Thursday, September 27, 2007

Home Un-shanti Home

Before we arrived in Pittsburgh, buying a house seemed the only good thing Pittsburgh had to offer. For the price of living in a car’s exhaust pipe in Chicago, we could get Buckingham Palace in Pittsburgh (well, at least in Boondocks Pennsylvania, which is just about 4 hours from Pittsburgh). So we narrowed in on this mansion I was talking about earlier. Chutes from bathrooms to laundry room, intercoms, deck with a slide to the swimming pool, completed basement with a bar and a mini stage to perform puppet shows. It was something I had not even dared to dream about (My dreams don’t extend as far as puppet stages). A kitchen that would make me guilty for not being Rachel Ray. It was 10 minutes from work and close to the airport and mall. It seemed a little quiet and secluded. Isn’t that a good thing for future buyers? So we were about to sign the closing papers, when I got a frantic call from my parents in India.

‘Nahiiiiin!!! Don’t!!!’

Dropped the pen to the floor where it bounced across the hall in resounding horror many times till you get the point that nothing good is about to happen.

‘Why mom? You don’t even have to go out of the house to take your long walks. In fact, we could rent the basement for the International Puppets Conference.’

'Check out Google Earth! This place is in the middle of nowhere.’

Cursing myself for teaching mom how to use Google Earth and knowing very well that this place (like every place in Pittsburgh) was exactly in the heart of some obscure forest, I looked at Google Earth.

Holy cow! The woods that we saw from the deck didn’t end in someone else’s backyard in a few hundred yards as we had hoped. This forest stretched all the way to Alaska and beyond. If a Ted Bundy lived in my back yard, I wouldn’t even know. If he brought his family to our forth room, I surely wouldn’t have a clue till I saw their undies in my laundry. Shudder! Did I mention the hidden attic?!

I do like backcountry and forests, but then too much of a good thing is not good, right? Also the dense perspective from where I was coming from needs to be considered. A aerial comparison of the Chicago and Pittsburgh.

In fact, Google Earth saved us the frightening prospect of buying that house and getting stuck with a mortgage. So instead, we now rent in an equally wooded area with no one in sight for million miles. We don’t have four rooms or a laundry chute or a puppet room. We have an escape route. We continue to pay more in rent for that peace of mind.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bollywood, Need a Stunt Woman?

The parking lot from where I flew off of. park somewhere down there at the edge of a creek.

....not entirely hidden.

crowds gather at the spectacle...quite dumbfounded.

Many hours later, my car emerged with a few dents. Nissan Altima - a great car for off roading!

Radom guy who witnessed the whole scene of my car charging down the hill was so happy to see me alive that he hugged me with tears of happiness.

Cop: Is that your husband?

I am sticking with the mechnical failure story. The brakes just failed! The things I had to hear after everyone realised I was safe, completly unhurt, wasn't suicidal, drunk or plain insane (last point will be contested in the court)-

Cop: Ma'am, are you sure it was not a human error? *gives me a look that is reserved for blondes*

Cop: You are an aviation engineer, you must know it takes wings to fly.

Cop: No wonder husband travels. He must feel safe that way.

Little girl of five: Wow! That must have been scraier than Atlantis!!(roller coaster ride in Universal)

Me: No sweetheart, it wasn't. *trying to hide the wild heart beats*

Little girl: Can I get a ride?

Me: How much did Atlantis charge? (Parents pull the kid away after telling me Jesus lives)

Good news- I found my lost set of keys that came flying on my face while I was trying every possible way to come to a stop on the steep slope. Good thing I didn't stop on the slope. Would have overturned for sure and my brains would have come flying out. Some lost and found moment that would have been!

All said and done, thankful to be alive! The only scratch I got was from a bush that I walked on while climbing up.

All women drivers, I hope I didn't malign your name further.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How I lost my first friend in Pittsburgh

A year ago, desperately finding a silver lining to this dark cloud, I figured buying a house would be the best thing to bind me to Pittsburgh and keep me occupied. I couldn’t stop dreaming about mowing lawns, wiping hard wood floors, drawing basement plans, buying new door knobs to replace the green ones, buying chandeliers to compliment those door knobs, buying new furniture to match the chandelier, eating home made rasam rice everyday to be able to pay mortgage, selling the house to be able to buy a winter jacket when the cold gets unbearable trying to save on heat bills. Sigh! My dream house!

