Heavy Metal Music And Traveling with Vera Makianich at Bangrak Market.

Tanner and Vera — a product manager and multidisciplinary artist — talk how to travel at a slower pace to become part of the community you’re visiting while navigating the logistics of long distance journeys while reminiscing about past heavy metal shows

Vera: Perfect, also, without soy. Hopefully.

Tanner: Ooh, the curry and rice looks good.

Vera: What I got last time that I know was good, and I'm going to go for it.

Tanner: The egg won-ton noodle with Chinese barbecue pork. I think I'm going to start there.

Vera: Okay.

Tanner: So good. I also can't remember what I got here last time, but I remember everything being so good.

Vera: I know. You got a few plates, and I think I ended up eating some of them.

Tanner: Oh, that's right, yeah.

Vera: Yeah. I don't remember what I got. The last time I came, I got the Bok Choy, although we did split it. Then I got... What am I going to get.

Tanner: So I'm super bad at remembering names of things.

Vera: Okay.

Tanner: But yes. I remember the food here being really good.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And when I was making plans to come up here, I was like, “Okay, I have to go back here.”

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And I also forgot the name of this place. But I had photos, and was thinking, “Whatever the fuck this place is, wherever it's at, I want to go here.”

Vera: Luckily I did... Well actually, I didn't remember the name. So I used to live by the street, so I would walk by and be like, “That place looks good.” And walk. I didn't even bother to look up the name. But I was thinking, 'Okay, amazing right near where I used to live.'

Tanner: It feels like a good little spot.

Vera: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and also the wait wasn't bad. Last time I was here, it was like an hour of a wait.

Tanner: Yeah. I don't know if I was too worried about the wait time, but I'm so used to San Francisco, where it's super easy to just do walk-ups most of the time. I rarely make reservations for anything.

Vera: Really? Oh my god. You're like, 'I live my life through no reservations.'

Tanner: I mean, there is some things I'll meticulously plan, like this trip I'm on was planned down to almost the minute, and then those plans got blown up. And then for everything else, I'm just like, “Alright, well, we'll see what happens.”

Vera: Yeah. I feel like that's kind of how I've been lately. I used to like planning everything to a T, and in my last few trips, I've been just kind of like living in the city, and the whole city. Like, “I want to see this, I’ll see that later.” I was in Spain last week, and I went to Paris for two weeks, so I had time to figure it out when I was there.

Tanner: Nice.

Vera: I had a wedding that I went to. But other than that, I had nothing planned, and it was the best trip I've had. I lived in Madrid for a week.

Tanner: Cool. Okay, that's a really cool way to approach it.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I feel like if I tried doing anything that's in that week timeframe, I'm “I have to plan it by the minute.” But I never really considered the “What would it be like if I lived here for a week or two weeks.” type thing.

Vera: Yeah, and to me as a planner, somebody that's like that my whole life, I wanted to feel like things at the time, the first time. When I started doing that I was anxious, because I didn't want to be “I'm paying all this money to go to France.”

Tanner: Right.


And then I don’t want to get to the end of the trip and feel like I didn’t do enough. That’s happened plenty of times, you know? I started slowing down my travel, problem over the last year and it was the best thing imaginable. Previously I’d travel with groups and the pace picked up where I went back and forth from the Europe to the US and of course, I couldn't plan anything, because I'm like, “Okay, I'm there for work.”

Tanner: Right.

Vera: And I was like, so little time, so I just added things as they popped up. Whatever in the time. In my mind, I realized, “Well, this is a much better way to travel.” When you're on your own, you cannot possibly predict how you're going to be feeling at like 2 o'clock on a Tuesday.

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: You know? So I started traveling with nothing planned, you know. And honestly, it's a completely different experience. This experience of like, you're living in Spain for a week. And living there is like, I lived in Luxembourg for two weeks, and then I kind of...

Tanner: I'm kind of jealous.

Vera: I know, like you planned this whole trip, but I think it's going to be amazing, but maybe give that a try. Maybe next time, visiting your friends when you're bored and you feel like you've given in to all the sightseeing, maybe just pick one place and stay there for the entire time of your vacation, and just live. Find an apartment, stay in an Airbnb, that feels like a home that you live, and you are there. Your favorite coffee shop, what's a good lunch spot.

Tanner: I think the closest I've ever gotten with that has been, it's definitely been work trips, and I feel like that city would be New York for me, because there is a good, let's see. It's like the ultimate champagne problem because you're getting paid to go to New York, everything's covered. Your hotel, your flight, food, and everything within reason. The downside is you're still working while you're there, so you really only have time after work.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And it's, “Okay, I'm going to go do this thing, and this thing, and this thing” and you have to optimize down to the second.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And it's, “Oh, I won't go to Brooklyn tonight because it'll take too long” when you stay in Manhattan.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Or maybe I'll stay in Brooklyn next time or Queens next time.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: But yeah, that does sound pretty nice, just show up for a week, no plans, see what happens.

