Tuesday, February 27, 2007


There are a number of advantages to shaving your head. Number one, as my friend Slime noted earlier in the comments, it eases the burden of maintaining your hair in sync with contemporary societal fashion sensibilities, day after day after day. That is a very important advantage for those of the working class, such as I. Secondly, like me, if you are in the habit of shaving (your chin) only once a week, maintaining your cranial hair to about the same length makes your face look symmetrical about the horizontal axis that passes through your nose. But the third and most important advantage is the beneficial effects it has on your social life.

A newly shaven head is a great conversation starter. Especially for introverts like me to whom speaking to other people does not come naturally. For me, it is a constant bother even to come up with new topics to broach while passing coworkers on the way to the bathroom. As an aside, nowadays I run to the bathroom. If you're running to the bathroom, people you encounter on the way think it's an emergency and don't bother with the formalities of courtesy. But anyways, if you do not wish to run to the bathroom everyday, things will now be easier for you. With a freshly bald pate, the onus of responsibility for starting a conversation will rest with the other guy, who will be more than happy to take it up and tender a request for information regarding the history of your hair removal. Why did you do it, when did you do it, is it going to be a permanent look for you, do you feel cold, etc will be the questions you can expect to be asked in the aftermath.

In fact, in some extreme cases, the naked vulnerability of your head might tug at the heartstrings of your fellow men with such ferocity that guys who previously would never have parted with their own facial hair will offer you its temporary use ("Do you need my beard to keep yourself warm, ha ha" : coworker). Some will offer you the facial hair of others in order to alleviate your own hairless condition ("You should borrow his fumanchu, he's not using it" : guy in gym, pointing to his french bearded exercycling buddy) .

So as you can see, when you shave your head, conversation will flow like Parachute coconut hair oil. The only problem now is that you have to be prepared in advance and come up with a list of reasons for why you did it. And there have to be two sets of reasons. One, the humorous ones, for people who are convinced that there HAS to be a goddamn funny rationale behind your apparent madness and two, serious reasons to explain to your superiors at work. I used the following. I am not sure which, if any, are the funny ones. I am about to be drafted as a US marine. I am making myself more aerodynamic for when I buy a new convertible. I'm celebrating the return of daylight savings. I'm getting ready for summer. I was shaving and went a bit higher than usual. Keep all these reasons in your rolodex, ready to be whipped out at the first sign of inquiry.

But like all protein-based lifeforms, a shaven head will fast lose its luster and your popularity will bottom out again. The key is to be unpredictable and keep things exciting. Next week, I'm planning to come to work with, say, a missing arm or leg. That should give me enough fodder for striking up conversations again for, say, about a week or two.


Been busy, very very busy. It's that time in a typist's life when all the work he was supposed to be doing throughout the year has to be completed in a few days and then bequeathed (bequoth?) to the masses as a new software release.

It's fried my brain, I can tell you that. Yesterday in a meeting, a conversation went as follows:

Boss : So was this done for B-4?
Me : Before?
Boss : Yes, version B-4.
Me : Before what?
Boss : Was this done for version B-4?
Me (mentally trying to get my boss to stop quitting mid-sentence and complete the damn thing : Yes...version before.....?
Boss : ?
Me : Oh, B-4. Version B-4. Ok. Yes, version B-4. Yes, yes.
Boss : You shouldn't have shaved your head. You lost something else in the process.

And to revisit the punchline, I shaved my head the other day. I would recommend it to everyone at anytime, except anyone at the present time, the weather being so fucking cold and when you step outside, icicles growing on the places where your hair used to be. You begin to understand the purpose of life and hair in those short seconds between the time you open your door and the flow of blood to your brain ends.

So to make a long story short, I will be back soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Or the day after. And maybe my hair will grow back and intelligence will return. I can't wait to start blogging again.

Thievery Corporation : Amerimacka

Friday, February 16, 2007

Why Americans need to learn geography

So this morning, an American colleague of mine circulated this email joke where a Canadian farmer, an American engineer and Osama Bin Laden are hanging out and they find a bottle containing a genie. So they each get a wish and the Canadian asks for fertile soil for Canada and Bin Laden asks for a giant wall to be built around Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran to keep the infidels out and the American engineer asks for this giant wall to be filled with water.

So I replied to this email saying, good job American engineer, you just solved India's perpetual drought problem.

The colleague replied back saying, but Bin Laden didn't include India because he hates India too.

It was then that I realized that my colleague was probably unaware that India and Pakistan were neighbours. So I replied back, saying yes, Bin Laden hated India, but he did create a giant swimming pool adjacent to India.

