Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dream Come True -- I'm An Actor Born!!!

Well ladies and gentlemen, I can finally reveal the good news I've been sitting on for all these months. Now that Season 4 of Game of Thrones has already premiered to select audiences, I've been given the go-ahead by the producers of the show to let everyone know some exciting news regarding yours truly.

Yes, you're hearing it here first . . . I'M MAKING A GUEST APPEARANCE THIS SEASON!!!

I know, right? It's fucking unbelievable--and I've known about it for almost 7 months now. I still can't believe it's real!

It all started with a phone call back in June ...

Well, actually, an e-mail. But it was from an HBO rep wishing to float me a proposal. It seems that with all my work promoting this show and writing about it right here on The Bimillennial Man, I garnered some high placed admirers over at the Home Box Office's home, er ... offices here in New York. I was told that there would be an opportunity to fly overseas and film a brief role in the upcoming 4th season, if I was interested.

Uh, excuse me? Would I be interested???? I was already out the door with bags packed before even hitting reply on my Outlook. I kid, I kid. Actually, it took a couple of phone calls back and forth, some meetings in person, and the signing of a shit ton of legal papers and disclaimers, but I had myself a booked flight sometime in early September when all was said and done.


Yes, as you might be able to tell, I still haven't come down from this adrenaline high. How the hell does something like this even happen? But, forget about that. I'm guessing you want some details, right? Well here they are:

The part was to appear as a walk-in during the Daenerys Targaryen portion of the show. I would be playing a slave hired as an assassin to get in close to the Mother of Dragons after she's already arrived at the fabled city of Mereen. The scene called for me to dress in rags and filth, and to creep into the Khaleesi's bed chambers while she slept. Something happens, of course, but I'm not at liberty to say because, well -- spoilers!! But I'll have you know -- no, not that I got to see Emilia Clarke naked in bed or anything. There's only but so much luck a Bronx boy like me can have, after all. But I'll have you know, she is so much more gracious and beautiful in person than you could ever have known from watching the show or interviews.

I *heart* you, Mother of my
bab ... I mean, dragons!

And that's all I'll say about that. I would like to keep the door open for future work on HBO shows, after all. Haha!

But, yes, I finally get to spill the beans on what has been such a terribly difficult secret to keep all these months. Especially from my closest friends and family, whom I could not even tell or risk being sent to the dungeons under the Red Keep, or to the Wall. The only clue some of you might have had was my absence from this blog and from Facebook back in September of last year. I dropped off the face of the Internets for a while there directly after returning from my brief trip to D.C. As luck would have it, I had an even bigger trip to make across the ocean to the fair country of Croatia, where Daenerys' scenes were being shot for season 4. I spent a total of 10 days, round trip, getting flown in and prepped, spending an awesome but exhausting two days rehearsing and shooting my breakout scene, meeting some of the lovely cast and crew, doing some sightseeing, and then spiriting my way back to New York.

It was AWESOME!!! A chance of a lifetime, and a dream come true. Look for my scene to appear in Episode 5, titled "First of His Name". It will air on Sunday, May 4th.

The scene I appear in takes place shortly after
this, when Daenerys retires for the night

I think I'm officially bit by the acting bug. Oh yeah! Hollywood, watch out! There's a new Batista in town!

On a side note, I spent a lot of time in the past month appearing in secret at the various premieres and events leading up to Season 4. Especially here in NYC. I also had to come in to HBO studios in Brooklyn quite a few times for some ADR work on my lines in the scene, which is longer than just a brief second of screen time. Weird having to synch up my voice to a screen playback of myself and to say the same lines again, and in just the right inflection, as I said them 6 months back. But again, can we just say: FUN? Oh yes, that would be what I had. And tons of it!

So, there you have it. I can't believe I finally get to share this with you all. I'm giddier than a schoolgirl in a candy shop! Or something like that. Pardon my lack of wit today, I must sound like a babbling fool, I'm sure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to check the mail to see if any scripts have come in.

