It’s All Greek To Me

I am not trying to offend the Greeks who actually live in Greece. Not at all! But it seems to me that Greeks who live in other countries are quite prominent and make a name for themselves. In all fields that you can think of, you have a famous person of Greek origin / ethnicity, full or partial. From the US, in the movies & tv you have the lovely Maria Menounos, Jennifer Anniston, Angie Harmon, Hank Azaria, John Stamos, Olympia Dukakis. You have the illusionist Criss Angel (real name Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos). In Politics you have Michael Dukakis. In the NHL you have Chris Chelios, the old man of hockey. In sports you have retired ‘soccer’ player Alexi Lalas & tennis superstar Pete Sampras. In music you have Tommy Lee & Athena Kottak (Lee’s sister) & Constantine Maroulis.

Greek-Canadians are varied as in former WWE star Trish Stratus, former NHL star Chris Kontos, actors Elias Koteas, Nia Vardalos, John Ioannou and the late John Colicos. You have tv personality George Stroumboulopoulos & Comedian Angelo Tsarouchas.

Australia’s Greek community boasts of tennis star Mark Philippoussis, footballer Stan Lazaridis, actors & brothers Costas & Louis Mandylor & singer Peter Andre.

From the UK we have actress Marina Sirtis (of Star Trek fame), singers George Michael (of the gay flashing infamy) & Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam .

Who is my fav of these people? Marina Sirtis & Elias Koteas.

Modern Day Drifter – Dierks Bentley

Another internet find and of a style totally different from the previous one – gotta love the internet – is the country singer Dierks Bentley. Now, this guy is the first American country male singer that I like! Honestly! All the male country singers whose songs I have are Canadian! I came close to liking Billy Ray Cyrus a few years ago but he got too corny for me. I like a couple of American country bands like Blackhawk & Diamond Rio and a few songs of Alabama, but no solo singers. Till now! Born, 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona, he moved to that mecca of the twang, Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 19. He worked in Television for a while and only released his debut album, Don’t Leave Me In Love in 2001, on an independent label. In 2003 his self-title big label debut , features his to no#1 hit on the country charts, What Was I thinking. He has released an album in 2006 called Long Trip Alone, which is equally successful, but the one I have with me is his 2005 US Billboard #6 album, Modern Day Drifter.

The album features two US Country #1 hits, Settle For a Slow Down & Come A Little Closer. You get honky tonk, little twang and song nice tunes in the album. In the title track, we see a picture of a man who goes where he wants, when he wants. In Cab of My Truck, he talks about how it may not be much to look at, but he’s got everything he needs right there inside. In Settle for a Slowdown, his girl has left him and he’s watching her go, just hoping that if she won’t stop and turn around, she’ll at least step on the brakes and slow down. In Come a Little Closer, he wants to make everything right again, saying “there ain’t nothin’ that love can’t fix.” In Good Things Happen, he talks about how everything else may not be going right, but as long as he has his girl by his side, “good things happen.” In the final track, Gonna Get There Someday, he talks about how he’s on the verge of a commitment, but not quite there yet, but feels he’ll get there someday. And as the song progresses, you realize he’s speaking this at his mother’s grave. Show stopper So So Long is a barn dance number about showing the door to a cheating woman.
Overall a really good album that you can enjoy over a beer or two.

It's Saturday

Yay! the weekend is here…..but oh what am I so excited about? I gotta go to work. :(

I haven’t watched tv in a while, preferring to stream clips off Youtube. I just love this company that allows you to share movie & tv clips. Plus there are some very talented musicians who have gained some fame through uploading their performances onto Youtube and a lot of funny people.

judgment night dvd What can I say about the garbage situation in my city, where puke invoking smells hover over stacks & stacks of rotten old food, paper and all sorts of crap? It stinks! Who knows what kind of diseases will be spread before it all gets cleared up. Corporation of Cochin city, get off your lazy assess and do something!

Canadiens lose Souray to Oilers

Coveted, high scoring defenceman Sheldon Souray is leaving the Montreal Canadiens for his home province of Alberta and joining the Edmonton Oilers. Souray agreed to sigining on with the Oilers on a 5 year deal. The 6’4” native of Elk Point, Alberta joins the Oilers after spending the past six seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. Last season, Souray led the Canadiens in power-play goals with 19 and penalty minutes with 135, while ranking second in goals (26) and points (64). His 26 goals led all NHL defencemen, six ahead of second ranked Dan Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also led all NHL defencemen (tied with Vancouver’s Sami Salo) with six game-winning goals. Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (3rd round, 71st overall), Souray has compiled 186 points (66-120-186) including 821 penalty minutes in 506 career NHL games. In 34 career playoff games, Souray has recorded 10 points (3-7-10) with 65 penalty minutes.

“I’m heading home to Alberta and I can’t wait to step onto the ice at Rexall Place”, said Souray. “It’s always been a terrific building to play in. I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I can tell you it was an easy one to make. I’m looking forward to playing in Edmonton for a great organization and believe me, I know how good the fans in Edmonton are.” He also turns 31 today, July 13th, so happy birthday Sheldon!

Holly – Justin Nozuka

What would I do without the internet and enlightened souls who decide to give the rest of us unfortunate ones the goods? Once again, via some guys’ blog, I have found out about a truly talented singer / musician and he is only 18! This kid can wail better than most and he is a true gem in the world of hype & glitz and nothing much else. Justin Nozuka is a Toronto based soul influenced acoustic pop-rock musician. It’s hard to put a tag on his music, but you get the pop, soul & rock vibe all over his debut album Holly and his lyrics are quite mature for a teen. The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has fleshed out many of the songs he’s been playing on acoustic guitar the past year for intimate audiences. Now, with recent opening slots for Ziggy Marley, Sam Roberts, Xavier Rudd and The Philosopher Kings, he is poised to build his audience one fan at a time, impressing those with his engaging personality, ear-bending lyrics and a rugged soulful voice. Born in New York to a Japanese-born father and Canadian-born mother, Justin moved to Canada at age 8 with his mother and siblings after his parents’ divorce.

In fact, the title of the album Holly & one of the songs Oh Momma pays homage to his mother, Holly, who raised Justin and his 4 brothers & 2 sisters by herself after her divorce. The album opens with the bluesy Down In A Cold Dirty Well, an ominous acoustic song that Justin inexplicably wrote about falling down a well. This song sends chills up spine but you still sing along. My favourite track on the album is Be Back Soon, a lusty track about missing your girl, who is on vacation on a beach somewhere, while you are at home and missing her being in your arms. Save Him is about an abused wife, who still wants her husband to be normal. Most of his songs are from his imagination, like Criminal, another great track about a young teen who smokes pot of the first time on the streets with his friend and then throws a bottle in the air for fun. The bottle breaks on the road and later a small girl when walking barefoot, cuts & bleeds on the broken glass. The song is about the guilt that the boy feels when he sees the story on tv and wonders if he should run (to Mexico and change his name & face)!

There are love songs like Golden Train and the pleading Mr.Therapy Man, which reminds me a lot about the Beatles Mr.Postman, but only in the lyrics and overall theme of the song. While After Tonight & We Were Supposed To Grow Old are about breakups, I’m In Peace is about the bliss of having a loving & beautiful girl in your life. Singer Damhnait Doyle, of the band Shaye, guests on If I Gave You My Life. The album ends with the philosophical plea to humanity (especially the US), Don’t Listen To A Word You’ve Heard. Overall truly wonderful music from a young artist with an old soul. Buy it!

Steve Morse Kicks Blackmore’s Ass

After the last post, I kinda thought about the song Smoke On The Water and I compared Ritchie Blackmore’s original version guitar playing to his replacement Steve Morse’s playing. Now, I know that Purple is more associated with Blackmore and his enormous ego & guitar playing but just listen & watch to Steve Morse and Deep Purple killing that famous song in concert. Deep Purple never sounded this good with Ritche! STEVE MORSE RULZ!

