Friday, December 28, 2007

Maybe you were watching Comedy Central on Christmas day, maybe you weren't because you aren't a loser. But if you are not a loser and you weren't watching Comedy Central on the weekend, then you missed Demetri Martin make a very profound point. It was about how we keep asking people in glass houses to refrain from throwing stones at others. Demetri Martin wanted people to quit throwing stones, period. Society's disapproval of stone throwing should be independent of the stone thrower's housing situation, was Demetri Martin's opinion. Unless, added Demetri Martin as a caveat, someone were to be trapped in a glass house. And this someone had a stone handy. In such a situation, Demetri Martin was prepared to concede that stone-throwing would be something to be encouraged. But not otherwise.

Demetri Martin had these words of wisdom and more. You should check your television schedule for when Demetri Martin is on next.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

50 most loathsome people in America, the life is funnier (and sadder) than fiction edition (via PZ). You are on it too.

Charges: You believe in freedom of speech, until someone says something that offends you. You suddenly give a damn about border integrity, because the automated voice system at your pharmacy asked you to press 9 for Spanish. You cling to every scrap of bullshit you can find to support your ludicrous belief system, and reject all empirical evidence to the contrary. You know the difference between patriotism and nationalism -- it's nationalism when foreigners do it. You hate anyone who seems smarter than you. You care more about zygotes than actual people. You love to blame people for their misfortunes, even if it means screwing yourself over. You still think Republicans favor limited government. Your knowledge of politics and government are dwarfed by your concern for Britney Spears' children. You think buying Chinese goods stimulates our economy. You think you're going to get universal health care. You tolerate the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques." You think the government is actually trying to improve education. You think watching CNN makes you smarter. You think two parties is enough. You can't spell. You think $9 trillion in debt is manageable. You believe in an afterlife for the sole reason that you don't want to die. You think lowering taxes raises revenue. You think the economy's doing well. You're an idiot.

Exhibit A: You couldn't get enough Anna Nicole Smith coverage.

Sentence: A gradual decline into abject poverty as you continue to vote against your own self-interest. Death by an easily treated disorder that your health insurance doesn't cover. You deserve it, chump.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wrong house, Santa

Considering the vastness of India's juvenile population, it would appear to be a statistical improbability for Santa Claus to manage to drop presents into an Indian house that is guaranteed not to have any children living there, but manage it he did. From MSNBC, who is apparently stalking the old philanthropist on Christmas Eve:

Dec. 24: Agra, India — With no flat rooftop to land on at the Taj Mahal, Santa was seen tonight lowering himself down into the palace via a red rope while his reindeer hovered in formation. “You wouldn’t think a man with such a big jelly belly could be so agile,” said a Taj Mahal security guard, “but this just shows that when it comes to delivering Christmas presents Santa will do whatever it takes. I wonder if he practices yoga.

Apparently someone forgot to tell Santa that the Taj Mahal, ever since its inauguration, has served no purpose other than that of being a tomb. I guess it also follows to reason that somewhere within the cavernous interior of the Taj Mahal lies a huge pile of unclaimed Christmas presents delivered through the years by an ill-informed, albeit well-intentioned Westerner whose reliance on Hollywood disaster flicks for his knowledge of world culture has been a tad bit too heavy.

I am also fairly confident that in the next few hours, Santa Claus will be observed trying to lower himself (and his presents) onto the Eiffel Tower of France, the Sydney Opera House of Australia, the Tower of England, The Great Wall of China and other worldly landmarks that are familiar to MSNBC subscribers but sadly, equally devoid of children as the Taj Mahal.

But enough of Santa-bashing. Have a great holiday, people.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another one bites the dust

John Harvard's at Wayne, gone. Consigned to the unwashed glasses of history. All that I am left with now is Iron Hill and McKenzie's.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

RPM's Leverett

Once upon a time, I was still studying in UMass and I was sitting in the passenger's seat of my friend's car while we were driving along MA state highway 63 north towards New Hampshire. See, Massachusetts doesn't sell beer on sundays and if you live in Massachusetts and you run out of beer on a sad sunday, you have to drive north to New Hampshire where they sell beer on sundays just to piss Massachusetts off. Middle finger. So basically, we had run out of beer on a sunday and that is what we were doing and the guy who was sitting in the back seat of the car said, "Hello my name is RPM". Actually he didn't really say that, it's how I am introducing him. I called him RPM. He was the first guy I came in contact with after I landed here in the US.

