Thursday, October 30, 2008

chinese!

for three weeks, in my office, google reader switched to chinese (no clue why!!!), and i couldn't figure out how to turn it back to good ol' queen's english.

the best part about google reader is that it's actually quite usable in a language you don't understand, once you've used it a bit. i survived for 3 weeks before i got over my laziness and figured how to change it back (hint: "settings" is the 4th link from right, in the upper right corner)

oh and a few days before i changed it back, i snagged a screenshot as proof (note the near-empty reading list - proves that i've been using it)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the matrix. it's all around us.

last night, my socks were knocked off by my friend who claimed to be at kashid at the same time as i was. tonight, the same thing happened. again.

okay, so these friends headed to kashid on sunday, so they just about missed me, but i passed them on the road!!! we didn't recognise each other, tripping as i was on the road and my music, and with my well tinted helmet and all!!!

better still, in the course of the same conversation, we both suggested that we should bike to goa - and agreed. i said i'll do it twice, because i've already planned on going once. but that was before i asked him when he was planning to go - because he was planning to go on the same date as i was!!! december 27th!!!

the conversation then steered to other destinations to bike to before goa - and apparently we're both planning to bike to pune. on the same weekend!!! that's november 8th, btw.

i can't call this a coincidence any more. it just can't be.

near misses

recently a couple of coincidences startled me. like on monday, when i went to the russel peters' show in mumbai, a friend of mine who was also there, was looking for me but apparently didn't find me.

freakiest of all, was the fact that we were sitting in adjacent rows...his seat was h40 and mine was i40!!!

the puzzle was sorted out when we figured that he was at h40 on the ground floor and i was at i40 on the first floor :)

a couple of hours later came a real biggie.

i was showering at 1:45am last night, with my phone playing music from its ziploc bag (i do that all the time :D) when it rang.

friend: "wassup".
me: "what the fuck???!!!"

apparently he didn't realise it was the middle of the night :D, and yeah, while i'm usually up at this time i don't like the thought of people taking that for granted (just in case i decided to sleep early for a change, no?)

and then came the *mindfucking* revelation. he was in kashid last weekend when i was camping alone. he finally figured that out from the green tent in my facebook album.

guess what. i saw him there. he and two other guys were the only other people on the beach that afternoon. they played with a beach ball, and then a frisbee. i remember looking at them and wondering if i should join them.

guess what. they saw me too. my friend apparently envied me my tent and suggested to his friends that since i'm all alone, they should beat me up and take my tent.

the only reason i didn't ask him if he wanted to come to kashid, was because i was intent on going alone. in fact, the thought had crossed my mind just the night before, while i was packing.

to add to the coincidences, it was his first trip to kashid (i, on the other hand, am quite a regular :D)

i still can't believe it happened.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

camp out alone

i went camping alone last weekend. it was something i always wanted to do, but never ended up doing because there was always something to do with my friends, and i would give that more importance. unfortunately for me, i'm a compulsive program-maker. if i have a holiday, i will call every last friend in the hope of finding something interesting or nice to do with him/her/them. which means that it's very hard to get a completely free weekend to go off by myself.

thankfully, last weekend was the weekend before diwali (oh yeah, happy diwali, everyone!!!) so a lot of people were back home with their families, and a few others had cleaning and house chores to do. plus there were no new movies. and of course, i was getting a lil restive. so at 10pm on friday night, i decided this is it, and i'm going.

here's a few things i kept in mind while packing:

  • travel light (i had to bike for 4+ hours with my bag - and that included my tent - so that was even more important than usual).

  • carry enough of identification, both with me and in my bag.

  • carry stuff to read that i won't get bored of (i took 3 books, so i could choose depending on my mood).

  • carry a lot of good music and charge my player completely.

  • charge my phone completely. don't put music on my phone, as phone charge is more important if i need to contact people.

  • carry plenty of cash.

