Monday, July 25, 2011

Ah, why must you break my heart, Borders...

It's crazy.  I wasn't going to post about Borders because I thought I was the last to know and who wants to read about an old news story, right?  I was alerted on Thursday night, though I refused to believe it until Friday.  Let me explain my stubbornness.  My home page is CNN, and my iPAD alerts me to breaking news by the minute.  I listen to NPR every morning on my way to a grueling 5:45 AM workout...outdoor workout (read:  hot, humid, record-breaking heat index outdoor workout).  Yet, I swear I had no idea that Borders was closing until I received the email (from Borders themselves) that broke my heart :  " A fond farewell...Thank you for shopping at Borders.".  Apparently reports of liquidation were diffused throughout the internet on Monday.  That's four full days of not knowing.  But, on the bright side, that's four fewer days of mourning.  Ahhh, the silver lining.

You see-Borders is my store of choice. It has become what my hometown library was to me.  My place to go.  To be at peace.  To browse.  To sit and learn.  It was my happy place, if you will.  On Friday, disconcerted by the e-finding, I scavenged for a headline or something.  Yet, none.  I found not one piece of news on it.  I just searched again and all I can find is an Opinion article.  At least I don't feel as crazy.  Why the news skipped right over the closing of yet another US business and one that has graced our nation for 40 years-I will never know. 

I like to imagine that I am still young at heart, with my blog and Facebook (albeit, a reluctanct use of).  My knowledge of Hipstamatic and Instagram.  Swype and iPADs.  But, in reality, I am quite a traditionalist at heart.  I love the library and attained a library card within a few days of moving to D.C.  My girl, Reyes, and I are probably the only other people who still care to know the Dewey Decimal System.  And, don't even get me started on the look, feel, and touch of books.  Oh and the wonderful smell.  It's...gosh.  How do you describe sentiment?  You can't get any of that on an e-reader.  Not the Kindle or the Nook.  Not even the Kobo no one knew about (Reason 1, Borders.  Reason 1).  But, I fear that I am part of the dying population who feels this way. 

So I took the weekend to really think about this whole "Borders closing thing".  And I thought back to the last time I bought a book from Borders.  It shames me to say that I opted for the $0.01 book + Shipping on Amazon.  Sad, huh?  That it all comes down to money.  And the internet.  So, with that partial explanation, I have come to peace with the news.  The shock has worn off, but the sentimental burning hasn't appeased. 

So long, Borders.  It is my sincere hope that this is not a sign of what is to come-the end of all non-internet bookstores and God help me, libraries. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fresh and Fun...

I think one of my favorite things about being married is having someone for whom to cook (and with whom!).  Someone to share in the joy of fresh squash.  The greenest beans.  The juiciest lemons.  And all things yummy.  Of course, when you are the chef, you get to call the shots.  So mushrooms have immersed themselves in our eating routine in ways my mushroom-averse husband wished impossible.  Who doesn't like mushrooms?  I think it may be a sin.  They're so savory and when given the time to brown up in an olive oil-wine-butter sautee... My mouth is watering.  I digress.  My post is not about mushrooms at all, though now I wish it were.  It's about the summer.  And the farmer's market.  And D.C.  The outdoors.  Cooking.  Eating.  And enjoying life with your husband and the sun's warmth.

It's amazing the ways in which you turn into your parents.  I am generally too lazy efficient to buy the green beans I have to prepare (or other preparation-requiring vegetables like spinach) when I can just buy the pre-washed, largely over-priced versions at my local market.  But, my parents.  Well, they're a different story.  My dad is the man when it comes to prep work.  And my mom is the chef of choice, not just by my account but that of numerous villages in India once upon a time.  I tell them that they were "green" before being green was cool.  Reusing ziploc bags and never using paper towels, to give you an idea.  They would never dare buy the packaged (thrice-washed, thank-you-very-much) spinach when for a dollar they could buy the bunch themselves.  I can picture my dad studiously washing away, ensuring no dirt or rocks infiltrated our spinach saac/sabji.  Or patiently finger-picking the ends off of green beans and diligently slicing them in thirds.  So when I saw these green beans, my assumed "efficiency" walked right out the door and the au natural Mamta took over.  I seized as many of these gorgeous, perfectly crisp beans as I could and racked my brain for creative recipes.  I settled on sundried tomatoes and olive oil.  Something simple and fresh. 

It's been a good week for me.  I surprised Srin with a kayaking on the Potomac amongst nature-monuments-and serene plane noise and just found out one of my closest friends is pregnant.  I've been taking time to grab the Nikon more, and I never fail to cook a meal that soothes my taste buds.  It's like I am recovering from my blah moment. 


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Welcome to the real world...

