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RIP Tony Curtis

Classic Hollywood actor & hearthrob of the 50s & 60s, Tony Curtis passed away yesterday. He played a variety of roles, from light comedy, such as the musician on the run from gangsters in Some Like It Hot, to serious dramatic roles, such as an escaped convict in The Defiant Ones, & Spartacus which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. From 1949, he appeared in more than 100 films and made frequent television appearances.

The Clark County coroner says the entertainer and father of Jamie Lee Curtis died at 9:25 p.m. local time of cardiac arrest at his Las Vegas-area home. Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx, New York, the son of Emanuel Schwartz and his wife Helen Klein. He is also the father of acclaimed actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

My memories of Curtis will be of him sparing with Roger Moore in the one & only season of the Persuaders, where they acted as two international playboys. It was a fun series although it got canceled for not making an impact in the US.

Tony Curtis (June 3, 1925 – September 29, 2010)

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Stargate Universe : Episode 18 “Subversion”

Dr. Rush has residual images of being in Col. David Telford’s body and sees the number 314. He sees himself giving files about the Icarus project to the group. They have a Tel’tak parked in the area, which leads Young to suspect the Lucian Alliance. He goes to tell Col. young about these images. Young explains that Telford spent a year undercover in the Lucian Alliance. Eight months in, a Lucian Alliance attack on a Tau’ri Base killed 37 people, which Telford knew was coming but did not report. Telford claimed it necessary to protect his cover, and was let off the hook. However, knowing that the Goa’uld have brainwashing technology, and that the Lucian Alliance have much of their technology, it’s possible he was compromised. Scott points out that no one can be trusted if that’s the case.

Rush offers to switch bodies with Telford and make contact with the Lucian alliance. While Young agrees to this, he also speaks with General O’Neill and has Rush followed. Rush is dropped off at Morrison’s home, tailed by Daniel Jackson. Rush make contact and is picked up in a van. Rush is brought to the meeting site. Another SUV drives in and a woman steps out. She recognizes that Rush is not Telford, since he didn’t use the proper code word when reporting in, and demands to know who he is. Rush denies her accusations, but when she asks him for her name and he can’t answer, he is knocked unconscious. She deactivates the cloak on her Tel’tak and has Rush dragged inside. Daniel calls in the strike team, but they are too late.

In order for them to find out where Rush is being taken, Col. Young interrogates Col. Telford. Young orders Brody to vent the atmosphere in Telford’s room. Eli and Wray separately argue against it, but Brody complies. Telford has five minutes until he suffocates, unless he talks. Telford doesn’t believe he’ll do it, but Young insists that this is for the greater good and doesn’t back down. Telford refuses to talk, demanding to be released.

The episode ends on this cliff hanger!!

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My Life, Ten Years From Now

10 years from now I’d be 44 years of age. Mentally I will be 18.

Seriously I would want to be more financially stable that money isn’t a scary topic anymore. I’d hope to have been promoted a few times or even move industries/jobs to one that is more lucrative and rewarding. I’ve struggled financially in terms of salary, from the age of 25 till very recently and this would be my reward for those years of strife.

I would hope that long before I turn 44 I would have had the opportunity of buying my own apartment or small house. A place that is completely mine and where I can lay my hat. I can’t wait to decorate the place with my taste in furniture and knick knacks. I have a lot of ideas. And oh, I definitely will have more & bigger computers.

I hope that by the age of 44 I would have settled down to marital bliss (or is that life imprisonment; I really can’t tell?) and with probably a kid or two. And I hope that we live happily ever after and tackle every situation that life tosses us as a tight-knit family.

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My Playlist for the One I Love

As a bachelor 34 years old, I do miss having the love of a woman to call my own. Here’s just 3 songs that I would play for the woman who finally comes to be mine.

What A Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies

The story of a defiant boy and the girl he loves and who he needs to be part of his life

Roy Orbison by You Got It

Total & true love

How Long Can A Man Be Strong by Jeff Healey

The long, long wait for Miss Right to come along

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Keep Your Voice Away From My Table

I hate inconsiderate people and my state has these buffoons who don’t even think that other people exist – so why even bother to worry about other people’s space? I’d like to bring to your attention to the situation my cousin & I had on Saturday. Some of you may think that it’s not a big deal but things like this irk me a lot.

So Saturday afternoon my cousin & I were sitting in a booth at the Velocity bar. I must tell you that I and the usual company that I keep are very decent & quite but we still have our fun. This bar is not too big and therefore the space between tables is less. The comfy booths are placed one behind the other so if you turn around your face is about 10 inches away from the neck of the person sitting in the booth behind you. I don’t mind this as long as the people sitting in the other booths are decent and don’t make that much noise. But a lot of us Malayalees think that drinking is a free license to do anything and act as loud & boorish as possible. Case in point this bugger who got a phone call that afternoon.

This tall dude was as loud as possible and disturbed all conversations nearby. I don’t think he had been at the bar for long and probably only had a drink or 2. He kept walking the length of the bar and so everyone else had a earful of his conversation to whoever the fuck he was talking with. I’m telling you that this sonofabitch was very loud and irritating. I was speaking to my cousin about this and then….the bastard sat down in a chair kept next to our booth and proceeded to chat even louder! The seat that was placed there was an extra chair that the staff keep as a spare just in case a group needs another chair round a table. So now, I can’t hear what my cousin is saying and vice versa! Annoying right?

So I did the only thing that came to me – I spoke even louder so that it made it difficult for the bugger to keep his end of the conversation going without asking the other person to repeat sentences being said! And I also used words that were sounding in appropriate like “blow job”, “prostitute”, “orgasm”, “fuck & fucking” and other such choice words. I would say these words even louder than the rest of the sentences and in a couple of minutes, the idiot got a clue and took his call outside.

You should have seen my cousin laughing! I was still pissed off and went back to my drink.

2

A Texas Tall Tale

There I was standing in the middle of a huge shopping mall, looking all around me as I took in the beautiful stores & places of business. There were banks, boutiques, coffee shops, a few restaurants, hair salons, shoe stores – you name it they had it. Stores that sold toys, games, cell phones, desktops & laptops, cds, musical instruments. They had a huge water slide and a gigantic swimming pool. Yes sir, Texas always like them big, just like the state and the big blue sky.

It was a feast for the eyes and senses; I could smell pizza, sausages & hamburgers being cooked in all directions. I gazed in envy at the people who had the money to spend on all the things being sold, gadgets beyond my miserly budget. I checked my wallet and decided that I had enough for a couple of big pizza slices and a soda. I ate my pizza at a corner table and watched the beautiful blue-eyed blond Texan cheerleader types walk on by. I lustfully wondered if I had a chance with a particularly gorgeous girl who could have been an actress or atleast a model if she wanted to. She certainly had the legs for it, as well as the bust! I couldn’t keep my eyes of her assets, encased in an Aerosmith t-shirt.

I walked along the hallways with my soda can in my hand and sipped the sweet drink. I then saw that they had a small zoo in the mall – really, the things that could be done with American money. And they did it in style. I chucked my now empty can into the trash bin and walked along to join a group of moms & kids who were eagerly looking at & chatting about the various animals. I counted the exotic birds, the snakes & other reptiles in huge glass cases, the cute koala bears and the monkeys. But the one that caught my attention the most were the manatees. I had never ever seen a manatee up close and was fascinated with this gentle giants that looked as graceful & chubby at the same time.

A baby manatee seemed to be following my every move while swimming in it’s huge tank. It’s mommy was nearby but she didn’t seem to be paying attention to the fact that her baby had made a new friend. A big smile must have been plastered on my face cause the next thing I know, I hear a sexy voice saying “I think it likes you”. I turn around and gaze at the big, beautiful eyes of the Aerosmith babe, looking at me and return her smile. We start talking and I get her to exchange numbers with me. Before I leave I go to see my little friend – thanks baby manatee!

