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Magix 'n' Curses
..the argument continues

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Caught in the act - Part 3


It's been a long time coming, hasn't it? :)
A pretty quiet semester after this and this. It might also be coz I was never in class half the time. But anyways, this episode doesn't exactly qualify as Caught in the Act. More in the league of this one! :)

(Couldn't resist bloggin' abt this. Forget my previous post for a while!)

One of our lecturers has this habit of saying "okay?" at the end of every sentence. And the only time we actually pay attention to his lectures are when we count his okays. We also play this guessing game when we try to anticipate and say "okay" along with him. But we end up in a hysterical chuckling fit.. everytime!

Today was no exception. His okays became increasingly funny. Our chuckles became increasingly audible. The angry glares he threw at us became increasingly murderous. We resorted to the counting game.

I realised I didn't even have a notebook open in front of me. I fished out one from under the desk, opened a page at random, and started putting a notch for every okay he said. Wanting to do something a li'l more interesting, I set the countdown timer on my cellphone to 5 mins. And restarted the notches with renewed vigour. He notched up(!) a staggering 54 okays in 5 minutes. (Random trivia: the bloody timer rings even if the cellphone's set on silent mode. Scared the hell outta me!)

The other students were getting fidgety too. Two guys (we'll call them A1 and A2), who come to class so rarely we keep forgettin' they exist, were present today. Pity they had to sit thru such a soporific lecture. A1 started playing around with his camera mobile. And our lecturer, who chose to ignore the bunch of us stuffing our knuckles in our mouths to stop laughing, caught A1 sleepily playing with his cell. "Bring that cell here!", he thundered. A1 thought fast. He tried hiding his cell and managed to get hold of g1's cell. (yup.. the very gal who almost got me in trouble coz she forced me to change her nickname)

"Sir.. Gimme a last warning!", whimpered he. His "paavam look" would have worked if all of us didn't know what a kedi bugger he was. :) Unfortunately for him, the lecturer didn't fall for it either. He trudged to the front with a forlorn look on his face.. and handed over g1's cell!! I caught the pitiful look as he walked up, and the barely concealed grin as he walked outta the class. I didn't notice he had handed over g1's cell! :(

I was too busy typing out a msg saying Sir had uttered 54 okays in 5 mins. As I always do, while passing comments thru sms, I sent it to everyone in the class. (*Insert clap of thunder* Including g1!)

I started notching up his okays again, this time, with no timer. That was when I noticed g1 waving to me. She was trying to say something.. but I was too busy trying to catch the okays. She asked S for her cell, and sent me a msg asking me to give her a missed call. (You now know her devious plot. I didn't!) Only after I gave her the missed call did she tell me that it was HER cell in Sir's pocket! Sheesh! I'd not only sent a msg about him to his own pocket, I'd also sent him a missed call urging him to read it!

She gestured that she'd locked her cell and asked me not to worry. It gave me enough cheer to send him another missed call! :D Now there was another bored creature called A2, remember? He entertained himself by giving missed calls too! And everytime the cell vibrated in his pocket, the lecturer gave a pause, and a thiruttu muzhi! This was all too much for a few of us. A coupla guys openly laughed, doubling up, hands clutching their bellies.

By the end of class, he'd notched up 212 okays! We considered giving him a standing ovation, but good sense prevailed and we didnt. A1 ran upto him and asked for the cell back. The lecturer refused and hurried off to the staffroom. Now g1 freaked out! I suspected I saw a tear :D but she denied it so vehemently, I figured it was safer to agree! This was when A1 dropped another bombshell. Seemed her cell WASN'T locked, and the lecturer read the Missed Call message. It was my turn to freak out!

Finally, during lunch, g1 went and fetched the cellphone herself. I asked her if I had a suspension form due. I was extremely relieved to know he hadn't read my sms.. and the only thing he noticed was Missed Calls. From Magix and Tarzan!! :)
Bless her! She'd actually stored our numbers with nicknames!


Caught in the act - Not quite.. Part 2! okay? :)

footnote:
I guess I'm the official nickname creator for the class. In case ur wondering why we named A2 as Tarzan, it was a.. err.. brainwave of mine. I'd given him the nickname when I saw the columns adjacent to his name in the attendence register.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..a..aaa..a...aaaaaaaaaa..aaaaa! :)


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Kit Kat Club



Exam time-table kuduthutaanga.

