Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nablopomo: Done

Yeah! I completed Nablopomo! One post a day!

Now what?

Should I take a break? Should I do this again in December? Are you doing it in December? The theme is thankful. If you are doing daily posts in December, can you please comment here so I can read your blogs?

Nablo was a fabulous experience this month. I made new friends and learned a lot. Here are some things I learned.

  • Writing has a life of its own. Before I started this month, I made a list of all the possible posts. If you had told me that I would be writing a soap opera about wine names, I would have laughed my head off. I mean how ridiculous is it? I can use my words to change the world. Or sway an opinion or two. I can make this world a tad better place. And I chose this topic? If I die today, will I be remembered as the crazy person who wrote a soap opera about wines? Even though I write it, I think it is crazy.... But never fear my blog readers. I will continue to post these every Monday. If you hate them, don't read my Monday posts. I have enough wine names for this opera to last at least a month or so. Also, you should know that I have a crush on the Purple Cowboy. How crazy is that?
  • I love comments. I love reading them on my blog and posting comments. But lurkers are welcome here also. But I did learn something about myself. Some days I may not get around posting comments or responding to comments. But I always read them and love them. That does make a little selfish yes I know. But I do spring back and start commenting again.
  • I don't like to do Memes much. Why? I don't really know. Maybe because I have to reveal too much personal information? Or I'd rather write a boring post about something irrelevant than about me? I really don't know. I love reading other bloggers' Memes though. Does that mean I have double standards? Maybe. I don't know.
  • I love reading other blogs. This has opened up a whole new world for me. Some blogs are comment friendly and others are not. It is ok either way. As long as I get to read what they are writing. And yes I do lurk at some blogs and not leave comments. I've had a few experiences where a blogger was like, "who are you and why are you reading this?" That is ok too.
  • I love getting awards but really don't know who to give them out to. Every time I get an award, all the blogs I am a fan of have already received them at least once or twice. Then there are some who don't care for awards at all. So I never know what to do. I feel ecstatic and bad at the same time.
  • I hate chain emails. What does it have to do with blogging? Nothing. But I have to say it. If you send me one, you should know that I will break the chain. It doesn't matter how important your cause is. Or unimportant and fun. I will break the chain. Even if you threaten me that bad things will happen to me if I leave it in my inbox. I recently got a recipe exchange email from someone. Write up a recipe and ask 20 of your best friends to participate. I don't really have 20 best friends. Maybe that makes me a bad person. Oh well. The email still sits in my inbox. I should delete it today. Yes I am a chain breaker.
  • So where was I? Oh yeah. What I learned...
  • I made a ton of friends. I mean real friends. The ones that really care about you and will give you a shoulder to cry on, send you emails when you are writing stupid wine operas but they know that you are very upset about something that is happening in the world. And friends who will make you laugh. And make you feel good about yourself in the bleakest of times.
So there. Thank you Nablopomo and thank you bloggers!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogging Course: Simpleology

I saw this on a another blog and decided to test it out. You get to take this free blogging course provided you post this blurb on your blog.

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Update: So far, I am not liking it. I had to log in numerous times, got SQL/database errors, and had to continuously say no to all these things they offer for a price. Once in a lifetime offer can only be offered once. At least during one session. I've spent about 15 minutes saying no to things and yet to access the actual course. Buy additional courses. Give gift certificates to people etc. How can I give gift certificates if I don't even know if the course is good? It seems like sending chain emails to friends. Yuck.

Now after about 30 minutes into this, I get a list of 15 things I must do before I even have access to the blogging course. Print stuff, watch videos, memorize stuff, ya da ya da. That's a lot to do for a free course.

The list of things to do goes on and on. And you don't get access to the blogging course at all. I gave up after a while. If you want someone to evaluate your course, why not send the link to a few selected bloggers? It is called a pilot in course development. Obviously these folks want free publicity and want to lure in other bloggers to advertise for them. I personally find it very dishonest.

Bloggers are not idiots. Don't treat us like that. I seriously thought this was a legitimate company. I have serious doubts about them now. They also have serious flaws in their marketing. I mean bloggers write about stuff. So if we come across something that is borderline dishonest, we will write about it on our blogs. Hello!!!

I've taken free courses before and this one is something that comes with a ton of catches. Unless you want a lifestyle change and commit a lot of time to do this, avoid it.

I pulled down this post because I did not want to offend anyone. But then decided to go ahead and post it. Just want others to be aware of what they are getting into.

