Are You A Hoarder Or A Minimalist?

I think I am somewhat of an inbetween-er. I love collecting stuff. When I was younger it was comic books and sports magazines. And later on as I entered my teens it was music, mainly rock magazines, that I collected. I got rid of all of them by the time I was 30.

But my main collection was music cassettes and later cds. I had one of the largest collections of rock and metal music albums in Kerala and perhaps even in India. Well….yeah I probably did. I never did take a full count so I don’t have exact numbers but yes it was a source of pride for me. However as we were moving from a nice big house to this small apartment I knew I had to save on space. By then I had most of my albums on cassettes on cds as well so it was an easy decision.

After I got all my stuff into this room, stacked them in a built-in cupboard and a steel one, I then looked around for getting a pc. This was 2006 September, so I wasn’t really thinking of getting a laptop. I got one assembled by the tech team connected to my then employers and then began ripping my cds into mp3s formats and saving them on the hard drive. Later, as my collection grew, I got an external hard drive (now changed to a new one) just for saving the mp3s.

In 2015 I started collecting Star Trek starships, which I have now stopped since they break easily and it is hard to clean if you display them without the boxes. Which is crazy. So I stopped at 45 but I do love them. DVDs are my thing now. I like to collect them as much as I can and have a nice collection to show off.

Prompt from The Learning Network At The New York Times

Nov 26: On This Day…

On this day, Nov 26:

My Afternoon Routine

What is your morning routine?

So I am gonna change it to my afternoon routine since my regular work shift is 6:30 pm to 3:30 am.

I usually end up waking anywhere between 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm depending on what time I fall asleep. I then proceed to lie in bed for a while, check my phone and see if I have any missed calls or messages and check Facebook. Then I check Instagram and Gmail to see if there is anything interesting. Then I get up and drag my carcass to the bathroom and wash my face and brush my teeth.

I then switch on my laptop and router and while it boots up, I go to the kitchen and get what will be the first of 3 or more coffees. I bring it back to my room and drink it slowly while I go to Youtube and check out the channels that I follow. By 2pm I start to get hungry so I look out for the first meal of the day, which will be lunch. Rice, curry and maybe fish. Once that is done, I check to see if there is any fruit and eat that.

I come back to the bedroom and by 2:30 pm or 3 pm I move the laptop aside and lie in bed and watch tv shows or sometimes even a movie if I am in the mood. By 5 pm I will be freshed and get more coffee and it’s back to more browsing on the laptop (Facebook, Youtube, Blog etc etc) and then by 6pm I start to get ready and take a shower as by 6:30 pm I login for work.

Prompt from 103 Blog Post Ideas That Your Readers Will LOVE

How Do You Deal With Anger?

Sometimes I need to vent. Sometimes I need to shout it off and vent and walk (or stomp) around and let the pressure out of my system. And that’s because if I do not do that, I will bottle it up and it will burst at an awkward moment and that would not be a pretty sight.

Another way is to shut myself away from others. And just be quiet. Look at stuff, get some fresh air and not talk to anyone. Play some music and just let it play in the background and try not to think about anything else but let the lyrics and the music wash over me and concentrate just on that.

Watching a favourite movie or tv show helps. Again, the familiarity of the show/movie is really important. I may not even be concentrating on the movie that much but it helps to have it on and that I can see & hear it if I need to.