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Arsenal 2 West Brom 3

Arsenal’s play has made Arsene Wenger very upset as indeed all of us fans are. West Bromich Albion were the better team on the day and beat us 3-2. Chris Brunt had a first-half penalty saved, but Peter Odemwingie later fired the opener from Jerome Thomas’s centre. Brunt fed Gonzalo Jara for the second, although Manuel Almunia should have saved his shot, and Thomas made it three after some dismal defending.

Samir Nasri scored a late double for Arsenal, but it provided little consolation for boss Arsene Wenger. It was West Brom’s second major scalp in the space of four days following Wednesday night’s Carling Cup victory over Manchester City, but that was a game contested by what effectively amounted to two reserve sides. Despite their sloppy play the Gunners remain in 2nd place with 11 points until the results of Manchester United’s game later tonight against Bolton later today.

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Coffee, Drinks & Lunch With Sujith

My cousin Sujith & I decided to meet today for some coffee and then drinks with lunch. So he met me at Lens & Frames as I was ordering my new frames and ….er….lenses and we then moved to Convent Junction. There’s a new coffee shop called Coffee Cube (to which I have been once but didn’t try anything) and although we were both looking  forward to trying out another placed called Fort Cafe, we just couldn’t find it. Since no one at Convent Junction knew where the latter was, we decided that Coffee Cube it was. It’s not too big although the shop looks more cramped due to the layout of their furniture – huge sofas settees placed in the middle and towards one wall leaves very little place to move about and you end up feeling very cramped. Still their coffees seem to be very good. Sujo  had a Butterscotch Frappe and I had a Choco chip Frappe. He also had a chocolate donut while I bought some french fries.

I must tell you that Convent Junction is THE place to do some serious bird watching. And them birds were out in full force. Birds on the right, birds behind me, birds to the front. Birds coming in to the cafe and walking all around the road below where I was sitting. But surprising enough a simple yet elegant and pretty girl sitting right next to us was the one that stood out. Isn’t it always like that – make up and tight jeans and fancy attire can only go so far!

We spend a long time there and then went on to Velocity for lunch. We had vodka & 7up with koondhal (squid) fry, beef, then butter chicken with fried rice (for him) and noodles (for me). We had three rounds each by which we were both were feeling sleepy and so we parted ways and I came back home to watch Star Trek episodes.

Tomorrow is all rest & relaxation at home with some reading.

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Making A Spectacle Of Myself!

Something that I have been putting off for many weeks is getting a new pair of spectacles. Even after I broke the right stem of my trusted & faithful pair, I still manages to keep it hanging on to my ear and just about keep it in place. I hadn’t changed my glasses for the past 3 years and hadn’t checked my eye sight in a few more years than that. After a long time I visited Lens & Frames on Marine Drive.

I looked for a suitable frame for me; I don’t like fancy ones and try to keep it simple. I do opt for something like the John Lennon style frames and yes I do like transition lenses. You know the ones that I am talking about – clear indoors & darker shade in the sunlight. This helps you from straining when out in the sun. Other than that I keep it pretty simple. So I selected a simple frame and then decided to get my eye sight checked. They had an ophthalmologist on the second floor, so up I went.

My current lenses are -3 power and I was thinking that I might need to go for a slightly higher power lens as I had a slight strain in my eyes. I met the doctor, a relic from a long ago era, who shone many lights in my eyes and peered into them with some device. Then it was the equipment where he makes you put your head onto a setup and he peers into them. Then it was the reading test which surprised me!

My right eye was actually only -2.75 but my left one was a different matter. I needed more powerful lenses at a -4! Why is my left eye weaker than my right? Something I will never know I guess. So I ordered the change in the power of the lenses, paid an advance against the price of the entire package – 2 lenses & frames and will wait till Tuesday evening to get them shaped to my preferences.

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Delhi CW Games A Shamble

The Delhi Commonwealth Games preparation is fast becoming the biggest shame & joke for India. Nine days to go for the Commonwealth Games and in the face of international criticism after pictures of the dismal state of the Commonwealth Games Village were splashed world over, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday stepped in to clean up the Games mess. Pictures have been released of the filthy conditions of the housing for the athletes.

