Thursday, July 30, 2009


There's a petty sense of self-satisfaction when I get the first cup of a freshly brewed pot of coffee, particularly one that I initiated. There I am, filling my mug with the hot brown mud and the coffee wouldn't cease. All over the kitchen was the foul-tasting Starbucks Cafe Verona. I had removed my hands from the machine completely but the handle was stuck and a mess ensued. I did like any normal person would do and I cleaned up the mess. I felt an incredible sense of calm as I completed the task and here's why: I had lost myself in the simplicity of a black and white task. There were no complications in cleaning the coffee. I used absorbent paper towels. Threw them in an ever-ready trash can. The kitchen was back to pre-mess mode. The takeaway here is that if I just reduce my problems into very small, manageable tasks, I can lose myself in them, and then ignore them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Worked Out

I went to the gym yesterday to put a dent in the caloric atrocity that was the 4th of July weekend. I propped myself on an elliptical machine and proceeded to fake cross-country skiing. Of course I had an iPod, but my attention was elsewhere. Straight ahead planted on the wall was a television airing an info-mercial for St. Jude's Hospital, trying to solicit donations. They try to guilt you into calling by showing images of children with terminal cancer and their parents with tears streaming down their faces. Sam, aged 9, had no immune system. Another boy, a toddler, had a brain tumor. I move to level 15. Sweat is pouring down my face. Other 24 Hour Fitness patrons come and go. Some try to avoid this particular TV but it's damn near impossible.

This is where I start the big-ticket guilt, asking myself whether it's okay that I did nothing the previous day but eat sausages. Should I be doing more. Do I owe it to Sam and to the toddler-boy to use my time differently. Would he be pissed at me if he knew that I sat on the couch and watched two movies back to back. Has this info-mercial rationalized self-hate? I'm over thinking yet again. I'm tired at this point and decide to go home, but not without the cleansing that 45 minutes of beating myself up provides. I somehow managed to find a morality in what I was doing. It's moral to burn calories, because, plenty of people die before they should and I owe it to them. This is what I found in my workout: moral obligation.

I could have changed the channel. I could have switched to ESPN and watched the end of the Wimbledon Men's final. This was better. I needed it to clarify, in a twisted way, my purpose in life. That purpose? To be alive. Survival. That's all there is.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I grew up 3 blocks from my elementary school, so I would walk to school everyday. One time in 5th grade I found $5 on the ground beneath a car parked along the street. Pretty much ever since that day, whenever I walk down residential streets, I imagine finding large stacks of money hidden from plain sight but apparent to my watchful eyes.

Last night I went for a cigar walk, and just as I was about to prematurely put out my cigar, I decided to walk a few more blocks to finish the rest (to show respect to the Partagas factory workers). I turned around on Ocean Blvd. to head back to 4th St. and there it was, staring at me in its crumpled, dusty glory: a $10 bill. This discovery felt good, but probably not as good as the idiot felt that found the $100 bucks I dropped in the Santa Monica Public Library. But still.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weight Control

Why is this even an option? I thought I was doing my heart a favor by eating Quaker oatmeal everyday in those stupid little packets. Now I have to ditch the "regular" instant oatmeal and get this shit. Hey, Quaker, do me a favor and just make your regular oatmeal healthy for me, okay? Does that seem reasonable to you? If it doesn't, then get out of the oatmeal business.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Michael Vick should not have to go out of his way to apologize to anyone. He apologized by going to prison. If he's allowed to continue his career in the NFL, the only thing he needs to do is win.

Also, to PETA: please don't waste your time organizing protests at NFL football games. Use your resources to do something useful for animals instead of trying to destroy Michael Vick (the damage is done).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I read an article a while back about our ability to focus. Say you're studying something and you stop to answer your cell phone. In addition to the time it takes you to finish your phone call, it takes an additional 15 minutes for you to regain the concentration that you had before you decided to check your cell phone. So, if you spend 3 hours at the library, but stop to check your phone 4 times, then an hour of that study time is spent trying to regain focus and concentration.

