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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What's in a name?
I dunno if any of you've ever met an Indian who has an Americanized version of his/her name. I've met quite a few of them - enuff to devote a post on them. The latest one is called Karthik Bharath whose initials are KB which when reversed is BK and sounds like Beck - so he calls himself Beck. If you are a follower of mediocre Punjabi music you might have heard of Jazzy B. From what I recall the sassy name is a distorted version of Jaswinder Singh Bains. A few months back I met someone called Rob Roy. Now in this case I wasn't even aware that Mr. Roy was an Indian, leave alone a Bengali. However, soon I was introduced to Mr. Rabindranath Roy aka Rob and was pleasantly amused.

All this makes me wonder what'll be a good American name for me. I have tried westernizing my last name, Nandy, but that doesn't work very well coz it gets mistaken as Andy. Maybe Nick (from Sagnik) but moi not too keen on that either. Whatever be the case, my troubles are miniscule compared to my sis aka Sangsthita :))

Incidentally, here are some other Indian names that I could westernize without much difficulty:

Siddharth - Sid
Ranajit - Ronny (courtesy me people actually address him as Ronny Dam)
Antara - Tara
Bahety - Betty (yeah! that'll make him a girl though)
Preeti - Pretty (I even asked her if that was a noun or an adjective)
Ari - Harry
Samit - Sam

Feel free to recommend more.

It's gettin cold out here - I wanna put my clothes back
It's quite cold outside by San Diego standards. My early morning class attire has seen the addition of a head gear to keep the ears warm. The hands are tucked nicely into two of the gazillion pockets my trouser has. For further protection I pull down the sleeves of my sweat shirt to make them act as mittens. (I know that people in the East Coast are finding this very normal, but come on, I stay in Sunny California.) Then I cringe my face for some funny reason that makes me believe it's warming me ... and then I see a girl ... a girl dressed in a short skirt and a top that is smaller than my head gear. Wow! Woman you are cool - freezing cool!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Association part I
One of my professors mentioned that if you take a subject that you had been taught 5 years back and taught only those parts of it that you still remember you can probably be taught that in less than 30 mins. I thought abt it and there just might be some truth to the whole thing. So this is going to be a two part post where I'll try to recall things I remember from various subjects that I studied quite some time back. An easy way to evaluate my status will be to actually look at my chances of scoring in a class test on one of these subjects. Here it goes:

High school geography
I'll be happy if I score more than 10 on 100 in a test right now. I remember I was pretty good at contour maps but I doubt if I'll be able to do any of that stuff now. The only place where I might be able to score something is probably map pointing. Na! There is nothing from geography that I remember properly now except that I once actually got this question in a test - "The rain in Spain stays mostly in the plain. Explain." (In case you are wondering there was some major funda on why it happens that way.)

High school history
Once again moi shall struggle to cross the double digit mark. However, I do remember quite a lot of historical facts and trivia (I remember that Harshavardhan's father's name was Prabhakarvardhan and that Gandhiji walked a little more than 240 miles in the Dandi March) - it's just that exams normally comprised of long answers which I have no idea abt now. I also remember there were some short questions we used to get but a lot of those required remembering dates and I haven't dated in a long time. Also, my chances of scoring in Indian history are much higher than my chances of getting something right in World Hisotry or Indian Civics.

Chemistry
Aaaaaa! One more sucker for me. Chemistry always meant studying in the last moment and then hoping for the best. I can probably solve some of the problems of Physical Chemistry and maybe a few stray things from Inorganic Chemistry but give me Organic Chemistry and I'm quite sure that I'll get a zero. Stray words come to mind - methane, ethane, ethyne etc. etc. and of course - every student's source of mirth - methyl alcohol. Man! For a student of science I am appalled at my lack of knowledge on chemistry :(

Mathematics
Lest you think I have forgotten everything - lemme end this post with Maths. I actually remember and use a fair amount of the Math I learnt (I was surprised to find out recently that I needed 3-D co-ordinate geometry for my work). My sis gave me some of her Integration stuff (modesty apart I was quite the dude with Calculus) and I could do it quite easily. However, I have forgotten Determinants and need to brush up my knowledge of Vectors as well.

Bottomline - My knowledge of high school history, geography and chemistry can be taught to me now in a combined two hour lecture. Don't know how to react to that!

Keepin me awake
The family on top of my house kept their dishwasher on all night, intruding into my sleeping time. This is the same house where some couple (I am guessing) used to indulge in either wild sex or severe constipation earlier this year, once again preventing moi from getting some zzzzz time. Bottomline - they keep me awake when they are getting dirty and they keep me awake when they try to clean.

First come first serve
Vipul and I both blog and we also spend a fair amount of time together (and somehow that doesn't sound the way it should). Anyway, in the past few days whenever something funny pops up and both of us are there, we both try to claim control over the "literary" rights of the incident for our respective blogs - blogger's contention. Ahem!

Great minds at work
Check out this tense moment in cricketing history. The person behind the wickets is one of the greatest "hand cricket" players. The venue: parking lot outside Best Buy. Also note the use of the biggest set of stumps in the game's history. Enjoy!




Sunday, November 28, 2004

Too good to be true :)
The body of one of the zillion spams I receive every day:

A Genuine College Degree in 2 weeks!
Have you ever thought that the only thing stopping you from a great job and better pay was a few letters behind your name? Well now you can get them!

BA BSc MA MSc MBA PhD

Within 2 weeks , No Study Required, completely verifiable!

These are real, genuine degrees that include Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate degrees.
Student records and transcripts are also available.


This better not be real - moi has spent four years to complete my undergrad, two years for a Masters and am planning (hoping) two years of study to get a PhD - if this ad aint spam, my efforts will be sham.

The Good Guy
I just saw Guy Ritchie's Snatch for the zillionth time and it was as tasty as ever. Every time I watch the movie I admire it a little bit more. A truly brilliant movie. Shall end this post with my fav line from the movie:

"You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity."

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Technicality dear Watson
I spotted Subs reading a Computer Science journal paper and Sherlock Holmes side by side. He told me that the technical paper was very boring and he was stimulating himself by reading the more exciting Holmes affairs. This made me wonder why technical papers are so dull and I think I've found out the reason - it's the Abstract. All technical papers begin with an abstract that goes "In this paper ... blah blah blah ... we have done blah and our results can be summarized as blah". That's it - the whole paper has been summarized in one paragraph. Why do we need that? Can you imagine a Sherlock Holmes story beginning with "In this story Holmes tries to unravel the murder of a beautiful lady ... blah blah ... and to summarize the husband's cousin is the culprit." No! They never do that. We should do the same - keep the mystery of the paper intact till the last line - keep the reader guessing till the very end if real time profiling of Java programs is a good idea :) Yeah! That should cheer things up for us. What say Watson?

Profound nostalgia
Don't know if I had mentioned this here before. I saw a mail from Indranil Lahiri in my school's e-group. Lahiri was a delightfully quirky and entertaining chap and one of my fav Lahiri quotes came to mind - "I spent all the money on really fast women and really slow horses." Sweet!

National Treasure
Every now and then I have this strong urge to just go and watch a movie - it's like movie movie movie movie - doesn't matter if it's good movie or a bad movie or if people are accompanying me or not blah blah - I just have to watch a movie. Tonight was one such night - before I get into the grueling studying mode of tomorrow I had to watch a movie. So I went for National Treasure; without any expectations other than maybe a few wise quips and some OK-ish thrills. However, even though the critics seem to largely disagree with me, I loved the movie. It had an interesting premise, excellent on-screen chemistry, good star cast, great lines and lotsa thrills. So if you haven't watched this flick and like unadulterated popcorn entertainment - go for this one. As a matter of fact I think I like "most" Jerry Bruckheimer action films (no, Kangaroo Jack doesn't qualify in that category). Also I kept wondering while watching the movie what it is abt Nicolas Cage that makes him quite watchable as an action hero even though he doesn't necessarily look like one. My guess is it's Cage's "real" quality which makes him thoroughly authentic as a man in distress. Quite a treasure this one is I must say.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Going going gone
"He shopped like a man till they thought he was queer,
He shopped like a lady till no man came near,
He shopped with the zest of a toy buying child,
He shopped, he shopped, he shopped going wild ..."

Didn't blog for more than a day and the above four lines pretty much sum up why. The "post-Thanksgiving Day Sale" bug bit me deep and I spent the whole of last night and this morning and bits of the afternoon indulging in this guilty pleasure. We went and stood outside Best Buy at 12.30 am (and lest you think we were mad, we weren't even among the first 20 arrivers) and spent the whole night frolicking outside the store. Incidentally, this included an hour of hand cricket that created a "Lagaan"ish feel outside the shop. The writer of this blog displayed impeccable defense and style with his batting and provided amusement to all and sundry with his orthodox fielding - digressing.

Bought myself a Digital Camcorder, a new (and hopefully functional) telephone for the house and some tapes for the camcorder. Followed this with some shopping for my sister. Have to thank Preeti for accompanying me coz I figured out that it is impossible for a straight guy to buy anything on a day of a sale in a women's shop. I was thoroughly amused to see myself make statements like "Na, not that color, it's not good for the evening" or "... no that hand bag is too seventies". Thankfully, women's clothing turned out to be quite expensive, making me shift tracks pretty soon. So I went in search of the elusive watch I was searching for. Located it. Admired it. Bought it. Admired it. That's more shopping than I can handle for the next few months.

(Haa haa - bet you never thought I will have an entry on my shopping experience. Coming up - me and the hair stylist and me and the beauty pageant contest ... muhahahhahah)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Greetings
Happy Thanksgiving people! Have a wonderful time traveling, eating turkey, getting deals on shopping or while preparing for upcoming end-terms. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What? Err ...
I have a bad habit of unintentionally replacing a word with its homophone (like lose with loose, soul with sole etc.) while writing. So I asked an erudite friend of mine if there is a technical term for this and he thought for a while and said - "yes ... distraction".

Lyrical X-pression
I am feeling romantic after a long time (shall definitely spare the details) and shall express my romantic mood in three different lyrical styles - hip hop, boy band and Mariah Carey:

Hip Hop
Yeah! I wanna be your beau and I wanna be your homie
So give me some love girl, come and come and show me

Our myst-er-ee
Comes from our hist-o-ree
You know we had a rocking past

We put the S is the sizzle
And the G in the gizzle
You know we had a ragamuffin blast

So let's end the war and just hit the club
Let our booties do the talkin and shower some love
Forget all the bitchin, forget all the ditch
Coz to save all nine you need just one stitch

Boy Band
Baby babyyy babyyyyy
Why do you say maybeee
(Chorus) why why why?
Baby babyyy babyyyyy
Why do you say maybeee
(Chorus) why why why?

Let's just start afresh girl
Give it one more shot girl
(Chorus) try try try

Lemme walk up to your door
Let's not just fight no more
With flowers in my hand
And the other members of my band
(Chorus) he loves u, he loves u

Mariah Carey
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Wohuuuu wahooooo waaaaa
Yeaaaaaa Yeahhhh Wohu wohu yeah
Yeyeah yeaaaaaaaaaa

Shameless request
Hi, this is a time to post a request, seek a favor, beg for help etc. etc. etc. For those unaware, the author of this blog also poses as a Computer Science PhD student every now and then. He also claims that he is doing research that will help people in some form (albeit in an obscure way). Blah blah. Anyway, the PhD student is currently working on this project which tries to see how isolated Desktop users using Windows OS use their machines. We want to see how much of the CPU, disk space, memory and network is used by these machines. Based on this we plan to formulate a whole bunch of blah blah theories. Yanyway - I basically need kind eager souls who are separated from each other in space to run this small profiler on their Windows machines for 10 days. I can assure you that the profiler doesn't track any of your sensitive (?) data and does not transfer any information from your machine to any place. So if you are kind enough to help a needy techie this Holiday season can you please install the following software:

Installer

The software will not affect your performance (it uses 1% CPU time and less than 3MB memory) and will not crash your machine either. The program comes with an uninstaller which you can use to remove it after ten days (or any other time you are unhappy). We have tested the prog and it dint crash, but in case it ever does I have provided an icon on the desktop and will highly appreciate if you just start the prog again by clicking the icon.

I doubt how many people will buy this argument and install this stuff but it's always a good thing to try the power of the web :) Also in case you do install it can you please send me a mail saying who you are so that I can personally thank you with a sentimental mail :) and also request you to send me the final log file when you are done (as I said we will not transmit any data from your machine on our own).

Thanks for reading through the most boring post on this blog. Adios.

Quote quote
It's no secret by now that I am a quote junkie and that I have a special love for quotes by some specific individuals. Here are two quotes on holidays:

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year" - by the great Mark Twain again.

"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." - Mr. Chicago, Irv Kupcinet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Style et al.
I was telling my roommates how both of them have different styles when it comes to "trying" to woo women. As a matter of fact I feel every man/woman has a unique ambiance and target group in which they perform best. Let's take my two apt mates X and Y.

X-actly: X is soft spoken but a romantic at heart. He can't win a girl in a party. There are too many people and too much noise to allow him to make a move. He needs to be alone with a girl - not once, not twice but at least 5-6 times before the girl sees his inherent gentle heart. To make that happen it's best if X finds a girl who is seeking emotional support coz then the girl is also looking for a dedicated confidant and X fits that roll to the T. So you'll never see X approach strong women - it's not his ball game, but come the delicate soul and X will have her mesmerized in a week's time.

