How I Would Celebrate Valentine’s Day If I Did Celebrate It

What type of Valentine’s Day celebrator are you – do you go all out or do you do hardly anything at all? Describe your typical Valentine’s Day.

Well I do not have anyone in my life to give a Valentine’s gift to. I am not remotely even with a chance of finding one and unless some miracle happens, I will end up being all alone. That does not mean I haven’t been in love before or want to be in a loving relationship now or sometime in the future. That also means that not just am I lonely and yearn for companionship and love, but I am envious and jealous of those who have their special someone in their lives with them and get to celebrate that love.

So yeah I hardly do anything at all but grumble internally and wonder “what if” and dream of having a loving woman who’s just aching to put her arms around me and wish me on this day. Wondering how my life would have turned out if things had been different, if I had made a few different decisions or been born at a different time. Or in a different place. Or lived in a different place. Fell in love with a different girl. I dunno, all these questions formulate in my mind and if wishful thinking were a championship, I’d surely win first place.

But if I did have a wife or a steady girlfriend, I would like to spoil her on Valentine’s day every year. Roses (or some kind of flowers), chocolates, some gift or the other. Maybe a little pendant / locket, like the one  on a chain like the one as a present from me. Then dinner – either catered at home or out at a nice hotel – and dessert. After that we will retire to the bedroom for….well you know!

Prompt from FEBRUARY BLOG PROMPTS {12 MONTHS OF WRITING IDEAS} at Food Fun Family

My Happy Place That I Created Up In My Mind

Close you eyes and imagine feeling warm and cozy. Now write about it: where are you? What is around you? What do you have with you? Who is with you or are you alone?

Since I dream of this expansive futuristic & heavily advanced science fiction world and life, mine is gonna be like that. Picture this : snow capped mountains and a valley with snow but the air is crisp, clean and exhilarating. Its in the evening and the moons – yes this is an alien planet – are out in full force, giving us tons of light. I’m in a spaceship, the size of a large, large mansion having just landed there. Outside it does look like a spaceship but the inside is what looks like a very luxurious but cozy and inviting home.

I want the luxurious & futuristic amenities inside the ship -large bedrooms with king sized beds and attached bathrooms, food & drink dispensers, separate clothing replicators. Proper kitchen, for when we want to try some cooking, a nice living room with big sofas, lush carpet and yes that big ole fireplace (without the need for actual wood, it’s more of an electronic fire that synthesizes the warmth of fire. Some entertainment stuff like a pool table, darts and a big game room etc.

Within the confines of the spaceship/home’s forcefield, we can enjoy the view of the mountains and the night sky. There are trees nearby and some alien birds and animals making the noises of the children of the night. None are scary or threatening in any way. It is now evening time and time to set the table for dinner and then it’s family time in the living room, burning logs on the fake fire place keeping the rooms cozy and warm. My wife is rounding up our 2 daughters and 1 son to go and wash up for dinner as the kids were playing games in one of the game rooms. I’m walking to the dinning area with Shawny my Golden retriever, right next to me.

My 2 cats – Chocolate & Lollipop are fast asleep on large cushions on one of the sofas and Junior my black lab/Dalmatian female dog is half asleep but being petted by my son and loving it. Despite the wind and cold breeze outside we are all feeling warm and safe inside. While I sets up two glass of wine for me and the wife, she gets the plates ready with food for the kids – meat and grilled veggies. I then get my oldest child to replicate some gourmet cat food in two large bowls for the cats. My younger daughter and son replicate two large bowls of dog chow for Shawny and Junior and they place all 4 bowls on the area set for the pets, who then come to enjoy their grub.

I have some big old pork chops with grilled veggies for me and my wife while we sip our wine and the family settles down for a nice meal and conversation. Dinner all done, the pets with their bellies full are back on the beds next to the fireplace while my wife and I cuddle on the couch. The kids arrive with some popcorn and cozy under blanket on the large sofa before we pick a movie to watch. This is heaven!

