From Berkeley to Carmel

I’ve been woefully behind in updating this thing. Luckily I’ve gotten to the point where I really want to, which is a good thing, right? Or maybe it’s just because I have a lot of work to do for tomorrow… :)

Quick summary of recent events: Saw my cousin Sammy, who was visiting the US from India. Introduced her to crepes, which she liked :). Went to my first pro football game, Raiders vs. Chiefs on MNF. The Raiders lost in the last second as Tim Brown was tackled on the 1 yd line. Sadly, just a few minutes earlier in the same game, I lost my fantasy football game when Charlie Garner was tackled on the 1 yd line. Ah, how the sporting gods tease me so.

Jeff came to visit for a weekend, which was really fun. We spent most of the time watching sports and hanging out. Jeff seems to be doing well in med school, and I got to hear a lot of cool medical stories. We were united in our support of the Red Sox, and watched Game 7 of the series (when the Sox were up but then blew it in the catastrophic eighth inning) in a bar in the city. The meltdown was incredibly painful, and I almost puked my guts out, but since then I’ve had the good sense to detach myself from sports somewhat, and have achieved a serene Zen-like calm about the whole thing. (Still, I was grinning like a maniac when the Marlins took out the Yankees. Woohoo! :)

Umesh pointed out that I’m addicted to Internet news sites, and he’s right. I recently finished putting the final touches on NewsDog, and I check that compulsively, along with a host of others (,, etc.). It’s ridiculous and it’s got to stop. If there were a news site that posted up-to-the-minute details about tectonic plate movements, I’d probably read that ten times a day, too. So as of now (in a truly spontaneous decision; I had no such intention when I started to write this paragraph), I vow to read each site only once a day. We’ll see how long that lasts.

I got the Friendster bug recently. For a while I had been a good, passive user, just responding to friend requests and the like. Then about two weeks ago I got a huge bunch of requests all at once and that started me poking around the site some more. The whole concept is kind of hokey (especially since there’s no way you’re going to say no to someone who asks you to be his or her friend) but I have to admit that it’s pretty fun to see what other people think and write about themselves. Of course, I’m leeching since I haven’t written anything in my own profile, but that’s the way it goes :). Even now, though, most of my high school and college friends aren’t on there. Perhaps that’s a good thing! I’m slowly switching back into passive mode.

Going to see “The Matrix Revolutions” on IMAX on Thursday. Never seen a real movie on IMAX before. However, this one’s been getting pretty bad reviews so my enthusiasm has been dampened somewhat. Then on Friday, American Analog Set at Bimbo’s! I’ve been wanting to see them for so long…

Simon and Garfunkel at the HP Pavilion last night, with a short guest performance by the Everly Brothers. Art looked young and sounded old (except for a stunning part in Bridge); Paul looked old and sounded young. The differences in their personalities were made obvious, too: Art wore a tie, chatted with the audience, and took bows after every song, while Paul wore a t-shirt and generally stayed in the shadows. The clearest thing about the performance was the utter genius of Paul Simon’s songs. They encompass a range of emotions and expressions — melancholy, joy, pain, love, humor and wit, loneliness, heartache — effortlessly and in a startlingly beautiful manner. His songs are so profoundly imbued with sentiment that they simply emanate it. It’s breathtaking… an astounding experience, and it honestly brought tears to my eyes.

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9 Responses to From Berkeley to Carmel

  1. joyousx says:

    what’d you think (of revolutions)?

    • aj says:

      it was okay

      Not as bad as the reviews had indicated. A decent action flick. Dialogue was terrible, of course.

      • jtlu says:

        Re: it was okay

        i just saw matrix revolutions as well. decent action but not enough fighting, except for that one scene at the end which i thought was just too long…kinda disappointed. i liked the second matrix better. but hey, it was cool to see the prominence of the indian girl in the story right?

        did you read bringing down the house yet? it’s very good thusfar (i’m like half way through), well okay terrible writing but awesome story

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yay he’s back

    Glad to see you’re back updating the LJ AJ. And I for one am very thankful that you digged around on Friendster, certainly made my profile more interesting :) and it seems to have got other people interested! Looking forward to your profile though, even if it’s just a few words of wit.
    I’m so jealous you got to see Simon & Garfunkel – sounds like it was awesome. Plus, though you may be into sports and even the Raiders – where’s your Bears spirit?! You’ll be missing the Big Game when you go home..tsk.. tty soon, Beth x

    • aj says:

      Re: Yay he’s back

      I’m back? Don’t you owe me an email or something? :)

      Bears spirit, true… Where’s your Crimson spirit, though? You do have at Harvard shirt, I remember… :P

  3. gilson says:

    you saw simon and garfunkel(and the everly brothers)?!?!? you are one lucky man! made me dig out my paul simon anthology cds.

    • aj says:

      Yeah, I was thrilled!

      You know, I never got to see Paul Simon live until I was in college. But since then I’ve seen him four times! Great every time.

      The original S&G concert in central park (1981) has be re-released on DVD and is selling for only $10. You should check it out! (, etc.)

  4. Sofija says:

    Hi, I googled bnengier camera classes Billings, MT and your previous class showed up. So I am emailing to inquire about if you might have another class coming up or if you are up for some private hire/tutoring!??!I’m desperate! I think I love photography, but as soon as I try and take a photo I get incredibly discouraged and walk away pouting. I don’t want to be the girl that forever uses her fancy DSLR camera in auto mode. I’d love any help!Thanks so much. Happy Holidays!-Sarah Barkie