Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I have like a gazillion papers due, so I'll be cutting back on the blogging for the next couple weeks. So if I don't visit your blog in the near future, it is because the Man is making me write about Foucault and Structural Adjustment Policies. Damn the Man! If I ever see the Man, I'll be sure to give him a swift kick in the balls.

The good news is that once I'm done with papers I'll be on winter recess. And that means more time for blogging. Oh yeah, and some time for applications. But, I must finish these papers first.

Anyway, sorry about the downtime folks. And please pray that the Writing Fairy blesses me with David Mamet-like focus and Stephen King-like dedication.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Thanks to a love of film and an addiction to tv, I don't spend much time diving into music. This means I'm always a bit late in discovering a good song. Case in point, "Gone" by Jack Johnson. While many of you have probably already heard this song, I'd like to post the lyrics and a YouTube link to Jack Johnson performing the song in studio. You know, just in case someone isn't familiar with the song. It's simply a magical, mesmerizing tune.

Look at all those fancy clothes,
But these could keep us warm just like those.
And what about your soul? Is it cold?
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?

And cars and phones and diamond rings,
Bling, bling, because those are only removable things.
And what about your mind? Does it shine?
Are there things that concern you, more than your time?

Gone, going.
Gone, everything.
Gone, don’t give a damn.
Gone, be the birds, when they don’t wanna sing.
Gone, people, all awkward with their things,

Look at you, out to make a deal.
You try to be appealing, but you lose your appeal.
And what about those shoes you’re in today?
They’ll do no good, on the bridges you burnt along the way.

And you're willing to sell, anything?
Gone, with your head.
Leave your footprints,
And we’ll shame them with our words.
Gone, people, all careless and consumed, gone

Gone, gone, gone, everything.
Gone, don’t give a damn.
Gone, be the birds, when they don’t wanna sing.
Gone, people, all awkward with their things, Gone.

YouTube clip of Jack Johnson performing "Gone"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes, you do like basketball.

Below is a clip of a block in a recent NBA game. Two players are involved. One is 7'5" (Yao Ming). The other is 5'9" on a good day (Nate Robinson). Guess who blocks who ...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Day is a very special holiday. While we celebrate what we are thankful for and get fat on turkey, the real treasure of Thanksgiving is, let's face it, pumpkin pie. In fact, I believe the holiday's full title is: Thanksgiving: Rise of the Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin Pie is truly a magical dish. Just one bite will send waves of scrumtrulesence throughout your body. The Puritans actually left evil Britain because of pumpkin pie prohibition. That and they were allergic to dancing or something. So today, while you're enjoying the company of family and some turkey, make sure to celebrate Thanksgiving right and enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie. Your belly will thank you.

In other Turkey Day news, my Mom called some relatives in the UK and wished them a happy Thanksgiving. Little did she realize that they don't celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK. One reason being the Pilgrims and Puritans were basically trying to get away from the other British. Anyway, Happy Turkey Day to the Brits, and the Chinese, and the Kenyans, and the Vegans (Happy Tofurkey Day!), and to everyone else.

And I'll leave you all with this wonderful Turkey Day cartoon:

*Pumpkin Pie pic taken from cheesecake & dessert
**Cartoon taken from ("Happy Turkey Day!")

Monday, November 20, 2006

Links, Enjoy!

Before I begin I just want to say that if any of you have gmail and want to add me to your contact list my addy is And don't act like you don't want to add me. You know you want me to IM you at 2am and say, "Is there anything more wonderful than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Lightly toasted, natch."

Anyway, the other day Marse had a McSweeney's Internet Tendancy link on her gmail. I've known about McSweeney's Internet Tendancy for some time but I've been very lazy in consuming the works of literary genius that fill it. Anyway, I just want to link to three works and publicly affirm that I will be reading McSweeney's Internet Tendancy more often.




