December 31, 2009

What am I up to…

…these days, you ask? Watching movies and TV serials. After two months of solitary confinement in that hotel room with limited TV channels playing reruns and the slowest possible internet connection, I am back home and seems to be unable to remove myself from front of TV when I am home or keep myself away from a movie theater when I am outside. So far I have watched:image


As well as quite a lot of serials (again a lot of reruns as all the channels refuse to play anything new during the Holiday season: Hate them!) 

I was seriously TV/movie-deprived. I hope I will recover soon and get back in business soon enough. Well I have to. Starting next week, I have to start working on my Thesis and attempt to finish everything by August. It will be a race against time. But that’s still a few days away so let me take full advantage of it!

P.S.: I am planning to watch Nine on the 1st: Starting the New Year with a musical!

Images from:

December 23, 2009

What’s wrong with her?

Honestly! Watch this video. This girl is severely malnutrition and need help. I bet she is anorexic. How is this supposed to be beautiful or hot or whatever they are going for these days? I feel like picking her up (and I think I will be able to do that without any difficulty) and taking her to the emergency ward. She can easily get a role as a holocaust survivor in a World War II movie.

For those of you drooling idiots who don’t know what I am talking about, please watch her arms and her shoulder and see how skin and bones they are. Human body isn’t supposed to be like that!

P.S.: Don’t get me started with her stupid hairs. The least she could have done was, I don’t know, combed them!

December 22, 2009

Tuesday Tag: Mail to Santa

IMG_3216-1So today’s tag is borrowed from PB.  This meme is about what we want from Santa this year.

Before I get into the meme itself, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and yada yada yada. This year I decided to get a Christmas tree of my own for the very first time! So I woke up this morning , went to Target and got the smallest Christmas tree I could find. The decorations you see on the tree (displayed on the right hand side.) are supplied by my room-mate and as I am inexperienced in tree decorating, the result is this ridiculously decorated tree. Please don’t over-analyze it, as I said it was my first time..

Anyway, I have two personal decorations on the tree (Click to enlarge). The first decoration is something I bought a while ago (in 2007 to be precise) and it’s a girl doing karate and on the jacket it says “Richa, 2007”. The second decoration is something I bought today, and as you have guessed, it’s a 2010 graduation decoration. Hopefully, I will be able to make it this year, at least that’s the plan so far. I might have to give up this decoration in case it doesn’t work out.
IMG_3227-1 IMG_3220-1

Anyway, here goes my Santa list:

1. Graduate in 2010: Well this one is obvious and the biggest one on the list. Having a job in hand now, I want to graduate by August 2010 at the latest. This item also includes a smooth sailing for all the other papers required for me to start working including my working visa.

2. Kenpo Karate: Okay as it is a wish list, I am allowed to make wishes, no matter how wild they are, so here it goes: I would like to rejoin Kenpo Karate next year. This would require an elimination or minimization of my back pain which for some reason has come back ever since I landed in San Francisco. But if I could have my wish, I would love to earn my green belt next year. Well at least I can wish!

3. Lenses: As I broke my dearest lens this year, I would like to replace that one (Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Autofocus lens). It was a pretty great lens. I also want to buy a fisheye lens though I haven’t zeroed on one yet.

4. Mom’s visit: I would love to have my Mom to visit me here in Stanford and I am planning to get her here by next summer so that’s not what I am wishing. I instead wish that while her stay here, she enjoys her stay and don’t bring up the whole marriage issue again and again. It will make her visit painful both for her and me. I really wish that she drops the subject and understand that I am old enough to be in control of my own life.

5. More Travel: Well this one will remain a wish for me this year, at least, for the travel outside US, given my visa status and pending thesis. But I will still put it in my wish list! Hopefully, I will manage some travel and some more photographic opportunity.

6. Mac Laptop: I really wish to own a Mac Laptop. For the past one year I have owned this laptop (it’s Vista) I have formatted it three times already. I am fed up with Windows and want to switch to Mac now.

That’s it from me! Once again: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

December 21, 2009

I object... the repeated use of term "Geologist" in this video.

(Video link from:

This is the biggest Geophysicist convention on the planet Earth and it's called American Geophysical Union Fall meeting. Okay, for the argument sake, I agree that we all fall under school of Earth Sciences and we are like cousins. However, you don't see people in AAPG conventions (American Association of Petroleum geologist) declaring themselves as Geophysicist then why do these Geologist have to steal our thunder?

P.S.: Yes I know. I missed NaBloPoMo. I fell sick the moment I hit SFO (San Francisco airport) and haven't had strength to post anything. I didn't browse the net for first two days. I simply slept. I am better now and feel terrible about missing NaBloPoMo. Had I foreseen my illness, I would have scheduled a few posts before hand but... Oh well, I tried. 

December 18, 2009

Maniacal Houston

Today is my last day in Houston. At least for this year. I have to come back here next year. Anyhoo, as I end my two month period here, let me summarize the city, starting with reasons I don’t like this city:

1. Weather:

I should probably start with the fact that I have lived in California (that too in San Francisco Bay Area!) for past 5 years now and hence am a bit pampered. I know there are a lot of places that have worse weather than Houston but as I am not complaining about them but about Houston, I get to complain about the weather.

The biggest problem with Houston weather is that it’s so unpredictable: One day it will be nice and warm and the next day it will be freezing. And the weather doesn’t normally goes by whether it’s sunny or raining. For example, see the weather chart for the first two weeks of December (yes, Dec. 2009). On 5th Dec, it was sunny but it was freezing and two days later the temperatures went up even though it was raining. We had fog a week later and still it was nice and warm. I mean you can’t just look out the window and predict what will be the temperature outside. And just see the temperature range in these two weeks! It went as high as 24 C and as low as –4 C. A 28 degree temperature change in four days!

(img from:

Summers are usually hot and humid. The worst part of summer: It is called Hurricane season! I rest my case.

