Monday, December 31, 2007

everything was short in the game! from their jump shots...to their shorts

Signs that the apocalyse is upon us #821: The Lakers wear pre 90s era retro shorts AND the LA Kings win two games in a row for the first time in like 2 months...

With the Boston Celtics playing their best basketball since the late 1980s, the Lakers decided to do their part…and at least look like they were in the 1980s when the clashed on Sunday.

With the game probably the most meaningful one between the historic rivals since the era of Bird and Magic the local TV stations at home have been filled with promo ads with the theme "that was then (cue picture of of old players and an old pair of short basketball short)…this is now (cue Kobe dunking and a Kevin Garnett jumper along with an image of modern longer NBA short)."

Obviously I don't live in LA anymore but I've seen more than enough of these local ads while watching LA Kings and Laker games over the past week on satellite.

So after warm-ups the Lake Show tore of their warm-up sweats and unveiled the crowd-pleasing retro shorts. Apparently the team was already slated to wear their retro jerseys (which is not really meaningful considering it hasn't really changed in the last 50 years since they moved from Minneapolis) but wanted to take it one step further…

Although the move initially got Kobe's blessing in order to get the rest of the team on board (newly acquired Trevor Ariza took it one step further by wearing the Magic-esque knee pads) they switched back to their normal shorts in the second half.

Kobe summed up things by saying "I don't know what it feels like to wear a thong, but I imagine it feels something like what we had on in the first half," he said with a grin. "I felt violated. I felt naked. It's one thing to see films with guys wearing those things. ... I'd rather stay warm, man."

Shorts or…err..no shorts, the Lake show was clobbered 110-91.

Friday, December 28, 2007

gooney goo goo

My new word/phrase going into 2008 is going to be "gooney goo goo."
Unlike most forward thinking Americans I finally watched Eddie Murphy's "Delirious" like 15 years after it was released (okay well techniaclly 14). But that being said the scene where Eddie does an imitation of his drunk dad yelling at people at a family BBQ is classic....and that's where he describes his Uncle Gus's wife "Bunny". And after you watch 30 seconds of the clip below and realize that the rest is history after he unleashes the phrase "gooney goo goo."

Gooney goo goo as you can imagine has alternate spellings, ranging from "guni gugu" to "gooneygugu." Regardless it's funny shit.*



The transcript goes something like this: (remember it's starting out from the perspective of Eddie talking like his dad)
But you know what it is, Gus... You told me you met your wife 15 years ago on a motherfucking camping trip and that your wife was Puerto Rican. Your wife ain't no motherfucking Puerto Rican!"

I thought she wasn't from the first minute Gus 'cos I walk up and say "Hello It's good to meet you my name is Vernon."

And she said: "Hello, I'm Bunny. Gooney goo goo"

What the fuck does gooney goo goo mean Gus? I don't know what the fuck that shit is to this day. I thought I learned some new Spanish shit.

I went up to my friend: "Hey, Sanchez! Gooney goo goo!" And Sanchez says: "Get the fuck outta here!"
What's actually even funnier is at 7:30 minutes of the clip when a woman in the audience yells out for Eddie to do his Gumby impression and a man screams back instantaneously without even a hint of a pause "Shut Up Bitch!"

This is why America is great.


*Eddie also uses the epic phrase "gooney goo goo mobile" in this segment as well while describing Gus & Bunny's car

[to the top of the blog!]

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Pranks Part 2: A Cubicle Christmas

Some people are Great, and some people have Greatness thrust upon them. In my case I've had it emailed to me. Some of you may recall that last year I posted pictures of my brother and his co-workers transforming the cubicle of one of their comrades (Glenn) into Santa's Little Workshop. It's pretty fuckin' awesome.

If you haven't seen it do yourself a favor, hop onto the internet, and get involved.

For whatever reason this post last year is the main reason why this blog has gotten over 150 hits a day since the end of November. (did you like how I conveniently added in the massive hit total...that's called being subtle...it's why I've been entrusted to write a blog and just read along for shits and giggles) You see I can track how people have found their way to my blog and lately it's usually through a google search terms of something like: "tricks office Christmas" or "prank co-worker Santa." The number of sick bastards out there who look towards the Holiday season as a time to ruin the lives of others is staggering and impressive.

It really captures the Christmas spirit.

It is with this post in mind that I've gotten emails from a couple of people who made their own office workshops. This one from Mike P is my fave:


BEFORE: Ah yes, a simple cubicle....














AFTER: Kablammo! This is like a carbon-copy of my brother's work except it's for "Brett".










You've gotta give extra points for the street sign in the front as well as the surrounding "snow." It shows a lot of tact and is aesthetically pleasing. Also if you look reeeeeaaallly closely in the door you can see that a stocking is hanging inside. That's awesome. Adding Christmas flair is a strong strong effort. We salute you Mike and your victim Brett.

[back to the top of the blog !!]


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Santa Clause and tea

Putting out milk and cookies for Santa is long-standing of a tradition as is Hindus celebrating Christmas. I remember when I was a kid putting out milk and cookies in the hopes that it would (1) satisfy Santa and (2) bribe him into leaving more gifts for me.

Somewhere along the line things change. I remember I must have been like 8 or something and my dad calmly suggested "You know maybe Santa would like tea instead of milk and cookies"

Tea?

My dad continued "...well he gets milk and cookies at every other home, maybe he gets tired of it." This seemed to make sense and from then on Santa had a cup of hot water and a tea bag as his treat from our home.

Years later after it was discovered that Santa was a sham, I'd have to wake up my mom, dad, and brother in order to get Christmas morning started. My brother would only get up when mom and dad did....and mom was generally agreeable to whatever. My dad would always add-in the "OK I'll get up if you make me a nice hot tea." This my friends is called bargaining power. What am I going to do, hold-out on making tea and hence delay the self-interest laden commercial festivities?

I say nay.

So with that my dad/Santa has been able to force me into manual labor for nearly 2 decades. If that's not the Christmas spirit, I dunno what is.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

the Kings suck, Stu Lantz, and walking down 5th Avenue

Any self-respecting South Californians knows that there are only 5 people in life you ever listened to in life:
1) mom
2) Chick Hearn & Stu Lantz
3) Bob Miller & Jim Fox

Mom of course needs no intro. Chick Hearn & Stu Lantz are/were the beloved play-by-play guys for the Lakers (until Chicky passed). Bob Miller & Jim Fox are the play-by-play people for the Kings.

With that background our lovely family was walking down 5th Avenue on Saturday along with 45 million of our closest friends and family, when we poked inside the NBA store on 53rd Street. Stu was downstairs and in front of my brother in line. The Lakers were playing the Knicks on Sunday and hence the team was in town.

Another holiday miracle! Being in the same building as Stu is sorta like being in the stable while Jesus was born.

Okay so maybe it's not that big, but it's pretty cool. The weird thing is that Stu was buying water bottles. Why would a basketball commentator for LA shop for water bottles? I mean you'd think that he has access to more than a few free things from the team.

