Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pre Planning Phase: Budget, Finances, Travel Stay, Location Picking


First of you need to figure out how much money you’ll need for the experience you want to have. Being honest and realistic when making your budget will be a big boon to your trip success, being prepared makes for a smoother more fun trip!

1. Figure out where, for how long, when, and in what style you want to travel:

Step One: Decide Where You Want To Go!

This is the fun part but location makes a HUGE difference on your budget. When you decide where you want to go immediately hop online and read more about your choice. Take into account the weather (you might not want to go during rainy season, bitter winter, or sweltering humid summer months), peak travel times (the weather will be the most awesome but prices can skyrocket above norm and be clogged with tourists), plane ticket prices and related forums, blogs, and websites to make sure the destinations fits your desires. Do you want to hike more, do you like museums, are you down for eating crazy food or do you have diet restrictions, are you into bare bones accommodations or would you like 5 star treatment, do you want to surf, mountain climb, horseback ride, bungee jump, are you trying to get in touch with your roots, do you want a religious experience, would you like to volunteer or have do charity work, do you want to rave and party, do you want solitude, do you have safety concerns, are you backpacking, will you be driving, biking etc.?

Here is a sample of popular destinations to begin with:

Europe: Sure, everyone wants to go to Europe. There is great natural beauty where you can ski, mountain climb, hike etc. The museums and historical element are top notch and world class dining, art, and partying abound. BUT be prepared to spend. Pretty much cut the dollar in half and that’s how much it’s worth against the Euro, it’s worth less in pounds. East Europe (Prague, Greece, Istanbul) is cheaper but you’ll miss popular West Europe Locations. Be prepared to budget around $5000 for a month vacation (this is more barebones: think hostels, eating cheap and cutting down on tours/souvenirs etc, does not include your flight). Look into places like Montreal (East Canada) for a cheaper faux Europe vacation.

Thailand/India/China/Indonesia: You can really get bang for you buck in these locations, most notably Thailand, a big time favorite amongst travelers. Food and lodging will be almost half of what you pay in the US. Food is exotic and can sprinkled with exotic spices and ingredients more outrageous than you’re used to so picky eaters might find it hard to eat. Here is the kicker for these locations: Plane ticket prices. They can truly take a bite out of budget, think $1300 for a roundtrip flight from La to Bangkok, Thailand. Also, while ticket prices may be cheaper to locations like say, India, in the summer it’s because the weather is sweltering with some of the worlds most intense humidity, be prepared to sweat all day long, if this won’t work for you you’ll have to splurge on tickets in the more comfortable time of year (our winter Nov-Feb).

Mexico/Central America: You already know how I feel, it’s cheap, fun, plane tickets are some of the cheapest and you can find a comfortable time to travel year round depending on when you want to go. (See Why Mexico? On my blog)

South America: All the charm of Europe with a Latin American flair and way cheaper prices. I studied abroad in Chile and had the time of my fucking life. I recommend it to anyone. From the gorgeous black and white sand beaches (with world class surfing) to the majestic Andes Mountains (with world class skiing and hiking) to the beautiful deserts (with world class star gazing) and breath taking wine country (with world class wineries) Chile has to be one of the best bangs for your buck. But also you’ll be close to Peru’s Macchu Pichu, Buenos Aires and Brazil. Also check out other less traveled but I’m sure brilliant places in Sur de America.

Africa: Not a lot of people do it because they fear coming back with a lion bite, starved or AIDS ridden. Get over it, yes these are all valid fears but do some Googling and you’ll find out safe travel in Africa is possible. You’ll have the most bad ass travel stories and the dose of culture so different from you own and pure natural beauty will change you. For less of a culture shock check out South Africa and Africa’s west coast is known to be safe and welcoming (Think Ghana). Hell did you forget the damn PYRAMIDS are located in Egypt? Or think about a safari in Kenya. Can you imagine the pictures you’d get from mountains and rivers in Madagascar? This would be a photographers DREAM as well as provide tons of opportunities to do aid and charity work. Don’t cross Africa off your travel list because youre afraid, really do you homework and you’ll find some safe and amazing travel options in Africa. Flights from LA to Nairobi, Kenya round trip are in the around $1000 so make sure your flight budget to Africa takes into account higher ticket prices.

