Oh Lord My God

Every morning, I arrive at the public transit terminal in San Francisco city as the morning fog is deliberating whether to lift from the streets or not. Whether it is the reluctant fog, or sheets of rain or a lazy sun peeking through the cloudy skies, I am reassured that the Lord is there to take care of me. I ascend the escalator and as I come out, one cannot escape the screaming. “HE knows” he shouts. “HE knows all the good and will take care of you. “. Sometimes, I am tempted to stop and ask this guy what HE knows? And if he does, why HE is letting him waste his energy standing and shouting HIS glory at people who are evidently not interested in his daily sojourn.

No kidding rain or sun, this man shouts himself hoarse about the Lord’s glory. Maybe, this is a form of ecstasy like people whipping themselves to transcend levels (none of which I have ever understood)All the people around me try to ignore him for the most part. He stands there telling us that the greatest thing that ever happened is the fact that the Lord is there watching over us.

Similarly, every Friday, no matter how early I leave, I always find a man with brown eyes of medium build handing out pamphlets with the Lord’s glory printed on them. I don’t think these people are being paid for this, so what is their motivation?

I would never know. I wander around looking for a bear claw. The staff inform me courteously of course, that bear claws have been discontinued. (Bear claw is a kind of a breakfast thingy that I particularly love. Generally, I am not looking for the literal bear claws in the morning – by evening, it is a different story of course!)

Now, screaming outside Starbucks saying – “DON’T DISCONTINUE BEAR CLAWS!” may have had some effect. Maybe, the company would have seen the undying love people had for bear claws, and continued the product! But shouting that the Lord is watching over me when I’ve just been denied my pamper-myself-breakfast-item is a whole different elephant!

Ergonomic bliss and werewolf howls

I’ve been having ergonomic problems lately. The problems have little to do with ergonomics, it has more to do with the fact that I have been forced to spend the bright spring days couped up in a drab cubicle with gray and beige shades, barely having time to stuff the old mouth with lunch. So, the finger moans, and the knees groan. It is all a collective attention seeking mechanism to lure me out into the open.

The truth being, I do load balance making my mouse left-handed because of the carpal tunnel syndrome. So, a colleague of mine declared that all I need was one of those large, unwieldy trays that pull out from under the desk, and I would feel like I had relaxed in a hot bath the whole day, followed by a professional massage. The painted image was too good for me to bear. I had to act, and fast!

In a moment of weakness, I caught the company carpenter unawares on his bi-weekly visit, and got the tray done. I imagined painting my cubicle with a cool colour and put up a tent with spinning juice trays etc, as I pulled out the heaven equivalent from under my desk. (You get the general picture as I visualised my path into “heaven”)

The tray came, and I found the effect strange. Given that most of my tasks are done with the suspense and thrill of a racing car in a Grand Prix, I find myself sitting on the edge of the seat quite often and poking my beak towards the screen. The pull-out tray demanded a more relaxed position, and the beak was too far from the computer! Over and above that, the phone was too far from my relaxed position for comfort.

I’d already mentioned the left handed mouse temptation that I yield to once in a while, this large tray put a cork screw stopper to that as well! See the pic, the mouse area is always on the right! So, not only could I lose all cool imagination about being the superwoman flying in to tackle the issues at work with the leaning-in-tip-of-chair posture, I had to also make the carpal tunnel tunnel in harder to make its presence known!

You all know where this is leading I am sure. Even if I did manage to make peace with the tray, the chair I was sitting on was just not suited to the new lower height. So, I ran after a good chair. I am not tall, but I am not included in the dwarfish subset either, yet I had a chair that either had my legs dangling or sloping forward at an incline (almost waiting to tip me off any moment – because of lean-in-ahead car-racing-posture, I am sure). So, my hunt for a chair started.
Then, the mouse pad joined in – the carpal tunnel effect could be remedied with a mouse pad with a wrist support pad, said another ergonomic expert.

I now sit in my original bad leaning-in-position, yelping and howling every few minutes. The pull-out tray has been sent to an early retirement citing performance issues. But, it still hides under my desk!

Everytime, I inadvertently cross my legs, I howl like a werewolf calling its kind. (This pain can’t wait for full-moons for werewolf transformations!) My knee is badly bruised with the banging on tray injuries, and the carpenter took leave this week!

Ergonomic bliss and werewolf howls

I’ve been having ergonomic problems lately. The problems have little to do with ergonomics, it has more to do with the fact that I have been forced to spend the bright spring days couped up in a drab cubicle with gray and beige shades, barely having time to stuff the old mouth with lunch. So, the finger moans, and the knees groan. It is all a collective attention seeking mechanism to lure me out into the open.

