Fri, 30th Jun '06, 11:15 pm::

Just got back from dinner with the guys from work - Brian and Brandon. Worked a little extra today to finalize some stuff. So tired now.

Song for the night: "Possum Kingdom" - Toadies

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Fri, 30th Jun '06, 7:55 am::

Congrats to my cousin Kunal on his wedding! Can't believe I'm the only one left single among all my cousins now.

So I just realized all my friends are going out of the country on vacations. Arthur's out for two weeks in Poland. Michele's in Ireland for two weeks. Lanie's leaving soon for over a month in Europe. Avni's touring India for over a month. July's gonna be pretty damn boring as I won't have anyone to talk to. Oh well, least the kids will always want to play with me :)

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The Top 5 Myths about the Life of Chir.agWed, 28th Jun '06, 7:55 am::

A lot of people read my 'blog and I am thankful for that. Now it is a known fact that everyone that reads my 'blog is awesome but what isn't known is that there are some that read it with more than a few misconceptions on their mind. There's not much I can do to make people see the reality except, I guess, explicitly write it out as one last attempt. So let's get right ahead to it.

The Top 5 Myths about the Life of

  1. You're just too lucky: No, I am not. I've actually been pretty unlucky in the last year or so. Who else do you know that contracted Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough, Pulmonary Pneumonia, Conjunctivitis (twice!), ruptured Condyloid ligaments, multiple radial socket damage, and Scabies in just one year?! Trust me, it sucks to be me. You just don't hear me whine about it much anymore.
  2. You exaggerate (a lot): Coming from the other end of the spectrum are people that think I make up stuff or turn a mole into a supermole with frickin' laser beams on its frickin' head. Well, a lot of the stuff I can prove with pictures. Anything beyond that, you have a choice to believe my words or not. I don't lie though sometimes I do follow the Mahabharata tactic of "Narova Kunjarova" - hiding the truth. Sometimes I don't want people to know why/when/if I do things. I don't lie; I just never mention it. Call it selective canting but this being a very public 'blog, there are things I'd rather not write here. Give me a call if you think there's more to a story and want more details. I'll probably spend 3 hours whining to you, especially if you're paying for the phone call :)
  3. You've changed/lost-your-mind/become-selfish etc.: One-sided criticisms. You read something on this 'blog and you decide Chirag is now a useless drunk. You read something else and decide Chirag no longer cares about the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of wherever. You read something else I wrote and sigh that Chirag is never going back to college. What can I say to that? You've made up your mind to judge who I am based on the words I consciously choose to write on here. I am well aware of what I'm writing and how people can take it. If it's something I don't want people to read and judge, I won't write it. So the fact that you noticed I party a lot or work too much, is probably true but also just as apparent to myself. Big deal. I'm a human with desires, expectations, and imperfections just like everyone else, including you.
  4. You're amazing/perfect/great/smart: Praise, most of it putting me up high on a pedastal as if I am some larger-than-life symbol of hope, adventure, and gravitas combined into one hot-looking package of 100% Indian-goodness. Of course, I love the priase and the kind words. But come on, I'm a human. I screw up things small and big. I win and lose. People are people. And I'm the most peoplest of all peoples. So don't expect me to be some sort of beacon of righteousness or emblem of goodwill. It won't take me too long to shatter your vision of this perfect moral boy next time I do bodyshots off a dead hooker (just kiddin!).
  5. You're hiding the real you: This is by far the most troubling response I get and is especially worrisome when the person knows me in real life. As mentioned above, I sometimes hide stories/news about me that I don't want everyone to know. Plus do you REALLY want to read about the disgusting nightmare that is scabies? However, that doesn't mean I'm pretending to be someone else all the time. I know at least one person that thinks I'm actually a sad little puppy and am playing opposite-day everyday on this 'blog. Sometimes a Chirag's just a Chirag! While every person has their skeleton-in-the-closet issues, that doesn't mean they are being pretentious all the time. I am like this in person when you meet me (probably a little more dorky and hopefully much less serious). I am what I am. And I like it that way.

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Wed, 28th Jun '06, 6:45 am::

Yet another weekend I spent having too much fun. Went to camp out on the Carolina Beach with my cousin Priya and a bunch of her friends. Lots of little stories and many more memorable incidents. On the drive back, I stopped by the historic city of Savannah, Georgia and had dinner with my friend Vu, whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years. He still looks exactly 19 years old though he's closer to 25. Thanks for the dinner!

The drive was pretty long and that's what this 'blog entry today is about. No, not long automotive drives, but "drive" - the drive to do what you always wanted. To me, it is more of an ongoing realization than an instantaneous epiphany. I've learnt over time that the cheesy Nike slogan is really true, "Just do it." No matter what it is, don't overthink, don't overanalyze. If it looks fun and interesting, go for it. Yes, everything has its fair share of positives and negatives. You can spend an entire lifetime meticulously weighing-in whether Grad School A is better than Grad School B or Grad School C (just for future reference, C is better, ALWAYS.) At the end of it all, it doesn't really matter a big deal.

Take a cosmic look at it. There are black holes, quasars, white dwarfs, spiral galaxies, and planetary nebulae. There are asteroids hurtling down space at a hundred thousand miles an hour. There are thunderstorms on Jupiter large than the entire Earth. There's the Andromeda galaxy slowly (relatively speaking (no pun intended)) entwining with the Milky Way. And then there's you, wondering if you should pretend to work for two more hours instead of going to see the standup comedian you always wanted to see. I speak from personal experience here. I don't know or care anymore which exam I was really studying for but I know I gave away tickets to Dave Chapelle's standup at my college back in Jersey. The worst experience in life is the one you didn't have.

I wouldn't say that I'm an active participant in the cult of Hedonism but I've learnt over the course of years that I cannot give up on the things I've always wanted to do just because "real" life is getting in the way. I have to make time. I have to give up some of my future to ensure my past continues to be free of regrets. Like they say, on the death-bed, nobody wishes they had spent more time at their desk job. We will wish that we had "lived" a little more. The unit of measurement of life is "This one time in...", not years.

With that desire in mind, earlier this summer I planned that I wanted to visit Taylor in Gainesville, Megan in Philly, Priya in North Carolina, Vu in Savannah, Chris in Tennessee, and Becky + Laura in Seattle. I'm over half way done, having had more than a few drinks with Taylor, dancing more than a mongoose with Megan, driving more than a trucker to see Priya, and talking more than a wacky morning DJ with Vu. Due to some change of plans, I'm not sure if I'm going to see Chris this year or whether Seattle is possible this summer, but you can bet your house on the fact that if there is even a slight chance, I'll take it. I'll take it and I'll write about it.

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Wed, 21st Jun '06, 9:05 pm::

Today marks the second year anniversary of my job at Formulated Solutions. I mentioned that to a couple of coworkers and they decided we go out for some good dinner. A little after 7pm, Kelly, Dennis, and I met at Sweet Tomatoes (the closest place to heaven on this side of the Atlantic). I don't think I've eaten so much in a long long time. Of course I could always eat more but I have to leave some for the rest of the people :)

Just yesterday I remarked to a friend that I don't remember the last time I woke up groggy in the morning and lamented "eh I gotta go to work..." No matter how good or bad I slept, as soon as I wake up and realize it's time to get to work, I can't wait. It's such an unexpected feeling though. Growing up I always expected work to be dull and boring. You're supposed to work solely to earn money and provide a good living for your family. Work, by definition, is work and not play. Yet every day I am more than excited to get to my office so I can try out the things that I was thinking of all night. I guess it's mostly because of the amount of freedom I have coupled with the appreciation I get for all my work that makes this possible.

Of course my latest big project was something of an oddity for me. Normally my projects change and improve things and hopefully save time/effort/money for others. However in this case, I had to migrate every single user/computer/device from an older system to a kickass new server setup. The goal was to change over everything as smoothly as possible, without disturbing or modifying any user's settings. In short, the best possible thing a person could tell me was "What did you do? I don't notice anything..." Like the quote from Futurama goes, "When you do things right, people won’t be sure you've done anything at all."

Anyways, stuffed and lazy right now. Very tired too. Gonna go relax and get back to work tomorrow :)

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Sat, 17th Jun '06, 9:10 pm::

I've been working this weekend migrating our servers and all the users. So so tired. And still so much more to do. Back to work in 11 hours. G'nite for now.

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Sat, 10th Jun '06, 11:55 pm::

Sat, 10th Jun '06, 10:30 pm::

It's good to be a beach bum. I wallowed in the ocean for over an hour today, warm water, gentle breeze, and good company. Chilled with my friend Gem who drove up from Manatee County. We laid out in the sun (technically in the shade under my beach umbrella) for a while, drinking soda, and talking about different things. I love talking to people that actually have something to say beyond what People and Cosmo tell them to. Gem moved to Florida from New Orleans last year after Hurricane Katrina. While I talked about Katrina as a national disaster last year, I never thought I'd actually meet someone directly affected by it.

It was human nature and common sense for me to think that every single person who went through Katrina would be deeply affected by it. It was, however, a big mistake on my part to automatically assume that every single person affected, would be devastated by it. She moved here while every single person she knew scattered all over the country. It's hard enough losing a friend or two, so one would think that a change this big would destroy a person's sanity. I don't recall her exact words but she said something along the lines of "Change is not a big deal when everything changes."

In a twisted way, that is so true. If you have a strict routine and even a minor step changes, you get disturbed and have to undo the change or try hard to adapt to it. Yet when the routine no longer exists or changes to drastically you cannot change it, you have to create a new routine or evolve to embrace the new. In a way, my move from India to New Jersey and then from NJ to Florida is kinda like that. Things changed so drastically I barely had time to realize how much impact the new surroundings were having on me.

Well, for dinner, we had some Pad Thai at Thai AM-2 restaurant on the beach, though I missed the taste of Siam Garden in downtown St. Pete. I can't wait to go there again sometime. Just relaxing now watching Comedy Central with Giga passed out on my lap.

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Fri, 9th Jun '06, 12:35 am::

My favorite Champagne, popcorn, and third season of Scrubs. Life's alright.

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Wed, 7th Jun '06, 8:45 pm::

Last week I fell on my hands and hurt my wrists and elbows. The fact that I can type means it's nothing serious but the pain is very annoying. I took a few pain-relief meds and will hopefully feel better soon. Work's busy as ever, setting up servers 'n all other stuff that only I would find interesting. Just doing regular chores (laundry, dishes etc.) while reading a book. I've had better days. Ha.

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Fri, 2nd Jun '06, 6:00 pm::

Happy B'day Mummy!

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Thu, 1st Jun '06, 3:40 pm::

It did :)

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Thu, 1st Jun '06, 2:00 pm::

I hope it rains today. My lawn seriously needs it.

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