Australia/New Zealand/Polynesian Islands/Japan: I lumped Japan in with these island neighbors vs. lumping it in with Thailand etc due to the very high prices you’ll encounter in traveling through Japan. Food lodging and general needs might surprise you, but Japan is a sophisticated 1st world country, don’t let this stop you from climbing Mt. Fuji or experiencing the wonder of Tokyo or it’s small beautiful islands like Okinawa (I lived there as a kid!). As for Australia and New Zealand their remote ocean locations can do a doozy on your budget in terms of air fare and once you get there you’ll find prices are the exact same if not MORE than what you’re paying the US. Still the welcoming populations and party atmosphere of Australia (surfers will love it!) and the breathtaking natural beauty of New Zealand (where Lord of the Rings was filmed!) make both super popular destinations.

The Polynesian islands are wonderful for surfers and nature lovers. If a beach vacation is your desire check out Tahiti, Tongo, Fiji and Samoa. The Polynesian Islands also include HAWAII!!! I lived in Hawaii during Highschool, I have nothing but good to say. It’s a US state so travel will be easy in terms of language, currency etc. The prices are higher than mainland US. Check out the Big Island of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui for less mainstream vacations or Molokai and Lanai if you REALLY want to feel like you’re on a remote island. Oahu is very populated and touristy but the famous North Shore and Waikiki beach are there, as are all the Lost Tours….hehe

The Good Ole US of A!:

We’ve got New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Asheville, NC, Memphis/Nashiville and much more!! Why not keep it local and do a big ass road trip? Warning: Gas prices are HIGH and you will probably end up spending the equivalent of a pricey plane ticket and then some on gas. Save money by checking out camp sites along the way or dusting off the half friends you have all over the country to crash on their couches. Don’t cross beautiful Alaska off your list and some of those really zany places in the US like the Biggest Ball of Twine (Kansas).

Step Two: Decide For How Long You Want to Travel

Will you be quitting your job? Are you confined to vacation days at work? Do you have all the time in the world? Are you planning on living somewhere new? Do you want to see LOTS of places in one trip? Are you thinking of camping out at a Buddhist Temple for a few months or do you want to surf for solid week and head home? Obviously the amount of time you want to travel severely affects your budget. If you’re getting paid while you travel and/or subletting your apartment that’s DOPE if the money will be come from a source that won’t be replenishing while you travel you’ll have to be careful about how much you spend and budget as your travel days pass. Consider working on the road to be able to stay somewhere longer but remember, getting a job overseas might be tough or impossible and can cut into your adventure time.

Step Three: Decide When You Want to Go

Do you have to travel during the holidays to maximize your vacation days? Do you want to ski and therefore will need a snowy season? Do you need to make sure surf’s up when youre there? Don’t want the rainy season to wreck your hiking time? Is there a festival, ritual or event that you want to check out? Trying to get deals on cheaper ticket prices? When you want to go to a place will require some Google work. Make sure and check the weather, natural conditions, high season and low season dates etc so you can have the experience you want.

Also, will you be needing to save up for a year to afford your Dream Europe vacation? Are you taking a short trip and can go right now? For your longer and more pricey destinations make sure you have ample time to save and plan! For shorter, less costly trips you may be able to leave sooner but you’ll still want to make sure the conditions are to your liking.

Step Four: What Style Do You Want To Travel In

Does sleeping in a Dublin castle or hitting high end museums and high fashion shopping districts sound about right? Or is sleeping in a hammock in a jungle and taking a high to the sea what you pictured? Maybe a combo of the two? Really be honest with want on the trip. Will you be paying for lots of tours or be jumping around to a lot of locations (means you’ll need extra money for trains, plans and automobiles). Think about if you’ll be running up a bar tab or know you’ll want to dine out a lot. Will you be doing lots of shopping and souvenir collecting? We all know how lodging, dining, and shopping tastes will affect your budget, get what you want out of your trip, if you want some of the finer things all you have to do is budget for it. Decide if you want to stay in one location or bounce around to a lot of different locations. It will be more work to plan but you’ll also be able to see more and get more bang out of the cost of the initial flight to whatever part of the world you choose.

ALERT!!! If you are traveling with someone else or a group you HAVE TO make sure that you’re all on the same page. It can really ruin a trip if someone was planning on cooking rice and beans in the hostel and hitting up free hikes and someone else was planning on paying to see plays and concerts and dining out at local restaurants. Compromise to be a team player or find a new travel mate that shares the vision you had for your travel dreams.

Step Five: Add It Up!

Ok it’s time to get real, now that you know where you want to go, how long you want to go, when you’d like to leave and what style you’d like to travel in you’ve got to hop online and find out how much all this is going to cost, here’s an outline to get you started

  1. Pre-Trip Expenses:
    1. Luggage and supplies: Will you be backpacking? Do you need equipment for camping, skiing, surfing, trekking? Do you need a safety wallet, pepper spray, a new coat, bathing suit or shoes?
    2. Passports/Visas/Documentation/Immunizations: New passports and renewals will run you about $60 and double that if you need to expedite it (aka you need it in less than 3 months). Get on this ASAP and put the savings in your Travel Fund. Check out the Embassy website of your destination to determine if there are immunizations or visa requirements. Take this seriously or you’re uninformed ass will get booted back home.
    3. Cell Phone Cancellation/Account Freezing: If you’re traveling for longer than a month you may need to cancel your cell phone contract, this can run you around $200 if you’re still under contact although some companies will cancel your contract for free if you say you’re moving there and they don’t offer service where you are going. Check out options to FREEZE your account for things like your gym, cell phone service, etc.
    4. Rent/Storage/Car Storage: If youre moving out of your place and not selling everything you own like I did add in the cost of storing your car and items. If you’ll still be renting your place add that in, cut down on costs by thinking about subletting!
  2. Your Initial Flight: I like using international flight search engine Vayama for checking out flight deals but definitely compare different sights. If you’ll be doing a road trip factor in the cost of gas and possibly a rental car. Don’t forget to add your luggage fee’s. If you have more than one bag this can add up and you possibly might need another bag on the way home for your sweet travel momentos.
  3. Lodging: Be smart and read reviews to find the best hostels, campsites, hotels and bed and breakfasts. Check out Couch Surfing and save money by crashing on a benevolent strangers couch. Reach out to your Facebook friends and see who has a spare room or wants to act as tour guide. You’re friends and online forums might also have great recommendations and useful warnings!
  4. Food/Beverage: Take the amount of days you’ll be traveling and multiply by your daily food needs. Listen up: Factor in the cost of drinking water!! This can really get up there if youre drinking the healthy amount and lots of people forget about this. Factor in three meals a day and snacks. If you’re a person that eats street food allow for a few nice nights out and splurges and if you’re a picky eater or have diet restrictions know that you’ll be paying more for the luxury of getting exactly what you want. Be realistic and generous here! Note: Some places offer free breakfast but I’ve found that can mean a piece of white bread and watery coffee.
  5. Tours/Entrance Fee’s/Experiences/Entertainment/Trips: Read websites of what there is to in your destination, popular tours and tourist attractions, plays, musicals, concerts and festivals during the time your going and more. Prices should be listed.
  6. Nightlife: Factor in your drinking tab, late night munchies and DON’T FORGET cab rides, they can add up.
  7. Transportation within destination: If you’re going to more than one location (recommended: to get your money’s worth but tough if you really want to get to know a place and your time/money is limited) you need to factor in travel from place to place. In places like Mexico, Central and South America travel is done mostly by bus. In Europe flights are super cheap from country to country. Factor in cab rides, and look into trains, car rentals, bike rentals etc.
  8. Customs: If you’ll be crossing borders there may be visitor fee’s, or border crossing fee’s you’ll have to pay. Usually flights into other countries include the fee in your ticket price but to be sure look online and ask your airline what you’ll need to enter each country and get back home without delays or problems.
  9. Incidentals/Emergency: You never know when you’ll need extra or emergency cash. If you’re in a crazy area you might need bribe money (This is rare, I don’t want to scare you!). Missing or changing flights and trains might require more money and you might have to stay in a hotel you weren’t planning. Also, opportunities come up you might want to take or you’ll need to buy stuff like toiletries (tampons, sunscreen, medication) or god forbid replace lost or stolen items. A smart traveler is a well prepared one!
  10. Shopping/Souvenirs: Are you going to a place like Italy or London where you’ll want to splurge on high fashion? Are you planning on getting souvenirs for all 42 of your brothers and sisters? Factor in possibly needing an extra bag to bring home your loot and the luggage charges. Make a list of people you’ll want to bring things home for or how much you want to spend.
  11. Travel and Health Insurance: This isn’t necessary but how GLAD will you be you got it if you use it? It can really put you at ease or it could be an unnecessary added expenses. If you already have health insurance and call your agent and ask if youre covered in another country. If not consider health insurance for travelers. This can come in handy if you need medical treatment overseas (although some countries have GASP free health care!). Travel insurance can come in handy for cancelled or changed flights, insure rental vehicles, passport and item theft, lost luggage and sometimes includes a little bit of health care, READ POLICES CAREFULLY!!

