Friday, December 23, 2011 0 comments

Listen: The Roots - Undun

The Roots never cease to amaze me. This has to be one of the freshest albums I've heard in a long time. I usually wouldn't say that something is classic before its time but I think this will be an album that I'll look back on 10 years from now. Although I've heard many critics who are disenchanted with them not being "hiphop" enough. Their new album "Undun" might bring about more of that same sentiment because of the soulful hooks from known and not-so-well-known artists. The album also ends with 4 instrumental tracks, which is atypical for any "hiphop" album. I listened to the album without knowledge of the concept of it until reading a couple reviews and coming across the short film below. I could tell their was some underlying thread throughout the album but reading more about really helped me overstand it all. The story is about the life of a fictional character, Redford Stephens, who you will see is not so "fictional".

 "undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun."

The album plays seamlessly is solid from beginning to end. My favorite tracks are The Other Side, Lighthouse, Tip the Scale and Stomp.

The Roots - UNDUN from The Ghettonerd Company, LLC on Vimeo.
Friday, December 9, 2011 0 comments

Top 5 Places to Eat

Located in the neighborhood on the corner of 8th Ave in Oakland, this spot has delicious and affordable Lao and Thai food. The Champa Sampler is one of my favorites and includes Lao Sausages, Fried Rice Ball Salad, and Fried Spring Rolls. The catfish dish, I think #51 is also a typical favorite of mines. Interestingly the chicken pho there is actually pretty good too. Wash it all down with a BeerLao. It's always for $2.

2. Cactus
Located in the affluent Rockridge area of Oakland, this is a spot most "regular" people might not even think about going to unless you live in that neighborhood. The first time I came here I thought the food would be overpriced considering the clientele it was serving but it's actually pretty affordable and good, my 2 favorite things about any restaurant! The crispy tacos are the bizness! There's always a daily special that can be hit-or-miss depending on what you're craving but its worth trying if you're indecisive. The salsa is also crackin'. The tomatilla and the one with pineapple are top choice. The daily agua fresca flavors are always bomb and you can end your meal with a savory alfajor cookie.

Located in the Temescal neighborhood, this spot is place to go if you're in the mood for some sushi. They also have sister restaurants called Drunken Fish and Miyozen but this location is best. Its fairly small and intimate. I think they have a happy hour or early dinner special. My favorite thing is something that my partner and I found out when we saw the chef serve one day, its called sashimi salad. I think it's on the menu but it's easy to overlook. 

4. Ao Sen
This is my favorite spot after a Saturday morning run around Lake Merrit. Although the Pho here is pretty good, the best dishes to get are the broken rice plates with shrimp and/or pork. I don't think many places do their rice up this way. 

Not too far from the Oakland/Berkeley border is a nice little Ethopian spot. I can't say I know too much about Ethipian food but almost everything I've tried here is good. Just pick according to the veggies and meats you like. The waitress/waiter can also advise you on what to get if you're stumped. They have these things called "Denitch Tibs", that look like lightly fried potato chips. Sambussas are also good starters. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 3 comments

Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood

Another powerful article by Sherman Alexie
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 0 comments

Sherman Alexie on Colbert Report

Interesting to hear Sherman Alexie's commentary on why he doesn't want any of his books to be electronic. I purchased a Kindle recently w/ not necessarily the intent on buying/reading ebooks but rather for reading my grad school articles because I found that you could read PDF's on 'em. I realized that trying to carry a bunch of articles or rather having to print them all was a hassle and an even bigger hassle to try and read/flip through 'em on a packed bart/muni. I decided that the Kindle would save me the trouble of printing articles, that I honestly might not ever read again. Hearing Sherman Alexie talk about the local appreciation of reading and the tangible qualities of a book reminded why I didn't ever want a Kindle. I think the argument is similar to how I feel about Serato/digital DJing. Technology will always be a double edge sword and we need to be careful how we use it.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 1 comments

Clean Program Detox Recap

So I've been on this Clean Program for the last couple weeks. If you don't know what that is you can peep out this video for a short intro:
The idea comes from Dr. Alejandro Junger's book (above). Basically you have 2 liquid meals per day (usually for breakfast and dinner) and one solid meal (usually for lunch). The main rule of thumb is to stay away from the forbidden list which includes: dairy, soy, breads, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, and basically any processed foods. My goal was to be on it for 14 days. On the last day, I kinda punked out for dinner time and had a solid meal because some roast chicken was hard to resist.

Here are some highlights/quotes from what I have learned:
  1. "Older traditions of health care are based on the idea that when conditions in the mind shift, so do conditions in the body. Harmony in the body is greatly dependent on balance in the mind." (p. 178) -- Can't have a healthy body w/o a healthy mind...and vice versa.
  2. "The anxiety people feel concerning hunger can scare them away from even starting a detoxification program. The real battle is usually with the mind and emotions. The body can go for days without food if needed; it adjusts itself quite easily to changes in intake." (p.186) -- It doesn't take a lot to be "full". Most Americans overeat. Sometimes we eat, just out of boredom or to move our jaw.
  3. "Leave a twelve-hour window between the last meal of one day and the first meal of the next." (p. 188) -- After dinner, you shouldn't be eating anything else until morning. It was tough to try and eat dinner at 7pm or earlier because of my schedule but I stuck to the no snacking/food after dinner.
I realize that it was actually easier than I thought. The hardest part wasn't staying away from red meat, sweets, or dairy. It was preparing your meals ahead of time, which requires a high level of organization. Overall, I enjoyed the simplicity of the diet and the liquid meals, especially for breakfast. Although I will be going back to my regular diet, I know that keeping it simple and fresh is the way to go. HEALTH IS WEALTH!!! Be HEALTHY!!!

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2 comments

    30s the new 20!?!?!?!?!

    Although I can't honestly say that I relate to all the content of this song, nor would I want to compare my "worth" to Jay Z but I can relate to its central theme: maturity. As I turn 30 today, the song helps me reflect on what it's meant for me to grow and mature. I remember all the dumb sh&* I did as a youngsta. I remember how ignorant and unrefined some of my thoughts and actions were. I remember how invincible I felt. Remembering and not doing anything to correct your wrongs is immaturity at its finest. Aging is one thing but aging without growth is futile. I still see "grown" folx still acting the fool and still holding the same views they had as a teenager. What's worst is seeing them pass on these values to children. I hope I remain conscious of my faults so that I don't replicate the same mistakes. Growth without wisdom is not growth at all. I refuse to be stagnant and will keep it movin' forward...w/ vigor, wisdom, and creativity! Please keep me to my word!!!
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 0 comments

    DEVIL'S PIE SF | THURS 1.28.10

    ...soul by the slice...


    FREE 4th Thursdays Soul Party!

    w/ RESIDENT DJs:


    & HOST:
    Do D.A.T


    Namu Bar
    439 Balboa St.
    San Francisco, CA