Thursday, December 24, 2009

Must watch movies and more

Updated on: 5Jan10

Ola readors and readoritas! Enjoying Christmas break by doing all kinds of fun things I suppose. If you have access to snow you must try making some Calvin snowmen. Buck and I made some and it was the most fun ever! We had a couple of evil snowmen attacking little snowmen with butter knives. Evil is so much fun :)

Anyhoo...I have decided to start an ongoing list of must watch, must avoid and everything in between movies. Will start with a list of recent (post 2007) releases ‘coz I recently got a Netflix account and have started catching up on movies released in the past couple of years. Here we go:

Awesome

1) 9 (The animation, the beasts, the creativity…what’s not to like…well okay the ending could’ve been better, but still the awesomeness cannot be denied.)

2) District 9 (I loved the aliens, the plot, the script…not one boring moment).

3) Doubt (The amazing Meryl Streep! Script and plot rocked my world...absolutely loved it).


Awesome but depressing

1) The boy in the striped pajamas (Nazi Germany as seen through two eight year old boys. You never see the brutality on the screen and somehow that makes it even more chilling. It is a brilliant movie).


Surprisingly entertaining

1) Bolt (From the previews I had low expectations but it what a cute movie it turned out to be).

2) Julie and Julia (Brisk, light and as usual Meryl Streep rocks!).

3) The devil wears Prada (Meryl Streep again! Plus you get to see fabulous clothes paraded around).

4) Tulpan (I know I shouldn't judge a country based on a farce such as Borat but I did. Am I glad I watched Tulpan. The balance has been restored. I will continue to judge).


Only if you are really bored

1) Hancock (It was a very bizarre plot but at least it never got boring or annoying).

2) Enchanted (Amy Adams is adorable. Fairy tale princess on the cynical streets of New York…it coaxes a smile out of you).

3) Ella enchanted (Cinder-ella with a twist…me likey).

4) Land of the lost (Matt Lauer bits were hilarious. Other than that it was a drag. So watch the first and last 5 min of the movie and the rest is avoidable).


Could not take more than 15 min of this crap

1) Confessions of a shopaholic (Seriously, get a script before making a movie).

2) Step brothers (I love Will Ferrell but this was just too crass).

3) Nobody knows (I’m referring to the Japanese one…apparently there is a Korean movie by the same name too. The movie is well-made, based on a true story yadayadayada but it was like watching a 2 h rape scene…seriously sadistic! Watch it only if you want to punish yourself).

4) The code (Yikes…didn’t watch beyond the first 10 min…may be it gets better, didn’t care to find out).

5) Marley & me (Depressing and annoying. It is not a badly made movie but being an avid watcher of 'the dog whisperer' I found the uncontrolled mayhem that the dog unleashes throughout the movie highly irritating. I have low tolerance for people who adopt pets and then don't do a good job of taking care of them).

6) The tale of Despereaux (Possible the most boring animated movie I have watched).

7) Mall cop (Crap).

Addictive TV shows that make you hate having a job:

1) Sopranos (This show made me crave Italian food like I've never before. Buy lots of pasta and Ragu with the DVDs)

2) 24-season 1 (Every episode ends in a cliffhanger. So the best way to keep a day job while doing a marathon with this show is to stop watching it in the middle of the episode. That way you can stop without going nuts).

3) Six feet under (I just loved this show!)

4) Dexter (Initially I didn't care for the show, the science is pretty crappy, plus the guy who plays the main character in Dexter is a homosexual in six feet under, so it took me a while to 'accept' Dexter but now I am hooked).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Of shrooms and koopalings

Dear Princess Peach,

Hi! In case you are wondering where I am and what's taking so long I thought I should write. I am stuck in the freaking desert for the last 3 days. Yes Luigi is with me but that hasn't made things any easier. Sure we are getting better each day but looks like you will be with the koopalings for a good few months.

Rest assured, if we don't give up on rescuing you and make it to the end I want to say this...you better be prepared to give one hell of a blow job.

