• Eyes on Fire - Blue Foundation
  • Rooster - Alice in Chains
  • Jigsaw Falling into Place - Radiohead
  • Quien Fuera - Silvio Rodriguez
  • La Tortura - Shakira

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

the merits of dark chocolate

I thought I'd write about a favorite pastime of mine - eating dark chocolate. It's a pastime because I tend to eat copious amounts over an extended period of time. I also eat ridiculous amounts of other things but I've come to know that dark chocolate is actually good for your heart. I don't feel all that bad about my indulgence now.

There are few things that excite me as much as the possibility of tasting - no pigging out on - a new intensely dark chocolate bar or truffle. The good thing about gourmet chocolate lust - especially dark chocolate - is that it is not available widely and it's good for the heart or so I'm (easily) led to believe. Trader Joe's is the best place on earth to taste a great variety of chocolates at very reasonably prices - especially if pigging out is your thing. Atlanta, luckily does not have a TJ's around so I manage to keep my consumption down to sane levels. The last time I chanced upon a TJ's in Boston, I grabbed 12 different bars; pledged to eat them over three months .. and managed to make them last a whole three days. Some day my teeth are going to rot and fall off but hopefully my heart will be running stronger than ever.

Here are some of my favorites:
Terra Nostra - Intense Dark
Green and Black - 70% Dark
Lindts - Intense Orange Dark
Starbucks Espresso Choc
TJ's French Truffles
Fran's Truffles and Bars (that Manju so kindly sent me from Seattle)
a couple of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan dark chocs available at TJs.

Some suck and others are too expensive. But give these a try - you won't go back to milk chocolate again. Oh, another great advantage - you'll never need to hide these things from your predatory friends. Most don't fancy them. Maybe some day, I'll start liking alcohol but I doubt it - I've been waiting and trying five years for that to happen.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Not another movie review

I was hoping that I'd have something to write besides movie reviews. Apparently, I don't have the stomach to write about other happenings in my life. I'll start off with a review but I'm determined to talk about other things.

Saw telugu movie Anand for the second time today with the newlyweds, Bharath and Sandhya. I saw this movie a few months back with mom when she was in Atlanta. I quite liked the movie then and I liked it as much today. This time, I had more time to think about it. The USP of the movie is still the feel-good factor. For someone like me, living in the US for the last 5 years and still holding onto a picture of home as I knew it 10-15 years ago, it was gratifying to see that the director had it in him to depict the intrinsic but subtle beauty in daily routines. Many scenes were genuinely funny in a natural way much in the way Geetanjali was years ago. Mainly, I liked seeing a multi-dimensional and intelligent female character.

To be fair though, the movie has its flaws. The telugu was terrible all through. I really hope the director was facing serious casting constraints, otherwise it is inexcusable. It really could have done without that irritating kids. I think the movie would have been more logically coherent if it completely did away with the first and last 20 minutes. The story of the guy falling in love with a smart and independent girl and his efforts to get her would have made more sense. It appears that the director set out to do something original, then lost his way, found that path (the beaten path) a lot more interesting or motivating and eventually woke up towards the end to hastily tie up the loose end.

So much for the movie. Of late, as the date for my India trip nears, I'm more and more excited. Almost everyone who comes to know about it ask if I'll get hitched and/or if I've begun bride-hunting. I'm not going with any specific plan in mind, but the Lord knows I'm quite open to the idea of finding someone. After one failed relationship, I have come to enjoy bachelor life a lot in the last one year. But hey, I'm too much of a romantic to kid myself into thinking I'm not interested in finding the one. This trip will also give me an opportunity to reassess my priorities in life and the possibility of settling back home. I need to get involved in something creative and I hope to use this opportunity to gauge the possibilities for a promising future in India. I'll turn 27 next month and by Jove, I've been fooling around for too long. I've got to wake up and announce myself to the world.

I saw I Heart Huckabees the other day. It was a pretty confusing movie but it asked a good question - 'How am I not being myself?'. In my case, the line blurs between what I do and what I want to do before I set out to do it. I'm not sure if my true self is my inner voice aware of all my thoughts or the eventual manifestation that eveyone else sees and is ultimately the one I've chosen to project to the outside world. I've got to think more about this one. As of now, I'm afraid to even think about it. Maybe, it's because it will affirm the existence of a self that I don't want to accept. Either way, it's out there and needs to be accounted for.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Sin City

I wasn't a heavy comic book reader as a kid but I read enough to appreciate the brilliance of Sin City. I just saw it a couple of hours back and it's still fresh in my mind. Agreed it was violent and explicit throughout but it couldn't have been otherwise. I thought the use of color was brilliant and the dialog dry and witty. I seem to have a great affinity for humor blended in with profoundly violent scenes and there are scores in this one - a lot seem like they could've been conceived by the Coen Brothers. Among the galaxy of characters, I thought Micky Rourke and Benicio Del Toro had the juiciest parts. Clive Owen continues to impress and it was just another day at the office for Bruce Willis; the girls were all gorgeous. Frankly though, most of the credit should go to Rodriguez. Though I din't read the comic books, I'm not sure how much more fun they could be compared to the screen version.

From the time I first saw Desperado - to date one of the ultimate expression of style (along with Kill Bill vol I&II) - Rodriguez has been one of my idols. He just went up a few notches with this one. If I ever make action movies, I'm going to be heavily influenced by Mr. Rodriguez.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

the week that was ..

The weekend was hectic. Spent time with bavagaru climbing and skiing in Denver. Colorado is addictive. The hike-climb near flat-iron trail was close to technical - a great rush of blood to the head. I was frankly lucky to end up in one piece. I'm going to take some rock-climbing classes soon. The skiing on Sunday was great too. It was a warm sunny day - 64F. I ended up skiing in my fleece vest - one layer of clothing and it was exhilarating.

My luck with movies is still going strong. Saw Spanglish and Closer in the last couple of days. Liked 'em both.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Do I know that person?

"People who don't want to get dragged into some kind of work often develop a protective incompetence at it."
Paul Graham


This article from the NYTimes talked about including vegetables in our diet and the associated (in)convenience factor. Here's an extract containing a well-expressed plaudit for broccoli.

As a primary dividend, broccoli and cauliflower come compact and easy to rinse. They do not harbor sand or bugs. They do not bruise if you tear them wrong, and they do not demand careful drying. They have nice little cut-on-the-dotted-line contours.