Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BBQ Poker

Everybody loves a good team. Abbot and Costello, peanut butter and Jelly, BBQ and poker...classics everyone of them. Tonight we partook in the later at my parents house as a send off to Megan's folks, who leave bright and early tomorrow. Phil's BBQ and Texas Hold 'em is a tough combination to beat so we saved the best for last...and I dare say it was worth it.

I've said it before and I am sure I will say it again, but I feel so lucky to have the in-laws that I have. They are great people and we get along famously...but the best part is how well they get along with my parents as well. If you have found the love of your life like I have it's not necessary for the families to love each other as well, but it sure makes things a lot more enjoyable.

It was awesome having the Riley's in town this past month for a lot of reasons, but the best part was getting the families together for nights like tonight. I guess you can add the Weisbarth's and Riley's to that list of good teams.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Storm Watch 2012

My wife Megan is from Chicago where there are these time periods known as seasons. Apparently there are four of them and they happen every year. Anyway, during one of the "seasons"...I think it's called rainy, lots of water falls out of the sky. Sometimes the water is frozen, sometime it's just really cold...but it's always wet.

Growing up in Southern California I haven't had a ton of experience with rain, so on the rare occasion that we get a little precipitation here in America's Finest City, I tend to get kind of excited.

My wife thinks that's hilarious.

One time when it started to rain particularly hard, I made the mistake of running outside to watch it come down and then excitedly called for Megan to come watch the water fall from the sky with me. For some reason she wasn't all that impressed and I haven't heard the end of it.

So this post is for her. It rained today. There was even some thunder and lightening and even a little hail in some places...and I think that is amazing.

Act of Valor

Growing up in Coronado I have had the pleasure to know a handful of Navy SEAL's. Some are parents of my friends, some are classmates from high school and college and some are married or engaged to my friends.

Being from the place where SEAL's are trained, I take a certain pride in what these guys do and the sacrifices that they make for us all. I guess it's analogous to the pride that one might feel for their hometown team. You're not part of the squad and you're not really doing anything to help them to victory, but when they win, you feel like you win too.

So for me, watching "Act of Valor" tonight with my buddies Andre and Brendan was pretty special. Then you add the fact that my best man's dad wrote the novelization of the movie, and you've got a hit in my eyes.

That said, even if you didn't grow up in Coronado and don't know the author of the novel, this is a film worth seeing. It is intense, at times pretty moving, and the action scenes are that much better knowing that active duty SEAL's are playing themselves. If you get a chance I recommend that you go see it

The Spartan Invitational

For a few years now buddy Teevan and all his uncles have been organizing a golf weekend as an excuse to hang out, catch up and play a lot of golf. While they have traveled to a bunch of different cities over the years to execute this weekend, for the past two years it's been here in San Diego.

So for the last two years I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Spartan Invitational...albeit a small part. While these guys play 18 holes on Friday and 36 holes on both Saturday and Sunday, I've only managed a total 33 holes over the last 2 years. Not an average of 33 holes...just 33 holes.

With that paltry total I am not eligible for the Spartan Invitational Trophy but I do qualify for all the fun. This year that meant getting to golf with a pair of old friends that were just as bad at golf as I am, which made for plenty of laughs and a very enjoyable few hours...despite playing the worst round I have played in 4 or 5 years.

Of course that's all the Spartan Invitational is really about...that and the hardware I suppose.

The Clarke's

Towards the beginning of my Freshmen of high school we moved to the 100 block of H Ave in Coronado, half of a block away from a yet unknown 7th grader named Trevor Clarke.

Turned out Trevor was a soccer player and a few years later he and I were part of one of the greatest soccer teams to ever come out of Coronado High School. I'll spare you the details of our glory days for now and just leave it at this, we've been friends ever since.

The reason I bring all that up is because now it's not just Trevor and I that are friends, now that my in-laws and his family have "broken bread" together, we're all friends. Because Trevor's Dad helped my in-laws find a place to rent for the month, he and my mother in-law got to talking and before long we were all invited over for dinner.

