I Still Prefer Newspapers

First and foremost I prefer to still read newspapers first thing in the morning and just after I have brushed my teeth and washed my face. While having a cup of coffee and sitting with some instrumental music. And yeah like a lot of males in India (and perhaps a lot of countries across the globe) I also take the newspaper into the loo. There’s a feeling like no other!

A few years ago, especially during the football world cups of 2002 & 2006 I used to spend a couple of hours pouring through the Indian Express back pages for reviews & previews of the matches. No satisfied with just that paper, I would also go two houses down to my uncle’s house and read the Hindu paper. Again, I would spend a lot of time in reading it. Mostly though here’s what I do – I glance at the front page for any headlines that interest me. If not, then it’s straight to the back sports page then the 2nd last & 3rd page also for sports.

While I am checking out the sports pages, I also read the cartoons – Henry, Hi & Lois, Beetle Bailey, the Lockhorns & The Phantom. I’ve been engrossed in this current storyline of the Phantom which is dark & brooding and has just gotten lighter. Then I glance through the business headlines (never read more than a handful of articles in my life) and then it’s the World News section, where I spend a few minutes. After that it’s national news, state news and then the local Cochin news section. And finally a cursory glance at the tv channels listings for the day.

I don’t think I would ever want the newspaper to be replaced and it is my favourite medium for getting the news. Maybe if I had an e-reader and could customize my news and got 3G on my e-reader – then I would give up reading newspapers altogether. Till then, this is the way to go!

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Russell Peters Cribs & Interview

After the day’s excitement I wanted to wind down and keep myself in good spirits. What better way than enjoying & laughing to the humour of Russell Peters. Here’s an interview he did with George Stroumbolopolous.

And here is his fabulous house or mansion, which is more appropriate! Gorgeous house with some coo stuff in it. Enjoy!

My Dad & The Kidney Stone Scare

My dad gave us a scare today. He woke up at 4am with a severe pain on his right side. Half sleep and thinking it was a recurring muscle pain due to the fall he took a few weeks back, he took some ointment and applied it on his side. However the pain refused to subside and he was barely able to lie still. At around 6 am he got up and went to the bathroom to wash his face and then came to sit in the living room. When my mom was in the bathroom, he knocked on the door and said that he was going to the hospital as he couldn’t bear the pain anymore. I was asleep in my room.

At 6:30 am my mom came and woke me up and told me about what had happened. I quickly washed my face and called my dad’s phone. He said that he was waiting for an auto to take him to Sudheendra Hospital, which is quite close by. I went to the bathroom, took a quick wash and then got dressed to follow him. When I reached down he had already left for the hospital, given a lift by a neighbour. I walked to the  hospital and went to the casualty ward where I saw him lying down with a drip attached to his hand and wincing in pain. I soon suspected kidney stones to be the culprit as he had it twice before; the first time a major one with massive treatment and the second a couple of years back which was a minor one. I spoke to the doctor who confirmed  my doubts that it looked like kidney stones.

My sister soon joined me as I went to pay for his medicines. We consulted a couple of doctors who dad knew personally and the advised to admit him in. We paid the advance and an orderly brought a wheel chair to take my dad to his room. By this time my uncle had already arrived; he was in town and met my brother-in-law who informed him of the same. My uncle and I accompanied my dad to the room while my sister went back to her home to get her kids their breakfast and she would be back later with my mom. After my dad had another drip, the pain went away and he was almost normal. A scan didn’t show anything and the doctors said that it could have been very minute and that it would have washed away during his treatment with the solution and his drinking water to fill  his bladder. I came back home once my mom and sister had come back with a change of clothes for dad and food for him.

By afternoon the doctors confirmed that other than some medicines which he would have to take and probably drink more water than he usually does, he would be fine. By 7pm he was back home and resting in his own bed. By 8:30 pm he was eating a light dinner and watching his usual programmes on tv (as crap as they are). He’s gonna be ok.

The First Time My Heart Broke

When I was 12 my sister and I asked my parents to get us a dog. At that age I didn’t really care for breeds, I just wanted a dog. A few weeks later, we got my first dog – Lassie, a month old part Alsatian part Pomeranian puppy, cute as hell and livelier than a electric cable cut open and lying on the ground.  We almost named her Madonna at my dad’s suggestion but I got to veto it. She was an affection little thing and kept wagging her tail and licking my hands and face.

The first day my sister and I dotted over the little pup but we didn’t know what to do as to when it was time for sleep. We didn’t have a kennel and so we got the big cardboard box and placed it in my sister’s room, propped it onto the side, kept some clothes on the bottom part and tucked Lassie in. At 9pm the puppy was tucked out, having used up most of it’s energy for the day (or so we thought). My sister and I watched it sleepily wag it’s tail and then we switched off the bedroom lights and  just kept the bathroom light on and soon Lassie fell asleep. We both lay on my sister’s bed and talked for a long while. A couple of hours later, we were both ready to sleep and I was about to head over to my room when puppy woke up. Now, she was wide awake and wanted to play. She was too noisy and not ready to let me or sis sleep, so my dad took the pup into the cardboard box and placed it in the living room.

I remember that the day after we got her home, she got scared by the fireworks next door (it was some festival or the other) and it broke my heart as I looked into her sad & scared eyes. She would break my heart with longer lasting effect a couple of days later – while I was at school, she got into the garage, knocked over a can of petrol or something and lapped it up. She died that same day and it turned out that she also had some worm infection. As I got the news I broke down and cried for hours and couldn’t stop crying. I hated the world and all it’s cruelty.

I’ve only had the pup for 4 days of my life but she will always have a place in my heart.

How To Spend $1000 / Rs.44830 In An Hour

Ok first of all let me tell you that at the current rates, 1 US dollar is 44.83 rupees. So if I’m getting $1000 that’s equal to Rs.44,830. Cool, nice bit of change. I can spend it in an hour or less. Fine, here’s what I would do:

First thing is that I would go and get me what I have been dreaming about for the past couple of months. Upgrading my BlackBerry from a Curve 8320 which I currently own to either a Bold 9780 or a Torch. Damn that would so cool and I would really be so happy with either.

Ok, I guess I might stick to the Bold 9780 which can cost me around 22 to 23k and the rest I can spend on getting a table, chair, bed and stuff for my new place. That should do it. That will be the practical part of the spending and I really will need that stuff and will use it for a long, long time.

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2011 Juno Awards – Winners

For those of you who do not know, the Junos are Canada’s answer for the Grammy’s and it’s usually for Canadian artists and production. I feel like I can watch a Juno award and enjoy it more than the Grammys because the former features a lot of my fav musicians & singers. Canada being a country of 33 million, can still showcase an award show and you are sure to get mostly the top grade stuff that they have to offer and still like them enough.

Over the years I’ve paid more attention to the Junos and enjoyed most of their live performances cause I usually like the bands that do come for this show. The 40th Juno awards were held in Toronto yesterday and among the winners were:

  • Fan Choice Award – Justin Beiber
  • Single of the year  – Wavin Flag by Young Artists For Haiti
  • Album of the year – The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  • Artist of the year – Neil Young
  • Group of the year – Arcade Fire
  • Songwriter of the year – Arcade Fire
  • Adult Alternative album of the year – Le Noise by Neil Young
  • Alternative album of the year – the Suburbs by Arcade Fire
  • Pop Album – My World 2.0 by Justin Beiber
  • Rock Album – Vancouver by Matthew Good
  • Producer of the year – Daniel Lanois
  • Music DVD of the year – Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage

RIP Roger Abbott

Just got to know about this a couple of minutes ago via Twitter. Comedian & actor Roger Abott passed away last night as confirmed by his close friend and fellow Air Farce member Don Ferguson. Ferguson said Abbott, 64, died Saturday night at Toronto General Hospital, 14 years after being diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

He kept the progressive disease secret from all but a few close friends and family until a week ago, Ferguson said. Born in England, Abbott’s family migrated to Canada when he was a baby and he was raised in Toronto.

