• Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Thursday, May 26, 2005

the poisonous language of academia

I read this article by Robert Fisk, a plain speaking jouralist who reports on events in the middle east. He talks about the ridiculous language used in most academic publications. I felt such a sense of relief knowing I wasn't alone in my disdain for supposedly scholarly writing. This style of writing while serving as a stellar sleeping aid most times also gave me several headaches - specially the kind that showed up in GRE verbal comprehension passages. Come to think of it, some of the NY Times movie reviews come very close.

On other fronts, today I took my first rock-climbing lesson along with Mukta. Learnt the basics of climbing and belaying. We both pretty much killed each other while belaying the other person :-) . Luckily, the whole setup is so safe, your mistakes don't really cost anything. I need a lot more strength in my fingers. It was a great experience on the whole. After my trip in India, I'll go do some outdoor climbing.

Saw 'Crash' the other day - fantastic movie. I'd rate it the best I've seen so far this summer along with Sin City. Kingdom of Heaven comes a close second. The screenplay was the clear highlight, weaving a tale so involving around so many characters. I absolutely loved the movie's in-your-face take on racism and the various funny, sad and uplifting elements. In particular, the monologue about car thieves, forensic investigation and discovery channel was hilarious.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

27 now

I just completed 27 years of my life today. hmm ... tick tick tick ... I have nothing interesting to say .. tick tick tick .. waiting for mom to finish her call with manju so that I can call and get wished a second time. birthdays last 36 hours in the US for me. Isn't that cool?

Went to Raj's anniversary party and I kid you not - every living being who came to know of my impending trip to India popped the question - 'getting hitched?'. of course I am! bharath offered to mail me some additional documentation that I'll need if I'm to bring my young new bride to the states. the future is clear my babies - I'll be back with a spanking new wife.

Actually, I want to take a sabbatical and go on a 6 month trek of the Himalayas.

OK .. I give up. I don't see this blog headed anywhere interesting.

tick .. tick .. tick

i'll be 28

Sunday, May 15, 2005

music hotlist

Street Spirit, Black Star - Radiohead
La Main La Dance La Main - Faudel
Mohammed, Bohemian like you - the Dandy Warhols
Adarghral, Walagh, Amegh Asinigh - Abdelli
Vibuthi - Ozric Tentacles
Extreme Ways - Moby

And there's nothing like running to ac/dc. This friday, I ran a couple of miles on the treadmill with a rapid turnover and kept my foot elevation really low. This doesn't look great at all - it seems more like a fast walk as opposed to a high knee running action that looks a lot more elegant. But remarkably, this technique almost nullified fatigue/pain in my shins. I'll see how my shins react to a four miler tomorrow. This will hopefully increase my leg/feet strength and adaptability which will eventually lead to a faster pace and longer mileage without any niggling injuries/pain.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Quarter Life Crisis

First off .. I din't write it. A friend sent it to me a while back when I was 25 :-). It was written by Brenda Della Casa for Play magazine. I got this information from a comment left by the author's bot. Full credit to her.

They call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you
stop going along with the crowd and start realizing
that there are many things about yourself that you
didn't know and may not like. You start feeling
insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or
two, but then get scared because you barely know where
you are now.

You start realizing that people are selfish and that,
maybe, those friends that you thought you were so
close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have
ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are
some of the most important ones. What you don't
recognize is that they are realizing that too, and
aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that
they are as confused as you.

You look at your job... and it is not even close to
what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are
looking for a job and realizing that you are going to
have to start at the bottom and that scares you.
Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what
others are doing and find yourself judging more than
usual because suddenly you realize that you have
certain boundaries in your life and are constantly
adding things to your list of what is acceptable and
what isn't. One minute, you are insecure and then the
next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest
force of your life. You feel alone and scared and
confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try
and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon
realize that the past is drifting further and further
away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you
are or move forward.

You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you
loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed
and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough
that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love
someone but love someone else too and cannot figure
out why you're doing this because you know that you
aren't a bad person. One night stands and random hook ups
start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot
starts to look pathetic.

You go through the same emotions and questions over
and over, and talk with your friends about the same
topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You
worry about loans, money, the future and making a life
for yourself... and while winning the race would be
great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!
What you may not realize is that everyone reading this
relates to it. We are in our best of times and our
worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure
this whole thing out.

Monday, May 09, 2005

music mania arabica

I'm suffering from a bout of cannot-get-enough-of-middle-eastern-music since yesterday. It was one of those days when I wanted to badly badly listen to some high-energy music - the kind that will get you jumping ten feet high with each beat. My 60 gigs of music came up short as I went thru song after song remaining unsatisfied. It was then that I decided to listen to a freak download of 'Dhoom Machade' remix. THAT kicks ass - atleast the first couple of minutes. After that, I went on a rampage downloading music from Coolgoose and thus I rediscovered my love for arabic music - thru Faudel. One of his tracks, La Main Dans La Main is wildly infectuous. It kicks off with a weeping, imploring violin riff that gives in to a teasing banjo-like arpeggio that ultimately morphs into a fast-paced track featuring typically melodic vocals and irresistable ethnic arrangements. That led me to search feverishly for more such music. I eventually stumbled into Abdelli, an artist who blends arab-african music with other world influences. Two of his songs (Adarghral and Walagh) were exceptionally pure compositions featuring melting vocals, flute and guitar (or atleast what I think were flute and guitar). But frankly, it's riduculously time-consuming to search for new music. I couldn't believe the amount of crap I had to go thru to end up with these gems but I think it's worth it .. as I sit back with my headphones and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

All this frenzy for music east of the Atlantic began ever since I saw MF Husain's Meenaxi (kindly lent to me by Rupa). Meenaxi had some typically exhilerating tracks from Rehman like Chinnamma Chilakamma (yes, it's telugu and one of the reasons I took notice), Yeh Rishta, Rang Hain and Noor-un-ala-noor. That led me to listen to Swades - Yun hi chala, Saawarian, Yeh Tara. As I searched on coolgoose for Swades music, I ran into Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's Kinna Sona and eventually to Faudel. So, now that I've etched my journey east to west having listened to some truly remarkable music, I'll sign off praying that the God of Sleep will whisk me away for some much needed shuteye.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fitter, Happier

An apt title for this entry but you got to listen to the song with the same name by Radiohead. It's something else altogether.

Today, I road-tested my new Adidas runners that I got at Phidippides last week. It felt great to run after a six week layoff. Among my many obsessions, running is one and I had to stop dead in my trax after repeating pain on the outer side of my left knee (aka runners knee). After furiously pondering many possible causes, I stumbled upon the fact that I started developing the pain around the time I switched leg extensions with situps. After putting them back in my routine, my knee hasn't been misbehaving and today I was able to run 3 miles quite comfortably. Hopefully, I can keep running without much trouble. I'm really looking forward to running in India, specially near home. Banjara Hills had such great terrain, atleast it was so around the time I left.

I also came across a very interesting site on weight training the other day. I'm going to try a low volume routine for the next few weeks and see how that feels. This site is very clean in appearance, features no endorsements and comes across as quite honest and straightforward. When it contains stuff like Evidence suggests that less than 20 percent of men and very few women can develop large muscles even if they wanted to, regardless what program they follow you cannot but trust the author.

I attended a wine-tasting party this friday at Giri's. Because I my self confessed dislike for wine, Giri arranged a great selection of dark chocolates so I could do a paul giamatti on chocolate. On the whole I had a great time at the party and met up with some very fun people. Atlanta only seems to get more and more interesting with time.