Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hello Again

Finally got a new broadband connection last week. Would have put up this ‘hello again’ post earlier, but the week has been rather hectic. The little one is just recovering from a viral fever. The only thing she’s happy about is the fact that she has missed a whole week of school.I was planning on making a few changes to this blog, but that was just before I gave up my old internet connection. Seeing as that was over a month ago, I seem to have forgotten most of the changes I wanted to make, so it looks like that’s going to take a little while longer.In the meantime, I shall try to keep up with regular postings…. starting tomorrow :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Change Is Gonna Come

I’ve been busy, busy, busy… Busy making some changes to this here blog… The new theme will be the most obvious. I’ll be making a few other changes as well… Will list them all out in the next post (for want of something better to do!).
So… see you all soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lessons In Manipulation

Here’s how Thaïs tried to manipulate her father yesterday. She was watching her current favorite ‘Tin Tin’ and I guess was feeling too lazy to get up:
Thaïs: Daddy, if you get me a glass of water I’ll be your darling…. more than mummy’s!!
Thaïs is extremely fond of her grandfather. Whenever she goes over to spend the weekend or holidays with them, she always has to be in the same room as he (or, at the very least, he has to be somewhere in sight). Even when he goes out he has to take her along. The other day he tried to leave while she was still asleep. But the minute he started the engine, she was up.
She ran out and asked, “Papa… You’re leaving without your princess?”
Needless to say, he had to come back in, wait for her to get dressed, and then leave, taking her along for a drive.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Homework – 1

The holidays have started and Thaïs has a week off from school. Now that she has settled in to the normal school routine, she almost looks forward to her homework everyday.
For example, the other day she switched off the TV on her own and asked me, “So Tana, what’s on for homework today?”
“What?” I asked in shocked surprise.
“I want to finish my homework now so you don’t disturv me when I’m watching Mr. Bean later!!!
Looks like she has her priorities in order already :-)
“Okay,” I said. “Let me get your homework book. What did you do in school today?”
“Teacher… umm… umm… learned us twiangles.” :-)
“Oh… she taught you to draw triangles?” I asked.
“Sorry,” she said, slapping her forehead. “I forgot the word… No. She didn’t er… taught us to draw twiangles. She drew them… I only colored them!”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who Needs Tissue?

I’m back after a long break.. almost two months, I think! I was just too busy. Illness.. examinations… no internet connection… illness again… they all came one ofter the other… (This paragraph should have appeared in my last post, but as I keep saying, I’m not that organized!)
Anyway, I spent the last week or so catching up with my RSS reader, now I’m taking a break to write a few lines… a quick update on the latest howlers from Thaïs.
Now that she has settled in to the daily routine, I thought she might like to carry a napkin in her school bag to wipe her face and/or her hands after she finishes her mid-day snack. So I asked her whether she’d prefer a napkin or tissue. Her reply, “It’s OK mummy. I don’t need it. I wipe my hands on my dress!”

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ferragosto In Goa - 2008

A couple of times in the past, I’ve referred to this Italian club that I’m a member of. Recently, on the occasion of ‘ferragosto’ which coincides with our independence day, we had a little celebration. We cooked different types of pasta, and also made a Goan sweet called ‘patollio’. We had an extremely enjoyable day.. it was a fun learning experience for many of us. So without further ado, here are some pictures…
We started with the preparation of the sweet. It is a mixture of jaggery, which is basically unrefined sugar, mixed with coconut. I don’t know the exact quantities and what else goes into the mix because it was made a day before by one of our members. (This is not a cookery blog, neither is it a recipe archive… just FYI :-) )
So anyway, a description of the sweet – a layer of rice paste filled with a mixture of coconut and jaggery spread out over turmeric or jackfruit leaves and steamed. First, you wash and trim the leaves and spread a layer of rice paste over each one.

Then you put some coconut and jaggery mix on top of the rice paste and fold the leaf over to ‘close’ it.

These stuffed leaves then have to be steamed. To eat, simply peel off the covering leaf.

And now, onto the pasta… Make a well in the white flour and pour the eggs into it.

