Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This post is a majestic eagle in flight.

One of the things I have learnt to dread since I’ve lived in the US is giving my name to people over the phone. Mine isn’t a particularly hard name. It’s a nice name. I like it. I’ve had since I was roughly three and a half minutes old. But it is quite possible that people here haven’t encountered that name before. Rajneesh has become Runjeesh, Rhaneesh, Runeesh, Rajeesh…ad nauseum.

Sometimes they ask me to spell it out. And some of the letters in my name are nasty, teisty letters. J can on a bad day sound like K. RA can for some reason sound like an RHA. E can nbe B, D, or P depending on how drunk/hard of hearing/high the person at the other end of the phone is. So I have to resort to substituting words for letters.

It would be cool if I could remember the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. I’d then shoot off Romeo-Alpha-Juliet-November-Echo Echo-Sierra-Hotel. But I can’t. So I need to dig for words. And my mind goes blank...blanker.

Anonymous Person On The Other End Of the Phone: Can I have your first name please, Sir.

Me: Sure. It’s Rajneesh. Do you need me to spell that out?

APOTOEOTP: Um…yes please.

Me: Sure. That’s R-A-J-N-E-E-S-H.


Me. Um…you may have a few letters wrong. Let’s try this again.


Me: That’s R as in…as in…
(And at this point my mind blanks out. I cannot find an R word to save my life. Except for, well, naturally, rude words. The ones you say when you drop a laptop on your big toe. If my name were Fajneesh, I’d be a doomed man. There’s no way I’d be able to say anything other than F as in Fuck.
I start running through words. Boost, trump, delight, spawn…no nothing yet…computer, oligarchic (Oligarchic? What the fuck? I never use that word ever.)…trombone, rhinoceros. That’s it!)

Me: ...R as in Rhinoceros.
(Oh yeah! I Rock!)


Me: A as in…
(Oh Fuck! Not again! It gets easier though. However the urge to start using rude words is now nearly overwhelming. Asinine…would work but it’s fraught with the possibility of comic/embarrassing misunderstanding. Comic/embarrassing depending on the person on the other end of the phone.)

Me: …A as in A
(Yeah. Fucking helpful.)


Me: J as in…
(But now I’ve found my flow. The words come tripping out like…Well the words come tripping out, but the similes do not. The similes hide away like things that hide away when you need them. Socks and keys and tickets.)

Me: J as in Jackrabbit, N as in Nautical, E as in Echidna, E as is Egocentricity, S as in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or Sphygmomanometer, H as in Haberdashery. So that’s’ Rhinoceros A Jackrabbit Nautical Echidna Egocentricity Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or Sphygmomanometer Haberdashery.

APOTOEOTP: …Okay… I think I got that. Now, can I have your last name please?

Fuck fuck fuck!

That would make an awesome movie. A Rhinoceros and a Jackrabbit take on an evil nautical Echidna (Like captain Nemo but megalomaniacal and completely not good) as he (the Echidna) blackmails the world leaders with his Sphygmomanometer. The final climax takes place in the Haberdashery department and our heroes are nearly doomed until the day is saved by Mary Poppins.

Yeah, I have no idea what that last paragraph was about.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Language Lesson

So, I went in late Wednesday evening to get an MRI scan done on my arm (Obvious ploy for sympathy here. Please do not ignore it. I have a Paypal account. Make large, generous donations. The larger the better. Amounts which end with million are particularly preferred, but those with end with a thousand are good too.). I braved the sprawl of Central New Jersey (And believe me, it sprawls. It sprawls like no sprawl has ever sprawled before. Strip malls (which aren’t what the name suggests, but are shopping complexes with huge-ass parking lots) line Route one like large parasites. Parasites with parking lots and fast food restaurants and supermarkets and… you get the idea.) Add to this rush hour traffic, buggy code and a mild headache and the end result is a bad tempered Rajneesh.

Well, I get here at seven thirty, because they told me to be there at seven thirty. That’s when my appointment was for. (Appointment: Ancient Sanskrit word meaning that the people in charge of getting insurance clearance failed to get it and that I will have to return again the next day)

Me : (All bright and chirpy). I’m here. (I lie…I was tired and pissed off)

MRIPerson : MumblemumblemumbleBlah.Forgot Insurance clearance. Come back tomorrow.

Me: Can I cover it and deal with my insurance personally?

MRIPerson: Sure. That’ll be a thousand dollars.

Me: Can I come back tomorrow?

MRIPerson: Sure. Come in at one. We’ll have you out in twenty minutes tops.

Me: (Back in my car) Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. (Pause for breath) Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.

The next day.

(I just realized that I can get only the right side of my face to smirk. The left side refuses to cooperate. That becomes a very impressive grimace. That works for me too.)

