Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Confounded Conficker!

Ok, so I think I might have that Conficker worm virus on my computer so I am using LRs laptop. I am still having troubles with Internet Explorer although McAfee says I don't have a virus. I am only able to use Mozilla Firefox, or the gorilla as we call it at my house, on my PC and while it was faster, now it seems like the entire www has slowed down to a snails pace. Are you finding that to be true, or am I just the lucky one? Before this confounded confucker came along, I was ready to smash my computer with a hammer anyway. It's five years old, plus some of you already know about the hampster drive on my computer that even Comcast can't help. "Do you live in a field or something?" they always ask me when I call for help. Why yes, I do in fact live in what is practically a field, thank you.
So, let's see what happens. If I have the conflicting curmudgeoned Conficker I'm going to eco-recycle my computer in a heartbeat and get another one ASAP! Thankfully I have an external hard drive and have all my pictures and music stashed over there and it's unplugged for the time being until I know it's safe.
For those of you that hang out over there at Facebook, I also apologize if my business business is interfering with your personal business. I know it's messing with mine! For all the hundreds of millions of people that "do facebook" there are an amazing number of issues with that site. And, did you know that if you send an email to Facebook, they send back an auto response that says we don't respond to emails, go "here" and work it out. ARGH! And there is no way to separate your personal and business pages. Why am I even bothering with Facebook for my busniess then? Because the big secret over at http://www.etsy.com/ is that Facebook gets you sales, and guess what? Three sales in less than 24 hours, so I suppose I am going to have to tough it out because that's so cool!
Let's see, what else? My neck hurts still. Oh well. Advil and I have become good friends. And you won't believe this, but last night Little Rita reinjured her foot, the broken one. So tomorrow I will take her to the Dr after school for another x-ray. Just, argh! It's totally black and blue, and she clearly is going to miss another month of P.E. which makes her just crazy. Her friends keep telling her how lucky she is that she doesn't have to run a mile EVERY DAY like they do, but she is the kind of kid that just wants to fit in, make no waves, do what everyone else is doing, and not stand out like a sore.....foot. Poor kid. Poor me, too, the Dr. bills, oyyy!
In other LR news, ya know, she is almost as tall as I am! Another half inch and she's got me. Now, I didn't even reach 5' until well into high school and then just stopped at 5'1". I'm pretty sure she's gonna pass me up by at least 3-4 inches, after all she is only 12. Hee hee, my butt is still bigger!
Spring has sprung in California and we have had a few really awesome sunshiney days. Now, the Farmers Market starts on Sunday and guess what? We are expecting rain! Obviously if it rains, I am a no show and that will suck, but what can you do? We do need more rain here.

In fact, I have been taking Indian baths which to me are really a fun way to pretend I am still in India. Ha! I'll bet you were wondering when that was gonna come up! If you don't know what an Indian bath is, I'll tell you. I was going to do a little video or picture story about it but then I'd have to show my parts and this isn't that kind of blog at all. So what they do in a lot of hotels in India is bring a bucket of hot water to your door in the morning, either that or you have such a tiny water heater in your bathroom that you will fill up the bucket with hot water and mix with a little cold and there is a little plastic pitcher that you pour that water on, then soap up, then rinse. For those of you that are thinking "that Susie is just crazy", let me explain that I cannot get out of my head this image of a little boy in Agra drinking orange rusty water out of a pipe coming out of the ground. Now that happened 3 years ago, when I went to India with Karenji. I just cannot forget it, and I cannot enjoy long showers or even baths anymore without remembering that little boy. In fact, I can't even leave the water running when I brush my teeth or wash my hands because he pops into my head at those times too. So I managed to update you about my life without talking too much about India, right? Ok Ok just a little more, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE came out of DVD today and is available at video stores right now! If you haven't yet seen it, now is your chance. Here we have the cover of Q & A, which Slumdog Millionaire was based upon. I looked high and low for this book before I went to India but it was unavailable. Then while in India, I found a copy in Bangalore for rs. 150. That's about $3! Woo hoo. The cover of the book has changed now, and so I am mighty happy that I have this one. The last thing I'd like to point out is that the book is different enough from the film so that seeing the movie before I read the book did not ruin it at all. In fact, had the film been more like the book, it would have stretched on for at least an extra hour, and that would have been ok by me. I hope you will read the book or watch the film, they are both fantastic!
Have A Lovely Wednesday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eileen At Taj Mahal

You're looking lovely in your Fab India salwar kameez, Eileen!
Can you believe it? I have been back from India for a month and I still am not finished documenting the trip! Well, I am down to the last two days! After that, I will try to focus on life in California. You know what's funny? Monaji has a post up about California right now while I am doing a post on Agra! Perhaps if she's missing India, she will enjoy these shots.

