Posts Tagged ‘life’

Only in Silicon Valley: Neighborhood Toughs Who Debate

Scene: I’m stuck on El Camino Real at the stop light on Stanford Avenue, right next to that Starbucks. I pull up right next to this Piece Of Shit bright orange Eclipse. A moment later, a gorgeous, jet-black Audi R8 pulls up right behind the Eclipse.

I always love to see guys in piddly wannabe sports cars like The Eclipse get p0wned. I pray for a badass machine like the R8 to pull up alongside, simply daring The Eclipse to a Fast And Furious kind of race. So in anticipation of The Eclipse Boys eating crow, I roll down the window and peer slyly into the car, past the eye-gougeworthy orange color.

A couple of young neighborhood “toughs” blaring indistinguishable hip hop. What a surprise. Windows rolled down…this ought to be good.

But instead of focusing on their rearview mirror with a clear visual of the Audi, they’re trying to read a damn bumper sticker…on the minivan in front. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

And then all of a sudden, one of them goes, “You Can Bomb The World Into Pieces…But You Can’t Bomb The World Into Peace”. And the other one pipes up, instantly, “Actually I’d argue against that…if there’s no one left to bomb, wouldn’t we have peace after all?!”

Struck by the profundity of the argument, and disgusted at the quality of Palo Alto’s teenage thugs, I roll up my windows and wait. I miss rough-and-tumble Kansas City sometimes.

Categories: life Tags: ,

OMG. Horrendous search results from

December 18, 2008 Leave a comment

I just couldn’t resist posting these results even though I understand that this may strike you as rather obvious. 

Query: “Brazil nightclub dress code” (don’t worry, I’m not weird, just heading to Brasil)


I mean, Good Grief, better to give me a blank page.

Categories: life Tags: , ,

Slumdog Millionaire Movie Review

December 8, 2008 3 comments

In four words: DO NOT MISS IT.

As someone that revels in the joys of biting sarcasm and the cynicism of all around me, I for once find myself stripped of my ability to strike a less than effusive tone. Slumdog Millionaire – which I initially avoided like I would a ridiculous Bollywood romp, then got curious about after good word and mouth and great reviews – hit me in the solar plexus and left me laughing, tearing up, getting angry, getting sad, cringing, laughing and tearing up again. It was a color-filled rollercoaster as any movie set in Bombay ought to be, and I loved every minute of it.

A lot of people have referred to Danny Boyle‘s improbable yet delicious rags-to-riches tale of a young orphan Dickensian. While that is certainly a compliment, it robs the movie of its very Indian, very Bombay-esque essence. The sights, the sounds, the colors, the pitch-perfect crass slum Hindi, the wretched settings in which slum dwellers eke out an existence, the inhumanity and the glorious humanity of it all is INDIAN above all else. The movie is an Indian movie at heart – how ironic, then, that it took an international crew to create such memorable fare while Bollywood continues to wallow in the dimwitted mind-numbing shit and piss they churn out with robotic frequency, each movie doing a more miserable job of aping the gringos than the last.

Not to give anything away but the story centers around a young lad named Jamal Malik who grew up in the sprawling slums of Bombay with his slightly older and far edgier brother Salim. The Muslim brothers know nothing but squalor and poverty and violence and learn to live their lives on the precipice of death. They beg, cheat, steal and con European tourists to get by. They cuss, punch, kill and maim to protect each other and the dignity of those around them. One brother ends up in a lowly white collar gig, a marginal loser on the fringe of a society where success is nowadays symbolized by a headset and a feeble attempt at a foreign accent (a gross exaggeration, no doubt, but valid for this movie). The other brother, armed with a Colt and a willingness to bend the rules turns player. No prizes for guessing who turns millionaire in the end.

Most of the characters are well written and the movie consciously avoids Bollywood stereotypes of dancing around trees and other nonsense. The fact that they reserve a Bollywood-like dance for the very end of the movie before the credits is a welcome change and a fitting rebuke of traditional Bollywood; it shows that one can make a great movie with a great soundtrack that is hugely entertaining without resorting to the path of least resistance.

