Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Of Finance, craft and animation

Watched a boatload of animated movies this weekend. I forgot how hilarious Finding Nemo was. Anybody remember those crazy surfer dude turtles? I mean, they sure were high on something.

Being ill forces you to stay indoors and in bed. Times like these are when you miss home the most. Even the smallest chores like deciding what food to order felt like a Herculean task. Slept a lot, berated the lack of a thermos flask and a mom to make me some piping hot filter coffee.

Couldn't do anything productive that required any mental/physical strain, so opted to crochet myself a beret. Picked out a nice bright blue yarn, hopefully will get done with it soon, my thumb is getting quite sore and my patience is on it's last legs.

I have early morning customer care calls to look forward to. Damn you Experian for billing me for five months for a subscription I did not take out! And damn me for not figuring it out earlier. I've got to be more fiscally responsible.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The great, but crowded outdoors

For Labor Day weekend, I went camping. Why I chose to go camping in another state, when California has such gorgeous state parks? Because I haven't flown anywhere recently and I missed airports. Result of all the flights (and of the fact that we put off reserving a campsite, as good procastinators do), we went camping for one night. Still major fun though.

Did some touristy things before the actual camping, drained the rental cars battery by leaving on the headlights and took lots of photos and had a fancy chocolate fondue the night before. After parking the car at the campsite, we walked to the firewood shack and then realised that we didn't have enough arms/muscles between us to take back an entire stack of firewood. Luckily, the campsite 'host'(I wonder what his job description is) drove up in his mini lorry and offered to take the lumber and kindling to our campsite for us.

After a 2 hour hike to nowhere and back, we decided to start the fire and boy did it take a while. It had rained the day before and so the ground was damp-ish and the firewood wasn't completely dry. So it was a super smoky fire which took forever to start. Damned weather. It wasn't particularly cold, so we could have done without a fire, but I wanted smores and was unwilling to let all the campfire food planning go unfulfilled. Despite blowing at the embers till I felt my lungs would give out and carefully burning our ration of newspaper and kindling, the logs just wouldn't catch fire. They just sat there and smoked, like a bunch of chain smokers on their lunch break. When the first log caught fire, I almost wept with joy, though it might have been all the smoke in my eyes. I added another log and had to start revving up my lungs again  because the fire dwindled. While prepping the burgers and the potatoes, I realised that we had a whole block of butter. And we weren't planning to use more than a smear for the potatoes. And then I had my eureka moment. I started greasing the logs with butter and man was it effective. At that moment, I felt like I deserved my own Survive-in-the-almost-wilderness TV show. I was meant to be outdoors! Guess I get it from my grandma, who insisted on drying her own firewood and using that to boil bath water even after we installed water heaters in our house.

So there you have it folks, if your fire just won't catch, add a dollop of butter. Expensive fuel indeed, but when push comes to shove, I say throw in a stick of butter.

P.S. Don't the coal embers look like rock candy?