The truth being, I do load balance making my mouse left-handed because of the carpal tunnel syndrome. So, a colleague of mine declared that all I need was one of those large, unwieldy trays that pull out from under the desk, and I would feel like I had relaxed in a hot bath the whole day, followed by a professional massage. The painted image was too good for me to bear. I had to act, and fast!

In a moment of weakness, I caught the company carpenter unawares on his bi-weekly visit, and got the tray done. I imagined painting my cubicle with a cool colour and put up a tent with spinning juice trays etc, as I pulled out the heaven equivalent from under my desk. (You get the general picture as I visualised my path into “heaven”)

The tray came, and I found the effect strange. Given that most of my tasks are done with the suspense and thrill of a racing car in a Grand Prix, I find myself sitting on the edge of the seat quite often and poking my beak towards the screen. The pull-out tray demanded a more relaxed position, and the beak was too far from the computer! Over and above that, the phone was too far from my relaxed position for comfort.

I’d already mentioned the left handed mouse temptation that I yield to once in a while, this large tray put a cork screw stopper to that as well! See the pic, the mouse area is always on the right! So, not only could I lose all cool imagination about being the superwoman flying in to tackle the issues at work with the leaning-in-tip-of-chair posture, I had to also make the carpal tunnel tunnel in harder to make its presence known!

You all know where this is leading I am sure. Even if I did manage to make peace with the tray, the chair I was sitting on was just not suited to the new lower height. So, I ran after a good chair. I am not tall, but I am not included in the dwarfish subset either, yet I had a chair that either had my legs dangling or sloping forward at an incline (almost waiting to tip me off any moment – because of lean-in-ahead car-racing-posture, I am sure). So, my hunt for a chair started.
Then, the mouse pad joined in – the carpal tunnel effect could be remedied with a mouse pad with a wrist support pad, said another ergonomic expert.

I now sit in my original bad leaning-in-position, yelping and howling every few minutes. The pull-out tray has been sent to an early retirement citing performance issues. But, it still hides under my desk!

Everytime, I inadvertently cross my legs, I howl like a werewolf calling its kind. (This pain can’t wait for full-moons for werewolf transformations!) My knee is badly bruised with the banging on tray injuries, and the carpenter took leave this week!

Want-to-do Vs Have-to-do

I sometimes like to let domesticity and a full-time job fulfill its duties of giving me excuses from doing the things I want to do. I find that every time I am really looking for an excuse, the never ending domestic tasks or the ever demanding official tasks jump upto the bait with enthusiasm, and I spend week after week letting my want-to-do simmer in the background, while my have-to-do takes over my life.

This week, after a particularly brutal have-to-do week, I decided to have a want-to-do week-end, and while I am still battling with the have-to-do’s on my list, I had fun. For one, we went for a Dandia dance program (the kind where we can dance rather than passively sit by and watch). It was fun to think of oneself as dancing gracefully, while co-dancers deftly dodged the bludgeoning monsters unleashed by dancers such as me. While we all danced our way through the large hall to the fantastic music provided by the band, we lost rhythm more times than once, and stepped into people’s toes and raised our sticks for banging on an non-existent partner,
or a partner who was there, and disappeared just as we turned around from our graceful swing. I enjoyed dandia with my daughter who decided to dance to her own rhythm, found the most amusing place to be beneath the table lining the walls for no apparent reason and numerous other reasons! (The one in black is me!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7J3vF9gDVY

In Dandia, a moment’s negligence can cause disarray and as I turned to see where the little one was during the dance, the whole party missed their respective partners, and we were all waving our sticks at random people who were all looking for their partners who just slipped a position! Anyway, the group was accomodating and I soon left to see the little chef sitting in the middle of the room stirring and cooking with her dandia sticks! I asked her what she was doing and she explained that she was making soup and rasam (In the middle of a hundred people dancing for God’s sake!)

All in all, the evening was filled with dance, music, imaginary food and just a stirring of the joie de vivre that is so carefully concealed in the folds of the daily grind.

The next morning, I decided to continue the trend, and spent the morning in the park with some friends, with a good run thrown in for good measure! I loved the joys of a spring morning – and step after painful step (remember the dandia the night before), made me savour the day.

I still have to to-do list to deal with – but my mind is revelling on the want-to’s that I indulged in after a long time!

How to eat a sandwich?

When is the last time you ate a sandwich or a burrito or a wrap gracefully? By sandwich, I don’t mean the bread/butter variety, but the variety where the first layer contains sprouts, followed by a layer of large leaves and twigs, and then a tree of something. A thin layer of cheese and the forest again on the other side! I am not one to comment on the taste, since I seem to reach out to this variety quite readily. But I do want to write about is the eating.


