Saturday, March 31, 2007

2 much 24

so i was in borders on thursday and whilst glancing around the new paperbacks table i saw a book with keifer on the cover. "the first jack bauer novel" is boasted. wow, i marveled, when did jack bauer have time to write a book?

yeah. i know. it just took me a few seconds...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

thai me up

i love thai food. there i said it. i love it. red curry. peanuts. noodles. it really doesn't get much better for me. so last week i took it upon myself to bite the bullet and buy all those specialty items i need to cook thai at home. lemongrass, curry paste, fish sauce, etc. it was worth every penny. if i had known thai food was so easy to make, i would have been making it for years....

if you need an easy weekday recipe - let me know, and i will send you the deepafied version of thai curry.

here is the chicken i made on friday. the other pics of are abbey's centerpieces (they lasted a week!) i was just playing around with the macro function on my camera after dinner.

on a more shallow note - saw the new james bond movie on friday. oh my god. move over hugh, daniel craig is all kinds of hot as bond. if you have any affinity for blue eyes at all, i highly reccomend this movie. highly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

haute couture

last week's new yorker was all about fashion; from the upscale second hand store owners who rubs elbows with movie stars to a piece on karl largerfield and his clan at chanel. anytime i read one of these pieces i always wish myself into greener pastures. i want to be that fashion forward person who sets the trends and consuls the hollywood and new york elite on which purses are worth it and which are over rated or even just the person who writes about them. i know i do not have (a) the sense (b) the personality or (c) the body to be or do any of those things.

but i still want to.

the idea of spending several thousand on a dress or necklace or purse is something i know i couldn't do, even if i did have the money. but i can't help but wonder what it would be like to be able to idle the sunny days away shopping and traveling. getting up whenever i want and having no real responisbilities. obtaining the body for those clothes with my personal trainer and private chef. no more working all day and trudging the gym and then carrying heavy bags of sneakers and clothes and boots home on the bus. no more eating the same crockpot of lentil soup everyday for lunch. no more daydreaming about working for "a good cause" full time.

it easy to want these things, and even easier to forget that i can afford clothes, even if they are "only" from the gap. I get to eat lunch everyday and then work it off at the gym across the street from my downtown office with my personal trainer once a week. i can afford to give $25 to the greenpeace guy who i passed twice on my way to starbucks for my afternoon coffee.

not sure what the point of the post is. i suppose i want to live the "good life". my life is not very glamourous and sometimes i wish it were. but if that is what i worry about, then i really shouldn't be worrying at all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

mazel tov!

abbey got married this weekend! everyone was thrilled for the couple, since their happiness was so obvious, while at the same time still adjusting to the sudden engagement and wedding. both families were handling it well and the support was evident in all the speeches and dancing and tears of joy. as a child of an arranged marriage with two good friends who are having arranged weddings this summer, i have faith in the system. if last sunday was indicative of thier lives together, it will be smooth sailing.

enjoy the pics! (for the whole set, check out the flickr link)

Friday, March 16, 2007

oh yes

so a while back i made some pastry dough for the chicken pot pies and had much left over. so instead of baking apples for dessert, i started making little tarts after dinner - just rolling out the dough and dressing some apples and then baking it. almost same amount of work but a nice change up from the baked apples.

here is what josh threw together last night - my little pastry chef in the making:)


so as i said earlier, i wanted to eat lighter and make more asian dishes. and i did. and it was good.
here is the menu from last week:

shrimp with noodles. this was so long ago that i can't really remember what else... chilies, bok choy, mushrooms, etc. an easy repeat recipe.

this was more of a noodle soup. i used udon noodes and it was quite hearty. the chilis were a little too much in this one though... the broth really intensifies the flavor.

shredded chicken and bean thread noddles. i liked the dish (good combo of mint and basil) but josh wasn't a fan of the noodles. maybe next time, same ingredients but egg noodles instead?

i think this one was my favorite from that week. honey glazed salmon on a bed of noodles and veggies. i have to give josh all the credit for this one, though. it was simple enough to make and yet nice enough for company. i need to keep this recipe in mind.

