What’s Your Name?

In India (I’m writing from a Kerala & Tamil Nadu perspective but it’s mostly true throughout India with some exception) we have a funny naming policy amongst the Christians. The names the way it is in most countries is not the same way as you see here.

Here Anthony & Tony are two separate names for individuals. For example – there are guys named Anthony & Tony. A Tony need not be short for Anthony. Dudes are named Tony in the certificates!¬† Same for Jimmy – the guys are named Jimmy on birth certificates and not James. Jimmy is hardly ever a name called for a guy named James. And a James is never called Jim. There are hardly any Jims in India. Lots of Jimmy’s and lots of James! But never heard a James called Jimmy though! There are lots of Michaels and I guess most of them are called Mike’s. But I doubt any of them are called Mick!

The exception seems to be the Elizabeth’s in India. I’ve known a few of them in my time. Most of them are also called Liz or Lisa or Eliza or Beth or Betty! But there are girls named Lisa or Liza here. No relation to Elizabeth!

Sons Of Anarchy – Season 4

The 3rd season ended with the death of agent Stahl and the Sons minus a few members like Opie, are sent to prison for 14 long months during which time some changes take place in Charming. Things are mostly peace for the Sons who are free as they lay low and Gemma helps Tara adjust to taking care of the two boys. On their return to Charming the SONs encounter a new sheriff ¬†Lieutenant Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) and an Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon) who set up a secret task force to shut down the club’s gunrunning operation. Opie and Lyla get married in a ceremony on an Indian reservation, while the Sons sever their ties to the Russian Mob. Jax proposes to Tara and reveals his desire to leave the Sons of Anarchy. The Sons meet with Gallindo drug cartel representative Romeo Parada (Danny Trejo) to make a deal, which includes transporting cocaine. Jax and Clay devise a pact that ensures both their individual endgames. Meanwhile, the Russians retaliate against SAMCRO. Gemma tries to find where Tara has hidden John’s love letters. As Roosevelt shows his teeth to SAMCRO, Tara proves her usefulness to the club.

Jax and other members of the club have to do some fieldwork when Kozik inadvertently lets a truck full of weapons get stolen. Clay attempts to sway Bobby’s support for the deal with the drug cartel, while Gemma confronts Tara about the existence of John Teller’s letters. Juice finds his position endangered when Roosevelt reveals he knows Juice is half-black – a revelation that would get him expelled from SAMCRO. The cartel deal is approved by a narrow 6-5 vote, with Clay, Jax, Tig, Opie, Miles and Kozik voting ‘yea’ and Chibs, Piney, Happy, Bobby and Juice voting ‘nay.’ SAMCRO makes a run to set up a new business venture with their¬†Tucson¬†charter, SAMTAZ while Gemma makes a new ally in town with Police Chief Roosevelt’s wife, Rita (Merle Dandridge). Potter drives a wedge between Otto and the sons.¬†After Police Chief Roosevelt threatens to tell SAMCRO of Juice‚Äôs family ancestry, Juice is forced to take a sample of the cocaine that SAMCRO is transporting for the Gallindo drug cartel. Meanwhile, after Piney threatens to expose John’s love letters to the club if Clay doesn’t shut down their dealings with the cartel, Gemma and Clay scramble to find where Tara has hidden them, with Unser caught in the middle. After Otto demands the club do something about Luann’s unsolved murder, Jax and the others hunt down Georgie Caruso. Juice’s act of thievery leaves SAMCRO in a delicate situation that puts its prospects to the test. Clay asks Romeo for help to kill Tara. Ima’s presence in the club push Opie and Jax. Unser makes a move against Clay to protect Tara.

