Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wednesday Top Ten List

This week's "Top Ten" is dedicated to words or phrases that make me cringe. Some of these are just subtle word choices that I for some odd reason always pick up, sound awkward or bother me. You hear them all the time. Others on the list include words or phrases that are overused or misused and end up sounding stupid or corny (but not corny in a good way).

Ascending in order from bearable to "I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that"

1. "Next on the line"-  (as oppose to "in line") I think this is a regional thing.

2. "Who of you" (ex. "It would be who of you to make sure you arrive on time.")

3. "Inebriated"- You were not that drunk after 1 and a half cranberry vodkas

4. "Berate"- This is directed to my teammates, but seriously... What happened to "bagging"?

5. "Blast Dookies"- (ex. "Dude, I gotta go blast some dookies.) I actually like this one.. I just wanted to share it : )

6. When girls or homo-normative males use "bitch", "slut" or "whore" as a term of endearment.

7. "Preggers"- That doesn't even make sense.

8. "Party Foul!"- That's just old... and come on it was an accident.

9.  When people announce uncomfortable situations by saying "Awkward!"-  That is just plain immature whether you are completely unaffected by the situation or if it actually makes you       uneasy.

10. Ending correspondence in "Cheers" or "Best" (and you are not from London, Ireland or Australia)- Best what? And unfortunately I am not reading your Email at a bar.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Tuesday! & Del Posto

Tonight a few friends and I decided to go to celebrity chef Mario Batali's Del Posto. The decor was stunning.  Everything about the interior from the elegant marble staircase and  grand piano to the mini ottomans set beside womens' chairs to hold their purses made this scene one of the best looking indoor spaces in the city. The menu showcased authentic, rich italian dishes with an excellent wine and rare beer selection to top it off.

Del Posto is definitely a date scene. This is a place to go for the experience, not if you're hungry. The servings were disappointingly small but offered a unique take on Italian and exemplified the detail and intricacies that characterize Batali's trademark style. The excellent service including compliments from the chef before and after dinner were another highlight of the night.

Go to Del Posto and see smell and taste for yourself what many acclaim as one of NYC's premier dining Establishments. 

Happy tuesday.. hang in there only a couple of more days of this week to go. Here is a song to help you unwind after a shitty Tuesday at school or work or wherever you are.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Personal Belongings

Every year the equipment room at the gym issues all athletes new work out clothes (e.g. Powerliners, socks, towels, shorts, shoes, jump rope, shirts, etc.) and a personal laundry bag so that after you work out you can have your sweaty clothes washed. However, the equipment room that issues the gear and does the laundry has strict rules when it comes to the laundry bags. Come to think of it there are really only two things to remember. 1) don't forget to seal your bag 2) Never put personal belongings in your bag.- The following account is true although some names have been altered. -

It all began last December... It was finals week. I had two of the hardest finals of my life coming up and I was operating on little sleep. I left the gym that day in a hurry because I had to make it up to Harlem for an interview. It would be my last work out until I returned to NY after break. Now I don't remember this happening, but apparently when I sealed my bag I left a huge hole in the opening... I broke the first rule and I was going to pay.

In January I got back to the equipment room and requested my laundry bag. It was all in slow motion as "Baron" the equipment room guru came from behind the steel cage with an empty laundry bag. It was like he was playing a practical joke on me. "I know he doesn't think I turned in an empty laundry bag." I thought to myself. I opened up the bag only to find a lone shriveled sock. My gear was lost in the mystery that lurks behind the steal cage at Coles Sports Recreation Center, in a sea of random sports equipment that only a select few can navigate.

I was pissed so I decided to start working out in my own workout clothes, and washing them in my laundry bag. I blatantly broke the second rule in retaliation for my lost clothes. Little did I know that the equipment room Nazi, "Gulliver" and his loyal wench "Tina" had other plans...

I had a perfect plan. I would only put shirts in the laundry bag that looked like the issued shirts so my bag wouldn't stand out... and then when they least expect it I would get bold and sneak in a white shirt or maybe a blue shirt. So my plan worked well until about a week ago.

I got my bag back after the long weekend and to my surprise I was missing some clothes again (my shirts and a towel). Baron and I trade glances as I quickly grab the bag and retreat to the locker room to investigate what happened. There have beenrumors of the equipment room confiscating personal belongings in laundry bags but I never really believed them.

"They took my shirts!" I announced in the locker room and I couldn't even ask for them back without awkwardly admitting that I have been in violation of their strictest policy. Out of principle I would not admit my wrong-doing and let them keep the shirts.

In the waning days of the season the running gag in the wrestling room was "What the hell is Byron wearing today?".. I had no issued clothing left and resorted to sweatshirts, t-shirts from home and on one occasion, the top we use for competition.

