December 24, 2009

Merry Merry

I'm sitting in my living room, about to get ready to go for a walk. The city is just about the most gorgeous this time of the month. We've got our festival decorations up and the Christmas tree is so pretty and my home feels calm and festive and warm and cozy. And I'm thinking, you know what? I've got it good. This is a great way to spend the day. Then again, it just isn’t too early to crawl into bed.

If one has to feel this holiday spirit, there's only one way to do it. Throw a party. Fortunately, I’ve always had a good number of friends who have been hosting Christmas parties over the years. This time it looked like the usual party throwers were either in love, or in Goa. So I decided I’d invite a house full of close friends, serve up a full course meal with different types of holiday cakes, wine and tarts, while everyone gets warm, toasty and sugar-rushed.
In the world we live in, it's so easy to evade old practices and just live your life from one harried day to another, so a night like this is even more of a treat. It was truly one fantastic night with friends and merriness. And coming off of Tuesday night's holiday rush it's a perfect build up to Christmas. I'm off to sip on my wine and watch an episode of "Dexter”. But before that it is time for a little Christmas music roundup. Enjoy the tracks below:

Sarah Mclachlan ‘Winter song’

Sting ‘Gabriel's Message’

Boyz II Men ‘The Birth of Christ’

Wishing you season's greetings, great music and all that warm fuzziness. Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2009

Christmas tree? Decorating? Christmas tunes? I think it's just that I'm way too paranoid to decorate the house without losing my mind. Should the lights go around near the trunk of the tree or on the branches? And if they go on the branches, how do you hide the wires? Should I start placing them from the bottom to the top or the other way around? All doubts that I feel must be cleared before carrying out the decorating journey. When they become difficult to find, I get all bothered and say things like 'Merry depressing Christmas' and 'this is so not worth the effort put in' or 'if those three wise men were so friggin intelligent, why don't we get them on a friggin time machine and transport them to our present to figure out a better way of doing this'. And bothered stuff like that. Well, you get it.

But there are some things that are pretty high on my list of Top 10 Things I Love About The Season.

10. Food. There is seriously a lot of excellent food and M.E.A.T around the holidays.

9. Gifts. Yeah, I'm that superficial.

8. Christmas Carols. I'm a sucker for Christmas Carols – the originals as well as the new stuff.

7. Chocolates. A division of point 10, yes, but there's so much it ought to have a group of its own.

6. Santa. No matter how creepy he is a little tiny part of me still believes in him.

5. Christmas movies. I love those.

4. The cold. Usually we get lucky, this year not so much.

3. Time Off.

2. The Holiday Spirit.

1. Family. It doesn't get any better than family.

‘My Grown-up Christmas List’. Any version of it chokes me up and I sincerely love it. It's truly magical and wonderful and worth inviting into your home for a couple of minutes.

I think I love this song (version by Amy Grant)
because I was introduced to it by my parents when I was in school and it was played year after year. It was tradition then and I guess I'm trying to carry on that tradition now. But most importantly, these are the things that mean Christmas to me.

December 15, 2009

Those of you who’ve been following along here on the blog, have possibly noticed that I love LOVE love M.E.A.T. There I said it. I’ve tried being vegan and vegetarian, and while they were appropriate ways for me to eat at certain points in my life, I just love meat and so does my body (yeah yeah, I know, you’ve got proof I’m wrong, buzzkill!). So, when I come across a fantastic place for a meat dish, I’m in.
My friends, Mai, Kanch and I headed out to Ice & Spice on Saturday. A fairly popular joint but a place I had never eaten at. It was bustling on the weekend, even when there wasn’t anything special being hosted. I like how the mood was warm, against the cold weather. One could sit here at any time of year and soak up the flurry of activity, where a song by Sting (at night, when it’s contentedly crowded) is as appropriate as a song by Nina Simone (particularly at a time like this, when the skies were almost grey) is as appropriate as a song by Iron And Wine (during the early days of summer, when it’s still cool in the evening).

Mai had fish and chips, Kanch had the chicken steak burger and I had the lamb. My dish was incredibly juicy, tender, and came with fresh salad in a light dressing, along with mashed potatoes, garlic bread and chips (All for 200 bucks). I got mine with barbecue sauce, which is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted; the meat was tender enough to stick through with a fork, but hard enough not to fall off. It was so good, that I may surrender the pleasure of trying something new the next time I go for the flavorful taste of their best cut lamb.

Blogger and colleague - Pete, my ex colleague - Sai and I happened to be free on Sunday, so we went for lunch at a restaurant close to where we live. It was this place called ‘French Quarter’.

Outside it’s slightly noisy, but inside it’s calm. The chicken liver starters are delightfully smooth and thin, a demonstration of the chef’s skill. The meat pie topped with cheese and the meat-veggie dish tasted especially flavorful.

I have the ability to find fault with almost anything, but on Sunday, the food was nearly impeccable. It’s all enough to make one smile at any time of day.

After a bunch of petty thoughts — about the new guy— I try to convince myself that everything will be ancient history much more quickly than it took for me to write this. Nothing works, when I try so hard for it. So I just say, ‘eff it and write it anyway, even if you’re terrified and you can’t breathe, and put it out of your head even if that leaves you exposed, that anyone could read it, that people know something that you probably shouldn’t disclose, that you’re still thinking about him when every person is telling you not to, because none of it matters when it’s what you feel, and what you feel makes you you'.

I was introduced to this little gem by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. If you haven’t heard of them already, they are musicians of the singer songwriter sort and this piano song felt perfect when matched up with cold weather and the early night so common during this season. To get this week started I’ve decided to upload the track ‘Winter Song’. I hope you enjoy the music, there’s plenty more to come.

December 11, 2009

Warning! Here Be Gushing!

I am so in love with the city lately. Sometimes I want to high five B’lore, and other times I want to roll my eyes and ignore it, but these past few days I wanted to kiss it, nice and sweet, open mouth but no tongue. Maybe a little tongue.

Company’s on a week long shutdown and word on the street is there’s going to be a party…Beer barrel and deep-fried chicken and boy oh boy, there are few things I like more than drinking with friends. Also: Mimi, a good friend of mine from Nagaland is coming down for the hols. OH MY GOD COULD WE POSSIBLY CRAM A FEW MORE AWESOME THINGS INTO ONE WEEK!! We might be taking a small trip too, and I fully expect there to be plenty of meat waiting for us all three meals, loud laughter scaring tourists away, and ye soft Christmas specials on the telly. God bless the Holidays.

So, I have a crush on this guy, and it must be pretty awful, because being around him converts me into a super mean eighteen year old. I don’t know what happens; I’m traditionally a sort of rude flirter, but this is way off the light.

I’ve noticed that I do this thing with people I like, where at first I fret that they don’t like me, and I really fixate over it for a moment before realizing, that I shouldn’t give myself away. And then it’s ignoring him whenever he passes me by or looks at me.

I think it arises from the urge to hide behind a wall whenever I see him coming, and if I can’t, I just say or do the meanest thing that pops into my head, in this case, the ignoring thing. The look that would probably say something as mean as – ‘Did your parents give you away when you were an infant because they didn’t want you?’

But oh man, apparently I do.

I like the classics, the over-played holiday favorites that, to me, symbolizes the Christmas spirit. While I'll take any of the famous crooners over some boy band rendition of a holiday favorite any day, this American Idol contestant belting out Christmas tunes shouldn't suck any of the holiday spirit out of Christmas. Granted, he sounds like a kid (cos well, he kinda is), there's an implied sweetness punctuating ever song. But still, good stuff.

