Tuesday, July 19, 2005

“This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.”

I stumbled across a really easy, cheesy site www.43things.com and fell in love with it. Every year, I do this thing where I write up a list of goals (long-term and short-term, super important and really frivolous, some measurable and some intangible) and put it either in my planner or journal. Some years I do it with a friend, and some years I do it alone. I think everybody should do this. Because without time to reflect, its so easy to get stuck “going through the motions” and waking up one day wondering what you are doing with your life and why you are not happy. I think crossing off things on your list is more satisfying than a Snickers bar any day. It sounds so simple but its true.

You know that part in Fight Club when Tyler Durden turns the car around into facing traffic and hits the gas and goes “Guys, what would you wish you'd done before you died?” Unfazed by the potential of death, two of the passengers hypnotized by Project Mayhem answer, “build a house” and “paint a self-portrait.” While the narrator is scared shitless and begs Tyler to turn the car around because he is afraid to die, even if he doesn’t know what he wants to live to do.

Getting your goals in writing helps you clarify what YOU really WANT to do, not what society or anyone else expects you to do. That is the basic principle behind www.43things.com. You can list up to 43 goals, see what other people’s goals are (some may share yours), share your progress, and get inspired (or inspire others yourself.) Sure, it may just be another site to help you procrastinate… but if you were so concerned with time management you wouldn’t be sitting here reading my blog, would you? ;-)

I could easily list 43 things here right now, but I don’t want to bore anyone more than I already do…. So I will list 5 of each (not in order of importance), accomplished and unaccomplished (so far).

Space Cadet’s “things I want to do before I die” list - ACCOMPLISHED
1.) Do international volunteer work
2.) Get a Little Sister
3.) See a doctor and dentist (this was a big deal for me since I lived without health insurance for years)
4.) Do freelance photography
5.) Get a teaching job

“Things I want to do before I die” list – UNACCOMPLISHED
1.) Get my driver’s license (can you believe my spaceship license is invalid here?)
2.) Get my mom to try sushi (she refuses to try raw fish!)
3.) Take flamenco guitar lessons in Andalucia
4.) Go to grad school
5.) Fulfill my mom’s dream and take her to Greece

I would be interested in seeing what other’s goals are, I heard that when you write/verbalize your goals, its easier to stick to them. I encourage you all to do what Tyler did (well, pretend). Pretend you are driving fast into oncoming traffic, you are so close to death, your heart is beating so hard that you feel it bursting through your chest. You see bright lights coming towards you, and you hear a loud honk. The lights are blinding you and the honk is all you hear. You are too shocked to think or take control of the vehicle so you just sit back and watch. You are about to die. What do you wish you did while you were alive?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Space Cadet’s Bathtub Recordings

Some people like to sing in the shower, I have always preferred to play my guitar in the tub. There is something about those bathroom acoustics that make you sound so good (or at least THINK you do!) The bathroom is really the only place where one can truly be alone with their thoughts and “let loose.” I’m not talking about diarrhea but inhibitions.

I will miss my house when my mom and I move next month, and I will miss my tub especially. It’s an antique “claw foot” (popular in movie suicide scenes). For personal closure, I am doing a series of recordings here. The sound is buzzy and it’s poor quality, I mean it IS recorded on a phone in the tub!

I thought of a few names to call the series…
1) Restroom Recordings (I thought that sounded too “public toilet”)
2) Bathroom Recordings (didn’t have the cool alliteration)
3) Bathtub Blues (then I would have to commit to only one genre)

So I finally settled on Tub Tunes. The first of the series is a devotional song called “Mongol Deep Jeley” originally sang by Lata Mangeskar in a movie (forgot the name) I think it might have been called Earth or Mother. I played it at a puja a few years ago. The beat in the background is “Rock #6” on my Casio keyboard.

I can take requests (I guess) but I am really out of practice and my timing is super limited. But I hope you enjoy!

this is an audio post - click to play

"Hungry" dudes at Rittenhouse Square

You meet some of the craziest people at the Square.... there was that homeless guy who had the best jokes..... he came up to me and my friend and didn't ask for any money. All he said was,

"Can I tell you ladies a joke?"

We shrugged and said yeah. It wasn't really dark out yet, and besides his smell, he seemed pretty harmless.