Mix well till it all comes together. From what I remember, there’s no need to knead the resulting dough. In any case, after all that wine, I don’t think we would have noticed the difference ;-)

But you can play around with it, though… :-)

Divide the dough into smaller, easier-to-handle portions. Depending on the size of the portions, you may need to cut them up to make them a little smaller…

Then take each portion and roll it through the pasta-making machine… Careful! You may need some help here. You don’t want to end up with flattened fingertips… ;-)

There… that’s the way. Now, that’s just the first run through the pasta-maker. You’ll need to put each sheet 3-4 more times to flatten it out to the desired thickness. Or thinness.

In fact, it was so much fun even the kids wanted in on the action.

At the other end of the table, the pasta was sauce was being prepared by our Italian teacher. Here she is, smashing the life out of those tomatoes.

During the entire process, some of us were busy chatting…

… and others were clicking away… :-)

Since there were about 25 of us, the pasta dough had to be made in two lots.

Ah.. finally we get help from some of the men…

Pretty soon almost everyone wanted to have a go at the pasta-maker.

The kids kept coming in from time to time to make sure everything was moving along smoothly… :-)

Meanwhile, the salads were being prepared…

… and salad dressings were laid out…

Finally… all the pasta sheets are ready.

And the final product… uncooked, that is.

Now all you have to do is dunk it all in boiling water, a little bit at a time.
Uh.. Where’s the cheese?

I guess it turned out OK… :-) Kidding… It was fabulous!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Little Pre-Schooler

Thaïs started pre-school on the 5th of June. It’s been just about 3 weeks and she has started grumbling already. Everyday we pick her up from school and she asks, “School again tomorrow?”
It’s amazing – in two short weeks she has grasped the concept of a weekend. She calls it her ‘holidays’. Every other day she asks, “When are my holidays?”
This is all quite surprising, since she was the one eager to start school. In fact I had planned to hold her back another year, and teach her at home what she would have learned during her first year at pre-school.
Looking through her syllabus for the year, I found that she is already familiar with half of what they’re going to be doing. But ever since she was two, she had been asking about school and how soon she could start. Seeing her cousins go to school, I guess she wanted to start, too.
Her attitude towards school changed once she actually started going. First it was the uniform. She HATES dresses and absolutely refuses to wear them. A three-year-old with a stubborn mind of her own! What’s to become of me as she gets older?!?!?
Anyway, when she found that she had no choice, she relented and agreed to wear the ‘stupid’ dress. (That’s what she calls it! I actually asked the school authorities if it would be OK for her to wear shorts like the boys do, but they refused. Yes, I’m crazy… I know that.)
Second, I think she’s getting picked on in school. This, in itself, is surprising, coz she’s normally quite a bully;-) Everyday she comes back complaining about how the bigger children pinched her or pushed her. I’m not sure about the pinching bit, but the pushing bit is true since she came home that day with her uniform all muddy. She had obviously fallen down. So we questioned the teacher. Her reply? “Oh, they were just playing.”
And so begin the quandaries of parenthood. Do I step in and let it be known to the bullies how I feel exactly? Maybe shake them till their teeth rattle?? Or do I do nothing and let Thaïs handle it herself? Or do I tell Thaïs what to do the next time she gets bullied? As in, ‘an eye for an eye’ kind of attitude…. Hmm.. any suggestions?
OK.. enough about school for today. Now, this post seems incomplete without me making fun of my little angel. Here’s a new excuse for not eating that she came up with recently:
Thaïs: But mummy, I can’t have dinner now. I just ate some biscuits.
Me: You ate those biscuits hours ago, it’s dinner time now.
Thaïs: But please… I’m not hungry. If I eat now, they’ll fight..
Me: What? Thaïs: They’ll fight.
Me: Who’ll fight?
Thaïs: The biscuits… they’ll fight with all the food… in my ‘stung-up’ (stomach)! I might get a ‘stung-up cake’ (stomach-ache)!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Household Chores – 1

