Wednesday, December 17, 2008

10 Flavors I Hate


10. horse radish

9. black olives

8. paprika

7. anchovies

6. dentists' "bubble gum" toothpaste (that's not bubble gum)

5. wasabi

4. plain arugula

3. flavored rum

2. Tap water from the spout with all the buttons behind the bar... (aka the water at Tonic on 3rd Ave.)

1. capers

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Paprika?

Paprika is not a real spice.

A few months ago I woke up on a train looking out at a lakeside community. I looked over to my friend who looked like she had been awake for hours. It just hit me. I didn't know anything about Budapest. The one thing I did know is that it was a day away on train and I didn't have to eat pasta or kebabs anymore. The thought of eating Hungarian food was exciting, but unfortunately didn't last long.

By request of the nice young girl at the hostel we went to a local goulash spot down the street. Before we left the hostel she warned us "Be careful they use a lot of paprika so it's spicy!".

Three minutes later I bit into the most bland chicken I've ever tasted. I desperately tried covering it in Paprika and it only made it worse...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rule #25


A well done burger is a poorly made burger.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008



For the past 3 months and 20 some odd days I've been in Europe, working as a peer advisor to fellow undergrads, finishing up my degree in political science, meeting new friends, seeing great new sights.

Now that my short time abroad is coming to a close and I prepare for a smooth transition back to NYC and the holidays back in LA I can't help but think that as great as this trip was, the one thing I wish I could have done is share it with the rest you-- my friends and family that I left back in LA and NY.

Between the difference in time and my hectic schedule keeping in touch with most of you has been either a never ending battle or non-existent... So today I'm posting a classic from our childhood (at least my childhood).

This song, although I must warn is pretty explicit for those who aren't huge 2pac fans, has a touching and poetic message. The video, lyrics and beat are instant classics in my book.

This one goes out to the homey's I haven't spoken to in a while. You know who you are. Before you know it we'll be back to the same old stuff. You better believe I'll have some stories and some gifts.

*Before you watch I would like to point out:

1. Bokeem Woodbine (Jason's Lyric) aka the friend in the beginning should get an OSCAR for that acting job!

2. Is it me or does the EMT in the ambulance whining?

3. When 2pac goes to heaven there is a guy in a full-on pimp suit standing with his back to the camera the whole time.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rule #24


Tomatoes are considered, by US law, vegetables even though they are scientifically categorized as fruit

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rule #23

The undisputed best holiday movie . . .
(* Starring Nicolas Cage)



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Delirium Pub

Delirium Pub is a popular beer-lovers destination in Brussels. My friends and I entered the smoke filled pub late on a Wednesday night. The place was surprisingly packed but luckily after a few minutes of awkwardly lurking over some tables we were able to secure a huge emptied out beer tank that had been cleverly transformed into a gazebo.

I immediately noted the professionalism of the men behind the bar. They weren't dressed like the typical bartender at a pub, they dawned industrial looking aprons and smocks-- like beer scientists. They moved swiftly and listened intently behind the bar. I finally weaseled my way up to the front of the pack and stuck my arm out. I ordered two Deleriums for Pudding and I and a strawberry beer for Brenna. They went down smooth and were much better than they've ever been from the bottles they sell at Morton Williams.

In a city that prides itself on beer, fries and waffles this pub can't be missed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Study Break

Here is a video for every student whose dreams of care-free weekends and a relaxing Thanksgiving have just been crushed by the realization of quickly approaching, miserable, Starbucks Double Shot Esspresso-induced all-nighters.

Good Luck with finals!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fried Ice Cream


I was recently in Prague when I was navigating the narrow and windy streets behind Tyn Castle in Old Town Square and stumbled upon a small family-owned Czech restaurant.

Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the place so I won't waste my time trying to critique it here. Chances are you'll never find it anyway. I'll save all the scrumptious details of my meal for my travel journal and leave you with this picture which I feel captures the innovation and quality of each course.

This dessert captured three dimensions of contrasting qualities. 
1. Cold ice cream v. Warm shell and hot chocolate sauce
2. Soft melted ice cream and whip cream v. Crunchy shell 
3. Tangy raspberry v. Sweet vanilla

Does this remind anyone from Pasadena of Mijares?




Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rule #22


Djibouti not only the country with the coolest name but the coolest flag.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kanye West - Heartless

This song has been in regular circulation on my iPod for the past week or so and I've realized I like it much more than Love Lockdown... Listen to it a few times and you'll realize it's going to be a hit. If you still haven't got over the digitally encoded voice then let this track convince you that it can work. Then listen to "Street Lights" and you'll fully realize the melodic approach that Mr. West is trying to apply on this album.

Enjoy


Monday, November 10, 2008

Phoenix Album Trailer

Phoenix is releasing a new album... here is a 3 minute preview with a glorious beat. Sounds like those Parisians were hard at work in their hipster den around the clock for this one.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Florentine Shopping: Boggi Milano


Hands-down my favorite shopping destination in a high-fashion shopping city. I first walked into a Boggi boutique on a day trip to Siena (home of the famous Palio). They've got a great look. I would characterize it as clean, modern but classic.

I was so impressed by the boutique that I visited their location in Firenze on Vigna Nuova. The service was excellent. The gentleman who helped me was happy to assist me with any questions, urged me to try on everything and after I made my purchases even walked me down the street to a local tailor who fitted some pants and adjusted a shirt. Overall an ideal shopping experience. I'll definitely be back if the value of the dollar continues to catch up to the Euro, or rather the Euro continues to plummet to the value of the dollar.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let the Celebration Continue!




This is a cool photo courtesy of Mel Marcelo, my cousin in San Diego and a very talented graphic artist. I made this into a shirt that I wore on election night.

Thanks Mel!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bzablog Election Prediction



It's 6:27AM EST and after careful calculations I've formulated a prediction for tonight's historic election.

I predict 298 electoral votes for Obama and 240 electoral Votes for McCain

I believe Senator McCain will take all the battleground states except for Ohio which will decide the election. North Carolina will be close but I believe that it will be won by McCain.

Obama will secure Colorado and New Mexico, Pennsylvania but lose Arizona.

I hope I'm right.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Merger of Labor and Love

Do you recognize the man giving the speech in the clip below?

Unless you've been following politics for the last decade at least a little bit, then you probably don't. But There is something mysterious about James Carville that makes watching him so captivating. This leading democratic strategist is a man who launched his career behind the scenes, out of the spotlight and in the "war room" as the '92 Clinton presidential campaign endearingly referred to their Little Rock headquarters. Together with colleagues George Stephanopoulos and Paul Begala, Carville has changed the way campaigns are run-- making a living off winning elections for the underdog.

