Sunday, December 13, 2009
This track has definitely changed my mind. Give it about 58 seconds and you'll be hooked. It reminds me of waiting in line for tacos past midnight when I go back to LA for the holidays.
Thanks to the bzablog's unofficial correspondent to the hipster world-- 'lil grumbles, who posted this vid recently on Facebook.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The first snow of year fell as we followed our noses across a strip mall parking lot in Arlington, VA. The entrance to Ray's Hell burger was virtually unmarked aside from the laminated menu taped up next to the door. It's your typical no-frills burger joint. The burger spoke for itself.
Behind every great burger is a carefully chosen bun. At RHB the buns are spongy, soft and moist. They soak up the juice from the burger well. I usually don't like seeds on buns, but the poppy seeds on the brioche buns at Ray's add a perfectly subtle hint of flavor. Like a kaiser roll, these buns are round on both ends almost making for a horizontally symmetrical burger (if not for the cheese and other tasty toppings).
Any burger lover can tell at first bite that these are made to perfection. The patties pack enough flavor to make you want to eat them plain. And if not for the abundant options of grilled savory goodness they offer as trimmings you just might.
I'll save you time and give you the two reasons you must go to Arlington before you die.
1)The Burger of Seville: seared foie gras, Sauteed mushrooms, Bordelaise sauce, white truffle oil.
2)The "Let's Get It On" burger: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Swiss & Vermont White Cheddar Cheeses, Cognac & Sherry Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Red Onions, Sauteed Peppers, Roasted Garlic, Lettuce & Tomato
Sunday, December 06, 2009
This is Coldplay with a warm rendition of a holiday classic that always makes me think of friends I won't be seeing around the holidays. I've been lucky enough to meet and have some great times with kind friends from various places. With so much going on it's unlikely that I'll get a chance to spend time with you all this holiday season. So here's one for all of you who won't be in or around LA or NYC this holiday season.
I'm back. After taking a 4 month hiatus to hit the books for the LSAT and settle into my new digs in the nation's capital I have officially got my groove back. The new posts I've got coming up are sure to be plump and delicious (like Angela Basset's lips).
In the past few months I've been making weekly trips to the supermarket. While trying to cook at home more I've come to the realization that you need some pretty *obscure ingredients to put together good food at home. I'll usually find myself one teaspoon short of cumin, or a sprig of rosemary short once dinner time rolls around. Ever since I had to leave the kitchen and run down the street for some dried onion flakes while my ground beef was browning, I have made it a habit of collecting different spices whenever I make trips to the market, even if I don't need them for anything in particular in the foreseeable future.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I consider myself a sports fan. I casually watch sports without religiously following any one team or sport except for the Lakers. But admittedly, on average I only watch about 70% of regular season Laker games, allowing myself to miss weekend night games and some of the unexciting match-ups (e.g., Pacers, Grizzlies, Bobcats). Sure, come late-May every Laker fan is "die hard", but that's expected. But I digress...
I believe it was during the 2008 NBA Finals when I first heard the chant. Or it might have started earlier. A part of me wants to say it started during the Finals Series against the Pistons a few years back, but I may be mistaken for the equally irritating "DE-TROIT BASKETBALLL!"chant. Most recently this infamous chant has been adopted by Phillies fans against the Dodgers in the NLCS. Regardless of its origin, it always seems to get under my skin. In unison, a steady roar fills the arena and shakes the very foundation of the playing field or the basketball court. "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"
Every time I think of fans cheering this I envision a shabbily dressed "bro", with his backwards cap, gripping his Bud Light and pumping his fist into the air. He's fueled by the sexual frustration that he has built up all year long dividing his time between Sports Center and Facebook stalking his no-longer-attainable random hook-ups from high school. He grew up in a sleepy northeast or midwest town half an hour outside of Philly, Boston, Chicago or Detroit and used to dream about moving to sunny LA. He won't admit it, but he shed a tear on the last episode of the OC. and never misses an episode of Entourage. He secretly still hopes that one day he'll actually be able to make the big move West he has always dreamed about. But for now, he'll have to make due as he climbs the corporate ladder at Bank of America (which oddly enough he treats like the Boiler Room and where he works as a teller Monday through Friday, sporting a gelled up fauxhawk and obnoxiously bright shirt and tie combinations).
It's in the mid 80s in LA in mid October and he's in a winter coat, walking to the bar to watch his team play the Dodgers or the Lakers. Now his buzz from Happy Hour is wearing off and the only emotion that pierces through the insecurity that plauges his everyday life is pure rage. It's so unfair. His team is losing, despite being heavily favored in this match-up, it's so sunny in LA it could be noon in July and the dude who his girlfriend left him for last month bares a striking resemblance to Luke Walton. It's hard to believe the game is being aired live when he peers out the window to see street lights glistening off the wet asphalt.
