Home Sweet….Now Someone Else’s Home

I was planning on writing this post at the end of August but somehow it slipped my mind. August 24th marked the one year anniversary of the selling of our family home in Thrikkakara. Our house & home for 19 years and a couple of months. 19 Years might pale in comparison with my mother’s parents home of now oh, 45 years or so, but it’s a big deal to me. One need not think anything else of it other than the fact that, it was my home! My dad used his hard earned money, earned while living in a tiny 2 bedroom (about the size of a cardboard carton) apartment and working in a bank in Kuwait City. From infancy till the age of 11 I lived in Kuwait and coming back for good to India, meant living in a large house where I had my own room!

How important was your room for you when you were growing up? It was my sanctuary! I created a whole world in there, dreamt my dreams in there and wept my tears of anguish in there. It’s the place where I wrote my stories & composed my lame ass poems & songs. It’s the room where I spent most of time in. It meant so much to me, more than just four walls, an attached bathroom and a bed can ever mean.

the chase online download When I think of my room, I think about the posters of football & tennis players that I plastered all over the walls. Then it was my favourite rock bands & artists. I remember an aunt telling me that she liked the way I had placed them; I used to measure the distance of the posters’ edge to the ceiling and to each other. I can’t believe that I was that detail oriented. I remember the pain I felt when in 1995, they all had to be torn off as the walls were being painted just in time for my sister’s wedding! I also remember asking my dad if I could paint the walls black! You can guess what he replied! My room was the comfort zone I seeked when times got tough, when the outside world was ganging up on me. The place I went to hide, to leave the fucking world behind.

I have burried a few best friends in the ground next to the house enclosed by the walls. And before you have all weird images coming to you mind, I mean the animals I was lucky enough to have as pets. First there was Lassie – a puppy I only had for a few days. She was an energetic furball of pomeranian & alsatian mix. She knocked down a can of kerosene in the garage and drank it and died later. Then there were the two cats – brother & sister pair Chocolate & Lollipop! I know, I know, so sue me I was 12 at the time. The white cat Lolli died a year later and we had the male Choco for three years and I cried a heck of a lot when each of them died.

And then there was Shawny, the one I still think of everyday. She roamed the grounds within the walls of our property like a proud landlord. She ran to me with all her might when I called her. I got her in 1995 & lost her in 2005 when she died and she too is buried there next to a tree. I left a big piece of my heart when we finally moved from there last year.

My Religious Colleague

My company’s client are going through a huge changeover today, something that means big bucks and lots of opportunities. I also hope that this means much better quality standards in the way that they run their business. That is needed a lot.

We are planning a huge event at the office premises and once again I have been roped in as a volunteer. Or better put, I was ‘volunteered’ by a senior manager. I guess there is no way for me to weasle my way outta this. But it can be fun, provided things happen properly.

One of my colleagues sent some of us in an email an old joke about an atheist professor who gets humiliated by one of his students who is a believer. The lines in it are lame; you can’t see the professor’s brain but it’s supposed to be there, so therefore there is a god. Ha ha ho ho, very funny! So I sent him back some anti-Christianity emails and stuff that has been done in the name of religion & god!

He has promised never to send me such bullshit again!

Thank You Finland

Finland is a country in the Scandinavian part of Europe with a very small population of just a little over 5 million. According to the World Audit Democracy profile, Finland is the freest nation in the world in terms of civil liberties, freedom of the press, low corruption levels and political rights.[5] Finland is rated the sixth most peaceful country in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The mother nation of Finns has given us so much, that I want to thank Finland for :

  • Great hard rock / metal bands like Children Of Bodom, The Rasmus, Lordi, Nightwish & HIM
  • Footballers like Jarri Litmanen, Sami Hyypia, Mikael Forsell & Jussi Jääskeläinen
  • Mika Häkkinen, who won the F1 championship twice, Kimi Räikkönen, Marcus Grönholm & Tommi Mäkinen in Motor Sports
  • NHL players like Teemu Selanne, Sami Salo, Vesa Toskala, Jaari Kurri, Kari Lehtonen, Saku Koivu, Miikka Kiprusoff & Olli Jokinen
  • NOKIA phones
  • Linus Torvalds for Linux & Jarkko “WiZ” Oikarinen for IRC

Sean Burke Retires

NHL goaltender Sean Burke officially retired Tuesday after nearly 20 years in the league. Burke spent last season with the Los Angeles Kings, and played for nine teams during his career, which also included playing for Canada in the 1988 Olympics. Selected 24th overall in the 1985 draft, Burke reached the NHL near the end of the 1987-88 season with the New Jersey Devils.