I take off during lunch to get to the MRI center. The drive is even more depressing because the sprawl is uglier, the traffic is meaner and I’m starving. (A cereal bar does not lunch make.)

I get to the MRI place. The paperwork has been resolved. I can be MRI-fied. I do a little dance of joy. In my mind. The only outward sign I show is that I smirk a bit. They lead me to though hallways and corridors and caverns to the machine. The machine and the room it is in are like something out of a spaceship in a science fiction movie. A quiet background hum. Antiseptic plastic walls. Light flashing quietly, with elegant restraint. Muted beeps. Martians. Representatives of the galactic empire of Toasters. Over by the far table is a large anthropomorphic insect taking down readings.

They need to take readings of my left arm and so the have me lay down on my left side with my left arm out stretched and my right arm by my side. You know, a bit like superman as he flies. Except not super and not flying. (I did, however have my red cape). They instructed me to refrain from moving, twitching or starting suddenly at loud noises. And then they rolled me into the machine.

I fell asleep.

(I’ve been sleeping five hours a night for the last couple of weeks; I’ve been working fourteen hour days; I’m sure I can be excused.)

A half hour later I woke up.

The results of the MRI?

I haven’t a fucking clue. They’ll fax to my doctor and he’ll tell me. Those are the rules.

Gotta fucking love the bureaucracy.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yellow Underwater Submersible

A Weighty Matter.

Ever said goodbye to someone, and then it turns out that heading out in the same direction as you are? So now you’ve said goodbye, but you’re still walking next to each other for what seems like and quite possibly is, an eternity.

I’m never quite sure about what to do in such a situation.

Do you erase the memory of that goodbye, pretend that it never happened and carry on with your conversation? Or maybe start an entirely new conversation? And at the end of that conversation do you say goodbye again and thus enter the risk of entering a vicious cycle?

Or do you treat the goodbye as a clear line in the sand. The conversation has ended and that’s the end of the matter. The person you just said goodbye may stand at your side unto eternity but you will not acknowledge their presence. Goodbyes are final. That is...until they leave and return. In which case the slate is wiped clean and you may start all over again.

A Weighty Matter worth pondering about.

Another Weighty Matter.

When a person holds a door open for you, you thank them. It is the polite thing to do. But what do you do if you are following them down a hallway with multiple doors, that they then hold open for you. Do you thank them repeatedly?

“Thank you.”

(Pause for Opening door)

“Thank you.”

(Pause for Opening door)

“Thank you.”

Go for a little variety.

“Thank You!”


“Much gratitude to you kind person.”

“Open Sesame!”

“Who let the dogs out?”

“Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well”

“Luke, I am your father.”


“My precioussss…”

“There are places I remember…”

“Quack quack quack.”

It does not necessarily need to be verbal. Pretend to lunge for the door in slow motion. Pretend that you are in a parade and wave to the imaginary crowds as you pass through the door. Alternatively moon the imaginary crowds as you pass through the door. Or goosestep through the door. Use your imagination. Make it a production!

This will certainly solve your repeated thanking problem. The person opening the door for you will at this point be either running or desperately calling for the cops on a cell phone. If, on the other hand, the door-opener is actively following your lead, running desperately might not be a half bad idea.

You could also thank them just once and then ride that thanks’ coat tails through each and every one of the doors held open for you. I’d recommend the earlier option, but that’s just me.

So yeah. Goodbye. Now stop following me!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Make up your own title.

This would be a perfect time for me to claim a writer’s block and take off on an extended hiatus. But I won’t. I will persevere. I will drag the words out of me using a pair of hot tongs, and put them down for you, my Loyal Audience.

(Peers out at the Loyal Audience from the middle of the stage. The Loyal Audience seems to consist of an elderly wino, a bedraggled puppy and a villainous boot of uncertain vintage. Not a very impressive Loyal Audience. More like an audience that came in to get out of the cold.)

Yeah, that is exactly how hard up I am for ideas right now. Not that I ever had any good ones, but nothing has pissed me off enough to rant about.

Actually scratch that last statement.

Last Sunday, the thirteenth of August, there was an Indian Independence Day parade in Edison. Something worth going to. And I would have gone.

Except, and you knew that that except was coming, except that the main draw of the parade was that Bipasha Basu would be the marshal. Yes, she’s smoking hot, but the fucking point of the parade should be the parade celebrating India’s independence, and not the fact that some hot-semi naked woman would be marching in it.

Gah! Arguing against the presence of hot, semi-naked women seems so..unnatural. It irks me.

