Nothing Special, Really

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day. You know, that Federal Holiday where we remember something by barbecuing some food and get drunk by 2pm. I think that was an old Sioux Indian tradition that our forefathers adapted before they slaughtered most of them.

Cue song: "And I'm proud to be an American..."

I wonder how much longer it will take before they change the name of Memorial Day to something like Barbecue Day, or DUI Day. I honestly don't know a single person who celebrates the holiday with the spirit that was intended. Anyways, here are some facts you should know about Memorial Day:

1. It's to honor those in the military that died going all the way back to the Civil War. I guess the War of 1812 casualties are shit out of luck. If anyone remembers them anyways.

2. It's because of the Uniform Holiday Act that we get to celebrate it on a Monday. Three Day Weekend - score!

3. I will be celebrating my Memorial Day Weekend with the likes of other American patriots, such as Bjork, Arcade Fire, & The Beastie Boys at the Sasquatch Music Festival.

However you choose to celebrate your Memorial Day, make sure to stay safe, don't drink & drive, but still drink lots of alcohol. Because a good Memorial Day is one that you just can't remember.

Last night was the season finale of Lost. I can't remember the last time I was this capitvated by a TV show, probably not since nip\tuck. I didn't catch on until sometime last fall, when Wac & I broke down and rented the first season, but we've made it a point to catch every show this season. It seems like most shows on network television don't appeal to me, but really is such a brilliant TV show. Not because of the incredibly detailed yet still interesting plot line, or because of the amazingly talented cast. I find it brilliant because they've found an ingenious way to capture an audience - don't let them know what the fuck is going on with your show. Really, the only answers we've got thus far have only led to more questions. Yet, I've been hooked since I started. Man, this is going to be a rough 9 months coming up.

I just want to remind everyone back in AZ of a couple of things:

1. The highs right now are between 67 -75 degrees.
2. It's possible to get tickets for $200 roundtrip right now.

Just sayin.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Can't Robert Horry Have Diabetes?

Not too much to say about the Suns this time. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Getting all worked up about it at this point resolves nothing. Our next step is to wish as hard as we can that Atlanta doesn't sneak into the Lottery tomorrow. We could certainly use that No. 4 pick.

So today, I want to share something that isn't quite confirmed, but is something I'm pretty certain of.

I have diabetes.

I don't know this for sure. I haven't been to the doctor yet to confirm this - I'm planning on going sometime next week. But I have every reason to believe that I do.

1. It runs in my family. Both my dad and my sister are diabetic, and it also runs in my mom's history as well.

2. I'm overweight. This makes my risk of diabetes that much higher.

3. I'm showing symptions of early stage diabetes. Things like frequent urination and excessive thirst.

Perhaps it's the wrong perspective to have, but I'm not so much bothered by having diabetes as I am bothered by what changes I'll have to make. I'll have to severely limit my carb intake. Things like pizza and beer will have to be cut out almost completely (and I'm sure some doctors would argue the "almost"). Ice cream, definitely gone. I'll have to exercise more, which isn't that big of a deal, since I've been going to the gym more frequently, but I can't fall off that wagon any more. I'll still be able to live a productive life, but I'll have to do the two things that, for 28 years, I haven't yet been able to do - eat healthy and exercise. Otherwise, I risk falling down the path that my dad is going down right now.

My dad has been diabetic for as long as I've been alive. I remember when I was younger, he would check his blood sugar by pricking his finger, and I always used to cringe when he would do that. But other than that, I don't recall him ever managing his diabetes. We never cooked any special meals, and he would always seem to find a way to cure his sweet tooth. And after a point, I'm pretty sure he stopped checking his blood sugar.

Now, my parents are in the process of selling their house up in Concho, AZ, to buy a mobile home back in the Valley. One of the main reasons for this; should my dad pass away before my mom, my mom would not be able to afford the mortgage on the house. Let's neglect for a moment the eerieness of thinking about my parents making plans for their passing away. They are doing this because they think that there is a strong chance that this will happen, and it's primarily because my dad hasn't managed his diabetes well.

My dad turned 63 this year. They are planning this now in case something happens in 10 years. I don't know what I'll be doing when I'm 73 or if I'll even be around, but one thing I know is that I don't want anyone to be making any funeral arrangements because I couldn't get my diabetes under control.