When I was in India and I found out that UMass would be paying for my graduate education, I rummaged through the tubes of the internet and found my man RPM in the UMass directory. Immediately I emailed him and told him that I was arriving in UMass this fall and would it be alright if I stayed with him until I found a permanent home for the next two years. He said what, who, where, what, who the heck are you? I replied that I was an alumnus of his engineering college in Pune and that I used to be in his batch and the reason he didn't know me was because I hadn't attended college all that much, instead preferring to spend most of my time in the college auditorium practicing with my band.

But RPM was ultimately fine with it because of the code of the Indians which specifies that a fresh off the boat (FOB) Desi graduate student may take up temporary residence with a pre-existing Indian graduate student with or without his approval and so RPM said yes, and that he would pick me up at the Amherst train station when I arrived after determining if Amherst had a train station. For some reason, no one in Amherst, MA is aware of the fact that Amherst, MA has a train station.

RPM took me under his wing. For the first few days, until I found my own apartment, I stayed with RPM and he taught me a number of important things. For example, why it is a bad idea to run after the little striped creatures called "skunks" that wander around Puffton Village like it is their dad's goods. When I asked him why, RPM invited me to his closet and the moment he opened the door, I collapsed and died and when I woke up, he told me that one of those striped creatures had sprayed its scent all over one of his pants and the reason I had died was that this skunk spray was funky and when I say funky, I mean Jesus Christ, foul foul odour. Foul.The moral of the story was do not run behind skunks, people, they will fuck you up for good and even bathing once a week won't get rid of that evil stench.

So anyways, back to RPM. He did not have a vacancy in his apartment because he was already staying with a firang (a white roommate whose guitar RPM pretended to be a master of) and since they did not possess a television set, he hooked me up with someone in his apartment complex who had a television set, thus allowing himself access to it. Smart move RPM. Okay, now why RPM? RPM was a pornographic movie connoisseur. Every friday and saturday night, the moment the clock struck 10:59, RPM was knocking at our door, ready to enjoy late night cinemax.

Thus the name, RPM : "R", the "P"ondy "M"an. This man RPM, he was on a first name basis with all the leading ladies of late night cinemax. Make-up and clothing did not fool his astute sensibilities. Hey, this babe, she was in that one movie that played that night, wow, she really looks old in this one. Oh, I know this one, this is the movie where she keeps weeping every time she has sex because even though she enjoys it, she feels guilty because she is doing it for money and that's a great example of the clash in our culture between morality and fiscal responsibility. Man, I hate this one, I'm off. On second thoughts, I'll stay. RPM always stayed.

So that, in a nutshell, was RPM. The guy in the back seat during the drive to New Hampshire. He was reading the road signs and then he read this one aloud, "Leverett Center". "You know, I went to Leverett once and it was the prettiest town I have ever been to in the US", said RPM. And he sighed in order to support his statement. A prolonged, emotional sigh. And I was impressed by his sigh and I said "Really?" and I decided then and there that I would visit Leverett someday soon.

That day would not arrive soon. I left Amherst to make my own life. I went to New Hampshire, where I could buy beer on a sunday, and lived there for a couple of years. After that, I went to Pennsylvania where I earned enough money to be able to afford to buy beer all week so I would never run out of beer on a sunday.

But my dream of visiting Leverett remained what it was, just a dream. Till last year when I revisited Amherst on a whim. What the hell, just to see how it was doing. I visited all the usual places, the Montague Book Mill, the Amherst Brewing Company, Mt Sugarloaf. And then I decided, once and for all, to check out the fabulous town of Leverett which RPM had so enthusiastically endorsed. I took Leverett Ctr Road 1 and followed it to the end. Unfortunately, I did not find a town. I discovered a couple of houses by the side of a lake. Maybe it was a town, maybe it wasn't. What the fuck, RPM? I write this entire humongous post based on you and you make up a town that does not exist? Were you talking about Montague? Because I've been there and it is a very pretty town, yes. But was that the one you were talking about? Was it?

