Thursday, September 29, 2011


A Wee Little Update

So here's the latest, in no particular order.

I. In Which I Get My Wallet Stolen in Paris
To the people who I asked to guard my backpack for a split second at the tapas restaurant: FUCK YOU! I mean stealing my wallet out of my backpack was one thing, but what really takes the cake is the fact that most of you (everyone except the actual thief presumably) sat there and watched me freak out, empty my backpack on the sidewalk, and suffer the emotional roller coaster that accompanies getting your wallet stolen in a foreign country. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart: FUCK YOU. Seeing as how you failed to extract any money from my debit card, and failed to check out a city bike of Paris using my account (though I have evidence that you tried to do both), I hope you found the 40 euros you walked away a satisfying prize. Yeah, that purse was well worth the risk. For a final time: FUCK YOU!

II. In Which I Won't Be Attending Business School This Fall
The story here is short: I wasn't granted in-state tuition. I can't afford out of state tuition. I guess I'll have to wait until next fall. Awh bugger. 

III. In Which Not Everything Sucks
You know what sucks? Not going to business school this Fall. You know what sucks more? Getting my wallet stolen in Paris. You know what does not suck, however? Getting a contract for the 2012 season in my e-mail inbox this morning.

IV. In Which I've Been Graduated For FIVE FRICKIN' YEARS!
Cripes -- it's been five years! Yes, five years ago this summer, I walked down that fancy carpet, shook hands with the man in the gown, and accepted a piece of paper in a leather case that says I finished college. You can pretty much read my blog from cover to cover to see what happened next. This weekend, I return to my academic stomping grounds to re-live my college days. I plan on drinking cheap beer, playing some frisbee, and listening to some coffeehouse rock! I also fully expect to be surprised by who's gotten married/had kids/gotten fat, to get propositioned for donations by the school's administration, and to repeatedly learn about how much more money my classmates make than I do (or how much more in debt they are after getting their PhD's). Honestly, it should be a rollicking good time. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The City Bikes of Paris

Please allow me to share with you the wonderful city bikes of Paris. The city bikes of Paris are how I chose to explore this grand city, and I found them cheaper, easier, and better than any other mode of public  transportation I've found. Here's a station of bikes waiting to be checked out:
Every bike station comes with a kiosk that has the computer interface from which you check out the bike, as well as a map which shows nearby stations. The stations were everywhere in downtown paris, and I rarely had to walk more than three or four blocks before finding a station. I could reliably grab a bike, zip across Paris without knowing where I was going, and count on finding a bike station with a few blocks if I found something cool I wanted to explore. Here's the kiosk: 
The purple dots on the map indicate other stations. Look how many!

The program was pretty cheap. It cost seven euro to get a week-long pass, and any trip that was under half an hour was free. If you checked out a bike for more than half an hour (like I would when I'd get lost), they charge you a euro each half-hour. Thus, a trip of 90 minutes cost 2 euro. Not bad, considering that one ride on the subway cost almost that much. Here's a view of the cockpit of one of Paris' finest steeds: 

The bike comes with everything you need: a 3-speed transmission (plenty for the gentle hills of Paris), a handy basket, a bell to warn pedestrians that you're riding the wrong direction down that one-way street, a handy basket, and instructions for how to safely pass a bus. Naturally, I put the adjustable seatpost to the upper limit. 

The bikes mount into their docking station through a very well-designed metal slot thingie. The bikes were pretty heavy, but most of the time getting them in or out of the docking station wasn't hard. 
The red-light indicates that this bike isn't ready to be checked out. 

The system wasn't perfect; there were a few down sides to the city bikes of Paris, the biggest being that sometimes a station was simply out of bikes when you wanted one, or totally full of bikes when you wanted to drop one off, forcing you to look on the map for the next closest station and keep searching. Another threat was checking out a bike and realizing, after you'd punched in your code and chosen your bike, that the thing was missing a crank arm. It didn't take me long before I got in the habit of performing a quick inspection on my potential steed: do the tires have air? check. Does it have both cranks? Check. Are the fenders not all fucked up and rubbing on the tires? Check. Let's go! Here's a video where I try to show the magic and charm of riding my bike through the streets of Paris...when a Mercedes sedan cuts me off and I have to slam on the brakes (one-handed), and hop off my bike without dropping my phone. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eating Like a PRO

So I was cleaning out the drafts folder of my Blogger account, and found this gem from back in 2008. Not sure how this never made it out, but enjoy this blast from past:

Have you ever found yourself so goddam broke you don't have a goddam dime with which to purchase tasty food, but simultaneously are in possession of thousands (upon thousands upon thousands) of calories worth of Hammer Nutrition products? ME TOO! With these handy Hammer Nutrition product recipes, you'll eat like a king all year! All you need are a few additional staple items, a full range of Hammer products, and perhaps an open mind regarding what constitutes a "meal." Without further ado:

Hammer Product Cookbook
So starving athletes don't actually starve!
Get's A THUMBS UP From The Hagens Berman CYCLING TEAM

Perpetuem Pancakes

1 cup Hammer Perpetuem
1 cup cake flour (optional)
1 egg (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
1 teaspoon (two gel caps worth) Endurolytes

Mix available ingredients. Add water and stir until consistency is that of pancake batter. Pour batter onto skillet and cook. [note: Perpetuem has a fairly low burning temperature -- keep a close eye to avoid burning!]. Serve with generous dollop of Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Hammer Gel Triple-Decker Sandwich

3 slices bread (or hot dog buns if that's all you have)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)
2 tablespoons (or 2 individual packets) of Montana Huckleberry Hammer Gel

Apply thin later of peanut butter to two separate slices of bread, and set aside, butter side up. Take third slice of bread and apply thin coat of Huckleberry Hammer Gel to one side. Marry gel coated bread with one slice of butter coated bread, as though you were making a normal (lame) PB&J sandwich. Then -- now follow me closely here -- apply Hammer Gel to the outside of the completed sandwich, making sure to apply the gel to the piece of bread which was gel coated in the first place. Finish the sandwich by placing the second butter coated bread on top of the gel coated sandwich. When you're finished you should have a sandwich where the inner piece of bread is coated on both sides with Hammer Gel, and the outer two pieces of bread remain protected from getting soggy by their layers of hydrophobic peanut oil. Let this sucker sit for an hour (or a few days) before eating -- the inner piece of bread will become fully saturated with gel, thus minimizing on the mess (Hammer Gel is runny stuff), and making the whole thing take on jelly doughnut-like qualities. Yum.


1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons Espresso Hammer Gel

Fill a water bottle with water and Espresso gel, and secure cap. Shake vigorously until frothy. Sip snootily on sidewalk.

Pasta a la Last Resort

Plain Hammer Gel

I'm not proud of this one. This is for when you're truly truly up shit creek without a paddle. Boil pasta and drain. Add hammer gel. Season with Endurolytes. "Enjoy."

Nope, Nothing Good Here...