Hari Kondabolu on Netflix

After recently watching Ali Wong’s latest Netflix stand up special, the Netflix’s algorithm suggested this other stand up called Hari Kondabolu.  To be honest, I’ve only heard of him once through a special Sporkful podcast live episode.  In the podcast, he sounded like he’d be a hilarious guy to listen to but I never really thought much further than that.  So with Netflix telling me that I might like his stand up special, who am I to go against an algorithm?

So Kondabolu’s special reminds me of Hasan Minhaj’s Netflix special.  Both use their immigrant and cultural background to poke fun of these stereotypes in a hilarious fashion.  For example, Kondabolu’s first joke was absolutely brilliant because he took me in a totally different direction than what I had expected it to be.  Since Kondabolu is an Indian American, I think the “High Expectations Asian Dad” meme also applies to him.  If you don’t know this meme, it’s basically a cultural stereotype of Asian father’s (Chinese, Indian, Korean, etc) expecting ONLY the best results from their kid… and by best I mean A+ only.  So his first joke about “how many people were in attendance?” threw me off when he didn’t go this route.  Yet he maintained the cultural stereotype perfectly!  Kondabolu’s jokes though are much more “aggressive/edgier” than Minhaj’s.  But that’s just the style of their stand up.

As I watch these stand up specials, I find that the immigrant comedians (Russell Peters, Hasan Minhaj, Margaret Cho) tend to be funnier than those who aren’t immigrants.  It’s specifically related to the fact that I can relate to their experiences as an immigrant.

 

 

Coffee Bean Kickstarter Campaign

I stumbled upon a pretty interesting coffee related link on while reading about food related items on Eater LA.  Following the link, it led me to this Kickstarter campaign to buy coffee beans.

Honestly, I think the idea is pretty interesting and worth supporting.  At the very minimum, you’re getting a bag of 12 oz beans for $15 when you pledge $30 or more.  Even though I already have a coffee bean subscription via Angel’s Cup (Referral Code: CoffeeHunter12050), my motivation for subscribing to Angel’s Cup is to taste how different roasters roast coffee beans from all parts of the world.  This Kickstarter campaign is no different.  I am definitely excited to taste their first batch.

Ali Wong’s latest stand up on Netflix

I’ve written about Ali Wong before when I went to one of her live stand up tour stops.  Turns out, on one of her stops, her show was recorded one night and put on Netflix.  It’s called Hard Knock Wife.  Watching the show, I realized that I’ve already experienced her show when I went to watch it live.

Nonetheless it’s still hilarious as fuck.

Come on boys~!

I recently read a USA today article about a doggie day care service that took a “dog selfie” and shared that dog selfie on social media. I’ve been absolutely engrossed at how captionable this picture is…

Dog Squad

This picture is absolutely great seeing so many dogs practically looking at the camera or in the camera’s direction. A dog-loving friend remarked how only 4 dogs are NOT looking at the camera. Some dogs look like they’re barking. Everyone one of them look happy/content.

Looking at this picture got my creative juices flowing. And like any savvy content creator, I started to caption this picture. Here’s just three of these captions that I find to be so relevant to dog squad goals.

Dog Squad 5

Dog Squad 4

Dog Squad 3

If the original dog selfie doesn’t bring a slight chuckle, the captions have to elicit some response…. right?! =]

Robert F. Kennedy

Based on the recent Netflix/TV show related posts, you’d think I’m on a documentary binge.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true or false.  The “You also might like…” algorithm based suggestions from Netflix presents these shows that look interesting to watch.  Fortunately, my personal preference of wanting to learn things for the sake of knowledge as opposed to studying for the sake of testing taps into many of these suggestions.

This Netflix’s documentary of Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) popped into my suggestions feed shortly after finishing the Champions of a Golfer documentary.  I’ve never been to interested in the Kennedy’s.  My knowledge of them is mainly from reading about a biography of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and the fact that the Kennedy’s are a major political family.  I knew RFK was the younger brother of JFK and had helped JFK tremendously up until JFK’s assassination.  However, I had no idea about the history behind RFK.  That is until this documentary.

