Summer Babe

As many of you know, I absolutely adore music, both performing and appreciating, and in several different varieties. I find msyself, however, thinking back to one of my favourite bands from high school to this very day, Pavement. My cousin Gautam is, predictably, not a fan, but I think that they’re absolutely brilliant. To some, the sound is sloppy, lazily arranged and produced and mostly full of nothing more than inside jokes for graduate students and cultural snots. To those who dig it, Pavement manage to combine an ability to comment on popular culture, the shibboleth of intelligentsia and musical irreverence over a deep emotional foundation. Take, for example, my favourite song by them, Summer Babe.

So many memories are associated with this song that it’s hard to think of where to begin discussing it. Rumour has it that it was the first song that they wrote together as a band, and it’s a perennial favourite amongst hardcore Pavement fans. From the opening riffs, with the chorus and distortion, to the closing chants of “Summer babe!” the song is one gigantic venture into the soul of a geek in love. Thanks to the genius of the interweb, we can all watch the video.

-dx

Off the grid.

If there is some category of person worse than a traitor, I truly have yet to come across it in my lifetime. Perhaps more annoying than a traitor, however, is someone who accomplishes the same goal through incompetence, rather than malevolence.  I have had way too many leaks of personal information to too many people, recently, causing me quite a bit of trouble.

I am, therefore, taking this opportunity to go off the grid for a while. I need to solve these situations quickly, as I have no interest in seeing them escalate, and ’til I know whom I can trust, I am keeping people at arm’s length.  If you are collaterally damaged, please accept my apology, but these leaks are intolerable.

-dx

More promotion of neat people

As some of you know, I have a pretty kickass friend named Saurav, who lives in Brooklyn, NY.  Saurav is probably one of the most fascinating people I speak to regularly, and he has done just about everything that there is to do that’s interesting, insofar as professional work is concerned.

His latest endeavour is to have a non-douchebag version of Sepia Mutiny, where people actually talk about things pertaining to being desi, be it social, political, cultural or simply humourous, and not the status quo, which is, “omg it’s like so ironic lolz get it sepoy rotflmao dude let’s tr0ll.”  UGH. What began with such promise quickly degenerated into nothing more than an online version of The Indian Students Association at any major university.

To return to Saurav, though, his latest endeavour is a group blog, Pass The Roti. I’m not quite sure that I get the meaning of the full title, which is “Pass The Roti On The Left Hand Side,” aside from it perhaps being an allusion to the left-wing politics that predominate the site, but it’s still pretty neat to read.  Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely abhor the unthinking, both left and right, and while one would expect me to excoriate this site, Saurav and his comrades are nothing like that.  They are some of the most articulate, objective and interesting leftists that I’ve read in a long time.  These aren’t people who mourn the loss of the leadership of Comrade Stalin, after all.  Some of the posts are a bit more emotionally introspective than I would otherwise advocate, but Saurav et al. manage to, in the words of Bob Dylan, “bring it all back home,” and still offer hard hitting, interesting analysis.

Perhaps the one thing that surprises me most about this site is that it is powered by WordPress , and not a multi-author, diary driven platform like Civic Space or Scoop, but I suppose that the mission of the site is to offer analysis from a consortium, and not a community.  This is not a drawback, by any means, but just not what I expected from Saurav.

So anyway, pass the roti on the left hand side, and while you’re at it, pass the achaar, the chole and the raita. Yummmy.

-dx

Music

Music has been a family tradition and a part of my life for so long, now, that I don’t even really consciously remember how it happened. I remember that as a toddler, perhaps when I was three, I really liked the Blondie version of The Tide Is High, and urged my parents to buy it for me, but after that, it’s all been one continuous stream of listening, watching and playing.

