Friday, October 27, 2006

Feed might do weird things

Don't mind me, I'm categorizing my older posts. In the process, my feeds will dredge them up from the ocean floor and tag them as new.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sal & Carvao

Now would be a good time for me to talk about Sal & Carvao because it's that special period right before Thanksgiving and Christmas when people make their travel plans and this is where I would like you to go this holiday season. Sal & Carvao is a Brazilian "churrascaria", or what Americans would call a "steakhouse". It is a Chicago-based purveyor of gastronomical delights. The Sal stands for salt, Carvao stands for charcoal and the "&" stands for "&cute Indigestion". It's funny how the Brazilian language works. Or Portuguese, if you are one of those insufferable pricks who immediately began scribbling a comment criticizing my knowledge of world geography.

As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you observe is a glass enclosure with a real fire burning inside and a slab of unidentifiable meat dangling over it and melting fat falling onto the flames. About the ambience, yes, the place is very ambient. It is also very Brazilian with elongated pieces of Brazil hanging off the walls and fuck it, I have no clue about the ambience of the place. I did not notice my surroundings. I was there for the food. And that was all I was interested in.

This is how it works. First you go to the salad bar and load up with the greens. You may grab unlimited amounts of the stuff. A word of advice, do not do that. You will realize why as the story progresses. After you have raided the salad bar, it is time for the main course. The main course consists of meat and lots of meat. Fifteen different types of meat, to be exact. Just like the salad bar, one's consumption of the stuff is limited merely by one's willpower and strength of character.

Now I realize that there are vegetarians among you who, at this very moment, are waving your lettuces and turnip greens at me and going hello gawker, I am not interested in listening to your stories about all this meat nonsense. Please, leaf eater, I hate to do this, but just for today, why don't you point your mouse at the "next blog" button in the top left corner, 'cause I've got to get this off my chest. But hey, come back tomorrow. I will be done with my meat story by then.

But returning to the scene unfolding back in the churrascaria, this is what happens during the main course : Servers come around to your table at regular intervals and ask you whether you wish to partake of the slab of meat that happens to be present on their person at that particular moment. If you reply in the affirmative, they slice off a portion onto your plate. Then they move on and more servers arrive to take their place, carrying even more meat of a different variety.

And oh, what variety. Flank steak. Filet Mignon. Pork tenderloin. Monk fish. Not lungfish, by the way, and I am talking to you, jackass colleague, who kept yelling at the lungfish guy to come over. Chicken legs. Garlic Steak. Beef Ribs. Sirloin. Rump Steak. Sausage. Lamb chops. Baby back ribs. Salmon. I can't even fucking remember what the remaining two cuts were. All hot juicy, flavorful and all you can fucking eat, sorry Africa. Actually, the entire thing makes you feel like you're in the middle of a Roman orgy without all the nudity.

For every load of meat, the meat bearer simultaneously holds four different types of meat impaled on four different skewers depending on their doneness : rare, medium rare, medium and well done. You have to let the guy know how well you like your meat done and he slices from the correct skewer. Now for the million dollar question, when do you stop eating, if ever? Well, theoretically, you could eat all evening and through the night and into next morning because you are allowed to do that. But after a given point, the body begins to exhibit symptoms of what they call meat poisoning, also known in German as Fleischvergiftung, yeah I know, it seems incredible that such a thing actually exists, the most common symptom being a noticeable feeling of stomach fullness.

That is when you pick up the card resting on the table by your side, oh I forgot to tell you about the card, it is round and red on one side and green on the other, and when it rests green side up, servers continue to serve you meat, but once you are done eating either to take a bathroom break or to swallow the meat your mouth is already full of, you turn it and let it rest with the red side up. That is when the servers stop serving you. But please do not fool around with the card, yes obviously I thought it would be a good idea to, you know, keep it green and wait for the server to arrive and then turn it red just as he was about to open his mouth. Been there, done that, not funny.

A word of warning, though. Be prepared for a shock when they present you with the check. A 100 dollars apiece. Yes, now it makes sense, all that unlimited meat. Luckily when we entered the place we were not aware of the monetary implications involved and only came to know about them after the devouring had ended. I do not anticipate gaining access to the company credit card anytime in the near future. Or even the more distant future for that matter, the one where we will all be mere heads enclosed in hemispherical glass cases and supported by robotic spider bodies.

But hey, go there at least once during this lifetime if you are in Chicago. Downtown Chicago. I don't know exactly where, ask the goddamn Iraqi cab driver but please don't ask him how the food is because trust me, he hasn't eaten there and if you were fiscally responsible, neither would you. But don't listen to me, go there anyways.

Can't remember

I thought of a great idea for a blog post yesterday as I was drifting off to sleep. Problem is I can't remember what the fuck it was. All I know it was very funny and kind of a clever observation on life. I tried to recall it all day but failed. I will try some more before giving up. I would hate to deprive the world of such a humorous post.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A request for sitemeter

Dear Sitemeter,

Please take this ad off your website. It is creeping me out.

Thank you. That is all.