I've always enjoyed watching the "Ragin' Cajun" contribute on news programs. I once even had the opportunity to attend a panel that he moderated in his home state of Louisiana. People from both sides of the political spectrum love Carville (his wife is a republican strategist) because he has strong opinions and is never afraid to express them. In a way he is simultaneously the anti-politician and the super-politician. He is working for the ideas he believes in and has dedicated a career to putting democrats who share his beliefs in office not just in the US but also abroad by managing foreign campaigns. Yet despite his uncanny political strategic skills and success he does not crave the political power a politician does. He is working for his beliefs without owing an interest to constituents or lobbyists and without the influence of public polls or pressure of re-election. He is immune to what Washington politicians call "Potomac Fever".

However, tonight I'm posting this video for reasons far beyond politics. In this clip we see another side of Carville -- A side of him that he never shows on CNN's Situation Room or as a guest on any news program. This clip of Carville was recorded the night before election day 16 years ago, tensions were running high and the race was neck and neck up until the last day of campaigning. It was a night, as George Stephanopoulos appropriately describes, that "[Carville] will pass from the role of a regular human being to the role of a legend..."

When I first saw this clip I saw the more human side of politics. Someone once told me that "everyone who runs for president has to be crazy." And to a certain extent I believe it. It takes extraordinary discipline, perseverance and desire to withstand the nature of a career in politics. It requires a lifetime of winning the trust of all those who surround you, repeating the same lines everyday and being constantly aware of your actions and word. Often times it requires improbable strokes of luck. But when I see this speech I'm reminded that politics is more than winning votes and wanting your candidate to win.

Long after you've chosen your candidate, done your research, donated to the campaign, registered some voters and bought a T-shirt and voted then the only thing left to give is your faith-- a sincere belief that you are no longer promoting a man, but personifying your beliefs. Regardless of your political party or preference we eventually arrive at a point when you realize the man who bears the name on the poster means less than the ideologies that his name carries. We rise above the issues that the media has force fed us with sound bytes. We forget off-shore drilling, economy, the war, democrat and republican and realize that inevitably tomorrow's decision is so much more than just a few tag lines and grandiose promises. It's a reflection of the needs of our nation and our plea to finally to reap the benefits of our labor and our love.







ONE MORE DAY! ONE MORE DAY! ONE MORE DAY!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rule #22 "The Name Game"

Mr. Manners once told me --

Make it a point to remember a recent acquaintance's name. Acknowledge that you remember them the next time you meet by greeting them using their name (e.g. "Adityavikram! Good to see you, how was your weekend?")

People always feel better when you remember their names.

When you don't remember try introducing them to a friend you are with. For example, if I am standing with Adityavikram at a party and a girl I don't recognize comes to say hi I would say  "Hi! This is Adityavikram, I don't think you've met." and gesture the two to introduce each other, forcing the girl to say her name. 

Lastly, pronounce peoples' names correctly. Last names that are foreign to you might not be natural to pronounce but this is not an excuse to butcher a person's name and laugh it off. Ask politely and apologize when you think you might be saying a name incorrectly. Don't assign anyone a nickname just because you can't learn to say a name. If someone prefers to be called a different name/ nickname do not question it.  If Shang Tsung wants to be called "Steve", don't ask why and remember to use this name. 




I'm On Fall Break

I apologize for not giving an advanced notice, but last week I was traveling without a reliable internet connection. Traveling without internet emphasizes the change in scenery.

Last weeks adventure began in Budapest, worked its way west to Prague, Brussels and ended in Amsterdam. I have interesting food stories and random facts about each of these places in the week to come. Expect regular updating starting tomorrow.

Now time to unpack.

Thanks,
Byron

Friday, October 31, 2008

Robin Thicke - Ms. Harmony

I've said it before and I'll say it again.. I'm easy to please.

Bongos+Acoustic Guitar+ Catchy baseline= instant classic!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Top Ten Pet Peeves


Unbearablly itchy mosquito bites

Inappropriately condescending people

Party poopers

Waking up and realizing you overslept

When people consistently back out of plans (a.k.a. flakes)

When you get a haircut and hair gets stuck in your collar

Profusely sweating at inappropriate times

People who are picky eaters ("schizzinosi" in Italiano)

Young Neocons

Writer's block

Eurochocolate 2008 Perguia




Perugia was sweet.

I spent the day at Europe's permier chocolate festival. Tents lined the streets and piazzas of Perugia this weekend for its annual event as thousands of chocoholics from around the world packed its narrow streets and alleys consuming everything chocolate-- from the high end, savory truffles of Vanini, to our everyday favorites like Nestle, Toblerone and Lindt. Of course the novelty chocolate items seemed to be the biggest crowd pleasers such as the hemp-filled chocolates and the chocolate condoms.

My personal favorite was the locally produced Baci from Perugina. The chocolate pieces are filled with creamy chocolate mouse and hazelnut chunks. 


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Train Your Brain


Here are some easy tips for sharpening your mental skills and strengthening neurological connections.

MEN'S HEALTH

Rule #21


Perfect a simple dish that you can prepare whenever you're invited to a potluck. Don't be the guy who shows up with a bucket from KFC. (I make artichoke dip)

A Tour of Chimay Abbey with Father Thomas

Belgium here I come!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Don't Vote!

Thanks for this video Jackson.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Buddakan

About a two minute walk from my apartment on the North East side of Piazza Santa Croce is an Asian Fusion restaurant called Buddakan. I'm usually skeptical about "fusion" restaurants, but when you go 3 months without Pad Thai you turn to desperate measures.

I ordered the "Zuppa agropiccante con gambieri" a.k.a. tom yum soup and the pad thai. The place is Chinese owned, and I've never been to Thailand so I can't speak about the dishes' authenticity but compared to Thai food in NYC it was decent. I particularly enjoyed the freshness of the cherry tomatoes, zucchini and carrot in the pad thai.

Buddakan is a nice alternative to the hundreds of trattorias and restaurants peppered throughout the Santa Croce area. It's a good choice for when you're tired of having pizza and pasta everyday. Prices aren't cheap and the portions are big enough to share for two.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Classic Nintendo Hit



This reminds me of sitting on the floor blowing on the bottom of Nintendo cartridges to get them to work.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

20 Hours In London



Two weeks ago I sat idly in the office. I entertained the idea of spontaneously booking a flight to London for a day. It didn't take much peer pressure until I was a click away from booking a flight.

The day after my 22nd birthday a friend and I packed a change of clothes and a bottle of Limoncello and got on a plane to London. It was an impromptu weekend adventure, but after the wild ride to Munich the week before it seemed like a short drive to the post office.

