Sunday, December 31, 2006

Just one sleep till 2007

The past few days in London have been alternately relaxing and stressful. London started off tres chilled out as I got here over the Christmas weekend, and basically spent the next three days reading, watching movies and eating yummy Christmas dinner leftovers.

Moved to another friends house on Tuesday in the Bethnal Green area. Quite a funky place really; full of life on the streets and off them too! A mix of little India with a good measure of China town and getto thrown in just to balance things out. Great little kebab shops, good pubs and even a Tesco just steps away - what more can you really want now?

Over the psat few days, Ive managed to dodge the crappy weather and go to Covent gardens, Soho for drinks, a walk along the canalways to Little Venice, the eclectic shops at Camden Market and even a quick matinee show of The Mousetrap! I tried to get my behind to Wesminster twice now, but both times was thwarted by either crap weather or a crap hangover from drinking the night before! Still have one more day that I can go there (on the 2nd) so lets hope that pans out. If it does, then I would have come to London and done ALL that I wanted to do this time around!

And then it will be time for the next adventure!

Friday, December 29, 2006

All fun and games

Its 3:20 in the morning and we´re still up playing Charades.
I LOVE this holiday!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Very Desi Christmas

Yesterday was one of THE most relaxed and chilled out Christmasses I have ever had! Woke up late, curled up on the couch and listened to softly playing carols, had some friends over and the menu was very un Christmas-like with Chicken biryani, raita, puris and channa masala served! And of course what's a desi christmas without cheezy Hindi movies??

And the best thing of all - I stayed in my comfy jammies all day and no one gave a damn!

Merry Christmas indeed!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Goodbye Scotland, Hello England

Friday was my very last full day in Glasgow and Skippy - pal of Very Best Friend - organized a nice lunch for me so that I would get to try Scotland's traditional dish - Haggis!

VBF and I spent the morning in the city as I had yet to see Glasgow Cathedreal - the only religious structure to survive the Reformation fairly intact. Once again, I was just awestruck by the sheer magnificance and majesty of the place. Words can just barely describe the feeling of wonder I experienced as I walked around the cathedreal. Several memorials line the walls of the outter cathedreal in memory of soldiers and warriors who perished at home and abroad in defense of their country. The inner chapel is still in use as a Church with regular services. Below, we saw the tomb of St. Mungo - patron saint of Glasgow and to who the Cathedreal is named after. Several other smaller chapels and pray stations are randomly scattered around the Cathedreal making it not just one Church, but many churches in one.

Once we had thoroughly explored the Cathedreal, we made our way to the city centre to meet up with VBF's friends. Lunch had been pushed back an hour to 4 pm now, and I was starving!!! Killed time in a little underground bar on Sauchiehalls (sp?) street and once the troops had assembed, made our way to Hengler's Circus a bar/restaurant where I finally had my first Haggis meal. It was really quite delicious, as long as one can ignore HOW its made! Wasn't all that fussed about the turnips they serve it with though - could have done without 'em! One friend even showed up wearing his kilt so it was a Scottish meal, with Scottish folk in Scottish wear. Now, can one really ask for more?

The flight to London on Saturday was rather uneventful. Got to the airport real early as I was quite worried about my baggage situation, but thankfully thanks to me unloading a lot of items with VBF and also more creative packing, I didn't have to pay excess this time. The flight was a bit delayed, but had nothing to do with the weather so I finally got to London at around 2 pm and by the time I navigated the Tube system with my baggage, got to friend's home by 4:30 pm.

The girls had planned a Christmas party for that evening, so I barely had enough time to get changed and freshen up and appear half decent before their guests arrived; And when they did arrive, it was the first time in a long time that I was surrounded by Indians and it wasn't my family! Mallus everywhere!! Big ones, little ones, tall ones and short - I was quite submerged in a sea of Mallus! But it was great listening to the Indian accents all around - kinda like a prep for when I get to Bombay in two weeks.

Today, Christmmas eve was rather low key as we woke up pretty late and then since there are about 3 different denominations of Christians in the house we had to all figure out what service we were going to, and more importantly - how does one share 3 house keys between 4 people?? After some much complicated tube/bus/rail investigations we finally had a game plan that "seemed" viable. Let's hope it actually works in practice!

Spent the afternoon wandering around Greenwhich's the main street and Palace areas that's all pretty and decorated for Christmas. Met some more friends of friends of friends and had a couple o pints together at one of Greenwhich's oldest pubs - the Spanish Galleon.

There's enough time for us all to gather around the Christmas tree, listen to some carols and just relax and share a nice quite evening before we all leave for our respective Churches.

If there's anyone out there reading this, I wish you a Merry Christmas; but more importantly I wish you a peaceful Christmas, a safe Christmas and one filled with the company of loved ones around you.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

All around Scotland - in the past 2 days!

Glancing through some brochures I realised that the Rosslyn Chapel - made infamous by Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code - was a mere 30 mins away from Edinburgh. Well, I just had to go off and check out the chapel for myself. The most amazing thing happened on the bus to Roslin; came across another tourist who just happened to be a fellow Canuck from Victoria Island, BC. Then on further investigation it turns out that Joe (the guy I met) was actually born and lived in the same wee-little-middle-of-nowhere-in-Ontario town as the Jibblett! How’s that for crazy coinkidinks??

Anyway, crazy Canucks aside the ride to Roslin was quite lovely! The weather was totally cooperative for a change and the way to Roslin was lined with rolling Scottish countryside and tranquil village scenes that I thought only existed in idyllic pictures or a movie set. After about 30 mins of meandering around the countryside, the bus dropped us off on main street Roslin – also the only street in Roslin! A quick 15 min walk later I was at the quaint Rosslyn Chapel. All conspiracy theories aside, the trip was totally worth it. The chapel is one of the most intricate works of architecture that I have ever seen a wee little chapel. I must have spent about 2 hours in there just trying to soak it all in. The chapel is currently under some much needed renovations and they have scaffolding all around the outer walls and roof. What would normally have been a bummer, turned out to be quite an experience as I was able to climb the scaffolding and actually walk around the entire chapel to take an up close look at some of the stunningly carved outer walls and a chance to take in some more of the beautiful country side.

Met my new Canuck friend back at the little pub in the village and we had just enough time to grab a quick pint before we rushed out to catch the bus back to Edinburgh. Should have stayed and had another though coz the bus apparently worked on its own schedule and turned up almost 45 mins past its due time leaving us all out in the cold and freezing our collective tails off!

Got back to Glasgow and Very Best Friend’s place just in time for a quite bite before we both headed into the city centre and met up with some of her friends for a couple o pints and some laughs. Forgot to take my camera with me, so no pics unfortunately but we’re meeting up again Friday as they’re arranging for me to have a full on traditional Haggis lunch! Somehow I have the feeling they’re all going to take the Mickey outta me and will laugh like silly when they finally tell me just what all has gone into the meal!

After the past two days of intense sightseeing, it was nice to just sleep in a bit on Wednesday and not have to rush around madly to catch trains and busses! Once we finally rolled out of bed and got going, we made our way to the west end of the city to see the “Tall Ship” the Glenlee and had a wonderful time delving into some of Glasgow’s nautical and merchant navy history.

One of the things on my “wish list” was to go to Loch Ness, but as VBF pointed out it was quite a trek up to Inverness and suggested a trip to the much closer Loch Lomond instead. So off we went today. That involved another long bus ride winding in and around all sorts of tiny towns giving me a nice insight into country Scottish life. The initial plan was to go on to Luss a tiny village along the western shores of Loch Lomond and has the distinction of being one of Britain’s most well preserved and maintained “heritage” villages. Unfortunately the weather didn’t hold out long enough and the clouds rolled in while we were still in Balloch on the south shores of the Loch. I knew that it would be near impossible to get any decent pics as the light was total crap and we decided to head back to the city instead and go check out the Gallery of Modern Art or GoMA.

