Thursday, September 30, 2010

another awesome perfume ad :-)

 

Cool ad!! :-D

 

Vignettes

1.
So you leave, without a backward glance
And you leave without a good bye.
What about those who will miss you
And what happens to those you leave behind?
2.
As the year advances towards closure
And the colder months draw nearer,
The days draw the evenings closer,
The nights, longer and more intimate.
The leaves change colour and gently drift off
And hidden branches reach out their spidery fingers
To trap the colours of the late evening sky.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Agent to the stars

Having no work at office can be fun. For a day. Or two.
Or, even three...
But it really starts to get boring after that... I mean here you are stuck on a moulded chair, with nothing else to do and nowhere to go! You have exhausted your online stock of cooking blogs and the rest of the websites don't open anyway! So along comes "Agent to the Stars!"
 
It's an online shareware novel by John Scalzi. Apparently no one was interested in publishing his first book so he decided to publish it online as a free novel! The story is funny and interesting and not completely "duh!" It's got aliens and buxom Hollywood actresses and an agent who's trying to make all right with the world! Not bad!
 
Read it here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

He's my Friend

Frances stared at her daughter. 'Are you setting out – deliberately – to make yourself unhappy? Do you want to be one of those women who spend their lives hankering after some man they can't have because he's gone off with somebody else or never looked at them in the first place? Is that what you want?'

'No. I don't want that. I want James.'

Frances sighed. 'Are you going to see him?'

'Yes. We're going to meet up next week. We're going to have dinner.'

'And the approach came from him?'

Caroline hesitated. Her mother was watching her. 'Not exactly . . .'

Her mother smiled. 'I thought not.'

Caroline ignored the provocation. 'I phoned him. I said that we hadn't seen one another for a while and did he want to have dinner.'

'And?'

'And he said he'd like that very much. He's coming to Corduroy Mansions next week. He's going to cook.'

'What's he going to cook?'

'Risotto. He makes lovely risotto.'

Frances rolled her eyes. 'Oh, darling, can't you see? A man who goes round cooking risotto . . . It's just not going to work.'
 
Read the 11th installment (He's my Friend) and more on A Conspiracy of Friends from Alexander McCall Smith's The Corduroy Mansion Series.

Do we deliberately make ourselves unhappy? Is it some pathological desire to hurt ourselves that causes us to pursue people who don't care or imagine situations which are never to be?
 
The funny thing is that we somehow tend to justify any shortcomings in our perceived friends and even in any impossible situations to somehow find fault in ourselves! It's disturbing in retrospect but seems so entirely natural at that time... I think we have this masochistic aspect where we inflict ourselves with pain and remorse and hope to find some kind of redemption through it.
 
 

Project 365 - take a photo a day

Contemplating whether to sign up for project 365 - take a photo a day.
It basically involves keeping a photo journal for every day of your life for a year.
It does not sound like a big deal at first - but somedays it becomes tough to make time for anyone - especially yourself!
Still, sounds like a great idea. And all sorts of cameras are allowed - even phone cams!
 
Read more here:
 
Any takers??

As Purple as can be

Came across a writer/poet called Amanda McKittrick Ros quite by chance. It has been an exciting discovery, not profound but of the ridiculous sort.

Born in 1860 in Ireland, Amanda (originally named Anna Margaret) was the Headmistress of a school by profession. Her claim to fame is from her famously florid and ridiculous purple prose (and verse). And yes, she was a pathological user of alliterations and hyperboles!

She wrote such classics as The Oasis of Futurity, Irene Iddesleigh, Helen Huddleston and Delina Delaney as well as published volumes of poetry called Poems of Puncture and Fumes of Formation. All in her inimitable style!

Critics of the period sarcastically called Irene Iddesliegh "the book of the century." Amanda of course imagined that the particular critic was hostile because he was secretly in love with her! She called them colourful names such as the "clay-crabs of corruption" and "evil minded snapshots of spleen".

Nick Page, author of In Search of the World's Worst Writers, says that "For Amanda, eyes are 'piercing orbs', legs are 'bony supports', people do not blush, they are 'touched by the hot hand of bewilderment.'"

Her novel Delina Delaney begins:
Have you ever visited that portion of Erin's plot that offers its sympathetic soil for the minute survey and scrutinous examination of those in political power, whose decision has wisely been the means before now of converting the stern and prejudiced, and reaching the hand of slight aid to share its strength in augmenting its agricultural richness?

