30 March 2007

Pictures Again

Guess what? Me is going home for a 20-day vacation! I'm pretty excited. As sick as I am of airports and airplanes and overdone flight attendants right now, I'd still rather brave several more plane rides to be home than not.

I have been running around a lot, I desperately need to catch up on sleep and peace and rest. And there is no place like home for that. So I'll share a few more pictures quick, because I think I'm gonna be back with my favorite show-them-off pictures from home.

No more cribbing, only the things I loved about the place this time!

#1. Remember this car from 2 Fast 2 Furious?

#2. You know my love for Gorillas. And I got to pose with the star of all 'gorillas' :)
He didn't look terribly excited to be posing with me though :(
#3. I liked LA's extremely interesting graffiti...

#4. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World almost made me cry, this is something to be shared, something one should enjoy with family. I don't think Disney World is the right place to visit for a single, twenty-something woman....still loved it nonetheless!#5. Automobiles -
nice humor to be seen everywhere -
My dream car is a green Volkswagen Beetle - like the one Mandy Moore rode, just like this -
I kinda hoped this car belonged to the man himself. But since it was parked outside our cheap motel the whole time we were staying in LA , I assume it's just an ardent Rob Zombie fan.
I'm not really a limo person, I'll still post this just for something different :)
#6. Stanford University - made me question the quality of education I received all over again. If I were to get a chance at a new life and if I could ask God for one thing to change, it'd be for a chance to get into a place like Stanford.
#7. I liked this place the most, it was too beautiful to be true - Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View.
#8. The REAL Apollo 13 crew :-P

I'm hungry, have to run..
(Something weird - I haven't stopped being hungry ever since I got back!)

Oh leh loks - Unanu Unreal-i tan hepa hi chhe lo treh troh em a ka ron risk sak thruai a, nalh spreh sproh asin :)

26 March 2007

My Daily Bread

I'm momentarily sick of pictures. And I have one thing I've been meaning to put up here for quite some time now. So let's take a break from all those sweaty travel pictures and frivolous posts. Everyone must get serious once in a while.

And now, in this hour of solemnity (:P), I'm going to write about a song I listen to every day and every night (if I wind down long enough to sit and listen to it, that is) - it's called 'Who am I' by Casting Crowns. This song means so much to me I'll be forever thankful to whoever wrote it. It's my morning prayer, my lunch-hour prayer, my evening prayer, my bedtime prayer...

Below's the lyrics of the song. I know gospel songs are not most people's cup of tea
(including me), but if you're reading this anyway and intend to finish it, I hope you do so with sincerity because it's worth it.

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth

Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

It's lovely isn't it? I bought a couple of Casting Crowns CDs and DVDs in SF. I walked into a Virgin Records store and asked where the section for gospel rock was. Third floor, the most unglamorous corner, next to the country music section, that was where I found them. I felt a little bad about that, the floor which most customers don't bother to climb up to, the corner most customers don't bother to browse through. First reaction was of reproof, the owners/keepers of the store for giving such a crummy corner to God. But then I realised I am worse. I don't even give God the 3rd floor in my life, and the corner dedicated to His worship is smaller than the gospel section at the Virgin store.

But He still hears me when I'm calling, and catches me when I fall. He cares to know my name, feel my hurt....
and still looks on me with love. And for that, I so want to be the best that I can be. Even though most of the time I walk away and still don't even try.

23 March 2007

Back and Loving It!

It was beautiful in LA and SF. But it is soooo good to be back here where the sun is shining and warm and people eat rice with their meat and vegetables. I'm a vegetable lover, nobody ever had to ask me to eat my greens. But I'm a rice-eating Indian, and my energy source is the sun. Like Superman. And I can only survive on lunch like this for so long -

and sun like this for so long -

San Francisco - what can I say about the place? I love it, I love the shops, but mostly I love the policemen and construction workers and firefighters.

Now isn't that a very hot policeman? :)
Was downtown shopping on my last day there and I suddenly found myself in sexy-policemen heaven. There was some sort of anti-war protest going on and those guys in uniform were keeping things cool in more ways than one. Pretended to take pictures of the protest like most of the other people there and shamelessly zoomed in on the cuter policemen.

LA - Disneyland was amazing, Universal Studios even more so. Because I listened to someone from LA I met the night before I went there, I went ready to sweat, taking along only one small jacket just in case. My first day out, I left my jacket in the hotel room. Stayed out till 10:30 pm, it was so frigging cold I was sure I'd catch pneumonia and die before I even step foot back here. I'm lucky I survived. Did all the usual touristy things -

Dutifully posing at all the right spots...

with all the right celebrities :P

and all the right heroes. Universal's local Zorro was cuter than Banderas too!

Singapore - humid but beautiful. Very tropical, that's me with a white python -

I bought a pair of shoes there and wore them once on the streets of SF and it broke. Moral: Don't buy shoes from Singapore, and even if you do, don't wear them on San Franciscan streets :P

I have many picures I want to show off, this blog of mine will be swamped with pictures for the next few weeks I guess.

14 March 2007

Day 1 & 2

Severely jetlagged. Feeling better today. And I've regained enough energy to put up some pictures-
Getting off in front of the hotel, I heard a voice shouting 'Welcome to San Francisco!' Looked up and saw this man. He went on and on about how difficult life is here. Told him I didn't have American money on me, he graciously offered to accept whatever currenytcy I had. I asked him if he'd let me take his picture and to smile and pose for my camera. He was very game, as you can see..

Way to work - those mountain ranges made me feel so at home. And I know why they look so familiar. They bear a strong resemblance to our Pi Hauvi Lunglen Tlang from back home, the sight that used to greet me everyday!

Alcatraz Island from the plane-

Work - parts of it.

We went walking up the hill behind the office and we came upon this guy doing this thing on the grass with his rollerblades/skateboard thingy and a parachute. Anu said it's called 'Grass skating' but later decided she was wrong and that he's just 'paragliding' on the grass :-) It looked like fun and I was desperately hoping he'd let me try. But my 'chaperone' wouldn't let me get near him :(

San Francisco - It's lovely, the weather is beautiful. Some of the streets are as dirty as ours back home. I've been to several restaurants and I've decided ours back home are better!

08 March 2007

Flying the ocean

Up, up, and awa-y-y-y! Am off to Amrika - the land of the free, the home of the brave, Coca-Cola, and the Wonderbra!

I'm excited, as heart-wrenching as it was to watch my thick roll of Indian bills being transformed into a thin layer of American dollars. Amerika ist not all that wunderbar after all - from the INR < USD perspective.

I have a big list. And you know how it goes - big lists always leads to big adventures. Two gave me big headaches.

1. Dreamcatchers: I got two people asking for dreamcatchers. Now where the hell am I going to find that?! I'm hoping I'll figure something out once I get there.

2. A capo: Brother Willy says he wants a capo for his Flamenco guitar and a (way I heard it over the phone) 'Bolerias' instructional DVD. Any conversation with my brother, if the topic being discussed is music, always leaves me feeling small. It would usually go like this -

Him: 'I want a..you might want to write this down..'

Me: 'Okay, tell me..'

Him: 'B..'

Me: 'P??'

Him: 'No, B. B for banana'

We somehow get the spelling down. Bulerias.

Me: What's Bolerias?

Him: Yada yada yada yada yada

(Me feels very ignorant now)

Him: You understood that?

Me: Kind of.

Him: You know classical music right?

Me (Indignant): Of course I do! What do you think I am? Stupid?

Him: Okay.. you know the different styles? Allegro, Andante, Adagio....?

Me (Lying): Um..yeah

Well..you get the idea. Demeaning.

Anyway, thought I'd get some expert advice first so the very next day after my enlightening phone conversation with my brother, I went and registered at www.flamenco-teacher.com. Posted a message titled 'Bolerias help!' (Go figure how I could misspell that the very next day~) Very helpful and extremely knowledgeable members on there. One member by the name of Behzad gently corrected me - 'You spell it with an U and not an O. Bulerias/buleria.' Embarrasing.

Was directed to www.lafalseta.com for the traditional capos. When I got to lafalseta, I looked and looked but did not see any thing - links, alphabets, nothing in the general order of C, A, P, and O. Wrote to site owner. Got a nice reply back, take a look -

Hello Jerusha,

Thanks for writing. In the US and most places, it's
called a Capo from the Italian word, capotasto. In
Spanish, it's called a cejilla. Same thing. Capo's,
or, cejillas are used to raise the pitch of the guitar.
As you place the cejilla higher up on the neck, the
pitch raises. The ones I sell are traditional wood
cejillas. There are modern ones made with metal that
you can get just about anywhere.

Isn't that nice? I mean, my whole experience both at flamenco-teacher and lafalseto, and also from my many years spent with Brother Willy the Fish has led me to believe that guitar-playing people are generally educative. But then, I guess it's the same for everyone. We all like to talk about stuffs that we think we know well. Like the way I like talking about myself. I like people like Tom and me who writes and uses grammatical spacing :P

Anyway, going back to the subject of Amrika, I'm leaving Sunday night. Will be in San Francisco for some days, will also spend a couple of days in L.A.

Will sling a camera around my neck, wear my shorts and a flip-flop (as suggested by Rami) and look every inch of the Japanese tourist. Maybe also don a hat/cap/traditional headgear/tribal dancing feathers.... just for the heck of it! (shorts - not really. I hear it's freezing over there, that is, freezing by Indian standards so I'm guessing I'm gonna be mistaken for a stray Eskimo a lot).

Will also enthusiastically take pictures in the middle of the street with strangers/people/dogs/houses/sunsets/sunrise with missionary-like zeal.

Will try not to waste time sleeping.

Will make good use of time eating.

Will be back in a few days. Don't miss me too much. Is that a tear I spy? Still so sad then, dearest? Weep, and I'll count the tears..or something like that..

May even blog from there. Will be back with lots of pictures.

Wish me God speed.

02 March 2007

Prozac My Mind

I read somewhere that depression is the result of negative thoughts. In order to have peace and attain that much revered, much sought-after state of a much, much, wayyy higher level of consciousness, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says one must push all negative thoughts out of one's mind. (Note: It may have been someone else who said that but I like his name and insist on inserting it somewhere on this post!).

Hatred in your heart gives you nightmares and I want to have good dreams. So here I am attempting to drive all evil thoughts from my evil mind. And the first step towards ridding oneself of negative thoughts within oneself is to identify all negative thoughts within oneself. Some seemingly benign thoughts may not be so benign after all, if you give it deeper thought.
(There! Caught my first negative thought. 'Deeper thought' is negative, because it only leads you to more negatives.)

For everyone's better understanding, I will hereby provide an example: You are in love. Now love is a good and positive emotion. Nothing wrong with feeling love. And you go about feeling the love, thinking you've got it good. And then Deeper Thought steps in, and with its red pointy shoes give you a hard jab in the groins, shouting 'Love not thy neighbor's husband as thou love thine own!' You'd never have realized on your own that you were standing on the edge of wallowing in adulterous sin.

Okay, enough of examples. Here is what I've found and what I intend to do regarding my negative thoughts so I may one day be eternally and obnoxiously chirpy and gay. I believe it will turn me into a pain in the ass for the unlucky people who will be lucky enough to partake of my chirpiness, but I will reap the benefits. I will radiate sunshine, warmth and cloying, overdone laughter. I will dream of fluffy baby blankets and rolling green meadows littered with rose petals when I sleep. I will play on huge cumulus clouds and slide down rainbows and fall into the pot of gold at the end and never get a scratch.

...and what's more, I will walk away from the pot of gold after grabbing only a handful of gold because all the greed and want and worldly desires will be beyond me :-). I will have turned my back on the strife and the demoniacal, endless rat race of this earth.

And I want all this because I know now that the reward cheese is only an illusion to make you stay in the race until you drop dead, the cheese even more farther away from your grasp than when you began.

'Keep a logbook. Jot down your thoughts. Write down happenings of the day. Were they positive, appropriate and adequate or were they confused, superfluous and negative?' Bhatnagar

Accordingly, in accordance with Mr. Bhatnagar's suggestion, this blog, which also serves as journal, logbook, excuse or whatever the requirement of the moment is, will henceforth serve as mine own logbook. And I hereby, am going to jot, mark, JOT, not write - all negative thoughts that have passed through this sinful head of mine since I awoke this blessed morn'.

Hmmmm....Okay, here goes:

1. Extreme hatred for Victoria Beckham - The Haughty, Hawkish Horror.
Negative thoughts partly cousin Unreal's fault. Keeps sending me links to pages with pics of the woman who is carved in stone. And each time I see a picture of hers, I hate her more.

Never smiles. Never emotes at all. Well, that's not entirely true. Facial and body expressions do reflect extreme pride and snobbery.

She's not beautiful (in my eyes at least).
She can't sing.
There's nothing that she's really good at (...that's admirable that is. Looking waxen doesn't count.)

Petty stuffs really. But I can't help it. I look at her and I just hate her.

2. The way how this can change from this :

to this:
Just depressing.

(Jani, I still love you though. Am not going to forget all those times I spent staring at my TV screen of you singing 'Heaven, ' awed that God can create such a perfect human being. And that wink at the end of the song! That killed me every time! Still does..)

3. Distaste for all actresses who are bent on spoiling good movies by wanting to show off cleavages, breasts, part of breasts, part of whatever assets they have all the time. For example, in the middle of war-torn Africa where people are dying and your own life is in danger and people next to you gets shot all the time, and you still leave the top several buttons of your shirt undone to enticingly show off parts of flesh that belongs to boobs. Hoping to go down in history as the next sex goddess?

Or Eva Mendes wearing those extremely small shirts that are so tight you have to wonder how she put them on in the first place in each and every movie that she's in. And yeah, too tight you can't button the top FIVE buttons (Am I seeing a repetition here?). And therefore, you show off extremely bubbly breasts, which look like they're about to simmer and froth and bubble over, out and over the front of your shirt - all with the aid of a good push-up bra.

I like Eva though. Despite those annoying shirts. I just wish she'd change now and then. She looks and dresses the same in all her movies. I, however, do NOT care if I never set eyes on either Vics or Connelly ever again.

Still pretty early. 12:25 to be exact. Been awake for exactly 5 hours and 25 minutes. First two hours spent in a daze because of the wallop my alarm clock gave me. Haven't had time to think too many negative thoughts.

I think the day that I die, it would be a good thing for me to die before noon. I'm still pretty human in the mornings, I still have some good left in me. Afternoons, I start to go down. By nightfall, I connive, I con, I detest, despise, I lech, I malign until I froth at the mouth and pass out in an overdose of bad thoughts/actions.

'Imagine a strong sun radiating a powerful light. Use this mental sunshine to kill your negative, undesirable thoughts, emotions and images as and when these are detected. ' - Bhatnagar

Now that will give me something to do. I spend so much time inside I've forgotten what the sun looks like. And I'm guessing it's gonna take pretty much of the entire day for me to imagine it actually radiating. And a powerful light at that!

All Evil and Dirty Thoughts, go forth and leave me alone! Sexily evil people can stay...

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT depressed nor do I have 'a pessimistic sense of inadequacy or a despondent lack of activity.'
I am not overly gleeful or overjoyed, but I have not seen Depression rear its ugly head. This post is more about trying to be happier/more cheerful/peaceful than I am now. In one word - betterment. Just because I took breathing lessons doesn't mean I stopped breathing!