Most of us are familiar with the collapse of the overbridge on Tuesday had sparked off fears among the visiting international teams of the lack of safety. Lots of international athletes have pulled out of the Games in Delhi, citing the security & safety concerns as well as the pathetic conditions of the apartments where they are supposed to be put up. The concerns over infrastructure came to media attention in late September 2010 after media outlets began reporting on “filthy and unlivable conditions” at the games village and safety concerns after the collapse of a pedestrian bridge near the main stadium. The footbridge collapsed injuring 27 and seriously injuring five on 21 September 2010. On 22 September 2010, a stadium false ceiling partly collapsed into the competitors area of the weightlifting venue with no reported injuries.

It’s not cricket and therefore it seems that the money to make things glamarous is not spread across. Wake up India; this is reality. Can this nation actually host a proper international games that does not involve that dumb game of cricket?

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Music Sounds Better Through Speakers

Although I always carry headphones with me (earlier for my ipod and now for my BlackBerry) and have always used headsets for when traveling, I prefer to listen to music coming out of speakers.

Currently I have two small Creative speakers that’s connected to my laptop. They are the same speakers that I got when I bought my desktop September 2006. I had a huge radio/stereo system bought in 1986 and then another one bought in 1995 – these were my main stereo systems that I used for most of my life. I always had to have rock music playing since 1986-87 when the music bug bit me (I was 10). My sister also had a nice Sony which I often borrowed or shared for listening to my favourite songs. Wattage was pretty decent, especially the big giant Sansui that we had – it would rattle windows throughout the house even a mid-level volume.

First thing in the morning, listening to certain songs as soon as you have washed your face, brushed your teeth and are just sipping your first coffee of the day – sometimes things can get magical.

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My ISP Is Offering Me Broad CAN’T Services

I was disconnected from the internet…….again!!!

I came home from work late last night, after a particularly trying day which was a pain in the ass, neck and groin I must add. I was only able to leave the office at 9:30pm and reached home around 10:30 pm. I changed my clothes and washed my face, switched on the laptop….no connectivity! Tata Indicom Broadband has done it to me yet again! I’m unofficially changing their name to Tata Indicom Broad can’t! Reason being that yet again, they had a cable problem near my apartment.

So I raised another complaint. Same response “will get back to you in 24 hours”. I told them that I am available either before 9:30 am or after 9pm. The tech team still calls me back to check the status before the time I mention. I still respond that I am not at home and therefore cannot check at the moment. They are still rude. I change my tone and then the buggers get the message.

I come back home and I am getting intermittent service. The connection keeps going on & off, getting disconnected in between. What a shitty service Tata Indicom Broadcan’t has. And I’m still sticking to them.

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Star Trek: TOS Women 7

Diana Muldaur is famous in Star Trek circles as the middle-aged, short haired & somewhat strict  Chief Medical Officer Dr. Katherine Pulaski in Season 2 of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She was a tough dame, meant to bring memories of Dr. “Bones” McCoy of the original series. The story goes like this, after Gates McFadden was fired, the writers brought about a storyline of Dr. Beverly Crusher, who started out as the CMO on Enterprise, taking a break from her role on the ship to become head of Starfleet Medical. The writer/producers behind TNG wanted an older & tougher doctor, who would stand up to Captain Picard and more than hold her own. Her no-nonsense attitude & crustiness also shows a lack of tact when it came to her not being comfortable with the android DATA and even treating him a just a machine. She however warms up to him later in the season. She’s also shown to give Lt. Worf a tough time.

However, even though the critics loved her, she proved to be less popular with the fans an left at the end of season 2 and Gates was bought back as Dr. Crusher. However did you know that Diana also played two roles in The Original series? Yes, and both times she played two different doctors. Take a look at her in this picture – this blond haired, light-eyed and pouty lipped beauty is the same actress that played the almost matronly Dr. Pulaski!