2. Safety:

I am not sure about the exact statistics of the crime rate in Houston but I can tell you that it’s not a safe city to walk around. People might be safe in their cars and SUVs but for people like us who don’t have that luxury in this city, it is a very ugly place to live in. I won’t get into details with my personal incidents but just as an exhibit, here is the chart of crime risk index of Houston compared to the rest of US:

(Img from:

3. Transport System:

The transport system in Houston basically consists of SUVs and bigger SUVs. Oh there is a bus and train system available in the city but if you love your life, you won’t use it. At least, not after dark.

And talking about cars in Houston: In the two months I was here, I have seen only two Toyota Prius in the city and no Bettles at all. Most of the people living in Houston (at least the ones I have talked to) don’t even know what Prius is? And the moment I mention Hybrid, it’s as if I have uttered a forbidden word! Honestly. Which, actually, takes me to the next complain about Houston.

4. No Recycling:

Houston is one place in US where it is very hard to find any recycle bins. The hotels, office places, malls etc, as a rule won’t have any recycling bins. At home, you would need to make an extra effort to recycle (it wasn't available in the hotel I was staying in). And as I said, no hybrids. Only big, huge cars and trucks. As one of my friend once said: “US is the only country in the world where Honda Civic’s and Toyota Corolla’s are considered as a compact car” . All I can say now: Houston is worse. I wonder if they consider an SUV as a compact car here.

5. Gun/Violence/Hunting:

If you know US, you would know about Southern states: Texas is one of them. If you don’t, well the shortest version I can give you will be this: The American Civil War (1861-1865) was fought when eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the united states and formed the Confederate States of America. The main reason: they (the southern states) were against the abolition of Slavery.

Now you get the picture. well sort of. It is very conservative and, at times, fairly racist place to live in. The Southern states are basically agriculture based states, which means a lot of ranches, cowboys and such. And along with that comes, the right to protect your family: the reason gun industry is flourishing in US. Almost every household has a gun. The kids are taught how to shoot! The boys above the age of 11 participate in hunting expeditions along with their father: they have to learn how to protect their families.

The worst story I have heard so far: the kids in public school are taught about farms and farm animals, which is okay. So as a part of this in one school, they have to adopt a farm animal and take care of their pet for an year. After the year is over they will show their pets in the animal show, after which those “Pets” will be sent to the slaughter house. I was appalled when I heard this. How can they send their pets to slaughter house? How? I DON’T LIKE HOUSTON.

Some neutral points about Texas that might be considered as good (may be):

1. Everything is Big in Texas

Trust me. They mean it! A friend of mine who was visiting me in California (from UK), was shocked to see the size of popcorn buckets there. According to her, everything is huge in US! I can only imagine her jaw dropping to the floor, had she seen the size of Popcorn bucket in Texas. But that’s not the only thing that’s huge in Texas. You should see the apartments and houses. I have already complained about Big Cars. Everything is super sized. And don’t get me started about how everything is a “drive-in” here: ATM’s, Pharmacy, Grocery: you name it. It’s like living in a cage: from home to car, car to office. You don’t need to get out of the artificial environment (namely AC) ever! Oh wait, this is supposed to be a positive point. Sorry I digressed. Oh well, may be it can be a positive point for some people.

2. Prices/taxes

Everything costs less in Texas. And one of the real positive point about Texas: no state income taxes! Especially coming from California (one of the most expensive state in US), it’s a good relief!

Well that’s all I got! I know you guys are not moving to Texas any time soon. I guess this post was for my benefit: getting rid of the frustration of living in Texas. And I can complain now as I am going back to California today! I don’t need to endure this anymore!

P.S.: Whatever you do, don’t remind me that I have to come back here in few months. Let me enjoy this.

December 17, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity

Heard this one recently in a meeting when the speaker was emphasizing on the value of pam_illustrationquality over quantity:

Nine women can’t deliver a baby in a month (Quantity). You need one pregnant lady to deliver a baby in nine months (Quality).

Profound, right? Oh okay, you caught me. I got nothing today and am too tired to research on the topic I have in mind. Plus I have my final presentation for my internship tomorrow (Yipee! I will be back soon!!). So I am not working tonight. Still it isn’t too bad a post. May be you can use it sometime. 

December 15, 2009

55 Fiction: Bitter Success


A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction if it has:

  1. Fifty-five words or less (A non-negotiable rule)
  2. A setting,
  3. One or more characters,
  4. Some conflict, and
  5. A resolution. (Not limited to moral of the story)
  6. The title of the story is not part of the overall word count, but it still can’t exceed seven words.


Bitter Success

All the students were with their parents, after all it was graduation ceremony, except her. She wished her parents to be proud of her, she was a straight-A student, instead of badgering her constantly with marriage proposals. And then her name was called. She walked with a smile, and tears in her eyes.


P.S.: This is my first attempt on (or of, my English sucks) 55 fiction. I am no writer so I will appreciate an honest opinion, otherwise you will have to endure more of these and you will have no one but yourself to blame! Honestly, if you don’t like it, say so before things get ugly.

December 14, 2009

Tuesday Tag: Get to Know Me

… as if I don’t blabber enough. Anyway, i again stole the tag from Shilpa (Man, you have done so many tags Shilpa!).

1. How tall are you barefoot?


2. Have you ever smoked before?

Yes. When I was 10: I was curious why people form this nasty habit. I did find my answer ( I smoked the whole packet as I knew first cigarette won’t answer the question but simply give me a bad taste!) and now stay clear from any habit forming stuff.

3. Do you own a gun?

Nope. Though I will be moving to Texas soon enough, guess I should buy one :D. Jokes aside, I do like shooting (in the shooting range) and by some miracle I am natural at it. My mom says, it’s in my genes (my aunt won state medal in shooting during her NCC or something similar).

4. If you had a mental disorder, what would it be?

Cleaning mania. Again it’s in genes. My mom has one of those..

