What To Buy Me As Gifts

You want to buy me a present for my next birthday (which is in August) I hear! Cool, start saving your money and put it towards buying me:

A beer bottle chandelier. Like this or others like it. You have very cool designs available for purchase!

Very awesome looking fish aquarium coffee tables! Combine  two things at one and it will not only serve both purposes but look amazing as well.

Upside down beer bottle shapes in the inside of a beer glass! Incredible!

And finally the remote controlled tarantula. To frighten women and small children! :D

The Hangover Part II

As the first movie was successful & loved, no reason not to make a sequel. I actually liked the sequel or The Hangover Part II as it is titled a little bit more than the first one. ¬†Todd Phillips¬†directed the film in addition to co-authoring the script with¬†Craig Mazin, and¬†Scott Armstrong and once again the film stars¬†Bradley Cooper,Ed Helms,¬†Zach Galifianakis¬†and¬†Justin Bartha (who again misses on the fun). This time tells the story of Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug as they travel to Thailand for Stu’s wedding, 2 years after the events of the first movie.

Stu met & fell in love with Lauren (Jamie Chung) who’s family is from Thailand and hence the wedding is to take place in Bangkok. Phil & Doug convince Stu to invite Alan to the wedding and they go to see him at his house. Stu wants to be safe and only agrees to a subdued pre-wedding brunch rather than a big night party. Lauren’s younger brother Teddy is also with them. After they land in Thailand it is obvious that Lauren’s father doesn’t approve of Stu and even manages an insult to him during the family dinner.¬†At the end of the night, Stu hesitantly joins Phil, Doug, Alan and Teddy for a beer. Sitting at a campfire and roasting marshmallows, the group toast to Stu and Lauren’s future happiness.

And that’s when the craziness begins:

  • The trio wake up the next morning, hungover, ¬†along with gangster Leslie Chow and a chain-smoking¬†capuchin monkey, in a dirty hotel room in¬†Bangkok. And Alan’s head is shaved and Stu has a face tattoo, much like Mike Tyson. They can’t find Teddy but they do find his severed finger!
  • Chow – nutcase character – seemingly dies after taking a snort of cocaine before he could tell them what had happened during the night. Scared the 3 dispose of Chow’s body in an ice machine.
  • They call Doug, who had left the others much earlier, and are lead to the police station to release Teddy – only it’s a Buddhist monk in a wheelchair. And he won’t tell them anything as he has taken a vow of silence. They then track down the tattoo parlour where Stu got his tattoo and a sex club where they learn that Stu had sex with a transgender prostitute!
  • When they leave there they are shot at by Russian mobsters who are after their stolen money and Phil is shot in the arm. While at the hospital Alan confesses that he added muscle relaxants & some other medication in the marshmellows in order to sedate Teddy. They then meet up with the gangster Kingsley, who demands Chow’s bank account code and password by the next morning in exchange for Teddy.
  • They got back to the hotel ad find Chow still alive who tells them to steal the monkey as he had written down his account code & password on a paper, as he forgets it, and stuck it in the monkey’s jacket. They steal the monkey¬†back from the Russian mobsters through a violent car chase, during which the monkey is shot and injured. After taking the code and leaving the monkey at a veterinary clinic, the group complete the deal with Kingsley. Suddenly,¬†Interpol¬†agents appear and arrest Chow. Kingsley turns out to be an undercover agent, who tells the trio that the police have searched all day for Teddy but were unable to find him.
  • Desperate, and like in the first movie, Phil calls Doug’s wife and is about to tell her that they can’t find Teddy – when Stu has his epiphany (man this guy should become a detective)! They rush back to the hotel and find Teddy in the elevator, stuck there as the power is out. They rush back to reach the wedding in time for Stu to get married to Lauren, after a little clash with her father.
  • And we are treated to a song by Mike Tyson, who sings very badly, and entertains the crowd

And ofcourse we see the events of the night in photos, much like the first movie. It’s fun, it’s a laugh riot and it’s good. 8 out of 10!

New Show : Arctic Air

Time to plug a new show that I just started watching like I watched both the 1st & 2nd episodes this afternoon, downloaded ofcourse. How new is the show? Well they are 2 episodes old, first season.

