More Stupidity

Heartwearming isn’t it to find out more and more about the ignorance( or is it stupidity that roots off of arrogance?) of some people who live here.

She is a ‘country’ singer, Kelly Pickler. A recent contestant on American Idol, she didn’t win but came 6th or 7th(not sure!). She is doing quite well for herself with her career in singing and being a celebrity taking off quite well.

I have to mention that she first caught people’s eye even during the American Idol competition not because of anything else but her absolutely jawdropping ignorance. Every word that came out of her mouth ever since has made every one go “WHAT? Did she just say that?”……..definitely not in a smart, articulate or remotely coherent way. She apparently just moved from the midwest to LA? Does being in the midwest warrant you being ignorant to the rest of the country and the world? I guess in America it does! She’s not the first one you know.

You all might have heard and seen Miss. South Carolina messing up her speech? Hey that’s nothing. That atleast was a one time thing.

You shoud watch this one talk and converse. It’s a hoot. There are many ‘kelly’isms. She is ONE person who sure makes George Dubya seem like Einstein.

Read these posts of mine and this will make more sense. Post 1 , Post 2

Apocalypto

It is the most violent, savage, cruel yet fascinating and passionate movie which will surely affect you in more than one way. It is a film that stays with you forever all attributed to it’s story telling that is just absolute perfection. There’s a savage magnificence to Apocalypto, with a kind of relentless excitement that only a few filmmakers can deliver.

Filming in the state of Veracruz and on the Yucatan Peninsula, Gibson and his production team transport viewers six centuries back in time to create an amazing ‘you are there’ effect. From the minute the movie starts till it ends you feel you are transported there. This movie is a visual communication between you and the Mayans. It almost creates an effect as though these Mayans actually existed and thrived today and they just made a movie out of them.

Apocalypto has all unknown, no-named actors. The movie itself is not over filled with dialogs or an other intrusions. It is to the point of being transparent, letting the actors and the scenery tell the story. The use of the Mayan language, with subtitles adds authenticity.

Here’s the gist : During the Mayan civilization, a peaceful tribe is brutally attacked by warriors seeking slaves and human beings for sacrifice for their gods. Jaguar Paw( the lead charector played brilliantly by Rudy Youngblood) hides his pregnant wife and his son in a deep hole nearby their tribe and is captured while fighting with his people. He then realized he is going to be sacrificed to Kulkakan, the Mayan serpent god, their hearts cut out of their bodies, their heads chopped off. An eclipse spares his life from the sacrifice and later how Jaguar Paw escapes from this fate, and his breakneck journey back to the ruins of his village is one of the most exciting sequences ever put to film.

I have no words to describe the grandiosity and magnitude of this film. For all the flak Mel Gibson has been getting in the last year, he is one genial filmmaker and he proves that over and over again. Be sure to watch the extras and bonus features in the DVD you rent. It is astounding what level of sophistication this movie deals at.

Apocalypto, like Mel Gibson’s previous films is very violent throughout. It isn’t merely fascinating, it is nothing less than one of the very best movies I’ve seen so far, and it contains some of the best foot chases in cinematic history. The whole movie will keep you hooked for the entire two hours. Ever scene will churn and twist your gut and your brain.

This movie about a civilization that is so ancient so ironically has so much relevance to times today where we desperately seek balance between violence and peace, war and life. This civilization that is said to be the most sophisticated, as depicted in this movie teaches us resilience, pride, patriotism, courage and just sheer will power. Read more about the fascinating Mayans.

Needless to say this movie gets a 10 out of 10.

Greener Grass

There’s only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it.
There’s only one perfect wife in the world and every neighbour has it.

Disability?

You will want to remove the word disability from the dictionary after seeing this video. What is disability? Why are called disabled when they are able to do just about do anything? Infact sometimes more than the so called ‘able’ humans.

Just another form of judgement and seggregation we humans came up with as usual. See this video and all that is shattered.

“A guy who lost his leg dances with a girl who lost her arm in a car accident.
the dance won forst prize in annual dance competetion on CCTV9 international, beijing”

Words to think about

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

Beautiful words aren’t they?

This is one of the reasons why I love to cook and eat. The reason I love animals and being around them. The reason I like to spread around humanity, courtesy, open mindedness, warmth and genuinity. The reason I detest judgement and hypocrisy. It’s all about the feelings I give and recieve.