Watching the news tonight brought a nasty surprise as well. Apparently the dense fog around London has been playing havoc with flights to Heathrow and Gatwick and causing huge delays and backups all over the country. It looks like my flight on Saturday will more than likely be either postponed or cancelled altogether. I now have to make a decision about whether or not to tango with fate on Saturday or just postpone going to London until after Christmas. VBF is supposed to be spending Christmas at her boyfriend's place with his family. Guess they should be prepared to set an extra place at the table!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Whisky tasting is not for the faint of heart

Day 3 of my Scottish stay saw me heading off to the fair city of Edinburgh bright and early this morning; well it was so early it wasn't even bright yet! The citylink busses are a popular mode of inter city transit in the UK, and Edinburgh is just about an hour and 10 mins from Glasgow - all things and traffic being equal. It was my first time getting into town and finding the bus depot etc. by myself, but armed with loads of instructions from Nups and a handy dandy map and my God given good looks and great sense of direction, I was just fine!

Got to Edinburgh by about 11ish and wandered about for a bit down quaint alleyways and up and down steps and turns that seemed to lead nowhere, but opened up into the cutiest little squares. After a bit of aimless wandering, I suddenly stumbled upon my destination - the Royal Mile; the street that connects Holyrood House Palace to Edinburgh Castle and is probably one of the oldest streets in the city. Still cobblestoned for the most part, and sometimes barely wide enough for a single car to fit through, the Royal Mile winds its way across the city and up the steep volcanic hill where the Castle stands proud at its summit.

The Mile itself is marked with several points of interest and historic buildings and monuments, the most noted of them being John Knox House, St. Giles Cathedreal and the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre.

I spent almost 3 hours at Edinburgh Castle trying to seep in all the centuries of history it had to offer. From the most important symbols of Scottish nationhood, Crown Jewels of Scotland The Honours of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny to Mons Meg a giant Medieval seige gun who's canon balls were said to weight over 180 kgs, Edinburgh Castle is rich in Scottish tradition and history and seeing it was an absolute delight for me.

I finally managed to tear myself away from the Castle telling myself (firmly) that Edinburgh has a lot more to offer and after one last look, and one last picture I once again found myself at the very start of the Royal Mile. Situated quite conveniently just outside the main gates was the second thing on my "must do" list - the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre! I decided to take the tour that included the tasting of several samples from across Scotland and was not disappointed with either. I only wish I could have done the tasting with someone else - sitting at a bar drinking all by youself is rather boring even though the bar staff were really nice and helpful and took some pics of Mac and me, and even offered to call me a taxi when I was done as I was rather ... *ahem*... shakey!

Still managed to find my way back to the bus stand and catch the Citylink back to Glasgow and then the local transit back home. Note to self and for those who want to do a whisky tasting: Don't do it on a largely empty stomach. The whisky goes down fine, and then tends to shoot right up to your head!

Ah well, live and learn!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Around Glasgow City

Just finished a lovely dinner and am chewing on dark chocolate bought at Gickman's Glasgow's oldest confectionery. A nice teat after a long day out and about the city. With Very Best Friend as my official giude, we went on our own made up walking tour of important sights and sounds of the city.

Started off in Tollcross where we saw the Tolbooth steeple which used to house all sorts of vile nasty prisinors awating trial and was the site of public hangings up until 1814. Just to the east is Mercat Cross a modern marker for where weekly tradings used to take place. After this particularly cheerful start, we slauntered off towards Saltmarket which is downhill from Tollcross and as the guide book said, "was the gathering spot for the filth of the area" as pretty much all the waste and gunk from the houses was thrown out into the street and made it's way down the hill and collected at Saltmarket.

And pics were taken - including one of a pub where locals were glued to the TV watching the match twix arch football rivals the Celtics and the Rangers battled it out on (and as VBF mentioned most times off) the field.

Our next destination was Glasgow Green, scene of plenty a baby and doggie stroller on the wide paths that wove all around the green. Noteable monuments there included the McLellan Arch, the Collins Fountain errected by the Temprence movement (party poopers!) and a monument in honour of Lord Admiral Nelson. At the other end of the Green stands the People's Palace and the Winter Gardens; the former a museam dedicated to the history of the people of Glasgow and the latter a veritable oasis of lush tropical paradise in the midst of a misty city. The Doulton fountain stands in front of the main entrance and is the largest Terracotta fountain of it's kind in the world. Built during the reign of Queen Vic, it depicts the four main colonies of the British Empire namely India, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

Popped in to the Barras (a flea market that's been around since 1921) next for a quick look see stopping first for a quick pic of Templeton Carpet factory which is modelled on Dode's Palace in Venice. Barras reminded me a bit of Mapusa market actually with all the little stalls around and the sellers yelling out and trying to hawk their wares. Just outside the Barras is Glickman's; the afore mentioned "sweetie shop" where I got some delish chocos!

Trekked up High street passing by some intersting landmarks of the city like 215 High St. the former British Linen Bank building and Babbity Bowster, a restored merchant's house now a popular restaurant and hotel.

At the very top of High St. is the famous Glasgow Cathedral, St. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow Necropolis and the Royal Infirmary (that VBF had visited just the day before to get her thumb all bandaged up after being particularly klutzy with the garbage bin and a can of chickpeas!) There was just enough time to have a looksee around St. Mungo's and besdies, my camera had just decided to die out on me. I have a tentative plan to go back on Wednesday to get all my pics.

By the time we were done with the museum, it was already pretty dark and so we decided to end the tour for the day! Walked over to George Sq. in the city centre through Strathclyde Uni where VBF had lived and studied when she first came over here. No day of touristy stuff is complete without a pint of rich Scots ale and as per directed, we headed over to The Counting house just off George Sq. which used to be a bank and is one of the most impressive pubs I have ever seen! Good beer too!

Suffice to say, I'm rather pooped right now and must soon head off to get a good night's sleep as I'm planning to head off to Edinburgh tomorrow.

Toodles All!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

First days are never easy!

I can still hardly believe I'm in Scotland - actually on my first leg of the trip; it's somehow all not quite sunk in yet. Only 2 days in, and already adventures galore.

Like most trips, everything started off with the flight. I fully expected it to be terribly uneventful and that I'd sleep the entire way - coz that's what usually happens! Nope - way wrong. I must have eaten something bad on the 'plane coz a few hours in, my tummy gave way and I spent most of the flight hurling into the too tiny loo! Dizzy and disoriented was my middle name when I finally landed in London, but my worries weren't over just yet.

Made my way to Terminal 2 to transfer to my Glasgow connection and was met with the rude shock that I was 15 kgs overweight for a domestic flight and would have to pay 75 pounds in excess duties!

75 pounds!! Over my (nearly) dead body! And they totally didn't care that I had just come in on an international flight - hence the luggage! Grrr. Some quick thinking was required, and super Pixy sprang (err... more like slowly moved) into action. But first, I had to hurl again.

Right, where was I? Oh yeah - springing and action.

I figured my only way out was to bring the weight down - and that would require some very creative repacking. Basically, I noticed that they were only weighing check in luggage, and I had a knapsack that wasn't terribly full. Half an hour later, I went back to the check in desk and voila... now I was just 6 kgs overweight! Ok, so I was wearing 2 shirts and a cami, 2 pairs of socks, had a scarf wrapped onto my bag handle and another around my neck. All my shoes and every "heavy" object I could find was stacked into my knapsack and I had stuffed socks and undies all over the place - even my camera bag - which I also hung around my waist. I was wearing my leather jacket (over the 2 shirts and cami) with more things stuffed in my pockets and I was CARRYING the other jacket with things stuffed with clothes stuffed into the pockets and even the hood and sleeves!!!!

I still had to pony up the charges, but seeing as how I'd brought it down to just 6 kgs over, 30 pounds sounded a helluva lot better than the initial 75!!

I was really HOT though, and hungry too coz I had to get rid of all "transit snacks" I had carried. Still, I saved myself 45 pounds and that was worth everything!

With such a "eventful" start, this holiday is sure going to be a crazy one!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Out of body experience

T minus 7 hours to my flight and I'm sitting here at home, having a complete out-of-body experience.

Bags have been packed.
Documents have been checked.
Affairs have been settled.
Goodbyes have been said.

There is literally nothing TO do until I leave for the airport at 7:45 pm.

If anything, I'm terribly sleepy, as I slept really poorly last night. Woke up in a cold sweat at about 2:30 am and totally panicked and basically had a "What-was-I-thinking-when-I-decided-to-take-off-for-4-months" kind of moment. Was also painfully close to jumping online and trying to hawk my tickets on Ebay! The moment passed, but then I just couldn't get back to sleep, so had to watch some really bad late late late night TV including reruns of shows that should never have made it to Prime Time in the first place!

Hopefully all this lack of sleep will work in my favour and I'll just pass out as soon as we take off and wake up when we're landing. That's the best kind of flight!

S'long all. The next post will be from Pixy in Scotland!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Last weekend in the T Dot

As always, I packed just way too much into my weekend and this week even more so coz I kept telling myself "Well it's the last one for the next 4 months....!"

Finally got all my shopping done on Friday and nearly had a minor stoke when I added up all my receipts and discovered that I had spent upwards of $600 in 4 hours! In all fairness, everything I bought was a necessity including the "big purchase" of the day - a $350 all weather Titanium jacket that comes with a fully removeable fleece lining and the dinkiest little pockets everywhere! Very Best Friend whom I am visiting in Scotland assures me that the jacket will come in handy when I get there, but for now I'm still a bit shell shocked as to how much I dropped on it. FYI, that's the most I've EVER spent on anything for myself.

Friday night was supposed to be quiet night at home with the Jibblett, but midway through my shopping I got a call from him saying that we were going to visit one of his friend's and the friend's (relatively) new baby. So much for a quiet night - after an adequate amount of baby worship seen here and an equal amount of kudos to their puppy named The Dude, we made our way home just about catching one of the last trains by the skin of our teeth.

Saturday night saw us heading over to the House of Christmas Fun with The Lady Killer and his GF Cosmo Girl for some festive fun with friends. Jibblett - who is the biggest Grinch of them all had a lovely time inspite of all the Christmas cheer floating around. Perhaps copious amounts of alcohol was responsible for that... or perhaps it was just another Christmas Miracle!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Best day ever!

Yesterday was a truly relaxing day. No stress, no worries, no problems!

Met up with Travis for lunch downtown - so nice catching up with him after AGES. I didn't realize how much I'd missed him and just had to give him this big hug that nearly knocked him over! Lunched at East Side Mario's and caught up on all the "office gossip" and actually went back to the hallowed halls of the Rogers Centre to say hello and bye bye to the TSS staff.

Wandered over to Chapters on John St. and proceeded to use up my $100 gift certi and oooo I had so much fun just buying books without giving a second glance to how much they cost!

List of my new best friends:
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Tales from Firozsha Baag - Rohinton Mistry
The Undomesticated Goddess - Sophie Kinsella
World Mythology - Roy Willis
Cracking India - Bapsi Sidhwa
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Best of P.G Wodehouse - P.G. Wodehouse
Best Stories from Indian Classics - V.S. Naravane
The Sari Shop - Rupa Bajwa
Olivia note cards and matching envelops!

Total bill - $139.72
Total price paid after discounts, i rewards and gift certificates - $34.72
The joy of owning books - PRICELESS

Wrapped up my day with my last West Coast Swing class for the semester. Sad to say goodbye to dance, but it's only for a while and I'm sure I'll be able to pick right up when I get back. For those looking to start a new and fun hobby I HIGHLY recommend WCS! Check out deets at Toronto Swing Dance Society or my teacher Julie's website.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Footloose and Fancy Free - at last!

After 2 months of constant reading, research and preparations.... I finally presented my workshop on Assertiveness Training on Saturday. It went according to plan and I'm so glad that the participants actually responded to the exercises etc. Now, it's out of my hands while I wait for my evaluation and my final grade. *fingers crossed*

What better way to celebrate a landmark occasion than meeting up with friends? And that's just what I did! Decided to combine my "housewarming" with "Au Revoir" and had a bunch of friends over on Saturday night. Lots of fun... but not as much when you're the hostess coz there's a crap load of running around to be done! Still, I'm really glad I could meet up with everyone coz it will be 4 months before I see them again!

Now that the presentation is finally done, I can concentrate wholly on my travel plans. No word yet from the Indian consulate, but the website did say 5 business days and that will be on Dec 6th. So I'll panic AFTER that! I still have a long list of "must buys" which is not just limited to Christmas presents, but terribly practical things like nice warm travel jacket, new warm socks, funky "going out" pair of jeans, hair ties (I lose these a LOT), travel size body lotion for my dry dry skin..... and that's only the stuff that I can think of right now. I'm sure there's MUCH more!

Arrrgh I HATE shopping!

Friday, December 01, 2006


Being the low tecchie person that I am, I'm always worried when I log on and my blog doesn't look just right. Of late, the side bar with my name and the links and previous posts etc. hasn't been where it should be. It's been waay wayy down at the bottom of the page causing me to scroll anxiously till I locate it. Even when I do locate it, I'm only marginally pleased, coz I know it's not where it should be! And it's also only a tad pleasing when I see that someone else's blog is just as messed up as mine. But then I don't know if we're both tecchie challenged people, or its just Blogger being Blogger.

Suffice to say, all this worry is no good. Especially after just 5 hours of sleep last night. I have to find the strength in me to stumble across town to meet my practicum partner and go over the fine points of our presentation for tomorrow.

I will be SO happy tomorrow at 4 pm! Until then, trepidation and nail chewing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Channeling my Inner Goddess

I went to get my hair cut, styled and coloured yesterday, and the results are SPECTACULAR!!
Those who know me will attest to just how much I love my hair. And yes, I do mean LOVE. But in my defence, if one is only marginally pretty in features, quite round in body type and quite short in height... well one MUST make the most of ones true (and only) beauty - one's hair!

And so I do! For years when I lived in India, I dutifully went to the same hair salon just down the road from my house where my mum first took me when I was 6. My mum being a singularly unimaginative person - at least where haircuts were concerned - always told them to cut my hair in whatever fashion they saw fit. This has resulted in a childhood filled with horrendous haircuts that ranged from uneven bangs to a Mia Farrow pixie cut to - Lord help me - a fine tribute to the Betty Rubble house of hair fashion - the BamBam bowl cut! I think I finally rebelled and asserted my hair independence when I was 14 and begged to be allowed to pick my own styles.

