LIVE, LAUGH, AND LEARN... welcome to the co.

Seconds, anyone?

It's no doubt that San Francisco is a mecca for gastronauts. Whatever your taste buds desire, this beautiful city has a culinary answer waiting for you right around the corner / across the street / and/or straight ahead. However, let's be real, we can't always afford to wine and dine in the city and often times have no idea how to sift through all the options.

Thankfully, the lovely folks at the SF Convention & Visitors Bureau, SF Chronicle, and are sponsoring Dine About Town 2008. For all you fellow foodies out there, I'm sure you're as excited as I am to find out that this event is now biannual (especially if you were saddened--as I was--by the fact that January's Dine About Town only lasted two weeks)! With over a 100 participating restaurants at your fingertips, it's a great way to take advantage of what this city has to offer. You can try some of San Francisco's finest cuisines at a reasonable--and better yet, set--price. However, what I personally love most about this time of year is the fact that all the research has been done for you. Sure, the prices may still be a bit much for some and others may not be fans of the limited menus, but if you're as indecisive as I can be when it comes to good eats this snippet of SF's culinary world is a great resource and starting point for discovering the city's hidden gems and world renowned spots alike. (It's also one helluva good reason to gather up the homies and try something new!)

I've been an avid Dine-About-Town-goer for about three years now. And although I've never gotten all the way through my lists, I've had my fair share of tasty creations. Just for kicks, I've come up with some suggestions based on June's participating (dinner) restaurants list:

  • Ana Mandara (Vietnamese Fusion): Definitely get on those Crispy Rolls with crab meat, shrimp & shiitake mushrooms and follow it up with the Seared Mekong Basa. (AMAZING!)

  • Andalu (tapas): Okay... I know it's tapas, but some of the portions are a bit small, especially if you're dining with MY friends. However, if you're like me and can appreciate the ambiance of a restaurant as much as their food, then check this spot out. With it's fresh modern decor and excellent selection of background beatz, Andalu is a perfect kick-it spot. Their fixe menu isn't listed, but I'd suggest trying the Coca-Cola Braised Short ribs, Grilled Eggplant stuffed with Ricotta, and definitely the Cambazola Cheese Fondue with Fuji Apples & Asian Pears (truthfully, when my friends chose this, I was hesitant about the whole fruit and cheese thing, but trust me... it's a good idea). For dessert, hook yourself up with the fresh donut holes and Castillian hot cocoa.

  • B44 (Latin/Spanish): Paella B-44 (paella is their specialty). Now, this isn't on the fixe menu, but you really should handle the Tiger Shrimp sautéed with garlic and adobo (say, word?!). If it's a nice day/evening I recommend enjoying a glass of wine on their outside bistro style seating.

  • 1550 Hyde: Although I know the food was good, I can't remember exactly what I ordered here. However, I recommend this place as they have a fine selection of wines. It's a bit pretentious, but hey... that's to be expected from a wine bar in Russian Hill, right?

  • Foreign Cinema: The food was okay from what I remember, but the place is definitely unique and if you catch it on a good movie-night, definitely worth a sit down. It's also attached to Laszlo in case you're on the late night tip and wanna grab a lil' drinkey drink afterwards.

  • Mangarosa (Brazilian/Italian Fusion): Tender soft beef short ribs with red bell pepper sauce served with mashed potatoes. Although... the home made gnocchi definitely caught my attention tonight.

  • RNM: (in mah 'hood!). It's a diamond-in-the-rough-kinda-spot with a cozy neighborhood feel. They also have a $28 prix fixe menu anytime of the year, Tuesday-Saturday. Go for the mac&cheese and/or white castle burgers.

  • Roy's (Hawaiian Fusion): The menu's changed, but it all sounds good. Definitely get the Sampler Trio... you won't regret the seared shrimp.

  • Tres Agaves (Mexican): A favorite among the coworkers. Honestly, I haven't tried much of what's on the fixe menu, but let me tell you... the guacamole is on point! Real talk, I'd go back just for that.
Bon Appetit!


    Hax0ring it up Frisko Style

    What better way to floss one's knowledge of all things hax0rz and anti-fair use than writing a book--and giving it away for FREE? What no blog?! No Twitter Updates? No IM blasts? SFTU! Yes, in this digital age, writing a book with actual paper seems downright steampunk-onian, but whom other web rockstar to subvert our almost intravenous digestion of digital banalities than Cory Doctorow, (of, a directory of wonderful things) with his new young adult novel titled Little Brother. Set in my lovely city of San Francisco (FRISKO!), it is a story of a band of teenage digital misfits in the near distant future, where Mission's Cesar Chavez High School uses gait recognition cameras to detect intruders, and provides standard issue, US Department of Education lap-books optimized for Vista4Schools! to keep students on-line but IN-line.