Water Taxi in Los Cabos

In Cabos Mexico, you can take a glass bottom water taxi from one beach to the other. You can even get a round trip to the arch. It is kinda like Manhattan where you strike a pose and a taxi will instantly appear. Depending on how cute you look.

Here is the boat we took. A word of warning though. It is kinda hard to get into it from the beach. Specially if you are carrying a ton of camera equipment. They are also very very bumpy. So point at shoot and whatever you get on your camera, oh well.

You do see a ton of fishes in the boat. It is amazing. Don't expect to get a perfect shot. The fish are super fast. Click, click, click. And consider yourself lucky if you get a shot of some.

I was being tossed around in the boat when I took this photo. Like I said, photo composition goes out of the window. You just click and hope to catch some of the beauty.

I like this picture because it signifies what is going on with me right now. Great boat, being tossed around a bit, headed towards the open sea or the rocks. You never know where the boat will end up.

If you want to take some great shots, I highly recommend the Sunset Cruise. The boat is larger, there are tons of people on the boat so it adds weight, and it is much more steady.

You'll see a spectacular sunset but won't see the fishes. Dolphins and Marlins? Yes. Little fishes? Nope.

Either way, you can't go wrong.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Entry for Photo Friday.

Pixel Fiction 3 - The Race the end

What is Pixel Fiction: Carol or I start a story and tag each other. One starts and the other ends the story. Anyone can participate. If you write an ending to the story, please leave a comment here with a link to your blog so I can compile the stories.
The Race: Beginning

The Race: The End

Mary gasped and turned around to check on her son. He was fast asleep oblivious to the danger. With all the strength she had, Mary honked the horn. And cussed. The baby was awake now and crying. She cussed again.

But the oncoming cars were oblivious to her. They were staring down at each other reving their machines and coming full throttle at her. She looked to the left and then to the right. There was no shoulder and no place for her to pull over. On one side were tall trees and other a cliff. She cussed again. And honked and honked.

The two cars were coming directly at her and her baby. She did what she only could. She prayed. And prayed. She wanted her son to be safe. She did not want either one to die.

Then she slammed her brakes.

The brakes screeched and the baby cried. She was sobbing now.

"Give me a freaking break!" She yelled.

Suddenly both the drivers noticed her car. They hit each other, swerved, and lost control of the car. And in seconds, one car went down the cliff and the other rammed into the tree.

She stopped in the middle of the road. The baby was still crying. But they were safe. She ran toward the car tangled in the tree. Smoke was spewing out. She took her cell out out to call the police. And ran towards the car to help.

She didn't have to be a doctor to tell that he was dead. She was still waiting to get through to the police. She saw some blankets and a towel. Wanting to cover the man a little, she grabbed them both.

And out popped out the packets. The man was dead and the car was about to blow up. The world stopped. All her worries dissipated. Very stealthily, she grabbed both the packets and walked towards her car.

It was while she was tucking away the packets safely into the diaper bag, that she connected with the police. She told them what happened and waited for them to arrive.

She took her baby out of the car seat and gave him the bottle.

"Hush my sweet potato. Everything is all right. It will be all right now. We are going to El Paso to meet your uncle John. He is going to be so happy with the present we have for him."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. It's day to be thankful.

It doesn't matter which country you live in.

Grab your loved ones today and let them know that you love them. And are grateful for their presence in your life.



I was planning on posting 10 things I am thankful about today. And I am thankful. Trust me. I wrote it up in my notebook. I went and took photos.

Then I heard about the attacks in Bombay. Or Mumbai as it is named now.

I will still make my pies and call everyone I can get hold of. Make sure everyone is ok.

So today on Thanksgiving day, I wish for world peace. And non-violence. And a wish that innocent people stop getting killed.


Sorry for this bleak post. I'll make it up later. I'll try to.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wine Story Winner!

Last week or so, I announced a wine-names story competition. For more info, click here.

After many tabulations and careful consideration, I am very happy to declare the winner as:


He wins an original Scriber's Web 2009 calendar.

Congratulations Mythopolis!!!!

You did a good job. An R rated one but nevertheless. It was great!

I know that many of you were interested in participating but could not. Don't worry. In December, I'll post another composite list of wine names and have another competition. There will be a prize for the winner also. But trust me, participating is fun enough. Indulge in your goofiness!

Meanwhile, if you have feedback about the competition, let me know. Was the deadline too short? Was the theme too lame? Was it a busy time for you? Would you ever participate in something like this?

