Monday, June 29, 2009

A Tribute to Billy

A few weeks ago at the Snapple Big Apple BBQ in Madison Square Park I had the privilege of meeting Billy Mays. His perfectly groomed, jet black facial hair and enthusiasm radiated an energy felt by the fans that swarmed him. He was a funny guy from what I could tell. Easy-going with a humble understanding of the novelty he was to late-night informercial audiences. He was a man I knew right away worked hard. He told my friend "Anything is possible. I started at the age of 40."

His optimism and enthusiasm for life and the dozens of products he endorses will always be remembered.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Top 10 MJ Songs

These are my favorites

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.

7. Never Can Say Goodbye - Little Michael sings his heart out... tear-jerker : (

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. 

The Passing of an Icon

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

Otaku in Osaka

I do incredibly embarrasing things. Whenever I forget a person's name, drool in mid-sentence, or (most recently) leave awkward voice messages and feel like I've just done something I'll cringe about years down the line, I watch funny videos on YouTube.

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

Bay 2 Breakers 2009

This video is a little late but check it out anyway!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rule #43

"Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, Start"-- There are some cool secret you have to be nerdy  enough to know. 

Rule #42

Learn how to cook for yourself  once in a while. It's cheap and healthy. And you know what they say about a man who knows his way around the kitchen, right?

Los Angeles Lakers 2009 NBA Champions

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


You heard it first here! This rising indie/pop/rock band will be hitting the national spotlight in the next few months as they play the Warped Tour this summer. TV/TV is the real thing, the complete package-- great performers, talented musicians and song writers as well as all-around good guys. After a short practice run of their new tunes last night at Lit Lounge they were seen making their rounds thanking their loyal fans/friends. The band will be immortalized in video game history as their track will be featured on EA Sport's NHL '09. Listen out for them or check their tracks out online.


*listen for the shout out to Tompkins Square Park!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Hit from SuperNews..

This is awesome. Right on point.

1 More Game!

I miss this feeling. After last year, LA needs this more than ever. Let's go Lake Show. Let's bring the 'ship back home!

Mika - Relax, Take It Easy

This little Euro Dance hit goes out to "80s Horror Girl"... you know who you are! Haha! Instant hand-clapper.


Top Ten Signs It's Summer (and you need a job)

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

Rule #41

Bob Costas is a Sports Journalist, everyone else is just a commentator.


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

Gruppo Lunch Specials on Ave B

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.

Alternative Summer Reading List

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

Rule #40

There is always some one listening with a more interesting job. Usually they are the ones who don't need to talk about it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Rabbit Club

These days it seems like speakeasies and clandestine drinking spots are sprouting out like unsightly neck hairs. A quality drink menu with finely crafted cocktails however are becoming harder to come by. It's like the word "mixologist" can justify charging 13 dollars for any decently garnished mixed drink with bitters. I guess the term "mixology" is falling into the wrong hands.

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.