Au sujet de moi…

I was tagged by Mathew and Dhanya. The rules of the tag are that you must write 8 facts about yourself and then tag another 8 innocents. You asked for it, so here it is:

  1. I have never used or owned a laptop. I am planning to buy a laptop to improve my productivity. It will help me in continuing my work uninterrupted during power failures (which is quite often) and during thunder and lightning (which is also quite often).
  2. I have never owned a mobile phone and my total talk time on the cell phone is under 30 minutes. I belong to the pre-mobile phone era, and on any day prefer the POT (Plain Old Telephone) to the fancy mobile phones.
  3. I have never used or owned an iPod or any other portable music systems; not even a Walkman or Discman. I hate all sorts of portable music systems. I hate headphones and all equipments that need headphones. But I love music and have an excellent collection of old Malayalam and Hind movie songs, Western, Carnatic and Hindustani classical music and soft and soothing instrumental music. I prefer to have music in the background when I am writing or reading. But when I want to listen and enjoy music, I prefer to sit with the lights off and blinds closed and listen to the music with my eyes closed.
  4. I am interested in a wide variety of topics—from technical to fiction, philosophy to photography, cooking to cartoons, teaching to learning, writing to publishing, medicine, automobiles, and the list goes on… Some of the skills that I wanted to learn but failed to master are playing a musical instrument (violin and piano), drawing, sketching, and painting, new languages (Spanish, French, Latin and Japanese) etc. Some of the skills I did not want to learn but had to master are coding, typesetting, indexing, copyediting, etc.
  5. I write for a living and read for living. At any time, I will be working on at least 2–3 books and reading at least 1–2 books. Also, at any time I will have at least 5–6 book projects in the conceptualization, research, content development and other pre-writing stages. Also I will always have a reading backlog of more than 20–30 books.
    Some of the books that I can read any number of times are Asterix, TinTin, Sherlock Holmes, Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, and a number of novels, technical and books on English language. Some of my favorite authors are Friedrich Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, Khalil Gibran, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Richard Bach, Joseph Heller, J.T. Edson, Jeffrey Archer, Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, Frederick Brooks, Steve Mcconnell, Watts S. Humphrey, and many others
  6. I love pens, pencils, notebooks, spiral notebooks, writing pads, etc. I have more than 30 pens and thousands of pencils. I particularly like yellow pencils with the eraser at one end and have hundreds of them. I also like color pencils and sketch pens (but I hate crayons). My favorite pen in my collection is the Mont Blanc 75th Special Anniversary Edition Le Grande Fountain pen.
  7. I love cooking and good food. I am an excellent cook (even though not as deadly as Mathew or as good as Anjali). But these days, all I do is armchair cooking—giving directions. I have an excellent collection of cookery books. I used to be an excellent bartender (at college and during the various parties) and used to make and consume a lot of cocktails.
  8. The last time I saw a movie in a theatre was in November 1993. I saw it at the Casino theatre, Madras. The name of the movie was The Scent of a Woman. I loved the movie, especially the Oscar winning performance of Al Pacino and equally heart-warming performance by Chris O’Donnell.

I am not tagging anyone. But if someone who has an interesting life and equally interesting things to say about them, please go ahead and take the tag…

31 Comments

  1. chekku Said,

    July 14, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

    thanks for taking up the tag Alexis..
    the variety of books you read is amazing..my reading is miniscule..pinee scent of a woman was the best Pacino..i rate it better than godfather..Loved Scarface too!!
    Btw my cooking is not “lethal” like Anjali’s..I oppose it!! :D

    got to know lot more about you in the tag…

    P.S.Mont Blanc pen is made in Hamburg!!It should defintely be a superb one!![:)]

  2. Alexis Leon Said,

    July 14, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    chekku: My pleasure Mats.. I don’t have any idea how many times I have seen the video of the Scent of a Woman. The final speech by Pacino is something I really liked. Your objection about the cooking part noted :-)

    P.S. Mont Blanc have come out with the Special 100th anniversary edition. So if you want to give me a present, then you know what to do ;-)

  3. anju Said,

    July 14, 2007 @ 9:36 pm

    I like this tag for the simple reason that it shows the individuality of each person who takes it up.

    Though I love the mobility a laptop provides I prefer a PC. And my mobile phone is used only for sending and receiveing messages. I dont care for the other fancy things it does like arrange a marriage reception and or launch a neclear warhead etc I love to collect watches a recent addiction.

    And I hate cocktails and am the guinea pig for all my bros cocktail concotion experiments. One of these days I am sure you will hear an explosion from Bangalore and it will be me :-(

  4. Jubin George Said,

    July 15, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    Came here from Pen Knife.
    Author of 43 (or more?) technical books, and still have not yet used a laptop or a mobile phone. Surprise is only because their names are new additions to the list of oxymorons. :)

  5. kajan Said,

    July 16, 2007 @ 8:47 am

    I can’t (but do) believe you have all those writing utensils! That picture of your work study room in an earlier post was inspiring. I have read so many books, but fail to remember authors. Barring the children’s novelists, I have not heard of the rest. Is the list mostly of Europeans?