Idhukku aparamum if I remain as addicted to blogging as I am now, I don't deserve a prayer club when I pulambify later! :D But I don't have the will-power or the need to completely take a break from blogging either.

Dumbs, Capri and Kay.. unga level-ku enakku determination illainaalum, you've been true vazhikaatis (in the proper way, for a change! :P)...

So peeps, do me a favour. If it seems like I'm spending way too much time in Blogsville, please shoo me away!

Thanks. :)

ps.
Don't ask me how you'll know how much time I spend online. Figuring that out is upto you!
(I might need my blog to grumble about how having to study in that sapping heat is a pain!)


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Wise old kid


I've had a taste of feeling all grown up AND feeling like a child. Both on the same day. Feels weird.

The first incident was kinda cute. I was pedalling my way home from my friend's house when a kid gestured as if asking for a lift. He looked hardly 5 yrs old, and was walking all alone in the sun. But his gesture made me feel kinda important! Someone was actually making a cyclist feel significant!

I couldn't bring myself to ignore the kid and pedal on. So I stopped. The kid was taken aback. It seemed pretty evident from his reaction that he didn't expect me to stop. He came upto me with a shy smile on his face, and gave me the hitch-hike thumb again. I smiled back and asked him, "enga poganam?"

He cleared his throat, pulled himself to full height, and squeaked, "thaatha vootukku poganam". I controlled my impulse to laugh and asked him, "adhu seri.. aana un thaatha veedu enga irukku?"

He looked me in the eye and with a voice ringing with conviction, said, "thaatha kitta kaetu solraen".

I must have laughed a tad too loudly. The poor kid got scared and ran away.
I don't know why.. but it made me feel so grown up. Weird how my mind behaves.

Then came the Bloggers' Meet in the evening. (You can expect snaps on Ferrari's and Praveen's blogs)

Do you remember how it felt when you uttered your first word and your parents looked at you with fierce pride even as friends and relatives rejoiced? I don't remember.

But I did get a vague idea of how it must have felt. Every syllable I uttered was greeted with Oohs and Aahs and surprised exclamations - "Hey! Look! He's talking!!".


Felt like a li'l kid under a rather bright spotlight!

ps.
That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the attention! :P It was kinda fun in its own way!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Riding a crest...


Hmmm..

I don't know how to say this. I suck when it comes to blowing my own trumpet. (romba film kaatara maathiri irukka? kandukaadhenga!)
I didn't wanna blog about these at all. But, hehe, nothing else to blog about. So idhaye sollaraen.
(Warning : Oscar acceptance speech maathiri irundha, sorry!!)

The past couple of months has been pretty good by my standards. Starting with the Siddhartha Basu Quiz, it's been uphill. I'm not superstitious, but I'm not taking chances either. Touchwood!

----
Getting shortlisted to 50 out of 400 teams seemed an achievement by itself. (Figures not accurate. But something around that range! I like nice round numbers!) But cracking the prefinals too and getting called onto stage in the Nehru Stadium by Siddhartha Basu seemed like a dream come true! I did have my customary share of embarrassments. Somebody in the organising committee switched our names on the table. Imagine Siddhartha Basu coming upto you and saying "Hi Aparna!" in front of a massive crowd in the Nehru Stadium. You'll know how red I must have gone in the face! But in the end, coming 5th didn't seem to bad at all.

There are still a lotta ppl in my class who don't know I went to Coimbatore.

----
The next news was perhaps the most satisfying. I cleared all subjects in my semester exams. But it also made me feel guilty. epadi irundha naan, ipadi aaitaen.

----
The 10000 hits came next. Thank you all!

----
I used to be (and still am, to an extent) extremely shy. I'd dread meeting new people. Blogging really has helped me overcome that. Not that I've transformed into someone who yaks nineteen to a dozen. But hey, ippo at least I open my mouth! (Ferrari and Praveen know how painfully shy I was. Ippo naan better-la?)

----
I've not been sent outta class for quite a while now. hehe..