Vera: Yeah, I think enjoy it more. Like, what would it be if I moved to New York to work? And then, what will my life be like? That's exactly how I've been doing my work travel. When I went to Paris the first time, it was my first time in Europe actually, and like, out of all places, I'm in Paris. Like the romance capitol of the world, and you know, I have a whole list. I want to see the Eiffel Tower, I want to see the Louvre. And when I got there, I met with someone who lived there, and I knew, she took me on a tour of the city the first day. I was so, so exhausted when I got to my Airbnb. I lost my voice. I was so sick, because I completely exhausted myself. But then I went back to Paris like two months later, and I took the same approach. I didn't stay downtown. I didn't stay by the Eiffel Tower.

Tanner: Right.

Vera: I stayed at a place... I could have planned better, and that was not by choice, because the trip was so last-minute, that everything was booked, and I was like, 'Oh, I guess I'll have to stay at this neighborhood that's like an industrial neighborhood.' Oh my god. Best decision I've ever made. So I didn't have that experience of like taking the train to work, which is not downtown. It was more like an industrial area. And then I will get on the train and look around and see where is everyone doing their happy hours. The spots that were like semi-full of people that are taking the train to work. I'm like, I take the train to work, and I always go by myself. I sit down, maybe read a book, and debrief of my day. Walk around, go to the apartment, go to the park, sit down for a minute, choose a place to have dinner, walk to the movies, like try some pizza, and that was my day. It was not a touristy day, but it's like, exactly what I would do if I lived there, like I would live in this area by myself.

Tanner: Right. Cool. Okay. I'm going to have to book a new trip and just do that.

Vera: Yeah. It's lovely.

Tanner: Yeah. Like I said, New York has been the closest, but that's been in the work trip context.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And I think it was, I spent two weeks out there, and the one weekend I had free, it was the one weekend it was just pouring rain the whole time. And I had plans to go upstate to see Dia Beacon it's just an outdoor museum. I was like, “Well, it's like thundering and lightning and storming, what the fuck.”

Vera: Yeah. So it's like, you can only make so many plans, especially when you're sometimes it rains. Yeah.

Tanner: Let's see. I think if I were to choose a place to do that, I don't know. That's a good question. I am going to be in Santa Fe for a week. Now I'm tempted to see what happens if I blow up my plans out there. Just hit the self-destruct button.

Vera: Yeah. Let go of that control. It's a little anxiety inducing in the beginning, but honestly, I've given it up for a year now. I will go on a trip. I mean, sometimes I do plan things, like going with the family, like yeah, I'll plan. I don't want my family to live like residents.

Tanner: Right.

Vera: But if I'm just going by myself for work, travel, family, whatever, I just been doing no plans, and there hasn't been one instance where I went upstate like, 'Oh man, I wish I had done xyz.' Yeah. Like even when I went to Madrid, I knew the flight, and I've only been to Madrid because I have family there. I've always thought like, 'Oh, maybe a day trip to Barcelona,' like go to these different places, and if I find, 'I don't have time to do this, because I'm only there for a week.' I'm going to regret it. When I've gone home, I think, I should've gone to Barcelona. No, not at all. It was the best trip of my life. Because not leaving the apartment. I mean, I left the apartment, I walked around, I lived in the city, but I stayed in one place. I mean, the apartment started to feel like home.

Tanner: Right.

Vera: I started to meet the neighbors, like, I would have my breakfast on the roof every morning. I just felt like home away from home, and I sort of liked that.

Tanner: That is super cool. It's like, it's fun to hear because it's so counter to what I do.

Vera: Yeah. Or what I used to do.

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: Like, so not me.

Tanner: My approach is, when I get somewhere, I want to be just doing something as soon as possible.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Like, I got here a couple hours ago, dropped my stuff off, and I was like, let me go wander around, find coffee, find food, and just like start doing stuff.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: So for me, having that home base and like aggressively researching ahead of time, of... Okay, I have my bag packed this specific way where I don't have to unpack everything.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Right away I'm in the hotel room, and I have everything I need to get settled in in a few minutes, and then I have my adventure bag and I'm ready to go, and I know like ahead of time, here's my saved spots in Google maps, here's where I'm going to go as soon as I check in. Yeah, now that I say it, it sounds a little crazy.

Vera: No, not at all. I feel like there's cities, then cities. I think big cities are good for no plans, just because you can get overwhelmed. If you go to New York, and here's the thing. I've actually never been to New York. I've lived in the US for 20 years, and I've never been to New York. I've been internationally a lot more than I've been in the US, literally. But it's like with a big city like New York or Paris or Buenos Aires, you get overwhelmed if you start planning things. Because you will do anything, like there's so much to do, and so little time, you'll never do it all and you'll exhaust yourself. So that's the city where you just kind of walk around and be like a local resident. See where are people going, and meet someone at a bar, and be like, 'What do people do around here?'

Tanner: Right.

Vera: And follow along. But I guess I say, I do like a side scene trip. That's a kind of place, where you cannot really walk around that much. You have to have your saved spots.

Tanner: Yeah. Cool. Okay. Like I said, now I'm like, I'm trying to figure out where to do this specific thing.

