Trick Or Treat

Happy Halloween to everyone whose country does celebrate this day. We in India don’t really celebrate it as it is not a big deal for us. Scary monsters, goblins & witches do not compare to the politicians, goons & idiots we have to worry about in our country. But I wish we did have a Halloween tradition in India. It would be fun to go for costume parties or go trick or treating as a kid, have bonfires and carve scary looking pumpkins as they show horror movies all day. Many European cultural traditions, in particular Celtic cultures, hold that Halloween is one of the few times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. I have seen many movies with this day as the basis & many tv series & sit-coms that have a Halloween special. Too bad that I don’t watch much tv these days. Anyways by midnite I may just lie on my bed and watch a horror movie on my dvd player.

Feel It Comin' Back Again

I have been humming & singing this song to myself for the last week or so. I don’t know why but it just seems so right to be hearing this song. Maybe it’s because of my friend and what she is going through and the fact that her mother is also going through such a tough time. I don’t know, but I like this song so much. So enjoy Lightning Crashes by Live.

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5:00 am

That’s the time that I have been waking up for a little over a week now, except for Sunday. I wake up at that unholy hour just so I can get to work at 8 am. I need more time than most people for getting ready to go to work. And that’s because I like to be online, read some sports news and scores, read a few pages of a novel. Chat with someone online. The two hours go by slowly.

I typed in waking up at 5 am, it’s more like being waken up by my cell phone alarm at 5 am. Then I stop the alarm and try to get my bearings as I search for my glasses on the table and switch on the light in my room. I then make my way to the wash basin to wash my face and then brush my teeth. I then make a cup of strong black coffee and come back to my room and switch the computer on and check the latest sports scores & news. By that time, it’s 5:15 am and that song by Mark Knopfler plays in my head.

This is also the loneliest time of the day for me. I get reminded that I am single with no scope in sight for the near future. Reminds me that I have not reached anywhere where I wanted to be at 31. What I thought I would be at 31 when I was much younger. Times don’t get any lonelier than this. Oh yeah, time to get ready for work.

Change In Seats

It seems like an unnecessary change in seating arrangements at the office. A move from one floor to the other. To cut costs they have moved the entire ground floor staff & their terminals to the first floor. We are now in a congested area and we don’t like it. This seems so bloody unfair and damn stupid. A cost cutting spree which is not deemed necessary at all. Plus they expect us to do three training batches on an open area. No rooms! It’s gonna be a lot of fun! There are gonna be 6 or 7 departments working in the same open hall and there will be training going on – product & process training for a bunch of new recruits – in the same area. Really!

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Showdown @ Anfield

Today evening saw the showdown at Anfield between the two undefeated clubs in the Premier League. Arsenal faced off at Liverpool and needing a win or a draw to climb above Manchester United in the standings and go back to #1. Liverpool & Arsenal both hit the posts many times in the match and created numerous chances in this flowing & exciting game. Each team wanted to win it badly and create a psychological advantage in the race for League bragging rights. Both goalies were tested at times and came up with great saves to keep the match open. Steven Gerrard struck first for the home side as Jon Arne Riise lays the ball for Gerrard on the freekick and the skipper blasts the ball through the wall and past goalie Almunia! Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia has to come up with a brilliant clearance as Reina missed a looped ball by Arsenal. Two substitutes later Arsenal finally get what they deserved – Alex Hleb’s beauty pass finds Cesc Fabregas and the most talked about midfielder at the moment toe poked a goal past Reina. And that is the way the match ended, 1-1!

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Body Hair

While out today, I decided to get my hair cut. It was gettin’ (sing that Crosby, Stills & Nash song, brown boy) kinda long! So after I had my dose of coffee fueled goodness at CCD (which was so empty today, compared to the crowd I usually see on Sunday late mornings) & before I went to get a couple of books and then drink some vodka with my lunch, I went to Mama Mia hair cutting salon. I enjoy going to this neat salon off Chitoor Road and they usually do a great job, even though they are a tad bit too expensive.