  • carry a good torch and plenty of batteries - super important!!!


one bad thing that i did was that i didn't inform my folks i was going alone till after i reached (they wouldn't have allowed me to go :D). i shudder to think of what would have happened if i got caught in a bad accident. i guess i'll tell my parents next time, because they'll let me go now :P. also, i usually didn't carry my watch and jacket, so i had to switch my phone on whenever i needed to know the time (not that the time was important, except when i was going to sleep, waking up, and leaving)

that's it, really. i enjoyed my ride alone (stayed off the music before sunrise, because i really needed to focus on the road in the dark). pitching the tent was amazing, swimming in the sea alone was amazing, making sandcastles alone was amazing, reading is better in a hammock than anywhere else, watching the sun set over a couple of beers with my camera in hand was splendid too.

i made a couple of friends over my last beer - that was something absolutely new to me. i never talk to strangers if i had someone accompanying me, whether on vacation or not. i guess it's much easier when i'm alone :)

swimming in the sea in the dark was simply mindblowing. it was way better than i imagined in my wildest dreams. this is only the second time i tried it, and swimming alone was....hmmm....i've run out of adjectives. just out of this world.

i had a crisis to deal with too - my tent was locked with a numeric combination lock, and i couldn't unlock it in the dark. my torch, bike keys, matches, candle, everything other than myself, were inside the tent. that's one thing i learned. next time, i'll hide a torch somewhere *before* the sun sets :D

watching the stars come out in the sky, dinner under the stars (i carried a enough of canned food and fruit - didn't have to buy anything other than a few loaves of pav and a cup of tea, and of course the beer). in fact, it was so amazing, it was almost mystical. i spent most of the evening singing to myself. strangely, i sang a lot of spiritual songs, and that's something i rarely ever do. i guess the beauty of nature around me did that :)

oh and i can't forget to mention crabs. i learned how to outwit those quick legged and wily creatures after an hour of aimlessly wandering around the beach in the dark. it was absolutely fascinating, watching them react and adapt to my presence and interference :)

i bumped into my new found friends again on my way back to my tent. it seems they wanted to check on me to see if i was fine. they found the tent closed and assumed i was asleep, when i was actually busy catching crabs at the end of the beach. ah well. i guess they were as happy to see me as i was to see them. they shared their bottle of port wine, i watched on as they played with their sparklers and rockets, and then they went back to their resort. that was the last of my dose of humanity for this trip.

morning was mostly just breakfast, a beachside crap (don't ask me to elaborate :)), a quick dip, packing up, calling home, and leaving.

the ride back was amazing, and i did it in record time and just 1 proper break (this time i wasn't scared because i had got the hang of handling the huge bag perfectly). all the screwed up parts of the road were near mumbai - basically nh4 is completely unmotorable from panvel to mumbra. it was so bad my bag partly ripped with the jerks despite me riding below 10kmph. thankfully my bag held, and it reached home in one piece...probably can't use it again tho. which is a pity, it was just perfect for a 1 man trip :(

anyway...that was my weekend. 24 hours (precisely 24 from pitching to unpitching the tent!) on an amazing beach, almost entirely alone. i'm planning on doing it again and again. maybe atleast twice a year, when the weather is right and if i can find other good campsites :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

screw you all, i'm going home!!!

apparently my blog paints a very sanitized view of my life.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

i really don't know how my blog is this clean. maybe it's because i used to blog a lot from work, and old habits (even "good" ones) die hard :D

ps: link picked up from jadis' blog :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pitching a tent alone

i went camping this weekend at kashid. on bike. alone.

my first challenge was packing everything in a way that i could manage riding for around 180 kms each way, including bumpy village roads, national highways and everything in between (and to make things worse, i still have very clear memories and scars from the accident that happened the last time i tried that).



my second challenge was pitching the tent alone.

the camp site
getting the frame ready
halfway there...this was the easy part!




everything else was easy in comparison (except for packing the tent by myself - no photos of that :D)

Friday, October 24, 2008

caught on a fence

i have an interesting dilemma.

i want to go camping *alone* at kashid, this weekend. no one else that i know wants me to go. and i'm of two minds myself.

if i'm going, i have an hour to pack and then 5 hours to sleep.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

rant

i'm tired of:

people who stop returning my calls and messages, avoid meeting up with me, and then pretend nothing's happened.

people who assume that since i'm usually the first to call/message them, they can just stop calling me.

people who take my company for granted.

i'm sick of you all. not because of what you do (although that's bad too, it's forgivable), but because you refuse to see that you're doing something wrong, and that it's hurting me. and because this refusal is not based on hints, but plain verbal conversations.