Burke, 40, also was with Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina, Vancouver, Florida, Phoenix and Tampa Bay. Burke, who played on three All-Star teams, finishes with 820 games played (12th among goalies), 324 wins (19th) and 38 shutouts (sixth).

Song For The Day Ends

I was thinking about stuff about my blog and what I wanted to do with it. I have decided to kill off my daily “Song for the day” section! I have been thinking about doing this for a very long time but I have enjoyed selecting a song for the day and posting a pic of that artist / band off some link. Also in several cases, the song mentioned will mirror my mood at that particular moment or day or will reflect an event that happened that day!

I have had some trouble with the pics part and that is one of the reasons why I have decided to kill off the “song for the day”. Another reason is that I think it is a bit silly now! I felt that I just had to end it. Songs that I select as the song of the day cannot be repeated and that is just not done. Besides, everyone who comes to the site can see what songs I have listened to lately by looking at the tool from Lastfm in the middle column.

I will still blog a lot about music and embedding video clips from Youtube & others. Sometimes it won’t be just a song….you’ll see! And I am still going to feature artists & review albums, so it won’t be a huge change, just a different approach.

So today will mark the death of this wonderful part of my blogging life. I started doing this in December 2002 in my first Blogger account. Goodbye my friend; you were loved & you will be missed.

Coughing & Shuffling

I have this nasty cough bothering me since late last night. I knew that I should have stayed back home and rested for another day because, without recovering atleast 85% and sitting in the air conditioned office will not be good for me. As it is I was just 60% recovered. I did my work, as of it as I could and it was an ok day, except for my discomfort.

I enjoyed listening to my new Ipod shuffle; I managed to store 231 songs in it’s flash memory through i-Tunes yesterday morning. I do hate the fact that I have to get my songs through the i-Tunes software and cannot just copy the songs that I want directly onto the drive of the i-pod. But after testing & trying out the i-Tunes method 3 times, I have now got the hang of it. And I am enjoying having all that great music with me wherever I go. It’s a blast!

Nothing solid has come through from any of the job applications that I sent out but I was expecting that. The first one that I tried may work out but it will take time as they are in the middle of a huge project now and finishing that is their top priority. The second one, I had no hopes since I learnt that they require an accounts & commerce background for the job I was applying for. So I dropped that. The third one is a complete mystery : it’s a company based in Pune that is setting up shop over in Kakkanad. Two people I know were asked to go for interviews there and although they were not selected, these guys raved about the facility. However, if you look into their company website you wouldn’t give them a second thought – it is so shabbily done! Just a plain white page with company address and a cell phone number & name of the contact person for all information seekers!

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Song for the day – “Walk The Dog” – ANTHONY GOMES

Fisher signs contract extention

The Ottawa Senators locked up one of their best two-way players to a long-term deal Monday, signing centre Mike Fisher to a US$21-million, five-year extension. Fisher had 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points last season, his seventh with the Senators. The 27-year-old Peterborough, Ont., native played a key role in Ottawa’s run to the Stanley Cup final last spring. He supplied plenty of grit at both ends of the ice and recorded 10 points (5-5) and 73 hits in 20 playoff games. Fisher was drafted by the Senators in the second round (44th overall) of the 1998 NHL entry draft. In 384 career regular season games, he has 192 points (92-100) and 314 penalty minutes. Fisher was nominated for the Selke Award as the NHL’s top defensive forward in 2005-06. He finished third in the voting, behind Jere Lehtinen and winner Rod Brind’Amour. Fisher, who was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, will earn US$1.5 million this season. He will earn $6 million in 2008-’09, $4 million annually for three seasons after that and $3 million in 2012-’13.

It’s The Arockalypse, The Day of Rockoning

I have heard about Lordi and read that they won the 2006 Eurovision contest. The Finland quintent have been around as a hard rock & metal band for a few years now but this song has gotten them international fame. And it’s even more impressive cause previous winners of Eurovision are almost disco, pop & techno like in their styles. These guys…well they dress up in demon outfits and masks and rock quite hard.

Hard Rock Hallelujah lyrics by Lordi.

Hard Rock Hallelujah!
Hard Rock Hallelujah!

