Saturday, December 26, 2009

Monk Rocket Boy



My very first White Christmas. My Daughter's very first White Christmas too. And my Son's very first Christmas ever ! Yes, we welcomed him 2 weeks back and I became Mom, for the second time. In the middle of this crowded household, Hubby is doing just fine.

Last month and half has been momentous totally. Among other things, I travelled half-way across the world, from Bangalore to Minnesota. With my toddler and 30-week belly. (My travel bug is not over yet. Have another move scheduled next month) Lesson learnt in this air-travel - Be hands-free if you are with a toddler. Not even a purse- forget about cabin luggage. Because toddlers can fall asleep - yes. And strollers or trolleys are not allowed everywere in the airport. So.



What is more painful than the labour and delivery pain ? It's deciding your kids name. Oh yes, it is. Last time we spent 3 months on finalising a name. This time we had only 3 days. And I saw "Rocket Singh - Salesman of the year" same week, but after delivery, else the job would have been easier. Yes, Rocket Singh is my current favourite movie. Its definitely going tomake it to my DVD collection. Loved each character, every partner, his boss, their quirks. Dialoges were all picked up from normal real life ofcourse. Not surprising since they have such a research team in place. But when put to such rocking spy-movie-type background music, it turned out exicting. But I liked it mostly because the first half reminded me of mine and my Hubby's first jobs. But the second-half reminded me why I love my job.



On a side note, Monk got over. Sigh. But they ended this wonderful series perfectly well. For Leland, Randy, Natalie and Sharona. And most importantly for Monk.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grand Canyon

This has been such a long break - in my travel series. Have almost lost the thread. But putting back the memories of my travel time, nearly 6 months back ... we proceeded from Las Vegas, via Hoover Dam, to the Grand Canyon.

We were short of time and needed a quick tour only. So we went, just in time to watch the sunset, the night stay and watch the sun-rise again.



Inspite of all preparation, what we did not prepare for was the chilly, windy Yavapai Point on the South Rim. We were chilly to our chattering teeth, watching the damn Sun to set asap. In hindsight, ofcourse that was the fun part :)



But there are a lot of things to do in GC. Trekking, camping. Different lodges with well-prepared shopping mart with everything available. You dont feel like you are in the middle of a really grand forest.



Morning, we drove along the East Rim, stopping at every point for a view of the GC from different angles.



On the East Rim, we covered Yaki Point, Shoshone Point , Grandview Point, Moran Point and Zuni Point. And Mohave Point on the West Rim.



After watching this, now I know what 'Grand' means !

By afternoon, we started our drive back to LA. This time we took a route, that skipped Las Vegas. the desert, sand strom, that is something best experienced. 100s of miles of desert. No habitat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kaminey



Charlie voiceover: Zindagi mein do raaste hote han – ek fhortcut, doosra chota fhortcut
.................
Charlie: Mein fha ko fha bolta hoon.
Bhope bhau: Fha ko fha nahin bolega to kya bolega.


Dailogues were a gem. Especially the way each of those characters said it.
Characters – each of them a sample.
Story progresses subtly but definitely. So the characters were not an overload.
Songs, ekdum jakaas. I love them more, after watching the movie.
I always liked Shahid, but after JWM and Kaminey, I can say I am a fan.
And I am still so amazed at Vishal Bharadwaj’s track record. How can the guy write, compose, direct and much more, excel in each area and in every of his movies ? Even after so many years, I was blinded by the brilliance of Omkara. And now Kaminey. Too good.

I loved the movie.

image

Monday, September 14, 2009

Loved this one

Kim Clijsters celebrates her US Open win with daughter Jada

Loved this image and news item.

With the silver trophy tucked under one arm and cradling her daughter Jada in the other, Kim Clijsters provided a huge lift for working mothers around the world as she was crowned US Open champion overnight.

....

No one can accuse Clijsters of having an easy ride at the Open as her road to the final included victories over both Venus and Serena Williams.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Amazing story

Naga Naresh Karuturi on RediffWhen I read the headline on Rediff & saw the pic, I thought, "What's the big deal ? Just another hype from Rediff." And when I was about to switch to another window, I glanced down. Boom ! It hit me like anything. Read the whole thing. Truely amazing.

Amazing boy ! Amazing Parents & Sister !

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back home time



As of right now, I am heading back home to Ban-ga-looooooore !!! Yipeee !!!

Masala dosa, pani puri, loads of ghee, my Mom's cooking, my Mom's cows, fresh vegetable markets, Jayanager market - ya all of Bangalore, be prepared, for here I come ...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam
  • Hoover Dam, comes enroute from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon.
  • At the crossover from Nevada to Arizona.
  • Should definitely take this short stopover to marvel at the huge impressive dam, built in 1931 and in 4 years !
  • And also to gaze at the mighty Colarado river.


  • Monday, May 25, 2009

    Las Vegas

    Las Vegas is about 4 hours drive from LA. And man ! what a drive it is ! The route is across semi-rocky, arid desert mountains. Not a green shrub in sight. And you can see the road ahead for 100s of miles. Awesome experience, this drive.



