Miracle

This is a feel good movie, a biopic sports flick based on an actual event that took place in 1980. Ah the 80’s! Miracle is about the “Miracle on Ice”; the US Men’s Hockey team, made up of 20 young college & university players, going on to beat the mighty & powerful Soviet squad of established stars enroute to winning the Olympic Gold at the Lake Placid Games of 1980. They were coached by the legendary Herb Brooks. The opening credits feature a montage of the 1970s, depicting events such as Watergate and the Iran hostage crisis. Then University of Minnesota head coach Herb Brooks interviews with the United States Olympic Committee, discussing his philosophy on how to beat the Soviet team. Despite the fact that they seem very skeptical of his ambitious goal, Brooks is hired. He would go on to state that he had already selected 26 of the players out of which only 20 would get to be in the final squad to represent the United States. In spite of the obvious USA glorification (the “USA, USA” chant is so annoying! Grow up!) and the predictability (tough love shelling out coach, team responds and inspirational music plays as good ole’ America wins, it still is a good movie. Plus it is about hockey, the coolest game on Earth & elsewhere. I would watch a movie based on hockey even it was a 6 on 6 movie about African bush people!!

The team goes through an initial adjustment period – most of the players don;t know each other. A fight breaks out among forward Rob McClanahan and defenseman Jack O’Callahan based on their college rivalry. Brooks lectures the players that they are to let go of old rivalries and start becoming a team. He tortures them after they were distracted and staring at girls while playing a 3-3 draw against Norway in a friendly. Finally he gets what he wants from the player : that they play for their country & for their team. Like he says “The name on the front is a hellofa lot more important than the one on the back”!

O’Callahan gets injured in a warmup game against the Soviets, which the American lose 3 to 7. The players, now with a vigorous team spirit, draw with Sweden in the first game at the Olympics. Their important player, McClanahan, hurts his knee but an argument with coach Brooks entices him to play. They beat the Czechoslovakian team 7-3 and follow it up with victories over Romania and West Germany to earn a spot in the medal round. Up in the semis awaits the Russians. An exciting games ends up in a 4-3 win for the boys in the red, white & blue and they go on to beat Finland in the finals to win gold. It was considered one of the greatest moments in American sports history. You can really enjoy the movie, if you ignore the cliches – but hey, if it were a basketball or NFL movie it would be intolerable!! 8 out of 10!

100 Wonderful Simpsons Quotes

  1. “Lisa, if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life is just one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.”*
  2. “Sorry mom, the mob has spoken.”
  3. “…A little help?”
  4. “So I said to myself: what would God do in this situation?”
  5. “The goggles, they do nothing!”
  6. “And I’m not easily impressed — WOW, A BLUE CAR!”
  7. “Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun.”
  8. “Lisa, I’d like to buy your rock.”
  9. “My son’s name is also Bort.”
  10. “We’re here! We’re queer! We don’t want any more bears!”
  11. “There’s an angry mob here to see you, sir.”
  12. “It’s just like I’ve always said: Democracy doesn’t work.”
  13. “I’d kill you if I had my gun!”
  14. “Let’s fight.” “…Them’s fightin’ words!
  15. Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!
  16. “You’ll pick many a bean.”
  17. “Woozle wazzle?”
  18. “Stupid like a fox!”
  19. “Maybe there is no moral. Maybe it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened.”
  20. “I’m about to convene another meeting… in bed.”
  21. “…Jeremy’s iron?”
  22. “‘Learned,’ son. The word is ‘learned.’”
  23. “I see you’ve played knifey spooney before.”
  24. “D’oh!” “A deer!” “A female deer.”
  25. Elementary chaos theory shows that all robots must inevitably run amok.”
  26. “And that little boy who no one liked grew up to be… Roy Cohn.”
  27. “…Again? This stupid country.”
  28. “In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the women, then you get the money.”
  29. “Tramamampoline!”
  30. “It was a pornography store. I was buying pornography.”
  31. “Yes! Crisertunity!”
  32. “There’s bound to be a little splash-back.”
  33. “Three simple words: I am gay.”
  34. Simpson, Homer Simpson/ He’s the greatest guy in history/ From the/ Town of Springfield/ He’s about to hit a chestnut tree.”
  35. “Ahoy ahoy?”
  36. “Lord Palmerston!” “…Pitt the Elder.”
  37. “Are these idiots getting louder or dumber?” “…Louder, sir.”
  38. “I really like the vest.”
  39. “That’s the funniest anecdote that I’ve ever heard! Now, why don’t you tell one?”
  40. “Well, we hit a slight snag when the universe collapsed in on itself.”
  41. “Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!”
  42. “What was I laughing about? Oh, yes. That crippled Irishman.”
  43. “You’ll release the dogs, or the bees, or the dogs with bees in their mouths, and when they bark, they shoot bees at you?”
  44. “She’s faking it.”
  45. “My god! It’s like a party in my mouth and everyone’s invited.”
  46. “I’m fired, aren’t I?”
  47. “Don’t criticize the boat!”
  48. “Disco Stu… likes disco.”
  49. “Yes! In your face, space coyote!” “…Space coyote?
  50. “Worst… episode… ever.”
  51. “Up and at them!”
  52. “Aw! Look at that little baby axe!”
  53. “Yeah, well, we saved your asses in World War III.”
  54. “Because he gets results, you stupid chief!!!”
  55. “There’s an adorable little boy here to see you sir.” “…Release the hounds.”
  56. “Well, Homer. I earned your respect. And all I had to do was save your life. Now, if every other gay person could save your life, we’d be set.”
  57. “Now they’ll never save your brain, Hitler!”
  58. “This is a dog who gets biz-ay. Consistently and thoroughly.” “…So he’s proactive?”
  59. “How ironic.”
  60. “That does it! Go to your room!”
  61. “There is one more way to kill a man, but it is as intricate and precise as a well-played game of chess.”
  62. “We need a name that’s witty at first, but that gets less funny each time you hear it.”
  63. “In case you didn’t real-ize, I was being sarcastic.”
  64. “Now, I don’t care, nothing’s going to stop me in the middle of this sente — LEMON TREE?!”
  65. “Mr. Simpson, I don’t use the word ‘hero’ very often. But you, sir, are the greatest America hero who has ever lived.”
  66. “You’ve crossed the line from regular villainy into cartoonish super-villainy.”
  67. “I wish they wouldn’t scream.”
  68. “Put it in ‘H’!”
  69. “Sure, the Germans have made a few mistakes, but that’s why pencils have erasers!”
  70. C’est Troy bien!”
  71. “Dig up, stupid!”
  72. “It looks as though the fox has been caught by exactly the person who was trying to catch it.”
  73. “The Lincoln Squirrel has been assassinated!”
  74. “FOX turned into a hardcore sex channel so gradually, I didn’t even notice.”
  75. “Stop, stop! He’s already dead.”
  76. “Truly, yours is a butt that will not quit.”
  77. “Come, family. Let us all bathe in TV’s warm glowing glowy glow.”
  78. “My boy is a box! Damn you! He’s a box!”
  79. “You might say, there’s a little Uter in all of us.”
  80. “No beer and no TV makes Homer go something something.”
  81. “Is this the end of Zombie Shakespeare?!”
  82. “Aw, there’s always a canal!”
  83. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have stopped to get that haircut.”
  84. “Keep watching the skis!”
  85. “I filched it whilst you weren’t looking. And when your back is turned, I’ll do it again.”
  86. “I like the way this Snrub thinks!”
  87. “…I was saying ‘Boo-urns.’”
  88. “I felt such a feeling of power, like God must feel when he’s holding a gun.”
  89. “Show business is so horribly repetitive. I’ve said the words ‘jimmy-jilkers’ so many times that they’ve lost all meaning.”
  90. “So one of those Egg Council creeps got to you too, huh?”
  91. “Good thing I drink plenty of… malk?”
  92. “This town is a part of us all, a part of us all, a part of us all.”
  93. “Well, that’s certainly specious reasoning, Dad.” “…Thank you, honey.”
  94. “Marge, my pet, I haven’t learned a thing.”
  95. “I call the big one ‘Bitey.’”
  96. “Wow, with a cool dry wit like that, I could be an action hero.”
  97. “I noticed that he was wearing sneakers. For… sneaking.”
  98. “…You’re in direct competition with each other! Fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!”
  99. “They’re getting away… very slowly.”
  100. “…If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room.”

