Tag Archives: travel

Portrait of an Old White #1

16 Feb

Louis-Francois_Bertin

After a brief trip to a museum this past weekend, it has come to my attention that most galleries are filled with portraits of old whites. I’m no art critic, but I am rather well versed in Old Whites, so this revelation inspired me to develop advanced criteria in judging these paintings to the best of my abilities.

Pose – He is hunched and close lipped. He appears very sickly and has chosen for some reason to splay his hands in an uninviting manner, as if he intends to play a creepy piano piece on his knees.

Color – The most prominent use of color in this piece is of course the old white of the subject, however, due to what looks to be the early stages of jaundice, the subject takes on a slight yellow hue, which detracts from the overall piece.

Strokemanship – I have no qualms with the brushstrokes here guys. This is par for the neoclassic course, but the background color reminds me of the bland topes and off whites used in some yearbook photos. In fact, this painting might very well represent that. One can easily imagine a disgruntled and jowly professor of metallurgy limping into a stale classroom and demanding everyone turn to page 22 of their textbooks.

Grade A+ While one may find technical holes in this piece, or even say it lacks inspiration or a certain je ne sais quoi, the very important fact remains that the subject is an old white, and everyone can see that.

6 Ways to Her Heart

4 Jun

Disclaimer: I’ve never made my way to a girl’s heart

feederFood- There is a fine line between a foodie and feeder. You don’t need to have some twisted sexual fetish involving obese women or have to know why the chef at Alummete chose to open his own food truck after 10 years, but take some interest in food. Take her out to try new restaurants, or if you’re poor, learn how to cook something besides pasta with sauce. Girls love to eat, but don’t ever want to feel gluttonous. Go ahead and be a fatty with them once and a while. Now that’s a recipe for her heart!

bad in bedSex- Don’t be terrible. You don’t have to be Ray J from the Kim K sex tapes, but generally speaking just have confidence. No jack hammering, no incessant questioning, “Do you like this?” and always keep her pleasure in mind. Here is a simple rubric.

Man cums first + Goes to Bed= Bad/Girl Talks lots of Shit
Man cums first + Works hard to make girl cum = OK-Good
Woman cums first + Man Does Not = Never Happened/Hearsay
Woman cums first + Man cums After = Great
Woman + Man Cum @ same time = Twinsies!

smileSmile- Girls love this shit. A nice smile is better than any pick up line out there. Don’t have a creepy smile. Smile in the mirror to make sure you aren’t a creep or have too much aggressive glint in your eyes. Smile! Unless you are a brooding musician who hides his pain well, Smile! ☺

grammar naziGrammar– Apparently all women are TEFL certified and sticklers for proper usage. They will abbrieve and emogi all day long, but god help you if you don’t know the difference between its and it’s or there, their, and they’re. I bet you didn’t know apostrophes were deal breakers, well they are. If you are confused, head down to your local community college and enroll in Grammar 101, and you will be capturing there hearts….they’re hearts? Ther….fuck.

carmen sdTravel– Who’s the hottest woman with a passport you know? Nope, not your Mom, it’s Carmen San Diego. Women love the idea and fantasy of travel. You don’t have to drop 2 g’s on a trip to Paris, but head at least 2 hours out of town and you’ll be eat, pray, loving all night long!

Proud to Be an American?

6 Aug

Hahaah

Every four years I am jolted from my patriotic slumber and force myself to scream at small women who have dedicated their lives to shooting an air pistol 10 meters. Aside from ridiculous events, the Summer Olympics always serve as a reminder that I have an American identity and that I actually might even be proud to be American.

I attended a very liberal university during a period of history where the U.S. was making some questionable decisions. We were like a drunk frat bro who got sucker punched at a kegger, then got up all wobbly and took a swing at the Asian kid in the corner who had nothing to do with it. Then we were like, “Fuck this, I’m going to find that dude,” and we got in our dad’s Mercedes, but crashed immediately into a stop sign and threw up on our cargo shorts. Then the cops came, but lucky for us the chief of police was our uncle so we got to sleep it off instead of spending the night in jail, and everyone at the kegger was left saying, “Wow, fuck that dude.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is you wouldn’t have found any Bruce Springsteen on my IPod in the mid aughts. (Except “Dancing in the Dark.” That song is just awesome.) I was anti-Bush, anti-conservative, anti-shwag weed, and anti- American. During my junior year abroad I was hesitant to tell people I was American, opting for Californian in hopes that they liked O.C., Terminator or Red Hot Chili Peppers. I remember a group of American tourists who had sewn the Canadian flag on their travel packs to try and avoid uncomfortable situations. I held the belief that I was the awesome exception to a cruel norm, which I shared nothing in common with. Americans are racist and I am tolerant. Americans are stupid, and I am smart and witty. Americans are fat and loud; I am lean and partially reserved. Clearly I must be non-American, or some kind of genetically mutated American, impervious to stereotype and generalization.

I considered myself strictly a citizen of the world until one cold night in Buenos Aires changed my perspective. I moved to BA after college to “teach English.” I was looking for adventure and an escape from the unbelievably boring States. Some locals invited me to smoke and drink fernet in a plaza in San Telmo. (Ooh, how cultural) I was introduced as Andres from America. This of course sparked South Americans favorite debate, which is that we are all Americans so I should say I am from the States. After bumbling my way thru my drunken Spanish opinion on that matter, a rat-tailed Argentino stopped playing Bob Marley long enough to try and rip me a new culito.

Stoops guy, sweet tail.

“Why do you like Bush?”
“I don’t.”
“Why did you vote for him?”
“I didn’t. Other people did. Bush doesn’t represent everyone in America…err sorry, the states.
“Why did you vote for him twice?”
“Umm. That is difficult to explain in any language, but you must understand that the U.S. is huge! It cannot be defined only by its government or one person’s actions…”

This went on for almost an hour. I grew frustrated, but also more passionate as the hippy refused to stop prodding the issue. I had never defended my homeland so vehemently in my life and I was finding that I was eager and even happy to do so. Maybe it was the brown shwag and rich man’s Jaeger talking, but it was the first time I can ever remember taking pride in being American.

Beautiful

Watching these 2012 Olympics I try to tell myself that the only reason I tune in is because I am a fan of sports and competition, and if a fellow countrymen were to win that competition, all the better right? This just isn’t true, and I can’t hide anymore from the brutal reality. I would never watch a gymnastics routine any other time in my life. If I turned on ESPN in September and there was some ripped midget straddling a pommel horse, I would throw my Budweiser at the screen and write a strongly worded letter to Bristol.

I not only want Americans to win, but I want the other countries to be humiliated. I want to see Poland’s canoe hit a rock and careen off a dangerous waterfall. I want to see Australia’s bicyclists ride too close together, rub wheels, and crash against the wall while the Americans leisurely pedal their way to gold. I want a Russian to snap his leg during the 10,000m. I love the San Francisco 49’ers, but I didn’t shed a single tear when they lost in overtime to the NY Giants last season, but you give me five American gymnasts with some compelling back stories, an American flag and an electric vault routine and I’m balling like a teenage girl who just found out K Stew cheated on the lanky white.

When the Olympics finish, I will stop wishing terrible things on the rest of the world. I will return to forgetting that I live in America and will reassume my identity of laid back cool guy from the west coast who doesn’t get riled too easy. It’s nice to know, however, that for a couple weeks every four years I feel a connection to everyone else in this huge country, and that we can bond over a universal truth. We’re Number 1. We’re Number 1. U-S-A!

Hell yea brother.