The saints are crippled
On this sinners’ night
Lost are the lambs with no guiding light

The walls come down like thunder
The rocks about to roll
It’s The Arockalypse
Now bare your soul

All we need is lightning
With power and might
Striking down the prophets of false
As the moon is rising
Give us the sign
Now let us rise up in awe

Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
Demons and angels all in one have arrived
Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
In God’s creation supernatural high

The true believers
Thou shall be saved
Brothers and sisters keep strong in the faith
On the day of Rockoning
It’s who dares, wins
You will see the jokers soon ‘ll be the new kings

All we need is lightning
With power and might
Striking down the prophets of false
As the moon is rising
Give us the sign
Now let us rise up in awe

Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
Demons and angels all in one have arrived
Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
In God’s creation supernatural high

Wings on my back
I got horns on my head
My fangs are sharp
And my eyes are red
Not quite an angel
Or the one that fell
Now choose to join us or go straight to Hell

Hard Rock Hallelujah!
Hard Rock Hallelujah!
Hard Rock Hallelujah!
Hard Rock Yeah!

Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
Demons and angels all in one have arrived
Rock ‘n roll angels bring THINE Hard Rock Hallelujah
In God’s creation supernatural high

Hard Rock Hallelujah!

Song for the day – “Hard Rock Hallelujah” – LORDI

Ipod Shuffle & Me

I was gifted a 1GB Ipod shuffle from my cousin Raakhee. She lives in the US & sent it to me via her mother (my mom’s sister) who was visiting her on the birth of her (Raakhee’s) second child. Her mom came back to India a couple of days ago and landed in Trivandrum, where my mom and another sister were there waiting to pick her up. My mom came back home today and a few minutes back sprung this surprise on me. She gave the box to me and when I stated that Raakhee shouldn’t have bough it for me, my mom said “it’s an ipod; it’s for listening to music, isn’t it?”

I don’t know what was more of a shock to me; the fact that I am gifted an ipod or the fact that my mom knows what an ipod is for!! On further though, it’s the second one.

It’s not surprising at all that my cousin Raakhee gave it to me; she is always bring gifts when she comes back to visit. She is close to me and ofcourse she knows that I love music and cannot live without it. She in fact share some similar tastes in music – well that was a while ago. I am not sure what she listens to these days.

Thank you Raakhee! It was not at all necessary for you to get me anything and I wish you hadn’t. I mean, I love music and I love having my music around me when I am traveling or at the office. But this really isn’t something that you should have done. But thank you! Thank you a whole lot!

Hey, now with my 1 GB music in my phone, I will now have 2 GB of music with me at all times. So if you see me walking on the side of the road, playing air guitar or moshing my head to the heavy metal or mouthing the lyrics of an emotional song……look the other way!

Call Off The Search – Katie Melua

Ketevan ‘Katie’ Melua is a jazz / blues singer currently based in London. She was born in Georgia and lived in the city of Tbilisi till she was 9 years old. Then it was move to Belfast, Northern Ireland & then Surrey, England. Her debut album is Call Off The Search, which has sold over $3 million world wide. While she sings the songs on these songs, you can catch a different accent that was hard for me to place. Only today did I find out that she was Georgian, although she is a British citizen now. And ok, I have to admit it, she is kinda gorgeous & sweet to look at. I first thought she was Indian or had Indian blood (not from this album cover); her brown eyes, soft brown skin & black hair misleading me. Well, now I need to check out more Georgian women!

The album starts with Call Off The Search, written by her producer Mike Batt. I wouldn’t recommend starting an album with a slow ballad. But for Jazz singer, I guess it’s ok. The song is about finding true love. John Mayall’s Crawling Up A Hill, may be written by a guy, but Katie makes it so about a young girl trying to find her way in the world, bored by her life. I just love the trumpet work in this song. Batt wrote the next song and first single The Closest Thing To Crazy, another Batt composition, is the best song on the track, with Katie alternates her seduction voice with whispers at points “This is the closest thing to crazy I have ever been, feeling 22 acting 17“.

My Aphrodisiac Is You starts with a bluesy piano riff and then Ms.Melua seduces the listener and makes you wish you were the one she was singing about. Things mellow down with Learning The Blues & Blame It On The Moon. Then we come to Belfast a tribute to the years she spent growing up in the Norther Ireland city. She next takes on Randy Newman’s I Think It’s Going To Rain & that jazz colossal Mockingbird Song, done in a slightly rock n’roll style. How can you resist her voice in this track?

Tiger in the Night, Faraway Voice & Lilac Wine are the last three songs on this excellent album, with the middle song being the only other song that Katie has composed. Overall it is a great debut album, especially when she was just 19 at the time of release in 2003. I look forward to seeing more of Ms. Melua.


Song for the day – “Crawling Up A Hill” – KATIE MELUA

Indian Autorickshaw Challenge

Alright, now I have heard about it all! I can go to my bed and die in my sleep and I wouldn’t care!

About the weirdest Rally’s that you can ever hope to see is the Indian Autorickshaw Challener, in which the contestants travel from Chennai to Mumbai in that bastion of public transport, the Autorickshaw! Unfortunately most of the contestants are not Indian, but hey who cares! You get teams like Pink Panic, Team Kannada (a Canadian mom of 72 & her two sons who adopted a small Kannada medium school in Karnataka), Tamil Devils (none of them Tamilians), Team Tuk Tuk Tuxedo & Team Voodoo Cadillac.

Arsenal 3 Spurs 1

Two goals from Emmanuel Adebayor & a stunning goal from Cesc Fabregas earned Arsenal a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane and made Martin Jol’s job at total risk. Spurs had been ahead in the 15th minute through Gareth Bale’s free-kick and had chances to add to their lead before Adebayor levelled. With 10 minutes remaining Fabregas put the Gunners ahead, receiving a pass from Tomas Rosicky before taking aim from 30 yards and bending the ball into the top corner with the outside of his boot. Adebayor scored his second of the game, finding the top corner in stoppage time, leaving Spurs with still only one Premier League victory this season.

Arsenal go top of the Premier League, with Liverpool second after drawing 0-0 against Portsmouth & Manchester United beating Everton 1-0. Chelsea, who drew 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers are 4th, while West Ham United are in 5th place after beating Middlesborough 3-0.

Serenity

This is a movie that I have been wanting to watch for over 18 months or so, from when I read about it. Serenity is a movie based on the short lived Firefly Sci-fi series, written & directed by Joss Whedon. The movie stars the series cast of Nathan Fillion as Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, Gina Torres as Zoe Washburne (nee Alleyne), Alan Tudyk as Hoban “Wash” Washburne, Morena Baccarin as Inara Serra, Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb, Jewel Staite as Kaylee Frye, Sean Maher as Simon Tam & Summer Glau as River Tam.

As fans of the series will know, it’s 500 years into the future and mankind has abandoned Earth and moved onto another galaxy, living on several planets. The People on the “central planets” pursue a wealthy and cultured lifestyle and are tightly ruled by the Alliance. In contrast, life on the partially-colonized “outer rim” planets more closely resembles that of the American Old West. The crew of the cargoship Serenity ekes out a living in the outer rim, dodging both Alliance regulation and attacks from savage spacefaring cannibals known as Reavers.

River is captured by the Alliance in order to use her physic abilities and at the beginning of the film, she is rescued by her brother Simon and taken back aboard the Serenity. The Alliance unleash The operative, a self-described monster with no name, rank, or official existence, to search for the two fugitives. Against Simon’s wishes, Malcolm brings River along on a bank heist on Lilac, which is interrupted by a Reaver attack. After the team’s narrow escape to Serenity, Simon tells Mal that he and his sister will leave the ship after receiving their payment for the job. As Mal meets his heist cohorts at a bar on Beaumonde, River suddenly begins attacking the patrons. After subduing her, Mal brings her and her brother back to the ship, and the crew contacts a reclusive techno-geek called Mr. Universe, who analyzes the bar’s security camera footage and discovers that River’s assault was triggered by a subliminal message.

Malcolm receives a message from Inara, who is held captive on her world by The Operative. Knowing it is a trap, Malcolm comes to get Inara and fights the Operative, barely escaping back to Serenity. When they go to the planet Haven, they see their friend Sheppard and his people killed. The Operative has tracked all the friends of the Serenity crew and killed them. Malcolm orders his crew to disguise Serenity as a Reaver ship; they need to get the planet Miranda and it is beyond Reaver space. Miranda is where they will find answers to what is troubling River. They find out that Miranda was a habitable planet but its cities are empty except for corpses. The crew finds a transmission from an Alliance officer, who explains that the Alliance attempted to achieve permanent peace and harmony by adding a drug designed to suppress aggression to the planet’s atmosphere. Instead, the drug suppressed the people’s motivation to do anything, and they died of starvation. However, 0.1% of the population experienced the opposite reaction: they became the hyperviolent Reavers.

The crew wants to submit this message to the whole human population but The Operative stands in the way. He and Malcolm fight it out on Mr.Universe’s planet while the rest of the crew fight off the Reavers. Mr.Universe is killed by The Operative and Wash is killed by the Reavers’ harpoon. Meanwhile, River begins to get over her fears and saves the injured crew all by herself. Malcolm wins the battle and plays the tape, which alters the Operative’s views on killing River & her friends. He orders the Alliance soldiers not to kill the crew. The crew bury Sheppard, Mr.Universe & Wash and head back once the repairs on the ship is done.