Wednesday, June 25, 2008

City-livin and India-cravin

Both of the above would probably go hand-in-hand in NY, or perhaps San Jose. But SF is a strange beast. Its diverse as hell, and then not. Admittedly, the people diversity exists in grand abundance—I have pretty much gone most of my working life here without creating many American or Indian pals. I believe my lunch gang at one point was called the United Nations team, and rightfully so. Most people know ‘Monsoon wedding’ and ‘sarees’, so that’s something I guess. But the blurring of lines between Indian and Pakistani food gets my south Indian tummy quite disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat Shalimar food oh-about-once-in-a-blue-moon and appreciate the value of the tandoori chicken in the essential food chain. But I did miss the occasional dosa or thali joint that served a few of them chaats. I mean, honestly, kulfi we have in SF but not delicious chaat?

Anyways, my preggo state must’ve trigged some serious desi strings up there. Two restaurants open this weekend [oooh and Netflix seems to be expanding its desi selection. Found out that Aamir is actually releasing in its unpirated glory on july 1st]. Amber India, long known for its afternoon buffets of repetitive but sumptuous dishes in unlimited burp-friendly glory opens in its swanky Market st. location this week. Don’t be fooled by the reviews—this resto kicks some major ass when it comes to the food and buffet. Atleast in its other locations.
Udupi Palace, lord be praised, opened its shiny temple doors this week as well. I also wonder if yelp should list ‘indian’ as a separate category—putting it in Indian/Pakistani food cat might have patrons expecting their tandoori chicken and shami kababs.

I state that life is getting better for the ‘foodwise indiverse’ desi in San Francisco, namely self. Thanks for your Middle-eastern fare and the Chinese dim-sums, I promise to try that on weekends and Friday nights but for my mid-week fix may I please have that bowl of bisibela and bagala baths?

Planning an evening of bisibela baths and kulfi on Mission

140 pounds and feeling it

Updates nearing end of week 30!
  • I officially waddle. Even in heels, and that, my friend, is no mean achievement. I envision see-saws being designed for the first time when the inventor observes a preggo woman walking in her 7th month. ‘Why, that should be a fun sport for kids’ the inventor thinks and hey presto, out comes the see-saw device which wasn’t technically patented [of course, the US wants to call it ‘teeter totter’ which is likely a better word to describe self’s gait].
    In anycase, my underweight self rapidly put on the pounds in the last few months rounding it off to a perfect 140 pounds today. Yep, I count self in pounds now. That way it seems more impressive to freak over going from 138 to 140 than from 62.7 to 63.6 kilos. The tummy of course, can be moody these days, has a mind of its own and all that. I believe I sit in a chair and then my tummy sits.

  • The relief is immense in how preggo books refer to said ‘fetus’. There was a phase of tiny fruits and vegetables that had my diet severely restricted—honestly, how could you eat strawberries covered in chocolate if you have only read that your ‘fetus’ is the size of a ripe strawberry [after having graduated from raspberries no less]. Tadpoles and shrimps, I was quite disassociated from—I could living without eating either. More recently descriptions went beyond the food chain into grocery supplies—‘at week x, your fetus is the size of a bag of sugar’, the book happily stated. Well, I am happy to note that after spending a week existing in the size of a bag of flour, the fetus has finally transitioned to the size of a laptop screen [honestly, have they SEEN the sizes of laptop screens all over? PDAs are called laptops these days. Wouldn’t I alarm self by wondering how the growth curve is headed downwards?]. Never wished there were numbers more than when I read these weekly bulletins.

  • Mr.Sandman has no GPS system—sleep is officially lost. After having successfully pinched the dude awake [and then pretended that I didn’t do it] about 5 times the first night, I was desperate for new entertainment. Chatting on laptop didn’t seem fun [although a certain pal got some help on how to figure taking a stroller on Kingfisher airlines. This site provided the answer, she is on her way to Delhi now].

  • I am a control freak. There is actual proof of this. Number of spreadsheets in existence:
    -Existing daycare list
    -pediatrician recommendations from GGMG
    -GGMG’s daycare list
    -Baby care stuff to be bought
    -Baby-shower invite list
    -Home projects TBD
    All I need is my GAP kids card and my SUV.

