Hair Mess

I really need a haircut. I – as I have mentioned here many times before – am balding. Forehead has receded to dangerous levels. You could create a football pitch on my forehead – that’s how much it has receded! And I had a big ole bald spot on the back of my head. It’s a landing pad for a flying saucer. I call it the no front office and no godown hairstyle.

I have chosen to grown up hair a bunch between haircuts. But now it is too long and worse too thick in the back and curling at times, into my ears. I need to get this mess of a map chopped up and back in control. It is a terrible situation at the moment. But atleast there is lots of hair on my head that way.

Yet, it is a mess and cut I must. It’s been a few months now without me getting a haircut. I have to go get it done soon.

Pineapple On Pizza Is “Yum”

I don’t understand what’s wrong with people in general – who the fuck are you to tell others what to eat and what not to eat? If you don’t happen to like a certain dish, ingredient or type of food then don’t eat it. But creating a lot of hype over hating it and making others not want to eat them or mocking the dish and people who opt to eat it is just like a douchebag.

For example the whole Hawaiian pizza debacle. Ok – you don’t like pineapple pieces on your pizza. Great! Don’t eat it. Do not order it when you go to a pizzeria or any restaurant that has pizzas on their menu. But leave alone the dish and people who like and love the taste of something sweet to offset the saltiness of the rest of the pizza.

I have not had the real Hawaiian pizza – meaning ham and pineapple and cheese on pizza sauce – more than once. The other times I have had the chicken version. Grilled chicken or bbq chicken with pineapple and cheese on a pizza. Sometimes peppers and jalapenos as well. It is delicious. Now I will admit that I prefer smaller chunks to avoid the pizza getting too soggy as you don’t want that. Also it helps not to have pineapple juice drooling down your chin as you chomp into the pizza.

So smaller pieces, tiny quarter bite sizes even is fine. A bit of sweet along with the savoury. Yum!

Summer After High School

What did you do the summer after high school?

So for me the summer after high school was 1992 after my 10th grade after which I went for my 11th & 12th in a college as part of a pre-degree course.

I wanted to stay in at home or go out with my cousins. But I started missing my buddies really badly in a few days. I joined a 2 month basic computer course in DataPro. I was restless and needed something to keep me occupied and make new friends as well. Besides it was only a couple of hours a day, 4 days a week. So this 2 month course at DataPro seemed like a good option and I had fun there. I got fascinated by computers as well and during my lab hours I would try to make colourful images on MsPaint. Remember that this was back in the Windows 3.x years.

I remember these two very gorgeous girls who were in my classes at Datapro. Their names were Zeena and Geena D’Couto and they were fraternal twins. And my eye was on Zeena but Geena was hot too. I spent much time with them and in the afternoons I would go to the record store nearby and go through the various album releases and check out some of the music at the store. Ofcourse I also went to various places visiting relatives. Those were good times.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE at The SitsGirls

Arsenal Sign Lichtsteiner On Free Transfer

Arsenal have announced the signing of former Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Switzerland international is currently a free agent, but the deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes. The 34-year-old was out of contract at the Serie A champions and joins the Gunners ahead of captaining Switzerland at the World Cup.

In a statement on his official Twitter page, Lichtsteiner said: “Happy and honoured to be a Gunner! “Will work hard and passionately day in and day out to achieve our sporting objectives and to win trophies with this great club.” He becomes the first signing since Unai Emery’s appointment as head coach and will wear the number 12 shirt. Emery said: “Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad. He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”

Lichtsteiner has made over 250 appearances for Juventus and is the fourth-most capped player in Switzerland history with 99 appearances for his country. He has won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and three Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011. He is closing in on a century of caps for Switzerland, appearing at two European Championships and two World Cups. The Switzerland international arrived at the Gunners’ London Colney training base today, and becomes the first signing of the Unai Emery era. Lichtsteiner, who will wear the number 12 shirt at the Emirates.