American colleague replied, so what are you saying, Bin Laden's a good person?

Good God, no, I replied, I was merely pointing out that India would be in a great position to take advantage of the giant body of water created by Bin Laden's walling off plan due to its geographical proximity to the nations being walled off and that the real credit for creating this water reservoir would still lie with the the American engineer whose ingenuity, if I remembered correctly, I had already complimented earlier in the email conversation.

Oh, he replied.

And that, fortunately, was that.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What? II

It appears that sometime between my last linker error on friday evening and my first unhandled software exception on monday morning, I was nominated for an IndiBloggie award in the humor category. Both my blogs, as a matter of fact. I guess the jurors didn't want to cause sibling rivalry and bloodshed. (Which is pretty fortunate for you, goose egg, since the renegade of junk would have smacked your ass and then handed it back to you.)

These nominations, like well-designed enemas, give me great pleasure as well as simultaneous excruciating pain. The pain will follow from my sure shot miserable performance in this contest. And the Indiebloggies have this habit of rubbing it into the losers of the competition by providing extensive numerical information on how badly they got whipped. Like, they will say, blogger A won the category with 95 percent of the votes. Sometimes, they will even add an "LOL" or a "ROTFLMAO", depending on the extent of humiliation. And therein lies the source of the rectal pain.

Secondly, the other nominees for this category include the great bong. Now if you've been a follower of the Indian blogosphere, you will know greatbong as he who, if he had been blogging then and had decided to run for president in 2000, might have taken Florida away from both Bush and Gore. Resistance is, therefore, futile. Furthermore, after doing some quick blog-traffic-based calculation, it would be clear even to someone, say, from Texas, that it wouldn't matter even if all of my readers voted for this blog (which they probably won't), as long as all of greatbong's readers vote for his blog (which they probably will).

My only recourse, therefore, is to ask all my readers to vote for greatbong. Not only might this gesture have a microscopically slim chance of inspiring greatbong to reciprocate in kind, but it would save the votes of my readers from being wasted. And wasting your vote is the worst thing you can do in a democracy, as my mother let me know in no uncertain terms ten years ago, when I participated in my first ever election and decided to vote for that obscure candidate no one knew just because I felt sorry for him.

Thirdly, I was saving my campaign finances for the upcoming Nobel prize competition because the Indiebloggies are all well and good, but they don't put food on the table for your family, whereas the Nobels not only provide food, but also a table to put it on, a house to put the table in and an island to build the house on. And I do have a couple of great ideas this year.

Fourthly, the Indiebloggies caught me at a bad time. I should have been nominated when I was at the peak of my blogging career, which was that day about a few months ago when I wrote that really great post and got all those comments. Now, I feel like a pajama-clad housewife with acne and a fever with all her clothes in the washer who just got a call from her husband that he is bringing all his office friends over for a party in twenty minutes. I do not have any clothes to wear, and no time to put on make-up. That was just an analogy, by the way. I am still a man.

So basically in conclusion, I would encourage all of you to go vote for greatbong and maybe if I don't get a single vote, when the contest is over, they might be compassionate enough to not put up the trouncing figures for this category. Thank you in advance, jurors.

Also, if you are one of those undecided voters and would like additional clarification on why you should vote for greatbong and not me, here are some of my favorite posts from my blog. And now you know why.

By the way, just to be serious for a second, whoever nominated my blogs, I appreciate the gesture deeply. It is nice to know that you have readers who would actually spare the time and effort to do something like that.

Thank you. Really.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rigor Mortis

We bought a new carpet for our apartment. So we rolled up our old carpet and left it in the dining room. The problem is that the rolled up carpet looks a lot like a rolled up corpse. And so, every time it twitches, it feels like the corpse inside the carpet is coming to life. I can't go on living in fear like this. I need to throw it into the dumpster and wipe my fingerprints off it. But it's too cold outside, it's freezing. On the other hand, if I continue to procrastinate, rigor mortis might set in and it will become more difficult for me to dispose of the body. You know what, fuck it, it may be 2:00 am and I may be drunk from Sam Daniels, but I think I'm gonna go throw out my carpet. I can't live with a dead body in my apartment.

My new carpet looks gorgeous. Good job, wife.

I went to an Irish bar today.
Half and half : Guinness with Harp Lager
Black and tan : Guinness with Bass Ale
Blacksmith : Guinness with Smithwick Ale
Car Bomb : Guinness with Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson's Whiskey

Being a card-carrying member of the IRA, I ordered the car bomb.

