Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Bose"ting the Best In Sound Technology

Ever since I bought the Bose Sounddock in 2006 I've been spoiled with excellent sound quality. I'm addicted to great sound quality. First I bought the travel case so that I could take my Sounddock with me on trips. Then I began to resent the tinny sound quality of my headphones so I saved up for the OE Triport Headphones so I could experience the magic of Bose's superior sound quality on my daily commute.

The only problem I've ever had was that I used my headphones so much that the cord became worn and I lost sound on the left ear. But when I called Bose to tell them about it I was amazed by their extraordinary level of customer service. I wasn't kept on hold for more than 30 seconds, the representative was very polite and eager to resolve my issue. He quickly replaced the defective part and expedited the shipping. He even sent an extra cord so it wouldn't happen again.

If you do not care for excellent quality then you must not have listened to music on Bose headphones and I strongly recommend you do so. If the prices aren't worth the sound quality than the customer service definitely is.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Strictly Business

Dress codes can be tricky. When it comes to dressing up for specific occasions many people make the mistake of dressing up too much. I hate the saying, "It's better to be overdressed than underdressed". I would hate to be the only guy in a 3 piece suit at a bar as much as I would hate to be the only guy in sandals at a wedding. My point is, that it isn't just a matter of "Formal v. Informal" , "Tie or no tie" and "Dress shirt or T shirt".

In what I like to think of as a "Dress Code Continuum" there lies "Black Tie" on one end and "Casual" on the other. In between these two extremes are distinct dress codes that are separated by distinct elements. Here are some general rules that my tailor, Joseph gave me:

-"Business Casual" means don't wear a tie
- The coat of a 2 piece suit cannot be doubled as a sports coat/blazer
-Bring your dress shoes to the tailor when altering dress pants
- When wearing a tie, the point should fall towards the center of your belt buckle
- Suit pants with tapered legs are more for parties or social events rather than the work place
- always button the middle button of a 3 button coat or the top button of a 2 button coat. Never button the last button.
-It's better to have a better fit than a better brand
-Casual means jeans are allowed (but only dark washes)

It is important to fall within the constrains of the appropriate dress code for many reasons. 1) Being dressed inappropriately can be embarrassing 2) Ignoring the dress code of a party might offend the host and therefore be disrespectful 3) Dressing appropriately shows you are mature, pay attention to details and professional in the work place

In general, it is best to follow dress codes out of respect and to make sure you are comfortable in a situation. Of course these rules only meant to be strictly followed for things like the workplace and large social functions. When you are with friends family you can use your best judgement on what is appropriate attire.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Anchor Bar and the Queen of Wings

In Buffalo everyone has a favorite wing place. I was torn, there were a couple of places the locals mentioned but we only had time for one place. Where would I go for wings on my last night in Buffalo? I had to get an expert opinion. I decided to take this question to The Wing King.

On Food Network, Bobby Flay hosts a show called "Throw Down". He travels the country and challenges people to a cook-off of their award winning dishes. In the first season he challenged the "Wing King of Buffalo" and lost.

With the help of my roommate I was able to track down the Wing King and get his number. The phone rang and a woman picked up. It was the Wing King's wife. I explained to her that I was a life-long wing lover and was in Buffalo in search of the best wings the town had to offer. She said that the Wing King had "just stepped out" ( the Wing King is a very busy man). She was happy to help me and informed me that the Wing King would send me to Duff's, a local favorite. I thanked her and told her to give my regards to the King.

In the end the decision was out of my control and our coaching staff had it's heart set on Anchor Bar. I was okay with that. I figured that everyone real wing fan had to make the trip at least once.

On October 3, 1964 Frank Belissimo, owner of the Anchor Bar (Buffalo, NY) had some friends over after hours and served them up a special dish. They were fried chicken wings dipped in a mixture of Frank's special hot sauce and butter. The wings were a hit and the rest is history.

