Just Another Long Day

So yesterday was a looooong day for me. I was to go viaa company cab to the airport and pick up a client who was flying in from Chennai. Due to notoriously unreliable traffic over here it was decided that the can would come to my place by 9:30 am and head straight to the airport as her flight was expected to land by 11:30 am. I got up by 7 am, almost 90 minutes earlier than usual for my evening shift schedule and got ready by 9am, having shaved and showered but still feeling the effects of less sleep.

When the cab was late I called up my admin team and checked. The cab driver then called me and I gave him directions to my apartment building. By 9:50 am I was in the cab and we headed to the airport. By 11:05 am we reached there and saw that the flight was early by almost 15 minutes. Not having met the client lady or seen what she looks like I had a placard with her name on it. She came out soon enough and after exchanging pleasantries I accompanied her to her hotel and made sure she had no problems in checking in. Then I asked the cab guy to drop me at the office as it was already 12:30 pm. But my shift was to start only by 3:30!

So I dilly dallied at the office going through mails and stuff and had a leisurely lunch at 1:30pm and waited for the team to come and start our scheduled work for the day. The client came to our office after 9 and we met and discussed the agenda she had planned. I was in sessions with her from 10:30 till 2:30 am after which I escorted her to her cab and then went to find one for myself and reached home by 3:30 am!

By the time I fell asleep it must have been after 4 am but I was awake by 7:30 am though I slept a bit more. By 10am I got outta bed for some coffee.

Arsenal 2 Olympiakos 3

Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League progress are in serious jeopardy after they slumped to their second successive group stage loss at home to Olympiakos. Arsene Wenger’s side knew nothing other than victory would do after defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia in their opening game – and with two meetings with group favourites Bayern Munich still to come. Instead it was a dreadful night for Arsenal, who must now become the first team since Galatasaray in 2012-13 to lose their first two group games and still reach the knockout stage. The Gunners’ display was summed up by the wretched first-half own goal conceded by David Ospina – preferred to Petr Cech in goal – when he dropped Kostas Fortounis’s corner into his own net after Theo Walcott equalised Felipe Pardo’s deflected shot.

Alexis Sanchez gave Arsenal hope with a 65th-minute header only for Alfred Finnbogason to restore Olympiakos’s lead within a minute. When Arsene Wenger persuaded Chelsea to sell them goalkeeper Petr Cech, the theory behind his arrival was that the 33-year-old’s experience, wisdom and acquaintance with success would make the difference in the big games. So what sense did it make for Wenger to leave Cech on the bench and select his deputy Ospina for a game where Arsenal simply could not risk any mistakes or the concession of cheap goals? Forget talk about any slight injury to Cech. He was fit enough to take his place on the bench so surely fit enough to start a game of this significance. Fate was tempted – and could not resist as the hapless Colombian dropped a harmless corner from Fortounis into his own net just before half-time after Walcott had brought Arsenal back into it with an equaliser.

Wenger’s decision was laced with high-risk – and in the context of Arsenal’s hopes of making progress in the Champions League a risk not worth taking, as well as a serious error of judgement. Arsenal were victims of a deflection and a crass goalkeeping error for Olympiakos’s first two goals – but the soft underbelly was on show again for the third, so easily unpicked as Finnbogason steered in the winner. Amid a night of unrelenting gloom, the only shafts of light for Arsenal and their supporters were Walcott and Sanchez. The Englishman continued his development as a striker with another goal, his second in successive Champions League games after scoring his 12th in 13 Premier League matches at Leicester City on Saturday. Sanchez scored a hat-trick at Leicester and he was lively throughout, heading the second equaliser only to see Olympiakos score their third almost immediately. In reality, this is to clutch at straws because this was a desperate Arsenal display elsewhere.

Sunday Chinese Food & Beer

A not really planned but still awesome and happy get together between the 3 of us. Anil & I had talked about meeting on Sunday at 6:30 pm but we still hadn’t confirmed it. Sunday at 6pm, after watching some tv all afternoon and then taking a shower, I messaged Anil to check if we could meet up. Turns out he was on his way to the city!

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Aha! So he called me back and said to get ready and that he would pick up me at my apartment building by 6:30 pm. He contacted Madhu who was on his way back home from an afternoon spent at some friend’s house and he would meet us after he dropped his wife back at their home. So I got ready and was in the process of putting on some deodorant when it started thundering & lightning and heavy rains poured down over the city. Luckily since Anil was in his car we didn’t get wet.

