The Year That Was

I’ve traveled a lot this year. A guy I know posted the places he visited over this past year on Facebook, and I was inspired to recollect and jot down the same. I also wanted to note down the different concerts (and where possible, major sporting events) I’ve been to over the last year, which I’ve appended to the end of every month.

I should make this a yearly thing. I may probably go through the photos on my phone and retroactively do one for 2015…

To the best of my memory, these are the places I went to on a monthly basis, leaving the confines of my four walls in Houston:

JANUARY:

Amsterdam, London, Austin, Chicago

Concerts – Tool (Houston’s Toyota Center), Black Sabbath (Chicago’s United Center)

Tool
Sabbath

FEBRUARY:

Austin, Lansing, Ann Arbor

Concerts – None

MARCH:

New York, Austin, Denver, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park

Concerts – Steven Wilson (New York’s Beacon Theater)

Steven Wilson and co. paying tribute to David Bowie with a rendition of Space Oddity

APRIL:

Austin

Concerts – None

MAY:

New York

Concerts – None

JUNE:

New York

Concerts – Buckethead (Houston’s House of Blues), Yanni (Houston’s Hobby Center)

Buckethead jamming away
Yanni and troupe

JULY:

New York, Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai

Concerts – None

AUGUST:

Galveston

Concerts – Guns n’ Roses (Houston’s NRG Stadium)

Slash, the guy who saved the concert for me

SEPTEMBER:

New York

Concerts – None

OCTOBER:

New York

Concerts – Opeth (for the 6th time! Houston’s Warehouse Live)

NOVEMBER:

Miami, Key West, Bahia Honda State Park

Concerts – None

Sporting Events – San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets (Houston’s Toyota Center)

DECEMBER:

Chicago, Seattle, Bangkok, Krabi

Concerts – None

A lot of instances of New York popping up, but with my nephew being born, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll end my year in Krabi and head on over to Chiangmai and Siem Reap in Cambodia over the coming week.

Until then, cheers 2016. It’s been a good year, personally. Not a great one professionally, but I’m hoping the next year changes that. To an even better 2017, with more travel, more music, more opportunities, and fewer celebrity deaths.

Of showers and thoughts

An orchestra can make even the best sounding things sound better. Cases in point – Dream Theater’s Score (ain’t nothing like Rudess making some sweet love to the fingerboard, although Myung comes tantalizingly close. Dat bass) and Metallica’s S&M.

The Interview has gotten so much press going for it right now that if Sony happened to release it online as a PPV for $7, they’d make bank and then some.

Buffalo Wild Wings should have a strategic partnership with Red Bull – if someone comes in and orders a Jägerbomb, they should be given a couple of chicken wings for free, because Red Bull gives you wings. Publicity for Red Bull, more bank for BDubs, patrons walk out drunk, well-fed and happy, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft get more customers. Win-win for all.

You’d think that in an age of relying on satellites to determine in which direction you should be moving in order to reach a destination and touch screen devices which rule our everyday lives, mankind would have found an easier solution to the conundrum that is window blinds. Fuck window blinds. Bane of my existence.

Disclaimer: Not all these thoughts were thought in the shower. Some were in the loo (see also: Of pots and thoughts). Some were in the car. Some were in any other place where the mind wanders. Shoutout to /r/Showerthoughts for their content.

Home is where the dosai is

Took off today without wearing my seatbelt. Textbook definition of first world anarchy. Nobody, not the air stewards, my co-passengers or myself, noticed it. I don’t know if what that says about British Airways but that’s a different issue..

I find people watching in airports, or any places of transit for that matter, very interesting and highly relaxing. There’s a level of comfort involved in seeing people meeting their loved ones after a long trip, and a level of sadness in watching them say goodbye. You feel for the folk, and you are reminded of your own loved ones back home waiting to see you.

As an aside, I’ve only ever noticed Indians putting some form of identification on their suitcases, and it’s mostly a flashy ribbon which looks like it was torn off the border of their mother’s saree. I wonder if this is a cultural thing passed on through generations. I guess we are just much more possessive of our things than others.

Like I said, I love people watching in airports. It’s even better when I’m on my way home.

*whistles the tune of Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera*

On that note, Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera is a song that evokes considerable emotion in me, as does Luka Chuppi. Thank you ARR.

To Austin, with love

Austin City Limits!

A trip filled with bad driving, good company, high spirits (Flaming Dr. Pepper!) and great music.

List of bands seen:

– Gramatik – dubstep. My first live experience with the bass being dropped.

– Phantogram – electronic, chill. Dat energy. Dat voice. Dat girl.

– Imelda May – Bri-ish rockabilly (huh, I never knew the name for this genre – thank you Wikipedia). Always a pleasure to stumble upon someone you have never heard of before and be completely surprised by the music produced. Superb performance.

– Chromeo – electronic, funk, dance. A friend described their music as Daft Punk + Dire Straits. That alone got me sufficiently excited to listen to these guys. He could not have been more wrong, though. I never considered myself a huge fan of all out dance music but damned if I wasn’t totally blown away. These guys were a trip.

– Pearl Jam – That most of these guys were pushing 50 didn’t stop them from bringing the house down. That Vedder kept toasting the crowd and taking swigs from a conveniently placed bottle of wine only served to help bring the house down. Good ol’.

Mild potato quality pictures coming up

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Here’s to you, Austin. May you remain young, effervescent, drunk, and insane.

A happy birthday, indeed *hic*

UPDATE: Well what do you know, Amazon did have toothpicks in stock!