I have a thick skin. So do tell. Even if it is... stop this madness now!

So M, Congratulations! Do you want me to autograph it?

One Word Meme

Nicole tagged me with the one word Meme. I don't do memes much but decided to give this one a try.

The most difficult part of this meme is, that you can only answer the questions with a single word.

Here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Where is your significant other? Upstairs

3. Your hair color? Brown

4. Your mother? India

5. Your father? Deceased

6. Your favorite thing? Writing

7. Your dream last night? None

8. Your dream/goal? PhotoJournalist

9. The room you’re in? Dining

10. Your hobby? Photography

11. Your fear? Heights

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Earth

13. Where were you last night? Home

14. What you’re not? Singer

15. One of your wish-list items? Lensbabies

16. Where you grew up? India

17. The last thing you did? email

18. What are you wearing? jammies

19. Your TV? Entourage

20. Your pet? Birdie

21. Your computer? Vaio

22. Your mood? Happy

23. Missing someone? Yes

24. Your car? Volvo

25. Something you’re not wearing? Makeup

26. Favorite store? All

27. Your summer? Fun

28. Love someone? Yes

29. Your favorite color? Red

30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday

31. Last time you cried? dunno

The other part of the challenge is to nominate five people to take up the challenge on their own blogs.

That’s the hard part.

This is also where I break the rules a little. If you haven't done this Meme already, I suggest you do it. It is a lot of fun.

I avoid doing them because I don't know what to say. I am in my comfort zone when I am writing up funny stories about wines etc. Not so much when I am writing about myself. So I avoid them.

But they are fun. So I say take the plunge and do it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blond Russian Girl

Pixel Fiction 2

The blue-eyed, blond Russian Girl Pixel Fiction:

Part 1 is by me is posted here.

Part 2 by Mythopolis is posted here.

Part 2 by Carol is posted here.

Part 2 by Moody Blue is posted here.

Part 2 by Ballerina Girl is here.

Thank you for posting! It is never too late to post another part 2. I know there are others who want to write this. Just post a link in my comment section.

All three endings are very unique. I am sure that you will enjoy them all. It amazes me how 3 different people come up with extremely creative endings.

Carol has already posted the part 1 of Pixel Fiction 3. If you are interested in posting part 2, go ahead! I am still thinking about where to take this story.

Let me know if you are going to do this.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wine Opera: Part 3

On a crystal clear day, the Good Daughter went to see her Five Friends. Specially her Sweet Walter.

She baked him a Layer Cake.

On her way, suddenly out of nowhere, she saw a Wild Horse. And on it, the Purple Cowboy.

"Hello Cupcake!" He said.

The Good Daughter gasped. She got Goosebumps.

But she said, "Out of my way or I will turn you into a Leaping Lizard!"

The Purple Cowboy sighed and said, "Please give me a Second Chance!"

Never! You Fat Bastard!
But he did not listen. So she turned him into a Leaping Lizard and made her Escape.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

London Skyline Photo

Here is a beautiful photo of the Tower of London. I took this photo a few years ago when I went to London.

But look at this one. On the right side of the photo you can see the Tower of London. But what the heck is in the center? Can any one tell me about it? Someone told me that it might be the Financial Center. Is that true? Hello European friends! Can you please enlighten me?

Does it look Austin Powerish to you or is it just me? It also seems like such a culture clash!

Check this one out... Is it just me?

Maybe I am too self-absorbed. I hate these photos. But am I wrong about this? Maybe I am only looking at it from a photographer's point of view. It messes up my photos. How dare they build something that mars my photos!

The tip is everywhere!

The tip is everywhere!


On a brighter note, the romance between the Purple Cowboy and the Good Daughter is brewing in the Wine Operaland. I personally have a virtual crush on the Purple Cowboy. If I was the Good Daughter, I'd stop playing hard to get. But anyways.

I'll post the wine opera every monday. At least for a few weeks. I never intended for this to be an ongoing thing. But looking for funny wine names is like being pregnant. You see pregnant women everywhere! I think I can continue for a few weeks.

I am hoping that sooner or later I run out of funny wine names.

So what was I writing about? Oh yeah. Check out the London Skyline.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Saturday

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pixel Fiction 2

This is Pixel fiction and this is the story I wrote. I write the beginning this time and Carol writes the ending. Anyone can participate. Just leave a comment with your blog address so we can read it.

Note to Carol: Yes I was sneaky. You can't write another story until you complete this story. The last one was hard for me.

Note to anyone who stumbles on this post: This is just fiction.

