Saturday, March 15, 2003

Six Feet Under

For a while I have been wanting to check out Six Feet Under, a relatively new show on HBO. The ads on the subway trains promoting the show were really intriguing. One had the caption "How popular would you be if you drive this to school everyday?" underneath a picture of a funeral wagon. Another caption read "Get Married. Raise Children. Bury Husband. Start Life." A third one read: "Fly home for the holidays. ID Dad's body. Cancel Return Flight."

After watching 3 episodes of Six Feet Under, I understand now why it's such an acclaimed show. It's hilarious, dark, thought-provoking, twisted, gripping. It has fantastic dialogue, great acting, gripping plot and fascinating characters. An all around kick ass show. It says a lot about the quality of a show when its opening credits were more interesting than many movies I have watched. In a lot of ways, this show reminds me of American Beauty, which isn't surprising since Alan Ball, the creator/director/writer of Six Feet Under also wrote the script for American Beauty. The guy is absolutely brilliant, totally on the same level with Charlie Kaufman. I don't know how he could come up with a show that revolves around a dysfunctional family of morticians.

So far, in the beginning of every episode some poor sap dies and gets the royal treatment from Fisher and Sons. The dead father makes periodic appearances to admonish or guide each member of his family. Interspersed in the pilot episode were hilarious commercials for embalming fluids, skin sealant and funeral wagons, some of which featured dead people. Each character is screwed up in some way, but they are so much more realistic than the stereotypical characters typically found on network TV. They all have endearing qualities that make me care about and sympathize with each and every one of them. Although the show deals with a seriously morbid subject like death, it still manages to be humorous. Just what I am looking for. Thank you HBO!!
Netflix Rock!!!

Registered for Netflix and picked out tons of movies on Tuesday night. Netflix sent out 3 movies to me on Wednesday. I received the movies on Thursday. And they have practically every movie that I want to see. Best of all, I don't have to walk 4 blocks to some lame video store to return a dvd only a day after I rented it. No need to mingle with the masses either. Just watch the movies, drop them into a mailbox, and wait for more movies. I LOVE NETFLIX!!! Now, if only they rent video games too. More Chinese movies would also be helpful.

On the other hand, I have hardly done any reading this past week and watching DVD's all the time will make me want to go out even less.

UPDATE: I just noticed this on the Netflix rental queue page: "Most customers add 6-10 movies to their Rental Queue during their first visit." I added 45 movies. Take that, BIATCH!!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Why I Hate Radio

I hear the same fucking songs each at least five times a day. The sad part is that I actually like a lot of these songs, but by the time they are out of rotation I don't ever want to listen to them ever again because I would want to vomit. Counting days until the iPod has a big enough price drop to actually justify a purchase.
Dancing Dummy

Last night in Grand Central while I was waiting for the Shuttle train to Times Square, I saw this subway performer dancing with a female dummy. The dummy actually looked pretty real. Basically, the guy tied his shoes to those of the dummy, put on some Mexican(?) music and just started getting jiggy with her. Although parts of the guy's routine looked like salsa, I don't remember learning to put my dance partner's head between my legs and use her hands to slap her own ass in Social Dance I. Overall watching the guy dancing was pretty entertaining, but he didn't have many variations.

Then while on the train, the guy sitting near me vomited into a plastic bag, spraying some vomit outside of his bag and on the floor. Thank God there was a girl sitting between us so I didn't get any of his brown sauce on me. That's New York for ya.
Random Quote of the Day

Overheard as I was walking toward my cubicle: "Somebody killed my ostrich. It's dead."

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Higher Education Gets High

I can't ever imagine Gerhard Casper or John Hennesey doing this, but Stanford would have been an even "happier" place if they did :-)
Use!! Thanks :-)

Why did I major in CS again? had a great article on the current slumping tech job market. That article also metioned, a site that has the most ludicrous job postings (tech) job seekers have come across, from unpaid internships that demand 2-5 years of experience to $10/hour tech jobs that require you to be a born-again Christian. Fuck that job, I say. I'm just glad I have a job and living in a cool city like New York.
Roll Call

Ok, I have only had this blog for a little more than a month and I already have 520 hits (more than 200 are unique). There are even people from Pakistan and Europe reading my blog. I'm just curious as to who my audience is. Post your name in the comments section. Thanks :-)
Weird-looking People on the Train

I have written about crazy people on the train before. Recently, I have begun to see more weird-looking people, too. This morning on the way to work, I stood next to a woman who looked like she just popped out of a time warp from the 80's. Imagine taking a shrub, putting massive amounts of hair gel with extra hold, and then planting it on top of an unattractive Asian woman's head. That's what she looked like. I think I'm becoming better at supressing laughter. Standing next to her was someone that looked like he could be Teyo Johnson's kid brother. I guess he didn't really look weird.

