27 May 2008

Yes Sir, I can Boogie

This is used to be my sister Chhoto's favorite song growing up (and, mine too, except I didn't advertise it as much).

It's "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" by Baccara and Wikipedia (I know, I can't believe this had an entry on Wikipedia, how awesome is Wikipedia?) says that it's a "quintessential slice of Euro Disco."

I stumbled upon a cover version by Goldfrapp and next thing you know I was back in Doha again, boogieing it up to this maddeningly catchy tune.

Breaking the $4/Gallon Barrier!

It finally happened!

After months of speculation, anticipation and (no) trepidiation the gas station near our house finally inched past the $4 mark for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

Wow, now I feel like I'm finally part of the cool crowd.

Happy day!

Why Roger Federer is Superhuman

Look at that, Roger Federer is looking at the spot where the ball met his racquet...after he hits the ball.

As they say in French: incroyable!

26 May 2008

OMG It's the 90s All Over Again

Okay, so the other day I was talking to my colleague Sandy about my legendary inability to recognize lyrics.

One the most famous cases being that B.B. King sample used in the song "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand" by the Primitive Radio Gods. You know, that song used to be hugely popular when I was in college.

Anyway, the sample is from "Down Hearted" and the lyric is "I've been down hearted baby."
Of course, I thought it was "I bend down harder baby" and it took many years later for The Better Half to alert me to this fact.

So, I went and pulled the video from YouTube and the interesting thing was the related videos it pulled:

The Verve, "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

Spacehog, "In the Meantime"

White Town, "Your Woman"

Dishwalla, "Counting Blue Cars"

Yup, it was the 90s all over again! The only thing missing was the intense cold, and impending sense of doom that always seemed to hang over the air in Rochester.

Hands of JFK

This incredible photograph of John F. Kennedy's hands at an election rally in North Hollywood was taken by the singular news photographer Cornell Capa on 09 September 1960.

Capa died recently and leaves behind an astonishing legacy.


The Two Indias

Great photo by Ruth Fremson in a story on the opening of the new Bangalore airport that appeared in The New York Times.


The Proud Bird

The Better Half found this amazing restaurant called The Proud Bird near LAX. It's a sprawling, wonderfully old-fashioned restaurant dedicated to the history of combat aviation.

They have lots of replicas of, and actual discharged, fighter planes from different eras in combat history, and from different parts of the world. The restaurant itself is the kind of place where old military types congregate for weekend brunches and the waiters wear aprons and bow ties. You can watch commercial planes land at nearby LAX while having lunch.

Our old pal, and aviation nut, Jason "The KachMan" Kachel (and his friend Ron) had a great time there. Jason was able to correctly identify almost every aeroplane that came in for a landing. 

If only he related that well to women...

25 May 2008

Here Comes the French Open!

It's the Memorial Day Weekend, it's beautiful outside, and I live a block from the glorious Pacific Ocean.

And, of course, I'm indoors watching the first round of the French Open.

I just saw a 17-year-old French wild card Jonathan Eysseric give the British hope Andy Murray all that he could handle.

Like all French tennis players, Eysseric was flashy, had a great forehand, lots of creativity, almost no stamina, flattered to deceive, ...and was cute. We'll be hearing from him again.

And, of course, one week from today, The Better Half and I will be in Paris watching the French Open in person (thanks to my dreamy French brother-in-law Mathieu)!

Yay! Je T'aime Paris indeed!


Wikipedia: Jonathan Eysseric

23 May 2008

A Parking Lot Full Of...

Sent to me by my fine young friend Oliver Deighton-Basu.

Can you guess where we work? ;-)

American Idol...DVR Out!

So, I get back from watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, turn on my DVR, and settle in to watch American Idol.

The Better Half, the very reason I am at all interested in AI to begin with, says it's too lat for her and she goes to bed.

I am left to slog through two solid hours of filler before getting to the results.

Ryan Seacrest gathers Davids Cook and Archuleta. Drum roll. It's very tense. He opens the envelope. My heart is in my throat. I start sweating. Ryan says, "And the winner is David..."

And that's it.

My DVR cuts off!

After all of that, it cuts off right after "David..."

Just my luck.

To make matter worse, the wrong David won (conspiracy theorists are already at work dissecting Simon Cowell's about-face on Cook right before the unexpected result was announced).