What's interesting is that I have an intense fear of being dead - not dying, but beind dead - but I'm still relatively indifferent to the fact that I probably have a disease that could end up being the cause of my death. I've tried every possible way of motivating myself to eat better and get in shape - to feel better about my self, to win the affection of a girl, to play basketball better. None of those have worked. Now I have a new motivational tool - "If I don't start doing this, I will slowly kill myself". And if that doesn't work...I guess it's "like father, like son."

P.S. - If you're reading this - Jennifer, I owe you a phone call, I'm so sorry, and Jess, I owe you an email. This week, I'll get back to both of you. Promise. Promise. Promise.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Road Trip, Part 7

The end is almost nigh.

For the Spurs, that is.

And, for my vacation recap as well (is anyone reading this still? Besides my girlfriend?)

After a good night's rest, we were ready to leave Napa Valley and head for our last stop on our trip: Bend, OR. We chose Bend mostly because it was a good stopping point between Napa & Seattle. We could have just tried to drive from Napa to Seattle non-stop, and we probably would have been home before midnight that same day. But we decided to extend our trip one more day to break up the drive, and to see an old friend as well.

There isn't really much to say about the driving portion of the trip. From Napa to Redding, it's basically just open land with periodic sightings of gas stations and fast food joints. Speaking of fast food, since this was our last day in California, we had one more mission to accomplish - find an In N'Out Burger. The last time I had INO was back in Burbank, around this same time last year. I was craving it. We had already passed a couple of opportunities before; of course, we always happened to pass them right after we ate. Wac was certain there was one in Redding, and about 18 miles before we got there, a billboard confirmed it.

I will go on record and say that this day, we found proof of the existence of God, and it exists in the form of a Double-Double. I know these things are good, but when you haven't had one in about a year, it's more than just good. It's orgasmic.

After we finished making love to our burgers, we continued our drive through the lame part of Northern California. Again, nothing exciting to report until we found weed. As in Weed, CA. If you've been to Cheba Hut, you've seen the pictures:

Unfortunately, that sign no longer exists. Apparently, it gets stolen to much, so now the options are "College" or "City Center". That makes the choice a lot less difficult.

Then we drove to Bend. Still, not much to report here. We saw trees, we saw lakes, we saw rivers. Blah blah blah. I know it probably seems like I'm half-assing this recap, but trust me, there's nothing to see there. Move along now.

We finally get to Bend and arrive at our hotel, the McMenamin's St. Francis School Hotel. For those in AZ who just don't know, McMenamin's is a brewery in Oregon that not only runs brewpubs in OR and WA, they also own a couple of hotels. Hotels with brewpubs. And movie theaters. And Turkish bath houses. All for $105 night.

First off, McMenamin's beer is pretty damn special. Wac's a fan of the Terminator Stout, kind of like Guinness. I prefer the Hammerhead, a lighter beer, but not IPA light. They also have the Ruby, a Raspberry Ale which tastes like drinking grapefruit juice without the tartness. It's seriously one of the best tasting beers I've ever had because it just doesn't taste like beer.

McMenamin's food is pretty spectacular. Their tater tots are the best I've ever had. Fried to perfection, I recommend ordering them cajunized, but with the cajun on the side, and a side of ranch. Dip the tot in the ranch, then the cajun spice, and prepare to be blown away. It's almost as good as a Double-Double.

Mmmmmmmmm, cajunized Double-Double. (slobbering & drooling noises)

So, not only does this place have an amazing brewpub on site, but it also gives it's guests free passes to it's movie theater, and free passes to it's Turkish soaking baths. And, the building itself is converted from an old schoolhouse. Wac said it best when she described the place as being a "summer camp for adults". We're already talking about booking a group trip to stay at one of the Parish houses that you can reserve as well. 10 people, $300 a night total. How can you beat that deal?

Of course, we took advantage of the brewpup and grabbed some dinner, along with the requisite pitcher of Ruby Ale. We also took advantage of the Turkish bath house, which was amazing as well. Something about the water seemed very cleansing - we were both silky smooth when we were done. We passed on the movie theater - Pan's Labrynth had already ended, and we weren't interested in seeing The Host. Relaxed, refreshed, replenished, and Ruby ale'd out (had to maintain the alliteration), we called it a night, and spent the last night on the road sleeping in a schoolhouse, dreaming of being back in our own beds.