The other day I'm pretty sure I saw Moby lounging on a seat aboard the L train. Ok, maybe he didn't look like Moby all that much, but he was white, in his early 30's, bald and he wore a gray suit, as close to Moby as I have seen so far. Before that I sat next to the two surviving members of TLC. At least they looked like TBoz and Chilli, had bleached blonde hair and multiple piercings, and wore black leather jackets.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Crass Commercialism

Recently, I have noticed a growing trend of "This is a dramatization" captions in commercials, specifically car commericals. I'm talking about those preposterous commercials in which a SUV pulls an airplane, swims in the ocean among sharks, or scales the Empire State Building and scares the shit out of the Statue of Liberty (this is a local commercial). Why would the advertisers even consider putting warnings on these commercials? What kind of morons would ever be misled into thinking that they could drive their gas guzzlers in water? Or surf with their Corollas?

On the other hand, even though most of the big, juicy, colorful, mouth-watering burgers and sandwiches featured in fast food ads are inedible because food stylists actually use cotton swabs, tweezers, glue, glycerin, oil, etc. to make them seem more appealing, I have not ever seen one of those commercials pointing out that "dramatization" has taken place. I'm reminded of a great scene in the movie "Falling Down," in which Michael Douglas buys a hamburger and then becomes enraged because it does not even remotely resemble the ones in the ad. I have never bought a burger that looks as good as the ones shown in those Whopper commercials, either. I'm sure I am not alone. Why aren't these advertisers punished for misleading the public?

In addition, I have been really puzzled by the different responses to tobacco and alcohol advertising from the government. Both industries have used extremely manipulative marketing campaigns to peddle their products, and yet the government is much more aggressive towards the tobacco companies. I guess the tobacco companies deserve all the punishment because they have been very deceptive in their marketing too.But have you seen any of the countless beer, malt liquor, wine (to a less extent) commercials lately? There are SO MANY of them and each one is the same: attractive young people having more fun because they have <drink name here>. There are whites, blacks, latinos, Asians, blondes, redheads, brunnettes, fat guys, skinny guys, twins, catfighting women, bikini-clad women sunbathing in the snow, etc. etc. I don't think any other industry other than the porn industry uses as much sex to promote its products. Why isn't the government cracking down more on this kind of advertising? Why are there commercials with teenagers trucking body bags in front of Philip Morris's headquarter but not Anheuser-Busch's building, too? Alcohol consumption leads to tens of thousands of deaths a year as a result of drunk driving. Should Coors be let off the hook simply because it sticks "Drink Responsibly" at the end of its raunchy, hedonistic commercials? I'm all for commercials featuring half-naked hot chicks catfighting in swimming pools, but shouldn't the government be more concerned when these ads are used to promote a potentially dangerous substance such as alcohol?

UPDATE: On second thought, beers/malt liquor/wine probably don't really cause that many auto accidents because they are not nearly as strong as some of the harder stuff, such as vodka, gin, and Jack Daniels (if you are Srini), which ARE banned from advertising on TV. However, that is only a self-imposed ban by the liquor companies and I do see many ads for such drinks in magazines.

[19:52:28] handturkeyman: how're the new york ladies?
[19:52:50] gfunknation: oh they are so fine
[19:52:55] gfunknation: and none is mine
Kick ass movie

Charlie Kaufman is my idol. The man is so creative/wacky/brilliant/original it's scary. So far I have only watched Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, which both kick major booty. I can't wait for his next film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which sounds so far-fetched and entertaining that only Kaufman can come up with it.

Thanks to Tolu for bringing this movie to my attention. I am pleased to announce that he will be receiving a pair of super-comfortable and yet fashionable Tolu Sports silk boxers as well as a plush velvet bath robe, both of which should give him considerable assistance in his Booty Conquest, courtesy of Tolu Sports.
Netflix rampage

Last night I finally signed up for Netflix because I'm too lazy to walk 4 blocks to the local video store and I don't want to deal with late fees. After soliciting recommendations from Cindy and Ben, and reading tons of top-X lists, I put some 40 movies in my rental queue. "Six Feet Under" Season 1 disc 1 and "Twin Peaks" Season 1 disc 1 are on their way to my place. I can't wait!!

Here's my queue. Suggestions and warnings (against ones already chosen) are more than welcome :-)

Igby Goes DownBarbershopUnfaithful
Human Nature The Rules of AttractionThe Rookie
A.I. Artificial IntelligenceCast AwayKnockaround Guys
Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinFatal AttractionGhost World
The Nightmare Before ChristmasL.I.E.The Insider
The Straight StoryStartup.comAmadeus
The Deer HunterThe Green MileMisery
The HurricaneShiriBoys Don't Cry
We Were SoldiersYou Can Count on MeMr. Deeds
The Center of the World Wild Orchid Lovely and Amazing
Chungking ExpressMy Big Fat Greek Wedding Welcome to Collinwood
Hollow Man Slums of Beverly HillsArlington Road
Babe: Pig in the City Beijing BicycleBaran
Breaking the Waves Monsoon Wedding  
Site Update

A few improvements to this blog:

1.) A BRAND NEW URL!!! Now you can just type in and you will be forwarded to this blog. I hope it's a little easier to remember than :-) Yeah, please only use from now on because I need to have a constant stream of visistors to that URL to keep my new domain. You can register for your own free domain too!! Just go to to sign up. It's pretty new so you will probably be able to register your first, second and third choices (you get 3 free domains).
2.) A pictures link (right column)
3.) Favorite sites links (right column)
Worthless politicians