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Water

Recently, people close to me have been falling sick due to not drinking enough water. My friend Akhil was known among most in the office & outside of it as to not drinking water at all during the day, except with his lunch & dinner. And that too just a glass or two. He got kidney stone in May and it was really bad that he had blood in his urine. He was taken to the hospital and advised rest for two weeks and lots of medicines. After he came back, for two weeks I monitored his water intake, atleast when I was with him during office hours, until he moved back to Bangalore.

My father is also having some problems with his health and this is related to his kidneys not getting enough water. He also has a kidney stone problem, although it is very minor but he had build up of gas due to his kidneys not getting enough water. He too is now drinking more water. Some other friends of mine have also been informed about their not drinking appropriate amounts of water, especially now due the rainy season & it being cold outside, plus the fact that our office is heavily air-conditioned.

All this monitoring of people drinking water made me be very conscious of the amount of water that I drink. And it is difficult to drink, for the same reasons I mentioned above and the fact that I have to go to the pantry and get water, since the office does not provide bottles. So I too started to drink less at work & during the day but tried to compensate at night after I reach home. So I took a small bottle (originally Royal Challenge Club Soda) with me to work and kept it at my desk. I didn’t actually fill it with water but atleast I had a source that I would keep close by.

I went up at 10 pm for dinner and to arrange a refresher session for some of the customer service reps at the office. I came down to arrange the training room & I though I would fill it and keep it with me, since my throat gets quite parched while training. So I went back to my desk and lo! behold, the bottle was gone. One of the cleaning guys took it and I couldn’t find it. I found the culprit who said that he thought it was trash and threw it out. I just gave him a dirty look and went back. Now I guess I should get a flask!

Song for the day – “Smoke On The Water” – DEEP PURPLE

Back Online

Well my connection is back online after I paid the bill today afternoon just before I had to leave for work. Glad that is out of the way. I had to wait for a while though before they got it back for me. They guy who collected the amount from me told me that he would have it up in 30 mins, which went on for 2 hours until I actually got the net back up again. I hold no grudges. I want to download a couple of movies for Sunday since the forecast is lots of rain. Not that it isn’t raining during the weekdays!

I find myself unable to keep a track of the money I spend from my pay every month. Before the second week is over, once again I find my bank balance running less than half of what amount was put in it on pay day. I have no clue where all of it is going and would like to get more organized pronto! I need to curtail whatever excess amount I am spending. This month is no different from the last 4 and I keep promising that I would do better the next month.

Song for the day – “Probable Cause” – TODD KERNS

Tickle Me

A new employee is hired at the Tickle Me Elmo factory.

The personnel manager describes her duties, and tells her to report to work promptly at 8:00 AM. The next day at 8:45 AM, there’s a knock at the personnel manager’s door. The assembly line foreman comes in and starts ranting about this new employee. He says she’s incredibly slow, and the whole line is backing up.

The foreman takes the personnel manager down the factory floor to show him the problem. Sure enough, Elmos are backed up all over the place. At the end of the line is the new employee.

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She has a roll of the cloth material used for the Elmos and a big bag of marbles. They both watch as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles, and starts sewing the little package between Elmo’s legs. The personnel manager starts laughing hysterically.

After several minutes, he pulls himself together, walks over to the woman, and says, “I’m sorry, I guess you misunderstood me yesterday. Your job is to give Elmo ‘two test tickles’”.

Disconnected

I am like an addict who’s supply of his choice of drug has been abruptly cut off. And I am getting cravings like hell. Luckily I have an alternate source as inconvinient as it is. It is at the office. I do not have unlimited access and I need to be careful as to how I use it.

Don’t worry, I am only talking about the internet. I woke up this morning to find that my connection has been disconnected due to non-payment of my monthly bill. You see they send someone to collect the payment from me at my apartment every month. This month as usual, I had kept the cash with my mom and they had called and had informed her that they would come to collect it on the 7th, last Saturday. Well, there was no one home on Saturday as my dad was taken to the hospital on that day for a check up. My mom went with him and I went to the office.

