Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Did You Know

Did you know that Kung Fu moves were based on the Praying Mantis’ fighting moves? That Lions will kill the cubs of a pride once they’ve taken over the pride because the Lionesses won’t be ready to mate if they have young cubs. That left alone without human contact dogs will revert into pack form.

That I’m suddenly more obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy then I was last season. I watched most of the second season but never saw the first season, which I watched in its entirety this weekend. I’ve put the episodes of Season 2 that I missed on my net flick list and my TIVO is holding episode 1 of season 3. I can’t wait to get home on Friday, have some take out Ethiopian and watch it. I’m so obsessed and anxious for more that I’m watching clips from season 2 on youtube. Isn’t that website great, just nifty.

That my taste buds have changed since I was a kid. I know most adults go through this, but I’m finally analyzing how different my taste buds are now. For example, today I shared a mixed salad plate with a colleague and ate raw cabbage. When I was a kid I never went anywhere near cabbage, cooked or raw. Now I’m even using it in meals I make at home. Spinach is another vegetable I never ate as a child. Now, I absolutely love, love spinach; sautéed with garlic and I’m in heaven. I didn’t start eating spinach until about 10 years ago. My mom never forced me to eat something I didn’t like so I’m gradually re discovering foods that I didn’t like as a child and this re discovery period called adulthood is excellent. I still hate carrots though. I wish I didn’t, because everyone says they’re a great snack but I can’t knowingly eat something that tastes like poison to me.

That I’ve always wanted to hug a monkey, well a Chimp to be precise. I watch all these animal planet shows where the zookeepers are hugging and playing with Chimps and I want too also. I don’t know why but I’ve always been fascinated with hugging cuddly looking animals. This is me after elbowing little kids out of the way at the San Diego Petting Zoo.

I guess I just need to make sure I don’t drink 4 beers before doing so like this dude.

That I’m only human and can be critical, selfish, the best friend you can have, easily annoyed and equally laidback.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Needs a Good Home

This is Mimi and she’s a three year old pure breed Rottie who needs a good home.

Her owner adopted her from the shelter a few years ago but now realizes that she cannot financially support the two dogs and numerous other pets she has. I’ve never met Mimi but a good friend of mine has and would readily adopt her if she didn’t already have two dogs and live in a one bedroom apartment. I’m seriously thinking of adopting her but my two cats are already neglected and with my travel and work schedule I don’t think I could give Mimi the love and attention she deserved. She gets along well with other dogs and cats and would love to be adopted by someone who would spoil her. If you know of anyone who is looking to adopt a pet send me an email at thisismehonest at gmail dot com.

I’ve been working all weekend on the final report for this project and am slowly going crazy. Hopefully everyone will have their sections to me by tomorrow morning so I can review, edit, send it off to someone else for more edits and feedback and can deliver it to the client by Thursday afternoon. I’m catching a plane back home on Friday and there’s no way I’m postponing my return flight home.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How It All Started

Last week I took an Indian cooking class at a local culinary shop and had such a great time. I’ve wanted to take a cooking class there for such a long time and managed to find a spot at one of the Indian cooking sessions. I love Indian food and am excited to get started with some of the techniques I’ve learned and the huge cookbook I bought. When I get back home (yes I am on another trip) I’m heading to a local Indian grocery store to buy all the spices I need.

I remember when I was maybe 11 or 12 I went to my first Indian restaurant with my dad. When I was about 10 my dad and stepmother moved to N.C. and I would go and visit them during the summer. My dad would drive up to NYC hang out for a few days with friends and family and we’d drive down to NC together. As a child and even more so as an adult when there was a plan in motion I wanted it executed with little to no deviation. Unfortunately my dad is not one to follow a plan or a schedule. This has been the basis for many fights until I realized that I couldn’t drill in a sense of time or respect for other people’s time into a grown man and learned to play the game to my advantage. As usual we’d scheduled to leave early in the morning and I was anxious to leave to just get there. I would have thought my dad would be also since he had to drive for 9 hours straight, but my dad’s lack of timing meant that we were still doing “one last thing” around lunch time.

Once he ran his last errand I kept pushing to get on the road and thought a quick lunch at McDonalds was all we needed. My dad who would rather starve then eat McDonalds wasn’t having it and insisted we sit down for a proper lunch at an Indian Restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village. I sulked and swore under my breath and went along with him to the restaurant. It was my first Indian meal and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I remember eating succulent Tandorri Chicken, fluffy basmati rice and warm Nan and have been hooked ever since. I’m going to remind my dad of this story and next time he’s in D.C. “I’m making him full Punjabi dinner”(line from Bend it like Beckham).

Friday, September 15, 2006

Catching Up

I know I’ve neglected this blog and haven’t posted as often as I should. I do have a lot of topics flowing around in my head but as I think of them while I’m driving to and from work (I have plenty of time to think during my commute) I think out how I would write the post and promptly forget it the moment I’m in front of a computer.

London – Was fabulous by the way. The place is horribly expensive but wouldn’t be if the dollar/pound exchange rate was on equal footing. I know it hasn’t been in ages but 10 years ago when I went there for the first time it was a bit more reasonable 1.50 pound to the dollar instead of the 1.99999 to the dollar it currently is. Either way that place is just fabulous, and vibrant and full of life despite their typical gloomy weather. The question I should really ask myself about the weekend is: How many bottles of wine can two people drink in one weekend and I believe I lost count. What I love about Europe is that you can buy a good bottle of wine at a restaurant (despite the exchange rate) and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Either way make sure you drink every last drop because as my girl Jonelle said before we left a pub near her house: “I know when my next meal will be but you never know when you’ll get your next drink” or something like that. I’d just drank a ½ pint of Guinness and shared a bottle of wine with her so I think that’s what she said.