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Madhu called just as we were leaving my area and said that he would be an hour late and that we should start before he joins us. Instead we went to BTH for a cup of coffee and we went slowly through MG Road which was partially flooded as it was really raining cats and dogs by now. Anil & I spent 30 minutes drinking hot cups of coffee before making our way back to MG Road and on to Mercy Estate where Golden Dragon awaited us. We stopped on the way to get some money out of an ATM.

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We ordered beer – ofcourse – and started with the restaurant’s famous and delicious Dragon Chicken which was not as great as the last time we had it but it was still great. We then had two plates of Honey flavoured sesame pork which was crisp and juicy and oh so delicious. Madhu wanted some soup and some fish and we drank beer and chatted for a while.

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To end the evening we stopped at the nearby Milano gelato parlour and had ice cream cones which were magnificent. Madhu had a milkshake instead but we were all raving about the stuff. Then it was goodbye and onto home.

Leicester City 2 Arsenal 5

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez rediscovered his goalscoring touch as his hat-trick ended Leicester’s unbeaten start to the season. Jamie Vardy had put the Foxes ahead with a superb finish from a tight angle after a clinical counter attack. Theo Walcott equalised when Leicester were themselves caught on the break. Sanchez then took control of the contest with his treble – the pick his third from long range – as Vardy and Olivier Giroud netted late on. Sanchez, who scored 25 goals last season for the Gunners, had failed to find the net in eight games across all competitions before this contest.

The result means Leicester are now without a win against Arsenal in 18 Premier League games, stretching back to November 1994. Following a relatively subdued start to the season, Sanchez showed his quality at the King Power Stadium. He scored his first goal of the term with a poacher’s effort when he tapped in from close range after good work down the right by Hector Bellerin. From the moment the ball hit the back of the net the former Barcelona forward’s confidence came flooding back. He appeared in dangerous areas, ran at defenders and it was inevitable he would add to his tally later in the game. Sanchez claimed his second with a header, with his hat-trick the pick of his three goals as he struck a low, powerful shot past Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Arsenal made an underwhelming start to the campaign – collecting four points from their first three games – which saw them written off as possible challengers to Manchester City and Chelsea. But the Gunners completed their victory over Leicester in plenty of style. Back was the attractive one-touch football as they cut through Leicester’s back line – albeit one that has now leaked 14 goals. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Sanchez is now “back to his best” , and his side have now moved up to fourth in the table, just three points behind new leaders Manchester United.

Poltergeist (2015)

Rebooting movies from the Scifi and horror franchise seems to be the way that Hollywood does things nowadays. Poltergeist, the latest, is a 2015 American supernatural horror film directed by Gil Kenan, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and produced by Sam Raimi. A reboot of the 1982 film of the same name, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Jane Adams.

The story is basically the same – the Bowen family has moved into a house that fits their price range after dad Eric gets laid off. Amy wants to write, while Eric looks for a job, and also take care of their 3 kids: eldest daughter teenage, Kendra; their son, Griffin; and youngest daughter, Madison. From day one Griffin feels that there is something strange about this house and on their first night strange noise are heard and Griffin finds a box of toy clowns in a hidden compartment in his room. In the middle of the night, lights and electronic devices start turning on and off, as some unseen force appears to move through the home. Griffin sees his sister Madison talking to o an unknown presence inside the television. She tells Griffin someone is coming, and he attempts to unplug the TV, causing the lights to go out of control. Madison then tells the family they are here.

Amy & Eric write it off as Madison talking to her imaginary friends but when they are out to have dinner at a friends house one night they learn that their house was built on an old cemetery, but the bodies were moved to a better neighbourhood. Kendra is attacked by black goo coming out of the basement when she investigates strange sounds and is grabbed by hands from a corpse. Griffin is attacked by the clowns but he destroys one and escapes from his bedroom. He finds Madison in her room, scared, crouching at a corner, and tells her to stay while he goes to find Kendra. Madison is then lured into her closet and becomes lost in an unending void. As she sees her bedroom drifting away further, she is dragged into the darkness by ghosts. Griffin, while running around the house, is grabbed by the branches of the old tree outside their house, which pulls him out to be hanging on the tree. Eric & Amy come home to find him in the branches of the trees and a frantic Kendra who can’t find Madison.

