Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bievenue a Montreal !!!

I hate Montreal.

People often ask me, "What is a great moment of tragedy in your life Shakes?

Well I've had loved ones pass, I watched my dog get hit by a car in front of me, I once did so-so on my Physics 131 Final in college.

But all those things didn't change me as much as the events which followed 4 years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall...

...When I was 15 the Kings lost to the Montreal Canadians in the Stanley Cup Finals. 4 games to 1. It broke my heart, especially since 3 of the games went to OT (which the Kings lost all of them).

Fast forward 16 years and I've decided to fly to Montreal to watch my beloved Kings play the Canadians with my dad. Quite a trip. And there we were this afternoon ...the Kings were up 3-2 with three minutes remaining... and because of shitty refereering (both refs were from Montreal!)...the Habs scored twice and the Kings lost 3-4

And so now I'm here until tomorrow and today's high of 7 degrees Fahrenheit feels that much colder.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Desis being desi: The Cincinnati edition

There is nothing more disheartening than watching every flight that could take you home get cancelled before your eyes. It's sorta like Indiana Jones is reaching out to save you from falling off a cliff and while you have a hold of his fingers you caaaan't quiiiiite hooooiiiist yourself back up....leaving you to fall many miles below like the Road Runner.

That being said the Continental people were quite at finding me a spot on a 5pm Delta flight . Bad weather cancellations are funny because sometimes you can actually get home earlier than you were supposed to as flights from the morning have gotten delayed enough for you to jump aboard.

Poetic waxings aside it is this environment of limited supply, fortuitous luck in getting a seat, and the general desire of wanting to get out of Dodge which brings us to our Indian moment of the day. An elderly man who had been miraculously re-booked from our delayed/canceled 6pm Conti flight to the 5pm Delta had a complaint.

While others were scrambling to get seats he looked the ticket lady straight in the eye and said "Um, yes HELLO. Yes. Yooou had me seated in 8D, "D" as in "dog" and what I WANT is to be seated IN the 4C."

Uhh. Are you serious? Dude you should just count your lucky stars and be on your merry way. Now to be fair what the guy was getting at is that he was originally booked on first class and he wanted to remain that way on the Delta. When the lady simply said "we want to get you on the earliest flight" it didn't really seem to resonate with him. Getting to New York 24 hours later but in first class was preferrable to getting home tonight. At some point, in the words of my friend Nate, "at some point you just say, what the fuck?"

Way to go desi, you've done us proud. Luckily your stupidity does not take you to #1 on today's list. You've been outdone by the asshole who I spotted in the Cincinnati airport smoking lounge....and had his kid on his lap. Good work crackfuck.

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Sayonara plans of going to Columbus

One thing which people themselves when they wake up in the morning is "How am I going to get to Columbus?" It's a common question with so many different possible answers. I think it was Stalin who was first asked this question. His answer of course was to take a cold city and rename it Stalingrad. While it isn't a constructive answer, it's one nonetheless.

But the correct answer is really "Why am I trying to go there in blizzard conditions?"

And so here I am. Still, the one that you love. While I made it to Cinci okay, the rest of my traveling crew did not (malfunction of the CD player which plays the pre-flight evacuation monologue led to a 30 minute "mechanical delay" ultimately led to the flight getting canceled because of progressively worse weather....terribly funny, yet horribly tragic).

So I'm stuck in Cinci with the timeless question of whether I push on to make the travel schedule or retreat. Sometimes in life you can have an honorable retreat. This was one of those times. America did it in Vietnam, and the Brits did it in India.

So my new question is if my flight back to NY will even leave on time....or ever. But that's a high quality prob, it's better than contemplating a 5 hour drive to Columbus.

Don't you ever wonder sometimes why you bother reading this blog?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hello Cincinnati !!!

And so there I was, sitting at work at 5pm watching as all the flights to Cincinnati tomorrow morning were getting canceled one-by-one. The lovely combo of shitty weather in both New York and Cinci made this possible. Huzzah.

So with that I ran home (not literally, but I walked with strong intent), packed, and ran out to make the flight tonight.

While takeoff and the plane ride were remarkably comfortable two things struck me:

1. Regional jets do not inspire safety with me. If you ever wanted to wonder what it's like to be in a tin can with wings, a regional jet (or "RJ" for those who in the know) is like a tin can, only less secure.

2. Flying in the middle of a snow storm in a RJ is even less confidence inspiring. As the plane began its decent below the clouds it seemed cool to see the snow whipping by when all of a sudden I was like "Holy fuck! we have no Hudson around here!"

