May 29, 2012

Squirrels are amazing creatures. They are nervous beings on caffeine. So much shiftiness. Squirrels in michigan grow to be HUGE, because they get a lot to eat. I also learnt in my "Environment and Climate Change" (Fun course for a credit) class that squirrels farther north and in high altitudes are much bigger to look threatening to other animals. They have lived among people for so long that, some of them aren't nervous anymore. They calmly walk close to humans and do whatever they do. I've always wanted to hold one of the squirrels. So I took some trail mix and waited in front of this particularly smaller guy, who crawled up tentatively. After a few sniffs and rapid turns of the head, he started eating out of my hand, and even got on it to eat stuff out of the palm. All the time, he kept an eye on me though. 

May 19, 2012

I have a found a new sound I like. I've seen/heard it on television before but experiencing it first hand made me appreciate it more - The sound a medication bottle makes when you open it, tilt it and pop some pills n your hand and close it back, all in one motion. (especially if they are painkillers, giving it a house-ish feel)

This is going to  be one long month,

May 7, 2012

Off the top of my head.

America's interesting in a lot of little ways. I like how everything is a reason to drink beer. Take all the 'activities' a man indulges in on a summer day
i) Barbeque - what's a barbeque without beer?
ii) Fishing - Men take a break from drinking to catch fish.
iii) Baseball - Possibly the slowest game with the least action ever and can probably only be enjoyed in a stadium. Still, people stay home on a couch with beer and watch the game
iv) anything else.

It's also funny how everyone's going on about watching 'games' and going to 'games'. Back home, I would watch a football 'match' or a cricket 'match'. Now everything's a game. It's probably because every sport has this entertainment factor associated with it. And then there's this whole thing about statistics and numbers. American sports commentary seems to be fascinated with numbers. In a single 'football game', between two plays, there were statistics about how much this player ran, how much he threw, how much he threw on average since last year, how his team performed when he threw that much, etc etc. And there's the whole thing with 'football', Football. Really? If there's one thing I won't give in to, it is calling football soccer. Here's an incident from one trivia night at a local bar here. I usually go with a friend from work and some of his friends. All the questions are SO american. They ask you who the fucking commentators were on this epic superbowl game way back in 1982 or something, and then they go and ask what Manchester United's homeground is, for the same number of points. Even more fascinating is how most teams answer the former, and very few, the latter. (There was also this question on F.R.I.E.N.D.S - Which actor played phoebe's husband Mike?. NONE of them knew the answer. I thought they were just kidding, because you know, FRIENDS is not a cool thing with kids here. (It is from the previous generation apparently and you know how we always skip a generation in liking things and understanding stuff? How you seldom agree with parents but get along great with grandparents? (Bracketception Woot))  It actually turned out that none of them knew it and were guessing out random names. I silently mentioned - 'Paul Rudd'. Then these people turn around with an incredulous look and go - 'What?' "Yeah Paul rudd. He plays mike. did none of you ever watch FRIENDS? It was big in India when I grew up." This was also the first time I met those guys. From then on, I was the go-to-guy for anything FRIENDSy or soccer related, apart from other stuff.)

What's really interesting (as I've probably mentioned before) is how people check the weather before heading out anywhere. I've started doing this as well. The first time I did this, I remembered how I did the same back home. I would go out and see the sky, and that would be it. Now I check the forecast for the day and I am 'informed'. I don't take any measures if it's going to rain, but I find out if I'll get wet. The weekly forecasts are amazing. It's interesting to see them pan out like they do. Sunny, sunny, cloudy, sunny, thunderstorms, sunny, flaky. they always have a 'Feels like' description as well, which takes into account humidity, winds etc. I've always felt, it would be a much better idea to just mention stuff like 'a nice sunny day. wear summer shirts and shorts' or 'this is a three layer day - don't forget to take an umbrella'. It's redundant to mention temperature again.

And then there's this unified mockery of Canada. Everything up north is somehow extremely funny. Anything from Canada has to be shitty. Simple as that. Southpark does a great job of it. They even make fun of Canadian beer! They struggle to accept that Canada kicks ass at hockey. (Oh yeah. One more thing. Field hockey is for girls, apparently. When I mentioned that India's national sport is field hockey, you can imagine the response). I've always wondered why. even a few minutes before I started typing this, and then suddenly thought about the names they had for cities - Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the likes. Winnipeg. I don't even know if that sounds like a real city. But then I thought about american cities. I came to know that, there are atleast 20 cities names Columbus, and 10 named Springfield. Don't even talk about the roads. there's a Washington, Liberty, Michigan avenue, Ohio st, in almost all cities. These guys completely lack creativity when it comes to naming things. But still, Winnipeg? Heh. (It sounds funnier if you keep repeating it in your head. Winnipeg. Winni-peg. *chuckle*)

USA is a superpower and all that jazz. but when I see how self centered they are with respect to events and standards, it s kind of staggering. There was this one discussion I had with this American kid, about who the ideal person is. He wanted to be an american in Brazil because apparently, they automatically take any American to be a rich guy and treat him with respect. And also because Brazilian women are extremely pleasing in whatsoever way. To him, the best combination would be an American kid who schools in India or say Iran (so he knows what the world is like), gets his college degree from Europe (get to experience many cultures and tolerate Canada), work in America, then in Brazil and then settle down in say Phillipines or Hawaii. I don't know what an ideal combination is, if there ever could be one. 

There's so many internal differences as well. I am somewhere in the midwest, (It's actually dead center but it is called the midwest. There is no mid-east, as well, they're not really fond of the term. There's the east coast, there's the west coast, there's the midwest and there's the south. The people have completely different personalities as well. Everything's laidback and backward in the midwest, according to the west coast. The east coast is too busy, and the west coast has too many hipsters. The south is all about the trucks, guns and country music. I found this piece -
  "Not much mention was made of one's physical point of view in your story on attempts of the new magazine Midwest Living to find what the Midwest is (April 27). In Omaha, where I previously lived, Michigan, Ohio and even Indiana were considered part of the East. Later I learned that Easterners considered Ohio, Indiana and even Kentucky to be the Midwest. But Nebraska and Iowa were the West, no doubt about that. Nebraska has never really figured out what it is. Bernard DeVoto, that avid frontier historian of the 1930's and 40's, was one of those who maintained that the West began at the 100th meridian, exactly in the center of Nebraska, ''where the average annual rainfall drops below 20 inches.'' Many people in western Nebraska believe they should be part of Wyoming or Colorado. ''That Eastern newspaper in Omaha and most of the Legislature in Lincoln don't understand our life style,'' they say."
You'll see that, the east is a thin strip, then there's the midwest, then there's the central states, then the west. I live in the midwest and I follow Eastern time. Illinois which is to my west, follows Central time. But hey, it's their country. It's not like they're Canadian, right?