Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Kilimanjaro

A long, long time ago, there was a 28 before 28 post. And no. 12 said "Buy, clean and cook an entire fish (I hate fish. I am petrified of fish. I have never touched an uncooked fish and have hardly eaten cooked fish. Hence, I really have no idea what to do with fish!)."

Now, fish and I have a complicated relationship. In the order of things, of all the things I would be most scared of doing, I would rate "holding a snake as no. 1 and "cleaning fish" as no. 2. Skydiving would be no. 50 I think. Swimming with the sharks and fighting shooting someone would be somewhere in between. 

I still have not cleaned fish, but I bought shelled shrimp (I thought I would ease into the fish territory by starting with seafood) and I cooked it! I'm telling you. This is my Kilimanjaro. Not my Everest, but very, very close. 



The shrimp was fabulous. I made it following this recipe by Five and Spice, and this is what I did:

Ingredients: 

1/2 kg large shrimp shelled and cleaned (there were about 30)
1 tsp paprika (the original calls for sweet paprika and I didn't have any with me.
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed herbs (Mine is a mix of rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil, and oregano,and traces of celery and mustard. I reckon that you can use any of these herbs or a combination of them.)
zest from half a lemon
a glug of olive oil
4 shallots minced
6 cloves of garlic minced
juice of 1 lemon
3  tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brandy


Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the paprika, pepper, salt, herbs, and lemon zest. Mix well and let it marinate. 


Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (not nonstick). Add the shallots and the garlic, followed by the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce. Fry till light brown (about 5 minutes). Add the prawns and saute until they turn pink (about 3 minutes).





Now is the fun part. Pour in the alcohol with a ladle, light it up with a long matchstick, and let it burn. Eventually it dies out. 





That's it! Serve with bread, butter, and a green salad. 


:)  


This dish was yum; the plate was totally licked clean! The original calls for 5 tbsp of butter and even without it, it was awesome. 


And yeah. I'm never gonna be a food photographer, that's for sure. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Panorma

This is something that I learnt during my photography class a couple of months ago. I've been wanting to post this really simple but awesome photshop tutorial on Panorma Photography, but I've been looking for the perfect "panorma" since then.


Enter my living room.


You know how sometimes some things are right under your nose, but you don't appreciate them because you take them for granted. Well, this is not one of those instances.


About 270 degree of my living room. 
My living room is no place for a panorama shot, or for any kind of shots for that matter. Except for close up shots of a certain part of the key hole. But necessity is the mother of invention and I need to post these pictures now and show you how to do this!

Ok, let's go. 


Stand at any point. Anywhere. Click a picture. Turn a bit and take a picture of the portion to the right/left, making sure that there is some area on the side of both pictures that are the same, i.e., the pictures should overlap.Continue doing this until you cover the area you wish to cover. You can shoot even a full 360 degrees if you wish.


Open up Photoshop and then open all these pictures.


The method by which the panorama is created is called photo stitching. In Photoshop, this technique is called Photomerge. Photomerge can be started from the File menu (File > Automate > Photomerge). What happens is that Photoshop arranges and matches the edge details of successive pictures and what you end up with is an extremely long composite image. It's quite ingenious, really, as are all things Photoshop.


Flatten and crop the image because the edges will be ragged. 


Aaaaaand you're done. 


Now you're all set to take on the Brooklyn Bridge or the Hudson River or the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower. :)

For a very detailed tutorial and a lot of trouble shooting information, please go here. This is the official Photoshop website, and its helped me out on so many instances; a good emergency website to keep handy. 


A gentle reminder to my father: If you don't come to Bombay soon, this is all you're going to see of my house. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bang Bang

Zooey Deschanel makes me want to get bangs. 

Does she make you feel the same?

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zooey

And on a completely unrelated note, listen to this.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Pain Perdu?

After I started working, Thom and I have become the kind of couple who sprawls on the couch and watches Game of Thrones marathons over the weekend. My former energy and lust for life have been taken over by a kind of languidness that is emanating from the deepest part of my being. Do you feel me?

And then I cook. {Last weekend I made beef pickle}This weekend, I neither went out nor cooked. I slept. While Thom watched Game of Thrones. And it made me feel deeply unproductive. And tired. And lazy. And listless. And dull. And... Ok done. 

