Posted on: May 11, 2015
gettin Swoll outside the at&t store pic.twitter.com/3rNI7uT25e— Brian Elder (@bElderZone) May 11, 2015
This is Salsa and Beer, a rad place for cool dudes to eat.
Consuming the food here is a kind of legendary experience. The sort of thing you might tell your grandchildren about if you never fought in a war or didn't get laid very often.
After downing a chipotle chicken quesadilla, you could probably tell your friends that you lost your virginity and no one would argue.
See this burrito? This bad boy will put hair on your chest and on several other places nobody ever wanted to have hair.
Don't like it? Too bad, the burritos are mandatory.
Posted on: May 11, 2015
gettin Swoll outside the at&t store pic.twitter.com/3rNI7uT25e— Brian Elder (@bElderZone) May 11, 2015
Posted on: August 28, 2014
Come see me LIVE at the world famous Comedy Store on Saturday, August 30th! Bring your friends, bring everyone!
Posted on: August 1, 2014
By about the sixth day of the world's worst tropical dream vacation, I was starving, hadn't slept or bathed since we'd left port, had permanently lost a small part of my dignity, and every inch my body was either sunburnt or covered in a fine film of sea salt. The novelty of sailing in the Carribean had worn off within the first 48 hours and the unrelenting presence of the three weird old dudes with whom I'd embarked on this journey was causing me to wonder how difficult it might be to stage an "accident" at sea. Perhaps even three "accidents".
The only thing stemming my homicidal urges was one of the few genuinely redeeming qualities of the trip - being able to see what the night sky looked like when there wasn't a single light on for 500 miles in every direction. A truly, unsarcastically, humbling and life-changing experience. One that was usually accompanied by the sound of Captain John's sleep farts wafting up through the rear hatch. I was ready to be off of that boat. Immediately.
Fortunately, we expected to reach Trinidad by the following morning and it seemed that at last the long nightmare was coming to an end. More imporantly, John was cooking up a frozen lasagna that he had been telling us about all week. It was to be our last-night celebration after enduring nearly a week aboard the boat of the damned. Appropriately, it was taking hours to cook because - shocker - the oven was a busted piece of shit just like everything else on that boat.
The smell was toturous. I was so, so unbelieveably hungry and just could not wait any longer. Of course, all throughout this period of endless anticipation I am picturing a lasagna with noodles, meat, cheese, red sauce, and so forth. A Real Lasagna made the way the good lord intended. When the moment of truth finally arrived, my bowels were aching with anticipation. The time was now. I had earned this. Come to me.
Moments later, John handed the first slice up through the galley hatch. It took a full ten seconds for my brain to process what I was seeing: a Spinach. Fucking. Lasagna. In an instant I had experienced all five phases of grief. I was gutted. Mortally wounded. My brain flashed to a scene from Planet of the Apes - "You maniac! What have you done!?" I took the plate from John, hands trembling just ever so slightly. The aroma had betrayed me. I did not know it was possible for a smell to change colors, but now all I could see were green cartoon stink lines. A smelly, nasty middle finger from the universe. John was a sadistic mother fucker.
I tried to choke down the vile concotion out of shear hunger and desperation and denial, but only managed about a quarter of it before surrendering. I spent the remainder of our final night on the boat dry-heaving over the side of the rear deck while being serenaded by sleep farts. Eventually I drifted off into a tortured slumber, the odor still hanging heavy in the air.
I awoke early the next morning broken, bleary-eyed, and just barely able to make out the thin strip of land looming on the horizon. It was over. "Prepare the sacrificial altar, we must celebrate!" Everything was going to be fine from then on out, right? Right?? Hold me and tell me so. Lie to me, baby.
It took us a number of hours to actually arrive in Trinidad. Most of the day, in fact. On our way there we were waylaid by three men in a small boat who were almost certainly Venezuelan pirates (seriously). Saul bravely tried to save us by using his pointer finger to pretend he had a gun in his pocket (seriously). Apparently it actually worked since they left us alone shortly thereafter. Brave is the man who enters into a firefight with the mighty Saul.
By the time we'd arrived at the island it was too late to check in with customs and immigration, so we anchored in the nearby Scottland Bay. At one point, John asked if I'd be swilling to swim to shore so that we could tie a rope to a tree on the beach if the need arose. I was willing to take any excuse to get off of the boat by then so I agreed. Later that night, we were all standing on deck looking out at the bay when suddenly a massive dorsal fin broke the surface of the water, thrashed around violently for a few seconds, then disappeared back into the darkness. "Whoa! Good thing you didn't get in the water before, huh?!" Haha, yeah! Imagine if that single, seemingly minor decision had resulted in my terrifying and agonizing death? Hilarious!
The next morning we went to check in with the customs office in Port of Spain and I was able to set foot on solid ground for the first time in nearly a week. We lied about arriving the day before due to the fact that what we did was apparently highly illegal! There was an iguana swimming in the shallow waters just outside of the office and, let me tell ya, that was pretty neat. We passed by a guy who had Spongebob Squarepants crudely painted on the side of his boat and then went and had beer and cheeseburgers. I was at peace. I was ready to be with Jesus.
The last five days of the trip consisted of me palling around with three completely out-of-touch old white guys on an island filled entirely with black, hispanic, and Indian people. My favorite game to play during this time was "pretend I don't know these guys while they ogle and make inappropriate comments about 14 year old black girls." There were no winners in that game.
At one point, Saul and I took a ferry to a city called San Fernando. A taxi driver told us it was a good place for tourists to visit. I'm pretty sure he just wanted to have a good chuckle over two white idiot Americans getting shanked in a straight-up slum. I swear I saw a pack of pregnant dogs hunt down and eat an old man. We were the only white people there and everywhere we went we were glared at menacingly. Ultimately, we got off the ferry, walked about three or four blocks, shit our pants, turned around, went back to the ferry station, and sat there for two hours waiting for the next boat to arrive. What a fun excursion!
All in all I can't really complain too much about that part of the trip. Aside from the staggering inequality, occasional abject poverty, and having to hang out with senior citizens (and no cheese anywhere on that damn island), Trinidad itself was actually pretty fun and interesting. Saul hunted for bargains, we ate some shockingly good pizza, and Marty finally started to shut the hell up. Saul and I went to see The Watchmen in an adorable and slightly creepy May-December man-date. We also got to spend a lot of time riding in "maxi-taxis" - an experience which consisted of crazy men driving around in vans with pimped out interiors tear-assing around the back roads of Trinidad. The local children liked to jump out in the middle of the road and pretend to throw rocks at any tourists dumb enough to have the windows rolled down.
Those five days flew by and, before I knew it, the dream had come to an end. On the plane ride home I got to sit next to three twenty-something girls who were talking about their amazing, fun, toilet-having spring break in Miami. We got back to JFK and I spent 40 minutes waiting for my bag to come down the conveyor. Eventually, I noticed that it had been quarantined or some other such horseshit off to the side. The fat-'n-sassy TSA lady told me that I couldn't take the bag because the name on the tag didn't exactly match the name on my ID, to which I responsded "THIS IS MINE I'M TAKING IT GOODBYE." Then I walked out without being tackled by homeland security. To this day, my proudest moment.Tweet
Posted on: July 11, 2014
Have you ever tried to pee over the side of a moving sailboat tilted at a roughly 30° angle in the middle of the ocean? If not, Saul will gladly tell you how its done: "Put one hand on the boat, and one hand on your pee-pee! One hand on the boat, and one hand on your pee-pee!" Easier said than done, my friend.
Trying to release your bladder while holding on for dear life with the boat violently rocking up and down is a complicated process. Your mind is saying "Pee!" while your body is saying "NOPE. WE ARE GONNA DIE. WE AIN'T GOT TIME FOR THAT!" The most exciting part is looking out at the vast, unforgiving ocean and knowing that if you lose your grip for even one second you are definitely going to fall in and never be seen again. Is it better to die of dehydration or be eaten by a shark? Tough call.
Going number two was the real star of the show, though. With the toilet clogged, our only option was to poop in plastic bags, then tie them up and put them in a small bucket with the rest of the poops. Every time you lifted the lid of that bucket you took your life in your hands. The whole process was surreal. We've all had to clean up after a dog at some point in our lives. Do you have any idea what it does to the psyche of a man when there's a human-sized shit in that baggie? Irreparable damage. Espcially when all the while there is a functioning toilet ten fucking feet away.
Luckily, pooping wasn't a frequent concern as I spent the duration of our time at sea on the verge of starvation. We had gone to what passes for a grocery store in the Carribean prior to our trip and somehow managed to fill up two whole shopping carts with almost no actual food. The culinary offerings on the boat included leftover rice and beans from two weeks before we'd arrived, tiny moldy apples, lukewarm water out of a milk jug, and oatmeal made with soy milk. At times in my life I've wondered what rhinoceros semen tastes like and now I know. It tastes like oatmeal made with soy milk.
Once every couple of days I was treated to the delicacy that was peanut butter and jelly on pita bread. I savored those moments. They briefly made me forget that I was sunburnt, starving, filthy, and cranky. Granted, they were usually only given to me during times when John was forcing me to steer the boat for 6 or 8 hours at a time. Don't know how to steer a sailboat? Ehh I wouldn't worry about it, it's not that hard. Hope we don't end up way off course and totally screwed! Awesome.
Sleeping was another fun adventure. Because of the tilt of the boat, it was impossible to sleep on any of the bunks. In fact, it was basically impossible to sleep at all. The only location on the boat where it was even theoretically possible was on a hard, flat bench in the galley. There, you could wedge yourself in between the bench and the wall and pray for a slumber that would never come.
That's because roughly every 15 minutes the boat would run into a huge wave. The entire vessel would heave upwards and then drop suddenly, leaving you dangling in mid-air in a no-bullshit Wile E. Coyote type fashion. While making your descent back to earth, the boat was already on its way back up to meet you in the middle and firmly smash you right in your Stupid. Fucking. Face. And each time you were confronted with all of the decisions you had made in your life leading up to that point.
As an added bonus, there was a glowing LED control panel for the onboard stereo directly above that one bench. You see, we had to sleep in shifts so that we could take turns watching out for other boats crossing our path. My crusty compatriots would play music all night to help keep themselves awake, so that stereo was rocking until dawn. The control panel was so bright you could see it with your eyes closed. In fact, I firmly believe that closing your eyes actually made it even brighter. No biggie, really. Why sleep at all when instead you could spend your evenings engaging in such activities as "freezing to death in the frigid salt spray" or "staring into the cold, hard void for endless hours at a time"? Illuminating.
Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion of this trying tale!Tweet
Posted on: June 26, 2014
The year was 2009. The world economy lay at the bottom of a ravine splattered against the sand. After having been laid off from my stockroom gig at Old Navy (due to political differences), I was spending an awful lot of time staring at the walls of my chilhood bedroom. The degree in photogrpahy that I had so proudly earned just six months prior was starting to lose a little bit of its luster.
"Well, I'm fucked."
I found myself saying that a lot. I was kind of kidding, but only kind of. Things were looking pretty grim. Living at home with your parents during a Long Island winter should be part of the NAVY seal training program. That'll harden a man. I had no money in the bank and big bills looming on the horizon. I was in desparate need of a job or a deeply catharthic experience, but mainly a job. One that paid its employees in real, human money. Unfortunately, the fates decided I was going to have to settle for catharsis.
The phone rang one evening and my older sister was on the line. "Hey, how'd you like to go on an all-expense-paid sailing trip from the Virgin Islands to Trinidad and Tobago?!" All I could muster in response was "You'd better not be fucking with me." And I meant it. The 'how' and the 'why' of this situation have a long a story of their own - the scope of which unfortunately exceeds the attention span of the average millenial. All you need to know is that I was in fact invited to go on what was presented as a Carribean tropical sailboat dream vacation.
The catch was that on this trip I would be accompanied by three 60 year-old men. And only three 60 year-old men. If you've never been in that type of situation, it's kind of like being told you get to have sex with Scarlett Johansson. Accompanied by three 60 year-old men. For my money, that's a one-to-one comparison. Sure it'll probably still be fun, but it would be a lot more enjoyable with a small group of well-hung friends.
Had I not been so desperate to escape my current surroundings, I might have paused for a moment to consider why three weird old guys whom I barely knew were so interested in having a young, presumably shirtless, tropical cabana boy along for the ride. One, I might add, who knew absolutely nothing about sailing. Intead, I said yes without hesitation and before I knew it the day had arrived.
I took the train into Manhattan to stay with Saul for the evening. Saul - a roughly 5' 3" Jewish man from the upper west side - was the first member of our crusty crew. Fair to say, Saul was a little eccentric. Good guy though. Loved him some bargains. And abnormally tall women.
The next morning we went to pick up our second crew member, Marty. Marty is what I would describe as a 'total fucker'. You see, in his hayday, Marty had allegedly been quite the alpha male. A real man's man. A former marine who drove sports cars and I guess body slammed women for recreation (right before having sex with all of them, of course). Now, Marty was obese, balding, could barely walk, and his skin resembled what I imagine an empty hotdog casing would look like.
However, none of these reality-inducing conditions prevented Marty from believing he was still the omega alpha. The only things Marty talked about were himself and all of the women who definitely wanted to have sex with him, but then didn't because: [this space intentionally left blank]
We headed to JFK international to board our flight. Already the reality of going on a tropical vacation with three geriatrics was starting to slowly seep in, like Bengay on an arthritic knee. We were a sad little caravan of travellers, shambling through the airport like the walking wounded. The weird looks from innocent bystanders were beginning to roll in. They would become a familiar theme for the remainder of trip.
Upon landing in the Virgin Islands and bearing witness to their tropical wonder, a faint glimmer of hope was ignited within. "Maybe this will actually be a lot of fun", I lied to myself. That faint glimmer was quickly extinguished the moment we met up with John, the third and final member of our motley crew. John was the captain and owner of our vessel and home for the next two weeks. The very first words out of his mouth when we set foot on that boat were "Oh yah, forgot to tell ya before ya left *chewing an apple* the forward heads'er clogged, so *more chewing* ya'll'er gonna have t'use the buckets and piss oe'r the side."
For those of you who don't understand old man boatspeak, allow me to translate: "The toilet in your bathroom isn't working, so you'll be pooping in plastic bags and buckets and peeing over the side of the boat (while it is moving) for the duration of this trip. Hope you don't mind that I didn't tell you until now!"
Some readers may have noticed that I used the phrase "your bathroom" in the previous paragraph. That is because John had his own bathroom that us lowly swabbies were not allowed to use. No peasant poops in the King's throne! John was a sadistic motherfucker. This was going to be a great trip.
Posted on: December 2, 2013
i call this one "wizard by surprise"
trying 2 show my rugged side "viking nonplussed"
"jus 2 ganstaz"
Posted on: September 9, 2013
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