Thursday, April 29, 2004

A couple of nights ago Brook and Jenny invited me to their pad for some wine and barbecue. Brook's mom and brother were there, and we began talking about random topics, everything from the Discovery Channel, archery, sex, to eventually to cheetahs. In the middle of my conversation with Brook's mom, she confessed to me that for the past few weeks she had been thinking a lot about me wheneve she sat in the jon. It's because there is a picture of The Rock on the cover of some magazine, and she was convinced that I had a striking resemblance to him. So everytime she sat on the jon, it was his visage that faced her; and the more she saw that, the closer she was able to recognize our similarities.

I kinda laughed it off first, after all, all brown men look the same anyway. But as she went on and on to prove her point. I started to realize that she was in a little way a little obsessed with the idea that I looked like The Rock. I took it as a compliment, after all he's a good looking guy, with big huge muscles. Then I was a little disturbed later on with the image of Brook's mom doing a #1 and/or #2 while thinking about me. I don't know whether to be flattered or to bury myself in a vat of cesspool. I'm just kidding, I really love Sandy, she's a wonderful woman.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Sweetest Decline (Beth Orton), Wild Horses (The Sundays), Freddie Freeloader (Miles Davis), Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams), Time and Time Again (Counting Crows)Everybody Knows (James), Fade Into You (Mazzy Star), Shiver (Coldplay), and Love Soon (John Mayer)

Wednesday, April 28, 2004


One of the greatest inventions of this new century has been the the i-Tunes Music Store by Apple. For 99 cents, you can purchase a track or by an album for $9.99. It has created an unprecedented revolution in how people purchase and listen to music. For their 1st Anniversary, Apple has enhanced the i-Tunes software (now version 4.5) and will be giving away free songs for the next week. I can't wait.

BERLIN, Germany — A German artist has applied for a license to open a brothel in Berlin for sexually frustrated dogs and says it will be the first of its kind anywhere.

Karl-Friedrich Lenze, 54, said he planned to charge dog owners $27 per half hour of happiness.

"If dogs can't get what they want, they get cranky — just like people," Lenze told Reuters.

The establishment would offer patrons a variety of carefully vetted "employees" of both sexes, rooms for private encounters and even a "bar" where customers could sniff out their preferred partners.

click here for link to article

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Next month could get a little interesting in a weird or fun way. Steffi will be coming up to spend her last month with me before she has to go back to Germany. We've planned out a couple of trips to Catalina Island and San Francisco. I think we've become really close friends since going to Mardi Gras, I don't think there's as much (sexual) tension as there was before (at least not on my side of the bed). Brooke, Steffi, and I have all been somewhat transformed by our experiences during our road trip. All three of us have become connected for the rest of our lives because of that trip. They have become a part of me and my extended family. So when I heard Brook had to be hospitalized last weekend because of a bacterial infection, I was definitely troubled and concerned. But I was glad that she was able to come out of it just fine.

I wonder what kind of trouble we'll get ourselves into. I know that there is one thing that Steffi and I enjoy a lot, and that's getting lost in the weirdest places. I remember being in Houston with her, and we were completely lost in their shadiest neighborhoods, and she had to pee, and we couldn't find a restaurant, gas station or anywhere, so we just went to the side of the road and she went at it at the side of the car. That was funny... maybe you had to be there...

REVIEW: STATE OF TRANCE 2004, Armin Van Buuren

Finding a good and progressive Trance album nowadays is akin to finding Osama Bin Laden hiding in your closet, it just doesn't happen nowadays. Trance had its renaissance in mid to late 90's when Oakenfold, Digweed, Corsten, and the rest of the blokes were really churning original and wonderful material. But the past few years, most of the trance out there have been pretty redundant and predictable; all following a specific package, lacking any dynamics or purpose.

Step Mr. Van Buuren. State of Trance is Van Buuren's answer to the trance scene. He has compiled and mixed what is probably the best trance compilation of 2004 (so far). It is an uplifiting, melodic, and transforming mix of progressive euro-trance music. These two masterful discs portray a DJ reaching for something different, and shows no fear if failure is achieved. The songs in here are relentless, sweet, melodic, and wonderfully poignant. The first track by Mark Otten, Tranquility, is a great introduction to the album, and Oceanlab's Satellite is a great firecracker to dance or workout with. If you're not happy with evolution of Trance, this is the album that helps put it back on the map.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Woke up at the break of dawn to run the Nike Run Hit Wonder with Erika and Michelle. We had a great time, and it was great to see General Public, A Flock Of Seagulls, Tone Loc, Dramara, and Devo. Devo was really impressive, these guys can still rock after all these years. Their energy is still pleasantly dynamic despite the grey hairs and bald spots that have settled on their head.

