Friday, December 30, 2005


I resolve to find happiness every year; make a list of resolutions at the start of the year and find ways to cross out items on my list. But the resolutions I make set me up for unhappiness, because some goals are almost always impossible to accomplish. In my pursuit for happiness, am I instead walking the road to unhappyville? I think I've found what I feel is the best way to find happiness in 2006, and I quote:
"Those only are happy," he came to believe, "who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way." For our own culture, steeped as it is in the relentless pursuit of personal pleasure and endless cheer, that message is worth heeding.

So in these last days of 2005 I say to you, "Don't have a happy new year!" Have dinner with your family or walk in the park with friends. If you're so inclined, put in some good hours at the office or at your favorite charity, temple or church. Work on your jump shot or your child's model trains. With luck, you'll find happiness by the by. If not, your time won't be wasted. You may even bring a little joy to the world.
Hope this works for you too. For my own part, maybe now is a good time to learn to play that guitar I almost bought one day, be nice to others and work for a charity like unitedway. There you have it my friends, more lists, more unhappiness...

It Sucks To Be Alone

Especially during the holidays. Sigh...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vacationing Tuesday

First, must play some music - aah, new tune sent to me by Nikhil is now playing...

Today was a day well spent. It started off with some lazing around the place, browsing of the WWW and reading email. I wondered about the merits of starting a blog that gets syndicated more than this current unnecessary space of mine on the web but couldn't think of something that would interest other human beings. Or maybe I could do it, at least get started - some technology thing (aah that's so smart and inventive of you Manoj).

Since I'm not good at thinking smartly, I decided to do something I am good at - hang with people, catch up and visit the Adidas store in Downtown Seattle to avail of the huge discounts that Joanie gets as an employee. Awesemo!!

Ashley Kark wasn't feeling very well this morning and I had bailed on her a couple of times in the past weeks so I decided to pick her TWA up and take her out with me. Why do this all alone? Besides, her taste is so much more out there than mine, it helps to get another opinion while making unnecessary purchases. I'll take that back though, I only made necessary purchases today - 2 pairs of Adidas Tennis shoes (I've been playing in my cross trainers for weeks now), 3 pairs of socks and 1 uber cool Adidas Brazil Jumper (in Brazil's neon yellow - ayyp! Pictures soon)

Ash and I hung some more in the shopping district and walked into many stores to do random kaat kuddi. Maybe we should've come back earlier because I had invited Wes over for dinner and wanted to squeeze in a workout before I headed home to cook. Well, the workout had to be cut from the program, which is a total bummer. Everytime I decide to be a good workout citizen, I do something stupid like this - Monday night, I went to the Pro Club and hung there for nearly 2 hours without making it past the front desk - WTF! Tomorrow though, I'm going to take care of this work out bidiness early in the day so I don't have to feel guilty all day long. FTS, gotta take care of my fatness; everything else should come second.

The menu was extensive tonight:
Asian Stir Fry Vegetables in Soy Sauce with Nuts

Main Course
Saag Paneer with Jalapeno Tortillas
Penne Pasta in Marinara Sauce

Pumpkin Pie

It took us all of an hour to cook up the 3 dishes and another hour to polish off a good chunk of the Stir Fry and the Saag. The Pasta was divided between Wes and me to be had on another day. It didn't come out good tonight; maybe adding the Scotch to the mix wasn't a good idea after all. And of course, I set the pasta on a burner that I hadn't switched off. I'll spare the details and just say that the outcome wasn't the most desirable...

It was just fun to hang with Wes and Ash and cook dinner. Cooking is therapeutic for me and I love hosting people at my place and Wes was very gracious in coming over and helping me cook. I guess that's why he's the nice guy. There has been a disconnect between us all this past year with folks starting to do their own thing and hang out less often with each other. Or maybe I've gone my own way and not participated in group activities. I'll make more of an effort to do group things in the future and not get so out of touch with Wes again. I trust him as a person and cherish his friendship; both rare qualities...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Kark News

There is a news station called KARK.

K A R K. Haa Haa Haa...

We Wish You a Merry X'Mas

We Wish You a Merry X'Mas
We Wish You a Merry X'Mas
And a Happy New Year


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hackers Getting Into the 'Think Different' Groove

"Hackers are learning to 'think different,' so to speak, and now might be targeting Macintosh computers. Long-thought to be impervious to viruses, malware and computer vandals, Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) Latest News about Apple Mac OS X is an increasingly succulent target, experts say.