Anita & Me

I found this small, short story that I had created about 6 years ago and had managed to save onto a cd. I had completely forgotten about it and was reading it yesterday as I stumbled upon it.

This really happened to me!!

To preserve my anonymity, let’s just call me James, although that’s not my real name. And no I am not an American, cause people think that this sort of stuff happens only to Americans.

It was about 3 years ago, when I first saw her. I was working in a company that manufactures and exports leather shoes. On a Saturday, I called in sick (I dunno why, just felt like it) and went to look for some stuff to buy for my new apartment. You know some plates and glasses, a small sofa. I saw her at the book store I normally frequent in the evenings after work. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and I mean BEAUTIFUL! Not one of those made up dolls you seen on tv, this was real beauty. I kinda fell in love at first sight. Pretending to browse through the latest John Grisham, I stole many a glance at her. She seemed lost and lonely and I wanted to speak to her. Apparently she was working there, but she must be new as I had not seen her before. I took the novel I was holding in my hand and went up to her and asked her the price. I must have seemed an idiot, as the price was printed on the back. But she smiled and told me the price and I left. I went to the store often and managed to chat with her (let’s call her Anita) once I got the courage. She was an orphan like me ( my parents having passed away the previous year in a car crash) and was new in town. She lived in a tiny apartment quite near my own, but she said that she was moving soon, as a distant aunt was allowing her to house-sit for her while she (the aunt) was taking a trip.

I soon asked her out for dinner and we started going out every 2 or 3 days. I could speak to her for hours and so could she as I gazed into her lovely brown eyes. Finally I invited her to my apartment for a home cooked meal. The evening turned out to be better than the meal, as we made love for the first time and I asked her to marry me. She said yes and I was on top of the world. Since I had only a handful of living relatives and all she had was the aunt, the wedding was planned to be a small quite affair. Two days before the wedding, when I was supposed to meet her aunt, Anita told me that her aunt had passed. It did not spoil our wedding plans as I noticed that Anita was not particularly upset at the recent demise of her only relative. Anyway, she said that her aunt had left the house in her name ( let me tell u at this point that I had never been to the house as yet and Anita had moved back to her apartment when her aunt came back, although I had not met her). So we got married and went on a brief honeymoon to a cottage in the countryside. Soon I was back at work and busier than ever as I had been given a promotion. Anita and I moved to a bigger apartment, and she informed me that she planned to sell her aunt’s house. I said fine. In the third month of our marriage, Anita seemed a little changed. She did not seem to pay much attention to me, and was ill a lot of times. I did not complain or could not as I was up to my elbows in work. Then one day she told me that she was having some remodeling work done at the house before she sold it. I couldn’t offer my help as I had little time free. And then within a few days it was plain to see that Anita was carrying child. She was pregnant and the strange part was that she looked like she was five months pregnant. I couldn’t explain it to myself but she went through her pregnancy in 3 months instead of 9 or 10. When I asked her about it, she refused to tell me until the baby arrived. Was it mine? I asked her and to that she said yes. I told her that she had a lot of explaining to do. She told me to stay in the apartment and that she would move to her aunt’s house. I let her go.

