Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bombay, Animal Gladiators, & Fantasy Cricket

Hello from Bombay.

One of the universal things in life is that no matter where you go in the world, there's never anything good on TV. Let's just say that at 11:30pm on a Saturday night, my best bet was Animal Planet's "Animal Gladiators." It barely nudged out a classic India vs. Australia cricket match from 1983 (day 2 of the second test) playing on ESPN.

On a sidenote while sorting out my daily starting lineup for fantasy basketball (on vacation you have to make sure you carve out time for life's priorities) I got to wondering: is there such a thing as fantasy cricket?

Moreover does fantasy cricket take 5 years to play? This is where you (the reader at home) is supposed to laugh and cheer.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fire! Blood! Doha!

Greetings from Doho, Qatar.

My goal for enjoying my first 2 weeks vacation (or any holiday longer than 5 days) in a year was to basically sit around and do nothing in India. All I want for Christmas is rest. Give me sun, a book, and some prawns by the beach. I don't even need wifi. It's not too much to ask. Well things have gotten have to a swimming start

Allow me to share the adventures of geting to the airport in a chronological order and in list format (and lacking proper capitalization and/or grammar) :
  • 7:45pm: Get into cab to JFK. Christmas night in NY is lovely. The world is lovely. Everything is lovely
  • 8:00pm: Cab is on the freeway and all is merry. Hooray for no traffic.
  • 8:15pm: Cab begins to slow down.
  • 8:16pm: Cab is halted in the middle lane of the freeway. foreign cab driver guy is unsure of what to do
  • 8:17pm: The distinct smell of smoke is in the air. It is not chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
  • 8:18pm: Cars are honking at us as we stuck in the middle of the freeway.
  • 8:19pm: A Russian driver who had pulled over to the side of the freeway and is moving towards us yelling "Fire! There's a fire!"
  • 8:20pm: My cousin and I have bailed out of the cab and are in the middle of the freeway diverting traffic away from the cab. The fire had come from one of the wheels and now looked to be out. The next thing I know I'm pushing the cab next to the Russian to hopefully get it to the shoulder. It's useful, plus the cabbie not throwing the gear intro neutral didn't really help matter. Also I noticed blood all over my hands (I felt a pinch on my hand when my hand brushed over the back of the trunk while pushing) Luckily it didn't get onto my jeans or track jacket. This is key because I have to look good on the plane for "Priya" (more on that later)
  • 8:30pm: Another cabbie pulled over we get our bags out of the trunk of the first car (which we noticed had seriously jacked up and semi-melted back wheel) while the Russian dude was still running around, stuck my hand in a blob of dirty road snow to clean up the bleeding hand, washed it with some water from the cabbie along with some tissues, and away we went.
Now ordinarily having a bloody hand is deemed to be a bad thing (actually it's more like a deep cut on my finger, but saying a "bloody hand" sounds way more dramatic and it's better increasing the ratings on el bloggo) but perhaps God had a plan. You see my cousin and I didn't have seats next to each other (we had to ask someone to switch) so I wanted to keep some optionality juuusssstttt in case the person next to me was a cute ladyfriend. We shall call this hypothetical person "Priya"

So my bloody hand theory is that if "Priya" were to see my hand with bandages it would invoke some sympathy and she would instantly be smitten by me. It's a good theory. In theory at least.

The only problem is that it requires a Priya....and sadly Priya was not existent next to me. Servants. In fact there were no potential Priya's at all on the flight...or on Terminal 4 at JFK. Or anywhere. The beautiful people do not travel on Christmas night I suppose.

And with that I'm in the Doha international terminal having just played foosball. I only play foosball in Qatari (Qatari? Qaterite? Qatarian?) airports.

Okay then... I don't know what timezone I'm in but I know the next flight is 60 minutes.

Hopefully Priya will be on the next flight (to Bombay). Adieu!

