Monday, April 27, 2009


I don’t know what it is.. was it the perfect time with friends over late night dinner.. was the lunch preparations for weekend brunches at home with more friends, or may be it was V saying sweet nothings and being cute all over! It may have been me clutching SD's hand while watching re-run of Jurassic Park on TV.. its been such a long time, that i was actually taken aback and a bit scared for some time in the movie.... overall... It was just a refreshing weekend.

We did a lot of first times... played 'Categories' which is mind you a very nice game.. Especially at 2 in the morning. We enjoyed walking to the park for V to take her first slide down, and she totally enjoying the wind in her face and yes playing 'Gully Cricket' with the baseball bat and V's plastic ball in the Pent House of our building while V chasing the ball and totally amused at adults being so happy with her toys!! And yes, it also contributed by weather warming up to a beautiful 75F, and we can step out without jackets.. and leave the windows open for fresh air to circulate in the house!

I can see the difference in V as well, less sniffles and more energy, i guess the Vitamin D from the sun is also helping r a lot. Its all related, all intertwined, and not just one factor is causing this boost in our energy levels.

After a long time, i am totally refreshed on Monday with a very relaxing yet action packed weekend. The Monday morning blue has subsided a bit.. and its back to work with renewed energy.. and rest assured, as week days pass, i will crave another weekend.. and the energy of work will go low! Its cyclic in nature. We all know that. But lets enjoy actually have a fresh Monday morning :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So the hunt is on!

Yes, the end product will be wonderful, a new fresh apartment, clean closets, slowly unpacking of all belongings... and the new views, new wonder.. And the new lease on a new apartment! But the process.. The process itself is handful, painful and long!

We are back in the market for an apartment, long story short.. The condo we live in got sold (yes, at a decent this market!) and now months before our lease is up..we are looking for a new place to call home. Yes, yes.. we have heard it before, we should consider buying a place, but its just not the right time for us. It just not, we rather rent! It’s easier-(or so I think!)

So back to the process, first looking at the 'unsafe' Craigslist, the other realtor websites, talk to annoying agents, who really don’t care about what you need, what you want; for them, its the short forms they live by: 2BD/2BT +Den/THOUSE, W/D, PRK etc. With no due offense of course, it is there livelihood, and they do spend a lot of time on the net and on the road meeting annoying people like me who will pretty much say a Yay or a Nay in the first five minutes! And for these five minutes, it’s a couple of hours for them! So their arrogance is justified (Well to some extent).
But for us, the bargainers.. Looking for a good deal, a good place, a beautiful view with parking of course! And yes ensuring we stick to the budget!

After this comes, looking at pictures, which mind you will leave a big impression in your decision process, The pics have to be in the best light, best view, hiding the sore points.. and making it look ready! After you see hundreds of these, comes the actual appointment. OMG! You take papers and papers of notes when you go see the place.. and make notes, in case your better half is not with you, and if it fits the checklist! The haggle for a price! Thankfully, I let my better half take care of that! I just cant do it.

It comes with its fair share of heartbreak! You find the perfect place, in budget, everyone loves it.. and bam! The owner changed his mind, someone offered a better price for that condo, and worst of all, you sat on it just for one night, while you discussed with family while laying the furniture plan in your mind!! It's gone! And there is nothing you can do!

Hello, its not Fun! Yes, in my free time(!) I love to check out interiors of other model homes, cookie cutter houses, flipping through interior magazines, eyeing those contemporary pads, which is defi classy but by no means will make you feel happy about placing a drink without a coaster on the 3000$ coffee table!
But the mind frame is different, its leisure, its my detox, its me saying, oh thats nice, that's chic, that's blah blah. Its just different when you are under the gun.

Right now, i am doing all of the above with only one intent: Which next place will be my home! Yes, historically, I have had house warming for every place we have lived in…come on its still home. Right now it’s like a race against time; I want to get it done with! Settle in, before pool season starts, before family gets here. . and basically i want to do it sooner so its OFF our heads!

Man, so much pressure for just renting! Thankfully my darling hubby is being super cool about it, and letting me vent off on him, so i don’t scream my head off to the next agent i speak about a "PRFCT COND TWHOUSE!!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Battle of your will and weather!

Don’t know why or how, but i am sure its true for most, well at least its true for you feel on any given day, what you do or where you go.. to some extent is governed by the weather. There are other factors of course, but i would say 30-40% of one's mood is weather related.

Have you ever had the feeling, when the sun is bright and high, slight breeze in the air, middle of the day, you would want to kick back and relax at home with a book! Probably no, however if the weather was a bit cooler, with rainy clouds and cold breeze, that’s exactly what you want to do, may be with a hot coffee!

Have you thought of making hot samosas or pakoras when its 80 F outside.. Mostly no... unless of course you are in India...then you really dont care what the weather is.. all you want to do in the 25 day vacation is eat food.. roadside, home made, fancy restaurant...its vacation you don’t really care!
However you are in US.. and its that warm, i think a cool lemonade or a chilled beer would be more of your preference with some yummy fruits and cold salad..

