Sign Spotting

Often while I’m on the road, I find interesting signs and ads that make me go hmmm… Here are some (in no particular order) that kept me entertained!

My day in the District…

Some would say that I have a tendency to D.C. bash.  Some might be right. But, today I’m going to try to offer a fair and balanced view of our nation’s capitol. Here’s a day in the life, as told by my iphone3 photographs. #vintagetelecom

First, I tried to catch the train. D.C. has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to the metro. They’ll threaten your life if you drink your morning latte on your morning metro commute AND they always have those handy, dandy signs that tell you just when the next train is coming. Imagine my surprise when I reached the platform and found this: 
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I waited for a few minutes with the mob of people on the platform. Turns out that they were doing construction on the Virginia bound platform and trains in both directions were sharing the same track. Luckily, within just a few minutes the train came and the board changed. Mass confusion ensued:

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En route to Dupont Circle, which is on the infamous red line, I had the pleasure of taking a shuttle bus to try to get around Metro Center. Why around? Because, wmata decided to close its busiest station all weekend…IMG_0725

I eventually got off at Dupont Circle and had the pleasure of knowing that if I wanted to buy a pack of Newports at this gas station, I could actually take out $9 whole dollars to make the purchase. Who needs even numbers anyway? IMG_0711

I ate – guacamole – and drank – Diet Coke – at Lauriol Plaza. And honestly, I wish my iphone3 took better pics in the dark, because there were some fashionable folks coming in the door. And everyone knows that I don’t dole out fashion kudos easily. Alas, on the walk back to the train, I stumbled past an institution that I’d heard about in books and on cnn. Who knew that the German Marshall Fund was just blocks away from Dupont Circle? This is one of the perks of living in the epicenter of political power. You learn something new every day!IMG_0709

Since today was quite nice, I figured I’d roam around the city some more and soak in the sun. D.C.’s weather has been having serious mood swings lately. Just think, the temperature today was in the low 50s. Just Monday we had a snow day!
And the streets looked like this:
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Anyways, the snow is behind us, so there’s no better D.C. haunt on a Sunday than the flea market at Eastern Market! Today, I discovered that a Huffington Post Poll named this flea market the 2nd best in the world. I still can’t find the poll to determine which is first or first best or best – however you’d say that. This sign vaguely reminded me of that time that I was in the IGIA Airport and they had a sign that named the airport the 2nd best airline in blah blah blah… you should re-read the post to recollect. (This isn’t the HuffPo poll that this market is mentioned in as 2nd, but here is a recent HuffPo review of world flea markets, in case anybody is interested: http://huff.to/1fiDyXb) IMG_0713

I loved to see that vendors I love still have booths and are still doing well. I dropped by the BAMI booth and it was nice to see a friendly face. Though I didn’t buy any new soaps today, I’m now kinda regretting that decision. I also saw a few home decor must haves at Olde Good Things, but I’m often shocked by their sticker prices – especially at the Manhattan store – so I didn’t dare browse too seriously. Anyway, I did nab a whole gaggle of scented diffusers from CandlesbyGeeda.com! I was the lucky buyer-beneficiary of a scented oil that smells like man. Yes, people, man! I’m so excited I could do a dance. IMG_0715

I found two new booths that will become my new regulars. Well, maybe they’re just new to me, which isn’t saying much. But, I loooveeeddddd the goodies I bought from Was Paper. I’m going to tell you what I got, but please hold your horses. Don’t be copy cats and try to have a safari fridge theme in your house too. Get horses or elephant’s butts (yes, she has those too!) or anything else other than my beloved rhino. Consider this a warning…

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And just as I mustered the will power to walk past this sign and not give in…

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… i found Mirasa! The lovely woman at the booth was already packing up, but she didn’t seem in the least bit perturbed when I started digging through the bib box. I noticed her accent and was so enamored when she said she was from Bombay (only Bombay people call Mumbai Bombay. That’s an insider tip!). I LOVE Bombay! Turns out she came to the U.S. to study at F.I.T. and found her husband. I can relate, since I went to India to work and found my fiance. I told her that I got engaged in front of the Gateway of India in her hometown of Mumbai AND I went to college in NYC too! #smallworld

Honestly, after weeks of feeling disconnected and misunderstood in D.C., this conversation was a light in my lonely heart. It was lovely to find someone who also understood the craziness of the Delhi I left behind – its positives and its negatives. It was really cool to connect with a perfect stranger and to feel so familiar with her personality and her designs.