I guessed that they would come to collect it yesterday but no one came until 3 pm at which time I had to leave for work. My folks came home from the hospital after 6 pm, so we are not sure if they came to collect the payment between 3 pm & 6pm. Anyway, my connection got disconnected this morning and I can’t use it at home. I called up their customer service and asked them to send someone to collect it from my apartment by tomorrow. I need to wait till that time. Till then, the office is my only supply.

Song for the day – “One More Song The Radio Won’t Like” – KATHLEEN EDWARDS

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In The Cupboard

A woman takes a lover home during the day while her husband is at work. Her 9-year old son comes home unexpectedly, sees them, and hides in the bedroom cupboard. Then the woman’s husband also comes home. She puts her lover in the cupboard, not realising that the little boy is in there already. The little boy says, “Dark in here.” The man says, “Yes, it is.”

Boy – “I have a football.”
Man – “That’s nice.”
Boy – “Want to buy it?”
Man – “No, thanks.”
Boy – “My dad’s outside.”
Man – “OK, how much?”
Boy – “£250″

A few weeks later, it happens again that the boy and the lover are in the cupboard together.

Boy – “Dark in here.”
Man – “Yes, it is.”
Boy – “I have football boots.”
The lover, remembering the last time, asks the boy, “How much?”
Boy – “£750″
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Man – “Sold.”

A few days later, the boys father says to the boy, “Grab your boots and football, let’s go outside and have a game of soccer. The boy says, “I can’t, I sold my ball and boots.” The father says, “What?! How much did you sell them for?”

Boy – “£1,000.”

The father says, “That’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that. That is far more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.”

They go to the church and the father makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and he closes the door.

The boy says, “Dark in here.”

The priest says, “Don’t start that sh*t again. You’re in my cupboard now.”

Naive Me

I have to say this : people are not who you think they are. I find it hard to be too negative about trusting people and believing that they are sincere but lately it has become less hard. Several incidences have forced me to rethink my belief that most people are actually good and true. I used to firmly believe in what people who get friendly with me tell me. Maybe I am just naive or stupid but I usually did believe in the good. But not so much anymore. The people who I think are genuine have not turned out to be so. And that makes me a little sad that I can’t trust them.

So what happens when you can’t trust people? You nod along when they talk to you about something but you don’t agree to it in your mind. Or you play neutral and say that you would like to keep yourself away from whatever they are talking to you about. And I think that most people do know that I am kinda trusting. So, dare I say it, they try to take advantage of me using that knowledge. And I fall for it. Every goddamn fucking time. In most cases I think that it might not matter too much even if I fall for it. I can shrug it off after a couple of hours and not think much off it later. But some stick to me and I can’t forget them.

I remember some so vividly that they have shaped the rest of my life since that incident. Some regarding my friends and some regarding my relatives. I think I should just go about not trusting anyone at all for as long as I live! But then, what kind of life would that be?

Song for the day – “Never Give Up On Me” – JANN ARDEN

Half Scotish, Half Portugese, all hottie

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She looks familiar. You know that face, those eyes, those lips. Where have I seen her before? While bored I was clicking away at Wikipedia , selected some movie, clicked on a few links, found some actors, one link lead to another and another and I found her page and the link to her website. This babe is Danica McKellar otherwise & popularly known as ‘Winnie Copper’ from the hit tv series The Wonder Years. It seems she is really smart, went to Standford U and co-wrote a huge theory in math. She has acted on & off, in shows like West Wing and has appeared in many guest roles. She also has a web series called Inspector Mom and two tv movies coming out. She was hot as a young teen and she is really hot now. Grrrr.

32 Down On The Robert McKenzie

Paul Gross is an actor/director/musician. The Canadian Gross is best known for his splendid performance as Constable Benton Fraser of the RCMP, in the hit series DUE SOUTH. Gross plays Mountie Fraser, who comes to Chicago on a search for his father’s killer and remains attached as liason to the Canadian Consulate in the city. Along with his half dog, half wolf, Diefenbaker, he joins up to solve cases with the Chicago PD, partnering up with Det. Ray Vecchio and the rest is television history. Certainly his role is one of my favs as I can’t imagine a character quite like his – a Mountie who is so polite, he also never carries a gun while on the search for criminals.

Paul Gross is also a singer and he is responsible for one of my favourite songs of all time – a barnstorming single called 32 Down on the Robert MacKensie”. The song is about an ill-fated ship, suppling coal from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Detroit, Michigan. The ship is stuck in a storm at sea and breaks in half as it hits a huge, sharp rock close to land. The 32 men on the ship are drowned at sea and the lyrics are from the point of view of one of them, who promises to try and get back home to his family. This song is also featured on the soundtrack of Due South and was in an episode during the last season of the series (where I heard it for the first time). He is backed formidably by fellow Canadians, Captain Tractor, who supply the music. It may not be a huge hit but it remains one of my top 10 favourites of all-time.

32 Down On The Robert McKenzie
======================
32 men on a Great Lake boat quit the pier at Thunder Bay
28,000 tons of coal on a cold November day
800 feet and 10 more long, 80 feet across
The steel mills of Detroit our destination through the frost.

At 2 a.m. on the second, waves were running up to 40 feet
Winds were blowing 60 miles, our engines crankin’ heat
At 3:13 we took a wave, our wheelhouse left behind
The radar slipped beneath the waves, and we were running blind

Chorus
Here me call across the waves
If I don’t come home tonight
I will make it home someday
(Steel boats, Iron men) 32 down on the Robert McKenzie
(Steel boats, Iron men) 32 down on the Robert McKenzie
(Steel boats, Iron men) 32 down on the Robert McKenzie

A captain name of Phillips, seekin’ shelter from the storm
Turned us south of Bete Grise Bay by way of Keewenaw Point
But the winds were pushing at such a rate we ended up drifting north
A wave broke over a knife of a rock six fathom shoal

The McKenzie she was cut in half and the stern she rammed the bow
Men were caught in metal jaws and flames burned out of hell
Stern kept runnin’ all her lights ablaze, not one man would be found
Captain’s last transmission read, 32 men down, 32 men down.

Chorus

Here me call across the waves
If I don’t come home tonight
I will make it home someday.
Yes I call across the waves
If I don’t come home tonight
I will make it home someday.

Song for the day – “32 Down On The Robert MacKensie” – PAUL GROSS

Bus Etiquette

I have had a hate relationship with my fellow travelers in the buses of our lovely state. There are certain areas where it is really bad – Pukkatupady and area, Calicut (most regions) for example – but it is quite prevalent. I’m sure that most of you would have encountered this during the daily trips that you take to or from work. Have you wished that you could do something about it. I, one man that I am, cannot do it on my own. So please stand up for your rights to travel peacefully.

The things I hate about traveling in a bus:

  • Loud obnoxious talkers & singers, especially Tamil labourers. Please, I need not necessarily want to know your favourite song, so please don’t sing it to me.
  • If I sit in on the very last seat row & there is plenty of space to stand in the middle of the bus, do not stand right in front of me with your ass in my face. I fear you have had a heavy lunch and hence will not hesitate to defend my self & my nose with my umbrella.
  • The assholes who think that they should stand right at the door, even if there is plenty of space inside the bus, in order to (a) get the maximum breeze or (b) to show off. Get a life, you moron.
  • Do not lift your hand and hold onto the bar behind your seat and hence push your armpit towards me. I will elbow you in the ribs or knee you in the groin the next time that happens. I have plenty of sweat of my own and do not need any of yours seeping onto me, through your armpit & your shirt.
  • For all you loud cellphone talkers – who the fuck wants to know about your job or the wild party you had last night? Certainly not your fellow bus travelers.

Song for the day – “We Care A Lot” – FAITH NO MORE