Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
A - Available? - Nope!
B - Best Friend - D - met her at my engg college and she now stays just 1/2 hr away!
C - Cake or pie - Cake for sure! I don't like the sweet n sour taste in pies.
D - Drink of choice - Red Wine/Martinis.
E - Essential thing used everyday - Has to be toothbrush and toothpaste.
F - Favorite Color - As my (nick) name suggests, I love all colors, but if I have to choose one, it has to be Blue.
G - Gummi bears or worms - Bears - I hate any type of worms - even if in the form of candy.
H - Hometown - Gangtok.
I - Indulgence - Tiramisu...yummm.
J - January or February - January, since you have a whole year to look forward to.
K - Kids and names - None.
L - Life is incomplete without - V (you all must have guessed it already :P).
M - Marriage Date - May 2008 (date not fixed yet).
N - Number of siblings - 1 elder n wiser brother.
O - Oranges or apples - Oranges - from my grandma's garden.
P - Phobias or fears - Snakes.
Q - Quote - Where there is love there is life - Mohandas K. Gandhi.
R - Reason to smile - Life and its bright colors.
S - Season - Summer - coz it brings bright and sunny days and lots of trips and travelling.
T - Tag three people - Anyone who is interested - but I would like to read Moonie's take on this.
U - Unknown fact about me - When a small kid, I once flicked a hair pin (which was quite ugly btw) from a store and later showed it proudly to my mom. She scolded me so bad and I had to beg her not to take me back to the store to return the pin to the owner and promise never to steal again.
V - Vegetable you don't like - Had I been doing this tag when I was a kid, the list would have extended for pages. But now, I have become a achaa bachaa, so Pumpkin is the only vegetable I really dont like.
W - Worst habit - Laziness.
X - X-rays you have had - All of my wisdom teeth and a CAT scan.
Y - Your favorite food - Momos.
Z - Zodiac - The bull - Taurus.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This time, I knew I was eligible so I signed up for it again. The only time that I had given blood before was back in college in India. I asked a colleague of mine if he was up to it and he readily agreed. So on Friday we both went to the blood mobile located nearby. Since he hadn't have his dinner the night before, we decided to go after lunch.
All went well and we both gave about a pint of blood each. Mine got over first and I was sipping orange juice and waiting for my friend. Suddenly there was some commotion and I saw the staff hurriedly making ice packs and placing them over my friend's forehead. Only then did I remember that my friend, a devout person, had completed a month long fast just two days ago. I got a little bit worried but they reassured me that this is normal for a first time donor and that he will be alright.
Sure enough, in a few minutes, he was sitting besides me sipping orange juice and munching cookies. To make light of the matter, I related to him my first experience as a donor and how I felt alright and was ridiculing people scaring me off that I'd feel giddy and faint. But the minute I had stood up to attend classes, the whole world spun and I had fallen down - and I had blacked out for a minute. As I was joking about this incident, I saw my friend sway and collapse, right on cue! I hurriedly notified the staff and they shouted his name. His eyes opened but it had a far away look and he was not registering a single word of what we were telling him. We tried on, me calling out to him in Hindi and he gradually regained consciousness. All the while I was bending down over him and I myself started feeling giddy. The nurse took hold of me and made me sit for a while.
After a few minutes, my friend called out to me to ask me to call up friends to drop us back to our office. I stood over him and as I was telling him not to worry, the world started spinning. I almost collapsed but the nurse managed to make me lie down and she placed ice packs on me too....brrr! Later on, my friend told me that it was good I collapsed(!!) coz he was feeling a bit embarrased that being a guy he was lying down and me a girl was feeling perfectly fine! The staff thought that we were husband and wife and she told me how natural it is to feel giddy when you see a loved one collapse and that they have seen many couples do the same. They were so excited to see us collapse - silly first time donor couple - that I didn't have the heart to correct them.
My friend had a good 30 mins rest and he felt rejuvenated and strong enough to drive back to our office which was just a mile away. That one mile drive had never felt so long as I was worried he might pass out again! I had never seen anyone faint right before my eyes so I was feeling a bit worried. Plus he had turned awfully pale and I was feeling guilty all the while that it was me who got him into it in the first place. Luckily we reached back safe. He decided to let a colleague with whom he car-pools to drive back home. I also called V over to pick me up and left my car in the office parking lot for the night.
According to the American Red Cross, I can give blood again in February 08, 2008. I hope they organize a blood drive then too so that I can participate again. I wonder what adventure I'll encounter the next time!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sorry friends, for keeping away for so long. Lets just say that I took a "short" break and hopefully I will be more regular. Thanks for coming back regularly and pushing me on to update. So, here I am! In the last few months of my absence, nothing much has happened - I am still enjoying my life with V and doing the things that I always do. Here are some highlights:
I made two major trips, one to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Had a amazing time in both the places, lost quite a fortune in gambling and have made up my mind to revisit Vegas, since there's still so much more to see. I managed to catch the Cirque Du Soleil's "O" which is such an incredible show that I have no words to describe it. I also watched a typical Vegas show-girls show called Jubilee.
