Life As An M&M

I got the link to this funny &, might I say, yummy online application, through Jeffery Simpson where you can make yourself into an M & M – any colour shell that you like. Everyone loves M&Ms, right? I looked through the various options that they have and decided on a light brown colour, hair that is somewhat like my own (only the hairline is receding like anything), spectacles to kind of match mine, a sheepish grin that I kind of have on my face from time to time & a cell phone. They have a choice of accessories that you can chose (although the choices are limited) that best suits your lifestyle or work. I chose the cellphone – not because I own one or use it all the time, silly! But it’s because that I have now completed three years in this industry and I do love this industry a lot (inspite of the idiotic & demanding customers who want the sun, the moon on 10p & the stars as a complements) and I see myself continuing it for a further more years. How do you like it? Does it look like me? You can get one yourself at this link!

Victim Of Racism Or Not?

I don’t think I have heard of quite a situation like this in recent times, especially concerning Indian celebrities. Big Brother contestant Shilpa Shetty, a gorgeous Bollywood actress / model / PETA activist was led to tears by her fellow participants in, what I think, is a shitty program to begin with. Shetty was alledgelly a victim of racist slurs by Jane Goody, Danielle Lloyd & Jo O’Meara – being called a ‘dog’ and “Paki” and other racist comments. Goody has in turn been at the recieving end of complaints from numerous Britons (of Indian origin and otherwise) and Asians including Indians. The shock of the public at her foul language has led her to be the favourite to be evicted from Big Brother.

As far as I can tell, Jane Goody is a bitch and totally uncultured. She was voted the 4th most hated Briton and is milking her reality tv fame. However, today in the news, Shilpa has said that she was a victim of racism and that it was nothing more than the heat of competition was getting to them. Shilpa is a sweet & sexy individual and ofcourse she has my vote as she is also the Romanov Vodka brand ambassador in India!

Shetty had been branded a “dog” by Lloyd who claimed the star “wanted to be white”, and former housemate Jackiey Budden repeatedly referred to her as “the Indian”. When the actress cooked a chicken for her housemates, O’Meara refused to eat it commenting that Shetty’s cooking was responsible for her “getting the shits.” The clique have frequently complained about Shetty and mimicking her accent, protesting against her touching of their food during preparation. Lloyd speculated about eating habits: “They eat with their hands in India, don’t they? Or is that China? You don’t know where those hands have been.” Objecting to the disposal of left-over chicken soup and bones down the toilet, Tweed suggested that Shetty should pick the bones out with her teeth, prompting her reply “There’s a lot more I want to do with my teeth.” Lloyd commented that she should “fuck off home”. Lloyd has also claimed that Shetty could not speak proper English, while Goody has continued to refer to Shetty as “Shilpa Poppadom” claiming that it was a reference to Indian food. Shetty has been reduced to tears on several occasions, confiding to Ian Watkins: “I feel like I’m losing my dignity”.

Do I think that the UK is a racist country just because of this incident as some people have told me? No. Just like there are bad people in India, there are bad people in the UK (some of them even of Indian origin). I think most Britons do like Indians and people of all nations and are living happily in a multi-ethic & multi-cultured U.K. But there is an element in the society that does not agree with that. They believe “white is right” and are racist in nature. But that is to be expected among humans.

Song for the day – “Black, Hole Sun” – SOUNDGARDEN

American Idol 2007

The mother of all competition-based reality television shows is back for another year. Yes for six years Simon Cowell’s arrogant words have assaulted the ears of sensitive viewers & unsuspecting contestants and for six years Randy has called people ‘dawg’ (in a totally friendly & respectful way) and for six years Paula Abdul has had a career in television. For the sixth time, people with absolutely no talent to speak of will try and impress the judges (I am particularly pissed off with the African American breed of screamers; they shout and think that it is talent). The other kind I hate is the moron who just to get noticed on tv will dress in stupid attire and perform tricks that only he/she thinks is funny. They are the worst kind. The sad part is they do get shown on tv.

