Ripping CDS 5

Slow day today, we didn’t having running water in our apartment for most of the morning. Infact, it just came back about 15 minutes ago, luckily so I can take a bath in peace. This morning I decided to rip a few more cds. Here they are :

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  • Time Machine I & II – Joe Satriani
  • Real Illusions : Reflections – Steve Vai
  • Flashback – Oscar Lopez

Well if you don’t know these three extremely talented masters of their craft (the guitar), you should atleast be acquainted with the first two gents. The third of the trio, Oscar Lopez, is a Chilean born Canadian folk & roots guitarist. He plays flamenco & rumba music and his music is very inspiring and uplifting and soothing to hear. I would really recommend playing this cd during the evenings with a glass of win, vodka, beer or even plain water!

Late Winner

Sunday surely is the laziest day of the week. There sure is a great feeling to sleep late and be lazy on this day. Even though I woke up by 9 am, I could have gone back to sleep for another couple of hours. Wake up I did but the laziness got the better of me; I was supposed to go to Thoppumpady and collect my relieving letter from the old company as I have submit it to my current place of work. I later decided to postpone the trip to tomorrow and then laid back and read the newspaper at leisure. I spent most of the morning chatting with Kichu & his mom; since they had a mic I could hear the two of them through GoogleTalk but they couldn’t hear me. Kichu was playing his guitar and pretending to be Dave Murray, Adrian Smith & Jannick Gers all at the same time.

The afternoon sped by as I ripped my CDs slowly one at a time. The evening was up for grabs; my parents went to see Sherine and her kids. Madhu was indisposed for a few days, so Anil & I decided to head out for a evening on our own. We met at the HDFC ATM at Kacheripady and took an auto to Menaka. We went to the bar @ Hotel Sea Shells which, the only time we went there had a great ambience and great food. So we settled down and ordered two vodkas for me & two rums for Anil. We had some beef & egg burji to accompany them and we started out usual chat about the same stuff – work, career, money, women, marriage & the three of us! It’s funny how it seems like we are having the continuation of the same conversation when we get together. Anyway, both Anil & I wanted to leave earlier than usual so by 9:45 pm we were outta there.

I came home in time to catch most of the Arsenal vs Manchester United match. I was hoping for Liverpool to beat Chelsea yesterday and they did. 2-0! And then I wanted to see Arsenal beat Man U. And they did! Both Robin Van Persie & Theiry Henry scored goals and the Gunners edged out Manchester 2-1. Man U took the lead in the 53 minute when Wayne Rooney headed in a goal but 30 minutes later Van Persie equalised for the London side. Then, deep in injury time, captain Henry headed in a goal to clinch it for Arsenal and the Emirates stadium went wild. This means that both Liverpool and Arsenal do have slim chances of winning the league.

Song for the day – “Bad Boys Running Wild” – THE SCORPIONS

Ripping CDS 4

I finally got round to ripping a few more cds into mp3s to add to my collection. It really makes it easier to listen to any & all songs that you have at your disposal. Now if there only was a way to do the same for my numerous cassette tapes! I got a suggestion from Jody, but it remains to be seen. Anyways, these are the ones I did today :

  • Tempest – Jesse Cook
  • Passion & Warfare – Steve Vai
  • Mother Head’s Family Reunion – Richie Kotzen
  • No Code – Pearl Jam
  • Train Of Thought – Dream Theatre
  • No.1s – The Scorpions
  • Afterglow – Sarah McLachlan
  • How I Feel – Terri Clark
  • The Collection – Alanis Morrisette

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This is a very varied set and I love all these albums. The first three are by some of the best guitar players around – although their playing styles are so different. The next three is by some of the best bands around – again very different styles. The last three are by three very talented Canadian women – again different styles. What is similar is the fact that they are loved by me.

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Last Exit

Starring Kathleen Robertson (Beth) & Andrea Roth (Diana), Last Exit is the story of two women, whose lives collide on a hot & humid summer day. From director John Fawcett, comes this tale of what happens when stress finally gets the better of us in our hectic life. Beth is a divorced mother of Benji, a young boy in a wheelchair. They live in small cramped apartment in Montreal, Quebec. In the same city lives Diana, a successful advertising agent up for a promotion & mother of two. It is set during a sweltering heat wave in the city and both the stress and the humidity finally takes a toll.

