Aug 31, 2011

Can you do it to yourself?

On my way home from work, on the ride on the bus home, with my favorite ‘pink’ iPod Shuffle giving me splendid company, I was thinking about what my colleagues had told me in the afternoon.

“Kris, your paunch is looking bigger.”

I hadn’t noticed it had grown that prominent. I tired to defend myself by saying:

“It’s always been there. Maybe you didn’t notice.”

Suddenly, Thom Yorke started singing “Just” on my Shuffle, the chorus went of like this:

“Can you do it to yourself? Yes, you do, and that’s what really hurts. You do it to yourself…”

It felt like Thom was asking me about why I was letting myself grow overweight and out of shape.

That’s it, I decided. It motivated me to go to the gym back again. With the iPod Shuffle, of course.

I did. I weighed myself. I had put on 6 kilos in the last 4 months or so! I felt bad enough to set up an appointment for a BCA test. That will be tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I won’t let it do it to myself. I promise.

Aug 30, 2011

Apple Store in India? And a date!

So, I posted a message on my FaceBook wondering why Apple never launched an Apple Store in Mumbai. I got a few responses saying that there are indeed Apple Stores in Mumbai. I had made it clear to them that I was not talking to them about premium sellers – I have one right next to my apartment. I’m talking about actual Apple Stores. Like they have in the US, where prices are not exorbitant.

Some of my friends convinced me that there are indeed Apple stores in Mumbai. I was excited. I wanted to check them out, especially since I was considering buying a laptop before I headed out for my trip to Lucknow in December.

So, I asked my honey from the office, my wonderful colleague SN from office, to come out with my to check the ‘Apple Store’ at Palladium mall (Phoenix, Lower Parel) and have a dinner afterward.

We went. We found out that it was not an Apple Store after all – it was an ‘iStore’, a premium reseller chain operated by Reliance. I even tried finding the reason why. Apparently, Apple can’t yet sell its products in India without tying up with third party companies. And with the taxes etc, the prices go up over the roof. So, there is indeed no Apple Store in India.

At the store, however, I was charmed by MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, iPads, iMacs and what not. I think I’m becoming a sucker for Apple stuff. Incredible turnaround isn’t it, considering that I wrote this barely a week back. Now I want to buy an Apple laptop and an iPad soon. Hmmm…

After that, we had lovely tenderloin/bacon cheeseburgers with beer and coffee (me and SM, respectively). Over tons of jokes. A hell load of laughter. I SO love her!

At the back of my mind, I was thinking about getting back in touch with May. I told SN about the current situation with her. She inspired me to do something about it by messaging her. I did. We have agreed to meet in a couple of weeks’ time.

Day of packages

After the two-day weekend, when I reached work, I was greeted at my desk by a package that hard arrived from my Mom. It contained the ‘idli podi’, the kind of dry chutney/masala that you have with dosas and idlis. I was very happy. But that was not the end of it.

In the afternoon, I received a package from @WOMWorldNokia with a Nokia X7 that I am supposed to test for 2 weeks. For those who don’t quite know the saga behind it, you can read it  here.

The first impressions when I opened the box were not very encouraging. Despite the surprise and the awe after receiving the package, almost everyone thought that X7 looked bad. These are the various reactions that I got.

'Ugly', 'Not Good Looking', 'Looks like a coffin', 'Uggh!', and 'Okay'.

I came back home and made dosas and had them with the idli powder. I also opened the X7 package and found that it doesn’t have a user manual in English. So I was even wary of putting it to charging. But eventually I did.

The only good thing that happened after that was that it immediately hooked on to my Wi-Fi at the apartment. I tried browsing on the default browser. It sucked. The screen resolution sucked. The you tube videos won’t load on full screen. There is no pinch zoom. The screen is not as responsive as you would like.

So, I downloaded Opera Mini and Opera Mobile to test. Both got downloaded (and probably installed). But I can’t find them. That’s it, I can’t find my way around the phone. The interface also sucks. The home screen is not as customizable or user friendly as the Android ones are.

I haven’t sill put a sim card in it. I’ll probably do that tomorrow/Thursday. Let’s see if it stops sucking even a little bit.

Aug 28, 2011

Podcasts and more

What a nice lazy Sunday it was. Usually, my Sundays are boring. Lazy and boring. But today was a little different. Instead of just sleeping and watching TV shows (BattleStar Galactica now), I spent some time going through the radio and podcast options on iTunes.

First of all, I’m not a big fan of iTunes. But you have to admit that it’s pretty decent to manage/listen to podcasts and radio. I haven’t used many podcast managers – hell, I haven’t even listened to too many apart from a brief period in 2007  - but iTunes seems to be best and the easiest.