Prompt from DAILY JOURNALING PROMPTS – FEBRUARY 2022 at Krafty Planner

That Missing Feeling Of Contentment

What do you need to be content?

I know for sure that I will never be content with anything in life. That’s because this existence is good but it’s not what I want it to be. I am a lonely bachelor just 3.5 years away from being 50 and I have nothing to really look forward to. I’m not married and neither do I have a girlfriend and no kids. My parents and I live together and as taxing and at times depressing as it can be, they won’t live for much longer and then I will be all alone. Granted I have my sister and her family but they have their own lives.

I want to live forever in a futuristic Utopia – see the post below – where such advanced technology makes life so easy for us. I want to be stuck at a particular age – something between 32 to 38 – and have all my family members living and in pristine health. And we do not have any sort of a currency and hence do not have to work for money and therefore do not have to depend on money for buying things that we need like food, drinks, etc as we get to have it done without the need of money. And yeah replicators are real and they make everything you need without a need for money – food, liquids to drink, alcohol, clothes, gadgets and devices, things you need for the home, etc.

I want a family of my own or atleast just a wife. I want to explore the universe so I want to be part of a force that sends out teams to travel the planets and star systems and interact with the alien races, help them or fight them off if they are bad guys. Or travel with my family in a large spaceship just for holidays and stuff. It all seems so awesome in my head and in my thoughts and dreams. If only it could be true.

Prompt from February Journal Prompts + printable at Life Of Lovely

The Most Wonderful Day I Can Remember

If you could live one day over again, what day would it be?

That is a hard one. While I have had several really good or awesome days in my life I can’t really pinpoint one single perfect day that I could live over again. Unless it is to change something. If it is just to relive that day over again, I am not sure.

One of the days I would want to live over again would be roughly around October 15th (or maybe 16th) 1994. That was the day I went with my cousin to go select a puppy that this breeder family had from their female dog. I knew I wanted either a Golden Retriever or a Labrador. These were the two breed that I kinda had selected. I had seen the ads in the papers about the liter of goldens that were for sale by this family that were know for being really good breeders. They had two left and I selected the girl pup as she was more playful.

I would like to have that experience again. Fall in love with a being, a sweet and innocent pup, who stole my heart at first meeting. Bringing her home was one of the most wonderful days I have ever had. 

Prompt from Lalilo February ’22 Writing Prompt Calendar at Lalilo

Workplace or Personal Relations Advice

Look, I will make it very simple for you. You are allowed to make and have friends at the workplace. My two best friends since the age of 26 (which is 20 years now) are two guys that I met at work back in 2003. And two other ladies who I met during work are also some of my closest friends and I know that these 4 are amongst my biggest well wishers. Lastly while I had a team they were also more like family than just friendly colleagues. But….I drew the line since then.

For one they are most friendly colleagues as opposed to colleagues who you are friends with. If your offices are smaller (in terms of numbers) I think it is inevitable that you will make friends and become close. But when you work in a bigger office and as you grow older (for me it was my mid-30s) I think it is better to keep some distance in your personal and professional life. I do not think it’s a good idea to discuss personal matters too much or indulge in political and religious discussions. These are the two biggest no-nos and you never know when it will cause a clash. So I avoid it at all costs unless I know it’s a like minded person.

But it is a choice you have to make. Things you say and agree upon can come back to bite you in the ass a lot later. I prefer to keep things separate – infact I never add people from work on Facebook since I tend to be more vocal there about anti-theism and my dislike for most politics, political parties and politicians. Once they or I leave the office, then its ok and if they have a problem with my point of view, then there’s the unfriend button. Take it or leave it.

Prompt from 255 Blog Post Ideas That’ll Charm Your Readers (& Boost Traffic) at SmartBlogger

Current Breakfast Items That I Have For My Morning Meals

So these days I have a slightly changed meals. I have cut out sugar in my tea & coffee but I do use sugar free. And I have to use milk in them to add to my calcium intake. Not that I avoided milk in the past but I used to be lazy and not add it. For breakfast I cannot have regular dosas and chutneys as I have cut off coconut and regular rice and rice products. Instead I have onion chutney and wheat dosas.

