America then and now

I have organized a recommended reading list of cultural history/criticism/history about America in the 20th and 21st century – roughly in order of publishing. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day is a good amount of time to peruse ten books that will leave you with a greater sense of why the world around you is so twisted.


“Hotel America: Scenes in the Lobby of the Fin de Siecle (Theory, Culture and Society)” – Lewis Lapham


“The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy” – Nicholas Lemann


“Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” by David Brooks


“The Last Empire” – Gore Vidal


“A Renegade History of the United States”  by Thaddeus Russell


“Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America”  by Gustavo Arellano


“Straight to Hell: True Tales of Deviance, Debauchery, and Billion-Dollar Deals” by John LeFevre


“Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic”  by Sam Quinones


“White”  by Bret Easton Ellis

“The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics”  by Michael Malice

The Golden Eternity

The point is we’re waiting, not how comfortable we are while waiting. Paleolithic man waited by caves for the realization of why he was there, and hunted; modern men wait in beautified homes and try to forget death and birth. We’re waiting for the realization that this is the golden eternity.

16, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac

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Skin Care Routine

Men of a certain vintage ought moisturize. I recommend visiting Koreatown Galleria in Los Angeles and consulting with the brilliant ladies of Palace Beauty Galleria. But at the very least do the following:

After you wash and rinse your face with cool/cold water:

  • Apply a toner. I use Huxley. Allow toner to dry.

All of this skin care is non-sense if you are not eating proper proteins and particularly, collagen. The retinol, niacinamide and moisturizers cannot revive flesh thats lost its natural elasticity.

I recommend buying collagen by the six-pack and sharing it with those you love. Collagen is a helpful add on to coffee or tea, and this type of protein helps with skin and joints. I recommend Great Lakes Collagen, buying bulk because it comes down to 18.75 per canister, which is a great discount.

Science behind the retinol and niacinamide:

Science behind collagen:

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Social media exodus

I’m resisting the urge to post to Facebook and Twitter. So I’m blogging.

My brother is in a web development bootcamp and its inspired me to read about CSS. My weakness is front end web development. Database and backend is my preference but the most prominent part of an app is its UI. My primary focus on design, usability and accessibility driven by data means I spend hours in databases, and squinting at mocks but not coding the front end.

That has to change.

Found a nice CSS reference. I will code something fun.

Byzantine History

The Byzantine Empire had a thousand year history that requires proper attention to understand Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, the Crusades and Islam.

In the spring of 2003, I took my last undergraduate history course, an elective on the history of the Byzantine Empire, taught by Maria Mavroudi. The class was excellent, and against the backdrop of the occupation of Iraq that occured in March of that year, a lesson in the rhyming patterns of history.

Professor Mavroudi was awarded a MacArthur grant in 2004 to further her study of the two-way exchange that occurred between the Byzantine and Islamic cultures.
The book we used in the class was The History of the Byzantine State by George Ostrogorsky. Worth a read.

Evoke – Lit Club parties

For the last eight years I’ve been going to Judd parties, part French salon, part Burning Man, uniquely Los Angeles. Within the last few years, as his business interests moved into the legal cannibas domain, he’s began holding industry events at his home. The new focus has upped the surreal entertainment, lighting and costumes.