One bite into the infernal thing sends the taste buds reeling, and then when I pull away, a large leaf the size of 3 plates will want to get pulled out from between, and the flora above shifts sending the incumbents of the sandwich to scramble for safety. Something like a tectonic plate movement-earthquake-sort of thing. On my end, I can’t let the stuff loose and in a moment of reining in the chaos will try to rearrange the thing.

Just when I get it to resembling a sandwich again, I find that another bite makes the soggy stuff to start levitating towards the opposite end. You get the pictiure. The mouth on the southern end, the contents shifting and spilling out through the northern end. Almost like it wants to get away from being eaten. You see, when one is holding a largish object, gravitation exerts its influence as always, and the thing slopes downwards (around 12 degree incline is usual)

So, I rearrange the elements again and try a third time holding it at a perfect 180 degree angle, only to have the thing leaking on the sides and messing my arms.

The next item on my list is the height. I shall talk in term of units because I haven’t yet reached the stage of measuring the thickness of bread. Let us assume we are making a sandwich – the bread on either side is 2 units each, making a height of 4 units. Then the stuffing adds another 8 units, making it a grand 12 units high.

Sometimes, I feel like a crocodile. I open my mouth so wide, I can feel the bones make a cracking noise. I then have to adjust the cheek bones, give them a loving pat, assure them that what I am putting them through is actually good for them in the long run and start afresh with renewed vigour and fraying enthusiasm.

By this time, I don’t care about graceful eating anymore – in fact most times, I care neither about grace nor eating! I just let nature take its course. I pull and let the contents shift freely. I allow the sprouts to mingle and socialize with the tomato, while the pickles boss the mushrooms around as they spill onto the plate below. I eat whatever cares to remain within the sandwich – this is called wolfing down the sandwich. This activity is followed by cleaning up the spilled adventures with a spoon!

I feel full, and tell myself to go for soup the next time around.

How to eat a sandwich?

When is the last time you ate a sandwich or a burrito or a wrap gracefully? By sandwich, I don’t mean the bread/butter variety, but the variety where the first layer contains sprouts, followed by a layer of large leaves and twigs, and then a tree of something. A thin layer of cheese and the forest again on the other side! I am not one to comment on the taste, since I seem to reach out to this variety quite readily. But I do want to write about is the eating.


One bite into the infernal thing sends the taste buds reeling, and then when I pull away, a large leaf the size of 3 plates will want to get pulled out from between, and the flora above shifts sending the incumbents of the sandwich to scramble for safety. Something like a tectonic plate movement-earthquake-sort of thing. On my end, I can’t let the stuff loose and in a moment of reining in the chaos will try to rearrange the thing.

Just when I get it to resembling a sandwich again, I find that another bite makes the soggy stuff to start levitating towards the opposite end. You get the pictiure. The mouth on the southern end, the contents shifting and spilling out through the northern end. Almost like it wants to get away from being eaten. You see, when one is holding a largish object, gravitation exerts its influence as always, and the thing slopes downwards (around 12 degree incline is usual)

So, I rearrange the elements again and try a third time holding it at a perfect 180 degree angle, only to have the thing leaking on the sides and messing my arms.

The next item on my list is the height. I shall talk in term of units because I haven’t yet reached the stage of measuring the thickness of bread. Let us assume we are making a sandwich – the bread on either side is 2 units each, making a height of 4 units. Then the stuffing adds another 8 units, making it a grand 12 units high.

Sometimes, I feel like a crocodile. I open my mouth so wide, I can feel the bones make a cracking noise. I then have to adjust the cheek bones, give them a loving pat, assure them that what I am putting them through is actually good for them in the long run and start afresh with renewed vigour and fraying enthusiasm.

By this time, I don’t care about graceful eating anymore – in fact most times, I care neither about grace nor eating! I just let nature take its course. I pull and let the contents shift freely. I allow the sprouts to mingle and socialize with the tomato, while the pickles boss the mushrooms around as they spill onto the plate below. I eat whatever cares to remain within the sandwich – this is called wolfing down the sandwich. This activity is followed by cleaning up the spilled adventures with a spoon!

I feel full, and tell myself to go for soup the next time around.

Boutique? Really?

English continues to amaze and astonish me. I received this communication earlier today from a staffing firm.

At — Solutions, we specialize in staffing a wide variety of technical positions on a Contract, Contract-To-Hire and Direct Hire basis. As a boutique staffing firm, we are well suited to meet the unique needs of our clients.

Boutique staffing firm? Maybe my conditioned response to ‘Boutiques’ associates it with products – such as clothes, jewellery and the like. I have to hand it to the bloke writing out these notices. I can’t imagine him having the most enviable career coming up with lines intended to dazzle the reader! What in essence he must do is use big words in the sad hope that in this economy people would take notice.

Maybe he has attended the school of thought that tells him using exquisite words for body-shopping is cool. To me it sounds strange and a bit sad.