Archive for April, 2004

30-Apr-2004

April 30, 2004

So Matlab COM Builder has decided to be a petulant little bitch, and refuses to cooperate. The Mathworks Technical Support line was of little help. I guess it’s up to me to smack some sense into it. Ugh…

Yesterday was an odd day. I had my first medical appointment with my new doctor. And yes, I wore one of those ass-showing gowns with laces at the neck. Fortunately, it wasn’t hospital green. It wasn’t flattering either. Anyway, she pronounced me healthy, but since my dad had bypass surgery at the age of 50, she recommended I get my sugar and cholesterol checked. I’ll get that taken care of on Monday. Then I find out that I may have gotten fleeced by my dentist, and that he may have (a) recommended a procedure that was unnecessary, and (2) overcharged me for said procedure. Another guy at ;work went to the same dentist, and the dude had tried to pull the same shit with him. ;The dental insurance company suggested I could get a second opinion from a specialist, and it would not count as my second exam in the year (and will also be fully covered), so I might just do that. Either way, it seems I’ll have to look for a new dentist in a few months. Yippee yay!

In another turn of events, the same dude at work who had the dentist experience is also looking for a place to live closer to work. I was looking up the phone number for my apartment complex, when I stumbled upon this:
http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate?a=v&complex_id=650968838494043&showall=true

Yes, that is where I live. I guess it wasn’t such a good deal after all. ;I wasn’t planning on living there for much more than a year anyway, but I think I might have to accelerate that process slightly.

Lastly, all my photos from my Cornell trip are finally up:
http://photos.yahoo.com/ardafif

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27-Apr-2004

April 27, 2004

I got a haircut yesterday, finally. I told the guy, “I don’t care what you do. Cut it, shave it, gel it, spike it, style ;it, whatever. Just do something different instead of just cutting it short”. So he did. The problem is that with the hair I have, there’s not too much you can do that will look good and stay looking good. Anyway, as far as the haircut goes, it’s not totally radical, but I like it. I’ll post a pic of it soon. And now, back to my Ithaca trip:

Saturday: I spent all day at the dress rehearsal for the Sitara show. Mostly, it consisted of Ishani and I making fun of people on stage, and talking about how the show would suck. I finally got to see Agya, but alas, I would only get fleeting glimpses of her during the weekend since she was pretty busy. The day dragged on a bit, and I had the chance to ruminate a bit on what I was doing there. It sank in that I didn’t belong there anymore, at Cornell. About a year and a half ago, I was one of those people on stage, dancing and running around organising stuff. But now, I’m just a visitor. It’s no longer Us, it’s Me and Them. It felt kinda odd. The same can be said of my walk through campus on Friday. I knew where all the buildings were, but I no longer felt any attachment to any of them. Anyway, practice finally ended and Diksha drove us back home so she could change. Rimi was back from the first run of the Cornell Design League fashion show, and was telling us how she was wearing a pretty scandalous outfit, and she was pretty sure most of Cornell saw her butt. And to think, I went to the Sitara show instead. * sighs * Oh well…

We got back to the auditorium, and Ish, Sunil ;and I sat together for the bulk of the show. I screamed quite a bit during the dances (and songs) when my friends were on, but that was about it. Overall, the show was better than I thought it would be, but it wasn’t the best I’d seen. But the best part was yet to come. It seems that they had to cancel the Sitara afterparty. HAHAHA!!! They were going to hold it at a frat, but since they attached their name to it, Sitara had to pay Cornell liability insurance. Sitara has no money, so they have no party. I loved it when Akshay came out, said “We’re sorry to tell you that the AfterParty has been cancelled. Now Suchi and Zeenat will tell you about Sitara’s plans for next year.” ;Anyway, show ended. I tried to catch up with Agya, but she was still pretty busy, so I headed on home with Diksha. She was determined to go out and party, but I really didn’t feel like walking around Collegetown looking for crappy parties, so I declined. Saw Seema in Collegetown, before she ended up going to a house party later. Hehehe… Anyway, I got back home with some pizza, then went to sleep.

