Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Random Thoughts from the Holiday

I'm glad I decided on this holiday, in spite of the fact that I could ill afford it.

I'm glad I went for a mix of alone time and family/friend catch up time as its given me a renewed pleasure, for both aspects of travel.

I known I must return to New Zealand. Its packed so full of wonderful places that 9 days simply wasn't enough.

I'm glad I busted my knee on the Tongariro crossing. It made me realize that good and kind and generous people still exist in this world. People who will put aside their needs to help a random stranger whether it be carrying her down a mountain path, or helping her to the washroom or sitting with her in the dorm to keep her company.......

I'm not fussed about the fact that I "wasted" 2 days in NZ because of the knee injury. Yes, I missed out on some places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do, but in the long run, I rather have my health.

I was wondering if I did the right thing adding Melbourne to my destination list as I have a whole heap of rellies there. Now, I'm glad I did. Catching up with the aunties, uncles and cousins has been a whole heap of fun that I did NOT expect. Yes, there were times when I wanted to take the whole lot of them and dump them into the Yarra.... but the important thing is that the impulse passed and things all worked out fine. I do however realize that much of my enjoying meeting them was the fact that in most cases I didn't spend more than 2 hours in their company! And the ones I did spend more time with, I was very happy to get to know.

I'm glad I went to Bitch's wedding and I'm super glad that she made me privy to the behind the scenes activities. I usually hate an overload of what I fondly refer to as "girly bullshit", but with Bitch, all activities were a load of fun and hey, her bridesmaids did do a wonderful job of making me look just beautiful for the wedding.

I'm positive that if I ever get married, I will be keeping interaction with relatives to a minimum. This is the 4th wedding of a close friend where I've seen first hand what havoc interfering relatives can wreck on what is supposed to be a happy occasion.

I have come to realize that the most beautiful places on this earth are also the most difficult to get to, or live in or reconcile with. But, the hardship makes their beauty even more precious.

I should listen to my body more carefully. A nagging cold that started in Alice Springs turned into a full fledged chest cold/cough and sore throat by Christmas all because I refused to take it easy and cut back on activities while in the outback. Loving care and home remedies from family got me back into shape.

I am at heart, a child of the tropics. I've only been on the Gold Coast for a couple of hours and already I love the heat and the lush greenery all around.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Strange and Unexplained Phenomenon

Although I have lost a considerable amount of weight ever since the start of this year, I sorta plateaued out around October and have stayed almost constant ever since. I (try to) go to the gym at least twice a week, and each time I religiously weigh myself - for reassurance more than anything else.

Which is why when I weighed myself at my friend's place on my arrival in Wellington, I was MOST surprised to find that I had dropped about 7 lbs.

I weighed in at around 167 in the T Dot, and then suddenly 2 days later (2 days of sitting around in airports and on plans that too) I'm 7 lbs lighter. I knew I was going to loose a day flying here - no one said anything about weight! Or maybe this is just one of those strange things you hear about the southern hemisphere..... like the water going down the drain in the "other" direction- which I have yet to see btw!

A mystery for sure, but one that I'm in no hurry to get solved!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Somewhere over the Pacific I realized that I had forgotten to pack 3 very important objects.

1. My money belt.
Crucial factor - low
Found a replacement belt today in WLG. On sale too!

2. My supply of Evra patches.
Crucial factor - moderate
I am usually prone to really bad cramps during my periods, but ever since getting on the patch its been easy peasy all the way. WHY my stupid doctor in India didn't prescribe it for me back when I was a teenage is a mystery. Stupid c*nt kept telling me that I should be eating more iron rich foods to control the cramping. I must have eaten more spinach than Popey ever did, but it was of no help. Some days the cramps and back pain was so bad I couldn't get out of bed. And still, my doctor said, "Eat better food and it will be ok."

I'm sure that I'll be ok now. After all, its just one cycle that I have to get through. Still, to be on the safe side I'm going to stock up on happy pills - just in case!

3. My Vibrator.
Crucial factor - HIGH
You know what happens when you scratch an itch, right? It gets worse!
Ever since my tryst with Beany back in September, I've been a regular horn-dog. Pete (my vibrator) has been working overtime to keep up with my demands for sexual satisfaction. I've gone through more batteries in the past 2 months than a Japanese tourist on vacation. And the more I scratch, the worse the itch!

I'm already going nuts from the lack of "stimulation". Guess it's back to manual mode for now, but I DO know that I'm going to have to go shopping when I get to Sydney! All I know is that when Beans gets here in February its going to take a LOT of willpower not to jump him right in the arrival hall at the airport!! Huum, maybe I can go scout for a handy broom closet or something......

Friday, November 28, 2008


When you're a mere hours away from a big trip, with your bags still not packed, your room looking like a tornado has hit and amazingly every single pair of underwear that you own is nowhere to be found..... the only thing to do is pour yourself a glass of brewsky and kick back and relax. The bags can pack themselves and after all, there are shops in Oz!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


At 10:32 am yesterday, the door bell at work rang and a delivery boy dropped off a package for me. Written on the card - Bon Voyage from The Leprechaun.

While trying to fend the barrage of questions from my colleagues who descended on me like vultures on a kill (perils of a predominantly female office), I was also trying very hard to not break down and cry. I'd never ever gotten flowers from anyone before and the fact that they came from him, and that he made the effort from all the way across the Atlantic made the gift even more special.

Even so, I still don't want him to make fun of my lists! ;)

PS: The little bear has been named Bonnie and will be going home with me today to live in my bookcase with my other bears

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Open Letter

My dearest Beany,

You do not get to make fun of my lists.

I'm normally a very careful person. I think about things a lot before I do them, and I like planning - a lot. I plan things down to minute details (which is primarily why I'm so go at my job!) I like the comfort around making a list of things to do, and then the satisfaction of seeing each item crossed off. It gives me a sense of accomplishment - however small. A list makes me feel like I'm in control of the situation. And believe me, I like having control. In fact, I'm all ABOUT the control.

So, you can possibly understand just how out of control my life felt when, a mere 4 days after meeting you I fell totally, completely, utterly and madly in love with you.

When I met you, everything I thought I knew about love went out the window. My carefully laid plans about not getting involved in another relationship, not putting myself into the path of turmoil, not allowing myself to be open to the hurt and pain that inevitably follows all went to hell in a handbasket. In the short time that we spent together, you succeed in making me loose control of all the carefully created barriers I had erected around me and they all came tumbling down like a stack of cards. You made me forget about all the things that I had guarded myself against and give in to the whirling dirvish of fun and freedom I feel when I am with you.