Best,
Mario


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

5 toes make a right...foot

Ding! Tired feet ready themselves to exit the subway at Penn Station NY. “This is Canal street”, proclaims the train announcement. One man is appalled. The tired feet march on. One pair of feet recklessly run at 20mph in the quest to catch a connecting train. Mad rush. The running feet nearly run over a man. The man who was almost run over utters a single word, “Jeez!” The 20mph feet screech in their sneakers which in turn give out a high pitched squeal. Then without acknowledging the mini outburst, the feet carry on at 15 mph. Around the corner, a quarter succumbs to gravity. The sound of metal colliding with the floor reverberates only for a moment. The coin finds a resting place in the wet brown ick of the subway. Amazingly, the coin is not orphaned and makes its way back into the wallet. At least one person is appalled and feels heartfelt gratitude for the invention of credit cards. The feet carry on, turning another corner and stumbling upon the familiar face of ‘Sleepy Lester’ and his harmonica. This time the feet are tempted to slow down or even stop. But they don’t…they march on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crystal and the physics of kayaking


I went kayaking last weekend! Never thought I would kayak because a) the kayaks look like flimsy, non-reliable contraptions of doom and b) I have very miserable hand strength. I struggle with sealed water bottle caps…yes it is that bad.


But then I met Buck’s friend Chip. Chip is in his 50s (or 60s?), very active, athletic and enthusiastic about kayaking. He convinced me to give it a try and I thought okay, it can’t be that bad. I have rowed a boat in Powai or somewhere in Mumbai and I can swim albeit frog style. So I should be able to handle it. Happily I agreed and made my way to a kayaking lesson.


Chip of course was very excited and when we got to his house, we were confronted with 3 kayaks locked and loaded on top of his Jetta. How do you fit 3 kayaks on a medium sized 4-door car you ask? Apparently you need some basic knowledge of trigonometry, a little bit of integration and derivatizing and then multiply the whole thing with Plank’s constant to get a unique number that does not appear in the Fibonacci sequence. So obviously it is yellow, green and white from left to right, left and right being relative terms which you can figure out using Einstein’s constant of relativity. It is good to know all the constants, it evens out all the equations and stabilizes them. Man, was I glad I took all those math and physics classes or we would have never headed out to the water. Then to remember the order in which the Kayaks go on the car Chip came up with an acronym. Of course later on we forgot the acronym, so then we had to come up with another acronym to remember the first one. It is all very hazy now.


Lesson 1: Getting into the kayak.

Yeah, it starts there. How do you get into a wobbly kayak that is more tipsy than Jack Sparrow at 10 in the morning? First you take a journey through time and go back to the buoyancy lessons you took in the physics class. Multiply the kayak with the buoyancy constant to make the kayak stable and then leap ‘crouching tiger hidden slip disk’ style and aim to land straight into the kayak cockpit. If you try this, let me know how it worked out for you. Then you find your center of gravity which is usually right under your butt. Now it is time to bid good bye to land sweet land and make way to the watery grave.


Lesson 2: Rowing

Apparently you do not need hand strength to row a kayak if you are doing it correctly. The stroke requires you to use the abdominal and back muscles. I know what you are thinking. An ab workout in the middle of a lake? Where do I sign up?


It is pretty much like learning to ride a bike. You balance the kayak with your knees, if the wave tips the kayak to the right you lift your right knee which is wedged against the kayak side to lift it up. The trick is to not over compensate, coz once you get into a pendulum swing the sin theta will increase and what that means in layman terms is that you are about to swim with the fishes.


So that also brings up the other problem of rowing. The oar is held the same way one would hold a balancing stick on the tight rope. Then without bending the elbows too much you begin to row. To row correctly you need to swing your torso side to side. The problem with that is …you have to move the upper torso. Once you find your center of gravity, you don’t want to mess with the posture too much. So that’s the challenge. Add to that, an uneven strength in the strokes depending on whether one is righty or lefty. I being righty, the kayak kept steering to the left. So navigating was an added challenge.


I kept venturing out in the center of the lake because I felt the water was steadier there as compared to the water’s edge which had more of the ripples and waves. However, I realized that it was a very bad idea for a n00b to do that. Thankfully, my beginners luck spared me the agony of toppling into the water. However, Buck wasn’t as lucky. His kayak took a bad turn with gargantuan sin theta values and Buck was water bound. The important thing is not to panic. Even when you can’t feel the ground beneath your feet, which Buck didn’t. So now there was the task to get Buck ashore and tow the kayak and oar to the shore. Buck pretty much had to swim to the shore because we weren’t familiar with techniques of getting back into the kayak in the middle of the lake. Plus the gravitational constant is too high for you to do crouching tiger. Add to that Newton’s second and third law of motion. Buck as a result was left with little or no thrust.


I will stick with the shore next time.


Surprisingly Buck didn’t get psyched out by the dupki he took in the water and went for another round of kayaking. I on the other hand called it a day.


Lesson 3 is in July.


