TACO BELL IS STILL AWESOME!

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Last night, I ate Taco Bell for the first time in maybe 3-5 years. And let me tell you that Taco Bell is still as awesome as I remember, except it’s better now. Lately, the only fast food I’ve been eating is Burger King. Anytime it’s Thursday and I get out of Improv class at 10PM and I’m starving, but don’t feel like going to Publix to get something I have to cook, I always end up at the Burger King drive-thru. Which was getting to the point that I had to stop myself and say, “No more BK!”

I’ve been dying to go to Taco Bell since they released that Naked Chicken Taco, but the bad news is that it’s already gone. Every time I drove by a TB, I would think of stopping, but then I would think to myself, Wait, will this meal even make it back to Key Biscayne without getting all sogged up and ruined? Because I usually don’t like to eat food in the car, I would rather eat it once I get home watching my recorded TV programs.

Last night I wasn’t even that hungry. I just had a weird day and felt that it was time for some TB. I arrived to an empty drive thru, with no cars in front of me and no time to read over the new, super massive menu. The voice in the box instantly asked, “What would you like,” and I replied with a long, “Uhhhhhhhhhh…,” as I quickly sifted through all the new additions to the menu.

I remember when the menu was so simple, there were some tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chalupas and a few other things. Since my last visit they’ve added a bunch of hybrid items like “quesa-ritos,” “double-dillas” and so much more.

When I was younger my order was very simple, “Three taco meal, soft, only beef and cheese and a chicken quesadilla.” Today, that would be too plain and boring, I needed to try something new, especially after 3-5 years of not visiting TB.

I decided I’d ask for three things and three things only, but what would those three things be? I first decided on a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco, only beef and cheese. Cool Ranch Doritos have forever and always been my favorite Doritos, the purple Spicy Chili comes in a close second now, but never Nacho Cheese. The taco shell wasn’t overly Cool Ranch-y, but it still had enough of that flavor that I was happy with it.

For my second item I asked for a Quesarito, not knowing exactly what it was. I went with the spicy beef. I’m pretty sure there was cheese, beef, rice, sour cream and maybe some other stuff in there. It was mighty good. I guess it was a burrito with extra cheese that was put on the plancha like a quesadilla. Whatever it was I was satisfied with it.

My third and final item was the Cheesy Stuffed Gordita (or Cheesy Stuffed Gordita Supreme), with beef and no lettuce. I’m not sure which one I got, because I first asked for the Supreme and the guy said it didn’t exist, although I did read it somewhere on that giant menu. This was also delicious, although I waited too long to eat it and the crunchiness of the taco inside the Gordita was not as crunchy as I would have liked.

Why did I choose these three items? The Doritos Locos was always on my mind from the moment I first arrived and saw they had a Cool Ranch version (I thought that was an LTO, limited time offer, #FastFoodTalk). The other two were crunch time decisions. I was panicked by the voice in the box and felt I was put on the spot and had to order before an imaginary shot clock ran out. So, I quickly looked through the menu and said whatever items caught my attention. I also didn’t want to start asking questions about each item, “Now the quesarito, what is that all about?” And have to listen to this guy’s explanations of each item.

Knowing what I know now, about the super massive menu at Taco Bell I will definitely do my research before going back. I may study the menu to be prepared for my next visit. Maybe I’ll print it out and highlight some items that I am curious about. Either way, I will definitely be visiting TB some time in the near future (I’m not waiting another 3-5 years), and when I do visit I will be prepared.

 

What are some of your favorite Taco Bell items? (tell me by commenting below, and if you think you’re too good for Taco Bell, keep that sh*t to yourself…)

DON’T WASTE YOUR $$$ ON SMELLS!

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Earlier this year, I was at my friend’s house where I learned a very valuable life lesson. They told me that whenever they run out of perfume, they just go to Sephora and get a bunch of samples before they buy anything new. Genius, right?

I always knew I could go there and spray the fragrances on the little white stick, but that doesn’t give you the true experience of wearing a smell for the whole day. You need to test drive fragrances to make sure you can handle them. Sure, it may smell great in the store on the little white stick, but will it give you a migraine after 2 hours, or will the smell blend in with the other smells of the world and not bother you. So, many questions can be answered, just by taking a few samples home.

When you first arrive at Sephora, don’t lie and say, “I’m looking for a brand new fragrance in my life,” because you will be thrown into a B.S. quiz filled with nonsense questions that will recommend smells based on: What side of the bed do you wake up on? What is your typical day? Who’s your favorite Beach Boy? (It’s like a IRL Buzzfeed quiz. You know it doesn’t mean anything, but you do it anyway).

I took this crappy quiz and learned nothing. Then I talked to the ‘fragrance specialist’ and she asked me a bunch of stupid questions, like: What’s your favorite day of the week? What kind of cereal do you hate? If you had to live on a planet, other than Earth, which planet would it be? I told her my answers: Thursday, Raisin Bran, Neptune, which didn’t seem to help at all.

