I'm not nearly there but I've definitely gotten better. At eating food with chopsticks, that is. Thanks to the delicious Korean food at my company cafeteria. I love the spicy pork and the chicken and the Bi Bim Bap. The veggies aren't too bad either and along with the meat are the easy part. I've learnt the technique to pick them up and eat without looking like a retard. But I seriously think that it's the clumped up nature of it that makes it possible to even try to eat rice with chopsticks. I still take a fork though. To finish it up. Because the hardest part is when you literally have grains of rice left. I use them more when I go alone for lunch (not because I'm not popular, though). Just feels easier trying out slightly different holding techniques.
Enough about food. Now for the second part of the post title.
I've always considered my knowledge of pop culture above average. Of late it has risen drastically owing to the new fall season premiers on NBC, FOX, ABC & CBS and the fact that I have started following the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, I admit it. I love coming home from work and watching everything from Parks & Recreation to Sing Off (if you like music you should watch it because it's the most unique show out there and the judges actually make sense and talk about music rather than other stuff) to X-Factor to Prime Suspect to Modern Family on TV. And if I'm not feeling particularly sleepy I also catch parts of Jimmy Fallon and Craig Fergusson before going to sleep. Fallon is way better by the way.
Point is, since the days of bit torrent at IIT, I've considered myself pretty knowledgeable about all this - music, movies, TV shows (the core components of pop culture - according to me). It took some time getting up to date with the Rock n Roll stuff of the 60s onwards but I'm satisfied with the progress I've made.
On the other hand, during the three years of my life at Bangalore, I got up to speed with the Indian pop culture too. Not that I was far behind. But with uninhibited access to internet and TV and room mates who were just as enthusiastic, we made sure everything from MTV Roadies and Splitsvilla to Himmesh Reshammiya and Indian Idol was consumed. And yes, there was Times Of India - the ultimate entertainment piece. No, I'm not just talking about Bangalore Times (insert any city name that had its own version) here. Read aloud sessions from ToI were one of the most fun we had at times. Oh, how I miss those!
Anyway, let's get to the crux of the matter here. For the first time today, I actually listened to the desi Radio station in Dallas today. 104.9. And the reason was that instead of talking about how to save taxes and the new jewelry store in Plano, they were actually playing some good new music. Some of it was apparently from Rehman. And I had absolutely no clue about any of the songs. That's when it hit me. I don't follow the IPL anymore. I had little interest in politics and have very less idea about that now. I might have watched two Indian movies in the last one year or so. And I'm no longer on top of the one thing which I used to be the first to find out - new Bollywood music which is good. I was usually the one forwarding downloaded mp3s to my friends. So the gain in the US pop culture knowledge has come with a price. Not that I'm surprised. I think in my case, I have chosen this and if and when I go back to India, it will change. I don't like being at one place and following the happenings of some place else. Wait, I sort of did that with American pop culture when I was in India. But US is the center of the world, right ? And those sitcoms (& LOST) were good!
Funny story: Somebody at work was talking about the Republican candidates and inevitably Rick Perry came up. I was not part of the conversation but happened to overhear it. I immediately said something on the lines of 'Oh, he was a front runner but kind of shot himself in the foot in the Presidential Debates' and went back to checking engadget.com on my computer. The girl asked the guy 'What did Perry do?'. And the guy who is born and raised in Texas and now works in Texas pointed to me and said, 'You seem to be more aware of this than me' And no, he was not being sarcastic. It's another story that my knowledge is courtesy Jon Stewart and Jimmy Fallon.
Almost time for Jay Leno.