    What intrigued me most about this book (disclaimer I am still e-listening to it, hence my photo above) is that they elaborate on sh%t I sometimes use to subvert all types of digital protections and copyright. Some examples: TOR, WiFi Hacking, $sys$firefox.exe--I mean, WHAT YOU KNOW 'BOUT $sys$ SON! This is far from precious metal gangster chants--$sys$ is a way conceal your nasties (computer programs people, computer programs) from big brother. GEEKSH%T. So moving on.

    In addition to computer nerd references, these kidz are running around the 'hoods of the city, from the Mission, to the 'Loin getting into all sorts of hot messes with the Department of Homeland Security, and the author crazy links (if one could even hotlink in a book) to all these places-only-locals could remember. Among some of the references are Powell St. BART, Market St., Fisherman's Wharf, Hotel Nikko, Anzu; It's like this guy is a Yelp Elite or something. Listening to this story on the bus is rather fun, as I sometimes pass through said neighborhoods, and see said establishments.

    The main character talks about partaking in a little mid-afternoon LARPing session (how whack is this), as well as Harajuku Fun Madness--some sort of super-hacked J-POP scavenger hunt on crack. I mean, look at that name "HARAJUKU FUN MADNESS". I don't even know what it means, but I want to buy it it's so hot. But not all in this book is cute and fun, as references to terrorism & the Department of Homeland Security, make the US of A seem like a military state bent on twisting truths to get what we want--or wait, we are.

    Overall, I am looking forward to finishing this e-book (available in many forms, plain text, pdf, etc.) All flavors of which, come pre-basted with the lovely buttery-ness of Creative Commons Licensing, (to which Mr. Doctorow is a fervent supporter). All this for the low low price of FREE99. So kidz pick this up, I know it is a "young-adult" read, but it does tie all the weird parts of our current tech-savvy/tech-phobic/terror-phobic/copyright-bent society together in a neat way.

    I recommend the audio, but if you are too cheap, hit me up and I can get it for you like Kanye's workout plan. jk.


    RIDEZ REVIEWZ: Venice Chill Ride "ATTACK ON LAX"

    Ok So. Myself and my fellow bloggers/colleagues here  all cycle/bike/ride whatever you wanna call it... Well almost all of us... Except Jan... or maybe Jan but who knows.  But for the most part we like to keep it green like that. So with that said I'm gonna start a new segment here called "RIDEZ REVIEWZ", which will pretty much recap a ride we've gone out and done or something like that. one of them was a week ago with people from Venice and LA riders included groups from "LA FIXED", "WOLFPACK HUSTLE", "MIDNITE RIDAZZ" etc... it was called the Venice Chill Ride.

    We all met up at VENICE circle, and we rode from there to Manhattan Beach on the way there, we made a sweet ride thru LAX... yes the actual airport, and then thru LAX tunnel. Check it out. (edit: you can see me in my striped sweater/cycling cap at about 18 secs in the video) 

    Venice Chill ride 5/20/08 LAX II from Hernan Montenegro on Vimeo.

    Ive been huge in cycling lately and its pretty much taking over my life for the past two years. This Venice Chill ride was awesome. A great experience... If there is ever an opportunity to ride thru Lax again you better believe i will be there. 

    Other rides we like to try and frequent are Critical Masses. Now i know what you are thinking, oh god a critical masser right? now hold up, im all about safety and promoting cycling the right way. not wild and reckless, it is possible to do those large rides and help contribute by being an good example of how cycling can help benefit. now yes i agree that sometimes large and somewhat organized/unorganized rides like that just hurt cycling and the whole movement, but lets save that topic for another post.

    im here to let you see what my ride was about... thats whats great with the video and pics.. i dont really have to say much.. just soak it in and see for yourself!

    here are some pics from the ride.. so enjoy get on your bike and get out there... So here it is. "ridez reviewz" PART 1.... hopefully i can post my 1st SAN DIEGO critical mass, ill try to get some pics and video. 


    New Music Tuesday

    Finally got around to making my first blog post, but keep in mind this is going to be short and simple (seeing as I'm supposed to be "working" at the moment).

