Thursday, September 8, 2016

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.

Day 2.  This morning I was woken up at about 12:40am by a very inebriated gentleman on the street who was relentlessly proud of his singing voice.  He’s actually pretty good, but I would have rather slept.  We had nice relaxing breakfast and this time it even had rice to fill me up, but we are the only non-Asians eating so I can’t pretend this was done for me.  After eating the majority of the pan and enduring constant eat-shit looks from my fellow diners, we were notified our cab was there to take us to the airport.  He was a seemingly nice guy, and was quick to help us with all of our bags.  We loaded, hopped in the car, at which point the cabbie turns ON his flashers and proceeds to drive like a bat out of hell, and made it excruciatingly clear that the lane lines are there for no particular reason at all.

Also, I have noticed that while a good bit older, the planes in Peru have much more legroom than those currently used in the US, which is awkward because I am about a foot taller than the average Peruvian.  I’m also having chest pains and trouble breathing which is weird, because everybody says it’s from the altitude, but I flew down from Denver so that shouldn’t have been a problem.  Oh well, it’ll probably figure itself out, right?

Anyway, we landed in Cusco and I promptly took a nap because my level of energy doesn’t run on anything less than 7 hours of sleep.  It’s pathetic really.  Helen Keller wrote 12 books and this morning I put my shirt on backwards because I was a little tired.  Afterwards we ventured out into the unknown city to see what all the Spanish-based hype was about.  We headed towards the market because she wanted to buy stuff and I was hungry and it just made sense.  To say we were haggled by vendors, vagabonds, and beggars would be like saying the sun is on the warmer side.  I mean these people were aggressive.  “No” definitely did not mean “no” to them. 

We made it to the market, at which time I had walked an estimated 12 blocks, and thus was starving.  I realized I had no idea what anything meant, so I pointed to some words on the menu, she split open a bag of green something and poured it into a bowl, scooped some beige something onto a plate, handed both to me with a roll of toilet paper and forcefully said, “Watch for bones.”  Keep in mind this is just the middle of a market so seating is a crapshoot.  Five star service in my book.  Turns out, it was absolutely amazing.  Still don’t know what it was, and still don’t care.  If you give me white mush and green food out of a bag that is just as good or better than any I’ve had on a plate, you can be damn sure I’ll “watch for bones” and get the fuck out of your way any time.

On the way back, passing several more beggars and a bunch of women cops in riding pants who seem to have lost their horses and just decided to start directing traffic instead, we stopped in a park slash plaza.  It was beautiful and relaxing, with great people watching.  We hung out there for a while, of which about an hour was spent talking with a 20 year old kid named Dante who just wanted to practice his English.  The kid is a civil engineering student, knows three languages not including English, which he is now teaching himself, and he speaks it better than some Americans I know.  So after that incredibly demoralizing conversation I went back to go to be/reevaluate my entire life.

Tomorrow I’m waking up at 3:15am again because we’re taking a 1.5-hour bus to a 1.5-hour train to go on a who-knows-how-long hike up to Machu Picchu.  And here I just realized I forgot to bring my off-road Segway.

Fact of the Day:  In the 1980’s, Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas was the voice of Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister.

Shout out to Cory Gray.

The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.

Hey Tablets, guess what?  I got impulsive again and bought a ticket to Peru!  What is surprising is that I’ve made every flight involved in getting down here, what isn’t surprising is that I did absolutely no planning for once I got down here.  Luckily the friend I am here with is good at that, so I should be okay.  Anyway, I figured you all missed me enough that I should give you a day-by-day update of my skewed interpretation of everything I do here, so here we go.

Day 1 Update:  Today I woke up to a beautiful Peruvian morning (91% humidity at 9am).  I am larger than the average human here, and their breakfasts are not portioned for people that eat like I do.  We left immediately after my I-am-unwillingly-on-a-diet-breakfast, to go on a tour of some ruins, and on the way back passed a cop pissing in an alley.  I wanted to arrest him, but I don’t know the Spanish version of the Miranda Rights and also I’m pretty sure those don’t exist.

