New Project – My Soundtrack

I’m still trying to work out the logistics of my new blogging project, but I guess I should kick it off with a bit of an introduction.

I’ve been in a strangely nostalgic mood recently when it comes to music. Songs I listed to years ago have brought back poignant memories of what things were like when I was obsessed with those songs. The end result was that I wanted to turn this nostalgia into a fun project.

The goal will be to figure out my life soundtrack for every year going back until 1999. I go with 1999 because music really wasn’t that important for me. The lists for these years would be relatively short, consisting of mostly the one or two albums I bought that year, plus whatever Disney movie was in theaters. I might be able to scrap something together for 1998, but that might be a stretch. We’ll see.

Right now, I’m trying to figure out of if I have enough songs for each of those years and trying to catalog the songs to figure out what goes where. Songs from 2000 and 2001, for example, tend to blur.

So, look out for those posts in the near future.

Gilroy Garlic Festival

I went to the Gilroy Garlic Festival last week. After years of living in the Bay Area, you’d think I would have made it out there before now, but I haven’t. There was always some sort of excuse to miss it.



I’m glad I finally went. The event has all of the community charm of a county fair minus the crazy fried foods and farm animal smells. Instead, you’re left with garlic. So. Much Garlic.

The other side shows how much money the festival has raised for charities over the years.

The other side shows how much money the festival has raised for charities over the years.

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A non-update

For months, I’ve been trying to figure out how to give this blog a little kick start and start blogging again. The job has been keeping me busy, but I’ve done a lot of fun things along the way. I think I’ve come up with a small project to undo the writer’s block, but I’ll need to figure out how I want to do it.

Stay tuned.

Did you miss me?

Hi blog. It’s me. Maybe you don’t remember me. Life got busy. I got a job and that has been my main focus. Not that my life was particularly exciting before, but there definitely hasn’t been much to write home about of late. I am enjoying the job though. A lot.

So I’ll try to write more. I promise.

JJAMZ – Cafe Du Nord

It’s been a ridiculously long time since I’ve actually gone to see a show. I guess you can say Noisette counts because I saw the Dodos and Pillowfight, and I guess I saw a few other bands perform over the last few months, but they’ve all been part of some festival or other event. To actually go see a band or someone else perform? Embarrassingly, that might be when I took my mom to see Michael Buble. And before that, the New Pornographers in 2010. Inconceivable! This is a dry spell I’m glad to be ending.

In any case, learning about JJAMZ was a semi-random journey of chance. I’ve been a huge fan of bands like Phantom Planet, Rilo Kiley, The Like, Maroon 5 (when they wrote Songs About Jane), etc. ever since late high school. Seeing each of these bands either split up or, in the case of Maroon 5, slowly degenerate in quality over the years, has been a depressing process. Thus, when I learned that there was a band that sounded like a mix of these bands, I was excited. For whatever reason, I didn’t continue to look into the band until my friend, by chance, sent me an article about the band, whereupon I learned that this band sounded like a blend of some of my favorite bands of my younger years because it was made up of members of those bands. Needless to say, I bought the album almost immediately. The timing was perfect because they happened to be kicking off their tour in SF on Labor Day. Hurrah!

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Drawing a Blank

I’ve wanted to post here more often, but I’ve been kind of a loss of things to write about lately. I guess there are a lot of reasons for that, but I’m hoping to change it. I will be writing about seeing JJAMZ tonight, who were a lot of fun, but I will do it when it’s not past midnight because I have pictures to upload. I actually set out just now to write a post about coming to terms with being a hipster, but it was one of those entries that sounded a lot better in my head.

In all honesty, my life has been fairly routine the last few weeks. Been watching a lot of Breaking Bad in an attempt to try to finish the show before what I thought was going to be the series finale yesterday. About halfway through season three at the moment. Been trying to get myself into a routine at the gym. Been watching a lot of soccer. Been having a lot of game nights. Work. Nothing particularly exciting, which has hampered my creativity.

Also haven’t been doing much that would require the use of my new camera. Have some fun photos that I’ve been meaning to post from the first few weeks I had it, but I just haven’t gotten around to that. I will. I’ll write more. I’ll take the camera out more. Yup.