As the Sons set up their business in one of Alvarez’s drug labs, the club endures difficult situations with both Tara’s death threat letter and an attack against the Mayans. Bobby, unhappy with the ongoing events, calls a vote for a new president. Juice is cornered by Linc Potter’s scheme and makes a desperate move. Juice’s plan doesn’t work out. The club vote for a new president is put on hold when rivals of the The Gallindo drug cartel bring their issues to SAMCRO’s front door. Tara makes a decision about her future, to protect her family. Clay makes a drastic move to protect himself. The Niners have made a new alliance that affects SAMCRO’s agenda. Gemma and Unser see the fallout from Clay’s actions. Tara plans a trip to Oregon to clear her head, with Jax deciding to escort her up. The Gallindo Cartel gives Clay a means to take out Tara once and for all. Jax and Tara discover the peaceful possibilities of life outside of SAMCRO, but the harsh reality of their inability to leave the rest of the group behind quickly makes itself known to the two of them. Tensions between Gemma and Clay finally boil over. As Potter puts a deal on the table for Juice, Roosevelt tries to do Juice a favor. SAMCRO is in jeopardy of being muscled out of their own business when a formidable adversary arrives and quickly manages to pose a threat to their already fragile business relations with the Cartel. Meanwhile, Jax confronts Clay over his mother’s beating. Tara’s emotional state worsens as Wendy returns, wanting to be a part of Abel’s life. As Juice finally makes some of his racial fear known to the club, Otto makes a deal with Potter. Frequently being cut out of Clay’s plans, Tig resigns as¬†Sergeant-at-Arms.

SAMCRO negotiates with the Irish Kings to secure the club’s future. Jax confronts Wendy over her return to Charming. Clay tries to make a deal with Tara. Meanwhile, Otto’s deal with Potter goes through, much to Bobby’s dismay. Opie’s trust in Jax and the club is broken as he seeks revenge. On Gemma’s request, Unser tries to undo the damage he’s done. In the aftermath of Clay’s shooting, Jax’s cover up puts Tig on the hunt and Laroy in danger. While on the verge of the Irish/Cartel meeting, Juice and Bobby’s disappearance puts the club on edge. Gemma reveals family history in an attempt to pull Jax closer, while Tara makes certain of her family’s departure from Charming. History repeats itself when Jax’s future in Charming and with the MC is finally determined. Potter’s RICO case takes an unusual turn when the Gallindo Cartel reveals its true intentions. The vote is made on Hale’s Charming Heights proposition. SAMCRO makes a shift in its members’ rank as Jax takes over as President and making Bobby his VP with Chibbs as his Sergeant-at-Arms.

What Does Your Blog Reveal About You?

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

My blog as a mirror is very reflective of me as a person and my nature. It shows off my characteristics and things that I life. Here’s what each aspect of the blog reveals about me:

  • The title : it says it all. Awake & Dreaming is a statement about myself. When I am not doing anything that takes up most of my attention or not doing much at all, I’m usually of in my dream world. I day dream a lot and it’s quite vivid, detailed and the futuristic universe that I have created is a great place to live in. Reality is so much of a downer in comparison!
  • Theme choice :¬† after a long time of preferring the 3 column look, I settled on the more common 2 column theme – posts on the left hand bigger column and links & informational stuff on the smaller right hand. I like a lot of links. I want big but not too big a space to post my blog posts. And the background chosen stated that I love exploration of space and the universe we live in.
  • Design : I don’t like to flashy stuff. I like to keep it simple, somewhat big and easy for people to read and follow without much of a hassle. I like some order and categorization. I read a lot of other people’s blogs, more than the average person. I firmly believe that black or dark grey text on white background is the best way to go but we do need some colour. And I love images & photos!
  • Bio : I want you to get to know me well….if you care to that is. I want to explain how I got here and why I am where I am!
  • Posts : the posts speak for themselves but….I love food, coffee, drinks, movies, football, hockey, rock & metal music, dogs, WOMEN, tv shows, Science Fiction, Star Trek…..and I hate religion, most politics and all kinds of crap!

There you go. What does you blog say about you?

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The Woman In Black

The woman is a 2012 British¬†horror¬†film¬†directed by¬†James Watkins¬†and written by¬†Jane Goldman, and is based on¬†Susan Hill’s¬†novel of the same name. Produced by Hammer productions the film stars¬†Daniel Radcliffe,¬†Ciar√°n Hinds,¬†Janet McTeer,¬†Sophie Stuckey, and¬†Liz White. Incidentally a 1989 television adaptation was also done on the same story, to much success.