And that is why I made French Toast. 

It is quick. It is easy. And it's taste proves that good things are not hard to come by. 

Now there are as many recipes for French Toast as there are types of bread. As there are stars in the sky. As there are strands of hair on my husband's head. More than the strands of hair on my head, because I'm growing bald by the day.

Maybe that's why none of my gazillion  recipe books have a recipe on French Toast. But the Internet. The Internet is a maze with French Toast recipes around each corner. The Pioneer Woman's got a very smart suggestion: use only egg yolks. She is a smart and wily one, that pioneer. Joanna from A Cup of Jo has a "The best x you'll ever have, and Miss. James of Bleubird Vintage has written a post on French Toast. Deb of Smitten Kitchen has written about a very, very appealing Creme Brulee French Toast, which I want to try  out desperately. Molly has a very standard recipe on Orangette. And then there's Slate, which will tell you how you're doing it wrong. Now that's a fitting end to your French Toast saga if there ever is one!

And as for what I did, here is my recipe. This is my healthy French Toast that still tastes awesome. This is what you need?




3  eggs
150 ml milk
1/4 cup of caster sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 slices of whole wheat bread
oil

Whisk the first six ingredients. Place a non-stick pan on medium heat and anoint it with a little oil. I used a smidgeon of olive oil.  Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture one at a time, making sure that it is soaked through but not breaking apart. This is the tricky bit.  

When the pan is hot, place the slices on the pan and let it cook until the under side is golden; about 2 min. Turn over. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Oooops.Wrong forum. Repeat the cooking process.

I like to make a few like this and a few with jam in it. All you need to do is make jam sandwiches, dip them, and fry them.

And you know what the French Toast of my fantasy is like? They are Elvis-style, with peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiched between fat slices of bread, French toasted, and doused in maple syrup. Yum!!!!

And arguing for the flip side of the coin, don't let anyone tell you that you need butter to toast the bread. Olive oil French toasted my wholewheat bread just fine, merci beaucoup!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

You know what I think is the biggest irony of blogging? The more you write, the easier it is to find stuff to write about. In the one and a half years that I have been blogging, I don't think that I have ever felt like I have run out of topics. There is always something to write about... something to talk about. It's been a while since I have felt that, and I here I sit, staring at the screen, words failing me in a despairing way.

And this gets me thinking. What does one blog about?

Let me count.

1. Photography
2. Fashion
3. Food
4. Babies/Pets/Husbands/Families
5. Decor & Craft
6. Books
7. Life--its idiosyncrasies and its ironies
8. All of the above

And where do I fall in? No. 8. Shame on me for not thinking that I have enough to write on!!!

So now I think I should write on one thing each from the above until I'm done with the list. In two weeks. What say? I'm gonna do this with all kinds of discipline, ok? Wanna join in?

And tomorrow's topic: Photography! To set the mood, here are a few pictures of my honeymoon in Vietnam and Thailand.












Thailand for its temples and Vietnam for its food. Always. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On holding hands with Taye Diggs

You know how there are some things you know, but some times, when you're forced to look at it closely, you don't know whether it's right or not. Well, welcome to my life as an editor. It is a conundrum of confusing questions. 


Today, I had a simple sentence to edit. 


"You'd better hold hands with Taye Diggs," it said. 


And I was dumbstruck.


First I changed it to "You better hold hands with Taye Diggs, Liz!" Because obviously. Then I deleted the "Liz" part but remained happy. But my point is this. I am so used to saying "You better do this" and "I better do that," that I don't even realize the mistake in the sentence. 


Step two: I start wondering what the "'d" in the "you'd" stands for. I have an inkling that it is had, but I am not sure. I am questioning my education, my knowledge, my intuition, and my thinking at the point. 


Enter the Internet.This is what it says:


"We use “had better” plus the infinitive without “to”  to give advice. Although “had” is the past form of “have,” we use “had better” to give advice about the present or future."


I had forgotten!


"You had better hold hands with Taye Diggs." 


I know. 


I had better. 


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Monday, June 18, 2012

5 reasons why you should visit Bombay (besides me)

So what follows in the next few paragraphs read pretty much like my resume. Be warned.

