Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: April 29th

I'll get this point out of the way because the weekend was otherwise tremendous:  In retrospect, the Lakers never had a chance.    There wasn't much they could do, however, and it was an injury riddled team that had only one bullet going up against the proverbial machine gun that was the Spurs.

I was fool to think they'd show some heart, and at least for 1.5 games, they did, but then when two MORE players hit the shelf, that was the final curtain.   I'm really hoping that this sets up Dwight Howard to bolt right out of town and go to another team.  Please... for the love of God... go to another team, F12.  See I used "F" because that's a worse grade than "D."   Silly school-based joke.

Would you believe F12 is a fun key on the keyboard?  I think you can go to system options on some computers using F12 on POST.  Onward.

The think the first rule of being a comedian is "You have to be funny."  Nothing personal, but Rob Delaney flunked that part.

Now *this* was a great weekend.  Sometimes the best weekends are the ones that don't use that much planning.  Coach and I traveled to San Diego to see a Padres a game and we made a weekend of it.  We also met my buddy Umberto's at the Padres game.

My mind is not right as I write this, on Sunday evening before the work-week.  I just got hammered that Saturday.  My brain feels like a dried out sponge.  I didn't think it'd hit me that hard but I was asleep for over 3 hours Sunday afternoon.   It hit me hard, but let's start from the beginning.

Part one:  the drive into town.  Traffic hiccup after traffic hiccup along the freeways rolling into San Diego on a Saturday  morning.   You cannot drive from LA to San Diego without a few traffic jams here and there.   It's incredible.  Even early in the morning, tons of cars, and little patches of slow traffic.  Ultimately it was fine, no biggie.   Coach and I made it downtown at about 11:40am.

First stop on a spectacular food weekend: Downtown Fish joint.   We got the fish tacos and these waffle fries, which took me by surprise.  Usually you get fish tacos and maybe there's a few chips, salsa, and some beans, but DFJ does it differently:  you get bigger fish tacos, nicely breaded and fried, some cole slaw and these large waffle fries.  The fish tacos were pretty good, sumptuous, not terribly meaty, but crispy fish.  The waffle fries were terrific.  A very filling meal.

Up next, we went down to the Gaslamp Quarter and stopped at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.   We got these huge ice cream sundaes that would make Pablo Sandoval jealous.  Incredibly good!

Somewhere in between that and the Petco game, we went looking for a rooftop hotel bar.  Our first attempt was the Omni Hotel, but it didn't look like they had one.  They asked us to try Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, but the bar was closed at the time, so Marriott recommended the Andaz rooftop bar up the street.  It was a pretty healthy walk, and we almost quit on it, but Coach and I pressed on.

So we get there, an it doesn't look like a very tall building but we went up.   Fortunately it *was* a good view of the entire skyline.   Hell, once we got there we saw the scene.  It's a pool bar!   A pool bar during a weekend afternoon.  My goodness, the babes at this bar were un-believable.   Lots of skin and so on, and here I was with my dopey long sleeved shirt, jeans, and jacket.  Oii... but a great experience.

Coach was talking up this lady in the pink bikini and signaled that she was coming so I got in a peek.  She was clearly out for attention but had that "high maintenance" look on her face.  Folks, it was not about the face... what a bod.  Whoah baby... so I went back to my Droid phone to check scores and the message boards, and then Coach was like "she's right behind you!"

I laughed it off, thinking he made a funny but then I turned behind and SHE WAS RIGHT BEHIND ME!  Hahahahaha, couldn't believe it.  Well, friends, I had no words... I didn't know what to say to her but she looked a tad ornery anyway.  As if, all she wanted was her next  beverage to slosh on... she was stepping back and forth looking to get the bartender's attention.   Eventually she got her drink, but that was funny.  Everybody was eyeballing her too, it was a scene.  One of many at the pool bar.

Later on, we descended back to the Marriott and went up to the rooftop bar, called "Altitude."  Now the funny thing is, they also have a bar called "Latitude" on the ground floor.  Surely that would trick people walking in, no?  I bet it did.

We went up, found a number of Padres and Giants fans up on the roof.  Spectacular views were had.   Later, my buddy Umbertos joined Coach and I for pre-game drinks.  I introduced the two to each other.  Life was good.  We were rapping about the NBA Playoffs, Baseball, and other scenarios.  Coach went to order an appetizer, and the weird thing about ordering food there was that you had to go to this bullpen phone by the entrance to order.  Who uses a telephone to order food at a bar?!  So bizarre!   It worked, though, after a long wait.  Coach got his chips.  Later, Umberts went and ordered some slider and he got those.  Both items looked pretty good but I was far from hungry by then.

The Marriott Gaslamp Quarter Hotel is next door to Petco Park, with the gate and the Western Metal Supply building adjacent to it and a hot dog shop across the street.  No hot dogs this time, but we entered together, then checked out the lounge at the Western Metal building.  Pretty damn cool.   Later we went to our seats and found Coach's co-worker friend who came to join us.

Boy how about that Saturday Giants/Padres game?  Usually you see a 3-2 game or a 2-1 game, but that night both teams lit up the scoreboard.  The Giants went ahead 5-0... then I felt like getting ribs and asked Umbertos if he wanted to come with, and he did, so we left for the Phil's BBQ rib station behind Right Field.  So, it figures, the Padres scored SIX RUNS while we were gone in one inning!   Ah well, those ribs were amazing though.   Fall off the bone meat, and a zesty barbecue sauce on top.   Phil's BBQ really opened my eyes... the only other place I've had ribs that good was Houston's.   Excellent!

As for the baseball, the Pads went up 6-5, then San Francisco took the lead, 7-6, only to see the Padres tie it up.   We had to leave early so that Coach's car wouldn't have its parking expire... the parking was good for ten hours through 9:39 pm.   The game was entering the 9th inning at 9pm.  It turns out, the game went to TWELVE innings, and the Padres won in the extras, 8-7.

One other thing, the crowd at Petco was really feisty, and a huge crowd at that!  I couldn't get over how big the crowd was that night.  As we left the game we got these little coupons for Subway restaurants.  Apparently if the Padres score, you get a coupon for a free 6"sub with large soda purchase.   Score what, exactly?   I never figured that out, but if it's score at all, the Pads must give those things out every other game HAHA.

Umbertos gave me his Subway coupon citing his intense hatred of Subway restaurants (I hear him here, but I still dig it, despite the obvious inferority to other sandwich shops).   THEN, as we walked out, I found a third coupon sitting on the sidewalk... I picked that one up too.  I said so long to Umberts as he headed home while Coach and I headed for our hotel on the Marina.

Whatever happened the rest of the night is pretty foggy... there were a lot of drinks.  Taxi'd over to the Gaslamp again and hit the bar scene.  We were at one bar on the corner.   Pretty good neighborhood bar feel although I bet most of the crowd was from out of town.   Two guys with Kings Jerseys were sitting at a table on the outside patio.  I was intrigued!  But some other guy who was getting a smoke on the sidewalk chatted them up before I could.     Were those Kings fans at the game?  Impossible!  The game at Staples ended around 10pm and at the time it was only 11:30.  What would have had them put on full Kings gear in San Diego that night?

Coach, always the intrepid one, really wanted to see this other rooftop bar across the street so I let him check it out and text me the outcome.  Dude loved it and texted as much, so I elected to leave the corner bar and join him.

I went in through the wrong door and entered another ground-floor bar.  Lady in a dress walks across and I asked, "Hey, do you know where the rooftop bar is??"

Annoyed, she turned over to me, kept walking and said, "I don't work here!"  Haha, oops!

I went around the corner and entered the right door, boarded the elevator and found Coach.   It was a bar all right but with slightly older people, which is totally Coach's M.O.  He loves going after older women.  I went over there and Coach looked so excited, and I shook my head.

I went "I knew this bar would be to your liking... only the Coach."  Haha, but he was into it.  I was into it too... a few more drinks entered my mouth.  I forget what exactly... a beer of some sort (not a very good one... some wheat beer that was really hoppy).

I tried to scope the scene out and positioned myself in the middle of the bar, and by then I was out of it... just standing there, not sure where I was or what I was doing.   I see some lady with six assorted drinks trying to find her friends.  And she just walks up to me and goes  "can you help me find my friends?"  She was hammered too, so I offered to help her carry the drink and *eventually* she found her group.   Everyone there was so grateful and they urged the one lady to buy me a drink.

The whole thing was so odd... a lady asks for my assistance, and then buys ME a drink.  That has never happened in my bar hopping history.  Furthermore, she was *married*!  So despite her somewhat flirtatious behavior, her proximity to who I think was her husband within the group and that wedding ring she had on made me just want to move on.  However, I thanked her profusely for the free drink and kept my request simple... something basic and inexpensive so I went with the Whiskey and Coke.

I dug into the drink pretty well and Coach finds me and says "Dave you're not going to make it if you finish that!"   but I did... and he probably was right.   Not much else happened after that... I think I wrote some texts and tweets or something.

Coach wanted pizza, and you talk about a turning of the tables, that was it.  Usually I'm the one pushing to go get pizza but this time I was just along for the ride.  There was a place called Berkeley Pizza nearby and it was GREAT!   In a region that is sparse for Chicago Style pizza, Berkeley hit the nail on the head.  It was a WONDERFUL chicago style pizza.. not cheap, but totally worth it.  Crispy outer crust, doughy inside, tons of sauce piled on and the sausage and gobs of cheese in between.  It was fantastic.  I was still out of it at the time and saw some other whacked out babes and their dance partners come in for a few slices.  That was a good time.  No leftovers either.

We Taxi'd to the hotel and then called it a night.   Man!  That was a crazy one.

The next morning, I looked out onto the Marina from the hotel room's balcony... it was very calm and peaceful, really good.  Got some coffee brewed using the in-room coffee machine.  Pretty good.

That was essentially it, although Coach and I stopped at Old Town San Diego to see the historic buildings and Mexican restaurants.  He was really talking up a return trip to Old Town San Diego for Cinco de Mayo but I was playing it down... that would be outrageous to spend money like that two weeks in a row!  He might do it anyway, but the idea was inspired, for sure.

On the way back to LA, we stopped at Lolita's, further north, I believe it was  in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood.  The big dish there is Carne Asada fries, and they were outstanding!  Really, everything they had there was quite good -- tacos, taquitos, burritos, it was a treat.  Afterward we went home.

The entire trip to San Diego was mad fun, and the food was clearly the star of the show.   So many great foods were had down there and I can't wait to go back.

I don't have a segue here, just some quickies.

The Lakers are out of the playoffs.  Can ESPN *please* stop talking about them now.   I'm a fan of the team and I've had enough!

The Steelers had a great, great draft and it has me pumped up for the season.  I think we got Le'Veon Bell from Michigan State for RB.   Tough, rugged RB, and a good fit for Pit.  Jarvis Jones, fantastic linebacker out of Georgia.  Some other components too.

Got some Stanley Cup Playoff predictions, which I wrote earlier in the evening, they're posted below.  

There's a girl I know from college who got married this weekend to her long-time boyfriend.  I wish her all the best up north.  Hoping for a harmonious matrimony between them!

Would you believe I had a myspace page?   I'm afraid to link it because I feel like websites would implode if I did.  It had its own blog, even all those years ago.

Long entry but that's all I've got for now.  Have a good Monday everyone!

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