RIP Michael O’Hare

Two days late : Actor Michael ¬†O’Hare¬†¬†suffered a heart attack on September 23 and had remained in a coma until the 28th, when he died. He was 60. His death was first posted by Babylon 5 creator ,¬†J. Michael Straczynski¬†posted on his¬†Facebook¬†page. Born in¬†Chicago, Illinois he attended¬†Harvard University¬†(where he majored in English literature) and studied at the prestigious¬†Juilliard School¬†of Drama, as well as with Sanford Meisner. O’Hare appeared in a number of theatrical productions on¬†Broadway¬†and in the¬†New York¬†area, including an acclaimed revival of Shaw’s¬†Man and Superman¬†with¬†Philip Bosco¬†and the role of Col. Jessup in the original stage version of¬†A Few Good Men¬†(the role played by¬†Jack Nicholson¬†in the film version).

He was the first¬†white¬†actor nominated by the¬†black¬†theater community of New York for the¬†AUDELCO Award¬†for the Best Actor for his performance in the play “Shades of Brown” which examined the effects of¬†apartheid¬†in¬†South Africa.

In 1992, he was cast in the lead role of Commander¬†Jeffrey Sinclair, the character he is most known for, in the science fiction television series¬†Babylon 5. O’Hare remained with the series for one full season; both he and series producer¬†J. Michael Straczynski¬†said the decision for the character to depart was mutual and amicable. O’Hare subsequently reprised the character in¬†season two¬†as well as in a two-episode guest appearance in¬†season three, enabling the show to complete the¬†character arc. He appeared on a range of television shows, including¬†Kate & Allie,¬†The Equalizer,¬†Tales from the Darkside,¬†The Cosby Mysteries, and¬†Law & Order.

RIP Michael O’Hare (May 6, 1952 ‚Äď September 28, 2012)

Tattoo The Earth

Since watching Miami Ink and a rerun of Tattoo The Earth on Discovery Travel & Living channel, I really have got an urge to get tattooed. Despite some stories of horror (“he asked for a 13, but they drew a 31) which are no doubt done by nitwits, I would like to get one myself. More ideas for potential winners keep cropping up.

The Misfits logo (this is a band who I don’t follow, have never heard of their songs, but love their image), the logo of progressive rockers Queensryche, dragons & snake (actor Sasha Mitchell & rocker Todd Kerns both have excellent arm length dragon tattoos) etc etc. Just look at the two pictures I have posted above that I got off a Google search. They are truly awesome – one is a tribute to the love of his dog gismo – although I think it is a great tattoo and a cool idea, I wouldn’t want to have the image of my beloved late Shawny on my arm; it would bring back too many memories for me.

And the other one is for the love of good music, rock n’roll music that is. I personaly think that it is a truly damn good design and idea for a tattoo and I would like the same on me arm for sure.

Kerala High Court Wants To Liquor Day Ban

“Aiming at reducing liquor consumption, Kerala High Court has suggested prohibition of liquor sales and its consumption till 5pm and also sought penal provisions to dissuade people from hitting the bottle during day time. The government had prescribed separate timings for bars in panchayat and corporation areas which was challenged by bar owners. The single judge had upheld their plea. The Bench held that providing liquor in the morning in every bar hotel would certainly encourage drinking during working hours which would not only affect work, but would lead to alcoholism as well. It also asked the government to make penal provisions against consumption of alcohol during day time.

Alcohol is consumed while people relax in the evening after their work. No man in his right senses would consume alcohol while at work. But those in the habit of excessive drinking turned out to be alcoholics in course of time and would reach a stage at which only alcohol would keep them normal, the Bench observed. The government said it was in favour of the suggestion, but did not want to take a decision in a hurry. Kerala tops in per capital consumption of liquor whose sales last fiscal had crossed Rs 7,000 crore and this year it is expected to touch Rs 8,000 crore. During ‘Onam’ festival on August 29 and 30, liquor worth Rs 70 crore was sold.”

They cannot catch criminals, con artists, corrupt politicians, murders, cannot solve crimes committed by members of the clergy or a political party, the roads are in a terrible condition, we have really bad infrastructure, facing a power shortage, need to improve educational standards, create jobs for the unemployed etc etc – yet these sons of bitches are worried about people drinking before the evening hours??????