I was born and brought up in Kerala (refer map below). My mother was studying to be a doctor and my father was working in Kuwait Airways and was based in Kuwait. I was therefore raised by my maternal grandparents.

Here's a picture you may have seen before.



Four years after I was born, my brother came into our lives. He was the naughtiest thing you ever saw. Yikes!!! I don't know how much I've had to beat him up to ensure that he grew up into a distinguished gentleman.

By the end of school, I was dying to get out. The bold, bright world was beckoning me, and I was all set to see it all. I went to Madras to do my Bachelors in Psychology. After that, I assisted a fashion photographer for a couple of months and then did my Masters in Mass Communication in Pune (where I met Thom).

After that got over, I immediately started working at my first job as a production executive for a film in Mumbai. This was four years ago, but the film has not been released yet. I did that for two months and then quit the job when I reached the verge of killing myself. (Worst. Job. Ever.)

Then I got a job with one of the biggest qualitative market research agencies in India and I did that for over a year. By then, Thom and I had decided to get married. I wanted to travel for a bit before I got married so I quit my job and did that. I went to a whole lot of places and lived in a whole lot of places and overall had a whale of a time. Then I went to Kerala and lived at home for a while. Then I started this blog, got married, and moved back to Bombay.

After that, I got a job with and editing company and now I am an academic editor. It's a fun job; sometimes its a funny job.


Anyways. I am making my point here in a very long winded way. I have lived in quite a few places, never feeling like it's my home and always with one foot out. I have this crazy, insane, consuming desire to to travel and everywhere I go, I almost stop myself from completely setting shop there. Places never, ever feel like home. But the good thing is that the traveller in me brings with it this crazy need to explore and find every nook, cranny, and secret sweet spot in the city. This is true of every place I have lived in and most places I have  visited.

All this while, I never did a guide to Mumbai or anything like that because I was waiting to do one on Paris or Brussels. (Don't judge me. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes!) But I don't think that that's gonna happen any time soon and I'm gracefully going to accept that Bombay's my home, at least for now.

There. That wasn't so bad. I am only hyperventilating a little.

Now Bombay... Here's what Lonely Planet India has to say about Bomnbay...

"Measure out: one part Hollywood; six parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; stir in half a dozen colonial relics (use big ones); pour in six heaped cups of poverty; add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants (don’t skimp on quality here for best results); equal parts of mayhem and order; as many ancient bazaars as you have lying around; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; fold in your mixture with equal parts India; throw it all in a blender on high (adding generous helpings of pollution to taste) and presto: Mumbai.An inebriating mix of all the above and more, this mass of humanity is a frantic melange of India’s extremes."

And what an inebriating mix it is! Here's a list of 5 awesome things you have to do in Bombay. These are the things that I love doing, with Thom and by myself.

1. Can we start with food? :)

First, you need to eat the traditional Konkan/Malvani cuisine, which is predominantly non-vegetarian with a lot of emphasis on sea food. The curries are typically coconut based, fiery, and bursting with flavor. Things to eat in no particular order: Bombil Fry (fish fry), Sol Kadhi (a digestive drink), Bhakri (unleavened bread), Mutton Sukha (Dry Mutton), Rice. Actually, you can eat anything Malvani and it will be lip smacking good.



2. The remnants of a distant past

Walk around on the cobblestone pathways in Fort gazing at tall, ornate colonial buildings, stopping every once in a while to shoot a gorgeous picture. As with any place that's remained unchanged down the ages, the buildings in Fort, created painstakingly by the British, are a beautiful sight to behold. Start off from Victoria Terminus and walk south. On the way, make sure you stop at Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern art, and Colaba Causeway where you can shop to your hearts content. If I come to Bombay for a day twenty years later after a break of fifteen years, this is what I will be doing.


3. Bazaars!

The Bazaars in India are big, bold, bright, and beautiful and those in Bombay are no different. Mutton Street, though weirdly named, has the stunning antique furniture and in Crawford Market, you really get anything under the sun. It's the best place in Bombay to get lost in, as long as you have a handle on where you are. Get me?



