How to bake an accidental brownie

Ingredients required:
1. All the ingredients needed to bake a chocolate cake
2. Oil​ or butter
3. A squirrel, preferably one that is alive

Method:
1. Plan to bake a cake. Mix and whisk all the ingredients except the oil or butter.
2. Just before you preheat the oven, make sure a squirrel enters the kitchen
3. Panic and run out of the kitchen. Hide in the safety of your bedroom till the squirrel goes away, or find a brave soul to shoo it away. This usually takes about 2 hours, especially if the squirrel is as scared as you are.
4. Preheat the oven once your kitchen is safe to enter. Start to bake the cake at 180 degrees for 40 minutes. Forget to add oil.
5. 20 mins later, the cake will start to rise. Pull the cake out, squash it up and add oil.
6. Bake for 20 mins at 180 and another 10 mins at 150. Say a prayer.
7. Once the timer goes off, let it cool.
8. Voila! You have the best tasting brownies – crunchy outside n gooey inside, and a squirrel that has hopefully made its way home!

And an opportunity to share a ‘baking bad’ joke on facebook :p

Why being married is so annoying

Women in India get to hear a lot of crap every now and then. Married Indian women, are almost always made to listen to senseless crap that they are expected to comprehend AND agree with.  Comments ranging from why you looks a certain way, talk a certain way, dress (or not dress) a certain way, walk a certain way, fart a certain way – the scrutiny never ends! And considering I was super-paranoid of the idea of getting hitched, there are days the shitload of this senseless crap is enough to drive me clinically insane.

One of the most the ridiculous conversations I have had as married woman went something like this. I choose to keep this blogpost light-hearted so I shall stick to the ridiculous aspects of the senseless crap more than the serious ones.

Random Person (much younger than me) I met for the first time: “You don’t look married.”
Me: “Really? So what do married people ‘look’ like?”
RP: “You know, they look more responsible.”
Me: “You have just met me and you’re suggesting I’m irresponsible?”
RP: “No No, I am sure you are responsible work-wise, but I meant looking responsible family-wise.”

And to make matters worse, as if being married did not invite silly statements like the one above, there is this GINORMOUS expectation of producing babies – sometimes as soon a month of married life is up. No really, ma kasam, I am serious!

Here is a list of statements that have got me an “Are you in the family way?” reaction. Do you have anything to add to this list? Or am I the only unfortunate soul who gets such reactions?

  1. I’m nauseous (it could be bad food or bad ventilation…but noo)
  2. I’m really hungry (because I’m really hungry and nothing else!)
  3. I feel like eating a raw mango (because it’s yummy..duh!)
  4. I feel like eating a chocolate chip cookie (raw mango I get..what is the connection with cookies?!?!)
  5. I was unwell and took a few days off (swine flu, typhoid, malaria….but nooo)
  6. My back hurts (long hours on the comp…but nooo)
  7. My feet hurt (well they generally do)
  8. I have news to share (and no it is not “good news” :P)

And if a married woman throws up, even if she clearly states she is suffering from a gastric infection, there will still be someone who will ask her, “Are you in the family way?” :P

YAAAAAAAAARGH! Kill me someone! Here I thought the person I was married to would drive me insane – who knew it would be everyone else instead?!?!

Life’s Hidden Disclaimers

I had once mentioned in an earlier blogpost that I find corporate policy documents quite entertaining . I suppose I should have  listened to my mother and pursued a career in law, as something about legal jargon and the law, in general, fascinates me.

I see legal lexicon as an interesting offshoot of language. I wonder why English language courses do not have a module on just this. Not only are policies and disclaimers interesting to read, they can be very empowering and they really help to draw the line between what is allowed and what is not, what is right and what is wrong. There is no such thing as a grey area. Only if the law or disclaimer is fairly new and does not have at least 5 appendages to it, it may have grey areas. (A classic example being a law which gives a live-in couples in India the same rights as a married couple, but does not state HOW they can establish themselves as a live-in couple in court.)

I hate the colour grey because within grey there are different shades. Black or white only has one shade – and nothing can be clearer than that. I find most people are uncomfortable with such stark truths or rules. People like me are either considered too clinical or too “split-personalityish” to not appreciate the different shades of grey. I do not like shades of grey, but that does not mean I make fun of people who do.