My other trip was to Vermont and New Hampshire to catch the fall colors. Both the places are beautiful and we managed to see some picturesque locales during our drive through the country. We are hoping to make another trip there later this winter for a fun ski adventure.
Since my last update, I have joined my local community library which I infrequently visit. Also, in my office, they have started this "book table" concept where people leave books they don't need at a table and book-hungry people like me can borrow them. This way I have got to read some pretty interesting and not-so-interesting books.
Having heard so much of Ayn Rand, I finally got myself to read We, the Living. I found it to be sad and depressing which was what I had expected. I then ventured on to Atlas Shrugged which I am currently reading. But the book is so huge and slow-paced, I am getting bored to complete it (as it is, I am not much into philosophy). Though not my policy to leave any book/movie unfinished, I think I might have to.
As always, I have been watching a lot of movies. The latest one I saw was The Golden Compass this Friday. It is the first of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Found the movie beautifully made and the story interesting, so have decided to read the trilogy before the second part is made.
The worst movie I've seen is no doubt Saawariya. Couldn't have squandered my $10 in a worse way.
My Wii addiction has died down quite a bit. I had started playing The Legend of Zelda when V was away for almost a month and was I doing pretty good in it. But then I got stuck in finding one clue and its been put away ever since.
V and our friends have found a new way to spend our weekends and my! are we addicted!! A friend introduced us to poker and since then we have spent at least one night every weekend playing poker. We normally start playing after dinner on Friday or Saturday at like 11 o'clock or so and continue till 7 or 8 in the morning. Initially we were a group of 7 and gradually we have introduced the game to more and more friends with the latest addition being last Saturday. We don't play with money though, just with chips. We figured, since we are having so much fun, why play with money?
The holiday fever has taken over us too and we've been doing a lot of deal hunting and shopping. We have even put up a Christmas tree in our home. We got an artificial pre-lit tree and decorated it with tree decorations. This is all in preparation for a visit from our dear friends and their darling 3 year old daughter. Decorating the tree was fun and it looks pretty besides our fireplace. Once we have all the gifts wrapped and placed underneath, I'll take a picture and post it here.
Thats it for now. It feels good to be back! Wish you all a very wonderful and happy holidays!
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yep, I too was caught on with the hype and had pre-ordered the book from Amazon. They had guaranteed delivery on the day the book would get released...but unfortunately I missed out the fine print that mentioned I need to select "Standard Shipping" while ordering. So instead I selected "Free Shipping". When I was tracking my order, I realised my mistake and realized my book will arrive only on Monday.
But surprise! Come Saturday, I was alone at home playing The Legend of Zelda on my Wii when the door bell rang. I opened the door to see the postman walking away after leaving the parcel at the door. When I saw him wave at me, I realized it was the book! They hadn't packed the book in the regular amazon brown box, but in a white box with a picture of an owl on it and on it was written "Attention Muggles! Do Not Deliver Or Open Before July 21"
Since then I've been with the book. I started at around 3.00pm on Saturday and finished at 11.00pm on Sunday. Well, I wont be writing a review here since I am sure the Internet and any other form of media is all over and about it. And I certainly dont wanna spoil some one's fun by giving away the story. Coz I myself have undergone much trouble and suppressed temptation to know the leaked story just to see whether it was the real one.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Check this out.... Yeah, thats us!!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Here's something on my hometown. CNN-IBN does this show called Minus 30 which focuses on the youth of India. Recently they went on a trip to the North East and this video below shows a slice of Gangtok. The piece on Gangtok starts at 56 secs on the video clock. Enjoy!
In case you cannot access the video, here's a direct URL for the same:
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
As a protest to this, some leading Lepcha citizens, including members of the Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT), Concerned Lepchas of Sikkim (CLOS) and the Sangha of Dzongu have commenced on an indefinite hunger strike since June 20. Since then, they have been joined by many more people, from young to old, men and women to support their cause to protect the beautiful land from environmental damage. Its been 14 days now with 3 members already admitted to the hospital with deteriorating health conditions.
Please extend your solidarity and support to the satyagrahis by writing to them and spreading the word. You can find more details here.
Friday, June 08, 2007
One of my birthday giifts from V was a Nintendo Wii gaming console. Iit iincluded Wii Sports game that consiists of Tenniis, Baseball, Golf, Bowliing and Boxiing.
And man! Are they addiictiive! Ever siince I have laid my hands on the Wii, I have been playiing everiiday tryiing to better mine and V's score. Wii've been at iit everii iivening. And the riisult.... wii both are now sufferriing from sore shoulders. And beliive iit or faint, but they have actually come up wiith a mediical term to describe the siimptoms - Wiiitis!
The triitment apparently consiists of "ibuprofen for one wiik, as well as complete abstiinence from playiing Wii viideo games". Well, to heck wiith the treatment! As far as I am concerned, Wii iis here to stay (or should I say to play)!!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
We had the English subtitles on, and that was the best thing we did. If you have seen the movie, you'd know that its based in UK and the movie's mostly in English, that too with UK accent, which many will admit is not one of the easily understood accent. And whoever wrote the subtitles seem to prove it. During the entire length of the movie, he ended up misquoting most of the dialogs. Like in one scene Aishwarya says "I don't like bullies" and the subtitles show "I don't like police". I guess "police" and "bullies" sound similar enough for this blunder to be excused. But check this out. In one scene, Aishwarya's cell mate says "So you were raped" and the subtitles show "Can I hug you?" I mean, how in the world can these two sentences be mistaken with each other??
