Wednesday, September 24, 2008

South, North, South, North, North, South, North

Well, I spent the last week being thankful that I am poor and have no major investments to lose. It'll be easier on us, we know what its like already. Me-1, McCain-0. Its nice that the higher ups can stop and think about the precariousness of their financial status, most of us can do it any day we want.

Luckily, however, I came to this brilliant self-discovery while bouncing through the state of California. (its on the west coast-- of America) Under the guise of visiting graduate programs, I celebrated the end of the summer with a jaunt in So. Cal. Aunty Bevvy opened her doors in San Diego and we took on a mission to see how much of her wine we could consume, which was a fair amount. Intermittently we visited the famous sand depots of Ocean and Mission Beach. Brett Favre (at least that's what his jersey said) gave us a fine show of his impeccable aim and narrowly avoided dropping seven strangers off their bicycles, denting three Mercedes and a VW, and nearly devastating the visages of four first-class females. A mighty hero. He was from Green Bay too, if that says anything.

We also stopped in to see our cousins at the famous San Diego Zoo. It turns out that caged animals don't get as excited to see us as we do of them, who knew. But it is a lovely zoo and Shawn Mullins has never performed there that I know of. SDSU seems like a fine school with a good program and the Clay Associates, a non-profit educational establishment, furthered the allure to the last stop before Mexico. (I cannot throw a stone from San Diego to Tijuana).

I stole Bev's car and drove to L.A., which it turns out would have been faster to walk there, in order to arrive on the minute of my meeting at UCLA. Six total hours of driving for an hour-and-a-half in L.A. was a bit ridiculous, but I did have a brief lunch with Cousin Grant in El Segundo, and he's nice. Back in SD, we continued on the wine goal over dinner and were delighted to receive an invite to the studios at the Clay Associates. Bless Eric for putting up with the two of us until one in the morning while he was stone sober. He and his venue are amazing and I recommend the visit.

Did I forget to mention Virgin-- Virgin America. It is the first airline that has ever acknowledged my destiny to rockstardom and they did so by keeping on the purple, blue and red club lights throughout each leg of my three flight journey and played moderate techno music when I boarded. They even let me sit first class on the last flight. We're all rockstars on the Virgin. Me-2, McCain-0.

And so it goes to San Francisco and Alex The Hooker. (no correlation between Hooker and Virgin). As I was in rough shape from the night prior, we took it easy with Emerson and discussed too many things to remember, but as soon as one was repeated it was over. I had rented a plastic box with wheels for the last few days in the Bay Area and used the POS to cruise up the coast to Stinson Beach and Point Reyes.

It had been six years since I last drove that stretch on my innaugural journey out to the West, which doesn't seem like too long, but I have driven over the Great Plains and Rocky Mts. at least twice a year for a long time now. The road gets muddled along the way. I digress. It had been a long time, I got introspective, you get the picture. But never had I been to Point Reyes Lighthouse, and it is quite the place. It has a lot of history, follow the link.

Needless to say, It was a wonderful day of loud music, American Spirits, coffee, and bad gas mileage. Oh, if you ever are out there and pass through Inverness Park, stop at the Busy Bee Bakery, yum.

Alex would also like me to mention that his work week is until Saturday, so if you visit, wait until then. He also does a lot of great things where he works, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, so check that out too.

Meetings at California College of the Arts and UC Berkeley filled much of the next day with a quick lunch with Mr. John Geisler, whom is a candidate for the MFA in Architecture at CCA. Then I pushed the plastic box up to Guerneville to the Jameson, Will and Axel. They were more than gracious hosts and let me do laundry. Turns out the Axel thinks I'm more humorous than anything and we became fast friends. I'll be manager for the band. He's cute, but you know that because Jameson has a blog all about him that you probably already read too. Short stay with the fam., and jumped back into the PLASTIC BOX-- wasn't there a time when American automakers made quality cars? Sick.

But over to Sonoma to party with the extended family at Alexa & Ryan's wedding. Not me, I didn't marry my cousin, that is actually frowned upon in Western culture. Ryan Fox did, though, and he is a nice man. They held the wedding at the Atwood Ranch, a stunning private vineyard north of Sonoma, and it was filled with family and friends. Great food, fine wines, cutting a rug, night on the town, car service from SPD; a very successful affair it was. We stayed at a small B&B in Sonoma called Ramekins. Along with being a gorgeous inn, it is also a culinary institute; giving lectures and demonstrations from leading chefs. John Ash was demonstrating over the weekend we were there.

We said our long goodbyes after breakfast the next morning, anticipating a get together next summer. Then it was back to San Francisco for another night with Hooks. He, Natalya and I went out for Vietnamese and watched the Packers get demolished while the villian from the Scream series paced up and down the restaurant with blood oozing from his mask.

Probably why the Packers lost, but who cares; Brett Favre is in San Diego. We also went to meet up with Dr. John Geisler and some of his Middlebury alumni. It was Ryan's (not me) birthday and they were all celebrating by playing bar die-- not to be confused with Mexican or Goochers. The purpose of this game was to take a die and try and throw it to hit the ceiling while simultaneously not try and hit the ceiling in order for the die to hit your opponent team's end of the table and bounce off the table while they try to catch it single-handedly, lest they may have to run around the block naked. Apparently those rules are a bit more lax since relocating to San Francicso where it is an honor and not a punishment to frolic in the buff on the streets.

Next day, back to Seattle. Did I forget anything? Probably, but you don't care, you weren't even there. Now I need to get back to studying for the GRE. Bye.

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