Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things I Like about NYC be followed by a "Things I Hate about NYC" post. As for now, here is a short list of things I like, even love about New York:
  • People here are a lot nicer than they get credit for
  • EVERYTHING stays open later
  • Everyone can tell Im from California - I don't know why, but I dig that
  • The blocks are so short, I feel like I can walk everywhere
  • Soooo many cabs! You'd never have to call ahead for a cab just to wait an hour for some sweatpants wearin' slob to show up
  • Cabs that actually have reliable credit card payment methods other than some janky, works-only-sometimes box that looks like it was made by some dude who ordered parts out of a hobby magazine
  • Coffee for under a buck...think about it, when is that last time you saw that?
  • Although Im hesitant, streetfood thats more than just bacon-wrapped hot dogs
  • People, of all ages, seem to have pretty hip sneaker style - I have an inner sneaker geek in me, so I notice things like that
  • Most restaurants have these little tents around the doorway to prevent cold air from blowing in everytime the door opens

I am here...

View Larger Map

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things Ive Seen in NYC After 3 Days

I suppose you could see any of this stuff anywhere, and I have seen some of this stuff-more or less-in SF, but in 2 days, Ive seen some pretty nutty things. I hate cliche's as much as the next guy, but my lord, some of these things I thought I'd only see in movies...then again, most of the sights to be seen are what one might expect. Either way, if you hate deuschy tourists who throw the phrase "Only in New York!" around like they totally expected NYC to be like Des Moines, then you probably shouldn't hang out in Times Square(deuschy tourist capitol of the world) and go watch "Sex in the City" you uber-cool, streetwise New Yorker.
Side Note: did New Yorkers really watch this show? Was it just a romaniticization for the rest of the world? a ploy to boost tourism? whatever.

Where else in America can you see:
  • A man masturbating through the zipper hole of his pants - wiener hanging out, in 30degree weather during the morning commute
  • Two people dressed like ducks humping in broad daylight - duckhumping - heh
  • A giant rat...not that cool, but you always hear people talk about "the rats in New York"...I was just stoked to have that stereotype validated
  • Saw a dude literally fall to the ground, limp, mid stride like that dude in that Radiohead song "Just"

  • And my personal coworker and roommate for my first night, Charlie, saw Gilbert Godfried...probably squaking like a bird or chewing on a carrot(thats what Gilbert Godfried does in my mind, err nightmares)
What, did you think I was going to talk about Ground Zero or the Empire State building? Ill be posting some pix Ive taken with my phone over the next few days, let me know if you have any suggestions.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New York Playlist

Help me out here, Im leaving for New York tomorrow morning and wanted to make the perfect "Im Going to New York" playlist. This playlist should be multi-faceted, multi-genre'd, multi-cultural(?) Encompassing many moods, emotions and types of activities one might do in Manhattan while rocking out to his RyPod.
Here's what I have so far...

New York, New York - Frank Sinatra: So obvious, but how do you pass it up, really?

Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones: Although I can't go to CBGB's, this is definitely a classic NY punk rock band and tune.

Ruby Soho - Rancid: Kind of a stretch, but I love Rancid so that's that.

No Sleep till Brooklyn - Beastie Boys: I like this song more for the fact that its Rich Aurilia's entrance song at Pac Bell...but works here as well.

Theres gotta be some Biggie or Nas songs Im missing, what else am I missing. Any suggestions?

To be revisited...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

FYI: They Think We're Stupid

Whether you watch religiously, own the entire DVD collection, or "only watch because your roommate watches," I think it's safe to assume that most young Americans and many young people in English speaking countries have seen or heard of television shows like "Laguna Beach," "The Hills," "The Simple Life," etc.
Whatever your opinion of these types of Reality Shows may be, we all know that they are fake, yet, for some reason we like to pretend or at best, turn a blind eye to the level of scriptedness and intense ammount of editing that go into these Reality Shows to create "real drama."

But the UK media is no longer buying it, or at least choosing to no longer perpetuate the idea that what these shows are airing is real.

The following message is displayed before each airing of "The Hills" and "Simple Life" on Channel 4 in the UK:

"The following programme may contain scenes that have been created purely for entertainment purposes."

We all like to see beautiful tan people, so Im sure this type of disclaimer will not hinder anyone from watching, but Im glad to see someone has decided to end the lies...or at least begun to tell some of the truth.

Although the mini-disclaimer being shown in the UK probably doesn't go far enough, I don't think Im going to hold my breath waiting for networks in the U.S. to jump on the honesty train.
Oh, there is that one network, Fox News Channel...I heard they are fair and balanced.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What am I doing up at 5:30am? pt.2

Asleep on the couch, on the opposite end of the city from where I live -
View Larger Map
Someone opens the door and I'm still up, not fully, but still up. Someone else gets in, and instantly two becomes a crowd. I hide, hoping to withstand the storm, and suddenly Josh gets in. It's over. I'll try to yadda yadda this part, but basically get jumped on, sat on, danced on, etc., I'm up. I slap a few hands, crack a few jokes, and jump back on the couch where I belong. At this point I'm hoping to pull the blanket over my head and fall asleep amidst the chatter of red heads, Texans and Jiff.
Again, failure.
However, on this particular night, at this particular time, some switch inside of me just completely turns on (or off, depending how you look at it I guess), either way, I decide, Im gonna pull an all-nighter and stay up with the guys till I have to leave in the morning for work.
Probably a poor life-decision, but I really believe that you just have to do something stupid and illogical every now and then.

Now 6:45am Friday morning. What am I doing up, now listening to Moby? I guess the answer is: I have no answers.

What am I doing up at 5:30am? pt.1

5:30am Friday morning. What am I doing up, listening to Andre Nickatina?
Im a workin' man, shouldn't I have got this out of my system when I was 22?
I suppose that's a rhetorical question, but questions or not, here I am, double fisting, waiting for the water to boil so I an French-press-the-fuck out of some coffee.

Nevertheless, the story that got me to this point is a kind of funny, to me at least, and isn't that what blogs are for anyways?, so lets take a look.

Now, its pretty much a given that I work till 6 or so. That fact is not incredibly interesting, the work itself may be, but thats an entirely different conversation. Moving forward...

Go to the gym, blast the lats, get huge, etc., take a communal shower (*wink*), walk to market and jump on the 38 bus to meet up with my buddy Sean at some martini joint in the Tenderloin called Olive. Martini joint in the ironic. Grab a fruity drink with Sean and head over to the old house. At some during the day Sean and I had decided that going to the "Firehouse" was the best plan for the night. Grab a 12 pack or something, NOT spend a million bucks at the bars, grab a meal to make from the grocery store and meet up with some friends. Ballers on a budget.
At this point the night could go any way, but what ended up happening was a lot more tame than you might imagine. Three dudes, sitting on the couch, eating corn dogs and chicken nuggets, watching old Simpsons episodes. Still, not a bad night, but surely nothing to blog about. But my nights usually have two pivotal moments; deciding if booze will be involved and deciding where I will lay head for the night. No booze, but I decided to crash at my old place in the Richmond.
Im not sure if I purposefully sabotaged myself, but I know that "crashing" = couch, and there were still at least two roommates who had yet to come home. And if you know anything about my friends, they don't just "come home," they come home drunk, rowdy, and bearing gifts.
But the key is, they were not home yet, and I was tired. So I decided to hit the couch and hopefully be too passed out by the time anyone got home.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

There Will Be Blood?...More like, There Will Be Long Drawn Out Character Development Over the Course of 3 Hours, and Really, Not That Much Blood

Don't be fooled - "There Will Be Blood" is not nearly as badass as the title might suggest. And although he won a Critic's Choice Award for Best Actor, do not expect a Bill the Butcher peformance from "Gangs of New York" out of Daniel Day-Lewis. Maybe a sign of the time period in each movie, but DDL's character in "Gangs of NY" was a lot more knife-y than his character in "There Will Be Blood," who I would call more talk-y.

The movie itself wasn't bad, a little slow, and a little demanding at 2:50 mins, but I really believe I would have liked it better if it had a different title.

So here are a few suggestions for a more appropriate title to the movie most popularly known as "There Will Be Blood":

  • There Will Be Disappointment

  • There Was Some Blood but Probably Could Have Been More

  • There Will Be Jackasses in Your Office Who Overhype This Movie

  • There Could Have Been Some Nudity (at least)

  • There Will Be Time to go to the Bathroom and not Feel Like You Missed Anything

  • There Will Be Deuschbags Who Text in the Middle of the Movie (I hate this so much)

  • There Will Be a Period of Thought and Reflection and After Initial Disappointment, There Will Be Appreciation for Storyline and Character Development

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Things Women Do...

So, my friend Lyndsay and I talk from time to time on things such as politics, philosophy and worldly issues. Occasionally our conversations will take us in the realms of fashion and trends. These types of conversations will typically go something like this:

Lyndsay: "I wanna get my haircut, what do you think about bangs?"
Ryan: "Thats a terrible idea, OH!, unless you're trying to repel men and make everyone think you're a 9-year-old, then in that case, Id say its a great idea."
Lyndsay: "Thanks, dick."
Ryan: "Seriously though, bangs look terrible."

And bangs DO look terrible. 99.99% of women cannot pull them off and I'm seriously miffed as to why people are still trying to rock this. My only guess is that people are willing to sacrifice looks for uber-hipness (see: Mission District, SF).

So it got me thinking...there are DEFINITELY a few other looks I'm seeing around town, or have seen over the past couple years that needed some male input (these fashion magazines women read are terrible).

First, the Equestrian look - where women tuck their pants into their horse boots and whack midgets with that whippy thing (the midget part only happens in my head).
I see this every day and think, "if she put a helmet on she'd be an equestrian, if she put a 3-cornered hat on she'd look like Paul Revere."
Your apology is accepted, this look is terrible.

And of course the over-sized sunglasses - where even though we already know you were up till 9am railing lines and tag-teaming 2 Australian rugby players, your ridiculous sunglasses are there to make sure we know what a skeezy lush you are. Even though many of my own friends rock this look, I still gotta tell ya, it looks bad, and makes us think that you're crying...on the inside.

Are there any other looks/trends that you think are god-awful?
Please opine.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How do you like your iPhone now?

So here we are in January 2008, still at war, still suffering from bad TV due to striking writers (are you seriously going to watch American Gladiators? plz!), still barely caring about the upcoming presidential election, and even though you had to give up your first born just to pay for it, you're probably still pretty stoked on your iPhone.
Well, check it out...
In a recent post in his media-based web log - Media Curmudgeon, Charles Warner, a man who has guest lectured in a few of my classes at San Francisco State, and done some other stuff - sheds some light on the future of broadcast television and TV going all digital in 2009:

"the F.C.C. is going to auction off a big piece of the electromagnetic spectrum which will become available when TV stations go all digital, HDTV in 2009. Don’t ask me how it works, because it’s too complicated for me to understand. But I do know that an auction will take place and that Google is considering bidding at a price that might be around $7 billion...Google wants the electromagnetic spectrum to create a nationwide wireless network – a reliable network from which Google cell phones could access the Internet free. Such a system would essentially put Verizon and ATT Wireless out of business"

Thats right ladies and gentlemen, the possibility of free cell phone service can be a reality as soon as 2009!...IF you have a Google phone. Buying a Google phone seems pretty justifiable if it means free wireless service nationwide...unless of course you just spent a billion dollars on an iPhone.
Even more salt in the wound of every iPhone O'Brien out there is knowing that Google has yet to fail at putting out innovative, kickass you know their long awaited attempt at wireless software and hardware should be pretty money.

I know it sounds like I'm slurping Google pretty hard here, and I am, however, as I've said in the past, I am motivated by spite, and I couldn't be MORE spiteful toward the iPhone-having chumps of the world.

-Sent from my future Google Phone...for FREE!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Uncensored Tres Agaves post

Removed Review:

As if the food and prices weren't enough of a reason to protest, Tres Agaves is now being accused of not paying its workers.
According to protesters outside of the building, management has admitted to not complying with mandated break laws, does not pay overtime, tricks employees to work off the clock and does not pay workers for their first week of work.
Prior to these allegations I would have cringed whenever Tres Agaves was suggested for group outings, now I recommended running the opposite direction and show support for the workers in protest.


So about 40% of everything I do, I do out of spite. I make decisions irrationally, have non-sensical explanations and act purely on emotion like, a lot. Apparently enough to have realized it and be at peace with it.
So after having spent a year or so posting reviews on I have decided to pack my bags and leave. Why?: Spite...obviously.

Over Xmas break I was notified that the customer service team at Yelp had decided to remove a review I had written on the restaurant Tres Agaves. The review I wrote was basically a description of a protest I witnessed outside of Tres Agaves. Pretty standard protest stuff...wages, hours, bad management, blah blah blah. But I thought it was an incident that deserved to be reported, and I figured that Yelp was the perfect media outlet to give a small protest outside a restaurant some exposure. Plus I think Tres Agaves sucks ass.

Well I got some love for the review and I was proud. Soon thereafter, one of the owners of Tres Agaves got ahold of me and basically harrassed me via the site and email. But I felt like I stated my case well and represented the truth as accurately as possible. FFWD about a month, Yelp tells me they pulled my review. No chance for explanation or reasoning.

So here I am, leaving pseudo-blogsite Yelp to get my uncensored message out there...out of spite.

Peace Yelp!