Upon our return, during which we talked extensively about restaurants in the area, we decided on El Mercado in Miraflores, and to say it was good would be an absolute insult Viracocha.  (Google it you uncultured heathen.)  We had an amazing meal of grill octopus that was absolutely drowned in butter beforehand and was easily the best I’ve ever had.  Like, almost bacon level.  We wandered around Lima for the rest of the day until going to try and find shredded cow heart tacos, which I swear is a thing.  We were unsuccessful, but I am not deterred, I have a week left. 

Anyway, we’re heading to Cusco tomorrow and I’ve gotta wake up at 3:45am because sleep is for the weak.  I’ll let you know if I see the Emperor or his New Groove. 

Final Note:  The updates may not actually be on time as I will not always have access to wifi so please don’t yell at me.

Fact of the Day:  There are over 4,000 varieties of potatoes grown in Peru.

Shout out to Jenee Rick.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Coffee. Because crack is bad for you.

I had today off, so I decided to go to a coffee shop to get some work done.  Well, it turns out that the little drinks I was indulging in had 2 shots of espresso each, so besides talking to myself out loud and barely holding myself back from rap-battling anyone foolish enough to make eye contact, I came up with a list of improvements on modern track competitions:
-Long jump: The landing is made of quicksand.
-Discus: The opposing team must try to catch the disc.
-Shotput: Replace the shotput with flash bang grenades.
-100M Sprint:  Full contact is not only allowed, but encouraged.
-Hurdles:  All hurdles are wired with an electric current.
-The Mile:  Jungle cats are released on the last lap.
That's all I can remember for now because my mind is still doing its best impression of a machine gun and I'm having trouble keeping up.  

One nifty thing about the coffee shop I am currently residing in/holding hostage is the design of the place.  Besides being incredibly hipster (I know, who would've guessed a coffee shop would ever be hipster??), it incorporates a full bar, which is scientifically proven to make anything better.  The best part of this bar is that the wall rotates to hide the booze.  Or, as I like to think of it, the wall rotates to make alcohol appear out of thin air.  RIGHT?!  Would you like anything else with your latte?  Coffee cake?  A muffin?  SOME SECRET MOTHER-EFFING WALL WHISKEY???  I mean, walls are cool and everything, I love a good wall, but when that wall does half a 360 and offers me 12 different kinds of gin I might just shed a tear and propose to the architect.

I will admit, the people watching here is pretty fantastic though.  The majority of the populace, expectedly, is scarf-wrapped, fedora-donning, skinny-pant folk freshly returned from their underground barbershop/llama conservatory, but there is a nice sprinkling of variety as well.  For example, across the shop from me there is a pair of businessmen finishing up a nice chat, whose company I have to assume specializes in making suit pants that are way too fucking short.  On one side of them is student that will be dropping out later this semester, while on the other side sits a young man who's style is best described as "Did not expect to get out of the car."  America is fun.

As a non-caffeine drinker, I am learning a lot about myself and coffee today.  One of those things is that I feel like if I needed to, I could learn Mandarin before dinner.  Another tidbit is that eventually the caffeine wears off, and it doesn't do so gently.  I am currently in the midst of a catastrophic espresso crash and my brain and body feel like I just lost a game of Jumanji.  Hence, this is where I leave you.  Goodnight Tablets.

Fact of the Day:  A lethal dose of caffeine would require drinking roughly 100 cups of coffee.

Shout out to Molly Kitchens.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A balanced diet is a burger in both hands.

Ladies and Gentletablets, I recently decided to embark on a trail of self-betterment.  I've changed a good many things, including exercising consistently, attempting to eat somewhat healthier, and, here's the big one, (mostly) not drinking.  I've learned a good bit from the past month, the most prominent fact being that when you don't drink whatsoever, all of those other things just kind of happen.  Long dead are the days when you are intoxicated at 3:12am swearing on your first pet's grave that you've never wanted anything in this world more than you want a Big Mac and 20 chicken nuggets.  Well, at least the days when I had to be drunk to say that anyway, but speaking of that let's talk about the wondrous monstrosity that is good ol' Mickey D's and my most recent excursion to said eatery.

After a particularly late night at work a few weeks ago I was extremely hungry, and being that it was after 3am and everything respectable was closed, my stomach sentenced me to 13 minutes hard time in the McDonald's drive thru.  This particular establishment is located on the lovely Colfax Avenue in Denver.  For those of you that haven't graced Denver with your presence, this particular thoroughfare is known as "the longest, wickedest street in America."  Whether you want McDonald's or crack, Voodoo Donuts or hookers, this street has everything you could possibly need to shorten your life substantially.  So, like a responsible adult, I shunned all reasonable thought and dove headfirst into a hopefully heroine-free double quarter pounder.  

Now I'm not sure if you've ever been to a McDonald's at 3am in a seedy area, hopefully you haven't, but let me say that it is an absolute gold mine for people watching.  In a sentence, it's like if Paula Deen's estranged cousin hosted Burning Man at a homeless shelter.  And they had pretty tasty fries.  The encounter begins with driving up to the menu where you attempt to order through what is essentially your fourth grade walkie-talkie taped to a stick.  I was greeted by what seemed to be a furiously malfunctioning robot, of which I understand absolutely nothing.  I gave my order, which I believe was supposed to show up on the confirmation screen, but instead appeared to be a vividly colored painting done by Picasso and Salvador Dali's love child.  The rage-cyborg went on to repeat my order slightly faster than an auctioneer late for his daughter’s recital, so I politely asked him to repeat it a bit slower which did precisely nothing to slow him down, and I proceeded to the second window hoping for the best.

Side note:  What the hell is the purpose of the first window?  Ever since I can remember, they've been as neglected as the 9 button on the microwave.  Every time it’s "Please pull around to the second window."  Are they for decoration?  Have they been quarantined?  WHAT AREN'T YOU TELLING US???

Moving on.  I arrived at the aforementioned second window and was given the first look at a the man who, despite not being a poorly constructed robot, I could only assume consistently had a BAC higher than his GPA and a credit score less than his weight.  Harsh?  Maybe.  True?  Almost assuredly.  We'll call him Groot because he had about as much emotion as a tree, with a slightly smaller vocabulary.  He was an angry elf, if you haven't gotten that yet.  Anyway, he was the only worker there, save for an associate sitting far in the back glaring through the window at me, who, in the words of PG Wodehouse, "looked like they'd been poured into their clothes and forgot to say when."  After a brief and enlightening exchange with Groot, he left to gather my victuals leaving me to myself for the moment.  I spent that time absentmindedly looking around the kitchen, whose inside was best described as "there appears to have been a struggle."  Groot eventually returned with my delicacies, and sent me on my way with a merry "ThunksaMcDldsgdn."  Nothing like some solid human interaction to end your night.  ThunksaMcDldsgdn to you too, Groot.

Fact of the Day:  In 2006, a man tried to sell New Zealand.

Shout out Valerie Alvarado. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Well, it's been a while (again), and I figured it was about time to write a new blog because the note on my phone with all my random thoughts has become roughly about the length of the second Lord of the Rings novel.

A long, long time ago, on a Wi-Fi network far, far away, I wrote one of my first posts which for a brief second mentioned some of the pun-based businesses I wanted to open.   The other day I came up with an addition to that list:  It's called Deja Food, and the restaurant specials repeat randomly at varying lengths of time.

I've also been pondering a lengthy list of things recently.  Some are deep, some are completely ridiculous.  A few include:
-I wonder how many places I've already been for the last time?
-What is a Casbah, and how do I rock it?
-Are there any times on the clock that I haven't seen?
-What was the worst thing ever done for a Klondike Bar?

Let's do some venting.  As many of you may know, I work in a bar.  I will refrain from using the real name of the bar for reasons involving the safety of my employment, but suffice it to say that it is a very popular bar in a public area, which assures that we entertain guests of all different varieties.  Now stereotypes are usually negative, but I can attest that for the most part they exist for a reason, and working in a bar you get very accustomed to judging people as soon as they walk in the door solely based on your overwhelming past experiences.  Don't get me wrong, it is possible, and very refreshing, for someone to completely defy the stereotype, it just isn't all that common.  Here are a few I have become familiar with, along with the nicknames I have given them:  (Apologies in advance for the inevitable offense this will cause.)

The Suit:  The Suit is a businessman.  The Suit is a successful businessman doing very well for himself, he is very proud of it, and he will let you know.  Sometimes this is via taking care of the whole check in a grandiose and flamboyant manner, or sometimes he will just up and tell you that he has, and this is a direct quote, "a seven digit salary and a Pringles can for a d!#k."  That should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about The Suit.  Forecast:  Partly douchey with heavy narcissism in the late evening.

The Chad:  Chad is the nickname I have given to the stereotypical "bro".  Chads usually travel in packs, and seen in anything from neon tank tops to hats that say "Cocaine & Caviar", Chad is usually a process to deal with.  It's a safe bet to say Chad is drinking vodka Red Bull, whiskey ginger, or vodka soda with extra lemons.  Not all of them are fighters, but, well, yes they are.  Chad will talk loudly about wanting to meet chicks, will approach several with questionable tactics, and is most likely to reference himself in the third person at least once.  Chad is the guy that will aggressively flag down a bartender with violent waves and/or yelling, and upon being greeted will realize no one in the group knows what they want and frantically yell at everyone for 3-6 minutes while not letting the bartender leave to help anyone else.  Also, it will be all split checks and at least one person will leave their card.  Forecast:  High probability of high fives.

The Hipster:  Nowadays hipsters are everywhere, almost mainstream even (GASP).  To combat this, the Hipster has essentially evolved into the Hipster 2.0 (or -1.0, I don't know how their scale works).  This is the guest that, whether through actual knowledge or subtle googling before entering the bar, is sure to order at least one spirits/concoction that no reasonable bar outside of the three-password basement of the underground bar in SoHo would have on National Speakeasy Day.  On top of that is the near certain smirk of disapproval that accompanies the "Sorry we don't carry Angel tear-infused Sake aged in 14th century brandy barrels."  After serving them, you can usually walk by the Hipster and overhear a literal jet stream of bullshit spewing from their mouth about their otherworldly experiences with alcohol at other bars in far away lands.  Often a bad tipper, the Hipster is truly exhausting.  I'd say I was worried about losing their business, but who needs those pretentious fucks with their gluten free music and kale cardigans anyway.  Forecast:  Way too cool.

The Faux Wino:  The Faux Wino is an ever-present guest in most bars.  It is often someone who actually knows their shit, or at least some of it, and is usually dissatisfied with whatever your wine selection may be.  They are quick to admit your recommendation is "fine", but even quicker to bring up a wine they have at home or had at another establishment that is far superior.  We have 30 draft beers and a truly impressive selection of liquor and liqueurs.  If you want to get high school hammered on different types of wine, go to an Olive Garden.  At least there you can gorge on all-you-can-eat garlicky hotdog buns.  Forecast: Purple lips and stories of traveling abroad.

The Becky:  In short, Becky is the female equivalent of Chad.  Becky is the girl at the bar that will make sure the bartenders knows that she is out with all of her absolute besties for a girls night, they want some kind of shot ("just make us something we'll like"), and that her friend's should be free because it's her MOTHAFUCKIN BIRTHDAAAAAAAAY!!!! [Insert Woo’s here.]  High heels will come off, exes will be called.  Forecast:  100% chance of Becky getting lost.

Now for every one of these people there are just as many that are nice, entertaining, good tipping, enjoyable human beings, but just like you never really pay attention to the referee until something bad happens, the shitty people usually stick in your memory a little more vividly, and not in a good way.  Regardless, the job is still fun and life is all about perspective.  Remember, the sinking of the Titanic was a miracle to the lobsters in the ship's kitchen.

Fact of the day:  A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

Shout out to Nate Patrick.