Vera: Yeah. Do you have any other trips coming up this year? Or not.

Tanner: I have so many places I need to get to. I think I have everything planned. Or not. I keep trying to do the side glance of who's coming over, so we can order food.

Vera: Yeah. We haven't ordered yet.

Tanner: What's that?

Vera: We haven't ordered anything yet. Oh, that's right. You really took that seriously. It looked like we needed more time.

Tanner: Let's see. I think the... I'm on this mega trip right now, but I think after it, it's... I have places and things I want to do, but nothing fully booked.

Vera: Yeah.

Vera: Okay.

Tanner: But.

Vera: Are you going to do multiple shows in LA?

Tanner: Oh no. So it's like, they're playing the same night, Swans is playing in San Francisco.

Vera: Swans? Oh, I love Swans.

Tanner: So I'm like, tempted to just go see Swans instead, and then maybe just go travel and see Ghost on a different date.

Vera: Yeah. LA is a different city.

Tanner: Different city.

Vera: Oh, okay. Live well, and go with the same basic city.

Tanner: No, so, okay-

Vera: Oh, LA, you don't want to go to LA, you want to go to a different city and see Swans.

Tanner: Yeah, because I think Ghost is playing LA the 11th and the 12th, and then Swans is playing San Francisco the 12th and the 13th.

Vera: I wasn't doing Seattle at all. Swans is something else entirely. I've seen them, I love them.

Tanner: They're such a weird band live, but in a fun way.

Vera: Live? I don't know. Even like, not live. I feel like they're all so weird.

Tanner: Like, their front dude Michael Gira feels like, if you took your really cool uncle, put him in Santa Fe, New Mexico, aged the fuck out of him, gave him some acid, and then gave him an electric guitar and just started wailing. I think that's the best way I can describe Swans.

Vera: Sounds about right, yeah.

Tanner: I think the first time I saw Swans play, I think it was at the Independent, this small 300-person club in San Francisco, and they just came out with a new album, and if I remember correctly, I think they opened up with a 50-minute song that they wrote just for that tour, and I don't think they played a lot from that new album. “We're just going to play what we care to play.'” And they did, the song was fucking insane. But they just played it and move on. It's like, wait, what was that? What happened? What did you do? Where did that come from? That was so fucking cool, but what the fuck?

Vera: Yeah. That's amazing, yeah. I'm going to see if they come to Seattle, because I would love to see them. That'll be good.

Tanner: Yeah.

Hostess: Do you need more time?

Vera: No, no.

Tanner: I think we're actually ready.

Vera: Yeah. I'm going to do a Cobb Salad. No, chicken.

Tanner: I think I'm going to do the Bahn Mi.

Vera: You were saying Swans and Ghost are playing the same days. You did think you were going to see Ghost in LA, but now you're thinking a different city?

Tanner: Yeah, because now that I remember it, I was actually going to go to Europe to see Rammstein, then that trip got-

Vera: I was going to be there. That would've been the perfect. What happened there?

Tanner: It was two big things. It was absurdly expensive, and right when I started planning everything, I was like, 'Oh, fuck, okay.'

Vera: They played a year ago in LA? Yeah.

Tanner: If I do the same itinerary two months later, it's like 60 percent cheaper. Same hotel, same trains, same flights, same everything.

Vera: Yep.

Tanner: And then there was the logistical side of it, which I feel like I've been hitting with this trip too, is I'd had some friends who also [drinks arrive] — oh, thank you — have been going to Europe just for vacation saying my flight keeps getting canceled, it got delayed by two days.

Vera: Yeah, yeah I've been through that.

Tanner: And it was more of, “If I'm going to Europe, I want to do it like the least stressful way possible.” I think having that hyper planning mentality, I was like, “This is the one place I don't want to have to be in the position to course correct constantly. So let me just travel locally in the states” And that turned into, “Well if I can't have the high-speed train fun in Europe, I'll do the very slow-speed train through the US.”

Vera: That's great. A lot more slow living. Which now, I'm really considering for maybe next year, because I've been doing, going to Europe and all, and I haven't really been in the US. Maybe, like, I know I'm not going to be here forever, so I might as well. But yeah. You might be right, because my flight got canceled. Not canceled, but delayed, I think on my trip to Madrid.

Tanner: Right.

Vera: So I literally tied all my trips together. Like, I made a region, then I go from Seattle to Woodland Park, Seattle, San Francisco. Seattle. Seattle, Madrid, same thing. Since that all went together, great. But when I got to Seattle, my Seattle-Madrid flight was delayed by two hours, so I would've missed my connection. I wasn't going to get to Madrid, and I was going to miss the wedding, going on. In this way, the plane was lousy. Like literally, airplane mode. I'm like getting to Madrid, but my luggage went to New York.

Tanner: Oh.

Vera: For some reason. I didn't go to New York, I didn't stop in New York, it was not part of my itinerary at all.

Tanner: It's a sign, it's telling you you need to visit New York finally.

