Second Block Edition: Tales from Miami Ad School Account Planning Bootcamp. Location: Minneapolis, MN.


what the hell...

...Is this weather? I'm dying. And as sexy as the people are here, no one can pull off the sweat stain look. No one. But instead of complaining about the hot weather for the next few months while all you bitches in the northern hemisphere brag about changing leaves and sweaters, I will be attempting to make you jealous with my Argentine Summer. It's the season that speaks the same language in every country, and everyone knows there's nothings sexier than a summer.
Rumor has it that they have their own southern hemisphere version of the West Nile virus. And since I'm convinced that the fear of seasonal diseases stems from the same evils that created greeting card holidays such as Valentines Day, I'm sure this country will make an even bigger deal of West Nile virus than they did with the swine flu.

Obviously, the weather has brought out some dumb choices for clothing, too. Today I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that read, in English, 'First drinks, then sex?' Really, dude? Really? And the classic half-unbuttoned shirt is ever so popular with the business men. I haven't quite figured out if it's done out of laziness or fashion, but honestly it makes me laugh so much I don't care what the motive for it is because it makes every man look gay.

Halloween is apparently a made-up holiday that The U.S. celebrates in order to make children fat and exploit the convicted child molester that lives on your block. Buenos Aires is much too distrustful of their neighbors to ever celebrate in such a way. After explaining the holiday to a few of my students, one replied, "...that would never happen here. If someone knocked on my door dressed in a freak costume, I would come to the door with a knife." Case and point. Argentina sleeps with one eye open and apparently a weapon close by. Is this Texas? So there's no need to get excited about a holiday that has no meaning here because no one is going to empathize with you by dressing up like an idiot. But Thanksgiving. That's a whole other story. I don't care what Argentina says. I will have my stuffing. And cranberries. And turkey. Even though I'm pretty positive all three of those things are non-existent here. I will have my Dia de Gracias.

News. News. In the past five months there was talk of me leaving early. Or, originally, leaving the first of March. Now, I will officially be staying here an entire year. I've extended my plane ticket to stay until May 23, 2010. Before you get any ideas, I'm not staying because I've fallen madly in love with some sexy Argentine man. The past five months have flown by. I couldn't be happier and not because of someone else, but because of me. There's something about this place, it's intoxicating. Once you have a taste, you want more and you don't want to stop for the fear that you'll wake up and find out it was all a dream. There are things to worry about in life, but one of them shouldn't be how you will enjoy it.

Dale. Dale.



A different side of new.

So most of you might be confused at the idea of me teaching students English. You might have this idea that I spend hours a days drilling words like joke, jealous, happy, jump to those who do not normally pronounce these consonants or maybe that I review placement of prepositions and the use of the -ing. Although, we cannot under-estimate the importance of teaching English grammar, my students usually have an idea of how this works and therefore they would rather teach me a thing or two about Argentine culture. At first, I felt mildly guilty about this, but then I realized these classes are paid for by the students' company, a multimillion dollar consulting firm, and for an hour they would simply like to not feel like an Argentine corporate drone. Today my student spent his hour explaining to me (with a diagram included) exactly how the football teams and divisions work here. He also disclosed his desire to be a sports commentator. And with all his Argentine passion, in a conference room at his work, he acted out his radio commentator skills with a commercial included. Needless to say we drew in a few walk-by stares. After this he also confessed to wanting to become a Rastafarian. He's been reading books on the religion (ummm it's a real active relgion? Yes, apparently so.) since he was 15. And he carries a Rastafarian coin, or something of that matter, in his wallet. So if you're ever wondering where you can fall in love with a White-collar-corporate-drone-Rastafarian-sports-commentator. Come to Argentina. I teach them English.

My friends Lindsey and Anna were here last week. Lots of fun debauchery. Pleanty of eating out, too. I even ate Argentina's best attempt at Mexican food. I will say it did satisfy my itch for guacamole and steak burrito. I even got a satisfactory taste of some vegetarian Indian/Hindi food. And of course I had to introduce them to the magic of the Buenos Aires night. A city that stays alive past the rising of the sun. And sometimes then is the start of the best improvisational dance-offs. But it was good to see some familiar faces. I'm going on five months, and it was nice to have someone from home to see.

I moved into my new place this past Monday. I'm excited to be here. The neighborhood is going to be a great fit for me. It's two blocks from the metro and a twenty-minute walk from one of the companies where I work a lot. My neighborhood, San Telmo, has a lot of working class people, but also a fair amount of tourism. The former is quite different from where I was living, considering before I was a block from Fendi and Cartier. But because money and status isn't my forte, I think I'll be quite happy here. I have my own room and for the first time of all my places I have a real closet with hangers. So I can actually hang up my clothes. There are two other rooms in the apartment, one is a couple, a guy from Columbia and his girlfriend is from Holland, and the other is a guy from Ecuador. On Saturday they are having a party here, so I'll get to know them all better. And, after a week of speaking only English with my friends and students, I'm going to need the help with my Spanish.

I'm going to an Argentine fiesta de cumpleaƱos tomorrow night! Should be fun.

Ciao chicos!


After 4.5 months you too can see the wonderful benefits of BAires!

