Sens says bye to Comrie

Mike Comrie signed up with the New York Islanders yesterday, on a 1 year deal. The playmaking center was a free agent after his contract got over on July 1st, having been traded to the Ottawa Senators by Pheonix. Comrie was part of the great run by the Sens to the Stanley Cup finals and would have been an asset to the Sens nation. The 26-year old Comrie had 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points in 65 games last season with Phoenix and Ottawa. In the Senators’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in June, the Edmonton native had four goals and two assists in 20 games.

On another note, Bill Guerin also signed up with the Islanders on a 2 year contract. Last season, Guerin scored 36 goals split between the St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks.

The Calgary Flames signed up two players, forward Grant Stevenson, who has played more in the minors, and Owen Nolan who is trying to make a comeback. Nolan had to sit out two seasons due to knee injuries and is now more confident after playing a full season with the Coyotes.

Water Bed

I am so bored and sitting at my work terminal all alone and sleepy. I will be leaving for home earlier than I had expected, at 11:30 pm, which is …let’s see an hour from now. What to do till then? I have done most of what I wanted to do today except one and that I am unable to do since I won’t be staying at the office till 1 am. I have to leave at 11:30 since I will be leaving my house by 11:30 in the morning, which leaves me 12 hours to get home, get some sleep, do my usual stuff at home and reach our client’s office. So I will end up doing a crazy shift tomorrow. Can’t wait till the weekend!

Oh I forgot to post about it earlier as it happened during the early hours of Sunday morning. This was around 5 am or so and I was fast asleep but I suddenly had this sensation of swimming in or floating on water. I woke up and found myself wet! And I mean very wet!!

I got scared or perplexed to be more precise and I looked around. My clothes were wet, my sheets were wet and there was novel on the edge of the bed which was wet too!Before I hit the lights switch, my sleep brain realised what it was. It was raining heavily and the wind was blowing the water into my room and on my bed through the open windows. And it was a howling wind that was doing it’s work that night. Releived but still soaking wet, I quickly closed the windows and changed my sheets for dry one. I also changed my clothes after drying myself and managed to sleep for another few hours. :D

5 Dollar Bill – Corb Lund

If you haven’t heard of Corb Lund & his backup band the Hurtin’ Albertans, don’t worry! There is a good reason – he is not a commercial artist but rather a roots & country musician who sings what he wants & what he loves and not to get on tv. However, he does have a loyal following who attends each & every concert that they can. 5 Dollar Bill was released in 2002 and is one of his best albums. It starts off with the title track, 5 Dollar Bill – a bouncy, cleverly-written song about running whiskey to the U.S. during prohibition. You’re hooked by the first line. By the time the band kicks in, you’re dancing. He mixes humour in his lyrics about a time long gone by. There’s a ballad about his native Alberta, Short Native Grasses & the ominously sounding No Roads Here, which sounds as if it could easily fit into the soundtrack of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly or any one of those old Clint Eastwood westerns. I especially love the acoustic riff in the intro of this song.

Heavy And I’m Leaving is anther soulfull ballad that Corb does true justice too with his singing. Then you get a bar anthemn with Time To Switch To Whiskey, with it’s catchy lyrics and chorus (“It’s time to switch to whiskey, we’ve been drinking beer all night”) & the blue collar Roughest Neck Around, a homage to the hard working oil riggers of Alberta. Shine Up My Boots is a wishful thinking song about a young worker, in probably an era gone by, who goes into town on his day off and thinks of what all he can do with $20 that he can afford to spend. He thinks of gambling, getting rich, marrying a pretty woman, buying a ranch with horses but in the end figures that he would probably just drink that money away.

Daughter Don’t You Marry No Guitar Picker is about a father giving his daughter advice on the kind of person to or not to marry. Another country / rodeo ballad is Buckin’ Horse Rider about a cowboy at the twilight of his life. She Won’t Come To Me is a song about a horse that won’t come to people who don’t appreciate life (you could exchange the horse with a woman or happiness). Expectation and the Blues & Apocalyptic Modified Blues are just that – country blues songs that Lund & his band do so well.

So what are ya waiting for! Grab your whiskey or your beer and listen to this awesome album.

Song for the day – “5 Dollar Bill” – CORB LUND

What's Worse?

Q. What’s worse than a girlband? A. A boyband

Q. What’s worse than a boyband? A. A gay boyband (but aren’t they all gay)

Q. What’s worse than a gay boyband? A. A boyband who covers rock anthemns

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Q. What’s worse than a boyband who covers rock anthemns? A. A boyband who covers rock anthemns and tries to act tough in the music video

Q. What’s worse than Boyzone (borezone)? A. Their lead singer releasing solo albums

Q. What’s worse than Backstreet Boys (bacteria boys) A. The Backstreet Boys now in their 30s and still calling themselves that! or (alternative answer, some idiots called Five or 5ive or some crap like that)

Q. What’s worse than a boyband? A. A boyband that sings in Malayalam (after the world spits in disgust of the bitter taste of boybands being forced fed down the collective throats of the population and getting rid of it, Kerala finally ‘discovers’ boybandhood and out comes an album with Malayalam songs. In the poster that I saw while travelling to work, the boyband is all mustaches and look so stoopid!

Q. What’s worse than a Malayalee boyband? A. A boyband that sings in Hindi (all of them are such poseurs and reek of Bollywodd style crap)

But the greatest grand-daddy of them all :

Q. What’s worse than a Hindi singing boyband? (not much) but A. Baba Seghal rapping in Hindi and sucking worse than you can possibly imagine! Imagine a pile of crap singing… you get the picture!

Lost Highway – Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi is as comfortable as an old pair of jeans or a long-time friendship. They pay some tribute to country music on Lost Highway, their 10th studio album in their 20 plus years as a band. Singer Jon Bon Jovi has always been obsessed with cowboys hats & boots but only from 2005 has his band’s music strolled on country-rock territory. But the band delivers on this 12 track album. Ofcourse the standout & first single You Wanna Make A Memory shines on as one the New Jersey boys’ best tracks ever. Slide guitars straddle this album and at times Richie Sambora steals the limelight but I still think his best playing was pre-Crush, released back in 2000. A nice surprise comes in the form of a duet with LeAnn Rimes on especially on Till We Aren’t Strangers Anymore, singing in a perfect country girl twang.

One thing Bon Jovi should avoid is the type of song that leaves you wondering what is wrong with them. I am talking of We Got It Going On and their ilk. Again, these started popping out from 2000 onwards as it is evident that they are rocking a bit hesitatingly. The title track is a mid-tempo song, half ballad-half rocker and all nostalgia & upbeat about traveling through life. The kind of song that you’d expect from experience and years of doing things your way. Summertime is a poppier song about how his mate makes him feel. With a good video this song can make the rounds of VH1 & MTV for a few months. Whole Lot Of Leavin’ is a plea to a lover to stick together while there are too many people leaving something of the other, their hometowns, country or their lovers.

However, they still have too many semi-ballads & ballads and songs about the same things for my taste. Any Other Day is about barely hanging on, Seat Next To You tells the lover that she is the one the singer wants to be for all times, Everyone’s Broken is comforting a person who is pained & upset, saying that it happens to everyone and that it’s part of life. The Last Night is about leaning on someone in the dark times that plague our days. One Step Closer & is like a dozen similar songs, while the party song I Love This Town is basically a resort-bar party style song about a…. town!:)

This album is a good one but kinda dull at places. It may grow on me a bit and I think overall it is a bit better than Have A Nice Day.

Song for the day – “You Wanna Make A Memory” – BON JOVI

Zeyda and the Hitman

So what do u do if you are ill on a boring & rainy evening and black coffee being the only thing fueling you? You switch on the telly and see if by some miracle of fate an interesting movie happens to catch your eye. I often get pleasantly surprised by a small budget movies, like this one. Zeyda and The Hitman (also known as Running With The Hitman) is a Canadian movie, set & shot on location in Winnipeg, Manitoba, although three of the main characters are American actors. Starring: Danny Aiello, Judd Hirsch, Mercedes Ruehl, Gil Bellows, Reagan Pasternak. Hirsch (Jeff Goldblum’s dad in Independence Day) plays Gideon Schub, a retired Jewish grandfather who had a stationery supply store. He gets tired of paying for his daughter Natalie (Regan Pasternak) & son-in-law Jeff (Gil Bellows) and stops giving them money. Jeff, who is preparing to enter & win a trivia playing game show that can net him $5 million, stops Gideon from seeing his son (and Gideon’s grandson) in retaliation. Pushed too far, Gideon introduces himself to Nathan Winkler ( Aiello), a scary debt collector for the Mob doing community service as a security guard at Gideon’s synagogue and who thinks Gideon is a model person.

Winkler, although part of the mob family, has never killed anyone before, his previous attempts amusingly ends him up in jail. Gideon also thinks of ways to kill Jeff, all of which he dismisses. Initial attempts do not bear any fruit, until Nathan comes up with what the two of them thinks is fabulous – switch Jeff’s favourite sauce, that he loves to smear on his wings, with a one based on peanuts. And Jeff is super allergic to peanuts! Brilliant…only thing is the cops find out and wire Nathan to implicate Gideon. Nathan tries to warn Gideon that he is wired when they talk about the final plans and even dumps the peanut based sauce into a toilet but the cops have enough to bust Gideon. But at the trial, his long standing good reputation and his advanced age lets him off with house arrest for a year.

The movie is narrated by Nathan as he lectures some young offenders at their school about getting out of their life of crime. Initially taunted by the youngsters, he receives a standing ovation at the end of the story. Watch it over some evening coffee & snacks. 7 outta 10!

Second Day Of Free Agency

On the second day of free agency in the NHL, The Los Angeles Kings added several pieces to their impressive stable of young players Monday night in a flurry of free-agent activity that saw Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, Kyle Calder and defenseman Tom Preissing land in Los Angeles before the end of the business day.

The Anaheim Ducks signed Todd Bertuzzi, who had ended last season with the Detroit Red Wings, to a two year contract. Detroit also lost Robert Lang to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ken Klee moves to the Washington Capitals.

The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Roman Hamrlik, who spent the last two season with the Calgary Flames, to four-year deal on Monday. They are also hoping that that star defenceman Sheldon Souray decides to stay in Montreal.

Micharl Nylander signs up with the Washington Capitals on a four year contract.

The Nashville Predators signed up Radek Bonk & Greg De Vries from Montreal & the Atlanta Thrashers respectively.

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How I Met Your Mother

I wasn’t feeling all that well today, so I took a leave from work and stayed home. Wanted to check out what was on tv, when I caught this show – How I Met Your Mother. I had been wanting to see this series from when I first heard about it and last month around the 13th, it was announced that Star World was going to start airing it. This series just started in September, 2005 and it has won an Emmy. It stars Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby, Jason Segel as Marshall Eriksen, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin & the smoldering Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky.

In the year 2030, Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) gathers his daughter and son to tell them the story of how he met their mother. The story begins in 2005 with Ted as a single, 27-year-old architect living with his two best friends from college, Marshall and Lily. Lily, a kindergarten teacher, and Marshall, a law student, have been dating for almost nine years when Marshall proposes. Their engagement causes Ted to think about marriage and finding his soul mate, much to the disgust of his friend Barney, a womanizer with a lucrative though unnamed corporate job. Ted begins his search for his perfect mate, immediately falling for ambitious young reporter Robin, who quickly becomes part of Ted’s group of friends.

My interest in this series has been because of two factors, actress Alyson Hannigan & actor Neil Patrick Harris. Alyson Hannigan was the cutesy & occasionally ditsy ‘Willow’ from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the American Pie movies. She is always fresh faced & funny & cute in everything that she does. Neil Patrick Harris is ofcourse most famous for his four year portrayal as the teenage doctor in Doogie Howser M.D. during the early 90s. He also acted in Starship Troopers and played a doped up & sex crazed version of himself in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. I didn’t know the other three actors. But now, I will be watching this show to also gaze at Cobie Smulders who is just lovely & sexy. She is a former international model from Canada and also plays a Canadian in this series. Cobie plays Robin, who is an ambitious Television Anchor, who dates Ted and becomes friends with the other three.

Done & Dusted

So my friend has still not come back from Bangalore till now and he is not reachable on his cell also. I have completed his batch, their training is over & they are now certified customer service reps and they are to be handed over to operations in a day. I am glad that is over. It was touch & go with them for a little while. There were some moments when I thought that a few of them would not make it and that was tough. There were some funny moments in there as well. So it’s now on to the next challenge.

I can’t believe that a company of this stature cannot provide it’s employees proper food! I mean, it’s not as if it is free; we are paying for it. But give us better options. The rice & curry is terrible! Most of us survive on the snacks that they provide, which are so much better, or by eating in a small mess just next door to us. The third option, although much more expensive though tastier, is a couple of proper restaurants 5 minutes away.

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Song for the day – “Milkman’s Son” – UGLY KID JOE

Free Agency Signings on July 1st

On July 1st, Canada day is also the day that the free agency starts in the NHL – meaning a lot of contracts complete their duration on this day and many players are free to sign with any team that wants them. It is usually a frenzy and this year in particular is a huge attraction due to the number of big names that are involved. Just take a look at these moves :

  • Daniel Brier (Buffalo Sabres) (c) signs with the Philadelphia Flyers on an 8 year contract
  • The Flyers acquired veteran defenseman Jason Smith and winger Joffrey Lupul from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade for defenseman Joni Pitkanen, veteran winger Geoff Sanderson and a third-round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft
  • Philly had earlier traded for winger Scott Hartnell and defenseman Kimmo Timonen prior to the Entry Draft, and the Flyers will be a much different entity for 2007-08
  • The New York Rangers signed two free agents; Chris Drury from Buffalo & Scott Gomes from the New Jersey devils
  • The Colorado Avalance signed Ryan Smyth (New York Islanders) & Scott Hannan (San Jose Sharks)
  • Uncertain about defenceman Scott Niedermayer’s retirement plans, the Anaheim Ducks signed Mathiew Schneider from the Detroit Red Wings
  • Detroit in turn signed on Brian Rafalski from the New Jersey Devils
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs signed last season’s 40 goal scorer Jason Blake from the New York Islanders
  • The St.Louis Blues signed Paul Kariya, who played the last two seasons with the Nashville Predators
  • Cory Sarich moved from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Calgary Flames
  • Tom Poti went from the New York Islanders to the Washington Capitals
  • The Atalanta Thrashers signed Todd White from the Minnesota Wild & Eric Perrin from Tampa
  • forwards Richard Zednik and Viktor Kozlov, both of whom were previously property of the New York Islanders, moved to the Florida Panthers
  • Yanic Perrault moved from the Maple Leafs to the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Darryl Sydor moves from the Dallas Stars to the Pittsburgh Penguins

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Stars On the Highway

I didn’t go for coffee last night, I went today at 12 pm. It rained a bit in the morning and therefor the day was cool. I went to the ATM, bought some medicine for my mom, then headed to CCD for some lovely coffee and some cookies. Happy & feeling perky, I went to see if there were some good cds or movies and I bought a copy of Bend It Like Beckham and the new Bon Jovi album Lost Highway and Release The Stars by Rufus Wainwright. Reviews of the two cds will follow in a couple of days.

I then went for a long walk and bought a used copy of John Grisham’s The Firm which I have started reading. I have seen the movie many years back but have never read the book. I think. I was still not hungry, having had the big coffee, so walked for some more time. I saw two very hot white women in two different locations. I mean scorching hot! Nice headlights and bumpers! Lol, sexist me! But is it just me or are we getting more hotter & younger women from the West instead of the usual women in their 50s & 60s visiting Cochin?

My parents are both a little feverish and were resting most of the day. I had lunch at a restaurant nearby but was unable to finish it. I don’t know why I go there, I never actually seem to enjoy their food except for the portions that they serve. And funny thing is, I never can actually finish it – I always leave a lot on my plate. Then why do I go there. Cause it is so close by? I dunno.

Song for the day – “Relate To” – MAREN ORD

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Bend It Like Beckham

A cult like movie, a funny movie, a British comedy, a Desi movie – it’s just a fantastic movie, without hard-core action or sex, no violence or special effects or gore. This is a family movie but not at all cheesy or corny. Director Gurinder Chanda pulled it off and had a hit movie in Bend It Like Beckham. Starring Parminder Nagra and a pre-fame Keira Knightly as two talented amateur female footballer from different backgrounds. Jasminder ‘Jess’ Bhamra (Nagra) is a Beckham worshiping British-Punjabi, who has to hide her paying football from her conservative family, especially her mother who is intent on making her a good wife who can cook Punjabi food. On top of that, Jess’s sister is getting married and she (Jess) has some expectation of her during that time. She meets Jules (Knightly) at the park and is invited to join a local football team, coached by Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Myers), who had to quit playing football because of an injury. Jess joins the team and is one of the stars along with Jules and a scout from the US is coming to see them and can offer them a full scholarship to Santa Clara University in the US. But Jess’s family stands in the way and she sneaks out to play with her team.

Funny scenes are abound in the film and you will certainly identify with it if you are Indian, a British Indian or otherwise. In the end, Jess’s father (played well by Anupam Kher) agrees to let her play in the final, which her team wins and the girl’s get their scholarship. Another big hurdle is passed when her parents let her go to the US and study & play football. Jess & her coach Joe are also falling in love, while Jules mom gets over her fear that Jules is a lesbian and is in love with Jess. Infact, the actress who plays Jules’ mom, Juliet Stevenson, provides some of the biggest laughs in the movie – her reactions & dialogues are truly hilarious.

As the tagline puts it appropriately, Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi when you can bend a ball like Beckham?