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Google Reader’s recommendations

Just noticed today a new section in Google Reader. I do not know if it has been here for a while or today was its first day.

I can make out recommendations are (mostly?) based on kind of feeds one is already subscribing to. Most of my feeds are from bloggers from the land of India, and a couple of feeds are commentary about recent happenings (politics, sports, movies etc.) in India or simply put blogs about India.

And, the top recommendations that I get…
Jabberwock
Youth Curry – Insight on Indian Youth
Sepia Mutiny

These three are actually quite popular blogs. I have read them quite a lot, but never frequently.

Maybe these blogs appear with alarming regularity on the blogs I already read or they are blog-rolled to each other. And that is where the recommended blogs were pulled from.

Double check ::
I have a subscription to 41 blogs, out of which 15 blogs (or blog aggregates) are from Indians outside India and 8 from India.
And 1 is of a non Indian who visits and writes about India amongst other countries frequently.

Of course, my perspective about a blog being [published] from India or outside it stems from a reader’s perspective (me, reader and not Google reader). I consider where the blogger is, and not where the blog is being hosted etc.

The new addition was quite interesting to me. I was very hesitant to use a RSS aggregator earlier mainly because I would not be able to look at the theme of the blog so lovingly put up by the blogger. Till today, if I find post extremely interesting or I like the pictures in the post, I jump to the blog from the reader directly (cut down the mediation, please). Obviously, I am also deprived of all the nifty little things people add to their blogs, and their blog rolls as well. When I had not overcome my hesitation, I used to blog hop a lot. Recommendations bridge that gap, but to a bit. People blog hop for reasons best known to them, and recommendations recommend blogs for reasons best known to Google (or others, at least not me in this hour)

Irony

Plain simple life is what I lead.
The plainness and simplicity of it does not mean, it is non-hectic or smooth in any way. In fact, it is more hectic than various calendars or schedulers or my own mind can contain.
Plain simplicity however means that I am generally out-of-topics to talk about and I marvel at the people who can speak non stop. Of course, I can discuss school work, but one of my previous lives have taught me enough not to do that and in fact stops me from doing that.

And, when I am made to confront and undergo certain situations, the first and the most nagging thought that pushes its way through my mind is, “But this happens only to other people or people on TV”. And I am neither. And such moments are thick. Every second passes really s l o w l y, in fact refuses to.

To recap, I was doing my laundry tonight. And, I generally do laundry in nights. And generally, I choreograph these nights to be the nights when lots of submissions are due. So, I pop in the clothes into washer and dryer really late and I have to stay up to retrieve them and hence in bargain, I study, rather than giving in and sleep. I can’t say for sure at all, but lets delve into some maths, really elementary. I have spent around 15 months in this country. So roughly, lets say, around 30 or so laundry nights. And in none of these 30 times, did my load of may-leak-colors and require-cold-water and have dark hues ever accounted for more than a half or even a third of the washer capacity. I always feel bad when I stuff this load into the washer. Not only it is a a waste of my $2.5 (the money which would have otherwise funded my coffee, in that coffee shop in that building where without fail, I always get the coffee I did not want or request and is expensive, the few times the original request has been repeated, the money was politely refunded after lot of fumbling through with the bill/cash machine which always breaks down, delaying me for my meeting. This happens with such a regularity, that I no longer care as long as my cup has some caffeine in it), but also water and electricity wastage. The washer runs for a full load wasting too much water and energy. And on every laundry night, I have done my bit to destroy the environment a little more.

Of course, it irritates me and so much so that in my last shopping binge, I actually bought clothes which would go towards this load. Well, I think it was a perfect shopping criteria. To say it made me happy to see a full load of may-leak-colors and require-cold-water and have dark hues today for the first time in my life, would be an understatement. In fact, I did a victory dance. Of course, no one else washes clothes in vampire hours. “Full value for money”, I thought to myself, water chugging down into the bin did not make me feel guilty. Till, a friend of mine complained that I promised to call him yesterday and did not keep my promise. Uh-Oh, some thought bubble bursted. And, I woke up my roommate who had not slept entire day yesterday (I think I am a bad influence on her), grabbed her very cool iPhone, and sprinted down the stairs, two at a time.