'Macintoshes are not impervious,' said Corbett Consolvo, chief information security Free Trial: Eliminate IM compliance and security threats with policy and enforcement. officer at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, S.C. 'As they are now based on a more common operating system, they have become more susceptible to hacks and malware. Their reputation continues to be that they are impenetrable, however.'"
It's only a matter of time I say...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Cola Crave

Nothing quenches my thirst after a solid cardio workout like a cola; this has everything to do with the bubbles as the fluid goes down my gullet. The craving goes away after 15 minutes but I've decided to not deny myself this pleasure anymore. The only task at hand now is to find a healthy bubbly that tastes good...

Wanna Sleep, Can't Sleep

It's 3am and I can't sleep. Tossed and turned in bed for a while before giving up. Gonna go outside and watch some crappy tv till I snooze off. Sportscenter maybe...

Having no Control

Starting today, I have all the days off till the 3rd of January. Like any first vacation day, I slept in and relaxed through the morning. Michelle had been kind enough to invite me to her place for an early Christmas supper and as I got ready, I had a song playing in my head and a smile on my face - I could finally rest and recuperate from the exertions of the year gone by. My work wasn't done for the year though but that is subject matter for another post.

The party at Michelle's was my first introduction to Danish food and her friends. We ate, drank and talked about contemporary issues - how politically correct American society had become, what you could subject little children to when it came to movies and tv, etc, etc. It was interesting to hear the opinions of folks who were raising their kids right now and comparing them with my own childhood. Growing up in India was so different and so much more free I think. Wait, we didn't have so many distractions and so many temptations though...

After the Christmas soiree, Adrian and I drove to Kent to watch Radha and Krista play their respective tennis matches. The Boeing Employee Tennis Centre is very different from the Pro Club; it feels more like a family run club where everyone knows everyone else. Radha and Krista both played 3 set matches and hopefully, Krista won hers like Radha, in the 3rd set. We started the drive back to Redmond in the rain, hoping to get back in time to grab a bite to eat.

The conversation on the way home revolved around why there are so many car accidents in Seattle (the freeway was backed up and we both said out loud, ACCIDENT). The roads get very slick during the rains and at high speeds, cars tend to hydroplane on the slick surface. Also, there are one too many driver distractions these days, the radio and the cell phone being the primary culprits. And then, as I overtook a truck to my left, I heard a huge splash and my wind-shield was completely covered with water.

It was more than a few seconds before I could see anything ahead of me. And the instant my view of the road ahead was obscured, my body tightened, I gripped the steering wheel tightly with both hands and the adrenaline charged through me. It then occurred to me that I could turn up the wiper, but that was to no avail. And then, the water was gone...

It's a good thing that the lane markers on the freeway make an audible sound if tires ride over them. Being unable to see ahead of me, the only thing I could do was ensure I was driving in my lane; this way I could at least prevent a collision with a car to my right or left. And yes, I did just that - I stayed in my lane and hoped that no car was too close ahead of me.

Adrian and I heaved a sigh of relief when we could see the car in front again. We talked about this for some time after but we were both visibly shaken. My calves and quads were tight as I stepped out of my car outside my apartment but I was glad to have survived. Water and I have a torrid history but I have no fear now...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Real Question is - Can I be nice?

The Challenge - Manoj Mehta has to be nice for 3 days.

What does being nice constitute? (in order of severity)
- No Fat Ones
- No Snide Remarks
- No Sarcasm that can be construed as offensive
- No Unnecessary jokes
- No Hating
- No Being Mean
- Tolerating annoying behaviour

In other words, no fun - this is a Kookus Idea.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A few degrees here, a few degrees there

It has been a very cold 7 days in Seattle. The temperature was around or below freezing all of last week; frosty lawns, frosty windshields, frosty roads were commonplace and a lot of spent a good deal of time indoors to shield ourselves from the cold. And then this evening, the mercury decided to oppose gravity.

It is approximately 45 degrees right now and it feels so comfortably warm. I walked out of the Pro Club in my shorts this evening after an hour of tennis drills. Expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised when my air wasn't chilly and the inside of my car wasn't biting cold. Sitting on the leather was bearable too - what an evening I say.

Am I whacked or is my reaction normal? In my book, a THIRTEEN degree upward change in temperature is reason enough to shed a few layers of clothing. If only this new weather pattern sticks, that'll make my christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What Women Want

I was watching the Carson Daly show a little while ago and Dr Drew, of Loveline fame, was the guest for the night. The two started talking about the problem of alcohol, drugs and teenage sex and Carson remarked about the need for guys to drink alcohol to get some liquid courage. Dr Drew responded with a very interesting answer; he had interviewed hundreds of girls during his twenty some years of sex therapy and the one opinion that rang true through all his discussions was what led to his answer. He said that girls drink alcohol just so that they can tolerate the advances of drunken men. Or in some cases, they drink alcohol to make out with women, which attracts men and gets them attention.

I thought this was an interesting factoid when he continued to say something that I've heard time and again from Adana. He said that women are more inclined to getting turned on by an intimate conversation, in which a guy would reveal something private about himself, his thoughts and emotions than a drunken pick-up line.

Turns out, when it comes to picking up women, I know nothing...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Games People Play

For some reason, I'm thinking of the song "Games People Play" by Inner Circle this morning.
Oh the games people play now
ev'ry night and ev'ry day now
Never meaning what they say, yeah
never saying what they mean.

As people, we really do play games with each other, especially as our communication mechanisms become more digital. I've seen many an instance in which a person will not reply to an email or return a phone call till an appropriate amount of time has elapsed. They call it, the drawing-out game and honestly, I hate it. If there is an email in my mailbox, I'd like to reply to it as soon as I can unless I'm busy doing something else. Likewise for a missed call - I just think it is social etiquette to return a person's call (under most circumstances) but that's me. A friend of mine suffered so much through a relationship in which her boyfriend wouldn't write to her or call her for days on end. The poor girl was always insecure and wondering about what was going on, and the second guessing made made her loose weight and her mental equilibrium. But all that actually kept her in the relationship, albeit for a short time. Thankfully she's back in bidiness but that taught me a lesson - play them games my boy, don't be transparent !

Monday, December 12, 2005

Surdbird's visit - the Aftermath

And I didn't get any sleep all weekend because of all the partying we did on Friday and Saturday. Worth it though, always waarth it! To give you an idea of the kind of partying we did, here's a statistic: In 2 nights, we went to Porta by the Market, Sea Sound, Fenix Underground, Mirabeau Room and Down Under. More juicy details over the week.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Surdbird is in town

And he's going to be here till Sunday morning. There are going to be so many stories related this weekend about past incidents that my head will spin at the level of detail and embellishment. I'm very excited about his trip though - we've already been up till 4am on Friday (make that 5am). We hit three bars tonight, drank a fair bit of alcohol and danced so hard that my feet are hurting right now. I'm so glad I have friends who aren't stuck up.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Season to be Jolly?

Christmas is supposed to be the season to be jolly. The reality is so different though; people are at their meanest at this time of the year. They are harried, hurried and hard pressed for resources (time and money) as the days get shorter and the new year approaches. Apart from rare glimpses of holiday spirit, I have only witnessed harshness and rudeness this time of the year. To paraphrase what someone said to me today, everyone is stretched thin - presents need to be bought and wrapped, greeting cards need to be personalized and posted, dinners need to be arranged and parties thrown all as the weather gets more and more extreme. Something has got to give...

Surdbird is going to be in town over the weekend - ayyp! Good thing there are some things lined up for both Friday and Saturday night but Surd is pretty low maintenent (unlike me) so it should be a good weekend regardless of who we hang out with. While I'm rambling on about random stuff, can someone please tell me why people stop communicating with other people without reason?! This has happened with most everyone I know (myself included) and has been done by most everyone I know (me included). Why do we do it time and again? Why not just let the party in question know that it might not work out or better still, there will be a prolonged silence? Are we all confrontationally challenged? Analysis paralysis - I should read my own One Liner of the Week and not think about this too much. Instead, just coast along and enjoy life as it comes my way...

One Liner of the Week

Thinking too much always causes emotional trauma

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Video iPod

I have owned an iPod since September 13 2003, my 26th birthday. I love the device; some of it has to do with the fact that it was a present from a dear friend but I love the ease of use and how it has transformed my workouts. When I saw commercials for the new Video iPod, I thought to myself, how much different could they make the device. I mean, Rutu's 4th generation iPod wasn't that much of a leap more my 3rd Gen device so hey!

As I was walking back to my office from the cafeteria, I heard Marina congratulate Chris about something. Curious cat that I am, I walked into his office and guess what, a tiny Apple bag was sitting on his desk. I stood agape, like a little boy in a candy store, and as Chris opened the box, I couldn't wait to see what the new device was like.

