August 30, 2006

My darling notebook

Warning: The following post is sprayed with a lot of simple computer jargon..

This blog is dedicated to My Darling Notebook

In case you're wondering which notebook of mine gets all that love, its my laptop (or lappie) as I call it! When my anna first bought me the lappie, I was in complete awe of it.. And when we were configuring it, I was asked to name my very first laptop. And impulsively, I named it "My Darling Notebook" and it has remained its name since.. And I had no idea what the repurcussions were... In time, I burst out laughing... Every time I shut down the system, it would ask me innocently, "Turn off My Darling Notebook?"

Why am I writing all this? I was trying to fulfill the dream or rather, the vision I blogged about in my previous post... thesis in a coffee shop. I am at the Starbucks galleria... About 2 hours ago, while I was downloading a PDF, the system abruptly sprang up this blue screen that said "System Error.." and before I could read any further, it shut down... I was shocked.. but figured this was My Darling Notebook's way of asking me for rest. And who was I to deny it... I gave it rest.. for 2 whole hours... Snuggled in a comfy sofa upstairs in Starbucks, armed with a coffee I didnt wanna drink (but an essential part of the vision), with my notes, papers, headphones, etc., I start up My Darling Notebook.

He starts up innocently enough and it takes me a few minutes to realize that something's terribly wrong.. He's at the "Windows is starting up screen" for full 5 minutes before asking me for my password and for a full 7 minutes after that.. NOTHING.. I am in primary shock now... And instead of giving him time to start up, I do what most panicked people do, hit all sorts of icons, the Start Menu and anything else I can think of. He doesn't take this well and he's hung for another 10 minutes, giving me the blasted hourglass - his processing signal... All this sounds like less time.. Please sit next to your comp willing it to start and watch how the time crawls - you'll know then. When I hit Ctrl+Alt+Del next is when my secondary shock comes.. the screen doesnt appear for like, 7 minutes! I am the poor soul who doesn't know she's supposed to have tertiary and other whatever-ary shocks to follow. I decide I will give My Darling Notebook more time and go to use the restroom. Tertiary shock is when I am back and STILL the Task Manager hasn't come up. Out of sheer panic, I keep the power button pressed for a few seconds, a forced hibernation for My Darling Notebook. By now I am sure, one of my RAM chips has crashed.

I start Him up in Safe Mode and it takes 4 minutes in safe mode to get the Control Panel up. I right click on My Computer and try to get the damned properties to check the RAM. After 2 whole minutes, 704MB, He proudly announces (which is what its supposed to be). Thats when the first tears of anger spring up... My whole research is royally screwed if My Darling Notebook decides he's had enough of his memorable existance. I am now talking to him and coaxing him to spring up with life... He doesn't listen for 10 minutes more.. And I have Him started in normal mode now. I decide not to hit any buttons hastily but to give Him "waking-up" time. Meanwhile, while I can, I get AdAware working... better to untrash Him when I can... In time, His performance improves and slowly but surely My Darling Notebook is making a recovery...

Lets hope He lives a long and fulfilling life... Three Cheers to Him!!

PS: I had my Wallpaper as the Cincinnati Downtown nightshot. I swapped it for a few trashy moments to a 'Pirates of the Carribbean' one, to fulfill my obsession with the series and the "crash" happened soon after. One of the first things I did in 'Safe Mode' was to restore it back to the Cinti one... Supersition does work sometimes, huh?

August 28, 2006

Of hot coffee and brewing thesis...

I've always had this vision... Of me sitting in this quaint little coffee shop (but with Wi-Fi ofcourse!) with just the right setting, not too many seats, not too crowded. I see myself sitting in this unseen corner of the coffee shop, adjacent to a window, opening out into the world. On my table, is this steaming cup of coffee and my laptop, open with everything I need for the thesis writing - the PDFs, the diagrams, the Word Documents, the Emails.. the works... This is how I have envisioned writing my thesis...

Now for the moment of truth.. I don't like coffee!!! Coming from a Tamil girl, currently in the US, I bet many eyebrows will be raised. The only coffee I willingly order is cold coffee (believe it, its the smell, sometimes and bitterness mostly that I dislike!) and cold coffee thankfully eliminates both the factors! Alright, time to appease the offended.. These days I do have a lot of coffee and I feel bad having missed out on the "filter-kaapi" back home. I mean if I can live after drinking all this strong n bitter trash, back home's Narasus, Bru n leo wouldve been divine, I guess... So, my vision still has all the coffee and the thesis. I donno if the coffee is going to be refilled.. I sure as hell know my brain has to be...

No, I am not done with all of the work for my Masters, but I am going to write my thesis, just the way I want to. I am going to haunt the Starbucks gallery, Ben n Jerrys, even PotBelly on Calhoun and maybe I will go as far as Sitwell on Ludlow, in search and expectation of fullfilling my vision and seeing if living it feels as good as imagining it.. Wish me luck! :-)

August 26, 2006

Template Changes

Just experimenting with a new template... Comments anyone?