Vera: I know, I know. My luggage came in with a little tag that said, “New York,” and all the pictures of vacation in New York. Like, oh, well you got to New York. I'm in Madrid. I need my clothes, right? Yeah, so you're absolutely right. Flights will get canceled, you'll get moved around, it'll be stressful, but you'll get there eventually.

Tanner: Yeah. I think I'm going to do it probably in the spring. From my understanding, travel's returning to pre-COVID levels, but the travel infrastructure has not at all.

Vera: No, no, it's crazy. It's like three hours, you need to get to the airport. In Europe. In the US, I feel like... Seattle’s airport is not bad, if you're flying out of anywhere in Europe, it's like three hours. Very busy. You go in the way back, very busy.

Tanner: And then the cost, too.

Vera: It's insane, it's insane.

Tanner: Yeah. I remember the last time I was in Europe, it was early October 2019.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I booked a first-class ticket, day-of, from Rome to San Francisco, on Norwegian Air for $400.

Vera: What?

Tanner: It was that morning, too. It was like, “I'm going to fly out of Rome today”

Vera: First class?

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: Oh my god. Now you're looking at like 2K. Yeah. I got a really good deal. I mean, yeah, Madrid was extremely expensive, so I went by myself. For Paris, for going to a wedding, I booked a year ago, and I got a really good miles deal, which was like 70,000 miles, which was equivalent to $700, which was not bad for summer. But a year ago, booked miles. So. I don't know if you do airline miles situation, but you really have to play that game.

Tanner: I do from time to time. And I try to save it for the bigger trips.

Vera: Yeah, same.

Tanner: Travel infrastructure is in a weird state, that could change how I travel. I focused more on slow train travel, more road trips. The times I do fly is usually for work trips, because we have an office in New York, my team works closely with the team out there, so it’s pretty easy to get flown to New York in the metal tube.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I'm just like, “Hey, I volunteer for getting flung cross country in the metal tube.”

Vera: Yeah, same.

Tanner: And there you go.

Vera: It's funny you say that, because I'm like, not wanting to go to the office at all. I never go. I'm not even remote. I never go, but I will have to, now that I have to, but sign me up for a work trip.

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: Can you be in San Francisco in a week? Yes.

Tanner: Damn. Thank you.

Vera: What is that, is that like a Bahn Mmi bowl?

Tanner: It's like a noodle and pork belly noodle and barbecue sauce.

Vera: Nice.

Tanner: Oh, I got to take a photo of this.

Vera: Yeah, yeah, go for it.

Tanner: All right. I've got to do the food influencer shots.

Vera: I'll do mine too. This is like way to hot for a soup right now, but I don't care. Any time of the year.

Tanner: I had a clam chowder on the train up here from Portland, and it was just a hot box. I want clam chowder right now. I don't know why, it feels completely fucking irrational, but it was so fucking good.

Vera: Yeah. Story of my life in Seattle. I'm so used to hot soup that summer comes around,I don't care. I love my soup. I’ll cool it down when it comes out.

Tanner: This is good.

[Happy Birthday starts playing]

Tanner: That's quite the genre shift.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Oh. The friends. That's not definitely them singing it. They recorded it.

Tanner: This is really fucking good.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: What's the verdict on your soup?

Vera: Love it. Yeah. I always forget the mechanics. It cool as I eat. It's hot.

Tanner: Yeah. This is probably going to be a hot day. I don't know if there's any type of rivalry in the Pacific Northwest between Portland and Seattle.

Vera: I feel like from Portland rivalry with Seattle, I feel like Seattle wouldn't really care. Portland is like a little, I don't know, little sister. The way I see it is Seattle, and Portland is like mini Seattle, and then Vancouver is a massive Seattle. Have you been to Vancouver before?

Tanner: I haven't been yet.

Vera: Oh, it's pretty elegant. That's another thing that you have to do on your trip.

Tanner: Oh yeah.

Vera: To me, it's like Seattle is a little bit more elegant, but it's almost like a little, they probably respect them in the Pacific Northwest. Cities that are similar, but also very different in a way.

Tanner: Okay, I like that scale, because it goes just linearly south to north.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I guess, my hot take that's no longer that hot of a hot take is like, spending a couple days in Portland and immediately coming here. Portland feels like, “oh, it's cute, you're trying.”

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Like, you'll be something someday.

Vera: Yeah, I know. It'll get there, yeah.

Tanner: But also feels pretty overrated at the same time.

Vera: Yeah, yeah. And when I lived in LA, and Oregon and Denver was the place to be, but they are so different demographically. It was pretty urban and everything, but when I came to Seattle and it was a hustle, it feels like a city.

Tanner: Mm-hmm.

Vera: It used to be affordable. But now it's really not.

Tanner: I think so. The nature around here is fucking amazing.

Vera: Oh yeah. Just to let you know you really need to go hiking when you’re out here.

Tanner: Yeah. It was too much in city adventure mode in Portland, where maybe the pro-gamer move was just to go hike the whole time and get the fuck out of Portland.

Vera: Yeah. Yeah, I never go to Portland. Portland is great if you want a mini big city experience, then Portland's really nice. It really feels like, Seattle is a mini Vancouveri. It's very metropolitan, very diverse. Then I get that vibe.

Tanner: You'll have to put on my to-visit list next time I'm up here.

Vera: It’s a short flight, it's like 45 minutes.

Tanner: Oh wow.

Vera: Yeah, and if you're driving, it's two hours. So you can drive for two hours, I'm sure that driving is...

Tanner: That's actually really good.

Vera: If you're going to go on a car ride.

Tanner: Yeah. Two hours is basically nothing. Two hours is like nothing for driving.

Vera: Well, you can go on the weekend, and come out the same day. You can do it. From my experience, it is not even that bad. I've driven there, and I've driven back in a day.

Tanner: I feel like two hours is sort of, for driving, it feels like a good sort of radius. Yeah. Oh, okay. Next time you're in LA actually… Have you been to Tucson, Arizona?

Vera: No.

Tanner: Okay, you have to fucking go. Now, this is my actually hot, hot take. Tucson is what Portland dreams to be.

Vera: It's what?

Tanner: It's what Portland dreams to be.

Vera: Really?

Tanner: It feels like the true sort of what could be the hipster maybe haven? Super fucking cheap, ten out of ten food. I think even better than San Francisco at times.

Vera: Wow.

Tanner: I went for a few days in December, and ended up extending my trip over Christmas break, and it was absolutely breathtaking. Nature's amazing. People are super friendly. Actual artist spaces.

Vera: Really?

Tanner: And affordable sort of, warehouses and lofts and whatnot. It felt like there was a pretty vibrant arts community down there, and the food, holy fuck. Everything from a food truck in the middle of nowhere to three-star Michelin restaurant, which is mind blowing.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I had a Sonoran hotdog for three bucks. It was the best hot dog I've ever had in my life.

Vera: When did that happen? Like, has it always been hip and lively, or was that recent? Is it going to get expensive? Do I have to -

Tanner: This is the part that perplexes me, because it feels like at the end of that trip, I kept telling everyone who would listen, “You have to go to Tucson.” It feels like what we thought Portland was a decade ago.

Vera: Portland’s hope was that everyone would go to Tucson, and then it's not going to be.

Tanner: Maybe I'm cursing it. Maybe no one should go to Tucson.

Vera: Maybe it’s fine, you don’t have enough influence to curse things.

Tanner: But in terms of affordability, it was... This is definitely my life in San Francisco speaking. I went to a pizza place that did Italian-Sonoran fusion, and they had this pizza there for $9. A full pie. And then, a focaccia appetizer for $5. Holy fuck, that's a great price. So I order both. I didn't know at the time, I thought it was the pizza that showed up, because it's so fucking big, and it's just the focaccia appetizer. So I eat that, and I was thinking “Damn, that was actually pretty great.”

Vera: And then the pizza comes.

Tanner: I talked to the waiter, and I'm like, “Oh, hey, that was really great. When's the focaccia coming?” He's like, “Oh, you just ate it.”

Vera: Oh my god.

Tanner: I was thinking how are you able to serve something so good, and so big, for $5. He's says, “Oh, that's just our normal price.” Say no more, I'm going to order 20 more things now.

Vera: Yeah, like free or cheap really good food is a great barometer. Madrid at least, even when you go to bar, restaurant, like thought, next time you order a beer…

[Happy Birthday plays loudly in the background]

Tanner: Is this like the birthday song part two?

Vera: Ugh, birthday music

Tanner: It's a popular day for birthdays.

Vera: When is your birthday? September?

Tanner: July, a couple weeks away.

Vera: Yeah, you go to a really divey spot in Madrid, and you order a beer, and they bring you a full dish, a tortilla thing, or some eggs, like deviled eggs, and then you order another drink, and they bring you another thing, and by the time you realize, you literally ate a whole meal, and you haven't ordered your food yet. Food is affordable. I went to a café by the place I stayed at, I got a tortilla, a Spanish tortilla with tomatoes and had those for dinner, then I got an espresso. The coffee and tortilla was $6. How? $3 for a coffee, $3 for a tortilla.

Tanner: Jesus.

Vera: Definitely, capital of good seafood.

Tanner: I haven't been to Madrid yet, but I have gone to Barcelona.

Vera: I haven't been to Barcelona. So many people I know in Madrid, that every time I get there, I don't have time to get to Barcelona. But I heard Barcelona is cool.

Tanner: Barcelona is super fun. It feels like a maze of a city.

Vera: Yeah?

Tanner: I'm trying to remember. I went for a design conference. Most of the time was spent at the conference, so night was the actual... oops. Dropped my chopstick. Chopstick down. So yeah. I went for a design conference.

Vera: Oh nice. In Barcelona? Is that OFF Fest?

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: Oh my god, I always wanted to go.

Tanner: It was surprisingly fun. It was a very lazy schedule. Everything starts at noon or 1 PM, and it goes really late. So you have the conference go until 8 or 9 PM. That just shift generally felt really great.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: It felt nice, because they worked in a lot of breaks throughout the day. It wasn't action-packed, You can just go lay out on the lawn, watch the conference from out there. It doesn't have to going into a room, watch this thing, you go into a room, do this thing. It felt very casual, in a fun way.

Vera: Yeah, it sounds like that. Did you stay longer in the city after the conference?

Tanner: Yeah. Exploration happened at night.

Vera: That's the thing too, that I love about Europe, or at least the Southern European cities, is that you go for work or a conference or whatever, you get out there, and you go the full day. You can go to dinner like 9, totally fine, so without being. You don't have to. And that really changed my way of life.

Tanner: Oh yeah.

Vera: Before, I got off work, then I will be done, today. But now I'm like, no, I want to live a full day. I don't have to wait for the weekend to do whatever I want to do. When I get off work at the end of the day, I can leave my house, go play tennis, go clean. I don't have to wait for the weekend. And I love that lifestyle generally, and I can have a full day after work.

Tanner: I think, that's such a healthy way to go about it, too. I have some friends who work from home, and wait for the weekend to do something. It's so easy to fall into that trap of, 'Oh, I've been working late, I'm tired, I'm at home, now I can rest and relax.' No, go the fuck outside.

Vera: Yeah. It's nice, because then you get on your phone, you start scrolling, and see images of where I want to be, but I'm really at home on my phone. Get outside, yeah. Get more energy. And I notice that I'm not as tired when I do that. When I get outside, moving around, I'm building up my energy, I sleep better, and then I work better. Or I feel happier. I used to think, 'Oh, work on something.' Or drinking every single day. Like, you can go out and not drink.

Tanner: Right.

Vera: Go out and do everything. It's a myth to think that it's going to make you feel tired. That's really my biggest takeaway from Europe. Live a full day.

Tanner: I feel like how they do it is, and I think this is why you should definitely visit New York, is that is New York. I think that's the most... It's definitely more intense and chaotic energy, whereas I feel like in Europe, it's much more relaxed throughout the day. Last time I was in New York for a work trip, I did that exact thing. I'm going to do something after work, I'm going to go live my life. But it was… nothing was casual. Everything-

Vera: Everything was big.

Tanner: Yeah. It was like, cranked up to eleven. I damn near had an anxiety attack at the end of it. And then, my last night there, I ended up going to a hot pool and spa. So doing that, getting a massage, I was like, “Okay, this feels great, now I can actually go the fuck to sleep.”

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Doing that same thing in a much more relaxed way is much more appealing now.

Vera: Yeah, that's a different way... Doing something after work, but how are you really, and does that make you feel like yourself for a weekend, or in a city where it's more relaxed after work, but is it building up your energy, is it more casual, you're not running around, you're just in one place, being there? That's what I experienced in Europe, but that's kind of how I'm living my life nowadays. Like, I'm here, like I've been in the suburbs, and I get off work, I work remotely, or I'm coming from the office, and I do go, and go in, and get into that routine, I'm in a good work place where I don't die. It's cool. I'll drink a martini, I'll read a book. I'm like, just get outside. And sleep better.

Tanner: I think the moral of the story is to have a happy, healthy life go the fuck outside.

Vera: Yeah, get outside. Get outside big time. Yeah, that's been for me like eight months, nine months without seeing the sun in Seattle. And in the beginning I thought I would love it, I was like, 'Oh, this is great sitting on the train.' But I'm going to love it. No, not at all. In a minute, it's been two weeks, I'm like, 'Oh, I actually need the sun.' I need it actually.

Tanner: Yeah.

Vera: Vitamin D is a very critical vitamin. So when it's been like a year or two, I really just miss the sun. And every time the sun comes out, I need to go outside. I don't care. I'm going outside. I need...

Tanner: I'm going to put in my, if we're counter-ranking cities, I'm going to put in my vote for San Francisco, because I feel like you get the best of sun, but it's not overly hot. Good amount of fog whenever you want to be in your goth mode, which I do from time to time.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: And if you're like, “Alright, it's actually overbearing,” it's pretty easy to get the fuck out of it, just go to the East Bay.

Vera: That's true. San Francisco or even to LA you travel an hour, 45 minutes, an hour, and totally, it's hot. It's like, Seattle, you're kind of stuck. You're going to get cold, you're looking at a five hour drive to the other end of the region. It's like, you're stuck in the cold, you're like in it.

Tanner: I'm going to bust out my weather nerd credentials real quick.

Vera: Yeah, please. Tell me what's going on.

Tanner: So, it's... I never thought about it when I was living in LA, because it's 75 and sunny every fucking day, and the only thing you ever wonder about it is, is there ever anything else, and anything else, somehow it gets hotter. And then moving to San Francisco, it's like, oh, there's actual seasons. They're the wrong seasons, but they're seasons nonetheless.

Vera: Yeah. Seasons... Been there.

Tanner: My joke is you get every season twice in San Francisco because you get the foggy summer, the hot fall, but it's basically, the first six months are your typical seasons, and you repeat them for the last six months. So, what ends up happening is, it's all dictated by ocean currents and the water temperature.

Vera: Okay.

Tanner: So, all this water we get along the West Coast is coming directly from Alaska and it’s super fucking cold, and then the one-two punch there is, the West Coast even as far as Los Angeles, by default, wants to be cold. What makes it warm is there's probably some small details I'm missing here, but what makes it warm or cold is the jet stream and ocean currents. San Francisco kind of teeters between that, so the jet stream either keeps low pressure systems or high pressure systems in place. Everything south of San Francisco gets the high pressure system, that fog, so it becomes hot, and then the low pressure system allows everything from the ocean to come in. So that's why you'll get heavy fog in San Francisco, and then the coastal mountains will block it from getting below San Francisco. So it can be 50 in July in San Francisco and you go like maybe 10 miles south, and it's like 80. The coast mountain ranges blocking things helps a lot too

Vera: Yeah, I never got that. In LA, and then you go to the beach, and the water is cold. Like, how is that? It feels like it shouldn’t be cold when the air is warm.

Tanner: Yeah. It's kind of annoying because I want warm water at a beach, but the tradeoff is because the Eastern part of the pacific is so cold, it puts all the energy that generates hurricanes onto the west side of the pacific, so we don't have to deal with typhoons or hurricanes.

Vera: That feels like a tradeoff. You got fires.

Tanner: We got fires, yeah.

Vera: But they're pretty powerful.

Tanner: Yeah. We get fires that are more intense than they should be, and then we get fires starting in California for really stupid reasons.

Vera: Yeah, yeah.

Tanner: Like, oh my god, there was... The stupidest one I think in recent memory was there was a gender reveal party in San Bernardino, in the mountain.

Vera: Yeah yeah, I remember, Oh my god. Literally, a bomb or something.

Tanner: The whole story is just, it's like cosmic stupidity on such an extreme scale, because it's out in the desert, it was in the mountains. It's like in an area that was abnormally dry already, and then even dryer than it should be, and the fire spread to like the mountain pass of Palm Springs. I remember seeing, the day before I was going to Palm Springs, they were saying, “There's a fire in San Bernardino”. That's terrible. And the next day I get a call from the hotel saying “Hey, we're shutting down, there's a fire,” and I was like, “oh, I hope everyone's okay,” and they’re saying “We're fine, but the mountain's on fire.” “The mountain by the hotel?” “Yeah, the mountain's on fire.”

And I had this total stoner moment where I'm thinking, how the fuck do you have a giant rock on fire?

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: How is it so bad that the rocks are on fire?

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I ended up just saying that on the phone, and the receptionist said “Well, there's vegetation on the mountains, that's what's burning.” Okay, that makes sense.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Okay. Cool.

Vera: You know, that means everyone fucking knows the gender. That's one thing I would remember. Was it a boy? Was it a girl? I don't remember at all.

Tanner: Neither do I.

Vera: Neither do I care.

Tanner: Fair. Yeah. That was, oh my god. That was just so stupid.

Vera: So stupid.

Tanner: So, I want to veer into a totally unrelated topic.

Vera: Yeah, do it.

Tanner: Okay, favorite concert memories.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: I want to share the first one I remember. I think it was like, we all, including you, went to go see Megadeath in Pomona at The Fox Theater. And it was... The reason I bring it up is because I saw the security guard's face after this happened. There was the general admission mosh pit, you needed a ticket to get in there.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: We were all three rows back, I think I was there with Cody, Cody and Scott, and it was a huge crowd of people trying to move up to the pit from the upper balcony level and I think we're all trying to figure out and security's blocking people. You said “Fuck this, I'm going to go jump over the railing, and jump into the pit.”

Vera: Sounds like me.

Tanner: And I saw you jump over the upper balcony section, land, and keep running, and I saw the security guard went off to the side to see you do it, acknowledge it, and throw his hands up in the air, like “This is beyond my pay grade. What the actual fuck?”

Vera: Sounds exactly like me, that’s what I would do at shows. One of the best concerts that I've been to surprised me, but it's weird, like a tiny, tiny club. I want to say it was the Echo?

Tanner: The what?

Vera: The Echo.

Tanner: Oh, yeah.

Vera: It’s a tiny, tiny, tiny venue in LA. When we got there, it was like the biggest line of my life. It went all, all over the block, down the streets was a line. For the show, we get there at around 6 PM and it’s festival. We didn't actually get into the actual venue until 10 o'clock at night.

Tanner: Oh, fuck.

Vera: And we were lining up, like the show started at 7. It was like, we didn't actually get in until the middle of the night. There were all these psychedelic DJs that went on for a couple hours, actually. Then the show didn't actually go on until midnight or one in the morning. It was cool, for real. I was 16, maybe, I don't know. But it was like the best show of my life. All the way from our school to right in front of a tiny, tiny venue. Completely loud, like probably not in legal capacity, but very very packed show, and yeah. I don't think they most artists will ever play a show that small or packed like ever.

Tanner: Damn.

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: Oh my god.

Vera: I'll never forget that show.

Tanner: I think my favorite show kind of mirrors that in a similar way. So it was summer 2018, Nine Inch Nails is doing a festival run in Europe. Before that, they did five warm-up shows, and they're headlining all the major metal festivals, all the major European festivals, so they did a couple nights in London, one in Berlin, one in Amsterdam, and one in Paris, and I went to all the shows except the one in Berlin, and I remember thinking the craziest show was going to be the ones in London and the most boring one, just from the crowd, is going to be the one in Paris, because it's a tiny nightclub. I don't know why-

Vera: You thought like the scale of the venue was related to the intensity of the show-

Tanner: Yeah, because it was also, all the shows sold out within minutes except Paris. I ended up forging a ticket to get into one of the London shows. I bought a resale ticket, then had to Photoshop my name on it, because they do, they match the ticket to your ID to let you in

Vera: Oh wow.

Tanner: So I did that, but the Paris show, it didn't sell out until maybe the day of the show. It’s a small venue for a couple hundred people. For whatever reason, I thought the French would've been uptight like standing in place, arms folded and I get in, and it’s jam-packed. I'm two hours early, and I can't move. I'm just at the back, sandwiched between the wall and everyone else.

Vera: Two hours early!?

Tanner: And the whole premise of this tour was, they're just doing like a completely different set every night, it's mostly deep cuts, the flow makes no sense at all, and I think they opened with “Sanctified” or something really slow like that.

Vera: Oh, nice.

Tanner: It made no sense, and immediately, like the whole room breaks out into a violent mosh pit. I remember the pit opens up, I get thrusted to the center, I'm trying to scurry to one side, and this woman was maybe five foot nothing, just plows right through me, and pushes me in the front. I’m thinking “This is so fun, I'm so fucked but this is so fun.” At the end of it I realized I made a really bad estimation, the French are really cool,

Vera: Yeah.

Tanner: It's maybe a 300 person room, and they had their whole festival setup in there going out into the lobby. Why is the lighting rig so fucking big.

Vera: Really talking me into trying to get to Paris. I'm going to be out there. Well actually, the wedding in France. Maybe I'll miss the wedding and I'll go there to see Rammstein. Not going to lie. It seems like the perfect missed opportunity.

Tanner: If it's anything like when I saw them in LA last year, it, the scale of the show is so fucking huge. The stage is a miniature city almost.

Vera: Wow.

You're only here to experience Rammstein and nothing else. You can't have any other thoughts, except thoughts for Rammstein.

Tanner: I saw them at the LA Coliseum last year, and it was just, it's a two and a half hour show, they play stuff from every album, obviously super theatrical, but it was just the scale of everything was mind-blowing. Anywhere you were, you were surrounded by flamethrowers, it's not just the stage. It's everywhere. It was just, I felt like I was burn to a crisp by the end of it.

Vera: Oh my god.

Tanner: What I really loved was how meta the whole show was. You get in there, they don't have an opening band. They have a band playing Rammstein covers on piano.

Vera: What? That's great.

Tanner: It feels like they're the only band that can pull that off, because it's not just Rammstein piano, but it's also the songs they'll play later on in the night.

Vera: Serious? I think that's what I want to hear when I go to a show.

Tanner: You're only here to experience Rammstein and nothing else. You can't have any other thoughts, except thoughts for Rammstein.

Vera: I love it. I wouldn't want to even think about anything else.

Tanner: No. And then the before Rammstein or an opener plays, the screens were playing Rammstein music videos. The only music you hear from right when you get in to even when you're leaving, is just Rammstein.

Vera: It's a little cultish, but I like it. In a good way, yeah.

Tanner: This is so fucking meta, but it fits.

Vera: It works.

Tanner: If I went to see any other band and they did that, I’d think this is so stupid, you're just stroking your ego. I don't want to listen to anything you're doing until you get on stage, and Rammstein is just, “Fuck you this is it. You're only getting us and nothing else for five hours.”

Vera: They’re playing Europe this summer right?

Tanner: Yeah, they're playing Paris.

Vera: I know. I want to be in France at this again.

Tanner: They play July 22.

Vera: That's the day of the wedding I’m going. Maybe I'll just have to randomly get sick.

Tanner: Maybe they’ll announce a second night in Paris.

Vera: I wish they’d play smaller more intimate venues. That would be fun.

Tanner: It would be. I think if there's a stadium out there, they can host like 60,000 people, they'll play it.

Vera: Other than US?

Tanner: They did like a brief US run last year that was a few shows. I don't think they have anything announced yet. I hope they do, because I would definitely travel to see them again.

Vera: If they do a second night, I'll keep an eye out. That would be a fun thing to do.

Tanner: I'm just going to do like another round of food.

Vera: All right.

Tanner: See what they got on the menu.

Vera: Ooh. The coconut rice cake looks really good.

Vera: Okay.

Tanner: How's the coconut.

Vera: Right. I would, every time I order the coconut It makes me wonder, because I worked at a restaurant that had coconut, and maybe like, 5 out of 10 coconuts are actually halfway full, so I wonder if it comes full at all. That's fine, like I know it's delicious, but I'd rather have a full coconut, but it's always like halfway full.

Tanner: Let's see. Yeah, I'm going to do the coconut rice cake.