At this point he doesn't even care who wins. The only thing he wants to see is LA lose. "Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!"
As much as it irks me to hear fans screaming this with conviction, a part of me loves it.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Meanwhile, here's a refreshing reminder that with honesty (and without the Maker's Mark) a sincere voice message doesn't necessarily make you a creep.
Take a listen to ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt tell the truth.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Take a listen.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Stop crying about the fourth pair of tortoise shell wayfarers you lost and check these cheap alternatives out. These classic 80s shades were made popular by machine-gun-toting thugs on Magnum PI and/or that creepy neighbor you had with the NRA bumper sticker and inconspicuous mustache.
Face it. You don't need polarized sunglasses (unless you moonlight as a pro bass fisherman) and besides... It's about time we all start buying sunglasses we can afford to lose. At $20 a pair, these are hard to beat. Check em' out!
Sunday, August 02, 2009
After all is said and done, only true love can change your mind about Chris Brown.
Although the lulls of a post-graduate/9-to-5 lifestyle will surely take away from the adventures I once could afford, I am certain that this city, so steeped in history and culture will keep me hungry for more.
As I gradually discover the delectable gems that DC has to offer I fully intend on keeping the Big Apple in my rearview, following along with the raucous and dynamic restaurant scene to which I owe my sincere appreciation for food.
DC posts soon to follow.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
I make it a habit to read the daily specials written on the chalkboards in front of restaurants. On several occasions I've come across some of the best deals in the city (i.e. unlimited Coors Light and Bon Chon chicken wings during Happy Hour). However, this last week on Ave B I stumbled upon what might have been the five most glorious words to grace the front of any restaurant...
"ALL YOU CAN EAT TACOS"
For $21 you can get any of the 8 different tacos at Mercadito Cantina. Located on Ave B between 11th and 12th St the cantina has a modern and minimalist interior mostly consisting of varnished wood paneling. Tacos here are of a different world. As a native Angelino, I hold my tacos to the standard of those street tacos on which I grew up, but these are simply put, something else. Other than the standard double corn tortilla foundation the filling of Mercadito tacos are of the highest quality and sauces/salsa.
For your convenience, and since no reasonable person would pass up this opportunity. I've ranked my favorite tacos
1. Pescado - topped with pickled onions and fried to perfection
2. Carnitas - Smokey chipotle sauce
3. Shrimp - battered and served with a cool jalepeno slaw
Thursday, July 09, 2009
If you're like me, then you hate not being able to get music from your iPod back onto your computer (a.k.a. not being able to rip Steely Dan's Greatest Hits off your friends 80 GB iPod Classic).
Here's your answer. Senuti 1.1 if you're internet savvy then you won't have a problem finding a free download somewhere online. Otherwise the program will run you about 18 bucks. But with that cash you could have bought the Steely Dan CD 9 times.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
His optimism and enthusiasm for life and the dozens of products he endorses will always be remembered.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
10. Stop! The Love You Save - A feel good track
9. Man in the Mirror - A song that challenges us to reconsider our place in this world
8. Scream - Sibling bonding. The memorable intro incorporates white noise and static. Elaborate choreography in the video. Watch for the precursor to Janet's "wardrobe malfunction. Sexy.
6. Black or White - Ah yes. Rapping Macualay Culken. Serenading girls of all colors. The video also features interesting Native American dancing as well as Tyra Banks' head morphing into a fat guy with dreadlocks.
5. Rock With You - Classic MJ
4. You Are Not Alone - Wow. Lisa Marie makes this video worth watching despite the creepy outie bellybutton.
3. It's Great to Be Here (Kenny Dope Remix) - This is a song about gratitude and being happy where you are. In many ways this song reflects how I feel about MJ. Just thankful.
2. I Want You Back - A Perfect Pop Song. Instant dance party. Sure to bring smiles to any situation
1. Remember the Time - Of the many sounds of MJ this was my favorite, a little more funky and smooth sound that makes for unparalleled pop-locking dance choreography in the video. It's a song that was released in my childhood and the song that made me first realize MJs timeless sound.
Michael Jackson's life was dedicated to entertainment. As a world-class performer, singer songwriter, actor and philanthropist Jackson's fame, iconic fashion statements and dance moves have left a lasting impression on popular culture and the music world. Words simply cannot express the tremendous grief that has overcome his fans around the world with the news of his death last week.
