Friday, March 30, 2012
As the story goes, my Mom went into labor while sitting in the audience of a community theater nearly 36 years ago, so I guess it's' in my blood to wear costumes. That's the only explanation I can come up with because believe me, I do love it.
So after catching up with my buddy Big John over some lunch at Fred's Mexican Cantina, you can imagine my delight when I discovered these bits of flare on the way out. Some quick costume design, a confident pose and a slightly confused hostess and we had everything we needed to capture our "3 Amigos" moment.
Now if I could just find the invisible swordsmen.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
When I was 6 years old I kicked a soccer ball for the very first time...and I did it at Sunset Park in Coronado. Seeing as I had a bit of a set back this past weekend on the soccer pitch, I figured it was time to go back to the beginning...so I returned to Sunset Park. And because kicking a ball in the park by yourself isn't that much fun I brought my buddy Andre with me.
We had a blast and I learned two important things.
First, Sunset Park is a really good name for this park. Holy crap it was pretty tonight.
Second, it's not easy to take a "timer" picture of two guys juggling a soccer ball.
It's almost never a good sign when you see green fluid linking out of something...certainly not something that makes your car go. Unfortunately that is exactly what I saw coming out of my engine late this afternoon.
The good news is that I am a complete moron when it comes to car stuff so I'll probably pay some mechanic way too much money to fix something I could do on my own.
What an awesome turn of events.
Monday, March 26, 2012
As you know I've been helping my parents move for the last week or so, and as you further know it has not been a ton of fun. So you can imagine my delight when I pulled up to my folks place this morning and saw this.
Hallelujah we finally got some pros...and let me tell you, these guys were legit!
For 10 years between 1994 and 2004 I moved ever single year and never once did I use professional movers. What an idiot! By definition a professional is someone who gets paid to do something, so these guys had something that I never did...incentive to work quickly.
Sure when you're 25 you don't actually own that many things and you have to save what little money you do have on important stuff like bar tabs and cab rides, but if I could turn back time I know what I would do differently.
Okay who am I kidding? I wouldn't change a thing, but I promise you the next time I move I'm calling some pros...especially if there are stairs involved.
There was a time when I was flat out a good soccer player...not great but really good. I was even selected to the California State Olympic Development soccer team during my Junior year of high school.
Those days have passed me by, quite awhile ago actually, and that's fine. I'm older now, more then a step slower and not nearly in the kind of shape a good soccer player should be in.
You see I don't mind not being good at soccer anymore...but I hate being bad at it. Tonight I was bad at it. I missed a wide open goal, connected on a beautiful pass to the other team that they turned into a goal and generally just played awful defense. Oh yeah, and it rained too.
Like I said, just one of those games.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
6 years ago (almost to the day) I emceed Opening Day at PETCO Park to kick off the Padres season in front more then 40,000 spectators, not to mention everyone that was watching the game on TV.
On Saturday I emceed the St Mark Preschool scholarship fundraiser in front of more the 12 preschoolers, not to mention all of their parents.
In 2006 the Padres went on to win their 2nd consecutive N.L. West pennant, which also happens to be the last N.L. West pennant the team has won. How much did my performance on Opening Day contribute to their championship season, I would guess an awful lot.
On Saturday we raised more then $8,000, all of which goes back to the kids and the school. How much did my performance contribute to that number in a real world sense...again I think it's pretty obvious.
Clearly I've got something special going here. Now if I could just land a bar mitzvah.
Fact...nobody likes moving.
I don't mean relocating, I mean the actual act of packing all of your crap into boxes and then picking up said boxes and moving them somewhere else. It's just no fun and it makes your back hurt...like I said it's the worst.
Actually there is one thing worse then moving...that's moving someone else. That's what I've been doing all week and this weekend for my parents. That said it really is the least I can do, and even though I would be lying if I said it was fun, I am more then happy to do it.
Like I told my Dad, if he could drive me up to Santa Barbara and move all my stuff up 3 flights of stairs into my freshmen year dorm, then I could help him move this week.
Friday, March 23, 2012
I'm not sure but I think this is what they mean when they say, "We lost the battle but we won the war." Sure, "Madrid United" lost to "Ballers" 2-1 last night in our coed soccer game, but I didn't see a single member of the Ballers at Monkey Paw afterwards, so technically we won the war...the war of fun.
Of course I understand that sounds a little bit like Soccer Mom talk. "It's okay that you didn't win on the scoreboard guys, the real winners or the ones that have the most fun!" Barf, I know.
There is something too that though, I mean it's not like we're playing for the World Cup. So if the object is to run around a little, smile a bit and catch up with some friends (new and old), then I guess we really did win.
Now all I have to do is grow out my hair, stop using deodorant and move to a commune and I'll never felt like I lost again.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I went to college at UCSB and shortly after arriving in Isla Vista, I discovered Woodstock's Pizza. What a place! Great pizza, good beer and my favorite pinball game ever, "Indiana Jones".