5. How many letters are in your crush's name?

Eight. I know it’s a long name. The last name is even longer: 12 letters.

6. What's your favorite silly song?

Kya Ada kya Jalwe tere paro (Shastra) and Humko Tumse Pyar hain (Ishq)

(Caution: Really loud. Sorry for bad quality.)


7. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?


8. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?

What’s the time? Oh Crap! I am late.

9. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?

You are asking the wrong girl. If only I could lure the opposite sex or any one for that matter!

10. Do you own a knife?

Of course, I cook.

11. Name the last thing you have bought today.

Lunch: Caesar chicken salad spinach wrap with no cheese.

12. Name five drinks you regularly drink.

Water, milk, freshly squeezed orange juice, coke zero and Mango lassi (in that order).

13. What time did you wake up today?

7:42 AM (according to my cell phone and as I said I was late)

14. What song do you want played at your funeral?

O jaane wale ho sake to laut ke aana (Bandini) {Oh yes, I am coming back as a ghost to haunt few people! :)}

15. What song did you last hear?

Zulf ki chhaon mein (Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon) {I am a big sucker for old bollywood songs and this happens to be one of my favorite so I had it on repetition on my iPod approximately the entire day}

Sorry for the bad quality but this was the only video I could find with the whole song:

16. Favorite place to be?

Anywhere as long as I am with friends.

17. Least favorite place to be?

Any place where I need to make small talks.

18. Do you own slippers?

Of course. Why do they have to have a silly question like this in every meme?

19. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs?

Working, hopefully, in London.

20. Do you burn or tan?

Rarely. I am too dark to do either.

21. Yellow and blue?

I have no clue. (at least it rhymes!)

22. What songs do you sing in the shower?

Changes. Today I was singing this one (although not the full song):

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?

Being poor. Okay this is not connected with night but that was my worst fear as a child. I know that’s completely irrational but for some reason, I always imagined what it will be like to be one of the kids in servant quarters (yes we had those in the university). Some of them worked full time with different families. I always imagined if for some reason, God forbid, something happens and I couldn’t finish my education and find a job, I would have to live like them. And I wasn’t even good at house work then! That would mean I  would actually starve to death or may be I would be one of those kids who beg at the traffic signals. Can you imagine my nightmares?

24. What's in your pockets right now?

Sorry, no pockets!

25. Last thing that made you laugh?

When someone told me that I am overanalyzing the Twilight books and it’s meant for teenagers and not 30 somethings (Ouch!).

26. Best bed sheets you had as a child?

The one with design of newspaper on it.

27. Worst injury you've ever had?

Agree with Shilpa here: A broken heart.

28. Do you wish on stars?

No. They are too fast. By the time I remember the myth, they are already gone. Usually I say: “Look, a shooting star!” By the time I finish that, it’s gone!

29. What were you doing 1 AM last night??

Um, Sleeping.

30. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.

- Should sleep now. It’s getting late.

- 4 more days and my internship will be over. Yippe!!

- I need to pack.

As usual: a free for all tag! :)

The mystery of "A"

I received yet another baby news today. That makes the total of 5 babies among my friends (friends are unrelated to each other: more or less) this year. Coincidentally all of them are boys. Even more surprisingly, all the parents have decided to name their son starting with alphabet 'A'. And that made me realize, though I am not sure if I am over-reacting/over-seeing, but I think majority of Indian parents name their sons starting with alphabet 'A' . And this is not a new trend either.

I remember when I was in school, more than half of boys in my class (whenever I had boys in my class) had names starting with alphabet 'A' : I remember having 5 'Ashish' in our class of 25 in IV grade!

I don't understand why that is? What is the charm of naming their son starting with letter 'A'? Except that they might be one of the first in the roll-call, that is, if the roll call is arranged by the first name. In western culture, they prefer arranging people with their last name so that can't be the reason (most of these parents are residing out of India). So why? What's the charm of alphabet 'A'? Or may be it's just my imagination. After all I haven't done any statistical analysis, it's a mere observation based on my personal experience. May be I am just surrounded by weird people! :)

P.S.: And I think second most popular alphabet is 'V',  followed by 'S', 'P' and 'R'. I think 75-80% of any  class population (boys only) includes the names staring with these five letters. But then again, I haven't done any statistical studies. This is a mere observation.

December 13, 2009

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

Spoiler Warning.

Okay! Finished the series. Whew. Finally! I need to read some classics or may be a science fiction now. What a drama! Honestly. 250px-Breaking_Dawn_cover

I actually liked the plot for the books but I don’t agree with Stephenie Meyer’s writing style. She puts too much drama in the story which, at times most of the times, becomes a drag. And even at the end, she leaves the mystery hanging. I felt that way after the second book and that’s why I eagerly read the third book, just hoping she will explain it but was very disappointed at the way she explained things.

Now, even after reading all the four book, I am not satisfied. Her last chapter is titled: “Happily Ever After” but somehow it doesn’t fit the circumstances. It’s feels like the series ended abruptly. It was very anticlimactic. The drama and tension that she built up in the latter half of the book was never fully removed then how does she claims a “Happily Ever After”? Ugh. I knew this will happen ever since I finished the book two. 

Honestly, this series makes me appreciate J.K. Rowlings and Phillip Pullman even more. It is hard to write a good mystery/myth novel. You have to build up an entire web of myths and intricate your mystery around it.

You simply can’t feed a myth to readers for four books straight, never mention a rebuff till the last pages of the last book. And that too in a passing: devoting only 4 lines for that entire conversation! She has been telling us about werewolves in all of her books and I, as a reader, accepted her loose definition of werewolf to include Jacob Black’s pack. And then in last book during the last stand, she mentions that they are not the Son of the Moon (= Werewolves). Cool! Why not mention it before this then? Why waste pages after pages over the useless moping and nauseating dramas? Why not mention some useful stuffs before hand? It feels like being cheated. She absolutely have no balance between her drama and useful plot lines. She waste pages to elaborate the pain and emotions while forgetting things vital for the plot. And then she remembers them and so she mention those things in passing, giving them 2-3 lines. Hello? Ever heard about balances?

Okay, You get the picture. I am frustrated enraged by Stephenie Meyers writing style. I won’t mop any more. As I said earlier: she does have a witty way of writing. And I like most of her jabs: the reason I could get through the books. Here are few of the funny quotes from the book 4: Breaking Dawn:

- Oh well, I thought to myself. He was a vampire, after all. Maybe we were going
to Atlantis. (Bella wondering where they (Edward and Bella) are going for their honeymoon).

- “Did you know that ‘I told you so’ has a brother, Jacob?” she asked, cutting me
off. “His name is ‘Shut the hell up.’” (Bella to Jacob: Jibbing)

- Instead of being the A/V dweeb about to ask the head cheerleader to the prom, I was the finished-second-place werewolf about to ask the vampire’s wife to shack up and procreate. Nice. (Jacob trying to persuade Bella to give up her current monster child.)

- They are vampires, I guess, Seth allowed after a minute, compensating for Leah’s
reaction. I mean, it makes sense. And if it helps Bella, it’s a good thing, right?
Both Leah and I stared at him.
Mom dropped him a lot when he was a baby, Leah told me.
On his head, apparently.
He used to gnaw on the crib bars, too.
Lead paint?
Looks like it, she thought.
Seth snorted. Funny. Why don’t you two shut up and sleep?

(Leah and Seth are siblings in Jacob’s pack. Seth is sympathetic towards Cullens (the vampires) and trying to argue for them no matter what. This is Leah and Jacob’s reaction for one of such arguments for something repulsive that vampires were doing.)

“Oh well,” I said lightly, relieved that my thoughts were still my own. “I guess
my brain will never work right. At least I’m pretty.” (After Bella turns into a vampire.)

P.S.: My laptop gave me the blue screen of death today morning. Thankfully, it hasn’t died yet. I am working in the safe mode at the moment, trying to back up my data over the net and on the measly pen drives that I have. I will try reformatting my laptop today. Wish me luck! Hopefully I will be back tomorrow. Otherwise, am sorry for missing out on the challenge! :(

December 12, 2009

Harvard Quidditch Team

When I first heard these words today morning, I expected some new aerodynamics model that can enable brooms to fly around while supporting a muggle on it. I was very disappointed to find this instead.

You know it’s not like I am asking too much from a Harvard Quidditch team. I don’t expect violent bludgers or disappearing snitches (not yet anyway!). Just flying brooms. That’s all!

December 11, 2009

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Spoiler Warning.

Okay finished the third book last evening and am already reading the fourth book. Nothing much changed in the plot..well nothing strategic as far as I know. Same old Edward, same old Bella and same old Jacob. Their same old love triangle and same old stupid, juvenile blabbering. I am losing my patience now. If it wasn’t for the refreshing jabbers here and there, it would have been hard to finish.

okay, I lied. I need to finish this series now. I want to know what’s wrong, what’s so special about Bella. Eclipse-Book-Three-twilight-series-36654_397_600
Anyway, some of funny quotes (may be they are just funny to me but still I am putting them here. At times, I go back and read these quotes from my previous posts. I know I am weird..)

Okay they are not quotes per se but entire incidents this time. Sorry I couldn’t resist:

- (Bella was arranging magnets on the fridge while she waited to go to work(she was early)): The last two magnets –round black utilitarian pieces….-did not want to cooperate with my fixation. Their polarities were reversed; every time I tried to line the last one up, the other jumped out of place. 

For some reason – impending mania, perhaps – this really irritated me. Why couldn’t they just play nice? Stupid with stubbornness, I kept shoving them together as if I was expecting them to suddenly give up. I could have flipped one over, but that felt like losing. Finally, exasperated at myself more than magnets, I pulled them from the fridge and held them together with two hands. It took a little effort – they were strong enough to put up a fight – but I forced them to coexist side-by-side.

“See,” I said out loud – talking to inanimate objects, never a good sign - “That’s not so horrible, is it?”

I stood there like an idiot for a second, not quite able to admit that I wasn’t having any lasting effect against scientific principles. Then, with a sigh, I put the magnets back on the fridge, a foot apart.

“There’s no need to be so inflexible,” I muttered.

It was still too early, but I decided I’d better get out of the house before inanimate objects started talking back.


- (Bella is talking to Jacob, trying to make peace between him and Edward) “See,” I explained. “I don’t care who’s a vampire and who’s a werewolf. That’s irrelevant. You are Jacob, and he is Edward, and I am Bella. and nothing else matter.”

His eyes narrowed slightly. “But I am a werewolf,” he said unwillingly. “And he is a vampire,” he added with obvious revulsion.

“And I am Virgo!” I shouted, exasperated.

“Okay. Just Bella and Jacob. None of those freaky Virgos here.” He smiled at me.

Okay I am not typing any more. Have to get back to my book…

December 10, 2009


Okay I am confused (as usual!). So I took photographs of my friends while I was in NY and posted them on Orkut . I have received comments on the photograph directed to them, from some common friends. I am not sure what's the proper etiquette about responding to these comments. They are meant for the person in the picture while they are posted on my account. Should I reply them or should I ignore them?

Well this has happened to me before! You see I am more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of it. Ahhh..the dilemma of being a photographer!

Does anyone has any solution except, of course, the obvious one: Stop taking pictures of others or at least stop posting it on Orkut! :)

December 9, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Spoiler Warning

Okay I have to eat my words. Well not entirely though. So after the first book in the series, I declared that the series seems very juvenile. And well it’s still juvenile in a lot of ways like Bella’s complete infatuation with Edward, the concept of first sight love and all those teenager romance stuff.

