Sunday, December 21, 2008


Dear All,

I'm blogging for you live from Ottawa where it's--you guessed it--snowing. It's cold here, kittens, so cold that, upon my arrival, I promptly fell ill with a sore throat and nasal congestion. My puny immune system has never seen the likes of an extreme Canadian winter. This winter makes the winter weather we have in the mid-Atlantic region look like spring.

However, you should be proud of me: I strapped on skis for the very first time yesterday and with icicles hanging off my eyelashes (seriously, I have the pictures to prove it), I attempted cross-country skiing for the very first time in Gatineau Park. I wore more layers than I've ever worn before: thermal leggings, fleece tights, and cross-country skiing pants on the bottom and a sports bra, thermal shirt, fleece zip-up and snow jacket on top, with a balaklava covering everything but my bejeweled (with the icicles, that is) eyes. I was doing very well for the first half hour on the trail, taking MP's instructions to heart, and gliding along, feeling so wonderful and one with nature. We saw five, maybe six people.

But then I fell.

And I couldn't get up.

And, what felt like the entire population of Canada, whizzed right past us, as I lay on my back giggling my ass off. "First time skater," I managed to say, sitting up and waving to a few of the rubberneckers. The panick set in quickly thereafter. "Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD, MP, I CAN'T get up." The skis felt giant and unwieldy. What the hell was I supposed to do with them? How the hell was I to get up?

Luckily, a nice Canadian on skis who wasn't MP stopped by us and showed me how to get up after a fall on skis.

Good thing because I proceeded to fall four more times.

The funny thing about falling is that it becomes progressively easier.

I'm happy to report that I was skiing very well by the end of my cross-country skiing adventure with MP. I'd wanted to hit the trails again today but, man, Canada's still kicking my immune system's ass especially swiftly today so I figured I'd take a break (especially with the heavy snow fall out there; this is truly a winter wonderland!).

So, happy winter to all of you. Keep reading, kittens. I'll report back to you soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Tomorrow I embark on my first winter vacation in Ottawa, which as you all know is that magical spot on the map where Fiance MP was born and raised. Ottawans embrace winter, he tells me. He grew up ice skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway—recognized as the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink by Guinness World Records--during Winterlude, taking breaks to sip on hot chocolate and nibble on beaver tails. There's an endless selection of activities for the sports enthusiast: winter hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, ice hokey, oh, the Canadians sure know how to turn snowy times into good times!

And t's going to be good times, kittens; great times even! Oh, the snow! Oh, the ice skating! Oh, the cross country skiing for which MP will have to buy me a whole new outfit because I don't have anything to ski in! Oh, the Christmas lights! Oh, the laser light show on Parliament Hill!

Oh, the bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, frost-bite inducing, I'm-wearing-three-layers-yet-I-still-feel-like-I'm-rolling-down-a-snow-covered-mountain-in-my-underwear, deathly, deathly cold!

The high on Friday: 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

No, that isn't a typo. That's what the Canadians call Friday! At least Saturday's high, 11 degrees, is in the double digits. It's going to snow seven of the eight days that MP and I will be there, which is actually a lovely treat.

I may bitch a bit about the weather, but, seriously, I'm looking forward to my first hardcore winter. It should be interesting!

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 15, 2008

GIANT COLLARS IN THE COLD or I NEED A COAT: A Follow-Up to the Follow-Up

The coat arrived last week and it makes me look like the Michelin Man...well, if the Michelin Man was shorter and black, anyway. Puffy down coats are for tall people; I'll stick to the semi-giant collars, thank you very much.

But, yes, you're correct. Wearing my current coat in the sub-zero hell that I'm told is an Ottawan winter is outerwear (and probably actual) suicide. I'm no dummy: I've already endured two winters on the verge of what felt like hypothermia (and that was in NYC, readers) to know that won't cut it. So, I've dug the Anne Klein herringbone plaid toggle coat that, until last night, resided in the back of my closet. The coat happens to be very cute, yes, but it also happens to be like two sizes too big for me and, frankly, I'm not sure I am--or ever was--an Anne Klein herringbone plaid toggle coat kind of girl.

I don't have the patience to elbow my way through department stores anymore, so too bad. The toggle will have to do. It certainly is warm enough.

In other news--I've certainly been obsessed with coats on my blog lately (that is when I actually am blogging; it's been a rough few days, darlings...)--fiance MP is due back from his Nepalese trekking adventure on the 18th! Woohoo! I haven't seen our favorite Canadian since the 26th of November. It's been a lonely past few weeks to say the least.

Well, that's it for now kittens. Choose your coats wisely and stay warm!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I've ordered the coat above. It doesn't have big collars (I told you I'm over those). It has a faux fur lined hood (because only animals can pull off real fur); it's puffy, sporty, comes with five pockets (if you don't already know how I feel about pockets, know this: I like 'em) and a lifetime guarantee, plus I got 3-day shipping for free.

It also happens to be a pretty damned cute coat.

I think this should do the trick in Ottawa at the end of the month!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Growing up, I'd always preferred winter to the other seasons. I spent my summers, daydreaming about walking through horizontal snowstorms and right up into adulthood I prayed for that elusive work-snowday, not so I could sleep in but so I could run around in a blizzard--the bigger the better!

And then there was last winter, which, strangely proved to be one of the most unbearable winters for me in recent memory. Surely, I'm getting old and, at 29 my body just can't handle colder climes anymore, right? Right?


It's my coat, kittens. I bought this totally not warm DKNY number last winter because I wanted a coat with big, giant collars and my fruitless shopping campaigns proved to me that there were no such coats available in the retail market...all but this DKNY coat that has a grand total of two buttons and collars that are big, but not giant. After a thoroughly exhaustive search, I decided to settle for this coat. And you wanna know what? I'm cold. I'm freezing. My teeth chatter when it's 40 degrees out. I can't tolerate any sort of chill and I'd probably fare better wearing thermal underwear and a big cableknit sweater.

Now that the giant-collared coat is all the rage this season (what can I say, I'm a woman ahead of my time), I've been totally turned off of them by my giant-collared coat (which, given my trend-setting tendencies, means that the giant-collared coat will not be en vogue again for a number of years).

The moral of the story, however, is that I need a warm coat. Well, I need more than a warm coat, really: I need a coat that can keep me toasty in one of the coldest capital cities in the world, Ottowa, as I spend my first winter with MP and his family later this month. The coat needs to be semi-stylin' because my flimsy-but-trendy-coat experience hasn't made me anti-fashion but I do understand that, at the end of the day, I might have to choose function over fashion. Plus, the balaklava I'm going to be sporting the entire time I'm up north will make it really difficult to look cute.

So, kittens, any ideas for coats to wear in one of the coldest capital cities in the world?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008



Oh to meet the genius who first combined tofu and yam flour to make this delish pasta substitute! I more than care for Tofu Shirataki, kittens. I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! Some will probably complain that the tofu-yam spaghetti, fettuccine, and angel hair pasta is too chewy but, for someone like me, who will feverishly pedal backwards for chewy foods like tapioca balls, mochi, and nougat, Tofu Shirataki is the loveliest vegan and low-calorie-yet-surprisingly-filling food ever (we're talking 40 calories a bag, people!). 


Monday, December 01, 2008


I spend most of my days distracted by my engagement ring. It's nice to have these few stress-free weeks before MP and I begin to plan the shindigs--yes, that's a plural for all of my non-Desi readers; there is nothing like a South Asian wedding--in the new year.

Speaking of MP, he's currently trekking among mountains in South Asia, and I won't see him for another sixteen days. He won't have email access for twelve days. This separation by continents and oceans and weeks and days and countless hours and minutes is way harder than I thought it would be. Whenever I whine to amma about missing him, she tells me I should be ashamed of myself, that no polite girl expresses such feelings for her fiance out loud. I just frown and whine some more, at which point she starts to wonder out loud, "Why would anyone want to hike for twenty-one days, anyway?" to which I respond, "Canadians love the outdoors," and she says, "Ah, and why didn't you go? He asked you to go," and I respond, "Don't you know me at all?"

As much as I love MP, I would never ever be able to hike for more than one day. Hiking/trekking/roughing it in Mother Nature, my dear non-Canadian readers, involves much more than just walking up and down rugged terrain--your Nerddd can easily do that part (ahem. Descending down a mountain might be the one exception I make, however, in this "walking up and down rugged terrain" scenario: there's nothing quite as frightening as sitting on your ass and sliding down a FUCKING MOUNTAIN FACE).

It involves:

1) eating in the wild---mildly problematic for someone who dislikes eating in sidewalk cafes, picnics, and barbecues);

2) relieving oneself in the wild---yes, foregoing that absolutely vomitous outhouse in the Pine Barrens during the Summer of '96 and choosing to pee in the forest was liberating and empowering and made me feel like I was in touch with nature all weekend. I, however, draw the line when it comes to digging a hole for number 2;

3) sleeping in the wild---a sleeping bag is uncomfortable and please refer to number 1)

4) not showering---I prefer showering every day, in the woods or out;

5) the constant danger of wild animals---while I love, love, love animals, it is one of my life's goals to never face down any of the following amazing, awesome, and beautiful creatures of God in the wild: bears, bobcats, black rhinos, venomous snakes, wolves, buffalo, mountain goats, foxes, wild boars, cougars, elephants mosquitos, crocodiles, lions, and many, many more. Nature: that's where they all reside, my friends;
6) I have no desire to face down the throngs of cannibals, serial murderers, terrorists, and bandits that I imagine populate dark jungles everywhere (shudder);
7) I enjoy hiking towards destinations such as comfortable (luxury or not) hotels where I can have a shower, warm meal, and good night's sleep in a bed. Hiking to just hike some more? What's the point in that?;
8) am I really expected to travel without my makeup and hairdryer? Seriously?;
9) and what about this lovely engagement ring? What do engaged gentleladies like myself do with their engagement rings before immersing themselves into "nature" for weeks and weeks? I didn't get this ring to leave it at home. But I suppose I don't want it to snag on a branch and fall off into an endless pile of leaves--or wild boar crap--either.
You see kittens? A sane American like myself can't be expected to hike for multiple days, right?
But it's been six days since MP's left on vacation and as the seconds and the minutes and the hours tick by impossibly slowly and I don't find myself appreciably closer to the 18th, I think about how I might just suck it up next time, after all. Pooping in the woods, while facing down any variety of wild animal and insect, and sliding down the steepest of mountain faces doesn't seem all that bad as long as I'm with MP.
For fuck's sake, this dude's made me such a fuckin' softie.
Ay. Love. Sigh.