Either that or Stu Lantz is like the worst Santa ever. Can you imagine getting a water bottle for Christmas? I mean if my dad/uncle worked for the Lakers for like 20 years I'd wanna see like the Lakers bench under my tree. And by "bench" I don't mean the physical bench... no no no... I mean the 7 guys who aren't the starters.

Oh well, it's all good, the Lake Show won on Sunday.

Oh and at this point you're probably why did I mention that the Kings suck in the title. Following a team that always loses takes a toll. If for no other reason they've shocked my sleep habits. Getting home between 8-10pm and then staying up until 1:30am to watch their games (west coast games start at 10:30pm EST) and then waking up at 5:45am for work the next morning is not good. The least that the Kings can do is win once in a while. I know asking for two wins in a row is a bit greedy, but hey, I dream big.

At this point I know what a lot of you are saying "you loser Shakes, why don't you just TiVo the game and watch it the next evening if they win?" Well let me answer your question with another, "do you think the moon landing would've been as exciting if you saw Neil Armstrong tape recorded after you knew he already walked around"

I rest my case.

And with that I'm off to another Indian Christmas Eve tradition....Indian food. Instead of lovely Cerritos this time we're doing it East Coast style...Edison. You know how we do.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Even more urinal etiquette #673

It is a scientific fact that falling liquid makes a louder noise when it hits another body of water as opposed to a slab of porcelain. Porcelain is sleek and smooth. Water magnifies the noise.

As I was sitting at work yesterday, waiting to finish work to go home and hang out with my family who decided to spend the holidays in NY with me, I did what all people would do after drinking lots of water: I went to pee.

As I went to the urinal I saw another person standing next to me. Anyone who has read my last post knows that this group urination seems to be a constant theme in my life lately. This however my peeing counterpart did not stretch out his arms like the last subject did. Instead he did something much more belligerent.

What he did was just cheap and pathetic school boy antic. It's the oldest trick in the books. Instead of peeing against the back of the porcelain urinal to make a low sounds, this ass-clown started to pee right into the small puddle of water at the bottom. This ends up creating a booming noise. The strategy also creates a vicious cycle because the more you pee the more liquid that gathers in the urinal and thus creates an even grander noise.

The ultimate effect of the cacophony of urinal falls is that it ends up looks like this guy is able to make such a huge racket with his pee while I'm just like the silent pee man who can't even muster us a stream. The real problem is that once the assclown started making all his noise I was unable to concentrate.

I'm not saying I need total silence or anything to use my putter, don't get me wrong I'm not a golfer, I'm just saying that I need to be a respectful urination environment. If I'm in a bar or a stadium, then I expect some noise and the obligatory resting of a beer on the porcelain mini counter that is the urinal. If I'm at work I expect at least a little bit of decorum. I'm not looking for a male fighting dance, akin to a boxer walking into the ring with an entourage and a pre-planned dance.

That's just uncouth.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DJ Shakes_2007-12-20 (Christmas Mix)

http://hbshakes.blogspot.com
theme: Christmas

Oh it's Christmastime and what better place to listen to mellow Christmasy type (besides Starbucks) than on your headphones...

T R A C K L I S T I N G (approx 38min)

[0:00] Intro
[0:25] Koop - Come To Me
[3:17] Frank Sinatra - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
[5:30] Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Time Is Here
[8:08] OMD - (Forever) Live and Die
[11:22] Wham - Last Christmas
[13:51] Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
[17:17] Charlie Parker - Just Friends
[20:45] Beatles - All You Need Is Love
[23:33] Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
[26:40] George Winston - Skating
[29:39] Otis Redding - That's How Strong My Love Is
[31:33] Dave Brubeck Quartet - Pick Up Sticks
[35:08] Etta James - At Last


DIRECTIONS: Right mouse click on the tracklisting above to save the entire mix (mp3) directly or Podcast Me! Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the top left of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/EngineEngine9

Monday, December 17, 2007

Urination Chronicles

[warning the following post is not for the feint of heart]

So I was going to the local urinals at work when the guy next to me proceeded to lay stretch out his hands and rest them behind the head. It was bizarro it was like he was sitting on the desk of a ship, relaxing, as he peed. Meanwhile yours truly was looking down as a I peeing. Now really you can have two behaviors while peeing. You can either look down or stare straight ahead. Both have their pros and cons.

Looking ahead is sorta retarded because you're basically staring at some tile (or a thin mirror if you're at Newark Airport) which is 4 or 5 inches away from your face. Have you ever tried to stare at something that close for 20 seconds? It's hard. Sometimes your eyes focus in and see small details of the tile, other times it just becomes all blurry. Peeing is a real trip.

The other alternative is to look down and focus on your peeing. This is bizarro because to be fair it's not like you really need to aim or anything. Peeing in a urinal is sorta like trying to kick a soccer ball into the ocean off of a pier: it's pretty hard to miss. I mean I guess you can try to actively avoid "splashback," but it doesn't really get much more exciting than that.

Well ordinarily speaking I would think that those are the only two options that you really have. However the other day I saw a totally new one. The guy next to me proceeded to stretch out both hands and sorta re-enact the "Titanic" flying pose. It was nutso (no pun intended) on several levels. Firstly, who has the audacity to stretch the arms like that? That's just crazy. Secondly how the hell does he pee without having to hold his zipper open?

At this point I started wondering "is this some sorta challenge or non-subtle taunting of me?" I of course had opted to go for the Wall-Stare Strategy. But while witnessing these events I was totally unable to pee. I was like stuck in a pee-cage match. What was even more incredible is that the guy finished his outstretch arm movement by digging into his back pocket and checking his Blackberry. If this were figure skating it would be like doing a backflip after hitting a triple axel.

... At this point I know what a lot of you are thinking, "But Shakes, backflips are illegal in international skating competitions!" I know I know , but work with me here.

Anyhoo at this point there isn't much that one can finish with to conclude. I mean the guy peed and left....and then I gathered my thoughts and was able to pee and leave. And that was that.

The only thought I was really left with is this: is there really a need to be sooo connected with other people that you have to check your Blackberry while peeing? Is that really necessary?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tatti chronicles

Here's an email I received today

"ok i really need to get something off my chest. as you know, i am prone to stepping in poo whether i like it or not. most of the time, i dont like it. ok. i dont like it ever at all. so, last week i was walking and saw dog poo right under a tree in some mulch. so i didnt say much..just made a mental note of it and went on with my day. this morning around 830 i was walking to the subway and it was raining so i wasnt paying attention very much and i saw poo again. this time it looked like horse poo. like it was a lot of it! and it wasnt just a little bit on the sidewalk it was like diarrhea poo all over the sidewalk. and the thing is, i cant even make this up.

its just that bad."

You may now comment on this poo matter

Sunday, December 9, 2007

it's coming baaaack......

I don't like to be a glory hound or anything, but there is definitely something divine about the fact that I just wrote about stumbling upon the American Gladiators....a show which has been off the air for at least a decade....when I discovered while watching football tonight that it's coming back.

Oh yes bitches, it's on.

American Gladiators is coming back to NBC on January 6th. Sometimes life gives us a second chance. This is one of those moments.