EDIT 4/2/2014:  Yes, as many of the more suspicious of my readers were able to point out, this is in fact an April Fool's Day post. I even left a slight clue in the second to last paragraph (hint: the curiously italicized word) to alert to this fact. The fact that some of you fell for it means that you are very good friends and only want the best for me. And I love you all for that! This one was so much fun to write, though, that now I genuinely wish it were true. I chose the subject of acting because, to be frank, I have no interest in it. So it seemed a harmless prank to play. I would have felt more like a heel if I had written about getting a novel contract or some prestigious writing-related accolade or similar news. Because, you see, that actually is a dream of mine and it would seem cruel to joke about it. I'm not saying I wouldn't kill at the chance to appear on an episode of Game of Thrones--I probably would, euphemistically speaking of course--but that the chances of that happening are so very low as to be absurd. So it felt like a good subject to base my prank around. I believe a good AFD prank should be borderline absurd with a touch of ridiculousness, edged with just a slight enough crust of verisimilitude as to make the reader scratch his or her chin and go ... hmmmm. Which I think I pulled off. So in that sense it was a success! Still, I feel bad. I'm not cut out for this pranking business.

Friday, February 21, 2014

What Girls Don't Know We Know They Know

Girls like to think that guys are clueless and not tuned in to the world around them. Lots of jokes are made at the expense of my gender, some of which are based on fact. And some of which are not. For instance, boys are not the only ones who judge based on looks. Girls do it all the time! And sometimes we catch them at it, sly though you try to be.

I've been noticing this more and more while going about my daily routine around this great big city of New York. It's amazing what subtle changes in behavior, look, and attitude can have when it comes to garnishing the attention of the opposite sex. Here are just 5 of the top observations I've made now:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Living Single

This is just one of those general how-am-I-doing and current events updates rolled into one.

Love Is In The Air:

So, Valentine's Day came and went this past Friday, and the amount of F's I gave remained at an all time high of: zero. That's right, zero F's. I actually went to see the new rebooted Robocop in theaters after work. Oh, young naive me. I remember remarking to a friend earlier that day that V-Day is the perfect time to go to the movies. What with all the young couples feeling all romantic-y and googly-eyed for each other, the theater should be quite empty, right? I mean, not only is Valentine's Day when you should be out at some candle lit dinner gazing into each others' eyes, but it's a Friday to boot! I would have thought you couldn't find an empty seat at a New York City restaurant on such a night.

Bzzzz! Wrong!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Anticipation Begins . . . NOW!

What, you thought you'd go this long with no mention whatsoever on The Bimillennial Man of my favorite genre television show? As if!

Yes, Season 4 of Game of Thrones is almost upon us, and this past Sunday HBO finally deigned to deliver some much needed meaty goodness on what's in store for fans this year. Behold for your viewing pleasure, Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing -- the 15-minute first look into just how dark and twisted this next season will prove to be. I'm telling you, guys, it's going to be BIG! But don't just take my word for it, whet your appetites on this well crafted preview:

Oh. Mah. Gerd! There's just so much to squee over! I will try to maintain a tight lip on any spoilers, but if anyone has questions about what you may have just watched, ask me in the comments section. I won't give anything away with my replies, but I will clear up any confusion if you have such. As for the clip itself: feel free to watch with no fear of ruining anything. It's really just quick glimpses at things to come, along with on-set commentaries from some of the cast and crew involved. Click just to see Gwendoline Christie's (the Lady Knight, Brienne) insane laughter and obvious excitement alone. She's a hoot, and seems to really be enjoying her time on the show.

Personally, I'm very happy to see the long awaited arrivals of some fan-favorite and new to the show characters. Primarily Pedro Pascal as the Red Viper, and his fierce consort Ellaria (portrayed by the always lovely Indira Varma!).

Both characters represent the first time on this show we will see anyone hailing from the oft mentioned 7th Kingdom of Westeros, Dorne, as they arrive at King's Landing for Joffrey's pending nuptials to Lady Margaery Tyrell. And ... for other, not yet disclosed, reasons.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other big Thrones-related news. Yes, the wait is finally over. Season 3 of the show will be hitting store shelves on DVD and Blu-ray early next week! That's Feb. 18th, to be precise. And for the first time ever, the home video release will include extended special features such as: a lengthy recap of the season highlighting the most important details; deleted and extended scenes; and on-set, behind the curtain-style insights into the making of the show. Material that has never been included on a Game of Thrones video release, let alone most other HBO shows. This is a big first for fans!

