Easter Sunday

A nice lil Sunday…

imageEating breakfast on the back patio… Spring dawns in the backyard as Amos ponders the meaning of it all, haha.

imageGetting chocolate wasted on this cupcake that my thoughtful girlfriend, Jessica, bought me.

imageHiking the Cataract Trail at Mount Tamalpais in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Beautiful! Tons of waterfalls. My roommate, Aaron, invited me and my girlfriend to go. Great idea, Aaron!

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On Saturday morning, life slows down

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J4 Score!

imageMy brother helped me score a pair of these new Jordan 4 retro’s!  I’m super psyched on these.  When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t really afford to buy me Jordans, so these days I’m pumped to be able to own a few of my favorite versions.  The Jordan 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s all bring back a lot of nostalgia about my elementary and middle school years.  I can distinctly remember sitting on the curb or on the bus, and just staring at other kids’ Jordans, thinking how fucking cool they looked and how badly I wanted a pair, haha.  I already owned a pair of 3’s and 5’s, so these J4’s are something that I’ve wanted for a while.  They’ll be a nice addition to my collection, shown below.  I’m no sneaker head by any means, but I have gone out of my way to get a few pairs that have a lot of nostalgia to me… Plus, I actually wear mine. :)

imageTop = Jordan 5, Jordan 1, Jordan 3 (I’m not a big fan of the Jordan 2’s).  Bottom = Jordan 5 / Air Force 1 fusion retro, and then a random pair of Air Max’s and an Air Force 1 high top.  The new J4’s will fit in nicely!  I think my next pick up will probably be the Jordan 11’s with white upper and black patent leather near the sole.

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Chris Mullin jersey retirement night 03.19.12

On Monday March 19th, 2012, I attended the Warriors vs. Timberwolves game, which was also Chris Mullin jersey retirement night.  They gave away a bobble head too, but it ran out before I got there, bummer!  The halftime ceremony featured a bunch of the guys from the Run TMC days – Mitch Ritchmond, Tim Hardaway, Don Nelson, and Tom Tolbert, along with the other Warriors that have had their jerseys retired – Nate Thurmond, Rick Barry, Al Attles, etc.  Wilt Chamberlain’s wife represented Wilt.  The only down-side of the night was when Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob began to speak, the crowd booed uncontrollably in protest of the recent Monta Ellis trade.  Every time he tried to speak, the boo’s would get louder.  It was super awkward and it was a total drag.  Finally Chris Mullin had to get up and say some words to the crowd, and as always, he handled himself perfectly with a ton of class.  I felt bad for Chris Mullin and his family to have to sit through all of that.  Believe me, I definitely understand the fans’ frustration after 20+ years of bottom dwelling, but I thought it was super disrespectful to Chris Mullin to make this night about anything other than him.  Other than that, everything was super cool, and I’m glad I was there to see his jersey retirement.  Thanks #17!

imageAll of the Warrior players wore #17 warm ups.

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imageTim Hardaway and his wife were seated a few seats away from me for the first half of the game.

imageChris’s acceptance speech with the other Warrior greats sitting to the left with their retired jerseys behind them.

imagePhoto sesh with Chris (right) as they break down the half-time ceremony.

imageWilt Chamberlain #13, Tom Meschery #14, Al Attles #16, Chris Mullin #17, Rick Barry #24, Nate Thurmond #42.

