Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

19 Jun 2007, 0:57 a.m.

MC Masala, Weekend, And A Mess of Miscellany

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Well, this will get a bit crowded. Welcome to the social!

This week's column is about Kannada, "Indian," and other languages. Did you know that my sister's brushing up her Hindi?

Right now she can get along OK, understand Bollywood movies and hold decent conversations. But now she's polishing it up, doing the fit-and-finish work. She's already got an ear for how a Hindi phrase or sentence should fit together, and now she has to apply that attention to her own speech. How do you get the knack of the tongue? How do you sink into the rhythm, the idiom of it?

I've been trying to remember how Kannada sounds. The other day I raced up to some Indians in a subway station, eavesdropping on their conversation and introducing myself. Then I found out they were speaking Telugu, not Kannada. Pretty embarrassing.

This past weekend, I visited John, Martin, and Riana in DC. Martin summarizes the main event of the visit: Riana, Martin and I saw John play Orestes in one of three productions of Electra. Pretty awesome. Riana, thank you for your hospitality! Thanks to Riana, I tried out the cardiovascular equipment in a gym for the first time -- elliptical machine, treadmill, stationary bike, what have you. Not since high school weightlifting class had I tried to crack the code of the gym. I now grok why people would choose a gym over running/weightlifting/calisthenicizing at home or in the world. Hmmm. Maybe there is a lesson here for me.

I took the Greyhound bus down south and the Vamoose bus back north. Greyhound: preferable, because it's cheaper, the bus stop and ticketing and schedules are more convenient and reliable, and they don't play movies. But Vamoose's staff is more friendly.

Did you know that there's an Irish pub called Fado in DC's Chinatown that serves fries with Utah-friendly fry sauce (except it's called Marie Rose Sauce)? Or that there are two restaurants named Cafe Luna near DC's Dupont Circle?

I got to the Jack-in-the-Box in The System of the World. Ha! I'm in the home stretch for the Stephenson. In other media experience news, the films on the Vamoose bus back to NYC: The Italian Job, a perfectly enjoyable US remake of a British heist film, and Happy Feet, a terrible, strange, uncanny-valley-inhabiting children's film that reminded me of what I've read about Ralph Bakshi's animated Lord of the Rings film.

My friend Adi, a math professor at NYU, plays an Onion story subject this week. Also this week, I won a $10 Starbucks gift card for winning a copywriting contest at work. It was actually more energizing when I thought it was a random "you're doing great!" gift from a secret admirer/boss.

Leonard was right. I miss Cody's Books on Telegraph in Berkeley. I tried to see Annie Hall in Bryant Park with new friends tonight but we couldn't see nor hear more than a tenth of what was going on so we left. But I don't mind. It's been such a jam-packed pleasant three days, aside from a bit of work kerfluffle, that it's almost a three-day weekend! Goodness, I love social contact.


21 Jun 2007, 21:05 p.m.

Fado is wonderful, or so I tend to think; I've only been there once, mid-afternoon on a Sunday, to watch West Ham beat Man U and avoid relegation. (This is a good thing.) They serve up a hell of an Irish breakfast, let me tell you, the kind of breakfast that can kill at thirty paces. I couldn't quite finish it, and typically I don't stop eating until I've finished the plate and am halfway through the table. I understand that from a legal standpoint, trying to get anyone under 18 to eat more than half is technically considered "delicious child abuse". There are probably creepy web sites out there with pictures of women tied up and being forced to finish their bacon. Good damn breakfast.

As for the Lunae: it's even worse than we imagined.