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Monday, July 28, 2008

ghetto 105 

New Ghetto Blog

Don't forget to update the new address for the ghetto blog. www.andrewsghettoblog.com

Friday, July 25, 2008

vlog 18 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

vlog 17 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

vlog 16 

Monday, July 21, 2008


SSBP stands for Super Secret Blog Project.

Ok so I'm a little late revealing what the Super Secret Blog Project is, my excuse was that I was out working on it again and got home late and still had a little work to do on it, before I could get things put together, sorry, sue me.

Part of the project was inspired by my recent rash of foodie posts, the other part came from my friend Emily VanVoorhis.

We began talking about our love for good food and how both of us had never really explored the good eats of Los Angeles. We got to talking about the food critic Jonathan Gold, whom I've mentioned before and before you knew it
was born.

It's our food blog chronicling our adventures in taking the recommendations of Jonathan Gold. See the about page on the blog for more info.

So there you have it, the Super Secret Blog Project is revealed.

Bookmark www.FollowingGold.com and join us on our journey. Hope you like it, tell all your friends.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


3 of my favorite artists are going to be in town october 4th.

I got to see one of them with both of the Souzas (amy) (justin) last year, and then I totally missed the other one when they were in town.

Be sure not to miss this combo.

The Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (the pair from the movie Once)) and
Iron & Wine.

Oh man I'm almost peeing my pants now!!!!

Get tickets here. Anyone want to go? I'm gonna wait a little while to get some, but not that long, I'm NOT missing this show!!! And it's at the Greek and hosted by KCRW. It only gets better!!!

(as of this moment they have some in section B (pretty good) for around 60 bones a seat)

I think I'll wait like 2 weeks then I'm buying mine.

Leave comments if you want to go.

vlog 15 

vlog 14 

vlog 13 

Friday, July 11, 2008

foodie pt 5 

pt 1
pt 2
pt 3
pt 4

I got to go to an advance party at uWink a little while ago. And then was there a 2nd time less than a week after.

Don't know what uWink is all about?

Well let me tell you.

Take one man Nolan Bushnell add in some ingenuity and some food and you get uWink. Not impressed yet? Well let me tell you a few of the other ideas that Nolan has come up with in the past. If you were born anytime before...let's say 1985 then it is more than likely you have at one time or another played with a little thing called Atari. That's Nolan's. And if you happen to have existed in the decade known as the 1980's then I'm sure at one point or another you have been to a little place called Chuck E Cheese's, yep that's Nolan's too.

uWink is Nolan's latest venture. It is a mashup of games and food. A Chuck E Cheese's for the 21st century, minus the scary animatronic mouse and mediocre pizza. Yet sadly missing a large ball pit for adults. The original store is located in Woodland Hills, but I was fortunate enough to be able to attend an advance party at the new location at Hollywood and Highland. And then also a beta test night about a week later.

The objective of both nights (more the 1st night) was to put their systems through the paces and see where the kinks might be that would be needed to be worked out before opening. Let's just say no one wants a repeat of Jurassic Park. The first night, my friends and I (note we all are fairly into technology) quickly made work of the computers that operate the ordering process and the table side entertainment/games. At one point the touch screen was used to access the operating system (yeah for OS X) and then worked towards the safari browser and soon enough someone was playing with google earth right there at their table. We also hacked the drink system, allowing for free drinks for the night. Granted to say that all these have been fixed (at least as far as I know).

The games are fun yet overly simple. They are flash based games geared towards the casual gamer and the kid in all of us. There is even party games where any number of tables can play the same game at the same time, usually a trivia type game. The atmosphere is a lively one with plenty of visual stimuli to keep even the most ADD person entertained.

Now for the food.

The food sadly is just ok. With most of the appeal of the place is in the way you order the food, through the touch screens on each table. The actual food is mediocre at best. Having been able to be there 2 nights, I was able to sample a good selection of the food. Nothing really stood out as great fare. It's basically your typical mid to slightly over priced, american food, with some other options thrown in. The first time I was there since it was a beta test and the food was free, it took FOREVER to get our order and the 2nd time I was there I ended up getting food comped since the burger I ordered was near raw. The tortilla soup was fairly decent and I enjoyed that. The salads were better than most of the other food, but still nothing amazing. The one good thing is that there is a full bar, to accentuate the dining experience. The food is brought by real live people, but they don't actually take your order, hence the touch screen. The waitress explained to us that since you do all the ordering yourself that it cuts down on the probability of your food being wrong. Only problem was that our order was wrong, and it wasn't the waitress's fault. I guess there were some kinks to be worked out and I hope that if I go back that things will be running a bit more smoothly.

