Monday, August 28, 2006

Stringing thoughts together

It's another Monday and I am both swamped and swept away by the amount of work that has piled up. My eyes are bloodshot, meetings have drained me of vital mental resources and I can't wait to leave this place to get on to the squash court. There is a storm warning in the Gulf Coast for this upcoming weekend so our plans to go to Miami for Labor Day might be in jeopardy. Aah, the best way to start a new week...

As I look back on the day, I realize that today is uniquely different from other Mondays for two reasons. First, I have started chronicling my activities through the day on an hourly basis. This is a first step prompted by my curiosity to determine what it is that constitutes Manoj's "humdrum" routine. If doing this helps me identify the hours that I while away, I could put them to better use - for instance, go to the gym during work and have my evenings to indulge in other activities. If not, I'll at least have the satisfaction that my time at work is well spent.

The second reason for why this day is unique is because of a realization - I can't stand incompetence. What grinds my gears even more is when incompetent people get paid the big bucks. Something is broken in the process when incompetence gets rewarded and I wish I could fix this. Alas, I can't because I don't quite have that power, YET! So for now, I have resolved to not assist in the furthering of these incompetent individuals. Let everyone be exposed for what they are worth and be rewarded accordingly. When I checked last, this was a meritocracy; is that just a figment of my imagination?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

An Uneventful Week

You would think that uneventful weeks are relaxing. Au contraire, an uneventful week lacks events because I spend a lot of time at work, which results in an exhausted Manoj by Thursday evening. This lack of events will end tonight, when I board the bus that will take me to Safeco Field. It's time to watch the Yankees whoop some Mariners butt!!

We are in the process of signing off on RC1 builds and that process has consumed most of my time this past week. Last week's workouts left me drained so I took a break from the gym on Monday. I am always making a concerted effort to sleep earlier than my usual time so I can ride the bus in to work more often. I have narrowed down the cause for my late night tv watching sprees to the late night eating; cutting out the bowl of cereal and/or crackers with peanut butter has been hard but I am sleeping by 12:30. Go figure!

Last weekend was special in more ways than one. I had a great time at The Ballroom in Fremont, had my first squash lesson in months, Alenka and Wes got me started with roller-blading which I thoroughly enjoyed and I finally met Jen. No weekend is complete without some unnecessary shopping now is it? The hope is that Nikhil will steal a lot of the new clothes I bought but that was it for me. I did almost nothing else till Monday rolled around.

Time to go get my tickets to tonight's game. Anything noteworthy happen to you this week?

Monday, August 21, 2006

5 in a ROW

We lead the AL East by 6 and a 1/2 games. I am going to watch the game at Safeco field at 7:05PM either on Wednesday or Thursday.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Is A-Rod jinxed?

Could it all be related to his Jersey?

The number 13 is lucky for some but for most of the population, it is unlucky. I think A-Rod is one of those who can't get 13 to work for him. For the sake of his career, I think he should change his jersey number from 13 to..... anything else!! If you were to ask me, I don't think Alex is worth the money the Yankees and Rangers are paying him (put together, $25 million) but what do I know about baseball?!

Tired, Hungry and ...

I wanna go home
Take off this uniform
And leave the show

I've spent the entire day with a throbbing headache that has made me miserable. Hopefully, I didn't chew any heads off or give anyone short shrift! Time to resume watching the Yankees game now - they lead the Sox 14-10. Actually, I am just gonna go home, shower, nap and go to The Ballroom. Have a great weekend you...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Want to Ride my Bicycle

[Why do I always spell the word Bicycle wrong the first time around?]

If I miss one activity I used to indulge in during my college days it has to be riding a bike. I could get away from all the craziness that was life in Pilani by hopping onto my bike and riding away, mostly into the sunset. This isn't an attempt at romanticizing my rides all over campus, it's the truth. I used to think that I'd never do Pilani again, never; now that I think of the bike riding, squash playing and people befriending, I realize that not all was lost. Any ways, back to riding my bike - there were so few parameters to consider when buying a bike in Pilani. Here were some of the questions I asked myself the first time around:

Can I ride it? Yes/No
Can I afford it? Yes/No
Does it go fast? Yes/No

When I went bike shopping in America, I had to consider cost, parts, gears, composition, style, etc., etc. The plethora of choices would make me dizzy every time and I'd usually come out of the store empty handed. Till one day, I walked into our interns' cabin and saw a road bike with a dash of pizzazz. It was assembled, had gears, would go fast, and I could ride it! The only question that remained was, how much would I have to pay to get it.

