Archive for April, 2008

Free Coldplay download

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by poojaland

For fellow Coldplay fans — you can download their current single, “Violet Hill,” for free via their Web site. I think the offer expires Monday the 5th. I’ve been dying for some new Coldplay tuneage, so I was pretty excited to check it out. Looks like the full album will be released on my birthday, June 12!

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Random stuff: Advertising, fruit, Mary Roach …

Posted in Books, Food on April 29, 2008 by poojaland

I was waiting in the drive-through line at McDonald’s this evening (yes, yes, I often get cravings for McD’s french fries, and will periodically satisfy them — everyone’s got their vices!) and I had the random thought that a really great advertising idea would be to hang TVs en route from the ordering thing to the cashier/food windows. Sometimes you’re waiting in line between the two locations for a few minutes, and this seems like a great time to slam folks with ads — they ain’t goin’ nowhere! I’ve seen grocery stores that have those TVs by the cashier (with the sound on, they can be extremely annoying), so this idea is a natural extension of that. Think of the extra $$ fast-food restaurants could make. And when the weather’s wet/cold and folks keep their windows rolled up, well, fire up the closed captions!

Random note #2 — was at Albertson’s over the weekend and made a splurge purchase — limited-edition strawberry milkshake creme Oreos. They’re a bit pricey for the amount of cookies that you get, but I love all things strawberry and even better — they’re dairy free! Yum, they’re delish. Oh, and speaking of all things strawberry — I did make a second splurge purchase on that trip — one of my favorite treats: Good Humor strawberry shortcake ice-cream bars. There is no substitute! My other favorite cold treat is (are?) Snickers ice-cream bars. I think I have Julie to blame…er….thank for the introduction to those ;o)

In other randomness…

We ate lunch outside today for the first time in, well, 2008, really. It was a little breezy, and the sun sort of came and went, but it was definitely bearable. This was after it was nasty and raining all morning. I know I talk a lot about the weather, but it’s been bloody weird around here the past few months! We’re all just eagerly waiting for summer!

My new favorite night-time snack: really cold schoolboy-size Braeburn apples (I get them at Fred Meyer, where they’re always $0.98/lb — nice!) with peanut butter. Semi-healthy, zuibun oishi (Japanese for “very delicious”). It can be a little tricky sometimes spreading PB on the apple slice, as the PB won’t really adhere to the apple, so if you tip the slice at all — whoosh! PB overboard.

If I were a rich girl, I’d hire someone to do nothing but prep fruit for me. Namely, peel oranges, wash and cut apples/pears, de-stem strawberries … I got an 8 lb. bag of oranges the other week — which amounted to like 14 oranges — and thus have had the icky, sticky fun task of peeling one basically every day since then. It becomes a bit of a process when I’m in the office — 1. get the orange from the fridge (it’s gotta be cold); 2. wash hands; 3. wash orange (because I’m a bit of a germaphobe); 4. go back to office; 5. peel orange over the garbage can and try to separate the wedges without giving my face a bath of (too much) orange juice; 6. go back to kitchen and wash dried orange gunk off my fingers; 7. get a fork and go back to office (the fork is so I can eat and work at the same time). Whew! And, of course, then that lovely orange scent gets absorbed into the skin of my fingertips..

Finally, the latest book by one of my favorite authors, Mary Roach, has recently been released. The title is “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex” (more deets on Amazon). She is HIL-arious. I randomly picked up her book “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” at the library a few years back because I was intrigued by the cover (click to see the image and get more info). I loved it from the first page, and have since gotten several friends to become fans of hers as well. If you’re looking for an informative, witty and just plain fun read, I highly recommend “Stiff.” Her second book, “Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife,” is also great, but I like “Stiff” better. Can’t wait to check out “Bonk”!
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April 24: Dining Out for Life Day

Posted in Food on April 24, 2008 by poojaland

If anyone stumbles across this in time — today is Dining Out for Life day in Seattle. If you eat at a participating restaurant, they’ll donate 30% of your bill to the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. Here’s where to find what restaurants are participating:

The guys and I just got back from dining out at Matador here in Redmond. My cheese enchiladas were great, but I’m still not a fan of black beans, no matter how hard I try. Still glad to have donated to the cause, though!

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Watch out for the chicken neck

Posted in health, Movies on April 22, 2008 by poojaland

Saturday — now known as The Day of Four Weather Patterns, as we had rain, hail, misty rain showers and sunshine — I went to see “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” with Chrissy. HIGH-larious! I loved it! The page dude from “30 Rock” had some great lines, and of course, there are the lovely frontal nude shots of Jason Segel. Makes you think he’s got more than a little love for Mini Segel, being that he wrote the film and all..

