Sunday, October 08, 2006

My Blue Haven

I hate to post yet another blog about food so quickly after that Hummus bit, but I just couldn't pass this one up...

A few nights ago some teamates and I were faced with a reoccuring problem in my life. "So... Where we gonna eat?"
Nearly an hour passed until they decided to walk down to our neighborhood pizzeria "Two Boots" (which I'll talk more about later). I had different plans.

Earlier in the year a teamate who knew I was from California asked me about In-N-Out burgers and I found myself reminiscing about a Double-Double with grilled onions as if it were a past lover. I missed it. He then told me about a place where I can get something like it here in New York City. I was all ears. The place was "Blue 9" on 3rd Ave and 12th St.
It was 1:30 in the morning and I made the trek up to 13th from 3rd. All I had on my mind was In-N-Out. I was crazed and torn apart "What if it's not the same? What will I do then? Is it supposed to be like EXACTLY like it? How can it taste exactly the same?" I repeatedly asked myself as began to pick up the pace. Finally, there was a break in the characteristic NYC smell- it was grilled onions. My eyes lit up and I cracked a smile as I weaved through the crowded door. It was all too familiar. Everything from the menu and its font to the "Ordering is as Easy as 1-2-3" sign was exactly as I could find it in Alhambra, where Atlantic and Garfield cross. I walked up to the counter and awkwardly ordered "I'll have a number 1", he replied "Onions on that?" and just like always I said "Yea, grilled".

It turns out at the University of Indiana's Kelley School of Business they divide students into cohorts with a designated color and number. As the story goes, one day as a native Californian grad student longed for his staple weekend burger just as I had, he came up with the idea to recreate the taste at his own place. So he and his buddies from college opened it up in NYC and named it after there group back at Keller, Blue 9.
The burger was delicious. I dont' care that it wasn't the exact same thing. It was pretty damn close, or at least close enough to satisfy me until I sink my teeth into the real thing. I applaud the effort of Blue 9 and as a life long In-N-Out patron I am flattered by the idea of modeling a menu that mirrors the zen-like simplicity of my beloved California burger joint. To the credit of Blue 9 they do openly admit that they could not have come to existence without In-N-Out as their template. However, as close as they may come they will never be able to simulate the authentic atmosphere, flavor and signature freshness that can only be found in Southern California.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Big Two Zero!

Woo Hoo! Twenty years ago at around 9:30pm I was born at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA. This year may mark the end of my teenage years but it certainly hasn't ended my childhood. Look forward to spending the first year of my twenties in NYC. 364 Days until I'm 21!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hearty Helpings of Hummus

Hummus- a puree of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas if you like) that is usually overshadowed by its usual companion the falafel or kebab.

For some odd reason, dishes that appear so fundamentally basic always have a hidden complexity to them, a secret ingredient or ratio that makes every individual's stand out. There is always a place that boasts the best tuna salad, or the creamiest mashed potatoes or even the best chocolate chip cookie. And to continue with my theory of the specialization of basic dishes, I recently stumbled upon those who have dedicated their labor to the mastery of hummus.

Quietly nestled among the slew of competitive, eclectic, fusion restaurants on St. Mark's, I found a cozy Middle Eastern cafe called Hummus Place. The epitome of simplicity, it offered a basic menu namely consisting of a few soups, a handful of pastries and of course, their fresh hummus that was offered in four different ways. The pita bread, was piping hot out of the oven and my hummus was served cool with all its dressing and a hard boiled egg. What the menu lacked in diversity, the food astoundingly compensated for in its brilliance. Everything from their hummus and pita to the mint leaves in the house brewed iced tea emanated "Fresh!" The Hummus Place is a healthy breathe of fresh air from the run-of-the-mill, processed, and often over-priced specialty restaurants in the East Village. You won't find a happy hour and a garden here, just good hummus, reasonable prices and a menu that will satisfy an early dinner and your waist line.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

WJC Keeps It Real

Last Sunday, former president Bill Clinton blasted the Fox News Network, Chris Wallace and the whole delusional righty population out of the proverbial pond after Wallace questioned Clinton's actions to prevent terrorism while he was in office. Clinton saw right through Wallace's agenda to subtlely imply that his actions to prevent 9/11 were not enough and to more importantly divert attention from the presiding administration.

WALLACE: … but the question is, why didn’t you do more, connect the dots and put them [al Queda] out of business?

CLINTON: OK, let’s talk about it. Now, I will answer all those things on the merits, but first I want to talk about the context in which this arises.