We found a huge mansion that could fit all the homeless of Chicago in the second floor, all the rodents of Karni Mata Temple in the basement and hubby in the laundry room. We had to believe it was the perfect location when we saw a desi family peering intently at us from their dark garage, door half drawn. I ran up to them, squeezed myself inside their garage and bombarded them with a few questions of the neighborhood and specifically the lady’s culinary skills. Husband did a little talking, wife just nodded while the kid wailed. Overall I was thrilled to have neighbors who could lend curry leaves at the crucial time during preparation of aforementioned rasam. Unfortunately they shut their garage door when we were just about to invite ourselves to their house to check if they had a similar granite counter top.

We went back to Chicago and were debating about the new house when I realized that I had another grave question to ask someone who lived in that area. It could make or break the deal. I went into, a website that lets serial killers and other antisocial elements find out how much you paid for your house, your full name and general details like your mole locations. All you have to do is type in the address and viola! your whole neighborhood’s horoscope will be on your lap to lap it off. That’s how I found out that Mr. Rao paid 5K less than what we were being quoted for a similar house. ‘They probably don’t have the granite counter top,’ I argued with hubby. Unwanted information was also gathered- He moved in with Pramila Rao in 2005 from Guntur and their kid Gugulu Rao has 5 teeth. I typed his name in (a site where jobless people and nerds spend quality time increasing Google’s stock prices) and got his email id through some other association site (Andravaadus of Pittsburgh who love Chiranjeevi). Overall, I had him nailed.

I emailed him the next day, brushing his memory on my divine intervention into their garage the other day. He surely hadn’t forgotten and confessed I had startled him again as he didn’t remember divulging his name, let alone his email id. I didn’t bother with the details, but asked him the question that was plucking my mind,

’Is there a nice eyebrow place nearby?’

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Smoke while Blogging. Check.

I am overwhelmed. I have so many things happening in my life that ‘pausing to smell the flowers’ is there in my list of things-to-do.

I make to-do lists during the better part of the day and agonize over efficiently prioritizing my work. Mostly I try to multi-task to be able to perform many such activities in minimal time and achieve pride and contentment.

Shit before brushing or Brush before kissing? Maybe shit-brush-kiss.

Since I simply can’t decide, I just exist in a plane of indecisive dilemma doing practically nothing till it’s almost time to eat. Glad to note I do have some priorities straight.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Great minds think alike. Fools seldom differ.

No news is good news. Hey people, I am back!

Opposites attract. Why should you have to choose your freaking life partner based on behavior patterns of magnets?

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Some conniving Management Consulting Recruiting Staff coined that term so certain dumb wives would fall for that ploy. I don’t.

Speech is silver, silence is golden. Who ever heard of reticent leaders? The fact that we would like some to be quiet is not the point.

Slow and steady wins the race. Apart from the stupid rabbit and the delusional tortoise, I haven’t heard another application of this theory. Just yesterday this lady ran ahead of me and picked up the last sweater off the rack! It was a turtle neck to boot! :(

Early bird gets the worm. This has mom written all over it. What about that worm? Wasn’t he early too?

A penny saved is a penny gained. You are definitely not investing wisely dude!

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Depends on whose hand and whose bush. Hey birdie, you want company?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Doesn’t work on PhDs. I tried.

Good things come in small packages. Haha! Good one.

Rats desert a sinking ship. Strange sinking feeling about this one. I think I will follow them rats.

The best things in life are free. Better things come at a premium.

God helps them who help themselves. Heaven Inc. cost cutting measures.

Money isn’t everything. Except Food, Shelter, Clothes and maybe a few private jets.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Jeez..why haven’t I invented a space travel machine or a winter chaser yet?

No pain, no gain. This proverb was probably conceived before Television came into existence.

Practice what you preach. Not everyone has the time and patience for this. Go on, leave comments to boost blogger morale.

All good things must come to an end. Now that is sometimes true…like right now. Adios!