So, I discovered that they had BBC World Service as Radio 4. That was good. I discovered the NPR Programs channel, which I listened to for a few hours. I, in fact, recommended it to my dear friend from office who was nostalgic about NPR – she used to listen to it when she was in the States.

Apart from that, I discovered a weird Alternative Talk Radio station (to which I slept to) which dealt with life, positivity, exercise, diet, self-esteem etc. That was fun too – to know that dark chocolate and sugar (plain white sugar) do the exact opposite to your mood.

Then I discovered a TWiT – a radio/TV station which broadcasts quality content about computers and other geeky stuff. Jeez, you gotta love this channel if you are a nerd. I also watched their TV show for a few hours. I think they do repetitions of programming, but it was still nice.

About podcasts – I found a few very interesting ones including comedy, history, greatest speeches of all time, and language lessons. I downloaded a few of them. I haven’t listened to them yet, but that will be soon.

So, the consensus is – if you are are an old fashioned fan of radio/talk, please find stuff on iTunes and listen to it. :) iTunes isn’t that bad after all!

Aug 27, 2011

Worrying about Hurricane Irene

I don’t know why I worry so much. Currently, as Hurricane Irene is sweeping the upper East Coast of the US, I have many friends to worry about. Vinokur, Rob, Dom, Joe – all are in the striking zone of the hurricane. Vinokur and Rob are in Grade C evacuation zones in the NYC, while Dom isn’t.

I hope they all remain safe and the hurricane doesn’t disrupt their lives.

Aug 26, 2011

Oh, well

This is what I ended my last post with. It very well sums up the situation vis-à-vis my parents visiting me this winter. Yesterday, after considering everything, I wrote an e-mail to my Mom explaining everything – warning her about potential incompatibilities, arguments, limitation of my apartment, etc.

Yesterday evening, I chatted with her regarding the possible dates. She said that my cousin might probably get married around that time – nothing is confirmed now – and they might have to plan around that wedding. I said okay.

This morning, she repeated the same thing and said that she’s not sure about visiting. I thought aloud that it might be a good idea after all as it would relieve me off the pressure of hosting them.

She said: “Then, we won’t visit you.”

I said: “Thanks Amma.”

So much for the effort. :(

Aug 25, 2011

Plans for the winter

Last year, I had made elaborate plans to use up my leaves (from work). I had plans to go to Goa, Hyderabad, Lucknow etc. None of the plans worked out.

This year, the scene is different altogether. There are hardly any gigs coming up outside Mumbai. Besides, Jan 26, 2011, the date that the Professor and I jokingly agreed to try and forge a relationship by, was looming.

So, after consultation with him yesterday on Skype, I booked my round trip to Lucknow in mid-December. Now, I’ve all of my body appendages crossed hoping that the trip would be a pleasant experience.

Meanwhile, I wrote to my Mom and Dad about them visiting me in the winter. They said they will think about the dates and get back to me. Oh, well!

Aug 24, 2011

Nokia X7

So, I was on my way to work and there was a TOI front-page ad about the new smartphones that Nokia was launching. One was a touchscreen model, the other was a candy bar model, and the third one – well, it deserves to be mentioned – called X7 seemed like a touchscreen model made when the designer at Nokia had a really, really bad day.

The X7 has the strangest design that I have seen. The corners are chipped off in an unnatural fashion – remember that Nokia always believed in curves? - and the phone is thicker at the top and bottom. All the three models were running the new Symbian OS – Symbian Anna.

My immediate reaction was “Yuck,” and I posted it on Twitter. This was yesterday.

Later on, I got a tweet from @WOMWorldNokia saying that maybe I have jumped to an early conclusion and I might actually like X7 once I get my hands on it. They also asked me if I wanted to test drive one. I said I wouldn’t mind – Symbian Anna was worth it, I thought.

Today, I had the most pleasant interaction with a guy called Paul (from somewhere in the UK) over e-mail and finally I have agreed to test drive an X7 for 2 weeks. They will ship me the phone in some time. I’m really looking forward to testing it.

Now, the one thing that I want to say is that I was pleasantly surprised at the professional way guys at @WOMWorldNokia respond to criticism and convert Nokia haters into potential users. Kudos to them! :) Watch out for my full review of Nokia X7 later!

Aug 23, 2011

Tailspin

It started out with two conversations yesterday. One with someone I love and another with someone I’m supposed to love. Both tread over my mental minefield seemingly without a care. Whiplashes and big gashes. I was hurt and suddenly had lost faith in everything.