RPM, by the way, is now a very accomplished person who will probably win a Nobel prize very soon as long as he stays off the porn. In fact, even as we speak, he is employed at the very company that is allowing you to read the shit that I type unless you're a Mac user, in which case you owe another friend of mine called GSB. But that story isn't quite as interesting.


Google stopped paying me. I don't know how that happened. Suddenly all my ads are public service ads for a hurricane and I don't get squat. I guess that's fine because I have yet to collect the money I earned till now. To collect it, I would have to give Google my SSN and it would go on my tax records and I don't know if I can earn such funds without the IRS pinching my buttocks and the USCIS inserting pointy things inside it. So I never gave Google my SSN and so Google has about 90 dollars worth of my money which it will give me when I become a permanent resident of this country which will probably be my son and not me. But anyways, so click on the hurricane thing even though you know you won't be paying me. It is for a good cause and I might be caught in a hurricane too so I shall click on it as well.

Friday, December 07, 2007


You get all excited about moving to a new house and while you are in the throes of that excitement, you tell all your colleagues about the move. And then what happens? You begin to receive moving boxes from everybody and their uncle. Everyone's like, hey, Amazon sent me these books, they came in this box, should I throw this box in a dumpster, nah it's too cold outside, oh I know what I'll do, I'll just give it to that Indian guy who's moving, that will probably make him so happy he'll need another box just to hold his tears of gratitude. Here, I have a box for that too.

It doesn't seem to matter that sometimes, the box they are giving you is so small that the only thing it could be used for is the transportation of your toothbrush, and that too, only after stripping it of its gum-massaging bristles.

But still, people continue to visit you in your cubicle day in and day out and when they leave, there is an additional box in your cubicle. Or two. This ritual begins from the time you tell them about your impending move and continues right upto the time of the actual move, a period that could be as long as a couple of months. In the meantime, your cubicle turns into an office supply warehouse and you have to look for bigger boxes to help you move these boxes to your home.

Now there is the possibility that it is just goodness of nature that makes people bestow upon each other a plethora of unsolicited moving boxes. Because, obviously, cardboard boxes are not something you can find in just any moving supplies store that sells cardboard boxes. But to my jaded and cynical mind, when a person gives me a box, I feel like he is telling me, dear gawker, the box that I am giving you at this moment, a moment so far removed from the actual moment of your move, does not merely represent my benevolence towards you, but also the fact that when you will be lifting it up, I won't be around to give you the box then or assist you in the lifting of the same.

Nah, I guess I'm just being a prick. It's probably just goodness of heart. Thank you for all the boxes. Really.


Looking through my sitemeter today, I was struck by how many people appear to be interested in sexual congress between a human and a car stick shift. Unfortunately they land up here because at some point I happened to pen a screed about the stick shift of my car and its disadvantages in the event of a traffic jam, also using some invective to spice up the narrative. Although to be honest, I am not really that surprised. When I bought my car seven years ago, one of my friends was extraordinarily drawn to its stick shift. In fact, I remember him saying to me, "Boy, your stick shift sure is sexy". And although he didn't explicitly say it, I could see in his eyes that he was just itching to ask it out on a date. To this day my front seat is off limits to him.

I guess it's also a good thing that I have yet to reference the exhaust pipe of my car on this blog.

Secondly, I have also observed that many people, while googling, allow their emotions to seep through into the search phrase, thereby reducing the efficacy of their search. For example, a visitor to this blog reached here via the Google search phrase "Oh God, capitalization!". Now sir, wouldn't it make your task easier if you just held your frustrations in check for that brief period of time it takes you to enter "capitalization", or maybe even "capitalization sucks" into Google's search field? After that, you could curse and rant as much as you wish. Just a humble suggestion.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Fall is over and done with. Most people like the peak fall season when the leaves are all red, yellow and orange. I like late fall when most leaves have fallen and ball-freeze has begun. Somehow leaves look better on the ground. Plus, during this time, the sun is mostly invisible, it is misty, rainy and the rural Pennsylvanian countryside looks like something out of a Sherlock Holmes movie with the big dog.