Monday, October 20, 2008

the girlfriend problem

of late, a lot of my friends have been suggesting that one of the possible solutions to my multitude of problems is to get a girlfriend (or to make it sound more achievable, "find a nice girl who likes you"). which is ironic, because just a couple of weeks ago i ditched the nearest chance i've had of getting one in recent times (i.e. a girl who probably once liked me, and who i like(d) too, but with whom things went very awry - and that's like the closest by an order of magnitude :D)

anyway, back to the problem at hand. i need to find a girl who likes me. now unfortunately, one of the problems that's being attempted to be solved is that i tend to get lonely, and that tends to make me depressed, which causes a whole lot of other problems for me. also, i tend like cheerful, smiley girls, someone who generally has a positive outlook on life (if she didn't, she couldn't help motivate me to solve my problems, no?). but cheerful, positive girls like cheerful, positive, happy guys. and i can't be one till after i've found such a girl. and hence forms a recursive loop with no obvious exit.

the only way out that i can see is for me to date a cheerful (+female, +single) psychotherapist. hmmm.

Friday, October 17, 2008

addicted to blogging???

apparently i'm 80% addicted to blogging, whatever that means. which is strange, because the person i got the link from is 80% addicted too! must be some magic in the number :P
80%

Thursday, October 16, 2008

random factlets

in a moment of boredom, i arbitly decided to tag myself from winnie the poohi's blog :P

have i done the following, if so when?

  • Smoked a cigarette: plenty. not regularly though.

  • Done some form of dope: plenty again. not regularly either.

  • Crashed a friend's car: nope.

  • Stolen a car: nope.

  • Been in love: about half the time.

  • Been dumped: once.

  • Shoplifted: unintentionally :P

  • Been fired: not yet :D

  • Been in a fist fight: when i was a kid...yeah!

  • Sneaked out of your parent's house: all the time!

  • Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back: yeah, only once. still getting over it.

  • Gone on a blind date: once. we ended up seeing each other for months afterward.

  • Lied to a friend: a few times. but always told the truth in the end.

  • Skipped school: nope. bunked one and a half month of college straight.

  • Seen someone die: yeah. two gory accidents.

  • Had a crush on one of your internet friends: yup. dated them too.

  • Been to Singapore: not yet.

  • Been to Mexico: not yet.

  • Been on a plane: yeah, just this year.

  • Eaten sushi: not yet. will probably do it this year.

  • Been skiing-snow or water: not yet. will probably do it this year.

  • Met someone from the internet: more than i can count. many became my best friends. i also dated two of them.

  • Been at a concert: yeah, just one. dj tiesto. mindblowing!!!

  • Taken painkillers: not anymore...but i used to.

  • Love someone or miss someone right now: yeah. both.

  • Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by: yeah, in the strangest of places.

  • Made a snow angel: nope.

  • Had a tea party: nope. but i played house-house with the girl next door and pretended to make tea.

  • Flown a kite: in school. sucked at it.

  • Built a sand castle: yeah, as a kid. huge ones. can't remember how i managed them!!!

  • Gone puddle jumping: in school.

  • Played dress up: was played dress up on. would rather not recall it.

  • Jumped into a pile of leaves: yeah...every time the trees in my building were trimmed.

  • Gone sledding: nope.

  • Cheated while playing a game: just a few times. never been caught.

  • Been lonely: all the time these days.

  • Fallen asleep at work/school: all the time. slept during interviews and got the job too.

  • Used a fake ID: yup. for 2 years. lost my college and didn't want to cough up the fine.

  • Watched the sun set: love it!!!

  • Watched someone sleep: all time time. almost everyone looks beautiful when asleep.

  • Felt an earthquake: don't remember. no big ones for sure.

