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Archive for April, 2008

Get to Know Me Better

By popular  demand(ok, just kidding!), here’s a small window into my life.

The rules are:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?

10 years ago was a very turbulent phase in my life. We were newly married (~1 yr) and were having the initial adjustment issues living under the same roof. Much of the stress was also due to external factors like not being able to settle down in the same place with decent jobs. We lived on opposite coasts of the U.S and were able to meet once or twice a month for a day or two. Everything seemed up in the air but eventually I moved to where PK was, and things have worked out great and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything in my life.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

  1. Cook (done)
  2. Post to my blog (in progress)
  3. Blog surfing (in progress)
  4. Shower (have henna on my hair) (in an hour or so)
  5. Fill summer camp forms for my son AK (probably after kids go to bed)

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • Sun chips
  • Trail mix bars
  • Banana

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Travel around the world for an extended time 
  • Own a farm house somewhere and grow our own food. 
  • Do some social/charity work related to education and the environment

5) Three of my bad habits:

Only three? That’s tough!

  1. Constant procrastinating
  2. Too much computer time – Sudoku, surfing (sometimes to the extent of neglecting kids)
  3. Emotional eating

6) 5 places I have lived:

1.      Hudson, Massachusetts

2.      Edison, New Jersey 

3.      Hillsboro, Oregon

4.      Lubbock, Texas 

5.      Bangalore, India 

7) 5 jobs I have had:

  1. Software engineer 
  2. University library help desk 
  3. Hardware installation assistant 
  4. CAD Engineer
  5. And the toughest one I’ve had – mom!

8 ) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:

This is a tough one for me! This blog is my own little secret world. None of my friends/family are aware of its existence. And none of my close friends have personal blogs, at least as far as I know (what if they are like me, not letting anyone know?). And the few people I have to come to know in this community were the ones who tagged me. So, there.

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Why I love Portland, OR

Not that I have anything against Portland, ME, but I have no experience with that city. My few reasons, not in any particular order:

  1. Beautiful downtown – the Willamette river, the bridges, the waterfront area, the very modest skyline.
  2. One of the most biking friendly cities in the U.S.
  3. Lot of opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities – hiking, biking, boating etc.
  4. Very environmentally conscious city and people. I saw recycling bins everywhere in public places, I know lots of people who live here who try to do the right thing by the environment. I saw a statistic somewhere that Portland had the highest number of tree huggers, but can’t find the link now.
  5. The varied landscape and the accessibility to a variety of natural resources – waterfalls, rivers, lakes, the gorge, the mountains and the coast which is less than 2hrs away.
  6. The first “big city” that I lived here in the U.S. Coming from a college town, it sure felt like a big city.
  7. PDX – great restaurants, good shopping and best of all free wi-fi, from where I’m writing. (Although PK says lots of airports offer free wireless, I have not seen any yet except PDX. And I have recently been to or transited through BOS, AUS, SFO, PHL and many other airports, so I’ll believe him when I see more)

The only negative thing I feel is the weather and the very short summer, but hey, we can’t have it all!

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This and that

Tax deadlines are here and after couple of years in a row of filing for extensions, I had resolved to get it in on time this year. Here we are on the 14th, and PK is still filling out some missing info into Turbo tax and double checking some figures and hopes to get it filed tomorrow. He did try to use my being away as an excuse to file for extension, so that I could verify all the paperwork after I go back and then we could file. I countered that if and when I verified and found any errors, we could file for amendment.  Argument closed.

Talking about being away, I’m in drippy Portland for a couple of days on business and then off to the bay area for more. It felt weird to have sooo much time on hand on the long flight to SFO. But not being able to use the cell phone or have internet access, that time was useless to me. One of my favorite pastimes is Sudoku, but I mostly play online. I was amazed at how disorienting it was when I tried to do the paper version in the airline magazine. In the online versions, all the numbers are of uniform size and every occurrence of the number looks the same, so may be it has a calming effect on me.

I had heard about the concept of “virtual assistant” a while ago, but hadn’t really looked into the details. So last weekend, we were looking to some of these sites and I was impressed. Admittedly, I’m not the busy executive types who seem to be their clients, but I can think of a few things I could use it for. Pediatrician’s office/doctor’s office calls, dealing with health insurance follow ups etc – these have to be done during normal business hours and is often painful to remember and find the time during the work day. I’ve reminders all over my calendar to do these little things, but I still fall behind many times. PK wasn’t so convinced (Yeah, he isn’t the one doing all this, right?). He thought about what he could use it for and his number one item was to somehow get some good value out of his frequent flier miles that have accumulated. He has decent air miles from his frequent trips, but whenever we try to redeem, it is pretty tough – either dates are not available or they don’t have the 3 or 4 seats that we need. To try and work with them on the phone, trying to find alternate dates that may work is very time consuming and involves huge hold times – so that was his dream – some one who, with enough information on preferred date ranges and destinations would be able to call every few days and some how get seats.

Time away from home, as hard as it is on all of us, I’ve to guiltily admit that I enjoy these occasional breaks – coming back to a clean room, no cooking, cleaning etc. But when I came back to my room this evening, I don’t know if I was tired from the two long days and time zone issues or if I had one too many drink at the happy hour, I found myself standing at the door, furiously clicking away the car key and wondering why the room door wasn’t opening!

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