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Archive for September, 2008

The SNL team has made two truly amazing, very clever parodies with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton or Katie Couric).

The first one…

http://roadkillrefugee.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/snls-parody-of-sarah-palin-and-hillary-clinton-913/

The second one…(Katie Couric’s interview with Palin parodied)

http://www.popcrunch.com/video-tina-fey-sarah-palin-katie-couric-interview-parody-saturday-day-night-live-september-28/

I laughed so hard in the second one! I love Tina Fey. Too good.

Last week I caught the Charles Gibson interview with Sarah Palin on tv here, though, and watching her answer the questions, I wondered: does she even need Tina Fey to parody her? She does a perfectly good job of sounding ridiculous herself. When Gibson persistently asked her three things she would change or do different from the Bush policy, she kept bringing up her experience as governor of Wausau. I burst out laughing when Gibson finally countered her with “When you left the city of Wausau, you left it 20 million in debt!” She was very eloquent, I’ll give you that…woman sure can talk, and she has a presence. She might be even be perfectly charming. But she was not able to give one straight answer, one explanation, and I was really infuriated when she gave her reasoning for pro-life as “I’m for more adoption, not abortion” or something on those lines. Does she know how many children are sitting in orphanages and shelters waiting to be adopted? Does she really think its that easy? Does she know how difficult it is to find a child a home, and how easy it is to ruin a child’s life in any of those shelters? I respect people’s opinions, and despite being a pro-choice activist I’ve always listened and respected arguments from the other side. But that was not an argument!

Palin is enough of a parody. Please, lets not let this joke continue. Like Tina Fey says, she’d like to stop playing her November 5th.

(Another great SNL skit: http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/presidential-debate/704121/)

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RIP Paul Newman

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

Rest in peace, Paul Newman.

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Another bit of Colbert magic…

The Word on The Colbert Report the other night…three clips from conservative talk show hosts (ofcourse, being terribly hypocritical) talking about Sarah Palin being under fire:

Dick Morris: “The democrats piled over her, in vicious, sexist personal attacks.”

Talk Show Host #2: “Its unprecedented, insulting, degrading, sexist…”

Bill O’Reilly: “The pig deal is now morphing into a sexist situation.”

Colbert: “And we should know. We’ve been feminist for over two weeks now!!!”

[The Word: Longer than Sarah Palin]

Puahahhahaha. 😀

GOLD! Colbert Gold I tell you!

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Why I Blog…

I blog because I love to write. Thats really whats behind it. When I write, my mind flows. When something bothers me, interests me, excites me, tires me, stimulates me, frightens me, surprises me, whatever emotion something or some subject or some experience incites in me, I find that I am best able to express myself when I write about it. I am a talker (if you know me in real life you know that), but I have never received the satisfaction in explaining something in a conversation that I receive by writing about it. I feel like I am clearer, more definitive, confident, and more assured of my thoughts when I write. I can stop and go back. Delete what sounded wrong. I can decide at anytime how much or how little I want to say on a subject. I can play with words, with phrases, with humor, with emotion. And if I just don’t like the end result, I can chuck it in the trash can and no one will have to know. Unlike spoken words that escape into the air and can never be taken back, written words are my creation, I link them together, I choose how they form sentences, what story they tell, and I can choose who reads them and when I want to, I can choose to destroy them.

I like the power blogging gives me over my own thoughts and my own freedom of expression. And I don’t have to find someone to share my thoughts: I can just write it and people can pass by and choose to read, or people can like what I say and choose to come back. I don’t have to agree or disagree with anyone, but if I want to, I can participate in a discussion or join in enthusiastic support of a musician. Blogging makes expression easier…everyone knows that…and that is why I blog…to write and to express myself more freely.

The reason I ponder over all of this today is because my childhood friend and also someone who’s blog I recently discovered and love (she was always a great writer, that one, even way back in the 4th grade :)), has passed on two blogging awards to me very sweetly. I am glad to receive them from Shivya 🙂 Go and read her blog: you’ll love her clear, concise, elegant writing.

They’re sweet, friendly awards, connecting up the blogosphere (read more here). The blogosphere, is, indeed, a strange, and complex society, like any society. It has all sorts of facets to it, and you can choose to look at it any way you choose. You may love blogs, or you may hate them, but either way you read them. In our world today you can’t escape blogs or the culture of blogging. I am grateful to blogging not only as an outlet for me, but also because it has been a route for me to discover so much more. In my course of exploration, I have come across many interesting, thought provoking, wonderful, poignant, candid and excellently written blogs that have widened my perspective on so many issues. I am thankful to all of them: I have learned and gained from the experiences of others, appreciate their candidness and willingness to share and inform and teach. All in the blogosphere.

I checked stats on my blog, which are always interesting to see, because I like seeing what brought people here and what my most popular posts are. I started this blog in the summer of 2006, out of frustration, actually. I was frustrated with the MCATs, with research, with so much crowding up the life of my family. Several months of inactivity later, I came back, and started collecting my favorite lyrics. Then it moved on to favorite quotes. Then I realized I had so much to say about so many things and this was the perfect place 🙂 And I don’t write for traffic. I don’t even get a lot of traffic. Initially I was surprised that people are interested in what I have to write here. In time, I’ve been glad that some people are brought here to explore musicians (Korean and Indian), others may be Colbert fans, still others stumble on lyrics and translations, some know me and use this as a mode to see what I’m upto, others just like to read what I write. Whatever it is that drives people here, I have 12,284 hits as of today, which is probably not a lot, and I’m not really sure what that means 🙂 . I don’t actually think I have a large set of loyal readers, but I’m glad that people stop by and find something interesting.

So…to pass these along…I really don’t know how and to who really 🙂 Most of the blogs I read I don’t interact with much, I’m usually a silent reader (thus I never blame those who silently read mine 🙂 ). But I’ll pass these on to…

Myumla, my close friend and ex-roommie who I love much and whose writing I love to read (though I love real-life convos with her more and I miss her!), and who is back in the US (woohoo!)…being in JHU means she doesn’t get to blog a lot, but I love to read her view points on the subjects she cares about.

Mann, who doesn’t really know I’ve been reading and probably barely doesn’t know me at all. I’m not a stalker 😉 , but just know about her through her bf, and she has already received many a blogger award, and she deserves it. Girlfriend can write! She can really, really, write beautifully: her posts are full of wit and grace and clarity and emotion. She has a talent, and while I stumbled upon her through my friend, I kept coming back because her posts sometimes made me laugh out loud, sometimes even made me teary. I am just a silent reader, so unfortunately I didn’t say much…Mann has recently been in an accident and all her readers have been worried for her…hopefully she’ll be back to blogging soon. I miss her writing!

I would pass these on to invisibelle, but woman won’t blog officially, though I love her honest writing too, even when she’s just talking about Suju 🙂 (I ❤ you!)

Writing this post has distracted me for the first time today from worrying about Galveston…thanks, Shiv, for that. And speaking of thanks: Thank you to everyone who stops by and reads, even if I don’t hear from you, I know y’all exist. Thank you to people who share their opinion. And thank you, so much, to all those who email me or message me to tell me they like my blog: I really do appreciate your compliments 🙂 (Like BibMomma, who just linked here recently, and whose own blog is quite wonderful and inspiring). Thank you, also, to the people who know me and love me and stop by to read what I have to say: often I write just for you, so I can express how much you all mean to me.

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More pictures and stories have made me even more worried and sadder.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/09/the_short_but_eventful_life_of.html

The cemetery I know too well. The burning house I’ve driven by countless times on my way to work.