  • The woman in black is Jennet Humfrye, a woman who was declared mentally unfit and her young son Nathaniel, was legally adopted by her sister Alice Drablow and her husband. In correspondences that Arthur Kipps later reads, Jennet denies Alice’s verdict of “mentally unfit” and demands to see her son Nate. While Alice and Nate were riding in a horse carriage they got stuck in a marsh and only Alice survived. Jennet blamed her sister hung herself in the nursery, vowing never to forgive Alice.
  • Many years later after old Alice Drablow dies, Jennet still haunts the small Edwardian village. Sightings of her dressed completely in black, forewarns the death of a child. Widowed London lawyer Arthur Kipps is sent to the village to examine the papers left by Alice & oversee the sale of the Eel Marsh House. Arthur arranges for his son and his nanny to visit him in the village in a couple of days.
  • Arthur finds the villagers reluctant to talk to him and gets no response on the house or the death of the window. His only solace is Samuel Daily and his wife Elizabeth, who let him stay at their house as the local inn is full. The Dailys’ have been a victim of this tragedy as their own son died by drowning and his death drove Elizabeth a little over the edge. She dotes on two small dogs and treats them more like young boys rather than pets.
  • On visiting the Eel Marsh house, which lies in a desolate end of the marshes where fog sets in regularly, he sees a woman in black but is unable to find her. He witnesses the death of a young girl, who took fatally drank lye. While spending the night at the house, with just a dog that Sam lends him for company, Arthur finds the letters and begins to understand the story. He gets frightened when things move and noises are made in the nursery, including toys of Nate that play on their own. Arthur also sees visions of dead children in the woods outside the House. The Woman in Black appears hanging from a roof beam.
  • By morning Sam arrives and they go to the village to find a young girl has set fire to her family house. Arthur rushes in to rescue her but he sees the woman in black just before the girl douses herself and goes up in flames. Elisabeth says the Woman is Jennet, who appears before she takes a child away by having them commit suicide. Fearing that Arthur’s son Joseph maybe next, Sam & Arthur find Nate’s dead body stiyll in the carriage on the marsh, and place the boy’s body in his nurser. Arthur lures Jennet’s ghost to the body. Arthur and Sam then bury Nate with Jennet.
  • At the railway station Arthur & Sam greet the nanny & Joseph. Arthur asks the nanny to make arrangements for the 3 of them to go back to London that night itself not wanting to stay there any longer. While the nanny is getting tickets and Sam & Arthur talk, Joseph is led to the railway tracks on seeing the woman in black. Arthur notices his son walking towards a train and rushes to grab him. We see the train pass by and then …..this part is a bit unraveling. From what I understand, both Arthur & his son are killed by the train and their spirits are greeted by that of his dead wife’s. The three of them leave as a family as the woman in¬† black looks at them for a moment before screeching into the camera! The end!

It’s kinda slow and dull for most parts and the ending is a bit cheesy and predictable. 7 outta 10!

Want Your Palm Read?

You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?

Well since astrology & palmistry is a bunch of bullshit I don’t believe in it but I have enjoyed the interesting thing that people say when they “read” someone’s palm. I have had my palm read by a bunch of people at various stages and the few things they get right (not always the same few things) is pure chance and by observing me (I’d do that to you for free). So it wouldn’t matter what the “palm reader” says it won’t be true as it’s all just hogwash!

When I was 15-23 I used to read palms, usually only of girls I like. Ofcourse I’d hold their palms and tell them a few things, ask some questions, pretend to decipher, deduce and notice things. At the end of like 30 minutes or so I’d smile and tell them that I don’t know how to read palms but it was nice to hold their hand for so long ;)

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Halloween : 1, 2 & 3

I hadn’t watched the Halloween movie for the longest time. It was only in May of last year that I first got into this franchise after watching the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween and a couple of weeks later I watched the sequel he made. Zombie’s movies were ofcourse a tribute & remake of the original run of Halloween movies which started back in 1978 when director John Carpenter co-wrote & directed an independent slasher-horror film with the name Halloween.And the legend of Michael Myers was born!