I'll just go ahead and end the trip recaps now. The next day, we drove to Corvallis OR, which wasn't too far out of the way, to visit Heidi, my old manager back at FACS in AZ. She moved up to OR within the past year when her husband Bill got accepted at Oregon State into their Ph.D. program for something smart, like molecular biology or something, I forget. So we met up with them for some lunchtime pizza along with their 1 year old, Owen. I'm not really excited about the idea of having kids, but if I could be assured that my kid would turn out like Owen, I would have one in a heartbeat. The little dude is insanely adorable. I've never seen a kid that was so happy-go-lucky, so full of laughter, and so personable to strangers. I didn't even mind that he kept trying to steal my pinky finger. Heidi and I caught up on conversations missed, and while it was great to see an face from the past, it was time to head home. So we hopped in the car and made the last journey home, to our own bed, our own apartment, and our own two very upset cats.

BTW, I'll try to post the rest of the pics later this weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Road Trip, Part 6

A quick note: For the record, the Spurs didn't beat the Suns last night. The Suns just ran out of gas. After the effort they gave last night, I don't see any reason why the Suns can't win the next two games.

Anyways, back to the road trip:

We started heading for Napa around 8:30am. Our journey to Napa took us through Oakland, where we must have missed that freeway collapse by about 6 hours or so. We were going too fast to take a picture (and we weren't really expecting to pass any collapsed freeways), but here's a picture from Google:

We got into Napa around 11am but must have missed the turn as we ended up on the wrong highway. Being an expert navigator, I turned around and decided to find the place using my instinct. And the fact that I saw a turnoff for the street we needed, just not the right turnoff. When we got on the freeway in the opposite direction, we got stuck in traffic and then forced off the freeway an exit early by a supposed accident. Passing by, we noticed a body covered up with a tarp and a large amount of blood on the highway. This wasn't going to end well. Turns out, someone had committed suicide by jumping off the overpass at 10:45am. About 15 minutes before we got there.

I guess the day couldn't get any worse, could it?

We finally found our hotel, which wouldn't let us check in until 3pm. But they were very helpful in helping us select some wineries to tour. So, at around noon, we finally made our way into California Wine Country.

Our first stop was the V. Sattui Winery. This was recommended by the hotel as the best place to stop, and it didn't disappoint. For $5, we were able to taste 6 different wines, all of which were pretty amazing. In fact, we liked their Gamay Rose so much that I bought a bottle to take back home. Honestly, I'm not that much of a wine person, so for me to spend $17 on a bottle of wine speaks volumes of how much I like it. Furthermore, this place didn't just sell wine, they also sold other condiments, including an array of dipping sauces, some of which were made from their wine. If I had known this in advance, I would have told the Krazy Police guy from San Francisco to fuck off with his $15 T-shirt scam and saved the money for these sauces! We get outside to the courtyard, and what's this? More condiments! I couldn't decide which one to buy, but finally I settled on the Chipotle Mustard (which actually wasn't made by V. Sattui. The whole place was incredible. Even Wac commented that I was being unusually giddy. Anyone who goes to Napa, write this down: V. Sattui. Go there. Stay there. Don't ever leave. You'll thank me.

Our second stop was to the Beringer Winery . Beringer was one of the first wines I ever liked. Before I started appreciating wine, I used wine as a mechanism for getting drunk, and I used to down bottles of the White Cabernet Sauvignon. It was perfect; it wasn't girly like a White Zinfandel, it wasn't ghetto like Wild Vines or Boone's Farms, it was easily drinkable yet maintained a bit of sophistication as well. And when I say I downed bottles, I mean that literally; back then, glasses were for chumps. Sadly, I haven't found that wine in a couple of years, and when we got to the winery, I confirmed with one of the workers that it was discontinued. No more brown-baggin for me.

The Beringer Winery offered a tour that took us to the depths of their wine caves, showing us over 100 years of wine history. When the tour ended, we went over to the Beringer Reserve wine house, which incidentally was one of the Beringer brother's original houses. Note to self: if I want to own an amazing house and several acres of beautiful countryside, learn how to ferment some grapes.

By this point we had consumed samples from 9 different wines. And it was only 2:30pm. Although I still had the strength to handle a couple more wineries, Wac was starting to feel the effects. Not to say that she was buzzed, but she was falling fast. We stopped by a KFC\A&W joint for lunch (it was the only place that wasn't completely packed this day), and once we refueled, we treked on to the next stop.

Our third winery was the Clos Pegase Winery. This one was different in that the owners were equally fascinated with art as they were with wine, so the place kind of doubled as an art museum. Random sculptures were scattered all over the property. I took a couple pictures of some of the more unique ones. Anyways, we sampled another four wines here, including an amazing 2003 Shiraz that I would have bought if it wasn't $25\bottle. It was worth it, but I felt that having money for gas was just a little more important. After we left, Wac tells me that she's got maybe one more winery left in her.