Bombay has a booming design scene for fashion, housewares, art and more. In fact, since I haven’t been to Helsinki yet, I’d argue that it’s one of the best places to find innovative contemporary design. Alas, underneath a string of baby bibs and onesies, I found that Delhi wasn’t so far away and D.C. might not be so bad after all.

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I pressed on and tried to avoid the rest of the tempting vendors…

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I navigated my way back to the metro…

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I made it back on to the train and decided to stop at Chinatown for a peak around…

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…but it was reaching the doggie’s walking time, so I headed back to the far, far, away land that is Northern Virginia. I left D.C. behind somewhere in the wmata space after Foggy Bottom, before Rosslyn and underneath the Potomac river.

THE END.

54 Books beyond Bombay

Stack-Of-Books-BigThe year before last, I could only manage to read 48 books. Not even one book a week! #epicfailforanerd But this year, I was determined that I would finally read 52 books and Nikki would not beat me this time. Once again, I set her in my sights and she – clearly – didn’t even know it. Surely, I’d blow her book goals right out of the water. Right?

Wrong! Once again, Nikki is not even thinking about me! While I went above and beyond, tallying 54 books this year, she’s off dressing up her daughter as a lion and going on African safaris. Sometimes, she and her husband even stage a safari in their backyard and pose their costumed daughter as the lion cub that they’re spotting in the wild. I mean, it’s pretty darn cute. And creative.  Damn you Nikki! I can’t win with you…

Alas, in 2013 I spent most of my time researching Indian culture and folklore, so a lot of last year’s books were academic in nature and/or Indian in authorship. Not all, but most. So, without further ado or more Nikki acclaim, here are my top 5 books of 2013:

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Maximum City Bombay Lost and Found is my favorite book of last year. And the irony here is that it was the very first book I read. So, it was downhill from there. But, talk about dissecting a city from its inside out! This book is a literary feat. It is a page turner that’s true to the city it preaches to know. There’s drama and sex and love and violence – all representative of a city that’s meant so much to me. I can’t recommend this book enough for those of us who have been to and enjoyed today’s Mumbai.

shantaramShantaram is Maximum City’s whorish twin sister, in book terms of course. It’s the tale of an escaped convict from Australia making his way in the Mumbai underworld. It speaks of the Nigerians and Afghanis. Drug dealers in plain sight at Cafe Mondegar. And foreigners with fake passports and friends in rat infested slums. The author claims the story is all fiction, but it’s rumored to be a memoir. I can’t imagine how anyone could make up 963 pages of this stuff without some serious life experience for inspiration.

 

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The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is the unsung story of Black motherhood – its efforts and short comings. The stories touched me on a personal level, as I felt familiar with the post-Great Migration characters and the inner city family drama. I don’t say that lightly though, because in my opinion contemporary Black protagonists often come off as overdramatized caricatures or underwhelmingly kitsch. Let’s be honest, we’re living in Tyler Perry’s wake. These historically accurate representations through Ayana Mathis’ words are long overdue, however.

 

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The Lonely Londoners is a short and easy read, but rich with texture and spirited characters. I came across it when researching the Indian Diaspora in literature. I read it not really expecting what I found. The author explores the recent immigrant experience in London, but not only from the Indian perspective. In fact, it’s primary characters are Caribbean immigrants. Like Mathis’ depiction, Sam Selvon gives short snippets of just how hard life can be for people who are trying really hard to make a dollar out of fifteen cents. Its characters are in a silent struggle, not in vocal rebellion. This read left me with a softer heart.