Meanwhile I found these videos of kayaking on you tube. Simply amazing. Hope you guys will get excited about kayaking after reading this post and put all your physics and math skills to test.






Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alice in wonderland

I decided to take another plunge into the rabbit hole last week when I came across “The Annotated Alice”. This time around, I had a Gardner by my side, Martin was his name and he revealed that there were many a things left unexplored when I first visited wonderland. Cleverly hidden math riddles, wordplay and illustrations, I was dazzled by it all. Curiouser and curiouser as I got, alas a dreadful question I asked, which was quite so eloquently put by Smokie when they sang…


Twenty-four years just waiting for a chance,
To tell her how I'm feeling, maybe get a second glance,
Now I've got to get used to not living next door to Alice...
Alice, who the fuck is Alice?

Alice Liddell photographed by Lewis Carroll

So I had questions, more questions than Alice had for the dormouse, about Alice and the Dodo with the pen name called Carroll. I was curiouser, that he chose a little girl as the protagonist. Was he a feminist? A social activist perhaps? How did he concoct this fantastical fantasy land? Much to my chagrin, Wonderland started transforming into Michael Jackson’s Neverland and my now disturbed mind was filled with images of Carroll Carroll (as Vladimir Nabakov referred to Carroll, comparing him with Humbert Humbert from Lolita). In fact, in the introduction to the annotated Alice, which I had conveniently skipped and proceeded to jump deep into Wonderland enjoying tea parties and croquet, there was a disclosure of some circumstantial evidence that Carroll might have been…(gag)…a pedophile.


Lewis Carroll


Of course the moment I read that, I was filled with disgust and I felt a shudder as I wondered about Alice and other ‘child friends’ that Carroll made over the years. Who was Alice? Was she a fictitious character or one of Carroll’s child friends? Many believe that Carroll designed Alice after Alice Liddell, who was the daughter of Henry Liddell, a friend of Carroll. He described Alice Liddell as ‘a child of quite unearthly beauty.’

He wrote a letter to Alice Liddell after she got married stating, “I have had scores of child-friends since your time but they have been quite a different thing.” Gardner mentions that it is also known that Mrs. Liddell was suspicious of Carroll’s kinship with Alice and took measures to discourage their interaction. Mrs. Liddell all of the early letters to Alice. Carroll would often sign off his letters to his special friends as 10,000,000 kisses. However, in Gardner’s view Carroll’s intentions could not have been sexual.


Gardner also mentions that Carroll was adept at meeting little girls and would carry knick knacks to peak the girls’ interest. This would include safety pins to pin up the skirts of the little girls when they decided to wade in the water at the beach. He would sketch nude photos of his child friends with polite permission from the moms no less. Didn’t MJ have notes from mommas of his PJ buddies too?

Once Carroll offered a piece of blotting paper to a little girl who was drenched in sea water and said to her, “May I offer you this to blot yourself up?”

Whether Carroll was sexually interested in these little girl is something that is not clearly known. Some say in those days, taking nude photos of little girls did not have sexual connotations. Little girls would be admired for their purity and virgin beauty. Even so, I find that the way he sought out and consorted with little girls, was a bit odd.

Now I return to the mock turtle and the Duchess.

“Well, there was Mystery,” the Mock turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers…



Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Tale of Mrs. Fuddle-Dud

There was a 20-something chap called Vettickanakudy,
A dingy university apartment dweller and a bit moody.
He ate oodles of noodles,
Drew questionable doodles,
For a cruddy crap major chose he.

He drank gallons of tea,
Slurp slurp slurp went Vettickanakudy.
One day he sat feeling quite blue,
Under a lamp that cost just 2 smackaroos.
The tap leaked drippity drop,
The clock chimed tickety tock,
Just then Vettickanakudy thought,
He heard a hissy hiss no doubt.

Following the hissy hiss sound,
His eyes circled the room around.
And he spotted 6 legs in a hurry,
Crawling out of last night's putrid curry.
“Pudding and rotten curry, my what lovely treats,
I wish I had 6 hands instead of 6 feets."
Thus misspoke the owner of the hissy hiss,
Scurrying and scampering amid the messy mess.

“Why Mr. Creepy Roach,
That’s awful rude of you to encroach!”
Said Vettickanakudy now quite annoyed,
To find a Periplaneta Americana by his side.
Startled the roach lost its footing,
Down tumbled all the scrumptious pudding.
“Clearly you are the one to apologize,
Sorry Mrs. Fuddle-Dud would suffice.”

“Hey! You’ve been mooching off me since January end,
I saw you peeking and hiding under the cabinet bend.
If anything, you owe me apologies and monies,
For hogging my space and eating my macaronis.”
“It’s your own fault Mr. Vettickanakudy,
For leaving scrumptious snacks for a 6-legged foodie.
So now again I demand at once,
Say you are sorry for being a rude dunce.”

“Alright Mrs. Fuddle-Dud you make a good point,
I do have a habit of running a messy joint.
But before I go into a lengthy extenuation,
A teeny question precedes my self flagellation.”

Distracted by the big words Vettickanakudy used,
Mrs. Fuddle-Dud got a little confused.
“Can you tell me Mrs. Fuddle-Dud what’s the pixel size,
Of your peering dark globular black compound eyes?”
“Now that you ask, I must confess,
The compound eye resolution is a bit of a mess.”

“Well that explains why you did not see,
The red can of whoop ass lying just by me.”
Down came the mist, choking and all,
Vettickanakudy waited for the imminent fall.
Falling on her back with the slightest thud,
That was the end of Mrs. Fuddle-Dud.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Review: Pixar doesn't screw Up


I watched “Up” this weekend. The reviews are already in and it is, as they say, the must see movie of the year so far. I agree. It is worth going to the theater and shelling out $11.75 to watch it in 2D. I am not much of a 3D fan though. Chota chetan was the only movie I’ve ever watched in 3D. Other than that all my 3D experiences have been in Universal Studios. I’d rather not watch an entire movie in 3D. I think it would give me a headache. Plus I was hoping that most of the little buggers will go for the 3D version and so I should be able to enjoy the movie in an unadulterated fashion, uninterrupted by the dark shadows of dutiful parents escorting their bundles of joys to poo poo potties. No such luck.

Expectations can make or break a movie for me. Particularly high expectations…they tend to ruin movies for me. With Pixar I have continually gone in with increasingly demanding expectations and incredibly Pixar has not failed to deliver (with the exception of Cars. I have forgiven and moved on since). Wall-E surpassed my expectations, not only because of its inherent awesomeness, but because the previews for the movie were the most perfect previews I could ever ask for. Intriguing enough to make you want to go check it out, yet not revealing of the characters, plot and particularly jokes. I had no clue about where the plot would go in Wall-E and every scene unfolded, unraveled and kept me mesmerized. That’s the thing with jokes, they can knock you over with the punch line and make you roll on the floor hysterically first time around but the second time it is worth no more than a chuckle and then it stops being funny. So that was one my complaints with Up, I felt like there was too much given away in the previews.

The flying house and the dirigible were reminiscent of Miyazaki’s movies. However, unlike Miyazaki movies, this one left me with a lot of sadness which would probably go unnoticed by most viewers in their 20s or younger. I watched most of the movie teary eyed, feeling horrible about Carl Fredrickson’s life and feeling mushy about his memories and life with Ellie and what they had together and what they didn’t have together. It was one emotional roller coaster for me, tugging at my heart strings with that haunting thematic music score by Michael Giacchino. This was one Pixar movie where I cried more than I laughed.

There were some jokes in the movie which were what I’d consider cheap laughs. Alpha’s voice was not a source of entertainment for me, although I can understand that it is hard to appeal to such a wide range of audiences. It might have tickled the little buggers, who were actually quite amusing at times when they laughed hysterically at some silly antic like Russell climbing onto Carl’s face.

So although Pixar did not meet my expectations for this movie to be a 90 minutes long laugh riot, it was well worth making a trip to the theater. Another triumph for Pixar. “Adventure is out there!” Go watch it.



Friday, June 05, 2009

Jane Wendell - 2

Air France Flight 447 went missing in the Atlantic Ocean with 228 passengers and crew on board. Jane wondered what the passengers or the crew went through when that happened. Did they get to say their goodbyes to the loved ones at the airport before the plane took off? May be some of them were so lucky that they got to say a teary eyed goodbye in a warm embrace. May be some of them were flying home after a long lonely wait. There was a report of a young man on the flight who was heading back to France after attending his father’s funeral. Poor bastard…the irony…he spent his final days moping around for a loss that he didn’t have to bear for more than a few days. Or may be he hated his father and was glad that the old geezer finally kicked the bucket. How inappropriate of him, Jane thought. But Jane didn’t have all the facts to decide who was being inappropriate to whom.