This crazy ride that we are both on is moving so fast that I cannot seem to fully grasp hold of the reins. Usually, I like to be able to steer; to know what I'm heading towards. And right now I cannot. The ride is thrilling and exciting and giving me that fun whoop-dee-do feeling in my tummy. But in reality, I'm terrified of heights and if you look closely I'm holding on to the side bar for dear life.

So, if making lists is the only thing in my control right now, please, let me have it. Please don't laugh at me for doing it and understand that right now I need to have this one little piece of stability in my otherwise turned up-side down life.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Day 1
My mum was admitted into the hospital last week on Wednesday. Her surgery (Werthers' Hysterectomy) was scheduled for 8am, which meant that she need to check in at 6am. So, accordingly the entire family woke up at some ungodly hour and trotted off the the hospital.
After getting her settled into the room and prepped for surgery I left and hastened downtown to work. Got there just in time to set my phone/email to "out of office" grab my files and head over to Union station to catch a train out to Waterloo which is about 2 hours west of the T Dot. Got there, attended my meetings, gave my presentations, met the people I needed to meet, shook the hands I needed to shake and then it was right back to TO. Went over to the hospital that night to stay with my mum. Thankfully she was loopy on morphine and snored most of the night away. Didn't get too much sleep myself as the room was freezing (but mum was hot), the floor was icy cold (even through the sleeping bag) and it seemed like my mum and the dude next door were competing for who has the loudest post-operative snore.

Day 2

My dad relieved me the next morning and I trooped off home to catch some much needed zzzzzzs. Woke up at 11am and worked from home for the rest of the day. Back to the hospital for the night shift. Mum was moving around now, and so this night was filled with trips back and forth to the washroom.

Day 3

9 am the next morning. Where the HELL is my brother? He was supposed to relieve me at 8 am.
9:54 - Brother finally shows up. Sans coffee. Grrrrrrrrrr. Run back home. No time for a nap as have to sit in on conference call at 10:30. Continued working right through the afternoon. Trippy* and the Beer Baron rescued me that evening and I headed off with them to oogle at Daniel Craig's ass. (ok, just Trippy and I were doing the oogling) Back to the hospital after the movie, that's when the fun REALLY began.
Woke up at around 1 am coz my entire body felt like it was on FIRE. Apparently I had been itching in my sleep and my arms and tummy and legs were all red and there were some weird-ass looking welts all over me. Realizing that I hadn't had too much of sleep over the past 2 days, there was the distinct possibility that I was dreaming up this entire episode. A quick check in at the nurse's station confirmed that I was indeed awake and in need to medical attention. Well, good thing I was in a hospital! So, after making sure my mum knew where I would be, off I went to the ER.

It was easy enough to check in and get my "wait-in-line" number. The hard part was trying to find a seat in the waiting room where I could avoid catching another disease! It was truly hard to avoid all the coughers and sneezy and feverish folk who had strategically placed themselves all over the waiting area so that no matter which way you faced, you were in direct line with one (or more) of them. I spied a seat that SEEMED to be angled just right. As I settled in, I at once realized WHY that seat was empty. The girl across from me looked like she was going to hurl at any minute. Eesh! Well, it was too late to move; All the other "good" spots were taken. And besides, I was already drawing curious looks as I was in PJs and bedroom slippers with a big shawl wrapped around me. So it was sit tight and hope for the best!

About 1.5 hours and 20 songs on my mp3 player later, my name is called and I'm told to "....follow the green dots to room 9." Feeling a little like Indy Jones on a treasure quest, I comply with direction only to find myself in another little waiting area; what a let down! I guess they sort out patients by their symptoms/illness so I was with a group of fellow symptomizers.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) by the time I actually saw a doctor, the hives/rash had subsided so I actually didn't have anything to show him. He looked at me most suspiciously (well, who could blame him? I was wearing cheeky monkey PJs and fuzzy blue bedroom slippers) as I tried to explain what exactly the rash looked liked. Anyway, without any current symptoms there was little he could do so he told me to get some Benadryl and come back if it got worse. Great, 3 hours later he tells me to do what I wanted to do in the first place. We did figure out however what DIDN'T cause the hives!
- Not food: symptoms would have manifested with 15 mins to half hour of eating.
- Not a bite: symptoms would be localized to one area of the body.
- Not medication: I wasn't on any (though I could see he doubted that)

So back I went to my mum's room to try and catch whatever sleep I could sitting upright in a very uncomfortable hospital chair.**

Day 4As soon as it was possible (i.e 6 am) I called my brother and told him to come pick me up - and bring some Benadryl! Went home and crashed and was thrilled that the hives had all disappeared when I woke up. Thinking that everything was peachy once more, I headed off to get my hair cut. By the time I got back, my mum had been discharged from the hospital and we had a whole load of people over at our place all supposedly trying to "help" but in reality they were just all in way! Finally got them all out and my mum settled in, just in time for the hives to flare up again! Great!

A quick call to Telehealth Ontario assured me that I didn't need to run back to the ER, instead keep up the regular doses of Benadryl and apply lots of cooling lotions on affected areas. This time around, it was all over my back which of course meant that I couldn't sit down or lie down very comfortably and that meant that I had to sleep on my belly all night long.

Day 5 (today)Woke up this morning and the rash on my back is all gone - only to be replaced by a rash all over my neck and upper chest and around my shoulders. So its been regular guzzling of Benadryl all day long and constant lathering in lotion and here I am!

Wonder what tomorrow will bring???

*The artist formerly known as Menace will henceforth be referred to as Trippy. Why? 1. She didn't like Menace and threatened to withdraw breakfast pancakes until I made the change (that sounds menacing to me!) and 2. She trips and falls down rather a lot. There is a funny story about Trippy, a road in south India and a local bus; but that's for another day.

