Monday, February 25, 2013


Being an overweight American, it's high time I should post about the differences in foods here.

The inspiration for this post came from listening to Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. I'd totally forgot that one of their songs was used in a Taco Bell commercial back in the day (the song is called Zombie Compromise, if you're interested) and I started opining. It's been at most like 2 weeks since I last had Taco Bell, but knowing I can't just go out and get it is the worst feeling ever. Luckily there are a few America fast food places and several Mexican restaurants that will suffice. There's McDonalds, Burger King (called Hungry Jacks here (fuck that)), and Subway practically everywhere. There's also some local fast food places that are like American fast food, slightly askew. Like a place that sold chicken sandwiches, but as if to insult me and everything I stand for, they called them chicken burgers. Not ok.) To be perfectly honest, the American fast food places here are practically the same. The sauce on the Big Mac I had was a little bit tangier, but mostly the same. I also wanted to note that food is significantly more expensive here. No $5 footlongs here though. It's $7, which is still one of the better deals. McDonalds and Hungry Jack (BK) both still have dollar menus too, but they're called like "pocket change" menus, and everything is $2 or more.

There is a lot of food around the CBD though (that's what they call downtown; it stands for "Central Business District". They also don't know the rest of the world just says downtown) There are a lot of sushi places, but they're slightly different too. While you can get a roll that has like 6-8 pieces, what most places sell are "hand rolls", which are about the size of 3 regular sushi pieces and people just eat them by hand instead of chop sticks. It's actually kind of nice, because they're also pretty cheap. You can get them as cheap as $1.50. While there's no Taco Bell, I did find a Chipotle style burrito place that was pretty good. They make small too, so it's like $5 instead of $8 every time. The chips and guac was good, too. Which is good because I am having the damndest time trying to find tortilla chips. It's like grocery stores don't have them. They have Doritos, but Doritos aren't fucking tortilla chips. It's like they're mocking me too, because they have salsa, and it's called salsa, unlike ketchup which is called "tomato sauce" (they pronounce tomato with a soft "a", like tuh-mah-toh). Oh, and I did see a place called "Taco Bill", but I haven't tried it yet. It's too close to something I love dearly.
I was told about another place near my hostel that has cheap middle east style wraps for cheap too. They're called like borcheks or something. I'll edit this post later when I find out what they're really called, but I probably won't actually do that. They have different styles, but I mostly get the lamb. In fact, most places I like to get lamb, which is good because it's pretty common here and pretty delicious. OH! Shit, I almost forgot to mention that I still have yet to try kangaroo meat, but I've found where to get it a market. What I really want, though, is to find a restaurant that serves it...

There are actually a lot of grocery stores nearby that make life a little bit cheaper, but cooking in the hostel is a bit trying. There's an Aldi about a block away and a Woolworths about 5 away. The kitchen in the hostel is large and always busy, there's no stove, and the refrigerators are always full. It's irritating, but it's enough to get by. More irritating though is that some asshole has been using my milk. And I need that milk to prepare the mac and cheese I smuggled into this country. Seriously, I had to declare that shit when I entered the country and they kinda scoffed at me declaring it...

I can't tell if things are really more expensive here or if I'm just trying to survive as long as possible on what I have saved. I also know that everyone around me is doing pretty much the same thing, so it doesn't help my cheap nature. I also think that since I still don't have a job, it's ever present in my mind that I have no money coming in.

I wanted to point out that I refuse to take pictures of my food, so that's why only the one picture (of Taco Bill).

There's probably more I have to say about food, but I just realize how much I already wrote and made myself very sad. Also, I'm getting really hungry now...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Australia, Finally

It's happened. I've finally arrived in Australia. As I write this, I'm at a brewery in I think Yarra (a suburb of Melboure, again, I think). In case you're wondering why I'm at a brewery, I barely know myself; there was a guy at a liquor store near the hotel, some drinks were involved, now I'm here sitting in the corner drinking. They have an bar thing every Wednesday and Friday apparently. I hope that makes it less weird. If it makes you feel better, it smells kind of like a farm in here. The brewery is called Goat... I think?

Australia is a weird place. It's a lot dryer in Melbourne than I expected. While I was taking the bus from the airport to the downtown area, it was tan and brown with spots of trees. I don't know what I was expecting, but I guess it wasn't that. Again, I don't know what I was expecting though. It's summer here, and definitely feels like it. Even at the airport it was very summery. I practically forgot how sweat feels. It's still light out and that feels really bizarre in itself. Even if the warm weather isn't too far off from the Vegas and Los Angeles weather, the fact that it's 7pm and still very light outside is fucking with my head.

I feel very foreign here. I'm having a really hard time with the whole "opposite side of the street" thing. And I'm not even driving! I keep almost running into people on the street. Because I needed wifi, I ate at Burger King, but it isn't called Burger King here. It's called Hungry Man or something. I don't know, and it probably doesn't matter. For dinner I'm committed to try something Australian, if not local. They have pizza here at the brewery, and I'm kinda tempted by that. Other than this brewery, my plan for tonight is to go to a comedy show. Trouble is, I don't know where or when the show is. The hotel I'm staying at charges for the wifi per hour, and I completely refuse to pay that. I might as well nurse a coffee or beer for the same price while I'm using the internet.

I'm going to touch on the public transport (ation; the bastards just call it "transport") later, but after getting initially very confused, I found out it's relatively easy. The biggest problem I see is that they don't publish their right way, so it doesn't show up on google maps.

I have a lot more to say, but I have a long time here, so I'll stop for now. Also, I'll add some pictures later; my Blogger app apparently doesn't get along with my Dropbox app.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Prologue Part 6: Los Angeles

2/18/13 (like 1ish am)

It's been a while since I've posted, but I haven't had the desire to post for a while. I've spent the past week in Los Angeles, and I've been busy doing nothing. This is the first vacation I've been on since being single, and it's been freeing in a way I wouldn't have imagined. A lot has happened for me here, but I want to keep this entry as brief as I can. I'm also realizing that this blog is less about the funny, and more about me as a person. So, sorry if you're here for the lulz.

Before coming here, I was extremely intimidated by Los Angeles. The prospect of such a huge city seemed like an inevitable monster that eventually I would have to tackle. Upon landing, I understood something I hadn't realized before: Los Angeles is just another city. Don't get me wrong, every city has it's own charms/quirks/idiosyncrasies that make it unique, and thus worth visiting. But I'd always separated LA and New York from all of the other cities I knew. They were the big players, and they were not to be trifled with. Maybe it was the fact that I was coming from another larger city, but regardless, I realized upon landing that despite its size, LA really just reminded me of any city.

The comedy here is good, but man is the atmosphere different. Everybody here talks about what they're doing, and talks about their job in show-business. I managed to go to two open mics, and a paid show in Santa Monica. I'm really glad I got a taste of what it's like here (even it was just a morsel), but I can see that I'm not ready to live here.

Other than the comedy here, I did the obligatory things to do in LA: I went to the beach, and I went to Hollywood. I posted my reaction to the beach on Instigram, but my thought is worth reiterating here: I was very surprisingly awestruck by the beach. I want to mention that this was not my first time visiting the ocean, nor was it even my first time at an ocean beach, but it was my first visit since becoming an adult (of sorts). And as if on cue, I felt like a child again. I ran from the waves, I played in the sand, I chased the birds. It was particularly magnificent. I'm looking forward to having a beach so readily available in my new home.
For the second obligatory, I made several trips to Hollywood. The first trip was early on with a friend from back home. It was cool to see a few ins and outs of the city, stuff I never would have seen without her. Additionally though, I met a group of international types at the hostel here, and have been back to Hollywood several times. It's odd to so easily make friends from around the world, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make the experience more fun. I want to sum up Hollywood like this: touristy and unremarkable. I felt obligated to go and am glad I did, but honestly, it just feels sort unnecessary.

Which brings me to my next point. While I had no intentions of visiting Las Vegas, well, ever, sometimes life throws you a curveball. I'll be going to Vegas with my buddy Joe in the morning.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Prologue Part 5: San Francisco Tourist Destinations

Saturday 2/10/13

I want to start off by talking about a few things I missed last post: there are a lot of funny road signs (including "speed hump", "trucks not advised", etc); wild parrots in addition to pigeons. SF reminds me of a like a really nice shanty-town. Not like the quality of the buildings (because they're super nice), but like how everything is arranged. It's odd, and very hilly/mountainy.

I've been in San Francisco for about 5 days now. I like it, but I'm not sure how much I'd like living here. It seems like there's always something going on. I'm sure it's more relaxing once you live here.

I figure I'll go  sequentially through the past few days:
On Thursday I went to an open mic. The place was called "Brainwash", and it was a bar/restaurant/laundromat. Quite the different experience. I got to the place about an hour before the sign-up started and there was already a decent sized line, which was the approximate order for the show. Also, women went to the front of the line to get more women in the show, and kept bumping bigger name people in front too. The long story of it is that I waited about 5ish hours to get 3 minutes of stage time. Hooray...
Will and his friend Julie (I think? I've met a lot of people) came out to see the show, and we ended up getting drinks at a nearby bar. They were both quite amused that I called it a cowboy bar since nobody there was a cowboy (but still, it was a fucking cowboy bar). I had a weird, but humorous situation there: after telling me that she wanted to spend the rest of her 25th birthday night with me, the stripper daughter of the President of the American Bar Association (who, btw, also told me that despite her lack of a law degree, she is a really great lawyer) told me I'm what's wrong with "fat America" because I didn't agree that Family Guy should be taken off the air for their offensive Downs Syndrome jokes. Ah, cowboy bars.

I spent Friday in the suburbs near Will's work. I saw Palo Alto. It was a nice little town. Will's actual school was in a different town nearby. It felt a lot like Prior Lake; sort of rural-ish with tons of new buildings going up. I finally saw the German bakery Will adores. I got coffee and pretzel early during the day, then after will was done with work we had some beers and a pretzel there. And later, they just gave me a free pretzel. If you'd have asked me how many pretzels I was gonna eat on this trip, I bet I would have said one maybe, during the entire year.
We went to to Cobb's Comedy Club that night. I really wanted to see the Coco show during Sketchfest. The show was alright, but jesus fucking christ was it pricey. $25 per ticket plus a two drink minimum? Good christ, I was completely blown away. Rory Scovel was great though, as expected. We then went to a Taqueria. Pretty good tacos, but most surprising was the fact that I saw a friend from Minneapolis. That was a nice, unexpected surprise.

I spent the day yesterday doing all the touristy stuff. Will and I went to Fisherman's Wharf, and then crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. It was nice, but again, a bit touristy.

This post is already too long, so I'm gonna stop writing...

Tl;dr version: SF has been pretty fun.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Prologue Part 4: San Francisco

It's Thursday (2/7/13) morning. It's my second full day in San Francisco. I like it. It's a bit of an expensive city, and I really wish I would have thought about that... Additionally, I didn't expect so many places to cash only. I know that it helps keep costs down to reject credit, so I definitely appreciate that. Furthermore, since SF is a Wells Fargo city, there are ample opportunities for me to get cash. Thanks for reading through the boring parts of this post to get to here; it probably won't get less boring continuing on.

I've seen a few touristy things so far, and am getting a feel for the city. I have yet to take the Golden Gate Bridge, but I went up Coit Tower with my brother Will (he's my actual brother; I am not staying in monastery) which has a great view of the city, including sites like the Bridge and Alcatraz.

I tried to go to an open mic last night. We checked out a bar that had one where I got advice from a somewhat crazy lady gave who claimed to be a comic. It was far from where we were going though. The one we ended up checking out seemed good because it was nearby and apparently a pretty great bar. Guess what: it had burned down. The outside still smelled of burnt plastic... I plan on going to one tonight though. Beyond that, I would like to see Valley Meadows on Friday and one of the shows with Rory Scovel.

The picture is SF skyline from Coit Tower. The other picture is of a flyer I saw for an open mic that looked suspiciously like the logo for Stand Up! Records. Of additional note is that my tablet doesn't recognize the word "Prologue". What an idiot.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Prologue Part 3: Planes

I'm at the airport. I ended up bringing two suitcases. Turns out it was a lot easier than I thought it was gonna be to bring everything I need.

I'm bored, so I figured I'd write something. Furthermore this it's the last time I'll be in Minnesota for more than a year. I'm past being terrified though. That was earlier today. I'm sure I'll miss it here, but for now it's the calm before the battle and I feel empty.

I just found out if my name is abbreviated just right, my middle name is Jose.

Most interesting thing that happened today: a guy with an eye-patch and a red bandana was on my plane ride from Minneapolis to Phoenix. I didn't see him plunder anything, but I'm still not 100% certain he's not a pirate. I tried to stealthily take his picture, but was unsuccessful. If you're upset I didn't brazenly take his picture, I was concerned he might make me walk the plank (do planes have planks?). Make due with the picture of what I wrote on the barf-bag.

Addendum: I've found out that my tablet isn't the best at posting my blog posts if wifi is any kind of spotty. I think I'll start dating and/or timestamping my posts from now on.