It was plain obvious – no smile, no spark, no positivity. Some I know from far far away tried to pick me up and make me feel better. He succeeded marginally. But what really helped was a a few of hours of sleep, albeit light, in the background of some eclectic music (loud).

I woke up early, almost having forgotten what had happened the previous night. I managed to make a lot of out the precious early morning. Then, went to work. The entire day was exceptionally productive. And on my way back, I tweeted – “ Time to give an extremely productive day an ending that it deserves. Don't you dare to spoil it now!”

No sooner had I reached home, there was an e-mail waiting for me – which broke me down completely. Then there was someone else on Skype who did his bit. And finally, I went to the chat room that I hang out usually, where I received some scathing comments under the pretext of humor. I ran out of the room scared.

I have never felt worse all year. Is this another episode of clinical depression that has been otherwise well managed by my medications? Only time will tell.

Aug 22, 2011

I have started hating Apple

This Saturday, I bought myself an iPod shuffle with the gift vouchers that I got from the office. I was very happy to have bought my first Apple product. I came home, excitedly unwrapped the cute little glass box that it came in.

The packing was excellent. There was a pair of earphones and the USB cable for charging/syncing the iPod. But there was no instruction manual or guides. Well, it must be really simple, I thought.

So, I plugged the iPod in to the computer. The nightmare began. First it wouldn’t get installed properly. Then, I tried transferring some songs with Winamp and Media Monkey. That didn’t work. Then I Googled to find out what was wrong.

I found that iTunes was a compulsory installation for syncing iPods. After that got downloaded, I had to restart my computer and then I still faced several problems before finally being able to transfer songs using Media Monkey. In between, I tried tried the support at Apple.com to find out that it didn’t offer live assistant support for iPod Shuffles! Fuck you, Apple!

I test drove it on the road today. The quality of sound was good, but the earphones tended to fall out of my ears. All in all, a perfectly annoying experience.

Going by this, I have to think twice before going for other products like iPhones, Macbooks etc.

Aug 20, 2011

Am I that straight-acting?

Today, at work, a female colleague of mine casually asked me “Are you trying to tell me that you are gay?” I said, “Yes, that’s what I am.”

She said “Is this one of your pranks?”

I said. “No. I’m dead serious about it. Why do you think that I get along with the women in the office so well?”

She said “You gotta be kidding me. I don’t believe it!”

And from then on, I tried to convince her that I was indeed gay. She didn’t buy it.

Am I that straight-looking?

Aug 19, 2011

Disappointing

It’s been five days since the new refrigerator came home. I did a lot of grocery shopping to welcome it. But I haven’t found the time to change my lifestyle in anyway (that I had planned) to justify the purchase. I haven’t touched the fruits that I bought and the bananas have already gone bad.

How very disappointing!

Aug 18, 2011

Break up

One of my friends casually told me the other day that she had broken up with her fiancé. She was smiling at me when she assured me that she was alright. I was perplexed. I tried to put myself in her shoes.

Well, I didn’t need to go much further than on May 04, 2010, I officially broke up with Vinokur. I was shattered then. Shouldn’t she be too? Why isn’t she? Was she trying to cover everything up and put a brave face? How was I to judge?

Because the setting was not intimate, I couldn’t find more details about the issue.

This is the second time that such a thing is occurring – both happened with friends who kept their cards close to their chest. That’s what I can’t do.

Anyway, I hope that my friend is really feeling okay and not too upset.

Aug 17, 2011

Over the top

For the last two days at work, I have been working around 12 hours every day. I’m only getting paid for the 8.5 hours that I’m supposed to work.

Sometimes, it feels so unrewarding. Why should I put in the extra effort if there are no obvious benefits to come out of it.

What’s the point in all of this? Are they abusing me because I’m committed and hard working, because I’m naïve and un-demanding, because I’m just another soft soul who can be ridden on?

I read in a news article on TOI today that men who are more demanding and aggressive get better salary hikes? Should I change my mindset to it all?

Aug 16, 2011

Waking up to chirping birds

So, I ran out of my medications (for depression and anxiety) yesterday. I went to the pharamacist to refill my quota, but I found the shop closed – it was Independence Day. So, I came back home and was worried about me having difficulties falling asleep.

I took precautionary measures – had an early meal, took an extra antihistamine pill other than the one that I take for my chronic urticaria, poured myself a couple of drinks of whiskey and sipped them while watching back-to-back episodes of Battlestar Galactica (which, by the way, is simply amazing).

