Thursday, June 5, 2008

Going back to Cali

So, it was my last day in Austin. I found a yellow bike and met up with Dusten. We went to Hoa Hoa-- a Chinese place that he and I used to always eat at. They're lunch special is awesome.

Then I just kinda wasted time around town-- Austin really hasn't changed much. This dude still lives here. I ate Thundercloud before meeting up with my mom. We looked at sunglasses and I bought a new hat. Then she dropped me off for my flight.

Dylan and his guy Alex picked me up from LAX. People drive really fast in LA. We played some pool at Footsies, before getting tacos.

Then we went to Big Foot Lodge and met up with Julia, her boyfriend and some other people. Dylan was really amazed by my beard. We went to a bar called Johnny's that Dylan used to live behind, before going back to Alex's and starting to watch Traffic. I fell asleep.

The next day, I was riding Alex's bike and Julia called wanting to meet up by the river. She got a new bike recently. It's really cool. We had to sneak into her boyfriend's house. Then she drove me around LA. We went through Downtown and over to Echo Park, Silver Lake, Las Files or something-- I don't know. Oh, yeah-- we went to a coffee shop where I met Rob's wife Billie. There was some actor guy who was talking to us, but I don't know what his name is. Her, Julia and Rob are all in an art show in a week. Then, when Julia went to work, I met up with Ryan.

Ryan had a bunch of Colt 45s in his fridge, so we drank those before going to eat tacos. We went over to his friend's house, and Dylan brought over some Hpnotiq. Then we went over to another guys house where there were a few people from Chicago. Like Eric-- didn't expect to see him.

Rob was finally going to meet us at the bar, so we headed to the Cha Cha. We got a booth and kicked it there before leaving for the Short Stop. Then I guess we came home and Ryan put on that Stax Records documentary. I got up super early and put all my photos online. That is why you're reading this. Okay, I'm going to go do something. Bye.

Sunday, June 1... and so on.

The formatting is terrible on this one. Whoops.

The next day was awesome. I met up with Kevin and Jacline and we ate at Mars. The food and drinks were delicious.

After brunch, we played bocce ball in their backyard. Kevin and I lived together for two years-- he's one of the coolest people I know. He and I tied. I miss playing bocce, but fuck, it is hot in Texas.

Later, I played Wii for my first time. Kevin beat me pretty bad, but I had a good time. My dad picked us up and we went to Round Rock for an Express game. The three of us had a really good time, even though the Express lost. After the game, Kevin and I ran the bases.

The next day, I got stuff together for my trip, and just hung out at my parents house. This is a picture of part of my mom's garden. Oh yeah-- there's a deer too.

In the afternoon, John and I walked the train bridge. You probably shouldn't go during the day, but we did anyways. This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. You're a block from the city, but the views are unbelievable. When I lived in Austin, we would go out here and drink beer a lot. When I was in college, I wrote a paper on this place.

At night, Nic, Todd, Jacline, Kevin, Sabine and I played mini-golf. Peter Pan's is cool, because it's BYOB. I came 2nd to last. This was a lot of fun.

Look. A dinosaur.

Kevin and I went and saw X at La Zona Rosa. They were a lot of fun. I got a t-shirt. Kevin bought my ticket-- what a nice dude. Afterwards, we went to the Ginger Man to play darts. I won! They have a wicked beer selection. Too bad they're tearing this place down to put in some condos.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Following up/Shit hits the fan

So that first post seemed pretty cool, right?
I know you really want to see pictures of people dancing by the campfire at Tony's birthday party or me in my favorite plaid shirt, but too bad. You probably also want to see pictures of Hitch, John, Dave, Brooke and I drinking wine on the roof of Tulula's... or the wicked free pizza party I earned at Brixx. Sorry, dude.
On the morning of the 21st, I drove to Atlanta. I caught a wicked Braves game where Chipper Jones hit a home run and the Braves crushed the Mets. I met up with a friend for a drink before driving through the night. I slept for one hour in the middle of Alabama, before meeting my friend Ben and his girlfriend at the Waffle House in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I drove through New Orleans, and pulled into the parking lot of the Houston's Cynthia Woods Pavillion just after 7pm. I bought a ticket off some dude for the night's Iron Maiden concert. The show was pretty rad, and Bruce had on some pretty bizarre costumes.
I stayed with Mike, Miranda and their baby boy Liam, and we went to Friday night's Astros game. Saturday, I met Kelley and Dan at the game, and later we went out for drinks. I ran into a couple old friends at some bars in Houston, before passing out around 2:30am. Sunday, my dad came to town for the game, and we met up with Josh and his father. We had the best seats I've ever had. Here's the kicker: after the game, my car was broken into and my bike, digital camera, cell phone, passport, social security card, eye glasses, sun glasses, everything... was stolen. All of the supporting pictures are gone; as are some fun memories with a lot of people I rarely get to see. So anyways, I spent the next week replacing a lot of stuff-- naturally, getting my passport replaced was paramount for my visa application process. It's in the mail. I got a new camera on Thursday night; here are some photos:

After buying the camera, John and I went to Kevin's softball game.

We stopped by to see Ghazal on her going-away bike cruise. She's headed to MedSchool in Ft. Worth. It was cool to see a lot of old friends. Then we went to a back porch chiller with a lot of young kids.

The next morning, Mark took me to campus so that I could fax some stuff to France. I have officially registered for school and accepted the Erasmus Mundus grant. Justin met me, and we celebrated at Veggie Heaven. That's probably my favorite restaurant in Austin.

Later that day, Graham and Justin painted a mural. It is really hot in Texas.

Later that night, we pre-gamed at Graham's. Mark & Jeremy even hung out. COOL. Then we walked to a party. We brought our own seating. Even at night, it is really hot in Texas.

Then Graham, Vi, Allyson and I went to a bar. I got to see Edward-- he's an old friend of mine who means a lot to me. He is one of the main people I miss in Austin.

We went back to Graham's and drank a buddle of Moet. Graham's girlfriend Vi loves to party. I gave Justin the couch and passed out on the floor.

The next day, I chilled out at my parents' house before heading to SaltLick with Kevin, Jacline and Todd. It is considered one of the best BBQ spots in Texas and is out in the country, only a couple miles from my parents' place. Oh yeah-- before going to eat, we stopped at Waterloo for a couple beers and to watch some of the Astros game.

Afterwards, we drank a bottle of wine on my parents back porch. Look! My dog!

Then I met Graham and we went to the Castle Walls. This is a really rad place to drink beers. We hung out there, before going to a Skidmarxxx party at Joel's place. It was pretty fun, but we decided to leave early for some karaoke. Curt was in town from Chicago, but Ben was the real showstopper.

I normally never sing karaoke, but we did some group sing-a-longs. I was pretty wiped out, and crashed after Chicken Streeps from Whataburger. Too bad, because Graham, Vi and Allyson went to the hot tub until the sun came up. Dang.


I wrote this the other day:

My friend Todd had the back of his iPod engraved with 'I hope this is still cool a year from now.' I hope I have the dedication to keep this up a year from now. I'm leaving for Europe in the fall, so I decided to spend my summer traveling the States, and seeing friends and family.
Before I left NC, I had a pretty wicked time. Here are some photos of the going away festivities.

Margarita cooked me pozole; my favorite. I used to beg her to make it for me every week, so it was a fitting last meal. Sammy and Margarita run a tienda in Carrboro, NC and had Brian, Brooke, Genardo and me over to their home for dinner. (I hope everyone noticed that I correctly used me, instead of I-- kind of a problem I have.)

That night, I went to the Nightlight to see Caltrop play. They're my favorite band from Chapel Hill, so I was happy to see them before I left town. Plus, Andy hung out. See? This was on Wednesday... I don't know if this is actually going away stuff, seeing that it was nearly a week before I left, but whatever. Deal with it.

Thursday is Jan's day off, so I asked her to make me dinner. Brooke, Hitch and I (again!) went over and had drinks with her and Lynn. Jan makes the best collard greens and has a great screened in back porch... she also saves people's lives. As always, the meal was delicious. I should note that Hitch makes really great sandwiches and prefers to be called the King. Oh yeah, Ace hung out too.

Here is another picture from a place I liked to eat in North Carolina. This is at Don Ricardo's house. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, he opens his apartment for people to come in and eat lunch. Just like a restaurant, you are seated at a table in his kitchen where you can see his wife cook your meal. On most days, his two daughters are also helping prepare food. ¡Que delicioso!

Friday night, Brooke and I drove to Richmond and had drinks with Tony and Eva. I met Eva in Boston in 2004. After drinks we went to a really bad party. Then we all fell asleep drinking wine at Tony and Eva's house while watching a movie. In the morning, Brooke and I went for a bike ride.

In the morning, we hung out in Eva and Tony's garden, before going to 821 Cafe for the Hurricane Burger. That's a pound of beef between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Wicked. Afterwards, I took a nap and we all went out to Pocahontas State Park for Tony's birthday party. I'm tired of writing now, but I'll put more photos up later. And, dude, I'm serious: shit got fun.