This contains four 1-hour long episodes that traced RFK’s rise to political prominence in 1960 to his own assassination in 1968.  What I didn’t know about RFK were the numerous amounts of public policies and progressive political stances he took during this time frame.  As backdrop, the 1960s was a turbulent era in US: Vietnam war, Civil Rights Movement, the counter culture of the Hippie Movement and Sexual Liberation in US, and even the farm worker strikes (part of a broader Chicano Movement) in California under Cesar Chavez.  All these events are significant in the context of American history.  And it’s amazing to see how one powerful individual as RFK worked to not only correct what he thought was immorally wrong but to work to bring equality to an otherwise racist America.  In one episode where RFK was touring the ghettos and poor communities in Mississippi, he was remembered for telling his kids that it is also their responsibility to end injustices.

Just reading about RFK in wikipedia, I’m amazed at the amount of different socio-political fields he’s worked in ranging from McCarthyism to labor movements to organized crime to civil rights and the Vietnam war.  I think RFK was aware that his “Kennedy” name could be used as a social media tool to show the nation a different aspect to these socio-political movements.  As someone remarked in the show, the Kennedy name brought cameras and those cameras showed the nation the plight of the situation.  As he began his run for presidency, the video footage of the throngs of people who wanted to shake his hand just shows how popular he was.  Similarly, video footage of interviews also showed just how racist white Americans were as well.

In retrospect, RFK might have been the first true modern era populist breaking down barriers of race, religion, and class.

Discipline equals Freedom

I listen to quite a few podcasts throughout the week. One of these podcasts (Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss) interviewed Jocko Willink. This phrase “Discipline equals Freedom” comes from Jocko and his time as a Navy Seal instructor. His two most common examples are:

  1. if you want to lose weight (freedom from extra baggage), you have to have the discipline to control what you eat.
  2. if you want to have financial security (freedom from debt), you have to have the discipline to control spending and to save money.

This mantra triggered an epiphany moment. It brought back memories of parental lessons passed to me, the lessons I’ve learned from the success and failures that I’ve experienced in the past 30+ years and even the current struggles that I’m facing today. I started to mentally categorize these memories and came to a profound realization that many of the successes can be attributed to maintaining discipline from start to finish. This reflection started me down a rabbit hole on YouTube (link, link, link). Just listening to the YouTube links and considering how this one phrase changed my thought process, I ended up buying his book on Amazon.

Currently, there are alot of things that I could do better if I exercised the necessary discipline. And since I recognize that I don’t exercise the discipline, it becomes much easier to recognize when I don’t have discipline as well as ask why I don’t have the discipline. And subsequently, what can I do to gain the discipline. In reality, I have patterns and behaviors that encourages the lack of discipline that I first need to identify and seek a solution for. Then… I can follow Jocko’s advice and “just do it.”

Documentary on Maria Sharapova

There is this short documentary on Netflix about tennis star Maria Sharapova.  To be honest, this show is more a vlog (video blog) recording her thoughts, feelings and general attitude after being suspended from tennis for 2 years (reduced to 15 months) for testing positive for using a performing enhancing drug meldonium.

Watching this documentary, I find her reaction to this unfortunate situation very zen like.  It seemed like she took a step back from everything and examined this incident rationally.  Not being able to play at a high level for 15 months is devastating for any athlete especially for an athlete of her caliber.  She opted to not blame her team and fully accepted the responsibility of her actions as a leader should.  And even if she were to blame someone, she would still have to wait 15 months to play competitively.  As the show points out, Sharapova took the time to pursue other interests that she was never able to do because of tennis… traveling to different locales, studying at Harvard, eating with friends.

As of April 2017, her suspension expired and she was allowed to play again.  However not playing competitively after 15 months certainly has taken a toll on her playing.  Looking at ESPN’s 2017 and 2018 records, she’s only had 1 tournament win and quite a few early exits…. the latest being the Stuttgart Open losing 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 4-6.

Now the real question is… How long will it take Sharapova to be back in competitive shape and ranked in the top 10?