Our last stop was Beaulieu Vineyards. Again, a beautiful winery with amazing wines, but at this point, the wineries are going to start looking the same to us. We did their tasting, and after sampling 6 of their wines, we were convinced to buy a couple bottles. So, after sampling 21 wines, and buying three bottles, we headed back to the hotel.

When we got back, Wac convinced me to go swimming in the hotel pool with her. I was convinced that the pool would be too cold, but she was undeterred. She climbed in and swam up to her shoulders and confirmed that the water was "fine." We must have different interpretations of "fine", because even going up to my calves was freezing. It was probably just as cold as the ocean at Santa Cruz from the day before, but I decided to give Wac the benefit of the doubt and jumped into the pool, head first from the deep end.

One minute later I was wrapped up in my towel, cursing the pool, and pleading with Wac to go back to the hotel room.

I wish I could say that the rest of the day was more exciting, but by 5pm, we were exhausted. The effects from the wine were too much to overcome, and we both crashed for a couple of hours. We woke up and watched some more TV, but all in all, we felt it was better to conserve our energy and money for the rest of the trip.

Coming up next: the final destination. Bend, OR. And the answer to the question "What is there to do in Bend, Oregon anyways?"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yes, This One's Also About The Suns

Last night, on more than one occassion, Wac said I was scaring her.

That's how loud I was clapping and yelling at the TV.

Last night's game was unbelievable. I'll admit, at one point I was so dejected that I turned my head and tried to take a nap. The Spurs took off in the 3rd quarter, and considering how good of a team they are, I wasn't sure that the Suns could come back.

Well, they did, but at a cost.

Because of Horry's cowardly foul against Nash, we lost Amare and Boris for Game 5. But you know what? I'm really not that concerned. We still have KT to match up against Duncan, we have Burke who can take a couple fouls while guarding him, we still have Shawn, Nash, LB, Raja. We went to two Conference Finals while missing key players (Joe Johnson in 05, Amare and KT in 06) - this is not new territory for us. We just proved last night we can win against extreme adversity. And now, we have one more thing on our side: a mental advantage.

I don't think there is a single person on that team that is scared of the Spurs anymore. Not only did we come back in the 4th quarter on their own court to take back home court advantage, they had to rely on thuggish tactics to try and gain advantage. The Suns won't be dejected that they are without two key players; they'll be confident knowing that they can beat this team, and they can do it without those two.

We have nothing left to lose. We lose this series, and it'll forever be known as a tainted victory for the Spurs. We are expected to lose. We just won the biggest game in franchise history last night, and now we have to play two nights later, without our two best frontline players. Everyone will understand if we lose. Everyone expects the Spurs to win tomorrow night. The pressure is on San Antonio to not blow it again. But after the way they walked out of their arena last night, with their heads down, those exasperated looks on their faces, I don't think they have the confidence to do it. When a team has to resort to dirty plays to gain an advantage, they've already lost.

(Fuck, between the Suns and Lost tomorrow, I'm not going to have time to breathe!)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Interlude, Part 2

Can't wait to read about the end of our fascinating road trip? Well, you're gonna have to. Today, I'm taking a break to talk about some other things.

First, tonight is the most important game in the history of the Suns franchise. Bigger than any game during the '93 Playoffs. Bigger than any game against the Celtics in 1976. Bigger than any game against Dallas last year, or San Antonio the year before.

If we lose this game, then the series is basically over. And once the series is over, it's doubtful that you're going to see Nash, Amare, and Shawn on the same team ever again. And once that happens, the odds of us winning a championship in the Steve Nash era are less likely.

Can we win this game? Absolutely. Unlike previous years, the Spurs are not dominating us. Two years ago, we gave up the first two games at home. Not only have we already won one game, we've had a good chance to win all three. But in order to win this game, we have to do three things:

1. Get San Antonio out of our heads. We will not win this game if we continue to let them mindfuck us like they have been. Yes, Bowen is a dirty player, and he's officially added to my list of "Celebrities I Would Punch", which includes Bill Walton, Paul Schaffer, Joan & Melissa Rivers, and G.E. Smith (former of the Saturday Night Live Band). But the moment we started whining about it, we gave them the advantage. We let it be known how frustrating their style of play was, and you know what's going to happen from that? They're going to continue to find ways to frustrate us physically because they know it affects our game. We just have to shut up and play.

