29 December 2008

Secret Santa '08 Wish Lists

I hope you had fun drinking and exchange presents. If you didn't get what you really wanted, well, you shouldn't have put it on your wish list.

[Reading music:
Low - Just Like Christmas
Wham! - Last Christmas
The Vandals - Oi to the World


ok here goes the list....

i like:
shirts, scarfs, make-up, and anything else i'll appreciate..


hennessy vs 750 ml
glenfiddich 12 year 750 ml
jack daniels 750 ml
quervo 750ml
1800 750ml
dog poop scooper
any t-shirt at image store or yellow rat
pink xbox 360 controller

Let There be Blood DVD
Film (any kind)
Film (seriously, any kind)

1. Really cool condoms - like wrappings/glow in the darks/etc.

there is a store called the condom store in the west village

2. Really cool panty-hose, weird colors/patterns/out of the norm but yet stylish

could be found anywhere they sell pantyhose: bloomies, american apparel, underwear stores, that pantyhose store in penn station

3. Vibrator!!!!!! (super serious)

Could be found at any sex shop in Manhattan. Please make sure it has super strong vibrations, is washable and safe, as well as long lasting meaning I could replace the batteries!!! Ask the salesgirls at these places for their favorite pick. Or you could hit up the sexshop babeland something.

1-Gift cards from any of the following :
Barnes and Nobles, Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, H&M, Forever 21, ebay?, and Bath and body works.

2- Take me someplace to get my holga film developed and pay for the film development. It isn't more than about 12 or 13 dollars.

3- Some really good weed, preferably in the amount of a dub, but whatever you can afford.

4- OH, if you're a photographer or artist, something home made.

1. A pack of socks, or wife beaters. Please not white. Size small for the wife-beaters, for the love of God, not size 9 if you're going for the fucking socks. I have small feet. If it says it fits up to size 9, don't grab them, they will be too big for me. Size 5 or 6, pl0x.
2. http://store.dieselsweeties.com/products/secret-kisses-shirt-herschl-the-hook-up-hare-edition Women's American Apparel, size Medium pl0x.
3. http://www.tshirthell.com/funny-shirts/swallow-or-its-going-in-your-eye/ Ladies, size Medium, black. pl0x.

0 - 10: A winter hat of your choosing, I have a head that fits both medium and large sized hats.
10 - 20: A highly-acclaimed work of fiction published in the past 5 years.
20-30: A snazzy sweater. Size can vary from medium to large depending on the store.

Here it is. Stuff can be used (except maybe the socks), or found, whatever.

- a fiction graphic novel that can be described as fucking awesome

- a cool looking "The Art of . . ." concept art book for an animated movie, video game, etc

- a science fiction book that fucks with your mind

- an interesting gadget, preferably steampunk

- excellent socks stay both warm and dry, dryness is crucial

- a t-shirt with a crazy design, size Medium

- something you think is very important for me to have but that I don't already have (no diseases please)

i would like:
1. endless supply of toilet paper
2. vaccuuum
3. funny looking wine-bottles/ funny-artistic logos, etc.
4. a small puppy that can fit in my palm
5. coasters
6. swiffer
7. ingredients to make weed brownies
8. weed
9. or, just the weed brownies itself would be awesome
10. a small puppy that can fit in my palm
11. $5,000
12. Someone to do my research paper by tomorrow? yes? nah....nevermind.
12. um..i need a job but i am not skilled....so nvm
12. i don't care really, if my new place can benefit from it [ps. im a neat freak] then mazeltov!!

hopefully aileen gets my name since shes the one that uses all my toilet paper newayz! HMPF!!

FREE- you can give me a 30 min back massage woohoo!

1)$10 tank top or yoga pants Size Small.

2) $15 Trail Guide to the Body Student Handbook: How to Locate Muscles, Bones and More (Spiral-bound) by Andrew Briel and Robin Dorn

I could really use this book for school :-). Its an awesome book.

link: http://www.amazon.com/Trail-Guide-Body-Student-Handbook/dp/0965853462/ref=pd_sim_hpc_1

3) $20- 30 An Obama shirt or any cool T shirt that will make me giggle

FREE TO $10:
- Mixed CD with insert cover art - Free.
- Personal artwork - Free.
- "Great Russian Short Stories" (Dover Thrift Edition), Paul Negri - $3.50.
- Classic Periodic Table Poster - ~$6 at Amazon.

$10 TO $20:
- "The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857", William Dalrymple, $16.95 [Amazon: ~$14 (including S&H)].

$20 TO $30:
- "Silent Exodus: Portraits of Iraqi Refugees in Exile", Khaled Hosseini - $25 [Amazon: $20 (including S&H)].
- "Landmarks of Western Art: The Renaissance - A Journey of Art History Across the Ages (1999)", DVD - ~$22 at Amazon.
- NYU Book Store gift card.

OVER $30:
- Estée Lauder "Pleasures Delight" 1.7oz - $45 at Macy's.
- Sonja Picard Collection Jewelry/PETA Ahisma 16" Necklace - $150.
- Nikon D40 Digital SLR - $379.00 at B&H.