According to me, life is full of hidden disclaimers. Society and its norms are probably what make up for all the disclaimers. They may include things like:

  1. The legitimacy of a child is important to grant him rights to respect from his peers. It also enables the child to have access to inheritance. Medical and educational provisions can be arranged for easily if legitimacy is established.
  2. Legitimacy is possible through the legal and socially sanctioned norm known as marriage.
  3. Marriage insists that you be with one partner for the rest of your life. This, in effect, includes putting up with farts and burps and watching thick manes turn to receding hairlines and see fab abs turn into paunches.
  4. Women on the whole will typically be portrayed as giggly and feminine, while men will typically be portrayed as macho and stern. This might also explain why the law typically does not acknowledge alternate sexualities or behaviour as “normal” or “permissible”. This however, is being reviewed by many legal systems the world over.
  5. You are allowed to have subjective opinions that may not represent the opinions of the nation; however, remarks, comments or jokes that tend to denigrate people on the basis of religion, caste, gender, culture, sexuality, race or nationality will be dealt with severely. The definition of ‘denigrate’ will be decided based on the current socio-political mood swing of the nation or world. For example, any anti-national statement made during war might be deemed as denigatory and might result in death of the individual who made the statement.
  6. Man is a social animal and tends to co-exist peacefully in any society. This includes “rebels” who claim to hate society but fail to realize they are a part of it anyway. Life is easier, be it in the form of the availability of basic sanitation, medial provisions or security when you live as a society.
  7. While most people do not follow set rules for basic sanitation (some people segregate paper and plastic, some others dump garbage from their windows) or medicine (some people visit the doctor for a headache, some others wait till they are rushed to the emergency ward) – things like marriage and education have set rules and timelines that all are expected to follow. Failure to follow these timelines may result in the formation of socially unacceptable persons such as an uneducated youth with poor career prospects, or lonely individuals who breed negativity or find wrong channels to deal with sexual repression. Such persons are likely to be a nuisance rather than a benefit to the society and/or nation.
  8. There are very few legal provisions for those who do not wish to abide by the norms stated above. It would either mean living in isolation, which can be difficult, or compromising.

Would you like to add any to this list?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times

 

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 92 posts. There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb.

The busiest day of the year was February 17th with 33 views. The most popular post that day was Winds of change.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were totaltrauma.blogspot.com, frissko.blogspot.com, facebook.com, docgrumbles.wordpress.com, and auntyhelpfuldictator.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for total trauma, bulky endometrium, trauma queen, totaltrauma, and big fat trauma queen.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Winds of change February 2006
9 comments

2

The 2009 dictionary of phrase and fable. December 2009
9 comments

3

Screw your work! July 2010
9 comments

4

About October 2009

5

Showing off October 2009

Screw your work!

Once again Sou, thanks for inspiring me to tweak yet another song’s lyrics….

To be sung to the tune of MJ’s ‘Heal the World’

There’s a place in your heart
And I know it isn’t love
And this place could be brighter for tomorrow.
If you give up and sigh
You will always want to cry
In this place you’ll feel there’s only hurt and sorrow.
There are ways to get out
If you care for healthy living
Make a little space, make a better place.

Chorus:
Screw you work
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the workaholic race
There are people dying
Who slog too much for a living
Make a better place for you and for me.

If you want to know why
Nasty bosses never die
They are harsh
and never give you a good rating.
Break your back, you will see
There’s a bliss you cannot feel
Fear or dread
We start existing and stop living
Then it feels that always
The workload just keeps growing
Makes you pull hair, Makes you run away

Chorus:
Screw you work
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire slogger race
There are grey cells dying
In that brain you tax for a living
Make a better place for you and for me.

Bridge:
And the dreams you once had time for will show a joyful face
And the world you once believed in will shine again in grace
The salary hike aint much
The more you slog the more you’re crushed
It’s plain to see, mediocrity
Is the way to go!

Chorus:
Screw you work
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the workaholic race
There are people dying
Who slog too much for a living
Make a better place for you and for me.

Refrain (2x)

You and for me / Screw your work, don’t give in
You and for me / Have a dream, start living
You and for me / Screw your work, don’t give in
You and for me / Have a dream, start living
You and for me / Screw your work, don’t give in
You and for me / Have a dream, start living
You and for me / Screw your work, don’t give in
You and for me / Have a dream, start living

O Sigh-atic! O sciatica!

O SCIATIC! O sciatica!
Why do you traumatise me thus?
O why do you sting me for every now and then?
Why must you continue? O why do you not cease?
Is it because, if you keep continuing this way, you would soon certainly slip disc me?

(with apologies to Walt Whitman for spoofing his poem)

People, like, make one faith their best friend

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