    As I started my morning routine at work, the subject line "Corinne Bailey Rae / Al Green album - out now" in my inbox instantaneously caught my attention. It's a bit misleading, as my initial thought was "oh sh!t, an entire album of Corinne Bailey Rae AND Al Green?" (it's not, which is still okay). At any rate, I'm a huge Corinne-fan and, c'mon... how can you not be a fan of Al Green?! If that's not enough to peak your interest, the album, which is on Blue Note Records, seems to feature a handful of R&B singer-songwriters and was co-produced with ?uestlove and James Poyser (who has worked with the likes of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Common, and Jill Scott, just to name a few). I haven't copped the album just yet, but have checked out a few tracks on the website and so far, I'm feelin' it.

    For your listening pleasure, enjoy.


    The Savage Love Cast

    As many of my peers, I spent many of my teenage years, falling asleep while I listened to Dr. Drew and Adam Carola dish out relationship, substance abuse, and sex advice on Love Line. Due to the inadequate nature of Sex Ed in schools, most of us learned about sex through this show (and of course whatever was on our TV, movie, or computer screens). I used to think the show was great, it was funny and very informative.

    Around the time I went off to college, I stopped listening to the show just because I stopped listening to the radio all that much (thank you Napster et al.). As I graduated and moved into a job in the "real world," I started podcasting at work. I listen to a lot of NPR and am a religious follower of This American Life. Dan Savage, a contributor to the show, has to be one of the more insightful and entertaining people on the show (see his segment in What I learned from TV). Through the show, I learned that Dan was a sex advise columnist for The Stranger. He writes a column called Savage Love and does a podcast as well.

    After listening to every episode he has posted up until now, I have found that his Savage Lovecast, as he calls it, is as insightful and even funnier than his appearances on This American Life (thanks to the FCC rules not applying to podcasts). Dan's liberal views on sex and relationships are more down to earth and realistic than you will here on most advice columns. The one thing I have come to realize is that when you compare the two shows (Love Line and Savage Love) the differences are much like the views on sex between liberals and religious conservatives (bare with me here, I am about to make some generalizations). The conservatives say to stay away from birth control, abstinence is the only way and no one should be having sex. The liberals on the other hand say, abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy or STDs, but if you are going to have sex, use protection. Love Line tries to draw a distinct line of what is acceptable and what is not as well as what works and what doesn't (much of it dictated by Dr. Drew's own clinical views) He often says to stay away from non-monogamous relationships and other situations that he is not familiar with. Dan, on the other hand, tends to give his opinion on the issue but then take the approach of, "well, me saying don't do it is not going to stop you, so if you are going to do it, here is how to keep yourself safe both physically and emotionally." If that wasn't clear, here's an SAT example:

    Love Line : Savage Love :: Conservative Christians : Intelligent Liberals

    Being a homosexual male who is active in his community and promotes a sex positive environment around him allows Dan to tackle subjects comfortably that other advice columnists might shy away from. Dan is able to talk about things without becoming uncomfortable and his high threshold for what many people might consider taboo allows him to interact comfortably with people about their situation and make them feel somewhat normal, or at least human.

    To try to sum up Savage love is next to impossible (in fact I think the SAT analogy says it all) so I would definitely recommend podcasting him and taking a listen for yourself. While some homophobic people might find it uncomfortable to listen to at first, I would encourage you to listen what he has to say, who knows, maybe some of his intelligent views might get through that thick skull of yours.

    **Edit (5/31)
    My friend mentioned I was maybe a little unfair on Dr. Drew. I personally enjoyed listening to Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla for many years and do believe that they provide a great service to the youth of America. I think that Dr. Drew has probably helped countless amounts of people, especially when it comes to drug addiction, STDs, and sexual abuse. I think he has a loyal following that really listens to the positive things he has to say. I guess as I have grown and changed, my tastes, opinions, and views have as well. Besides, Dr. Drew is no Dr. Laura, now there's one crazy lady. Ok, enough of the hate, on to other things.


    It's good, but not as good as their first stuff....

    Everyone seems to be a hater these days (hell, it seems to be what keeps the blogging community, and much of the internet, running strong). Hater is the new hipster and if you don't believe me, walk up to a group of hipster looking kids and I bet you they will be hating on something, very likely hipsters.

    One common thing that has been said through the years about an artist's second album is something along the lines of "Well, it's pretty good, but not as good as their first album." This is why artists dread their second album so much, they know that it will be compared to an overblown opinion of their first album (ironically, sometimes, it is not actually being compared to their first album at all but their first major release which might actually be their second album) . This inability to listen to an album as an individual has always sort of irked me.

    Recently a video of a very talented piano player, named Ryan Leslie, surfaced of him improvising along with Lil' Wayne's single "lollipop"

    I personally love what he does with the song and this video reminded me that the original isn't always the best and sometimes the 2nd can overshadow the 1st. This is the case with a lot of remixes but below are some that are so good, it's hard for me to listen to the original again(mpFrees included).

    Q. Tip told Kanye West about the situation with the Blood Diamonds of Africa and he decided to make a song about it to raise awareness and he actually made two songs, one addressing the subject about it, and the other...well, let's just say not so much. I bet you can guess which one got played on MTV. That aside, Lupe used the beat in one of his mixtapes and absolutely slaughtered the track. He called his song Conflict Diamonds and while I don't know if it would technically be a remix, I think this is one of his stronger tracks lyrically and worth a mention.

    She Wants to Move, by N.E.R.D was remixed and they added Common, Mos Def, Q. Tip, and De La Soul. With that sort of lineup and the musicality of N.E.R.D., it's hard to go wrong with a track.

    With a more up tempo beat and Kanye and Consequence spitting on Dwele's Hold On, it's pretty hard to go back to the original.

    Being a fan of Musiq, I was happy to see him come out with a new album last year. Being a fan of Lupe as well, I was happy to see him remix Musiq's new single buddy.

    Although I am a fan of the Neptune Sound, Ratatat did a great job or remixing Jay Z's track Allure and even adding in B.I.G. in seamlessly for a feature.

    Although I'm not the biggest fan of Young Jeezy, I haven't been able to listen to the original of Superstar ever since I heard T.I.'s swagger and wordplay in the remix, I often find myself fast forwarding straight to his part.

    John Legend and Clipse are a good contrast stylistically. I am a big fan of both so with the added beat to the tracks and lyrics laid down by Clipse, I haven't been able to listen to the original track of Heaven Only Knows since the remix was released.

    Finally, one of my favorite remixes of all (I have put this on way too many mix tapes). Kanye put together a great solo track for Talib when they made Get By (Would you believe he was about to give it to Mariah Carey?!?). When it came around for the remix, they assembled a line up of Mos Def, Jay Z, Kany West, and Busta Rhymes for a song that begins strong and keeps its intensity for all 5 minutes and 44 seconds.

    Oh yeah, Kanye recently released a remix to lollipop and I have to say that it doesn't take too much to make this song better. Although the whole voice box thing is overplayed, Kanye really brings his word play game out on this one and Wheezy does the same, causing them to drop the repetitive and dragging hook. I have to admit, for the funny word play alone, I do enjoy the remix.


    Dinner Theater, Terra Nova Restaurant: Appetite Killed.

    What do you get when you mix a classic episode of Saved by the Bell with Prohibition-Era gangstas and a plate of chicken piccata?

    You get something like this.

    Ah, yesssss... murder mystery dinner theater. I have secretly wanted to experience one of these ever since I watched Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa spend that murder mystery weekend at Mr. Jameson's mansion.

    Every Saturday, the Terra Nova Restaurant (Costa Mesa, CA) is transformed into a 1920's era speak-easy... someone gets murdered, music is sung, comedy and mystery ensue. And somewhere in between, dinner is served. It's wonderfully cheesy.

    The food is ok. It's a four-course meal, nothing spectacular but not super horrible either. Clearly, the highlight of the night is the show, not the dinner. If you're looking for something entertaining and random to do with a larger, slightly intoxicated group (e.g. birthday parties), I recommend this. If you're looking to have a romantic, quiet night out with your girl, sorry this is not the place to take her. It's an interactive show and actors will mingle with the diners during serving breaks. They may even call you out during the acts.

    The mystery plot made absolutely no sense to me and I still have no clue who the killer was. But that might have had less to do with the quality of the script and more to do with the whole bottle of Pinot Noir I had with dinner. Props to the actors for their improvisation skills-- I suspect that it's not uncommon for a diner to spoil the fun by loudly pointing out that the dude who was murdered in the first act is obviously the new character dressed in drag in the current act (Thanks, Dad). The actors handled this monkey wrench quite gracefully and with wit.

    Overall, it was good fun. I'm happy to finally cross this off my list of "things to do at least once in my life." What's next? Ordering a mango tonic with a kiwi twist at the bar...



    For a while ive been wanting a motorcycle. and why not? i've been seriously cycling for quite a while now and i drive a huge suv, it hasnt been the best on gas, and getting around LA just seems so much easier on bike, however LA is so spread out that a motorcycle would just make more sense to have no? well being a design nut, and hearing that Mr. Design himself, Philippe Starck has teamed up with French Motorcycle brand Voxan to create this insane looking super naked bike based on vintage 'cafe racers'.

    so come check it out... they call it the Voxan XV SUPER NAKED.

    So how Starck do it? He pretty much took the VOXAN GTV 1200 super touring bike motor, and stuck it on something that looks like a cross between a chair, a vacuum cleaner, a restaurant in LA, and a robot ( all of which he already designs btw). Starck seemed to integrate his minimalist design approach into re-creating the motorcycle and vintage cafe racers into this. Supposedly due for sometime in 08, it looks like this thing will be available for sale only in EUROPE, however rumors are out there that this bike may be available to the US via internet sales on VOXAN or STARCK's website.

    I think its a refreshing way to look at motorcycles nonetheless . Even though i'm still not 100% sold on the design aspect of the bike (and im sure this can be debated up and down the river), i like to think that i would still be interested in owning one. And nakeds are not my thing (girls yes. bikes no), im more of the SUPERSPORT/HYPERSPORT motorcycle kinda guy. non asian of course, i like my ducatis, mv agustas, triumphs expensive and not 'played'.

    So Mr. Starck, bravo... you done it again. you made something so simple expensive as hell and an object of my desire. damn you know what the bike isnt looking that bad anymore, i can apreciate the sharp angles on the side profile, mix of metal and leather, the simplicity of a naked... etc... whats next? actually dont answer that because im broke right now, and im still wanting a new motorcycle. and your VOXAN XV has easily become somewhere in my top 5.. no wait 10 bikes i want...

    well here you go guys, check it out, enjoy and see what makes me want to make this leap from cycling to motorcycling as soon as my paper game is ready.


    Music Videos on a Budget Thanks to Big Brother

    What do you do if you are a British indie band trying to make a music video on a budget? Well, if you are The Get Out Clause, you do this:

    The Get Out Clause, an indie band out of England, came up with a ground breaking idea while trying to make a cheap music video. They set up in front of 80-100 close circuit TV cameras (security cameras) throughout Manchester, England and performed their single, “Paper.” After requesting the footage from the companies responsible for the cameras and many hours of editing, the result was what you see above.

    There are over 4.2 million colsed circuit TV cameras around the UK and it is required that if there is a camera, it should be clear as to who owns the camera and who you can contact regarding its footage. Under their version of the Freedom of Information Act, you can request footage of yourself taken from any private security camera in the UK and the owner of the camera must provide you with a copy.

    With this in mind, the band set up in front of these cameras, ranging from a cross walk, to a bank, to the back of a taxi, without a clue as to how they were framed, and proceeded to play their songs (usually playing at a fast speed and a slow speed at every camera so they had more footage to work with). They then peppered in hand held footage taken from their friends to see audience reaction and give the video a little bit more texture. Aside from their time shooting and editing the video, the cost was less than a couple hundred dollars, and if nothing else has provided them with a huge amount of publicity they would have never had otherwise.



    Ok... so its been months. scratch that. years since ive had a new cell phone, and for me thats an amazing thing... trust me. im the kinda guy who has to have the latest and greatest, or something from some other country that doesnt even work right on my local service cellular provider. ive had all kinds of smart phones from SONY to HTC to PALM to blah blah.
    So when Apple released their iphone and me already having a mac, you would figure i would be one of the first on board rite? ... NOPE. and for very good reason. The iphone just isnt for me, its for everyone else...but not me no-sir-eee... I'm not exactly sure just why that is, but that was until Blackberry (which from day 1 swore that i'd never buy a phone from) drops a BOMB on me. the BLACKBERRY BOLD AKA BLACKBERRY 9000.

    Here it is in all its sexiness! its clean, its sleek, IT HAS A DAMN KEYBOARD! yes that was probably the major reason i didnt want an iphone, that, and no gps, and no 3g and no... well u get the idea.

    Ok lets back up here are the big feature thats really selling me on this new phone for the summer:

    *HSDPA (3g, super fast INTRAWEBZ)
    *Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g compatible
    *Half-VGA,480x320 screen
    *Built-in GPS
    *2MP camera
    *1GB built in memory
    *Micro SD memory cards (16gb max)
    *ONLY bad thing not touch screen.

    So who's this phone for? well Blackberry/RIM is sticking to their guns and targeting the business man/ enterprise market. which is good for me. I can be productive, keep business flowing, probably utilize blackberry's amazing email/messaging service,  keep things simple, and keep life going. 

    It's definitely not the flashiest and shiniest phone out there on the market, but it will do. And a little something that i learned about myself is that I need a mobile computer, well except without having the computer and keeping it more mobile.  And for those waiting for a phone thats semi iphone/HTC (insert model here) this little device couldn't have come any sooner! 