However, the story does take an interesting turn in the second book as Werewolves enter the scene and with them enters Jacob Black. Playful, young, sweet, childish, charming Jake. And at some level Bella falls in love with him too even though her juvenile status doesn’t allow her to go through it. So as you can imagine, now from plain boring girl meets vampire and falls in love, it has become a love triangle. And somewhere in the horizon, there is a promise of some great mystical secret about Bella.

Well as you can guess, I am addicted to the series. I am already more than half way through the third book (I started it yesterday and it has 630 pages!). I haven’t bought the fourth book of the series as it wasn’t available in paperback. But guess I have to now..

For some reason, I didn’t find many, correction any, funny quotes worth mentioning. As I said earlier, it was slightly depressing book, except for Jake, of course :) Anyway, I have quite a few quotes marked in third book so I will put them here. Now I need to get back to the book.

(Img from:

P.S.: 1. My laptop has been acting funny since yesterday. I am not sure if I will be able to post if my laptop decides not to cooperate. Am keeping my fingers crossed.

2. Just so we are clear, I choose team Edward Not that I don’t like Jacob (he is a sweetheart!) but I like Edward more. He is my type of guy I guess…

December 8, 2009

Tuesday Tag: The Brand Tag

Today’s tag is borrowed from Shilpa. So the tag rules are:

Numerous brands move us in our day to day life. I think brands are like relationships. Do you maintain a good friendship brand? Are you loyal and caring in your brand relationship?

Take any day in your life and chart out the brands you have used.

Okay let’s start with morning. I mean early morning:


Then I reach the office and my day looks like:


And then I come back from office: Even_Brand

The credits for logos:

A free tag for all. It’s a fun tag, try it…

December 7, 2009

New York

(img from:

Rockfeller Center Construction: New York, 1932. Image by: Charles C. Ebbets

I bought a small copy of this image from New York. I loved this image, the first time I saw it. I think that was NY Times archive section. Anyway, this is the first time I ever bought a photograph or even a wall poster. So I am excited. At some point I will like to have few of Ansel Adams as well as HCB’s photographs too. Some day. 

As for my NY trip. It was slightly marred by the snow fall on Saturday. Apparently, the winter front that snowed in Houston reached to NY on Saturday. So I literally took the snow with me from Houston to NY. However we were able to make it to the Times Square on Sunday. But I guess none of that matters, as this was a trip to meet friends and not go around the city. So fun was had during the short period. And hence the purpose of trip was fulfilled.

The trip wasn't uneventful, however. I lost a friend during the trip and it was all my fault. I dropped my camera twice on the floor and lost my dearest 50mm lens. It was my favorite lens and had costed me around 200 bucks. I am really sad about it. The silver lining: My camera still works. The lens took all the heat and hence saved my camera. I will always remember him as a martyr and from now on will be extremely careful while handling my camera. I will not loose my self in the passion of photography, the heat of the moment so much ever again that I forget about minor details as safety of equipment. Never again..

Chasing the Butterfly

During Thanksgiving break, I visited San Antonio’s Natural Cavern. The cavern is within an adventure park. I spend around an hour after their “tour” chasing this butterfly. I finally got a good shot..


December 6, 2009

Orkut Screwup

So I deleted all the scraps and for some reason it still says I have 2 scraps in my scrapbook even though there are no scraps in my scrapbook. Some technical glitch, huh?


December 5, 2009

Twilight: the book

By Stephenie Meyer.

twilight_book_coverGirl meets boy. Boy turns out to be a vampire (although “vegetarian” type: he only feeds on predatory animals’ blood). Girl, being a teenager, still believes that she is in love with him. Enters another vampire and a thriller drama follows. And obviously, the hero vampire manages to save the girl. Predictable? Yes. Cheesy romance book? Yes. However, Stephenie Meyer is pretty funny. I usually smile at jokes in the books but she made me laugh out loud. Actually few times, I had to keep the book down and laugh for few min. May be it’s because lack of friends around me at the moment that I found it extra funny. But either way I enjoyed the first book of the Twilight Saga called Twilight.

Here are few of the excerpts from the book that made me laugh:

- Of course he wasn't interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging — a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn't interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand. (Bella, the girl in love talking about Edward, the hero vampire. This was the initial phase of their affair when Edward was ignoring him.)

- From the cheerful topic of my impending demise, we were suddenly declaring ourselves. (Edward and Bella on their first date).

- "And you're worried, not because you're headed to meet a houseful of vampires, but because you think those vampires won't approve of you, correct?" (Edward to Bella, when he was taking her back to her family for the first time).

- "Afraid of a needle," he muttered to himself under his breath, shaking his head. "Oh, a sadistic vampire, intent on torturing her to death, sure, no problem, she runs off to meet him. An IV, on the other hand…" (Edward to Bella after the whole thriller drama).

- I rolled my eyes. I was pleased to discover that this reaction, at least, was pain-free. (She was in hospital with broken leg, broken ribs and a lot of other injuries after the whole thriller drama).

I am currently reading the second book of the Twilight Saga: New Moon. Will be back with funny quotes from that one as well. I have been actually crying (with real tears) so far while reading the book so don’t know whether I will find any funny quotes.

P.S.: The Twilight Saga so far seems very teenagerial stuff (I mean, adolescent). I liked Harry Potter series better than this. Lord of the Rings is the best in comparison though very very dark. I also liked His Dark Materials more than Twilight Saga. At least as much as I have read so far…

December 4, 2009

NY, Here I come!

TulipPAris_186-1I am going to NY today! Yipee! Well, technically I am going to New Jersey and not New York but hopefully we will be visit NY city over the weekend. Weather forecast says that it’s going to rain in NY city on Saturday but whatever.

Talking of weather forecast, Houston is expected to receive some snowfall today or tomorrow! For those who don’t know Houston: It rarely snows in Houston. It’s closer to a tropical climate to receive a snow fall.