Camping Etiquette

26 Jul

5 Songs Buddy!

Rogue John Mayers– There is a 5-song max!!! Normally someone will pick up the guitar and timidly pluck at the strings and say something like, “Oh I haven’t played in forever,” or “I only know a couple songs.” This is what you want to hear because these people will play their “House of the Rising Sun,” “Ring of Fire” and “Wish you Were Here” and be done with it. Everyone sings along and laughs and times are good. If someone starts tuning the guitar by ear or drops that they are in a band, run for the fucking hills. You are about to sit through a brutal session, which usually entails long periods of required silence and obligatory compliments such as, “wow that was really powerful.” I don’t care how many chords you know or how sultry your voice may be, I didn’t ask for a private concert so please play your 5 songs and shut that shit.

Side note: Beware of those who bring hand drums. While a skilled percussionist can add depth to a jam session, a drunk or “in the zone” hand slapper can quickly become a nuisance.

No respect.

Reckless Roasters- We’re all adults now, which means find your stick, widdle what you will, apply the mallow and exercise a bit of patience. I’ll have none of this juvenile putting the entire mallow in the hot, hot flame and burning the crap out of it. Everyone knows you are not enjoying your burnt ass smore. Get your grown smore on.

Let me in guys.

Tentative Tent Sharers– I recently went camping with some friends. Before we left I asked if any of them had a tent I could share. Apparently this is the most inappropriate question to ask before a camping trip. “Umm that’s weird. Why don’t you have a tent?” Oh is that weird? Sorry, but in the midst of trying to get a fulfilling job, find love, make friends, travel, build my skill set, and rage, buying a fucking tent slipped my mind! My apologies!

Side note: Stop bringing all of your bedding from home and putting into your tent like its your bed away from bed. Everyone knows sleeping in a tent is uncomfortable no matter how many amenities one brings. They are smelly, hot sickly chambers usually on uneven ground. Your duvet won’t help matters.

The ravine is just down the way.

The Snorelax- (I think I’m actually included in this group) Kindly roll yourself off a ravine.

Stay in your site old people.

Neighborly Neds- Stay the eff in your own campsite. This ain’t the club. I don’t care if you need firewood, firs aid or just a friend. I’m here with my friends trying to create my own memories. I don’t need you coming over in your Tour De France outfit telling me about how long it takes to bike down the California coast. You’re smelly and making people uncomfortable.

Side note: If you are an attractive group of female campers you may approach. BUT WITH CAUTION.

Double Side note: This never happens.

Did you study at Le Cordon Bleu?

Julia Childs Style– Oh! Didn’t know we invited Julia and Julia, Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck on this trip. If you are going to spend half your rent check on organic foods for one weekend then so be it, but don’t have the audacity to critique my bud lights, block of cheese and ballpark franks. You can eat your quinoa and leek beet salad sandwich, but do so sans smirk and in silence.

That’ll do just fine.

Fire Fuhrer– Nobody cares that you took a wilderness survival-training course or went backpacking for a week in Yosemite. Everyone has a Bic and can find some paper and kindling. “Hmm I noticed you didn’t create a teepee structure, which is really the most efficient…” Shut that shit. I have a lighter. We’ll all be just fine.

GET THAT HEADLAMP OUT MY FACE!

Bay vs. LA

3 Jul

A good friend recently called me and asked if I wanted to attend a local trivia night in the Bay Area. While flattered by the gesture, I informed the friend that I live in L.A. and unless he wanted to fly me up for the night like some high-end trivia escort, I would have to decline the invite.

“Really? How long have you been down there?”
“Over two years now. You should probably know this information about me”
“Shit man. What are you still doing down there? That place sucks.”

Most Northern Californians would agree with my friend, and most Southern Californians would be oblivious to the fact that their neighbors despise them so much, but at the same time carry an air of superiority that hints that they care more than they let on.

My friend was bummed that he wouldn’t have enough for a six-man team (and someone to crush current events) and then asked me, “So what’s better? The Bay or LA?” As always these debates are a matter of personal preference and clearly the fact I was born and raised in the Bay Area may cause some bias, but I do love L.A. I really do. I also wrote for my school newspaper for a few months so this will be a totally and completely objective look at both regions in hopes of settling the great yell-off.