And there's also this:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

SMCWAPG vol. 2

This is the second installment of my award winning series, "Straight Male Celebs Who Are Probably Gay". Also, please be on the look out for spin-offs to the series: "Gay Male Celebs Who Are Probably Straight" and "Straight Female Celebs Who Are Probably Gay".

The subject of this edition is the good-looking and talented Hugh Jackman. Why is he most likely gay? First of all, the guy's name is Hugh Jackman. Now I am very open minded. So I do think a gay porn star could make the transition to Hollywood leading man. However I would think he wouldn't be able to use his porn star moniker. Clearly, "Hugh Jackman" has proven me wrong.

Second, he's done musical theater throughout his career. Even after becoming a major movie star. I can understand singing and dancing to make some money or to get recognition, but once you've become a bankable star there's no need to go back to musical theater. Unless you actually enjoy it. And let's face it, only gay men and women enjoy musical theater. It is proven scientific fact that if a heterosexual man experiences more than one hour of musical theater, his testicles begin to shrink. After 90 minutes, he will begin to spontaneously sing Barbra Streisand tunes.

Third, he's extremely buff for a lanky guy. Here's photographic evidence:You see I have a theory. Which is really an irrational opinion. Which is really fact, like all my crazy opinions. According to this irrational, factual theory, gay men have a "buff gene" which greatly encourages them to lift weights in comparison to straight men. And it allows gay men to build bigger muscles faster. This explains why Hugh Jackman has bulging biceps and I look like a coat hanger. Nothing else could explain this discrepancy. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Moving on. I hate to be mean but the final clue is that he's almost certainly married to his beard. Yes, she's only 8 years older, and if the genders were reversed we'd call Hugh Jackman old-fashioned for keeping the age difference within a decade. But while I'm sure she was a total babe when they met she seems to have let herself go a bit since then. Meanwhile Hugh certainly hasn't let himself go. Now I understand having children can alter a woman's body. But the Jackmans have adopted both their children. This leads me to conclude that everytime his "wife" has tried to bed him, Hugh runs out of the room screaming, "Kootie Contamination! I must be quarantined!" And other times screaming, "Oh my gawd! Did I just touch a booby? Hold me Rudolpho!"

Folks, the evidence is clear. Hugh Jackman, many a woman's fantasy, is actually just as interested in fashion and make-up and Prince and penises as they are.

Jackman bicep photo taken from All Hands On Deck.

PS - Please let me know if the part about Hugh Jackman being married to his beard was too mean. I was only trying to be funny but maybe calling his wife his beard is a bit over the line. For the record, I am clearly not trying to be mean but to be funny, which is harder than I expected. Anyway, if anyone thinks it isn't in good taste, please let me know. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


A couple weeks back Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize. He shared the prize with the Grameen Bank which he founded. Yunus is a Bangladeshi economist, he received his PhD from Vanderbilt. He won the prize for his work on stimulating development through microcredit. In 1976 he created the Grameen Bank in order to facilitate loans to Bangladesh's rural poor.

I'm not sure if you have ever used a loan but they can be very effective and helpful. They (can!) help us buy large necessities we need to increase our future income. Such as a car or a college tuition. In the same vein, the entrepreneurial poor of the third world need loans to make their businesses more competitive, to expand their businesses, or even to get their businesses off the ground. Unfortunately, these individuals do not have access to the same lending institutions we do. Because of their lower economic status they are deemed too risky for loans by commercial institutions. Usually their only option is a local, exploitative loanshark who will lend money with astronomical interest rates (upwards of 100% is normal).

However, the Grameen Bank and other microfinance institutions changed all this by engaging with the poor and working out an effective credit delivery system. This has produced substantial results in developing nations where jobs are scarce and self-employment is a robust option. This has also produced a real trickle down effect as the income created gets invested locally. And this is also a feminist achievement as the vast majority of loan recipients are women. Women who have been historically neglected and discriminated. Women who organize together to receive loans and then help others in similar situations.