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Jeff Healey’s Cancer Blues

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For those of you, who don’t know, Jeff Healey is a great blues guitarist & singer from Toronto. His guitar skills and unusual style of playing (on his lap and with his left thumb also on the strings) brought him much critical acclaim and tons of fans. Although he is now mainly a jazz musician he is still known more widely for his blues-rock songs like Angel Eyes, See The Light, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, How Long Can A Man Be Strong & his appearance as a member of a bar band in the movie Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze.

Other than his own music he has also helped launched the singing careers of Amanada Marshall & others. He has a bar/club in Toronto which showcases many upcoming bands and also has his own Jazz oriented program on Canadian radio. He lost his eyesight as a one year old, to cancer. And although he has never let that stop him, he has had a continous battle with the wretched disease. On January 11th, Healey underwent surgery to remove cancerous tissues from both his lungs, his fourth cancer related operation. Let’s hope that he is free from it and gets well soon.

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Song for the day – “When The Night Comes Falling” – JEFF HEALEY

The Induction

So after a few days of doing nothing, I was finally called into the new company’s outsourced partner with whom I was supposed to sign up. I reached there at the appointed time of 9 am and saw many familiar faces! These were guys who, like me, were fed up of the old company and had either left before me or around the same time as me. There were 28 other people there joining up and that was a shock to me! I am joining up a huge project, a BPO that has got tremendous clout and money to boot and it has got major ambitions.

So we started off and they had a huge presentation video that gives viewers the scope and reach of this particular organization. Then we discussed it for a while. We were given huge presentations about the start of the company, what all projects they have done and how much they have grown. They have offices in the US, the UK, Argentina & the Philippines (under development) and ofcourse the office in my city. I was impressed by that. Me and another guy had to go for a bit to complete out formalities, since I had to break my contract with the previous BPO and were meeting the management here for the first time. I spoke my bit and was confirmed.

We went back, had a delicious lunch and continued the various slides, they had the HR formalities done, the various do’s and don’ts outlined etc etc. And oh, I have two Tibetan brothers as colleagues now and they were fun to get to know. I will be one of the trainers there. We also had to speak for about ourselves or on a topic that the operations team chose and man, let me tell you that there were some duds. I thinked I aced my topic cause they were impressed and they said so. So yah!

On the female side of things, sorry to tell you that there is so little to mention. There is one cutie in the group and one in the HR (but I later learnt that she is from their Bangalore office and hence we may not see her for quite a while, shucks). Otherwise I am happy about things, although this is not what I was originally promised. I am a bit pissed off about that but I really need this job. So I will bide my time.

Me and the other guy (one of the Tibetan brothers) had some more formalities to complete (a stupid aptitude test that made no sense to me) and some more forms to fill. I am surprised at the number of sheets that I signed & number of times I filled my details. So I got to leave for home only around 10:30 and I am so exhausted!

Song for the day – “Dough Flutie” – MOXY FRUVOUS

The Comeback

The NHL All-Stars game approaches us on the 24th of this month. This is the first time in three years that it is happening. The reason for the three year delay is the 2004-05 lockout due to differences between the players union and the owners regarding salary. That was sorted out and there was a full season last year, however due to the 2006 Winter Olympics, the NHL decided to skip the All Stars to give the players a rest. This season, they have brought it back to showcase the talents of the new breed and the older breed. From time to time you come across a player or players who have surprised the sport and it’s followers. Yanic Perreault is one such player. At the start of the season, he was without a team. Despite the Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada) native having his best year in terms of points with the Nashville Predators last season and having six 20 goal seasons under his belt and a well deserved reputation as a one of the NHL’s top faceoff men, his one year contract was not renewed. So he was without a team, until an injury hit Phoenix Coyotes decided to give him a try and signed him on October 30th. Since then, Yanic has scored 14 goals and 25 points and is leading his team. His faceoff skills still at a very good 62.4 win percentage, the center will take his place in his first ever NHL All Star game at the age of 35.

Don’t we all enjoy a good comeback.

