gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Monday, April 19, 2004


Hello! How are you today? Good? Nice to know that.

Now, I don't know about you, but I am a busybee, a workaholic, and an early riser at that. So let me take a few minutes off from my busy schedule and tell you about all the things I have accomplished already this morning - and it's not even lunchtime yet.

Woke up way early - 6:40am. Cursed all the way to the subway stop, and came out at Franklin Street around 7:15. Went straight into the office cafetaria - being on the west side, it's large windows overlook the Hudson river and Newport across. It looked great this morning - there was a heavy low-level fog, making the Newport buildings look like emerging from smoke and clouds - like a lost city in a sci-fi movie. Very cool. Almost burnt my toasts admiring the view.

Armed with toasts and coffee, rushed into my cubicle in the former sugar mill building, where I need to put on my glasses and peek long distance in order to find out if it's light outside. Checked my mail (i.e. deleted all the junk) and made a few phone calls to support to make sure I was out of trouble.

Then the real activity started. Monitored yahoo finance portfolios as if I know anything about finance. Browsed through Barnes and Noble in search of something new, and ended up buying 2 books on vocabulary building and English grammar - after browsing subjects that range from yoga to fashion photography. Went over to to see if there's something I have not seen so far. Landed up with Bubb Rub - a website dedicated to obnoxious-sounding vehicle exhaust modifications - and clicked on all the videos and mp3's until my stupid PC crashed. Had to cold reboot, and somehow that triggered the company's virus scan process, which meant I was stuck looking at the virus scan output for a good 20 minutes. I made sure it checked all the system files and the Java source code and all the emails I had ever written or read for deadly infections of the electronic kind. Including the ones that are unchanged from eternity.

By that time, it was time to get to a meeting - and that meant busy till lunchtime. So there.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

movies watched in the recent past

Have not been writing about the movies I have seen and liked (or disliked a lot) in the past few weeks, so this looks like as good a time as any to fill you up with the updates.

Talk to Her, 2002

Spanish, with subtitles. Excellent slow paced character movie about two women in coma and their significant others tending to them. Very different, very watchable. Has the mini-movie "shrinking lover" and several wonderful dance sequences.

The Terrorist, 1999

Tamil, with subtitles. Ayesha Dharkar is a terrorist - the movie lets us lead her life for a few days, when she is prepared for a major killing of a political figure. Don't make the mistake of thinking of this as an action flick - there's hardly any action or special effects. Rather slow paced, but brings forth a lot of normal life and values in India.

Tart, 2001

Avoid, at all costs. If offered for free, throw and run away. Horrible movie. Absolutely pointless, totally inane, a complete waste of time.

Buffalo '66, 1998

Interesting movie - somewhat like, say, "American Beauty". An ex-convict heads home after jail time, and kidnaps a young dancer on his way to please his parents and prove that he has settled down in life. Somehow the kidnapper and the kidnapped establish a connection, and grow closer. Nicely made - very watchable.

Donnie Darko, 2001

Ha ha! This movie is awesome! What can possibly be better than this plot - the psychology of time travel, alternate universes, and giant devil rabbits! Completely insane plot with a wonderful execution. If you like movies where time is not linear, and really really weird things happen all along, watch this. Chances are, you won't understand the ending, so spend some time after reading up on the ending in one of several websites that discuss this movie. Overall, definitely a discussion topic movie.

Friday, April 09, 2004

New York Auto Show, 2004

Thanks to Good Friday, spent most of today at the New York Auto Show instead of the dreaded office cubicle. Since that's what I did, that's what I am going to talk about.

Cars, in general, are running out of ideas, or my attention span is shrinking faster than my hairline. I skipped whatever looked like a limo or can carry a kid football team around, so I focused on the sports coupes, primarily. If I am going to dream about a car, I'd rather dream about a sports coupe than a minivan. Come to think of it, I hate dreams about minivans. I can't even think of what to talk about to people who like dreaming of minivans.

So - case in point - shrinking ideas. Apart from the totally ridiculous Toyota Triathlon 2-seater race car (which was kinda cool in it's way), every car manufacturer seems to have entered the 2-seater sports segment, and all their ideas seem to merge into the Mazda Miata or the Audi TT. Everyone and their sister company. To site some examples: Mazda RX8, BMW Z3, BMZ Z4, Cadillac XLR, Mercedes AMG, Nissan Z, Lexus LF-C, Chevy Nomad. I expected a little more from the Chevy Nomad, considering it's Shelby lineage. The Mercedes McLaren SLR was cool - but then if you can dish out more than a million for fun, you can have it in a lot of other ways. Like a fleet of forty (!) Mazda RX-8s.

So which car is the best? Of course, there's no straight answer to that, pretty much like my question about which doctor to choose for insurance when I first landed at Rutgers. If I had about $30 grand right now, I'd limit it to a BMW 3-series or a Porsche Boxter - pre-owned. They look and feel the best, the latter even better than the former. This was the first time I was sitting inside a Boxter - and I just loved the feeling. Everything is where you expect it to be. The Bimmer is a close second in that feeling, but Porsche takes it up a noticeable notch. Everything else is either too cheesy, or too expensive, or too much of a show-off, or too old. Among college kid choices are the Mazda RX-8, Chrysler Crossfire, Ford Mustang 2005, Lexus ... mind you, none of these come cheap, so you have to look like a rich college kid. Among the rich and show-offy - Mercedes AMG, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati, Buick convetible, Dodge Viper - to name a few.

As for concepts - Lexus has a nice one - cameras instead of rear view mirrors, with the image shown on LCD panels flush on the dash. Very neat. They kill this with other innovations in their concept car on show - like vertical doors and power everything - that jumps the category from fun to drive to just show offy.

Ideally, I would like to have a car that has the road feel of the old BMW 3-series, manual seat controls - not power ones - since they are just so convenient to adjust (and lighter), amazing handling (Porsche), decent speed (911 :P ), hardtop convertible, midnight blue, suede interior, short throw shifter, 6 speed. At a decent price. Preferably pre-owned. Not asking for too much, am I?