As I walked the streets of Hollywood last thursday night, a surreal silence in the air overcame the usually populated strip. I observed groups of friends huddled around tables at bars, sitting tamely deep in thought with an occasional glance up at the TV as familiar arial shots of the hospital and the crowds that gathered dominated the local news. His music blared from every bar and every passing car.
There is not a single person I know in this world who has not been personally affected by Michael Jackson. The reality of that statement is a testament to Jackson's genius. Not many people on this planet are endowed with the talent to bring joy to people through their art (try playing "I Want You Back" at a party and you'll see what I mean). His work and contribution to humanity has at the very least made us dance, laugh and brought joy to us in ways that no other artist or entertainer of our generation can compare. For this, his legacy will continue and his music will transcend future generations.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
This is a much needed a feel-good clip. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that at least in Japan my nerdiness is a social norm.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have closed the series in Orlando, FL. The Game 5 victory over the Orlando Magic (99-86) secured the 15th franchise championship for the Lakers. This is Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher's fourth championship run with the Lakers. Bryant was awarded Finals MVP honors in his first NBA Finals victory without Shaquille O'Neil.
Congratulations to the Lakers and the Laker fans around the world! I'm taking the long way home! See you at the parade!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
CALL IT LOVE
GOOD COP, BAD COP
*listen for the shout out to Tompkins Square Park!
Friday, June 12, 2009
I remember the summers in elementary school. I stayed up late to watch Conan, woke up at noon, had raspberry popsicles all day, watched MTV all day, taught myself to make quesadillas and grilled cheese and rollerbladed everywhere. Not much has changed since then.
Here are the Top 10 signs summer has arrived and you need to get a job. Now, I'm not one to judge. I have only been able to observe these signs because I, myself, have too much time on my hands.
So here they are:
1. You get more than 8 hours of sleep
2. You talk to the TV like they can hear you (during newscasts, movies, etc)
3. Unavoidable naps after lunch
4. Multiple showers a day
5. You look up every concert in town for the next month
6. Your alarm is your friends text that they've sent from work during their mid-morning break
7. Leaving the apartment for lunch is more about getting fresh air then hunger
8. You average 1.5 status updates on Facebook per day
9. You memorize every line to "She's All That" (1999)
10. You can name 3 Billy May's endorsed products
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Microsoft has launched a search engine that combats the over-saturation of the internet by magically producing more refined searches. Admittedly, the site has proven effective in the few searches I've conducting on it. Even with a user-friendly interface and advanced search technology, in terms of competition with Google, it's as effective as shooting a pebble at a bullet train. But good try Microsoft.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Have you ever experienced a series of events or situations that are so coincidental and bizarre they place you under a spell of utter disbelief?
Today I woke up and immediately decided I wanted a pizza with artichoke on it. I was craving a quality pizza, not your average slice. I still don't know why. Although I live a short walk away from Artichoke on 14th St. I was completely against waiting in line there. It's too creamy for my tastes and in my opinion, grossly overrated. As if no one has had good artichoke dip with toasted bread before? But that's a story for another post.
I remembered walking by a dimly lit pizza place on Ave. B the evening before, so I decided to head in that direction. I finally found the pizza place. They are currently running lunch specials and happy hour deals that are hard to beat.
- 2 slices and a pint of beer for $5
- A sandwich and salad for $9
- A 16" pie and a pitcher of Yeungling for $18
These are quality pizzas with premium ingredients. Thin crust pies are less filling than the typical slice but these were absolutely delicious. (and I hesitate to use superlatives for anything!) Tangy freshly made marinara over a thin, yet soft, crust and topped with globs of fresh mozzarella. I took the deal for 2 slices (a pepperoni and spinach/artichoke).
As I sat at the bar scarfing down lunch I realized I didn't even know the name of hidden gem I had just discovered. I grabbed a nearby menu that read, "Gruppo". The name immediately rang a bell and then I suddenly remembered that a friend had suggested this restaurant to me almost two years ago. I realized it had been years since I spoke to her. I ordered another round of slices. I wondered if I should let her know I finally stumbled upon the pizza place. (When you're grabbing lunch at the bar solo you have ample time to fiddle with your Blackberry and contemplate these things). I decided against it and told the kind man behind the bar I would be back tomorrow.
Interesting enough, out of the blue, an hour later I got a message on Facebook from the same person who suggested the pizza joint from earlier in the day. Weeird huh? *Cue Twilight Zone music!
That being said... Seriously check out Gruppo Pizza on Avenue B between 11th and 12th. Great Pizza and generous recession specials.
