Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I plan to walk into my boss's office and ask for a month off for the wedding. Wish me luck, people!

Why is it so hard for me to do this? Frankly because I am woefully aware of how data-poor my last year has been. And things are just about picking up in the lab- the next few months are going to be peak-busy time. And, then, I did take 2 weeks off in November - which were granted smilingly, when I wasn't even here for a year.

Well: such is life. I did my best in lab, and other aspects of my life have to move on, with or without data. So I am prepared for a worst case scenario- which will be that I take that time off and forgo salary, or else, I truncate it to 3 weeks of leave. I'd rather take time off without pay, honestly.

Boss man has been *mostly* reasonable and understanding in the past, so lets see.

OH MY. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The weekend that was

was wonderful! Spent it with S: my close friend from grad school and her family. Totally enjoyed the warmth and hospitality, fun and jokes and very hearty meals. Meeting S's parents made it so clear why S is such a great person, and why I am so glad to have a friend like her. Oh, I also got to sleep on a water bed for the first time and that was such fun!

Was also the about perfect time for a break. Was nice to be offline all weekend long. It was nice to go away, and I am happy to be home, now. The my shower, my couch, my bed thing.

Is it possible to respect someone's choices when you don't believe in them? Some things are hard to explain. Where do you start? Do you start making your point, or do you start trying to remind people that it's entirely within reason for two people to have very different stands on the same subject and let it be? Or do you step back and decide that you don't owe anyone any explanations, hence tell them politely to eff off? I've learned that the easiest/nicest way out of it all is the nod and smile policy. :)

You know its time to stop asking some people for advice when they begin doling out unsolicited advice.

Read through more of Henrietta Lacks' story. There are points in the book that make you want to shut the book and walk away from it all. Because it hits so close to home that is biomedical research. The story stays with me for hours after I've read it: it almost numbs my reaction to everything else around, as the story lingers on in my head and has me looking at everything else with a very different perspective.

Sometimes, when I am having a really great time- I miss B, but more than missing him, what brings me down is thinking of what he's missing, and how much he must be missing all of it. And how he must've made his peace with it, to whatever extent he has. It can't be easy. :/

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things irritating me right now


1. Work. Shit loads to do and I don't know where to start. Overwhelmed. Well I know what's most urgent, but I also like that job the least. But I must remind myself- means-to-the-end, means-to-the-end!

2. People: whiners, groaners, those with manufactured drama. Please take your sad lot elsewhere, I cannot deal. In fact, I wish I had your problems instead of mine. So really, expect no sympathy or listening ear from me. Just tell me if you're interested in trading. OK?

3. Meddlesome nosy people. Petty people. Get-a-life. Get out of my face.

4. Life in general. And its nice and sunny outside, but I have to be indoors staring at data. Pah.

5. Someone's loud crappy (opera) music the day I decide to work from home. Idiots.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Awesome weekend. First, the weather is tops. Got to meet up with good friends and that makes me happy always. Got good news from India. Two of my best friends from school called to say they won't make it to my wedding. Don't know how that happened, but both are expecting babies around the same time! Heh. :) I am super happy for them, even though I wish they had planned better ;) I also got a tiny bit of work done too, and a lot of spring cleaning. All in all, very satisfying.

Interlaced in the happy stuff was the annoying stuff. I had been working on getting a surprise birthday cake delivered to B- who is traveling to all kinds of fancy places. First was all the sleuthing to find out his travel plans and the hotel he'd be staying at. Then I went back and forth with the hotel, jumping through hoops of international phone calls, time zones, accents and communication, credit card authorizations and what not, only to have the hotel drop the ball at the last minute and the cake didn't get delivered. I was more disappointed than B, of course, who had no clue what had been brewing for so long. But it was frustrating. Ah well.

Then- eating terrible Indian food at the Indian section in Whole Foods buffet (but this I have only myself to blame- the food didn't even look too appetizing- what was I expecting?). A horribly rude bartender at the bar last night. Out of whack train schedules last night. On my way back home, as I decided to let the slow local pass by hoping for an express train, the conductor was actually nice enough to inform me that the express trains were not running, and I took the local. That was an awesome gesture on his part.

Have been reading the story of Henrietta Lacks all day yesterday- the longer subway rides meant that I got through more than half of the book. The story has been weighing on me so much- all else -rude bartenders- undelivered birthday cakes- and whatever else I'd typically rant about till the cows come home- pale and seem terribly inconsequential and insignificant.

I haven't finished my book- and I promise to post a more detailed write up of my thoughts when I'm done- for now- I'm just grappling with the stark realities detailed in the book. And even though I'm only half-way, I strongly recommend the book to all scientists, doctors, reporters, writers - actually just about anyone..there is so much to learn from this story, and it is told in a very engaging and provoking way.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Here comes the sun...

Spring set in a couple days ago and I feel amazingly uplifted. Waking up with or before sunrise, getting exercise, singing on my way to work, getting out of work early, not letting the failed experiments get to is such a contrast to the way I felt last week: and there have been no drastic improvements on any other front, so I only have the weather to thank!

Yay sun!

Of course, the Americans, who have a way of putting every life-situation in bracketed names and ascribe them to clinical disorders of sorts, might say I was suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

(From Wiki: a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer,[1] spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. ...It has been estimated that 1.5-9% of adults in the US experience SAD.)

And of course, a small part of me weeps. Weeps tears of sadness for the nice expensive winter coat I bought and hardly used! ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Laundry day

The best part about putting off laundry as far as you can is that, when you finally do it, you begin to rediscover clothes you forgot you had.

It's almost like I have all these new clothes now! :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Have there ever been moments you don't have faith in your own words? When this whole separation thing gets too hard on either B or me, one of us is egging the other one along, mouthing platitudes like "We'll get there" "We're doing this for a reason" "We'll make up for all the time lost"...etc. Sometimes, I literally mouth those well-rehearsed an almost mechanical way- realizing that they don't console me either. Other times we just acknowledge that this sucks, but we have to suck it up, because that's the way it is, or the way we've chosen to take.

A friend warned me against getting into guilt-trips in long-distance relationships. I don't feel the guilt as much, but I do, every so often, question the reasons behind our choices. Ponder over the if-onlys. Wonder if I just chose a "safe" path that didn't make me look foolish.

I hung out with a set of people who are really close with each other- and it made me miss the close friendships I once had. People that you hang out with regularly, unlike when meeting up is a mere possibility but not a priority in each others respective hectic lives. People that you can drink yourself silly with and feel ok about them picking up the tab too. People that get your jokes, your nit-picky-ness, your silliness. People that bring warm hugs that make everything alright. All these people - where have they gone!? :(

Ah well..such is life. May be I should stop avoiding and start facing the truth and act on it. i.e. go do my laundry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

On the use of "Reply-all"

I am guilty of the being one to abuse e-mail on several occasions. I think out loud in emails and go back and forth in planning and discussing. Sometimes its warranted, other times not. But my biggest pet-peeve is people hitting reply-all when it isn't really necessary..and especially when you don't even know the others in the address list. (I am talking about personal e-mail here). I just got wished "Happy Ugadi!!!" from a bunch of random folks I don't know just because my uncle sent all of us a single email with the wishes. Gah. And then, I did the unimaginable: hit "Reply All" to an email invitation to someone's party. It was an honest mistake- and I was so disgusted with myself I wasn't sure if I should do another reply-all to apologise for the mistake or just sit quiet. I decided to sit quiet, and now have lost all rights to bitch about the flurry of reply-alls that have ensued since.

I really think we need an additional button on gmail that says "You hit reply-all. Are you sure you want to inundate the mailboxes of ALL the people addressed in the original email, or will it suffice to just answer the sender of the e-mail?"