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Faces in the Water is where magical realism meets the unfortunate reality of female infanticide in contemporary India. The premise is that a little boy spends a summer at his family’s ancestral farm and discovers the water well that supplies the home. In it, he sees faces – female faces. More than one. You’d have to read the book to figure out who these girls are and how he resolves knowing how they got there. I loved this book not just because it tackles an issue that most people won’t even acknowledge, but it highlights that it’s not a practice that only occurs among the poor. And, more importantly, it empowers a male character – a young boy – to take action against injustice, to be a women’s rights activist, to be a better man than his own father.

2013 dud reads:

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud: Where to begin? Maybe I’m just sad that this book is a book. It’s about a bunch of rich New Yorkers making asses of themselves and each other. It’s a New York reality – unfortunately – but the story doesn’t scream book worthy to me. And, I just found out that the author is a fellow alum of my high school, so I’m even more disappointed. The writing was convoluted and full of misplaced modifiers. If there’s one thing a Mustang can’t stand, it’s a misplaced modifier.

Arranged Love by Parul Mittal: Woe, the days of my life that I can’t get back! Maybe I need to have grown up on the Indian subcontinent to understand why this is supposed to be a love story, but this book is weird and lame. There are much better stories of arranged-come-love marriages. Read the Namesake and don’t waste your money or life minutes on this book!

Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor: Some memoirs are just journal entries that people should later burn. This book is one. Buddhism isn’t a religion, so…. what’s this atheism schtick?  Hence, there are fundamental problems with this book and it’s premise. Sigh…

Ring Side: The story of my engagement ring

Wikipedia Rough DiamondI have never seen the movie “Blood Diamond” and I have never downplayed the diamond to sound less materialistic to men. I genuinely wasn’t interested in diamonds and I thought I had three very good reasons why: 1) I think the diamond industry is monopolistic to the point of being predatory all up, down and through it’s delivery chain. 2) I think the act of gifting diamonds is incredibly uncreative. 3) I think it’s just a goddamn rock. Suffice it to say that I have been avidly anti-diamond since my teenage years, but one year in India changed all that.

I was completely unprepared for the realities of the Indian diamond, gem and jewelry market, all of which made me rethink my previous thoughts. First, while the industry remains incredibly brutal, the industry’s pricing for Indian consumers is drastically less than it is for its Western consumers. The difference is dramatic; often the same quality stone (and often a lower quality gold setting) will cost an American two to three times as much in America than it costs an American in India. Imagine the price drop for an Indian in India. Maybe the delivery chain on that side of the Atlantic ocean isn’t as predatory? Second, when I buy diamonds for myself, that nullifies the creativity clause. Whatever I buy for myself is always incredibly fly. And, third, when the price of said rock becomes affordable, dare I say reasonable, then maybe I can remove the diminutive “just” from my thoughts and acknowledge, without judgment, that yes, it is a rock. A very pretty rock.

Well, it took me a full year to actually buy diamond jewelry for myself. The first purchase was gut wrenching. It was a Mughal style antique emerald and uncut diamond ring, set in what’s probably just aluminum foil. I was too much of a novice then to know that I should not have paid what I paid, but it was pretty and I thought that buying vintage was like recycling – no? No. It’s not and I wasn’t fooling anybody but myself with this shucking and jiving intended to distract from the fact that I was really making a fundamental change. Perhaps, I can only liken the jolt of my buying diamonds to what I imagine it would feel like for me – a pescatarian for 11 years – to eat land-animal meat again. Taking that step would mean that many boundaries, more ritual than moral, would be broken. I asked myself, “is there anything you won’t do?” (If I told you my answer, I’d have to kill you.)

Imagine my shock and awe when I fell in love with my engagement ring. To be clear, I fell in love with the ring AFTER I fell in love with the man. But, the ring and my reaction to it caught us all by surprise – me, my jeweler, and my fiancée. See, both my jeweler and my fiancée had heard my long rants about how I didn’t want a diamond wedding ring and how diamonds were so incredibly boring. I can still see my fiancée’s face now – his pockets disappointed, but his eyes gloated “gotcha now little miss goodie two shoes!” Yea well he got me, literally. Only my visiting friend – ever the touchstone of American stereotypes – reminded me that I was supposed to want a diamond ring. That, in fact, I should want an even larger one than the one I wanted and that I’d be a fool for thinking that now was the time for playing teenage anti-diamond activist.

