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.