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So I had my longish locks cut short and it feels much better. The balding spot isn’t getting any better but then I have resigned myself to the inevitable fate of going bald. If I grow my hair longer, I can just about cover the spot on the back of my head but I’m not fooling anyone, least of all myself. So I accept my fate of male pattern baldness – damn this fucking existence. I then bought a copy of Michael Crichton’s Sphere & a copy of John Grisham’s The Partner. In the latter book, I was reading an interrogation scene in which before they place electrodes on certain parts of the guy being interrogated, they use an electric razor on his chest, thighs & groin area. As I read it, I feel like shaving my entire body as I hate body hair.

Why the fuck do I lose hair on my head, where it belongs, but be able to grow them on my arms, legs, groin & armpits? Do they serve any purpose? Is it beautiful? NO, yuck! I don’t know why we need hair all over. I am jealous of those male porn stars who are completely hairless (shaved) on the body. And Chinese guys who usually have very body hair. Why must I have body hair? If I shaved all my body hair and stuck it I could have really long hair on my head a la hair metal bands of the 80s! Not as bad as George The Animal Steele or Anil Kapoor.

I think that you know you are no longer a kid when you start losing hair on your head and start growing it more in places that you don’t want hair! Like arms, legs, groin, pits & ears! Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Ottawa On a Roll

The Ottawa Senators beat the New Jersey Devils 4-1 at the Devil’s brand new Prudential Center. The very first goal scored at the new Devils arena was by the Sens’ Andrej Meszaros in the second period. Brian Gionta replied for New Jersey later in the same period. But in the 3rd, Mike Fisher (shown scoring the goal in the pic above), Shean Donavan & Daniel Alfredsson scored a goal each to gain victory for the Senators. Goalie Martin Gerber made 31 saves for Ottawa. The week layoff for the Sens have not diminished their appetite for goals. The next face Atlanta on Thursday.

Last Saturday, the Sens had faced the Florida Panthers at home and beat them by the same scoreline of 4-1. Ray Emery made 31 saves in his first regular-season start of the season to help the Ottawa Senators beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Saturday night.  Emery, who underwent off-season wrist surgery, did play two games last weekend for the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton, stopping 80 of 86 shots. Fisher and Donovan scored second-period goals for the Senators; Christoph Schubert and Alfredsson added goals in the third.

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Chak That

So today was a relaxing day for me, being that I just completed a batch and that I mainly had just to complete the report for the batch. That took some time as I had mixed up the formulas and hence had to redo it all over again. Then I went on creating a profile on each of the 17 kids that I had taken through the training. I had a nice brunch (if you can call it that; it was more like a roll and a coke) in the open air canteen with Neil, Vidya & Ajeeba, sitting and chatting about the activities we have.

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I went back to my work, spoke to the recruitment team and with HR – nothing official, just friendly chat. I tried to finish my work before lunch time, which totally sucked. Soon we shut down our systems and along with the girls (Ajeeba, Vidya & Kavitha), Neil & Manoj we went down to Livi’s house to watch a dvd which they all wanted to see – except for Neil & I. It was a hindi movi, crappy Chak De with Shah Rukh Khan and his overacting theatrics. I plugged in some music and headbanged away to Cradle Of Filth and Metallica. We also had some snacks & juice, ice cream & fruit. It was a relaxing evening and I liked it. It was raining as we left by 6:15 pm.

stir of echoes the homecoming movie download I didn’t have electricity for a long time after I reached home and hence missed most of the football on the tv. But I lay back in the dark and enjoyed the little breeze that was blowing into my room. As soon as we got the power back on, I watched some football before having a little dinner and now I just want to relax.

Group Lunch

Today 5 of my colleagues in the training department and I went out for lunch. It was spur of the moment thing; no one had planned it. I think it was Vidya who started talking about having biriyani for lunch to the others, at about 11 am and then she started grumbling that she was feeling hungry. Since I had a training batch, they waited until I stopped to give my trainees a 45 minute lunch break and they put this idea across. I wasn’t really wanting to have a heavy lunch or go outside to a restaurant to eat but it struck me that we rarely ever went out as a group to do anything. Usually just 3 or 4 and often 2 at a time. But never 6!