I've been seriously neglecting my posts recently but my long-time childhood friends have stepped up their blog game in a real way. Check these guys out. They update regularly. For some funny clips and the latest on sports and pop-culture:
The "Don't Hate/Love Gazette"
The Douglas Daily
Also a notable new blog... Ever wonder what its like to bike from Mexico to Canada? I do. A friend of mine (against all conventional wisdom and common sense) has recently embarked on the journey of a lifetime as he tries to conquer the Great Divide Bike Trail that runs North and South across Middle America from Mexico to Canada. He is currently over 20 days into his journey. About half way through his trek which requires biking 60 miles per day. He's had a handful of brushes with death and met some characters along the way. Check it out.
Godspeed Clem! Make it back to NYC
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
The Rabbit Club is an exception. Right across the street on Mamoun's Falafel on Macdougal St in NYC is a quiet little sleeve that boasts one of the most rare beer selections in the city. The dimly lit bar is a tight squeeze between the seats and the friendly dog that often roams the premise. The men behind the bar are often sociable and willing to help you choose a beer that suits your preferences.
This is great place for a date-- A couple of drinks before getting the night started. The tunes are pretty sweet and did I mention the velvet wall paper? Any self-proclaimed beer enthusiast should check this place out. Try the Radenbach if its on tap. Its a unique Flemish Red Ale that has a great sour and tart bite to it.
Monday, May 25, 2009
This drink is courtesy of my brothers who have been relentlessly plugging its hip variation, the Square Cup (w/ Square 1 Cucumber Vodka) . Although the Square Cup is available exclusively on the menu at Varnish (Downtown LA), I had it for the first time at Alembic on Haight St. (San Francisco).
For a cool summer cocktail with a hint of cucumber, serve these easy drinks at you're next summer outing and watch their eyes light up in amazement.
Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm's #1 and 3 oz lemonade.
Then top off with 7up.
Garnish with cucumber.
*I like to muddle a few slices of cucumber at the bottom for extra flavor.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Just before I moved to New York my long-time trainer and friend, who was a native New Yorker, passed on some valuable advice. He told me that "New York City is a place where something is happening every minute of everyday. Anyone can pretend to be important and busy with something, but choosing what you make yourself busy with will be the toughest part." I immediately thought he was referring to drugs or getting involved with the wrong crowd. I remembered what he told me and have began to see that he meant so much more by it than I once perceived.
I used to believe this was a city where people came to change, whether they liked it or not, and whether it was for better or worse. For the most part this has been true for the close friends I've kept during my time here. After all, I've certainly changed. The people around me have changed too. We sometimes felt a little smarter, a little more hopeful or determined. At other times we were tempered by harsh realities and realized that we were neither of the above. But those times taught us the most about each other and the type of friends and people we actually are.
By no means is this idea "New York-centric". I think anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 regardless of geographic location is going to change in some way or another. At least they should hope they do . But all too often we use the idea of this inevitable tendency towards developing our "self identities" and try to force ourselves (desperately,) unnaturally into something far from it. Consequently those people forget those around them. College has taught me one important lesson, perhaps the only important lesson or Rule of the Game that matters at this age.
"self-discovery" is overrated.
As I've been surrounded by people with such diverse backgrounds and stories and perspectives, if all I learned in college was about myself then I would have considered this time wasted. Learning people and how to appreciate them for the things that make them honest, humble and sincere is a lesson I will carry far beyond my time in this city and this part of my life.
The process of finding one's "self" is inherently selfish and frankly a naive concept. Because you can't see who you are by yourself- without knowing who and what you are not. I'm not talking about the way people dress or the music in their iPods or what they order to drink at the bar... or even if they are at the bar at all! I'm referring to the kindness, tolerance and consideration that all too often escapes us as we struggle to "find" ourselves in college.
As my days in New York City are numbered, I am fortunate to have spent time surrounded by people who have understood these indispensable tenets too. And as I look forward to what I hope will be a promising start to my post-graduate career in Washington DC, I remember the advice a great man gave me who made his career in the nation's capitol:
"Think hard. Choose wisely. Feel deeply. Build positive relationships with the people around you. And never stop thinking of the future"
Whenever I have to move or leave a place for a long time I make sure to remind people that "I never forget a friend" and that I mean it in all sincerity. I say this because, as I've elaborated earlier, people change-- and that's okay. But as long as those people and you (because I consider the followers of my blog my friends) know that, then we can bypass the social norm of "growing apart". We'll pick up right where we left off and share stories, have a drink or share a meal. But until then...
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I'm a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. Tony and I go way back (See Rule #1). Occasionally, when I get the chance to watch something other than a two-minute pod on Current TV or an ever-inspiring Billy May's sales pitch, I try to catch the latest episode of his show on the Travel Channel.