A week later (and it was now 6 months since our wedding vows) she called me to tell me that she had given birth. She was at the house. I screamed on the phone, why she didn’t got to the hospital. She just said that it was a boy. I finally went to the house, the first time that I was there. She help in her arms a baby boy, who looked kinda mature for a newborn. Then she told me the truth. Anita was an alien! She was from a planet of beings very similar to our own but much advanced. Even their babies came out to the world much sooner. That’s not all she said, my son would mature in one year; he would look in age like me. How ? why? Words failed me. Was I chosen as some kind of experiment? She then told me of the war going on in the galaxy where her planet was located. Her people and another race had been fighting for centuries. In their culture women cannot fight battles, their contribution was to bear children who would become soldiers for their war. A few hundred women were sent to Earth, as both our races were rather similar. Her job was to bear a child, teach him their ways and then send him back to her planet to join the battle. The house was actually a spaceship that had been converted to look like an Earth home. She had a smaller spaceship that was in the garage, it would take our son back to the planet. Due to shock and anger at being duped, I left the house in a rage. Anita called out to me that she had never meant to harm or hurt me in any way. Well I went back to me apartment and started drinking. I refused to see Anita or our son and went back to work. Anita would call me and tell me to see them but I could not be persuaded.

A year passed and my anger had withered a lot. I started thinking about Anita quite often. A few days later, Anita called and told me that our son had finished his training and was to leave for Anita’s home planet that night. She asked me to come. Curious, I drove to the house. Anita opened the door and she looked even more beautiful than before. She led me to the basement, which was filled with equipment from her planet, things I did not even begin to recognize. And then I saw him- my son. Fully grown; a year after his birth he could have passed of as being of my age. That’s not all he was the exact replica of me. I looked at him and wondered at the beings of their planet. He greeted me with a hug and said that it was nice of me to see him off. He went back to his preparations. The small spaceship was being readied for departure. As i studied it I realized that it was quite small, only for one. Anita told me that women after giving birth had no importance in their world at this time of war and they could only reproduce once. The small space ship was built by the both of them according to orders from their leaders in their planet – Anita was to stay back on Earth. She had no place in her homeland like all the other women of her planet. Our son readied himself and with our blessings took off for the planet he had never seen, but was raised to fight for. After we could no longer see the small spaceship in the sky, Anita asked me to help her to burn down her house before daylight. That was according to instructions. I did as I was asked and soon the place was burning brightly in the night. All traces of her home planet were now destroyed and she could never go back there again.

I asked her to come with me and we drove back to my apartment that she had left a year ago. I prepared a late dinner for us as Anita set her clothes and belongings in their former places. I could not let her live alone I told her. We would live once again as man and wife – even though we were of different worlds. As we lay down on the bed to sleep, she asked me if she could hold me. I said yes. It took us a few weeks but things went back to normal, we were like any other married couple. Although it seemed to me that she was much stronger than before. She could lift huge heavy things like they were dead flies and once during a fight that we had, I saw that behind her gentle nature was a fierce temper. Another night when we were walking home form a late night movie, a mugger approached us with a knife. Anita almost killed him, she attacked him with her hands and beat the shit outta him. I could not believe my eyes. I pulled her away (and it took all of my strength to do that) before the wretched soul was killed and we ran back to our apartment. Now I knew how strong she was, I was always on the defensive. I avoided arguments and hoped that no one else would make her angry either. Recently Anita accused our new neighbour, a young women, of flirting with me. It wasn’t true; the young lady was just being friendly but no matter what I said, Anita still believed it to be something it was not. My worst fears came true. Our neighbour went missing one weekend – she was found floating in the river two weeks later. She was missing an arm and several toes. She had suffered. When I told Anita the news, she just said that the world was such a dangerous place and smiled and went on with what she was doing. Another time, Anita had an argument with an old lady in a store. The old lady went missing the next day. I am so scared now. I dunno what will happen next. I am doing my best to keep Anita in good humour and hope that there are no more victims. But lately she has been looking at me in a strange way. Like one looks at a small bird or animal that is injured and near death. And then she smiles. Who knows what her intentions are? I hope that I am not the next.

I have to stop now. Anita is back from shopping. She likes me to spend time with her when she comes back. I better not anger her, or u know what could happen!!!

Book Review : The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a novel by celebrated best selling authour Stephen King, who is my favourite of all time. I have read several of his books (IT is his best) several times and really enjoy this master of the macabre. The book is about a girl, Trisha, of 9 who is lost in the woods in upper Maine and neighbouring New Hampshire, while out hiking with her recently divorced mother & hostile brother. Trisha separates from her family as she takes a pee and is lost for over a week. She has some food in her backpack and a walkman, through which she gets her comfort – listening in to baseball games of her idol, Tom Gordon, and his Boston Red Sox. She wears a Red Sox jersey with Tom Gordon & 36 printed in it & also has a Red Sox cap which is autographed by Gordon. She survives by wisely eating as little of her supplies and then on berries & nuts. She has to resort to drinking dirty water which makes her sick and gives her pneumonia, diarrhea and makes her vomit. She gets fever and shaking while in the rain and makes a makeshift shelter. She starts hallucinating; she sees images of people in her life including Tom Gordon, speaking to her. King does not let on if the monster that she feels and has glimpses of is real or hallucinated.