Sunday: Woke up and packed most of my stuff. Diksha had gotten back around 3:30, so she was kinda groggy in the morning. I left to find Abhishek, but I didn’t have his number, and he didn’t answer the door. Called Agya (actually called her several times that day) and left a voicemail, then called Seema. Turns out she had stayed at Smruti’s place in C’town, so I strolled over and we chatted for a few minutes while she lay in bed. It seems that people were quite amazed to see Seema at the party (she’s not the college partying type), and they especially loved her “coke-bottle” glasses. ;I left there at around 11:30, packed up the rest of my stuff at Diksha’s place, said goodbye to her and Rimi, and walked over to Collegetown Bagels. I was originally supposed to leave at 2pm, but Gautam wanted to see me in Syracuse, so I took the noon shuttle instead. He met me at the Syracuse airport with his friend, and we drove to a Mexican (kinda) restaurant where we had some food. The weather was pretty miserable, I gotta admit. We went back to the airport, and I found out that all flights ;in and out ;of Chicago were delayed by about 45 minutes. But on the whole, I was only 30 minutes late into San Jose, so it wasn’t too bad.

While I was sitting on the shuttle taking me to the parking lot, I started talking to this cute girl sitting next to me. She’d come in from Kansas City. When I asked what she had been doing there, she said she had been planning her wedding which was in 6 weeks. ;Sheesh…

Well, that was my trip. I took lots of photos on Saturday, and I’ll be posting them online soon, so look for that link.

Currently Watching: Jeeves & Wooster – The Complete First Season

27-Apr-2004

April 27, 2004

Well, I’m back from Ithaca. I’ll be giving y’all a full (more or less) update on my weekend, so I’ll probably have to split it into 2 entries. Can you feel the excitement?

Before I get started, I just wanted to say that it felt kinda weird going to the gym today and seeing Kristina’s empty cube. I guess I’ll have to get used to the fact that I will no longer see her goofy smile when I come to work out. I can only hope that her eventual replacement will be just as cute. After all, when you work in an engineering company (even one in California), eye candy can be hard to come by. ;Hehehe… just kidding, K.

One more thing. I just wanted to give my eternal thanks to Diksha and her hot roommates (one in particular ) for putting up with me for 3 nights. I tried to be on my best behaviour, but I suffer from terminal foot-in-mouth disease, and I tend to say stupid stuff without realising it. Off the top of my head, I can think of 2 ;occasions on the last day itself. So I just wanted to give Diksha and her roomies a blanket apology for anything stupid I might have said and/or done. It was never intentional.

Thursday : Was travelling from noon till 1:15 am, when I finally arrived in Collegetown. Diksha was at a party, so I dropped my stuff off at her place, then went to see Seema in the library. Went to Pita Pit and saw Kofi and Urvashi on the way. That was cool. We chatted for about 20 minutes, then I finally got some food and went back. Diksha ended up coming back around 3:30, I think. I also finally met Hersh, though he was a bit shy that first time. ;Apparently, Diksha had told him that if I didn’t approve of him, she would seriously reconsider being friends with him. I never knew I was so influential. ;After he left, Diksha and I chatted for a bit, then I slept at 4:30.

Friday: I paid off my remaining private loan from Cornell, as well as an outstanding NetPrint charge, so I no longer owe Cornell a single red (heh heh) cent!! I still have loans of course, but I now owe money to Citibank. Not to Cornell. That’s the key difference. ;I also sent off some glossy handcards for the YJA Convention to some YJA Board members in NYC and Boston. I bummed around for most of the day. Met Asmi, and saw some of the practices for the Sitara show. Diksha wanted to go out that night, so we (Diksha, Hersh, Rimi, I) went to Abhiram’s place. I had some alcohol, but the highlight of the evening was talking to my cousins in India, and trying to sell them on coming to the convention. Then I told mom that I had to go back inside and finish my drink. She wasn’t too thrilled, but she told me to have fun anyway. Hehehe… it’s a good thing I know firsthand how cool my parents can be. Anyway, Diksha decided to go meet a few more people afterwards, but I had had enough for the night, as had Rimi, so I escorted her home and went to sleep at around 2. A true party animal, I am.

The rest to follow tomorrow.

21-Apr-2004

April 21, 2004

Well, good luck with everything, Kristina. You’ve been a good trainer and a good friend, and you shall be missed. Especially by all the straight guys who visit the gym (including me ). Take care, and keep in touch. And let me know how things are going at the new job.

My flight leaves at around noon tomorrow, and I arrive at Cornell at around 12:30 am. I’ve usually been disappointed in the past whenever I’ve anticipated something good (except for skydiving ; ), so for the moment, I’m just looking forward to meeting my friends. The afterparty will probably “sack major cack sack” (thanks Sirm), but I’ll deal with it one last time. And the show should be amusing, especially with it being held in Ithaca High School. Hehehe… All I know is, I’m counting on Diksha especially to show me a good time, and she better not disappoint.

21-Apr-2004

April 21, 2004

I think I spend too much time in front of a computer. It’s gotten to the point where I might drop something and my instinctual reaction is to want to hit Ctrl-Z, and it takes me half a second to realise that real life doesn’t work like Windows.

It’s official. Kristina is quitting her job at the gym here and moving to a better job up near the city (here in the Bay Area, The City = SF). Her last day is this Friday, but since I’m leaving for Ithaca on Thursday, tomorrow marks the last time I’ll get to meet her here at work. I’ll write a proper goodbye tomorrow.

Well, tonight I get to search for more names in college directories. I might have something else planned for the night too, but we’ll see how that goes. ;Oh, and 24 continues tonight. Can’t wait.

20-Apr-2004

April 20, 2004

Well, I’ve been a bit tardy lately, so this will be a longish update. Gotta keep my (small) audience informed.

Friday (Apr 16th) was Mom’s birthday. Everyone wish her a Happy Belated Birthday. Other than that, I finally finished watching Gandhi. All I have to say is … Wow. The movie itself was powerful and moving and yada yada yada. But Ben Kingsley… wow. He didn’t just play the part of Gandhi. He became Gandhi. I can honestly say that it was probably the best acting performance I have EVER seen on film. Damn. Definitely worth the wait. I also saw an Agatha Christie (specifically Hercule Poirot) movie, The Mysterious Affair At Styles. I’ve always liked Agatha books, and David Suchet is great as Poirot, so good stuff.

Saturday, ;I went with some people from work to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s different from Vol. 1. VERY different. But it’s stil good. It has less violence, and they actually flesh out the remaining characters and their relationships. It was a lot less visceral than Vol.1, but deeper at the same time. I guess it’s a tradeoff. My favourite character was the Chinese Fighting Master, with the funky beard. He was pimp. Him and his Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. ;

Sunday was almost completely YJA. After meeting at Neha’s pad, I came home, rested for an hour, then spent over 5 hours staring at a computer screen. What was I doing? Simple. I was going to the websites for major colleges around the country, going to their student directories, and looking for people with specific last names. Why? Spam, baby. We’re gonna email them directly and tell them about the convention in an effort to make them register. Of course, the flip side is that my mailbox will probably be flooded with people complaining, but Samir seems to think that’s a price worth paying if we get even 50 people to register ;out of the 1500+ contacted. Thanks Samir. ;I’ll be continuing the process over the next couple of days. You know, sometimes I wonder why I get myself involved in these things. First SI at Cornell, then this. Obviously this is a rhetorical question, since I kinda know why I do it. I just wish I knew why I let myself do it. *sighs* All I know is, there better be some hotties coming to this thing. I think I deserve it by now.

Oh, and just to confirm… India won the final match on Thursday night by an innings and 131 runs. Thus, not only did we win the ;one-day series, but the test series as well. Along the way, we found what could be the beginnings of a formidable pace bowling combo in Balaji and Pathan. Along with a fit Zaheer and Nehra, things are looking quite promising for the next few years. ;

Last fall, I acted in a short(ish) movie that was played during the Society for India ;Diwali Show back at Cornell, and the directors should be emailing me the DVD of the movie soon. The movie was a spoof of MTv’s ;Real World, and I played the intelligent, ;naive FOB. Surprise surprise. ;Anyway, it seems that the movie might eventually be available for streaming off the web. Right now, only the opening credits have been made available, as a sort of preview. Check it out here . Just press Play under the black rectangle in the middle. It’s streaming, so the quality sucks, but it’s better than nothing.

15-Apr-2004

April 15, 2004

*edit in response to Diksha’s comment below* My dear, I’ve been to 4 years of desi parties at Cornell, and they are NEVER fun. But you’re there, so I’ll go anyway. Just for you.
*end of edit*

I am now a week away from being on my way to (not so) sunny Ithaca. It should be loads of fun. Diksha assures me that at least her dance looks great, but having been in a couple of dances myself, we’ll just have to see. ;It will be nice to get out of the area, though. I mean, I like the Bay Area and all, but it’s good to get out of a rut, even if I am watching a lot of good TV and movies.

It occurs to me that I haven’t given y’all a cricket update in a while, and that is a crying shame because these past few days have been among the more historic in recent memory. Let’s go through in chronological order.:

Brian Lara, the man who epitomises the term “flawed genius”, reclaimed the record for highest individual test score and he did it in style, making an unprecedented 400 runs before declaring his side’s innings closed. 400 runs. To put this in perspective, test cricket has been played for about 127 years, and the 300 run mark has only been crossed 18 times before this. While this isn’t quite equivalent to the first 4-minute mile in terms of historic significance, it is a watershed moment in cricket history. I would try and put this in terms that American sports fans can appreciate, but I don’t think American sports has any equivalent. I guess all I can say is that this is one of those things that you know will happen someday, but you’re still amazed when it actually does happen.