I also have wheat upma, which is something I used to have quite a few times but usually as a light dinner option. I have wheat bread & cheese and sometimes I add cucumbers and/or tomato slices in them. I bought a Prestige sandwich maker from Amazon and now I can get grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast (or even for dinner if I want to). I usually just have the cheese but lettuce, cucumber & tomato are also options. I can have oats with some fruit for breakfast but we have yet to dwell into it for breakfast. Soon.

Eggs – I was told by my dietician that I can have 3 egg whites as hard boiled or in an omelet. I add tomatoes, onions (both finally chopped) with some spinach to 2 egg whites. I usually do not go for 3 at home but once in a while I might order an egg white sandwich from one of these new diet restaurants that have spring up around the city. That is my favourite breakfast even though I do miss the yolk.

My Guide To Saving Money On Coffee

My guide to saving money on coffee is to not order these suckers. Done! Genius right? Nah, mainly because of the pandemic, I do not go out to eat much. Though I did go for a few outings from June 2020 till April 2021, from May of 2021 I have rarely gone out to eat. I think just a couple of times. And in all this time I have not gone out once for coffee.

However I did not go to get a coffee with the sole exception of my first afternoon out at a cafe in Ravipuram with my cousin in June 2020. Since then none but I have ordered a large frappe or cold brew a few times from either of Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Cafe Coffee Day. Usually it is a large or in Starbucks case, I should say either a grande or a venti. But I think I have probably only ordered 12 to 15 times in these past 2 plus years.

So I guess that is the way to do so. Besides they are really expensive anyways, with the exception of CCD which I think are more reasonably priced. So hardly going out and ordering a large coffee once every 45 days or so, you save a lot more money. And just make it at home. All that will change when finally Tim Hortons will expand to Cochin. I have been eagerly waiting for this for over 2 decades. They started in India last year and will probably come down south by July or August I think.

Prompt from 100+ Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will Love at Macy Michelle

Ever Tried Drafting A Post While Traveling? How Did It Work Out For You?

Yes quite a few times and I mostly publish them as well when I am away. Look, back in 2010 – I think – when I bought my first BlackBerry, one of the apps that I downloaded was the WordPress app for BlackBerry. This was ofcourse to capture my thoughts and view points as I was out and about and enjoying the city. Or if I traveled like to Bangalore for 3 days. So I would type up whole blog posts on the app and post them.

Later on I would take my laptop with me and connecting via wifi I would posts from coffeeshops or restaurants and in 2015 and 2016 when I traveled to Chennai and Delhi/Gurgaon respectively, I relied on the wifi to blog from either my phone or my laptop. My stay in Chennai was only 6 days and it as around 2 weeks for Delhi and I think I blogged almost ever day I was there.

Also when I went on holiday – well more like staycation in a hotel – in both 2019 & 2020 and stayed in a hotel I blogged regularly from there. In 2019 at the hotel I stayed, unfortunately due to a problem with my laptop I could connect the laptop to the wifi so my phone acted as a modem. That was for 3 days. Then the next year I stayed for 4 days in a hotel and I was using my current laptop and was blogging a couple of times per day.

Prompt from 87 Blog Post Ideas That Will Never Fail You (2023) at Blog Tyrant

The Next Experience That I Am Anxious To Try in 2023

What new experiences are you most anxious to try in the new year?

I’ve spent eight years at my current place of employment. While I am happy to have spent so many years at one place, I also know that it’s high time that I left. I wish I could just quit and go rest for a month or so and find that next job almost immediately but then it doesn’t quite work that way.

