27 September, 2006


The above "Shazam!" is deceptive, actually. I fully intend to mosey back into blooging at a reasonable pace. I apologize for my laxity. The only reason I haven't been bulging is --

Hey! Look! Over there! What's that?
[ Points to rear of audience. Runs away. ]

Err. I'm back. Anyway, in this brief hiatus, I accomplished the following:
I started doing capoeira seriously again. I've been taking it easy the past few months, but that's really quite dumb. There's so much to learn, and I am now in my twenty-eighth year, so I had best get cracking. Also, there's really no point in wasting time, since that time is, err, wasted.

I also turned twenty-seven, as you may have guessed. I didn't really celebrate; I never do. My birthday methodology consists of (a) not telling anyone, (b) hoping they'll somehow figure it out anyway, and (c) waiting around increasingly despondently for someone to call me up and surprise me with a "Happy Birthday, Saurabh!", thus providing me with enough validation to exist for another year. Thanks to all of you who did wish me; my lack of appreciation was only apparent and not actual.

I took this opportunity to get totally hammered. Four shots of gin, Hendrick's, straight up, did it for me, since I weigh less than insouciance and had eaten precisely nothing that day. I did reasonably well, despite that - I think my gaze was only slightly unfocused when I said good night to the attractive female server on leaving the bar.

Ah - I started a diet to cure my insouciance weightlessness. It more or less involves me eating a shitload more. I'm skeptical of this working. (See above note about capoeira, for example - I can burn through calories like Sherman in Georgia.)

I went to New Jersey for my cousin's wedding. It was a Christian ceremony, which I've never attended before. In fact, I think I've only been to Hindu weddings to date.* Somewhat instructive. It was an Episcopalian (Anglican) church, which means it's exactly like a Catholic church, complete with no Bibles in the pews and the rite of the Eucharist, plus silly-looking gowns for the priest deacon. Ah - the major difference being that the deacon was a woman. Her sermon was interestingly constructed, in that it was coherent and engaging almost exactly in the inverse of when she was talking about God.

The highlight of that particular excursion was, of course, the reception, where I was officially designated as "guy who must light up the dance floor", everyone else apparently being either (a) white or (b) Indian uncles/aunties, and therefore unable to dance. This turned out to be not quite true - my sister-in-law loves to dance and can hold her own, and many people were at least committed, if not able. But I'm proud to say I definitely knocked that one out of the park, at least for songs that had desi beats to them, when I could trot out a pretty substantial battery of bhangra moves. I was more or less useless on the seventies disco-esque stuff and the like. How do you dance to that, anyway?

Well, there it stands. What have y'all been up to?

* This is not as bad as my roommate, who is twenty-two-ish, and has not been to a SINGLE wedding, to date.

Plus Eddie Izzard has made it impossible to take any mention of the Holy Ghost seriously, per his bit:
GOD: What's the Holy Ghost doing these days?

JESUS: Oh, he's useless, Dad. Goes around with a sheet over his head.

HOLY GHOST: [ spookily ] Holy Ghost! Holy Ghooost!

GOD: Holy Ghost, this is not an episode of Scooby Doo.

15 September, 2006

Prepare y'self, scurrilous scallywag!

Tuesday the 19th of September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The preceding link has some good starting points, but you might want to consult this site for a better guide that includes some nautical terminology as well. A personal favorite innovation of mine, introduced to me by MIT's Journal of Humor, "Voodoo"*, is the exclamation "Goo!". As in:
Cap'n Juggleharness: Goo! Me peg-leg's caught in this cursed rigging! Don't raise the yardarm
on the mizzen-mast, ye scurvy lubbers!
[ Yardarm is unfortunately raised anyway, taking the good Cap'n with it.]
Cap'n Juggleharness: Waughh!!

Bone up on your lingo. You wouldn't want to be caught with your pantaloons down 'round your ankles.

* In the "Taupebeard" short play from this issue.

Violence! Violence!

I read Chris Hitchen's 9/11 editorial in the WSJ last night. I realize Hitchens jumped the shark quite a while back, and one really should give very short shrift to everything on the Journal's editorial page, but I'm continually astounded that people can openly espouse doctrines that should, at least ostensibly, be anathema these days. Here's his conclusion:
The second point makes me queasy, but cannot be ducked. "We"--and our allies--simply have to become more ruthless and more experienced. An unspoken advantage of the current awful strife in Iraq and Afghanistan is that it is training tens of thousands of our young officers and soldiers to fight on the worst imaginable terrain, and gradually to learn how to confront, infiltrate, "turn," isolate and kill the worst imaginable enemy. These are faculties that we shall be needing in the future.
This is what happens when you stay up late nights watching "Commando" and "Rambo, First Blood: Part Two" on FX.

Body counts

Since the Segway was introduced, its makers have been reticent about sales figures. So reticent, that some have speculated they may have been embarrased into silence.* After all, before the grand rollout on national TV, the company built a New Hampshire factory scaled to produce almost a half-million of the devices a year.

Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission ordered a recall of every Segway in the country for a software fix. They had the bad taste to say how many specimens were affected: "about 23,500."