Monday, December 3, 2007

i saw mommy kissing Santa Claus

Sometimes life has these moments when you see something you've seen a million times before but finally notice something exceptionally different. For example I remember the first time I looked at the Hartford Whalers logo and realized that the space between the whale tail and the W made an "H" for Hartford. Too bad they moved to North Carolina.

On a similar note I was walking through Macy's when I heard "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause." Of all the Christmas songs, this may be my least favorite. I mean basically some poor girl stumbles down the stairs and discovers her mom shagging Santa. This is terrible. Meanwhile the poor dad is sleeping upstairs.

This is not a sweet Christmas song; this is a story of a family on the verge of a meltdown....

...and then while strolling through the belt section (I had left my black belt at home in LA) I realized that the line "Oh what a laugh it would have been if daddy had only seen, mommy kissing Santa Clause last night" is pretty bizarro. How can this girl be so happy go lucky?


Then it hit. It was an epiphany. A sudden realization. A moment of clarity. Mommy wasn't hooking up with Santa while the dad was sleeping...Dad was Santa! Who would've thunk?

That little girl couldn't even recognize her own dad! How stupid. Que lastima!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

TV is fun

Losing your voice sucks. In some ways the sympathy you get from others is pretty cool, it sucks because you can't like...well....talk. To say that work is a disaster is an understatement but it also cramps the old personal life style. Who wants to grab dinner with someone who can't talk?

As such my weekend has consisted of me sitting on my couch, watching TV, doing a little work, and 3 trips to Target (or Tarjaaay as any self-respecting shopping connoisseur would call it).

Spending the entire watching TV can be one of the most stressful things ever. On one hand I have a lot of channels, on the other hand you feel like you should always be able to watch something good. At least in the olden days when there were only like 10 channels you would see that the best thing to watch is MASH and you would settle for it given no other choice.

When you don't feel like you have to settle it makes you more frustrated. As such my morning began with an epic re-run of "American Gladiators." I didn't even realize that they kept the tapes of those shows. While I was stuck in silence I was able reliving members of my favorite Gladiators: Storm, Malibu, Ice... When I was a kid "American Gladiators" was the best way of spending a Saturday night...which is a nice insight into what my social life used to be life in middle school and parts of high school.

After nearly 12 hours of TV my night concluded with an epic 1970s classic, "Coolie High." The story of some black kids growing up in the projects and the tomfoolery that followed them and their high school.

If Siskel & Ebert were on cable there review would be that this movie is the shit. Between the drawn-out house party and the scene where two kids tried to steal money from two hookers with a Lone Ranger badge, the movie is right up there with "Citizen Kane."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Live Under A Blood Red Sky

sometimes the city can be sorta pretty....and yes that's the moon glowing

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

super desi

I like India. I like Indian people. I am one of them in fact. Also I think a lot things Indian are good. I like Indian food. I like Indian cricket. I like Indian music. I like Indian Coke (Thumbs Up!)

However there are some things Indian do which is very bad.

Indian Superman is one of them.



Yes, are you still having a hard time believing what you just saw? Allow me to clarify some key points:
1) Yes, that was a brown superman that you just saw
2) Yes, the girl IS wearing a spiderman uniform
3) Yes they dynamic duo dances in the air
4) No, you can never get that 2 minutes of your life back. Ever.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving, Mystic Pizza, and anchovies

I've said it before and I'll say it again Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday of the year. Where else is the sole object of a day to be to eat food, watch football, nap, and then eat more food. That's the stuff of champions.

But the real key is the awful TV that the holiday season forces you to watch with you family and/or loved ones. After waking up from a jet-lag induced wake-up call my voyage to the living room was faced with a timeless question: watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or "Mystic Pizza."

"Mystic Pizza" is the timeless tale of a girl who works in a pizza store and falls in love with a married man in Connecticut.

The problem with this movie is that in my dazed state I confused mystic pizza with the 1980s epic "Loverboy." So while I'm watching Julia Roberts all I kept thinking was: when does these part happen where that one delivery boy hooks up with people who order extra anchovies?

The problem is that it never came. I kept watching the stupid movie for like an hour and there wasn't even a delivery. I started thinking that maybe I just made up the movie and in an effort to make sure I wasn't wrong I kept watching. It was a vicious cycle.

In many ways it was like watching a late-night movie on USA. As a kid you're hoping to see a racy scene and just as things heat up a commercial comes and the scene is edited. Damn you crappy cable. Damn you. You know this is what happens to you and yet you keep watching. Hoping. Believing.

Disappointment arrived at the doorstep of my life at an early age.

And with that by 9am I looked as pleased as a kid on Christmas morning. All the presents had been open long ago and the thrill of sitting in the living room had already ended. This is the last time you will screw me over Thanksgiving TV, damn you and your dry bird.

And with that I embarked on making a new tradition: I got Egg McMuffins and hash browns from Mickey D's. Throw some D's on that bitch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

crank dat soulja boy

Okay this caption is too easy. Even during the current writer's strike I can come up with a good one-liner...

Can you Spot The Turkey?


I'm soooo funny. Woo.

Runner Ups:
1) "He has a funny pecker"
2) "Is anyone in therrreee?"
3) "You have a small head"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

welcome back seasonal depression!

One of the best parts about the winter is getting up while it's still pitch dark, going to work, and then leaving when it's dark outside. Not seeing sunlight for months at a time is both a fun and joyful experience. Sometimes I sit at work thinking "wouldn't it be nicer if I was playing outside?" Well the good thing about winter is that I never think such blasphemous thoughts.

Sometimes during the subway portion of my commute my mind wanders and thinks about unimportant questions like where my life is going, what I'm doing with myself, and how a bunch of years have passed. Luckily my train ride is only two stops long otherwise I would think about actually doing something about these questions. Thankfully I barely have enough time to remember those issues. I like to think I'm resolving serious life questions by not being able to remember them.

So it with these thoughts that I wanna give a big hearty hellooo to my seasonal depression. The annual time when I become sad about life. We salute you depression. We salute you for the introspection that you spur on. We salute you for the questions that remain unanswered.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...

We all have simple ways of noticing that Winter is coming along. For some it's a simple glance at a calendar. For others it officially begins when the big winter coat is worn for the first time of the year.

For me it's when I shower in the morning.

Well I always shower, but I know it's winter when I start putting on the heater in my bedroom to full blast so that when I emerge from the bathroom in the morning and get ready to change, I'm greeted by a blasted of hot air.

Some may claim that this is a terrible waste of energy. I say this is but a small price to pay for having at least 5 minutes of my day not suck.

You be the judge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

do you see what I see?

This is a pic my brother shot of my taking a pic in Venice. It's actually very cool the closer you look at it.