Prompt from 119 Journal Prompts for Your Journal Jar

Get To Know Me – 15 Qs

1. Where did you grow up?

A. Kuwait City, Kuwait till the age of 11 and then Cochin, Kerala.

2. Where do you currently live?

A. Cochin, Kerala India

3. Who is your first best friend?

A. I have 3 best friends – Anil, Madhu & Namratha

4. How tall are you?

A. 164 inches

5. Dogs or Cats?

A. Both but if I had to pick only one, dogs

6. Funniest moment throughout high school?

A. Too many to mention here.

7. What year were you born?

A. 1976

8. Are you in/have you gone to college?

A. Went

9. What is your favorite drink?

A. Vodka & Sprite, Espresso vodka & Coke/Pepsi. Otherwise just Sprite.

10. What is your spirit animal and why?

A. Golden Retriever dogs. Because I love their loyal, tail wagging selves.

11. You’re wearing perfume, what scent is it?

A. Deodorant and it’s Axe Gold

12. Tea or Coffee?

A. Coffee cold or hot and also Ice Tea in a peach flavour

13. What sports do you play or have you played?

A. Used to play football, cricket, badminton as a kid

14. What is your favorite movie?

A. Too many but let’s go with Star Trek II Wrath Of Khan & Star Trek Nemesis.

15. Who are your favorite YouTubers?

A. Ken Domik, Matthew Santoro

Another Rare Day Out

After almost 3 weeks I finally went out. Since I get most of my groceries and other stuff delivered to my apartment building, I rarely do need to go out. But yeah twice a month I do try to go out, get some money out of an ATM, do some other errands if needed, buy some beer and other liquor, check if there any parcels waiting for me at the post office, maybe get some lunch outside and anything else I need to do.

I have a cab driver, who uses Ola & Uber but since he is a nice older guy I call him up and ask him if he can come for my errands twice a month. I enjoy his company and he waits and is fair when he charges me; even giving back some money that I wanted to give him extra because he felt that the total ride wasn’t that long. So I call him up the previous night and then arrange for him to meet me the next afternoon at around 12 or so. Yesterday it was at 1:15pm since I woke up so late.

IMG20201113151249

At 11:40 pm I had a mayo sandwich for breakfast with coffee and then shaved and had a shower. By 12:45 I was ready to get dressed and iron my shirt. By 1:15 pm I got into the cab and before I went out to Palarivattom I needed to check something. An Amazon order from Amazon.com was left along with my packages last Wednesday and it turns out it was for an A Gopalakrishnan in an office nearby. However try as I might I couldn’t find the office and decided to let the post office know. I then went to Palarivattom to drop off some documents.

Then I went to buy some beer and unfortunately Couchyn/Grand Hotel had run out of beer. You see you can buy beer and liquour from bars at the regular price but they had run out. So I bought a bottle of Ceasar brandy for my dad and then went to Lotus Club so I could buy some beer. I bought 3 Beck’s Ice and 4 Budweiser Magnum. Then I went to buy some groceries, get some money outta an ATM and then took a quick lunch of a beef mince burrito at Cafe 17 with a Peace Ice Team and then headed home.

Emergency ‘Go-Bag’

What Would You Put in Your Emergency ‘Go-Bag’?

Some cash. You always need physical cash in an emergency even as online wallets and phone apps keep multiplying and usage of them expands. In certain conditions cash is the only way to go and sometimes that’s all that works. So yes I would keep some emergency cash with me. Not too much but enough for getting me from a place to home.

My asthma inhaler. A new one. I suffer from bronchitic asthma and I need my inhaler near me in case I suffer from a shortness of breath. There are a lot of things in the air that can trigger my asthma and it is always important for me to know that I can rely on something to clear up my trouble.

Change of clothes. A spare set of glasses. Identification papers. Keys. And yes my phone and charger will be in there as well.

Prompt from 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Student Blogging

Perfect Companion

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

I think this should be a given by now and one of the least secretive things about me but I love dogs. As much as I love cats and would love to have a couple in my family, I prefer dogs. I have had 2 cats as pets and at one point my sister and I took care of 4 strays who’s mother birthed them inside out storage room for a few days. But I have had a dog for 11 years and take care of another dog for 1 year and I miss having dogs.

So if I could have any pet I would get a dog and I would want a Golden Retriever. They are the best. Second would be a Labrador retriever as they are very alike. Ah, to have the love of a dog with you. You know what, since we are making wishes, I just want my Shawny back. I wish I could get her back once again as a puppy and we can spend all her life making sure she is loved and pampered. She really was the best.

