Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yes Man

This film starring Jim Carrey was on my most-anticipated list. I caught it yesterday night @ AMC Del Amo 18. There was a lot of jokes where i laughed out loud. A really funny film.

I came back from a tiring day at office, had a powernap of 50 minutes and woke up at 9. Made a nescafe to give make me alert. Had the leftover fried rice for dinner and went to the theatre.

The film is based on a book by Danny Wallace, a guy who decides to say 'Yes' to any offer, demand or opportunity that comes by. That a person actually did it in his life is astounding. Now, this is nothing for Mr. Wallace, who has done another experiment where he lived 'exactly according to biblical laws'.


Enough about the book. In the film, Jim Carrey portrays Carl, who has been dumped by his girlfriend. Ever since that happened he becomes some kind of a hermit, declining to socialize or make any kind of involvement in his own life. Inspired by a friend of his, he attends a motivation seminar, where he decides to say Yes to everything. Thus begins a series of funny and hilarious events. Somewhere along the way he meets Allison, a free bird who sings in a ragtag band, does jogging-photography and rides a scooter most dangerously. They like each other, and launch into a torrid love affair.

yes man

My favorite scene from the film was where they sneak up into Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl and sing a song together. Jim Carrey is ok, but Zooey Deschannel's backing vocals are damn funny. (Her eyes remind me of a Huski Dog-or a yakshi)

How does it compare to my all-time favorite 'Bruce Almighty'? It lacks the emotional depth,bitterness or the message of Bruce Almighty, but it is delightful for all the laughs.

Watch this movie.Laughter is good for your health.

Movie Trailer from Youtube:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Malibu Temple

This is the temple i visited for my vahana pooja. We got stuck in traffic, missed 2 exits and by the time we reached here it was going to be closed. So i couldnt perform an actual pooja. One thing i noted was that there were no oil lamps. CA law has prohibited anyone from making open fires. thats why. LA sees many wild fires all the time..

This photo was made possible by tripod.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Free DVDs with Redbox

I think you all must have seen the Redbox kiosks in supermarkets.(US folks). I am having a nice time getting free DVDs from Redbox.

The redbox frequently gives out promo codes using which you can get free rentals for a night each. The catch is that a code can be used only once on a card.(You need to swipe a card at the end of DVD selection for identification) And some codes are only for first time users.

But most our USA households have atleast 2 cards, which means you can use those codes twice. If you are a husband and wife both with a debit and credit card, one code means 4 DVDs!

In my case, i am living with 2 guys who have no interest in English movies whatsoever. I get their cards each time i get a code (well not always as i don't feel greedy all the time). If you keep the DVD for more than one night, you will be charged. So i come home, copy the DVD using the fabulous software DVDFab and give it back (if i dont find time to see it first)

Here are some codes to get started:
REDBOX (first timer code- use first)
DVDONME (can be used once)
BREAKROOM (can be used once)

Good thing with Redbox (compared to Netflix) is that you have a better chance of landing latest DVDs. Also, you can get whichever type of movie you are in the mood for.

These are some sites for finding Redbox codes:

These days i am seeing a flaw on the Redbox validation logic...More on that later.

A Farewell to my MAK! (With tears)

He was with me for a few days. In those very few hours i had begun to like him a lot. Though a little old, he was capable. He had character. He could accelerate well and give good transmission with his 2.0L engine. His audio system picked up my ipod and would give a concert. Above all, he made me independent for the time he was with me.

With him, i went to some of the places i wanted to go for a long time. In the three days he was with me, we travelled some 200+ miles.

I lost him in an accident in Los Angeles. One stupid mex guy jumped a Red light and i could not stop in time to save my mak. I floored the brakes but i slammed into that car.
His seat belts and airbags saved yours truly. It was like out of a bad dream. Mak had sufferred a lot of damages. I will be never able to forgive myself. I am inconsolable from that day.

I used to tell him, one day my nithya will come from India and we will go on long drives. We will be a happy family. But that was not to be.

It is my destiny. God moves in mysterious ways. May be He wanted to help that bengali babu who sold me the car. But He did not want me to have this car.Bengali babu himself was very sad on the day he gave over the keys. I cant start to imagine if he comes to know.