As you may have realized, I am really bad at writing about things I care about. It’s fucking annoying. I can go on for pages about why I think my fucking toaster is plotting to do away with me and when it comes to more serious things, all I can talk about is how the villainous boot in my Loyal Audience booed me.

I should settle for just randomly throwing words on to the page and hoping that they stick together and work.

So here goes nothing.

Pancakes. Spears. Bags. Kittens. Robots.

Bags of Kitten Robots eating Pancakes while wielding spears?

Okay, that was just fucking sad. Even my villainous boot imagery was better than that.

Not only is writing hard, typing the words out, for a two finger typist like me, is fucking hard. Even after all these years I need to look at the keyboard as I type. (If I do not, I end up with something like this, “I end up eubt sinrutbi ldun tsis,”) Yeah now that’s a skill that scientists in the sixties predicted we’d all need to have. Fuck rocket cars and laser guns and spaceships and all that fancy shit. In the year 2000, you’d better know how to type or you’re screwed.

I probably should not post this piece of crap. But I will. Because I fucking typed it out. My fingers are fucking bleeding. My forearms are in agony. I have tears streaming down my cheeks (I’m watching ET in my mind). My shoulders are burning. My nose is twitching. My teeth are gnashing.

Yeah, let’s end this before this turns into a quite hideous description of every part of my anatomy.

So, yeah, stuff.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The guide to having a perfect Monday morning

A perfect Monday morning cannot be achieved without the Sunday Night Monday Morning Preparation.

First, return home tired and spaced out late on Sunday night. Next, fall asleep on the couch with the laptop precariously balanced on your stomach. Wake up an hour later to the smell of burning. The burning being you, since the laptop is back to doing its impression of a cheery furnace.

Curse for a while.

Divest yourself of the laptop and briefly consider getting of the couch, changing and heading to the bedroom. Reject the idea because you do not have the energy to get off of the couch. Stare idly at the ceiling for a while.

Continue the staring.

Realize that you still have your contacts on and that removing them is probably a good idea. Reject the idea because you do not have the energy to get off of the couch. Stare idly at the ceiling for a while.

Continue the staring.

Fall asleep in a little while.

Wake up. The cushion that you bought is fucking uncomfortable. Get rid of the cushion. Your head now feels like an overly enthusiastic bull elephant did the Mambo on it. Consider staring idly at the ceiling. Come to the conclusion that the ceiling is rather boring.

Continue the staring.

Fall asleep.

Wake up. At a half past nine. You are now really late for work. Consider your options. Briefly flirt with the idea of calling in sick. Reject it. Realize that it is now a quarter to ten and you haven’t gotten off of the couch. Also realize that your eyes are completely gummed up because you slept with your contacts on.

Get off of the couch.

Consider having breakfast. Reject the idea because it would make you even later for work. You are now so late that ten more minutes will not make a difference. The logical thing to do would be to have breakfast. Fortify yourself for the rest of the day.

Skip breakfast.

Lurch towards the bathroom. Make a small diversion to check your email. Reach the bathroom.

Start shaving. (Unless you have a beard. In which case, stop shaving!)

Finish shaving.

Brush your teeth. . (Unless you have a beard. In which case, stop brushing!)

Finish Brushing.

Step into the shower.

Realize that you missed a spot while shaving. Step out of the shower and finish shaving again.

Step back into the shower.

(Image of a ticking clock to show the passage of time. Restrained muzak plays in the background. Maybe Kenny G’s Songbird. A quiet voice says, “Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line. Your estimated wait time is fifteen minutes.”)

Step out of the shower. Since this is a family show, have a towel wrapped around you.

Grab the first pair of trousers that you find. Realize that all your shirts are at the dry cleaners. Also realize that you were supposed to pick them up the previous Thursday but had neglected to do so.

Curse for a while.

Hunt for a pair of socks. Find one sock each from four different pairs of socks. Continue to hunt.

Give up on the hunt and dig up a pair of new socks.

Comb your hair…Or at the very least make it less messy. The hair is in a state of active rebellion. Establish a “take no prisoner” policy and subdue the rebellion.

Look at your reflection.

  • Bloodshot eyes. Check.
  • Messy hair. Check.

Leave the apartment wearing formal pants and shoes and an old Virginia Beach T-shirt.

Drive to the dry-cleaners.

Fume silently in the line at the dry-cleaners. Finally it will be your turn. Pick up your clothes and exit.

Change in the parking lot. Put on the tie that you fortuitously left in the back seat on Friday.

Drive to work. Make sure that every single fucking traffic light between you and work is red. Also make sure that you get stuck behind someone doing thirty in a forty-five zone.

Curse for a while.

