Sunday, April 26, 2015

On the lighter side-Movies-Infected Paradise (2014-Australian)

Not worth your time in this Australian people as a soldier is rescued by some people on a beach and infests every one turning them into raging zombies. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The Imitation Game (2014)-Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

During WWII, the mathematician Alan Turing tries to break the enigma code of the Germans in this true story with excellent performance. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Interstellar (2014)-Matthew McConaughey

Epic movie about a nearly devastated earth who put together a team of astronauts to send them out in space with a mission to find a planet similar to theirs in order to ensure the survivability of earth’s inhabitants. Excellent story line and acting. Highly recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Rec 4: Apocalypse (2014-Spanish)

A rescued girl is taken to a ship from a zombie massacre but unknowingly all the ship’s people get infested in this the worst sequel to the original. Not much gore and action to talk about. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The man with the iron fists 2 (2015)-RZA

When a stranger is saved by a village couple, he becomes tangled in the townspeople fight against an evil gang holding them hostage. Unnecessary sequel with few and far fights than the first one. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-The woman in black 2: Angel of death (2014)

A group of kids evacuated in WWII London come to an island where the first haunting place to awaken the evil spirits again. Unnecessary remake of the first one. Don’t bother.Not recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Wild (2014)-Reese Witherspoon

A woman takes a long (1,100 miles) journey to recover from her loss of her mother in this not-that-great movie. A long walk to nowhere but a testament to resilience.Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Maps to the Stars (2014)-Julianne Moore

A dark movie about a celebrity chasing fame and misfortune as tragedy and greed destroy them one by one. Recommended with caution

Friday, April 3, 2015

When in doubt, eat Pizza

If you know what I am talking about, Pizza that innocent looking food with lots of cheese and tomato sauce on flat bread. It is one of the most popular and inexpensive takeout food in the U.S. It is mostly used when the Super bowl is being played and if you have nothing else to cook in the house, you order it. It is safe to eat and comes in various varieties. Sometimes when we have not eaten for a long time and have run out of options what to eat, we order in some slices and if somebody is coming to our house who maybe in a hurry to go, we order in a whole pie which is enough for six to seven people. I have attended many kids birthday parties in different kids entertainment settings and have always encountered that the management always order pizza the most popular being the cheese one. Because of the increasing number of allergies that kids nowadays are having, I am yet to see a kid where they are allergic to pizza, so it really becomes the safest bet to order for the kids of all ages in birthday parties. Even adults eat it with increasing frequency because it is fast eating and you can eat with your hand and on the go without sitting down to eat (which I have seen quite a number of people doing it). So this food has now the become a food of default and when in doubt about what to order safely, it is safe bet that increasing number of people order it without hesitation as it has now become a choice for all religions and cultures.

Restroom stories-2

When you enter a public restroom, you want to get out of there as soon as possible since the stench of the pee and feces can sometimes overwhelm you. The sink where you wash after you have done your thing is not that good either. I really hate to use the urinal because it just gives me the shivers to stand with other men and do the thing. I know that for some people it is the thing to go since they can be in hurry and the restrooms stalls are no fun to enter into, but I had rather wait than to use the urinals. It is just my thing nothing against anybody. In some of the restrooms stalls you will people making things on the doors and sometimes writing phone numbers like somebody would really call them. This happen quite often in colleges but you can also see it in the public restrooms. I don’t know how can have the time to sit there (or stand) and do writing and other personal matters on the walls of the restrooms. Since I am a male I can only write about what goes on the male side of the restrooms as I am sure there may be many stories on the female side too. All I can say that although it is my habit to check restrooms to see how much hygiene or clean they are but it is not fun when you have to share that restroom with thousands of people and the sanitary conditions they are in cannot be described because despite all the efforts of administration, it is still pretty dirty and the faster you are out of there, they better.

Restroom stories

Ok before I proceed any further, I would like to warn my readers that some of the things will gross you out (as it has been from time to time). I have this obsession that where I go I had to check or you can say nature forces me to check out the rest rooms. Be it in a hotel room or lobby, a resort or my or any workplace or the grosses of them all public restrooms and the colorful, the school or the college restrooms. It is human nature that urges you to go relieve yourself wherever are. If you itching to go, it will not matter whether the rest room is clean or not, you will have to finish your job. I try to avoid the restrooms but if it is emergency I try to make sure that I just go for the No. 1 (peeing) because there is no option to go for No. 2 (shitting) although to be fair I have done No. 2 in extreme urgency and believe me it is not I want to wish upon somebody friend or enemy. Although the house toilets are clean as they can be when you visit somebody's home, the same cannot be said about public restrooms as it is used by millions of people who may not follow your own hygiene standards. I know it is gross but sometimes when you are in a public restroom you see that some people don’t even have the courtesy to flush down the toilet. You don’t have to use your hands, just use your shoes but I guess they think that their shoes are cleaner than the restroom they have entered into.