Noisette (SF)

When I started this blog, I set out to write primarily about food and music. Several years passed, the interests that inspired me tended to change, and, well, I started writing about anything I felt like writing about. Leave it to Noise Pop to create an event that brings me back to my focus. Noisette, which was held at Public Works in San Francisco last Saturday, was an event dedicated to sampling food prepared by some of the city’s finest chefs while listening to great music. Really, who could ask for more? For the price of the regular admission, you were given a punch card to sample nine dishes, all while listening to music or drinking to your heart’s content.

Unfortunately, my arrival to San Francisco was slightly delayed so my partner in crime and I did not make it to the event until about an hour into the event. For the food, this wasn’t a problem as the plates were being served throughout the event. We did miss the first performance, however.

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I got a new toy

I’ve been M.I.A. lately. I did get a new toy last week. I’m absolutely loving it.

taken with my new toy

The camera. Not Bruce.

SubZero Festival – San Jose, CA

I grew up in the Silicon Valley. I often take the area for granted. It’s not hard when we’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from San Francisco. Sometimes, however, I tend to take a step back and realize that, despite all of the hate that people of the Bay Area pour down on the South Bay, it can be a lot of fun.A couple of weeks ago, I went to a festival in Downtown San Jose. The SubZero Festival, which was in its 5th year, took place on June 1. It’s a celebration of subculture. Part of the event was part of what’s apparently a monthly art walk.  There was also live music, beer tasting, and a lot of food trucks.

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The European Cup and Traveling with Soccer

Euro Cup 2012 kicked off yesterday. For those of you who do not follow soccer (or are not swamped with it in Europe), it’s the international European tournament that happens every four years. It’s like the World Cup if you take out the rest of the world. I’ve been incredibly excited about it and have been counting down the days for the past month. It’s kind of a big deal. Because I had to do responsible adult things, I really only watched fifteen minutes of one of yesterday’s matches because it was playing at the sandwich shop I was eating lunch at. Now, however, I am currently writing to you while watching the Denmark-Netherlands game and plan to go out and cheer for Germany in a pub downtown.

The European Cup has a special place in my heart. Sure, I was in Italy when they won the 2006 World Cup, but it wasn’t until we were backpacking through Europe in 2008 that I finally got it. I don’t know what clicked. Perhaps there was something in the unspoken camaraderie we felt with a Dutch bartender in a bar in Amsterdam where we were the only other people cheering for Italy when they played Spain. Or, perhaps there was something infectious about being crammed into a packed subway car of ecstatic German fans in Berlin after Germany had beaten Turkey.

There was so much screaming and shouting both while Germany was behind and after they won.

It’s not that we ever got particular close to the actual tournament. Astronomical hotel prices meant that the longest period we spent in Austria were the thirty minutes we had to wait to transfer trains between Slovenia and Italy. Our train did briefly stop in Vienna on the day of the final match between Germany and Spain. We were traveling from Munich to Budapest and in that time we watched as hundreds of excited German fans marched their way off the train carrying giant cartons of beer. Mia was a popular member of our party seeing as she developed her intense obsession with the German National Team on this trip.

Mind you, this picture was taken only mere days after the other one. I swear something happened on that train in Berlin that turned us into soccer nuts.

We arrived in our hostel in Budapest shortly before the final match started. Being on more neutral grounds for the Spain v. Germany match-up meant that while there was a more even split in fan support, the crazy fever of our previous viewing experiences in Germany was sadly absent. Nevertheless, watching it in a park in the middle of Magaret Island with a number of locals and some other travelers made for a fantastic evening.

Which leads me to the other point of this post. One of the most interesting parts about traveling is getting a taste of cultures around the world. There are many ways to do this. For me, one way has been through soccer. Soccer is an international language. It’s a language so many people speak around the world. While I have yet to see a live game in Europe (Chris and I are planning for Russia 2018), watching it in local pubs and parks has colored my travel experiences. I’m not saying to fully embrace soccer when you travel. Don’t ignore it, but find a way to connect to the local culture while you’re there. It could be through food, theater, wine, or anything else. Just find something. Trust me, it’ll lead to a richer travel experience.

A blurry picture of celebrations in Florence after Italy won the 2006 World Cup.

And for all you soccer fans out there, enjoy Euro 2012! I’m rooting for Italy and Germany. What about you?


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