And who doesn't like a little something new to shake up the ol’ tunes? I'm a big fan. The one I’ll be playing tonight is ‘Pat-A-Pan’ by David Archuleta, which sounds astoundingly cool.

I am wondering about the condition of the blogosphere these days. Is it quiet around here lately? I think it's the holidays and people are getting busy with the Christmas season and that’s why it seems a little dead here in the blog world. I know the number of visitors is down this week. Did I maybe do something to piss someone off? Do I smell?

To that end (comment whore that I am), leave a comment. Lurkers delurk. Commenters comment. Perhaps you have a question about something (anything). Ask. Need to tell me my ass looks good? Please do.

I'll be here...writing, calculating and noodling.

December 07, 2009

Do you ever meet people; have a laid-back dialogue and wonder who it is you met, what kind of people they must be? Not in some romantic kinda way, just out of interest. Perhaps the point is that we all come into contact with so many people on a daily basis and somehow we never really get acquainted with any of them.

When I started blogging a year and a half ago, I'm not sure I would have just had a conversation with someone I didn’t know. I'm sure I would have smiled at someone but after that, I'm pretty sure there would have been silence. And if not, I'd have been wary with what I said, inspecting every word that came out of my mouth, terrified of being me...or too much of me nonetheless. I believe that being open, being me, has allowed me to become more at ease with who I am and what I have to say, in the real world. It’s what I've become aware of over the last year or so. And for that - the moments to share myself and the support I receive - I'm appreciative of.

It’s finally that time of year. Usually the first week of December marks the time to buy Christmas clothes and liberate the holiday decorations from their boxes. This weekend was an exception. We only had time to spread merriment by going through every possible square inch of Brigade road in search of my Christmas attire. And with the cold slowing showing up, it does seem like the holiday season at last.
I didn't have a chance to listen to much at all but I am rather proud of myself that I started playing Christmas music by Frank Sinatra, a collection I had acquired many moons ago. I'm a big fan of Christmas classics. Yup, I like me some old-school too. Let me tell you, they’re definitely worth owning.

And if this doesn't get you into the holiday spirit, nuthin' will. Happy Monday y’all!

December 03, 2009

November, In Verse

November has come and has gone
It's unfortunate that I’m still at work.
My weekend was well spent but I'm spent like the weekend
Tea in my blood has yet to perk.

I spent the weekend with friends and music
and ate way too much as I usually do.
I watched a show, blogged, napped, watched TV
Now it's dark, boring, feel like poo.

On Sunday me and my girls head out
to a cafe for a nice fancy tea.
Then I got home, watched re-runs of Avatar- Air bender
And realized that a few of the episodes weren’t seen.

Monday began with work
Lame food and a half-assed job of click.
It ended with a hungry belly
just slightly south of sick.

Tuesday I had an idea
to buy my new Christmas shoes
Unfortunately for me, the salary wasn’t credited
And I couldn’t even afford a sad party of booze

Wednesday was sorta relaxing
I didn’t step out of my cube, quite sad
I did my work, watched a couple of videos and ate lame lunch.
Got home, got into bed, and sleep was had.

Now November is over.
And Christmas will be here so soon.
Just flip on the radio and you'll know it
soon as you hear the singers croon.

My mind is looking forward to the holidays.
To get my head into work I'll need luck.
My brain would rather be planning what I’ll be wearing for Christmas.
About anything else I could not give a fuck.

Hope you enjoyed the verse. Not very creative, I know. Bear with me, it’s Christmas! :)
I'm going with a combination of soul and pop this Thursday. Jamie Lidell. There's absolutely no reason to think you've heard of him. But he does have a pretty impressive number, namely ‘Another Day’. It's energetic, electrifying, straightforward pop with a bit of that funk feeling. It's solid, memorable, unusual, and there’s just enough inside grown-up oriented happy-fun-beats to keep me interested. Just want something happy and fun to listen to? Hit play. You won't regret it. It makes me so happy every time I hear it. Thanks Pete.