I will be purchasing my set on Day 1, naturally. What about you? Come on, don't try to play coy with me!

As for the upcoming season? Game of Thrones: Season 4 will premiere on Sunday, April 6th, only on HBO. Get ready!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Am I?

Yesterday over on Huffington Online's "Latino Voices" section, blogger Icess Fernandez Rojas wrote about her identity as an Afro-Latina -- feeling at times this need to justify herself depending on which group she happens to be hanging out with, be they black or Latina. As someone who is both, she felt excluded from either group depending on the situation:

"Why, in this modern age, do I have to prove myself? Why do I have to prove my Blackness or my Latina heritage while denying the other exists?"

As someone who also has a dual-heritage background, I can sympathize with her plight. My mother was white, and my father Dominican. However, unlike Ms. Rojas, I can only claim one side of the divide: my mom's side. My father was never in the picture, except for the rare holiday or out of the blue appearance by which I would infrequently see my Dominican grandmother and perhaps a handful of aunts and uncles, along with a tiny portion of assorted cousins. My skin color is fairer than most Latinos thanks to my mom, but I have my father's island features--my hair color, nose, cheekbones, mouth, and eye shape are all Latin-Caribbean!

Funny, he doesn't look ambiguous.

It's a strange pickle to be in, for sure: looking Hispanic, but having no Latin identity whatsoever. Living in New York, most Latinos assume I'm one of them. They'll walk up to me and immediately fire off full-blown sentences in Spanish as if I can understand them. And sometimes I can. But most times, I cannot. Not completely, anyway. Inevitably this leads to a lot of confusion and, on rare occasion, some attempt at cultural shaming. This used to put me on the defensive, whereby I would tell the offending party to go have a talk with my dad and ask him why he couldn't get his shit together and include his son in on the cultural cues making up around one-half of his heritage. What little Spanish I do know, I learned in high school alongside most of my African American classmates. And although I did excel in these classes, it was due more to having a natural facility with languages, and not because of my last name. Sure, I'm certain everybody else assumed I was "slumming it" in Spanish class for the sake of increasing my GPA, but to this day I still cannot roll my r's for the life of me!

As for other cultural signalers--food, music, literature, pop art--I'm woefully ignorant. I couldn't tell you the difference between the merengue and salsa, although I vaguely know that they are both the names of dances from two different islands. What? You're wondering why I didn't do more to learn about my father's culture? Well, why should I? He never had any time for me, so why should I have honored him by doing the job he should have been doing all my life?

Yes, therein lies the heart of the problem. Any curiosity I might have had concerning the island nation from which my father and his family came from in the 1970s has been overruled by the anger from being abandoned at a very early age by him. My mother raised me alone, and her mother continued the job when her daughter was no longer with us. My father had ample opportunity to play a more active role in my life at that time--the man lived in the same city, after all! But he had no time for me, and so I had no time for him or his culture.

It's petty, yes, but for a long time this was how I felt. And now? Well, now that I'm getting older I find myself softening my views. I still lack a Latino identity, and know very little about Dominican culture specifically; but my natural inclination is to be curious about other cultures, and to value their values. In college I adopted Chinese as my culture. I learned the language and the history, loved the art and watched the movies. I read numerous books in Chinese, and even studied the classics in their original written forms! When I show an interest in a culture, I hold back no stops. So why should this be any different?

Yes, I really should try to do more to find out about the one culture I actually have genetic roots in. I will never have Dominican pride, because ultimately my nationality is American, and my culture that of my mother's Scots-Irish lineage. But I can do something to cultivate a social connection to the ways and lifestyles of my father's people as well. Even if I don't particularly like the man.

