Last year I also would not believe that my cousin Keval would be in hospital right now, 3 months in coma. Nor would I believe that Keval's dad, Paresh Uncle, would be in the news for getting angry at reporters because some minister across Keval's room had a loud birthday bash. I'm just overwhelmed at what Uncle/Aunty are going through right now.
My uncle reportedly said: "My 22-year-old son has been in a coma for the last three months and he was operated upon two days ago. How can he recover with so much noise?" You can check out the video of the CNBC broadcast here.
Last year this time I had no idea that Eric would be my boss :) How life has changed in just a year.
I made a cool little Water Demo that plays the sound of water drops, tap, stream, river, waterfall, and even rain. Took me about an hour to fling in 500-600 lines of code to make this tiny 11kb demo. It works pretty decently too. I used multiple 1-30ms grains of sine waves that fade in and out pretty rapidly to give the audio a nice watery texture. You'll need Java plugin 1.4.2 to see it. If you don't have it, the applet will prompt you for it. It's a very useful plugin and you may find a lot of sites using it too, so you should probably install it.
I don't feel like 'blogging lately. I guess it's just a temporary writer's block. Things are good otherwise.
Kill Bill II rocks. Just saw it with Michele and Arthur :)
It's been a fun weekend so far. On Friday I went to dinner with Chris, Tim, Becky, and Kiranj. As usual had fun. Becky, I'm so gonna buy that Yoda someday. I swear eight of them!
Last night was pretty interesting too. Finally I met Halley! She's my cousin Priya's best friend from Utah. We met at Times Square at 10pm and her friend Cassie was there too. I've been talking to Halley online for over two years now, just never met her. When I went to SLC last year, she was in Germany. We went to sbarro and I had some awesome baked ziti. Next stop was Toys R Us but it was closed. So we just walked over to Rockefeller Center and just sat there for a while. Overall we didn't do much but it was still pretty cool. Last night I found out New York City is a city that never sleeps*.
* except after 10pm!
Quote for the day: "This internet thing is killing the art of watching television." - some old guy (via Slashdot).
As usual, sudden change of plans. I'm going to start my job in Florida as soon as I possibly can. That means sometime around June. It's gonna be tough but I'll manage. Oh and I seriously need to start saving (and making) money now.
Job, Career, New lifeTue, 13th Apr '04, 7:45 am::
Here comes the long overdue lengthy 'blog entry. Lately I've been busy with too many things in my "real" life. So as you must have heard it by now, I have a job offer in St. Petersburg, Florida. My client wants to hire me full-time and will take care of my work visa (H1B etc.) requirements. The salary is good and my responsibilities are managable (or so I think). Here's what I've been upto:
Took a JetBlue flight to Florida on Friday night at 6:55pm. My online friend Taylor picked me up from the airport and brought me to his home. Turns out, just like his online persona, Tay is a real cool guy and despite his warning that in two days we'd be hating each other, we're still great friends; REAL friends now, not ONLINE anymore. After all, once I move to Florida, he's probably going to be one of a handful of people I know. So it's in my best interest to be nice to him *grin*
Next morning was the main interview with my client. It's always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed said Tay's dad. So over-dressed in a suit I went to my client's office, courtesy of Tay and his white pickup (more on the pickup truck later). Now about my client and soon to be boss... He is one of those people that you can instantly see made his own wealth from scratch. Very well-spoken and big-heart, he welcomed me into his office building like I owned it. My quite casual interview went on for the next six hours! My uncle had told me managerial positions aren't given by short 'n stout IQ tests but rather by long active personal examinations. Basically my client wanted to see whether my personality would fit in with his company or not.
To my pleasure, he thought I would fit in great and wants me to start working as soon as I graduate. I have a couple of commitments in Jersey (my work, my new apartment lease etc.) due to which I might be slightly delayed. But otherwise I'm trying to relocate as soon as I can. After all, Florida is beautiful and the work environment was great. Having been brought up in an mini-entreprenueral environment, I feel more at home as a manager in a small firm than a widget in a behemoth corporation. My dad owns his business and while I never said I want to inherit his particular business or form some startup with VCs etc., I've always looked at my work as if I own it. There is a spectrum of mentalities when it comes to responsibilities and I lie on one end, treating my work as if the outcome affects my whole company directly. At the other end of the band are most people who would love to get a job in Microsoft and Morgan Stanley - their work affects their bonuses. In between are people who partly care about the company and partly care about their packages. It's not about which mentality is right or wrong, it's more about can you find a place where you can fit in. Given my entreprenueral mentality, I think I'd fit better into a small company with broader responsibilities than in a large company with extremely specific job requirements. The big companies are doing fine without me. It's the small company where I can actually make a difference as well as learn what hard work and sleepless nights are all about. So yes, I'm fully aware my new job isn't going to be a cakewalk by any standards. Unless I interpreted things wrongly, it's going to be very difficult and I have a lot of goals to achieve in a very short time. Oh well, I've managed before and can do it again. The only difference this time is that now I know I must take care of my health before anything else.