- No products from Bath & Body Works, please.
- CLOTHING. Shirts: size small. Pants: size 6. Shoes: size 8. Please include the receipt in case I need to exchange the item for a different size.
- I'm an India-phile, so anything Indian (e.g. music, Bollywood movies, documentaries, jewelry, books, clothing, devotional statues).

. One thousand paper cranes (again, i know i put this down last year..but im still into it)
. Tales of the Beatle and the Bard - JK Rowling, Prices range from - $7.59 (amazon), $9.74 (Strand) to $12.99 (normal)
. Persepolis the Movie - Around $20

Absolutely anything the santa deems fit for me or the situation
A pair of black pants - H&M size 6, generally 2-4 otherwise
An absurdly huge counterfeit watch from chinatown, please haggle down
A few of the best (strange, absurd, educational, etc) $1 books you can find at strand
A series of Poems, written by the santa
A few of the weirdest objects found on the streets of NYC

Free-$10: DOTS candy
$20-$30: "Carnivore tee" size Medium $21.50 @ delias.com item #155900
or anything with the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz for whatever price less than $30.

Poland Spring Vodka
Grey Goose

22 December 2008

Some words of encouragement.

I know this world can be a rough place. Demons and animals tear at your heels as you run through cold, abandoned streets. A harsh wind cuts through your skin and slices off your flesh, one millimeter at a time. Don't worry. You're home. Everything's going to be ok. Drum and bass will save us all.


[Reading music: Dan the Automator - Third World Lover (feat. Kid Koala)]

“You’re old enough,” my cousin Mohammed said before we hopped on his motorcycle. I was eighteen and, despite our family’s objections, he was going to show me the “real” India. Up to this point, my Indian experience consisted of nightly dinner engagements with obscure relatives, unsentimental gift giving and marathon video-gaming. My mother, my younger brother and I returned to India every four years and each visit had been identical to the last.

Mohammed and I arrived at the local butcher's market. It was nothing more than a ceiling and support beams, but the suffocating odor defied the open-air architecture. The butchers worked on large concrete slabs. There they cut the meat and laid it out for sale. Skinned goats hung upside down from chains extended from the ceiling. Flies swarmed about. Unoccupied butchers absent-mindedly swatted them away. Stray dogs freely entered the market, lusting over the goods, kept at bay only by a shout or a whack.

Mohammed began taking photos with the camera my mother had bought him. A few butchers noticed and approached us. They assumed we were reporters and, before Mohammed could correct them, began complaining. Mohammed translated, explaining that the market was municipal institution and the butchers thought that if the wider public was made aware of its gruesome conditions, they could force the local government to clean it up.

Mohammed criticized the Indian press. He drew a parallel between my family shielding me from the filthy, inhumane side of India and the way the media served the public. Desperate, impoverished people wanted to hear good news, not to be reminded of the ugliness of their lives. And that’s what the reporters and television anchors gave them. Everyone wanted to pretend that everything was okay.

By now a small crowd had gathered around us. Despite Mohammed’s attempt to explain that we were not journalists, a man pulled us aside. He led us to the local public bathroom. First, he pointed out the local police station and then directed our attention to the bathroom’s confines. Even from ten feet away, I could smell the stench of urine and feces. Of course, it was a stinking rotten mess. But what the stranger wanted us to notice were the two men, who were able to withstand the odor with broad smiles. They were sitting on the floor, just beyond the entrance. One was heating a piece of aluminum foil with a lighter. The second had a straw with one end hovering over the foil, the other end in his mouth. The restroom didn’t have a door. People were walking in and out, urinating with ease and washing their hands before exiting. The police station was only two blocks away.

Next, we came to a river. Mohammed explained that rivers were considered sacred in Hinduism, which was why people were bathing in the murky green water littered with trash. He explained that their bathing was making the river even more polluted; the run-off from the soap stayed in the current and, further downstream, people were doing the same ritual bathing, adding their own soap-scum to the water. Each attempt at absolution deteriorated the river further. From the middle of the river rose a temple, thin and tall like a dagger stabbing through the current. It was five stories tall. Due to the high tide of the monsoon season, the first story was completely submerged. Walking along the riverbed, we were confronted by a hoard of what Mohammed called “professional beggars.”

“These are beggar colonies,” he said. He claimed that they allowed only the most disfigured and heart-wrenching to join their ranks. They worked the streets together, sometimes clashing with other beggars over turf-rights. At the day’s end, they split the earnings amongst the group, dividing it along their hierarchal lines. When Mohammed wasn’t looking, I gave an elderly woman with a face like crumpled brown leather and stubs for fingers twenty rupees.