Parts of the love story between the main character (Dev) and his lifelong squeeze are a stretch at best and hackneyed at worst. But this is a minor peccadillo and takes almost nothing away from the soaring splendor that is Slumdog Millionaire.

So to recap: DO NOT MISS IT.

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Dear Hollywood: Please prep Tom Cruise. He needs to dance around a tree, Bollywood style

June 24, 2008 2 comments

I just love this. The New York Times reveals that cash heavy Bollywood entertainment companies are trying to throw cash around Hollywood and are promising to cut through Hollywood “bureaucracy”.

I am now fully assured that I will – in my lifetime – see an A list Hollywood movie star prance around a tree, Bollywood style. Bonus points if they line up a 100 extras behind him/her performing the same dance move in unison.

See here for the gory details.

Categories: life Tags:

Dear IKEA: Did you realize you are now selling to dumb Americans?

This is a rant.

I have a violent love hate relationship with IKEA. I love big box retail convenience as much as the next guy (and screw you if you think I’ve sold my soul) but absolutely HATE Ikea’s ridiculous arrogance.

What the hell is with IKEA’s stubborn insistence on naming all their products in Swedish????

Are you frigging kidding me? You’re selling me a piece of shit 5 dollar ottoman that’s gonna disintegrate in six months and cause me a goddamn back injury while I’ve got my feet up on it.

The least you can do is name the stupid thing in English so I don’t have to squint at the letters and look like a jackass trying to pronounce it.

Plus, let’s face it. It’s not as if you are some classy company that gets to charge more money by naming crap in “European” so us stupid US dwellers get easily conned. Your demographic is kids fresh out of college and young families who’d rather be shopping at Z Gallerie instead of your dumpy-ass store. Get with the program.

And here’s the last problem: your language isn’t as pretty as you think. French this ain’t. There, I’m glad I said it.

Exhibit A: Walking through your interminable maze of Swedish crap, I came across and picked up a grill pan. Of course, even such a mundane object had to be classied up with a Swedish moniker. Only problem is, here is how this word is spelled:


I’m 26 and should know better, but I couldn’t stop giggling.

Categories: life Tags: ,

Welcome to the real world, Starbucks! Free WiFi! What’s next? Cheap coffee?

The yuppie in me LOVES Starbucks. But that other guy – who left home at 15 to be self reliant ever since and has held down a job since seventeen – HATES it.

One of the worst features of Starbucks is the paid WiFi. What were they smoking? 30 dollars a month for WiFi, especially after I just lost an arm and a leg paying for cinnamon crapola latte? Get the f outta here!

I welcome their entry into the real world with “free” WiFi. Well done, guys.

Here is the full story.

Categories: life, snarky Tags: ,

SF Cabbie Stereotype: The Gearhead

May 11, 2008 2 comments

This is classic Bay Area. So I get into a cab last night at 8th and Market and 1130pm, slightly tired but juiced up and ready to party it up in the Marina district in SF.

Cabbie was friendlier than usual and we started chewing the fat about the weather, the summer and other things you’d expect to talk to cabbies about.

Conversation suddenly turned to how I was being very productive on Caltrain because of my laptop card. I virtual-patted myself on the back for my attention to efficiency. I was awesome.

But the other shoe dropped when my cabbie disclosed that he had hacked his iPhone in order to be able to tether the laptop to the modem over the EDGE network.


Before I had time to violently retch at my unsavory faceplant, ol’ boy busted out his iPhone and showed me all the cool things that he’d done with it, including a screensaver of a beer mug, a Windows XP startup sound and other myriad wonders enabled with the help of a “bunch of hacker blogs”.

Double gulp. Was this guy a writer for Engadget and just driving a cab for shits and giggles?

He ended the ride with countering my assertion of a 200 dollar 3g iPhone and claimed that the blogger who predicted it had been wrong many times in the past.

At this point, I swallowed my pride, vowed never to underestimate a cabdriver, and rolled into the bar to become one with a bunch of shallow-ass Marina people.

Categories: life, tech Tags: , ,