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March Madness

imageApparently my dog, Amos, was not impressed with Creighton’s performance against UNC.  Either that, or he’s just exhausted after 4 full days of watching TV, haha.  Every year, my buddy Chris and I get together to watch the first 4 days of the NCAA tournament.  We started watching it together in college, and 12 years later, we still make it a point to get together every year.  We always take the Thursday and Friday off of work, and either I travel to L.A. or he flies up here to the Bay Area.  We just post up and watch literally every game for 4 straight days, 12 hours a day.  It sounds crazy, but it’s just always been something that we enjoy doing, and it gives us an excuse to get together and see each other.  It’s become a nice tradition and gives me something to look forward to during some of the dreary winter months.  This year featured probably one of the craziest tournament days in NCAA history, with two different 15-seeds beating 2-seeds.  Lehigh beat Duke (!!) and Norfolk St. took down Missouri.  I certainly wasn’t happy about that, since I had Mizzou in the final 4, but it was definitely something new and exciting since a 15-seed had only beat a 2-seed like 4 times ever in the history of the tournament, and then it happened twice in one day!  One of the other highlights was the 2nd round game of Murray St. vs. Marquette – that game featured so much foot speed on either side, and it was super exciting to watch them run up and down.  I thought Murray St. would make it to the Sweet 16, but they couldn’t get past Marquette.  I was also impressed with how Gonzaga hung with Ohio St. – they looked very solid, and probably could have advanced further if they hadn’t gotten such a tough draw with Ohio St. as their 2nd round matchup.  One of the biggest heart breakers was my local boys, St. Marys College from Moraga, CA, losing to Purdue when one of the St. Mary’s players made a mental mistake by traveling while out-of-bounds (running the baseline) on an in-bounds play.  They were up by 1 point with 30 seconds left and all they had to do was maintain possession and shoot free throws to win it.  He forgot that you can only run the baseline after a made basket.  That is like an 8th grade mistake, and I felt so bad for him because I know he’s never going to let himself live that down.  On the other side of the ball, I was happy for Robbie Hummel of Purdue to see him advance a little bit in the NCAA tourney.  He’s blown out his ACL in two separate past seasons, so this is literally his 6th season playing for Purdue.  It was nice to see him make a comeback and still be a dominant college player.  All in all, it was yet another great first weekend of NCAA tourney games, and I can’t wait for next year.

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The Joy Formidable, 03.13.12 @ The Independent, SF, CA

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Great live show! Check em out if you like distorted/jamming indie stuff like Silversun Pickups.

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Warriors first night without Monta, lose by 2 to the Celtics

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KG hits a last second shot for the Celtics to beat the Warriors by 2. This is a photo that I snapped just as Garnett catches the ball to hit the game winner.  I just noticed that there are only 1.6 seconds showing on the shot clock, and he doesn’t even have the ball in his hands yet!  Crazy, I didn’t even notice when I was watching it live that they were so close to a shot clock violation!  This was the first game after that awful awful awful trade that shipped Monta Ellis to the Bucks for an injured Andrew Bogut. Ugh…  Without Monta and Steph (ankle injury), the dubs still hung in there really well…  Klay Thompson had a GREAT game with around 25 points.  But, I still miss Monta already.

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A Weekend in Bogota, Colombia

Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Bogotá, Colombia for one of my projects at work.  After a week of long 12-13 hour days, we were lucky enough to have a co-worker in the local Bogotá office show us around the city for the weekend.  Maria and her beautiful family, including her husband Ricardo and her adorable six-year-old son, Juan Jose, went above and beyond to make us feel welcome.  Both Saturday and Sunday, they spent the majority of the day taking us out to great meals and interesting places, and even took us back to their fabulous renovated home where I played Nintendo Wii with Juan Jose.  I am so grateful to them for all of the time they took out of their personal lives to make our trip so memorable!  In addition, it was really nice to get to know 2 of my co-workers from California, Gina and Mary, so much better.  Maria and her family embody the same welcoming culture that I experienced from everyone with whom I came in contact with during my stay in Colombia.  They did an amazing job making us feel safe and educating us on the culture and the city’s surroundings.  When you hear Colombia mentioned in the media, you may only hear about militants, guerillas, drug trafficking, machine guns, and kidnappings.  But like most other things in this world, only the negatives are highlighted in the media.  Instead, what I experienced was a very developed, beautifully green sub-tropical city nestled at the foot of the Andes mountains, full of very fashionable, lively, and welcoming locals who are proud of their city and are eager to share it with anyone who is interested.  While it really is important to be mindful of your security when traveling to Colombia, if you have an opportunity to visit there with the help of someone who resides there, I strongly recommend it.  It really is a beautiful place that deserves to be seen in a very positive light.  In addition to the photos shown below, my Colombia photo album has some additional photos.