I have enjoyed spending time and hanging out with Michelle, Sandy, Vanessa, Andrea, and Erika since I met them on St. Patrick's Day. We all seem to get along really well, and we've all become fast friends. It's funny how life introduces you to people in certain times. That's why I never miss an opportunity to meet new people and experience new things.

Apparently Little League has given the state of Virgina jurisdiction over the planet Mars. Which means if intelligent life form somehow appears to be able to throw at 90mph or hit a curve ball, then they will be part of the Virginian Little League squad to compete for the right to play in the Little League World Series. I bet you Major League Scouts are lining up for the next interplanetary trip to Mars to scout those Martians.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

There have been strong rumors in the sports community that there is a curse on the Lakers since Chick Hearn passed away in 2002. Jerry Buss and Shaquille O'Neal did not attend Chick's funeral. Shaq was ill in Orlando, and Jerry was in London telling reporters that he doesn't attend funerals. Because of that these have happened to the Lakers since then:

- Shaq began the 2002-03 Season in the DL in part because of a late foot surgery.
- They struggled during the season to finish with the 5th seed in the playoffs.
- Rick Fox tore a tendon in his foot during the 1st round match up against the TWolves.
- In the 2nd round against the Spurs, Devean George sprains his ankle.
- Robert Horry's 3 point shot against the Spurs goes in and out, and the Lakers eventually lose the series.
- During the summer, Kobe Bryant decides to be unfaithful to his wife; and is destroyed by two surgeries, a pending rape trial case, and stress beyond what most of us could imagine.
- Sure Gary and Karl sign up with the Lakers and we're off to a good start in the 2003-04 season, but Karl, Kobe, Shaq, Grant, Sampson, Cook, Rush, Medvedenko, and George all spend significant time in the DL.
- In January, Kobe gets in a freak accident "moving boxes in the garage" which resulted in a laceration on his finger that required 10 stitches.
- Shaq gets fined and suspended twice for cussing on live camera.

As the drama unfolds in the 2004 Playoffs, I can't wait to see how this unforgettable cast of characters finish up the story.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Roses (Outkast), Spitting Games (Snow Patrol), Daughter (Pearl Jam), Trouble (Coldplay), Discotheque (U2), If You Want To Sing Out (Cat Stevens), Northern Sky (Nick Drake), and Downtown L.A. (Gary Jules).

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I will be running the 10K Nike Run Hit Wonder with Erika on Sunday. It should be a lot of fun, its a good practice run for me to build up eventually to finishing the marathon. I have been averaging a good 12 miles a week at a pace of 8:17 a mile. If I can get it below an 8 minute mile for at least the first 12 miles of the marathon, I'm confident that I can finish with a great time.

My friends Clare and Brooke are still in a tiff with each other, I don't know how this will all pan out, I'm pretty cautious about getting in the middle of all their spat, but they're both strong and stubborn women. I don't know if one is willing to relent to the other. It's such a power struggle. The more I get to know different kinds of women, the more I am convinced that they actually love to have drama in their lives.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

"when you slam
down the hammer
can you see it in your heart?
can you delve so low?
and when you're standing
on my fingers
can you see it in your heart?
and when you try
to break my spirit
it won't work
because there's nothing left to break

- Speedway, Morrissey

Monday, April 19, 2004

Best names of people I've met this year:
1. Xochitl (pronounced so-shie)
2. Soap
3. Dove

Had a great time at the pool party at The Standard Hotel. Drinks were a little expensive, but I was fortunate enough to sneak in some drinks and got pretty hammered. I am still astonished at how approachable I am to people when I am drunk. So yesterday night, I'm hanging out with on the dance floor, and this girl just comes up to me and approaches me to dance with her. She reveals really quick that she's married, so she wasn't looking to hook up or anything, but she just thought that I looked really friendly and approachable and just wanted to absorb some of that positive energy. I thought that was a really great complement.

Tiffany is the blonde if you're keeping score...

