Friday, November 11, 2011

So what are you doing these days Sam?

"Bronx native worked first job at Brooks Brothers, left business school to design ties for Beau Brummel 1967. Launched Polo later that year with $50,000. Sold 28% of company to Goldman Sachs in 1994 for $138 million; took public 3 years later. Car collector partial to European makes: Bugatti, Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Porsche."

-Forbes on Ralph Lauren

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Burnt Norton


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.

But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

-T.S. Eliot

(Blogspot fails at enjambment)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tammi Terrell

"Once she was paired with Gaye in 1967, her stardom grew, but on October 14 of that year she collapsed on stage into Gaye's arms during a performance. She was soon thereafter diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor which eventually led to her death six weeks before her 25th birthday."

Wiki writers can be pretty unintentionally tragic.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fox News!!!

Fox News is so garbage, it's not even garbage anymore. It's the garbage water that accumulates at the bottom of your trash can when you take the trash out. It's so annoying that you don't even bother to clean it up because you would just rather leave it to itself and hope it goes away than deal with it again. Honestly, do these people ever step back and say, "My God, this is utter s***!"? Is it sad that that would even be a revelation at this point?

There are so many things wrong with this video. Here are a few of my favorite moments of idiocy:

0:00- Yes, they manage to botch the hike. No, not botch the hand-off, botch the hike. "HEY Y'ALL!". I'm thinking two things at this point:

1. You're from the South and you're probably proud of it.
2. You're hoping those tuning in identify with you because they probably have a Confederate flag hanging from their living room wall right above the fireplace.

0:14- This guy learned enunciation from Barney. "PAULA DEEN!" Uhhhh, I'm guessing you're a strong right lean? It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Example: "you sound like a dumbass" as opposed to "you sound like a dumb ass". Both of which apply.

0:15- One second. That's the fastest pick six from a botched hike you'll ever see. It's impressive almost. I'm guessing this guy was never hooked on phonics as a child. So unfortunate. This is really sad. I had to transcribe it, I just had to:

"She reveals in an unholy...connections with e...she says she uhh has unholy connections. She REVELS in unholy connections rather with evil corporations..."

Have you ever used one of those reading machines that teach kids how to speed read? The ones that cover up the lines as you go down the page so you have to read faster to keep up until there comes a point where you know you're screwed and just sort of give up? This guy reaches that moment at "she says he...uhhh". You just know he's looking at that screen and watching those words get highlighted and thinking "OH CRAP, THOSE WORDS ARE GOING TO DISAPPEAR SOON!!! Uhhhh..she says he...uhhhh". Listening to this guy squirm is pure comedy. He just went from revealing the Anti-Christ to crapping his pants...while revealing the Anti-Christ.

Paula Deen is just too easy so I'll just stick with the idiots on the couch. But I do love how she just explodes with that Southern hospitality as she says "peed in his bowl of cereal". Not a very pleasant image. She's got Georgia on her mind.

3:30- Watch the guy on the left. There's a moment where he cocks his head in anticipation. This group's got such great chemistry.

"You cook for people who are...uh...affordable"

And there it is.

There are very few times when I watch a professional in action and say, "Wow, they are so good at their job". Even fewer are the occasions where I watch a professional in action and say, " Wow, I could do a better job than this guy". Stumbling on this video was a treat.

Fox News. It's like watching Michael Scott give you the news.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


"How does the never to be differ from what never was?"
-Cormac McCarthy (The Road)

Seems like I've been asking myself this question rather frequently as of late. When I first read that passage, it took me a while to understand it. That can happen when you're reading a post-apocalyptic father-son survival story. I remember when I was a kid my mom used to tell me that if I didn't behave she would send me off to military school. I always took her seriously. And when she threw a full size suitcase at me and told me to pack my things, I really took her seriously.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I took it in my hand, tilted the shell back into my mouth as instructed by the now beaming Monsieur Saint-Jour, and with one bite and a slurp, wolfed it down. It tasted of seawater...of brine and flesh...and somehow...of the future.
Everything was different now. Everything.
I'd not only survived - I'd enjoyed.
This I knew, was the magic I had until now been only dimly and spitefully aware of. I was hooked. My parents' shudders, my little brother's expression of unrestrained revulsion and amazement only reinforced the sense that I had, somehow, become a man. I had had an adventure, tasted forbidden fruit, and everything that followed in my life - the food, the long and often stupid and self-destructive chase for the next thing, whether it was drugs or sex or some other new sensation - would all stem from this moment.
I'd learned something. Viscerally, instinctively, spiritually even in some small, precursive way, sexually - and there was no turning back. The genie was out of the bottle. My life as a cook, and as a chef, had begun.
Food had power.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Proust Questionnaire (Taken From My Sister)

My Proust Questionnaire

What is your idea of happiness?
Do you know that feeling you get when you're in a given moment of time and you know that you'll remember that moment for the rest of your life? When that is shared with the ones you love, that is the purest form of happiness I have ever and no doubt will ever experience

The qualities you most like in a man?
Courage. When someone is willing to hold true to what he believes in the face of the most casual everyday interactions and again in the face of the most difficult adversity he has ever faced, that is rare and to be lauded

The qualities you most like in a woman?
The ability to suffer well even when that suffering crushes all of your hopes and dreams. Then to be able to turn to those you know or don't know and give them a smile. My mom is the most courageous well-suffering woman I will ever know

What do you most value in your friends?
The ability to dole out tough love. Sadly, I have very few of these and for those I do have, I am eternally grateful.