She comes across the carcass of a dear and sees claw marks on a tree. She makes it to an old road and takes shelter in an abandoned truck from which she see a glimpse of her stalking apparition during a rainy night. Meanwhile, her parents are searching for her and have united in their fear for what has happened to their daughter. Trisha keeps listening to bits of commentary of Red Sox games. A symbol of her girlie attempts to keep upbeat despite her situation is demonstrated in her singing along with a jingle whenever it plays on the radio between commentaries. Finally she faces her stalker who looks like a huge bear to her but with black sockets for eyes and maggots, flies and other insects crawling inside it. However, it seems like a normal bear to a passing hunter and he shoots at the bear just as Trisha throws her now battery-dead walkman in a baseball curve at the bear’s head. The “bear” is chased away and the hunter carries Trisha to a hospital, where as she recovers, she is reunited with her brother and her reconciled parents. The book is split up in the form of innings (nine) and a ‘pregame’ (the morning before she got lost and starts her adventure) & a ‘postgame’ (as she recovers in the hospital).

It’s not one of his best and it kinda drags on and on without much happening and it isn’t as exciting as a lot of his other work. All in all it’s a good read but I wouldn’t be able to finish it at one go.

Project X

A long time favourite of mine, Project X is a 1987 release with elements of science fiction & thriller in it. Produced by Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker, directed by Jonathan Kaplanand starring Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt, William Sadler and Stephen Lang. The story is about a USAF facility which houses an experiment using chimpanzees to test the effects of fatal radiation on pilots. The film makes a political commentary on the ethics of animal research.

The movie starts off with a baby chimp being captured in an African forest and shipped out to the US in a facility attached to a University where he is handed over to graduate student Teri MacDonald (Helen Hunt). Her work is in training chimpanzees to use American Sign Language. Teri names him Virgil and she teaches him ASL. When her research grant is not renewed, Virgil is taken away. Teri is told that Virgil will be sent to a zoo. Instead, he is taken to an Air Force base to be used in a top-secret research project involving platforms designed to simulate the operation of aircraft. Airman Jimmy Garret is sent to the same Air Force base as a punishment for “misconduct” (he stole a plane to have a romantic interlude with a young woman) is assigned to the same chimp project to which Virgil was sent.

The chimps at the facility are trained to use flight simulators. Jimmy bonds with Virgil  and they become attached to one another. He spends more time with Virgil when he finds out that his new friend can use sign language – indicating that he wants help to come out of his cage and that he wants an apple to give to a female chimp! Jimmy informs his superior, Dr. Carroll (William Sadler), but the latter is not interested. Jimmy continues his work and impresses his superiors. Unknown to him the chimps trained on the flight simulators will be killed by radiation poisoning. Once they reach a certain level in operating the flight simulator, the chimps will be exposed to a lethal pulse of radiation in the simulator chamber to determine how long a pilot may survive after a nuclear exchange known as the second-strike scenario. When Jimmy takes an older chimp, Bluebeard, to the chamber and sees first hand what happens to the chimps, he is appalled. Virgil also sees the dead chimp and he ‘alerts’ the others to their impending doom by screeching.

Jimmy breaks into the office records and find out Teri’s number and calls her up asking about Virgil and why she allowed him to be sent to the base. Astonished that he isn’t at the zoo as promised to her, she tracks down Jimmy and asks for help in getting Virgil out of there.  Concerned about his military career, Jimmy initially tells Teri that she should not have come and refuses to tell her anymore about Virgil’s fate. Later, Jimmy goes to Teri’s hotel and finds her just as she is leaving. Teri tells Jimmy she is going to go to Washington to inform the National Science Foundation of the deception. Jimmy tells Teri she does not have enough time because Virgil is scheduled to die soon. He confronts Dr. Carroll in front of   assembled military guests, and assorted politicians about the value of the project. Jimmy points out that the hypothetical pilot, knowing of the implications of the second-strike scenario, would know he is dying, and would, therefore, be affected by that knowledge. However, the chimps would not have the same awareness; thus, the project is flawed. This enrages Dr. Carroll, who promises Jimmy that his military career is finished. However this buys Virgil some time.

At night Jimmy sneaks into the base and finds  the chimps free in the facility having gotten their hands on the keys and are trying to break out. Teri is brought into the base by some soldiers who find her parked outside. Goliath the chimp becomes very angry and fights with Dr. Carroll, who has obtained a cattle prod and is attempting to use it to foil the chimps’ escape. The authorities are chased from the room. The chimps destroy some of the equipment and head to the  flight simulator room, where Goliath & Virgil damage equipment and unfortunately set off the radiation generator. Jimmy manages to get Virgil out but Goliath is stuck inside the room and a fire extinguisher jammed the controls leading to an uncontrolled radiation blast. Jimmy and Virgil convince Goliath to yank out the extinguisher, but Goliath dies from radiation because the chamber cannot be opened until the radiation falls below lethal levels. After this Jimmy & Teri sneak out with some of the chimps and steal a plane but are stopped by the soldiers. However with the humans outside, Virgil starts the engine and flies the plane out of the base and into the everglades – just as he and the other chimps were taught to.

The military & airforce search the everglades but the chimps have managed to evade them. As they are about to leave Teri & Jimmy spy Virgil and the chimps in some trees and signal them that they are free. The chimps disappear into the Everglades. The movie is sad and sweet at times and a bit funny in places. Virgil steals the show with his signing and (excuse the pun) monkeying around. Goliath is a smoker and tempted to do things by the promise of a cigarette. Good movie. 8 out of 10!