As far as the interesting issues Ms. Rojas raises in her article, I'm afraid I do not have the same luxury she does of choosing to be both. Being Latino is as alien to me as being Chinese. It's still the culture of the other in my mind. A friend asked me once: "Which do you consider yourself? Hispanic or White?" And to which I replied easily: "White." What else could I say? To say I'm Latino is a gross exaggeration. It's not a question of being repelled by my own background, but one of familiarity. I know all about the American culture to which most white people in this country can ascribe. It is my comfort zone. It is the love I have for my mother.

But about being Latino? What the hell do I know about that? What right do I have to lay such claim beyond the verity of my features and bearing the last name of my Caribbean ancestors? Because, to right now say that I'm Dominican would to be to only pay it lip service. And I'm sorry, but I refuse to be so disingenuous.

So, I ask of the world the same question as Ms. Rojas, except in the inverse: Why must I acknowledge both sides at all? Why not just connect to that one side that has always been there for me, and be who I feel myself to be? Being both, I should have the right to choose which one I identify with the most. And in that case, I'm not white nor Latino--soy Americano.

I am American! And America means being both or neither, or the sum of all the parts. It means whatever I decide it to mean for myself, on my terms.

Or shouldn't it?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Top 10 Crushes From Hollywood's Golden Age

Could this be the start of a tradition here on The Bimillennial Man?

Some of you may recall a few months back when I posted the Top 10 TV Crushes of My Youth. It turned out to be a very popular post which brought in a lot of hits to this site. And so I thought it would be fun to follow up with another Top 10 Crushes list -- but this time hailing back, back, back to way before I was born. That's right, to Tinsel Town's heyday, when studios were only as big as the glamorous stars they contracted to headline their films.

You might think I'm too young to have been influenced by some of the greatest beauties to grace the silver screen ... and you'd be thinking wrong! I happen to be a movie buff, sure, but actually I used to watch a lot of black & white movies on tv as a kid with my grandma. Not only on broadcast and cable television, but by way of the rather extensive video collection she, my aunt and my uncle kept in the house. When we moved in with them, curiosity and sheer boredom alike provided the twin impulses to check out a lot of these films. And with them, the opportunity to develop major crushes on some of Hollywood's biggest names of the day.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oh, The Things I Have (And Have Not) Done!

Over on Facebook, my good friend Rodney shared a pic that has been making the rounds. The pic is a list of 22 life experiences one may or may not have had, followed by an arbitrarily decided upon price point for each item on the list. To participate, you have to decided which of these activities you've done in your lifetime, then tally up the prices for each until you get your total. You then share that number with everyone on your timeline.

I won't be doing that part of the game here. But what I thought would be fun was to recreate the list, followed by a brief explanation for the one's I've done. The ones which I have not done will be highlighted in red.

Before I do this, however, a small disclaimer: the majority of these were done when I was much younger. I know, not an excuse, but hey . . . shit happens when you're young and stupid.

Now then, on to the festivities!

1.  HAD SEX:
Well, yes, obviously. I was in a relationship for 18 years, and married for 7. So needless to say sex was being had. Not an interesting statistic at all. However, to make it more interesting, I will say how old I was the first time it happened: I was 21. Does that surprise anyone? Well, it shouldn't.

Unfortunately, yes. Fortunately, it was only twice. I was a teenager, maybe 16 yrs old. My best friend and I were curious and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Technically it is illegal for vendors in New York City to sell cigarettes to anyone under 18 ... but living where we lived, that was not a problem. The first time I tried one, I definitely did not smoke it properly. I didn't even inhale! The second time, I did inhale ... but was not impressed. I thought it was a stupid addiction, in fact, and never went back.

Well, duh! If you're 37 years old and have never been drunk -- you're either a devout Muslim, and I applaud you. Or you are quite sheltered. That being said, I've only been truly, stinking drunk 3 times in my life. And on each of those occasions I was able to drag my sorry ass home and sleep it off. Well, one of those times I was already home, so yay! But, yeah, I don't drink very often. And when I do, I almost never drink enough to lose control. That's just not me.