Four years later when I had to say goodbye to Santa Barbara there was more then a small piece of me that was sad to part with Woodstock's, but we've all got to do what we've got to do. For me that meant moving away from this small local pizza shop and my beloved "Indiana Jones".
Turns out I'm an idiot.
Woodstock's isn't from Santa Barbara, it actually started in Corvallis, Oregon in 1977. From there it expanded to San Luis Obispo, then Santa Barbara, Chico, and San Diego. Today there are a total of 7 California Woodstock's...and two right here in San Diego.
So much for having to say bye to great pizza. Told you I was an idiot.
Between the rain, the wind, a lack of waves and actually being kind of busy these days, I hadn't been surfing in nearly 3 weeks. That doesn't sound like a long time...and really it isn't, but I still missed it. So when I pulled up to Shipwrecks today and saw this I was pretty happy.
Sure it was small and the water was really cold, not to mention a little dirty from all the rain...but it was sunny and glassy as well. More then inviting enough to paddle out and catch a few fun ones...which is exactly what I did.
And you know what, it was good to be back.
Apparently I love golf.
How else do you explain waking up at 5:45am to go play the game in the rain? I mean who does that...crazy people, that's who.
In my defense we did play at Torrey Pines on the South Course, home of the 2008 US Open, so it's not like we were on some goat track somewhere. In fact, this was the makeup Media Day round for the Farmers Insurance Open...you guessed it, the first one got rained out. This time around there would be no rain checks so this was my last chance to get to play Torrey for free.
Apparently I love free golf...that makes more sense.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I realize not everyone loves surprises, but as long as the news is good, I'm all about them. I guess that's kind of obvious though isn't it, nobody likes the "Hey let's click this link in my email, oh no my computer just crashed" kind of surprise do they?
Lucky for me the surprise I'm talking about was a good one...and to be honest it wasn't a total surprise. My good friend Erin Dial and her boyfriend Ryan got engaged this weekend and we got together for celebratory brunch on Sunday.
The funny thing is I can't tell who's more excited about the wedding, Erin or my wife. At this point it's definitely too close to call...we'll just say it's a tie for now.
Monday, March 19, 2012
I've got a buddy who is a member of "The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick" here in San Diego. They bill themselves as a society that "exists to promote Irish culture, education and provide aid", but they're basically a bunch of really nice guys that like to get together and drink.
As you can imagine, St. Patrick's day is a big day for this group...and as you can see from this picture, I am not a member of the "Friendly Sons".
Rather then march in a parade, or get drunk in an Irish Bar, this year Megan and I went to a friends house for dinner and polite conversation. In other words, we're definitely ready to be parents.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
What can you say about my buddy Jack Gates? He is truly one of a kind and if you've ever had the pleasure of meeting him you know exactly what I mean.
If you haven't meet him before it's hard to explain exactly what it is that makes him so uniquely awesome. He's the king of one-liners and he's smart...which makes for a very entertaining combination.
Case in point, a few years ago I was telling him about a wedding I went to that had a martini bar. Without skipping a beat he said to me, "You know John, martini's are like a women's breast. One is not enough but three is too many."
I told you he was smart.
Friday, March 16, 2012
A couple of months ago I was tooling around on the internet, as can happen from time to time, and I came across a pretty interesting website/blog. It was called "The Beer's Gone Bad".
I'm a sucker for a clever name so that's what drew me in at first but I stayed around because of the two hosts of this video blog, Scott and Pat. Turns out I knew these guys from my home town and in my opinion, they had something pretty cool going on, so I decided to "follow" their blog.
About a week later I got a facebook message from them asking me if I would like to come on the show and review a beer with them. Pretty stupid question if you ask me...free beer and a chance to be in front of a camera, of course I want to be on that show...and it finally happened tonight.
I had a great time and will be sure to post a link to the review once it's up, but in the mean time I suggest you check out their site for yourself...and maybe have a beer.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
To you this may just look like a couple of guys hanging out on a nice balcony downtown somewhere, but there is more to this story. What this actually is, is a meeting of the minds between some pretty creative people.
What exactly we were meeting about and who all was there I can't talk about just yet, but I can tell you that I am pretty excited about what we're working on. Hopefully I'll get to share it with you soon, but until then we'll just have to leave it at this.
Don't you hate secrets?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I'm not sure which is more embarrassing...getting your email account hacked or having to admit that you still have an AOL account? Yeah you're right, probably the later.
Still nobody likes getting their account hacked into because then you have to send out a bunch of follow up emails warning everybody not to open the first one. It's just a big waist of everybody's time...but I'm here to tell you there is a silver lining.
