Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nothing beats a BJ

this i did just now and came. OMG OMG ZOMG

Missing

I wonder if it is really about missing the person, or missing the familiarity and comfort zone they signify when you are in a foreign place.

I wonder if its even that, or just that you are bored and hence your mind wanders on to wonder how they are doing.

All things considered, its okay to miss. Almost a nice fuzzy feeling.

I said almost. :)

I was enjoying not having a phone to mind as I ambled around aimlessly. But today I felt like it'd be nice to pick up the phone and call...or be called.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's raining in Ottawa, baby, but everything else is the same*

It's been raining on all my plans here in Ottawa for most. But I'm not complaining. I've had relaxed getting-up-late in the mornings, enjoying a cup of coffee with random strangers in the hostel, chatting over beer, playing cards, taking a walk in the rain, smelling the rainy-smell, sitting with my book and a nice frothy hot chocolate in a french bakery, people-watching, soaking in the foreign-ness, shopping in street-side shops and chatting up shopkeepers from Kashmir and Ecuador and all over..Today I found a huge used books store (all of four floors) and spent a long time there, just enjoying the smell, very different from the smell of a Borders or a Crosswords. More like the smell of the Ramkrishna Mission library I frequented when I lived in Bombay. I have been having a nice time for most. I didn't get to go biking or do much touristy stuff but given that it's not my first time here, I don't feel too bad. I am enjoying the relaxed pace of this enforced vacation.

Having never really lived in a hostel for any extended time in my life, I totally enjoy these stays in a hostel when I travel. You get to meet all kinds of people from world over, some touring around, some living out of a backpack for god knows how long..the hippie type and the happy type. And the gay type also, there's a lot of them here. I enjoy the congenial atmosphere in the lounge, squabbling over TV channels, enjoying movies together or just chatting. I totally recommend the Backpackers Inn for staying here in Ottawa. It's just a 10 min walk from the US Embassy (if you're coming here for visa work) and one of the warmest most friendly atmospheres I've seen amongst all the hostels I've stayed in. (Admittedly, I've just stayed in 4). It's also clean and well-kept, affordable at $24 a night and the inn-keeper Martin is super-friendly and helpful and accommodating.

Some pics are here

So my stay's been mostly fun, except when the nights come. I dread the nights. It's hot as hell in my dorm room (no. no ACs in the hostel) and very hard to sleep. At first I was all excited about sleeping on a top bunk bed because I've always been fascinated by the idea, but it's perhaps not the best for summer months.

I am feeling quite at home here at the hostel. I have been toying with the idea of doing something like Felipe now. Felipe is a a webpage designer by profession but got tired of the routine and decided to take a few months off to travel. He's backpacking around a network of backpacker's hostels, living on meagre savings and not worried about anything. When he goes back, he'll start afresh, he says. I let my mind wander into the fantasy for a bit. We are so not conditioned to think of life like that. There always has to be an agenda, a direction. Study, get a job, work hard, make yourself a career, get married, work harder at career plus marriage, have kids, work even harder blah blah blah. We've never factored in the time for a few months long break..to just get away from everything and not worry about anything. As I start drifting into fantasy, my mind raises all kinds of questions. 1)How? you don't even have any savings. 2) How do you plan on catching up with the all the changes in your field when you go back? 3) Wouldn't you rather save this time for a break when you have a kid or something? 4)And this is the biggest question of all, a 29-year old has to ask herself: "how will you explain this to mom and dad?".

Yeah, seriously!

Most of those questions, I know, can be silenced. But money or lack thereof is a real deterrent. Yeah, may be I could find odd jobs while doing this, to see myself through. I don't think it will be that easy, given that there are so many jobless people around as it is. I ask the inn-keeper if he'd give me a job in the inn. He said he cannot afford to hire anymore people. Morever, I definitely don't want to stay put here in Ottawa for the length of my break. The idea is to travel...but even if it were to be to stay put at one place, i'd pick a better place than Ottawa. May be a remote beach-village somewhere..ahh..I think i'm going to let myself daydream on this for a little while more..before I board that flight back to phila and all the reality that awaits. :/

*Due apologies to the Counting Crows

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Salsa!

It's so much easier to allow the man to lead....when he's a stranger in a foreign land. :D

This post-doc life

I had my interview at the US Embassy in Ottawa today, to get my visa stamped. I approached the very chatty and friendly visa officer with all my papers..she commented on my pretty folder (Chimanlals),asked to see my Ph.D diploma, "oh wow you're a scientist.." what did I do between May and August 2007, etc. etc. I thought it was all going well until she asked for my employment letter, read it over, paused, had a raised eyebrows expression on her face and proceeded to ask,

"Oh MY GOD is that all you get paid for being a Ph.D?"

heh.

So she took pity on me and granted my visa too, no more questions asked.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying Ottawa..its nice and sunny and cheery and if the weather holds up I shall go biking later..may be I'll post pics and actually do a decent post on the trip later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thinking...

