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[Apr. 12th, 2012|09:47 am]
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So Italy is a thing that's about to happen, apparently. Yay!

I'm sure I'll update from there. Probably on my stupid fucking iPad so it'll take forever and be a mess like my India entries. B says it's gonna rain the whole time we're there. Guess who doesn't care? Yyyyyup!

I got a new camera (finally) and a thingie to hook it up to my iPad and B and I seem to finally be done with our two weeks of arguing. So I guess this is cool. Now we just gotta fly to Zurich, then to Milan, then take a train to Florence. All without speaking any more Italian than, "Where's the bathroom" and "fuck off"! Yay!

But hey, it MUST be a good sign that the place we're staying is the Fiorenza B&B, right?
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but you know cold blooded women make me sneeze [Jan. 31st, 2009|06:37 pm]
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I am home. It was a really awesome trip, but all I have in me right now is whining about the whole "20 hours on a plane and that's not counting the layover in Doha" thing. (It's cool-- they had a whole floor of the airport devoted to Duty Free. Word up.) I'm tired, cold, and hungry. But home, so yay!

So a few days of recovery (two, I'm thinking, will do me fine.) and I'm back at it. Nice!
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you cross my path I'll take you down [Jan. 28th, 2009|09:05 am]
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[Current Music |I still have 'Ulysses' stuck in my head!]

Well it's morning in India, and I actually managed to sleep in until 8am, which makes me think I might've overcome jetlag, finally. Just in time to have a few days of peace before I drag my ass back across the world. Niiiiiiice.

Mornings are good here though. For one, it's nice and cool by comparison. The weather's not been as hot as it was last time, so I've been really comfortable, but we've also not been out in the middle of the day too much. Today we're headed for Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram/whatever the fuck you wanna call it, and that might be a horse of a different color. Busting out the salwar. Morning is also good because no one's expected to be anywhere yet. There's time and then there's Indian Time-- a phenomenon I first experienced in Nepal (except we of course called it Nepali Time.) Which is to say that everything runs about two hours later than you expected. No one is ever annoyed by this or tapping their foot impatiently-- if you go to meet your friend for a cup of coffee somewhere and he's that late, you figure whatever, no worries, and have another cup while chatting on your cell. But for those of us not adjusted to Indian Time quite yet (it takes me about two weeks to really be down with it, I find, and then I love it), morning means less waiting around for something vague to happen (which will probably not be happening as you expect anyhow, truth be told. Something might happen, but it's doubtful it'll be exactly the thing you thought would happen.)

So Ama's in and out of the kitchen making something insane for breakfast-- making me happy my body is screwed up enough that I can actually eat breakfast now. Apa's wandering around aimlessly bored in his polo shirt and dhoti, playing with every electronic device that crosses his path and being awfully cute. Balaji and Bharat are reading the Times of India in shifts sitting on the floor, and Aparna's asleep on the couch, since she's 4 months pregnant and starting to have a little trouble getting around (poor little thing, she looks so adorable though!). And Grandma's sitting in her little room reading, occasionally smiling at me and asking me some little question here and there.

The "turd hunt" as Balaji has taken to referring to it, will begin in a few hours. Messing up of plans and getting ready and changing ideas and maybe we'll even make it out to Mahabalipuram here in a few hours. (We did make it to the museum yesterday, though we only stayed for an hour because poor Aparna was looking ragged. Bala and I plan to go back tomorrow... again, plan.)

In the meantime mmmm coffee. And here's breakfast! "Vegetable something-something" Balaji tells me. You have no idea how awesome it is to be in a house full of vegetarians. Everyone's going, "how come you never dislike anything we make?" Because I spent my life eating the one side dish in my parents' house, and if I didn't like it I was fucked, maybe!

Right. Food. Later, y'all.
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at people who I'd much rather kick in the eye [Sep. 30th, 2008|10:58 am]
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[Current Music |The Smiths - The Boy With The Thorn In His Side]

Well, it wasn't pretty, but the Steelers prevailed over the Ravens, so I don't have to spend today being sulky. Because if there is one team I really, really can't stand to lose to, it's Baltimore. (Although my husband points out that Ray Lewis hasn't murdered anyone in a few years. Good for you, Baltimore, keeping your murderous drug dealing players on a short leash! That's the first step on the road to recovery!) It's truly humiliating. I'd rather lose to Cleveland.

And if you know Pittsburgh, you know that's saying a lot.

Still we beat them both. AFC NORTH MOTHERFUCKERS! (Bengals, Browns, Ravens, Steelers. Come on, if we don't wrap that up we don't deserve it. See how I say "we", like I'm on the field? Yep, I'm lame.)

And I have what look to be very decent Oasis tickets as of an hour ago, because they went on pre-sale for the North American tour at 10am for people signed up at the website. They're actually coming to DC woo! (Fairfax actually, which is even better because it's really close to me.) I got concourse seating because floor seats are always a pain in the ass for short people, and I had my share of fighting at V Fest. I was close once. I'm cool. I just wanna be able to see.

Oh, and I'd also like to put in a request to the universe: Please don't let anyone get tackled this time. Especially Noel though. Liam's still kind of tough. Noel looks like he weighs about 90 lbs and took a week to recover from that last one.

I was hoping to crash on Keli in MN (and visit Megh!) and see them there too, but the tour is in December, which is right before I have to go to India and will be trying to save money. So that's probably not happening. Anyhow, I want to go there in the summer, not the winter. I'm a southern girl, dammit. (Er... a mid-atlantic girl really. But still. MN in the winter would surely be the death of me.) So I'll probably invite myself up there around that time, depending on when we're supposed to be in Shanghai and Brussels.

Delhi is apparently in a sad state of affairs right now, but we got our tickets anyhow. Flying through Heathrow this time on BA, which makes me happy because going through Frankfurt on Lufthansa last time was god awful. (Okay, it was god awful on the way back because Bala had malaria and was fevered and sick as fuck, passed out on the seats in the waiting area and paying like 5 euros for a tiny cup of orange juice. But still.) I'm pretty sure this won't be any better, but I'm going to pretend so I can make myself get on the plane-- because my god, that flight is shit. DC-London-Delhi, then a week later to Chennai (Madras). then Chennai-London-DC a week after that. I probably won't be able to do much by myself in Delhi just because there's a lot of tourist kidnapping and bombing going on (aww, it'll be like Kathmandu the second time, but bigger and scarier!), but I might be able to set some things up with tour groups. Normally I hate them, but in climates like that it's best to go with a group that's already hired someone to pay off the terrorists/police (very often the same thing there, I've found). And then Bharat and Aparna will come for a few days and hang with me, and maybe I'll get to go to Agra and do the cheesy Taj Mahal thing.

Still wanna go to Bihar, because I'd love to see Bodh Gaya and all that good Buddhist stuff, but it's really not plausible right now. Too bad, that.

My mother-in-law is already making plans to take me to this really old library in Madras and hang out. They apparently have lots of palm manuscripts and the like-- it's colonial originally and I guess newly renovated. Sounds like heaven. I'm her favorite daughter-in-law because I read a lot, and it probably doesn't hurt that I write. And don't live with her :D So I have that and Mamallapuram to look forward to down south. That's shaping up nicely! I need to remember to get more pictures in Madras this time-- I hardly have any from last time, and it's a really good looking city.

ALSO: Nick is coming for his birthday and most of the week after! (middle of October.) Fun!

So yeah, yesterday was a ranty day. Looks like today won't be so much!
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Love is these blues that I’m singing again [Aug. 30th, 2008|11:44 am]
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These next two weeks are going to be stupid. I won't be back on the horse until Tuesday this week, since we're spending the holiday weekend with my parents. Then Thursday night we're leaving to go BACK to Pittsburgh. We'll then go up to Toronto on Friday and hang out there for V Fest (and Jen, but that's a given!) until early Monday, when we will return to Pittsburgh. And then DC.

That's gonna be a long drive, man.

So yeah, if someone's trying to get hold of me, I'm pretty slippery for the first part of this month. Sorry about that!

This is going to make editing a pain in my ass, isn't it? Guess I'd better really make use of those three days next week...
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Satyameva Jayate, so they say. [Aug. 14th, 2008|05:18 pm]
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[Current Mood | accomplished]

So I totally messed with Papa Joe today-- re-did a few bits and threw in some Giuseppe-isms. It's getting better.

But then I realized I was planning my next trip to India and I hadn't even sorted out the photos from the last trip. So I pared them down and commented as much as I could recall, so I wouldn't forget! The stuff from the temples is here if anyone is into that kind of thing and wants to see. (What, who ISN'T into South Indian temple architecture? Seriously! Er...)

Not the best photos, and not the best camera, but it's cool stuff anyhow. Weee!

