Sun, 29th Feb '04, 12:00 pm::

Well hello there Mr. Leap Year :)

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Fri, 27th Feb '04, 7:20 pm::

My new curfew rule seems to be working. I went to bed at midnight yesterday and woke up at 7:30. Felt pretty decent all day. Can't wait till bedtime (already sleepy!)

I gotta learn Digital Signal Processing for my research. So I guess my whole weekend is booked. I tested some sound models today and my early presumptions seem to be true. I'll write more about my research (in plain English) later, once I have a working model. Till then, it's lotsa reading and audio-modelling.

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Thu, 26th Feb '04, 5:00 am::

Who am I kidding! Alright, all you elders and mature people who've been advising me for years now, can put that smug smile on your face and say it out loud in unison, "I told you so!" Yes, you were right. After a decade of all-nighters and irregular hours, my sleeping schedule has been absolutely messed up. I'm gonna be honest and finally admit that I am having some major sleep problems right now. It's 5 am and obviously, I'm up writing my blog! I always joked that I have insomnia but it stayed to levels of "You've insomnia? Oh I have it too! High-five!" But now, things have been messing up on a whole new level. No matter what time I go to bed, I wake up FRESH after just two hours. Why yes, my body has finally found that secret to instant rejuvination. There's no apparent physical problem and I feel great 24/7. But somewhere deep within me I know that this is not right.

Last night I went to bed at 10pm all tired and sleepy and woke up feeling fresh just two hours later. I couldn't sleep the whole night, went to bed at 7am, and woke up three hours later for class. Tonight I went to bed at 2am but woke up at 4am all fresh. I'd been trying to fall asleep for the past hour but just couldn't take it anymore. I figured posting a boring 'blog entry about my sleeping woes might make me sleepy. So far it hasn't been working. I feel just fine. For the last two weeks, I've been sleeping 2-5 hours on average per night by no choice of mine. I go to bed at 6am, wake up at 10am, work all day, go to classes, meet friends, and feel pretty much fine all day. I tried working out to exhaust myself and ate meals at regular hours but so far nothing has worked.

For the last 3.5 years, my course work had been so tough that I had to stay up till early morning hours. I also worked on my client sites most of the times. Right now, I have no client work and my four courses hardly take any time. I had planned that by having no extra work and less course material, I could concentrate easily on my research, the success of which is EXTREMELY important for my higher studies. But turns out, my body has absolutely forgottten how to sleep for 6-8 hours each night. My internal clock seems to only work under pressure and stress. While it's a great system for meeting deadlines and cramming for exams, I know it's not a natural thing and most definitely very harmful in the long run. All these years I had been dying to get rid of all the fluff work and finally get down to research. Right now I have the chance but can't concentrate because of my irregular sleeping patterns.

I am already delayed in my research process and can't waste any more time. From now on, I am going to bed at 12am no matter what and STAYING in bed till 7-8am even if I'm awake the whole night. I figure if it took me years and years to screw up my clock, it's gonna take some time to become NORMAL. And I sure hope once I get normal, I don't ever have to get back into the 4-hour a night nap ritual. Well don't worry about me though. I am getting enough sleep to function. I'm not falling asleep during work or passing out while walking down the street. It's just that I know 4 hours of sleep is not natural and since there is no reason for me to sleep less than 6-8 hours, I shouldn't have to.

I'm going to bed now. And I intend to lie in there till 7:30 am! I got work at 8:30am.

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Thu, 26th Feb '04, 4:55 am::

Just got this email from my sister:

"Keval opened his eyes a little bit for a few times since last night. That means he might get conscious in a few days. We are again planning to go to Mumbai in holi holidays, that's next week. Lets pray together."
[means sister in Gujarati]

I suddenly feel so relieved. May I can finally sleep now.

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Wed, 25th Feb '04, 12:45 am::

Looks like I won this Fark Photoshop contest.

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Tue, 24th Feb '04, 12:50 am::

As usual one thing leads to another. A new Fark photoshop contest is coming up with "Photoshop theme: The ABCs of Fark. A is for asshat..." My entry is this long A-Z of Fark (let's hope I win). What got me thinking, was that the word "Asshat" is what kinda brought me and Art together. I remember sitting in a boring Computer Architecture class and some guy's cellphone went off. I muttered "asshat!" and Art, sitting two seats away from me, laughed and said, "Wow, never heard anyone say that in real life." I guess from then on, we've been cursing a lot more together.

So tonight, I sit down and see if I can come up with one word or phrase for all of my friends. Some of these phrases probably won't make sense to anyone except the person involved but bah! Least they mean something. And sorry if I forget you. Feel free to remind me. After all, this is a list that's hopefully gonna grow throughout my lifetime.

So without any delay, presenting the Binding Phrases list, part of my new section TWIST.

