Justice League: Must Watch! 4.5/5

NO SPOILERS !

I did not expect much from this movie and nor did I read any reviews before taking my seat. All I had to go on were the trailers. I was expecting another dark movie but I was determined to sit through it. But what followed was a pleasant surprise – my Christmas came early this year. Let me give my opinions of the characters first

Flash: The arrogance of youth and the on-your-face humor are balanced in perfection. I have never liked flash before, Ezra Miller might have just changed my mind.

Aquaman: His arrogance at being invincible was a joy to the eyes. Jason Momoa is here to stay. He has some drool worthy scenes sans his shirt. I am looking forward to his origins story as I don’t have a lot of back ground on his character and do not want to ruin any surprise by reading about him.

Wonder Woman: As usual – she carries the burden of the being the wisest person on the team with grace and strength. Gal Gadot does justice to the daughter-of-god character that she plays.

Batman: Ben Affleck has outdone himself in this one. After the dark brooding batman from the past, this one was a joy to the soul. This was the batman that I grew up reading. (Still fuming about the last movie where the Bat was portrayed as a self-serving hero)

Cyborg: With half a face to act with, Ray Fisher does a wonderful job conveying his pain at the knowledge that he might be the next monster. It is nice to see his fear evolve into confidence and conviction at doing the right thing.

Superman: Is it just me or does Henry Cavill seem to be getting more gorgeous with time. The character does come across as too perfect at times or maybe I am more of a Batman fan than a Superman fan. (I know they are on the same side, but a lady can still choose)

The movie does not have a single boring minute. All the folks look like they got out of the gym and into their costumes. If you are like me and on the heavier side, don’t be eating food while watching this movie. Those actors will make you guilty for sure.

DC seems to be taking a leaf out of the Marvel Algorithm as we see a lot of witty and humorous dialogues when least expected. Humor might be what saved this movie as without the humor, it is very intense. The visual effects were on-point. My personal grievance is that Superman was granted more power than the last movie where his powers matched that of Wonder Woman. (That’s the reason for the docked 0.5 in the ratings)

The word for the wise. There was hidden wisdom in a few scenes that seemed to resonate with me. The first one, Artificial intelligence should be feared. Cyborg wakes up knowing something new every day. AI is an unknown beast. I loved the scene where the advice to the scared is ‘Save Just One’. It was a beautiful 3-word sentence about which books could be written. Last – The wonder woman dialogue on good leadership was wise beyond experience.

Not that it matters, but the villain was a worthy opponent. Sometimes, a villain can make or break the movie and this movie had a nice bad villain for everyone to hate.

In a nutshell – Just go and watch the movie already!

 

A Hairy Tale Indeed

I am not a vain woman but I do have some weird tendencies that might make me seem like one. I would never share this story were it not for a friend who said that the trait is not unique to me and his wife possesses a similar tendency. With just a few discrete inquiries, I found out that several of my friends (or their wives) share this trait. So here goes nothing…

Whenever I get my eyebrows shaped, I expect my husband to notice and compliment me (however undeserving the situation be).  Almost every time, he doesn’t notice. So, I get offended that the love of my life does not take an interest in my appearance. He says it is trivial enough not to matter on the grand scheme of things. Things usually go downhill from there.

I would never in a million years have expected this to backfire as I enjoy these debates that we have so much that I look forward to them. One day, I think It might have been post the ‘No Shave November’ month or so, I was out in the living room watching Netflix and my husband comes out of the shower and we discuss our Lunch Plans.

Five minutes later, in an angry tone

He: Don’t you ever … ever talk to me about the 1-2 hair that you get removed along your eyebrows again.

Me: Huh? (*Confused now)

He: (waits a minute for it to sink in. Starts Laughing)

Me: What are we talking about again?

He: I had a full beard a while ago and you did not notice that I now have a clean shave.

Me: But J, I don’t think that counts. I love you however you groom yourself. You know I find you very good-looking….

He: (*Interrupts my explanation laughing uncontrollably now) Nice try Sam. It is not going to work. I think we can end this topic for good. Never ever ask me about eyebrows again.

Since then, as tempted as I have been, I dare not speak of the topic again. But in my defense, I am in love with the person and not his appearance…

Requirements Gone Wrong!

As an IT Consultant, getting and giving the right requirements mean the difference between success and failure. This is one example where my requirements weren’t as specific as I had hoped it would be.

Growing up in India with my big family, cricket was a religion. It was sacred. When Team India played, everything else took a back bench. Everyone would gather around the television and the entire day was spent watching the match (sometimes 5 days in a row) and then the next few days will be spent dissecting the match. Though, at one point in time, I did enjoy the game – this utter dedication drove me to the brink of craziness.

As I grew up and the thoughts of an ideal husband started evolving in my mind, 1 thing kept coming to me recurrently. I will under no circumstances marry someone who was so crazy about cricket that he won’t notice if the world around him just ceased to exist. This was one constant throughout that I held on to tight.

A few years, I have a friend on whom I have an insane crush. He has every single quality that I want in my life partner. To this day, I can picture the conversation we had quite clearly. It was a group of us having coffee and the topic was cricket. I asked him ‘What about you? India is playing today. Aren’t you curious about the outcome of the match?’ He shrugged his shoulder and said ‘Not really. I do love cricket and Sachin, but I don’t follow it crazily’.

Fast forward a few more months where we announce to our friends that we are in love. Our cupid (That is what I call the person who introduced the two of us), comes to me, congratulates me and says, ‘You better start learning about Football’. I was stunned, I had no idea what he was talking about. He looked at my blank face and started laughing. He walked away saying ‘You will know soon enough’.

And yes, I did know soon enough. My then Boyfriend and now husband is crazy about football (soccer if you are in the Americas). So crazy in fact that I now have a healthy respect for all my brothers and uncles back home who watch cricket. His obsession with football is unlike anything I have ever seen. Luckily for him and me, I am way too head over heels in love with him to kick up any fuss now(not that it would lead me anywhere).

Moral of my Story: Make sure your requirements are clear, crystal clear!!!

HJ’s weekend

Written By: Harinee Jibeesh

Written: 05/30/2017

My weekend was fun because I went bowling, went to the playground , played with my friends, watched a movie- Parent Trap. It was fun. There was a baby in the home that I watched it in.My parents friends had come to visit us from Richmond. I played with the 2 babies and that was my weekend.

I love School

School school school, You are the best

Cool!

Holly the best Yay

Out in Antarctica

Open to Learn

Love School Forever

 

-A Poem by Harinee Jibeesh

Published: 06/27/2017

Road Rage inducing Drivers

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t anger easily. And in the past 2 years, I have realized that more than anything – it is those Idiots on the road who make me angry . Here is a list of my top ‘Get the Fuck Off the Road’ people.

  • Driving Slow on Fast Lane: For some, it might be ignorance but for majority it is not. Regardless of your speed, if you are on the left lane and you see a vehicle behind you, you must move to right and let the vehicle pass. FYI – Left Lane is called ‘Passing lane’. Pass and merge people. Don’t hang out just because you pay the road taxes. You might be driving at speed limit +10, but if the right lane is empty – you must move. That’s the law of the land.
  • Last Minute Merge: These are the people who merge at the very last minute. All maps point out to your turns well in advance. Why then do you wait till the last 1/10th of a mile to merge? adding salt to the injury are those who merge with little to no space to merge. It is left to the drivers behind to brake appropriately.
  • No Indicator Turns: those lights on your cars aren’t ornamental people. For fuck’s sake, light them up at least 5 second before your turn. There are those who don’t even use indicators and then there are those who use it after they have started to turn. What exactly do you think is the purpose on an indicator?
  • Tailgaters: Or maybe I should say Tail-gators. Why in the world would someone want to tail gate? Maintain a 2-3 car distance. Isn’t it as simple as that? I am determined to call the cops on the next person who tailgates me. It should count for harassment, right? Imagine you are one of those lovely tailgaters and the one in front of you belongs to the category above…see where I am going with this? It is not hard to predict the future.

