Can We Talk About…. Santa Monica?

Nearly 9 weeks in this country and only now do I decide to take the delightful trip to Santa Monica…. holy shit wasn’t I late to the party! It has got everything that I want from life…. beach, good food, shops, happy hours… it was a total oasis, the dream if you will.

My only mistake was that I thought one afternoon in this haven was sufficient time, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!! I could spend a week there and not even be marginally bored. So many shops to browse in and fantasize about all the things I want but cannot afford (reminder to self do the lottery), the food outlets all looked terrific especially the beach front restaurants. A shout out also to The Cheesecake Factory, boy am I a sucker for that god damn cheesecake, over expensive yes, but oh so so good.

The pier was full of activity and as the sunset the carnival just came alive it served as a great Snapchat opportunity btw my Snapchat story quickly accumulated to the stage it became one of those annoying 120 second monstrosities. The beach was cosy and peaceful far after dark, despite the presence of children failing to understand respectable volume levels, so peaceful and relaxing I had to remind myself I had a home to go to…

Long story short Santa Monica dude I will be back for a proper stint, till next time…. catch you on the flip side.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

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Can We Talk About…. Uber/Lyft Drivers?

So yes I have already given my feelings of joy towards Uber on a previous post, but as I use this service and Lyft more and more one aspect emerged as a contender for its own post, the driver.

The driver brings a sense of suspense to the art of Uber/Lyft who knows what this trip will bring curbside to you. You could get the stereotypical road rager who whizzes across the freeway thinking he/she is an extra from Fast & the Furious having little or no consideration for the safety of themselves or their passengers, focusing on collecting and dropping fares as quickly as possible to start the next one and maximize earnings. Interesting tack hey who cares if it maybe causes the passenger a limb, or the integrity of their underwear right? These type of drives do not get as much as one star review from me, partly because they are being reckless and stupid as f**k and partly because my hands haven’t stopped shaking long enough to sure my phone coherently.

Then you have the driver who wants to be your ‘friend’, your ‘pal’ who asks you questions and asks what music you wanna hear and ohhs and ahhs at whatever you say. These are nice and quite the ego booster after a long day interviewing and general begging for a job, but I task anyone to sit in a car with said type of driver for more than 30 minutes and resist the urge to grab the wheel and put you both out of your misery. The ‘nicey nice’ act gets old FAAAAAST.

Finally, you have the preacher driver who proceeds to tell you all about how the world is f**ked and how wrong people are and how he/she has had a new awakening or outlook due to life experience, religion etc.., and anyone not on their wave length should go get f**ked basically. Their philosophy is 100% right and the rest of the world is just too stupid to realize the greatness of their way of life.

Is it too much to ask just to be driven, SAFELY to your chosen location with BASIC manners without being approached to join a cult or wanting to rip your ears from your head to stop the endless babble.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About In & Out Burger?

Knock another one-off the California bucket list peeps, this California staple has been well and truly hit! And expectations were somewhat surpassed… I am always weary not to buy into hype too much but the In & Out Burgers were tasty as f**k, for a fast food offering they were substantial and quite the meal not a miserable, crappy piece of questionable hamburger that looks nothing like its marketing image… NOTHING!

I indulged in a Double/Double meal with fries and a medium beverage, shock I swear the only thing I am achieving from this trip is weight the goal is a job and instead I am trying to win the record for the quickest expansion of a person’s waist, anyways. The burger from the outset looked incredible plenty of toppings and big patty (I do always appreciate a big patty) and it tasted up to how it looked a real meal clincher. I mean you cannot go wrong with soda so my lemonade was good can’t fault a lemonade really.

I will offer one critique the fries were lukewarm at best, as a champion of extremely hot food this was a slight issue for me but I feel the meal would have achieved new heights of perfection had this been the case. The fries were actually good quality too so the temperature really was the only issue but something totally forgivable given the circumstances. In & Out managed to give me a terrific burger in 8 minutes, tops. I don’t need nor want to know how they did it all I know is it worked.

Long story short put me down as a fan!

Sounding off and signing off!

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Drive-Thru Starbucks?

I swear week 7/8 has been a time of non-stop game changers for me, I thought surely nothing can blow my socks off right now…. but oh no I had not taken into account this little beauty was LITERALLY right around the corner.

