Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Days Go By and Still I think of

When it will be Friday... I'm going to make time tomorrow to finish all review related work so I can thoroughly enjoy the upcoming long weekend. After living in Seattle for three years, I've learnt that Labour Day Weekend is the unofficially the last weekend of Summer in Seattle. Come September and the Rain Gods shower their generosity over the Pacific North-west. Aah, so exciting!

Gmail has definitely changed the way I communicate via email. Oh wait, I don't actually use gmail to communicate, I use it to share files with my brother :) Nikhil has branched out with his music interests and has slowly amassed a sizable collection of eclectic and main-stream music. One of my current favourites is a remix of the song Madan by Salif Keita; a fusion of native african tribal beats and trance that makes me want to get up and groove everytime I listen to the song. Thanks Nikhil, keep the music coming my way...

Time to send out some more email before I head home. Peace out

Monday, August 29, 2005

How to Start a Day - a short essay!

When I opened my eyes and inspected my cell phone this morning, the time was 6:32AM. The sun was obscured by clouds and it was in the upper 50s outside my apartment window. And for the first time this year, I did the least expected thing for me to do, I woke up!

I made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast and listened to the Bob Rivers show as I washed down them eggs meal with a home-made latte. This isn't a hollow attempt on my part to sound cheesy but I had a happy song playing in my head as I got dressed and drove in to work. To quote Scott who let me into Bldg 27 this morning, I looked calm and relaxed and for me, that's saying a lot!! All of this lasted till my 10am meeting, of course :-)

Monday, August 22, 2005

6 weeks from Fat to Fit

Arun, Manoj

Motivation and Reason
Not to be fat anymore, for fun and profit!!

Weight on Aug 22 2005
Arun: 156
Manoj: 186

Target Weight on September 13 2005
Arun: 148
Manoj: 178

Target Weight on October 3 2005
Arun: 142
Manoj: 171

The Plan
More cardio, less weight lifting and less junk food consumption. Nacho Cheese Chalupas are out, Veggie sandwiches are in; coffee is out, fruit smoothies are in.

Let the weight loss program begin.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Snow Lake Hike - I

<This post is dedicated to my friend Arun who doesn't use articles anymore in his communications with us FOBS.>

Most of us working in Windows division of Microsoft have been working very hard through June, July and August of 2005. Longhorn is definitely shaping up into worthy competitor of other OSes on market. But the long hours at work are taking toll on us and I definitely needed a break from the action. Which was just about the time that Arun couldn't go to Mount Rainier with his friends this past Saturday - he was too tired from working all week. So, he decided instead to organize hiking trip to Snow Lake on Sunday.

We met up outside Bldg 26 at a little after 10 on Sunday morning. I knew that things would happen according to Indian Standard Time and for once, I was glad that things were moving at leisurely pace. We bought some snacks, drank coffee, picked up Purvie and Payal (henceforth to be referred to as "The Girls") and were on our way around 12:15 that afternoon. And then, we got pulled over by cop!!

Arun, our trusted driver, was doing 35 in a 25 mph zone. It would've been interesting had he got ticket but instead, he was offered a lecture by the cop. For once, I was glad Arun didn't make smart comment to cop! After the brief lecture and warning, you might be fooled into thinking Arun didn't speed the rest of the day. Five minutes after being pulled over, our man was speeding again - it's in his system now, he's a pathological speeder.

An hour later, we stood at the foot of hill(s) we were about to climb. Four miles was what we had to set out to do each way but before anything else, we needed to use rest-room, just as precaution. Bad idea I say! The loo reeked; it was just a hole in the ground and you could see whatever had been put in it. Everyone who used the loo walked out with a look of total disgust on their face. Ayyp...

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Keys to Success in Corporate America

Be Diplomatic
Be Candid, not blatantly Frank
Be Truthful, not Honest
Insert yourself in situations that test your intellect, not mock it
Be a pleasant person, not a harsh one
It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself
Watch your surroundings and you'll grow
You can forget everything else but always remember to Kiss Ass

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Dress to "Impress"

Day: Saturday
Date: August 13 2005
Venue: Capitol Club
Dress: Sandals, Deep Blue Adidas Shorts, White Banana Republic T-shirt and Blue Yankees Hat

I didn't think a day would come when I'd walk into a bar in shorts, order a drink, hang out and leave without a single question being asked of me or my dress "sense". Another deed, DONE!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Another Engagement

...and I missed it. Vishaka got engaged to her boyfriend of nearly 8 years yesterday and I wasn't there. I got to work about the same time they exchanged rings in a ceremony that brought my entire family together under one roof. I have no pictures yet but will upload them (yes yes I have a bad track record with this) once my sis gets around to sendin 'em to me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Five Gone. What's Next...

