Monday, October 31, 2005

Ghosties and Ghoulies

... were on the guest list when a bunch of us (The Blonde One, her bf, Brooksy, Beer Baron & I) met up at Menace's this Saturday. The main item on the evening's adgenda was to meet, chat, drink and carve pumpkins. It was the BYOB&P kind!

Only... we hadn't seen each other in so long... and Menace, Beer Baron and Brooksy had many stories of their recent trip to Barbados & St. Kitts... and The Blonde One and her bf had stories of their own.... and I was baking apple pie.... and with all that....we never did get around to carving the pumpkins!

Spent Sunday in a totally splendid lazy fashion at Menace's. Woke up late, stayed in my jammies all day, watched Halloween worthy movies (Nightmare before Christmas, Sean of the Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street - don't ask which one- and um.. the Guru!!)
And... we carved pumpkins!

Menace did a ghostly graveyard scene...a far cry from her szchizophrenic bat from last year but interesting in a way that only she can do so!
I did what ended up looking like a mutant gargoyle!
And Beer Baron... in true Baron style excelled with a detailed carving of a headless horseman!

To everyone out there celebrating Halloween.... Happy Trick 'o Treating!
Be safe tonight!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

One Week

When I got home last night, there was a letter waiting for me from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

I have been called for a swearing in ceremony on Tuesday October 25th, the last and final stage in process of achieving Canadian Citizenship.

That means, I have one last week... 7 days... to call my self Indian.

It has been a long and tedious process to date. One that started not with the application for Citizenship, but with the application for Immigration, back in 1999.

And all that will come to an end one week from now when I stand before a Judge and swear my alligence to a Queen and to a Country that I am only just begining to understand and discover.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Of Gods and Men.

I just finished reading "Lamb:The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Chilhood Pal" by Christoper Moore.
yeah.. the tile is a mouthfull.. and a little strange... but its simply a MUST read.

See, usually, when you hear humorous and Christ and/or Christianity in the same sentence, its generally part of some two bit comedian's stand up routine, that would offend 9 of 10 good practising, God fearing Christians.

But this book is both very funny and very real and very moving. And the writer manages say his piece without impugning the founder or for that matter any of the beliefs of Christianity in the least.

Growing up in a traditional Roman Catholic household, I've pretty much had the religion stuffed down my throat from before I could even walk or talk properly! I remember sitting around with the whole family saying the Roasary... or getting all dressed up (which incidently I hated) for Children's Mass on Sundays and attending a hundred different kind of Church functions and Church related activities. Later on, I even got conned into giving up my Sunday morning sleep ins to teach Sunday School. Granted... I was a pretty unconventional SS teacher and that time I got the grade 6s and 7s to re-enact the whole Noah's Ark and Flood scene from Genesis, complete with the lelliphants trumpeting and the lions roaring and of course the "sound" of God's wrath in the form of thunder and rain (steel plates crashing together). The other teachers thought Judgment Day was upon us... but hey... at least the kids learnt the story well!

In my first year of college in Bombay, our parish formed a new youth group and through it did a lot for me in my tumultuous teenage years. .. most of all introducing me to a GREAT bunch of friends... most of who I am close to till today.. even though we are far from being college students, and most of us no longer even live within the Parish boundaries.

The past few years have seen me begin to question much about my faith of what I took for granted my entire life. Religion now seems to be a separate issue from faith and belief. I find myself wanting to believe in my past, but at the same time questioning certain practices and traditions that seem to be more a product of man than that of God.

Perhaps I am vain to think I am wise enough to try and fathom theories, solve mysteries and answer questions that scholars have struggled with for centuries. Or perhaps I want to believe so much... that I see the answers that I want to see.

So, read the book, and let me know if it stirs you like it did me. I cannot promise a religious revelation or a chorus of angels or nirvana from this story. But I can promise a good time and.... perhaps a little clarity.

And maybe I will go to Church this Sunday. For reassurance, for comfort, for....peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Blame it on the weatherman

The weather forecast for Toronto.

Yesterday: Cold and rainy
Today: Cold and rainy
Tomorrow: Cold and.... yep.. you got it... RAINY!!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Two Weddings.... and Turkey!

The harvest is in and summer is done. We've had some pretty warm and deceiving days in October, but looks like Thanksgiving weekend was the last hurrah and Mother Nature has quit joking around and is in full Fall mode. Looking back to take stock of the summer, two events spring to mind...the two weddings I attended.

For the first, flew to Denver, Colorado over the Labour day weekend to witness one of my college friends tie the knot. He moved to Goshen, Indiana in our 3rd year and that's where he met his wife. I had never been to Denver and although I was busy helping out with wedding "stuff" was glad I was able to take in some of the sights and sounds of the city as well.