Friday, April 16, 2004


I have been surprisingly been interested in reality TV show The Apprentice. It's a whole entire dynamic when the show revolves around the business world. I know there is a lot of negative vibes directed toward capitalism and the recent unethical business practices raised in the world of business (ie. Martha Stewart, Tyco, Enron, etc.), but it was nice to see the two most ethical competitors in the TV show eventually win out. Kwame Jackson and Bill Rancic were both ethical and fair in their eventual success in the program. Unlike Survivor or other reality TV shows where unethical tactics got rewarded with victory, it was surprisingly refreshing to see a show about business come about like this. I think both competitors played the game with class and dignity, and I think that appealed to me.

I know most people think the business world lives in an unethical and deceitful manner, but I learned a long time ago in economics, that in the world of capitalism, business that don't practice ethical practice don't often survive long enough to reap its rewards. It's business Darwinism at work. Society has a way of eliminating the businesses that don't have integrity. For a while now, I've been plotting a strategy in building my own business; I know I've been saving a lot of my money with a goal that within a few years I would be able to start my own business.

"The martini is an honest drink, tasting exactly like what it is and nothing else. There is no sugar in a martini; no egg whites, no black and white rums, no shaved almonds, no fruit juice, no chocolate, and no spices. A martini is not served in a pineapple shell nor a piece of rolled up canoe bark, and there are no disgusting pieces of flotsam around the top. It is a clear, clean, cold, pure, honest drink ..."
- Donald G. Smith
The Wall Street Journal

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: Reptilia (The Strokes), Sunlight (DJ Sammy), Myxamatosis (Radiohead), Daybreak (Beth Orton), Through The Wire (Kanye West), 99 Problems (Jay-Z), Alma Matters (Morrissey), and Tidal Wave (Longwave).

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Music is the soundtrack to my life; and as I go through each stage of my life, I've been fortunate to encounter an album which has seemed to parallel what I'm going through. So here is a list of the ten albums that moved at a particular time and place in my life.

10. KID A (2000) - Radiohead

Kid A is a razor sharp album, full of simple melodies weaved intricately by blathers, blips, nonsense, and noise. When I first listened to the CD, I didn't quiet get it. I wasn't on drugs, and somehow all the critical acclaim surrounding it didn't sink in with me at first. But for whatever reason it stayed in my CD player, and it kept haunting me and I kept listening to it. Eventually I was able to grasp the journey. This is an album I had never heard before, and every time I listen to it, I discover something new. "Everything In It's Right Place", "Kid A", "The National Anthem", "How To Disappear Completely", and "Idioteque" are amazing songs. The first five songs in this album are incredible, and should be listened together. This album really gave me the blueprint in writing my book, and I listened to this album as I was reading Charles Bukowski, and really reaching a high point in my creative purpose.

9. AUGUST AND EVERYTHING AFTER (1993) - Counting Crows

When I first heard of Counting Crows, I wasn't too impressed so I didn't bother to put them in my radar of bands to listen to. Then one day in high school, Ryan Ainge gives lets me borrow this album, and it quickly became a staple in my collection. This was something completely different to what I was listening to a the time. My sophomore year in high school, I was listening to grunge, alternative, and metal, and this album contradicted that drive. Adam's voice is just remarkable and emotionally charged in this album, you can't help but scream with him. And when you're going through random emotions in high school, it was nice to know that you can listen to Adam's cries late at night.

8. IT'S A SHAME ABOUT RAY (1992) - The Lemonheads
Although this album was released late in 1992, I didn't discover it until 1995. I was working in Catalina Island, and I listened to this album day and night. Evan Dando shines as a singer and songwriter; his songs are simple, soulful, and honest. This album may have been forgotten if it wasn't for their cover of Mrs. Robinson, but this album is more than that. This is a peaceful album that I will always cherish, it reminds of me of sunsets on the Pacific Ocean. "Rudderless", "Bit Part", "Confetti, "Buddy", and "Alison's Starting To Happen" are great tracks to sing along to...

7. LITTLE EARTHQUAKES (1992) - Tori Amos
I remember taking my penny jar to Music Exchange and buying this CD with $12 worth of coins. That's how much I had to have this album, and it didn't disappoint. This is an intense album, probably too intense for 15 year old boy to be listening to. But I've always found a level of respect for artists who are able to grab whatever it is inside them and use it to fuel their creative lust. Tori does that in does album. Armed with a piano, she fires her confessionals with piercing details. This is not a happy or forgiving album, but it is an important album.