Arctic Air is a drama with elements of comedy in it about a company of pilots who fly small bush planes and huge WWII propplanes on daily missions in the Canadian Territories. Hence the Arctic Air name, which is also the name of their company in the show. Focusing on adventure, community & some romance as well as family and the stories of the people that live there, all based in the Northern city of Yellowknife. Bobby, the prodigal son returns to Yellowknife for his niece’s wedding and also to complete a huge business deal – the deal goes sour when Bobby refuses to sell out his friend and he punches the rich & powerful businessman who gets angry that the deal did not go through. Bobby earns an enemy who will do anything to make Bobby’s life miserable. Bobby is also part owner of Arctic Air and the businessman uses his innfluences to make the airline’s long term clients to pull out from their contracts. Arctic Air now has¬† financial trouble.

Arctic Air is run by Melvin Ivarson & his daughter Krista also works for them, piloting planes along with the rest of the employees. Bobby decides that he has to get a huge contract from a millionaire businessman to help out and despite some bumbling, he is successful. He decides to stay back and remain with the company and help Mel run it.

The tv series stars Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton, Kevin McNulty, Carmen Moore, Stephen Lobo, Tim Webber, John Reardon, Emilie Ullerup among others in this large cast. Michael Hogan, Lexa Doig & Steve Basic have guest star roles and Brian Markinson plays the antagonist.

My Sports Teams

Ok – just in case you are a new reader and have not yet seen the categories, which are shown on the sidebar, I mainly support to sports team. One a football team in the English Premier League and one in the NHL. Arsenal FC & Ottawa Senators. These are the two teams which I have wholeheartedly supported and can claim as my teams. I’ve supported Arsenal from 1998 and Senators from 2000. Although I’ve been a fan of & watched football from very early in my childhood, I usually watched international matches. I didn’t get to watch club football until 1998 and because some of my favourite players played in that club, I started supporting Arsenal. Now it’s like a part of me and I will forever be an Arsenal supported till the day that I die.

I got into hockey in the year 2000, when I just happened to watch some of the 1999-2000 Stanley Cup finals on ESPN. I got into slowly and then I also watched a sports weekly special in which they featured a little profile of each of the 30 NHL teams during the summer. The episode I happened to catch that day featured the Ottawa Senators. I remember then going online at a cyber cafe and reading a lot more about them and *snap* – they became my team and have been ever since and will forever be my team. No matter how great or how badly they perform.

Having said that I do also like other teams & clubs and from time to time envy their player squad (a coach once in a while) and wonder why my teams cannot get those players. Like this season for example – Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has this policy of buying small and building from within, focusing on the youth and not wanting to spend exorbitant sums of money for players. And the Sens are in the process of rebuilding and hence, with just a handful of bigger name players, are mostly a squad of lesser known names. In no way will I change my support for them just because of these things, cause that is temporary.

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Telling It Like It Is

It depends on the situation because at times it is better to hold your tongue as it will only cause a volatile situation blow up or like fanning the flames. Telling what you feel that you have to say will only create more problems and so it’s better to be the better person and hold it back. Unless you have a lot of power and no matter what you have said, everyone else will still have to listen to you and cannot do anything about it. But then that causes a lot of ill will and no matter how powerful you are, you still want to cut down on the ill will.

Now there will be situations when you cannot just back off and must take a stand and say it like it is. Call a spade a spade. Do not let that arrogant, smug, lying sonofabitch get the upper hand and give it right back to them. Show them that you have a backbone and will not lay down for them to walk all over you. They want a verbal war, fine GIVE THEM A VERBAL WAR! Show them what you are made off!

Just don’t forget to take a deep breath afterwards!

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Stargate Universe : Episode 40 ‚ÄúGauntlet‚ÄĚ

We reach the 40th & final episode of this great show, cancelled way, way too soon.

Lisa Park eye sight doesn’t return despite TJ’s treatment and care. Park breaks down in tears, comforted by TJ and Ronald Greer. Eli & Rush inform Young of their ability to track the positions of the Control Ships & drones. Wray believes this to be good news, as it means they can avoid the drones and safe places to resupply. Eli, however, cannot deliver such good news. He displays a star map detailing the location of every gate, then overlays the location of the Control Ships. At maximum sensor range, the result seems clear: every single Stargate is guarded by a Control Ship.