Then he got real squinty-eyed serious and animated.... "Tommy's mom has three kids" (he has up three fingers), "Penny and Nickel, what is the third child's name?"

"Dime" my dumbass answered.

"No! Tommy!"

The two of us smiled. He was encouraged by this, because he said "I got another one."

"What travels everywhere but never leaves the corner?"

My friend and I looked at each other puzzled.

"A stamp."

Then the last and best one....

"What is the best nation in the world?"

America? Is the answer he is looking for America? I think in my head....

"DOUGH-nation! Can I get some change?" he puts out his hand....

My friend and I giggled and gave him some money for being so charming.

Today was Germ's birthday. I took him to that coal oven pizza place on Walnut.... it was yummy but too filling. So we boxed up half the pizza and were walking around with it on Walnut. First "hungry guy" didn't want it. Then we went to sit down at the park and another man came up to us and said "Hey, do y'all have some change so I can get something to eat?"

"Actually, we do have a fresh half-pizza"

"Nah, I'm not hungry..... can I get a cigarette brother?" Germ lights him a cigarette. (Wait, didn't he JUST SAY he wants to get something to eat? Than he says he isn't hungry? WTF?")

"Are you sure?" I said. "It's got roasted zucchinni on it."

"Roasted WHAT?"


"Zucchinni!, what's zucchinni?"

"You know, a vegetable" I said.

"A VEGETABLE?! Forget that!"

He downward slaps the air and walks away and sits with a group of guys on another bench who are tying rubber bands around their forearms. This is happening a few feet away from laughing little kids who are chasing dogs and pigeons.

I don't want to accuse anyone of shooting up in the park, it's just circumstantial evidence. I mean, I would tie rubber bands around my hands all the time when I was in school...... but heroin addict I was not..... if anything, it was more for that "whoooooaaaah! my fingers are cold and blue" feeling. But when an adult does it, it means something else. By the way, the sun was still up. Where were the cops?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Digable Planets in D.C. – Never missed a beat

Originally uploaded by devalina.
Being in a band is the same as being in a relationship. You make compromises and learn to communicate in ways as to not bruise egos. (Booty calls are optional)

I don’t know why Digable Planets ever broke up, but a part of me (a fan since I was 11) felt like a kid who wanted “mommy and daddy to get back together.” A part of you knows that things won’t ever be the same as they used to be….. if it is, it would be a miracle.

Like, you know that friend you haven’t talked to in years? But whenever you meet there is no awkwardness and you start just where you left off. That pretty much describes the vibe from the Digable Planets show last night at 9:30 in D.C.

Whenever a band announces their reunion, fans look forward to seeing them, but at the same time brace for them to fall flat on their face. DP had the comfort and expertise on stage of a group that has been touring for years, but with the energy of a group that is new to the scene (best of both worlds). They seemed real happy to be on stage like friends who are catching up after years of ---- living, and doing other shit.

Crazy One and I were prepared for a venue full of “poser fans” who only came to listen to “Cool like dat”, but were pleasantly surprised to find the place full of people just like us….. people who ten years ago got instantaneously addicted to their funky bass lines and jazz vibes but were too young to see them in concert (or even get into a PG-13 movie). Personally, I haven’t heard anything like them since (don’t say the Fugees or the Roots). Everyone was singing along to all the songs and I think the band saw that as an ultimate compliment.

The sexier than ever Ladybug

I, like most DP fans, have gone through many changes since DP broke up (I got over my obsession with becoming an astronaut). But just because their fans “grew up”, it doesn’t mean they had to. Still revolutionary in spirit, still with mountain-air vocal crispness and clarity, Digable Planets still believe there is some insect conspiracy theory. Personally, I am glad they didn’t go the Prince/Debbie Gibson route and change their bug names to prove to people that they “grew up.” Its nostalgia to me, and I want to remember them like there were. During “what cool breezes do”, when they started singing mantra-like…

“Do what you feel, do what you feel,
do what you feel yeah do what you feel,
do what you feel, do what you feel,
if its real.”

I felt more emotional as the message got drilled into my head deeper with each repetition. I thought of the talented kid in middle school who wanted to be a comic book artist yet sold out for money and is chained to a desk now at some finance department making money for someone else instead of doing what he felt. Anyways, I digress…,.