So I said let’s do it. So we all went together and crossed the double highway and went to the only decent restaurant near us. The 6 of us sat at a table and we ordered our food and ate together. It struck me that this could also probably be our last meal together as a team. Our team has dwindled down to just 6 and I love each member of this team. Due to the treatment dealt to us by the management, people are quitting. Two quit this month and one more may quit on the 1st. I am on the hunt for another job. This team doesn’t have many weeks left. Some of us are planning to go watch a movie on dvd with our team lead at her house tomorrow but I doubt if we will all be together again.

To my friends & colleagues I have to say “It has been one of the greatest pleasures & privileges of my life to work with you and I will miss you all.”

Sparks On A Wet Road

As the day turned into late evening and the sun had almost set, it started raining. Soon it was quite dark as my working day came to a close and I sent my training batch back to their homes. A few colleagues and I made our way in the rain, across the railway tracks and to the bus stop. The rain ceased and we were talking and laughing while waiting for a bus to take us to our residences. We didn’t see the car actually hit the bike but we rather heard the collision and when I turned I saw the sparks fly as the bike skidded on the road. A guy in a maruti car had hit a fellow who was riding his bike.

We saw the biker stumble a bit and then walk to the side of the road as he tried to avoid being hit by the car. He was ok. The car driver took a look at the surroundings, reversed his car a bit and headed for the turning and tried to make a break for it. He was fleeing the scene of the crime, an illegal hit & run case! And the sparks did really fly as several bystanders chased him and they hit his car windows with umbrellas and a helmet. He almost made it to safety but there were way too many people around and they were able to make him stop. As I got into a bus, I could see the crowd dragging the car driver out of his car. I couldn’t see anything else and can only imagine the thrashing that the wretched sonofabitch must have received at their hands.

The Towers

When I think of my childhood, I ofcourse think about the 11 years I spent in the city of my birth – Kuwait City. The capital city of the tiny country of Kuwait, currently has a city population of 32,500 and a metro population of well over 2 million. One of those 2 million used to be me, living with my parents & my sister in a tiny apartment in an area called Darwahza. The times I spent there will forever be embedded in my mind as some of the happiest & innocent moments of my life. Among one of the images & memories that I hold deeply in my heart, are the Kuwait Towers – the most famous landmark of the city & the country. Completed in 1979 (a few months before I turned 3) the three towers were built for multi-purpose operations.

The main tower is 187 metres high and serves as a restaurant and water tower. It also has a Viewing Sphere which rises to 123 meters above sea level and completes a full round turn every 30 minutes. The second tower is 145.8 metres high and serves as a water tower. The third tower houses equipment to control the flow of electricity and illuminates the two bigger towers. I will forever remember my one & only visit with my dad to the revolving restaurant in 1986, towards the end of my family’s life in Kuwait (we left for India the following summer). The view of the city, the revolving movement held my attention that I begged to stay back and just take it all in.

Evening Ruined

That guy that I said who had eloped with a girl he met only 18 days before they got married came back to our office for the first time since late June.

I never wanted to speak again cause he is a lying son of a fish but he still works for our company, only in a different city. And they had promoted him, apparently cause his lying skills are on par with what management wants!

I met my new training batch and I am happy with them as they all seem like decent people and I enjoyed my session with them. This is a new session that I am doing for the very first time but it’s easier than it seems on paper and it’s very interactive and it can be a lot of fun. I hope the remaining 5 days is as much fun or even more than today. The day went by very quickly and I was surprised that I was out of time.

Something weird just happened a little while back. I wish I could understand exactly what happened but it’s just blowing my mind. I can’t believe that this happened but when I think about it, it was bound to happen. I wish I could put it down in words as to exactly what it is but it’s just too complicated. You had to be there! Just ruined my evening.

Child Of The Night

You Are A Vampire
You have a real thirst for bliss, and you consider yourself a true hedonist.
And you’re not afraid to walk alone in life, if it means getting what you truly crave.
You truly enjoy entrancing people. Not to mention the ensuing pleasures of the flesh.
Your tastes have been called decadent and bizarre. You usually give in to your temptations, no matter how primal

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Your greatest power: Your flawless ability to seduce and charm

Your greatest weakness: Human flesh

You play well with: Werewolves

The Snow Walker

Another film that I really, really wanted to see, it didn’t disappoint at all. Barry Pepper stars in & as The Snow Walker, a simple yet riveting film about man against the elements and how he learns to adjust himself to the forces of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Alongside Pepper stars a young Inuit debuting actress Annabella Piugattuk and veteran American actor James Cromwell, Jon Gries & singer Michael Buble has a small role as ‘Hap’. The film was written and directed by American born actor / director Charles Martin Smith based on author Farley Moffat’s Walk Well My Brother. Pepper plays Charlie Halliday, a pilot who delivers supplies to Inuit tribes and is implored to take a young Inuit girl to the city of Yellowknife as she is suffering from TB. He agrees to when they give him a pair of walrus tusks as a gift which he can sell for lots of money. On the way the engine fails and they crash into the wastelands. Rescuers are unable to find them and hence the two must brave it out in harsh conditions and hunt for food. The young Inuit girl, Kanaalaq (Annabella Piugattuk) teaches Charlie to be patient and let nature bring food to him.

Much of the film features how the two try to communicate as Kanaalaq speaks very little English and Charlie doesn’t speak her native tongue. She teaches him how to catch fish and she catches a squirrel or beaver kind of animal by waiting patiently for hours with a bait. She makes him new boots and much later in the film she makes him a new outfit out of cariboo fur & skin. There is a truly wonderful scene in which Charlie asks her if she knows any other song other than the one she has been singing for 3 days straight while they walk. She asks him to sing and so he does…a version of that big band, lounge classic ‘That’s Amore’! She starts smiling and as the picture zooms back to reveal a beautiful sunset and the song as sung by Michael Buble with a full band takes over.

Another lovely verbal exchange is when Kanaalaq asks Charlie if he was married. He says no and then she asks him how old he was, to which he replies 32. Then she jokes to him ’32 and no wife’ and starts giggling in her innocent way. He then asks her how old she was and she says 20 and he asks her “What about you? Do u have a wife?” The scenery, the beautiful sky and the aurora borealis decorate this film. Plus having an actual Inuit speaking woman makes the film that much more real.

They are unable to fix the plane and hence must now prepare for winter. Kanaalaq sets up an ambush for a herd of cariboo and they manage to kill 3 of them; enough meat for weeks and fur for the clothes. Kanaalaq makes Charlie a new suit but she is succumbing to her illness and soon starts coughing up blood. Meanwhile, back home Charlie’s friends have given up on him ever coming back. Kanaalaq leaves their makeshift tent to die and Charlie all alone makes her a tombstone in the traditional Inuit way and finally makes his way back to civilization. As this powerful & emotional movie ends Charlie is greeted & welcomed by a group of Inuit at their village. Watch it! 9 outta 10 for a movie that you won’t forget.

Rossif Sutherland

While searching for information in Wikipedia on some sci-fi movies that I had seen recently, I found that one of the actors in the movie Timeline was named Rossif Sutherland. Click the link on his bio, just because of his last name, I found that he was Donald Sutherland’s son & the half-brother of Keifer! Nice genes to have. He hasn’t got the fame that his bro & dad have but he is multi-talented. He also sings, sounds like a black man rather than white, and I liked his music, which you can hear on his Myspace page. His music is folksy-acoustic like in Heart In A Cloud & a bluesy pop-rock feel in Miracle. They sound really cool & good but he says that it’s still mainly rough cuts of what he wants to release on his upcoming album! They sound fine to me. Take a listen.