**Just why ARE hospital chairs so bloody uncomfortable? I mean, surely they know that there will be some very concern (and very tired) relatives and friends visiting and/or spending the night. At the very least the hospital administration can say - Let's give them some nice chairs so that they in turn don't have to show up in the hospital with a strained back!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Like the Girl Guides

In preparation of the big trip, I have been making lists. So far I have:


  • Backpack
  • Khakis (just found out old ones have big hole in strategic place)
  • Running shoes/hiking boots - cannot figure out which would be more comfy/apt
  • Extra battery for camera
  • Sunscreen - spray-on and waterproof
  • Travel size shampoo/conditioner/lotion
  • Cheap watch with alarm
  • Wedding card (1)
  • Christmas cards (10)
  • Misc cards (5)
  • Pendrive
  • Moneybelt
  • Travel journal
  • Current converter/adapter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pocket flashlight
  • Convert money
  • Suspend gym membership
  • Check if phone can be put on hold. Not! Bummer.
  • Sell TTC pass
  • Call VISA and sign up for online billing
I'm sure this post will be amended several times!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Holiday Plans

**Updated: New Zealand and detailed Sydney itinerary added in***

With exactly 3 weeks to go until my "Down Under" holiday commences, thought I'd share some of my intended travel plans.
Nov 29
Depart T Dot 09:35 am for LAX. Yey for friend's buddy pass!

Transfer to Quantas flight to Wellington departing 20:30 PT.

Nov 30
Loose it somewhere over the Pacific!

Dec 1
Arrive into Wellington, NZ - local time 0930 hrs.Chill out at friend's place, get over jet lag!!

Dec 2
Wander around Wellington city

Dec 3
Tongariro Trek - hopefully can be done as a day trip. (More deets needed)

Dec 4
Catch ferry to south island (Picton); Transfer onto train to Kaikoura. Spend evening/night/morning exploring Kaikoura

Dec 5
Catch train to Christchurch. (3:30pm) Arrive Christchurch at 6:45.

Dec 6Christchurch

Dec 7
TranzAlpine Train to Greymouth on the west coast. I've heard that this is one of the top 5 most beautiful train journeys in the world, and having recently seen snippits of the same on a tv special, I'd have to agree! Arrive Greymouth 12:45pm.

Dec 7/8
Greymouth and surrounding areas.

Back to Wellington either late Dec 8 or early Dec 9.
Flight to Sydney Dec 9 at 3pm. Have to figure out best/quickest way back. Hoping I can fly back to save time.

Dec 9
Dep Wellington 3pm. Fly to Sydney, NSW. Arrive local time 1650
Staying with cousin and hubby next 2 nights.

Dec 10-12
General Sydney sightseeing/exploring that could include all/some of the following:
- Walk in The Rocks
- Sydney Harbour boat cruise
- Climb the Harbour Bridge (if I have the gumption)
Bondi to Coogee Walk (recommended by Sydney cousin) - start on Bondi Beach and then walk along the coast/beach line of about 5 beaches. Apparently the best views of ocean and (v imp) surfer boys?!! Cap off walk with meat pie and chips at the other end.
- Meet the Ant (friend from TO) and do some catching up.
- Find out about cheap/discounted tickets to see "Priscilla, the Musical" (apparently, very Sydney thing to do!)
- Find time to rehearse solo for friend Bitch's wedding. Ack!

Dec 12
Move to good friend Bitch's place. Bitch is getting married to childhood friend/sweetheart and am tres happy to be part of it. Bitch's 2 bridesmaids also spending pre wedding night at her place. Huuum, can anyone say PJ party???

Dec 13
Bitch's wedding! Yey!! (Dammit, need to find nice dress to wear. Bridesmaid dress too big and cumbersome to carry)

Dec 14
Post wedding brunch with close family et friends followed by cruise in Sydney harbour.

Dec 15/16
More general touring around Sydney organized by Bitch for out-of-town guests

Dec 17
Fly to Alice Springs.

Dec 18
Poke around Alice Springs

Dec 19
Day trip to Ayers Rock

Dec 20-22
Camping in the East MacDonnell Ranges. **Still have to figure out if I can join a group here. Don't fancy doing this on my own! Any ideas/suggestions??***

Dec 23
Fly to Melbourne. From Melbourne, head out to Mansfield - approx 2 hrs north east. Cousin and wife and kids have a ranch outside of town. The entire clan is meeting up for Christmas.

Dec 24-26
Mansfield with dad's family

Dec 27-31
In/around Melbourne. Spending some time with various bits of mum's family
**again, accepting suggestions of sites to see, things to do, places to eat at***

Jan 1
Fly to Gold Coast with cousin. (Did not feel like spending 2 days in a car with Aunt, Uncle and 3 of their grand kids)

Jan 2-6
Gold Coast - wide open (Looking at you Jules!)

Jan 7
Fly back home. Brisbane to LAX, then on to the T Dot.

Jan 8
Back to work (and reality) Euck!

Friday, November 07, 2008


15 year old Brandon Crisp had been missing since Thanksgiving Day (October 13) when he left home after an argument with his parents over his seeming obsession with his XBox. For more details on the story see here. Yesterday, the Ontario Provincial Police formally called off the search, after a body matching the teen's description was found in a wooded area just outside of Barrie - his hometown.

Like everyone else, I too had been following the developing story. With every passing day, the chances of finding the boy alive grew slimmer; and my anger grew bigger. I was angry with Brandon Crisp. So angry, that I wanted him to be found, and then sit him down and give him the talking-to of a lifetime. Then make sure he was grounded for the rest of puberty.

To me, what that boy did was not only basically stupid but more so supremely selfish. I cannot even imagine the anxiety that his parents and family went through while he was missing followed by the cruel pain of now knowing that even the slim hope that they had clung to for the past 3 weeks was all in vain.

I cannot imagine that they will ever be able to forgive themselves - even though they were not to blame for him taking off. They would have been called bad parents if they had not tried to curb his addiction. So, basically they were damned if they did or did not - either way.

Have they already started to turn on each other? It is well known that many marriages do not survive the trauma of the death of a child, especially accidental death. Will the other children (two girls, both younger) have to suffer the added pain and suffering of a split home over and above loosing their brother?

I do not know what Brandon Crisp was feeling in his last moments on this earth. I imagine that the days and nights he spent in the woods were not pleasant. I hope and I pray that he is now at peace. Certainly, no one else is.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


****Crucial Amendments********

The Irishman has been teaching me Irishisms - Irish words and phrases and Irish swear words and for good measure British swear words and lots of such words. Why is it that calling someone a "Wally" or a "Wanker" seems more refined than calling someone a "Arsehole"* or "Moron"? Sounds much nicer, and still has the same effect. Of course, if one wishes to properly and truly swear at someone, Hindi (more specifically the variety spoken in Bombay), is GREAT. But that's for another post.

