Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Worst Date Ever

Recently, my girlfriends and I exchanged our worst date stories. I couldn’t stop laughing through each of them. I picked out my favorites to feature on this blog. There are 3 categories: Worst Dates, Creepy Stalkers and Worst Break-Up Lines.

Worst Date
This guy took me to dinner and as the waiter was bringing our food, he asked me if I was a virgin.  When I said it’s none of his business, he was like, "It is my business! Look at this food; it wouldn't look nearly as appetizing if the waiter took a bite, the chef took a bite, or the busboy took a bite. Now, are you?"
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
The blind date who met me at a restaurant, talked about Star Wars and The Simpsons the WHOLE time. I ended up counting ceiling tiles for fun. We were at a tapas place and then the bill arrived. We ordered maybe six or seven little plates. Well, the first plate was Shrimp. He said I had four of the shrimp and he only had two of the shrimp so I owed $5.69 for that plate and he owed $2.74. He did that for each plate. Oh yes he did.
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I recall vividly when I was a freshman in college and suddenly found myself with a ton of freedom. Enough that I got a secret boyfriend.  Sure enough, my twin had the same idea.  The guy who I started to see ( and by see, I mean, we were only dating a week) turned out to be dating my sister at the exact same time.  I confronted him later.
His excuse was, he had a hard time choosing which one to date because we each had some nice qualities and he wanted to just combine them.  Apparently, he wanted to date conjoined twins.

Famous Worst Dates
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Scary Stalkers
I was volunteering for some breast cancer cause. There was a meet-up and only I and two others show up: a girl my age and this weirdly tall guy from Vietnam (like 6'5") who was like 40 years old (I was 23-24). He asked for my number and I'm not good in those heat-of-the-moment requests when I should give out Shilpi's number instead of mine. So, I gave him my number. He called me EVERY SINGLE DAY for a month to ask me out. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore and said I would go on a date with him. He bought us tickets to go to this black tie event at the French Embassy. He shows up an hour late and is driving a fucking VW Beetle. A guy. Driving a beetle. And his car was freaking filthy inside. I instantly knew this was a bad, fucking idea. He drives and keeps turning, looking over at me and just staring at me. I know I'm hot, but really? And he's still staring and not saying a word.
Umm...I start to panic and think about all the ways he's thinking about killing me. Then we arrive at the French Embassy. Phew. We go inside and he immediately disappears. How does someone that tall disappear? I don't know. I was busy shoving appetizers down my throat. I walk around by myself for 30+ minutes and he shows up again. Uh...what the hell? We sit down to talk and he excuses himself again. I sit there literally twiddling my thumbs like an idiot and he appears ten minutes later. With white powder on his nose. Oh hell to the no. Trust me. It wasn't from powdered donuts because a) I would have already found those and eaten my fair share 2) we are at the French Embassy and everyone knows the French are food snobs.
Anyway, back to my story. He gets up and leaves AGAIN so I go all commando on his ass and sneak out of the French embassy with the help of an intern working at the event. Helloooo cute French intern who thinks I'm crazy for asking to sneak out without my date seeing me. I bolt across the street and duck down in the parking garage and call my friend in a panic to pick me up. I then go home and tell my roommate about my ordeal when someone starts banging on the door. We peek outside and IT'S HIM!! Oh fuck. He won't stop banging on the door, so I send my roommate to answer it hoping he'll take his time killing her and giving me a chance to run. She tells him I'm not home. He leaves and goes and sits in his car. We watch him and are totally petrified. Twenty minutes later, he is banging again demanding to see me. Shit. I pissed off the circus freak BAD. She doesn't answer and he goes back to his car. He finally leaves. The next day, my roommate sees him outside our place again in his car. Holy fuck I have a stalker. We call the police and tell the story. I never see him again, but if I ever disappear, you know who it was....
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This guy from my high school calls my home number one day (not sure how he got it, maybe a classmate) and says that he was going to throw away all his notebooks and textbooks, but figured I might want them. So I was like, oh ok sure. Soon he starts texting, on the context of how school is, etc.
Somehow, every time I went to visit my family, he'd be there too, and he'd know I was there. I would randomly get a text msg saying "hey stranger! Let’s meet for coffee?". One day, I replied with: 'Hey.. to be honest, I neither have the time, nor the inclination to meet you. Sorry!'.
He writes back in 5 seconds with "Oh thank God. I’m relieved. Just out of courtesy I asked you if you want to meet, but I also don’t have the time so that’s fine".
A couple years pass and I don’t reply to his emails. I get married. One day, my husband comes home and says "One of my playschool buddies from when I was like 5 years old friended me on Facebook and started asking me about life, who I married etc.". WHO is it?? THE CREEPY STALKER!!!! Turns out they went to nursery school or some shit together, but now he uses my husband to ask about me! Course, once I told my husband the story, he de-friended him.

