Sunday, November 30, 2008

TSA's finest...watching the Trojans/Notre Dame game at LAX

"National security or the USC football, national security or USC football, national security or USC football....'SC football it is."

To be fair they were probably on their break while watching the game last night it's a funny sight nonetheless.

For the record the Trojans won which means even if they weren't on break, it was a good decision to watch the game outside Home Turf Sports Bar, near gate 68A in Terminal 6.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kings vs. Blackhawks @ Staples Center

[Kings 5, 'Hawks 2 @ LA]

Best play of the night? It would have to be when Bailey (the King's lion mascot) took a box of popcorn away from Blackhawks fan, started throwing kernals at another Hawks fan, and when the fan threw them back Bailey took the whole box and dumped it on the kid's head.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

being 7, MacGyver, & garage doors

In the opening sequence of "MacGyver" there is a scene where Richard Dean Anderson is running and then slides under some sorta closing door while escaping bad guys. As a kid this was a striking sight.

Like most smart children I decided to recreate this scene from TV. For all the people who have studies claiming that children are not influenced by TV are dead wrong. TV provides a great template to little kids everyone of fabulous stunts that their imaginations cannot yet devise.

Seeing that 7 year olds are rarely pursued by bad guys I had to improvise. Enter the garage door.

I figured that if I closed the door and then sprinted towards it I could slide underneath just like Macgyver. It all sounded so beautiful in my head.

So with that thought I hit the close button, towards the door, tried to roll/slide underneath when blammo! ....I didn't quite make it through. I was stuck. The door closed on me and I was pinned on my back. MacGyver never got stuck like this...or if he did it was edited out from the final cut. Hmph.

Ordinarily we would've thought that this was it for our hero. But to that I say nay. Let's just say that as a 7 year old I showed a wonderful sense of risk aversion. Before trying my stunt I decided to take the garage door opener from the car and place it near the bottom of the door just in case something went horribly awry. Lo and behold it did.

And so instead of being pinned down and squirming in a garage in Fountain Valley for the ensuing quarter century I survived to write about it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pirates of the So-ma-lians

The economy is in the shitter, the Middle East doesn't seem to be getting safer with the prospects of a nuclear Iran increasing*, Russia is looking to flex its dormant muscles again, and the Tennessee Titans are undefeated. Just when you thought the world couldn't get more scary you have one more thing to add to the list: Pirates

Seemingly everyday for the past 6 months it seems like there has been a new pirate attack off the coast of Somalia. Nono, I shit you not. Just take a look at this:

Deal with that. And the problem is not only getting worse. Yesterday the Indian navy sank a boat and today a band of pirates that attacked an oil tanker is demanding $25mm in order to free the ship.

So alas now in this world that is seemingly in constant flux we can now agree on two things:

1) A Polish firing squad arranged in a circle is not the most logical setup
2) Pirates that do not resemble Johnny Depp are not a good thing.

*please keep quiet neo-realist IR friends on this point

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

Just saw "Slumdog Millionaire" and I can honestly say that it's the best movie I've seen since maybe "The Namesake". The story about a kid from the slums who makes it onto India's version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" a moving personal story with pop culture and realistic drama. Plus the A.R. Rahman + M.I.A soundtrack was dope.

Not to mention that for some reason I had this vibe that the story's main star, Dev Patel reminded me of "Superbad's" McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) for some reason. Maybe it's their protruding ears...

...But that's neither here nor there.

The thing which got me is that for the life of me I couldn't understand two little things...

WARNING Slight spoiler alert...

1. When the Hindus destroy the Muslim slum during the Bombay riots, why didn't the Director make any reference to the fact it was a part of the riots. It's a subtle point but otherwise non-desi watchers are left with the viewpoint that the stupid violence happened without any context. I'm not saying the context justifies what happens but it seems that Muslims are just rounded-up and viscisouly killed everyday. At least they could have the boys walk by some newpaper stand which has the headlines showing how outrageous these attacks were

2. During this same scene, the boys are running from the mob and they cross upon a boy painted in blue ala Ram holding an arrow. The significance of this is to show that this is how Jamal knows the answer to the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" question "What does Lord Rama hold in his hand." But the question I have is why was there a boy just sitting in that room in blue to begin with? It's one thing if the boys had spotted a picture of Lord Rama...but to have a kid dressed up like that? I just didn't understand why the boy was in that room.

These are of course two minor little points for a pretty fantastic, moving, terribly disturbing, and uplifting movie. I guess my first question doesn't really have an answer, but the second one I'm sure someone has a view.