2. Ignore Marion on offense. Not that we run that many plays for Shawn, but he shouldn't even be concerned with touching the ball on the offensive end unless it's a rebound. If he doesn't score, I couldn't be happier. He needs to expend all of his energy on the defensive end and shut Tony Parker down. Parker is the key to the Spurs like Nash is to us. Keep Parker out of the paint (which is, admittedly, a tough job) and the game will be easier for us.

3. Box out. If Amare doesn't have 20 rebounds this game, it better be because only 19 shots were missed.

I've been a Suns fan since the 6th grade. My first game was during the 89-90 season, against the Atlanta Hawks. I hardly knew anything about basketball at the time; the only players I knew were Jordan, Magic, Bird, and Abdul-Jabbar, and when I actually tried to play basketball, I shot the ball like I was throwing a baseball from the outfield. But being there in person, watching the Suns play, it completely changed my life. No joke; that first game would probably be on the list of Top 5 Most Impactful Events in my life. My life revolved around basketball for at least the next 6 years, and it has been a big part ever since.

I was in the crowd for Game 6 against the Bulls in the '93 Finals, and I don't remember a single thing from the game except for Paxson's three. I was 14 years old, and at that point, I had never had a more hollow feeling than that car ride home that night. I just stared out of the window, thinking to myself "Why the fuck did Ainge leave his man?" I wanted to cry so bad, but I couldn't even muster up enough emotion to do that. I wasn't angry, I wasn't sad, I was just so...lifeless. Generations of Suns fans have already passed on without seeing their team win a championship, and I started wondering then if I'd ever get my chance.

Tonight will either mark the end of our best chance since then, or it will mark another step towards that final prize. Either way, I assure you that I will be there, at home, living in the moment. I will curse Ginobili's name every time he steps on the court, I will find new ways to imagine harm to Bruce Bowen, I will continually wonder what Eva Longoria finds attractive in Tony Parker, and I will marvel at how well Tim Duncan plays basketball for being a brontosaurus. But most of all, I will be living and dying by every bounce of the ball, every rebound, every shot, every foul. Because, unless we win, I may never get this chance again.

Still reading? Great! Because I've got more stories to tell.

All of you know by now that I'm an unique individual, in many different ways. But did you know how unique I am? How about 1 in every 200,000 unique?

I think most of you know this by now, but for those that don't, I was born without a left nipple. I have a mark where the nipple should be, but I don't have any protruding nipple, or even an areola. I was ashamed of this when I was younger, because as a smart, nerdy, fat kid, the last thing you want is to give anyone something else to make fun of you for. But I've grown to appreciate it, as have most of my friends as well. Because, really, only having one nipple is pretty damn cool. It's a fascinating story, it's a marvel to behold (if you can look past the hairy chest and the belly), and it's a great way to pick up chicks:

"Well, I've shown you mine, now you gotta show me yours."
"You ever been with a guy with one nipple before?"

Who WOULDN'T want to be with a guy with one nipple?

Anyways, despite being this way all my life, I've never known what it's called or even why it happened (I usually just say I lost in in 'Nam). But, after many fruitless attempts at Google-ing the answer (searching for "one nipple" found me anything but the answer), I finally know what it is called:


The condition is usually found in those who have Poland's Syndrome, a birth defect that causes assymetry of the body, such as missing pectoral muscles on one side, or a hand that is smaller than the other. Luckily, I don't have any other symptoms of this, just Athelia. Although another little known fact is that I was born with one leg shorter than the other. Funny story:

When I was in elementary school, my P.E. teacher had a conference with my parents because she was concerned about something. She noticed that, when we were doing the drill where the class walks in a circle and does jumping exercises, that I wasn't jumping straight up, I was jumping out at an angle. Turns out, my left leg was about an inch or so shorter than the other. I had to walk around with lifts in my left shoe until it finally caught up with my right leg.

So the moral of this story is that I'm basically a freak of nature. And, considering the odds, I'm one of maybe three people in Seattle that only have one nipple, and probably the only one who's missing a left one (it's usually the right nipple that's missing).

Next time someone asks me "What, you think you're special or something?", I'll just lift up my shirt and say "Yes. Yes I am."

As if life couldn't get any worse, it does seem that our road trip vacation will come at a heftier price than expected. Turns out, I now have a cracked radiator, according to Firestone. Of course, they also wanted to charge me $340 for a part that only costs $120, so I will be seeking a second opinion. But suffice it to say that this is a huge setback for me. Luckily, I can get around this city without driving, but I'm expecting to pay at least $500 to get this fixed. Right now, I have $0 of that.