I haven't made the slightest of efforts to make myself up today. This includes reaching into my 'intimates' basket and putting on a bra. Nope, not even that. But I did slip on some socks. This is my reward. I've been working a lot, kinda, and this is something my body would appreciate. My bed also likes the company. I never did this kind of thing when I was living at home, or even in college, unless I was hungover. There was always this feeling of obligation to do something, get something done. Or, because I worked on the hellish schedule of retail, I normally worked weekends. But now. now. I've figured it out. Enjoying life really isn't that hard, there's plenty of opportunity for this. The secret is that you must allow yourself to enjoy it.

Sadly, I don't have any extremely interesting collectivo stories for this week. Everyone seemed to maintain themselves this week, in regards to public transportation. Probably because all the freaks were protesting something instead selling packs of pens and begging for loose change on the subte. But I did practically get harassed by one of the men passing out flyers on the streets. I'm not ever sure what these men and women are selling on these flyers. All I can ever make out is a half-naked man or woman. I try to keep my eye contact to a minimum with them and murmur a low, 'no gracias,' usually a simple shake of the head will do the trick. I refuse the offer not because I'm not curious of what the paper says, but because I know that it will eventually, after weeks of collecting dust with bus ticket stubs, end up being thrown away. So instead of prolonging the poor paper-soul's life, I just deny it's existence. This method works on several levels here. One night I was amazed to see that this form of wasteful archaic marketing occasionally gets received: A clean-cut, well dressed guy, around my age, pulls out a flyer with a picture of a naked girl on it, it had been stuck on the edge of a street sign. He examines it as though he's just seen an offer for free groceries for a month. At this point I'm stunned that someone actually takes two glances at these things, then he proceeds to the nearest pay phone, and props up the flyer on the phone booth, and starts to dial. This country is always full of surprises.

This week Miss Lindsey Darrah will pay a visit with her friend Anna. This is partly why I'm saving all my energy. I'm going to have them experience the full benefits of Buenos Aires. Of course, since this is a nocturnal city, we will have to make sacrifices in the sleep department. All of this is for a beneficial cause. Argentina's economy needs your American dollars.

And....The Megan and Elise duo will be tearing up Buenos Aires starting in late 2009 throughout May 2010. Get ready.


A show that will slide to the left. Slide to the right.

Because I lack the patience for photos to upload onto the internet I've delayed setting up a slide show on here. But by some miracle they're up now. As you can see to your right. Raw and un-photoshoped. If you forgot your reading glasses today please click on the slide show to enlarge the photos. Really, this is for the haters or those dumbfounded by the ways of Facebook. Mom, Dad, this for you. I left out the really drunk ones.



The BA effect.

I have been told that patience is the the key with this city. It's like an Argentine. All the flaws you see in it make it what it is. A wonderful city willing to offer so much, if you're willing to wait around and stick out it's bullshit. Once you get past this you begin to get so much more out of the city. Let me just say, I'm enjoying this new relationship I have with the city. Either that, or I'm being brainwashed by the government being run by the mafia.

In other strides to further adjust to the city, I'll be moving this week. I found the place on Friday and I have a great feeling about it. It's in a neighborhood called San Telmo, a quaint, artsy barrio filled with antique shops and bars. So, it's my heaven? The price of the place is amazing, which was a big selling point on my thrifty budget. I'll have to juggle both apartments for a week or so, because I didn't want to risk losing the opportunity for this new place, even though my rent at my current place isn't up until the 18 of this month.

I've decided to start a segment within my blog. Even though this blog fails to contain structure or
a proper fan base, I've decided it needs a segment about the experiences I have on the collectivos in Buenos Aires. It's true I spend a lot of my time hanging out with collectivo drivers. I could lessen this quality time if I wasn't so cheap and took taxis. Or if I wasn't so desperate for homemade goodies every sunday, as to take classes a forty-five minute bus ride to do so. As I spend so much time on this one means of transportation, I'm bound to stumble across a freak or two. So here are a few incidences to get an understanding of what kind of free entertainment comes with public transportation in BsAs.
Situation One: Argentines, as in most of Latin America, are macho, but really is there the need to do arm-curls on the bus rails to prove this point? I think not. So, thanks macho man for the 45 minutes of attempted strength exercises and using the bus as your personal gym. You just made me feel bad for eating that alfahor. But wait, I don't look as stupid as you do.
Situation Two: Time three forty-five in the morning: Enter two, clearly hammered, young Argentine guys. One rides the bus for about two stops (four-six blocks) and as the bus passes a church I catch in the corner of my eye one clumsy sign of the cross and kiss to the palm of the hand, from the other guy. Even in a state of drunkenness they never forget their rituals. Or evidently where the three hundred churches are in the city.
Situation Three: American music has a clearly established element with-in the culture. A fact I'm neither too ecstatic nor disappointed by. So what I would like to know is anyone else entertained by the gentleman in the back of the bus jamming out to Guns n' Roses on his cell phone speakers for the whole bus to hear? I think the lady tapping her white converse to "Sweet Child o' Mine" is enjoying it. Oh, wait here comes "Paradise City," I hope this doesn't lead to a spaghetti incident.

These are just things that have occurred recently. And with my move will come all new bus routes. So I better get ready for a whole new kind of people. All new kinds of situations.

Besides feeling quite the romance with the city I'm living in, I have discovered the jackpot for free screenings of films throughout the city. I'll be filling in my time by accompanying myself to these events in the hope that some overly-good looking Argentine man will strike up a conversation with me. Of course, all I really can expect is to get hit on by the construction workers on the way. But, one can hope. One can hope.