December 18, 2008

The Lighthouse's Tale

Right now, I'm listening to The Lighthouse's Tale by Nickel Creek, the group that does that insanely awesome cover of Toxic (by Britney Spears). The melody is really easygoing and catchy, but the lyrics are insanely depressing. Nevertheless, I think it is the hallmark of great music to move someone, either emotionally or physically. Someone on YouTube even made this animated music video to the song. Granted, it isn't the best animation, but the tale is so poignant, I can't help but love it to pieces.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 7:01 PM

December 17, 2008

Drinking at the Campbell Apartment

Just came back from the Campbell Apartment over drinks and chatter batter. It was nice to see some old faces and new faces, and see so many people in such a good mood. In these economic times, I think we can all use a little optimism.

The place is pretty nice. We stayed in the balcony up top, so it was nicely removed from the crowd below. But it was kind of hot and I was melting. Pretty embarrassing, actually.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:22 PM

December 15, 2008

Capital One sucks

For the past few months, I've been trying to unlock my credit card, which was locked by Capital One (for my "protection", surely). The ordeal ended today with a visit to Bank of America, at Capital One's suggestion. We ended up using Bank of America (with whom I also have an account) as a trusted medium to verify my identity, since many months, many phone calls, and many faxes weren't enough.

Big ups to branch manager DJ for helping me resolve everything. Initially, I was a bit worried because initially he'd never heard of any such identity verification process.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 3:05 PM

December 9, 2008

New York Titans Lacrosse 2009

It's that time of year again, when the guy from the lacrosse office harasses me about season tickets... I'm kidding, they're cool guys, but very aggressive. And it worked! I'm now a season ticket holder for the New York Titans Pro Indoor Lacrosse. I realize it's not a sport for everyone, but it has a very dear spot in my heart.

When I was in high school, I was sort of all over place, mentally. Trying to fit in, figure myself out, etc. Very Breakfast Club. But there was this one teacher that would offer me sanctuary whenever I asked. And I really appreciated how he gave me the room I needed to breathe. One summer, he asked me for a favor, aware that I work with computers. He wondered if I could work a video camera for sports. I said no at first, but I eventually relented. Two and a half seasons later, look at me now! I have the varsity letters to prove that I'm so cool. The sports I was asked to film were football and lacrosse. I don't think my footage was particularly good, but it seemed some footage was better than none at all. And like the rest of my school, we took a special liking to lacrosse, and I've kept that with me to this day.

So the Titans are back, and so am I for my third season. This time, their games are held at both the Prudential Center and Madison Square Garden. I have mixed feelings about traveling back to Newark. But I guess my ability to dodge bullets is getting rusty, so I'm due for practice.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:32 PM

November 19, 2008

Indian food and the epitome of 'nom nom nom'

The one gem that kept me going so far has been Baluchi's Masala down in the Financial District. Every time I eat Indian food, I feel like I'm being blessed with God's grace, no joke. And I'm not even that religious.

I prefer food to be easy to eat, and Indian food seems to be just that. It's usually very ugly and sloppy looking, but it doesn't detract from the experience at all since it's so tasty. Give me a bowl of rice, meat, and some sauce, and I'm a very happy boy.

As I recount my culinary-cum-religious experience to my roommates, I remember how I was just inhaling the food like I was a little kid. Eating is very serious business. And it was at that moment I transcended the dish and attained the state of 'nom nom nom'.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:02 PM

November 18, 2008

Relational Spice: When Two Become One

I admit, that's a terrible title. The angle I was going for was, if there were a sixth Spice Girl, her name would be Relational Spice. And in addition to spreading Girl Power, she would posit, what if the relational database engine and operating were one in the same?

These are the kinds of things you think about when you're bored in class, day two of SQL Server training.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 9:00 PM

November 14, 2008

Gotham City Songsters Keep the City Singing

I just came back from the first annual concert of the Voices of Gotham, a new vocal group spun off the Big Apple Chorus.

It's always good to see a few familiar faces. I was a member of the Big Apple Chorus for a hot sec, but I could never shake that certain parts didn't mesh well with what I was looking for. Regardless, it was a night full of passion and talent, and I was really happy to see that New York City has such an active vocal scene.

I briefly considered joining, but I'd want to train up to it first instead of walking into it cold.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:01 PM

November 13, 2008

A Duo of Sushi and Cool

Tonight I went to the totally-not-worth-it Japanese sushi bar Haru with a cool coworker.

There were two red flags, even before we ordered. One, there weren't any Asian customers. I've learned from my parents that a good test of any ethnic cuisine is the presence of people of that ethnicity, aka "the ethnic test". Two, our waiter didn't speak much English. His accent was very fobby and abrasive, which soured our good mood. The only saving grace was the cool looking albeit fake jellyfish in tanks of water overhead.

The sushi was not worth the $80 we spent between us. I'm not a connoisseur of sushi, but I do know what I like. My latest fixation is with duality. Soft and crunchy, or hot and cold if you're lucky. The parts I liked a lot: the spider roll, smoked eel, and spicy salmon. The parts I didn't like: the Boston roll and sea urchin. Sea urchin is a favorite of my coworker's, but he agreed this particular one wasn't as good as he's had. That's probably the most uncool thing he's ever done, recommend me sea urchin. It was mostly bland and had a slight aftertaste. Bleh.

To top it off, the staff was really aggressive in turning tables, which made it difficult to unwind and spend some quality time with awesome coworker.

My review of Haru? Not worth the price, and a severe lack of Asian folk.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:09 PM

November 12, 2008

Soup Dumplings with the Internet

Tonight I went to Yeah Shanghai with people from both the Internet and real life. I was surprised at how smoothly the night went, mixing social circles like that. The only bump in the road was when one of my e-friends tried to describe what Stormwind was and I had to jump in and translate. Warcraft aside, it was good food, good friends, and good times.

The one criticism I have of Yeah Shanghai is the serving size of the soup dumplings; although delicious, they were significantly smaller than the soup dumplings I've come across prior. For a decent meal with soup dumplings, I also recommend Grand Sichuan, a spot favored by two of my previous employers.

Posted by Mark Canlas at 10:07 PM