Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Live radio? Been there, done that :)

A couple of days ago, I got the opportunity to speak on a sports talk show for a local radio station here in Austin. They were doing a segment on sports that did not get enough coverage in Austin and in the US. Cricket was an obvious choice and a friend of mine and I were asked to come over and give our views on Cricket and its nuances. I was pretty excited - it was a live show and the fact that the closest thing to a radio show I had done before was a sad, sad pod cast when I was 15 added to the thrill. I reached the station early and so I sat outside, under the cloudy skies, drinking hot chocolate and wondering how many lives I would be changing with my first radio interview. At that moment, a crow decided to act smart and aimed its morning business at me. I was rudely awakened from my thoughts by the dirty mess that the crow had created on my jeans. Not a very auspicious start to my radio debut.

I wait outside the radio station for almost 20 minutes and it doesn't look like my friend is going to join me. I do not like to panic (as my blog's title verifies) but I was kind of worried. As much as I wanted to have the world listen to me speak, I didn't want to do it alone. So I walked into the studio, nervous and not as enthusiastic as I was 10 minutes ago. I tell the RJ that my friend is going to be late and so he covers up with advertisements and stuff, and my friend shows up. The interview starts and I completely forget that I'm on live radio. It was awesome stuff, having a go at live radio and talking about Cricket. I didn't speak much but when I did, I had fun. I think it turned out better than my pod cast from 3 years ago.

I've embedded the pod cast below. So check it out and may you feel enlightened at the end of it.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Honors day :(

A couple of weeks ago, the College of Natural Sciences (of which I am a student of) in the University of Texas had its Honors day celebration where it honored students who had done well academically. Now, the Associate Dean of the College had accidentally sent out an email to every student in the College of Natural Sciences saying that they had the academic qualifications to take part in the event. All the students who had made the cut would have their name called out and would receive a fancy medallion to commemorate their achievement. Soon afterwards he sent out an email informing the students about the mistake. I had done well in my first semester academically and I thought that I was invited for the event. So I asked a couple other friends of mine (who had made 4.0 GPAs in their first semester) if they were coming to the event too. They had failed to notice the content of the second email that the associate Dean had sent out and they were more than happy to come.

So on the day of the event, a Saturday, I woke up at 7:30 am to iron my formal shirt and pant. Remember, this is a Saturday and it is the only day when I can sleep through the first 12 hours without feeling any iota of guilt when I wake up. So I wake up at 7:30 and I make sure that I am dressed properly and my hair isn't going off in weird tangents. I meet my other two finely dressed friends and we make our way towards the location of the Honors day event, feeling quite proud of ourselves. We enter the nicely decorated venue and tell the lady in charge that we didn't register for the event but we would still like to take part in it. So, the lady in charge lets us go in and we see this lavishly decorated auditorium with free food towards the left hand side of the entrance. So, as we perpetually hungry freshmen do, we went straight towards the free food. There were appetizers whose names we couldn't pronounce and it still didn't strike us that we might be crashing an event that was meant for those who had probably been in the college for a longer time than we had.

We took the free food and sat amongst proud parents and their slightly embarrassed children. One of us wondered out loud why the lady in charge hadn't checked to see if we were deserving of the honor. I said, "Trust?" and the other guy goes, "Yea, that's how the country runs." We nod our heads in agreement and gulp down the fancy cheese on a stick and the blueberry croissant. The Associate Dean then comes on to the stage and tells everyone that in 10 minutes all the honorees would be taken out of the room and placed in their right groups. Right now, I decide to look at the brochure that I had been holding for the past hour without opening. I go through the criteria to be an honoree and my jaw drops.

"I don't think we are supposed to be here", I tell my friends in a frantic whisper. They don’t seem as thrilled any more. I make them read through the brochure and we all come to the agreement that we have crashed an Honors day celebration that we were never even close to being invited to. So we hurry out of the auditorium as quickly as we can so that no one we know sees us.

We walk back towards our dorm, all prim in our formals, dejected and embarrassed. Just when we thought we had wasted our Saturday morning, one of my friends quips, "At least we got free food." Amen to that.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bored and sleepless at 1am

It is almost 1am here in Austin and I am sitting on my bed, in the dark, wondering how tomorrow (or rather today) will be any different. I've settled into a routine lifestyle (as mentioned in a previous post) and I don't find anything that motivates me to not click the snooze button on my cell phone in the morning. I guess a lot of people feel that way, I mean who does not want to sleep more? But I am looking to make each day in college seem different. Last week I took part in UT's first ever flash mob (it was weird, yet unbelievably fun) and I'm also involved in the creation of a South Asian fortnightly here on campus. I did not do anything but study last semester and so I want this semester to be more memorable.

For April Fools day, I tried tricking the residents on my floor by putting up a sign saying that there was free food in the study lounge but I doubt anyone really fell for it. Still, it was something that defined my day. It would be great if I can do something new or infinitely weird every day and I guess that will be my very late New Years resolution. My original resolution for the year was to go to at least one party every week due to my absence from all of them last semester. I managed to keep up the resolution for the first 10-12 weeks but now it’s just become routine, and tiring. Plus it’s boring to watch everyone around you getting drunk and doing stupid stuff. I mean it’s funny initially when they think that they are under control but after a while it’s just annoying.

It's 1:11am now and I don't feel sleepy. Have to get some sleep though if I hope to make tomorrow (or today, if you wanna nitpick) eventful. So good night and don't let those bed bugs (do they really exist?) bite...