Saturday, June 10, 2006

As Good As It Gets



Meeting the baby brother and his wife, a hike in Mount Rainier, treated to no rains, a surprise advance birthday gift (one night in a log cabin in the mountains), catching up with ex roomie and her little one.

End result: Alpha is a happy individual.

When friends asked me how my trip to Seattle was, all I had to say to the was ‘It was perfect and wonderful.’ No crazy stories, no freak incidents, not even one instance of me flushing my cell phone. Yes folks, I regret to inform you that this post will only contain happiness and mush, contentment and good vibes. Seeya later.

Rationale (SIL), I know you might be still reading. So here goes- Baby brother, Beta, sent me ticket to Seattle, but Pi happily tagged along. Oh, this post was supposed to be nice. Habit is hard to break. Yeah, so we reached Seattle and ooh-aahed over brother’s new house done up superbly. The couple gave credit to each other. It was hard to believe my brother would have such great taste, but then you’ve got to give it to Rationale to be so benevolent. There are more instances where Rationale shone above the rest. Read last bit of this post for details.

Mount Rainier, the breathtakingly lovely volcanic peak (14410 ft above sea level) that can be seen by commuters in Seattle was a treat to my mountain starved midwestern eye.
We hiked there. Clear skies… much more than we could ask for in Seattle. Even the hardcore Seattle people couldn’t stop exclaiming on how beautiful the day was.

‘Look look, Mt Rainier’ for the 12th time en-route Rationale would jump up and down in the car.

‘Yes, I notice.’ I hadn’t stopped noticing. It’s hard to tear your eyes away from it.

‘WOW! Isn’t is so pretty?! Tsk tsk! Woah! You can see it still!! You guys are so lucky its not cloudy today.’ My brother exclaimed.

‘Can you belive how lucky you are?!’ the same brother added in the same journey in the same hour.

At this point I was beginning to feel that it was probably their first time seeing the mountain too. Maybe I ought not to feel that jealous.


Our hike was quite pleasurable. There was snow all over and we had to hike on melting snow. Going up was slightly better than walking on quicksand and coming down was better than ice-skating with no experience. It was like ice-skating with very little experience. The sights were beautiful and even though the ice covered mountain gave us cold stares, we never felt more welcome. We sat on vocanic ash, dipped our feet in gushing streams and slid on ice. Stayed overnight at a log cabin that was a birthday surprise for me. I really had no clue. I was overwhelmed, so I invited the others to stay with me too. I cut the yummy birthday cake that was snuck into the fridge somehow. My birthday is not till much later, so hold your horses on the cheap age jokes. I guess Pi wanted to get done with my birthday stress as soon as possible. It was nothing but touching.



The owners of this cabin had an eclectic sense of style. There was a scary owl staring at us in the loo that gave Pi some constipation issues. Rationale counted 37 hearts in the bathroom itself in various forms and shapes. Then there was a framed picture of a nude woman in the bedroom. Pi was convinced that it is the owner’s girlfriend. We didn’t explore the theory further as we were dead tired and slept in the middle of the movie -As Good As It Gets. No one other than Beta had seen the movie before. My brother claimed to have seen it three times, each time not knowing he had seen it the previous time. He told us that after watching it with us for an hour.

Pi’s new company wanted a picture of him for his portfolio. So he pained me immensely to take headshots of him in various locales. A few hundred pictures and boatloads of patient sighs later, he breaks the news that the company may prefer him in semi formals and not T-shirts. I decided to retire from taking pictures for life. That’s when Beta and Rationale came to my rescue; rummaging cupboards, ironing shirts, dressing him up and taking him to well lit areas for the photo shoot. Pi basked in all the attention, getting pictures taken and rejecting them. ‘Look my eyes look tired in this. My smile looks funny here. Yikes, my hair looks oily. My pimple looks like a freakin pimple.. so on.’

That is when my brother lost it. ‘Someone remind him the photos don’t lie.’

So Rationale was the only one left with the onus of being nice to Pi. She did manage to finally get a picture that he seemed to like. Photo number 1289. He brought it to us and asked, ‘Whatdya think guys?’

