Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Week from Vegas

One week from now, I'll be out on the open road somewhere between Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. I'll probably be somewhere around Death Valley, and roasting in the sun. I hope Nikki the Ninja likes the heat. If no disasters occur on the way to Vegas, I'll be bowling and tossing back beers next Thursday night.

So, I'll be in Vegas four days and three nights. Here's what I've got as a packing list:

Two changes of underwear
Three changes of socks
Two shirts
Cargo Shorts
Swim suit
Tooth Brush/Toothpaste

That sounds about right to me. I'm debating on whether or not I should bring the laptop, but I think it'll be more of a hassle than anything, really. I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending with Brandon in the mansion--it'll probably depend on how the gambling goes. And I wouldn't really want to leave my laptop somewhere for an extended period of time without me being around.

In order to maximize the fun factor, and minimize my losses, here is my list of priorities:

1) prop bets. Which female blogger rubs waffle's head first at the table. Who throws the hammer the most at the blogger tourney. Betting on whether or not Falstaff can pick up that 4-10 split in bowling. Prop bets are where the most action and the most fun for my money is at--so I want to get as many of these in as possible.

2) Chinese Poker. I want to play this game. And hopefully at stakes that I can afford.

3) Poker with the bloggers. MGM Friday night, blogger tourney--I'm very much looking forward to the mixed game Friday night.

4) WSOP. Can't wait to see it live, and root on Brandon, Carl, and any other familiar faces from the rail.

5) Red Rocks. Hopefully I'll be awake when the sun comes up one of the days I'm in Vegas, and I can jet out to the park and snap some photos.

6) Swimming pools. Harken back to my only other time in Vegas--when Andrew and I were 17 and snuck into all the pools at "4 corners" NYNY, MGM, Excal and Tropicana. It just so happened that the Hawaiian Tropic girls were in town at the Tropicana, so you can guess which pool was our favorite. Cheap entertainment!


217) Table games. I want to stay as far away from table games as possible. I don't care if it is Pai Gow--I'm going to lose money, and really, when it comes down to it, I don't like to lose money.

Let me know if you can think of anything else I should bring, besides a fat wallet.


Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 3 -- Monday/Tuesday)

Kristina, Kristen and I woke up nice and early on Memorial Day to get ready for the caravan over to Marin County. People were meeting up at Kristen's to carpool over, and by 8am we had 11 people, ready to go play some disc. We loaded up into three cars and vamoosed!

About halfway there, as we were following Greg's car, Kristen was chatting it up with Kristina and Laura--pumped and excited for the tournament--when a stoplight came out of nowhere and Kristen SLAMMED on the breaks a bit too late. We crashed into Greg's car, but luckily we didn't propel him into the car in front, nor did we get slammed by the car behind us.

Kristen was understandably shaken, and the damage to her hood was enough to jack it off its alignment. Greg's car wasn't hurt too bad, but it'll at least need a new paint job. It'll probably end up costing around $2k for all of the damages. She was bummed, but Steve took over driving the rest of the way, and we made it to the fields.

I'd been really excited to play with this group since its inception at the beginning of the year--but I was confined by the distance issue. Being able to play with good, spirited players is when I probably have the most fun. They are competitive, but not over-the-top. We use all of our players, and share the disc--as opposed to some teams that just use a few people on offense, and usually ignore their women.

I was excited to get going, and after a very lengthy warm-up process, including two big laps, plyometrics, stretching, and a few drills--we were nice and warm for our first game against the BBQ team. I forget what their actual team name was, but they had blue shirts that said BBQ on them, so that's all I really needed to know. Thunderbird was our team name, and we were running a pretty unique offense called the German-Offense.

Apparently, the German Offense was created by overweight old guys in Germany, to try and compete with the athletic youngsters. You have 3 people line up across the field, one "German" in the middle, and 3 people in a line deep down the field. The goal is to have enough open space for the German, that whichever of the 3 handlers has the disc has enough space to lead the German away from his defender. The really unique part about this offense is that the throw is made before the German cuts--then the German moves to the disc. In theory, it is impossible to defend, because the German will always know where the disc is going before his or her defender (assuming the German is being fronted).

We had plenty of lofty throws past the German that settled back in for some nice catches by the German--then moved up field to the 3 deeps. We also had plenty of throw aways. I'm not really sure what I think about the offense in general, but I liked the fact that we were trying something new, and weren't getting too discouraged during the bad streaks.

Thunderbird started out hot, and we won our first game fairly handily. They weren't able to stop the offense, and our defense was on fire. Our second game was against the team who beat the first team we played during our first-round bye. They adjusted much better to our offense, and had some changes to their defense in order to cut down on the amount of space the German had to cut. Our defense was probably the difference in the game, and we made a lot of great stops. The game ended up coming down to another Universe-Point, which we won to bump Kristina and my streak up to 8 wins in a row.

Our next game was against "Kill My Landlord", a team I remember playing at Central Valley Cup when I picked up with Mad-Dog 20-20 (which is the Thunderbird "B" team). The game at CVC was a close one, which we lost--so I didn't expect too much trouble playing with Thunderbird. We ended up bagelling them, 13-0. I spent the second half taking pictures. I wish I had taken more pictures during the weekend, but I was either playing or cheering on the team for all but a few points the entire weekend.

Here are some pictures from the Kill My Landlord game:

1) Dave on the mark!

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2) Greg with a nice stretch to break the mark.

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3) Three of our lovely six ladies (Kristen, Kristina, Laura)

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4) Three of our macho eight guys (Greg, Steve, Jean-Michael)

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5) Roxie!

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6) Viet!

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7) Mel with the Sky!

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8) Kristen to Dave 3-picture sequence.

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9) Lefty Chris#2 to Liz

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And then I went back in for the last couple points.

In our 4th game of the day, we met up with the only other undefeated team in our pool. The wind was picking up, which hurt our German-O quite a bit. The lofty passes we had thrown earlier in the day that would float down to the German, were now being whisked away by the wind. The other team was a very good, and very athletic team, and they ended up beating us by three or four points to win a trip to the finals.

In the middle of this game, I laid out for a disc and didn't notice until a minute later the blood streaming down my arm. I must have torn off a scab from Saturday, and there was blood from my elbow to my fingers on my right arm. It didn't really hurt, but I didn't want to get blood on anyone, and wanted to keep as much blood off of Conor's beautiful pink T-shirt as I could. The Tee was already pretty much bloodied up, but I tried!

For our semi-final game, instead of playing, we decided to have our captains butt-wrestle for 3rd place. Clasping his hands behind his knees, Jean-Michael lost on a bit too aggressive butt-flail, but can't blame a guy for being too aggressive when it comes to butt-wrestling! The entire Thunderbird team headed to the Marin Brewing Co., and we had a great dinner. We had pitchers, burgers, and time to socialize. I think it might have been Dave, but somebody at my table started up Thumbmaster, and there were some good times with that. I was second-to-last quite a few times, because I'd be talking with the table behind me, turn around and notice thumbs on the table, then I'd either slam my thumb down, or slyly touch it to the table--depending on how many thumbs were down. Roxie drank the most, I recall. When a few people didn't notice the thumbs, we'd start throwing thumb-talk into the conversation. "How's the weather today?" "Great! Did you know that tomorrow it is supposed to rain?" "Yeah, the weatherman kept pointing at the rain clouds on the doppler with his thumb, it sort of weirded me out."

The best thumb-point was when Viet was showing everyone the cut he had glued up on his thumb. I looked interested, but noticed nobody's thumb was on the table--I just assumed Viet was alerting us to the fact he'd started another round of the game, but nope! So I kept the conversation going, and set my thumb on the table. Viet didn't pick up on it, but half the table slowly put their thumbs down. Dave was in the restroom, but a few minutes later he came back and leaned over the back of the booth and stretched his arm past Viet and put his thumb on the table. Three more people had yet to put their thumbs down, and still didn't notice Dave's blatant thumb--so Dave took it off the table, walked around and got back in his spot, and put his thumb back on the table, lol. Eventually, the couple across the table from Viet realized what was going on, and Viet ended up having to drink--all the while talking about his thumb. Oh the irony!

I drove from Marin back to Kristen's place in Davis--after Kristen drove us from the tourney to the Brewery. She wanted to get back behind the wheel, but also wanted to drink away her sorrows--so I offered to drive to Davis after the restaurant. Kristina and I didn't end up getting back to Nevada City until 11pm. She gets up super-early for work, so she offered to wake me up on her way out, so I could get back to Tahoe in time for my work at 8am. I zonked as soon as we got home.

Six hours later, she stirred me out of my deep sleep at a cock-a-doodle 5am. She left, then I realized she still had my wallet and cell phone in her purse from the night before at the brewery... crap! I didn't have her cell phone number to call, but luckily for me she had it on her fridge. She hadn't gotten too far, and offered to come back up the hill. Phew!

I tried to fit my sleeping bag, tent, and box of 300 otter pops--but the otter pops just didn't want to fit. Argh. I made it out of her place by 5:30am, and zoomed up Donner Pass. But, at the top of Donner Pass, something went wrong with Nikki. She died, going about 75mph on the freeway. Not good! I thought maybe I had pressed her a bit too hard going up the pass, so after pulling off to the side of the road, I gave her 5 minutes.

She wouldn't start with the choke in, so I pulled the choke down and she started, but was idling at 6-7krpm, which isn't normal. I closed the choke about halfway, to a comfortable 3krpm, then started back up on the freeway. After another mile or two, she died again. Double damn. I did the same routine, but waited about 10 minutes this time. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. The oil level looked fine, it wasn't too hot. I had gone 165 miles on this tank, so I should have plenty of gas left from a 4.8 gal tank x 70mpg.

