Nevertheless, check out that bbq grill sitting about 20 feet off the ground traveling 70 MPH! Turns out I wasn't the only one who thought this was ridiculous, since about 10 seconds after I snapped this photo the truck got pulled over by the CHP - hopefully to give him a handshake for somehow getting a bbq grill that high, and a ticket for endangering everyone on the 101 and being a general idiot.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
As per my routine, I wake up at 5:15am and wipe the sleep from my eyes . I get ready to hop in the shower, and as soon as I turn the water on I realize that the water heater has decided it would not be cooperating with me. A quick, brisk shower later; suited and booted, I head out the door for my 40 minute morning commute. With the sun still yet to rise, I arrive at work a few minutes before the market opens and begin reading through my emails.
Reading from the bottom up, I find a message from our Director addressed to us all about 4:15pm - long after most people have left for the day - asking us to pray for a co-worker who was in the hospital after having a heart-attack over the weekend in Boston while taking a walk around his hotel. Apparently (and luckily) an off duty police officer witnessed him fall to the ground and immediately began administering CPR. When he got to the hospital, and all tests had been done, he was scheduled for a quadruple bypass surgery to be administered late last night.
I took a moment to think about how crazy it was to come out of the blue like that, and how lucky we all truly are to make it through each day. I wished for all the best to him and his family, and went back to my emails. *Note: I'm not one to pray for myself, but if it's to help someone else, I generally figure it can't hurt.
About 3 emails later (and 3 hours time wise last night), there was another email from one of the man's sons (the man and his two son's all worked together at our office). It stated simply and quite sadly, something to the effect of: "Dad is looking down on us, telling us to party, and saying GOOOOOOO BEARS!"
Apparently, having heard of his scheduled surgery, he elected to push it back a day so that his daughter who was flying in from Hong Kong would be able to see him before he went under the knife. As it turned out, he hung on just long enough to see her and say goodbye, before passing away.
And I was irritated about having to take a cold shower this morning...Fuck.
I'm sure you are wondering how this is related to a blog called 1000awesomethings. Right? Well, Awesome Thing #347 is titled "Laughs at a Funeral," and from everything I know about the man who passed away, there is little he would have loved to see more at his service, than everyone out having a good time, cheers-ing him and remembering him for the joy he brought others.
Why am I telling you this? Why am I ruining your perfectly good evening with sad stories of people you don't know? Simple. We are all susceptible to this sort of thing. Not saying we'll all have heart attacks, but that we are all running a race against the clock. Some of us have more sand in our hourglass than others do, but nevertheless, the fact remains that we are all going down. Everyone around us is going down, too.
So, while you head into the final stretch of Holiday shopping, crammed freeways, packed flights, and overall anxiety, do me a favor: take a breath and realize everything you have. Not your bank account, or your clothes, or your house, or your car, or that shitty material gift you're giving someone that will more than likely end up regifted or in the back of a closet. These things won't remember you when you're gone. Think about your family, friends, and loved ones. These will be the ones reminiscing about the good times, laughing about the inside jokes you had, partying in your honor, and crying because you're not there to see it all.
As taken from the site:
"People, it’s sad but it’s true: nothing’s gonna stop your big final drop. So live it up now, live it up large, because at the end of the day you aren’t really in charge. Look, we’re not spinning, gninnips, spinning on this wet rock for long, so let’s all enjoy singing our songs with big days full of belly laughs, loving moments, and late nights with close friends."
Thursday, December 16, 2010
1. Ghirardelli Square
Though the businesses in the Square are in foreclosure, Gary Danko asserts he’s still going to open his long-awaited American brasserie.
*No one actually ever willingly goes to Ghirardelli Square, unless they are entertaining newbies to the City or really, really fuckin' bored - so this one strikes out.
2. Pier 35
Get ready for the tourists: San Francisco port officials predict a 39 percent increase in the number of cruise ships docking in the city this year.
*Again, who gives a shit. Pier 35, Pier 39? It's like Happy Gilmore's Gold Jacket/Green Jacket debate. NOTE: The video is of terribly horrible quality.
3. Golden Gate Park/Ocean Beach.
For the first time in history, Bay to Breakers will ban alcohol from the race, making it much harder to lower your inhibitions and run naked.
*This one is something that is actually on everyone's minds. For as long as I can remember the NIMBYs along the course have been trying to "ban alcohol", something that was supposedly in effect for at least the last two years...yeah, if you were there you know how well that worked out. As one of the quintessential San Francisco events (actually hitting 100 years in 2011) it's sad to see the level with which the ridiculousness from both sides of the event have gotten. The folks who come out here, having no ties to the City at all and destroy it vs. the folks who live along the route and can't allow a 100 year old tradition to continue without busting everyone's balls - one that only interrupts the neighborhood one day/year. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what kind of enforcement they're able to pull together. Something more than the previous few years? Non-registered "runners" not allowed on the course? Like most everything else in the land of NIMBYism, only time will tell.
4. Hayes Valley
PROXY—a rotating, temporary group of boutiques, art galleries,
and mini-restaurants housed in shipping containers designed by SF-based Envelope
Architecture & Design—will take over two empty lots.
CityPlace value retail mall will break ground as part of the city’s ongoing attempt to make Market Street more inviting.