I have this buddy that's addicted to his cell phone. Looking back on the last few times we've hung out, I can't recall enjoying the experience all that much. What I remember most is how often he kept checking his cell phone. Clearly his attention was on whomever was texting him at the moment. If you're so interested in who's texting you, then go hang out with them. I've made a decision to spend my time here with you. So, engage in the experience. Let's chat about the music, talk about the food, dish about chicks, whatever. I'm pretty sure this is what Eckhart Tolle talks about in The Power of Now. Life is short and precious. Why would you do anything half-assed? This is the thing I hate about cell phones: they have the potential to steal away significance and meaning from the simple joys of living. Technology has its place, but I don't want to live a life at a distracted 65%, and I don't want to hang out with people that are just about half way present. In college I had a professor that would take the first five minutes of every class to get everyone to quiet down, meditate, and "arrive" at class, to rid themselves of the concerns outside that particular classroom. I can't tell you how incredibly useful this was. I don't do this enough, but I think I'm going to start doing it more often.

Attention is an incredibly valuable commodity. Use it wisely on meaningful experiences with people that appreciate your presence.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bigger is Better (Half of the Time)

Americans love things that are either obnoxiously huge or unusually tiny. On the same menu at Jack 'n The Box, you can order an Ultimate Cheeseburger, which is fucking huge, or you can get an order of Mini-Sirloin Burgers, which are cute, bite sized. Whens the last time you went to a restaurant that didn't offer "sliders?" Do you remember when having a huge ass boom box was the baddest thing ever? Now, the smaller your iPod gets, the cooler you are. Obviously, as technology advances, we're able to get more power out of our gadgets and they now take up less space, which is a good thing. But, in general, if you take something huge and make it small (or vice versa) you'll have a hit. Mini-Coopers, I suppose, are popular, or, at least as popular as Hummers were in the 90's. As long as you can create a novelty factor with the size of your product, you'll be able to convince a nice chunk of consumers to buy what you're selling.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Fortune Cookie Incident

I had Chinese food for dinner tonight. This was my fortune:

My initial response was to bash the quality control over at the fortune cookie factory. How could they let something like this pass through enough levels of approval to end up on my plate? I finally calmed down and steadily grew fond of the simple elegance of this advice: take what you have learned, and put it to good use. This may kill the romance of future encounters, adventures, and business opportunities, it's just more useful. Perhaps the Chinese food eating public is better off getting more pragmatic messages from their cookies. "Don't eat this cookie," for example. Or maybe, "Don't spend more than you earn." After all, if people can be silly enough to expect satisfaction from their fortune, maybe they'll be silly enough to heed the advice.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mind Games

I was trying to write "5/4/09" on a document, and this is what came out:

I'm debating whether this is a sign of dyslexia or, for lack of better terminology, a case o' the Monday's. Either way, I'm fascinated.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Didn't You Get My Email?

No. I didn't get your email. And even if I did, don't say, "didn't you get my email?" like sending an email is some sort of act of God. Sending an email is a nudge at best. That being said, I make it a common practice to respond to all emails I get. My job relies on me being responsive to emails, so I'm pretty vigilant. But please don't treat email like it is an end and not a means. If something is so damn important to you, call me. Find me. Talk to me. Otherwise, consider it a privilege that we can communicate via email.

Email is a useful tool, but don't use it as a crutch. Just because you forward information along doesn't mean you are doing your job.

That's it. I'm done.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mr. Sandman Bring Me A Dream

I was just listening to "Mr Sandman" by the Chordettes and I remember hearing it in a movie, but not Back to the Future like you're probably thinking. I couldn't figure it out, and I was prepared to let it bother me all night. But then I just looked it up on and saw that it was used in Uncle Buck.