Honestly I'd say give it a shot if you are in the mood for something a little different and want to go for the experience of being in a tech savvy dining experience, don't go for the food, and at least in my case the service was ok, our waitress did everything thing she could and for that I left a good sized tip, but as much as I respect Mr. Bushnell, this idea maybe trying a little too hard for what it can deliver.

As for date a destination. I would clearly not choose this place for a first date. You spend most of your night trying out many of the games and just trying to master the touch screen as your input device. Your conversation levels can drop to near nil as you concentrate and are absorbed into the experience in front of you. For those who have been dating for a while or just looking to hang out with friends then I'd say go for it. uWink provides a good atmosphere to spend some time with some well acquainted friends who don't need constant conversation to have a good time.

All in all, give uWink a shot, it's different than any other restaurant that you've ever been to. It's a cultural experience and hey, I was at beta nights, so you can't expect everything to go right. I hope that I am sorely wrong about my experiences and that the food and experience is much better than mine. Please let me know what you think and help change my mind about uWink.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

tooth fairy 

To quote a great episode of the Simpsons Lenny: "There goes the dental plan. Dental Plan. (echos)"

I'm sitting on a houseboat posting an unexpected post for you all.

I just jumped off the top of the houseboat with 3 other leader guys, clutching each other tightly as we hit the water about 10 feet below.

I felt my jaw snap shut as I hit the water and a sharp pain rattled my jaw. I gave myself a quick once over and no major pieces or entire teeth were missing.

Once I got out of the water I did notice that there is a small chip in my right upper central incisor and maybe a small crack (internal) on the right upper lateral incisor (here's a pic, I had to look at the names) and then my lower right lateral incisor is a little loose.

I figure the lower one should set back up in a day or two. The upper chip should eventually smooth itself out over time since it's really little, and the crack in the other doesn't look bad enough right now but I will keep a look at it for a while.

The worse part of this all is that once again in my life, I am without dental. I have had it for the last 8 months, but never took the time to go the dentist. Man I wish I could reverse time and go. Or at least have this happen when I did have coverage. We'll see what happens. Maybe someone at church is a dentist and can hook me up.

Just to recap, jumping off houseboat with mouth open = bad. Not having dental when doing stupid things off of houseboat = bad. Me = ok. Just cause I know my mom will read this, really I'm fine.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ghetto 104 

New Ghetto Blog

Don't forget to update the new address for the ghetto blog. www.andrewsghettoblog.com

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Lately I've been feeling the burden of christ.

Being a christian is hard. And often times it seems like a good idea to jump ship and not have all this weight of responsibility on my shoulders.

The cross is heavy, and I am weak.

I guess this is just one of those times, where I look at my life and say "how in the world can God use me in ministry?" I feel so unworthy, so sinful and so sick of who I am.

I want to give up, I want something easier. I want to not feel guilty for my poor decisions. I want to be as lazy as I want to be. I want no sense of responsibility. I want to be stubborn and selfish.

I can't have those things as much as I want them. I've made a commitment. One that I'm at least trying my best to uphold. That doesn't mean that I'm always upholding it, but it does mean that I have the responsibility to try my best to do what I know is right. Which is usually harder and takes more effort than sometimes I have to give. I guess it's these insights that allow me to realize how much God gives to me, to do the things that seem impossible.

That God uses even broken me to carry out God's plan for the world. I am called to serve the other. I am called to live differently than everyone else. I am called to love unconditionally. All because I follow Jesus.

As much as I wish there was a simple solution to following Jesus. I know it is a journey that I must embark on everyday, never fully knowing what lies ahead of me. I must travel on faith, and rely on wisdom. I must not think that I am prepared for everything that comes my way. I need people around me who are going to support me when I am weak and love me no matter how many times I fail.

It is my prayer that I live an honorable life, serving God, in all I do. A life full of selfless love, a life full of service, a life that pleases God. That as I enter into daily ministry, it is God that is exalted and not me.

This is my prayer.

Monday, July 07, 2008

foodie pt 4 

pt 1
pt 2
pt 3

In yet another foodie adventure, took me to Canter's Deli at about 2am one fateful morning after a fun night out on the town.

Located on Fairfax between Beverly Blvd. and Melrose Ave. this staple of LA is a classic.

It's open 24 hours for all you night bugs. It provides a warm mom and pop atmosphere where one can come in any attire and enjoy food that is meant to satisfy.