I currently own the following instruments:

1. Samick Vertical Piano: currently in Houston, at my parents’ place.

2. Fender Thinline Telecaster :  currently in Austin, with Loren Dent.

3. Gibson Blueshawk :  currently with Dan Le.

4. Yamaha CGI171S Classical Guitar:  currently in Houston, at my parents’ place.

I also listen to quite a bit of music. I’m not going to bother trying to catalogue who my favourite bands are, or why, but I will do the following for you.  If you’ve head of last.fm, you’ll know that they have a neat function where they track what you play on your music players. Please find mine here:

thedxindc's Profile Page

I promise to write more later.

Muses

n.b., This page is largely under construction, and will continue to be for a very long time.

Depending on whom you ask, there were either nine or ten Muses. I’ve always been fond of the classic story of nine muses, and it seemed to be a lovely way of demonstrating my love for the fine arts and the humanities.

Of all the arts, however, I am most fond of music. I shall write more about this at some other point.

B&T Liquor License

I seem to be on a kick tonight of finishing up posts that I began a long time ago and just never got around to posting. This is one from when I first moved back to D.C.!!

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the term “B&T,” which, in proper Manhattan form, is pronounced “bee-EN-tee.” The Washington, D.C., equivalent to a proper B&T is also called a B&T, but my dear friend Phil and I have reformulated it to mean “bus and train.” Now, let me be the first to clarify that within the District of Columbia, I ride buses and trains every day. In fact, it would be functionally impossible for me to live my life without the Red Line or the No. 42 bus. Hurrah, public transportation. The problem, of course, is that there are those who live in MD and VA who, for whatever reason, think that although they work in D.C., coming to the city to party is a neat road trip, and of course, behave as obnoxiously as the girls who go wild in New Orleans on video.

Surely, you know the type.

The guys: collars popped, expensive sunglasses on their baseball caps, prematurely and unnaturally aged blue jeans, flip-flops. This is what Phil and I call a douchebag.

There are several varieties of women B&T’s, so it’s not worth getting into.

Of course, these people are the ones who make going out in Adams Morgan an absolute nightmare, as they’re starting fights, crowding the bars, trying to slip women narcotics in their drinks, standing in line for large slices of pizza, etc. A slightly older version of the douchebag crowd can be found in Georgetown. I have no way to prove this, but I truly suspect that the majority of these douchebags vote Republican. Republicans are the only people I have ever met who are as, if not more so, annoying than these B&T [EXPLICIT NOUN].

Now, these people are also the main cause of drunk driving, fights on the Metro, etc. And so, my friends, I propose that if one has an address in MD or VA, he be required to pass a test, to become licensed, before he may be allowed to drink in the District of Columbia. Here are some sample questions. A different test will be administered to men and women.

Men

1. You are walking from the bar to your table. Someone bumps into you. The appropriate response is:

a. Walk on, and deliver your drinks to your friends. The bar is packed with B&T’s. Why wouldn’t someone accidentally bump into you?

b. In a very loud voice, say, “Well, excuse you!” and stare at said person pointedly.

c. Throw the drinks into the bumper’s face, start punching him and aggressively throw him through the window.

d. Permutation: do all. Deposit your friends’ drinks with them, keeping your own, and then proceed to beat the tar out of the bumper.

2. There is a gorgeous woman you want to go home with. The appropriate solution is:

a. Go talk to her and offer to buy her a drink.

b. Have a buddy of yours go talk to her buddies and gauge her interest.

c. Try and rub your body all over her while rap music plays on the speakers.

d. Put a pill of dubious manufacture into her pomegrenate martini. After all, it’ll knock out a horse, so why not a whore?

I’m sure that you can think of more questions for these idiots.

Women

1. You are starting to feel a little bit woozy from having drunk too much. The proper course of action is:

a. Acquire a few glasses of ice water, and start whipping your friends to leave. It’s a long way back to Bethesda.

b. Drink more! After all, grasshoppers and Amaretto sours are just so yummy! And it’s nothing that a few hours of dancing on the table in your cute new shoes won’t fix!

c. Start crying. Everyone will pay attention to you. It’s worth making your mascara run to have everyone fawning over you.

d. Go stand in line for late night drunk food, proceed to scream, yell and throw tantrums while you wait for your slice of pizza, and make a bloody fool of yourself. After all, you’re in Washington, D.C.! How often does this happen? Monday through Friday, fifty weeks a year! This is so special! You’re a princess! You shouldn’t have to wait.

