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Big Picture vs. Small PictureWed, 16th Nov '05, 8:00 pm::

Disclaimer: It saddens me to write this 'blog entry because I know my family will read it and won't like many parts of it. Sorry but you won't be able to use this 'blog entry to show off my success to everyone. I haven't run a marathon today and I haven't written any software this week that'll change the Internet. But it makes me happy to write this because I think it's time for a reality check for myself and for everyone that I love.

The Game: It's a little game I call Big Picture vs. Small Picture. This is not about truth vs. false. In this game everything is true for only true facts are admissible. I can testify that nothing in the following statements is even remotely false. So let's get started.

The Small Picture: Even though I have a great job in US, I hardly have any savings. I can't send any monetary gifts back home to India for my only sister's wedding in January 2006, even though my cousin in UK pretty much paid for his sister's wedding and more. In fact, I spend more money on my cats than I send back to India. Any time my relatives in US ask me to come visit them for holidays, I decline saying I'm saving up to buy tickets to India for my sister's wedding. I admit to them that if I don't save each month, I won't be able to pay for the India trip. Whenever someone suggests that I get arranged married like my sister, one of my first excuses is that I can't afford to marry. Word gets around and now, I'm officially broke in the eyes of my family & relatives.

I wasn't always "broke". In fact, three years ago back in college, I was supposed to be doing pretty well with my high-paying student job. Just earlier this year when I went to India I was even seen as what you might say... "rich!" But for some reason, not anymore.

Immediate Analysis: If you just look at the small picture, and it is in fact quite true, clearly then it would seem that I must be bad at managing money and/or I don't care enough about my family in India to chip in for even a small part of my loving sister's wedding expenses. Somewhere in the last few months I went from being pretty "well off" to living "paycheck to paycheck" and since I am in full control of my fiscal habits, I'm the one to blame. Thankfully, my parents are very understanding and have never demanded anything from me. Never ever. For this and more, I love them more than any son can. Nevertheless, it appears to all that I'm reckless and failing. Hmm. Let's look at this scenario from a different altitude.

The Big Picture: In this round, we forget all the pesky details of day-to-day life and think BIG. A little over five years ago I came to US with a dream... the ever-so-romanticized American Dream. After years of reluctance, my dad finally, at the behest of my lovely sis, told me to go forth and conquer the world. I'm sure he didn't expect me to wage military wars on the entire world, but instead wished me best of luck to achieve everything I wanted in my life. I flew in to the magical land of the United States of America all cheery-eyed and dreamy. My mom and grandma were glad that their kid was finally going to get good higher education - after all who doesn't want an esteemed PhD dork in their family?

I spent four years in Rutgers New Jersey, half of them living with my aunt and uncle who still do their best to support me whenever they can. Two bachelor degrees with highest honors later, I moved to sunny Florida for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to head the IT department of a small-but-rapidly-growing company. Now that I was finally living on my own, I could do things I've always wanted! A three-pc home-network? Check. True bachelor-style bean bags? Check. Cute little pets that my sister and I have wanted since childhood? Check! Everything's great. I go to India in April '05 and everyone is happy for me. I'm a success!

I notice real-estate prices in my area go through the roof, especially the properties near the Gulf. It's either buy now or be priced out of the housing market for decades. Having realized that without physical assets, creditors in US don't care about you at all, I pooled all my resources together for the big buy. In two short months, I bought a cute little house near the beach. Now next year when I try to consolidate my three variable-interest (eeek) student loans, banks will not reject me outright because I shall be in possession of the revered home equity.

Immediate Analysis: Big dreams necessitate disciplined efforts and uncompromising patience. It took some time but it appears to anyone that I've managed to fulfill quite a number of academic, economic, and personal goals. Overall, things are great if you ask me. No bad marriage, no expulsion from college, no criminal charges, no pending lawsuits, no housing troubles, no bad debts, no employment issues, and no chronic illnesses. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping things stay just as good. I'm one lucky son of a gun. So... if everything is this peachy, what's with the pesky details I mentioned in the small picture above? It's all about the proper focus.

a. Focus - Adjustable: You need a telescope to look at distant planets. You need an electron microscope to research how to better fabricate the carbon-nanotube fibers that strengthen the structure of the spacecraft that will get you to these distant planets. Notice the complexities between the two sentences. Dreaming, big-picture satellite viewing is simple. Even though it requires planning, experience, and wisdom, it won't get your hands messy. On the other hand, doing it, living in the nitty-gritties of actually implementing something is a dirty job. We dream in big screen but alas we live in the small picture. And the day you stop adjusting your focus is when you're stuck living a life you cannot take control of.

Very often, people, including yours truly, get so entrenched in one view, that they fail to see things for what they really are. While immediate events have immediate consequences, they also have long-term effects. How we handle situations in the short term impacts what will happen in the long term. My dad once told me that intelligence is the measure of how long does it take a person to walk into a room and understand everything that went on, is going on, and will go on. I propose a corollary that intelligence is the measure of how long it takes a person to switch from small picture to big picture and vice versa. What does this have to do with me you ask? Let's see.

b. Focus - Sticky: The problem with changing focus is that it doesn't want to change. We don't like to see things differently than we already do. It goes outside our comfort zone. You can get a new pair of running shoes today but it's so much more comfortable to spend that money on junk food and sit back & watch TV all evening instead of months of persistent training for a marathon. Notwithstanding my trifling excuses, I can buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the US today and have a great time with my family & relatives. It is so much better than putting $150/month extra towards the principal on my home mortgage. I used to be so free with my money; back in college when my primary goal was getting a degree. But I have to constantly get into the big picture view and remind myself that now I'm in the hardwork and struggle phase of life - these are the years I need to be saving up for the next phase of my life - graduate studies.

Selective Sacrifices: Nobody's saying that I need to give up on enjoying my life in order to maybe some day achieve my ambitions. If you saw me at the BBQ party at my house this weekend, you'd very well know I'm not giving up on any fun. However, I have given up on the extravagant lifestyle that I so lavishly savored during my pre-mortgage era. No more $500 impulse shopping bills and no more $100 on martinis. Just like no more cheese and pizzas till my health is back to my doctor's approved standards.

You cannot sacrifice today for tomorrow and you cannot spend everything today and have nothing for tomorrow. It's a delicate balance between the two and the sooner a person realizes this, the better. For me, a house is an investment. I was more than happy living in the 100 sq.ft. bunker in New Jersey. I don't need a mansion to keep me happy. To me, my house means that instead of spending and giving away like the young grasshoppa, I'm saving like the ant. Adhering to ancient wisdom is a GOOD™ thing.

