Thanksgiving Travails

I think I need more time to sit down and gather my thoughts about the stuff I realize I want to write about. Random thoughts shoot through my head at the oddest times and before I know it, I'm off on a tangent, thinking about why manhole covers dont matter shit in job interviews and that no matter what they say, women can never be understood. But I digress. I kinda like how Aadisht sends out emails talking about random episodes in his life when you least expect them, and then even more obscure people respond to the entire mailing list with words like hornswaggle and detritus. Seriously, who uses these?

(A word about Aadisht for those who dont know what I'm talking about. The apparently randomly timed email sent out is called the W-Files, a tradition a chosen few have been brutally subjected to ever since he got himself an internet connection in a cyber cafe near his university dorm. They talk about the more interesting happenings in his life, and more often than not border on the insane i-have-5-minutes-to-kill-humor.)

Anyway, this rant is going to be about relationships. And that, in light of some interesting stuff that happened recently. I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, and one morning when trying to decide what to do for Thanksgiving weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to recieve a voicemail from a friend inviting me to a weekend of fun and adventure in Monterey, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. *Outdoorsy* fun and adventure. Kayaking, hiking and watching whales frolicking about sounds like a good idea, and I readily accepted. Of course, the other options I had were getting drunk at Vegas - a very un-thanksgivingy activity, or plan a quiet weekend at home buying furniture for my room. (As an aside, t-giving weekend has the BEST deals at practically every store in the US, and you can get some spectacularly priced gizmos and furniture if you look well)

Great, so the trip got off to a shakey start at best because of some transport and coordination issues before setting off - but we managed well. With the beautiful scenery around you can drive along with in California setting the backdrop, the next 2 hours to our destination were spent over some great conversation. But here's where I started getting a very funny feeling. You know the sort? A tingly, fuzzy feeling at the back of your neck which, if this were a cartoon, would also have alarm bells ringing faintly in the background. I don't really know why.

Hmm? This was beginning to look very uncomfortably like an orchestrated setup. With this other chick who was travelling with us. No, I'm not sure it was, and maybe I'm being paranoid. But anyway. I will admit however, that the person in question is undeniably hot. And lethally witty - to the extent that we never did agree on a single issue (except for food, alcohol and politics - WTF ?) throughout the trip. We were too busy trading (friendly) insults, wisecracks and sarcastic comments about the other. So after a long span of 6 months, I meet a woman who I can actually converse with without feeling that I'm doing all the heavy lifting in the conversation balance. Sweet. So what have I to complain about?

But I'm not finished yet. After we got there, all of us but her ended up at dinner at a brilliant persian place called, oddly enough, 'The Persian Grill'. She had work to do - its not like we're mean. As the conversation flew along, the question surprisingly came to people guessing the other's birth orders and ages. Uh oh. Age did you say? Indeedy. Well, people started sounding off, right? Clockwise across the table now. 32. ouch. 34. hmm. 28. 29. and erm. uh. er. do you really want me to .. 23. Shocked looks around the table. Which sort of boosted my ego. I mean, I know my semi-rugged good looks match my ok-so-i-dont-have-6-packs-but-im-not-flabby physique. But apparently, I get mistaken for someone who is TWENTY NINE OR THIRTY. WTF? (I find that surprising because not 15 days ago a high schooler approaches and asks me if I was still in HIGH school, or did I graduate in the last couple of years. Seriously) Needless to say, this woman I could have a conversation with like there was no tomorrow (or rather, arguments and rather witty wisecrack trades) was about 7 years older. SEVEN YEARS. Does that mean I need to be with people who're eons older than me? or is it that I havent met any women who I could confidently state I'm interested in AND who are below the age of 25? AND who don't act like typical bimbos? Does looking more mature than you actually are act against you?

(Pfft. The trip turned out to be fabulous. We kayaked for hours through creeks and the pacific (mostly inland), we dined at some great seafood places, and then watched sea lions, otters, seals and humpback whales out in the pacific. Not to mention staying at a Very cosy hostel for a pittance. The only catch - the showers were limited to 2 3.5 minute bursts per day. Unless you played poker and won more shower tokens from the others, that is ;) We cooked gourmet pancake breakfasts, and visited Carmel, some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Not a bad way to spend thanksgiving at all!)

Rishing from the ashesh...

.. like a phoenix in a drunken stupor bumbling its way through the fiery portals of procrastination. Well, here's a rant which I wrote for 'A Professional Whiner'.

California. The home of high tech and more importantly, sandy beaches, beautiful women and more culture anywhere west of New England. Right. This rant however, is about life in silicon valley. or the lack thereof. What! you say? No life in silicon VALLEY? you're kidding right?

Unfortunately, I'm not. Consider. As close as it is to San Francisco with its brilliant night life and cultural offerings, the valley is pretty much dead any time after 10pm on a weekday (and some weekends). I don't know what it is - a combination of the lifestyles of the people who work here, implicit laws on alcohol or plain disinterest? Most people who work here are single minded in their outlook towards life - "I have a job, a car or two and a house, coupled with a couple of kids and a wife" - yayy! end of ambition. [This is with reference to most of the Indians incidentally. NOT that I'm trying to be anti-Indian. It just is.]

Innovation seems to be an unheard of quantity too. A typical person would do anything assigned to him/her - but JUST that, and then go home to watch reruns of hindi shows on Zee TV or lip sync to Sholay. Duuh. How retarded do you have to be to NOT go enjoy a concert, a play, or something equally invigiorating? And why does EVERYONE eat at the same restaurants, shop at the same grocery stores and drive green honda civics EVEN when you can afford better?

A simple conversation with a random sampling leads me to grouse about how they know shit about anything other than bollywood movies/songs and possibly the domain of their work - and a large number, not even that. Mozart who? Emile Zola - eeh, never heard of him. Opera? Nix. Politics - except for Laloo's latest antics, nix. Even things Indian - Chanakya? Surely you mean the cinema in Delhi. Tharoor? Erm, I've heard the name.. Yes, yes, you get the picture. Great.

Speaking of pregnant women. WTF is it with the valley and them? I can't drive around without seeing atleast a couple of pregnant women walking on the sidewalks with what I can only assume are their parents. I mean, if all these people do is procreate, and they're freaking educated - I'm hardly surprised at the population boom back in India.

Wow. When I start ranting, I really do get sucked into it..