Thursday, April 26, 2007

Conversation of the day

Me: The 6 year old kid who interviewed me today for Bring Your Son/Daughter to Work Day was so precocious. She told me how she wanted to alleviate poverty and help the unfortuneate by setting up community meetings and working on various charities.

Coworker: Yeah, wait 'till she gets into a relationship.


C'mon someone

I think the whole 'having a cool engagement story' is sorta played out and a bit cheesy. Most of the stories I've heard take place on the beach, or a fancy restaurant, and the guy is usually super nervous about everything going smoothly, and there's got to be some body of water in the background or a team of waiters with champagne or a palm tree, perhaps. Just once, I'd like to hear someone say 'yeah we were having mad crazy sex and just decided it was time to get hitched so we celebrated over burgers and beers at the neighborhood bar'.

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Funding is telling

From a capital markets perspective, this news is no good for Republicans. The flow of contributions to Obama from people that have been in the political landscape for so long just shows where they expect returns. As they say, there's no free lunch. Not even in the White House.

I do believe news like this is much more telling than any preliminary poll. And as someone who never has, and probably never will vote for a Democrat, I can't say I'm ecstatic, but at least I'm prepared for the worst.

UPDATE: Jason from WWR sends over this related article. Bill Richardson's stock is priceless.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rainy night in NY

On the M79 going westward this evening, I got into a conversation with the busdriver about why the crosstown buses are always on time but the avenue buses tend to be sporadic. As we crossed the park, the busdriver stopped to pick up a pedestrian. He declined and insisted that he likes walking through the dark streets at 11 pm. I got off at 2nd avenue and walked the ten blocks home. It was drizzling, but it felt nice. I called three people on the way home but no one answered. Where is everyone on a rainy Wednesday evening?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The man plays a sitar

The man plays a sitar
It's his first week in America
No one listens at first

He sits barefoot on the stage
His head stares down in a daze
Fingers pick his makeshift guitar
I wonder how his presence is big,
though his sound is small


Monday, April 23, 2007

Drunk Blogging

Okay so I'm not really drunk, tipsy perhaps. But even more fun than blogging while slightly tipsy is blogging from the Apple store on 57th street at close to midnight on a Monday. I absolutely love to be in places like this - where you can't tell the hour or the day and would never know that most of your fellow city dwellers are fast asleep. It's probably what I like most about Walmart and casinos, although I don't really enjoy purchasing bulk goods nor do I like to gamble all that much.


Friday, April 06, 2007

China travel diary - excerpt 1

I'm on a sleeper train on my way from Shanghai to Beijing. I feel as though a little birdie is trying to tell me I shouldn't be on this trip since I've had awful luck with transportation in the past few days. It's taken numerous tries to get on this train including 1 missed flight, 1 missed train, and a few tearful frustrations as I had to climb over railing, converse with a sour non English speaking station attendee, gesture to my ticket in the hopes they'd understand that I have no idea where to go, and run down what seemed like mile long train halls without slipping on the wet floor. But I made it, finally, and boy, do I need a beer.

My hosts in Shanghai have taken wonderful care of me. They've made sure I've eaten well, slept well (in a very luxurious four bedroom apartment), have given me a cell phone, have constantly checked up on me, and have bargained down for me every single purchase I've made including Chairman Mao watch (30 Yuan!) and a fake Tiffany butterfly neckace (35 Yuan!). I'm used to stepping out my comfort zone on vacations, but so far I've stepped into the lap of luxury, one that I almost never experience back at home.

I'm bunking with an adorable, stylish and smiling girl, most likely in her early twenties. She is wearing a stain black jacket with a furry hood, similar to the white one I'm wearing. She layers on beaded jewlry, the shiny, flashy kind that Asian stores sell and was one of the few things I couldn't bring myself to buy, even as a gift for someone. Her jeans are dark and fashionably tapered, and her orange flats stand out. I'm thankful I didn't get stuck with a surly, loud talking leery eyed man, one of the many that eyed me while I was waiting for the train to arrive, before I was pushed and shoved onto the platform by people hurrying to get into an empty sleeper car. Even as a jaded New Yorker, I'm struck by how rude and pushy people can be on public transport here. There seems to be no sense of organization when buying subway tickets or even Starbucks coffee. Lines zigzag out of the cafe and once people reach the cashier, they wave their hands frantically waiting to order the latest latte edition. It's even more chaotic at the monstrous Shanghai train station, and it's depressing to climb of tens of stairs trying not to step on shoeless families with tired eyes. It strikes me deep, and makes me realize that poverty in China is something I've yet to see.

The train conductor comes by and gives me a red card. I have no idea what this card is for, and I imagine I will have to ask many people before I get a response.

I have two bottles of water for the trip, but I put them through a Soviet style X-ray machine and am now hesitant to drink them. I thought dinner was being served on the train, but now I see people eating KFC and adding hot water to the ramen noodles they brought on with them. I suspect I'll be hungry and thirsty for the next 12 hours.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Still here

It's been a while and I promise to update you all on my trip to China with excerpts from my journal, as soon as I find the random pieces of paper where I jotted down my thoughts and then shoved in between piles of newly purchased DVD's and cute tops. In the meantime, I'd like to wish all of those who celebrate it, a very happy Passover. Here is an appropriately timed link about religious tradition that really touched me.