*Another issue that has been talked about for years. I wouldn't mind seeing mid- market cleaned up a bit; if only to get some viable storefronts back out there. The crackhead/homeless population is a whole 'nother issue, but one that may get some attention if business owners are willing to work proactively with the police force in an effort to keep the area sustainable and more inviting to, not only tourists, but folks who actually live in the surrounding 'hoods.
6. Bay Bridge
By the spring, the engineering marvel that is the new Bay Bridge’s self-anchored suspension tower will finally be erected, making for a stunning East Bay commute. (Just don’t drive off the bridge while watching this take place.)
*Oh, you mean that whole bridge thing that is costing us $1.43 billion? Yeah? Oh, that's cool. Wait, what's that? It's not scheduled to actually open 'til 2013? Awesome. Why is this "stunning" again?
7. Dolores Park
Renovation begins on Dolores Park. Relax, hipsters: Work isn't scheduled to start until June at the earliest and will be done in stages. There’ll still be lots of room for Hula-Hooping.
*Waaaah, wahhhhhhh. In what looks like the folks at 7x7 were trying to be funny, it's actually a pretty big deal. As one of the City's premier parks, it's not only one of the warmest places in the City, it's also one of the few places you can actually convince a group of people to meet at. Starting in JUNE? Come on, really? The busiest time of the year? Well played, city planners. Well played...
More good news for jazz lovers: Preservation Hall will open its second branch in the old New College Building (which used to be a mortuary), bringing a little New Orleans flavor to the heart of the Mission.
*Cool. I s'pose. One less morgue and one more music venue works for me.
Borders Books, RIP. In its stead, Lucky Strike Lanes is slated to open on King Street, bringing SoCal-style bowling (loungey, lowlit, cocktails in hand) to NoCal.
*Borders is going the way of Old Yeller anyhow, what with Amazon.com handling everything they have - and more. So fuck it. Better than trying to throw another big container store in its place. In fact, I'm down to see a stylish little bowling alley pop up in it's place. Something that doesn't have me driving all the way out to the Presidio in order to knock some pins down, have a beer and play some arcades, is fine by me. Although, anything "SoCal Style" is always a bit of a warning sign for me. Again, we'll have to wait and see.
10. Mission Bay
More new developments on Third Street. Construction will begin on the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, a LEED gold–certified hospital spread over 14.5 acres that will focus on the care of women, children, and cancer patients.
*Women, children and cancer patients? Sounds like fodder for Family Guy, but I won't touch that with a ten foot pole. Or did I just do that?
Monday, December 13, 2010
I mean, you can't even be mad at that. It easily dwarfs the half gallon of soy milk someone has back there. The intense level of disgust is quickly overcome by the simple admiration for someone who can not only drink this amount of soda, but the fact that this was a back up for the one he had on his desk. Bravo.
Welcome back, "G.E.G." Welcome back.
Most people remember him as "Epic Beard Guy" or "Vietnam Tom". I personally enjoy "Tom Slick," as this is also how he likes to refer to himself. As I sat on the bench next to these guys and snuck in a few pics, I was actually pretty intrigued by the stories he was telling. One of the best quotes was: "You don't give whiskey to a homeless man. Shit. You want him to go crazy and fight somebody?" Even so, it became apparent that Tom knew one of the kids and was recounting stories of him growing up, to which the kid actually corroborated. Pretty neat.
Knowing that Tom can get a little crazy, I made sure to take in my celebrity shock from a good viewing distance. I mean, the guy was made famous in a video beating the piss out of a guy who taunted him on an AC Transit bus. A hero to many, but a bit 'off' nonetheless. I don't know about you, but a 67 year old man who wears a shirt like this is not the kinda guy you wanna mess with.
Having taken it all in and watching Tom disappear into the distance, walking with the gait and size of a linebacker behind St. Peter and Paul Church, I rode the rest of the way home with a little bit of a smirk on my face, gently pedaling and enjoying the undulations of Russian Hill and the final ascent up Corbett to Clayton, all the while wondering who else could be in and around The City at any given moment - just waiting to be found.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
This sign is fantastic. "Third World" Beer Specials, up off of Fillmore - in the Fillmore. Only made better since the name of the place is actually Third World Market. Check out those reviews and those specials! Rainier? Yes. Please.
Note: Nothing that costs $22.49 is a "special". Stick with the $1.50-$1.75 'out the door' beers and you're still a player at player prices.
Monday, December 6, 2010
After waiting at the San Mateo DMV for about an hour, I was able to get my vehicle registration changed over to my new address. While nothing particularly awesome took place in the people watching department, there were several people "smelling" experiences within the hour that piqued my sense of disgust. Not sure what these people ate throughout the day, but if they went through the new TSA scanner, they could have easily been caught for smuggling limburger cheese and wads of wet dog hair on their person.
The other 'awesome' thing I found at the DMV is below:
Now, this is a picture of what I originally thought was some tribute to America's Bad-Ass-Ness. However, I noticed later that this was actually the most ridiculously gaudy nameplate I've ever come across. I can only hope that the lady in the picture is actually the Manager that this nameplate serves to absolutely memorialize. I think the plaque at Pearl Harbor is smaller than this thing. Anyway, I'm pretty sure she felt I was taking a picture and picked up that stack of paper, since, the other 10 minutes I was standing at the counter she was simply turning in very slow circles "supervising" - much like the 3 guys that "work" for CalTrans (read: lean on shovels) while the other 2 guys actually bust their asses to get shit done.