People are always complaining how hip-hop is so negative, and how it teaches kids to respect violence and racism over women, money and materialism over friends. For negative hip-hop to be combated, positive hip-hop must supported… and although a part of me doesn’t want to share DP with the masses, I hope they get the love they deserve when they tour and release their third album next year. Today in the New York Times there was a story about rappers gaining “credibility” from their crimes. This type of marketing is teaching kids that you have to have a prison record to be a true hip-hop star, and a drug addiction to be a true rock star.

Doodlebug (I shook his hand!) and Butterfly

When will artists get credibility from their education? Did you know that Butterfly went to the prestigious Howard University? I definitely didn’t hear that from the media…. But I did hear that Lil' Kim was sentenced yesterday and that Cassidy turned himself into police… maybe to promote “I’m a Hustla” (I can hear the record executives discussing this in a boardroom…. “How are you gonna promote your next album without a proper prison record? Go out there and kill someone before I tear up your contract!”)

Besides standing next to “Enthusiastic Dancing Guy” and “Needs a Hotel Room Couple”, the show was truly one to remember.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

What drug is Space Cadet?

As a friend (and friendster) of Justin A.K.A. Dulupdate, I had to take the "What drug are you?" quiz. I can't say I am surprised with the results....


You are Magic Mushrooms!

You don't mind taking a little mind trip - even if it leaves you with a ripped up stomach.

You're keen on sitting back and checking out the visuals. Or talking with your cat.

And you're up for the orgasmic powers of shrooms, as soon as your lover stops looking like an alien.

What Drug Are You?

More Great Quizzes from Quiz Diva

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Popular searches in my Friendster network

What is the purpose of the “popular searches in my network” feature on Friendster? I wonder how they compile this crap, and why one would want to know what their friends are searching. All it is doing is scaring me away from my friends. Here is the list and my commentary….

1. balenciaga bags- what the hell is that? I don’t even carry a bag unless it’s a book bag or camera bag.

2. jew singles- come on now, this is why Bengali men hate Jewish men and why Jewish women hate Bengali women. Not really…. I just think its eerie how of all the weddings I been to in recent years, I’ve noticed a trend of Bengali women ending up with two types of men. 1) South Indians with a collection of degrees and big hearts or 2) Jews with a collection of degrees and big wallets.

3. indian bridal fashion- it seems like all my friends are either 1) paired up, 2) talking about marrying the people they are dating, 3) getting married or 4) feeling bad about being single. Is this what life in mid-20’s is supposed to be like?

4. korean singles- I know a great place to meet Korean singles….. at Korean churches….. What? Don’t believe in Jesus? Well, before you cut off your testicles and get bitter, search your friendster network for korean singles.

5. tips on conversation- I am bad at conversation, but after a lifetime of awkward social skills, I found it helps to read newspapers and listen to NPR so you have something interesting to say at happy hour. Space Cadet always said “an hour of NPR before any social occasion makes you sound maaaad smart!”

6. what muppet are you quiz- I’m a mix between the animal and fozzie

7. INDIE HAIR STYLES- I will never understand indie rock kids….. Once I worked as a barber at an upscale salon that catered to indie kids….. guys and girls would walk in and say “I’m looking for something that looks like I haven’t had a haircut in years and haven’t washed it in days because I was so busy partying and touring with the band.” That’ll be $60 dollars I said, and here is a $30 bottle of pomade/wax so you can make your hair look dirty. Actually, I was never an indie hairstyle barber but that’s what I imagine it would be like. What every hipster should know: When you pay $100 on your hair, trying so hard to not look like a yuppie all it does is make you the ULTIMATE YUPPY, you are just a different type of consumer, you chump! Why don’t you go gain some weight before you get beat up by 115 pounds of Space Cadet. Actually, maybe I SHOULD become an indie hair stylist, they probably make more money than teachers and I need something to do in the summers besides being a Justice of the Peace.

8. how to get your boyfriend back- why would any girl want to do that? you are supposed to pray to never run into him again, and if you left on good terms hope that he finds someone really nice (but less cool and less attractive than you of course) and if you left on bad terms, that he ends up with a total bitch who will put him in his place.

9. physician salaries- how patronizing. Sometimes I feel bad for doctors. (Not really)

10. mazda RX-9- how did this end up in my network search? I don’t drive cars and neither do most of my friends.