Weather: LA

LA– Some say LA is devoid of weather. Those people are idiots or ungrateful and sentimental Easterners who miss the “change of the seasons.” Big ‘effin deal. The leaves change color for a couple days, snow is fun and nostalgic for maybe a day if you don’t have to work or be somewhere and rain puts you in a reflective mood until you want to kill yourself. Guess what everyone says after a week of freezing cold, wet and uncomfortable conditions? “I want sun!” LA has 9,000 days of sun a year. I describe it like being in a well-maintained lizard terrarium where everyone moves slow and licks the glass. (Not the best analogy but that’s how I’ve described it to like 5 people) You don’t have to wear a jacket at night and oh boy those Santa Ana winds…don’t quite know what they are, but people talk about them like lost lovers.

Bay– The Bay’s air is crisper and the light less intense. There are so many microclimates that it is hard to make an accurate comparison, but foggy summers in SF seem to be a downer for most who live there. We are all familiar with Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Fuck this fog, I’m kicking it in the East Bay today.”

Nature/Outdoors: Bay

LA– Los Angeles loses this one, but not by much. Everyone thinks LA is some sprawling shithole, isolated from anything beautiful. While there is a serious lack of green within the city, LA is super close to wonderful hiking in Malibu and San Bernardino, cliff jumping in Azusa, skiing in Big Bear and of course water sports all along its inviting beaches. Hey! There are beaches in the Bay too! Yea and they suck. Ocean Beach is freezing, Stinson is only good in summer and far away, and Robert Crown Memorial is just…well…heroine needly.

Bay– Pretty tough to beat the Bay in terms of natural beauty. First of all there is a big and beautiful bay that wraps around the major cities. There is a huge forest of redwoods where John Muir used to go and do things and a park the size of the city itself plopped in the middle with buffalo roaming around. When I was considering moving to LA, I visited my aunt and she was adamant about showing me the Silverlake reservoir and described it as “beautiful.” To be clear, reservoir is not an acronym for something awesome, it’s literally a water containment facility with a barbed wire fence around it next to a patch of grass, but people had come to cherish this small bit of green and blue within the city. Not a good sign.

Traffic/Public Transportation: Bay

LA– No secret here. All you have to do is watch this video to understand how LA traffic drives people insane. I’ve tried herbal teas, reggae mixes and deep breathing techniques. Nothing works. The metro isn’t bad, but it doesn’t service enough areas and if you polled Angelinos, I’m sure most wouldn’t even know LA has a subway system.

Bay– Yes, traffic here can suck too, but I’ve never had to put on Bob Marley to physically stop myself from murdering someone. Muni and Bart are gross, but fairly accessible and if you haven’t pissed in a Gatorade bottle on your way back from New Years, you’re not living.

People/Sense of Community: Bay

LA– This one was hard to call and I’ll explain why. LA has a terrible reputation for being full of pretentious, fake and fame hungry airheads. These people do exist, but they are not the majority and you don’t have to interact with them if you don’t want to. You’re a big boy now. LA is huge! There are so many unique neighborhoods that give you a different flavor of LA life. It’s a melting pot of transients, natives, immigrants, celebrities, and those trying to become celebrities. Here is the double-edged sword. LA is an entertainment hub and industry. People move here from all over the world to make a career out of their artistic passion and craft. I’ve never been surrounded by this many talented and driven people in my life, and that is a credit to the magnetism of LA. This also means everyone moves here for a purpose, not merely for a change of scenery. Careers come first, which means relationships and friends come second. I’ve never been exposed to so much fakery and flakery in my life. Distance between neighborhoods, traffic, auditions, gigs, shoots, shows, headshots and diets are all reasons given for not hanging out, and that’s bullshit. Some call it independence; I’d call it loneliness.