‘Yes!’ in chorus we yelled.

Today I saw the portfolio and I think the other photo was much better. The number 809.

42 comments:

shub said...

alpha-ji aapka "beta" bhi hai? :O maine socha sirf dotter hai :p
can shoot me for the non joke...i'm sleeeepy...goood nite maami:)

Anonymous said...

ok, you draw out the scenario - you are (well, almost) older by one year, are in a log cabin, have an owl for company (and some humans too), and you want no potshots on your biological clock. ok, i won't take any.

but do watch 'my cousin vinny' when you get a chance, ok? and let us know if you come across a scene that makes you think that life imitates art.

- s.b.

p.s.: buy pi a camera with a self-timer for his birthday present. let him take his own pictures while you take a hike (to the pittsburgh temple or mount rainier, of course)!

Anonymous said...

shub:

if alpha shoots you, you will be # 1290.

- s.b.

alpha said...

shub: hope u wake up to find that non-joke even more sad and shoot yourself.

sb: how old are you? Do you have a kid? How old was your kid when you concieved?
Answer all of above and I'll say I've watched the movie and didn't find any imitation art.

oh, our camera does have self-timer *hits my head 50 times*

Zoheb said...

Bah!! Mt Rainier - whats the big deal!

Ash said...

Hey Alpha, sounds like a fun trip ... its nice to have family close by, na ? Specially the kind who send you tickets :)

alpha said...

zo- I know you are bummed for not getting my darshan. but be nice to my feelings, maybe next time.

ash- specially the kind who send you tickets. could say that again.

Patrix said...

The trips that are sponsored by your siblings are always great :)

BTW,

We sat on vocanic ash

She'll kill me if I ever try that. In fact, thatz how she gets volcanic.

alpha said...

patty: thats gross. i have vivid scenes of Ash puking fire and you trying to sit on the remains.

VC said...

what! no "mt.rainy, mt.rainier, mt.rainiest" PJ. i have to do evvvvverything around here!
hitting big 3-O, are we?

Anonymous said...

with all those questions, maybe we should go on broadway - me vikram, you vetaal.

1) older than thou. definitely not holier.

2) i take the fifth on this one.

3) err ... ummm... this answer would be the same for all of human species, right? -40 weeks, give or take a few days.

you don't need to answer my question anyways - that would be double jeopardy. anyways, i did not mean to get you thinking of what i think you did, based on your line of questioning. if i did, my apologies.

my sole intention was to mention how the two scenes appeared so similar in my mind's eye.

- s.b.

alpha said...

vc dear, regarding PJ- been there, done that. http://alpha.blogdrive.com/archive/139.html

Reading the above post, I cant belive I was so desperate at one point. Oh well. How kiddish in retrospect! secondly the mountain grew by a foot in a year.

Big 3-0 looming near...why do you ask? have any big surprise plans for me? plz give me a clue. in my age I might just collapse. I am planning on sleeping thru it and not acknowledge it at all.

bh: I guess my defences are quite sharp these days...what with everyone (I mean all and sundry- even my parents) wondering if I am insane not to be 'on the family way' yet. the 'b' of biological clock gets me all prepared for counter attack.

answer to second question went above my head. please elaborate. yes or no?


And thanks for caling me the veetal. I am running out of cuticura powder for vetal make-up...hold on, i'll make do with white canvas shoe polish.

chitra said...

" log cabin in the mountains" Cooolllllllll!!

twilight fairy said...

Mount Rainier - is this an annual extravaganza that you indulge in?

Me said...

...every year alpha's well-wishers(pi,beta, now sil) take her on these trips...thinking that she will get lost....hmmm...

bloghopper said...

I hear someone calling me ..

Tumne pukaara aur hum chale aaye :)

alpha said...

chitra- yeah like in the horror movies.

tf: sorta..will go again for sure next year. apart from rainier, brother also lives in those parts.

me: they try.

bh: sheesh! My bad (not that I dont remember you from time to time). that comment was for sb...but if you want to be vetaal instead of me..go on.

