Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Doing the Hundred

I'd just like to say that I totally called it last time: Lakers did take it in Game 5. I think it marks the end of an incredible run for them, where Kob really matured as a player and a leader. Its been great following the game this year, though I'm a bit disappointed that KG couldn't make it into the playoffs.. Lakers - Celtics rematch would have been amazing. I'm not sure how much gas the Big Three have left, or how James is going to react next season, but it'll be great to watch I'm sure.

I think what I miss most about Karate is just getting lost in the movements, not thinking but living in the pure physical sensations. Each day was about pushing yourself to the limit, and then a little bit beyond. I'm incredibly inflexible, can't touch my toes, and thus have had major problems with martial arts. However, I've also enjoyed all of them a lot, and perhaps Karate the most so far. Shotokan Karate, from what I've read and certainly experienced, is incredibly tough, and its training exercises are designed to really push you. Most days were a brutal struggle, going through one grueling exercise after another. It never really got easier, since one we reached a certain level of comfort, our sensei would immediately throw a new combination at us, a different way of moving and reacting, which we'd then practice. By the end of the first 20 minutes your body ached, by the end of the next 20 you were struggling for breath, and towards the end you could barely go through the motions. But you did, over and over.

And then once in a while, so rarely that you couldn't remember the last time it happened, everything would just click. You wouldn't have to think about the next movement, it came instinctively. Your kai would be this primeval roar that came from deep, unknown part of your soul, a primitive challenge to your own body to move harder, faster, with more power and force than you believe yourself capable of. Sensei would pickup on your mood, and push you more. The class would pickup on your mood, and move with you, feeding your rush, forcing you to be better. Those classes never seemed to end, and when they did, you stood back, not tired, but amazed at the adrenalin and rush. There was always a price to pay the next day in protesting muscles and sore joints, but for a brief moment, you stepped outside your day-to-day life of thinking, analyzing, and communicating, to just be.

Hundred Count: 6,6,4,4,7

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Start Walking

Freedom!!! While I don't recommend channeling Mel Gibson on a daily basis, there are times when it is appropriate. Handed in my resignation letter on Thursday evening, and so glad I did. I was supposed to go to Sao Paulo for a week's workshop, but since that got canceled at the last minute, freedom came a couple of weeks early. Friday was spent in an internal shifting of the office work area, and I also wound up the last couple of pieces of code that I was responsible for. Will have to work out my handover activities and transition plan with PM on Monday, but have now started the processes of distancing myself from the company's activities.

However, I do have a lot to occupy myself with, since the MBA at Cass Business School (London) starts in only three months. Plans and activities for loans, visas, packing, shifting, etc are proceeding apace, but there are always those niggling little details that you tend to forget about till the last minute. Spent yesterday afternoon having lunch with the grandparents, which is a weekly ritual Arati and I have come to appreciate and enjoy. The 1 hour drive in the heat there, however, we do not enjoy. I really need to get my car battery charged; I should buy a new one, but since I'm going to be selling it soon, I can't see the advantage in that investment. Note to self: take pictures of said car.

Last night organized another poker party at home. A couple of new faces this time, who were first taught the game, then proceeded to school people in it. Aru actually broke even for possibly the first time; poor guy actually brought a bunch of change expecting to have to buy in a lot. Ordered in biryani from Deez, with homemade raita, champagne, and lots of beer. Good time had by all. I did pretty well in the game, unfortunately, Arati didn't; oh well, she funded me a bit last time, so I guess we're even by now. I've discovered Facebook poker as well, which I suspect is not a positive development, since I don't really need an additional way of distracting myself from work.

On a totally different topic, Star Trek is awesome. Far and away the best ST movie ever, and in a sense, one of the best movies I've ever seen. It was a great reboot, and all the actors really took the roles and ran with them, paying homage to the original while making it their own. Quinto's "Live long and prosper" line at the beginning for the "IT" moment for me, when he totally nailed the character and the interpretation. I thought he was channeling Samuel L. Jackson a bit there, and I almost expected him to complete the line Shaft-style. Pike was brilliant, bringing the arrogance and swagger the role needs without it feeling forced or annoying. I'm not sure I can say the same for Karl Urban, a few of the lines felt a bit pushed, but still had the funniest moment in the movie. Overall, I think most of us can't wait for the next one.

I'm pretty kicked about the fact that in the last few years, some amazing, entertaining stuff is being put out. Dark Knight, ST, Iron Man, and Kung Fu Panda. Really looking forward to this summer's releases; will have to get the most out of them since London isn't the cheapest place to go see movies. Wolverine looks to be fun / not-too-deep; it hasn't released in India yet so I'm trying not to let online reviews bias me. Transformers 2 is going to be hardcore though, and I'm really hoping the IndianCallCenterGuy has a repeat role. The first time I saw it in a theater, I had funnily enough gone with a bunch of call-center people, who cracked up completely at that scene.

Oh, and I'm totally calling the Lakers to take it next game.