José Andrés1. Angry Cyclist – Gas is somewhere around $4.50 a gallon here in the San Diego area. It’s fucking crazy, I know. However, I’ve recently moved to a temporary stint working days at our store’s warehouse which left a wide open option to ride a bike to work. And, due to the extraordinary kindness of a certain person, I became the proud owner of a bike! It’s not the greatest bike in the world, but it gets me to and fro. I feel like I’m part of a club now. Whenever I’m at a stop and another cyclist is next to me, we nod to each other and acknowledge today’s price of gas and smile. It’s like when I had a huge beard – big scary bikers would give me the nod and I felt like I was tough like them. The downside of biking, though, is that I’ve learned that San Diego isn’t the best place to ride a bike. Even the road crews stick their humongous construction signs in the bike lanes as if no one is ever going to use them. I got so pissed one morning and almost kicked one over simply because it forced me to quickly veer into traffic. Drivers here don’t quite care for the itty bitty bikes because their senseless SUVs can crush anyone. Tragically, at the end of last week, I was witness to the immediate aftermath of an accident involving a seasoned cyclist getting rear-ended by an idiot. He had to be air-lifted to a hospital which tells me that more than likely his back was broken.

2. Banda! – Since my move to the daylight hours, I’ve become tossed into the world of Banda. What is Banda? Read this and learn. My ears have been trained to the sounds and vocals of the artists I listen to for the better part of my eight hour days. I’ve come to recognize artists such as Vicente Fernández, Jenni Rivera, and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón. The funny thing is that the white folk I work with always ask me, under hushed breath, “So, how’s the music?” Chuckle chuckle. I answer them, “Great! I love it!” Because I do. Music, much like food, is a clear window into learning about another culture. One Mexican caballero I work with especially takes the time to fill me in on the stories behind the artists and I feel like I’m transported somewhere else where tradition still matters and cultural history is valued.

3. I’ll put this story back up in a little while….

4. Christ on Crack - Behold Reverend X. Your life will not be the same after seeing this. Thanks go out to Giancarlo for alerting me to this amazing footage.

5. José Andrés - I find culinary inspiration in many things (not only food itself but books and music, as well) and from many people. José Andrés is one of my most endearing inspirations. While the Food Network continues to spoon-feed everyone in thirty-minute quips devoid of technique, history, and significance, PBS undercuts them by putting on shows of quality such as The Endless Feast and José Andrés’ Made In Spain. José is actually the perfect embodiment of what the Food Network wants in a host but cannot utilize for fear of alienating some of the audience that doesn’t want their senses to be challenged. He is ceaselessly energetic, overflowing with passion, and magnetically lovable. José’s creations all look amazing and I only wish I could taste but one of them. Until I do, I’ll just let him continue making me excited about the creativity inherent in the culinary arts.