I always wondered why Go with what you know is such a popular phrase. Since when does sticking to the same routine help someone grow? The cliche has it times when it needs to be said I suppose, but whoever said it was most likely a Negative Nancy. Breaking out of our box by doing and trying things we would usually shy away from help us create experiences we didn't even know existed before. Taking your eyes off of your phone and opening them up to the world around you is key in your growth as a human bean.
Art Cafe Hemingway
4 - 1495 Kuhio Hwy, 96746 Kapaa, HI
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK: BRUNCH 8am - 2pm DINNER 6pm - 9pm
Fr - Sun by Markus & Jana
With pretty much all of the restaurants on the island of Kauai, all of the ingredients are locally sourced. It would be pretty tough for businesses like these ones to stay in business if they were constantly waiting for products to be shipped to them. And the you have possible shortage, price of delivery, all kinds of other factors that would affect the quality of the food served in these restaurants.
Art Cafe Hemingway is no different. With all of their ingredients locally sourced from their Mint Kauai farm. Words they live by on the farm are Food, Identity, and Responsibility. With their mission to put more local food on local plates, they are not only creating a better option for their community, but a look inside of the world they're trying to create. As a tourist, I was blown away by the story of this restaurant. But we had no idea what we were walking into.
My wife, son, and I were just walking near some shops along the beach on a late morning and of course we were starving because we always are. My wife pointed to this restaurant which I initially thought was a house and said we should try it out. Now had we been on our phones looking for a place to eat instead of admiring what was right in front of us, we may have missed this opportunity. With lounge chairs in the front we figured this place was going to be pretty chill.
The dining area had the feel of being in someones home for brunch. Not only did this place look like a house, it felt like home. The waitress began telling us about the story of the restaurant, and somehow it turned into a conversation about new parent life and I almost didn't even realize that we didn't know her. We were just having a conversation as if she had been an old friend.
Their menu offers food for anyone and everyone. All these diet options I had never even heard of, but I learned from the menu such as Ovo Lacto Vegetarian, Ovo Vegetarian, Lacto Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten Free. I figured since we were out of our comfort zone for what I would normally expect from a restaurant experience, I should try something I typically wouldn't. I ordered a savory crepe filled with salmon, tomato relish, and sour cream. Very simple ingredient combination yet the taste was all but simple. I couldn't believe the flavors that were coming together to not only satisfy my hunger, but also satisfy my human need for quality in life.
My wife ordered a savory croissant with ham and aged Gouda cheese with homemade honey mustard mayonnaise. With their croissants being freshly made everyday, there was no way this sandwich could fail. The honey mustard mayonnaise gave the sandwich more than enough flavor and is actually making my mouth water right now. And of course we ordered an extra butter croissant on the side because we always need more food.
It's the simple things in life that always bring us back home. Whether home to you is delivering delicious beer to local stores so that the masses have a safe place to purchase their favorite alcoholic beverages. Or if being in the studio, spilling out your soul to the world to see. Or if it is at your actual home with your family, just kicking back enjoying some basketball on TV. Home is where you make it, and Art Cafe Hemingway reminds you of that.
It's Opening Day for the 2018 MLB season! Which means new beginnings, new challenges, and new contenders. Everything that happened last season is in the past, and it is a new opportunity for any team to become champions. An opportunity for the unheard of guy making a name for himself. A chance for potential Hall of Famers to cement their legacy. A possibility of another city breaking a championship drought. And another season to root against the San Francisco Giants.
As I'm writing this, Giancarlo Stanton just hit his second homer as a New York Yankee. He is on pace to hit 324 dingers in the 2018 season, I seriously hope that happens. The Oakland A's are looking OK so far, that starting pitching is going to have a long season. The White Sox hit 5 homers in a span of two innings, maybe a sing of good things to come for Loyola-Chicago this weekend. And Ty Blach just threw out the first pitch against the Dodgers. It's all feeling pretty good in the world with baseball back.