Consequences for me: It's great that I have a house because when I decide to go for my PhD years from now and devote 5-6 years of my life to science, I will have a pool of savings I can rely on, without having to worry about food and next month's rent. Many people pursue PhDs right after their Bachelors, mostly living like poor college students throughout the course. I didn't want to. I wanted a break between BSc and PhD. I want real-world experience. I want to know that some day my research and inventions will actually make a difference. Hence, I'm glad to have a job where I face production scenarios every single day that demand novel theoretical solutions.

I've said this over a hundred times already that if I cared about money, I'd be selling plastic granules in Kolkata right now. It is a very respectful trade and many people I know back home live happily every after with their families by engaging in wholesale businesses. However, it is just... NOT ME. I'm a student of science, always was, always will be. Till the day I died I would regret the 8-10 hours a day I spent trading because that is not what I wanted to do. My problem is that while I can remind myself this on a regular basis, everyone around me forgets it. Then I get compared to my cousin in UK, whom I love dearly, but have entirely different ambitions in life from. His noble ambition, from my personal knowledge, was to provide the best standard of living for his family. He woke up each day knowing that he needs to make ends meet for his family and that it is up to him now. He is my personal hero because on an absolute scale, what he does requires a lot more dedication and perseverance than what I do.

Consequences for my family: If my parents wanted the same thing from me as my cousin, they would have made it very clear from day one that my aim in life should be to send $x to India every single month. But they didn't. They told me to get the best education I could and fulfill all of my dreams. They supported me throughout and I'm happy that they did. Yet, every now and then, people question if they did the right thing, if I am doing the right thing, if I still love my own family, if Brazil is going to win the next World Cup Soccer. People question, people talk, people raise unfounded doubts, and above all, people make mountains out of mole hills. That's what people do. And that is when things go sour. And that is why I feel so compelled to write a pretty revealing personal 'blog entry like this one to make things perfectly clear.

I feel like I've always been lucid and honest to my family and relatives, in fact, to pretty much everyone that asks me a question upfront. I never lie about serious issues though I may lie about how many girls I've kissed ;)

Honest Ramblings: I feel excited to tell my family every other day that OMG I LOVE YOU. There is nobody else in the world I love more than you guys. If something unfortunate happened tomorrow and my family needed anything, I would take the next flight to India to help out (after notifying my work of course; not gonna run away boss man! Don't worry). But I wonder, since when did I become a BAD son? I thought I was doing everything right in life - in the big picture sense. I never said I was perfect and I was pretty much pathetic during the months of August-October this year when I was down with god knows every illness known to pirates in the 1700s.

Penultimate Moanings & Whinings: It's no surprise that a single person living alone, far away from all family and friends, will get pretty down and depressive when faced with prolonged chronic illnesses that prohibit all forms of social interactions. In English, that means hell ya, I was sick, alone, and did I mention sick?! Of course, I was sad and weak. I couldn't even hang out with my friends! I'd have to be pretty crazy in the head to actually enjoy any of that. Worst of all, I spent all my savings on medical bills and ended up breaking my promise to my sister that I'll do my best to send her a small gift soon. I'm sad that I broke a promise but I'm crushed that people treat me like it's my fault that I had all these medical expenses. Ok... so I don't have an extra $1000 lying around anymore. Does that mean I'm a loser or a weak person altogether and need support from every person who walks by just to hold myself together in life? HELL NO!

The Winner: Life's a game. It's a balancing act - between truth and false, good and evil, right and wrong, big picture and small picture. Who's the winner in the match Big Picture vs. Small Picture? Neither side exactly. Only the ones who can juggle the two fluently will "win" the so-called game of life.

Sometimes, people stop juggling. If the people who love me the most, don't stand back and take a look but instead suspect my intentions, capabilities, and strength, it's gonna be an uphill climb. I can never stop loving them but I'm kind of disheartened that the ones closest to me assumed that I've somehow forgotten what's important. I don't think at this age and stage in life I have to give any explanations on why I spent $300 treating my cat's bleeding foot. I don't expect anyone to understand WHY I like my cats, but I do expect them to not to criticize me for the day to day decisions I make in my life.

It comes down to the classic "I'm old enough" debate now. I'm old enough to know what I'm doing so please stop judging, taunting, and sneaking in remarks about what I do or not do. If I'm about to make a major decision, I will always ask the people I look up to. For instance, I had a long chat with my dad late last year about buying a house. Taking his advice, I didn't buy a house then. However, I revisited the issue a few months later when my situation had changed and ended up buying a house that I realize is an even better fit for me. I'm not saying I made absolutely the most perfect decision ever (man... my roof still needs repairs). I just like to think that I made the most sensible decision given the circumstances and stood firmly by it after weighing in the positive and negative consequences. The positive consequences being that I'll build equity that will help me later in life and the negative being that I won't have lot of free money lying around every month anymore.

If you've read this far then it's only natural that I thank you for paying attention and listening to what I had to say. Know in your heart that I love you more than anything in the world and that I will do anything possible when the need be. But if there is no crisis, then why not let me pursue my dreams and have some fun on the way? And for flying spaghetti monster's sake, stop worrying about me! I'm doing pretty damn well.

PS: Please send me money. I've been eating cat food for two weeks and have no money to feed myself or my cats now.

PPS: Just kidding about the cat food. I'm still a vegetarian :)

PPPS: Don't forget the money!

Sat, 7th May '05, 1:30 pm::

The last few days have been pretty interesting. Friday, instead of working all day, my entire company, from shipping guy to production planner, from the owners to the newest employees, all went for a one-day meeting/seminar/thinktank to this place run by the St. Petersburg College. There we spent the day learning about what we do, what every person in our company does, and most importantly, what do we do as a company - where we stand in the market, what our core competencies are etc, and how to brand our company. We formed small teams and worked on similar projects for 30 minutes and made charts, designs, and collages on whiteboards. Everything was documented and by Monday, we'll be able to see it all online. All in all, a pretty fun day where a lot of the employees, including myself, learnt a lot more about the company, especially what everyone else in the company thinks about the company.

Last night at 11:45pm I was about to head to bed when Linda 'n Brian called me. We went to AppleBees and two hours later I had downed six Long Island Ice Teas (my favorite drink ever) and pretty much passed out on Brian's couch. Alcohol is good for you once in a while. I woke up @ 11am feeling pretty normal and came home to get clean.

