Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 Halftime Report

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well... believe it or not, 2011 is basically halfway done. Yes, I know... tragic. How time flies when you're having fun & all that jazz. Basically, the first half of the year... lots of change. From scenery to roommates to jobs to the ever growing family and everything in between... except the waistline remains steady thanks to plenty of walking opportunities here in The City. Enough about all that though... you want to hear about my trip back to Utah this weekend, right? Of course you do.


Well... basically I worked worked worked for the week prior until the absolute moment that I had to catch a shuttle to Oakland Airport. The shuttle was a little late... but luckily so was my flight (about 20 minutes) so it worked out perfectly. Thursday night, my dad picked me up... and it was the first time that he looked REALLY skinny to me. You know... like old guys do... when they work out... but even when he worked out before, he had muscle. Not so much this time... but I missed him terribly... and gave him a great Father's Day present. What was it you ask? The first two seasons of "Castle" starring Nathan Fillion. Trust me... he loves it.

That night, I met up with JL Clyde and had sushi & a few drinks while listening to the worst garage band I've heard in years at Gracie's. Good times. She also got me a birthday present. What was it you ask? Hot Bitch on the Beach! It's hot sauce... apparently... but has a nice charicature on the bottle.


Started off the day by meeting up with K-Fish for a road trip out to Taggart (about 45 minutes East of SLC) to a grill for some lunch. I believe it was called Taggart's Grill... but the food is fantastic. There was a ham & apple wrap (yes, I know it sounds weird, but it was great) and I had a chicken, bacon, pesto, etc. Pit-za... which is basically a mini-pizza on pita bread. Fantastic. I highly recommend it. We also caught up on going-ons in each other lives... as you might expect from a lunch. Then we drove along the river. See, it's been in the 90's for a few weeks in Utah... and compounded with record snowfall... leads to some pretty threatening flood possibilities for this altitude. Observe...

The bouncer at the restaurant


After that, I went to my brother's to meet up with him & my niece Kairi & nephew Vinny. Sigh... Kairi is going to start school next year... and Vinny's well over 3 years old now. They grow so fast... but we watched "X-Men: First Class" during their nap. Now, if you haven't seen this movie... it's pretty campy at some points as most comic adaptations are... but pretty damn good actually. It's the origin story of the X-Men with Dr. Charles Xavier (Chris McAvoy of "Wanted") and his "sister" Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence of "Winter's Bone") and how they cross paths with a Nazi assassin named Magneto (Michael Fassbender of "Inglorious Basterds") and how they join forces to save the world in the 60's from an evil man named Sebastian Shaw (THE Kevin Bacon) and his own gang of mutants with super powers. You all know the story... but yeah, definitely check it out. The cast is pretty good... even a cameo by Hugh Jackman... but hey, like I said, campy... but not half bad.

After playing with the kids for a bit, taking them up to grandma's (my mom's), we returned to my brother's newly remodeled bachelor pad to watch "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" starring Michael Cena. Another comic adaptation... but this one was more nerdy Nintendo feel to it... and was about a kid (Cena) who falls for a girl & tries to win her over... but first, he must fight her seven evil exes... or DIE!!! The best part about this movie... was the nerdy humor... and the distinctly new visual style... not necessarily the story or anything... but I highly recommend it if you also still have your Nintendo hooked up to the TV in your bedroom.


This was the day of Spitso's wedding... and I got to meet up with some of the "other" family... as Spitso & his brother Isaiah have been my brothers from another mother for well over 20 years now. Anway... the pictures tell it best... the setting was Union Station on historic 25th Street in beautiful Ogden, Utah... aka where the $teve was born.

Oh yes... my brother is a nerd...

My brother, Isaiah, Spitso & Nate Dogg

The new family...

That night, I went up to my mom's after the wedding... so around midnight. Lo & behold, somebody was awake and excited to see me... my nephew Vinny. Long story short, he wasn't tired. That quickly changed when I said, "Hey buddy, wanna take a nap with me here under the fan?" "YEAH!!!" Within a few seconds of getting our makeshift bed set up with a few blankets & pillows on the floor, we lied down (lay down?) and he threw his arm over my arm in a little hug... and dozed off to sleep. It was really quiet cute as you could imagine.


I awoke in the morning to my mom & my niece Kairi discovering that I was there on the floor sleeping. My mom asked her, "Kairi, do you want to snuggle with Uncle $teve?" "Yeah!" She hopped right down on the ground... and basically just chatted away for about 15 minutes before I decided that it was futile to resist... I was getting up.

I spent the day hanging out with them, going into the hot tub (but my mom didn't know how to turn on the heat... so it was rather cool... about 60 degrees when we started & warmed up to about 70 when we were done), chilled on the porch, played games, all kinds of fun. Even my Aunt Pat & cousin Alicia were there. Good times.

Aren't they just adorable?

Evil smile...



That night though... was a bit of a surprise. See, the night that I came into town... my dad asked me if I liked Ted Nugent. "The Motor City Madman? Of course!" Well, he was having a concert at The Depot... and even in his mid 60's, the man is a showman... as these pictures don't quite do justice... but still...

Great White Buffalo...

It was just my dad & I... and we had a few beers, listening to most of the greatest hits from Uncle Ted... and good times were had by all. We even went to Sconecutters afterwards for some greasy food. Great day with the families.


Around noon, I met up with K-Fish again for some lunch at WilDhoG Grill (formerly the Chubby Toad) and had a damn fine bleu bacon burger. Mmm mmm mmm... afterwards, we went around town doing errands, mostly me looking for treats & trinkets to take back to the ladies at work covering for me. Then after that, I basically just chilled at my dad's place for a while watching TV & catching up on current events.

Then, that evening, my dad, stepmom, brother & I went to see "The Green Lantern" starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively & Mark Strong. Yes, another comic book adaptation... but tis the season... and a pretty standard genre for anything Hollywood. This one is about a pilot (Reynolds) who basically is chosen to be an intergalactic guardian of the Milky Way and has this ring that converts his Willpower into whatever he wants. Enter super-powerful cosmic force, love story, blah blah blah... and it wasn't horrible or anything, but basically what you would expect. I enjoyed it. The thing that caught me though was... okay... his "mentor" in this movie is named Sinestro (Strong). Now, reading the comics, you know he becomes the main bad guy... but the guy's name... is Sinestro. Sinestro! You can't trust a man named Sinestro! I don't care how you package it. Let's see... you applied to be our babysitter. What was your name again? Ted Bundy! Hmm... thank you for your application... have a nice day. What was your pastor's name again? Lou Cypher! I've seen that movie before. It just... doesn't work.

We followed that up with "The Hangover Part 2" starring the guys from the original (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinikas, Ed Helms, etc) and this time it's in Bangkok... and similar stuff happens... and it's hilarious. There's really all you need to hear about the movie. The rest just wouldn't be worth your time. If you liked the first one, this one's pretty good too. Check it out at a theatre near you... or wait for the DVD, I don't care, your choice.


Before my flight back to SF, I chilled at my dad's watching "Game of Thrones" on Xfinity... and it's a kick-ass show that I definitely recommend. Starring Sean Bean & set in a medieval realm of mystery... dragons, savages, swordplay, betrayal, etc. Check it out! You may remember the throne of swords from my visit to Wondercon in April. My dad also stopped by for some lunch... but mostly this was just a day of rest before I started back to work on Wednesday... and boy was it waiting for me. I had a fantastic weekend with the family... and I wish I could've spent more time... but I gotta make that mother f**kin' money, you know what I'm sayin? Not a bad place to do it though...

Thanks for listening to me ramble... and don't worry, the tears have passed since I left so I'm back on my gangsta thug level now, back on my grind in The City. Holla! Have a great 4th of July weekend everybody!!!

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