I rant you risten

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


If you've just stumbled across this blog, then welcome, if you've been here before, then welcome back. I present you with the second episode of "building up your vocabulary with edu"... Last week I gave you three words to slip into your weekend vocabulary. This week, I have three new words for you to squeeze in your conversations with the boss, your loved one, the barman at your watering hole, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Contrary to what my friend Mahmood from the hitlicious mahmood.tv says, using these words will not get you ahead at work, they will not grow more hair on your chest, they might get people around you to question your sanity, but they will definitely make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.. so here we go..

Word #1: Zing
Word #2: Shilly-Shally
Word #3: Formidable

good luck people, may the words be with you..

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


My favorite comedic (you might have to be from this part of the world to appreciate comedic) show of recent years was Arrested Development (fuck you very much fox network for canceling the only good program in your lineup). I got tired of Friends when I realized that it’s humanly impossible for those bums to be able to afford an apartment that big in Manhattan. Seinfeld got boring when you started chronicling the serious based on Jerry’s ridiculous haircuts. Law and Order got tedious after they made spin off a spin-off: Law and Order: the records department. All those ongoing legal dramas, who knew Boston had so many law firms and so much tension in them? The stupid teen dramas were so far fetched that it was ridiculously unbelievable for that kid with the cowboy hat to fit in Beverly Hills…

Then came the wave of reality TV, where everything was about putting Real People in front of the camera and filming it. Mary-Ellis Bunim held the world ransom with her Real World series and everything else, while Mark Burnett conned the world into making people live like animals on survivor for a measly million dollars. What happened next? A onslaught of the stupidest tv shows ever imaginable: Joe Millionaire, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette, Temptation Island, Mr. Perfect, Trading Spouses, Who cut the Cheese, who wants to be a wrestler, the apprentice, the list just goes on and on. They even had a reality tv show about failed reality tv stars trying to make a real movie, but the process of making the movie was a reality tv show – fuckin’ lame-o. The one thing you can take from these Reality TV shows is how gullible people are when it comes to spoon feeding them something to watch.. You take a bunch of people, throw them on a deserted island, give them 40 days and a bunch of tasks and then let them vote each other off… to me that was just half assed reality tv. If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it all the way, go for gold. Throw those people on a deserted island, break them up into two teams, make them fight it out to the death and then when there’s one winner left, give him/her the money. They just outlived those other contestants, I’d watch that. Put in real emotion, have revenge twists where the family of one of the dead contestants is put on the island with AK47s and has three hours to extract revenge. As for the Real world, why don’t you really make it like the Real World and throw these people out on the street, or put them all in a 1 bedroom apartment, let them get jobs, let them try to survive, that’s when people really stop being nice…

Today’s TV has evolved to the next popular wave… now you have all these TV series with action and adventure, intense drama and humor. Some have outlived their useful life, while others are still plowing along. I thought I’d single out some of the more popular shows..

Sopranos – Great show but,, HBO should’ve killed everyone at least a season ago.. this is dragging a little too much.. Wiseguys running around Jersey, making the garden state appealing in a mobster kinda way - It’s JERSEY WTF!! Thanks to the defamation of Italian Americans, you now have a bunch of morons saying Bada Bing and hey fughedaboudit. I love all gangster movies, but thanks to the intense popularity of this show, you’ve got middle aged, overweight mortgage brokers in long island hoping to get cast as Tony’s “other cousin” Roberto, the one that just mysteriously showed up to give the story another season. I seriously did see a headshot of an overweight mortgage broker from long island wearing a black leather coat and holding a 357 magnum, ready to “off” somebody for a role. It’s the fucking Cosa Nostra! Not some carnival freak show you take lightly – show some respect.

24 – Thanks to OBL and his Al Qaeda posse of “I’m right and you’re wrong so let me inflict pain on you to get my point through” assholes, 24 became the hottest shit on tv. America is constantly under attack and the entire season is 24 hours long.. How much trouble can American get into in 24 hours? Apparently enough to resurrect Keifer Sutherland’s Career – you lost me with the musketeers movie Keifer.. you lost me..