I could write about my predictions for the season, what to watch for, teams of the future, my MVP candidates. There's an endless possibility of topics for the 2018 season. But as always, I am going to write about whatever the hell I want because it's my blog and I am the CEO, Editor, Writer, Producer, Composer, Sound Guy, and Janitor. I make the rules on what I write, and baseball is just a segway into what I really want to talk about, which is new beginnings.
As some of you know about me, I have worked for a popular coffee chain for about 6 years. I recently took a break from that to try to pursue my career in sports. Working in sports is something that I had always dreamed of, and it is still my goal for my future. I love sports, particularly basketball, and I know that being a basketball writer, announcer, or whatever else I can do is what I ultimately want to do. I pressured myself so much to get into the sports industry that I took the first job I was offered. But that didn't work out so well.
Five years ago, I set a goal for myself. I said that I wanted to have graduated college and to be working in sports. Fast forward five years, and I had accomplished what I said I would. but as I've said before, life is all about timing and perspective. Being able to go into a new workplace with all new people, I got some perspective on the industry. Although it was a small sample size in an environment that wasn't fully developed yet, I knew it wasn't going to work. I had to set my pride and goals aside and ask myself Am I really happy with what I am doing? Will this job create a better future for me? Are the sacrifices I'm making worth the end result?
After just a few months in a position that was not a right fit for me, I quit. I hated it. I have never quit any job in my life, but I was totally unhappy and I knew I wasn't going to grow in my role with this position. So I called my former boss up and asked her if she could offer me a job, just to pay the bills, and of course she did because I'm like the Ben Simmons of this barista shit. I'm like the neighborhood drug dealer, giving all these peoples their caffeine fix multiple times a week. I'm like Tony Montana, giving people that extra boost they need just to get through the day.
Sorry, sometimes I get cocky. But that's the thing. I'm extremely confident in my position right now and I know that what I do helps others. Even if it is just a simple cup of coffee, I am giving them an opportunity to create a new beginning everyday. Whatever happened before that cup of coffee doesn't matter to them anymore because they got their fix and they're ready to tackle the day head-on.
Take pride in whatever it is that you do. Don't ever let the influence of others sway you to feel like what you're doing isn't what they would consider to be glorious. You are in control of your future and your own happiness, and if you are an accountant, be the best fucking accountant that ever lived. If you a used car salesman, then push some cars to the masses. If you like plumbing, then God bless you my dude because the world needs people like you to function. Treat everyday like it's Opening Day. If you aren't excited with what you're doing or the job you're at, it is not late to create your own new beginning.
It's funny looking back in time in movies, books, and comics and seeing what they believed the future would look like. Robots, flying cars, Smart Houses. We've seen it change a bit recently with how we believe our future will be. Self-driving cars, Internet inside of our brain, In-n-Out and Keyes Taco Truck on every street corner in Northern California. Ok maybe that last one is just me, but wouldn't you agree that it would be awesome? I just want to live in a time where I can live in the Future, past, and the present. And for 44 minutes and 28 seconds, you can enter that alternate universe.
July 17, 2015
Alright, hold on a second. Before I even get into this legendary album, I need to say something. I am now barely realizing as I'm looking at the cover right here that his face is in the design. I am so fucking oblivious to half of the world around me, I honestly don't know how my wife deals with it. But this is why I write, to expand my mind and open my mind up to new possibilities, lessons, and hopefully better vision... Yeah, right.
In case you don't know, Future is a global rap/hip-hop artist. He hit the scene with a splash with his 3 mixtape from 2010 which included a huge hit with his debut single "Tony Montana." Then he kinda became a joke around social media in 2012 when he dropped his debut studio album Pluto, with many of the songs being much different that of which we heard from his mixtape. He was talking about love and all the positive things in life that people don't like in their rap music, unless you're ... J Cole ... I guess? And honestly, I didn't want it either. I wanted the Down South Atlanta dirty shit, ya know? Like I wanted that Tony Montana shit. And from Future, we didn't get that until DS2.
After his first two albums lost me, I almost didn't ever even give this album an ear. But I remember thinking to myself like just give it chance. The man has been grinding this long, I'm sure he has worked out his growing pains as a popular artist by now. And sure enough he did. With the album being produced by the young wunderkind of instrumentals Metro Boomin, it was destined to work. Right off the bat, you get that unique Atlanta sound with "Thought it was a Drought" where he speaks on his love for that Dirty Sprite and fucking other people's bitches.