4. Juhu Beach/Chowpatty Beach

It may be dirty, crowded, and non descript, but the spirit of India lives in the beaches of Bombay; it's where the people of Bombay go when they are broke but want to have fun. {It's where Thom and I rang in the new year!} It is a maddening melange of people, dogs, food vendors, and balloon sellers and every time I go there, I love it even more. Have the Golas (Snow Cones) and the Pav Bhaji (Bread and Curry) from any of the stalls and you will make your soul happy. (Juhu Beach is in North Bombay and Chowpatty is in South Bombay.There is no other difference, really.)

5. Go Local

You gotta get into a local train. You just got to! It's the same reason why you would go bungee jumping in New Zealand or paragliding in Africa; it's the most adventurous thing you can do in Bombay. If you're really brave and you wanna prove your mettle, you travel during rush hours in the direction of the traffic.

Raghu Rai's Churchgate Station. 
 

I'm telling you. The thrill that you feel after you complete a gruelling journey... there's nothing quite like it. This thrill, however, happens only after your first journey. The second journey on, it is just plain cruel. 

Ok. That's it. Please come to Bombay and meet me! I'll take you around and buy you a Vada Pav. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Suddenly, my body...

By God, you need to watch this Eve Ensler talk on TED


I love TED. I have a few talks on my phone and I listen to it on my drive to and from work. It's a magical time! 

This is me in my car. Her name is Kochuthresiyamamakutti. She's a pretty lady, don't you think?


 Have a nice weekend, all of you!

I am off to Kashid, a village by the beach 4 hours away, with my husband and his friends. What are you planing to do? 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Feet


So yesterday, I posted on English Muse on "Shoe Essentials" as I see it. In honor of that, I wrote the post wearing this golden hued Kurt Geiger heels that I made my father buy me in the guise of wearing it at my wedding. The heels are 5 inches long and 2 millimeters wide and needless to say, have only been worn while I wrote the post; I wanted to feel in character while I wrote about a matter very close to my heart--shoes. 

And I discovered one thing. Heels may be the only thing that will rid me of my slouchy, sloppy, unfeminine, graceless posture. Automatically, I sucked all that I was supposed to, in, and thrust all that I was supposed to, out. I squared my shoulders and looked straight at the top of the fridge. I felt spectacular and powerful and spectacularly powerful. 

I have a sinking feeling that my abovementioned problems in carrying myself have a little more than little to do with the fact that  I am either barefoot or in flip-flops at all times. Even at work. Flip-flops make employment bearable.


Imagine going to work in heels! I shudder to think of my predicament. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Perfect" roast chicken

Have you heard of Marcus Wareing? 


He is a protégé of Gordon Ramsay, and after 15 years of working under/ with Ramsay, Wareing split from him and went on to say that Ramsay was a "sad bastard" whose influence had left him feeling "trapped and constrained." 


Anyways, now that I have given you something definite to remember Wareing by, I want to tell you about one of his cookbooks. It's called How to cook the perfect... and yes, it does the obvious. It features loads of stuff like chocolate cake, shallot  tartin, scrambled  eggs etc. And it of course has a roast chicken recipe. Now roast chicken is one of those things that is prone to being used alongside the descriptor "The prefect...", much like chocolate cake. Jamie Oliver has one; Ina Garten has one; Martha Stewart has one; Nigella Lawson has one. And when you combine all these techniques, you get absolutely amazing roast chicken (but sometimes, you get a bloody mess.) 


One of my roast chickens, unroasted
Here's how I make roast chicken now. 

1 chicken weighing about 2 kg, preferably organic
20 shallots, peeled or unpeeled
1 bulb of garlic broken into cloves, unpeeled 
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lemon, unwaxed and organic
a small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, or bay; or a mixture
olive oil
a knob of butter
a chicken stock cube
pepper
salt

500 ml chicken stock
150 ml white wine (optional)
1 tbsp cornflour (optional)

Ensure that the chicken is at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 240 C/475 F/gas 9. 

Remove the giblets from the chicken and dry the outsides and the cavity well with a paper towel. (As I learnt the hard way, this step is very important, because if the chicken is not dry, the water on it will turn into steam and prevent the skin from crisping up.) Season the insides with salt and pepper. Anoint (as Nigella puts it) the chicken all over with an itsy bitsy bit of butter and/or olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper liberally on it and rub it all over the bird. Prick the lemon all over with a fork or a sharp knife (so says Jamie) and place it in the cavity of the bird along with the bunch of herbs, a few cloves of garlic and a chicken stock cube (taking cue from the Italians via Nigella). If your lemon is waxed and/or not organic, you could skip the step of placing the lemon in the chicken cavity. Instead, sprinkle a bit of lemon juice over the chicken. Tying the chicken legs together after crossing them will ensure that your chicken looks more ladylike, if you thus prefer.

