Friday, November 23, 2007

Mladen & Jose's Housewarming Party

It was a surprisingly warm night, with the windows all open and the AC turned on. There was pretty red furniture, and candles and gorgeous lamps. And there was cheesecake, and chips with salmon and cheese and spinach dip. And Baileys and milk, and Coconut Rum, and Vodka and Orange juice.

There was talk about how chikoos and pears taste similar, and advisors, and Columbia, and Linux penguin earrings, and restaurants in Pittsburgh. There was salsa being taught, and dancing to "Hit me Baby one more time". And then there was more talk and laughter.

We didn't pin the tail on a real Croatian, and no one was evicted after all, but it was a superb night nevertheless. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

American Gangster

Good v/s evil, drug addiction, a black man learning from the Italian mafia, street fights, the importance of subtlety, and of covering your bases. That was American Gangster.

It was followed by a soup dinner at Rock Bottom Cafe. And a promise to myself to buy and wear warmer clothes. Brrrrr.

Light Up Night

Friday night was 'Light Up Night' - the night when all the Christmas lights are lit up in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Christmas tree is decorated, and Santa makes his FIRST appearance. Its like a 'mela' in downtown, street vendors selling green and blue light sabers, and street food like funnel cakes, and fried Oreo cookies and corn dog.

Families are all out on the streets, Macy's has a big display of fairy tales (this pic is of the Cinderella doll and her price charming, both of whom were surprisingly ugly ! ), and there are many ginger bread cakes made by local chefs being sold for charity.

There's also fireworks, and the ice rink around the Christmas tree looks gorgeous. Sivaraman wanted to ice-skate, but all of us were too cold, so we had to say no. Sorry Sivaraman !

I went for Light Up Night with the usual gang - Mladen, Gorana, Beena, Ramnath and Sivaraman, and it was a fun Friday night indeed :)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Camping Trip

Shenandoah National Park - my first camping trip, first trip to see the Fall Colors. Ramnath, Beena, Mladen, Gorana and I - 5 people in a car for a 5 hour drive to the national park, where we planned to camp and hike.

The park was soo beautiful, all the trees were red and orange and yellow and green, and the sky was soo blue. It was breathtaking. And it was also v v cold !!

We reached there on Saturday at around 12 pm, and first had a picnic lunch at the camp grounds - bad brown bread that was as hard as stone, with tomatoes and cheese and juice and yoghurt.

We then went on a hike through a small section of the park, and on our way back, we decided on the perfect camping spot.

Got our stuff, and went back, and camped !! I "built" my very own tent, it was super duper cooL !! I could lie down in my tent and see the stars, and the spooky leaves.

And then Ramnath cooked dinner - but putting water in dehydrated food and cooking it and it was actually quite nice :) And we roasted marshmallows on the fire, and ate them with chocolate.

The next day we packed up, and went for some more hiking, before we returned to civilization.

All in all, the perfect weekend.
Except for the tattoo that I almost got. But then I didn't :D And thats another story :)

Desh - Videsh

Dancing with dandiyas at Navratri, Indian clothes, paneer makhni, and garlic naan, performances, singing, diwali pooja, 2 year old Bhangra music and a 100 people dancing like crazy.

No family though, and isn't that what makes all the difference?

Thursday, November 08, 2007