Your most marked characteristic?
My atrociously corny sense of humor

What is your principle defect?
My atrociously corny sense of humor

What is your favorite occupation?
One that makes getting out of bed on a Monday easy

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
To see the world lose sight of their passions for the sake of doing what is conventional

What would you like to be?
A writer

In what country would you like to live?

What is your favorite color?

What are your favorite flowers?
Cherry blossoms

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Philip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, Richard Yates

Who are your favorite poets?
William Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost (in that order)

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Hal (Henry IV), Will Hunting, Atticus Finch

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Scout, Monica Vitti in just about any of her movies, Vesper Lynd

Who are your favorite composers?
Chopin (Pollini), Grieg, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck

Who are your favorite painters?
Caravaggio, Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom, Tim Keller, Rahm Emanuel

Who are your favorite heroes/heroines of history?
Lincoln, Paul Newman, Clinton

What are your favorite names?
John, James, Paul

What is it you most dislike?
People who are knowingly inconsiderate

What historical figures do you most despise?

What event in military history do you most admire?
Cuban Missile Crisis

What reform do you most admire?
14th Amendment

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Photographic memory

How would you like to die?
Peacefully in my sleep at a time when all of my loved ones would be satisfied with the length and quality of the life that I lived

What is your present state of mind?
Unceasingly ambivalent

What fault do you indulge the most?
My penchant for sweets and desserts

What is your motto?
Sadly, as of now:

"All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain"
-Cormac McCarthy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Horror

I think I've had ample time to digest reaction to the death of perhaps the most hated man in the world (at least to the so-called 'Free World').

Let me start by saying it's incredible what social media has been able to accomplish in just the last few years. People need look no further than their Facebook News Feed to get the latest scoop on just about anything. But it also leaves very little room for error in formulating mainstream friendly opinions (see Rashard Mendenhall). Kind of sad to say, but the culmination of the ever present news feed is beginning to define what is acceptable or unacceptable to the not so silent majority. Facebook is becoming everyone's most convenient Op-ed column.

With that said, am I the only one that is a little disturbed by all of the so-called pent-up nationalism being displayed on Facebook and Twitter statuses the past few days?

Let me preface what I'm about to say by telling you I didn't know any of the 3,000 victims that lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 attacks. I don't even know anyone connected to them. And to be completely honest, even I felt a little relief to hear that Osama was no longer with us. In fact, I even posted a status update on how good Obama's poker face was leading up to the act (Did you see that speech at the Correspondents' dinner?). But it's still a little disconcerting that people are reacting to Osama's killing as if the Lakers just won the championship.

Was Osama the unmistakable face of terrorism for the past decade? Yes. Was he responsible for killing thousands and thousands of people over that decade? Yes. Was he intent on killing thousands, maybe millions more over the course of the next decade with both the resources and brains to do so? Yes.

Everything should make logical sense, but to me it doesn't. I'm bothered by the reaction because it tells me that at some point, celebrating this man's or, for that matter, any man's killing, is acceptable and encouraged. That at some point, hearing that someone got shot through the eye and dumped in the ocean, then rejoicing is an encouraged and a perfectly normal reaction. But if that's the case, where exactly do you draw the line?

If you watched Obama's announcement speech, you were probably fighting the urge to go light some fireworks and go trade in your Toyota for American made. "Today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people" he said. And of course we of all people are on the side of the Americans. We're Americans damnit! Let's forget all the partisan arguing that nearly shut the government down, all of the side-taking and deal-making and embrace our roles as Americans because that's what we all are. Now I see where all this raw nationalism came from.

No one man should have all that power (yes, I just did).

Now don't get me wrong. I do feel that the world is a safer place without Osama. And I agree that he left very little room for any other scenario. I'm reacting to what I observed after the fact. One line in Obama's speech really stuck out to me. When Obama proudly declared "Americans understand the cost of war", I had to laugh. Anyone who has ever argued or debated, much less written a coherent opinionated thought could see what he was trying to do. I couldn't contain myself because no man, woman or child that sits at home watching these things occur on a TV screen could possibly understand the costs of war, much less how much a single human life is worth.

No, we're not that delusional. We just know how much it's depreciated.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I will write in this more often

I will write in this more often
I will write in this more often
I will write in this more often...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Revolutionary Road

'Our ability to measure and apportion time affords an almost endless source of comfort.
"Synchronize watches at oh six hundred," says the infantry captain, and each of his huddles lieutenants finds a respite from fear in the act of bringing two tiny pointers into jeweled alignment while tons of heavy artillery go fluttering overhead: the prosaic, civilian-looking dial of the watch has restored, however briefly, an illusion of personal control. Good, it counsels, looking tidily up from the hairs and veins of each terribly vulnerable wrist; fine: so far, everything's happening on time.
"I'm afraid I"m booked solid through the end of the month," says the executive, voluptuously nestling the phone at his cheek as he thumbs the leaves of his appointment calendar, and his mouth and eyes at that moment betray a sense of deep security. The crisp, plentiful, day-sized pages before him prove that nothing unforeseen, no calamity of chance or fate can overtake him between now and the end of the month. Ruin and pestilence have been held at bay, and death itself will have to wait; he is booked solid.
"Oh let me see now," says the ancient man, tilting his withered head to wince and blink at the sun in bewildered reminiscence, "my first wife passed away in the spring of--" and for a moment he is touched with terror. The spring of what? Past? Future? What is any spring but a mindless rearrangement of cells in the crust of the spinning earth as it floats in endless circuit of its sun? What is the sun itself but one of a billion insensible stars forever going nowhere into nothingness? Infinity! But soon the merciful valves and switches of his brain begin to do their tired work, and "The spring of Nineteen-Ought-Six," he is able to say. "Or no, wait--" and his blood runs cold again as the galaxies revolve. "Wait! Nineteen-Ought--Four." now he is sure of it, and a restorative flood of well-being brings his hand involuntarily up to slap his thigh in satisfaction. He may have forgotten the shape of his first wife's smile and the sound of her voice in tears, but by imposing a set of numerals on her death he has imposed coherence on his own life, and on life itself. Now all the other years can fall obediently into place, each with its orderly contribution to the whole. Nineteen-Ten, Nineteen-Twenty--Why of course he remembers!--Nineteen-Thirty, Nineteen-Forty, right on up to the well-deserved peace of his present and on into the gentle promise of his future. The earth can safely resume its benevolent stillness-- Smell that new grass! -- and it's the same grand old sun that has hung there smiling on him all these years. "yes sir," he can say with authority, "Nineteen-Ought-Four," and the stars tonight will please him as tokens of his ultimate heavenly rest. He has brought order out of chaos.'

-Richard Yates

This just may be the most beautifully written passage I've ever read.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Random Observations...

- Mike Tyson's new reality show is showing on Animal Planet

- The word 'Grateful' begs the question: to whom?

- I'm beginning to realize that there's no way around hypocrisy. It's like God's sadistic little joke. We like to believe that because someone is one way in one aspect of their life, every aspect of their person follows suit, but that's just not true. A few examples:

1. Tiger Woods will potentially go down as the greatest golfer in history, most known for his tireless work ethic. Because of this, people assumed his dedication to his family was much the same. Unless you've been hiding in a closet for the past year, you know how the rest goes.

2. Kennedy was a great president (I think we've reached that point in retrospect when it's safe to say so). He was also a blatant womanizer.

3. MLK (see above)

All this to say: people compartmentalize. No one's perfect. A discovery it took me 23 years to figure out. Damn that fanboy inside of me.

- Rob Reiner has an incredibly diverse resume as a director. The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men and This is Spinal Tap were all directed by the same guy.

- John's girlfriend cooked us dinner one night. Realization: I need a girlfriend.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Does anyone remember that episode of Family Guy where the family's sitting in the living room and Louis is laid out as a rug while Stewie says, "Oh, the Phillies won"? I swear they took that idea from this ad.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


1. Take comfort in the knowledge that apart from Him, nothing is possible, but with Him, anything is possible.

Phil e-mailed me over a blog post a while back that argued that a sensitivity to the voice of God was contingent upon the degree to which you feel He is absolutely vital to life in prayer and reading of His word. I need to get to this place.

I remember Jongmin once telling our church thatin response to a Muslim woman's questioning how many times he prays (Muslims pray a minimum of 5 times a day), he replied, "I pray without ceasing". This was then followed by laughter from the congregation, but I need to realize that praying without ceasing doesn't necessarily mean praying constantly every second of the day, but being in the presence of God at all times.

2. Be correctable and self-aware

Since when did being stubborn become a good thing. People admit to being stubborn as if it's some kind of merit badge that they can pull out whenever they feel is necessary. "I know I should, but I'm stubborn". "I know, but I'm stubborn". I'm not sure these people realize that inherent within those statements is the notion that they think they know better than anyone else what is best for them. "Being stubborn" just gives them an excuse to ignore any sort of criticism or correction. This my friends, is incredibly stupid. Be self-aware, know when correction is necessary and act accordingly. If you're anything like me, this is most of the time.

3. Take more risks knowing that this could potentially be the only time in my life that I can absorb the losses.

Self explanatory