We had a minor ice-storm the other day. I had to go change the tires on my car. I don't believe the car people when they tell me it's time to change my tires. I always feel like they are trying to fool me. That's because tire-changing time is so vague. Theoretically, any time could be tire changing time, or rather, tire-non-changing time, because the tire never runs out of rubber. Of course, there exists some rule of thumb, involving the insertion of a coin inside your tire treads and checking to see if Lincoln's face can be seen or some such nonsense. I don't follow that protocol because I think using Lincoln's face as a car maintenance tool is disrespectful to his head on the mountain. Instead, I change my tires when my car begins to hydroplane on a dry road, which I call aeroplaning because I am so clever.

So I drove to the car dealership, deposited the car and walked back home. I realized then that I have totally forgotten how to cross a road as a pedestrian (someone who walks, in case you live in America and have forgotten what it means). I kept looking in the wrong direction, kept hitting the wrong traffic buttons and the wrong vehicles kept stopping for me which wasn't even me, it was the wrong person. Finally, someone in a Honda took pity on me and waited for me, allowing me to cross the road. He probably thought that I was walking in the ice because I was a homeless person without a car and because he was a Honda owner, he had probably been a homeless person too at some point in his life, and I felt guilty that I was taking undeserved advantage of his kindness because I did actually own a car. I had a similar feeling of guilt the other day during my eye doctor's appointment when I went there to get fitted for contact lenses. The doctor was all like "Oh, you are so smart, usually people take a long time to learn how to wear and remove contacts" and I was all like yeah, thanks, but what I didn't mention to her was that I already knew how to wear contacts because years ago, I used to wear contacts. I felt like I was a bad person and I am pretty sure that Santa's gonna be shoving charred monkey corpses down my chimney this year.

But the reason I went to buy new tires is because they had a tire sale (4 tires for the price of 3) and it was the final day of the sale. Since I am an avid environmentalist, I like to conserve money just like I conserve electricity and I try not to burn it. So even though it was snowing jagged little pellets of ice, I went to change my tires, even though I knew I would have to walk back and forth from the store. When I went back to retrieve my car, I received a bill for more than 4 tires. Now I don't like to be rude to the car guys because that would probably result in someone spitting in my radiator, so I didn't gape in an amazed way at the bill in front of them. Instead, I walked out into the snow and spent the next five minutes gaping amazedly at my bill there. And through all the snow and ice, I saw something called "road hazard warranty" that had been tacked on to the bill, which was equal to the cost of one tire and a higher end Russian bride.

So then I went back inside and asked them what the hell this "road hazard warranty" business was and they replied in a nonchalant manner, Oh that, yes, if you want that 4 for 3 tires deal you also have to purchase this warranty. And so I took my notebook out and added another star to the galaxy of times that I have been conned. Seriously, I am so easy to fool that if you came up to me, walked up to me right this very minute and put a finger on my chest, telling me I have a spot on my shirt, I guarantee you that I would immediately look below and then you could smack me on my chin and steal my wallet. Yes, I am that stupid.


I hate those goddamn Patriots so fucking much. More than I hate the Giants. And, to my shock, even more than the Cowboys. In fact, when the Cowboys and the Patriots meet in the Superbowl, I will be rooting for TO and Romo. It makes me ashamed to admit it, but that is the truth.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lazy post

It turns out that Christmas trees will be more expensive this year because of rising gas prices. I decided to comment on this news in cartoon form by drawing a Christmas tree with another Christmas tree lying under it instead of a gift-wrapped present. This would satirically depict the wish of cash-strapped Americans to receive a Christmas tree as a holiday present.

Sadly, I turned out to be too lazy and I did not create such a cartoon. So since I know you have a vivid imagination, please try and visualize the existence of such a picture attached to this post.


But I'm still keeping an eye on you Sudan.