Tuesday, April 29, 2003

little incentives go a long way...

so, in an earlier post i talked about getting away, going out of town for a weekend by myself.. and while that's still very much a desire, it's not as feasible as i thought considering i just priced a ticket to bangladesh for september and realized i need to save some more money. see, i've learned the hard way, having travelled back and forth.. oh.. at least 12 times in the past 10 years, that the best way to fly to bangladesh is on first class. but since i can't afford first class, i'll settle for business class. but i refuse to travel on coach for what ends up being about 22 hours of flying time not to mention overnight layovers, etc. never again.

but the good news is that there's a tax seminar coming up in mid july that could very well put me in l.a. for a whole week plus the weekend! so that'll be very cool. and as a result, since july is usually a really busy month here at the j.o.b., i'm hauling ass right now trying to get shit done so i can really go and do this thing. by the end of june, i'm hoping to have wrapped every single loose end so that no one can come up with any excuses to keep me from attending this seminar.

i think this is the most motivated i've been in a very very long time.. and all for an expenses paid trip to l.a. see? i'm not that hard to please..

Thursday, April 24, 2003


so yeah.. netflix is cool.. we've been renting dvd's like they're going out of style. i still owe blockbuster $12 and they may never see it.. hehe.. to tell you the truth, the blockbuster is a good 20 minute walk from my house, and sometimes, it's just too fuckin' far especially when it's cold out. so netflix is certainly a wonderful replacement. most of the movies on our rental queue are ones that we've been meaning to see but never got around to. others are just chosen based on cast or summary plot, which c seems to do a lot of. anyways, i'm sure the novelty of finally owning a dvd player will soon wear off, because i did the same thing when i bought my first vcr. it was in 1998, no lie. it just wasn't a priority, until i had some extra cash one day and just went out and bought one for like, a hundred bucks. so i console myself by saying i didn't spend a lot on it, like most people did when they first came out with vcrs. the same goes for my dvd player.. under a hundred bucks, and it's a panasonic. so, i feel pretty good about it even though i'm like technologically way behind the rest of the world. but, in the grand scheme of life, who really gives a shit? so anyways, after i bought my vcr, i spent the next 3 weeks watching every single robert deniro movie i could get my hands on. and then i rented other movies. and then i didn't touch my vcr for months. so imagine the same will happen with the dvd player.. right?

so anyways, i've decided, since i'm bored, to provide you readers with a short list of movies we've seen lately, with bite size personal reviews, and i'm giving them ratings as one would get on a report card, so you know how it iz..:

1. rat race: umm.. it started off really funny, but then it just got stupider and stupider and i have to say, i detest slapstick humor.. Rating: D

2. storytelling: i really don't know what to say about this movie.. there were two stories, and the first one was absolutely disturbing. it starts off with a guy and girl having sex, only the guy has cerebral palsy... so um.. yeah..!? there's a scene in the first story where this white woman goes home with her black male professor and the events that follow are just... disturbing.. one minute it appears consensual, the next minute you get the sense that there's some psycho slave shit happening, then all of a sudden it seems like rape, but it isn't, really, because the dumb ass woman is completely obliging to everything that's happening. ugh.. as for the second story, i think i forgot most of it already. rating: C-

3. to wong foo..: fun movie.. absolutely loved john leguizamo's character.. then again boys in drag are just fabulous anyways! rating: B

4. 4 little girls: great documentary! there were definitely parts that were really sad and depressing, especially when they talk about how things used to be back in the day.. you know, the white only fountains and restaurants, etc. it's just the reminder of it that always seems to disturb me. i was literally getting angry at one point when one of the girls' father was talking about how he couldn't buy his daughter a sandwich because it was a white only restaurant, and he had to explain to her that night that the reason she couldn't have it was because she's black. that kind of shit makes my blood boil to this day. rating: A -

next up: cry freedom (yeah, i know, old movie.. but i don't believe i've ever seen it), real women have curves and y tu mam� tambi�n. oh, and i ended up enjoying hedwig a lot.. it was a really good movie!