But it seems another globetrotting culinary journalist has made his way onto TTC in recent months. His name is Andrew Zimmerman. And he eats weird food. That about sums up his show in 10 words. The first time I tuned in I was curious to see where he could go with this show and how he would distinguish himself from Bourdain. Needless to say I was very disappointed... I'll even go as far to say I was annoyed and at some points offended! He spends a majority of the time on screen qualifying himself as "Mr. Adventure" by eating anything put in front of him. Next he'll explain just how disgusting a dish is before wincing like a toddler eating broccoli. All this while the poor guy who makes a living by preparing this delicacy and preserving his culture stares and smiles while Zimmerman tells America how "bizarre" this food is.
It seems I'm not the only one who feels this way and upon further reading I found that Food Network's Tyler Florence called Zimmerman out for the same reasons. Zimmerman gets paid to go to the middle of nowhere to eat weird stuff. Other than exaggerate how odd any dish may be, he has nothing interesting or meaningful to say about it. On the contrary you have Tony Bourdain who travels and may come across some equally exotic dishes but rather than picking at it and making childish faces he will respect it, describe it and move on.
On that note, I'll keep this rant to a minimum and stop here. And in the way of my favorite Travel Channel star I'll gracefully move on.. I wish I could tell Zimmerman to keep doing what he does best and hope that he stays on the air but I have no clue what it is, exactly that he does. So I guess I'll just give him a virtual pat on the back and hope that the next animal genitalia he consumes is tastier than the previous.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
What do you think?
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Don't let the John King on CNN get to you! The recession is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so lift your spirits, ring in spring and rise on the shoulders of this week's recession proof Hit List.
- 10 cent Wing Monday and Wednesdays at Croxley Ales on Ave B between 2nd and 3rd St. has been my unofficial mead hall for years. Great staff. Excellent wings and an extensive beer list. Sure the church pews can be a little creepy, but the wings are worth it. It gets hectic on game days but for a laid back atmosphere come in after 11PM. The wing deal lasts til 1AM
- The monday night party at Dark Room in the LES has been drawing in crowds the past few weeks. (free PBRs from 11PM to 12AM...shhhh)
- Crocodile Lounge on 14th St. (and the Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn) gives you a free personal pizza with every beer.
- Speaking of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Brewery hosts brewery tours on Saturday and Sunday on the hour from 12 noon to 4pm.
- For those of you who the recession is hitting especially hard join in on the celestial pre-game banger as the Sun takes the exact position it held in the sky as it did the day God created the universe this Wednesday before the fasting begins for the millions of Jews celebrating Passover.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Adopt an "N2K" policy on text messages-- that is, "need to know" texting only! (e.g. I'm going to be late, In class etc.) Senseless texting ("what are you up to?", "we're going to rage tonight!", "I hate my life" etc.) only works with close friends, family and those with whom you are intimate. Everything else can probably be handled more efficiently with a phone call. I've been doing it for the past few weeks and it has proven not only to be a hit, but also contagious. Try it.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
This Top 10 list finally arrives by popular demand. Though unfortunately I can't speak from experience, some friendly neighbors happen to be experts on this topic (and apparently have a lot of mayonnaise around). Here is the list we came up with.
As always, in no particular order:
1. Sloppy Joe (unless you're eating off a guy named Joe. Then it would be funny.)
2. Fruit Salad
3. Egg Salad
4. Flavored Cream Cheese ( I don't even like it on bagels)
5. Top Ramen
6. Bean-less chili
7. Cole Slaw
8. Creamed Corn
9. Chicken Tikka
10. Corned Beef Hash
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
While herds of college students returned to their respective hometowns or embarked on care-free week-long drunken escapades in Cancun or the DR, I spent spring break eating.
Here's a recap of the higlights. Sorry I don't have pictures, you'll just have to go out and try em yourself.
- The "Sloppy Bao" at Baoguette (NYC)
A new take on the cafeteria classic, the sandwich has a subtle spice (Siracha). The baguette doesn't cut the top of your mouth but has the perfect crunch. Cool sprouts, carrot and cilantro make the sandwich complete.
- The "White Truffle Cheeseburger" at Umami Burger (LA) Spongy buns cradle the juicy patties at this high-end fast food joint. Prices reflect the rare ingredients and finely crafted burgers so get ready to dish the dough for the good stuff. Any meat topped with melted white truffle cheese is going to be great.
- The "Half Smoke" at Ben's Chili Bowl (DC) - It's actually a smoked breakfast sausage. Grilled to perfection and topped with Ben's famous chili (very similar to Tommy's in LA), diced onions and mustard. George Clinton blasting on the speakers and the friendly staff add to the high-energy environment that has kept this place a DC food institution in the past 50 years.
- The "Lousiana Hot Link" at Wurstkuche (LA) - I've been looking forward to scoping out this belgian fry and exotic sausage and brat spot since I heard about it last Fall. It definitely lived up to the hype. The guy behind the counter even had a belgian accent. The music in the front is much more suitable then the sceney house music they played in the back. But it was a thursday at 4pm so I forgive them. Service was great and the truffle oil fries would have been the highlight of the meal if not for the perfectly spicy hot link.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
A good friend once read to me about her latest obsession with an obscure exotic tea. I couldn't help but think of the following program.
Sarah Haskins started out on InfoMania on Current TV (slowly becoming the only thing I watch). I rarely laugh out loud while watching TV and when I first saw this I couldn't contain myself. Check out her Super Special I've posted below. I know it's really long but feel free to skip through it. You won't be let down.
Here's another great video. I kind of wanted to counter balance the other video's passive aggressiveness-- with another passive aggressive video with a British accent.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Something tells me that the 200th post doesn't come with as much hype as 100th. It's kind of like your 20th birthday-- kind of exciting but nothing new.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Sunday, March 08, 2009
This classic takes me back to the summer of '91. I saw Color Me Badd perform this at the Rose Bowl for the annual 4th of July firework spectacular. It was one of the first live performances I remember seeing.
Enjoy this clip from a performance on In Living Color.
Friday, March 06, 2009
- I've always had an issue with this. It's about time someone said something.
- This week the highly anticipated "Watchmen" movie is out in theaters. I'm not really sure what it's about yet but people seem to really excited about it.
- For those of you in the LA area, TWO BOOTS PIZZERIA is serving up the innovative NY slices inspired by cult film characters (i.e. "The Dude", "Mr.Pink", "Tony Clifton"). Try them if you haven't already.
- Studies have shown that the average man walks 4mph, but a man wearing Ted Bakers walks 5mph. I just got my pair and they bring a whole new meaning to comfortable footwear.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Video Courtesy of Phil (my brother) via Onion News Network
SONY RELEASES WORTHLESS PIECE OF $#%^
I once thought of tackling this topic on a top 10 list but shied away.
Rule #32: After seeing many of my original blog post themes on Current.com and the Jake Blog (Love/Hate)... "YA SNOOZE YA LOSE!"
Sunday, March 01, 2009
But recently the latest craze on Facebook has been to compose a "note" listing 25 things about yourself. Initially I shrugged this off as sad way for people to achieve a false sense of originality and reaffirm their wit. But I've come around to realize that it often times achieves its goal. Some times the facts posted really say something about what a person finds worthy of sharing about themselves-- no matter how trivial or silly. I've found this to be a great way to see sides of someone you are unable to discern from the 50 photos they tagged from their best friends 21st birthday. Though many use it to be cheesy and share sentimental overly personal information about themselves or their boy/girlfriends, at least its an honest attempt at saying something meaningful about yourself.
If you've been reading carefully in the past 3 years you probably know the basics about me-- I love bacon. I live in NYC. I am 22 years old and in college. But I've decided to tell you all things that you would never know about me and make a list of my own. For the sake of getting to know me better and because the introspective process of thinking of what to write about yourself is amusing. Try it.
1. I've never liked frosting. It especially bothers me when cupcakes have too much frosting on top. I'm not much of a dessert person in general.
2. Listening to my iPod when I walk places or use public transportation has convinced me that life without having to drive is so much easier. I rarely go a day without listening to my iPod. I often prefer to walk alone for this reason.
3. As much as I enjoy eating out and trying new places. No dish from any restaurant can beat the perfect dinner company. I don't mind eating alone (I often do), but it's nice to have a good friend or two around.
4. I celebrated two "first communions" as a kid. I didn't believe that you needed to finish two years of Sunday school so I begged my parents to let me participate when my brother got his first communion. I was also the only kid in a brown suit and a red Sonic the Hedgehog clip-on tie. I remember being so torn waiting in line for communion that day. I was convinced that I was eligible to take the Eucharist but I knew my parents said I couldn't... I ended up folding my arms and not taking the wafer at the last second.
5. I'm a patient person when it comes to waiting for things that I can't help (i.e. the subway, summer etc.) but I can't stand waiting on people who are late. I am rarely late, and hate to be late except when I know the person waiting on me would make me wait or has made me wait in the past.
6. I'm bad at hiding when I'm mad, annoyed or bothered by someone.
7. I think my competitive nature can simultaneously be my greatest weakness and strength. I tend to oversimplify things into "Win/Lose" situations where there is clearly a middle ground or not applicable. Some times it backfires and comes off as immature. (e.g."My favorite burger is way better.", "Let me try that. I bet I can do it.")
8. I hate missing out on things or being left out. I like to think this stems from the feeling I used to get when I was young, being the last one to wake up in the house on weekends. It bothered me to wake up and see everyone was dressed and had started their day. I felt like I missed out on so much while I was asleep. I can't help but feel helpless or like I've lost (see #7), even if I'm in a different city or country or had other plans and could not have possibly been there.
9. There are 2 things that always make me tear up, no matter what: 1) The scene in "Rudy" when he finally gets into Notre Dame 2) and listening to "Life Goes On" by 2pac after two Miller Lites
10. I wish I could be a better public speaker. I get nervous addressing people even when I'm in front of a room full of people that I know well.
11. I truly value customer service. I refuse to go to an establishment, no matter how excellent their product, if they continually fail to serve customers or at least make an effort to serve them in a polite way. I'll never go back to Lucky Boy's in Pasadena for this reason. I stay faithful to establishments and companies that have excellent customer service (Bose, Hi-Life, Shake Shack). The key to excellent customer service isn't just "the customer is always right" but rather making the customer "feel right".
12. All of my best friends are not afraid of admitting they do embarrassingly nerdy things (religiously reading food blogs, freestyle on my voicemail, over-analyze social scenarios, etc.) I have trouble getting along with people who can't relax enough to make fun of themselves. People who have trouble being silly in front of friends are either not surrounded by friends or trying too hard (Rule 32) .
13. I have an extensive collection of 80s and 90s R&B in my iTunes library. Although I grew up listening mostly to Hip-Hop, my music preferences have been strongly influenced by a foundation of a specific type of R&B. (From Stevie Wonder, DeBarge and New Edition to Blackstreet, Jodeci, Babyface, Az Yet and Jon B.)
14. I don't stay upset at people I know for very long, no matter what they've done. I can be a pushover in this way. I've deliberately ignored people for extended periods of time for different reasons (embarrassed, uncomfortable, guilty) but never because I was mad.
15. I have problems mentally calculating simple mathematical equations. My skills as a mathematician peaked in 4th and 5th grade as a member of the Math Field Day team. Even then I was the "estimator".
16. I have a terrible singing voice. I always thought that I could have a decent voice if I tried, but this has proven to be untrue after several karaoke nights.
17. Although I have a genuine appreciation for performing arts, I often feel guilty for secretly despising "poetry slams" (see youtube). It's just not my thing.
18. I get very anxious watching old-people run or move fast. I hate to think of old people, or people who lack athleticism falling down. I had to change the channel when Tina Turner performed with Beyonce at the Grammy's a last year.
19. I carry a "Pocket Constitution". I've been told some nerdy guy on a popular show did too (I forget). The sad reality is I won it as a prize and have been carrying it ever since.
20. I've more or less looked exactly the same since 7th grade. I was just a little shorter and a little skinnier. I have a picture of two of my best friends and I on my desk. It was taken 9 years ago and whenever anyone see it they say I haven't changed at all.
21. I once ran into the mother of an old friend in a stationary store. We were the only two people in the small store but we didn't acknowledge each other. I had known this woman well and was certain she recognized me. It bothered me for days that I didn't say anything because I didn't know if she was ignoring me or if she didn't see me. She had no reason to be upset (I don't think) so I was really curious why she would snub me. Since then I've always made it a point to greet people that I recognize when I run into them in stores or on the street. I found that with practice and a good memory it becomes increasingly easier to get over the sense of embarrassment or awkwardness that stops you from saying anything in the first place.
22. When I get startled or frightened by things I quickly snap into a boxing stance. I've never been trained in boxing so it doesn't really make sense that I naturally do this. I've never had to actually throw a punch after being startled either so for the most part it serves as comic relief when I'm around friends. I remember being scared by a low-flying pigeon on the street and hearing a passing cyclist yell "What are you gonna do? Punch a bird?"
23. Fog never fails to mesmerize me. I get immediately happy when fog rolls in. It smells fresh and feels good to breath in.
24. I have two short-haired Daschunds. Tyson (brown) was named after the ear-biting, tatoo-faced, media spectacle. Bailey comes from "baila", Spanish for dance. My mom thought she looked like she was dancing when she hopped around.
