Working On A Sunday

Today I was at work, which is odd for me. At least for the last few years. I haven’t worked on a Sunday in a long, long time. Since…..2007 I guess? It usually isn’t needed for me. But this Sunday it was because of a mess at the office. I was scheduled to work an evening shift, from 5:30 pm to 2:30 am with my current training batch, for this week. However last week there was a mess up which meant that I couldn’t get them office cabs for the evening shift.

Hence, I gave them Monday an off and told them we would work on Saturday. On Wednesday morning I scheduled the trainees for Saturday evening but a software tool error caused their shift to not get scheduled and hence I couldn’t get them cabs for Saturday evening. Hence I had to change it to Saturday off and make them come to work on Sunday and in the morning. Go figure!

But I did tell them that they only had to come in by 10 am and that I would leave them by 5pm. The day went by very quickly and I finished most of what I had set out to do. After that I went to Big Bazaar in Center Mall, bought some groceries and toiletries and then joined cousin Sujith for some chicken wings and pizza at Pizza Hut. Sorry, no pics as I wasn’t in the mood.

But it’s raining heavily at night now – started at 9pm – and it’s so cold and lovely.

RIP Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, the TV celebrity and food writer who hosted CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” was found dead in his hotel room Friday. He was in France while working on his series on culinary traditions around the world. Bordain was 61. CNN confirmed the death, saying that Bourdain was found unresponsive Friday morning by friend and chef Eric Ripert near the French city of Strasbourg. It called his death a suicide. His first food and world-travel television show was A Cook’s Tour, which ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network from 2002 through 2003. In 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). In 2013, he switched to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

A French prosecutor said Bourdain apparently hanged himself in a luxury hotel in the small town of Kayserberg. French media quoted Colmar prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel as saying that “at this stage” nothing suggests another person was involved. However, investigators were verifying the circumstances of Bourdain’s death. Bourdain was staying at Le Chambard, a five-star hotel. Bourdain’s girlfriend, actress Asia Argento, said in a statement posted to Twitter that she was “beyond devastated.”

Bourdain achieved celebrity status after the publication in 2000 of his best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” The book created a sensation by combining frank details of his life and career with behind-the-scenes observations on the culinary industry. It was a rare crossover – a book intended for professional cooks that had enormous mass appeal. Bourdain went on to achieve widespread fame thanks to his CNN series “Parts Unknown” – and was filming an upcoming segment for the program when he was found dead, according to CNN. Strasbourg police, emergency services and regional authorities did not immediately have information about the death. Bourdain’s assistant Laurie Woolever would not comment when reached by The Associated Press.

The American chef, author and television personality was born in New York City and was raised in Leonia, New Jersey. He had written that his love of food began as a youth while on a family vacation in France, when he ate his first oyster. Bourdain said his youth was punctuated by drug use and he dropped out of Vassar College after two years. Working in restaurants led him to the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated in 1978, and began working in kitchens in New York City. He became executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in 1998.

Bourdain married his high school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in 1985, and they remained together for two decades, divorcing in 2005. On April 20, 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, a mixed martial artist. The couple’s daughter, Ariane, was born in 2007. Bourdain noted that having to be away from his wife and child for about 250 days a year working on his television shows became a strain. The couple divorced amicably in 2016. In 2017, Bourdain began dating Italian actress Asia Argento, whom he met when she appeared on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown.

The Fly (1986)

The Fly is a 1986 American science-fiction body horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooks films and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. Loosely based on George Langelaan’s 1957 short story of the same name, the film tells of an eccentric scientist who, after one of his experiments goes wrong, slowly turns into a fly-hybrid creature. The score was composed by Howard Shore and the make-up effects were created by Chris Walas, along with makeup artist Stephan Dupuis.

A young Jeff Goldblum, before he became famous for being Jeff Goldblum, plays brilliant but eccentric scientist Seth Brundle. He mets journalist Veronica, a young and lovely (I had a mighty crush on Geena as a youngster) Geena Davis, at a party and convinces her that his latest experiment/invention is groundbreaking. She goes to his lab / home where he gives her a demonstration of his teleportation devices – teleporting one of her stockings from one telepod 15 feet away to the second one. After her initial attempt to sell the story to editor Stathis Borans fails, Seth convinces her  to keep the invention secret in exchange for exclusive rights to the story, and she begins to document his work. Although the telepods can transport inanimate objects, they mutilate live tissue, as is demonstrated when a baboon is turned inside-out during an experiment.

