Friday, December 28, 2007

Turn the Page

But your thoughts will soon be wandering the way they always do,
When you're riding sixteen hours and there's nothing much to do,
And you don't feel much like riding, you just wish the trip was through.........

Here I am...on the road again...

My sentiments exactly. Here I am - in Dulles, the Gate B31 lounge, waiting for my flight to Newark..and not surprisingly, it's delayed! But somehow I'm not the least bit concerned, even though my flight to Bombay from Newark takes off at 8.20pm, which means it's gonna be very tight. Think I'm getting used to this ;) Everything's gone smooth so far, perhaps the only bump in the ride being the baggage check-in, where I found to my dismay that my bag was overloaded and was 3 pounds above 50, which is the max limit. Damn those chocolates! :P So they asked me to move stuff to the other bag..and I opened my overweight bag, took my time analyzing what to do...and moved only a sweater, my sandals, and my bro's camera-package. Checked the weight again..and voila! Exactly 50 pounds! I think the lady at the counter gave me a "Do you work in some warehouse weighing boxes all day?" look before proceeding to complete my check-in. LoL.

Had a good farewell lunch at Bugaboos today which included like ten people, the usual gang and Jay, Josh, Isha too. We all kept eating and speaking which meant I had to say a quick goodbye and run off in the end in order to catch my taxi, which thankfully waited for half an hour. Nice cab driver, I didn't mind giving him a few extra dollars as part of the tip. (All company reimbursed though :P)

Well, let me gather my thoughts back...kinda hard to believe one year has passed quickly, I don't even know how. It's been a pretty quiet year actually...composed of the usual stuff. Hmm wait, I made a lot of new friends this year - good thing..I put on some weight this year - good thing again! I wish I could write a post like how I did last year, about the highs and lows of the entire year...but I guess there isn't much to write home about. Oh, what the hell, I'll try anyway...

I guess the best parts of the year came back to back for me..first the Roger Waters concert in February..without doubt the highlight of my year. The trip to Mumbai with Naveen, spending time with Shahil and Swan, and then the concert itself. Brilliant. The Iron Maiden concert in March is next, had a lot of fun and was a good reuinion of sorts with all my buddies too. What next? Ah yes, ManUtd winning the league! Had been waiting on that one....and it was sweeeet.

Lows of the year? Well, not many...I guess the worst would be the fact that my dog Timothy passed away in August..that was painful...he was 12 years old. My CAT paper was another downer too, but that was sorta expected with the kind of prep I put in and the type of exam itself.

Well, I can't wait for the new bro's getting married in Jan, my sis is expecting in Feb..lotsa stuff happening. My team's playing very well..can't wait for the CL to start again in Feb and can't wait for LOST to start again on Jan 31st! shallow am I eh? :P Well, I wanna play tennis with my new racquet too as soon as I can...but might have to wait on that for a bit, cos the month of January looks very busy.

Well, I think I'll be off to the DutyFree sections now...cos I've nothing better to do..

A Very Happy New Year to everyone! God Bless!

//Posted using Dulles' 6$ a session WiFi connection. My first time at an airport, and it ain't bad at all..should do this more often.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Amish!

Well, let me get this news out of the way first.

It's regarding my all-time favorite driver, the one, the only, Michael Schumacher, and I just read it on an article titled 'Schumacher turns taxi driver' on a F1 site. Well, it seems the Schumacher family was on holiday in southern Germany, got delayed and were in danger of missing their flight back home. So what does our man do? He hails down a taxi and then takes the wheel himself, since he really wanted to make it to the airport in time. Talk about confidence in your own abilities man! Awesome. "It was crazy having Schumi driving, with me in the passenger seat'" were the words of the stunned but lucky taxi driver. End result - they did make it on time, and what's more, Schumi paid the driver a 100 Euro tip on top of the 60Euro fare. Talk about someone doing your job and then paying you for it also! Haha, wonderful I say...

Alright, getting back to current affairs..ahem, I mean, my own current affairs. Well, it's been pretty much the same routine for the past three weeks, so I've nothing much to say actually. It's been 'The Office' marathon this time. I finished two seasons last week, and I'm on course to finish season-3 this weekend. Not bad at all. Steve Carell, take a bow!

This weekend is Grand Slam Sunday, and I can't wait for the big two matches - Arse vs. Chelski, and the dippers vs. my beloved team. I found a link last week that does free online streaming of every football match played in every league. It's crazy! And I can't believe I never tried it out the past 3 times I've been here. Shame on me!

Today me and Charles went to the Amish market. Was quite the trip alright, the official name of the place was the Lancaster County Dutch Market. Well, thanks to Charles, who's been my source for almost every new info I get these days, I learned that the Amish are a denomination of Swiss-Germans based mainly around Pennsylvania, who immigrated to this land in the 1640s. They live a very simple life, are avert to technology, meaning they don't even use cars or phones...and dress up in very traditional attire. It was like walking into the village set of a late 19th century based movie! Their main sources of income are based on farming, cultivation and in this case, a restaurant of sorts. The food is unique too, but very simple and we were there for the breakfast platter, which is basically a combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, fries - the works. Oh, these people are also called the Pennsylvania Dutch, but have no connection to the real Dutch. You see, they're actually from Germany, or 'Deutsch', and hence Dutch :) Voila! These Americans like to keep things simple you see! :)

So after that we went to the Univ of Maryland, College Park. Just to play some tennis! In the freezing cold, it was crazy. I bet people were looking at us that way. It was so cold I had to play with gloves, and couldn't feel my face after a few minutes. Anyway, I had a better day at the game, with Charles giving me some useful pointers. I spent some time watching a girls' soccer game, appreciating them...umm, I mean...the way the cold didn't seem to affect them! :P We went to the Recreation Center after that, which is a huge indoors facility having a huge swimming pool, gyms, racquetball, squash and TT courts...just amazing I tell ya. I envy the kids studying at this place. We played a bit of racquetball and headed back to Rockville after that.

There's a huge storm headed this way, so I'm just sitting indoors with the heater on, watching TV and blogging away. Will be heating up some food later after a shower. The life of a single man in a single-bed hotel room. :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

..and then it snowed

Pictures from a fun filled day of playing in the first official snowy day! It was just awesome I tell ya...and the scenery was just breathtaking..will be posting more to my flickr pblog later!

The meltdown

Just outside office

Thy name shall be written in snow...



Iced tea? :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tennis, Guinness, my goodness!

Holla everyone, I just passed my first weekend of being alone here, and boy, was it fun! (Last weekend didn't qualify since I'd been to NJ). Me, Shrini and Charles had been to Bugaboos (my fav steakhouse) on Friday night and after I'd come home I finished off the last few episodes of Friends season 10, something I'd been stuck on, for believe it or not, 2+ years!

Got up pretty late, around 11am, and that's when Shrini called. Seemed Charles wanted to play some tennis and he'd come over and pick me up. We went over and had lunch at Cici's pizza. Funny place, actually meant for kids but they have a pizza + salad + desert buffet for just 6$! That's a steal I tell ya...and mmmm..the salad bar always just rocks just cos of this.

After that, we were off to the hardcourts for some tennis. The best part of my trip so far! Shrini and Charles have had some prior experience playing tennis before, but for me it would be just my second time, the last one being almost five years ago! I first tried taking off my Woodland shoes since I didn't wanna sprain my ankle running with it a.k.a WonderKid (hee hee). But it was sooo freakin cold, it felt like running on ice so I had to put it back on. Charles gave me one of his racquets to play with and I slowly tried to get a feel of the ball. Needless to say, I was pretty hopeless in the beginning and could not get anything right, so Charles started giving me tips on how to time my shot, serve etc. He then told me something else - the racquet I was using was a Babolat PureDrive, the official racquet of Andy Roddick! It's the same company that makes racquets for Nadal too, though that's the AeroPro Drive model. It was only then that I knew I was holding a 150$+ expensive racquet! I knew I had to up my game that very second, I just couldn't insult my beloved A-Rod or Rafa! :) Almost instantaneously, I started to get more shots was so damn weird! My hands were aching after just an hour cos this was the first real physical exercise I've had in months. I still sucked compared to other two guys but I now have a very strong resolve to get myself a racquet and start practicing as soon as I get back to Bangalore. Man! What a beautiful game! We played for like two hours in almost freezing temperatures (it was three degrees outside!) and by the end of it I was totally exhausted but had a huge beam on my face :)

I spent the night at Shrini's place after we'd went out and got some Guinness and SamAdams (both my favs). We watched 'Catch me if you can' (the third time for me) and Shrini made some rice and chicken masala for dinner. Today morning was more of the same. Shrini had missed all the T20 WorldCup fun so we hooked up to stage6 and watched the hour-long highlights of the Indo Pak final. More Guinness. Took a small nap and then watched 'A Mighty Heart'. Pretty good I must say especially cos of Jolie and Irfan Khan. Had dinner at Tara Thai after that and came back to the hotel.

Next week I'll probably be off to NJ again, but it kinda feels sad cos I just wanna play Tennis as soon as I can! :)