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NetBanking Chores

Banking is hard work. Net banking is complicated and long drawn out. I feel like I just went 10 rounds with a professional boxing heavyweight champion and that is just from sitting in my cozy bedroom at my desk and trying to activate something in two of my bank accounts. I wonder what would happen if I actually had to go to both banks in person.

All I wanted was to transfer some money from my bank account (HDFC) to my PayPal account. I haven’t really used PayPal for much other than receiving payment for freelance blogging but now I wanted to make a purchase from ebay for a product that only accepts payments via PayPal. Since it is an international option it is made in dollars and hence Paypal is understandable. Now I’ve only made payments from the Indian ebay website and I purchase that was from the US but it was done with the Indian ebay section and hence it was ok to make a payment via debit card/banking account. I don’t have a credit card yet.

So I called up both HDFC’s and ebay’s helpline to guide me through the process and now have to wait 4 hours or so for the process to be activated. But it was a chore to do so and also in between the process the power went out which stopped my internet and I had to wait for that to come back before proceeding. Bah! it’s still easier than going there in person.

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Get To Know You Questions

A friend on Facebook posted 30 questions that she’d hoped her FB friends would answer in an effort to get to know them better. She gave her own answers and I have mine shared over here.

1. What time did you get up this morning? A. 8:45 am but it’s usually 9 am (for this shift)

2. How do you like your steak? A. medium

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? A. Haven’t been to a theatre since 2005 April

4. What are your favorite TV shows? A. The Walking Dead, 19-2, Arrow, Game Of Thrones too many to quote currently. Star Trek (all 5), Stargate (all 3), etc etc etc

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? A. Canada

6. What did you have for breakfast? A. dosa & coconut chutney

8. Do you have wearable art? A. I AM A WEARABLE ART

7. Hobby or pass time? A. Watching movies, wasting time on the Internet, going to get a drink/coffee.

8. Favorite salad dressings? A. Thousand Island

9. Do you collect anything? A. dvds, starting a model/kit collection soon

10. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? A. Empty

11. Where would you want to retire? A. dunno yet

12. Favorite time of day? A. evening 5am-7pm if I am at home especially.

13. Where were you born? A. Kuwait City (Indian national though)

14. What is your favorite sport to watch? A. Football (not NA football), NHL hockey, sometimes tennis

15. Coffee or Tea? A. COFFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

16. People watcher? A. Sometimes.

17. Last book you read? A. Can’t remember. It’s been a while.

18. Pets? A. No, unless you count the crow who comes almost every morning to my balony and who I leave out fod for.

19. Are you in love right now? A. Sigh, no!

20. Best childhood memory? A. Hanging out with my cousins n’ playing game!

21. Ever been married? A. No. Some guys have all the luck

22. Things that annoy you? A. Too many things but mostly people who want to impose their beliefs on you and everyone else

23. Favorite pizza topping? A. Cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms & BACON

24. Favorite film ever? A. Cannot pick just one.

25. Favorite ice cream? A. anything chocolate with a few nuts

26. Favorite fast food restaurant? A. Subway.

28. Last person you went out to dinner or clubing with? A. My 2nd cousin. No clubbing.

29. What are you listening to right now? A. Poison

30. What is your favorite color? A. Purple and various shades of it

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Burnt Regrets

Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

Ok, so I don’t think I’ve ever done a follow up prompt before and certainly not on the same day but that’s ok. It’s a good prompt.

So the things that I would miss and wish I could have taken behind would be

  • the furniture and especially my computer desk. There’s no way the built-ins could have been saved but the rest is salvageable.
  • My collection of cds & dvds. I have almost everything backed up into several hard drives but I will certainly miss the packaging and art work.
  • the television, cable tv and dvd player – notice I did not save those? That’s because I rarely do watch the flat screen tv in the living room and watch most of my shows on dvds or downloads. But the big flat screen is nice to have.
  • Bathrooms – this might seem silly to you but once I get used to a toilet at my residence it is difficult and time-consuming to get that same level of comfort in another loo. It’s just not the same to poop in an stranger’s toilet!
  • My bed – comfort is relative to familiarity for me!