I’m being asked this on the Fox network. ABC just had a right-wing conservative run in their little Pathway to 9/11, falsely claiming it was based on the 9/11 Commission report, with three things asserted against me directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission report.

Clinton goes on to methodically dismantle Chris Wallace on his own show, citing the book of former Reagan, H.W Bush, Clinton and W. Bush counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke. It turns out that Bush had 9 months (3 times longer than Clinton had) to prevent Bin Laden on 9/11. According to Clarke, Clinton came the closest to killing Bin Laden, however CIA and FBI officialls denied the requests for basing rights that bordered Afghanistan.

All these details and facts can be viewed on the complete interview and a complete transcript available on

It's about time someone said something about the disgrace to journalism and media that Fox News Network stands for today. We've waited too long and have allowed programs like Wallace's to propogandize and misinform too many. The existence of Fox News is in part, responsible for the many who have allowed this country to spiral down in the path that it has in recent years. It is no suprise that they so often quickly resort to name calling and edit transcripts from interviews (see O'Rielly and Gen. Clarke interview) to cover up their erroneous information. Any noble and truly "fair and balanced" news source would admit and apologize for their mistakes, but because they have proven they cannot, they will forever be, at least in this author's eyes, a sad joke. An assembly of so-called journalist, blinded by lies and prisoners of ignorance. Zealots, with naivety and logic that parallels that of 16th century European Monarchs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Aaaaand I'm Back in School!

Looks like I spoke too soon about being in the game. I've decided (for the second time) to give this blog another shot. After a busy summer getting ready to move and an even busier September getting settled in NYC, things look like smooth sailing from here. As the grueling conditioning of wrestling season rears its head I doubt there will be regular posts through October, however I'm sure I'll find time for self-amusement after a long night of reading and manage to squeeze in a blurb from time to time. Much has come to mind in the months I've been absent from this blog and throughout the course of Fall I'll certainly be introducing and revisiting commentary on familiar topics such as sports, food, technology, music and anything that you would possibly want to read about. I look forward to the interesting topics New York, School and this season will bring to this blog. til then, cheers!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Aaaaaand I'm Back in the Game!!

Okay, so it's been a while since I've actually updated this... but what the hell, no one reads this. I've been incredibly busy enjoying my last summer in LA. Fourth of July was cool. Had a BBQ with friends and family and fell in a major upset in the second round of a table tennis tournament to Chester. These days I've been stuck at home without a car all day while my family works. I booked my flight and I'm scheduled for take off at 10pm on Sunday August 21. As for the homies, they're fine as well. D-Mac aka Doug is doing his thing out in Beverly Hills working as an assistant loan officer by day and amateur pick-up artist by night. A-Rey aka Alex had a three day stint at GNC, thought about it, and has decided to pass his time chillin' with Ms. Brownie (his half Pomeranian, half Chihuahua). Chi, is employed as a full-time student at P-Dub (PCC) trying to get his transfer on and currently doing summer school along with the rest of the gang. That's about it... Oh yea mike has been missing from the face of the earth for a long ass time. Most of the summer at least. I think he's on some vacation that all my friends know about, except me. Maybe in Europe or something. other than that I'll make sure to write again before I leave.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mac N' Cheese Please!

Most people are lucky if they can say that they have just one real friend. Not one of those aquaintances that you took a group picture with at some formal dance in high school and call for parties every once in a while, not even those pretty close buddies that you consider part of your "clique" but have never really known so well... But more like that friend who actually knows you, met your family, the type of friend who can tell when you're lying. I've been lucky enough to keep (and make) a handful in the past couple of years. I could write about wrestling, or rant about some vague political topic, but that can all wait. I think when it comes down to it, my friends effect my everyday life more than the thought of these insignificantly broad topics like sports or even world news at that. Hell, they are what makes writing these blogs fun for me, and they are the only people who read them. (thanks guys). I want to take time every once in a while to write about some of my closest and today I've decided to start with a special one...
A little bit ago, more like 8 years ago, I requested to switch study halls (to 7th period Luce). I only did it to escape this pretty mean guy Mr. Rini, who would prepare a referral for my friend Doug (who I'll feature next) everyday just before we took our seats. It turned out Mr. Luce's class wasn't as easy going as I suspected, but I did meet someone who I still remain close with to this day. In fact, you could say she's my "Tender Macaroni" (See Bobby Brown "Roni")... Uh huh, that's right! I said it... Macaroni! There isn't a word in the english language that comes close to describing Katie so I have to resort to early 90s Bobby Brown, which by the way is one of her favorite genres of music (Early 90s R&B), so it's fitting. In simple words, me and Katie have been through a lot, not just awkward high school drama, but real deal adventures like rickety roller coasters, and dangerous journey's. (Dangerous for 13 year olds at least). She's someone that I don't think I'll ever not be close to, or at least I'll never want to. And for the few times when we have for some odd reason or another not been close, we've always eventually cut through the bullshit and worked things out. She's not just one of my best and closest friends, but someone I care for immensely and not in a "buddy-buddy" way. Sometimes you butt heads with people for so long that you forget why and it's good to stop and reassess what direction you are moving in. and I'm glad which way my train is headed. And with that analogy, I'll end this blog as it is on the verge of making the transition to tender macaroni cheesy to "Hallmark" cheesy. Until my next blog...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Movin' On Up!

Aaaand I'm back in the game! It's been a while since I've posted some new commentary, I've been pretty busy finishing up my last semester at "P-Dub" a.k.a. "P Double C" a.k.a. Pasadena City College. After 12 grueling months I'm glad to say I've made it out and am starting at NYU next fall. Be sure to catch my blog I'm working on about the success of PCC and junior colleges in genral and how they are a vital part of the public education system.

In other news I moved to Covina! It's pretty cool, and still in the 626 area code. (phew)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2006 Bay To Breakers

In 1912 the city of San Francisco was still recovering from one of history's most notorious natural disasters, The San Francisco Earthquake. In an effort to boost moral and resuscitate the city, many city-wide events were scheduled through out the year. It was in this year that the First Annual Cross City Race was held, better known today as the ING Bay to Breakers. Today the race prevails as a testament to the city's unique culture and audacity.

This year I had the opportunity to be one of the 110,000+ spectators lining the route and participating in the festivities. I must say that this race lived up to all the hype that surrounds it if you've ever heard someone bring it up. Hours of runners, joggers, walkers, families, students, nudists participate every year in one of the biggest 12k races in the world. There is nothing to describe the atmosphere around the race.

I highly recommend going to Bay to Breakers at least once in your lifetime. It is an experience you have to feel to believe. It's not just a race, but a glorious celebration of human spirit.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

USA Wrestling: The Little Sport That Could

For those of you that read this and know me personally you may have expected wrestling to be a regular topic in my blogs. I haven't written about wrestling yet for many reasons, but mainly just because there isn't much news in the wrestling world now and days worthy even of this lowly blog. However, there is one thing I would like to say about wrestling, specifically USA Wrestling, the organization that sponsors our Olympic Team and that is: "Someone needs to take action to save wrestling from the downward spiral it is been taking in previous years before it gains the repuation of "sports" like table tennis or Jai Alai..Yea I said it Jai Alai!"

If your not a wrestler then you don't know what I'm talking about so let me fill you in. Any serious wrestler has to become a member of USA wrestling, because it is the only way you can compete outside of school competition. USA Wrestling is the organization that facilitates all national and state-wide freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling. It's like AYSO, or YMCA basketball but for all ages.

Unfortunately, wrestling participation and support at all levels has been gradually declining. As a Southern California resident it is sad to see sparse attendence at local wrestling duals and events. California produces arguably the best wrestlers in the nation. The past couple of years California saw several National Senior Champions (Brian Moreno 112, Jake Varner 189 just to name a few). The reality is that hardly anyone would know who the hell Brian Moreno is but we all know Sebastian Telfair and other high school phenoms of basketball and football do I have to remind you of names like Lebron or Kobe?

These problems can be resolved with better management and marketing on the part of USA Wrestling. Wrestling is truly an exciting, skillful sport that requires talent and is one of the oldest sports ever. What more do the guys running this organization need? The sport practically promotes itself. With the rising population of MMA (mixed martial arts) and the comeback of boxing, there is no reason the US would deny the glory and drama of wrestling. The solution is exposure. Get the national championships aired on TV and give the audience a personality to root for. They should be portraying wrestlers as professionals, technicians, strategists, and athletes not animated, juiced-up crazies like Kurt Angle.

I hope one day people can give wrestling and wrestlers the respect they deserve. With the help of business saavy owners USA Wrestling can spearhead a world wide revival of the sport. And wrestlers can be hailed like the demigods they were in ancient times.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Why Not Safari? (And Happy Mother's Day)

I've been running into serious problems with my blogging. I posted my first blog on a computer that used Internet Explorer and I was able to use the all of the "Compose" features such as block quotes, inserting links, bold, italics and other cool tricks that could come in handy when posting a blog. Later I began posting at home where I use Safari (for Macs) and I noticed you can only upload pictures. That calls for a major "Wag of the Finger" by Mike, and can possibly warrant the first ever "Chump of the Week" awarded to a computer program. Come on! Everyone is using Macs these days! And if your not then your probably the equivalent to that dorky old guy in the one commercial that personifies the two different computers. The point is, I need access to all the features of the post composer. Especially the one where you can change the dates of the postings.

Finally, in honor of mother's day I wanted to share a touching video that I think we should all watch at some point in our lives.
I pity the fool who doesn't treat their mother right!"

Friday, May 12, 2006

Don't Just Trust Me, Watch Me

A couple of nights ago during a statistics exam my professor marched up to a students desk and broke the testing silence with a " How could you do this? You are taking a test!" He was shocked to discover that the gentleman was cheating, He briskly walked down the row of seats and asked the gentleman to meet him outside. The suspect followed and the door swung wide open behind him for the whole class to hear...

" What were you thinking?" (mumble mumble) "How am I supposed to know that?!" (mumble) "No really How?! It's an honest question." (silence) "Don't you understand that you signed an agreement and you have broken the rules. And when you break that trust your word is no longer good. It means nothing!" (more awkward silence) "This is a society that relies on trust, and when you can't be trusted then you can't function [in the society]"

"Damn, Mr. Waldron is so right" I thought. He's kind of weird and bitter but he's right. We do, as a society rely on trust. We are born to trust that our mothers or a mother will nurture us and everyday we trust that the alarm will go off, the bus will come on time and professors trust that the students won't cheat. As Mr. Waldron flunked the kid outside who cheated on the exam I continued to wonder "how can he function again?"

In a way all people, like professors have their own personal "zero tolerance" policies towards cheating because to tolerate dishonesty means that you are expecting it or allowing it, which no one wants. There is no simple answer for someone trying to regain trust, but one way I have found to be effective is to stop "trying" and start doing. Everyone likes to hear a comeback story. Alluding (for the last time) to the Mayorga/De La Hoya fight two weeks ago we can see that the only way Mayorga can gain our support back is by facing Oscar again and this time completely destroying him so that no critic or fan can doubt him again.

Some people say that "a picture is worth a thousand words" but I don't think any amount of words can sum up the message of an image that one's actions can project. So whether you are training for a rematch, enrolling in a new Statistics course or trying to gain someone's trust back, remember that you can't just tell us how you're going to beat your opponent or tell us you won't cheat on exams. Follow the familiar words of the universally recognized sneaker slogan and "Just Do It".

I Gotta Outdo Steve Norris

Check this out my loyal readership. On my first week blogging we are already 8 people strong. Actually, I hope the counter doesn't count the times that I check my profile during study breaks. I've checked seven times.

Lately I've been trying to read other blogs to get some ideas about how to improve my own. I noticed that if you click on the location links on your profile it redirects you to other fellow bloggers in my town (South Pasadena). I took a look at other peoples' blogs and they were impressive to say the least. One blog that takes the proverbial cake is written by a man named Steve Norris. This guy is a pro. He has posted more blogs than anyone in my area. But more importantly these posts are high quality, insightful and creative. I guess the reason why I am sharing this with those of you who read this, mainly my friends, is that from now on I won't rush my posts just to maintain daily upkeep at the cost of producing nonsense. We should all put time and thought into what we write and in turn we will be rewarded with the better material and better blogs. We will improve as writers and post interesting material that all of us can enjoy reading. By the way I suggest you check out Mr. Norris' blog, you can find it by clicking the South Pasadena link on my profile. As for me, I'll be working on my next post, I've been thinking about doing something about "Actions speak louder than words", I know it sounds kind of a big subject to tackle but specific recent event have caused me to think of it constantly.

Oh and as for today's accompanying photo... hmm how about in honor of Mr. Norris. I grace you with a picture of another Mr. Norris!...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mmmm... Orange Creamsicle

I've decided to feature food every Wednesday. I'm always on the hunt for good food. Some of my all-time favorites are Buffallo Wings, Chili Cheese Burgers, and beef kebabs (not all together though).

A couple of weeks ago I had an unpleasant experience at the beach. Not only was the gas nearly 4 dollars per gallon but the weather wasn't great and my friends and I were getting lost. My friends Alex and Doug were getting hungry so we decided to stop at a Jack In The Box the we frequently eat at when we go to the beach. One of my friends ordered an Orange and Cream Shake. It sounded tasty and it was. It was a nostalgic flavor that made me feel like I had known the shake all my life even though it was relatively new item on the menu. It didn't have the taste of an original orange creamsicle, but it had the taste of the candy that was made to recreate that flavor. It was perfect, like those orange flavored Tootsie Rolls that they used to have or orange flavored Flinstons Push-Ups.

I had the opportunity to get the shake today because I spend nearly all of my day at PCC (Pasadena City College)on wednesdays and there is a Jack across the street. The shake may be a limited time deal so you should try one before they disappear like those flavored Tootsie Rolls. Whatever happened to those? Bon Apetite!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hall & Oates: Rock n' Soul!

Today I imported the Hall and Oates greatest hits album onto my iPod. Their unique delivery of lyrics and funky intonation made this duo a powerhouse in the 80s giving us hits such as "Maneater", "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)", "Sara Smile" and my personal favorite "One on One". This cd is worth every penny. Too bad it doesn't come with a poster like this...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Chump of the Week: Ricardo Mayorga

At 1:27 into the sixth round shit-talking, machete swinging, matador-outfit-wearing Ricardo Mayorga fell by TKO in front of a crowd of 13,000 people. What a bitch. I didn't get a chance to watch the fight live because I was busy watching the Laker's get their ass beat, but that's a story we'll save for another day.

If you don't know the story behind last night or don't follow boxing it pretty much went like this: Ricardo "El Matador" (hence the outfit) Mayorga is sort of the Nicaraguan Mike Tyson straight from the streets and angry as hell. After a streak of big wins against mediocre opponents he gains a little confidence and is thrown in the ring with Felix Trinidad who gives him the most brutal beating I've ever seen a boxer take. Meanwhile De La Hoya who has been cashing in the past couple of months as president of his own fight promotion company, Golden Boy Promotions, wanted a way back into the spotlight after suffering an embarrassing and first ever TKO by Bernard Hopkins. De La Hoya wants a comeback and Mayorga needs a big win, so the two go toe-to-toe. Months before the fight at a press conference Mayorga didn't just promise victory, but also brought up the Hopkins fight, insulted his wife and son and even went so far as to say "I hate you so much I would fight [De La Hoya] for free."

I must admit his antics and trash talking had me rooting for him on Saturday evening, but there's nothing more disappointing then hearing a fighter promise complete victory without the skills or the experience to produce it. Did Mayorga really think that he could just step into the ring with an Olympic Gold Medalist, or someone of Trinidad's caliber and beat them because he's tough? He obviously did because by the looks of his last fights, and last night's score card he didn't have the technique, strategy or defense of a world champion boxer or even a contender. Unless you're Mike Tyson it's going to take a little more then a badass attitude and craziness to last (long) in a sport like boxing.

To Mayorga's credit, he did put his feelings aside and congratulated Oscar with the championship belt and came away with a cool $2mil at the cost of his public humiliation.

And to add insult to injury Ricardo Mayorga has to wake up every morning knowing he lost to this guy...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Very First Blog

Today I am posting my first blog. Last night a friend of mine, Doug (see Douglas's Quest For Breast: The Journey of D-Mac) showed me his new webpage on and I was impressed. Before last night I was skeptical about posting blogs, afraid that I would become one of those millions of people posting pointless boring, "I'm lonely and this is what happened with me and my boyfriend this week" blogs on MySpace. But I've seen how posting a blog on a site like this could actually be an interesting hobby and a place to write about stories and events in the daily life of not only myself but of my friends and stories that are unraveling all over the world as we speak. What finally pushed me onto the side of the fence of actually creating a blog are three things: 1) It would be nice to attempt to develop my writing skills every once in a while 2) I can say I have a blog, and 3) One day, a long time from now I'll be able to see what the hell I was thinking about at 7PM on May 6, 2006.
As for my fear of disappearing into the cliche that most nineteen year olds with blogs fall into, I've realized it doesn't matter. There are billions of kids posting stupider shit than me (see Douglas's Quest for Breast: The Journey of D-Mac) and I post these blogs for my own entertainment, a daily, weekly or whenever-I-feel-like blog. If your interested then I hope you'll follow it and if not then I'm sorry and you never have to read off my page again. I won't take it personal because I might have done the same to you. Until my very second blog, peace.