i just like the way the light played off the wine in the glass and onto my fingers in this pic. and no need to comment on my freakishly long thumbs - i love them.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

daddy's girl

i went out to dinner and then to see a preview of "The Namesake" on tuesday with my dad.

my dad is the VP if IAGB (Indian Assoc. of Greater Boston) and has been pretty involved for the last 5 or 6 years. he has numerous contacts and a lot of people just recognize him (when he had the accident before the wedding, the person who called the ambulance was walking his dog and recognized him in the car). So new Mira Nair movie means lots of Indians in the audience; some people he knew as friends and some he just recognized.

he immediately turned on, yelling names and making jokes and directing people to empty seats. he made sure everyone he knew knew he was there and that he knew they were there. my social butterfly of a father.

while i was watching him i realized i am exactly the same. it started in high school and culminated during senior year of college. i had to be on the inside list, i had to be part of the planning committee, i had to make sure i said hello to everyone i knew in the campus center, in the library, at the party, so they knew i was there and that i knew they were there and that i was acknowledged. only until after the whole mess and depression of senior year and the happiness in nyc with people who actually liked me did i start to let that go.

don't get me wrong, i still need that validation, i still love to host, and i still need to know that people like me. but i have also started letting it go when they don't.

it was odd seeing your own flaws in your parents. really put things in perspective.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

easy come

thursday night, everyone took off work early to see the house. josh's mom and her bf drove and hour and my dad came over from chestnut hill and we all piled into some cars and drove over and were there promptly at 5:30. and we waited. and waited and waited. and called and called and called. and no one came. finally, we went home and found out that there was a misunderstanding and wires were crossed and it sucked. i felt bad esp for josh's parental units, since they had to drive so far and kevin took time off from work. we were all upset bc everyone's time had been wasted.

so josh's mom harnessed her middle school sped teaching powers and gave the real estate agent a piece of her mind and told her that in order to restore the trust she eroded she can pay for the inspection. so she did. i love josh's mom and hope to god i am never on the receiving end of that tone. it is scary.

so i get a call from the real estate agent all "don't feel like you cant trust me" and "i am here for you" etc. fine. things are a little on edge; josh's mom and I are doing this good cop/bad cop routine with the agent and it is working well. so far, ok.

so saturday morning we all pile into cars (again) and take a longer look at the place. the parents like it and state many obvious facts - it is a lot of house, busier street than we have now, do we really need that much space, stairs hard to climb with a baby seat (there was a lot of baby planning that weekend - not by us!). but overall, things look good. we are still liking it and both of us are looking forward to the inspection.

inspection day on sunday. the guy is great so so thorough and nice. he really goes over everything with a fine toothed comb and writes a comprehensive report. fantastic. so then we all go back and discuss some more. this needs to be fixed, that needs to be taken into account, etc. fine.

now we had been asking for the utility bills for the last week. even though they are not required to hand them over, we wanted to see them to get an idea of whether we can afford the maintain the place. we get the runaround from the seller's agent and finally monday i call the companies and get the averages, highs and lows for electric and gas. they are on the high side but doable. she had three kids and four tvs and has to heat and cool two floors (we would only be sleeping on one) and although we took all that into account, we didn't count on it going that much lower. but what we really wanted was a month by month. they told us we could have it tuesday. ok fine. we knew we had to make the decision soon but wanted to see those before we did.

then on monday our agent informs me that we have to decide if we want to back out by the 13th. i am shocked. so we have one day to get the list of things we want fixed from the inspection, haggle back and forth about what has to be done, AND somehow get estimates on what each of those things would cost so that if the seller doesn’t want to do it, she will take that off the price of the house. both of us are floored and unhappy: we were rushed into the offer process (granted, we let ourselves be rushed bc we loved the place so much). we were ill informed on HOW to place the offers and negotiate things (she knew we were first time buyers and i told her we would need tons of hand holding, we got none of that), after the inspection, she didn't tell us that we only had until tuesday to back out (if she had, we would have send the list on sunday and had more back and forth time) and assumes that we know what we know all the future steps and what needs to be done. we don't. it is obvious. really obvious. she doesn't like dealing with our parents' questions and doesn't seem to be on our side at all. josh said it well last night - we are not only working against the seller, we seem to be working against our own agent. we both don't feel like she is in our court and that is making us uneasy.

if we go ahead with this, in the next four days, i have to hire a lawyer and write a $10,000 check. and then a week after that, i need to write another $40,000. if we felt more secure with this agent, i would be ok with that. but we don't. none of our concerns are being addressed and none of our questions are being answered. this is a daunting process and our only ally doesn't seem to have our best interests in mind.

even though we sent the list and got a slight extension on the deadline for negotiations, we are going to pass on the house. we love the place and are both disappointed, but there will be other houses. like josh said last night, it is better to regret not buying it than it is to regret buying it. i couldn’t agree with him more.

here are some deepa analogies i came up with this morning:

it's like going to the mall with $300 and seeing the perfect dress of $275. now the dress is perfect and you can afford it, but now you only have $25 left for the whole day. I think we decided that the dress is nice, and fits perfectly, but maybe we can find another dress for a little less and then i can buy shoes to match.

i have been shoe shopping for a while now and have only seen shoes that i kind of like that are in my price range but not love. i wouldn't want to use any of the ones i see as an everyday shoe; some of them go with some of my outfits and some go with others, but none of them are perfect. then i see it, the shoe that fits so well. and it goes with everything and i love it and can see myself wearing it for years and years. it was $700 but now is marked down to $400! the value is there and i probably won't find such a great pair for any less, but do i really need to spend $400 on shoes? probably not.

these thoughts compounded with the low trust and comfort levels with the agent convinced us that this is not right for us. there will be other houses - you never know, i might find those $700 shoes marked down to $200 in my size. i might just have to take the time to sift through the bins...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

fairy tale

once upon a time there were four couples who lived in queens. they all had kids within two years of each other, and then four years later all had kids again. the kids grew up together while their parents toiled away in the wonderful field of pharmacology. then one day one of the couples moved to boston. the rest moved to posh houses on long island. everyone was very happy and many trips were taken on the LIE. long weekends and alternating houses. slumber parties and ski trips. weekends on the cape and meeting up in NYC.

over time, the older kids went to school and moved away. one became a doctor, another worked in business, another in publishing and the youngest followed her father to the pharmacy. they stayed in touch and fell back into their childhood ways. card games, touch football, club hopping, teasing their younger siblings.

the editor got married last year and all the mothers wished the same for their kids. and then it all came true. two weeks ago, the doctor got engaged. then last week, the businessman. we all teased the pharmacist, saying she will be next, that it is only a matter of time. it was actually only a matter of days. this summer, three of my close childhood friends are getting married. when pooja emailed me about her engagement, i laughed out loud.

this summer is going to be fantastic. all we need is a soundtrack and we have the makings of a bollywood film! love marriages, arranged marriages! childhood friends reunited! engagement parties! saris! i cannot wait.

eight weddings!


so i think the excitement of this new place has led me to get ahead of myself - lots of carts before horses (although, i always thought that the cart before the house is the best way to do things while going down a very steep hill; since then the horse's back legs are not being bumped by the cart - but i digress).

from talking to B last night, i found that i may have led people to believe that we have aready signed the deed and are moving in at the end of the month. although it feels like we have a new place, that is far from the truth. they just accepted the offer. we will have to do the inspection and look closely at all the bills on that house for the past year. if for whatever reason the house doesn't pass, or there is something major that needs to be updated that we do not want to tackle, then we will walk away. similarly, if the heating or electric for this place is through the roof and we don't think it is reasonable, then we will walk away. i am still very excitied and am eager to move on, but am keeping the fact that this may not be the place for is in the back of my mind.

one step at a time.

AFTER we look at the inspection results and the monthly costs to have heat and hot showers, THEN we need to do a sit down of the pros and cons. it will be Chng vs. Dnkr - if we can do it and we are ready, let's do it! vs. just because we can doesn't mean we should.

i am sure some of you will be getting phone calls in the upcoming weeks:) send any house buying success and horror stories my way!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

washer and dryer included

they accepted the offer! and they threw in the washer and dryer! yay! we are seeing it tomorrow again and then having it inspected on saturday morning.

wow. we are about to own a home. this is nuts.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

housing update

so we made the offer last night and while i though this would take a few days, we had a counter offer from them, a counter offer from us and a counter offer from them by 8pm. josh was flipping out on the outside, i was flipping out on the inside so we pulled on the reigns a little slept on it. this morning i got actual numbers from the mortgage people, and although our savings fund will be wee, it is still doable. after utilities we still have about 20% of our salary for playing and saving. not a lot, but not nothing either.

josh is still pretty nervous; it is a big step. for some reason, i am seeing this as just another page we have to turn. we are in a place to own a house and we found a great place we love. besides being VERY much in debt, i cannot see the downside.

josh will think about buying a game system for a week before he actually spends the money. this is a huge step for him. if he is not ready, then we are not ready. but then again, i think of my parents. my dad wasn't keen on the new place in boston and my mom REALLY wanted it. so she prodded him along and now he loves it. i think josh is ready, he just hasn't internalized it yet. will keep you all posted.

Monday, March 05, 2007


so we are all preapproved and i am meeting the broker with a thousand dollar check to put an offer on the place we saw yesterday... this is happening way fast... oh my god.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


so we saw a house today we LOVED. it is huge, recently redone, lots of sunlight, finished attic (which is the master suite) and we love it. but it is $$$. which means i will have to be a foodie on haitus - less dinners out, less ABP for lunch, no highlights and fancy haircuts, just basic cutting back. even if we don't get this house, mortgage payments in the near future means less money requiring activities and more lunches made at home. ah well... reality is setting in. but we still love it. i am on that "i want this house" high. we will see what the mortgage lady says tomorrow and go from there.

have been doing much cooking recently. made ravioli and gnocchi over the long weekend for tufts people and then some dishes here and there. some pot pie for the girls (not pictured) in which i was very disappointed; didn't come out nearly as well as last time. made some baked carbornara, which was too heavy for me. the only ingredients were cream, milk, cheese, pasta and bacon. we tossed half of it because it was making my stomach angry.

the TASA show friday was fantastic! it flew by, the skits were hilarious and of house, divya was wonderful as a dancer and a comedian. students in the performer section and recent grads in the audience kept yelling out their years (OOO-six! OOO-eight!). so in between acts, everyone else joined in. i yelled out OOO-three! and heard some classmates echo my shouts. everyone laughed at a "NINEty-NINE!" and my mom even yelled out "SEVEN-ty EIGHT!). it was funny. i forgot my camera, so no pics of the dancing and my sister hamming it up on stage; hopefully she can send me some her friends took.

hmm.. what else? not much. i am trying a bunch of asian recipes this week. they seem really light and i think that is what josh and i need right now. will update you all on how those come out.

here is a close up of some ravioli and tortellini. the latter was incredibly time consuming to make and i needed thinner dough to make it work. maybe for the next girly pasta night when we have more hands to fold.

more pasta shots. as you can see, my "half moons" need work.

the complete line up. you can see the gnocchi in the background. for more pics, check out my flickr account.

made a great pizza last week. in the past, i have made these pizzas and then josh would pour hot sauce and salt all over my creations and i would get upset. so this time we topped our own. i am not saying it was a competition, but if it was, i would have won. too much hot sauce makes for a wet pizza... i am just saying:)

here is the heart attach in a bowl. def not a repeat recipe, much too rich.

Friday, March 02, 2007


so i know it has been a while, but camera this and time that and i havent posted. here is what i WILL post later - like tomorrow.

we have started the great house hunt of 2007! we looked around a little last weekend and will do more this weekend. umm.. boston is expensive.

much cooking! pizza and pics to follow.

tonight is the last TASA show i will probably go to. sad, but then not so much. my sister is in the skits this year - i hope they are funny. please, let them be funny....

the weather is sucky and people are still putting their wet umbrellas on bus and subway seats. seriously people.