Some asshole minister commeted that only alcoholics drink during the day – So I like to go on a Sunday morning at 11 am, get some coffee and a late breakfast and read a book while relaxing in the cafe till 1 or 1:30 pm. After that a short walk later I feel like having a couple of beers or a few vodka with my lunch and once that is done, come home for a nap or watch a movie and by 7pm or so I am fresh and relaxed – and the High Court & my government wants to restrict that because of some idiotic ideas that they have!!

Morning Person vs Night Person

I am definitely not a morning person. There is nothing worse than waking up early, it should be banned. I usually wake up at 7am but anything earlier than that and I turn into the Hulk! I just don’t get why a lot of people like waking up earlier than that – 6am, 5 am – what the fuck is wrong with you? “Oh no, that is the best time to go for a jog or go for a run? Roshan, you want to come and join us, joins in a run?” – why, are we being chased?

Here’s how to tell if you are a morning person or not – wake yourself up somehow (alarm or something) at 5 am and then go back to sleep. There are very few things in this world than to experience early morning sleep! Amazingly luxurious, satisfying and sweet feelings occur when you do go back to bed, especially if there is a bit of chill in the air. If you feel that is one of the greatest feelings in the world to go back to sleep at that time, you are not a morning person! If you could take it or leave it, then you are a morning person. I hate waking up early and could sleep till 8 or 9 am if given the choice or allowed to. I can however stay up later than usual especially if I have had a late morning and not feel the effects too badly. I have done night shifts and hence that has helped me a lot. However there is a problem.

I have noticed that as I have grown older it is becoming more and more difficult to stay up late in the night. At 36 years of age, I feel that during a proper working day I need atleast 7 hours of sleep during the night just so I can wake up at 7 in the AM. That is odd as I used to get by with just 5 hours of sleep on most working days. But I can’t do that anymore and I just noticed this change started just a couple of months ago. So now I need 7 hours every day. As for the night shifts – I just can’t get enough sleep. I managed to get 4 hours here and another 2 more full hours later if I am lucky. I end up feeling like a zombie and fuel myself with coffee. But I still can manage to get through the day and be productive. However that was playing havoc with my system and my health had suffered as a consequence. I am going to avoid doing night shifts as much as I can going forward and only do it if it is absolutely necessary.

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Taking a Class

Hmmm, there’s a lot of classes that I wish I could take. I’d want something to aid me in my work. Maybe some trainings on motivation, time management, presentation skills, more communication skills, objection handling, conflict management, marketing skills, analytics, corporate training etc etc. There’s a bunch of stuff that I do already take but I’d like to improve and go even further and hone my skills a lot more. And that will help my training too, the training that I impart to others.

I’d like to learn French if I could. I just love French and I know some words and can probably pronounce them with a good French accent but Je parle fran√ßais comme un taureau Indien. I want to be fluent and learn the language and speak as native French speakers speak. And pretend to be a lot cooler than I really am.

And yes – I should learn a lot more cooking. I would love to take up some cooking classes, make some good veggie & non-veggie curries and fries. My cooking skills are almost next to non. I mean, I can survive if I was all alone and had to fend for myself but I’d soon get tired of my stuff and eat out all the time or buy take out everyday. Instead I would like to hone my cooking skills and dazzle the dames into thinking I am great husband material and make them swoon at my culinary skills and artfully prepared delicacies. Kiss the chef, won’t you?
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Reality TV: Trash Or Treasure?

I’ve stated my displeasure with reality tv a few times before but I shall do so once again. I’m not in total disagreement with the concept but there is a limit as to how much and what kind of shows they should make & show on tv. Reality tv is now only realism in short quantities; most of the drama is scripted and you can make out which ones are fake and which ones are genuine. The majority of the shows are just plain bullshit and a few remain as beacons of faint but steady light. At the moment I do not watch any of the reality shows except for perhaps NY Ink.

I hate all the ones in India. They fucking suck. I find it funny that people who have no interest in quiz shows otherwise will watch the Indian versions of Who Wants To be A Millionaire just because it is broadcast in their language. And everyone watches the song competitions – problem is, there’s way too many of them and each channel has copies of the same dumbo bimbo host who has about the same IQ as that of a potato! The Indian judges will conduct an almost full singing class while dissecting the contestants, belittling them and also ensuring that the cameras stay on them – the judges – a lot longer than actually needed! Ofcourse I am talking about the Malayalam ones – the Hindi speaking reality shows are even worse – a full Bollywood movie can be enacted on stage in just 10 minutes!

I don’t watch any of the American or British ones either. From time to time in any language you get to see a real talent on stage being discovered for the very first time but the bullshit surrounding the show makes it hard for me to truly appreciate them. I will note down any interesting artist or act and try and follow them separately away from the tv show. The only reality shows I really loved were the two Rock Star contests where real singing talent (each season I found atleast 10 singers I genuinely liked) and the songs meant a lot. The journey each took was long and hard and they had real blood, sweat and tears before success (in some people’s case). Not that the other shows didn’t have genuine stars – Rock Star had a few more. I liked OCC’s American Chopper – but there were some real drama queens in there with fake drama – and the tattoo shows which had a lot of people hamming it up for the camera. But I loved the art of the tattoos and the beautiful designs of the bikes hence watched a lot of them.

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Arsenal 1 Manchester City 1

Watched a full English Premier league match after such a long long time. Due to my stupid cable tv provider not giving us the proper sports channels, I haven’t watched a football match on tv in well over a year. But with my new Reliance connection I can stream matches on me laptop. Last night I sat to watch Arsenal vs defending champions Manchester City. Arsenal bossed the midfield battle early on, with Ramsey and Mikel Arteta pulling the strings. It was Arteta’s Spanish compatriot Cazorla, however, who really caught the eye.

The home side’s goal was straightforward; Silva’s 40th-minute corner was headed in by Lescott as Koscielny and Lukas Podolski stood by and Mannone came and missed. Captain Thomas Vermaelen, absent with flu, may just have made the difference. Arsenal were far from finished, however, as City retreated deeper and deeper, happy to strike from distance. Cazorla drew a stunning save from Hart with a shot that appeared destined for the top corner. But Arsenal were not denied for long, finally getting their reward as Laurent Koscielny found the net with a thunderous shot after City had failed to clear the resulting corner.

Arsenal maintain an unbeaten start but have only 9 points in 5 games and sit at 5th.

RIP Surendranatha Thilakan

Veteran Malayalam movie actor Thilakan has passed away early this morning at the age of 74. Surendranatha Thilakan, known mostly as just Thilakan, was an Indian film and stage actor who has starred in over 200 Malayalam films. Thilakan is regarded as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema known for excelling in character roles.

Thilakan was admitted to a hospital at Thrissur on August 21st 2012 after he collapsed during the shooting of a new film. He was then shifted to KIMS hospital, Trivandrum and was in a critical condition after suffering two heart attacks. Besides having cardiac problems, Thilakan was suffering from pneumonia. The actor had been put on ventilator since then. Thilakan passed away on September 24,2012 at 3:30 IST from complications resulting from his health problems.

RIP Thilakan (15 July 1938- 24 September 2012)

Perception – Season 1

A really good new tv series that just ended is Perception from cable channel TNT¬† and produced by ABC Studios. The crime-drama series created by¬†Kenneth Biller¬†and¬†Mike Sussman stars Eric McCormack (who also produces the show) as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a¬†neuropsychiatrist¬†who assists the¬†FBI¬†on some of their most complex cases. Rachel Leigh Cook, Kelly Rowan & Arjay Smith co-star as the FBI agent Kate Moretti who was Dr. Pierce’s former student and brings him in on the cases, his imaginary best friend Natalie who he depends on and Dr. Caroline Newsome (the inspiration behind his imaginary friend) and Max Lewicki who is his TA and who stays with him t0 help him, respectively. LeVar Burton has a recurring role as the Dean of the university and Pierce’s friend.

Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscientist and professor at a Chicago university who tends to get under people’s skins with his strange methods, his odd social affect and his off-putting habit is a paranoid schizophrenic who has trouble differentiating between real life and his illusions of people who interact and guide him to answers for the cases. These imaginary people are basically his mind working and sorting out the evidence & facts in front of him. In the pilot episode Kate brings him in to solve a case assigned to her by the FBI, unaware that Pierce is off his medicines and has illusions from time to time. Despite that he is able to help her solve the case, involving the death of a pharmaceutical executive. Next the FBI investigate a case involving the death of a mail order bride whose husband has a severe medical condition that makes him unable to recognize faces, which is diagnosed by Daniel. With the resurfacing of the “Date Night” killer, a serial killer from 1986, sees Kate and Daniel, while going through the clubes, led to a woman named Lacey, who escaped the killers attack and after a psychotic break still believes it’s 1986. Meanwhile, Lewicki takes issue with Kate constantly coming to Daniel to help solve crimes.

Daniel stumbles across a cipher left in the newspaper which allude to a future set of crimes while Lewicki goes on strike due to Daniel’s behavior. Daniel and Kate investigate the case of young man whose death leads them to a cult, that are lead by a boy named Kyle who believes he could talk to God. They must then determine whether his death was caused by his drug addiction or the cult he was apart of. Dr. Pierce, an atheist, has an illusion of Joan of Arc and gives a passionate dialogue about god and his ways. Meanwhile, Daniel receives an award from the university. Daniel then helps Kate investigate the death of a therapist who was discovered as trying to help “cure” his patients of their homosexuality. Whilst investigating the case of a schizophrenic judge, Kate learns about Daniels own un-medicated schizophrenia. Kate and Daniel investigate the case of a young girl who was killed in her dorm room, which causes Daniel to revisit some of the truths from his past. Daniel’s weekend gets complicated when he witnesses the murder of a young man claiming a conspiracy involving big business and Chicago politicians. However, the conspiracy could be real or part of Daniel’s schizophrenia in which takes a dramatic turn due to his refusal to take his medication. After committing himself to a¬†psychiatric ward, Kate tells Daniel that a video that of the late mysterious young man (who was thought to be imaginary) has appeared online. While in the psychiatric ward, Daniel encounters his new psychiatrist Dr. Caroline Newsome, a woman he fell for at a college party, and on whom he based his imaginary friend Natalie.

I find Eric McCormack to be excellent in this role, with some passionate acting in a difficult role. The supporting cast do a good job. Jamie Bamber also has a couple of episodes as a fellow professor who shows an interest in Kate. Good show only 10 episodes though. I’m glad that we will get a second season and hopefully a lot more.

Into The Wild

Into The Wild is a 2007 biographical movie directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn & Hal Holbrook. The movie is about the true story of Christopher McCandless. The film premiered during the 2007 Rome Film Fest and later opened outside of Fairbanks, Alaska on September 21, 2007. It was later nominated for two Golden Globes and won the award for Best Original Song Guaranteed by Eddie Vedder. It was also nominated for two Academy Awards including Holbrook for Best Supporting Actor.

Chris decides to leave home after graduating from college with honours in 1990. He and his sister Carine grew up in an household where their parents fought a lot. Shortly afterwards, McCandless rejects his conventional life by destroying all of his¬†credit cards¬†and identification documents. He donates nearly all of his entire savings of $24,000 to Oxfam¬†and sets out on a cross-country drive in his well-used, but reliable Datsun to experience life in the wilderness. Neither his parents nor his sister have any idea as to where he has set off too. He loses his car in a flash flood and sets off hitchhiking. He burns what remains of his dwindling cash supply and assumes a new name: “Alexander Supertramp.” Soon he meets up with hippie couple Jan & Rainey who give him a lift in their trailer. He strikes up a friendship with the older couple and helps Rainey to rekindle his relationship with Jan.

After he leave them he ends up in a South Dakota and works for a a contract harvesting company owned by Wayne Westerberg who helps him a lot. Chris has to leave when Wayne is arrested for piracy and heads out to the Colorado river and kayaks it without a license. He meets and makes friends with a Danish couple who feed him hot dogs and then goes to Mexico via the river. There he loses his kayak and heads back on foot to the US. He starts traveling on freight trains to¬†Los Angeles. Not long after arriving, however, he starts feeling “corrupted” by modern civilization and decides to leave. Later, McCandless is forced to switch his traveling method back to hitchhiking after he is beaten by the¬†railroad police. By December 1991 he catches up with Jan & Rainey in Slab City, California and spends the holiday season with them. He sparks some interest in teenage singer Tracy but rejects her on knowing that she is only 16. He then leaves to Salton City and while camping meets Ron Franz, a retired older man who takes him in. Ron tells him about losing his wife & son in an accident, caused by a drunk driver, while he was serving in the army. He now spends his time in a workshop as an amateur leather worker. Franz teaches McCandless the craft of leatherwork, resulting in the making of a belt that details McCandless’ travels.

After a few months there Chris decides to leave for Alaska with all the money he needs for equipment to survive out in the wilderness. Franz is upset having become close to Chris and asks o adopt him as his grandchild, but McCandless simply tells him that they should discuss this after he returns from Alaska; then departs. In the Alaskan wilderness, Chris finds an abandoned old bus where he sets up his new home At first, McCandless is content with the isolation, the beauty of nature around him, and the thrill of living off the land. He hunts wild animals with a .22 caliber rifle, reads books, and keeps a diary of his thoughts as he prepares for himself a new life in the wild. However as a couple of months pass life becomes difficult as his supplies begin to run out, he realizes that nature is also harsh and uncaring. He realizes that true happiness can only be achieved when shared with others and longs to return to his family. However, he finds that the stream he had crossed during the winter has become wide, deep, and violent due to the thaw, and he is unable to cross.

Now trapped he is forced to gather berries and plants to survive but¬† is poisoned by eating a shrub and loses even more weight as he lies helpless on the bus floor. There is a scene in which an emancipated & stunned Chris stands in the snow and a grizzly bear passes by after briefly considering his form. Slowly dying, he continues to document his process of self-realization and accepts his fate, as he imagines his family for one last time. He writes a farewell to the world and crawls into his¬†sleeping bag¬†to die. Two weeks later, his body is found by moose hunters. Shortly afterwards, Carine returns her brother’s ashes by airplane from Alaska to Virginia in her backpack. The movie ends with a the last known photo of the real life Chris McCandless from a undeveloped roll of film found in his bus.

Amazingly bitter-sweet film and shot so beautifully. I give it a 9 out of 10!

Ex-FS Training Team September Reunion

Today was a special day for me. I hadn’t met up with my second team members from Firstsource in a very long while. Not since I left there last year. I only got to meet some of them here and there. And I haven’t met any of them this year with the exception of my older team members in two different places. It was a long awaited reunion and I was so happy that it finally happened. We made arrangements to meet up a few days ago and agreed on the date and by this morning we agreed on the time.

I suggested the Salt n Pepper restaurant on SRM near Lisie Junction as it has been the reunion place for some of us earlier. Unfortunately 3 of the girls couldn’t join us. Anusha is in Palakkad with her baby, Rekha was in Kottayam with her husband’s family and Ajeeba couldn’t find a babysitter for the evening. So it was just Roopa, Firdous, Wasim, Rajeesh and myself. We met at 7pm and made our way to the restaurant, which was almost empty and kind of like set up just for us. We ordered some Pepsi and then food which was quite good. We finished off with ice cream and then went back to our respective homes. I hope next time everyone can join in. Thanks guys for a lovely evening.

A Music List

Most annoying songs at this moment: every rap, hip-hop, dance song on Mtv & Channel V. Hindi, Tamil & most Malayalam movie songs apply too.
Song that most remind you of waking up in the morning: No Rain – Blind Melon;
Songs best to drive to in the morning (to work, etc): Cherry Pie- Warrant; Here I Go – Whitesnake
Songs best to drive home from work to: Pinch Me – Barenaked Ladies;¬† 5 o’Clock World – Drew Carey Show theme; How Long Can A Man Be Strong – Jeff Healey
Songs best to listen to while night driving: Here I Go – Whitesnake; Going Home – Dire Straits; Santa Ana Winds – Survivor; Hotel California
Songs best on a sunny Sunday afternoon: If I Had A Million Dollars – Barenaked Ladies; Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Songs best to listen to at night while at home: I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan; Swimming In Your Ocean – Crash Test Dummies; Immortality; Jeremy- Pearl Jam; Catch The Rainbow – Rainbow
Songs that remind you of your childhood: Money For Nothing – Dire Straits; Final Countdown – Europe; I Just Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew; Don’t Forget Me – Glass Tiger; Land Down Under- Men At Work; When The Children Cry – White Lion
Songs best to get ‚Äėpumped‚Äô to: Alive- Pearl Jam; Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf; Summer Of 69 – Bryan Adams; Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor; Enter Sandman – Metallica
Songs that make you pensive: Thief – Our Lady Peace; Mmmm, mmm,mmm – Crash Test Dummies
Songs best for rainy days: Superman’s Song – Crash Test Dummies; Amongst The Waves – Pearl Jam
Songs that remind you that you’re in love: To Be With You -Mr.Big; Patience – Guns n’Roses; Suzanna – Art Co; Thought I Died & Gone To Heaven – Bryan Adams
Songs that remind you of travelling: Leaving on a Jet Plane – Chantal Kreviazuk; Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf; Here I Go – Whitesnake; Take It Easy – Eagles
Songs that make you laugh: One Week, If I Had A Million Dollars- Barenaked Ladies; Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong – Spin Doctors
Song that makes you sway: Sweet Surrender – Sarah McLachlan
songs that make you cry: Winter ‚Äď Tori Amos; Someone Else? – Queensryche; In Hiding – Pearl Jam
songs that make you feel ‚Äėsexy‚Äô: Ice Cream – Sarah McLachlan;
first 3 songs at your wedding [if there is one]: Still The One – Shania Twain; Heaven – Bryan Adams