Anyway, I'm sure she spent years dealing with jackasses like me who try to game the system - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Is it worth a shot? Absolutely.
Here's what you do:
At most of these places, they start you a line where you walk up to somebody who generates a tag for you (C288, K314, etc.) at which point you sit on your thumb for an hour and hope your foot doesn't fall asleep, since getting out of your chair and falling on the ground in front of people at the DMV would be more embarrassing than having to be at the DMV in the first place. Now, the reason they give these tags with random numbers and letters is simply so you have no idea what order people are actually being called - this is also why you see people who got there after you, go in front of you. Here's the kicker though: I learned this past week that there is a "secret button" that will generate what is known as a "Front of the Line" ticket. Seriously.
How do you get one of these? Aside from having relations with the person giving out the tickets, I've found that you can often get away with one of these Golden Tickets if you do a few things in a very specific order.
1) Go on the website and find a number for the specific bureaucracy you are dealing with: SFMTA, DMV, Social Security, etc... It really doesn't matter which one - almost all of them have the same prefix throughout the building, just make sure it's close enough to make the guy at the desk think you actually got the number from someone there.
2) When you walk up to the counter, the person is going to try and rush you. DON'T LET THEM. Speak calmly and directly. It also helps to have a bunch of papers in your hands - preferably the forms you need. Most importantly, have the number you wrote down from the website handy. Here is where it gets critical - tell the person: "I was here earlier in the day and was given this number to call to have the system updated since it wasn't previously recognizing my information. The guy 'over there' said once it was done I could come to the front and get a 'quick ticket' or something where I wouldn't have to wait so long to update my registration/change my picture/etc..."
Important: Try not to sound like you know about these "front of the line" tickets. If they get specific with who you spoke with, say it was a few hours ago, and you don't see them anymore. Mind you, these folks hear and see all sorts of shit everyday. They don't like attitude, and they sure as hell don't like people thinking they know how the system works. Worst they can do is give you a regular ticket and you wait the requisite time. If you're an ass, I'm sure they have a ticket that can make you wait even longer...
Using this strategy I was able to get my new parking area permit in less than 10 minutes instead of 40 to an hour. Unfortunately, I actually had to call the "database guy" and get my address entered into the system. This was the day before though, and I wasn't going to waste another hour sitting around stank ass people. So, I told him I was there earlier and the "guy on the end" said I could go to the front. It worked. This isn't full proof by any means, but if you follow the steps outlined the odds of you decreasing your wait time are infinite compared to just walking in and taking the number given to you. Also, wear something that makes you look important and very busy. Carry a briefcase, or throw on a suit if you've got one. Trust me. People love to act like they don't play favorites, but study after study shows they do.
Good luck out there.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Well to be fair, it actually turned out that people were more interested in my hastily thrown together list of things I would miss and, maybe more-so, the things I would NOT miss about the Mission. As a result, my blog was featured on two of the bigger Blogs in SF: Mission Mission and CurbedSF. I've had 1545 page views today alone - almost a quarter of all views since I started this thing.
While I appreciate the love and the new readership, it definitely made me realize I need to be careful what I put out there on a public forum. Not only did my post originally tell people where I was moving, I had a fuckin' picture of the house up and everything. Genius.
It also turns out not everybody thinks the pop culture references I make are exactly PC. *Sigh*. If only I was a black comedian. I'd be able to make fun of everyone and anything and it would be okay (see what I did there?). One commenter over on the Mission Mission site, likened my Bebe's kids reference to the term "pickanninies". Really?
The fact is, the Bebe's kids reference had nothing to do with historical racism. The movie came out in 1992, based on the stand up of Robin Harris (1953-1990). Guess what? He was black. In fact, the only reason I used the reference was because the way the kids in the street were acting is spot on the way the characters in the actual animated film acted (for some reason I had the VHS) - with complete disrespect towards other people. But I digress.
It's the night before Thanksgiving. Supposedly one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. This is when all the college students come home to be with their families for the weekend, but realize how much 'home' actually bores the living shit out of them. Naturally, not wanting to sit around and play, "What are you doing when you graduate?" with Gram and Gramps, and Uncle Mike, everyone calls up their friends that are still in town or back from wherever, and they all get together to drink.
So I ask you, why are you still reading this? Why am I still typing this. Go work on that hangover that'll earn you that 3000 calorie meal and a good nap while your Aunt Betsie brags about her middle-school age daughter who made the "honor roll" for the first time.
Friday, November 19, 2010
From the rooftop, you can see the tips of the Golden Gate and on the other side, nearly all of Downtown SF. My room (and deck) are at the back of the house. Pretty excited. However, there are some things I'm going to miss. This is obviously begging for a Pros/Cons list, and guess what, you're in luck!
Things I'll Miss About Living in the Mission (specifically 24th and Shotwell):
- The 3 minute walk to BART
- The 40 Taquerias (Papalote and Vallarta, in particular) and the number of dive bars (Mission Bar, Nap's 3) within walking distance.