CSI – following the Police Dramas now Crime Scene Investigators are the “in” heroes. They find the evidence to implicate people in crimes. Pretty cool right? yeah it actually is. Except for the unbelievable fact that the CSI team is so smart that they should actually be giving college lectures instead of searching for DNA with a cotton bud. What I also don’t understand is what is the CSI budget like? I mean the team in Las Vegas have all sorts of cool experiment aiding equipment: pressure testers, volatile chemicals, gadgets and gizmos, all sorts of custom modified gear. And how believable is it that the CSI team is hip and happening and everyone’s very beautiful?

Sex and the City – Damn you 4 ladies for making my life more of a living hell.. if it wasn’t for the odd nude scene every once in a while, there was no way I was going to be able to enjoy the show. I admit the first season and a half were very interesting (when the stars could pass for women in their early to mid thirties looking for love in all the wrong places). A novel show with a fresh approach to being 4 single women in the big city, each with her own agenda. The show blew up, and HBO had another winner. To me, Sex and the City lost its shine when prime time family sitcoms started quoting stuff from the show. You know everything’s gone downhill when an ABC Friday lineup sitcom is discussing Sex and the City and the slutty one’s love interest, the shawarma guy. The show’s over and there will be no more of those 4 ladies roaming New York looking for love in all the wrong places, well except on the rerun loop of eternity. Personally, I think the producers had to make a judgement call, who wants to watch 4 single middle aged women in New York discussing menopause – save that for, Golden Girls “The Next Generation”.

Lost (aka crack cocaine) – I can’t help it.. It’s just one kick in the nuts after another. When you think you finally have a grasp on what’s going on, the show throws you another curveball leaving you as clueless as an anagram solving dyslexic. Basic story – plane crashes on an island, survivors try to survive, all sorts of shit happens. There are holes in the story, but I’m still watching and I’m still addicted. Right now, because you’re in the dark (and have no clue as to where the plot’s heading), any shred of information that’s thrown your way puts you in a catatonic state and rushes through your blood stream making you want more.

So what has this ridiculous rambling on current TV taught us? Absafuckinlootly nothing, just wanted to go off on a rant. TV shows get milked and then butchered and exploited for everything they’re worth, and the networks survive on conning the viewer and sucking him/her in. Example: Matt Groening chained to his desk, by FOX (you guys were already on my shit list for your stupid news station, now you’re on my “sandnigga’s gonna go postal on you” list – what? I can say it, can’t I?) trying to think of the next Simpsons escapade. Or how about the nonstop reruns of Seinfeld and Friends – seriously guys, the party’s over, the only person that’s still laughing are the characters from those sitcoms with their royalty checks. Waitaminute… I think I’ve figured out the reason for this post – because you people were busy watching these stupid shows and not ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, FOX cancelled my favorite show. Damn you Nielsens, DAMN YOU ALL!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

3 words

Ok here’s the story: I’m going to start making you all play my game.. It’s called “improving your random vocabulary with edu”.. Very simple, in fact it’s so simple, you’re gonna love it.. I pick three words in the middle of every week (I’m hoping every week, if I can get off my ass and make it happen).. It’s up to you to incorporate these three words into your vocabulary this weekend (whenever that may be).. They might be colorful, maybe nice sounding, maybe boring, who knows. But I guarantee you this, incorporating these words into your informal chitchatting will make you feel warm and fuzzy, or your money back. And that’s my guarantee..

Word #1: Saucy.
Word #2: Bamboozle.
Word #3: Pernicious.

Good luck with slipping these words in..

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Tale Upon the Winds..


By the growth on my face, I know it has been almost 2 days since the battle at Jebel el Habash, and I had all but given up hope that anyone would come to my rescue. My captors continue to poke their sharpened spears into my cage, laughing as I dodge and delay my untimely demise for another few hours. Their language is foreign to my tongue and their actions barbaric. From what I have noticed, they are a well-assembled and disciplined group of marauders that have made it to our shores and have established the protected valleys of the green mountains as their own, looting all caravans and villages crossing their usurped lands. The Caliph from his throne in Damascus dispatched an army of a thousand strong men led by my father to suppress these savages. I have no recollection of the battle, and as far as I can see, I, Mukhtar ibn Saif ibn Waleed Al Fares, am the only living prisoner within their camp.

I have been stripped of all weapons and jewelry. All that remains is the ring bearing my family’s crest, hidden in my boot; a gift from a Christian goldsmith in Venice. Even if I could mastermind an escape from my prison, I will not go undetected for long. These savages appear to be expert trackers and quite familiar with this terrain. The cloak of night will be my only opportunity to escape.

They are a fierce warrior race, and by the looks of their stolen armor and organization, seem to have fought many adversaries: Christians, Muslims and their own. My memory of the battle does not exist, but it is impossible that they could have defeated our army; my count verifies that we outnumbered them tenfold. A master of the dark arts must be among them. My head still carries a pain as though Allah has sent a thunderstorm into it. I must rest.

My eyes have totally adjusted to the dark, a trick my uncle taught me while hunting the desert at night. The merciless heat of the sun forces all animals to take shelter underground, forcing a waiting game between the predator and its prey. Guards continue to patrol the campsite anxiously waiting for something or someone to attack, their weapons ready. These barbarians are anxious about something and I fear it’s not my Arab brethren.

A guard walks towards my cage with his weapon in hand ready to spear my soon to be dead carcass. Instead, he throws a piece of bread and a skin of water; I cannot remember the last time I nourished my body with food or drink. The savage mutters. I do not speak his language but the meanings of his words are clear. Soon enough, my short life will come to an end. As the guard pulls away, I pull my fingertips at the crust of this old bread, but my hunger has left my body weak.

“Be careful what you eat Arab, these savages poison everything. That is how they killed your army, they poisoned your water.” Turning back, I notice something in a neighboring cage move, there is another captor with me. “Who said that? Who are you?”

“I am a prisoner like yourself. These barbarians saw your armies advancing days ago and poisoned the wells on route. The poison left your troops in a trance, unable to defend themselves while these monsters slaughtered them all.”

“Who are you? And what are you doing here?”

“My name is Diego, I was a member of a Portuguese trading ship that captured these animals as slaves. Two days into our voyage back, members of the crew started dying from an unknown disease. Bruises and strange marks began to appear on the crew, and once you were infected, it would not take long before death came. The marks covered your body and then it attacked your spirit, killing off any human part of you. Some of the infected began killing each other like animals, while others threw themselves off board in fits of madness. I immediately went into hiding when the savages took control of the ship and they only discovered me when we crashed into the rocks off this coast. Be careful what you do stranger because these monsters eat the living, I have seen it with my own eyes, slicing off limbs like roasted meat – they are more demon than human.”

The guards reply to our conversation by jabbing their swords and spears into our cages. I begin my dance again to avoid the razor sharp blades, exhausted and clinging onto my last life. I cannot keep this up much longer, I must escape. They finally give up after a barked order from another savage. As they walk away from our prisons, towards the fire, a fragrant smell begins to find its way to my nostrils. It is soft and floral yet pungent, almost spiced. The scent is heavy, filling my head quickly, yet it is slowing down my movements, I cannot retain any proper thoughts. I turn to Diego, but he has already drifted into a deep satisfying slumber. My eyelids cannot hold their own weight as I drift off to my drug induced sleep.


“Kama” the fat one calls me. “Hurry with the drinks you ingrate! Your whore of a mother was quicker on her feet than you. Or would you like me to recreate the sounds of her passion as she engulfed my manhood like the whore that she was?” My mother will have her day of revenge, this I swear to you, you pot bellied bastard, you and every last one of you.

Kama served the drinks and took his place outside of the circle. He was a slave to them and was exempt from their rituals. Kama came from a farming land far away in the plains across the sea. His family had been enslaved by a warring tribe that was eventually captured and placed on a ship that crashed off this coast. His mind tried to erase the pains he had felt over the past three years, the scars and screams, the blood and tears. His spirit had been numbed to nothing but a lost feeling of freedom. He often kept himself busy with plans to escape, which were quickly followed by intense fear. He was no warrior, they would capture him and bring on another three years of torture and pain.