Another wonderful microfinance institution is Accion International. They have been around for a long time and have established large microfinance networks in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and even the United States. In addition to micofinance services, Accion Intl also provides small business training.

If you're wondering what the loan repayment rate is for both these organizations, it is over 97%.

A new microfinance organization that is bringing a personal, intimate touch to all of this is Kiva. Let's say you have an extra 100, 50, or 25 dollars. And by extra I mean you don't need to save it. Making a charitable donation would be a great idea. But what if an entrepreneurial single mother from Africa knocked on your door and asked if she could borrow the 25 bucks from you? That she needed it to expand her small but robust peanut butter business. And that she would pay you back in a year. Over that year she would send you updates as to how the loan has helped her business. Also, she's recommended as a perfect loan candidate by a local non-profit that has yet to recommended an individual who hasn't paid back their loan. If you'd like to loan her the 25 bucks, now you can! Thanks to Kiva!

Kiva is a small microloan non-profit in San Francisco. I learned about them when they were featured in a FRONTLINE/World documentary. You can view the video online at the website. Simply put, Kiva connects borrowers and lenders through the internet. They work with local, community-based non-profits who seek out good loan candidates. A profile of the borrower is posted on the Kiva website. It lists the type of business, how much money is needed, where the borrower is located, who has partnered with the borrower (the local non-profit), over what time period will the loan be repaid, and other pertinent information. It also gives some personal information about the borrower and their business and explains what the money will be used for. Once a loan is filled, the borrower keeps a journal informing everyone of how they have utilized the loan and how their business is going.

What Kiva has done is simply spectacular. It connects people of different ages, locations, economic status, etc in a very personal way. And it is not charity. You are lending money to someone who will not only use it in a profound way, but will ultimately pay you back. Currently, thanks to the attention brought by the FRONTLINE/World doc, Kiva has limited lending to 25 dollars per person. I think it is a great start, especially since that is within my budget, lol. Anyway, I haven't signed up yet but I will very soon. When I loan my 25 bucks I will post about Kiva again. Anyway, I hope you found this post interesting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I love "LOST". It's a phenomenal, original, epic story. One with a large, richly diverse, and extraordinarily talented cast. This week "LOST" aired its midseason finale. The show will return in February and air continuous episodes with no repeats. The main reason for this is because "LOST" pulls pitiful ratings during a repeat. So ABC has decided to scrap repeats all together and use the timeslot to introduce a new series (something called "Daybreak" starring Taye Diggs). It's funny, but what makes "LOST" so entertaining, intense, and clever is ultimately limiting its broadcast viewership. "LOST" tells the epic journey of plane crash victims as they survive and explore a mysterious island. There are of course multiple dimensions to this complex story, from the conspiratorial syndicate called "the others" to the lush backstories that bring insight to the various main characters as well as uncover how the characters are ultimately connected. Suffice it to say, it is a long, continuous, detailed, sophisticated, delicate story. One that is slowly unraveled, albeit with plenty of action and suspense, over multiple seasons. So while it is not impossible for a viewer to follow along with the show in the middle of a season or without viewing the vast majority of episodes, it is rather difficult. This means new viewers are rather rare, especially midseason, because it takes a rather large investment to get caught up with the show. The vast, vast majority of "LOST" viewers are dedicated fans who have seen virtually every episode. Since these fans do not miss a new episode, they rarely watch repeats, which results in the very low ratings a repeat episode gets. There's another way in which the show's intricate, epic story limits viewership. Some of the dedicated viewers are going to lose their patience with the show and simply stop watching. So while "LOST" opened to such popularity and fanfare in its debut season, from here on out it is going to slowly dwindle in viewership because its complex story makes it difficult to attract new viewers and its long pace causes impatient viewers to give up regular viewing. Fortunately, I doubt this means the show will ever be canceled. It still is relatively popular and does quite well in DVD sales. Also, I've read the creators will complete the series in six seasons. The erosion of viewership by season 6 doesn't seem to be astronomical. And in any case, I'm sure they would complete the show on DVD.

