@the_antonio

The collective feed of visual thoughts, interests, inspiration, articles, and moments processed through the eyes of your host, Antonio Diaz.

Elsewhere

  • July 19, 2012 11:40 pm

    Life & Thyme: Recipe: Arroz con Pollo y Chorizo

    lifeandthyme:

    As you can tell from one of my previous posts, I have this fascination with Spanish cuisine and its culture. This mainly stems from the fact that I have a ton of Spanish blood in me yet I grew up entirely around the Mexican culture. So now I feel compelled to learn everything there is to know…

  • June 15, 2012 10:48 pm

    "If you’re in the market for a premium OS X laptop right now, it’s hard not to recommend the new MacBook Pro with Retina display. If, however, power isn’t your ultimate goal, may we suggest shaving a few pounds and specs for the MacBook Air. As for everything in between, those non-Retina “standard” MacBook Pros, well… the writing’s on the wall. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to be even a little bit patient and wait for more apps to push Retina-optimized updates — if you get the MacBook Pro with Retina display now, you’ll be waiting on the world to change."

    The Verge – Ross Miller

  • June 14, 2012 9:47 pm

    Prometheus

    The moment I became very excited to see Prometheus was when the fake TED talk video hit the web several months ago starring Guy Pearce. The idea was brilliant and unique, but more importantly, it established a huge amount of hype. The trailer was also done beautifully with the right amount of sci-fi horror to give me goosebumps. I love me some sci-fi, and this seemed like it was going to pull me out of this world and into Ridley Scott’s alien world with a deep and intricate story to tie it back into Alien somehow. ‘

    So… then I saw it.

    And now I’m pissed. This movie has so many different plot holes and poorly written lines that there is seriously no point in even listening to what the characters have to say. In fact, just shut off your brain when you go in to see this movie. It feels like when someone tells you an inside joke that you were never a part of.

    Supposedly this is the future, and it seems like the human race just got a whole lot stupider in the future. The things that these characters do on screen make absolutely no sense and they’re suppose to be scientists! For example, the “map expert” sends off these circular drones throughout the cave they have stumbled upon to survey the area and create a digital map of the environment. Somehow he’s the only one that gets lost with some other bozo and doesn’t have access to his own map he just created. The rest of the crew on the ship can see each team member’s location in this digital map and spend zero effort to help them get back to the ship. Then there is another “scientist” touching random things on this planet and aggravating alien creatures because he assumes anything living on an ALIEN planet will be friendly and the fact that these aliens might attack him back doesn’t even go passed his hollow head (he dies obviously).

    Now lets talk about David, the android. He was clearly the only character that actually had any… character. There was a lot about him that I enjoyed but for what ever reason, he would make some odd choices that would purposely sabotage the mission. After he would make these choices, I was like “okay that’s crazy… can’t wait to know why he made that choice” and they never fucking explained it. So after the movie, I’m asking myself “wait why did he do this and what was the purpose of that?” Nothing answered. A whole lot of blue balls. I should have known knowing Damon Lindelof of Lost was one of the writers.

    One or two of these ridiculous characters moments are passable, but they keep adding up. The stupidity of these characters just kept adding up. Moments like these added on top of the fact that the script of what these characters say on screen is usually a joke. I really didn’t think this movie would fall in the pile of eye-candy blockbuster summer films with no story, but it did.

    Visually, it’s outstanding. I mean, there are some scenes which are gorgeous. But everything else fell flat for me. A ton of [slow] build up to absolutely nothing with characters that have no substance. GAH! As much as I try to like this movie, I really can’t.

  • May 5, 2012 12:19 am

    In Food We Trust

    It’s no doubt that I have become incredibly passionate about the world of food and cooking. My iTunes library and iPad are quickly being filled with videos, books, and apps from chefs, foodies, farmers, and experts in the industry. In a way, I feel like a hungry student trying to soak up as much information and knowledge as I possibly can. But like I have said before, the best way to learn is through experience, which means not ordering takeout and getting your ass in the kitchen.

    It’s a shame that cooking is now becoming a “lost art”. I mean, it can definitely be creative and artistic, but in the case of my parent’s generation growing up in a not-so-wealthy small town in Mexico, it was a survival skill. There was no fast food, takeout, or delivery. Just the kitchen and raw ingredients. You cooked for your loved ones, you bonded, and you knew what you were eating. Today, nobody knows what the hell they’re eating. Our diets have been decided by convenience and our minds have been brainwashed by marketing and greed. For thousands of years, food has been a straightforward and digestible concept. And in the last two or three generations, food has become this giant, hazy, ambiguous, scary beast.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to start preaching against the industrial food complex or how you need to cook every single meal you eat from organic/local sources. Let’s be honest, we live in 2012 and unfortunately, it just ain’t that easy. We, as a society, need to make mistakes in what we eat because it’s just so incredibly hard to do the right thing. And most, do not even know what the right thing is because at the end of the day, we’re only human. With convenience at every corner, we’ve placed our importance on other things, become lazy, and uneducated about the single most important thing to survive: how to eat. But as humans, we also have willpower and we can slowly find our way back by just being aware of what food is suppose to be (or not be). The trick isn’t to be perfect, but to try our best and do as minimal damage as we possibly can.

    So I leave you with a quick list of how to get started:

    • Try cooking at least once a week (and unplug the damn microwave)
    • Buy your ingredients from a farmers market
    • Don’t be a cheap ass
    • Read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan 
    • Talk to a real butcher
    • Eat something and try to identify the flavors
    • Venture out of your comfort zone. Try other ethnic cuisines.
    • Don’t eat anything that is delivered to you as soon as you finish paying the cashier (you know what i’m talking about).

  • May 1, 2012 10:27 pm
  • April 25, 2012 12:51 am

    A tribute to Thomas Keller

    (Source: vimeo.com)

  • April 3, 2012 10:28 pm

    Fried Rice w/ Veggies & Skirt Steak

    What’s In It:

    • White Rice (fried)
    • Asparagus
    • Shiitake Mushrooms
    • Carrots
    • Brocoli
    • Egg
    • Cilantro (garnish)
    • Grass-Fed Beef (skirt steak)
    • Ginger sweet teriyaki sauce

    Verdict: Tasty

  • March 24, 2012 1:43 pm

    Learn by Doing

    I never took school too seriously. First of all, I hated getting up early. And secondly, my mind refuses structure. It’s something I’ve been coping with for a very long time. But don’t get me wrong, I love learning and expanding my knowledge… it just has to be on my own terms. 

    I never got a proper degree, since I didn’t take college seriously and pretty much dropped out to start my own business. But I still like to call myself a student as I continue to learn through experience. In fact, I’ve come to realize that I’m terrible at retaining terms and technical details of some of the things I do really well (maybe that’s why I’m terrible at remembering names). I know a ton of designers who can identify font faces very easily or know the technical jargon when it comes to grids and layouts, while I have trouble remembering the fonts I have. But when it comes to actually designing, everything comes together fluidly by intuition and not by “well this specific font can only work here, and these specific colors can only compliment this specific color, and this element can’t be placed here because the grid master will get pissed”. For fucks sakes. 

    Learn the rules, and then forget the rules. As soon as you start worrying about all of this technical jargon and textbook bullshit, you begin to limit yourself on what you’re actually capable of doing. To be good at anything in anything artistic or creative, you have to be naturally artistic and creative. You cannot teach that. You can’t learn to be creative in school. You can learn the tools or all of the terminology, but having an eye of what looks good comes from within, almost subconsciously. Understand the rules and the concepts of what all these terms mean, and then just get your hands dirty.

    I think that’s why I didn’t do well in school or even working for someone else. I rather go out there and fall on my face a couple times than sitting there learning all of the intricate terms, names, and rules of what I’m doing. It’s definitely a stubborn way of learning, but I feel like it makes your intuition stronger and the best way of learning is by actually experiencing. If you say that pan is hot, I’m the idiot that has to touch it to make sure it is.

  • March 23, 2012 3:17 pm

    America is F*cked (Graphically at least)

    (Source: vimeo.com)

  • March 21, 2012 8:58 pm

    Baked Potato + Brussel Sprouts/Prosciutto

    Mmm, I get so excited when a dish comes out absolutely delicious. Here’s a quick run-through:

    Baked Potato

    1. Russet potatoes. Poke them, season with salt/pepper and a bit of olive oil. Bake. 425 degrees. 1 hour.
    2. For toppings, you can do what ever you like really on a baked potato. For this one, I used diced up brocoli (cook on a non-stick pan with a bit of salt and olive oil), parmesan cheese, some basil and of course butter. Fill that potato up straight out of the oven and its divine.

    Brussel Sprouts w/ Shiitake Mushrooms & Prosciutto

    1. Cut brussel sprouts into quarters, length wise. Add into a hot pain with olive oil. Season with salt/pepper and cook for a bit. 
    2. Before brussel sprouts are done, take them out, and add in diced up shiitake mushrooms and diced up Prosciutto. Cook for a couple minutes.
    3. Add brussel sprouts back in. Add a bit of lime juice, thyme, and a splash of red wine.

    One crucial thing though: the veggies are from the farmers market. Cook with those, and it’s like night and day when it comes to taste and texture. 

  • March 20, 2012 9:25 pm

    Vault of the Secret Formula

    As they step through the huge vault door at the World of Coca-Cola, visitors are transported into a tale about the most famous and mysterious trade secret in history—the secret formula of Coca-Cola. 

