Things That Creep Me Out

I watch horror movies. A bit more than the average guy and a lot less than the horror hound. I do not go out of my way to watch horror movies but I really look for the good stories and something different & special rather than watching any old shit. But compared to a lot of movie lovers I do love horror. Hence there isn’t much that creeps me out in terms of horror stuff. But I hate worms, snakes, spiders, huge insects and stuff like that. They just fucking gross me out. There are some people who like to dwell into that kind of stuff and I don’t. And when you make reality tv shows or movies with it – yuck!

Some horror movies have come up with grossing you out completely just for the sake of grossing you out and that has nothing to do with the plot of the movie. Eating dead stuff, even feces and flesh of humans, rotting carcasses and all that crap – there is a way to make zombie & vampire movies! You don’t need blasting human heads with bones, flesh & puss all flowing out every 5 minutes to tell a good horror story. Use it wisely.

Religion creeps me out. Bunch of scary rituals and poojas and priests and Islam and Judaism and Hinduism and Christianity and stuff. Not all of it ofcourse but religion does creep me out. It’s dangerous and should be bewared. Funny thing is Satan and devil worship doesn’t scare me. What people can do in the name of religion and/or Satan creeps me out. People are fucking crazy sometimes and they must be carefully dealt with. People with religion – totally another level of scariness!

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Early Bird or Night Owl

I have done shifts where I had to wake up earl and reach the office at 6am or 7am and the only good thing I could find about it is that it let me have a lot more free time in the evenings. I remember doing a 6am-3pm shift a few years ago and it seemed like I had so much free time after my shift ended that I never left the office until 4:30pm or 5pm! Yeah I was dumb for a while and I thought I should stay back at the office. But coming back, yes the only good thing I felt out of doing early morning shifts was the extra free time or what felt like extra free time.

I’m more of a night owl as I can stay up a lot more, late into the night. No problems there as long as I can get enough rest later and get some coffee to help me along. Having done late evening shifts a lot, lot more that’s why I can stay up late at night quite easily. Waking up early in the morning is a totally another thing altogether. 6am, 7am – 8am is more like it, gives you enough time to sleep. But yeah the sun is up much more strongly by that time. So what, close the curtains and pull up the bedsheets over your eyes and sleep that extra hour in. Oh and isn’t morning sleep the best? If you don’t know what I am talking about, put your alarm for 5 am, wake up early and then go back to sleep. It’s like having an orgasm! So much better than night sleep. Ah! The pleasure, the pleasure!

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Sens Update 21st Feb, 2012

The Ottawa Senators stands in 7th place in the Eastern Conference after 61 games played. They are at 70 points with 31 wins, 22 loses & 8 OTs with 185 goals scored against 180 goals conceded. That defence & goalkeeping need shoring up badly. But last night was a wonderful win for the Senators, 6-0 away against the New York Islanders.

50-50

50-50 refers to the chances of the lead character’s surviving his bout with cancer in the story behind this film. You can also see the title as the reference to “it takes a pair to beat the odd” as the cancer patient & his best friend going through the challenges together. The Johnathan Levine directed movie was written by Will Reiser, loosely inspired by his own experiences with cancer and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt¬†and¬†Seth Rogen. An excellent supporting cast is rounded out by Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas-Howard, Matt Frewer & Anjelica Houston.

27 year old journalist Adam Lerner finds out that he has a rare form of cancer and must immediately start chemotherapy for it. His own research shows that he has a 50% chance of surviving the battle with the cancer. He first informs this to his girlfriend Rachel and his best friend / co-worker Kyle. It is obvious that Kyle disapproves of Rachel. Next Adam has to reveal his diagnosis to his overbearing mother Diane (played very effectively by Anjelica Houston) who already has to take care of a husband suffering from¬†Alzheimer’s disease. But she says she wants to move in with him to help him through this time, although Adam rejects this as Rachael has promised to be the one to take care of him.

Adam also starts seeing a a therapist Katharine McKay (the very cute Anna Kendrick), who is young & inexperienced as Adam notes she doesn’t look old enough. Although their sessions starts of on a rocky basis and things are tense between them, he slowly starts to open up to her about his fears and how the disease is affecting him. The two develop a rapport both in and outside of their sessions, as the lines between doctor-patient and friends begins to blur. Adam also shaves his head in his bathroom with Kyle in tow and befriends two older fellow patients, Mitch & Alan, who he starts to hang out with during and outside of the hospital. Kyle sees Rachel kissing another man and informs this to Adam who breaks up with her, much to Kyle’s happiness.

Kyle tries to keep Adam’s spirits high and tells him that they can pick up chicks using his illness to their benefit and they do go out to a bar and pick up girls. However Adam ends up not enjoying himself, not able to adjust to the situations. He starts to sinks further into depression and when Mitch dies his composure slowly begins to unravel as the realities and seriousness of his illness become increasingly sharper. His doctor soon inform him that the chemo isn’t working and they will have to operate. After a night out with Kyle, he crashes at his friend’s place and sees that Kyle has been reading up on how to help a cancer patient. Seeing his friend’s hidden devotion to him gives him some added courage. He goes in for the operation while his parents & Kyle wait, joined in the waiting room by Kathaerine. Adam’s surgery is successful as the cancer is removed. At the end of the movie Adam has Katharine over for a date and as they start a relationship the movie ends to the brilliant Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam.

Its well acted and well written. The cast was well chosen and although the movie is light-hearted for the most part, it still is a sweet & touching movie. 8 out of 10!

300 Million Year Old Forest Discovered

From Gizmodo & Science Daily:

Much like Pompeii, a 300-million-year-old tropical forest was preserved in ash when a volcano erupted in what is today northern China, under a coal mine. American and Chinese scientists are flabbergasted after discovering a giant 298-million-year-old forest buried intact under a coal mine near Wuda, in Inner Mongolia, China. It is being called the Pompeii of the Permian period because it is covered & preserved by volcanic ash, just like the Ancient Italian city. This swamp forest is so perfectly maintained that scientists know where every plant originally was, labeling it to be like a time capsule.

Standing there you will be able to find a branch with the leaves attached, and then onto the next branch and the next branch and the next branch and finally the stump of the same tree. They are in fact finding entire trees and plants exactly as they were at the time of the volcanic eruption. The researchers discovered the 10,763-square-foot (1000-square-meter) area hidden under a coal mine using heavy industrial machinery. They believe that this frozen-in-time fossilized forest was covered under gigantic amounts of ash that fell from the sky for days. During the Permian, which extends from 299 to 251 million years ago, During the Permian, which extends from 299 to 251 million years ago. This is also when the first groups of mammals, turtles, lepidosaurs and archosaurs started to roam the Earth.

Haha and the Christian fundamentalists & the bible wants you to believe that the earth is only 6000-10,000 years old! :P

Beer Types – Pale Ale

Ok, the first type of beer we touched on is India Pale Ale. I realize that I should have done Pale Ale’s first before branching out with the sub-genres of Pale Ales. Resulting from an innovation in brewing technology, pale ale was created by brewers in Burton-on-Trent in England were looking for a way to produce a more consistent and paler beer. They found that coke, a processed form of coal that burns hot and steady, gave them the desired effect – a clear, amber or copper colored ale, which was far paler than any British ales till then.

Pale malt is used to make pale ale. The traditional British pale ale style, which includes bitter and ESB, is a very pleasant and understated beer. It has a malty profile and just enough woody or lightly floral hops for balancing. British pale ales tend to be maltier in flavor and less hoppy so they can be enjoyed with a wider variety of foods including spicy dishes from India and Asia. They are also good with the blander dishes of the UK. Pale ales brewed outside of England, especially those from America, tend to be hoppier with less malt flavor so they go best with simpler dishes such as grilled meat.