Just my luck.


NYT Story

21 May 2008

Indiana Jones 4 Gets It On!

Dude, the 12:01 am showtime is sold out.

It's 9:40 pm and people are already lining up for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The crazy part? None of these kids were alive when the last Indiana Jones move came out!


20 May 2008

My Own Brush With A Mia Farrow-Like Family

I was on my way back from Denver and got on the plane to find a real-life Mia Farrow-style family sitting next to, and around, me.

A couple of African-American kids, a couple of Asian-American kids, and all the colors of the Benetton rainbow.

I gotta say, they were the best behaved family I had ever seen.

The father was very supportive of the kids (unlike the other parents who had to enlist the aid of the flight attendants to help them control their obnoxious brats), the kids themselves were very polite with one another, and the little baby in her (adopted) mother's arms next to me did not let one peep out the whole flight (unlike, again, the pleas of "don't cry," "shhh!," "quiet" emanataing from the other parents throughout the plane). The mother interacted with the baby the entire way, and you could just see her little eyes light up with so much love and attention.

After the flight all of them proceeded in a very orderly fashion off the aeroplane (again, in stark contrast to the other families).

Somewhere, Ms. Farrow is smiling...

19 May 2008

Bachelors in Breckenridge

So, after a couple of days percolating in not-quite-so beautiful Denver, and in much-more-beautiful-than-expected Golden, we headed out to OMG-it's-so-beautiful Breckenridge for Chris McCarley's Bachelor Party.

There was some hanging out in an incredible cabin, some playing of frisbee and football, some playing of Trivial Pursuit (yep, I said Trivial Pursuit), some playing of cards, some eating, some drinking, and a whole lot of laid-back Bachelor Party fun!

The man, the myth, the legend that is Christopher David McCarley

Andy can't believe all the fun he's having!

Brett and Chris in the optional fifth seat

The only Prius I saw during my entire trip to Colorado

What up bee?

The essentials of any Bachelor Party

I told you Breckenridge was beautiful

Beautiful Breckenridge

Chris's awesome frisbee skills

View from the incredible cabin

The view inside the cabin (done with some smoke and, literally, mirror[s])

The Loaf N' Jug - an integral Colorado establishment

The President stops by for a visit

"It's my bachelor party and I can have fun if I want to..."

Breckenridge Panorama (click to enlarge)

Trivial Pursuit Panorama (click to enlarge)

An ultra-cute video of Fluger, a giant Jack Russell Terrier who popped by to play with us:

16 May 2008

Chris Is Now A Cat Person

When Chris inherited Emily, he also inherited her cat Gus.

Now Chris and Gus as best friends.

I did not see that coming.

See? For all you dog people out there (like me), give cats a shot. You'll be surprised at how awesome they are!

I mean, if Chris can do it, so can you!

Golden, CO Is Lovely!

Chris, Andy and I actually walked from Chris's house to Downtown Golden, Colorado.

On the way we passed a river, a riverwalk, tree-lined streets, baseball fields, friendly people, wood-fired pizzas and my first ever Coors Light!


15 May 2008

Rocky Mountain High...Colorado

I am in Denver with my colleague Andy Abdelmalek for my other colleague Chris McCarley's bachelor party.

Denver has a cool, if confusing, airport.

14 May 2008

Dude, It Was An Earthquake?!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008
0335 Hours

Something wakes me up. It's The Better Half.

"What's going on?" I ask.

"I think it's an earthquake," she replies.

"Is the cat okay?"

"Cat? What about me?"

"Sorry, are you okay?"

"Yes. What should we do?"

I get out of bed. The cat is, indeed, fine (though, not quite the early-warning system as the legend would have you believe).

I use the "facilities," crawl into bed, check the local news radio station, find out that there was a 2.7 magnitude quake in Manhattan Beach, shut my eyes and fall back to sleep.

The Better Half still waits for me to try to figure out what to do.

Just another night in Southern California.

Oh Joy! New Cure Single

I heard the new single from The Cure on Indie 103.1 [on the excellent The Last of the Famous International Morning Shows with Joe Escalante] yesterday, and it's brilliant!

The new single is called "The Only One" and it's off their new album coming out on 13 Sep 2008. They are planning on releasing a new single every month until then.