Place the shallots, the rest of the garlic cloves, and the carrots in a roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place the chicken over this and place the pan in the oven, turn it down to 200 C/400 F/gas 6, and let it roast for about 20 minutes per 500 g plus 30 min. 

Now, Nigella tells you to place the bird breast-down for the first hour so that all the fats and juices make their way down to the white meat and flavor it up. Marcus Wareing goes all technical and instructs that after the chicken has roasted for half an hour and the breast has become crisp and brown, it must be turned to one side, basted, and allowed to cook for 10 minutes. Then, the bird needs to be turned to the other side, basted, and allowed to cook for 10 minutes. Then, the chicken needs to be placed on its breast so that its back faces up, basted, and allowed to roast for 10 minutes. Finally, it needs to be placed breast-up and allowed to roast for the remainder of the time. Phew! (Guess which option I choose.)

To check if the chicken is cooked, insert a skewer into the thick end of a thigh. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done; if there is blood, the chicken is not. Transfer the chicken to a board and let it rest for ten minutes, covered with a tent made of foil.

Remove the herb bunch and the lemon and transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. 

Strain the liquid and from the roasting pan and add the brown bits from the pan to it; this is required for the gravy. Pour out the excess fat if you want to live heartily. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and place it on the stove. Add the stock and the wine and reduce until the consistency is thick enough. If you wish for a thicker sauce, mix the cornflour in some cold water and add it to the sauce, making sure that no lumps are formed. To achieve this end, a whisk is very helpful. Adjust the seasoning and serve the gravy on the side of the chicken and the veggies.

Did I inspire you to make roast chicken or to never make roast chicken again? Don't tell me if it's the latter. I've had enough heartbreak for the day. The Spice Girls are not reuniting, didn't you hear?

Jamie's recipe: Perfect roast chicken found in Jamie's Ministry of Food and here.
Nigella's recipes: Basic roast chicken found in How to eat; Slow-roasted garlic and lemon chicken found in Forever summer.
Marcus Wareing's recipe: Roast chicken found in How to cook the perfect...
Other reads on roast chicken: Heston Blumenthal and Guardian UK's awesome food blog

perfect roast chicken
Jamie Oliver's roast chicken

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Come undone

Can I please tell you something?

I really don't know what these women who have kids are talking about when they say that they don't have time for anything and that they feel like they've let themselves and others down by just that admission. I have a job and a husband. That's it. These are the things that occupy my time. And I feel like I am neck deep in mire. At all times. Not able to move. Not able to do the hundred things I want to. So with regard to supermoms and moms who think they are not supermoms, I salute them. I think they are rock stars; God-people, if you will. How do they manage it and feel like they are breathing too! Crazy, crazy, crazy!!!!

I admit that one might find the list of things I want to do, pretty inane. It involves around 3 hours a day of reading other blogs, 5 hours of working on my blog, 3 hours of reading books, 2 hours of watching television/movies, 2 hours of non-blog writing, 8 hours of sleeping, 3 hours of cooking, an hour of walking in the park, and 2 hours of staring deeply into Thom's eyes. Is that more than 24 hours? Well, you get the point. I feel that all these needs are legitimate and completely warranted and I feel really sad and unfulfilled that I am not able to do all of it, especially that I am not able to spend more time on this blog.


Here's a list of things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. This is in all seriousness, alright? You cannot laugh at me!

1. Write my own cookbook.
2. Travel abroad at least once a year.
3. Visit all 27 states of India.
4. Be a full-time blogger at some point.
5. Set foot on all 7 continents and in the 5 oceans.

Just saying. It has nothing to do with this post.

Did you know that the average person spends two weeks waiting for the traffic lights to change?

Just saying. It has nothing to do with this post.


In the meantime, please bear with me as I try to get my grip on life as they call it. And here's to mothers and here's to fathers and here's to an appeal for days with more than 24 hours in it. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In an alternate universe ...