We got into Liverpool Station around 1AM on Saturday and our crash course on the London public transportation began. We met a friend of mine who is studying in London and proudly presented him with the Limoncello. The next 24 hours were spent navigating the Tube hitting every major neighborhood and tourist attraction possible. We were forced to ration our time wisely, and split most of it between a long lunch at French restaurant (Rouge Cafe on High St.) and the Tate Modern. Everything else could be relived on cheesy Facebook pictures.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why This Election Should Be A Landslide: Episode 3

The Road to Oktoberfest


In the months leading up to my time here in Italy I've been talking about Oktoberfest. It was the one trip that I had to do, not just for the beer. I could drink beer anywhere. Oktoberfest isn't about the beer, but the mobilization of thousands of people of all colors and nations converging in one place to have a good time.

Upon arrival in Italy, it seemed like everyone was a skeptic about making the trip to Munich for Oktoberfest. Everyone had an alarmist mentality. They would warn me of extremely expensive hotels, airfare and train tickets. With all the skeptics you might have thought that a trip to Munich was impossible. Yet, it seemed like everyone around me was going. They were getting there by bus, train and plane. They found transportation and some even found accommodations as late as a week in advance.

Maybe it was the fear of missing out on something I had anticipated for so long, or the frustration of letting the skeptics and alarmists rob me of my hope. But as I sat at dinner with friends on Wednesday night I made the final decision that I was going to find a way to Oktoberfest.

It turns out by that point (Wednesday night) the trains and planes were completely booked. About 20 hours later I was in a parking lot learning how to drive stick shift in a Fiat Panda. And just hours after that a friend and I were on the road to Munich-- windows rolled down, "Hotel California" blaring from the little blue Panda as we raced down the Autobahn.

Rule #20




The "O.K." hand gesture is not universally accepted

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Arancino


Two weeks ago on an overnight train to Sicily I met a guy who told me not to leave without trying an arancino. He described them as "fried, breaded balls of cheesy risotto with a meat and cheese center". My eyes lit up as I quickly began to aggressively interrogate him about. From that point on I was on a mission to find them and learn as much as I could about them.

That weekend I had the privilege of sinking my teeth into one of the greatest fried inventions I've ever tasted (topping the deep-fried Snickers).

These little orange balls that actually get their name from the Italian word for orange (arancia) were amazing. They are a popular Sicilian snack that are usually stuffed with either beef and ragu sauce or proscuitto and butter. Both were equally delicious.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why This Election Should Be a Landslide: Episode 2


He's breaking out the big guns!

President Clinton has stated that he will join Senator Clinton and begin campaigning for Senator Obama following the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 23rd and 24th.

Read More Here

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tu, Forse Non Essenzialmente Tu

Great track by Rino Gaetano. The title translated means "You, but not essentially you"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why This Election Should Be A Landslide: Episode 1

Here is some special commentary. Notice how Keith uses real quotes, real clips from the Republican National Convention (RNC). These things actually happened and he is commenting on them, explaining how and why the actions of the Republican Party and John Mcain are related to the comments he is making.

It seems like a pretty simple concept to grasp, yet so many people have trouble distinguishing good argumentation that is delivered with emotion from talking points and ideas like "Obama is a terrorist because he was born a Muslim.. blah blah blah...once a Muslim always a Muslim". These things are not one and the same. Some people even try to "argue" that "Obama doesn't love America because there's no flag on his airplane".

Something that is always important to me is understanding things in many ways, from many angles and perspectives.

I don't disagree with every Republican. Nor do I agree with every Democrat. I've said before that you can't feel strongly about something you don't know much about. When it comes to politics people tend to forget this and pretend that a handful of issues completely define a political party. The truth is that In fact, the two-party system naturally tends to cater to those with centrist preferences. Many Americans are torn between the social polices of one party and the economic policies of the other. Simply put, things are never black and white (no pun intended).


Enjoy this clip and the posts that will follow. I can only hope to provide information so that you too can more confidently support the candidate who will best serve you.... and for all but 2% of America I'll give you a hint as to who that will be... his name rhymes with "Yo Mama".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Current TV Debut! (where's my 30 seconds of applause?)


I haven't really watched TV in nearly two years. With the internet and DVR I've lost the urge for good ol' channel surfing. Of course, I tune in for sports events (e.g. Superbowl, Olympics, US Open, college football) or special programming like the State of the Union Address and the season finale of Entourage.

However this past summer I was introduced to Current TV. My brothers were huge fans and when I was home for the summer I got hooked. They don't have commercials, a majority of the programming is created independently by users and broadcasted via the website Current.com. What I like best is the catchy electronic beats they play in the segues. In all seriousness, the channel is a gem because it is far removed from its large cable television competitors. Its not CNN or CNBC and sure as hell isn't Fox.

Current TV thrives on viewer feedback and in return have engineered a unique product. What you watch is what you create, what you think, and what you (primarily young adults) have asked to see. Think of it as the youth of the world's answer to tainted mainstream media torrent. If you can remember what watching MTV used to feel like before TRL, then you'll be pleasantly surprised when you tune in.

Sign up. Comment. Contribute.


And watch this clip of Current News featuring my commentary! Woo Hoo! BYRONTOSAURUS!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wow

The ugly reality of today's politics is that most people who try to justify their support for the Republican presidential candidate do so by putting down the opponents rather than supporting their own. Republicans at the National Convention chanted "Zero! Zero! Zero!" referring to Senator Obama's "executive" experience. Their are a dozen things one could say to criticize this year's Republican Presidential Nominees but that wasn't the focus in Denver last week. No one in the fully packed stadium even thought of Mcain in the moments before Senator Obama spoke. They didn't need to. In my eyes the show that the Republican party put on earlier this week was beyond aggravating, but disheartening. Sarah Pailin's speech was the ugliest thing I've ever seen muttered from an ex-beauty queen's mouth. She showed me a candidate full of hate, with an outlook on politics that is frankly dangerous for the future of America; the type of politics that brews hate, strikes fear and will continue to let our country down.

While republicans chant "Zero!" they overlook the blunder of the first executive decision made by their "Maverick". If Mcain's strength and leadership allowed for a woman like Sarah Palin to enter the national spotlight then what else can we expect from him if he is elected president?


More to come on the bizarre argument for Mcain's "Economic Policy"...


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rule #19


There is no shame whatsoever in wanting to listen to Andrea Bocelli.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

30 Seconds of Applause



I took a course on instructing elementary education. We studied the intellectual, emotional and social development of children. Most people took the course because it allowed you to leave campus and work at local elementary schools.

Our teacher, Ms. Swanson believed that children who were applauded, were happier. She believed that if a child received at least thirty seconds of praise, applause or positive recognition a day then they would gain confidence and significantly aide their social and emotional development.