Y-not: Y on the other hand will not fare well with X's dream woman - for that matter Y will not fare well with any girl expecting undivided attention. Y is likely to slip in a gaff every once in a while making him quite the opposite of what these women want. Y is, what I call, the "lion and deer hunter". He does well in a group - there has to be at least 3 guys and 2 women in the group. The other men will act as catalyst to Y's charms and he'll try to leverage on their strengths and benefit from their weaknesses. The fact that the group has more than one woman will give Y more options. Like the skilled lion Y will wait and see which deer (or is it dear) is an easier catch, watch every move and then wait for that one moment when the person is most likely to accept his move.

P.S. Both X and Y agreed to my analysis :) So if you want me to analyze your dating domain send me $25 as cash/check/worn-T-shirts/any-thing-else-of-value and I'll reply back with cheap and guess worthy advice ASAP.

Interesting read
Courtesy my search on popular blogs I reached this blog which I've been following for the past three weeks. It's supposed to be one of the more well read blogs that's not a tech or news blog (according to one of the zillion ratings I saw). What's most interesting abt the blog is it's amazing candor - it is truly the case of someone living her life on the web. The entries are also categorized into different moods and range between raunchy sexual details to strong political views. If you have some time to spare (which you definitely have given you are reading this) visit this one.

The heat is on
I am down with fever :( That's not the best way to appear hot for sure.

It's a free World
Had this discussion with a professor that was quite interesting though I am still not thoroughly convinced. The topic in question was why ethical people often "steal" stuff like software, music etc. His logic was that every time a product is available free through some person we feel that we are being ripped off when some one asks us for money. That's why we never seem to try and get say a laptop free by stealing it from someone else when it might be just as expensive as the software running on it but come software and we are unwilling to shell out even a few hundreds of dollars. His basic point was that by making certain software packages free we have de-valued software in the eyes of people - aiding piracy in the process. As I said, I don't completely agree to the idea but it's definitely an interesting point of view.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Inspiration
I often wonder how people who blog regularly and still manage to keep the interest of the readers alive do it and I suddenly realized that my dad does a pretty good job of it too. Bubin mails me every day and tries not to make them the standard father-son stuff. His mails are always amusing and look at things in a somewhat different, twisted and humorous fashion.

Take this morning's mail for example. Bubin mentioned Orlando Pita to me - I had no clue who he was and found out that the man is one of the highest paid hair stylists (Bubin addressed him as a barber) and charges in the range of $10/minute :O The rest of the mail is abt Bubin comparing his career (I was passed the engineering baton by my dad) to that of Pita - how he could have easily learned the trick from his "nai" (local barber) and how the barber he currently visits is unaware of his untapped potential. Sadly, the mail was in Bengali and I can't reproduce it BUT the bottomline is that I was thoroughly entertained by it (like all his other mails).

I think I know Bubin's strength - he just keeps his eyes open and sees a little more into whatever he is looking at. Thanks, Mr. Nandy!

Yeah! We have done it
Do you know what a "lona" is? Have you ever seen or heard of Sanjiva Kumar and Shailesh Sawant? Chances are high that you haven't. Yanyway, you should check out this link. In a time where we have pretty much been obliterated from the World sports map, these guys have brought us some honor and in return we have paid them (the entire team) 2 lakhs (to put this in perspective - individual Indian cricketers often get more than this for losing a match). Borrowing words from Mr. Ganguli Dada - "the boys have made us proud."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Business plan for the calling card companies
I think I have finally struck gold - OK maybe not gold but at least bronze - OK let's compromise some metal of more than zero value. I feel that the Indian calling card companies should start sending random emails to Indian girls saying that their boyfriend's are having illicit affairs here in US. For those without bfs here - it's OK but given that every Tom and Harry from India is in US and Dick's trying hard too, there is a fair chance of getting a few of these mails on target. That's it - ruckus will break free and the poor (literally) bf will have to make incessant calls to appease his lady love. To support my conjecture you should just take a look at my room mate X. Every time X has a love dripping conversation they are short and honey dripping sweet BUT come the day when the love birds are squabbling - there has to be a call to initiate a fight, the one to give reasons for disharmony, the one to apologize, the next one to apologize, the one to wake her up to apologize and piss her off even further, the one to apologize, the one where the apology is accepted and then the sweet goodbye and honey dripping good night kiss - point proven. So all you calling card companies - you know what to do.

Pick your choice
Should have posted this hilarious incident some time back itself but forgot to. This concerns my darling dad. My family spends a fair amount of time discussing absolute nothings. One of the favorite afternoon lunch table topic is planning Pummy's wedding (though the girl doesn't plan to tread that path any time soon). Interestingly, even though it's just random ramblings, Mummum and Bubin often plan things very meticulously - "which hotel?", "... no no not in a hotel, that's too impersonal", "do we invite that family friend" etc. etc. etc. - you can hear Mr. and Mrs. Nandy argue. End of the start - premise for story built ...

Main story begins - the other day they got down to planning how many people should be invited and who they'll be. Bubin started taking strong objections to some of the relatives from my mom's side, claiming that we haven't seen them in ages and it would be better to keep things that way. "Na na, Rini-di called us for her son's marriage in 1990 ..." Mom would retort. Finally dad came up with this innovative and hilarious solution - Pummy's wedding invitation card will have photos of four girls including Pummy. All guests have to tick on one girl they think is Pummy before entering the venue. If the answer is right the guests will be given a coupon at the gate and these coupon's will be used as a pass to the dinner section :)

Bubin is also trying to convince Pummy to elope, so that he can just say, "I did not support the marriage and so we aren't throwing a party." What is most annoying is that my folks don't plan anything abt my marriage - they too, like most people, don't believe in a bad investment :(

Juxta-position
It's 4 in the morning and I'm wide awake and going through bouts of extreme laziness. I've been thinking of switching on the TV for the past 30 mins and the only excuse that I'm using to shun the thought is that "why switch on the TV when I am going to sleep in some time?". Ahem!

Have you ever felt so comfortable in an awkward body position that you don't want to change it lest it makes you aware of the awkwardness you were in, thereby causing you discomfort? It used to happen to me very often during my Delhi-Pilani trips. I used to create a small uncomfortable but static sleeping position between a zillion smoking Haryanvi's and stick to that position till the bus came to a halt - any change in between led to a domino effect where all these zillion people and me kept moving till all of us once again arrived at some common zone of tolerable discomfort.

Yanyways, the reason for the previous paragraph is because I'm typing in the most awkward positionn and I'm sure that the moment I sit up "I'll feel being not able to feel" my left shoulder - one more reason to not reach for the remote.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Attempted Legend
I was just talking with Rakesh and we agreed that whichever character Shahrukh Khan portrays he does it as Shahrukh Khan - be it the young and dynamic Raj of DDLJ or the mute lover of Koyla. The interesting thing, however, is that in many of these characters Shahrukh Khan is much more dynamic than the character itself and lifts the role to a greater level - Deewana, Chalte Chalte or even Main Hoon Na had very ordinary characters that looked appealing because of Shahrukh's persona. Sadly, Shahrukh is not what we imagine when we think of a 50 year old silent lover - and that is where Veer Zaara, the latest attempted love legend from Yash Chopra, fails miserably. Don't get me wrong - Veer Zaara is not a bad movie but then it is a disappointment by any yardstick - my sister Pummy summed it up very well when she said, "watch it if you are either above 40 or a sucker for mushy romantic movies". I was quite disappointed because I am a huge fan of Yash Chopra, Shahrukh Khan and Aditya Chopra but all three of them let me down with this one - specially King Khan who just doesn't do justice to the role of an old and repressed man. Also the heart of any romantic masterpiece is an exciting climax and the movie falters terribly in that aspect. So watch the movie coz you anyway will but don't expect a legend or any thing resembling one either.

Taking a toll on your career
I have been wondering on what's the most boring job and as of now I feel it's the job of the toll booth collector. Seriosuly, just think about the job - you don't exactly need a skill set; so anyone can replace you, you have just one task (collect toll); so there is no job variety, you sit in a room alone; so there is no one to talk to and I'm quite sure that the pay is not that great either. Moreover, there is pretty much no scope of promotion - I mean if you are a tolling agent what's the nest progression in your job???? So I have no right to crib abt my work :)

Generally
Had some friends poke harmless fun at Vipul and me for our blogging habits - apparently both of us are too absorbed with the idea of blogging and to be honest - I can't deny that. The question of why we oft blog abt mundane stuff also came up and I have to agree that there is some truth in that too. I'd say that more than often I write abt stuff that I find interesting/amusing/funny/intriguing at that point of time but appears fairly uninteresting to me later. I just write them down because they appeal to me in a certain context; but as an ungreat man (read me) once said - one man's philosophy is another man's crap.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bed time stories
While I am on a spree of cheapness and crudeness - lemme mention one more conversation. It took place with Haimanti and she is a girl and was an equal partner in crime in contributing to the conversation :) Anyway the discussion was abt how good/bad Hindi movie stars are in bed and here are some interesting conclusions:

1. Aamir Khan - he'll be very fussy, correct you for everything and choose to sleep with you once a year.

2. Pooja Bhatt and Manisha Kairala - they'll be hot but will keep comparing you with a long list of old lovers.

3. Akshay Kumar - will be very adventurous but then be ready to get shocked - he will put three slabs of bricks on the girl's stomach, make a triple somersault and land on it and then break them in one chop of the hand without hurting you a bit. That's foreplay for him.

4. Preity Zinta - she will be very uptight. She will want you to donate two tins of food for every time you all meet.

5. Rani Mkujherjee - she will be sweet but she'll keep talking abt Preity Zinta.

6. Aishwarya Rai - it doesn't matter how she is - Salman will kill you after that.

7. Bhoomika Chawla - oops! does it appear that she'll ever have sex?

Hole part three
This one is definitely not "holesome" entertainment but shall end the hole trilogy with this crude joke. People with taste - beware:

Man (to "working girl" after completion of business): you are charging me $500? At least tell me your name.
Girl: It's Paulie.
Man: You should change it to Polo - coz you have a hole and from the rates you charge it sure has a mint in it.

(I did not make this one up - so send all your hate mails to whoever made this one up :))

Hole - part deux
The Polo mint campaign was one of the biggest wonders of advertisement coz they made a marvel out of a deficit - imagine the maddeningly popular line "a mint with a hole" - it actually capitalized on the fact that they were removing part of the mint and making a hole in it's place, giving the customer less mint; and yet people fell for it :)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Holes - part Uno
So many people keep mentioning black holes but have you ever wondered that a hole can't actually be black - for that matter, a hole by definition can't be of any color - it can't be anything - coz its nothing!

... info
Most of my friends use celibacy as a birth control measure.

Webisodes
... and just when I had started complaining abt lack of interesting things on the web, a growing trend has engrossed me - it's called webisodes (web+episodes). It all started after I saw a feature on CNBC on an apparent growing trend in US advertising where you don't push sell the product but make advertisements that entertain people with the hope that as long as the product is mentioned in some form - people will buy your product. So instead of making small 1/2-1 min ads that barely convey a message, advertisers are increasingly spending on making short film-like ads that are more movie-ish in content and people are actually eager to catch them. Moreover, these films can be placed on the web where the air time is free - so it's a whole new trend in advertising. American Express had roped in Jerry Seinfeld for its Super Man series, BMW hired some of the biggest cult directors for its series of shorties, the other day I mentioned Amazon doing the same and now Nicole Kidman can be seen in the whoppingly expensive 3 minute film for Chanel.

That's how I found out about webisodes. There are so many of them online where people have put up really entertaining short films that can be viewed free of cost. Check out this site for a fairly decent list of webisodes and specially check out this one which is hilarious.

Wonder if he knows me?
There is this guy with whom I keep bumping in at the gym almost everyday. It's almost creepy now since I don't have a fixed gym going time - so it doesn't matter - I might be visiting the gym at the 7-8.30 "weekdays - crowded like mad" spot, or it could be the 10-11 Friday "losers alone" slot or even the "stray morning visit" slot - the guy always seems to be there. I have wondered whether he notices the coincidences too - whether he thinks I am more buddy than the other strangers in the gym, or if at least we'll talk about the coincidence in case we bump into each other on the road some day? It's funny how we (or at least me) spend a fair amount of time thinking about things whose basic premise is a bunch of far fetched assumptions. Interesting!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Just Amusing
At times you get little kicks out of little things - I just saw an ad for the movie The Incredibles in association with SBC Yahoo. The ad read "Incredible speed at Incredible prices." Not that I haven't heard or seen anything like this before but I figured that the two "incredible"s meant the opposite of each other - one signified great/large while the other one signified small - my amusement for the evening :)

Check it out
To all the bloggers and blog readers - you probably already know of the site Technorati. It's an awesome search engine that deals with searching info from and abt blogs. Due to its highly specialized market, I think it is far more effective than Google on this front. So just visit the site to get info like (a) has anyone cited your blog in the recent past (b) how many people have currently linked to your blog (c) popular blogs by category etc. Worth a visit.

