Monday, February 22, 2010

Back in America

So thanks for the gchat messages, emails, and comments on the blog everyone. I got enough of a response to decide to keep blogging for the time being. I've changed the title of the blog for now, but the URL will remain the same.

I'll make a new post soon about my first week back in the States. Suffice to say that so far, it's been amazing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Last Day Here....

Well, it's my last day here. I'm so excited. I'm extremely happy I'll be back in Chicago soon. Most importantly, I'll be back for GBD 2010. Who else is excited for that?

In 14 Hours I will hopefully be on a plane out of here. I have 2 projects that have to go out before that, but hopefully I can trudge through them and just get something out to keep people happy.

This will be my final post. If you all really want me to keep blogging about my regular life in Chicago, you can start a petition here. Otherwise, this is it.

Take care and I'll see you all stateside in about 36 hours.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2 Days....

2 more days and I'm back home. I cannot wait. I've already got a few things planned out. The big items to do are getting a cheeseburger ( I don't care from where), Sport's Authority for some broomball essentials, maybe Best Buy for an overdue purchase, and then after that, the night is open. Who want's to do something?

Sunday I'll be playing in my first broomball game since college and I can't wait. Organized chaos awaits.

3 Days and Lent

3 more days to go.

So today is the first day of Lent. Usually I give something up, and wind up breaking my Lent promise within 2 weeks. For example, last year I gave up beer, but gladly drank for St. Patrick's day. I also substituted beer with vodka.

This year I've resolved to actually follow through on everything. I'll be very specific with what I'm giving up. I'm even posting them so people can read and call me out for every infraction I commit. So, for Lent this year, I am giving up......

-Sarpino's Pizza
-Soda *I'll donate $.5 for every soda. and if it's a drink w/ soda, $1.5
-and for every beer/drink I have, I will donate $1 to charity.

You'll notice I was very specific with the pizza I'm giving up. Those who know me best know I eat Sarpino's about once a week, sometimes twice. No I will not substitute Sarpino's with Domino's or something else for my pizza fix. I'm leaving open the option for me to get a deep dish pizza, or to go out with friends to a restaurant and get a pizza. I'm simply giving up my weekly delivery pizza that I eat.

40 days and counting, let's see how I do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

4 Days to Go....

4 More days and then I am back to the good old USA. A BSD showed up today at the office. I had to suit up for his arrival. I'm actually a little upset by this person showing up at the office. Not because of the suit, but because it takes me about 1-2 hours to get into a really good rhythm at work. I got into this rhythm, this groove today. There wasn't a problem I couldn't solve, and I was snapping necks, and cashing checks left and right, getting my work out the door. And then this BSD shows up. I had to stand and listen to him talk for a few minutes, then try to get back into work mode. Yea, that didn't happen.

The BSD did look at me for a moment. That was nice. I will cherish that glance for quite some time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bollywood and becoming what I hate

I'll start off with the second portion of the title. Last night I went out, and actually had a decent time. I met up w/ some fellow co-workers, and we checked out the club Excess. If you've been following, you will remember that this is the same bar with the crazy rules posted outside. To my surprise, I was not charged cover for entering the club. Apparently being a guest of the hotel gave me enough clout to just walk in past the line of people who were waiting to get through, past the fancy velvet rope.

Once I got inside, I was greeted with fog machines, laser lights, and 1 lone man dancing by himself on the dance floor. There were a decent amount of people at the club, but nobody dancing, which to be honest is fine by me. I made a B-Line for the bar, and asked for a Tiger, the one beer here in India I somewhat enjoy. Not to my surprise, they were out. Apparently, the hotel only stocks enough of this beer for 1-3 days, and you need to time it just right to get it. So I'm left with the following choices: Kingfisher (which tastes like Natural Light, and PBR got together after drinking too much Keystone, and the bastard child that resulted from their amorous activites was Kingfisher), Corona (for $10 a bottle, IMPORT), Bud Heavy, and Carlsberg. . I opted for the Bud Heavy. "Bud Heavy!" I yell to the bartender over the techno music. A confused look enters his face. "What is this Bud Heavy drink?" I'm sure he's thinking. I then remember that this isn't Chicago, and yell, "Budweiser!" instead. This registers, and I'm served. The club itself was actually quite nice. Large circular tables, nice for lounging. 2 Floors, I soaked it all in while enjoying my first brew.

After ordering a second, I decided to make the rounds. I figured, worst case scenario, I walk around, enjoy my beer, then either a.) go to my room to pass out b.) enjoy a few more beers at the hotel bar. So I walk around when all of a sudden, I do a double take. This can't be real, two, not one, but two American's in the bar. Well tickle me pink, what a nice surprise. I introduce myself, and surprise surprise, they work for my company as well. We shot the shit for a while, as with all conversations with co-workers meeting for the first time, we talked about, you guessed it, work. After about 5-10 minutes of this, I had to say no more. It was Saturday night, and as most of you know, I usually drink Friday/Saturday night to forget about whatever I was dealing with Monday - 5pm Friday.

So I know this is the long winded version of why I became what I hate, but bear with me. So we are all leaving the bar, and hang out by the pool. We start trying to convince this one girl in the group to do some kind of dance. I volunteer to do it w/ her just so we can see what this is all about. Mind you, this was 30 minutes of a group persuading this girl to show us this dance. So we are about to start, and she looks at me dead in the eyes, and asks, "Ok, do you know what a cowboy is?"

Well I'm just shocked this girl would ask if I knew what a cowboy was. So my response, "Ya'll need to realize, I'm from Tennessee, and more importantly, America. Of course I know what a cowboy is." So who can spot the problem with the previous sentence? There are actually two. Need help? Ok, first of all, I said, "Y'all". I was, and still am the same person that would chastise classmates of mine from High School for graduating without an accent, and then returning home after a semester from Alabama or whatever southern school they went to with deep drawls, and a penchant for biscuits and gravy (which is delicious don't get me wrong). So I said, "Y'all" and didn't even realize it until one of the American's in the group (who went to Vanderbuilt) goes, "Oh, you say "Y'all" too." I can't even claim to have dropped the y'all out of habit from hearing others say it because let's face it, I live in Chicago. Nobody says it there.

Ok, now did you spot the second problem? I would bet good money Mr. Wagner caught it right off the spot. Everyone, I am not from Tennessee. I am a transplant. I moved to Tennessee. To say I grew up in Tennessee is even a stretch since I went to High School there, and spent summers home while I was at school in Ohio. To actually claim an allegiance to the state is a bold play though. I would like to move back one day, but I cannot rightfully say I am a Southern boy. So that was problem number two.

Anyway, back to center. This "Dance" I was being taught wound up being one of those dances you only do to one song (like the Cha-Cha song). The big move, the thing that was hyped up so much was this, and I'll describe it in detail. Hopping on one foot, while waving your right arm above your head like a lasso, and using your left hand to pretend you are holding the reigns of a horse. That's it. That's the dance. Well most of you who know how I get after a beer or two know that I when I am disappointed in something I will let you know. I had to explain to this girl that the build up did not live up to any of the hype I expected, and that had she simply bought me a beer 30-45 minutes prior to that, I would have gladly done that dance by myself, and maybe more. I also suggested her performance score card be lowered due to her poor performance of the dance. Mind you, I have no control over that, it's all hot air. Odds are I'll give the girl a high five tomorrow and go about my day.

Now, Bollywood. I bought a Bollywood movie a week ago, just to say I have it. I've watched about 30 minutes of it. So far, interesting idea, sub-par acting. It's very over the top, almost like how the videos I used to make for school projects looked acting wise. Except this movie had a budget. It's keeping my attention, but the thing I find interesting is that certain words can't be translated correctly I'm assuming, so the actors routinely switch from Hindi, to English and back to Hindi. It's kept my attention that's for sure.

All right, time for some dinner. I normally eat in my room, but tonight I'll venture down to one of the restaurants. It looks like there's some kind of Valentine's day theme going on here. That will make my table for 1 request that much more special. I just wish I had Jonah Hill offering me a magazine or something.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ohhh my goodness

I need to blog about this now before I forget. I just had a pedicure. Ohhhh my. Girls, I don't know why you are the only ones who enjoy this experience, because it was phenomenal. From the massage I got between my toes, to the oatmeal scrub, to the strange enjoyment I got out of seeing the pile of dead skin from my feet, it was sooooo worth it. \

Any of you who have seen my feet know they are gross. They are now a shiny, soft and smooth version of my old, gross and rough feet. I'm going to get another one soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Days like today make me seriously consider quitting my job. Here's my plan of attack for tonight:

Get to hotel around 9:30
9:45, order dinner
9:45-10:30 watch LOST
10:30 ->???????????? Finish this project.

Yay all nighter.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One more week

My stay has been extended 1 week. My official last day is 2/19/2010. After that I plan on traveling for a weekend, and should be stateside by the 24th.

Get excited, I'm almost home.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Seriusly Driver? Really?

So yea, after getting home today, I asked my driver if he knew where Charminar was. If you look up Hyderabad on wikipedia, it's the first picture you see. It's the main site in Hyderabad. Well I got a blank look from him, and silence. This confirmed something I've thought for a few weeks driver doesn't understand English.

While sitting in my hotel room, his boss called me to ask what I was trying to say to him and if I needed him tomorrow. I assured him that I did in fact still need a ride and that I only want to know if he knew the location of the city's most famous site.

To top off this great confirmation I now have (please remember I had to get rid of my old driver who was awesome and knew where everything was) I am left with the thought that I won't be able to have my driver take me anywhere other than work.

My dinner just arrived, and I was served baby poop with corn in a bowl. I don't understand how a dish I ordered a week ago that I enjoyed can look so different (it has gone from yellow to green). I also asked for a small dish of hummus, and some naan. Well I got the naan, and when the person taking my order asked if I would like pita bread as well, I said, "Sure, why not?" Apparently pita bread translates into fried dough. A small dish of hummus also translates into a soup bowl filled to the brim. I'm talking about the soup bowl you use for a full meal. Seriously hotel?

I'm getting the chicken sandwich and fries for the remainder of this trip.

This is gross

I inhaled so much dust, dirt and exhaust this weekend that my boogers are black. That's gross.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who the fuck is Alice?

I had the greatest weekend. It was awesome. I finally got to see India a bit, and it is amazing. I'm exhausted, and worn out, but it was worth it. Allow me to begin....

So Friday I worked most of the night with the knowledge that I had to be ready to leave by 3:30am Saturday morning to get to the airport. So do I go to bed early in order to be rested up? Of course not! I stay up all night watching TV, LOST and talking with people to get through the night. At 3:30 I met with my group to get in our car and drive to the airport. The flight to Delhi was pretty uneventful, I slept most of the way, not unexpectedly. Once we arrived in Delhi, we immediately met with our new driver to make the 5+ hour drive to Agra. Let me tell you something about driving in India. I thought traffic in Chicago was bad, traffic in Delhi/Agra is a whole 'nother animal. Well after stopping for goats, traffic, monkeys and lunch, we arrived in Agra for the Taj Mahal. It was so much more than I expected. The building is HUGE, and beautiful. Pictures are posted. The history behind the building is astonishing, and learning about all of the work that went into it made being there so much better. To give an idea of just how much work was put into the building, their are designs and inscriptions throughout the white marble. All of this work is inlaid into the marble. This means the white marble was carved, then pieces of semi-precious stones were cut and placed into the carvings. The whole slab would then be sanded down to make a smooth surface.

We spent the majority of our day at the Taj, and then took some pictures outside of the Agra Fort, but didn't have time to go in. We had to make the 5+ hour drive back to Delhi to stay the night. Unfortunately, due to some convention or something, there was not a single hotel that we could book, thus causing us to go back to Delhi. Well the drive was exhausting (mind you we've had maybe 4 hrs of sleep for 2 days) and we were starving, so we hit up a McDonalds on the way home. Now you may be thinking, "Really Dan, McDonalds?" I'll get more into that later. Suffice to say, it was some damn good McDonald's.

We finally got back to Delhi at around 11:30 and checked into our hotel. Before getting there, I checked our itinerary, and was looking through some things, and figured out hotel would be shady. I honestly was expecting some tiny ass room, with either 1 double bed, or 2 small twins, and the definite possibility of spooning the person I was sharing a room with. So imagine my surprise when we walk into our room, and see the site before us. A 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, kitchen and common area hotel room that was nicer than my first apartment in Chicago. Check out Svelte.

Now sometimes in life, you have a thirst. A thirst so rare, that only one thing can quench it. My friends, that thing is a cold beer. After a shower and change of underwear, we asked the bell hop where the nearest bar was. Well it turns out it was a Hard Rock Cafe. Now, by this point you may be going, "Geez Dan, you travel thousands of miles to India and go to a McDonald's and a Hard Rock Cafe. Two things that are plentiful in the US, you go to in India. " Well, let me justify myself a little. The McDonald's was one of the finest meals I've ever had. And the Hard Rock, was surprisingly an awesome time.

Most Hard Rocks I've been to in the US are pretty boring. This was actually a bar and was fun. Music blaring, we got some drinks and found a table. The music selection was actually great. It was all rock music, no rap, and was a nice change of pace to listen too. The best part was people watching, especially a drunk Indian kid who was in his own world dancing up a storm. It was very refreshing to see people across the globe doing exactly what I do back home. Oh, and my new favorite song is, "Alice, who the fuck is Alice?"

So we closed down the bar, went to bed, and then spent all of today in Delhi. The highlights included a bicycle rick-shaw ride, the Prime Minister's house, India Gate, and the Lotus Temple. I would go into more detail about everything, but it's 2am, and I'm tired. I'll let the pictures do the rest.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Change of Plans

Before I get into the change of plans, first off all, here are my complete thoughts on LOST. Well I have to say, it was a good start to the season, but I'm upset that more questions have come up as a result. The man in black is the smoke monster, and Sayid is alive. Ok, cool.

I'm starting to think there are two factions of "Others." Those at the temple, and those outside of it. But then I wonder why the stewardess (can't remember her name) visited Jack while he was captive, and at the temple.

The producers said that the two timelines would eventually merge together and form 1 story. I'm thinking that the 2004 story will have the characters eventually get to the Island. Hear me out, in previous seasons they said that the future has a way of "course correction." So if something is supposed to happen, it's going to happen. So if everyone is supposed to be on the island, they will all get their one way or another.

I would go on more about LOST, but I'm sure at least 1/2 the people that follow this don't really care.

Now, the change of plans. I was informed last night that I might be rolling off 2 weeks early. This has thrown a wrench in my travel plans quite a bit. Planning and executing a trip in 8 days is a little daunting. We'll see how it goes though.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Damn you Lost.

Ok yea. It's 1am so this will be quick.

Fuck you lost. seriously. more damn questions.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Finally got LOST downloaded. This is how my day is going to go in anticipation for this event. It's currently 12:30 here. I will work until 9pm, then get into the car with my driver and go back to the hotel.

I will get back to my hotel at around 9:30. Once I get through the metal detector, and patted down from security, I will proceed to my room. In my room, I will undress, and then debate working out for a solid 5-10 minutes. Part of me will be going, "No Dan, don't work out. Just lay on the bed, and watch LOST." The responsible part of me will be saying, "Fat ass, you have a beach wedding in 1.5 months, and if you don't work out, Shane will kill you" I hope the responsible part of me wins the debate. For those of you who don't know, Shane is the personal trainer I use back in Chicago. When I signed up for the training sessions, I asked for the meanest person they had. I got Shane. Simply put, I pay for 1 hour sessions, and so far have lasted, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and 45 minutes. I like to think I'm making progress though.

After a good workout, I will return to my room, and have another debate with myself on if I should order dinner. I know it's not good to eat after 9pm, but I need a health person's advice on this one. What's worse: skipping dinner, or eating dinner at 10pm? Especially after working out. My schedule here is so f---ed up. If nothing else I eat a decent breakfast each morning (fruit and banana bread). I usually have either pizza, or a chicken/rice dish for lunch. And after that, dinner is a crap-shoot.