I just fucked yo bitch in some Gucci flip flops
I had just had some bitches and I made em lip lock;
I just took a piss and I seen codeine coming out
We got purple Actavis, I thought it was a drought?
You can see by the straight-forwardness in this hook that he was finding himself again, possibly at the bottom of a styrofoam cup. Now while although I hope the man stays healthy for his family, himself, and his kids, I am so glad that his use of codeine placed him in a musical genius state that can only be achieved by being in an out of body, slow motion, thought provoking experience. We have seen this in many artists over the years, but maybe none more prominent than with Jimi Hendrix.
Now while most of the lyrics on this album aren't going to make you woke, they will still find a way to hit you. With "I Serve the Base" he not only lets you know that he knows how to cook crack-cocaine, but he can also appease to the masses musical taste. He continues to educate the listener by giving them an insight to the drug dealing life, a topic very popular amongst rap fans. Every artist who invites us for a look into their mind and perspective on life not only gives us a chance to learn more about them, but it is a message to others out there who may be going through the same things that artist is going through. Key word being perspective. In "Colossal" he reminds us that we can never listen to they.
I'm hungry, I admit it, I swear I'm conditioned
I served and I hustled on any conditions
Fuck your permission, I'll get to them digits
Come to your town and I get and split it
I am a firm believer that everything in life is about timing and perspective. Lessons we learn and how we move forward from them, create a limitless amount of opportunity for us to grow mentally. This album shows the growth of a man who was living his life how he believes will give him the most happiness. Now, this will not be the case for everyone, but it can be the case for you. We are not here to judge others on how they live their lives or what they choose to do with it. Life is about quality, and not quantity.
This album gives us that quality over quantity as it is still Future's best work to date. He can continue to release music that the masses love, but it will never be as thought provoking as DS2. The ability he showed to be as transparent as he could be is a lesson to all of us. Speak on what you are passionate about, because there may be someone out there who feels the same way, but is too scared to speak up.
This video isn't from this album, but it is March so...
It's time to talk about the GOAT. The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of glaze. The Kathy Bates of dough. The Dwight Kurt Schrute of donuts. If you don't know what I'm talking about by now, then you have never tried this next spot, or you are just blind to the fact that it is the home of the most delicious donuts in the universe. Mr. T's is the GOAT, anything else is just Fake News that you probably got from FOX (Friendly reminder that FOX is an entertainment channel, not a credited news source).
Mr. T's Donuts
3507 Tully Road, Modesto, CA
I don't remember the first time I went to Mr. T's. I want to say it was back when I was in high school, over the summer I would go along with my step-dad when he would deliver the newspaper. On busy nights/mornings, we would sometimes not be done until around 5 or 6 am and by that time there'd be no reason to go back to sleep. We would occasionally get some donuts for everyone so that they could all wake up to some donuts, but of course we got first dibs. I remember trying different spots, pretty much whoever was open at the time. But Mr. T's is 24/7 and they always have fresh donuts around the clock, so at some point it just became the only spot we would go to.
You want to talk about a 'hole in the wall' this place is the ultimate success story for that. The family owned donut shop that opened it's doors in 1989 has not closed them since. They have almost built a religious type of following with these godly sweets. Their customers will accept nothing less than a Mr. T's donut. I have called people out on multiple occasions when they have brought donuts to work that aren't Mr. T's. Those conversations have usually gone like this:
Me: "Who brought these?"
Coworker: "I did! Please, enjoy one!"
Me: "What the hell is your problem, bro? Who the hell do you think I am? You brought donuts in this pink box? There ain't no Mr. T's logo on this box, and I know they didn't change from their white box to these shits. *Picks up trash donut* Look at this shit, bro. This shit is heavy. If I put this donut on a scale the shit might break. How much did you pay for this?"
Coworker flabbergasted: "Uhh - I think like $14-"
Me: "$14?! FOUR-TEEN DOLLARS? For this shit?! Mr. T's ain't never charged over $10 for a dozen of the World's Greatest Donut, and you out here disrespecting me by bringing this into work. Wowwww bro, this really just told me everything I need to know about you."