Mohammed had been taking photos since we stopped at the butcher's and now he wanted a shot of the entire river. He wanted it all: the fanatics bathing in the toxic water, the beggars preying on the faithful, the temple standing erect amidst the flood. We climbed a ladder leading up to the roof of a nearby two-story building. As my cousin took his shots, I surveyed the area. In a pen beneath us, the cows were eating out of a large pile of trash, feeding on leaves that were used to wrap portions of rice and chicken. Between two cows kneeled a man and small girl. They were picking leaves out of the unopened trash bags, scrapping up the remaining rice and chicken and shoveling it into their mouths.

“That’s not something you see in America,” Mohammed said, “people eating besides cows.”


Later on during the same trip, my entire family took a vacation. My mother considered it absurd that our family had spent their entire lives in India without ever seeing the Taj Mahal. So she rented a tour bus, a driver and a guide, and we set off for the sights of northern India. We visited Agra, Delhi and Jaipur to behold the treasures of Indian civilization.

There was a hotel in Delhi with a bridge. To reach the hotel’s front entrance, you had to drive over this bridge. It was completely unnecessary. It was constructed as a gimmick to make the hotel seem more luxurious than it actually was, something to compensate for the green blotches of mold on our bedroom ceiling and the half-functioning air conditioner. The bridge passed over a small, man-made valley complete with an artificial river and two swans. River may be an overstatement; it was drying up and much more akin to a shallow stream. The swans waddled beneath the bridge, hiding from the unrelenting north Indian sun. The edges of their feathers looked rusted. They moved awkwardly and were missing feathers. They could have easily flown away, but it seemed as if their wings were clipped.

[This story won the Fall 2008 Harman Writing Nonfiction Competition and will be published in next semester issue of Encounters magazine.]

17 December 2008

Hey, Olek, what are you doing?

Oh, just cross-posting to another blog is all.


This kind of specialized blogging is becoming terribly popular.

16 December 2008

Coleman and Franken

A five-member elections panel in Minnesota has begun the process of examining hundreds of ballots challenged by both sides in the Senate contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken today. The board will have to sort through as many as 1,500 ballots to determine voter intent.

On Minnesota Public Radio, they have posted images of the challenged ballots between Franken and Coleman. You can see what problems they're having..

15 December 2008

Today in Punk

The day's events organized by hardcore-ness

Reading music: The Bronx - Heart Attack American

Iraqi Journalist: Hardcore
An Iraqi journalist shouted "This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog" and then threw both of his shoes at President George Bush during a press conference in Iraq. Unfortunately, he missed.

Greek President: Emo
President Karolous Papoulias underwent surgery to fit a pacemaker during the tenth day of riots and protests in Athens and other Greek cities. The President's broken heart comes amidst calls for Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' resignation.

New England: Acoustic
Over 400,000 homes and businesses in Northeastern United States remained without power after severe winter storms battered the region. President George Bush declared a state of emergency as power company crews work around the clock to restore electricity.

07 December 2008

Madison Park... [addendum]

So it turns out it was actually a video that I find both terrifying and hilarious. Enjoy.

03 December 2008

Madison Park...

... is often home to public art projects, like Tadashi Kawamata's "Tree Huts" (a project which must have been a massive failure as I could not find photos of it in any popular press). So while crossing through the Park today and coming across the scene pictured above, I naturally assumed it was simply another installation.

Before I had much time to ponder the artistic intention behind the stage surrounded by lights or the diamond-shaped wreath suspended from the air or the couple kissing beneath it, I was approached by a solicitor. She explained that it was a charity/raffle event, "When Forever Began." $5 was going to be donated to Elton John's AIDS something or the other for every person who was photographed. Although it wasn't mentioned, I assumed the event was hosted by De Beers, the diamond cartel of questionable moral standing. I figured it was only right to bleed the beast as much as possible, so I hopped online. When my turn came, I stood beneath the wreath and, according to the photographer, a series of cameras placed around the stage simultaneously photographed me--you know, Matrix style. They gave me a reference number and told me I'd be able to check out my pic online sometime tomorrow.

If you're interested in participating, I overheard that the event is running through Thursday. The wait was a bit long, but there was free hot chocolate to compensate. And after all, it's for a good cause. Plus, you know that deep down you're a vain person who likes his or her picture taken.

P.S. Participation also enters you in a raffle to win a diamond, ladies.

01 December 2008

TWC gives me a headache.

Every time I go to pay my TWC bill, I am faced with a different challenge. Two months ago, I was told I accidentally received some "premium" channels, and that I'd have to pay for them in order to get them back. An hour later, I was given the service for one additional month. A month ago, I was informed that TWC charges one month in advance, which was a bit troubling, but I dealt with it. I just spent the past hour haggling with a ghetto, high strung woman about my cable fee nearly doubling. Then, she realized that I was being incorrectly charged, and her tone completely changed. Now I have to change my cable box, and won't be able to record shows. Should I pay the additional $10 fee? Capitalism sucks.

Sometimes things need to be explained to me.

Can someone please explain why we're having so much difficulty in the Middle East when we have these? Someone is lying to us and this chainsaw/assault rifle is proof.

Photo courtesy of AR15.com at their forum.