Almost 44 years later, I had finally arrived at the birthplace of my favorite food. The building is a lot bigger than I ever imagined. The walls were covered in license plates and vintage motor cycles were proudly hung on the walls surrounding the bar.

I had a split a bucket of 50 wings with my teammate. They were big, meaty wings, fried to perfection. The sauce was comfortably spicy and didn't over power the taste of the chicken. Initially I was afraid that the sauce would be too buttery, but to my surprise the consistency of the sauce was thinner than typical wing sauces.

Although it may be hard to admit, the wings alone were not anything spectacular. They were better than the average wing of course, but had nothing that set them apart from all the other good wings I've had. My trip to the Anchor Bar was symbolic, more of a formality for me, I had to try the original.

Now that I've tried the original the next step is finding the best. I've heard of a chain called Quaker Steak and Lube that has boasted "America's #1 Buffalo Wing"... My quest continues.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Buffalo, NY... Home of the Wing

It seems like every weekend I find myself closer and closer to Canada. This weekend I'm in Buffalo, NY for the New York State Collegiate Wrestling Championships, but more importantly I am in the birthplace of the Buffalo wing!

As my close friends could tell you, Buffalo Wings have always been a favorite of mine. I order them everywhere and have become kind of an unofficial Buffalo Wing authority. On Saturday evening we have made plans for dinner at the Anchor Bar (home of the first Buffalo Wing) and you can count on a thorough review of those wings on Sunday Morning.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something About Us

As I woke up this morning and opened the blinds this song immediately came to mind. Maybe it was the weather or the blur of radiant colors on the crowded street below that reminded me of the first time I watched Interstella 5555.

This is the song that made me a Daft Punk fan. An instant classic. Note that I have chosen to display the episode from Interstella 5555 as oppose to the other video. I hadn't seen Interstella 5555 (the visual realization of the "Discovery" album) until long after I had first heard the song. When I saw the way the song was interpreted through anime and in the context of this story the song took on new meanings and I was able to appreciate it on another level. If you haven't seen it yet then I hope it does the same for you.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Two Boots Pizzeria

I'll always remember my first slice of a real New York City pizza. It was a humid August day. I had just moved to the city and finished unpacking my room. I was excited to explore my new neighborhood and begin my hunt for go-to food spots. I flipped through a stack of menus on the kitchen counter when a bright yellow brochure caught my eye. It wasn't a typical pizza place. It was an Italian pizzeria with a Cajun flair hence the name "Two Boots", as in both the boot of Italy and Louisiana (which is also boot shaped). The menu boasted specialty pizzas with ingredients like shrimp (Bayou Beast), bacon cheeseburger (The Dude), and buffalo chicken (The Bird). I liked the concept of the pizza place. The pizzas were named after characters from TV and film classics like "Mr. Pink" from Reservoir Dogs and "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski.

Even after tasting some of NY's award winning pizzas, I'll always be able to appreciate the latest concoction from the kitchen of Two Boots.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hungry for Haribo

For the past week I've been craving gummy candy. It all started a few months ago when one of my roommates came back from Germany with bags of candy. We had candy for days.

Some of my favorite candies were these gummy candies made by a German company called Haribo (my French teammate Clem informs me the correct pronunciation is "HAW-gle- Bo"). They make everything from gummy bears, gummy frogs, gummy cherries and gummy coke bottles.

I recently discovered that they carry Haribo candies at the bodega downstairs and ever since then I've been snacking on gummy frogs like it was my job.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Like Clockwork

Since I've arrived back in New York my life has consisted of three things. Wrestling, eating and sleeping. Through winter break our team trains twice a day at the same exact time 6 days a week. At this point its not so much a physical challenge as it is a mental one. There is little room for anything other than these practices nowadays so everyone has their daily routine.