5agnik reports abt 5pam
Well, every now and then I read the spam messages I get to see what new techniques the spammers have resorted to. This often leads to very amusing and obfuscated reads. This morning I noticed that one of my spam mails had used the number 5 instead of the letter S. This, I thought, was pretty darn innovative. The two characters look similar and you can fool the spam filters too because the words don't make that much sense and are often cleared - so don't be surprised if they offer you a pill that will enhance your daily dose of 5ex.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Love Undone
For the second time in two months I saw a movie that used to be a childhood favorite but somehow disappointed me now. The movies in question are Robocop and Under Siege II. While the former was among the few movies to make it to India in the 80s, the latter was among the first movies I was allowed to go for with friends alone. I guess the movies were more exciting in their times and a lot of their appeal to me was subjective to the times in which I saw them. That's what I love abt Terminator II - even now the movie enthralls me and the technology seems more modern that some of the latest heavy gizmo flicks. Maybe I should just stop re-visiting childhood favs just to keep their awe intact - so no watching Mackenna's Gold, Guns of Navarone, the early James Bond flicks, Rambo, Rocky, Commando and a bunch of other movies that my father allowed me to watch as a kid.

Where are you?
If you watch the TV for 30 mins at any given time of the day you'll see at least 2 infomercials that promise rock solid abs and 2 ads that are abt IT education that has changed someone's career. If both these claims are true then we should be seeing a lot more tight abbed techies around us - alas!

Anger Management
Well, I heard a very interesting (and hopefully useful) talk on dealing with anger. However, unlike most talks on this topic, this one dealt with dealing with someone else's anger as opposed to your own.

Anger it seems can be termed as overt or covert. In the former case the person will express his/her anger the moment they see you ("You bloody bas... #@$&%#"). Such anger apparently lasts for around 90 seconds "if left untouched". So the key is to play a silent (may be even servile) listener. The moment you interrupt (even to say sorry) you buy the person another fresh 90 seconds. So keep mum and nod on.

For covert anger the key is persistence. You keep talking to the person until the cause of anger comes up or till the person is pushed to the point of overt anger (in which case you revert back to the above technique).

To end this post I shall once again quote the amazingly witty Mark Twain on this issue - "When angry count to four; when very angry, swear."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Weekly Wisdom
Following my trend of quoting lines or borrowing lines from my business class here is this week's update:

  • "Mushroom Theory" (specially applicable to CS majors): You will be kept in the dark and given crap but they'll still want you to develop.

  • You always sell a benefit and not a feature - you are trying to sell a hole and not the drill that makes it.

  • Obfuscation
    Well, this is a moment of responsibility as well as amusement for me. In the past I have referred to Zee (name and sex withheld) and our interactions in this bog. Interestingly, there are some aspects of Zee's life that Zee doesn't want Y (maybe a man, woman, group, machine or even animal) to know (I wonder Y). Now to the best of my knowledge Y doesn't even know abt the existence of my blog but nevertheless Zee wants to play it safe. So Zee requested me to not slip in info abt him/her that might screw her/him in front of Y. The whole thing made moi blog feel very important :)) So, from now I shall refrain from mentioning Zee in this blog OR maybe I'll over mention him so that Y doesn't find out that this post was abt Zee. To top it all, Zee will read this post later tonight and lemme know if it is cryptic enuff to not reveal anything to Y from this post itself - so there is a good chance that some people might not even read this entry :( I have only one word of advice - take it ea-Zee.

    Skipping the skipper
    Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has one of his biggest and most biased fans in my dad. It doesn't matter what Ganguly has done to get himself flak, Bubin always has a good explanation supporting Dada. Some of these explanations seem plausible while other range between highly entertaining and highly unlikely theories. Like last night he pointed out that the ICC's decision to impose a two match ban on Ganguly is comparable to what happened to Steve Waugh - Ganguly has just risen above the system and thus the system is out to get him now. Bubin is also irked by the way the media has treated Ganguly. He is of the opinion that when the team performs well and India wins the credit goes to the entire team but even if the entire top order fails during an Indian defeat, Ganguly alone is brought under the guillotine. Bubin is specially irked with Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar, who seem to be giving Ganguly a tough hand from the commentator's box.

    Anyway, I don't know to what extent Bubin is right but I did read this article just now and it seemed highly biased against Ganguly. As a matter of fact TOI has been strangely biased against the man over the past few weeks. Just goes on to show that success often has no friends and its perks are as transient as success itself.

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    A little more on blogs
    (This is kind of a follow up on the previous post). A little more research and I found this link that had some interesting and popular blogs. Also it appears that there are different algorithms to rank the popularity of blogs. Some of these include:

    1. Total number of visitors.
    2. Total number of links pointing to the blog.
    3. Recent links linking to the blog (same as the above but time sensitive).
    4. Number of comments left.
    5. Combinations of the above and more .....

    Blog on blogs
    My love for reading blogs is fast increasing. I spend a fair amount of time everyday reading a certain set of blogs dedicatedly (around 7-8 in number) and also "blog hop" to random blogs from blog links. The thing I find most appealing abt blogs is that they provide a very personal point of view, something I feel is largely lacking in organized journalism. So even if I don't agree to a person's point of view on his/her blog I know that it reflects an individual's thought process (as opposed to organizational stance or marketing whims) - and that is always intriguing.

    So, I spent some time researching on the "more popular blogs" on the web. While no such conclusive list could be found and the few available lists did not match, people interested in such info can visit this aggregation site. An overall trend I noticed is that most of the popular blogs were either tech blogs or news blogs (I would say at least 90% of the popular blogs fell in these categories). The problem with these blogs is that most of them have become aware of their larger status and have started sounding more like news sites (I have nothing against news sites but I still want to believe that blogs are different). Nevertheless, I came across quite a few interesting blogs - which translates to "probable entertainment" for the coming week.

    A short film
    Subs recommended the short film "Portrait" to me that can be found on the main page of Amazon.com. After BMW, it's now Amazon's turn to release a bunch of short films on their site. While the BMW films were basically promotions of their sleek powerhouses, the first film released by Amazon doesn't have anything to do with the online giant. The near 10 minutes film started nicely (including the adjective "dermatologically-correct" to describe a girl which I found very amusing) but ended lame with a striking resemblance to Shallow Hal. What I found most surprising was to find Minnie Driver in a small role that anybody could have done (the role is almost an extension of her character in Will and Grace). The Oscar nominated actress deserves better. Anyway, bottomline - if you are kind of jobless and have 10 mins to spare - check out the film.

    The marriage market
    Abhik and I observed this striking similarity between our respective shopping styles and our opinions on marriage. Abhik has decided that he'll settle for an arranged marriage - his mom and dad will find li'll Ms. Perfecto for Mr. Lal and he will tie the knot and keep the girl happy. Moi on the other hand still find the notion of arranged marriage slightly strange. Imagine the girl and me being absolute misfits ... Now when it comes to our shopping patterns - I always buy my own clothes - go to the shops - check out the stuff I like, try them out and then settle for the one I like most. Abhik apparently lets his mom pick his clothes - that saves him time and energy and over the years he has developed a blind faith towards his mom's selection.

