JDate, or the only web site where my father can’t text me novels at 8:00 AM on weekdays regarding the content I publish on there


Tuesday, September 18, 2012, was a big day in my life. Not only did I run out of the peaches and chipotle cheese that I bought from H-E-B the week and a half before, which caused me to open my fourth case of Texas peanut butter for a nice afternoon garnish, but I did something I thought I would never do in my life.

I joined JDate.

The term “JDate” alone makes some cringe. It evokes the scene of Jewish mothers, sitting together at a Mah Jong game, conjuring up creative adjectives for profiles unbeknownst to their sons or daughters, setting their children up for a date filled with more awkwardness than Kris Humphries at the Kardashian family reunion.  It’s a guy that may or may not look like a mix of Seth Rogan’s body type with the social skills of Brick Tambland that is trying to make himself sound like a member of the Rat Pack, or a girl who swears she’s outdoorsy, when all she really means is she likes to watch the Real Housewives  on her apartment porch, iPad and cold drink in hand with an apartment view of the local bar scene.

So I definitely exaggerated on that last paragraph. Point is, JDate , like most dating sites we see commercials for, is intimidating, especially being that its business focus is one small demographic. While JDate can essentially be equivalent to Craigslist casuals in places like New York City, Los Angeles, and Tel Aviv, the problem arises in cities with smaller Jewish populations, where your “matches” are essentially the men/women you go out with on the weekends, with little hope of actually dating, or having an interest in dating them.

“Wait!” You say. “Why did you join JDate then, being that you live in a city with a smaller Jewish population than the amount of kids in Octomom’s household, and where most of the Jewish girls already know you from your partially witty status updates and not so romantic photos on Facebook?”

Simple. JDate allows another side of you that isn’t your Facebook. Yes, my JDate profile does resemble me in that it’s slightly sarcastic, mildly over the top, complete with conjured up rap lyrics that would make even Tupac jealous, but it is serious as well. It signifies to some women “hey, I won’t use verbs that I found from synonymous for howtomakemelookandsoundlikeaaronrodgers.com, and am a little off-base in how I come across, but also serious in being someone women would want to date and have a relationship with.”

Yes, some of the women in my small Jewish town might read it and laugh, but others may say “Hey, I never knew this side of him, maybe I’ll give him a shot”. This works both ways, when guys view girls’ profiles as well, even though many of us take one look at the photo and simply click “No.”

Even better, for some folks that aren’t exactly Shakespearean in their word diction, there’s a “flirt” option, which allows for slightly cheesy dialogue that is sure to make the opposite party crack a smile and maybe give an emoticon back. Being that I’m a paid member now, I tried this button twice on two different girls. After 4 days it has not worked, probably because A) when I flirted at the time, I had no picture, and had the term “body paint myself for UNT football games”, which probably made the girl think B) I was grossly overweight with more chins than the 2006 graduating class of Shanghai University and C) an overzealous sports fan with a hardcore alcohol addiction from August 30 (Chick Fila-A college kickoff) to February 3 (Super Bowl). Or they didn’t like a 24 year old. Either way, the flirt button is a great tool for those too scared to compose an e-mail.

What about those IT guys, whose eyes are constantly staring at a 30 computer inch monitor all day chatting with angry customers on technical support? Well never fear, you can chat real-time with people. Yes, for those in small communities, you’ll see that 95% of the JDate women online  are from New York, Maryland, or Los Angeles, but when that person from your small Jewish town gets online, it’s a great chance for you to show off your words per minute speed and make an impression on a girl who might not have viewed your profile before. I might’ve gotten in trouble on my first day on JDate, since I was IM-ing women in New York about how the Giants are a horrible football team, but regardless, this option allows those a reprieve from daily work activities and a chance to make that online connection that wouldn’t have happened if you had just been talking to Ramesh from Outsource Inc all day. And heck, one day, with the right opening IM, that woman who you’ve been eyeing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, might get back to you with a follow-up emoticon.

All in all, JDate is an adventure, which is why I signed up. One year, less than $200 (50 cents a day really) with a chance to meet a bunch of new friends, or meet the person you spend the rest of your life with. It’s a low-risk, high-reward proposition, unless you’re the type who has a penchant for screwing up dates or conveying a false online persona similar to the man described in the Brad Paisley song. Will I have these same feelings about JDate on September 18. 2013, as I’m gearing up for a Cowboys Super Bowl repeat? Stay tuned.