I'm going over back to Brian's now and then we're gonna go jetskiing :) It'll be my first time ever. God I love Florida! The weather is gorgeous and every other car has a boat towing behind it. Looks like I'll 99% get the house I like and hopefully I'll move in by June end unless some major problems occur. Crossing my fingers that everything goes well, in two months you'll be seeing a lotta pics of the new bunker, well it's more like a tiki. Yeah, that sounds corny enough for it to be cool - The tiki :-P

Mon, 7th Feb '05, 11:15 pm::

God I miss the bunker :( You can take the boy outta the bunker but you can't take the bunker outta the boy... I dunno. I have a nice 1000 sq.ft fully-carpetted apartment and I still yearn for a 8x10 sq. ft. room underground in Jersey. It was seriously soooo cosy!

Thu, 10th Jun '04, 2:10 pm::

Coming back to aunt's home has been a very different experience for me. During the last year in the bunker, I made my own rules and times. Now I gotta live by the house times - wake up at 7, go to bed at 11. While I lived here before for over two years, I don't think I can ever feel comfortable living at home again. I need my own place. Once you've discovered the freedom of living alone, I think you are spoiled for the rest of your life. Thankfully for me, I'm gonna get my own place in 2 days. Till then I'm back to being a 10 yr old baby eating dinner at regular dinner time instead of midnight.

Mon, 31st May '04, 12:55 pm::

The bunker is no more. I've setup myself at my aunt's house for 2 weeks and then to Florida. Went to Atlantic City with family last night. Lost $30 but had a lot of fun. Now I know why Donald Trump is so rich. Hehe. Anyways, I have so much packing/unpacking to do before I get to St. Petes.

Fri, 28th May '04, 9:00 pm::

I'm listening to old Beatles hits sipping Smirnoff Ice - Green Apple. Celebrating my last few hours in the bunker :( I wish my friends were on campus.

In Memory Of The BunkerFri, 28th May '04, 11:05 am::

In Memory Of The Bunker: I'm getting sentimental thinking about tonight as the last night in my bunker. It's been just over a year living here and so much has happened. All those long nights I spent working or studying. All those movies and TV shows I saw alone. All those movies I saw with my friends. It's all coming to an end. People don't realize how comfortable the bunker makes me feel. It's my home away from home away from home :)

Of course, now that college has ended, life's gonna change drastically. No more midnight pizzas from La Familia and no more pasta at Gerlanda's. No more skipping classes to go back and sleep in the bunker. No more waking up late for a meeting at work (well hopefully). No more seeing my friends every day :( I didn't cry when my last class ended. I didn't cry when I graduated. But I'll definitely cry when I leave my bunker. Such sweet fond memories.

It's a tiny 10x8 sq. ft room that has taught me how to live independently. The bunker taught me how to enjoy my life when nobody's around to enjoy it with me. From movies and TV shows to little hobbies like paper-cutting. The bunker taught me how to be clean, organized, and prioritize my chores. The bunker taught me how to make baked potatoes and alfredo pasta in microwave. Those nights of drinking hot chocolate with Horlicks, they will be missed. So will those days when Arthur or Mason would come over to watch The Family Guy or South Park with me. Or the times when I studied for annoying computer exams with Linda. Or the Pulp Fiction movie with Jeannette. So many memorable days the bunker saw.

I learnt how to make my special Maggi-Macaroni mix in the bunker. I made great friends with my landlady - Sunny. And above all I realized it's not the size of the bunker but the space in my heart that matters. I know it's pretty childish to call my basement room a 'bunker' but now all my friends and even family members call it the same. To you I might sound like a blooming idiot referring to my place as the bunker, but my friends are so used to it, they ask me all the time if I'll be at work or at "the bunker?" Ha.

It's unusual to associate yourself with a place so simple and plain. But that's the beauty of it. I moved into a tiny room with no furniture and I made it my home. And tonight I leave it. Oh the sorrow...

Thu, 27th May '04, 11:55 pm::

I can't believe tomorrow is my last night ever in the bunker :(

Wed, 26th May '04, 11:50 pm::

Finally went to Michele's house today and chilled with her and Arthur. She cooked for us! That's an absolutely surprise cuz she's the laziest person I've ever met. Hehe. Anyways, I have just a few more days in the bunker so I better spend some quality time sleeping it off.

Tue, 18th May '04, 11:45 pm::

Today is the one year anniversary of moving into my bunker :) Here's to one amazing year in a tiny little place that has provided me shelter for months and many a peaceful days. Oh bunker I love thee like thou art a palace for the richest of the kings :) And coincidentally just today I got a call from the manager of my new apartment in Florida! Hopefully everything's gonna work out now *crossing my fingers*.

Thu, 25th Mar '04, 11:00 pm::

Having a nice boring Thursday night at my bunker. Don't feel like going out or anything. Guess I got myself some "me-time" to relax and stop stressing about everything. Don't have any homeworks, projects, websites, exams, or any commitments. Never felt so relaxed :)

Fri, 19th Mar '04, 12:00 am::

I've been reading interesting material on psychological acoustics, physical and granular sound synthesis, real-time DSP for audio, and almost anything else related to generating sounds. My research topic is synthesizing the sound of footfall on snow, sand, and wooden surfaces. If you don't hate Java Applets (or better yet have Java Web Start), you can check it out for yourself and let me know if it sounds anything like sand or snow. I'm sure everybody's going to agree that the boardwalk sounds almost real. The sand is pretty decent too but I still gotta work a bit more on my snow :) Not a big problem because I got plenty of it right outside my bunker.

My biggest problem now is of course trying to render the sounds of water. Liquid sounds are pretty damn difficult to simulate.

Fri, 12th Mar '04, 3:15 pm::

Today's one of those days when everything is bright and clear. Been pretty good so far. Got a lot of important paperwork done. Then delivered a presentation for my Financial Economics class that was praised by the professor. And then cometh the news that maketh the day: My new lease on life - I just signed a contract with my future landlord (from June 1st) for this BEAUTIFUL ground-floor apartment that is even closer to my work! I rented out the whole ground-floor of the house and here's what I'm getting: A living room, bedroom, separate kitchen with tons of cabinets, full bathroom, my own backyard (!!!!), two closets, private entrance, and a nice study desk. The place is aboue 600 sq. ft. and a married couple currently lives there. I went last night to check it out and absolutely fell in love with the nice carpet and clean walls. Hey I'm going to be graduating and I can't live in shambles anymore.

While the rent at $650+ is quite high in absolute terms, considering the amount of space and facilities I am getting, this place is a steal. Right now I'm paying $500+ to live in a place that's one third the size of my new apartment. While I love my current place (it's great for a student), I do realize after I graduate in May, as a full-time employee, it'll feel quite odd living in a tiny bunker (which I still love!)