They begin a relationship and their first sexual encounter inspires Seth to o reprogram the telepod to cope with living tissue, and he successfully teleports a second baboon. Veronica departs before they can celebrate, and Seth worries that she is rekindling her relationship with her editor Stathis Borans; in reality, Veronica has left to confront Stathis about a veiled threat, spurred by his jealousy of Seth, to publish the telepod story without her consent. Seth decides to teleport himself alone, unaware that a housefly has slipped inside the transmitter pod with him. He emerges from the receiving pod seemingly normal. He starts showing increased strength and sexual stamina, which he believes is a result of the teleportation “purifying” his body. He has sugar cravings and Veronica is concerned about Seth’s insanity and strange, bristly hairs growing from his back.

He becomes more arrogant and violent and tries to force Veronica to do the procedure; when she refuses he abandons her, goes to a bar and partakes in an arm-wrestling match, leaving his opponent with a compound fracture. He meets a woman named Tawny and brings her back to his warehouse, where Veronica rescues her from teleportation. Seth throws Veronica out, but when his fingernails begin falling off, he realizes something went wrong during his teleportation. He checks his computer’s records and discovers that the telepod computer, confused by the presence of two lifeforms in the sending pod, merged him with the fly at the molecular-genetic level. He deteriorates, loses body parts and can even walk on walls. He reconnects with Veronica and theorizes that he is becoming “Brundlefly,” a hybrid of human and insect. He has begun vomiting digestive enzymes onto his food to dissolve it and has gained the ability to cling to walls and ceilings.

Seth installs a fusion program into the Telepod computer, planning to dilute the fly genes in his body with human DNA. Veronica learns that she is pregnant by Seth and has Stathis persuade a doctor to perform an abortion in the middle of the night. Having overheard their conversation, Seth abducts Veronica before the abortion can take place and begs her to carry the child to term, since it may be the last remnant of his humanity. Stathis breaks into Seth’s lab with a shotgun, but Seth disfigures him with his corrosive vomit. Seth reveals his desperate plan to Veronica: He will use the telepods to fuse himself and Veronica, together with their unborn child, into one entity.

As Seth drags her into one of the telepods, she accidentally rips off his jaw and an enormous insectoid-human creature bursts from Seth’s skin. It traps Veronica inside the first telepod and enters the other. The wounded Stathis uses his shotgun to sever the cables connecting Veronica’s telepod to the computer, allowing Veronica to escape. Breaking out of its own pod just as the fusion process is activated, Brundlefly is gruesomely fused with the metal door and cabling of Telepod 2. As the deformed Brundlefly/Telepod creature crawls out of the receiving pod, it begs Veronica to end its suffering with the shotgun, and Veronica tearfully shoots it.

The film was released on August 15, 1986 to massive acclaim by critics and audiences, with praise mainly regarding the special effects and Goldblum’s performance. It grossed $60.6 million at the box office against its nine-million-dollar budget, becoming the largest commercial success of Cronenberg’s career. Walas and Dupuis’ work on the film resulted in their winning an Academy Award for Best Makeup, the only film directed by Cronenberg to win an Oscar. Classic scifi horror from the 80s that still stands today as awesome. 9 outta 10!

Hair Mess

I really need a haircut. I – as I have mentioned here many times before – am balding. Forehead has receded to dangerous levels. You could create a football pitch on my forehead – that’s how much it has receded! And I had a big ole bald spot on the back of my head. It’s a landing pad for a flying saucer. I call it the no front office and no godown hairstyle.

I have chosen to grown up hair a bunch between haircuts. But now it is too long and worse too thick in the back and curling at times, into my ears. I need to get this mess of a map chopped up and back in control. It is a terrible situation at the moment. But atleast there is lots of hair on my head that way.

Yet, it is a mess and cut I must. It’s been a few months now without me getting a haircut. I have to go get it done soon.

Pineapple On Pizza Is “Yum”

I don’t understand what’s wrong with people in general – who the fuck are you to tell others what to eat and what not to eat? If you don’t happen to like a certain dish, ingredient or type of food then don’t eat it. But creating a lot of hype over hating it and making others not want to eat them or mocking the dish and people who opt to eat it is just like a douchebag.