Let me set the scene, I am out driving with a friend who says “Hey we should get some coffee”, feeling the drain of the day I am all on board, I quickly reply “Yeah cool let’s park up here and find some coffee”. My friend looks at me bemused and is like “Hey, isn’t there a Drive-Thru Starbucks beside your building”. I took a long hard look at my friend, I allowed the words to sick in, to ferment and I replied with the only words I could find… “You are F**KING KIDDING ME!” Get me there ASAP.

It was everything I had imagined, I had envisioned you just drive-thru no need for queuing on my feet, dealing with the pastry display temptation just drive up gimme two grande cappuccino please my love and like a flash we are gone down the road sipping two, albeit mediocre, cappuccino.

Is this possibly a total promotion of unbelievable laziness.. probably but I am not a bit sorry not one apology existing within me for this behaviour. Again, I find myself screaming why have we not got these at home, WHY? I think I really need to start actually finding out the reasoning behind this shit! Is there an actual reason like legal for example or are we just dumb as shit?

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Grand Central Market?

A Downtown LA staple, The Grand Central Market is a haven of eateries and outlets and bustling with culture with Asian, American, German, Mexican and much, much more. It was one of my first finds upon my arrival in LA and housed me for my first week as my doubts in my navigating skills to explore any further left me slightly confined. Not once in that week did I get even a bit bored… every day featured a new taste or delight!

I have to give a name drop to G & B Coffee who supplied me with the best cappuccino I have ever been privy too over the week and still is a frequent of mine today. Also, a shout out rather than a name drop because I its name was Mexican and I cannot recall it but there is a great little unit that does majorly tacos and Mexican food but also does an absolute delicious Breakfast All Day menu that is super cheap making it even f**king tastier.

This sweet spot gives a real taste of all the cultures and cuisines that Los Angeles has to offer. It’s a superb one-stop shop and a must-see for any tourist who graces Los Angeles, daily opening from 10am to 10pm makes it easily accessible also. I cannot recommend this place enough, ideal time to visit is brunch-time on a Saturday or Sunday, it will make you so happy you will be worshiping the shrine of Grand Central.

All hail!!

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Leftovers?

While sitting here in my food coma heaven, I find myself deep in reflection of the last few days of Thanksgiving season…. and I could not have enjoyed it more and then my American compadres introduced me to leftovers and I was like holy f**king shit GAME-CHANGER!

I mean we have leftovers from meals at home but no one ever keeps them they just go in the trash which is a pity and a waste I know, but as I sit munching into my leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwich I realize WHAT we have been missing , this pure joy, I do hate to miss out on pure joy.

I mean as a financial benefit alone leftovers will save you a fortune, I mean I can eat for days with what we have left, breakfast, lunch, dinner the leftovers got it covered! Also I do LOVE mash potato and leftovers allow you to eat a large bowl of mash and gravy at 23 and not being judged and not being judged for my guiltiest of pleasures is the dream in my life.

Now, my question is how long is acceptable to keep and gorge on leftovers? A day? Two days? Surely, not a week? I feel like 4 days is a respectable amount of time to keep any leftovers providing they were cooked fresh on the day.

So I would like to extend the season of thankfulness, and say thank you Thanksgiving for leftovers… I am forever grateful and thankful to you.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Black Friday?

Hoping you all had a pleasant and Happy Thanksgiving, now lets het back to business.

So I just experienced my first Black Friday experience…. I feel shocked, lucky to be alive and quite violated in a way I just do not appreciate.

People are crazy like guys seriously its just a shirt or shoes or a video game y’all need to sit, simmer and take two zanex or something cause you guys are stressing me the f**k out. Also, if you are gonna come out to the public with that attitude at least leave your god damn child at home, he/she does not need to see you like this and I do not need a sea of little people constantly standing in my way or making unnecessary loud noises.

People pushed, people screamed, people ran, I am pretty sure I seen some biting and shit in their too. I felt like I should have been caring some form of alarm like a whistle or pepper spray to fend off these zombified shoppers, I had only come out for a white shirt, that is all please don’t hurt me I am no competition to you for the big flatscreen tv!

After the enormous stress of these events I needed something sweet and a coffee ASAP but even in the haven of Starbucks I did not find solace…. Black Friday had hit fever pitch. I sheepish requested a tall latte, took my drink and ran to escape the madness that was consuming so many seemingly sane, up until this morning, people.

I mean its one thing off the bucket list and isn’t great to have seen it, jury is still out to be honest but Black Friday does win one award in her life, for the most intense event I have ever endured. You people need to calm down and take stock of what is really important, or at least fully cloth or shower before you come out for god’s sake.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Thanksgiving?

Happy Holidays everybody!!! We first Thanksgiving wow I always wondered what it was all about, how it worked and to be honest… it just seems like Christmas in November to me. So do you not celebrate Christmas as much then or how does this work? It seems like Christmas with thanks instead of presents…. Not gonna lie I do miss the gifts but hey only 30 days till they get here so can’t complain too much.

On the approach to this holiday I did find myself asking what is the point of all of this with Christmas so close around the corner? Why is it so close surely July would be a better month to give thanks, thanks for the sun, for being off school, for holidays, for the pool, for day drinking, etc. But now as I sit here belly full of Turkey and all manner of delicious food to expand my ever-growing gut, which I will curse tomorrow not regret but curse.. I have to say this has a great sentiment behind it such a warm, gracious message to be thankful for what we have and our fortune in life. With so much doom and gloom in the world, especially of late, so I now really see and I am embracing the function of this holiday and what it represents.

Again, do I love that it is so close to Christmas? No. Do I think it slightly takes from the magic of Christmas? Yes but I could not be more in favor of the ideal behind it! Sometimes it takes slowing down and really taking account of things in your life to realize how fortunate and grateful you are for what has been awarded to you in life.

So, on that slightly philosophical note.. Happy Thanksgiving!! Happy F**king Holidays!

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Tacos?

A simple Mexican dish, tacos are great for sharing, parties, a lazy Tuesday night and much more! The beauty of a taco is it can feature anything…. I have enjoyed simple chicken, salsa and pesto tacos to turkey, mash and gravy tacos each one as delicious as the last.

Also, a killer idea for left overs to be used for lunches and snacks for days to come especially with Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas sneaking up on the horizon (lest we forget with the decorations f**king everywhere). Just throw some stuff together put it in a taco and boom meal sorted!

Again, this is a concept relatively unknown back in my backward homeland and as always my answer is why the hell is that? Although at certain Mexican eateries I am sure they serve a good oul Irish taco but I despair why have the masses not accepted and realised it’s both delicious and efficient qualities. I mean Taco Tuesday’s sound so fricking great as a marketing concept every god damn city, town, tribal village should have one simply by default. Never allow any kitchen unused produce to go to waste again, simply have your daily special become tacos, throw the ingredients together and serve little pockets of satisfying sunshine.

The common idea is to marry the terrificness of the taco with nachos usually to make up a complete meal, not a nachos man would much rather fill up on 13 tacos for dinner than 2-3 tacos and a cheesy nachos bowl, that’s the kind of shit I unfortunately cannot get on board with, no hate nachos you just aint for me bae.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Wow…. just wow!! I could not be more onboard with this delicious piece of candy heaven perfect companion to my morning, lunch, afternoon, pre-dinner, post-dinner, pre-bed coffee/tea. Why this is even more impressive is the fact that chocolate in general here is as tasty as a mouthful of sawdust, sorry your chocolate sucks… like bad.. but Reece’s Cups are a shining diamond among the rubbish!

I also recently discovered the splendor of adding these little delights to a bowl of vanilla bean ice-cream, trust me it will change your life or throw some of the mini Reece’s Cups onto a stack of warm pancakes and watch them begin to melt in and chuck on some maple syrup and you will be brunching like royalty!

With my love for the Reece’s Cups growing with every passing taste/day you can only imagine my total and utter breakdown when casually strolling through Target for groceries and I am met with Chips Ahoy cookies featuring Reece’s… I tried to compose myself and thought no… surely no… I looked again… not only was it true but they were on special just $2 for the pack! I would have loaded the f**king car, if I had one so I settled for two packs which barely made it 36 hours, barely.

The amazingness of the Reece’s Cups just about saves America’s chocolate selection for being as desirable as a smack in the face from a dirty dish cloth.

Now to figure out how many containers to ship home for Christmas… is a suitcase full too excessive? Perhaps, but as we used to say circa early 2015.. YOLO.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder