No Longer Small Or A Wonder

Hoo boy! In a few moments of reminiscing about old tv shows that I would want to watch again and own a copy of on dvd, I did a search for some of the shows on Wikipedia and then googled the actress Tiffany Brissette, who played the character V.I.C.I (or Vicky as she is called) a robot created to look like a little girl in Small Wonder. Remember I haven’t seen her since the show’s last episode and she must have been around 15-16 at the time.

This is what she looks like now (I think 2009-10 era photo) and she is a nurse in Colorado! She quit the showbiz industry a long time ago; infact her last acting performance was in 1991! There was a 2009 reunion on a tv talk show with Brissette and a couple of the other cast members. How times have changed!

Today’s Technology

Today’s technology is not as advanced as I think it should be. It doesn’t impress me on an overall level. I guess Star Trek and other Scifi tv series/movies has spoiled it for me. Where is the food & drink replicator? Where is the deep space travel in comfortable spaceships? Where are the transporter rooms and beaming us from point to point? Where is the ability to travel to different stars? Where is the highly advanced medical technology that heals broken bones, cuts, bruises, burns & shots within a couple of minutes? Where are the aliens who are our friends?

So do not think for a moment that I am that impressed with today’s technology…..but here are the things I am grateful for & enjoy the most :)

  • Advances in medical care
  • the internet
  • file sharing
  • mp3s
  • data storage devices
  • airplanes, trains & cars
  • elevators & escalators
  • ATMs
  • automated processes
  • electric music instruments, etc etc etc.

I was just joking, I love the technology we currently have. Just hurry up to the stuff that I see on my scifi series. OK?


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If Money Were No Object

Music & movie critic : I already do this as a hobby on my blog but I’d love to have it spread around and have lots of people reading my reviews & criticism. I won’t be like some fruity movie bashing pompous & arrogant prick who belittles everything about a movie. I’d be more bias-free and offer my honest opinions. Anything that I like will also get my undying affection & loyalty. You can tv series to the movies too.

Wallpaper & theme creator: A few years ago I had created a few desktop themes for Windows. I had it uploaded to my Geocities website but ofcourse that is now defunct. I think I still have copies of those themes saved in a DVR somewhere. I really enjoyed creating them, painstakingly creating wallpapers, icons, music clips for alerts & all that stuff. Ofcourse I don’t have the kind of time (or patience apparently) at the moment to create those stuff but if I could I would do that for a living.

Professional masseur for Playboy’s Playmates : need no explanation!! Heck I’d do that for free!!!

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TV Shows I Would Like To Own – 1980s

I’ve been watching a lot of tv series for the past 3 years. Not current ones on tv but new & older ones that I love, want to keep watching and to have copies of my own. I’ve got a good collection now (see tv series page) but it’s not easy as getting them on dvds is either difficult to find or very, very expensive and outta my budget range. But I really want to collect them. I grew up in Kuwait watching mostly tv series, although there are quite a few movies from that time that I old close to my heart. Till the age of 11, when my family & I moved back to India, I grew up adoring tv series like Moonlighting, Remington Steele, Starsky & Hutch, the A-Team, Battlestar Galactica (the original), V, Chips and all those late 70s & 80s comedy series. And ofcourse lots & lots of cartoons.

When nostalgia hits I feel like watching these tv series again. I want to enjoy the freedom & the innocence of being lost in that world. Like for example; The A-Team was quite cheesy by today’s standards and it feels funny how 4 guys on the run from the US military are quite concerned about helping others & even broadcast their willingness to be hired for help! I love it when the plan comes together but I pity the poor fools chasing them/stand in their way! (Sorry that was hard to resist) But for purely joyful nostalgic reasons I would like that and other series. Some of the stuff that I grew up with & enjoyed might not really be on my wish-list but the following is what I would like to get:

  • Automan
  • ALF
  • Crazy Like A Fox
  • Gimme A Break
  • The Jeffersons
  • Knight Rider
  • Misfits Of Science
  • Remington Steele
  • Small Wonder
  • Silver Spoons
  • Two Of Us
  • What A Country
  • Mind Your Language
  • You Again

Now these are all tv series that I watched in Kuwait and don’t have copies of. Some of them are short lived like Two Of Us & You Again but they are great comedy. There are some others like Moonlighting, CHiPs, T J Hooker, Starsky & Hutch & Dukes Of Hazzard that I liked back then and would want to watch once but no necessarily want a copy of them as I’d probably only watch them once for nostalgia’s sake. And I already have V & Galatica 1980. I know my sister would also love to watch them and show these tv series to her kids – let them also enjoy what we as kids once enjoyed.