Because we are about to be engaged in a stupid and costly war, what could be more important to our lawmakers than changing food names in the House of Representatives restaurants to spite the French? Someone please tell the Republicans to get a clue.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Tolu Sport

Yes, that's the new line of fashionable upscale sportswear from My Ridiculously Random Head. I will try to "locate" an "ad" for a refreshingly upbeat product launch soon :-)
Silly Table Manners

While I was having lunch in the cafeteria, I overheard this suburban-looking soccer-mom wondering where the holder is for her corncob. Up to that point, I had never heard of a corncob holder before and I couldn't help but snicker when she held the cob upright with one hand and then proceeded to slice the kernels off the cob. Everyone I know eats corn like Goofy in Disney cartoons, where you chomp on the kernels while sliding the cob across your teeth. It may not be accompanied by wacky music, as in a Disney cartoon, but it's easy and fast and gets the job done.

Maybe I need a dining etiquette coach. NOT!!
Scary part II

So in the past two days, there has been a fight in a club in Times Square that left 10 shot/stabbed, a botched undercover sting operation in Staten Island that led to the death of two cops, and 4 totally random killings attributed to a calculating, heartless thrill killer.

I made the mistake of telling my parents the first incident, which worried the hell out of them. Needless to say, they won't be hearing about #2 and #3 from me. Maybe Guliani didn't clean up this city as much as I thought he did.

UPDATE: my manager just gave me a memo and a tag. Apparently, my company is concerned about our safety and has established a 24-hour emergency hotline that has a recorded message "regarding office closings, the status of operations or operating systems, and other important information that employees need to know." We are advised to keep the tag, which has the emergency number, on us at all times.

Hmm, let me see. The North Korean "nuclear Elvis" (Kim Jong Il as described on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart) just dropped a bomb on Lady Liberty. I have GOT to call the emergency hotline and see if I need to go to work today!! What's next? A dog tag?

Monday, March 10, 2003

What is Money?

Yesterday, when I logged on to Chase Online Plus, the enhanced electronic banking service from JPMorgan Chase Bank that aggregates all of my financial information (credit, checking, saving, etc.), I saw that my networth plunged 106% and actually became negative. It scared the shit out of me!! According to Chase I have lost all the money in my checking and savings account because it couldn't access that account. Fortunately, I was able to use the regular online access method to verify that I still had money in the account.

This little snafu got me thinking about how abstract money seems nowadays. I don't even deal with cash that much nowadays. My salary is direct-deposited into my bank account every two weeks. Every day In the cafeteria, I swipe my ID card, into which I deposit money once a week, to purchase lunch. I use credit cards for all my online shopping, most of my offline purchases and bills. When I can't use a credit card, I write checks. The only times I actually take cash out of my wallet is when I have to buy milk and groceries at the small neighborhood grocers or to pay subway performers. Occasionally I use real, hard cash to buy movie tickets when I forget to buy them online.

For me, money doesn't even feel like something that's real and concrete anymore, and I even feel somwhat detached from it. To me, It's just a bunch of ever-changing digits that fluctuate from time to time on my computer screen. When that number decreases, it means I just bought some clothes online or I just paid my cable bill. It doesn't seem to have that much meaning to me. Maybe it's because I am fortunate enough to not have to toil and work to death just to make a little more money and survive? Maybe for all my whining and bitching, my life is too easy for me to be able to appreciate the true significance of money.

I thought I had seen my shares of weirdos in New York. This one just takes the cake WTF was he thinking? WTF was she thinking?

Sunday, March 09, 2003


Just heard on the news that 10 people were shot or stabbed in Times Square early morning today. I was just there this afternoon too see "Chicago," a great movie that totally blew me away. It's such a vibrant and entertaining movie with great music, dialogue, acting, cinematography and choreography. I felt so allive after watching it. Never thought I would see Catherine Zeta Jones with such short hair and dancing so lively. The movie reminded me of both Moulin Rouge and Dancer in the Dark, which is pretty weird since they are completely different musicals. "Chicago" is definitely the best movie I have seen so far this year. I won't be surprised if it snatches a few Oscars.

Oh yeah, the stabbing. Article found here
An Epiphany

I think I have finally figured out why New Yorkers are so impatient and always in a rush. BECAUSE IT TAKES FUCKING FOREVER TO GET TO ANYWHERE!!! People can't really drive much because they can't usually finding parking spaces that are close and cheap. Although the subway system is ubiquitous, it is constantly being repaired, which means a lot of rerouting and detours. It takes me more than an hour to get from my apt in Queens to midtown Manhattan, about 6 miles of driving, because I have to transfer a couple of times and there are so many freaking stops! When I do get to Manhattan, I'm usually a couple of minutes late already. So I run up escalators and jaywalk just to make up for all the time I lost. I really need to move to the 212!!

Also, every time someone is nice to me, I want to pay that person because I do not encounter that kind of treatment on a daily basis, such is life in the Big Apple.