The images are scary and baffling. I talked to a friend who’s safe in Houston, whose father is trying to find out what happened to their waterfront Ramada. Between 12pm to 6pm residents of Galveston will be allowed back to see what happened. And then what? Will they get the help they need? The resources? What happens next, as the situation in Galveston spirals downwards and the Mayor insists that no one return. How does one just leave their home and wait, without any proper news? I’ve been annoyed by the little information I can find on Galveston…its all about Houston. Sure, buildings there were affected badly, but can you really compare that to the island hit hardest and most directly? Sheesh.

Another friend’s house sounds like its in a bad state. I’m worried about all the people I haven’t heard from: how are they? How are their homes? Did they save their precious pictures? Some memories? What happens to their lives now? For the next week? For the next month? Do they just stand still and wait for the debris to be picked up?

😦

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I left Galveston a long time ago. And my family moved out from the area a year ago. Ties still exist, obviously, with friends and their families, with my high school, with the place I worked and learned. Hurricane Ike started off with a “another storm, huh?” and then slowly the fear and anxiety mounted, and I found myself thousands of miles away worried for the people and places back home. I worried for our friends, their homes, for our first home in the US, for the city which I knew so well.

Most of them I’ve heard from and the ones I haven’t I know must be safe but just evaluating the terrible damage. Galveston and surrounding cities are in a state of curfew…no electricity…water problems…and debris all over. It is frightening to realize that Ike has really smashed through it. Having lived so long in Galveston, I know that hurricanes are part of the deal. You get used to them, and that is part of the problem. I know why so many people didn’t evacuate, I can understand, because if we had still been living there, that may have been us. You get so fatigued of the warnings, the exaggerations, the stories, that never seem to amount to anything, so that when the real thing comes along, you don’t believe it (classic boy cried wolf case). I know thats why people didn’t leave, but I’m afraid of the consequences.

Whether they evacuated or not, the damage is the same. And its considerable. For the first time I realize what the city actually meant to me. I left such a long time ago, and in time came to love so many other cities, but I didn’t realize that in my heart, the town had become my hometown. I just didn’t know it. Watching the videos of the destruction feels surreal and strange…I can recognize the streets and identify the buildings that lie in debris, I know what the seawall was like before and see how it has changed. I am an outsider, but I know the city too well. I know the Palais Royale sign that is now damaged, I’ve passed by the now broken Flagship hundreds of times, I saw the new Hooters come up (which no longer exists), I always planned to go into the Bailanese cafe (which is also in terrible shape). The graveyard, calm and beautiful with flowers in the spring, is now covered with water, with tombstones sticking out, and trees lie here and there.

I recognize all this, I know these streets, these buildings, and that makes it very, very troubling to watch this unfold like somebody unrelated. Miles and miles away, I can’t even call up regularly and check up on the people. I can’t follow the stories. Yet, this is my city. This is the city that welcomed me to this country, the place where I went to high school, where my first job was, where I first drove, where my best friend and I sat at our favorite cafe and discussed life, where the hot and humid weather gave way to lovely clear days against the sea. This was a city that I loved and that I hated with equal passion, but it is my city, and it is my hometown, and I am sad. I am sad that it has changed so much, and not by choice. I worry that like my hometown in India, which has become in many ways alien to me because it has changed so much, this hometown will have changed too much. Because now I’m realized that I have a connection. This is, indeed, my hometown. I am proud of it, and I am sad that Ike went through it with such fury.

I’m worried and unhappy.

God bless all the people there, and I pray that everyone stays safe and sound and manages to get help when they need it. It’ll be a long road to recovery, but may everyone have the strength and the perseverance.

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My thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by 9/11. A moment of silence for all those who lost their lives that cruel morning.

One of the papers I was reading for class today had this quote…

xiu shen, qi jia, zhi guo, ping tian xia

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person; if there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house; if there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation; if there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

May there be light in everyone’s soul. May there be fewer tragedies to commemorate in the world.

(Also posted on the dimsum blog)

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