After we moved to Toronto, I serched in vain for that elusive oh so perfect guy/gal who would cut my cherished tresses just right and not make me want to disolve into tears at the first sight of my new hair. One hapless heifer even reduced me to scrambling on all fours trying to piece my hair back. Evil Twat! And oh, let's not forget the douchbag who streaked my hair blonde (Did mention, I'm Indian??) It took all of my self control not to hit him over then head when I saw the final product. HOW does he get blonde when I say hazel brown??

Anyway, loads of unfortunate hair incidents later, my friend Craig finally recommended me to this really nice, but oh-so-expensive salon in Yorkville. Well it was right behind the Four Seasons Hotel, so you can imagine the general locale! Peter WAS good though, and Daaavide (never call him David) the "colour technician" was even better, but over the two years that I had been going there, they had been burning a tremendous hole in my bank account and I was desperate to move onto someone more ... well ... common!

Enter Connie, who I met at ASL classes last year and who had her own parlour; Salon Sogno at Dufferin & Eglinton. I started off by going to her to get my hair styled for a couple of weddings and ultra chic work functions etc. and then finally bit the bullet and got her to cut my hair in the late summer. I loved the cut and the new style she gave me, and so yesterday with another friend Inbal in tow, went back to her to get my annual colour therapy. She sure didn't let me down and gave me beautiful highlights of reds and purples and combined with my natural deep brown, the whole effect is quite stunning.... and I look GREAT!

Topsy Turvey

Ma Nature was either menopausal or hung over most of the past week coz things in the world of weather have been definitely randomly upside down and messed up all around. We had record high temps of 17 degrees and Vancouver was buried under 4 ft of snow! And most of the poor dears didn't even have proper 4f of snow cleaning apparatus as well!

Well looks like the hangover has passes coz today is crappy wet rainy windy November day.
*Joy* I don't have to venture out in this mess.
*Not so Joy* I've been working on my PowerPoint presentation for Saturday... and its going no where!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fu*@ing Bureaucrats!

One of the very last things I had to do in preparation for my trip was to apply for my Indian visa. The rules of the Consulate state that one cannot apply too much in advance of the travel date so as per my calculations; this was the week to apply. Accordingly, I went onto their website last week, downloaded the application forms, got my pics taken, put together all the documents listed as needed and decided that I'd go down there first thing Monday morning and get it done.

Monday, November 27th

9:42 am - I arrive at 1895 Yonge St. very happy that I was able to get there just 12 mins after the Consulate opened for visa apps.

9:43 am - I see a notice in the lobby stating that the Indian Consulate is no longer located there. The new address is 365 Bloor St. E

9:44 am - Thoroughly confused, I scramble for my visa application (that I had printed out just the previous week) and check the address printed on there. Yup, 1895 Yonge St.

9:45 am - Place a call to Jiblett to find out for me just where is 365 Bloor St.

10:14 am - Arrive at 365 Bloor St. Suite 700. See about 100 people crowding the reception of the Consulate and apparently no system/ order anywhere. Join the nearest "line" and cross my fingers.

10:22 am - Have to move to new line as things start to get "organized".

10:54 am - I move up 4 paces. There are approx 70 people in front of me and another 40 behind. The end of the line has moved into the stairwell.

11:17 am - The line starts to move much faster. Within a few minutes, I'm at the front where one of the Consulate Officials is checking documents. The first question I'm asked -Where is your ticket? - Note: that is NOT one of the documents mentioned in the list!
I say, I have an eticket... he looks at me most suspiciously. Then asks - What is your date of travel? I reply - Dec 14 and he snaps back - Come back on Dec 12.

By now, I am thoroughly confused and try to ask why I need to come back two days before my travel and have to pay the higher "emergency fee" when I have plenty of time to get the visa the regular way now. - No reply... he has moved on to someone else.

I move out of line and back towards the reception. I see a young lady who appears to work there and repeat my question to her. The answer - You can always mail it in. That way you're still paying the same fee.

Well! That was simple enough! Why wouldn't A**hole there have said that??? Oh... wait... that would mean that he would have had to actually LISTEN to what I was saying, and want to HELP.

11:55 am - I find the closest Post Office and send off my documents.

Now comes the long and tedious wait. Will I get my passport back on time? Will it contain the correct visa? For the correct time frame?

Stay tuned for the results.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

3:43: am

3:43 am and I am completltly sozzled writingt this post.

Had a very surreal conversatin with Cubby earlier this night and I *thing* the bottom line of that conversation was that h said he;ll show up to the p[arty of the 2nd. * Ha RIGHT*
Did I alos bet a $100 on his showing up?? Can't be... I'be many dumb things before...... but not as dumb.....

Huuuum... may be I should edit this post wjen I'm sobER!!!
but weere's the fun in thta????

Disclaimer: The above was written after partaking in the consumption of 4 bottles of wine (3 red, 1 white) and needless to say, the content/ spellings of the message says it all. My first thought was "OMG... edit edit edit" and pray no one had read it. But on further reflextion, it shall stand as a testimony for what not to do when inhibriated!

In addition, yes I apparently did make a $100 bet with Jibber that his pal Cubby wouldn't show up to the party. But here's the crux: I have to pay him if Cubby showes.... but if he doens't, Jibber gets away scott free! GRRR yet another indication that bets should not be made when drunk... one has NO concept of odds!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All work and more play

I'm supposed to be studying for my ASL (American Sign Lang.) finals today.
I woke up - early- in the hope that I'll be able to go through all 14 chapters before 1 pm.

So far, I have:
  • Rearranged my dresser
  • Checked my email
  • Written a few emails
  • Made breakfast
  • Ate breakfast
  • Unpacked 2 more boxes
  • Picked up my ASL book *AHAH*
  • Put down my ASL book
  • Checked email
  • Tied back the rose bushes in the backyard
  • Updated my blog
Oh dear... almost noon! 

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home of my Fathers

10 things I cannot WAIT to do when I get back to Mumbai:

1. Stroll down the Carter Road promenade at sunset and watch the sun go to bed in the sea. Sunsets in the T Dot are most abrupt!

2. Eat pani puri at Karachiwalla's. *Yummmmmmm*

3. Go to the Bandra Gymkhana on a Sunday and shameless evesdrop on old timers discussing their wives, their kids, their jobs and the state of the nation today. In that order. Like they always have.

4. Go to Church on Sunday and after Mass hang around the Parish "Aunties" and get all of the latest Bandra gossip.

5. Walk down St. Andrews Road in March when the leaves on trees are just budding and those sweet yellow flowers are in full bloom.

6. Wake up eaaaary one morning and listen to the clank-clank of the milkman's bicycle as he makes his morning rounds.

7. Go to Bandra station and listen to the street vendors hawk their wares: "Ladisss... have a looks.... Niiiice stuffs I have..... Baby frooaks (frocks).... Baba soots (suits).... Fiiiines Qaalitis"

8. Take a train ride downtown.

9. Take a ferry ride to Elephanta Island.

1o. Ride the 4 ltd. bus back to Bandra - winding my way through the main road and by lanes of the city, taking it all in, enjoying every moment of the ride.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Skip to my Loo

WHAT is it about folks not washing their hands after using the washroom? SPECIALLY a public washroom!

I was out on Friday night and we visited at least 4 bars over the span of a few hours and suffice to say I had to make more than one trip to the ladies room to empty my beer regulated balder. At one loo, I had to wait for a free stall while this gaggle of what looked like pre teen girls clusted around the sinks yammering on and on about the "cutie by the pool tables". Well I watched two of them come out of the loo, fluff their hair out, re apply their make up, pat down their clothes and walk right out..... they didn't even make a pretense of washing! eeesh! They were probably wearing the most recent style of jeans, had their hair and makeup down pat... but completely oblivious of basic hygiene! Again... eeesh!