For example the whole Hawaiian pizza debacle. Ok – you don’t like pineapple pieces on your pizza. Great! Don’t eat it. Do not order it when you go to a pizzeria or any restaurant that has pizzas on their menu. But leave alone the dish and people who like and love the taste of something sweet to offset the saltiness of the rest of the pizza.

I have not had the real Hawaiian pizza – meaning ham and pineapple and cheese on pizza sauce – more than once. The other times I have had the chicken version. Grilled chicken or bbq chicken with pineapple and cheese on a pizza. Sometimes peppers and jalapenos as well. It is delicious. Now I will admit that I prefer smaller chunks to avoid the pizza getting too soggy as you don’t want that. Also it helps not to have pineapple juice drooling down your chin as you chomp into the pizza.

So smaller pieces, tiny quarter bite sizes even is fine. A bit of sweet along with the savoury. Yum!

Summer After High School

What did you do the summer after high school?

So for me the summer after high school was 1992 after my 10th grade after which I went for my 11th & 12th in a college as part of a pre-degree course.

I wanted to stay in at home or go out with my cousins. But I started missing my buddies really badly in a few days. I joined a 2 month basic computer course in DataPro. I was restless and needed something to keep me occupied and make new friends as well. Besides it was only a couple of hours a day, 4 days a week. So this 2 month course at DataPro seemed like a good option and I had fun there. I got fascinated by computers as well and during my lab hours I would try to make colourful images on MsPaint. Remember that this was back in the Windows 3.x years.

I remember these two very gorgeous girls who were in my classes at Datapro. Their names were Zeena and Geena D’Couto and they were fraternal twins. And my eye was on Zeena but Geena was hot too. I spent much time with them and in the afternoons I would go to the record store nearby and go through the various album releases and check out some of the music at the store. Ofcourse I also went to various places visiting relatives. Those were good times.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR JUNE at The SitsGirls

Arsenal Sign Lichtsteiner On Free Transfer

Arsenal have announced the signing of former Juventus defender Stephan Lichtsteiner. The Switzerland international is currently a free agent, but the deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes. The 34-year-old was out of contract at the Serie A champions and joins the Gunners ahead of captaining Switzerland at the World Cup.

In a statement on his official Twitter page, Lichtsteiner said: “Happy and honoured to be a Gunner! “Will work hard and passionately day in and day out to achieve our sporting objectives and to win trophies with this great club.” He becomes the first signing since Unai Emery’s appointment as head coach and will wear the number 12 shirt. Emery said: “Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad. He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”

Lichtsteiner has made over 250 appearances for Juventus and is the fourth-most capped player in Switzerland history with 99 appearances for his country. He has won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and three Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011. He is closing in on a century of caps for Switzerland, appearing at two European Championships and two World Cups. The Switzerland international arrived at the Gunners’ London Colney training base today, and becomes the first signing of the Unai Emery era. Lichtsteiner, who will wear the number 12 shirt at the Emirates.

April’s Ernie Ball Music Man #BFR Series

April’s Ball Family Reserve Collection is here! The Ernie Ball Music Man #BFR series is a celebration of their heritage in instrument craftsmanship. Offered in limited production runs to the public that were previously reserved for family and our loyal artists. This month features the Axis Super Sport in Buckeye Burl, the Majesty in Sahara Burst, and the Valentine in 3-tone Sunburst.

Lots Of Rumours But No Signings Yet

Arsenal are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos, according to reports in Germany. The Greece international is set to become the first signing of Unai Emery’s reign, although it has been Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat who has played a key role in recruiting the 29-year-old. Sky Germany report that Sokratis arrived in London on Sunday evening and had a medical on Monday. Arsenal are due to pay €20 million (£17.5m) for the central defender, who would’ve been out of contract with Dortmund next summer.

Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted talks over a potential move to Arsenal are still ongoing with his deal at Juventus expiring this month. Sky Sports News understands Arsenal are in talks with right-back Lichtsteiner over a contract with the 34-year-old expected to become a free agent when he ends his seven-year spell with the Serie A champions. But reports a deal is done for the Swiss to join the Gunners has been dismissed by Lichtsteiner. Lichtsteiner is set to captain Switzerland at the World Cup and take his international caps to over 100. He has won seven Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and three Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011.

Arsenal have launched a shock move to sign Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini on a free transfer after he rejected two contract offers to remain at Old Trafford. The thought of Fellaini signing for the Gunners would have seemed unthinkable under former manager Arsene Wenger, given his age and playing style, but times have changed and the new recruitment team at the Emirates Stadium see the appeal in adding him to the squad. Unai Emery wants to make Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi one of his first Arsenal signings this summer. The new Gunners boss has had to convince the club’s hierarchy to push ahead with a deal for the 29-year-old former Blackburn and Stoke star.

Arsenal showed some initial interest in the France international in January, but head of recruitment Sven Mislintat decided against taking it any further. However Emery, who signed N’Zonzi during his time in charge of Sevilla, is a huge admirer – and the player is also keen to link back up with his old boss. Mislintat is understood to be ready to sanction the deal after conversations with Emery about the player.

The Thing (1982)

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster, based on the 1938 John W. Campbell Jr. novella Who Goes There? It tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who encounter the eponymous “Thing”, a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that assimilates and then imitates other organisms. The group is overcome by paranoia and conflict as they learn that they can no longer trust each other and that any one of them can be the Thing. The film stars Kurt Russell as the team’s helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady, and features A. Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon, Keith David, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat, Joel Polis, and Thomas Waites in supporting roles.

Whenever there is a dog in a horror movie, I keep pleading to the screen “Kill all the people but save the poor pooch. Take the cat too but save Fido”. Not so much in this film! The feeling of claustrophobia, distrust, feeling that you can only trust yourself and no one else and the paranoia of not knowing which among you is the alien creature is heady. The setting, in a frozen tundra of Antarctica leads to the feeling of isolation and loneliness and the dread of knowing that you cannot find others to help you. The resolve of the humans to not let the creature reach civilization is also heroic.

To be honest, this cult movie isn’t without it’s dull moments and I am certainly not a fan of the acting. But I do admit that the practical effects is so much more preferred than anything CGI has been able to pull out till date. Even though we are so used to so much more in terms of special effects in the 36 years that have passed since the movie was released, the disgusting creature and the tentacles and slimey stuff do make an impression – even if they didn’t do faces as well as they do nowadays. Still it is a very good scifi horror and I understand why it’s retained a cult following. I might not be among those who find it to be among the very best in scifi horror but I do respect it.

I give it a 7.5 outta 10!

Man In Bed

Thursday I was feeling much better but since I got an off day from work (for which I needed to work this Saturday) I took it easy and relaxed at home. Watched some tv and a movie and just chilled. I also like to watch performance clips from shows like AGT & BGT etc. So I watched a lot of those as well.

Friday I woke up by 6:30 and left home after breakfast at 8:45 am to go to work. I left the office at 7:45 pm and on my way home stopped at the corner store to buy a few things. Saturday I woke up by 7 am and rushed off to work by 8:50 am but since the traffic was light I reached there in 25 minutes. I conducted my training till 1pm when I let the batch go for lunch break and I too had my lunch with two others.

Then I proceeded to do other work as my batch joined a bunch of other new employees in some activities and programs catering to new hire employees for the rest of the day. By 6pm I was outta there and after contemplating going for a coffee and a sandwich or to McDonald’s or to get a pizza, instead I just reached home and had some black coffee and a snack and post a late dinner, I watched Men in Black II.

Coffee Choice

Coffee is that life giving liquid that changes us – well atleast once you turn 30 – from zombies to functional human beings ready to face the day and go to work or whatever in the morning once you have had a cup. In my case it’s also something I drink between 11 am to 12pm as I work late evening shifts that start at 6:30 pm and end at 3:30 am with me reaching home between 4am to 4:30 am. So I find it absolutely necessary to drink my share of coffee.

Here are the three brands of coffee that I usually drink. Out of these Bru is what I prefer to drink and this is the one we buy more often and Nescafe is the one I get when the other two are not available. Sunrise is ok and I pic that from time to time as an alternative but Bru is still the best option available for my and my family’s taste buds.

 

And yeah, we drink instant coffee since not many of us have coffee machines – I could buy one but the bags of coffee are more expensive, I think. So instant it is. Less of a hassle in making it as well.