Tue, 28th Feb '06, 8:10 am::

These might not be the best movies in the specific genres but they work great for movie marathons, especially since no one movie stands out against the rest by a huge margin. You don't want to see one amazing movie and then keep comparing four average movies to it. You want to equally enjoy all the movies. Also the above are the movies that I've seen and have DVDs of. There are so many other movie-marathons I can add to the list and I probably will later. But that's it for now.

I don't know what my next movie marathon would be but I can't wait. I already got the popcorn, chips & salsa, Red Bull, and Coke Zero :) Who's up for it?

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Movie MarathonsTue, 28th Feb '06, 8:05 am::

So here's my list of Top 10 Movie Marathon Ideas with 4-6 movies each:

  1. View Askew Rapid-fire: Clerks, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, Dogma
  2. Nerd Alert: Tron, Hackers, Pirates of Silicon Valley, Antitrust
  3. Coen Classics: Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother - Where Art Thou
  4. Uncomfortable Embarrassment: Rushmore, Napolean Dynamite, Garden State, Lost in Translation
  5. Future's Farked: Gattaca, The Matrix, Brazil, Equilibrium, Twelve Monkeys, The Fifth Element
  6. Antiestablishmentarianism = 'Screw The Man': Fight Club, American Beauty, Office Space, Falling Down
  7. Tarantino Torture: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill I, Kill Bill II
  8. Pacino's Rage: Godfather I, Godfather II, Scarface, Carlito's Way
  9. Mind Jobs Mania: A Clockwork Orange, Memento, Cube, Donnie Darko, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich
  10. Hair-raising Heists: The Italian Job, Ronin, Ocean's Eleven, The Usual Suspects, The Thomas Crown Affair

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Tue, 28th Feb '06, 7:15 am::

I think it's time for another movie marathon. I've realized that movie marathons are best when the movies are all from the same genre instead of being absolutely unrelated to each other. It's only once you inebriate yourself with the underlying theme of all the movies, that you actually start to see things from the director's and story-writer's point of view. A major reason why people don't appreciate a lot of movies (you know, the ones that you think are totally over-rated?) is because they just weren't in the right mood to see it. In a different mood, they might have loved it. If you just failed your math class, you're not going to enjoy A Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, Pi, or Proof. But that'd make a pretty intense marathon for math geeks.

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Mon, 27th Feb '06, 8:00 pm::

My backyard projects have begun. Tonight I got rid of a very nasty bush with lotsa weeds growing within it. I got one Brazilian Pepper Tree in the far corner and it's pretty wild too. While it grows beautifully in South America, it is pretty much an invasive species in Florida and rarely welcome. Once I've got rid of all the weed and unwanted bushes from my backyard, I'm going to get on with my big plan.

Here's my 5-step process for the next two months: (1) Clear (2) Level (3) Seed (4) Garden (5) Landscape. As mentioned above, first I have to clear the yard from all the wild growth. Then I gotta buy truckloads of junk dirt, fill dirt, topsoil, and potting soil - four different types of soil for different areas of the yard. Once I spread the dirt everywhere it's needed, it's time to seed the lawn with new grass seeds. Still not sure what type of grass I want and am open to trying something interesting. While the grass is growing, I will plant a vegetable garden around the edges of my backyard. This will give my property a nice boundary, reduce the size of lawn I have to mow, provide fresh vegetables for me to eat, and of course, a cheap way for me to have a useful healthy garden. I don't like flowers and they're too much work. Vegetables like basil, peppers, and tomatoes grow pretty well in this area - especially since I have some good shade in my backyard too. Finally, after I've marked off the different areas, I can start landscaping and building. I want to get lots of marble rocks and colorful stones. And finally I want to start building structures and items out of wood. I'm not sure exactly what but I'd absolutely love to have a nice bench under my big Ficus tree. A bench, some Bamboo chimes, and if my plans work out well, a simple self-made gazebo.

Basically, when my parents come visit me next year, I want them to enjoy living at my house and feel as close to nature as they possibly can. And instead of paying some company $15,000 to do all this for me, I'm gonna spend a few hours every day and more on weekends getting it done myself. Hopefully this will give me lots of exercise, stress-relief, and a break from computers, TV, and slacking off.

