Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chinese people, spelling bees, and nam-nah

When I was in college part of my foreign language requirement was to sit in the Language Lab and work on my skills for an hour a week. The exercises involved wearing headphones and listening to some ethnic speaker say words on a tape while you repeated them out loud.

The problem was that the Lab was filled with other kids of different language levels and well different languages all doing the same thing. To complicate matters the headphone weren't exactly Bose quality so the sound of the other hopelessly failing kids got mixed up along with what you were listening to.

Finally of all languages to be inadvertantly inundated with, it seemed like the Chinese kids were always at the Language Lab. iQue Lastima!

So basically if you were to make a dialogue out of the combinations of words that you were hearing in your own headphones + those around you, it would sorta look lke this:

Spanish Voice in Headphones: Pablo no se gustan los fiambres
Me Out Loud: Pablo no se....
Chinese People: Namnah. Namnah!
Me Out Loud: ...se gusta los fiambres
Chinese People: Nnnnyuk! Nnnnyuk!
Spanish Voice: Donde esta la vaca? Donde esta la vaca?
Me Out Loud: La vaca esta....
Chinese People: Nnnnyuk! Nnnnyuk!
Me Out Loud: en la calle?
Chinese People: Namnah. Namnah!

It was truly an awesome learning experience. In no way whatsoever. The worst part is the tapes allowed a blank 15 seconds or so after each phrase to give you time to say it out loud. This spacing was key because it gave you some quiet to think about what to say. For some reason some jackasses over the years began to tape themselves on these blank spots to make the whole thing miserable...

Spanish Voice in Headphones: El gato esta corriendo con manos qeubrando
Me Out Loud: El gato esta...
Blank Spot on Tape: NYUK!
Me Out Loud: Um...el gato esta...
Blank Spot on Tape: Namnah!
Me Out Loud: Uhhhhh
Spanish Voice in Headphones: Tu te gustan los...
Me Out Loud: Fuck! Fucking aye
Spanish Voice in Headphones: NYUK!
Me Out Loud: Fuck!
Spanish Voice in Headphones: El gato esta corriendo con manos qeubrando

....and so on and so forth. At some point I started getting so pissed that I too purposely taped my voice over the tapes too to fuck up the kids who would use it later.

All of this of course is a long-winded setup for this part of the story: Since that time in 1997 the phrase "Namnah!" had been a running joke amongst my friends. A funny little anecdote if you will. UNTIL I learned that kid who won the Spelling Bee today (Indian of course) had to spell the word "numnah" (Which is a saddle blanket, according to the interweb).

This is remarkably similar to my Language Lab Word of Fame, Namnah! Who would've thunk?
It's the small things that count in life. Big ups Sameer Mishra...you're an Apollo Legend.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

indecent exposure of your stupid brain

Where to begin....
I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And the earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that bad things happen to you?


Hey asshole! There's a small difference between someone's government purposely acting improperly and a natural disaster indifferently striking innocent people. It ain't exactly a case of cause and effect you plastic faced Michael Douglas groupie.

_

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

humidity, summer is back, & my thumb

Every year life in New York is normal and sorta cold and then one day...BLAMMO.... God hits the humidity button and summer arrives.

Today summer arrived in the middle of the day. The other telltale sign of summer/humidity arriving is that the subway becomes smelly and sweaty. Ahh the sights, sounds, and smells of summer in the City!

I discovered this taking the train to Union Square on my way for an MRI of my hand (tore a ligament). I have never broken a bone in my body before nor had surgery (yet), so I've gotta say that the MRI machine was pretty weird.

It felt cool for about two seconds sitting sitting inside the huge thingy, but it weirded the shit out of me when the nurse guy gave me ear plugs to wear.

The machine is fuckin' loud and it makes noises that sorta sounds like parts of disc 1 on the Pumpkin's "Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness"....particularly the guitars in "An Ode to No One"

Results are due next Monday, what fun. At least my immobilized right hand adventures can get some closure..