Aging & Death Is Unfair

Why do we have to die? Can’t we just go on without aging? This is question that gets asked a lot of times. Someone recently told me that it isn’t fair that we have to die. Because there is a lot of things that one can do given protecting against aging, illness and death. I agree. There is a lot to see in this world. There is a lot one can learn and experience and experiment and work on. Imagine changing your field of job every 20 years or so. You want to study botany first and then chemical engineering and then another 20 years on archeology! Great and wonderful – a little thing called time, followed by a bitch called aging and something called reality just stands in your way. Practically it isn’t possible. Maybe 2 jobs or so. But not too many!

In my science fiction world that I plan to get back to writing (someday) aging has stopped. It is 7000 years into the future and technical advances have negated the need for money and the usual restrictions that we have now. No hunger, no illnesses and accidents and injuries can be fixed up in a blink of an eye. Interstellar travel is almost as easy as driving from one country to another. The exciting adventure awaiting for us on alien planets is at our grasps. People choose to spend time on different planets and worlds, studying the alien life, geology, architecture, culture, biology and technology. And due to an artificial virus that went wrong when exposed to our organic based defense systems, rendered us near immortality – we cannot die of natural causes and stopped aging at one point. So unless killed by other methods, humans are immortal and can live out their lives doing anything they want to. Spend time studying & researching various fields if you so choose to and on various planets. Wanna take a decade fishing on alien planets and sailing on a boat – great!

Wouldn’t that be wonderful? I dunno, it’s a silly dream that I have. Brought on by years or watching & reading a lot of science fiction. But it’s a good dream to have. No killing, no deaths, no disease or illness, no hunger, no thirst. Progress but you can’t procreate anymore and so other humans are very valuable to you as well.

Zombie Mode Phase On

So I’m feeling like a zombie who needs a bad case of the coffee fix really badly. The night shift, vampire lifestyle is not agreeing with me at all. At first we were doing a 3am to 10am shift. That’s right, just 7 hours. The cab comes to pick me up from my residence at around 2:30 am and I reach there by 3am. By 10 we are ready to get out of there and I reach home by 11am. Get online for a couple of hours and then have an early  lunch and sleep for a few. Evening coffee, watch some tv and then take a shower at around 8pm. Post dinner I’d either watch some more tv or even get some shut eye till 1am. Get a coffee, get my gear ready and wait for the cab. Repeat! That was a good routine. And I never felt too tired or sleepy.

This week we had to change our timings to suit the clients. 1:30 am to 9 am. Ok – how does an hour and a half do so much damage to your system? I dunno but it has. It’s a weird little timing and everyone is feeling tired and out of sorts because of it. It’s got to do with the fact that u still have some time to take a nap after dinner in the 3am-10am shift but you do not get that much time to do so in the 1:30 am – 9am slot. And it does damage to your body and mind. Yesterday I couldn’t get to sleep for a long time. I tossed and turned and the sunlight bothered me even with the curtains. Plus I got some calls from the office and that broke off any sleep I was going to get. I managed 2 and a half hours and then tried to take another nap just before the cab arrived. 30 minutes! And once I woke up I had the fricking headache right smack in the center of my head. My head was throbbing and I thought I was gonna throw up.

A cup of hot coffee did not help much. I managed to be ok and by 2 am I was almost close to being normal. But there were moments during the shift when I just wanted to close my eyes and drift off but I didn’t allow myself to do that. I thought let’s  get back home and you sleep for hours. I dozed off a bit in the cab ride home and got back to my apartment. I washed my feet and hands and changed and got into bed. I watched a bit of a tv series just to put me to sleep. 30 minutes later – it arrived. And I hoped that I would sleep for atleast 6-7 hours. All I got was 4. Damn! No luck after that. Shit!

So now it’s a quater past 8pm and I am still a semi-zombie!

Another 11 Questions

1. What is the thing you enjoy most about blogging?

It’s getting my thoughts onto words and being able to share it as well as having people read it and comment back, either in agreement or as a discussion. While a healthy disagreement & debate is welcome, I hate the assholes who troll you and write all kinds of filth. I delete those comments and block those people. I do not have time for that nonsense.

2. What are the top 3 songs on your playlist right now?

Hmmm that is a tough one to answer as I listen to a lot of stuff. But currently these are ones that I want to & feel like listening to right now – 1. Billie Jean by The Civil Wars 2. Heavyweight by Our Lady Peace & 3. The Big Bang Theory by The Barenaked Ladies.

3. What is your favourite movie and why?

I just cannot name one favourite movie as I have a huge list of movies. If I had to pick just one ……even the very thought is like a violation. But I’d choose something from Star Trek.

4. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Hmmmm probably one of my birthdays. My 10th birthday party was a good one that I remember. Going to Entertainment City in Kuwait was a totally fun experience too.

5. What would your ideal job be, if you could do anything?

Ideally I would like a career in the movies/music industry. That would be awesome, if I could make some good money out of it. I’d also love to be an author whose books make a lot of money.

6. What is your favourite book you’ve read?

Easy one. The most perfect book and exhausting to read is IT by Stephen King. It’s my favourite novel of all time. Just amazing.

7. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Hopefully I would have my own place, financial security and started my own family by then.

8. If you could meet one person, past or present, that you have never met who would it be?

Again this is hard. Picking just one person is a very difficult choice. Marilyn Monroe? I’ve always had a thing for Samantha Fox so perhaps her.

9. Where is your favourite place in the world that you’ve been?

Not having been to more than a couple of place, I’d have to say Kuwait would be my fav place where I’ve been. I was born there and raised till the age of 11.

10. What is a positive inspirational quote you believe in?

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. – Buddha

11. What 3 words would your best friend use to describe you?

My two best friends would probably describe me as jovial, loyal & caring.