Diana cuts off Beth during traffic on the speedway, leading to the latter missing her turn and having to go throught a longer time to collect a courier for her office. She ends up having to waste a lot of time to get the package back. There is a great scene as she chases the courier guy on foot, while he is on a bicycle. She ends up getting fired as the delay caused problems for her boss. Meanwhile, Diana is in between two huge projects and is trying to get a tv commercial for a sports car to be completed. Her son gets suspended for bringing his dad’s gun to school, her husband is trying to get a new job, her daughter is going through her first period and Diana herself is pregnant.

Beth’s ex-husband is now wanting to get his son to stay with him in light of Beth losing her job. Angry at him, she nearly crashes into a truck and Benji gets a cut in the process. His father comes to take him to his home and have him stay with him and his current girlfriend. Angry, upset & frustrated Beth tries to go home but her car stalls. Diana, who is trying to salvage a botched up project, is rushing to the airport and keeps honking at Beth, who snaps and yells at the former. Diana quickly moves the car, almost hitting Beth. Livid at the rudeness, Beth is at her wits end and starts attacking Diana’s car, smashing the side mirror. She chases Diana’s car and they both crash on a road that is being constructed.

Diana is clearly the more heavily injured of the two and lies in an upturned car as the rains start to pour. Beth comes to her senses and calls the police to come to Diana’s aid. Although injured herself, she tries to help Diana and informs her that help is on the way. However, Diana still reeling & confused from the attack, shoots Beth with the guy that her son had taken from his father. They are both rushed to the hospital where Beth dies. Diana’s leg is amputated and the movie ends on the possibility of her going to jail (although she claims self-defense) but her baby is fine and Benji goes to stay with his father.

I was quite impressed with this fast paced and though-provoking movie. The music plays a very important role as it builds up the tension and frustration that builds in the two women and especially in Beth. 8 outta 10.

Life As An M&M

I got the link to this funny &, might I say, yummy online application, through Jeffery Simpson where you can make yourself into an M & M – any colour shell that you like. Everyone loves M&Ms, right? I looked through the various options that they have and decided on a light brown colour, hair that is somewhat like my own (only the hairline is receding like anything), spectacles to kind of match mine, a sheepish grin that I kind of have on my face from time to time & a cell phone. They have a choice of accessories that you can chose (although the choices are limited) that best suits your lifestyle or work. I chose the cellphone – not because I own one or use it all the time, silly! But it’s because that I have now completed three years in this industry and I do love this industry a lot (inspite of the idiotic & demanding customers who want the sun, the moon on 10p & the stars as a complements) and I see myself continuing it for a further more years. How do you like it? Does it look like me? You can get one yourself at this link!

Victim Of Racism Or Not?

I don’t think I have heard of quite a situation like this in recent times, especially concerning Indian celebrities. Big Brother contestant Shilpa Shetty, a gorgeous Bollywood actress / model / PETA activist was led to tears by her fellow participants in, what I think, is a shitty program to begin with. Shetty was alledgelly a victim of racist slurs by Jane Goody, Danielle Lloyd & Jo O’Meara – being called a ‘dog’ and “Paki” and other racist comments. Goody has in turn been at the recieving end of complaints from numerous Britons (of Indian origin and otherwise) and Asians including Indians. The shock of the public at her foul language has led her to be the favourite to be evicted from Big Brother.

As far as I can tell, Jane Goody is a bitch and totally uncultured. She was voted the 4th most hated Briton and is milking her reality tv fame. However, today in the news, Shilpa has said that she was a victim of racism and that it was nothing more than the heat of competition was getting to them. Shilpa is a sweet & sexy individual and ofcourse she has my vote as she is also the Romanov Vodka brand ambassador in India!

Shetty had been branded a “dog” by Lloyd who claimed the star “wanted to be white”, and former housemate Jackiey Budden repeatedly referred to her as “the Indian”. When the actress cooked a chicken for her housemates, O’Meara refused to eat it commenting that Shetty’s cooking was responsible for her “getting the shits.” The clique have frequently complained about Shetty and mimicking her accent, protesting against her touching of their food during preparation. Lloyd speculated about eating habits: “They eat with their hands in India, don’t they? Or is that China? You don’t know where those hands have been.” Objecting to the disposal of left-over chicken soup and bones down the toilet, Tweed suggested that Shetty should pick the bones out with her teeth, prompting her reply “There’s a lot more I want to do with my teeth.” Lloyd commented that she should “fuck off home”. Lloyd has also claimed that Shetty could not speak proper English, while Goody has continued to refer to Shetty as “Shilpa Poppadom” claiming that it was a reference to Indian food. Shetty has been reduced to tears on several occasions, confiding to Ian Watkins: “I feel like I’m losing my dignity”.