Let's see. According to some people on the Internets, annual global bicycle production is about 100 million units. Since a year is about 8,766 hours, that works out to about about 11,400 bikes per hour which means that every two hours, the world builds as many new bikes as Segway has built scooters in almost five years.

Hooray bikes! Boo, $100 million techno fix for a nonexistent problem!

* Segway's reticence reminds me of this guy talking about the membership of his group which appears likely to stop San Francisco's bike plan. He won't reveal the number except to say it's "more than one."

Speaking of which, when will these guys start spending their billions purifying drinking water for the children of Mexico instead of filling Mexico's aquifers with rocket fuel for the sake of their phallic overcompensation complexes?

12 September, 2006

I, bridegroom.

Recently I proposed marriage to one Mist 1, recent commenter 'round these parts and proprietress of a fine blurng; I urge you to appreciate her scintillating wit by perusing her archives. Post-haste!

I'm happy to report that she has proven amenable to my proposal.

Of course, this means putting an end to my bachelor lifestyle, e.g., moving out of my parents' basement. Fortunately I'm ahead of the game in that department by at least several weeks. I'll also probably have to start folding my laundry and regularly trimming my toe-nails. Most importantly, however, Western societies apparently require the purchase of some sort of gem-encrusted band as a symbol of my ownership.* In light of my impending graduation, I therefore require your assistance in securing employment. To help you out, here's a list of my skills and finer qualities:

  • I can sew.
  • I own my own copy of Tim Burton's "Batman" (1990) and can quote most of it if need be.
  • I can bend over backwards and touch the ground with both hands from a standing position.
  • I can eat more than anyone I know.
  • I know kung fu.
  • I can compose haiku.
I'm sure all of these will be of great utility in an office environment.

The next question is, how should I break this to my parents, who I'm fairly sure have already lined me up with a nice girl from a Kayastha family living in Kanpur.

* Some of you may be wondering how I might reconcile this with my rabid dislike for the diamond industry, but you've obviously never been in love.

Fuzzy gray mammal
Trod where others dared not go.
What's that strange red stain?

The curtain rises...

... revealing a man. Sometimes only a shell of a man; sometimes a maelstrom of light and potential that would be diminished by calling it a man. Today, he might as well be called a horse, for all he cares. Let the world do as it wills for the next eight hours - that's the length of time required for his long, relieved exhalation.

I think I'm going to graduate after all.

11 September, 2006

Republicans win

Forget terrorism, the Nov. 7 election will be decided on gas prices. Which look like they are headed in one direction. $40 a barrel? Really?

I am happy to see the U.S. opening to talks with Iran. I just wish it didn't mean that we'd get another two years of this. Especially after hearing that a huge majority of Americans want the White House investigated to find out what the heck they've been doing for the past 6 years.

06 September, 2006

What evil lies in the secret chamber of my browser cache?

Results 1 - 10 of about 19,400 for google-stalking. (0.17 seconds)
Sometimes you get an e-mail from a person you don't know. Sometimes you live in an age where it is possible to find out arbitrary levels of detail about arbitrary people. Sometimes you do this on a whim. No one knows you did this. The only evidence it leaves behind is a trace in your cache and an oily feeling on the inside of your chest cavity. Are you a sleaze? Or is this harmless fun?

04 September, 2006

Tabloid issue

Al-Qaeda's #2 man captured again

"We're not sure how he keeps escaping," says dumbfounded CIA.
Hamed Farid al-Saeedi has reportedly been whisked away to Jordan for immediate torturing. "We're pretty sure that we can get Mr. al-Saeedi to tell us what a good election strategy for November is," said Bush press secretary Tony Snow. "At least, I hope so, because I'm all out of ideas."

A picture of Apple's new ultra-thin iPod.
Apple announces new 'iPod Cantor Dust'
The new addition to Apple's iPod lineup, announced at a special news conference this Friday, has a total width of 0 nm. "This is a revolutionary step forward in handheld technology," said industry analyst Jürgen Kofiphilter. "Samsung thinks they're hot shit with their 6.9mm thin phone and their super-tiny E888, but the new iPod makes their electronics look like clunky behemoths!" The Cantor Dust iPod, which retails for $299, has a capacity dimension of 1.26 and can store an infinite number of songs of zero byte size. Although most Apple enthusiasts have greeted it with great exhuberance, a few reviewers have taken a more reserved tone. "I'd tell you what I thought of it, but since the user interface has fractal geometry I can't actually interact with it," Gizmotron magazine columnist Surinder Attapamathak groused. "Plus I suspect I may have sat on it on the way home from the Apple Store." iPod fans will be able to purchase the new device in September in time for the new school year.

Grocery stores stock up in preparation for the blitz.
Giant comet heads towards Earth! Maruchan stock soars
Federal disaster relief agencies said they would get around to preparing assistance packages "eventually". In the meanwhile, families are encouraged to duct tape their own windows and dig their own bunkers. A number of efforts are underway to create a system of underground tunnels connecting homes, grocery stores and popular drinking establishments, but lack of federal grants has stymied progress. Five-year-old ditch engineer Sammy Krueger said, "My brother and I dug almost four feet down yesterday in my backyard, but then it started to smell funny so we stopped."

01 September, 2006

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