RIP Sherman Hemsley

Vetran actor Sherman Alexander Hemsley, most famous for his role as George Jefferson on the CBS television series All in the Family and The Jeffersons, and as Deacon Ernest Frye on the NBC series Amen has died. One of my biggest memories growing up in Kuwait was watching the Jeffersons on tv with my family – a sitcom that last 11 seasons. The show was launched as the second spin-off of All in the Family, on which the Jeffersons had been the neighbors of Archie and Edith Bunker, and focused on George and Louise Jefferson, an affluent Black couple living in New York City. Hemsley played George, an ambitious African-American entrepreneur who started and managed a successful chain of seven dry cleaning stores in New York City, who had some sarcastic comments that were hilarious.

Though Hemsley was largely typecast as George Jefferson, he continued to work steadily after the show’s cancellation. 1989, Hemsley, who had previously been a jazz keyboardist, released a single entitled “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”. This was followed in 1992 with Dance, an album of rhythm and blues music. In 1999, Hemsley collaborated with Yes lead singer Jon Anderson on an album titled Festival of Dreams which was not released.

Hemsley was a shy and intensely private man who was characterized by some as reclusive. He avoided the Hollywood limelight and little of his personal life was public knowledge beyond that he never married and had no children. On July 24, 2012, Hemsley died at his home in El Paso, Texas, apparently of natural causes. He was 74.

Sherman Alexander Hemsley (February 1, 1938 – July 24, 2012)

If I Could Learn Another Language Overnight

French. It’s always French. It is the coolest sounding language in the whole world. You could say that you want to go to the loo in French and it will still sound ultra cool. Je veux aller à la merde (if Google translation is correct) – see?

The most sexual lyric line in all the songs is still “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” I don’t usually like disco or dance songs but I love that line. I could dance to it. I love the way it sounds coming off the tongue of a sexy woman. I’d kill to have certain sexy woman coo that to me. Brrrrrr I get the shivers just thinking of that line!

Ofcourse French can be very dramatic. In the case of one Megadeth song:

“A tout le monde (To all the world)
A tout mes amis (To all my friends)
Je vous aime (I love you)
Je dois partir (I must leave) ”

I love French. I love the language, the country and the cuisine.

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The X-Files – Season 2

Long time coming in a review of season 2; I’ve been concentrating more on recent tv shows and slowly watching some of of the older tv shows like The X-Files, Andromeda and Charmed. Anyways, season 2  sees several episodes also furthered the alien conspiracy mythology that had begun to form. Season two introduced several recurring characters—X (Steven Williams), an informant to Mulder; Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea), Mulder’s partner-turned-enemy; and the Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson), a shape-shifting assassin. Also to accommodate the pregnancy of actress Gillian Anderson; it was decided that Scully would be kidnapped and abducted by aliens, explaining her absence and allowing her to appear comatose two episodes later, which ultimately added more intricacies to the mythology.

As the season starts Dana Scully is reassigned to teach at the FBI Academy while Fox Mulder is given lowly surveillance assignments. when an old political ally gives him a new reason to believe, he goes alone to an abandoned SETI program site—Arecibo Observatory—in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Concerned for his safety, fellow FBI agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) has to track down his whereabouts before someone or something else does. Next Scully’s autopsy turns up a parasite living inside the body of a decomposed body found in the sewers and a sewer worker is attacked and bitten by something. Next our duo investigate a case where, prompted by messages from digital appliances with instructions to kill, several residents of a small farming community suddenly turn violent and dangerous. An audio cassette hidden in his morning paper brings Mulder to request the case of a scientist’s death consistent with burning, despite the lack of any evidence of any flames or burns. He is given his request along with a new partner, Agent Alex Krycek.

Mulder and Krycek are sent in to help with the negotiations of an ex-FbiBI agent who claims to have been a UFO abductee and escapes from a mental hospital and holds several people hostage in a travel agency. Mulder races to Scully’s house after listening to the recording of her attack on his answering machine. Duane Barry (Steve Railsback) has kidnapped Scully, determined to offer her to the aliens in his place. Asst. Director Walter Skinner reopens the X-Files, but Mulder is finding it difficult to work without the missing Scully. When he recognizes a Los Angeles killing as the work of the Trinity murderers, a trio of killers with a fetish for drinking blood, it gives him work in which to immerse himself.  Scully mysteriously re-appears comatose in a hospital, Mulder drives himself crazy trying to find the people responsible. A malfunction in a robot designed for volcanic exploration yields evidence of a lifeform living in the caves. When this lifeform seemingly causes the death of a member of the research team, Mulder and a newly recovered Scully are flown out to the site in The Cascades to investigate before anyone else dies. Mulder and Scully travel to Wisconsin where several teens are found wandering in the woods in their underwear with “He Is One” scrawled on their backs.  The next case  begins with the rape and battery of a nurse in a Massachusetts convalescent home. What makes it an X-File is her claim that her attacker was invisible. But upon their arrival, they discover that the unrest is not limited only to the live in residents.

When a detective mysteriously uncovers the remains of an FBI agent who disappeared in the 1940s while investigating a murder case similar to a modern-day one she is investigating, Mulder and Scully believe that the original killer had passed his genetic trait of violence to his grandchild. Someone is excavating graves in Minneapolis, New Hampshire teenagers feign an occult ritual in an attempt to score and inadvertently cause the murder of one of their group and a group of Haitians with a voodoo angle also follow.  The crew of a research vessel find the wreckage of a UFO in the Beaufort Sea. The pilot who survives this crash walks out of the hospital and kills identical-looking doctors in various abortion clinics. An alien bounty hunter kidnaps Scully and wants to trade her for Mulder’s sister, Samantha Mulder (Megan Leitch). Mulder asks for Skinner’s help in making the trade, and has the FBI Director set up a sniper to take down the bounty hunter. Next is the case of the invisible animals. Mulder and Scully travel to Norway where a boatload of US soldiers seem to have aged drastically. Mulder and Scully must find the paranormal among the abnormal when they are sent to investigate a long standing series of ritualistic killings which match no known patterns. The latest of which was the death of the “Alligator Man,” just one of many sideshow acts around which the town of Gibsonton, Florida, is built. A photograph taken just before the death of a two year old boy yields evidence of some supernatural intervention which piques Mulder’s curiosity. When another death in the family occurs, the grandmother of the remaining child requests the aid of some Romanian ritualists (called “c?lu?ari” or “horsemen” in order to cleanse the home of evil.

After several men in a prison die of a mysterious illness, Scully tries to discover the cause while Mulder attempts to find two escapees who could potentially spread the disease. An ex-student of Scully’s (Kate Twa) asks the agents to help her with her first investigation concerning a number of disappearances with very few clues. Mulder ponders the idea of spontaneous human combustion but rethinks it when they find a man who is afraid of his own shadow. The man is Dr. Banton, a scientist researching dark matter. Dudley, Arkansas, is the site of the latest investigation for Mulder and Scully, who are sent to find a missing poultry inspector. The case takes a twist when another poultry worker is shot after she goes insane, giving Mulder a hunch that the townsfolk really are what they eat. The trust that Mulder and Scully have is sorely tested when Mulder begins acting strangely. His aberrant behavior is compounded when the Lone Gunmen direct him to a hacker who managed to break into some very closely guarded files. The files are encoded in Navajo and need to be decoded by a former Navajo code talker. Mulder is presumed to be dead at the end of this episode but his body is not found.

Beer Types – Kölsch

Kölsch a is a local beer specialty that was originally  brewed in Cologne, Germany. It is a clear beer with a bright, straw-yellow hue, and has a prominent, but not extreme, hoppiness. It is less bitter than the standard German pale lager. Kölsch is warm-fermented at a temperature around 13 to 21°C (55 to 70°F) and then cold-conditioned, or lagered. This manner of fermentation links Kölsch with some other beer styles of central northern Europe, such as the Altbiers of northern Germany and the Netherlands. The name Kölsch is, like champagne, Appellation Controlée, protected by law so that only beers brewed in and around Köln can bear the name, although many breweries elsewhere make Kolsch type beers.

The style has a very narrow profile and many beers that consider themselves to be kölschbiers are not. Generally they have a moderate bitterness, but fairly prominent hop flavour (typically Spalt, Tettnang or Hallertau). They have high effervescence, medium esters, but a rounded, stylish character derived from lagering. From the first sniff of its grainy, malty aroma, to the delicately fruity, lightly bitter flavors in the mouth, to the brisk, clean, energetic feeling after you swallow, a good Kölsch offers a smooth journey of sensations that may be unremarkable individually but are extraordinarily pleasant as an ensemble.

The agreeable nature of Kölsch means that is will get along well with many foods. The real challenge with this style is to pick a dish that won’t overwhelm it. Simple foods like cheese and sausage make great companions for this German ale. Sandwiches, hotdogs & pizzas are usually paired with it during lunch.

Some of the famous Kölsch brands to try are Malzmühle, Päffgen, Sion, Reissdorf & Gaffel from Germany. Beau’s All Natural Brewing company – a small family run brewery in Ottawa, Canada has won many awards & fans with it’s Kölsch style or lagered ale beer Lug Tread (pictured above).

3 Of My Current Fav Restaurants

1. Golden Dragon

Golden Dragon has two outlets that I know of in Cochin. One is in Ravipuram and the other is in Kakkanad in Vazhakkala (not too far from my new office). I’ve only been to the latter once but their food, which seems to have a few different items than the one in Ravipuram, is amazing and hence hard to forget. I remember we had spicy sea food soup, emerald fried rice, Hong Kong chicken and a sweet & sour fish dish. Since then I have been to the one in Ravipuram a few times with my friend or with my cousin Sujith and the food is amazing. The one in Ravipuram serves drinks and so it is a big plus for us. Awesome spring rolls, giant portions of dragon prawns or Szechuan prawns. The chicken & pork dishes are great too but I tend to go with the sea food in this place.

2. The Attic

It’s not a great looking place. The ambience & decor sucks! I’m not kidding – they should do an overhaul of the place. But what they lack in decorations & style of the restaurant, they sure to make up for it in the food. Cause the Attic is one of only 2 or 3 places in Cochin that serve steaks & sizzlers! Yes the all elusive steakhouse that some of us craved for decades. I remember having sizzlers ins places like the Chariot hotel near Convent junction and once at the Hotel International but it had been years after that when I found the Attic. I’ve had the fish steak with chips and the amazingly proportioned mixed grill platter. The latter was something that I could not finish. Enjoyed the food tremendously but sheesh guys make some changes to the place. It is also small, only about 6 or 7 tables. I’m craving for one right now.

3. Hotel International

I’ve been there twice in two weeks and have only had the buffet but what an assortment of food! Granted that the time I went in on a Saturday they had a broader variety and the food tasted better (they must treat the weekend crowd differently) than the time I went in on a weekday but still it was amazing. Starting for soup, to naan or special porottas, chicken, fish, beef, pork & mutton dishes (I never have mutton as I dislike it) to noodles, fried rice and normal Indian style boiled rice. Variety of veggie stuff for those who don’t like meat. Traditional rice curries too. And the desert table is stacked with goodies that you can’t taste them all as you will be full by the time you get through half of it. And they serve beer & other alcoholic drinks too. What more could you need?

