Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogger True-Life: I'm Addicted to...

Tailoring.  I think thus far in fiscal year 2010, I've spent more money on tailoring my existing wardrobe than actually on new threads.  This makes sense if you think about it.  It's more prudent to spend $12 altering a shirt than spending $30-$50 for a new shirt ya dig?  Yes, I *heart* being financially responsible!  So I've been going to Vivien in the Mission at GJ Cleaners on the recommendation of one of my sisters maybe a year ago, and I haven't looked back.  My tailor bad, my tailor hood, my tailor do stuff that you're tailor wish she could. Okay I primarily go here because it's mad cheaper than the tailors around Union Square for comparable jobs.  Isn't an original hem job for $20 and an original hem job for $10 still an original hem?  That's my thought process.

Anyway but yeah, I probably visit her once a month to stitch up and surger [not really a word, but I wanted to verbalize 'surgery'] whatever clothes I have on the chopping block.  She breathes life into clothes that I haven't worn in ages since they no longer fit [I've lost about 15 lbs over the past 3 years].  I partly blame the Dressing Better thread on NT, as Kram can attest to, since I've been following it about 500 pages ago.  Plus I think it's a natural evolution for a vain mothereffer like me.  It's funny because I brought it a pair of pants that I got tapered and hemmed, and the job cost more than the actual price of the pants haha [I got them @ Marshall's awhile back].  I even brought a polo shirt in to get tailored for a trial run.  Who gets polo shirts altered you may ask?  Why stop at slacks and button-ups?  But if you think about all the different body shapes out there, and there's typically only 4 sizes of shirts made, it totally makes sense to get them fitted to your specs.  Sometimes I just make sense.  Watch me start bringing in my basketball shorts lol.

I've actually referred a co-worker here after he asked my about my threads.  Hope he wasn't checking me out!  And I did refer him to the spot above and he also was satisfied with the job done [although Vivien charges him more mwhahaha].  So if the ploomy-generation of males want to efficiently upgrade your wardrobe, bring your salvageable pieces to a tailor.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Le Bien, Le Mal

Where: Gamine

When: May 20, 2010

Who: [starting clockwise] HappyHaplo, theuglystick, JmKingsbury, Methodmik, F171615, SuperliciousSherylism, UCDLax5, kram, NYCRachelli, tifflam1799, Dimpulse78, reegsta

What: Francais Food

How Much: $23-$35 [no dessert, included a glass of Rose]

After much deliberation of when to have her foodie, Rach finally settled on this date. I still don’t know if it was her original pick, or if it was meant to be for someone else. Before we rarely ventured into the Marina for dinner, but after the last experience, it was a welcome change. Maybe except for Mike, who might still be looking for a parking spot haha. So our reservation was upstairs in a private room meant for probably 8 diners, but since we all apparently don’t mind intimacy, 12 of us squeezed onto the table. We're in the middle of discussing everyone’s diets, so we naturally ordered some rich appetizers: the baked cambozola, which is a fancy fromage, and the French fries [isn’t that redundant? I was totally expecting to see les frites on the menu] with aioli. Bad joke time: What did the challenger say to the flamboyantly dressed Bruce? Aioli! [reads "Ayo Lee!" harhar]. But yeah, both apps were delish and we looked forward to receiving our entrees.

Reading off our receipt, you would’ve thought there were only like 3 dishes to choose from. 4 people ordered the Tilapia, including 2 pinays, which prompted the following comment from Mike – “damn you really are Filipino!” Oh yeah Jeff did too, but he’s white anyway. Ugly and Method got the special, which was a lamb stew brined for 2 days or something, or what I just call leftovers. Tiff apparently has been eyeing the spaghetti carbonara with prosciutto, which I was fortunate enough to taste. It wasn’t too rich, but then again I only had a bite. And I couldn’t wait for her to write her review because I’m tryna step up my taste bud game. I haven’t even talked about the Pork Chop, which is what me and Trish ordered. It was tender and grilled well, and I don’t know how else to describe it haha. The mustard sauce was a perfect complement, as it wasn’t overly [*insert term for mustardy*]. And if you just hide the veggies underneath the slab of meat, they'll be sure to get eaten.