So everyday as we filed into class and made our way to our seats she would pick someone out and ask them to remain standing. That person would stand for thirty seconds as the class cheered, clapped and praised them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rule #18

There is a big difference between living somewhere and studying somewhere. You live in place when you pay rent there, otherwise you are just visiting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New NYU Athetlics Home Page

One thing that almost stopped me from studying in Italy this semester was how much I love to wrestle and compete. On our wrestling team we communicate mainly through mass emails. While I prepare to begin classes abroad I frequently read through the teams' correspondence. Although ultimately I feel I have made the right decision by coming here, I often think about the one thing that motivated me to move across the country three years ago. I always remember that without wrestling and the wrestling community I might not have had the opportunities and experience that I enjoy across the world.

On that note. Check out the sweet home page that NYU athletics launched a few days ago.

gonyuathletics.com

Pros: Photos in the athlete profile, great new interface

Cons: Ugly new Bobcat mascot guy, they listed my home town as "Covina" : (

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Top 10 Pizza Toppings


As job training comes to an end in Tuscany I've had little time to produce a thoughtful top ten list. So many new sights and tastes have made the past few days a blur.

One thing I have taken note of are my favorite pizza toppings. Everyone everywhere loves pizza. The down side to this is that most people have their own style or idea of what a pizza is. This makes it hard to be a passionate pizza lover. How could I compare a deep dish Dominos pizza with bacon and pepperoni to a pie from John's in NYC? Or even better how can I compare a slice of Bayou Beast from Two Boot's to pizze tagliato margherita off the streets of Florence?

Long story short, it's a tough call but internationaly these toppings have never disappointed.

1. Salami picante (spicy salami)

2. Sausage

3. Fresh Mozzarella

4. Onion

5. Ham/ Prosciutto Cotto

6. Mushrooms

7. Artichokes

8. Fresh Tomato

9. Bacon (of Course)

10. Peppers

This is Exactly how Plato and Socrates Sounded...


Monday, August 18, 2008

Courtesy of Pudding...

Recognize this genius? This is our good old friend "Bill O" before he jumped on to the scene at America's "fair and balanced" news channel. Inside Edition is where the journalist who really know what they're talking about start off.

Nothing Compares 2 U


Last night I could not stop thinking of the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl's Jr. And when this song came on my iPod I couldn't stop laughing. So if you're within a 4 mile radius of a Carl's Jr. go get one!!! Cherish them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Usher is Back

Oggi io Vado a Firenze



Today I'm leaving to Italy to start job training for a position I took with my school. Initially I mentioned I would be relocating to London. However that option proved to be academically incompatible with my 2 remaining required courses.... I thought my hopes of European adventures were crushed, but after a week of being turned away from a dozen different counselors and deans I found a great compromise. To compensate for having to change sites I got a job that offers free housing and meals. 

But the point of this post is really to say "Arrivederci!" and you can be sure I'll be posting about some of these European adventures... So what do I have up my sleeve for the next few months? I'm thinking Oktoberfest (aka Bay to Breakers in lederhosens), taking London by storm and some of the latest italian food trends.
Keep you posted.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Top 10 Worst Things About Flying


Instead of wasting my time writing a post about how much I hated my travel experience with US Airways yesterday, I decided to quickly point out 10 things that make flying a little more miserable than it really needs to be.

10. Being randomly selected to get your bags swiped for explosive powder-- ??

9. Taking off your shoes at the metal detector -- By now the bomber knows not to hide things in the shoes

8. The "no liquids in your carry-0n rule"

7.  The middle seat

6. Having to board in "Zones"

5. People who crowd the gate before they call their zone

4. People who are way too overdressed for traveling

3. Really loud crying toddlers (Not Babies... Toddlers. The ones that are old enough to eek out that fake crying/whine when they run out of genuine tears)

2.  Passive aggressive flight attendants who think you can't tell they hate being nice all the time

1. Poorly dubbed in-flight movies that had to be edited so that they were rated PG 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rule #17


Never fly US AIRWAYS

Story to follow... I'm en route, stuck in Charlotte.

Monday, August 11, 2008

MGMT

Here is a summer jam that has been in heavy circulation lately. Great sound. Even better message. This environmentally conscious track might be the only refreshing thing you hear this summer while sitting in traffic and triple digit temperatures.

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Word About Hipsters

CLICK HERE
Linked above is a well written article that my brother brought to my attention the other day. The lack of and/or false sense of originality about the "hipster" scene ironically contradicts what they try so hard to be. I agree with the author and his claim that the worst part of this counterculture is its increasing dependency on the consumption of "cool".

Some people might argue that in fact, borrowing style or characteristics from previous rebellious youth countercultures does require some degree of creativity and originality. After all, we've all witnessed the success of artists across all genres revive sounds from the pasts. Hip Hop artists dating back from 2pac and Biggie to Kanye West and P Diddy have made a killing off sampling old tracks. While bands like the Klaxons, Strokes and The Killers have thrived by playing off of nostalgic sounds.

But comparing the skill, innovation and artistry that is required in music production to hunting through thrift shops for flannels and riding around fixed gear bikes would take a hell of a stretch.

That being said, it appears that the only people who would have a serious problem with what seems to be a very accurate description of "hipsters" would be the "hipsters" themselves.

Being an optimist I see that the good news is its not too late to turn everything around. Those who have fallen victim to buying into the hipster scene can just as easily buy out of it. Just shave off your comical facial hair. And remember... You're not fooling anyone by dressing, acting, or pretending like you belong to a generation of the past.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Top Ten Ways to Serve Bacon Bits



Bacon bits make everything taste better. I am very liberal when it comes to covering things in bacon. Here are my top ten favorite things I enjoy covered in bacon bits.

10. Chef Salad
9. Pizza
8. Potato Salad
7. Baked Potatoes
6. Baked Potato Soup
5. Any pasta with Alfredo
4. Cheese Burgers
3. Cheese Fries
2. Grilled Cheese Sandwhiches
1. Maple Donuts

Monday, August 04, 2008

Rule #16: Something Danny Glover Taught Me...

You might recall the final installment of the Lethal Weapon Saga... It ended in a still photo/musical montage set to this song. However comical or corny the lyrics are there is something about this simple message that everyone can use at some point.

This song is the basis and inspiration for Rule # 16 --Don't Be A Hater



Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Wackness

If you haven't already, go see "The Wackness". It has an excellent soundtrack, it's well written and Olivia Thirlby is a ridiculously hot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don't Sweat It



A few months ago a friend mentioned to me his on-going battle with embarrassing pit stains. He had recently got his hands on a fancy clinical strength deodorant that felt like it burned his armpits shut. 

Since then I've wondered if I should switch up my deodorant. I've been loyal to Old Spice High Endurance for the past 7 years and all these years I never really thought about switching. I find myself overwhelmed in the deodorant section at CVS or Rite Aide so I usually grabbed my trusty Old Spice for the convenience and familiarity. 

It wasn't until last week that I finally built up the courage to (and had enough time to think about) switching deodorant. With a little research and a quick trip to Whole Foods I found a moderately priced and quality alternative. 

Tom's of Maine is a hit! My armpits feel amazing and smell like a cool breeze blowing through ripe apricot trees! The coolest part about the deodorant is that its all natural and it contains hops (like the ones used to brew beer) to fight odor. 



* Tom's of Maine offers a variety of scented deodorant including an unscented deodorant

Rule #15


Be excellent to each other!.... And party on dudes!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top 10 90s Sitcoms



They all have really catchy theme songs

1. Seinfeld
2. Friends
3. Martin
4. Saved By The Bell
5. Family Matters
6. Perfect Strangers
7. Cheers/ Small Wonder (Tie)
8. Living Single
9. Full House
10. Home Improvement

Rule #14


A man should never wear sandals and jeans unless they are at the beach, on a boat or somewhere within 100 yds of a large body of water. Never wear sandals in the city.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hands-Free Cell Phone Law = Think-Free Legislation


I wasn't surprised when I heard LA had adopted a new law prohibiting talking on cell phones while driving without a Bluetooth or hands-free device. It seems to make perfect sense. You can steer better and react quicker with two hands better than with one. This law has been in effect for some time in NYC, but I never gave it a second thought before it actually affected me here in LA where driving is a necessity.

Now that the law applies to my everyday life, I realize how much of a joke it is. I don't feel any safer knowing that people are talking on hands-free devices. The only real difference in my driving experience is that the police have one more reason to pull me over.

Everytime I have to ignore a call while I'm on the road I wonder... Are there statistics that prove driving with a Bluetooth or earpiece is safer than driving with a phone to your ear? If so, then how was that data collected? I've never heard of an insurance company asking whether or not you were on a cell phone at the time of a car accident. Maybe the State funded the research. If so, I wonder how much that cost. Could they have spent that money on financing projects that the public actually benefits from, rather than to justify giving Californians one more reason to be afraid.

What is the difference between driving with a cell phone in your hand and driving with soda in your hand? A sandwich? Lipstick?

"Hands-Free" is not the solution to bad or dangerous drivers. If it were the solution then why isn't it illegal for me to sip on an iced tea while driving? People have been driving with one hand on the wheel for decades! When did driving with one hand become dangerous?

Often times in traffic (coincidentally when many people are on the phone) I drive with one hand on the wheel while I rest my head on the other hand. That isn't illegal. If I really wanted I could talk to the person in the back seat holding an imaginary telephone to my ear. (You know the one... the pinky and the thumb?) I don't think that would make me any more of a threat to the drivers around me.

The danger in driving while talking on a cell phone is that your talking on the phone. Your focus is not on the road. It's the lack of attention to the road and its surroundings that makes talking on the cell phone dangerous. Your attention is divided regardless of whether you have a phone to your ear or a blinking earpiece attached to it. So the real question is, if they really want to make our roads safer why haven't they banned talking on cell phones altogether? Do you think cell phone companies had to do with that decision? I can only wonder.

Oh and how convenient it is for us that we have to pay $50 for a Bluetooth headset if we want to talk on the phone while driving. How convenient it is that the law requires us to purchase an electronic device in order to continue doing something as simple as answering your phone. How convenient it is that the media counted down the days until the law was in effect, reminding us to race to our nearest electronics store to BUY! BUY! BUY! our life-saving, hands-free devices.

I personally haven't bought into that hype. I'll hold off on the Trekkie hardware as long as I can. In the meantime I'll have to do what any good, law-abiding citizen should do and stick to safe alternative modes of communication while I'm behind the wheel - texting.  



Rule #13

This rule is brought to you by the fictional character "Dicky Fox" from my favorite TC movie, Jerry Maguire.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Robin Thicke - "Magic"

Any track that skillfully incorporates the bongos and strings is a sure-fire hit!




Monday, July 14, 2008

Mid-Summer 20 Day Challenge!!!!!

The truth of the matter is that several things have lead me to the epiphany I had tonight. But for the sake of a better story, it all started about a month ago...

Everyday I would walk back to my apartment from summer school rather than take the subway. It saved money, I got to enjoy the weather and I usually took different ways home so I could scope out new places around the neighborhood. On this particular day I settled for Houston's. It worked out perfect since it's only a block away from the apartment and I wanted to meet my roomies who usually woke up around the time I got out of class. Lunch was expectedly delicious and everything was great... that is, until the walk home. 

Have you ever said something that wasn't meant to be funny and been laughed at hysterically? 

I have. 

All I said was that I couldn't wait to get my "beach body"...

Okay that does sound pretty ridiculous (especially when you say it out of the blue). But here is where the difference lies: I thought it was funny because I said it nonchalantly, as if it were easy. They thought it was funny because they thought I couldn't seriously dedicate myself to achieving a "beach body" . Whatever that is. 

So to make a long story a little less longer... Tonight I realized I like my body. Especially in the off-season! Muffin-top and all! Because outside the world of collegiate wrestling I've got a pretty average body. It's also a constant reminder of the work that lies ahead of me. But most of all because my body tells people "Hey! I have fun! And I'm not a self absorbed dude who spends hours at the gym pumping iron and downing protein shakes for the looks.  I'm secure enough to embrace my in-season body and my off-season body"

But that's not all! Out of pure spite (and for fun). I'm going to whip  into shape anyway. Just to prove that my body is a lifestyle choice. A choice that I don't necessarily always enjoy or am proud of. But a choice that I consciously have made. So to prove to myself that this is in fact a choice, that I am not stuck in a rut of lazy despair and melted cheese and that I am capable of living the fit alternative I will do a 20 day challenge. 

Below are the guidelines:

 For twenty consecutive weekdays beginning tomorrow July 15 , I will

1. Run at least 3 miles or bike at least 6 miles.

2. Not drink soda

3.  In any order perform 100 crunches, 100 bicycle crunches, 50 leg-lifts

4. 20 mountain climbers (this does not involve climbing at all. Wikipedia it!)

5.  100 push ups









Rule #12


Eating more is never the answer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rule #11


Every person should have a "karaoke go-to". (Songs from Grease or Disney movies don't count)


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Top 10 Games That Kill Time


Do you have a favorite game to play when you're stuck in a car on a road trip? At the airport? Dentist? Waiting to be seated at a restaurant?

Listed below are ten fun free ways that I enjoy killing time with friends. These games will surely transform your dullest moments of silence into instant fun!