- The $3 Four Lokos I can conveniently purchase at the corner.
- The quick shot up to the top of Bernal Hill.
- St. Francis Fountain down the street
- The relative flatness of the Mission in general and being able to get anywhere in the area on my bike faster than a car.
Things I'll certainly NOT Miss About Living in the Mission (specifically 24and Shotwell)
- All those damn Bebe's kids running around near the Bernal Projects - especially the two 7-10yr olds who saw me approach the stop sign the other day as they were crossing the street, decided it was pertinent to dramatically slow their pace to the point that they were simply lifting their feet and putting them down in the same spot, and then snapped back at me when I asked out the window, "Really?"
- The bum/drunk who routinely drinks himself into a coma and pisses/shits himself within two doors of my house.
- All the stoop 40s parties that end with a ton of broken glass in the street.
- Shotwell being quite possibly the narrowest two-way street in the City of San Francisco, yet people still treating it like a racetrack.
- The sirens, gunshots, and fireworks (except for the World Series celebration).
In no way is this list inclusive of everything I'll miss (and not miss), but it was simply the things I was able to rattle off while they were at the forefront of my mind. Being that it's Friday and all, and I don't have plans to do ANYthing, I'm most likely going to start making a concerted effort to go through all my shit and see what's actually worth holding onto, what to try and sell, what to give away, and what is straight trash that I've been holding onto for waaaaaay too long. Wish me luck!
Note: If anyone out there is interested in helping me move, there is a meal of your choice and/or a punchbowl at Hobson's (which is conveniently right down the hill from the new place) in it for you. Leave me a note in the comments if you're down.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
BREAKING NEWS: As I was putting up this post, a quick google search revealed that the company that makes Four Loko announced today that they are planning to remove the caffeine from their recipe, much like Four Loko's predecessor, Sparks. Get out there and hoard the real thing while you still can! There really is nothing like spending $3.00 for the buzz of a six pack of beer and the jolt of two cups of coffee. Except maybe doubling down and spending $6.00.
Similar to the music you'll hear in one of their massive and awesome stores, most of it comes from the ultra-indie. While some of it is easily skippable, you can't beat the fact that they are essentially giving you the opportunity to be super cool and have knowledge of a band nobody's ever heard of.
So head over to the site, check out the new catalog, see the sale items, and check out the music. And if you're wondering, I like gift cards.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Found over at Mission Mission.
If you can, watch this in full screen. My 'hood is in the distance. This is flat out amazing. I might be a little bit in love with this girl. Keep watching. You'll see who I'm talking about. I like quick sentences. See?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I'll show you what you don't have though:
Yup. Big ass windows looking out towards the Pacific, right next to the weight sets. As the sun goes down a little further, you can actually see Sutro Tower in the distance and catch some pretty amazing views of the city lights.
Fair to say, however, the view outside is much better than the "view" inside.
Listening to the song, I find myself thinking about the past. A lot. But who doesn't? After all, everything we happen to be is based on what has happened to us in the past, right? Right. BUT, I think it's important to realize that our past does not dictate our future. Sure we've all made some mistakes or done some things we regret (if you are one of those people who always says, "no regrets" you're a damn liar and you know it), but the important thing to realize is that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, will change what has already taken place. Move on from it. Learn from it, but move on.
One of the minimalist bloggers I follow (and have referenced in the past) recently posted something about this that resonated with me in a number of ways. Everett Bogue over at Far Beyond The Stars, writes:
"The reality is that the past is dead. It happened, it shaped who you are, butBoom.
it’s gone now.
And it’s never coming back.
No matter how many Facebook messages you send to your high school ex-girlfriend/boyfriend when you’re drunk at night, you’re never going to be 17 again. You’re never going to share the connection you had then.
No matter how many times you look at that picture of the perfect Halloween, with the displaced tribe of a dozen remarkable individuals, they’ll never be together again in the same way.
And this is okay. The world changes. We evolve into new and better
individuals every single day."
Take some time to actually think about that. How many times have you caught yourself telling stories about awesome times in the past, instead of getting out there and actually creating awesome times in the present?
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
One click and about a half a second later and you'll be whisked away to a random place in the world. I just went to Finland, Denmark, Mexico, and Italy in under 10 seconds. Oh yeah, and freakin' ANTARTICA.
The best part? Each image is similarly functional to the Google Maps Street View we're all used to. Check it out. It'll sure make the days at the cubicle go by a lot more quickly.
Anyhow, what didn't slip was my passion for skimming through other blogs in SF and the Bay Area to see what they have been up to. One of my favorite blogs is I Live Here SF. Of all the stories of all the transplants in this great city, few people are as able to capture the essence of it all through pictures like Julie Michelle can. She is currently showing many of the actual prints from a number of her encounters at SOMArts over at 934 Brannan St.
One of my favorite photos is below:
The exhibition runs 'til November 30th. Check it out if you get a chance.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I absolutely had the original Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on VHS. In fact, I watched it so many times it got to the point where the film was wearing thin and you would get the fuzzy screen coming through when you watched it - suspiciously enough it was right around the time you meet Missy/Bill's step-mom. Anyway, I'm pretty pumped to see how they pull this out. Especially with Rufus (George Carlin) now being dead and all...
