Sunday, December 23, 2007

We're Here!

Y'all! We're here!!! We just got to the house a couple of hours ago. Mum immediately made us a big pot of steaming tea, and some dosas made from red rice which we ate with some fresh coconut chutney. YUM. It already feels so good to eat my mum's cooking, pretty much the best food in the world.

Merry Christmas y'all! I am blessed to have all of you in my life. Best Christmas present ever.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Monkey See, Monkey Do.

My friend Joey alerted me to the monkey infestation in New Dehli. He told me the Deputy Mayor plummeted to his death while trying to get a bunch of monkeys off his balcony.

I had heard nothing about this. In fact, I thought he was lying. Then I looked at this story from NBC. You HAVE to read it!

Thankfully we'll be way south of Delhi so no fear. Although I cannot promise that I won't try to pet a monkey if I see it. ;)


Thursday, December 20, 2007

See ya!

Guys... I can't believe the Big Day is just around the corner. We leave for India on SATURDAY!! I have been planning this trip for an entire year. Feeling quite surreal at the mo'.

And then, to bring me back down to earth, there's that colossal load of laundry laughing at me in the corner. Sigh.

For some reason, Blogger has not allowed me to post photos for a few weeks. I blame the pirated wi-fi connection. Ha!

Anyway, so long guys! I hope each and every one of you have a blessed, joyful and delicious Christmas, and a rockin' New Year. Can't wait to see you in 2008! I'll try to post from India, but I probs won't have photos. Hmph. Otherwise, we're back on the 9th.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Bah Stomach Bug!

Hey guys!

I am recovering from a nasty bout of the stomach flu this week. I have never had it before... in fact, in the midst of my 7-hour (yes SEVEN) regurgitation battle on Monday night, I weakly typed my symptoms into WebMD to try to figure out what it was. At first, I thought it was food poisoning, by my trusty Amy's Low Fat Black Bean Chili (one of my favorites). But then I remembered that when I had been at CNN that day, I had overheard two of the ladies talking about their stomach flu episodes that weekend. So their germs must have latched onto my system somehow, and since my system was already compromised by the onset of the Christmas Sniffles... they went to town! I still can't think of eating the other can of Amy's chili though. It's hard to when you've seen it come UP the same way it went DOWN.

Oooh Lordy, I have never been so ill in my life (except once a long time ago when I was in India. I wonder if it was the same thing?). Over the course of about 3 days, I really didn't eat anything, which is an odd feeling for me. I kept feeling to see if my tummy was getting flatter -- the only upside to my malaise, i thought -- and alas, I don't seem much difference. :) I KNOW! Much more important things to worry about! My neighbour Amy, proved her "Best Ever" status again, because whilst Bren was at work, she grabbed me a big ol' bottle of Gatorade and a box of saltines, which were my best friends over the past couple of days.


All this whilst the dreaded landlord is doing a bunch of construction work on the house, in order to get it in line with code. Oh, the stories we could tell you. I mean, I was painted into the flat yesterday. Ughghghghhgghghghgh.

I am on the mend today though. I even managed to keep down a little bit of chicken last night, and a baked potato today. I am slowly introducing more complex food back to the mother ship aka my tummy. Slowly. In true fat kid fashion of course, I kinda rushed it today, eating a baked potato AND (gasp!) a banana. My tummy is currently in a slow ache, as if to tell me, take it easy greedy pig! So I am sipping some digestion tea now hoping that it'll help. One of the upsides is that when you haven't eaten in a few days, it's like hitting the "reset" button on your palate. The first saltine I ate was a wonder! I couldn't believe that I had overlooked their crispy, salty, comforting taste! I was actually completely satisfied after I had nibbled on a couple of 'em.

And don't get me started on that chicken. It was a store-bought rotisserie chicken -- I thought it was wonderful, rounding out my taste-buds with full poultry flavour. Bren thought it was mediocre. "But it's CHIPOTLE LIME FLAVOURED!" I cried.

"Yeah. Bad idea, I think," he said, shrugging, yet piling it into his mouth. (Bren can and will eat an entire rotisserie chicken for dinner.)

Interesting, huh?

Anyway, no photos to share tonight since I am recharging the camera batteries.