My day begins at 10am. The alarm on my phone vibrates twice then plays "The Entertainer". I hit snooze twice and get out of bed. My roommates are all just getting out of bed too. Together we get on the 6 train and when I get out and walk up the stairs I smell the breakfast from the Noho Star. On cold days my roommate points out his favorite patch of ice as we cross Crosby and then we go to practice. We leave the gym at around 12:30 go home and watch TV until the next work out. We repeat the subway ride at 3:45 and go back to the gym. After the afternoon workout we grab a slice at Two Boots and fantasize about the Hickory Burger at Houston's.

It finally occurred to me today that these things I have described happen literally everyday at the same time! It's kind of like that mid 90s comedy Ground Hog Day, starring Bill Murray. Remember Punxsatawney Phil?

I never thought having no responsibilities other than wrestling could be so depressing! Well the good news is that this weekend will finally bring a change in scenery as we leave to the Plymouth State Invitational in New Hampshire tomorrow.

Unless the hotel in NH has free WiFi I won't be able to post until Monday. Adios!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Equivocally "Changing" the Game

Unless you've been in a coma for the last year or have been watching too much Survivor Man on your DVR than you've heard about the heated battle for the White House unfolding in recent months.

As we all know often times in elections (especially modern presidential elections) , rhetoric is the weapon of choice for candidates blazing the campaign trail. While logic and reason can change the voters' mind, rhetoric and emotion can change their hearts. This is not to say that anything is wrong with the use rhetoric and as history has shown, the best leaders have mastered its art. However, what a candidate gains in eloquence by the use of rhetoric is lost in ambiguity. This, I believe, is where the true danger in the power of rhetoric in politics lies. With so many clashing opinions on subjects across the board it is hard for one to keep track of each candidates unique definitions or terminology. For example in the 2004 elections words like "patriotic", "support for troops" and "national security" meant completely different things to John Kerry and George W. Bush.

In 2008, already in the primaries we've seen a similar effect take place. Specifically with the word "change", a bizarre shift in meaning has taken place between different candidates. It is a word that is being heard in every speech and on seen on every poster. Barack Obama introduced the idea of "Change We Can Believe In" to symbolizes a vision of "new politics" characterized by bipartisan politics and broader coalitions. Then just before the Iowa Caucuses Sen. Hillary Clinton positioned herself as a candidate for "change". The Clinton campaign however, uses the phrase "Ready for Change" to illustrate a need for change in status quo (i.e. the current administration). She also uses it to mean that she is ready to make changes on the first day and to promise immediate results or changes when she takes office.

After the success of Obama's campaign for "change" in the Iowa Caucus several other candidates have adopted the idea of "change" (e.g. Romney, Huckabee, Edwards). Romney's says "We all want change... not necessarily in the White House, but inWashington". While it might not be perfectly clear what Mitt Romney meant by that, what is important to note here is that we see multiple meanings in the word "change". Each candidate has shaped its meaning in order to fit their campaign.

When the exit polls showed that voters were responding to Obama's message of "change" all the other candidates wanted to cash in on the momentum and somehow incorporate "change" into their own message. Now all we hear about is change.

With all the talking heads and pundits in the media paired with the vague rhetorical messages of candidates deciding on a candidate can be a puzzle. Today's elections are no longer about who is right, but who can seem right. That is precisely why we rely on the rhetoric. In the end we're all playing the same game-the candidates, both parties, the voters- everyone. We can only hope that in 2008 people will vote on the side of the real underdog this year... truth.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Little Ear Candy

You may have noticed a sweet new addition to the blog. What you are hearing is "Fall in Love" by Tortured Soul, a house/Soul/R&B group based here in NYC.

In 1992 two college students, John Christian Urich (aka Cooly) and Angela Johnson formed an R&B group that would echo the sounds of soulful R&B groups of the 70s. The group was called Cooly's Hot Box. In the past 15 years Cooly's Hot Box gained international acclaim and toured the UK, US and Japan.

Tortured Soul is one of the duo's more recent projects featuring Urich song writing and vocals.