2. How much money I will need when I get back:

BE HONEST, lying to yourself and cutting corners isn't helping anyone. If you're financially prepared for your travel return you'll have a more relaxing time traveling. Put your Return Money into an account you can't touch until you return. I repeat DO NOT USE YOUR RETURN MONEY TO TRAVEL LONGER, you'll just screw yourself over!

Think About:

-Rent: Have at least a months rent saved, more if you'll be needing to look for a job when you get back. Will you be subletting while you're gone (this is a great idea if you're going to be gone for a month or more). If you'll be needing to rent a new place straight out you'll need deposit money, 1st and last months rent and money for necessary moving in items.

-Food, Utilities, Gas, Good times, Emergency, Bills: Don't cheat yourself here. The last thing you want is to regret your travels because your broke ass can't afford to live. Look at how much you’ve spent over the last month and have that amount or double in an account for when you get back.

3. Add up your travel expenses and how much money you will need upon return. THIS WILL be the amount you need to have saved up before you depart. If it looks not doable maybe scale back the days you want to go or just hunker down and save and have the trip you want.

Tip One: Cushion It

Add $200-$600 to your budget depending on your length of your stay, most of us will naturally under budget because of our optimistic nature. This will only help you and if you have extra cash upon your return thats a good thing!

Tip Two: Start Saving Now!

The sooner you scrape your budget together the sooner you get to travel! Every little bit helps, reach out to family and friends for ways to save or possibly even donations! Here are some savings tips:

i. Save the meals and shopping for when your in a different country: Why eat at Olive Garden when you could have the real thing in Italy? Why buy the on sale T-Shirt when you could buy a kimono in Japan? Cook at home and save for you shopping money for when youre abroad.

ii. Change your party style: Bar tabs and cab rides can add up. Have parties potlucks at home to still maintain your social life.

iii. Sell some crap on Craigslist and Ebay!: Lightening your load is always nice.

iv. Work extra hours or get a side job like catering and babysitting

v. Drive less and save on gas. Carpool, bike, walk or use public transportation (You’ll be all green too! How NOW of you)

vi. Be diligent about searching for travel deals and great flight prices

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Why Mexico?

1. It's inexpensive to travel, eat, lodge and have fun. A small amount of money will go a long way and you can do more and stay longer on a tighter budget.
2. Incredibly diverse and gorgeous nature (waterfalls, lagoons, deserts, Caribbean and Pacific beaches, jungles, snowy mountains, pine forests, canyons, rivers and more)
3. Rich history (Ruins of the Mayan, Aztec and many more civilizations, one of the most lauded archialogical museums in the world, music and art history that will blow your mind (think Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera))
4. They party till 5 AM!
5. Delicious food and and a whole other level of fine tequila and mescal
6. A fun, friendly and helpful people and culture, I felt safe my entire trip as a single American woman traveling alone
7. Mardi Gras Parties are renowned here
10. It's about time you figure out all the hub bub over the "Latin Lover"

Finally, It Begins!!