In any case, I am leaving for NY tonight!! I am very excited about it! I won’t be able access much of net for next 3 days so I am scheduling posts so that I don’t forfeit the NaBloPoMo. Enjoy!

P.S.: I have never been to NY before. The picture above is statue of liberty in Paris. Hopefully I will be able to get a picture of her sister this weekend.

UPDATE: Due to snow and ice on the runway, there are flight delays and flight cancellations expected. I am keeping my fingers (and my toes, for that matter) crossed. Please wish me luck and wish it sincerely! I seem to be low on it today. Why else would it snow on the day I have to fly, when it rarely snows in Houston?

December 3, 2009

I am trying…


Well I told you that already. I designed this badge yesterday so couldn’t resist to post it here. Well the icons are from various sites indicated in the credit section (left sidebar) of the blog. But still it’s a lot of work to arrange them and create the badge so I am putting as a post too.. :)

December 2, 2009

Google Wave

So you heard about this new thing from Google called Google Wave. A friend of yours managed to get an invitation and asked if you would be interested. You jumped at the opportunity and said "Oh yes! definitely Yes! Wow! You have Google Wave! However did you manage that? You are like totally awesome dude! " or something on the similar lines. He/she sends you an invitation.

It takes few hours for the invitation to arrive and you check your Gmail account every 5 mins. to check if it's there yet. And then there it is: XXXX has invited you to preview Google Wave. Finally! You eagerly sign in. Now what? You go through the demo video as well but still no clue what to do next?

I know I am not the only one with no clue. And I also know that some of you out there must be scratching your head that what I am talking about? So, for sake of those who have no idea what I am talking about, let me take a step back and explain what the hell Google Wave is.

Google-Wave-1Google Wave is the latest application from, well you know this one, Google. The idea behind it was to have a common place or platform for all the different communication tools available on internet. That includes the emails, IMs, SNS as Facebook and Orkut, Twitter and blogging services as blogspot and wordpress. Sounds cool? Well it does to me. Instead of having 5  different tabs open, I can use only one platform to check, send, post and update all of my communication sites. And that explains my excitement about getting the Google Wave. But a fair warning:  Google Wave is a beta version application at the moment and you can only get access to one if you are invited by a friend. And since it is a beta version application, there are not a lot of gadgets or robots available for the application. Oh yes, you heard me right: gadgets and robots.

That’s how the Google Wave works. So the Google Wave has the concept of waving (you can think of new wave as a new message). You can wave at anyone in your contact list. So the Google Wave Robots (or bots for short) have their own email addresses as for twitters. You simply add them to your contact list and start a new wave with them. They will send you the instructions through the wave for how to use these applications through Google Wave. For example, the first time you start a new wave with twitter robot ( you would need to login to your twitter id and once you do that you can see your twitters as a Google Wave. You can read the twitters, update your status and reply to other people’s twitter.


Gadgets, on the other hand are URLs that can be added using the green icon on a New Wave screen.

Well that’s all I know about Google Wave, anyways. As I said it’s a beta version software and is still very new so there aren’t a lot gadgets or bots for it at the moment. However, as Google is planning the Google Wave to be open source, I expect we will see a lot of Google Wave in future. Just as an example, consider this bot:

TwilioBot ( automatically transforms the phone numbers in the wave into click-to-call links. If user clicks a link, a call is placed to his cell phone or landline and to the phone number in the link and the two are connected. The phone call can be transcribed and automatically inserted into the wave as text with a link to the audio of the conversation.

Scary, isn’t it? Well I still like the basic concept behind the Google Wave and I am, for one, looking forward for it to become fully functional!

P.S.: For those of you, who have a Google wave and want to try new gadgets and bots, check out these two sites: and Happy Waving :)

December 1, 2009

Tuesday Tag

So I am starting my month with a tag. Well as so happens Dec 1st falls on Tuesday. So I am once again borrowing the tag from PB. So here are the questions of the tag:

1. What was your favorite subject at school?
Believe it or not, my absolute favorite subject as a kid was GK. Yes, General Knowledge. Pity we only got grades for that subject and it was discontinued after 5th grade. I loved the subject as it made it easier for me to understand the news. Oh yes, I used to watch the news every night. So after the subject was discontinued from the school, I got addicted to magazines like Competition Success Review and General Knowledge Today.
Well technically GK is not considered a “subject” so for sake this question I would also like to mention that my second favorite subject was Maths. Most of the people who know me would have expected that to be my answer. Sorry to disappoint you guys…

2. Did you have a favorite teacher? What was it about them that you liked?
Oh yes! I have had my favorite teachers during different period of time. So let me go in  chronological order:

Sujata Ma’am: The first teacher whom I absolutely loved was my 8th grade Maths (what a surprise!) teacher, Sujata Ma’am. She was a terrific teacher. Her teaching technique was unique. She divided the class in 4 groups (according to the columns of seats in the class) and have the groups compete each other. She will usually teach a topic and solve 2-3 problems on board. Then she gives us time (about 5 min) to solve few of the problems on our own. Then she will pick any girl from the group according to the turns. That girl would have to solve the problem on board and explain it to the rest of the class. She will help the girls who will have problems solving it. She wouldn’t give the answer, but prompt them to think about the problem in a logical way. So you see why I absolutely loved her!

Kapoor Ma’am: She was a senior teacher in our school. She was our Social Studies teacher in X grade. It was the first time in my life that I looked forward to history periods. She wouldn’t read from the book like all our previous teacher, instead she told us a story. I still remember almost everything from my X grade history. She became our English teacher in class XI and our class teacher in class XII. She was the only English teacher that I had who knew her grammar. I kid you not. Any of the English teacher I had before her never told me that you never use past tense with ‘did’. I didn’t know about the redundancy of using the phrases as ‘intermediate between’ or ‘revert back’. My English is still not good and  I blame my childhood teachers for that!