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PODCAST: DJ Shakes_2009-12-23 (12 Inches of Snow)

Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the left column of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL

T R A C K L IS T I N G (approx 48 min)
theme: 12 Inches of Snow

[0:00] Intro - "Elf" - Singing Loud
[0:28] Coconut Records - West Coast :
[3:46] Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
[6:34] Anoushka Shankar - Beloved
[10:30] George Winston - Skating (Snoopy)
[13:18] Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
[17:11] The Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning
[19:52] Bombay Dub Orchestra - Mumtaz (The Ornament of the Palace Mix)
[24:34] Blitzen Trapper - Furr
[28:35] Smashing Pumpkins - Thirty-Three
[32:35] Scott Walker - On Your Own Again
[34:11] Frank Glazer - Trois Gymnopedie No. 1
[36:50] K-Os -Hallelujah
[40:23] Alicia Keys - Doesn't Mean Anything
[44:20] Chemical Brothers - Dream On
[45:50] U2 - Beach Sequence

Well it snowed a lot and I was stuck at home....and that's pretty much the motivation for THIS mix. Who would've thunk it could be so simple?

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Greedy Bastard Boy Who Stole From His Tree

Every kid has read Shel Siverstein's "The Giving Tree" at some point during the youth. I remember when I first read it I was genuinely touched by the book and it made me think of how true friendship isn't one where you expect to receive what you put into it, but rather one where you're okay giving without any reciprocation.

The book was sweet and most certainly tinged with an air of melancholy. I remember thinking this even as a first grader.

But now when I read the book I'm not struck so much by how sweet and giving the tree was, but rather by how much of a bastard that kid was.

I mean let me get this straight...he cut his f'n tree down to build a house and then when he was old and alone he used the stump as a chair? What the fuck?

Do you realize how jacked up that is? That's like parading around the corpse of a friend ... This kid shouldn't be celebrated in a sweet, touching book... he should be jeered and mocked in Page 6 exposes.

Happy muthah fuckin' Holidays.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Miracle on 1111 South Figueroa Street

All I want for Christmas...has happened 11 days early for the Kings....

We can talk about the number of games played and that perhaps the proper technical way to look at things is points per games played, but still, I'd rather have points in the bag then potential points & games in hand any day.

Oh also I want two front teeth for Drew Doughty.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Deplaning: A love story

One of my pet peeves is people who talk loudly in public places, whether it's elevators, planes, or even pre-season ballet practices.

So I was landing home at John Wayne Airport and as typical, people turned their cellphones on the second the rubber hit the runway. No bid deal. I do the same thing. Even when I'm not flying (wait what? what does that mean?)

Well just as we're pulling into our gate a man 2 rows behind me gets on the phone and starts talking at the top of his lungs to his wife on a cell phone somewhere. Now the funny thing about loud conversations is that you start out by thinking "C'mon dude, what the fuck...just tone it down"- and you could sense everyone around me was thinking the same thing based on their collective sighs but then everyone secretly listens.

What followed was an annoying call that turned into a touch insight into an elder man consoling his wife
"IT'S ME I HAVE LANDED.... YES WHERE ARE YOU? I WILL BE OUT IN 15 MINUTES.... YOU'RE WHERE?...Oh you're where? The car has broken down...oh it's the wheel. Well at least it's only the wheel we must be thankful that that's the only challenge that life has thrown today...Do you have help?...You do... Oh great... Well don't worry you don't have to pick me up. I can take a cab. I can meet you at home. You're the boss just tell me what you want to do... I can even have dinner waiting for you at home... You're the boss sweetheart..."
and with that a lovely beginning to my favorite holiday season began...

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Signs you're a desi: travel edition!

...when you're traveling on a plane and you think the appropriate usage of your carry-on baggage is 3 bouquets of bon-voyage flowers.

Oh Priya! How stupid art thou?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thoughts on food part 2: food proves their is God

I feel the impact of God on varying levels on a daily basis. For example I was running late to my train the other day and I said "I hope to God the train is still there" as I was galloping down the stairs at the World Train Center. Lo an behold when I got to the platform the train was still there! God had delayed all the other passengers to make them late for their respective appointments on my behalf!

Also God helped the Tampa Bay Storm win the Arena Football League championship several years ago, or so their quarterback told an ESPN2 reporter during the postgame interview.

These are all good empirical examples that God exists in our world but we need a stronger, unifying theory. And that theory, I'm pretty sure, rests with food.

Food is the key to proving that there is a God.

Imagine for a moment a world where steak provided Vitamin C. Dream of a second of a place where Kentucky Fried Chicken was a good source of Zinc. Hope for a moment of a land where bacon wrapped chicken helped your thyroid.

This world, this place, this land does not exist. Why not? Why I ask? I SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW. There is no good reason why butter and fried foods should not be abundantly hetyalthy. None.