Anyways, I barely have enough furniture for one tiny room so moving into a full apartment is gonna require some serious shopping. Sneh and Michele have both separately decided to customize my humble abode. I just hope my place doesn't turn into a fusion between hip-hop and garba.

Fri, 30th Jan '04, 6:30 pm::

I just spent 30 minutes walking on the snow for no apparent reason. Well there's a reason and I'll explain that later. Last 24 hours have been extremely blog-worthy. I don't remember so many different things ever happening within such a short duration. Almost every problem I had yesterday seems possible to solve now. Yesterday I went to the Goldman Sachs Internship Presentation on campus. Between 6:30 and 8:30, I got a good overview of what working in the corporate world after getting out of college could be like. While I was quite intimidated in the beginning during the DVD presentation, later after talking to the recruiters, things seemed a lot more homely. Goldman Sachs is one of the largest investment banking firms in the world and being a Computer Science and Economics major, I could either join the Technology sector or the Banking sector of the company. Obviously I'm leaning towards the tech side.

After talking to a few people from different divisions, I met with the Technology guy, who talked to me for about 25-30 minutes. While they were looking for 2nd and 3rd year college students to intern at GS over the summer, he said if my background is strong enough, I could be considered for a full-time position. At the end, I gave him a copy of my resume (or MS Word) and after getting back to my bunker, emailed him a copy just-in-case. Today I got an email from him saying I need to be more descriptive in my resume and explain which platforms and languages I used for which systems/applications. Here's a tip he gave me: "When applying for Tech-jobs, don't pay attention to the 1-2 page limitation because we want to hear EVERYTHING that you know." So now I'm going to release an Extended Edition of my resume and send it over. I wish I had read these resume tips before.

While waiting in line to talk to him for 30 minutes, another interesting thing happened. This cute 18yr old Russian girl standing behind me started talking to me. While she seemed really nice and all, in my head I kept saying "don't be distracted by a girl - you are here for a job!" After 15 minutes of polite small-talk though, she said she loved computers and wanted to get into the Technology field ever since she was a child. She doesn't party a lot and would rather read a good book or go to a museum instead. That's when sirens went off in my head. Whoa there lady! You're young, pretty, quite intelligent, like to learn new things, AND love computers? That's a first one I have to admit. During my talk with the Tech guy, she stood right by me and she asked a few questions herself. Afterwards we walked out together, she took my cell# and AIM screenname. I'm not sure if she'll ever call or IM me, but hey at least it was an interesting incident. Maybe I'll run into her on a bus sometime. But for now, all I know is her first name is Ally.

Three days ago after reading some whiny British students say how hard it is to pay tuition fees of £1,125 a year, I posted on Fark that my debt is so much more than them and the job market doesn't look good at all. After reading my post, someone emailed me to say he's hiring people with C++ experience in Texas. Now my first reaction was "haha funny" but I emailed him my resume anyway and today got a phone call from his Human Resources Dept. I have a phone interview this Monday at noon. Till about one hour ago, I wasn't too keen on this deal, till I Google'd the guy's name. That's when I got a little shock. Unless the guy who emailed me has an identical twin living in the same city and doing the same tech work, I think he is someone quite quite famous. A little bit of Googl'ing showed that he wrote this chat software and sold to Apple for $25 million! So let's see if it's the same guy or not.

And finally I met with my research advisor Prof. Dinesh Pai and he suggested a few things I could do. One of the topics I liked was sound synthesis. That is why I walked on the snow for 30 mins. Prof said that I could find a way to generate the sound that is made when a person walks on the snow. Right now when movies and video games have people walking, it's mostly recorded sound. What if I could write a software that automatically simulates the sound based on a few conditions like the type of shoes, thickness of the sole, weight of the person, amount of snow (or sand, gravels, pebbles), and the type of surface like wood, cement, concreate etc.? Well if I can actually do it, that would be awesome. Now I have about 3 months in which I can either do it or fail trying. I think I'll do it. I'm optimistic.

So that ends the eventful 24-hours. Now I wait for a few hours and will prolly go to the bars with Kat. Haven't seen her for a loooong time now.

Fri, 16th Jan '04, 12:05 am::

Jello (or Jelly in India) never tasted soooooooo good. God knows after how long I made jello. Probably 7-8 years. But the funniest part is, I don't have a fridge. I simply bought a $1 jello packet, poured it into a bowl of warm water and put the bowl (with a plate on top for cover) in a tiny little window in my bunker. Fast forward four hours and we have the most perfect jello ever! Temperature of normal freezers is about 5F and that of fridges is 35F. It's 2F outside right now. Of course the jello is well set :)

It's little things like these which make life fun. Well little things and 930GB of hard drives :-P

Fri, 19th Dec '03, 7:00 pm::

So sadly my hard drive deal was NOT honored :( Turns out it really was a typo and well nobody wants to sell a 120GB HDD for $60. So instead I ended up buying four Seagate Barracuda 160 GB drives from NewEgg, which will give me about 480 GB of storage under RAID 5 for $580. And seeing as how I'm already buying non-stop, I went ahead and purchased another one of those wonderful Princeton Graphics Senergy 981 19" LCDs for $890 from PC Nation. Let's recap: $90 RAID-card + $1 Mic + $33 Mouse + $70 Headphones + $580 HDD + $890 LCD + $16 Shipping/Tax = $1680 within 24 hours on computer stuff that I could have lived without!!! Why? Don't ask me. I have too much money. Just kidding.

Actually, all of this is simple investment. If I stick to slow old systems and never bother to upgrade, the quality of my work remains stuck to the same level. If I have my own RAID 5 setup, I can put on my resume someday that I have the skills to setup a RAID architecture. Of course, having a redundant half-TB storage means that unless my whole bunker gets flooded I don't really have to worry about losing my data anymore. Obviously a decade of data is more important than a few hundred dollars. I've already had three major data loses this year and can't tolerate more. I couldn't work for over 3 weeks due to these and that's a big productivity loss. Dual monitors increase productivity and wireless optical mice just plain rule. I don't really NEED noise-cancellation headphones but trust me it's worth it when I think about the peace it will give me no matter where I am. I will be able to study better in library and student center, I will sit peacefully on the bus rides, and I will transcend into a blissful state of oblivion while I write my precious code. This sure is going to be the best personal computer ever.

Thu, 20th Nov '03, 2:30 am::

Tonight's midnight movie in the bunker was Citizen Kane. I'd always heard how great it was and tonight I saw it. If you've seen it, you know what this word means: 'Rosebud.' Wonderful movie and frankly there's not much I can say about it that hasn't been said before. I found this analysis of Citizen Kane with respect to the Beatle's song, Glass Onion that explains why this script succeeds. Larger than the movie, is the man himself, Orson Welles, who plays Citizen Charles Foster Kane. I first found out about Welles when I downloaded the full audio for the War of the Worlds without knowing what it really was. The October 30th, 1938 radio broadcast of the War of the Worlds was one of the greatest hoaxes of all times that led to instant mass hysteria. After his radio career, Welles moved on to make films like Othello, Lady from Shanghai, Jane Eyre, and of course Citizen Kane.