Honestly, it probably goes longer than that. I will straight gas you. Don't ever come at me saying there is any donut in the world, let alone Modesto, that is better. I will take it personal. And I have, just ask my boss. I went off on her at 6 am for even suggesting that another local donut shop, which doesn't even deserved to be mentioned in this post, had better donuts. I was hot. She ruined my whole day, like for real. I felt personally attacked early in the morning.
This place is legendary. Most of the time, the line is out the door. Walking in and seeing a full case of donuts is like Christmas morning. Watching the workers go hard on deep frying thousands of donuts is like watching Santa's elves go to work right in front of you. But the best part is that you get to pick your presents. They always have so many different flavors and types of donuts to choose from, but I know what I like when it comes to donuts. I stick to the classics.
The way to really tell if a donut shop is 'bout it, is by the taste and texture of their raised, glazed donut. If you can make the most basic type of donut your main attraction, everything else will fall into place. Biting into that donut is what I can only describe as a dream. Think about the softest pillow you've ever had, then multiply that by a thousand and make it lighter than a feather. And then turn it into deep dried dough and smother it in liquid sugar and it's the same thing. I have found myself branching out a bit and trying some of their other donuts occasionally, but I keep it OG with the raised glazed, maple glazed, and old fashion glazed donuts. There is no wrong way to go.
The love is in the dough, honestly. I have never come across another donut that is quite as soft and delicate as theirs. The sweetness is never overpowering, the recipe has yet to fail them. People like to say 'go with what you know' and I think they know what they're doing.
One of my favorite things in the world is watching people experience Mr. T's for the first time. Last year, I brought donuts to work and this guy that was from Southern California had never tried it. So I gave him this huge speech before he was allowed to touch a donut, about what was about to happen to him and how he would never see donuts the same again. He even was a little upset because he said I probably set the bar too high, and I assured him that it is impossible to put the bar high enough. He bit into the donut, as he chewed you could tell his mind had completely forgotten about every worry or stress he had in his life at that time. As he finished his bite, he turned to me and said "That is a solid fuckin' donut." He repeated that about 5 more times. And honestly, that's what I say every fuckin' time too bud.
Vince Carter is the Mr. T's of dunking...
I was in the middle of writing a basketball post, when I read the news about Stephon Clark. An unarmed black man shot to death by the hands of the police in his own backyard. I've said this before and I've had people on social media comment back telling me that I need to see things as "All Lives Matter" but I can't. I simply can't see it that way and I'm sorry if that is insensitive. But until Black Lives Matter, then All Lives *Don't* Matter.
It was late Wednesday night when the Sacramento Police had got a call about a man breaking into cars in a local neighborhood. It was not described to the police what the man looked like, so naturally when they saw Clark outside late at night, they assumed a black man was up to something. The police saw him and chased him in his backyard, and when they came around the corner they told him to put his hands up. When he attempted to put his hands up with his cell phone in hand, a police officer shouts "GUN GUN GUN" and they rang 20 shots into his body.
What have we come to man?! We had a white male kill 17 children in Florida and they put him on a stretcher and into an ambulance and then into solitary confinement because of safety for his life. We have a white male bomber in Texas killing people, and the White House is telling us it is not an act of terrorism?! Do they even know what the fuck terrorism means?? It's not about skin color, it's about terrorizing people which is exactly what that man is doing.
Clark happened to be at the right place at the wrong time and it cost him his life. Who is going to explain this to his children? Because of the color of their skin, they will forever be targeted as suspects in any situation, even in their own backyard. His grandparents witnessed his death, and we know for a fact that these officers will not have to face any consequences besides paid leave, or whatever else. They will face no prison time because there is no justice when it comes to the police murdering black people.
I am not speaking with political correctness and honestly I don't care. Anyone who has anything to say has probably never faced the same uphill battle that black people have had to fight for generations. And yes, there is racism from the police and government with other minorities as well, but my Hispanic and Asian people are not losing their lives at the hands of the police every month.
Here's a little story for you. I went out with some white guys about a year ago, I was in downtown Modesto on a Saturday night. This was just a few days after a black man had been beaten by a police officer for jaywalking. So naturally, they jaywalk because they are not afraid of police brutality. With my eyes wide open and mouth ajar, I looked at them all and said "You guys are going to jaywalk?! What if a police officer sees us??" One of them really turned to me and said "If a police officer has something to say to me about jaywalking, I'll turn to him and say 'Fuck you cop!'" I had no words. I asked them if they had no fear for the police and they asked me Why would they? I explained to them that looking a certain way can change everything, they were as understanding as they could be, but I'm sure it had no affect on them.
It hurts me everytime I see news like this. When will it stop? How many times does THIS have to happen before America realizes that we have a race issue? It is embedded into our brains from a young age to judge people based off of skin color, whether we like to believe that or not. Stephon Clark was a young man with a future, and he got it taken away because of the color of his skin. Whether you choose to accept this as a fact or not is up to you. But which side do you want to be on when you are asked what you did to bring awareness to this issue when the revolution comes?
As I sit here with a heart full of emotions, I want you to watch the body cam video of the last seconds of this young man's life
The capital of California has never really gotten as much love as some of the other cities in this beautiful state. You've got Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Fresno, and you could even say the Silicon Valley with all of it's recent success. Sacramento too often gets forgotten about when people think about what California has to offer. It is a beautiful city, with a loyal basketball fan base and a shiny new state-of-the-art stadium. Their fans may be a little bit too loyal considering what the franchise has given them during their time in Sacramento, but as a 76ers fan, I respect y'all dedication.
I wrote about the Kings a while back. It was mostly about how sad the franchise had become, and how I had hoped that they were going to save their fans from a lifetime of terrible basketball by moving to Seattle. But instead, they got Golden1 Center, the premiere basketball experience in all of the NBA. So although the front office has still yet to find a way to give their fans a playoff caliber basketball team, they have given them a place to call their own for many years to come.
Now I remember going to Arco Arena, or as you younger people may know it as Sleep Train Arena, or even Power Balance Pavilion (that didn't last long). Arco was definitely unique, it was true to the teams history because it had been their home for so long. But it became outdated, and they were at a point where they were either getting a new stadium or a new city to play in. Somehow, basketball legend and former Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson convinced the city and state to assist in public funding for Golden1 Center. At the time, I couldn't believe it. I was really sitting there thinking How could they approve a brand new stadium for a terrible NBA franchise that couldn't sell cheap seats in their old stadium?
Yet, here they are, new stadium, new jerseys, no new fans. We are nearly 20 years removed from the best Kings basketball ever witnessed, and the team still has no direction. Sure they have some good young talent, but what will they do with it? Will they mismanage them the way they did with Isaiah Thomas? Will they ship their future away like they did with Demarcus Cousins? Will they continue to rebuild new cultures every year with new coaches?
One question that doesn't have to be answered, is if they have one of the best fan experiences in the NBA. This place is unbelievable. The first time I went this season, I was in a suite. The food spread was immense, the view was incredible, and the customer service was the best I had ever received at any sporting event. My wife made a joke saying that she would've eaten food off of the floor because it was so clean, but it wasn't even really a joke. With Panasonic 4K televisions throughout the entire stadium and in every suite, there was no way you weren't going to be fully entertained.
The next two times I went were in the upper level near center court. It was right after the All-Star break and really I was just curious to see how much tickets were. It was bad, like really bad. Tickets were starting at $6 YES I SAID $6 to watch professional basketball. The tickets were basically being given away, and the place still wasn't sold out, not even close honestly. Usually when you go to a sporting event, most people wear jerseys. This was not the case. I went with my mom and I literally said "I feel bad for Kings fans. They literally have no jersey they can buy. Mayyyybe De'Aaron Fox..? But even then, would you trust the franchise enough to keep him?"
