Tuesday, September 25, 2012

San Diego Uber Alles

We're always happy going home even if we have to put up with a little bit of culture shock. The adjustment back to order and functionality after living in chaos most of the year is sometimes disappointing. There are two different worlds at play and we are apart of both, the connected and disconnected. Of both worlds I'm certain of two things: 
A simple task is never a simple task in Egypt. It might take 5 workers 10 minutes of discussion and arguing to move a potted plant a few meters. If social class and job hierarchy wasn't a factor you could have moved the plant on your own. 
A simple task is never a simple task in the States if a computer is involved. This week I tried to order materials from a company in New York and my instructions on how to send it to Egypt wasn't compatible with their computer program. I told him to take a marker and just write the address on the box. "I'm sorry Mr. Medina we can't do that because the address label get automatically printed out."    

Back in the 80's my friend Matt and I would visit Dairy Queens in Denver trying to order a tomato Blizzard. The automatic response was always, "we can't make one" followed by several reasons such as: there is no recipe, it's against company policy, it'll mess up the machine. We would reply back "sure you can, just throw in tomatoes instead of the Oreos, and no tomatoes won't break the machine."  

JFK layover looking at the Empire State Building in the background.
The first meal back home in San Diego should always be carne asada.
New ride.
Ana acquired a new fashion sense during our stay in Alex.
A drive up to Ventura to see the Kortlucke-Ortegas is a must. 
7 beers 6 people.
Yes, we actually did this. If you're looking for speed, you won't find it on this machine though we did find ourselves in a race with another group.
Recent CA transplant Matt (of Bloodspoon fame) and Melissa met us for Thai and record shopping in Santa Barbara. BTW, Dr. Know's Plug In Jesus is a great album.
Wine Steals has the best happy hour in San Diego with their $2 pizzas and cask wines.
My former boss Dr. C invited us out to the bay to ride his water sports toys. I failed on the paddle board whereas Ana played the big show off.  
 The lovely home of Ms. Boulevard aka Mangolicious.
Ana's sister wanted a wine tasting adventure for her birthday so the family piled into the car and drove north up the 15 to Temecula. 
Temecula hosts more than 35 wineries, for a list visit http://www.temeculawines.org/
Bel-Vino grapes were so delicious that we joined their wine club. 

Chikle always has an art opening when I'm not in San Diego and this summer was no exception. The good news is that I help him hang the show. The stuff he and his wife Selina are making is pretty damn cool. 
Carlos working concessions at the Voz Alta.
Bill Caballero's Thursday night Latin Jazz Jam Sessions only at the Voz.
Imperial Beach
A snack on the pier.
The guy who caught this was pretty excited, he told me he was going to eat it for dinner.
Summer weather in San Diego is jacket weather for most.
An evening over at cabron Shane's
Shane getting ready for the kill, actually getting ready to set up a Kickstarter project for his graphic novel Caustic Soda-A Year Future Narco Romance. More on that when the details come out.
Ana's cousin sampling a beverage at the Blind Lady.
The view from Cowles Mountain (not Hell's Mountain like when I originally heard the name). Though after hiking up it it should be called Hell's Mountain.    
The secret to Yoda's longevity. 
There are Jack Mormons and there are Jack Vegetarians like Ryan showing us how to eat a juicy pork wennie. Good thing I didn't tell him about "bronies"  
Going to see the Padres.

Family night at Petco Park.
The Pads actually won. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summertime in Denver

I was pretty lazy with the camera in Denver this summer. I felt liked I missed people and events. The biggest news while we were there was the theatre shooting in Aurora, which is five minutes from my parent's house. My brother George and I had gone there a few days earlier to see Moonrise Kingdom. As I mentioned on Facebook, Ana flirted with the idea of wanting to go see Batman opening night, but I wasn't a fan of the idea. And you know the rest of the story. After the fact I thought about driving to the theatre to take pictures and I even drove by the killer's apt. but I couldn't bring myself to pull out the camera. Ana didn't see the point of it, she was right. 

A rental car is like a grab bag.
Our friend's daughter Fiona riding the deer lawn ornament. 
Always good to see Lentini who is trying to be off the grid.
Lost contact with Leslie after high school but connected with FB...this is the type of success story FB wants you think about while the government complies and tracks your personal lives and whereabouts. 
The best sign in the world returns to Camels and Tacos for an encore. A definite family heirloom. 
We were out driving around and decided on a Coors Brewery tour.
There was plenty displays of the brewery's history minus photos of the cross burnings and Ku Klux Klan meetings said to have been held on the property back in the 1920's. There is still debate if those rumors are true. Coors was successfully sued for discrimination in the late 60's in addition to not being labor union friendly.    
There is no denying that Coors family has strong ties to the political right with the likes of the Heritage Foundation and John Birch Society. Reach for that Silver Bullet. 
John Elway always seems to be enjoying a Coors Light in his booth during Broncos games.  
Not only does West Colfax offer seedy motel options but is also rich with signs of a by-gone era. If you favor Americana hotel signage your best bet is Raton, New Mexico. 
Downtown Denver.
West side near 8th and Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe/Aztlan Theatre still stands. The invention of VHS tapes and Blockbusters killed the mom and pop theatre business. The Aztlan has a long history with Denver's punk community; it was the venue to see larger bands. I booked many shows there during my tenure as a promoter. The code of conduct was "don't fuck with the neighbors" and sure enough there were usually fights between the punks and homies. The Denver Skins antics in the late 80's didn't help the cause either. The sign on the marquee still has the same phone number and if you're daring, give the owner Tim Correa a call and book your next gig there.  
Looking west on Alameda Ave. at Peoria St.
The old Stapleton tower. 
Ana and I celebrated our belated five year anniversary at the Palace Arms at the Brown Palace Hotel. 
Dig into your child's college fund and do the five-course tasting menu with the wine pairings
We continued our romantic evening with 57 Lesbian and  
The Nuns of Brixton (a nun Clash cover band) at the Lion's Lair. 
Ana helped Ocean and Haleigha write letters to Cake Boss and Elmo, I'm sure the girls had choice words for both.