After hearing Madison’s voice coming from inside the tv Amy and Griffin visit the Paranormal Research department for help. The staff sets up equipment in the house, and install GPS locators on everyone in the house. While trying to contact Madison, Eric is ambushed in the closet by a ghost resembling her. Angered, he breaks down the closet wall, throwing a chair into the darkness inside the closet, and as the chair falls back into the living room of the house, it reveals a possible portal Madison can escape through. The investigators realize that this haunting is a poltergeist. Dr. Brooke, calls her ex-husband, an occult specialist and television personality Carrigan Burke. Carrigan explains that Madison is a possible psychic, able to communicate with spirits. He reveals that the poltergeists are trapped and are angry because only the headstones were moved to the new cemetery, but the bodies remained, and plan on using Madison to free them from their purgatory.

Using a rope that they toss into the vortex they try and use a toy drone to guide Madison back to them but when it is destroyed inside the vortex, Griffin decides to enter the realm and bring his sister back. When he finds Madison, the poltergeists attempt to destroy the rope to trap them, but they both escape. The family get in their car and begin to take their leave from the house, but the poltergeists drag them back into the house and attempt to abduct Madison again. The family saves her from being sucked into the portal, and Carrigan decides that as the only other psychic, he must go into the vortex and lead the spirits into the light. The Bowens flee as the house is torn apart by a giant light. The investigative team run to their equipment, looking for a sign that Carrigan managed to get back. As the Bowens look for a new house, the realtor shows them a house with lots of closet space and an old tree in the backyard; the Bowens drive away laughing. During the end credits, it’s revealed that Carrigan survived the incident and is back filming his ghost program, now hosting the show with Dr. Powell.

The movie does not offer anything new to the story, other than perhaps some awesome updated CGI and special effects. The movie lacks the charm of the original and fails to be memorable. 6.5 outta 10!

Life According To The Alphabet

Here is a brief story of my life according to the alphabet…..

A. Age. – 39
B Biggest fear – That I will die an old lonely man
C. Current time – 9.44am
D. Drink you last had – coffee (with milk & sugar)
E. Easiest person to talk to – I dunno
F. Favourite song- way too many to mention here
G. Ghosts. Are they real? Nope, they do not exist as far as I know. If provided proof will accept that.
H. Hometown – Cochin, India
I. In love with – someone I have no need to be in love with
J. Jealous of – everyone who is happy and content and rich.
K. Killed someone? No, but I could…….
L. Last time you cried – It’s been a while
M. Middle name – Miserable
N. Number of siblings – 1 sister
O. One wish – to die happy
P. Person you last called- the ISP call center
Q. Question you’re always asked – Why me?
R. Reason to smile – friends
S. Song Last Sung – Crying In The Rain (a-ha)
T. Time you woke up – 8.20am ( on a Saturday)
U. Underwear colour – going commando
V. Vacation destination – Canada
W. Worst habit – brooding.
X. X Rays you’ve had – A few; my chest for infection, my foot a couple of times.
Y. Your favourite food – pizza
Z. Zodiac sign – Leo (not that I believe in that sorta thing though)

Night & Day

Have you ever had an experience that was amazing the first time, but terrible the second time around? Or vice versa? What made it different the second time?

The vice versa is ofcourse alcohol. The first time a young person drinks alcohol it normally tastes terrible. You cough, you gag, you choke, you spit it out and you swear that you will never do that again. You will swear on your grandfather’s grave that you will stay away from this vile substance. Two months later….

I remember accidentally taking a large swig of whiskey from a bottle that I though was water from my fridge when I was 15 years old. We used to clean out whiskey and brandy bottles at home that my dad and uncles drank and use it to fill water and put it in the fridge. It so happened that my uncle had brought a whiskey bottle to my home, drank a little bit from it and left it in the fridge. I opened the bottle and poured a large mouthful into my mouth before feeling the burning sensation in my throat and chest and spat it out.

Something like that could have and should have put me of alcohol for the rest of my life but even though I rarely drink whiskey I do like vodka, rum & brandy.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Tottenham Hotspurs 1 Arsenal 2

Mathieu Flamini scored a superb volley to give Arsenal victory in their League Cup third-round tie at Tottenham. Flamini slotted the visitors into the lead after Spurs keeper Michel Vorm could only parry an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shot back into his area. Tottenham’s Danny Rose had a penalty appeal rejected before the hosts equalised when Calum Chambers scored an own goal from Nacer Chadli’s cross. Midfielder Flamini then volleyed in from 20 yards to secure the win. The France midfielder scored two goals in a game for the first time for Arsenal – and could not have picked a better opposition than their fierce north London rivals.