Abbott was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Air Farce comedy troupe which started on radio in 1973  before branching to tv spots in the 80s and becoming a regular series in the 90s. His many roles on the show included his well-known parodies of Jean Chrétien, The Queen Mother, Yasser Arafat, George W. Bush and CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge. Although the series ended in 2008 on New Year’s day, the cast has has some reunions since then.

I’ll always remember Air Farce and the comedic interludes that I enjoyed for a few years that I watched the show on Zee English. During those years, I used to watch the show around the midnight time slot that the cable channel used to air it and enjoyed the various skits. I’ll never forget Abbott’s parody of Arafat as a spokesman for a shaving razor company (‘Don’t say no sir, say Yasser’, which I found hilarious.

Roger Abbott (born July 10, 1946; died March 26, 2011)

Hope For Next Season

The Ottawa Senators may not be in the playoffs but their recent form gives us fans hope for the next season and beyond. If they can play this well and win games with this team that has a lot of call ups from Binghamton, imagine what they can do with a squad that is sure to get a few bigger name players next season! They were also assured a spot in the NHL draft lottery this spring.

A lot of the credit should go to goalie Craig Anderson, traded before the deadline a few weeks ago. Anderson has done a great job for the Senators and will surely look forward to being the starting goalie next season. On Friday night he recorded the 16th shutout of his career and his second in 12 games with Ottawa as he improved his record to 8-4-0 by blanking the Washington Capitals. The native of Park Ridge, Illinois had recently signed a 4 year contract extension with the Sens.

Because he is 29, I fully expect him to be a short term replacement maybe for Swedish youngster Robin Lerner. As the rebuilding process will see a lot of progress during the summer when the Senators use their picks in the draft and also look to shore up their ranks with a few signings, perhaps mostly on the unrestricted free agent side. There will be a few top caliber players available and perhaps looking for fresh starts at a different club. The Ottawa management will do their best and try to get a few younger players who can be folded into the rebuilding process and be long term answers for the Sens.

A few veteran players may also be looked at to provide the leadership for the next 2-3 years. A few names comes to mind as to who can do the job – Brad Richards, Jason Arnott and oh why not bring back Ottawa native & former Senator Todd White?

At The End Of The Week

At the end of a long, long work week of 6 days with almost 2 hours 45 minutes of traveling in a bus to boot, I think I deserved a break. It’s been a tiring time and mentally at times I was taxed. I needed a little pick-me-upper and it was around 7:45pm when I found myself standing in Marine Drive and looking for an ATM.

I went to Velocity soon after and got me some sweet Vodka. Well, they didn’t have any of the brands that I wanted and so I had to settle for Shark Tooth Vodka. It was ok and I splashed it liberally with 7up. I had 3 of those and settled back in the comfy sofa lounge seats.

I had some fish (anchovies) and chicken fry and enjoyed a quite evening. There was a cricket match going on on the tube but I wasn’t paying attention, as I hate cricket. I just ate and drank my dinner and enjoyed sitting near the air conditioner until it was time to come home. Now for some shut eye.

The Sound Of The 70s

There’s this synthesizer music from the 70s usually in movies or television that makes me feel very sad and nostalgic. I guess you call the synthesizer a Moog synthesizer and from what I know, it was the rage back then. I can remember watching movies from the 70s shown on television during my childhood years growing up in Kuwait in the 1980s. The movies or tv shows from the 70s all seemed to have this sound. If you don’t know what I sound I am referring to, listen to this 1978 video of William Shatner’s spoof take on Elton John’s Rocket Man on Youtube. The synthesizer used in this song is the same one that I am talking about.

This music makes me very nostalgic and I can get lost in it. I think about the good old days of growing up in Kuwait and the carefree childhood that I had, how happy I was just going to school, playing with my friends and watching tv in my living room. I’ve also heard this synthesizer paying music for tv series & television movies of that era. If I am not mistaken, the movie The Daring Dobermans also has music played on this type of synthesizer. Similarly a few other movies from that era had their theme music being created on this instrument.

It’s a sound from my childhood and it always makes me melancholic and nostalgic and long for the days gone by. I wonder if you too have a sound or music associated with your childhood. Do share it with me in the comments section.

My Recurring Dream

Well it’s not the same dream, rather it’s the continuation of the same dream that I keep having over and over again. Much like a television serial that has numerous episodes, this keep playing quite regularly in my mind while I sleep. The reason for it is because I always think about it during idle moments and I wish I could have this life with all my heart.

Ok, it’s way, way, way further in the future. But all the people that I know are alive then and life is great. It’s a very Star Trek world, times 100, and being human rocks as, although there are a lot of aliens, we are the invincible lords of the universe. Humans need spaceships monitoring the galaxy however and that’s where I come in.

I’m the captain of a new spaceship and we’re about to go on our first mission. My senior officers are my first team in my last office – Neil, Sreekumar, Ajeeba, Nazer, Rashba, Vidya & Jins. The junior officers, with each one aligned to each of the senior officers, are my second team – Wasim, Roopa, Anusha, Riju, Rekha, Rajeesh & Firdous! We also have Maya, Vinaya & Dileep. And the junior officers are just being assigned to my ship after I’ve selected them based on various criteria. I assign them to their duties and we prepare for launch.

This big, beautiful & extremely advanced spaceship is launched while the 15 of us are in sitting on the bridge. The 14 of them take care of the 7 different departments that is responsible for the running of the ship – like console, operations, navigation / astrometrics, science, engineering, tactical / security & medical. And each department has a group of men & women under them as well. The total crew strength is around a 1000. As we embark on our various adventures in space, we grow closer as a group and have a marvelous time fighing aliens, discovering new planets and exploring the galaxy.

I know it’s silly but try as I might, the moment I lie down to sleep, it’s thoughts like these that enter my mind. So it influences my dreams. I only wish it were real.

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The Return Of The Queen

It was a few days ago when I realized that the second season of V (the re-imagined series) had not only started, which means that I could download the shows via torrent, but the damn season finale was airing the same day (15th March)! How on earth was that possible? Well it seems that the second season premiered on Jan 4th and the season was only 10 episodes long and hence it ends in March.

Only 10 episodes! Fucking shit the producers of this series had already pissed me off by having the first 4 episodes shown and then having a long few months gap before showing the remaining 8 episodes of the 12 that were produced. How are viewers new to the concept of the series going to get into the show with that kind of broadcast schedule? And to make matters worse we only get 10 episodes this season! I mean, WTF!

Anyway, I’ve downloaded and watched all 10 episodes during the last few days and I’ve really enjoyed it, even though it seems that the ratings aren’t doing so great for the show. Nevertheless, I think they have really started picking up the pace and things did get a whole lot exciting. Wonders of wonders for 9 of the episodes they brought up the original V villainess Jane Badler, who plays Diana (not the original character but a new one with the same name), Anna’s mother who has been dethroned and imprisoned by the visitor queen. Marc Singer also appears but it’s a small role at the very end of the season finale whereas Badler basically steals the show with her lines. You get the feeling that her character could indeed be a mellowed out Diana from the original 80s series, defeated by her own offspring and just waiting to get loose and take back her position as rightful queen.

Diana does get killed off towards the very end of the season finale, by Anna and to the shock of the visitors who live on the New York mothership. If there is a 3rd or more seasons, I would have wanted Jane to be a big part of it. Well it remains to be seen if we do get a new season. But I was so happy to watch Jane once again in the franchise that gave her a name in television.

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

A big screen legend died today as we lost English-American actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor.  A former child star, she grew to be known for her acting talent and beauty, as well as her Hollywood lifestyle, including many marriages. Considered one of the best actresses of our times, she died at the age of 79 after spending two months in a Los Angeles hospital for treatment of congestive heart failure. In a career spanning seven decades, Taylor was nominated for five Oscars and won the best actress honor twice.

Taylor starred in a string of hit movies in the 1950s and 60s, including Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Cleopatra, while becoming an international sex symbol and object of tabloid fascination for her string of love affairs with leading men. In addition to being a fashion icon, perfume mogul and movie legend, later in life Taylor also became one of the leading advocates for victims of AIDS, raising millions for research and treatment of the disease in the wake of the 1985 death of her good friend the actor Rock Hudson, who died from the illness.

In November 2004, Taylor announced that she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a progressive condition in which the heart is too weak to pump sufficient blood throughout the body, particularly to the lower extremities: the ankles and feet. She broke her back five times, had both her hips replaced, survived a benign brain tumor operation and skin cancer, and faced life-threatening bouts with pneumonia twice. Towards the end of her life she was reclusive and sometimes failed to make scheduled appearances due to illness or other personal reasons. She used a wheelchair and when asked about it stated that she had osteoporosis and was born with scoliosis.

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond TaylorDBE (27 February 1932 – 23 March 2011)

Would You Want A Second Childhood?

Given the chance would you want another crack at childhood, starting your life all over again? Do you have regrets and wrong decisions that you keep referring to in your mind? Milestones in the journey of life that you wish that you go back to and make the changes that you think is needed to make your adult life that much more satisfying & complete & fulfilling!

Maybe you didn’t make enough friends, you didn’t work hard enough at a school, maybe fought with some close friends with whom you have never spoken ever since then? Didn’t get involved in enough activities in high school, you know the kind of stuff that only happens in school & college and may have seemed trivial at the time but now it seems like something you missed out on. Never told that girl in 8th grade that you have an eternal flame burning for her in your heart? And you wish you had another chance at telling her that.

You never did win that sports  trophy for your school because you choked at the last minute? You didn’t spend enough time with your friends? Didn’t do well enough in your studies? Had a crush on a school teacher and you wish you could see her again? Wondering where the golden years went?

Captain Kirk Turns 80 Years Old

My favourite tv actor of all time, heck my favourite actor of all time turns 80 today. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the science fiction television series Star Trek from 1966 to 1969 and in seven of the subsequent Star Trek feature films from 1979 to 1994. From 2004 to 2008, he starred as attorney Denny Crane in the television dramas The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal, for which he won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAPTAIN KIRK!!

10 Things I Think Are Crucial For Me To Be Happy

These 10 things, in no particular order but just entered as 1-10, are:

  1. Peace and quite on most days. Some day I get it; you just need to have scream and shout and have a gala time. You need excitement and noise. But that’s once in a while. I would like some peace & quite.
  2. No religion to piss me off. Or as little religious bullshit as possible dirtying up my space. Keep that crap away from me and I will be pleased as punch.
  3. Lots of scifi tv shows & movies, especially Star Trek & Star Gate styled shows. The truth is out there.
  4. Lots of cold drinks like apple & other fruit juices, cold coffee frappes, shakes, coke, pepsi, sprite, 7up and lots of vodka, beer and brandy.
  5. Money. Enough to let me continue living a comfortable lifestyle. I do not want to be filthy rich but enough for me to have the semi-luxurious life that I envision.
  6. Comedy – I love to laugh and the kind of comedy that leaves me squirting water from my nose as the joke was too funny or falling down on the floor kinda laughter. I love sit-coms, funny moves and watching stand up comics like Danny Bhoy, Sugar Sammy, Jerry Seinfeld and Russell Peters.
  7. Good food – pizza, sandwiches, chicken, Indian food, Chinese food, Arab & Italian food and any good old food. Keep ’em coming.
  8. I need people I care about to be near me. I want to meet my close friends once a week, atleast. Spend a few hours with them having a few drinks & food, a few laughs and maybe catch a  movie together.
  9. Music. I need my music with me at all times. Music is the medicine. Rock n’roll is the only religion worthy enough.
  10. And finally, how long can this man be strong and face life all alone? I need the love of a woman to call my own; I need my soul mate to come and find me and make me complete. Baby I need you, so come into my life.

The Best Photo I’ve Taken

I shot this photo on my Motorola Razor (with a 1.3 mp camera). It’s a shot looking out through one of the windows of my bedroom. This was taken back in 2006, around October I guess, just a few weeks after we moved from our family house in Thrikkakara to the apartment in the city. I love sunset and the colours and I am very proud of how this photo came out.

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