There's a stream you can hear on Pitchfork [see below for the link].

Their recent concert in Virginia was apparently amazing. Read about it on Pitchfork [see below for the link].

The Sun's out, the Kolkata Knight Riders are back to winning in the IPL (Indian Premier League...the best cricket league, ever!), and there's a new Cure single out.

All is right with the world!

Here's a live performance of the song:


Pitchfork Stream
Pitchfork Concert Report

13 May 2008

My Pal [DJ] Yashraj

So, my old pal Yash "Yashraj" Dhillon is playing a gig this Saturday, 17 May 2008.

You'd better check him out folks...he's great!

Here it is from the horse's mouth:

This set is an ode to the old folk, because I'm diggin' deep into da crates on the hip-hop & reggae frontz. Have you ever been to A/C lounge on a Sat Eve in Venice (DJ Quik E-Mart is nasty!!!)? If so, then ya know what to expect. If not, let me fill you in: Biggie, Snoop, Roots, Mr. Vegas (Headz High, Kill'Em), Digital Underground, Das Efx (yeah, I said DAS EFX), Pete Rock & CL, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Tribe, Pharcyde...the list goes on and on and on...kiddies, its about time y'all learned about REAL hip-hop (have you actually listened to the lyrics of today's "hip-flop"?)...Nas wasn't far off when he said "Hip-Hop is DEAD". Welcome to the resurrection y'all...

Here are the details:
FUSION @ Nacionale
1645 N. Wilcox Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
9:30pm - 2am
DJ B-Dawg w/special guest Yashraj
*Guest List closes @ 10:30pm


DJ Yashraj

11 May 2008

My Thoughts Exactly

"Idealism is what precedes experience...

...Cynicism is what follows."

- David T. Wolf

08 May 2008

Kobe What Hath Thou Wrought?

Great, Kobe Bryant wins the MVP award (no, he did not deserve it), and he just opens the floodgates of idolatry.

To be fair, my colleague Bon "Big Daddy" Mercado has always been a fan, and never wavered in his commitment, even when the going was tough.

Of course, that's exactly the opposite of what Kobe did...but who am I to split hairs?

Here's to Bon, and everyone else who has chosen to believe in Kobe. May you find the strength to piece your sure-to-be broken hearts together again...

Charles Barkley Pulls a Ron Burgundy

My second favorite Will Ferrel movie is Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

And here, Charles Barkley pulls a Ron Burgundy.

And this is why TNT's Inside the NBA is one of the best shows on television!

PS. Sent to me courtesy of my fine young colleague Mark "The Natural" Contreras. And ladies, your prayers have been answered, he is single and very much ready to mingle...

Frank Caliendo Does Charles Barkley

I know, I shouldn't, but I do like Frank Caliendo.

I also like the fact that he visited the set of TNT's awesome Inside the NBA with Ernie Johnson Jr., Kenny "The Jet" Smith, and the great "Sir" Charles Barkley...

...and did an impression of Sir Charles in front of Sir Charles.

Great stuff!

07 May 2008

Avengers Unite!

Umm, Los Angeles Avengers that is.

The Better Half and I took in an LA Avengers game last weekend.

It was a lot of fun and I had been curious ever since I heard that Mikes Greenberg and Golic (from ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike Show) had "done" an Arena Football League game for ESPN.

Even former Olympic medalist Amanda Beard was on hand.

We beat the hated Arizona Rattlers on the last play of the game! Now who says that Los Angeles doesn't love Football?!

Here is a report from the Los Angeles Times:

The Avengers have not had many bounces go their way this season, but veteran wide receiver Kevin Ingram recovered two key turnovers on kickoffs Saturday night to help L.A. defeat the Arizona Rattlers, 66-59, at Staples Center.

Early in the fourth, the Avengers tied the score, 45-45, on a short touchdown run by Josh Jeffries and took a 52-45 lead on the ensuing kickoff when Ingram recovered a Rattlers fumble in the end zone.

After Arizona responded with a Lang Campbell scoring pass to Trandon Harvey to tie the score at 52-52, Jeffries scored his second touchdown to put the Avengers in front, 59-52.

The Rattlers responded with a Campbell scoring pass to Burley for a 59-59 tie.

The game was decided on Hicks' touchdown pass to Marshall, who had a team-high nine catches for 120 yards and two scores.