In an effort to encourage Thaïs to be independent, we had bought her a couple of plastic stools so she could reach the taps to wash her hands, brush her teeth, etc. by herself. Now I’m beginning to wonder about the wisdom of it all.
Yesterday, when I realized that she had been missing for a while, I went around the house looking for her. I found her in the kitchen, standing on her stool at the sink.
I had opened a new bottle of dish washing liquid the previous day. The level had now dropped to the half-way mark. There was a bowl in the sink. It had some a lot of liquid mixed with water and the scrub pad and sponge were soaking in it.
Me: Thaïs! What are you doing?
Thaïs: I’m washing my hands.
Me: With the scrub pad?
Thaïs: No… I was washing my bowl with that. The bowl was dirty, mummy… I’m just helping….
Well, I guess it’s the thought that counts!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

So Many Changes

Needless to say, I’ve been away from bloggyland for a while. Without getting into details, I’ll just say that the last few weeks have been difficult… personal problems…. blah… blah… Maybe I’ll blog about it some time in the future… or maybe not. Depends on how things go.
Anyway, now that things are hopefully getting back to normal, I find myself looking forward to a more regular posting schedule. When I resurfaced, one of the first things I found was that WordPress had a new version out. Version 2.5. Everybody’s talking about it. Has anyone upgraded? I also hear that there are some theme compatibility issues with the new version? Hmm… sounds like upgrading to the latest version will be a big job. A couple of months ago when I shifted to my own domain, I had upgraded to version 2.3 without any hassles. This time, given what I’ve been reading, I’m not so sure, even though there is an Automatic Upgrade plugin. I hope they come out with version 3 soon :-)
While on the topic of shifting to my own domain, I’m supposed to be answering Pete‘s question on why I shifted (sorry Pete, for the delay).
I started this blog to keep in touch with friends and family. From the start, I always wanted my own domain. But when I started blogging, I didn’t know if I’d be serious about the whole thing. Normally quiet and reserved, I didn’t know whether I’d actually blog regularly and so on. So I figured in a few months the blog would die a natural death and that would be the end of my blogging stint. Not because my daughter doesn’t give me enough to talk about, but more because of my taciturn nature. Then I found that I liked it. Making fun of my little angel is rewarding enough to make me want to keep going. ;-) That’s basically what my blog is about.
This is one of the few posts that’s not dedicated to her and her crazy antics. And now, as she starts school next month, I have a feeling there will be plenty of entertainment to look forward to. So that’s why I shifted… I’ve been blogging over a year now, albeit irregularly, but still enjoying it. And I have no plans to stop anytime soon.
Speaking of friends and family, I get email from said friends and family telling me that they read my blog regularly (you know who you are!). Why then, don’t you comment? Hmm?? Why??? OK… maybe if I promise to post regularly?

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Daughter Made The Front Page Of The Local Newspaper…

… and I was too busy to blog about it :-( Even now, there’s so much more I want to say, but I just don’t have the time. I know if I wait any longer it’ll never happen. So I’ll just put up the pictures… here goes…

This one made it to the front page of the Herald. Below is a close up.



The next one is from the third page of another daily, The Gomantak Times.


Here’s the close up. That’s Mario watching over her. They were having a 'sand fight’.


Monday, April 14, 2008

More Artwork

We’ve all been pretty busy these past couple of weeks, Thaïs included. I’m not going to bore you with all the details. In short, our Italian group (of which I’m the secretary) celebrated its first anniversary, so I was busy helping out with all the arrangements.
We had to get all the paperwork ready for Thaïs’ school admission which is still not complete. We have to go back to the school after 10 days. And, as always, I’ve been plagued with ‘net access problems. In fact I don’t even know if I’ll be able to post this. Keeping my fingers crossed because there are a couple of pictures I want to put up.
These are some of the ‘better’ drawings Thaïs has produced in the recent weeks. Here goes:


She’s learning the alphabet, so there’s a ‘T’, a few ‘A’s, an ‘I’, an ‘O’ which changed to a zero and then became an egg. I told you she’d been busy too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thaïs And TV Advertisements

