California Dreamin’

“All that ass and can’t shake it.”

Chris Rock on Larry King is cracking me up.

MOVIE RECOMMENDATION:  “Rocky Balboa”

I loved that movie.  For real.  It was a great movie.  Check it out.  The Rocky movies 2-5(?) were feel-good slugfests.  The underdog coming from behind to win.  The movie “Rocky Balboa” is much more realistic, explores its characters and is none of the comic book (even though they were enjoyable if not deep) that its predecessors were.

Good stuff.


Ugh.  I can’t watch this post-debate coverage.  Or the debate for that matter.  The Spin Rooms.

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’

I was in California last week.  It was a good trip but different.  With the wedding in Roseville, the Monterey Jazz Festival in, er, Monterey and the flight at SFO, there was a lot more traveling and such than socializing.

FREMONT/PACIFICA

I spent some time with gracious host, Tony.  We hung with Charles and his family for a day.  I’m such a cornball.  I didn’t take pictures.

Highlights
MST3K, good food, rice chaos, more MST3K, queso, bacon-infused vodka, anchovy-infused vodka

Lowlights
Bacon-infused vodka, anchovy-infused vodka

The bacon vodka was disturbing on its own.  But it wasn’t too bad in the Virgin Bloody Marys.  Well, they weren’t so virginal after that.  Waka waka.  I suggested that Charles market those drinks as BLTs.  Just replace the celery stick with a wrapped leaf of lettuce.  Fame and fortune to follow.

Now … the anchovy vodka, on the other hand.  Two things:

  1. It smelled like a wharf.  Or like sea lion breath.
  2. Have you ever been to an aquarium?   An aquarium with a touch pool?  If you were to lick a random item in that touch pool … that’s what it tasted like.  Fish oils invading every surface of the mouth.  Harrowing.

ROSEVILLE/AUBURN

Here are a few shots of the wedding and reception venue and one of me.  All taken with the horrible iPhone camera.  Beautiful place in/near Auburn.  Apparently, there are photos of me … hm.  How do I say this word.  Dans.  Ing?  It was a combination of rum, vodka and the best man’s hot girlfriend dragging me by the arm.

“Do you dance?”

“No, not really.  Not a good idea.”

“Oh.  Come on.”

“No, thanks.  No, really.  I don’t…”

“Oh, come on,” she said as she was already in motion pulling me up and dragging me by the arm.

“I’m a little wobbly right now.  I just had a shot of something and a…”

“Then now’s the perfect time!”

And here’s to a classy lady.  Knowing that I was uncomfortable she said, “Let’s go to the middle where no one will see us.”

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s special.  Everything, and I mean everything, goes better with compassion.

Oh.  And negotiations are under way to have all negatives destroyed and digital images removed with NSA encryption level hard drive wiping technology.

I’ll post some of the wedding photos when they’re available.  I do like to wear a good tux every now and then.

I really do miss California.  Intensely.  Even though it was my first time in Roseville it felt like home.  That could be due to the homogenization of suburban America, though.  Maybe it was because my friends were there from back in the day.  I had Thanksgiving dinner with the family every year since I met them … minus one.  That’s the thing about the Harrises.  They adopt you as family.

MONTEREY

Okay this one comes with a little bit of a story involving and unprecedented (okay, it is precedented) level of incompetence on my part.  I’ll try to keep it short.

It was a dark and stormy night.  And … well, actually it was a bright blue, sunny, perfect Northern California day.  Anyway, when I found out that the Brian Blade Fellowship was going to be at the Monterey Jazz Festival it was just too convenient.  Had to do it.   So I did.  Sometimes when I’m going to check something out I’ll buy two tickets or I’ll pick the cheapest hotel room even though it’s got two beds.  Just in case or with the intent of forcing myself to be social and invite someone along.

It was kind of last minute, but I asked a good female friend if she wanted to go.  Let’s call her “Chai Latte with Kahlua”.  I told her that tickets were $35 and that I had booked an oversize room.  I also told her that I could probably pick her up relatively early on Sunday morning.  Well, tix for Sunday were $50.  The tux shop in Roseville opened at 11am on Sunday and the drive was longer so I didn’t get to her neighborhood until around 2pm.  This did not instill confidence.

She decided to go anyway because I was leaving the next day.  Gracious lady.  So we get there, right.  And guess what.  The room was small.  There was one bed and it was a double.  [falsetto]Awkwaaard[/falsetto].  Stupid stupid stupid stupid….

Yeh.  Not cool.  And it was my fault.  The confirmation confirmed that I had ordered a double and not an oversized room with two king beds.  Hell for $189 per night it should have been.  She said to me, “You’re lucky I’m an easy going person.”

I mean, when confronted with a problem I tend to see possibilities for solutions.  I knew the worst case solution to this one but a screw up like that just leaves a pall over things.  I went to the front desk to try and get a room with two beds.  Nothing doing.  Tried to get a cot.  Wouldn’t fit.  The solution, of course:  extra bedding for the floor for Chai Latte with Kahlua.

Kidding!  I’m kidding, of course.  I deserved nothing less than floor sleep.  But she’s cool and I tried to make up for some of my idiocy throughout the rest of the day.

She said at one point, “Mental note: never trust anything that Gary says.”

I said, “Everything I said was true.  Except all of the details.”

“The devil’s in the details.”

Highlights
Brian Blade Fellowship, Kurt Elling with Ernie Watts, to a lesser extent Wayne Shorter Quartet and then the Herbie Hancock group (with singer Karen Keys)

Lowlights
My incompetence, the truck fire that shut down Rt. 1 near Rio Del Mar, the extra 2 hours of travel time


SAN FRANCISCO

Sonofa…   I just lost a lot of writing somehow.  Not happy about that.  Oh well.  It happens.

Highlights
Yoshi’s San Francisco, Paul and his dating war stories, miso soup, Brian Blade Fellowship (of course)

Lowlights
$150 to delay my flight by three hours, no Sadie

Apologies to all of the people I missed (and still miss) this time around.

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