Hopefully the Wyld Stallyns are still rockin' in the three-qual.
Fast forward a week and I realize I haven't blogged in nearly 10 days. Pretty good hiatus, even for me. I doubt that any of the people who read this were worried about the fact that they wouldn't be able to catch up on asinine videos and random news stories from around the interwebs. Needless to say however, there is a rather large, (Orange and Black) elephant in the room that hasn't been brought up by me since August.
Weird, right? A Giants fan who watched them before the last week of September? Yeah, I know. Don't trip. We really did/do exist.
Anyway, as any true baseball fan knows, nothing is as awesome as playoff baseball. It's even more awesome when your team is competing - and even MORE awesome when they're winning -and EVEN MORE AWESOME when they make it to the World Series! The emotion and excitement in SF these past few weeks has been remarkable to say the least. In a town like SF, that is especially "clique-ish" when going out, it's often hard to break in to new groups of people since most often people travel in packs and tend to stay with those they came with. On Giants' playoff game nights however, everyone is there to support the same cause and cheer for the same thing: Getting drunk and cheering on the Giants. For most of the "new" fans, it actually (read: sadly) goes in that order. The point however, is that this playoff run, and now World Series appearance is actually giving San Franciscans something that they can mutually bond over (aside from living in the 'greatest city in the world').
All I can hope for now is that I kick this sickness before the weekend and before the Giants win the World Series. That will most definitely be a party not to miss.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
There's no sound, but this is well worth paying attention to.
Been a real, REAL long time since I laughed out loud watching something on the internet.
Thank you once again, Daisy.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Snapped on my anciently shitty, iPhone 3G camera. 10/8/2010.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Found at Golden Gate Bike and Skate. I wouldn't recommend this place unless you have an emergency. I walked in and the guy completely ignored me for almost 5 minutes - mind you the shop is the size of a large walk-in closet, and him and I were the only two people in the joint. The good thing is, while the guy was replacing my flat tire, I was able to look at the "amazing" posters on the wall. And wouldn't you know it, I wound up spotting the greatest Devil's Backbone rollerblader of all time.
Yup. Mitchell effin Goosen! was right there on the wall getting radical. AMAZING! There were actually a ton of other awe-inspiring pictures from the late 80s all over the wall, but unfortunately I didn't have much time to snap them all. If you're ever in the neighborhood, pop your head in and check out the posters - just don't expect to get any assistance from the guy behind the counter.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Check it out for yourself:
The guy's a douche, sure, but you get the point of the video. Be glad someone over SunChips was smart enough to realize it was better to have consumers still buy their products, than file a class action lawsuit against them for deafening anyone who purchased their products.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
About a week and a half ago I was on Amazon.com again, searching for nothing and finding something. This time around it happened to be a couple of new books and another pair of shoes. As is the case with most online purchases, this one was primarily impulse, and as soon as the credit card number had been entered and the final "submit order" button had been clicked, I immediately began to question why I chose to buy shoes that cost me nearly $100 that I would probably only wear a few times a year. This is rare, mind you. I actually took a step back and wondered, "Why the fuck are you buying these? You don't need them. So why?" As soon as I realized I was unable to answer my own question, I made a promise to myself to return them as soon I got them in the mail. And I did.
You know what? It felt awesome. It felt awesome knowing that I technically just paid myself back $100. It made the fact that I got a parking ticket minimally draining on my finances. Using part of that money saved, I was able to go watch the Giants win the last game of the season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2003 - A memory that will last a lot longer than those shoes would have. More than anything though, it really made me think about all the crap I have - stuff that has literally cost me thousands of dollars, that has no significant or meaningful value.
In his most recent blog, Everett Bogue writes about what he considers the "Secret of Happiness". His most important message? You don't have to have a lot of money or things. Describing why so many people are unhappy, he says:
No doubt these ideals are a bit extreme considering the way most of us are living our lives, but it sure does make you think when you read his words. Especially when you take a step back and try to realize why it is we are doing the things we do on a daily basis. He discusses all this and more in his book, The Art of Being Minimalist.
"You’re unhappy because you sit in a car all day, and then come back and sit on your couch all night, which makes you want to buy a new car because you think it will make you happy. Really you’re just wasting thousands of dollars on a piece of metal that isolates you from the world — and thus happiness. When you spend 20-grand on a car, you have to work a gazillion hours to pay that off...stop buying, stop watching TV, sell your crap, and start living your life."
Anyway. My "End-Year's" Resolution is to go through a ton of unnecessary things in my life and see what I've been keeping because I want it or if it is in fact something that I truly need. While I will make an honest effort to minimize the unnecessary, I know that there will still be some things I will retain that will undoubtedly be extraneous. This is something new, and I'm sure I will learn to live with a lot less over time, though it has to start somewhere.
I'll let you know how it goes in the in-between time.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Seriously, if he sees this, he may just move straight to Korea for the convenience of it all. Check out the full article from over at TIME Newsfeed.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I can't tell you how many people I hear complain about something every. single. day. Next time you think about complaining or whining about something because you're stressed out at your job, think about all the people in the world who would be thrilled to even have a job. Next time you spill something on your shirt or get a rip in your jeans, think about how many people in the world don't have clothes. When you'd rather sit on the couch then go to the gym, take a minute to think about people who can't walk and what they would give just to be able to spend a minute walking on a treadmill.