Jane thought that a plane crash was one of the most horrific ways to die. But again, may be Jane didn’t have all the facts. There were reports of the plane losing cabin pressure and there were reports of no communication from the pilots. All the information was reported by the plane systems, or so the media led Jane to believe. Even the airplane systems didn’t seem to have the facts straight. There were contrary reports of the airspeed right before the crash. It was entirely plausible that the plane systems failed and that this in turn resulted in a sudden pressure drop. In such an event the definition of an ideal situation changes dramatically. Ideally, the oxygen masks should drop. The passengers and crew then have, depending on how fast the cabin pressure is plummeting, sometimes less than 15 seconds to put on the mask. Jane would never pay attention to the emergency instructions. Jane would think, much as most of the passengers on Air France Flight 447 probably thought, “What are the odds?”

And even if Jane would’ve paid attention, she could’ve never managed to put on the mask in less than 15 seconds. And would the odds be any better if panic and turbulence were added to the equation? Jane wouldn’t know. She was never any good with probability problems. But none of that would’ve mattered anyway.

If the cabin pressure had dropped suddenly, the passengers and crew would pass out. There would be no communication from the pilots. The media reports that there were no distress calls issued by the pilots. Jane could console herself by thinking that at least they didn’t suffer just like the Columbia crew on Feb 1, 2003.

Jane had once read somewhere that NASA gives the crew cyanide pills so that in the event of an imminent disaster the crew can choose to die a less painful death. She does not want to acknowledge that sometimes events can transpire rapidly and be completely out of ones control. That there are times when you run out of possibilities and choices to consider. In case of shuttle disasters, Jane clearly does not appreciate the gravity of the situation. Jane still believes that NASA provides instant death pills to every crew member.

Jane’s life is full of choices. Some of these choices are not even possibilities. But Jane doesn’t know that. Jane works very hard to keep it that way.

On a side note, although most if not all the passengers and the crew on Air France were born on different days and had different sun signs and the exact same planetary alignment as their counterparts on earth, only the ones on the plane met with the same fate.

Jane Wendell

Jane sat on the couch glancing out of the living room window. She felt much like the gloomy skies, dull and jaded. As always, things could be better and things could be worse.

The top story on the news today was about HIV positive men raping girls in Zimbabwe because they believed that having intercourse with a virgin would cure their disease. The youngest victim was reported to be a one month old baby. Was there anything at all that could’ve prevented this rape? Education, religion, faith? This man thought that it was okay to rape a one month old baby. What can anyone possibly say to this man to convince him that it is not okay to rape a baby? That it is not okay to rape anyone? Jane couldn’t think of one thing to say.

What is the solution then? Lock him up? For how long? What happens once he is released? Will he learn morality in prison? However, it is said that people can be reformed. Many find Jesus in prison. Nobody knows what crime Jesus committed.

There must be some law in Texas that would say “FRY ‘EM”. Many think it is not humane. That every motherfucker deserves a second chance. The tiger who mauled a zookeeper to death on May 27 in New Zealand was immediately shot to death. There was no room for debate. He turned on a human. The tiger deserved to die. He could not be reformed. It was the most humane thing to do.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Chapter 11: RT How Yayati got his mojo back

I am now on twitter and following some interesting characters. Drop by to see what they are tweeting about.

http://twitter.com/crystalblur

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Espelling kaantest

I don’t know if any of you caught the preliminary round of Scripps spelling bee 2009 today but it was totally bizarre.

Here are some excerpts from the proceedings:

Moderator: Tea-is-spoon
Nerd 1: Teaspoon?
Moderator: Tea-is-spoon
Nerd 1: Can I have the definition please?
Moderator: You need the definison to ispell tea-is-spoon? You are kidding me.
Nerd 1: Tea-is-spoon…T-E-A-I
Buzzer
Moderator: I in tea-is-spoon…kaha kaha se chale aate hai. Nekayst.
Nerd 2 awaits the word.
Moderator: Meliority
Nerd 2: Are there any alternate pronunciations?
Moderator: Yes, the Chinese pronunciation is meriolity.
Nerd 2: Okay umm, M-E-R…no wait L
Buzzer
Moderator: Nekayst. Your word is Jaa-lay-pee-no
Nerd 3: Do you mean Ha-le-pi-no?
Moderator: No, there is a J in the beginning. Oh I see what you did there…very smarut.
Nerd 3: J-A-L-A-P-E-N-O
Moderator: Okay, okay, nekayst. Your word is Tuh-choch-kee
Nerd 4: May I have the language of origin.
Moderator: All the words are in English. Kya kya sawaal puchte hai.
Nerd 4: Can you use it in a sentence please?
Moderator: Yes, you need to espell tuh-choch-kee correctly in order to compete in the nekayst round.
Nerd 4: Tchotchke…T-C-H-O-T-C-H-K-E
Moderator: Bhai wah! Nekayst. Your word is cunnilingus.
Nerd 5: May I have the definition please.
Moderator: Hey bhagvan! You will have to ask your mummy and daddy what it means.
Nerd 5: Can I ask them now?
Moderator: You have 30 seconds to spell.
Nerd 5: Uh, this was not in the study list.
Buzzer
Moderator: Nekayst.

