Friday, April 15, 2011

The Kawasaki Taxi from Hell

This happened in Japan last summer.

I arrived at Hiyoshi train station after hanging out with a some friends in the city (Read: awkwardly wandering around Shibuya eating ramen and singing terrible Karaoke). At this point, everyone else had gone home, so I decided to take a cab back to Grandpa’s.

I didn’t realize it until we reached my drop-off: The driver mumbles the price is ¥540. I pull out my wallet and, being a gaijin, only have a crisp ¥10,000 bill.

Something I didn’t know about Japanese culture: You always carry small change on you. At all times. Breaking large bills in taxi cabs is apparently a big no-no in Japan. Like streaking in public here in the States, (and Japan, I guess).

As I pull the bill out and hand it to him, he looks at me as if I’m a mentally challenged kid. “No,” he says. “It is 540 yen, please.” I apologize and said that this is all I have. He stares into my eyes (deep into my soul) and gets really angry, saying, “Do you not understand!? It is 560 yen. Why the hell are you handing me 10,000 yen? Why the hell don’t you have change? Idiot!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Café 84 and World Hunger

Though it’s built under my apartment, I rarely go to Cafe 84 anymore. Discovering the glorious Armando’s Lunch Truck basically means that there’s no point to going to that overpriced, brand-named, mediocre-quality, pile of food court crap.

But today we were filming, so I only had a couple minutes to eat. I got some generic scary-yaki fried rice and proceeded to the checkout line, whereupon I beheld this sight:

Miss Gorgeous McTrojan, getting angry over her misorder of “large” nachos instead of “medium” ones. And by ‘misorder’ I mean she ordered the wrong size by accident and by god, it was the cafeteria’s fault.

I knew where this was going. She would refuse to pay for the extra nachos and would send it back to the kitchen. To be thrown away. To fester in the hot Los Angeles sun. What a waste of a perfectly good plate of some perfectly unappetizing nachos.

But as I sat and ate my food, she walked over to the other end of my empty table, and began to furiously devour the huge plate of said nachos.

…So she didn’t send the food back! I felt so proud of her! I really just wanted to tell her, “Thank you. Thank you for taking the high road. Thank you for not needlessly throwing away food in this world where thousands of people starve to death every day. Thank you.

Of course, I didn’t say any of this. I just sat there munching on my rice and thinking about what a great blog post this would make. But when she got about a third of the way in, she stood up, stormed across the room, and dumped the rest in the trash can.

So glad I didn’t say anything.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some people just shouldn't be architects.

I don’t care which of my hipster friends complains, I like USC’s fine arts and architecture building. Perhaps this is because I spend most of my time on the other side of campus, working/taking classes at the World’s Biggest Cheese Cake Factory (I love it to death George, but come on man).

So yes, I’m fond of Watt Hall. I love its gritty, concrete, almost brutalist design, and the sleek white minimalism of its upstairs and gallery space. And as you can tell by my tumblr theme (and website), that’s my damn cup of tea.

What I don’t love, is whoever’s bright idea it was to put the male and female bathrooms on opposite ends of the U-shaped building. I hate it when buildings do that. You get your hopes up that you finally reached the promised land and then it’s like, “Denied. Wrong moving parts, bro.”

You trudged all the way over there for nothing.

I mean seriously. We finally get a 5 minute break from proposals, and I have to piss like a race horse. I desperately run to where I vaguely remember there being a sink (and by the laws of plumbing, a toilet perhaps). It says, “women.” I wheel about. Where’s the men’s???

Monday, April 11, 2011

Summer of Steak

tl;dr David masters the art of the grill.

“Pass the barbecue sauce,” said my brother. “The flavor is a little bland.”

I cut out a meaty cube my steak knife and surveyed its consistency.

“It’s the cut––it’s too thin. The grill dries it up too quickly. Last time I’m buying carne asada.” Jonathan nodded in agreement, carefully shaking the sauce bottle. Unfortunately, it was a failed effort; the entire contents of the bottle emptied itself onto his plate in a big, gloopy puddle.

“Well,” he grinned. “Still an improvement.”

It was summer vacation and in preparation for apartment living, I had spent every weekend perfecting my steak-grilling technique. Beginning with a couple trips to the local grocer to select a cut––rib-eye one week and tri-tip the next––I then experimented with marinades and temperatures on our backyard grill. I was the cook and my brother was the taster and critic.

Took me long enough.

Finally got to around to deleting my hideous wordpress of an excuse for a blog. I don’t know why I just linked to a…deleted blog.

Anyways, whereas most blog are where people rant about their feelings, I want mine to be different: I am going to rant about my feelings with pictures!

And most importantly:

Stories. Everyone loves stories.

PostScript: Due to good blogging practice, I won’t be making this blog public until I have at least five entries. Which means that if you’re reading this, you’ve been reading long enough to have found me interesting, and we can be friends. High-five to that, friend-o!