Thoughts On A Holiday Party

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Recently our group had it’s holiday party. An ordinary thing, you’d think, but it gave me food for thought. There was something multicultural about it that was very inclusive of everyone, yet at the same time we had an event that almost horrified me at it’s level of anti-Christmas spirit, which is somewhat ironic as I am not actually a big Christmas fan.

It started late Monday evening, when we got the Outlook appointment invitation…for Wednesday night. So much for future planning, huh? As to whether that’s “we had plans, so tough for you” or “hey, you ruined my plans with your last second invite to something I need to go to!” well, you can pick according to your own preference. We had no plans, so it wasn’t much of a problem. Of course, we did have to come up with a small gift, not more than 20 dirhams (about $5-6), for the “White Elephant” gift exchange. I think we ended up spending 40 dirhams, but it won’t bankrupt us. (more…)

Things One Might Notice Watching Commie MTV

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

Things One Might Notice Watching Commie MTV:
• Russians quite simply can not lip synch. It’s disturbingly obvious in most of their videos, and even worse in “live” performances.
• Some ugly chick who more or less stares at the camera her whole video. They may as well have pasted a still picture on a screen for three and a half minutes. That’s entertainment all right…
• Glucose’s “It’s Snowing” plays every third song or so. I include this on radio too. Never heard of it before Monday, sick of it by Thursday.
• I don’t know if MTV and Commie MTV are that different. I haven’t seen American MTV in a long time, and don’t suppose that I care to. Commie MTV is different simply because it is different, and the music and groups are something I am still learning, as opposed to something so old hat and uninteresting that I wouldn’t care about it.
• Everybody has a Novy Gode song. That’s New Years, and it’s really a more direct equivalent to Christmas without the overly commercial overtones we are stuck with in the US. You see that a lot with easy listening or country acts in the states, but these are all real poppy groups. Interesting thing to notice. It’s really more about getting together friends and family so it’s not near as irritating as a Christmas song.
• A really bad “Faith” remake by a poppy group – can you say cheesy? Interestingly enough, the song itself on the radio is not bad, but the video is a couple of dorks at their worst.
• A video where this chick has some sort of sexual experience with the back seat of a limousine.
• Some other group re-did Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Five? Never heard of them before. At least it’s not the baby-voice version that was popular last year. Man, I couldn’t stand that song!
• There’s some band called Uma Thurman.
• I watch some “reality” show about this chick who gets plastic surgery, because she wants to look like her idol Pamela Anderson, and thinks it will help her career as an up and coming Playboy model. Talk about somebody who needs a dose of reality. She gets lip implants, chin liposuction, and breast implants. She already had an ample rack. They showed the process, and the part where the Playboy people don’t like her anymore because she doesn’t look as good afterwards. I think it was her mom or maybe a friend who commented that she doesn’t look a thing like Pamela Anderson, and the surgery didn’t change that at all. She basically cries and whines a lot. Plastic surgery doesn’t do much for you if you don’t like who you are as a person. They should have called the show “I am a stupid bint who gets plastic surgery because after all, I am a stupid bint.” Generally I am not fond of what the English have tried to do to the American language, but they do have some good slang not in common use here. Err…or for that matter, in America.
• The Russian anti-terror unit Alfa has a song and video. It’s not a real song and dance number of course, but a somber “we do our duty” kind of thing. Interesting concept. It’s actually a pretty good song for what it’s worth.
• Verka Cerdutchka – a cross between Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire and Elton John. Really popular and quite good, actually.

A Musical Odyssey in Time and Space

Friday, December 24th, 2004

I was listening to some music last night and thought of a song I had not listened to in a while. It is “Aisha” by the group Outlandish. They are from Denmark apparently, with members from Honduras, Pakistan, and Morocco.

I first heard this song in December of 2003 in Tashkent. Actually, there is a possibility I first heard it in October, but looking back I can’t be sure. Anyways, it makes a better story if it’s December, so it is officially December. So there! It was on or about mid-December and a friend of mine and I were on the way out on R&R. We had processed in Houston together and arrived a day or two apart. We spent a few days there before flying out. Of course this was before the lockdowns and other ridiculous stuff imposed by the company folks, so you could go out and do whatever you wanted. Out in the clubs we heard this amazing song. We both noticed it, and it was obvious that nearly everyone else really seemed to like it a lot, too. In a nutshell, it sings the praises of a woman living her life. It tugs all the right heartstrings. (more…)

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