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1) I am on the metro heading home from work. I accidentally make eye contact with some random guy. He comes over and starts making casual conversation, and admittedly he's not totally bad looking, and my mom had just finished sending me another round of creepy profiles to look at, so when he asks for my number I give it to him.
2) A few days later, random metro guy texts me. By now I have come to my senses and realized he may or may not be a serial killer, so I decide to just ignore him.
3) I start seeing the guy EVERYWHERE. Not because he's stalking me, but because it turns out we have the exact same commute to and from work. So, I do the mature thing and start hiding in other train cars whenever I see him.
4) A few months go by and I am happily continuing to hide, but then one day as the train pulls away from the metro stop, I hear my phone buzz. It is a text from random metro guy. It reads something along the lines of "I saw you just now walking right past me. Why did you ignore me? I know you saw me. That was incredibly rude and immature."
5) ..................??????? Random metro guy has now progressed to random, creepy, cocky, asshole metro guy who is most likely a serial killer.
6) Another few months go by and I continue to avoid him and debate changing my commute and/ or moving.
7) Few months pass by. By now, I have forgotten about this particular awkwardness. On the day of the Superbowl, I head to Shilpi's apartment, bracing myself for some mind-numbing boredom (football). Shilpi texts me saying her hot coworker is joining us too. I think, cool, this superbowl thing just got a little more interesting!
8) I knock on Shilpi's door.
9) She opens the door.
10) Random creepy delusional serial killer metro guy is sitting on Shilpi's couch.
11) ..................................
12) WTF???? I contemplate running back out the door but decide he would probably show up again somewhere anyway, so might as well just deal with it (a.k.a. pretend nothing out of the ordinary is happening). Creepy metro guy and I spend the next hour pretending we don't know each other, but then eventually I guess his ego gets to him, so he informs a confused Shilpi that we have a "history" (?????) and essentially forces me to tell her the story (at least parts of it) with him there. He whines a lot about how no one has ever rejected him before and how now he is too scared to ask a girl out on a train again. Um, so I guess I did a good thing for girls everywhere??? Shilpi is highly entertained by the entire thing.
13) As soon as I finish the story and Shilpi stops laughing, I say I have to go do some work and blindly rush for the door.
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Worst Break-Up Lines:
"I can’t see you anymore because I am depressed and have to meet my psychologist every week."
It makes you wonder whether it was you that had sent him to the psychologist.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

String Theory: WTF it is and Why you should not care

My friend, Ashi, and I were discussing the movie Cloud Atlas and before we knew it, we started talking about parallel dimensions and time and space. After a brief discussion, we agreed that Tom Hanks is looking mad old, but we disagreed that parallel dimensions are a reality. “All that stuff is just science fiction.” Ashi said.
“No, it’s not. It’s called String Theory!” I replied.
“What exactly is String Theory?” she asked.
I realized I didn’t know, myself, so I just replied “Actually, I’m not sure. I think it’s a kind of pasta.”

String Theory in Action
I decided to do some research and knew exactly who to ask: a senior theoretical particle physicist at the California Institute of Technology, a.k.a Sheldon Cooper. I found a YouTube video titled “Sheldon and Raj String Theory Montage” and knew without a doubt this would answer all my questions:

After watching the video, the only thing I learnt was that String Theory is a lot similar to computer science classes in CMU. I then spent the next 2 hours watching episodes of Big Bang Theory. I spent another hour watching youtube videos of babies and puppies and soldiers coming home from war. I laughed. I cried. YouTube is a great way to take a bi-polar journey of yourself!
Finally, I remembered I had Brian Greene’s book “The Elegant Universe” gathering dust on my bookshelf. I went straight to the chapter “String Theory: the Basic Idea”. Here is what it said:
According to String Theory, if we could examine particles with a precision many orders of magnitude beyond our present technological capacity, we would find that each is not pointlike, but instead consists of a tiny one-dimensional loop. Like an infinitely thin rubber band, each particle contains a vibrating, oscillating, dancing filament that physicists have named a string. This is a tremendous achievement, but it is only part of the reason string theory has generated such excitement.
If by “excitement” they mean “confusion”, then yes – this theory has certainly generated a lot of it. I spent an entire afternoon trying to imagine what an ‘infinitely thin rubber band’ would look like. The truth is, the origin of String Theory is something that a bunch of stoned Physicists came up with.
“Oh dude, we smashed a shoe and an inhaler in the particle accelerator today and we found another particle!”
“OMG, what should we name it? Let’s see…so far we got: Muon, Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Charm, Strange and Blue-Ivy.”
“Hmm…we’re running out of Celebrity Kid names. Why do we keep discovering new particles? Does it ever end? What is the meaning of life? Why is the pizza taking so fucking long?”
“Yo, let’s just say all these particles are made up of vibrating strings. The unique vibration of the string will determine the particle it makes up.”
“Yeah! And each vibrating string is made up of tiny, itty bitty, jiggling Jell-O shots. The way it jiggles determines the vibration of the string!”

String Theory - Simplified.

In conclusion, both celebrities and scientists are birthing new shit that they cannot explain, so they just settle in giving them ridiculous names.  What’s interesting though, is that because String Theory, affectionately known as the “Theory of Everything or T.O.E”, explains everything about the universe, it's also a major bummer.
Reductionists (aka KillJoys, Prophets of Doom, etc.) love this T.O.E because all the wonders of life can now be explained through vibrating rubber bands.
Are feelings of joy, sorrow, boredom nothing but chemical reactions in the brain—reactions between molecules and atoms that, even more microscopically, are reactions between some particles which are really just vibrating strings?
In response to this, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg replies:
At the other end of the spectrum are the opponents of reductionism who are appalled by what they feel to be the bleakness of modern science. To whatever extent they and their world can be reduced to a matter of particles and their interactions, they feel diminished by that knowledge. I would not try to answer these critics with a pep talk about the beauties of modern science. The reductionist worldview is chilling and impersonal. It has to be accepted as it is, not because we like it, but because that is the way the world works.
If you didn’t have the patience to read the above ramble, the answer to the question was: “Yes.”
So there you have it: String Theory. If you’re depressed, just remember: for now at least, it’s just theory.
What is Darth Vader doing in Hawaii? String Theory can explain this.