Those are just two of the many blunders made. Apart from misquoting the dialogs, there were other mistakes too. Throughout the movie, the word "provocation" was spelt as "provokation" with a "k". And most of the time, the subtitle-writer seem to be at loss, so when he couldn't figure out what the Brit actors were saying, he simply didn't provide any subtitles. Blank! And sometimes, he seemed too lazy to type the whole thing, so he just typed the gist of the dialog spoken, instead of typing them word to word. The only time he managed to quote the dialogs without any mistake or without missing any word were when Aishwarya or her mother-in-law spoke in broken English.
I don't understand. When a director/producer make a movie, do they consider their job done once the movie's made? Whose responsibility is it to look after the post production tasks? Such silly mistakes bring a negative impact on the movie. For someone who is depending on the subtitles to understand the movie, they'd be at loss and confused as to whats happening.
Well, what the heck! Who cares? I had a fun time and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. That's what a movie's supposed to do, isn't it? Entertain?! :)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
First thing first, V is on a three week trip to India to meet his family. Our parents have talked to each other. It went pretty well so we are glad that atleast things are moving.
After his departure it was time for me and my friend SR to start packing since we were moving to a new apartment, a town house the next weekend. We had been packing most of the week that followed and we moved all our stuff last weekend. We started on Friday eve and finished moving everything late Sunday night. I can't believe we had so much of stuff collected. We did numerous trips on our SUVs fully loaded. On top of that we even had to hire a truck and moving help to move our big stuff. By Sunday night each and every muscle in my body was crying murder. I was just glad to lie down on my bed when the alarm rang and it was time to get ready for work.
Now that the initial excitement of moving to a new place is over, I am just waiting for V's return. 13 more days to go.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I don't remember us doing anything special for the Nepali New Year, but Malayalis all over the world celebrate Vishu in a very special way, regardless of what religion they belong to.
A special arrangement of offerings called the Vishu Kani is set up. This arrangement consists of raw rice, betel leaves (paan leaves), betel nut (supari), silk, fruits like banana, golden cucumber, coconuts, a metal mirror called Aranmula kannadi, yellow flowers konna (Cassia fistula), diyas and coins and gold jewelry denoting signs of prosperity. The Vishu Kani is set up the night before Vishu, usually by the mother of the house. On Vishu, before sunrise, the mother wakes up the members of the house, one by one, and takes them to the puja room with their eyes closed so that the first thing that they see in the beginning of the new year is the Vishu Kani. It is believed that the fortunes of the year depend on the objects one sees first on Vishu.
V often reminisces about the days back home when they used to celebrate Vishu and how his mom used to wake him up early in the morning, close his eyes and take him to the Vishu Kani and how beautiful the kani used to look with the golden colors from the fruits and flowers and the jewelry enhanced by the luminous light from the diyas and reflected on the mirror.
So, hoping to make this special for him, I decided to set up the kani myself and give him and my friend SR (who also celebrates Vishu) a nice surprise. Unfortunately, there was no way I could buy those stuff without SR knowing, so I had to let him know of my plan. It proved well that I told him, because he gave me guidance on how to set it up properly. So Friday evening we bought the required items before V arrival from Stamford. However, it seems this year, even though the new year fell on the 14th, Vishu was to be celebrated on 15th. So Saturday night, after V went off to sleep, me and SR set up the kani. We didn't have the traditional items like the brass vessel uruli, so we made use of a steel one. Neither did we have a metal mirror, so we replaced it with a regular mirror. Same way we replaced the special yellow konna flower with some other yellow flower we got from the farmer's market. Unfortunately, we didn't get to buy bananas, so we managed with guavas and mangoes. To make up for the lack of other things, we had lots of diyas.
The next day I set up the alarm for 5:00 am. When the alarm set off, I almost dozed back to sleep after switching it off. Luckily I just remembered why I had set the alarm in the first place, and so I got up. I then lit up the diyas. Unfortunately, one of the candle diyas we had got from the desi store made quite a flame and the newspaper under it caught fire. I hurriedly blew it off but not before the carpet got singed :(. I then woke up V, closed his eyes and took him to the kani. My, was he surprised !!! :) He was so happy!! We then woke up SR and did the same. We took a few pics and after a while headed back to sleep since we all had just about 2 hrs of sleep.
Here are some of the pics from our Vishu Kani
Our humble Vishu Kani
Wish you all a very Happy New Year!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
एक तोह मेरी हिंदी इतनी अच्छी नही है, ऊपर से हिंदी में टाईप करना मेरे लिए तोह almost नामुमकिन है!
But guess again! I typed the above in ENGLISH and Blogger automatically transliterated it to हिंदी script! How cool is that?! I don't even need to know my spellings :)
Read more about this great new feature here.
I should now be able to type in Nepali as well. Lemme try -
म त अब नेपाली मा पनि ब्लोग गर्न सक्छू !! यिप्पी!! :D
Friday, March 30, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Come Friday evening and me and my friend SR left for Stamford to V's place. By the time we reached, all three of us were famished and we decided to meet at a very popular 60's diner style restaurant called Lucky's. V told us about this amazing hot dog you get there. My diet for the 5th day consisted for beef, so I thought, what the heck, why shouldn't I try it. Anyway, my weight didn't show much difference and my interest in the diet was diminishing. So we all dived into the hot dogs. Man! Were they good....seriously the best hot dog I've ever had! Lucky's shot up to My Favorite Restaurant list from my Place I Like to Eat list.
Saturday morning me and V drove to Boston, Massachusetts to meet V's friend who was there for a few weeks. The weather was lovely - sunny, bright and warm. In the eve we went to Boston downtown. Boston downtown is somewhat like NY's financial district, but cleaner and less crowded. Lots of big old time buildings with beautiful architecture. Just as we were thinking of taking a walk to get the feel of the city, it started to rain. Having nothing much to do, we decided to watch a movie. Zodiac was the only movie whose timing suited us and the story interested us. It turned out to be a decently entertaining movie, except that I felt it was a bit too lengthy.
On Sunday we decided to visit the town of Salem which was about 20 mins drive. As many of you might be aware, Salem, MA has always been linked with witches and witchcraft in pop culture. Even Sabrina the teenage witch's cat is named Salem. Ever since I had been to the US, Salem has been in my list of places to visit, so I was quite excited by the prospect of going there.
The reason Salem is synonymous with witchcraft is due to the infamous 1692 Salem Witch Trials where 19 innocent people were accused of being witches and were hanged to death. We went there hoping it to be some kind of a ghost town with freaky stuff. Sadly, it turned out to be an over hyped place. The town itself is beautiful with lovely architecture. Many of the touristy places were closed for the season. However, the Salem Witch Museum was open and we reached there just in time for their rendition of the trails. We bought the tickets and were ushered inside the theatre. The show started eerily enough but we soon realized it was just a bunch of stationary mannequins placed in different sets depicting the 1692 events that lead to the killings with a booming recorded voice over. Once the show was over, expecting more museum stuff, we moved around, but were sorely disappointed to see that they just had a souvenir shop which for some weird reason were selling Rajasthani glass work purses among other equally unrelated things. It was a complete money ripping set up!
After that our interest to see other 'witchy' locations went away and we decided to head back. It made me realize how they say in India, tourists get ripped off their money at the tourists places there. Now I can say we are much better than how its done here. In India people cheat to fill their stomachs, but here its the entire town cheating the tourists. What a sham!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Imax theatres always amazes me - the huge screen does take your breath away. I felt excited to watch the movie even as I sat on my seat. We were an hour early for the show but still we didn't get the back seats. Yeah, it had already become that crowded!
The movie is based on a graphic novel which is based on the famous tale of the Battle of Thermopylae that has been the inspiration of many Hollywood movies. It tells the story of how a Spartan king Leonidas with the help of his strong 300 men stand against the Persian ruler Xerxes and his huge army. The movie turned out to be all what I expected and a bit more. It had all the blood, gore and brutality that I had expected. But it has been made in a way to grasp your attention from start to finish. Leonidas is bold, filled with raw power while Xerxes with all his jewelries and make-up look chillingly cold. The Spartan men look amazingly toned and muscular and their skimpy costumes don't try much to hide it. Of course, as with many other movies, this too has unnecessary nudity to some extent.
The look of the movie is everything. It is a visual masterpiece, grandiose and breathtakingly beautiful. There are a numerous action sequences but each one turns out to be quite refreshing and not a boring repeat of the other - with the introduction of new monsters every time and awesomely cool flicks of the swords and spears to get done with them.
Do not watch the movie looking for story, message or performance. 300 is a visual experience with images meant to embed themselves into your memory from the start to the finish.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Tagged by Juneli! Those who have been tagged for this and have been putting it off due to the sheer volume of it, lemme give you some tip to work it faster:
Open a Google spreadsheet (ok an MS Excel will work as well). Add 3 more sheets so you have one for the entire list, and each for the haves, have nots and want tos. Copy the list to the first sheet. Now simply work your way down the list and cut-paste each item to appropriate sheet. In the end, consolidate them all! So simple!! (additional tip -> I found it more convenient by sorting out the list alphabetically before starting out)
* Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment : more than just a moment.
* Adopted an accent for an entire day : not for an entire day but maybe for a long part of it...and many times too!
* Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love : yeah! Been there too
* Broken someone’s heart : unfortunately yes. Its such a bad feeling when something like this happens and the worst part is that you just cant help it!
* Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about : mostly V's :D
* Climbed a mountain : does hills and hillocks count?
* Dyed your hair : not only regular colors like auburn and red, but even BRIGHT RED, color of the Ferrari team and BLUE
* Eaten shark : yep! Have done it...I believe in Florida :) Yummm! ;)
* Eaten sushi : one of my all time favorites!
* Fallen in love and not had your heart broken : *cross my fingers*
* Gone back to school : just once. I wanna go back again, but I feel shy meeting teachers. Maybe next time will be when I take V to show him my school.
* Gone sky diving : one of the most amazing experience I have ever had!
* Gone to a huge sports game : thrice to the US Grand Prix and once to the US Open (tennis)
* Got flowers for no reason : something like that just makes my day!
* Gotten a tattoo : just temporary ones
* Had a snowball fight : hehe, its FUN!
* Had amazing friends : *touch wood*
* Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment : oh many embarrassing but funny times! But I think I have better control now...or do I ??
* Had to put someone you love into hospice care : my best friend D, I still shudder when I remember that fateful day! Thank God she came out fit and fine
* Had your picture in the newspaper : a local paper back home in Sikkim
* Hugged a tree : i believe when I was a kid while trying to enact the movies
* Kissed in the rain : :)
* Looked up at the night sky through a telescope : and the view is so wonderful!
* Lounged around in bed all day : oh I love doing that, if not all day then at least till late afternoon
* Made cookies from scratch : i enjoy trying out new recipes....sometimes
* Midnight walk on the beach : it was not romantic though, bunch of friends had gone to Diveagar near Pune. V was also there but those days we just knew each other :) Would love to go back there with him
* Parasailed : and paraglided! Parasailed in Florida Keys overlooking the Atlantic Ocean..the view was breath-taking! And paraglided in Manali...it was fun too!
* Performed on stage : did something when I was in the KGs and later did some group thing in college. Am not a stage person for sure!
* Piloted an airplane : a helicopter to be precise. And not exactly piloted, but I did sit in the copilot's seat and wore the helmet and the headphones etc. So I did get a copiloty feeling :)
* Played in the mud : don't all kids do?
* Played in the rain : again, don't all kids do? Now, don't like getting wet in the rain much, in spite of all the romanticism attached with it.
* Rafted the Snake River : well, not in Snake River but have rafted in Ocoee River which was the host for the 1996 Olympics and we actually rafted through the Olympics trail!
* Ridden a horse : as a kid in Darjeeling while going from Chowrasta to Dara Mandir
* Ridden a roller coaster : my favorite in parks and fairs
* Said 'I love you' and meant it : each and every time
* Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking : i enjoy singing in the car more than singing in the shower
* Screamed as loudly as you possibly can : just so that I can hear the echo. Else I am not the screaming kind :)
* Seen a total eclipse : though not directly as we were told that it will spoil our eyes
* Selected one 'important' author who you missed in school, and read : lots
* Shaved your head : my parents had my head shaved when I was a toddler. They still have the picture and I look so funny!
* Skipped all your school reunions : skipped once purposely and skipped the rest just coz I was never there
* Slept under the stars : in Aurangabad, at my friend's home. It was exciting since I had always wanted to do it. Had seen it only in movies
* Spoken more than one language fluently : every desi knows more than one language. Though I am ashamed that I don't know my own mother language Newari :(
* Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise : many times. That's the only way I can be awake during those hours!
* Sung karaoke : at my cousin's home. Its fun! I was actually planning to buy a set for myself
* Taken a road-trip : Me and V's favorite weekend pastime :)
* Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream : more often since meeting V
* Toured ancient sites : my love for travelling has taken me to many places. Though most ancient sites have been in India, I would love to see the ones in Europe and Africa
* Visited more foreign countries than U.S. : well since I am an Indian, Nepal can be considered as a foreign country. And have visited Bhutan too!
* Won first prize in a costume contest : twice. My class had won during our college fest. We had all dressed up once as clowns and the next day as kids
My Have Nots:
* Asked out a stranger : but have been asked out by a stranger :)
* Been a DJ : not a real DJ, but have played music (read as change CDs) during parties ..same as DJ -ing, right?? :D
* Been elected to public office : who wants to?
* Been in a movie : i guess home videos don't count :)
* Been on television news programs as an "expert" : i stay away from anything related to 'public speaking'
* Bought everyone in the bar a drink : nope, never done that. Like I said, I stay away from anything that brings focus on me
* Broken a bone : mine or someone else's? :P Well, I haven't done either
* Built your own PC from parts : am a software engg, not a hardware :)
* Buried one of your parents : that's a bad question! *I am so lucky*
* Caused a car accident : thankfully no
* Changed a baby’s diaper : Does watching from a distance count? :P
* Crashed a party : hehe, never done that either
* Created and named your own constellation of star : not into astronomy
* Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking : not a dancer either
* Danced with a stranger in a foreign country : nope
* Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild : back home, we often hear stories about how entire families get wiped out due to poisonous mushrooms. So I always make it a point to buy from reliable and safe sources.
* Eaten fried green tomatoes : but I have eaten grilled red tomatoes. Shouldn't that count?
* Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol : how about an air gun while trying to burst balloons at fairs?
* Given more than you can afford to charity : i am not that worldly
* Gone without food for 5 days : while in college, under the influence of a friend, I used to keep navaratri fast twice a year for 9 days. However, we were allowed to eat certain things. So i guess it doesn't count.
* Gotten divorced : have been lucky in love :)
* Grown and eaten your own vegetables : but have eaten the ones grown by my parents. :)
* Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced : i sometimes feel it should be fun to have my belly button pierced. :)
* Had a booth at a street fair : not personally, but my class had booths in college fairs
* Had a snake as a pet : one creature that I despise are snakes!
* Had major surgery : no.. phew!
* Had plastic surgery : i love the way I am. Wouldn't mind being slimmer though
* Had two hard drives for your computer : weird question, but no
* Held a tarantula : eew!
* Held someone while they were having a flashback : huh?
* Helped an animal give birth : no!
* Hit a home run : am not much of a sports person leave alone baseball
* In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them : i'm not that great with strangers
* Killed and prepared an animal for eating : have killed (insects and once a lizard) and have prepared (not insects and lizards!!) but never done both to the same thing
* Lost over 100 pounds : i've been trying so hard to lose 5 pounds and you are talking about 100!! Have mercy on me!
* Milked a cow : am scared of animals having the potential to hurt me
* Petted a cockroach : why in the world would I do that??!!
* Petted a stingray : why in the world would I do that either??!!
* Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight : nope! Never played that though I have played Monopoly and Scrabble for that long
* Pretended to be a superhero : that is a guy stuff, making a cloak out of a towel and wearing their underwear on the outside. *rolling my eyes*
* Recorded music : but been with friends who did....it was a fun thing we did in Crossroads in Mumbai.
* Saved someone’s life : nope, even though I have written a post that I saved someone's life today
* Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours : i guess 12-14hrs is the max for me
* Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you : don't do art
* Started a business : not a business person
* Stolen a sign : hmmm....no! Cant think why in the world would I do that!
* Taken a martial arts class : nope
* Taken care of someone who was drunk : thankfully haven't been in such a situation!
* Written your own computer language : am not that geeky! But I do get amazed at the people who have. What brains they must have!!
* Wrote article for a large publication : just for school mags
*Survived an illness that you shouldn’t have survived : *touch wood*
My Want Tos:
* Backpacked in Europe : well, I'm not a trekker but wouldn't mind if that the way to travel in Europe
* Been inside the Great Pyramid : wow! I would LOVE to be there!
* Been on a cruise ship : hopefully soon :)
* Bet on a winning horse : have never bet on a horse, but wouldn't it be awesome to win!!
* Bought a house : money money money!!
* Bungee jumped : am scared but excited about it at the same time. V says it's scarier than sky diving since you are dangling in mid air.
* Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language : that should be fun! I have actually communicated with people who can't speak, shouldn't that count?
* Eaten kangaroo meat : eating kangaroo meat would mean that I'd be in Australia, so why not? And I enjoy trying out new stuff to eat as long as they are not gross
* Gone rock climbing : to do that I need to be in a fit shape, and if I'm fit, I'm sure I'd enjoy doing it!
* Gone scuba diving : once I get over my fear of water and learn to swim!
* Gone to a drive-in theater : there was one in Columbus, Indiana and we never got a chance to go there. Me and V have been thinking about going to one for quite some time now
* Gone to Thailand : would love to visit the place.
* Gotten drunk on champagne : but I have gotten drunk on beer...once!
* Gotten married : when O when?
* Held a lamb : hmm..never thought about it, but yes, I'd want to!
* Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon : we'll be going to Grand Canyon but not sure if we'll get to hike to the bottom though!
* Raised children : first lemme get married!
* Read The Iliad : should be an interesting read!
* Ridden a gondola in Venice : awww! That's my honeymoon dream :)
* Seen the Northern Lights : after seeing Ricky's post on it, it has been included in my 'to do' list
* Swam with wild dolphins : have seen dolphins and their shows and even petted them! But swimming with them would be something!
* Taken a candlelit bath with someone : hmm!
* Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days : now wouldn't that be something!
* Taken a Ferrari for a test drive : *dreaming*
* Taken a trip in a hot air balloon : missed our chance in Niagara due to windy conditions.
* Touched an iceberg : gosh! would love to go somewhere with ice bergs
* Visited all 7 continents : travel, travel, travel...thats all I wanna do!
* Visited Ireland : and have Irish beer!
* Visited Japan : would love to! I get captivated by their culture and technologies
* Visited Paris : another honeymoon dream!
* Visited the Great Wall of China : will I ever get a chance?
* Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa : Italy's in my 'to visit' list too!
* Watched a lightning storm at sea : judging by the pictures that I have seen, it would be an amazing view
* Watched a meteor shower : but not be showered upon ;)
* Watched wild whales : we are actually thinking of going whale watching this spring/summer!
* Won money on a T.V. game show : would love to get some unexpected cash!
Whom do I tag?? I guess everyone's already tagged. If you aren't, consider yourself tagged and complete the task!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Startup company Emotiv Systems have developed a unique and very innovative technology that can connect human brain signals to computer hardware and software.
They have come up with something called as the Emotiv Development Kit which is basically comprised of three detection toolkits as explained below. These toolkits interact with their neuro technology based headset called Project Epoc to capture various brain signals and transfer them as electric signals that can be interpreted as different activities.
Expressiv: The first toolkit Expressiv identifies facial expressions, such as blink, smile, wink etc that will provide for more realistic virtual chatting.
Affectiv: The second toolkit Affectiv detects a user's emotional state such as frustration, anger, excitement etc which would be great for role-playing games. Another interesting use would be to unconsciously rate music in iTunes or videos in YouTube or likes.
Cognitiv: The third toolkit Cognitiv which sounds the most interesting of all, will allow users to manipulate virtual objects using mind control. It supports actions, such as lift, drop, rotate, push, pull, etc.
These kits are currently in alpha phase, so it still has a long way to go before it is ready for consumers like us. But it has certainly brought out an innovation that has a bright future.
You can get some more information here
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
The Hungry Tide: This is my first book by Amitav Ghosh. My brother recommended this to me saying that he is considered to be the best among Indian writers. The story is set in the tide country of the Sundarbans and is told from the perspective of the two main characters, Kanai Ghosh and Piyali Roy. Even though the book does not have constant action, thrill and suspense, it is still fast paced enough. Amitav Ghosh keeps the pages turning taking us through the history of the Sundarbans, the perilous ecology of the endangered cetaceans and the conservation projects surrounding the great Bengal Tiger, the stories of the local deities along with the stories for each character. He also reveals the shocking incident of the Morichjhapi where thousands of refugees trying to settle down are violently evicted by the government in the name of conservation. However, I have to admit that at times I got bored by the lengthy descriptions and skipped few paragraphs here and there.
The Science of Sleep: This is a French movie which I saw at a friend's place. I have always been fond of French movies, their story-line is always simple and involves around regular believable people and I love the sound of their language, so soft and polite! The Science of Sleep is in French and English with bits of Spanish thrown in. This is a story of a talented illustrator Stephane who returns to his childhood home for a job which he soon finds out to be pretty shitty. He meets his equally creative neighbor Stephanie and soon falls in love with her. But that's just a part of the bigger story - Stephane often has trouble differentiating dreams from reality and he finds himself slipping back and forth between them causing havoc on his waking life which starts to take it's toll on his sanity. The movie is created by the director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The surrealism you see in Eternal Sunshine is evident here as well. The movie is beautiful and artfully done interspersed with comedy, inventiveness and quirkiness. Watch it if you like out of the box movies!
Friday, February 23, 2007
V had sent me a bouquet of flowers, which is still nice a fresh besides my bed. I start my day with the view of the fresh beautiful roses that just brighten up my day. I, on the other hand, after much contemplation, decided to give him a nice gourmet chocolate treat. The website showed lovely looking chocolate shells filled with mousse and other yummy treats. Seemed perfect for V. I paid more than the value of the chocolate for delivery on the 14th. When he received the gift, V called me. He was like the gift looks great....but the tone of his voice made me realize that I made a mistake. Even as I had placed the order, I had a strange feeling that something was not right. And guess what, the gift included just the shells, no mousse nor custard to fill the shells! The gift was pointless :( This weekend I have asked V to get along the shells when he comes visiting and we'll make some mousse at home and try it out.
The last weekend was a long weekend for us due to President's Day. We decided to go skiing. Our friend/my flatmate SR had other plans so there was just me, V and one of V's friend. Saturday was spent making rounds of malls looking for a decent deals on ski pants. In the eve, we went to a friend's place in New Jersey to see a very interesting French movie. But that's another post. By the time we returned to Stamford, it was almost 3 am. We had planned to leave early next morning for the ski resort so that we reach by 10 am when the lessons start.
Sunday morning we woke up bright and fresh, in spite of the late night. The resort, Mountain Creek Resort, is located in Vernon, New Jersey which is about 1.5 hrs drive from Stamford. As we walked up to the resort from the parking lot, we got an inkling of what we were getting ourselves into. Just walking up to the resort sapped up almost all our energy! Damn! I so needed to exercise! After getting ourselves registered for the beginners class, we stopped for a quick breakfast. The place was very crowded and we had to stand in long queues to get our skiing gear - ski boots, skis and poles. Me and V's friend had to buy woollen caps since mine was not appropriate for the purpose and V's friend had none. We were patting ourselves for thinking ahead and getting the ski pants from outside. The resort stores were so damn expensive. A simple woolen cap cost me 26 bucks!
By the time we got all our gear, it was past 12 o'clock. We had missed our lesson and so had to wait for the next one which started at 2 pm. We decided to pass the time by starting on our own. We copied others who were taking lessons and learnt how to put on the skis. We started with one ski and soon all three were sliding along a gradient slope in both skis. Woo! It felt great and the experience was so much better than my ice-skating experience.
At around 2 the next lesson started. There were 10 learners in each group. The instructor started with basic techniques and we were soon whizzing downhill (OK it wasn't exactly whizzing...more like whizzing in slow motion :P ) Once or twice I fell down while trying more advanced techniques like turning and shuffling etc. After few practices on gradient slope, the instructor took us to a higher slope. V was ahead of me and he glided down the slope with ease. Next was my turn and I let myself go. It felt awesome! But soon I gained a whole lot of speed and I felt myself go zoom! I could see V at the end of the slope and I was approaching him real fast. I heard him shout to brake. I willed my feet to move so that I can make a V, the technique we had learned for braking. But my feet just didn't move soon enough. I realized I was soon gonna crash on V and another guy standing besides him. To avoid it, I let myself fall down and then I felt a huge thud on my head. I now know what it means to see stars in broad daylight :) I felt my head had split into two. I tried to look around and I didn't see a hint of panic in V's eyes or people nearby. So I realized my head was still in one piece and that I was alright.
The instructor helped me up. My head was still aching, so I decided to give myself a break. The others went up for two more rounds. As I stood waiting my headache went away. It started to snow and everything looked even more beautiful. The lessons we done and we decided we have had enough. We got out the cameras and clicked a few pics. By then we were famished with hunger so had a hearty meal at the cafeteria. On our drive back to Stamford, I felt so tired, I just couldn't keep my eyes open. By the time we reached, not only was my head aching again, but the rest of my body too was hurting here and there.
The next morning I tried to lift myself out of the bed when I felt shooting pain in my neck. I had to hold my head by my hands so as not to strain my neck, as I got out of bed. Now, almost a week later, my neck is still hurting a bit, but the pain is less intense. At least I can lift myself up from my bed or couch without having to hold my head with my hands :)
So that was my first ever skiing experience. The fall hasn't put me off skiing and I'm looking forward to doing it again - the skiing that is, not falling down :)
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
We and a couple of friends had decided to watch the game in V's apartment in Stamford with proper game party style food and snacks like chicken wings and hot dogs and pizzas.
However, come Sunday morning, from the moment I woke up, I started vomiting and having diarrhea. Within a couple of hours, I was completely drained out. Even the medicine I took, took no time to exit from my system. I was in a bad shape and soon V started worrying. A quick search in the internet and we couldn't find a prompt medical center where you can visit a doc without any appointment. A few phone calls to friends and we decided the best way would be to go to the emergency room of a local hospital.
Our kind neighbor suggested we go to another town, Greenwich's hospital since the one in Stamford would be too crowded. He had us follow him all the way to the hospital which was 30 mins away! So nice of him! In the hospital, he made me sit in the wheelchair and the hospital guy wheeled me in. Gosh! It was so embarrassing. I admit, I felt weak and all, but not that weak that I couldn't walk! And so I had to fake my condition a bit, moaning now and then, holding my head, so that at least I looked genuine enough to be sitting in the wheelchair!
The doc/nurse who did my stats was so cute..his name was Nicholas. Yeah, even in my condition, I noticed his name :D After my stats were taken, I had to wait for them to call me. As the wait grew longer, I was glad to be sitting in the wheelchair, coz my uneasiness was increasing, I got cramps all over my body and all I wanted to do was to lie down. After a while, I was wheeled into the room where the nurse asked me to change to the hospital gown. That piece of clothing is quite embarrassing, but luckily it was not as bad as the ones I had seen on TV and movies. Once I was 'settled in', in and out came a series of nurses and docs (after 9 I lost count) poking and tapping me here and there and asking all kinda questions. As my luck would have it, my doctor was not handsome Nick, but a roundly kind faced chubby bearded fellow. I was then given a saline drip to re-hydrate my body. My very first saline drip!
After spending 4-5hrs in the hospital, I was convinced I felt better and ready to go home. I was feeling cold since the bedsheet they gave to cover was not enough. Just then the doc reappeared saying that I seem to have some infection and that they need to do a cat-scan. I was like, what!!??! I appeared calm outwardly, but my mind was racing within. Cat-scan? Wasn't that something that they do to someone who's seriously ill? Am I that sick??!!! What's wrong with me?!! The doc left to get me some drink which I was to take for the cat scan. I let go of my self control and jumped on V. I asked me to please take me home, that I was alright, that I just need some rest. Poor guy, he tried his best to sooth me. A nurse entered with 2 glass of Gatorade type of drink for me to finish in 10 mins. I gulped it down in 2! It seems, you have to wait 45 mins after you take the drink to be able to do the cat-scan. By then the Superbowl pre game show had already started. Fidgety and restless, I tried to watch the TV and soon dosed off to sleep.
I got up when another cute male nurse came to wheel me to the cat-scan room. I noticed, the game was just about to begin. The doc there took a few pics of me and gave me some injection for the final picture. The thing in the injection made me warm all over till the tip of my fingers and left a funny taste in my mouth. In no time it was all over and I was wheeled back into the room. And the first thing I noticed was that within this few minutes that we were out, the Chicago Bears had already scored a touchdown and they were 7 points ahead of the Colts!! Damn!
We spent the time watching the game while waiting for the results of the tests. I was drowsing on and off to sleep. After almost an hour, the doc came back and tada! I was free to go home! I was alright! Seems I had got Gastroenteritis or Stomach Flu, common in the area since last few weeks. I just had to take care of what I was eating till I felt better.
V watched the remaining game at home while I again went on and off to sleep. I still vaguely remember hearing that the Colts did win after all! I didn't go to work on Monday and neither did V. He drove me back to Pennsylvania in the eve when I felt fit to travel. Due to his and my flatmate S's care and strict diet, I am now back to normal.
Though our game party was ruined, it was still an exciting day. But I would NOT want it to repeat again. I had quite an experience and I am glad its over. It gave V quite a scare and my stomach a much needed rest.