If I had some sort of rating system for music this would receive top honors. I think Lenny Kravitz said it best when he described Tortured Soul's sound as the type of music he wakes up to on Saturday morning when the sun comes through the window.

Tortured Soul will be playing in Brooklyn on February 10th if anyone is interested in joining me!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Drivin' Me Wild

Tonight I cannot stop thinking about Lily Allen

I was first introduced to Lily Allen last summer. I have to admit that at first I had trouble taking her bubble gum pop beats seriously. I was quick to brand her as some sort of British Gwen Stefani that curses like a sailor. But then I heard a track called "Littlest Things" (easily the best track on the album). The ballad showed a softer side to the foul mouthed brit pop sensation and also showcased her vocal range.

I first saw this video on a plane to LA. The song is really catchy and I like when artists with such unique sounds collaborate. As if Kanye West and Common were not a enough, throwing Lily Allen into the equation makes a sure fire hit.

I guess what it comes down to is three things:

1) British accents are cute...
2) She has a nice voice
3) She some how makes wearing an astronaut suit and aviators sexy


And the Home of the Free!!!

This guy is awesome... I wonder if he woke up that morning and thought "When I get to the part I don't know I'll just wing it"

Monday, January 07, 2008


Five months ago on a sticky summer morning I was startled awake by a bang on my door. It was Adam, a young designer who used to sublet a room in my apartment. "Rise and shine Goliath! It's gladiator time"

Hours earlier I had stumbled into the apartment and he told me he was going to try out for American Gladiators and that I should come. After reminiscing about "The Eliminator" and our other favorite Am Glad (yea I call it that) games I promised I would come along and try out with him. We entertained the dream of being selected and even thought of gladiator names. I was Goliath and he was Gigantor. I didn't think he would actually expect me to go with him the next morning at 8am, but there I was half asleep without an excuse.

The audition went well. We were clearly the smallest people there but I didn't mind the skeptics who thought we were wasting our time. I finished the physical fitness test with a fast time and better than average reps on the pull up bar. I tried my best and thought I did well so I was happy.

Adam, my roommate and I felt proud walking out of the gym that morning and quickly found the nearest McDonalds.

I never heard back from NBC and frankly never really cared... that is, until tonight. All I wanted to do was order in some dinner and watch the BCS championship. After realizing I had an hour to kill before kickoff I decided to watch the premier of American Gladiators which I recorded last night. The show wasn't bad and it was nothing special. The interviews between games were cheesy but I let them slide, because I think they were done in authentic Am Glad corniness.

However, I had one major problem with the show that came in the second half. The third male contender was a undersized Asian guy called Moley. Immediately my roommates and had the same thought. That could/should have been me! I was supposed to be that little asian guy with speed and agility who could beat the Gladiators! Was it because Moley wore glasses? Or was it because he was soft spoken and exuded the demeanor stereotypical of Asian males in Hollywood. Did he know some Martial Art? Whatever it was that made them pick Moley over me it won't take him to the championship and in the end it was Am Glad's loss by not picking me.... right? : (

All I know is they better hope I don't try out for season 2. Because my quest isn't over and one day I will prevail. So watch out Titan! With your bleached eyebrows and chiseled features... You too Wolf guy! and don't think I've forgotten about you Toa... Mr. Subtly-racist Polynesian stereotype who chants gibberish... Goliath will not rest!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

Just when I thought my blog was forgotten like an old acquaintance, I decided to bring this blog back to life!

It's a new year and the curse that has plagued previous New Year's Eves has finally been broken. As my friends and I rang in the New Year dancing to Justin Timberlake under the fireworks that lit Central Park South I couldn't help but think about the year that lie ahead. I'm starting a new internship, I'll be traveling to Europe and I'll begin my senior year at NYU..... Oh! and how can I forget.. I'm back on facebook in 2008! That's right after a 5 month hiatus, Byron Tuyay is back on Facebook : )

With frequent updates this next year these exciting new adventures will surely make for amusing stories and commentary amidst the vivacious setting of Manhattan.