Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Situation - Office bathroom:

  • No TP
  • Soap once in a while
  • No paper towels
  • A box of tissues appears for half a day about once a week - I guess to use to dry our hands?
  • And now, no light
I'm a do it yourself kind of girl, so I've put together a survival-kit for life in the office which contains my own roll of TP, hand sanitizer and a hand towel. I'm thinking it may be time to add a flashlight to the collection.

From one of my new favorites, Priscilla Ahn "Leave the Light On" if you haven't discovered her yet, check out her newest cd "A Good Day" you'll be glad you did.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008


Delhi roads are covered with motorcycles/scooters (called two-wheelers by the Indians.) For some reason, I'm fascinated by this method of getting around town. Maybe because I grew up riding motorcycles, and yet would NEVER dare get on one and ride through the insane traffic here. Honestly, I don't know how people get up the nerve.

I've come to the conclusion that there is a helmet law here, but it's pretty open to interpretation judging on the types of helmet's I've seen. It appears that turbans count as helmets if your are a Sikh. We've seen a couple of cricket helmets with full face guards, and hundred's of construction hard hats as helmets. I guess anything is better than nothing.

Every time I see one of these stylish riders I start start humming one of my favorite childhood songs:

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My sister started this one, but I had so much fun reliving some of our best memories I couldn't resist playing along and I hope you will too.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, if we’ve actually met in person or not, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments. I can't wait to see what people remember.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008


I realized this week I haven't done much blogging about life in India lately, so I've been on a scavenger hunt this week to find pictures to go along with the unique things we see during our commute each day. Here's the first result of the hunt.

Nearly all stoves here are powered by gas, but rather than having a gas line that comes into your house and a bill that arrives each month, here in Delhi, you have a tank delivered to your home, hook it up to the stove and cook with it until it is gone. Then you order a new one. The truly unique thing is the way the tanks are delivered - by bicycle. Most bikes have three tanks on the back, two on the side and one across the top, the delivery guys drive all over the city with the tanks. It quite the sight:
I've seen guys pulling cars with their bikes with up to 10 cans in the cart - can you image the number of calories these guys must burn in a day?

A dedication to the bike riders who keep deliveries moving in this crazy city - Cary Brother's "Ride"

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Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm the very proud aunt of a (nearly) 1 year old cutie. Before I left Rio last year I went to my favorite market (The Hippie Fair) and bought a handmade dress for Miss M, thinking it would be a year or so before she could wear it. It seems that babies grow up faster than I expected - she's already wearing the dress and looks adorable. Her other aunt, a budding photographer, staged a photo shoot so I could see the M in all of her finery. The results of the photo shoot and M's first day of modeling have been posted on her mom's blog.

She's a beautiful little girl who brightens our lives "Like a Star"

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I'll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands,
Oh.. I do love you

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My first thought this morning when the alarm clock went off was that this would make a great sick day. Didn't matter that I wasn't really sick, it just felt like one of those days where I'd be better off staying home. The responsible part of me starting going over may day and and realized I had some things scheduled I probably shouldn't miss.

But now, having lived through the day - I honestly think that first thought was inspiration and not laziness. Not only was the day full of confusion, conflicts, disagreements and a general lack of respect, the Air Conditioning was out in the office a good percentage of the day - and having no AC in July in Delhi is not a pleasant thing. I was a sweaty, smelly mess. If you know me at all, you know I have fine, straight hair, but my hair grew bouffant like and started to curl - it take a lot of humidity to do that to hair like mine.

So, the upside to the story is the day is over - and I've learned an important lesson - next time inspiration speaks and tells me to take a sick day - I'm not going to let logic and responsibility overrule that small voice.

In celebration of the end of my day, a little Norah Jones, "The Long Day is Over"

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


After working much of the day yesterday, I decided I deserved a day off. Only problem, I didn't know quite what to do with myself. I tried taking a walk, but then the rains started and since I wasn't in the mood to read, I got my shiny new Nintendo DS out and rocked out with Guitar Hero until my hand cramped up. It's not Guitar Hero on Wii - but it's fun. And I finished the second level - more than I've ever managed to do on Wii.