They have about a month’s worth of food and water. Young is hoping for a supply line from Earth, but Telford informs him that their talks with Langara are getting nowhere. Destiny is on its own. On the bridge, Rush discusses the situation with Eli, Adam Brody, and Dale Volker. Since they cannot run or hide, Rush knows that their only option is to fight. Eli points out that there are a lot of drones, but Rush only intends to attack selected targets when they need to resupply. With their ability to track the Control Ships, they can come out of FTL right on top of one and destroy it before it can retaliate. This will however cause a lot of damage and Rush looks for ways to lessen the damages. The first such attempt doesn’t go as planned; when the drones’ weapons are proved to be ineffective against Destiny’s sheilds, they do kamakazee runs hitting the hull of the ship.

Eli then comes up with his plan – put everyone in stasis &¬† they can fly through the entire galaxy and to the next without needing to stop to resupply. Unfortunately, completing that journey will take Destiny three years, and their dwindling power supplies leave little margin of error. However this also leaves very little margin for error; even a slight miscalculation will leave them drifting for thousands of years instead of three. Rush doesn’t agree and feels that skipping part of the journey is detrimental to Destiny’s mission. But before they do that they need supplies and materials to fix some of the pods. Using a lesson from the drones, they rig a shuttle on remote and let the drones attack it while an away team gates to a planet to collect the supplies. They also set the shuttle to ram into the control ship and destroy it. Now the crew get to say their goodbyes to their people on earth by using the communication stones before they have to go into stasis.

But one of the pods is not repaired and therefore, one of the crew must stay awake. Young volunteers to be the one to stay conscious, which with very little food left means sure death. But Eli convinces that it must be him who stays; Young doesn’t trust Rush to be the sole person awake and therefore it has to be Eli, as he will also have a chance to fix it in the next few days and enter stasis himself. Young finally agrees even though he doesn’t like it. He is worried that Eli might lose the chance to realize his potential, but Eli believes his potential is wasted if he doesn’t step forward when he’s needed. He praises Eli on having come a long way from the “video game slacker” he was a year ago, while Eli claims Rush has been “pretty consistent”. They both get a small laugh out of it. Rush goes into stasis, then Young hugs Eli goodbye, telling him that he’ll see him once they wake up. Once Young is in stasis, the ship begins powering down. Eli heads to the observation deck, looking upon the ship as it travels through FTL.

Thus ends, totally prematurely and well before it should have, a great show. Not just a great Scifi show but a great tv show. It’s sad to see the closing minutes – the closing sequence of the episode mirrors the opening sequence of the first with lights starting up and the camera moving into the “upper” corridors until the Stargate Room, although in reverse. The last scene is Eli smiling while looking out through the window on the observation desk, with a smile on his face and we see the ship go off in the distance in FTL. Such a shame that this had to be cancelled.

Horrible Bosses

I love comedies that are original or atleast haven’t been done in a long time. When I came to know about this movie, knowing what it was about, I was eager to watch it. And it wasn’t exactly what I expected and I must admit that I was a bit disappointed but I’m sure that I will watch this movie many times over the next few years and enjoy it even more. Horrible Bosses is a black comedy directed by¬†Seth Gordon, written by¬†Michael Markowitz,¬†John Francis Daley¬†and¬†Jonathan Goldstein, based on a story by Markowitz. It stars¬†Jason Bateman,¬†Charlie Day,¬†Jason Sudeikis,¬†Jennifer Aniston,¬†Colin Farrell,¬†Kevin Spacey, and¬†Jamie Foxx. Veteran actor Donald Sutherland, Julie Bowen & Lindsay Slone have minor supporting roles. ¬†The film exceeded financial expectations, accruing over $28¬†million in the first three days to make it the number two film in the United States during its opening weekend, and going on to become the highest grossing black comedy film of all time in unadjusted dollars. The film has grossed over $209¬†million worldwide.