The next one causes me amusement more than anger or frustration.:

  • Distracted Drivers: You better have an amazing life insurance (and auto insurance too) if you are one of those who loves to use your cell phone or groom yourself (read make-up) when you are driving +10 on the left lane. Let me tell you this, I have 100% confidence on your driving skills but are you sure that the driver about to merge into your lane isn’t high or crazy? Are you willing to bet your life on the driving skills of those around you?

I have always had a kind of curiosity on what might have triggered the origins of the word ‘Fucktard’. Now, I am almost certain these are the people who lead to invention of an innovative word. That being said, do you have any personal pet peeves around drivers on the road?

Practical Lesson: New vs Used Car

A year ago, after months of new vs used research, we ended up with a 5-year loan on a brand-new over-budget Toyota Rav4. It was my first ever car (new\used). We plan to keep the vehicle for a few years (more than 5).  As apprehensive as we were while buying a new vehicle, the joy of a shiny new toy convinced us that it was a good decision. The 0% interest on the loan helped too.

Warning lights for following got thrown out of the window.

  1. We owed more on the car than our net-worth.
  2. Rate of depreciation was faster than rate of loan repayment.
  3. For a family of 2 that uses a local train for commute, SUV wasn’t really a necessary vehicle of choice.
  4. Our Rate of savings would take a huge dip thanks to an exorbitant monthly payment.

Today somebody backed into our car. The damage was more than what one would expect as it was a simple parking lot accident with neither party hurt\scratched. Air Bags were not diffused. Their insurance is paying for the damages.

As a result:

  1. Our 1 year old newly purchased vehicle has an accident history.
  2. We now owe more on the vehicle than it is worth.

We wish we had come across Mr.MM and the FI Community earlier. We could have avoided this mistake and ended up with more savings. The only saving grace is that we will be hanging on to the vehicle as many years as we possibly can. This was a Lesson learnt the hard way.

Power of compounding using Curry Leaves

Most of the inspirational blogs I read nowadays tie to some childhood memory that I seem to be hanging on to. I came across the online Financial Independence community recently and most of them talk about the powers of saving and compounding. This reminded me of a story my mom told me as a kid and here it goes

A man had 2 kids and when they were grown up and ready to make it on their own in the world, he gave them each a small curry leaf plant* and asked them to take care of it. Curry leaf is widely used in a variety of Indian dishes.

A few years later he decides to visit his sons. He makes his way to his first son’s house. After the initial conversations, he brings up the curry leaf plant that he had given him when he left the home. The son replies: ‘Oh, that plant? It was so tiny. I used the leaves within the first 2 weeks. I think it dried up after that’.

The man soon makes his way to the second son’s home. He realizes that the second son is far more prosperous than the first one. And as expected, after his initial conversation, he brings up the curry leaf plant. The second son replies: ‘Oh that plant? You should come out and see it. It has become a huge tree and has produced several other plants and the entire neighborhood now uses Curry leaves from my plants’

Regardless of what the details of the story is, when you think about it, it does boils down to common sense. Anybody can tell you that. Do not strip the plant of all its leaves. Let it have a chance to grow so that it can replenish the leaves. And once you do that, the plant can provide you with curry leaves for the rest of your life. If understanding a plant is so easy, why then do so many people have a tough time understanding their finances?

This story spoke to me as a kid. What i learnt is – Do not continuously withdraw from your savings\investments to a point where it cannot build up faster than you withdraw. Let it grow to a point from where withdrawing will not affect the year-on-year balance as the interest will keep replenishing whatever you take.