    Ok so when and where right? well we should see this thing this summer 2008. it should be anywhere from $400ish to $500 ish. and no this is not the "iphone killer" that RIM/Blackberry people keep rumoring about. But its gonna be a decent little gizmo that will give iphone a little taste of what is to come.

    So in closing, i just wanted to get out my last two cents about iphone. i hate you. i dont know why but you seem to be that kid that i just dont like. for whatever reason im still not sure. but i just have this weird feeling about you. i dont want to get to know you, i dont want to fall victim to you like millions around the world, i dont want to get to know you. and im tired of seeing your face everywhere i go.... "phew"


    AD NAUSEUM: the last thing on my mind.

    lately when i catch an old navy ad on tv, one thought comes to mind. no, not "wow i really need to buy me some performance fleece" but rather, "who's supplying the soundtrack?"

    to hear what i'm talking about, here's an extended version of the lastest ON "episode," i.e. commercial :

    last night the obsessive-compulsive in me decided to do a little sleuthing for the artist featured in the ad campaign. her name is lights, she hails from toronto, her EP is available on iTunes, and all four songs are pretty good stuff.

    so, i recommend that you check lights out if you're into that whole indie pop electronic-ish sound. according to her myspace, she writes/produces her music out of her bedroom, which makes me like her more. (my favorite song right now is "drive my soul.")

    my guess is that when she eventually comes out with a full-length album, she'll go the ingrid michaelson route and get picked up by VH1 as a "you oughta know" artist (*groan*) or something of that nature. as you may recall, michaelson's song "the way i am" was also featured in an old navy sweater commercial several months ago. the advertising execs succeeded in selling me on that musician too. but the fair isle knits? um, no.


    For all the mac heads

    (link credit goes to PM, my own personal genius bar)

    As a semi-recent mac convert, this well executed fan-made video is especially amusing. It's a great illustration of why macs are just more fun to use...

    Not to take away from the creativity of whoever made the video, it does remind me quite a bit of the Kris Moyes-directed stop motion music video for "Heart Made of Sound" by the Softlightes.

    Gotta hand it to them for making a comparable video with a fraction of the budget, though.

    The Bird and the Bee - Again & Again
    The Softlightes - Heart Made of Sound

    And just for the hell of it, here's a great remix to the Softlightes' "Girl Kills Bear" by Lo-Fi-Fnk. It's always amazing to me when a remixer can distill the best parts of a song and make it even better than the original.

    The Softlightes - Girl Kills Bear (Lo-Fi-Fnk Remix)

    P.S. big ups to all you moms out there!


    Mr. T and his Mother

    Happy Mother's Day!

    And as always, Do as Mr. T does:


    This American Life LIVE

    Imma just come out and say it, I love This American Life, Mike would probably say I'm "gay for Ira Glass," but whatever. Radio is a great format for learning and entertainment and TAL is one of my all time favorite shows. I listen to past shows when I am at work and have now listened to every episode archived on their website. I think the reason I like the show so much, besides their ability to find really interesting stories and tell them very well, is because the show makes you feel "normal," or about as normal as one can feel in the diverse surroundings we live in. They tell stories about people down on their luck, people on the top of their game, historical accounts of the founding of our nation, fictional stories from such great authors as David Sedaris, and much more. They have a way of bringing you into the story no matter who you are and where you are.

    TAL started doing a TV show on Showtime last year. On May 1st, they did something new for the show where they did a live broadcast to theaters all over the US (as explained in the video above). They showed clips from the upcoming season as well as never before seen footage and answered peoples questions. The whole show was 2 hours long and it definitely kept me entertained the whole show.

    The most interesting and entertaining segment of the whole show to me was the "Talk with an Iraqi" segment. In it, an Iraqi, who goes to school in the United States but was in Baghdad during the invasion, goes and sets up a booth in different cities and towns in the south and talks with people about the Iraq War. It was a very candid and sincere look into the Iraqi war through the eyes of many American people. The commentary by the Iraqi was very insightful and put many of the comments made into a different perspective. They posted one of the more interesting clips of it on their website.

    I bought the Season 1 DVD the next day and from what I have watched so far, the TV show is proving to be as thought provoking, intelligent, respectful, funny, and humbling as the radio show. If you haven't checked out the radio or TV show, you should definitely do so, you can podcast it for free. Enjoi!


    Like a sound you hear that lingers in your ear…

    Using catchy tunes to sell stuff is by no means a recent phenomenon (obvs). Basically as soon as there was such a thing as the advertising industry, music was used as a means to infiltrate people’s psyches. And now that advertising is as ubiquitous as ever, it’s even harder to escape getting s#*t stuck in your head constantly (don’t tell me it didn’t take you 3 months to get Feist out of your head). So, since you can’t escape it, you might as well embrace it!! AD NAUSEUM will be a regular feature on ¢ollective co. dedicated to catchy tunes from commercials (cause no matter what you do, it’s gonna grab a hold on you)…

    The above Dockers commercial features the Marlena Shaw classic “California Soul". I think that the romanticized portrayal of San Francisco in the ad actually does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the song. Except, of course, the complete lack of ANY person of color (which is a curious omission considering that the name of the damn song is California SOUL). Anyway, the song was written by the well-known husband and wife team, Ashford & Simpson (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “You’re All I Need To Get By”). It was originally released by the Fifth Dimension and covered by Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell but, in my opinion, the Marlena Shaw version is unmatched. In addition to having the strongest vocal interpretation, it also has that ridiculous string intro I can never get enough of.

    Marlena Shaw - California Soul
    The Fifth Dimension - California Soul
    Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - California Soul

    Lastly… baile-funky 3rd world culture-expropriator and hipster-tastemaker, Diplo (who has remixed everything from the Bartman to that “I like turtles” kid... seriously), made a simple yet effective remix for the forthcoming Verve Remixed, Vol. 4 compilation which is set to drop at the end of the month (May 27). If the previous Verve Remixed compilations are any indication, it’ll be fire.. so cop it.

    MP3: Marlena Shaw - California Soul (Diplo, Mad Decent Remix)



    On-Skool jumping? Melbourne Shuffle? Jumpstyle? The crap they do when dancing to Tektonic? Ok so I'm obsessed with youtube. And im obsessed with dance, so what happens when i mix the two with the occasional pinch of funny and a dash of whats poppin dot net around the globe? i get more than i can bargain for. click on and read more
    Ok so that above sampled Tektonic dancers, which pretty much looked like some jumping around, stuff ive seen at raves with a touch of voguing . Well seems like there is an abundance of jumping around and dancing going on to tecnho, trance, electronic, dance etc kinda music. and lots of them are somewhat similar, very interesting to watch, and well as tiring to watch all at the same time. i dunno what it is about these styles of dance but i just love searching for it on youtube! so check it out the $@#! that is going on around the world. how other people dance and how people get down to some crazyness!



    Melbourne Shuffle


    The Olympic Torch Relay in Retrospect

    While the Olympic torch relay has hit an all time high, so has the protests and the controversies over both the Olympic Games and the torch relay itself. Politics and human rights aside, I think the torch relay getting to the top of Everest is very impressive.

    Over the years, the torch relay has become a big spectacle seen as a sort of goodwill gesture, an opportunity for sponsorship and advertising, and a chance for a regular person who is lucky enough to be selected, to be apart of the Olympic games. All throughout the festivities though, very few mention the origins of the torch relay itself.

    The Olympic flame was brought back as a symbol for the modern Olympics in 1928. The actual idea of the torch relay didn't come around until the Berlin Olympics in 1936...under Hitler. Hitler used the relay as propaganda for the Nazis. He wanted to show the connection between a classical, Aryn Greece, and his Germany. I think it is safe to speculate what the torch runners looked like at that time.

    For those who aren't aware, the Berlin Olympics was the one where the late,great, Jesse Owens took home four gold medals and Hitler refused to even shake his hand. The BBC held back Harold Abrahams, the legendary runner that the movie Chariots of Fire is based on, from being their track correspondent because he was Jewish and they "didn't want to offend the host country." America also held back some of the runners in their relay team because they were Jewish.

    Some might say that it is a great thing that we have taken something that was originally created with bad intentions and turned it into a positive thing but I just find it interesting how we have turned a blind eye to it for so many years. Maybe we shouldn't be so surprised that there is controversy over who is hosting the torch relay when the torch relay has been so controversial from the start. But hey, who am I to judge, I should just sit back and not think about it like most other Americans, it's getting closer to the days when I stay up late or wake up early to catch the good sports.

    I need to find someone with TiVo.....


    The Linkery, San Diego

    Most people who visit San Diego comment on two things, the Gaslamp Quarter and Extraordinary Desserts. While both are great things to see while in San Diego, what gives SD its character are all the neighborhoods near downtown such as Hillcrest, Golden Hill, East Village, Barrio Logan, North, and South Park. In these neighborhoods are the clothing boutiques, bars, and restaurants that really stand out in this city.