Climbing to over 10,000 feet, Monserrate is a mountain peak that rises suddenly from the Bogotá cityscape to meet the Andes mountain range.  We took a large tram operated by giant pulley/cranes to ascend from the city, but you can see people at the lower right of the photo who made the trek on foot.

At the top of Monserrate is a Catholic Church, to which many make the 10,000 foot pilgrimage on foot, some even on their knees!!

Ricardo told me that this historic building from the city was shipped up the mountain (!!) and re-assembled.  I believe now it serves as a restaurant.  The peak in the distance is Monserrate’s neighbor, Guadalupe Hill, with a giant statue in tribute to Guadalupe.

Another look at Guadalupe Hill in the distance.

Andres Carne de Res” is by far the most original restaurant that I’ve ever been to.  The original location is built outside Bogota in a smaller city called Chia.  Ricardo told me that it started out humbly as a rickety building with 4 tables, and has continued to grow organically to encompass 4 city blocks, and seat over over 3,000 people with 300 servers at any one time!!  Even coolor – Andres promotes higher education by insisting that all employees must be actively pursuing a college education or they cannot continue to work there.  The buildings have been built over time with very little planning, using only recycled, scrap, and hand-made materials.  The structure itself is a labyrinth of metal, wood, and plaster, traveling up, down, and across tables, sometimes with city streets running through the restaurant itself!  Everything appears to be hand-made out of these raw scrap materials, including the silverware, tables, even the ovens.  Check out their website which is almost just as original as the restaurant!

Here’s little Juan Jose baking pizza from scratch in his adorable blue rimmed glasses.  Andres’ business model is genius: children are allowed in the restaurant daily until 7pm, then after 7pm it becomes adults only for dinner, and a night club afterwards.  During the day, parents can pay a very reasonable ~$10 and their child is 100% entertained the entire time, with face painting, toy making, pizza baking from scratch, rock climbing walls, drawing classes, dance/salsa classes, clowns, magicians, costume shows, and pretty much anything you can think of.  Children wear a bracelet that does not allow them to exit the building without an adult with a matching bracelet.  It is 100% safe, and the parents are put at ease to enjoy dinner.  It’s like a carnival inside, but somehow it is not disruptive or annoying while you’re eating.  Genius.

Home made salsas are brought to the table immediately upon sitting down.  Love the hand-made salt and pepper shakers.

What a spread.  Everything was delicious, complete with local cheese, corn, and strawberry lemonade.  I can’t speak for the meat (I’m vegetarian), but everyone else at my table loved it.

Ice cream volcanoes!  No, that isn’t all ice cream or cake.  They are hand-made wooden “volcanos” with ice cream on the top.

A photo with Andres, the owner (red shirt), who was entertaining a guest near our table that day.  Ricardo and Maria are in the middle.  Gina on the left, and Mary and myself on the right, traveled from California for work.

The menu (left) is gigantic with everything under the sun.  We just told Maria and Ricardo to order whatever was good because there were thousands of options.  If you buy anything at the gift shop, they hand it to you in a bag that is hand-made out of screen printed newspaper with yarn handles (right).  I love how every single detail of this restaurant uses recycled material.

Ricardo, Maria, and their adorable son Juan Jose after an action packed day at Andres restaurant.  Juan Jose had a blast!  They told me that they bring him here once every 2 months or so, and he’s always so excited.

These hammocks are lined along the sidewalks between the restaurant and the parking lot.  They’re offered to those stumbling out of the night club in effort to deter drunk driving.  They serve some sort of “bread and water” type concoction allow them to sleep it off here!  I don’t drink, so I wasn’t partaking in all of that, but thought it was a good photo op, haha.  (Should I mention here that Mary fell out of one while trying to climb into it! hahaha!)

