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!!!!

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