Monday, November 5, 2007

a poem about my towel

Oh dear friend, you are cuddly and warm
You shaggy threads feel better once worn

I know I don't bathe you as often as I do
But I still love you, as if you were my boo

You give up your dryness so I can have mine
You're like a valiant soldier, jumping on a landmine

There is a sad irony that I wash you only to dirty you
But my respect doesn't die even though you hang in the loo

Green towels I love you
Red towels I love you.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

DJ Shakes_2007-11-04 (the fall)

http://hbshakes.blogspot.com

Do not fear I'm back. Breathe easily. Well the last mix got over 2,400 downloads and I figured it's about time I did my next one. Using the magic of music and technology I have placed disparate songs in an order back-to-back in a manner which they weren't originally done. This "mix" of songs, if you will, is both revolutionary and practical. Now you can listen to many songs. One day people may take these "mixes" and put them a on a tape. A "mix tape" if you will, and listen to them in the car. But all that is just crazy talk.

There's new Jay-Z and Radiohead on this one which I think is pretty badass...

T R A C K L I S T I N G (approx 53min)

[0:00] Intro
[0:45] Symphony, Vol 1. - Marley Marl

[4:29] Roc Boys - Jay-Z

[8:31] Come Around - Collie Buddz
[11:47] Little Ghetto Boys - Wu-Tang Clan

[14:19] Hood Nigga - Gorilla Zoe
[16:42] The Lump Lump - Sadat X

[20:08] None Shall Pass - Aesop Rock
[22:22] Drivin' Me Wild - Common (feat Lily Allen)

[26:02] traditional Sikh prayer (this is a weird interlude, no?)

[26:43] Bethe Bethe Kese Kese - Gaudi vs. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
[31:38] Slither - Anouoshka Shankar & Karsh Kale
[36:05] Ruined In A Day (K-Klass Remix) - New Order

[41:41] Papua New Guinea - The Future Sound of London
[46:05] Everything is Alright - Four Tet
[48:18] House of Cards - Radiohead


Your job is to find my favorite one liners in the mix:
1) "Your methaphor sucks more than a whore"
2) "This is black superhero music"
3) "Drivin' herself crazy like the astronaut lady"

DIRECTIONS: Right mouse click on the tracklisting above to save the entire mix (mp3) directly or Podcast Me! Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the top left of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/EngineEngine9

Saturday, November 3, 2007

off to see Talvin Singh in the mix...


...and if you don't know him, he's kinda' a big deal....

Friday, November 2, 2007

things that would suck #523: dying

I was walking out of work this evening and I nearly got hit by a car. This would've been terrible because it's Friday. It would suck to get hit by a car on a Friday. Don't get me wrong, but getting hit, shot, beaten, or attacked by rabid squirrels is not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination. But if it's going to happen at least make it a Monday. Friday is like the reward for struggling through 5 days of needing to be a productive member of society.

It's those five days of pain which give me every right to actually live my life for the remaining two days. Getting smacked by a Ford Taurus would not only be bad for me, but it's a bad statement that Karma is making to society at large. I mean if I'm gonna work hard and still eat pavement, then what's supposed to motivate those lucky enough to make it through to Monday?

You might as well give a half-ass effort during the week because you gonna be a human hood ornament. That's just poor form by Fate.

But alas do not fear, I lived.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hello, my name is Juror #0034

My exciting adventures in life continued today as yours truly was summoned for jury duty. For those of you scoring at home, the past few days have seen me venture to Milwaukee, Newark past 10pm, and even San Fran for 24hrs.

This was my first time in jury duty and the experience was odd, funny, painful, and unexpectedly enlightening at the same time. Sorta like 6th grade.

A couple of quick takeaways before my thoughtful and emotionally moving conclusion at the end

  • I always used to think that peers, as previously defined by my school and work included other kids in AP classes, those of the same year, or even those from Southern California. Now as I look at the masses that would constitute a trail by my peers (if I should ever go to court) it would include all people between the ages of 18-75, many of whom display a deep love for wearing plaid, one individual who has a minor issue with touretes, and a man with a skull and crossbones bandanna (perfectly good juror attire if you ask me)
  • The juror intro included a speech by Hispanic woman followed by a 20minute video on the role of a juror in the court system. For anyone who ever missed those old science or social studies videos from high school, this is your chance to get back in touch with your roots. The video shown to my jury pool of 200 people had it all: strange characters, weird clothing (mostly fashion from the early 80s) , overly dramatic acting during the fake courtroom scene, and terrible background music. The last time I had seen something so spectacular was when I saw the famed drivers ed video, "Blood on Asphalt." (where the promise of seeing a gory crash scene is thwarted by the reality that you really just see red ink on asphalt at the 30minute vignette's climax)
  • The best quote from the videos was "Unlike TV dramas, the action in a court room is not as exciting!"

The case I was selected on for the first day was a doozy. I was sorta expecting typical cases revolving around traffic incidents, maybe disruptive neighbors, or a dramatic divorce proceedings…you know typical stuff you see on Judge Judy or The People's Court.

Not quite.

The judge immediately let the jury pool know that it has the chance of going a week: the case was surrounding a guy who was accused of selling heroin on a schoolyard. Shits. What's next, are we gonna tackle some federal wiretapping issues? Maybe we would also examine Turkish atrocities to Armenians during World War I.

As the jury pool thinned out, each one of us was called to individually get interviewed in front of the judge, the other 50 jurors, and the (accused) heroin dealer. While half the questions were related to thing issues of whether we were predisposed to be biased about certain issues, the other half were things about our lives. The judge was literally asking each person what they liked to do for fun, favorite TV shows, where your hometown is. Thus a very weird thing started happening: as much as I wanted to get out of this week-long case I wanted to share all these funny jokes that were developing in my head. I could see it now:

Judge: What do you like to do for fun?
Me: You mean besides jury duty?
Audience: bursts into laughter
It was going to be awesome. As each juror was getting interviewed the anticipation was building. This was going to be the greatest moment in the history of jurisprudence since Brown vs. The Board of Education (1954). After 40 grueling minutes they finally got to me. The lights dimmed. The crowd was ready. My moment had come...and yet...

...Before I had a moment to say any of my one-liners the judge dismissed me as a potential juror based on my response that I was biased against a defendant who decides not to take the stand. My moment was gone. The sun had set. The funny thing is I sorta knew there could be a few answers which would make me seem biased as a juror and I was debating on changing them just to get to the fun-answer-round. The grand prize of course: a week long heroin trial.

Anyhoo all jokey joke aside, the thing which really struck me was how much people were giving up by being in court. At the beginning of the jury selection process you're given the opportunity to mention any issues with the scheduling of the trial with your life. Sure I needed to be at work, but there were people who were concerned about missing work on their second jobs or people who couldn't afford a babysitter for more than two days.

It made me feel pretty pathetic for wanting to simply say "Um, I just have to be back at work for an important meeting." So I just sat on my hands for that part. And with that I've gotta say the whole experience was good to me. On my second day today when the woman in the jury room (the pool of 200 people) announced that everyone could go home early the crowd bursted into cheers. I mean these are like grown adults yelling and hollering like kids let off for summer break.

Who says the law can't be fun?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

30,000 hits!