For me, "LOST" is both an exceptional sci-fi thriller and an intense, touching human drama. I'd describe "HEROES" in the same way, but as a lighter version. Both shows, because of their sci-fi subject matter and themes, lend themselves, at times, to melodrama (you certainly see this a bit more in "HEROES"). But, to a certain degree, that's to be expected.

****NOTE: From here on out there will be spoilers. Please beware.

Anyway, I'm just curious as to which characters are people's favorites. And which backstorylines do people find most interesting. I'm a huge Jack fan. I was surprised to hear on Slowly Boiling Frog that many fans actually don't like Jack. Early in the show, for a short time, I leaned towards Locke. The actor who plays Locke was on "THE X-FILES" and I really enjoyed his "The Island will tell us the answers" spooky spirituality. But he got a little crazy and irrational rather fast. And I felt bad that I betrayed Jack --- never again! Lol. I also like how Sayid has progressed and his backstory was very interesting. I like Jack's backstory but I think it got a little weak, especially his obsession over his ex-wife. Perhaps I can't see Jack's faults. But I think that's because he doesn't have any, lol. Sun and Kim are a cute couple but, at first, I wasn't a big fan of their backstory because Sun's father was such a villain. But then it turned out Sun was cheating. And their backstory got a lot more interesting. And how buff is Kim? That guy is ripped. I don't know who is buffer, Kim or Kate. Out of the newer characters, I'm a fan of Desmond. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this mysterious character and his backstory, brother. Anyway, if you're also a fan of "LOST" who are your favorite characters and backstories?

And, finally, I have a major plot question. If Ben and The Others can get things from outside the island (like the World Series tape) AND they claim to have a way to get Jack off the island (and presumably Michael and Walt utilized this option to get off the island), then why wouldn't Ben use this option to get off the island and have his tumor removed?

PS - For those of you wondering who Jacob is, I think I know. After scanning a few forums, I believe Jacob is this guy --- who is also Patchy. The forum link leds to the website Lostpedia, which seems like a wonderful resource.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

To those who have served in the past. And to those who are currently serving. Thank you for your service and selflessness.

Um ...

Apparently there's going to be a Fantasy Soap League. I kid you not.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This Dawn Commercial

I have no idea if Dawn is really into the environment or if this is a PR stunt.

But now I want to bathe and clean a penguin.

And I know what you're thinking. That only girly girls and girly gays want to bathe and clean penguins. Clearly this is a stereotype and you should be ashamed of yourself. Furthermore, I think these penguins found themselves in some unhealthy chemicals so my wanting to bathe and clean them is purely motivated by environmental concerns. And ubermore, a lot of manly, virile (which, NOT coincidentally, is how my name is pronounced) men like to wash cute, cuddly animals. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the stories of Steve McQueen shampooing sea otters.

Speaking of sea otters and penguins, the super, amazing, brilliant Monterey Bay Aquarium has webcams of each (as well as other things). They're live from 7am to 7pm PST, but you can watch pre-recorded snippets in the off hours.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dems take House, Senate up for grabs

I must admit I didn't think the Senate would still be up for grabs but it is ... AND it actually looks as though the Dems might take it. At the time of this post, there are 2 Senate seats still undecided. The Dems do need to take both. But they are leading, ever so slightly, in each race.

The Dems did take control of the House, decidedly. Of course this doesn't mean everything is all of a sudden going to be roses. But, at the very least, we'll finally have some semblance of a check on the Bush Administration. Which, in case you're wondering, is a very, very, very, very good thing.

