Wishing all of you a great day full of love and luck!
Wishing all of you a great day full of love and luck!
For 2014, I am going to have slightly different new year resolutions.
After a year of feeling like a hamster on a wheel (basically working my ass of and getting nowhere), I plan on putting a full stop to this. I don’t know how, but I am reclaiming my weekends this year – I am going to fill them up with fun activities with kids, more movies, more books, more everything basically, and maybe also some exercise.
To do this, I realize, I need to work less overall. My situation is such that I’m putting in too many late nights working leaving me tired, listless, and snappy on weekends. I then spend hours dreaming about vacations and breaks, which I know are impossible in my current situation.
What I need to do is plan my time better, prioritize better, not jump when called on all the time, and basically be more smart the way I work.
I’ve been a horrible friend all of last year. The too much work and too much tired played a part I’m sure, but it’s ridiculous just how out of the loop I became. Some of my oldie (best) friends haven’t even met Piglet yet. Thankfully, I keep up with them all through Facebook messaging/What’s app/phone etc. but a real person to person meet is long overdue.
4-5 hours of sleep a night is not doing me any favors. Too many people have commented on my red-rimmed eyes, and no amount of eye-drops can cover up a chronic case of sleeplessness. Piglet has had a huge role to play in this (see here, here, and here for my rants on Piglet’s sleep issues).
Piglet is better these days with his sleep. However, when he wakes up in the night/early morning, it takes ages to get him settled again, and by this time, I am wide awake, the day has begun, and it’s time to get the breakfast and snubnose ready for school.
I should probably put sleep as a wish list item, and not a new year resolution, I think .
Here I am with this gorgeous new house we moved into earlier this year
And, I have done nothing with it. Absolutely nothing. OK, I hung up a few paintings (art work by the snubnose), and I bought a lampshade. Yup. You understood that right. That’s the only new thing in my house. I have managed the super-awesome feat of moving from a 2-bed apartment to a 4-bed independent villa without buying any new furniture or furnishings, or anything . High time I do something about it.
All the good stuff. More exercise. I really want to run more often, I love how head-clearing it is. Also actually remember to take the time to brush out my hair properly and put on some lipstick before I head to work. Baby steps really , and maybe head to the parlor a weekend a month to get a mani/pedi, and do some basic grooming? I think I am reaching too high with my goal here, but the basic intention is to feel good about myself (without resorting to chocolate).
So, these are my resolutions for 2014. What are yours? What do you plan to do differently in the new year?
Btw, I just looked back on my old 2013 resolutions post, and I am pleasantly surprised that I managed to meet 2 of my 3 resolutions (cook more and keep calm). The fitness one still needs a lot of work though. I think I may actually have slid backwards in terms of fitness levels .
Weekend cooking is a meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads. It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.
If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.
Gosh! The past month has been hectic and that is an understatement. I ended up juggling tons of work + home + blog commitments, and now looking back…I just can’t believe that so much got done.
Understandably then, I was absolutely bone-tired when I got back home past midnight on Thursday night ready for the long weekend to refresh and re-charge, only to find myself stuck in nightmarish traffic heading out-of-town.
Only in Bangalore, I say, only in Bangalore can you get stuck in traffic at midnight.
Don’t believe me…catch this Insta I took. I shut off the engine, dug in my bag, fished out my phone, took this snap, checked email, and messaged K the photo. That was the level of traffic on the road. Thank goodness for smart phones, they really help kill time.
Anyway, this post is not about the horrors of traffic, but the relaxation that follows after a long, hard day.
I grabbed a bottle along with my latest favorite read and a packet of the crispest chips and settled down to a lovely, relaxing time.
I timed my reading of this book Night Film by Marisha Pessl perfectly. It’s a horror/occult/mystery novel that is just perfect for this time of the year. It totally put me in a Halloween mood, all right :).
The wine itself is superb. My general preference is usually red wines over white. But this one is really lovely. It’s not as dry as most white wines, and it has a sweetish taste that I appreciate. I am definitely coming back for more.
This wine is mild enough that it can be accompanied by most Indian foods (as long as the food is not overly spicy). I have to say the mildness makes it very versatile, and perfectly suited for most palates.
This is a wine that most Indian wine lovers will enjoy.