Turned out that the bike was within my means and like the impulsive shopper I have become, I bought it. The weather in Seattle has been immaculate over the past two months and as I rode back from the Pro Club, the heat of day had given way to a balmy and nippy evening. I rode through campus without holding on to the wheel so I could sit up and enjoy the breeze hit me in the face. Just that sheer feeling of exhilaration made the investment (and the pain) worth its while. As Vel put it, riding around on a bike is Ridic. Next investment, a Motorbike!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Return of the iPod

A few months ago, my iPod's battery completely died. Good thing that I had applied for a Battery replacement via the iPod Class Action Lawsuit. A few weeks ago, the settlement came through and I received a letter in the email requesting me to authorize Apple to charge $29.99 to my credit card in exchange for a new battery. I received a box a week after Cia posted my authorization form, I packed my iPod into it and DHL'ed the busted Pod in.

I received my iPod with a brand spanking battery last Tuesday and I was skeptical till I actually powered it up. The smile on my face when it actually turned on is hard to describe so I'll describe how I felt - like a little kid who had just found his long lost toy. Its effects on my life have been dramatic since - I can lift weights longer, I spend at least 20 minutes on the cardio machines (stair master, exerbike or elliptical) and I no longer need to talk on the phone during long drives.

I'd recommend that you get A music player - the iPod is just one of many devices available on the market today. It will turn your life around too because life without music isn't really life at all...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Random People's Thoughts

I once convinced this girl that she had to let all the "summer air" out of her tires and then fill them back up with "winter air". I think she did it.

I don't know about you but I feel like this on almost a daily basis (sic.):
Somethin that really pisses me off id when i am hanging at with my g/f and one of her friends who is fat and ugly and she its their picking out all these faults in people who are way more attractive then her and she gives them shit about small things like and she is so much more unattractive than them and I feel like yelling at her and telling her to shut the fuck up and go look in a mirror. she is soo shallow and ignorant

Summer Air or Winter Air?

I once convinced this girl that she had to let all the "summer air" out of her tires and then fill them back up with "winter air". I think she did it.
Evil too...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ameen's Art Exhibition

My friend Ameen is having an exhibition of her most recent work in Ballard starting this Saturday, August 12 2006. Her exhibition is part of the Ballard Art Walk and if the sneak peak I got is anything to go by, the paintings are beautiful. Here are some more details about the exhibition:

August 12 - September 7 2006

Gallery 6311 in Ballard
6311 24th NW
Seattle WA - 98107

When I begin a new body of work I am never sure what direction it will take. My previous paintings began with either colorful silk fabrics, family photos, or found papers randomly collaged. Perhaps the chaos of Jallandhar itself directed the calmness and loneliness in these paintings.

I have always been interested in everyday street scenes; our drive into the city every morning and the view from Masi’s roof are immedietly inspiring. The city itself and our families ancestral villages are my focus -- the “raidee’s,” or street vendor’s carts, which offer everything from fruits and vegetables to parrot pundits that predict your future -- pastel painted concrete houses enclosed behind ornate iron gates and fences -- rooftops cluttered with water tanks, television antennae, electrical wires, drying laundry, folding cots and patio chairs -- fading yellow ochre walls with cerulean blue padlocked doors belonging to families long gone abroad -- fresh strings of peppers and a solitary lemon hung every saturday morning to protect against the evil eye. Welcome to Jallandhar...

Mighty Manoj

Watch this and you'll know what I am talking about: About Manoj

For Beers We Shall Play

Friday, August 4 2006
Squash Court 1, Pro Club

A clueless Sarat walks around the court in a funk. He cannot believe the events that have unfolded over the last half hour. It's as if he isn't on the court but standing outside looking in, mocking the performance on display. The score at the end of the listless match says it all: Manoj has won by a score of 9-0, 9-2, 9-2. Comprehensively beaten, he walks out of the court a dejected man.