----
I saw what "hard-work" meant. I saw my friends giving it their all for the dance they were plannin to perform at the culturals. I saw swollen knees, bleeding soles... I also saw pain in their eyes. I was moved. I really really wanted to help them in whichever way I could. I jus' hope I didn't end up being a pain in their you-know-whats.

I saw them win 3rd prize. Congrats guys! It's a start.

----
We won the quiz at the culturals.

----
Damn this is getting way too long... I'll stop with this. I promise!

I was really surprised when Ferrari showed me a link. I don't know how I got into the 100 Most Influential Blogs in India list! I don't know if I deserve the honour. I learnt later that it's based on how many ppl blogroll me. That took me by surprise even more. Thank you very much, people! And that's a very sincere "Thank You".. believe me!

PS.
Praveen and Ferrari, you can tease me about this later.
I told them I wouldn't blog about this!

Monday, March 21, 2005

ESP


Ever heard of ESP?
It's that freaky li'l psychic phenomenon - Extra Sensory Perception. In layman's terms, Sixth Sense.

It has more to do with knowing what's going to happen in the future, than shrivelling up in your bed, gritting your teeth and mumbling, "I see dead people".

Folks. Meet your new psychic extraordinaire, Curses. :)

It all started with a visit to the Anjeneyar temple in Mylapore. (Aaaha, appo thaan en udambula aatha aeridutho?) Seems it was a pending visit, thanks to all the buildup I'd given for my results. My mom'd absolutely freaked out and prayed she'd bring me there if I pass. Well, she kept her word.

After a quick stop at Praveen's house (dei, btw, un room romba neat-a irukku.. idhu nalladhukku illa!), and a not-so-quick darshan at the temple, we were heading back home when I realised my friends were practicing for a dance somewhere close by. We have an intra-institution culturals coming up, and these guys are really putting in their all for a dance. And doing a good job of it too.

The least I could do was drop in, look at them dance and cheer them on.. And so I went. I was just in time for their final rehearsal. Then it was time for pack up. I was about to leave when K asked me if I cud drop S home. S lived in Velachery and had to go home alone. Ok, vetti-ya thaane irukaen-nu I agreed. Drop-na romba think-aadhenga. Namakkellam bus thaan!

On the way to the bus stop, she wanted to stop at a supermarket to buy something. A cold wave of dread ran down my spine. No! This couldn't be happening. What the hell am I doing shopping with a gal?!?! Especially after this fiasco! My apprehension was not misplaced. Dread turned into horror as I saw her pull out a shopping cart. Damn damn damn!! As she took her own sweet time, I was crying in my mind! Konja nerathukku aparam I lost patience. "Enough. Now let's get going", I demanded. She relented. That is, until she saw those choco-chip cookies. Not jus' one brand. But an entire rack of 'em. My relief of finally leaving was punctured when I saw her eyes light up. "Dei.. idhu nalla irukkuma, adhu nalla irukkuma?", she asked. "Rendum foreign brand. Un purse-ku rendume nalla irukaathu!", I snapped. After what seemed like ages, she was done and left the supermarket poorer, but happier.

When we finally reached the bus stop, it was already pretty late. As I sat there, waiting for a bus, I was suddenly reminded of my previous post where I said I didn't talk to gals till I joined college. And here I was, sitting in a bus-stop with a gal. Another thought crossed my mind then. "What'll happen if my parents see me now?"

Less than a couple of seconds later, I saw my parents go by in the car.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Keeping a promise...


I'm doing this for my friend Murali. Or The Optimist as he calls himself.

If ever there was an issue he's juggled with for the better part his life, that takes higher priority than his IIT JEE fiasco (No offense da.. this IIT thingy still stings all of us!), it's with..
*drum-rolls*
*pa para pa pa paaaaeeeee* (That's a trumpet and a trombone building up a feverish tempo, FYI)

Boy-Girl Relationships

*end drum-roll*

Was that dramatic enough? Anyways.. he gets extremely animated and into his groove whenever this topic crops up. And believe me, with him around, it crops up a little too often for my liking! He's planned this post for a while now. And I WAS taken aback when I read it.

indha level-ku avan idha pathi pesinadhu illai! ororuthan girlfriends-oda alayaraan-nu pulambinadhoda seri.. but avanukku indha level-ku idha pathi opinions irukku-nu ennakku theriyaama pochu.