Huge thanks to Four Seasons Wines for sending me this bottle of wine. It was a real stress buster last weekend.
How do you unwind after a really stressful time?
K’s birthday happened last week, and I was caught with no surprise or gift in hand. Life has been just too crazy/busy + a nasty flu combined to make me forget about K’s birthday entirely. Well almost. I enlisted the snubnose’s help for a cake and a card. She, my FIL, and my nephew got a not-so surprise cake. All the whispering and giggling totally gave away the secret and K had to do some A class acting to act suitably surprised when the cake and card was brought in.
What was a surprise though was the wonderful bottle of wine sent over by the people at Four Seasons Vineyards.
Here’s a shot of the birthday boy posing with the wine
Four Seasons Wines Limited produces wines from grapes grown around Sahyadri valley in Maharashtra, India and it’s parent company is United Breweries. They produce a variety of wines – both white and red. The one they sent over was their popular Merlot – a lovely still red, and dryish sort of wine. It was a total hit with us.
Here’s a description of the wine taken from their site:
Type: Still Red Wine
Origin: Baramati, Maharashtra, India
Color: Ruby red in color with a hint of garnet
Aroma: Delicious aromas of ripe black fruits, especially plums.
Palate: Medium bodied with soft tannins and a pleasant lasting finish.
Serving suggestion: Enjoyed best at 16 – 18 degree C with medium spiced Indian dishes as well as roast lamb with all the trimmings.
I didn’t really pair the wine with any food as my throat was hurting too much. But, I must say it had quite a restorative effect. The wine really soothed the rawness in my throat, and ensured that I got a good night’s sleep to boot.
We liked this wine so much that I went over to check the price on their site and was happy to discover that their pricing is quite reasonable for the quality of their wine. I will definitely be checking out more of their selection in stores.
More information about their products can also be found on their Facebook page.
Note: This is a guest post
There has been a stirring in force. Across the internet, people are debating, arguing and even making lewd and inappropriate comments following one woman’s video campaign, titled Tropes vs Women in Video Games.
The project was the brainchild of Anita Sarkeesian and was funded through Kickstarter, the funding platform for creative projects. The projects aims to examine the plot devices and tropes that appear in video games with female characters. The project received so much extra funding that instead of the original plan to make one or two videos, the project has turned into a whole series, looking at a variety of roles that women play in the world of video games.
The first video was released in March 2013, and created an outrage. Anita focuses in this first short piece on the Damsel in Distress, a trope seen over and over again in video games, from Princess Peach being kidnapped by Bowser repeatedly (Thank You Mario, but our princess is in another castle), to Zelda in the legends of Zelda, there is a tradition of a male character saving the day.
But, you say, it’s just a computer game! No one thinks that it’s real! However, It’s a sad fact that some people still cling to the belief that women are somehow a naturally weaker gender. This notion is a myth, but one that is perpetuated when women, even in video games, are portrayed as frail, vulnerable creatures.
It’s not all doom and gloom. The Tomb Raider games, when they first appeared in the late nineties, featured an Indiana Jones type character who made their living raiding tombs (unsurprisingly). But instead of a be-hatted, whip bearing Jones, it was Lara Croft – who interestingly now also appears in a plethora of other entertainment iterations – the latest being an online Tomb Raider slots game.
Lara in the original game had proportions that made even Barbie blush. However, game makers have started to cotton on to the fact that the demographic of gamers is changing. 47 per cent of gamers are now women, and the latest Tomb Raider game is perhaps showing a change in the once sexist attitudes in the industry. Lara’s shorts have become trousers, her boobs are now somewhat normal sized and as game writer Rhianna Pratchett says, ‘She’s beautiful, but ultimately she looks like a young lady who has dressed herself.’
There is still a way to go, but games like Mass Effect and Tomb Raider at least show the industry is getting there.
I liked this infographic very much and just had to share it on my blog… Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there
Now that all the overindulgence of holidays + new year is done with, it’s time to bring out the hoary, old resolutions and try to attempt them this year at least.
Just like every year, my resolutions haven’t changed drastically, and neither did I seriously attempt them beyond a few months. But anyway, according to Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone, the 11th of January is a great time to embark on new year resolutions, and since I take astrological predictions very seriously (yes, I do!!!), here’s a list of things I want to do this year.
So, these are my personal goals for 2013. I look at this list, and short though it is, I know I need to change my mind-set entirely to reach these goals. I feel anxious when I even re-read this list. But anxious or not, I know these changes need to come within me. For too long, I have been trying to fight off these changes I need to make in my life.
What are your goals for 2013? How do you make sure you stay on track? I would love to know.
Anyway, back to the main topic, the improv show. This was my first experience and so I don’t have anything to compare it to. All I can say is that I think I saw an amazing performance by a really talented bunch of actors.
As you can guess, a lot of the comedy is improvised on the spot. Members of the audience yell out some comic situations, and the actors on stage enact it out. My favorite comedy shtick was one about the 18 again gel – the new controversial gel that is supposed to make women feel 18 again. Two actors had to enact a situation where a girl goes to a chemist to buy this gel for her mother. This was probably the most hilarious act and had everyone rolling in stitches. Definitely, it was my favorite and was well worth the long trek to Opus (almost the other end of the city in hellish traffic).
I didn’t take too many photos, I was too busy laughing. I was also seated right in the front of the stage, and while the seating was great, I was hesitant to distract the actors by taking photos.
So, here’s the only photo I took at the end of the show when the actors were taking their bow.
After a long and stressful day, this was the perfect Friday night for me, chilling back with a beer in a relaxed atmosphere, and laughing at all the jokes and one-liners.
These improv performances happen on a regular basis in Bangalore, and a few other select cities, so if you are looking for a different (and more interactive) live entertainment, check out Centerstage India, you may just end up having a very lively and enjoyable evening.
Edited to add: This event was presented and sponsored by Black Dog Easy Evenings. They are presenting one more such event in Hyderabad on Dec 11th, and if you are interested, click on over to their Facebook page for more information.
Whew! What a year this has been. In terms of blogging, it’s been up and down but also extremely satisfying. Last year, around this time, I slowed down my blogging activities, and started gearing up for the arrival of the piglet. There was tons of work to finish up at office before I went on maternity leave.
Blogging (and reading) then became an after thought for the next 6 months or so. I just didn’t have the interest or time.
Then around June, something changed. I knew I didn’t want to let go of my blog, but I also wanted to change things around a bit on my blog.
Inspired by The Picky Girl, I decided to jump into the deep end and purchase my own domain, and that led to purchasing a new theme, and then teaching myself CSS to be able to customize the look the way I wanted it. Big changes!
I also lucky enough to get a couple of sponsors though and that helped me to pay for all the blog upgrades from blog income itself :).
Another big blog change was deciding to apply to the WordPress Wordads program, which is an advertising program, where WordPress shares a percentage of advertising income with the blogger. The money is peanuts really, but I was tired of ads being displayed on my blog without my consent, and thought hey…if there are ads being displayed anyway, why not at least get a share of the income…so, that’s how Wordads came about.
All these back-end changes made a huge difference to me emotionally, and motivated me to get more efficient about blogging. Earlier, my blog posts would happen when and where I felt like it. Now, I schedule some weekend time to think through my posts and schedule them throughout the week, and sometimes even the month.
It was finally time to get organized…
In terms of books, after 6 months in the beginning of the year, when I didn’t read anything much at all, I went on a huge reading spree, combining contemporary books with classics. My reading choices also became a little less random. I knew I wanted to read more classics and make a dent in my Man Booker reading list, and this year, I think I did it consciously.
Another great blogging event is books offered for review. I have been getting requests for book reviews for some time now, but most of the books were average reads. But, this year, things turned around when I got many really good-quality books for review. It made reading books for review purposes a pleasure.
Honestly, this blog had a bumper year, and I am pleased to have done so much with it this year. On the personal front though, things could have been better, but hey it’s Diwali today and even though we aren’t celebrating, I am not leaving room for sad feelings and regrets today. It’s a day we are coming together as family, putting the bad stuff behind, and looking ahead, I feel very positive and hopeful that things are only going to get better.
And on that note…I am wishing you the same. Happy Diwali to you all!
To make up for the unexpected holiday on Monday because of the nation-wide strike in India
Well, actually not such a bad day, since I just came off a leisurely lunch break where we laughed so hard…my jaws are literally aching :D. But, trust PHD Comics to always have a comic strip that matches my state of mind so perfectly. I love their work