Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{July 28, 2007}   Freebee Friday

I love free stuff. The offer of free stuff appeals to both my pack rat tendencies and my cheapness gene. And this week was a banner week for free stuff. As previously mentioned, I got to see TWO free movies this weekend – Arctic Tale (my movie review: meh.) on Monday and Skinwalkers (my movie review: I heart things that bite!) on Wednesday.

But Friday brought the motherload of free stuff! First, I got a free textbook from a publishing company. Publishing companies love to give instructors free textbooks, because if you like their book and make it the required one for your course, that’s 1001 kids who have to buy the overpriced thing. When I used to teach introductory nutrition, I received no less fewer than four textbooks and two diet analysis software packages for free! After going to campus to pick up my free textbook, I headed out to the Georgia Straight office to pick up a prize package that I had won through one of their online contests. This prize pack consisted of 5 books, seen here sitting on my bedside bookshelf:


The book that had most appealed to me when I saw this contest was the Raw Shark Texts. I’d seen this book on a recent trip to the UBC Bookstore and it caught my eye because (a) I like sharks and (b) it had the shape of a shark cut out of the cover:



…so I read the back of the book and it sounded intriguing! I wasn’t familiar with any of the other books, but I checked them out while waiting for the bus after picking them up and they all sound really good! So now I have a big stack of books to read – I’m just starting Infinite Jest3 though, which is about 2 million pages long, so it may be a while until I get to my new free books.

As an added bonus, I also got this free, snazzy new Georgia Straight bag, in which to carry my new books home:


And on the way home, I stopped by to see my hair stylist to get a free bang trim. I’m coming to discover that having bangs requires more than a once a year haircut.

OK, now as I was composing this posting, I just got a free bottle of water! I’m sitting at a coffee shop and the dude at the counter forget to make my toasted bagel so, as an apology for making me wait, he gave me a free bottle of water! It’s my lucky week!

1well, 100 kids in the case of my class, ‘cuz that’s about how big the class will be. If you teach one of those monster 500 student courses, that’s a total goldmine for the publisher!

2the Georgia Straight, a local newspaper, was also the source of the Skinwalkers tickets.

3which I picked up at a used bookstore a while ago

{July 28, 2007}   My First Ever Sangeet!

Last night I attended my first ever Sangeet (or Ladies Party, as it is also called). And I must say that you have not partied until you have danced to a mash up of “My Humps” + Hindi music.

OK, maybe I should back up a little. Since this is my first ever Indian wedding, when Shalu gave me my invitation (which, by the way, is the most gorgeous invitation I’ve ever seen!), I had to have her walk me through what the heck everything was, since my invitation had FOUR invitations in it!1 The invitation to the Sangeet indicated that there would be Appetizers, followed by Chunni & Tilak, then dinner & dancing. Appies, dinner & dancing I am familiar with, but chunni & tilak, not so much. Around about the time that we were waiting for our ride to pick us up, Shalu’s friend, Mina (who I met at the wedding shower last weekend and arranged to carpool with) and I decided to Wikipedia2 those terms to see what we could expect. Chunni, as near as we could tell from Wikipedia, is a piece of red fabric the groom’s family puts on the bride’s head. Tilak is a mark on the forehead.

Here’s a pic of the happy couple after the Chunni & Tilak part of the night. As you can see, Shalu bears both the chunni and the tilak. Wikipedia did not steer us wrong!

Don’t they look amazing??

OK, a few highlights of the night:

  • the food. omg, so delish! I *love* Indian food. Plus, it was all vegetarian!
  • everyone’s outfits – they were soooo beautiful! Shalu looked radiant in her beautiful green dress and Deepak was dashing in his blue outfit.
  • the music! As I mentioned at the start of the post, it was Hindi music mixed with pop. Billie Jean, plus Hindi. Sexy Back, plus Hindi. It went surprisingly well together and had a great beat, which made for great fun dancing.
  • And speaking of dancing, I got a few compliments on my dancing abilities. Now, I’ve never danced to Indian music before, so I just sort of looked at what other people were doing and tried to imitate it… just feel the beat and go with it! I think people were surprised to see the only white girl there dancing to the Indian
  • And speaking of dancing, the DJ told us that “this next song will be the last song of the night” about 6 times. At once point, they had turned the lights up for the “last song”, but we kept on dancing, so they turned the lights back down and kept playing music! After the actual last song, we decided we still needed to dance some more, so a bunch of us headed to Ginger Sixty-Two. Deepak told us it was Indian Night there, which we didn’t believe, as Deepak likes to make things up just to see if you will believe them. But he turned out to be telling the truth, because when we got there, they were, in fact, playing Indian music! Of course, Shalu & her “entourage” (as the DJ there called it) were the only ones wearing Indian outfits, which everyone there thought was very cool.
    Here are Shalu & Deepak outside of Ginger Sixty-Two. Party like a rock star.
  • We stayed ’til Ginger Sixty-Two closed (for those of you who are counting, that’s right, we stayed right to the end of *two* parties last night… ya, we are that hardcore!) By then, I was pretty much unable to walk due to my feet deforming shoes. In my defence, the shoes are very pretty. Some peeps headed off for pizza, but me, Andrea & Mina decided that it was time, since it was after 2 am and Andrea had to work in a few hours, to head home.

OK, that’s enough with the writing. But I’ll give you a few more pictures, what with them being worth a thousand words and all.

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Me, Radha (sister of the groom) and Mina (friend of Shalu’s (and now my friend too!))

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Mina, me & Ritu in the back row. Deepak & Shalu in the middle. Meenu up front.
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At Ginger Sixty-Two.

Stay tuned for more exciting wedding events next week. Next up, the wedding tradition of Mehndi on Wednesday!

1See here for a brief description of the different events.

2I also discovered through Wikipedia that Shalu’s name is also the name of a “special type of sari.”

et cetera

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