Anyway... other than that moment of sheer disgust, my Friday night was a whole lotta fun. Started out by meeting my  T Dot besties  downtown to see
Happy Feet the absolutely hilarious new movie from WB. Dunno if I've ever mentioned that one of my pals is a complete Penguin freak and of course there was no way she was missing THIS movie! In fact, I think she went and saw it again on Saturday... and then Sunday too! 'Course since Beer Baron and Trippy have been away in Barbados and St. Kitts and The Blond One had just returned from a 3 week trip to Africa, well pints were just mandatory after to help catch everyone up with everything. One pint lead to the next and before we knew it we had visited 3 pubs and it was last call - 'cept that like Oliver, we wanted more... so off we trotted to China town where one can order "tea" at all hours of the night! *wink wink, nudge nudge*

Waking up on Saturday morning was no fun event, and waking up and realizing that we had just over an hour to get downtown for the 2 pm show of Wicked - that was no fun at all! Still, we made it, with minutes to spare and I'm glad we did coz I really loved the musical. I did wish the producers would have stayed truer to the book in the second half, but I suppose when's all said and done, an adaptation is never quite the same! Still, I had a good time and we totally scored on cheapie seats! I think Ive been remarkably luckly where theatre tickets are concerned. Except for the Lion King 4 years ago, I've never had to pay full price for any of the plays/ musicals/ professional productions I've seen. Hurrah for internet research and discounted ticket deals!

Oh and btw, one of the things I listed on my "Must Do" travel list is see "The Mousetrap". If anyone knows about nice LEGAL ways to get discounted tickets in London, DO share!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Parent Trap

Top 5 reasons I believe my parents need to be institutionalized:

1. I hand my mother an open box containing shoes and she says, "What is this"?
2. My parents have just 2 kids (that we're aware of) - a boy and a girl. Yet, when I call and say "Hi.. Ma..." my mother will ask, "Who is this?"
3. I call my dad at 6:00 pm and ask him to pick me up from the subway station in 20 mins. At 6:07 pm I get a call back saying "Where are you??? I'm here!"
4. I hear my mum calling and I'll answer "what.... what.... WHAT??" After 5 mins of yelling out to her, I'll make my way to where she is only to have her look at me vaguely and say, "Did I call you?"

5. Dad: U. Harry's having everyone over for lunch at their place next Sunday at 1:30.
Me: ok, I can make it. I'll just meet you guys there.
Dad: fine.
Sunday, 2:15 pm, Outside U. Harry's house, one the phone with Dad: Where IS everyone??
Dad: What are you doing at U. Harry's house? We're all having lunch at A. Ella's - I TOLD you. *to my aunt* see.. that girl NEVER listens!

Top 5 reasons I haven't signed the papers yet:

1. Most cold, wet, rainy nights I'll get a call from my dad asking me if I need a ride home from the subway.
2. Aside from occasional weird concoctions... my mum's food IS rather delish!
3. Living with them saves me big $$$$$ and enables me to travel endlessly.
4. Their daily antics give me fodder for a comedy best seller.
5. They're VERY good with laying on that whole Indian/ Catholic guilt thingy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Technological Breakthrough!

Thanks to careful instructions from one of Sigsy's friends... I was finally able to add links to my fav blogs onto my site!

A tip of the hat to the unknown Emy!

Sorry it took so long guys... but my tecchie skills are sub par to say the least! For example, It took me 2 years to figure out how to turn on the TV, receptor and cable box at Andy's. Then too, I had to write down the sequence of buttons to push and carry the paper around with me!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Another Jam Packed Weekend

I am very sure my reader(s?) has had more than enough about the whole "The Pixys are moving" saga but there's one last update on that after which I swear I will move on to other topics!

After two pushbacks and umpteen changes of plans, Il Familia Pixy finally moved into their new house this past Saturday. And even then, not without more drama graciously provided by the moving company. But that's all done now and we're in and now alls that's left to be done is put things away and make the house a home.

Jiblett & I had to leave even before all the "festivities" were done as we had a previous engagement in London. (hey... we were supposed to move the previous weekend.. remember?) We were much overdue for a visit to London to meet one its newest and most adorabilist citizens - Alec James (or A. J) and oh my WHAT a cutie he is! Lots of pics and baby worship later, we put the little tyke to bed and then the "adults" proceeded to drink their faces off and debate the future of baseball, the price of cigarettes and whether or not it is proper etiquitte to clean the kitchen floor while one's guests are still eating dinner!

Everyone knows that the only thing to do after a full night of drinking is lots of bed rest. Or, if you are away from home, get in the car drive home and lots of bed rest. Which just shows you just how screwed up Jibblett & I are. Did we get into the car and drive home? Noooooo... we drive 40 mins into the country to go see his parents! Oh yeah... first we make a 30 min detour to his moron "friend's" house who thinks that taking someone's hat and hiding it is still acceptable behaviour when you're 30+ years old! GAH!

Anyway... we get to the farm where after 15 mins of conversation I fall alseep in the armchair and I know that if I don't get some sleep - real sleep - soon I'm going to explode. So off we troop to bed and 3 hours later slaunter down marginally refreshed. Jiblett's mum has been busy in the mean time and even though we surprised them with the visit, the gracious hostess that she is, there was a dinner fit for "company" all ready and just waiting to be chowed down.

We finally got back to the T Dot around 9 and I had just enough energy left to run a load of laundry before I crashed and then... it was today!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Santa Maria... it's another miracle!

The new house is proving to be full of mystical powers. Yesterday, I went over and taking advantage of the "good" weather (read: cloudy but no rain no mist no damp), I decided to tackle the much neglected backyard. We have one big... scratch that... huge Maple tree and one wee little Plum tree out back. The maple is about 15-18 years old and there were about 10 leaves left on it. The rest were all over the backyard... you do the math!

About 3 hours into the task, I began to realize just how the folks in Galilee felt when they were fed with just 5 loaves and 3 fish - surprised, awed and bloody confused trying to figure it all out!

No matter how fast I raked and gathered leaves, there just seemed to be more! My dad & I filled about 8 bags and that only covered about 1/3rd of the yard! Every time the wind blew a leaf off the tree, another seemed to magically appear and take its place. I was starting to feel like I was in some sort of Disney cartoon like when Donald battles the groundhog or the squirrel or the chipmunks... well you get the picture. There's a lot of frantic running around, internal swearing, yelling and kicking things followed by other things blowing up..... but it still ends with the squirrel/ groundhog/ chipmunk winning!

I went back to the house this morning to drop off some more boxes and took a quick look out at the back. Where there had been a clean yard last evening, there now was a carpet of leaves and waddya know.... 10 leaves still clung to the 'ol Maple.

I said a little prayer.... and went in search of the rake.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bless me Father.....

We got possession of our new house on October 28th. We went over on the 29th to take a cursory look around and that's when we discovered that furniture can hide a great deal!

The new house is full of the 7 deadly sins leading to house renovations - scratched floors, weirdly painted rooms, unvarnished doors, stuck windows, dirty corners, broken fixtures and let's not forget disaster backyard!

Suffice to say after surveying all of that... and getting off our knees from the prayer of help... we know that the move will have to be pushed back a while - a week at least. So, instead of moving in last Saturday, we spent the ENTIRE weekend trying to erase one sin after another!

After 3 days of hard work, we've got the floors sanded down and on their way to a revival. The 2 bedrooms have been re baptized from bubble-gum pink and grape purple to coriander seed and tranquil spring grass greens.

