Archive for November, 2010

I put the kettle to boil, measured out exactly a quarter cup full of dried couscous out into a bowl, then a quarter cup of boiling water on it, and thought about the events over the course of today.

I shrugged. Took a carrot, three mushrooms and six cherry tomatoes out of the fridge [one medium sized, one yellow, one red, one yellow, one red, count the remaining tomatoes and divide it by two to ensure that there are enough for hypothetically two more salads, one more yellow], set out my mandolin slicer and a chopping board, dried out my lunch container with paper towels.

As I slid the carrot back and forth on the mandolin, I took stock of the day. Minus one for defence not filed and almost losing my temper. Plus two for touching base with a client and uncovering new evidence to kill off the afternoon hearing. Minus one for feeling resentful when not exactly entitled to. Plus one for brokering a palatable outcome for clients, plus one for a successful adjournment of a PTC before a difficult judge, plus one for a cup of hot tea in the bar room on a rainy afternoon…

I stirred a knob of butter into the couscous. Thought for a bit, then opened the spice cupboard and sprinkled some paprika and chilli flakes. Emptied the sliced carrots and marvelled at the three mushrooms, almost frozen stiff in the fridge before slicing them thin into the couscous mixture. Surveyed the half-full lunch container and changed my mind about the tomatoes, placing them back into the container in the fridge with their bretheren for another day.

I remember reading in a Reader’s Digest at my piano student’s place over the weekend how eating a salad made out of 2 cups of greens and a quarter cup of carrots for lunch is supposed to be really good for you. “Meals that will change your life” screamed the cover of the magazine.

I habitually eat salads made up of two cups of greens and a quarter cup of carrots for lunch. But my life hasn’t really changed very much, I mused. Not any better, anyhow.

I turned that thought over in my head for a bit while I piled a handful of spinach then a handful of Mesclun mix on top of the couscous. Not any worse either, come to think of it.

I giggled. I am also quite sure that the person who wrote the article never meant changing your life the same way I perceive it.

Then again, thought I while grating a rather generous helping of Parmesan cheese onto the salad, I remember the article stating how one would lose weight if one included more calcium into one’s diet and that cheeses were a good source of calcium. I eat an awful amount of cheese but I am not any thinner anyway.

I remembered an incident at work where I left a three-cheese warm couscous and spinach salad in the microwave at the pantry and was called away by someone. While I was away, the microwave went off and some unfortunate soul who was waiting to use the microwave opened it to let my lunch out only to be assaulted by a large cloud of blue cheese fumes bursting forth from my lunch container. When I went back to the pantry, there stood three people looking rather sullen and angry at me. I laughed nervously. “Erm…It isn’t anything decaying…it’s just cheese…sorry about it…” I faltered under the stare of all present, retrieved the offending container and scurried off back into my room as quickly as I could manage.

I chuckled. Covering the salad, I placed it into the fridge, stole a swig from a half-full can of Coke Light standing between a bottle of my award winning [haha] Bolognese sauce and a container of rice, then turned off the lights to head upstairs to go through my toilet for bed.

Maybe my salad with the two cups of greens and one quarter cup of carrots will indeed change the world tomorrow.

One never really quite know with these things.

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I just had a work epiphany.

I am sitting at my desk. I have enough work to sustain myself. I am billing enough. I get to go home at 7pm on most days in time to cuddle my kids and have a nice quiet dinner with my family and bake chocolate-chip cookies. Life is quite good.

So why should I bother myself with who is getting more work than me or who is saying what about me?

In fact, if I got more work than I do now, I will become cranky because I will no longer be able to go home at 7pm on most days. And we all know that I am no good to anyone at all when I am cranky.

Life is after all just an exercise of choosing who or what you want to listen to.

In the very same breath, you can also choose not to listen to anything or anyone at all.

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on love and marriage

Sartaj was sure that this was right, and true, that Kamala Pandey and Mr. Mahesh Pandey were happy husband and wife, when they were not hitting each other. In marriage, as elsewhere, nothing was simple. Maybe Kamala needed the pilot, as her husband needed her, as she needed her husband. Somewhere within this tangle of need and loss and lies, there was the truth of love.

Life was long, and marriage was hard. She would maybe make mistakes again, because she loved her husband. Love, Sartaj mused, was an iron trap. Caught in its teeth, we thrash about, we save each other and we destroy each other.

~ Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games

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It’s fun watching Peanut and Lion develop an increasing awareness of each other day by day, from the initial “Baby Baby!” to laying down next to him on the mattress and trying to play with him.


In other news, I’m terribly sick of reading Affidavits in the train on the way to work and preparing cross-examination at night.

Today, I abandoned the Affidavits and wilfully returned to the lives of Ganesh Gaitonde and Sartaj Singh in the train.

Today, I was told that the questions I posed during cross-examination suggested that I had vast experience doing the work, but I look youthful so it’s difficult to tell how long I’ve been doing this. I blushed and we all laughed.

Today, I arm twisted a settlement after the rather successful cross-examination. I returned to the office after a rather successful day to a huge pile of mail waiting on my table.

I sighed. I drank water. I sat down at my desk and stared down the piles of files.

All I really want to do is to go home and lie on the mattress with Peanut and Lion and sing nonsense songs and not think about bogus accounts and tax returns and traffic light cameras, how many lanes, how many seconds, how far and how fast, splicing seconds into split seconds into words, just words on a page, in the Court’s records.

I shrugged. All in all, it’s been a rather good day. So I shall just leave work, do a foot massage, head home and come back to try again tomorrow.

Thank goodness the work week is drawing to a close.

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