... I am be walking around in the streets of Prague

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wearing this ...

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with this in one hand ...

cotton candy ♥
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one of these in the other ...

by Natalie Spencer Photography
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and this one somewhere by my side.

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In an alternative universe, I am dancing to tune of the winds ....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tough Love

My father sent this forward to me today and it has been bugging me ever since. 

Written by Charles J. Sykes
Published in San Diego Union Tribune

Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don't. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.

1. Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids.

2. The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair.

 3. Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have towear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

 4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

 5. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain or Britney Spears all weekend.

 6. It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a kid.

 7. Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

 8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

 9. Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization.

10. Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

11. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

12. Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

 13. You are not immortal. If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

14. Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it is to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.

I hate how true this is! I hate it. It totally burst my bubble today! 


"While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization."

Are you kidding me? I am so sad to hear someone else telling me that it's NOT all about finding myself. My father has lied to me my whole life then! (It's ironic that he sent me this forward!) 

I hate this piece of text. I hate Charles Sykes, whoever he is. It's so sad because somewhere within, as much as I hate to admit it, I know that all this is true. I hate that I know this is all true!!! Is this what growing up feels like?

Humph!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lush Bath and Body Works Shop to Cliniqually avoid Bed Head and other such nonsense

Since my post on my make-up rituals was so well received, I thought I would do a follow-up post on my entire "beauty" regime. So here's what you missed on Glee.

Oops. Wrong forum.

So here are the things I use.


1.TIGI Bed Head Foxy Curls Conditioner: I don't know if it foxifies my curls, but it does smell great! (Here's a message from my hairdresser: USE CONDITIONER!!!!!ALWAYS!!!!!)

2. Kerastase Specifique Shampoo: My other hairdresser made me buy this, promising me that in exchange for the money that I handed over to her (which was a lot), she would give me something that would halt my seemingly inevitable progress towards being bald. I'll tell you if it works in a few years.

3. Clinique Pore Minimizer: This is something that I should be using, but I never do. I am hoping that one day all my pores will just open up completely and join so that I end up with a thinner face. Does that make sense?

4. Avene Soap-free Gel Cleanser: This is awesome! I don't break out half as much now. (Break dance. Don't break out! Can you believe I said that? Me neither.)

5.Kumkumadi Thailam: Any glow that you saw on my face on my wedding day was because of this innocuous little thing. Well, this and the diamond facials that I did. But this is oil with saffron infused in it and it truly is excellent for your skin. It is also bloody expensive. So if you can get your hands on it, don't let go. Apply it on your face for half an hour and wash it off. If you ever come to Kerala (or to India) go to Kottackal Arya Vaidyasala and you'll get this stuff. Shhh. This is my biggest beauty secret.

6. The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter: How can you go wrong with something that is so named. I love all of their Body Butters. Strawberry and Cocoa Butter both make me go wild and I start eating up my own arm; so I stay away from them. Blueberry is safer. I wanna be embalmed in this stuff when I die. It is that good!

7. This is not what it seems.Inside this container is T'eo the dry deo from LUSH. I love this brand. They look good, so they make me look good. There I said it. T'eo's awesome though. Hands down.

8. Bath and Body Works Body Wash in Sweet Pea: I love this thing. Sweet Pea is such an amazing fragrance! I want everyone to call me sweet pea henceforth, understood.

9. The Body Shop Bath and Shower Gel in Almond: I am such a shower gel fiend that I have around twenty different kinds. This and the Coconut Cream one are my favorites from Body Shop. Sometimes, I mix them both up and go totally wild!

One last thing.

I use these bath gloves and they completely changed by life. They are like an extra pair of hands. I'll never use a loofah again, I think.

Green

And.... I'm done. Now it's your turn to tell me your secrets. Spill. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Perfect foods

God crafted these things with his own hands; try as you may, they cannot be improved on. And while 100 things that you must eat before you die lists are socially and culturally of great significance, I truly believe that you haven't lived if you have not eaten these foods at least once. 

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They are

1. Mangosteen
2. Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake or an equivalent with equal amounts of Butter and Cream.
3. Bacon
4. Nutella
5. Alphonso Mango with Cream
6. Condensed Milk
7. Mashed Potatoes with Butter, Salt, and Pepper
8. Liqueur Chocolates (Anthon Berg, anyone?)
9. Hollandaise Sauce
10. Buttercream   

I am dying of gluttonous feelings here! Care to join me with a list of your own?