    Las Vegas is simply a Disneyland, for grownups. Things to do in LV:

  • Walk on the Las Vegas Strip. By day and definitely at night. With a millions lights around, and a hundred different things happening, you won't find a single fuzed bulb.
    Planet Hollywood Paris


  • Excelsior for the good food courts.
  • New York, New York
  • Luxor - pyramid
    Ecelsior New York, New York


  • Venetian. This is the Italian themed one with ceiling painted like the sky, a water canal and gandolas riding in there. And awesome Italian food too.

  • Belagio, with the water works in front of it. All in sync with music. I think that's what was featured in Oceans Eleven end sequence.
    Belagio Las Vegas Strip


  • And finally the magnificant view from Effiel tower top


  • Gamble ? Casino ? Ah, what's that ? Oh it's just an afterthought, for some who want to stay up all night. With so many sights & shows around, I didn't get a chance to gamble.
  • Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Universal Studios, LA

    No, I not a AK or KK or even SS fan, to feature this trailer here. It's just that it features LA Universal Studios so prominently here. And I saw it fresh after our visit to LA-US, that it just got me too exited.




    Check out the Waterworld show at 1:02 and 3:00. Now Waterworld movie may have sunk, but the show was awesome! Number of people who have seen this show must be much much more than the ones who saw the movie. If with TV actors, it was so great, I can't imagine how thrilling it would be to see Akki do that.



    And those cars flying at 2:28. I hate to break it, but they don't just fly. They have proper gadgets holding them from below, which throw them out in sync. They even perform a dance jig at the end. I doubt that would be featured in the movie.

    These cars and more were featured in the Studio tour. The actual place where shooting happens. I saw so thrilled to see the 'Desparate Housewives' set. There a lot more sets there - Phsyco's Bates Motel, War of the Worlds smashed neigbourhood. All to an interesting running commentry from the tour guide.



    Studio tour was by far my most fav tours, being a motion picure fan mself. But the rest of the shows were great too. What interested me the most were the ones connected to movie making - Special Effects and Backdraft. Terminator 2:3D - same as in Florida. Simpsons ride - too good, the best and back breaking one. And I got my photo clicked with Doc Brown, Shrek, Zoro, Marilyn Monroe and even the menancing guards of The Mummy !

    Overall, Universal Sudios LA was far far better than the one in Florida. Because of the real movie making stuff here.

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    City of Angels

    And to finish off March and welcome April, we did a trip to my bro at Los Angeles and visit the surrounding areas.

    LA Downtown

    I have been living in Minnesota for some months now. And I always wondered, where is that America which I have seen in Hollywood movies and TV serials ? Everthing is so neat & tidy, lawful, well-behaved and functional out here. So, what are the showing out there ? As soon as I landed in LA, everthing became clear. I saw littering, speeding, rash driving, homeless crowds, grafitti, police sirens and even helicopter police ! And I actually saw a cop handcuff someone by the road ! I swear I had never seen a cop outside his vehicle before !

    So this is where Hollywood gets its inspiration, ah ! Well after all, Hollywood is located here. It's like how Hindi films and serials are all Mumbai-centric in themes & lifestyle. They just don't know how people of Raipur or Tumkur live their lives ?

    And after visiting so many states I have to say. America is definitely United and one entity. But each state is different and unique in its own way. In terms of vegetation, soil, culture and more. Like for example, California locations and road names have South American influence, while Minnesota names are mainly derived from Native American words.

    Now about LA, a lot of places of visit:

    Hollywood Boulevard: which is strewn with star signs, Ripleys & Wax museums and loads of souvenier shops.


    And also The Kodak Theatre, which hosts Oscar ceremony every year


    Grauman's Chinese Theater. Outside it, the footwalk has cement imprints of famous personalities.


    Hollywood Sign:


    San Diego: Being short of time, we did with a hurried visit here. Port area is beautiful and night-time feels so peaceful here. I dont know the actual meaning of it, but I saw nearly 6-7 'Bail Bond' shop as soon as we entered the downtown. If I derive a meaning based on the word Bail, is the crime rate so much that there is so much business for these shops !!! I must be mistaken. The shops and restaurents were all posh. But every next street there were rows of homeless people sleeping in tents. Nevertheless, the downtown was very neat and well organised.

    Finally a lovely sunset at a beach near San Diego.

    Tuesday, May 5, 2009

    Space visit - NASA

    And finally on the last morning in Orlando, we visited the Kennedy Space Center.


    Bus tour takes us to 3 different locations in the area. Informational video playing in the bus tells us of so many different types of jobs involved in "Space work". I mean, by NASA we think of only Astronauts and Scientists. But we don't quickly think of the variety of science fields involved here - chemicals, metals, physics, ... The video featured actual people working here. And each one of them was proud of their work - even if it meant fixing a screw. Because they knew how important it was.



    Open space around the Kennedy Space Center


    An actual engine which was used nearly 6 times.


    Large wide tracks for the vehicle which carries the launch vehicle.


    An old launch vehicle on display. The entire thing which took up almost a plane hanger.



    Launch site


    The room which re-enacts the Apollo-11 launch. The room has the exact same computers which were used then. Displays show us all the footage, of scientists, common people, at the exact time of launch. And finally even windows shatter with the launch. Good experience.




    And we got to see a shuttle launch in the previous evening.



    Though not from inside the center. This was from a sea shore. Didn't get a good shot, because I was busy being bedazzaled by the whole thing. And I was not the only one. Look at the crowded jam on I50.



    And with this I wrap up my Orlando story.