Sidebar: I've decided that referring to the Irishman as The Irishman is getting rather tedious. Also, it is rather impersonal. Yes, he's Irish, but he's also so much more! And since everyone else on the blog gets to have nice snappy nic names, why not him? So, after much pondering here's the decree: The Irishman will henceforth be known as Beanpole. Yes, the name is quite apt as he is well over the 6ft mark and more so to me because I just about make the 5ft4" mark. Barely. And no, you durrty minded freaks, it has nothing to do with his *ahem* manhood, though let me just state right now on record that he's certainly not lacking in said area. ;)

Anyway, where was I? Right - learning new words.

And it's not just with words (swear or otherwise) that I'm trying. I have suddenly taken to reading all and much about the weird and wonderful world of Rugby. Beanpole is a big fan total nutter about that game, and apparently so is the rest of the family. Mommy Beanpole (who is actually rather wee), Big Brother Beanpole and Little Brother Beanpole are all apparently super addicted and they spend an extraordinary amount of time calling each other (long distance) to discuss recent games. (matches?) So far, my education has included
a) the teams he supports (Munster and Leinster - don't they sound like 2 of the dwarfs?)
b) their team colours and unis
c) the match between Munster and the All Blacks in 1978 was historic in every way (and some day I'm going to have to watch the bloody thing)
d) that Ireland generally loose to Scotland that Ireland is a damn good team
e) If Ireland isn't playing, you don't care who wins as long as England looses.

**In conversation with His Beanpoleness last night, he asked me what exactly I had said about my basic understanding of the sport, and so I told him. Apparently, even my "basics" are all wrong, hence the above amendments.** (Damn, I almost messed up the entire relationship there!)

My education is been sadly impeded by the fact that I am a visual learner and need to see/do/touch my way around something new, and so far most of the education has been him trying to explain things to me over Skype. Suffice to say I'm horribly confused about the sport and the only fact that I was able to fathom myself is that you have throw the ball (is it called a ball?) backwards. Beer Baron, in an attempt to help told me that I just needed to know about a Hooker (eh?), Lock and Scrum and that the person with the most broken bones looses. Beer Baron didn't however expand on those terms, so the concepts are still fuzzy.

As if long distance dating wasn't hard enough already!

*Spellcheck seems to want to change Arsehole to Arsenal. Even as a non soccer person I am thinking that is poetic justice!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


That's the sound of me slapping my hand against my forehead.

Why, you ask?

Well some weeks ago, I was chatting with a dance acquaintance about my upcoming trip to AUS. Said acquaintance is a pilot with Air Canada and often flies to Sydney. As we were chatting, she mentioned that it would nice if she could join me in Sydney and hang out for a bit. "Sure," I said. "That sounds great." Then she asked what I'm doing after Sydney, and I said that I was thinking of heading off to the Northern Territory to do some camping/hiking in the outback. "That sounds great," said she. "I've always wanted to do that. Perhaps I can take a few days off and tag along." Once again, I agreed thinking that it would be nice to have company on this rather desolate of adventures. It was agreed that she would check with the airline about getting time off and get back to me by the end of the week. 

Two weeks, two phone calls and three emails later, I still haven't heard from her and I'm getting antsy as I want to go ahead and finalize my internal travel plans. Logic (and the Irishman) tells me to go ahead anyway. If she was really interested, she'd connect with me. Anyway, I finally manage to touch base with her last Thursday and as I'm telling her about my plan to hike/camp out in the East MacDonnell Ranges, she's suddenly asking me about new year's eve plans in Melbourne. A bit confused, I say that I don't have a set plan but I'm sure my cousins will come up with something. She then proceeds to tell me all her ideas for new year's eve in Melbourne. Still a little confused, I clarify - XX, are you planning to going to Melbourne as well? "Well yes", she replies. "Melbourne for New Year's just sounds great, and so I've decided to go there as well." "But XX," I say with much trepidation, "I'm going to be spending most of my time in Melbourne with my family. In fact, I'm not even going to be IN Melbourne for Christmas as my cousin lives on a ranch in the country and the entire family is heading over there for a few days. But, hey, I'll be back on the 27th and we can hang out again - if you want."

"Oh" says XX. "You're going to be with your family. Hummm, I forgot about Christmas. Well, I guess I can come along to your cousins ranch and then we can come back to Melbourne together."

Totally panicking now, I mumble something about not being sure if my cousin has room for any more people seeing as how he's already hosting about 20 people at his place. Her reply; "Pixy, I don't do alone. I'm not like you. Christmas in the country is not exactly what I'd planned, but under the circumstances, it will just have to do."

Eh? Did I even INVITE you.... you spazzy self centered c*nt???? And what moron can't see that if I want to spend Christmas with my family, well then that's my prerogative??? This is MY holiday that you've just hijacked and now YOU want to make the rules???? GAH!!!!

Heroically maintaining my self composure, I tell her that I'm afraid I cannot impose on my family any more and that if she wants to join me in Melbourne, she will have to amuse herself for the 4 days I'm away, whether or not its what she DOES. If she is still interested in joining me, I will wait another 2 days and then go ahead and book my internal travel tickets.

Yesterday, I get an email from her and I quote:
"I forgot that i had already booked a ski trip with my club from Dec 12-14. So I'm not sure about this whole Australia thing. Why don't' you just go ahead and book your tickets, and I'll book my own if I still want to go."

Hence, *THWAK*

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Went out to celebrate a friend's birthday last night at a bar downtown. As I stepped into the foyer of the bar what do I see but a FULLY DECORATED AND LIT CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!!

For Heavens Sake. It's only November 1st. We've BARELY gotten over Halloween. Some of us are still nursing the hangover and shame of the antics of the night before. (What IS it about a costume that brings out the slutty best in us all?)

BUT, I digress. As I was saying, November 1 is just too damn early to be seeing jolly old elves and hearing Bing Crosby carols.

And then, 10 minutes ago I was channel surfing and I saw the first Christmas themed commercial. God Help Us, Everyone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Paging Mother Nature - get a grip woman!

I was startled to feel light flurries hit my cheeks as I stepped off the bus last night. Still, we'd had flurries this early before, but always the kind that melted as soon as they hit the ground. Apparently Ma Nature was out partying late last night, coz obviously someone has been playing havoc with her magic. This was the scene in my backyard when I woke up this morning. For Pete's sake - it's not even November!!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are you speaka de Ainglish???

Trying to help me with new Internet reading material, the Irishman suggested I check Overheard in Dublin. Great idea I thought. And I figured I would also learn a little more about the place where he grew up.

