Back Working At The Office After 8 Months

So, yesterday I went to the office to work after a very long, long time. The last time I had worked at the office was back in the end of September. After that mainly due to health reasons, I have stayed back at home and worked from here. I’m very comfortable here at home working and now it is a big pain to go to the office but I had to go as there needed to be atleast one of us at the office while two batches of new employees were getting trained.

So yesterday I got up by 9 am and got ready by 11:45 am and then booked an Uber to take me to the office. I reached there by 12:30 pm and then went to sign in at the security desk, as I am designated as a Work from home employee. I then went to our tech section to get one of the laptops that is assigned to us temporarily for work purposes while at the office (we have desktops at home given by the company) and went to the large floor where the new employees were sitting. They had just come in and were setting up their logins and online modules. I went to where my batch were sitting and plugged in my laptop and we started the day.

At 2pm I went for a quick lunch of an omelette, ketchup & mayo sandwich and a bottled grape juice. I then went back to continue the rest of the training. We broke for a coffee break – I had the same grape juice – and I joined a new team member who I had not met till now and also met some colleagues who I hadn’t seen in ages. By 9:30 pm I logged off and sent the batches home and then met two colleagues who were coming in the 9:30 pm to 6:30 am shift and then quickly booked a cab to come home and have my dinner before watching some tv.

The Graveyard Shift Of The Vampire

Last week was a tough one. Due to a work requirement, I had to do a late night shift. 9:30 pm to 6:30 am. This was one of the worst shift timings that you can ever do. It was because I had to start and train a new batch of 15 new employees and we could only do it in this time slot. So the previous weekend I tried to ensure that I went to sleep late, watching tv shows till 3:30 am or 4:30 am and then sleeping in till noon. On Monday I woke up by 11 am but made sure that I got a couple of hours of sleep in the afternoon post lunch. I got up by 5 pm and then went about getting coffee and a snack and lazed around till 6:30 pm.

Then I shaved and showered and relaxed with a juice and waited for my dinner. By 9pm I was logged in and checking my email. The trainees started joining my Webex bridge slowly and then post introductions and expectation setting, I started the sessions. I gave them two breaks of 30 minutes each – one at 12:30 am and then other at 4am for coffee/tea and snacks. At 6:15 am I would make them fill the training survey and then send then for the day. I then got my breakfast – no coffee, which I had at 4:00 am – and then watched a bit of tv before falling asleep.

I would only wake up by 2 pm and then brush my teeth and then have lunch. I’d watch tv till 6 pm when I’d have coffee and then shave and shower. More coffee until dinner and then wait for the trainees to arrive. Repeat until Saturday morning. It was fun but tiring and now I am back at the more reasonable working hours of 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm for I guess the next 2 weeks.

I Would Like To Become A Fur Parent Once Again

If you could have any pet, what kind of animal would it be? Why?

If you have read a few of my blog posts by now you would know that I used to have a dog, a Golden Retriever named Shawny. She passed away in 2005 and was my best friend for 11 years and I still haven’t gotten over her passing. For the next 10 years or so I couldn’t think of getting another dog, though very quickly after her passing, I would take care of a puppy for a year. My sister and brother in law got a pup, a half black Labrador & Dalmatian mix but because of an issue they had at their apartment, they had to bring the pup to my parents home, where I & my parents lived.

I took care of the pup, who was named Shawny Junior or just Junior, for a year. 2006 I moved to this apartment and since then I haven’t kept a dog. Ok, now my sister & her family have a pug named Barfi but I don’t see him that often. In recent years I have wished that I could keep a dog again, which for over 10 years I thought was impossible. But as I grew older, I started missing the unconditional love that a dog can give you. Being there for a dog, taking care of her/him, loving them back and giving them a good home – it’s a great thing and one of the best parts of life.

So yes I would love to get another dog, a Golden Retriever. And because I have had two great dogs who were female, I’d like another sweet female dog. Gentle, loving, graceful and fun to be around at the same time. I guess someday I will get another dog, that is if I ever do leave this smallish apartment. This isn’t a place to raise a dog of the size of a Golden.

Prompt from 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Student Blogging at WhoosReading.org

A Blogger’s Dreams

Write about blogging full-time. If you aren’t already a full-time blogger, is it something you’d ever aspire to do?

That is the dream. To make a lot of money off my writing and my blog and to quit my job as a result of that.  I do not have the luxury of making a proper living off the earnings that I make on this blog. In fact that has almost dried up to just a trickle. So much so that now I think it’s always gonna be this way. I was getting a lot of money at one point. From the end of 2018 till late 2020, I was getting quite a nice chunk of money for sponsored posts.

That money gave me the freedom to spend some money on myself. I bought two mobile phones, the ones that I use now, my current laptop, my computer chair, a lot of dvds and some Funko pops and even let me take a couple of 3 to 4 day holidays without having to dip into my salary money. That was an awesome feeling. But it hasn’t lasted and now I am lucky if I can make Rs.6000 a month from my blog. But the dream is still there that I can just make a bunch of money every month off my blog.

So I hope that does happen and I can live in ease and have all my needs & my family’s needs plus a lot of luxuries met just because I maintain a blog and write on a daily basis. Someday!

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

Outline Your Writing Process

Outline your writing process. What steps do you follow when writing a blog post?

Ok. I don’t really have a schedule for releasing or publishing blog posts. on most days, I try to post one post in the hours before lunch (which is 1:30 pm for me) usually between 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. I usually will thought of a topic by the end of breakfast and will start to check on sources by then. So the one hour slot of 11:30 am to 12:30 pm is great for me to publish that first post. A second post is usually done around dinner time or slightly after dinner. But on weekends and days off it can vary. Usually I just spend about 90 minutes or close to 2 hours a day looking at what topics I want to write about and maybe an image or 2 to go along with it.

I do not really keep a planner and I honestly do not recommend keeping one yourself. Unless you are planning to write about certain topics that you get paid to do – in that case by all means, do keep a planner with notes or bulletpoints jotted down on a small notepad/scribblepad or even on Word/Notepad on your own pc/laptop. What I usually do is, if I get a few ideas about the topics that I want to blog about, I create them on WordPress and save them as drafts because I know that I will come back to them later. This way I don’t forget said topics and also I have my set of blog posts all mapped out for the next couple of days.

When you want to blog but you are unable to come up with a topic – is to use blog prompts. Simple as that! Just go to Google and search for blog prompts. If you want specific topic prompts then search for “blog prompts for (insert the topic here)”. What I have been doing is to search for “blog prompts for (insert the month we are in at the moment)” to get some specific topics for the month. There are several website and bloggers who share a bunch of prompts on a monthly basis and hence it is easy for us to find a topic to inspire us. If you do select one of them, please do link back to the blogger or website in return.

Prompt from 61 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR ANY NICHE | WRITING PROMPTS FOR BLOGGERS

Must Have Kitchen Gadgets That I Am Looking At

Create a must-have list (ex. kitchen gadgets, makeup, travel items, etc.).

There are two kitchen gadgets that I am really wanting to buy now. My main problem is that we have so little counter space to play with and getting both is a hassle if not expensive. I still want to get them both though and will make some adjustments in the kitchen so we can get it done.

What are the two items, you ask? Well the first is a toaster. I’d ideally like a 4 slice toaster, like the one pictured above (though of a much cheaper price made for India). I’d like one made of high-quality stainless steel that offers an extended durability, easy to clean and maintain and toasts well. As an alternate option to a toaster, and possibly a better choice, might be a sandwich maker. We used to have one when I was much, much younger a simple one that made just one at a time. We used to make egg sandwiches for breakfast or even dinner, mainly for my sister and I.

That is one – the other one that I want is a coffee maker. There are so many coffee brands that have sprung up in India over the last few years and I have yet to try any of them. I do have some coffee that I got delivered from one of the brands that makes bottles cold coffee in various flavours but I want to be able to brew some at home. I am such a coffee lover & addict that I should be able to do that.

Prompt from 30 Blog Post Ideas for June at A Grande Life

My Favourite Part Of The Work @ Home Routine

What’s your favorite part of your work-from-home routine?

My favourite parts (I can’t pick just one) of work from home, is that I can work in my jammies. Or more correctly, it’s the South Indian version called a lungi. Lungis are so comfortable to wear and especially in a state like ours with it’s hot & humid months, it’s so much a relief.

The other is the money I save on cafeteria food and travel to and fro the office, which used to take a sizeable chunk of my salary. Instead I eat more decently cooked food made at home or ordering in nicer food from reliable restaurants. Also, I tend to eat a lot more veggies, fruits and juice at home than if I am at the office, as they have easy access to Coke, Pepsi, 7Up etc and that’s what I tend to drink a lot.

Next is the time I save not having to travel to an office. I start my work a few minutes before my shift starts and as soon as I am done and shut down the work system, I can do whatever I wish to do. That includes going straight to sleep, watch sports / tv shows / movies or listen to music.

Prompt from 30 PROMPTS TO HELP YOU WRITE CAPTIONS IN JUNE at A Fabulous Fete

3 Things I Can’t Live Without During The Summer

Name 3 things you can’t live without during the summer.

1. Air-conditioning : yeah dude, it gets so fucking hot & humid over here that I sweat bucket loads during the summer days. And although I hate the fact that I get a giant bill at the end of every 2 months, I can’t do without an AC to keep me cool and cozy in my bedroom.

2. Cold drinks : and in keeping with the cool theme, to cool me down I also need some cold drinks. I usually do buy some cool drinks throughout the year but during the summer it goes up a lot. I’m mostly drinking fruit juices now, mainly apple and orange and will also give Appy fizz a go. Also I don’t drink more than 1 or 2 frappes in a month so when I do get them, they are a treat.

3. Cold showers: very important. Shave regularly and get a hair cut as well and then get as many cold showers as possible.

Prompt from Daily Journaling Prompts for June 2021 at KraftPlanner.com

Lost Rings That Can Never Be Found

2022-06-08_07-23-25I have written about it in the past but I used to be known for having a few rings on my fingers. The pics that you see on the left here is from a few years ago but I’ve had those rings for much longer than that. The ring on the left and the one in the middle – I bought them from a streetside vendor in Calicut for 10 bucks each. It was a hot day at the beach and this poor older man was walking around selling his wares and I thought I’d buy a couple off him as it was just Rs.10 for one.

That was back in 2003. The one on the right was bought it 2005 in Cochin. Again from a streetside vendor for Rs.15. Yes, it is more expensive (sarcasm). And I wore them every time I stepped out of the home. I wore those rings everywhere and it was a conversation starter at work, while with friends and family. Everyone wanted to know if they were precious stones and or expensive – hahahahaha. Yeah, right! But yeah I had them for a long time. In 2018 I lost the one in the middle when I was in the office bathroom and while flushing, it slipped outta my finger and fell into the toilet and was lost forever.

I had bought another one and that as well as the other two, I lost somewhere in the office in late 2019. I used to take them off when I type as once I start typing for a while, it started to feel heavy on my fingers. But I would take them and put them back on whenever I had to leave my desk – for meetings, sessions, coffee or dinner and definitely when I went back home, But one time, I think it was on a Friday, I forgot them and they got lost. I haven’t bought any new ones to replace the ones I had till now.

There’s Always More Room For Creativity

How do you express your creativity?

Well, one of the best ways I do that or anyone can do that is to blog. Maintaining a journal of any sort and writing about a lot of things is a great way to get out your creative side. At times I have used prompts to get some creative writing outta my brain – kinda like fictional stories confined within a single posts. And writing is a great way to get that brain cells working.

The other way is my labour of love, my channel on Youtube where I do reviews of movies & tv shows. I know, I know – I do not have subscribers. Infact I have a little less than 500. I don’t care, I want to stretch my limits of expressing myself through what the movies and tv series gives me. I want to get my points across about what I got from the movies that I love and the tv shows that I adore.

Having said that my greatest creativity remains in my brain – I have created this whole futuristic universe that you can read about in some of my blogs. I wish I could be more disciplined to write it down as clearly as I possibly could. But it is more fun to imagine that life and the sights & sounds you get to hear in it. I wish I could bring that life to reality for you and me.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE from TheSitsGirls

I’m Blue Da Ba Dee Da Ba Di

What colors do you love to bring into your home or wardrobe for summer?

I usually go for blue. Light, medium, navy, dark – all shades of blue. I know that those are not the only shades. There’s also cyan, turquoise, aqua, midnight blue, sky blue, royal blue, and aquamarine. Way too many for me to remember. I think I usually like darker shades of blue for shirts and dark and light shades for jeans.

I dunno why I like blue so much. Or that when I look for shirts and check the ones that fit and suit me it turns out to be 80% of the time it will be predominantly blue. Plain, stripes or checks. I usually like check patterned shirts. People have asked me why I always get blue shirts – I honestly do not know. I do not consciously go and select blue but when I check out some shirts, I always end up selecting and liking the designs and feel of the blue shirts 80% of the time.

Since 2011 I haven’t worn any jeans. I only wear pants and I only like black coloured pants that I usually get stitched since I am overweight.

Prompt from 30 PROMPTS TO HELP YOU WRITE CAPTIONS IN JUNE at A Fabulous Fete

What 5 Possessions Would You Want To Keep

If you had to give up all your possessions, what 5 things would you keep?

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That is difficult to narrow it down to just 5 but off the top off my head I’d say:

  • My laptop computer
  • My phone & charger
  • My tv
  • My collection of dvds (movies & tv shows)
  • My collection of Star Trek spaceships & Funko Pops

Prompt from Daily Journaling Prompts for June 2021 at KraftPlanner.com

If We Could Explore The Universe

If you were on a spaceship, what would you be most excited about seeing?

I’m getting visions of traveling the universe on a spaceship with my late dog Shawny. Well I do hope I go and see a lot of comets and asteroids and chase after some of them. I want to see many, many beautiful planets and even land on them to see what they look like. For some reasons I am also getting Tintin comics vibes with this question – remember in the comics when Tintin, Haddock & Snowy were the first people and dog to walk on the moon. Ofcourse they were joined soon by Cuthber Calculus, Thompson & Thomson a little later.

I would love to see the era of humans traveling among the stars and well, making it easy for anyone and everyone to do so. You want to travel, you contact the organization that runs the space travel, book your room or suite for you and whoever else is in your party (wife, kids, dogs, cats, parents etc) and then board the spaceship at the said time and relax in your quarters until it is time for your to explore and have fun. In the meantime, enjoy the food and drinks, the various activities (you know like on on a cruise ship) and relax.

I know it sounds so fantastic but at one point in history, traveling on a cruise ship would have something in a dream. Now it is a reality and has been for so long that no one seems to be awed by the prospect of a month long cruise or even longer. Some day that will be us in outer space.

Prompt from Lalilo June ’21 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lalilo.com

What If Social Media Died Tomorrow?

If social media died tomorrow, describe a hobby you might get into.

Ha, well I am old enough to remember a time without the internet being as easily accessible as it is now. But like a lot of people my age or older or younger, I am on social media a lot of the time. But since I know of a different time, I would have a lot of free time on my hands. Wait….is Youtube considered Social Media? Oh then even more free time.

I guess I would read a lot more books. More novels for sure. I’d also play and listen to a lot more music. Kinda like what I did before I got internet at home (2006) and social media. I think pre-2006, on a day spent solely at home, I would average between listening to 3 to 5 albums on my cd player. Or cassettes when I only had cassettes. But yeah I would play a lot more music; I used to play an album from beginning to end whereas I now only play songs.

I would also watch a lot more movies and tv shows. Rewatching all that I want to rewatch as well. I guess that’s all that I would do. Oh, and I would watch a lot more live football matches whenever they are playing.

Prompt from 30 June Writing Prompts at Mamakatslosinit.com

List 7 Things You’d Rather Be Doing This Summer

1. I’d rather be on vacation just like we used to have when we were in school and colleges. In India it is very difficult to have a fixed vacation time once you start working. I have never had that luxury yet.

2. I would rather be visiting a nice hill station or a cold climate resort like in the Alps of Switzerland or perhaps in Canada. Just to cool things around.

3. I would rather be attending rock concerts and festivals across Europe, South and North America. Horns up and show us what you’ve got.

4. I’d rather be on an luxury cruise, sailing the seas and relaxing as the breeze hits me when I am outside on the deck. Inside of my luxury suite, I will relax and sleep in and enjoy some scrumptious food while sipping on some amazing cocktails.

5. Go on wine tasting tour and stay in the Napa Valley. Find a nice cottage to stay in while I do the wine tasting and enjoying good food.

6. I’d like to experience the coast to coast train journey in Canada while enjoying a nice accommodation like on the Gold Leaf Rocky Mountaineer trip. Or in Europe especially Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands etc.

7. I’d rather be staying in a resort place next to the ocean and sipping on various delicious cocktails while eating the best seafood that the oceans/seas can provide and that mankind can cook up.

Prompt from 30 June Writing Prompts at Mamakatslosinit.com

Memories Of June Months Gone By

The first week of June always brings about the start of the school year. From the ages of 11 to 15 I studied in a school called Hill Valley High School, grades 6th to 10th. It was a quick walk away from my home and so I didn’t used the school bus or the van that they used for picking up kids who lived more close by. But since I had a couple of friends who also lived near my house, we would meet up at one common point and then walk together to our school, go up the small hilly road and then walk down the mud and stone ridden path to the valley below where our school was built.

Now the problem with this is that the beginning of June also coincides with the start of the monsoon season in our state. Unlike this year where the 1st & the 2nd of June (yesterday & today) has seen sunshine and humidity, the rains are usually in full force in previous years. So usually you see kids huddling under umbrellas and just hoping to make it into the school bus before getting drenched with rain water. Umbrella sales also go up during time as do raincoats. And ofcourse, kids and people do catch colds during this time.

One of my biggest memories of the start of the monsoon season and June is probably when I was in the 8th grade. The first day of school, June 1st was a Tuesday and we were all geared up for going back to school, seeing our friends and the new grade. But the rains gods had other plans and it was pouring down rain from Sunday. And I mean, cats and dogs, someone call Noah, that kind of rain. Now since I walked to school, I took my umbrella and walked under it and braved the winds as I made my way to the school. On the way up, I saw a friend & classmate of mine walking with his younger brother who was in the 6th grade. We walked up and then down to the valley only to be told by the caretaker/security guy that the school would be closed for 2 days. The rains were so heavy that the school got flooded and that it would take a day or two to clean it up.

So the three of us walked back to the main road, having got wet for no reason. As the buses did not go and pick the rest of the kids, they got to know that the school was off for a couple of day. Remember this was back in 1989 and we had no Whatsapp or email to share this info. But yeah, summer vacay got extended for a couple of days for us.

A LOOK BACK AT THE MONTH THAT WAS : MAY 2022

  • I’ve been buying a lot of red apples, bananas & grapes every weekend so I can enjoy eating them and I have added a dragon fruit a week.
  • I’ve made it a habit of buying a large coffee/frappe from Starbucks/Costa Coffee once or twice a month but no more than that.
  • Check the post from yesterday – I’ve also had the best burger ever or perhaps one of two that I have rated a 10/10. Just amazing!
  • I am currently enjoying watching the new show Star Trek : Strange New Words which, at the time of typing this up, had aired 4 episodes in May. So exciting and way better than either Discovery or Star Trek : Picard.
  • I’ve been working in the day shift, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm for most of the month. By this Friday it would be 4 straight weeks. I am most tired in the mornings and fall asleep by 11 to 11:30 pm on most nights. Except for Saturday nights as I can stay awake and try to do.
  • Since my last doctor’s visit I have had cramps just once, two nights ago but it wasn’t a major one. Still I am disappointed that my issues aren’t gone though I think the medicine has helped. I had a bad cold that day and a runny nose which has led me to get more dehydrated.
  • I haven’t been able to watch as many shows or movies as I normally do and that’s mainly because I am falling asleep early and feel quite tired most of the nights. I should move back to a 4:30 pm to 1:30 am shift starting next Monday.

When You Look For Solitude, Look No Further

Where do you go when you need solitude?

Home. No where else will come as close to being the place that I would love to be in solitude in other than my bedroom. And yes my apartment. It’s because it’s a familiar place with a bed I know that I can fall asleep on very easily. It’s cozy enough for me. I have all my things available here and so why wouldn’t I be comfortable. I have my laptop & tv, my movies & my tv shows and my music to keep me company.

And food! Ofcourse I can order in but I have coffee in my kitchen and I can make a large cup of strong black coffee anytime I want. I can store my snacks. I can also get a large pizza and eat it in bed while I watch a comedy movie or Star Trek. Yes, the apartment and especially my bedroom sounds like a really good place to get some solitude.

However I am now getting an itch to get away for a few days. I feel like going away to spend a few days and nights in a hotel room and not have a care in the world. Get a few beers and room service delivered so I can chill, read a book or two and sleep for long hours in a comfortable bed. That can be solitude as well.

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