Imagine this.  Marital bliss.  The party in your honor ended, leaving a lasting image of smiles and laughter.  You stumble to your room, hand-in-hand with the man you just committed your life to.  You wake up excitedly ready for the honeymoon.  Ah-the honeymoon.  The Amalfi coast.  Sorrento.  Fresh mozzerella and delectable basil.  On-the-vine tomatoes.  Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii.  Ten days of ... gosh... how do you describe it... elation.  That's it. 

The ten hour journey back reminds you that the "honeymoon" may be over but there is so much to look forward to.  D.C.  A new job.  A real paycheck.  The wedding gifts!  For now, you'll take some sleep as jet lag washes over you.

You arrive back home and wait as your husband parks the car.  As you stare at the door of your apartment, boredom causes the thought to float your mind:  I wonder if my door is unlocked.  You have no reason to suspect so, but boredom has a way of spurring imagination.  You cave to your curiosity and touch the handle.  Hmm...It is unlocked.  Could it be? 

You wait for your knight in shining armour, and when he arrives you both try the door again.  A sneak peek in reveals a thundering thought.  Our TV is gone.  Are my eyes playing tricks on me?  The TV is actually gone. 

Exit complex.  Call 911.  You just got robbed.  Welcome to the real world.  The honeymoon is over.

And now you know what it is like to be my baby sister. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mamta and Jinx...Friends For-e-ver...

It was 1986.  I still remember that year.  I don't remember specifics, but I can picture the TV turning on and President Reagan, in all his grandfather-i-ness, consoling America.  The world, in ways.  January 28th.  Challenger.  Teacher in Space.  Frost-biting cold.  Poor managerial decisions.  Seven lives lost.  More devastated.

Sure it did poor in the box office.  Yes, I know.  What kind of timing was the release based on?  After all, it was only six months after the accident.  Crazy.  Still, suffice it to say that Space Camp may be credited with maintaining the "sexiness" of spaceflight among my generation.  I am, by far, not the only one my age who is obsessed with the lackluster performance by now famous actors (Lea Thompson, Joaquin Phoenix, Kelly Preston, Tate Donovan...Oh and dare I forget Spielberg's wife Kate Capshaw).  For those of us who were around the ages of 6-7 (just old enough to remember Challenger but not old enough to fully comprehend its impacts), the timing of this movie did nothing to detract our attention.  We were mesmerized.  Encapsulated.  Swallowed up like a caterpillar in its cocoon.  One day.  Some day.  We would be astronauts.  We would sit on the moon.  Fly through the heavens.  Touch a cloud.  Catch a star.  Space Camp made it seem so real.  So possible.  Unrealistic...yet....inspiring.  

And so we did.  The few whose dreams were not simply dreams.  We made it to NASA.  And on Friday, we bade farewell to the one program we have had our entire lives.  The one image we associate with NASA.  On Friday, we buried our quest to fly aboard her tiny flight deck.  We cherished the roar of launch.  And we saluted her goodbye. 

[Sap alert] Sigh.  I am sappy. You know that.  I know that.  It's no secret.  But, can I please tell you just how special last weekend was for me?  Not only for closure to my life's dream but also for the friends with whom I spent that moment.  And to share it with my new husband. [end sap...mostly] It was the joy and anticipation in him that refueled my fire.  Not that my fire was ever unlit.  I mean, let's just consider my fire eternal.  But, I too, am victim to complacency.  I have seen many rocket launches, including a few Shuttles.  Maybe the reality of the "end" never hit me until I heard him tell others what this meant.  It was his shock and awe that sent shivers up my spine.  He never grew up wanting to be an astronaut.  Or waiting feverishly by the tiny window in the Old TV room, anticipating the Earth's shadow crossing over the moon.  Or spending nights in college on top of the hood of the car, gazing at the trail falling stars leave behind...  Yet, he felt the bittersweet end just like all of us.  It was Srin who said "We grew up with the Space Shuttle.  I can't believe this is it."  Me either, Hubs.  Me either.

And so we gathered once again.  Most of us having left Houston a decade after first starting our co-op tours.  And we commemorated the dream.  With Cocoa Beach and slap the bag.  Two hours of sleep and too much laughter.  With The Things and Happy Hour.  And best of all, Wheezy's i-capture of it all.

Thank you Yo Mama's.  It was real and spectacular.

 Bini and Em
 Laur, Me, and Tasch

Laura, Em, Bries, E-Booty, Tasch, Srin, and me 

Our very cool and super fun hosts.  Dan and Emily Weiland.  No one else I know would be willing to fit 8 people in their two bedroom apartment. 

 You may need those.  We'll be 10 miles away...

Meet the Launch Virgins: E-Booty, Bries, Tasch, and Srin

 First name The.  Last name Beard.  The Beard.

Are you surprised?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Testing from Srin's Droid

Go atlantis!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Congratulations Little Patel...

A snapshot in time.  A small part of this world.  A big part of my world. 

To view the entire album easily, go to Simplicity.  To download the entire album, go here.