I know for a fact that it can be incredibly frustrating and feeling despair and doom when you do not have a job at hand and are searching for one and it’s not happening. I spent quite a few months without a job as my previous place of work had to lay off a bunch of people due to struggling financially and with lack of capital to try and bolster things, the boss had no choice. I struggled for a long time and finally it happened and I am where I am now.

But I am more than ready to find a new one. I’ve got to sit this weekend and really focus on updating my resume. And I need to start applying and find what options are available in other places. This is getting to be a bit depressing. And it’s time!

Prompt from 30 Creative Writing Prompts for January at Brilliantio

2007 to 2023 – 16 Years Of Maintaining This Blog

Revisit your very first blog post and reflect on how you’ve grown

I just realized that I broke a long time concept of wishing my blog a happy birthday on the 1st of every January. It was on the 1st of January, 2007 that I created this blog and setup WordPress and added my separately bought URL to link to this blog. After that I posted my first hello, then my Roshan’s Eleven list of the first 11 songs I had listen to that day.

Then I recounted the previous night’s New Year party that we had at my sister’s place that our parents, cousins and a few uncles & aunts had gathered and had a blast with some music and great food and drinks. And then I posted by the end of the day as to how I spent most of January 1st recovering from a long night of partying and by evening I was trying out different themes to check out on my blog. That was a long, long time spent to select one theme.

Since then most of my blogs are based on things I have done, experience, happened to me or my ideas and thoughts. I do reviews and post photos and images, video clips of what I have to say etc. Food and movies are usually the top of the topics. I have more topics that most people and I like it that way.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at Blogging Her Way

5 Must-haves For Your Bag

Well in my case, it’s a laptop bag that I carry. Funnily enough, I do not carry my laptop in it but I take it to work and I have a desktop instead of a laptop. And this right here on the left is the exact one that I have, which I bought on Amazon IN.

So I have a lock and key which I keep in my bag. This for the locker in which I keep my bag and my phone and lock it when I start my shift and take back at the end of it. I also carry a 1 litre bottle of water for hydration ofcourse. Then I have my regular inhaler and my current two inhalers which I am supposed to have after breakfast and after dinner, which is why I take them to work in my bag.

I also have my apartment keys and the access card to the building so that when I come by post my 1:30 am end of work shift, I can let myself in. Other than that I do not carry anything else in this bag. But if I wasn’t heading to work then I would carry my HP laptop in it.

Prompt from 127 LIFESTYLE BLOG POSTS IDEAS TO WRITE ABOUT IN 2023 at She Means Blogging

Science Fiction Should Become Science Fact

Jan 2 – Science Fiction Day – Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, science or not – is this something that you can write about? Maybe myths and ‘fake news’ that plague your industry? Or have you ‘boldly gone where no-one has ever gone before’? Think laterally and you’ll be surprised what you can come up with. #sciencefictionday

Regular readers will know for sure that I have a deep love for space and science fiction and especially Star Trek. I would love to live in an era where space exploration is done as easily as it is in the fictional 24th century in Star Trek. Heck, let’s go even further and say that it will be even easier. It should be as easy as you getting in your car and traveling from one city to another city.

Although I have different scenarios of this fictional universe that I dreamed up and I wish that we all lived in, I will tell you about just the simplest and sweetest one. One in which I and my late beloved Golden Retriever Shawny are both alive and well and we are traveling in a small starship with a very advanced robot who helps keep us safe and runs the operations of the ships. And our job is to go to various alien planets and beat up the bad aliens and rescue the good ones who need our help. We have so many adventures on our travels and are kept invincible due to a very complicated safety shield that covers our ship as well as the spacesuit we wear.

The other dreams are me as the captain of a StarFleet like ship and a big crew as we patrol the galaxy. Or a smaller ship with just a smaller crew of say 10. Or a large team of a motley crew of citizens who all band together to do good across the star systems in the furthest parts of the galaxy. Or a pleasure cruise across the stars with my extended family. Whichever it is, it’s a lot of fun and Shawny is ever by my side in each. But the simplest one is the one in which it is just me and Shawny and our robot. After all when it comes down to it, it’s as innocent & special as a boy and his dog!

Prompt from 40 Social Media And Blog Post Ideas For January 2021 at SquareMedia.Solutions

To Dye Or Not To Dye

By the time I turned 35 I noticed that I had started getting grey in my stubble. At first it was only a couple of places on my chin and then soon I noticed the grey in my hair. I am 46 now and I have grey strands on the sides of my temple on both side. It’s still not too bad but it is noticeable and I am not quite sure how to feel about it.

Thing is I am badly balding. So does it really matter? It does and it doesn’t. At times I have a devil may care attitude about the greys and at times I wish it was all black. While I am still wishing, I wish I had a full set of hair on my head. So not for the first time I have thought of dyeing the greys that I have to jet black. Or just go for the full job.

It is doable and lots and lots of people are doing it but when I think about it too much I feel, why do you want to? Just leave it as it is and grow the grey out. It is not too bad plus it is natural and everyone will eventually go grey. So do you dye or do you proudly wear the grey?

My New Year Resolution Is To Lose Some Weight & Be Healthier

Share your New Year’s resolutions

So just yesterday I posted the top 5 new year resolutions that people usually say that they are going to do. I dunno about the other 4 but I certainly have a new year resolution and it’s not a fad or something I said on the spur of the moment, fueled by several nights of binge drinking. Due to my health being the way that it is, I am on a diet and I said to myself let’s have a nice meal on New Year’s Eve and then start the diet on the 1st.

This time it is after consulting a dietician. Unlike last time when I went all gung ho and did it by myself. So out goes the regular rice, the white bread, pasta etc. Brown rice, wheat bread, chapati and oats instead. My calcium is very low so I am trying to have more milk, skimmer milk curd, mackerel & sardines. Chicken 4 days a week, 1 big piece with gravy or boiled. Vegetables and yeah I like broccoli – we’ve looked at a few recipes and the two we tried are pretty good.

Eggs – I was told to have 3 egg whites a day for protein. Skip the yolk. Two eggs white omelete with some green bell peppers and tomato. I want to get some spinach and try that as well. Toast some wheat bread and have them as a sandwich. Biscuits as long as it’s not sugary or cream filled. I have cut off sugar and instead use sugar free in my tea and coffee. Let’s see how this goes.

Prompt from 31 JANUARY BLOG POST IDEAS at BloggingHerWay.com

My Laptop Back Where She Truly Belongs

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It’s been a tad over a month since I returned my work system and started going back to the office for work. March 21st 2020 was when we had the first lockdown due to the Coronavirus and from that day till December 1st 2022, I worked at home. My small desk, as you can see from this photo, was now free for me. And my desk was happy to not bear the weight of the clunky CPU plus dual boot desktop that we need to handle the client’s work.

So I would say that the only positive thing about going back to the office for work is that I got to send the work desktop back and I could now properly keep my Boat Bluetooth speaker, my Amazon Echo (loving renamed “Computer” much as in Star Trek) and my laptop! Love having the laptop back on my desk where she rightfully belongs. So I have a couple of things else on the desk like a couple of thumb drives, my RealMe earpods and small stuff like that. It feels so good to be able to sit at my desk and use the internet on a laptop instead of the work desktop.

Back To Work, New Year, Same Ole Grind!

Well it’s Monday and the 2nd of January. Ugh! Guess I have to go to work. Well these bills and food won’t just magically pay itself I guess. Like I have stated before we don’t get any time off really during the holiday period here in India, other than the actual day. Like if Christmas or New Year’s Day was on a weekday then yes we get the day off (depending on what work you do). Otherwise, like this past month it’s just the weekend since both these days fell on a Sunday.

I just read a note on a vlogger’s Community tab that she is taking a week off to unwind since she did work and make vlogs during the last week and many before that hence she needs to relax. I wish we could do that too. Funny enough I have had quite a bit of time of this past month but recovering in a hospital for a week and then at home isn’t what I think off as time off. Yes I did get to relax quite a bit at home the week that I was at home post the hospital stay but that isn’t the ideal thing. To have some fun and be with relatives, go out and shop or spending time with your loved ones is what I do miss.

So anyway off to work I go in another 4 hours or so. I am going to be doing a 4:30 pm to 1:30 am shift. That’s actually not too bad. But again I will have to take 2 to 3 days to adjust to these timings again as for the past 3 weeks I wasn’t staying up that late. So let’s see how it goes. Also we may be working from home once again, maybe starting the middle of January. That will be good as I save a lot more money that way. I am dependent on Uber but it is expensive.

How I Rang In The New Year – 2023!

So like I hinted in the previous day’s post, New Year’s eve was a very quiet night in for me and my parents. Apparently there was a bit of a plan for some of my cousins to meet up but as it was at the last minute, most already had plans of their own. Hence that did not take place, but I wasn’t sure if I would go for that anyways. I was thinking that if it happens, I would stay back and order in some dinner and have my sister take my parents to the event.

Since that didn’t happen my sister and a friend of hers went out with a cousin and a couple of others. Finally it was just me and my parents who would be at home together and that’s alright. We will find another day so I can enjoy with all my relatives again. Oh well, I woke up at 9 am and had my breakfast and coffee and then took my meds. I relaxed all day, hydrated as much as possible and watched a movie in the afternoon and even managed a 40 minute nap. Evening I had some biscuits with my tea, took a shower and then checked out to see what offers we would have dinner on Zomato & Swiggy.

I decided to get some chicken lollipops (6 in total, 2 for each of us), kuboos and Afghani tandoori chicken (one of my favourites) from Zaataar. I ordered early by 7:15 pm as I thought we would have trouble with the app later on. Still it took 50 mins (as mentioned on the app) for the food to arrive. We ate it while my parents watched tv. Oh and we had ice cream cake from Baskin n Robbins. Once that was done, I had my meds and relaxed at my system till 11pm when I started to watch the Brighton vs Arsenal match and we won and it became 2023 halfway though. I spent some time sending and replying to wishes and then went to bed by 1 am.

Drinking Beers After A Very Long, Long Time

After many, many months – close to 9.5 months, last weekend I had gone to get my hair cut. I am balding, have a bad bald spot on the back of my head and hence my hair doesn’t really grow that much but within the last couple of months my hair had grown so long that it was almost at my shoulder. It was difficult for to manage and drying my hair after a shower was a nightmare. So I went to Ole and got my hair cut short and it feels so much better now.

With that out of the way, it was just a couple of steps near to Couchyn, the lounge bar that is attached to the Grand Hotel. I went it as it was also 9.5 months since I had any drinks. I was only going to have some beer but as I got in, I started to really miss it. I quickly sat down and ordered a Corona and munching on some free hickory sticks, I quickly demolished that. Man, did I ever earn that beer. Now I needed another one and I asked for a Hoegaarden which I really, really love.

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By then my first order of food had arrived. Delicious tempura prawns which is so good on it’s own but dipped in that delicious sweet & spicy Thai Chilli sauce that it comes with – oh my god, how I have missed this taste! So great to drink my beer and eat them prawns while listening to their excellent selection of 70s, 80s & 90s soft rock and folk music. The word chilling in the dictionary should have a clip of me drinking my beer, eating those shrimp and humming & singing softly to myself the lyrics of the songs that were playing.

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A little later I ordered some tandoori chicken, a half plate and a Budweiser. Now the first two beers were 350 ml bottles but the Bud was a full bomber bottle of 650 ml. I thought I could finish that but I couldn’t complete the last bit more than a quarter of the bottle and the last piece of chicken. Well I culd have but I wanted to go back home and if I stayed back then I could have finished them off. So I paid via my credit card, washed my hands and mouth, took a leak in the washroom and then booked an Uber to come back home.