Even if i did get a dog, would it do the dishes and bring my laundry up?

nahin to kya faayda? :D

LOLZZZZZ

I hate that Zee being tagged on to the end of words with such a passion! Cannot stand. And if anything, it should be lZol, not lolzzz, right? aargh.

In other news, I discovered "The Office" and it is a riot! I am beginning to see how t.v is capable of filling a void in one's life, like she often claims.

Monday eve blues have been effectively warded away. Never mind that I still have two loads of laundry to do and the dishes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thought of the day

Corollary to this

There are some things you will never understand. The sooner you stop trying to understand them, stop let them affecting you and learn to JUST IGNORE, the better for your general sanity and peace of mind.

A lot easier said than done. I am so angry right now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kya hua jo laree chootee...

So a significant portion of my life has been spent chasing buses, trains and sometimes planes. I like to think of it as the way I manage to get some exercise. What I can never fathom is however close I am to the train/bus station, or however far off I am, it doesn't matter. One moment I'll be sitting, relaxing at home, happy in the thought that I have 20 mins to leave and the bus stop is right outside my doorstep, and before you know it, I am banging doors, tripping over myself and forgetting important stuff at home to make the bus. Only to miss it by a whisker and come back home, before its time to head out for the next bus, rinse, and repeat. Sometimes I'm ambling about downtown, 30 mins to spare until the next train comes, I decide to go explore a bit or sit and read a book or get a coffee, and there, suddenly I am running wildly, pushing people out of my way and making my heroic entry into the train with a surly guard about to close the door on me. It's always like this. ALWAYS.

When I moved to this city I was very happy to be able to hop on a train and get around. The very idea of being connected by a public transport system after six years of living in car-dependent small town lutom was very pleasing. One of the first times I happened to be taking the train from its starting point. Now, I timed myself and everything, and as I was making my way to the station, I saw that the train was already there. Worried that I had somehow messed up the timing in my head (I transpose numbers in my head all the time), I began my usual dash. The worst part was that the next train was after a whole hour, so really, I wouldn't want to miss this one, or see it roll out of the station in front of my very eyes. Egged on by those very thoughts I made a spirited dash, and made it to the platform while the train was still there, however the doors were closed. I went ballistic and started banging on the door and jumping (the platforms here are sometimes on a much lower level than the train). As if to make mockery of the entire situation, the train promptly rumbled and rolled forth. That was it. Something snapped in me somewhere and I began wildly and desperately gesticulating to anyone who could possibly see me and may be pull a chain or do something! The train rumbled forth and stopped a few yards ahead. The doors opened, the conductor stepped out and let down the steps so people could get on. He gave me this blank stare. Suddenly a few other people materialized and everyone climbed on to the train nonchalantly. I got on too, and saw that there were still a few minutes for the train to leave. WTF was written all over my face. WTF and slapping forehead. Finally the conductor took pity and explained. At the last/first stop, before heading back out again, it was apparently a practice to shut all the doors and do what is called a "System check" before letting passengers board again. So the doors are closed and the train moves up a bit. Bleddy naansense. I think they should put that on the timetables or something. What kind of stupid ass practice is that anyway?

Since then everytime I'm at a station a few minutes early and see the train doing this system check thing, I look around to see if I can catch any other poor sod in the act of panicking. It has yet to happen, partly because there aren't that many times I'm early enough to see the system check in progress. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I want

1. to finish this task I have been sitting on for ages.

2. to walk bare-feet in the sand on a beach somewhere and stumble upon a perfect sand dollar (like this).

3. to go to my cousin's wedding in hydie in august. i've missed out on all family gatherings in my family for the past seven years.

For now, i think only #1 is realistically possible. :)

Hot, damn!

My first summer in this apartment. I am tempted to say my last too, going by how this heat is driving me crazy. I hate apartments that are on the topmost floor for this reason. There is just a small A.C. in the living room, which does enough to cool a 2 sq. feet zone around it. So I sit in this "zone" as much as I can. Until the A.C. begins to bother my skin, dehydrate me and all that. Then I move to the bedroom, traversing through all the hot pockets of air. The bedroom doesn't have an A.C, but I have two huge pedestal fans surrounding my desk. Giving me a feeling of being some kind of royalty, with machines instead of those people who would fan the queen. Heh. Until I decide to step out of this zone and find myself tripping over the damned fans. Atleast real-life dasis would've moved and made way. Creature of habit, I made my cuppa chai, only to realise it was too hot to even drink chai. I just downed two large glasses of cold water instead and decided to throw the chai down the drain. Now I want my chai back. Heh. I hear a voice in my head go "so typical". :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Round and round we go

In dizzying circles. We go through all the motions over and over again. It would be so much easier to say "Aah. f@#$ it. Shit happens. We all screw up" and move on. But no. There's a part that doesn't want to let go of the image that was built. There's another part that is unwilling to accept the screw up. And there's the voice that keeps calling it all, asking you how you can go on, pretending its all okay? And in all this mess one can no longer separate what was from what wasn't, what could've been from what should've been.