Zealously planning me-time with the help of Google calendar,


Friday, June 13, 2008

Preggo Chronicles--"Its all about being equal"

Joining the mom’s groups online was more of a social experiment during my third trimester [not in manner of 'how clueless am I' but more along the lines of 'what are these groups all about?']. We managed to answer both questions though. To be fair, these groups have been helpful in making me move my butt on daycare research and such. But it also piqued my curiosity on SAHMs, WFH and FTW moms. [go figure, am not gonna provide a glossary. as yet]. The equality dynamics among newbie parents is fascinating--perception, reality and what exactly is equal and what isnt. I honestly feel that as long as there are no continuous complaints OR regrets, any model that works is good enough. There isnt really a 'right' approach [daycare versus nanny versus at-home care--they are all doable and fine depending on financial, attitudinal and environmental conditions]

In anycase, this article on NYTimes was interesting enough to make me wade through 10 pages enough to send a hurried 'you MUST read this' message to the spousal unit. Never ye mind that my 'reading material' for classes didn’t get this kinda interest, but i liked the takeaways from the article. or atleast mine. namely a) standards of home maintanance can differ widely and cause friction. b) recaliberating hours spent on tasks isnt as OCDish as it seems. and c)you can live by spreadsheets. allright, the third is my own discovery. but it fits in nicely.

S saunters in after a biz dinner in a suspiciously named restaurant in palo alto ['illusions'? Honestly? Did David Copperfield launch it?]. Plopping on the couch next to me, he glances at my laptop monitor [secretly hoping I made my next move at scrabble am sure].
Self: "did you get that mail with the nytimes article?"
Him: "when did you send it?"
Why that matters, I never did understand. Though in our 7 years together, I will come to understand that asking such a pointless question is his way of just asking for time while the slow churn of the search algorithm starts off in his head.

me: "its damn interesting" and I proceed to sell the article to the reading-averse spouse. This is tricky business, given that a) I insisted he not boot up his own laptop and (b) its late at night. I spout words like 'perfectly logical' and 'even-handed' and 'objective' till he moves a lazy eyeball towards said article.
him: "how long is it?"
"10 pages" I confess. But I quickly point out that I can read over the improtant parts so he doesn’t have to read it.

I do a marathon job of reading the article, skipping over the mushy 'how the couple met' sections with the yadda yaddas. "So!" I say. S seems to kinda like the point on different standards of home maintainance--probably hoping to point out that I was too finickly for his scavenging ways of wardrobe management.
so looks like the best way is to negotiate beforehand', I say. "negowwsheeate?" S smirks. "I think the best way is for you not to get soo finicky about tidying up" he says lazily. "but you are just appalling with your clothes' I say, already resenting his implication that my high standards will cause a hypothetical conflict in a hypothetical scenario in a few months from now when our baby shall actually be born. Yeah, i think ahead.
"well not so with the kitchen..i make sure its tidy after I cook everytime ..even before eating the meal I make" S says. I gotta agree, I am terrible in the kitchen. I chop, puree, make a mess of the counter, eat the food, blanch, make him salvage it and the rue the mess i made in the kitchen. While he chops everything into perfect pieces and takes out the trash and loads the dishwasher even before he switches off the stove. I call mine the 'chaos theory'. He calls it cluelessness. whatever.
"well maybe the trick is to divvy it up. You take care of the kitchen and I take care of tidying up" I say. It’s a long shot, I know. But he seems to like it. "yeah that makes sense". I probably got away with it for now.
I don’t know if that passes the 'equality' test--I am probably gonna be hopping around the kitchen about his oil usage and such in anycase. And hez probably gonna be mad I still havent gotten his 'pile philosophy'. But hey, we are making progress. The delivery-folllowed-by-getting-back-to-work-and-school looms ahead, and anything to make me feel more prepared is worth it.

pondering deeply while tidying up the living room,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

BabyCenter or UrbanMoms?

Getting the hang of preggo state in USA can be strange [I, of course, dont speak like I know what its like in India..I am guessing, less dramatic??]. Some discoveries so far in the past 5 months:

1) The Internet is a scary place.

