Dec 30, 2005


Sometimes I'm ashamed to be Indian. The focus is on racism in America, against African-Americans, but there's so much racism by Indians against Muslims, it's disgusting. I was just asked this from someone, referring to a brown person: "Is she Indian or Muslim? Because you should never associate with Muslims, you know."
How does this help ANYTHING? Then they went on to speak of the Muslim community as though it were at colony of insects that had to be exterminated. Where does this take us? Blindly hating a specific ideology and culture? Sound familiar? That's a characteristic we attribute to our ENEMIES.
W. T. F.

Dec 29, 2005

Philadelphia Fun

So yesterday, my family and I visited Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, which is where I hope to go to college. It's amazing. Maybe it was just our good luck, but the weather was great, and the city was gorgeous. Then we walked through the campus, which is just far enough away to not be smack in the middle of Philadelphia, but close enough to be able to take a quick subway ride in. It's got a one-of-a-kind charm that I haven't seen in any other college I've visited. I can't wait.

Dec 25, 2005

Manhattan Mix #2

Thursday morning found me taking a shower at my aunt's house, with whom we're staying in Maryland for now (this was before we went to NYC; we're back now in Maryland).
Suddenly, without warning, the shower curtain attacked me. Billowing inwards, it nearly hit the far wall of the shower before I counterattacked. After a short scuffle, I managed to hold the curtain back with one hand, while applying shampoo and soap with the other. That was the highlight of that morning (the day we took the Greyhound bus to NYC).
Continuing the theme of the previous post, here's another food story from Manhattan. My family and I went to a restaurant just off Times Square, across from our Comfort Inn, called John's Shanghai. It was, apparently, highly recommended. The food was actually quite good until a cockroach dropped by to visit. It crawled along the wall towards my sister, who, with a mouthful of food, recoiled and grabbed my dad for help, all in mime. The four of us vacated the table pretty fast, staring at the roach. It was relatively big, even for Houstonions. The Indian people at the next table started making hilarious comments, like "I wonder what's in the Chicken Surprise?" and "So that's why it's called the SPECIAL fried rice." Corny, yes. Funny, yes. After catching our guest, the waiter, without asking, took away all of our food. That would have been okay in itself, but instead of offering us new food, he "graciously" only charged us half. Luckily, before the four indignant Indians (that would be us) could make a scene, the manager dismissed the bill. We left the restaurant and our appetites behind.
Lots more stories en route; I'll post in the upcoming days.

Manhattan Mix #1

So the last three days have been a whirlwind of sightseeing, subway and bus rides, sidewalk restaurants, walking, walking, walking, and cappuccinos. It's been awesome. NYC is a one-of-a-kind place. Funny story: Yesterday, my family and I met with some relatives near Rockefeller Center, which is where the NYC Christmas tree is. Needless to say, that place was insanely crowded. INSANELY crowded. Thus, we all went down a side street and instead, met at a place called Burger Heaven, which looked fine at first sight. It was even a notch or two above fast food. So we all went in and met up there, and maybe the problems started when we had about fifteen Indians in a restaurant, with only about three of us actually eating. The waitress was inexplicably pissed at us. Verbatim conversation:

My Sister: "We're vegetarian, by the way."
My Dad: "No meat at all, please."
Me: "If we order anything non-vegetarian, could you tell us, please?"
My Sister: "Can you make vegetarian chili?"
Waitress: "Yes, yes."
My Sister: "We'll have the chili, then."
Waitress: "You want that with meat or vegetarian?"

And folks, she was serious, too. Next, she left both the bread and the cheese off a sandwich because we didn't explicitly specify that we wanted the mixed vegetables melt sandwich with bread and cheese.
The food sucked, too. Also, we think she was drunk.
Anyways, more stories to come later!

Dec 24, 2005

Christmas Eve In Manhatten

Hi everybody! It's me again, reporting (semi) live from just a couple blocks away from Times Square, New York City. My family and I have toured the entire city in the past couple of days, but we're not done yet. Unfortunately, the snow melted only a few days before we got here, but that's okay; we appreciate the warmth, or we'd probably freeze. This city is amazing. It's got good points and bad points, but the entire package is just incredible. So many people in such a small's overwhelming. Well, we're off again, so everyone have a wonderful Christmas (winter...whatever) Eve!