Holy Shit, I last posted on February 23rd that I'd be posting about the continuation of my trip. Welp, 4/20 is tomorrow....needless to say I was a little busy, that must have been right around my time in Lago Atitlan, you'll hear more about that. After Guatemala there was my sisters wedding in Cancun, a trip to San Diego to visit friends and a trip to Vancouver, B.C. before moving into my Aunt and Uncles big Seattle home where I now reside and write to you from. I'm going to start from the very beginning....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I saved my life by giving it up aka I quit my job and and started traveling

So I’ve been traveling through Mexico and Central American now for about 150 days, about five months now. I used to live in San Diego and now I live in the cleanest hostel I can find in whatever town I come across. Why did I do it? Well F, I was sick of my damn life, that’s why. Nine months before I crossed the Tijuana/SD border with too much luggage and my best friend I had quit one of the best jobs I had held down for two years. It was in pretty much the most laid back, coolest, funkiest offices you could work in. The kind where your boss gifts the office guitar hero to be played whenever and funds the annual Day at The Racetrack, a big boozy affair where money is no object. Even still, as manager of this dope creative design firm I was still relegated to sitting at a desk and staring at a screen for 8 precious hours a day. Now I know people at all levels and ages are hurting for jobs and I should have been grateful, that I had it so good. But I didn’t, several weeks before I quit I would have nervous breakdowns, bursting into tears while staring at the wall straight ahead wondering how much longer I could do it. I felt half alive and I could feel my dark mood affecting the people I had once taken pride in boosting up. See I had started to realize just HOW LITTLE of my life I was actually living. Here was my daily routine:

  1. Wake Up
  2. Drive to work
  3. Work
  4. Drive home
  5. Go to gym
  6. Sleep

And repeat five times a week…

My weekends consisted of spending my hard earned money on alcohol, weed, useless crap at stores, lackluster dinners out and vague mini-vacations. AKA rushed camping trips or jet sets to Vegas or San Francisco where I did the same thing I did in San Diego but in bars that had different names. More seriously, I was having back problems from sitting on my ass so much, even though I was working out daily. My doctor said even my two hours of daily workout couldn’t reverse the harmful effects of 40 hours per week spent sitting.

Health problems aside I felt like I hadn’t met anyone that inspired me lately, I had no new stories, I was watching other friends move abroad and travel and create new experiences and I just felt like I was living in the movie Groundhog Day where every day I woke up and did the same thing. I felt like I was in a life coma and it freaked me the fuck out. First order of business was quitting my job. I knew I’d never be crazy enough to leave for a big sojourn if I had the constant comfort of a regular paycheck resetting my finances every two weeks. It’s such a human emotion to be like, WHY would I quit this job, I have health care and money, oh and it’s also making me hate my freaking life every day. There’s nothing like the threat of not making rent to kick your ass into reality!

The reality was I ended up with about five jobs in nine months and a serious few months of poverty. I had to swallow my pride and borrow money from my Dad once and I had to say no to a fair share of nights out with the friends and my beloved pedicures. But here’s the deal, I’ve been traveling for five months and I have not regretted those tough nine months for a second. I’m living the dream that I had when I was freaking out and crying, shaking with sadness in my desk. It was all worth it. Shit even the process turned out to be fun as hell and prepared me the resourcefulness, ability to adapt and attention to budget that later helped me out while I was traveling. Here’s what went down in the nine months I saved money to save my life:

I became a mortgage lender:

1. My first job after quitting my desk job was working with my friend’s sister as a mortgage lender. I had no interest, or experience for that matter, in the trade but she made THOUSANDS and said I could too. I was able to work from home and on my own time. Truth was it never made as much money as I had hoped to be worth the stress. But I did learn so much from her, the closest thing I’ve had as a mentor. This brought out the assertive and confident side I’ve always wanted to discover and I learned a new trade.

I worked for the US Census:

2. As money got tight I started getting conventional with new ways to make money without just ending up back at a desk job. I worked for the US Census, one of the most fun jobs I had and paid pretty well too. I met lots of interesting people and got to work outside and on my own time walking around the neighborhood.

I worked at Comic Con:

3. I got to work for Comic Con which meant free access in the internationally acclaimed entertainment festival. I got lots of star sightings out of it!

I bartended at an outdoor concert series:

4. I took a job bartending for Wolgang Puck as part of the catering for The Summer Pops Series at the Embarcadero, this means I saw the likes of Burt Bacharach and more serenade us all under the stars ending every nights performance with fireworks over the bay. They sent us home with delicious dinners and leftovers every night (which helped during times where I’d been eating ramen noodles far too long)

I hosted at a karaoke bar:

5. I took a job hosting at the only place I’d party in the Gaslamp, Analog Bar, a super dope karaoke bar. They had me at karaoke! It was in walking distance to my house so no driving and I got to karaoke with fun crowd all night.