In ;other news, India is well on its way to winning the test series in Pakistan. After bowling Pakistan out for a meager 224 on the first day, India then proceeded to put up a massive 600 runs all out. There were several good contributions, but none more important than Rahul Dravid’s watchful 270. I think it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, he IS India’s best and most important batsman, and has been for a few years now. Sachin may get more glory and adulation, but he wishes he could be as consistently good as Dravid has been (Incidentally, Sachin only scored 1 run in this ;innings). ;At the end of the 3rd day’s play, Pakistan was reduced to 49/2. In other words, they need to score another 327 runs ;just to make India bat a second time, and they’ve already lost 2 out of 10 wickets. I think it’s safe to say that, barring a major catastrophe, this series will at least be drawn, if not end in an outright Indian victory. All I can say is, it’s about fecking time!!

15-Apr-2004

April 15, 2004

Well, I had my first appointment with my new dentist today. It was my first visit to a dentist’s office since … well, it’s been a long time. Too long, in fact. It seems there’s been quite a buildup of stuff between my teeth, to the point where they only had time to clean one side of my mouth. I’ll have to come back for the ;other side ;later. Then again, if I hadn’t had to wait for 30 ;minutes, ;they might have been able to get the whole thing done today. ;Anyway, ;he’s gonna see me a month after ;the cleaning ;and decide if I need to see a periodontist (a gums guy, if you’re wondering). Ugh. Then again, later he said not to worry too much, so I guess we’ll just see. He did suggest I buy an electrical toothbrush, and use that once a day and use the manual ;brush once a day. That should be fun.

14-Apr-2004

April 14, 2004

I watched Monk: The Premiere Episode last night. If you haven’t seen this show before, it’s a quirky mystery/comedy about a detective named Adrian Monk. The mysteries themselves aren’t particularly thrilling. What makes the show fun are the characters, specifically the title character. After the death of his wife in a car bomb, Monk suddenly develops some weird kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’s got just ;about every kind of phobia you can imagine (germs, insects, heights… milk), he counts parking meters as he runs by them, and he drives everyone else crazy. The only person who can handle him is his nurse. This is a good introduction to the main characters ;in the show, which runs on USA. It’s cute, fun and quirky. Check it out.

It’s possible my part of the project at work will be ending this week (more due to lack of funding than anything else), so I’ll need to get cracking on finishing this stuff. Should make for some fun times ahead. In fact, you could say that it’s going to be only marginally less exciting ;than this:

God, that was fun. I definitely want to do it again sometime. I just need to find a group of people crazy enough. Oh, and for the two of you who haven’t seen these before, you can check out the rest of the pics here .

This weekend, I’ll be going with some work people to see Kill Bill Vol. 2. It should be a blast, since I loved the first movie. I can’t wait to see how it ends. The Punisher is coming out this weekend too, so I’m gonna be pretty busy. And that’s always a good thing.

Currently Watching: Gandhi

12-Apr-2004

April 12, 2004

I kept meaning to update the blog over the weekend, but my perennial laziness kicked in. Ah well, not like people were complaining.

So, the standup comedy show was pretty funny. Pablo Francisco is a really funny guy. He’s one of those comedians who improvises a lot. He’s also amazingly talented in terms of the sounds he can create, and his imitations of people. Overall, I’m glad I went, and I’m definitely making a return visit the next time they have someone relatively well-known.

On a side note, I was coming back to my apartment on Friday evening, and as I turned into my street, I saw an ambulance and fire truck parked outside my building. It turned out that the EMTs were tending to my neighbour. I looked at the scene for a few seconds, before one of them turned to me and said it was probably diabetes related and there was nothing else to see. The EMTs didn’t look too frantic, so I guess that’s all it was. I never really interacted with him before, but it ;still wasn’t a happy sight, and I hope the dude is doing well.

On Saturday, I decided to go for a walk downtown. It helps that I live a 5 min walk ;away from downtown Mountain View. ;The sun was shining, breeze was blowing. I ended up sitting in a bookstore and reading for an hour and a half. Thoroughly relaxing, and very unproductive. Just the way a good Saturday should be. I also finally finished the complete Godfather Trilogy, including bonus disk. The bonus disk had some interesting features on there, including a cool 73 minute documentary on the making of the films. But even though I liked the movies, I don’t think I’ll ever be buying the DVD set myself.