I thought this Catholic Church in downtown Bogota was pretty original. I was surprised to see that these stripes are painted inside too!

The Museo Del Oro displays gold artifacts from Colombia’s rich native heritage, before the time of the Spanish occupation.  There are hundreds of exhibits and artifacts dating back hundreds to thousands of years.

Maria and Ricardo took us to a great Italian restaurant which recently had a very cool and modern renovation.  We found that many of the stores and restaurants in Colombia had this type of fashionable/designy feel.  I love clean architectural design that makes use natural materials, plants, unique mixed texture, with a very minimalistic approach, so this was right up my alley.  Very cool!

A flea market which had a lot of great native fruit, juices, local art, and all sorts of little trinkets.

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Small update to the Carry On vinyl blog entry

Check out what we found!  I just made the following small update to the Carry On blog. What a cool coincidental find.

UPDATE: About a year after I posted this entire Carry On blog entry, I opened up an old computer printer in my garage and found this flier inside it! The printer belongs to my roommate, Aaron Menesez. Apparently he had been trying to scan this flier, but the printer wasn’t working with his computer. He finally gave up and put the printer in the garage, where it’s been sitting for 2 or 3 years. Once I stumbled upon this flier, I just had to take a photo and upload here (and of course then I gave the flier back to Aaron). This was an awesome find, since this show was kind of the “set up” to the whole Carry On story here! I had completely forgotten that Towards An End played this show too! They were a local band from the Bay Area that I really liked around this time.

Around the same time that we found the flier, Aaron pulled out this old home-made Carry On sticker. He said that he got it from Josh Luce (Carry On bassist) and he had saved it all these years! Cool shit!

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American Nightmare shirts added to the AN vinyl blog

I’ve added all of my American Nightmare shirts and hoodies to the AN vinyl blog.  In addition to AN vinyl, I originally set out to collect every AN shirt ever made. I continued up through their summer tour after Background Music came out in 2001. On that tour they had 4 or 5 new t-shirt designs and I decided that they were getting too big to keep this up – I couldn’t afford it! haha. So my collecting pretty much ended with the round of shirts that included the Summer 2001 “Drummer” shirt.  Click here and scroll to the bottom of the AN vinyl blog to see the shirt collection.

I’ve also been meaning to add the Deathwish Inc re-releases of both AN LP’s to the vinyl blog, so here they are!  In addition to the pre-order edition that I received from Deathwish, I was able to pick up the limited reunion show color of each LP when I attended the New Years Even show in Los Angeles on 12.31.2011.

In 2011, Deathwish re-released both AN LP’s to coincide with reunion shows that AN played in Boston and Los Angeles in December of 2011. I pre-ordered the grey copy from Deathwish and I bought the transparent red copy at the reunion show in L.A. Both versions are out of approximately 300 or so. The transparent red was only available at the reunion shows. I think the smokey grey color looks awesome with this release – good color choice! The picture doesn’t show it very well, but the grey is actually transparent, not your usual grey/white swirl. Very cool.

The layout of the re-release was changed into a gatefold layout.

The gatefold jacket comes with a double-sided poster insert. One side is the “We’re Down” artwork, the other side is the “Background Music” artwork. The same poster was included in both releases. I put the 12″ LP next to the poster to show the giant size.

I pre-ordered the yellow copy from Deathwish and I bought the transparent purple copy at the reunion show in L.A. Both versions are out of approximately 300 or so. The transparent purple was only available at the reunion shows.

The layout of the re-release was changed into a gatefold layout.

The gatefold jacket comes with a double-sided poster insert. One side is the “We’re Down” artwork, the other side is the “Background Music” artwork. The same poster was included in both releases. I put the 12″ LP next to the poster to show the giant size.

Here’s one of the t-shirts that was sold at the reunion shows.  I took photos of all 3 t-shirts sold at the reunion shows and included them in the AN shirt update.  Scroll to the bottom of the AN vinyl blog to see all the AN shirts.

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