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DaisyMon, 27th Feb '06, 12:00 pm::

I took 40 mins from my lunch today early and went to the Pinellas County Animal Services Shelter to give the kitty up for adoption. They said she's kinda malnourished but will be fine once they feed her for a few days. Oh yeah, she. And I christened her Daisy! She was purring so loudly in my lap as I was driving her to the shelter. I really hope she finds a good home. Of course, I already have two kitties since I don't wanna turn into the "Weird-Guy-With-Three-Cats!" I didn't take it home, even though I really wanted to. Plus I highly doubt my two little devils would welcome a stranger. Back to work. Well, at least I did my good deed for the day.

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Mon, 27th Feb '06, 10:15 am::

There's a cute little stray kitty right outside my work building. It needs a home. Anyone in the St. Pete / Clearwater / Largo / Seminole / Tampa area wants to keep it? I might take it to a pet shelter during lunch.

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Sun, 26th Feb '06, 9:00 pm::

I had a pretty relaxed weekend. Yesterday it was beautiful outside and I spent pretty much the whole day in my yard. After waking up around noon, I went to Petsmart, Walmart, BestBuy, Publix, and Home Depot. I got so much stuff! Now I have an 8ft ladder (that I managed to somehow fit into my tiny car). Also got a lot of fresh veggie. And I finally picked all the orange fruits from my tree. I stopped counting after 100! Now I gotta squeeze the juice outta them all. Also the grapefruits are pretty sweet. In fact the grapefruits are so big that each one gives enough juice to fill a full cup.

As I was working outside, I met my neighbor Donald whose house is diagonally across my backyard. He's a pretty young guy, I'd say in low 30's, and has some awesome plans to fix up his house. His girlfriend Jennifer also joined our typical hello-neighbor banter. We actually ended up talking for over an hour and it seems like they're pretty chill, nice folks. Hopefully Don and I will help each other out with projects in each other's yards because it's always great to have a helping hand when you're building something. And both of us have some cool plans. I'm not sure what I'm gonna build yet but I got nifty ideas that won't be too expensive :) So let's see.

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Wed, 22nd Feb '06, 2:10 am::

My friend Tay is FAMOUS! He won the top prize at MashupCamp in California and his mug is all over the Internet now! The president of Sun Microsystems (yeah, the guys who made JAVA!) awarded a kickass Niagra server to him! This is pretty damn big news, in fact, he's suddenly become the most famous person in Tech that I have ever had a drink with. And that makes him cool and me proud :)

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How to torture a catTue, 21st Feb '06, 11:45 pm::

Oh man I'm having so much evil fun right now. It's awesome! I recorded Giga's meowing and now he and Tera are freaking out when I play it back. They both clearly recognize his voice and Giga is clawing the speakers, trying to make them stop :) He stands on his two legs everytime he hears a loud meow. I don't think I've laughed this hard in weeks.

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Mon, 20th Feb '06, 9:40 am::

Finally relaxing after a very exciting weekend in Texas. In addition to the museum and downtown tour with Avni, I also got an awesome run-thru of the tons of different hospitals in Houston's Medical Center district, courtesy of my cousin Rajan. He gave me an ultrasound of my heart and I got to check out a lot of cool techie equipment. I still can't believe Javascript powers some of the most expensive and detailed analysis tools for cardiology! I got home around midnight after slightl flight delays and got to work on time today.

I loved this weekend - escape somewhere at 6pm on Friday and return to work 8am Monday - with lots of stories and exciting experiences. I'm gonna do more of this stuff. Not always flight outside of state but definitely more stuff outside my own city.

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Sun, 19th Feb '06, 9:55 am::

Yesterday totally kicked ass. My friend Avni picked me up at around 11am and we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We watched an hour-long IMax documentary titled "The Mystery of the Nile" (or was it the Monsters of the Nile?). The film was about a group of researchers who, for the first time in the world, successfully sailed from the source of the Blue Nile to the Mediterranean Sea in about 114 days.

Next up was the butterfly/rainforest display where you could walk through three levels of indoors rainforest environment, surrounded by the most colorful butterflies you've ever seen. One even landed on me! I think there's pictures but who cares about pictures when you're having a good time. We got a little hungry after that so she took me to Maggiano's in The Galleria area for lunch. We drove through downtown (and saw the Enron buildings!) then back to the museum for another IMax movie - Roar, story of wild Kalahari lions. After that we hung around the museum and saw a lot of interesting collections.

I had dinner with my cousin/uncle Rajan Bhai and his wife. We just chilled and talked about India and later called my dad and mom too. Went to bed around midnight and just woke up a bit ago. It is pretty damn cold here. I can't wait till it gets nice and warm in Florida, so I can finally go out into the ocean.

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Sat, 18th Feb '06, 12:40 am::

I'm in Houston, Texas right now! Visiting my cousin (technically uncle but he's just a little older than me) Rajan & his wife Rupali. I just had dinner with them and his bro's family - Rupin Bhai, Namrata Bhabhi, and kids. Tomorrow, my sweet lil desi friend Avni's gonna show me around the city :) This is gonna be a pretty fun weekend.

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Wed, 15th Feb '06, 4:10 am::

The Valentine's Day party at my house just ended with Lanie and Natalia being the final guests. You know the party is fun when it starts at 6 pm and lasts till 4am! Here's a few clean pics :) There's a LOT of pics that I doubt will ever be made public. Let's just say it was one hell of a Valentine's Day celebration. I'd say a total of eleven guests including me - Liz, Dave, Jess, Kelly, Carlos, Mike, Roderick, Vance, Lanie, Natalia, and myself. I didn't catch everyone in the pics but most are in a few pics at least. I'm very tired right now but I feel so refreshed in a way, knowing that I have once again managed to make a enough friends who're with me during my good times and bad. It's not easy making good friends but time and again, I run into awesome people that make life wonderful. And the best part about the parties now? I'm the host and it's fun to be one. Liz is very good at organizing everything so she helps a lot.

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Sun, 12th Feb '06, 5:10 pm::

Since it's too cold and gray to go outside and do any work, I'm spending the day in reading up on random things, from garden-care in FL to interesting spaghetti recipes. Also doing some website work and watching a little tv here and there. I think I can get by without doing laundry for another week or two. The house needs a little cleaning and I'll get on it sometime this week. Watched a really good movie, Hidalgo last night. Also watched Snatch again earlier. That movie has some snappy dialogs.

Yesterday I squeezed some fresh oranges from my backyard and wow, they're yummy. The grapefruits taste bitter though. As soon as it gets slightly warmer, I'm going to pick all the oranges and bottle/freeze their juice. I don't know how long it'll last but it's not costing me anything anyway. Either way, I have to pick all the fruits from the trees before they start falling on their own and attracting rodents and serpents. I'm still debating how I want to setup my backyard. I have so many ideas from rock-structure landscaping to wooden sheds and faux-wells to vegetable patches. I guess I'll just figure it out one step-at-a-time. For now though, I just need lots of topsoil and some good sunny weather instead of these freezing winds. At least it's not snowing here and I don't have to shovel like all the people up in New Jersey and the rest of the North-East :)

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On balancing work & playSat, 11th Feb '06, 1:20 am::

Almost a week since I posted. Turns out there were some big issues with my cable Internet at home and as a result, I wasn't able to get online for most of this week. Everything's fixed, for now.

On Sunday Feb 5th, I went up to Orlando to see my friends Jeff and Wes. Chilled with them all day and watched the Superbowl in the evening. While I'm not a big sports fan I love chilling with people and eating/drinking for free :) Orlando's about a 2.5hour drive for me. Disney is about two hours.

Wednesday night I to see standup comedian Chris "Boom Boom" Johnson at the Tampa Improv with Lanie, Natalie, and Mike. I laughed so hard my head was hurting. Literally. Had some good food too, courtesy of Lanie & friends.

Work's going great and I'm excited about the projects I'm working on right now. Things are definitely getting busy for me and as I spend more time in my office, I'm also consciously making sure that I don't end up becoming a workaholic with no social life. It's too easy to concentrate only on one thing in life at the cost of everything else. I know too many people who never learnt the quote "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." It's hard to believe that some of my friends who are much older don't know how to balance work and fun. Sure, if you love your job even half as much as I do, work IS fun. But nevertheless, you still need time off from everything and let your mind relax.

I have a lot of friends in college who don't go out to party/movies/relax because they have so much homework to do and so many projects to complete. Sure, I understand, I went through that, in fact, much MUCH more just a few years ago. However, every time they decide to give up on the fun activities in order to study, they sit at home and do EVERYTHING except study. How can they concentrate anyway?! They're fatigued and stressed because they haven't had a laugh and a good night's sleep in weeks & months.

Here's what I used to do and it worked great for me: When I had three exams & two projects due, and only one weekend to study, I'd map out the work hours and the fun hours. If I had 60 hours before chaos broke out, I'd decide, ok, I'll sleep for a total of 20 hours in 3-4 naps, and of the 40 waking hours, I'll devote 30 to study and 10 to relaxation. Then I'd begin by using some of my 10-hours by watching a movie. Having just spent some time partaking in guilt-free fun gave me the energy and motivation to actually study honestly without any distractions. Once I studied for 5 hours, I'd take a well-deserved break and then get back to studies. Rinse repeat for 60 hours with short but adequate periods of sleep.

What everyone does is instead of sleeping 20 out of 60 hours, they sleep less than 10. Now that you're lacking sleep, you can barely study well during the remaining 50 hours. Of the 50 hours, you spend 20 wondering if college is REALLY what you want to do in life, whether this is the purpose of your existence, and if there is anyone whose life is harder than yours. Of the remaining 30 hours, another 20 are spent pretty much staring at books and notes while you wait for friends to sign on AIM or call you so that you can tell them how stressed you are and how badly you want to go to some house party but can't because of studies. Another five hours are spent looking for food, coffee, pills, and whatever it's gonna take to keep yourself awake like a zombie. And I guess if you try really hard, you can manage to study something in the final 5 hours. Of course, then once you've been through a weekend like this, you realize that even 60 hours aren't enough so you start acting like this 90 hours before the deadlines.

I know I'm being extremely judgemental and critical but the sad truth is, I haven't made any of this up. I actually know people who do exactly what I mentioned above and no matter how hard I try to explain, they never learn. What people don't realize is that motivation isn't always inherent - you have to actively reward yourself and keep monitoring your progress if you want to gather the energy to reach your goals. Unless you have serious external reasons to do something (need money for kid's operation) it's very hard to motivate yourself in the long-term. That's where discipline comes in. You decide beforehand how you want to split your work/study and fun times and stick to that. It's all about discipline. True disciprine... come from within.

Anyways, I have a lot of little chores to complete before I can start doing the things I really want to do, like visit national/state parks, go on road trips, take up a few more hobbies. I'm waiting for the weather to get warmer so that I can start fixing my backyard. I have so many plans for it. I want to go to the beach more often too. I went to the Treasure Island beach today after work to watch the sunset. It's so soothing. One of these days I'm going to drive five hours across the state to the East Coast just to watch the sunrise. I miss those.

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Sat, 4th Feb '06, 12:20 pm::

I know I should've been an English or Literature major. Here's my new drivelling away message for AIM: "Ah yes, the away message - that little blurb of text that lets people know I'm not a schmuck just sitting around on my computer but actually away, DOING something! It's my elementary broadcast to the world, telling them, "Look! I have a life! I have things to do and places to be." It's the definitive proof that I am already on my way to fulfill my life's inane destiny; each new away message validating my vacuous existence. A mere evanescent glimpse into the inexhaustible resource of trivial chores and routines that is me. The story of my life, one line at a time. I am the center - the alpha, the omega, and the infinite cosmos of monotonous zilch contained betwixt. And you my friend, are now among the enlightened few. Go forth and spread the seed of your new-found transcendental awareness."

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Sat, 4th Feb '06, 12:05 pm::

One little good news is that my house doesn't have any major infestation of termites. I just had a very helpful guy, Andy from Terminix come to inspect my property. He noticed some termite damage in the dead wood of one of the trees in my front-yard but other than that, he couldn't see anything. Problem with termites is that by the time you notice them, it's quite possibly too late. I'm just gonna have to be on the lookout for them on a regular basis now.

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Fri, 3rd Feb '06, 6:35 pm::

Hurricane season isn't here yet but that doesn't mean the rains will stop. It rained in my city so bad today that the roof of a major store caved in with many people under it. Good thing nobody got seriously hurt. I was very anxious about my home as the roof above my Florida room (sun room) needs fixing. I got home and discovered that it leaked a little but nothing major. I received my new mailbox but I doubt the rain's gonna clear by tomorrow for me to set it up. I'm so excited about it though - it's my first slightly big project in my house!

At work we kept getting major power fluctuations and I had to turn off all the computers and electronic devices. So I didn't get much computer work done today and instead used the time to organize my office. After we moved in early January, my priority was to get everyone else up and running. Then right afterwards, I went to India for two weeks so my office was still unorganized. Finally today I set things straight, opened all the boxes, located all my computer stuff, and put them in my desk/shelves/drawers. Anyways, the joke of the day is that I've never been so tired by NOT working all day :)

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