Category Archives: Taking a break

34 days to go…….

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I do know I haven’t written a real post in a long time. Not that I am going to write one now, just too pre-occupied to do my usual doze of thinking.

No, I am not loaded highly with work, come on, its holiday season here.

No, I haven’t been bitten by a snake, literally or figuratively.

No, I haven’t stopped reading, I am getting my daily doze of things to think about.

No, I haven’t stopped social interaction, I do get my regular dosage of social musings.

So why am I not thinking blogworthy, makes me wonder.  It’s as though someone magically removed blogging from my head, its like go live the exact life you were living, but just don’t think about blogging.

So until the real blogger wakes up, please don’t go away, I promise he will wake up soon.

34 days to go……………..

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Lazy wanderings

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I think, over time, some of us become the brands we admire, like in my case ‘lazy boy’.

Since I have been lazy and not really writing my travelogues [Even though I love to write the], just being lazy, I decided to post few pics from my wanderings.

Standing at the peer, with my buddies, and a drink, I thought may be it was the drink which put in an orange filter to my views, turns out my camera was drunk too.

Sunset at Key West

Sunset at Key West

What if there was a painting competition, and the winning paintings were chosen to be made into a real life landscape on earth. I think this place could have been one of them

South beach, Florida

White sands from South beach, Florida

One fine Saturday morning, we decided to walk into a cavern full of natural wonders, and here is what we found

Natural  Bridge Caverns, SA, TX

A sneal peak into the natural bridge caverns, SA, TX

So what does a tired guy after the cave walk do?, chose to do the river walk.

Steps across the river walk, SA, TX

Steps across the river walk, SA, TX

Then we chose to drive across a stream up in Oklahoma, which had a hint of colors, more like a preview of the real thing

Drive across the stream, Turner Falls, OK

Drive across the stream, Turner Falls, OK

Then we hit upon the Turner Falls, the actual cascade of white water

Natural pool beneath the Turner Falls, OK

Natural pool beneath the Turner Falls, OK

Just blabbering

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I miss blogging, but I am in no mood to write..

Have you ever felt this?.

anyhow..

For people who do not believe in enlightenment..and have thought of “bodhi vruksha” moment as more of an elongated process than a sole second affair [In other words people like me], just think another time guys. Over last couple of weeks, I am getting jolts of reality doses about myself, and am ending up making some really good mental decisions, easing out all the unwanted worries from brain. Yep guys, its that time of the year, yet another attempt at detachment in full swing

In short, I am kicking some serious worry ass on the way to some chilled out bliss.

Nope, I am not drinking too much 😉

So for people who have wondered where the heck is rambler, [the count of which is 0 including the real me], here’s a been there dont that list from last few days

Places where I got to dine and poop
Miami, Fl
Key west, Fl
Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Nautural Bridge Caverns, TX
San Antonio, TX

Pages I got to skip
Hardcore Zen:Punk Rock, Monster movies and the truth about reality – Brad Warner
Hypnotizing Maria – Richard Bach
The shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A thousand splendid suns – Khaled Hosseini

A few first shots I got to take
A reality check on stalactites and stalagmites
A party vacation
First humiliation of having to dance in public [Did not realize I alcohol could give me such a high, and make me take insane decisions]
“The Grind”

This and That

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DYD, it was like a private acronym between me and a very good friend of mine, it was our way of asking  each other “where the hell have you been”. In case you haven’t figured out what it stands for, its short for “Did you die”. We occasionally changed it to AYA, on days when we were optimistic. Anyways the point is that, yes I am still alive, still breathing, just waking up from a well deserved three day break.

I was crazily busy at work whole of last week,that kind of explains my absence from the virtual ramblings, but most importantly its the beginning of yet another change in me which I am waking up into, which I think will help me be the more optimistic myself from the past.

The three day weekend spent lazily at my home has had many of the returns

Firstly I got my sleep back which I was missing most part of the last week, the crazy work had left me with as little as 5 hours of sleep per day, and I was like a walking zombie all of last week. I did get a very good night sleep on all three days, which makes me get back to my original idea of how easy it is to satisfy humans, all we needs is good sleep, and good food.

Speaking of food, that was another thing which made a return into rambler world this weekend. It began with a good pizza and a visit to a frozen yogurt stand on Friday. I really needed that after few long days with crappy food due to lack of time to cook some. Saturday morning, I fulfilled my long lasting desire to go check out this breakfast place in the neighboring suburb. I had heard so much about this place and the famous cinnamon rolls they make, I was waiting to feast on them. Anyways it turns out they make awesome pecan muffins too, and just loved the wholesome breakfast. The place just proved to me, how much of a wrong picture, the fast food joints here in the US paints for us. You just have to let yourself into these places, where eating is a pleasure, more sort of an indulgence, bottomless coffee mugs, thick layers of cheese on your omelette’s, menu’s which begin and end with deserts and sweets. A heaven I must admit. Damn you MacD’s and Tacobell’s for screwing something as good as that. I also had dinner at a Mongolian Grill, it turns out it was one of the best dinner’s I have had on this trip to the US, just loved my own creation.

Anyways another big comeback this weekend was me reading a book in under two days, I finished Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods in less than 48 hours. Even though it wasn’t a great book, I liked it in parts, specially the later part of part1 is what I enjoyed the most. Guess what I guys, I am starting my next one soon, “The Shadow of Wind” by Carlos Zafon.

It has been 4 months now since the major change, and I think I have finally got to terms with it. I think I am relying terribly on my will to get me past things which I really dont want to get into. Demons, be ready, my will is ready to devour you.

Anyways getting back on track, one thing I have rediscovered this weekend is how fun talking to oneself is. Yes guys its back, I like  it when I explain stuff to myself, its like my way of breaking my inner silence, and have never felt odd. Strangely enough, the voices had gone down last couple of months, I think they got shy from the real ones.

A clear mind, meant I could experience things which I love to feel. For example, I saw these two kids at the mall, must be girls of around 5/6 years. One had a typical fake cry face, with a fat lip, the other eagerly waiting with her hands tied to her back, watching kid one complain to her mom, with an anticipation on her face watching how her mom would react. I have seen this so many times in kids, waiting eagerly for the outcome of something they have done, most importantly they never have worried look, they always have this mischievous smile on their face, waiting happily, to see what happens next.

I leave myself with that expression today, as I smile mischievously at days to come, doing things which I like the most.

Super 8’s

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Its been such a crazily busy week, and even busier weekend. Sometimes work can just wipe hours of your day without even you realizing it. Work and a certain other thing has been totally taking my thoughts, so haven’t been able to think properly. I guess I should stop defending my lack of posts and just go ahead with this one.

Its been really long time since I dd a tag, my blogger friends have got so bored with my lack of response to their tags, they have stopped tagging me altogether, recently couple of them have tagged me, and here I am doing my bit with it.

Shruti who expresses her “Thoughts, Sentiments, Views‘ has tagged me here. Here’s a tag of 8’s

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:

How it’s made
Friends
Dharma and Greg
Anthony Bourdain No Reservations
The big bang theory
Scrubs
Wonder Years
Everybody loves Raymnd

8 Favorite Places to Eat:

Food Street in VV puram, Bangalore
Tina’s Ethiopian Cafe, Chandler Arizona
Vidyarthi bhavan, Ghandi bazaar, Bangalore
Little Italy, Bangalore
Chat Stands anywhere anytime
Pambiche Portland, Oregon
Law Garden Street, Ahmedabad
I like this so much, that it deserves a second entry in my list
Food Street in VV puram, Bangalore

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:
I slept at 3am,
I spoke to someone for a long time, highly unlike me
I got frustrated when a coworker was acting dumb
I had plans to make Pav Bhaji, but ended up eating pasta
I did not take my shower
I had coffee at 2am in the morning
I listened to a movie, and didnt watch it
I did something extremely cheesy

8 Things I Look Forward To:

Tonight’s sleep.
Going back to India
Coffee breaks at work
Home food
Pulling my granny’s leg
A good book, a nice coffee, and a couch
An early morning walk
A sign

8 Things I Love About Winter:
Actually I haven’t lived in a sever winter so far, so I think I would skip this one. Probably I would love
Mirchi bonda’s
Misty mornings
Cold feet
No hot days
Late sunrise..I like morning walks in the dark
My mood when its cold outside
Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee
I guess may be for next winter, someone on my couch 😉

8 Things on my Wish List:

Couple of books which a friend suggested.
A trip back home.
Brunei
A massage chair
Masala dosa for dinner tonight
A work year in Russia
An year of mountain stay
Fun

8 Things I’m Passionate About :
Food
Aromas
Colors
Books
Icecreams
People I care about
My thoughts
Your views

8 Words or Phrases I Use Often:
You know
I guess
oh really?
Is it?
oh
shoot
matte..[in kannada its like and…? used like a filler like “so”]
oh man

8 Things I Have Learned From My Past:

Its fun to learn
You got to decide quickly
People dont need you, as much as you need them
I can be really insensitive when I want to.
I tend to live in the past.
You can’t recreate what it was
You cannot hold on to things, once they are gone
People can really surprise you

8 Places I Would Love to Go or See or Visit:
Whole of the north east India
Brunei
Alaska
Hawaii
Zanskar region in kashmir
New zealand
Prague
Helsinki

8 Things I Currently Need or Want:
A good hair cut
A back rub
A good “churmuri” from the corner near my home in bangalore
A sense of humor
Loads of patience
A week of rain and no sun
A phone call
Someone to make me coffee early in the morning. I hate to do it myself.

Bits from my east coast vacation

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I am back, sort of happy, a lot tired, and a little bored, a little disappointed, and no mood to work at all.

Vacations are so good, but the week after is like one big drowsy Sunday afternoon.

Newark airport station, 0:00 am, waiting for NJ transit towards  NJ, a bit scary. Damn their display boards don’t work

Every single vacation, just before I am about to leave, something nasty comes up at work, and I am made to struggle, taking calls from airport, and having to close up in the middle of the night, and this time at 2am.

One advantage of not being a sound sleeper, you can sleep at 2:30 am and wake up at 5:30 am next day to begin your vacation, without even an alarm clock. It does surprise people around me, that my body clock is very accurate.

Corning Museum of Glass is just spectacular, if you guys plan to go there, make sure you have plenty of time. I wish I could have spent more time there. Here’s a glimpse

One of the glass exhibits at CMOG

One of the glass exhibits at CMOG

If you choose a cloudy day to go to the Seneca lake do not worry, its just awesome when it gets murkier. Just check this out

A cloudy day at the Finger lake

A cloudy day at the Finger lake

Best time to get to cave of the winds, has to be in the night, just when they are about to close. The view of the fading sunlight onto the bridal veil, followed by the views of colored light onto them is one spectacular view.

Rainbow over the Bridal Veil

Rainbow over the Bridal Veil

In all its glory

In all its glory

Extra fireworks over Niagara, even when its not July 4th, is like a jackpot.

When you are traveling with family, specially when you have kids, one needs to be very careful when you channel surf. Even Holiday Inn seems to air porn for its residents, and that too for free.

If I could control the maid of the mist, may be I would have a gone a little too close, as you begin the boat ride towards the horseshoe falls, you feel like going a little closer, and each time you do, the feeling just goes on and on.

New York night life, is a little strange, and so much different from other cities. Of course you get a visual treat to your eyes, which ever gender you like. Still somehow its so much fake.

After 27 years and so many changes later, I discovered I am still not a social animal, and specially when I am put into a conversation with women.

Hoboken is one of the  best places to live in. I just loved the proximity to night life, yet away from the noises of new york. I wish I get to live there for about a month or so.

Atlantic ocean is not as fierce as I thought it would be, clam, blue, and cold is how I would describe it.

Its calm, its blue, its atlantic

Its calm, its blue, its atlantic

People in NY, no offense guys, but you people are way tooo cold. You could atleast throw a smile back, or an occasional Hi. If I thought texans were not as friendly as people from Arizona, new yorkers were worse.

Caramel Frappuccino on a warm day, is just a step away from heaven.

I seem to have connected well with a friend after a long time, which I was surprised did not happen the last time around I met another friend.

My vacation in parts – 2

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Continued from here.

The beer sampler did the trick, for the first time on my vacation I slept until 8am PST, that was a big change considering its 10am my time, and finally I was able to get rid of the red eyes, which everybody were making fun of.

Third day was when we were supposed to drive upto Seattle, since most of my cousins are late raisers, the plan got pushed from 8 am to 10:30 am departure. My aunt had made interestingly pongal out of sevai, which apparently they prepare a lot, and I had never tasted it before. Considering its a south Indian dish, I found it odd that I had never tried it before.

My niece T gave me a good hour of  “Yo! Gabba Gabba” and “wow wow Wubzy”, it was fun with her explaining what she sees on tv, as we spent time on the couch as others were getting ready.

Drive to Seattle was fun filled with lot of kodbale’s [snack] to be munched and most importantly a discussion I had with one of my cousin as my aunt slept on the back seat, the discussion went beyond an hour and a half, and we spoke a lot of things about his experiences and changes to lifestyle of an Indian who has settled in America for about more than 15 years, and also his point of view of the boom we are seeing in Bangalore, and the attitude. We spoke about investments, education, and also finances. It was by far the most productive discussion in the trip, enjoyed it totally though very much different from the other conversations I had during the vacation.

As we entered Seattle downtown, we began seeing some really cool looking buildings, and we ended up in the downtown to see the “space needle”, the first stop for the day. Apparently there was a fair near that place celebrating memorial day, so it was fun waiting in the queue  listening to native American music. As it was the first sunny weekend in Seattle, I could see lot of women interestingly dressed, or should I say undressed ;). Was fun all in all.

The Space Needle

The Space Needle

The view from there was superb, and I liked the idea of having a bar up at such heights, unfortunately I could not taste any of the wine because my aunt and uncle were  present. We spent quite some time looking around the place, and also it was pretty crowded.

View from up there

View from up there

As we began to leave the place, we got hooked onto the gift shop and the family portrait they had shot of us, it had come out really good, and we all wanted a copy of that, so this meant my cube at work has a small frame sitting reminding me of every the good times.

For the first time I rode mono rail in Seattle, to get to pike’s market. It was fun and a new experience, even though it was nothing different than a bus, just in shape of a train, the view from it was good.

Pike’s market in Seattle is so much like our avenue road in Bangalore, but slightly less congested and right in front of the ocean. We had fun walking around the place, even though it stinks like hell in there with all kinds of meat being sold. We walked around, goofed around, sat in the park chatting and finally by evening we started our way back to Portland, after a stop for dinner at a joint which serves Indian version of the American pizza. Even though I don’t prefer it, it was fun in group.

I spent the whole trip back sleeping on the back seat, I did not realize 4 hours of drive, when we reached home, we all were tired and just slept like log.

The last day of vacation was supposed to be just home. We had a feast ala a festival which my aunt had prepared, including all south Indian festival food. A perfect send off meal. We did go out to do some memorial day shopping, and I did buy few shirts but we did not have much time so we hurried up.

Finally we had reached the toughest part, saying goodbyes, its horrible to see your vacation end, specially when you have loved it. I did not want it to end at all. Considering that I had to return to he cubeland to horrible queue of meetings the next day.T fell asleep and was totally out of mood, so it was sad we could not have a cheerful goodbye from her, however we just hung at the airport talking for sometime, finally it was time to pass through security.

I had an interesting lady sitting next to me in flight to Denver, she was an old African American lady, who carried a novel with a very sleazy cover. We spoke a lot over next few hours, discussing books, and also family, India, and her work, and my work. She even offered me a drink which she had carried along with her, unfortunately I don’t like the scotch, so had to turn her down.

I had a layover at Denver for a night, the sleep there was horrible, I have never seen an airport which has chairs in such a bad shape, however you try, you could not rest your head. I did try to sleep on the floor for a bit, but carpet cleaners woke me up periodically. Finally I gave up and just woke up.

Reached Texas after a awkward flight from Denver to Dallas. There was a nursing mother sitting next to me, and its really uncomfortable with her feeding her baby now and then, and me being totally embarrassed and trying to look the other way, anyways that forms another big topic for discussion later.

So until next vacation, adios.