On Halloween 1963, young Michael Myers, all of 6 years old puts on a mask and murders his older sister Judith, after she had sex with her boyfriend, by repeatedly stabbing at her naked self with a butcher knife. 15 years later, 25 year old Michael escapes from the mental institute he was committed to, steals a car and heads back to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. There, now dressed in blue coveralls and a white mask, he stalks a high school student Laurie Strode. Laurie sees the strange figure staring at her from afar but her friends dismiss her concerns. Meanwhile psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis figures out where Michael is and seeks the help of Haddonfield sheriff Leigh Brackett, the father of Laurie’s friend Annie, and the took begin to search for Michael in town. That night Michael kills Laurie’s friends Lynda, Annie and their boyfriends who had come to have sex with them. Laurie is attacked by Michael and hides with two small kids she and Annie were respectively babysitting. While hiding Laurie managed to stab Michael with a  lingering knitting needle but he doesn’t die and reappears in pursuit of her. Dr. Loomis sees Tommy and Lindsey running away from the house and suspects Michael could be inside. Back inside, Michael gets up and tries to strangle Laurie, but Dr. Loomis arrives in time to save her and shoot Michael in the head, then five more times in the chest for a total of six shots. Michael falls from the second-story patio onto the lawn below. However Michael is missing when Loomis looks for the body.

3 years later the first sequel Halloween II is released, this time directed by Rick Rosenthal, and written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. It picks up directly where the first movie ends. Laurie is sent to the hospital due to the injuries inflicted by Michael Myers while Dr. Loomis attempts to track him down after he had gone missing after being shot six times and falling from a second story window. Michael hides from the police car and steals a knife from a kitchen and kills a neighbourhood girl. He learns that Laurie is taken to Haddonfield Memorial hospital via news reports and heads there. Laurie, having been sedated, is in a semi-conscious state most of the time, and her friend Jimmy looks out for her. Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett continue to search for Michael, only for an oncoming speeding police car to accidentally hit and kill Ben Tramer (who was dressed for Halloween wearing a mask similar to Michael’s), in the process.

Michael reaches the hospital and cuts the phone line and kills the security guard. He begins killing off the hospital staff by whatever means come available, strangling one of the ambulance attendants named Budd and drowning his nurse companion Karen, who were naked, in a scalding hot tub. He kills the head physician Dr. Mixter and a nurse named Janet by injecting air into their eye sockets via needles. Loomis follows clues connecting Michael to Samhain and the occult which might explain his seeming indestructibility but is approached by a lady from the institute saying that he is ordered to head back there with a National Guard escort. She also tells him that Laurie is the younger sister of Michael, who was adopted by the Strode family. Realizing why Laurie is Michael’s target, Loomis fires warning shots and forces the guard to head back to the hospital. The last nurse, Jill, is killed by Michael who stabs her in the back with a scalpel. Laurie escapes to the parking area but finds all the cars with flat tires Loomis, the nurse and trooper arrive and just barely save Laurie from being killed by Michael. The nurse goes to the police car to call for help, Michael cuts the trooper’s throat, and Loomis and Laurie flee into the operating rooms. Laurie shoots out both Michael’s eyes, causing him to blindly swing at them. Loomis fills the room with ether and oxygen gas using the distraction to allow Laurie to escape. Then he ignites it, blowing up the surgery room in the process and evidently immolating them both in the fire. As day breaks Laurie is taken to another hospital along with Jimmy who also escaped being killed by Michael.

Halloween III : Season Of The Witch has got nothing to do storywise with the rest of the franchise. It is the only movie to not feature Michael or Laurie. Instead it has a standalone story set on Halloween & witchcraft being a central theme. It is the first film to be directed and written by Tommy Lee Wallace. John Carpenter and Debra Hill, the creators of Halloween, return as producers. Harry Grimbridge, a shop owner, escaping from 3 suited me in a car, approaches a filling station in bad shape and is taken to the hospital by the attendant. Harry, who kept clutching a Halloween Jack-o-lantern mask, is later killed by at the hospital by one of the suited men who then goes into his car, pours fuel over himself and sets himself on fire. The doctor who treated Harry,  Dr. Dan Challis, is perplexed by the whole ordeal and joins Harry’s daughter Ellie in investigating the incident, leading them to the small town of Santa Mira, California, home of the Silver Shamrock Novelties factory, the last place that Harry was reported to be!