This was only interrupted by an intermittent, exchange of romantic notes (over e-mails) with a wonderful man that I had met on SilverDaddies.com. I couldn’t really fall asleep despite it all.

At 2.30 am, I stopped watching BattleStar Galactica, switched on some music, and tried to sleep. Soon, I drifted on to a shallow sleep cycle, marred by dreams/nightmares – the music still helped.

At 6.15 am, I woke up to the wonderful sounds of birds chirping. This was the first time that I had heard that in months – or even more – the last time I heard that, I woke up next to a wonderful man in a beautiful apartment near Pali hill in Bandra.

I want to do this more. I want to wake up more frequently to the bird’s chirping. Will I be able to?

Aug 15, 2011

Working on Independence Day

National holiday. Working day for me because my company needed to. Of course, I get paid for working extra. But that’s not the real perk.

The most beautiful thing about working on a national holiday is the peace. Everything, from bus stops, to buses, to roads, to offices, to pantries -everything is quieter. There are less people around. The city, the office - everything feels so much more peaceful.

You know, when people from smaller cities and towns (especially from abroad) tell me that they might not like to live in Mumbai, I never really thought about what they said. In their lives, every day is like a national holiday. Everything is peaceful, calm, and less crowded.

Coming to think of it, I might like living in such a town. Not now, sometime in the future.

Aug 14, 2011

Wonderful Vinokur

Today, received this beautiful note from Vinokur, my ex-boyfriend. Needless to say, he made me happy like no other man has ever has, or perhaps can.

I think my ex, Kris, who lives in Mumbai, loved me more than any lover I've ever had. In fact, I think he still does. He's a wonderful person and I suspect you'd agree. Although he's a Hindu by birth and was named for Lord Krishna, he's an atheist now. He's a very fine rock musician.

Thank you, Vinokur!

Aug 13, 2011

Double-movie date

I broke the shackles yet again. This time with a colleague, a newly acquired very good friend! I went out with her and watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America back to back. We followed up with lunch at a restaurant that gave me fond memories of a wonderful dinner date that I had with Mike.

The most wonderful moment during the entire date was when my friend slept through the first half of Captain America (yes, it was rather boring for a Marvel movie) with her head on my shoulder! It felt really good!

About the movies – Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a very good movie – probably better than the Mark Wahlberg-starring Planet of the Apes (2001). It is a reboot of the franchise with a new story line. It’s a must watch for all classic sci-fi movie fanatics! 4 star!

Captain America is a must watch for Marvel lovers. But it’s actually disappointing. Especially, the unrealistic story and the plot (yes, even in comics, plots can be realistic). I would give it a 3 star rating.

Aug 12, 2011

New refrigerator

I can’t believe how friends from around the world influence me (usually positively). I have a friend from Palm Springs, CA on SilverDaddies.com who I’m interested in me (and who is interested in me too, I believe). We know each other for a while because we chat in a chat room *(the room that I met Vinokur, Blummer, etc., in).
Anyway, we were chatting about my general lifestyle and my friend gives very good advice on the same. He wants me to improve my diet and as a first step, he asked me buy a refrigerator that works (the old one doesn’t really work properly). He coaxed me to put it as first priority. And I did!
I completed the transaction for a new 250-L Samsung 5-star 2-door refrigerator! It will be delivered tomorrow and I have to go shopping to fill it up with goodies – most importantly, fruits, veggies, and meat!
Thank you, dear friend!

Aug 7, 2011

I don’t get Ganpati, I really don’t.

I hate most festivals. I think they are noisy and intrusive. Those who don’t celebrate them have every right to lead their lives the way they do every other day when such festivals are around. But we can’t. At least in Mumbai. Ganpati is one of the worst. I don’t celebrate Ganpati. Yet, I have to pay Rs. 700/- for the Housing Societiy’s Ganpati celebration fund. What bull crap. I don’t give a shit. The only positive thing is that the money will eventually go out of my landlord’s pocket and not mine.

Aug 4, 2011

The Very Thought Of You

 

A hunk of an Italian-American, on whom I have a big crush on, sent me these lyrics of a Billie Holiday song “The Very Thought Of You” a few minutes before. I am overwhelmed. <3

The very thought of you and I forget to do
The little ordinary things that everyone ought to do
I'm living in a kind of daydream
I'm happy as a king
And foolish though it may seem
To me that's everything

The mere idea of you, the longing here for you
You'll never know how slow the moments go till I'm near to you
I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It's just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love

<instrumental interlude>

The mere idea of you, the longing here for you
You'll never know how slow the moments go till I'm near to you
I see your face in every flower
Your eyes in stars above
It's just the thought of you
The very thought of you, my love