When I see pics or videos of dogs and the relationship they have with their humans, I get a twinge in my heart. It’s a combination of envy and jealousy with a big dash of missing what I used to have. Someday I guess I will have another dog in my life. And I want it to be a female dog, because the two dogs that I have taken care of were both female and I guess I associate that companionship, loyalty & love to the female of the dog species.

Prompt from 50 Creative Writing Prompts for Student Blogging

A New Frontier

I often dream science fiction situations. I am crazy like that and I love it. At times, just when I am about to go to sleep, I can almost feel myself in that situation, in that futuristic world and I can see myself commanding a starship. But this time, a few nights ago I had a different dream around the theme of space and spaceships and traveling to distant planets.

I dreamed that we had visits from a horde of large spaceships and the world panicked. Can 2020 get any worse; we are getting an alien invasion now? Turns out it isn’t an alien invasion. A few of the spaceships hail us and land in major cities. They are humans in these ships. And they are from the future, take a large undertaking of coming up with creating a way to travel back in time to 2020 from way out in the future. Like well over a couple of thousand years from now.

The reason they have come is that the feel that humans from this era can be saved from the pandemic. The pandemic becomes worse in 2021 and kills off huge chunks of our population. It takes decades for us to recover and this brings our scientific advancements down for the next hundred years. However our descendants eventually thrive and achieve the ability to easily travel the stars and leave the planet behind to settle elsewhere. Now they have developed easier methods to travel in space and then discovered the option to travel back in time. They meet with the governments of the world and say that they will take back as many people as they can and it will have to be in several trips.

They bring smaller ships that can connect to one another and can have a small number of people, each from a family, in it and they have to be secluded due to the pandemic. Once we reach the star system that they are in they will help us to settle in comfortable homes that they have setup for us on a couple of earth like planets.. And during the trip we will also see a slowing down of our aging to the point that even after several months in space and then years on the new planets, we would age only by a few weeks.

The future humans pick individuals who can represent a large group of related humans and one of them is me. After I get lessons on flying the spaceship and the controls for the working of the ship (food & drink dispensers, coolness and heat, air & water generators, it’s time to inform my family members including parents, uncles, aunts, cousins and their spouses. However some spouses relatives will be traveling in other units. The first unit handed to me consists of a couple of living quarters, hall, bridge and dining area. The remaining units will have the same minus the bridge as their units will all connect to mine. Dad, mom & surprisingly Shawny, who is alive in this dream, are with me.

In the next unit will be my sister and her husband and their 3 kids plus their dog. Another uncle and aunt and their children, my cousins with their spouses and kids respectively in another unit and so on & so forth. Since I am the representative, I will pilot all of them to the star system we are supposed to go to, just by following the future humans vessels. It is an exciting and scary time but we have to do it. As night falls, all the units are getting connected to my main unit one by one and off we head out into space.

The Weekend’s Gone In A Flash

Why the bloody hell do these 3 day weekends always seem to rush by? They have even started to feel shorter than a regular 2 day weekend! Of all the nerve.

In the blink of an eye, faster than a hurricane in the eye of a storm, 3 days go by faster than a day of the work week. Time flies by when you are having fun or doing nothing. This morning I woke up at 9 am but since I am working a 6:30 pm to 3:30 am shift I felt that it would be good to get some more sleep so I laid back in bed and snoozed for another 2.5 hours.

Morning sleep, when it isn’t noisy or too sunny is a beautiful thing. So I had a smile on my face as I napped till 11:30 when I just had to wake up. Couple of coffees later I am good to go. But I will lie back and watch a movie in the afternoon before 5pm when I go and get a shower and get ready for the work.