The new iPod is maybe half as thick as mine and is so cool, it's HOT! Chris is the proud owner of a black iPod and now, I want one too. The screen resolution is sharp, the colours are deep and though I don't like the click wheel, it doesn't really hamper the experience too much. 'Nuff said, it's time to drive to The Apple Store.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Some Mofo Dinged My Car

Some god damned Mother F***er dinged my car in the parking lot today. I hope it wasn't the SL 55 standing right next to me or else! God Damn, Ignorant Ass East Side Drivers! I yearn to ....

Sunday night's shenanigans

I usually start the week on an exhausted note. It's usually because I don't get a good night's sleep on Sunday - blame it on downloading the last episode of Grey's Anatomy or because of a raging metabolism after a hardcore Sunday night workout. I stopped working out on Sunday nights to eliminate one of the two reasons for my sleeplessness but I can't stop downloading and watching Sunday night's episode of G's A. Baby steps, baby steps...

I'll move the dial back to the beginning of this story - Sunday evening. After having vegetated all day, I started the evening by cleaning my place up and taking care of activities that I had avoided doing for weeks. Was about to head to the Pro Club around 7:30 but changed my mind at the last minute so I could go grab coffee with Kristin. I haven't been very bright at taking the correct exits to get to Angie and Kristin's in the past so I was surprised when I made it to their place on time and without goofing up the directions. And then I was undo by the quest to find a parking spot. Commenting on the parking situation in Seattle is beyond the scope of this entry so I'll pass. It sufficeth that it took me nearly ten minutes to find a spot and even then, I had to walk five minutes to get to my destination.

Angie and Radha were putting together a coffee table as I walked in. I watched and assisted some as the pieces were put together but in my head I was wondering, why am I still here - weren't we supposed to go get coffee. Kristin was all dressed up but she was clearly unwell and still not a 100% recovered from the triple whammy ailment that had afflicted her all of last week. It would be wrong to drag her out in this condition and brave the cold so after we helped the love birds get the stuff that needed to go to Radha's, Kristin and I returned to the couch to watch some televizzle. They say tea is the drink for aristocrats. I can't vouch for the aristocracy of the moment or situation but watching Desperate Housewives with a cup of freshly brewed tea was a warm experience. I interjected time and again with some anecdote or Chris Rock line as the episode wore down and saw a few minutes of Grey's A before heading out.

It was just after 10pm on a Sunday night and I was on the West Side. Was I gonna head home - hell no! Got in my car, called Ashley and picked her up to get some dinner. Oh, I hadn't eaten a meal all day and maybe Ash's Vegan ass wasn't the best to get dinner with but what the heck. ;) And of course, trust her to drive me to a closed place first - Toi on 4th before finally suggesting that we eat at Jai Thai on Broadway. The speed at which the two of us gobbled up the food on our plates was testament to how hungry we were. Even the cartoon of a waiter wasn't discussed during the meal; the waiter was a cartoon though, but not an anomaly given our environs - Broadway in Seattle!

The eating didn't stop after I got home. I ate 2 bowls of granola with yoghurt and felt gross as I was watching G's A. And then I was woken up at 8:30 on Monday morning by a phone call. How would this Monday turn out?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Windows Core OS Division Holiday Party 2005

Venue: Benaroya Hall
Staid party with very little festive spirit. Unappetizing food, only 2 drink tickets and insufficient parking. Okay, there might've been a silver lining if we had attended the symphony but hey, we didn't cause we reached around 9pm! We walked all the corridors but still didn't find anything to do except get bored.

'Nuff Said! And no, I'm not spoilt or picky.

Update: Dlinsley commented that this was a pity date till I gave him the smack-down!!

Need a new Mattress

I woke up at 9 this morning even more tired than I was before I went to bed last night. Trust me, this is a terrible feeling because I just lost eight hours of my life doing nothing. I think a mattress change might help because everytime I sleep at Donna's, I wake up rested but that might have something to do with the fact that I'm with family. Not to digress, I'm headed to Sleep Country this Saturday and buying a firm mattress - that's it!

Wait, there is also some thing called a Duvet that I need too. And then some other kuxxes to put on top of the bed that increase the amount of time you spend making the bed and effectively less time sleeping on it. And no I haven't forgotten, the 100 down pillows.

So yes, I'd better do something about this super tired feeling I have when I wake up. I feel like cat napping everyday at work and it has begun to adversely affect my productivity. Can we expense this? ;-)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Truism of the Week

living with a woman who can't love you back;
way lonelier than living alone

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Snowing in Seattle

It has been very cold this week so it is no wonder that it is snowing today. Only wish this happened overnight so we could have a day off work :)