Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Rubber Fingers & Eyeballers (underrated/overrated series, 1st installment)

So much for socially relevant topics! Hahaha, this blog post is inspired by my little rubber finger as we girls call it at the office, the proper name actually being, a rubber "thimble" - no misnomer this time. That name's right on. I thought of coming up with my version of an underrated/overrated post...the idea hardly original, borrowed from what I believe is a regular feature of Strut magazine. Of course I was supposed to compile my own list of things, people and events to rate accordingly and I've been racking my brain all morning fruitlessly, until in a flash of genius, my attention was drawn to my nifty little rubber finger that I seem to misplace all the time, but somehow always turns up in either my purse, squished in either jean pocket, beneath my desk or even sometimes in it's actual proper designated spot in my desk drawer nestled on paper clips, beside the compartment for Post-its, oh, I mean no-name stickies! They're totally insignificant and sadly underrated in the greater scheme of things, but in both the girl-Friday and accountant's paper-filled world, they are the next best thing to sliced bread. They're available in different colors and sizes (I wear a size zero on my right middle finger) but always with the little protuberances, a bit like a prophylactic that we won't mention here. The often overlooked humble yet indispensable office staple comes in packs of a dozen for a dollar and they'll even throw in an extra one or two for free when their manufacturers are feeling especially generous, good thing! And square millimeter for square millimeter, they are grippier than Goodyear winter tires....quote me on everything else, except the last statement 'coz I made that one up!!!

On the other side of the table, you first heard of snorting alcohol and as if that isn't dumb enough, there's now what's called "eyeballing," totally overrated, it basically involves dousing the eye with 80-proof alcohol in the maddest method ever devised to get smashed. There is a certain British advocate of eyeballing whose only credit attached to his name is a dumb home-video circulating around Youtube of him engaging in this practice and screaming like a girl (totally putting me to shame!) from the subsequent stinging burn of the booze which in turn elicits low-pitched imbecillic guffaws from his equally dumb male-buddies. Despite the serious warning of the dire consequence of eyeballing, namely, going blind (whatever!), and a sobering explanation (forgive the pun) that all the alcohol does is wear away at the eye's protective covering and that very little alcohol is absorbed that way anyway, all by none other than a very concerned Dr. Ordon of The Doctors, during a brief telephone interview on the show, Bonehead there cockily insists that "he will continue to do it as long as he can, thank you very much." Talk about an utter lack of regard and respect for the God-given and priceless gift of sight! He can totally knock himself out eyeballing until he turns blue in the face, for all I care, but maybe he shouldn't post his idiotic antics up on Youtube 'coz then our kids see them and believe that it's tons of fun, as the pediatrician, Dr. James Sears, pointed out too on the show. Makes me want to save him all the trouble and not to mention, some perfectly good Grey Goose, and poke his eyeballs out myself with my rubber-thimbled fingers!!! Who's with me? Limber up!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Graphic C-section Video Clips, Elevator Music & Lady Gaga

Last night, Kumar found me slumped over the keyboard of our computer with the screen still on my Facebook page, yes, for real! I had passed out upon first sight of a scalpel slicing into a lady's pregnant belly. It was from a link shared by a friend that, of course, I couldn't resist opening and which I now greatly regret having done so - gosh, it was like opening up Pandora's box! It was a rather graphic video clip of a c-section and what's got to be the oddest thing about it was that it was set to the strains of some funny mellow elevator music, also known as "muzak." (On the subject of muzak, according to a study, it is the least stimulating (with no significant spike in the monitor needle, I suppose!) kind of music to a child's developing brain, classical of course, being the most! Muzak is a more apropros term for this, uhm, genre of music, because unfortunately, it is not only played in elevators. It can be heard at many a fast-food restaurant, particularly, McDonald's and now, apparently, also as background music to random viral Youtube video clips as well?!)