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Beauty and the beast

If anyone that I know in real life reads this post, they will laugh at me because I am not the wake up and put on my make up kinda gal. Technically, I'm the kinda person who would have no right to talk about make up. But I gotta tell ya... I've been making all kinds of efforts these days to brush my hair and be more... um... lets say, conscientious about the way I look and this is what I do for that. :)


1. L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge in Bordeaux Bold: This. Is. Foxy. It makes me more than who I am on my own.

2. M.A.C. Technakohl Liner in Graphblack: I use this every day. EVERY day. Except when I am pretending to be sick. Because when I want to look sick, all I need to do is not wear this. This is my secret weapon. 

3. M.A.C. Studio Fix Powder + Foundation: Love this thing. Changed my life. No shine for 3 whole hours these days! 'Nuff said.

4. M.A.C Prep + Prime Face Protect: Of all the things in this list, this is probably what I would recommend the most. I use it in place of sunscreen and before I apply foundation and somehow, my face just looks instantly clearer and more toned. Primer is seriously underrated.

5. L'Oreal Resist and Shine Titanium Nail Polish in Scarlet Red: I don't know how we all lived without red nail polish in that weird period between 2000 and 2005.

6. M.A.C. Tinted Lip Conditioner in Petting Pink: Looks good, tastes even better. It unchaps my super chapped lips like none other. {Coconut oil comes a close second for this purpose.}

7. Yves Saint Laurent's Young Sexy Lovely: This parfum is what helps me day after day, unquestioningly and unconditionally, on my my journey to becoming more young, sexy, and lovely. I am fighting all odds, including time and nature. Watch my journey, live, on your local sports channel.

8. Maybelline Moisture Extreme in Chocolate Delight: Seriously. I love this color. The lipstick lasts for like 10 minutes and it smells like old feet now because I bought it ages ago, but this lipstick shade is my favorite eva!

9. The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara" For va-voom volume," they would say, and its kinda true.

Now this is what these products actually look like. Look at the pink on seven. Blush!


I gotta tell you, I am writing this post simply because this is a peek into my life; I think it's fun to know the things that other people do.Voyeuristic pleasure is the fifth best of all the different kinds of pleasure, if you ask me.

Now tell me... what goes in your house? ;)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Life or something like it

Can I puh-lease tell you about this new found learning that I've got that has blown my mind, metaphorically of course. This insight has changed how I see the world in entirety, and particularly, how I look at men. This is what happened.


Recently, Thom turned to me ingenuously and asked me, "Babe, we got married on the 30th of August, right?" My initial reaction was sheer bewilderment; 6 months after getting married, how could he mistake our wedding date for another!!! {We got married on the 31st, btw.}A myriad emotions flitted through me in quick succession—amusement, fear, rage, curiosity, and deep, dark sorrow, to name a few... How typical, I thought, and I made fun of him about it, resentfully and unresentfully. This had happened a thousand times before. He does not remember a single other important date other than my birthday (and that too, he forgets the year), which he would never forget because I talk about it endlessly. Figures that he would forget our anniversary—that was the only date left untainted by his forgetting.


Well, it was only today that something stupefying struck me. He had not forgotten my wedding anniversary or even our wedding anniversary. He had forgotten his own. "Selfishness" or "self-obsession" or "insensitivity" or "not caring" or "being irresponsible" was not the reason. This whole thing, in fact, had nothing to do with me. He forgot a significant event in his life, which means a) that dates are not important to him in any way, or b) he is super forgetful. Neither has nothing to do with how he feels about me or how responsible he is as a boyfriend. 


I do not know if I have explained this well enough here, but this revelation has possibly freed me from a lifetime of anger, bitterness, and tears over forgotten anniversaries and missed birthdays. I am not saying that these are not important. Signifcants days in my life mean that world to me. And I really believe that the more excuses there are to celebrate, the better it is. But maybe I will never play games about dates or test Thom about this. Maybe. Let's see what else he remembers and forgets. ;)


Photograph *** by Sergey Ivanov (Seriv) on 500px
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