Therinjaalum onnum kizhichurukka maaten, coz I'm someone who's been scared (rather indifferent) to talk to gals till my 12th. College vandhu thaan ippo edho konjam nadungaama talking. :)

So here I am. Keeping my promise. People, please do read his post on the "ultimate issue" (as a few ppl I know choose to put it).. and do give him his feedback. I bet u'd have a rather intellectually stimulating experience in that comment-box of his, while I get to have free entertainment with a smug smirk on my face. Pardon me for being an insensitive prat!

But seriously, that was well written da... Un comment box-la naan kudutha comment-a kandukaadhe! :)

So (with that drum-roll again) ellarum avan blog-a poi paarungoooooooooooo!!!

ps.
ulp. ivalo build-up kuduthutu link kudukka marandhurupaen! :)
Here it is.

And oh.. ellarum anga comment panninathukku aparam ingayum edhavathu koovunga.. please! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Auto DeFrost - Part 2


Poetry is that which makes hearts-of-stone melt,
With its sheer power of being so heart-felt.
But with me, the concept of "melting" is lost,
And that's why I call myself Auto DeFrost! (pun intended!)

I just wanted to have some fun,
To throw in a kadi, mebbe a pun.
Reactions I saw, at both the extremes,
Stuff u get to experience only in dreams.

There were amused nods, and the odd chuckle,
There was even the (anticipated) miffed knuckle..
Add to that, a revelation of how my blog
Turned that fairy-tale prince into a frog. :)

But I'll stop with these rhymes for now,
Stare awhile, mebbe take a bow,
Coz I never thought things would go this far..
Of actually comparing me with that karadi TR!

- Auto DeFrost


Anklenote: (what else wud I call the thingy above a foot-note? :P )
Shyam, the last line was used just to make it rhyme.. kavalai padaathenga! :)

Footnote:
Nope. I'm not quitting the rhyme-game. :) Jus' taking a break till I feel like it again..


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Auto Defrost - Part 1


I quite fancy myself as a limericist.
(err.. I didn't know the word for a Limerick writer.. I thought I'd go with the lyrics:lyricist format!) You'd have got a vague idea if you've read these posts. :)

I know I suck. At times, my limericks border on sad (as in hopelessly pathetic).. But I go on with the rhymes, hoping that one day, one of my "works" gets published in the "Big Book of Nursery Rhymes for Kindergarten children".

And when I get bored, everyone I know virtually bolts outta my sight. They seem to sense that a particularly stupid li'l rhyme is on its way.

So I'm forced to post them up here. I'm sorry people.. neenga than kadachenga!

I'm particularly fond of Robert Frost's poems. (They were the easiest to mug up in English class at school) So here's my nom de plume as a limericist - Auto DeFrost.

One day, in the recent past, I slumped into such an extreme ebb of boredom, that I started writing customised limericks for ppl I know. Yerkaname en "poems" kevalama irukkum, idhula mathavangala damage vera senjaen! I still can't figure out how my classmates haven't disowned me since then. Bless them. :)

I don't think I can publish most of them here, coz I'm too young to die. I'll just post the one I wrote for myself. :P

There was a time when Ash Rai
Would not sleep if she didnt say hi
To me, of course; She'd call everyday
Provided though, her phone bills I pay.

One fine day I lost my temper,
And screamed at her till she began to whimper,
Saying "If u call me again, I'll put u on a leash
I swear I'll do that, or my name ain't Harish!"

Sad, ain't it. :) Here's one more.. (aww.. don't groan already!)

There was a boy called Karthik
Who wanted to go the Arctic
He had to put it off for later
So he sat in a refrigerator
And found the experience cathartic
-Auto DeFrost

Karthik, if you're reading this.. sorry da dei :) But I kinda really like this one!

PS.
I meant cathartic as in psychotherapeutic! Not as in laxative!!

PPS.
Yup. I noticed ur horrified gaze flick up to the title again! It DOES say Part-1. There IS gonna be more of this! muahahahahaha!!


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bummer :(


I've already mentioned this here and here... Yeah, the same thing that made your eyebrows go up high enough to disappear under your hair.

Being in a batch with three gals. In the lab, I mean. :)

But I repeat. I still am "ruing my sad fate"! Here are 10 reasons why I shud mope.

