Saturday, October 25, 2003

One immutable truth I have learned in my life is that music is soul food. The very best kind. Carnatic music, even better.

As someone once said, Life has it's little bonuses. Today was Diwali. Today was also UPitt homecoming. And as luck would have it, I saw one awesome firework show. A pretty neat bonus in my opinion.

Thanks to all the reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly, I ended up seeing Kill Bill today. I should say, it entertaining. I didn't appreciate the extreme gore, and a couple of the ladies in the audience left after the first hour. It was a good night's worth though. Especially when it is followed up with a night at a good bar, with good friends and gratuitous alcohol. The perfect Friday night. Violence, friends and alcohol. Woot !

Its back to work tomorrow. Early. Need to get some significant work done towards my numerous projects. Funny thing today, I was scheduled to meet this guy from Microsoft Research. That in itself, isn't an easy task. The deal was that the schedule of people meeting him before me and after me, read like a whos who of computing genius at CMU. But he was nice, he realized the way I felt and listened patiently to my naive thoughts on formal analysis of semantics within distributed concurrent-write systems. And gave me useful comments. Nice. After a couple of meetings over the last few days, ironically all of the people being related to Microsoft, I have come to realize what people have been telling me so far was ... well far from the truth. Formal methods are cool and computational reflection, even cooler. If they can get CLR witting a embedded device, and equip it with reflective architectures, to enable some form of software component evolution... hey, I'm sold.

Creed rocks. Especially after 4 Kamikazee shots, 2 Long Island Iced Teas, good amounts of Yuenglings. Especially.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Happy Diwali !!! I miss home so much right now, I could cry... :(

Saturday, October 18, 2003

This was written a while ago... Wednesday actually... Ive been busy having as much fun as I can since then... so its not as bad as it sounds. Misty smokey settings... flashbacky music...

So there. As of 3 seconds ago, 4 now, 5... BAH ! Its been 36+ hours since I slept !!! I can't believe how much work there was to actually get done. It was freaking insane ! I had midterms, project deadlines, interviews and annoying people who wanted to drink. Even though the last one is my favorite so far, it is also the one with the most detrimental effects. As some people who had a midterm yesterday found out, drinking with some one how had just FINISHED their exams, is not a good idea.

Im in class right now, and the professor keeps pronouncing 'unknown' like 'un-know-en'. Its freaking hilarious !

Do you think people lie on their blogs ? For the life of me, Im lucky if I can churn out one blog worthy event per week. Some others on the other hand, have some really really nice, bloggish things that happen to them. I guess that is once again because of the lifestyle I lead right now. What is that you ask ? I would reply by correcting what I just said, its not lifestyle, its a life. Thats it. I think this applies to most of the people who study/work with me. We work. We eat. We sleep. And we work again. Thats it. Im not kidding. The last party I went to was in Minneapolis, in freaking summer ! Its cold outside right now ! That ought to tell you enough.

Coming down to reality, as a friend recently replied to this rant in her of-late-severly-caustic style, "Don't blame the world if you guys don't know how to have fun." Alright, Ms.Smarty-Party-Panties. We all suck and we know it. Im ready to accept that right now.

This is the thing. I have no problem working my arse off right now. I had my fun in undergrad back home. It was a lot of fun and very little work actually. Things are exactly reversed right now, I guess thats the case with most grad students over here.....

.... Coming out of flashback mode. Just got back from the a pretty decent party. Well, it wasnt the usual crowd, and hence it was pretty good. Nice people, nice dancing and great music. Dammit ! Why aren't more people like that around here ! I feel kinda bad after a good party like that, knowing that something like that is not possible with the people I usually hang out with. Anyways... nothing much to complain about. I will just have to find out where I am comfortable and get my fill there. Will do !

Monday, October 06, 2003

How many conversations have we all had that can be held only with strangers? I'm sure most of us have had our share. And I'm not even talking about online chats or anything like that. I'm talking about people you meet at a random event People you meet in physical space, in person. As one of my friends would call em, general people. And you know what the topics would be... We all need to talk about metaphysics - the answer to life, the universe and everything. Those who know us well want details and specifics - that throws most of us off. Strangers allow us to operate more vaguely - on a much larger, grander scale. We all need to talk about personal issues, issues that you would never ever discuss with a close friend, but would be totally candid about to a total stranger. When the talk occurs between two people who could plausibly have sex together, it gathers a special charge. And they never go very far, let me tell you. You either do something about "it" or you don't. In a situation like that, no amount of talk can hide the direction that conversation is heading in. Ever noticed how you can only say "I feel like I've known you for years" to someone you have not known for years ?? Funny, how your loved ones and significant other(s) doesn't understand the bittersweet beauty of life as well as a stranger. Especially if drinking is involved. Or blogging.

Hope you, you and you read this. You know who I'm talking about. I mean you. And you too. And finally, you.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

1. First, the seemingly useless but most important judgement criteria of a person (IMO of course). Emacs or vi?
Neither. Use Eclipse for most of my coding these days. But if I had to chose, it would be vi.

2. Now that you're back to a relatively smaller town after the summer, how does your average "free" evening (when such a thing exists) differ?
There is no such thing. I am at the stage of my grad life where not working actually makes me feel guilty. Yes, its said, but it has to be done. Atleast till December.

3. Just what was the big news that never was? Do you feel you jinxed it somehow?
She was supposed to come to the US on a project. I felt that if I was talking about it I would jinx it.. and I did.

4. I've noticed you've glorified the past a lot. If you could go back for a day, (or week, or month, doesn't really matter) when would it be?
In terms of sheer fun, the summer of 96. (Just happens to be 69 backwards.. freaky huh !).

In terms of changing things, if I would do it differently, that sorta stuff, I guess thats a long winding story and I would rather not go into that here. Less said about that the better !

I live that way, I glorify the past, make it sound that yesterday was always better than today will be... its fun. You should try it sometime.

5. You've mentioned some stupid things you've done (and sometimes gotten caught for). What's the stupidest "I'm so brave, look at me" style thing you've ever done and was it worth it?
I have never taken that leap and done something that is proclaim worthy. Or rather never found myself in a position where I would have to proclaim - "Im brave look at me".

Or I might just as well have said, as my answer to that question - Coming to grad school. In C-fucking-MU.

What I forgot to mention - ;)

Here are the rules:
1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying, "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

It has been a while ! The amount of work that thas befallen this grad student, has been equalled only by the sheer glory of the previous weekend. Contrary to the popular saying, work has NOT been fun, if I had a chance to do it again, I definitely would NOT. I want this to end, want this pain and suffering and low pay to end. Why can't the machines take over already and put us grad students out of our misery ?

As all things go, there is a lot of fun involved in all this stuff too. Worked my arse off for a nice fun weekend at... well ... Sept 28th... any guesses ! Yup ! Indianapolis ! Woot !! It was freaking awesome ! It was the realisation of a life long dream ( all 5 years since I've been following Formula One atleast ). It was a dream to be at Indy, everything else was just the icing on the cake. Let me walk you guys through a most magical weekend...

It all begins with a 6 hour drive early Saturday morning. An hour out of Pittsburgh, my dear friend, the imbecile who bought the tickets for the Grand Prix online, realised the tickets were still in his office. How cliched is that ? I wouldn't have believed anyone else had they said the same thing happened to them, but hey, it did. And we took the next exit and were on our way back. One of us decided to call the Motor Speedway... the nice helpful lady there told that we can come over and claim our ticket! So we saved about an out off the trip. Isn't this too stupid to be true ?

Anyways, so we land up there, too late to watch qualifiers on Saturday. One of my friends had interned for AT&T over summer... and as you know... AT&T is a sponsor for Ford, who own Jaguar Racing. And guess which bunch of rabid F1 fans got a chance to go to the Jaguar pit and actually be around and get this... T-O-U-C-H the car ! And if you don't believe me... the pics are here. When I saw that car, when I realised the true import of where I was, and what I was seeing... I tell you.. it is unnerving to see a grown man at a loss for words, at the sight of a car. A 900 bhp, 18000 rpm monster no doubt. It stil is just a car. Or is it ? To me, its the culmination of everything that enginnering stands for, the ultimate combination of man and machine, balanced, powerful, masterful and insanely gorgeous. Wow !

Anyways, after that, we crashed at a friends' friend's place. Sunday, up bright and early, at around 5am, go ready and went to the track. We were hoping our friends at Jaguar would allow us another pit pass, but no such luck. We had to live with just watching a F1 race ! ;)

The race itself was awesome, Ferrari was there and kicking it. The minute it started raining, all of knew what was going to happen - Monotya, Kimi and everyone else was going to suck it up and Schumi was gonna kick it in style ! And he did ! At a point during the race, when Schumi pulled a slipstream and I tell ya, it was a personal moment of zen. I saw that car zip by at 200mph, and I saw why Michael Schumacher is the best.

At the end of the race, I was hoping against hope that neither Kimi nor Montoya wouldn't finish within range of any points, so I could see history being made in my presence ! It would have truly been an experience of a lifetime to be able to see Championship Number 6 ! In person ! No matter, we shall all see the moment of triumph at Suzuka, in a week.

That was my weekend. And thanks to that, it took me a weeks work to find time to blog about something that happend a week ago ! Sigh !!!

Later people...

Update: Will post my answers soon... later tonite even... maybe...