April’s Ernie Ball Music Man #BFR Series

April’s Ball Family Reserve Collection is here! The Ernie Ball Music Man #BFR series is a celebration of their heritage in instrument craftsmanship. Offered in limited production runs to the public that were previously reserved for family and our loyal artists. This month features the Axis Super Sport in Buckeye Burl, the Majesty in Sahara Burst, and the Valentine in 3-tone Sunburst.

Lots Of Rumours But No Signings Yet

Arsenal are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Germany. The Greece international is set to become the first signing of Unai Emery’s reign, although it has been Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat who has played a key role in recruiting the 29-year-old. Sky Germany report that Sokratis arrived in London on Sunday evening and had a medical on Monday. Arsenal are due to pay €20 million (£17.5m) for the central defender, who would’ve been out of contract with Dortmund next summer.

Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted talks over a potential move to Arsenal are still ongoing with his deal at Juventus expiring this month. Sky Sports News understands Arsenal are in talks with right-back Lichtsteiner over a contract with the 34-year-old expected to become a free agent when he ends his seven-year spell with the Serie A champions. But reports a deal is done for the Swiss to join the Gunners has been dismissed by Lichtsteiner. Lichtsteiner is set to captain Switzerland at the World Cup and take his international caps to over 100. He has won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and three Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011.

Arsenal have launched a shock move to sign Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini on a free transfer after he rejected two contract offers to remain at Old Trafford. The thought of Fellaini signing for the Gunners would have seemed unthinkable under former manager Arsene Wenger, given his age and playing style, but times have changed and the new recruitment team at the Emirates Stadium see the appeal in adding him to the squad. Unai Emery wants to make Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi one of his first Arsenal signings this summer. The new Gunners boss has had to convince the club’s hierarchy to push ahead with a deal for the 29-year-old former Blackburn and Stoke star.

Arsenal showed some initial interest in the France international in January, but head of recruitment Sven Mislintat decided against taking it any further. However Emery, who signed N’Zonzi during his time in charge of Sevilla, is a huge admirer – and the player is also keen to link back up with his old boss. Mislintat is understood to be ready to sanction the deal after conversations with Emery about the player.

The Thing (1982)

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster, based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There? It tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous “Thing”, a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that assimilates and then imitates other organisms. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any one of them can be the Thing. The film stars Kurt Russell as the team’s helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady, and features A. Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas Waites in supporting roles.

Whenever there is a dog in a horror movie, I keep pleading to the screen “Kill all the people but save the poor pooch. Take the cat too but save Fido”. Not so much in this film! The feeling of claustrophobia, distrust, feeling that you can only trust yourself and no one else and the paranoia of not knowing which among you is the alien creature is heady. The setting, in a frozen tundra of Antarctica leads to the feeling of isolation and loneliness and the dread of knowing that you cannot find others to help you. The resolve of the humans to not let the creature reach civilization is also heroic.

To be honest, this cult movie isn’t without it’s dull moments and I am certainly not a fan of the acting. But I do admit that the practical effects is so much more preferred than anything CGI has been able to pull out till date. Even though we are so used to so much more in terms of special effects in the 36 years that have passed since the movie was released, the disgusting creature and the tentacles and slimey stuff do make an impression – even if they didn’t do faces as well as they do nowadays. Still it is a very good scifi horror and I understand why it’s retained a cult following. I might not be among those who find it to be among the very best in scifi horror but I do respect it.

I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Man In Bed

Thursday I was feeling much better but since I got an off day from work (for which I needed to work this Saturday) I took it easy and relaxed at home. Watched some tv and a movie and just chilled. I also like to watch performance clips from shows like AGT & BGT etc. So I watched a lot of those as well.

Friday I woke up by 6:30 and left home after breakfast at 8:45 am to go to work. I left the office at 7:45 pm and on my way home stopped at the corner store to buy a few things. Saturday I woke up by 7 am and rushed off to work by 8:50 am but since the traffic was light I reached there in 25 minutes. I conducted my training till 1pm when I let the batch go for lunch break and I too had my lunch with two others.

Then I proceeded to do other work as my batch joined a bunch of other new employees in some activities and programs catering to new hire employees for the rest of the day. By 6pm I was outta there and after contemplating going for a coffee and a sandwich or to McDonald’s or to get a pizza, instead I just reached home and had some black coffee and a snack and post a late dinner, I watched Men in Black II.

Coffee Choice

Coffee is that life giving liquid that changes us – well atleast once you turn 30 – from zombies to functional human beings ready to face the day and go to work or whatever in the morning once you have had a cup. In my case it’s also something I drink between 11 am to 12pm as I work late evening shifts that start at 6:30 pm and end at 3:30 am with me reaching home between 4am to 4:30 am. So I find it absolutely necessary to drink my share of coffee.

Here are the three brands of coffee that I usually drink. Out of these Bru is what I prefer to drink and this is the one we buy more often and Nescafe is the one I get when the other two are not available. Sunrise is ok and I pic that from time to time as an alternative but Bru is still the best option available for my and my family’s taste buds.

 

And yeah, we drink instant coffee since not many of us have coffee machines – I could buy one but the bags of coffee are more expensive, I think. So instant it is. Less of a hassle in making it as well.

Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed is a 2018 American erotic romantic drama film directed by James Foley and written by Niall Leonard, and based on the novel of the same name by E. L. James. It is the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades film series, following Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Fifty Shades Darker (2017). The film stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, and follows the couple as they marry, and must deal with Ana’s former boss (Eric Johnson), who begins to stalk them. It grossed $368 million worldwide, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2018, but, like its two predecessors, received negative reviews, with criticism aimed at its screenplay and performances.

The first film was better than the sequels and it also had that aura of eroticism and intrigue as it was heavily anticipated. Over the last two films, I think I have spent more time staring at the screen and partly looking at my smartphone – it’s boring. This film is also dumb! They got married and now it’s all the same. They fuck, Christian does something that upsets Ana, they argue and sulk and then they fuck. Repeat! Meanwhile Jack breaks into Grey’s offices and steals some data while causing a fire. Ana is introduced to her new personal security team. Christian surprises Ana with a new house and has hired an attractive architect, Gia Matteo, to rebuild it. Ana is annoyed when Gia openly flirts with Christian in Ana’s presence. Ana privately threatens to fire Gia if she continues her flirting, forcing her to stop. Seriously! That is a shit script!

Kate, who is dating Christian’s older brother, Elliot, confides that she suspects Elliot may be having an affair with Gia, who is also his business associate. When Ana returns home, she encounters Jack Hyde, who attempts to kidnap her. Ana’s security team subdue him and he is arrested. After an argument with Christian about her night out with Kate, Ana berates Christian for being overly controlling and possessive and demands more freedom. Soon after, Christian surprises Ana with a trip to Aspen, bringing along Kate, Elliot, Mia, and José. Elliott proposes to Kate, who accepts. It is revealed that Gia was only helping Elliott choose the ring. Things however get complicated when Ana finds out she is pregnant and let’s Christian know and he acts like the jackass asshole that he is!

He leaves, going on a night-long drunken bender. The next day, Ana discovers that Christian had texted and met his ex-lover and former BDSM dominant, Elena Lincoln. Jack Hyde, released on a $500,000 bond, phones Ana demanding a ransom for Mia, Christian’s abducted sister. Hyde demands $5,000,000 in cash in two hours or Mia will be killed. As she is told not to tell anyone, Ana goes to the bank and asks for the money, which the manager does after speaking to Christian. He thinks Ana is leaving him but then notices the coincidence of Hyde’s recent release, Mia’s unknown whereabouts, and Ana’s sudden large cash withdrawal. It turns out Jack is blackmailing Liz, a co-worker of Ana, into helping him.

Ana arrives at the drop-off site with the money. Hyde, psychotic and vengeful, attacks Ana, kicking her abdomen. Liz tries to stop Jack as Ana pulls out the revolver and shoots Hyde in the leg. Christian and his security team, who electronically tracked Ana’s cell phone, arrive and apprehend Hyde and Liz. Ana blacks out as she hears Christian’s voice. They both reconcile and are joined by the family.

Christian’s private investigator, Welch, has left a report showing that Christian and Hyde had shared the same foster family, though Christian has no memory of this. Hyde was vengeful over Christian being adopted by the wealthy Grey family instead of him. It is also learned that Hyde blackmailed Liz into being his accomplice. Christian and Ana also learn where Christian’s birth mother is buried. They visit her grave and Christian lays flowers on it. Two years later, Christian and Ana have a son named Theodore, and Ana is pregnant with their second child.

What a pile of garbage! This is what had women wetting their panties for in the novel. So boring and repetitive. 5 outta 10!

Musical Wishes

Do you play a musical instrument? If not, what musical instrument would you love to learn to play?

I wish I had stuck to lessons on how to play the guitar. I picked up the music bug, the rock music bug in particular when I was 10 and really started getting to bands and musicians when I was 11. At age 12 I asked my dad and mum if I could go and get some guitar lessons. My elder sister also wanted to learn how to play an instrument and she picked the keyboards and guitar, which she had already started to learn a couple of years ago.

So we had two acoustic guitars and enrolled in Kalabhavan, an institute known for teaching singing, some musical instruments like guitar, piano/keyboards and violin, and mimicry (which was a big thing in Kerala until very recently) among other things. So 3 days a week my sister and I would go to Kalabhavan and joining us were two of my sister’s friends. I would sit with the guy and we would try and learn guitar as well as we could. The tutor was a tyrant and rude and obnoxious and we couldn’t wait to get out of there after the hour was up.

I therefore quit wanting to learn as I hated the guy who taught us. A bad teacher can sour things up for you, even your passion. I wish I had stuck through with it or gone elsewhere. But that’s what happened.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR MAY at The SitsGirls

Fever Is In The Air

This is the life, I guess. But then it’s not all that good. I’m talking about working a general work shift of 9:30 am to 6:30 pm and reaching home by 7:30 pm.

However, not everything is going good. Viral fever and chicken pox season is upon us. We already have a few folks down with chicken pox and several more people having caught viral fever. Including two from my team. Both down for a few days. So I had to go in for the day shift for one of them and now I am feeling down. My joints ached so badly starting around 11 am, just like it is before the onset of a fever.

I struggled throughout the day and I was glad when it was 6:20 pm and I could tell the new joinees to sign out and go home for the day after they filled a form which would take them about 10 minutes. By 6:45 pm I was outta there and on m way home. I feel better now but will take it easy and go to bed early.

Quick Day At Work

I am back home, quicker than a jiffy. Left at 5:30 pm for my 6:30 pm shift and reached home by 10:30 pm. So why did I leave so quickly from work instead of staying around till my 3:30 am end of shift? Well, one of my colleagues who is conducting a new hire training for some new recruits in the morning shift is out with a high fever and hence I have to fill in for her. She is running a fever of a 102!

So that means, after some work and a couple of reports, I went down to have dinner with some other colleagues and then sent out some mails. By then I was checking the time as I wanted to leave the office by 10pm. I did and I was lucky enough to get a cab in 5 minutes and reached home in just 25 minutes or so.

Getting to sleep will be a problem – I am used to the 3:30 am shift and so have had no time to adjust. As will getting up in the morning. Damn! I am not a morning person and this quick and sudden change in shift is gonna be killing me.

Transfer Rumours Continue

RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg could become Arsenal’s first signing since the appointment of Unai Emery as manager. Valued at £47m, the Swedish “anti-Zlatan” has also got antennae twitching at Atlético Madrid and Juventus. Freiburg’s Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu has revealed that Arsenal are after him too and has said he’ll hold talks with the club in the coming weeks. Soyoncu will cost around £35m, while the Gunners also have Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner lined up in their cross-hairs. The Swiss international is available on a free transfer from 1 July and Arsenal are reported to have a deal in place to sign him.

Arsenal expect to make Borussia Dortmund star Sokratis Papastathopoulos their first signing of the summer. The Daily Mail claim a deal looks set to be done for around £15m. It is said the Gunners have also held talks with Freiburg over Caglar Soyuncu but his £30m price tag has put the north Londoners off. West Brom’s Jonny Evans is another option that Arsenal are looking into. Arsenal will face stiff competition for Nice star and top target Jean Michael Seri. A host of Premier League clubs have been linked with the French midfielder recently. And now The Sun claim Napoli and Borussia Dortmund have entered the fray. Seri – who has a tantalising £35m release clause – still reportedly fancies a move to Arsenal though.

Former Gunner Martin Keown insists Unai Emery must first focus on improving Arsenal’s defence – either in the transfer market or on the training ground. Keown told the Daily Mail: “He has to assess whether Arsenal’s central defenders are good enough for him. “Laurent Koscielny is out for six months, Per Mertesacker has retired, Shkodran Mustafi has had a difficult season and he also has two young defenders in Rob Holding and Calum Chambers. “There will have to be a different message with more emphasis on defence than attack.

Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country is a Netflix documentary series about the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho Rajneesh), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in the Rajneeshpuram community located in Wasco County, Oregon. It was released on Netflix on March 16, 2018, after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

I knew some things about Osho but apparently that was just the more recent stuff. I knew he was a controversial figure and guru but didn’t know much else. I knew he talked about sex and sexuality and that most religious people in India were not too comfortable with it. But I did not know anything about this scandal. When I saw the trailer/ad for this Netflix documentary series on Facebook, I knew I wanted to check it out. It is fascinating and makes for a compelling semi-binge if you will. It’s just 8 episodes long but each episode is over 60 minutes long. The Rajneesh movement that began in earnest in India, was hounded out off India because of their controversial practices and tension between the ruling Janata Party government of Morarji Desai and the movement led to a curbing of the ashram’s development.

With a lot of his followers being mostly white foreigners (I can remember seeing only less than 10 Indians in the whole documentary) the community decided to move abroad. In 1981, efforts refocused on activities in the United States and Rajneesh relocated to a facility known as Rajneeshpuram in Wasco County, Oregon. Rajneesh’s personal secretary, the megalomaniacal Ma Anand Sheela, orchestrated the commune’s construction. They called their new home Rajneeshpuram, and its 64,000 acres were quickly occupied by thousands of sannyasins seeking proximity to their leader and a life of meditative bliss. However things began to take a turn for the worse when the Rajneeshs clashed with the conservative Christian community of Antelope, population of just 70.

Directed by brothers Chapman Way and Maclain Way,details Rajneeshpuram’s downward spiral; the scandals that plague the community include immigration fraud, biochemical attacks, arson, assassination attempts, the recruitment of homeless individuals to sway an election and the drugging of those same folks after their presence threatens the commune’s peace.  There are extensive interviews with key former members of Rajneeshpuram, including Sheela herself. Finally – what seems to me atleast – it all came down to a rage of jealousy; Sheela was pushed away from her influence as Rajneesh’s succumbed to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as among his more rich and affluent followers were Ma Prem Hasya (a.k.a. Francoise Ruddy) – the ex-spouse of Godfather producer Albert S. Ruddy who eventually supplanted Sheela as Bhagwan’s secretary and fled with him to India following his 1985 conviction – who along with the others showered Rajneesh with expensive gifts.

Rajneesh himself said so in an interview after Sheela left. It certainly comes off that way. I can still not understand or believe that so many people just showered their love, devotion, money and Rolls Royces his way. What the heck? But then I never really understood religions or cults – both are the same, one just has a lot more followers, power and influence in politics – but still found it compelling. A 9.5 outta 10!