For the love of God speak...or the love of Rama anyway.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Anthony Roberson: a $700,000-aire

One of the most stories franchises in all of sport is the New York Knicks. The Knicks haven't won a championship in decades and lately they're a sorry excuse for a basketball team. But one thing they value more than anything is paying lots of money for bad players.

It's a part of a tradition.

The Knicks don't let little details like old age, lack of talent, or bad attitudes get in their way of paying egregious amounts of money to players for long term contracts

It really is a unique art that few teams could match.

Team Roster
21 Wilson Chandler SF 21 6-8 220 DePaul $1,173,480
25 Mardy Collins PG 24 6-6 220 Temple $1,034,760
11 Jamal Crawford SG 28 6-5 200 Michigan $8,640,000
34 Eddy Curry C 25 6-11 285
1 Chris Duhon PG 26 6-1 185 Duke $5,585,000
8 Danilo Gallinari SF 20 6-10 225
13 Jerome James C 32 7-1 285 Florida A&M $6,200,000
20 Jared Jeffries PF 26 6-11 240 Indiana $6,049,400
42 David Lee PF 25 6-9 240 Florida $1,788,033
3 Stephon Marbury PG 31 6-2 205 Georgia Tech $20,840,625
50 Zach Randolph PF 27 6-9 260 Michigan State $14,666,667
23 Quentin Richardson SF 28 6-6 235 DePaul $8,685,500
5 Anthony Roberson SG 25 6-2 180 Florida $797,581
4 Nate Robinson PG 24 5-9 180 Washington $2,020,179
31 Malik Rose PF 33 6-7 255 Drexel $7,647,500

It is the understanding of this propensity of paying inflated prices that makes NY Knick shooting guard Anthony Roberson so incredible. He is the only Knicks player to make less than a million dollars a year. At $797,581 he's a massive $203,419 from the seven-digit promised land.

What is preventing him from a million dollars? Clearly it's not talent, because that's not a prerequisite for any of the other players. Clearly it's not his size, at 6'2" he may be small by NBA standards but he's a full 5 inches taller than 5'9" starting poing guard Nate Robinson

I think if we cannot point the finger at the player we can safely say it needs to be pointed at the his agent, Chris Grier Luchy.

How the hell can Luchy blow this one? The team wants to overpay players. It's what they do, and what they do well. In fact to not allow the Knickerbockers a chance at overpaying a player is almost like an insult to the franchise and the city itself. It's an insult to every New Yorkers who has paid $4.00 for bottled water when a $1.00 Poland Springs sold by a streetside hot dog vendor tastes the same.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

tall buildings

One of the most devious inventions to ever crush social interactions ever is the tall building. Tall buildings have single handedly taken normal human conversations with people you sorta know and bump into in an elevator, and turned them into nightmares. In the olden days, buildings were shorter. Thus, elevator rides were only a couple of floors, tops. So you'd never be in one for longer than 15-20 seconds. This was enough to ask the usual questions
  • "How are you?"
  • "Man, the weather is sooo [insert adjective]"
  • "How was your weekend?...yeah I know it's Wednesday....but I just love hearing about your past weekends"
Now buildings are much taller, they make frequent stops on like every floor, and you're stuck in them for like a minute or two. A minute as we all know, feels like an eternity. How do you talk with random people for that long? Now the conversation includes things you just make up on the fly...
  • "How are you?"
  • "How's your mom doing?"
  • "So, what do you think of Security Council status of Turkey? Woo!"
  • "I would've never guessed that it's not butter!"
One of the most stressful things of work now is the elevator rides. Who would've thunk that transportation could be so socially challenging.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Seasonal Depression, Michael Phelps, & M*A*S*H

People often come up to me and say "Shakes, I like the way you smell." But that's neither here nor there.

Right now you like millions of other Americans are suffering. Suffering alone. Suffering together. Suffering without understanding why. Suffering without even realizing that you are suffering.

But the symptoms are all familiar. Over the past week you've been coming home after work/school/yoga and just felt...empty. Ladies and gentlemen it's okay. I understand. It's okay to cry.

You are suffering from Post-US Open-Summer Olympics-DNC-Hurricane Gustav-RNC-General Election-Election of Obama Withdrawal. Syndrome Or more commonly known as P.U.S.O.O.D.H.G.R.G.E.E.O.E.W.S.

You see all summer you've had something to come home to at night to capture your imagination and to wrap you up emotionally and now you have nothing to watch.

