Oscar Night

Normally, I could care less about the Oscars, or any of these celebrity award shows for that matter; I figure I’d reserve that for the daytime pink hair-curler wearing, soap-opera watching, Nat’l enquirer fans, that usually have these events circled on their TV-guides. But, this year I made an exception. I was lured in by the hype that Chris Rock was hosting it–and I LOVE Chris Rock.

But, much to my dismay, I found the whole thing painfully boring. Rock wasn’t as funny as usual. Beyonce sang two songs, one song in French, which I played off as though it were a commercial, and went to the kitchen to make myself a snack. The other song was with a piano accompaniment by Andrew Loyd Webber, again.. another commercial. The actors gave their predicable speeches, thanking everyone they’ve ever met in their life, and a list of other names that are new and that people pay no attention to.

Ultimately, I turned it off at around 10 or so, coming to the realization that this is not entertainment; this is an award show. The only people that watch televised award ceremonies, are people in it, and usually the parents of people in it. And I am neither.

Smoked Beer?

It is a historic moment in Rhode Island.

Never again, upon entering a restaurant, will you hear the question “Smoking or Non-smoking?”. I have always found it particularly disgusting that someone would want to eat while smoking. But hey, that’s their prerogative– or was.

I am very excited about this new law which makes it illegal to smoke in public places. I remember times going to a local place in East Providence called Red Bridge Tavern, and having to leave my jacket or sweater in the car, bracing the weather, and enter into the establishment wearing only the bare-minimum. If I didn’t do this, when I left that place at night, my clothes would be coated with that awful stench of cigarettes, which I can only get off my sweaters by dry cleaning. And I don’t wash sweaters and fleeces after every use, so wearing them out at smoke-deluged places would really put a wrench in my whole wardrobe cycle by having to take them temproarily out of commision.

There is a lot of oppistion to this new law, which has been expressed completly last minute, and mostly from small buissness’s under the notion that this law would criple their business. Ah, well, I’m happy.

Hate it. Love it.

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m very picky with what I read. Reading a sizeable novel–especially at my pace–takes a while, and I have to be absolutely certain I will like a book before I’m willing to commit to it.

I was making a book order on Amazon.com this weekend– really just plucking out some books from my wish list. I took down:

  • The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
  • The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Then after clicking my way to the cart, Amazon informed me that if I were to add just a measly 3.35$ to my total order, I would be eligible for free shipping. So it’s either I find something that costs 3.35$ and get the shipping free or dish out an extra 4.25$ . Clearly, the reasonable thing to do was add something else to the cart. So I looked. The only thing I wanted that comes close to reaching my 3.35$ is a 6$ paperback Star Trek novel (yes I said “Star Trek”; I can almost hear the shudders of disgust, and the nods of disapproval).

    So the search for a good Star Trek novel began, and after some searching through the lists, I came across Cardassia and Andor (Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Vol. 1); It screamed “Buy Me”. And being the nervously uncertain guy that I am, and easily persuaded by the voice of public opinion, I read the reader reviews that followed:

    5 stars The Cardassia story is excellent., July 30, 2004 …

    4 stars Andorian fans should love this!, May 25, 2004 …

    2 star Boring…, February 15, 2005

    1 star I was disappointed, November 6, 2004

    As you can see, the reviews did little but exacerbate my petty decisioning dilemma.

    It comes to show, what one person loves, another despises. One person’s junk, another’s treasure. I put so much weight on the opinion of others when making a decision, and in reality, opinions are so conflicting, so biased, so inconclusive, that sometimes… they can be almost meaningless.

    Spam Woes

    Spam–the mosquitoes of the Internet. Since I planted my new site on some fresh soil, it has become almost a part-time job for me to try and contain the build-up of Spam from overrunning my site. Every new comment, that has something to do with Texas Holdem, or Poker, or Viagra, or that may contain a slew of links, all to sites that serve no purpose other than surreptitiously installing spy-ware on some unsuspecting victim (who is not using Firefox), and flood their computer screen with a dozen pop-up advertisements for things no one has an interest of purchasing– it has me seething at the teeth.

    There are two people I would like to meet in the Spam Market. First, the filthy hoodlums that write the life-giving code behind Spam. Second, the idiots that are actually purchasing this stuff. I imagine they exist? I mean, if spammers weren’t reeling in a few pigeons for all their efforts, would they even bother?

    Ariyam.com 2.0

    Like the new site? I’ve upgraded to the latest version of WordPress (V1.5). I’ve also been working on some performance issues. Hopefully this will put an end to my site’s notorious downtime.

    The banner I threw together is from a painting called “The Son of Man”, by René Magritte. You may remember it from the movie “The Thomas Crowne Affair.”

    Props to Mills for all the help!

    First a business. Second a Team

    Let’s break-out the Rorschach inkblot test for a moment.

    When I think of Ebay.com, my first verbal knee-jerk reaction is “Damn, why didn’t I think of that”, in a tone of transparent jealousy, with maybe a dash of self-enmity.

    When I think of that peer-to-peer late 2000 sensation, Napster, my reaction is similar, probably a little more pretentious: “This isn’t all that special. I can code this, give me a month.”