Yesterday was the last workout of the year and I decided to admit defeat, bite the bullet and ask the equipment room for my shirts back. As I made my way into the equipment room a figure emerged from the steal cage behind the counter. It was Baron... and he was wearing my shirt!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Season's End Pt. 2

Another year and another season under my belt. Thankfully this year my record has improved significantly, but enough about me... with a 16-1 record and the UAA championship this year's team is the best in NYU history! Who would have thought after our rough home opener against TCNJ that we would end the season in the top 15 teams in the nation?

Last night as I walked backwards westbound on 14th street trying to watch the lunar eclipse I realized that I don't have much to complain about nowadays. Now that wrestling is out of the way I already feel like I have so much more time to do things that I never had the chance to do. More food, more happy hour, more studying even. Just more time makes me so happy.

To celebrate my first week free from wrestling I''ve decided to go see "Be Kind Rewind" this weekend. I'll make sure to post a review.

Meanwhile.... enjoy ringing in another great Spring... here is some music to help you visualize some happy spring gatherings.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wednesday's 10

I might have mentioned before that I listen to music constantly. It's just a habit I picked up in the city to make the commute a little more bearable.

I'm not saying I have a better taste in music than anyone else. In fact, all I am is a music fan.. I'm no aficionado. In my eyes, or I guess I mean to say to my ears, good music is relative. Like the way 90s alternative rock sounds so much better when being blasted in a bar or the way Eye of the Tiger only sounds good when your about to work out or before a big game.

Every morning I make it a point to put on music that gets me ready for the long day ahead- "Morning Motivators" if you will. Here are my top 10. (#1 Being the best.)

1. Raphael Saadiq- Doin' What I Can
2. Shuggie Otis- Inspiration Information
3. Father MC- I'll Do 4 U
4. Bill Withers- Lovely Day
5. Jay-Z- December 4th
6. People Under the Stairs- Hang Loose
7. Phoenix- Long Distance Call
8. Steely Dan- Peg
9. Bruce Springsteen- Hungry Heart
10. Electric Light Orchestra- Don't Let Me Down

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

That catchy guitar part in that Sting song a couple of days ago got me thinking of another classic hit. This video speaks for itself. No drawn out back story needed. Just enjoy the holiday and take a break from watching Serendipity, put down the Oatmeal Cookie Raisin Ben & Jerry's and peep this motivational video. This one is for all the ex's out there.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Top Ten List

One thing that I've always envisioned for my blog was a weekly tradition... you might recall "Champ/Chump" of the Week" or how I tried to designate a day to post about food. That is, until I realized I think about food too often to limit myself to blogging about it once a week. Those weekly initiatives failed. So I'm going to start small and commit myself to posting a "Top Ten" list every Wednesday.

My first top ten list needs a little back story. It is an homage to a popular wrestling t-shirt (folkstyle/collegiate. Not WWE). To a certain extent this t-shirt may very well be the one common bond that brings high schools wrestlers across the nation together. I speak of course of the infamous "Top Ten Reasons To Date a Wrestler" shirt. Every kid who has wrestled in high school either owns this shirt, knows someone who owns it or wishes they owned it. I could probably name five people who own it not including myself. To call the shirt corny would be an understatement and there really wasn't anything special about it. The shirt is simply ten common wrestling facts turned into sexual innuendoes (e.g. "#4 always wears his head gear", "#7 will eat anything" and my personal favorite "#6 Knows How To Ride"). You get the picture. In retrospect, wearing the shirt was really more like wearing a "badge of loyalty" if you wil. The shirt is so popular that it has become more of a token to the wrestling community.

A Mason once told me that all Masonic brothers learn secret codes that are made to act as beacons. There are secret gestures or code words that one can say when they are in distress so that if a nearby brother is present they can assist their fellow Mason. So, wearing the shirt is kind of the same thing. It's like a shout out to any wrestlers who might be around. you're saying to them "Hey, I too was stuck in a gym on a Saturday so long that I actually thought this was cool and buying this lame ass shirt was the best part of my day."

In honor of the Top Ten Reasons to Date a Wrestler shirt... here are the Top Ten Signs Wrestling Dictates Your Life:

1. You have a Wrestling USA tattoo or a tattoo of equal insignificance somewhere on your body
2. You have special underwear for weigh ins/ pajama pants for tournaments
3. You can't stand to eat energy bars between March and September
4. You have posted on a local wrestling forum
5. Your high school wrestling coach is in your cell phone.
6. You haven't had a real Thanksgiving dinner in more than 3 years
7. You know the name of every Gatorade flavor (e.g. Riptide Rush, Fierce Melon, X-Factor etc.)
8. You have torn your ACL or know someone who has
9. You have a pair of jeans that don't fit in the winter
10. You own a Top Ten Reasons Shirt

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"The Professional"

Here is a really catchy Sting song I first heard at the end of the movie "The Professional". The movie is about a hit man, Leon, employed by an Italian mob boss (a.k.a Sal from Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing"). He takes in a mischievous young orphan girl (Natalie Portman) who quickly takes an interest to Leon's "line of work".

