Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peter man no more!

He named his mansion 'Neverland' and he apparently used an anti-aging chamber (if such a thing exists!) the man who refused to grow up is no more.

My tryst with Michael Jackson began with the 'thriller' and how could anyone not be amazed by the brilliant performer that he was (he had darker skin then!). My mom sure was. The opening sequence of 'Black or White' with Macaulay Culkin was played over and over when it was released. The head shaking and the disobeying parents part I guess was just so fascinating to us kids! I even picked the picture of his 'Dangerous' album cover from my bro's t-shirt as the project for my fabric painting class! Heal the World and 'We are the World' were the most popular songs for any kind of group singing in school.

The dichotomy of MJ is hard to understand but then why would normal people want to? Who is a celebrity without their crazy share of eccentricities but somehow in this case it was harmful to others too. Dangling a baby, child molestation (I know it was alleged but why settle? and his statements where he talks about 'Sharing the love' seem damning)are inexcusable. And then are the not so nice Urban Dictionary words that seem to have spawned out of the whole situation, face masks, bleaching, prescription use and bankruptcy all in the same breath.

When the news broke I had an inkling and then TMZ reported his death almost immediately without any confirmation & the rest is history created by twitter along with the buzz on the celebrity death in 3's phenomenon!, the news channels and all of us.

Despite all, he was one of the greatest performers of our time and one of the most well known persons in the world today.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A painter for a day

Amidst production support and warranty support activities, the Community Service day was something to look forward to but who would have anticipated the hoops that employees of *certain* companies had to go through to be a part of such an enriching activity! I did get though the hoops and later realized that I was the only one representing my company, good for me and it’s really a shame that no one else from my organization wanted to be a part of this!

Community Service day is a yearly event with a number of options/groups that one could register for including Habitat for Humanity, Horses for Healing, Youth Bridge. I had initially opted for the Food Bank of NWA which involved shelving and packaging of food but then as my luck would have it, they were overloaded with volunteers and I got a chance to move to the ‘Rebuilding Together’ team.

All I knew of the event was that we had to gather by 7:30 AM at a local lady’s house with specific instructions on what not to wear. The bottom-line wear something you are ready to discard! After completing the formalities of signing up, sticking up name tags on the front & back of our shirts (so that someone can holler out your name when you are about to fall off a ladder!) we were all set for a make-over. Our project was to rebuild Linda's house, a modest two bedroom house which had seen its fair share of wear and tear. The officials from Rebuilding Together explained the process of selection and eligibility criteria for such projects including low income, county boundaries etc.

The group was divided into two, one with the hammers for the exterior work and the rest with the brushes for the interior painting. I was generously drowned in sunscreen so thought I’d pick up the hammer but the paint brush seemed to be calling my name. I did think painting was a relatively easy job but changed my view after an enormous amount of taping, roller painting (this was the best part), intricate edge painting, ceiling painting (no fun when you have to stand on a ladder and paint right above your head!) and a little bit of exterior painting too.

The painters were mainly responsible for three rooms, walkways & some bit of exterior, two coats of paint later and it was a beautiful sight to see. The exterior group had a hard time mainly due to the sun and humid conditions; they did a brilliant job of siding, fixing up the windows, doors and replacing a bit of the roof too. Of course the amateurs could not be compared to Nate but the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures were proof of the phenomenal work we did.

The day ended with an after party to celebrate and learn about the accomplishments of all teams with food and games.

Yes, I did get paint all over me and in my hair. I ruined a pair of pants, shoes and shirt but I could not have been more content.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

It is a bisi day!

I've heard that Bisi bele bath is one of the most authentic food items associated with Karnataka, it certainly is not true for Mangalore or the Mangaloreans I know but then the coastal area has its own unique cuisine and most often does not associate with the rest of the State. Whatever be the reasons, I tasted bisi bele bath thanks to a 'work at home' week during the snowapocalypse that happened last Christmas in Seattle! A bangalorean colleague so kindly cooked for nearly 15 of us and that was my initiation to bisi bele bhath.

On an extremely hot day today, I decided to cook Bisi (hot) Bele (lentil - toor dal) bath (rice/beaten rice). I used the recipe from aayis recipes, I liked the fact that she used poha(beaten rice) instead of rice and I did eat only the poha version before. I've followed the recipe except for the jaggery (ugh!), tamarind & curry leaves (lack thereof). It does take a while to cook the toor dal without a pressure cooker (a situation I need to rectify soon or probably not!) and of course the frozen cut veggies made my job easier.

Her version is not spicy and mine wasn't either, so attribute bisi to the weather!