Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Into the Dirty Thirties

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Last Friday night after work (now like 12 days ago), I went to Off the Grid with Tracy & Nurse… and we met up with Nurse’s REALLY cute friend. To summarize, Off the Grid is basically a Friday night thing where a bunch of food trucks meet up in one little parking lot at Fort Mason… and apparently half the city walks there to stand in line, get some food & eat it while standing in line for the next food truck. Okay, so there was probably only a thousand people there or so… but it was busy… and it was awesome. There was all different kinds of food, from Malaysian to Argentinean to Korean to Thai to Vietnamese to Mexican to French (there was a crème brulee cart for dessert) and everything in between. It was pretty cool… and I may make it over there a few more times this summer… but once the sun went down, it got a little chilly. Good times though.

After that, we made our way back to the apartment, played some Rock Band, & then everybody wanted to watch a movie… so I said, “Well, I got Hereafter in the mail today… but I don’t know if y’all would like it.” “What’s it about?” “It’s Matt Damon as a psychic or something… so it could be cool… but it’s also directed by Clint Eastwood and… well, his movies are usually pretty heavy. I’m thinking something light & airy might be better.” “Oh let’s check it out.” “Okay.” So we start the movie… go through like a thousand previews… including the new Harry Potter (which started a conversation about how I must be illiterate because I’ve never read them or Twilight… or anything else) and the first scene of the movie… French couple on vacation in the South Pacific… TSUNAMI!!! Quickly followed by drug addiction, more tragic death, and so about 20 minutes in… we’re pretty quiet. “Ugh… you guys want me to change the movie up?” “No, it’s okay. We’re into it this far.” “Okay…” So we made it to the end… but for those who don’t know, it’s about a guy who has psychic ability (Damon), a French woman who nearly dies in a tsunami (Cecile de France) & a boy whose mother is addicted to drugs & twin brother was hit by a truck… and how their journeys & perspectives into the afterlife kind of intertwine. It’s actually a pretty good flick if you can deal with drama. By the way, Bryce Dallas Howard is in the movie briefly… and did you know that she’s Ron Howard’s daughter? Yeah! She’s the spawn of Opey! All I can say is… the mother must be GORGEOUS!!! Anyway, check it out if you want… but it’s like other Eastwood flicks like Changeling, Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River & the like. Be prepared.

Last Saturday morning, Bubbles & I went to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. It was my first time & she was meeting a coworker & her son for a trip out to Alcatraz at noon anyway, so she appreciated the ride and I appreciated the company however brief. We had lunch at a seafood restaurant right on the pier and had oysters, mimosas & ahi tuna. It was pretty good but nothing spectacular. After lunch, she went off & explored the market. There was all sorts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, all kinds of good eats… as well as vendors selling art, photography, knick knacks, and it was a pretty gorgeous day, so good all around. I ended up getting some blood oranges, strawberries, almonds, & some Indian spices and meals to try later in the week (once I get some coconut milk). I may also make it back to this Farmers Market… or there’s another one at Fort Mason a little closer to my apartment on Sunday mornings too.

That afternoon, the weather got a little gloomy… and then I received a text from two of Bubbles’ roommates, J-Mo & Boz, asking if I would be interested… in a Halo Party. Yes, as in the shoot-em-up LAN video game Halo… not some kind of party in the Castro involving everybody dressing up as angels. By the way, Bubbles did decide that she’s going to move into that place we checked out last weekend in Inner Sunset (as I figured she would) so she & Brutis will have a new apartment in about a month. Anyway, her roommates invited me over… and I figured that I’d give it a shot, even though I’ve never really played Halo other than once when I was crashing on their futon. I kind of let them know my novice status from the beginning with “Okay, which one is fire? This one’s grenade, right? That’s pretty much all I need.” Beer, Chinese food, lots of laughs, and occasionally some teaming up & shooting each other… for about six hours. Then it got to be a little after 1 AM & I just couldn’t feign interest anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun… but it was just six hours… of a video game I don’t particular care for. Will probably do it again if they have one in a few months, but yeah, my first LAN party. I even did okay for a first-timer… I think. Still think some people were using little secrets that I didn’t know about though… but whatever… I can take ‘em in real life.

That Sunday, I went to brunch with Bubbles… and we were originally going to go to Hard Knox… but ended up going to a quieter place called Layaly Mediterranean Grill across the street. It was actually a great pleasant surprise. It was more of a Moroccan theme, complete with hookah & menu items like hummus & kofte meat… which if you don’t know… because I didn’t… is a blend of beef & lamb… and also, delicious. The French fries had sumac seasoning on them, the wine was good, the waiter was a bit of a wise ass, the company was great, overall just a great experience. Afterwards I helped her pick up dog food (because I have a car & can lift a bag of dog food) and then watched “30 Rock” with the roommates the rest of the day.

Last week at work, not going to lie, wasn't my favorite week or work ever... that's all I'd really like to say about that... but I think it's just that I'm such a perfectionist... but I also have SOOOO much work to do... so I have to find certain ways to get all of the work done in a timely manner... and sometimes it clashes with what the company has done... or they've done it a different way... or maybe I just don't know of a better way. Basically it came to a meeting with the bosses, where I was doing some things wrong, but when I asked how to do them correctly, nobody had an answer for me other than more communication. Okay, so talk more... but talk doesn't get things done, so then what? So I found resources & tried to find exactly where the problems were... and came up with some ideas to streamline things... and so things are better. Not great or perfect by any means... but better.

Friday was the start of my birthday celebrations. After work, Bubbles & I decided to go to Grumpy's for... what was going to be dinner & a few drinks. Well, we were there for a few hours, then taxied over to Yoshi's Jazz Club for a free concert (it's who you know), then to Noe's for a few more drinks, then to some friend of a friend of a friend's apartment... and then home around 4:30 AM. So what was going to be a few drinks & dinner turned into over 9 hours at four locations... not too bad.

Saturday, I didn't wake up until after noon for the first time in a LOOOONG time, but during the day I double checked things to make sure that I was ready for my upcoming trip, then in the evening was my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, due to a multitude of reasons (including hung over from the night before), a bunch of people couldn't make it... so the dinner portion was just me & my roommate Nurse. Not bad company obviously... but at least we got to know each other a little bit... and the food at E Tutto Qua in North Beach was pretty good. I had the veal & chicken tortellini... and the service is truly Italian (or at least a good fake Italian). After dinner, we went over to Savoy Tivoli for drinks... and played pool & foozball... and eventually met up with Carmen, her friend, Bubbles & J-Mo, and a few of Nurse's friends came over... and basically... I looked like a PIMP for most of the evening... but it was in a pretty low key place. We also met a few people there while playing pool... and had a lot of laughs. Good times... and I was home by 1 AM, so fairly responsible even.

Easter Sunday, I did laundry and then... sigh... went to another Halo LAN party at Bubbles & J-Mo's place... well, we'll say J-Mo's because he stuck around while Bubbles went to the Mission for some dinner & drinks with friends. More good times with dudes, chicken wings, chips & dips, but yeah... luckily it was only a few hours of actual playing because I tend to get bored of that stuff quick... but the guys are entertaining as hell. Besides... I've gotta meet people while I'm out here. This is supposed to be my new home... and if I don't know anybody, I'd best change that.

Monday was fairly uneventful besides work... and I watched "The Fighter" starring Christian Bale & Mark Wahlberg. This movie is based on the real life boxers Dicky Ensall (Bale) & Micky Ward (Wahlberg). The elder brother Dicky was a fairly famous boxer in his day, but then became addicted to crack... and his little brother started to become a boxer in his own right. However, Dicky was Micky's trainer... and addicted to crack... so the story is about the drama with Micky trying to make something of himself in spite of his brother & mother (manager) and moving on... and how he wants to have a family... but he has to do what he has to do. It's actually a GREAT flick... and I recommend that you all see it. Go get it right now!!! Don't wait.

Tuesday was my first day in the thirties. Yes, my 30th birthday. And it started around 5 AM when my mom called to sing me happy birthday... and then 20 minutes later, my dad called to sing me happy birthday Marilyn Monroe style (I let it go to voicemail). Then I went to work... and because of the week before wasn't in the best mood... but hey, today was going to be different... and it was... BEHOLD!!!

A manager / bartender at Grumpy's set this up for me... because she's AMAZING!!! And I casually mentioned that I liked pandas once or twice. Yes, those are pandas on my door... throughout my office... and even cupcakes made with mini Oreos. She has really stepped up the game for when her birthday rolls around... and you'll never guess who's in charge of it. Well played ma'am... well played.

That evening, I met up with Carmen & her roommate for Peruvian food at Pasion... and we had ceviches & paella to our heart's content. It was great... good food, trendy, a little loud but mostly because of the small setting... but not too hard on the pocket book. Afterwards, we went to their place for some various ice creams (left over from Taco Tuesday a few weeks back) and chatted for an hour or so before I let them get off to bed.

Well, it's Wednesday... and in less than 48 hours, I will be airborne & on my way to the Big Easy to meet up with my mom & stepdad, my grandmama, the Wingmans & Filly for a fantastic vacation... and not a moment too soon in my opinion. I've really needed it. I guess it'll be ANOTHER few weeks before you hear from me again... but I should have many fantastic stories & pictures when I return... and I'll be sure to take notes as there will most definitely be alcohol involved... and the memory ain't what it used to be. Have a great April / early May everybody!!! Bon voyage!!!

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