Song for the day – “Building A Mystery” – SARAH MCLACHLAN

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The Golden Globes 2007

The Golden Globes Award ceremony were held earlier today morning (in the US it would be last night). I normally don’t watch award shows until the end, to see who won the best supporting roles, the best actors / actress & best picture. These are the only categories worth waiting for. What I liked about this year; here are some winners :

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  • Best Actor/Drama : Forest Whitaker
  • Best Actress/Drama : Helen Mirren
  • Best Actor/Musical or Comedy : Sasha Cohen
  • Best Actress/Musical or Comedy : Meryl Streep
  • Best Supporting Actor : Eddie Murphy

I didn’t know anyone else who won or hadn’t seen or heard of the movies that won. As for TV, nothing that I watch won, although I like Hugh Laurie and he won for Best Actor/Drama for his role as Dr.House. And Warren Beatty was honoured with the Cecil De Mille award for lifetime achievement, present by Tom Hanks.

Sitting Pretty

So, i was supposed to start off at the new job today but since the manager is away and won’t be back till 10 pm tonite, my first day has been pushed to Tuesday. That is cool with me although, I am wondering : these were the same people who wanted me to join asap and didn’t want me to give the usual 15 days notice. And not that I don’t appreciate the almost 5 day holiday that I get. I can relax, chat, listen to music, surf the net, spend long hours drinking & reading @ the coffee shop or the bar, sleep the afternoons if I feel like it. There’s paint work going on at the apartment. I didn’t go out much, except to get a couple of beers and a nice lunch on Saturday. So tomorrow is the big day and to tell you the truth, I am tired of waiting. Let’s get it on!

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Song for the day – “If I Were You” – TERRI CLARK

Toon Army vs Spurs

watch appaloosa online Last nite I managed to catch most of Newcastle’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane. There were some other stuff also on and unfortunately my fingers kept changing the channels to the tv shows a lot that I missed the full excitement of a great match. These two teams will be playing for UEFA Cup spots more than anything. Tottenham for all their style and team play are now 8th in the league and the way they played throughout the game they should have won it and won it in style. For large parts of the game, Spurs seemed to dominate their rivals and at one point I was wondering if it would be an embarrassing one-sided affair. Jermain Defoe started it off for Spurs, scoring off an assist by Steed Malbranque, even though the English striker was actually offside. In a couple of minutes teenage defender Paul Huntington equalized for the away team. In the second half Spurs restored their lead when Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov put them ahead with his 11th goal of the season. But Newcastle’s Nigerian striker Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins went on to score a brilliant goal to make it 2-2. With the momentum on the side of the visitors, Nicky Butt scored a goal which was set up by Norberto Solano and Kieron Dyer and clinched the victory for the visiting team.

However the match was marred by an incident between Butt & Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda. Follwing a clash between the Spurs player and Newcastle goalie Shay Given, Chimbonda slapped Butt as the two players argued. The row escalated into the tunnel that leads to the dressing room and Butt had to be pulled off. Glen Roeder said that the row inspired his Newcastle side to victory. Ok, so someone slap the whole Indian squad – we might win the World Cup!

Music Is The Medicine – Anthony Gomes

The Beauty of the internet is that you can discover many, many excellent music artists / groups that you would normally find hard to find in your local store. There might be no chance of them ever coming by your neck of the woods but so what? You get to enjoy some of the best music around the world. And to hell with MTV and other channels that only play heavily hyped and marketed stuff like hip-hop and rap these days. I can’t stand to watch that stuff. But through the net I have discovered numerous artists who I now consider to be among my all-time favourites. Examples are : Big Sugar, Aaron Pritchett, Jason McCoy, Todd Kerns, Lisa Brokop, The Tragically Hip, Alexisonfire, Regina Specktor etc. The majority of these artists are Canadian – this is due to four reasons: a)Most of my online friends are Canadian, b) My fascination with Canada and Canadians in general 3) Canadian musicians are not promoted as forcefully as their American or British counterparts & foremost 4) Canadians make excellent music!