The tribunal gathered around the fire where the Shaman approached with his basket of flowers, plants and weeds ready for the intoxication ceremony. Mugo, the Shaman’s apprentice spent the entire day collecting petals growing on the side of a cliff – the shaman, insisted on having it, he claimed that the mana derived from the flowers would provide the warriors with true strength. As he crushed the ingredients together, making a paste, he added the drink to the mixture until it frothed. Taking the lead, the shaman took a sip from the bowl and handed it to the chief, who in turn followed and passed the bowl along.

Once the bowl made its way around the circle, Mugo approached the quiet fire in the middle with a basket of flowers and weeds. A group of slaves pulled a huge cloth over the heads of the circle and over Mugo as he began throwing the contents of his basket into the fire; smoke began to billow but was trapped under the cloth. The Circle members pulled themselves closer to the fire as they let the smoke fill their heads and enter their spirit. The drumming picked up and chanting could be heard from under the cloth. Kama hated the smoke, it burned his nostrils as he pulled the cloth tight over their heads.

On cue, the Shaman let out a piercing scream as the slaves pulled the cloth away, releasing the chamber of smoke into the camp. The tribunal lay there with their bodies convulsing following the shamans lips and providing the chorus to a rhythmic chanting. The smoke lingered throughout the camp as though weighed down by magic. Kama stepped back while he watched everyone run into the smoke to fill their souls with the Shaman’s magic. Bodies began to sway from side to side, eyes rolled to the back of their heads; hands shook as the drumming continued.


“Arab. Arab wakeup. If you want to escape, now is our chance. They have drugged themselves and are unable to fight.” I awake but cannot recollect my dreams. Diego, hunches in his cage with an arrow tip in his hand. The rhythmic drumming keeps my head from stringing any thoughts together – “Where am I? What has happened? Why do I feel like this?” Diego, not intent on pausing to explain the events to me, is busy jamming the arrow tip into his lock until it eventually gives in and opens up to him. “Never leave a sharp object within the reach of Manuel Diego Lopez, their error will set our fortune in motion”. He sneaks out of his cage with the ease of a seasoned thief and begins to pick at my prison cell.

As my lock clicks open, my exit is less nimble then my comrade, drawing the attention of a guard, who raises his weapon and charges. Grabbing hold of his sword hand as he lunges towards me, I spin myself into his body and feel a crack as my elbow meets his ribs. The sword falls to my hand and is quickly reunited with its previous owner, blade to chest. Blood sprays us both, and his screams alert the rest who awaken from their trance. Their mismatched collection of weaponry is an indicator of the armies they’ve fought, my sabre bears the resemblance of Spanish steel. Diego, brandishing two blades he found on the dead body, tumbles towards one guard slicing his chest open, while the other receives a stab straight to his neck. Able fighters we are, but vastly outnumbered and looking to die another day, we both break off into the darkness.

The drumming begins to follow us as we run. “Arab, they are not too far off, we must hasten our escape.” I could not agree more with my new friend, but the aftereffects of the drugging have left me unable to make out the brush in front of us. I lose my footing and crash to the ground, followed by another crash from Diego. As we pick ourselves up to start moving again, lit arrows glide over our heads as the screams and shouts become louder. “I cannot see where I’m going, I could be leading us off a cliff for all I know.”

“Anything is better than here Arab, anything. These people will kill us slowly, then marinate our flesh and feast on us. I would like to spend some time in the bosom of a woman before my time is up, what say you?”

“Very well, but stay close, the terrain is changing and I feel we’re going to be traveling downhill, so we must tread carefully.”