I was going to come to Office in Mak starting monday. Going to get the parking permit. Now all that is cancelled plans. I am again a dependant creature. Mak who gave me independance for some days, is gone now. Mak, I will miss you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blankets - a Graphic Novel

Wikipedia:A graphic novel is a type of comic book, usually with a lengthy and complex storyline similar to those of novels, and often aimed at mature audiences.

For me:A movie in a book.I am sort of a visual person.

Recently i completed this graphic novel, Blankets by Craig Thompson. It was a beautiful experience. Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, BLANKETS explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers.The author has great visual sense and each page is like a beautiful storyboard. The book is sad,beautiful and nostalgic all at the same time.

I would like to share with you a beautiful moment from the book below.










This makes me miss Nithya even more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hollywood Wax Museum

Weekend i had gone on a visit to Hollywood Blvd. Main activity of the night was seeing a film in the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre. I strolled along the street and saw some other attractions too. The best of these was the wax museum.

Wax Museum and Guinness Records Museum comes in a combo ticket as it is run by the same management. You might think that a museum devoted to the world records must be cool. You thought wrong. Instead of portraying the records in visuals, the 60% of museum is in writing. It is a lot of reading to do. Better to get the book then. Only fun thing in this museum is to put yourself into the body of the man with the biggest waist.


The wax museum is also not that good, several of the wax figures bear no resemblance to the actual celebrities. I took photos of all the good ones, saving you about 15$.
I used my new tripod on this journey and it was very useful. Low light, long shutter, stationary subjects. Its tailor made for a tripod photo.

I cant even recognize these ladies, but Samuel Jackson seems like he would burst into a dialogue any minute.
Hollywood wax muesuem Samuel L. Jackson

Angelina Jolie. I dont know who the hunks are. They look like anybody.
Hollywood wax muesuem Angelina Jolie

Tomb Raider
Hollywood wax muesuem Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider

Tommy Lee Jones and someone who doesnt look like Will Smith
Hollywood wax muesuem MIB

Governator as conan the barbarian
Hollywood wax muesuem Arnold Conan the Barbarian

There was some "horror path" also inside the museum. I did not have the courage to go in there. May be when i get company.

A Toast to Judy

Me and Judy are proud CETians. But we never met at CET. We were in the same batch in August 2004 SC Internet Stream, still nothing. For that matter we were all in that batch and i knew just Varna then.

I am one of those specimens of humankind to whom making friends is not a present ability. I have a very few friends in life and all of them came into my life. I feel that every good friend that i have, i haven't made that friendship, but they give me that privilege of friendship.I am thus privileged to be a friend of Judy.

When i came to Mangalore, i was granted membership of the best gang of friends i have seen. I spotted Judy and Joise in that circle. I could see they are "together" in the best sense. I had a lot of good thing in common with Joise, lazyiness and C&H being two. This paved way for a friendship with Judy. I still remember three of ours first outing together - searching for shopping in all the wrong places in Mangalore. Lunch at Heerapanna.

Soon, we would be frequenting the most dreaded of hangout places in all of Mangalore- The Maitri. Joise and me 'had a thing' for the chicken manjurian of Maithri.(Well what can i say it is the one of the best dishes in Mangalore.) Judy had the audacity (ofcourse propelled by feelings for Joise) to come to Maithri. The only other girl i have seen with that same audacity is Nithya (This means going to maithri is like a test for your love)

I could always count on Judy,and she has been more than a caring friend for me. I had a lot of tough spots in the last 4 years and she has given me a lot of support. I have tried to pay back by accompanying her on some shopping trips (yes girls,this is the biggest thing a guy can do for you) once to Kudla and once for a great movie 'Salaam Namaste'.I am lucky she still thinks of me as a friend.

She has some distinct qualities:
1. The only person who brought sweets (a huge number of them) to celebrate a national holiday.(he he)
2. One of the best cooks i have seen.

When i was thinking of becoming a lifelong bachelor (yes i had those fantasies) i told them i would come and stay with them once in a while, after they become a family. I realized this 'vision' some time ago. I felt that after i make a mess of staying in their home she would not talk to me. I was wrong. We still talk on the phone and i did wish her happy birthday.

Happy birthday, Judy! (And wishing she would forgive me for this post!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

That thing you do!

The first time i heard this song, i was in the Dollar Store, Mangalore. Its infectious peppy tune caught me. I have been listening to this song since then. Recently i saw the film whose original sound track is this, and i am happy i did.

The film, also named "That thing you do" tells the story of a teenage band which raises to the top with its hit single. Unlike the "Rock On", this film has a light feel. You feel like you are watching some of your friends through their good times.

The movie is written and directed by Tom Hanks.He has a good role as the band's manager.The stars of the band are all quite unknown, except Liv Tyler and Steve Zahn.In one of the insignificant roles is one of my favs, Charlize Theron who fades away quickly.

That all the actors who make up the band were made to study the instruments is one detail which points to the extent Hanks went here.This is a film you can curl up on an afternoon to, and come back refreshed.

The song:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Craiglist Scams...(Fake) Sad stories

At this time I have some personal problems and I need to sell the car as fast as possible because I need the money. This is my only reason for selling this beauty otherwise I wouldn't do it.The deal will be handled by Swift Vehicle Trade

The car was my husband`s as he loved it very much, but he did not enjoy it as he died in a IRAQ 3 month ago. It brings very bad memories to me, I want to get rid of it.
The buyer will receive the car with all papers and receipts that he needs to register it to his name.Shipping will be done whit DAS and it will take no more then 2-3 days. I have a friend there who will manage me a low price shipping and I assumed that it is my duty to pay for shipping it.It will be delivered directly to your address.

Currently the car is located in Bronx, New York at the shipping company.
There i lived with my ex-husband until i divorce. Now I am located in San Jose, California where i grow up. I'm very busy looking a home and with my new job and that's way i leave the car at the shipping company.I know that you want to see it before you buy it but I've done some research on the Internet and for that i found eBay Purchase Protection Program. If you are still interested in this transaction with me please let me know and i will explain the whole process.

I`m a single mother with 2 children and i have problems with money, that`s why i`m selling it so cheap. I need to sell the car quickly because I will move from town. We will use eBay`s Protection Program for our safety. If you are interested in buying my car, e-mail me. I am currently using my son's e-mail address.

I'm very busy with my job and I'm often out of town so I can't meet in person with you and this is the reason why I opted to sell my car over the internet. I want to use eBay protection program for our safety and for payme

Thank you for your interest in my the moment the car is located at the shipping company in Annapolis Maryland ready for delivery. Because I'm a single mother with 2 children's i don't have time to meet up with potential buyers and i looking permanently a job.

I am now in a divorce with my ex and i am in desperate need of money to pay the mortgage on my house. That's my only reason for selling it otherwise I wouldn't do it.
The deal will be handled by eBay trough their eBay Vehicle Purchase Program . They will handle the title and money transfer and deliver the car to your location. The car is at their office in Minneapolis MN.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A hack for Kelly Blue Book adhava KBB

I find KBB very useful for finding fair price for used cars. The only bad thing was that you need to do many clicks to get to the page where you can see the price.

Here is a trick which will cut down your number of clicks to one or two.
If you are a command-line person you would like this, if not -Sorry.

Example. Say you want to know the price of a 2002 Toyota Corolla and you are buying from a private party.

Just enter this into the url after :-
2004_Toyota_Corolla_Private Party.aspx

The full URL is now: Party.aspx

If you want the trade-in price make the end of URL Trade-In.aspx
If you want the retail value, make the end of the URL Retail.aspx

Just change the year, make and model according to your needs each time. No need to goto their menu page and click on year, make, model, and go buttons. There- i have saved you some clicks. Now spend that energy in seeing some TV.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Car Search

Car search continues...

Some on my hit list:-
2002 Toyota Corolla LE Sedan 4 Door
101 K Miles
$ 5000

2004 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S Sedan 4D
98 K miles
$ 6,000

2002 Mitsubishi Galant DE Sedan 4D
81 K miles
$ 5200

1997 Honda Civic DX 4D
68 K Miles
$ 4850

Planning to see the first two on weekdays (its near my house) and last two during weekend (little far places)

Cat Cartoons

These are from a book called 'Newyorkers Cat Cartoons'..Brought a lot of chuckles to me..:)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Looking for a car...

This post on craiglist looks fine..

2000 Honda Civic HX (LOW MILES) - $4200 (Los Angeles (Korea Town))

Its a 2000 Honda Civic HX Coupe with 74k mileage. Single owner. (verified from carfax. He is not asking for ebay, shipping etc like common craiglist scammers)

This is the carfax report: Carfax Report Link

I am feeling this is kind of good for me. Anyways i have to check this out in person.