Anthony Gomes is one such artist. I have just discovered his music, quite by accident, but I am rocking out to it with loads of enjoyment & enthusiasm. To the ignorant (which included me till recently), Gomes is a Portuguese Canadian Blues-Rock guitarist / musician / singer from Toronto, Canada. He debuted his brand of music in 1997 and has released four albums in his career. He is considered among the premier guitarists in his genre and his band and he is known for their relentless touring which has garnered him a loyal fanbase. He would move to Chicago & Nashville to learn more about the roots style music & song writing that would influence his albums. The first three albums varied in their content : the first one “Blues In Technicolor” was a guitar-centric, gunslinger kinda album that showcased his chops in 1998. Then 2000 saw the mostly acoustic “Sweet Stringin’ Soul” in a more intimate setting. The next one, “Unity” came out in 2002 and was voted by some critics as one of the 30 essential blues albums of all time.

Music Is The Medicine” starts off in a funky blues-rocker style with the title track which makes you wanna tap your feet and groove. Next track Bluebird (a symbol of happiness) is great track, with a lovely chorus section. Now She’s Gone is a lament of a man whose woman who has upped & left him and has moved on. You can dance to Stand Up – a song that tells you stand up for what you believe and back it up with action. War On War is about the current situation and is a protest song from the US situation. A declaration that the protest kind of war is the only way to fight unjust war that is the propaganda of the wealthy & powerful politicians. Love Is The Answer is request to humanity to come together in peace & love and to forget their differences.

Everyday Superstar is a funky track with r&b influences standing out strong and I just love the section in which the band does the “tadananano” part. A rockier Testify is an excuse for you to party. Waiting For A Sign is a personal look inside oneself, analysing the life you have lived. The funk is back with What If which has a groovy guitar intro that uses the wah-wah pedal effects to good but understated use. Run is a rocker with blistering guitar work, a song about bravely facing your obstacles. Album closer When The Right Woman Does You Wrong is all bar blues. You can taste the tequila shots or the whiskey bottles or the vodka & limes in the music & words. The song is about how the love of your life can hurt you and that the hurt is the worst kind that you can feel. The searing & lengthy uitar solo is done to great effect.

All said, this is a great album and one I would highly recommend to lovers of anything related to blues, r&b & rock. You can play it over and over again and never tire of it. I have already played it 6 times in two days; it is that addictive.

Song for the day – “Music Is The Medicine” – ANTHONY GOMES

The Goonies

If, like me you were a young kid between the ages of 9-15 during the latter half of the 80’s, chances are that you were affected by the movies The Goonies when you saw it and are still nostalgic about it. This is one movie that brings back such memories. Steven Spielberg wrote the story and Chris Columbus created the screenplay based on it and it was directed by Richard Donner, who was behind movies like The Omen, Leathel Weapon & Superman (how can you go wrong with that combination?)! The Goonies are a band of kids bent on rescuing the Goon Docks in their hometown of Astoria, Oregon from demolition and they attempt to do that by finding the lost treasure of One-eyed Willie, a pirate. Mikey finds the map in his father’s attic and it leads to a tunnel in a rundown restaurant, which is also the hideout of a criminal family called the Fratellis. Once the Fratelli brothers find out what the kids are after, they and their mother also go in search of the treasure for their personal gain. One of the Goonies, Chuck, befriends the third Fratelli brother, Sloth, who is deranged and deformed but friendly to the kids. The kids have to dodge various booby traps laid by Willie and his men in the tunnels.

At the end of the tunnel they discover an old pirate ship, which houses the treasure and the skeletons of Willie and his band of pirates. As they fill their pockets with the treasure, the Fratellis reach them and steal the loot from them. A dynamite is lit, mistaken for a candle and the cave starts to collapse. The Goonies dive into the water and swim for safety. A search party led by cops finds them on the beach and they apprehend the Fratellis with help from the strong Sloth. Fortunately for them, a small bag of jewels and gems was not taken away from Mikey and they can use the money from selling it to save the docks from being demolished and made into a golf course. Willie’s ship is lost into the ocean and Chuck says that Sloth is going to stay with him & his family from now.

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The film stars child actors Sean Austin (who has managed to get a decent career for himself even as a grown up) as Mikey, former child superstar and now where-is-he Corey Feldman as Clark aka Mouth, & Josh Brolin (also in Hollow Man). Joe Pantoliano is one of the villainous yet comedic Fratelli brothers. The movie was a big hit and is now also considered a cult favourite with numerous references in other movies & tv. 8 outta 10!