August 24, 2006


In my opinion, nothing describes the scope of the word "If" better than Rudyard Kipling's rendering of it. If you haven't already read it, now's the time. Click here.

If dreams could be instant reality, what would you dream about? They say be careful what you ask for... It might just come true :-)

As I browsed through the channels on TV last night, I caught one of the million "medico" shows aired on them and it made me lament on how I had wanted to become a doctor (The sight of internal organs in public view revolts me.. I wouldnt have lasted a day... But there's nothing wrong in wanting to be a doctor!) And soon me n my roomie went on to a fantastical ranting of what we would be in an ideal world where you got the opportunity you wanted... Here's my Top 5 and I'd love to hear all yours too.. So, when you comment, you'd better include your Top 5...

Number 1: Globe Trotter - World Traveler - Travel show hostess

This is one of my dreams and I have promised myself that I will make it a reality. Life's short and its okay for me to be globe-trotting with the love of my life, maybe backpacking on the hills of Andulasia or go on a wild animal safari in South Africa or just use conventional travel to see places, for about a year... Even as a child I saw this travel show hosted by Nikhil Ahuja on Discovery Channel and it seemed like one of the most fascinating things to do. He gave way to Dipti Bhatnagar on some other channel and it seemed like the most "romanchak" thing to be doing, going places, sampling cuisines and saying "Mmm... Absolutely lip-smackingly delicious!" (Okay, I don't eat non-veg.. But my viewers needn't know that!)
The perks: Never boring, new places, easy money, free travel, good luxury... What else could anyone want?
The cons: Keeping the public interested... all's well when you are going to Paris, Italy, Rome, etc. What happens when you have to go to say, Spitzbergen?

Number 2: War correspondent - International Journalist

No, I don't want to be a newsreader at the desk.. I want to be the one they say, "Lets go over to Jaya at the site of the deadlock between Iraq and Kuwait.. So, Jaya.. how does it look out there?"
And no... I am not someone rallying for wars out there so I can be a correspondent. I just want to be in the thick of the action and not in the protected newsroom. I want to be able to reach to the people and get the feel of the real world. I got a little bit of it even as I started a small charity thingie back in Chennai. But my dreams encompass something larger. And by international correspondent, I could be this major undercover reporter for NDTV or BBC or something. With a gazillion news channels springing up, this dream job of mine is up for the grabs.
The perks: All of that excitement and you can never go out of a job
The cons: If you're reporting on a conspirational issue, you can be certain to be hunted down (not literally)

Number 3: Actress - Drama artiste

Everytime I see pathetic movies, I am reminded of what a brilliant actress I am.. And no, there's no lack of modesty here... Yes, I am one of the worst liars you can see... And people who know me will tell you that my face can almost precisely express everything that my lips might need to say.. Consequently when I lie, my face and lips tell different stories. But that apart, I am up there on the acting scale.. I can produce tears if I tried a li'l bit and I have done everything from dramatically pretend my hand was fractured as a "April Fool's Day" joke to mime wheezing when I didnt wanna stay in class... And more than commercial cinema, I envision myself in off-beat plays and live performances than in front of the camera...
The perks: Applause.. applause.. applause!!
The cons: Being branded as a particular variety by people who have no guts to try it themselves

Number 4: Nature Photographer

This might be one of those things I sure as hell will give a try eventually. I am camera-crazy... But mostly prefer being behind the lens than in front of it. And abstract pictures, "on-the-spur" pictures are those that delight me most. I don't believe in making people "pose" for photographs... The more natural, the better... For people who think they need to look awesome in pictures, I have no patience. My photographs fulfill my needs for memories of the moment.. not something someone later looks at and says "Wow you guys are standing so symmetrically!". Thats why I would probably be better off shooting for the "Natural Geographic" or something. You can't make animals and plants pose! They are off-beat and natural and priceless! Or other pictures I'd like to shoot are those vintage scenes which make your heart bleed, like those pictures of an old bent woman, picking tea in one of the plantations in Nepal, so she can feed her hapless 3 year old. Touche!
The perks: The camera allllllllllll the way!
The cons: Nothing I can think of... Well, maybe you like 1 out of 25 pictures you shoot... With the evolution of the digital age, that hardly counts.

Number 5: Author-Writer-Story Teller

Writing is one of my passions that has outlasted many others through the years. I wrote my first "story" when I was a 8 year old in bed with Chicken Pox and each thing has given way to another and I wrote books and stuff... With my other career options outlasting this one, I haven't gotten to "publishing" any of my work.. But this is soo close to reality, I can almost taste it.
The perks: Time flies as your fingers fly over the keyboard too!
The cons: Writer's block.. sometimes you just don't know what to write...

So, what if... well, this is the time you'd think what you'd want to do with your life in a parallel world and put it down on my blog comments... Keep the imagination wild!

August 18, 2006


Disclaimer: This post is in jest... You Mo-Towners, I loved every moment of it (well, almost!) and don't mean to hurt you.. This is just a girl's perspecive of an evening at a bar...

Bar-ring(v): The act of sitting at a bar with a huge group of friends and drinking the night away

OK, so last week was a friend's graduation party which I'd happened to grace... I would guess its customary to visit a bar once the ceremony is over... to celebrate, to get drunk, to get high and to make complete fools of yourselves... What better opportunity and what better ambience than a sports bar, called "Gibbies" where we'd informed the waiters n waitresses that this was an important day for some few (4 out of 30!) and we were going to bring the roof down and that they couldn't object to it.

I am not a habitual(or even an occassional) drinker(?!?) So, when the first round of drinks were being ordered, I politely declined the alcoholic stuff and stuck to a coke. Beer was the choice of the night as pitcher after pitcher arrived and I slowly, but steadily I witnessed the transformation of men into pigs! And soon, as the quality of the drink improved (increased), the quantity decreased and the intoxication increased... With every drink after the initial 4, their speech started slurring, their movements jarring, topics deteriorating, repetitions aplenty(!), vocal talents exposed (read singing after drinking!!) and what not!

Having read about this scenario in countless books and seen representations in movies, I thought I was prepared to watch this out. I was I guess... But what I wasnt prepared for, was what the practical implications of being present there... My drink became a refill of the coke and then a "Sex on the beach", a simple cocktail, with the alcoholic powers of vodka.. It was a rather interesting drink. I sipped a couple of times and thats all I could take. I mean, drinking for me has its limitations... No more than 2 sips at a time! Which would explain why I ever havent gotten "high". Next up, someone got some vanilla-rum-coke combo which tasted very interesting too... For 2 sips once more... And last but not the least, whiskey - Jack Daniels with coke... For allll that people had raved about whiskey I had to try it out... Even in their drunken state, the boys seemed to realize that it was maybe a bit too much of a drink for an amateur and so watched carefully as I tipped the glass into my mouth and took one sour sip (I must emphasize I hated it.. It was bitter and disgusting and no matter what "high" it gave people, one sip was too many for me). The boys' concerned expression turned into hurt as my face turned into disgust! That was enough alcohol for me and I demanded pineapple juice. The bar for all its fame couldn't gimme a decent pineapple drink. It was thick and gooey and more concentrated than what natural pineapples can ever produce. Nevertheless, a welcome change from the alcohol!

Apart from that, I spent the night fighting (verbally), flirting (generally) and scolding (those who couldn't take their ears off my conversations with others!) I discovered many kinds of people, made a lot of friends (though I bet some were soo drunk they wouldnt recognize me the next day if I walked past them!) As I waded out to take a phone call and back in, I had an American dude ask me "Can I buy you a drink?" Having seen Joey do this in F-R-I-E-N-D-S, I almost burst out laughing but somehow managed to mumble straight-faced that I was "with friends" n get away! Another practical reality- I won't go into the gross details: Don't drink too much... You'll wanna pee.. and the restrooms in bars are not functional, let alone clean!

All said n done, if you haven't done it at all, I would suggest you should go barring with a bunch of friends.. Its fun... (to do it once in a while). I wonder how the boys do it on a weekly basis... But I guess boys will be boys and maybe a li'l bit of alcohol in their system in the weekend evoked the required guilt to multiply efforts through it to do some productive work.. I'll never know... But maybe its best left unruffled. :-)

August 14, 2006

Its definitely "Goodbye" to KANK

Disclaimer - Views about the movie are strictly mine and I if you don't agree with them, you and I should probably never meet again!

Scene: An optimistic gang of 9 @ Northway Theatres, Pittsburgh
Time: 6:05pm - almost just in time for the show
Movie: Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna - Karan Johar's latest

Ofcourse I had decided to keep my expectations @ rock bottom.. Another SRK-Karan Johar flick.. overreaction was expected aplenty and I wasn't disappointed from Scene 1. SRK as a soccer player wouldn't sell even in ethereal world... And with Jersey No. 7 and a tattoo screaming 'Victory', a certain ex-Man-U and current Real Madrid star would probably commit suicide if he saw who was impersonating him! (Well if that was too cryptic for all of you.. Its Becky darling) Whoosh! And then comes another unbelievable scene... Rani Mukerji in full bridal attire sitting unaccompanied on a remote garden bench while her wedding vows need to be taken in like 5 seconds. And who should come by her, but the soccer star SRK! And though he's married and she almost is, there's a lot of chemistry between them and guess who gives her the boost to overcome her doubts about her darling husband-to-be, Abhishek, but a total stranger - SRK?