Sunday — another crazy weather day — I met up with the family to check out KING 5’s Health Fair down near Qwest Field. The highlights:

  • The four of us (in my family) were standing side by side watching these break dancers perform. The troupe had one guy walking around the spectators, giving out an informational flier on the team. Of all of my family members, he came up to MY MOM and gave her the flier! The rest of us started cracking up immediately, and I think the guy became a little embarrassed as he walked off. My mom was like, “Look! He thinks I can do it!”
  • We stood in a small crowd to watch the Healthy Housekeeper do a demo. My mom was right up front; I was maybe three people behind her. This lady next to me randomly pulled out this flier and gave it to me after mentioning how she teaches “going green” classes at a local community college. I responded politely but briefly, and put her flier in my bag ‘o goodies. Then my mom turned around and shot me this really evil devil stare. The flier lady asked “Uh, is everything okay?” I don’t know what my mom’s deal was, so I just kind of flapped my hand and said “Oh.. that’s just my mom.”
  • Took part in this free chiropractic exam thing. Apparently I’m starting to get the lovely chicken neck thing that occurs to a lot of people who spend most of their days in front of a computer. And I guess I still have the slight scoliosis my doctor discovered in the early ’90s when I was in junior high. I’m a little alarmed now, so I think I’ll make an appointment with a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Also, I don’t know if it was just the power of suggestion, but my neck’s been hurting a lot ever since that “exam”!

I’m beat today. I blame it on usual Sunday-night insomnia and the few sips of caffeinated coffee I had at the Health Fair (Starbucks was sampling their new Pike Place Roast, but didn’t have decaf). The coffee was really good, by the way. Much less bitter than their usual coffee, and as “smooth” as they’ve been advertising. Anyway, I think I also have a dust speck or something under my left contact, because it’s really irritating me. I keep winking hard with my left eye to try and dislodge it. I wear daily disposable lenses, so I’m trying to avoid switching the lens out (and my vision would be totally thrown off if I took it out completely). Ah, my life is so dramatic!

‘Snow?!’ retread and

Posted in shopping, Weather on April 19, 2008 by poojaland

Hard to believe only six days ago, we were getting that early taste of summer with an 80-degree day. It dipped into the 40s early this week, and then today — it’s snowing again! It’s only been coming down for a couple hours now, but you can see in the pic that it is indeed coming down pretty hard.

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In other news — I’ve recently been thinking about getting some reusable grocery bags. Mainly, I want something with shoulder straps to make it easier to lug groceries — plus my purse and mail, laptop, etc. — from my car and up the flights of stairs to my condo. I’d originally been thinking of getting this funny one from the Onion that says “Stop Staring at My Tote” (see, but then a friend pointed me to this great site: They have basic, generic-looking totes and bags that are similar to the brown paper bags you get at the stores now. Then they also have these really cool (though very pricey) bags made of recycled materials like outdoor advertising banners hung around Seattle and recycled juice boxes from the Philippines. Right now, I’m leaning toward dual-handle bags made from recycled PET or this German bag that folds into a little pouch and could pull double-duty as a casual tote. I’m also going to see if my parents would be up for using one or three if my sister and I buy some for them for their anniversary (which was earlier this week).

Anyways.. hoo-ee, it’s still coming down out there, and even sticking! I can hardly see the freeway now from my living-room window, it’s so white. Good thing I did some grocery shopping this afternoon — I think I’m going to stay off the roads tonight and have a movie night.

They took us out to the ball game

Posted in baseball, Mariners, work on April 16, 2008 by poojaland

Yesterday afternoon, my team at work went to see the Mariners take on the Kansas City Royals down at Safeco. We’d booked two side-by-side suites, and a wall between the two was removed to make one very large suite. It was super chilly out — low upper 40s when the game started, and into the low 40s by the time it ended — so most people stayed in the indoors part of the suite, watching the game on the numerous flat-screens and enjoying the great food and drinks. Being that I really enjoy being at live games, I spent the majority of the game sitting in the seats we had directly outside the suites. They were covered (and the stadium’s roof was closed), and I had on several layers of shirts/jackets and fleece blanket, but dang — it wasn’t until halfway from the stadium to the bus stop later that day that my toes finally defrosted. Here’s a shot of the inside of the suite(s):

Here’s me rocking my M’s T-shirt:

And our view of the field from waaay out in right field:

The game itself was a lot of fun. It started out a bit slow, and the score was close through the middle of the game, but then the M’s started hitting sacrifice flies left and right (five total, tying an MLB record) and the final score was 11-6 Mariners. Derek was also into the game, and stayed outside as long as I did. We had a fun time putting “curses” on the opposing hitters, mocking Royals players’ names (they had a pitcher with the last name “Gobble”), taking funny pictures and groaning over the bad phrases the display folks would flash after a Mariner had a good hit/play (i.e., “When there’s a Willie, there’s a way” after Willie Bloomquist got a hit).

During the game, Derek came across a J.J. Putz soulpatch (in honor of the M’s beloved closer, who is unfortunately on the DL right now); I think they’d been handed out at a previous game. Anyways, we had a riot trying it on and taking pictures. This particular shot had us cracking up for a good three minutes after we saw it:

That’s my left hand you see there. I was trying to do a funny self-photo, but I cut myself out of the photo entirely, and instead, it looks like Derek is super strung out with a Nilla wafter on his chin, getting it scratched by some anonymous other strung-out person. I’m still chuckling over the picture a day later.

On a completely different note — I’m watching “Top Chef” as I type this, and there was just a commercial for the Olive Garden. I know it’s not super hip to be a fan of O.G. since it’s a chain and all, but man — I really love their breadsticks and salad!! I shouldn’t go around publicizing it, but my entire family actually likes the O.G. and we go there at least once a year to celebrate either my parents’ anniversary or one of our birthdays…

Genius Bushism for the day

Posted in George W. Bush on April 14, 2008 by poojaland

On my desk at work, I have a daily tear-off calendar titled “The George W. Bush Out of Office Countdown” (which goes through Jan. 20, 2009 to cover the entire countdown — nice!); each day has some clever (ahem) quote from Bush’s run in office. Friday’s quote — which I didn’t read until today as I work from home on Fridays — gave me a nice chuckle:

“They could still be hidden, like the 50 tons of mustard gas on a turkey farm.” — Washington, D.C., April 2004, speaking about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Is that some sort of agricultural inside joke or something?? I guess my turkey-farm knowledge is woefully lacking, because I just don’t get it.

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An early taste of summer

Posted in Weather on April 13, 2008 by poojaland

So it’s been a beautiful couple days here in Seattle. Friday was in the low 60s, though not super sunny, so Anuja, Pauline and I met in up in the early evening to play some tennis. Saturday, the weather folks had predicted it would be around 71 and overcast, but as I was driving around in the evening, my car temp gauge showed a balmy 81:

I also spent a lot of time outside yesterday; first up, more tennis with Anuja, but this time it was much sunnier and much warmer. I was sweating after just the first five minutes or so. There was this odd couple next to us; they were probably in their late 40s. The woman was apparently doing this weird moan/grunt thing (Anuja was on her side, so she heard it more than I did), and rather than standing on the baselines to play — as is the norm — they were standing on the lines halfway up each side of the court. They only stuck around maybe 30 minutes. After about an hour of tennis, it was back to my parents’ to cool down and change. Next, it was off to meet Chrissy for our now-weekly hiking outing. It was super crowded, still very warm, and there were tons of dogs there (Chrissy’s dog, Maggie, doesn’t do well around other dogs), so we did a “short” hike for only a handful of miles. Still a great workout, though. Always interesting to find out the names of strangers’ dogs; yesterday, we met one the owner called “Lard.”

A few days ago, I was driving home from my parents’ in the early evening and there was this really cool cloud pattern in the sky. I snapped a pic with my cameraphone while I was at a stoplight:

I showed it to my dad yesterday, and his response was, “Oh, that’s nice! You should blow it!” Despite the fact that my dad’s been in the U.S. for over 35 years now, and has been speaking English for even longer, he sometimes is a little off on those tricky idioms/slang phrases ;o)

Anyway, looks like we’re back to the more usual gloomy April weather today. Just hope it stays dry for the next few days, as we have a team outing at work to go see a Mariners game. In a private suite, no less! Haven’t been to a game in at least a year, so I’m really looking forward to that.

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Fresh air and a wee road trip

Posted in Buster, taco truck on April 11, 2008 by poojaland

The weather is gorgeous today — sunny and in the 60s, though a wee bit overcast. I opened up my bedroom window for Buster to get some air; the screens are currently not in, as I had to remove them when our building had our windows cleaned, and I haven’t gotten around to putting them back up. Anyway, when Buster stuck his head out, I ran into the living room and snapped a pic of him peering out. So cute!

Yesterday, despite the rather overcast day and off-and-on rain sprinkles, a group of us trekked down to the taco truck for a good-bye lunch for a co-worker. Eight of us smashed into two cars — one was a mini, the other was a three-seater truck with a stick shift. I was the lucky “middle” person in Eric’s truck; two other guys squeezed in next to me. I’ve posted some pics from the outing; first is a self-photo of us in Eric’s truck (don’t you love my up-the-nostrils angle??), the next is of me chowing down on my veggie burrito (looking a little evil…not sure why — it was delicious!), then there’s a group shot of us. Some of us ate in/on the bed of Eric’s truck; others just stood around. Good times!

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I’m in Wikipedia … sort of

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2008 by poojaland

The other day, out of curiosity, Eric and I Googled our names. I started with just my first name, and surprise! There’s a Wikipedia entry for it: I clicked on the Discussion tab, and apparently some other Pooja out there is making a band name for the rest of us (…


The better page for the background on my name is by going to the page using the alternate spelling “Puja”:

The first page mentions some actresses named “Pooja.” I was actually named after an actress, though I don’t know exactly which. The story (which I should confirm, since I heard it some time ago) is that my mom was hanging out with a friend while she was pregnant with me (my mom, not the friend). They were watching some Hindi movie with this Pooja lady in it. My mom’s friend said “‘Pooja,’ that’s a nice name.” And my mom was like “Okay.” Sorted!

Oh, and I had another weird dream this morning; I was a contestant on the current “Bachelor”! And I, along with this other contestant, had to dance on this stage in a red bikini for the guy. But I never got around to the performance; I was just inside the dressing room freaking out about having to put on a bikini..