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conversational snowflakes, and other such topics.

24 Jan

“Conversational snowflakes,” courtesy of a good friend of mine. I love it. Anywho, it was an interesting weekend all around, with plenty of topics for conversation.











Yes, it did snow, and there was plenty to say about it. It wasn’t the “just flurries” jive turkey that the weather quacks predicted. Certainly, it wasn’t the Snowmageddon situation that happened in these parts some years ago, but there was accumulation. Enough to keep me in my pajamas for the entirety of Saturday. And since I judge the seriousness of weather based on my having to wear sleepwear during the day, yes, it was something. Really, though? I feel that all of us on the mid-Atlantic and the East Coast (myself included) should stop being shocked at wintry weather. We are in the middle of winter, after all. Why do we open our mouths in surprise? Who do we shake our fists at the gray, snow-producing skies? Come, precipitation! We await you. Oh, and can I just say that pajamas all day are the best ever? The absolute best ever.









This will be a generalization. Sorry. Men? Are the above. I won’t go into much detail right now. Just trust and believe that they are, and the truth of that generalized statement was more than underscored for me this past weekend. What about the good ones out there, Kitten Heel Marvel? someone may ask. There ARE good ones! Perhaps. I don’t know any, though. No, no, I do, but they don’t count toward this argument. And I’m sticking to this argument like glue. Once I unclench my fists, perhaps I may let up. Until then? Ignore the obese cuteness of that creature and reflect on what I’m saying. 












A haiku for my favorite sleepwear:

warm and flannel pajamas

on a winter’s day

i promise to keep you close.














It really does make a difference, to have an assembly of friends and people who do the above for you. I’m fortunate and thankful to have such people in my life. I reunited with two of them this past weekend. They are a husband-and-wife team of inspiration and goodness. Just lovely. There are a few changes afoot in my life right now (all good, more info later), and to have those two people in my corner, cheerleading me on: what an inestimable treat.

So despite the snow and resulting ice, despite the presence of pigs, the weekend was filled with fuzzy pajamas and a personal, emotional boost for me.

How was your weekend?*

*I recognize that it’s Tuesday, and the past weekend may have retreated back in the hazy corner of memory, but try to remember? Please and thank you?

Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries).

21 Mar

So, a few marvelous ladies and I attended a screening of Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), an Indian film that was being shown at the Kennedy Center as part of their monthlong “Maximum India” festival. First off, the following equation (shocker: I’m using Math, of all things, to communicate!): Indian culture + the Kennedy Center + an awesome, intelligent company of women = yummy goodness. I had a wonderful time.

So, wow, wow, wow. Wow. Dhobi Ghat was a powerful, moving film, about four intersecting lives and the different turns each life takes amidst the backdrop of the city of Mumbai. It certainly struck me, for a number of reasons. A few:

Not Your Usual Bollywood. Being a major fan of Bollywood films, this movie was a significant departure from the burst of color and music that comes with that particular genre. In fact, I was struck by the absence of color in the film. Even the costumes of the main characters were muted, gray, dark. Quite honestly, it was reality rendered on screen. And it was refreshing. Interestingly enough, for me, I’ve always been a proponent of film escapism—it’s rare that I enjoy a movie that presents life in its depressing, dreary moments (why seek it out in entertainment when we have those moments in real life? is an argument I’ve used before)—but in this instance, the absence of the music video touch to Mumbai and its people was a welcomed change.

Yasmin Noor. Out of the four main characters in the film, I was, by far, moved by the character of Yasmin Noor. We meet Yasmin through a series of videotaped letters that she makes for her younger brother following her marriage to a man who, during the two times we actually see him, doesn’t utter more than two words to his new wife. From then on, as the film goes on and the character of Arun (who moved into Yasmin’s former apartment and found the tapes) watches these video diaries, we see Yasmin quietly falling apart as a result of her loneliness, acutely missing her family back home, and the sad unraveling of her marriage. It was such an understated and amazing performance by Kriti Malhotra, the actress who plays Yasmin Noor. (At the Q&A after the film, we learned that Malhotra isn’t even an actress by trade and that she had prirmarily worked in the costume department. A natural talent, by all means.) She communicated her emotions so subtly—through a smile here, an expression of longing there, the sad timbre of her voice. So incredibly moving.

Let’s Talk about It. Any film that inspires questions and dialogue—among friends, in our case, or with the number of people that posed questions at the Q&A—is one worthy of consideration. The movie was not without its flaws and imperfections, but it got us talking, and I’m all for that.


13 Mar

Really, really weird movie.

I’ll Admit It…

6 Mar

I love Michael Bolton’s music. Soul Provider? Please. Kills me everytime.

I watch cheesy Nickelodeon shows for kids. I’ve been watching Nickelodeon since I was a kid. Why stop now?

I follow the royals. All of them. Even the royal families in countries no one ever talks about. They fascinate me. Ugh. Love it.

I don’t care how old he is. He’s…he’s so…he’s just so.

Best Month Eva?

5 Mar

Soon, Maximum India, soooooon.

Reflections of the Weekend that Used to Be.

14 Feb

This past weekend was interesting.

A dream is an answer to a question we haven’t learned how to ask. I had a pretty vivid dream during the weekend. Other than the fact that reading all these mysteries is clearly having an impact on the old subconscious—I was solving a crime with a ragtag group of amateur investigators—the dream was intriguing for another reason. At one point, a dream character (i.e., no one I know in real life) turns to me and says, “You need to move to Los Angeles.” So…yeah. Curious, being that my initial desire, before the desire to move to Europe manifested itself, was to head to the West Coast and settle down there. I was actually looking for jobs, readying my resume, the whole process. I recognize that it was only a dream, but…have I learned to ask myself whether the West Coast is the viable choice? Viable in comparision to Europe, which is far less about practicality and wanting to satisfy my Europhile wishes? Was the question cushioned somewhere in the back of my mind, waiting to be answered in a dream? Heavy questions for a dream that was largely about solving a crime in the Hollywood Hills. Nevertheless, very, very interesting…



After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. I’ve long discussed my passionate love of music on this forum. This quote takes all my exclamations and feelings and oohing and aahing and pontificating and wraps it up in one startling, amazing sentence. Not much else needs to be said. As far as the weekend is concerned, other than crazy dreams, I overdosed musically. Downloading songs, getting lost in them, allowing music to push my days forward. For the record, I’d just like to say that Sara Bareilles’  album, Kaleidoscope Heart, may be one of the more touching, honest, heartbreaking, and intelligent records I’ve heard in a long time. It would be nice to see artists like Sara drowning in media love, instead of artists like the Bieber. Just saying.

The short end of my interesting weekend. Onwards with this Manic Monday…



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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