2016 Year-End Review

2016 was a big year full of changes: new school, new state, and new socks.  In a year full of ups and downs, heartbreak and breakfast tacos, I always look forward to writing this year-end review, written in first and third person.  If you were hoping for a physical Christmas card to decorate your fridge with, click here to find a local Kinkos to do it yourself.

The beginning of the year found Matt frequently traveling for graduate school interviews.  In Seattle at the University of Washington, he quickly discovered this was not the place for him after being deceived by a delicious organic beet-and carrot-filled quesadilla.  Those things shouldn’t go together, but why was it delicious?  Matt decided it was just best to stay away from that confusing lifestyle.

Outside of Disneyland, traveling to the University of Alabama at Birmingham was one of the few instances where I have felt like a minority.  BYU always told me that I AM diverse for being a white guy who lived in a foreign land and speaks an obscure language.  But Alabama made me remember: I’m still just a white guy.

In the end, the desire to further understand Texas pride overcame my need to be pampered by southern hospitality.  I live in Texas now and have discovered it is a culture of its own.  Texas cities are like family members.  I live in San Antonio, which could be compared to your old, conservative grandpa who is unintentionally racist.  Sometimes I go through Austin, which is like your brother who is going through that weird phase; we don’t talk about him at family gatherings.

Over the summer, Matt traveled to Glacier National Park with a few friends.  On a separate but related note, he has also entertained the idea of running for public office later on in life.  Since most politicians tend to have compromising photos of themselves, Matt created his own on the trip.  This way, it comes as no surprise during election time.  The voters need to understand what kind of candidate they’re getting:

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I successfully completed my first semester of graduate school.  I am also happy to report that I received straight A’s in all courses.  Something I was never able to accomplish during my undergraduate courses.  This accomplishment has been offset by the repeated emphasis of the professors that “grades don’t matter!”  Oh well, at least I can still get free doughnuts for every A at Krispy Kreme.  Wait, what do you mean it’s only for grade school…?

In November, Matt decided to grow a mustache.  He doesn’t want to talk about it.

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The new face of men’s health? Or poster boy for chocolate “got milk” commercials?

Since it is the holiday season, it seems fitting to mention that Matt wasn’t invited to a single Christmas party this year.  This is only mentioned to make you feel guilty in case you had a Christmas party and failed to invite him.  He’s been free every weekend in December and most in November.  One friend was kind enough to invite him to a party for married people, but it was more of a pity thing.

So far, 2017 is looking to be promisingly boring.  Thank heavens.

Wishing you all the best,

Matt

 

 

More Things Texas People Like

This post wasn’t supposed to happen.  It is an uneccesary sequel, much like any Transformers movie or the last 7 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (really, all the main characters in that hospital keep dying, why would anyone want to keep working there?).  But since there appears to be a market for it, these posts will keep getting pushed out.  So here are some More Things Texas People Like.  Let’s begin with where this started:

Never Being Content

Go read any article about Texas.  Actually, just skip the article and go to the comments.  If you haven’t lost your faith in humanity after the first few commentors and common trolls, you’ll find a trove of Texas complaining about what was NOT included in the article.  Really, you could read an informational article about the Alamo and have someone comment that it isn’t nearly as fun as Six Flags.

Think about how difficult it must be for a Buzzfeed author to “write” (quotations because I can’t believe people at Buzzfeed have jobs consisting of posting pop culture memes and lists) about the best restaraunts in Texas.  These authors (excuse me, the Buzzfeed term is contributor) have to narrow down the choices to the top 20 bars or the top 36 BBQ stands that will give you chills…er…sorry, I get my clickbait articles mixed up.  They are absolutely destroyed by upset readers whose favorite spots were not included.

According to the National Restaraunt Association, there are 43,670 restaraunts and bars in Texas.  If an ambitious millenial journalist really wanted to cover their bases, they would write an article along the lines of “The 43,670 Restaraunts and Bars in Texas You Need to Try Before You Die.”  Of course, someone will still likely complain that the article forgot the Tamale lady who comes over every Tuesday.  Some people are just impossible to please.

Whataburger

If you’ve ever watched Parks and Rec, you may recall the recurring storyline of Ben and his beffudlement over the excess attention people give to Lil’ Sebastian.  He doesn’t understand why, but he still goes along with it.

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“It’s a small pony. What am I missing?”

Similarly, I feel the exact same way about Whataburger.  To me, it’s still just another fast food place, but Texans approach it as more of a transendental opportunity.  So I go along with it. (For the sake of this post, I am an anonymous guest blogger to avoid potential backlash)

Whataburger (or you may hear it pronounced Waterburger) likely makes up half the restaurants in Texas .  Back in Utah, when two girls want to meet up, they usually settle on a soup and salad place or maybe some fake Mexican food.  You’d be hard pressed to find people meeting up at Wendy’s or some other fast food joint.  I meet up with 2 girls a few weeks ago for dinner and asked them to pick the venue.  To my amazement, they agreed on Whataburger.  Mind blown!

Ask anyone what their favorite menu item is and the answer will likely be the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit.

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One serving and your daily calorie intake has been met!

When I first visited and tried this menu item with classmates, expectations had been set unreasonably high (like every other food recommendation I’ve been given here).  Yes, it was good.  But not knock your socks off good (I was partly to blame for wearing shoes that day).  I’ll probably get another one, probably as a way to break my New Year’s Resolution in early January.  But where one breakfast food may fail, there are dozens more attempting to take its spot, which leads to…

Breakfast Tacos

These are nothing new.  Breakfast tacos have been around for a long time.  In Utah, breakfast burritos are more common.  The biggest advantage of the Texas Tacos over the Utah Burrito that you won’t be regretting your choice from the confines of the bathroom for the rest of the day.

Even the term itself, ‘breakfast taco’ is classic Tex-Mex food formula.  One word is English. One word is Spanish.  It turns regular food into breakfast food.   It provides an ethnic experience without having to travel.  Some people grab a coffee and doughnut on their way to work in the morning.  In Texas, you grab your taco and coffee to go.  It doesn’t ring as well, but who cares?! You have a breakfast taco!

Vendors jam pack their tortillas as well.  Being used to meager fillings in Utah, I ordered 4 breakfast tacos my first time.  If you’re assuming I didn’t eat them all, you’re wrong.  I did, and I was more full than I would have liked and it hurt a little bit.  But it was a good hurt.download

If you thought breakfast tacos came from Mexico, you’re probably right, but you will also probably be told you’re wrong by people from Austin

Austin is its own post which I don’t even want to try writing about.  So if you’d like to guest post, let me know!

I’d ask if I missed anything, but people will let me know anyways.