While Jonelle was running her errands on Friday I hung out at the London Zoo and walked around town. The weather was really lovely and I just wanted to take in the sights, sounds and smells of London. I stopped in for a Bacon Sandwich (I know not on the diet but when in London) with brown sauce. They are soooooo good it’s ridiculous. Not sure if it’s the cut of bacon they’re using or if it’s that brown sauce (not sure what’s in it, maybe crack) but it’s sooo damm good. Saturday we went down to Brighton so we could see the sea. I’ve never been outside of London so it was cool to see another town. The streets were so quaint and after hitting up this Soul Food Restaurant where the food was on point. We ended up walking up to the rock beach (no sand at this place) and lying down on the rocks and taking a nap. The itis was that bad that I ended up sleeping comfortably on some rocks!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
We went back to London that evening and went out with a friend of Jonelle’s and had a great time chillin’. On our way back to Jonelle’s we stopped by a bar in her neighborhood that plays hip hop and it always amazes me how hip hop has spread all over the world and not just the booty shaking stuff but some good stuff.

I left the next morning for D.C and am home until Tuesday when I get on yet another plane for what I am praying is my last work trip of 2006.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So I Voted

Today I voted in DC’s primary elections and am glad I got my vote on. I wont’ tell you who I voted for but I will say this. Whoever I voted for BETTER and I mean it, BETTER think about my interests. Getting rid of Ray Ray n ‘em from around my block, knocking down Hechinger mall and putting in a Whole Foods, Target, Pet smart, Barnes and Noble, and Ethiopian restaurant. That is not a lot to ask for and I believe this will bring money to the neighborhood and make it more vibrant. More retail (NO MORE ATHLETIC FOOT WEAR STORES) will also mean people like “moi” won’t continue spending our hard earned consumer cash in VA or MD.

I had an early morning conference call so I didn’t get to the polling site (a block from my house) until 9 and there weren’t any lines. There were however a gazillion supporters all wanting to give you a flyer with their preferred candidate’s position. I had to decline all of them; I read up on all the positions online and don’t need any additional paper at home. I’ve been home since Sunday night and haven’t even touched the months worth of mail I have sitting on my entryway table.

I think the voting process in DC needs a complete overhaul. There HAS got to be a better way. Wasn’t there a promise to revise the ballots and voting process after the 2000 election?

Step 1: Wait on line based on the first letter of your last name.
Step 2: Tell person with big binder your last name and wait 5 minutes as he tries to find “Honest’s Last name”.
Step 3: Refuse to let person butcher first name so after a while he gives up and says ok whatever sign here.
Step 4: Let him know my party affiliation and sign a separate card.
Step 5: Go to another line give person signed party affiliation card and voting preference (paper ballot or touch key).

Side Note: Have you seen those paper ballets? Way too confusing.

Step 6: Wait for the only touch key machine in the entire building! WTF?!!?
Step 7: Vote and collect my “I Voted” Sticker

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

All Things British

Last week I watched the entire first and second season of BBC’s The Office. You know the original the Office that was recently remade into an American sitcom. I haven’t watched the American version due to my numerous L&O and Food Network obsessions, there’s no time for new shows. Since I’ve been here without any L&O and Food Network, I’ve divided my TV viewing time between Animal Planet, BBC News and the Office Season 1 and 2 DVD’s I borrowed from a colleague here. I watched the first half of an episode and was pretty disgusted. Uhh I thought what a freaking ass the lead character was, I’d pretty much resigned myself to not watching it until the cable service in my apartment went out one night and I had nothing else to watch.

I’m so glad I was forced to go back and watch it because the show is hilarious. Sad, dumb even but hilarious! I’m now adding the additional seasons to my net flick list. Some British comedies leave me wondering WTF was so funny but the Office and Coupling are just extra hilarious in my opinion. Or maybe it’s because I’ve quickly grown to love all things British, except the pound/dollar exchange rate.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to London to spend a few days hanging out with my girl J and I can’t wait to get there. Despite being unprepared for the weather, (It was still in the 80/90’s in DC when I left and it’s been about 100 degrees in Yerevan) it’s going to be a blast!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Language of Love?

Friday night I spent a few hours hanging out at my favorite bar here and met the boyfriend of one of the old waitresses. I remember her from my last trip here in May because I spent a great deal of time hanging out at this bar. I also remember that she barely spoke any English. She knew enough to say hello and when she waited on my friend and I, she used that international “want a drink” hand signal and I have mastered the way to order my signature drink in the former Soviet Union: Vooodka (using the O instead of ah sound) and Tonik (using the O instead of ah sound) so ordering was pretty easy.

The waitress is bilingual, Armenian and Russian and her boyfriend is also bilingual, French and English. Head tilt: I know she speaks like 10 words of English and he speaks 5 words of Armenian. How do they communicate you ask? I have no idea. According to some Armenian friends they don’t need to, they speak the language of love. I’ve had a few days to think about this and it still boggles my mind. Some couples have communication issues when they both have the same mother tongue so I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone I can’t understand and who doesn’t understand me.

This reminded me of someone I used to work with. He was Mexican and his wife was Turkish but they both spoke English fluently. I often wondered what they spoke to each other during arguments. Although they were both also learning each other’s respective languages I wondered when it came time for arguments how they coped. I speak French pretty fluently but when I was a child I was even more fluent since I spent so much time with non English speaking family members. However, when I was a kid and my cousin and I argued which was often we would argue in French but I would get so frustrated that I would automatically revert to English when I wanted to make a point. So I always wonder when arguments get to a boiling point and each party is feeling frustrated do they revert back to their mother tongue.