But going back to my fainting incident from watching the graphic c-section clip - that my friends, is the reason why I am not a doctor, nor a nurse or neither a dentist for that matter. In an OR setting, I would be the first person to pass out in a heap. I have no idea where my morbid fear of blood and sharp objects stem from. The only plausible explanation I can come up with is probably from watching too much M*A*S*H during my childhood. Of course, my parents knew better not to allow me to watch the show, but I would still peek anyways, and at eight years of age it, it was fascinating and probably the most daring thing I've done to defy my parents! I thought I had gotten away with it, but apparently, not unscathed (lol) because now, I break out in a cold sweat whenever I catch sight of a needle. Experts didn't know much about the affect viewing such shows had on minors back in the day either, but that show was both so tame and literally and figuratively sterile compared to what we have now! It's only until the emergence, I guess, of a new breed of squeamish, hemophobic (quintessential example: me) and even psychopathic people (or is it just better record-keeping and documentation of something that had always existed?) that they've caught on. Censorship has since become stricter, with new laws put in place, and by now, it is mandatory to issue parental advisories for shows that feature mature themes and what not, expletives are bleeped, and images are pixelated. However, whether parents actually supervise their children's tv-watching, and use discretion as to what they let their children view is a whole different discussion.

A few months back, we were at friends'. Obviously we had no control over what was playing on the TV. An award show was actually on, so we figured that was fine. Besides, Lady Gaga, was supposed to perform. You see, after four years straight of child-bearing and rearing, spent changing endless diapers and watching Dora and Pixar movie marathons, I hadn't exactly been keeping up with who was "in" as far as the mainstream muscic scene is concerned, at least. But I had heard so much about this Gaga person and I was rather intrigued. I wanted to see this girl perform. How was I to know that her finale would be of her getting "lynched" and getting "blood" splattered all over her face? It was so unexpected and took place so fast that I couldn't block Maya's view. Needless to say, it really affected her. For weeks afterwards, she kept talking about a "lady" with blood. Now it was bad enough when she would tell our friends about this, but when her daycare teacher brought it to my attention, I wanted to crawl under a rock...lol, that Lady Gaga is quite a character, funny coz gaga means stupid in Tagalog, hmmm, fitting....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Fractured Ribs...

A few days ago, I slipped on one of Jaden's toys which were strewn all over the hallway and took a bad tumble, well, actually more a belly flop than anything. I landed perfectly prone on my tummy and got the wind totally knocked out of me in the process. It happened so fast that I couldn't even buffer my fall with my hands as one usually does by reflex, at least. Man, are my reflexes that dull these days? Must be the epidural I had gotten, uhm, twice.

I got up quite hastily to assess the injury and after giving my torso's reflection on the bathroom mirror a quick once-over, I decided that I was ok and went about my usual activities after that. Heck, I even did my ridiculous abs workout that consists of sets of ten different kinds of crunches pretty effortlessly that night. But three days later it hit, I woke up again feeling like I had been pummeled all night. My left side was so sore that it even hurt to breath. I couldn't raise my voice by even half a decible without me wincing in pain or cough without making my eyes tear. And that night, on our "family bed," trying to get comfy was all but impossible. I was terrified that Maya would roughhouse me and pull some kind of WWE move and was equally paranoid that Jaden would jab my bad side with his elbow or that I would get "footed" by him in my sleep. Needless to say, I didn't sleep a wink that night, with my hands protectively over my sore ribs the whole time...

I don't think Googling up "fractured rib" makes me a hypochondriac. I just wasn't feeling up to waiting in the ER for ten hours or so (I've seen enough of hospitals these days). Apparently, it's fairly easy to fracture one, and although it's not necessarily life-threatening once other serious complications are ruled out, it can be excruciating. So I concluded that I must have a fractured rib, a hairline one at least, what else could explain the pain? If coughing too hard can score you one, then how much more a fall like the one I had? So that was my self-diagnosis and that's the beauty of the internet - with just one click of a button, boom! - you get all of this information at your disposal. Of course what you do with it is your call. In my case, I ordered myself lot's of rest and wrote myself a prescription for some Reisling which I had Kumar fill.

Exactly a week and a half later, I'm feeling a bit better. It's just been a bit cumbersome, especially since it's exactly where I carry Jaden. I've always marveled at the body's capacity to repair itself, though. By now I've progressed to the point where laughing doesn't make me yelp, err, things, but my long-term goal of course, is to be able to belly laugh in complete abandon without having an "accident" from the pain or what Gidget would have called a "senior moment" (lol). I think I'm getting there, towards recovery, that is. Senility and incontinence? Well, that too, I guess, eventually!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fluffy Clouds