How I’d Spend a 28-Hour Day

Four extra hours is always welcome – on days off as well as on work days would be awesome. More time to relax and more time to sleep. More time for fun and watching tv or internet on the laptop. You know the fun stuff. I’d like to have a marathon tv series watching session and then have enough time to sleep. Most nights I only sleep 5 to 6 hours but I could use an 8 hour sleep as much as the next dude.

Other than that at the moment I wouldn’t know what else I would do with an extra four hours. Rest & relaxation; you can’t ever have too much of it. Probably spend it watching some of the new movies I got. I know that’s not too exciting but hey – bite me!

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Arsenal : Tragedy & Despair 2011

Arsenal just seem to be going from bad to worse. In mid-week the Gunners drew 1-1 against German club Borussia Dortmund, after leading till the last minutes of the match. On Saturday Blackburn Rovers came from behind to beat Arsenal 4-3 at Ewood Park. It was an end-to-end encounter in which defending appeared to be a lost art for long periods. Arsenal were twice in front but two own goals and a determined Blackburn comeback sealed victory for the home side.

After 5 games played the London club has 4 points and a -8 goal difference, a truly pathetic performance at the start of the 2011-12 season that puts us in 15th place in the league. When was Arsenal last seen at 15th place after 5 games? Losing 3 times already Arsene Wenger looks like a desperate general sending his soldiers to certain defeat week after week. We need a change and we need it badly. Say good-bye to this season and maybe sell a few players and get some talent in. Fans are asking Wenger to resign and for the club to get former defender & Arsenal captain Tony Adams to take hold of the reins of the squad.

Whatever happens, I’m glad that I’m unable to get the sports channels that show the EPL matches from my cable company at present. It would have been too depressing to watch.

Art I Appreciate

Hmm art is such a broad subject that it’s difficult to pigeonhole any one of the art forms and say this is what art I like best. However for the purpose of this blog prompt I shall say the following:

I like tattoos – tattoo art is on of the most difficult to do IMHO as a human or rather parts of a human’s body is the canvas and it is not a flat surface. Tattoo when done well is the most beautiful form of self expression and/or self identity. Most people get a tattoo done just because it’s cool and you want one but a lot of people (and their numbers are increasing) get one done to mark a milestone, pay homage to someone or something or crown an achievement in their life. A battle with an illness either their own or their loved one’s.

I’m not solely going by the stuff they have shown on the 3 reality tv shows on tattoos shops because we all know that a lot of that stuff is scripted and the sentimental stuff can be a lot of hogwash. But some of them are genuine and they symbolism behind the tattoo image is truly felt. Although tattooing a dead relative’s image on your body is too much if you ask me. But some of the stuff is really good.

Personally I would get something that is both a cool design and if I can find a symbolic meaning to it – great! The tattoo is for me as it is my body but you think it’s cool too, well let’s get a beer and talk about it.

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Paul is one of the best comedies that I have seen in a while. Compared to some movies which I have heard so much about how great & funny they are and then I watch it and go “ok movie, impress me” and get disappointed, I had barely heard anything about this movie at all! Except for a mention in two blogs as a must see movie (one in my cousin’s blog) all I knew was that Simon Pegg & Nick Frost wrote & star in the movie with Seth Rogen providing the voice of the title character. I bought this dvd a couple of weeks ago and I dunno why but I left it till last night to watch and Boy! was I so happy to watch it last night. It’s fucking brilliant!

Ok for the plot, Clive (Frost) and Graeme (Pegg) are two comic book nerds & scifi geeks who travel from England to the San Diego Comic-con and then rent an RV to hit the major sites of extra-terrestrial importance. On the way they find a crashed car driven by a short green alien, named Paul, who has been on earth for 60 years after his spaceship crashed. He was rescued by a young girl who named him Paul after her dog who died when the ship crashed on him and was soon taken away by the US military and has spent the last 6 decades using his knowledge to help them in technological advancements (albeit as a prisoner). Now he has escaped as they plan to dissect him for further studies of his abilities.

With the help of a friend, Paul has sent a signal to his people and needs to get to the pickup sight. A secret government agent Lorenzo Zoil (Paul Bateman) is sent by his superior (Sigourney Weaver) to capture him back. Two nitwit FBI agents are also on the search for him. Paul recruits Clive & Graeme to get him to the spot and the two agree; Graeme more enthusiastically than Clive. Along the way they also get a Christian fundamentalist named Ruth (Kristen Wiig) to join them, after Paul reveals himself to her and shatters her faith by sharing his knowledge of the universe via telepathic link. They also get Tara Walton (Blythe Danner) the girl who rescued Paul and who is now an old woman to join up in the RV as the FBI agents catch up to them. In the end the alien spaceship lands to rescue Paul. Tara is asked to join Paul on his world and Clive & Graeme say goodbye to their alien buddy.