You’re at work. Hurrah! Do a little dance. Like the dance Snoopy does when the Round-Headed Kid brings him his dinner.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I should...

probably go to sleep sometime soon.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

High finance

I was at the university book store over the weekend, and they had a huge banner put up. It said, “A gift card, the perfect gift for all occasions”.

No, it’s not. Giving a person a gift card is like telling them, “I don’t care enough about you to make the effort to get you a gift and so here is some money.”

Yes, that’s it. Giving someone a gift card is like giving them money. Except that it is worse. Not only are you giving them money, you are giving them money that you cannot use everywhere. Money, but without the freedom to spend it anywhere you may please.

“Here’s some money. But it is not really money. Because money you could use anywhere, but this you can’t. It is like made-up pretend money. You can spend it only at this one place. And you need to use it soon, because this money, unlike real money, has an expiry date. So...um enjoy! Happy Some Occasion to You! “

The supermarket I go to has gift cards. For the fucking supermarket. I wonder who at the supermarket came up with that idea and if anybody, anywhere, has ever bought one of those gift cards.

“Happy Some Event. Here’s a gift card from Super Fresh. You know… the supermarket. Enjoy!”

Monday, August 07, 2006


This fills me with sadness and disgust. But mostly disgust. Lots of disgust.

How the fuck can that be the most read story? A person whose initial claim to fame was the fact that she got caught fucking on tape is now no longer going to . And people were interested enough in it to make it the most fucking popular story? That is fucking insane.

Yes, a short and sweet….Scratch that…A short and bitter post.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Repetition is easy

…"We want PCs to be objects of pure desire."…Microsoft’s Vista Industrial Design Toolkit.

The irony in Microsoft (We make butt ugly interfaces and we like it) giving design tips to PC makers makes my cup run over. Add to it the creepiness in calling a PC an object of pure desire. (Visions of people the world over humping their keyboards…with the Windows shutdown music playing in the background. Geekporn!

Um…those PC’s are probably objects of impure desire.)

I now know why I have cable. The SciFi Channel is playing a really bad movie. It involves, in no particular order:

  • An isolated underwater sea laboratory. (All important experiments happen underwater in the sea. One of the laws of Physics. Right up there with the Law of Gravity and the Law of Being Too Tired To Sleep)
  • An eleventh century sword
  • A cute puppy
  • A helicopter
  • An unsanctioned cloning experiment involving large and quite possibly carnivorous beasties.
  • An immoral scientist…with a badly put on German accent. (He has an accent, naturally he is bad. It is logical. If he were a good scientist, he would belong to a minority or would have a deep voice and no accent. The accent damned him.).
  • Shotguns (Phallic symbols)
  • Hot semi-naked women (Necessary accessories for phallic symbols)
  • A rampaging dragon. With flame generating organs/apparatus.
  • Nice guy with hidden past in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Disposable lab technicians.

(The pilot for The Amazing Screw-On Head comes on right after this movie and is fucking amazing. Watch it! )

Take those ingredients, toss them together, and add a touch of bad special effects, a pinch of bad production values, garnish with bad acting, add bad direction to taste, simmer over a low budget and voila, you have your average B movie…or a sequel to The DaVinci Crap.

What I’d like to see is a movie that dares to challenge the stereotypes.

  • A bustling underwater sea laboratory, one where proper safety procedures are followed and Caution is a buzzword.
  • An eleventh century spoon.
  • An insane, blood crazed puppy. One who lurks beneath the desks and savagely mauls the hands of those who try to pet him.
  • A helicopter. The minimum requirements for flying which are more than looking good in a tight t-shirt or short skirt.
  • A sanctioned cloning experiment that goes completely right. Nothing goes wrong. The cells of the extinct beast that have been cloned do not rise up and resemble the creature from the Deepest Recesses of Hell. Or if they do rise up, they politely ask for a cup of tea and then politely discuss international politics.
  • A moral scientist with a German accent. One who wrestles daily with the moral ramifications of his work and does not look upon other humans as expendable research material.
  • No guns. Or bombs. Or stuff that goes boom. No sharp objects. No pistols with unlimited ammunition. No ostentatious reloading and flexing while firing.
  • More hot semi-naked women. (Just to annoy certain people)
  • A somewhat embarrassed dragon. Who wears glasses, says “Eh?” a lot and can’t hold his drink.
  • Nice guy. No hidden past. No secret time in the Army as a commando. No freakish proficiency with weapons. No disconcerting familiarity with explosives. No ability to hack into computer networks using Notepad’s secret “Hack into super-secure network” menu option (Shortcut key: ctrl-alt-shift-num lock-0-delete)
  • Lab technicians, appreciated for who they are. Ones that matter as individuals and who have families that love them and care for them.

So, yeah, PCs are going to be butt-uglier.