But back to the stadium. Man, it really makes up for the bad basketball. There are so many different food options, and as their website states, all the food that they serve comes from within a 60 mile radius of the stadium. Locally sourced food is the future, especially if you've been reading my #FOODFridays you'll understand. I didn't have one bad food item anytime I went, it was all fire. And the scoreboards and big screens? Let's just say it is very hard to keep your eyes on the court because of how crystal clear the picture is. It makes every seat in the house a good seat. After every basket, the announcer was engaged with the crowd and the game and the DJ played the slaps non-stop.
Now even with all of this, the game itself is still the biggest attraction. And the Kings actually won the first two games I went to. The first one was early on in the season when they were still running their best lineups against a good Blazers team, and we got to see The Backpack Kid, like the real Backpack Kid do his flossin' dance on the court. The second win was against the Nets, so it was bad vs. bad which actually made for very interesting basketball, Fox hit a buzzer beater to send it to OT which was sick. But man that last time was a joke. They didn't play all of their players, they had no passion, the tank job was obviously on schedule with the Pelicans in town. I'm still very pissed that I went to three Kings games and I didn't even see Vince Carter touch the floor.
Anyway, I highly recommend you guys to go to the stadium even if it is just for the food and the experience. you don't have to like basketball to have a good time. The fans that actually do show up are there to have a good time and enjoy some Kings basketball, even if it is terrible. If you guys do decide to go, hit me up! I'm not worried about spending $6 to watch some NBA.
But hey, at least they once got Lil Jon to introduce the team...
Every Monday, throughout the day I'll think about who I want to write about. Usually I will think about someone legendary, someone I can relate to, or someone that I believe other people can relate to. This week is quite a bit different, actually vastly different. Minutes before I decided to start writing, I had come across the news that Bento, the Keyboard Cat, has passed away. I never realized that news about a cat's death would ever effect me the way it did, but Bento meant so much to the world. People may not realize it, but Bento is a legendary musician in this internet generation.
Bento, the Keyboard Cat
Rest in Peace
Just as a clarification, this cat isn't the original Keyboard Cat in the video that was watched over 50 million times on YouTube. Yes, 50 million views, I don't care who you are a musician, that is doing numbers fam. The original Keyboard Cat is named Fatso and the original video is from 1984. Bento was just a beautiful cat who remastered this legend's work, and who looked exactly like him.
This ain't no joke man, I really respect this cat. I can't even imagine the things that went on in Bento's mind. Like did he wake up and just think like "Yo, I hope my owner puts me in front of a keyboard today so I can rip this shit." With over 100K subscribers on YouTube, I guarantee kids and cat lovers across the world were just enjoying what this cat was doing. Life is stressful man, and if you can get some entertainment from a random cat playing a keyboard then why not?
I've thought a lot recently about what the future holds for me, and sometimes I let my thoughts get out of hand. As it is man, life goes on. And at the end of it, what do we want to be known for? Do we want to be remembered by our family members and friends as someone they loved and cared about? Do we want to make an impact on peoples lives? Do we want to share our stories with the world and see if there are people out there going through the same struggles of everyday life like us? What does any of these questions have anything to do with a cat playing a keyboard?
I'll tell why it is relative, because no matter what species we are, we all seek happiness and a fulfilling life. Now I didn't know this cat personally, but the fact that so many people watched Bento's videos shows the impact his life had on others. I know that everytime I saw the Keyboard Cat's videos, I would laugh my ass off. Maybe it's just because I'm a cat lover, but I know y'all dog lovers out there still liked that OG cat video. What I'm trying to get at is this; No matter what point you are in life, try to imagine what your life would be like if you were Keyboard Cat. No worries in the world, just living life. Find what it is that helps you have self worth, it will go a long way in the end. And maybe, you will put as many smiles on people's faces as Bento did.
Yes bruh, 10 hours of Keyboard Cat. RIP Bento
I wish that I would take my own advice sometimes. On these #FoodFridays I've been telling you guys "Support local, eat local, stick it to big business!" Yet, I still find myself trying to eat at basic ass places like Round Table just because they have a pretty good lunch buffet special. Now I'm not gonna say it's not any good, because it is, but for the same price I got my family some fire pizza that we had never tried before. A place that has been 2 minutes from our house the entire time we've lived here, and we just barely decided to try.