Dec 20, 2005


In Maryland and New York City, among other places, over the winter break. Drop me a line!

Dec 18, 2005

John Mayer

There are some artists whose music you like. And then there are others whom you respect. I think John Mayer is one of those whom I respect, and not just because he writes his own music. I've read a couple interview by him, and he is a true guitarist. When he plays you can tell he's completely into the music, not playing for anyone but himself.

"For all the complaining about the state of affairs in the music industry, I really feel like there's been a corner turned - a crucial one - and though you can't see it on MTV or VH1 yet, it's taking place where it first has to - among people in their bedrooms, garages, etc... there is a whole new culture of guitar players coming up. And NOTHING in my life has moved me like this. To look around and see 18, 20, 24 year old guys with guitars, taking the same pride and consideration in what they're doing as I always have. It's a deep thing."
-John Mayer


Dec 9, 2005

Dec 6, 2005

Web Design

If you or anyone you know needs a website built and/or maintained, either go to or leave a comment here. Blake and I make professional-quality websites for a lot less than major web developers. We'd be grateful for the business!

Dec 4, 2005

The Price of Oil

I'm watching an A&E special on the movie Syriana.
What IS the price of oil? What are we willing to let our leaders do to keep our vast supply of oil (25% of the world's usage is in the United States) flowing from the Middle East straight to our cars and shampoos and power outlets? Do we even want to know what they do? Or what they've done?
Every action, every action, by the United States in the Middle East is motivated by oil. On this special, former CIA agents talk about how there's absolutely no interest for the U.S. there if not for oil. None. How can our leaders justify thousands of United States soldiers dying in Iraq then? They said it wasn't for oil. They said it was for weapons. No weapons? They said it was for civil rights abuses. I'm all for civil rights, but there are millions of other people who are being oppressed much worse than the situation in Iraq. Dictators in Africa commit genocide; do we invade? North Korea started a nuclear weapons program; do we invade? No. Because the greatest foreign policy motivator for the United States is oil. Another CIA agent talked about how there was NO intelligence on Saudi Arabia from the mid-eighties into the mid-nineties. None at all. Why? Because we didn't want to jeopardize our oil interests there. It's shocking when you think about it.
What are the motivations of suicide bombers, of terrorists? Why are we scared of asking that question? It's dangerous, to even think about looking at anything from their point of view, but understanding them is the first step to stopping the death and destruction that is a result of their efforts. No one can condone what they do, but they do have reasons beyond fundamentalism. Religion may pay a part, but what else? There's more. There's so much more. Bin Laden has talked about appropriate prices for oil: $100/barrel is his target price. Does anyone know that?
Watch Syriana. Don't stop there. Think about it.
If anyone wants to watch the A&E program, I taped it; just ask me.

Shot in the Foot

Today my mom pointed out a newspaper article (Houston Chronicle. 12/4/2005. "Mall blocks chess players".) to me. Apparently, in Irondequoit, New York, the new owners of the Medley Center suburban Rochester mall have banned chess and card games from their food court. The reason? They don't buy anything. One of the owners, Adam Bersin, said, "It's kind of tough for [vendors] to see 15 guys sitting around in the food court eating food they brought in from outside."
Do these new owners have ANY business experience? Granted, it's tough on the vendors, but maybe that means they need to make their food better or cheaper. There are two parts to selling something, especially food: the first is to get the person there, the second is to get them to buy something. Having the mall's food court as a hangout for card and chess players accomplishes the first part FOR them; all they have to do now is make themselves more attractive to the chess players. Maybe have someone go around and sell drinks/snacks to the gamers or something. There are a million ways that they could make the mall chess and card friendly, and they chose the one option that will not only loose them potential customers, but give them a negative image as well. It's a MALL, by God. Having people hang out there is the best act for publicity and business that they can have.
In the words of Stewie: "What the deuce?"