Bay- I think the Bay wins this because of what the area does to people. LA has made me slightly impatient and mistrusting of people’s intentions. The bay tends to attract and nurture a sense of tolerance and curiosity. People are encouraged to be themselves and that creates a very unique region full of interesting and mostly intelligent people. I’m not saying people in LA are stupid, but the general discourse revolves around entertainment, which is to be expected, but exhausting nonetheless. Something brought to my attention, however, is the fierce regionalism that exists within the Bay. There is a certain aura of self-righteousness that exudes from bay folks, which can be perceived by outsiders as pretentious or just downright ridiculous. We’re still pretty sweet though. (Most biased section. I swear)

Food: This decision was excruciating, but I think LA takes it. I’m not a foodie so I don’t know where to get bomb Azerbaijani food, but I can speak on the main cuisines. Affordability and food trucks tip the scales.

Burritos: Bay
Mexican/Latin: LA
Burgers: LA
Pizza: Bay
Korean/Japanese: LA
Chinese: Bay
Indian: I don’t know, it all runs thru me.
Thai: LA
Food Trucks: LA

Oh, but what about Alice Waters and the California Cuisine/Organic farms/Gourmet Ghetto revolution in the Bay? It’s all great, but like I said before I don’t have the duckets to go to Chez Panisse or some Michelin 4 star joint and eat dungeoness crab with gold on top.

So if you are counting at home I guess the Bay takes it, but there is a reason I haven’t moved back yet. LA is a really cool place with a lot to offer and I wish people gave it more of a chance. Why here’s an idea! Now that my friends know that I’ve been living in LA for the last two years, they can come visit and see for themselves how sweet it is, and then talk shit about it when they get back to the Bay.

The 7 B’s of Summer

5 Jun

So sweet.

Bros– Whether they are donning boat shoes and Oakleys or neon tanks and Chuck Taylors, the bros will be out in full force. While they used to be confined to beaches, skate parks and yachting regattas, bros are now free to frolic and be sweet in any social setting. Much like the ambiguous “hipster” tag, being labeled a bro often carries a negative connotation and causes fits of denial from the accused, but fear not my dude, you are to be celebrated. There are sunny days ahead, three months of them actually, all yours to make super epiiiiiiiiiiiiii.

Get it Girl!!!

Babes– The sun plays three important roles in our lives. It makes us less depressed, something…something…plant…photosynthesis, and occasionally it makes girls hot and uncomfortable enough to wear less clothing. Yea! Babes have been hard at work since winter chiseling and forming their bikini bods. You might have even caught an FB status or two like, “Gettin’ it in on the treadmill,” or “Just Zumba’d with my babes! My buns are on fiyah!!! Hehe :).”

You guys know beach right?

Beach– The natural playground for the babes and bros, and the occasional over lathered geisha girl. The beach is a delight, but I don’t need to tell you, that’s simps knowledge. What you might not know is that the beach is sexy, (babes) gross, (fat pales) strange, (overdressed crazies looking for trinkets) dangerous, (big waves and wild Frisbees) and cantankerous, (just like that word). The beach isn’t going anywhere (actually due to erosion and global warming what have yous it might be going somewhere) so have a visit while you can and enjoy summer’s #1 destination.

Niceeeeeee

Brews– Sixers, Twelvers, 18’s, 32’s, 30 racks, 24’s, 40’s…I could keep listing shit. It’s amazing how many different ways and ounces you can get drunk in. These are the choices you will make this summer, and they will be difficult. Do I get a sixer of something nice? A twelver of high life and hand them out like water bottles? 40 to the dome and scare everybody at the party? Believe it or not people are still judged on what kind of beer they bring. Here are my recommendations.

Serious Adult- 12 of Lagunitas IPA
Reminiscent Randy- 30 of Bud Light
Frighten People at the Party- 40 of Mickey’s to the face
Joke Purchase that you Regret- BL Limes

J.R. Hungotown

Barbecues– When the Bloods and the Crips met in the 90’s to discuss a potential truce between them, guess what they did? Had a mother effin’ BBQ! Barbecues bring people together and usually make them happy. So scrub that grimy shit off you forgot to last summer and throw on the slabs of meat. If you are feeling extra tolerant, you can even invite your vegetarian friends over and watch them begrudgingly enjoy a grilled pineapple. Idiots.

I could watch so many battleships with these

Blunts– Summer is a time to rage, but also a time to chill. Bet you didn’t know a season could be so complex. I’ll admit I haven’t had a blunt in years, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong with the b’s of summer.
“Does anyone want to go see Battleship?”
“Hell no, that shit looks terrible!” 10 minutes after blunt….
“Yo, we should go see Battleship.”

Take your pick

Balls– Gross guys, not those. I mean balls as they relate to sports. Baseball, Basketball and Bacci ball are all great summer time activities. I actually dislike baseball, but for some reason when summer hits I’m compelled to pay 15 bucks and sit in a tiny plastic chair for 4 hours watching grown men jog and spit. Pretty weird when you think about it, but it wouldn’t be summer without it.

Fun game to play: See how many b’s of summer you can incorporate together. If anyone sends me a pic of him or her doing all 7 Ill give them a prize. That would be brews and blunts with your bros barbecuing at the beach watching babes play with balls. Have a great summer!

4 Things I Don’t Trust on Memorial Day

29 May

Get in there poodles.

People Who Don’t Get in the Water- My friend threw an awesome party in Sherman Oaks. This is usually an impossible task, but yesterday it was 90 degrees, there was a pool, unlimited beer and countless cheese products and dips. There were approximately 50 people at this party. In my head I was formulating all kinds of crazy pool games. A 25 on 25 Marco Polo, Red Rover but with drowning, and a roof jump cannonball contest were just some of the activities that crossed my mind. I haven’t anticipated that much pool fun since the invention of the noodle. Peak sun hit around 3 PM and I would say only 15-20 people got in the water. What the hell is wrong with you? I overheard someone say the water was too cold. Someone else said they couldn’t get their hair wet, and one partygoer held a straight face and actually said they don’t like water, and some other idiot agreed with them! The only dude I had respect for was the fattest guy at the party. I asked him to get in the water and he said, “No, I have a terrible body and I don’t want people to see it.” Thanks for being honest. Every species gets in the water to cool off or enjoy themselves, what makes you such a rebel? “Oh no thanks, I’m actually quite comfortable standing on a hot ass deck in 90 degree sun talking about editing continuity for 3 hours. Get in that water!

You want a Beer? No I’m Good– If you aren’t driving and haven’t recently been to an AA meeting, there is no reason to turn down a beer on Memorial Day. Oh you only drink whiskey? Sorry Don Draper, but this is not a day for sophistication and beautifully structured dialogue, it’s a day for drinking luke warm beers with the American flag on them and then crushing that can with your best axe kick. Stop being a weirdo and join the party.

This Conversation– Inevitably there is someone who starts yelling, usually after a jello shot, “What is Memorial Day about anyway!? Like what are we even celebrating!”? Then another idiot will raise his shot glass and say something super witty like, “Alcoholism!” and people might laugh, but watch for the person who doesn’t laugh and tries to get deep and contemplative on the crowd by schooling everyone on the military industrial complex. If you or a family member have been affected by war, I offer my condolences and truly wish that weren’t a reality, but please recognize that heat exhaustion and binge drinking are not conducive to healthy political discourse.

Attractive Girls with Stupid Looking Boyfriends Who Wear Hot Bikinis Under Flowy Garments and Never Take it Off– Ok so this is a real specific call out and I shouldn’t hate, but it did kind of bring down my buzz a little. There is so much good this girl could have done for the party, but by keeping her silly shawl on, she only angered most guys there and ultimately brought negative vibes because of it. So much potential wasted.

Take that shit off!