There had been speculation about how much of a role he would play this season having been overtaken by Francis Coquelin in the holding midfield role, and this was his first appearance of the campaign. “I’m happy for the team and personally,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve heard many things in the press and I am still here. I don’t have any problems with anyone at the club. “It is never easy when you don’t play every game. I had a point to prove.”

Harry Kane remains without a goal for Spurs this season, though he did come close to scoring. He had an opening in the first half when he controlled the ball on his chest eight yards out but took another touch instead of shooting and the chance was gone. Kane later led a Spurs counter-attack but could only drag his effort wide from just outside the area, The England striker did produce an acrobatic volley at the far post following an Andros Townsend corner, but the shot was cleared off the goalline by Kieran Gibbs.

The Perfect Fictional Fantasy

You have to spend one day as or with your favorite fictional character. Which one would it be and what would you do?

Hooohooo hooo! Which one do I pick? It is difficult to pick just one fictional character and you know I am gonna pick a female one! And as for what we would do…..think dirty thoughts!

I would want a combination of my favourite female fictional characters like Dana Scully, Sam Carter, Deanna Troi, Seven of Nine, Elizabeth Weir, Tayla Emmagen, Jadzia Dax, Ezri Dax, Rachel Green, Pheobe Buffay, Monica Gellar, Jessica Rabbit, Buffy Summers, Faith, Cordelia Chase, Lyta Alexander, etc etc

There are way too many to choose just one so how about a combination. And that woman and I get to join together and go on various adventures, in space ofcourse, and become an awesome crime fighting duo.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com

Do Not Become This!

Do you ever find yourself doing something your parents used to do when you were a kid, despite the fact you hated it back then?

Well perhaps little things but I just wanted to share something my sister posted on our cousins’ Whatapp group a couple of days ago.

Apparently when my sister goes all parental, complaining and argumentive with her kids, especially her two older sons, they plead with her to stop becoming “mummy”! Mummy as in my sister’s and my mother aka their grandmother. See my nephews and niece call their mother (my sister) “amma” which is the Malayalam word for mother but because they have grown up hearing my mother being referred to as “mummy” by my sister & me from day 1, they also call my mom that.

Now my mother is a frantic, don’t do this, don’t do that, worries and complains all the time, over motherly and over fussy and “what are they eating, drinking, pooping, sleeping, wearing” kinda mom that turned into the same but older version as a grandma. So when they say that to her, my sister’s reply is “I won’t as long as you pick up your stuff and put them away, do the small chores I ask you to do and behave”! And then they do as they have been told. Which works both ways

I found that so funny!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Home Isn’t Home Until…

Name five things in your house that make it a home.

In no particular order these are the five things that make my home a home for me. These are what seems right to me:

  • A nice comfy bed with mattress. A lot of people rent out in houses and apartment and especially younger chaps, use thin mattresses that they lay on the ground to sleep in and in the morning they roll it up and push it to one side. Without a nice thick mattress on a proper mattress it ain’t home.
  • My stuff – my laptop & speakers, my files on various 1TB hard drives, a desk and a chair and my collection of books and dvds and yes ofcourse my now growing collection of Star Trek starships! If I don’t have these things with me, then it isn’t as comfortable as I want it to be. Even if I had 5 star accommodations and luxuries like room service catering to my every whim & fancy, it just won’t be the same.
  • My music – although I have been listening to my collection less and less these days, what with my work scheduled and my addiction to Youtube, I still need my music collection with me. If I can’t blast my music (within reasonable volume) on my speakers during any time of the day, it just isn’t a place that I can call mine.
  • A fridge, gas stove, my electric stove, food to cook, beverages to make & drink – this is despite the fact that I cannot cook much on my own, but enough to just get up using the same ingredients and repeating the same dishes 2 to 3 times a week! I need to be able to stock some beer, some vodka, lots of coffee, some soft drinks and juice and my snacks. If I cannot, then it isn’t home at all!
  • Other than the bed, you have to have some more comfort as well. Like your chairs, tables, sofas and watching tv lying down on your couches and being able to walk in your underwear or even naked through out your home. If you have these then it is a home.

I hope that answers the question.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Unboxing The Jem Ha’dar Battlecruiser

It’s been a while since I did an update on my Star Trek starship collection. So here goes the next one.

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We have the Jem Ha’dar battlecruiser. It is a sleek and menacing looking design that showcases the intentions of the Jem Ha’dar who work for the Dominion.

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It is an awesome design with lots of sharp points and yet it is also quite elegant in design. It’s like a predataory animal that still looks beautiful and engaging at the same time. I think Eaglemoss did a fine job in creating this model with just one flaw – it is easy to break!

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The ship had some damage when I got it and the pieces on top have come off. Luckily it is easily fixable with some glue and I won’t have too much trouble with it. I don’t think that I will buy a replacement one. If only the seller would be careful and provide adequate protecting in their packaging (some bubblewrap would have done the deed).

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And here is the unboxing video. Enjoy!

Lay Your Weary Head To Rest

The song ‘Carry on My Wayward Son’ by the rock band Kansas was written by Kerry Livgren for their 1976 album ‘Leftoverture’. It has become the theme song for the television series ‘Supernatural’ and many people have so strongly associated it with the series that the meaning of the song has been linked to the show. But obviously the song was written long before ‘Supernatural’ was created.

So what does the song really mean? The chorus of the song is meant to be a conversation between Daedalus and his son, Icarus. In Greek mythology Daedalus was a master craftsman who was imprisoned on the island Crete together with his son, Icarus.Daedalus then crafted wings from feathers and wax for the two of them with which he was hoping that they could escape. He warned Icarus to not fly too low, close to the sea, because the moisture would dampen the feathers. He also told him not to fly too close to the sun, because it would melt the wax.

But Icarus, excited by the possibility of flight, soared too high and came too close to the sun. The wax melted and he tumbled to a death of drowning in the ocean. The chorus of the song is Daedalus’ response to the freedom Icarus gained in dying: “Carry on my wayward son/There’ll be peace when you are done/Lay your weary head to rest/Don’t you cry no more”

RIP Jackie Collins

Novelist Jackie Collins, 77, died of breast cancer at her home in Los Angeles. Her family released a statement on the 19th saying “It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one-of-a-kind mother”. The British born Collins wrote 32 novels, all of which have appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list. In total, her books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages. Eight of her novels have been adapted for the screen, either as films or television mini-series. Collins’s career spanned four decades and she sold more than 500 million books in 40 countries. She was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins. Collins was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer six-and-a-half years ago, according to US celebrity magazine People.

Collins was born in Hampstead, London in 1937, the younger daughter of Elsa Bessant and Joseph William Collins (died 198, a theatrical agent whose clients included Shirley Bassey, the Beatles and Tom Jones. Jackie Collins began writing as a teenager, making up racy stories for her schoolfriends, according to a biography on her website. Her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men, was published in 1968 and became a scandalous bestseller. It was banned in Australia and branded “disgusting” by romance writer Barbara Cartland. Like her sister, Collins began appearing in acting roles in a series of British B movies in the 1950s. She also made appearances in the 1960s ITC television series Danger Man and The Saint before giving up an acting career. Since then, she played herself in a few television series, including Minder in 1980. My favourite book of hers is Rock Star from 1988.

She had kept her illness a secret from everyone except her closest family members. Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer six-and-a-half years ago, Jackie, 77, chose to keep her illness almost entirely to herself, confiding primarily in her three daughters, Tracy, 54, Tiffany, 48, and Rory, 46. Jackie didn’t even tell Joan until within the last two weeks. Collins married her first husband, Wallace Austin, in 1960 and divorced in 1964. They had one child, Tracy, born in 1961. In 1965, Collins married for the second time to art gallery and nightclub (Ad-Lib, Tramp) owner, Oscar Lerman. The wedding took place in the home of her sister Joan and Anthony Newley, who were married at the time. Collins and Lerman had two daughters, Tiffany (born 1967) and Rory (born 1969). Lerman also formally adopted Collins’ daughter, Tracy, from her previous marriage. Lerman died in 1992 from prostate cancer. In 1994, Collins became engaged to Los Angeles business executive Frank Calcagnini, who died in 1998 from a brain tumour. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, Collins was listed as the UK’s fifth richest author with an estimated personal fortune of £60 million ($96 million).

Jacqueline Jill “Jackie” Collins OBE (October 4, 1937 – September 19, 2015)