I drove another two miles, then she died for a third time. I called my work and said I might be late, because the bike was crapping out on me in the middle of nowhere. I was a bit surprised I had service, but I was close enough to Truckee that I got a few bars. I was stumped as to the bike problem, so I walked around a bit before it occurred to me that the bike had to be out of gas. I got back to the bike and opened up the gas cover--yup, empty.

I think a combination of two things led to the gas outage:
1) I was revving 9-11krpm on the freeway, which has to guzzle gas much faster than going at 5-7krpm. I didn't account for the lower mpg.
2) I didn't fill up the tank to full, because I read in the owner's manual that filling it too full can lead to explosions (and I had filled it too full the time before, so I filled it less-full this time)

Yep, that'll do it! Luckily for me, there is a residual tank on the Ninja, so I flicked that on, and had another 50 miles or so to find gas, which I did easily. It sure is nerve-racking making all of these stupid mistakes, but it truly does ensure that I won't make them again! I've even read stories on the motorcycle forums about people running out of gas in similar situations--and of course thought I'd never let that happen--hah!

I went straight to work, unshowered and in jeans and a sweatshirt--45 minutes late. Lucky for me, I just had to work until 10am--so I did just that, then rode home and crashed.

All-in-All, a very fun weekend. It was a bit of a pain trying to recall everything that happened three days later for blogging purposes. I might try to bring my laptop to Las Vegas so I can crash at times and recall things fresh from my memory. It feels like the Memorial Day posts were very bland to me, just recalling what happened, and not much else. I'm fine with that for this time, because I just wanted to get it saved somewhere, but in the future I think I'd like to get more of the funny and in-depth stories down in writing, instead of just a timeline of what happened during the trip.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Screen-writing? Why not?

Much like NaNoWriMo, or NaNoPoMo, or even biking every day for a month to work... June is apparently "Sit on your ass and write a screenplay!" month.

I've never written a screenplay, and my June could be considered by some to be a "full" month--but I think I can find some time. And I've always wanted to try... so...

why not?


Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 2--Saturday and Sunday)

We woke up around 8am on Saturday, in preparation for a long day of ultimate. We got to the fields as the first horn blew for the first round of games to start, but as hard as Schmed tried to get things going on "real" time... "Ultimate" time ruled the day. The first round didn't get underway for another 20 minutes, and we were nice and warmed up by the first point.

We played Red Hand, which was a mix of high school and high school alumni from some Bay Area school. They were pretty good, but reminded me a lot of my old junior's team. They had a few really amazing athletes and frisbee players, but half of the team was still learning a lot of the basics of the game. On the other hand, the Nevada City / Grass Valley pick up team I was on, was pretty much stacked with people who either knew how to handle the disc, or were great at running deep--and everyone played good defense. Red Hand had just a few too many novices, and we were able to capitalize on their turn overs. I think we ended up taking the game 10-7 after the hard cap ended the game.

The next game was Kristina's favorite game of the entire weekend, because it was against her high school alumni team--the team she would have been on if she hadn't been picked up by the NV/GV pickup team earlier. She had a lot of younger friends on the team, including three or four people I had met numerous times at Roxie's parties before--but never got a chance to play with or against. I knew they all had tons of energy, but I wasn't sure how good they'd be at ultimate. They were definitely the most spirited team we played, but again, the experience of the pickup team I was on overmatched their zeal. We won roughly 13-6 or so.

Our next game was against Reno college team. I had actually watched this team play the Saturday of the Davis Invitational tourney I went to a few months ago--and they were a great match-up for Mad Dog 20-20 team. Two girls from Tahoe City who played with us the first few points of the day defected over to the Reno team, because the Reno team needed more players, and the girls knew a lot of the players on the other team. We ended up taking half with a score of 7-1, but by the time the hard cap sounded, the score was 10-8--and we barely squeaked out of this one with a win. Kristina rightly pointed out that as soon as it looked like Keith purposely dropped a sure catch in the endzone, karma was against us, and we got steam-rolled. I think we lost the last six or seven points in a row--it was ugly.

Our last game of the day was against a high school team, who was probably attending their first tournament. I know how that goes, and we had our way with the team of newbies. My last point of play was at about the 9-1 mark. We were on defense, and there was a throw to the far corner of the end-zone, to someone other than the person I was guarding--but there was enough time to get over and snatch the disc away from the kid. I walked the disc up to the end-zone line, which just so happened to be on their sideline. I saw Joe running deep, so I pulled back and hucked it the entire field to him for a score. I overheard the kids on the sideline: "whoooaa" "crap" "daaaamn" I trotted off the field, then decided we had the game wrapped up, so Kristina and I took off to go get some food, then head back to walk Raffle along the ditch.

We stopped at an Indian Buffet for lunch, and it was amazing. Much like any other Indian Buffet, but it hit the spot, and I could barely walk to the car after having two big plates of naan, rice, chicken curry and potatoes. We headed back to her place, and I promptly fell asleep from the running and the large amount of Indian food.

Three hours later, still groggy, I wake up to find an empty house. I sort of expected Kristina to be doing the report cards she kept talking about, but then she walked in with Raffle. They had been tossing the ball out front, but were ready for a walk at the ditch--so we drove down to the ditch and went for a couple-mile walk before dusk. I went walking with Raffle and Kristina a lot when I was living in Nevada City, so it was nice to get back there in Spring to see the differences. It was a beautiful walk, capped off by Raffle jumping in the water, getting stuck in the current and before I could offer to hop in--Kristina was in the water after him, trying to haul him out of the water. Raffle has probably jumped in that stream hundreds of times, but in the Spring, the current is a lot swifter, and there were no points with a low enough bank for him to hop back out of the water. Poor dog.

We headed back to her house and played some crazy eights before bed, and she continued her crazy 8's dominance. I lost a few bets, but nothing too humiliating, because I can't recall either of them. I hit the hay, not sure if we'd be playing any ultimate on Sunday.

Got woken up early on Sunday to a chipper Kristina, ready for some more disc. We got to the fields late, but it turned out we got a first-round bye, because the Nevada Union alumni team (which we played 2nd on Saturday), skipped town early, and wasn't able to field a team. Our next game wasn't for another 90 minutes--and we hadn't had breakfast yet, so we zoomed over to South Pine Cafe--both Kristina and my favorite breakfast spot in Nevada City.

Kristina had actually forgotten her cleats at home, so she dropped me off to place the orders, and she raced back to the house to get the cleats. A few minutes after she arrived back at the cafe, the food was brought out and we scarfed down our favorites. We made it back to the fields with plenty of time to spare, and warmed up for our first game of the day, which also turned out to be the semi-finals of the tournament... against...

Reno! I was a bit scared for this game, because they were the team that ran off a string of six or seven points against us the day before. I only saw one of the two Tahoe ladies, but I said "hi" and we talked about the Tahoe ultimate scene. Apparently, there is a pretty hi-level pickup game in Truckee on Thursdays. Liz said it wasn't on any website, but if I'd give her my number, she'd give me a buzz with directions.

I'm thinking about riding up to Truckee tomorrow to check out the game, but there is a chance of T-storms, so I'm about 50/50 right now. She hasn't given me a call yet, so I'm thinking if she calls, I'll make the trip and if she doesn't, I'll stick around Zephyr Cove tomorrow.

We actually handled Reno pretty easily in the Semi's, much in part to the fact that they partied much harder than we did the night before. Also, due to the addition of Patrick from the Nevada Union alumni team which ditched him. Patrick is about to graduate from Santa Cruz, and recognized Jeremy and Sam's names from Santa Cruz ultimate in years past. Two guys I played junior's with. Patrick was a BEAST!

We assumed we'd be meeting up with Red Hand again in the finals, but they ended up losing to a Nova alumni team, which was chalk-full of high-aggro college guys. They only had one lady on their team, who they rarely threw too. I felt a bit sorry for her, and understood why no other ladies wanted to play with those guys.

We traded points points for a while, then they took half 7-6 after we had a 6-4 lead. That was a bit depressing, especially because two of the points involved me getting sky'd in the end-zone, or close to it. No fun there! Most of their scores were huge, soring skies above a couple of our guys, and most of our scores were methodical works down the field to an open man in the end-zone. Neither team could really stop the other, but we got lucky on a few points, and we were up 8-7 in a game to 10 after the soft cap horn blew.

We scored to bring it to 9-7, a point away from victory--then they scored the next two points to make it UNIVERSE POINT in the championship game of the tourney! High drama for sure, and I got to play in the last point. We received the disk, worked it down the field, only to throw it away out the back of the end-zone. I felt strongly that we could get a D, but when I saw the huck go up to one of their most athletic guys, I thought we'd lost the game. Then Patrick flew out of nowhere to knock the disc out of bounds! Woot!

On our second-life, we worked the disc down the field again, and had a really good shot at putting Nova away. Patrick got a pass in the end-zone, but tried to play it safe and catch it with two hands, which ended up twisting his torso awkwardly, forcing him to drop the disc. He kicked himself because if he had just gone up with one-hand, he was sure he would have caught it in a more natural motion. He made up for it on defense though, by getting a hand-block on their best player on another almost-sure score. Double-woot!

We worked the disc down the field one last time, and the disc finally made its way to Mark in the end-zone for the final score of the tourney! There was a bit of controversy--as Nova thought you still had to win by two, but the rules clearly stated that once the soft cap was on, you add two to the leader's score, and play win-by-one to that point total, which was 10 at 8-7 our favor. The Nova team was a bit too agro for my liking, but I still had a good time. It was fun to win a tournament--I'm not sure when the last time I won a tournament was--maybe a Hat Tourney in Seattle?? Reno ended up beating Red-Hand in the 3rd place game, so that was a cool upset, and I was glad the very nice and spirited Reno team beat the relatively aggro Red Hand team.