Except that a lot of the jokes were totally lost on me due to cultural/local references. Even more bizarre was the fact that although I knew it was an English language site, it wasn't quite like the English I knew! After 15 mins of struggling with the posts, I was forced to email the Irishman to ask for a translation on the following words:

what's the craic
lash her out of it
skanger girl
Ung Fella
Sheriff St lads
D4 type girl

And that was just from the first page!

So much for attempting to connect culturally!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Making New Friends

With many of my regular blog buddies currently on hiatus, I've been lacking in online reading material of late.

Ok, so that may seem weird with the 1000s (10,000 perhaps?) blogs out there, not to mention all the random websites possible it may seem strange that I cannot find replacements.

Thing is, I don't like random blog surfing. Its too impersonal! I can't seem to get involved in the loves and lifes of complete strangers unless I have a background about who they are and what they're all about. Yes, reading the blog will tell me those things, but whatever - I'm strange that way!!! Also, given that I have the best blog buddies in the world, it would be hard for me to find pals just as great by simply hitting the "next" button.

So, can you my faithful reader(s?) recommend some new blogs for me to try out?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Turning over Leaves and Unearthing Dilemmas

Thanks to the gale force winds that swept though the GTA last week, much of the trees were "persuaded" to let go of their beautiful fall foliage. While raking the yard some days ago, I utilized the time to indulge in a little introspection. Many things were thought about - mostly involving work and relationship - and many little (and big) discoveries were made.

For starters, the realization that my job is getting better every day. Although at first this may seem like a something that would cause joy - not worry and introspection, the situation is a little more complicated. There are several projects poised for take off in early 2009 and I had a close hand in planning/proposing some of them. A few days ago, my VP mentioned to me that if we get the go ahead on a certain project, she will be looking to me to head it up. Normally, I would be jumping at the opportunity which would mean an expansion of my role, heading an internal team and interacting and liaising with some very interesting external partners. All good things, except that it's the worst possible timing!

The thing is, that I don't really want to tie myself to any long-term assignments right now because of the situation with the Irishman. Things have been progressing well since I got back after the wedding. He's decided to come over for a visit in February and I guess that will be the time when we decide just what we want from this relationship. I DO know that I cannot (and will not) do this long distance thing for any longer than absolutely necessary. Call me old school, but I feel that a relationship is not going to grow and thrive and mature if the two persons are on opposite sides of an ocean. And let's face it, I don't relish the thought of the possibility of sex with my boyfriend just twice a year, or thrice if Air Canada has a seat sale!

I had been thinking of moving to the UK for sometime now, even before recent developments involving matters of the heart. Very Best Friend had been trying to get me to come live in Glasgow for a while, and another close friend who lives in London had also been bribing me with ideas of how we could "explore the continent" together etc. etc. My initial idea was to move to London for a year (at first) and evaluate my long term needs based on my experiences and opportunities there. The fact that the Irishman lives in Glasgow has now of course pushed that city as the front runner in my "Live in Europe" plan.

The advent of the Irishman has forced me to think about my short and long term housing arrangements

For those not in the know, I bought a house with my parents in late 2006. The deal at the time was that I stay with them for at least 2 years before making a decision whether I wanted to continue living with them or get my own place. The deadline will be up next month.

I'll have to admit that living with my parents has enabled me to save up loads over the years and indulge in my # 1 passion - travel. The down side of living with one's parents is that one continues to get treated like a child no matter how old said "child" actually is. This is compounded by the fact that my family is traditionally Indian in the sense that it is expected that children will move away only when they get married, and not for any other reason. The notion of Adulthood is tied in quite strongly with Marriage and trying to be a "Single Adult" is almost a revolutionary idea. It matters not that I contribute a hefty amount towards the maintenance and running of the household, my parents still refuse to consult with me before making decisions regarding the house such as refurnishing the basement, doing up the backyard or repaving the driveway. My half of the mortgage and monthly payments pays for these changes - is it then so absurd that I would like to know about these things in advance? Heck, even be able to venture an opinion every now and then?

So, move out then, would be the response of many.

There's just one catch. But it's a big one!

All Indian parents are experts in Laying on the Guilt. Mine are doubly adept as not only do they have the benefit of years of Indian Guilt Laying techniques, my family is also Catholic. It is a vicious combination, not one for the faint of heart.

Every time I have complained about anything at home - and I submit the above examples of house renovations - I have gotten THE LITANY. (see, there's the Catholic tie-in)

THE LITANY consists of my mum and dad taking turns to remind me about all (and I do mean ALL) the things - material, professional, emotional - that my parents gave up to get us to Canada.

Dad: We gave up our jobs, good jobs,
Together: To bring you here

Mum: We gave up our family, my mother and father,
Together: To bring you here.

Dad: We gave up early retirement and our pension,
Together: To bring you here.

And it goes on.

Trying to fight that flood of emotional blackmail is like trying to drain a post Katrina New Orleans with a teaspoon. They're simply too good at it, and I'm simply too Indian and too Catholic to be able to withstand that tempest. Which is why I am dreading the thought of having to explain to them that a mere 7 years after we picked up and left India, I want to pick up again and move away - thereby "abandoning" them.

Fortunately, I don't have to have this discussion until February and who knows, it may not even end up being a hot topic.....

So, I'll just go back to raking leaves and this time think about something less volatile - the War on Terror, the current state of the Economy and Global Warming are all happy thoughts in comparison.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why did I have a 2 day headache, you ask?

Not just yet, Miss!
In an effort to speed up the process of getting me a refund on the purchase of my Zoom tickets, Amex had asked me to fill out some paperwork and send it to them. There were 2 purchases - one for $704, the other for $148. I filled out all the paperwork and sent it back.
Yesterday, I get a letter to confirm that $148 will be shortly credited to my account. When I called to ask about the other $704 I was told that I have to fill out a whole other set of forms.

Say WHAT??!!!
Got an email from a gym that I used to be a member at telling me that I owe them $701 in unpaid dues. Apparently they never filed the paperwork from when I cancelled my membership last April. I'll be damned if I have to pay for someone else's mistake.

Sweet Baby Jesus, give me strength
My colleague was on vacation and I had to man the general info email. Copy of actual email trail.

Email 1:
Dear Sir,
I forgot my password. I cannot login to the website. Could you please email me a new password.

My response: Your password has been reset to XXXX.

Email 2:
Hi, Even with the new password I cannot log in to the website. It's appeared that I am not registered with the program. Kindly resolve this

My response: Are you sure you went to the correct website? You are registered with program ABC. If you go to the website for program XYZ, it will not let you in. You need to go to
Regards etc.

