Archive for January, 2005

31-Jan-2005

January 31, 2005

I keep updating this thing a week after things happen… oh well.

Let’s see. Last Saturday (Jan 22), I went to my first ever NBA game. Cleveland vs Golden State. And I gotta tell ya, I wasn’t impressed. The game wasn’t terribly exciting for two main reasons:
1) Cleveland was always in the lead, and Golden State never really looked like challenging them.
2) Oakland Arena is dead. Seriously. They only made noise when someone scored. The evening sounded something like “Yay!!… Yay!!…Yay!! The best part of the game was the entertainment during the breaks.

We went to Santana Row after the game, and then I drove home. I’d bought a couple of CD’s in Berkeley before the game ( this , and this ), and was impatient to listen to them. So I pulled over to the side of the road, and started peeling the plastic off. A few minutes later, a car pulls up behind me and shines a spotlight right into the car. Since I’d pulled into a bus stop (it was past 1am, so I figured it was ok), I moved forward a little, but the car followed. I started driving on the road, and eventually, the car started following me again. Just as I started wondering if I’d have to swing into side streets to lose the guy, the police lights came on. * sighs *.

I pulled over to the side of the road, and confirmed to myself that I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. The cop came over to the passenger window:
“Good evening. Is something wrong?”
“No sir. I just pulled over to open this CD.”
“Ok. Because you pulled out of there, and were driving in the bike lane, and going 50 (speed limit was 35)”
“Well officer, until I saw the lights come on, I was a little nervous, wondering who was behind me, shining that spotlight.”

Anyway, he looked at my license, asked if the car was mine, then sent me on my way. Good times.

Sunday (a week ago), I went to see Don McMillan . Former engineer turned standup comic, the majority of his act is Powerpoint presentation. Really. But he was funny as hell. I was sitting in the front-row, wearing my Cornell sweatshirt, and was interacting with Don suring the act. No, I wasn’t heckling him (not much, anyway). But he was going through his act faster than he expected, so he was taking questions from the audience. He actually went off on a couple of funny tangents from the questions, making some jokes up on the spot. Good stuff all around. He even gave me his last copy of his new CD, Technically Funny , since he had a good time talking to me.

Oh, and on Tuesday, I had my first bartending interview here . Hope I get it.

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20-Jan-2005

January 20, 2005

This past weekend, our entire rotational group went to Bear Valley, along with a few members of management. We stayed at a program manager’s cabin. All counted, there were about 25 of us, but not necessarily all at the same time. I was the designated bartender for the weekend, and I think my unofficial nickname became “Pusherman”.

On Saturday, we went snowboarding. The lesson was scheduled for noon, so we fooled around before then, getting used to the board. For the lesson itself, the guy taught us how to brake, facing both up and down the hill, as well as how to turn. Then we took the lift up the bunny slope. That first run down took a really long time. I kept falling down, and it was pretty hard to get back on my feet. I decided to go back to the lodge, get some sugar in me, and come back for one last run, and then I was done for the day.

After I got some sugar in me, I tried going down the slope again, and this time, it was… easier. I still fell down a lot, but I was able to stay up for more than 10 sec at a time, and I realised how much fun it was. So much fun, in fact, that the last run turned into 3 runs.

On the second run, I fell down not far from this desi chick who was having trouble with her skis, and we got to talking. Her name was Deepa from Bangalore, and she worked in software in the Bay Area. Anyway, I must have spent a good 20 minutes helping her try to get her skis back on. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have helped her otherwise, but the fact that she was decent looking didn’t make things hard. Sandra, our HR rep, was sitting on the slope about 30 feet above us, and she had the biggest grin on her face. Later, when I was telling everyone about it (Sandra brought it up, not me!), I told them that it was “Game ON!” Hehehe… nothing happened though. If I’d run into her again, I might have asked for her phone number (she was unmarried), but I didn’t see her after that. Que sera sera…

In other news, I tipped the scales at 200 lbs this week. Definitely bad news.

17-Jan-2005

January 17, 2005

So the three of us got to Goa, with Dad joining us the next day. It was 5 days of total relaxation. We slept in (well, Roshi and I did), went to the beach a few times, ate lots of food. One day, we took a taxi to Panjim (capital of Goa) and spent a few hours there. But for the most part, we stayed in or near the hotel. Not like we had a choice, there wasn’t really anything to do in the area. We were essentially in the middle of nowhere, about 30 minutes away from the highway and far from any party spots. Ah well…

Then it was back to Bombay, and on to the US. Long layover in Hong Kong, and finally arrived in San Fran on Jan 10th.

First week back, there wasn’t really much to do. People at work told me they were a little worried, since they didn’t know which part of India I was in. Felt kinda nice to be thought of. I also spent some time helping plan for the weekend trip to Bear Valley. Our entire rotational program (9 of us) and some of our senior management were staying in a couple of cabins near the ski resort. More stories about that next time…

13-Jan-2005

January 13, 2005

It’s funny how tomorrow can stretch into 2 weeks.

Anyway, meeting the girl wasn’t the part that I disliked about the experience. She was a nice girl, even though it was evident 10 minutes in that we weren’t right for each other. The worst part was dealing with my parents after they left.
“Chirag, why did you use your hands to eat?”
“Why did you crack so many jokes?”
“Why did you bring her to the hotel”
Yada yada yada, etc etc etc.

I’m not saying the criticism wasn’t warranted. I’m just saying that it was not welcome. I’m glad I went through the whole exercise, if only so that I could realise that I don’t want to go through it again for a loooooong time.

Anyway, that night, Vivek and Vikas came over to my place to drink some booze and chill. On a whim, I decided to create a profile on Shaadi.com. What the hell, right? More on that later.

The next day (Dec 31), we went back to Bombay. Our flight was running a bit late, and by the time we arrived at my cousin’s place, everyone was impatiently waiting downstairs for me. I got changed as fast as I could, and off we went to party. And a rather memorable New Years it was.

It was a smallish nightclub, with an open bar. And after I had enough liquor in me, I had a blast. The highlight of my evening was when I danced on the bar. Yes, ON the bar. In my defense, I wasn’t the first one up there, and I wasn’t the only one up there (not initially, anyway). But there were moments when I was the only one shaking it on the granite top. It’s not because I felt particularly like showing off. I just didn’t feel like climbing down. After all, there was a lot more elbow room where I was. From time to time, I did ask one or two girls to join me up on the bar, but I guess they didn’t have an adventurous enough spirit. We finally got home around 4am. Hung out for a bit downstairs, before heading up and to sleep.

The next morning (and with not enough sleep), mom, Roshni and I made our way to Goa. Details on that later… (I’m slowly catching up to the present)