Sunday, May 13, 2012
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
I’m officially 31 years old now, which seems like a big number… but whatever. I’m just 21 with a decade of experience & better retirement savings (now that I’m not wasting money on college… stay in school kids!!!). I celebrated the big birthday by… well, going to work. My coworkers put streamers up in my office (closet) and some Golden State Warriors logo… because they knew that I was going to the basketball game at Oracle Arena that night… just might’ve missed that it was against my favorite team since I was 8 years old, the San Antonio Spurs. Still pretty cool & thoughtful of them… and they gave me some of my favorite treats too so, kudos!!!
After work, Dizzy & I met up at Oracle Arena (she drove, I took BART) and we wandered around the arena because it was the season finale & Fan Appreciation day… which meant that food, beverage & merchandise were 50% off!!! So basically it meant that AVAILABLE food, beverage & merchandise were reasonably priced instead of the usual ridiculousness. The lines were long… but I bought some Warriors relax pants (basically long underwear), t-shirts & a few little things, even though I was really looking for a jacket… but I’ll probably just get a SF Giants jacket, cuz the colors are a little better… and I have to represent for the REAL Giants, not those suckers in New Jersey.
We also grabbed some beef brisket sandwiches and a few beers to start the game. Again, this was the regular season finale… and the Spurs were #1 in the west & going to the playoffs… and the Warriors missed the playoffs yet again… so it was basically a matchup of their last 5 available bench players with all the stars resting for the playoffs or starting their summer vacations early. Regardless, I love basketball… so I enjoyed watching these less popular professionals… and it kept the game good & close down to the final minutes, which is really what you want, right? Good times.
Friday was more work… but then my karaoke birthday party at Pandora in the Blue Moon room (yes, based on the beer). Bubbles, Dizzy & I walked through the Tenderloin (corner of crack & cocaine) to get to Pandora, but we also made a stop at a nice little bar based on an old speakeasy called Bourbon & Branch. There’s really no signage or anything from the outside… but then you knock & give the password (make it up?) and they have a few different rooms behind bookshelves & mirrors and such… and it’s pretty cool. I enjoyed it. I tried a drink called the Citizen Shame… and it was delicious.
The party at Pandora’s was fantastic. I sang a few classics like “Superfreak” & Jay-Z’s “Girls Girls Girls” while about a dozen other people came by & donated their talents as well. By the way, I have a coworker named Red… who may be on American Idol one of these days, she can perform… and she did “The Last Dance” & “Lady Marmalade” like she knew what she was doing. Anyway, a few beverages were had (but not too many) and definitely some good times. Afterwards, Dizzy and I went with CC & her Russian friend to Bourbon & Branch again for a drink, then around for some late night burritos & then we called it a night fairly early (I had been up since 6 AM as most people so not too broken hearted by it).
Saturday, Dizzy & I went on a fantastic road trip (all arranged by her) to Santa Cruz. We started off by using coupons from the Warriors game towards some free sourdough jacks at Jack in the Box (delicious) then went to the Boardwalk of Santa Cruz. If you’ve never been there, it’s a mini amusement park / arcade / eatery / historical landmark all in one. The amusement park portion is basically on par with Lagoon in Utah (only frame of reference really & a lot of VERY similar rides… like infringing on trademarks one side of the other, I’m sure) then a full arcade with a LOT of video games, a very decent miniature golf course, the usual funnel cakes, Dippin’ Dots, chocolate covered bananas & all that kind of fair fare… with one added perk… it’s located on a GORGEOUS coastline & it was a beautiful spring day… and I’ll say it, there was a LOT of ladies putting their goods on display. I felt overdressed with a T-shirt & jeans. We also enjoyed some great fish & chips on the pier there & saw sea lions enjoying the warm weather. Here are some pictures…
After a few hours there, Dizzy drove me to her favorite beach in ALL the world in Aptos – Seacliff Beach. There were some stairs down a cliff to the coast, but at the bottom was a pier… and at the end of the pier… was a sunken cement ship. The S.S. Palo Alto to be exact… and the story goes that this cement ship was ooriginally launched in 1919 and was once connected by a pier and used as part of an area amusement park in the late 1920s. A winter storm broke the ship in half, so it was stripped for salvage and turned into a fishing pier in Seacliff State Beach. The pier juts out to the edge of the ship so that you can check out it’s crumbled remains… which is usually covered with sea birds .. but still pretty cool from a completely nerdy perspective, which you know I’m all for. Not only that… we were out on the pier admiring the view as it was approaching “the golden hour” and we saw something off the pier… DOLPHINS!!! LOTS OF THEM!!! Then… as if that wasn’t enough… A MUTHA LOVIN’ HUMPBACK WHALE!!! Like… 20-30 yards at most from us at times. I could’ve easily pegged it with a football… it was truly a romantic & magical moment. Here are some pictures…
By the way, I just wanted to mention… since I know that I haven’t been keeping up with this thing… that yeah, I officially have a girlfriend named Dizzy. We started out very casual & it kinda grew from there… but yeah, it’s official, just in case you were speculating out there. As you may also know, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had one… but apparently I’m doing a pretty good job at being a boyfriend in her eyes… so yeah, finally I was in one of those romantic moments & had somebody to share it with. Awesome!
After a while there on the pier, we decided to head over to Capitola for some more wandering through a little tourist trap town… and it was great as well. The sun started going down & chilling a bit, so we then headed back to my apartment for a fine meal of strawberries, salami, gorgonzola cheese, sourdough bread, dark chocolate & other antipasti as well as bottle of wine that she had prepared. She’s a good woman to have around, right? She must really like me. We enjoyed it while watching… “The Conqueror” starring the great John Wayne. Okay, for those who haven’t seen this film… it’s John Wayne… as Genghis Khan. Now… think about that for a few seconds… ready? Okay. Yes, THE John Wayne plays the role of Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan… which should be awkward enough, right? Well, throw in the fact that he’s playing this notorious murderer of millions as THE GOOD GUY… and he takes a (very white) woman (Susan Hayward) as his prisoner… and then he finds that he can avenge the death of his own father… by killing her father. PLOT TWIST!!! Yeah, so… there’s a lot of betrayal… and then non-betrayal… and romantic lines like “Mother, I take this woman for my pleasure!” in John Wayne’s voice… and yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous to watch for many reasons… but yeah, what do you expect? Good times were had by all.
Sunday was mostly a stay in bed (you know why, don’t deny) and relax kind of day. We watched TV & went for walks in the Presidio & ordered a pizza for sustenance but yeah, pretty lazy day… so that was pretty much the fantastic birthday week. So good that it’s up there with last year’s adventures in New Orleans & the Mexican Riviera for my 30th, Vegas for my 26th, even Chuck E. Cheese for my 27th. Big shout out to Dizzy for making it happen. Seriously! Warriors-Spurs game… karaoke party with friends & coworkers… road trip to a beach wonderland… sea lions, dolphins, whales… perfect weather… great meals… lots of snuggling in between it all… what more could a man want for his 31st birthday celebration? Have a great night everybody!!!