Sunday, December 31, 2006

LPOY '06

A happy New Year, everyone.

(Hmm. It looks like most bloggers are not too crazy about observing this ritual.)

The First Hangover of '07 shall be soothed by viewings of Kieslowski's "Red" and "Blue" at home. Nothing boring about that, I tell you.

"Party on, Wayne"

"Party on, Garth"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Textbook Marriage struck me - ok, gently patted me - while reading a news item about country singer Tim McGraw and his wife Faith Hill that the duo could be referred to as "McGraw-Hill".

That triggered an association: buying my first copy of "Resnick and Halliday", which I though was published by McGraw-Hill. (But a Google search shows otherwise. Was only the Indian edition published by them?)

I tried to get other celebrities "married" to arrive at more book publishing firms' names, but in vain. (Oh yeah, if Sean Penn married Ursula K. Le Guin, it would give us...Penn-Guin?)

Bored with the word game, I said "Tata, McGraw-Hill" and went back to watching the execution on television.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Paging Dr. Page

Top this, YT treasure-hunters: a video of Jimmy Page, at the age of 14, playing in a skiffle band! (Link courtesy Metafilter)

At around 2 minutes into the video (2:15, I think), the kid introduces himself as "James Page" and expresses his interest in doing "biological research" and admits to not having the brains to be a doctor.

A *lousy* rendition of "Cotton Fields" can be seen and heard in the second half of the video, with Little James Page whistling in harmony.

This kid would go on to play "Black Dog"?

Look here, I too was in a band that played a *lousy* cover of "Cotton Fields" and I too did not have the brains to be a doctor....never mind, here's the video.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Former US President Mauled Senselessly By A Circus Lion

Oh, such an inappropriate joke and such an opportune time.

I am sure a million bloggers will post (and re-post) this SNL sketch, but the Internet is all about mindless repetition, ain't it?

(For those who haven't seen this episode of Saturday Night Live, circa 1996 - the premise, and it is no longer a fictional premise now, involved a TV news show trying to "pre-write" Gerald Ford's obituary.)

Anyone got a video clip of this Dana Carvey sketch?
Found it! Turns out there is another source for videos, after all!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Unsafe And Unhealthy, And Consequently, Happy

"Have a safe, happy and healthy Holidays"

I don't recall anyone ever wishing me a "safe Diwali" or a "healthy Holi". It's just preposterous.

As if the weak-assed word "Holidays" is not bad enough, must I be reminded to enjoy these last 2 weeks of the year "safely, happily and healthily"? Didn't I do that for the rest of the year? (No, not really.) Those three words are like the "cheap, fast, high quality" joke in product design. You can pick two, but not all three at the same time.

Look, there's people serving me good food and alcohol and they've got electric wires running all over a plastic tree. You want me to be safe and healthy? And even if I do manage to keep the binging under control (or find a designated driver), just what can we do about the fine spring-like weather at Christmas this year?

I don't know if the Universe talks to you or not, but it certainly does to me. Right now, it's telling me global warming is here and a million penguins just disappeared, so you better have yourself a very Merry Christmas.

Oh I am sorry, did that sound cruel and heartless?

OK then, let's make a million chickens, turkeys and lambs disappear and have ourselves a very Merry Christmas.

There, much better.


Did you know that to some Hindus, Jesus is an avataar of Vishnu's? I did not know this, until I read this post written by my super-clever (and now famous!) blogger-friend about the origins of Christmas in India.

Must say, that puts the song "Blue Christmas" in a very different light.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Play "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" On The Guitar

Someone's put up a cool instructional video (with helpful closeups of finger positions etc) of this great John Lennon song on YouTube.

You really have no excuse for not learning to play it, you know? (Unless your excuse is "I got so wasted at the Christmas party, I couldn't tell the fretboard from my ass". That's a perfectly valid excuse.)

Forget all that reindeer and Santa business. This is the real Christmas song. Simple chords, great lyrics, everyone loves it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Make Mine A Double Shot Of Snake-Oil, Please

Me: "What's the kind of talk-time on this phone?"

The salesman scratches his left ear.

"You can talk all day."

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Exact Chronology Of Events Leading Up To My Enlightenment

6:45AM: I sit down for meditation.

7:30AM: I open my eyes and look at the clock. Wow, 45 minutes. There was a time when I couldn't meditate for 10 minutes continuously. Look at me now! 45 minutes! I am awesome. And so wise.

I also feel rested, at peace and very, very still inside. I am hyper-aware of everything, and yet, there is not a bit of restlessness in me.

8:00AM: I drive to work and notice an SUV doing about 30mph in the fast lane. I wait patiently. I don't have to honk anymore. Peace, love, stillness.

8:01AM: The SUV driver is talking on the cellphone.

8:01:01: It's easy to forgive. The driver must be dealing with some really important issue on the phone. That's how easy it is to let go of the anger.

8:01:03: "Oh shit"

8:01:04: I honk.

8:01:08: The SUV refuses to clear the lane.

8:01:10: "Fuck you, you globe-warming, ecological terrorist shithead, get out of the fast lane NOW". That not-so-rare bird - Flippera Avis - is sighted once again on the asphalt.

8:01:19: I take a deep breath. Tomorrow, I meditate for 90 minutes.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Pig Will Fly

A "Lost Pet" poster on the wall of our town's public library. It's a beautiful parrot.

Answers to the name "Pig".

Sir (or Ma'am), can you handle the truth? Your parrot, like Mrs. Hogwallop, simply up and R-U-N-N-O-F-T. (Warning: link to an 57K mp3 file)


Monday, December 18, 2006

The Vault

Did you know about the existence of the Vault? I had never heard of the Vault. Why didn't anyone tell me sooner about the Vault?

Most pleasant surprises arrived like a superfast maglev train when I heard about the Vault. I don't know about you, but I could spend my New Year's Eve just browsing through their Top Rated Concerts page.

(Fans of the heavy, fear not: there's some classic Sabbath in there.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fruit Flies Like Banana

A trip it was and what a trip it was.

India was one revelation after another. No, I don't mean all those fancy malls in Bombay or the new money or the 400-dollar cellphones in people's hands. These were revelations - mostly minor ones - of a personal kind. Like how travel is so much more fun after the camcorder breaks down. Or that after being blogging-free for more than 3 weeks, it just loses some of its, uh, sheen. I mean, what exactly are we doing here? (All right, no more meta-blogging. It's just not cool.) Or that being in a boat in a river with 5 crocodiles floating around you is exciting for exactly six seconds. (After which time a question exploded in everyone's minds: do crocodiles attack singly or do they attack in groups?)

Ah, there's just too much to write about in one post. But as we all know, that is really another way of saying I don't quite know what to write, so let's do this another time, shall we?