One of the actresses who was in Citizen Kane and Jane Eyre, was Agnes Moorehead. She got her break in Citizen Kane as the young Kane's mother. I remember her, not from any famous movie (nor as God), but as Endora from Bewitched. Who knew she was born in 1900!

Sun, 26th Oct '03, 3:45 pm::

Lotsa cool stuff happening lately. This morning I went home for some good family time and to celebrate Diwali. Had some lunch and my cuzin Sneh drove me back to my bunker. Yeah! Sneh drove me over. My... how times have changed.

Last night had dinner with the Mich (hadn't seen her in weeks). While we sat there waiting for our calzones, five of her sorority girls decided to join us. Two mins into their girly talks and I realized I am SOOOOOO lucky that I'm not in a sorority. Well, I mean, I'm so glad I'm a guy and don't have to enagage in girly talk all the time... "Oooooo he was soooo hot..." and "So I was having cramps..." Urgh. Hehe. But it was funny as hell. Makes me realize there's more to life than studies, work, and movies. Like you know, gossip.

Fri, 24th Oct '03, 11:00 am::

Last night, I saw Kill Bill - most definitely the most violent movie that I've EVER seen and yet it felt as clean as Bridges of Madison County. This morning, I woke up from a series of weird dreams centered in exotic locales about leathally skilled assassins. The last dream was pretty interesting - I was in a casino around this special table with an LCD screen. Everyone who sat around the table had their name on the screen. The computer would pick one of the players and assign them a random task. If they complete it, they get money or lose the bet otherwise. Players would join and leave tables nonchalantly. The computer had a profile on every player, so instead of this being a game-for-money, it was a game to show off one's skills. The Japanese lady next to me and the Russian, took some mahjong tiles and played with them like Michael Moschen would. Everyone around the table was wow'ed by her skills. Then the Russian's name came up on the screen and I wondered if the computer would ask me to write an algorithm for shortest-path-between-two-nodes instead of juggling samurai swords. And then my alarm rang and I woke up. From SUCH an awesome dream! THIS is what Kill Bill did to me. I kept thinking about it for the whole night.

Actually not just Kill Bill, after that I saw Pulp Fiction with Jeanette in the bunker. I feel kinda dumb cuz I didn't understand major parts of the movie, like the whole Bruce Willis character. But the movie was still good. Tarantino is my hero. Lately, I've been watching a series of movies by a small number of directors and I realize these are some of the best movies I've ever seen. Coen brothers, Tarantino, Coppola, and hopefully this weekend, Kubrick, for this 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove, starring one of my all time favorites, Peter Sellers. Good times :)

Fri, 17th Oct '03, 7:45 pm::

Anyways, went on a LOOOOOOONG shopping/driving spree with Mason the Mighty. Went to my aunt's store and picked up my new cellphone. Then went to the Indian grocery store right next to it, got lotsa spicy and oily (just kidding) Indian food. Mason did his best to embarass me in front of all the sweet 50 yr old Indian ladies. Imagine a big strong 6'1" semi-bald white guy trying to pull a Sushmita Sen by swinging his hips and shaking his head to the beats of Mehboob Mere from Fiza. Yes. I can NEVER go to that place again without all the ladies at the counter laughing at me. Hehe! On to my aunt's house, I finally met my cuzins after almost a month. I've been busy with exams and work; haven't been able to see them at all. I finally picked up my winter clothes :) Then off to Walmart to buy myself more crap I don't need. Probably spent over $100 today for no reason whatsoever (well other than living well).

On the way back to the bunker from Walmart, Mason told me how he admired his best friend Dee the most in the world when it comes to personality. And added he admired me the most when it comes to intelligence and do-it-yourself-attitude. I said thanks but what did he mean by do-it-yourself? He answered that he respected the fact that despite being giving everything a man could ask for in life, I decided to build it all on my own. I had previously told him how my dad gave me a car @ 18 (though I could not drive, or rather, was too scared to) and how my aunt and uncle have done their best to help me get a good education here and still want me to leave my bunker and go back to live with them. He said, "if there was ANYONE else in your place, he would have taken the car at 18 and that good job at your dad's friend's company, or still lived in that awesome house with your aunt - but you do not. Because you want to make everything on your own, with your own efforts, and I respect that." While that made me feel like I just got a phone call from the Nobel Institute, it made me realize how much his interpretation of my life conflicted with my understand of it. To him, it was an admirable thing for me to give up what was given to me so that I can make it on my own. To me, it seems like I have forever been ungrateful to anyone who gives me anything lovingly. Many times I wonder if this whole "I-want-this-I-want-that" attitude will take me away from what the most important elements in life are - family, friends, love. I don't know the answer, but I'm intimidated by its potential ill-effects. Yet I am enticed by the glory it offers. And once again, all I can say with certainity, is that the answer lies somewhere in the middle, balanced, normalized.

Sat, 11th Oct '03, 12:45 pm::

Went to see Kathleen yesterday. Stayed till like 10pm and felt sleepy. She drove me to my bunker and then I wasn't sleepy anymore. So I finally saw The Godfather - Part I. Well I kinda feel guilty right now, cuz I fell asleep after about 1 hour. The movie was as good as I expected, just that I really was too sleepy to see it. Will finish it tonight or sometime next week.

Well yesterday's song for the day was "Girl from Ipanema" by Frank Sinatra. Derek said the original version by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto was even better. And oh my it sure is. It's an eerie feeling sitting in my desk listening to this song. For some reason, everytime the girl sings, her voice comes from the speaker behind me and not front and side. It's beautiful yet chilling.

Right now doing some work, listening to A. R. Rahman songs. One thing I have to admit, if you have a nice dolby system setup, like me :), then Rahman's songs are the BEST thing you can listen to. I have thousands of songs, from Western Classicals to Oldies to latest Hip Hop / Rap and from Indian Oldies to Bollywood hits; nothing beats Rahman in quality, fidelity, and calmness. Listening to Roja right now. Loving every second.

Tue, 23rd Sep '03, 10:25 pm::

Things are getting busy now. Class, work, et al. Anyways my cell phone plan ended last month and I need to buy a new phone. I'm pretty sure I'll go with Nokia 3595 unless someone suggests anything in the next 12 hours. I need a sturdy web-enabled phone that will work in my bunker. This phone's got more power and memory than a 286! Hehe...

Got a lot of homework to do now.

Fri, 19th Sep '03, 11:00 am::

Between the SAC and Frelinghuysen Hall, facing the Raritan is a tiny slope with lush green grass. Often between classes, on long tiresome days, I go down the slope half-way to catch a breath. It's one of those rare spots that everyone has seen before but no one really knows it's beauty. Located in the tiny corridor between two buildings, it's one of the windiest sites around New Brunswick and this secret belongs to me. It's right next to a busy campus bus stop - isolation amidst the congregation. Last night after my hard drive died, there is exactly where I wanted to be.

After I was sure that the drive was dead, I turned off my computer, got out of my bunker, and decided to wait outside in the storm for Cigir. She came after a few minutes, I told her what happened, and how I just didn't feel like going indoors at the moment. So we walked across College Ave. campus and headed for the river-front. I showed her the slope and spoke highly of its wonders. She thought I wasn't serious but just after sitting down for a few moment, she knew what I meant. "It was a dark and stormy night..." and now I felt much better. We walked down to the little park on the river-front, no one else in sight. The wind was roaring and all of a sudden, a cloudburst hit us. There are these tiny fake huts with benches where people sit on sunny Sundays afternoons to read a book. We huddled there simply to shield us from the rain. I was shivering. Not wanting to fall sick, we briskly walked back to my bunker to dry off. Indoors was comforting again.

It was pretty cold inside too (the bunker's air conditioner is always on) and what better way to get instant warmth than a little Vanilla Twist? Three shots and I was already slurring. It had stopped raining, we went outside. It rained again, we came indoors. It was the perfect weather. Like the time in Digha when I was around six years old. I remember the palm trees in the distance, bending dangerously low in the wind, someone in the background calling me indoors. I was out in the balcony with my eyes fixated, knowing that any moment now one of the palms was going to snap. The weather was like that last night in New Brunswick.

Wed, 17th Sep '03, 10:40 pm::

Gotta love my university's President. First he got robbed at the liquor store 2 blocks from my bunker and now he got drunk and backed into someone's car. This is what I posted on Fark: "Wow I can't believe my univ's Prez. is a real human who makes mistakes. Sure, this was pretty dumb of him. I can't wait till he sends the whole university another email. After the mugging he sent a very solemn email. What's it gonna be this time - oops I farked up? Oh and kids don't drink 'n drive!"

Anyways, I got some good news that the hurricane's changed its path and will most probably miss NJ. Phew.

Tue, 16th Sep '03, 12:30 pm::

So yesterday I was a little worried about Hurricane Isabel. Now, I am HELL-OF-A-LOT worried! See the two pictures here: satellite relief map and predicted path. While the center is still quiet far from NJ, it can easily veer towards us and if it does, things are gonna get very very wet. While everyone in college wants a Friday off, I'm just hoping my bunker doesn't get flooded. Maybe I'm overreacting, cuz I know my landlord has a decent sump pump but still, this is my first hurricane and I am NOT looking forward to it. Why am I so scared? Let's just say the hurricane storm itself is bigger than all of Texas! That's like 1/5th the size of India probably. And I don't want the bunker to turn into the jacuzzi. Oh well, gotta get back to work.

Mon, 15th Sep '03, 5:10 pm::

It's been a long time since I blogged. So what am I upto. Studies, work, select friends, and books. Ah books. Growing up, I used to devour the books my dad read, mostly works by Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, and John Grisham. After I discovered computer manuals, help files, and FAQs, my interest in books dwindled. Last semester I took a class that got me interested in books again - Trauma & Literature; albeit a very different genre of books. This weekend I completed a book I'd been reading for over 2 months, Everyone's Burning by Ian Speigelman. Now I'm reading Andre Dubus' House of Sand and Fog.

This being the senior/final year, most of my friends are busy with their classes/homework so it's hard to hang out with them. Moreover, I have evening and night classes and work during the day. While it's great for me, since I get enough free time for studies, work, sleep, and just relaxing, it's hard to meet up with people and chill. I see Arthur every other day, just to chill, since he has a lot of free time in-between his classes. He gave me a ride to my aunt's house to pick up some of my client's mail. Then we went to an Indian food store and I bought some maggi for him. One by one I'll get all my friends addicted to it. And while my friends are gonna get fat eating Maggi, I have healthy lunches - today I had some good Chinese fried rice with tofu and vegetables. Since I have enough money to buy me mostly any food on/around campus, I have to be really careful with what I eat, especially if I get sick, there is nobody to take care of me on a daily basis. So I watch what I eat, but then people start thinking I'm on a diet. Look what Kathleen just said online with regards to my memory and eating habits: "You're an elephant with an underweight disorder. I'm calling you my anorexic elephant friend." But then just 2 hours ago I was with Cher eating some yummmmmmy french vanilla icecream, though only a single scoop.

I knew food would become a slightly bigger part of my life once I started living alone and well it has. I care a bit more about what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat. But I never though cleaning would become anymore important. It is. I dust my room every other day and clean my bathroom once a week. What's my point? I'm turning 23 in 2 weeks, and finally I'm acting like one. No more excess drinking, eating, sleeping, working. No extremes - I'm becoming 'Fair and Balanced'. Hehe.

Anyways, my studies going on good. I have homework due tomorrow, on Wednesday, and on Monday. I already did the stuff for next Monday! Well simply cuz it's computer graphics and something that I absolutely love. Homework for tomorrow and Wednesday is pretty interesting too - mostly programming with a few question/answers. Nobody likes to do homework, but this is the first time I don't absolutely hate doing my homework - mainly cuz it's not repetitive or boring, rather interesting and creative. And as usual, my work's going awesome. I got one website to complete as soon as possible and got a new project for my university that I just started this morning.

Everything's going decent in my life right now, EXCEPT the weather. It's September and raining here as if it's the monsoons. Now I have nothing against rains, in fact love them. However I live 10 feet below the earth in well-sheltered bunker. I can survive a nuclear blast but I don't think I can easily survive Ms. Isabel - a Category 5 hurricane that could hit the US East Coast quite hard in a week or so. If by some misfortune the Raritan River in New Brunswick floods all the way to Easton Avenue (my home), I have no idea what I'll do. I'll probably move all my stuff (and trust me I have a LOT of stuff) out to the first floor of our house but it'll be a lot of work. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Sun, 7th Sep '03, 8:05 pm::

It's been long since I blogged. Off late, I don't feel like talking much. Things are fine, college has started, work is great as usual. My friends are back again and it's good to run into an old acquaintance once in a while. I went on a long walk around the campus with Cigir today and came to my bunker and watched a few episodes of South Park. Life's going good I guess. Nothing to complain, nothing to get excited about. Same old stuff, you know. This is the calm before the storm of mid-term starts in 2 weeks I guess. It's back to work and classes early tomorrow.

Sat, 5th Jul '03, 12:45 pm::

Last night I barely saw the fireworks. Cuz well I was driving and as usual, got lost - this time, in the infamous Jersey City at midnight. Yeah, don't do this. Ever. Phew I'm just glad I made it back. Took me over 2 hours to get back home. But it's not because I'm a bad driver or anything, but mainly cuz all the exits to the Jersey Turnpike were closed for some reason and we (My cuzin Sneh, her friend Vic, and myself) had to drive allllll over Jersey City before we made it home. But hey, the fireworks were definitely worth it. We saw 3 different displays for about 25-30 mins and I got to drive for over 6 hours!

This morning my aunt left me back @ my bunker. I miss living @ home. I swear! And I know this sounds really corny but my aunt is definitely the best aunt ever :) I am literally her son. I love her sooooo much. I talked to her for a while and then I became all homesick. So I called up my parents and talked to them. And my rich diamond-jewelry-buying sister. Yeah she just bought herself more jewelry, kinda like this. Damn rich people! Hehehe...

Anyways, now I SERIOUSLY have to work. No, SERIOUSLY. So ya, no 'blogging for a while.

Sat, 28th Jun '03, 5:40 pm::

Last night was one of those nights that you wanna remember all your life. Last night was one of those nights that is really hard to recall cuz you were soooooo wasted. Of course it wasn't THAT crazy but still, for a guy who spits out SQL for a living, it was pretty good. So after work ended @ 4:30, I came home, did some work, and fell asleep. At about 11pm, Michele came to campus - we were supposed to go to her sorority party on Morrell St., just a few buildings away from where I work. It's funny how I can work all day in one building and lose myself while drinking in another one close by.

First thing she said when she came into my bunker is 'Wow! You really DO live in a room with a bathroom attached!' What can I say, it's a tiny room in the basement. Anyways, we went to her sorority house and I started with a glass/mug/cup/whatever of beer. Now I HATE the taste of beer - honest to God it's icky. Since she had to drive home, she wasn't drinking and laughed when I made weird faces while sipping beer. I wasn't enjoying the drinking at all. She said, "you wanna try the girly drink?" Being the pretentious macho guy that I am, I said, "No way!" But all that was required to break down my machismo were her words, "but Chirag, the punch is really really sweet." I was like, "why didn't you tell me before?" I'm afraid one of these days I'm gonna drink liquid lead if someone tells me it's really sweet.

So the punch was basically EverClear and sugar. Yeah EverClear is pretty potent stuff and some people have had extremely bad experiences. But all I kept saying last night was how happy I was and how much fun it was. The party was pretty decent, basically just random ppl huddled inside a basement drinkin 'n playin pong. A few chics were dancing but seeing how this is summer session with relatively few students living on campus, nothing wild really happened. I'm glad though cuz I personally don't like people shouting and acting wild. I like my parties chill and cool :-P

So anyways, after only 4-5 glasses, Michele decided to play Mommy and stopped me. Wah wah! I remember whining her to get me more sweet punch :( Cuz the thing is, if I wanted beer, I could have just got it myself - but well I'm a guy and it's not ok for guys to go anywhere near the punch bucket. So only she could get it for me. I kept telling her I am not drunk and that I can drink a lot more. She did something on her cellphone and told me to talk. Only now do I realize that she had hit the 'record voice-notes' button and whatever I had said is still recorded on her cell. If I was any smarter, I'd have realized she was playin' with me and hit the stop button or smething. Instead I just kept babbling on and on. Anyways after drinking that yummy sweet punch, I got extremely hungry. I think my words were, "I WANT PIZZA" and she laughed. Next thing I remember is taking out my wallet and realizing I didn't have enough cash. I asked the guy if they take credit cards for small amounts and they didn't. It took me a while to go through all my change and pony up the $5 or so. I slowly staggered on to a table and from then on, all I remember is smiling. Michele said somethings, I said something, but frankly, it's all a blur. Next thing I remember is waking up at 6am!

I woke up with no hangover whatsoever :) EverClear is awesome! Of course I don't wanna make it a habit but it's good stuff. Hehe. Once in 2-3 months is good enough for me. I did some work and wrote a loooooong email to my dad after I woke up. Went shopping with my buddy Mason and bought myself LOTSA cool food stuff :) Once again, Mason has got to be one of my coolest buddies, esp. with his bald head 'n glasses. Ya, he cut his hair so short that he's practically bald. HAHA. God he's gonna eat me for breakfast when he finds out I'm making fun of him on my 'blog!

Life is beautiful...

Thu, 19th Jun '03, 6:30 pm::

As I walked into my bunker after picking up some food, my landlady Sunny, commented, "You are the only busy person in this economy." I'm still deciding whether it's a GOOD thing or not.

Mon, 16th Jun '03, 11:30 am::

I'm such a dork. I'm listening to songs off my hard drive in my bunker AND watching my bunker live on my webcam. I am SUCH a dork. LOL. Totally loving it.

Thu, 12th Jun '03, 2:15 pm::

Me hungry! It seems all I want these days is to sleep and eat! Phew at least I'm still human. Oh and last night's Econ exam was decent. I better get an A in that! Otherwise I'll be real mad @ myself. Art came over to my bunker after the exam and I introduced him to the fine cuisine of the little chinese food place two houses down - "Panda House" - Veg Chow Mein @ its best :)

Mon, 2nd Jun '03, 10:45 pm::

It's not everyday that a 65 year old lady talks to me for 15 minutes and makes me laugh like a best friend since first grade would. My landlady, Sunny, an asian woman (I don't if she's Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese) came down to collect the rent for this month. My bunker is right under her bedroom so sometimes when I play music loudly, I worry if it bothers them or not. I told her to instantly call me anytime my music is too loud. She calmly told me, "Chirag, you need your music. It doesn't matter to us if you play your Indian music, Rap, or Hip-Hop loud, because we have learnt to live with it." There are not too many people like this in the world, people who want to "step into a college student's shoes and look at life their way."

Sometimes I wonder what makes some people so understanding. She told me she recognized some song I was playing yesterday and I told her it was Frank Sinatra's "That's Amore." Her husband, Ed, told me when I first signed the lease, that he was a big Sinatra fan too. She admitted Ed sings quite well, but just lacks the "something" that was in Sinatra's voice. So every now and then she sits in front of Ed and his microphone and tells him to "talk to me... sing for me..." I tell a lot of people that I don't really want to live beyond 60. I mean come on, what exactly will I do after I get old? Just sit around and nothing! But just imagining that if I'm lucky, I could end up with someone like Sunny, who can make each day seem like the best day of your life, makes me want to live beyond 100.

Her elder son she said was into Heavy Metal, even had his own band and played guitar really well. But obviously only one in a million makes it big in the music industry. After years of trying to break into the music industry, he ended up being a successful accountant on Wall Street. At his wedding, she told him to cancel the regular wedding-band and instead get his own Heavy Metal band to play the music that he lives for. Her son's friends call her Ozzy-Mom, basically since she told someone her favorite musician was Ozzy Osbourne. Nowadays, she said, some people are calling her Hip-Hop-Ma since she likes listening to the latest music by Eminem and Naaz.

Times change and the only ones happy, are those who change with it. And yet she said "technology is not that good and someday you will realize that only music and nature will bring you true happiness, not checking your email." It's at this point, I guess I differ from her. I'm sure most of you reading this actually side with her but I can't. For me technology is just another aspect of life that brings me pleasure. I'm not writing this 'blog just because I want to write. I'm also writing it because I love writing and instantly sharing what I write with you. And technology is an integral part of it.

I dread the day when I might look at a computer and curse at it that it ruined my life. A lot of people have told me it'll happen someday. I have, of course, cursed at specific softwares on dreadful days, but never have I looked at a computer and thought that it has caused me pain. It's second nature to me. Call me a nerd/geek/whatever but technology brings a form of joy that is unfelt by me otherwise. I'm not an artist, I'm not a creative musician, but I am an innovative programmer. I don't understand how thinking up a new and faster way to access websites is any different from writing a poem, because as far as I know, both bring the same amount of joy to me, first when I create them, and second when others appreciate them.

The cliched saying goes that "Technology is most efficient when it's invisible." I'd like to say that "Technology, once it becomes invisible, is no longer technology at all - it's art; inspring, life-giving, and comforting."

Sun, 1st Jun '03, 4:20 pm::

Just got back to my bunker after a nice weekend with family. We were supposed to go to Great Adventure 6 Flags on Saturday but cancelled it due to rains. Last night we went to Chichi's and today had lunch @ Moghals. Total awesome food. I'm sooooo stuffed right now I can't even eat for the next few weeks! J/k

Oh and I just woke up my mom and wished her Happy B'day! Well it's already June 2nd in India :) So here's another big HAPPYYYYYYYY BIRTHDAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY MOM shout-out to the coolest mom in the world!!!!! I miss her... And what's uncool is that my dad's on a business trip to Delhi and away from her. Oh well... at least my lil sister is there :) Ahhhhhh last year this time I was in India, having sooo much fun.

Mon, 26th May '03, 2:55 pm::

LOTSA stuff has happened in the last few days. I went to the Big Apple with my cuzins Sneh & Priya to meet Purvi :) We went to see Rent on Broadway. I loved the show. Oh and we say the winners/finalists of American Idol - the two guys - Ruben & Clay. Of course then the girls went shopping, tagging me along. I bought Purvi a nice graduation gift - a cute formal dress from Express :) We rented "Kissing Jessica Stein" and went more shopping next day. Last night I went @ my aunt's house and saw "Catch Me If You Can" again. Oh and we all watched the videos from my cuzin Nikita's wedding. Now I'm back in my bunker, working as usual.

Sat, 24th May '03, 3:00 am::

After watching the awesome webcams last night, I just felt like I needed to make something like that for me. And after 10 hours of non-stop coding, I proudly present: Live! from the Bunker :) Webcam! Well it's off right now, but next time you catch me online, ask me to turn it on :) And sorry, this stuff is not for dial-up people. Also there's no sound - only me, jumping and acting crazy at 5-6 frames/second. Nothing THAT great, but well I'm excited about it, cuz I wrote everything myself - from the VB Capture module to the super-fast-uber-tiny HTTP server to the Flash client viewer :) I can go to bed a happy geek now!

Fri, 23rd May '03, 3:00 am::

LiveWave cam is the MOST amazing thing I've seen online in months. It's nothing new - just live webcams of streets and cities, however the quality is simply astonishing. It's real-time hi-q live video and best of all you can actually CONTROL the camera! I just moved the Boston (Logan Airport) camera and actually tracked the path of a car. This is just real cool. Anyway I stumbled upon the site after trying to search for some software online that'll let me do precisely that - stream live webcam videos from my new bunker :) So far, no success personally. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

Oh and I had some yummy classic nachos (ONCE again) for dinner. Michele's friend Suprithi just randomly called up and drove down from Marlboro to see me :) Isn't that sweet!

Wed, 21st May '03, 10:00 am::

Up and working! And for a change, I had breakfast today. Well, not exactly a full-fledged 'breakfast', but if you're me (i.e. someone who never eat before 12-1pm), 4 buttered toasts in the morning, right after shower, is a heavily meal :) God I love my bunker. And my microwave and toaster. And my internet and my 4-speaker surround sound system. And my new body-pillow. And eh... I'm soooooo shallow & materialistic! Goooooooo capitalism :)

Sun, 18th May '03, 1:35 am::

Just got home (aunt's home)! Two pretty cool days. Yesterday (actually Friday) I came here from college and so did my cuzin Purvi from the city. Since Sneh was out to the prom, Purvi and I went to see Matrix Reloaded :) AWESSSSSSSSSOMMMMMEEEEEE MOVIE!!!!!! Go see it. Came home late, chilled with Sneh & her friend Shreena and went to bed.

Next day I bought myself lotsa useless useful junk from Walmart - a new microwave, toaster, body-pillow etc. etc. Spent a hell lot of money on stuff I could live without. But then this is also the stuff that makes life worth living well. Anyways then at 5pm, we all went to see Sagar's dance @ Strand theater - song was "Rangeelo Dholna". Also Sneh coordinated & choreographed a song for little girls - "Woh Ladki Hai Kahan". Both were pretty good. Purvi, Sneh, Shreena, and I left the show early, got home, picked up Sneh's friend Shridhar, and went to Edison Diner.

On the way, I made over 5 wrong turns and even though I always knew where I was (that is I didn't get lost), I kept screwing up the directions. After not driving for over 3-4 months I realize how bad my memory with roads is. I literally forgot routes that I used to go on everyday! Anyways, dinner was pretty good and here I am. Tomorrow, I move to my new place! YAY!

Gotta go to bed early (meaning before 3am) :)

A LOOOOOOOOONG 'blog coming up in a few days - from my new bunker.