Tag Archives: rambling

| Cheers or McLaren’s? |


No, that’s morbid. Why would I not be? Let’s start this again.

Hi! I’m back (and almost a year older!). Remember how I used to blog on this thing? Maybe I should try that again.

I had a lovely evening with a pair of good friends and they let me know that they were on a “secret” search for a neighborhood bar where they could become regulars. Out of respect to their search/results, I will not give any names up.






I almost feel silly for posting a general idea like the location for a bar of choice. I can feel the rolling of eyes as this is being read (love my sassy friends!). Hear (read) me out, though! Some people think that it’s best for a bar to be local and within walking distance. I care more about the neighborhood the bar is in. I don’t mind having to drive a little bit to get to a good place. I’m of the opinion that you can walk to your bar, or you can get a reasonable uber ride to and from your watering hole of choice.  As long as either is manageable, that should be sufficient. The worst thing is being stuck out in the middle of nowhere when trying to get to bar number 2 or proceed to any post bar activities. If it’s centrally located for any of your other frequent exploits, then you’re set up pretty well for a quick drink and subsequent shenanigans.

Cocktail Choices

There are a couple of things that have to be on point if I am even going to consider checking out your bar. Before I settle down, I need to know whether or not I can get certain things. Sometimes, I feel fancy and I want a mojito. If you are lacking mint, I want nothing to do with ya’ll. Seriously though, I’m always more than a bit miffed when I find an establishment that does not have ginger beer. I need moscow mules and the occasional dark & stormy to make appearances during my outings. If the place can’t make your favorite drink, it takes things out of the running. The other thing that I like dealing with folk who are up for a drink challenge. Don’t be so against the formula. If you’re too “by the book” I can’t drink at your establishment. This leads me to the next important thing…


Bartenders are an important part of the bar going experience. I don’t need to be fooled into the idea that you want to both make my drinks and be my best friend (although, to be honest, I will probably want to be your bestie if you make me a good drink). I like places where the bartenders are up for a challenge. One of my favorite places to go, back in my Sacramento days, was the Elephant Bar. I know what you’re thinking: “it’s a chain restaurant, the drinks had to be formulaic and weak”. The Friday night bartenders were not only super knowledgeable about drinks, but they were willing to have me stump them. I could come in and name a drink and they’d try like hell to produce it. I hate the kinds of bartenders that roll their eyes if you ask for a cocktail that has more than 2 ingredients. Life can’t be all jacks and cokes! Friendly people, knowledgeable about drinks, and not afraid to suggest great ones. That’s the dream!


Loud bars, quiet bars, big bars, small bars. So many options, which one is the best?! Personally, I like bars that have an inside and outside environment. If  the weather is nice, what’s better than having a drink in the sunshine? If it gets cold later, move the party indoors. I like a good, even balance of available options. Recently, I went to a place called Mad Oak in downtown Oakland. I loved that there was a good indoor space, if you wanted to sit and chill, but more importantly, the entire roof is a lounge area out in the open for those spring/summer nights when the sun is still up after 5pm. Another place that I like with that mix is Southern Pacific Brewing Company in San Francisco. The indoor area is huge, has many levels, and the outdoor area is pretty accommodating. I like the idea of options. Nobody makes baby drink in a corner! Also, there need to be cool folks chillin in the spot. I don’t want to be in the presence of a bunch of douchbee’s (what up bologna barb?!), but there can’t be a bunch of people watchers (that’s boring/too much like me).


I don’t know about you, but when I drink, I get hungry. Unfortunately for me, I am also really picky about what I’m eating. The truth of the matter is that a lot of bar food sucks. Thankfully for me, I spend lots of time in a place that takes their food as seriously as I do. The Bay Area has lots of establishments that also cater to those with pickier preferences than just bar nuts or nachos (actually, shout out to well done nachos. I’m looking at you, Royal Exchange). There has to be some good eats if I’m going to sit and spend a good amount of time at your place. This heavily factors into things. As a backup, I can throw it right back to the location. If you are at a bar that doesn’t serve food, they should be close to a place that does and will allow you to bring that food into the bar so that you can eat and drink simultaneously.

Little Extras

Lastly, I have a certain fondness for places that have the small extras. One of my favorite places is the Hobnob in Alameda. Not only do they stock up on ginger beer, but they have many games that you can play. There is a bookshelf full of board games and you can rent decks of cards from behind the bar. Another place that I like is Albatross in Berkeley. This place has lots of tables for playing board games (which you can rent from behind the bar). It also has a full area for pool, a dedicated area to darts, and cheap popcorn! The drinks there are also pretty good. Depending on what time of the year it is, I would also love a place that had tvs that could be paid attention to for sports events.

If I had to try to create the perfect bar for me to become a regular of, it would have the tasty drinks of Mua (in Oakland), the nice extras of Hobnob, the space of either Mad Oak or Plank (without the bowling alley, arcade, and shenanigans), and the foot traffic/ambience of Dr. Teeth (in San Francisco). That’s my random assortment. What kind of stuff do you look for in a bar? Perhaps we can grab a drink together sometime, if I haven’t offended you with my list of demands. I promise I’m a pretty chill guy…

Tagged , , , ,

|what the dealio?|

*blows into the mike*

is this thing on? *ahem*

1, 2… 1, 2…

Here goes…

Is there any particular reason why advice is such a two faced… umm… itchbay?

Perhaps I have grand delusions about this whole idea. I (as a human with many peculiar flaws) tend to get too wrapped up, with the whole thinking deal. As far as I know, this is supposed to be kinda natural. Whenever I can’t get out of my head, I turn to treasured friends for advice. Now, usually, this is the stuff of legends. Their advice is to me like spinach was to popeye! It spurns me on with the power to take on the world!

I like to think that I am able to sometimes dispense some of the same for my friends. They have an issue that they’ve been stuck on, and I try to dole out some “spinach” for them (Weak play, but bear with me, I’m getting to something). Now, because of my lovely advice (or perhaps in spite of it) people continue to be awesome at their lives.

The thing that perplexes me, is why the same logical bit of genius thought that can spew forth from me for a treasured friend, sounds like preposterous blabbering of a ridiculous madman?
*self-conscious slow blink*

Anyways, I wonder why it is that we allow ourselves to be the ones who are willing to give advice, but cannot be bothered to take the advice that we’d happily give, when we’re in need of it. It’s not like we don’t know any better either. For example, if I knew of a friend who was dieting, I’d definitely encourage them to not have an extra slice of cake, but when it is me who is staring down a sinfully delicious dessert, I cannot help but scarf it down (It’s like it was calling out to me, and I could think of nothing further than it’s sweetness dissolving on my tongue, damn you cake!)

The interesting thing is that a lot of the time, it just takes that one little nudge from someone for us to get over ourselves altogether. Even though it might be the same thing that we were thinking ourselves, it just seems much more plausible if it was coming from the mouth of someone else (especially if they were blessed with a British or Australian accent. AMIRIGHT?!?)
By this logic, and my show of temporary insanity, who in their right mind would take advice from me?! I can’t even stomach my own wisdom. This seems logical to me, until I think about how I feel when someone does not take my advice, and something goes wrong. My first thought is not about how I could possibly write so ridiculously in the form of blog prose, but how could someone dismiss my hard thought nuggets of amazing wisdom?!

Ugh. The nerve.

Usually the gut reactions are the best ones because they’re unfiltered. The filtering is a way that we try to keep ourselves safe, or without blame for the decisions that we make (or have to make). This is something that I have to try to get better at! I know that I have good ideas, I just need some help to realize this? It’s all so confusing. I wish that someone would tell me to just listen to myself.

Tagged , ,

|Focused, Man…|

In the true spirit of procrastination, I am up writing this blog. What should I be doing? That’s a great question, I’m kinda glad you asked (however, keep in mind that curiosity kills cats and perturbed Justins come after you! I know where you live! Too Creepy? I’m sorry)


What I’m supposed to be doing is going to bed. I’m supposed to be sleeping by 10:30, so that I can continue what is supposed to be a great experiment in creating a habit. Of course, leave it to me, the self appointed “Voice of the Young people”, (what? Lil’ Mama can claim it, when she doesn’t speak for anyone but herself, I figured it was a title up for grabs) to do something as clever as procrastinate from sleep. College taught me to be an independent thinker. Thank you UC Davis, I now create problems in order to think creatively around them.

Why do I aspire to go to sleep at such a geriatrical hour? I’m trying to be disciplined and hit the gym before I go to work. Yes, this is my blog, yes I know I said go to the gym. No I have not been drinking (tonight). This is actually happening. I’ve been doing it for about 3 weeks so far (27 year old Justin says WHA?!). I’ve contracted the mental illness determination of a gym rat. It had to be done, I was getting to be way too big. Once again, interjections from 27 year old Justin question the validity of my statement. I would like to point out that as of this morning’s weigh in, I have lost 32 pounds. That’s gotta be proof enough right?

If you told me, even 3-4 weeks prior to this one, that I would be ditching my post-work stress relieving workouts to pursue a relationship with a pre-sunshine gym routine, I would’ve stared at you with disbelief to say the least. At the most, I’d probably kick you hard and run in the opposite direction screaming: “You can’t make me!!!” all the way back to the comfortable, ass impressioned couch that I shouldn’t have left in the first place. Who would do something like inflicting a 5:30am wake up time upon themselves?!

It’s quite amazing what you can get yourself to do when properly focused. Something that I would’ve been cursing and screaming about has become a part of my weekly routine. I am not always enjoying getting up so early, but I do enjoy the feeling of not being tired throughout the day as I work. Not exactly how I envisioned getting myself into shape, but it seems to be doing the trick. Think of what else I could get accomplished if I put my whole mind and reserves behind it. Could I be as famous as that other famous Justin, mr. Beiber?

I’m trying to make a habit of doing gym check-ins and eating healthily. I can do this, because I know the power of my mind. It’s the same power that I employ to keep myself from breaking down at work, when my co-workers find out that not only am I listening to Glee, but I’m listening to the Madonna tribute soundtrack as performed by the cast of Glee. My mind tells me that it’s magical and spectacular. It doesn’t matter what you try to convince me otherwise. 28 year old Justin is gettin’ down with his bad self. “STRIKE A POSE!” Mental focus… Strike that one off the bucket list of things to try at least once in life. Now, I guess I should go to sleep by my 11:30 deadline 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

| wasting away |

The following blurb is a true story…

Way back in the day… (like a million years ago… what? it’s true!)

I was just a young college boy. I was more like a nice 3rd year student. I had just joined this nice Christian fellowship and I was getting to know people in the fellowship and I met this girl.

She was awesome. She was funny, she was sassy like (I have a weakness for the sassy I suppose.)

Wait. Not goin’ down like that. This isn’t that kind of entry.

The thing is that, I didn’t say anything about it. For quite a while. As a matter of fact, I thought that I was doing the best thing. If I just kinda let it pass, I would maybe have no problems. I would even just wait and get to know her better. All the while I was thinking too much about how cool she was and how much more I should just hold back on saying anything to her about what I thought. The big problem was that, all this thinking didn’t help anything out. Basically, I just chilled out until I really couldn’t take it anymore. Then I had a nice chat with her, basically spilling all my thoughts and feelings out to her. Nothing happened of course. She didn’t like me in the same way.

No biggie right? Wrong. The problem is that I spent a whole heck of a lot of time building this girl up in my head. So much time in fact, that I had missed out on a couple of good opportunities with some other really awesome girls. Girls who I liked, but who didn’t measure up to Shannon (that was her name). I had the most awkward time trying to get past this person who I spent so much time building up. Unfortunately, that also cost me some future cool stuff too.

So, my friends and I often wonder what makes things so awkward for Christians trying to date. They kinda wonder about what keeps guys from making any moves with people. I won’t be able to answer for every guy, but I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Sometimes, it’s hard to discern whether or not there’s any interest on the girl’s end. The Christian ladies can be so nice sometimes, that it’s confusing. There is always that whole complaint about the fear of rejection. Rejection isn’t nice, but the bigger thing is the possibility of being rejected and losing the chance to be a friend with someone. It’s such a more daunting possibility than getting rejected altogether. We spend all this time getting to know a girl, and hanging out with them, that it just seems like it’d be better to just stay quiet about things than to deal with any awkwardness. So, we end up just hanging, and pining. Until we basically can’t hold back anymore, and then it’s just a martini glass of awkward (shaken, not stirred.)

Pining. That’s the key key word. Pining is like set up for failure in the mind. Can’t spend too much time thinking about things. Thinking = no good. The problem with pining is that you allow yourself to have false hopes about things. You build stuff up in your head that isn’t true. Being infatuated, might be ok, crushes… awesome (actually, that’s debatable.) Pining however, that’s like falling in love with someone without them coming along for the ride. One sided action is a bit scary (especially the results, for the lady folk).

So NO PINING. Thinking too much is bad!

Guys, we can’t keep wasting away like this. Time to stop building up these misleading friendships and just keep it real from the beginning. Asking people out probably isn’t as bad as you might think.

Just sayin…

I’m out…

Tagged , ,