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11 Questions Answered

1. What drew you to creating a blog?
I kept a dairy when I was 15 and maintained it for a couple of years. I tried keeping a diary to note down some events and though for most of my life but I’d always lose the book and then lose interest. I started reading my first blogs back in 2001 and by 2002 I started my first blog and wrote in it weekly. This is my 3rd blog and I hope I will always have it.

2. What is the funniest one liner you’ve heard?
I’ve heard so many over the years but the one I like the most, more of a comment, is “Has anyone told you that you are angry when you are beautiful?” Works on some women

3. What are you hoping to get out of your blog?
I mostly write for myself so I can remember stuff and express myself as freely as I want to. It’s where my life unfolds online and if others like it and want to be along for the ride, I’m grateful & happy.

4. Have you ever upset someone by something that you said in your blog?
A few times I’m sure. I remember a few that were misinterpretations and/or misunderstandings but there were some that were unavoidable. And some are just silly because I don’t agree with their tastes.

5. Are you supported in your bloggy endeavors?
Yes, a few people do. Some are vocal while others are less forthcoming. I came to know recently that a bunch of people who I have worked with regularly read my blog either here on in the links to Facebook.

6. Optimist or pessimist?
Pessimistically optimistic

7. What makes you smile?
A lot of things. A good joke or comment, pic, sunset/sunrise, music, movies etc etc.

8. If there was one thing that you could do every day that would make you happy what would that be?
I think it’s hard to pinpoint one exact thing but I would have to say if I have lived each day as much as I can and do things my way. If at the end of the day I feel “hmmm this was a good day” then whatever I can do to make it feel that way to me would make me happy.

9. Do you like the person that smiles back at you in your mirror?
Well, he’s all I got so yeah I love him to death.

10. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
I want to change a lot of stuff – financial security, my own place and personal happiness. They are all connected and if could change I would do that.

11. What is the most inspirational quote you’ve heard.
I’m gonna go with this – “I think anybody would have to be with out common sense to think there weren’t aliens. There are billions of planets, and I am convinced Earth is not the only one that’s inhabited. It would be quite an ego trip to think that. I think about it all the time.”

Control Alt Delete

Remember the Y2k hype and all that jazz? Well if you don’t let’s get you a reminder. Control Alt Delete is a 2008 movie set in the days just before new year’s day 2000. The movie uses the Y2k ‘problem’ as a backdrop against the personal & sexual problems of a young programmer going through a difficult phase. Directed by Cameron Labine in his debut, the movie stars his brother Tyler Labine along with Sonja Bennet, Alisen Down & Laura Betram.

Lewis Henderson is a computer geek in 1999 who has somehow scored himself a sexy girlfriend named Sarah. However he finds himself unable to couple, all of Sarah’s efforts go in vain. When she sleeps, Lewis goes to his computer and downloads internet porn pictures and masturbates, only being able to achieve orgasm in this manner. At work he applies for a promotion when his boss Angela announces two posts for heading networking & programming respectively. Lewis gets the head programmer’s job while his arch nemesis Gustafson gets the networking job. Their main focus is to save their data from the expected fallout after Y2k hits.

When Sarah finds out about his downloading porn, she leaves him and immediately starts dating again. With no watchful eye and relationship restrictions, his cyber-love increases to hardware love, his sexuality requiring not pictures of people shining on the monitor, but carefully drilled holes in the side of his computer case. This weird sexual satisfaction becomes an obsession for Lewis. He also does it to an office system. Despite this he also manages to get something of an interest in the new receptionist Jane. He asks her out, initially to ward of attention towards him in finding the computer rapist but soon he develops an interest in her. But he is still unable to have sex with her and only using the holes in his computer’s CPU can satisfy him. As New Year’s Day, 2000 approaches, Henderson’s work and romantic issues intensify.

He tries to approach Sarah but she has clearly moved on. He is also getting pressure from his boss (played hysterically & humorously by Alisen Down) as his efforts to create the program keep failing. The countdown to Jan 1st is looming. His team, which includes his close friend Keith, is losing confidence in him. Plus Gustafson is on the hunt for the computer rapist and recruits Keith in setting up cameras to capture the culprit in action. Lewis gets upset when he finds out that Jane is an infamous internet star with her own voyeurism website; known as Tracy in the site, fans can watch her toilet cam as she does her business without being able to see her face just her….parts! He gets upset and leaves. He gets fired the day before the deadline for failing to deliver and as Angela goes berserk, the other employees leave the office to go for new years parties rather than stay on and try to finish the work. Lewis has hit upon the answer – there is no solution and there won’t be any problem and so they have to not try and fix it!

He sneaks his way into the office and drills a hole in the main server to sexually satisfy himself but Gustafson catches him in the act. After the latter is knocked out by his own walky talking, Lewis finishes the sexual act even getting himself a big shock that knocks him out. Keith sees this, takes Lewis over to Jane’s house and leaves Gustafson there. The next morning everyone things that the rapist is Gustafson. With no major issues happening worldwide the Y2K threat is over but the company still shuts down. As Lewis looks forward to searching for a new job he joins Jane, asks her forgiveness for judging he when he himself has a strange fetish and they leave together in her car. Keith finds success in his porn websites.

Funny & sweet in places it’s weird look at sexual relations gets some good points through. Despite that it’s a simple story of trying to fit in and just finding some satisfaction. I found the over usage of surnames, all ending with son (Peterson, Gustafson, Henderson etc)  in the company hilarious as they intended. 6 outta 10!