Then comes an accident and soccer superstar becomes a bitter brooding wretch who is too much of a man to be able to take his wife's success in his stride. The typical inferiority complex sets in. Atleast ere theres some reason for discomfort. The other pair is unbelievable... A doting, dashing, darling hubby in Abhishek, admittedly a little childish, endearingly so, adores his wifee, Rani and she is a mass of stone... Untouched by his affections, saddened by her good fate and uninvolved in her marital life. (Doesnt make any sense!) And so, the two bitter souls through quirks of fate are thrown together and as they work at fixing their own marriages, they end up setting themselves up. How that is "love" is once again beyond me.. And guilt brings in treats for the respective spouses who are naive enough to believe that the bad patch in their marriage is finally over and that everything is all good and fun. While Preity and Abhishek are out celebrating the success of their marriage (without their spouses - WHY would they do that?), this unlikely bitter couple in love sleep together.

Woven through all this is an ungainly role for Amitabh - a womanizing Papa.. Who celebrates his late wife by being with every 20-something he can set his eyes on... And only because its Amitabh, you can probably take it without flinching. Aby baby is Abhi's dad and Kiron "the gorgeous" Kher is SRK's mom and their flirting is unbearable. This couple chances upon Rani n SRK cootchie-cooing. And that signals the end of the stupid affair when they decide to come clean with their spouses. Neither Preity nor Abhishek can take it. While Preity implodes, Abhishek explodes and they both get rid of their spouses. Rani and SRK dont admit that they are now free to see each other and instead live a life of misery for 3 years assuming that the other is happy. BS!!! I wont go into the details.. but then they do get together in the end (And dont feel sad for Preity or Abhishek.. they've moved on too.. with different people).

A long, and painstaking account and I had to relive the torture! The first half hour is quite funny with good comic timing... the rest of it is a total pain in the ass and completely unbelievable. The movie is based on an english counterpart, "Closer" starring Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. Though I havent seen it, ofcourse I can vouch for the fact that it will probably be a trillion times better. SRK has overreacted beyond imagination and the way he cries makes you want to pull you arm out of your sleeve and play with it so you have something to do! (Courtesy: Joey in F-R-I-E-N-D-S on Janice's laughter!) Except for Mitwaa, even Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy failed to impress... The songs have an uncanny resemblence to te 'Kal Ho Na Ho' numbers which were better by far...

All in all.. even if someone paid you, its not worth the watch... BEWARE!

August 4, 2006

Copy Cat!

This is from here. And I have happily copied the template and used it coz I havent blogged in ages!!!!!!! So, here goes...

I am thinking about...
How my thesis and currently my whole existance is the whim and fantasy of a lousy cleanroom equipment.. Makes me realise how I have always hated electrical equipment (Yes, I am an "Electrical Engineer", but here there's no such thing as an "electronic" engineer... Grrrrrrrrr...

I said…
Nothing. I haven't spoken in the past 3 hours.. Believe it! I am in ECSS from 7:00am.. no one interesting around!

I want to…
Finish my research soon, get a job and then take a trip to Paris.

I wish...
Life was as it is in Hogwarts - Magical.. That way one could accomplish a gazillion number of things with unbelievable efficiency.. Best let me not get started.

I hear...
That UC is finally almost done with all the construction! Whoopee!

I wonder...
How I can do nothing all day without losing patience while waiting for the damn machine!

I regret...
Nothing. Whats done is done... I hardly ever do anything so phenomenally wrong to regret it! hehe...

I am...
One of a kind. Don't judge me before you know me. And once you know me, there's no one like me.

I dance...
With energy! (And am conscious in the beginning!)

I sing...
All the time... In the bathroom, while writing my thesis... whenever.. wherever...

I am not always...
Talking! Yeah.. unbelievable but very very true

Is the center of my existance... In India, I was a forced eater (amma n patti used to force me with food at the right times). Here, I appreciate it much much more... And all the time I can readily fathom what i am going to have for my next meal! And now its 10:15 am and I've been up since 5:55am.. That makes me.. TERRIBLY HUNGRY!

I write...
Because it has always remained one of my passions. Those close to me will tell you about my articles with magazines, my various, "fiction"-writing stints, books and what not..

My passion...
Music... It just transports me to an ethereal world... But I am captivated by many passions... Reading is another which I would never trade for... Chai.. probably the blood in my veins :)

I confuse...
Chicken and Kitchen! Isnt that unbelievable? I was booking a cabin for us friends to stay in Gatlinburg. And I actually paused while asking "Do you have a fully equipped kitchen?" Because what came in my mouth all along was "fully equipped chicken"!

I need...
to get my head in the right order... to utilize time and stick with schedules and accomplish everything I have ever wanted... Its that easy!

For you other copy-cats... what're you waiting for? Just copy! :-)