M for Monsoon!
It's monsoon season here in India and we are getting the full experience.
Apparently, this is not your normal monsoon, but instead it's of the "wrath of god" variety. Check out this headline.

Our 2-hour drive to hotel number 2 took us 4 hours. It was hard to get really good pictures, but these are the best of the bunch.

As you can see, it is entirely logical to be knee deep in water, with driving rains moving both vertically and horzontally, but to still bother with an umbrella.

There were roads that had been closed off due to land slide, gridlock (we spent 1 of the 2 additional hours, going in the wrong direction because there was too much traffic going in the correct direction), and various vehicles spilled or stuck throughout the roads. But, when you aren't in a rush to get anywhere, you can simply sit back and take it all in. As far as I'm concerned, it was all part of being in India. I am, however, pleased that my normal commute is far less arduous.

It's amazing to see the difference between the local shops....

And the offices...

Driving around made me feel, even more, that I couldn't wait for the work week to be over and the sight seeing and shopping portion of our the trip to begin. There is some pretty crushing poverty that is always hard to see, but there is also a lot that is amazing and beautiful.

Yet, while Ganesh was hanging out in the car to ensure a quick and easy ride...

... perhaps he sensed we were undeserving of such fortune, because our trip back from the office to the hotel showed us what gridlock really was.

Traffic was backed up for miles not only because some roads were impassible and this was the best alternative, but also because the rules of the road in India, should be more rightly called "suggestions." Stop lights, lanes, and other street markings need only be acknowledged if convenient. The horn should be used constantly if there are any other vehicles, pedestrians or bicycles around. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. We could be in a single lane of traffic, moving as quickly as it is going to move. Everyone would be honking the horn. One should honk both as a suggestion to others to move and in all futile situations in which no apparent entity is the recipient.

To underscore this rule, all trucks have some sort of saying such as this:

This is roughly equivalent to someone painting "blink" or "breath" on the back of their truck. While it might encourage you to do it more, there's really no chance you wouldn't have done it anyway. I cannot even fathom what someone would do if their horn broke in India. I suspect it'd be akin to losing a tire; one would simply be unable to drive the vehicle until the matter had been sorted out.

Now, where did I put that Advil?

I am very fortunate that I'm traveling with people far more important than I am. We got to fly in business class to India,

This was the appetizer for lunch, on the leg to Frankfurt.

I was more pleased than an adult should be.

The seats fully reclined but I didn't take advantage of this until the second flight because I was forcing myself onto India time. There's a 12.5 hour time difference between LA and all of India, which means that 8PM on Monday night (right now in LA) is 8:30 AM on Tuesday morning in India.

It wasn’t hard to stay awake, though. I started knitting a sock and had my pick and choose of in-flight movies to watch on my personal TV.

If you were wondering, I watched Rumor Has It with Arabic subtitles and Walk the Line with Japanese subtitles.

Flying over Germany, there was a part of me that ached to get off there and ditch the rest of my party. It looked so beautiful from above. This is what most of Germany looked like from the direction we came. Obviously, this wasn't the city itself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the trip, but my focus will be work and all I want to do is see the world.

But we arrived without a hitch, exhausted, hot, slightly on edge but no worse for the wear.

At the hotel they greeted us with incense and placed the red dot on our forehead. I'm sure they told us why, but as I wasn't sure my name at the time, the message was lost on me. I've cropped out the exhausted to protect their innocence.

The sight of our hotel rooms was enough to bring a small tear to my eye. The rooms are beautiful, the bath was a delight and the bed had only 2 things missing.

Do you see it? That's right, no Leo or Panda. *sigh*

Alas, we don't stay here. We head to our final destination after breakfast. If the accommodations are half as nice, it'll be an easy stay (with due consideration that there'll be much work to do) and I should be able to post more pictures.

Do I get a Nom De Plume?


What do you say when someone whose blog you love writes you and says she'd love to work on a book with you?
You say, "SURE!"
What do you then say when she asks if you can design the ugliest patterns known to man... out of acrylic yarn circa 1965?
Well, I still said yes and am now looking into various witness protection programs. I hear the French have an excellent one. Oui Oui!
The result is that I have my name in one of the most hilarious books out there.
It's like her blog on paper. What would you call that? A plog? Darn new fangled contraptions!
For those whose sarcasm-dar is malfunctioning, that was a joke
You can click on the image to go get yourself a copy, just promise me that you won't judge me by the patterns, except to conclude that sometimes, it takes a certain skill to make something truly ugly. That's what I tell myself so I can sleep at night. It's my mantra.

On another note, I leave for India on Sunday, so if I haven't replied to your comments, it's not because I'm rude or hate you, I'm just scurrying around all day, trying to get things in order. Expect light or non-existent blogging and emailing all next week. If I can get a good connection during my "me" time, I'll post updates. Otherwise, you'll hear all about it upon my return.

Are those socks gonna fit?


As I knit away on sock number two, the question arises, can a knee length sock with no shaping, whatsoever, possibly fit a relatively shapely leg?

All signs point to yes! Sock number two is actually a bit further along than shown in the pic. These socks will be perplexing passersby in no time.

Oh and thank you to everyone who left my blog a happy birthday note. It's so sweet to hear from first time commenter, old friends and everyone in between. Being the insanely shy person I am, I know I'd never have gotten to meet you all (even if it's only virtually) without this glorious interweb thingy.

The terrific twos


It's my little blog's birthday, and she's two! Only 19 more years until she can drink, and I can take her out for a margarita.

So what has happened around here since my last anniversary? Catch a year in review, after the bump.

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