Email 3: Yes. I went to the website for program XYZ. Then I clicked on log on. And I put my email address as user name and XXXX as the password. (Which you sent right now.)But it's not working. I cannot log in.

Me: Repeated thumping of head against cubicle wall. Did not help the headache.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

This Ain't So Bad Afterall!

I came home from a particularly bad day week at work trying to deal with a headache that had lasted 2 days straight. I turned on the TV to watch the evening news, fully expecting to hear more bad things. Instead, I saw this.

And even though it made me cry, (yes - I know. Utter sap) I thought, with all of the crap news that's being going around of late, this seemed to be the perfect time to share some good.


Friday, October 03, 2008

How to Get into My Pants

A problem that has been plaguing me for some years now. 2006 was the year of the expanding waistline and in 6 months I had put on more weight than I had in the past 5 years previously. Quite the record I would say.

Thanks to a combination of illness which forced a change in diet (no oily and fried foods AT ALL)
+ added impetus of Best Friend's Wedding and the fact that I had to wear a DRESS
+ additional exercise through dancing 3 times a week

= Me getting into a pair of pants that have not gotten past my knees in 3 years!!!

Hip Hip Hurrah!!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love, Forever True

While pondering thoughts of relationships and love and such, I think it would be a good time to mention that my Papa and Nana celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on the 1st of this month. When asked what he gave his wife as a present, Papa replied "Myself. Isn't that enough?"

How true!

Happy Anniversary Nana and Papa. You are an inspiration to us all.

Mr. and Mrs. M on their wedding day. September 1 1945

Celebrating 50 years of togetherness. Sept 1 1995

At home in Bombay. January 2007

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Techinicolour Dreamcoats

Last night, I attended the Jays game with my colleagues as one of our Boardmembers hosted us in their Corporate Box. Although it was an eventful evening - extra innings, schoomzing with Boardmembers and Key Clients, dealing with rather tipsy colleague while trying to maintain professional face, and almost missing last bus home - the real excitment of the night actually began after I got home and got to bed.... and got dreaming. A rather strange story unfolded and even though I woke up twice, the dream persisted.

I dreamed that I was on a winter vacation with some friends. It looked like 3 couples and I vacationing together and we were driving to what looked like a winter cabin. My "date" wasn't in the car. The friends (who I didn't know btw) said that he was meeting me there. When we got there, The Ex was waiting. After we checked in, everyone else went off to do something or the other and The Ex and I were left in our room. I don't remember quite what was happening, I just know that I was feeling weird and uncomfortable and totally uneasy. The Ex seemed to be behaving in typical Ex manner and went about as if we were still dating.

At some point, the "friends" called out that they were going off somewhere and that we should join them. As The Ex started to make his way out the door, I turned to him and said something to the effect of "You shouldn't be here. This is wrong. I don't want you here." I then proceeded to turn away from him and and walked away. (very poignantly, I might add into the snow covered trail) I don't remember if there was anything else. It actually doesn't matter.

Cross my heart, there is a point to this rather round about narration.

I met someone on my holiday.

A rather VERY nice someone who appears to return the favour and like me and be just as interested in me as I am in him. We spent a great deal of time together and when I left, it was decided that we would try our hand at a long distance relationship.

Although I've just been sublimely happy these past 2 weeks since I met him, there's been a little nagging fear at that back of my head. I kept wondering if I was mistaking happiness for a relief from loneliness. He makes me the happiest I have been in a long while, but it was not so long ago that I was still wrapped up in my feelings for The Ex and I wondered if what I was feeling was not exactly correct. Yes, I know that my relationship with The Ex ended last year, but I never ever said I was logical!

It sounds silly, but although I spent a rather sleepless night tossing and turning trying to get that dream out of my head, I'm glad it happened. Call me a kook,(and you're probably doing so right now!) but I know better than to discount my dreams. And anyway, I think is a good sign that my dream self categorically told dream The Ex to "bugger off" and more importantly dream self turned her back on him and walked away.

So really, in spite of tossy-turney night (and consequently dark baggy eyes today), I loved my dream and more importantly feel its OK to allow myself to feel loved again.
OK everyone, feel free to commence laughing at me..................NOW!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

GAH to the nth degree

We got onto the flight in Glasgow and taxied onto the runway. Waited on the runway for 45 mins. Got called back to the gate. Got held at the gate for 2.5 hrs (with everyone still inside in their seats)
Left Glasgow at 7pm local time
Got into Philly at about 11pm
Had to clear customs and immigration get baggage. (1 hr)
Got shuttled to hotel + information from US Airlines staff (1.5 hrs)
Had to wait in line (again) to check in (1 hr)
Got to sleep (2 hrs)
Back to the airport
Caught 8:30 am flight to Toronto
Dada picked me up from airport and took my bags home
I went downtown to work
Got to work 11am
Went straight into a meeting
Just got out of meeting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thoughts on a Wedding

As I sat by watching my oldest friend getting her bridal hair and make up done, I knew this was a moment I would remember for the rest of my life. Watching her, I was reminded of our very first meeting - the first day of school back in grade 1.

I remember my mum taking me up to my classroom. When I got to the classroom, I was faced with a room full of bawling girls. (it was an all girls convent school). This was rather perturbing as I couldn't quite figure out why everyone was crying. I was only too happy to going to a "big girl's school", the same one two of my older cousins attended. Suddenly, I didn't want to be left behind in a room full of emotional girls (something I'm still not comfortable with). My mum asked me where I wanted to sit and as I glanced about the room I spotted the only other girl NOT crying. "Her" I said, "I'll sit with her." That girl turned out to be Very Best Friend and we've been partners of sorts for the past 22 years.

The hairdresser asks me a question, and my thoughts snap back to the present. The chaos, anxiety, stress and drama that is the mandatory accompaniment to all weddings have settled down into a dull haze. With just a few hours to go until the ceremony we've done all that needs doing and can only hope that things will go well.

I wondered what I would feel as I watch my Very Best Friend walk down that aisle and take her new partner's hand. As she repeats her vows she will forever be bound to him and his life and on some level, she and I will never share the same sort of friendship ever again. Even as I rejoice in her happiness and that I know that her fiancé is a wonderful man who will make her very happy, I cannot but help feel a twinge of regret as I see a chapter of my life close forever. My friend will be stepping through the gates into a new world, and I will be unable to follow.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy Thought? Who has the time???