That's all for now. Going to drive around the neighborhood in search of great Christmas lights! Whee!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Sand and Sorrow update

Hey guys,

Did you have a chance to watch Sand and Sorrow this past week? Thanks to all of you who did or who spread the word... I really appreciate it, and better yet, you know that you did something positive. I have not heard much in the way of "buzz" about the film, which I know you guys want. But there have been a bunch of articles written leading up to the film's premiere:

- LA Times
- Variety did a cool Q&A with Paul, the director.
- The Boston Herald
- Newsday and USA Today did little blurbs too

This weekend, Paul was flown to Switzerland and France by the UN, who held two screenings of the documentary.

I just hope this galvanizes some action. Have you written to your congressman or senator yet?


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Why Helen Thomas is the Bomb

From Huffpost today:

"My Favorite Mistake: Helen Thomas Talks About The Mistakes She Could Never Make

"My Favorite Mistake" is a new biweekly series in which writer Seema Kalia interviews various luminaries about the one mistake that taught them the most.

We asked journalist Helen Thomas to be our first interview subject for this column so we could learn something about her professional past that was particularly memorable - something that might have left such a significant imprint that it informed how she did her work as a reporter from thereon.

She, being Helen Thomas, questioned the entire premise of the interview. Stating, in short, that as a political reporter, she simply isn't allowed to make mistakes:

Helen Thomas: I don't have any mistakes to tell you about.

Seema Kalia: You don't have any recollection of any time you didn't do something well?
No, not that I know of. I don't say I'm perfect, and I do say I've made mistakes, but nothing that's colossal.

The spirit of this interview is really to explore the role of mistake-making as part of the growth of people who are really successful at what they do.
No, no,'re looking for something else; you want people to flagellate themselves.

There are many people I'd like to see flagellated in Washington, but you are not among them.

Well, I can't think of any [mistakes] that would be earth-shaking. Everybody makes mistakes. I don't know any reporter that hasn't done some Monday morning quarter-backing and wondered if they could have done something better; should they have asked a different question? But one thing about our business -- one thing about journalism -- is if you make a mistake, you're finished. Your mistake is on the front page and you don't have a job the next day. That's the way I've always seen it, and that's how it happens. I think we pay a higher penalty for our mistake than anyone else because it's so glaring when we do.

Do you think the political figures would do better to admit mistakes sooner, like when they make them?

I think they know that. I think most politicians would definitely expose missteps in their past, put it on the table. They would be considered very courageous and they'd go on from there. [And] I think it eases the pain; it's out there so it isn't a great exposé. Then it's left to the judgment of people. And people are usually forgiving, if it isn't a monumental mistake.

Is the American public too forgiving of its public figures?

Not in my opinion. You can forgive, but you don't have to elect them. [Laughs.]

Well, election is probably the favorite form of forgiveness for a politician, isn't it?

I'm sure that would weigh in for a lot of them [laughs]. I wish we knew more about our leaders as they're going in [to office] rather than coming out. I think we should have known more about the President and so forth. You need to know more. Much more.

Well, whose mistake was that?

It's ours. It's our job to probe.

What would you say to a young reporter who, in their exuberance, published something that turns out to not be true?

If it isn't too earth-shaking, then I would assure them, "This is what you did wrong..." and give them a second chance. But I don't think you get another chance if you make a mistake involving a big story.

Do you think technology is changing that? That a good reporter will always find a venue because there are so many media outlets now?

No, but I do think it is kind of sad when everybody who owns a laptop thinks they're a journalist and doesn't understand the ethics. We do have to have some sense of what's right and wrong in this job. Of how far we can go. We don't make accusations without absolute proof. We're not prosecutors. We don't assume.

So if there's this amateur league of journalists out there, trying to do what you do...

It's dangerous.

What makes it dangerous? Isn't more information always better?

Not necessarily. Not if it isn't true. It could be out there and it could really muck up the whole picture. I'm not trying to suppress information; I'm just saying you have to be very careful.

My advice is simply try, as best you can, to only write the truth and try to check everything, and I think you just hope for the best. And, certainly, if someone gives you a story, I think you have to look a gift horse in the mouth. You have to find out why they're peddling it to you.

Always question why anybody does things. That's probably good advice for anybody."

Helen Thomas ROCKS.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Heard at the CNN bureau from a member of the Larry King staff. Apparently, after he finished interviewing Brad Pitt about his efforts to rebuild New Orleans, he said to someone (about Pitt), "That kid... he's going places."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Interesting Stories today

A few interesting stories caught my eye today:

1) Honey treats coughs better than drugs! (via ABC)
New research shows that honey works even better than over-the-counter drugs to soothe coughs. Which is great because (1) honey is yummier than cough syrup, (2) it's cheaper and (3) it's all natural! Go honeybees! Those little creatures are smarter than they look.

2) One currency in the Middle East by 2010? (via Bloomberg)
Saudi, the UAE and 4 other states are planning on creating a "common market", which means (I think) that there would be something akin to an EU in the Middle East. Interesting huh? Forming a common market is a pre-requisite to creating a common currency for the region, according to the article. Imagine what that would mean for the (falling) dollar, especially with oil prices rising astronomically every few months??? And what would they call it?

3) The Golden Compass: To Boycott or not to boycott? (via Salon)
This is more of an open question to y'all. Will you go see "The Golden Compass"?

Should you boycott a film whose author is actively hostile (not just challenging) to your faith/your truth OR do you go watch it because you are not as close-minded as those Sudanese people who threatened to flog the British teacher who called the class teddybear Mohammed? Quite a quandry.

I wasn't going to see it anyway because it looked kinda crappy, and I'm sick of Nicole Kidman. But, upon reading about the backstory and allegory, I was intrigued. In the end, I think I'd rather spend my $10 on a movie I want to support (as opposed to witholding money in some kind of boycott), so I'm going to see "Bella".
Have you heard about this film? If not, do read the article I linked to in the LA Times. Sounds great, and hey, the lead actor is pretty easy on the eyes too. :)

That's where my head is at today. How are you all?

Bren's back tomorrow night. I am so f'in excited!


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Oh Joy!

Just when you thought I was being too serious... I am close as I'll ever be to doing a cartwheel. I found my favorite ice-cream flavor again! JOY!

It's Ben and Jerry's "Neopolitan Dynamite", an insane combination of "Cherry Garcia" and Chocolate Fudge Brownie icecreams, SIDE BY SIDE. I'm sure it used to have a different name, something more humble and less of-the-moment perhaps, but this precious creamy goodness kept me company many a night when I first graduated from college and I was lonely and overwhelmed. There were nights when all 960 calories and 52g of fat kept me fed, both physically and spiritually (yup the entire 1 pint). What can I say -- if you're a fat kid, or just someone with an insatiable sweet-tooth, we understand each other.

I have been in mourning for years, because I thought B&J had discontinued my sugary escape. And I must have just overlooked it at the supermarket, seduced into committing adultery with "Dublin Mudslide" and "Pistachio Pistachio". I am overcome with shame now that I realise ol' faithful was sitting in that same supermarket freezer, watching me as I cast nary a glance in her direction and reached for her second-rate sisters.

Today, when I returned to that same spot, after a fruitless hour-long search for a movie at the new "it" movie theater in LA, the Landmark, I was looking for a hug, for someone to keep me company on this cold night whilst Bren is away. Nothing sounded good, not the "Phish Food" or the "Everything But The...". I sighed in defeat, eyeing the frozen yoghurt as a consolation prize, something that would make my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow morning just that little bit easier. Suddenly, she screamed out, "Look at me dammit!" and I finally thought to bend down, look beyond her corny new name, and recognize my old friend for who she was: a pint of cherry-vanilla-chocolate chip-chocolate brownie love.


At first, I confess, I dismissed the murder of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor, as yet another black athlete who involved himself in something dangerous without thinking.

But, as I read more about this man, I read that he was trying to get back on track, to extricate himself from a life that offered nothing but trouble, to be a upstanding, moral example to his new daughter. Sean Taylor was trying to do everything right, and things STILL didn't work out for him or his family. I am so puzzled and somewhat discouraged by this because I have always believed that if I did the right thing whenever I could, took the correct path even if it was the path least taken, that I would be protected in some way from disaster. I mean, I know that is a simple way of putting things, but once you start getting any more complex than that, then I'm lost! When Will and Jed were here, Will was talking about how a theologian of some sort had analyzed all the disasters and milestones in our history, and decided that if God was a human, He would be a psychopath! He wasn't being blasphemous I don't think -- rather it's an attempt to show the vast chasm between our logic... and God's logic. I can't say that His logic is always appears kind, at least not in the short-term. But I suppose that is the test of faith, that in the long-term (and I'm talking eternal long-term), there is a rhyme and reason to everything, even the most heartbreaking and gut-wrenching tragedy.

So what got me thinking about this, you ask? The Washington Post's Michael Wilbon's column about this. If you're anything like me, with whatever latent prejudice I may have, this column might just tweak your thinking a bit.

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