*Curry Leaf: It’s a common leaf native to India\Sri Lanka and is used a lot in Cooking. Not to be confused with Curry Powder. scientific Name: Murraya koenigii.

Obtaining Infosys Employment Verification Letter

How to obtain a detailed Infosys Experience Letter?

As a courtesy, Infosys has started giving detailed experience letters which is necessary for I-140 Immigration petition\PERM application in USA. The process is extremely simple. I got my experience letter within 2 weeks. If you are still in contact with your managers from Infosys Days, it would be easier. Following is a detailed step by step guide to get your experience letter.

Step 01: Send an email to US_EmpVerification@Infosys.com stating that you are looking to get your detailed experience letter.

Step 02: Within a couple of days, you will get a response along with 2 attachments for you to fill out. If you do not hear back, you can always follow up.
The First document is a format in which Infosys gives the experience letter. You would have to list all your job duties and Tools for which you are requesting the experience letter.  Sample below:

The second document has 2 sections. The first section is for your current employer to fill out.  It requires them to confirm that they require the experience letter for the GC processing. A sample snapshot of the document looks like this:

The second section if for you to list down your managers during Infosys Tenure. Your managers will have to validate your job duties and tools used. I listed 5 managers from my Tenure and the request for validation was sent to 2 of them. You can use approximate start and end dates as it would be difficult for anyone to remember these for all their projects.

Step 03: After filling out the 2 documents in step 02 to the best of your knowledge, reply to the email from US_EmpVerification@Infosys.com with attachments. Within a couple of days, you will get an email saying it has been sent to your managers for validation. This email will have the email address of the managers to whom it has been sent for validation.

Step 04: Once it is approved, you will receive the employment verification letter in your inbox. If not,  Send an email to your managers saying that you have asked for a detailed experience letter and they would have to approve it. I also listed down the duties for which I was seeking their approval and listed them down by projects. This is not something one should do, but I did.

Step 05: You will get the experience letter within a day of the managers approving it. In my case, it took about 10 minutes between the managers approving and me receiving the letter in my inbox.

Points to Note:

  1. I do not know Infosys Internal SLAs. I can only guesstimate based on my experience.
  2. Infosys gives the experience letter as a courtesy and reserves the right to deny it.

The Millionaire Next Door – Book Review

I do not know why but I am into Financial Blogs these Days. And one of the books I came across on multiple blogs is ‘The Millionaire Next Door’. This book was available on EBay for 2$ with free shipping so I got a copy for myself*.

Anybody who is $ conscious should read this book. It is about 2 researchers who study common habits of millionaires. Here the term Millionaire is someone who has 1 million in savings\investment\worth. Why should you read it? Because it answers the following questions

  1. Where is my money going?
  2. Can we live happily and save with 1 person’s salary in the USA.
  3. Kids are so expensive these days. It is impossible to save with kid(s) in USA?

Some of the most interesting things I learnt from the book

  1. People who drive Flashy and expensive Cars are not necessarily millionaires.
  2. You cannot point out millionaires by their attire\car or their house.
  3. Most Self-Made Millionaires’ households run on budget.
  4. Ivy League Education may guarantee a high paying job but not necessarily a high bank balance.
  5. Millionaires don’t necessarily eat fancy food or at fancy restaurants.
  6. There are more millionaires than we think of.

Maybe if those aren’t the things that you are looking for in a book, the following might be interesting. The authors have presented the book as a case study with detailed math charts. Most of the case studies are presented in a way that one could easily relate to. It is easy to find yourself as a character in the book. So, if not to gain a new perspective on the world of millionaires, read it to judge yourself on the scale set by average millionaire next door. The presentation and point of view of the authors is presented in a practical yet humorous way.

What the book does not do is give you recommendations on what you should do with your money. It just tells you what Millionaires so with their money. Even if it is just for fun, go read it!

 

*Most FI Blogs don’t recommend buying books. They recommend Library.