Kristina and I helped clean up the fields a bit, then we headed back to her place. She got a call from her brother, saying that he could take care of Raffle on Monday--so we could head to Marin to play with the Sacramento team! Kristina was still on the fence as to whether or not she wanted to play three days of ultimate in a row, but the dog-help from A.J. sealed the deal. We met A.J. on the way to Davis to spend the night with Kristen.

Kristen is awesome. Her and Conor have two cats: Ebony and Ash--and guess what colors they are? They also have a game cube with Mario Party 4 and 5, so after a really good pasta salad and foccacia bread appetizer, Kristen, Kristina and I played a game of Mario Party 5. Conor was away on a business trip unfortunately, so he didn't get to play both Mario Party and in the ultimate tourney the following day.

I confessed to playing before, so Kristen gave Kristina a 2-star handicap, and we also played against an "easy" Mario. Of course, I chose Wario, cause he is the bestest... "Meeeehhh!" Kristina just trounced us. Kristen dominated me, and I only got one star, which I stole from Mario to put him in last place. Kristen won all the bonus stars at the end of the game, but still wasn't able to catch up to Kristina, who won nearly all of the board-game stars. Kristen got an absurd 230+ coins, after winning a few of the 30-coin "battle games". I won the 50-coin battle game, but was at zero, so I only ended up getting 100 coins, and Kristen came in 2nd and got 40 of her 50 back--bah! It was the "accurately trace this line" battle game, and I somehow lucked into a 93 (out of 100?), which beat out Kristen's 89. I'm a bit worried about playing Kristen and Conor at a later date... I think the only mini-game out-right win besides the big coin battle for me was the underwater breathing one--which is just a button-masher. I held my breath for 9 seconds, but Conor somehow managed 13 seconds! Good Grief!

After Kristina's victory dance, we were all pretty tired, so we headed up to the master bedroom for a slumber party. Unfortunately, I fell asleep before anything interesting happened. We had popped in "Dave" the movie, and I was out a few minutes later. When I went to sleep, I was completely cocooned in my sleeping bag, but when I woke up later, the sleeping bag was at my feet--so the two ladies may or may not have taken advantage of me. Either works!


1) Jordan trying to catch a bagel with his mouth. He was the son of the father/son duo on the NC/GV pickup team, and one of our two high schoolers (we called them token 1 and token 2--after all, it WAS a high school tournament!).

2) NC/GV pickup teammates (Peter, Kristina, Corryon, Rory, Denise)

3) Corryon looking sexy in preparation for a point with the Nevada Union Alumns!

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Bed time, Monday/Tuesday tomorrow~ Many more ultimate pictures to come!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007 (Part 1--Friday)

Quite the weekend!

Nikki whisked me away Friday afternoon after work. I got a jump-start on the non-existent Memorial Day traffic. Everyone was going the opposite direction, so I didn't have much trouble on the highway to Nevada City. The ride to Truckee was pretty uneventful--it was the first time I tried bungee-cording my sleeping bag onto the back passenger seat, and it held nice and tight the whole trip. The backpack was a bit heavy, and I can see it being an issue on the trip to Vegas--but it wasn't bad for 100 miles.

I was used to the roads leading to Truckee--I've been around the lake twice already, and rode down to Markleeville, so I'm used to the 40mph and 55mph roads. But between Truckee and the turnoff for Highway 20, I'd be riding on Highway 80, which is the big 70mph highway that spans from San Francisco to Ocean Park, Maryland. There is a sign when you're heading East on 80, just outside of Sacramento that says, "Ocean Park, MD: 3023 miles".

The bike handled great! It marked the first time I hovered around the 10k-11k rpm mark, climbing Donner Pass... and like I've read, the 250cc's run amazingly from 9k up. The first time I got up to 6krpm on the drive home from the dealership, I thought the bike was about to explode, because I just wasn't used to the engine going that fast. 6krpm is red-line on the Explorer! Going 80mph on a bike is quite the windy experience! I have still yet to be too hot on the bike, and going 80mph on 80 made my shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket almost not noticeable--and it couldn't have been much cooler than 75 degrees out.

I rolled into Nevada City around 4:30pm, and Raffle was happy to see me (after a brief barking episode). It had to be over 80 degrees on the other side of the Sierras, so I shed 2/3rd's of my clothing, and Raffle and I tossed the ball, then headed inside to wait for Kristina to get off work for the weekend. I flipped on the tube, and was pleasantly surprised to see a rerun of the Heroes finale I missed last Monday. Two minutes later, I hear Kristina's Yaris rolling down the gravel driveway--no Heroes for me, poop!

It felt great to see Kristina again, and be in Nevada City. Her place is as close to ideal of a place to live as I've experienced--especially in the Spring, when it is sunny and 80 degrees outside. I secretly wished I could come back for the summer, especially with the crazy party-roommates, but I'll survive. We catched up for a bit in her kitchen, which probably keeps cool the best out of anywhere in the house, due to the tiled floor. 80 degrees outside, 65 in the kitchen, and probably 85 or 90 in her Solarium.

We talked a lot about teaching, Tahoe, frisbee, and the Ninja. I hadn't really thought about it until we talked about it on Friday afternoon, but I might spend a few weeks with Kristina on my way up to Seattle, and observe her class in Yuba City. She offered if I still had hours to observe by the end of my time in Tahoe. Her classes end this Friday, so she's very excited for her Summer. I guess her class this year was great, and she's not looking forward to a few of the "trouble" students coming her way next Fall--but it was hard for her to look past the Gin N' Tonic's out on the porch-swing all summer long :) I must say, that summer vacation is a nice little perk to teaching!

Her frisbee had been going so-so. She wasn't too happy about her league team down in Sacramento that had just started up. The chemistry just wasn't there, and I don't think they have won any of their games yet. Both Kristina and I could really care less if our teams win games, as long as we're having a fun time. Sadly, the two usually go hand-in-hand.

She also wasn't too hot about the motorcycle. Don't get me wrong, she thought it was great that I was having fun, but she wouldn't ride a motorcycle if someone paid her to. The fun and thrill isn't worth the greater chance of death and dismemberment (although girls don't even have members, so I'm not sure what she's worried about!). We eventually agreed to disagree, and we also came to the conclusion that we are both pretty stubborn, but she's more stubborn.

As planned, we headed out to Northridge Pizza for their yummy Popeye pizza. I forget exactly what is on it, but it is a Vege pizza that I actually like... I know! My favorite pizza is pepperoni and sausage, so a Vege pizza that I like is pretty rare. The Popeye pizza from Northridge has pine nuts, Feta cheese, and I think maybe spinach? I don't even like spinach, but this pizza is gold. We got some jalapeƱo poppers for appetizers, and washed down the pizza with a pitcher of Newcastle. MMM Newcastle! We made a deal that she'd drive, she'd have all but one popper, and I'd have all but one glass of Newcastle.

I thought the deal was a no-brainer, but the deal quickly went south when she couldn't finish the poppers, and I was hungrily awaiting the pizza. After we polished off half of the pizza, we still had about 2/3rd's of the beer left (I suck), so we switched up that part of the deal too, and she probably ended up having more of the Newcastle than I did. I just couldn't drink it very fast for some reason, and I love my Newcastle!

Since we didn't do well on the "one person stay non-tipsy", we took a long walk to the local video store to grab a movie for the night. It was a really nice walk, which took us from one side of Nevada City to the other, through downtown and over a few bridges. I didn't have my camera at the time, but we would have had some really nice shots as the sun was starting to hide behind the mountains.

We only spent a few minutes at the Video store, as the poster for Will Ferrell's "Stranger than Fiction" leaped out at us as we walked into the store. The guy manning the counter was playing a trumpet along to a recorded tape from presumably his band. He was good! Local video stores rock :) Not only are the prices twice as cheap as Blockbuster, but you get some nice horn accompaniment while you peruse the videos!

We made our way back to the car, much happier about this video purchase than our last one at this store--"War of the Worlds" don't get me started... Kristina was still tipsy 90 minutes after drinking two beers, so I drove us back to her house. She still had the gin in her freezer from three months ago, so I guess the light-weightness made sense.

The movie was pretty good, and it had laughs and kept me guessing. I really like both Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman, and the scenes they were in together were some of my favorite. The waif-ish object of Will Ferrell's attention was pretty cute too. The even cooler thing about "Stranger than Fiction" is that it was written by Zach Helm, who grew up in Grass Valley, and was one of Kristina's sister's (I won't say which) first kiss!

I didn't bring my laptop with me for the trip, but we watched the movie on hers, then I showed Kristina all the pictures I'd taken up in Tahoe on this here blog. I hadn't really thought I'd use the blog for that reason, but I'm glad it can double as a slideshow if you skip over all this drabble! And yes, I have a few frisbee pictures to share later.