I started my dream of doing stand up comedy:

6..The coolest thing was I started my dream of stand up comedy!! I had all this spare time and also had inspiration from my new poverty and all my new job and people I was meeting. I was still reeling off my fearless move of quitting my job, what’s a little public speaking huh?

I scored three months free rent:

7. What really helped was the house I’d been living in got foreclosed on and law stated that my roommates and I had 3 months rent free. My and my best friend moved into one of the huge rooms together and rented out the other room. The desire to save lots of money for a trip really got out innovative juices flowing.

So after all that I sold my car and sold all of my shit (there’s nothing like watching all the usesless crap you’ve accumulated being bought for cents while youre want to kick yourself for ever buying it in the first place). I broke up with the guy I’d been dating for a bit and threw myself a KILLER bon voyage party. The thing I heard most that night?? “Oh my god I wish I could do what your doing…” How come nobody thinks they can!?! Im just a normal person that had had too much.

Here’s the deal: The year before I had lost 80 lbs and it made me feel crazy bad ass and like I could do anything in the world. Still, quitting my job was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done and the fact that I did it made everything else seem super easy. It made me feel bold, it made me fearless. It made me feel like travel in a foreign county with a friend and then alone for six months was gonna be a snap.

So here is my trip broken down so you can do it too, honestly just figuring it out yourself is the way to go but I won’t say I frantically searched blogs for answers along the way. Mostly I just hope it inspires you. If you’re about to lose your fucking shit at your job or your sitting around on your unemployment bored out of your mind or you’re a rich person with no inspiration or if you’re retired or if you want to take the wife and kids on a mind opening experience or you just broke up or you just started going out with someone or your HUMAN you need to fucking have a “walk about” you need to get out of your comfort zone and travel somewhere on the earth where you don’t know the language or culture. Travel for at least three months, more if you can because it teaches your things and more importantly it gives you perspective, a place to start making some rational decisions about what you REALLY want with your life. And it's fun and you meet people and you'll have some killer stories to bring back to your revamped life.


I just saved my life and I just figured out what I ACTUALLY want to do with my life (for now). I also learned more than I’ve learned in my 27 years to date, about life and about myself.

You can do it, you need to it, sell your shit and get out there, save your life.

Following this I will post regulary on the last five months of travel and then my remaining three weeks. EnjoyJ

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Oddness of W

Not the past president, the letter. Sure this is a thought induced by weed but it still stands true: The letter W is not a pair of U's if written correctly, it's a pair of V's. And furthermore, when every other letter in the alphabet get's it's own name, why was W just a rehashed version of some other letter, and not even the right one. It reminds me of West Virginia which is really just a direction and then some other states name. Anyway, sucks for W.....

The White Stripes Announce Break Up

The groundbreaking rock duo announced Wednesday they are splitting up and "will make no further new recordings or perform live."

Jack White and Meg White say there are a "myriad of reasons" for the breakup, but the main reason is to "preserve what is beautiful and special about the band."

Over the years, Jack White has focused attention on other projects, including the bands the Dead Weather and the Raconteurs, as well as his Nashville, Tenn.-based Third Man Records.

Famous Dungeons and Dragons Players

Dungeons and Dragons is probably the quintessential marks of a true dork, dweeb or geek. More than a pocket protector and more than horn rimmed glasses with tape connecting the middle the whimsical game represents the pride of loserdom since the 70's. But now time has afforded it ironic coolness as it has many many things once untouchable. And because of this famous D&D players have been able to come out of hiding.

And Here The Dorks Are!!
  • Bill Amend
  • Kevin J. Anderson
  • Noah Antwiler
  • Lee Arenberg
  • Stephen Colbert
  • Rivers Cuomo
  • Vin Diesel
  • Lexa Doig
  • Tim Duncan
  • Jon Favreau
  • Ethan Gilsdorf
  • Sasha Grey
  • Chris Hardwick
  • Matthew Lillard
  • Michelle Malkin
  • Marilyn Manson
  • Robert MacNaughton
  • Moby
  • Mike Myers
  • Patton Oswalt
  • Brian Posehn,
  • Zak Smith
  • Karl Urban
  • Mark Tremonti
  • Varg Vikernes
  • Gerard Way
  • Wil Wheaton
  • Robin Williams
  • Rainn Wilson

The Joy's of Beatboxing

Beatboxing can be annoying (when some asshole goes around all day attempting to beatbox but it really sounds like he's imitating a baboon who is trying to beatbox) but it can also be cool, take for instance the video below. If you don't like Dubstep (which I'm all but obsessed with) it might not be your beat box bag but at least appreciate that this is a tough electronic music to duplicate with the human mouth. A search through YouTube for more beatboxing can certainly cure some boredom! Check it out...

The Lady Men of South Mexico

I'm in the midst of a walkabout around Mexico and Central America and have been hitting up friends for any reccomendations of things to do, things to see, places to eat, bars to drink in and dancefloors to grace. Lo and behold a friend sends me an article from Turista Libre on his journey in Oaxaca where I ended up living for 2 months. His article had small mention on muxes, and although I didn't see one I was super intrigued about it, it was hard to find more info on it, even from the locals!

From Turista Libre Blog:
A sidenote on muxes ("mushes"): It's common for Zapotec parents who have no daughters to raise one of their boys as a girl in case anything ever were to happen to Mom. What's more, mothers of muxes often refer to them as their favorite sons and overall they're considered more as a third gender rather than transgender or gay. It's a cultural fluke in Mexico's notorious reputation as a macho paradise that's particular to Oaxaca. I didn't photograph any muxes because in tourist-heavy zones like this, I guessed they have to deal with enough of that.

By The Way, Turista Libre is also a super dope group that take these INSANE not to be missed trips down to TJ, they are always safe, always interesting, always boozy, and always filled with lots and lots of cool people. Check out and join their Facebook and take a break from your boring ass routine!!

The thing that could cure drug addiction is illegal

It's called ibogaine and I heard about it on an episode of Law and Order and thought it was fake. Then I looked it up. According to Wikipedia ibogaine is a "naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in a number of plants". It is illegal in many countries (most likely due to it's psychoactive nature) and used to cure addictions to all sorts of drugs in others including heroin, cocaine, meth, crack, alcohol and more. It has been very affective in aiding long term recovery in drug users including easing withdrawal symptoms, inducing "waking dream states" that ready a person to confront the recovery process and working very quickly in causing the patient to not feel the need for their drug in one day.

Oh but um, it's ILLEGAL in the US.....

The Fanning Army is Taking Over

Dakota Fanning is already the child star that probably most pops up in your head when/if the subject is broached (although you might wann stop bringing her up, she's friggin 16). But have no fear, the next in the Fanning Child Star Dynasty has arisen.

Elle Fanning, Dakota's only sister (guess the Fanning Factory ran out of "mojo") is also an actress, although she's a bit of a "silver fox" for a child actor at age 12 (Dakota rose to fame with I Am Sam at age 7).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Atoine Dodson proudly lets us know he is gay

Everyones favorite anti-rape advocate Antoine Dodson was on Tosh.O's first episode of Season Three for a little segment on his now uber-famous YouTube (I doubt you haven't seen it but if you've been on some sort of hardcore tranquilizing drug binge then WATCH IT HERE). Antoine showed up with a flat ironed head of hair, skinny jeans and a fashionable jacket. The one thing he wanted to set "straight" with Tosh.O? That he is gay. You go girl, didn't think I could love you more!

(Note: I dont actually like the show Tosh.O. His stand up is WAY more funny, the show's pretty much a ridiculous budget version of Talk Soup)

Cee Lo brings the hot all girl back up band back

I'm loving Cee Lo's sexy and talented all girl back up band in his performances on SNL

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hot Shakira Video

This song is blowing up the dancefloors in Mexico right now. Maybe you have an opinion on Shakira, if not, here's some of mine:

1. She sounds better and hotter singing in Spanish
2. She's gotten way to thin
3. She still motherfuggin hot

Do yourself a favor and check out her video LOCA. Skip ahead to 1:40 minutes a few times why don't you? It's the sexiest part of the video when she transforms from a hot roller skating hippie to a hot vampy harley hoochie, Lawd help me!!!

(Who designed those killer heels?!)

Isn't this baby creepy?

I see it on Facebook/Myspace/Every f-ing website all the time: