Playing back the week with the highlights. Long post head… skip if you don’t like the mundane!
Bandar had a fancy schmancy haircut! A few months ago, the husbadoo cut her hair and though he did a decent job , it had started to grow back really unevenly, especially her bangs and Bandar perpetually looked untidy. We had been postponing a professional cut for a while. A kid’s haircut in Austin was $ 15 and in NYC it is $ 35. This is at a specialty kiddie salon. I debated taking her to a small adult store that does kids cuts too but I recently read a scary email on my mommy group where a small child had been hurt badly with the scissors at a cheap adult salon. So that decided it for me. I decided to suck it up and get Bandar a good cut at the right place. I am so glad I did this too. It gave me an awesome business idea if I ever go that route. This is a money maker! Bandar loved this place – they had toy cars for the kids to sit in while they got their haircut, bubbles were blown around them, they got to pick a video to watch and got a little toy at the end. Bandar also got a professional hair consult. This part makes me giggle – it was a serious talk on next steps in growing Bandar’s hair out and we were strictly instructed on how to train it, how to tie it and most importantly NOT CUT IT OURSELVES! Hehe. Anyway, Bandar looks much cleaner in general now without a mass of heavy bangs on her forehead .She has also finally agreed to let us start tying her hair and we had a fun 30 minutes at another store picking out new clips.
We went to a local dosa chain – Hampton Chutney, after her haircut.This is an NYC chain that sells dosas and sandwiches with exotic fillings. Arugula, portabello and goat cheese dosa , anyone? I like the fact that this place actually brings the exotic dosa to American families with a set of fillings that they are familiar with. I love seeing little toddlers of various races holding dosas like wraps and taking bites as their parents tuck in. I stuck with a standard masala one which though decent sadly always seems missing some seasoning , the husbadoo had a sandwich and Bandar actually asked for her own cheese dosa which she ate a quarter off before we helped her with it.
Once home, I spent the rest of the day cooking as I was leaving on a work trip on Sunday. I made palak paneer, chole, a bell pepper and besan dry subji, chocolate pancakes, custard, quinoa salad and adai batter. The idea was to cook enough to feed the husbadoo for a few days and to make life easier for him as he goes about preparing Bandar’s fresh food each day.
I then did some packing and got set for my early flight out for the next day. As I only physically go to an office every six weeks or so, it is always fun to prune through clothes and decide which ones I would like to be seen in during my visit. Needless to say, I always overpack and almost always come back with a few new shirts each time.
Sunday flights just kill your weekend. Though it is barely a 3 hour flight, the whole shuttle to and fro the airport adds to the time. I was unable to take a Monday AM flight this time as I had early morning meetings on Monday, so that meant Sunday was my only option.
Being at Austin airport and the city in general just brings back a flood of memories each time and I desperately miss the husbadoo. I do miss Bandar too but somehow Austin was our place and it is the husbadoo with whom I want to reminiscence with.
Anyway, I got to my friend’s place and after relaxing for a bit, we went out for dinner. We went to a south Indian place which was really good – Suprabath and I had my second dosa of the weekend and nice fluffy idlis. I don’t know if I have said this before but like most Tamilian kids, I started appreciating idlis rather late in life, when I don’t have access to them regularly.
We then watched Million Dollar Arm which I highly recommend and lazed on my friend’s couch before turning in for the night.
I was up and out of the house at 6:45 am. Sadly, the latest I left for work that week was 7 am. Something I am not used to at all, working remote really spoils you. I stopped to buy tacos for my team at the best taco place in Austin – TacoDeli. I usually try to go in there atleast thrice during a trip but sadly could not this time and this was the only taco I had during my entire trip. The rest of the day was only work – I was in all day meetings that did not go as well for me as I wanted. I had dinner with my team at a BBQ place that surprisingly had a decent veggie burger and I avoided the fries. So yeah for me! I did have a glass of wine though.
My friend’s husband left on a work trip which was perfectly timed to give us some girl time and we lounged around and scoped Netflix to find a random show to watch – Reckless. It starts off with everyone making out with everyone and is such a mindless watch but we stuck to it and watched an episode each day.
I started the day early again and had fairly satisfactory meetings and redeemed myself for Monday’s performance- atleast in my head. I had lunch at the cafeteria which was a cheeseless made-to-order pizza and spent the day in more meetings.
I got to the parking lot at 4:30 pm , excited about a shopping spree with my friend that evening and started my car, only to be hit a few minutes later as I reversed. Ughh..ugly car accident which fairly should have been the other guy’s fault for speeding on campus but as I was the one reversing, it is always considered my fault. I should have looked around better too , I guess. My poor car might not ever be the same again. I have been dreading this moment since we bought a high end car almost 5 years ago and it finally happened, just as we finished our last car payment. One hour later we had finished campus police and local police procedures and I was on my way home to my friend’s house with dangling car parts.We managed to kick specific parts in (that sounds brutal, doesn’t it) and the car looked less damaged than I originally thought a few hours later , but at the very least,the back bumper still needed replacement. Sadly my deductible had to come into play for the body work. What are the odds of this happening when I drive once in 6 weeks. Pretty high if you consider I am a nervous , bad driver.
Anyway, my friend cheered me up by making me look at the bigger picture of minor damage and no one being hurt and I was cheerful enough to go shoppingJ We went to the Domain and I bought a few things for my impending India trip gifts and we had dinner at the Steeping Room. I temporarily forgot about the car for those 2 hours but felt horrible when I saw it again on her driveway once home.
I left the house bright and early again for my medical appointment at the campus doctors- this is my yearly physical for my insurance. All things look good except my Triglycerides have gone up 40 points and are at 125 in one year! Whew – carbs and sugars I guess! My waist is down an inch and half to 26 inches which is nice to know and my cholesterol and sugar levels are fine. All this doesn’t negate the fact that I need regular exercise though – need to get back to Jillain Michaels videos that did wonders for me 6 months ago.
I spent a good chunk of the morning figuring out car repair plans, and roping in a team mate to kindly pick up the car for me next week. I then realized I had only half a day with a car left and rushed to do some more India trip shopping at Kohls and Ross. MY favorite cheap hangouts from days of yore. I also picked up lunch – Pineapple fried rice from my favorite fusion Asian place – Fire Bowl. Considering I was fasting overnight for the blood tests, I was ravenous at 1 pm.
I dropped the car off for repairs and my friend picked me up for some more shopping – this time at the outlet mall. I just bought two dresses at Loft which did not break the bank , being on clearance and all. Size 4 at Loft appears to now fit me like a glove, though of course, I want to make it into a size 2 without the ugly bulges. H&M is a stupid other story where size 8 pants are difficult to roll up my thighs. I also got a shocking pink cardigan from Banana Republic. The cardigan over random tee or sleeveless work blouse has become a signature look for me now and I needed to add to my colorful cardigan collection.
We had dinner at Tarka. Seriously, love their Paneer Biryani – no irritating veggies –only yummy paneer and fragrant rice. Maybe I overdid on the rice but I was so acidic and uncomfortable that night that I throw up a little once home and felt better . TMI!
My team mate picked me up for the Texas Conference for Women. Loved this – 5000 women from all walks of life attending inspiring sessions on leadership, career development and work life balance issues.
Fun advice from the day – Get a professional headshot for LinkedIn and ensure you show your teeth when you smile. Apaprently, it builds more trust!
I loved every bit of the day, except the nasty veggie lunch – don’t even ask me what it was. I spent some time around the expo floor – sneaking in freebies like Vitamix sponsored fresh juice samples and vegan , gluten free macaroons that tasted exactly like coconut ladoos!
Once done, another friend dropped me off at a team event at the Domain. I spent some time shopping (for the India trip, I swear) and then met my team for drinks. I had a tasty cocktail with vodka, ginger ale and lime and then a glass of wine. I nibbled on carrot sticks and pita chips and had a fun time with my team.I got dropped off at my friend’s place by a team mate and caught up with team gossip on the way. Who said guys don’t gossip? I felt handicapped without my car in just 24 hours but it let me bond with various people that I usually don’t talk to on my regular trips, so I guess that it one of way of looking at it.
I made my way back to NYC. Nothing much to note, except that my shuttle ride from Newark Airport to the city took longer than my flight from Austin to Newark! I got home tired but excited to see my babies and spent the evening cuddling them and ordering in Thai.