It was a night filled with good wine, strong scotch, delicious food, plenty of laughs and great company. It's always fun when you see two groups of people that you really like get together and end up really liking one another.

In fact come to think of it, that might be why the whole concept of arranged marriages came about.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Laundry Day

I know this isn't a novel declaration, but I hate doing laundry. Even worse, I hate that I hate doing laundry...and not because I'm some hippie that thinks that folding laundry should be therapeutic. I hate that I hate it because it's so easy. I mean really all you have to do is throw a bunch of cloths in one machine, wait for it to make a noise, put the close in another machine, wait for another noise and then fold them. How hard is that?

I mean it wasn't that long ago that doing laundry was pretty much the worst thing ever. You had to wash everything by hand, hang everything to dry on a clothes line and you'd be lucky to get it all done before the sun went down. Now laundry does itself in the background while you do more important things like check facebook or update your blog.

I hate being this soft...I mean not enough to get ride of our washer and dryer, but you know what I mean.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Win

The 24th ranked SDSU Men's Basketball team had lost 3 games in a row coming into Wednesday nights contest with the Wyoming Cowboys. Suddenly they were on the verge of slipping out of the Top 25 and maybe falling out of contention to receive an NCAA Tournament bid this March. But that is not why the Aztecs 67-58 overtime victory was so important tonight. No, the reason this was a big game is because I am doing a story on the team tomorrow for the Mountain Sports Network.

Laugh if you want, but the prospect of having to do a piece on a team that has just lost 4 in a row, including a must win at home, is not exciting. In fact, it's down right depressing.

Lucky for me, and the Mountain, the Aztecs dug deep and pulled out a victory when they needed it the most. Did the team play harder because I was in the building, tough to say, but if I had to guess my answered would be "of course". What else could it have been?

You're welcome Aztec Nation.

The Brew Crew

During the mid-2000's I had the pleasure of being a part of one of the most dominate coed adult kickball teams in the land, the San Diego Shockers. In word...we were champions. As it so happened, some of my fellow champions also played on a softball team in the winter. In a word...they were not champions, but they certainly seemed to have a lot of fun.

Fast forward 6 years and I am proud to say I have finally become a member of the Brew Crew softball team...albeit on a trial basis. We had our first game on Tuesday and after years of waiting on the sidelines, I admit it, I was a little nervous. I was however able to take solace in the fact that I was the 1991 JV baseball Most Improved Player at Coronado High School...unfortunately 1991 was more then 20 years ago now.

My stat line? 0-2 with 2 pop outs, zero put outs, and no assists.

Looks like someone is on track for the 2012 PB Softball League Most Improved Player Award.

Monday, February 20, 2012


So I just discovered this new fade from the Far East, it's called yoga...pronounced with a soft "J". Apparently you just stretch...for an extended period of time. It's wild.

On a serious note, yoga is something I have been intrigued by for years and tonight I finally took my first class. It was something called "Intro to Heated Power Yoga" and it was tough.

First of all it was set in a heated room, which does not bode well for whoever got to use the rented yoga mat after me. I'm the kind of guy that can work up a lather in a walk-in fridge, put me in a heated room doing the warrior pose and look out.

Second of all, though I consider myself athletic and pretty limber (hello ladies), these yoga posses are not the kind of body movements I was used to. More then once I could feel my muscles start to shake.

Finally, I did not wear the right kind of shirt. My theory was I should wear something loose fitting and non-restrictive. Makes pretty good sense, right? Not necessarily. Every time I did a "downward dog" I was breathing right into my shirt. My hot, sweaty, humid shirt. It was like trying to breathe through a wet towel (again, hello ladies).

Bottom line I loved it and can't wait to go again tomorrow!

What's Up Doc?

Sometimes too many words can take away from the impact of a particular picture. I think this is one of those times.

So with that I will simply say, "Enjoy".

Sam Live!

I am lucky enough to call Sam Zien (a.k.a. Sam the Cooking Guy) a friend, so it was with great pleasure that I attended the second annual Sam Live! show this weekend at the Joan Kroc Center. For those of you who are familiar with who Sam is and what he is all about, you know that he is pure entertainment. If you don't know about Sam, check out his website and start watching his's really good.