And there, it was. Moment stopped, I am neither person on TV or the other person. This can’t be possibly happening. A very confused me with a totally confused phone motionless for five minutes. The phone does not work. :’( Room heater was employed, till my throat could not be any more dehumidified. Now dismantled phone lies near the laptop heat vent. Maybe, I should throw it in the dryers in which the whites are tumbling right now.

My hand, very accustomed to phone is feeling the loss already. What good can being phoneless bring and I can’t buy a phone till I have mulled for hours on end, the very hours that I don’t have? I am also expecting an important call on Monday, something regarding the trouble I got into because of my phone. This, anyways, was not the solution I was looking for.

Aarghness happening, I feel worse now. What an irony. And I am not even one of those people.

Yet another use of my education

Either people living in the apartment above mine are deliberately trying to annoy me (and being successful at that) or they are just plain annoying.

For last 30 minutes, I am being subjected to extremely loud and distracting music with very catchy beats. I forgive them for this act. I might have unknowingly done the same to others, though I am very cautious when i play music. But, when I start singing… that’s a whole new level. Hence, they are purged off their music sins.

But what really is unpardonable is their act of landing with a THUMP on the ground. People living above me, this act can’t be overlooked. Numerous times my heart has leapt into my mouth, so strong your impact is. I am never quite sure if it is a natural calamity or people-living-above-me-made calamity. You have to have to stop. Especially at 4 AM. What in the whole world are you even doing? Do you toss obelisks on ground to pass time and have fun? Seriously, I would not be surprised if you come crashing into my house through the roof. In fact, I expect it. And as a woman full of vengeance, I have strewn floor of my room with lots and lots of stuff. Sure, it is inconvenient for me, when I go away from my computer but you see, that is rare, very rare. The day you fall in my room, all the things are gonna rebound and land on you. You would be lying in the debris of wood & paint and books & print outs.

You have been warned. And very severely at that.

Height

One thing that you could not go wrong with is estimating my height class.
When I say height class, I mean categories – really short, short, average, tall, really tall.

I have seen all kinds of figures hurled at me when (presumed) friends try to guess my height.
5ft 11”, 6ft, 6ft 5” which just wants me to place my thumb on their heads and force them down into the earth.

But, this has never happened before.
My university health records indicate that I am 4ft 11 inches tall!

I have no clue how such gigantic erroneous data found its way into the system.

Oh well, I did discover though that I am an inch shorter than what I thought. :)

Other sort of fine art

There is so much that misses our eye, now that we have become so dependent on technology.
Bluebike comes up with a wonderful wonderful cute post, written in a very very different yet common way.
So much overlooked that it seems exotic to me!

Late P.S. I am also aware of this, but I find the two posts totally different.

The fine art of art and around

I visited Denver Art Museum last week and a very fine place it is, I must admit. The museum is divided into 2 buildings – North building and newer Hamilton building. While North building houses (traditional) art in the traditional way from all over the world, the newer building is (in 1 word) jazzy.

The architect, Daniel Libeskind, drew inspiration from the beautiful Rockies while designing this building. The building being an interplay of different forms of geometry gives rise to so many various angles, slanting walls, unorthodox corners and different forms to space that you would hardly expect from a building. The art pieces too have been selected with utmost care. The art does the great justice to the spot it has been assigned and that very spot also brings out the best in the art. A few of the art pieces being chosen while the building was still under construction, so that the building can be customized for them and each other engage in a symbiosis of beauty.

This has a very strong and profound affect on the visitors. I, for one, felt dizzy at certain places, had the pulse quicken at other, temples throbbed at yet another, and had a greater visual intake at some. This was tightly integrated with what was on display and added to the meaning and beauty of art and the integration of art and space. Still, it was modern art on display, and some exhibits were totally lost on me. I am not a connoisseur and not even a know-er, so the blue painted square and the radials were just … just a blue square and radials to me.

All this experimentation with the space reminded me of my university’s Art Museum called Angles where no two walls meet at right angles. Climbing up and down the staircase is most peculiar and disorienting feeling. I feel, the Angles’ staircase is thus so that you can’t run up and down as it is no longer a realm of familiarity. It makes you take each step in consideration and slows you down so that you can look around and get a feel of the museum in a better way.

If you are around Denver, then do not miss DAM (Denver Art Museum) at all. Right now, it is exhibiting Vicki and Kent Logan’s art collection, out of which 3 were my favorites in the museum. I shall write about them later on, but I will stop goading about all the museums I have ever paid a visit right now.