Just in case you were looking forward to seeing the September version of Happy Bunny's Thought for this month, you're going to have to wait a bit until this wedding-schmedding is all done. Life has been quite crazy these past 3 days since arriving in Glasgow. Very Best Friend is at her wits end as Hapless fiancé continues to bumble through life happily to do half of what he must.

VBF and I have taken God knows how many trips all around the city. We have been finalizing the catering, programming the church music, proofing, printing and compiling the church programs, meeting the hairdresser, coordinating with the ushers, picking up random necessary objects from VBF's home and bringing them to the city centre where we (her family and I) are staying, packing and wrapping the wedding favours, meeting with the church manager, organizing dinner so that the two families can finally meet AND coordinating with VBF's friends to throw her a surprise bridal shower/party tomorrow night. I'm sure I've left out some things, but you get the general idea.

I'm beat.

BUT - I have a GREAT dress and it will all be worth the while!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nurse, more suction please!

The recent drama over my plane ticket almost made me forgot about the ORIGINAL wedding drama – that of DRESS! The story is too good to leave unfinished, so here is the final (I hope) chapter in the saga of being a suitably clad bridesmaid.

Some weeks after the initial meeting with the Dressmaker, she called back to let me know that she’d like me to come in for a fitting. I was instructed to bring along the undergarments I would be wearing. Shopaholic had been raving about this supposedly miracle control underwear – that Oprah herself wore – and persuaded me to buy a pair. $50 later, I found myself wondering if this honestly did what the salesgirl, Shopaholic and of course Oprah said it would do – take whole inches off your waistline and in other places. And if so, why on earth aren’t more people talking about this?

I got to the Dressmaker’s and there it was – THE DRESS! In all its beautiful purple Maid of Honorish splendor and glory.

Dressmaker snapped me out of my reverie and shooed me off into the washroom to change my underclothes. As I pulled the Spanx underwear out of the package a glimmer of doubt rose up. I held up the garment. It was – and I exaggerate not – the size of a bikini bottom. Kate Moss’s bikini bottom. Ah, well. Here goes nothing I though. I stepped into the left leg and then stretching the top I stepped into the right.

*WHAM*. My knees snapped together with the force of the elastic and over I went. I grabbed on to the first thing that made contact with my desperately flailing hand. That happened to be the shower curtain! Down I went with a resounding crash, knock kneed with Spanx underwear around my ankles and Dressmaker’s shower curtain and rod over my head.


Then, scurrying feet and an anxious tap on the door and Dressmaker voice (in a very high register) asking if everything was ok?

I move gingerly. My head hurts from where I slammed it against the wall. My shoulder is sore as I have probably wrenched it. And my knees are still bound together by the seemingly super-elastic on the underwear.

I struggle to my feet and reassure Dressmaker that I am still alive (I can’t say the same for her curtain rod). Once upright, I brace myself and start to pull up the underpants. Slowly, painfully and with much grunting I get the panties up as high as I can. By now, I’m sweating profusely and I’m so hot that the mirror is fogging up.

I finally get out of the washroom to find anxious Dressmaker waiting in the hall. She peers past me to survey the damage. I’m trying to maintain my dignity here, but it is quite hard to do wearing nothing but a bra and control underwear. “I’m so very sorry,” I say. “I’ll pay for the damage.” Dressmaker smiles. “Honey, don’t you fret over that ugly mess of a shower curtain. I’ve been trying to get my husband to redo the washroom for YEARS. Now he’ll have to! You’ve just gone and done what I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.”

Well !

Dressmaker ushers me into the fitting room and chats away like nothing is more common that having someone wreck your washroom while trying on underwear. I’m too flabbergast to speak (yup, there’s a new scenario for those who know me) and meekly follow her directions re getting the dress on. As I’m about to step into the dress, she stops me. Stepping onto her little dressmaker stool, she reaches down and firmly grasps the sides of the underwear that are sitting just under my bust line and YANKS. I can’t but help let out a gasp as suddenly everything shifts and magically I have a waist!
Somehow the underwear has redistributed my fat so that I now have all the curves possible, but sans the fat rolls! Amazing! WHERE all the lard has gone, I’m not sure. But it sure is well hidden. So mesmerized am I that I have to be reminded to put my dress on, and when I do – whoa, I’m so impressed! The pattern makes all of my sins (and I have a lot of those) vanish and leaves me with all of the “good bits”.

As I twirled around the room in delight, I realized that I was finally at the end of this saga that began a distant 8 months ago. Although I will miss my daily prayer of, “Please Lord, deliver me from this evil” I am so happy to know that at last, I am a card carrying member of the Club of the Suitably Clad!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Explanation

I really think I should explain about the sudden need to password protect this blog and answer all the questions/comments that have followed. Who knew so many cared? Hell, who knew so many READ!

I've wanted to start a dedicated travel blog for sometime now. I'm always flitting about discovering new places and the idea of having a dedicated space to chronicling my travel adventures. The last time I went away on my mega 4 month journey, a lot of friends and family followed by daily discoveries via the blog. However, I wasn't quite sure I wanted (certain) people to have access to the blog on a regular basis. Some things I write about are NOT for certain eyes (read- family) and hence the need to go password protected.

But somehow (being the technically challenged wonder that I am), I screwed up the log in process and now the wrong email is associated with this account and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to reverse that!

Anyway, thank you for being patient while I figure all this out and I hope you like the new travel blog as well!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Not Very F*cked Anymore. Only Slightly.

So, after a whole morning of frantically calling around to various airlines, travel agents and people I know in the airline biz and scouring the Internet for any and all routes to Glasgow*, I was finally able to secure new tickets for my trip on US Airways. And I didn't quite have to pay with my first born and/or my right kidney, although the price is a whopping $400 more than what I initially paid. Ah, well. Guess that means not as many pints in Scotland!

Also, the credit card company has assured me that I will be getting my money back; it may just take a while to process and it seems like I have to turn in a bunch of supporting documents and paperwork for the same. But I will get it back. Eventually.

Now, let's just hope that nothing else falls apart between now and the wedding!

*At one point I even found a ticket to Edinburgh via Gibraltar for $900! Was tempted, but the return flights were for the wrong dates.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

F*cked. So Very F.*.C.K.E.D

Found out this morning that all Zoom flights have been grounded due to outstanding fees. Although the airline has not *yet* filed for bankruptcy, it's just a matter of time.

My ticket to Glasgow for Very Best Friend's wedding was booked on Zoom. As soon as I found out what was happening, I called the travel agent.

The travel agent said to call the credit card company.

The credit card company says their waiting for further information from the airline.

My backup travel agent says that all flights for that period are sold out.

The flights that are not sold out are priced at over $2000.

I am utterly and miserably - F*CKED. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Head's Up

To my faithful reader(s?)

I will be shortly switching this blog to being password protected as I need to add in a travel blog under the same profile. It will be one more step for you all, but I hope you will keep visiting and reading!

I figured out how to "add a blog" to my username, but I just realized that I cannot change the profile information. I guess I'll have to create a whole new username/password etc for the travel blog. Which is a pain, but I guess cannot be helped.

Blogger peeps, why can't I have 2 blogs with different profile information under the same username?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Friends

I just love it when I am able to "discover" new things about this city. A few days ago I chanced upon a darling little second hand bookstore on Bloor - Seeker's Books @ 509 Bloor St. West. After spending a delightful 2.5 hours lost among the rows of shelves, I came away with these new friends:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Colour Purple

July was drawing to a close and I still didn’t have a dress. A feverish desperation had taken over. Every time I passed a store window and saw even a glimmer of purple, I would throw myself against the glass willing it to be something that I could wear. I even tried to make an appointment at a bridal store, but the price tags on the dresses made me abandon that idea in a hurry. Then, just when I thought I was going to walk down that aisle in a purple dyed burlap sac, one of my cousins told me about this amazing (and relatively inexpensive) dressmaker who lived right by my house. Helpful Cousin was nice enough to call said dressmaker (a.k.a The Saviour) to make me an appointment and then was even nicer and agreed to go with me.

Helpful Cousin suggested that I go scout for fabrics before I meet the Dressmaker so that I would have sample swatches to show her. A quick call to friend, Shutterbug confirms that the best place for fabrics is Queen West. Shutterbug even offers to accompany me.

At this point I realize that not one person I know is confident in my ability to pick out a dress, a pattern or even a roll of cloth that will eventually be the dress. They are right of course, but it does sting to know that one is not trusted with fashion decisions. On the other hand, it does feel wonderful to know that my friends all have my back and just don’t want me to embarrass myself with having to wear a purple dyed burlap sac.

Confident that I will be able to just LOOK at fabric myself, I wave away her offer and the following day check out the fabric stores at Queen West. When I get there, I am a little alarmed by how MANY stores there are, all with seemingly never ending rolls of fabric in every hue and colour in the rainbow. Not quite sure of how one actually goes about buying fabric for a bridesmaid dress I stumble into the first store I see (tripping on the golden lab asleep on the steps) and trust the pattern into the hands of the shop assistant. “Help!” I squeak. “Make Dress. Need Fabric.” She wanders around the store for a bit and returns with a purple satinish fabric. I ask her for a sample and march out 10 minutes later marveling at my superior fabric choosing capabilities!

It’s not until I get home and compare the sample to the online pictures of the kilts do I realize that I have chosen an entirely WRONG shade of purple!

After banging my head repeatedly against a handy wall, I call Shutterbug and in a very small (and VERY humble) voice ask her to please accompany me to the fabric stores as I am obviously not capable of this task. So, accordingly, Shutterbug and I headed over to Queen West the following Saturday. She has come prepared with a colour palate for comparison that has the correct shade of purple, and then a scale of shades darker and lighter. When we get to the first store, Shutterbug sits me down at the counter and proceeds to explain to girl-behind-the-counter what we’re looking for using phrases like “overlay of chiffon” and “muted tones for best effect”. I am suitably impressed. Shutterbug is just as picky over the fabric as Shopaholic is with the finished product. The shop girl pulls out yards and yards of all kinds of fabrics in all hues of purple. Shutterbug expertly sifts through them all and finally selects some and asks for samples. We then go to 3 more shops and do the same thing all over again. In each shop, it is implied that I sit quietly in the corner and not touch anything. Finally, Shutterbug determines that we have enough sample and we leave.

Two days later, accompanied by Helpful Cousin I go to meet with the Dressmaker - who turns out to be the Dressmaker of my dreams! She patiently listens to my garbled descriptions of what I want and somehow pieces together a pattern that will be good for me. I leave with a renewed lease on life. In two short weeks, I will be dressless no more!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I have looked at the link to the Groom's kilts a hundred times since VBF first sent it to me. Only today did I notice the legend besides the pictures listing all the items that are covered by the hire.

What in the blazes is a:
Sgian Dubh?
Ghillie Brogues?

And I don't even want to imagine what Garter Flashes could be!!!!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wedding Woes

The dress saga began way back in September of last year when VBF picked out her colours and told me that I would be required to be suitably decked out in a particular shade of purple to match with the groom's tartan. Groom, Best Man and Father of Groom would all be wearing full traditional Scottish attire and for once, the women had to match up with the men.

Sure thing, I said. No Problemo! Easy Peasy - and many more such phrases. After all, I was the only bridesmaid so I could buy virtually any style of dress and it would be OK since I didn't have to worry about any one else in the bridal party. VBF even went a step further to say that I could pick out a dress that had any combination of ivory, silver and purple and she'd be just fine with it.

Fast forward. Spring 2008.

Conscious of the fact that I know little or nothing about dress shopping, my colleague Ms. Shopaholic takes it upon herself to make sure that I am suitably clad for this wedding. Over the next three months she drags me every possible store in the downtown area - before work, on our lunch break, after work, on weekends - and makes me try on what seems like 100s of dresses. "Too long" "Too short" "Too tight" (implied - loose some flab) "Too skanky" "Not skanky enough"...... she dismisses each one as I amble out of the dressing room and take a walk around the store (as per her instructions). As each dress was cast aside, I see my dream of gaining a dress in a quick and painless manner fading away. The few dresses that DO meet Shopaholic’s high (HIGH) standards are the wrong shade of purple. We do find a few nice black dresses that I long to just buy. VBF won’t mind – she’s just thankful I’m able to make it to this twice postponed wedding. But I know that my mother will throw a blue fit when she finds out that I’ve picked out a black dress to wear to my VBF’s wedding. “Very inauspicious”, she would yell. “You want to be the cause of bad luck on their wedding day?” And then she would make me return it anyway – so what’s the point? The very Caucasian, very Cosmopolitan Shopaholic does not understand this aversion to the classic black dress, but on this point I stand firm. “Yes, I realize the only dress that does not make me look like a tub of lard is the black one, but I cannot wear it to this wedding and risk the wrath of my superstitious Indian mother.” I’m also assuming that the bride’s mother will also not be too keen on the idea – being an Indian mother as well.

I guess it's back to the drawing board.

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