Yet, for the three of us who looked like deer caught in headlights, the knockdown drag out battle between me and myself raged on for close to an hour. What did I stand for if I would cave now? Didn’t that violate thought #2? Hadn’t I broken all my rules when I bought my own diamond jewelry? Was I being a hypocrite? Did I set this man up to think he would really be able to marry me by proposing with a piece of ivory, when what I really wanted was bling? Wasn’t he stupid for believing me in the first place?

Maybe the answer to all these questions is ‘hell yes.’ All I know is that I walked out of that store an engaged woman and everybody was all smiles. The morally sound little girl inside of me awoke from her slumber, but then she stared into the glow from the pretty, shiny rocks on my left hand and she went to sleep dreamily happy.

I laid that little girl to rest peacefully in India and, gleefully, showed off the symbol of my being a taken woman. In India, people don’t typically get engaged with diamond rings. So, there’s no oohing and aahing over the jewels. They want to know why they haven’t yet received the wedding invitation, if I’m planning to have a nikah or if I want to wear bangles for a full year. In their minds, if the date isn’t set – then what’s the value of yapping about being engaged? Fair enough.

I have no answer for that wedding date question, but first things first! I had to come home to face the family and friends I left behind – those that wished me well and those that clearly couldn’t give a damn. There were the men of yesteryear that said, ‘yea, I saw your Facebook page. That’s him right?’ And my cousin who, 3 weeks after seeing me in person wearing my ring, said “Congrats girl! I just saw your ring in your pictures. You’re engaged, right?” We all knew this day would come, but oh how awkward and social media dependent it was.

Let me say, here more than ever I’ve had to go back to rethinking the ring. Let me just list a few of the questions I’ve gotten, “What kind of cut is that? Why did you get a band? How many carats is it? What’s the clarity? From India, really? He must really love you, huh?” I could go on, but I’m too tired to dig.  Obviously, nothing was ever meant with malice and a lot of the time people sounded more impressed with my ring than even I was. What’s come full circle, however, are the original questions I asked myself about what having, buying, wearing diamonds means to me.

My few self-purchased pieces are really just for show. They are not born from an act of love, or a symbol of ever-lasting commitment. They are not meant to be worn everyday and they are more an investment than adornment. But, my engagement ring – the very thing that binds this man’s heart to me despite the almost 8,000 miles that lay between us – is special. It shouldn’t be a challenge to some teenage rules I lived by to silently shame the De Beers and Oppenheimer families. It shouldn’t be a fall from moral grace. It shouldn’t be a topic of conversation or comparison. It shouldn’t be a symbol of self-doubt.

It should be transcendent. Symbolic of a new era. A time when I don’t owe anyone, but this man, an explanation for my actions, my choices, my happiness, and my glee. For all intents and purposes, this set of rocks is supposed to symbolize change, the forging of a new foundation with a partner. Perhaps, this is a choice that I can make while on this team that I never would have made alone. Dare I say, it never even occurred to me to make this choice when I was alone. As I think about it now, it never occurred to me even when I was previously in serious relationships. What my inner teenager would call being a sell out, feels a lot like being an adult to me now.  In other words, it sure feels like I know ‘he’s the one.’ He, being the man – not the ring.

So, like I said, until about two months ago I was avidly anti-diamond. As of today, I’m madly in love with a man who loves the woman I am today, the raging teenager he had to assuage to get to me and the sleeping little girl that he kisses on the forehead every night via Skype.  For all the things that this ring conjures up of my past and the road that led to that serendipitous trip to Mumbai in October, I am rendered speechless by all that it will mean in the days we have yet to see.

‘Til every last prong breaks, and every last diamond falls out – may we be bigger than our abstract thoughts and open to all the new challenges that this partnership will withstand. May we be strong and light. May we be a rock.