The other day, after I had pulled out of the paved parking lot of, of all places, Costco - what I consider to be the Mecca of not just retail but wholesale consumerism - I had what my former colleague, Gidget, would have called a "religious moment" (as different from what she would consider to be a "senior moment," still distinct from what she would refer to as a "senile moment???") You see, our urban environment with it's secular routine, naturally distracts us from God. But this time, stopped at a red light, creation struck me. Behind the man-made PVC-covered wheel of my car, I marveled at a massive fluffy cloud formation that was blocking the sun almost completely except for some random pockets which allowed a few rays to stream out - bright and intense slanting pillars of light cascading down to the horizon - it was simply magnificent! I literally saw the beautiful silver lining the clouds, but obviously, the man in the fancy beemer behind me who was furiously glaring and honking at me in a fit of road-rage, hadn't. Probably through no fault of his own, being just as caught up as I had been in the jaded rat-race of life. A shiny silver BMW? Must've been some kind of businessman, I'll assume, with a gazillion commitments and apparently pressed for time. Besides, who was I to hold up traffic, gawking at the sky??? Religious moment, spiritual moment, call it whatever, to me it was a nudge, a manifestation of His presence, during a runner up to the lowest point ever I've ever been in my life...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Le St-Martin Hotel Particulier

So I've already written at length about our anniversary weekend, with whole blog posts devoted to Bice and the movie, Salt. It wouldn't be fair then not to mention anything about the hotel we stayed at namely, Le St-Martin Hotel Particulier. I know it's a mouthful, and a pretty curious name. You see, I've blogged extensively about Kumar too, and if you guys have been following, you would know that he is metrosexual and particular hence particulier. The term is actually what distinguishes the hotel from it's existing Laval sibling, in that it is located downtown, at the corner of de Maisonneuve and Metcalfe to be exact, where the old Ben's Deli used to be! According to Wikipedia, an hôtel particulier (French pronunciation: [otɛl paʁtikylje]) "is an urban "private house" of a grand sort" - of course that's in French contexts, but then again Quebec is French anyways.

I particularly (lol) loved the fact that the hotel is brand spanking new, just two months young - which meant that the ultra thick pile towels hasn't gone through too many hands yet and neither have the crisp 450 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets. The newer hotels in Montreal are of the "boutique" kind, like the Sofitel, the opulent, Opus, or Hotel W - ultra modern and tres chic, so for me, the contemporary and traditional styling of Le St-Martin is both a welcome departure from the trend and as well as a refreshing return to the classic...

Well more important than the silly hotel, restaurant or movie, is the the company I kept and the occasion it marked! Eight years of marriage - it might be a relatively short time and sure we might have quite a ways to go, but I think that's definitely an achievement in a time and age when couples falling out is so commonplace. Sure we've had our rough patches, but rough patches are rough patches, you smooth them out. They say not to "sweat the small stuff" (like the glob of toothpaste or the sprinkling of whiskers in the sink and/or the toothpaste splatter all over the bathroom mirror that he won't wipe off and gives you the illusion of intergalactic travel, manning the cockpit of the Enterprise!!!) but I think it's almost inevitable that you will, at least sometimes, it's a given! Just the other night Kumar passed some lame comment that just
didn't sit too well with me and before we knew it, the whole thing escalated into a full-blown argument, over what? His merino wool socks from Savile Row that got seperated in the wash - trivial, I know, go figure! That's why it's so important to freely forgive, in fact, it's true what they say, that it takes two good forgivers to make a successful marriage, or something to that effect. Personally, we just apply the Bible's counsel to not let the sun go down in a provoked state, as in literally most times. Be prompt to settle differences (obviously after you've cooled off!), be realistic in your expectations of one another and remember to inject humor, lot's of it, into your marriage!!!

So that was to bring you up to speed with our little special treat this year and I'm already looking forward to next year's! Now I won't hold my breath, but maybe then, I'll get to blog about Venice and Tuscany???

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bice - a Restaurant Review

I was quite amused at the rather caustic review of Bice by a certain "Westmounter" as he identified himself as, which I found off tripadvisor.com. Directly quoting him, Westmounter said: "The geriatric crowd that lives in the condos across the street fill this place. The food is very bland, because the chef can't use too much garlic or spices so the blue hairs don't get gas. Great place to bring your grandmother. It's too bad because it could really be a good restaurant if they can ditch the old farts." Hahaha...