I am trying to keep this general, it doesn’t matter what your palate is.. you may be a teetotaler or a martini lover.. you may be food health nut or a "food = grease" person… What you eat, what you like and what your mood is somewhat controlled by the weather!

It was Saturday and we were window shopping on magnificent mile on a perfect sunny Chicago afternoon, when SD said- "Life is good, but i don’t want weather to control when i can or cannot go out, or do something or eat something." It got me thinking, does it really control that much?
And yes i am biased, we are now coming out of a 6 month hiatus of being stuck indoors due to winter.... and any temperature over 50F, we scrounge to make sure we are outside and work towards getting enough sun soaked in our skins.. and V to feel the fresh breeze on her face! But to think, even back in DC or CA, weather did to some extent tell me what i "felt".

There is a warm sunny ray seeping through my office window, i peek outside.. and yes i have carried my "dubba"...but then just the concept of eating out at a bistro under the sun, will make me pick up the phone to call one of my sun deprived colleagues and say... "What’s POA for lunch.. Lets go outside.. “And the home packed food.. well it can wait!
On the other end, no home packed food, its cold and dreary outside.. and the options are cafeteria salad or one of the zillion places in the city for a decent lunch, I will, with a heavy foot, go grab the boring stale salad from the cafeteria.. I justify, It's not worth getting the jacket, the umbrella out for 'just a lunch'.

The weather just controlled what i eat, where i went.. and in effect is controlling my mood!

I am one of those.. who when feeling the blues..... will make sure is dressed up even for a casual coffee.. the process of spending the time to get ready.. and the final product in the mirror chases my blues away. But the weather influence.. well i never did spend time thinking about it! And now i am, hard and long.

How much will i let outside influence's govern my decision... in this case.. A Lot! And one of my favorite quotes from Matrix "~ Everything begins with choice.~ Morpheus" is to some extent thrown out the window...since i cannot battle the weather, i have to succumb and plan/do/eat/feel what some extent what the weather tells me.. I have no Choice!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mystery of the missing time!

An hour with less than 60 minutes….. No i am serious, i am pretty convinced that Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. is an hour composed of 30-40 minutes... instead of the 60 minutes like other hours! I still don’t have an explanation for the remainder time! But I will find out.. that’s my new research project, “Mystery of the missing time!”

Seriously, i am pretty sure of it. If it was not this, then i have no other explanation of why EVERY morning, we are struggling to get out of the house "on-time" which ideally should be 7:30 but if we are out the door at "7:55 a.m." it is an achievement.

And yes, i follow all the rules of working mothers- "the evening before planning": Prepare lunch for the day, pack all non-perishable stuff for V's day care, get clothes ready, have the namesake B-fast raw materials ready.. blah blah blah! All of this one, the night before.... including the shower to save those precious morning minutes.. We do it all (or so i think) including checking the alarm... to ensure it goes off at 6:45 a.m.

But still, like a really sad repetitive soap opera, SD and I struggle to get out the door "on time". And then after dropping V, before reaching my office, in the car we analyze what made us late today! And then we decide on a mitigation approach, so it does not repeat itself.. We do this almost everyday!

Morning is this rush time in our household.. dont cross our paths, You may just get knocked down! Like clockwork V gets up at 6:30ish.. and is more than happy to come to our bed from her crib.. and play with her dad and me! I push myself out of bed, and then 'get to work'! ---
Packing V's lunch, getting our lunch out of fridge and packing our dubba with the fruit/snack/cereal bar, getting the OJ, putting the toast (not everyday.. since we generally don’t have that luxury as well). Getting V's fresh food ready is the only kitchen work i do have. I mean, for us last nights left over's taste even better ;-) but for V, we prefer making her food fresh in the morning… its very basic stuff anyways! Like her fav. "DKP", boiled veggies (Yes, time saving M-wave comes to rescue!) sautéing the paneer cubes... and basic stuff like that.!. And yes, most of the raw materials have been prepared the night before!

During this time, SD gets ready and then gets V ready... and then he giver her B-fast on her high chair.... while i dash to get ready myself... trust me, its comical..

This race against the clock does get to you... sometimes one of us will blow off some steam! But of course, never on V.... she is a good bachaa, and she will rarely create a fuss in the morning.. she is just very happy to eat her breakfast and laugh at us when we run around like headless chicken!

Every morning in the power hour, i look at the clock, minutes are gone.. just gone! It was 7:10 and then the next time i check, its 7:25.. phew.... and it kind of re-affirms my thoughts that morning power hour is just 30-40 minutes!

I know it should not be that difficult...but still, once again, today, we have decided, lets be firm.. lets just get up, get ready and get out.. it would be perfect, if it were not for the power hour being shorter than other hours!

For us and the betterhood of mankind, I have to solve the “Mystery of the missing time!”