    With the E. coli spinach scare and beef recalls, we really do take for granted the safety and origin of our food. Linkery in North Park, SD goes above and beyond providing quality and credibility unsurpassed by most restaurants with every one of their dishes.

    When you walk into the small restaurant on the corner of Upas and 30th, you enter a dimly lit room that feels more intimate than cramped. The menu is one large page. On one side is the simple menu with many options (although being Carnivore, my opinion might be a little skewed away from the realities of Vegans and Vegetarians). The other side of the menu is a complete list of the farms where each ingredient came from, including locations and names of the owners of the farm.

    Although they are known for their sausages (hence the
    name) which are made in house, the rest of their menu is fresh from the local farms, with great produce and choice cuts of meat. While I was there, I had a succulent piece of pork with purple mashed potatoes that were presented very appropriately for the setting and tasted better than it looked. My friends sausages were juicy an flavorful and the extraordinary mustard that came with them is made fresh daily and changes as they see fit. Along with their fine selection of food is an international wine list and a very diverse and well-selected beer selection.

    Whether you are an environmentalist, a vegan, a raging carnivore, an informed consumer, or an empty stomach, I would definitely recommend venturing off the beaten path next time you are in SD and visiting the Linkery, just be sure to read the information for newbies before visiting.

    After you are done with dinner, wander north to 30th st and walk around the shops and studios and enjoy yourself. If you feel like some dessert, you might want to think about skipping on the extraordinary desserts and going for some Heaven Sent ones, but that's for another time.



    Ok ima let you in on something, im a Horology nut, so expect to see some overly expensive and unnecessary time pieces from me on this blog. With that said, i guess naturally i would feel inclined to make some comment about Basel World 2008. (MARCH 28-APRIL 2) "Basel World" is the world's leading Watch and Jewellery Show held at Basel, Switzerland from March 26 - April 2, 2009. It is the PREMIER show for the watch world, like The Magic Convention (Las Vegas) to Fashion, or Geneva Auto Show (Switzerland) to Cars.. And like most people (Rolex collectors) I was very excited to see what Rolex was going to bring us for 2009! And what does rolex do to make you wet??? They show up to Basel World with a shiny new toy, and debut their new ROLEX SEA-DWELLER DEEP SEA

    Now i have a little bone to pick with Rolex collectors.  For the longest time i have always said that the Sea Dweller and Submariner always looked the same! Yet the Sea Dweller has better features and is more capable in deep sea diving, thus in my eyes making it a superior timepiece compared to its Submariner brethren.  However it commands significantly less resale value, and is never hard to obtain or find when it comes to hunting for one.  Is it hype? is it because James Bond fuckin rocked a sub? History and heritage? well technically I'm indifferent, and honestly prefer my money's worth when it comes to rolex. such as 2 tone Daytonas vs. stainless steel, and sea dwellers vs submariners.

    Well i have been shopping for a sport watch and this new sexy Rolex Sea-Dweller Deep Sea (SDDS) is looking mighty fine, i love how rolex fits text on the capture rings, and its been said that the new dial is slightly larger than its predecessor. however that could make the proportion between the dial and the bezel look a little funky...

    Yet we'll see. but knowing Rolex and hype i probably wont be able to see this thing for quite a while. Knowing Rolex im sure we will see a limited edition color for its 2009 release which will make this watch even harder to get when it first arrives! and i will have to pay a premium or fall in line and put a $2000 deposit somewhere, because hell im just a kid with an expensive watch habit


    F*%k what yo mama say…

    No welcome, no intro, let’s just get into it.

    My man Obama had a big day today. Yeah, Hillary will campaign through June. Yeah, she’ll keep playing dirty tricks. But this one is dunzo, kids. Hill needed some big wins in Indiana and NC but got denied.

    For months, given the practically insurmountable pledged delegate lead Obama has had on her, the only justification she’s had for staying in the race that is even remotely reasonable (if that) is that she could still take the popular vote and make her case to the superdelegates that she is more electable than Obama in a general election. Though in recent weeks she was able to slow down the Obama steamroller by stoking the flames of Pastorgate and Bittergate, today’s results show that it was clearly not enough. Hillary is 404.

    What needs to happen now is that the Obama campaign needs to take control of the tone so that the media starts talking about him as the presumptive nominee (because let’s face it, Hillary… he is .)

    Taz Arnold x Daedelus x Kenzo x Shepard Fairey
    New video for "Vote Obama"

    MP(FREE): F.M.B. - Vote Obama (Original Mix)





    Our mission:
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