Chander Sir: My next favorite teacher is from M.Tech. days. He taught us Oceanography in our second year. Again like all my favorite teachers, he liked to tell us stories. And moreover, unlike all the other teachers I have had before him, he insisted that we understand the subject instead of memorizing it. Even his exams never asked us to recall things from memory but quizzed us on how much we have understood the subject. It was fun to attend his classes and his exams were even better!

3. What do you like most about yourself?
Everything. What? I am perfect. You don’t believe me? Oh well..

Okay. Seriously, I like my self-sufficient, self-reliant attitude. I don’t have to relay on others for my well-being. Not that I don’t treasure my friends but I am not dependent on them and that’s very important to me.

4. Why did you start blogging?
I am not sure. I guess I was bored of talking to myself and hence started putting my thoughts here. This is my third attempt at blogging. I deleted my previous blogs for one reason or the other. This is the longest I have been blogging and hope I will continue to do so.

5. Can you show us your 5 favorite blog posts?
1. Stanfy News Channel..
2. Life Lesson #1: One mistake or three mistakes
3. Please Don’t
4. In name of culture
5. Gandhi and Bose

6. What do you love most about your partner?
Don’t have one yet..

7. Next to your husband/partner/significant other/children, who do you speak to most often?
Myself. Well that’s not actually talking but thinking..

8. What are your 5 favorite books?
It depends on my mood. As per today:

1. My Sister’s Keeper: Jodi Picoult 
2. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
5. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

9. Do you have a favorite work of art?
Ansel Adams, The Snake River

                 (Img from:

10.If you could live for a year anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
San Francisco Bay Area. That’s where I currently live and absolutely love it.

Again a free for all tag!

November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo: December

Okay I have decided to participate in NaBloPoMo even though the first half of December is very busy. But I am still going to try. Wish me luck!

For the people who are clueless: NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month. This means that I have to post everyday. Most probably you are going to see a lot of photographs or some stupid posts. I will try to write something meaningful but I can’t promise at least during the first half of this month.. Hopefully I won’t blow it.

November 26, 2009

The Bird

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday to ya’ll!



Okay I can’t hold it in anymore. It is the main reason for my decreased frequency of posts in past few days. So here it is:

After weeks of being judged and being put on the spot (which are my verbose description for interviews), okay fine I exaggerate: it has been just a week so far and only three interviews, but it feel longer, I got a job offer (I am still going for other interviews)! Yay and all that.

Okay don’t take me wrong, I am very excited and happy and relived and everything else that goes with it. But as the initial excitement is subsiding, I am realizing the next hurdle that’s staring in front of me and that’s called Salary Negotiations. I have never done that. At heart, I am still that meek Indian student who never questions authority and now I have to push my limits (it is expected of me, everyone in industry tells me). Any suggestions from anyone who has done it before?

Seems I need a new button on the life’s keyboard:image

November 24, 2009


Few days back, I read this comment somewhere on the net (I don’t remember the source any more):

I don’t understand why new-born Christians and Atheist bully people to join them?bully

Tuesday Tag: Mera Bachpan…

I know I disappeared again but this time due to a good reason: PB tagged me to do a post on the childhood memories (for once I was actually tagged and not borrowed it!) and I was working on it. As the topic suggests, it will be a long long post. And very personal too. I am not very comfortable with that hence I am writing the post in a general tone and avoid any specifics. It’s just to make me comfortable writing about them.

First some background: The year I was born, my dad got the lectureship in a reputed university. We moved from my birth-town to my home-town. That also meant we moved away from our extended family in the area. So I grew up in a nuclear family with very few memories that involved uncles and aunts, cousins and grandparents. Another fact that you would need to know is that my brother is 9 years older to me which made for a very interesting experiences as a kid..

Ear Piercing: I was 2 years old when my Mom took me to Jewelry shop to get my ears EarRingpierced. I distinctly remember the day. There were two other ladies in the shop and as the shopkeeper readied the hot needle (back then that’s how we did it in small towns) to pierce my ears, they readied themselves for a kid to howl and cry. However they were surprised when I didn’t. I remember the pain and the fact that I tried my best to keep my tears from flowing out. For some reason those ladies challenged my control by expecting me to cry. It became an ego issue for me (yes at 2 years!) I remember my mom asking me if it hurts and me nodding (I didn’t trust myself to speak). She said that she will apply Boroline when we get home and it will be okay. I also remember the long time it took for us to reach home after that!

Primary School: I started school when I was 2.5 years old. I remember crying out loud on the day (I was a nuclear family kid with almost no other kids around me) and the Principal of our school offering me candies if I stopped crying. I immediately stopped and got my favorite orange candies. However, after the first day episode, I never cried when I went to school. I was a model student who never never disobeyed the teacher. Always did my homework and was the best in the class. I loved learning new things. This continued till I was in grade II.

I got briefly transferred to another school towards the end of my second grade. That 010-beating-the-boy-q75-380x500 school (it was in Bihar) was a very good school, however they used to hit kids with stick as punishment. So in the morning when we filed in for the assembly, teachers will hit kids in line if their boots are not polished properly or if their socks are dirty. I was never hit but I never liked that school. I went to that school for a month. Most of the time I was there I complained of frequent headaches and fevers. I remember I used to sleep in the class and wasn’t able to concentrate in class even if I wanted to, until one morning when my “fever” completely took over. I was unconscious (or sleeping, I don’t know and I don’t remember much except that I had high fever and I was vomiting every half hour or so) for most of that day. I am not sure how and what happened but I do know that doctors suggested that I should be taken off that school. So I changed school again.