Kurt (Sudekis) is an accountant who loves working for his caring boss Jack Pellitt (Sutherland) but when his boss dies his obnoxious, douchebag of a son Bobby (Farrell), takes over and makes the working environment hell. Kurt joins his best friends Nick (Bateman) & Dale (Charlie Day) who already hate their bosses for various reasons. Nick’s boss Dave Harken makes Kurt slave at the office, dangling a promotion in front of him and then when the time comes, awards the post to¬† himself. He also makes Nick’s life miserable by torturing him about insignificant things. Dale is a dental assistant to Dr. Julia Harris (Anniston) who makes sexual advances towards him and even drugs him and takes pics of him & her in various sexual photos, threatening to send copies of it to Dale’s fiance.

One night over drinks, they joke about killing their bosses and go to consult a hitman, the audaciously named “Motherfucker” Jones (Foxx) who they hire. Jones suggests that Dale, Kurt and Nick kill each other’s bosses to hide their motive while making the deaths look like accidents. First they go to Bobby’s house and enters it when he is away and steal his cell phone. They go to Harken’s house, who has a weird scary cat that jumps at the friends. Dale, who is waiting outside, is confronted by Harken for littering a bag of peanuts – unfortunately, Harken suffers an allergy reaction¬† handling the packet but Dale saves him, much to the happiness of Mrs. Harken who arives shortly. Seeing the commotion outside, Kurt & Nick run from the house but drop Bobby’s phone in Harken’s bedroom. Later when Harken finds the phone, he thinks Bobby is his wife’s lover and goes to Bobby’s house and shoots him dead! Nick who is watching outside Bobby’s house, flees in his car, overspeeding and gets tracked by the cops. The three friends meet to discuss their reservations about continuing with their plan. They are arrested by the police, who feel the camera footage makes them suspects in Bobby’s murder. Lacking evidence, the police are forced to let the trio go free.

After a brief consultation with Jones, the  trio decides that they need to get a recorded confession from Harken and crash his surprise birthday party. Nick and Dale get Harken to confess to the murder before realizing that Kurt, who has the audio recorder, is elsewhere having sex with Rhonda. Harken threatens to kill all three for attempting to blackmail him. They flee from the house with Harken hot on their trails. Their car is stopped and Harken, after he catches up with them, shoots himself in the leg as he details his plan to frame them for murdering Bobby and attempting to kill him to get rid of the witness. As the police come they arrest Nick, Dale and Kurt, but the navigation-system operator reveals that the entire conversation was recorded. Harken is sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, while the friends get their charges waived. Nick is promoted to president of the company under a sadistic CEO (Bob Newhart), Kurt retains his job under a new boss, and Dale blackmails Julia into ending her harassment by convincing her to sexually harass a supposedly unconscious patient while Jones secretly records the act.

Funny & fast paced, I’m sure you’ll like it. It’s a hoot and boy oh boy is Jennifer Anniston sexy! I wouldn’t mind if she wanted to sexually harass me. 8 out of 10!

What I Love About My Home Town

I’m actually going to talk about Thrikkakara, a suburb of Cochin, where I lived with my family from the age of 11 till the age of 30 as my hometown. Thrikkakara a place which most of my relatives loved and came to associate it as the place of my sister & I, was this dead quite little place. For a lack of a better description, I used to tell people that it was the gap in the road that serves as a connecting point between the industrial area of Kalamaseery and Edapally toll junction which leads on to more residential areas and then towards the main part of the city.

When we first started living there my mom used to complain that if someone gets murdered and is screaming in agony while being killed, not a soul will know. That’s because we had so few neighbours at first. It was much later that more houses were built and people started living there. Anyways, here’s what I loved about the place; it was much quieter than where I live now. Lots more peaceful and hardly any traffic on the small road in front of us. Plus we had a lot of trees and greenery around.

Compared to a lot of the other areas of the city, or even the state, it was quite cool. Weather wise; in the other sense, yeah it was as dull as watching paint dry. I do not remember the town being too hot even on the hottest days. Also we didn’t have much of a mosquito problem unlike the city area where I live in now. Sheesh, we have a bad mosquito problem here. I never used to use mosquito coils or repellents in my room in the house in Thrikkakara. That was so much better. Ofcourse instead there was a rat problem but that is another story. Atleast the rats can’t fly! So that’s what I loved about Thrikkakara.