    Wow! Striking similarities. Thank GOD my mom and dad let me buy my own clothes - I never knew what that was leading to - but now that I know - boy, am I happy :))

    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    Late in the night After the Sunset
    We (4 guys) went and saw After the Sunset last night. Now, the movie received terrible reviews and some of my movie buddies offered me advice, asking me to stay away from this heist flick. However, I was of the opinion that no movie with Salma Hayek in it can be unbearable and after one and half hours of Ms. Hayek in (and out of) the most amazing outfits I am happy to say I was right. Though the movie lacks the fast pace so necessary for its genre, it is in no way a terrible movie. The banter between Brosnan and Harrelson too, though not remarkable, was watchable and as I mentioned right at the beginning ... there was Salma Hayek, Salma Hayek and more Salma Hayek. So -

    Guys
    If you are wise
    Like to treat your eyes
    To beauty with thighs
    Watch this movie for a $7 price.

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    ... and I feel
    .. that with age comes wisdom and often the inability to use it in any way.

    Overheard
    Me (to Subs): Whatever happened to the 12 year old kid in you?
    Subs: It died at the age of 12.

    Great minds stink alike
    Here are some bad business quotes some great minds made.

    1. To start with the highly publicized Bill Gates quote - "640K ought to be enough for anybody."

    2. On the same lines as the above one, here is what the legendary T.J. Watson (founder of IBM) had to say - "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (My house has 6 computers right now :) )

    3. "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." - a recording company on the reasons to reject Beatles in 1962.

    4. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - founder of DEC (DEC used to be a big shot in the computer industry).

    What's most interesting to me is that I too have often expressed a certain amount of disbelief in some of the work I do - the determination, intelligence to amend and obviously the money is what sets me apart from the greats :)

    Challenging
    Wow! I was reading up abt pangrams (sentences that use every letter of the alphabet) and was surprised to find out that even though there exists famous pangrams (The quick brown ... ) there still doesn't exist a good perfect pangram (a sentence that is a pangram and has exactly 26 letters). There exists a few such sentences but they don't make sense and are forced. So if any of you people can come up with a good one you can attain cult status (really?). After a li'll online research the most logical perfect pangram I could find was "Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx." - I know it doesn't make much sense but that's the best one I could find. Lemme know if you know any better ones.

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Where's the web?
    I am desperately searching for interesting things on the web. All the news sites speak the same stories (makes me wonder whatever happened to innovative journalism), the market closes by 1 pm CA time so I can't track my stock prices after that, movies release on Friday and I exhaust reading their reviews and box office collections within two days of release. My only solace comes from the fairly large number of interesting blogs that people have been writing (darn, Antara just reported that she wouldn't be blogging for a while and Suhail has become sporadic too).

    So I set out on a quest to find out what's happening to the web. The first thing I noticed was that most web sites reporting Internet usage were back dated (that effectively means that either the statistics aren't that interesting or it's becoming increasingly difficult to collect the data). I finally found this highly comprehensive site and if you see the statistics you can see that the growth rate of users hasn't decreased (I was slightly surprised by this). The site also had a link to the most visited sites and I'm gonna use that as a map to find more places to visit over the next few days. However, there was no data supporting how many sites people visit on an average (the information that I was originally looking for). Nevertheless, I now have enough material to keep me busy browsing for the next few days. Well, a little research can indeed help :)

    Shopping mall revelation
    As part of my shopping endeavor this morning I had to continuously cut through shops to save time. With bags in my hand it would have been soooo much simpler for me to just keep my sunglasses on the whole time instead of removing it every time I walked through a shop. But then I thought it would look odd if I walked through shops wearing shades and caused myself a small but measurable amount of discomfort in the process. That's when I figured out that - I was caring way too much abt what people think abt me while the fact is that I am not famous/important enuff for people to actually spend their time thinking abt WHILE ON THE OTHER HAND if I was indeed famous and people did actually care abt what I was doing I'll be confident enuff to not worry abt what they think of me. Ironic?

    Greetings Galore
    A Very Happy KALI Pujo and DIWALI to all you people and may the festive season be full of lights, happiness and sweets. Enjoy!

    Realization 1.25
    It just struck me that I often put an extraordinary amount of energy to be ordinary. Why Watson?

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    The known faces
    At the cost of over generalizing I conjecture that the following people can always be seen during large presentations:

    1. The one guy who always includes the answer to the question he is asking in the question itself - "... so why does that graph look skewed? Is it because the data sets have been amortized over the last sixteen months?"

    2. An old gentleman sitting in the corner who always has some archaic experience that adds something to the topic that nobody knows.

    Speaker: ... and we faced the worst bear market in early 2001 and ...
    Old man by the Sea-T: ha ha ha ... unless you consider the market downfall in 1948 ... ha ha ha ... those were some rought times ... ha ha

    3. The lady in your table who always completes sentences even though you'll any way hear the completed sentence in the next one second ... and then she will nod in approval after the speaker does the same.

    4. Some crazy ass like me who'll pay more attention to these people than the presentation and come and blog abt it :)

    I am not cool ...
    ... woman you are so hot that you make even me look cool in comparison.

    Potluck Galore
    I have a potluck to attend tomorrow. So moi has to decide on what to make/take there to prove my culinary expertise. Last year, for the same potluck, Vineet, Rishi and the epicurean me had spent a wonderful afternoon making soft, sumptuous and succulent gulab jamuns, only to see a whole bunch of people (a) not bring anything (b) bring nachos and chips or nachos and chips (c) bring items which were evidently leftovers from their own personal meals. So this year I have decided to revolt - moi shall not spend the time and energy when it is not appreciated and at the same time I don't want to go there empty handed. So I have decided to take something quite radical for a potluck - milk - that too an entire gallon of 99.5% fat free milk. Seriously, why not? It's more healthy than nachos, almost all of us take it and it can easily be combined with lots of existing items - people around me still feel I am joking but as they say in Hindi - tomorrow doodh ka doodh and paani ka paani ho jayega.