1825 Mitchell Road, Ceres, CA 95307
Hours: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
My wife was going on lunch and she wanted some pizza, so she told us to meet her at Round Table. So I was like Alright cool, because they have a buffet and I can get salad, pizza, and dessert, sounds good. But it was the first day of March Madness, so when I walked it I realized that there was no seating and when I looked at the bar, I saw that there was like one slice of veggie pizza or some shit. So I called my wife and she was hurt because she really wanted some pizza, and I couldn't think of any other pizza place in Ceres. She was like "Well what about Chicago Pizza?" I had no idea what she was talking about, but she told me where it was at and we met her there.
When we walked in, we were greeted with a big friendly smile and were told our pizza would be ready in about ten minutes. The man who I believe was more than likely the owner, was there with his young son who was watching cartoons on the television. So right away we could feel the family atmosphere. While we were waiting for our pizza, I talked to the chef for a few minutes and he was so nice and didn't let his smile down for one second. He assured me that we were going to enjoy our first visit and that we were going to want to come back. I could only hope that he wasn't just saying that to make me happy.
As the pizza came out of the oven, the smell was driving us crazy because we were so starving. When he brought the pizza to our table, it was so hot and steamy that my glasses actually fogged up for a second. At first glance I couldn't see the toppings on our pizza, I thought he had forgot them honestly. But when I took a closer look, I realized that the pepperoni was smothered by an extra layer of cheese. This was quite a beautiful sight to see. When I picked up the first slice of pizza, there was was so much cheese stringing together from what was in my hand to the rest of the pizza. It reminded me of the pizza the Ninja Turtles would eat, bruh that shit always looked so fucking good to me.
Although the pizza was hot as hell, I still took a bite right away because I simply couldn't wait. Now we didn't get the deep dish style, so I can't tell you if it is authentic "Chicago" style pizza, but I can tell you that this was some of the best pizza I have had in a while. We ate that pizza for lunch and dinner, and it was just as good both time. Sure you can go to Mountain Mikes, Costco, or wherever else you go to get pizza and its probably going to be pretty good. But if you want to go somewhere that will give you a solid bang for your buck, with fresh quality ingredients, you need to check out my boy right here. The customer service alone was great enough to bring me back, but the delicious pizza was the cherry- no wait- cheese on top.
This pizza was a slam dunk, and since this dunk happened on the same day that I had this pizza I figured I'd just leave this here...
We have all faced a moment in our lives when we have felt like we're kind of just floating around in space, and we're not entirely sure if our future is extremely bright, or that some bad karma is headed our way. Some people are glass half-empty. They are pretty realistic with their potential and know what they are and don't really have the drive to make their future, but instead accept their future and succeed in their goals. Some people are glass half-full. They live in reality and somewhat of a fantasy and consistently believe that good things will happen, and usually reach for impossible goals and sometimes fail. Live how you want to live, brothers and sisters. Although, I will say I am inspired by one group of guys who are trying to reach some impossible goals.
We have reached the point in the NBA season where teams are either tanking or going hard to make the playoffs. But there is one team that was looking like they were heading for tank season, but a mid-season push has helped them find a way into the playoff race. Well not entirely, the Lakers are 6.5 games back with 16 games to play. They will pretty much have to win out and will need some help from other teams. While it seems pretty impossible, with the way this team is playing right now, it is not improbable.
When we think of things that are out of the realm of possibility, some that come to mind are time travel, mind reading, and winning the lottery without actually playing the lottery. But this is basketball, anything is possible. A trade deadline move for an all-star caliber point guard in Isaiah Thomas, has added depth and playoff experience. At times, it hasn't looked exactly pretty, but with a team that has 11 guys under the age of 25 you come to expect some sloppy basketball. Yet, age and lack of experience has not stopped these guys from putting themselves in a position to have a chance to make the playoffs.
That's all we need in life, a chance. A chance to prove that we have what it takes to just be mentioned. Since Lonzo Ball has returned from injury, the Lakers have gone 8-2 with 4 of those wins coming against teams currently in the playoff picture. His ability to distribute the ball to his playmakers and shooters has eased the load for the rest of the squad. Isaiah Thomas is currently in a position where he can come off the bench and simply be a scorer and clutch free throw shooter, something the Lakers were desperately needing. Kyle Kuzma has cooled off since his hot start to the season, but he continues to make plays when needed and is always trying to set the example. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has shot the ball much better as of late, and has even found himself as the leading scorer during this stretch.