Then I got to thinking--is the Internet ruining my brain? Isn't it good for me to think hard and try to remember shit, or is it better that my brain power can be used for something more "productive?" I can't figure it out. I'm not sure whether I'm screwing myself or if I'm just restructuring my brain power.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Defining Space

I was talking to a thin friend of mine about where I prefer to sit on an airplane. "The window seat," I said. "I don't like it when the drink cart bumps my elbow." The thin friend replies, "You know, I had never even thought of that, but I hate when that happens, too." Getting bumped by the drink cart hadn't even crossed the mind of the thin person, but to me, a heavy-set man, this was the very first thing I considered. This led me to the conclusion that fat people have a more keen ability to define space. Why? Because we need more of it. Because it's an issue in our daily life. We wake up and are hyper-aware of how clothes will fit, whether a chair will support our girth, or if we're going to bump into things while battling the banalities of daily life. Fat people live in constant fear that life simply won't fit. And rightfully so.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Culture of Waste

There's a scene in Scent of a Woman where Frank (Pacino) is having a suit tailored and he offers to have a suit fitted for his companion for the weekend, Charles (O'Donnell). Charles tries to reject the offer, but Frank insists. He tells Charles that after the weekend was over, he could simply give the clothes away if he didn't want them.

This idea of giving the clothes away suggests that clothes can endure--that even after being worn, they retain some value. Clothing is meant to be worn many times, and, if made properly, can last multiple generations. I think this idea is lost somewhat in today's current cultural climate. We're constantly craving something new, and we quickly discard that which is old--last season's clothes, the last generation iPod, etc. We're very quick to look down upon things that aren't the latest and even more so on things that are "used." I call it the Culture of Waste--a societal aversion to reuse. We waste water, energy, food, time, and talent. We consume at a rate that we can't sustain. We're trained to constantly buy new shit even when we don't need it. The result: a marketplace that sells products that aren't made to last, but only to satisfy our undying hunger to consume. We sell shitty cars, computers that break too easily, and food that really isn't food at all. We've become perfect consumers where all we do, literally, is consume. We forget about everything else, important things like civic responsibility, community, and even our own health. (I keep saying "we" because I'm a guilty party).

So, let's start demanding better products, and by products I mean everything from vegetables to retail goods to infrastructure. Better clothes, better toys, better food, and better cities. Let's stop wasting so much of our resources, and not because we're giving in to some tree-hugging liberalism, but because we're humans living in a civilized society and we deserve better.

Psuedo-related: For further multimedia fun with the idea of "better," check out this speech.

Deconstructed Places

An office is a shared workspace. When I hear the word "office", however, I think of cubicles, post-it notes, those Herman Miller chairs, legal pads, etc. Social media and wireless tech have me deconstructing what it means to "go to work." The idea of owning a house and a car and commuting two hours a day seems laughable. I'm caught in this cycle where I seem to be serving the process itself. I'm working so that I can afford to work. Nothing I do in my office can't be done remotely. I'm finally realizing what it means to live in a wireless world. No wires, no office necessary.

And do I need to buy a home? Do I need to spend the rest of my life trying to pay for a house? Why can't I rent and be able to move around? Not being tied to an "office" liberates me from that. Home ownership has been established as the end-all-be-all of American citizenship, but technology seems to be redefining the idea of "home." Maybe "home" is not a house, per se, but the United States. The way I conceptualize my home and my office has changed.

*Photo is the first result I got when Googling "deconstructed places."

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Line at Baja Fresh

I eat lunch at Baja Fresh too often. It's terrible for you. But that's a separate issue. What fascinates me are the people you find in line during any given lunch hour. You'll most certainly get the guy ordering for the entire office, which is annoying. That person has been deconstructed by every stand up comic alive, so I'll assume you've heard a rant on that somewhere. The more interesting person is the guy or girl that sees Baja Fresh as a Mexican restaurant and tries to order their food using Spanish inflections such as "burrrrit-tos" and "enchy-lathas." God forbid they order a quesadilla. That person is better than the parent that can't control their kids. He or she is trying to order bean and cheese burritos while the kids are slinging jalapenos at each other. And just yesterday I saw a bone-thin girl order a tostada with no beans, rice, or meat (I live in California). I really love the person that is on the phone explaining the menu to people while they're at the counter. If you're back a few people, this is fine, but not while you're at the front. And, for the love of God, can you please at least pretend you know what kind of food Baja Fresh serves? "Oh, hey, the Baja Burrito sounds good, what's in that?" "Do you have anything besides beef or chicken?" "Does everything come with rice?" "Do you have something that's not wrapped in tortilla?" What the hell? It's a burrito and taco store. If you want a garden salad then go to Panera or something. Go eat a $5 foot long, asshole. Complaining that everything is so unhealthy at the register is useless. Get off your high horse and eat a fucking burrito for once in your life.