Even after the movie, which ended around 10pm, we weren't sure what exactly our frisbee plans were for the weekend. Kristina wasn't too hot on the idea of playing both the Nevada City tournament AND the Marin tourney, but we finally decided on playing Saturday, then working it out as the weekend progressed. We called it a night, and seconds after my head hit the pillow, I was off to dreamland, dreaming about skying people the next day :)

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Still High Donk of the Donkament

I got my name in lights with

Kat made me this flashy billboard for still holding the record of 54-rebuys (and an add-on) in her rebuy-fest Friday-night madness tourney. Garth gave me a run for my money this week, topping out at 47 rebuys. He actually made 3rd place in the tourney, but still lost money overall--ouch! :P

I've got a whopper of a post coming up sooner or later about my Memorial Day Weekend ultimate frisbee hi-jinx--including Kristina and I winning 9 games in a row. But now I siesta~


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Putting the Eeee! in Weekend

Yesterday, Pam didn't show up for work. No phone call, just didn't show up. So when I went in at my normal 1pm on Wednesday, I was told there might be a possibility Pam wouldn't show up for her shift on Thursday. Tuesday/Thursdays I only work from 8am-11am normally, but today I stuck around until 5pm. I didn't mind though, and today Pam actually called in and asked--so I was able to weasel a free 3-pack of Haagen Daas Chocolate/Dark Chocolate out of her for covering her shift (GOOOOAL!).

I had some crazy dreams last night. One involved me being 12 or 13 years old, running back from an afternoon at Andrew's house. I pass by this other jogger and I do a little wave, but he just looks at me and keeps jogging past. I keep going, then look over my shoulder about 500ft later and he's turned around and running after me. I'm about a block from my house, and he's gaining on me. I make it to my front lawn and shout, "DAD!!!"

And then I wake up from my dream and immediately cover my mouth. Did I really just shout? I'm pretty sure I did, but I'll never know.

Another dream I had was leaving at my normal time from work, and spraining my ankle at basketball. Then not being able to play frisbee this weekend over in Grass Valley. So when Pam wanted her shift covered, I quickly agreed (after proposing the Haagen Daas payment). No sprained ankle for me! Take that, nightmare world!

So I was zooming through the day at work, excited for the weekend, when I decided to check my cell phone voice mail just in case the middle school had called me back about observation. I'm not having much luck getting through all of the red tape these damn schools put up to keep weirdos out. On Tuesday I went and talked to the front office at South Tahoe Middle School, who sent me to the District Office down the street. The District Office then sent me back to the Middle School to get approval from the principal. So, I walked back to the school, and of course the principal was not around. I left a message with the secretary, but I'm still waiting for some sort of response.

No voicemail from the school, but a shocking two other messages. The only voicemail I get is from Dirk, who hasn't found out that I use email instead of my phone for my primary mode of communication. And neither message was from Dirk!

First message was from Kristina, trying to figure out when I'd be heading over to Nevada City on Friday. Second message was very unexpected and amazing--from Kristen, a Sacramento frisbee'er, wanting to know if I, or possibly both Kristina and I, would like to play with her team at a one-day tournament in Marin (near the Bay Area) on Memorial Day!

I got off work and rode to Kahle and immediately called Kristina about the revelations. I guess our signals were a bit crossed about the Grass Valley tournament--because I thought she was for sure playing on Saturday and Sunday--and I would be sort of tagging along with her on the team. In fact, she wasn't planning on playing at all! Oops! So, I'm not sure if I'll be playing in that tourney, but Kristina sounded very psyched about the Marin tourney on Memorial Day, and said she's in.

After chatting with Kristina for a bit, I called up Kristen with the good news. Kristen is part of the team I would definitely be playing with if I lived closer to Sacramento. Some of the most amazing people from the area decided to make a team when they weren't happy with the leadership of the only team in the area. They are some of my best friends in Sac, and I can't wait to play with them on Monday! Also, Kristen said that their turn-out has been smaller than expected, and that they would most likely have spots for future tournaments, if I wanted to play--and since they are short on people, the practices that I wouldn't be able to make (because of distance) wouldn't be an issue! Niiiice!

Really looking forward to the bike ride over to Nevada City tomorrow afternoon. I should be getting off work around noon, and I'll try to beat the Memorial Day traffic (although most of it will be heading in the opposite direction). It'll be fun to play with Raffle a bit before Kristina gets home. Something tells me Paige and Jackson will be huge--even though it has only been three months since I saw them last (Kristina's sister's kids who live next door). Also--Northridge pizza tomorrow night! Mmmm~

In motorcycle news, I changed the oil for the first time today--the oil pan I got was just big enough to hold all of the oil--got lucky there. I took out the oil filter too, but it looked brand new still, so I just put it back in. I had to add more oil three times, to make sure enough oil is in for the Nevada City trip. I took a test-drive down to Safeway and it was running amazingly smooth. Not an incredible difference, but it definitely felt smooth.

You know what else is smooth? Guinness. And I bought six of those and a bag of doritos, which I brought back home to enjoy. Polished off three Guinness's and half of the doritos. Nacho Cheese is my Achilles Heel.

I might have screwed up my laptop tonight :( I was eating dinner, and I had to move my laptop off my lap to go put away my plate, and I grabbed it form the bottom. I heard a sound like a fan sputtering to a stop from where I grabbed it on the bottom. Not good. It seems to run OK normally, but the battery died super fast tonight while I had it in the other room, and when I tried to play FIFA tonight, I was only getting about 2 frames per second. The computer scored on me and I didn't even know I had lost the ball! Hopefully sleep does the computer good. Ichi and I are heading off to sleep land right about... now. zzz

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why I leave when I do

Being at a party, and not wanting to be there. I'm not really sure what it is, but it repulses me. I've been known to be having a blast one minute, then the next minute I'll be out the door, starting a three-mile walk home during the climax of the party--because I no longer want to be there. The reasons vary, and sometimes I'm not even really sure why I leave.

Sometimes it is a person's face I see. Completely wasted, overloading the few remaining brain cells with the important task of standing upright.

Sometimes it is something I hear. A snide comment, not having anything to do with me; a request for getting "Fucked Up!" just makes me want to leave.

Sometimes the walk home seems so much more interesting than the party.

A lot of the time for some reason or another it is just me thinking of bed, and how comfortable and happy I'd be if I were in bed this instant (which I am! on all 3 accounts!). When my head starts to do the math, it realizes that if I keep on drinking and having a good time, I won't be in bed for another three hours. I might enjoy that first hour, but the second would drag on, and by the third I would be so tired I'd want to sleep right where I stood--wishing I were in bed. But, if I left now, even if it means walking three miles in the rain home--an hour from now I will be almost 100% guaranteed a warm bed. I had a great time, and now I'd like to go home.

For my poker-blogging brethren, it is like being faced with a favorable hand on the flop, and just pushing all-in to put the difficult decision on your opponent. Maybe you don't want to be re-raised and have a tough decision. Maybe you don't want to be called and drawn out on, or forced with a difficult decision on a later street.

Or maybe you are up $100 after playing an hour of poker, and you stand up and leave. Had fun, made money, don't want to lose it. I've never actually done this at poker, because I see the inherent logical flaw. If you make $100 in an hour of play (without completely lucking into it), chances are, the longer you stay, the more money you'll make. It wouldn't be smart to leave that +ev situation. Same could be said for buying in for less than the max. You're either scared of losing that money, or hitting and running.

Why I can't translate that lesson to life, I'm not sure. Poker obviously isn't life, but a lot of the lessons ring true, including this one. If I'm having a good time at a party, chances are I will continue to have a good time. But for me, that end of the night feeling of being too exhausted to problem-solve my way to my own bed is so unwanted, that I'm willing to give up some fun to make sure I'm where I want to be come sun-up.

For this reason, I'm excited for both Vegas and the Coast Trip. The Coast Trip is perfect for me, because we each have our own room, and when I start to hit a wall, I can push it a little further--knowing that all I have to do is take a few steps and I'll be in bed sleeping away. Vegas will be completely different. The only guarantee I have in Vegas is sleeping room on the floor in Brandon's room. If I'm lucky, I'll find couch-space. If I'm luckier, Brandon will be semi-deep in a WSOP event and I'll steal his bed and catch some zzz's, while rooting him on from dreamland. Of course I'll be there rooting him on from the rail if he makes it DEEP deep while I'm there.

For me, I think the best way to tackle Vegas is to sleep while I can, and enjoy the effing minute out of every waking moment. Time really shouldn't be an issue. I'll have about 60 hours in Vegas--that doesn't need to get split up into sleep time, eating time, socializing time and poker time. If Waffles is going to go try to light the Excalibur Castle on fire, I'm going to be there with my camera! If some bloggers are going to Red Rocks--I want to be there. If there is a mixed game at the MGM going down, I want to be part of it!

Vegas is two weeks from today. If I want to stay true to my word, I'll need lots of rest beforehand. Which I think I'm going to get started on right now~

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Will Ferrell Bloopers

If you've never seen the Will Ferrell SNL special, it is a treat. I have no idea where I misplaced it, but I think I lost it sometime in Sacramento. The entire DVD is great, and I've probably watched it a dozen different times--but the blooper section of the DVD is just hilarious. When I watched Anchorman, I didn't like the movie at all, because the SNL DVD was just so much better.

And some law-abiding citizen has decided to upload the blooper section to youtube!

The full DVD has some of the greats: Cowbell, Harey Carey, Cheerleader Will, Sean Connery, Biography Guy, and a few others. The DVD also has Will Ferrell's original audition tape for SNL--if you haven't seen it, rent it or buy it!

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Ride with Hector and Safeway Checkout Fun!

I'll start off with a prompt:

There is a frat-boy looking guy behind you in the Express lane at Safeway. What is the funniest single purchase he could make? Think about it...

Monday is one of my two full days of work, so not much to report from yesterday. I left work right at 5pm, and was walking out the door with Hector, who also rode his motorcycle to work. He suggested we take a little ride up to Emerald Bay. I'd already been there three times in the last week, but who am I to turn down a bike trip??

