February 29, 2008

The most romantic book ever written....

...is Atlas Shrugged. And the best hero that ever was, is or will be: Francisco d'Anconia.

I am sorry but I am re-reading the book and can't help but feel exhilarated. Anyway, I need to do some more work and then I can go back to the book in peace...No time to waste. Ciao.


I don't understand why I always feel a dread whenever I delete all the scraps from my orkut scrapbook. Its actually equivalent to what you feel when you format your laptop. A sense of losing your best friend for some reason. Now with laptop I can understand but why do scraps hold the same position, I don't get. They are just tinie-tiny notes from people who at times are not even your friends (even though they are marked as "Friends" in the Orkut).

May be our hindi teacher was right when she use to reiterate... and reiterate some more:

"मनुष्य एक सामाजिक प्राणी हैं।"
(Man is a social animal.)

May be I am not as anti-social/socially inept after all. Somewhere, I do seek out that social aspect of life...even though its only online.

February 27, 2008

Bless me..

Its approximately 3 in the morning and I finally finished the presentation I have to give tomorrow. I think this will be one of the worst presentation I have ever given. Reason? I am presenting/discussing the two papers tomorrow that are a bit out of my field. Well not exactly. One of the paper is completely out of my field while the other one is something I am starting to work on. And since I am a complete nerd, I can't proceed further unless I understand the basics. So I am stuck on the very fundamental problems like what the hell is difference between Diffusivity and Conductivity (Thermal or Electrical). I know these were supposed to be High School basics but somehow no one around me seems to be able to explain the difference so far. Anyways, since I couldn't get my fundas straight, I am pretty unsure about my presentation. Not to mention the first paper thats completely out of my league.

Anyways, I should probably catch some sleep now....

Update: The presentation didn't go as bad as I thought. Not very good either, just ok types...

February 25, 2008

Personalized Religion...

Believe it or not, you can have your very own personalized religion. Try out this site. You can have your own religion, your very own "Commandments" in your hand! According to NYT, thats the latest trend in the religion sphere. Though they didn't mean this site but yeah something similar.

I didn't know that religion is a form of fashion too! How very interesting! So what is the God wearing these days? Black?

February 23, 2008

My Roses...

Nevers # 2: Validation

This one is for all the Mr. Fix-its and Ms. Optimistics'. I understand you are the cheery lot and want everything to be fine ("Fine" being the operative word here) but the rest of us don't want to be in denial. And if someone close to you, tells you about how bad his/her day was or how upset he or she is, its not because they can't handle their problem and need you to fix it, neither do they think that they are no good. All they need at that point is VALIDATION of their feelings/emotions.

We complain because we feel. We have emotions and we don't deny them. And as far as I am concerned, its healthy to be upset, angry or just sad. Not everything is fine, if I am hurt and I need to acknowledge that and may be even grieve a bit. And the job of a friend in those times is to validate those emotions and not come up with the solutions for problems or tell us to move on even before you finish telling them the whole story.

And please, don't start up with all those motivational crap, you know, the ones that says that you can either face your troubles with a smile or with a slump and blah blah blah. Seriously, they used to sound great when I was a teenager. I could afford to be in denial then. Not anymore.

I once read this somewhere:

Painful feelings that are expressed, acknowledged and validated by a trusted listener will diminish.

Painful Feelings that are ignored will gain strength.

So please, next time a friend starts complaining, don't hush them. Listen and validate. Sympathize, be a bit dishonest, if needed (you can be honest at a later occasion when they are less vulnerable). Just acknowledge the fact that its ok for them to be upset. It helps. A lot.

February 21, 2008

Still Practicing...

Just practicing..

Well now the implications of me having a graphic tablet is sinking in, huh? Well someday, I will have more control on this media. Till then bear with me. :)

February 20, 2008


As if I didn't have much to do with all my classes, research, Kenpo Karate,Photography and writing blog, I just got the graphic tablet I have been yearning for so long. Well my advisor gave everyone in our group a $100 gift card (Stanford Bookstore) for the New Year. I haven't been able to figure out what to do with that till today. I was browsing through the Bookstore's computer section and saw this baby. So now I have it. I wasted past half an hour trying to have some command on it and the final product is:

Yeah yeah, you can laugh now but one day I will have command over this thing, then we will see who is laughing. :)

February 19, 2008

You can do it...

Heard at a wedding:

Vighaneshwarayaa hridayaa sukhayaa prayaa you can do aa dusharyaa om shanaam bhavatooo...

Yep. It was a fake Wedding. It was on one of the TV sop. Well, it started with the main characters attending a Hindu wedding, which are supposed to be, by the way, very romantic.

I can imagine poor guy, who was playing the priest, was pretty nervous when he made up the above mantras. But it was definitely entertaining for me... :)


Ok, sorry for this little break but I had been sick for the long weekend (so much for the anticipation). Don't worry about it. I am fine now.

Anyway, call me crazy or something but I have been missing work for these past few days. I really want to go back to work. Weird, huh?

Anyways, I am back. And I will be back to my usual work schedule tomorrow. Life will be good again. :)

February 15, 2008


I am not sure why but I can't make myself work today. May be its just the Friday before the long weekend (Monday is a holiday: President's day (don't ask..)). I would have gone home but have to go to a party today. A good friend of mine defended today and we have a party tonight!

Anyways, so as I was procrastinating, I came across few completely useless facts that I didn't know. I know you have no interest in knowing them either but again its my space and I can write whatever nonsense I want (Yay to freedom of speech!). So here it is:

Did you know that Friday is last day of weekend in Saudi Arabia and Saturday is the first day of the workday? Weird, isn't it? Do you think you would like Wednesdays more if you lived in Saudi Arabia? Well I am assuming that people, on average, like Fridays more than the weekend itself. Somehow anticipation of a break is better than the break itself...

Did you know that astrologically Friday is connected to Venus which associates it with love, peace and relaxation. Hmmm..now it makes sense why people love to relax on peaceful Fridays? Doesn't it? :)

February 14, 2008

Yet again...

...Valentine's day is here. Though I don't have any reason to complain. I already got flowers..beautiful roses. But some how the falseness of the occasion always puts me off. As a good friend puts it, you don't need an occasion or "date" to tell people you love that you love them. But as Prasoon Joshi (Song "Ladki Kyon" from Hum Tum) puts it...

"Pyar ko chahe bhool bhi jaye, Tarikhe na bhulae"

(You might forget about love but you shouldn't forget the important dates of relationship)

For some reason, we do put a lot of weight on the importance of dates and somehow they become the measure of love in a relationship. Don't you think?

Oh well, who am I to complain..I love my roses. I loved getting them. So everything is fine.

February 11, 2008


...I will be a proud owner of these:

1. Mitsubishi Pajero. Actually for the first time in my life, I met someone who owns a Mitsubishi Pajero. I was really impressed till she started telling difference between the car and truck being: truck has a spare tier at the back and cars don't. Anyway, its an awesome 4X4 drive. I am not sure whether to call it a truck or jeep. The terminology differ from place to place. Here is a video showing how awesome this vehicle is:

2. A Graphic Tablet. I have my eye on this one for sometime now. This is the cheapest Graphic tablet I could find. Its not too expensive but I am on a conserving mode these days.

3. Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic. No introductions needed here.

4. A Cuckoo Clock. Don't ask me why but I have always been fascinated by the Cuckoo Clocks. You can call it childish but I still want to own a Cuckoo clock some day.

I can't think of anything else except a black belt in Kenpo Karate or little more creativity or some extra time to finish all the unfinished projects. I am a person with very few wishes, you see. Why am I putting this list together, you ask? Well I gave my self half-a-day off today. And somehow the train of thoughts came to the things I want to own someday and it translated to a post...Just pampering myself.

Guess what...

...I can walk on the water. And no there is no glass here. Its my feet and the water of Lake Tahoe.

P.S.: Oh ok. I know you don't believe it and looking for a more scientific explanation for the phenomenon. Well, there is one..optical illusion. Nope no post-processing software trick. But very simple on-job trick. I was sitting on the deck above the water with my feet dangling out above the water. There is an air column between my feet and water. :)

I don't get...

...how skiing is fun? You climb up the hill for 5-7 minutes, reach the highest point and then ski down. It takes less than a minute to come down and then again the climb starts. And do you know how heavy those snow boots and skis are? Climbing up the hill with them on, isn't fun. Trust me. Every time I would be coming down the hill, I would be thinking that I would need to climb back up all this way, yet AGAIN. Obviously that takes the fun out of the rush of coming/skiing down.

I don't think I would be going skiing anytime soon but I would love to ride a snow-mobile sometime. Those seem to be so much fun! They seem to be motorcycle-equivalent vehicles on snow. :)

February 8, 2008

Chalte Chalte...

With few minutes left in my watch till its time to leave, I checked the net for a last time and Viola...I found this. Made my entire weekend already. :)

P.S.: Please be advised, Terry has been dedicating a picture a day to the fellow shutter-chancers (Photo-blog site we all use..over the time, a small, nice, well-knit community of photographers has formed. Its great to get their feedbacks on the photographs..) he knows. Today was my turn! :)

February 7, 2008


I am off to a Skip trip this weekend (that starts tomorrow afternoon for me). I am not carrying my laptop there. It will be a nice, peaceful, technology free weekend. But that means no posts for next few days! If I come back in one piece (this is my first time skiing), I should be able resume them by Monday or so. Simply put,

Broken Bones = No Posts.

So pray I don't break any...that is, if you do like to read my blog! I think you do. Well, I hope you do. I would know: if I get broken bones means you don't. Hey, I am getting good at this emotional blackmail stuff...

P.S.: Don't mind me. I am just very excited about my trip!!

February 6, 2008

Indian Call Center

Now this one is funny. Love the sense of humor and guts of this guy.

February 4, 2008

And I did it again...

...I mean I embarrassed my self yet again. How, you ask? Well few days back (sometime in January) I got introduced to a guy who had just joined our Kenpo Karate. Today I met him again in the campus and we started talking. He, unfortunately, remembered my name. As you have guessed it, I didn't. Well let me write down the actual conversation. It will make more sense that way. So it went like..

Me: "Hi!"
Him: "Hi! Richa, right?"
Me: "Yep. Hey you remember it... "

Silence for a few seconds. I was trying to remember his name and after realizing that I don't remember it, I tried to muster the courage to ask again...

Me: "uhh. I am sorry I am really bad with names. I don't remember yours right now."
Him (smiling): "I won!"
Me: "Avin?"

The moment I said that, I realized he said "I won" and not "Avin". He laughed at me for a full minute. Honestly. One whole minute. I was standing right there getting redder by the second. I could actually feel all the blood rushing to my face. Why do I ever open my mouth?

P.S.: Well, he isn't that mean actually. We did talk for a while after that. The "Joke" seemed to ease him up or rather break the ice. I guess I would have laughed at me too, if I was at the other end...

February 3, 2008

The Crowd...

...in China Town. Today they had Chinese Flower Fair in San Francisco's China Town.

February 2, 2008


So I was complaining to a friend in my Kenpo Karate class (she has really good sense of humor) about how I hate driving in rain.

She said, "It can't be worse than my experience. My car roof leaks. I usually wear the rain jacket in the car when its raining. And the water tends to accumulate in small gullies in the roof and when I turn all the water from the roof comes down. So I carry an umbrella in the car and every time I need to take a turn I open the umbrella (yes, inside the car) and then turn. You can't imagine the looks I get from passer-by who happen to look inside the car. And after all this, I am completely drenched when I climb out of the car....And when I have a passenger in the car, I give the umbrella to the poor guy/gal so that they don't get drenched. They laugh all the time they are in the car."

OK, don't ask me how and whats of the roof leaks. All I know is that I haven't laughed so much in a while now. I just can't get the picture of umbrella opened inside the car out of my head (ok don't ask how is that possible either..I didn't ask her anything. I just couldn't stop laughing long enough to ask or respond.). Thought you guys can use a laugh too...

February 1, 2008

Annual Research Cycle

(copyright: Richa. Click on the figure to enlarge)

Ok, I am somewhere in middle of this cycle at the moment. Conference deadlines are in approximately 4 weeks. I NEED to get some work done now. But similar to most of the cycles in nature: major cycles are comprised of similar minor cycles which in turn are comprised of similar micro cycles. That means, I have a similar monthly and daily cycles though the time for procrastination in these minor and micro will be at lower side these days. As the productivity curve increases, the procrastination time will decrease in same proportion. I am not sure its effect on the post's length or frequency..thats one experiment I haven't run yet! You all are witness to this great experiment now.... Congratulations! You have now become a scientist :)...

Friday Panic

Ok currently my situation resembles this comic strip but instead of the end of the day, its about end of the week and starting of a new month. Do you know January is gone? G.O.N.E. = GONE. I had to do so much in this month and I did nothing. Time is such a funny thing. It runs away when you have deadlines and it just doesn't pass when a break is coming up. And I thought Time travels at a constant speed.

(Image from Ph.D. Comic Strip)

Ok I am going back to work...