Three torches followed and picked up pace until we could hear their footsteps crunching on branches. I turn and swing the blade straight to the first torch I saw. Using the torch to block my attack, he pushes me away as he comes with his weapon. My opponent swings his sword, which I quickly parry and meet with a slice to his left arm. He screams as I dig my weapon into his torso. The blood feels warm as it trickles down my blade and onto my wrist. Drugged or not, these are warriors and I need to field my best tactics for engagement. A flash of silver flies by me and lodges itself in the head of the person carrying the second torch, his body drops to the ground. The third comes running, still chanting and swinging his sword in my direction. Our swords clangs as I block his attack, his strength is far beyond what I had expected from a drugged person. I strike my knee into his midsection; as he feels the strike and lowers his body, the hilt of my sword comes down on his head like a war hammer, knocking him to the ground.

Our little skirmish allows more savages to catch up with us, their screams frustrating me as I try to distance the fear from my heart. We switch our careful treading to frantic running through the darkness. Our breathing picks up weight: hunger, fear, and exhaustion are beginning to show; our impending doom can be felt in the darkness. Our doom comes in the form of an ambush with four savages and their chief. They must have followed a path we missed and caught up with us. Not willing to die at their hands, I ready my sword, while Diego says a prayer as he draws what he believes to be his last breath.

As the Chief approaches us with his sword, he breaks into a defiant speech. His words are foreign but his tone familiar, he is flaunting his capture to his troops, praising and laughing as he waves his blade past my face. Just then, his eyes freeze upon mine, his smile falls off his face replaced with a surprised painful look. A spearhead bursts out of his torso covered in blood. His innards, properly packed in his body just seconds ago are now spilling onto the floor in front of me. Behind him stands one of the other soldiers holding the spear, but this one is not dressed in armor like the others. The other savages stand there in shock as they watch their chief bleed to death at their feet. This is our chance; I swing my sword at one of the beasts while Diego lunges for the other. Their demise is quick and follows their leader on the floor. The final combatant drops his sword and flees in fear of being outnumbered. Once again we are safe, for the time being. Our savoir stands there smiling but convulsing at what he has just done, his actions have just bought him the same fate as us, if we were captured.

Without thinking I grab our new companion and run down the path. The drumming still follows us, and we can hear screams as the search party discovers our latest victory. “This is pointless!” Diego tells me. “They will catch us, we need a faster escape.” I am with him, but there is nothing we can do but continue to run in the darkness.


Kama, flushed with intense joy runs alongside his new companions. He is now a free man again, his family’s honor has been avenged and from the looks of the way those two have fought, he is safe. He understands their attitude in their speaking that an escape is needed. He checks his surroundings and amidst the darkness recognizes where they are. Days ago, he accompanied the Shaman and his apprentice when they sent their magic to poison the armies through the water supply. There is an underground river not far from here that leads water to the wells in this valley, if they could get to it, they might have a chance to escape. But they are traveling in the wrong direction; they need to cross back past the path of the oncoming army and drift into the darkness to the caves.

Kama tried to get the attention of his companions to stop, but they are not interested in slowing down. He shouts and they turn around to face him. The two try to communicate with him, but he cannot understand them. He beckons them to follow him, he tries to use his hands to signal a river under a mountain, he does everything he can, but they do not understand him. So he does what he can only do, he places his hands on their shoulders looks them straight in the eye, hoping to create a sense of trust, and begins running in the other direction. The two others look at each other, and begin following him; they are satisfied with having someone else lead them through this unfamiliar territory.

As they run, across the brush, the drumming continues to follow them and then moves away. The two foreigners breathe a sigh of relief to Kama as they make it to the caves. As he leads them into the caves, the sound of rushing water begins to bounce off the inside walls of this huge cavern. This underground network was the tribe’s definitive advantage in overcoming the Arab army, the water supply was poisoned and it traveled all the way down the valley to the beginning of the mountain range. The dark haired foreigner seems to understand what is happening and his face flushes with anger. The river appears to flow through a number of caverns into the rocks and out leading to a hole in the ground. Either way, the escape does not look too promising.

As Kama tries to explain what is to happen to them next, the Shaman and a troop of soldiers emerge from the entrance to the cave. A war cry drowns the rushing water as a barrage of arrows fill the air. Analyzing their options, the dark haired foreigner says a prayer, tucks in his arms and jumps into the flow of water, followed by the other one. Kama tucks his arms into his sides, blessed the four winds and believes he is one with the river as he jumps in.