The movie has always been a favorite of mine because it's not just a shoot-em-up action movie like the Matrix. It's a great story about friendship, loyalty, revenge and personal growth. You see a young girl who learns to be a professional killer and a professional killer rediscover a life he once had.

The movie is a must-see. This is Sting with a cool acoustic version of "Shape of My Heart" off "The Professional" soundtrack.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Another Way Google is Slowly Taking Over the World

News about Microsoft's recent plans to acquire Yahoo! in attempt to compete with the rapid growth of Google made me realize that Google is doing everything... literally. The word "Google" doesn't even show up underlined red when I type it. Wait... infact, the website I use to post this blog (Blogger.com) is now run by Google! That says something.

I find myself repeatedly amazed by the ingenuity and technological advancements of Google's new online services. As if Google Earth and Google Talk didn't leave me speechless (no pun intended), the other day at work I was introduced to what is now my favorite Google application of all time, at least until the Google Chili Cheeseburger comes out next May.

I've been working with a popular website at work lately and one of the ways the marketing team tracks the site traffic is with a tool called Google Analytics. I am a fan of metrics and useless specific data as nerdy as that sounds so this is right up my alley!

I can't even begin to explain the capabilities of this program. You put a tracker on your website that detects the visitors' IP address, and the next day you can use Google Analytics to view reports on very very specific details about the site traffic. So for example, the other day at at work I was playing with an account and was able to see stats like average page views per visitor, average time each page was viewed, how the visitors found the site (including what key words they used to find the site), trends in traffic over months, visitors broken down by region and even by city. So if I wanted I could view how many people in London visited my site for the first time on February 2nd.

It's a really amazing tool. Hopefully one day if my blog gets popular I'll use it to track site traffic on this blog. As of right now I wouldn't be able to stand seeing how few people read this... and even if I did get a good amount of views the brutal honesty of Google's analytical prowess would reveal it was only my roommate's computer that I used to check my own blog.... : (

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I hope you'll forgive the incredibly dull title. That's not to say that any of my other titles are any more clever ( see previous post). But I simply have so much to talk about that I might blow your mind with everything that has been going on.

I'll start with Sunday. The performance of the New York Giants was simply inspiring. I imagine every sports analyst/columnist in the country lost a little sleep on Sunday night thinking of what they would say after they had just been proven wrong. I have always been a fan of the underdog. Maybe its because I've been the underdog a few times, or maybe its my competitive side that wanted to see the Patriots lose for once more than anything else. When it comes down to it I have nothing but respect for the Giants who despite the critics and analyst, played football with a sense of urgency and desire that is rarely seen in professional sports these days. The Giants win on Sunday showed the world that sometimes statistics and predictions should be taken for exactly what they are.. statistics and predictions. Which is exactly what we saw two days later, on Super Tuesday

I spent my evening at a campaign headquarters tonight (The one not in Chicago) and waited as results came in. The atmosphere was something familiar I just couldn't put my finger on it. The distinct feeling that I've been to a similar event lingered as I watched the media, supporters, donors, elected officials make their rounds in the packed ballroom. I thought back and as the chants and cheers grew louder it hit me. I realized where I had seen this before...

At my high school the most anticipated day of the year wasn't homecoming, not spring break, not even prom. In South Pasadena there is an age old tradition that dates back to the pre war era.The day of the first home football game is Color Day. The students come dressed in completely orange and black costumes. They plan ahead for months even years thinking of costumes. On a side note, in many ways the group of people you dressed up with and the quality of your costumes seemed to be some sort of symbol of social status, which in retrospect makes me cringe but that's another story. The main event of the day is held in the gymnasium where the bleachers are sectioned off by graduating year and a series of competitions take place center stage that pit all the grades against each other.

In many ways the campaign celebration tonight was a lot like Color Day. The deafening roar of the crowd and the clever chants that make your throat feel soar and your ears ring were all a familiar feeling, the energy level and the overall positive atmosphere were all so familiar. Except there were more drunk people there tonight. Overall it was a memorable night and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go. Plus, Bill was there.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chimay on Down!

"The day you meet the unique richness of a Chimay will be unforgettable. After that, on special occasions you will meet it again with pleasure"

Only 6 beers bear the title "Trappist"... these beers are brewed within the confines of a Trappist monastery. Unfiltered. Never pasteurized and made with the protected water from the abbey's wells. A percentage of revenue support the charitable works monks.

Okay I'm pretty short on material, I know. But there are so many things going on right now that I don't have a place to start. Don't lose faith though. Pending the result of tomorrows big game I'll have some historic posts coming your way!