I set foot on JFK International Airport five years ago on this day - my passport bears the mark: August 9 2000. I felt weird all of yesterday; some of it had to do with it being a Monday but a lot of it had to do with the fact that so much time has flown by. I vividly remember being at Bombay airport, my folks and cousins waving me goodbye, getting on the plane that stood still for four hours at the terminal, the fiasco in London, the overnight stay at a hotel, etc, etc.

I have changed, a lot - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I've acquired new skills, become more independent, played every sport I had an inclination towards and while I've opened my mind to new ideas, I've formed strong notions about what works for me. You could attribute the forming of opinions to a function of growing older but I think being alone and having to fend for myself had a lot to do with this process. And I can't list enough adventures in this space but the ones that come rushing to mind are:
- Lost Passport
- Found passport three months later
- Going to Boston for an internship without knowing where I'm going to stay
- The Boston Experience
- Final semester at RPI
- White Water Rafting
- Mitika's 25th Birthday
- Surd's graduation
- Khalifornia
- Hangin' with the boys in Austin

I'm still in touch with just one person on the flight from Bombay to JFK. It was such an ordeal getting here to begin with that everything else has seemed to be easy to deal with. Incidentally, Mamta graduated with a PhD in Biology (some sub-field, she kept dealing with fruit flies) from CMU last week. And it was her birthday last week too but I'm not allowed to say how old she is. Though I give her a hard time about everything, I wish her the best. As regards me, I've learnt to make the best of what I have. Until I realize I'm missing out on something...

My mother was unwell a couple of days ago. When she was feeling much better, she described her state of mind during her illness to me - what stood out to me was the fact that she sought out the comfort and love of her mom (who passed away maybe fifteen years ago). I thought about what she said much later and I realized, I miss home most when I am unwell. There is something to be said about the warmth and affection I receive from my family and sometimes I wonder if being so far away from them is worth it. Bah, that made me feel even more down. I'm going to Karan's sometime this week to get a taste of home - that always makes me feel better. Call me a wimp and ask me if I care :p

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Case of the Mondays

I accept - I have a case of the Mondays. This day is sucky sucky. And, I have to pack my office up so I can be moved up to the second floor. Did I say somewhere that I hate moving offices, HATE! Now that word is reserved for three things...

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Did I actually accomplish anything today? I was awake for a good portion of today - so it wasn't lost to sleep. Lost isn't the right word to use here because I don't consider today to be a wasted day. When I was thinking of a title, no one event that occurred today warranted becoming a TITLE. But the little, inconsequential details made my day.

Karan called at 9:15 this morning to inform me that I had to be at work by 10 to attend a conference call. I was awake before Noon on a Saturday - deaaamn! And ever since, this whole day has been different. Good different! I actually got work done today - a whole lot of work: written code, debugged test issues, installed builds, run tests, read specs, filed bugs and thought of how to improve our methods. I was so busy this morning that when I eventually pulled myself out of the office to get lunch, it was close to three in the afternoon. And for the first time in months, I went to a restaurant alone and ate lunch!

Actually, I wasn't alone... I ate a TPP parantha at Preets with dahi and a strawberry milk-shake. Manpreet stopped by time and again to check on me; "Is the food okay?", "Do you like the milk-shake?", "It's not politically correct to call her a whitey!". It's like eating at home if you ask me. I love the place especially since the food actually tastes authentic.

Got back to work after lunch and worked with the rest of the team on more issues related to our RI. The strawberry shake was really not what the doctor ordered because the sugar made me go into overdrive for nearly an hour. I couldn't sit in one place, had to walk around all the time so I decided to turn on some music and do tasks that didn't require 100% concentration. Just as the sugar high abated, Karan stopped by, popped open a new can of balls and we went out and played some cricket :)

I played tennis at the club without a negative thought in my mind. I had put in a good day's work and created a template for what I hope will be more days at work for me. As I type this, a sense of accomplishment is buzzing through my head. Another test pass and Donna and I are out of here. Aahh, Sunday cometh...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Why Would Anyone Search For These Words?

1. ayyp
2. kux in mouth
3. manoj mehta
4. genevieve-orchard
5. nanna munna rahi hoon (this one freaks me out)

Oh well, if people do search for these words, the first hit in Google is this page :) YAYYY!!!