Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's vs its

I myself make this mistake more often than not inspite of having a nagging doubt every single time, so here's to settling it once and for all, this website makes it crystal clear in its text when it's appropriate to use the latter or the former.

Basically, you should be able to replace it's with it is and its with his or her.

Friday, February 20, 2009

AAA 8 - Crunching Numbers

All About America, part 8: a few price comparisons/times
  • It takes 2 minutes 15 seconds to heat one mug of milk to the right temperature
  • It takes 14 minutes 45 seconds to cook rice in the microwave
  • Eating out moderately at a decent restaurant costs the same as a 15 lb bag of rice (~$15)
  • One cup of ice cream at the college store costs the same as one gallon of milk ($2)
  • One small Fries at McD's costs the same as 6 bananas ($1)
  • It takes 7 minutes to walk from home to the department
  • Mailing a letter (42c stamp + 9c or 10c envelope) is comparable to an almost 1.5 lb box of salt (33c to 50c)
  • The signals at Exchange Street change from proper signals to flashing yellow at 11pm
  • Instead of 3 or 4 cans of soda it is worth buying a loaf of wheat bread (~$1.30)
  • Eat 3 fish sandwiches at McD's('Filet-O-Fish') or 2 at Burger King('Big Fish') or buy one pound of fish and cook yourself(~$7)
  • It costs as much as it takes to walk there as it does to borrow DVDs, CDs or books at the county library (free)
  • One sandwich at Subway can pay for 50 eggs ($5)
  • I don't drink coffee, but from what Sandy says, one 'Tall'(to hell with Starbucks and their size nomenclature) Frappucino at Starbucks can pay for 2-3 months worth of daily Folger's coffee(~$3.50)
Read Part 7 and earlier parts here: http://abhijith1729.blogspot.com/2009/01/all-about-americaaaa-part-7-down.html

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

All About America(AAA) Part 7 : A down economy

This post is about the changes observed first hand during tougher economic times.

  • McDonalds(East Exchange St) gets Mercs and Bentleys to its drivethrough. It was a while since I went there, so I had to skip lunch for later when to my shock it was crowded. It has redesigned its packaging for a higher-income category, with non-descript packages getting deep colours and slogans which appeal to them.
  • Walmart(Arlington) suddenly stocked itself with more goods, which obviously is for those looking to save a few pennies. More shirts, higher priced jackets, licenced wear.
  • A family of 4 walks up to the aisle at Walmart, father picks up a bottle of a product, confirms with wife that price is cheaper here, walks away with bottle in hand. Never seen such price comparers before.
  • Both McD and Walmart see a greater influx of persons usually seen in Starbucks: wearing clothes which will take a while to put on, full length coats.
  • Aldi's needs to have all three counters open, instead of the usual one, apart from the out of place new SUVs and Chevys and Hondas alongside the old Dodge Hatchbacks and Buicks and Lincolns.
  • The humongous increase in persons using the County Library. More people who have trouble using public computers/persons asking Assistants for help in searching = new patrons. Again, long coats and fancy office wear-clad people wandering up and down the aisles searching for DVDs and CDs.
  • Cash for Gold flyer on my door knob.
  • University admissions up 6.5%.
  • Electronics now available with awesome deals. Sad I bought them when their price was not so awesome.
  • More infomercials on TV. Already unwatchable TV is now unbearable.
  • Unlucky pubs putting up special offers to lure in customers
  • Random people wanting to sell their CDs to you
  • Churches advertising on buses and TV for people to visit them
Elsewhere, nationwide:
  • Part-time Receptionist job gets 3520 resumes in under 24 hours
  • Wall Street executives eating at McDonalds
  • More advertisements for self-investment sites like scotttrade and tdameritrade
  • McDonalds and Walmart among only a handful actually making a profit and seeing a rise in share value
  • Post Office(USPS) proposes to drop delivering mail on Saturdays to cut losses
  • Dozens of magazines shutting down
  • Unfortunately, the cause of all the above, layoffs. Thousands upon thousands.
  • The President is the Messiah who will deliver and the Opposition is a 'it's ok a stimulus shall have our ideas' style group.
Read earlier parts: AAA - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nagesh: a handful of memories

The performances our generation saw may not have been his best, yet, Nagesh has stamped his place in our hearts with those movies he acted in.

A couple of decades ago this not-so-beautiful hyperactive outspoken actor would bring the house down with his antics. Amongst the few I have seen entirely, Anbe Vaa is one for comedy(along with another stalwart, Manorama). However it was Ethir Neechal which cemented Nagesh's versatility for me. A poor, unassuming guy pure at heart and intention, we remember Madhu because of how the role was delivered.

In the recent years, Minnale saw the everyday elder: financially and emotionally supportive, ready to stand up for his dear 'grandson' even when all the odds are against him with a down to earth appeal to the heroine.

Panchathantiram, a fine comedy movie, he plays the intrusive father-in-law always poking his nose and making the water even cloudier. Then the ever loving father first proud and then disappointed in his son in Vasool Raja MBBS.

He was almost never the central character in his movies - we often overlook such performances because they are natural and flawless.

His comedy movies should be a lesson for all of today's comedians - humour is possible without blood and gore, without sexual innuendo and without being a big bore. In these few days when we are in deep sadness, it is ironical that watching his movies moves us to tears. Tears of joy and laughter.

Nagesh will be dearly missed.

'Tip to Sama for telling me to write out my thoughts.