Sometimes when you email someone you haven't talked to in 5 years...even if it's spam, that person will pick up the phone and give you a call. That happened to me today and it was awesome! So F-U spam guy...who's laughing now?
Monday, March 12, 2012
If you're retired, on a sabbatical, or just out of work, days of the week are not a huge concern for you. That said, nobody likes Monday's. It's just the way it is, sorry Monday.
As I write this there are only two known cures for a bad case of the Mondays, and neither of them is a trip to T.G.I.Fridays. Your only two options are a 3-day weekend or a long lunch, preferable with a good group of friends.
Since today wasn't Columbus Day I'll let you figure out which one I had today.
A few years ago my wife found out that she had a strong intolerance to eggs.
In a related story, a few years ago I stopped going out to brunch.
So with the wifey out of town this weekend you better believe I was going to get my brunch on...and I did at Anthology in Little Italy. I'm not sure if it's because I've been out of the game awhile or because I built it up too much or because I just ordered wrong...but the food was not that good.
Luckily the bottomless mimosas and great company made up for it...and really that's what Sunday brunch is all about anyway, right?
Perspective is a beautiful thing.
We all get caught up in our own world and our own problems. There is nothing wrong with that and it doesn't mean that whatever is going on in your world isn't important. It's just that perspective allows us to take a step back and re-evaluate our situation.
I've had the pleasure of being invited out to the Miracle League of San Diego a few times before and this weekend I got the chance to emcee their opening day ceremonies. For those that don't know, the Miracle League is a baseball league for handicapped children, children that wouldn't otherwise have the chance to play sports.
Life is not easy for any of the kids in this league, or their families for that matter, but for an hour on Saturdays at the Miracle League field that all goes away. It's replaced by kids and parents laughing and smiling and cheering. That's the miracle of this baseball league. If those families, with all that they have on their plates, can laugh and joke and smile, they I certainly can.
Not because I look at those families and think how much better my life is, but because I look at them and see that being happy is an option available to all of us. Theirs is not a cautionary tail...but an inspirational one.
It's all about perspective.
Friday, March 9, 2012
The San Diego Sockers haven't lost a game in nearly 3 years. Since joining the PASL in 2010 they have gone undefeated and won 2 world championships. You want a lock, put your money on the Sockers.
Tonight they were playing in the semifinals of the Newman Cup, which is the championship for the league and just so happens to be named after former Sockers coach Ron Newman. With my wife out of town for the weekend, we decided to have a boys night out at the Del Mar arena to cheer on the squad. The only problem was we needed to leave at 9:15 so my buddy Brendan could get back home in time to watch his 2 year old son Wren.
Lucky for us at halftime the home team had the game well in hand, leading 5-1. So as we left the arena we felt like we had seen enough and were confident the Sockers would advance to the finals tomorrow night.
Then we got in the car and things started to change...quickly. Before we knew it the score was 7-6 San Diego with only a couple minutes left to play. At that point, the other team pulled their goalie, a fight broke out, the Sockers scored 2 goals in final 24 seconds and we missed every bit of it.
As you can see, the playoffs are a pretty big deal in my Thursday night coed Vavi soccer league. There's actually been some talk of moving to a bigger venue next season to handle the crowds, but I'll believe that when I see it. You know how political things can get.
So we finished 3rd in the regular season and with the top 4 teams qualifying for the playoffs, that meant we were matched up with the 2nd place team in the semifinal round. They beat us 4-0 the first time around so we were definitely the underdogs. Unfortunately it doesn't look like Disney is going to be making a film about our inspirational triumph...mainly because we lost. Worse yet, we were playing really well right up to the point when I gave the other team an easy goal.
So the bad news is we lost 2-0. The good news is the other team voted me their MVP...so I've got that going for me.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I'll be the first to admit that I have a bit of superstitious streak in me. I blame it on playing sports growing up. We all know that for most athletes the word "superstition" could probably be replaced with "routine". After all, a lot of superstitions are born out of routine (eating the same pregame meal) and it's certainly what they become. The fact is if you think you're playing well because you're wearing your lucky underwear, then you are. It's a mental thing.
For me though, that's where superstition ends. I don't believe in bad omens or tarot cards or voodoo…and I don't believe in fortune cookie fortunes. I refuse to believe that Confucius is sitting at some Starbucks somewhere banging away fortunes on his Mac Book. That said, this was my fortune tonight. The same night that my wife told me we could officially announce our pregnancy to the world!
Pretty crazy, right? Not only am I going to be a dad but now I have to rethink my stance on fortune cookies. My world is turning upside down.
Membership has it's privileges.
But that's not who I am welcoming to the club, like I said they've already been here for a decade. No that welcome was reserved for me because I finally got to sponsor a new member. Technically I've been part of CYC since 1984 when my Dad was paying for me to be a junior member, and here it is 2012 and I just got to be a sponsor for the first time.
It's not like there are any special privileges that come along with it (just a free drink at the bar during the membership hearing) but I think it's a nice honor…especially when you get to support a couple of people as awesome as the Pierre's. The free drink was nice though.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Right out of college 3 buddies and I came up with an idea for a novelty clothing line called "Don't Be That Guy". The whole thing was based on a picture I took of one of my friends (and now new business partner) projectile vomiting in the backyard of a college party. The idea was to silk-screen that picture on to a bunch of T-shirts with the caption "Don't Be That Guy" written underneath it. Awesome right?
So we pooled our money together, ordered 100 shirts and then started thinking about how big of a boat we wanted to buy with the profits. Unfortunately for us back in 1999 the internet wasn't what it is today, and trying to sell the shirts by hand in the streets of PB wasn't as easy as we thought it would be. We probably sold about 30 in a year and half and then just gave up.
The reason I mention it is that I'm thinking about bringing the company back with a mid-30's slant. Our first shirt, a picture of some poor bastard ironing his jeans. You definitely don't want to be that guy.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Just because it's not uncommon to have perfect weather in San Diego on March 4th, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the hell out of it when it happens. This weekend, and today in particular, was simply amazing! 80 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and just a touch of breeze.
The best part of today though was the phone call I got a few minutes before 3pm. My old college roommate and his wife (also from UCSB) were in town for his mom's birthday and had a couple of hours to kill before their flight back to San Francisco. They wanted to meet up and my wife Megan came up with the perfect plan...drinks at the Sea Level Lounge on Harbor Island.
We got a table right on the water, enjoyed some food and libations, and as always, laughed a bunch. Like I said, it was perfect.
On New Years Day 1936, a huge storm ripped the SS Monte Carlo from it's mooring 3 miles off the coast of San Diego and washed the ship aground in Coronado. 76 years later it's still there.
The reason? Because once the ship was no longer anchored in international waters, the illegal gambling and casino equipment was, well illegal. Rumored to have been operated by the mob, no one was exceedingly eager to step up and claim ownership of the 300 ft long vessel. So it just sat there.
What happened to the bulk of the ship, I don't know. They didn't cover that in our "History of Coronado" class in middle school. All I know is that the slot machines and prostitutes are long gone and all that's left is the concrete hull buried in the sand.
No longer a vessel of sin, SS Monte Carlo still provides plenty of entertainment in the form of good waves at one of my favorite places to surf. A break appropriately known as "shipwrecks".
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I've known my friend Jen for close to 20 years now, and like all good friends, even though we only see each other once or maybe twice a year, we always manage to pick up right where we left off the last time. I'm not sure how rare that is, but I do know that it's special.
She's in town this weekend from Sacramento for her Mom's birthday and I got a chance to meet up with her Friday night for a couple of drinks and a lot of catching up...which is no small task with her. Jen is one of the more unique people I have had the pleasure of knowing in my life and she's always up to something. Her latest adventure is as a maternity ward nurse in the state capital, which probably isn't as exciting as the medical volunteer work she did in Africa and Central Mexico, but it's no walk in the park either.
The point is we always have plenty to talk about when we get together and this weekend was no different. In fact, that is one of the best things about getting older, your friends end up doing some pretty cool things and you get to hear about them first hand.
Friday, March 2, 2012
So I was supposed to take a picture of my Thursday night coed soccer team this evening, and of course I forgot. We won 2-0 and I even scored a goal, so I think I go a little too excited and it just slipped my mind.
So instead of a picture of our team grinning ear-to-ear...you get this. Which is a nice a picture, and I did take it today, I just don't have an interesting story associated with it. Not that me scoring a goal in a coed soccer league on a Thursday night is going to set off alarms at ESPN, but you get my point.
So enjoy, I promise to be better tomorrow.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
If you're a regular reader of my blog then you might suspect that today's title , coupled with a picture of gas prices here in San Diego, is a little ironic...snarky even. You however would be wrong.
Let me be clear, I am not excited about paying 4 and half dollars for a gallon of gas, I'm the one without a job remember. It's just that I understand nothing motivates policy change better then economic pressure, it's the basis of a free market economy. Supply and demand dictate prices, wages, whatever.
So for me, when I see gas at $4.49 and 9/10ths, I see motivation to switch our national dependency on oil, most of it foreign, to something cleaner, less expensive and domestic. Something like natural gas, or solar or wind power.
I understand a switch like that will cost a lot of money but it's not like we aren't already spending a lot of money on our oil addiction. According to T. Boone Pickens we are currently importing 5 million barrels of OPEC oil a day. At $100 a barrel, that's a a serious chunk of change. If we could convert the 8 million 18-wheeler trucks on the road her in America to natural gas engines, the US could save about 3 million barrels of oil a day.
That's 60% of what we import from the Middle East, that is significant. That, in my opinion, is a worthwhile goal.