Monday, May 17, 2010

Road Trip 2010 - SLC & Northern Nevada

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Day 15 – SLC – 6 miles

This day was basically my dad & I checking out under Gretchen’s skirt to make sure the engine’s running good, the brakes were good, all that stuff…and as expected, she’s amazing. I also got a bike. My dad had one in the garage that hadn’t been used in a few years…so I offered to take it off his hands. Now I’ll have an economic and healthy way to get around town in a timely manner (since it’s only like a miles or so to the gym, grocery store, bar, etc). My brother brought Vinny over too (Kairi was with the “Mother”) and he had a fun time in the driver’s seat while we were checking things out and giving Gretchen a good waxing. He even found the horn a few times…which is always exciting when you’re peeking under the hood. Then as we finished, my dad grabbed him out of the driver’s seat and say “Whoa…uh-oh.” “What’s up?” Then Vinny said in his cute voice, “I peed, $teve.” Yeah, my nephew had marked his territory in my driver’s seat. Now those pleather seat covers sound like a wise investment, don’t they? Luckily I had put them on the day before. It wiped right off, cleaned it with some soap & water, sprayed some Febreze and it was good as new. Sigh… I’ll just remember this when he has his first car. “Uncle $teve, what the f**k?” “I peed, Vinny. Nice Camaro by the way.”

After hanging out for a bit with the Love Boys, we dispersed and I met up with JL Clyde, visited Memory Park (I think it was called) and then to watch “The Joneses” starring David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Gary Cole & Amanda Heard. Being a marketing degree holder, I loved this movie. It’s about a family that moves into a trendy well-to-do neighborhood…and they fit right in. They have all the fanciest furniture, gadgets, foods, clothes, they have it all…and they love to show it off at dinner parties, schoolyards, beauty salons, wherever. Why? Because they work for the corporations that they’re showing off. See, they’re not a real family. They’re basically talented salespeople who are doing subversive marketing by showing off the items…but not being your usual salesperson…so now, everybody in the neighborhood wants the goods. Brilliant, right? Well, the father (Duchovny) is new to the game…and he has a soul (allegedly). He also kind of falls for the mother (Moore) while fighting off the advances of his hot nympho daughter (Heard). There’s also a son…but remember, they’re all actors/salesmen. It’s pretty funny…and Gary Cole plays a neighbor…and if you can find it anywhere, then I would highly recommend checking it out. It’s kind of an Indie flick though, so good luck.

After the movie, we had a few drinks at Junior’s Tavern down the street. Again, we talked about life, love, music, mysteries, adult beverages, jobs, the future, all the stuff that comes out when you’ve had a few drinks. Much like with Bubbles in Vegas a few nights earlier. Good times.

Day 16 – Ogden – 33 miles

The next day, I went to spend some time with my brother and his kids…because he’s been awfully lonely the last little while. You know, the ex-wife had been gone well over a year now…and his brother moved to Tahoe six months earlier…and his friends are flaky douches…so yeah, basically just him and the kids. We didn’t really do much…but I did get to hang with both Vinny & Kairi this time…and apparently Kairi had missed me. Lots of hugs for Uncle $teve. We basically just watched movies…and my brother played video games, mostly his most recent purchase “Iron Man 2” which seemed okay.

One movie we watched was “The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie” which is the movie based on the greatest animated reality show of all time. If you like the show, check out the movie. It’s more of the same. I’d tell you the plot…but why? It won’t matter. If you want to watch it, you’ve probably already watched it. That’s why it’s a straight-to-DVD movie. Lots of breasts and swearing and crude humor in adult situations. There, you’ve been warned. Now go forth and enjoy.

Another movie we watched was “She’s Out of My League” starring Jay Baruchel & Alice Eve. It’s from the guys who brought you basically every funny movie since “The 40 Year Old Virgin” and is about an airport security guard (Baruchel) who gets asked out by a superhottie (Eve) but everybody around them is confused by the situation…because he’s a great guy…but nothing to be on the cover of a magazine…and she’s straight out of a dirty wet fantasy…and she’s funny, smart & has a great credit score. Comic relief throughout…and at times the stories kind of touching (then again it may just be the unphotogenic great guy in me that sides with the guy) but it is a little ridiculously sappy & overblown at some points…but the humor more than makes up for it. I say go check it out. Then I slept on a couch.

Day 17 – Ogden – 2 miles

The two miles was to go to the grocery store and back for some food & beverage that wasn’t meant for a three-year old. Just to get that out of the way. Basically, the big thing this day…was meeting up with my brothers from another mother. My buddy Chris came to my brother’s to visit during the day…and we caught up…and they commiserated about their respective Jerry Springer-esque lives…and I just kinda listened to them vent. That night, we met up with Isaiah & Spitso (Andy). We went over to Isaiah’s and had a few drinks (I wasn’t driving…so I kept pace with beers & shots in celebrating a little Quattro de Mayo). It had been a while since I saw those two…and it was just good times. I’ve been friends with them for over twenty years now…and Chris for over 13. How many people can say that? I am truly blessed to have friends like them. We watched “Sherlock Holmes” and “From Paris With Love” that day. Both were pretty good…and exactly what you expect from the previews. I was really surprised with how good “From Paris With Love” was. I say check them both out if you want. That’s all I’m going to say. Here’s to Friends!!!

Day 18 – SLC – 42 miles

I really didn’t do much of anything during the day except drive back to my dad’s and take a shower (my brother’s isn’t the cleanest place in all of Christendom). When night came around though, I realized that it was Cinco de Mayo…and I wanted to celebrate it…so I saw what others were doing…and pretty much the only response I got back was from the Mad Scientist. Awesome!!! So we decided to go to Red Rocks…and as Fate would have it, Bubbles was flying into town that day (unbeknownst to me) so all three of us met up for a fine dinner and plenty of adult beverages. Then we moved the party over to Keys on Main, a piano bar that plays requests…so we called from classics ranging from “Sweet Caroline” to “Santeria” to “Separate Ways” to Sir Mix-A-Lot. Just an overall great night with those two. I really missed the three of us hanging out. It had been too long.

Day 19 – SLC – 13 miles

Yeah, these are getting substantially shorter and less descriptive…and I’m sure you don’t mind. This day, I watched “Avatar” at my dad’s, then went back to the old office to meet up with the likes of JL Clyde (who was under the weather), Brooklyn, and even had lunch at Mo’ Better Steak with Captain Monty. Then I went back to my dad’s, watched some basketball, and “X-Files: I Want to Believe” which…well, it had David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson & Billy Connelly in it…and if you really liked the TV series, you’d love the movie. I kinda liked it…thus kinda liked the movie. That is all for this day.

Day 20 – SLC – 26 miles

Let’s see, gave Gretchen an oil change because she needed one…but only a few more days until the Grand Total of mileage for this road trip. Have you been keeping tally? Then my dad, my brother, my stepmom & I met up to go see “Iron Man 2” starring Robert Downey, Mickey Rourke and superhottie Scarlett Johannsen. If you don’t know the story, shame on you. It was a pretty good movie. I really liked it, much like the original. However, it wasn’t an incredible experience…and allow me to explain. First and foremost, my stepmom hated it. “What did you think?” “I liked the part with the computer…that was about it.” “Seriously?” That’s cool. She’s entitled to her opinion. The reason that it wasn’t enjoyable though…was because my brother & dad were on either side of me…and they’re both horrible to watch movies with, especially in public. The last time that I saw a movie with both of them…was “Batman & Robin” and that was just horrible all around. Okay, so…my brother has no social skills. As mentioned a few times, he’s pretty much a douche…and doesn’t know it or is in denial or acceptance or something. He’ll also talk to you constantly through the movie about how stupid a scene is because it’s not directly correlative to a comic book that he read. Of course not, that’s why it’s a movie…instead of a comic book. Deal with it. My dad is going deaf…and never really had a good grasp on appropriate voice volume even as a young man. He also has a loud opinion about everything…even stuff he doesn’t know about. They both have no inner monologue…about anything…and I was in between them…trying to watch a movie. The people behind me weren’t exactly the best either…but despite all that, I enjoyed the movie…and was glad to get the hell outta there after the credits rolled (and I got an earful from both about…honestly, I don’t remember because I had long since blocked them out) and there was the special additional scene at the end. Want to know what it was? I’ll give you a hint – Not worth the wait.

Day 21 – SLC – 26 miles

This day, I had lunch with my stepmom, my stepsister Amber & Brenda, and their children Canon & Reilly at Chili’s. We enjoyed appetizers and margaritas…and it was great to see them again…because I hadn’t seen Reilly since she was two…and she’s going to be in kindergarten in the fall. Needless to say, she’s changed a little bit. Later that night, my dad & I met up with my friend Angel, her husband Slammy and a bunch of their friends at The Puck to have some dinner & drinks while watching the Jazz lose to the Lakers…and then UFC 113. Not a bad way to spend the evening’s hours…and my last day back home in SLC.

Day 22 – Back to Truckee – 623 miles

JL Clyde hitched a ride to Tahoe with me (and my new bike). We left in the morning (late because she’s a girl…but I had kinda planned on that. Sssh, don’t tell her) and just headed west on I-80 for a long, long time. However, we did have a few interesting stops…like Thunder Mountain. Basically, this was one Native American man’s memorial to “the white man’s trash” where he collected roadside trash within 50 miles of this point (literally in the middle of nowhere near Imlay, Nevada) and built…well, just check these out…
"Who DARES to witness Thunder Mountain???"

Next stop was Lovelock, where we got gas…and filled up on some cheap pizza and salad at the Pizza Factory. Here are some pictures…

Then we made it back to Truckee in the afternoon after about 9 hours total commuting…and decided that we hadn’t driven enough…so we went down to Lake Tahoe, took one of my favorite trails, then had some good food at T’s Mesquite Barbecue in Incline Village. Here are some pictures…
A pond / lake near my house
"Stop looking at me, Swan!!!"

And with that, the Road Trip was officially over. I was back home in Truckee after three weeks of seeing more of my friends & family than I had seen in YEARS!!! Sure, I didn’t get to see my mom because she was in Asia…and there were a few friends that I missed…but all-in-all, I got to meet up with a LOT of them. My dad, my bro, my stepmom, my stepsisters, Kairi, Vinny, my brothers from another mother, Bubbles, JL Clyde, Lilie, the Mad Scientist, Captain Monty, Angel, Barbie, Keanna, Bone Junior, Boss Man B, all the peeps back at the old office, heck I even met a few new people like Lillian & Laura. It was a fantastic journey of…wait for it…

3010 miles total!!!

And Gretchen was with me the whole time to keep me company. Well, that’ll do it for this entry. Maybe a little more on life lessons learned and all that a little later…but I’m kinda exhausted right now. Have a great night everybody!!!

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