With a cramped hand I had to move on to another activity - I decided to plan a trip next month during India's Independence Day (15 Aug.) I figured all the places I want to see in India will be full of Indians on holiday, so I decided to leave the country. But, since I'm not in the mood for a long flight my choices were limited: Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Muscat. I decided to go with Muscat. Now I just have to find an affordable trip, if anyone has tips of things to do or see there, I'd love to hear them.

I'd like to say my mind's rocking out to a great song after the afternoon spent with Guitar Hero - but the truth is the song I can't get out of my head is Smashmouth's "All Star" I thought I'd share and see if I can get it stuck in your head.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


I'm putting off work again by listening to music, it seems to be something I do to frequently, but really, who wants to work on a compensation report on a Saturday afternoon. Doesn't the fact that I'm doing laundry mean I'm not just being lazy, I'm just working in a different way?

One of my favorite songs just came on, so I thought I'd put off work a little longer by blogging about it. Gary Allan's "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" has such amazing lyrics. It's one of those songs I put on when I'm having a bad day or just need to remind myself that the struggles in life are the things that really make living worth it.

Life ain't always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life ain't always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggle makes you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' it sweet time

No,life ain't always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain't always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life ain't always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life don't work that way

But the struggles makes me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has it's own way of takin' its sweet time

No, life ain't always beautiful
But I know I'll be fine
Hey, life ain't always beautiful
But its a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

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Friday, July 11, 2008


After a very long day at work I decided to catch up on a bit of blog reading before going to bed. A friend's blog entry on the Ute Stampede has me reminiscing about life as a teenager in a small town and the type of things we looked forward to -the Ute Stampede was one, as was the Demolition Derby at the fair in Richfield. But nothing beat simply dragging main. For you city slickers out there, that basically meant getting in the car and driving up and down main street (back when gas was a more reasonable $1/gallon.)

It didn't take long before an old song popped into my head, Hal Ketchum's "Small Town Saturday Night." I loved this song and used to sing it at the top of my lungs in the car:

Bobby told Lucy, "The world ain't round...
Drops off sharp at the edge of town
Lucy, you know the world must be flat
'Cause when people leave town, they never come back"
They go ninety miles an hour to the city limits sign
Put the pedal to the metal 'fore they chage their mind
They howl at the moon, shoot out the light
It's a small town Saturday night

Small Town Saturday Night - Hal Ketchum
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Check out my blog's new look! Thanks to the talented Alyson at Unruly.Things and Seventy and Sunny I have a beautiful new custom header. She was able to capture the spirit of the blog exactly. Pin It


I was sitting at my desk today doing something that required no thought at all; to help pass the time, I had iTunes playing on shuffle. A song I'd never heard before from Garbage got to the top of the list. It had a great title and seemed like some good advice to help me get through the afternoon: "The Trick is to Keep Breathing."

While the introduction of the song played I googled the lyrics (what did I do before I had google and answers at my fingertips.) The overall song was a little depressing and not something I related to, but the first few lines gave me something to think about while I kept at my brainless work:

She's not the kind of girl
Who likes to tell the world
About the way she feels about herself

I read/heard the lines and instantly thought, that's a bit like me. But then I stopped to think about this new blogging habit of mine and wondered if that proved the lines were nothing like me. I had a mental debate for a while and finally realized that I have no problem writing about the things that happen to me and how I feel about those experiences, but I don't think I write much about what I feel about myself, heck half the time I don't think I know how I feel about myself. (Say that 3 times quickly.)

This blogging stuff still feels new and I love keeping a record of the little events that make up life, and even use it to occassionally work out how I'm feeling about some choice or change in life. But I'm not sure I'll ever be a blogger who can lay it all out on the line and I think I'm okay with that.

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Monday, July 7, 2008


I was sitting at my desk this afternoon letting my mind wander because I wasn’t particularly excited by the work I was doing. I was pondering my recent string of bad luck when it comes to technology when one of my old favorites can on iTunes, Mary Chapin-Carpenter’s “I Feel Lucky.” If only I had that kind of luck.

The night before I left Delhi at the end of May, I plugged my cheap, pay-as-you-go cell phone in to charge and it blew it up. Got home a few days later and bought a replacement. Three weeks later I lost the power cord to the new phone. Went back to the store for a replacement only to learn they’d discontinued the line. I lucked out and found a car charger (on clearance), so at least I can charge the phone when I’m home and have a car to power the charger.

Got back to Delhi and discovered that I’d left the charger for my Delhi phone in the US. That was a short lived problem since I lost my Delhi phone last week, along with the SIM card containing the phone number on my newly printed business cards. So, tomorrow I have the pleasure of going to the phone store in Delhi and trying to talk them into recovering my old phone number and purchasing yet another new phone.

It also seems that my bad luck has also extended to my computer. While I was in the US the DVD/CD drive stopped working. While I was in Pune over the weekend they changed the configuration on my computer and it took two days and a lot of work before I could get it to log back on to the internet. And then last night a warning message pops up telling me my battery can no longer hold even 50% of the charge, and instructing me to order a new battery.

Want to lend me your cell phone/laptop?

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Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy 4th of July!

I wish I was in Aurora to hear the dynamite, see the fireworks, hit the parade in Richfield and BBQ with the family.

But I'll just listen to a few of my favorite patriotic songs and remind myself why I'm so grateful to be an American.

But I've gone all around this crazy world,
Just to try to better understand
And, yes, I do have questions
I get to ask them because I'm free

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I’ve been working from a new office since I returned to Delhi. When I arrived on the first day it was clear they were still doing work to get it ready for full occupancy, but the area I was assigned to didn’t seem to bad (aside from the fact that it was seriously over crowded – to the point that if you don’t arrive early enough you won’t get a seat. But since we tend to get here at 9:30 and some of the others don’t arrive till 11:00 isn’t much of an issue so far.) It was when after a couple of hours I stood up and asked a colleague where the facilities/bathroom/WC was. She pointed it out and handed me a small roll of toilet paper. I gave her a strange look and she said trust me, you’ll need it.

Not only is there no TP in the bathroom, there are no holders for a roll and there are no paper towels to dry your hands on, which means there is a lot of hand shaking going on.

Yesterday I asked if there was a place to get a drink of water. A colleague handed me their bottle of water and said something about not having a chance to requisition more yet. It didn’t make much sense to me at the time and I didn’t have time to question it, I just remembered to grab a bottle and bring it with me this morning.

I finally got to the bottom of the mystery this morning. Turns out for any item needed such as water, TP, Kleenex for a runny nose, pens or any such item, you have to fill out a full requisition form and get it approved by a supervisor.

Since I can’t quite bring myself to fill in a requisition form for TP, guess I’ll be bringing it from home from now on and carefully guarding my precious supply.

UPDATE: It seems I’ve stumbled over a cultural difference. I’d noticed that in each of the bathroom stalls there was a tap coming out of the wall with a measuring cup sitting under it. Turns out, rather than using TP, the water is used to rinse off. Now, I can see where this would be a “greener” practice than using TP – but it seems to me you’d still be a bit damp. I think this is one of those times when I’m not going to follow the “When in Rome” philosophy.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I’m back in Delhi and have discovered that the Monsoon season arrived early. For some reason I thought that would be a good thing – that it would be cooler and easier to survive. I was wrong!

It is so humid that just minutes after stepping outside my hair is literally dripping – not to mention the rest me. For the next few months I might as well forget bothering with hair and makeup.

Even worse the humidity seems to magnify the smells of Delhi. I’m not just talking about the smells outside, the office seems to be particularly pungent as well – I’m sure the fact that 10 of us are crowded in a space designed for 4 is part of the problem.

It’s enough to make me dream for Emilina Torrini’s kind of summer breeze:

Well summerbreeze is blowing through your window
And summerbreeze is blowing through your hair

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