There's a long way for redemption and I'm on my out to the new place on yet another mission of mercy. Please continue to keep the house AND owners in your thoughts and prayers. Send all donations to the "Preserve this Ol House" fund.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just like Cher

Every year the whole daylight savings thing just completely throws me a curveball. In spite of repeated reminders on TV and from people all around me, I still manage to forget about changing the clocks... or worse still, like that one year I changed them the WRONG WAY!
You know how people always wish they could turn back time? (Now do you get the Cher reference?) Well... they shouldn't. It's just a pain and all of the next day you're stressing about if you've done it right.

At least this year wasn't that bad. I still forgot all about it, but seeing as I was in bed with a hangover for most of Sunday, it mattered not!

The reason for my most recent bout of post drinking regret syndrome was of course The Lady Killer's Awesome Halloween Party! (yes it deserves all caps!)
TLK LOVES Halloween - mostly because of the dark and twisty themes I guess - and every year he goes all out with his costume and "encourages" others to do the same. And if somehow folks aren't inspired enough to come up with a costume of their own (however lame), TLK is ready to dress them in his very own creations!

There were ghosties... there were ghoulies; a desperate housewife dropped in with muffins and ironically made the punch! Obscure comic book heroes hung on the couch while TV cartoons hobnobbed in the kitchen. And of course... we were all drinking! Which explains the huge gaps in the evening that even pictures couldn't straighten out!

I have zero memory of getting back to Jiblett's, but apparently we both made it back in one piece and then proceeded to sleep away Sunday with occasional trips to the washroom every time my tummy got nostalgic about all the wine I'd drunk the previous night! Days like that really SHOULD teach me not to indulge that much, but that's one lesson I don't seem to be able to learn. And here I want to be an educator! Well guess I'm going to have to set myself some homework: Do NOT over indulge at friend's b'day bash this Friday. Tune back for the results of that assignment!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Technically challenged - and more!

WHY is it that even after ONE YEAR of blogging, I am still unable to navigate the simple task of uploading pictures on to my blog?
Every time I try to insert a picture, something or the other goes wrong and things go askew!

I see plenty of other picture filled blogs! WHY not me???


The housing situation is now down to the wire. We get possession of the new house on the 27th, but we still haven't sold the condo. So this means that while we're in the midst of packing things up for the move, we still have people coming to see the condo either to buy or rent - and this makes it tres difficile to uphold my mother's rule of "everything in place"! Seriously - YOU try packing things up AND remaining neat in the process! It's like trying to lick your own nose - it virtually impossible to do and you look like a total idiot in the process!


Well if moving and packing we're enough to keep one busy, I've also got to concentrate on getting my practicum done ASAP! We do have some interest from various student groups at York, but nothing confirmed yet. I simply MUST get it done before I leave or else I'd have to wait until April when I get back... and that's just not an option.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Have Feet - Will Dance!

My dancing days began way back when my dad thought me the waltz when I was 4 and I was going to ballet classes. I was even cast as "Chocolate" in our little version of the Nutcracker - and the fattest little bonbon ever to grace a tutu! As I grew up, there was one thing I quickly realized - I had inherited the infamous "Mendonca Hips" that run rampant among the women in my Mum's family and the only thing I could do was - SHAKE 'EM!

This past summer, I started taking West Coast Swing lessons. After 2 years of intensive Salsa… this was a nice change in pace - literally! Before I started, like most people out there I thought Swing dancing was all the same - and everyone danced like Cameron Diaz in that club scene from Mask. Boy was I wrong!! West Coast, I learnt is the jazzier… smoother of the Swings. Bouncing is a strict no no and spinning is an alien word.

But this post is not a comparison of the genres. This post is about dance partners. For be it Salsa or Swing, Ballroom or Bolero….guys who go to dance classes can all be filed under one of the following categories:

1. The Sweaty-Hands Guy - Homus Handus Persperus Maximus
Be it 34 above or 22 below, this guys hands are always bathed in a thin layer of sweat. This can make dancing with such an individual a highly dangerous (and not to mention gross) feat as HHPM's partners are sometimes liable to slip right out of his hands and randomly crash into objects around such as walls, tables and other species on the dance floor.

2. The "Stompin' Tom" Guy - Homus Steppenitus Toeses
Members of this species of Prancis Homus are still caught in an evolutionary warp and feel that the best steps are the big ginormous steps. The foot is lifted as high as possible and then brought back down with a crashing force akin to stomping out a fire offa your best pal's camping blanket. HSTs often have dance partners who evolve with a counter defense mechanism which looks much like a gazelle drinking at the waterhole - always on high alert for the danger from the crashing foot.

3. The Freaky Staring Guy - Homus Breastes Starus
This kind of species dance by grasping your hand firmly, fixing their eyes on a point that would be akin to mid cleavage and then proceeding to stare firmly at that point for the rest of the dance. Any and all attempts at light conversation during the dance result in monosyllabix answers at best and pre speech grunts at the worst!

4. The Maniac Dancer Guy - Homus Loonius Mostus
If you see an HLM coming towards you on the dance floor... sashay as quick as you can outta there! Such a species views a dance more like a military conquest. Short staccato and violent movements rule their lead on the floor and often their dance partners come away like war refugees - barely escaping with the clothes on their backs and nursing their bruised and battered limbs - the ones that were spared!

A friend of mine reading the early draft of this post accused me of exagerrating and said that there's no way any guy fits snugly into one or the other category. And y'know what... he's absolutely RIGHT!

I forgot all about the combos that guys come up with! Just as soon as we've figured out what "kind" of guy they are... they either switch it up on us... or.. (oh horrors) come up with terrifying combinations of the above. Like Sweaty-hands-stomping guy or Maniac-staring guy or Stomping-sweaty hands-maniac... and worse!

Still, horror partners aside.... dancing has been and will continue to be a LOT of fun.... and a constant source of good blog posts!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dream on Sister.....

I've always had the most interesting dreams... and that too most of them in techinicolour - a la Joseph and his Dreamcoat! It really is remarkable the stuff that my sleeping brain can come up with!

Like there was that time I dreamt that my entire Grade 8 class was in our front garden having a picnic... then my Math teacher climed a tree, turned into a Rhino and then ran off with the cat from next door. Probably the ONLY time you'll ever see a rhino in a tree!
And then there was that dream I had just before we left for Canada - I had spent too much time saying goodbye to everyone that I missed the flight and had to run after the plane and hold on to the wheeles.... and let's not forget about the time I dreamed that all the boys from work were off to war and had to practice by paracuting into work!

I don't know what's worse though having crazy dreams... or having people think I'M crazy when I tell them about the dreams! Seriously... I can't help what my subconscious cooks up.... and I'm sure those other people are just jealous! It's always the ones who either don't dream or don't remember their dreams that think I'm gaga.... and that's a SURE sign of "I-wish-I-was-her" syndrome.

But wait, this tale of woe gets worse.....

SOME people not only visit my dreams... they insult ME in my own dream! (YOU know who you are!!) I once dreamed that I was helping a friend across the street coz he had a broken leg, but I happened to stumble against his leg BY ACCIDENT... and in a rage he pickes up his cane and beats me over the head with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ASK you... is that any way to treat someone who gives you a starring role????

I finally got back at that same someone last night - I dreamt him up in a HIDIOUS getup and had him parade in to work wearing a white LINEN suit, yellow shirt and blue tie with a lei!

I think I was still laughing when I woke up!

PS: The "someone" I'm talking about was a coworker.