It was fun riding with him up to the cove and back. He's got a 250cc bike as well. I think it is a Honda, but I'm not sure what model. I hadn't ridden with anyone else before, and it was pretty educational. He got off the line a lot quicker than I did at any stops we made, but I was cornering and moving faster than him for the most part. We switched the lead a few times, and it felt a lot like following Andrew skiing. You can learn a lot by mimicking a better rider, then adopting what aspects you like about their riding style, and keeping your own unique style in other areas.

I'm hesitant to bust it like he does right away--I asked him when we were chilling up at the lookout, and he said he shifts gears at about 9k or 10k rpm. I've only hit 9k rpm once! Part of that is me wanting to break in the bike "correctly" and the other part is wussdom, or possibly I just enjoy taking it easy at the start. Revving to 10krpm every stop light seems like a major waste of gas (although I have no evidence to back that up with).

In frightening (to me) news, I called the Kawasaki shop to setup my 500mi service appointment after work today, and the guy said they are booked solid until June 7th. June 7th is the day I leave for Vegas. Not good! The bike is already at 600 miles, and I thought I had planned it out pretty well until I found out about this Memorial Day backup. The unofficial start of biker-season, apparently--and I only thought Memorial Day was special because of the Bryant Blast and the opening of the pools in Seattle! I did end up getting an appointment for June 12th though.

From perusing the motorcycle forums, the 500mi service doesn't seem like it would take terribly long. The guy at the shop said most people just drop off their bikes overnight. That isn't very convenient for me... and also, for some reason I was under the expectation that the first service would be free. Not so. People on the Kawasaki forums have spent anywhere from $100 to $300 on the first service. Ouch!

I talked with the guy a bit, and he said if I still want to go to Vegas, I will definitely need to change the oil before going, and possibly the oil filter, and I'll also need to lube the O-ring chain. Hopefully tomorrow I can figure out what all I need to do that. Youtube is great, in that there are a few videos of people showing how to perform both operations, in plenty of detail. Oil pan, funnel, paper towels, 2 quarts of 10W40 motorcycle oil, and chain lube are things I will likely need to pick up in order to get those two maintenance things done. Wish me luck!

Basketball today was mucho fun, and after a slow start, I got on a very underestimated team and we ran the court for a good five games. We were all quick, liked to cut, and could shoot--pretty potent! I filled up the gas tank after basketball, 160 miles = 2.5 gallons of gas = $10--not bad! Then I hit Safeway and got some turkey for me and Ichi, some cheaper-than-haagen daas ice cream bars, cheese and lettuce--and headed to the Express lane...

Older lady in front of me. Frat boy behind me. I'm trying to think of anything the frat boy could have been purchasing that would have made me laugh any harder--tampons? non-alcoholic beer? rubber gloves? I don't know... but when I was finished checking out, and was in the process of tossing my stuff into my backpack...and saw... Axe Body Spray! I laughed out loud, tried to control my laughter, then hi-tailed it out of there.

Before today, I was pretty sure those Axe Body Spray commercials were just subliminal advertising for some huge corporation like Nike or Pepsi. Axe! (buy Pepsi) Body Spray will make you Oooohh (buy Pepsi) so attractive to women (Pepsi).

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Monster Sunday Post With Many Titles

Sunny Sunday #2, Ride Around The Lake #2, The Best of Independence, Best Time With Stacey, Stop and Smell the Roses, Giant Picture Dump, Ride to Fallen Leaf Lake, Three Porter Post--all could be appropriate titles for this post.

What a great day.

Through the years, I've found out that some of the most memorable days are the ones where nothing was planned--no expectations of great fun were made for the day--but through dumb luck or just getting out and DOING something, the day turns out to be memorable for years to come. I had one of those days today.

In fact, this weekend was just a great weekend all-around. I am doing what I set out to do in Tahoe finally, due in part to getting the ninja, and also the sunny weather. Any weekend where I'm out of the house more than I'm in, is almost always going to be a successful weekend in my eyes. When that includes a bike ride to a hot springs and a waterfall, and a bike ride around the lake with multiple stops, the weekend is a definite success!

This morning came sooner than anticipated, as I stayed up until 2am mostly due to the raging party going on. I didn't partake, and I wasn't really miffed by the fact there was a raging party going on, I just wasn't in the mood to get wasted. Whatever day it was last week, I think Wednesday night, when I had a few too many drinks, has me on beer-pong tilt. No more drinking lots of cheap beer for a while for me! About halfway through the party last night, Jen came and knocked on my door and asked if I had either drank or hid my Porters. I told her I hid them, and she said, "Good, because I was about to lay down the law if people had stolen your beers!" That was nice of her! I don't mean to be the dick that hides his stuff from his house mates, but when there is a party almost every night, I know that those Porters will be gone by morning unless I hide them.

So Ichi and I barricaded ourselves in my room until morning, then Ichi woke me up scratching at the door at about 8:20am. It was cool though, because I sort of wanted to get up early and make it to frisbee at 10am. I woke up, let Ichi outside, then took a nice, long shower. I meant to shower last night after my ride to Markleeville and 3mi round trip hike, but I didn't shower, and then the party started and the bathroom was in constant use. I didn't want to be aiding and abetting a puke or other bodily fluid episode in our house, so I stayed grimy. I told myself it was practice for my 4-night hike in the Sierras with my Dad in a few months!

I got all the grime off, then figured out what calls I needed to make from the fields before pickup began. I keep forgetting to get my insurance updated with the motorcycle, so that was the top priority. Secondary was to call the bike shop and see if I could schedule my 500 mile maintenance check up.

With some great advice from my Uncle John, I got Nikki started up before 10am for the first time. The problem I was having had to do with having the choke open and the throttle going. I guess I'm supposed to close the throttle when the choke is open to start things out. I was giving the bike too much gas, which killed it. I'm not sure if that is "flooding" it, but to my surprise this morning, not giving it gas made it start up. The true test will be tomorrow, at 7:30am.

Made it to Kahle for frisbee before anyone else showed up, and I gave Progressive a call to add the bike to my insurance. Surprisingly, my insurance ended on April 5th! They failed to notify me of this until I tried adding my bike to the insurance, and the lady said, "Hmm, I don't see that you have any active insurance plans with us."

WHAT?! So apparently I've been riding around for the last six weeks with no car insurance. That could have been very, very bad. The weird thing is that they sent a piece of mail on April 19th to my old address in Nevada City, which got to me--but the notification about my insurance ending I never received. So they had my correct address, but one piece of mail got to me and the other didn't. The lady I talked with on the phone said that since I changed states (from Oregon to CA), the insurance doesn't automatically renew. Would have been nice if I was told that earlier, but ah well. I let loose a miniature shit storm, but I was more interested in getting both the Exploder and Ninja insured.

As researched, the Ninja ended up being super-cheap to insure, at just over a dollar a day. The insurance I have just safeguards me from wrecking other people's stuff, or if an uninsured motorist crashes into my bike, but I'm not too worried about screwing my own stuff up. If that happens, it's my own damn fault, and I'll have to pay for it or figure out a way to fix it.

The insurance call ended up taking a good 30mins, and about halfway through Dirk and his German Shepard "Gellert" showed up. Gellert is a cool dog. He's being trained for Search and Rescue, and is one of those dogs with an Energizer battery strapped to his back. He does not stop running. We tossed the disc for a good hour (sadly, no one else showed up), and Gellert would race from person to person as we tossed the disc. He only showed signs of fatigue after Dirk and I were sitting down getting ready to leave.

Turns out Dirk has a free membership to Kahle Community Center through his work, so we hit the gym for a bit after getting bored tossing the disc. I wasn't in a big workout mood, and only lifted for about 10 minutes before investigating the basketball court--turned indoor soccer arena! A guy had put up little foot-high padded walls in an oval around the basketball court, making an indoor soccer field. Made me wish I was on an indoor soccer team. I played one round of IM indoor soccer at UPS and we got absolutely schooled--but I had a blast. I'm no good at soccer--terrible, in fact, but it is probably the one sport I am most interested in for the worldly aspect. I ended up spending a good 20 minutes hacking around a soccer ball, trying to kick it into the basketball hoop... with no success.

Cracks open Porter#2

After Kahle, I came back home for lunch and ran into Jen and George walking down to the beach on my way up the hill. Not really a blog-worthy run in, but just now as I went to go get my second Porter, I saw them out in the living room. They are burned to a crisp. Sunny and cloudy off and on all day--best time to get the WORST sunburns. Their faces really look like they might blister. Ouch!

I realized I hadn't called the Kawasaki dealership about the 500mi checkup, and I wanted to go for a ride, but I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go. I wanted to avoid the big hill down to Carson if at all possible, then I remembered that I still hadn't replaced my iPod earphones that Stacey cruelly broke while borrowing my iPod. Hah, jk, I pretty much ruined them, then she used my iPod and they finally snapped :) So, I headed to the Radioshack down in SLT. I found some cheapo ear phones. The reason being to listen to music while riding the ninja, I only have one of the ear pieces in while riding--and I can barely hear the music over the street noise, but it is nice to have something to listen to while I'm stuck behind a string of cars. Motorcycling with no music is a little bit like driving a car with no music--kind of odd--so I'm glad to have the tunes going.

I remembered to call the Kawasaki dealership after the purchase at Radioshack, and they are closed on Sundays, so I'll have to give them a buzz tomorrow or Tuesday.

I didn't have any plans for the rest of the day, so I decided to head up to Emerald Bay to test out the ear phones. I nodded my head to some Blackalicious while zooming up the road to the Bay. On the way, I decided to hang a left onto Fallen Leaf Road, which leads to Fallen Leaf Lake. It looked a lot like a road Stacey and I took a few years back for a day hike. The road was a bit bumpier on a bike than I remembered, but it was a good experience to see how Nikki handled the rougher road. And she did great!