During the interview I met one of my client's coolest employees and we went to lunch to The Dish. Interesting concept - you collect any amount of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms etc. in a bowl and sauces in another bowl and hand it over to the cook. Right in front of you they heat it all up together on a HUGE stove and hand it back to you. It was one of the best things I've ever eaten! Who knew broccoli could ever taste this good. Just thinking about The Dish makes me hungry. After lunch the interview continued and my client's wife walked in sometime around 3pm.
Now here's the critical part. Since the beginning of the interview, I was also interviewing my client in my head. I wanted to be sure that I was going to work at a place where the atmosphere was professional, systematic, and yet had some amount of homeliness and familial values. While my client proved to me within the first hour that his company is strong and growing, I still wasn't sure whether the work environment would be comfortable enough. I don't mind strict suit and tie formalities but being alone in this country for years to come, I want to work in a place which I can call home, simply because after work I gotta go back to an empty nest, obviously not home. And then one question she asked got rid of every doubt I had: "How is your cousin?" I'm just amazed that my client told her about Keval and that she remembered. It meant a lot to me. That's when I realized I'd found a new home and moving to Florida would be just like moving from my home in Calcutta to my aunt's home in Jersey.
Interview ended at 4:30pm and Tay being the coolest guy ever picked me up. One phone call after next, I estimate I spent $50 just one phone calls in that one day to inform everyone close to me that I am "gainfully" employed now. Tay's stepmom cooked some awesome Fettuccine Alfredo with vegetables for us for dinner and suggested a good comedy club we could go to. She basically knows every nook 'n cranny of the state. I told Taylor that people like her are the duct-tape that hold our society together, like my grandma and aunt, they take care of everyone and everything simply because they feel like they must. This is what I did at the Coconut Comedy Club: One Margarita, two Margarita, Motorcyle, Floor! Just kidding! I wasn't drunk at all. Seriously. No really. Trust me. I swear!!!!!!
Anyways, next morning we left for Universal Studios early and enjoyed about 5 rides/shows in 5 hours. It had been a while since I had just let loose and got the hell scared out of me - Back to the Future was the best. And then after the rides I kicked some Tay-butt in Ice Hockey and he danced like a chicken while playing Dance Dance Extreme Revolution Version XVII or something like that. As funny as he looked while doing it, I gotta admit there's NO way I can move that fast - not even if there's a gun on my head. So props to him.
The last ride that scared the HELL outta me was in his pickup truck from Universal Studios to the airport - the gas tank was EMPTY!!! There were no gas stations in sight and inside my head I was literally going crazy. I tried to stay as calm as I can but I knew something was gonna go wrong - after all my trip had been so wonderful and nothing is perfect ever! I'm gonna miss the flight! I'm gonna miss the stupid flight! Urghhhhhhh! Thankfully we found a gas station before the tank ran out and the ride to the airport thereafter was pretty smooth.
The only sad part was saying bye to him at the airport and early that morning, to his family. But the good thing is I'm moving to Florida and will be seeing more of them. Then the sad part will be saying bye to EVERYONE IN JERSEY!!! I admit it already - I'm gonna cry. I'll cry when I leave my present work and cry when I leave my friends and most of all when I leave my aunt's home. This is gonna suck major. Oh well, I'm a cruel bastard who keeps doing this to people ALL the time!
I got the job in Florida! I will write everything about my visit to Florida in detail as soon as I have some time.
I leave for the airport in a few hours. Without a car it's a long way to JFK Airport, NYC. Basically I gotta take the NJ Transit train from New Brunswick to Penn Station NYC. Then take Long Island Rail Road to Jamaica station. Finally take the AirTrain to JFK. Probably gonna cost me $50 just on the commute to and from airport. My flight's at 6:55 pm so I better leave by 1pm to be safe.
I have an exam on Monday that I haven't studied for at all. Will try to read on the flight or most probably on the return flight. Got my interview with my client on Saturday. Both of us are hoping that I join them so at the moment odds are in my favor. But let's not be too sure. His is a small but growing company that doesn't have a specific need for a software developer at the moment. However he's a forward-thinking man and told me he'll definitely have work for me in 6-7 months, just about the time I intend to join him. So everything looks good.
Wish me luck!
Song for the day: "Saawan mein lag gayi aag, Dil mera haay..." - for no special reason whatsoever. Just a funny song.
My sites are back up. Had a helluva weekend working non-stop with barely any sleep. Things should be smoother now. I might describe in detail what happened but hardly anyone cares. I got a lot of homework to do now so I must go.
Today is 04/04/04 in every date format :)
My major sites are down right now (Photo Gallery, Chime main etc.) because I'm moving all my websites to my new dedicated server. If that doesn't sound English, just ignore it. Basically things could be hectic and dysfunctional for a few days, including but not limited to all my websites, emails, blood pressure, cholestrol level, and tolerance to dumb "computer" people. Sorry about it.
Waking up early morning and 'blogging seems too comfortable. I don't have to think about what I want to write or wonder if I really have the time for it. Yes I do. It's 7:15am and my world is just waking up so I have enough time. I hope I go to bed early everynight to wake up this time everyday. At least I had a night of peaceful sleep. Weird (but not bad) dreams though. Also the exam yesterday was quite bad. Let's see where my grades end up.
The main thing going on right now is my Florida trip. One of my clients asked me to work for him and he wants to sponsor me with a work permit etc. He has a small but growing company and is in the process of selecting his management team. If I join, I am hopefully going to become the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) when the company makes it big. After seeing his enthusiasm and hopefulness, I feel working independently for a small firm in Florida is better than slaving away under a behemoth in NYC. And to say the least, the beaches are hot! I am flying down to Florida on 9th April and returning back on 11th. I'll stay over at my buddy Taylor's place and we'll go to Universal Studios, time-permitting. The all-day interview will be on April 10th and if things go well, I will be joining them in early 2005.
If I do move to Florida, a lot of major changes will happen in my life. First of all, I'll be alone for the second time in my life. Here in Jersey I always have my family. The only three people I somewhat know in Florida (via the Web) are Tay, Derek, and my client. My non-work plans are pretty big once I'm there. Eventually I intend to live somewhere between work and University of Florida. I will try to get into a CS Grad program at UF and wi'll be driving 100's of miles each day from home to work and school. But within two years I should get my Masters. Also I might go for an MBA as it will definitely help out with my work. The time I will have for myself will be the weekends when I will take my car (of course) and drive all over everywhere. That is the thing I'm most excited about - freedom from a suffocating existence of being stuck in just one place (hint: 4 years in New Brunswick, New Jersey).
While Chime will never die, things will most probably slow down on the web-front, especially since I will be working for my largest client so that part of work will be moved into my 9-5 schedule. Best of all, once I get my work permit/visa, I can become the legal owner of Chime Softwares Ltd., instead of my aunt. As always, if things work out as planned, I could be making more than enough within two years and will be able to tell my dad to take a break even BEFORE July 10th 2007 (his predetermined date of retirement).
Another thing that'll happen is that I would be able to go to India at least twice a year! I could end up being one of those rich successful young entreprenuers! But then again, the 9-5 job I'm seeking isn't all that glamorous though it's in the glamour industry - making tanning products. Who said Indians can't do EVERYTHING! It'll be quite funny if I'm the only Indian guy in all of their gatherings. Everybody's gonna be like: What's HE doing here! He already HAS the perfect tan :) Go Desis!
Anyways, it will be a slow, slightly routine-ridden job I think but I hope to make it unbĂ¶ring somehow. I'll try NOT to postpone my graduate studies because everyone knows once you get on to the career path, it's impossilbe to get back into studies. So I'll make sure that doesn't happen to me. I want my PhD eventually as always.
I don't know where life's gonna take me next but I'm sure it'll be somewhere good. It might get lonely but then I'm always good at making new friends and since I'll have the time, I'll find some fun activities to do. Only bad thing about Florida is the heat. But I'll manage. Or not. But I'll deal I'm sure. Who knows, once I have a home, car, and a good job, I might want to settle down too! Nothing's sure though except that if I get this job, my 'blog entries will be slightly more interesting.