    A brief encounter
    Had one of those short conversations in the Post Office. Why am I blogging abt it? Well, to be honest, coz nothing else comes to mind right now. Back to the short conversation:

    It was one of those conversations where both parties accidentally exchange a few glances to start with and then wonder if a social conversation is at all warranted. Then the eyes meet an uneasy third time and you decide that it's time to smile. You look at the queue and realize that it's gonna be a while and now that you've smiled at each other one of you makes the first move. Normally a good starting topic is the length of the queue itself and your apparent hurry. This time however, the gentleman started the conversation with the line, "I forget very easily, specially when it comes to money". We then spoke a little about how he surprises himself every now and then by finding unclaimed money and how his wife hates that but can't say much given that she is more forgetful. I added in a similar anecdote I had heard abt John McEnroe and was surprised to see that he din't know who McEnroe is - or maybe he did but just forgot abt it :)

    It was time to say goodbye when he said, "You know who you look like?". I nodded a negative nod and he said, "... that Indian chap". Sure, that came as a surprise to me. "No, that director chap, Knight Shyamalan." Wow! That was indeed a surprise - not coz he thought I resembled Shyamalan (which I definitely don't but also understand that being an American he has probably not seen too many Indians he can name other than Shyamalan, "that guy in that Van Wilder movie" or Gandhi - and of the three I do resemble Shyamalan the most :)) but because this guy din't know who McEnroe is but knew abt Shyamalan - I guess he followed the Signs

    Moi feels
    Reality television will make us do to TV sets what a naked Kathy Bates did to the audience in About Schmidt - turn them off.

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Finally a good career option
    Abhik and I were talking this morning (he is in IIM A) and were cribbing abt our respective careers and boasting abt the number of people we've managed to convince to take routes other than the ones we followed. That's when it struck us that it will be really cool if we becmme professional "de-motivational speakers". There is a abundance of the likes of Shiv Khera and Arindam Chowdhury who make millions by inspiring the corporate sectors. We can do the complete opposite. After listening to us people will leave their jobs and turn idle. Large organizations will hire us to talk to their teams in order to avoid the pains of laying off (yes, they land up paying a fortune to make lay offs smooth). Instead we will come and talk to the teams and the next morning there'll be a heap of resignation letters adorning the table. Simple idea and untouched market - boy, we should be doing this.

    Getting busy-ness real
    Well, FOX is out with The Rebel Billionaire and My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss. These, along with the ongoing Apprentice and Mark Cuban's not so successful Benefactor, will probably catapult "wanna be businessmen" as the second largest reality TV favorite after "date seekers". While Rebel Billionaire brings to TV the enigmatic Richard Branson, "My Big Fat ..." is another hoax that truly lives up to its obnoxious status. Sanjay made me watch an episode of this one and it amazed me to see how a bunch of so called Ivy League graduates were so gullible. My only interest now in this area now is to see if Branson can also reach Trumpish status, coz after all this guy has elan.

    Keeping up with my references to old quiz questions related to my posts, these two come to mind:

    1. What is Branson's autobiography called? Answer: Losing my Virginity (see a li'll sense of humor is always nice).
    2. Which is the only product of the Virgin group that doesn't have the Virgin label on it? Answer: Condoms (for obvious reasons).

    Almost rocks
    Well my MBTI score (ENTP) apparently reflects that I have a disregard for authority and am also not the type who is likely to be caught in formal clothes (the kind of stuff they infer from a ten minute test is amusing). Wow! Very "rock singerish" (ignoring David Bowie's formal dressing style) - I remember telling Modi once that ignoring my lack of singing abilities, apathy towards rock music, aversion for alcohol and drugs and track record with women, I am quite the rock singer material.

    Business Class Realization No. (well I have lost count)
    My weekly borrowed wisdom from the business class. Apparently when we ask a favor from someone they are largely in the following three categories - money, time and creativity. The reluctance to offer the favor increases in the same sequence i.e. people are more likely to give you their money to get rid off you than invest their creative energies on you. The professor also mentioned that it's often a healthy practice to ask for favors as it allows the favor provider to ask back a favor from you, aiding the process of building better personal relationships (?)

    Combining the two pieces of info, I have decided that I am going to ask all you noble souls to give me your money. Any takers?

    Also I infer, using the above logic, that bank tellers would rather have you rob their bank than spend time in answering stupid questions. "Favor"able?

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Out-rage-ass
    Heard someone use this phrase - "... you do that and your ass is grass and I am a lawnmower."
    Truly interesting.

    An Engineer's Conjecture
    They more than often pay you to think complex but build simple.

    Photo-copy paste
    This is a true anecdote heard from the horse's mouth. A friend of mine went to Canon for auditing and asked someone, "Can you get me a xerox copy?" :)

    While on the issue, I remember another question courtesy Calcutta quizzing - What is common to jeans, xerox and kleenex? Answer: They are all products that are addressed by popularized brand names as opposed to the actual product name (photocopy, denim etc.).

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    I am ...
    lost, confused, depressed ... I don't know why things are like this - they were all just fine - they were - but then - suddenly when it appeared that things couldn't get screwed it all got so messed up - I am not questioning why - I am just pondering - why am I being misunderstood? - I meant nor mean no malice - I have been stupid but am still not worthy the prize blame that is being conferred upon me. I ask no one to understand me but don't, please don't, misunderstand me.

    Simply solution
    Before I scoot off for Sea World - lemme mention this interesting incident. We were sitting in the university and discussing "reminder technologies". The group comprised of students and professors and we were speculating abt the different technologies people use in practice. So the question was thrown around the room and lot of interesting answers popped up:

    1. Stickers.
    2. Electronic Personal Organizers.
    3. Mailing systems.
    4. One of the professors actually uses a ToDo text file which he periodically mails to himself.
    5. Some guy said he throws clues around the room along his early morning path so that it reminds him - I found this one really different (aka hatke)!

    Then finally the question reached a quiet Chinese girl who seemed confused by the question - thought for a while, and said - "I just remember things"!

    Nice, sweet, simple, effective.

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    School ties
    Sanjay is down in San Diego! We had a tonsaa fun today and hopefully the fun shall continue tomorrow too. Maheshwari and I have known each other for more than two decades now (I was abt to write twenty years but somehow the chosen representation sounded more exciting :) ). We went to the beach, a little around San Diego and also for the Incredibles (whose review shall follow later). All I can say is that my Chartered Accountant friend hasn't changed at all, except for becoming twice his original size - which I am trying to convince him, is a sign of prosperity :) I am totally tired now and plan to go to Sea World tomorrow morning - bottomline need some zzzzzz time now. Shall end this post with some snaps taken at the beach:








    Movie and me!
    Spent the evening alone - a lot of working out at the gym and some introspection. Went to watch Alfie. I liked the movie but it could have definitely been made better; still a good watch with a fairly impressive but underutilized ensemble. The movie is abt a guy's solitude and the few regular visitors of this part of the web know that solitude is my fav rant topic. Nevertheless, the movie did have its fair share of caustic quips and I shall end this post with one of them -

    "... she lacks all those superficial things that are important."

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    Dichotomy
    Thinking a li'll more on the Ellen Degeneres comment (post below) made me realize that in our society it's OK to bring home a goat, feed it and then kill it and eat it but it's not OK to have sex with the same goat while on the other hand it's OK to bring home a girl, feed her and have sex with her but not OK to kill her and eat her.