  • Slept beneath the stars: yeah, do it a few times every year.

  • Been tickled: a few times today.

  • Been robbed: nope.

  • Been misunderstood: all the time. sometimes i even want to.

  • Pet a reindeer/goat/kangaroo: goat, i think.. or maybe a sheep. i was too small to remember which.

  • Won a contest: plenty. programming, djing, drawing, lucky draws...etc.

  • Run a red light/stop sign: about 5 times today.

  • Been suspended from school: nope. was threatened to from school and college, multiple times.

  • Been in a car crash: nope.

  • Had braces: yeah.

  • Felt like an outcast/third person: yeah, but i outgrew that.

  • Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night: yeah.

  • Had deja vu: more times than i can remember.

  • Danced in the moonlight: yeah. just recently.

  • Liked the way you looked: not since a while :(

  • Witnessed a crime: yup. committed a few too. nothing serious though.

  • Questioned your heart: occasionally.

  • Been obsessed with post-it notes: yeah...once long ago in school and then on my first job.

  • Squished mud through your bare feet: not intentionally. had to be pulled out by my dad.

  • Been lost: everytime i go someplace new.

  • Been on the opposite side of the country: about 3/4th of the way there.

  • Swam in the ocean: atleast twice a year.

  • Felt like dying: yeah, a few times.

  • Cried yourself to sleep: only a couple of times. don't want to try and remember them.

  • Played cops and robbers: all the time...as a kid

  • Recently colored with crayons: nope. sketch-pens.

  • Sang karaoke: yeah. love it, and suck at it too.

  • Paid for a meal with only coins: regularly, in college.

  • Done something you told yourself you wouldn't: all the time.

  • Made prank phone calls: yeah, but gave myself away each time.

  • Laughed until some kind of liquid came out of your nose: yeah. and eyes and mouth too.

  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue: nope.

  • Danced in the rain: done almost anything that could be done in the rain.

  • A letter to Santa Claus: yeah. probably just once.

  • Been kissed under the mistletoe: nope.

  • Watched the sun rise with someone you care about: do best friends count? yeah.

  • Blown bubbles: long long ago. bandra fair.

  • Made a bonfire on the beach: atleast once a year.

  • Crashed a party: nope.

  • Gone roller skating: yeah. gave up after the first try and a lot of bumps.

  • Had a wish come true: just a few.

  • Jumped off a bridge: nope.

  • Ate dog/cat food: ewww...gross!!!

  • Told a complete stranger you loved them: nope. might try that sometime soon ;)

  • Kissed a mirror: nope. not with my looks, never!!!

  • Sang in the shower: almost all the time.

  • Had a dream that you married someone: more than i can count.

  • Glued your hand to something: yeah, but nothing that wouldn't come off.

  • Kissed a photo: yeah. don't wanna think about it.

  • Climbed a water tower: nope. am too scared of heights for that.

  • Screamed at the top of your lungs: yeah. just a couple of times. not in anger.

  • Done a one-handed cartwheel: nope.

  • Talked on the phone for more than 5 hours: my record is 7 hours.

  • Picked and ate an apple right off the tree: nope. only berries.

  • Climbed a tree: yeah. aforementioned berry tree.

  • Had a tree house: wish i had one. probably will someday.

  • Been too scared to watch a scary movie alone: yeah. just a few.

  • Believe in ghosts: nope.

  • Have more than 30 pairs of shoes: my lifetime average is 2. my current (and lifetime maximum) count is 5

  • Worn a really ugly outfit to school: does my uniform count?

  • Gone streaking: almost.

  • Gone doorbell ditching: yeah. as a teenager.

  • Been pushed into a pool/hot tub with all your clothes on: yup. pool, sea.

  • Told you're hot by a complete stranger: does online count? it was a stranger's pick up line!!! on me!!! i almost died laughing!!!

  • Broken a bone: yeah. index finger.

  • Been easily amused: all the time.

  • Caught a fish then ate it: tried to, but wasn't allowed.

  • Caught a butterfly: when i was a very little kid.

  • Laughed so hard you cried: yeah, happens once in a while.