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Mon, 23rd Feb '04, 3:00 am::

Yet another reason why Indian kids rock :)

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Relationship BreakersSat, 21st Feb '04, 12:20 am::

I've been chatting with my new friend Jyotsna for a while today and I discussed with her this new theory about relationships that I came up with sometime today. Even if you've never had a steady relationship (I know I haven't), you can easily associate with what follows. How is it that two absolutely different people with nothing in common fall in love? How is it that two perfectly compatible people with a lot of things in common hate each other? But then we also know so many people who love each other mainly because they share variety of things in common. And of course everyone knows couples who are so different that they can't even stand being in the same city as each other.

While obvious characteristics like personality, backgrounds, love, emotions, sense of humor, and physical appearances explain most of the attraction, there's always something missing from this picture. What's missing is "expectation of emotional depth." When a person meets someone, he/she has an expectation of how emotionally deep (or sensitive) their partner should be. Take a couple we normally deem emotionally shallow: a frat boy and a drunk sorority girl. They meet each other at a late night party, things seem to work out well, next thing we know they're deeply in love. It doesn't matter if neither of them know or even care how the other really feels. As long as things seem to work out well, they'll stay together. Moreover, just because their love isn't based on years of perseverance or suffering, it doesn't mean it is any less stronger than that of Romeo and Juliet. Love is love, as long as it is honest and both of them believe in it.

But maybe a few weeks later, she starts telling her best friend that he seems too involved in his own life and doesn't pay any attention to her. Maybe he tells his buddies that he wants to break up with her since she's too clingy. It could be a role reversal and she could be shocked at how "needy" he seems to be, while he mopes to his closest friend that she doesn't treat him well. Whatever the truth be, in the end both of them blame each other and they part ways. They may say that the other was not "right for me" and they're quite correct in that. But it's not because someone talks too fast or drives too slow that you break up with them. It's the emotional expectations. The girl subconsciously expected the boy to be emotionally carefree, like the typical cliched guy. He turned out too much of an emotional burden, with his love of classical literature or tragic operas. The guy could have expected the girl to be emotionally reciprocating whereas she turned out to be an emotional vagabond who just wanted to live life without getting too attached. Is either of them wrong in expecting some level of emotional depth in their mate? Of course not. And is either of them at fault for not being able to meet their partner's unspoken expectations? No way.

We see gorgeous, famous celebrities worth millions of dollars marry their attendants or makeup artists. Are they blind?! Don't they wonder if they "deserve" someone better? Well there's always someone better out there. But why do it? Because their attendant truly imparts them the emotional stability they seek. Love develops with time and may take a while before the couple realizes it. But it doesn't take too long to realize that wow I feel so comfortable around this person.

One major problem with subliminal expectations is that not being satisfied causes actions that do not relate to the emotions at all. Couples bicker over pesky faucet brands and indistinguishable tile colors without realizing that it's not just how the other is in bed or in front of guests, but more so the fact that they keep disappointing each other with their curt replies and lack of smiles. One of them just "doesn't understand" the other. We hear that on every whiny TV show. What does that mean anyway? It means that almost everyone unduly expects their partner to fulfill their emotional needs. But not just fulfill emotional needs, because sometimes a good movie can do that, they expect their partner to have some amount of emotional stability. If they don't find that foundation, comfort and familiarity give way to alienation and subconscious resentment. Think of it like our body's defense system. While the body is receptive to foreign substances like food and water, it launches a secret attack on any object it seems threatening or incompatible. Maybe our brain works like that too. Once we realize that someone is not as per our secret specifications, we launch a silent nagging attack to bug the hell out of them and soon get rid of them. Works most of the times too.

So in the end, we keep looking for people to fit into our preset molds of emotional anchors. What I have realized from all this? The fact that she doesn't like computers or loves Office Space doesn't really matter much. There is an unseen bond and it's either tied or broken and neither of us can do anything about it. Well I can try to seduce her with my moon-shining-hip-shaking-beer-belly-dancing moves but that's about it. Rest is upto the dendrites and axons.

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Sat, 21st Feb '04, 12:10 am::

Art bought me 100lbs of sand for my research today!!!!! Thanks soooooo much :)

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Fri, 20th Feb '04, 8:10 pm::

Had an economics exam today. Went pretty well. Went over to Busch Dining Hall with Michele for (FREE!) early dinner.

Sitting around the table talking to some frat guys she knew, I realized something very strange. Everyone I saw in every direction was 19 years old. Or at most 20. Four years in school. For some reason instead of feeling like a stalwart academic veteran, I felt more like an aging hippy who never moved out of the college campus after graduating 12 years ago. All of a sudden, I feel at 23, I am too old for Economics 301. I did start college late, so obviously not a big surprise that I graduate at a higher age. I don't know why I even notice the age difference so much, as it shouldn't really affect me. My friends are just 2-3 years younger than me and they certainly don't treat me like some old guy.

Bah I should just stop worrying and get on with the tons of work I have this weekend.

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Wed, 18th Feb '04, 8:25 pm::

Got lots of homework and some research stuff to do.

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Wed, 18th Feb '04, 8:05 pm::

My sister's friend Pratiksha sent me a nice math poem. Sounds weird but it's pretty interesting:

    ((12 + 144 + 20 + (3 * 4 ^ (1/2))) / 7) + (5 * 11) = 9 ^ 2 + 0

    Which in "English" translates to:
      A dozen a gross and a score,
      Plus three times the square root of four,
        Divided by seven
        Plus five times eleven
      Is nine squared and not a bit more.

    There are a few more poems on the Math Mayhem site. Who says there's no poetry in mathematics!

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Tue, 17th Feb '04, 3:15 pm::

This is one of the million reasons why I love India.

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Mega-Super-Giga WeddingsSun, 15th Feb '04, 2:25 am::

I was searching for something online and chanced upon this mega-wedding in Lucknow, India. Seems like the son of Sahara India corporation is getting married and for some reason every celebrity, VIP, politician is there. Hell even Bill Clinton was supposed to be there but couldn't make it! And that was followed by 101 couples tying knots in a group ceremony. I don't think I will ever even remotely understand our Indian fascination of big weddings.

Personally I hate ten days of ceremonies and events, even though almost EVERYONE I know loves them. I don't know when, where, and how I will get married, but I do know that it won't be as flashy as every other wedding. Well that is as long as my bride-to-be is ok with that. Haha. I think that's the real reason guys go along with these weddings. Because of the girls. Tomorrow every girl I know is going to beat me up for saying everything that follows, but oh well, bring it on! Girls love flashy weddings. And diamonds and gold and silver - but NOT because they are expensive, but because they're ooooooooh sooooo shiny! The guys just want to get over with it as painlessly as possible. I'm sure I make a gross generalized statement on behalf of all guys when I say this, but come on, which guy in here doesn't agree with me on this one: Men don't care about the little ribbons around every glass and chocolates wrapped in cute little silver foils. So why do men go through it?

Maybe the elusive "love" really makes a man blind. Maybe he thinks this will make the girl stop nagging him. Or maybe, just maybe, he realizes that the beautiful girl he wishes to marry absolutely deserves the grandest of the weddings for she is truly the love of his life and the bane of his existence. I don't know if that will ever happen to me. I'm not bitter or jaded; just not as naive as I was a few years ago.

I think you have to be at one of the three stages in life to decide that "Ok this is the woman I want to hear scream my name in hell-raising fury everytime I forget to put down the toilet seat." The first stage, as I said before, is of naivete, between the ages of post-puberty and early adulthood. This is when you are 19 and in "love" for the first time. You have met a pretty damsel with enchanting eyes and want to spend every silly second of your life with her though you barely know her last name. I have no qualms in admitting that I have felt like this before. And not just once, many many times. Now if only polygamy were allowed I'd be one happy chap. But alas it is not, so I must wait until I hit the second or the third stage.

The second stage is when you are moving from your late twenties into your early thirties. You have had a series of relationships and a fair share of thankful and regrettable breakups. You have seen everything the feminine gender has to offer and yet for some reason you choose not to stick to any of them. Then your best friend's kid goes into grade-school and gets an A in crayon-painting. You remember how great it felt two decades ago when you got that A in spelling class too. And that's when it hits you. You don't have too much time to spare if you plan on having a family of your own. Sure, for years you laughed it off as something suckers with no ambitions do but now that your job is stable (and boring), that marriage thing sure sounds sweet.

If you're in India, you'd get your parents to start searching a nice bride for you. Since you are 31, you aren't exactly going to meet a pretty 20 year old. You'll end up saying 'yes' to whoever is available. On the other hand, if you're an expendable sprocket at some mega-corp in New York City, you go back into your closet to find that blackbook and see if any of the homely girls you once liked are still single. Chances are they're not. And that's when you decide to get married to whoever says 'yes' first. In either case, the marriage will be however she wants it - flashy, extravagant, ostentatious - in other words, expensive. Well what else do you expect? You were too busy being a free little bird when you had the chance to propose to that nice girl but didn't since you thought she was too clingy. Now you don't have a choice my brother.

And then there's the third stage. This is more like the thirteenth hour that strikes once a blue moon. Not everyone enters the magical third stage for it is shrouded by mystical clouds of bad dates, stalking ex's, hopeless setups, and shameful hookups; visible only to ones truly in love. This is when you have known someone for half a decade but feel like it has been forever. You never really loved her as madly as that hot chic from choir but you never really lived your life without her either. She knows how many Advils you take everytime you have a headache. You know how many hours it means everytime she says "just two more minutes." Both of you know what the other likes in their subs and sandwiches and both of you know everyone in the other's family. Being good friends, you spent a lot of time together but never really thought about being a couple, since neither of you is a fantasy of the other. When all of a sudden, one day, love happens. Out of the blue and unexpectedly spontaneous. It doesn't make sense! You are friends not lovers. This is so wrong. But it feels so right. You are not made for each other yet you cannot be without each other. But this isn't love. Love is supposed to be all natural and at first sight. Love is supposed to be tingly with butterflies-in-tummy. Love is supposed to be what they show in the movies and car commercials and beer ads. Or is it?

I don't think I can say what it is at this moment. Maybe some day I will. I hope when I get married, it is in the mysterious third stage and not the dreaded second; chances of the naive first stage are pretty much nil. Till then, I'll just take whatever life has to offer me.

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Sat, 14th Feb '04, 11:00 pm::

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Or as I like to call it: Singles Awareness Day. Well this year instead of worrying about getting a date or anything of that sort, I decided to go out with my friends. Went to see Jon Stewart, host of the State Theatre. It had to be one of the funniest 90 minutes of my life. The guy's a genius and knows very well how to please the crowd.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY FRIENDS CHETAN AND SHRADHA: At 3:52 pm today they had a beautiful baby girl :) I couldn't be happier!!!

Otherwise today was a pretty uneventful day, seeing as how I woke up at 4pm and had breakfast with Mich at 6pm :) Tomorrow I work all day.

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Fri, 13th Feb '04, 3:40 am::

Today is Friday the 13th. Are you scared?

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Fri, 13th Feb '04, 3:30 am::

I don't participate in Fark Photoshops a lot but I think I'll win this one. Let's see. The theme is: Superpowers used in everyday life. Difficulty: Unobvious. My entry is this group photo. Try to see if you can figure out a subtle superpower used somewhere. Hint: It's towards the bottom-right. Anyways, my favorite entry is this one, which makes sense only if you've seen X-men.

Quote from the thread: "Chime is the double to my float." - Farker evolved. Well it's only funny if you're a programmer.

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Fri, 13th Feb '04, 3:10 am::

It's past three and I can't sleep. My first class is at 1pm so I do have enough time. But I know this is bad for my health. Yet I can't stop myself from just staying up. I'm kinda scared of sleeping... I don't want to lose myself. I want to stay up and be conscious as long as I can. Has that ever happened to you? Email me and let me know!

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Tue, 10th Feb '04, 2:15 am::

Exactly a year ago I did my laundry. Interestingly I'm still using the same bottle of detergent. I don't know why washing my clothes interests me so much that I always blog about it. It is one of those things that most people hate doing because it's boring and I think that's exactly why I find it so amusing. No, I don't love doing laundry or ever look foward to it. In fact I delay it 2-3 weeks if I can, hell even a month! But once it's all done, it gives me such a pleasure that now I can choose what to wear!

Most of my daily activities (school, work, web design) make me think and be creative. Almost everything I have to do, requires conscious analysis and logical thought-process. But every once in a while I find something that I can do without thinking. Laundry is one, so is paper-cutting. I know this sounds odd coming from me, but I love taking a pair of scissors and just cutting it into interesting shapes or alphabets. It's so simple yet takes so much finesse. I love it like a 5 year old loves crayons. Oh I should probably buy me a coloring book too. How I miss the simple pleasures of life.

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Mon, 9th Feb '04, 1:05 am::

Apparently I am pretty decent at spotting fake smiles. I got 14/20 on that. I took my GRE general test today - 580/800 in verbal (English) and 730/800 in quantative (Math). That's 1310/1600 which I assume is around 80%-ile (better than 80% of the other test takers). While it's not the best I could do, I think it's decent enough considering the total of 3 hours that I put in to preparing for it. I might take it again but I don't think I'll go much higher than 1400.

BBC has a lot more Psychology Tests you can take, like Disgust Test and Perfectionism Test.

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Fri, 6th Feb '04, 4:05 pm::

Went to career fair on campus. Not really sure what's gonna happen.

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Wed, 4th Feb '04, 3:10 pm::

Wed, 4th Feb '04, 12:00 am::

Happy B'day Keval! I know I speak for my whole family and all your friends when I say that we just want you to wake up!!! Bro, open your eyes. You turn 22 today. Share your own b'day with us. That's all I want...

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Mon, 2nd Feb '04, 11:25 pm::

Had a long day today. The phone interview didn't go too well. Don't feel like talking about it. Got lots of stuff to get done soon.

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Sun, 1st Feb '04, 4:40 pm::

Been busy with stuff lately. Gotta send my resume to a few places. Keval's condition is still the same. He turns 22 in 3 days. It'd be wonderful if he wakes up on his b'day!

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