They brought me the Guinness in a glass and the bomb in a shot glass. This was perplexing because unlike the other concoctions, they brought this one in two separate glasses. It raised questions as to the proper method of its consumption. I had no idea what the fuck to do. Should I drink the shot and then drink the Guinness? Should I throw the shot glass in the Guinness? Should I pour the shot glass in the Guinness and drink the mixture?

I decided on option three. And the cream from the Baileys coagulated and formed blobs of shit on top of the Guinness and Ireland began to laugh. Fuck you Ireland, said I, and drank it all up. It's all going to the liver anyways.

I think Option one was the correct option to follow.

By the way, Sam Daniels = Sam Adams (1 bottle) + Jack Daniels (1 shot glass). All rights reserved.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I don't know what to write about. I have a couple of posts I only wrote halfway through because it was becoming apparent that I was taking too long to get to the punchline. But then I remembered that there was no punchline. In fact, I am on the verge of leaving this one written halfway through as well.

I wish I could drink at work. I'm sure I would be twice as productive. That's because I would have to take twice as many bathroom breaks and I do my best thinking in the bathroom. I don't know why I keep calling it a bathroom. I guess it's just a euphemism for a toilet and the word toilet seems vulgar for some reason. Which is why it's puzzling why they call it an "eu de toilette". I would have called it an "eu de bathroomme".

I am currently swamped with the boxes my new work computer arrived in. But it's good that I didn't get rid of them because I already destroyed my new monitor and might have to use one of these boxes to send it back. There was a power surge and everything went black but just before it did, my monitor captured the screen image it was showing, or what is known as an "LCD burn", and now this is what it displays perpetually. And sadly, I was web surfing at the time and the screen capture clearly shows that I was about to click on a hyperlink, lets just say that it was not a hyperlink a decent self-respecting developer would add to his software help file.

I am not much of a tea guy. I usually drink coffee with lots of sugar because it is the sugar I am after, not the coffee. But then I found that coffee makes the colon go whaa? so I started drinking tea for a while. You know, I wasn't aware that you actually have to jiggle the teabags inside the water for it to turn into tea? You learn something new everyday.

I had a very strange conversation with a COMCAST tech support guy the other day. During the fag end of the call, did I say fag, I meant gay end of the call, after all problems had been solved and it was time to hug each other good bye, we both forgot to adhere to the standard tech support goodbye script. This script should usually go as follows :

TS guy : Is there anything else you need assistance with today?
Me : No, thank you.
TS guy : You are welcome. Thank you for calling COMCAST and have a good day.
Me : You too.

Instead, it went :

TS guy : Is there anything else you need assistance with today?
Me : No.
TS guy : You are welcome. Thank you for calling COMCAST.
Me : You too.

It was probably my fault because my not giving him a "thank you" made him keep that "good day" for himself, thus leading to a collapse of civilized society. Next time I'm getting a teleprompter and just to be safe, so should you, Tech support guy.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Drinking and wallpaper

I want to drink tequila out of tequila barrels in Tequila, Mexico. Land of the blue Agave and the Jose Cuervo.
I want to drink the Gringo Killer in Costa Rica. White man supposed to die within 15 minutes of drinking this shit. Brown man not expected to fare any better.
I want to drink Viper rum in Belize that is manufactured by drowning a viper in a rum bottle.
I want to do 10 imperial pints in one hour in Mumbles, Wales. Record is one hour 15 minutes.

However, I can't do all this because I am on an H1B and I have to get a visa stamp in the Mumbai consulate before I can venture outside the USA. How life sucks for the H1B software engineer.

Yes, I've been watching the Three Sheets marathon after the tremendous sucking of the Superbowl.

Here's a nice little anecdote. I was drinking in the John Harvard brewpub with my sister and my brother-in-law about two years ago. I ordered the Belgian beer. The bartender served it to me in what looked like a wine glass. I asked him, "Is beer usually served in a wine glass?" I had a mischievous glint in my eye which should have informed him that I was kidding in the spirit of being drunk. Unfortunately, he snapped at me, "It's not a wine glass, Belgian beers are served in what is called a goblet". And even though he didn't air quote me, he might as well have with his livid tone and gestures. Ever since, I have stayed away from Belgian beers, even in the privacy of my own kitchen.

By the way, I didn't post last week because I got a new work computer and I had to search for a new wallpaper.

I will post this week because I found my wallpaper (via Selva). It features a penguin and its baby standing on an ice floe in the middle of a thirsty desert. It is a statement against global warming and I hope my office colleagues will heed my message and quit using the microwave to heat their horrible smelling lunches. Jeez, just get a sandwich.