Seeing my one nipple may start costing you some money now. $5 a pop is fair, right?

I'll be back tomorrow to begin the end of our vacation recaps.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Road Trip, Part 5

Friday, April 27th
Santa Cruz - Where Everything's Better When You're High, Man

We began the day in San Francisco at a nearby diner. Nothing like getting up in the morning and having a greasy breakfast. From there, we walked a couple of blocks to the flagship store for Macy's West. The store is so big, it needs a separate store across the street just for Men's Furnishings. Having worked for the company, I guess I felt it was obligatory to check out the store.

5 minutes later, the obligation was complete, and we could finally leave for Santa Cruz. But, what was only supposed to be a ninety minute drive turned into about a 3 hour drive since we took a detour (i.e. drove the opposite way) to check out the Berkeley campus. It's built on the side of a hill, so commuting looks like it would be a bitch, but it did look like it'd be a fun campus. Although we didn't see any naked guys walking around.

We got into Santa Cruz around 3pm or so. This was the first night that we wouldn't be staying in one of the timeshares provided for by Wac's parents, so the accomodations weren't what we were used to (i.e. a flat screen TV and the absence of ants in the bathroom). But what it lacked in luxury, it made up for in convenience; we were walking distance to the beach AND a taco shack. Since we haven't had good mexican food since what seemed like the dawn of man, we stopped there first. For $12, we got a veggie burrito, three tacos, two sides of rice, and what must have been a pony keg of Pepsi. Of course, the tacos had shredded PARMESAN cheese on them, but they were still the best tacos I've had since September.

(Seriously though, who puts parmesan on a taco? I could see someone in Amsterdam or New Hampshire doing this, but in Santa Cruz? Really? Even the fucking name is Spanish, and you can't even do cheddar? Such a travesty. But cheese is cheese, and any cheese is better than none.)

We then went to the beach where I promptly proceeded to bury my leg in the sand. I'm still 12 years old at heart, and for someone who didn't grow up near a beach, it's a treat anytime I go. If the water wasn't 40-something degrees, I would have been in faster than you can say "poop".

Later that night, we went to downtown Santa Cruz, which for you folks back home in AZ, is basically like Mill Avenue. Except more people under 21. Once the sun goes down, it doesn't look like there's much to do in this town except go downtown. And it seems like the population is 2\3 college kids and 1\3 beach bum, so EVERYONE goes downtown. But, through the swarms of freshman and skater kids (Santa Cruz really seems like a misplaced suburb of San Diego), we were able to find a decent sushi place.

We ordered a couple of different kinds of rolls, including an awesome crab roll that was stuffed with jalapeno and drizzled with a teriyaki style barbecue sauce. And, they accidentally made a second order, which they gave to us for free. SCORE!

(It was right after this that we probably had our worse experience of the trip. Walking back to the car, we crossed paths with a bum close to our age. Right away, he noticed the styrofoam container and asked "You don't want to carry those leftovers all the way back to your car, do you?" Somewhat sarcastically, I replied "I really don't have to walk that far, so it's OK". As he was walking away, Wac heard him say "It doesn't look like you need it anyways." Motherfucker just called me fat! It's not like I don't know this, but I don't need this prick stating the obvious. I don't know what I would have done if I heard it in time, probably nothing, but after dealing with the guy in San Francisco, as well as the handful of bums I had already walked past earlier in the night, I was in no mood to deal with it. Oh well, he was just probably jealous because of my figure. It takes years to get the kind of curves I got!)

The next day, we packed up some sammiches and headed back down to beach, where I proceeded to bury both legs into the sand this time. I also worked up enough nerve to walk into the water up to my waist. I didn't last too long though; man, that shit was COLD. I tried to get a suntan, but it probably takes a couple days in the sun to tan my pale ass. Plus, as Wac pointed out after it was too late, "if you want to get a suntan, then don't put so much lotion on your arms!"

Obviously, I'm no expert at tanning.

After a late lunch at the Santa Cruz Diner, a place that Wac has to stop at every time (and rightfully so. I mean, any diner that has a menu so big that it serves Pho is a winner in my book), we drove around Santa Cruz until we found UC Santa Cruz. Had Wac not attended SPU, she probably would have attended UCSC instead. Instead of attending a Christian school, she would have gone to a college in a city that decriminalizes marijuana more than any other city in the U.S. I wonder how she would have turned out?