Now that may sound a little bit over the top - and it is, that's how I generate ratings here - but think about it, out of all the possible incredibly tasty food combinations, don't you think that at least one of them would result in a healthy snack? There has to be at least one thing which just randomly is super good for you and tastes fantastic.

Clearly there are people who will say things like "oh you should try pineapples!" they're healthy and delicious! That's sorta missing the point...fruits and vegetables don't count. That's not exactly my view of a supercrazyfoodthatjusttastes darn good. Although avocados are fantastic

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thoughts on food part 1: food as a drug

As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve I got to thinking - as I am wanton to do - that food is the biggest quick hit product on the market. More so than crack. More so than heroin. More so than Amy Winehouses' medicine cabinet.

Think about it for a second. We basically are willing to pay lots of money, go to far off places, make our bodies fat, add cholesterol to ourselves.... just for the joy of having a food pass over your taste buds for literally 3 seconds.

That's pretty messed up if you think about it.

Now don't get me wrong, the "habit" of eating food tends to be cheaper than say stealing money to support a coke habit... BUT at least junkies seem to derive a utility towards drugs that lasts at least a few minutes.

I mean check out Trainspotting, their drug hits lasted at least as long as a song...and a long one at that, namely Underworld's "Born Slippy". That's at least 7 solid minutes long.

I mean if they just invented some device that masked what your taste buds experienced you'd be willing to give up some pretty unhealthy food. I'd eat spinach if it just could taste like steak.

to be continued...

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sonic Youth @ Terminal 5

Text messages after the show

Friend: Hey were you at the show?
Me: Yeah , I was there, were you?
Friend: Yeah I thought it was pretty good, what did you think?
Me: I thought it was great and Dinosaur Jr (opener) was really good. I didn't catch the name of the group that was before them but they seemed fun in an indie way. They liked repetitive words
Friend: I didn't see them but their name was Cold Caves. Clearly they are not based in Williamsburg, otherwise they'd be "The Cold Caves"

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Irish people, the WTC, & the inherent fun of statistics

Last week while walking down the sidewalk towards the World Trade Center and my train I noticed a guy a clicking noise coming from this guy on the side. As I approached him I realized that he was clicking this counter thingy every time someone walked by him. So when I got up to him I asked "are you counting the amount of foot traffic on this sidewalk" to which he responded "Aye laddy!"

Actually he didn't say "Aye laddy" at all, that was a total lie, but I like the idea of giving my story an Irish element to it. A Lucky Charm if you will.

So I asked "Do you have to click it every time someone passes by or can you use some discretion?" Patrick O'Henry replied "Nay laddy! The path of the people is me' ruler! I can't show my own judgment!". Again, for the readers at home the Irish aspect is a complete fabrication. So with that I proceeded to walk by back and fort in front of the PeopleCounterGuy several times forcing him to click over and over again and thereby massing up his data.

He chuckled.

So yet again I have taken a stand against statistical analysis and real-world data gathering. I have shown that Normal Distributions can never take into account the behavior of an idiot. Chi-Square distributions do a much better job at that.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Play-doh, OCD, and my sweater

My social life broadly consists of watching late night TV and turning down Mafia Wars friends. Speaking of odd social patterns, one of things that I've been afflicted with is being mildly OCD. I like going through certain routines in order to feel comfortable.

For example as through middle school and parts of high school would have to recite all of the teams in the NFL in (28 at the time) in alphabetical order by memory according to conference and division under 20 seconds before I would be able to sleep. It seemed perfectly normal to me until I couldn't take it anymore, tore down an poster next to my bed, and forced myself to try and sleep without saying my Pledge of Allegiance to the NFL.

On a similar note I was sitting at work when all of of sudden my grey sweater got blue Play-Doh all over it. Now I know what most of you are thinking, "Why do you have Play-Doh at your desk? Surely you were partially responsible for this?" And my answer, Nay. The Play-Doh attacked me. But that's neither here nor there. As I attemped to remove the blue goo it proceeded to get embedded deeper and deeper into the little sweater fibers and whatnot. So I began to panic. I went to the bathroom, doused the sleeve in warm water and rubbed handsoap all over it.

