Sunday, May 17, 2009

5 Embarrassing things I've done.

1. (i was drunk-ish :)). Demanded (And got) a massage from a guy who didn't know what else to do.

2. As a kid, went and sat on a random man's lap mistaking him to be my dad. I wasn't even that young, and I was also a chubby kid. This "uncle" actually never visited us after that.

3. (i was drunk. very. :)) Whirled around showing my middle finger to all and sundry at a bar.

4. Meeting a bunch of people for the first time. One of them goes "she looks like xyz, doesn't she?" to the rest. XYZ being the name of a famous, very beautiful actress. Instead of shutting up and smiling gracefully, or saying "I beg your pardon" (because that would've been the right thing to say in my case) , I go "Oh god, i'm sure she's turning in her grave right now". The group looks pretty disturbed and confused. Turns out later, the person didn't say xyz, but a name that sounds like xyz, who was apparently some common friend of all of them, and yeah, very much alive.
Never met these people again either.

5. In my first year here in the US, went and wished "A very Merry Christmas" to a very senior staid professor..who was jewish. Heh.


Friday, May 15, 2009


Reading between the lines..taking hints: I suck at doing all those. I am essentially dumb that way...if you don't spell it out, I don't get it. I need to learn these tricks, especially in the U.S.

I miss my mommy. Don't know what it brought it on all of a sudden. Wish I could go home.

I need to stop "feeling bad for" others. In a sense its almost patronizing, although that's not what I intend. Everybody is equipped with the resources, friends and inner strength to go through their tough phases..its a matter of time and things fall into place eventually. Just reinforcing that realization in my head helps me calm down.

I hate going to a doctor. Starting with the painful process of getting an appointment, to all the time wasted in going there, waiting, dealing with fake smilery or rude impatient behaviour, and finally the short, brusque doctor interaction coupled with the very little trust I have in the health-care system (which is not entirely displaced or irrational), makes for a very unappealing prospect. So I just pull along, get free advice from doctor-friends or whatever.

I have had a nagging shoulder pain that flared up recently, so I finally decided to go to a chiropractor instead. heh. I had to deal with some of the same initial crap- making an appointment, fake smilery etc. but at least they are not drugging my system unnecessarily and I actually feel better after the first visit already. So they may be on to something. And they are not as brusque as the doctors I have had.

I also had the most horrible migraine yesterday. So blinding that I went to the vending machine to get myself a snack and punched in the wrong numbers..TWICE. I just couldn't see clearly enough. It was kind of comic- there I was, with a throbbing pain, really needing an uplifting energy bar, down to my last quarter, and the machine spits out, twice, this sticky-sweet yucky thing that I left on the common table for other to eat. Such a pity vending machines do not have an "Are you sure?" button. :)

Just because I think that something "should be done" a certain way doesn't make it the correct way. Or the only way of doing something. (to put it briefly, self-righteous-bitchery is not cool). I cannot hold others to my standards or expectations of myself. Especially when, I will never have a complete picture of the set of circumstances that led them to do things a certain way.

Also when a person is revealing to you their unhappiness with themselves, they are putting up a very raw, vulnerable side of themselves. It is not easy for them, and they have gone through all the self-beating and more to get to that place where they are sharing their regrets with you. It doesn't matter how affected you are by their distress, they are in a much worse place. And so, it serves absolutely no purpose in adding your voice of disappointment at that point. Nothing. Believe me, they have learned those lessons, in a much harder way. So save the "You should haves" or the "Why didn't you", because it is not helpful, it is not value-adding. The only purpose is serves is a selfish one for you: to express your frustration at the situation, even if stemming from concern, that is not the place for it.

I learned the above two lessons recently, all thanks to my friend S for telling me to my face what she thought of the way I was reacting to certain events around me. She stopped me from coming off as terribly judgmental, not to mention plain wrong and unfair. I hope I remember these.

Things more often than not do not stick to the plans you've made for yourself. That is just life. Accept it, embrace it and gear up for the new set of challenges and opportunities it brings.

At the same time, when things get a bit overwhelming or disappointing, its perfectly ok to bawl to your hearts content. In fact its very therapeutic. Water works ki jai ho. :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Where do I start?

Lab life: Pretty damn blah. Nothing to write home about. Am still doing some basic exploratory experiements, to create preliminary data to base my project off of. Those are stuck at various stages. So, I am, really, behind.

Still doing well in the make-it-into-lab-by-9AM-or-so department. :)

I did make more friends in and around the lab / hallway to exchange some decent hallway gupshup. So that's nice.

I have also tainted my no-lab-on-weekends record finally. It was about time, I guess. But I honestly don't mind going in for a couple hours or so on the weekend, it helps re-orient me so that I don't start cold on Monday morning. So long as I manage to pack in some fun in the weekend, I feel okay about going in to work too.

OK, still drawing from past glory but I have to share with you: the paper from my phd that finally went to press..has risen to be amongst the top 20 most accessed papers in that journal for the last month. It may not necessarily translate into a proportional impact factor / citation count, but it still feels good that so many people wanted to read it. :)

Non-lab-life: Has been rocking. Met up with my friend M, and that put me in an awesome mood for days together. There's something to be said about the good uplifting mood old friends put you in.

Bumped into an old acquaintance from my grad school days...someone I used to meet only in conferences..but hit it off with well....I totally love such chance meetings, and now I know I have someone cool to hang out with here. Looking forward to doing some fun things with her.

Went to a nice concert: Zakir Hussain, Mandolin Shrinivas, Vikku Vinayakam, Shankar Mahadevan and a host of other brilliant musicians. Not sitting with my friends faded in comparison. Lovely hall, great acoustics, mostly a good show, except for parts that were not-so-great.

Have gotten some exposure over the past few weeks attending events, webinars etc. to start thinking about career-planning, alternative careers, etc. A blog is about to be born to keep track of all that. Watch this space.

OK. Am going to cook something fun now. What will it be? May be sambar.