She was curvaceous and gorgeous as Dr. Ann Mulhall in Return To Tomorrow (remember she was 30 in this episode & 50 when she started appearing as Dr. Pulaski in TNG), who served as an astrobiologist aboard the USS Enterprise. She is new aboard the starship and joins Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy on a planet who’s inhabitants died out centuries ago. However, a scientist Sargon & his wife Thalassa had downloaded their consciousness s into a sphere shaped object through which they can communicate and can control matter. They wish to ‘borrow’ Kirk’s & Dr.Mulhall’s bodies for a while, as they craft new android bodies for themselves; Kirk & the lovely doctor being the most compatible. Along with them is former enemy Henoch, who has more evil ideas, and finds a compatible body in Spock’s. Needless to say while their consciousness is transferred, Henoch tries to kill Sargon and take Spock’s body as his own. Sargon & Thalassa are able to trick & defeat Henoch and return Kirk’s & Muhall’s bodies back to them.

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Late Night Shifts & My Dog

From mid May 2003 till the 2nd of January 2004, I worked for a company called AspinWall, located at the very end of Fort Kochi near the ferry. It was about an hour & a half bus ride away from my then home of Thrikkakara. AspinWall, while mostly an export/import company (they have a big tourism section too), also wanted to get into different other ventures and in the wake of the call center boom of the early 2000’s, setup a small 50 seater call center in a new section constructed in their office land. I was one of their employees & joined up to trying to sell credit cards, cell phones & long distant phone connections to Americans & Britishers.

It was a small setup like I said; just 50 seats so a maximum of 100 employees could take calls in two shifts. When I initially joined up we were about 50 or so along with 2 supervisors and about 3 sales verification officers plus the tech guys. The only shift started at 10 pm Indian Standard Time and ended at 7 am in the morning the next day. So I would leave my house at around 7:30 pm and go to the pickup point at Palarivattom (about 20 minutes away). There I would board a mini-bus provided by the company and then the bus would go pick up various other employees along the way. We would reach the office by 9:15-9:30pm and chat around until it was time for us to login and call prospective customers. This shift meant that I left the office a little after 7:15 am and reached home about 8:15-8:30 am. I would always take a public bus instead of the company mini-bus as it would always wait till my colleagues finished eating the breakfast provided by the company and that took time. I preferred to reach home and have breakfast and so I would take a public bus.

I would always sleep off in the bus and always wake up at two points – this never failed to amaze me! Everyday that I did that 10pm-7am shift and took a public bus I would fall asleep in my seat and always wake up twice; once at Palarivattom, then sleep off again and wake up 3 stops before I had to get off. I worked in this shift for about 2 months and after they hired about another 50 more boys & girls and we moved to two shifts – a 7pm  till 3:30 am shift and a 1:30 till 9am shift. I always did the first shift for the next 5 months that I worked there, as I preferred it and I loved riding in the bus in the night. So we would quit our shift at 3:30 am and then drink coffee/tea and board the company provided mini-buses that would drop us off at our homes. Due to the distance, I was almost always the last person to get dropped off, which would be around 4:30 am. My parents would open the door at around 4:30 am and either one or both would wait for me to come in.

My dog Shawny, who passed away in 2005, would also lie awake and await my arrival at that odd time of the early morning. I remember my parents saying that many times they opened the door earlier than usual and my dog would be waiting at the door. My parents would sit and watch tv in the living room and Shawny would be sitting near the door waiting patiently. Every time they did this, they would note that my dog would ignore ever other sound but at the faintest sound of the engine, as the mini-bus would turn the corner to the street on which I lived, Shawny would get up and make her way slowly to the gate. As the bus stopped at my gate, I would get down, open the gate slowly and get in, my dog would be there to greet me with a friendly lick & with her tail wagging. I would pet her for a few minutes and only then get into the house. This happened every time I did that shift.

This post started out as a comment on the late evening shifts that I used to do but it ended up being a tribute to the loyalty of my late dog. It never ceased to amaze my parents at the amount of affection & devotion an animal could have for their son. Ofcourse I always knew that Shawny was pretty special & adored her. It was even more eye-opening for my mom as she hated dogs unlike my dad, sister & I.

Every human’s life is rich, magical, amazing & filled with heart warming stories. You just have to be open & be accepting of the experiences and be glad that you had the particular ones that you were lucky to have.