10. Rock Paper Scissors

9. Thumb Wrestling

8. Bloody Knuckles

7. Hot Hands

6. Staring Contests

5. Pointing at random high objects and seeing who can jump and touch them

4. Apples to Apples

3. Thumper

2. Contact

1. Categories


* For instructions on how to play these games, search them on wikipedia or ask any middle school student.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

But On A Lighter Note...

I just added this song on my computer from my bro's laptop the other week. Prettay catchy tune... It's a Hit!

Rule #10


In regards to conversations about politics, one thing should be understood: You can't have a strong opinion about something you don't know much about. Respect others' opinion no matter how radical or irrational they may be. That being said, if by chance you have the misfortune of coming across someone who supports and endorses causes and/or representatives that through policy and practice have diametrically opposed that person's own interest (whether they be economic or social), this means that you have entered what some call the "No-Spin Zone". If you do not act quickly you will be held intellectually captive and as a side-effect be spellbound by manipulative righty heresy. Hastily find a polite way out of that conversation. Under no circumstances, no matter how tempting, should you attempt to apply common sense, truth, logic to dismantle your captors arguments or opinions (they are immune to facts and modern science).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer Libation Series: The South Side


Here is one that I consider a classic summer time drink. Think of it as gimlet meets mint julep. A bartender once told me this drink originated in a Long Island country club. During the prohibition era this concoction made its way into the city through a popular spot called the Manhattan Stork Club where it was known as the South Side Fizz.


2 parts gin
1 Tsp powdered sugar
fresh lime juice
2 mint sprigs

Muddle the mint in a shaker. Add ice, gin, sugar and lime juice. Shake. Strain and serve in a wine goblet with a lime wedge for garnish.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Top Ten List: Fourth of July Edition

Okay, so I don't exactly have 10 favorite patriotic songs, but here's one that will bring you back to elementary school. Sing along since you know the words and if you still remember, sing along with the gestures (i.e. the chest pound for "heart beats true")

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Face

I'm a huge Babyface fan. So this tune has been in heavy circulation on my iPod in recent months. You've probably heard the track on Tha Carter III album. If you haven't then take a listen.




Rule #9


Miller Light is hands-down the best tasting American "light" beer. I always thought "light" referred to the amount of calories, not the flavor. If your idea of a great beer is one that has no flavor at all then maybe you don't like the taste of beer. There are plenty of drinks for those who don't like the taste of beer - Mike's Hard Lemonade, a Smirnoff Ice, Sparks etc. 


Thursday, June 26, 2008

100th POST


WE DID IT!

It probably takes the average blogger six months to reach 100 posts. It took me two years. Through this blog I've given you my thoughts on everything from German gummy bears to Hall and Oats and just about anything that I felt might be worth one's time to read.

When I created it, I wanted my blog to be a collection of random information. I wanted to take all the cool things I saw, read about, tasted or heard and tie them together with funny stories and commentary but at the same time present useful, but on occasion trivial information. 

This last year my blog has taken off into something that it never has been before. With better promotion and more discipline on my part I've gained a modest readership (you). After 100 posts I want to thank those who have kept up, across the country, around the world and especially those with whom I have shared the contents of this blog in real life, whether it be the food, the music or the funny stories. 

The best is yet to come. 

A Heroic Beat

Here is an instrumental to Nas' Hero. Very catchy. I love this beat. For some strange reason whenever I hear this beat I think of Senator Obama...???....Yea.

If you like this beat as much as I do then you should definitely check out the whole song on YouTube.

Rule #8

If you are forced to fight, aim for the solar plexus (under the rib cage) first.




Sunday, June 22, 2008

I Love Japanese TV

Check out this clip from a Japanese TV show. The prank/ psychological experiment shows different reactions to group behavior.

Rule #7


If you actually own one, Bluetooth earpieces should only be worn in the car while driving.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Libation Series: Benton's Old Fashion

The following drink recipe is courtesy of an East Village speakeasy called "PDT" (Please Don't Tell). This little bar which only holds about 45 people has a hidden entrance through a phone booth inside a popular hot dog spot. PDT was great, not only because you feel cool inside a hidden bar, but also because you can get great classic cocktails and truly innovative cocktails that are equally as satisfying... Oh, and did I mention they serve cheesy waffle fries?

-Note that this drink probably isn't ideal for day-time drinking. Something tells me bacon infused bourbon is probably best served at night. Don't be alarmed by the meat infused drink though. What you get out of the infusion is mostly just the smoky flavor of the bacon. And combined with the maple syrup the smokiness comes off as completely natural. But I guess you'll have to try for yourself.

Enjoy!

In Season: PDT's Old-fashioned


FOR THE BOURBON- BACON INFUSION:
3 or 4 slices bacon, or enough to render 1 ounce of fat (PDT uses Benton’s, but any extra-smoky variety will do)
1 750-ml. bottle of bourbon such as Four Roses Yellow Label

Cook bacon in pan and reserve rendered fat. (1) When bacon fat has cooled a bit, pour off one ounce from pan. (2) Pour bourbon into a non-porous container. (3) Strain the bacon fat into the container and infuse for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature. Place mixture in freezer until all the fat is solidified. With a slotted spoon, remove fat and strain mixture back into bottle.

FOR THE OLD FASHIONED:
2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
1/4 ounce Grade B maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Twist of orange


*Recipe and video courtesy of nymag.com and PDT

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Biking Music

This some great use of the 808. Summer time classic.

See if you can spot out special cameos by Kid N' Play.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rule #6

You can't try to dress trendy forever. Some day you'll just have to grow up...




Top 10 Things I'll Probably Eat Upon Arrival in LA

Note- I've listed these in no particular order. Truth be told, I listed them in the order they came to mind. With exception to probably "The Number Four", I DO NOT consider these the BEST things to eat in LA by any means. I do however recommend them to those who haven't tried them. This is the food that I usually have at home, when I'm on my way out, or when no one is grilling - food that I love. This is food that I can't get anywhere else that I for sure will eat when I'm in LA...


10. Double Western Bacon Cheesburger Combo (aka "The Number Four") - Carl's Jr.

9. Carne Asada Tacos - La Estrella (or their rival taco truck on S. Fair Oaks Ave. above California Blvd.)

8. Chili Cheeseburger w/o tomato and pickles on the side - Hi Life Burgers

7. Curly Fries w/ buttermilk ranch dipping sauce - Jack in the Box

6. Beef Kebab Plate - Mediterranean Cafe

5. Double Cheesburger - Tommy's

4. "The Widow Maker" - Claim Jumpers

3. Fish Tacos - Taco Nazo

2. Super Nachos - Albertos

1. House Special Noodles - Townsend

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Libation Series: Easy Citrus Punch


The great thing about summer is that you have more time to spend with friends outdoors. And what better way to spend time with friends than to share a drink? Starting today I'l share some recipes for exceptional summertime concoctions that will surely liven up any summer gathering.

Today I'll be sharing the recipe for a great tasting citrus punch that doesn't take much and is hard to get wrong.

Ingredients:
Lots of Ice
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Two liter bottle of 7-Up
1 Bottle of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
1 Pint of orange juice
1 Pint of Lemonade (Tart lemonade works better as oppose to sweet)


Fill the half of a large punch bowl with ice. Add the whole bottle of 7-UP, 1 pint of lemonade, 1 pint of orange juice and 2/3 the bottle of Captain Morgan to the punch bowl. Cut the lemon and the orange in half. Remove seeds from the lemon and orange and squeeze half the orange and half the lemon into the punch bowl. Slice the remaining halves of the lemon and orange to garnish. Mix and Serve.


The end result is sweet, smooth refreshing drink, very similar to Cactus Cooler.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rule #5

Do not apply hair gel before you go to the gym, basketball court, track etc.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Texting Your Way to Love: College Dating in a Nutshell

The other day my brother sent me this hilarious video. Check it out.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top 10 Underrated Disney Characters


Not too many people know this but one of my first jobs was at the Disney Store. Despite the embarrassing short sleeved denim shirts, next-to-nothing wage and non-stop Disney Channel promos looping all day long, I had a good time. I worked with great people and gained a great understanding of customer service. By far, the most gratifying skill I took from my two year stint at the Disney Store was the ability to recognize obscure Disney characters.


Here are a few of my favorite Disney characters who are often overshadowed.

10. Mowgli - The Jungle Book

9. Cpt. Li Shang - Mulan

8. Alan Bradley - Tron

7. Gaston - Beauty and the Beast

6. Crush - Finding Nemo

5. The Jamaican Bob Sled Team - Cool Runnings

4. Kuzco - The Emperor's New Groove

3. Ludwig Von Drake - He's Donald Duck's uncle. Very smart guy. Hosted various Disney programs made some cameos on Duck Tales etc.

2. Cliff Secord - The Rocketeer

1. Yeti - Monsters, Inc.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Rule #4

The Talk Box is the best instrument ever invented.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rule #3

Otaku is the Japanese word for the enthusiast whose enthusiasm borders on extreme geekiness

More Than the Meat Off the Grill


Saturday was one of those mornings when I woke up drenched in my own sweat and immediately regretted leaving the windows open. But the first and most brutally hot day of an expected 4-day heat wave didn't stop thousands from flooding Madison Square Park for the 6th annual Big Apple Bar-Be-Cue.


Every year the the nation's best pitmasters tow their gargantuan smokers across the country and converge in Madison Square Park. The event is not much of a competition but rather a showcase and celebration. There is no better venue for a BBQ event of this magnitude than NYC. The success of such Manhattan BBQ joints such as Blue Smoke, Hill Country and Dinosaur, have ignited a new appreciation in NY foodies for the meticulous cooking methods, various styles and spices that define American BBQ. A recent article in New York Magazine asked if BBQ was the new deli.

Among the many highlights of the event was a Q&A with 10x World BBQ Champion pitmaster Chris Lilli and 3x Grand Master Champion of the Memphis in May (aka the "Super Bowl of Swine") Mike Mills. To say these men know BBQ would be an understatement. These men do more than smoke meats for a living, they are true ambassadors of a great American tradition. They spoke of flavor profiles, described competitions, and in his closing statement Mills summed up what BBQ was all about. Mills said it best when he described the Big Apple BBQ. He explained that winning the competitions are such a small part of BBQ, he emphasized how great BBQ doesn't require the best equipment and that the best and most significant part of events like these was bringing people together. Here people of all cooking styles, tastes, preferences and backgrounds can come together and fill the hot and muggy Manhattan air with a single plume of smoke for which all mouths water. "It's about the friends you make... and the joy you get from giving people tips and helping them".

Friday, June 06, 2008

Rule # 2

Never trust a grown man who refers to the men's restroom as the "little boys room"

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Reborn



One saturday morning when I was 12 my dad woke my brothers and I up with great news. He was taking us to meet the Lakers. We made the drive out to Inglewood and I had no idea what to expect. I still remember looking out the window from the back seat of my dad's car and seeing airplanes fly low to make their approach into LAX.

Every year the Lakers had a "Jam Session" where a couple of hundred lucky kids got to meet the Laker Girls, see cool exhibits and meet and greet with their favorite Laker. The hype at that year's Jam Session was the recent acquisition of a superstar center from Orlando by the name of O'Neal and a 17 year old high school kid who the Hornets drafted but refused to play for anyone but the Lakers. That summer Jerry West traded Vlade Divac for Charlotte's third string guard with a Japanese name who spoke Italian. It was this summer that two key pieces of the rebirth of the Laker Dynasty fell into place. In the next two years plans for a new and improved arena in downtown were underway and a legendary coach from Chicago would come out of retirement to help a troubled but talented young team.

Tonight millions of Angelenos will tune in and watch something much more than just a basketball game. When the Lakers dominated the finals in 2000, L.A. was in desperate need for a championship team. The city came together and almost didn't know how to handle it. It was the turn of the millennium and with economic development that came with the Staples Center in and around the downtown area people could see the city transforming. Lakers flags waved from nearly every car on the street. The city was alive again! After a 3 years absence from the finals LA is hungry again.

Whether you love them or hate them. The Lake Show... Showtime... The Los Angeles Lakers are more than just a franchise.. They are a Dynasty. They add to the NBA real-life drama, scandal, heartache, passion and tradition.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Five Food Factories


Unfortunately I don't know 10 different food places to eat with the name "Factory". Truth be told, if I did know 10 places these five would be the only ones I would suggest. So this Wednesday I can only do a top 5 list.


5. CheeseSteak Factory (New York, NY) - Great for late night eats in SoHo

4. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (New York, NY) - Rich old-fashioned ice cream with traditional and exotic flavors (e.g. mango, pina colada, taro)

3. Cheesecake Factory (various locations) - The one thing that puts this place at number 3 are their fried macaroni balls (pictured above). Try them!

2. Taco Factory (Tustin, California) - I've only been once, but they've got huge servings for cheap and delicious carne asada.

1. Kebab Factory (New York, NY) - The best new thing on Curry Hill. $6.95 for unlimited kebabs, naan and basmati rice!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Rules of Game: Rule #1

Starting today my blog will feature what I like to think of as "rules" that all of us should at least take note of, if not live by. (I think I just broke ten grammatical rules in that last sentence).