Even though Gamine literally translates into childish, there’s nothing immature about this bistrot. So what if I had to look that up.  But if you can’t tell already, I did take trois annies of French. I would totally comeback just to try their burgers, as our server was raving about them, sans ketchup though.  Oh yeah as an added bonus, they didn't include a fixed gratuity despite our party size. Lastly, "Le Bien, Le Mal" has no significance regarding the restaurant, but it's the only French hip-hop song I know.  Oui Oui.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bridging the Gap

The longer the gaps I have between blogging, the harder they are to create. Anyway while walking to lunch today, I was brainstorming subjects to discuss right here. Sometimes you just need to simplify things…you’ll get a greater appreciation for everything. So without further ado, here’s some random crap that I observe that puts a smile to my grill.

- Seeing a thugged-out dude on the bus give up his seat for an elderly person or a lady, or an elderly lady. No, the thugged-out guy wasn’t me. You could tell his mom’s raised him right.

- Seeing a person reading a Library book. That means he/she has a library card, and it’s good to know that people still frequent here. I still wonder if they still use the Dewey Decimal system or is it all computerized?

- Seeing a beat pair of my kicks on someone else. Bonus points if it’s on a homeless person. I’m glad they put miles on classic footwear, just how their meant to be enjoyed. What especially makes my heart go squish are original colorway Jordans I through VI.

- Seeing a pregnant person. I guess depending where you are and how old they are, they’re typically glowing. Usually I see them around downtown/Union Square, and pending motherhood is amazing. However it’s quite the opposite if you’re in the inner-city and see preggy girls…its almost disheartening.

- Seeing someone pick up litter that wasn’t theirs. I’m glad they’re doing their part to make our cities cleaner.

- Seeing a father and son on the golf course. It reminds me of my youth, and how I begrudgingly went along [well really, I didn’t really have a choice lol]. I totally understand now.

- Seeing a friend with a new blog. We all have voices, and we all share this same medium. I like to see what’s on your mind.

- Seeing someone singing their lungs out in their car and/or picking their nose. Maybe because I’m guilty of both of these, but you just don’t give a *expletive* since really, who cares if they see you? 99% of the time you don’t know them.

- Seeing a dude who’s clothes are perfectly tailored for him. As I alluded to before, I can appreciate a dapper dude. Our bodies are blank canvases, and it’s up to us how we want our paintings to be presented. Okay that might be meant more so for tattoos, but it works here too…possibly?

I tried to think of 10, but I suppose 9 will do. As I think I mentioned before, lists don’t always have to be a rounded off number! There’s harmony in asymmetry.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Who Stole My Last Piece of Chicken?

Where: Auntie April's Chicken 'n' Waffles

When: May 7, 2010
Who: Tiff, Louise, Sheryl, Jeff, Nick, Reeg
What: Fried Chicken & Waffles
How Much: $14 [but we over ordered on the dessert]

As with Nick’s typical Foodie selections, restaurant goers risk life and limb to venture into the less-frequented parts of town [how’s that for a euphemism?]. Yesterday’s choice was no different, since we dined on 3rd and Newcomb, home of Lil Fly’s legendary Playaz Club in the heart of HP. Despite the historical significance of the geographic location, the location was pretty no frills. I walked in and it felt like a sauna, as they apparently didn’t realize you need ventilation when your primary item is FRIED CHICKEN. Also it was ominous as we were the only diner’s there. Was this a popular drive-by spot? Did Sheryl really see some guy urinating out the window? Were these two guys really pushing a car where I parked on Oakdale Ave? Despite these little hiccups, we sauntered the longest one block walk ever to the destination. After finally settling in, we browsed the menu and ordered the following:

- Fried Chicken, which was PIPING HOT. It had a nice crunch too it, but wasn’t overly battered. I had the darkness, and thoroughly enjoyed it even without gravy.
- Waffles, which were solid. Whomever thought about this pairing should get a Cupid award.
- Cornbead, ehhh…it was pretty underwhelming due to the dryness and blandness. I think I’ve had too much jalapeno cornbread from Farmer Browns prior.
- Oxtail, and whenever a menu has oxtail, I often try to order it. Wasn’t as tender as Hard Knox’s or my mom’s Kare Kare, but it was decent. The sauce was good but I could’ve gone with their version of white rice. And I didn’t even want to touch that elbow pasta doused in mayo they called macaroni salad that came with it. Who ordered that?
- Sides: Cinnamon with dose of Yams, [funky on the mic like an old batch of] Collard Greens, and Mac-n-Cheese, which was the best out of the 3 but they sold out like Air Yeezy’s.
- Desserts: Peach Cobbler, as this was warm and gooey, just as I like it! [I’m talking about the dessert here] They also had some Red Velvet Cake, but I hold RVCs up against my Sister-in-Law’s and they usually aren’t up to par.

All in all, we received an abundance of food for a bargain.  Maybe I'm just comparing it to my experiences at Roscoe's, but April's chicken tasted a lot better and I didn't have food poisoning after eating.  I guess their rent mustn't be that high.  I definitely would go back, but only in broad daylight haha.  True foodie-goers will venture anywhere regardless of locale, or maybe we might just be a little off-kilter.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Yoga Flame

I had my first official Yoga experience yesterday, since I don't think Wii Fitness counts.  I went with a couple neighbors who I met through the carpool lane, and naturally I carpooled with them to the location in Oakland.  Of course they didn't mention it was in East Oakland, smack dab on Interational Blvd.  I recognized the area from when we got lost once after a round of golf.  Yes - we reeeeallly veered off course that time.  Anyway despite the surroundings, the studio was all calm and serene with candles all lit.  I was wondering where the rose petals are?  Mad romantical and ish.  The folks running it were friendly and easy-going, as the instructor had a really good zen-like vibe about her.  I really don't know if zen and yoga go hand-in-hand or if they pertain to different practices, but from my perspective it's essentially the same idea, word to Phil Jackson.

We started off in the traditional pose with palms facing upward as meditation music was playing in the background.  I was really hoping not to rip one since i had some aphritata from lunch, and it was quite filling.  I really had to focus on my exhaling and inhaling since that was stressed throughout the session, and I'm hoping that just becomes routine after awhile since I can't focus on that and the actual stretches simultaneously haha.  The instructor was all Gumby-like, whereas I felt more like Mr. Potato Head when it came to the exercises.  It didn't help that I was in front right next too her.  I swear she could've been an extra in a Ciara video or something.  I did each one, errr attempted each one, albeit not as fluid as the rest of the people in the class!  I doubt anyone else there played 36 holes within 72 hours before, so that was my justification for feeling kinda sore.  But all good, it was my first time.

Yesterday's session focused on core strengtening, so suffice to say, it was mad streneous on me since that's an oft-ignored area.  My [physical] therapist and other fitness fanatics stress yoga, so it was definitely worth the questioning of my madhood.  I'm willing to do whatever it takes to gain flexibility and strength, as it would for sure help my in the gym and golf course [and bedroom too!]  Shoot I need all the competitive edges I could get haha.

So with all the corks and trees and wheels and planks and other common nouns used for yoga techniques, I definitely felt something beneficial, even if it was only one session.  I guess sometimes you just need to reflect and unwind to release all the negative energy inside you, so that was reason enough to go.  Oh yeah I even saw a girl there whom I went to Santa Barbara with...what a small world.  And I didn't even mention the 8-to-1 girl to guy ratio, as it got me feeling like Oz in American Pie when he was doing choir...untapped resources!

[And if you thought I didn't have a hip-hop referenced title, guess again. Lupe has a joint of his latest mixtape with that name, as this is a semi-ode since he's in town today.]

Monday, May 03, 2010

Everyday Struggle

That's not just my favorite Biggie song, but sometimes I feel that way when I'm looking for topics to write about haha.  You shrewd hip-hop fans probably noticed that my subjects usually refer to rap songs, lyrics or just allude to them.  If you don't know now you

Anyway, the other day I was asking a friend to describe this guy, since she was friends with his fiancee and was going to their wedding.  And she's like "ummm, he's nice."  I guess that's the default answer when you don't have anything else to say about someone haha.   So I've been trying this new thing, if I meet somebody for the first time, my goal is for them not to say I'm nice if someone were to ask about me.  It's like that Entourage episode when the boys were waiting to talk to some producer, and everyone asks for water except Drama, who requests an Diet Orange Crush or something random haha.  He goes "you gotta give them something to remember you by." And while it does sound silly by nature, it's actually true. 

I probably used this reference before, but it's like when the new Jordan pictures are leaked.  They always evoked a strong reaction, like either "those are heinous!" to "OMG when do those drop?"  The shoe makers know that everyone's not going to love their product, but they for sure know at least they would be talked about ad naseum, and I think that's the first time I ever used that latin phrase.  This is one of the initial steps on the way to become legendary, word to the latest Jordan campaign.

So hopefully I get described as dope, fresh, funny, witty, interesting, thorough, cheesy, fly, dorky, caring, sharp, versatile, unique...just anything but nice, at least not initially haha.  No wonder nice guys finish last, as there's no way for you to separate yourself.  Despite the Biggie references in the opening, this post is dedicated to Guru from Gang Starr, who's first joint was aptly called No More Mr. Nice Guy.  Thanks for the inspiration.