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Favourite Board Game – Monopoly

I associate monopoly with late afternoon & evening games with my cousins. Of all board games in the world, I love Monopoly the best – it’s just the best!

I also include the Indian version called Hind Trade (not sure when this game came out, but I’m guessing early to mid 80s) which we played a lot during the summer holidays of the years 1987-90! After that back to Monopoly it was. I’ve even played it as the Bangalore hostel I stayed in during 1995-96! Just like card games it involves a group of players and I’ve always felt that Monopoly was best played with 5 or 6 players at the maximum. More fun that way.

Best time to play Monopoly would be immediately after lunch, spread out on the floor, on a large table or as we did at times, keeping the board on a bed and sitting on chairs around it! With some music playing throughout and you won’t even know how quickly the time passes by. Evening rolls on by and you drink coffee, tea or juices and have a snack – the game still continues. When you are young this pleases the adults cause they can go one watching their movies & their tv shows in blissful peace and not have to worry about you guys!

I love the debates, arguments and bargaining that happens around the board, like a micro version of the real business world and this just adds to the charm of this game. And the feeling when you win – awesome!

Captain America : First Avenger

I remember watching the first movie made on this comic superhero back in the early 90s (the movie was released in 1990) but this one, Captain America : First Avenger is way bigger in budget, hype and creative input. With this the Avengers list is complete in time for the expected to be super-fest Avengers movie which is due out later this year. The symbol of American pride & honour is more of a military hero, atleast in the beginnings as shown in this film and later, due to being frozen, is the first to be recruited by Nick Fury & S.H.E.I.L.D.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed in this movie as it is more of a US military in theme rather than a pure superhero styled movie. But I guess that’s what it’s needed to be as Captain America’s origins were that of a super solider for the US & Allies to battle the might of Nazi Germany. The story goes that Steve Rogers, a rather thin, weak & asthmatic young man is recruited as a soldier based on his ethics & integrity is later chosen as the candidate for a scientific experiment based on his intelligence & bravery. The German scientist Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) chooses him to become a super-soldier and is injected with the serum that transforms him from wimp to warrior – complete from a super toned & muscled body to cat like reflexes and overall new look (in reality a digitally shrunken Chris Evans to the normal Chris Evans).

Helping Steve is Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) , Howard Stark aka Iron Man/Tony Stark’s daddy (Dominic Cooper)and English Agent Peggy Carter (the beautiful & luscious Hayley Atwell). So out comes Steve, buffed & toned and immediately he has to chase a Nazi spy who kills the scientist and destroys the equipment, thereby negating the possibility of more super soldiers, and we get to see his newly acquired skills. The Nazi bites a cyanide pill before he is interrogated but we do know that commander Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), a Nazi who acquires some ancient Viking power and becomes a powerful demon like in appearance in his quest for world dominance, pushing Hitler off to one side. It is the for this that he establishes his units of shock troops known as Hydra and the target for the American troops led by Steve Rogers. But not yet – first we are treated to a show of Las Vegas proportions – of that time & era – where Captain America is paraded in performances to bolster confidence & pride in the American military.

He is disappointed by this turn of events but springs into action to save a soldier friend of his from a Nazi camp. Soon due to his heroics, Captain America is leading a special squadron of soldiers to attack Hydra’s¬† camps and destroy them. There is also a budding romance with Ms. Carter, who looks stylish & stunning when she wants to be. As the movie reaches its end, the final HYDRA stronghold is located and Rogers leads an attack to stop Schmidt from using¬†weapons of mass destruction¬†on American cities. Rogers clambers aboard Schmidt’s aircraft as it takes off. During the subsequent fight, the tesseract’s container is damaged. Schmidt physically handles the tesseract, causing him to dissolve in a bright light. The tesseract falls to the floor, burning through the plane and falling to Earth. Seeing no way to land the plane without the risk of detonating its weapons, Rogers crashes it in the Arctic. Stark later recovers the tesseract from the ocean floor, but is unable to locate Rogers or the aircraft.

Rogers is later found frozen after 70 years in the ice by SH.I.E.L.D. agents and once he recovers and is stunned by present day New York, is recruited by Nick Fury to join his team. That is the birth of the Avengers and the end of this film. I thought it was made well and with a fine cast. My discovery & joy is the beautiful & sexy Hayley Atwell simple a delight to behold (just google her pics). The final conflict between Schmidt & Rogers should have been more elaborate but that would mean a longer movie. Overall I am satisfied with the film and will give it an 8 out of 10!

Miss Atwell deserves a 10 out of 10, growwl!

If I Made a Living from Art

It depends on what you mean when you say art – would you also consider music and composing songs as art? I do and that’s what I most wish I could do and was good at. I wish I could be an accomplished flamenco guitarist and composes all these excellent musical pieces that I could record and have my cds being sold all over the world and have people come to see my concerts and buy my cds & dvds. Heavy metal & hard rock is also something I consider as art. Why? Cause there are many songs from that genre that make me pause and think, make me long, make me wishful, make me laugh, make me sombre, make me cry, make me angry, make me inspired and make me love! Art does that to you and good artful works need to be treasured in that way.

I used to draw a lot when I was a kid. Until I guess the age of 12 or so, I would do pencil drawings and my mom at one time wanted to send to learn drawing. I never thought that I had much talent as I only usually only drew figures of comic heroes and most of them had the same expressions and faces! My favourite drawing that I did was of this girl who was briefly my girlfriend – I drew her face with a single tear falling on her cheek. I do not know why I choose the tear to fall from her eyes on that drawing but I and some of my friends thought that it was quite good – I was 15 at the time. Now I do wish that I had taken classes and gone on to paintings.

I also wish I could sculpt and carve – things out of wood and other stuff. I’d like that a lot. But even more than that I’d love to make guitars – I just love things made out of wood and after the final polish & finish make it look like a masterpiece of the finest order. That really is a wonderful thing. I’d have a grand collection. And I also consider writing to be an art and would love to be an author, writing good fictional stories that people just simply adore. That’s what I would want to make a living out of.

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Pick Me Up, I’m Feeling Down

I was feeling down in the dumps today. The whole day I was just moody. We’ve been having water shortage in our building due to a burst that happened on Sunday. Complications still arose on Monday & today and at times there was no water at all coming in through the pipes. That just pisses me off. It looks to be fixed by this evening and I hope that’s the last we hear about that.

I hadn’t heard from a couple of places that I had applied for jobs and was feeling down as I’ve been searching very strongly & regularly for a little over 3 months now and I’ve only had positive responses from 2 places and I don’t know if either of them are going to offer me the job. I do know that I’ve completed final rounds of interviews at both places and now it’s up to them but it’s taking too long.

At 6pm I took a shower, a long one at that, shaved and got dressed. I went to a cafe and had a nice cold coffee and a snack as I watched a new channel go on & on about two topics that seem to be big in India at the moment. One is the government demanding the resignation of the Indian Army chief because of his age. And the second one is the visit of author Salman Rushdie, who has pissed of the religious leaders & the conservative nutcases in India. Some want to bar him from coming to India (he was born in India but has British nationality, so I guess they could stop him). I then took a long walk and bought some stuff for home.

Next I went to my favourite bar, got me a bomber bottle of beer, a plate of chicken 65 and sat right near the big screen tv and watched a mafia-corrupt police themed Malayalam movie. Shitty movie I must say but the sexy dancing of Swetha Menon in one of the songs was alluring, to say the least :) And I came back home just before 10pm and am chilling in my bedroom.

To Boldly Go Where No PC Has Gone Before

CASE  :    Custom-modded LanCool PC-K58
MOTHERBOARD   :  Asus P8Z68 Deluxe
CPU  :   Intel 3.4GHz Core i7-2600K
COOLER  :    Cooler Master Hyper 212-Plus
RAM   :  16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3/1333
GPU   :  EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Superclocked
SSD   :  240GB OCZ Vertex 3
ODD  :   LG WH12LS30
HDD  :   Two 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT
DRIVE DOCKS  :   Two Icy Dock MB 877SK-B
PSU   :  Corsair TX850
SOUNDCARD  :   Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty
OS  :   64-bit Windows 7 Profession