Be thankful for what you have, because believe it or not, there are well over a billion people on this planet that would lie, murder and steal to be in your shoes.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The article is from 2006, and though we know much has changed in the political and financial landscape since it was written, it still speaks volumes about people you will come across in your everyday life: Those who will complain about the status quo any chance they are given, but still try their hardest to uphold it and do anything and everything to avoid disrupting the "path life has sent them on" vs. those that strive to challenge the "path" and choose to blaze their own trails, ask questions, and seek advice.
Here are his words:
Great advice. Some that I am going to make a concerted effort to follow more closely myself.
It Never Gets Easier Than Now
July 28, 2006
Every time I hear someone say “I’m too busy” to do something, a little puppy dies and I want to stab myself in the eye with a katana blade. I don’t think people realize how good we have it right now: We’re young, we’re only responsible for ourselves, and we can do basically anything we want. If you think about the responsibilities we’ll have in 20 years–or even 5–you start to appreciate that doing almost anything will never get easier than it is now.
Here are some examples:
Saving money is never easier than now. If you don’t think you can save 25%+ of your salary today, think about this: You have no one else you’re spending on. And while your salary will go up, the increase won’t be commensurate with your expenses–unless you start developing habits right now. Let’s think about some of the expenses we’ll face soon: insurance, a new home, homeowner’s insurance, remodeling, moving costs, a car, car insurance, car repair, medical costs, vacations, giving to charity, giving wedding gifts, giving birthday gifts, giving graduation gifts, a babysitter, diapers, baby formula, kids’ sports, and, finally, unexpected expenses. As Chris Yeh wrote, “Just this morning, I calculated that our monthly expenses are about 10X what they were when my wife and I were just a single couple living on our own, mostly due to our two bundles of joy.” If you think you’ll be able to save more in the future than today, you’re out of your mind. Read my site, read others, start a budget, and find a way.
Working out. We’re in the best natural shape of our lives. There’s a school near my place, and when I run, I see older men sweating like Patrick Ewing after only one lap. I scornfully lap those 72-year-old men over and over again. It’ll never be easier than today.
Starting your own business. Here are some common reasons people give for not starting one “right now” that make me thankful I am not a dragon (my sigh would ignite them): “I’ll just wait until I save a little more money,” they say. Or “I just have to learn some more before I do it.” Now, most people won’t start their own companies and that is perfectly cool. But for those that want to, there’s nothing like learning by doing–and if you fail, what’s the worst that can happen at our age? You don’t lose your house or wife and kids. You go and…get a regular job. You can always go to the corporate world. Going the entrepreneurial route gets harder and harder.
Just hanging out with friends. It’s easier to go out with friends now than it will ever be in the future. Why? Because we all live in the same general area, live similar lifestyles, and have virtually no responsibilities to anyone else. “But Ramit,” you might say, “most of my friends live far away.” Even if they live on another coast, we have such few external responsibilities that we can take a weekend trip to most places. Also, on my comedy blog (Things I Hate), I wrote about the people in college who get “married” by only hanging out with their boyfriend/girlfriend. What a huge mistake. Your friends aren’t all boring and in serious relationships yet. If you have any married friends, have you ever tried hanging out with them? It’s like a giraffe trying to find a pair of lost contact lenses. Impossible. We’re young, our friends are young, and we’re all pretty available to hang.
Doing your own side projects. Holy christ, we have more free time right now than we know what to do with. “But Ramit,” you might say, “I work 12 hours a day and then I study for the GMAT and then I build houses in Guatemala on the weekends. You’re full of shit.” Let’s keep it real: We all have lots and lots of time we use for leisure activities–whether it’s watching The Hills (Heidi surprised me on Wednesday), working out, or whatever. The question is, can you track what you spend your time on and redirect it to something you care about? Something that will have an impact for the next 5, 10, or 50 years? The answer is yes. And we’ll only get busier in the future.
Taking risks in investing and life. I’m going to describe some fears we have about investing, but you can apply this to anything.
Don’t worry so much about losing all your money. Don’t worry about not having the optimal asset allocation. Don’t worry about your friends making more than you. Worry about not getting started. In my 1-hour talks, I ask young people our age about what would happen if we lost all our money right now. After a couple of inevitable gasps, most people admit that it wouldn’t really be that bad. Maybe they’d go live at home for a few months, get back on their feet, and go get another job. But what happens when you’re 35 with a husband, 2 kids, and a mortgage? Losing most (or all) of your money would be catastrophic. And if you’re 65 and spending your money on pills and bingo, losing your money can be a matter of life and death.
Meeting interesting people. You wouldn’t believe how many people are willing to meet to share advice and connections. I meet them all the time, and it’s not because I’m some fancy guy (I’m not). It’s because I’m young and interested. CEOs, VCs, and even small-business proprietors and teachers are so friendly. I think it’s because of 3 things: First, people love to talk about themselves, and I’m interested in their story. Second, people love talking to young people, both to share their experience and to stay connected to young people; for example, last week, I taught a business friend what “Benjamins” are. God I loved it. Third, people love knowing that your intentions are pure and that you got in touch to learn, not to inject some corporate agenda. Who knows what could happen if you just asked?