Lots of cars along the road, and lots of hairpin turns, so it was good riding practice for me. I didn't have to worry about anyone on my ass, because when it comes to slow speeds and sharp turns, Nikki trumps all else! I passed a side-road that went off to the left that looked eerily familiar, but I stayed on Fallen Leaf Road. After a couple of miles, it came to the gorgeous (and relatively large) lake, and wound around the southern edge of the lake. The road was pretty cool, because there were houses up on the hill, then little docks on the lake-side of the road. There wasn't enough room for houses on the lake-side of the road, because the road was placed so close to the lake. Sucks for the home-owners, but great for me, because I had an amazing view of the lake for the entire time I roamed around the lake!

I crossed a bridge, and that is when it finally hit me that this WAS the place Stacey and I hiked down to on a day-hike. When I realized where I was, I just had to go the extra half-mile or so to the docks Stacey and I jumped into Fallen Leaf Lake at:

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Not an amazing spot or anything, but I can honestly say that at the time she I jumped in the lake, then sunbathed on that further of the two floating docks--that just might have been the high-point in our relationship. For me, it'd be a toss-up between then, and our move to Portland. The Saturday we drove up to Tahoe from Sacramento marked the day after our week break from each other. What set off the week break was me being a very stupid me.

Stacey was living at the downtown house with Jeff, Joe and Amanda. There was a party going on, and I think Stacey was in her room (not sure if I had moved in yet--I don't think so) possibly steaming about something stupid Amanda was doing. Stacey also wasn't happy with me at the time (possibly because I just wanted to have fun and didn't want to deal with any drama--it has been a while, so I could be way off here). We had all been drinking a bit, not enough to go crazy or anything, but enough to turn the "good judgment" lever to OFF in my head. I'm not really sure what the conversation was, but I remember saying something along the lines of, "Oh boy, you don't want to tell Stacey anything, because she'll just use it against you later in a fight." Again, I'm pretty sure this quote isn't 100% correct, but that isn't terribly important. What was important, was Stacey standing in the doorway with steam rising from her head and eyes like the evil Bilbo Baggins when he wants his ring back from Frodo. She was not happy. She said something along the lines of "Thanks, that was nice." Then slammed the door to her room and locked it.

Oooooops. No point in making excuses, but in all honesty, the stupid remark was really just made out of spite for her being mad at me (and I'm sure it tied into the conversation somehow). At this point in our relationship, I still didn't understand why the hell she would get mad at me for apparently no reason--when in fact she was just angry with someone else. I didn't see the "I'm mad at Jane Doe, thus I am mad at everyone, including Chris" connection. I saw that as "I'm mad at Chris, and Chris has no clue why" and at the time, my silly logic would tell me "I shouldn't be treated like this, screw this, if she wants to be pissed at me, let her be pissed!"

Ah, learning!

Of course, once I am in that state of mind, taking jabs at her isn't far away. Of course, looking back, and looking at the situation from Stacey's perspective--it probably goes something like this: "Stacey pissed at Jane Doe//Stacey wants to stew by herself for a bit before talking about it//Chris figures something is wrong//Stacey doesn't want to talk about it//Chris leaves//Stacey wants to talk about it now//Chris is mad because he think Stacey is mad at him and won't tell him why//Chris says something stupid//Stacey is now mad at Chris"

I was terrible at alleviating any stress for Stacey during our first six months or so. The only serious relationship I had before Stacey was with Sara, who, completely unlike Stacey, didn't show her emotions. I had absolutely no clue how to deal with emotions. (dramatization) Before Stacey, if I ran over a dog, I'd think "Stupid slow dog," (/dramatization) I rarely ever cried (which hasn't changed much), and I generally was a very emotionless person. After Stacey, I realize that there is a place for emotion, and sort of like love, I feel like although both love and emotion can bring some very heavy bouts of depression, they are both worth it. When Ichi passes away, I will shed a tear. I'm not sure if I've ever cried for a cat's passing since I was a young kid. I didn't shed a tear when Tyke passed away, who was the first cat I'd known from birth to death, but while I was with Stacey I mistakenly found a picture my dad had sent me of Tyke, and I just bawled. It was sad, she was an amazing cat and I grew up with her. From the chest rubbing that made her shake her head like Ray Charles to her senility once Watson came around--she had a personality, and now that personality is gone.

Anywho, back to the stupid comment and Stacey locking herself in her room. I knocked for a while, said I was sorry. I wanted to talk about it. She (for obvious reasons) didn't. I can't recall what my line of thinking was, but it basically centered around "I must get in that room." So, what do you do when you want to get into a room and aren't big enough to bust down the door? That's right, you pick the lock. I attempted to pick the lock with a paper-clip, and was failing miserably. At this point, if I was Stacey, I might have kicked me out of the house and dumped me right there on the spot, in front of everyone at the party. She might not have been able to hear the door rattling because of the loud music.

Joe and Sean's friend (petite Asian who I can't remember her name for the life of me) saw me trying to pick the lock, and said, "need some help?" She ended up picking the lock for me, and I went into the room and laid down on the floor next to the bed. Stacey and I had a pretty interesting conversation after that! The conclusion we (she?) came to is that we should spend a week apart--no contact, and at the end of that week, see if we want to keep the relationship going or not.

That week took forever. I remember just being consumed with thoughts of Stacey from my dreams, to waking up, to all day at work, to going to bed. I wanted to make everything right, and I realized how much better my life was with Stacey in it. I really wanted to talk with her, but also wanted to respect her week--but I wanted to show her someway how much I was thinking of her. I think maybe Wednesday while she was at work I went to Home Depot and picked up a bathtub plug and a faucet handle for the bathroom sink--both things she didn't have and wanted. I didn't leave a note or anything. I didn't want extra credit, I just wanted to show that I was thinking about her.

On Thursday or Friday, I got a note from Stacey--I forget how long it was, and how much detail the note got into, but it basically said, "I planned a weekend, be ready to leave early on Saturday." So now, I might be confusing this fight with another, but I do remember not really being sure where we were at relationship-wise when we drove off on Saturday. I have a very selective memory, and most of the thoughts that got recollected today were from the actual hike, so forgive me if I butchered the part leading up to the hike, Stacey (or feel free to clue me in if you remember better?).

Porter #3

Stacey drove us towards Tahoe, and I remember feeling a bit awkward at the start of the trip, but we eventually got to talking about how much I hurt her by saying what I said. I was one of the few people she trusted, and by me saying, "Oh, you don't want to tell Stacey any secrets, she'll stab you in the back!" The trust started to vanish. She drove us to the Fallen Leaf Road, and we did, in fact, take that left that I thought looked familiar today. I think we did a mile or so hike up to Aloha Lake, smiling, talking, and feeding chipmunks. It was beautiful, and we were getting a lot off our chest. What we liked about our relationship; what we didn't. Why we should keep the relationship going; why we shouldn't.

I'm pretty sure Stacey had another hike planned out, but we saw a lake maybe 800 feet below us that looked really nice, and we saw a trail that led down to it--so we took it. We talked some more on the way down, and although there were a lot of things we needed to work on, it seemed like we both were willing to work for our relationship, because we both felt much better together than apart--evidenced by the week apart. I'm not when exactly we decided to keep the relationship going, but I want to say it was right around the point we crossed the bridge. I remember taking a few pictures there, and I'm pretty sure we were smiling.

By then, the narrow dirt trail we had been descending turned into a paved road with cars all over the place. And houses. I don't think either of us really expected houses on this lake out in the middle of nowhere (but we didn't come from the direction everyone else came from). We walked down a street that said "private" and saw an immaculate tennis court on the right, and a beach below on the lake, with plenty of "private" signs, and pine trees shading most of the picnic benches. We walked down onto the beach, but didn't really think that would be a good place to swim, so we walked further down the street along the lake. One of us saw the little floating docks, and egged the other to go down and jump in. Shortly thereafter, we were both in the lake, and it seemed like everything was going to work out. The feeling was quite amazing. We took a few pictures on the dock, each of us had a myspace or livejournal icon from that spot for a while.

A very memorable spot, without even realizing where I was until the bridge :) I took another picture of the ninja and the lake, just to the right of the dock area:

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After strolling down mental memory lane, I buzzed away and decided to make loop number two around the lake. I have yet to get a picture of my favorite spot on the lake (or my second favorite), but after passing by both spots, I'm not sure it is possible to capture either spot going clockwise around the lake. Next time I'll go counter-clockwise, and be sure to stop at the two spots--and hike if necessary to get the shots.

That is another thing I learned today while on my trip around the lake. STOP. I want to abide by this motto all summer: if there is something I think might be worth stopping for, stop and check it out. It won't hurt to spend a few minutes to check it out, and it might develop into something amazing--like the Fallen Leaf Lake trip.

After zooming through Emerald Bay, I tried to adhere to my STOP motto, and stopped along the lake to snap a few pictures at lake-level:

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OK, not every stop is equal! But still, even if all I get is one crappy photo of my bike, a tree, a lake, and some guard rails--that is better than nothing!

My next stop came after actually passing through most of Tahoe City, then remembering my motto, turning around and parking to check out the town. It is way too easy for me to get stubborn and think, "Gotta get home and upload these photos and write about Fallen Leaf Lake before I forget!" But, I did stop, and I saw a happy hour sign outside the River Grill. I didn't really know what to expect. The highway was groomed nicely and watered around the area, so I thought it might be a little too haughty-taughty for my tastes (and wallet)--and it was--but the happy hour special was amazing! Half-off appetizers, and $3.50 huge margaritas.

Now, let me tell you... I have been craving a margarita for literally MONTHS. Once I saw "Margar..." on the happy hour special on the menu outside, I just walked in. I was hungry, but didn't really care about the food prices once I saw the margarita on the menu. The 1/2 price appetizer menu reminded me of the Greenlake Bar and Grill happy hour special that Tyler and I always hit--I think they have a very similar happy hour deal. At the River Grill though, the happy hour special is only good if you sit at the bar. Kind of quirky, but it was kind of neat to have everyone sitting up at the bar--mostly all strangers to one another.

In case you can't figure it out, I haven't done much bar-hopping, or sitting at the bar for that matter. I'm usually with a few people at a booth. But I couldn't have had a better time. The two guys next to me were Harley owners from Tuscon, AZ, up here on a road trip. The bartender and waitress were joking around, and there was a baseball game and a soccer game on the two TVs (yay soccer!). I ended up ordering Smoked Salmon on Focaccia bread, for $6. It was amazing. Smoked salmon was another craving I've had for what seems like at least a year. I swapped stories with the two Harley guys for about 30minutes before I polished off the margarita and the smoked salmon, then headed out.

I walked around a bit to clear my head from the strong margarita, and snapped a few pictures:

1) River Grill, and a car which apparently has a forcefield of some sort
2) Zoomed out Tahoe Dam and little shack
3) Shack, NW corner of Lake Tahoe

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The sun was going down, and it was probably around 7pm when I left Tahoe City, but I made a couple more stops on my way back to Zephyr Cove to shoot some photos of my bike and the lake: (sorry in advance if you have a slow connection, or hate pictures)

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And to top off a great weekend, I'm sitting in bed with my laptop, a Black Butte Porter, and an Ichi cuddled at my feet. Finishing up this monster of a post and watching Hoy try to take down the FTOPS Main Event. Top prize is $336,000! I'll even do a little time table for my fellow poker blogger in hopes that it boosts his luck in the tourney:

9:00pm -- 79,215 chips; 83rd out of 264 remaining
9:01pm -- 108,415; 51 out of 251 (it's working!!)
9:20pm -- 115,565; 54 out of 201
9:35pm -- 98,665; 80 out of 163 (at the seven and a half hour mark--seventh break!)
9:50pm -- 121,915; 69 out of 142
10:10pm -- 97,455; 78 out of 114 (SHOWED THE HAMMER BLUFF!!!)
10:19pm -- OUT! aw nuts. 101st place out of 3,798 for a cool $1,899--not bad for a night of poker! 88 no good vs. QcJc Q spiked on the turn.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ride to Markleeville

Markleeville, that's right! Population one-sixtieths its elevation. I didn't really know where I was going this afternoon. I started out riding around the coast-line of Tahoe. I found a pretty packed beach, but it turned out to be a pay beach--weak. No idea why so many people were at a pay to sit on the sand beach, but it is the most convenient beach to get to from the casinos--so that probably had something to do with it.

I decided to take Pioneer Trail and bum around on the side roads if any of them caught my eye. None of them did, so I continued on towards Sacramento. Instead of climbing the big mountain between Tahoe and Sacramento, I turned off towards Kirkwood Ski Resort, and zoomed around that more gradual incline. Then, instead of going to Kirkwood, I took a left towards Markleeville. I'm not sure why I remember that name, maybe it is work-related, but I wanted to go check out the town.

I didn't realize the town only has a population of 165. The 30-mile ride didn't seem to have a great destination, but I saw a sign for Grover Hot Springs State Park only four miles away, so I went for it. The road to the hot springs was a lot of fun, 35mph speed limit and lots of twists and turns. I didn't have to gun the engine because of the low speed limit, and I got to practice turning more, which is always good.

Turns are probably the most fun I have on Nikki, because the recommended speed signs aren't really meant for motorcycles. We can lean, we can go from the outside of the lane to the inside--motorcycles just have a lot more control than say, an SUV. I wasn't going double the suggested speed or anything crazy like that, but it is good to know that the motorcycle has some give.

The hot springs were again a disappointment. Much like Walley's Hot Springs, it was a pool, not a hot spring! I expected better from a state park--but that state park IS in California... figures they'd turn "hot springs" into "pool". (I like the Euro way to do periods after quotations, deal with it!) Although, to give the state park credit, I did see some natural hot spring-looking slimy rocks--but just no water hole to jump into.

It was probably around 5pm by this time, and I didn't really want to just ride back to Zephyr Cove, so I walked around a bit. Then I stumbled upon this sign:

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Well, since I brought my camera, I might as well go see the lake! On the way, I crossed over a bridge, and snapped this shot of the stream below~

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Continuing on to the lake, ready to shoot some nice lake shots, I come to this sign:

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Weak! Much like Otto from The Simpsons walking out of "Stoner's Pot Palace", I muttered to myself: "Flagrant false advertising!" I continued on the extra mile to the waterfall. It was nice to get out and hike a bit, as I've been feeling a bit lazy by all this biking. I pass a lot of bicyclists who are getting a great workout, and I go whizzing past them just sitting on my ass. Riding to hiking trails is what I want to do this summer, and hopefully will!

I saw this sign along the trail, and couldn't help but snap a picture and try to think of an appropriate title:

1) Giant bikes ahead
2) Beware of bears while on bikes

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Here is a shot of the waterfall, then a picture of me and the stream:

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I rode home, and stopped at safeway and grabbed Dark Chocolate / Chocolate Haagen Daas bars and some Deschutes Black Butte Porter. A little splurge, but both are so, so good.

Also, I decided against riding my ninja up to Seattle in June. It is just too many miles. I'm supposed to change the oil and re-lube the chain every 500 miles. I'd have to do it four times! Twice while out in the middle of nowhere, which didn't sound too appealing. I do want to keep the bike in as good of condition as possible, and riding it to Seattle just isn't the way to go. My decision was finally made by remembering that I have a $130 Southwest credit that expires in October--so I might as well use it while I can! Sorry no motorcycle ride for you, Stacey! And Andrew, and whoever else wanted to see the bike.

I'll be arriving in Seattle the night of June 26th, going to the Mariners/Red Sox game on my birthday, then out to the coast from the 28th to the 1st of July. Then I race back from the coast to catch the last day of the Potlatch frisbee tourney on Sunday. I'm staying in Seattle until the night of the 3rd, and it'll be nice to have a little down time to spend with friends and family. Before my November/December stay in Seattle, all of my trips were just go go go, and I never really got to spend much time with all of my friends and family--and I'd usually blow off family for friends. Glad I won't have to do that this trip :)

Oh, and here is a shot from just before the "T" to Markleeville or Kirkwood:

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Afternoon Pit-stop

Well, I nixed the Sacramento trip, and didn't get ahold of Dirk--so I rode down to Trader Joe's in Carson and picked up a few things this morning. Trader Joe's is probably my favorite store in the entire world. Cheap wine, cheap everything really, and it is sooo good. I got a few enchilada packets today and just wolfed one down--it is exactly what I was looking for. A quick snack that is filling.

Instead of coming back on highway 50, I rode down past Walley's Hot Springs and up Kingsbury Grade. To give a picture of where I've gone so far, here is a little map I whipped up on Google maps:

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The blue is where I've been so far. This isn't every trip, just the longer ones I've taken. The ride around the lake was the longest so far, then probably the ride I took this morning that started in Zephyr Cove, up through Glenbrook, over to Carson, then down to Genoa and back up Kingsbury Grade to Zephyr.

When I passed Walley's Hot Springs this morning, there was a wedding taking place. It didn't look terrible, but... a wedding?? at Walley's Hot Springs?! For their sake, I hope they met there, or maybe have a parent who owns the Hot Springs, because I'm not sure what type of person passes by Walley's and thinks, "You know, I'd like to get married here!"

OK, time to get out and enjoy the sun and snap a few more pictures!


Friday, May 18, 2007

Ninja Name!

While searching for start-up tips, I found that the Ninja 250's are commonly referred to as "ninjettes."

So I was wrong to assume the male-ness of my bike. I think I'll go with Nikki the Ninja, because I'm in the process of writing a story by the same name!

This bike is going to be one badass girl. Think Tank Girl...

...meets Lucy Liu.


Freaky Friday Monster Post

Lots of ups and downs today, ending in a sort of blah feeling (but after writing this, a good feeling--go figure!).

I got up early, showered, and was excited to ride my bike into work this morning--but I couldn't start the damn thing! It is still chilly in the morning here, around 45 degrees, even though the afternoons are a perfect 70 degrees. I've done quite a bit of research this evening on starting techniques, because I really want to be able to ride to work. Also, if I can't start the bike in sub-50 degree weather, it'll pretty much be useless in Seattle.

Ended up giving up and drove the Exploder to work, bitching and moaning along the way. Made it to work to see a super-easy schedule, with the last patient showing up at 1pm. I wasn't scheduled to stay late, so it looked like an early departure for me. Then Chris (bossman) asked me if I wanted to go work down in Carson City today, because they had two people call in sick. I didn't hesitate and said, "sure! why not?" It meant working longer, but I could use a few more hours, and it would also give me a chance to swing by the house and try to start the motorcycle again.

I swung by the house and tried again, with no luck. Jen came home from running an early-morning errand (coffee?) and tried to help me jump the motorcycle, which turned out to be quite the trial. We were pretty clueless, staring at my instruction manual for minutes at a time, but we finally hooked everything up correctly and the motor turned over--then died. BAH! I get lots of wheezing, but no start in the morning. In the afternoon it starts up just fine. Maybe it needs a heater blanket??

I grumpily drove the Exploder the 25 miles to Carson City. I was hoping to have a big smile on my face from riding the ninja down, but things didn't go according to plan. Then, there turned out to be construction on Highway 50, which would have sucked for me riding the ninja. Big pot holes, big bumps--so in a way I'm glad I didn't ride the bike down to Carson. Like I said, lots of ups and downs this morning!

When I got to the Carson Clinic, I wasn't really sure what to expect. That clinic is the busiest of the five, and I didn't know how similar their check-in duties would be to SLT's. It turned out to be pretty similar, and I recognized a few familiar faces that work in SLT on certain days of the week. To me, the big difference between the two offices is first and foremost the staff. Pretty much a no-brainer that the staffs would have different feels to them, but I didn't know what to expect.

I worked check-in, while Donna worked check-out right next to me. She was a lot of fun and was cracking jokes all day long. I think she is in her late 30's, and talked constantly, including a bit about her kid with ADHD (wonder where he got THAT from?). She was bouncing off the walls most of the day, but it was a fun change. I don't think I'd like working there every day, but it is a fun little twist.

Another difference was the setup. They have a glass sliding window between check-in and the office, that for some reason the office staff liked to keep shut. It felt pretty awkward to me, but if the office wanted to joke around, it made sense to have the window shut. But to me, having the window shut just made for an unfriendly atmosphere to the patients. I tried to keep it open as much as possible.

The workload was a bit tougher, but for Carson it was a light day. The heavier workload was able to be handled by A) Not paying much attention to any of the information, and B) A much better filing system. At Carson, the medical records staff got most of the charts ready, then the front office just had to add profiles to the non-updated charts. Much easier than at South Lake. Part A troubled me a bit, because a lot of the things that have been impressed upon me as VERY IMPORTANT, Donna would just say, "Meh, we don't do it, and it hasn't been a problem."

I envied her attitude, but I'm pretty sure it is only acceptable because she's been there so long. Something tells me that a lot of people have to do a lot of work to cover her ass.

Teresa, the smoking-hot physician's assistant, made the day fun too, I won't lie! She seemed about my age, and looked like a cross between a Russian Bond Girl and my ex-Sara. Teresa talked a bit about her upcoming day-hike tomorrow to June Lake, which of course just made her more attractive. I pegged her to be around my age, but I'm pretty sure when Donna and Michelle were trying to figure out if they could actually be Teresa's mother, I heard her say she was only 18 or 19. A little too young :)

The funniest moment of the day had to be Teresa in our office, trying to have a professional discussion with a patient on the other side of the open sliding glass window. Donna kept messing with her, from behind, where the patient couldn't see. I had the side view, and Donna's combination of tugs down on Teresa's scrubs, butt pokes, and back of the knee pokes--and Teresa somehow keeping a straight face and trying to keep the conversation going unmolested was a sight to see. She'd twitch and flinch with each poke, try to keep her scrub bottoms above her waist, and swat behind at Donna, all while smiling at the patient and answering the patient's questions. Eventually the butt-poking became too much, and Teresa swung around and yelled at Donna to stop, but with a big smile on her face.

I stayed until about 4:30pm, and everyone was very appreciative of me coming down to help out. It was a fun change of pace, and I was on my best behavior for the new crowd. My attitude swung a lot today, but whenever my attitude swings I always seem to come back to the fact that I enjoy being a nice, happy person. I have my lazy times, and I have my mean times, but even though being nice usually requires more effort, I prefer it.

The big question that keeps popping up for me is 'what motivates me to be nice?' Today, I think the incentive was the introduction to the Carson office. I knew if I made a bad impression, it would get back to the South Tahoe office. In all honesty, I don't really care what the Tahoe office thinks about me, because I know they are desperate for help, and the chances of me being fired are slim to none. I like my job because of the free time it provides, but a full time job probably wouldn't be extremely hard to find. The incentive to be in the Tahoe clinic's good graces is for a few reasons. I don't want a sucky work environment, and I'd like some good recommendations when I move back to Seattle and start looking for a job. If that means taking over shifts, working longer than expected, working down in Carson--so be it. Time isn't a huge issue right now for me, and I have plenty of free time lying around (hence all the blogging!).

Onto the juicier side of incentive--to be nice in the presence of women I find attractive. Now, I have no clue if Teresa is already in a relationship. I can't help but assume she is, because she's smart, attractive and funny. Not knowing has its ups and downs. The mind can run wild... but usually I prefer to know as much as possible (in life in general). If she was closer to my age, and for sure single, I'd be a bit more excited~

Being single, when I meet a woman that I deem attractive, and think I have a shot with, my mind is like a fireworks show. I'm almost always happy, and my thoughts are filled with ways to show her what kind of guy I am and ways to make her smile and laugh. When I met Sara for the first time, it was playing ultimate frisbee at Jefferson Park during the first few weeks of summer vacation, the summer before my senior year at UPS. I knew that she went to UPS, and she was nice, funny and attractive--and played frisbee... can't get much better than that! The bummer came when I talked to Mike about her, and he also had the hots for her, and had already made his move.

I backed off for the next few frisbee sessions, until Sara called me on it. That twinkle in my eye had been missing, and she could tell. I hinted at not wanting to step on Mike's toes, then she said she wasn't interested in Mike, she was more interested in me. Of course, that gave me the biggest, shit-eating grin I've ever had in my entire life, because no one had ever told me anything close to that! The fact that I felt the same way about her was doubly amazing to me at the time.

(As an interesting aside, Stacey and I had a similar conversation ((albeit, online)) a few weeks after we started talking more regularly. She was chatting with lots of different people at the time, and understandably not paying that much attention to me. I fired up a game of Yahoo Pool and paid less attention to her. She noticed the slack of attention on my part and asked what was up. I told her that I would only put as much effort into our friendship as she would. I didn't really mean for it to sound harsh or spiteful, I was just being honest. Six months later, when we were a few months into our relationship, she confessed that this particular chat, and the fact that I called her out, gave her a lot more respect for me. I hadn't really related the two moments, but I'd say they were both very important parts to the beginnings of those two relationships.)

I didn't feel bad about stepping on Mike's toes since I knew he had no chance with Sara. In hindsight, it didn't look really good to swoop in, but I can't really see me doing anything else differently. Mike and I weren't great friends, and if I had to choose between the possibilities with Sara, or a friendship with Mike, it would have been Sara. And I think he'd probably think along the same lines if our roles were reversed. I hoped that I could be with Sara and still be friend with Mike, but that was harder on Mike than I anticipated. I think they only had one date, which was enough for both of them to draw their polar-opposite conclusions.

On a side-note, Mike also felt the need to point out that I am not religious--which is something that he found extremely attractive about Sara (that she was religious). Religion ended up being our one and only fight, which led to her suggesting we "take a break." I made up my mind that night that we wouldn't work. My actions were pretty harsh, but what she wanted, I could not provide (to put it bluntly: a three-way with God). Mike knew this from the start, and I shrugged it off. Part due to thinking he was jealous, and part due to me not believing religion would be a big issue (hah!).

As an epilogue (why not?!), Mike and I are still long-distance friends. He's never going to be a Tyler, Marc or Andrew to me--we're just too different. We play online games occasionally and joke around quite a bit. As for Sara, last summer when I was in Seattle having a hot tub with my Dad, he said that he still talks with Sara on a regular basis. They had gone on a few hikes, and she'd been over for dinner a few times. At first, this obviously weirded me out to no end. But after thinking about it more, it made sense. Sara was close with pretty much all of her ex's and their parents, and my dad really liked her. The BIG shocker of course was my Dad mentioning that, "Oh, and Sara let slip that the thing that caused you two to break up... whatever that was... is no longer an issue. I'm not really sure what she was referring to, but..."

Thanks Dad. You know I've been seeing Stacey for over two years, and I'm still seeing her, (at the time) right? I thought about it for a while, and it didn't really make any sense. My Dad said that she had seen a few different guys since me, but none of them seemed serious (his subtle hints were very subtle, wink wink). The only thing that made sense would be if she ends up marrying some guy who isn't religious, and doesn't want me to think she was lying to me at the time? I'm quite certain that she wasn't lying at the time of our breakup, and for her sake, I would hope that she doesn't sacrifice her beliefs and her wants for a relationship.


Well, it felt good to write all that out, but I hope way back up there that I explained well enough the amazing sparks I emit when the possible beginnings of a relationship start up. I'm not searching for a relationship right now, because I don't want anything to keep me from moving back to Seattle in September. If a situation comes up where a girl I like is able to travel, then I might go for it--but that is a long-shot right now. Also, I've been enjoying, and I'm looking forward to enjoying, a summer by myself. As much as I want to be up in Seattle for the summer with old friends and new, I know this summer in Tahoe will be an experience like no other (which is a big influence to blog as much as I have recently). And, there will always be more summers in Seattle :)

I wasn't really sure what to do tonight, so I hopped on the bike and grabbed a bite to eat, then headed towards Carson City to get some food-shopping done at Trader Joe's--but saw a side road I hadn't been on yet near Cave Rock. I did a U-turn and climbed the side-road to a few nice vantage points, snapped a few pictures, then headed home and began writing this.

Tomorrow is wide open for me. I called Dirk about going for a hike, but haven't heard back. Sacramento is calling me. I want to make a spontaneous ninja ride to go play frisbee there tomorrow morning, which I still might do, but we'll see if I can start the ninja with my newly learned ninja-tactics. If I don't hike tomorrow, I will Sunday--expect some pics :)

Speaking of pics, here are three from today:
1)Window-painting at a coffee shop near where I ate dinner
2)Crooked Bench (which looked a lot like a chairlift chair?)
3)Lake View #6

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