[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

“Dress up a bear” drive

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Harini dressed up a bare bear for a charity. I believe the bears are given back to poor orphan kids as gifts from Santa. I got their snaps before she was sent on her way to a new home.

dress bear

Thanksgivings weekend

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

It has been very travel-intense weekend. To Stamford, connecticut and back on Thursday and then to Fairfax, Virginia on Friday-Sunday. We followed the American tradition of burning cheap fuel during the Thanksgiving! [Gas prices went under $2 (rather surprisingly but timely) for the first time in quite some time and my sweet old buddy Honda Accord logged 800+ miles in 3 days!]

As we drove down the New Jersey Turnpike in a bumper to bumper traffic, rest of America was busy on the “Black day Friday” in a shopping mess. Perhaps the only country in the world to designate a day in a year just for shopping. If items sold on this day are truly cheap or truly worth is debatable.

I had been wanting to buy a cheap mp3 player (having bought iPod already no apprent reason besides the “cool” factor) exclusively to listen to Podcasts during my train commutes to class. I found this SanDisk m230 a cheap buy and I couldn’t find a good store online selling it cheaper than what CircuitCity offered me on Black Friday. I grabbed it.

sandisk m230

For under $45 i thought it was a good deal i was waiting for. Besides being the mp3 player, it serves as a USB drive in addition to being a voice recorder. With a decent stereo headphone, a FM tuner and arm-band, I can’t ask for more. I am glad I didn’t have to install yet another music software (plug USB, drop files and good to go!), though it does come with one that supports Rapsody and Audible. With three free books for download from Audible, dude! I can’t ask for more.

The only sucky part of buying a new gadget is opening (I should say ‘failing to open’) the impossibly sealed plastic packaging with no obvious solution even in this Internet world, except this wierd “OpenX”.

Sun TV gone!

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

I just unsubscribed Sun TV willfully without much grief that I am dropping the only Tamil channel I had access to. Of late, Sun’s programming has been awful and their attitude turning arrogant. I will certainly miss a couple of good series, but in a modern democratic society where every consumer purchase denotes a vote of support, I don’t think I support them anymore.

That saves some bucks, so we are trying the new Dish package from Voom. Their lineup isn’t that great, but I am looking forward to a few months of trial on variety HD programming.

Napoleon Dynamite

Monday, November 14th, 2005

We had the chance (after all my classes and mid-term tests, I found a bit of time) to watch “Napoleon Dynamite” this past weekend. Off the bat, you have to have grown up (or at least know a lot about) in the middle-America to appreciate the content of the movie. asd If I hadn’t read anything about the movie, I would called it a waste of time and the crew as Idiots. But then thats like saying people in India still ride on elephants and horses to school and work : sheer Ignorance. Thankfully, I educated myself before watching the movie and I can say now that it was funny, original and creative.

If a 007 flick or a Bourne Identity can be fast, upbeat and thrilling then thats the type of such movies and the characters that play in it. Napolean Dynamite (official site) takes an exact opposite stance given the context of the movie and its characters. Let me borrow the word “The movie is deadpan” from a lot of reviews I had read about this movie. When time, emotions, and music (very minimal) is taken away from the medium, what you get is a raw form of art. You have to be able to understand and experience it before we could appreciate it. I have only begun to comprehend the originality of such movies. If you go by the definition of “Hollywood”, this is not even close. But by the definition of “real story telling as an art form”, bet you got a winner in this. Napolean Dynamite has garnered a cult classic status and no kiddish achievement for young 24 year old writer/director couple.

If Acting is all about emotions, then how would you describe and act characters with almost no emotions? Isn’t silence is a form of music? And to be able to use silence intelligently is not an easy thing. Much in the same lines, To “act” without emotions but only depth of character and conviction is indeed challenging : Jon Heder‘s and most of the crew’s performance is easily a breakthrough.

A eArtist in the making

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

Harini has started collecting her animation and graphic design works at another blog at blogspot. Its got everything that she created from the day 1 of her basic animation/illustration classes. Its fascinating to see a budding eArtists in the making. Moving on to advanced classes this winter, we can expect some more cool stuff to come our way.


My favourite so far is this cute restless caterpillar which never stopped for a moment of rest!


Weathery season

Sunday, November 6th, 2005

The weather in this part of the world has been sporadic with windy days, stormy showers, ice cold nights and occasional sun, if at all we are lucky. As I hear from my kith and kin in South India, the weather there has also been less merciful. With relentless flooding and rain in the past few weeks, I can imagine how hard life would be in India. As I had once lamented, the Gods are only getting angrier day after day as the continuous natural disasters (including the unwarranted tornado today in Indianapolis) only stand to prove my suspicion.

Strangely, I saw on Sun TV the other day that India has fully developed in strange ways that the camera crew of cable media arrives at disaster spots much much quicker and ahead of time than the police and other forms of help! What a pity that the directors of the cable television take pride in showing live, dead bodies being pulled all around from the Andhra trains crash wrecks. In the name of freedom and consumer eyeprints (a.k.a market-share capitalism), some of India’s cable channels seem to be losing common sense.