Sometimes these rules will spawn from my extreme responses to daily events (like my bad posts) and sometimes they will be completely random (like my worse posts). And yes, if you're wondering, this is a shameless imitation of Esquire's rules and the "Man Law" in recent Budweiser commercials. I can only hope to be as egregiously sexist and witty as they have.

Without a better way to explain these rules, I'll just give you one already:


RULE #1: If Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain ever fight in a cage match for rights to the nickname "A.B."... put your money on Tony.



                 

               VS.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Half-time: Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Vorrei scrivere questo post in italiano in modo che possa parlare ai miei visitatori internazionali. Questo è anche un buon opportunita' di praticare italiano.

Stasera, se sei una bambina di età tra 19 e 23 si sono probabilmente in linea di attesa per ottenere le "Carried Away" nella parte prima di "Sex and the City Movie". Questo è perfetto, perché la loro boyfriend's sono probabilmente, come me, stanno guardando la gioco dei Lakers.

Se si è italiano o parla italiano scusa me perche non parlo bene ancora. Me dispiace per miei errori. Sono solo un principiante.

Fino a quando la prossima volta! In inglese ho promessa.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Return of the Top 10 List!

It has been a long time since I've been able to whip up a clever new weekly top 10 list. But I'm glad to say that at least for today... It's back!

While on the subject of triumphant returns today's list highlights my top ten favorite movie sequels.


10. Rocky II - Mr. T as Clubber Lang

9. Toy Story 2 - Classic Pixar

8. X2: X-Men United - Very cool finally seeing my favorite comic book characters in action

7. Kill Bill vol. 2 - My favorite style of fight choreography

6. Batman Returns - Great Tim Burton film

5. Back to the Future Part 2 - I can't wait until the auto adjust Nikes come out

4. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey - I have "God Gave Rock n' Roll To You" by KISS on my iPod because of this movie

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Non-stop action from beginning to end

2. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Billy Dee Williams (that's all I need to say)

1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day - This is just one of my favorite movies period.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

6 Degrees

In recent months, more so than at any other time I can recall, I've realized that the world is a smaller place than everyone probably thinks. I used to think of the "size" of this world in a physical way. I imagined obscure patches of wilderness in far away places that few have laid eyes on, animals deep in the Amazon that have yet to lay their eyes on modern civilization etc. However, now I tend to think of this world in terms of human relationships. You might say that this sounds very obvious and simple given the highly advanced communications technology of today. You would be right. But what I mean by "human relationships" is
the fabled six degrees of separation that connect all people on earth. I don't exactly know the origins of that theory, which initially caused me to be a skeptic. If you really think about it, according to this theory, there is a new-born baby in the middle of China somewhere (hopefully far from the wreck left from the recent earthquake) that is connected to you via 5 degrees of separation. This isn't easy to swallow.

But like I said- more than ever I have come to observe the truth in this. For example, I'll turn on the TV and see a people I can trace my connection to and watch movies based on stories based on those people, I'll turn on my iPod and hear People Under the Stairs rap about my after-school hang-out in middle school, I'll eat on campus at a popular chicken sandwich place that owes it's existence to a friend of a friend. At the train station last weekend on the way to Fire Island, a young girl enters the same car as my friends and I. She attended the same high school as one of my other friends and was going to meet the same group of people we were. The week before that, while in San Francisco I came across an old friend who currently lives in a remote village in Germany.

These are just a few arbitrary and for the most part material examples of the point I'm trying to get at. I guess the real meaning of my post tonight is that the world is a more interdependent and connected community than we think. Don't be the person who goes day-in and day-out with a care-free attitude that is supposed to be an excuse to be bitter, or lazy and complain about everything. Anyone can not give a damn about anything. I hate when people justify their apathy with a false sense of "freedom" and a wise-ass smirk that leads them to believe they know something no one else does.

Before this post itself becomes a bitter tirade I'll stop at this: Someone I respect once explained to me how he made the most of his improbable life. He broke it down simply and thought that we could all make the most of our lives simply by thinking hard, feeling deeply, and continuing to build positive relationships with the people that surround us and always thinking about the future.

As little as the world is today, there aren't many things out there that should keep us all from being at the very least, considerate.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Al Prossimo Anno

As I battled a vicious cold last weekend I began to wonder if Bay to Breakers would live up to all the hype. After a long night of improbable events in Berkeley, two friends and I made our way back into an unusually quiet San Francisco. Because on the third Sunday in May, the freaks don't come out at night in America's favorite city by the bay... they come out at the crack of dawn.


A few hours later we woke up and rode a bus into the "panhandle". The rest was really all a blur. It's funny watching the sea of runners pass by and evolve from serious packs of runners to middle aged walkers in costume- then come the younger crowd of people who are just old enough to have a good time and dress up but too old to get wasted in the street. At this point nudist pepper the crowd on the street that is now twice as dense as half an hour ago. By 9:30 locals on Fell St. were blasting "Rhythm of the Night" and sending people out on beer runs. Somewhere along the way a photographer from the chronicle took a picture of my friends and I pouring beer down our throats from some bizarre frat-house contraption.

Hours later I sat around a cramped table at Blue Front Cafe on Haight (go there) and stuffed my face with a Chicken Ranch Wrap (order one), which pretty much epitomizes my idea of comfort food. They're massive wraps stuffed with lettuce, tomato, grilled chicken, ranch, bacon, ham and topped with melted provolone. The best part is this semi-spicy orange sauce that comes on the side.... mmmmm...

Now that I've finally fully recovered from all the weekend's festivities my friends and I are already talking about next year. But until then I'll have the fifty thousand pictures that have been tagged of me online to remind me of what I'll be doing next May...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Perfect Day

In 9 hours I'll be on a plane back to LA. There is nothing like leaving cold, damp New York City for time in the best city on the planet. Great weather, amazing food and home of the Lakers, the soon-to-be 2008 NBA Champions.

This video says it all...



Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Countdown to Bay to Breakers 2008


It's just one of those things that everyone should do at least once in their life. The world's oldest consecutively held annually foot race across San Francisco has drawn in millions to be part of the spectacle. The anticipation is killing me as the third Sunday in May quickly approaches.

For the past couple of years my brothers and I have made it a point to be a part of the festivities. It seems like every year the group that makes the trip to Bay to Breakers has gotten a little bigger, a little crazier and a lot more fun. This year it looks like that trend will continue as our group grows by the day!

As a token of appreciation for reading this post I would like to invite you to join in on the party. I know it might be hard for that reader in Florida (thanks by the way)... but for those of you in California (Valley Village, Los Angeles, Fountain Valley, Alviso, and especially San Francisco) feel free to come to the corner of Fell St. and Stanyon on the morning of Sunday May 18th. We will be raging. Expect the 7 B's : Bands, Booze, Blueman Group, Babes, Byron and of course... Balloons... of the water variety.


See you there!