First Friend: I was an extremely quiet, introvert and shy girl. I had classmates and playmates (oh yes I had two different set of friends as I was the only one in our colony who didn’t go to those big schools in our town) and while a number of them told me at different occasions that they consider me as their best friend, I never returned back the compliment. I usually smiled and felt happy about it but I never said the same to any of them (I was a weird kid). In sixth grade, a new girl was transferred to our class. For imagesome reason, I hit it off right away with her. She was a brilliant and hard working student. After my second grade, my grades took a nose dive and I had lost my interest in studies. It changed when I met her. She would insist on learning the lessons the day they were taught and would ask me to quiz her next morning. I wasn’t too willing but I complied. Two months later, we had our quarterly exams and I scored better than she did in one of the subjects. I had the highest marks in the class! I couldn’t believe it! And the best part: she was not a least bit jealous or offended! She was jumping up and down with me. I had never met anyone like her before that. She was my first friend ever. However I never told her that. Unfortunately, her dad got transferred to other city a month after the exams. I have no idea where she is. But I know she must be a doctor. That’s what she wanted to be and I know she is one girl who will and can achieve whatever she wanted. She was a great inspiration and a great friend.

Other thing that I got from my first friend was love for movies. It was the time when QSQT released and she was a big fan of Aamir Khan. For some unknown reason, I was not in touch with the current Bollywood till that time but her non-stop chatter about Aamir affected me and since then I had kept in loop with the current movies until I came to US. Now I keep in track with upcoming Hollywood movies, so in a way I still keep track of current movies even though not as much with Bollywood movies.

Bhaiya: I can’t end this post without mentioning my brother. As I mentioned my brother imageis 9 years older than me. It means that he was biking when I was learning to walk. He was reading the comics when I was struggling with alphabets. He was memorizing Kabir’s and Rahim’s Dohas when I was trying to learn the nursery rhymes. Do you see where I am going with this? As a kid I looked up to my brother for everything. He was the coolest person possible. That doesn’t mean that I never fought with him: far from it. We fought although I was the one who used to get whipped. No matter how hard I hit him, I couldn’t hurt him till one day when I was 10: I hit him and it hurt him. I was so shocked that I forgot what was coming once he gets over his shock and pain.

And then he has a great sense of humor. I remember how he could make me laugh no matter how down I was feeling. And that was another great thing about hi m. He was very perceptive about my moods and would know if I was upset about something. He never bothered me with the questions like why I am upset or whether I want to “talk” about it. He would simply camp in my room and won’t leave it unless I am laughing again. It doesn’t matter how much I scream at him to get out of my room or even if I throw things at him to get him out of my room. He won’t leave unless his mission was accomplished. Oh yes, he was the sweetest brother possible! Shhh…Don’t tell him that.

I also remember the day when for the first time I could snap back a smart reply at him. I remember the whole conversation word by word. He was teasing me as usual. On this fateful day, he was telling me how our mom bought me as a baby off the street for 10 paisa (Yes, 10 paisa!). And the reason she bought me was to serve him. And I replied back, “At least she paid 10 paisa for me. You came free! So you are the one who should serve me”. He never teased me again about that. I know it’s juvenile humor but it was a great moment for me.

I can go on and on about my brother and my bachpan but guess all these incidents describe my childhood pretty well. So I am leaving at that. As for tagging others: It’s a free tag. Feel free to borrow it and write your own story. :)

Credits: The last two images are made using Microsoft Clipboard 2007. The first two images shows their respective origin and if you click on the respective images you will reach the webpages they were taken from.

November 20, 2009

Life’s Keyboard…

…I wish I had one.

key  (Keys from Microsoft 2007 Clipboard)

Updated Keyboard as per Rachna’s comment (See comments). I know some of you will object to replacing “Coffee” button but since I don’t drink Coffee, so I would happily swap it with “Undo” button:


November 17, 2009

Tuesday Tag: How Dumb Am I?

Okay, I am not sure if this dumb quiz is worth anything. To me most of the things in this list can happen to anyone. I am not sure how is it measure of dumbness. But then most probably I will get the highest point in this one. I just wanted to give it a try. So here it goes. The rule says:

The more [x]’ s the “dumber” you are.
[x] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were talking
[ ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were NOT talking
[x] You have run into a glass/screen door
[x] You have jumped out of a moving vehicle
[x] You have thought of something funny while walking by yourself
[x] Laughed, then watched people give you weird looks
So far: 5
[x] You have run into a tree/bush.
[x] You know that it IS possible to lick your elbow
[x] You have tried to lick your elbow… a few times
[x] You never knew that the Alphabet and Twinkle Twinkle Little star have the same rhythm.
[x] You just tried to sing them.
So far: 10
[x] You have tripped on your shoelace and fallen.
[ ] You have choked on your own spit .
[x] You have seen the Matrix and still don’t get it.
[ ] You’ve never seen the Matrix.
[x] You type only with two fingers.
So far: 13
[ ] You have accidentally caught something on fire
[x] You tried to drink out of a straw, but it went into your nose/eyes.
[x] You have caught yourself drooling.
[ ] You have fallen asleep in class and fell outta your chair
So far: 15
[x] Sometimes you just stop thinking
[x] You are telling a story and forget what you were talking about
[ ] People often shake their heads and walk away from you
[ ] You are often told to use your “inside voice”.
[ ] You use your fingers to do simple math
So far: 17
[ ] You have eaten a bug
[ ] You are taking this test when you should be doing something more important
[x] You have put your clothes on backwards or inside out, and didn’t realize it
[x] You’ve looked all over for something and realized it was in your hand
[x] You have ran around naked in your house. (What's so dumb about that?)
So far: 20
[ ] You repost bulletins because you are scared that what they say will happen to you if you don’t.
[x] You break a lot of things.
[ ] Your friends know not to use big words around you.
[x] You tilt your head when you’re confused
[x] You have fallen out of your chair before
So far: 23
[ ] When you’re lying in bed, you try to find pictures in the texture of the ceiling or wall
[x] The word “ummmmm” is used many times a day.
So far: 24

Total: 24/37

So I am 65% dumb. Who knew?

Again a free for all tag…