I feel for the employees. California is the land of finicky eaters, people allergic to absolutely everything. I can't imagine the requests they get. That is why I have a gameplan going in. I know what I want before I get to the counter. I order quickly and without hesitation. I owe it to them. And I don't want them to spit in my Mahi fish taco.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Last night I walked to the library from my apartment, planning to stop right after at the bank to deposit a $100 bill. I spent about an hour browsing books, checked two out, and walked home forgetting to deposit the money. Right before I went to sleep I remembered that I forgot to deposit the money but couldn't find it anywhere--I had dropped the money somewhere. I searched all over my apartment, my room, and backtracked my steps. Nothing. $100 gone.

Losing $100 ruined my fucking week.

This is the life I've created for myself. I can not blame anyone. I've made a series of decisions that has me in a situation where a C-note is make or break. Obviously, I have to make some changes. "Tighten the belt" as everyone is saying. My hope is that this is rock bottom and that I can begin my new journey into progress.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mixed Martial Arts

I love watching MMA, and I'm fascinated by the lives of the athletes and the business decisions being made around the sport. I'm still waiting for mainstream acceptance of MMA, and here's a start: Georges St. Pierre in a Gatorade commercial. Granted, it's for air in Canada (St. Pierre's home country), but I think this is a good sign. MMA is approaching critical mass. There's a reality show, a video game, corporate sponsors, a million viewers per pay-per-view event, action figures, modest coverage on ESPN, and even CBS tried to get in the game for a bit. We'll see what happens.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I still get emails from Friendster. I opened an account maybe 4 years ago, didn't use it at all. I'm sure it made someone a ton of money, but who uses it? I mean, even MySpace is old hat.

I'm curious about the resources necessary to keep Friendster functioning. Shouldn't we just delete the whole thing, make room for better technology? Is it the tech equivalent of a deserted suburban street in California with rows of foreclosed homes?

*UPDATE: Apparently, Friendster is huge in Asia.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Right now (Thursday Night @ 10:34 PM) I can hear a loud helicopter hovering near my apartment. It's been going on for like ten minutes. I updated my Twitter status to:

@mikerevolution helicopter hovering near apartment; annoyed and nervous.

After I did that, I got curious and entered the term "santa monica" in the search bar and saw the following Tweets:

@BradFranklin @MM73 are you in Santa monica by chance. can you here a helicopter. any idea what's going on? police helicopter maybe?? I'm at Montana & 2nd

@joey1980 : there are several helicopters hovering in the same area towards the beach in Santa Monica. mysterious!

tonychen 3-4 choppers flying over santa monica beach or off the coast - what's going on??

@ButtercupD ahhhh, huge multiple car crash on PCH in santa monica. that's why the g-bird is out!! hovering over PCH.

The same search on Google couldn't give me up to the minute updates or news. This is why I think there's chatter that "Twitter is the new Google." Within seconds I got useful information. I experienced first hand the power of social media, and the marvelous utility of Twitter-like technology. Hopefully this tool is put to great use. It allows for instant feedback and communication while taking advantage of a network. Michael likes this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Earlier this week, I was on shopping for an item. I added it to my shopping cart, but ultimately decided not to buy it. I got an email today with the subject line: You left something in your shopping cart at

I had forgotten all about it. They reminded me, and the idea of buying this thing crossed my mind again. This is brilliant. I don't necessarily want every company to copy this technique, but this is the kind of thinking I want in retailers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Well Done

I applaud the AP and for running this story on graduation rates. I know it's tough when kids aren't staying in school very long, especially basketball players, but I like the media paying attention to this. Let's continue to hold colleges accountable.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's F***ing Distracting

Until your home computer breaks you'll have no idea how much time you waste on it.

My computer hasn't been able to connect to the Internet for two weeks. In those two weeks, I've gone to the gym regularly, read 3 books, reworked my resume & cover letter, donated clothes to Goodwill, enrolled in a class at UCLA, watched less TV, and gotten more sleep. The Internet isn't a bad thing, it just makes it easier to get side-tracked.