http://www.spellingbee.com/
Don't miss the finals on 28 May 2009 on ABC at 8P/7C

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chapter 10: Divine secrets of the Yayati sisterhood

Vyasa (V): Here we are
Ganpati (G): Indeed, here we are!
V: But the question is where were we?
G blows…eh about…almost…2 years worth of dust from the last papyrus he had scribbled.
V almost falls out of his seat.
V: 2 years! Well then it is about time.

V and G get off the seats and break into a song.
Ta-tut ta-tut tut-ta!
It was 4 years ago
Was it really?
That we gave this story a go

V: I think I snapped a tendon, we should stick to writing
G (disappointed): Oh alright.
V: Where were we story-wise?
G: Let’s see…we were writing about some dude called Shankaracharya…no wait…Sukracharya. He is an evil scientist who is funded by Asuras and can bring people back from dead.
V: Wait a minute. I do not cater to evil scientists stereotypes. Sukracharya is a good guy.
G: Then why is he consorting with the Asuras?
V: Do you know how hard it is to get funding? On average 97% of the grants are rejected.
G: Alright simmer down. So there is Dr. S and he is a single father. What’s the story with the mom?
V: I haven’t made up that part yet…no questions, just a brief summary please.
G: Okay…the daughter Devyani has an affair with a student named Kacha, not knowing that Kacha is actually a spy. You know you could call this chapter ‘the spy who shagged me!’.
V stares sternly as G chuckles.
V: Take your time, we have all day.
G: Fine! The spy plots and successfully steals Dr. S’s Sanjiviniology research and then ditches Devyani. Bru-tal! Then Devyani steals the princess’s clothes and the princess in turn pushes Devyani in a dry well. Tough day for Devyani. Then a prince conveniently and believably happens to be wandering around in the forest.
V -> searing stares.
G: And the prince is gallivanting in the woods all by himself, probably looking for damsels in distress, I mean who knows what he was looking for and it doesn’t matter so long as the plot moves forward.
V taps his foot.
G: Then the prince…what is his name anyway?
V: Umm…Yayati
G: Okay, Yayati then finds Devyani and rescues her and then Devyani proposes and gets rejected by the prince because of her fat ass and Devyani is stranded in the forest.

V (rubbing his hands with excitement): Alright, here we go.

Devyani sat in the forest feeling dejected and alone. Soon the forest was enveloped in darkness and sinister howls echoed in the forest. Devyani cowered under a tree and started praying for somebody to rescue her.

Sukracharya squints at his wrist dial under the candle light.
Sukracharya (S): Where is this girl? I can’t figure out what time it is on this dial.

Vyasa (V): Talking about wrist dials, I’m thinking of buying one with an abacus in it.
Ganapati (G): You people with your gadgets. When you are hungry it is time to eat, when you are sleepy it is time to sleep. I don’t need a dial to tell me what time it is.
V: Ganya, you are strange sometimes.

Worried about the daughter, he asks a student to go looking for her in the forest. Partly because as a tenured professor he could get away with it but mostly because he was afraid of the dark. The student searches for Devyani for hours and finally finds her and takes her home.
Student: “Can I graduate now?”
S: “That is up to the committee to decide. Remember there is no substitute for hard work.”
Disgruntled student walks away.

S: And as for you missy, do you know what time it is?
Taps the wrist dial.
S: I am sick of this behavior. Out partying at ungodly hours, the pigeon practically fainted last week from delivering your incessant pigeon mail and then there is all this expensive junk you keep buying…like this wrist dial which doesn’t even work.
Devyani (D): It works only during the day dad!