Unfortunately for him, it seems like the loyal senior patrons are there to stay just as they have been for the past decade of the trendy franchise's existence, owing of course to it's consistent delivery of great fusion Italian fare in a swanky atmosphere. If Westmounter wanted to socialize with the younger set, he should have walked a few blocks down to Crescent or Peel street or driven a bit further east to the Main. (There certainly is no lack of great restaurants in Montreal where wining and dining and cafe-ing is a lifestyle. There's a place for everyone depending on what you're looking for - gastronomics or ambience.) Westmounter definitely wouldn't be missed, as for Bice, they could even get away with having such a snooty maitre 'd whom frankly, I really didn't care too much for.

When Kumar told his Harry Rosen colleague, Martine, that we were going to Bice's for our eighth year wedding anniversary, she told him that the place is indeed frequented by rich sixty-somethings & over, so we were forewarned, and sure enough, shortly after we got settled at our table in the cozy candlelit garden area (which really is Bice's main attraction besides the food), the senior regulars began to file in. But it wasn't limited to just them. Pretty soon the place was teeming with a multi-aged & ethnic cohort of diners that included a Carrie Bradshaw & the gang-ish group of ladies in silky and tafetta confections sipping on Bellinis and Cosmos by the bar, two of Kumar's clients - one a fresh-grad plastic surgeon, the other a young entrepreneur and his lovely wife, a sikh man with a friend and a family gathered to celebrate an occasion among others. That night, restaurant was a microcosm of the city, you got a perfect slice of what is Montreal
demographically - diverse and cosmopolitan, a real melting pot. It's really not a bad place to be seen at all as Westmounter would like to lead you to believe.

Getting to the food, we came hungry but at the same time I didn't want to fill up on entrees, besides we were already noshing on the complimentary canapes/crostinis with three kinds of dips that was promptly set before us. One of the dips was caramelized onions folded into what I consider the Rolls Royce of mayonnaise - an emulsion of raw egg and what you could tell was good quality extra virgin olive oil and vintage wine vinegar. The other was a fresh guacamole dip and the third one was what had to be cannelini bean puree. So I didn't want an
entree, but Kumar decided he would have the classic, fried calamari to start. Our waiter (which both Kumar and I agreed looked like Gerald Butler) himself offered to split the order between us saving us the trouble of having to ask, although I would've been fine to pick off Kumar's
plate, like I usually do! The calamari was excellent. At first I was worried that it might taste a bit burnt because they looked a tad more golden and well-done than what I'm used to getting at medium-scale and/or mom & pop places, but it was melt-in-your mouth perfect. Looking back it's almost funny though, because the rings were arranged over the same complimentary guacamole (that didn't escape my critical eye!) albeit sprinkled with a bit of acidic salsa to cut the rich avocado and deep fried calamari, nevertheless, the combination made for an Ital-Mex marriage made in heaven!!!

As for the "prima piatti," I wasn't feeling like neither "carni" nor "pesce," so I decided on having linguine alle vongole with New Zealand mussels, Manila clams (hey wazz uppp!!!) pancetta, mushrooms, and wild arugula. The plate was amazing. The pasta was perfectly "al dente," the two kinds of shellfish made for some yummy and sweetish (and exotic!) variety, the pancetta added a meaty saltiness, the mushrooms, a nice earthiness, and the arugula, a pleasant bitterness...a pretty well-rounded dish, the only right way to eat it is with a fork, and yes, a spoon in true Italiano fashion! Kumar is a huge seafood fan and was debating on either the lobster spaghetti or the seafood risotto, and finally chose the latter which was similar to a Portuguese seafood and rice casserole that he had really
enjoyed at Ferreira's before. His risotto was extra creamy thanks to the added mascarpone and yet still had that bite. It was obvious that the chef painstakingly babysat the arborio rice as it reduced and then added a final splash of vermouth for good measure. The seafood included rock crab and succulent shrimp in generous chunks, which is really, traditionally Italian, reminiscent of mamma's and nonna's largish portions and just as comforting. For beverages, I'm off the booze for the moment so I stuck to the ice-cold San Benedetto sparkling water and Kumar just had a limoncello. His rich plate left him way to stuffed for dessert, but I couldn't resist taking a peek at the dessert menu. After all, I was still in search of a creme brulee runner up to the best ever one I've had at the now closed, Garcon.

I get a real kick out of creme brulee. I love cracking into the caramelized shell. It's like breaking into a soft-boiled egg, only so much more exciting - to me it's like, uh, rapture! Eating creme brulee is like my third life's purpose! Bice's creme brulee alla vaniglia was yummy - I particularly like how the cream had been whipped to a thicker consistency, unlike the runnier versions I've had and it was beautifully garnished too, with a black and regular sesame brittle/wafer, a single ground cherry, a blackberry and an unhulled strawberry dusted lightly of course with confectioner's sugar. Now, was the food any good? Absolutely, in all it's artery-clogging goodness, heck, yes! Would we come back? Definitely, next time with our friends and to specifically try the osso bucco and the hazelnut pudding with chocolate and Frangelico! Ciao:)

** This definitely isn't Architectural Digest so I won't talk too much about the restaurant's overall design, although I am quite familiar (lol) with the general contractor that oversaw it's recent renovation. I must say that they, along with the design team did an impeccable job in updating Bice's look. I did notice the nice mosaic-y tiled stall walls in the ladies washroom, and of course there was the popular open-air garden. It's funny how we come up with euphemisms for certain things, like how we call the extra fat around the mid-section, "love handles" or wrinkles, "character lines." Well, that's exactly what the scratches & scuffs on the chairs that I've noticed are - "character marks" - from day after day of restauranting success!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The last time I had written a movie review, it was more like a sypnosis so this time I'll just concentrate on the main cast (not the "semi driver" or the "lady by the office water cooler" extra) namely, Schreiber and Jolie and their respective performances, so as not to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it yet.

Truly talented thespians can play and nail any character, but what is even more impressive is when they successfuly take on a role of a character, who is taking on the role of another character. This is the premise Salt is based on. Yes, good actors/actresses can portray just about any role and bring them to life, be it the good or bad guy. They can equally play an endearing protagonist or a hateful antagonist so effectively that you have a hard time distinguishing fiction from reality and almost want to send the character either poetic fan letters or scathing hate mail! I know that's how I felt about Liev Shcreiber's role in the Manchurian Candidate. To be honest, I don't even remember much from that movie, all I know is that Schreiber played some evil, evil mama's boy politician. No, his acting wasn't bad, not at all, on the contrary, it was so credible, too credible that his Candidate's persona kinda stayed with me. In my books, Salt was his chance to redeem himself, and he did. In the movie you buy his portrayal of Salt's ally.

As for Angelina Jolie, what else can I say, she's the very epitome of hotness. But there's definitely more to her than just what meets the eye - she's got both heart and substance. Besides her philantropy, her leading role performance in Changeling won her critical acclaim and and an Oscar nomination, hardly a minor accomplishment and that's just one feather on her figurative acting "hat." She plays the movie's namesake CIA agent, Evelyn Salt very well. My only personal beef, though, (although, I know it was all part of the movie) is that I can't get rid of the image of her as a male NATO officer out of my mind. I might have to watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith a couple of times in order to obliterate it from my memory. But that's just me, I don't know, personally, I just like Angelina Jolie better as a girl, don't you???

Kumar and I watched the late night show at 9:40 at the Scotiabank Theater and I was feeling lethargic from carbs overload after having fancy linguini alle vongole at Bice's. Even the blaring surround sound couldn't keep me from dozing off intermittently during the flick. All in all I thought the movie was ok. But it kinda fell short on the wow factor. If I might daresay, I think it's a rental. But then again, that's just me, again, or no, actually, it was probably just the pasta and not to mention, creme brulee alla vaniglia, doing the talking....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Pregnancy

Pregnancy is self-sacrifice in continuum. Continuum because the sacrifices never end and that they blend into each other so gradually and seamlessly that it is impossible to say where one becomes the next...

For the organized women who had actually planned their pregnancies the self-sacrifice starts not only from the time the baby is conceived, but from the time the idea of having one is conceived, when they relinquish vintage wine in favor of pre-natal vitamin horsepills, and if they also happen to be type t personalities, hopefully curtail the white water rafting and bungee jumping escapades, too! For the rest of us, it begins when you find out - when you get a positive reading from the virtually fool-proof, urine-logged pregnancy test, confirming your intuitive suspicions after a delayed period or being hit by the first few waves of nausea at the onset of morning sickness. Oh, morning sickness! Why is it even called that??? That's another one of my favorite misnomers. My morning sickness was definitely not limited to puking in the a.m. - it would have been more apt to call it 24/7 sickness that continued over what seemed like an eternity....

A few years back a couple of friends of ours came down from Florida and we met up at a bar on Mont-Royal. One of the guys decided to play a joke on Kumar by telling him that his wife was pregnant, of course, my gullible and gracious husband totally bought it and went ahead and ordered champagne for all of us. Little did we know that the joke was on him, well, more so on me, little did I know, that that flute of bubbly, effervescent good stuff was going to be my last for a good while, well, ok, that and a mug (or two, did someone just cry lush?) of local draft beer, that I also had that night. Shortly thereafter, I found out that I was pregnant. And of course like I had mentioned at the outset, it wasn't planned and we were actually leaving for Mexico in a few days, and even if we thought of cancelling because we figured I might not be able to enjoy it with my morning sickness, there was no way we could. Besides, we had been looking forward to the trip for months, so we went anyway. Thus, armed with a copy of the Pregnancy Bible - What to Expect when Your Expecting,
and a couple of boxes of saltines, we flew to sunny Mexico. It's when we got there that we realized that choosing a huge resort that sprawled over an area of a about what had to be five square kilometers did not necessarily mean better. Those daily treks to the beach under the relentless Mexican sun, after a grease-laden breakfast left me literally panting like a dog on a hot day. God forbid you realize you forgot the sunblock one quarter of the way left to the beach! It didn't help when my not necessarily evil, but just clueless hubby would torture me by snoring and breathing heavily beside me reeking of tequila one night, then raw onions the next and garlic the next next. Hey, even shopping had completely lost it's appeal. Now you know that something is seriously amiss, when shopping fails to excite me! I added a few more phrases to my Spanish vocabulary like "soy embarazada" since "una cerveza por favor" and "una mas" was totally non-applicable and useless on this vacation. "Soy embarazada" came really handy, I must have repeated that a gazillion times to decline the copious booze the
friendly staff, especially the lady who would go around at night expertly clutching a tequila bottle by its neck with one hand and had what appeared to be an ammo belt that held shooter glasses instead of shells around her waste, would repeatedly offer unawares of my delicate condition. The locals also taught me some home remedies to alleviate my morning sickness symptoms, like to put "sal" on my "lengua" (apparently that helps!) among other remedies and of course some old wive's tales, the first few of the many I was to receive over the next nine months along with a lot of well-meant but totally unsolicited advice, some somewhat logical, others ridiculously absurd. My appetite was all but non-existent and I subsisted on the Premium Plus crackers I had brought from home for the entire week while Kumar continued to gorge on the all you can eat authentique Mexican fare and generously garnish pretty much everything except the flan with the abundantly available (bloody) chopped up onions and wash it all down I might add with the homegrown Corona...

We arrived back in Montreal from my completely sober vaction and I still had to contend with some not necessarily evil but just clueless colleagues who would nurse steaming cups of coffee in their hands in the cramped confines of the office elevator, oblivious to the fact that I would be holding my breath and would be turning green and finally after three storeys, I'd stumble out and make a hasty beeline to the washroom and just short of projectile, throw up. Again, you knew something was terribly amiss, when I spontaneously overcame my heavy Java dependance, and quit cold turkey with absolutely nil external intervention because the stuff was grossing me out. The morning sickness finally subsided a few weeks later, and the difference in how I felt was so marked, that I was beginning to wonder whether the whole thing might have just been imagined. But every time I paid a visit to the loo, the toilet bowl served as some constant pop artsy object reminder that the sickness was, all too real and not just a figment of my (overactive) imagination!!! My appetite soon returned with a vengeance and then I also developed some pretty relatively tame cravings, as compared to the more unusual, and wilder ones that I've heard of, you know, odd combinations of sardines, ice cream and pickles, or achovy paste mixed with Nutella enjoyed by the spoonful. Some cravings could last you the entire duration of a pregnancy and others could be one-time ones, any further desire for such completely obliterated out of your system after being sickened to the point that the mere thought of it is so revolting and makes you gag because, of course, you had scoffed down probably more than you should have in one sitting in recordbreaking time...It's a good thing Kumar was there to answer my beck and call and we did have a convenience store that was indeed conveniently close, but even he couldn't keep up, and a couple of times, I found myself at midnight, in the dead of winter, clad in a hot pink terry bathrobe cinched over my ever burgeoning belly over hideous mismatched flannel, grandma, "mood"-killing pyjamas - the only ones left that actually fit, tucked into Uggs, disheveled hair tied up into a messy ponytail at the McDonald's drive thru, evading eye-contact with the teenage employee and clumsily craning my growing pregnant body as close as I could towards the window, as I would guiltily punch my pin into the Interac thingy and retrieve my prized Big Mac combo ....(to be continued)