Preparing to jump from a plane

This weekend for my bachelor party my buddies decided to take me skydiving. It was absolutely amazing, but it would have been good to know the night before so I could have drunk just a little less.
For those of you who haven't been, I highly recommend it. I've never done anything remotely like it, and after the first couple terrifying seconds it might be one of the coolest things I've ever done. Oh and statistically it's way safer than driving a motorcycle.



Okay, so I wasn't actually flying the plane, I was sitting in the backseat. But I do look pretty slick with the headset on. It seems that a ton of people I know are getting into flying. After going up with aaron, I'm beginning to understand why, between the amazing views and sense of freedom it's easy to see why you'd want to do this all the time. it's just a shame it's so expensive and time intensive to learn

view from the typewriter

Atop the Vittorio Emanuele II monument ( AKA the "typewriter") , in addition to a great bar, they've added an elevator so that you can now go all the way up to the top for one of the best views in all of rome. The only competing views are the cupola of San Pietro, and the Gianicolo, but really, this view is tough to beat


Garbage plate

Ahh the glory that is the Nick Tahou's garbage plate. Now renamed by one of his offspring since his passing, the place still offers atery clogging goodness one styrofoam container at a time. I usually go for the hamburger plate and add a whitehot on the side, but it's basically tough to go wrong with anything off the menu here.


Bloggin by phone!

So you may have noticed that these days all my blog psots are pictures from my phone. Basically, I've gotten super lazy, and also realized that I don't have that much interesting stuf to share outside of pictures :) So, I will continue to blog by phone and leave the occasional textual tidbit when I get around to it.



A Dirty Dinner in D-troit

So as you can see I did something dirty tonight. I ate me a ton of White Castle.

My plane landed at 22:30 EDT in beautiful Detroit, and I hadn't eaten since lunch so I was famished, luckily my cab driver was hungry too, so at my brilliant suggestion we hit the white castle drive through. My Detroit evening spent eating White Castle drinking room service beer and watching American gladiators on ESPN classic. God Bless America.


Lobster shack

a decadent lunch of lobster rolls, cheese fries,fried shrimp and beer

Whose barn, what barn, my barn

Mexico city is not without it's pitfalls. There's traveler's stomach, kidnappings, and as I now know from the 13th morning, earthquakes. For the first time in my life I regreted getting upgraded to a high floor with a view. All in all thursday night/Friday morning's earthquake 'shook me up' a little. Despite being a california resident for a number of years, I've managed to dodge any serious tremors and at most just gotten a little annoyed from the shaking. However, at about 01.30 on the mroning of friday the 13th I got me a little bit of a scare. I woke with the feeling of being shaken and found, no it wasn't my lady love waking me up for snoring, but the entire building shaking at jerry lee lewis proportions (get the title yet?). Wasn't a serious quake, but let me tell you when you're on one of the top floors of a building on rollers or hydraulics you get enough movin to shake up the minibar and knock the water from the desk on to the floor ( damn those glass voss bottles, and damn the stone tile floors!). This was the first time I was actually scared enough to jump into a doorway in case of ceiling collapse, and I woke up for every aftershock. Despite the shakin, I still had to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at the office at 8am, btw that means I woke up at 5am regular (PDT) time. Suffice to say next time I'll take the room without the view.


Musings on Mexico City

I've been going back and forth to Mexico city for about a month or so now and a few things have really jumped out at me. First off, I can't handle the water, period. I've gotten sick 2 out of the four weeks I was there. Once from drinking horchata with ice (I know, super dumb) and once from either a green salad, or a fish taco that turned out to be a ceviche taco. So thanks to my culinary escapades, and Moctezuma's brutal revenge, I have bought cipro there twice and let me tell ya it's expensive there. The pharmacies don't take my insurance, and it's been between $18-$30 depending on where I wet to get it and if I bought a 7 day or an 8 day course.

The second big thing that I've noticed is that in Mexico city the media images of beauty are completely different from how the average person looks. This isn't a difference in degree, this is a difference in ethnicity. Most of the people you see have the more indigenous look, and are a little shorter with darker skin and darker hair. All of the women in ads are tall, fair skinned, and much more European looking. I was really surprised about this, and I guess that this isn't a new thing for Mexico, but it must be tough being told that the standard of beauty is unattainable because of your ethnicity.

And finally the driving in mexico city. I've seen some interesting traffic in my travels, from high speeds on the freeways in germany and the south of france, to the ridiculousness of naples, bombay, and now mexico city. Mexico driving is somewhere between naples and bombay. People pay little or no attention to lights, stop signs and lanes, but they're also not as agressive as the neapolitans. This isn't to say that the mexican drivers are without the latin machismo, it's just that they're more civil than their neapolitan counterparts. The indians in mumbai are nicer, but the roads are more chaotic with all the rickshaw cabs buses, and occasional overloaded tempo. Hopping in a cab there is definitely an experiance and there are all sorts of little things to get used to. There are the little things like, one way streets just dictate the direction your car should face, not the direction of travel. and on busy streets if someone misses a turn they have no compunction about reversing till they get back to where they wanted to be. All in all, I'm really glad I take cabs when I'm down there, cause a rental car would be pretty high up on the list of bad ideas.


Dream Living Spaces

I've been thinking about the kind of spaces I'd like to have in my home andall this living in hotels these past couple years has given me some strong opinions. I'm gonna eschew pictures and try and verbally craft the looks I'm shooting for. Granted this is beyond the realm of what I'll ever be able to afford, but hey a man's gotta dream. Not specified on a room by room basis, but of course the house would be completely wired for terminals, video, and sound
  • Formal livingroom- dark woods, rich persian carpets in burgandies , black leather and chrome (think Le Corbousier, Mies van der Rohe, Breuer) , rosewood accent pieces, and some traditional japanese woodcuts, chinese style landscapes, and indian miniatures, this is where the asian antiques, masks, and textile hangings would go (hmm, sounds a lot like my parents living room)
  • Daily lounge space - a lot more pop with light colored woods, primary colors, asymmetric, and amorphous seating like a noguchi sofa, softseating, etc. a few eams pieces of bent plywood would also be pretty cool. Ideally it'd be, multileveled, and the walls and floors would have to be very bright, but I'm not against exposed brick, and the space while very open could be divided with screens or hanging textile slats. The wall art could be decals or bright poppy art ala Lichtenstein, Mondrian, Warhol, and a hanging calder couldn't hurt, but I'd probably rotate the artwork every 6 months. This space would be a good open multipurpose area with (of course) a bar/breakfast counter with chimay on tap, a nice espresso machine, a pannino press, and a small sink
  • Kitchen's gotta have an island an a lot of burners, I'm a big fan of all stainless steel appliances, but hey if everything's functional and positioned well it doesn't make a difference. It'd also be nice to have a ton of accessible storage
  • Bedroom- just a place to sleep with a decent sized closet and a big comfy bed, nothin fancy
  • Master Bathroom- doesn't need a tub, but one of those big open style showers with multiple heads would be sweet, of course a seperate room for the can is a must, oh and behind the mirror should be a flatscreen where I can pull up my morning news
  • Garden/Patio/Terrace- think roman villa, cypress and or palms(maybe potted), but home to a mix of tropical and mediterranean plants, a large eating space, and of course a hammock and a jacuzzi
  • Office/work area- bright, lots of natural light, an aeron or equally comfortable chair, plenty of physical file storage, and a lot of workspace so at least a few people could work at once
Now I just need to find a place where the designs are actually within reach, or rob a few museum collections. Till then I'll just salivate over the stuff at DWR, 2Modern, Mocoloco, elsewares, and countless other cool pricey stores. I can't wait till target starts ripping this stuff off

View from the mexico city hotel

Delayed pig year post


On the road again

Once more into the breech, yes I'm traveling for work again. This time it's a lot easier since it's on this continent I get to come back for weekends, but traveling to Mexico City is not without digestive pitfalls, and unfortunately cipro came into play as Moctezuma exacted his revenge. On the plus side I did have some amazing meals when I was down there. The biggest standouts were two different sets of duck tacos. At Izote ,a contemporary Mexican fusion restaurant in Polanco on the Mexico City equivalent of Rodeo Dr, I had these super rich duck mole tacos. The mole was sweet and heavy, and the duck was juicy and tender. The food was great, but the experience was fantastic since he restaurant had the kind of service you can only get in developing nations. Every 2 minutes or so the corn tortillas would be replaced with a new piping hot set whether I had eaten any or not. There was also someone basically just hovering outside of eyesight in case we should want anything.

The second great set of duck tacos were at a lunch place near the old tibco office in reforma area. They were duck carnitas with a healthy amount of chopped onion and cilantro. I was a little surprised with both since I don't consider duck to be traditionally Mexican food, but both meals were the kind of delicious where you can't help but thinking about it the day after.


Berman does Vegas

Moblog to change

Well it seems that my usage of textamerica's moblog service is about to come to an end, so those periodically changing pictures on the right hand side of the page will be going the way of the dinosaur and I'll have to look for a new host. If you can recommend a new service, please leave a comment.


Seeq Pod

By no means new, but seeqpod is where I've been getting my internet music from lately, because it's also a good way to download some music the old fashioned way, by having someone else scour the internet for you to find a directory with no index file so you can just pick and choose the music. In short I now have a couple of those Ambulance Ltd, and Hot Chip songs I was looking for. Gotta love the Web, part deux.

Every day I wake to the same song

So it's kinda sick, but lately when I wake up I've had the NIN song "Every day is exactly the same" running through my head. It's kinda funny because it doesn't relate to my life at all, but I guess that's kinda what drives me out of bed, the opportunity to keep my life as far away from the purgatory described in the song. It forces me to keep my master plan moving forward ( for autotheism to work I have to truly believe that I work in mysterious ways but it's all part of the master plan). I thought this would be a good way to start blogging again, since lately I've been spending a lot of time yelping . Despite all the comments about Yelp being a group of oversexed over rich dot-com kids engaging in pseudo intellectual cullinary masturbation, it's actually a great group of people and a good way of figuring out where to go for food. You just have to sift through the slurry for the gems.