Friday, January 30

Start your day GRUMPY...

This morning something odd happened- well it might not be that unusual but it seemed a bit unnerving to me anyway. We came to the car parked on a busy road (especially crazy at 9:00 in the morning). He got in to drive while I waited for him to pull out of the icy mess and give me some space to get in. Incidentally he did not see the bicyclist. She thought he was going to stop for her but he did not see her. She was yelling out "stop for the bicyclist" but of course he did not hear her. He pulled out really slowly, while she also kept at it- and all that happened was she stumbled a bit. Okay mistake probably was his- I don't know, she saw him driving and not stopping and so she decided not to stop either... anyway she got really worked up and started screaming like crazy. Things like "Jacka**, can't you stop for a bicyclist" and much more. So nothing odd about it, right?
Well, while she yelling I was watching her in awe. I could not understand how someone could actually be so grumpy early in the morning. I mean come on, how do you yell like that with such loathing in the morning. After a presumably good night's rest, Yyou wake up, have coffee and breakfast, wash, get dressed and leave for whatever it is that you are going to do for the rest of the day. Amidst all these things what happens that makes you crabby like that? Then what happens to the rest of your day? May be she is going through something genuine...
I sure felt sorry for the next person that came in her way.
I cannot fathom such emotions, can you?

Tuesday, January 27

Its snow holiday again...

...not for me anyway
Now I understand how poor Maryland's snow cleaning system is- it was supposed to snow only 1 to 2 inches. Guess what, UMD closed at around noon. And here in Boston, it snows about 8 to 12 inches every time and people act as though its JUST another thing. Usually the pavements and roads get cleared up rather quickly and that is all that matters, innit? Everything is seemingly normal, well me being the exception. Nothing is ever normal for me during winter. So far its been not so bad, while it was snowing outside, I stayed on inside! But there is going to be a snowstorm tomorrow. We will see how that goes, eh!!

Sunday, January 18

I could go on and on...

Hmm...I have never felt so strongly about anything political. But today as I incessantly pour over the news about Mr. Obama's inauguration ceremony, I feel like I should have been there, where all the action is. I feel terrible having left DC before this great event. I must tell you though, I am not sure if Mr. Obama will be a successful president but there is something about him that tells me that he will do good. I love his speeches, I love his simplicity and I hope his actions are as sincere as his words. I also for some strange reason believe that he is a good man (let me tell you I have a blanket hatred against world's politicians- to me they are necessary evil!).
The only thing that has been on my mind these past few days is the fact that I am not in DC to witness this good, honest man take oath to the highest office in the United States. Also, I would not get to see "the beast" too! I want to be a part of this grandeur, seems like 2 million people are expected, too bad I am not one of them. What more, I want to kick myself for having left DC, I could have stayed on until the inauguration ceremony. Work calls right!
Well, if you let me, I would go on and on about how badly I want to be there. Does not matter now, I will be there in spirit, I guess!

PS: After all this rant about Mr. Obama, I guess it is only fitting that I read his book!

Friday, January 16

American exceptionalism

Yesterday on Diane Rehm Show (, the guest was Godfrey Hudson- the author of the book called The Myth of American Exceptionalism. I have not read the book and after that interview with Diane, I want to. This book seems to be provocative and is bound to offend a lot of people. In fact there was a caller who said that the author was the most condescending guest ever on the show. Well it did not seem that way to me, but then I am NOT an American. What struck me most was when a caller asked the author if saying "God Bless America" was a sign of such exceptionalism. Interestingly, the first time I heard that phrase in this country I thought of it as the weirdest thing- why would you want God to bless only a select few, why not God Bless the World or something like that. Anyway, Prof Hudson did not seem to have an answer to that question but he too had thought it was a bit strange. He is an English guy and it is impressionable that he would write such a book (well he has been studying this country for more than 3 or 4 decades I cannot remember). He argues that America is not exceptional after all and the idea of being exceptional, sort of you know, a keeper or a custodian or even the protector of the world in a sense, could prove dangerous.
I think Prof. Hudson kind of speaks out what has been going on in my mind but I guess I would definitely read it to get his perspective.

PS: I love Diane Rehm show and the thing I hate most about Boston is I can only to listen to recorded versions of her show on the radio. So I take advantage of and listen to 88.5 online.

Thursday, January 8

My first few days at my NEW JOB

Finally I am working again- started this Monday.
Pa walked with me (he would rather say he was walking me to my bldg on Oxford St, just like when I was a little girl except then my mum used to do it!)- the icy pavements made it very treacherous and my dad cautioned me by falling down himself. It was only a 3hr work-day, getting done with all the paperwork (was not much at all).
The next day I met with the boss for about 15-20 minutes, and since then I have been reading and reading and read.....
Cannot believe that the FIRST week of the new year is coming to an end. Hopefully I can come up with a good project and that too within a reasonable amount of time coz I need to get back to the bench, y'all.

take care
hope you all had a good week

Saturday, January 3

My trip to San Diego

Last year that is Nov 2008 after I submitted my thesis and successfully endured the 9 hour ride to Boston from College Park (It felt like I was the one who drove). Anyway the next day I left for a trip to SD (I stayed in SD for a week) and Boulder (this was only for two days, thanks to the single runway-high traffic-useless SD airport combined with a foggy morning).
The first 2 days I was by myself, took the trolley tour around San Diego. And thanks to my host there, I ended up on a shopping spree (he left me alone for the two days and what better thing to do than SHOP!!)
One thing I realized in San Diego- I love Mexico- the people, the culture, the crafts. The one place I loved in there is SD is the Old Town San Diego, a place that is considered to be the birthplace of California. While, they still have a few original structures made of Adobe bricks, a lot of the buildings are reconstructed. Despite this you do get an 1800's feel when you visit the Old town State historic Park. Other than SD was just alright.
For Thanksgiving we drove down to Mammoth lakes park. I don't ski and Renga could not snowboard or ski (you see the day I landed he broke his finger playing cricket, coincidental eh?) and Ashwin decided to give us company- therefore we put on a pair of snow-shoes to hike but it was totally unnecessary because it had not snowed that much. The next day we took a long detour via Death Valley and this is another place I instantly fell in love with. How very DEAD, you might think but then just as any desert landscape there are a few survivors. The photograph one the right was taken from the lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere, this place is about 86 meters below sea level and therefore has salty flakes all over.
I am not sure if people might agree if I call Death Valley beautiful but believe me it was to me and interestingly it reminded me of Denali Natl Park, except one was lush and green while the other was brown and dry. So it was fun thanksgiving and I must thank the guys for such a lovely trip.

I then flew to Denver, CO to meet a newly married couple. Spent a couple of day with them in Boulder and then headed back for a short stay in Boston, a stay that lasted for two days. I was off to India in two days.