Traveling. You think when you’re 30, you’ll be able to take a weekend trip to New York, stay out until 5am, then make it back in time for Monday morning? No way. I’m not 30, but aren’t most 30-year-olds plagued with arthritic joints and incontinence? Heh, I hope I don’t get in trouble for that one. Anyway, traveling to visit (or live) in other places is unbelievably easy right now. To visit, it costs about $200 roundtrip to anywhere in country [note: we know now this is NOT the case. - Rick]. To live, we pick a place, get a job, and it’s done. We have no one to answer to, and imagine the amount you can learn by living somewhere else.
Living in situations your parents would abhor. As we get older, we naturally demand a more comfortable living situation. When we travel abroad, for example, we can stay in hostels with no problem. When older people travel, they need a hotel. In college, we lived in like 150 square feet with 2 other people. Older people measure their homes in the thousands of square feet, and they have things like “dens” and “islands” in their “kitchen.” (Funny thing: You should have seen some of the parents’ horrified faces when they visited Stanford, where the dorms are actually really nice. And then to buy sheets (“linens” to them) at Target? Oh my god!) Ok, that went off on a huge tangent, but the point is that we can live in a way that older people cannot. So whether that’s saving on rent by living in a cheaper place, or driving your 10-year-old car, or just realizing you don’t need that much…it’s never easier than it is now.
What about you?
Monday, September 27, 2010
About 40 minutes into my workout, dripping sweat and gasping for air like I just got revived by someone doing mouth to mouth resuscitation, a late teenager in an unfilled cutoff shirt, comes up to me and asks, "What's your secret?". The funny thing is, I was severely trying to ignore him the first few times he asked, but being a persistent adolescent, he wouldn't be turned away that easily. After finally giving in, I removed my headphones and in the sassiest tone I could muster whilst still being out of breath I look at him and say, "WHAT??!". He repeats his moronic query, and without skipping a beat I reply, "I workout while I'm here, and don't dare bother other people who are in the middle of a workout". Placing my headphones back in, I shake my head and get back to it.
20 minutes later - no joke - I see the same kid about 6 inches from one of the full wall mirrors squeezing zits out of his face. Seriously. I was stuck. I must have watched in disgust for a full 3 minutes. It was like watching an enormously obese person order a ridiculously large meal at a fast food chain but then INSIST on getting a DIET Coke. I mean, come on. Had the kid actually been trying to do something and asked for a little help in between my sets, I would have been more than happy to show him a couple things. Just asking "my secret"? I mean....
For other decent gym etiquette, check this list out. Number 4 sounds extremely familiar, no?
Friday, September 24, 2010
Though I was hesitant about seeing only half of one of the most prolific funk-hip hop groups ever, I was pleasantly surprised when the opening set consisted of a slew of early Outkast - mixing the hits "ATliens", "Skew It On the Bar-B", "So Fresh, So Clean", and "Ms. Jackson." For me personally, it was the high point of the show - the rest was just "meh". After essentially tolerating a set of his new music I was pleased to hear them bring back a little more of the old school with "Bombs Over Baghdad" - as were the several hundred people who may or may not have been (read: they were) enjoying themselves with a little bit of the "sticky-icky".
Of all of Big Boi's new music, I could only find one that resonated with me and brought back the nostalgic excitement I remember during college parties. The new single "Shutterbugg" ft. Cutty, is poised to become a hit - if isn't already.
Regardless of my particular likings of the style of music, it's impossible not to give respect to Big Boi for his lyrical /flow ability. The show overall had an awesome energy to it, and the venue was poppin'. Of anything, I was mostly focused on Big Boi's decision to wear bright red socks on such skinny legs.
I mean, the guy is pretty short, and not the leanest, but the bright red socks and the green hat left him looking like one of Santa's rejected elves from the Eastmont Mall. Regardless however, the guy was amazing at getting the crowd participation joint on lock and truly entertaining the crowd - all of this without Andre 3000's "wacky/zany" outfits and personality. Which was definitely appreciated.
If you're not sure what exactly they are check out the link on Amazon.
Yup, you read that right. Energy Sunflower Seeds. I think it's an AWESOME idea, especially for staying awake during long road trips. However, there is one thing (aside from the $1.99 price tag and $4.89 shipping cost) that bothers me juuuust a little bit.
Apparently, the geniuses over at Sumseeds thought that Tony Gwynn was the best guy to be the face of a snack food that contains Caffeine, Taurine, and Ginseng. Don't get me wrong, Tony Gwynn is an OG in the game of baseball. The guy batted .394 during the 1996 season, the second highest batting average since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. In fact, he never batted below .309 in any full season during his 20 year career on the San Diego Padres. The fact that he is more well known for his portly stature than for being in the Hall of Fame is more what I'm leaning towards.
I mean, the seeds have several supplements in them known for helping people lose weight. But look at that face! Is this really the ideal image for selling these? Are people trying to get all hyped up on seeds to go play baseball? Not sure. Truly not sure. I suppose will have to wait and see if this is the next banned substance to hit the MLB in the next few seasons...
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I have no idea what they are talking about. And they are blaming it on the adults?!? Say what? Thankfully, you can seek guidance from the Baptist Press if you are so inclined.