The weekend that was

Saw heavy rain and a bunch of houseguests. I was initially looking forward to their visit- but later on was just feeling very tired from a crazy work week and not up to hosting noisy 23-year-olds. Well- the weekend was a lot of fun, despite the terrible weather. I went out drinking with the bunch, did some touristy stuff, but returned home earlier than them, just so I could behave my age at some point. :p The group basically consisted of my best friend's kid brother and bunch of his friends and other friends' younger siblings. The "TGFI-didi" image was pretty much shattered as she downed shot after shot with the rambunctious bunch. But a good time was had by all. :-)
At home, I was busy yelling at the boys to keep it down as they returned home in the wee hours of the morning, as noisy and talkative as ever. The last of them left today, the apartment is clean and the silence is boring. Just when I was wondering if I was becoming old and impatient and intolerant of company, I am glad the people-person in me is very much there!

Friday, March 12, 2010


It rained like crazy- and its cold as hell and windy- and i thought my ears would fall off on my way back home..and the weekend is pretty much screwed. I have a house full of guests starting tonight- I am not very much in the mood though - mixture of work fatigue and what not.

It is funny how, some people call you completely out of the blue at a time when you could really use a chat. I love it when that was one such day- and a very crazy day at that- where I could barely afford to come up for air at work. The phone call was a welcome surprise and distraction.

Apparently there's a "Simple Living Institute" now. "an organization devoted to helping people attain happiness through a lifestyle called voluntary simplicity, or simple living".  WTF. Are they giving out diplomas too?

I am sorely missing my sis and niece. :'(

Why is baingan such a widely hated vegetable? Inspite of being baingan raja? I made some awesome baingan ka bhartha- even if i say so myself- well i have to say so myself because someone just passed it and wanted to order pizza instead. Pah.

I am quite an ageist- I tend to easily write off as "immature" anyone who is a few years younger than me- and tend not to have too much patience while talking to them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


You know I've missed you, even if I didn't pay attention to all of you on some days and entirely ignored you other times. I missed my morning companion, for me to have when I wanted to. I miss the guilt trips too when I couldn't spend time with you. And when I saw you, in shiny transparent blue visiting someone else today, I couldn't help this slight feeling of jealousy that overcame me. I want you back!

I'm going to begin subscribing to the daily newspaper again!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Pet peeve of the day

Girls calling/referring to other girls with "Dude". pah.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

It is sinking

(in). Several friends ask me every now and then how I am feeling about the impending wedding..and I've never had anything to report. Truth is that it was still in the distance..and what with me not really involved in any preps, there was nothing tangible for me to associate with a wedding looming in the horizon. I have done the wedding shopping thing during my sisters wedding, and it is really the least favourite of my things to do: so I couldn't even pretend to be excited about that. Things that preoccupy me the most are getting work done, getting data, and getting a month off for the wedding and enjoying it guilt-free. Still, it was nice to have people ask because those were the only reminders I'd have about the fact that I am getting married soon. Friends exchanged their wedding stories and gave out tips- and I heard them and moved on, still worrying about experiments. Then close friends started asking for details so they could make travel plans- and it started getting a little real. Some enthu people started their own countdown to the day, something I haven't done yet :) . The time is creeping closer for me to go in and ask my boss for that month off: and that is daunting. My parents recently moved into their own flat in hydie and my dad always commented on how he wished for me to join him in enjoying chai in the balcony and the view. I have stayed there for the first time on my most recent trip and it is truly fun. So today on the phone my mom was telling me how my dad was musing that I wouldn't really be enjoying the flat as much as he'd have liked me to-now that I'm getting married. That's when it hit me: the idea of not going home to my parents the next time I visit India: the idea that, despite all those filmy connotations this brings up, I am, indeed, introducing a new component in my life at a closeness that, until now, was exclusive to my parents. My parents are now actually going through these motions, in the midst of all the other wedding-related tasks. And that's what it took for the whole marriage thing to sink in for me! Sigh.