The wedding itself was a simple but unique ceremony held at the South African Pavilion of the Denver Botanical gardens attended by about 50 of their close friends and relatives. The ceremony was followed by a gathering of family and friends at one of the garden's reception rooms. Tradition was thrown to the wind with the complete absence of the usual speeches by family and friends, instead, the evening's entertainment included performances by a group of Japanese Taiko Drummers and traditional dances from Indonesia and Lebanon performed by two of the bride's college friends.

There was no DJ present to spin funky tunes, but the music was an eclectic mix, hand selected by the bride and groom to represent songs that held a special meaning for them, and for the guests present. So basically we went from the sound track of One Fine Day... to Bollywood's best - Dalher and Asha... and from the Bootstrap Boogie to a Broadway Medley!

It was very surreal watching a close friend tying the knot... and its a good thing I was too preoccupied with taking pictures or else I might have had to protest! Protest that we're too young... that it was just yesterday we were scrambling to get college assignments handed in on time.... that some of us STILL don't know what we're doing in life... let alone finding life partners!

Jibblett said he felt much the same way this past weekend when we went up to London (Ontario) for his friend's wedding. After a year that was filled with bad examples of marriage and weddings with one of his friends going through a bitter divorce... this wedding was just what everyone needed to sweeten the mood again! Following the bi lingual French-English strictly civil ceremony at the historic Middlesex County courthouse, guests dined on a scrumptious 5 course meal and partied the night away.

Woke up very tired the next morning, but had to get back into shape pretty quick as we were due for Thanksgiving dinner on the Jibblett Farm. Fortunately it was just Jibblett's parents and brother and we didn't have to deal with extended family and cousins and aunts etc! It was a whole year since I had been there, so we took a walk around to check out Diamond the new pony, and the new kitty cats in the barn and walked out to the bush pre dinner to look for Fall surprises! Took a coulple of mandatory family pictures and went back to the house for the much anticipated turkey dinner... with all the fixins!!!

All said and done, summer 2005 was a pretty good one. Good weather and good times. And judging by this past weekend, I'm off to a good start for this Fall as well.

Friday, October 07, 2005

My Kingdom for a Nap!!

Lately, I always seem to wake up exhausted. No matter what time I go to bed. 9, 10, 11 pm.... I always wake up as weary as I was the night before. At this point, I seriously think I may be sleepwalking. That, or indulging in some other equally strange nightly activity. That's the only explanation I have for the constant lethargy.

A friend suggested I tape myself, just to find out just what is going on. But somehow that just seems like a creepy option I'd like to keep as a very very last resort.

I mean, I don't like being on camera when I'm awake and conscious... let alone when I'm not and have no control over what I may say or do. Some may argue that I (seem to) have little control over my tongue and actions even when I'm awake, but that's up for debate, and also not the point of this post.

So if anyone out there has a better idea... by all means, let me know.
For now, I'll just nod gently at my work desk.

Happier sleeping times!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sounds of Silence

My department, like the rest of the stadium has a very eerie deserted feel to it right now.
Reason being, most of the noise makers, (and some of the quiet ones too) are all away on a 3 day trip to Las Vegas - the result of a sales contest run over the summer. Although I qualified, (just by the skin of my teeth) I had to turn down the trip as the taxes were too much ($600 for 3 days.. yikes!) and I couldn't afford it.Also, I have a friend's wedding this weekend, and all said and done.. I'd much rather be there! Even with the car rental and wedding present... its a way cheaper option. And besides, I'm rooting for this couple to last... unlike a couple of some other nuptials I've witnessed.Still... its a bit sad to see all the empty desks and not hear the incessant chatter about Football and Hockey and of course the baseball playoffs. Even the phones are quiet. Like they know if they ring.. there's no one to pick up!
Well its just for 2 days... they'll all be back on Tuesday and with them the noise! Well, at least we hope everyone will make it back. Last year, 2 people were denied boarding due to *ahem* 'excessive alcohol consumption'... both MANAGERS!!! And you're right... we've never let them forget it!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Move over Dr. Phil..... I've got flower power!

Last summer at one of the weddings I attended, the table decorations were wee little pots of African violets, that guests were encouraged to take them as keepsakes. Just for fun I took a bunch home. I gave 1 to my mother, 1 to Jibblett, 1 to his mother, and the last I decided to take to work to brighten up my desk. It was just this wee little plant with a couple of purple flowers but something about it made me want to have it around.