A very pretty rock.

Missing Shopping List

IMG-20131026-00003Everybody asks what I’m going to miss most about India. My reply? “I need to leave India to find out. Check back in in about six months!” I’m pretty sure that I’ll see my friends again, so I’m reluctant to say that I’ll miss them. I’m also fairly confident that I’ll satisfy my food fixes by going to far flung holes in the wall in Forest Hills Queens, Juba City California, Edison New Jersey or Houston Texas. (I have to admit, though, I’d never tried South Indian food ’til I came here and I suspect that I will miss masala dosas terribly.) My best guess on the saudades front is that I will miss the shopping.

I’d hate to sound like a predatory buyer, but now I understand why merchants were sailing across the seas, battling ocean monsters and scurvy, to get here. Rock bottom prices baby! Not that there aren’t draw backs. The finishing isn’t usually all that great on the lower priced items and the higher priced items are priced too high for the value of clean edges. Yet and still, it all works out about right in the end. And I should know – I’m at the end.

I never reveal my shopping secrets, but since I’m leaving Delhi soon I’m feeling philanthropic. Find here a list of vendors and stores I recommend. I think their prices are fair for what they’re offering – not so low that you wonder if slaves are doing the work and not so high that you wonder if everything is made of gold leaf. No matter if you live in Delhi or if you plan to tour, I think you’ll be satisfied with your purchases and your pockets.

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Naveen and his guys came over after work on a weekday to show me books and books and upholstery fabric. I have to admit that I didn’t love  most of the patterns, but also said that I was welcome to get my own fabric and his staff would handle to labor of re-upholstering. Did Ms. Instant Gratification go fabric hunting? Of course not! I went with one of his crushed velvet black fabric and had my victorian chairs restored to their fabtastic glory for just about $50 – including the fabric.  It was well worth the spend and I think anyone using his services will find professionalism and customer satisfaction to be on high!

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Here’s the ole Delhi bait & switch! The shop is both a cell phone repair shop AND a framing shop. Since I don’t have a personal cell phone I haven’t needed to use their “Cell Net” services, but I have gotten the vast majority of my certificates and art work framed there. Since this isn’t their primary business, don’t expect to find the most innovative of framing options.  But if you want a simple, solid colored frame – no matter the size of glass – I think you’ll find their prices and turn around time to be really good. And while there are other framers I’ve tried in Sarojini Nagar market, for example, that are competitively priced – Hauz Khas market is a much nicer market. There’s not as much hustle and haggle, so I prefer Guptas. As a secondary option, I’d suggest the framer in Vasant Vihar’s C Block market. I’ve gotten really great work from them too and the man who runs that shop also gives deep discounts for repeat customers.

f1 10Yes lord, I love my jewels. It’s hard to come to Delhi and walk away without bling. I was a humble costume jewelry connoiseur before Delhi did me in. My loyalties have always been to Mr. Mogha in Le Meridien hotel. Every expat knows Mr. Mogha and his sons. And while I have cheated on Mr. Mogha while traveling to other cities, in Delhi I believe his designs, variety, and prices are the best – by far. Almost every piece of gold jewelry I’ve bought in India has come from them and I have yet to complain! Not to mention, these guys are not the hard sell types. They won’t talk you into anything and they won’t pressure you to buy. They know their stuff and they can actually explain to you what you’re getting and why it’s priced as such. Oh and they always give coffee or chai with every visit. I’m going to miss these guys a lot!

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Raj is to Mumbai what Mr. Mogha is to Delhi. He was recommended to me when I went to stay with colleagues in Mumbai for two weeks. I wasn’t disappointed. Frankly, I find Mumbai’s styles to be much more modern and innovative than Delhi’s. Delhi tends to be more Mughal style and diamond heavy. Mumbai designers play with gems and textures much more. That’s what I loved about Raj’s collection. Last time I went in we scored a gold plated corral encrusted 2 inch thick bangle and my diamond engagement ring!  I’ve got my mind’s eye on a silver and uncut sapphire necklace that’s been haunting my dreams – maybe I should have got it while I was in town. But, he ships! Phew, that could have been bad.