3 Day Relaxation

It’s a 3 day weekend once again. Woo-hoo! So happy that it has come at such a deserving time when my department has had such a busy 3.5 months with so many new people joining and we have to conduct their training and also sort out so much other stuff for them. Plus there are the reports and all such nonsense that goes hand in hand with working for a MNC in India and calls and meetings and such.

So it’s a perfect time to chill and relax and sit back. Drink a beer or 5. Actually tonight I’m just having a Pepsi and maybe on Sunday I might have some rum & coke or a beer. I am ordering in some southern style fried chicken from a new joint that has opened up nearby, a combo bucket with 9 piece chicken, some buns, fries and garlic sauce. I’m watching a bunch of Youtube videos at the same time. Once dinner is done, I will settle back and watch a movie (haven’t picked one out yet but I have quite a few that I can choose from and wanna watch this weekend). No football today as Arsenal is playing tomorrow night.

Sunday & Monday is open for me, only things sure is that I will watch a few movies and also a lot of Youtube and music.

Plum Liking It

A fruit which I rarely used to get is the plum. I dunno why but we as a family rarely ever get plums. My family usually likes to eat some sort of fruit after lunch or dinner. Living in Kerala, bananas are very common and eat at all times of the day but apples, grapes, oranges, mangoes and a few others are also big choices. But not so much the plum.

A few days ago I bought a huge set of plums. 2 kgs I think from one of the chain stores of fresh fruits & veggies. I found out that I like plums a lot. I like to keep them in the fridge and have one after lunch and one after dinner. They are not too sweet, a tad bit too juicy but I find them refreshing and tasty.

Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. I think the ones I bought are called the Damsum variation of the plum with purple skin. I find the shape of the plum very provocative to say the least but it’s fun to eat.

Back To The Grind

Another Monday, another week and another 5 day work week beckons. The whole rigmarole starts off again and here we go. I dunno, but today I woke up and after breakfast and coffee it felt like I needed more sleep. Oddly enough I think I actually sleep more hours when I am going to bed at regular hours but I felt really tired this morning. My work shift is 12:30 am to 9:30 pm just like last week but this Thursday and Friday I will be moving back to a 6:30 pm to 3:30 am shift as the trainings will have concluded and all new hire employees will be on the job.

So that is an ok shift, I do not mind it as much. Although I should like this shift as I get a lot of free time but the sleep is my surprise. I think it’s mostly because my body is taking time to adjust to the changes in shift timings that keep happening every other week if not ever week. I think because of that I am unable to sleep when I am supposed to and thus lie awake longer and hence do not get the rest I need. Oh well, atleast the change in shifts will stop from this week so I should be ok.

Three more days of training and I should be done.

Trip To Kakkanad

So after another gap of 2 weeks I went out today. I had to go to Kakkanad area for dropping off something. So I arranged for a cab to come and get me at 12 pm and off I went to that area. Due to Covid-19 I must say that the trip to that area was very quick. Hardly any traffic jam or blocks unlike usual. The only stop we faced was at the red light at Kaloor, which is very common, but that lasted for less than 2 minutes.

After that I had to come and get buy some groceries and that meant a big ride all the way to Panampilly Nagar and my second favourite grocery store, Farm Gold. Bought all the stuff I need, which was not much. Then it was off to have lunch, which was a burger, shake & fried at The Burger Junction. The place was almost full and I had to wait for a few minutes before I got a table. Food was enjoyable and awesome.

Then I went to an ATM and got some money out and after that I stopped to buy some medicine. These are all par for the course and I briefly considered going to get some booze but I still have a few left so I skipped that. I paid the driver after he dropped me home and then I went in to get a nap.

Write About A Memory Of A Physical Injury

This prompt was easy as I had written about this on my old blog back in 2004!

This is from 2004. I took a leave of absence for one week, as I was at home resting after fracturing my big toe on my left leg! On a Tuesday night, half asleep I had walked into the sofa in the living room, thereby fracturing my toe. All I can remember was the pain at night, since I was officially wiped out and exhausted I just went back to sleep thinking that it wasn’t anything serious. The next morning (or more correctly noon) I woke up with just a little pain in my toe area and I passed it off as a sprain occurred during the night’s adventure.

