

Sure enough, after 5 years, a "small-town" can get to you. But that's when you are also preparing for your exit, and if anything, it only motivates you to hurry up and finish. It also makes me realise that I remain a big-city girl at heart, and yearn to live next in a place where I can witness the daily hustle-bustle, chase buses and trains, see tall buildings around me...and then crib about traffic jams, pollution, astronomical costs, etc. :)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Moving pains of another kind

I am depressed. Having lived in Bombay, in the same colony for all my life until I came to the US, I obviously associate with that area and the city the most. I knew the galli-galli ka paan waala, sabzi-waala, PCO waala, xerox-shop waala- they were all my friends, and even enquired about me now and then after I came here. ("Toh Unkal, baby kaisi hai abhi? shaadi ho gaya kya, uska?") :) Four years after I came here, my parents moved out of that colony and went to live in a far-flung suburb in Bombay. It was weird enough having phone conversations with them and not being able to imagine the new place, the new locality, the new neighbours my mom mentioned. And not getting any more news about my old adda. :( Then I made a trip last year and saw all of that. The "great" self-sufficient little residential complex they were living in- replete with a college, a hospital, and everything in one place. Ok, great, I thought. It's a comfy life, and I'm happy for my parents. But this is not that. Soon enough, I found my way around the new place, and at the end of the day, it was still the familiar feeling, not much changes between one suburb and another in Bombay. I could also make a trip down the memory lane, go and spend a few days in my old adda, thanks to some friends who were still there. I came back to the US, now happy that I could imagine the cute little kid next-door who loved coming and playing with my mom, and relate to them when they talked about watching a movie in this big multiplex theatre that was walking distance from their house..nice nice.

Now they've moved out of Bombay, into this city called Hyderabad! NOW no offence to all the hydies on here, am sure it's a great city... (or whatever..;) ) But this is most definitely not that. My dad raves about how the weather is not as humid as it was in Bombay, how much he enjoys his walks better. How the vegetables are a lot less expensive, and even tastier. Of course, I'm happy for him. My mom enjoys the closeness of relatives around, but has her share of domestic woes- water shortage, bais not tiko-fying, and the more laid-back attitude in general, as against bombay where everyone was always on the run. I hear her out, and reflect on how much a bigger adjustment it's turning out to be for her..

But I'm left with nothing. No memories, no ability to relate at all! To think that I'll be going to hyderabad the next time i go to india, is just depressing! Yes, i can still visit bombay, be with my friends there, but it's just not the same. As it is, I'm always torn between spending time with my parents and friends when I go home...and that's just one part of the problem. The bigger realisation - that I don't have a home in bombay- is most upsetting. I won't be taking the trains, chatting up auto-drivers about their opinions on shiv-sena, arguing with bus-conducters, refreshing my marathi..catching up with old friends, dukaan-waalas, all that and more! I will not be able to frequent all my favourite hang-out joints. There won't be the sea! I will have to speak hyderabadi hindi (eugh!) instead of apna rapchik bambaiyya hindi. :( :( :(.The last straw was when my mom sent me some clothes recently, and I was ..let's just say surprised at how my mom's taste had changed in clothes. I usually have complete faith in her picks.I asked her "yeh kya bheja.." trying to contain my shock, and she said "arre, yahaan pe sab aise hi kapde miltein hain". I was crushed! :( (Now, now,i'm sure with enough time, my mom will discover some better places to shop at..but for now, that was another thing to upset me).

One of the good things that has come out of blogging- is I've made my first friend in Hyderabad. :) so I know I have atleast one friend in the strange city. That's very comforting. My parents have found some good things about the city, and I am of course, happy for them. But at the end of the day, Hyderabad is not Bombay! and that makes me selfishly sad. :(

Friday, August 04, 2006

Favourite chin-uppers

What cheers you up when you're down?

#1 Kick the wall

#2 Write it out or these days, blog it out

#3 Go out on a walk/ bike ride. Or go swimming. Fresh air does wonders, and there's something about being in the water- perhaps its the different medium- that all my worries just disappear. (Or perhaps it's because there's only one worry then- staying afloat ;) )

#4 Curse the person responsible for my bad mood. I mean total high class gaalis, not (shift & 1, 2 3 type stuff)

#5 Read Nietzsche or some other heavy stuff that makes me forget what was bothering me.

#6 Read a light book or watch a silly tv show/movie. Along the same lines, play some dhinchaak music. Not senti stuff, please.

#7 Work

#8 Shop, pamper myself, get an ice-cream.

#9 Sleep

#10 Remind myself of a few good things I've done, seen or had.

#11 Call/go meet a friend, get a hug, a drink, and pour my heart out - it's funny, that this is really the last resort for me. Not that I undermine my friends' abilities in cheering me up- they are great at it- but for some reason, I need to sort out my troubles for myself before reaching out. So it usually waits until a day or two later...

#12 Call home. Avoid discussing the actual problem, work hard to pretend that all's normal. and before you know it, it is!

#13 Cook something fun and nice.

#14 Almost forgot this one - cleaning up around the house- it's an awesome de-stresser!

#15 And if all else fails, I resort to the famous water-works, and they always work! :-)

Warning: contains mildly offensive language.

I am convinced that man is a ch!@#$##$4. And I don't know why you're still with him. And I feel helpless because there's little I can do here. But it hurts me to see you go through this. Without respite. How long? And it doesn't seem like it's going to get better.

It bothers me to see you have to endure things we never knew existed while we were growing up. It's a different life you're living now, and it's not a happy one at all. You're too young to have your aspirations snatched away so early. You're too bright to live this life of drudgery. You're too nice and too damn stupid to put up with it.

He has already proved himself to be a spineless d!@# beyond doubt. What else do want? Have a kid? So it can bind you down permanently? And have these stupid visions that it'll change things? Take it from me , it won't. He's an asshole. and i'm sorry i never told you that before, when it *might* have helped. For that, I cannot forgive myself.

Please, get out if it. To HELL with everyone else.

:(

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Copycat that I am,

I stole this list from Satya. The things I've done are in bold, the ones that I want to do have a * at the end. Or more, if I really really want to do them, really!

And the rest are just there. Fun it is.

01.Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid*
06. Held a tarantula (WHY??)
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped****
11. Visited Paris****
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
(am having one right now thinking of the last time i had that.lol)
27. Had a food fight (no way, will never waste food like that)
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day*
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer(what about a partitioned drive?)
40. Visited all 10 provinces (of where?)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends still do! touchwood
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe*******
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing *
49. Midnight walk on the beach*****
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland*
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lazed around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers :o
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain*
63. Played in the mud
64.Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China *
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (HAH!)
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight ( what's D & D ) ??
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (HAHAHAHHA. yes- it's called "my life")
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason :-)
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark YUCK!
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand *
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children*
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over *******
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge*******
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived ( HAHAHA yes, my madness should've killed me by now)
105. Wrote article for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart :(
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari***
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon*
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents *
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days *
126. Eaten kangaroo meat YUCK
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper :D (Thank God NO!)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about***** :(
130. Gone back to school (WTH i still haven't got out yet!)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life