A visit to the cemetery

Recently I visited one of the cemeteries located in central New Jersey where my mother in law is buried along with some of my in laws relatives and acquaintances. It is really a huge cemetery with graves dating back to the last century. Cemeteries are generally a quite place to visit as it is a solemn reminder that if you visiting alive, you will one day come back to it in a coffin and get buried (unless you want to get cremated in which case your body is burned so you don’t feel quite that connected to a cemetery I guess). Anyway it is an eye popping experience as you see people with varying span of life years are buried and name of the person along with the name of their spouses or their parents are written and also their date of birth and death and some kind of inscription to define life or them are engraved on it by the engraver at the request of their surviving loved ones. Most of the people who visit always bring flowers and sometimes some fragrances and read from Holy books and sometimes they cry and remember the good old days of their deceased loved ones. People don’t want to be reminded that one day they will also be in the ground because the thought of it is so fearsome and uncomfortable that most people would rather not talk about it. And then there are those kinds of people who have bought plots of land in the cemetery so that they can be buried next to their loved ones. Any which way you cut, a visit to the cemetery is the most realistic and one of the most fearsome experiences you would ever encounter in your life.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York-3

The water was so damn cold and I had to stay in one place with top half of the body above water till I felt comfortable enough to take a dip and then enjoy the swim. We stayed there for an hour or so and then headed back to our room. The next day was the check out time and after checking out we decided to a have a breakfast at a local diner which is always a favorite place to eat if you are in a new place because you will get most of the stuff you want anytime of the day and also they stay open at late hours. It had started to snow so we went inside the diner and ordered our breakfast, the best part of the diner was that just a few steps, they shared their space with Starbucks® a perfect combination. As we had already had our coffee, my daughter wanted her own brand of coffee from Starbucks ® so I bought her style of coffee and then we headed towards our vehicle. As we drove away from Lake Placid, the snow became less and less and at a few miles from there, it just vanished. And on the way back we had a bathroom and gas replenishment break at a local rest area and reached home after about five years. If you happen to be in the New York area, you should definitely go to Lake Placid, although there is hiking with the highest peaks of New York State, the beauty and tranquility that accompanies this area would make for a great vacation spot.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York-2

Approaching our hotel we saw lots of kids with families holding hockey sticks as there was an Olympic Ice hockey nearby. And snow had already fallen with temperature rising a little bit creating slush in the parking lot. After parking we went to the reception area to find the keys and went to our room. It was a spacious room with views of the lake and a fireplace. As the night had already fallen, we ate what we had brought with us and I being the main driver, being exhausted, decided to hit the bed early. In the morning that was another story as we had our breakfast and started to venture to a nearby place which was one of the sights of ski jumping and it had a tall tower where you were supposed to go up the elevator and at the end you can see the whole of Lake Placid area and the nearby mountains with snow covered tops. This was the only thing that we did as there is not much to do around at this time of year with snow all over the place and very few people venturing outside. The village of Lake Placid has all the things you would need to stay with diners, outlet shops and lodgings galore. Anywhere you stay, you can just step outside and venture along the sidewalk and you are within easy reach of all the unique shops that Lake Placid has to offer. We went into some shops to buy some stuff and then came back to our hotel. The hotel had a nice pool with whirlpool and sauna and at night we went there to take a dip.

On the lighter side-Travel-Lake Placid, New York

We have been going to Lake George in Upstate New York for the last couple of years and this we decided that we need to change the scenery and what better place to do that is to travel to Lake Placid, the venue of two winter Olympics and the highest elevated town in New York State. Lake George is approximately four hours ride from my house and Lake Placid is five hours. I was already excited by the thought of having to drive for such long hours with little or no traffic during the winter months. As usual we packed our bags and extra clothing since being at an elevation of more than 1800 feet above sea level and during the winter months it would have been cold. Driving there was no problem but as we approached the town, the population became less and less and wonders of nature more. Empty spaces with streams and brooks flowing and fewer cars on the sometimes narrow roads can be dangerous as you never know what can come out of the woods all of a sudden and as it became nightfall then the drive was becoming a bit slow and we were running low on gas and I was getting panicky as there were no gas station in sight. But luckily we found one and filled the vehicle up so that at least I would have a piece of mind driving to the Lake. As we entered the town I saw at least two or three gas stations lined up there and I said when you want to find one you are not that lucky and when my vehicle is full now I see so many gas stations.

On the lighter side-Movies-Unbroken (2014)

The true story about the Olympian Louis Zamperini who was shot down over the pacific during World War II and survived at sea only to be taken to a Japanese prison camp run by a sadistic warden. It is a hit or miss movie which was slow sometimes and sometimes too sentimental. Recommended with caution.

On the lighter side-Movies-The Hobbit: The battle of the five armies (2014) Luke Evans, Richard Armitage

The hobbit and friends fend off against varying armies to defend the lonely mountain from falling into evil hands. Although from my point of view it has exciting battle sequences but as the title suggest it was all about the battles and nothing much. If you want to continue what happened before the lord of the rings, watch it. Recommended with caution

On the lighter side-Movies-Into the woods (2014)-Meryl Streep

Great musical about a witch who tasks a childless baker to finish some deeds in order to reverse the curse she has put on the baker not to have child. Great music and story. Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)-Christian bale

The special effects are good but the story line supposedly inspired by the Bible has a lot of Hollywood treatment to it. The rise of Moses to fight the Pharaoh of Egypt and the whole journey is too long to sustain interest with most of the time involved in deadly plagues. The acting is lot to be desired too. Not Recommended

On the lighter side-Movies-Muck (2015)

Waste of time supposedly horror movie about a group of friends (what else is there) fighting off evil in an isolated area. Highly not recommened

On the lighter side-Movies- Penguins of Madagascar (2014-Animated)

The penguins from Madagascar gets their own movie in this hit of miss (usually miss) animated movie that is barely okay with scant and weak jokes throughout. Not recommended