The ceiling in the area where I was seated was a large mosaic of fall leaves plastered over an expanse of lights. So take the time and look up when you are eating at Canters.

Of course as soon as you sit down a small plate of obviously homemade pickles comes to your table. And let me say as a fan of the brined treat, you can always tell the quality of the deli, by the taste of the pickles that come before the food. The pickles were light and seasoned by a heavy accompaniment of dill, as noticed by the small sprigs clinging to each spear. Always a treat to eat some good pickles.

The food was just as good. While my sampling was small it was of deli staples. I ended up being able to have some corned beef hash and some matzo ball soup with bagel chips, made from bagels sold in the store.

Both were of quality and taste was what you would come to expect from a traditional deli. While not the most amazing flavors to touch my mouth, they brought just what one would expect from a place like Caters, comfort. The corned beef and hash was nicely seasoned and made fresh and not from a can. While my friend commented that he'd rather have the canned variety, I quickly rebutted that this was the real deal, the stuff that gets made from real ingredients and could not compare to the canned stuff. It was great with an over-easy egg and some great potatoes on the side. It was quickly consumed by me, especially at such a late hour.

The matzo ball soup was the perfect balance between a light and savory stock, with a huge matzo ball floating in the middle. The ball itself was of a great consistency, not too dry and nicely formed into its proverbial ball shape that took up almost 1/2 of the bowl. And like I said before it came with a side of bagel chips, that were clearly, day old bagels, cut into thin sections, even preserving the hole in the middle. The bagels ranged from the plain, to the egg bagels and even an onion or an everything. Perfect to dip in the broth of the matzo ball soup.

If you've never been to Canters and happen to be towards the south of hollywood, or are just finishing up at the farmer's market, head towards fairfax and take a taste of a traditional deli at it's best.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

ghetto 103 

New Ghetto Blog

Don't forget to update the new address for the ghetto blog. www.andrewsghettoblog.com

off to... 

This felt like such a short week home. Got back last friday and here it is late into the night on sat. And tomorrow in about 6.5 hours I leave again for a week. Coming right back to my 2nd wedding in as many weeks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way complaining. This last week was great and next week is going to be just as good, finished off by yet ANOTHER amazing wedding. There's just a lot going on all at once.

Basically July doesn't slow down.

This next week I'll be heading BACK to the sacramento delta to hop on a houseboat with about 20 middle schoolers. This trip is one of my favorites that I get to spend with students. Really these things are so small and there's no where for anyone to go, you're just stuck with students all week long. Some of you may be saying, there's no way in hell that I'd allow myself to be stuck in such a small space with 20 students for an entire week. What it comes down to is that you get to spend a lot of time with a small group of kids, and there's no way to avoid them. You are in a way forced to engage with them at every moment. I won't lie and say there aren't times you just want to jump off the boat and swim away, or "accidentally" push a kid in the water and pretend like you don't hear them saying why did you do that. But what I really enjoy is being able to become fully raw and vulnerable with them and them with you. You get to have some great conversations and really get to know the students that are there. It's a time of bonding that you just can't replicate at a camp, it's something magical about never being more than 30 feet away from any student. Though sometimes you spend a little "extra" time in the bathroom just to have a few moments to yourself.

As soon as I'm back on fri I'm headed to the rehearsal for AJ and Rachelle's wedding. I'm doing a few extra posts tonight to go live this week so as always keep checking back. I'll have the compy with me so maybe you'll get a post or a vlog from the delta, who knows we'll see.

Hope you all have a great week.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

seven deuce 

Later today in conjunction with PablosPlace.com I'll be heading down to the Bicycle Casino to take part in a poker tournament.

For those of you who don't know. Seven Deuce day is the temporal representation of the statistically worse starting hand in Poker (a seven and a two).

In honor of what seems to be such a crappy hand, has for one reason or another become the staple of "lucky" hands for the pablosplace crew.

So here we go, the 1st annual Pablo's Place Seven Deuce Poker Tournament.

If you want in on the action follow myself (andrewseely), fleapid, or slayernyte on Twitter for play by play action.

Shuffle up and deal.

update 7/2/08 10:39p
We had 7 players show up for our little seven deuce rhomp. The tournament ended up seating 162 players. I won't give you the full run down, head over to pablosplace.com in the next few days for the run down. I personally lasted until 19th place, and ended up in the money, winning 45, so up 5 after the 40 it cost to get in. All in all a wonderful way to celebrate seven deuce day. Only 364 more days till next time.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

vlog 12