Ripping CDS 3

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Getting a few more CDs done and soon I will be through with it. Today evening, a couple of beers in my belly and large intestine I wanted to do at least another 8 more. But the beers made me sleepy and I took a three hour nap and then lazed about for a while. I only got around to doing these three, but what a great three albums.

  • It’s Time – Michael Buble
  • Go Time – Todd Kerns
  • Super Colossal – Joe Satriani

Song for the day – “Feeling Good” – MICHAEL BUBLE

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Beckham To Move To MLS

Biggest news from the sporting world today (and probably for this week) is the predicted signing of David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy of the Major League Soccer. The American club will get their international superstar at the end of the current season as Beckham’s contract with Real Madrid ends in June 2007. The former England captain is only being used as a substitute in this season for Madrid and is probably a little frustrated with the lack of playing time with the Spanish giants. His time with Madrid has been disappointing to say the least, only briefly showing the flashes of brilliance that he is known for. To make matters worse he was also dropped from the England squad by national coach Steve McLaren. This was a truly devastating blow for Becks as he has always been proud to represent his nation and countrymen. The new deal with LA seems to be for 5 years and at 31 he is still young enough to play for another 5 years. Certainly in the US atleast! The deal will cost the American club nothing; a far cry from the 23 million pounds that Real shelled out to get a hold of Beckhamania in July 2003.

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His move to Madrid was spurred on by a tiff with Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. There is the thought that he moved to Madrid as his wife, Victoria “Posh” Beckham” wanted to live in a more glamorous city than Manchester. For that the already maligned Posh was hated even more by true Man Utd fans. Now the world over football fans are gonna hate her even more; a world class player @ only 31 years old going to play in the US! It’s like a desperate attempt to milk some more money. Sure, David’s glamour image is gonna cause more that the normal share of flashbulbs to start clicking but come’ on! Who are you kidding? She wants to live in America and Los Angeles to further her career (what career) and he meekly follows. Who wears the pants in that relationship? A waste of a great talent!

Song for the day – “Weekend Warrior” – IRON MAIDEN

Current TV Shows I Watch

My tv watching these days is sporadic at it’s best and it is due to the entry of broadband in my life. I watch a football match or two in a week, reruns of Seinfeld and Friends every weeknight to unwind (this is from 12 am to 1) and I try to catch every episode of Star Trek : Enterprise and Law & Order : SVU . I try to watch some movies, if they haven’t already started and if I haven’t seen it and heard good reviews on them. I also like to watch According to Jim as it is a funny show revolving around Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith, who are a married couple and parents of three small kids. They are joined by Courtney’s character’s sister & brother. The sister is played by the lovely and oh so cute Kimberly Williams-Paisley (she is married, unfortunately, to country singer Brad Paisley). She was also the daughter in Steve Martin’s movies Father Of The Bride I & II. The sit-com is worth watching for Belushi’s antics and to oggle at Courtney and Kimberly.

Another series I have started liking quite a bit is Two & a Half Men which stars Charlie Sheen, who plays a care-free bachelor living a womanizing life in a Malibu apartment by the ocean. His life is disrupted by the arrival of his uptight brother Alan, who just got separated from his wife, and is the total opposite of Charlie. They are joined by Alan’s son Charlie’s son, Jake (the half man or boy in the title), every weekend. Jake provides some excellent comic turns in the series and is a hoot.

My Wife & Kids is another show that I catch on occasion albeit much more infrequently than the others. Damon Wayans is a funny, funny dad who runs a truck service. His wife is a former stockbroker who later starts helping out in her husband’s business. They have three kids (the classic two girls and a boy). I can’t stand the idiot who plays Wayans’ son in the show. He is so annoying and his character is supposed to be somewhat of an imbecile. The eldest child, a girl, went through a change of actresses and it was for the better. I admit that some of the stuff they talk about and the jokes are a bit too African-American for me but I still think that it is an ok show.