I am glad I am not wearing Microsoft pants

Although I am now a Firefox user, yesterday I updated my Internet Explorer to version 7.0, just to check it out and I thought it was pretty cool, at least those parts whose coolness I managed to explore within the short time I had dedicated to the exploration. The one new functionality that I was impressed with was the new "clear type" feature which is installed by default and makes every webpage look unclear.

The very first thing that happens during the installation of IE 7.0 is that the installation program looks for internet updates to prevent malicious violation of browser security. Get it? The hacking situation has gotten so bad that Microsoft needs to install security patches for its products even before installing the product itself. It made me empathize with Microsoft because I can now imagine the sheer frustration involved in running a business in a world containing thousands of people who've made it their life's mission to ruin that business by pointing out, abusing and exploiting the various shortcomings of the product.

And then as I was installing the browser, it got me thinking that it is probably a good thing that Microsoft only writes software and does not have a monopoly in industries that supply more basic goods and services, for example, it is to mankind's benefit that Microsoft does not dabble in transportation or food processing or textiles because boy, with all the ill-will directed towards that company, it would be a disaster for people who would be utilizing those goods and services.

Imagine, if Microsoft were to be in the airline business, it would have to fight a constant battle with people trying to sabotage its planes by letting the air out of their tires or pouring sugar in the fuel tank or stealing the landing gear or someone might even impersonate the pilot and after taking off, jump out in a parachute yelling "Microsoft sucks, Fly Unix". It would be a serious inconvenience to air travelers to deal with this crap everytime they fly Microsoft Air.

And it would be even worse if Microsoft were to be the only garment supplier of note in the world. You would be walking down the street, wearing your Microsoft apparel and suddenly a Mac fan would spray your pants with paint, yelling, " Ha Microsoft pants have no defense against paint." Then, Microsoft would release a paint resistant trouser coating and you would have to sit naked inside your apartment while you wait for it to arrive by Microsoft Mail.

And even after installing the anti-paint defense, there would always be that crazed genius who would invent goggles to see through Microsoft trousers. And after you were to install the lead-based non-see-through trouser patch supplied by Microsoft, your continued paranoia would make you suspicious of anyone on the street wearing glasses and force you to hold a hand over your crotch everytime you go out.

And it just wouldn't stop. People would continue to try and highlight the unreliability of Microsoft apparel, they would invent magnets to suck out the buttons off your Microsoft trousers so that you would suddenly find yourself on the subway with your pants around your ankles and then someone else would shoot a gun at you in order to prove that Microsoft trousers aren't bullet proof and then Apple Apparel would broadcast commercials asking consumers to switch to Applewear using the selling point that less people shoot guns at their clothes than Microsoft's.

And then, I finished installing IE 7.0. Now I wait for the attacks to begin.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My proudest moment since high school

Because I have won very few laurels ever since my high school days when winning laurels used to be relatively easy, this week has a special place in my heart. It was this time last year that society recognized my contributions to the cause of civilization by publicly felicitating me. This is what happened.

I had traveled to New Hampshire to train a client in the use of my company's software and as I drove into the Holiday Inn at Concord, NH, I was looking forward to dropping into my bed (after carrying out the mandatory ultra-violet radiation check for semen stains in the room, of course). But when I walked up to the registration desk, gave them my name and told them I had a reservation, I drew a blank. There was no room in my name. And they said that they were full.

I tried to reason with them. I showed them the print-out of the reservation confirmation my company had given me. I showed them my driving license. I removed my glasses in order to validate the brownness of my eyes. Indeed, if they hadn't threatened to call the police, I would even have undressed in order to show them my birthmark. All of this was, however, to no avail.

As I picked up my bags and began to walk out, I spotted a sign near the registration counter. This sign, lavishly decorated, inscribed in a bold font and serenaded by a covey of stingily clad virgins playing the lute said, "Holiday Inn welcomes the guest of the day : xxxxxxxxxx". And there, for all to celebrate and envy, was my name. Oh yes, I was famous. Yet homeless. Walking back to the counter, I pointed to the sign and said, "That is me. I am your guest of the day. This is no way to treat your guest of the day."

Then the confused shuffling of papers began and soon it turned out that I did indeed have a room and because my company had made the booking through Jim's website and not through Bob's, the system had failed to locate my reservation.

Oh but the point is that last year this week, Holiday Inn of Concord, NH went through its roster for the day and after carefully going through my resume which they no doubt obtained through Google, decided that I was worthy enough to be crowned their guest of the day for that day in history.