  • It’s basically a laugh a minute as the weed smoking, slacker & laid back Paul is excellently voiced by Seth Rogen, know for those kind of roles.
  • Paul has 3 great abilities – he can become invisible to humans when he holds his breath, he has the power to heal & bring back the dead and he can share his knowledge by a telepathic link.
  • The scene where Paul’s shorts come down & (is it Graeme) sees the alien’s you know what an is shocked at the size (they don’t show it on screen) and Paul’s reaction is “What? On my planet this is considered to be small!” is hilarious.
  • I’ve only seen Pegg & Frost in Shaun Of The Dead and Pegg in Star Trek but found them to be really great here. They duo wrote the story of the film.
  • Kristen Wiig, who I have only seen in her small role in Rogen’s Knocked Up is great and hilarious. I love this woman! Her reaction after sharing Paul’s knowledge about the universe and that it is not created by some god (Pegg & Frost are known atheists) turns from initial horror to delight – she starts swearing with aplomb and wants to drink, fornicate & smoke weed!
  • The two dim-witted FBI agents (Bill Hader & Joe Lo Truglio) are funny as hell!

So this is a really fun movie to watch. I was laughing out loud through the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. For the premise, the way it is done and all that I have to give it a 9 outta 10! Watch it earthlings!

Late Night Bus Woes

Going back home from work is becoming an occasional nightmare. And yeah since it at night that really makes it a nightmare. As some of you may know, I travel from my home in Kacheripady which is near to the heart of Ernakulam city to Koratty which is a little town right after the border of Cochin/Ernakulam & Thrissur districts. It’s about 90 minutes during the afternoon hours when I leave for work and should take around 45 minutes on the way back because it’s at late night and there is no traffic to speak off. I leave the office at 12 am and should take less than 10 minutes to reach the main road/bus stop at night. One thing to add, walking around that area gives you a very desolate feeling but not to bad. Once I reach the bus stop it’s the wait for a bus to take me home.

Now the problem is that sometimes the bus does not stop there or they are not on time and sometime earlier than usual so there is a chance that I might miss one of these buses that ply on the roads at that time of the hour or be late. Most days it is ok as I get a bus heading to Ernakulam within 5 to 10 minutes and can be at home by 1:15 am. That’s a good day. Like last Wednesday I got a bus as soon as I reached the bus stop and 50 minutes later I was in Kacheripady. But not all days are like that. Due to the fact that some buses do not always stop at Koratty (the drivers can be real assholes) as it is usually the one person (me) at that time, I will take any bus that stops by and if they are not going to Ernakulam city, I will get down at the Angamaly bus depot, which atleast has a sitting area / rest room for travelers there. Plus there are usually more than a handful of people waiting for buses to go to Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Trivandrum, Calicut etc.

So then I wait at Angamaly for a bus heading to the city and some days I don’t have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. But some days it is the pits. Yesterday I had to wait for an hour at the Angamaly bus depot for a frigging bus! One solid fucking hour! There were many buses headed to Kottayam, Trivandrum and Thrissur. When finally a bus to Ernakulam came by I got in – but it was so crowded and I didn’t want to stand all the way back home. So I got right back down and waited for another 10 minutes before I got another one. Although I didn’t get a seat, I could put my back in the overhead bay and relax with plenty of room to stretch. Time I reached home – 2pm!

Also during the last few days I found out that some buses won’t enter the Angamaly bus depot at that hour of night, which is why I have been getting late, waiting for buses that don’t go the proper route. I complained to the night station manager but he is a government employee in India & Kerala to boot! What did I expect other than some lame excuse! Fucking assholes don’t do their job properly and it’s us who are dependent on public transport who suffer.

Customer Service Winners and Losers

This is in my humble opinion the companies that provide the best customer service. It’s my experience and it may vary from yours.

HDFC bank, Federal Bank – Fed bank in particular have extremely nice & helpful people in their Kacheripady branch. The few times I have had to go there for sending a money order or cashing a cheque, it has been pleasant all the time. Very helpful and customer friendly. HDFC is cool too.

I like the TATA Indicom store on Marine Drive. I haven’t been to another branch and only visited this a couple of times but they have been knowledgeable and helpful. Even when telling me that their product couldn’t be of use for me in a particular place! MTS – I’ve only called the call center and couple of their stores over the phone but great helpful service. Oh and I like Fort Cafe’s services.