Jibblett proceeded to kill his within a week, and the one I gave my mum got this weird fungus and died. Jibblett's mum managed to hang on to hers for a while, but her's too withered away in a month or two. Every day, I would check carefully for signs of life and although the flowers faded away, it seemed to be hanging on.

All though winter, my little plant (who I christened Bonnie) sat at my desk and listened to me as I had good day and bad days and some days that should never be on record in history! I went away to India for 5 weeks, and thanks to the diligence of 2 of my colleagues, Bonnie did not suffer in my absence. And then, one Monday morning in May I walked in and lo and behold, my Bonnie had 3 of the most beautiful blooms I had ever seen! I think I glimpsed just a bit of motherhood that moment I saw the flowers!

Cheered on by the fact that I was actually capable of looking after another living thing, I went out that day and bought another indoor plant... and then another... and then another. All summer, I added to my collection As of now, my family has grown to include Clyde the Spider Lily (to go with Bonnie of course), Jorge (pronounced Hor-he) the cactus , Juanita the Aloe plant, Esmerelda the lipstick plant and finally Frank the polka dot plant.

As for Bonnie.... she's doing marvellously. Done flowering for now but that's the fun of a changing season.... there's so much new stuff to look forward to.

PS: My doc's mighty pleased that my BP levels have stabilized and my colleagues have noticed a spike in my cheeriness quotient. Even on Mondays. They still however back away from me pre 10 am and pre first cuppa coffee.

Moral of the story: When all the world's a mess and you're having a bad hair day as well.... go outside and soak up some nature. Trust me.. it will make a world of difference.
Also, let sleeping dogs lie and leave pre caffinated women well alone if you value your balls... in both cases.

Bonnie & Clyde

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

To be (with) or not to be (with)

A question I get asked a lot is...what's with you and Jibblet... are you guys together or not?

Good question really. And I'm not sure of the answer.
Do we hang out together? Yes.
Is there an implied date on a Friday night? Yes.
Do I have a toothbrush at his place? Yes.
Are we going out? uh.....

I for one can fully attest to the power of words. Simple ones like boyfriend or partner send Jibblet (and men in general) running for the hills. Words like commitment, long term and ring would probably get him to the moon!

Still, there is a very real problem at hand. If I can't use any of the above without him doing a ............ on me, how am I supposed to introduce him in a social situation? I pondered this for a long time and after several drafts, this is what I came up with.

The next time I have to introduce Jibblet to anyone else, this is what its going to sound like.
"Hey, [insert friend's name] meet Jibblet. He's my man whore."

Unless of course this is a family function and I'm introducing him to say, my Auntie M.
In that case it will be, "Hello Auntie M, lovely to see you again. Let me introduce you to Jibblet, my insignificant other."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

All the leaves are brown......

Brown and yellow and orange and red. Its just what everything around here looks like.
Over the past 4 years, I've found that Fall is by far one of the prettiest times of the year. Oh sure, Spring is great because it brings the promise of warmer days, Summer has long hours of daylight and holidays and the tiny snowflakes fluttering down turning everything into a Christmas card like scene make Winter special too. But Fall has a charm of its very own. You KNOW that the days are getting shorter... and that there's a definitive chill in the air that makes you snuggle into your jacket when you leave for work every morning. Still, the beauty of the Fall colours almost make it all worthwhile.

September I've found is the kind of month that won't let go of summer, yet announces with the shortening of the days that summer is gone, and fall is here already. On one day, September will lull you into believing that the weather is just perfect for a picnic on Center Island on Saturday afternoon. But when Saturday comes around, you spend the entire morning fumbling for sweaters and waterproof sheets, because it is raining and cold. You look at the picnic lunch you've put together and all the outdoor games you've arranged to have and wonder just HOW you could have been so misguided.

But that's Canadian weather for you, and you soon learn never ever to leave home without first checking the weather forecast. You cannot simply look out the window in the morning and gauge what the day will be like. Oh no. For the morning can begin bright and sunny, by mid-morning it could be windy followed by a brief afternoon tempest with winds up to 40 kph and this could make way to an evening that's hot and humid again! A certain city in Nova Scotia has been recorded to have had all 4 seasonal temperatures in just one day!

October brings with it the final splendour of Fall. By the middle of the month, Mother Nature suddenly realizes that this is no false summer anymore, and that's when she brings out her arsenal! Thunderstorms with raging winds and cold cold cold rain lashing down relentlessly. And that's pretty much where we're at right now! Most of the trees have lost their pretty foliage to the north wind and stand barren, ready to face Old Man Winter. Like me, they stand ready for the cold, and wait for the promise of Spring.
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