Nope. While I don't really see the appeal, to be honest I've never had the opportunity, either. One never knows . . .

This is stupid to include on the list. This and No. 1 makes me think that this was devised for much younger people on Facebook. I don't have anything interesting to add to this even. Except this fact: I was 17 when I had my first kiss.

Hell to the no! The only way I could ever conceivably do this is if I was either a) Drunk; b) Dared to, while drunk; or 3) Offered a large sum of money. While drunk!

Yeah. Not my proudest moment. Who are we kidding? That should be moments -- plural! I've cheated plenty of times on tests. Particularly in high school. What can I say? I never held very high opinions of standardized testing. If I could get away with it, even if I was fairly certain I knew the correct answer anyway, I would cheat just to make sure. There was a time when I would use any and all advantages at my disposal to get ahead.

Yes. Again, in high school. All the time. It's a wonder I ever graduated, and with honors to boot!

Oh yes. Because of one such incident indicated in No. 10 below. I was constantly being bullied and picked on throughout most of my schooling. This particular incident occurred in junior high school. Some kid thought he could shove me and throw in a punch. But I ducked and laid him out flat. Literally. While wearing a baseball mitt on the other hand, too! While he provoked it, and others attested to this fact, we both ended up being expelled for a day. Luckily for me, it didn't go on my record.

Yes. Every single fist fight I've been in occurred while in school. It started in elementary when I was 9, and continued on up until high school. And I've never lost a fight. While I'm not proud that I allowed some assholes to get me to the point of actually being in a fist fight, I am proud to say that I never backed down once engaged.

Sadly, yes to this. I used to steal candy and soda from the convenient store across the street from my junior high school. I had no real reason to do so, but this was really a crime of opportunity. So many kids from my school would rush into the place after class that the proprietor had no way of keeping an eye on all of us. And I was a particularly clever and nimble little boy. I could swipe something so fast you'd never see my hands move. And all the while I would be looking somewhere else and pretending to be barely clued in to existence. That was the trick, and it always worked! Until the one day when it didn't . . .

No way. As Whitney said: Crack is whack!

No, I'm not a girl.

Of course! When you've had as many close family members die as I've had, this goes without saying. I've had other bad things happen to me in my life, too, so unfortunately I'm quite familiar with this practice. Who isn't?

Yes. And broken out of it, too. It sucks. Again, I'm wondering who would answer "no" to this unless they're under 18.

I could easily use my answer to No. 11 above for this, but that's too easy. One incident when this happened was when I was caught by my boss reading a book in a hideaway corner somewhere on the job site, when I should have been shelving the books. It's probably not such a hot idea for an avid reader to get a job working in the campus library!

No. Not even while severely, falling down drunk would I ever do this. So stupid.

Surprisingly, no. Although I've done more than enough stupid shit on the streets and in the subways of New York to have been arrested, even if over no serious crimes. Misdemeanors, really. But I'm happy to say my fingerprints are NOT in the system!

God, how stupid are some of these? OF COURSE I HAVE! Like I said before . . . first time when I was 17.

Yes, I'm going to have to plead my young age to this disgusting act. I've been swimming in pools since I was 6 years old, so I've peed in my fair share of 'em! What? That's what they invented chlorine for, right? No? Oh well ...

Yes. Nothing risque came out of it, though. And another surprising fact: I was in my mid-20s the first time I played this. Hey, some parts of my life were very sheltered, believe it or not. Consider that, as I pointed out in No. 1, I lost my virginity at age 21. Now it all starts to make sense, no?

Who hasn't? Seriously! But if I had to pick one incident I really regret: When I was 5, my mother took us shopping down in the city. On the way back home we took the subway, where kids my age could just slip under the turnstyle for free. But, this one day I really wanted to see what it would feel like to spin the turny thing you have to go through when you're a paying adult. So I happened to spy this old woman with a ton of bags in her arms heading for the turnstyle. She set her bags down, dropped the coin into the slot, and then bent over to pick her bags back up before walking through. Right at that moment I ran through the turnstyle. It was so much fun! But then I turned to see the old woman bang right into it. She seemed really upset, and I ran away like the little chickenshit 5 yr old that I was. Even to this day I never forget that I've done something so terrible, and I beat myself up over it.

So there you have it, folks! No, I don't live a particularly daring or exciting life, but I dare say some of my experiences might be surprising to some of you.

And that being said: how many of these have YOU done? Or rather: which ones, by number only, have you NOT done? Let me know in the comments section below!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Beware of Writer

Please pardon my absence. I'm in the middle of intense writing on the new short story. I think I'm rusty and in dire need of practice still, but it's coming along. Slowly. My brain's enjoying the storming, though. It's like flexing an old muscle I haven't used in a long time. I'm sure this story sucks, but yet I must continue until the end. Won't really know what I got until it's over and I can look back and see it for the whole.

Until then, I don't know when I'll post again. Or, more importantly, what I'll post about. Any suggestions?

Would anyone be totally upset if I did another Top 10 Crushes entry? I don't know if I'm outwearing my welcome with all these write-ups of beautiful women I fantasize about now that I'm single. But to be honest, it's really about all my brain is capable of outputting these days. Especially as I try to focus on real creative writing.

It's all in good fun, you know?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Bimillennial Man's Top 10 Posts of 2013

This list is a little late. I had meant to do this around New Year's, naturally, but plumb forgot. Mea culpa.

Some statistics first. In all of 2013, I only managed to write 48 posts. An all time low for The Bimillennial Man. Before that, 2012 was the lowest with around 65 posts. For those of you who know me, and who know what I've been through the past 2 years, you know the reasons for that.

That being said, despite having only 48 posts, 2013 generated a total of 63,227 unique visitors. Making it an average of around 5,269 visits per month. I've had much better numbers in prior years, so I'll attribute this to the low post count again. Still, those numbers are not entirely terrible.

As for the posts themselves ...

Below are the topics I blogged about in 2013 that received the most unique views. Meaning, for one reason or another, they were apparently more popular than all my other posts last year. I'll leave it up to you to decide why that was the case for any particular thread.

The list is in chronological order starting from Jan. '13 onward. The number of views each received come after the title, and you can click on each title to read the article in full.

Got it?

My Top 10 Threads of 2013

1.  Disappearing Act   (155 views)

2.  My 5 Most Influential Books   (121 views)

3.  So . . . Celebrity Wife Swap, Anyone?   (136 views)

4.  Thank Heaven I Was Born A Man   (602 views)

5.  Game of Thrones: "Valar Dohaeris" Review   (281 views)

6.  Can You Hear Me Now?   (279 views)

7.  Miss Crush 2013   (248 views)

8  Tiny Apartment Is Tiny!   (241 views)

9.  Model Spotlight: RIYA RAY   (371 views)

10.  Top 10 TV Crushes Of My Youth   (188 views)

It becomes apparent fairly quick that the articles with the most pics and pretty wimmins in 'em get the most views, so unfortunately I cannot assign most (if any) of the credit to my superb writing skillz. Still, as long as they keep coming!

What do you think? Any surprises up there? Disagreements? Sound off in the comments section below.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

State Of The Batista Union

Salute the flag!

In this year of our Lord, two-thousand and fourteen, I hereby declare these United States of Batista ... single and ready to mingle!!!

Haha, I don't know why I just said that. It's not entirely true. I'm not actually ready to start dating just yet. However, I am feeling a whole lot better now that 2013 is over and we're already a few days into 2014. I like the start of a new year. January for me is the perfect month to wind down after the usual busy hubbub that is the holiday season, otherwise known as the triple whammy of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year all occurring roughly within a few weeks' span.

And while I have high hopes for 2014, I just wanted to catch everyone up on how things went at the tail end of 2013 for me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy, Happy

Yes, the title of this entry is sarcasm.

Anyway, I don't intend to be a spoil sport. A New Year's Scrooge, if you will. No. Everyone knows what a sucktacular year 2013 has been to me. To make matters worse that human muppet on ABC, Ryan Seacrest, just advised me to "grab someone I love" as the ball was dropping in Times Square, yet I was sitting on my couch all alone in my apartment just staring coldly at the screen. Remembering all the many memories of NYEs past--both the good and the bad.

But, no. Let me stop with the negativity. It's another year and a fresh beginning. Here's to wishing all the best to everyone out there.

Happy 2014, everybody.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Catching Up

Just haven't had much to write about as late. Not anything personal, at least.

Yes, that's my excuse for not updating this blog more often. Aside from being crazy busy at work, I find myself apathetic whenever I sit at the keyboard and about to pour my heart out here on this blog. It's like: meh! Why bother getting worked up in a frenzy about anything anymore? That's really how I feel sometimes.

To be honest, nothing interesting has really happened to me these past few months. The nasty whirlwind that was the first half of 2013 has for the most part settled down to a day-to-day normalcy of work, working out, and trying to get back into writing my short stories. And while I am making progress on the latter, I'm afraid the enthusiasm to blog anymore has severely waned.

That all being said -- I guess I will catch you up on recent events. Or, just my thoughts on them. Which is not much either way, let me warn you now.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Model Spotlight: PRIYANKA CHOPRA

Continuing on the trend of exposing my Indian and Persian ... er, preferences, I'm here to bring yet another model from that part of the world into focus. Although, unlike the previous two entries in my ongoing Model Spotlight series, this beauty hardly needs any introduction if you've been paying attention to Bollywood over the past half-decade or so.

Name:  Priyanka Chopra
A.K.A.:  Priyanka
Profession:  Model; Actress; Singer
Hometown:  Bareilly - Uttar Pradesh, India
Age:  31
Accolades:  Miss World (2000); Various Bollywood awards for Best Actress, etc.
Current:  Filming biopic on 5-time World Boxing champion and Olympian, Mary Kom.

Born to parents who were both doctors in the Indian Army, Priyanka Chopra grew up at various military postings all over Northern India. In her teens, she spent four years living with one of her aunts in the United States, before returning to India to finish out her high school education. Her subjects of interest were computer science and criminal psychology, with a background in the performing arts. By her own admission, Priyanka was a rather gangly and awkward girl in early adolescence, being mostly left alone as the outsider when attending school in the U.S. However, by 2000 she had grown into a remarkable beauty and her mother entered her in the Miss Femina India pageant, where she came in as the runner-up and winner of the Miss India World title. Later that year, she went on to win the top prize of Miss World, which then paved the way for numerous modeling commitments as well as film roles in the burgeoning Bollywood film industry.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Baker's Delight -- Blondies!

So, it's that time of year again when the weather is getting cold and the urge to bake overcomes me. And this time, the new thing I'm obsessing over are ... blondies! My old college buddy, Cin, and I were reminiscing about the special cookout events our alma mater used to hold, and how blondies were always present at them. Both of us admitted that, before attending college there, we had never heard of the term before. For me personally, being the brownie aficionado that I am, I at first viewed them with suspicion. Blondies are supposed to be like brownies, you see, but minus the fudge! Did not sound appealing to me AT ALL. But then I ate one and, try as I might, over the years they grew on me.

As for Cin, she's against all things chocolate. Yeah, I can't explain it either. So blondies are right down her ally! And it got me to wondering: what the fudge are blondies even made of? I mean, what if not chocolate? Well, once I found out, it became my mission in life to make them!

And make them I did, I'm happy to say. It took me a couple of tries to perfect the recipe, but I think I got it just right. I've made a batch for the family get-together 2 weeks ago, and to rave reviews. I even made a batch for work, also to great fanfare and applause. Well, yes ... I exaggerate. But people liked 'em, I think!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Great Coffee Experiment

Coffee. I don't like it. Never have, and doubt I ever will. Sure, the older members of my family all drank it. And like any good kid worth his curiosity badge, I took it upon myself to sneak in a taste or two when no one was looking. Yet, although the smell of coffee brewing in the morning was always a wonderful thing, unfortunately the taste of it on my tongue left a lot to be desired. It always tasted like burnt popcorn kernels, to be honest. Blech!

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