6. BONA DRAG (1990) - Morrissey

Even though this is not a true studio album but rather more like a Singles collection. This is the album that made me discover Morrissey. This is like my gateway drug that opened my eyes to alternative music from the U.K. If it wasn't for Morrissey I doubt I would be listening to Coldplay, Keane, Death Cab For Cutie, Starsailor, Snow Patrol, The Stills, and other such bands. Morrissey is at his best in these songs. He has a knack for being charmingly dark, and incessantly melodic. The songs in this album all tell a story that are almost mythological. His metaphors are complex and wonderfully though provoking. It's a great album to sing to...

5. NEVERMIND (1991) - Nirvana
If there is one album that describes the 90's it would be Nevermind. Since I heard the first chord of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" it sent shockwaves throughout my system. This album was angst-filled, turbo-charged, and full of magnifying rage and frustration. This is a monumental and historical album that shook my world. Kurt's harrowing screams can still echo with the same urgency as it did over a decade ago. In the 12 songs in this album, 10 are now standards. Kurt was a genius too aware of his own mortality. Nevermind's raw and murky sound is still electrifying. Music has never been the same since this album came out. And as a young teenager, I realized the first time that I listened through the album that this was the kind of album that I was going to grow old with.

4. VIOLATOR (1990) - Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode's Violator album was the first CD I ever purchased in my life. This was a landmark album for the band that was known more for their synth-pop venture. This album signified a maturation process for the band, and I knew full well I was going through those same changes at that particular point in my life. Violator is not as complex or as intricate as the other albums, but the songs in there all beautiful and powerful. "Enjoy The Silence", "Personal Jesus", and "Policy of Truth" still reach out to me today as it did back then. Nine songs, each one connecting to other, ending in the wonderfully evocative song "Clean".

3. LAID (1993) - James

This is as close to a perfect album I've ever heard. Before Radiohead, Blur, Coldplay, and Postal Service there was James. Tim Booth's voice is close to being God. The brilliance and beauty of this album is often underrated because of the one hit song that got radioplay ("Laid"), but that song is so out of tune from the intrinsic heart and desire that this album portrays. You could feel the melodic strains from the first song "Out To Get You" to the sheepishly haunting "Skindiving". The songs resonate loudly without wasting an ampere of electricity. This album pieces together themes of hope, love, loss, tragedy, and spirituality so well, that it can easily be a soundtrack for every single stage of my life. If you haven't heard this album, buy it, and thank me later.

2. CENTRAL RESERVATION (1999)- Beth Orton

Discovering Beth Orton was like rediscovering sex. There is something so visceral and honest about Beth's songwriting talents. Even from her title track you could taste the sensuality she displays when she says "And I can still smell you on my fingers/and taste you on my breath." Her lyrics are gripping, and maddeningly graphic. Despite the presence of a subtle orchestration, it still sweeps you like a tidal wave. This is a rare album where a songwriter's talents are manifested without today's typical overproduction. When she opens "Sweetest Decline" with "She weaves secrets in her hair/her wispers are not hers to share/she's deep as a well", one can't help spin in their heads. This album also taps into various musical genres, skipping back and forth from jazz, folk, pop, rock, and electronica. I am glad the world hasn't discovered Beth Orton yet, but I know they'll wake up to her someday.

1. PARACHUTES (2000) - Coldplay

Albums don't get better than this. Chris Martin anchors this album with his poignant and brave voice, buoyed by epic guitars. This album is simply about Love -- Love found, Love lost, Love unrequited -- with acoustic guitars and inspired vocals battling it out in the middle. This is very much a thematic album about Love, and once you realize that, you slowly begin to understand the complex layers of this remarkable album. I think people often confuse this album as a depressing or whiny album, but I find a lot of hope in it. Even on "Everything's Not Lost" you could feel the Chris struggling to reach the bright light at the end of the tunnel. There is a serenity in how Chris sings that affects the listener. This album came up during a time of turmoil and distress, and it became a quick salvation for me. I could relate to Chris picking picking over the bones of his life, and coming up with as many reasons to be cheerful as seriously depressed. If this album can't move you, I don't what will.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I haven't gotten much sleep the last few days. I think I've extended myself a little bit too much over the weekend. I definitely had a lot of fun. I got to catch up a little bit with some old friends, and met some new and interesting people. Next weekend is going to be intersting too, I've invited Erika, Michelle, and Sandy to go with me to the Detox Party at The Standard Hotel in Dowtown L.A. It should be a lot of fun...

