Well dang, it's been a while. I guess I'll put on some pump-up music and get down to the play-by-play of the last few months.
After a five-plus year break from the quadri-family reunion that is Old Blues, I made a triumphant return. Well, pretty tame, actually. Despite the number of people there, it felt relaxing and low-key. Which is good.
I took a couple of weekends to go see Rachael (if you havent been following her blog, do. She's a much better writer than I) and others in the Bay Area.
I BEAT THE SWINE FLU is the t-shirt I'm going to have made, as I truly crossed the alligators' backs in Martinez, whilst visiting my dear friends Brett and Charmaine. They, along with their room mate came down with the notorious H1N1 convienently, oh, the day I showed up. But that's okay because obsessive hand-washing, beer, and staying at least 9 feet away at all times seemed to work out in my favor. Boo Yah!
My travel periods followed the heat waves so I spent a few blocks of time traveling in 100+ degree heat, which is a hallucinatory and euphoric experience, as long as you can swim whenever you want. The sun is my favorite drug and it induces a feeling like no other (though a capsaicin high comes close.)
I saw San Jose twice, though my visits there are through the rose colored lenses of my Gran's beautiful backyard and 80 degree swimming pool. Yep.
There's a bit of an eerie feeling around that house now, though. Perhaps my adult eyes see things in disrepair that they never saw before. Perhaps that's the way things have always been.
But there's nothing like driving 8 hours, drinking a cold beer and diving in a diaphanous oasis.
Speaking of which, the Smith River is only two hours away yet I've only managed to make it there once this year. But lo, what a beauty to behold. The Smith is absolutely, unequivocally the most beautiful river in California and looks to hold that status for a long time.
Plus, camping is the shit when you've got a cousin who'll fix a nalgene-size margarita (with real lime) and dinner and breakfast.
And then back to the Bay Area for the Giants, who, between a terrific away streak, and an eight-inning shut out, played the worst game I've ever seen (live). Oh well, $80 worth of beer made up for that. pffffft.
And while I glibly throw out four score's worth of Washington's on Sierra Nevada (Holy SHIT! 175 calories a pop?), my financial security - HA! - falls out from under me. Yes, venerable Arcata establishment Video Experience has closed. :(
But, like a phoenix from the ashes of our global recessio-pocalypse, La Dolce Video rises. Ok, their website's nothing right now, but VX lives in spirit. Merrick's got a shit-ton of good ideas and enthusiasm (and VX's entire catalog) so I have high hopes for the spot. He's talking video games, comics, magazines, candy, popcorn and movies, so as long as I bring beer I won't need to go anywhere else. Ever.
Please support his awesome business!
Have I mentioned beer yet in this post? Rachael and I are taking a homebrew class this semester (yes, college is a rigorous exercise) so G Dazzle's Afternoon Delight might be a reality.
My visits with Rachael yielded some cool cultural delights. The SF Zoo is a nice facility. Though my hopes to see the baby gorilla did not come to fruition.
Filoli has a garden that just made me jealous. I'm sick of potted plants.
And the Academy of Sciences was about what I expected: dioramas, crowds, and lite versions of the SF Zoo and MB Aquarium. But worth it for the albino alligator.
So, I got to see my beautiful GF (that's her in the foreground),
Get tan (my God, that's embarrasing),
Ride my bike, and soak in a ton of media.
Some favorite new music: Jay Reatard, Grizzly Bear, Phoenix, The Heartless Bastards, No Age, Future of the Left, Def Leppard, Steve Earle's 'Guitar Town'. And as usual I've been listening to a lot of the Who and the Jam.
I've seen: Harry Potter 6, Eastbound and Down, Perfect Getaway, Up!, Spaced, Bad Timing Saxondale, The Hangover, and Moon.
I've read: Amnesia Moon, 100 Bullets, Lapham's Quarterly, and Blood Meridian.
I've played: Infamous, Shatter, Oblivion (surprise), Call of Duty 4, Civilization, Little Big Planet, Resistance 2, Tiger Woods '09, and just started Kingdom Hearts 2, which I am highly excited about.
So... if anyone wants my opinion on any of this stuff, all you have to do is ask. I may have more to come.
Oh, and I threw 2 birdies at the Mad River disc golf course last week.
And if you read all this, you get a prize: