Vishy's blogspot

tech•no•ma•nia n. An excessively intense enthusiasm, interest, or desire to play with technology; a craze for technology

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Posting after a while now. So, after the euphoria of getting my thesis signed, I went off to Singapore and met my family, especially my one year old niece who I was seeing for the first time. I had an awesome time in Singapore. It was nice spending time with my parents and sister and also doing touristy things on the side. It was also my niece`s first birthday. That went really well also.

I am sitting in Tokyo Narita Airport right now, on a transit stopover on the way to New York, lasting a horrendous 12 hours. I got here at 7 am, when most things were closed. The place was quite desolate. Now, it`s about 10:30 am and there is a lot more activity around. Fortunately I found a computer offering free Internet access, and so here I am blogging, emailing and trying to chat with friends.

I am actually decently impressed with Narita. It`s huge and takes a while to get through. But it`s well built and gives a good first impression at least. There are also glimpses of the Japanese sense of esthetics. The jingle that precedes an announcement is soft and understated, yet beautiful. The lighting is soft. The duty free shops here sell the usual stuff -- alcohol (including Japanese sake), cigarettes, candy, various cosmetic items and plenty of items themed on Hello Kitty and other popular Japanese icons. Its a bit strange getting around though -- this is the first time Ive been in an airport for this long, where I am completely linguistically incompetent. I am not disguising my incompetence in any way -- I am still saying Thank you instead of Arigato Gozaimasu. Unsuprisingly, almost all the signs and pamphlets are in Japanese only. When there is English, its far from perfect although it does get the point across.

Will keep blogging if anything interesting happens in this fairly uneventful wait.
posted by Vishwanath  # 8:45 PM

Friday, January 09, 2004

Oh my God!! My thesis was signed by my supervisor about half an hour ago. It's such a great feeling -- it's not even funny!!! I am actually done with MIT! I'll need to come in over the weekend and look at a few more things -- may be put in 2 hours more of work cleaning up various things and tying up loose ends. But other than that, I am actually free to go! My thesis required a lot of feverish typing at the end, to make it in time for today. By the end, I was just totally exhausted but really happy and relieved. It's always those little things that take just forever! In the end, the size of the thesis grew from 87 pages to 117 pages -- most of it being because of appendices and user study materials. But hey, in the end, it's all OVER!

Now I need to think of other logistical things to do, like pack up my stuff and gety my ass out of Boston. Until then, I'll just go and slack with a vengeance.
posted by Vishwanath  # 5:28 PM

Monday, January 05, 2004

All right -- so the apartment application was approved with a couple caveats. The lower rent bid me and my broker made was not accepted, so we had to settle for what the landlord originally stipulated. Second, the landlord wanted to rent the house by Jan 15th. Oh well, I'll be paying rent for Jan 15-Jan 31, but not staying there. I think it's a small price to pay, esp considering I am paying very little to move to New York, in terms of relocation etc.

So, the apartment is a bit on the expensive side. All these years, I've been choosing crappy over fancy (exception: food), telling myself I'll live it up when I am no longer a student and have the means. Well, guess what? I am no longer a student, and I have the means! So, I am gladly going to take this apartment even though it's a bit on the expensive side, but still in my range.

I'll send my new address to friends and people who matter in a group email later. For obvious reasons, I don't want to post it here because someone could easily stalk me. So, a little more about the apartment: it's on the Upper East Side, very close to the edge of Yorkville. Lots of restaurants and little shops. Plenty of light in the apartment. Right across the street from me is a huge Blockbuster to feed any potential DVD addictions. Also, there is a yoga place right around the corner from me, which I should probably join. There are Starbucks and Barnes&Noble shops within two blocks from me, to reinforce the gentrification. Two blocks or so from the Guggenheim Museum and three blocks from Central Park. It is a great neighborhood, and I wanted a location where I could look forward to going home. Call me up if you're visiting Manhattan and need a place to crash. This offer is currently not open to homeless people who need a place to crash (read the Homeless in NYC blog, for example).
posted by Vishwanath  # 4:11 PM

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Blogging this from an Internet cafe in Times Square, New York. Yesterday was one hell of a hectic day. Wake up at 5:45 am, get on to Chinatown bus barely in time at 7:00 am, get to New York City at 11:30 am. After that I went to Manhattan Apartments, Inc. on 57th Street and met my agent. She was nice, a business-minded Polish woman. She had another associate show me about 15 apartments yesterday. Hopped frantically all over Manhattan. Some of the apartments at 49th and 51st were just crappy and going for outrageous rates just because of location. I really really liked some apartments we saw on the Upper East Side. In fact, we saw this REALLY sweet one -- mint renovated. Smelled new too! Finally we saw an apartment near Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle. Huuuge apartment, with loft space even! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough light in the apartment and it was a 5th floor walkup. Bad if friends and especially Appa and Ammai visit.

I took some time to think about my day when I visited Thangu Chitti and Chittappa at Manikantan Anna's placei n New Jersey. Was nice visiting there -- got to eat good food and caught up on my last couple of years with Thangu Chitti and Chittappa. Got a full night's sleep, after a while. Woke up, got back into the city and decided to give the Lincoln Center apartment another chance in the daylight. Was as I expected -- not too much light and bad esp if I planned to stay in for a bit on weekends. I felt much more at home in the Upper East Side apartment at Lex&86. So I decided to go for it. We (me and my broker) have made an offer to the landlord for $1600 a month, when the advertised price was $1650. We'll see if it gets approved. The neighborhood was really nice. A bazillion shops all around and right next to the 86th St subway stop, literally. All I have to do is hop on a downtown express subway and I am at 59th street and all the delights of Midtown in one stop. Timed the 'commute' today from 86th St to work, and it shouldn't take more than 20 mins. Very reasonable indeed! Most of all, the nighborhood felt homely (not in the American English sense, but in the British English sense). Anyway, keeping fingers crossed and chanting Aditya Hridayam frantically :)

Oh, and btw, I'll be commuting from 86th to 59th. 8+6 = 5+9 = 14; 1+4=5. Yay!