(Watch for the photo of Ganesh with Balaji quoting Apu in the comments. Oh dear. Luckily I stopped him from making horrible comments on the Srirangam temple photos where I mentioned how badly kept the place was. He's about to start a Shiva v. Vishnu fight on my facebook, the fucker!)

Blog Cruising Spam time!

I always read Colleen Lindsay's blog, The Swivet just because I enjoy her. Today she linked to this entertaining article by Nicola Griffith on why reading is good for your brain.

*Defers to Irene now for real commentary*

What really makes me happy is her rant at the end though. The line, "I don't want to be The New TV Series, I want to be pornography," pretty much says it all. But it's fun to read anyhow.

Me too, Nicola. Me too. Some day!
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without looking out of your door you can know all things on earth [Aug. 14th, 2008|12:18 pm]
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Neil Gaiman on his preparations for his China Trip:

This morning I went out and bought lots of lightweight, quick-drying clothes and other useful travel things, with my assistant Lorraine. (At one point during the clothes-buying part of things Lorraine helpfully said, "Boss, you're still wearing their pants. Why don't you go and change back into your own?" Which seemed like a sensible idea, so I grabbed my jeans and headed back to the changing room, overhearing the sales lady saying, "Is he a professor?" and Lorraine's reply of, "He's a writer. It's the same thing.")

Too bad he'll be "on foot in rural China" for the next little while and we'll miss out on gems like this.

In other news: I want to be on foot in rural China! (Well, not in Tibet. Been there done that almost had to buy my way out of the military checkpoint. And NO I WILL NEVER BE OVER IT, shut up! But you know. Parts of China that are actually Chinese, instead of just randomly annexed.)

Guess I'll have to settle for Shanghai next year. I wonder if I can convince Balaji to take off an extra week and go somewhere cool... either way, I'm gonna be ALL OVER that city while he's in his silly classes.

Also: The first of many travel plans for the next year and a half is almost finalized. He's going to Delhi for his first week-long international session in January, and of course I'm going too, wooo! So I'm going to try and see what I can on my own, which won't be TOO hard since they're used to stupid tourists who only understand twenty-five words of Hindi, and all speak better English than I do anyhow. And then we'll go down to Madras, where I've been promised a day trip to Mamallapuram AT LEAST. There is also talk of Pondicherry, which Balaji says has the best food in Tamil Nadu, but I don't see it happening. After Mamallapuram (which is non-negotiable, like the MUCH FARTHER AWAY Madurai was last time... I'm going easy on him this time!) he's going to want to sit on the couch and watch cricket for five days before we go home. But maybe I can convince my sister-in-law to take me places! ALLIES!

So we think we found tickets, anyhow. Balaji's stuff is all paid for (oh believe me, we pay Duke for it, so it's not free), so mine is the only concern. So... yay! I totally get something out of this MBA thing too!

Oh you know, apart from the happiness of my husband. (Even though this won't and doesn't make him happy, and he's just doing it because it's the done thing. Poor confused baby!)
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she's not so special so look what you done boy [May. 9th, 2008|12:29 pm]
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[Current Mood | busy]
[Current Music |Beethoven - Missa Solemnis in D]

Well I initially wished I'd taken more pictures in San Juan, but after having gone through and selected some to throw up there as a facebook album... I'm glad I didn't. I hate resizing! Still, they're very pretty and Balaji wanted to show them to his friends, so that should do.

My cold is settled in now. I always get a cold any time I spend 4 hours on a single flight, without a chance to get any air. Planes are fucking germ factories. I wish I could breathe through a moist towelette, since I'm always armed with a generous supply of them. Sadly, that might make me look even crazier than I really am. Or... just as crazy as I really am. Which I try not to look, usually.

Anyhow, gonna save the narrative of my adventure here, in an abbreviated version, for myself.

Here, allow me to spare you with a cut )

Balaji went to get Lucy back the morning after we got home, as soon as the place opened. He missed her, which is hilarious since he was so scared of her when we first got her. (Yes. Scared. Literally.) And now, two days later, it's time to pack up and go to WV for Nick's graduation. Ah well, I did all the laundry last night so we have underwear, that's as good as can be expected.

We'll be back Sunday night, but then Balaji has to go to San Diego for work for most of the week. I think Tues-Fri I'm on my own. Then of course when he comes back... time to pack for the move.

I'm halfway through the madness though. Or... almost. Hard to be annoyed when it's GOOD madness.

Also, I had this stupid story idea that I thought I got rid of, but then this guy revived it.

cut for large image )

Isn't he awesome? I found him in Old San Juan on a random street. He makes me happy.
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