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Shobha ben is actually on her way to my house right now. I’m not kidding! I met her and her son at the famous crafts market – Dilli Haat – and I frequented their stall so much that she asked if I’d let her bring things to my house to show friends. Of course, that made perfect sense since it would save me the taxi rides to and fro. She’s got tapestries and table runners made of old saris, but my favorites are the hand stitched blankets. I plan to buy a million – or maybe just four – before I leave. And since she’s willing to come to me, there’s no reason to let her leave without lightening her load.

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If there’s one thing Delhi’s got a lot of it’s tea shops. So, far be it for me to try to convince you to switch loyalties. But, if you haven’t yet found a tea home for yourself, I would suggest the Asia Tea House in Sunder Nagar market. I’ve really enjoyed their varieties and their packaging! They’ll pack any tea in a decorative box – hand painted or Rani covered – within just minutes. The teas range from black to white and everything in between. They even have organically grown varieties! Oh and they’ve also got cute accessories, like an elephant topped tea spoon. Yup, I’ve been in that place one too many times. Can you tell?

Now that I’ve dished all my dirt, I’m going to get ready to make my last round at these places. Shopping (and eating) is an age old Indian pastime. I will surely miss all the adventures I’ve had in discovering my faves and picking up some goodies along the way.
You never know, maybe the allure will bring me back for more.

You never know.

Websites We Love!

Unknown-4Not all websites are created equal. I talked to some people yesterday who told me that they spent weeks trying to get a passport in India, because the website only functioned for appointment scheduling from 5:59pm to 6:00pm. I am not making this up. Having a whack ass website can really kill interest in a product or service, and – frankly – having a great website can convince a consumer that poo-poo paste is foie gras. This is the nature of web-appeal, defined as the Babyface approach to internet usage (P.S. You can’t really snap your fingers with gloves on. P.P.S. *watch the video*).

Easy to use, giving loads of bang for their – mainly free – buck, here are five websites that have me wow-ed:

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Everybody knows I’m a http://www.mint.com slave, but now I’ve become just as addicted to award wallet. Every credit card, store, hotel, airline has some kind of reward program and, really, who can keep up? But these entities pray that you never keep up, so that the benefits expire and dissolve into thin air. You, my friend, have no reason to be a victim of reward expiration ever again. There is a rub though – the major airlines do not allow http://www.awardwallet.com to link to their sites, so you have to manually load your point balance and periodically update it. It’s a little bit of pain for a lot of free gain. It’s simple to add programs. And once you get everything loaded you’re more likely to keep track of your earnings rather than lament all the miles and hotel stays laying in wait in your spam.

Unknown-3Akanksha is a great a charity and social-service program based in the Mumbai-Pune area. Using a charitable teaching platform, college students or grads can volunteer to teach students in any particular field. Further, the organization raises funds though art projects and sales, corporate giving, charitable donation, and paid summer workshops. The stores to buy student produced merchandise are apparently just in the Mumbai area, but hopefully they’ll expand to other places and an online store (fingers crossed). Either way, the site is well-organized, easy to navigate, and clear to understand – a huge boon to donor confidence.

UnknownThis site is no hidden gem – it’s already been out there for a long, long time. Actually, it was about five years ago when I discovered it and thought “Urban Outfitters, the Salvation Army, and ebay had a web baby!” This site is a clearing house for hand-made and antique items. Selling is as cheap and easy as on ebay. And if you’re a buyer, you can practically find anything you could ever dream of. This year alone I bought custom rubber stamps, a Taj Mahal wall decal, and a bearded baby cap. And I’ve been eyeing a cast iron oven roaster pan. Who said being a hippie consumer was over rated?

flavorpill-logoI have to admit that I’m not in love with the email newsletters from http://www.flavorpill.com. That may have something to do with the fact that I signed up for four cities at once, and right now I don’t live in any of them (I bet you can’t guess which four!). Let’s just say it’s information overload about cool events I can’t go to. But, if http://www.meetup.com and Yelp are sites you already frequent, flavorpill.com is in the natural progression of your city search. They always have interesting event listings and off kilter articles about books and culture. Word to the wise, http://www.flavorpill.com’s culture blog is flavorwire.com. And http://www.flavorwire.com is where I learned that I’ve read two of the 15 books they say you should NOT read in your 20s. I already read one in high school and have another on my shelf right now – just ripe for the reading. Thirty is, in fact, NOT the new twenty.