Page says,"I first read this sentence nearly three years ago. Since then, I have read it once a week in an increasingly desperate search for meaning. But I still don't understand it." (The sentence approximately means, "Have you ever been to that part of Ireland which has been studied by the government, who have aimed to modernise its agriculture?")

The Inklings, a wellknown literary group at Oxford, whose members included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, held regular competitions to see who could read Ros' work for the longest time without bursting into laughter.

Frank Ormsby, the editor of Thine in Storm and Cabin, an anthology of her work, says, "She alliterated obsessively."

He adds, "even if one has forgotten her work for a few years, you only have to read a few paragraphs and you find the smile broadening on your face. You begin to realise why her work had such an appeal."

Mark Twain elevated her to the same league as Julia A. Moore, the notoriously bad poetess known as the Sweet Singer of Michigan and the "Queen and Empress of the Hogwash Guild until now".

The icing on the cake, at least for me, is this verse called "Visiting Westminster Abbey":
Holy Moses! Have a look!
Flesh decayed in every nook!
Some rare bits of brain lie here,
Mortal loads of beef and beer,
Some of whom are turned to dust,
Every one bids lost to lust;
Royal flesh so tinged with 'blue'
Undergoes the same as you.
 
Read more about her:
 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Aloo gobi - Bangla Style

Aloo gobi (ie potatoes and cauliflower) is cooked in different ways all over India. In bengal, we do a very simple savoury dish with the bengali five spice mix (or panch phoran). In this one, the potatoes are sliced lengthwise and the cauliflower florets are separated individually. In a recipe for 2 ppl, heat a lug of mustard oil (for a distinct flavour or any vegetable oil will do). Add in about a tsp of panch phoran. Then toss in the potatoes and cauliflowers. Add in about a handful of chopped tomatoes and toss the veggies well on high for abt 5 mins. Add abt 1/2 tsp salt. Next, add abt a cup of water. Cover and cook for around 10-15 mins or till done. You can also add in a few green chillies (slit lenghwise so that they release a bit of heat into the oil but does not overpower the flavours) along with the tomatoes. Check the seasoning and serve hot.
This is a very light summery sort of dish and can be had with hot rotis or even rice.
Hope you enjoy it!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Memories

Gifted a Richard Bach book to a young friend at work who's leaving the organization.
 
Remembered the person who first ever recommended the author to me. And felt a tinge of sadness, yet again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...

Autumn's here!
Shutterstock's mailer today brought with it a burst of "ripe" colours!
These colours are not just plain jane yellows and reds or even oranges... their beauty demands more epithets (and definitely some exuberant adjectives!).
This is where lovely warm shades (and names) come into play!! Sample Burnt Sienna, Crimson, Rust, Merlot, Ochre (and Yellow Ochre), Coffee, Fudge, Honey Gold, Maple Red, Berry, Sunset Orange, Russet Brown (or Red), Mahogany, Persimmon, Mocha Brown, Mauve, Caramel Brown, Beige, Mustard Yellow and Pumpkin Orange, Teal, Turquoise, Thistle, Heather, or a lively warm Taupe!!
And while the season is dominated by rusts and golden tones, the greens are Emerald-hued, Kelly, Lime, Olive and Viridian shaded or perhaps even a sumptuous Avocado?!
Isn't it lovely just rolling these amazing names on your tongue... Feels so luxurious (almost decadent!!)
 
You can also play this fun (so what if it's for kids) game @ http://www.uptoten.com/kids/coloringpage-mixedbag-coloring-autumnwordcoloring.html

What was that again??

Top 20 most common misheard lyrics:

1. REM - The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite

Real lyric: ''Call me when you try to wake her

Misheard lyric: ''Calling Jamaica''

2. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze

Real Lyric: ''Excuse me while I kiss the sky''

Misheard Lyric: ''Excuse me while I kiss this guy''

3. Aerosmith - Dude Looks Like A Lady

Real Lyric: ''Dude looks like a lady''

Misheard Lyric: ''Do just like a lady''

4. The Foundations - Buttercup

Real Lyric: ''Build me up buttercup''

Misheard Lyric: ''Fill me up buttercup''

5. Adele - Chasing Pavements

Real lyric: ''Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing pavements''

Misheard lyric: ''Should I give up, or should I just keep chasing penguins''

6. Bon Jovi - Living On A Prayer

Real Lyric: ''It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not''

Misheard Lyric: ''It doesn't make a difference if we're naked or not''

7. ABBA - Dancing Queen

Real Lyric ''Dancing queen, Feel the beat from the tambourine, oh yeah''

Misheard Lyrics: ''Dancing queen, Feel the beat from the tangerine, oh yeah''

8. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - One That I Want

Real Lyric: ''You're the one that I want''

Misheard Lyric: ''You're the wobbly one''

9. Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit

Real Lyric: ''Here we are now, entertain us''

Misheard Lyric: ''Here we are now, in containers''

10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Real lyric: ''Spare him his life from this monstrosity''

Misheard lyric: ''Spare him his life for this one cup of tea''

11. Johnny Nash- I Can See Clearly Now

Real Lyric: ''I can see clearly now the rain has gone''

Misheard Lyric: ''I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone''

12. Madonna- Papa Don't Preach

Real Lyric: ''Papa don't preach''

Misheard Lyric: ''Poppadom Peach''

13. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Real Lyric - ''Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango''

Misheard lyric: ''Scallaboosh, Scallaboosh, will you to the banned tango''

14. Bee Gees- Stayin' Alive

Real Lyric: ''Stayin' alive, stayin' alive''

Misheard Lyric: ''Steak and a knife, steak and a knife''

15. Prodigy - Out of space

Real lyric: ''I'll take your brain to another dimension. Pay close attention''

Misheard lyric: ''I'll take your brain to another dimension. Hey close the kitchen''

16. ABBA - Dancing Queen

Real lyric: ''See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen''

Misheard lyric: ''See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen''

17. ABBA - Mamma Mia

Real lyric: ''How can I resist you''

Misheard lyric: ''Have I got a sister''

18. Take That - Babe

Real lyric: ''Babe''

Misheard lyric: ''Dave''

19. Blue Oyster Cult- Don't Fear The Reaper

Real Lyric: ''Seasons don't fear the reaper''

Misheard Lyric: ''Jesus don't fear the reaper''

20. Annie Lennox- There Must Be An Angel

Real Lyric: ''Must be talking to an angel''

Misheard Lyric: ''Must be talking to a ninja''
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Play on!

There are some songs which just keep playing in your mind from the minute you hear them! Playing in an incessant loop, till you hear the next one, the song goes on and on and on... Sometimes you are tempted to hum or even mumble the words and sometimes, bravely sing aloud! The rest of the time, the song plays on at the back of your mind.
 
It's funny that most of these songs are the ones you would never admit (unless under duress) to even listening to! For instance, I find quite a number of Himesh's nasal compositions have a way of getting into my mnetal playlist (oh horror!) - in fact the more tackier it is, the more frequently it repeats!
 
Generally, if the cabbie or auto wallah on my way to work plays something, it tends to stick around the whole day... I will, in all fairness, attribute it to the fact that these are generally foot-tapping numbers, enlivening my dull journey and so on and so forth... so in recent times, I have spent entire days humming "Nana chi taang" or tapping my feet to "Munni badnam hui..!" Sometimes, the slower melodious numbers stick too and well, I will admit, I love hearing the songs over and over, till of course you feel a little irritated when it refuses to move past those two lines you picked up in the morning!
 
Anyway, a colleague was singing Desi Girl under his breath a few minutes ago as he walked past... oh well! So was I!! Coincidence??? Ha ha... who knows??
 
So, does everyone tune in to a mental radio station?? Does everyone hum or sing off key and feel perfectly happy about it? I do hope so! It's a happy place to be!! :-)
 

Monday, September 20, 2010

What are the 10 most difficult questions to answer?

1. What is the meaning of life?

2. Is there a God?

3. Do blondes have more fun?

4. What is the best diet?

5. Is there anybody out there?

6. Who is the most famous person in the world?

7. What is love?

8. What is the secret to happiness?

9. Did Tony Soprano die?

10. How long will I live?
 

Totally entertaining read!

 
It begins with the following lines:

What is it that makes a culture unique? How are whites, blacks, Asians, or whoever different from everybody else? What tastes, interests, and concepts define an ethnic group? And is there any way to make fun of other races in public and get away with it?

It goes on to list the preferences of men and women from different races according to a survey conducted on some 500.000 profiles from a dating site!
 
Well, as the study shows, white american guys love Tom Clancy, Van Halen, grilling, Nascar, Coen Brothers and the Big Lebowski the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Harley Davidson (and yes! they also apparently love referring to stuff as "van f***ing halen" or "harley f***ing davidson!). White american women like the Red Sox (of course men like them too... just not as much!), Jodi Picoult, boating, mascara, Nascar (!!), "I'm Blond" and "I have Red Hair", thunderstorms, Tim McGraw, cookbooks, flip flops, Patricia Cornwell, "my girlfriends" and mom!
 