Plus, if that's the case, my nephew's repeated f-bombs before he was even 2 years old (used in the correct context and everything!) already puts him ahead of the curve.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Ace of Base
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mary J Blige
Soul II Soul
Dexy's Midnight Runners
Earth Wind and Fire
LL Cool J
Letters to Cleo
These are just artists featured in the first six songs (let alone those I didn't recognize) on Girl Talk's 2008 album, "Feed the Animals", by far the most amazing compilation of almost every genre of music from the last 40 years. Sure it's 2 years late, but how many of the rest of you out there know what's been going on with this guy? He was featured one Time's Top 10 Albums of 2008.
Anyway, do yourself a favor. Download the $5.00 MP3 album from Amazon.com and enjoy. That's about as much as you'd spend on a beer, and trust me, this buzz will last a lot longer. You'll also be treated to one of the best outros on any album I've ever heard in my life. If this album doesn't put a smile on your face after listening to well over a hundred different throwback and current artists in under an hour, well hell, I don't know what will.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
You guys might have also noticed that down the side of the screen I've added about 30 of my favorite blogs/websites. I suppose I shouldn't be revealing the places where I find most of the things that I post on here, but I figured there are a lot of other things that I don't re-blog that you might be interested in.
Check some of 'em out. Let me know what you think.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
One of my favorite artists and cultural commentators, Paul Madonna, captured this perfectly as he wrote in one of his drawings, "We find time for things we want, and make excuses for everything else." So simple, but so right on point. How often do we find ourselves running to a restaurant or getting take-out because "we don't have time to cook". Yeah, think about it. If you've got time to get in your car, drive and grab the food, drive home, set it out and eat that mess, you've definitely got the time to cook. You probably just don't want to, so you make an excuse to satisfy yourself. In fact, last week when I was making excuses not to blog, I was making excuses not to cook, and (gasp) making excuses not to go to the gym. It's a very slippery slope, one that I try to stay away from as much as possible, but being human, we all find ourselves falling victim to these scenarios from time to time.
One of my new favorite bands that has broken on the scene in the last few months, The Limousines, has a pretty catchy little tune that puts this kinda thing in perspective. I've posted the lyrics below the video, for you to check out. The video has a little mini-interview with the band afterward if you're interested.
Lyrics, "Very Busy People"
We'll end up numb from playing video games
and we'll get sick of having sex.
And we'll get fat from eating candy
as we drink ourselves to death.
We'll stay up late
making mix tapes, photoshopping pictures of ourselves
while we masturbate to these pixelated videos
of strangers fucking themselves.
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people.
There's crusty socks
and stacks of pizza boxes
making trails straight to the bed.
And when we're done sleeping
we'll stay busy dreaming of the things
we do not have yet.
Well there's a long, long list of chores
and shit to do before we play,
oh let's just piss away the day.
Crank call the cops down at the station,
just for friendly conversation,
requesting songs they never play;
Let's hear the one that goes like:
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people;
But we've always got time for new friends.
So come on over and knock on our door,
it's open whatcha waitin' for?
We may be sprawled out on the floor,
but we still make lovely company.
Pull up a chair, I'll pour some tea,
We'll shoot the shit, 'bout everything,
till you get sick of politics,
and flip on the TV screen,
we stare at the TV screen.
That Donnie Darko DVD has been repeating for a week,
and we know every single word.
(Every single word).
I've got an iPod like a pirate ship,
I'll sail the sea
with fifty thousand songs I've never heard-
And all the best of them go
La la la la la la...
la la la la la la...
We are very busy people,
We are very busy people;
But we've always got time for new friends.
La la la la la la...
la la la la la la...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Seriously though, the park was absolutely packed and an awesome time. The weather cooperated long enough so that even the most hipster of girls were able to put on a decent little fashion show.
Plus, there was this androgynous hula-hooper. Best random sighting of the day.
Looks like a few folks made it back from Burning Man a little early just to catch the last bit of the perfect weather in SF.
Friday, September 3, 2010
For all those that may take this weekend to head into The City, here's a little something to motivate you:
From Troy over at Caliber SF.
Everyone else, have fun and be safe.
For many people, the 1st of the month brings promise of food and diapers for children, rent payments, ahhh, who am I kidding? 90% of that money goes straight to the newest shoes, iPhones, rims, and drugs anyhow. Which gets us back to our friend that brings us the "Crackhead of the Day" showing just how "fun" payday can be downtown on 6th Street (funniest part about that link is that Google didn't dare go down 6th past Market - tell you anything?).
True, he might be diabetic. Buuuuuuut, I'm gonna guess the full nudity says otherwise. More pics via the link below.
Courtesy of Bluoz.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Seriously though, I don't think I've ever even consumed a Big Gulp. I do know I always wanted to fill one of those giant cups with some Slurpee when I was 12, but shit, I used to eat Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, It's It Ice Cream Sandwiches, Funyuns, and Welch's Grape Soda for lunch every-damn-day in Junior High. Gross. Duh. Odds are if you are a product of HUSD, you did too. But now that we realize how unhealthy all that shit is we stopped eating like that. At least most of us.
Until I'm fully disgusted by another sighting...Rick.