 

The Tired Old Comparison: Austin versus Dallas


“OMG you’re moving to Austin!!!”

 “I wish I was you, Austin is such an amazing place”

 “Finally getting out of Dallas huh”

  4 months ago, I decided to “uproot” (I say that because its not like I moved to another state) my life and move from Dallas (plano) the home I had called for 24ish years and move to the state capitol of Texas, Austin.

 Everywhere you look, Austin is on a list. “Best Places to Live” “Happiest Towns” “Best Cities for the Next Decade” “Most amount of smelly hippies in the South” “ Best cities for business” Sometimes it’s number one, sometimes its number 5. Fact of the matter is, everyone loves Austin, and that’s what drew me to move down here- the idea of “Austin” and that it’s a cool city.

 There’s something about the ability to run on a sandy lake every day. Or going biking, hiking, or constantly going to large parks and seeing 500 sports being played. It’s not just Friday and Saturday that music goes on, but every day. It’s also fascinating seeing so many people in what used to be a college town, come from all over and help to build and create an “idea”.

 I finally became an official Austin resident two weeks ago. It’s been a nice run so far, and Austin is a great city, but the idea of “Austin” has begun to fade, and I’ve missed living in Dallas. Note that I said Dallas, and not Plano. Plano sucks, and it’s a horrible city unless you’re my parents. It’s flat, full of concrete, conservative, and just boring.

 Dallas is different. Yes, it has its pretentiousness. Yes, people do dress up to go to the gym of all places. Yes, prices could be lower in Uptown, and the city does struggle to create and identity for itself.

 Dallas does have character. It has pro sports. It has great restaurants. It’s diverse. It’s a great place for a corporation, and it’s a great place for a startup. It has its quirky neighborhoods, and if you want to include the metroplex as a whole, great music. But once again, the suburbs blow .

 I decided to do my own comparison of things I like to do- Dallas vs Austin, as well as general comparisons. Feel free to critique, but this is just how I see it. I’m leaving out institutions of higher learning because I’m out of college and frankly, TCU, UNT, UTA, SMU don’t compare to UT. I’m also leaving out traffic and road comparisons because the well-manicured roads and ability of Dallas to understand how to effectively build for growth on the roads pales in comparison to the inability of Austin to understand to positive effects of light rail and to effectively curb the constant problem of traffic that persists on days other than festivals. (Wait… you’re telling me a liberal city can’t figure out an effective public transportation solution?)

 Downtown Cityscape- Dallas: Reunion Tower, Corporate buildings, Omni, AAC, Margaret Hunt Bridge. It’s mainly Reunion tower, but it really has that big city feel as you drive in from 35.  Austin: Less corporate buildings, but its has Town Lake as part of its cityscape. That in itself distinguishes it. Advantage: Push

 Nightlife: Dallas:  Uptown, Downtown, Mockingbird, Lower Greenville, Shops at Legacy, Deep Ellum, Addison. Each has their own individual feel to it. Except Shops at Legacy sucks. Austin: Dirty 6th, West 6th, Warehouse District, Fourth Street, Rainey Street, the Arboretum, Numerous concerts (yes that counts). Both cities are great for nightlife. The “fratmosphere” that encompasses some areas of Austin definitely permeates in Dallas in Uptown and Greenville. Parking downtown blows in Austin. In Dallas, it isn’t so bad, but it’d be nice to have the car to gos they do here. Is Austin cheaper than Dallas? In some places they have great specials, but its getting more to be prices of a  typical cosmopolitan city. Advantage: Push

Outdoors: Dallas: Katy Trail, White Rock, various pools in apartment complexes, some parks. A decent start, but wayyyy too much concrete. Not enough bike paths, and really the Katy Trail is just one long strip of concrete. The ample amount of pools in Uptown makes it nice to sit and drink heavily on a weekend and view the Dallas skyline, but this is an area where Dallas lacks. The new park on Woodall Rogers will be a nice touch. Austin: This is where Austin takes the cake. Town Lake> Katy Trail, numerous hike and bike paths, Greenbelt, Barton Hills, Zilker. You wont find a Dallas park at 9 am spawning with activity unless its suburban soccer leagues. There’s parks everywhere. The only problem is a lack of pickup basketball unless you join a gym. Advantage: Austin