If the Dems do take the Senate, then a Dem led Legislative Branch will be a significant check on the Executive Branch. And, as importantly, the Dems will be able to push through some real, beneficial changes. Such as tax relief for the lower and middle classes, an energy policy that doesn't simply siphon money into the oil companies, a medicare prescription drug plan that puts the needs of retirees over drug companies, etc.

Clearly I hope the Dems take the Senate. I have a midterm tomorrow so I should get some rest. But I might stay up a bit to see how the Senate turns out. Lol.

Also, major props to Arizona (a red state!) for striking down a Gay Marriage Ban. Unfortunately it seems every other state that had a ban on the ballot has passed it. But also a few boos towards Arizona for passing some xenophobic anti-immigration measures.

In conclusion, the people have spoken for change (though maybe they should have come to their senses two years ago?!?! better late than never I guess). The Dems take control of the House and have a great shot at taking over the Senate. What's next? Obama in 2008!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Spot the Lie Meme - Updated

So the lie was numero 4. No one guessed it although Mishy was on the right track only to succumb to the sports related item. But I was very sneaky about number 4. Not only was it the blandest item, but I dropped in an X-Files reference which threw a few people off. See, I was very sneaky. Anyway, even the "truths" need a little explaining so here goes:

1. I never really made a living reading/reviewing scripts because I mostly did it for free. I was an intern (which means work for free) at the company and, like many interns, my primary duties were answering the phone (which rings 24-7, I still have nightmares) and reviewing the gazillion scripts that a company like that gets. And for those of you that think you'll get to read the next CASABLANCA or THE GODFATHER or BLADE RUNNER or A.I. or even THE MATRIX, ummm, think again. They say at the top companies 1 out of 100 scripts will get made. I think the ratio is probably higher. And in any case, the fact is, most of the scripts you read are crappy. Anyway, taking a page from Sage, I think in the winter recess I would like to post a bit about my time trying to get a job in the film development industry.

2. I love basketball and since college I've become a fairly decent player. But I'm no natural hoopster. I was so terrible as a young'n that I played 4 seasons of community-league basketball and scored a single basket. I can't believe I just admitted this.

3. There's some truthiness to this one. I went "part-time" at college for numerous reasons. And at the time I really got into poker and actually thought I could make some money from it. I was naive, foolish, and a bit too optimistic. You know the guy that sees something new and immediately goes, "I could do that. Hell, it ain't rocket science."? Well I'm that a-hole, lol. Well, it turns out poker is sort of like rocket science, in that it is quite complicated and it helps if you're good at math. For those who are curious, poker is actually a game of skill. It involves a good deal of luck, but in the end it is a game of strategy and skill. So for those who are amazing at it, the possibility of making a very good living is certainly there. But it is a very complicated profession that certainly is not easy or for the faint of heart, by any means. Anyway, maybe I can do a poker post in the future.

4. This one is the lie. Man, I was so sneaky. Sorry about that folks, I shouldn't have been that sneaky.

5. It is true folks. I do not drink alcohol nor partake in recreational drugs. I, however, have no qualms about other people doing either. This is just something I choose to do, for various reasons. I understand the 'no alcohol' portion seems a bit strange but I've never been curious about it. In high school I never had that urge (for lack of a better term) to see what it felt or tasted like. And I've not been curious about it ever since. Anyway, that't the best way I can explain it. Hopefully it doesn't sound so weird.

Remember to Vote!

Just a reminder to vote. Though I highly doubt anyone is going to read this post and go, "Thanks for the reminder, I almost forgot to vote!" But if that does happen, I've done my job. Lol.

Anyway, if you're curious about polls check out Slate's Election Scorecard. Though polls are often incorrect. If I remember correctly, polls in 2004 were leaning towards Kerry.

And now something unrelated, except that it is also from Slate. Many guys like to say that they sleep around because it's in their genes. Well here's something that says women may have comparable genes. And, clearly coincidentally, this behavior doesn't work out so well for the males.

I, personally, feel gay-marriage is an equal-rights issue and should be allowed immediately. As well as marriage benefits and protections for any couple who has been living together for some time, and perhaps may have a family together. So I clearly think these Ban Gay-Marriage Amendments, like Virginia's (why are you red states so intolerent sometimes?), are wrong (I would say immoral). However, these amendments also have legal implications on domestic violence laws, adoption laws, and other issues dealing with unmarried couples. Slate's Dahlia Lithwick has a wonderful article on the subject.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who saw "The Office"?

First, I'll post an explanation of the "Spot the Lie" meme on Tuesday. My guess is that everyone who wanted to vote has voted and waiting until Tuesday for the unfashionably late commenters is a bit harsh for those wanting to know the answer already. But I'm going to have it both ways. For those of you that haven't voted scroll down (NOW!, right this very minute!) to the next post and leave a comment. For those wondering which is the lie it is: #4 (highlight for answer)

I was very sneaky with my version of the meme. Sorry about that folks. Anyway, I'll explain my sneakiness on Tuesday.

Now, to the important stuff. Okay, last week's episode of "The Office" in which the employees went to a Diwali festival/party was beyond funny. Perhaps I found it a bit more hilarious in that I've been to several of these as a child. The episode was written by Mindy Kaling who plays Kelly on the show. I'm sure others had a hand in it, but it shows that Kaling is a skillful writer. She smoothly plays the East-Indian/Hindu culture card for smart laughs, and just as easily uses the new environment to accentuate the quirky idiosyncracies of the main cast --- the show's bread and butter source for its humor. Anyway, I admit it. It's fun to see a fellow Indo-American on TV and an episode that revolves around Diwali. And it doesn't hurt that the episode was BEYOND FUNNY! Seriously people, the episode might be worth two bucks. Maybe. But I'm cheap. Hello, I'm Indian!?!? Hah.

My favorite line from the ep:

Kelly's Mother (talking about Michael's date played by Nancy Walls): She's very fair.

Michael: Yes, she's very fair and kind.

For those who do not see it, this is a clever semi-gibe at the preference of lighter (fairer) skin by many developing nations. India is no different.

Anyway, now I'm going to turn this into a Mindy Kaling link post:
IMDb profile page
TVSquad profile
TVSquad interview
Go Fug Yourself fashion critique
Kaling sells soroity-comedy script

PS - On the Pam and Jim issue. Um, does anyone else feel bad for Roy? I mean he totally took Pam for granted and was a bad boyfriend/fiance. But I think he's a changed man. He got into shape and overtly misses and pines for Pam. I'm sorry but part of me thinks they can work it out, lol. Plus, clearly, Jim's coworker is going to take advantage of Jim's drunken state. I have to hand it to the writers. It's not easy to keep a semi-believeable and funny plot in which Jim and Pam remain apart for very long but they certainly seem to be doing it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Spot the Lie Meme

I'm not a big meme blogger but this one (which the lovely Princess in Galoshes tagged me with) is actually pretty fun and interesting. So here's the gist of it. Below will be 5 biographical statements, only 1 of them will be a lie. You'll have to guess which statement is the lie.

Now I'm a rather plain, boring guy so my version of the meme will be a bit vanilla. That's why I hope you check out others who have been tagged. AND. Rather than tag 5 bloggers I think everyone who comments should do the meme on their blog (as long as they have the time for it). Anyway here goes, guess which one is the lie:

1. I used to read scripts for Morgan Freeman's film development company.
2. My favorite sport (to play and watch) is basketball; I'm a major hoop-head. However, from age 9 to 12 I played in an open, community-based league and scored a total of 1 basket. That's 1 basket in 4 seasons of play.
3. Two years ago I went "part-time" at college and decided I would make a living playing poker.
4. I've been Han Solo, a Vulcan, and Agent Mulder for Halloween.
5. I have, to the best of my knowledge, never had an alcoholic beverage nor smoked tobacco, hash, weed, etc.