What a cool shot! Now, why didn't I take one like this?
Since Eileen and I only had two days in Delhi, and I had work to do, I really wanted her to get to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Afterall, she told me this trip to India was once in a lifetime for her. (We'll see about that, won't we?) So, I happened to know about this little tour bus that Eileen could take to Agra, but she had to get up at 6 am and be ready to go at 6:30, while I got to sleep in after a very long day of traveling from Goa to Bangalore and then to Delhi! Argh! Well, she did it, and I am not only so proud of her for going all the way to the Taj Mahal without me, but also for managing to take some pretty swell pictures!
I am not sure why, but both times I have been to the Taj Mahal, the grass was dry and brown and the sky was filthy. Well, what do you know, this time the grass was green and lush, and the sky blue!This time, though, the "swimming pool" was empty, but the hotel rooms were all finished.!
Jamal: [seeing the Taj Mahal] Is this heaven?
Salim: You're not dead Jamal.
Jamal: What is it? Some hotel?
Sorry, couldn't resist.

The Taj Mahal is made of marble and inlaid with jillions of semiprecious stones shells and whatnot.


It's so refreshing to go to India and see women dressed in beautiful colors instead of "neutrals" that Americans prefer.
The Yamuna River which runs behind the Taj Mahal.
While I bought Jaipuri bedspreads, a soorangi, and hung out with my pal Mubarik, Eileen had a great time seeing the Taj, along with three other tourists. I had a feeling she would curse me for sending her on an all day adventure like that, but what do you know, when after 10 pm I finally heard the knock on the hotel room door, there stood Eileen with a huge smile on her face. What a relief! So she told me all about her day, the three other people that were on the bus with her, the fabulous lunch that was part of the tour, and the marble inlay factory visit as well.
Here below are two stunning marble tabletops inlayed with semiprecious stones, shells and whatnot.Also part of the day was visiting Red Fort, I'm saving that for next time.
By the way, what is the dang deal anyway with the new way blogger has for moving pictures around? I really dislike it. Does anyone know the secret to getting around this new move one speck at a time bs? Or, could it be that I have had to switch to Firefox because IE is laming out on me and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make a shortcut on my desktop for IE, nor can I even find IE even though I know it's here on my computer somewhere......


Good job, Eileen!

Have a lovely Monday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thursday Portrait

Ok, this is the biggest dang apple that I have ever seen! It is over one pound!
Yeah I know, I can make my eyes bug out like Marty Feldman! :P
What? No India blogging? They have apples in India too, ya know.

Ah yes, Lime, the the poison apple HNT....remember it?
Happy Thursday, everyone.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Coconut Alarm Clock

So, as promised, today we have some video of the coconut hustlers that woke us up early one morning in Goa. One of the videos is sideways, but if you lay on your side while watching.....in this first video look real carefully and you can see the coconut wallah climbing up the tree, and of course, the loud banging sounds are the coconut bunches falling to the ground!
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Anil is always on the phone!
After I was fully awake and inquired about these noisy people that woke us up at 6 am, Anil at the front desk told us that they have to harvest coconuts every three months, otherwise they start falling on their own, and yes, that can be a bad thing. I have a several times been lounging by the pool when first comes a crunching sound of palm fronds followed by a very loud bang as the coconut hits the tin roof, or the ground, hopefully, of course, not landing on anyones head!

This woman about 4'9" carried away ALL the coconuts on her head! Some people don't need to be coerced to be silly! This is Seby, hotel manager and pal o' mine.
Eileen calling her husband from Christina's office.
This is my pal Sharon who runs this outdoor shop. She is just lovely. I always ask what I can bring her next year and this time she asked for my shade of purple toenail polish! Such good taste, Sharon!


View from our patio at night.Well what do ya know, Anil is not on the phone!

Now, in case you are wondering, yes, I am planning my next trip already which will be in December. And, last night Gary and I saw Slumdog Millionaire again in the theater. The first time we saw it, was before my recent trip to India, and I read the book that it is based upon, Q & A by Vikas Swarup while lounging by the pool in Goa. It was a different experience this time around, watching the audiences reactions, knowing the plot, and still feeling pretty connected to India. I got all teary. I miss India, and the poverty thing is just giving me nightmares. You are not surprised.

Gary and I have been discussing the idea of a "handicraft co-op" in Bangalore where I can set up a fair trade thing, thereby helping out an entire community while I do my textile thing. Of course, this project is a long way off, but I have shown myself, I can do anything I set my mind to. It's time I did more for a country and a people that have given so much to me.

Have a lovely day, everyone.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IRS Heck!

Chillin' in my favorite hotel in Bangalore.
I am sorry, I'm not around because I am doing my taxes.
My brain is going to explode! But, I am happy to announce that this year I made 50% more than last year! No wonder my neck hurts.
ARGH!!!!
Have a lovely day.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Goa


So here we are in Goa where it was very, very hot. We got up really early to walk on the beach because otherwise it was just unbearable, and got to watch the sunrise! Eileen and I had a little pal follow us for the entire walk. When we got back to his territory, he went on his merry way.





Colorful Rajasthani women strolling in the morning.



Before we even arrived, we knew that Goa was going to be very hot, and yes, it was. How hot you ask? I'd say temperatures averaged about 95 with 99% humidity. One pleasant thing about sweating that much is that unlike you might think, you have no body odor. I don't know why that is, and I hope that's not TMI, but I like it. Here in California, with very low humidity, when you sweat, well it's a totally different story. But, try looking cute and glamorous with sweat constantly dripping down the back of your neck, off your nose, and down your back, and um, lots of other places too!
You already know about my coconut allergy, and here I am with "cucumber rings" on my eyes to help relieve the puffiness. Even thought the waiter at this beach shack has worked here for many years, he told us he has never had anyone ask for cucumbers to put on their eyes. He thought it was hilarious. It felt great!
I won't have any wild party stories to tell you this time. As you know, this was my 6th time in India, and I finally went swimming in the Arabian Sea and I have proof! That's me on the right chatting with an English bloke.
I did it! I really did it!
Eileen takes a dip.
Sunset

Next up, crazy coconut hustlers.
Have a lovely day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Portrait


Eileen and I try out our special "sandle face pack" that we got in Mysore. The little jar is so cute with a picture of Mysore Palace on the label. The salesguy told me, "If you are 80, you will look 40. If you are 40, you will look 20. I feel younger already! Giggle. .

Have a Lovely Day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Throw Susie From The Train!

Did you know that whatever you post on your blog may go to a Google alert? Apparently, I have offended some dipstick from Mysore with my blog. He found my blog from Google alerts which makes me ask, how to we keep from having Google "alert" when we just want to do our thing without having to deal with uninvited morons that want to spread their unwanted opinions? That being said, I am now eating with my left hand, neener neener! If you want to see his comment and my retort I will email it to you.....as for the offended party, I have this for you:
CHALO! CHALO! CHALO! Blogging this India tale is taking a while but that's ok with me, if'n you all don't mind. I'm going back to Mysore for the train ride outa there, the one that with the mean hallway door! You know, that one! I hope you can watch videos because this will be all about train rides!
Some of you might ask, do they really cram the train as in the above picture? Depends where and when you are there, madam. For this train ride from Mysore to Bangalore we took first class, but I assure you, it can get pretty funky as in the 11 hour 3rd class train to Hampi.
Enjoy!

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Lots of video, I know, but totally worth it, IMHO!
:)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Delhi Sneak Preview And Suzi Halwah

RennyBA asked about the mendhi so here it is!
At the rate I am going, it will take longer to show you all the cool shots from India than I was actually there!
After I jumped out of Pinto's rickshaw and snapped this picture, Eileen informed me that I "nearly got run over by a motorcycle." Bah!!!! Nearly doesn't count in India.Some of you might remember my pal Mubarik, which means happiness. You're looking swell with that beard and short haircut, Fabriccio! (That's his made up Italian name!)
Lotus Temple of the Bahai Faith
India Gate had about ohhh, 10,000 visitors that day so we opted for the drive by visit.
Eileen and Pinto near our hotel at Connaught.
A snack wallah near our hotel. Noooooo!
Have a lovely weekend!



Oh lookit here, I found a video on how to make Suzi! This time in India, I just made an eating motion when asked my name, pretending to eat something out of my hand, then said Susie. What do ya know, it worked!

**UPDATE** Since this Suzi Halwah video insists on starting everytime I go to my blog, and in high volume as well, I have taken it off! If you wanna see it go here:

http://www.ifood.tv/channel?tid=688