G: I always wonder why those things can’t work at night? I mean clearly we have the moon at night, so what’s the problem?
V: I don’t know. So where were we…

D: It works only during the day dad! Stop yelling at me. I wasn’t out partying, I was almost murdered.
S: Murdered? Don’t be dramatic. Why would anyone murder my daughter when I can bring you right back to life? That would be the most pointless thing to do.
D bursts into tears.
D: Nobody likes me. Everybody makes fun of me. I am never getting married.
S: Okay okay. Tell me what happened.
D: It’s Sarmishta…she thinks she is so hip. The only reason she has friends is because her dad would behead anyone who is mean to her. Anyway, I was minding my own business and I don’t know what got into her. She is probably jealous of me or something she just pushed me into a pit.
S: May be it was a mistake. May be she didn’t mean to push you.
D: She also said that your last publication had the lousiest data she has ever seen and something about error bars…that you haven’t heard about them…
Sukracharya’s face turned the deepest color of crimson.

S: I will have a chat with her Dad first thing in the morning.
He simmered through the night and made his way to the palace at the crack of dawn.

At the palace.
King Vrishaparva (KV): Sukracharya? What a pleasant surprise! Usually I don’t wake up before you can start telling time but the wife is on my case. So I do a little cardio in the morning to get the old motor running. In fact I am looking for a running partner, you interested?
S gives angry stares.
KV: Sooooo, what’s up? What brings you here?
S: I will get right to the point. I am not treated with respect and I am tired of this attitude. There are lots of other kingdoms that I can offer my services to and would be appreciated for. In fact, I am thinking of leaving you and your kingdom for good.
KV: What did the Asuras do now?
S: It wasn’t the Asuras this time. It was your daughter.
KV: My daughter? What could she possibly do or say that would make you leave?
S: I am not going to repeat the hideousness that she uttered but I want to make it clear that I will not stand for it.
KV: Okay, I will talk with her.
S: I am afraid that is not enough.
KV: Look, I would hate for things to end this way. You and I both know that my kingdom will crumble without your Frankenstein stuff. I apologize on her behalf.
S: I have put up with a lot humiliation with the Asuras harassing my students and murdering them and feeding their body parts to my pets. But this time it has gone too far. There is nothing you can say or do to stop me.
KV: I will double your salary and fund you for a year.
S: I said that I will not…really? Double!
KV: Yes.
S: I do need some more grant money and my last application was rejected. Alright you have a deal.
KV: Great chatting with you. Gotta run.

Sukracharya gleefully returns home only to find a miffed Devyani.

D: So?
S: It has all been taken care of.
D: What do you mean? Do I get an apology from Sarmistha?
S: Er…yes. She is going to mail it to you.
D (whines): Daaaad! I was humiliated. You didn’t just let them get away with it?
S: Of course not, they are going to pay for it.
D: Pay, you got a settlement? How much? Can I shop at Gocci now?
S: Sorry hon, you already spent your allowance and I need the extra money for my research.
D: This is not fair. I demand an apology from Sarmistha…no wait, I want her to be my maid for…forever.
S: Devyani, she is the King’s daughter.
Devyani makes puppy face.
S: Dammit Devyani! Okay fine, but if they don’t agree you will have to quit moping around and no more trips to the forest after dark.

G: Are all the women in your story unreasonable, emotional drags that serve the only utilitarian purpose of propagating the progeny?
V: Well they are women. What are you getting at?
G sighs.
V: I am getting hungry. Should we go grab a bite?
G: Might as well finish this chapter.
V: Oh that would take far too long. Sarmista becomes Devyani’s maid, I still haven’t figured out a way to make that sound plausible. Then Devyani finally hooks up with Yayati, the guy who rescued her from the well in the forest which by the way is an inter-caste marriage. Pretty forward of me know? Hooking up a Kshatriya with a Brahmin girl.
G: Scandalous.
V: And then of course, Sarmista also gets jiggy with Yayati…the whole catfight angle to the story.
G: Yeah let’s go grab a bite. I have a coupon for Kabooters
V: You go there?
G: Yeah, I go there for the food. They have really good wings.
V: Riiigght!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Suralichya vadyafucking waste of time

There are hundreds of food blogs online, touting saliva inducing photos of their great successes in the kitchen. That my friends is the Disney version of what could happen in your kitchen. Sure it could happen to you, a perfectly baked something or the other, but that is one side of the story. What about the other side? The dark side where rotis are amoeboid and flames erupt to singe your eyebrows and concoctions turn into inedible goo. Where are those stories? Yes, I am talking about all those FUBAR experiments in the kitchen. Surely these stories need a voice. Not because we can learn from those mistakes but because these stories could be infinitely more entertaining to read. Since I have found immense pleasure in others’ misery I thought I should give some back to the community. So here it is…my first attempt at making suralichya vadya.