Next, I found a familiar bottle of cologne which I’d had some time ago. I told her, “I use to have this one, and I liked the smell of it.” She proceeded to fill a sample of that and a few others that smelled quite like it. I brought home three small samples, all with the word ‘Blue’ in the names. I guess my favorite color’s smell is blue.

This happened a few months ago and I still have all three samples, and they are all pretty full. I don’t think I am looking to buy a new cologne, at all. I think I found my new system of having a collection of colognes from now until the end of time. I will just keep using samples and going to Sephora, every time I run out. (There are tons of Sephoras in Miami, they will never catch me!) And, it’s much easier than choosing just one smell to buy.

You all should do the same. Don’t waste money buying expensive smells from Sephora and department stores, or if you’re in Miami, there’s a place on Burt’s Road that sells them for way cheaper.

APPLES 2 ORANGES

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I don’t remember what I was watching the other day, but I do remember someone saying, “That’s like comparing Apples to Oranges.” This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this phrase being used. However, it was the first time I actually thought about it, and I realized how dumb this phrase actually is.

For those of you who don’t know, or have never heard this phrase (aka foreigners), it is used when trying to compare two things that are incomparable. For instance, if I were to ask, “What’s better? Sunglasses or Chocolate.” Someone might say, “Come on man, that’s like comparing Apples to Oranges.” But, it isn’t anything like comparing Apples to Oranges, and I’ll tell you why:

Sure, Apples and Oranges have different flavor profiles, but they still have so much in common.

For instance, they are both fruits, which grow from the ground, and they both contain seeds. That’s already three things. They are both things you eat. And they can both be enjoyed as a delicious juice. They are both sweet, and are both used as candy flavors. They are both roundish, and one is orange and one is red, which are two colors that may be mistaken for each other. They both come in a multitude of varieties. They are both sold by the pound. You get the idea.

If you want to tell someone, “Wow, that’s a weird thing to compare!” Maybe you should use an odder comparison. Maybe, something like Apples to Space Shuttles or Oranges to Laser Guns, or Bananas to Headphones, or Pears to Pencils. All of these examples make more sense, because someone could say, “Yeah, why would you compare those two things?”

So, next time you want to tell someone that they are comparing, “Apples to Oranges,” think of a stranger example. For one thing, it will probably get a laugh, but also you will seem smarter than you actually are.

Comment with some of your _____ to ______ examples below… or don’t, if you want to be a dick…

Thank you!

Is This Racist?

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I don’t know if this is a thing all over the country, or if it’s just a Miami-thing. It mainly takes place outside of small Cuban restaurants with tiny parking lots, and old medical/office buildings near Calle Ocho.

The other day, I visited a dentist office which was in one of these old medical buildings. The building only had about nine parking spots, in one of the tightest, most poorly-planned parking lots I’ve ever driven through. All of the parking spots were full when I arrived, so I waited a bit to see if any cars would leave. In only few seconds a new car showed up behind me and honked for me to get out of their way.

Of course, when that happened someone came down, got in their car, and left, in those few seconds and the dude behind me snaked my spot. It probably wasn’t some dude, it was probably a 90 year old hispanic lady, late for her appointment.

When I drove into the lot, I noticed an old Cuban man who was “guarding” the parking lot. He sat in his stool and would shoot the shit with whatever regulars and locals would come in and out of the building. I put down my window and asked where I could leave my car for just a few minutes while I quickly ran up to pick up some documents.

He asked me how long I was going to be there, a few times, like if he was trying to catch me in a lie. Once he realized I was truly just picking up some documents, he walked over to the VIP parking (probably where the buildings workers and tenants parked), unhooked the VIP chain that was blocking it and let me leave my car there.

When I came back down less than two minutes later the man undid the VIP chain once again for me to leave. He gave me multiple, very specific directions on how to get out, when all I had to do was back out, down a ramp. He made this process much more complicated than it had to be, but I made it out fine. Thanks old Cuban man!

After this experience I wondered if any other cities have these “parking attendant” security people. I’ve seen security in other places, but these old cuban men don’t really count as security. All they can do to stop any incidents is call the police on their flip phone, but any idiot on the street can do that.

After leaving the dentist building I went straight to Barnes & Noble, in Coral Gables. Where they also have a personal parking attendant, Tonto (as I call him). If you’ve ever parked behind Barnes & Noble in Coral Gables between the hours of 9AM and 5PM then you have definitely met Tonto. He’s the old man who looks like he was once an indian chief (or he used to look like that, until he cut his hair).

I think the reason he is there, working the parking lot at Barnes & Noble is because they built it on top of an ancient indian burial ground. I do not understand the point of him being there. Sure, it may scare away a few people trying to get free parking, but for the most part anyone can park there. You just have to be able to answer one simple question, “Where you going today?”

If you tell him you’re visiting Barnes & Noble or FedEx Kinkos, then guess what? You’ve won. And your prize is FREE PARKING in Coral Gables. Both stores have a front and back entrance. You can easily walk in one entrance and out the other and be on your way for hours of fun on Miracle Mile.

Also, don’t forget to get the stamp! When walking through Barnes & Noble or Fedex Kinkos you will find a stamp. Stamp your parking ticket or Tonto will be mad at you. His threat is that you will have to pay if you don’t get the stamp. But I have forgotten to get the stamp plenty of times and I’ve never had to pay.

I don’t even think he knows how much money to ask for. There is no sign that says, “Parking $_.00.” So, even if you don’t get the stamp, he will most likely let you off the hook, “This time!” (as he likes to say, but also every other time).

I also remember going to Cuban restaurants with my parents as a kid, and seeing the old Cuban parking lot guard. It was always an old man on a stool, doing crossword puzzles or some activity to let you know that he definitely wasn’t paying attention to your car. There was always a cone blocking the parking lot entrance, and after a quick stare down to make sure you were “OK,” the man would move the cone and let you park. Then he’d go back to his tall stool, and his game, not paying attention to anyone’s car. However, he would still get a dollar or a few dollars from each of the restaurant patrons.

 

If you don’t live in Miami and have seen this sort of thing, please comment below and tell me your stories. Also, what nationality are your parking attendants? Because 99% of ours are old Cuban men, I say Tonto is Native American, but I’m pretty sure he’s hispanic. He just has a nice tan from standing in a hot, sunny parking lot in Miami all day.

AMAZON IS ALWAYS WATCHING… ALWAYS!

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You know how sometimes you’ll be looking at shoes or some kind of product online on your computer during the day. Then, later that night you’ll be on Facebook or some website and see a banner ad for the exact product you were looking at earlier, telling you, “You can save 10%, but don’t wait, order now!” But you don’t do it. Then the next day you look at the website again and that night the same banner ad pops up, telling you now you can save even more. That’s called “Targeting” and “Retargeting” in Advertising.

Studying and working in advertising, I learned a few things. The main thing I learned is companies are always watching. Especially today, with all of our “Social Media” they know exactly what we want, since they own all our info and data. I’m not talking about identity stealing info (even though they probably have that too). I’m talking about them knowing Our favorite products. What posts we comment on. Our favorite movies, books and tv shows. Who are friends are. Our birthday’s. And much more stuff about our everyday life. Companies know more about you than your best friend does, and that’s pretty creepy.

The other day, Amazon, which is one of my favorite companies, went beyond creepy. Just like most of you, I buy many things from Amazon. I like them because they do tend to leave me alone (although I’ve always imagined that they were secretly watching from the sideline, waiting to use all the data they’ve been collecting at some point).

As many of you Amazon shoppers do, I tend to leave my SHOPPING CART empty, but my SAVE FOR LATER completely full at all times (waiting for any time that I have some extra money to blow on stuff I really don’t need). I also use my SAVE FOR LATER to add-on an item or two whenever I have to buy something from Amazon. I know I get FREE SHIPPING with Prime, but it feels wrong ordering just one item. SAVE FOR LATER is also great, because you can check your cart ten times in one day and you’ll get price change notifications on items in your SHOPPING CART and SAVE FOR LATER, each time.

So, what did Amazon do that was so creepy? Last week, I woke up one day and started exploring on Instagram. After the first few posts I got a “Sponsored post” from Amazon. Amazon basically showed me a scrolling wheel of images featuring all of the strange items in my SAVE FOR LATER. I scrolled through the Amazon Ad collage and saw: BB-8 droid with Force Band (which has been in my cart for months), Resident Evil 7 (which I’m waiting for a significant price drop on), PStv, Star Wars Art Book and Westworld (the original movie). All items that have been in my SAVE FOR LATER for months, and are still there today.

Does Amazon think that I’m made of money? If I was, then these items wouldn’t be in SAVE FOR LATER, they would be in my SHOPPING CART, ready to be bought and shipped. SAVE FOR LATER is for wishers, the SHOPPING CART is for closers. I’m a wisher. It’s fine to put one of those items I’m wishing for in my ads, Amazon. But to make an ad with all my items is just creepy, and also it must be expensive for you.

Maybe it was the timing, I had just woken up and started my in-bed Instagram stroll to see what’s going on with my friends. Then Amazon pulls this move on me? Now I’m thinking wait, is this real or am I still dreaming? Is this some kind of nightmare?

Oh well, at least now I don’t have to feel bad for all the times I was able to get free stuff from Amazon’s mistakes (my Wii U, No Man’s Sky…). Thank you for everything Amazon, but please go back to the way you were and stop creeping. I’ll buy those items when I’m good and ready. I don’t even know if I want all of them. Some are just there so I don’t forget they exist.

Trump or No Trump, Life is Still Pretty Neat

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I decided to make a new learning today because I know many of you are sad to see O’Bama leave today.

This morning, I turned on the Today Show expecting to see my normal everyday Matt, Savannah, Al and the whole gang, but instead it was Matt and two strangers in Washington D.C. going on about our new president. It made me angry at first, but then I began to think of a few reasons why life is still pretty neat. And here are a few of those reasons:

 

1 Mister Ed on YouTube

I was listening to the Harmontown podcast the other day, when Jeff B. Davis started talking about Mr. Ed (the black & white talking horse show). I remember watching this on Nick at Nite or somewhere as a kid. Jeff was talking about how the show introduces the idea of a talking horse, but never explains it.

I went on YouTube that night and searched for Mr. Ed and found a playlist of all the episodes. Remember in Anchorman (the first one) when Ron Burgundy said “How now brown cow,” for his warmup? That came from Mr. Ed! Next time you’re feeling sad, watch some Mr. Ed on YouTube and that will cheer you up right away. Unless you’re a big time feminist, since the show is from the 60’s.

 

2 New Star Wars Movie Every Year, Forever

Whether Trump likes it or not, Disney is giving us a new Star Wars adventure each and every year, until forever. Along with 2-3 new Marvel movies each year, and of course Pixar, Disney Animation and live action remakes. Like Drake and Future said, “What a time to be alive.”

Of course some people are whiners, and will never be happy with all these remakes and reboots. The great thing about all these Star Wars movies is that they are made by Star Wars fans. All these directors that are chosen for the next movies grew up loving Star Wars, most of them were even inspired to become directors by Star Wars. It’s like fan fiction, but they have all the real toys and resources to use.

 

3 O’Bama Gets a Break

Although I’ll miss seeing Barrack O’Bama in the White House, at least he finally gets to be retired, and play basketball with other old dudes like Shaq and Charles Barkley. He can finally catch up on everything he missed these past 8 years, like Breaking Bad, Stranger Things and even the Kung Fu Panda Trilogy (which began in 2008, when he took office).

 
It doesn’t matter who the President is, we still live in America and America is Great the way it is.

Also, if these 3 reasons don’t cheer you up maybe you should buy some Ice Cream or Nana Puddin’ from Ferdi’s Ice Cream

 

P.S. This song’s for O’Bama:

 

Addiction

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This week I realized that I had an addiction to Tetris (on my iPhone). I’ve had Tetris on my iPhone for years, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I had to play each and every day. The past few years I would play a few games every once in awhile and try to break a million points. You’d think once you finally break a million, you won’t need to play the game anymore. However, that wasn’t the case. Once I finally broke a million I quickly found out I needed to do it again.

It got to the point where anytime I had a free minute I would be playing Tetris. And that free minute would easily become 30 or more minutes. At work, watching TV, in my bed. These are all acceptable places to play iPhone games. It wasn’t until two nights ago when I was driving home from somewhere and thought, I’ve driven this road many times, I could totally play right now. I didn’t end up playing while driving, because I’m not an idiot, but just having the idea of playing Tetris while driving scared me. So, I played one last game in my bed that night before finally saying RIP to Tetris on my iPhone.

I still have Tetris on my iPad, plus the only game I have for my Pokémon Game Boy Color (which I stole from my friend’s little brother back in High School) is Tetris. This definitely isn’t the end of Tetris for me, but I will try to keep it off my iPhone for as long as I can (that can be a few months, days, I may even download it back on my phone later today).

This is how it goes with most iPhone games and me. I download a game, play it for a while until I get super addicted and then finally delete it because it’s ruining my life. Another game I had to delete was Crossy Road.

I once saw my nephew playing Crossy Road, so I decided I should download it and beat his high score. Crossy Road is just a boxy Frogger. I don’t know how these people got away with it, but they literally got frogger and drew boxes over everything, and now they have millions of dollar for it. The only difference between Crossy Road and Frogger is that you don’t have to be the one character every time. The more you play the more characters, icons and costumes you unlock.

I remember the day I got rid of Crossy Road, I was playing over and over and I kept dying with low scores. I finally died and looked up at the real world for the first time in what felt like hours, but was probably only a few minutes. When I looked up the world looked distorted and I thought, I have enough vision problems, so I instantly deleted Crossy Road.

Maybe I should have been an architect, because I love Tetris (it’s basically the same thing).

If you find yourself addicted to a game or app on your iPhone just delete it and see how much better your life will become. Ever since deleting Facebook and Facebook Messenger from my iPhone back in February I still haven’t re-downloaded them and my life is 100 times better for it.