Smore

One of my friends does not like Oreo, he does NOT like Oreo. I absolutely love those bundles of creamy sweetness in trickle of bitterness. Later on, I even discovered my friend (the same one) does not know about S’mores. Which made me describe S’more to him, which (obvious by now) made me long for them. Which (very unobviously) made me (well, uh) miss school.

There are several reasons why I am missing my school (somewhat, I mean all that academic work and research is duly missed, neither more nor less) but I miss my friends and professors, they are truly a terrific combination. And, everyone goes out of their way to ensure the international students feel at home, don’t feel much lonely. A couple of campfires have been organized (school sponsored!, and on road trips with class), and all of them have been attended. S’mores discovered me at these camp fires and are relished very muchly by me.

So a quick S’more-for-a-dummy 13 step guide.

  1. Get a campfire burning
  2. Gather friends
  3. Get a long metallic skewer
  4. Hook a marshmallow to one end of skewer
  5. Poke it in fire
  6. till its golden brown
  7. Ask a friend to put a bar of Hershey’s plain chocolate on a graham cracker*
  8. Take out the golden brown marshmallow out of fire
  9. Slap it in on the chocolate on the graham cracker thingie
  10. Put another graham cracker on top of it
  11. Get a hold on this sandwich, tighten grip, pull out the skewer off your grub in one nice quick liquid motion as if you are drawing sword out of its scabbard
  12. Ideally, heat from marshmallow would have melted the chocolate bar a bit
  13. Pop in mouth, enjoy

Since a picture is worth 13 steps >>
S'more
[Pic from www.colbowdesign.com]

Aah, to go back to school, and to one of the picnics and prepare and have ‘em :)

*Graham cracker – pronounced gram cracker [a as in ham]. These are thin biscuits like, very crunchy, do not have much of taste, quite coarse, and induce a “Marie” like feeling

Catching up

I have been too quiet lately, but then everybody has been. I have been hardly getting blog feed updates these days. And since the time I started using this Automatic update/RSS/Feed thing, I have forgotten all the URLs. I don’t remember any except for a few (<5) which belong to friends who belong to my world for a lot of years now. But, I like to remember my websites, and their URLs. At least, the one which I read almost daily.

Somehow, I can’t account for my time. My bills remain unpaid, last dates fast approaching, important telephone conversations unconversed, house dirty(much clean now, yesterday took care of it), too many things taken uncare of. But, in this period many books have been read. Millions of time units have passed since I read my last book, it was about time. Feverishly, passionately, devotedly, very very single mindedly. Almost with the same dedication that was reserved for movies sometime back.

Still June can’t be called all that. This month of June is labeled as “intaking as much of Denver, Rockies and nearby as I could”.
Too many tales it has, and an equal volume of photos. However, my duty of uploading the photos to Facebook has been fulfilled, had I not been cameraless, Flickr would have been another added expected duty.

There have been stories of witches, and natural soda springs, of $365/- fines to sudden recollection of listening to “Shadows and Tall trees” very late at night a year back.

That was that, I was even able to see fireworks on 4th of July. Beautiful and spectacular they were. Little burst of lights, in all colors, high up in the sky, growing away from each other, burning a portion of sky with themselves, as growing blobs, as bursting globes and as big bang.

Life has been on that lines. The latest development being, I ate salad as part of dinner, not some sidey dish, but as main side dish, and that water is no longer for me now, meals come with beverages and those beverages have ice cubes. These three – salad, beverage, ice – may hardly signify anything worthy but in reality such is not the case.
“Turning local” is what I would call it, I hope feverishly, passionately, devotedly, very very single mindedly (for now), next on the list is not that faux American accent, where “h”’s are vomited with the competitive spirit of some Spit competition. Ewww!

Phases

Memories - I


Adia by Sarah McLachlan


I won’t forget you by Princessa


Sweet like chocolate by Shanks & Bigfoot

Re-volt screenshot
Screenshot from the game Re-volt



These are some of the things that I continuously spent time on some 7-8 years back.
It is but a co-incidence that I searched about and found out one of them today while my brother also chose today to find the rest of them and forward it to me.
Today, they made me smile so much. I am totally mesmerized!

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