Friday, August 24, 2007

rush(ed) hour 3

Just got back from Rush Hour 3 with friends. Being a huge fan of the RH series - RH 3 disappoints. Primarily the movie tries hard to recycle same old stunts, scenes with hot women folk and jokes from it's successful predecessors. What's new is that it all happens in a new city - Paris.

I felt, there were way too many loose plots, some half baked theme about brotherhood and an ancient Chinese tradition going back a thousand years and other massive holes in the plot which are best left ignored. All in all, the plot & theme of RH 3 is ludicrous and hoping to take a message or indulge in forced laughter (why people laugh hard at recycled jokes seen at previews is beyond me?) - RH 3 is a complete waste of time.

Jackie Chan, at 53 may not be able to make the moves look as effortless as in the past, but the man makes a sincere effort. Chris Tucker's character makes an attempt to tackle the bad fellas more often in RH 3, than it's predecessors. However as in the past, he continues, to scream along like a little girl at least 50% of his on-screen time - and be paid $20 sweet millions for his efforts.

The few pluses:
- a terrific interrogation scene involving a French nun & a bad fella
- some neat action scenes on top of the Eiffel tower
- breathtaking views of Paris

Final word/bottom line - avoid the *rush* to a theater, wait for the DVD.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Done with the weekly grocery shopping list. Racked up a bill - not sure what I've bought or why I've got a few items (like tennis shoes) on a grocery list? I am into conversions, as in, cash conversions of monies spend to Dirhams. I could spend any amount of monies and I'd have to convert to Dirhams, almost instantaneously. I *realize* the *value* of monies spend, only after I've converted to Dirhams.

Absent minded conversions happen often at the local Walmart/Target store or a Starbucks or a banana republic, good 'ol Gap or the hair saloon or the most conversion prone area - the gas station and the grocery store - all payments go thru an instant mental conversion. I carry around a black berry (its calculator) on days am slow for quick................conversions. The only place I can’t think of conversions is while paying for a meal at a restaurant.

Not sure why convert every purchase to Dirhams? It does me no good, 'cause inadvertently or otherwise most things are expensive in the apple compared to UAE. Plus I get paid in $, so what's the point of conversions eh?

Ah, forgot to add that sugar-free cheesecake to my list, think it’s $9.99 (Dhs 36) – notta bad deal eh! yum yum!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the weather today

Rather crazy day in the city today. Some sort of tornado hit Staten Island (one of the 5 boroughs that make up New York city). The sun came up in the morning, didn’t stay for long - in a few minutes it went back to being dark. A while later I could hear thunder & heavy showers and could see floods forming. An hour later, the showers stopped, but it was hot & very humid – with increased flooding.

Morning rush hour was bad (read terrible). Subways, buses, ferries all delayed given the weather. It took me an hour to get into work, which I think is much better than most people, since it took most 2 to 3 hours.

I've always known Manhattan is an Island, however realization (of some sort) hit today. Why do people have to come to work on an "island"? If you think about it - it's a bit strange, especially for someone like I, who has always lived & worked in separate cities, SHJ & DXB, but never have had to travel into an island for work.

Most corporations have worldwide head quarters in Manhattan, and though there are those fortunate amongst us who can afford to live in the city, the large majority of folks who work in NYC, live in the boroughs of Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn & Bronx, and in the suburbs of New Jersey, Connecticut and Philadelphia (which is at least 2.5 to 3 hour bus ride). There are several tunnels, bridges and ferries commuting people into the city. I would say about 90% of people working in the city use one and/or multiple public transport systems to get into the city. I read somewhere the population in Manhattan goes upto 8 million on a weekday.

Hence today, given the weather it was quite unfortunate to witness, almost an entire city of people, dripping wet head to toe with rain & sweat given the humidity – yet patiently waiting, forming (long) disciplined queues for delayed transit systems and for water, coffee & breakfast.

I got into work around 10AM, and we had people walk in past 11AM. Thankfully the office has a shower – which had a wait time thru lunch and into the later afternoon. Some folks went out to the GAP & Banana Republic stores next door for new clothes - given that they were drenched.

I left work around 8PM and walked to the subway – the sky was clear, there were no signs of rain, the streets seemed dry for the most part, but humidity continued to stay on. As I reached my apartment building, I could see spots of flooding, a few trees down and some stores without power - praying the entire time my building had power - and it did. I got home switched on the air conditioning, took a nice warm/cold shower – made ice tea, threw a frozen dinner into the microwave - just in time for an episode of Law & Order SVU.

They say the weather should be slightly better tomorrow and back to thunderstorms & showers on Friday – however you never know, at times we have all four seasons on a single day in the city. Hopefully the weekend should be nice, am off to Florida on projects & meetings - strongly dislike bad weather when flying.

Am off to bed, exhausted, been a busy week. Good night folks.