Once upon a time I was browsing some food blogs. I came across some extremely delicious looking suralichya vadya photos. Hubba hubba hubba. So I took a look at the recipe and it looked fairly straight forward. Make batter, cook over low flame until thickens, plate out, cool and roll. The batter cooking did not have any specific instructions. The most they would say was, cook until it is cooked. This is going to be a good lesson on why recipes with specific instructions are a great idea, you can tell.

Anyway, I looked at the recipe and convinced myself that I could handle it…easy peazy. So here I was, 10 minutes into cooking the batter on low flame with constant stirring. That is co-incidentally the amount of time it takes for me to lose patience. The flame went up 2 notches. Bad idea. Very quickly, the batter started turning into a viscous and lumpy blob. Seeing this I panicked and hastily plated out the batter before it could turn into one giant lump. Of course the batter was not yet completely cooked. I valiantly microwaved the plated batter in an attempt to cook the plated stuff but the batter could care less. So this is what I ended up with…perforated raw suralichya vadya and lumps of half cooked batter.


At this point I was left with a crap load of dirty dishes, a tummy roaring with hunger and one twitching eye. Most people would quit at this point, order a pizza and call it a day. Not me. No no no no no. I was sure not going to dump this disaster. So I steamed my perforated suralichya namesake vadya for 10 mins like idlis and then doused them in a seasoning of oil, mustard seeds and hing and ate them. And then I farted happily every after.

Moral of the story:
1) An empty stomach and a lumpy batter do not make for a great day.
2) Suralichya vadya = crap load of dirty dishes. Think about it.
3) It is immoral to make suralichya vadya

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sita sings the blues


This may be old news for most of you folks but this stuff is worth pimping. So I will go ahead anyway. Unlike me and my MB retake, Nina Paley single handedly stuck with her vision of Ramanyan and brought it to fruition as “Sita sings the blues”. She has made her movie available for viewing in its entirety for free. You can read more about Nina Paley or watch Sita sings the blues go to http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/

Annette Hanshaw’s songs are simply brilliant and a perfect fit for the movie. Although when I think about the amount of moolah Paley had to part with to deal with the copyright restrictions for those songs, I'm only guessing here, but I have a feeling that it must have surely broken Paley’s metaphorical balls.

The whole movie was a visual delight. Loved it. My favorite part was the conversational narration of Ramayan…that shit was hilarious.

That’s all.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:re Infinite loop

Crys is wondering how long it would take to max out two gmail accounts if they were set such that all the messages received in account A are forwarded to account B and all the messages received in account B are forwarded to account A.
The underlying assumption is that this would create a loop of forwards. If it doesn't, why not?
If it does, only data from actual tests with gmail accounts are acceptable responses.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Finally!

Are you suffering from red eyes, incessant yawns and getting barely enough sleep? Are you too poor to afford DVR and wish you hadn’t squandered away all your money on food and rent? If you have answered yes to both questions then you must be a harrowed tennis fan trying to find a reasonable hour to watch the Australian Open. Fellow sufferers, I feel your pain.

Even worse, sometimes you find the time to watch AO and what happens? They feature two Russian chicks on court 3 when you’d rather watch the oh-so-awesome Tsonga on court 10. Or feature some boring American player that you couldn’t care less about when drool worthy Safin is playing on the adjacent court. ESPN may not always get my priorities right but they totally redeemed themselves by starting ESPN 360.

If you haven’t already discovered ESPN 360, boy, are you in for a sweet surprise! So check it out…you can watch the entire uncut coverage (commentary, press interviews included) online for free. I haven't explored their archives yet but looks like they have most of the matches there. What's more, you can fast forward the ads. Yes...FF the ads! Can it get any better? Yes...you can watch your match of choice in the live coverage. I can finally choose to watch a live Safin/Tsonga/Monfils match on the internet over the featured non-Safin match on TV. Sweet!

I mean this was inevitable, it was going to happen eventually. This is the future of TV…everything should be the way it is on ESPN 360. Every week, all the new episodes of TV shows should become available and you should be able to pick and choose what and more importantly, when you watch a show. All the shows should be on demand. Why are we still forced to watch crap when we can have the option of choosing which crap we want to watch and when? Network folks, please take notes from ESPN 360…I cannot believe how long it is taking you guys to catch on.

ESPN 360…thanks!