So I went out that afternoon and it was only while walking back home that evening that I felt that the injury could be a bit more serious, as I was limping while walking back home. I just put it off again as a sprain and applied some herbal ointment on my left foot. However the next morning, instead of getting better, it was actually more painful and my dad suggested to go and show it to a doctor. So off I went to MAJ Hospital in Edapally and an x-ray later, found out that I had a hairline fracture in my big toe. So I was advised to take it easy for about a week to 10 days and they gave me some painkillers & tie my big toe to the one next to it with some sticking plaster. I took leave from the office and subjected myself to a boring 7 days at home.

On top of that, my cousin was getting married on the 25th, yesterday, so My mom & dad went to Trivandrum, leaving me alone with just Shawny junior for company. I was wondering how I would cope, since the pup was very active & playful and needed attention all the time. Feeding the dog would prove to be very tricky as she tends to jump up and down and I had to be very careful that she didn’t land on my toe. While out of commission, I slept most afternoons and watched a whole lot of tv, some good stuff and some bad stuff. After 8 days I went back to the hospital and was told I could return to work.

A Change In Shift

Well it’s the start of another work week. Not a good start though since I woke up with a bad headache. I think it’s mostly sinusitis related since I have battled a stuffy nose for the past couple of days before the weekend. I have had a beer on Saturday and Sunday night but not enough to get me having a hangover and stuff.

This week though I am doing an earlier shift than usual, 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm which means I can sleep when it’s still dark and still night! That is good for me and hopefully I can get this shift for the next 2 weeks. I will start to feel more human again.

I was keeping myself alive with coffee and more coffee. But this week it will be a lot better. Now if only this blasted headache could just go away!

Feeling Tired & Sluggish

This graveyard shift timings is really murder on the body. Today is Friday and my shift starts in about 90 minutes but I feel like crap. Cafine is struggling to do it’s work this evening and my brain & body needs to take a break. Things will change in week or so but still it has been terrible to work in this shift.

Although I am glad that it is Friday evening, meaning once I conclude the training for today and it is 6:30 am and I go get breakfast, I can relax for the next two days. I can lie in bed and sleep a little extra if needed, which I have been doing during the weekends. Ofcourse then the evening I will want to have some beer and some good food but the high of enjoying that will soon die down.

But yeah next week too will be the same 9:30 pm to 6:30 am shift. This will probably be till the 20th of October and then I will change my shift to an earlier one. Here’s to that!

Long Weekend

I missed the last two work days, which was Wednesday and Thursday due to a slight fever, blocked nose and sinus issues which also affected my asthma. I took the two days off as the work load was much lighter and hence I could easily get those leaves so I could rest. And rest up I did, with several hours of naps and just lying in bed watching tv. Thursday especially I just watched a few episodes of Corner Gas and some X-Files and waited for sleep to hit me.

Friday I was much better so I tried to catch up on some work but I had some data missing so I didn’t do all that I set out to do. I just made sure that a few things were done and then I decided to drink some more coffee and listen to some music. In the night I watched another movie, having watched one in the afternoon. More coffee and more Appy Fizz. Saturday night is when I order in some really good food for the family and I and this Saturday I thought about getting some al fahm.

So I ordered a full Jamaican Spicy Al Fahm (which is slight spicy but has nothing Jamaican about it) with some mayo and khuboos. I collected that from the Zomato delivery guy and then enjoyed that while watching a live stream by a Youtuber I follow and also drank something called a sweet beer from the same restaurant. Nice. No alcohol this week as I had that fever.

Wanna know the movies I watched this weekend?  The Watcher, Mission Impossible, The Innkeepers, Airplane, Alive and tonight I plan to watch one more.