The beer featured is one of the recommended Pale ales by a lot of beer experts – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

A Great Survival Story

A Swedish man snowed in his car survived for two months while being trapped in. The 45-year-old man, who had no food, was huddled inside a sleeping bag, emaciated, and close to death when he was discovered by people on snowmobiles on Friday. He told his rescuers that he was trapped in his car from December 19, 2011. Doctors say that this rare kind of situation, was probably because his snowed in became like an igloo, which is why he has managed to get through this cold, which went down to -30 centigrade in that area.

No-one is sure why the man, identified in the media as Peter Skyllberg, apparently chose to stay in the car at the end of a road leading off a major highway, but it has certainly attracted attention from around the world. Bertil Wallin, who has been covering the story for the local newspaper the Vasterbotten Courier, said the man had been eating snow. “Nothing else. He had food for one day and I think he had decided to stay with the car for some reason that no one knows why,” he said.

No-one has missed him during this time which sounds sad. His full story of two months with nothing but melted snow may never be told and, if his rescuers had been a little less curious, one of the most remarkable stories of all time would never have survived – and nor would he.

The Runaways

Before watching this movie, or rather I should say that before I knew about the topic of this movie, I had no clue who Cherie Currie was. I was well aware of Joan Jett and Lita Ford but did not know that the two of them had been in a band together before they became very famous and that the band was fronted by a singer called Cherie Currie. This I did find out when I watched an interview with Cherie & Matt (former GnR & Cult drummer, now of Velvet Revolver) who are collaborating for Cherie’s new musical project. So anyway The Runways is a biopic about the 1970s all-girl punk rock band of the same name, written and directed by¬†Floria Sigismondi, who based the screenplay on the book¬†Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway¬†by the band’s original lead vocalist¬†Cherie Currie.¬†Dakota Fanning plays Currie,¬†Kristen Stewart¬†plays rhythm guitarist and vocalist¬†Joan Jett, and¬†Michael Shannon¬†plays record producer¬†Kim Fowley.

Currie is a teenager living in Los Angeles idolizing David Bowie and wanting to be a rock star. She dresses u like Bowie for a talent show and wins the contest inspite of  initially being heckled. Joan Jett, a bisexual teen who plays guitar is also searching for rock stardom. She meets producer Kim Fowley and talks about starting an all girl rock band; Kim in turn introduces her to drummer Sandy West (Stella Maeve). The two  girl become friends and are on the lookout for a singer when they meet Cherie, who they invite to audition in their trailer. At her less than inspiring audition, Kim and Joan write up a song, Cherry Bomb, on the spot  for her which she slowly proceeds to do much better singing on. The Runaways, joined by Lita Ford (Scout Taylor-Compton) on lead guitar and Robin (Alia Shawkat) on bass is formed.

The band is signed to Mercury Records and soon hit the road. Cherie’s sister is initially upset & jealous that her younger sibling can go on the road and become famous while she has to stay back and take care of their father. The band record an album which propelled by their hit single Cherry Bomb starts climbing the charts. Success brings them to Japan where screaming hordes of fans mob them. However it seems that Cherie is the main attraction and considered to be a sex symbol. When a magazine photo shoot of Cherie, which she didn’t tell the band about, is discovered by Lita, she causes a fit. Cherie is shocked because she thought the article would be of all of them with individual photo sessions. As Lita, Cherie, and Joan argue, crazy fans break through the window and chase the girls out of the building. Cherie’s drug problems become worse. She overdoses in the hotel, collapses in an elevator and is sent to the hospital. Upon arriving back in the United States, Cherie begins to abuse her alcoholic father’s painkillers.

During the recording for the next album Cheri has a breakdown, argues with Kim and refuses to play. Lita insults her and though Joan defends her, Cherie quits the band. The band is broken up and go their separate ways. After moping around for months Joan starts her own band Joan Jett &  The Heartbreakers and becomes a huge success. Cherie goes on a drug & drinking spree and collapses and has to be hospitalized. A few years later while working a 9-5 retail store job, Cherie hears Joan being interviewed on the radio. She calls the station and has an awkward conversation with Joan and the station interviewer for a couple of minutes. Cherie keeps the phone and goes back to work, smiling as another Joan Jett song plays on the radio.

It’s a good movie describing the excess that went on with the very young band and Cherie tumultuous initial bouts with the music industry. The real Cherie went on to release a few solo albums and one with her sister Marie. She also became a wood carving artist for a while and now has a new musical project.

7 out of 10!

Mind Your Language : Season 2

After the first season of 13 episodes season 2 is even shorter with just 8. I can’t tell you how disappointing that is even for an old show. Anyways as soon as season 2 starts, we have Mr. Brown coming back to school after the break and looking forward to starting off his new school year with a fresh batch of students but internally missing his last batch. He meets up with Ms. Courtney and then goes to his classroom and see his first new student, Zoltan Zabo (portrayed by ¬†Gabor Vernon) a Hungarian, who only appears during Series 2.

Zoltan has a very basic level of English and requires a phrasebook for everything. He picks up slang quickly, most of which comes from Giovanni and Juan. His typical catchphrase is to say “Bocs√°nat?” [pronounced “bochanot”, Hungarian word for ‘Sorry’, ‘Excuse me’] to everything said to him in English. He is also the most annoying character in the series and the only one I didn’t like and I am glad that he had a very minimal involvement with the show. This character didn’t really contribute much either.

The second new student who comes in a few minutes later is Ingrid Svensson, a sexy au pair from Sweden, played by Anna Bergman, a Swedish actress and daughter of ¬†of film and theatre director¬†Ingmar Bergmanand choreographer-director¬†Ellen Bergman. She is attractive and straightforward about her attraction to Mr. Brown, sparking a rivalry between her and Danielle. Her main problem with English is word order, often getting words mixed up, such as “you for I question answer.” She transfers schools at the end of Series 2, but returns in the independently produced Series 4.

Mr. Brown is highly disappointed to see that none of his 10 students passed their lower Cambridge tests and hence have to repeat the classes. He tends to be a little more stricter this year. The Queen is supposed to visit the school, leading Ms. Courtney to go haywire in arranging the school for presentation. Our class dresses up in their native national costumes for the occasion but the Queen is unable to visit but they mistake another woman for the Queen instead. Ms. Courtney is reunited with an old boyfriend but Mr. Brown has to help her out as it turns out that he is a con artist. The first outdoor episode is shot when the students along with Mr Brown, Ms. Courtney and the incompetent Sidney go on a field trip and are stranded. Mr. Brown stays at the flat shared by Giovanni & Max for a night but is mistaken for a burglar and caught by two policeman. Ms. Courtney forces Mr. Brown to attend a charity dance, and he has to decide who to escort, but ends up dancing with 3 women. The class sings the Mind Your Language opening theme for a talent show.

Nice eh? This is Anna Bergman. It intrigues me how both the hotties of the show were adult film actresses. Both Miss Bergman & Françoise Pascal (Danielle) have done a lot of nude scenes with Pascal doing a Penthouse shoot as well. Anna has done a lot of Swedish porn films. Interesting!!

Weekend Visit To A Cafe

Very nice & refreshing Coffee Dream from Fort Cafe. Thick coffee frappe with a vanilla ice cream scoop for good measure. It was relief from the hot sun.

Sadly I could not say that this was a good sandwich. It’s a tuna fish roll from Fort Cafe and although I’ve loved everything else that I have ever had in this cafe, this was a huge disappointment. I’ve been craving tuna for a couple of weeks now and I asked if they a grilled tuna sandwich. They instead had a tuna fish roll – the bread was good but it’s what was inside that was a disappointment. All I could taste was lots & lots of chopped onions that was liberally splashed with a kind of mayo and a hint of tuna taste. All that crunching of onions put me in a foul mood.

Discovering New Books

I wish I could read as much as I used to as it now takes me a month or more to read a single novel whereas I would devour 2 or 3 in a month in years gone by. I was a bookworm but I am no longer one. Now since I read at such a much slower pace I have to pick & choose what books I read. In such cases I go for the tried & tested authors or I get help.

The internet is a good option – read synopsis & recommendations from website or blogs that review books. Check what other people are reading and saying about the books that they have read. Facebook posts, Twitter tweets etc etc. These days it’s the best way to find not just a good book but also movies, music & recipes for food & cocktails.

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Sarcasm: Love It Or Leave It?

Sarcasm is fun and it can be funny for everyone as long as it is not said in a hostile manner. You can sound mean when you say something sarcastic but the trick is to make it as jovial a possible or to crack a smile afterwards to show that you bear no ill will. Some people just have the gift of sarcasm.

Like Chandler Bing aka Matthew Perry’s role in Friends. He was the champion of sarcasm for most of the 10 seasons of that show but only some of it would seem mean and mostly it only sounded mean to Joey because he is, you know, Joey! Most of Chandler’s sarcasm is funny as hell and adds to the humour of the situation.

So keep Chandler as your inspiration and think “what would Chandler say in a situation like this or as a reply to this” before you say something sarcastic.

For eg; when asked if he didn’t cry when Bambi’s mother died in the cartoon movie, Chandler replies “Yes it was quite touching when the man stopped drawing the deer!”

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The River : Ep3 ‚ÄúLos Ciegos‚ÄĚ

If I were to rate the individual episodes of the tv series The River, all 3 of them so far, I’d give the 1st one an 8, the second one a 10 and this one a 7. Los Ciegos is a good episode but just cannot hold a candle to the previous one.

The continuing search for Emmet lead the group to a cave in the jungle. The cave was marked by “Los Murcegos,” the guardian tribe of the forest that Jahel keeps warning everyone about. Despite her warnings the group enters the cave, except for AJ who has an aversion of caves and will not budge. Inside the dark cave they come across a corpse of a man with no eyes and later bats. Lots & lots of bats that chase them away from the cave and out into the woods. They camp out for the evening but Emilio has become blind. They decide to go back to the boat to treat him. While in the boat Lincoln hears his mother & Clark talk – seems they have had a thing going on while Emmett & Tess were estranged. Slowly all the members start to become blind save for 3 – AJ, Lena & Kurt have to set back out to the forest to find the bulb of a plant that Jahel & Emilio believe to cure the temporary blindness that has affected the crew. To make matters worse, Kurt cuts Clark in the belly by accident while searching for possible native tribe who have approached the boat.

Lincoln must make an effort to stitch up a bleeding Clark by feel. Suddenly the Murcegos board the boat and the panicking  crew shut themselves in two rooms; Lincoln & Clark in one while Emilion, Jahel & Tess in another. Meanwhile both Lena & Kurt are blinded leaving AJ to fetch the bulb Рinside a small cave under a huge tree. Of course the tunnel collapses on him, but he is saved at the last moment by the Murcego, who have a change of heart when Clark takes the blame for desecrating their land and offering himself to save the crew. The Murcego retreat back into the jungle and the crew is treated and slowly each recover their eyesight.

I Am Number Four

You get a lot of movies where the trailers are way better than the actual film itself. I Am Number Four is one such movie. It’s a teen romance movie & a coming of age film combined with elements of science fiction & aliens on earth. Unfortunately for scifi enthusiasts looking for a good addition to an already awesome list of movies, this one kinda feels a bit like “Twilight” with aliens instead of sparkly vampires. While I like the special effects and some of the action sequences, it fails to elevate the movie from being anything more than a teen-angst alien Twilight amalgamation for me. Directed by¬†D. J. Caruso the film stars Alex Pettyfer,¬†Timothy Olyphant,¬†Teresa Palmer,Dianna Agron¬†and¬†Callan McAuliffe.