    But, if you show me an insignia t-shirt of a professional sports team juxtaposed with a price-tag, or if you playback a 30-second clip of monkeys in suits, and then whisper over that this Superbowl commercial costs over 2.4 million to air on TV, I would probably drop my jaw for a few seconds, capitulating my haughty-air of feigned business acumen, and simply concede, “Wow… that’s a stroke of Genius”.

    Alright, so this is the makeup of the football product:

    1. A group of guys with enormous athletic talent.
    2. The important claim that these guys “represent” the citizens of a particular region of the Country.
    3. Then, let sit over time till the eventual engendering of an artificial solidarity by the community they represent.
    4. Make money. If you’re a decent team, charge 80$ for a seat in your stadium. Start with this “till-jar” of ticket sales, and quickly advance to the more lucrative potential in million dollar TV ads, products, magazines, etc. Sky’s the Limit.

    The Patriots have won their 3rd Superbowl in over 4 years, and now the whole of New England is in a state of accomplishment, as though they had some contribution to this victory. And, I am one of them. I was squirming on every New England fumble, jubilant for every McNabb sack, and sincerely joyful at how the game overall turned out, a Patriots Victory.

    It’s easy to forget that the Patriots, and all professional teams, are: First, a business, and only Second, a sports team. And hey, if you can combine the two and be filthy rich in the process, Amen, it’s America.

    Death by Syndication

    So, if you’re looking for a website that is seldom updated, brutally turquoise, with an ungainly appearance, and run by the world’s laziest Sri Lankan, Welcome!

    I try to stay on top of things, do my homework, read my book, put a post or two on my website, but I just can’t do it as long as Seinfeld reruns are being aired 4 times a day on TV. I’m hoping when they finally release all 9 Seasons of it on DVD, I won’t feel as compelled to watch them, and thereby, get my life back.

    The thing is, there are 2 episodes of Seinfeld I still haven’t seen. And It’s this desperate hope, that one day these two episodes will re-air on TV is what keeps me watching. They have become my white whale.

    Sad isn’t it?

    The Stall:

    While in a bathroom stall, Elaine needs some toilet paper, but the woman in the next stall refuses to give her a piece. The woman is Jerry’s girlfriend whose voice Kramer recognizes from a telephone sex line. Elaine’s boyfriend, whose face she just loves, takes George & Kramer rock climbing. After his accident, Elaine isn’t sure his face will be the same.

    The Chaperone:

    Jerry gets a date with Miss Rhode Island, a Miss America contestant; when they need a chaperone Kramer is available. On the date, Kramer gives her advice and becomes her personal coach. Elaine tries to get a job at Doubleday, filling in the shoes once filled by Jackie Onassis; instead she gets a job being the personal assistant of a top executive who likes white socks. Meanwhile, George decides that the Yankees need to change their uniforms from polyester to cotton.

    Stephen Lynch

    I was watching Comedy Central Presents for like 5 hours yesterday (I have that kind of time). And it was all well worth it because Stephen Lynch came on singing those hilarious songs that a lot of you know like “hermaphrodite” and “Just a little bit Special”.

    Ever since, I have been scouring the internet trying to find clips of these songs (I just can’t get them out of my head).

    So far, I’ve found a video clip of “She Gotta Smile”. It’s very funny and definitely worth a look!

    He has two albums out:
    1. Little Bit Special
    2. Superhero

    Blizzard of 2005

    It took me 3 hours yesterday to shovel the snow from our small little driveway, and an additional 30-min-or-so to clear the walkway that leads from the front door to the street. The walkway is as important since the mail has a tendency to never make it to your door when no path is available.

    What a snow storm! According to the news, anyone born after 1978 has never–in their life–seen a snowstorm of such enormity.

    Rhode Island is still in a “State of Emergency”. It may be just me, but the term “State of Emergency” has always seemed to me a little too dramatic when it’s called upon by something like a snow storm. Although, I won’t deny, snow can be very disabling, and roads can be very slippery, but the snow is still just sitting there. It’s not holding the governor and general assembly hostage (well, for the general assembly it may behoove us to look the other way); it’s not a giant lizard terrorizing providence, belching high piercing moans as dispatched tanks and armored apache helicopters unload futile rounds on an attempt to slow it down; it’s not the hour before an asteroid the size of Brazil, is supposed to directly collide into Kennedy Plaza. What state would we be in then? A “State of Emergency”–does it really hold the same doom-and-gloom connotation in these more dire situations, since we already used it up for the blizzard of 2005?

    But, I digress.

    Either way, today is a State of Emergency. I have no work. I am probably going to re-watch my season 3 DVDs of Seinfeld, followed by maybe some Madden 2004 on my Xbox. Then maybe I’ll go outside and point and laugh at my neighbors who were lazy and waited till today to shovel their driveway—snow the day after is always twice as hard to shovel, com’on people. And then finally, to fool myself into feeling productive, I will write a post on my website. 😉

    Done and Done

    Russell Peters

    Russell Peters is one of the funniest comedians I know of, and he’s Indian too– who would of thought? Anyway, my friend had sent me this great 45 minute clip of Peters doing his bit, and I promise you, it is the funniest thing you will see all day.

    So park yourself down for 45 minutes and watch this clip; I guarantee you’ll love it!

    Russel Peters Clip
    (oh by the way, it’s a .ram file, meaning you need RealPlayer to view it)