Sports Teams: Dallas: The Rangers and Cowboys are in Arlington. Whatever. A championship parade will still be in Dallas, because Arlington is a terrible city. The Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars share the AAC. FC Dallas plays in nearby Frisco. There are a number of minor league teams in the area. NASCAR at TMS. Lone Star Park. Dallas is a great sports town. Austin: Sorry, but UT does not count as a pro team. I don’t care how much revenue they make or how good the football team is, it is not a Pro team. Neither are the Austin Toros. And the Round Rock Express, the Rangers Triple A team, actually isn’t that great, since most of the players actually bypass Triple A from Frisco (Mike Olt). Will Austin ever be a good pro sports town? Who knows, its has F1 coming in November, but even that is contentious. Advantage: Dallas

 

Diversity/People: Much is said about both cities people. “Dallas people are snobby” “Austinites are soooo laid back” “Austinites are welcoming” “Dallas is for rich people”. Yes, there are people in Dallas who are absolute snobs (West Plano, Park Cities, even some Downtown) and yes, there are some really cool people in Austin. But don’t you think a shirt that says “Don’t Dallas my Austin” is pretty snobby? Austinites think highly of themselves, and some scoff at you when you say you’re from Dallas. In fact, many new Austinites are disgruntled former Dallas residents. The reputation of Dallas may be snobby, but there are nice people all over. Check out a Saturday afternoon, by the pool and see the interesting people you meet. Check out a sporting event, where you cheer on a team along with thousands of other Dallassites. Check out a Dallassite, Mark Cuban, who saved the Greenville Avenue Parade because he understood what it meant to the partygoers of Dallas.

Austin is great, don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of young entrepreneurs who create events, organizations, and relationships that really help build Austin into not such a hippie-centric city, and one that really takes pride in the identity change it’s undergoing, from the “Slacker” move archetype, to the Southern Silicon Valley. Yes, some people say that change is bad for the city, and that Austin is losing what made it Austin. Every city undergoes a period of gentrification though, is this just the fast-tracking of the corporatization of Austin?

As stated before, Dallas is in a similar quandary. With the dearth of reality shows, and glitz and glamour, does Dallas want to position itself as Los Angeles or New York? Or is it the Dallas TV series, with larger than life cowboy personalities, and oilmen who strike it rich and move to the big city because well, who really wants to live in Midland/Odessa once you’ve made your money?

Due to my status as an Austin resident, I’m tied to the city for at least a year. Will I move back to Dallas at some point? I never thought I would, but I probably will, because it’s home. Would I like to live somewhere else before that happens? Yes, everyone should live out of their comfort zone for an extended period of time. Did I think I was going to make Austin my home for an extended period of time? Yes, although now it doesn’t seem so certain.

If you live in either of these cities just know it could be worse: You could live in Houston. 

Life’s Checklist (2012 update)


I had really thought about writing again. I couldn’t just sit through lunch watching Blake Griffin videos and tweeting, as enjoyable as those are. About a week ago, I had this weird dream of moving to Austin and starting to write again, and then realized I had this blog that I hadn’t updated consistently since a debacle with a government program in 2010. Similar to the Cowboys since 1995, the posts on this blog had declined considerably in quality since May 2010, so metaphorically, it’s time to fire Jerry Jones and bring this writing ability back.

So, as a start to my new writing adventures, I bring to light my life resolutions that I set out to do in early 2010  and an update two years later on the progress:

Visit the Marfa Lights (2012 progress: Nope)
-Visit an off-the-beaten path art museum in a city I’ve never been to (one of the coolest art museums I’ve been to is the Renwick in Washington D.C.) (2012 progress: off the beaten path bars, yes. Off the beaten path museums: No.)
-Stay in a non-American hostel (there happens to be hostels in NYC and Vegas) (2012 progress: Done)
-Meet someone from every country in the world (disputed territories included) (2012 progress: I honestly have no idea)
-Go to a momentous sporting event in DFW (Mavs NBA finals, Rangers World Series, Cowboys Super Bowl, UNT BCS Bowl/Sweet 16, FC Dallas MLS Cup) (2012 progress: who knew 2011 was going to be an epic sports year?? I’ll take a Mavs victory parade on this one- Check)
-Go to a Champions League game (2012 update: Nope)
-learn to cook at least 15 gourmet meals (current progress: half of one full meal) (2012 progress: Nope)
-Hunt and skin my own food for a meal (2012 progress: What kind of idealist was I two years ago? Nope.)
-Write a meaningful poem (2012 progress: Poem, yes. Meaningful, No.)
-Eat at all of the 100 places on the Travel Channel Chowdown Countdown (current progress: 4) (2012 progress: 11)
-Share something magnificent and non-sexual with a stranger (2012 progress: amazing what alcohol and sports can do. Check)
Tailgate at a NASCAR race (2012 progress: I am stupid for not waking up in the morning for this.)
-Learn and appreciate love like college basketball coaching legend John Wooden (2012: I must’ve been a real wanna-be romantic. NO)
-Visit the oldest synagogue in America (2012: NO)
-Share a laugh with someone in a community where laughs are in short supply (2012: Surprisingly, I accomplished this broad based goal in Peru)
-Read five books of my choosing before the end of 2010 (current progress: 1 1/2) (2012: I think I ended at 4 1/2… progress)
-Learn to say “I love you” to the people that matter most (for present and future purposes) (as corny as that sounds, it’s an important skill to have) (2012: USE THESE THREE WORDS WITH EXTREME CAUTION…. so still not accomplished)
-Visit the Grand Canyon (2012: Nope, came close though)
-Ran another marathon (I ran the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon in June 2006) (2012: longest run since 2010: 10 miles, so no)
-See all the wonders of the world (2012: Nope, and with the ever expanding list and ballooning travel costs, probably won’t happen)
-Learn to appreciate the art of playing an instrument, and learn to read music in the process (I quit playing the violin and the guitar in middle school- I regret that) (2012: what kind of drugs was I on? I became a proficient guitar hero player)
-Go to the World Cup… again (I went as a six-year old in 1994) (2012: Ask me again in 2022)
-Successfully coach a youth basketball team in another country, or a city where basketball isn’t as popular (2012: half credit)
-Write a 3000-5000 word feature on something many people will find interesting (like the features in the New Yorker) (2012: 500 word, yes)
-Have a meaningful conversation with someone I just met (2012: Networking works- YES)
-Find someone in my life who will truly make me smile (2012: I feel like this was probably related to my “love life”, revisit in the summer)
-Learn to make better first impressions (2012: this will always be my kryptonite, NO)
-Attend a game at Cowboys Stadium (this should have already been done) (2012: DONE)
-Run in a European or Middle Eastern city (2012: NOPE)
-Go skydiving (NO)
-Develop my yoga to the point where I can do a quality handstand (2012: was working on it, then said screw it and decided to weightlift, so no)
 -Learn to tell a decent, non-insulting joke (2012: Thank you scattershooting on 1310 the Ticket. Yes)
-Visit the NBA and NFL Hall of Fames (in Springfield, Ill, and Canton, Ohio, respectively) (2012: NO)
-Go to a symphony in Vienna (their orchestra is the best in the world) (2012: No.)
-Learn to value the importance of family (2012: 50% done.)
-Take at least ten of the Man vs. Food challenges (current progress: zero) (current progress 3)
-Attend a Harvard/Yale football tailgate (Nope, and not anytime soon based on what happened at the last one)
-Watch all foreign films nominated for an Oscar (current progress: 3) (same)
-Learn to truly understand issues that face me as an American (the rent is too damn high)
-Have a credit score like my father’s when I’m his age (I got 28 years to go)
-Learn at least two languages (current progress: zero) (half credit, Spanish)
-Visit a Hindu temple (does the bahai one in plano count???)
-Learn how to play cricket (NOPE)
-Go to a dangerous place (Sherlocks in Addison has some scary people there)
-Become successful to the point where I am satisfied with my life, and am able to do things that I enjoy (2012: Eh, about 20% of the way there)

Moral of the story: In my opinion, I don’t think I’ve experience a lot during these past couple of years. Obviously the accomplishment of certain goals, and progress towards others says otherwise.

I think this is a great exercise for everyone to do- set some goals- ideological, personal, financial, and travel wise- and see where you stand after 2-3 years. The progress will probably surprise you.

I’m back


I’m currently iced in. Not snowed in, like the other 90% of America, but iced in. On Super Bowl week, in Dallas nonetheless. I’m also on my fifth homemade cinnamon roll.

For those who are new to this blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Adam, and I have had some interesting experiences in 2010. I blogged about them for a bit before wasting my computer battery on other things that comprise the world wide web.

Besides graduating, and dating and getting dumped by women, and excessively drinking on various nights, I met some interesting people. I traveled to faraway places, like Las Vegas, and Austin, Texas. Yes, these are very “cultured” places. I saw the Cowboys epic failure of a season, and the Rangers first World Series appearance.

For a brief moment during the summer, when Lebron James reached his greatest point of douchebaggery with the “Decision”, and the thought of a World Series in North Texas was like the thought of me ever maturing , I was in the Peace Corps. Yes, the US government trusted me to spread diplomacy in a large country in South America we like to call Peru.

It was a great thought actually. Loved the country, loved the citizens. Peruvians are an interesting people. Peace Corps Volunteers are also an interesting species.

Ladies and gentleman, feel free to browse my previous entries to get a little bit more of a sense of who I am. Future employers, feel free to stop at this post. Future girlfriends, check out HotorNot.com for my photos. I will be updating this more frequently.

God Blessed America, and God Blessed the Dallas Cowboys,

Adam

Fiestas Patrias/I should probably update this more often


Since I finally found time over the weekend to be on the internet for more than an hour, I decided while downloading Entourage Season 7 and The League that I would update this.

A lot has happened since I last updated this blog. Here’s a little rundown before I get to the main topics of this entry.

-I, along with several volunteers went to “El Classico”, the soccer match between the two biggest rivals in Peru, Universitario (La U) and Allianza Lima, a rivalry that has extended for 100 years. The staff in the training center was quite scared of us going, because apparently one person dies every year at the game. We bought the 30 sole seats though, rather than the 12 sole general public seats, so none of us died. The game itself was terrible and featured one goal and a lot of sloppy play. The official team of all of us, except for Mario, was La U and we left feeling disappointed.

-Because I don’t test very well, I was placed in a Spanish class by myself, which I named “education especiale” (special ed) While I don’t get the social interaction I want with other volunteers, the class is basically catered towards me, and I just talk about random things every day with my language instructor, Ivan. I’ve learned words like “subprime mortgage loans” and “bailout” (no I dont have my paper with me to tell you them)

-I cooked again. More on that later

Now for the main parts of my entry. This past Wednesday and Thursday was Fiestas Partias, or the Peruvian Independence Day. It was also my host mom’s birthday, as well as my dad’s back home. I decided to have a party at my house to coincide with the massive amount of family that came up for my mom’s birthday.

Similar to July 4, Rob and I decided to make pizzas. This time, we went for a more ambitious goal and made six pizzas for everyone, which was about 20 Peruvians and 35-40 volunteers. We did not start cooking until the afternoon because my mom made 3 kilograms of ceviche, arroz con pollo, and other delicious foods. Linda came over around 930 am to help with the cooking. My eyes were fried as well from cutting 15 or so onions.

Chris, Juliane and Rob came over around 12, but others didnt show up until 1-130-2 with food and other goodies. My host dad also made buckets of chicha which is a very tasty alcoholic drink.

The party went pretty well, as the last person did not leave until 930 or so, leaving Linda and I to clean up.

The next main event over the past two weeks was Field Based Training. By the time I finally decide to post this, I will have learned where I will be living for the next 2 years.

My field based training was in the department of Lambayeque, a coastal area in the north of Peru, about 12 hours  away from Lima. My group of 11 rode on what was called a semi cama bus, where the seat reclines, and we watch shitty movies and eat halfway mediocore food.

We visited four sites in Lambayeque that currently host Peace Corps Volunteers: Zana, Cayalti, Puerto Eten, and Bolivar, Cajamarca, as well as toured the capitol city of the region, Chiclayo. Some volunteers thought they had found their perfect sites when we toured the sites (my buddy Rob for example found Ciudad Eten perfect for him). I did not and am still wondering where my perfect site is going to be.

For field based training, my group and I performed several charlas (lessons) for different groups of different ages on topics ranging from HIV to teaching kids the cup game, a game I learned in jew camp. It was good practice for what happens when we get to site, but I could have used more individual practice.

Anyway thats really all I have.

La semana pasada (the past week)


my real mother constantly emails me to post a blog entry that actually tells people what i do every day in training, rather than my opinion on things partially unrelated to the stuff that i do here in peru. for my mother’s sake and your enjoyment, here was my daily schedule this past week:

Monday June 28

7am: Wake up, take a shower, brush my teeth, put on some clothes, look at myself in the mirror, go to the bathroom, eat breakfast so that by 745-750 I’m on the road to Juliane’s house for Language training

815-1150am- Spanish class in our community

12-1pm Lunch by myself at my house

1-4 pm- Youth development sessions at the training center, a fifteen minute walk from my house. Todays lessons: Realities of Peruvian schools

4-5- my first 1-on-1 spanish tutoring session

5-9- this day happened to be the day before a holiday, so I went to La Taverna (the local coffee shop of course) with everyone. This debauchery went on until about 1 am and continued into our neighborhood.

Tuesday June 29 (festival de st peter y st pablo)

930 am- wake up, dont take a shower

945- turn on the tv- the first world cup game is on (paraguay vs japan)

1015- chris comes over, we continue to watch the world cup

1100 – jim comes over and joins us for more world cup watching- the game is now in penalty kicks

noonish- chris has to leave to join his parents for lunch, jim and I go on a run

1pm- Jim and i return from our run, my mom makes us a sweet lunch

130pm- the next world cup game comes on (spain vs portugal)- jim and I watch it in its entirety

3- bored and tired, we decide to go to chosica for some bargain hunting, and meet up with some friends (including chris)

6- jim goes back to his barrio, i go back to mine

730ish- dinner

830-930- take advantage of the free internet

10-1030- read my book “soccernomics”

11- bed time

wednesday june 30

7-1- same as monday except language training was at kyles house

1-5- training at a primary school in a neighborhood called tres de octubre

515-6- yoga

630-7-730- back to mi casa for some dinner

830-930- see how many conversations i can balance simultaneously on facebook chat

10-1030- read my book

11- bed

thursday july 1

7-1 same as wednesday

1-4ish- training at the same school except from 3-5 we play games and lead sessions with kids

430-530- spanish tutoring

6-745- myself and my group members (4 of us in total) met with our youth group (28 kids in total, ranging in age from 4-11) in a neighborhood callled huazcata. taught some english in spanish, no biggie.

8-930- dinner/spanish studying/i check ESPNDallas for news on the NBA free agent market

10-1030- soccernomics

11- bed

friday july 2

7- wake up, brush my teeth, go to the bathroom, look at myself in the mirror, put on some clothes, eat breakfast, walk to the training center

8-12- training consists of different kinds of non formal education (ex. cooking, puppet show, life lessons,  peruvian dance, etc) that we can use on youth in our community

12-1 lunch at the center

1-330- first aid training (cpr, burns, fractures, etc)

4-430- went on a run with kelsi, mario, jim, kasey, and john william

430-515- yoga

515-615- 4 corner soccer with fifteen other volunteers (for those of who went to daffron elementary and participated in PE, you know this game)

615-715- la taverna

715-9ish- dinner with the family

9-12am- the huazcaran kids go to yanacoto for some billiards and conversations with kids who think their spouses are hollywood celebrities (15 minute combie ride and one giant hill climb away)

saturday july 3

8ish- wake up, shower, breakfast

915- training center for trip to the orphanage (Andes Infantiles)

930-1230ish- hang out with kids, learn about the history and organization of the orphanage and other types of similar programs in peru

1245-230- lunch at a pizza place and world cup watching (espana-paraguay) with juliane, rob, curtis, mario, erin, beth, kim, john william, and heather

230-3- rob, curtis, heather and i go to a pizza place that actually does not serve pizza until later on to watch the rest of the game.

3- after paraguays depressing loss- rob, curtis and i go shopping at plaza vea for the pizza we are making for july 4 (yes, we celebrate that here)

5ish-830ish- kickin it with the host family (playing slime volleyball, teaching my mother how to make pizza, watching the peruvian travel channel)

9- everyone who lives within a ten minute walk comes over to my house and we venture to the discoteque in chosica. my sister decides to come out

930- we meet half of the group (18 so far) in the plaza and go to a  place called indigo for some drinks

1145- a quincenera is about to happen so we make our way to the club

1220ish- we make it to club

1230- we start dancing

130ish- the first american song comes on

2 am- the first batch of people leave

3 am- me along with some others leave

5-6am- the last batch of people leave

sunday july 4- (anniversario de estados unidos/ i love celebrating american holidays in foreign countries day)

930,1030,1045- wake up, trying to prolong my sleep

1145-12- rob comes over and we start our pizza making. rob makes the dough from scratch

1230ish- curtis and jim come over to add more conversation to the pizza making

130- first pizza is done

2 or so- my host parents turn on some music- The Police.

3- second and third pizzas are done. rob, curtis and jim stay at my place a little longer for some chifa

4- we decide it’s probably time to head over to the volunteer fourth of july party

430- there are a lot of decently made items at this party

530 or so- some volunteers decide it’s a great idea to play games in an empty swimming pool

at or around 630ish- the peruvians come. the party starts

7- with many people gone, a dance circle forms in the living room around a beer bottle for no apparent reason

1000- with dancing finished, some volunteers decide to go to the bar. i walk there too

1030- remembering i dont have money for the bar in the first place, i walk home

11- my mother has dinner prepared for me. awesome. and its chifa

1115- i have class tomorrow. bed time

Why Today Doesn’t Suck


Today, myself, Zack and Chris (two volunteers who live somewhat close to me) descended on a soccer pitch near where we all live to attempt conversation with little Peruvian kids.

During a break in their games, they started busting out their cell phones and listening to American music. Most of the music was usually what a typical preteen would listen to, but then the disturbing sound of a fourteen year old caused me to just about lose my mind.

The words/melody “oh woahh, oh woahh, oh woahhh” started playing from our little friend John Paul’s phone.

I looked at Zack and Chris, who clearly do not have the level of pop culture comprehension that I do, and said to the little Peruvian kids “Yo neccesito ensenarte bien musica”, which is in Spanglish, and translates to “I need to teach you good music.”

Why did I feel the need to say this?

Because the little Peruvian was being corrupted by the annoying American exports we refer to as Justin Bieber.

But, my friends, you ask “Why doesn’t today suck?” (FYI, if you live in the DFW area and happen to listen to Sportsradio 1310 the Ticket between the hours of 3-7, you’ll know there is a segment entitled: Why Today Doesn’t Suck”)

Because today was dia del pappa… or the Day of St Pedro and St Pablo, which is really only celebrated in the north and in Lima, but Peace Corps gives us a day off.

What did I do on this day off?

I watched four hours of futbol, including two hours of a game that rivaled a U-10 girls game for level of boring (if you don’t understand that reference it’s ok, just substitute the WNBA for it, my dad is probably the only one who has gone through a u-10 girls game) with my buddies Jim and Chris. You might say this is unproductive, but in a country that didn’t qualify for the World Cup, yet STILL throws a giant party on the plaza in its biggest city Lima everyday, it’s a common thing. Plus, it beats what was on in the States at that same time (The View, I looked this up)

Speaking of the Copa Mundial (world cup), I was finally able to watch a US game in its entirety, in HD. By the Pacific Ocean nonetheless. Here’s the view from the restaurant:

Quite possibly the best view I could get while watching a US Soccer Game, other than in South Africa

Since none of you want to read my sports rants, I’ll save my commentary on the US game, and say just that the US got outplayed. Ghana is a decent team, but I’m still going with Argentina to win it all.

On another note, I’m impressed by the amount of US/Mexican soccer fans we have in our group. By the end of the 2nd half, heading into extra time, there were fifteen of us in one restaurant, and people were actually knowledgeable.

Anyway, since I found out I can actually upload pictures pretty quickly, I’ll post a few to show you my first two weeks in Peru:

My best cristiano ronaldo impression

Ceviche- king of all peruvian dishes

Anyway, I should probably put a little more time and talk about actual events that are going on, but I haven’t showered in awhile and since I ran hard this morning/hiked up a tough hill, I should probably get the smell off me.