Apparently there were 9 survivors of an alien race from the planet Lorien (even that name sounds sparkly) sent to live on earth to escape an invading race, the Mogadorians, which destroyed their home planet. Each are sent to different part of the earth with a guardian to protect and guide the child. Our hero John Smith is one such alien, the 4th one and he lives with Henri, and moves from town to town occasionally to avoid detection. At the beginning of the movie one of the aliens is killed along with his guardian. John develops powers such as enhanced strength, speed and agility, telekinesis, and the power to generate light from his hands. When an incident occurs in Floria, Henri moves the two of them to a town in Ohio.

At his new school John befriends local conspiracy theorist Sam and a girl Sarah and also adopts a dog who wandered to their new house. When the school bully, who is Sarah’s ex, and his friends attempt to beat up John and take Sarah away, John uses his powers to fight them off. Sam witness this and John confides to his new friend of his true nature. As people start getting suspicious, Henri tells John that it’s time for them to leave this place as well, although John doesn’t want to as he has feelings for Sarah. The Mondrogians are approaching the town and there also seems to be a female alien on their track. The Mondrogians manipulate two locals to capturing Henri¬†, who is mortally wounded and dies after John and Sam escape with some Lorien artifacts, including a blue rock that acts as a tracking device to locate other Loriens. While going to see Sarah at a party, John reveals his powers when he saves her from a fall and now the cops are after him & Sam too.

John, Sam & Sarah take refuge at the school where the Mondrogians let loose two monsters to attack them. The trio is helped by the female alien, who is actually Number 6 and John’s dog – a shape shifting chimera sent by his parents to protect him. John & Number 6 fight off the Mondrogians with their powers and all of them are destroyed in the final battle on the school’s football field. The next day John says his goodbyes to Sarah as he leaves with Number 6, the dog & Sam to search out the remaining four surviving Loriens. A repentant Mark comes to see them off and returning to John a box belonging to his father. John leaves with promises to return. I’m assuming that there are plans for a sequel. The book on which it is based ends where the movie does but you never know.

6 out of 10!

5 Foods I’d Hate to Live Without

1) Grilled sandwiches : oh, I would love to have one everyday. I just love sandwiches like grilled tuna melt, chicken, chicken tikka or grilled cheese & spinach corn. My new favs is a mozzarella chicken that is a little spicy but still amazing. A good club sandwich with some frys; you just can’t go wrong with that.

2) Pizza : I’ll say it again, I have never met a pizza that I didn’t love! Pizza is the best thing that ever came out of Italy (and they have lots of things to be proud out). I just love bacon or pepperoni on my pizza but usually I feel that pizza’s should be vegetarian. Some mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, corn and lots of cheese. Simple and yet so good!

3) Shawarma : I grew up till the age of 11 with shawarma – good ole sandwiches or rolls with the cut up meat, some veggies, hummus and if you like, add some ketchup! I prefer beef shawarmas but chicken taste well too. They also have something called an al-faham, which is a kind of grilled chicken. Delicious!

4) Noodles : any kind of noodles. I am a noodles nut and I can eat noodles 3 times a day, 366 (for this leap year) a year and not complain. I love noodles with anything but am partial to the really good chopsuey I get in a bar/restaurant over here. Boiled veggies with chicken, beef & prawns and an egg with crispy noodles & a little gravy. Hmmm, hmmm!

5) Fish fry : I’m a typical Kerala coastal town boy in that I love my fish. Sardines, pomfrets, pearl spot, mackrels & anchovies – I love them all. I prefer fish fry to curries just because I feel that the fish tastes better when it’s fried.

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