The summer started with the US Open, which always causes long nights, especially on the East Coast. This led right into the Summer Olympics when I actually understood every type of swimming stroke. Staying up to watch Michael Phelps just qualify for a final was awe inspiring.

The Olympics quickly gave way to the Democratic National Convention that culminated with The Dark Knight's outdoor speech in Denver. The Republican National Convention shortly followed with a small blip for Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Depression Sarah Palin.

After the sprint to November 4th history was made and when all was said and done.... there's nothing until January 20th.

And so here we are. Just sitting and watching TV aimlessly. Sure there's football and hockey and basketball and even Dancing With The Stars. But it's not quite the same. Everything sorta feels like you're watching M*A*S*H. Oh sure it's a good show and you'll watch the whole episode if it's on TV, but no one turns the TV on with the explicit goal of watching M*A*S*H.

It's ok. We'll make it through this. Yes we can.

Yes we can.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What would a Desi do?: Union Oyster House

Okay this is the scene: You're Indian and you are at the Union Oyster House on a weekend trip to Boston. It's the oldest restaurant in America, founded in 1826.

Over 182 years of history, but I digress. You sit down at a your table and you spot a bowl of crackers at the table. What is the first thought in the mind of a desi?

A) You only take the crackers that you need and leave the rest.

B) You don't find anything odd on this occasion and continue on your merry life.

C) You think about taking all the crackers.

The answer is C.

Without hesitation. Without wondering when you will need to eat them or if you even life crackers. It's free and therefore you take it. You must take it. It's your obligation. It's your duty.

That my friends is what a desi would do.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boston Garden: Bruins vs. Sabres

[Saturday night: Bruins 3, Sabres 1]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Carmelo Anthony's' tribute to Woodrow Wilson

Last night before the Denver/Golden State basketball game, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony stated that he wanted to score 44 points as a tribute to Barack Obama being the 44nd President.

Well upon waking up this morning I couldn't help but notice that not only did the Nuggets lose 101-110, but 'Melo only had 28 points. Now 28 points is nothing to sneeze at, it's a great total but 16 points short of his goal

So unwittingly Carmelo embarked on doing something in honor of The Big O, and instead gave a stunning tribute to Woodrow Wilson our 28th president.

We salute you Woodrow. We salute you. And in the words of Carmelo, Stop Snitching.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

do you believe in miracles?

And so it has happened. Who would've thunk?

When I think about my life so far, all 30 years of it, watching the victory speech last night will definitely be one of them. The other three you ask? Here we go:

1) Challenger disaster - I remember sitting in class in elementary school (Plavan, in Fountain Valley) and the principal made the announcement over the intercom

2) 9/11 - I was in NY, enough said.

3) World Cup 2006, US vs. Italy - There is nothing like hearing our national anthem on foreign soil in Germany

4) Yesterday

Monday, November 3, 2008

'Twas the Night Before the Election

Twas the night before the Election, when all through the land
Every voter was stirring, even those registered with ACORN's hand
The candidates had spoken, all their ads had been aired
Even the stupid ones, that kept bringing up Bill Ayers

Two years ago more than a dozen candidates had started
We're left with the black one and the old guy who can't tell if he farted
Now the VP's are interesting, Biden's comments are a hoot
But Palin I think, has a brain full of fruit

Most of the focus has been on the battleground states
They're campaigning there every where, every place, every date
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Virginia too
Hopefully they can turn a few of them blue

We've seen McCain act more than once a bit erratic
Whether it's his VP pick, his debate style, or suspension dramatics
Obama on the other hand started charismatic, fiery, and leaner
He's now shown himself to have a calm, cool demeanor

Tomorrow, no matter what happens, history will be written
Whether it's our first black President or a second-in-command vixen
So when you sleep tonight think hard and think clear
Who do I want, a smart man or being one heartbeat from fear?

Now I know my poem has been a little bit biased
My pick for President is a person I think of the highest
Whether you root for McCain or Obama like me
The key is to to vote or you someone shall pee.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008


So I was at work with TV's tuned as always to CNBC on the floor, when I swear to God they played the following video going into a break.

Now I can't get this out of my head. And you know what, I'm not sure I ever want to have it not be in my head. It just makes me head.

It's peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat. Now some of you may be wondering, why is a pixelated banana chanting that it's peanut butter and jelly time? I mean there are many things/people that can be happy about that, but why a banana. Well I'll answer your question by asking you another question: Are you so racist as to think that a banana can't want pb&j?