UGH. I cannot even continue thinking about the questions to ask these people, as they infuriate me that much. Please do leave a few of your own in the comments.

Anyway, the advantage to this is that you can automatically weed out any idiot and prevent him from drinking inside D.C., making the city livable again.  And think about how many fewer drunk driving accidents there would be! Then again, I suppose that bars that make their money selling flavoured vodka martinis [sic] and proprietors of stores that sell shirts with collars designed to be popped would suffer. Oh well. Screw ’em.

-dx

God, that’s painful. (Wherein I discuss King of The Hill, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle and watching my frie

I wrote this a while ago, and forgot to publish it. Sorry.

As we all know, the DesicratTM author of this page is from the fine state of Texas, where everything is good and the only thing bad is the presence of Republicans. God, I love Texas. In every way, I can find something in which to delight in the customs and practices of my home. This, of course, brings us to King of The Hill. I remember thinking that it was pure genius when it first came on. I had never, ever seen anything that was so frighteningly accurate, and yet so hilarious, in my life. All of my friends at UT loved it, too. Then, I left Texas for a while, and I was shocked at how many people outside the state loved it, too.

Now, my friend Phil, although from Brooklyn, NY, loves this show, and at first, I had no clue why. I will wager a cup of decaf that even though he’s been to visit my family in Houston, he has never seen a group of ‘necks standing around with their beer, smoking cigarettes and saying, “Yep.” I will will wager a cup of decaf that he’s never seen people talk about a lawnmower expo. I will wager a cup of decaf that he has never seen a cheque imprinted with the Dallas Cowboys logo in his life. There is no way that this humour evokes a sense of the familiar in him, and instead, it probably appeals to a sense of the absurd, or perhaps it appeals to stereotypes.

There was a similar feeling when I watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Now, while you may think that I’m going to go off on some trendy rant about being a diasporaic Asian-American and being forced to attend graduate programmes in which I have no interest, you’re quite wrong. There is a scene in this movie that just made me fall off the couch groaning in recognition of the familiar. Now, granted, I have never done this, but I have watched any number of my friends get in mortifying situations like this. Which scene do I have in my mind? Early in the movie, Harold is in the elevator, thinking about what he’d like to say to the beautiful woman next to him. Of course, rather than saying anything, he just stands there, shuffles his feet a bit and looks up at the numbers. Oh, God. This killed me. It was as if I had been standing in Baghdad around March, 2003. Bam! I was on the floor.

Why do I mention these two things? It’s because watching them makes me think of the sort of horror that occurs when I watch a few of my friends go to work, being themselves. Today, while discussing something or the other with my friend Jen, I was reminded of something that her one time boyfriend, and very good friend of mine did. He went up to a woman at the bar and asked her if she was wearing a red and white patterned skirt so that she wouldn’t have to bother with a tampon, as no one would be able to tell the difference. It was one of those moments that I should have seen coming, God, only knows. To this day, though, I wince any time that I see him approach any woman to talk to her.

Alfred Hitchcock once postulated that the true heights of suspense and fear occur when something can be seen as coming, but is ineluctable.  Anyone can merely shock, but to bring the development of horror over time requires true artistry.  Similarly, whenever I watch my friends at work, be it, “Uh, hi, uh, what’s your major?” (n.b. This has not happened since my undergraduate years, by the mercy of God.) or watching my friends do completely idiotic things, like the time that Phil suggested that speaking German was speaking “Nazi,” which, of course, he pronounced as Cotton Hill does, to a resident of Austria, the sense of horror just seems to build up as I watch the collision about to occur, and I am powerless to do anything about it.  Perhaps this is due to my familiarity with them and the histories involved.

I’m unsure.  Ideas?

-dx