All right. Now I should figure out a way to get to Boston earlier than 8:00, since my business in New York is over. Will blog again from Boston.
posted by Vishwanath  # 2:27 PM

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Happy New Year again, this time in 2004. I am still getting used to the idea of writing '04 on everything. '03 was an intense, career-and-education focused year in retrospect. Worked my ass off through and through. Highlights of my year, in rough chronological order:

So that was my year. Work work and more work. Next year does not look too different. At least I have the consolation of getting paid enough to live like a real human being and reap the rewards of my hard work. Of course, I've to pay back MIT loans and save up for a lot of other stuff. I'm looking forward to it though. When I wrote to Dan Burns, my freshman advisor, telling him that I'll be moving to New York, he wrote back to me saying "Don't let your wonderful spirit die." I'll keep that in mind.

My New Year's celebration was random and delightful. I was sure I'd spend New Year's Eve alone, because there's absolutely nobody around here. I posted an ad to Craigslist, asking if anyone wanted to get together for a potluck. About 6 people replied and all of them petered out except one. Another girl responded to my ad, saying that she and her friends were doing something similar and that I was welcome to join. As it turned out, this girl hangs out a bit at EC and we know some of the same twinkies. For that coincidence alone I was invited. I also asked if I could bring along the solitary girl who confirmed she could attend my originally planned potluck. So, I cooked up a vaguely pav bhaji-esque stew, met a stranger and went to an apartment with 5 other strangers. And you know how it was? It was just delightful! Most of the people at the 'party' were Harvard students and we gelled well together. I was quite amazed what a good time I was having despite my extremely tenuous connection to this posse. It wasn't even a real party where people dance and look for easy sex -- we were just hanging out, eating, drinking, playing Taboo and watching Office Space (yet again!). Come midnight, we were on the roof of Harvard's Science Center, watching the pretty Boston skyline and fireworks exploding in the distance, over the Boston Harbor. How random is that? Not in all my four years have I made any friends from Harvard. Yet, by a random tenuous connection, I meet this group of really fun people, one of whom has access to the telescope on top of the Harvard Science Center! We came back, chilled out a bit more and then dispersed for the evening, happy and satisfied. I was so happy just having human contact, even with strangers, and it was surprising how fun hanging out with random strangers can be. Needless to say, we all became friends by the end of the night.

All right -- need to get back to thesis work before I go off apartment-hunting to New York tomorrow and the day after. Will post an update on the housing situation when I return.
posted by Vishwanath  # 7:10 PM

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Posting after a while. Been toiling hard on my thesis. It's in decent shape now pending a few final edits. It's 7 chapters long, and I've been working on it pretty much exclusively for 2 weeks straight. Wasn't sure I would be able to produce this much text in such a short time, but hey, MIT is all about testing your limits.

There's nobody here at MIT -- all my friends have left. I mean, with nobody around, there's the whole luxury of having just about every public space to yourself. But MIT is not about the buildings or the spaces -- it's about the people! It majorly sucks not having anyone to just talk to. So much so that I don't even know what I am doing for New Year's Eve yet. I had to resort to posting on Craigslist to get a bunch of people together to cook and hang out, but it looks like even that might not be happening. Sigh. I might write an article for the Tech about this.

Later this week, on Friday, I am going to New York to find an apartment to live. I have to prepare a set of documentation about my job and financial situation just in case I have to seal a deal this weekend. I'm seeing three brokers total over the course of Friday and Saturday. On Saturday night I return to Boston to resume work on implementing my thesis. Hopefully I'll have constructive criticisms from Rob by then about my first draft.

Anyway, that's about all for now. Happy new Year to all my readers.
posted by Vishwanath  # 3:59 PM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Here is an email I sent out to some friends about new and exciting things on the job front:

> Hello friends,
> I have just accepted a job offer with Morgan Stanley's Information
> Technology Division. As several of you might know, this is my last term
> in school and I'll be graduating in Feb 2004. I will be starting work at
> Morgan Stanley's office in New York City in the beginning of February.
> This (fortunately) ends a job hunting run, which was taking significant
> amounts of time away from more immediate and important work, such as my
> Master's thesis.
> In many ways though, this is only the beginning of the story. I have to
> find an apartment and actually execute the move to New York City and
> thrive in a pretty intense workplace. You can expect my new contact info
> and such to arrive in your inboxes in a couple of months. Where time and
> geography permit, I'll say personal goodbyes before I move away.

Yeah. So I will be moving to New York City by end-January/early February and beginning work at Morgan Stanley. Technical folks at Wall Street firms tend to be very tight-lipped so as not to lose the edge to the competition. For example, all I can find about Morgan Stanley IT in the public press is that they are making a significant investment in Linux.

As a result of this policy, I suspect I'll be tight-lipped about my work at Morgan Stanley on this blog, lest I end up like Michael Hanscom, the unfortunate temp worker who got fired from Microsoft for posting potentially revealing information about Microsoft on his blog.
posted by Vishwanath  # 3:59 PM
One small click for me, one giant leap into the blogging world for me. I've been meaning to start a blog for a really long time. For your viewing pleasure (or not), I welcome you to my personal blogspot on the Web.
posted by Vishwanath  # 3:45 PM


11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003   12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004   01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004   02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?