Once I'm showered, and potentially fed, I will watch LOST. That's also pending I don't have more work to do. Let's assume I don't work tonight though. I will spend 88 minutes gleefully watching LOST. Once I watch the show, I will post my thoughts on the episode here. We can all then engage in a wonderful debate on what the hell is going to happen this season. Like I've mentioned before, I just want some closure to the series. There's been too many, WTF moments, and unanswered questions. I want some peace of mind.


iTunes, I'm very mad at you for not making the Lost premier Pt 1 available. I'm glad I can start the season in the 2nd half of the premier. f---ing thanks a lot. i also want to thank you for conveniently only showing the HD downloads which are more expensive and hiding the standard definition downloads.

another f--- you goes to the program I am running right now. thanks to this program i am at a new personal record : 2am and still working. yippee.

looking like tomorrow is going to be a red bull kind of day.

Please just wash my clothes

So as you are all aware, I'm staying in a hotel for this trip. It's actually not too bad. Gym nearby, room service, free laundry, it's kind of cool. Anyway, I left some laundry to be cleaned today. When I got back, there was a nice little note left on my bed, along with two items of clothing. They said they noticed color bleeding, and a hole and would not wash these items. So I inspected the clothes. The item with the hole is an undershirt. Not only that, the hole is about the size of a small pebble. I could care less, just wash the damn thing.

The "bleeding of colors" mentioned for the other item involved a white shirt of mine. It should be no secret that I sweat a lot. A white shirt is going to develop a small sweat stain. It's bound to happen. The "bleeding" was a small yellow line that occurs where I roll up the sleeves on this shirt.

I honestly appreciate the effort being put forth by the staff here, but I just want my damn clothes cleaned. I'm aware of what I'm putting in the wash. Short of it all coming back pink, I don't care.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

No dreams lately.....

So I haven't had any dreams worth posting lately. Occasionally, I will dream of being on my computer doing work, but that's more of a nightmare that regularly occurs during busy season. I also had a dream than an ex-gf of mine got a boob job, and was taunting me via Skype. That's actually a dream I'd prefer to not going into any more detail on. We'll just leave it at that. I took my weekly pill though, so let's see if a fresh batch causes some Havoc. To be completely honest, the fact that so many of my dreams are involving me on my computer is freaking me out a bit. I'm starting to get worried that they aren't dreams and that I'm actually doing these things in my sleep. So yea, if I've talked to you at an unholy hour, please let me know.

So this past Saturday I laid out by the pool and got sun burnt. I only laid out for 2 hours and just got absolutely roasted. I underestimated the strength of the sun completely. I honestly thought I'd be able to last 2 hours, but no, I look like a Canadian flag (red stomach, red back, white sides). Today I've been going to the bathroom every 45 minutes to wash my face as my own skill falls off like a leper. It's not a look that I enjoy. It doesn't hurt to shower anymore though, so that's a bonus. I'm hoping the peeling will subside soon.

I got word today that a trip has been planned for the Taj Mahal. So if things don't fall through, I will be spending Saturday and Sunday in Delhi and Agra taking in the sites. I just hope I remember my damn camera this time. This is pretty much THE thing I've wanted to see since coming to India. It's the most touristy thing on the list, but I mean, you pretty much HAVE to see it.

All of this travel and thought of travel makes me realize how much I haven't seen in the USA. There are still some amazing things throughout the US that would be amazing to view. Among them, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles (I've never been), and Yellowstone. I think in my mind though, I feel like I need to see the rest of the world before coming back around to the US.

Anyway, it's 5 o'clock here (cocktails anyone?) and I have another 7-8 hours left. Until the next post....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Suit up!

Today the BSD's are coming. I get to finally rock out the suit I brought in. We'll see if I get to meet any of them, my guess is most likely no. The suit is more of a "just in case" measure. Apparently it's a big deal here, the front lobby has flowers and stuff laid out. Pretty exciting. Regardless, it doesn't matter who comes in today, I have work to do. I get into a very work focused mode when I'm here in the office. I think the drive is that I don't want to spend my weekend here. There are rumors of a trip to the TajMahal this weekend which I would much rather prefer to do.

Lost premiers tonight. I will have to wait until after it airs to purchase it on iTunes., but I still can't wait. By this point, I just want some closure with the show. We'll see if this season gives that to me.