> I don't understand a thing that's being done. I jus' stare in awe, as they expertly make the connections. (Well, not that expertly.. but they do get the right wires in the right holes. Oh, and stop being such a pervert!)

> I've to think twice before kadichufying. But this has never stopped me from kadichufying. :) It's jus' that I'm made to think twice, filter out "offensive stuff, if any" and then say the kadi!

> My name comes in between the names of 7 gals in the roll call. So try what u want, I end as the only boy in any batch of four. Sometimes I seriously contemplate changing my name to Zarish!

> I'm relegated to being the person who has to lift the heavy apparatus and place it where they want it.

> End up looking silly if I hafta fight for a stool to sit on.

> Stare blankly to see them come with a completed obsi (observation note) before we begin an experiment. Of course, my obsi matches my stare. Blank.

> Stare blankly to see them complete the record even as we complete taking the readings. I ofcourse, jus' about manage to get it completed and corrected.. next week!

> Look in envy as they sweet-talk the lab assistant into getting their work done. And when I ask him for help, I usually get a "ada chi.. neeye pannu!"...

> Forced to listen to them giggle.

> I'm left all alone looking at the apparatus with a clueless expression on my face as they happily visit the "restroom" (jeez, why can't they jus' call it a loo like everyone does?!) every half an hour. I'm convinced they have a mini party room in there. Complete with a soundbox, television and yeah, the popcorn!


And as if these 10 reasons aren't enough, I've had more "bad luck". Read on...

The 3 of them get their obsis corrected. Their records too. And when I go to get mine corrected (the standard "one week later") I'm told the graph is wrong, the readings are wrong, everything is wrong! So what's the catch?

I copied it all from them!

And I shamelessly tell the lab-in-charge that.
Me : But Ma'm! I copied the graph from them!
Her : Why? Don't you know how to draw it yourself?
Me : (unleashing that sheepish grin I reserve for lecturers) I wanted to be on the safer side!
Her : So what makes you think their graphs are right?
Me : You corrected them, Ma'm. :)
Her : I don't care. Yours is wrong. Go change it and come.

@&^%$#*&% One of these days...

Update:
Thanx to Blogger, this post got published twice. Then when I tried to delete one, it refused to relent. Now outta the blue, one of them vanished, taking along with it all the comments! :(
But they don't call me Sly Curses for nothing (well, they actually don't call me that at all.. But who cares?!) I'd flicked the link of that particular comment box. So if ya wanna comment, pls do it here..
Comments

hehe!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

That's sad, Rad...


This is jus' a rant of a disgruntled fan.
I don't even know if I can call myself a fan anymore.

I consider her one of the most talented singers in the Tamil Cine Scene.

Two options diverged in her mind,
And sorry she could choose only one
And as a singer, she tried to find
The music for which people pined
She ended up choosing the one more fun;

- Auto DeFrost

cha! kadupulayum nakkal adikaama irukka mudiyala!

It's about my (then) favourite singer, Anuradha Sriram. Bitter memories came rushing back as I saw her on SCV, in a live phone-in show. (Every show in SCV is a live phone-in show. But never mind that.)

I still remember her lilting rendition of Acham Acham Illai from Indira. (It played on my winamp just minutes before. If I don't remember, I must be suffering from a particularly severe attack of Alzheimer's.) The breezy, almost casual way of singing as the song begins... Beauuutiful! But the song is by no means easy to sing. (My sis said that. Naan paatu paadi risk ellam edukka maaten!) Her final alaap still rings in my ear. A dream debut.

Rahman made sure he gave her songs that extracted the best out of her.
Anbendra Mazhaiyile - Minsara Kanavu
Ishq Bina - Taal

Paavam. It was Rahman who brought her to the centrestage. Gave her the best songs. But somehow, I felt she didn't give him due credit. Hmmm, mebbe I'm expecting too much. But... oh, never mind!

I was aghast when her hubby, in an interview, said, "It's high time Chennai shook itself off the Rahmans". Or something to that effect. And she nodded. It was kinda sad.

But what was sadder, was that she chose to fritter away her talent. The landslide started with Karuppu thaan enakku pidicha colour-u. It was a catchy song, agreed. But that slotted her. She was doomed to sing errrr.. how do I put it? ..yeah, Local songs. No offense meant to the local paadalgal, but in my opinion, it's too frivolous a genre to waste a talent like that.

