Monday, August 13, 2007

Signs of the Times

I few stories about how homesick I am:

I haven't watched TV in two months, with the exception of Sachin's at-bats in the India-England test match. As a withdrawl sign I've really started to lean hard on other entertainment. I have "Rounders" on my computer, and by now I must have watched it at least five times. I think I'm comforted by the English-speaking and scenes of America. I also must say that this is one of my all-time favorite movies, but it's a sneaky one because it doesn't really blow you away. But it's so well done, and honestly I don't think the cast will ever be topped: Matt Damon, Ed Norton, Malkovich, John Tutoro, the chick who played Jean Gray in X-Men, some others whom I don't know (OK maybe Departed topped this cast but it's close). Ed Norton is so brilliant in this movie... trust me if you haven't seen it, especially if you have any ties at all to poker, you should watch it asap.

Also, I rediscovered my college music collection which I put onto my laptop right before I came to India. If you're like me, listening to music that you listened to in college completely takes you back to those times. God I miss college. Also it's interesting that every song I listen to sounds totally amazing and I really get into it. I think this is an artifact of homesickness, so it makes me wonder if I'll like The Beatles as much when I get back home, after really loving hearing them for the first time while being out here. But if you want to know some music that sounds freakin awesome if you play it while in India, this is what I'm listening to:
* Usher - Bedtime (concert version)
* Destiny's Child - Emotions
* Timberlake - Senorita
* Blackstreet - Before I let you go
* Boyz 2 Men - I wish I had some of their songs because I have a feeling they would sound amazing right now

Tiger wins the PGA
This made me especially homesick because one of mine and Jo's favorite things to do together is watch the golf majors, especially when Tiger is contending. We love ogling over him like two chicks at an Usher concert. Recently I haven't been able to get over how ripped the guy is; when he wears muscle shirts I love using the "you could break a 2x4 over his back" line. Jo has a theory that Tiger only wins if he approves of his wardrobe for the week. Needless to say, Jo approved this week. I know if I were home yesterday we would have had a blast watching Tiger dust a bunch of pretenders off his shoulder on the way to number 13. I read that Tiger now has won as many major championships (13) as the rest of the top 10 players in the world combined (12). If you don't watch golf, shame on you. Consider yourself fortunate that in your lifetime such a force of nature exists in sports. Me and Jo will be telling stories to our grandbabies about watching Tiger in his prime.

The other day I had a craving for donuts. When I get back home one of the first things I'm going to do is pound a baker's dozen. It's a pretty random craving, but I think it came out of my subconscious after a conversation I had with Maneka about my idea to bring Mrs. Fields' cookies to India. My basic argument is that Indian sweets are inferior desserts, and so people here will get their minds blown if they ate fresh baked cookies. Also I'd position the cookie as a hifi and trendy American food, exaggerating its coolness the way Levi's jeans and McDonald's are over here. Maneka was telling me the idea is already taken because in Delhi she saw a "Mrs. Kaur's Cookies". hahahahahaha. I love that name. Can you imagine any Mrs. Kaur you know serving up a tray of chocolate chip cookies she just took out of the oven? Me neither. What a genius name. But the dream is not dead because now I'm moving on to bringing donuts to India. Not as much of a slam dunk because Indians don't eat heavy breads. But still I want to do it because of the name I came up with for the shop: "Krispy Malai".

Washing Machine
This doesn't have to do with homesickness but just another thing I was thinking about the other day: I claim that one of the critical drivers in the excessive demand/obsession for fashion/clothing in the world's rich countries is the invention of the washing machine. If people went back to hand-washing their clothes (as I am now doing daily and have become quite efficient at), they would no longer see buying new clothes as fun, but as more work! The cost of wearing a lot of different clothes when you have a washing machine is incrementally insignificant because you just toss everything in and press a button and it all becomes clean. But with hand-washing, you're perfectly cool with a two-shirt, two-pant rotation because any more than that and you are spending an hour doing back-breaking work.

I don't think this argument completely works, but I kinda like making these "Roe v. Wade was the reason violent crime dropped in the US in the 90s"-style connections. Actually this might be more of a "cotton gin lead to an explosion in the slave trade" kind of connection. Not quite at the freakonomics level of groundbreaking insight and controversy, but I'm getting there.


  1. I missed not having you by my side this Sunday. I was like Tiger without Stevie. Or, rather, Baby without whoever his caddie is. Just another stat that I thought was unbelievable: After going 2nd-2nd-12th-1st in the four majors this year, Tiger was one of seven players to make the cut in each of those four majors. His aggregate score for all of the events was 1-under par. The next closest guy, 15-over par. Can't wait to tell that one to the grandbabies.

  2. Now I'm craving donuts, too. Will you take me with you on your Donut Tour of America when you're back?

    I cannot believe you're washing your own clothes. That's great! Do you just enjoy the fresh-off-the-line scent when they dry out?

  3. 1. I also missed American TV this summer. I found myself watching a lot of "Star World" even after I told myself I would try to watch more Hindi TV. But yea, there was just something warm and fuzzy about watching Scrubs in India.

    2. Destiny's Child - Emotions STINKS. A**.

    3. Why did I have to read the word "chick" twice in this email? I think day-dreaming about your college days has seeped into your vocabulary. I hope I don't have to read that again.