Well I didn't really curse aloud but you get the pic...And so here I am. We landed on a pure ice which I didn't think was possible. Frankly it was a little scary. Upon landing the ground staff greeted us with "Wow you guys are real lucky! They nearly canceled your flight!"

Which is sorta like saying "Well between the choices of common sense and getting 20 people to Ohio, we chose the latter!"

Well, I made it. Here I am. The one that you love.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

broken ribs, the doctor's office, & Nerds

Going to the doctor's office is a lot like going to the missing baggage office at the airport. People only go when there's something wrong and generally speaking it's a miserable experience. You don't really go to the doc's office to state that everything is just peachy with your body.

I mean I guess you could but you'd have to have some serious time management/allocation problems.

The part which really makes waiting nearly 2hrs past your scheduled time worthwhile is seeing all the other characters in the waiting room. It's during times like this that I realize that if I were to ever go on trial, a trial of my supposed peers would be a scary thought indeed.

It's like nutso city in a waiting room. Random people yelling, lots of foreign-speak, and there's always the old person in the corner who looks like they're dying.

That's real good for morale.

When I finally made it to my servant doctor he proclaimed I had broken a bone. So there we have it. At the new age of 31, I have suffered my first broken bone.

At this point he figured why stop there and suggested that I try a new diet based on my high blood pressure. Great. Taking a look at the thing was ridiculous. There idea of the amout of fruit I should eat for lunch surpassed my entire fruit intake over the past 3 decades.

There was no way this thing was gonna work and so I treated myself to a dinner full of alternative fruits. Namely Cherry and Watermelon Nerds.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

r-h-e-t-o-r-i-c: the 8 letter word

One of the words I truly hate is "rhetoric". I hate reading newpaper reviews of speeches and reading words "oh the speech was full of patriotic rhetoric....".

"Rhetoric" is a cheap way to dismiss any speech, statement or comment. If words can really change the way people think or the ideas they hold, then the word "rhetoric" shouldn't be used. Too often the term "rhetoric" is used in a context that makes it seem synonymous with "bull-shitting."

While technically that's an appropriate use of the word "rhetoric" you can see how it changes your view of what was said. It's almost like said "Yeah, he just said a bunch of words..."

Moreover too often any speech which aims at being poetic or moving is dismissed as being rhetoric. That's what upsets me with people who say Obie is just a good speaker. By the same token you could say that Reagan and JFK just spewed rhetoric. You could claim that MLK's "I Have a Dream Speech" was a fine piece of rhetoric.

Surely you wouldn't say that. The were speeches that stood for something. I mean do you think FDR saying our only fear is fear itself is rhetoric? People are moved by that line and yet if you really think about it you sorta wonder "what the hell is he talking about?" He's not providing a clear course of action for people....and yet that's okay. He's not held to the standard that a modern speaker would be held to.

Don't get me wrong, some speeches are just a load of crap. I've seen high school debate, I've heard more than my share of rhetoric. But to simply classify any speech as being rhetoric is a lazy almost derogatory analysis at best.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama, U2, & Get On Your Boots

My thought of the day:

Obie's inauguration speech is sorta like the new U2 single "Get On Your Boots. At first listen I was like "hmm, well this is something, I think it's okay." But then after listening to it 3 times I was able to pick up a lot more detail, understand why he said things in a certain way, and fully appreciate what was done.

Was it the greatest speech/song that either of them have done. Nope.

But it's much better than you realize at first.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Jay-Z + Radiohead = Jaydiohead

A lot of people come up to me and say "Shakes, I'm cool and hip, but how can I increase my street cred to a level that approximates half of yours?" Well, there there.

I can't turn water into wine but I can make Kool Aid.

Go to for the mash-up album by Minty Fresh Beats that takes Jay-Z's Black Album lyrics (think Grey Album) with Radiohead samples from the last few albums.

Can you dig it?

Top choices:
  • Wrong Prayer
  • No Karma
  • Dirt Off Your Android
  • Fall In Step
There feel better about yourself. Now go on. Dust your shoulder off.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sexy Boots...

...and so the new U2 single "Get On Your Boots" is out which you can listen to through right HERE.
The future needs a big kiss
Winds blows with a twist
Never seen a moon like this
Can you see it too?

Night is falling everywhere
Rockets at the fun fair
Satan loves a bomb scare
But he won’t scare you

Hey, sexy boots
Get on your boots, yeah

You free me from the dark dream
Candy floss ice cream
All our kids are screaming
But the ghosts aren’t real

Here’s where we gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity
If joy is real

You don’t know how beautiful
You don’t know how beautiful you are
You don’t know, and you don’t get it, do you?
You don’t know how beautiful you are

That’s someone’s stuff they’re blowing up
We’re into growing up
Women of the future
Hold the big revelations

I got a submarine
You got gasoline
I don’t want to talk about wars between nations

Not right now

Hey sexy boots...
Get on your boots, yeah
Not right now
Bossy boots

You don’t know how beautiful
You don’t know how beautiful you are
You don’t know, and you don’t get it, do you?
You don’t know how beautiful you are

Hey sexy boots
I don’t want to talk about the wars between the nations
Sexy boots, yeah

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Meet me in the sound

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, now
God, I’m going down
I don’t wanna drown now
Meet me in the sound

Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Let me in the sound, sound
Meet me in the sound

Get on your boots
Get on your boots
Get on your boots
Yeah hey hey
On my first listen I paused a little. Second time I felt it was getting better and started noticing all the weird little sounds. Third listen I was sold.

It sounds like Vertigo v2.0 and yet is completely different, if that makes any sense... has elements of "Discotheque" (dirty guitar that cuts through the vocals), the vibe of "Fast Cars," and a touch of "Hold Me, Thrill Me"

The song sounds like a going-out song, of someone getting ready to go out. Hence they're getting on their sexy boots...

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

history will happen in approximately 108 hours

Next week is going to be the greatest week in the history of 2009. Allow me to do the rundown:
Sunday: U2 performs on the inauguration concert (on HBO)
Monday: MLK Day... bank holiday! AND new U2 single released
Tuesday: O-Day
Wednesday: el bday
Tuesday's events are kinda interesting. Obama has had to prepare to his the ground running by picking his cabinet , formulate his economic plan, and figure out political's sorta easy to forget that he's not the President yet. It almost seems like we've already accepted that he's first black US President before anything has happened

History is a funny thing. Very rarely do you know it's going to happen in advance. Often times you don't realize it until it's happening, and more often than not you don't realize it's historic until after the fact. That's what makes Tuesday amazing. You can almost set your clock to history being made.

Imagine that.

When could this happen again in your life? History being made that you knew was happening beforehand? I mean maybe it would be something to do with Space, like a man on Mars or something, but you gotta imagine that it's something which ain't gonna happen more than 2 or 3 times in your life.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

U2 to perform at the Obama Inaugural Concert, Sunday, 7-9pm EST (HBO)

It's going to be a good year indeed. A new U2 single, album, and tour are on its way.
Even better is that they'll be performing this Sunday in DC according to press release just now:
U2 join a stellar line up of artists at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington this Sunday for 'We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration'. Don't miss it. It's open to the public and aired on HBO.

Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, Usher, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen,, and Stevie Wonder are among the acts performing while Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington are among those reading historical passages.

'We Are One:The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial' is the opening celebration for the 56th Presidential Inaugural, presented by HBO this Sunday, January 18 (7:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT).

This is my guess/wish, that they play "Pride" with re-worked lyrics (e.g. "early morning Jan 20th an inauguration in the DC sky....") along with "City of Blinding Lights" which Obama played a ton before his speeches during the campaign.

Talk amongst yourselves.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Newsflash: A.R. Rahman is short

Okay let's be clear here, Puffy isn't very tall. But A.R. Rahman comes up to his nose. I mean sure you won a Golden Globe A.R. but it's sad that you look up to Puffy. Literally.

Please note that the red bars above the heads have been added....they don't always hover over them.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Random notes

- Today, at 8:48pm, the butter chicken I was warming in my microwave exploded. We salute you chicken makhani. We salute you.

- Yesterday in my floor hockey goaltending debut I think I pulled my back. I thought I was doing fine healthwise when I woke up this morning....then I tried to walk out of my bed and my legs weren't under me. That is usually a pretty good rule of thumb that something is horribly awry. That and of course voluntarily deciding to spend your Sunday nights with guys shooting pucks at your face.

- How good is "Charlie Wilson's War"?

- I officially have no interest in any of the teams left in the NFL Playoffs

- How about "Slumdog Millionaire" at the Golden Globes....but did anyone notice how excited Anil Kapoor was? It was a little scary. Look at the picture below:

Settle down Anil. Settle down.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hindi...err Telegu... err I mean Tamili is easier to understand than you may think!

It really sounds quite similar to English, take a typical Indian movie for example and see if you can translate it as good as the subtitles

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Monday, January 5, 2009

happy new years... to figure out what to write about for another year