I'm too sad to continue.( !! ) I'll jus list a few songs.

Malae Malae
O podu - Gemini
Apadi podu - Gillli
Daii Kaiya vechukittu summa iru da - Giri (??)
Kootaanchoru - Aayudham
Polaachi Elaneere - Attagaasam
Kai Kai - Bhagavathy
Thundai Kaanom - Devathayai Kanden
Dubukku Dubukku - Giri
Pothuvaa Palarukku 10 maasam - Jana
Elandha Pazham - Madurey


[editted. Still open for more updates!! danx curryleaf and Maverick!]
(err.. what a time to have a memory block! what else has she sung?)

Friday, March 04, 2005

meotoins


No wait. Don't head for the dictionary already. It was jus my way of saying "mixed emotions". :)

*****

I think I'm in love. With that Shoutbox of mine! In spite of its rather plain look, there's something about it that's got me hooked. Besides, I did put in quite some effort to get it up and working.

Funnily enough, I seem to be the only one commenting on it!

*****

Watched Black today. I'd gone with sky-high expectations. I mean, everywhere I go, I hear ppl saying "It's the best movie I've seen".

But somehow, inspite of its technical brilliance and some really neat performances, it didn't strike a chord in me. I did find the effort laudable. And I did see the audience give the movie an ovation as the credits rolled (It deserved the applause, and it was the 1st time I've seen such a thing happen!). But somehow, I couldn't bring myself to clap. I felt like I was on anaesthetics. I certainly am not as pathetic to have an emotional range of a tea-spoon. But somehow, the film didn't get its feel-good factor across to me as, say, a Swades or even an Azhagiya Theeye did. Now let that not make u think the movie's bad. It certainly is not. Quite a lotta ppl would vouch for that.

Grrr.. I'm getting nowhere. The thing is - I'm having mixed emotions about it. So there!

Word of Caution : Don't watch it with a big gang of friends. This is a kinda movie ur better off watching alone.

*****

But a potentially embarassing situation did happen today!
There are a coupla gals in my class with the same name. (Actually we have loads of ppl with same names.. but for now we're concerned with only these two!)
Let's call them g1 and g2. (Damn!! I suck at trying to maintain anonymity!) :)

So anyways, one of them has a cellphone. The other doesn't.
I call the first one "Ganja" for reasons best known to me. I'm yet to think of a nickname for the other!

I got a pretty funny (read : A rated) fwd. And I dutifully started forwarding it to everyone.

*flashback : yesterday*
me : hey, I think should stop calling you Ganja.
g1 : Why??
me : Coz I jus found out that Ganja in Urdu means bald!

*cut to today morning*
I was "requested" to change her nick on my cell. I decided to respect her feelings and changed the damn nick. It might have also been coz her request sounded more like a death threat, but the prev sentence made me look like a nice guy, didn't it? :)

*zoom back to the time when I'm busy fwding the "funny" msg*
So there I was, being such a committed "forwarder"... And by force of habit, I pressed G and selected SEND. That's what I do to send messages to g1 coz her name's stored as Ganja (the first name on the G list).

You can imagine my horror when I saw a Delivery Report that said :
"Message delivered to g2 Dad"

My forehead turned bright red coz I was doing this --> all afternoon. And I surely slap my forehead a lot harder than that! I felt like an idiot. I wanted to shrink into oblivion.

I started breathing normally again only after I learnt that, by some freaky stroke of luck, g2's dad had left his cell behind and she read the fwd before her dad did. PHEW!!

meotoins strikes again!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

What the...???!


Do u see an empty space where ur doodleboard ought to be? Still think it's a minor technical glitch that'll set itself right in a day or two?

Think again.

This is what I found on their site.

DoodleBoard to become Members' Only Service

Costs are running very high, and our signups are by hundreds daily. Our sevice provider has informed us of the high usage of the DoodleBoard service and we have no choice but to act to resolve this. As a result, we regret to inform all our Basic Users that DoodleBoard will no longer be able to provide the service free. Enhanced members will continue to enjoy DoodleBoard service with no service disruption.

posted on 1 Mar 2005


And all this without even a single prior notice. Stupid gits.