Cooking according to me spreads the love. The idea of feeding other human beings is something inexpressable. It’s a basic need everyone has and everyone loves. Rich or Poor you will never turn good food down! It’s creates satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment in me.

We try and do whatever is possible to make a fellow human being feel good, even if it’s for only a second or inconequential in the big picture. It makes their day. I’m sure it has happened to you. It could be just keeping the elevator door open for someone who’s running to get it, or just help someone get on or off a bus, helping someone cross the road or giving someone a quarter for parking! I know that when I am running to get into a train and someone holds the door open for me for that extra second in time for me to get in, it makes my day. I might not remember the person, but I remember the act for a very long time. As much as it made my day, I am sure it made theirs too.

It’s that simple. Immense happniess sometimes lie in these small often disregarded everyday actions. The feeling involved (good or bad) in the experience is something inexpressable and imcomprehendable unless you are in it.

In the Maya Angelou saying, there is one thing I don’t quite agree with or rather it’s never worked for me. I don’t believe that I forget what people said or did to me, irrespective of whether it’s good or bad.

Along with the feeling, I remember the action or the words that caused the feeling. Incase it’s a good feeling, it doesn’t seem like a bad deal to remember forever the nice words that made you feel good or the nice actions that made you happy. But incase it’s a bitter or hurtful feeling, I still always seem to remember the sucky feeling along with the words and/or actions.

I might’ve forgiven them for acting a certain way or saying certain hurtful things, but I don’t think I ever forget. Forgiving helps me move on, but forgetting seems almost impossible.

Is this the case for everyone? Can you really forgive and forget or do you just forgive?

Road Trip Day 2 : Washington DC & Wytheville

I last left off blogging about Day 1 of our trip with a great few hours in Philly and our drive to DC. Now on to Day 2 of our trip :

This day was all about seeing DC. I have been there a few times before but never spent this much time on foot! We walked around for almost 7 hours and covered quite a bit. DC was gorgeous with the fall colors still intact. Flaming red and orange leaves with the bright green lawns and gardens, crisp and cold 40 degree weather made the walking more pleasurable.

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We  started at the Washington monument, went over to the Smithsonian, then the white house all in the morning part of the day before it gets too crowded. Otherwise finding parking is a nightmare beyond 11 AM.

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The grand Union Station :

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And of-course the white-house:

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Here’s something interesting happening right in front of the white house. You should most probably understand what these posters say wherever you are in the world, they seem to have covered most languages!

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Here what it says in my native language of Tamil; Translation – Stop the War.

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We then moved on to see all the memorials, Lincoln memorial, Jefferson memorial and the Roosevelt memorial. I found them all so fascinating. An interesting though crossed my mind, irrespective of the country, all the founding fathers and the early contributors to the beginning of the country have always been such idealists.

The words inscribed on each of these past president’s memorial proves their idealism, when you try applying it to today there isn’t a shred of reality in there. Just all rosy idealistic words.

I wonder how we digressed from a world where such idealistic leaders wrote down and made rules and constitution so perfectly to create a perfect world and somewhere down the last couple of 100 years we took a MAJOR detour. It’s definitely something to think about.

It’s also quite freaky at how some of their words have relevance even today. You’d think they said things during the great depression or the world war, but today it’s all oddly very relevant.

Here what I mean. These are Jefferson’s words from the Jefferson memorial. See how freakishly relevant it is amidst all the crap happening in this world recently?

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I found more really ironic and fantastic words in the Roosevelt memorial :

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This reads : ” More than an End to war, We want an end to the beginnings of all wars”
See, yet again, so much relevance to today. I only wish the words of the great forefathers and their idealistic statements had more value today. Our world would be a much better place.

Keep reading ……..

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Does the current white-house resident think this way ?

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Once again, how ironic is that ? This especially strikes a chord if you’re American or if you live here in America.

Here’s some from the Lincoln memorial

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and George Mason

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Just a beautiful English mastiff we came across while walkin around. He was so friendly and just adorable. I had to get a picture.

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Who does that look like to you? Just some random sculpture I found while walking around.

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After an exhausting 7 hours on foot, we landed for late lunch at a great Italian place called Maggiano’s. Of-course you can find out more about that on my food blog.

We headed out of DC around 3 PM and drove to Wytheville, Virginia (Pronounced Withville)

Why Wytheville? Well that town is mid point between DC and Nashville, TN.

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We couldn’t drive directly to Nashville because that’s a 13 hour drive, hence the break in Wytheville.

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The stopover there started as basically just a pit stop but it turned into so much more. We researched a bit on this town and came across a true jewel in a bed & breakfast inn called the ‘Trinkle Mansion’.

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It truly was an experience of a lifetime staying in this place. It goes to prove that some of the best things are found in the most unlikely places! This place was of-course a mansion. It was literaly a palace fit for a king, which made us feel like royalty! It had very thoughtfully done interiors with a lot of attention to the intricate details.

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The lovely Patti Pizinger who owns and runs the place made it a very personable experience, something you can never find in any hotel. She was hospitable, warm which truly made our experience better. Her passion and love for what she does resonates a lot in that mansion and in her food. That is what we loved about our stay there more than anything else. It is always endearing to meet such genuine people. And this is the lovely Patti.

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They have a fantastic story behind how they came about to become owners of this place.  Patti and Bernie Pizinger the owners of the house stumbled upon the house when they pulled over into this town to fill up on gas ! They have always had a retirement dream of moving down south and opening a bed & breakfast and planning to do so probably after at-least 5 years of research on how-to. They drove around quite a bit in the south with Virginia not even remotely in they list of places to start this. But that’s how life always plays out things doesn’t it? Read more of their fascinating story :

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The rooms were impeccable. The furniture, the linens, the bed, the amenities and everything else like the whole experience was just perfection. At the end of a long drive it was the perfect place to get refreshed and energized.

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Forgive our luggage kinda spoiling the picture but our room was gorgeous nevertheless.

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After all this, we couldn’t wait for her breakfast the next day and start Day 3 of our road-trip. Keep reading for more………

Home Sweet Home

We are finally back home from our whirlwind trip! I am totally spent, exhausted and awfully glad to be back home. Although, quite sad the week has come to an end. I’ve had the most exciting, exhilarating, eye-opening, insightful and fabulous time this past week.
It was worth every extra hour of sleep lost and all the exhaustion! I would do it again in a heartbeat ; meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing southern culture and its cuisine, it was the MOST interesting week I’ve had this year.

I did write about it in a couple of posts before but I really couldn’t write more. Very spotty internet connections and ofcourse extreme fatigue by the end of every day!

I have many pictures and lots of stories to share. Now that I’m back home and back to schedule I will be quite regular with it and for the next few days you will be reading all about everything I did this past week.

Road Trip Day 1 : Philly & DC

Phew, We just reached Nashville!  It’s Day 3 of our road-trip. I just drove 350 miles from Virginia to Tennessee, my first time driving 6 hours at a stretch. It is by far the most gorgeous drive I have ever been on, just unreally picturesque and some stunning views!

Its 4.30 PM or so I thought…..It’s 3.30 PM since we are now one hour behind ET. And I finally got the extra hour and thought it’s the best time to blog!

Day 1 :

We started our road trip on 11/17 from Framinhgam, MA headed to Philadelphia, PA.

Our first stop was PetsHotel a kennel started by Petsmart, the pet store chain. It was a gut wrenching experience dropping off Sushi (our cat) for the week. It’s been around 10 months since we adopted her and this is the first time she has been away from us for more than 2 days. It makes it harder than she is in-fact a dog in a cats body. It’s really interesting to see how much she is like a dog, and has very little of the usual cat characteristics. Be it playing fetch with us, or how much she is emotionally dependant on us. She communicates with us, she is literally stuck to us whenever we are around. That sure made this harder….Sigh, I miss her as I am writing this !

We reached Philly by noon, in time for lunch and a few hours of sightseeing downtown. We passed through extremely crowded roads of NY and NJ.

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An interesting, unmissable mammoth of a landmark as you enter Philly!

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We had a picked a Mexican restaurant called Copabanana in South Street, which was much like the marketplace called Pondybazaar in my hometown of Chennai, India. It was overwhelmingly crowded, quite dirty and very busy. We inched our way through to find parking after 20 minutes, Walked up and down the street to explore and then reached Copabanana. Click here to read my moderately okay experience there.

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Right across from where we had lunch, we noticed this hole in a wall type of eatery with people lined up to  mile outside. The foodie I am, I had to find out why. It apparently is the ‘world’s’ best place to eat Philly cheese steak sandwiches. It’s called Jim’s Steaks.

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 The crowd there and the amount of time they were waiting out there for a sandwich was just mind-boggling! Being a vegetarian, I couldn’t really appreciate the smell or the quality, but hey they have been review by Food TV and with a few hundered people lined up for miles outside, they have to be good !

From there we headed to Market Street. This was markedly less crowded and less hip, more historic ; but not as interesting and culturally vibrant as South Street.

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We entered all the historic landmarks. The usual suspects like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, National Constitution Center and with a a little bit of view from the Delaware river.

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How could I go to philly and not visit Chef Morimoto’s restaurant? That was my next destination. It was not open, it was mid PM, but hey, it was still worth a picture! My husband has actually been there for dinner and he says it’s an experience that’s worlds apart from your regular dining. Hopefully the next time around, I can plan to go there for their acclaimed dinner menu.

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It was 4 PM and we had to over to DC to make it in time for our hotel reservation! We hit the road and I drove us into DC in under 3 hours. We checked in Hamilton Crowne Plaza in the intersection of 14th and K Street NW. In chaotic downtown after much frustrating navigation in the night, we reached our hotel, checked in and the receptionist was very pleasant as you would expect them to be.

Once we got to our room a mini nightmare awaited us. There was a tiny bed (they say Queen, but I say full) in our room. I had reserved a king size bed with a little seating area included. They tried to push a queen bed on our heads thinking we wouldn’t notice or we would assume king is not available. We talked with CJ the guy in the front-desk who then sheepishly moved us to a room two floors below which was the actual size room we paid for. We were dog tired and too exhausted to step out and it was already too dark to do any sightseeing, so we decided to stay in the room and order dinner from the 14K Restaurant in the hotel.

Too tired for pictures of the hotel, although we did get some interesting pictures of dinner.Click here to read all about the 14K restaurant and the food we ate.

And that’s what we did, ate and relaxed for the rest of the night. Keep reading for updates on Day 2 and more….

Road Trip

Hey All! 

Here’s the excitement for the week. I am going on a 8 day road trip, a 3000 mile trip covering 8 states!   Framingham, Massachusetts – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Washington DC – Wytheville, Virginia  - Nashville, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia – Charleston, South Carolina – Virginia Beach, Virginia – Lewes, Delaware – Cape May, New Jersey – Framingham, Massachusetts………..Phew! 

This trip is going to be all about exploring new towns, experiencing southern culture, feeling the music in Nashville and finally, as you know me by now, drink in the food culture in every state. I am so looking forward to the authentic southern food that I’ve heard and seen so much in the years I’ve spent here! 

I will be good and try to blog everyday J About my day, places I see, things I do and of course things I eat. I will be connected and available by email and through my blog. Check both my blogs for daily updates and  Happy Holidays!    

Stupid Idea #10

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Ice-cream shaped like feces is ready to be served at the Modern Toilet diner in the Shilin district in Taipei . This Taipei restaurant might consider it a compliment to be called an outhouse as the Modern Toilet diner is one of chain of themed eateries appealing to largely young clientele with a toilet humor. All 100 seats in the crowded diner are made from toilet bowls, not chairs. Sink faucets and gender-coded “WC” signs appear throughout the three-storey facility, one of 12 in an island-wide chain of eateries with a toilet theme.Customers eat from mini plastic toilet bowls. They wipe their hands and mouths using toilet rolls hung above their tables, which may be glass-topped jumbo bathtubs.

“Most customers will bring their cameras in because the place is quite special, said Yang Chung-chi, a manager at the restaurant in north Taipei. Owner Wang Tzi-wei opened his first Modern Toilet in 2004 after being inspired by a Japanese cartoon featuring restroom images and the toilet themes run through the food and drinks menus.”

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Wouldn’t you like to have this for dessert? Just reading about it makes me queasy and uncomfortable. In the name of uniqueness and creativity this is where and what we have to eat now! In a bathroom, eating out of the sink, sitting on a toilet seat and eating ice-cream out of dishes shaped like a toilet bowl and the ice cream itself is shaped like human feces. Go Figure!  Continue reading

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