Yep, i know. My asparagus, rice and soup comes from the Internet. Am eternally grateful and all [cleaning up my inbox to compensate for the insult]. But honestly, when am prattling on about 'consumer created content' online, and 'the voice of of the Netizens', I purely talk of rotten tomatoes and yelp. But medical madness, and the aha! moment strikes. Its much more likely scary stories get shared more than joyous ones. Which is fine if some moron found 25 rats in his room coz he assumed 'Stardust' was name of hotel with stars, not that of a seedy motel. But whoa! if you manage to walk the maze and find that your twitching toe condition during pregnancy could be because some person in Texas had the exact same condition only to discover a missing eyelash on the ultrasound, woe to the spouse. [doh.not me, my job is just to freak out and share the nauseating nervousness].

2) You need to figure out Website loyalties.

BabyCenter or Urban moms? Depends. yep, they all got discussion boards ["see my baby bumppp!!! DH is sooo sweet! I am sooo teary-eyed!!"]. But one has to have one's loyalties set straight early on. If you invest time in creating a login [Am SFDesigal, for all ye mom site hounders] and readin the umpteen discussion boards that go 'i am sooo upset..I just discovered i HATE pickles and icecream! sniff', you better pick one. I am a silent observer in both websites. And might give into urban moms if the damn site will add what is commonly known as C-O-N-T-E-N-T. Till then, am sticking to a hackneyed version of the classic 'Great Expectations' restructured for the expectant parents. Its fun, honestly. I can't picture Mrs.Havisham going 'your baby is the size of an avocado', of course. But its fun to imagine her doing so!

3) Ultrasounds or Doppler sounds dont have to make you cry.

Well, unless the doc is being pesky and takes a hellalotta time and you are umm, hungry. I broke my mom's arm during the first ultrasound. And giggled at the Doppler sound coz it sounded like kiddo was going 'bhook bhook bhook' [as in 'hunger hunger hunger' in Hindi]. I was hungry too, so there for instant bonding!

4) Pregnancy Retail industry oughta make Graduation, Wedding and other 'life event' industries beg on its knees. Literally.

It wins. Hands down. If I had to mark the revenues earned in the pregnancy/new baby industry against any other of those life event ones, it blows away the mind. I am not even talking 'do you want your ultrasound photo on a locket' knick-knacks. Yep, that means YOU babies-r-us! and YOU Motherhood Maternity!! Items purchased so far:

Preggo outfits [coz nothing fits. Am sooo jealous of preggo women in India waltzing around in Salwar Kameezes. Phruu]
Two pregnancy magazines. [here is an odd thing--these magazines KNOW the lifetime of their membership is 10 months at the most. Its like a magazine for the High School senior. Or, magazine for those with casts on legs. you get my point? wherez the REPEAT VALUE???]

and that was only in the first two months. Nothing ever since though.

5) Babies are supposedly expensive.

Or so am told by popular websites' baby expenses calculator. You going back to work and daycaring the kid? Add on a few more thousands. I figure, what the hell. If my outflow is more than 500+ every month after kiddo arrives, i might as well, you know, practice from now on right? [opening up tabs of amazon and in rapid successsion]

Breaking the expenses news gently to spouse,

Back..what's new?

Hmm..back after more than a year to blogging..yowza!! Let's see now, what changed since the last time I blogged [pulling out fingers to count]
1) Moved to San Francisco, can now officially wince when someone says 'Frisco' [you see anything about SF on this page? yep. thats the point]
2) Moved jobs. Work a block from abovesaid place in the city. Yep, yep luckyass commute n all. Yep, I can peek to see if the boss goes in before I do. Nope, I dont nap at home during lunchbreak. Jeez, isnt that what conference rooms are for?
3) Jan 1st 2008 shocker #1. Got an iPhone.
4) Jan 1st 2008 shocker #2. Got a 'yes' on a preggo test.
5) Discovery #1 of the year: Both have solid potential to eat up my time.

There, thats the status update [folding up 5 fingers now to type furiously back].

So whats the perpetual misfit sposed to blog about now? plennty of fodder for thought..pleeennttyyyy. [stacking up pregnancy magazines neatly onto one side and glancing woefully at a foggy SF evening in April when the day had 78 degree heat wave. Bah!]

Figuring out whats the electronic equivalent of chewing tip of pencil,
Update: Wait!! Been more than TWO!! what was I doing not blogging for two years? getting a life or smtg?? j/k!