The town is a strange one, ruled by the prosperous Irish factory owner Conal Cochran and that the majority of the town’s population are descendants of Irish immigrants. Ellie & Challis pretend to be a married couple who run a store and stay the night at the same motel that Harry did. A visiting store owner Marge is killed in the night when she tries to fiddle with a button on one of the masks. A day after arriving in Santa Mira, Challis and Ellie tour the factory with the Kupfers family and are alarmed to discover Grimbridge’s car there, guarded by more men dressed in suits. On returning to the hotel, they find the phones not working and Ellie is kidnapped by men in suits. Challis breaks into the factory to find her and discovers that the men in suits are androids created by Cochran. Challis is captured by the androids and Cochran reveals his plan to kill children on Halloween night. The Silver Shamrock trademark on the masks contains a computer chip containing a fragment of Stonehenge. When the Silver Shamrock television commercial airs on Halloween night, the chip will activate, killing the wearer and unleashing a lethal swarm of insects and snakes, killing those around the wearer. Cochran explains his plan to resurrect macabre aspects of Gaelic festival Samhain, which he connects to witchcraft. Challis escapes and rescues Ellie and destroy the factory when the chips all over react the androids and Coachran are killed in a blast. While driving away, Challis is attacked by “Ellie”, causing him to crash his car. He finds that she is an android copy and destroys it in a brief struggle. On foot, Challis returns to the filling station, where Ellie’s father had come to eight days earlier, and contacts the television stations, convincing all but one to remove the commercial. Challis screams into the telephone to stop the commercial as the film abruptly ends.

I prefer the Myers story and was thoroughly disappointed by the 2nd sequel which has a had storyline and bad actors. Cochran’s chips emit lazer beams and worms, insects & snakes come out of it? What the hell? All so he can sacrifice the children to the Pagan gods! Here’s my rating for the 3 movies – 7, 7.5 and 5 outta 10 respectively!

Bale To Real Madrid In Record Breaking Fee

So the Gareth Bale transfer saga is finally coming to a close. Tottenham Hotspur have finally agreed the world-record ‚ā¨100?million (¬£86? million) transfer of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. An official announcement is due to be made as early as Tuesday. Significantly, the agreement involves a straight cash deal with no players coming from Real to Spurs as had been earlier discussed when inquiries were made about striker √Ālvaro Morata and left-back F√°bio Coentr√£o. The 24-year old flew into Spain on Saturday, on a private jet, and spent Sunday behind the walls of the gated complex awaiting the green light on the deal. The luxury complex was being staked out yesterday by the expectant Spanish media.

He will travel to Madrid for a formal medical and to sign what is expected to be a six-year contract, believed to be worth ¬£8.5?million a year before tax, and could also be unveiled at the Santiago Bernab√©u Stadium on Tuesday. A stage has already been erected on the eastern side of the 85,000-seat stadium alongside the directors box. Real play away to Granada on Monday night and are home to Athletic Bilbao next Sunday in what is now expected to be Bale‚Äôs debut appearance. The fee beats the ¬£80?million record that Cristiano Ronaldo set when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 although it falls short of the ‚ā¨120 million (¬£103 million) that Spurs were at one time quoting to let Bale go. Real have left the No?11 shirt vacant ‚Äď and the Bale shirt has already apparently gone on sale in the club shop.

What A Blogger Must Have

mindbump suggested by Gates’ Claptrap“What are 5 character traits needed to be a successful blogger/writer?”

I am in no ways an expert or a successful blogger. I have a personal blog that has at best a handful of regular readers. So what do I know? Still if someone were to ask me what are the 5 character traits needed to be a successful blogger, I would say:

  • A good command over your chosen language and a good vocabulary helps
  • A keen sense of observation – sometimes the best posts are about the small things/news
  • It helps if you have a ton of resources of the topics you want to blog about. Get your facts straight the first time and that will lend a lot of credibility to your blogging. And if by chance some wrong information slipped past your notice, correct it and admit the mistake.
  • Integrity – Do not blog for others or follows trends. Stick to what moves you, what you are passionate about. Your readers will know if you are faking it and will leave.
  • Imagination – you have the tools, the resources, the best web server, the best blogging platforms, the latest trendy themes, a vast vocabulary and a command over the language; you need to back it up with a good sense of imagination. Humour helps as well but imagination is the best asset to complement the tools!

No go get blogging!

Dracula 3D (2012)

Dracula 3D is a Spanish-Italian-French collaboration horror film based on the story of the legendary Count Dracula. Directed by¬†Dario Argento¬†and the film stars Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento¬†and¬†Rutger Hauer. The film is not a direct adaptation of¬†Bram Stoker’s novel¬†Dracula, but features elements from the novel. I have no idea why they bothered but being such a big Dracula fan, I just had to take a look.

So the story goes like this, in a village up in the Carpathian mountains a young girl, Tania, sneaks out after dark to go and have a rendezvous with her lover Milos. They get naked and do the love making (a sexy nude Marta is probably one of the highlights) and they go their separate ways when Milos doesn’t want to escort Tania home as it is too late. Tania, stupidly removes her crucifix, that Milos had given her, and goes home alone. She is chased by a large owl that turns into Dracula who then bites her, as a villager watches and smiles. A day after she is buried Tania rises as a vampire just as 3 men try to stake her. The next day Johnathan Harker arrives to meet his wife’s best friend Lucy, the daughter of the mayor, who has arranged a job for him as a librarian at the castle of Lord Dracula. He goes there and meets Tania who tries to seduce him until the count himself approaches and chastises her. The following night Tania tries again to bite Harker, she is close to his neck when she is stopped by the count who gets the upper hand and it is he himself who bites Harker’s neck, however allowing him to live. The following day, weakened but still conscious Harker attempts to escape, but as soon as he is outside the castle a large wolf with a white lock assaults and savagely kills him.

Let me stop there for a second- the wolf changing into Dracula has got to be one of the weakest CGI effects I have ever seen, almost cartoonish! Anyways, Mina arrives in town and is greeted by Lucy who is soon bitten by the count. The next day after some rest, Mina on her way to the castle to find Johnathan is attacked by a small pack of wolves who are chased away by a bigger wolf (Dracula). Mina faints and is brought to the castle by Dracula, who has orchestrated all the events to this point as the lovely Mina resembles his long dead lover. Upon her return to the Kisslinger house, Mina learns of the death of her dear friend Lucy. Due to these strange events she invited Dr Abraham Van Helsing to the town. Van Helsing, aware of the circumstances decides to act swiftly and prepares the tools needed to combat vampires. Mina sees him sneaking to the crypt just in time to kill a risen Lucy. Van Helsing must also kill Tania who was sent to kill him. Meanwhile we learn that Dracula has a pact with the villagers and kills the ones who plan on rescinding from it as they fear the bodies piling up. Dracula, intent on his desire to reunite with his beloved wife, leads Mina, completely hypnotized, to the castle where Van Helsing is waiting. Van Helsing plans to shoot at Dracula with special silver bullets but the gun is knocked out of his hands and lands at Mina’s feet. Momentarily snapped out of her trance, while Dracula attacks Van Helsing, Mina shoots Dracula and the special silver bullet transforms Dracula into ashes. Van Helsing leads a distraught Mina back to the village but….after they leave the ashes form a black cloud of dust in the form a sinister bat with a huge grin. Dracula still lives!

Bah humbug! Nothing original, below par film with a simple story and atrocious special effects. Laughable to say the least. Things do pick up with Rutger Hauer appears and it is saved from being a total disaster. 4.5 outta 10!

Tickle My Tastebuds

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

If you have money you can live to eat. A lot of people, infact most people, eat to life as in they eat just for nourishment. The 3 square meals a day and perhaps a late afternoon tea with a snack or biscuits. And they do the occasional treat for themselves. That’s how most people I know are. A vast majority. A monthly or twice a month outing to go and enjoy themselves with no restrictions. However, most of them go for the tried and tested variety of food and do not experiment further.

I’m one of those people who fall into the category of live to eat. It is one of life’s great pleasures. But it all depends on the money situation ofcourse. During times of tightness I am a simple eater of the common stuff, the veggies and the salt-less chappathis or bread. When I have money I like to eat well. I like to experiment. I’m a foodie. I’d like to find like minded friends or relatives who would like to go out and try out new dishes at restaurants or at food festivals. I crave the new dishes. I want to experiment cooking at home. I’d like to try out new recipes and enrich my tastebuds. The same goes for drinks; I want to try new beers and cocktails. Heck, that goes the same for my coffee.

Some say it is an indulgence and decadence while others some say that you only have one life to live and without making the most of it, what’s the point of living anyway? I like to make that fine balance. Mostly because of health concerns and money matters. But yeah, you should be able to enjoy what you eat.

Arsenal 3 Fullham 1

After last weekend’s disastrous season opener against West Ham which we lost 1-3, Arsenal have indeed bounced back with some determination and vigour. Optimism was in short supply following that demoralising setback. But the impressive triumph against Fenerbahce in Istanbul had raised hopes. And the inability to bring in new faces despite numerous high-profile attempts was quickly forgotten. Midweek we had the away game in Turkey against Fenerbache in the Champions League qualifying, which the Gunners emphatically won 3-0. Doing that away in Turkey is not an easy task. This leaves the club in a good position for the return leg at the Emirates and barring a meltdown, should easily make it through to the Champions League proper. Now that was done, it was time to show the faithful fans that they mean business.

Today the match was against fellow Londoners Fullham and Arsenal did well at Craven Cottage. Arsenal piled on the pressure early on and were rewarded when Giroud cleverly flicked the ball past Stockdale with the outside of his left foot for his third goal in three games after the Frenchman made the most of a very fortunate ricochet from Aaron Ramsey’s mis-hit shot. Arsenal – who left Jack Wilshere on the bench – were still controlling much of the midfield battle through Ramsey and still looked the more threatening. And after an encouraging 10 minutes for the west Londoners, Arsenal made it two four minutes before the interval when Podolski brilliantly steered the ball home at pace from 18 yards after Stockdale had done well to keep out Walcott’s initial effort.

Giroud should have added a third in the final seconds of the first period, but was caught in two minds and the ball rolled harmlessly across the goal. Arsenal added a third when a wonderful piece of control by Giroud in the centre of the pitch led to Podolski firing a low cross shot into the far corner. Fulham persisted though and had something to cheer when Bent turned the ball in from a couple of yards out after a superb piece of control and instant shot from Berbatov.

Friday Pizza Photo 2

After a very long time Р3 years by my reckoning РI finally had another veggie pizza. And it reminds me once again of my initial opinion that pizza is best served vegetarian! Atleast in India; we seem to do it better than the meat ones. SFC Plus is a perfect example; their Veg Supreme pizza trumps all their meat pizzas!  With mushrooms, black olives, sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, green pepper & cheese ofcourse Рjust brilliant and delicious.

Species III & IV

With the previous film Species III bombing at the box office and not able to even recover the $35 mil budget, any new films would only get straight to dvd approval. 6 years after the second film, Species III with a smaller cast of mostly then unknowns and a smaller budget (less than half at just $16 mil) was released. The 2004 movie starred Robin Dunne, Sunny Mabrey, Robert Knepper & Amelia Cook and was directed by Brad Turner on a script written by Ben Ripley. Natasha Henstridge, who was contracted to a trilogy commencing with the first Species film, briefly reprises the role of Eve in the opening scene.

The movie starts off immediately at the end of the last film and the medical van that carries Eve’s lifeless body. The driver has lost his way in the middle of the woods and both & his co-driver are stunned to see a half-breed child appear in the back. Suddenly a reviving Eve goes into labor and gives birth to a newborn alien. Eve is killed by the baby using it’s elongated tongue to strangle her. The co-driver is killed by the half-breed and the driver wraps the newborn in a jacket and runs away with it. The military reach the van and burn it. The driver, happens to be Dr. Abbot, who teaches biochemistry¬†at a university and feels it is wrong to kill the alien half-breed. He brings it home and it soon grows into a young girl in a few months, who he names Sara. Later the half-breed that killed Eve, also aged comes to see Dr. Abbot in his office but dies on the chair by decaying. The shocked Doctor asks Dean, a student whose funding is in jeopardy, to assist him in his research to create a perfect alien DNA, promising him funding and future awards. At home Abbott see Sara emerge as a beautiful young woman. A fellow professor Dr. Turner sees her by change and she strips and tries to seduce him but rejects him on sensing that he is not a half-breed. Dr. Turner tries to force himself on her only for her to revert to her alien self and kill him. Sara then goes to campus and finds a half breed but rejects him as he is carrying a disease.

The rejected half-breed tries to attack Sara at her home but is intervened by Abbot who he kills before dying himself. Dean left with taking care of Sara is almost seduced by her but he is frightened by her alien form. Meanwhile Dean’s roommate Hastings has contacted a sexy woman looking to date biochemists online and he, pretending to be Dean, sends her some on Dean’s notes. The woman, Amelia, is actually a half-breed and kidnaps him to get to Sara. At Abbot’s house, Amelia and Sara pressure Hastings into creating the perfect species so that both can have mates. Dean is also contacted by govt agent Wasach who was alerted by the notes in Amelia’s website and the two interrupt creating the proceedings at Abbot’s house and then take Sara’s harvested eggs. Dean, Hastings & the agent flee to a nearby experimental power plant, followed by Amelia and Sara. Dean attempts to trap Sara and Amelia in the plant’s core. When Sara’s eggs fall into the core, Amelia attempts to kill Dean but is stopped by Sara, who throws Amelia into the core. Dean manages to close the shaft to the core just in time to prevent a nuclear disaster, but not before Sara also falls down the shaft. Later, when Hastings drops by Abbot’s house he finds Sara alive. Dean explains that he pulled her to safety and created the perfect mate for her, using the salvageable parts of the half-breed DNA so that Sara wouldn’t be alone. Dean asks Sara why she saved him, since with her eggs gone there was no reason to, Sara doesn’t answer, but its indicated that she’s grown to care for Dean. After Sara and her mate have departed, Dean reveals to Hastings that he ensured the mate would be sterile, thereby preventing any offspring.

Species 4 is not called that but Species The Awakening. It’s a Scifi original movie that decides to try and cash in on the Species franchise but is really a standalone movie and the worst of the bunch. Directed by¬†Nick Lyon¬†and the film stars¬†Helena Mattsson,¬†Adam Wylie,¬†Ben Cross,¬† Marco Bacuzzi,¬†Marlene Favela, and¬†Dominic Keating (Star Trek Enterprise). The film makes no mention of the project Athena. Instead we have young & hot professor Miranda Hollander who lives with her uncle & museum curator Professor Tom Hollander and believes she has lived with her uncle from early age after her parents died in an accident. After her birthday Miranda becomes unconscious and is sent to a local hospital and before Tom can arrive she changes into an alien (similar to the ones in the sequels) and kills a bunch of people there before falling unconscious. Tom injects her with human hormones and drives with her to Mexico.

When she comes to Tom tells her the truth – she is the result of of an experiment that combined human and alien DNA, an experiment conducted with his friend Forbes McGuire (from where they got the alien DNA, who knows). Miranda grew very quickly and her childhood memories were forged by Tom. Tom explains he and Forbes parted ways because of differences of opinion over the vision of their creation but now he feels that Forbes is the only one who can help her. In Mexico Tom, who is looking for Forbes, is attacked by a hybrid alien, dressed as a nun in a market and is nearly killed. Tom is also almost killed by a taxi driver set up by an over exaggerating Texan cowboy – why we can only guess. Finally he finds Forbes in a remote section of a town, living with his latest experiment, a hybrid named Azura, who is also his lover. Tom recognizes Azura as the nun who almost killed him. Forbes supports his experiment by creating half-alien facsimiles of dead pets and relatives. Forbes checks Miranda’s condition and finds that Miranda has reached the end of her lifespan and will die in days. The only way to deny death is injecting fresh human DNA into Miranda. Miranda won’t allow that to happen when she realizes it will result in the sacrifice of another human being.

With Azura’s help Tom abducts a singer from a seedy bar and they succeed in extending Miranda’s life. However now Miranda awakens as a much more sinister & raunchier version of her self. She goes out to seduce and kill men. Tom chases Miranda. He is found by Azura in a church and fights with her, when Azura transforms into an alien. Forbes chases Miranda, but she seduces him before he can give her another injection and eventually they have sex. He is then killed by her. The climax is in Forbes’ house, when Miranda is examined by Tom, afraid she’s pregnant. Tom is attacked again by Azura, but Miranda, in alien form and attack Azura; they succeed in killing her. However, Miranda is wounded, and after she goes back to human form, she dies. In the final scene Tom turns on all the gas burners and tanks in the house and leaves. The house explodes.

While Species 3 made some sense – I dunno how Dr Abbott finds out about the experiment – The Awakening makes no sense what so ever and should have been avoided. Not that Species 3 is a well made movie. All you get a few hot women with no clothes. Hmmm! I’ll give Species 3 a 5 outta 10 and The Awakening a 3 outta 10!