  6. emmanuel Said,

    July 16, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

    me too never owned a laptop……felt no need until now…..also the cell is to call mom, dad and bro and to receive calls back from them….i’m so lazy to call even my friends and they to fell the same i think…..never owned a pen also….afteri lost a wonderful 15-16 yr old Sheaffer..i just go to so petty shop and buy a Cello gripper the previous day before exams and will lose it somehow on the same day or after…….and never cooked…..sometimes tried helping mom on her demand…..thenga chirandal kinds of suff…………..yeah i am a gud helper at kitchen…….. ;)

    this was really nice to read…only sad thing i:s that, nobody cared to tag me……but this was really gudddddd …… :)

  7. Suji Said,

    July 17, 2007 @ 7:02 pm

    I like color pencils too……i have always had a fascination for them since childhood….i don’t know why….every time i see a color pencil set in some shop i want to buy it….though i don’t use them at all. :-)

  8. bindu Said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 9:15 am

    “I write for a living and read for living.”

    Too good.

    As for cooking and food, you have company, though it’s been a long time since I’ve done any experimenting :-)

    Your interests are truly amazing.

  9. Alexis Leon Said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    anju: Very true about the individuality part. Watch collection. Nice addiction.

    I love cocktails. You hate them because you are drinking the stuff and helping your brother to find the right combination. By the time he gets the recipe right, you would be too drunk to enjoy it :-)

    Jubin: Welcome friend. new additions to the list of oxymorons ;-)

    kajan: Thanks… Some authors in the list are Europeans, most are from US. Nietzsche is German, Sun Tzu is Chinese, Khalil Gibran is from Lebanon but lived in US, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Jeffrey Archer are Bristsh, Richard Bach, Joseph Heller, J.T. Edson, Clive Cussler, Robin Cook, Frederick Brooks, Steve Mcconnell and Watts S. Humphrey are from the US.

    emmanuel: Emmanuel you should do the tag. Your take will definitely be interesting.

    Suji: Suji, welcome to the club. People find it hard to believe why I am buying all the pencils as they are quite sure that I am not going to use all of them. But I prefer pencil to pen.

    bindu: I was wondering if anybody will notice that. Thanks…

  10. Jo Said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 6:18 pm

    Scent of a woman is a lovely movie. Yesterday I watched another good one – Venus, with the good old ‘owrence’ Peter O’Toole in the lead. The old man is amazing even in this age and it’s a must watch.

  11. Abhi Said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

    Alexis…

    Scent of a woman is indeed an awesome movie. Your phrase about writing for a living and reading for living was just too catchy. Awesome!! The list was really really too good….

  12. Dhanya Said,

    July 18, 2007 @ 11:15 pm

    Hey Thanks for taking up the tag :)
    I too don’t like Laptops n was avoiding it till now but will soon get one from office :( I find it too uncomfortable to use..
    I didn’t have a mobile for a long time.. n then I had to take a connection for my bro. Later he gave it off to me n took another connection !!!
    In books, my fav collections r C&H , Enid Blyton series, Harry Potter , TinTin,.. Now u can judge my standard ;)
    I also love cooking but need some bakra’s for it ;) Check the comment section of this post and you will know the facts :D

  13. anu Said,

    July 19, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

    “I write for a living and read for living.”

    fantastic..!!
    i too loved ‘the scent of a woman’

  14. Vijaya Pamidimukkala Said,

    July 22, 2007 @ 11:47 am

    Alex,

    Your interests like listening to music , loving good food are really simple. To know someone who prefers to use pencils same like me. funny. :)

    I would never want to own a lapton coz it gives me only shoulder pain.

    Working on writing 2-3 books at any time is really amazing.

    Inspired to see someone who has written so many techie books. Even if someone knows those languages…. it takes a while to write those books. You did it. :)

  15. Mind Curry Said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 12:56 am

    Au sujet de moi…!! man! more french.. :)

    very nice alex.. although i am totally attached to my laptop, phone, and stuff, i love the small things in life.. and i admire the fact that you also respect and like them, and have these sweet little ideas..collecting pencils and stuff.. small things in life..i think thats so important..

  16. emmanuel Said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

    Wow!! was that a compliment or an opinion or a sarcastic remark??? ;) chumma……take it lightly ok……. :)

    again, should i do it??? ;)

  17. Alexis Leon Said,

    July 23, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

    Jo: I have not seen Venus. Will definitely try to watch it. Thanks Jo.

    Abhi: Thanks Abhi and congratulations on the Himalayan Odyssey 2007.

    Dhanya: It was my pleasure. Laptops are convenient when there is no power as, the work won’t get disrupted. I see it as a productivity improvement tool. I too love C & H (I have the 3 volume hardbound set—Complete C&H—which is a treat) and others. Read your post on cooking. Really hilarious; your victims have a nice sense of humor :-)

    Vijaya: On any day I prefer a pencil to a pen. When I was working in Pond’s and in TCS, I always used pencils. You can get a docking station for your laptop and attach a proper keyboard and mouse. But then it won’t be a laptop, but at least when you are home you will have the advantages of a desktop.