But one guy who has led the team with his play and his heart is Julius Randle. At 6'9" many around the basketball world would say he is undersized for the center position, but this has not stopped him from donating the boards and occasionally playing some bully ball. In their primetime matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, there was no answer for Randle. In 38 minutes he scored 36 points on 14-18 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and 7 assists. Randle has consistently heard from the media and doubters that he will be the odd man out this offseason. If this is to be true, the Lakers are going to have a big void to fill.
Now for them to make the playoffs, it is going to take some tough wins against the NBA's best teams. The Nuggets, Clippers, and Jazz or Spurs are going to have to fall off for the rest of the way. But in the NFL, we saw the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs in the last minute of the season in another team's game, so why not? The Lakers have shown drastic improvements over the second half of the season in comparison to the first. If they continue to improve with the time they have left, they may just find themselves with a chance to get into the playoffs on the last game of the season in front of their fans at the Staples Center. I see the glass as half-full for these guys, and it's still filling up.
In case you guys didn't know before, I'm a believer in the BBB business structure. Sorry.
Do people even watch television anymore? Remember DVR? That was the shit honestly. But now you can watch anything and everything on the internet, and most of the time I just watch something that I missed either on YouTube or on the channel's app. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Ever since I've lived on my own I haven't had cable so I don't watch television. Netflix and NBA League Pass is pretty much my comfort zone. But when I did have DVR when I lived with my parents, I used to record Conan O'brien. Mostly just for his jokes at the beginning and the musical performances at the end of the show. This next group is one that I first witnessed drop some major funk back in 2011.
May 12, 2014
Now this album here isn't the one that originally got me hooked on Chromeo, but it is my favorite one out of all the work they've put out over the years. And with a new album in the works, I thought it was the perfect time to give these guys their props. So this is the second time in three weeks that I've done a #MusicMondays on a Canadian duo, I promise this wasn't planned. If I do have any Canadian readers, I love y'all, please share some more of your music with me! Anyway, these homies are the closest thing that come to Funk music since the 1970's. Their use of synthesizers and the Zapp & Roger type of vocals got me hooked on their music real quick.
"Dave 1" and "P-Thugg" have been making their disco inspired sounds since 2002, that's hella long ago. This year is their Sweet16 in the music business and it doesn't seem like they're in any rush to slow down. When this album dropped, they were 12 years in, with a following that some would call cult-like. Their throwback sound has not only helped them maintain a longstanding success, but has inspired others to continue to create a sound they love, even if it is outdated like cable television. When I saw these guys in concert, I can honestly say it was like nothing I had ever seen before. It literally looked like something from the 1980's, with fog, lasers, leather jackets, and crazy hairstyles dominating the stage.
Without getting too deep into who these guys are, I'll give you a little insight to the album and let you judge it for yourself. It's really hard to put into words what their music sounds like. It's like when your parents would watch that movie Dirty Dancing, and you really didn't get what was going on but all you remember was the music playing. I can totally see Jennifer Grey dancing to Chromeo. I know most of you have no idea what I'm talking about, but look her up she was totally hot.
My favorite thing about this album is that you can listen to it no matter what mood you're in. You feel like you don't know where you're going in life, listen to "Lost on The Way Home feat. Solange" and just enjoy the time you have with the people in your life. You're going through a heartbreak, listen to "Jealous" and let these guys help you shrug those assholes off. You're in the mood to just dance and have a good time, slap "Sexy Socialite" and dance like my boy Roy Purdy. These guys aren't typically what you're used to hearing or it probably isn't the sound you prefer, but put this album on when you're cleaning your house and tell me you don't get that shit done faster than Derek Fisher can get a shot off... Wow I lost you again huh, ok just YouTube "Derek Fisher 0.4" you'll see what I mean.
Here's that video of the homies on Conan circa 2011
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.