There’s a new quiz show on TV. Actually I think it’s more like a competition where you have to send in the correct option by SMS. The question changes every week or so.
Last week’s question: ‘Which animal is also known as the Ship Of The Desert?’
The answers: 1) Horse 2) Ass 3) Camel
The first time Thaïs heard the options she was shocked. She knows ‘ass’ is on the list of ‘bad words that she must not use on other people’.
Eyes wide, she asked, “Did he say ‘Ass’?”
“Yes, he did. But in this case it’s allowed because ‘ass’ is another word for ‘donkey’.”
“Okay,” she said, and there were no further comments.
The next time she heard the announcer she stood up and at the top of her voice she yelled out, “Option 1, Horse; Option 2, Ass; Option 3, ASSHOLE….!”
Another advertisement for designer bath fittings shows a man soaking in a tub, drink in hand. Then he gets out, wraps a towel around himself and walks past what I assume is a designer bidet and a designer commode. Thaïs watches the ad, then asks, “Now why didn’t he sit on the pot? Is he feeling shy?”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don’t Interrupt Me, I’m Talking!

Thaïs is normally extremely polite. She says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ with no hesitation. Getting her to say ‘sorry’, however is another matter entirely. It takes a lot of coaxing which sometimes doesn’t work. So we just threaten her ;-) . Unfortunately for us, she is not easily scared. Needless to say, we’re still working on that one. The coaxing, I mean.
Another thing we’ve been trying to teach her is to not interrupt people when they’re talking. To be fair, we have had some success on this front.
Here’s what happened yesterday. Mario and Thaïs were arguing about something. Mario said something to her, she said something back to him, and it went on. Suddenly she wags a finger in his face and says, “Daddy, stop talking. Don’t interrupt me. I’m talking now. Wait till I finish.”
Practise what you preach, Mario.
The best part of it all? She’s only three years old!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An Update And A Fart

I’m finally feeling well enough to post again. I’ve been down with the ‘flu for the last 4 days. With my clogged sinuses and throbbing brain, everytime I sat down in front of the computer it felt like my head would explode. In the midst of this all, I had my insurance exam to answer, as I mentioned in an earlier post. How I managed I’ll never know, but I did and I’m glad it’s over. I should know the results in a couple of days, but if I don’t mention the exam again, you’ll know I failed it! :-)
And now, here’s something that happened yesterday: I walked into the TV room where Thaïs and Mario were sitting and found Thaïs scowling and rubbing her eyes. I asked her what had happened. “My eyes are burning. Daddy farted.”
A few seconds later my eyes started burning too. I’m not kidding. This really happened. It must have been some fart!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jerry Lee Lewis

Thaïs: Look Daddy, I’m playing the piano with my foot!
Mario: Yes.. like Jerry Lee Lewis.
Thaïs: Who?
Mario: Jerry Lee Lewis.
Thaïs: Oh.
A little while later…
Thaïs: Look at me, Tana. I’m playing the piano with my foot… like… er… like… Jelly Loose!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Free Online Storage Space

Just found out through one of my favorite tech blogs that Microsoft is offering 5 GB of free storage online, a service they call Windows Live SkyDrive.
My experience with Windows Live services hasn’t been that great so I won’t be signing up anytime soon. I don’t know what it is, but their sites take so long to load, I usually end up just closing the browser tab in disgust. I groan every time I see a Microsoft-related link, and think twice before clicking it.
From the same blog I found that AOL offers a similar service called XDrive, again with 5 GB free space.
Found out through another of my favorite tech blogs about yet another free online storage site calledMediaMax. I signed up yesterday. They’re currently offering 25 GB of free space. I haven’t had much time to play around with the service, but so far it seems good. The first thing I’m going to do is check if the free version offers FTP access.
The first (and only)time I signed up for a free online storage account was over 10 years ago. That was before I had a computer at home. Pen drives were non-existent. We had those flat square-ish things… What were they called? Oh yes… floppies. But even those weren’t good enough for me. At that time I had an assorted collection of stuff that added up to a ‘staggering’ 5 MB, which would have meant that I’d have had to carry about 5 floppies around with me. So you see why I had to rely on such services for file transfer. And then, all of a sudden, the service/website/whatever-you-want=to-call-it just vanished. OK.. so maybe I hadn’t logged in to the account for a few months.. and maybe I hadn’t checked my associated mail account either… but the end result was that I lost all my data stored there. :-( I didn’t even think of making a backup, so I guess I deserved it!
Anyway, I’ve learned from my mistakes and this time I’m going to be prepared with backups. Actually, I’ve got a backup of the backups of my favorite stuff now!