    Not all happy and gay
    The Delhi High Court rejected a plea to allow homosexuals to marry in India (read story). To me the whole issue is funny because I find it pure joblessness on the part of the moral police to spend their time caring abt what two people do in their own bedroom - I'm sure that many men and women perform sexual activities that are far more twisted and nothing is said against them. Have you ever thought abt the fact that if the homosexuals were a majority then "we" would be the queer folks in their eyes? It's just a matter of accepting people who are different from us and that's the root issue - whether it's on the ground of caste, color, creed or sexuality - inherently its discrimination of individuals because they are different from us and that's wrong.

    On a lighter note I remember Ellen Degeneres in her recent HBO special. She said that a lot of people make the argument that "if we allow them to sleep with their own kind the next thing you'll see them doing is sleeping with a goat". Degeneres then did an amazing stand up act (which I can't even try to reproduce in print form) questioning why we can't imagine anything in between - why is it that we think of man-man or woman-woman and the next logical step in progression for us is man-goat - seriously are we that far sighted?

    and the great Mark Twain said
    "All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."

    Sweet! Incidentally, Mark Twain was apparently the first writer to use the typewriter for his work.

    Baffling ?
    They say "let the best man win" but then why is it that it's not the "best man" that marries the girl?

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    The beast in us
    I witnessed a protest in favor of animals near the beach this afternoon (it was abt the right for seals to stay in their natural habitat). Without holding anything against animals, it suddenly struck me that there are millions of people in India and many other places who literally stay in a state that is comparable to that of animals. Sadly, no model gets naked to protest their plight, no organization does a public signing to make them feel better and nobody changes their dietary habits to accommodate some food for them. I know animals are mute, helpless creatures but why don't we listen to the ones who are shouting out for help?

    The power to choose
    Since so much is being said abt the power to choose lemme add an interesting anecdote a friend mentioned recently. He was interning in one of the leading store chains in US (name withheld for no reason) and was trained to take customer specifications and suggest the best product to the customer in return. However, they were also instructed that even if there is only one product that matches the user's needs, they should still give him two more close fitting choices because apparently no one likes to be given only one option. Wow! The way this country makes use of cognitive science is truly amazing.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2004

    My sole post on the Election
    Dear Elections,

    I guess you have to leave now. I knew you had to :( but I feel bad that your stay this time was not as long as your last visit. However, I must mention that I did enjoy your company thoroughly. If not for anything else, the entertainment you provided alone was sufficient to make me fall in love with you - the speculations, allegations and counter allegations, partisan media stance, SNL skits, fervent ambiance, ah! you brought a breath of fresh air and a few nasty stinks for all of us. I guess tomorrow onwards evening news will get back to being : "There might be money in your house. Tune in at 10 pm to know how." or "Dog saves another dog by eating up a third dog. Only at 11."

    So no matter what the big guys say - I will miss u.

    Love,

    Sagnik.

    Vuja De
    This just came to mind - I am not very sure but I believe it's George Carlin who used the phrase Vuja De - which is the absolute opposite of Deja Vu - it's for events that happen to you that you are almost certain has never happened to anyone else other than you.

    Picture perfect
    A most lovely quote from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?":

    "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." - Jessica Rabbit.

    Talking abt "Who Framed ..." I remember being asked in a quiz once what the only Spielberg movie to end in a question mark was.

    While on the topic of quizes and "Who Framed ...", another very amusing question we once faced was "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" - lesse who gets this one first.

    More on fictional love or the lack of it
    Well, the "fictional love" post seemed to give quite a few minds some exercise. Arijit (who is one of my closest friends) suggested a variation, asking me my worst movie characters i.e. people I can't even imagine dating. His included Aishwarya Rai in all her latest movies and Kareena in Fida (I wouldn't mind this one though). Well, I can think of a zillion characters to fit this bill but the ones invoking maximum displeasure will probably be:

    1. Cameron Diaz in a movie called the Sweetest Thing (I take immense shame in accepting that "Yes", I have seen this movie as well).
    2. Christina Ricci's character in Woody Allen's Anything Else (it's a really vague character).
    3. Kareena in her Poo(p) character from K3G.
    4. Well, three people mentioned Rachel from F.R.I.E.N.D.S as their possible dates, even though she's not a movie character, and taking that liberty I shall add the brilliant Janice to my least desirable list.
    5. All the psychotic characters (even though that includes the highly gorgeous Alicia Sylverstone from Crush) too I guess.

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Music $$$
    Well for starters I have to say that the MSN music interface is awesome. For people who have Windows Media Player 10.0, the whole music store is integrated with the player and it's really easy to get started, buy and organize music. I bought my third song in 5 days and figured that the pricing of $0.99 is giving me a false sense of economy which might lead to an addiction. Anyway - having used iTunes in the past I have to agree that this interface kicks serious butt. So try it out if you are interested in buying music.

    Talking abt buying music I feel that the companies should allow people to buy songs at a slightly higher price but in return allow them to sell it off. This, in my humble opinion, will increase the overall market as I (and other people) often listen to songs only temporarily and would love to sell them off at a cheaper price later. Obviously there are several issues involved but I just feel that companies should start considering this option too.

    Revelation
    Great ideas often make way for the ordinary but popular ones.

    Monday, November 01, 2004

    Fictional Love
    An exercise that I suggested to Ronny Dam has turned out to be fairly popular with some of my friends and I thought of mentioning it here. I asked Ronny to choose a fictional character from the movies that he would be most interested in taking out on a date. His answer was an immediate "Bridget Jones".

    I asked some of my other friends the same question and some of the answers were (the people I asked included both men and women) - Natalie Portman (Star Wars), Drew Barrymore (Everyone Says I Love You), Wynona Rider (Reality Bites), Rani Mukherjee (Hum Tum), Kajol (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), Sridevi (Lamhe), Hugh Grant (Two Weeks Notice), Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire), Aamir Khan (DHKMN) etc. My top 5 choices would be:

    1. Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally)
    2. Catherine Zeta Jones (Entrapment)
    3. Kajol (DDLJ)
    4. Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie) - something abt our international student connection I guess :)
    5. Charlize Theron (Italian Job)

    Almost reminds me of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode on celebrity lists. Ltr.

    Yes Sir!
    My weekly business class anecdote - while mentioning abt the slightly docile attitude of people from Asia the professor pointed out that a lot of Asians when asked to choose between "Option A and Option B" say "Yes" as an answer. I found it very amusing but not that hard to believe, specially because a few months back a lot of people complained abt Indian call center agents who when confronted with a question they did not understand would say "OK" as the standard answer. As it turned out, that answer was "not OK" for many.

    Woody humor
    I took some time off from my time off from something else - to read up a little more on Woody Allen and found some of his quotes to be very profound for my present state of mind:

  • Eighty percent of success is showing up.

  • If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe.

  • I think being funny is not anyone's first choice.


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