It's only as effed up as you want it to be.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Shout out to..

Whoever it is from a big pharma co_in the NorthEast who visits this blog (or anyone in pharma or biotech in general who might be reading)... will you help me find a job?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pet peeve of the day

people who bang on keyboard keys. Especially Kalia's. Damn it folks! A gentle touch will do it. There is no need to bang. And also, keep your fingerprints off the monitor!

Audience question

If, in a moment of weakness, you shared your blog url with someone you know IRL (In real life) [if you usually don't want people IYRL reading your blog], and later asked the person to stop reading the blog, how many of you believe that the said person will actually stop reading it?
How many of you are beyond caring?

I am somewhere in the middle, somewhere in between. The blog never tells the full story. Often it is impulsive, off the cuff outbursts. Often it is frivolous. Sometimes it runs on with a wild imagination.

And only the blogger knows how much.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

W.o.m.m #21

Kabhi kabhi Aditi (I heard about it here first) I like. May not be the most brilliant music composition, I don't think. More hindi-pop and slightly predictable. But its catchy, very cheery and happy in an infectious way. Its acquired loop status for the past couple days on my computer.

How sometimes we write things or people off, only to eat our words later? I guess its okay- one cannot seal everything with finality.

A friend just told me all about his dream job. I hope that he gets to live it soon. I am not sure I have a dream job.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Chota sa break

Besides all the long breaks I take from work, I mean. Enough of heavyweight sad morose blog posts. These days this blog makes me sick. So I decided to take a few minutes to write about something a friend and I were discussing yesterday.

The concept of gift registries. A hallmark of this increasingly obnoxious consumerist life and society we live in.

My first brush with them was when I was invited to a friend's wedding here in the US. We were given a link to the wedding registry, which had a nice itemized list of all the things the to-be-wedded couple would need, wish for, or fancy having. The gifts ranged from serving spoons to crockery sets to toaster ovens to fancy ottoman (ottomen?) and what have you. The were spread across two stores: Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. Although this was a really good friend and had I gone to pick her a special gift I might not have put too stringent a cap on the price (if I found something just right for her, and within reasonable limits), when it was all here listed it was easy to sort by price and look for something within my budget.

My budget being pretty much in the lower end of the range. It turned out that most of the items that were at the lower end of the range were gone already! Others who got to it before me had already picked them, and what were left were the more expensive items and a few within my range. Anyhoo, I settled for a couple different items I thought looked nice. Even easier for me, I could have gone online and ordered it and wouldn't even have to bother going to the store, but I went anyway. Once I got to the store, I found that I could print out another copy of the registry, most recently updated thus no gifts would be repeated. Furthermore, the list had the exact aisle number and rack on which you could find any said item. So you just had to stride down the aisles, match catalogue number, pick up the gift and mention the registry while paying for it so that the list could be updated again.

Now I am very much a fan of functionality, utilitarianism and ideas such as this real-time updating etc. In any other setting, I would be completely wowed by this kind of efficient management. But I think that gift giving still shouldn't be such a clinical affair. What happened to the fun of searching through stores, wondering if it would suit your friend, picking it up, packing it in fancy paper, etc? What about the surprise factor in opening up a gift not knowing what it is going to be? Shouldn't some part of the joy of gifting belong to the gift-giver? I certainly didn't get any joy out of this process, where my friend literally demanded, in a very impersonal fashion to me and 50 others what she'd like as gifts, and it was left between us to squabble over who gets to the least expensive gift first! Do not give me the argument of ending up with 20 rice cookers. Gifts are supposed to be just that, gifts. You don't have a say in them, you take what you get and feel grateful for it, for the thought. If its ugly, don't wear it. If it's one too many, exchange it or pass it on..but to demand upfront seems pretty presumptuous and just plain greedy to me. If you need spoons or fancy a leather ottoman then buy it on your own dime! I don't see why your wedding guests should feel obliged to stock up your new life with all these essentials and non-essentials.

Heh. What started out as a small break and a change from morose posts is turning into a rant. :-) Time to get back to work now, methinks.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

w.o.m.m #20

It is all perfectly logical, fair and can be rationalized. That doesn't stop it from bothering me and making me feel bad. Hopefully in time reason will outdo emotion and I'll stop sulking.

One of the things about myself that irritate me is my habit of linking unrelated events in my life. One thing depending on another, when there is absolutely no need. I need to break this habit. Learn parallel processing, multitasking and all that.

Everyone plays the game differently. Such is life.

When I'm in a better mood, i'll write all about my friend's visit this past weekend. It was great fun and I owe this blog the happy post. Someone please remind me.

For now I am going to focus on getting work done which should significantly improve my mood.

And finally, an anonymous thank-you to a certain someone (who will never read this) for being around and listening.