Black american guys like "i am cool", playing basketball, Mos Def, "god-fearing", "menace to society", chillin', Denzel, Bible and "no kids". The women like The Colour Purple, gospel, lip gloss, "god-fearing", self help, Justin Timberlake, and "to church", "faith in god", and blessings! Soul food features high on both lists and so does religion!
 
The Indian list was quite funny (and revealing!) too. The guys love cricket, software engineer, idiots, happy go lucky, the Kite Runner, Gandhi, trading and investment, "every moment", and serendipity. SRK, Seinfeld and Ayn Rand also feature on the list. The women like bhangra (a lot it seems!), "foodie", spices, A Monsoon Wedding, the New Yorker, "my couch", dance floor, be silly, "My parents", great conversations, "different cultures", "i heart", bollywood, and exotic destinations! A lot of Khaled Husseini features on both lists, so does Jhumpa Lahiri and indian food!
 
Indians apparently lead in Profile Sophistication with more sophisticated profile text and language skills - something which I found a little funny... reminds me of the hollywood stereotypical smooth talking gurus!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sunday Surprise

UP, up and away!

Finally watched UP last night... after days of anticipation and expectation (and feverishly checking my bigflix queue status online!). Was really happy afterwards... and overwhelmed. And enchanted!

Not just the thrill of a flying house (rigged with thousands of helium filled colourful balloons!), UP as the story of the bonding between an old man (Carl) and a young boy (RUssell) was beautiful, absurd and ever so much fun! There was a talking dog (Dug) and a fantastical bird (the sort you name Kevin and then you find it's a she and has babies!!) 

And then of course there was the poignant love story of Carl and Ellie that gave us some of the most beautiful moments in the film! And there was drama with the explorer turned villainous Muntz... and oh well! You just have to see it!

The animation was stunning... the dvd bonus features included 2 animation shorts, a director's cut and a short documentary on the kind of research they did for the movie.... i think i found all that painstaking detailing just amazing! 

To get the backgrounds right, these guys travelled to the inaccessible South American Tepui tabletop mountains and trekked and sketched and shot photographs and studied the light and the rock formations and... phew! who would believe that all that effort went into creating an animated movie? Even the balloons were researched!! My new heroes are Pete Docter, Bob Peterson and the wonderful creative crew.... kudos!

Just fantastic! Planning another watch today...

My beautiful rain-soaked morning

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bauble

So what will it be today my friend?
Ask and you shall receive...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Modern Times

my life it seems is now just mechanic
shiny, hard, metallic
no feeling - just a void.

no time to register an emotion
cold, impersonal,dead...
just a dulled sense of what's around

what would it take to feel alive again?
to stop and stare
and smell a flower?

but all i do is run
from the morning till i'm sleeping
while i'm talking and when i'm walking
all i do is run...

i sit in my cubicle
one cog among a million rusty ones
turning tortured grooves
to keep the machine running

what would it take to feel alive again?
to remember
and listen to an old favourite song?
and cry?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weird Food - The £111.95 sandwich!

Forget your average cheese and ham slapped inside a roll, can you imagine paying over £110 (that's roughly Indian Rupee symbol.svg 8000!) for a sandwich??
 
Created by chef Martin Blunos, the world's most expensive sandwich contains slices of quail's egg, heirloom black tomato, epicure apple, figs and specially created white truffle cheese on a £5 loaf of sourdough bread, dressed with extra virgin olive oil. The sandwich was garnished with a salad of mustard reds, pea shoots and red amaranth. The cost factor was raised another notch by a topping of edible gold dust!
 

a bout of nostalgia... Moon River

Moon Rover,
Wider than a mile:
I'm crossin' you in style
Someday.
Old dream maker,
You heart breaker,
Wherever you're goin',
I'm goin' your way.
Two drifters off to see the world,
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same Rainbow's end,
Waitin' around the bend,
My Huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.
 - from Breakfast at Tiffany's
(Henry Mancini and Hank Mercer)

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Mood this Monday

fatigued.
tetchy.
frazzled.
aching.
addled.
disgusted.
melodramatic.
cornered.
worn out and washed out.
disillusioned.
 
Need a good cry, sound sleep and some chocolate.