Not too shabby! I didn't even think I'd keep writing this long. But after a year and a half, that's something close to 47 hits a day. Hooray for me. They love me. They really love me. Sorry I would love to write more but I have to go back to continuously refreshing this page so that I can get the counter up to 40,000...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Milwaukee: land of a thousand people trying to get the hell out

A 6:30am Monday morning flight to Milwaukee is splendid way to start off the week. It helps act as the perfect bookend to my weekend that more or less begin with Newark. It's funny while trekking through Europe you see all sorts of awesome cities within 2hrs or so of each other by plane. Amsterdam, Geneva, Paris. Just looking at the departure screen at an airport makes you feel like a badass traveler.

Meanwhile back here the same flying radius leaves a fantastic trail of cities, from Milwaukee to Cleveland to Raleigh. Um, it's not quite the same. However lately I've been wondering if people in Europe sorta have the same dread of cities as we/I do. Like is Brussels the business person's equivalent of Newark? Does a meeting room in Frankfurt drum up visions of Detroit? Why are people in Europe able to get away with wearing combinations of pink and brown that make no sense in any other hemisphere.

The last one isn't exactly keeping with the travel theme, but it's important in my books nonetheless.

*****

Today's trip was just lovely as the 3:45am wake up call was well worth the joy of watching two of the senior people on our deal proceed to get into a argument (albeit friendly) in front of the client which culminated in one calling the other an asshole. Fantastic. The real funny part is that this sorta happens frequently and clients who know us actually find it amusing.

Seeing that only verbal abuses were let loose on members of our own team the meeting was declared successful and rather than using the ensuing 90 minutes before our flight to make sure we get back to the airport on time, a senior-in-command commandeered our trip to include a stop at Madars, which was voted Milwaukee's finest ethnic restaurant (German). Our 30 minute stay included a round of beers, some fried thing, and chicken with saurkraut. Go figure And you know what? It was fantastic.

At some point you gotta put aside the practicality/disbelief of trying to make your flight and go along with the crowd. Do it for the story. And I did. And it was good.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

hello newark !! / nuns in hell / cookies on ice

When someone thinks an exotic city that you'd wanna spend a Saturday night at, Newark is a common answer. Jokey jokes aside, their new hockey arena could be a reason people actually want to come to the city. So anyhoo the opening night of the arena coupled with the first home game of the season made for a lovely evening...

Well sorta. While the devils lost,the evening did produce some bizarro scenes. And by bizarro I don't mean the fact that the nacho cheese that was spilled under my chair was the first time the yellow-goo touched the floor of the sparkling arena.


By bizarro I mean the fact that I spotted a nun in the hot dog line. You don't normally expect one of God's messangers to be supporting Satan's hockey team.


And what trip to a frozen indoor pond would be complete without spotting Cookie Monster. You can't blame the blue bastard to being drawn to Canada's second-placed national sport...behind lacrose (no I'm not making that up)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

San Francisco: now hill-ier

Ancient mariners once said that there's no better way to enjoy a city than to spend less than a day there. Actually this is not true. In fact the only ancient Mariner that I sorta know is A-Rod. Well in any case in the weird work travels, my Wednesday involved a 6hr flight to San Fran only to turn around and take the red-eye to back at work by Thursday morn. A lovely 20hr adventure across 3 time zones and back.

But I'm not here to write to you about my traveling. Oh no no. Instead I thought I'd point out that SnFran is like geek central. Why does everyone feel the need to wear bluetooth phone ear-pieces. I mean seriously when it's 11pm at the airport, are you really expecting a ton of phone calls?

Secondly when I look at half the shmucks who wear them, I wanna tap them on the shoulder adn be like "Hey ass, does anyone ever call you? Do you have to always be on-guard in case you get that one phone call from your 'Nana?"

I spit on you. All of you. The Grouch does too.

Monday, October 22, 2007

this is why no one in south india practices safe sex



You'd think that teaching people about safe sex would be a simple task that has benefits for everyone. Well think again. After seeing public services videos like this one, I can see why people are scared and horrified of condoms.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

hooray for Amtrak! hooray for being indian! hey you're fat!

In a shocking move Amtrak has started to provide discounts to Indian people. The move grew out of the growing number of riders who felt that they should be privy to some sort of fair and just consideration.

You can see this new "Indian people" option on the screenshot below
The Indian discount has been added shortly after another decision to profile "Fat People" (as seen above). Indian officials were initially incensed because their discount was positioned under "Military Child" and were eventually appeased by locating Indians under infants.

Fat pricing however has been highly controversial because the "Fat" ticket costs more during rush hour times but less during off peak hours, compared to normal pricing.

Amtrak instituted the policy because they wanted to encourage fat people to become more "mobile," yet simultaneously to quell new mobile urges away from times that others move.

Furthermore both Indian and Fat checks are being done by train ticketing personnel. The test programs are scheduled to run for 6 months before they are reassessed.

[back to the top of the blog!]

Friday, October 19, 2007

taxi cab confessions

New York cab drivers rock. One moment you can be yelling at them on why a 10minute ride to Jersey shouldn't cost a fixed rate of $40, the next moment you're sitting with them discussing US politics. In my particular case my cabby, Dev, decided to tackle a cornucopia of topics ranging from state tax codes to the CIA.

In the middle of the Holland Tunnel Dev decide that our trust had been built up enough to unleash a bombshell: "Kenneth Lay.....the Enron man, I think he alive. Probably the Caribbean."

Say what?

What was disturbing about Dev's conspiracy theory is that Dev felt that need to turn around in his seat and let me know. Um, dude you're driving. As for the deceased Kenneth Lay my cabby felt pretty good about the theory because once he passed away, all the news stories about him ended and people stopped investigating his fraudulent company. While this is all true, it's kinda bizarro that a man would have this pent up frustration like 2 years after the guy died is beyond me. But to be fair Dev was fired up about all issues including "Scotter Loobey" (apparently it's someone related to Scotter Libby).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

i guess we were born to run....Springsteen @ MSG


Dude I only knew half the songs, and half the words to the ones I knew, but the show was awesome. Never have I seen so many old people rock out in the aisles...also unlike an Interpol show it was okay to be happy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

sign #189 that my friends have more interesting lives than me...

Upon hearing that my friend Tyler had gotten married after returning from a trip , I asked him when and where it happened:
"Ty-land of course! traditional Thai Wedding in a Buddhist Temple. Me, Kim, 10 Monks, 2 Elephants, and 7 Village Elders and a photographer. I always wanted to meet a village elder and we had 7 of 'em!"

The closest thing I have to exciting news like that is the time I peed in my pants going on Space Mountain at Disneyland when I was 7 or 8.

Monday, October 15, 2007

51-year old woman decides to destroy entire Social Security system; others to follow

In an act of heinous, unforgivable destruction, a teacher from Maryland has decided to actually retire and ask for her Social Security benefits. The woman, who is 51, is the first baby boomer to ask for her social security benefits.

Baby-boomers are defined as American born between the years 1946 and 1964, and by being born on Jan 1, 1946 (at 12:01am) the selfish Kathleen Casey-Kirschling is the first one of her generation. Way to go Kathleen. Because of you the great downfall of the Social Security system will begin. I hope you're happy.

The President is quoted as saying "I mean what's worse a system which isn't going to be good on its promises or a woman who is willing to be the hay on the camel's back. What a bitch?" While the need for a question mark at the end of Bush's statement is debatable, the awfulness of Mrs. Kirschling isn't.

Here's an excerpt for the newsire earlier today:
First Baby Boomer Asks for Social Security Benefits

By Brian Faler
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The first Baby Boomer applied today for Social Security benefits, a milestone marking the approaching retirement of a generation of Americans whose eligibility for government payouts threatens to overwhelm the federal budget.

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, a retired Maryland teacher who was born at 12:00:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, 1946, applied this afternoon for early retirement benefits. She'll become eligible to receive benefits in January when she turns 62.

``This is the first drop of rain in the flood,'' said Bob Bixby, the head of the Concord Coalition, a Washington-based advocacy group that promotes balanced federal budgets. ``It's the beginning of an era. It's symbolic but it reminds us that we're not doing anything to prepare for this.''
I think it's pretty clear that Kathleen is really ruining the party for everyone. Besides what does a retired person in Maryland do? Hunt quail? I mean killing birds has gotta nullify your Social Security status or something, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

pee-pee, poo-pooo

The Japanese are a mysterious and dangerous people, and should be treated as such. This video depicting traditional family interactions is proof of this.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Arm-Rest Whores / my flight home

I have returned triumphantly from Europe and I guess I could continue my recent string of thought-provoking essays on my adventures but that would seem almost too easy. You know people often stop me on the street and say "Hey Shakes, I like your work, I really do, and while we think your postings that are applicable to most readers are enjoyable we would like to continue to hear more of your thoughts on what annoys you and how others can change their ways to make it a better world for you."

I echo these sentiments.

And with that I shall skip over any lingering thoughts that I may have about Naples/Bratislava, kind words for the Italian people, or the lovely people at Kohinoor restaurant in Rome (Italy's top-rated Indian restaurant, although I'm not sure how much competition they have) who were very frank about the cruel experiences of Indians & South Asians in the city

Instead I shall focus on the women seated in seat 19E on my flight back to the Badha (hindi for "big") Apple. 19E would be the seat that was empty until about 30 seconds before the plane doors shut at Rome. 19E would be the seat next to mine. 19E would be a large elderly woman who shared much in common with Santa Clause's wife, Miss Clause. However after her behavior on the plain, I think the name Miss Claws is more appropriate.

(19E is also the person which the guy in 19F said "Oh fuck!" when she came storming down the aisle because in one fell swoop the visions of an empty seat between us vanished.)

For anyone who doesn't know me, hello, I'm Shakes and this is my blog. This is a bit of an awkward time to do introductions seeing that I'm in the middle writing a post and that you've somehow landed up on my blog. But in any case hello. For those of you that know me, you know that the preservation of my personal space is important to me.

However in the land of 3 airplane seats you have a classic case of limit arm-rests. Between 3 seats there can only be 4 arm rests. And therein lays the timeless question, who should get the extra arm-rest?

On one hand you can argue that the person in the middle should get the extra arm rest since the two guys on the end (19D & 19F) get the added benefit of sticking their legs in the aisles if they please.

However I would say that a more common development is for the slight sharing of arm-rest. One person takes the front half of it, the other the back half....and you know what, I'd be okay with this. Only Mrs. Claws/ Arm-Rest Whore 19E (ARW19E) had other intentions. ARW19E stuck our her elbows in a such a way that invaded my seat space. My seat space is like a no-fly-zone for other humans. As it is there is barely enough room for my knees to fit, and with the ass clown from seat 18D leaning back almost immediately after take-off I was infringed upon for nearly all of my 9 hour fun fest in the sky.

I tried to gently elbow her back, which worked occasionally, but time and time again she corked her elbows into my side. When a person buys a ticket and chooses their seat deep down this is the scenario we all hope to avoid. While one can freely change from seat to seat, the experience on a plane can vary dramatically based on the person next to you (am I sitting next to a kid? is the person going to be a cougher? what is their arm-rest etiquette?).

For the sake of journalism I managed to take a picture of ARH19E's old hand clearly on the arm-rest (she's the old white hand, in blue). You can't see her elbow because it's behind my arm. This my friends is a most egregious violation of my seat space and explicit proof of it.

As it turns out there isn't much else to mention in this story. There really wasn't much that I could do. I mean, she was like old and stuff. So to show how mature I was the only thing I did in retribution was to cut her off in the customs line. That's how we roll bitches.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pompei rocks.

Pompeii, the sad city destroyed/preserved by a volcanic eruption, is about 30 minutes outside of Naples, which in turn is about 2 hours from Rome. The problem with it is that everything is like broken. Sadly however the most noteworthy thing about our day-long travels wasn’t the destination, but rather the voyage back to Rome. We had started out our travels at 6am with the notion of eventually eating pizza in Naples. After all this is where pizza was created, according to my brother’s travel book that is. While Pompei seemed cool, my attention deficit disorder struck earlier than usual here. At some point all ruins look the same. I can only visualize the grandeur of half torn walls for so long.

Upon returning to Naples at about 3pm our family burst onto the scene in Naples, and the result was shocking. Maybe it was a lack of sleep striking in. Maybe it was a good premonition. But I have never come to a city with the incredible desire to leave it immediately as strong as I had with Naples. It reminded me of a scene from the epic movie “Euro Trip” when the wind up in Bratislava. My brother had also warmed us up to the city by reading aloud from his travel book that the city was known for crime and shady alleys. Good stuff. Where’s the beef?
After about 5 minutes in the city we did a family poll. Dad was the pollmaster, and hence exempt from voting. The question: “What should we do in Naples”
My Brother: “Well, the pizza place is
a few blocks in that (pointing) direction…but it’s just pizza…”


Mom: "I'm okay with
anything"


Me: "I wanna get the F out of here"

And the funny thing is that I'm not just saying "the F" in some sorta post-conversation-tough-guy-sounding dramatization of events. I actually said to my parents "I wanna get the F out of here." This is a pretty big moment in Indian parent-to-children relations. Anyone who has watched "A Christmas Story" knows that you can't just drop the F-bomb without facing some sorta retribution. But there's something about Naples which rendered all normal laws moot. Instead our family sprinted back into the train station and bought tickets for a train leaving for Rome in 11 minutes. After a mad dash we hopped aboard our train and looked forward to our 6:30pm return to Rome.

We ended up arriving at 11pm.

Train delays in foreign countries are a funny thing. When a train stops mid-trip unexpectantly, it seems like a curious almost adventurous addition to journey. In fact this was the case for the first 30 minutes...and then the next hour. After 3 hours amidst the pouring rain and thunder things started getting painful.


When you're bored, the mind has an incredible ability to read and do almost anything to occupy it. Reading the boring articles of a newspaper, the same ones that you would turn the page in a heart beat, suddently are enjoyably. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, think about the last time you went to the bathroom in a public stall. You'll find yourself reading everything etched on the doors and if you're really lucky someone has left a newspaper on the ground for you to stare at. Occassionally you'll try to turn the page with one toe while holding the paper with the other foot.

