Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Go Municipal

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Yes, I have returned! The trip to Utah was brief & fantastic… here’s a brief summary…
Friday, I had spent the night at Dizzy’s, then we awoke around 4:30 AM to get out to Oakland International Airport by our 7:30 AM flight via Bart… and it all went splendidly. We flew into Provo Municipal Airport with Allegiant Air. Do you know the difference between an International & a Municipal airport? It’s possible to get lost in an international airport. Provo Municipal was basically one building with a few dividing walls for entrance foyer/rental car counter, security check, and sitting area. I think we were the only flight both days (to & from) but… we’ll get to the return flight later.
My mom & stepdad picked us up (Dizzy & I) and we stopped by the old office in SLC to say hi to a few former coworkers, then had lunch at Nielsen’s Frozen Custard in Bountiful, then eventually made our way up to the Fortress of Solitude in Eden. After lying down for a power nap, we awoke to find my brother, niece & nephew had arrived… as well as my red-headed stepbrother. Later, my buddy C-Rock & my cousin Alicia showed up too. We played with the kiddies, fried up some burgers & brauts, had a few beers and just enjoyed ourselves as the sun set. Great day… and then we watched “Hot Rod” before going to bed. I know, classic movie, right? Here are some pictures of Dizzy drawing with Kairi...

BTW, my mom bought this five foot bronze statue... yup...

Saturday, we went to my mom’s Sister’s Day with my aunts… and had breakfast & spent some time with them. I think those old ladies miss me… and they really seem to like Dizzy so… yeah, there were questions about A) When we’re getting hitched? And B) When we’re moving back to Utah? I had to disappoint them on both for the time being.
Eventually we made it over to my dad’s house to meet up with him & my stepmom for a few hours. He’s really missed me too… and I’ve missed him. He’s been going through a rough patch & just keeps getting hurt with his legs & knees… but he’s an OG so he can handle it. We watched some movies on TV (I think “XXX” was one of them).
That night, we went to a little party at a former coworker’s house and met up with a group of us who had basically moved out of the old office, gone on wild adventures & then met back to reminisce about old times & new adventures. Friends I hadn’t really seen in years like The Mad Scientist, A-Lo, CW, Nickle-Dime, and even somebody that I hadn’t really seen since I started my blog years ago… J-Sizzle was there. We had a few beers, talked about our adventures, families, plans, all that stuff, just like the old days. It was really good to see all of them again. Hopefully it doesn’t take a few years for it to happen again.
Sunday, we mainly stayed at my dad’s house and hung with him watching movies on TV like “Predators” and “True Lies”, but a new one that we saw was “The Amazing Spider-Man” starring Andrew Garfield, Rhys Ifans & Emma Stone. This is the reboot of the Spiderman series that… started ten years ago… but apparently needed to be rebooted because… well, apparently it did. Anyway, it’s the origins story of the superhero that you all should know by now… with only a few slight twists in the story… like instead of Kirsten Dunst, he’s upgraded to Emma Stone as the love interest… and the bad guy is the Lizard (Ifans) but honestly… that’s really about it. Oh… and his aunt & uncle are played by Sally Field & Martin Sheen (spoiler alert: briefly). It’s exactly what you would expect… and saw ten years ago with the first Spiderman movie. Hopefully by the third one he isn’t reduced to a f**king sissy who out machismo’d by Topher Grace… but hey, we’ll see. Number two comes out in a few months with Jamie Foxx as an Electro & Paul Giamatti as the Rhino… but from the early pictures I’ve seen it looks like Spiderman will be going against the Electric Smurf & Pigboy. I’m sure it’ll exceed my low expectations though.
That evening we stayed at a hotel in Provo for an early flight… and basically just relaxed and watched a few episodes of a show called “Naked & Afraid”. Based off that title, what are you thinking this show is about? Kidnappings? Torture chambers? Sorry, aggressive interrogation techniques? It’s actually a show where they take two strangers (one man, one woman) who consider themselves survival experts… and place them in a wilderness environment like those other survival shows (deserted island, the rain forest, savannah, bayou, etc) and challenge them to survive for 21 days bringing only one tool with them. Oh… and they’re naked when they’re dropped off, which leads to a lot of black boxes & blurs on the HD screen. The show ends up being a very intriguing experiment in human actions from decision making to priorities to threat reactions to social skills and… yeah, we watched a few episodes even knowing that we had an early flight out the next morning. Had we known what was coming the next day… we would’ve just kept watching…
Monday morning, we woke up, grabbed some breakfast & headed out to Provo Municipal Airport for their flight of the day back to Oakland. My cousin Alicia was heading back with us because she’s celebrating her 17th birthday & just wanted to spend a few days in San Francisco free of her mom (who wears on the nerves almost instantly & she’s been within 5 feet of her since birth, poor thing). Well, the flight was delayed an hour… and then another hour… and then another… and basically, we boarded the plane about 8 hours later & left the airport about 9 hours later than originally scheduled. Basically a full day in the bay area was wasted because of the delays & lack of alternatives… but hey, we made due.
When the big four-hour extension was given, we headed to the Provo Town Center Mall to waste some time and see “The Lone Ranger” starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer & William Fichtner. This is a Disney movie from the makes of their hit “Pirates of the Caribbean” series based on the old radio series (and I think comics, etc too). The story is about a lawyer (Hammer) who comes back home to see his sheriff brother & his wife… who also used to be his darling until he went off to the big city or something. Anyway, a dangerous outlaw named Butch (Fichtner) is being transported by his brother… he escapes… the brother is killed… and now the lawyer partners up with a loony Comanche warrior (Depp) to go on a vengeance-fueled (quick breaths) RAMPAAAAAAGE!!! Okay, not quite, but they both want to get the bad guys & exact revenge. The movie was a LOT more adult themed than I expected. There are scenes with more blood than you’re probably used to with Disney, even references to cannibalism, including one scene where you see the silhouettes… but of Butch cutting out the heart of the sheriff brother & eating it. Sure, it’s the silhouettes… but just to make sure you know what happened… he’s handed a washcloth in his blood-soaked hand to get the spots of blood on the corners of his mouth. Yeah… and there’s also plenty of slow dramatic death scenes, explosions involving flying corpses, brothels ran by Helena Bonham Carter, gruesome Native American massacres via rotary cannon & other things that if it weren’t Disney or another major studio would’ve probably given this movie an immediate R rating… but yeah, that cuts out the demographic that would see it. All that being said, the movie was exactly what you’d expect. Some great (though unrealistic) action scenes at the beginning & end, then the middle two hours was a story that was a little slow with some awkward humor attempts… and yeah, pretty average overall. I wouldn’t recommend taking the kids to see it honestly… and if that’s the case, why would you take yourselves to go see it unless your flight is delayed 8 hours in the city of Mormon… er, Provo? Maybe catch it on Netflix or something… but be prepared to cover the kids eyes. You know what? Just forget it… sorry Disney. Okay but… you missed the target I think.
Eventually our flight did pick us up & fly us back to Oakland… and we got to my house around 11 PM. Since then, we’ve just been showing Alicia the town for her birthday & having a good olde tyme. So the Utah trip was an absolute success with regards to seeing my family & friends. I sure miss them… but they know that they’re welcome to come visit me anytime in the Bay Area too… and I’m not sure where any city along the Wasatch Front ends up on Trip Advisor’s Top Destinations list but… I think we’re usually in the Top 3 consistently. Hope to see you all again very soon! Have a great day everybody!!!

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