  • March 16, 2012 11:23 pm

    Being Creative On-Demand

    As this crazy week comes to an end, I’m feeling reflective of all of the conversations I had throughout the week and the various layers that directly and even indirectly affect the creative mind. Being a co-founder and also spearheading creative design at Toi, my most important role is to be creative “on-demand”. Whether it is producing comps, wireframes, and/or design direction, my day-to-day job is to produce ideas at the snap of a finger. 

    I’ve been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word, and one piece of information that is true in the design world as it is in the culinary world is that there are usually two types of people: the follower and the creator. Many designers are great (and only want to be) followers. They are given creative direction (wireframes, detailed briefs, etc.) based on the ideas of someone else and then they produce a visual based on the direction. Those that can think outside of the box and inject their own ideas to improve the end-result can potentially be even better designers.

    Here’s one brick. Now build a house.

    The “creators” or “on-demand creatives” of the design world are those that end up taking creative director roles and play a much crucial role than simply taking wireframes to actual design. These poor saps are usually the ones that are given a fragile problem or idea and are required to conceptualize their lifehood. It’s as if you were given a baby, and your role was to decide how they are going to look when they’re an adult, how they’re going to behave, and how they’ll be perceived by others. But it doesn’t stop there, you’ll also have to decide how they’ll react if they get bullied in high school, and what happens to their self-esteem if they keep getting dumped by girls. And if you fucked something up, like overlooking the fact that the kid is allergic to bees and stops breathing if they get stung, then the parents of that baby you’re holding are going to be real pissed.

    So how can you conceptualize every possible scenario of an idea written on a napkin? Well, thats where a neat little skill that is often overlooked with amateurs comes into play: inspiration. Inspiration leads to solving problems which leads to great design. And inspiration isn’t something that can be taught, it is a natural phenomenon that triggers the mind to come up with great ideas based on a catalog of experiences. Whether those experiences were visual, emotional, or even something you heard or smelled. You’ll say “aha!” when you think you “got it” and feel super proud of yourself for coming up with something unique, but really, it was your subconscious looking through that catalog and piecing together various experiences into an “idea”. Much like a dream.

    So at the end of the day: consume intelligently. What ever it is. Media, design, art, music, food, books, culture, conversations, anything that can make you smarter, healthier, and broadens your perspective. Do it smart and challenge your mind. Build that mental library and your subconscious will thank you when you’re asked to be creative on-demand.

  • March 8, 2012 9:12 pm

    Chicken Pad Thai Recipe

    I’ve always been interested in cooking and where food comes from. In the last couple of years, I’ve made it a point to cook several times a week with the girlfriend. So in the wake of relaunching theantonio.com, I’ve decided to chronicle the food/cooking side of my journey… starting with a Pad Thai recipe I made the other night.

    Please note that my recipes are more fluid than a YOU-MUST-USE-THIS-MUCH-OR-YOU-FAIL recipe.

    Chicken Pad Thai

    Serves about 3-4 people

    Ingredients

    • 8 ounces rice noodles
    • 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts (I used blanched unsalted peanuts)
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic - minced
    • 1 egg - lightly beaten
    • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
    • handful fresh cilantro
    • 3-4 chicken tenderloins (or chicken breast)
    • 3/4 cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms
    • Slices of lime
    • Pad Thai Sauce - I used Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Sauce to make it easy or you can make your own (google pad thai sauce recipe).

    Process

    1. Place rice noodles in large bowl with hot tap water. Enough to cover the noodles completely. Set aside for 15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, no more than an inch thick. Season with a bit of salt/pepper.
    3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chicken and stir for about 6-7 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. After it’s ready, transfer it to a bowl or tupperware and cover.
    4. Add egg to skillet and cook for about 30 seconds. Turn egg and cook for about another 30-60 seconds. Remove from skillet and chop it up.
    5. Add about a tablespoon of oil and transfer mushrooms into skillet. Cook for about a minute or two while stirring. Add about another tablespoon of oil and add in noodles (after draining them of course). Cook noodles about 2-3 minutes.
    6. Add chicken and plenty of pad thai sauce. Cook and stir for about another 3 minutes. The amount of sauce you add is up to you, depending how dry you like your pad thai. Make sure to keep stirring and turning the noodles.
    7. Add egg and peanuts. Shut off heat.
    8. Transfer however much you want onto a plate, garnish with cilantro and green onions. Squeeze some lime on top and you’re ready to roll.
    9. Optional: Add fresh bean sprouts!

    If chicken isn’t your thing, try experimenting with baked tofu, shrimp, or even slices of beef.

  • February 19, 2012 2:30 pm

    "You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club."

    — Jack London

  • February 3, 2012 12:34 am

    "Creativity is almost a mortal sickness. It’s not easy to be happy and creative: With creativity comes great anxiety, great effort, great desire for love. To be creative, you have to be curious, generous, to want to try to understand."

    — Wired

    (Source: Wired)