Sunday, May 25, 2008

greetings from Denver

Highway I-70 at dusk

Sunday, May 18, 2008

thought of the day

Clogs are the like Crocs of the olden days.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

poem of the day

from Harold and Kumar 2...eat your heart out Langston Hughes:
I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed
Touching, just touching.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I think Rick Ross was my taxi dispatcher at Newark Airport last weekend

Why do people goto the bathroom the moment they get on the plane? What kinda fucked up logic is that? "Hey I'm gonna sit in a limited capacity flying steel tube...I could either goto the bathroom where there is more space or I can fuck up the bathroom on the plane for no reason before it even takes off.

It's like don't you even bother to think? Now because of your dumbness the people in the back rows get to smell the lovely toilets...err... lavoratories. Also why do they use the term "lavoratory" on planes? They never use that term anywhere else? Is there some psychological study saying that people can't handle sea level terms such as "restroom," "bathroom," or "tatti bin" while in the air?

In case you weren't paying attention it was a rhetorical question.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

steal Jesse's car

When I was in high school I discovered that my friend Jesse Biebesheimer, class Valedictorian and one of the smartest kids I know/knew, never locked his car door. I asked Jesse in a voice that was slightly higher pitched than it is now "Jesse, why don't you lock your door?"

Jesse, wearing braces and captain of the marching band, said "Well if people are going to break into my car I don't want them shattering the glass."

This was in 1995

I'm pretty sure that Jesse must still do the same thing. So if you are like to steal cars, perhaps Jesse is the person for you. I don't know why I thought of this now 13 years after the fact, but I think it's important nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

trivia: who am i?

"Hi, I now claim that my key voting constituency is dumb, poor, white people. I want to be your President. Also old people like me. Particularly old woman. I think West Virginia is a good proxy for the demographics of the rest of America"

Who am I???

Tonight I've realized the biggest problem with a Democracy isn't that everyone gets a vote...it's that everyone's vote count equally. Stupid people's votes count just as much as well... mine. Maybe Aristotle was onto something when he had negative views of Democracy; it was a political extreme on the opposite end of tyranny.

That is my thought of the day. Now like any great and virtuous person I shall shift my attention to another important matter of the day: the 4th quarter of the Hornets/Spurs

Sunday, May 11, 2008

which one of these things don't belong? (Indian Version)

Three of these things belong together
Three of these things are kind of the same
Can you guess which one of these doesn't belong here?
Now it's time to play our game (time to play our game)

Rhythm House, Bombay - DVD section

While walking around in a music store in India, I stumbled upon this visual gem. How the hell did Mr. T get to India? Mr. T made it to India and he's sitting in the DVD section? What the hell is going on.

Friday, May 9, 2008

look! it's a funny.

McCain adviser says Obama is being hypocritical (from USATODAY)

The campaign day was near it close Thursday when Democratic contender Barack Obama said on CNN's Situation Room that presumptive Republican nominee John McCain was "losing his bearings." Obama's complaint: McCain had said several times that Hamas wants Obama to win in November. Obama said that was a "smear."

Last evening, McCain campaign senior adviser Mark Salter released a memo that says Obama was the one doing the attacking and that the Illinois senator is a hypocrite. The full memo is here. Salter begins with this:

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today: He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama style of campaigning.

We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is.

It is important to focus on what Senator Obama is attempting to do here: He is trying desperately to delegitimize the discussion of issues that raise legitimate questions about his judgment and preparedness to be President of the United States

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton has responded to Salter's memo with a statement of his own, that says, in part:

Clearly losing one's bearings has no relation to age, given this bizarre rant
that Mark Salter just sent out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

KIA sponsors the NBA MVP?

Even more remarkable is check out the amazing disappearing act of this KIA representative prior to Game 2 of the Lakers/Jazz

10:36pm EST
Prior to the game at the award ceremony you can see the dude..the white standing next to Kobe.