SB- sowiie.. that bh is apparently you. sb- bh..same same. as my defenses get sharp, my brain gets blunt.

GratisGab said...

omigod i can so see pi doing this...!!! especially the pimple concern :)

back to work today....suddenly i have so much time!!!

alpha said...

gabby! seriously, now you are sure to get more time. nanny figured?

you won't believe how Pi tortured us. He was obsessing about it,'Wonder if they'd take back the job offer if they see my photo.'
...to which my bro said,'If they knew how much time you spent on this, they might surely reconsider.'

i am suddeny worried. hope they give him less challenging projects.

Rationale said...

:)) Good one! And the best part is all this actually happened. Haha we are a bunch of clowns!

And I'll say it again, glad you got to see Mt Rainier! :D

:))

Ravages said...

Perhaps, one of these days, I will get to see #809 and know what the whole joke was.

I see somebody else pipped me on Rainy, rainier and rainiest. Yet I persist.

The veetal comes here too?

alpha said...

rationale: Now I am seriously upset. You sure seem to think all my stories are fake. boohoo! (that was a cry of despair not the call of the vetaal)

ravages: I am feeling confy with this spealling finally- vetaal..doesn't rhyme with sheetal.

no joke on #809. if u think there is one, let me know how.

Ravages said...

vetaal rhymes with hetaal...who, i assure you, does exist, spe(a)lls her name this way and does resemble Vikramaditya's friend.

*ducks from the flying plates*

Rationale said...

Umm whats "vetaal"?

alpha said...

ravages: I refuse to get involved in this loves situation you and this hetaal are having at present. if you could clean up broken china before you leave...

rationale: Tsk tsk, you deprived child! Vikram vikram vikram...vetaal vetaal vetaal...vikram aur vetaal ...vikram aur vetaal..aaah aah aah..(chorus)

That's how the story begins.

WA said...

Oh now I get it, thanks for asking Rationale. I felt so left out for the last couple of days trying to figure out who or what vetaal was, the nearest I could think of was vethalai :D

alpha said...

lol, i bet vikram wud've prefered vetalai to vetaal anyday.

pavan kumar said...

initially veetal seemed like an unknown tamil word.. hmmn but isnt that how a Bengali would pronounce Betaal? like Aravind->Arabindo, very->bery?

Paban

alpha said...

Pavan: Since I am clueless abt spellings half the time, i went with what s.b said..then i slowly morphed it to vetal..as it seemed to sound better..now i am convinced its vetaal..but if you prefer betaal..so be it.

Is there a way I can see the 'Vicky aur Vetaal' series somewhere? very nostalgic it is making me.

Me said...

WA ....how come u did not know ...."Vikram vikram vikram...vetaal vetaal vetaal"...didn't ur parents or neighbours have solidaire/ dynora....

alpha said...

or..onida

Me said...

or..BPL

alpha said...

why BPL? why not Uptron? what's on...

Me, stop being juvenile and come up with Sony, Sanyo, Phillivision, Samsung...(hehaha, I spoilt the game for you)

Me said...

...see u missed EC, crown...

Me said...

hey alpha what happened to ur suleka blog...its gone...it was good...pop up free alpha site...;)

Rationale said...

Umm again, is that Vikram and Betaal stories you are refering too? And why? (Ok you got me, I'm too lazy to go back and read all the comments again, I'll call you later and u can explain it to me!) :)

Anonymous said...

i can already see pavan kumar using some bengali/bihari logic to convince rationale that her husband (and alpha that her bro) is actually "veta" not "beta".

- s.b.

alpha said...

s.b. You started this whole thing if you didnt realise!

me or anyone- know tricks on getting rid of pop ups on my blog? heard this complaint a lot.

WA said...

Me - Now I know that Vetaal is the one from Vikram and Vetaal it makes sense, but when I first read it yesterday I missed out the Vikram bit and couldn't figure out what Vetaal means. Thought it was one of those quirky words Alpha had invented :D Indha explanation podhumaa :)

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