The point I'm getting at is, as big of a fan as I am of Sam, my mother in-law Jan is twice that. I gave her Sam's first cook book along with a DVD copy of his first season on Channel 4 for Christmas one year and she was instantly hooked. As luck would have it, she is out here visiting for the month so I got to take her along with us to see the show this week.

It's always fun to see Sam, but seeing him with someone like Jan makes it that much more enjoyable. We had a blast and the way I see it, that gets me off the hook for Christmas next year.

I told you Sam was great.

Happy Birthday Pop

My Dad turned 73 this weekend...that's a lot of birthdays. Granted I've only been around for less then half of them, and cognitively aware for even less then that...but I have learned some things from the old man over the years.

The most important lesson? How to be a good Dad.

I don't have any children yet but when I do I hope that I can be half of the dad that my father was to me. Little League coach, soccer coach, acting coach, handyman didn't matter what I was into my Dad was always there to lend a hand if I needed one. I consider myself really lucky to have a dad like that and I hope one day my child will think the same of me.

Happy birthday dad, here's to a whole bunch more!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Testing, Testing 1...2...

For some reason my nickname in college was Loudbarth. According to my roommates I had the tendency to project my voice a tad when I would talk. I'm not sure that's true but it seems to have stuck.

The thing about projecting is that it is very useful if you're a senator in ancient Rome or perhaps a stage actor, not so much if you're trying to get into the world of Voice Over acting. I was in LA on Thursday at a voice over studio doing some audition reads for different commercials and I'm pretty sure the lady recording me is going to need a hearing aid after our session. I guess I came on a little strong, but I have to give her some credit...she reigned me in. By the end of it I was a completely different voice...that is to say I was much more soothing. Or least I wasn't as loud.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hey I Know You

It's a funny thing to work with a group of people 6 days a week for 5 years straight and then not see them for a month and half. You don't realize how much you miss seeing your friends until you finally do...that's what lunch was all about today.

To be fair, I did have lunch with Jenny once before, but this was the first time seeing Lorien since we all got laid off at Channel 4. We didn't do anything earth shattering, just got together for some burgers and a beer (Lorien had a White Zin...classy) at Rocky's in PB and did some catching up. Like I said, nothing crazy just a chance to reconnect and crush a top 5 burger.

And sample the wine list.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a funny thing. Is it a made up holiday aimed at getting inside our pocket books, sure. Is it a female-centric holiday, of course. Is it an important holiday, you better believe it! If you don't think so then just try getting away without getting your wife/girlfriend something next year, I'll bet you'll change your tune.

Of course just like any holiday different people have different levels of excitement and expectations for Valentines Day, but it's a safe bet that most women would like some flowers come Feb 14th. My suggestion is that if you're going to get flowers, then get them delivered to her at work. Better yet, if you happen to be unemployed deliver them yourself.

I'm convinced that for women, getting flowers at work is the ultimate. It makes them feel loved, it let's all the other women in the office know that they are loved, and it makes that creepy guy from sales think twice before popping over for a quick chat.

Come to think of it, maybe Valentines Day is for guys too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

Let's be clear about a couple of things. First, working in TV, or even corporate video for that matter, is an awesome job. Second, the weather in Southern California is amazing.

Now that we have that down for the record, boy does it suck to work in TV when it's raining outside. Actually, it only sucks if you have planned your entire shoot, including flying people in from out of town, around the assumption that the weather is going to cooperate.

But in video production it's all about making chicken salad out of chicken shit. I guess that's why they pay me the medium bucks. Also it's important to remember that things could always be worse...I mean I could be one of the guys standing in the rain building our jib cam.


Monday, February 13, 2012

The Lumberjack

A couple of years ago my wife found out that she had a pretty high intolerance to eggs, which is crushing news because practically everything good is made with eggs. Cookies, brownies, almost anything fried...and oh yeah, omelets.

Two years later that means my wife's diet is pretty healthy, and we never go out to breakfast anymore. Why would we, there isn't much she can eat on the ol' morning menu after all. However, for reasons that I don't fully understand myself, we went to the Lake Murray Cafe this morning for brunch. She actually ordered off of the lunch menu and I had something called the Lumberjack.

3 eggs, 3 sausage links, 4 strips of bacon, hash browns and 3 buttermilk pancakes. Apparently the name "Heart Stopper" was already taken.

My theory was I hadn't had a proper egg breakfast in 2 years, and there is no telling when an opportunity like this might present itself again so I had better store some away for the winter. I'm happy/embarrassed to say I took that lumberjack down. In fact, he didn't stand a chance.

Big tree fall hard.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kick His Ass Seabass

There are two major truths that one can learn from viewing this picture. First, I have an incredible neck tan working this winter. Second, I am clearly a better boxer then my neighbor Pat.

On Saturday Pat's youngest son Jack celebrated his 4th birthday with something called a "Wonder Pets" party. I don't really know what that means but apparently you don't sing the tradition Happy Birthday song when it comes time for cake, as witnessed by this undercover video. It also apparently means that after watching 15 kids jump inside an inflatable castle for 3 hours, Pat and I get first dibs on the video games inside.

Pat has one of those systems where you are the controller, so instead of hitting the "A" and "B" buttons to exert your dominance over the next guy, you have to actually throw punches. The end result looks like this, a pathetic display of flailing arms and unjustified sweat.

Even worse, I lost.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pearl Jam Twenty

During my freshmen year of high school the "Grunge" movement hit Southern California full force and the 3 bands leading that charge were Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Of those three, Pearl Jam grew to be my favorite, so when I heard that Cameron Crowe had written and directed a documentary about the band, I was like an 8 year old school girl who just got a pony for Christmas. That is to say I was excited!

Now thanks to Netflix I've had a chance to see it and I'm even more excited. The thing is I'm not a crazy music person that is super dialed into the scene, I'm just a guy that listens to the radio and buys a song or two on itunes every now and again. But Pearl Jam is the one band, and Eddie Vedder the one guy that I can't get enough of. Good, bad or indifferent.

If you were in high school in the early 90's and you have Netflix, do yourself a favor and find 2 hours in your weekend to sit down and watch this documentary. If you're anything like me you'll be yelling, "That's fcuking awesome" at the TV in no time.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mixed Tape

There is something nice about going to the theater...a little snooty sounding sure, but nice. That's because for me there is nothing more moving then seeing a live performance, whatever it is. A band, a play, a sporting event...doesn't matter, seeing it live and in person makes it better.

We are so accustomed to watching things through the filter of TV or the internet that we forget how truly impressive it is to make music, or deliver a performance, or hit a fastball. When you watch it on TV it looses some of it's realism but when you're close enough to hear the sound a 90 mph fastball makes when it hits the catches mit, you are suddenly reminded of just how special these entertainers are.

Tonight the ladies and I went to see Mixed Tape at the Horton Grand Theater downtown, and let me tell you this is a fun show.  Basically it's one big mixed tape of all your favorite 80's songs, and since I was in middle school for the last 3 years of the 80's, it brought back a bunch of memories. If you remember the 80's at all I recommend going to see it, but if you do, go on a Friday night and dress in your best 80's gear. You'll have a blast.

Good as New

So I got my car back from the shop today and after checking out the repairs I had two epiphanies.

First, the guys at Courtesy Chevrolet know what they are doing when it comes to auto repair. They even straightened out my bent license plate.

Second, I no longer have to worry about saving for my future children's college fund...they're going to trade school. Holy smokes it's expensive to get your car fixed! Mind you the only thing damaged on my car was the rear bumper, and then only slightly.

Total cost of repairs, $833.40.

That doesn't even include the cost of a rental car, which I had to have for 9 days while they attached a new bumper.

The good news is kids look really cute in mechanic overalls.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Working Lunch

I tell people all the time that there are a ton of great things about not having a job...and only one bad thing.

Lunches like this one fall in the "plus" category for obvious reasons. The trick is not to indulge in too many of these "working" lunches...but every once in awhile it just hits the spot.

Tuesday, with all it's rain and blustery conditions, was one of those days.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jam Session

Jack Johnson and G Love we are not, but my Dad and I still have a good time when we get together and jam. Though "jam" might be too intense a word for what we do when we get together...strumming might be more accurate. Regardless of the music we make or the intensity with which we make it, there is something extremely satisfying about two or more people getting together to make music.

Maybe it's the collaborative effect of small group dynamics, maybe music is greater then the sum of it's respective parts...maybe it's nice to have someone else there to cover your mistakes. Whatever it is, it makes it more fun to play.

Does it make it sound any better...probably not, but that's what Jack Johnson and G Love are for.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is as much about the actually Super Bowl as Cinco de Mayo is actually about the battle of Puebla...unless your team is in the game or you're from Puebla, it's pretty much just an excuse to party. That means for most of the 111.3 million Americans who watch the game on TV it's all about finding the right spot to watch the game...I might have won.

Were there jello shots and drink specials, no. Was there a live band and did anyone win a new car, no. Did we have an absolutely beautiful house and gracious hosts, you betcha.

In fact the toughest decision I had all day was whether or not to show the house or the view. I guess we know how that decision went.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tokyo Drift

Someone once said that parents are for saying no, and grandparents are for saying yes. Case in point, my neighbor Pat.

This year for Christmas Grandma and Grandpa got his two boys electric go-carts...really fast electric go-carts. I'm pretty sure there is no way Pat and his wife Jenny would have come up with this idea on their own, and I know they wouldn't have executed said idea had they thought of it. That's what grandparents are for.

The good news is their oldest boy, Charlie, is actually really good on that thing. He can spin 360's and he makes Vin Diesel look like a little old lady out for a Sunday drive. It's pretty fun to watch.

The bad news is he's going to be 16 one day and I'll have to turn in my license, because I have no doubt he is going to be in some drag racing gang through the streets of Talmadge.


When I was in 7th Grade I starred in a full length feature motion picture called "Treasure", which sounds cooler then saying I was in a cheesy B-Movie when I was a kid. The reason I mention it (I mean besides the fact that I'm trying to push the trailer up over 37 views) is that working on this project for Rady Children's Hospital has brought back some memories.

Sure our crew is a little smaller and our funding is a little more solid, but both productions had a clapperboard...and that is awesome! Nothing makes a production feel more legit (especially a B-Movie from the late 80's) then some guy yelling "Marker" and then slapping two pieces of wood together.

Eat your heart out Scorsese.

Evening Sesh

As a general rule you pretty much only surf in the morning or in the late afternoon, the rest of the time it's too windy. For my money, mornings are the best. It's usually way glassier, a lot less crowed and by the time you get out and clean up it's time for lunch.

Having worked nights for the past 5 years I didn't really have much choice, it was a morning session or nothing. So now that I have more free time I decided to try an evening sesh. It was fine...not as good as it probably was in the morning...but fine. Here's what wasn't fine...spraying off my wetsuit and board in the dark. No thank you, I'll stick to the mornings when everyone else is at work or school.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wintering in SD

For as long as there have been mother in-laws, there have been jokes about mother in-laws...and most of them are of the unflattering variety. The sad thing is that I think for a lot people the jokes are a reality...but not for me.

Of course I know that my mother in-law is one of the only people who reads this blog regularly, so even if I didn't like her I would probably still write nice things about her here. The problem is, I'm a terrible liar so I probably wouldn't be able to pull it off, and further more, if I really felt like that I would just write about something else.

So it is with a good conscience and complete honesty that I say that I have a wonderful mother in-law. She is kind, loving and a heck of poker player...kind of like her daughter actually. She lives in the Midwest were it gets COLD in the winter, so after years of encouragement we finally got her to commit to a full month in San Diego. I have a feeling she is going to really like it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pimp My Ride

With my car in the shop after our fender bender on Sunday, that means I need something to get me from point A to point B for the next couple of days. Lucky for me my insurance covers the cost of a rental while my car is getting repaired. Super lucky for me Enterprise Rental Car only had one vehicle available on Tuesday morning...and she is a beauty!

Now if I could only find a basketball team that needs a ride somewhere...