    Mind Curry: Sorry for the French! But it was the only language which didn’t get distorted when I used the on-line translator. Or may be it did, but it passed my test. Translate the phrase from English to French and then back to English. If you get what you started with, then I consider it as a pretty good translation :-)

    emmanuel: It definitely was a compliment. Your writing is different and refreshing. So go ahead and do it.

  18. emmanuel Said,

    July 30, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    i’ve scribbled something on my blog!! ;)

  19. Pradip Somasundaran Said,

    August 2, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    Alexis am not getting tagged…but enjoyed reading about your like and dislikes. The best way to listen to music is on a good hi-fi system with lights off..And yes I also hate laptps. I was carrying one while I fell down and saving it made my fall so eventful :-) I tried one when I came home after the hospital discharge but found that my old P.C was more comfortable for me. I use a cordless K.b and mouse to type lying on my bed. Am doing it right now :-) And you are a source of courage and inspiraton for all of us. Thank you for your prayers. I know that I will be up soon in a few months.

  20. poison Said,

    August 10, 2007 @ 12:12 am

    i wish i could make a living out of reading. :)

  21. poison Said,

    August 10, 2007 @ 12:13 am

    alexis. i always wanted to ask this. what does the picture of the drummer set against the amber sky signify?

  22. Alexis Leon Said,

    August 10, 2007 @ 11:15 am

    emmanuel: Read it. really nice take.

    Pradip: Pradip no one is tagging you because we want to hear you songs and don’t want to spend time doing tags. So you always have to opt-in, in case some tags interests you. You are welcome to take this tag as it is an interesting one.

    poison: That would be wonderful… But you can. You become a reviewer. You get books to review and get paid for the reviews. You can start with computing reviews; the application form is at http://www.reviews.com/Reviewer/Signup/Reviewer_Signup1.cfm. It is nice place to start.

    Regarding the drummer set against the amber; it signifies communication of my thoughts and ideas to others. As you know, drums were used as a communication media. I had always been fascinated by the drum and the drummers after I read the book Talking drums of Africa (I don’t remember the author) long time back. Just like one has to practice hard to becoming a good communicator, the drummer has to practice for years to become a master drummer. The concepts behind the drum, drummers, novice drummers, master drummers, etc, influenced me in choosing the picture for the blog.

  23. Vijay Chendur Said,

    August 11, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    I like this tag for the simple reason that it shows the individuality of each person who takes it up.

    Though I love the mobility a laptop provides I prefer a PC. And my mobile phone is used only for sending and receiveing messages. I dont care for the other fancy things it does like arrange a marriage reception and or launch a neclear warhead etc I love to collect watches a recent addiction.

    And I hate cocktails and am the guinea pig for all my bros cocktail concotion experiments. One of these days I am sure you will hear an explosion from Bangalore and it will be me

  24. Alexis Leon Said,

    August 11, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

    Vijay Chendur: Nice to know that you share the same sentiments and views of Anju, even to the minute details.

    You too hate cocktails..What a pity, you don’t know what you are missing!!! Also you are the guinea pig for all the cocktail experiments of your brother… Very sad.

    But the only thing I could not understand is that how I will hear an explosion from Bangalore when you explode in Chennai. Are the cocktails that potent or do you plan to consume them in Bangalore…Just curious.

    Just an advice: Don’t cut what you can’t paste ;-)

  25. Anju Said,

    August 12, 2007 @ 6:57 am

    I think we are seeing history being made. First time a comment is being plagiarized :P

  26. chekku Said,

    August 14, 2007 @ 12:19 am

    I like this tag for the simple reason that it shows the individuality of each person who takes it up.

    Though I love the mobility a laptop provides I prefer a PC. And my mobile phone is used only for sending and receiveing messages. I dont care for the other fancy things it does like arrange a marriage reception and or launch a neclear warhead etc I love to collect watches a recent addiction.

    And I hate cocktails and am the guinea pig for all my bros cocktail concotion experiments. One of these days I am sure you will hear an explosion from Bangalore and it will be me

    wow…what a coincedence…seems like lot of em are having similar thinking.. ;-p

    Alexis just loved that reply..!! :-)

  27. Anju Said,

    August 14, 2007 @ 7:10 am

    @Chekku: LOL!!! :)

  28. venus Said,

    August 23, 2007 @ 1:38 am

    Hi Alexis,
    Thankyou for your wishes, wish you also belated Independence day!
    I am doing fine, thank you for asking. Hope, you are also doing well.
    I’m looking forward to your new post soon :)

  29. starry nights Said,

    August 24, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Alexis How are you doing. wishing you a belated independance day. Hope u are doing well.Take care.

  30. emmanuel Said,

    August 25, 2007 @ 11:01 am

    what happened? no new posts? :)

  31. Sreejith Kumar Said,

    August 25, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

    Seems like all bloggers are on vacation! Happy onam sir!!!!!

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