10:36pm EST
Seconds later we find out a valuable piece of info: the white guy's name is Tim Chaney, KIA's Director of Marketing






10:36pm EST
...Then comes a quick video montage. It's poignant yet powerful. Whoever made this thing must have slaved over their PC for dozens of minutes to put this together. The use of a heavy metal soundtrack really captures the spirit. It's akin to Monet's impressionist paintings of France



10:37pm EST
...and Blammo! After literally one minute the KIA guy magically disappears and turns into... the Commish David Stern!






Now that's a fire! Those Korean marketers I tell ya', with their magic and transmogrifing and whatnot.

.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Heathcliff vs. Garfield: cats that suck ass

Why is it that the two prominent cartoon cats that I grew up with are both orange? I mean first of all no cat is actually orange, so it's a bit odd that not one but two orange cats should appear. What's also striking is that both cats are not funny.

So in some ways it's a battle of who sucks less.

The older I've gotten the more I've realized that there is nothing funny about these comics/cartoons. Doonsbury is funny. This is just like visual nonsense.

I don't really have any more to talk about this.

I mean I guess I could wax poetic about this, but that would make the next 30 seconds you spend reading as boring as the previous 30 seconds that it took for you to get to this point.

Monday, May 5, 2008

desi gone wild (don't worry it's totally PG)



Feliz Cinco de Mayo bitches. Go desi. It's your birthday. Go desi. Besides saying his Suleman (Mirza) in a weird Brit accent "Sulumun" and strange hair everything else is fuckin' nuts...

...and yes that song will be in my next mix..

Sunday, May 4, 2008

DJ Shakes_2008-05-05 (many things)

http://hbshakes.blogspot.com
theme: these are a few of my favorite things

Sorry for the long delay, here is some music to make you forgive me. It's a little bit of everything but my particular faves are the songs by Vampire Weekend (and the whole album is damn good too) and Goldspot. Also the mash-up of "Encore Une Fois" is just phenomenal in my humble but correct opinion.

T R A C K L I S T I N G (approx 52min)

[0:00] Intro - me
[0:00] Buck 65 - Jaws of Life

[1:47] DJ Cam - Ghanja Man

[3:07] Daft Punk - Da Funk (live)

[5:19] September vs. Sash - Cry for You/Encore Une Fois

[7:50] DJ Spiller - Groovejet

[10:55] Vampire Weekend - M79

[15:01] Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride

[17:30] MIA - Paper Planes
[20:32] Siddhi States - Dub Guru
[22:02] Goldspot - Friday (Hindi version)
[26:22] Kimya Dawson - Tire Swing (from "Juno")
[29:19] Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is

[32:15] Sweet Female Attitude - Flowers (Sunship mix)
[33:55] Rui Da Silva - Touch Me
[38:38] Brother Brown - Under The Water (feat Frank'ee)

[42:00] Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
[44:46] Coldplay - Violent Hill

[47:47] Outro -Me (who else?)

[47:55] Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels


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.

[top of the blog!]

Saturday, May 3, 2008

the stupid files

Doing stupid things to people is an artform. It's what I do best. It's an environment that I thrive And so while getting my pants altered I kept on setting off the store's motion detector which rang a bell to alert people that a customer has entered. The problem was that based on where it was set up I triggered this thing about 4 or 5 times every 30 seconds. Quite annoying. Quite.

And so when I actually punted the sensor I got the brilliant idea of pointing its beam straight out the door (instead of across the door). The effect of this was ingenious. Basically the store's motion detector blared everytime some random mall shoppers walked past the store...instead of into the stores.

The thing started going off every few seconds for reasons that the smiling shopkeeper/tailor lady couldn't figure out. Thus I left quickly.

This is what I do. This is how I add value to the world around me. Oh yeah, and the next podcast is coming soon...