The Blond Girl...

Hello! I am a 25 year old, blue eyed, blond girl from Russia. I came to your country at the age of 21 because I was poor. I became a mail order bride. I knew not to trust the photos he sent. I just wanted a better life. And somehow help my family in Russia.

So I came and married him. He was older than dried prunes left outside in the bitter cold. He was mean. But I served him. I cooked for him, washed the dishes, and gave him a son. But he was never happy. I never made him happy. Did he make me happy? Yes. He gave me food and shelter. And my beautiful son. I could also send some money to my family in Russia. I could not complain.

But then I met Carlos. He worked at the grocery store. It was love at first sight for us. At first we pretended to run into each other. But the love was powerful. We could not deny it. We gave in. He wanted me to leave my husband and marry him.

And I would have.


On a cloudy day, I was walking towards the grocery store with the baby in my arms.


Your turn!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pixel Fiction: 1

What is Pixel Fiction? Essentially my friend Carol wrote half a story on her blog and tagged me. Kinda. So I have to complete the story.

Here is the previous part of the story. Read it first.

The following is what I came up with

You Had to See her

You walk for miles. In cold, harsh weather. But her memories warm your heart. You keep going. Clinging to the little red box in your fist. The gun feels cold in your jacket. It pokes you. But you keep going.

You had to do what you had to do. You want her. She wants you. She needs you. You remember her face as she smiled at you. And came close enough so you could smell her perfume. Her eyes spoke volumes. They said what her luscious mouth could not. Your fingers tingle at the thought of her mouth.

You walk for miles and then finally see a light. Her home. And she is alone. The bastard is not with her and will never be. You have taken care of it. Now she is free to be all yours.

You run towards the light. You cling to your gun just in case. You hope that the blood on your shoes has dried. You hope that she does not notice the blood. You pull out the gun. You hope and you hope.

You ring the bell. She doesn't answer. So you pick on the lock. And break in. You place the little red box on the coffee table. You hear a man’s voice. He has a gun. And he wants you to put your gun down.

You turn towards the voice and shoot.

Suddenly you are warm from your own blood oozing out. You fall on the floor and try to reach the red box.

And then you see her. Her eyes tell you that she is all yours as you fall asleep.


My friend Carol came up with this plan and it was much harder than what I anticipated. For one thing, I don't remember writing in second person. It is usually I or him/her. I also don't write much dark stuff. I don't have much experience with it. But this was a fun project. There were so many possibilities! I am sure I'll go back and think here is what I could have done better... If you have suggestions, let me know!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was once a witness to the following conversation between a man and a woman.

The man: Liked dabbling in alternative lifestyles
The woman: Thought swinging was just a dance

W: So What are you doing this weekend?
M: Oh. I don't know. My wife and I may go to a bar this weekend.
W: Really? That sounds like a lot of fun. My husband and I never go out. I'd love to go to a bar some day.
M: Well... I'd invite you but it is one of those swinger bars.
W: Really? I LOVE swinging! I've been begging my husband to take me to one of those bars.
M: Oh. I did not know that. My wife and I love it.
W: Oh I love it too. My husband on the other hand.. well I'll try to convince him. He needs to have some fun. F.U.N! He needs some adventure!
M: Yeah... umm...
W: You know what? Let me know next time you go. If he doesn't come, I'll go alone. Can I come alone? Do they have extra guys who can swing?
M: I guess...
W: That's it then. I'll go alone and once he realizes how much fun I am having, he'll tag along.

Another Woman in the room: Hey M! You do realize that W is talking about something completely different.

M: Yeah I got the feeling...
W: What? What are you talking about? I love Swinging. I love all kinds of dance. I'd love to try the polka dance some day.

The other woman: See?
M: Cool. Well I gotto go... See you later!
W: Have fun swinging!

W to the other woman: What the heck was that about? Did you notice how strangely he acted?
The other woman: errr.... Gotto go!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I got awards! Thanks so much Jodi!

Wow. Someone likes me! Someone actually reads my blog! My crazy ramblings!

I know... I know... I have rules to follow. I'll do it soon. But can I please post the awards for now?

Wine Story Competition

I am having way too much fun with the wine soap operas and thought you might be interested in joining me.
If you are interested, write up a wine story on your blog and post it. You must use at least 10 wine names. Post a comment here with a link to your post. If it is R rated, let us know. OK?

The deadline for this is November 24.

I'll give away my 2009 Cabos Calendar to one of the bloggers who posts this story. If no one blogs about this, oh well...

Here is a list of the wine names you can use in the story:

  • Good Daughter
  • Purple Cowboy
  • Monogamy
  • Promisquios
  • Menage a Trois
  • 5 Friends
  • Red Guitar
  • Red Bicyclette
  • Red Truck
  • Horse Play
  • Toasted Head
  • Oops
  • Valley of the Moon
  • Vampire
  • Were Wolf
  • 3 Saints
  • White Truck
  • Relax
  • Saint Amour
  • Mad Housewife
  • S.O.B (Sun of a beach)

Monday, November 17, 2008

WIne Soap Opera: Part 2

On a dark and stormy night, the Good Daughter left home in the middle of the night.

She raced to the Valley of the Moon.

To meet her 5 friends.

In the middle of the forest, she saw a Vampire.

And a Werewolf.

She was terrified.

Help me please! She prayed to the 3 Saints.

Suddenly out of nowhere, she saw a big White Truck.

And to her rescue, came the Purple Cowboy.

! He said. I'll take care of you.

And he thanked Saint Amour for his good luck.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still Here!

Still here. The weather is outstanding. Blue, blue skies, cool and crisp. I am going for a walk with my camera.

Yesterday was awesome too. I did get some photos of cool wines. Or wines with cool names. It was an adventure. I can tell you that my poor little heart got a cardio-workout. It was beating so hard.

I am going to work on some photo assignments today. You'll see them this week.

Sorry this is so boring. This is exactly why I come up with stories for my blog. My personal life is very boring.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


A house in Mexico.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Happy Friday!

Today, I am just going to bore you with a list of errands I have to do this weekend. Things have been hopping on my blog lately and too much excitement is not a good thing for you guys.

So here goes:

  • Find something glamorous to wear in the closet that fits. Dress up. Go for the Jackie-O, elegant, classy, less is more look. Find the pearls or some elegant jewelery. Remember that I am less likely to get arrested if I have the Jackie-O look. Wear high heels. Comb hair.
  • Go to World Market with my 2 cameras and take pictures of wines.
  • Look inconspicuous and try not to get arrested.
  • Remember to take big dark sun glasses with me.
  • Purchase some stuff so it looks like I am actually there at the store to buy something. Buy useless junk for the house.
  • Casually run out of the store. Make sure that I don't trip on my high heels.
  • Come home, process the photos and find the camera manual. Find out what the heck white space is about.
  • Watch the Cuisinart DVD. Complain why they can't have regular manuals.
  • Drink some wine and try to come up with something intelligent to say. Who knows, some real wine critic may stumble on my blog. Blah, blah, blah is unacceptable.
  • Plan what I am going to write on my blog next week. Scratch that. I never do what I plan anyways. The blog has a life of its own. It goes where it goes.
  • Apply a fresh coating of makeup and go to the wine supermarket. Repeat the same steps that I used for World Market.
Note to self: While contribution to economy is a great thing, don't get carried away. Use common sense. None of the blog readers will come to bail you out of jail. They are all over the world!

Also, keep phone numbers of some local friends handy. Just in case I get arrested.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This week, I received a fabulous gift from Pillsbury and MidwestMom.

I participated in the Savory Giveaways sponsored by Pillsbury and Midwest Mom. And I won! Thanks to all! Also, thanks to Ballerina Girl!

I wasn't really expecting to get such a lovely gift basket! And guess what? They are all related to wine!

It seems like a sign from the stars!

I was going to stop abusing you guys with my obsession for the wine and economy. But now I must rethink. Sometimes you just gotto do what you gotto do.

So watch this space more wine related stuff. And do your part. Contribute. If you don't drink wine, you can just talk about it to generate a buzz. That will help too!

A huge thanks to Pillsbury and Midwest Mom. I've never ever won anything. And this was a fabulous gift! Yeah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Birdie likes to cuddle.

If I put my feet on the coffee table, she will run towards me with her open beak and try to attack me.

Here she is hanging out with the love of her life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Wine Soap Opera

On a bright sunny day, the Good Daughter

went to meet her Five Friends.

She took her Red Guitar

and sped off on her Red Bicyclette


On her way, she ran into the Purple Cowboy.

He drove a big Red Truck. (OMG- Check out the cost of this wine. It is cheaper than decent vinegar.)

He was interested in a little Horse Play.

Stop! Or I'll turn you into a Toasted Head.

But he didn't listen. So she turned him into a toasted head.

Oops! She said as she sped off the meet her friends.