by the way, feel free to drop recommendations.. since we can now have an endless flow of dvds... :)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

bend it like who?

aside from word of mouth, this newsweek article made me really want to go see "bend it like beckham".. and i did.. last night. what a great movie! truth be told, i'm kind of sick and tired of all indian-english movies having an elaborate traditional wedding in the background because really, name one that doesn't.. it kind of ends up being a stereotype of sorts in the sense that every single fucking movie that deals with my peeps has to have a wedding ceremony somewhere in it. i suppose it has a lot to do with the simple fact that deshi weddings are really very colorful and spectacular and just a big ass deal. of course there's the whole dynamic of arranged marriages and the fact that women aren't really women unless they're bound, gagged and tied to a man who can take care of them.. but really, give the wedding ceremonies a break! there are 12 million other traditions that could easily replace the same old red-and-gold-sari-wearing-weighed-down-with-500-pounds-of-gold-jewelery scenes that drill in viewer's brains the fact that getting married is the end all and be all of the indian (subcontinent) society . at any rate, in the case of this movie, it actually has a decent tie-in to the plot and to some degree goes against the norm!

not only was it funny, but at times very liberating. i could completely relate to the jasminder character who is torn between her love of soccer and her deep respect for her parents and family values. not that my family were as strict as hers, but the underlying fact that academics and marriage are the only two things a woman should aim towards in life is definitely a universal indian-subcontinental phenomenon. so much of her reminded me of myself, the way she dressed, the way she feared disappointing her parents which resulted in a sacrifice on her part, the way she was so enthusiastic about sports..etc. when i was in high school, i was really good at basketball, despite being vertically challenged at 5'2". one day, our team won because i shot the winning basket and when i came home to tell my dad about it, all he said was, "good. what about your exams? when are you going to study?". that was a blow that my dad probably didn't even fathom would affect me in anyway, but it did.

so, go see bend it like beckham. it's really a fun movie no matter your nationality.

another movie i started watching on dvd (yes, lisa, i finally got one and joined netflix!) was hedwig and the angry inch which was one of c's choices. i was so totally not interested in watching it because i figured it was a musical, and i really, really dislike musicals. not because of the music per se, but because it always seems like out of nowhere people just burst into song and that just annoys the living crap out of me. c owns the sound of music and to this day i will not sit through the whole thing. i have no idea how that movie ends. now, movies like grease i can tolerate, mildly, because, you know.. grease is cool.. hehe. so anyways, we started watching hedwig and i found myself thoroughly engrossed in it and didn't even really mind the musical aspect of it because every song told a story of hedwig's past and you really had to pay attention to the lyrics to follow the plot. but half way through the movie i looked at the clock and realized it was way past my bedtime, so hedwig continues this evening. but so far, it's been really interesting... quite a sad story, at times disturbing, but definitely interesting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

diss.. i slept on doria & pamela.. literally..

see, that's why i hate weeknight shows.. i come home from work, tired on this particular tuesday evening.. and decide to take a quick disco nap. c says she'll wake me up by 8p so i cozy up in bed and fall asleep almost instantly. next thing i know, i wake up and it's 10:30p and i'm totally disoriented! finally i realize that it's evening, not morning, and i run into the living room to find out why c never woke me up, and there she is, passed out on the couch!

so i missed the doria and pamela show and i'm highly upset about it.. but i guess it was just one of those dayz...

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

what a way to end tax season..

pamela means and doria roberts are playing together at the heartland cafe in chicago on tax day! rest assured i will be there! you can check out the links i've added to the right to get more info on the shows if you live in the chicago area or plan on being here around that time. you won't want to miss this. i guess alix olson is also on the bill but i've never heard any of her stuff, so that'll be something new...