Unknown-2To bring out the inner linguist in you, I suggest you bookmark the BBC’s world news language service. I’ve never found a more useful website for getting your bi-lingual on! The BBC offers their world coverage in many different languages (and variations of languages). Now the trick is that you should have at least a basic understanding of the newly acquired language, as well as some basic knowledge of current events in the country/region being covered. Hence, you actually should read some articles in English before listening to (or reading) story in the language of your choice. So after your Rosetta Stone courses are done, give the BBC a whirl to see just how much you’ve retained!

Don’t take my word for it. Try these sites for yourself and tell me what you think. I’m not getting paid (or gaining rewards points) for getting you to test them out. But, if you like ’em I gain bragging rights and e-street cred – what more could a blogger ask for?

Poison Picking

So, remember that time (last night) when I forgot why I don’t drink vodka anymore (because it is the devil’s brew) and then I woke up the next day (this afternoon) at 4pm to dry heaving and makeup on my pillow? No? Well, luckily I’m here to tell you all about it!

To make matters worse, I had just come back from a 2 week trip to Mumbai, so there was (and still is) no food in the house. There were only the staples of non-perishable items that are never really meant to be consumed, except when accompanied by something I actually want to eat and/or in times of dire emergencies. There were no accompaniments so, you know where this is headed.

Oatmeal was too gross to even look at, let alone eat. I had about 10 noodles of my pasta, before it made a reappearance on my bathroom floor (my poor maid is going to hate me in the morning). But, I have been eating Honey Nut Cheerios for the past 30 minutes and, I believe, if I click my heels together and say talaq three times while pointing to my stomach I’ll be able to divorce myself of this evil elixir living inside me.

I say all this to say, that I’m too old for this shit! Someone, anyone, if you see me drinking before October 1, please slap that drink out of my hand. I really mean it. Knock the glass onto the floor and then tell me to clean it up. If you ever see me drinking vodka at any point in my life, please remind me that vodka is made of the devil’s tears (a gross and destructive bi-product of depraved repugnance). Not only should you knock over the glass, you should attempt to break it this time and tell me if I ever drink vodka again you will make me walk on glass barefoot as punishment, you will carve a scarlet letter V into my hand to remind me of my transgression, and then you’ll make me live on a diet of iceberg lettuce and cottage cheese until my system has fully recovered from the malice I have done it.

Please understand this is my cry for support – not attention. You have been warned. If I am allowed to drink this crap again, I am liable to recover (2 days later) and write ‘traitor’ in red lipstick (and waterproof mascara) on the windshield of whoever allowed me to do this to myself, again. The person who encouraged me to drink this fatal liquid, shall remain nameless this time (damned Canadians). And since I didn’t make this declaration before this present incident I feel obliged to spare her the above stated repercussions (but her ass is on probation!).

Just to make myself clear, after October 1, 2012:

 OK – Allowed, permissible, cleared for consumption in small doses and appropriate hours of the day, while in the company of other human beings (at home alone with the dog is a no no).

 

 

The below pictured varieties of liquid evilness are exemplars (not meant to be exhaustive). Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, those seen here. Let me remind you, anything in this category of alcohol is NEVER OK. Not tomorrow. Not the year after my last kid has graduated from high school. Not the day that I hear Charlie Sheen has stopped smoking crack. Not in a funky bottle. Not in a club. Not with a catchy Absolut Slogan. Not even if Puff Daddy himself is pouring it into Lil’ Jon’s crunk cup. Not in Russia. Not in the 48 contiguous states, nor in Guam.  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever am I allowed to drink Vodka again. Got it?