Now the bad ones – ICICI; unfortunately I have been banking with them since 2007 due to work reasons and they are so bad. Lies to your face and lies over the phone. Terrible! I think their infrastructure is good and their web services are good but they are terrible at customer services. People who work there are arrogant & obnoxious. They even treat their employees really badly, atleast according to 2 women I know and 1 guy who quit because they had enough!

Music World staff treat people like suspects at a police lineup. They make you feel like you have flicked dvds & cds all your life. Really bad and when you get to the front of the counter to pay for your stuff, the women are yakking their heads off.

I really can’t call it customer service type situations but Kerala has the worst bus conductors in both the private bus service and the state run service. Some people are nice but most are assholes! Really the worst in the world.

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Source Code

Source Code is a sci-fi film directed by Duncan Jones (who was also behind Moon) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Russell Peters and Jeffrey Wright. This movie explorers the possibility of experiencing the last 8 minutes of a person life before death within an alternate timeline. You can interact with people, observe things taking the place of the person who’s place you are taking in the timeline.

The movie follows the life of a seriously injured Army helicopter pilot, Captain Colter Stevens, who was on duty in Afghanistan when he injured. The remains of his body lies in a experimental machine known as the Source Code in a military facility and his still active brain is hooked up to the facilities computers. Using the interface, Air Force Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) & the device creator Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) give Captain Stevens his instructions – a train heading to Chicago was destroyed by a bomb killing all the passengers on it. The train explosion was just a warning by the bomber and a much bigger dirty nuclear bomb is expected to be detonated elsewhere in the city. Stevens is to find out the identity of the bomber if possible and relay it back to Goodwin & Rutledge. To do so he is sent into the last 8 minutes before the train detonates, taking the place of a Sean Fentress, a school teacher who is traveling with Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan).

Stevens is sent in several times and he checks up passengers who he thinks could be possible suspects. He is also falling for the lovely Christina. Finally he identifies the bomber as a young man who gets down at the previous stop and apprehends him in that reality. When he gets back to his own timeline, Stevens is able to give the man’s name and the location of the bigger bomb. Successfully debuting the Source Code and stopping a potentially disastrous outcome of the bomb exploding, Goodwin is initially ecstatic and reports the findings to Rutledge and the others. However Rutledge decides to go back on his promise to Stevens – when Stevens is informed that he is now an invalid, comatose and severely mutilated he wants them to end his life at the precise moment of the last 8 minute mission. Rutledge believes that it is difficult to get a compatible replacement and wants to continue using Stevens in future missions after wiping his memory clean.

In talking to a sympathetic Goodwin, Stevens realizes that the promise has been violated, and convinces Goodwin to let him return to Source Code once more after which she will disable his life support against Rutledge’s orders. Once back aboard the train, Stevens disarms Frost, and then handcuffs Frost to a railing and calls authorities informing them where to find the bomber. Stevens takes Warren aside and begins to kiss her as his eight minutes run out. As promised, at this exact moment, Goodwin disables his life-support. Time freezes, and Stevens is surprised to finish the kiss, still aboard the train with Christina, well beyond the eight minutes. In a flash of understanding, Stevens realizes he remains in the alternate timeline of the un-bombed train (having handcuffed Frost in the alternate reality). The train arrives safely in Chicago, and he and Warren ditch work to walk together and discuss their future.

Russell Peters appears in a small role as a comedian with a sour & sarcastic attitude. Stevens bets the comedian to make the people in the train laugh at the end of the movie which he does. Good sci-fi plot and well acted; however I found the movie lacking in capturing my fascination and imagination. I’ll give it a 7 outta 10!

When I’m Happiest

These days, and it’s been like that for the past few months, I am happiest when I am alone at home watching some of my fav tv shows or a movie or chatting with a friend. Reading some people’s blogs (you know who you are), getting & replying emails and finding a good video on Youtube to watch. I rarely go out these days and when I do it is usually alone but a rare outing with my best friends really did make me very happy and I was pleased as punch.

I’m happiest when I get some off days from work – the office isn’t the sanest place to be at these days. All I need is some things to go well and then my attitude and life will change for the better. But at the moment, relaxing on my bed in my room all alone sounds like heaven. I’d love to read a novel from top to bottom at one go, relaxing to music, plenty of coffee near me and a few snacks.

I desperately need a change of scenery and a total personal battery recharge. This would do wonders for me and make me change my life and move in a more positive manner.

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