Monday, April 12, 2004


This was definitely a bizarro weekend in a bizarro universe that I've been living in for the past few months. Without going to details, lines have been drawn on the sand with some of my friends, and I believe I might get stuck on the crossfire. It was great to see Jacob and his girl. We were definitely all over the place all weekend. I didn't get much sleep. From prancing around with Erika, Michelle and Sandy to doing some damage control with Clare and Brooke, I'm fucking exhausted. I have a softball game later on tonight, and I don't how I'll be able to muster any sort of energy to be a little competitive.

And I've been talking to Liz, and she's trying to get me out to see her at Redlands tomorrow night. I'd love to visit and meet up with her, I just don't about the time restrictions I have. I need some rest.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: This is The Last Time (Keane), One Too Many Mornings (Chemical Brothers), Come As You Are (Nirvana), Down In A Hole (Alice In Chains), and Magic Love (Bent).

Thursday, April 08, 2004

There comes a point in everyone's lives where we have to deal and accept our mortality. We have to confront with the idea that life is not guaranteed, and one of these days we may have to pay the piper. There are two ways that people seem to deal with this dilemma.

1. They either become obessesed with immortality, by being more concerned over the quantity of their life, rather than the quality of life they are living.

2. Or they become enamored with mortality, by acquescing themselves with the quality of life, instead of quantity.

My family has always been blessed with longevity. All four of my grandparents survived passed their 70's. And my father and mother's siblings all survived passed their 50's. Long life is something that my family values and cherishes, perhaps to such an extent that it may disparage their quality of life. I think my family would rather have me live a slow and quiet lifestyle as long as I die at an old age. And I grew up being raised to value longevity.

Then it all changed when I took a philosophy course on Death And Dying in college. Although most people got morbidly depressed during the class, I reached a personal breakthrough. I realized that life and death are all entertwined, and learning not to fear death gave new life to me. I began to look at death and pain as a part of life's process, the same way the love and birth are. You try hard to separate these two forces, but they are really one and the same.

I think the sooner we are to admitting that life isn't guaranteed, the closer we will be in achieving a little of balance in our lives.

Jacob will be coming in tomorrow. It has been a while since I last really hung out with him. Last time he was here, I was still kinda stuck in the whole Alex business, so I couldn't really spend any solid time with him. But this time around, I think we're both planning to spend a little bit more time with each other. Jacob and I have known each for almost a decade now, and its always great to go out with. It seems as if we always have a lot of things to talk about whether its sports, Morrissey, girls, or life in general. And we both have a really chill and easy going personality, that its easy for us to get along with each other. It's going to be a fun and interesting weekend.

I have my Easter Barbecue this Sunday, and Erika will be coming. I don't know why that's worth mentioning, but we'll see. I don't want to start shit that can't get finished, so I am very wary. I think she's kinda involved too, and lord knows I've learned my lesson about girls who are "kinda involved." (*snicker*)

Monday, April 05, 2004


It has been a decade since Kurt Cobain blew his head off, and I still remember the time and place when I heard that news. My parent's generation always talks about how they knew where they were when they heard JFK got shot, I know I'll always remember where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain was dead. Kurt and Nirvana guided me through the dark passages of adolescent youth. They were there to usher me through the darkness of pent up anger and angst.

During a junior high school talent show my band chose to cover his song, Smells Like Teen Spirit. And that's when I learned about the intricacies and genius of his song writing ability. There are so many complex layers creatively placed on top of his songs, which are anchored by very simple chords and predictable sequence. And yet it works. The anger, the melody, and the struggle, all works in fine pitch in his songs.

I remember the hollowness after learning his death. I remember grieving for the first time. He wasn't a hero. He as a modern day Mozart, struggling to grasp life. He was 27 years old when he committed suicide. I am 27 years old right now. Kurt felt life was almost over when he turned 27. I feel like life is just beginning. Jim Morrisson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain all died when they were 27, and all felt that life wasn't worth living pass 27. I feel like I was just born yesterday, and there is so much more of life to grasp. So to Kurt, I give you a salute, and I'll see you in hell.

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: I Was A Kaleidoscope (Death Cab For Cutie), You Know You're Right (Nirvana), We're In This Together (Nine Inch Nails), Poppin' Them Thang (G Unit), My Band (D12), Don't Confess (Tegan And Sara), Trouble (Cat Stevens), and No Poetry (Gary Jules).