25. In recent years by default I've become the person who my friends ask to give toasts before meals or at the beginning of a night out. These monologues have come to be known as my famous "emotional toasts". I always (to be gracious) pretend like I don't want to but they all know I do so I usually start by standing up and saying something cheesy like "You know (dramatic pause), I came here in 2006..." or "It wasn't long ago that (fill in the blank)"... They eat it up.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
A friend recently came to me with a great suggestion to help maintain regular updating... The Weekly Hit List will serve as a mechanism to compensate for lack of creativity/material much like the Top 10 lists have done in the past.
These lists will just be arbitrary things (events, news, food, music etc.) that have somehow caught my attention, but don't warrant a full explanation or post.
- First off, today is my buddy Kyle's birthday. If you're in Manhattan come celebrate at Cheap Shots (where you drink free on your birthday. Seriously) after midnight!
- Tonight is President Obama's first State of the Union Address. Highly anticipated topics include the stimulus bill, the current economic crisis and new approaches to foreign policy. I won't urge you to stay tuned because you either care enough to know to watch it or wouldn't understand if you did.
- If you've been missing out on all the recession specials here's your chance to capitalize on cheap eats. A cleverly named new Vietnamese Hoagie spot in Murray Hill, "Baoguette" is serving up some scrumptious by-product of French colonial cultural subjugation.
- Lastly if you've still got that "Jai Ho" song stuck in your head from the Oscars then tune in to this Jon Brion (music mastermind behind Eternal Sunshine and I Heart Huckabees) track from the indie flick "Synecdoche, New York"-- A heartbreaking hit.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Here's something to drink to.
Richard Applebaum, a New York City lawyer is turning heads with his unique proposal to pull Americans out of the current recession.
Rather than funnel government money through major corporations and financial institutions who are responsible for leading us into the recession, Applebaum suggests debt forgiveness on all student loans for graduates who make less than $150,000 annually.
Some real bottom-to-top change.
Check out the article on the Huffington Post
Monday, February 09, 2009
Keeping with the theme of Valentine's Day, Love and Hate. I decided to take a moment to think of those special things that catch our attention. They captivate us, we simultaneously despise them and are infatuated with them. The mere sight of them brings fire to our eyes until we stop and think, "What would the world be like without them?" and smile. Sometimes our resentment is justified but often times we have no good reason at all.
1. Kevin Garnett
2. Frat Boys
3. Sorority Girls
4. New Jersey
5. The Economy
6. Made up holidays (Valentine's Day)
7. Conservative Republicans (especially the young ones)
8. Every celebrity with a tabloid nickname (LiLo, Jlo, Beniffer etc.)
9. Talking on cell phone's while driving (Who are you trying to fool? You either miss it or still do it!)
10. The Plain White T's (Why can't I stop listening to his whiny voice?)
Big thanks to Holly for the track.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Radio Raheem probably captured it best, as he recounted Love's triumphant victory over Hate on that scorching hot summer day in Brooklyn. But this unforgiving and elusive quest to understand the deep complexities of two of man's most extreme emotions has been a reoccurring artistic theme that transcends various mediums through history, from Shakespeare to Martin Lawrence. (Barring sheer insanity) It is between these two extremes where the source of all artistic expression lies whether it be deep-seated rage, fear, infatuation or simply boredom. One might expect that with every imaginable emotion in between, the path from one extreme to the other would be enduring and the barriers resilient. However, this naivety is all too often met with the reality that no such linear spectrum of emotion exists "between" the two. In fact some might argue that Love and Hate share more in common than the differences that separate them.
As Man indefinitely hangs in the balance, helplessly inching his way forward along the razor-"thin line" between both extremes, this uncertainty will continue to fuel the vehicle by which an artist delivers his masterpieces to the common man.
Here's my favorite track from Q-Tip's latest album The Renaissance. It features Raphael Saadiq and is appropriately titled
"We Fight We Love"
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
This was the song playing when I first walked in; a great track from way back that has always reminded me of summer. When leaving the house at the wrong hour was a serious threat to one's health and the temperature hit the 90s before noon. Ah, the good ol' days of summer.
To keep warm the majority of us who don't live in regions that are enjoying mid-70s to low 80s this time of year here are some jams from the past. Songs that will always remind us that summer is just around the corner. Hang in there.
Today's featured song is one of my favorites from L.
Ingredients for successful summer jam video= overcrowded block/dance party, Female R&B group harmonizing in neon green outfits, the audacity to wear a Tommy Hilfiger sailing jacket in the summer (see dude at block party), and of course... Hershey's Chocolate syrup.
Watch and enjoy
LL COOL J - Loungin' (1995)