Friday, October 13, 2006

All Systems GO....

After almost a month of changing dates, adding new destinations and trying to make old plans fit with new plans... its all done! My vacation - all of it- has been booked. Here's how the FINAL plan reads.

Dec 14th - Dep Toronto for London, UK
Dec 15th - Arr into London Heathrow, direct transit to Glasgow.
Dec 15th - Dec 23rd - Scotland
Dec 23rd - Jan 3rd - London

Jan 4th - March 26th - India!
1 week (end Jan) - Rajasthan: Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar (Delhi if possible)
2 weeks (end Feb) - South India: Hyderabad, Hampi, Bangalore, Mysore, Shravanabelagola, Somnathpur

March 27th - April 11th - Japan
April 11th - Return to Mumbai
April 13th - Return to Toronto via London.

I've never been to Scotland or Japan before, so if you'd like to pile on the suggestions for th
ings to see/ do, places to go and very IMP - CHEAP accomodation in Tokyo and surrounding areas... by all means.. let me know!

Things I MUST see/ do:
1. Westminister Abbey
2. Jack the Ripper walk
3. See the Mousetrap
4. Visit Edinburgh castle
5. Visit ancient temples at Nikko, Japan
6. Desert Safari in Jaisalmer

Things I would LIKE to see/ do:
1. Visit Loch Ness (or a similar monster infested Loch)
2. Visit Stonehedge
3. Go to Primrose Hill in London and hear the twilight barking
4. Eat pizza in a Japanese cemetary
5. Go to a place in Tokyo that has Nomihodai (where one can drink as much as one likes for preset price)
6. Visit a true blue Japanese spa with natural hot springs
7. Watch "Octopussy" in Udaipur - apparently it's screened almost every night of the week!

Other than the 3 weeks I will be travelling, the remaining time in India will be in Mumbai where I will be vlunteering with a local Not for Profit agency attached in the field of Women's Development.

Comments, suggestions and advice is welcome!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Long weekends are... Exhausting!

Long weekends.... One always looks forward to them so much and then invariably you pack so much into those 3 days that come Monday night, you almost wish you had another day just to relax and recover!

Well this Thanksgiving long weekend was no different!

It began on Thursday night when I met an old friend A who's here on holiday from Belgium with her bf D in tow. Met them at the Maddy's for drinks. In typical tourist fashion they were late... but thankfully I had a book, so I curled up in a corner of the Maddy and read and tried NOT to focus on the strange looks I was getting from everyone who passed my table.

Side note: Why is it ok to sit in a coffee place by oneself and read, but not in a bar?

Anyhoo.... A and bf eventually showed up an hour late and very apologetic and bought me drinks so HOW could I be mad???

Friday night was a quite night at Jibblet's and we went out for Japanese after AGES. Well it was supposed to be a quiet night, but I was so worked up about the whole stupid situation with regards to Thanksgiving dinner... that I just worked myself up into a tizzy over dinner.

What situation about Thanksgiving you ask?? Well.... glad you did!

See... my dad's been wanting to go see a true blue Canadian farm for a long time now, and by default it meant going to see Andy's parents who live on a true blue Canadian farm. My parents originally wanted to drive down on the Labour day weekend, but it wasn't a good time for the parental Jibbletts. The parental Jibbletts then invited them to come over on the Thanksgiving weekend instead and everything was planned and ready to go.

Well, until last week when my dad asked me if Jibblet & I were driving to the farm with them or on our own! Then when I said - neither .. we're going to Menace's... well all hell broke loose! Well to make a long story short (and YES it could be longer) somehow both Jibblet & I got into sh*t from our respective parents for not going to a dinner that we were never supposed to be at in the first place! Where's the justice in that.. I ask you!

.... so as I mentioned, we were at the Japanese restaurant and I was working myself into a tizzy... and drinking quite a lot of sake as well... and consequently was quite drunk when I crashed into bed that night!

Next day, met up again with A, D and some of A's friends at the Sultan's Tent, a Moroccan restaurant downtown. Interesting place, but a bit overpriced and I did't leave with the "wow" factor which was a pity because they did try so hard (even had belly dancing) but it just didn't come through. The highlight of Saturday was not the over priced Moroccan restaurant or the equally overpriced Russian vodka bar across the street ($12.50 for a Vodka/ Cran and $22 for a MARTINI!) rather, it was A's friend S who -for want of any other words - can only be described as a CHARACTER! A very exhausting character to be around as I could never tell if she was joking or being serious! About half way through dinner I took A's excellent advice and stepped up the drinking. After that, S seemed much easier to handle!

And if Friday and Saturday night out wasn't enough, well it was only Sunday and we had a big Thanksgiving dinner thingy at Menace's at 6 pm! There was SO MUCH food it would have made an Indian family proud!
For starters, Menace went all out with a 15 lbs turkey (That's as big as a toddler) two kinds of stuffing, creamed French beans, mushroom and spinach pie, mashed potatoes, home made bread, tofu stir fry, spicy Thai red curried beans.... I can't even remember the rest! I just know by end of that meal, I was stuffed just as good as the turkey!

A good round of "Celebrities" shook some of that lethargic feeling off everyone and by the time we left, I can truly say that that was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I've ever had!

The weekend was fun and all... but I'm just THANKFUL that we don't have another long weekend till Christmas!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One year.... and counting

With all the dramatic movement in my life over the past few weeks.... I only just realized that I missed my first blogerversary!

I'm just amazed that I've found enough material to keep at it for a whole year!

And judging by what's in store for the next six months.... I won't be running out of ideas any time soon!

The weather has been all over the map lately. Last week it was cold enough for folks to run scrambling for turtlenecks and gloves (pants - optional) .... yesterday it was warm and sunny ..... today its pissing rain - wet and windy.

I simply MUST do the "changeover" from summer to winter clothes - but its always such a nail-in-the-coffin-of-warm-weather chore that I postpone it as long as I possibly can.

Started West Coast Swing again last evening. I'm coming along nicely! Lots of folks from the Track 1 classes so its nice to see familiar faces. I simply must get meself a nice pair of dance shoes as one of these days I'm prolly going to twist my ankle right off dancing in the wrong kinda shoes. WHY do I have to have ginormous size 9 feet??

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Day 2 now of my recently accquired "unemployed" status and things are only slightly better than yesterday.

For starters, the whole "sleep till the cows come home" idea that I had was shattered early as the rest of the family awakes and leaves for work/ school between 7 -9 am. Prior to yesterday, I had always been the first one out the doors each morning.. so never actually knew just how much noise and clammour they were capable of creating. (note: go buy another pillow to put over head)

Also, my mum seems to think that this is the perfect opportunity for me to indulge in organizing my domestic affairs. i:e clean my room and put away random items stored under my bed. Once again NOT what I featured in my "I'm home on a sabatical" dream.

Plans for my "Mother of All Vacations" are going sadly askew.
Les parents are not ammused by my desire to flit off to far corners of the globe. They understand the take time off to finish school part, but feel that once that is achieved, I must ardently look for gainful employment - like the nice Indian girl they raised me to be.
I have smothered the nice Indian girl in me (for now) and am now in mode of rebellious Canadian child in search of meaning of existance.

Consequently - friction.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The End of an Era

Well... this is it folks.... My last day as a TBJ employee!

After 5 seasons, 2002 to 2006 - my association with Pro Sports will finally come to an end.

Although I'm a bit sad at the thought of leaving this place that has been like a second home for so long (Lord knows I spend enough hours here!!) its definitely time to move on... this is just another bend in the road and if anything ... the past few years have taught me that anything's possible! I've learnt so much personally and professionally and have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many remarkable people - many who I will consider life long friends.