While doing so a thought popped into my head, "Why is it that no matter how nice your office is, the guys in the men's bathroom always exhibit the sanitation and hygiene prevalent in most stadium and train station bathrooms. It's ridiculous. You'd think people would act a bit more refined. But anyhoo

The more I rubbed the sweater the worse it got. And with that I returned to my desk and sulked. At this point the OCD kicked in. I would have to replace the sweater. Right away. That night. It simply was not acceptable to be without a half-zip extra fine gray merino sweater. So I went to Banana, found the sweater, asked the patented desi father question ("is there a discount on this?" while pointing at an item at full price) and walked out.

This is what I do. This is how I live with myself.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the Jay-Z vs. Mylie Cyrus beef

Jay-Z has had his share of beefs in life and each time he has come out on top.

He worked his way through dealing in the Marcy Projects to start his career in hip-hop. And in hip hop he's had his fair share of rifts, whether it's Nas ("yeah I was sampled your voice/ you was using it wrong/ you had a hot line/ I made it a hot song") or Mobb Deep ("you little fuck, I've got money stacks bigger than you") and others who have tried to take his throne, slander his name, and spit on his game (see I made that rhyme. I am a rhymeslayer!).

But all have failed. Until now. is currently facing the biggest threat to his rep. Mylie Cyrus.

Mylie's "Party in the USA" may be the single worst top-rated song. Ever. Or at least it's second to the Macarena. Moreover her reference to the Jay-Z song playing in some club she was at is devastating.

Imagine if you will you're Jay-Z. You have a music company. You have a clothing label. You have 99 problems but Beyonce is certainly not one of them. You're minding your own business (I'm not a business man I'm a Business maaannn) when you hear Mylie blurting your name everywhere. On one hand all publicity is good publicity, on the other hand it's from a pretty questionable source

Having Mylie shout-out Jay-Z is sorta like Zach Morris getting a shout out from Mr. Belding. While the act in it of itself is not slanderous, the source is.

Mylie has done something that no other rapper or drug dealer could do; she brought down his rep. Now to top this all the recent hub-bub about Mylie not really listening to Jay-Z only makes matters worse. It's like she hit a walk-off homerun and decided to not even run around the bases. She's like "yeah I referenced your name / you was using it wrong / you had a hot name and I made it a hot song"

Mylie is so street. So fresh. And you know what? She's partyin' in the USA. Muthahfuckah.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hello Sunday.

12th and Avenue A

I like to call it sheisha vs hookah for two reasons. One it just sounds cooler. Two, and more importantly, when you say "let's get hookah" most people think you're on a quest for hookers.

-- Posted while roaming about

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PODCAST: DJ Shakes_2009-11-03 (Tuff Goin' Soul)

Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the left column of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL

T R A C K L IS T I N G (approx 52 min)
theme: Reggae, Soul, and more

[0:00] Intro - Me
[0:54] Flying Lotus - Auntie's Lock
[1:11] Althea & Donna - No More Fighting
[4:37] Slightly Stoopid - 2am
[9:10] Junior Byles - Weeping
[11:40] Raphael Saadiq - Just One Kiss (feat Joss Stone)
[14:01] Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out
[16:30] Ghostface Killah - Gotta Hold On
[19:21] New Jack Hustle - Inglewood
[22:24] Richie Havens - Here Comes The Sun
[25:10] My Morning Jacket - Golden
[29:30] TV on the Radio - Hours
[33:19] Passion Pit - To Kingdom Come
[37:23] Miike Snow - Song for No One
[41:13] Orchestra Baobab - Ray Mbele
[43:07] Y Society - This Is An Introduction
[45:58] Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Israelites
[48:27] Gregory Isaacs - Confirm Reservation

Okay this mix started off as being a soul mix and then I could shake some old reggae songs and well... add some My Morning Jacket and Ghostface Killah and there you go..

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, November 1, 2009

things Indian people do

Steal hundred of packets of mirchi from Pizza Hut and other fine pizza establishments like there's no tomorrow.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, October 31, 2009

stupid people at concerts

While at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concert at the Garden on Friday (U2! Metallica! Aretha Franklin! Mick Jagger! Sting! Bruuuuce!) I was reminded that sometimes I hate people

So at the very beginning of the show Jerry Lee Lewis comes out and sings "Great Balls of Fire" to kick things off.... good stuff for a guy who I thought periodically over the past 10-15 years dead.

Well I looked over into the boisterous row in front of me where the drunk guy (he looked like a total S-Block) was singing with his Indian girlfriend and saw that she had her iPhone raised and pointed towards the stage.

Was she taking a picture? No
Wash she videotaping the performance? No.

SHE WAS SHAZAM-ING it so that she could find out what song he was singing! I'm like are you serious? You don't know who Jerry Lee Lewis and you CAN'T RECOGNIZE THE SONG? What is wrong with you people. I wanted to slap Priya right there and then. I mean why are you at a rock hall of fame show if you don't know basic things?

It's sorta like going to the Super Bowl and being like "what is this grass field they're playing on?" It's like going to an art museum and asking aloud "what was the Mona Lisa?" It's like wearing brown shoes with a black belt.

You just don't do such things.

ALSO if she doesn't recognize "Great Balls of Fire" it means that she's never seen Top Gun. What kind of person hasn't seen Top Gun? I shudder at the thought of meeting someone who upon hearing word "Maverick" can only muster up some memory of a weird Mel Gibson movie. And what about Goose? Goooooose. Did he die in vain?!?! Did he?!

A travesty. A real travesty.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tetris, people's personalities, and Halloween

A friend mentioned at work the other day that for Halloween some of her friends were going to be Tetris pieces. So I got to thinking, how do you determine who gets to be each piece? In my mind your personality has to match the piece....and each piece most certainly has a personality

For example, I don't think I could ever be The Line in the group. It's a bit too presumptuous. EVERYONE loves The Line. No one in the history of Tetris has played the game, seen The Line start scrolling down and said "Oh fuck, it's The Line." NO! People LOVE The Line. It goes well with everything. It's sorta like bacon and goat cheese. Now, as agreeable as I think I am, I can't pull off The Line.

Personally I'm more of The Hat fellow. The Hat is generally agreeable and you can rotate it to fit most situations. Now truth be told sometimes it comes at the wrong time and jacks up your game. Oh well.

Be that as it may, I'm definitely not The Block. The Block is fine, I mean I have no complaints, but it's not exactly someone you always want to hang out with. It's sorta like when you goto a party and are looking for someone, anyone to talk to.... it's alwaaaaays A Block person. Someone who is good enough to have a drink with, discuss weather, perhaps old current events (e.g. the war, health care, great AFC football games from years past). BUT you don't want to get stuck with The Block all-night. Oh good god no.

The Hook meanwhile tends to be a pretty helpful piece, and it is quite underrated. The only problem is that extra nub at the end. When it fits into your Tetris pile it is magical. Like a glittered glove fitting Michael's hand. But when it doesn 't're just like "dude, you stupid muthah@#$ah, why now?" The nub can throw you a real curveball once in a while. The Hook. Suave. Dashing. Bold. It's like a cologne, but only it's a Tetris piece.

Now we can go back and forth on which piece I maaay or maaay not be, and the merits behind each one....but one piece you do not want to be is the S-Block. The S-Block is the absolute worst. No one ever prays for an S-Block to scroll down their screens. If the S-Block were a person it would be a real dick. Like just a guy that no one wants and when he arrives he just fucks up everything around him. Even when he sorta fits it makes the next layer on top of him awkward.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spot the Desi: fluorescent tube lights, Indians, & hatred

When I was a little kid and my family used to go to India there was one thing I used to hate above all else.... it wasn't the humidity, it wasn't the mosquitoes*, it wasn't even the lack of normal sit-down toilets in some houses... it was fluorescent tube lights

I fucking hate that shit. They are bright and it give every room the ambiance of a hospital. Plus every time you sorta look at one it's as if your retinas are burning off.

But for some reason it seemed like 97% of all Indian households had at least one room illuminated by as tube light. No other ethnicity has embraced a form of light in a similar fashion to Indians and tube lights. It's to the point that when I look at the surrounding buildings around where I live, I can spot which apartments Indians live in just by the tube lights.

The apartments are unmistakable based upon the piercing blue-ish white light erupting from their windows. Most normal homes have a nice warm yellow light. Not desis. We need fluorescent because it makes the text from math book just jump out and shine!

See you can just count that at least 5 of the apartments are filled with desis (those windows circled in green).

Now I know what a lot of you are saying, "aren't there like a lot of Indian people in your 'hood?" Well that's besides the point. The ones with fluorescent tube lights are definitely Indian.

* Okay I'll admit, mosquitoes were by far THE worst. If I wasn't writing this dramatic piece of prose there's no doubt that mosquitoes would be tops of my hate list. There was nothing worst then waking up to having bites between your fingers and toes and generally feeling swollen. However my aunts used to make me feel better by making some bogus claim that I had "sweet blood" and hence attracted all the bloodsucking night crawlers.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Friday, October 23, 2009


Why doesn't Burger King and McDonalds put ketchup in the little dipping sauce boxes that they reserve for BBQ Sauce and Zesty! (tm) Sauce? It's 1000 times more practical than the stupid ketchup packets that they give where you're left wondering where you're supposed to squirt the ketchup.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the Al-Khair University Badgers

I was reading about some student unrest in some Pakistani universities and one thought immediately came to my mind: do their colleges have nicknames like colleges here?

For example I went to the handy dandy list-o-Pakistani universities and looking up schools like:
  • Aga Khan University
  • Al-Khair University
  • Bahauddin Zakariya University
  • Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • Habib Public School
  • Isra University
  • Karachi University
  • Khyber Medical College
  • Liaquat University
  • Quaid-e-Azam University
  • University of Karachi
The colleges read like a South East Asian version of the Big 10. The pomp. The circumstance. The pageantry. Pakistani higher education (and yes to all my friends that went to Karachi Grammar School I understand it was a good school...)

I mean who hasn't seen the rivalry of the Habib Public School Wolverines versus the Quaid-e-Azam Golden Gophers. It's a storied rivalry that spans the ages. And who of course can forget the laughingstock that the Liquat University Fighting Falcons cricket team became last year?!?

And that ends my thoughts on that.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Monday, October 12, 2009

c'mon ride the train

The other day I was walking through the Hoboken train terminal and I saw a train conductor kissing one of the passengers next to the platform. This was scandalous! For sure they must have some sorta code-o-conduct laws prohibiting such sophomoric behavior. But then I realized that the person kissing was just a person. This is not exactly on par with the President have "relations" with people.... unless of course the "passenger" was really the train person's which case it would still be not very important.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hindu traditions, water guns, & me

Karva Chauth is a ritual celebrated by married women mainly from northern Indian women from Punjab.

Basically women in their first year of marriage fast all day in a ritual which shows how the wife loves her husband since she's willing to suffer (fast) for him. After sunset, and upon seeing the moon, the women dress in the best clothing and offer prayers. They then receive their first bite of food from the beloved hubbies.

Touching stuff. Really.

As can be expected from my little waterside neighborhood is that scores of brown people are lining up along the water and performing their husband & wife rituals.

Now on one hand it's pretty cool to see people maintaining their culture by performing such rituals. On the otherhand the idea of a ton of Indian people sitting outside my window is too much of a temptation to resist any sane person with a water gun. Namely me.

So with Indian women wearing their finest clothes I made it rain. Oh I made it rain. The best part is that people couldn't run away because they had to finish their rituals. God comes first you know.

Now to be clear I asked my mom if I'll goto hell for spraying people with my Super Soaker (tm) while they're praying and she said no. So I'd say this is her way of saying "Go spray them my son." And you know what?... I'm not wanton to disobey my mom. Especially on Hindu-ritual days.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, October 3, 2009

notes from my cabbie

"It's a real pity Chicago didn't get the Olympics. But I mean where would you want to spend two weeks? Chicago or Rio? Of course Rio with all them beaches and shit. They need to change some of the events. Instead of throwing the javelin they should make an event of catching the javelin"

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Friday, September 25, 2009

PODCAST: DJ Shakes_2009-09-25 (92-96, Rock and Roll High School)

Simply drag the orange podcast icon on the left column of this page into your iTunes. Or:

1. goto iTunes
2. click on Advanced
3. click on Subscribe to Podcast:
4. paste this URL

T R A C K L IS T I N G (approx 72 min)
theme: 1992-96, My High School Song

[0:00] Intro - Me
[0:48] Pornos for Pyros - Pets
[3:38] Cracker - Low
[8:04] Pavement - Cut Your Hair
[11:00] The Toadies - Possum Kingdom
[16:02] Breeders - Cannonball
[18:59] L7 - Pretend That We're Dead
[22:32] Sonic Youth - Bull In The Heather
[25:11] Collective Soul - December
[29:47] Pearl Jam - I Got ID
[33:53] Smashing Pumpkins - Drown
[38:15] Bad Religion - Infected
[41:57] Pennywise - Bro Hymm
[44:47] Green Day - She
[47:00] Soul Asylum - Black Gold
[48:53] Red Hot Chili Peppers - Breaking The Girl
[53:32] Nirvana - Dumb
[55:58] Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
[58:48] James - Low Low Low
[61:31] Bush - Little Things
[64:18] Midnight Oil - Earth and Sun and Moon
[68:48] Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmmm

Well these are the songs I love in high school...which was from 1992-96. Based on that time frame you can tell that I'm now...well...older.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When I grow up I'm going to make a new college and it will be called New Miss. And it will be the greatest college in Mississippi and it will be better than even the elder Ole Miss because it will be newer.

It will be better than all of the Misses. It will be better than Swiss Miss and her monopoly of cocoa powder. And Mrs. Zeller my 5th grade elementary school teacher who punished me once for swearing, but I didn't even swear. I just said "Jesus Christ!" when I saw a bug in the classroom and that shouldn't count as swearing when there are animals/insects/nature involved in life.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the boys play rock and roll

U2 at Giants Stadium (Night 1, opener: Muse)

The night's biggest highlight (aside from being so close to the front): patting Matt Damon on the back while exiting. He was wearing an incognito hat to which I say "Hey Matt" and he said "Hey what's up"

I left it at that.

Honorable mention: The girl behind me who felt the need to grab my hand during Sunday Bloody Sunday and than grab my belt loop. I love rock and roll. I felt like I was in "Almost Famous" following the music of legendary group Stillwater and we were sharing a moment while they were playing "Fever Dog"...

...or something like that.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cheerios, zeros, and why India is great

When I was a kid I used to eat Cheerios. That was the cereal of choice in our homey home. I think it was because each Cheerio looked like a zero, to remind young and impressionable Indian kids that India was the inventor of the number zero until the Arabs "borrowed it."

This is a good fact to know and my parents taught me of this fact. Growing up I tended to think of how India had a history of watching its great jewels stolen by others, allow me to list a few:
  1. The Hope Diamond - the British
  2. Freddie Mercury - also the British
  3. Zero - Arabs, the founders of Arabic numerals
Now ordinarily the Zero Issue would not be one that I'd think about on a daily basis, but as of a year ago everyday at 2pm I do. As a matter of fact I think about a lot of reasons for why India is great at 2pm.

The reason: Everyday at 2pm my mom sends me 10-12 chain emails that have the following subject lines :
  • FW: INDIA NUMBER 1, forward to 10 people for GOOD LUCK!!!
And so on and so forth. Everyday. Thanks mom.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jackson Diner

Some people spell sophisticated "S-I-L-V-E-R C-H-I-N-A S-E-T", while others spell it "C-O-R-D-U-R-O-Y P-A-N-T-S & H-U-G-O B-O-S-S W-H-I-T-E S-H-I-R-T"

Well those are good attempts, but for the other 99% of the world we spell it "JACKSON DINER"
in York's 3rd best borough

Jackson Diner is in the middle of Jackson Heights and is the old stomping grounds of choice for cheap Indian eats.

Why all the hub-bub over this place? Is it the small bathroom? Is it the exhaust system on the ceiling modifed to look like a sitar and leafs? Is it the complete disregard to client service from the waiters?

The answer: Yes, Yes, and Yes.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quotes/awkward convo from the guy sitting behind me at an outdoor cafe (picture to the right). Now this pic was taken before his blind date from Facebook arrived.

How do I know this? Well he was speaking sorta loud on his cell to one of his "boys" about this "girl he was runnin' up in"

He had a few gems, but this was my fave after the girl came:

JERK GUY trying to impress girl: Hi yes, do you have a mango lassi?
WAITER: Um, we don't have any mango lassi
JERK GUY: Wait is that orange-y drink that everyone is drinking in a tall glass that looks so refreshing
WAITER: The orange drink?
WAITER: That is orange juice.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Chile' I will club that tub of blubber like the seal she is!"
- Aisle 4, hair products

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yelp,, & Augmented Reality

So the other day I stumbled upon one of the greatest things ever. Using services like Yelp have been you say...manual. You have to input where you are and figure out how far things are from's really quite a pain since it takes more than 10 seconds for my A.D.D. brain to compute all these things.

What if you could just point your camera at the world around and have you restaurant ratings, phone numbers, etc. just appear automatically. Kinda like a Heads Up Display. Well that's exactly what the new iPhone Yelp app does.

If you get the new download and shake the phone 3 times - I'm not making this up - a hidden feature called Monocle gets unleashed.

Monocle enables you to simply point the camera around you and you can see the ratings for bars, restaurants, and stores. Pretty nifty stuff.

Now truth be told I've heard about these Augmented Reality apps before in like Europe-land but I've never seen it with my own eyes....

...then I got to thinking... this is where danger usually occurs...

Why should Augmented Reality be confined to just food and shopping places? Why can't it be matched up to people. How rad would be that be to go to a train station and just point your camera at people and you could see what their ratings are?

Life would look like this:

(How genius is that picture? How about a nice big round of applause for my Friday evening. Me, paintbrush, and the internet. The sky is the limit.)

NOW, what if they went one step further and hooked up this PeopleYelp with like Facebook or like (or J-Date or or....). That would be nutso. You could basically walk around town and tell who is single, who isn't looking, and whether their friends give them one star or five.

Pretty soon the ultimate goal of humanity could be achieved whereby we don't have to talk or directly communicate with people to know everything about them.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Barclays, Steve Marino

Going to golf tournaments is sorta like attending a funeral. A large group of people gets together to be deathly quiet, with an occasional smattering of claps.

The PGA Tour took a local stop this week in Jersey for The Barclay's Golf tourney. While proximity was a key reason for making sure I made the trip (literally 20 minutes away) the other was Steve Marino. Steve was the leader after 3 rounds and he was also one co-captain of the UVA golf team (back in the day) along with one of my best friends. My buddy knew Steve well and his folks too
This created a cool moment where I basically walked the course with his parents. It's weird watching an event where a guy's successes or failures are in plain view of the whole world....and you're next to the people who made him.

Imagine if everyone in the world knew whether you were having a good or bad day at work. And then to top if off your parents knew right away and perhaps a TV crew asked your mom about how she felt about your day. Aside from some mom-chatter about the weather the whole thing could be quite nerve wracking.

While Steve didn't win (had a tough 15th hole) his parents seemed very sweet and made for another good sports moment in my books.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

note to self

If you're going to get a mohawk, make sure you don't have a bald spot first.

[to the Top of the Blog!]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bel Biv DeVoe, Blackberry's, and non-magnetically shielded speakers

If I ever played the game "Name That Tune" I would be a fucking champ. I've prided myself in being able to name songs after less than 2 or 3 seconds of hearing the opening. Sadly this skill has few tangible benefits...

So on a related note one of the annoying things about Blackberry's, IPhones, and things that generate electromagnetic waves in general is that they jack up speakers and causes this noisy interference (yes yes I know some speakers are magnetically shielded, but just shut up about that).

Well one of the odd things is that the interaction between blackberry's and the intercoms at work is that it the series of blips and noises is pretty constant. It literally makes the same beat , kinda like a machine gun staccato that sounds like "TICK, TICK-A-TICK, TICK-A-TICK, TICK, TICK"

Now for whatever reason after hearing this a few times the beat sounded reaaalllly familiar. So familar that it bothered me because I couldn't put my finger on it. And then it hit me.


The Blackberry-speaker interaction makes a beat that sounds EXACTLY like the beginning of Bel Biv DeVoe's epic "Poison." New Jack Swing is alive and well and it's been thriving on our marketing floor.

So on a quiet Tuesday morning someone's Blackberry went off and I proudly explained my hypothesis to my boss who thought I was crazy. Fast forward 30 seconds and through the magic of YouTube the desk was listening to Poison...

Let's just people changed their opinions of me quickly. From "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard" people said "You know Shakes, you're a real hero. An American Hero." Well they didn't really say that part, but you get the drift.

What was more amazing is that when you watch the video it's pretty clear that they don't make videos of that class and caliber anymore. The choreography, the puffy jackets, the images of guys dancing in front of a giant green screen which imposes images of a zoomed in girl walking (1:21). It makes you long for the days when you could watch videos on MTV. Or BET. Or anywhere.

[to the Top of the Blog!]