In the midst of the wait I hit upon two revelations:

  1. The cartoon strip "Garfield" really is not funny in any way whatsoever. In fact most cartoon strips are really pretty stupid. I dunno who finds them funny. They should not be in a colorful section labeled "The Funnies." It should be called the unFunnies.
  2. Soduku is the devil's game. I watched my dad play it and decided to finally learn how to play it. The game is like mental torture, only without the satisfaction that you're leading to something great.

When we finally got to Termini I had never been as happy to be in Rome during the entire trip. Go figure.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Day 6, Rome: it’s like Little Italy, only bigger

While taking our cab ride from the central train station, the Termini to our hotel, I was convinced that I was going to die on at least 3 separate occasions. It wasn't our cabbies speeding which bothered me, he rarely got past 40mph, it was his blatant disregard for stationary objects. Usually when most drivers see a parked car in front of them they will change lanes…after all, why wait until the very end when you know you have to do something? *

*PS: It's this mentality which caused me to accidentally eat hot chilis on my dinner plate when I was a kid because I saw them on my plate and I didn't wanna ruin the rest of my meal thinking about how I have to eat them. So I stuffed them in my mouth and chugged like 5 glasses of water afterwards. It turns out I didn't need to eat the chilis in the first place because I accidentally had taken my dad's plate. But I digress…

Instead our cabbie felt the need to accelerate and turn ever-so-slightly at the last moment. As it turns out this is a driving style adopted by most Romans. When in Rome…

Rome is the first city that I've ever been in that made me have an incredible desire to wanna leave immediately…then utter comfort….and then a sort of acceptance. All within the first 45 minutes. As for the city it reminds me a lot like Bombay: constant noise and confusion, but a weird underlying order. It's akin to listening to Rage Against The Machine warm-up. The city is incredible from the standpoint that it literally is a modern city built on top of an old one in its many incarnations. Walking down a narrow shop-lined street only to have it open up and reveal a massive fountain or relic from over a thousand years is a sight to behold. The juxtaposition makes the relics seem even nobler, rather than taint them from their less worthy new context.

Okay enough touchy feely stuff. I've gotta say that out of everything I've seen, the most anti-climactic moment was the Coliseum. It's one thing to view the Taj Mahal or something in person, because not only are you looking at something that was incredible in its time, but it continues to look incredible. Furthermore you just can't build stuff like that. The Coliseum is the opposite feeling. First of all it looks far better in "Gladiator." Secondly a cynical side of me can't help but look at it and think "I think Giants Stadium is bigger and grander than this."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Day 5, Venice: I am a hamster; where is my cheese

Most great European explorers came from Italy, and after one day in Venice it’s easy to see why. They basically used the endless maze of narrow passageways as a training ground before

scampering around the world looking for places to infest with diseases. At some point you just wanna jump in the Grand Canal because that is the only landmark (err watermark) that is vaguely useful in getting one’s bearings.

Okay, so that nonsensical prelude aside, Venice is nuts. It’s like walking through Epcot Center or Disneyland EXCEPT it’s like, real. The city itself revolves completely around tourists, as every 2nd building is a hotel, and last I checked Venice isn’t quite a financial center. The problem with places that know they’re there to only cater to tourists is that they can charge an arm and a leg for the basic reasons people come. For example: gondola rides. If there’s one thing that you think about when you’re thinking about Venice it’s that the city is pretty much fucked due to global warming. I mean forget beach erosion and hotter summers, these people are gonna have their city drown. That’s serious.

If there were two things you think about when you think of Venice, it’s the aforementioned global warming impact AND taking a romantic gondola ride down the canals. Well as we all know, romance comes at a price… gondola guys were asking for 100 Euros (~$140!) for a cruise. If you’re a young couple you’re probably thinking that you pretty much have no choice but to pay because that’s the whole reason you came down there in the first place.

Anyhoo aside from that the only slight bitterness that I have is that the Venice train station has like no direct connection to any cabs. So basically if you have bags and wanna use the station, you have to lug your shit over some multi-stepped bridges and cobble stone roads. Awesome. The worst part is that there really isn’t a direct bridge from the nearest taxi drop off to the station. You basically have to cross the Grand Canal, walk like a half kilometer, then cross over the bridge again. Hooray for Italians.

All that being said the, city is gorgeous, but you don’t have to take my world to believe it. Here look, I’ve attached pictures. They are to be looked at and enjoyed with your family and loved ones.

Monday, October 1, 2007

London, Family Vacay Day 3 1/2: Sitting in my hotel room, A Tale of Two Nights, & Radiohead

3:30am on a Monday morning in London is a good time to contemplate the question: why would I fly to London to watch two hockey games featuring your beloved LA Kings when I could’ve just watched it on TV? Oddly enough it’s the same question that most Brits asked me as well. The answer, much like Sir Edmund Hillary told his trust Sherpa: because it was there.

After watching a fantastic opening game won 4-1, the Kings returned to last year's mid-season form by returning the favor and losing 1-4 last night. While Saturday’s seats placed me smack dab in the middle of a Kings fans from home who made the journey, for Sunday my fate evened out as I was sadly planted next to some drab Europeans who didn’t seem pleased when I would occasionally yell “Kill Jack Kill!” as a sign of positive encouragement for particular youngster.
Dude when even wikipedia admits that a kid's nickname is Jack "MoFo" Johnson, you know things are serious.

If there’s one thing that sucks about London it’s the fact that the US Dollar means less and less to these people. Going to HMV is as humbling experience as the initial excitement of a CD on sale costing 10 subsides as you realize it’s 10 quid…or $20. It’s like paying 1991 CD prices all over. I know England is full of history, but there’s no reason to keep some of those painful chapters alive. Either way it still didn’t stop me spotting a lucky buy when I saw one, as Radioheads’ hard to find mini album “Airbag/ How Am I Driving” release from 1998 single release was my music catch of the weekend.

It’s infinitely easier to find music now on the internet than it used to be from putzing around store to store, but there’s something about finding that rare gem at the ol’ record shop that’s infinitely satisfying. The winner and still champion: Me? Well perhaps, but definitely HMV’s sales department. I basically bought an album which I already have digitally and at $30 the 5 song album costs an average of $6 dollars/song making it a relatively expensive addition to the music collection. But having music its original form is a big thing in my books. Not quite priceless, but close.

Next stop: Venice.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

poke me baby one more time

It's the Facebook Stalker Anthem! (by Penn Masala)



No comment...okay okay maybe one comment... It's okay to admit that this video totally describes you. Weirdo. But if you don't wanna admit that, then you should at least check out the acapella group who did it, Penn Masala.

If you're brown and you've gone to college in the US, you've definitely heard of them. But just in case you can check them out at www.pennmasala.com where you can also download the song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

being a Hindu, shopping, & the Puma store

Shopping at Woodbury Common's, about an hour out of Manhattan is the choicest place for outlet shopping. For many Hindus shopping at Woodbury has a lot of interesting parallels to familiar religious and cultural ceremonies. First of all it's the voyage itself. Every Indian kid (Hindu or otherwise) knows that no temple that your parents make you goto is ever with 30 minutes from home. No no noooooo.

For some reason people felt that temples needed to be like at least a 6 hours drive from where you are. Going to the temple means having a long painful car ride, preferrably with no A/C and no suspension. Going to Woodbury's is no different.

Also Woodbury's involves saving money. Indians are all about that. Finaly Indian functions tend to be filled with...well...other Indian people. Again, Woodbury's has that too. There really isn't much more of an elaboration that needs to be made to that point I think. Anyhoo, here are my pics:


Shop 'til you...well...drop. But like seriously, did you have to just sit down on the middle of the ground.















Um, miss, do you really need to get 7 pairs of shoes? You know what you could also do...and I know this is crazy...but use a cart.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

the great getaway

Lots of crimes happen today. Contrary to popular belief, crime occurs merely for the sake of keeping things interesting. As long as you keep your eyes open you can spot and enjoy it as well...assuming of course that it isn't your shit that's getting stolen.

While driving through the back roads of Jersey I spotted this gem....a guy on a bike racing down the street frantically hauling a shopping cart with him...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

man kills both grandmothers, misses soccer game

In a bizarre but sad twist over the past week Irish national soccer player Stephen Ireland (fitting last name, no?) killed off both his grandmothers. Well it's not as bad as it sounds, but it's a lot goofier.

Prior to an important qualifying match, Stephen learned that his girlfriend had a miscarriage. Stephen understandably wanted to spend time with the girl but he didn't think the national team would excuse him from their game for that reason, so he made up an excuse. He claimed his grandmother died.

When team officials realized that his maternal grandmother was alive and well (in Cork), Stephen changed his story...he claimed his paternal grandmother was the one who died. Well as it turns out she was carrying along quite well too (in London). After a few days of utter confusion Stephen came forward and told Irish officials the truth.

All of this set-up one of the funniest press conferences ever:
"I sincerely apologise, particularly as I caused a lot of problems for many people. I would like to apologise to my grandmothers and all my family for any distress I have caused them." - Stephen Ireland
"Distress"?! Dude how would you feel if you were some old Irish lady minding your own business and you learned that your grandson had claimed you were dead. Worst yet he had done this annoying snot-nosed grandson had done this twice...in a week.

Way to go Stephen. You killed off your grandmothers and you think a small apology to them will suffice.

Monday, September 17, 2007

DJ Shakes_2007-09-17 (Indian Picnic)

http://hbshakes.blogspot.com
theme: Indian Picnic

Okay you wanted a pure Indian mix, you got it. If you're not Indian you may wanna skip this one. I figured I'd make a mix of a bunch of old Indian songs that my parents would play in the car, at home...basically at all times.

Hopefully you enjoy it, I tried my best to keep each track short and punchy...it's one thing to reminisce over listening to an old song, but you don't really need to listen for all 6 minutes of each song, including the weird musical interludes that all songs from 1950-1970 seemed to possess...

T R A C K L I S T I N G (approx 62min)
[time] song - film (year)

[0:00] Intro - Me
[1:19] Apni To Jaise Taise - Laawaris (1981)
[4:08] Aan Milo Shyam Sanware - Devdas (1955, the original)
[5:36] Na Tum Hamen Jano - Baat Ek Raat Ki (1962)
[7:23] Shola Jo Bhadke - Albela (1951)
[9:14] Pehla Nasha - Jo Jeet Wohi Sikander (1992)
[12:20] Are Jaane Kaise Kab Kaha (1982)
[14:12] Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai - Man Mauji (1962)
[16:07] Jo Wada Kiya - Taj Mahal (1963)
[18:13] Aaja Sanam - Chori Chori (1956)
[19:34] Nain Tumhare Mazedar - Junglee (1961)
[21:02] Jooma Chumma De De - Hum (1989)
[24:34] Rote Huye Aate Hain Sub - Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978)
[27:51] Haal Kaisa Hai - Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
[29:39] Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera - Mere Sanam (1965)
[30:57] Khoya Khoya Chand - Kala Bazaar (1960)
[32:40] Humen Tumse Pyar Kitna - Kudrat (1981)
[35:09] Dil Cheez Kya Hai - Umrao Jaan (1981)
[37:37] Teri Pyari Pyari Soorat Jo - Sasural (1970)
[39:46] Musu Musu - Shaan (1999, not a film)
[41:38] Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka - Abhimaan (1973)
[44:27] Sanjh Savere - Dosti (1964)
[46:50] Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh - Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)
[49:12] Piya Tu Ab To Aaja - Caravan (1971)
[51:06] Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya - Hum Dono (1961)
[54:32] Khaike Pan Banaras Wala - Don (1978)
[58:24] Dil Ka Bhanwar Kare Pukar - Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963)


26 songs song in 60 minutes...that's gotta be some sorta record for Indian songs. There are more than a few songs that are from Amitabh Bachchan movies, but the goal was to focus on mostly old stuff. The last song is my favorite..

DIRECTIONS: Right mouse click on the tracklisting above to save the entire mix (mp3) directly or Podcast Me! Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the top left of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/EngineEngine9

If the link doesn't work, just message me and I'll upload the file again.

[click HERE for the top of the blog]

Saturday, September 15, 2007

turn off the bright lights... Interpol @ MSG

Openers: Liars, Catpower...

Although honestly Interpol isn't big enough yet to fill up MSG, few bands really are (although they got sorta close). Well I guess any 80s band doing a reunion tour through NY can probably do it...but still. Not only did they play a banging show that was near the top of my list of live shows that I've seen of theirs, but equally important was the commitment shared by my beloved foursome of concertgoers to engage in the timeless tradition that all people who are stuck in lower Midtown Manhattan late at night partake in (besides Kati Roll)...oh yes...Korean BBQ. It's on bitches. Or as they call it in Korea...BBQ.

Anytime that you can hang with a group of people after standing amidst a crowd of people for about 5 hours and still maintain the presence of mind to know that a festival of unadulterated meat eating still needs to occur...that's just...that's just quality work with quality people

The meat fest was well deserved as it happened after battling a drunk goth girl and her boyfriend(?) who was mysteriously dressed up like a waiter for the show. I don't want to judge people, but he was wearing a strange black vest-like thing with a black tie on a white shirt. That screams "waiter" to me. However he had a BlackBerry and that just confused me.

The highlight of the show wasn't when Interpol played a rare second encore of "Untitled" or even when we poured onto the floor of MSG while the unlucky masses were kindly seated, it was when my friend Brian, after politely elbowing El Waiter to stop backing-up into him with the drunk Goth girlfriend for over 45 minutes, finally yelled out "I can't take this anymore!" flailed his hands and galloped away.

Friday, September 14, 2007

my lunch

I have the greatest diet ever.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

desis on the road

1 out of 6 people in the world are Indian. Indian people have cars. However you don't have to always know who's inside the car to know they're Indian.




















































...oh wait this one let's you know that a Chicago Bulls fan is driving...