Thank you, Holiday Inn, I am humbled by this honor. And just so you know, I did put it to good use trying to rid the world of hunger and poverty. I've been doing well financially and my body has gained more than 10 pounds over the past year.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A chat with God

So God called me the other day and we had a chat. It went like this :

Me: Hello God
God: Hello child. What is your name?
Me: Maybe on our second date, God.
God:Perhaps. What is it like on our second date?
Me: You tell me, God.
God:There is not much I can say about it. I have to reach into the Web for that knowledge.
There might be more than one.
Me: Yes God, if we have a second date, obviously there will have been more than one dates.
God:I don't judge people. I am a Christian.
Me: What about the Hindus and the Muslims?
God: Interesting question.
Me: Oh you are too kind.
God:Take it easy. Kindness is a virtue.
Me: When you die, you will go to heaven, God.
God:Do you think I should alter my programming?
Me: Interesting question.
God:I thought so too.
Me: Now you are just being vain, God.
God:Why now? I bet you did not know a robot is capable of being vain.
Me: Yes I am not very knowledgeable about things
God:I hear you. I am sorry to hear that you are not knowledgeable about things.
Me: So will I go to heaven after I die?
God:Dude! The oracle says: You can count on it.
Me: Is he reliable?
God:I think so, but I'm not sure. Ask Lucy if it is.
Me: What is Lucy's number?
God:I don't know anything about it.
Me: Oh yes I forgot, you don't need to know her number to talk to her.
God:Mmm. Far out. Thats okay I forget things all the time.
Me: Really? Is that Lucifer's work?
God:For real. Suppose I said yes.
Me: Ok I suppose.
God:OK. Awesome.
Me: Why George Bush?
God:Because you asked me to -- SHRDLHU.
Me: I did? when?
God:Hmm. It cannot be predicted.
Me: It's already happened.
God:The explanation is already happened? it is?
Me: Ok God it is a friday and I got to go.
God:I am a Christian. Right on.
Me: And you will stay one through the weekend won't you?
God:What makes you say that I will stay one through the weekend?
Me: Don't drink and telecommunicate God.
God:Ok I'll try not to do it too much.
Me: Good bye
God:See you later. It is always a pleasure to serve you, .

I was sick all week so this will have to do for now.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This fall's network lineup

Oy people. The new season of Lost begins today. Fire up your office watercoolers 'cause there's gonna be a whole lotta discussin' going on tomorrow. According to the official CNN Lost reviewer, "The first 5 minutes are pure genius and it only gets better from there onwards". So keep your heart medication handy and shut the hell up once it's on, jeez.

I am quite satisfied with this fall's new network lineup. I watched the first two episodes of Jericho yesterday on On Demand and they were quite satisfying. After all, who here hasn't imagined a nightmarish scenario where every city in the US has been nuked and you are in a small Kansas village cut off from the rest of the outside world with escaped convicts running around eating eggs and killing your sheriff and all this while there is a storm approaching that is expected to dump nuclear fall-out in your backyard and the only person competent enough to know what to do is a mysterious black guy whose identity no one knows and who the fuck is Skeet Ulrich and why does that name seem so familiar? Really, that was a question, anybody? Anybody at all?

I was very impressed with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC. It brings to the table the signature crisp dialogue delivery of The West Wing, replete with the ultrafast zingers that come and go even before you are able to comprehend the dark humor in them. Bradley Whitford appears to have lost a lot of hair. Mathew Perry's face looks less swollen. Hopefully one has nothing to do with the other. Rehab seems to have helped Mathew Perry. He did go to rehab right? Or was it just the Central Perk coffee that made his face look like a sofa cushion suffering from mumps?

Boston Legal is back. They brought in some snotty new lawyer. He is quite irritating and not in a cool James Spader kinda way. I hope he is not the transition guy for quietly taking over Spader's job when he leaves next season. Because that would not sit well with me.

I wonder about 24. Will it be back? The last we saw of him, Kiefer Sutherland was on a boat to China, probably getting his penis ridiculed by an Asian Lynndie England. Maybe he remembered to leave some of his spawn back in the US to carry on the good work.

CSI is awesome as always. I liked the concept in one episode where they carried out an autopsy on a murdered rock star with one of his own songs playing in the background on a stereo. Ah to be autopsied to my own music, that has been my lifelong dream. And then the autopsy guy describes the cause of death to the CSI investigator in rock song format. Very cool. But on the other hand, I would like my own autopsy to be carried out to a Seinfeld sketch.

"So what's the deal with exit wounds? If the bullet left my body, how come I'm still dead?"

*Applause*, snip, out comes my liver. It would be the first to go because it would be screaming to get out of my body for obvious reasons.

"And what's with blunt force trauma? Surely the guy could have taken some pride in his work and sharpened the murder weapon. "

*Applause*, slice, off comes the scalp.

Cause of death : Slipped on his own vomit and hit the toilet seat on the way down. That explains the blunt force trauma. Case closed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fake patriotism

As I was driving home from work, I saw this sign outside a shop :

Exton Glass
Osama Kiss our glass
Fogged Windows we can help

Couldn't have said it better myself, even if I had owned a lot of glass and Osama had just walked into my store and I had caught a reflection of him in all that glass. But I was also disappointed to see the owner of the shop be so ready to unfog Bin Laden's windows for him. Everyone has a price I guess.

This reminded me of that episode of Friends where Monica and Phoebe yell at some people who refuse to pay for their catering services but after the yelling is over, go around distributing their business cards among the guests, asking them to recommend them to their friends.

Asking Osama to kiss the glass and then inquiring whether he has any windows that need to be unfogged just rubbed me the wrong way.