As of now, the plan is to take October/ November off to work on my Thesis/ practicum for my Training & Development course at U of T. This will be the perfect time to wholly concentrate on that and finally get it DONE! I've been procrastinating over topic etc for the past 4 months and the time off now will help me FOCUS!

I have a trip to England & Scotland planned for Christmas & New Year's... and then its off to India for 3 months where I'll be volunteering with local Not for Profit agencies. Haven't quite decided on a field yet - but I'm leaning towards something in adult literacy or women's development.

Once I'm back ( March 2007) I will be looking for work in the Training & Development field - putting my new skills to use! So if you have any contacts in the Industry, please let me know!

But... that's a long ways away. For now... I'll be taking it one step at a time - starting with partying it up at C'est What tonight!!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stick a fork in it - summer's DONE!

So the last long weekend of the summer came and went in a flurry of rain and wind otherwise known as Tropical Storm Ernesto. Such a bummer too as it was the only long weekend I'd had off this summer!
Still, it wasn't a complete washout (pun intended!) as the 5 Families met at my aunt's for a join celebration of her birthday and my grandparents 61st (yikes!)anniversary. Good food as usual! Yum! I scooted off early though to go see Lord of the Rings - the musical. I just had to see for myself if a theatre version of Tolkien's classic story would - well quite simply put - cut it! I grabbed the opportunity to get cheap tickets and went to see it with some friends. Thankfully it was much much more than what I'd imagined. In fact, I wholly applaud the set designer who actually MADE middle earth appear on a X by X ft stage.

It was back to school the following Tuesday for all the kiddos and thankfully a VERY short week as I left work early on Friday for a friend's wedding! Thankfully the weather held out for the ceremony which on the rooftop of the banquet hall - right on Lake Ontario. Ma Nature seems to have thought that just because its September… she must send in the winds and rains! We've had nothing but dark and stormy days ever since the beginning of the month. And I've been so darn busy I haven't even had the chance to dig out my Fall clothes. *sigh* prolly nothing fits anyway! Oh well… that just means I'll have to go shopping soon! ;)

5:20 pm and already its pitch dark outside! And me still stuck at workj with a pile of things in my inbox!
Must run.... later darrlings!

Monday, September 04, 2006

London Calling!

Instead of just deaming about London... I decided to actually DO something about my seemingly bizzare longings for the city... And so I did!

Booked my tickets last night and as of Dec 14th... I'll be off to London!

The plan as of right now is pre Christmas in Glasgow spending some time with my Very Best Friend - who I met my first day of school waaay back in grade 1. As fate would have it, we lived down the road from each other and so we just HAD to be friends! 20 years later... we're still going strong!

Well back to the "plan" - Pre Christmas in Scotland - back to London for Christmas and then if possible off somewhere on the Continent for New Years!

Monday, August 21, 2006

London on my mind

Here's a synopsis of my bizzaro dream from last night:

I'm at Blackfriars station in London (UK) and trying to buy a ticket to go to Kent. I want a ticket to Kent but an open ticket on the way back so that I may return via Victoria. I place my request at the ticket window and then suddenly in the middle of my purchase the guy gets up and walks away and then 10 mins later some other chick comes back in his place.
The new chick looks like some Shanta bai* who works for Central Railway in Bombay - complete with sari and chewing paan**(eeesh) - and she proceeds to tell me that she can't do that; at least not without charging me double... perhaps even triple. Of course this makes me quite angry and confused even coz I KNOW its possible as I did it the last time I was in London. Also.... all the delay is making me late and looking at my watch I realise that I have just 20 mins to catch the very last train of the day to Kent!

So now I'm not only angry and upset...but desperate - a lethal combination for sure! I storm into the office (don't know how I get in) and DEMAND a ticket to Kent ASAP to which Shanta bai tells me she can't give me a ticket to Kent coz there's no such place! I'm about to tell her that she's a fool and I know very well that there is a Kent when I happen to look around the office.....It's a splitting image of the admin office at Xaviers (my Alma Mater) although there's a hand written sign on the wall that says "Railway Office."

No wonder I can't get a ticket to Kent - I'm in Bombay!

Now.... does this mean I'll be making a trip to India instead????

* Shanta Bai - typical disgruntle Indian government employee.
** Paan - Chewing tobacco

Friday, August 18, 2006

Summer Antics

Today is a lovely sunny Friday in summer and instead of being out in the sun on staff day... I'm here at work! Thanks largely to my colleague who was supposed to work but who got beaned in the face with an errant fly ball last night! Ah well!

My very first year with the company we went to Wonderland for staff day and I recently found an account of what transpired that day! Looking back - it was prolly one of the first times I actually PARTIED in the T Dot!


One sunny summer's morning, passers by on a TO side street were surprised to see a large group of oddly dressed people armed with beach balls, balloons, party hats and even flag poles! Were they part of a traveling Circus that had somehow lost their tent... and perhaps even their wits? Close! It was Staff Day at the office! After checking the lists a 100 times to make sure everyone was present and accounted for... 200 employees were crammed into busses and we were off for a day of fun in the sun.

The day itself was a lot of fun.... and way too much happened for me to possibly be able to relate it all to you. The one funny story that I HAVE to mention was that we somehow persuaded our dept manager to go on one of the theme Park's wildest rides... only to have her throw up at the end! (yes, there are pictures).

All too soon we found ourselves back downtown that evening but like young Oliver Twist we wanted more! After much debate, everyone finally decided upon a dinner spot. Dinner and drinks turned into a full fledged pool tournament during which someone mentions Karaoke. And of course... we just HAVE to go for it! But where? Someone suggests Lee's Garden on Bay & Bloor.... and we all troop there. (Note: its already 10:30 pm.. and we've already finished SEVERAL rounds of beer).

Scene two (or is it three?): Lee's Garden - funny little Chinese restaurant. And I DO mean little. Several of us above 5 ft knocked our heads at the entrance! Once there, we take over 5 of the 7 tables and hijack the Karaoke machine along with the little man who attends to it. (yes he was little too). I discovered the Japanese in me that night...going up not once.. or twice.. but 4 times! I began my performance that night with a duet with the ever gallant Travis who had to support both me and the mike stand. Our very own rendition of Sony and Cher's I've got you Babe was an instant hit, catapulting us to superstardom - at least in the eyes of the Filipino group at table 3. At this point, I should perhaps mention that I had twisted my ankle the previous day and was barely able to walk let alone stand on a stage belting out numbers. The large amounts of beer was also not helping.

Little did everyone know, but Mr. Lee's Garden was equipped with some excellent surveillance devices. A fact we found out at about 1:30 am when 2 of Toronto's finest came in and asked management if everything was ok. At this point we realised that we were all damn good looking on tape.. sloshed as we were... and just as soon as the cops departed... (after a SEVERE warning not to attempt to drive, redundant as none of us had a car)...we spent a great deal of time trying to persuade the little Mr. Lee to give us a copy of the tape. Someone had the bright idea that we could sent it in to the next edition of Wanna Be a Rock Star. It would have worked if only we'd realised that Mr. Lee was really Mr. Wang.. and that he wasn't the owner.. just another patron at the restaurant.

Anyway.. that's about all I remember. There was a most hazy subway ride home.... and an excruciating pain in my ankle and head.... all of the next day - which is usually proof enough that it had been a damn good time!

The author cannot be reached for comment as she has very little factual evidence... let alone memory for most happenings that night.
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