Monday, April 07, 2003

mister cab driver..

i was waiting for a cab on the corner of foster and sheridan on a relatively chilly evening last week and managed to flag one down after about 5 minutes. i opened the door to the cab, popped my head in and mentioned my destination. the cab driver looked at me and said "are you ethiopian?" to which i responded "no..." but was certainly wondering where the hell that came from and why! so he says, "ok, get in" and goes on to explain that he already turned his meter off so he can't charge me but he stopped because he thought i was ethiopian and wanted to give me a free cab ride.. i had to chuckle because i was this close to getting annoyed at him for asking my nationality before letting me into his cab. turns out the guy was really sweet and even though i admitted to not being ethiopian, i got a free ride anyways!

who knew? from now on, i am ethiopian! actually, you have no idea how many ethiopian people have come up to me and swear i'm one of their peeps!

hmm.. maybe i should have a serious chat with my mom..

a few days later, i took a cab home from visiting a tax client downtown. the cab driver was indian, wearing a turban. halfway through the ride he turned around and said "can i ask you a question?" to which i said yes. he said "are you a boy or a girl? because your face.. it looks like a boy's face". so i took off my coat and flashed him my big mamas. ok, no, i didn't but one of these dayz, i swear...

umm.. by the way, it's almost mid-april and umm.. it snowed about 3 inches last night and continues on today..

Thursday, April 03, 2003

a quick getaway..

i've made a decision to treat myself to a quick getaway.. somewhere peaceful. new mexico, maybe? arizona? la? ok, somehow i can't see la as being peaceful. either way, i want to go somewhere i've never been, and preferably within the continental u.s. so i'm not spending half my time travelling.

this is strictly a "me" thing. i will be travelling alone, and plan on reflecting on my life and all that encompasses it. hell i may just scratch that idea and just be a vegetable and stay in my hotel room reading a book for the duration, though i highly doubt i'm capable of such immobility. either way, i need some alone time. badly. i need some time to do everything or nothing on my own terms and in my own time. at least for a couple of days. i think i need to do this badly, and probably should've done it a long time ago, but as each day passes i realize how much i need to be alone, just me, just my body, just my presence, just my soul, at least for a couple of days.

any suggestions as to where i should go? i have a friend who can get me a nice discount at any hyatt in the country, so i'm looking to cash in on that deal. and while i'd love to be somewhere ocean-side, florida is not on my list. but i definitely want to be somewhere warm.. maybe california.. just not sure where in california.

so if anyone has any suggestions, please drop it in the comments box. not sure when exactly i'll be taking this trip, but i'm hoping to do it before the end of the month...

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

operation let's run a race, but first let me break your knees..

i've noticed that my political rants don't attract many commenters at all here in deshigrrrl-blogland. perhaps i come off as anti-american when in fact i am just anti-bush. or perhaps my rants don't go deep enough into an issue so as to conjure comments. perhaps people just don't want to talk about it.. such as a co-worker (albeit a lily white blindly patriotic one) who asked to be left off my email lists if the subject matter refers to current affairs in iraq. either way, i've realized that political rants are best left to people like arundhati roy who continues to amaze me with her insight and articulation. read, if you will.. but i warn you that it is a long one, as are most of her essays... but full of interesting commentary and fun bush-bashing.

i helped my cousin move into an apartment this weekend so as to prevent her family from expecting me to let her stay at our place for the next 3 months. that's the bengali way, you see, when it comes to familia. of course it would be hella inconvenient for both c and i if she stayed with us for such an extended period of time even though we do have an extra room which we use as our office. turns out she's having roommate problems and can't stand to stay there another minute. her mother's immediate reaction was to have her stay at our place until she leaves for home in june, but i was having none of that. truth be told, neither was c. so i pulled in a favor from friend who owns an apartment building and asked if he wouldn't mind renting to her for 3 months. luckily he was cool with that and so now she lives on her own and i will take all the credit for guiding her towards the path of independence, nevermind her folks are footing all the bills. she seemed a little intimidated by the whole thing, having never lived on her own before.. but i feel good about it. it's a nice neighborhood, not too far from me, my friend lives in the adjacent building, etc. so it's all good. she'll do just fine.

i rented a car that weekend to help with the move, and on the way home i pulled a u-turn at an intersection and got a ticket...

i've never gotten a ticket before.. i was pretty pissed as i forked over $75 for it.