I sit at a computer all day at work. It's nice to come home and do things like prepare my own dinner, enjoy a glass of wine, and go for a stroll. I'm sure I'll have my machine fixed soon enough, but I'm gonna try to keep this thing going for a while. My goal: be happier with less. It's nice to disconnect.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm not upset that technology is progressing rapidly, but I just bought that iPod shuffle two weeks ago. Today I found out there's a new, even more badass iPod shuffle with more capacity and VoiceOver. No one is at fault here, I'm just mad at Apple for dishing out new and improved products every 3-4 months. Financially, it's impossible for me to keep up.

In a recent article by Chris Anderson (The Long Tail), he states, "the marginal cost of anything digital falls by 50% every year, making pricing a race to the bottom..." How long before iPods are given away for free and we just pay for the content? Let me know so I can stop wasting my money on the damn things.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Rant

I can't stand books that include a "How to use this book" section. Quit stalling and present your ideas. If readers don't have the good sense to take notes or take time to answer questions presented in the text, then your writing sucks. I know you get paid by the page or by the word, but I'm not fooled. Don't waste our time. I say "our time" because when I read your book, I'm sharing my time with you, the author. Don't be frivolous with your customer's most important commodity: their attention.

The End.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where Is This Going?

Headline from "Facebook post gets worker fired"

Should you be held accountable for content found on your Facebook/MySpace/Twitter/Blogs?

It depends on what you post. However, I'd like some protection to speak freely using social media. I have a blog and I use Twitter & Facebook. I'm sure that if you dig you can find something questionable, but when does something warrant action by my employer (or yours)? I see this playing out in court.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quick Rant

I'm driving to work down a busy city street and there's a fire truck with horns blazing coming in the other direction. As expected, everyone pulls over to the side of the road to clear a path. After the truck passes, a guy in front of me uses this opportunity to pass a few cars in front of him.

This is a foul.

You are not supposed to pass in this situation. An emergency vehicle is like the yellow caution flag in NASCAR, you are not allowed to pass. You slow down, wait for the hazard to clear, then you resume in the same order. You are not allowed to benefit when someone is in peril.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Power to the People

Tropicana paid an S-load of money to redesign their packaging, and everyone hated it. Customers got pissed and let Tropicana know it. The result: Tropicana is changing the packaging back to the original carton.

I'm amazed by 2 things:

1. How much Tropicana paid for the redesign ($35 Million)
2. The power that customers now have

I won't get into the reasons this packaging sucks. You can see that for yourself. I'm most impressed with how quickly consumers were able to respond, and how quickly they enacted change on behalf of Tropicana (Pepsi).

People and companies are becoming more interconnected through the Internet and social media. Therefore, if you disappoint customers, they now have a forum to tell thousands of people instantly how they feel. Companies won't be able to pull their shit anymore. If I have a bad experience at a restaurant, I can spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, a blog, whatever I want.

If you suck as a company, you're going to hear about it quickly. Dialogue between sellers and buyers is getting kicked up a notch.

*UPDATE: Sales plunged 20% after the redesign. Good thing they changed it so quickly.



Ramirez gets $10 million this year, and $15 million in deferred money with no interest. A plan the sides discussed would have it payable in $5 million installments each from 2010 through 2012. If it winds up as a two-year deal, the plan called for $10 million each season, with three payments of $8,333,333 each from 2011-13.

I don't know what any of that means, but it sounds pretty awesome.

LA sports fans get shit on, particularly from the East Coast-centric media. LA fans are no different than any other group of passionate fans around the country, except for those flags we have on our cars. There is no excuse for that. What I mean is that we go through the same emotional roller coaster as any other group of sports fans. If you think we're not passionate, come to LA when the Lakers are in the playoffs.

I can't complain about the Dodgers, because they've won titles. I remember when Kirk Gibson hit his home run. I was in my family room with my parents and all my siblings. We went nuts and I didn't even know what was going on. Dodger fans are just waiting to feel that feeling again, and we think that Manny will help get us back to the promised land. So make fun all you want. We're just like you. We feel things like hope and sorrow and joy all the same. We want to win (now).

Friday, February 27, 2009

Annoying Couple To Do List:

1. Figure out clever his & her matching vanity plates
2. Create joint Gmail account
3. Remember to answer the phone at the same time
5. Get matching bicycles
6. Girl: buy guy a bracelet or necklace for guy
7. Guy: wear said bracelet or necklace
8. Buy tickets for Rent

That's all I got right now.

Oh, no!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On Music

Some recent thoughts on music:

1.) The Crash Test Dummies' "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" is only acceptable as a montage song in Dumb & Dumber, where it takes on an epic quality that it doesn't deserve. There are no exceptions--if you have this song on your iPod you should delete it, immediately.

2.) Radiohead is the finest active band in the world. They could be the best thing since the Beatles.

3.) In the rap world, Outkast is following the same trajectory as Radiohead, which means, in terms of rap music, they could be the greatest rap act ever.

4.) is nice, but it hasn't turned my musical world upside down the way Napster & iTunes did.

5.) If a great musician uses non-sexual terminology to describe the way they play their instrument, then they are either being too modest or they're just lying to you.

6.) Metallica sucks.

7.) Last night, I began composing a 15 minute rock opera about being a pirate. Right now, it's a piece of shit.

8.) Outside of the Rudy soundtrack, the only instrumental music that can make me cry is performed by Explosions in the Sky.

Monday, February 23, 2009

fmylife of the Day

Today, I'm playing basketball with my little brother. After jokingly blocking his shot, he turns to me and says "You're a bitch." He's 6. After asking where he heard that word, he responded with "Daddy calls you that when you're not around." FML

Friday, February 20, 2009


Ramirez is a common last name in a city like Los Angeles, mainly, because of the number of Latinos that reside here. Unfortunately, while I was growing up the most famous person with that surname was Richard "The Night Stalker" Ramirez. Richard Ramirez became infamous for raping and murdering women during the 1980's in the Southern California area. He has since been convicted on 13 counts of murder, 5 attempted murders, 11 sexual assaults, and 14 burglaries. He's awaiting execution on Death Row. He maintained a bit of relevance in the media throughout the early 90's for his marriage, his worship of Satan, and his general scumbag qualities.

While I was growing up, Richard Ramirez was the Los Angeles version of the "Son of Sam." He became the personification of the "boogie man"--the kind your parents use to tease you, to get you to follow orders, etc.

On more than one occasion, I've had people respond to my name with "Ramirez? Like the Night Stalker?" I wasn't pleased.

I'm not exactly sure what brought this memory into my consciousness. I'm guessing that at some point I was considering my place in the world, how people view me, the content of people's memories that involve me, and what a shitty thing it would be if all anyone knew about me was my name.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Facebook vs. Twitter

I use both, but using both is a pain in the ass. I hate having to use two separate applications to update my status. I've added the Twitter application to my Facebook profile, but you have to click on my "boxes" tab to even see it. That's way too many clicks for Facebook users to see my Twitter updates. I want it on the front page of my Facebook profile, which it was, originally, before Facebook's crappy redesign. Also, I dislike having more than one status to update. The advantage of Twitter is that I don't need to begin each status update with "Michael..." The advantage of Facebook is the freedom from the 140 character limit.

There is a larger problem. Between Google, my RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, and my other email accounts, there are simply too many inboxes. Too many mediums, not enough content. Changes will be made.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Greatest Concert Ever Told

The greatest concert I've ever seen was Rage Against the Machine at Lollapalooza in 2008. I had seen them perform four times prior to that, and this was tops by far. The '08 Lolla show was Rage at their peak, musically, as well as in their political feistiness (a historical election was looming just about two months away). Although no new material was presented, this was not a nostalgia act--their lyrical energy rang as true as it did in the early 90's when the words were originally written. Furthermore, there was no experimentation--the band and the audience were fully aware of each important beat in each song, allowing for a synergy of expectation and delivery that I have not seen before at a live concert. Every grunt, expletive, and stop-start became a palpable burst from the crowd. I've never seen a more seamless back-and-forth from musicians and concert goers than I did on that warm summer night in Chicago. The set list was spot on:

Bulls On Parade
People of the Sun
Know Your Enemy
Bullet In The Head
Born Of A Broken Man
Guerilla Radio
Ashes In The Fall
Calm Like A Bomb
Sleep Now In The Fire
Wake Up

Killing In The Name

They wasted no time at all, firing off two of their most raucous songs to kick off the show. Zach De La Rocha had to ask the crowd to ease up on the pushing and shoving, and something miraculous happened—they did. Everyone was on the same page. The band knew they had to play these songs, and the crowd knew they had to act in accordance with slam dancing, jumping, yelling, and fist-pumping.

Yes, Rage Against the Machine is my favorite band, so I admit bias, but this is a band that goes out there and earns every ounce of respect that I’ve given them. My only hope is that we haven’t seen the last of them—I want a new album. What better time than now?

Random Thoughts From My Weekend of Nothing

*The most overused line in all of reality TV: "How dare you judge me!"

*I would have done 'roids, too, but I wouldn't have gone around being the poster boy for "doing it clean."

*Playing a game of G-E-I-C-O at the NBA All Star game is a stupid promotional stunt. The only funny caveman I've ever seen was portrayed by Brendan Fraser in Encino Man.

*Kobe needs to take better shots.

*Radiohead is awesome even though their performance was tainted with those filthy Trojans.

*I'm amazed at how fast life seems to be passing by. I celebrated my 21st birthday 7 years ago. This is sickening to me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Only in Santa Monica

I was walking home from Wahoo's Tacos tonight and saw that a nearby apartment still had a Christmas tree in their window. I'm talking fully lit, blinking lights, ornaments, and a star. It's now approaching the middle of February and they didn't care. My first concern was not that this was a potential fire hazard, but it should have been. However, it could have been a fake tree, and probably was. Christmas trees are bullshit to begin with because they have nothing to do with the birth of Christ, but rather the Winter solstice. So, the joke is on me for thinking it was weird to see such a thing. I'm kind of impressed by the people that still rock the x-mas vibe, though. I wish that I had done something similar. Every night those people plug in that tree and send a non-verbal "F-you" to the entire neighborhood of Santa Monica, and, damn it, I respect it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I'm sure by now you've bought into the wine craze. If you haven't, then pull your head out. Everyone is drinking wine these days. They're having wine parties, they're watching Gary V., they're going to wine tastings, and they're buying 3-buck-Chuck by the case. Everyone loves wine--deal with it. Right now I'm in the intermediate phase with wine. I know more than most, but not as much as "wine-o's." Today, my world was rocked from its very foundation. I was introduced to a new device, the Vinturi. You pour your wine through a Vinturi, and it aerates your wine. Basically, you never again have to decant your wine for hours upon hours to give it time to "open up." You no longer need to deal with the bullshit of "letting your wine breathe." This device exposes your wine to an incredible amount of air as you pour it either into a decanter or into a glass (this releases aromas and flavors, and basically exposes your wine to be what it was meant to be.) I tried it tonight, and it works. I tasted a huge difference in my wine before and after the Vinturi. I'm no expert, so if I tasted a drastic change, then you will, too.

Learn it, live it, love it. Hat tip to the Ceryak family on this one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


If you're being interviewed and you get asked to list your three weaknesses, then you are being interviewed by a person that has piss-poor interviewing skills. This question teaches you nothing about the candidate. It's a stock question that people use when they don't have time to prepare real questions. It shows me that the company has questionable hiring practices, because they have no idea what they really want from their employees.

2 Things

2 Things bothered me yesterday.

1.) I was having my lunch at Baja Fresh. It was delicious. I look over to my right and I see some jerk serving himself a cola into a "water cup." You know, the ones you get when your cheap ass doesn't want to pay for a drink. This is disrespect on the level of spitting into my Nacho Burrito. It's theft, and he deserved to be punished.

2.) That this bothered me.

Monday, February 2, 2009


If you could have the musical ability of any musician, living or dead, what would it be?

This is not easy. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking the guitar chops of Jimi Hendrix, the voice of Thom Yorke, the drumming skills of Neil Peart, and on down the line. The scope of this question is utterly ridiculous, but I'm trying to approach it from a purely logical perspective. The voice of Thom or any singer for that matter will probably change over the course of aging, so there's a longevity issue. This also presents a unique set of circumstances for guitar players and drummers--how long will your extremities be limber enough to perform like that on a regular basis? I think Page & Clapton are still around, plugging away. Page plays a more physically demanding style of guitar, but I hear his performance in London wasn't too bad. I think you have to rule out any drummer/percussionist because its simply impossible to keep playing at that pace. There's also not that much social value in drummers.

Composers probably make a decent amount of money, and they can stay in that line of work pretty much until they die. Songwriting ability is another category: Cobain, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, etc. None of these talents are as sexy. I think when it comes to music, the most cherished template for a musician is a great guitar player, and if I had to choose, I'd go with Jimmy Page.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Monday, January 26, 2009

25 Things

I've been seeing these lists on Facebook where everyone shares a bunch of random facts/things/goals. I like these lists. Here's mine:

1. I bite my nails. It's a dirty habit, and I've never attempted to quit.
2. I once ate a 6 pound cheeseburger in 7 minutes in a cheeseburger eating contest and still lost.
3. I like white wine better than red (even with steak).
4. I've seen every episode of Gilligan's Island at least a dozen times each.
5. I worked briefly at Victoria's Secret and consider myself somewhat of an aficionado.
6. The first piece of music I ever paid for was Guns 'N Roses "Appetite for Destruction".
7. I've met my favorite band in person (Rage Against the Machine).
8. When I first learned the "F word" I used to hide under my parents' bed and repeat it over and over again under my breath.
9. The most I've ever bench pressed was four reps of 295 pounds.
10. I don't forgive liars.
11. I've only been out of the country to go to Mexico and the Bahamas, but my dream is to see the rest of the world.
12. My freshman year at Boston College, a classmate I didn't know very well invited me to his house for Thanksgiving because he knew I lived in California and wouldn't be making it home to be with my family. That was the nicest thing a "stranger" has ever done for me.
13. To figure out North, East, South, West, I still repeat in my head "never eat shredded wheat."
14. Beer: As long as it's ice-cold, the brand doesn't bother me.
15. For me, a good cigar improves everything.
16. I regret not spending more quality time with my Uncle before he died from cancer. He traveled the world, served his community, prayed the Rosary daily, and loved wine. I miss him.
17. I was convinced I couldn't swim until I got to high school and said, "fuck it," and jumped off the high dive.
18. I went through 17 years of Catholic school. All theological lessons can be summed up in four words: don't be a dick.
19. I've never heard a sermon that has affected me as much as a Radiohead concert.
20. Right now, I'd love nothing more than to have a job that requires travel.
21. I used to have a lot of unnecessary hate built up inside of me, but now I realize that hate is a big waste of energy and emotion that I can be using on something really cool.
22. I can't believe how much money I've wasted already at such a young age. New philosophy: have less, do more.
23. I think I'd still be working in Hollywood if I wasn't so damn sensitive.
24. I used to sleep on top of the covers to avoid having to make my bed every morning.
25. Someday I'm going to own a house with a big backyard so that I can have cool barbecues. You're invited.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Real People, Man. Real.

I watched a shocking amount of reality television this weekend. At one point, I watched four consecutive reality shows on VH1. I've become an addict. Part of me thinks that this is the result of my affinity for documentary films, but that ain't the truth. My life has become less interesting than the ones I stalk on VH1, Spike, and Bravo. I'm not proud of this. The more I think about what a waste of time this shit was, the sicker I get. So, from now on, screw reality TV (except Real Housewives. I need to see what went down with Gretchen and Ryan.)

Monday, January 12, 2009


I can't stop laughing at the bitee's face. Can you?

Also, does it look like the biter is laughing at biting at the same time?


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vince McMahon, some Lawyers, and a bunch of Congressmen walk into a courtroom...

Transcript of the WWE Steroid Hearing, courtesy of SPORTSbyBROOKS.

I read this thing and almost wet myself in the process. It's about 100 times more entertaining than that farce a few months back starring Roger Clemens. One thing's for sure: Vince McMahon is not a doctor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Stunning series of pictures here.


How does the bachelor party situation work itself out in gay marriages? Do you have two separate parties, one for each gentleman, or do you do one big one? If you do two separate ones, wouldn't each guy want to go to the other guy's party? Solve that riddle, punks.