  • Cried so hard you laughed: nope. dunno if it's even possible.

  • Cheated on a test: almost all the time in my last 3 years of college.

  • Forgotten some one's name: all the time. i can learn max 1 name per day.

  • French braided some one's hair: got my own hair french plaited...does that count? i'm a guy damnit!!!

  • Gone skinny dipping in a pool/hot tub/river: nope.

  • Been threatened to be kicked out of your house or been kicked out of your house: yeah, only remember it happening once...for a couple of hours.

  • Loved someone so much you would gladly die for THEM: never really was in such a situation, but yeah, probably.

  • Cheated on someone: nope.

  • Talk to yourself when no one's around: all the time!!!

  • Hate someone you once loved: hated, but not anymore.

  • Love someone you once hated: nope.

  • Kissed the phone for the person on the other side: yeah.

  • Kissed the person on the other side of the phone: wtf's that supposed to mean???


i now tag vamsi, marj and the shmoo

Thursday, October 09, 2008

autouncorrect

my phone has an amazing feature - they call it xt9. it looks at what i've typed and offers to autocomplete it, and also autocorrect it, based on properly-spelled english words that could have been formed by pressing adjacent keys instead (my phone has a qwerty keypad).

now this would have worked great if most of my errors were caused by pressing adjacent keys (for example, what happens on my comp). unfortunately, on my phone, most of my errors are due to skipping keys or pressing them too many times (basically my keypad is screwed up due to overuse :P)

so what happens when my phone tries to correct mistakes it's not trained to recognise? here's some amazing examples:

i think beter mba than that dcs u robin n within at hoe or workin

u imo whathe digging own grave n stirring own souup

anyway...u got my point spreadsheet so ruts good


i refused to turn off xt9 despite my friend's protests, on the grounds that it had given me the best laugh i've ever had in months :D

if you get what i was trying to say, please let me know because i haven't been able to figure it out myself.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

of balloons and virginity

a popular joke (okay, only because i keep telling it to my bored friends) goes:

q: what's the similarity between a balloon and virginity?
a: one prick, all gone.

this week of my life reminds me of this joke.

one morning of going to work at 6 and look what happened to my week:

  • i got a cold and bad throat on monday

  • i got a stomach upset and a splitting all-day-headache (to go with the cold and cough) on tuesday

  • i was so sick on wednesday that i had to take a day off from work

thankfully, thursday is a holiday. and friday should be fine.

Monday, October 06, 2008

early start

i couldn't sleep so i biked to work at 6am today. the sun wasn't in the sky yet. it's monday morning. enough said.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

i'm your best friend

i never realised how big an ego i had for a very long time. it stayed a well kept secret (from myself at first, and then from just the rest of the world) for many years. i've finally come to accept and publicly acknowledge it, but that took a lot of time and introspection and battling of mysterious things inside my head.

the weirdest thing about my ego is that my friends refuse to accept that it exists till i lay it out and dissect my behaviour to atom-sized particles.

for example (and this is just one of many), quite a few of my friends think of me as helpful. i'm the sort who will go out of my way to help my friends when they need it, talk them through their worries at the cost of my sleep, travel for a couple of hours to meet them just because they're lonely, all just for them.

it's not because i'm a nice guy.

it's because i want to be their best friend.

i learned this about myself the hard way. i learned this from the few incidents when i've actually been acting hurt and even downright unfriendly and unreasonable and tantrummy, just because someone who i'd do anything for didn't confide in me about a big decision she was about to make, a crisis that i didn't hear about.

if i want to be your friend (and friend is not the same as aquaintance) i won't like being anything other than your best friend. ditto for being your computer fixer, music guide, vacation buddy, you name it.

what it feels like for a man


i just sawed through a 5mm thick steel cable with half a hacksaw blade and my bare hands (couldn't find a saw, so it was just the blade and my trusty hand).

in related news, my left thumb isn't just handy, it's handy *and* lucky. and i got only one blister and half a cut. and a big testosterone rush. :D

stressed out

recently, a talk organized in office by a cardiologist about prevention of heart disease and other related health issues highlighted the top...