Anyways, the campus in SC is basically the opposite of ASU. Instead of (mostly) all the buildings in walking distance of each other, the buildings here are all spread out, located either in the fields or in the forest. Instead of watching out for sluts not paying attention to anything but their cellphone, you have to watch our for deer. Otherwise, a pretty decent little school.

By the time we got back to the room, it was dinner time. Rather than face the hordes of surfers and beggars walking around downtown, we decided to order some pizza (and what ended up later being a $6 six-pack of root beer. Fuckers charged by the can!), watched a movie, and prepared ourselves for our next stop....Napa Valley!

OK, so you're probably asking yourselves where the cupcakes are at in this story. When we stopped at a gas station on the way out of SC, lo and behold, I found my orange cupcakes again! Although this time, there wasn't just one package, there were at least 6 of them. I seriously contemplated buying up all of them, but I just went for one of them. I can get them online if I want ( birthday is August 16th. I'm just sayin, that's all). But I guess it makes sense. If I lived in Santa Cruz, I'd be getting stoned all the time too, and what better way to cure the munchies than some Hostess Orange Cupcakes.

Next time on "Nothing Special, Really"...will Matt & Wac get trapped in the amazingness that it California Wine Country?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Road Trip, Part 4

Thursday, April 26th
San Francisco - Ah, The Romans Were Here

The second day in San Francisco got off to a rocky start. We began the day in search of a Kinko's. Wac had some important paperwork that didn't get sent out before we left, so we walked down to the Financial District, grabbed some bagels for breakfast, and hung out at Kinko's for a little bit. Not the best way to spend vacation, but it was just something we had to do.

We stopped back at the hotel to regroup and get the car for the next part of our day - the driving tour. While we were waiting for the car, we stopped at a little market across the street for some snacks and some water. I wasn't really hungry, but when I walked in, everything changed. Right in front of me, shining like a gold tooth'd grill from the smile of a really dark black man, was a sight that nearly brought me to tears:

Heaven has a name, and it is Hostess's Orange Cupcakes! For years, I thought these were discontinued; I haven't seen them in stores for a long time (I was very sad about this, to the point that I wrote a blog about it on myspace). I thought I would have to order these online if I ever wanted them again. You can imagine my excitement when I found these in a store again.

Once I calmed down, we made our purchase, and drove up to Alamo Square, our second stop on the "Axe Murderer" tour. This is the park where you can see the famous Painted Ladies, and also the park where Charlie Mackenzie was going to "cleave" Harriet. We snapped some choice photos, but not before I embarked on the bliss that is devouring some orange cupcakes.

We continued our tour through San Francisco to Battery Point, a park in The Presidio, and the backdrop to the scene where Charlie asks Harriet if she's ever done anything "Evil. Like the fruits of the devil. Evil." From there, we "danced like children of the night" at the Palace of Fine Arts. After that, we drove down Lombard St, which wasn't in the movie but should have been, as it's a highly recognizable SF landmark and a fun drive.

All that sight seeing made us hungry, and by nightfall, we were ready to eat. We ended up at some Italian restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf. It was no Olive Garden, but what is? We stopped by Cold Stone Creamery for dessert, then headed home by none other than cable car. Yes, again. I couldn't get enough of them!

Friday morning, we stopped off at some diner for breakfast, then wasted what little time we had left by going to the flagship Macy's in San Francisco. It's the headquarters for the Macy's West division, so it's this monstrosity of a store. It's so big, in fact, that the Men's Store has it's own building across the street, and the main building is still 7 stories tall. One whole floor was dedicated to women's shoes. Overall, it was relatively unimpressive - I think the Seattle flagship store is better looking. This marked the end of our San Francisco trip, and by the afternoon, we began the hour drive to our next location - Santa Cruz.

Coming up next time: Sushi, sand and...more cupcakes?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Road Trip, Part 3

As you should know, when I say "Check back tomorrow for more updates", it really means "Check back in a week."

Wednesday, April 25th
San Francisco - Where Even The Sea Lions Are Gay

When we last left you, we had just arrived in San Francisco after 15 hours of driving. All that driving, and being up since 5am, wears one out, and by midnight, I was ready to sleep the next morning away.

That didn't happen. I was up by 8am so I could move my car from the public garage to valet. Parking is a premium in this city, and either way I was paying $30\day to store my car, but at least with valet I had in & out privileges (insert gay sex joke here). With the early start to the morning, we grabbed a Muni pass and some breakfast, and traveled through San Francisco the best way possible....cable car!

Who knew public transportation could be so much fun? I was more gung-ho about hanging off the side of a moving vehicle than Wac was, but we both had a good time "hanging out". Get it? HA!

We arrived at the Fisherman's Wharf, not really knowing what to do next. We turned right, hoping to arrive at Ghiradelli Square. 90 minutes and $15 dollars later, we should have gone left. At least the time was well spent. Let me explain.

We walked down whatever street it is that that runs along the Wharf; I don't feel like looking it up right now. We resisted the temptation of cheesy souvenirs and franchise food joints, although the possibility of ordering In & Out while wearing matching "Escape Alcatraz Inmate" striped T-shirts was especially inviting. We made our way further south\northeast (directions in this city are useless) when we hear the wonderful sounds of barking sea lions.

We spent a good fifteen minutes watching the sea lions either fight with each other or sleep. The fighting sea lions (now THAT sounds like an awesome mascot) were entertaining, but we were particularly fixated on the giant sleeping sea lion that was about to fall off into the water. Sadly, he didn't fall. It was around this time that Wac was able to spot the sea lion penis that she so graciously photographed and sent to some of her friends. She's got a knack for spotting those kinds of things, I guess.

(insert penis joke here).

There's nothing like a sea lion penis exposure that makes one crave chocolate, so we went off in search of Ghiradelli square. As were walking, I hear some yell out something like "Excuse me, sir, stop right there". I've grown accustomed to filtering out sounds like this, and usually I chalk it up to nothing more than someone's attempt to get money that I don't have to offer. But this sounded more stern, more powerful, so I stopped and turned my head.

"What you just did was illegal, and I'm going to have to give you a citation."

I look, and it's not a cop saying this, but some elderly black man, very Morgan Freeman-esque. I realize right away that this is a scam, but on a crowded sidewalk, with this gentleman now standing in front of us, and my tendency to not be an asshole to people, escape was out of the question.

"I'm from the Wacky Police, and I'm going to have to give you a citation for failing to smile while you're holding this pretty little lady's hand."

Ugh. Let's just get this over with.

He goes on, rambling some pseudo-police mumbo-jumbo, then explains that the money goes to charity, how he was a Berkeley grad and now he's doing this, yadda yadda yadda, and to top things off, he even gets a tear in his eye. This guy was good. He gives us a couple of T-Shirts, no money required, no donation necessary, but he then asks if I'm willing to take care of the citation and discretely points out (on the pre-made citation that he's filled out) that there's a $15 fine with this. Fuck me! I've got $60 to last me for the next two days, and he wants 25%!

$15 later, we're on out way to Ghiradelli Square, and all thoughts of how I just got ripped off were quickly washed away by probably the best ice cream sundae I've ever had.

We headed back to the hotel (via cable car, of course) to rest up for a bit, and then we made our way to the Fog City Diner. We chose this location for it's importance in one of my all time favorite movies, So I Married An Axe Murderer. We decided that one thing we would do on this trip was a tour of various key points from the movie, and this was our first stop. Surprisingly, it was very fancy for a diner, and the $11 burger proved that this was no ordinary diner. We had cheddar biscuits for an appetizer, and at $4.50 for two, you'd think it was a ripoff, but these things made the Red Lobster cheese biscuits seem like bread crumbs. The burger was incredible too, and it was accompanied by fresh pickles, made on the premises. It was, quite possibly, one of the best "comfort food" meals I've ever had.

Nighttime was fast approaching, and we had a couple of options. We had talked about going to see Air perform, but at $40+ per person, it was too steep. The Junior Boys were also in town, and there were a couple of theater shows that were offering half-priced tickets, but in the end, it was too hard to pass up a couple of our favorites. For it was Wednesday night, and most of you know what that means.

ANTM & Lost.

I have no shame in saying that we spent the first night in San Francisco watching TV in our hotel room. For both of us, the thrill and excitement of being out on the town in a city like this did not outweigh trying to catch up with our favorite TV shows (only Lost in my case - I am not an ANTM follower. Although I will say that I'm rooting for the Russian chick). It was the best decision too - we were both not disappointed, and considering the $15 molestation we encountered earlier, we were both willing to take the cheapest alternative for entertainment.

Coming up next - Day 2 in San Francisco, where a rocky start to the day ultimately leads to the form of a cupcake.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Once again, sorry for the lack of updates. The Internet was scarce once we left San Francisco, and when it was available, it was more than $5 an hour. I don't love you guys that much.

Anyways, we just got home about an hour ago, and we're going to spend the night getting reacquainted with our abandoned children:

Check back tomorrow for more updates.