Do I think that the UK is a racist country just because of this incident as some people have told me? No. Just like there are bad people in India, there are bad people in the UK (some of them even of Indian origin). I think most Britons do like Indians and people of all nations and are living happily in a multi-ethic & multi-cultured U.K. But there is an element in the society that does not agree with that. They believe “white is right” and are racist in nature. But that is to be expected among humans.

Song for the day – “Black, Hole Sun” – SOUNDGARDEN

American Idol 2007

The mother of all competition-based reality television shows is back for another year. Yes for six years Simon Cowell’s arrogant words have assaulted the ears of sensitive viewers & unsuspecting contestants and for six years Randy has called people ‘dawg’ (in a totally friendly & respectful way) and for six years Paula Abdul has had a career in television. For the sixth time, people with absolutely no talent to speak of will try and impress the judges (I am particularly pissed off with the African American breed of screamers; they shout and think that it is talent). The other kind I hate is the moron who just to get noticed on tv will dress in stupid attire and perform tricks that only he/she thinks is funny. They are the worst kind. The sad part is they do get shown on tv.

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Jeff Healey’s Cancer Blues

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For those of you, who don’t know, Jeff Healey is a great blues guitarist & singer from Toronto. His guitar skills and unusual style of playing (on his lap and with his left thumb also on the strings) brought him much critical acclaim and tons of fans. Although he is now mainly a jazz musician he is still known more widely for his blues-rock songs like Angel Eyes, See The Light, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, How Long Can A Man Be Strong & his appearance as a member of a bar band in the movie Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze.

Other than his own music he has also helped launched the singing careers of Amanada Marshall & others. He has a bar/club in Toronto which showcases many upcoming bands and also has his own Jazz oriented program on Canadian radio. He lost his eyesight as a one year old, to cancer. And although he has never let that stop him, he has had a continous battle with the wretched disease. On January 11th, Healey underwent surgery to remove cancerous tissues from both his lungs, his fourth cancer related operation. Let’s hope that he is free from it and gets well soon.

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Song for the day – “When The Night Comes Falling” – JEFF HEALEY

The Induction

So after a few days of doing nothing, I was finally called into the new company’s outsourced partner with whom I was supposed to sign up. I reached there at the appointed time of 9 am and saw many familiar faces! These were guys who, like me, were fed up of the old company and had either left before me or around the same time as me. There were 28 other people there joining up and that was a shock to me! I am joining up a huge project, a BPO that has got tremendous clout and money to boot and it has got major ambitions.

So we started off and they had a huge presentation video that gives viewers the scope and reach of this particular organization. Then we discussed it for a while. We were given huge presentations about the start of the company, what all projects they have done and how much they have grown. They have offices in the US, the UK, Argentina & the Philippines (under development) and ofcourse the office in my city. I was impressed by that. Me and another guy had to go for a bit to complete out formalities, since I had to break my contract with the previous BPO and were meeting the management here for the first time. I spoke my bit and was confirmed.

We went back, had a delicious lunch and continued the various slides, they had the HR formalities done, the various do’s and don’ts outlined etc etc. And oh, I have two Tibetan brothers as colleagues now and they were fun to get to know. I will be one of the trainers there. We also had to speak for about ourselves or on a topic that the operations team chose and man, let me tell you that there were some duds. I thinked I aced my topic cause they were impressed and they said so. So yah!

On the female side of things, sorry to tell you that there is so little to mention. There is one cutie in the group and one in the HR (but I later learnt that she is from their Bangalore office and hence we may not see her for quite a while, shucks). Otherwise I am happy about things, although this is not what I was originally promised. I am a bit pissed off about that but I really need this job. So I will bide my time.

Me and the other guy (one of the Tibetan brothers) had some more formalities to complete (a stupid aptitude test that made no sense to me) and some more forms to fill. I am surprised at the number of sheets that I signed & number of times I filled my details. So I got to leave for home only around 10:30 and I am so exhausted!

Song for the day – “Dough Flutie” – MOXY FRUVOUS

The Comeback

The NHL All-Stars game approaches us on the 24th of this month. This is the first time in three years that it is happening. The reason for the three year delay is the 2004-05 lockout due to differences between the players union and the owners regarding salary. That was sorted out and there was a full season last year, however due to the 2006 Winter Olympics, the NHL decided to skip the All Stars to give the players a rest. This season, they have brought it back to showcase the talents of the new breed and the older breed. From time to time you come across a player or players who have surprised the sport and it’s followers. Yanic Perreault is one such player. At the start of the season, he was without a team. Despite the Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada) native having his best year in terms of points with the Nashville Predators last season and having six 20 goal seasons under his belt and a well deserved reputation as a one of the NHL’s top faceoff men, his one year contract was not renewed. So he was without a team, until an injury hit Phoenix Coyotes decided to give him a try and signed him on October 30th. Since then, Yanic has scored 14 goals and 25 points and is leading his team. His faceoff skills still at a very good 62.4 win percentage, the center will take his place in his first ever NHL All Star game at the age of 35.

Don’t we all enjoy a good comeback.

Song for the day – “Building A Mystery” – SARAH MCLACHLAN

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The Golden Globes 2007

The Golden Globes Award ceremony were held earlier today morning (in the US it would be last night). I normally don’t watch award shows until the end, to see who won the best supporting roles, the best actors / actress & best picture. These are the only categories worth waiting for. What I liked about this year; here are some winners :

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  • Best Actor/Drama : Forest Whitaker
  • Best Actress/Drama : Helen Mirren
  • Best Actor/Musical or Comedy : Sasha Cohen
  • Best Actress/Musical or Comedy : Meryl Streep
  • Best Supporting Actor : Eddie Murphy

I didn’t know anyone else who won or hadn’t seen or heard of the movies that won. As for TV, nothing that I watch won, although I like Hugh Laurie and he won for Best Actor/Drama for his role as Dr.House. And Warren Beatty was honoured with the Cecil De Mille award for lifetime achievement, present by Tom Hanks.

Sitting Pretty

So, i was supposed to start off at the new job today but since the manager is away and won’t be back till 10 pm tonite, my first day has been pushed to Tuesday. That is cool with me although, I am wondering : these were the same people who wanted me to join asap and didn’t want me to give the usual 15 days notice. And not that I don’t appreciate the almost 5 day holiday that I get. I can relax, chat, listen to music, surf the net, spend long hours drinking & reading @ the coffee shop or the bar, sleep the afternoons if I feel like it. There’s paint work going on at the apartment. I didn’t go out much, except to get a couple of beers and a nice lunch on Saturday. So tomorrow is the big day and to tell you the truth, I am tired of waiting. Let’s get it on!

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Song for the day – “If I Were You” – TERRI CLARK

Toon Army vs Spurs

watch appaloosa online Last nite I managed to catch most of Newcastle’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane. There were some other stuff also on and unfortunately my fingers kept changing the channels to the tv shows a lot that I missed the full excitement of a great match. These two teams will be playing for UEFA Cup spots more than anything. Tottenham for all their style and team play are now 8th in the league and the way they played throughout the game they should have won it and won it in style. For large parts of the game, Spurs seemed to dominate their rivals and at one point I was wondering if it would be an embarrassing one-sided affair. Jermain Defoe started it off for Spurs, scoring off an assist by Steed Malbranque, even though the English striker was actually offside. In a couple of minutes teenage defender Paul Huntington equalized for the away team. In the second half Spurs restored their lead when Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov put them ahead with his 11th goal of the season. But Newcastle’s Nigerian striker Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins went on to score a brilliant goal to make it 2-2. With the momentum on the side of the visitors, Nicky Butt scored a goal which was set up by Norberto Solano and Kieron Dyer and clinched the victory for the visiting team.

However the match was marred by an incident between Butt & Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda. Follwing a clash between the Spurs player and Newcastle goalie Shay Given, Chimbonda slapped Butt as the two players argued. The row escalated into the tunnel that leads to the dressing room and Butt had to be pulled off. Glen Roeder said that the row inspired his Newcastle side to victory. Ok, so someone slap the whole Indian squad – we might win the World Cup!