That’s it I guess.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Burning Down The House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

Hmmm, I think I’ve written a couple of posts similar to this one months ago but I’ll give it a go:

  • My laptop – first and foremost. Although I have back up, I still need this lappy of mine. Although I am looking to get a new one in the next couple of months.
  • Some clothes – what the fuck am I gonna wear?
  • Medicine kit.
  • Books – a few to read while I get my home situation back in order
  • My phone

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Arsenal’s January Signings

The deal is finally done. Gabriel Paulista has hailed the chance to play in the Premier League as a dream come true after joining Arsenal from Villarreal, with striker Joel Campbell going to the Spanish club on loan for the rest of the season. The 24-year-old Brazilian centre back was granted a work permit despite not yet having played for his country and joins Arsene Wenger’s side for £11.2million on a four-and-a-half year deal. ‘I want to thank God for the opportunity,’ he told the club’s website. ‘Thanks to God, this wonderful club came to me, and they can count on me to be able to help everybody here.’

Arsenal also confirmed that Campbell’s loan deal was complete, but delivered the surprise news that the 22-year-old Costa Rica striker had signed a new, long-term contract before heading to Spain. Gabriel, who will earn a basic salary of around £60,000-a-week at the Emirates, admitted that playing in the Premier League was a dream come true and revealed that he joined Arsenal after a personal request to sign by Wenger. ‘I came on his request, on the coach’s request,’ he told the club’s website. ‘He asked to sign me and that gives me more strength and the will to be able to work. I see that he’s a coach that has been here for many years and this is important, not only for the team but also for the club. This is very important for everyone that works here in the club, to have a coach like this.’

Despite the praise for his new boss, Gabriel also sees signs that Arsenal need to get better and improve on their performances so far this season. Gabriel will primarily compete with the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker for a place at centre-half, a task he admits is ‘not going to be easy’ – but he can also play on the right or left side of the backline.

About a week back Arsenal completed the signing of 17-year-old midfielder Krystian Bielik from Legia Warsaw for an undisclosed fee. Bielik made his senior debut for the Polish club in August aged 16. He went on to feature five times for Legia in the league and once in the Europa League. The versatile Poland youth international can play in both holding midfield and at centre-back. Bielik, 17, who underwent his medical at Arsenal last week, signed for Legia from their Polish rivals Lech Poznan in July and has made six appearances in all competitions this season.

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Modern Family Townhouse

Tour a cleverly designed urban home with split levels in Toronto. Homeowner and food blogger Sarah Huggins chats with architect Brian Kucharski about the smart design of her modern townhouse. See how various levels for the kitchen, living/dining room, nursery, principal suite and den are connected with a statement staircase made from edgy perforated metal.

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I Had A Dream OH, Su Su Sudio

Man do I ever have the weirdest dreams! I had this dream last night that I went to a Phil Collins concert with my sister Sherine and our cousins Satish, Sandy, Navin,Suraj, Arun, Manoj, Raakhee, Rakesh, Subin, Priya, Shalini, Roshni, Balakrishnan, Jayakrishnan, Shekhar & Shankar. And it wasn’t a present day dream; I think we were still in our late teens to early 20s (well I think I was in my early 20s) as my baby cousin Roshni was a small girl in the dream. It was loud and it was such a fun time. The stadium was full and we had this huge balcony section ust for our family. I was on one corner. Our parents were in a lounge like area sitting on sofas and drinking tea and eating snacks, oblivious to the music playing.

I remember that we were singing along and clapping or hands to the beat. Funny thing is after a couple of songs Phil told the audience about a flying cockroach that pestered him during the shooting of his first few solo videos and that it continued for a couple of years. He even showed us video footage of the cockroach flying around him while he and his assistants tried to kill it. But then he made a truce with the cockroach and it later became the president of his fan club association!!! Yeah I know – I was laughing when I woke up.

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Word Association Three

Write down the first words that comes to mind when we say . . .Use those words in the title of your post.

. . . home.

Safe. Cozy. Relaxing. Comfortable. Secure. Retreat. Belonging.

. . . soil.

Dirt. Life-giving. Rich. Minerals. Fertile. Deep. Nature. Nurture. Crops.

. . . rain.

Cleansing. Pleasing. Cool. Wash. Crying. Freshness. Life. Thriving.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Sex After Kids

Sex After Kids is a Canadian comedy film, written and directed by Jeremy Lalonde and released in 2013. The film features an ensemble cast, and depicts various ways in which adults struggle to reconcile their sex lives with the demands of parenthood. The film was funded in part by a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which raised $61,000. Among the ensemble cast are tv show regulars Kristen-Holden Reid (Lost Girl/The Listener), Zoie Palmer (Lost Girl), Ennis Esmer (The Listener), Paul Amos (Lost Girl), Mary Krohnert, Kate Hewlett, Jay Brazeau, Mimi Kuzyk, Katie Boland, Amanda Brugel, Peter Keleghan, Shannon Beckner, Gordon Pinsent and Kristin Booth.

The movie shows these people, who are connected, struggling to keep an active sex life post having kids. Jules & Ben haven’t had sex in a year and with a 6 month old baby and obsessing about laundry & house work Jules just isn’t into it. Their sex therapist’s advices them to have sex every night for 100 nights straight, which doesn’t work out and Jules only getting aroused by the vibration of her washer against her body and later guide them after both of them were close to cheating on each other. Gage, a single father with a young son, on the other hand has no problem in attracting women but finds silly reasons to stop seeing them (including one funny scene in which the woman he is having sex with calls him ‘daddy’ putting him off). He joins a “mom group” for support in raising his kid. His sister Jody & her wife Larissa are a lesbian couple with a baby and their relationship is being tested by their frequent disagreements. Gage & Jody’s parents Horton & Dolores are middle-aged grandparents who having just had their youngest daughter Markee move out to her own place are looking to spice things up at home. Although it was Horton’s idea, he is initially overwhelmed by the revelation that his wife has never had an orgasm by him and by the different things she wants to try out.

Lous is the scene stealer of the movie, a British expat in Toronto and single mother who lives with her nanny brother Payton. She had decided to go the donor sperm route and have a child wanting to love someone but is struggling to have a social life and feels that she is horrible with babies, especially since Payton seems to be so good at it. He advices her to not hold out for a relationship but go for casual sex but they backfire on her. Vanessa, a former model & tv presenter, who had a son is seen less as a sexual being and more as a housewife & mom by her husband Sean, who runs a successful business. She tries to lose the baby weight and look attractive for him but the initial efforts are hilariously unsuccessful. As Sean seems less into having sex with her, she undergoes a make over to make herself more appealing and it seems to work but she later catches him having sex with a single mom named Bethany, who is the same mom group with Gage, Lou & Jules. Gage asks Lou out on a date and she cooks dinner for him but accidentally hand him a glass spiked with a heavy dose of Valium, which she meant to take herself to calm her down, and he falls asleep in her living room.

Markee tries to seduce Ben and almost succeeds and Jules kisses Gage but they manage to work things out by the end. Vanessa leaves Sean and joins the mom group and becomes friends with Bethany; Gage & Lou try dating again while Jody & Larissa work out their issues. They all meet for Gage’s son’s birthday party at a park as Horton & Dolores, who have managed to spark things sexually, go on a cruise. It’s a funny and sweet movie and it has it’s moments. It’s definitely low budget and nothing really stands out; look at it as actors who know each other having some fun while being filmed. The majority of the cast are parents of young children and signed onto the film before the script had even been written. They were encouraged to offer up their insight and own experience and stories of the film. I would rate it a solid 7.5 outta 10!

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Brighton 2 Arsenal 3

Unlike Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester City Arsenal reached the FA Cup fifth round but were forced to hang on for victory against a spirited Brighton side at the Amex Stadium. Both Theo Walcott & Mezut Ozil scored their first goals after coming back from injury, in Walcott’s case it being about a year. Walcott gave the Gunners the lead on 89 seconds when he converted Calum Chambers’ cross from the right. Mesut Ozil then made it 2-0 when he slotted in from inside the area. Tomas Rosicky volleyed home a sublime third after Chris O’Grady had reduced the deficit, before Sam Baldock’s effort set up an exciting finale. Arsene Wenger will fancy his side’s chances to defend their title with 10 Premier League sides out, including Chelsea and Manchester City.

Arsenal should have been comfortable by then, however, unlike Chelsea and Manchester City, they avoided the ignominy of going out to lower league opposition and will be strongly fancied to defend their title. As for the Seagulls, aside from the goals and some late pressure, their forays into the opposition area were few and far between with Baldock’s wayward strike from eight yards their only other clear chance. The Gunners left in-form attacking duo Santi Cazorla and Alexis Sanchez out of the starting line-up, but replacements Walcott and Ozil justified their selection with two good displays. Once again it was the defense with Koscielny, Monreal & goalkeeper Sczechny in particular looking less than confident in dealing with the physical aspect of Brighton’s game. When Coquelin came on after Brighton scored their second, he seemed to calm things down a bit in midfield – see Wenger that is what’s been missing for us for a long time but you were too dumb to even see it. Yet almost every fan were screaming for a solid defensive midfielder.

Ozil, who himself has been hindered by injury and poor form, produced a competent display, scoring the second when he steered his shot past David Stockdale. Walcott seems to be on his way to 100% match fitness which is great news for us. Rosicky was brilliant though Giroud seemed lackluster. Things look positive.

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Enough Was Almost Enough

When was the last time you were ready to throw in the proverbial towel? Did you end up letting go, or decided to fight on anyway?

Very recently. And I’m glad that I didn’t do it. By giving up I mean, giving up on me getting back to a semblance of normal life, with a steady pay package and having a proper job to go to and be active and social. I was reeling from the shock of having a decent job at a small yet comfortable office yanked from underneath my feet when my former boss at the previous organization informed me that he would have to let a few people go and by a few people he meant his management staff of which I was a part. First was me and a girl in HR and then soon in quick succession two of the Ops leaders and one of the tech guys. That was a hard pill to swallow but I should have seen the signs coming as some issues with clients, financing and mistakes that the owner was doing meant salaries were delayed and things were tight months before this.

So for many months I had to be at home and look for some freelance work which were few and far between while I sent resumes and applied for several jobs. I got two offer letters in April-May but I had to turn both of them down due to issues with the job. I went close a couple of more times, losing out in the final rounds after being informed that I was in the running for the post and that it was  down to me and perhaps 1 or 2 more guys. I cannot tell you the disappointment I felt when after an interview at a company in June, where I was told by the main guy that it was “just a formality but that he had to complete a few more interviews” and that they would be in touch in a few days only for no news to come to me and on calling their HR 2 weeks later I found out that they had selected someone else. Devastating just doesn’t begin to describe it.

At times I wondered if I would ever get another proper job again and with cash being so low I wondered how much longer I could go one like this. I kept thinking “one more month”, “one more month” and soon I started thinking if continuing on was worth it and that it would so easy if I could end it all and that if death suddenly came, that it would be relief. I’m glad now though. Good things are in store.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

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Airport Visit

Last evening was a long night. On Thursday towards the end of the shift we had learned at the office that a representative from the Philippines would be coming in to Cochin on Saturday night and that someone from our department would need to go and receive her at the airport and take her via a cab to her hotel. The cab and hotel room was already arranged, now just an escort had to be fixed. With a 4 day weekend looming the other two guys in my department had already made plans to go to their homes which were a few hours away and since I live here in the city, I offered to be the escort since I had no other plans.  Even though I was new to the organization and I had never met this woman before but it was important that someone from our section does go.

So I spoke with the Admin department and the cab driver and arranged for the driver to come to my place by 9 pm and we’d go to the airport as the young lady was arriving on a 10:20 pm flight via Singapore. I took another shower (as I had been out for a few errands earlier in the day) and got ready and we left for the airport and reached ahead of time by 9:45 pm. I waited at the International Arrivals section as the driver went to get a placard ready with her name and the company logo. The plane arrived at 10:29 pm and we waited and waited and waited…….and waited some more. Everyone in that plane seemed to have come out and there were two flights from Kuala Lumpur that landed a few minutes apart from each other and everyone on those flights also came out. Where was my colleague?

A flight from Dubai also landed at 11pm and everyone it seemed to have gotten out and left. By 11:45pm I was getting worried – what if she had missed her flight? No one in Admin seemed to know. I called a couple of people and they finally got back to me by 12 am that she had arrived but was stuck in getting a visa on arrival as her previous visa had expired. She had a SIM card that she had bought when she had previously visited India in Chennai and I got that number texted to me and I called her on it to let her know that there was someone waiting outside and that we wouldn’t leave without dropping her at her hotel. A few minutes later she called me back as she was heading to the exit and I waved on spotting her (only woman talking on the phone) and I greeted her and helped her get her bags to the car. We chatted on the way to her hotel and after she got checked in I said goodnight and got back into the cab to come back home. By 1:20 am I was in my bed eating a cookie or 2 and watching a tv show.

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My Good Deed For The Day

I did my good deed for the day:

As I usually do every month (but a few days late this month) I went to the Vodafone’s office near the High Court junction (above to Ashish supermarket) to pay my postpaid bill at the Self service kiosk. I went in and slected the options and proceeded to pay when I noticed that an elderly woman was looking around nervously as if she wanted help. She was standing outside the kiosk looking lost. After I paid my bill and was leaving, I kept the door open for her to enter, thinking that was what she was planning to do, but she didn’t go in. So I let the door swing close and was about to go my own way.

However I knew that she was needing help and that kept me lingering a bit at the spot. I looked back at her but I was about to go when she asked me if I could explain how to make the payment. I was glad to explain the process & guided it for her, step by step with an example. I also informed her that she could make the cash payment in the office above. She was quite happy that she could hand over the money to a person at the desk as she was unfamiliar with the kisok styles. She thanked me profusely and I said “you’re welcome” and smiled back at her as I left.

I realized later that I called her ma’am a couple of times. My customer care call center days hasn’t left me at all.

1

Three Marriage Jokes

Satan appeared before a small town congregation. Everyone started screaming and running for the front church door, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away. Soon everyone was gone except for an elderly gentleman who sat calmly.

Satan walked up to him and said, “Don’t you know who I am?”

The man replied, “Yep, sure do.”

Satan asked, “Aren’t you going to run?”

“Nope, sure ain’t,” said the man.

Satan asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?”

The man replied, “Been married to your sister for over 48 years.”
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Two brooms are getting married. Before the ceremony, the bride broom says to the groom broom, “I think I’m going to have a whisk.”

The groom broom says, “How can that be? We haven’t even swept together!”
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An old couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary in their home.

“Just think,” the old man says, “we were sitting here at this same breakfast table, naked as jaybirds, 50 years ago.”

“Well,” the old lady snickers, “what do you say — should we get naked?”

The two immediately strip to the buff and sit back down at the table. “You know, honey,” the little old lady says slyly, “My breasts burn for you now as they did 50 years ago.”

“I’m not surprised,” replies the old man. “One’s in your coffee and the other is in your oatmeal!”

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Fireside Chat

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

I dunno if I could pick just one. There’s so many to choose from. People I’ve met over the internet and have become friends with either through their blogs or Facebook/Twitter – some of them seem so damn interesting that at the top of my head I can think of atleast 20-25 who I’d want to have a long chat face to face with. Just to hear what their life has been like wherever they live and what life has doled out to them and how they faced those and came out smiling in the end.

So to those several people if I ever do get a chance I would love to sit with you, over several cups of coffee/tea or maybe a bit more potent drink and listen to you as you tell me things that happened over your life to make you who you are. That would be fascinating to say the least.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.