Monday, August 7 2006
Squash Court 2, Pro Club

The games have been played and Sarat stretches along with his opponents, Manoj and Sheri. His pride still wounded from the loss on Friday, his mind is working on a ploy to salvage something back. And then, in a moment of perspicacity, it dawns on him - he will challenge Manoj to a game, with a purse of Beers (and bragging rights) at stake. The "incentivizing" of the enterprise would add pressure and give him a goal to work towards. With the stakes negotiation complete, a time is picked: Wednesday 6:30pm, Court 8 at the Pro Club.

Wednesday, August 9 2006
Squash Court 8, Pro Club

With four referees calling our points, Sarat and I started our much touted match. Unbeknownst to me, the event had been advertised so we had an audience cheering as the match progressed. The see-saw contest peaked towards the end of the first game, ebbed in the second and hit a crescendo in the third. Alas, Sarat forfeited with a herniated disc in his lower back with him leading 2 games to 1. The final score (in my favor): 8-10, 0-9, 9-5.

I am bummed that Sarat is most likely going to go on to the disabled list for the rest of the summer. I wish him a speedy recovery because we have some unfinished business to attend to. Actually, I am going to spare him the agony of playing against me. Clearly, the strain is taking a toll on his fragile body. As regards the 18 beers he is going to buy me; they will go towards the alcohol pool for the summer bbq I plan to host by my apartment complex pool. Here's what I plan to have on the menu:
- Marinated Chicken Breasts
- Marinated Paneer Skewers
- Garden Burgers
- Tonna Alcohol
- By Request

Now play nice and I might even invite you over...

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Fear of Staying Single

This is a time of flux for my contemporaries and I. The committed ones (not to an asylum though most wish they were) are charting unknown waters with their partners and they have my best wishes. It's the single ones that I empathize with - the set convinced that their clock is fast running out. As the new crop of young blood arrives on the scene, their self image is beginning to dent and doubt is supplanting confidence. Counter-intuitive as it must sound, it is hard to meet interesting potential partners. Some of us have fallen into a routine, one that doesn't involve another entity. I, for one, have embraced this single life with all its quirks and perquisites. There are the inevitable low moments, the stray instances when I am lonely but those are few and far between; yet the status quo seems unsustainable. But this isn't about me.

You'd wonder, where have all the cowboys interesting people gone? If I looked hard enough online, I'd find someone, correct? Ask my friends who have gone the online route and you'll hear the same refrain - people just aren't what they claim to be on their profiles. There is a reason why the "referral" system has stood the test of time; the human filter separates the chaff from the corn resulting in fewer "surprises". For those of us who are Indian, there is another way to a guaranteed happy ending - the oft-beaten Parent route. Enter the 21st Century, living in America with its new rules of engagement and this old Institution is fraught with new obstacles. An irreconcilable divergence in our parents' criteria (family, upbringing, social status, religion) and ours (hip, liberal, smart) has resulted in an impasse. So, what's next?

If you are like me, you're prone to going with the flow. Enjoy every moment for what it's worth and embrace whatever comes your way. Trust your instincts, follow your interests and stay sharp. When that someone that catches your fancy comes along, you don't want to be caught off guard. Good luck and never forget, Que Sera Sera...


I was about to publish a post when the browser crashed. Now I can't recover it at all!!! Time to write that paper about crashing processes and lost productivity.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Yeah, you got that right - that's the neologism of the quarter: Mentola.

A concoction of Mentos and Coca Cola.

Copyright (c) 2006 Manoj Mehta

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Monster Mix - V

1. Bossy (Explicit) - Kelis
2. Buttons - Pussycat Dolls
3. Let a Nigga Know - Saigon
4. Lean Wit It Rock With It - Dem Franchise Boys
5. Snap Ya Fingers - Lil Jon ft Sean Paul
6. Its Goin Down - Yung Joc
7. Gettin' Some Head - Shawnaa
8. Ms New Booty - Bubba Sparx
9. Promiscuous Girl - Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland
10. Stand Up Guy - T.I.
11. Tell Me When To Go - E-40 ft Kanye West, Ice Cube
12. Shoulder Lean - Young Dro ft T.I.
13. Welcome to Jamrock - Damian Marley
14. I Got 5 On It - Luniz
15. The Letter P - Saigon
16. Gimme Head - E-40
17. Turn It Up - Chamillionaire Feat. Lil Flip
18. Fuck Vans (Remix)
19. Check On It - Beyonce
20. Beep - Pussycat Dolls

Want a copy?