Well ok…not that much fatter. But I did eat a lot of bread!
BUT I am back in Austin! I had an excellent time on my vacation. You may have noticed the near radio (internet) silence on my end in the past week. Here is what I was doing.
I flew out to Santa Barbara on Friday and had dinner with my Grandmother and parents and then went back to the Santa Ynez Valley and crashed for the evening. I got to see stars and mountains and cats and dogs and the country and everything was awesome.
The next day I drove up to Walnut Creek (in the Bay Area) and hung out with Sean and Christen and their friends from UCSC, Zach and Heather and Sean’s Robotics team. We went to Dave & Busters and generally had a good time and then went home and crashed. But not before throwing out Sean and Christen’s Christmas tree at 2 am on February 1st ~_~.
Sunday, I drove down to Morgan Hill (my High School Stomping grounds, still in the Bay) to hang out with Kerry Prime, Ryan, and Garrick. We went to Super Taqueria and then played “Magnet X” while hanging out. Together the three of them managed to decipher what both Super Secret Projects are. We also drove by a Swedish outpost in the hills and some petrogylphs left by the natives. Kerry and Ryan (whose anniversary we were crashing) had to get back to the City so they left at around 5-6pm. Garrick and I then went to drop in on Sean’s folks place to say goodbye to Sean and Christen and “Hi” to his parents. Garrick and I then went to dinner at Black Bear in Gilroy where he quizzed me on girl issues. Then I drove back to Santa Ynez to sleep at my folks.
The next day , Monday, I hung out with my cousin Aaron in his Chemistry lab at UCSB. Randomly, I got to see one of my undergraduate research advisers, Kevin Plaxco, who happens to be Aaron’s for-real adviser. That was nice. I watched Aaron do some research and we walked around campus and Goleta Beach. I saw the sun set over a familiar ocean. I could see Anacapa Island almost perfectly. Oh and we had the lunch buffet at Flavor of India!
After that I went down to LA, hoping to see Meenon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see her until 11 pm (after she got off of work). So I ended up in the Valley with nothing to do for four hours. After a couple of hours of humming and hawing, and Andrew calling me “So Fucking Shy Sometimes!” (See Introvert!), I called up my friends. Mowi and Twin got to me first and we ended up having dinner at BJ’s. We had a good time and talked about past and recent events, though we tried to avoid that line of conversation for like an hour.
I did then finally go to Meenon’s place in Culver City. She and Jesse and I hung out until it was time to go to sleep. Unfortunately, Maggie’s father went into the hospital, so I did not get to see her =(.
The next day was a planning disaster. With nothing to do and no where to go, I went to Hollywood and bought prudy pictures (movie stills and posters) from a shop there. Then I settled into a Starbucks for some internet time. About half and hour in, my Aunt Chris calls and invites me back up to the Valley for dinner with her and my Uncle Bruce. I make the drive *right* before rush hour! After I visit with them for the evening, I drive down to Irvine to see their son, my cousin Andrew. He and I go to the Cheesecake Factory and catch up and have coffee (there was a truckload to catch up on)! We go home, surf the web for a while and then go to sleep.
For those who are following, the next day was Wednesday. This is when I get to see my brother Shane, who goes to UCI. He has class at weird times but we hang out around this. When he is in class or rehearsal, I go to cafes and work. Then he and his friend Rachel (iknoeright?!) and I hang out and go to the Jacuzzi. We go back to his apartment and watch Bollywood Music Videos on YouTube. I then sleep on a mat on his floor.
Thursday, he and I hang out more and then I get to see my first show of his since he started College. It was the one Professor choreographed show of the year. My God! It was spectacular. I have seen a lot of dance shows and musicals in my time and this was some professional quality stuff! Dancers could only be in two of the dances max. The first one Shane was in was called “Artifacts Suite” and was a really superior piece. My favorite part I can only describe as a spider-movement chorus line! The other one he was in was inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The Dancing Van Gogh was a little hokey, but I still more or less liked it. I really enjoyed some of the other dances (including the one my father dubbed the Lesbian workout), but I don’t have time to go into that here.
The show got out at 11 pm. I said goodbye to Shane, picked up Andrew, and drove to the Valley to crash at his place. For tomorrow was the LARP…It was a dark and stormy night. No foolin’!
Friday, Andrew and I went to IHOP with Mowi and Twin, where someone was going to eat someone’s meat ;). Then we did some last minute shopping and got over to Malibu Creek State Park. The LARP is a continuation of Ye’ Olde D&D Campaign. So I got to play Razza! w00t!
Except that logistically the LARP was a complete catastrophe. It was rainy and disgusting. Within 3 hours I was completely drenched and mud had soaked through my shoes and socks and reached my feet. If this had been a normal camping expedition and I had been running it, I would have called it off. If this had been a normal camping expedition and I was simply going on it, I probably would have wimped out on account of all of my gear being in AUSTIN.
What I ended up doing was running out to Sports Chalet, buying waterproof boots and a $2 flashlight and sleeping in my parents car (which they had loaned me). This compromise prooved mostly acceptable. I was still wet during the day, wet and cold at night, but at least I was dry and warm while I was trying to sleep.
Now don’t get me wrong, the game itself (while in character) was a blast! I loved playing Razza and Undead Flunkie #2 (infinite respawns!). Hanging out with Rob was super fun both in out of character. Seriously one of the better RPers and cooler people I have met in a really, really long time. It is known. Mowi made an awesome Phoenix, though Siyona did not come out so she and Razza did not get to meet again =/.
However, being Undead Flunkie #2 with infinite respawns (of 2) underscored the fact that all of the other people who were supposed to play NPCs bailed. Which was lame. Four people on plot and two NPCs for 30 something PCs. We were way understaffed. Additionally, I only saw Kai and Rachel at the LARP for like 5 minutes. Rachel got sick and had to go to the hospital, so I guess this is OK. Hopefully I will be able to see them next time.
Sunday, after the game, I went to the After Game Party! Andrew and I then left to go back to Irvine. I had to get there to return the car to my parents who had just gotten out of Shane’s show. My whole immediate family and Shane’s Rachel then went to dinner. I said good bye and then had them drop me off at the Irvine Spectrum Center (a big mall with a Ferris wheel and a lot of Middle Earth references). This is where I met Shawn for a couple of hours. We walked around and then Andrew joined us. I bought a duffel bag and then we got tea. It was really good to see Shawn.
Andrew and I went home, I found out my paper has been accepted for publication, we had buttery nipples and peanut butter cup liquor shots and surfed the web. After such a long day we crashed.
Monday morning I caught a Taxi to the airport and flew back to Austin! Anthony and Robin and I went to a wine bar and drank and ate cheese. A fitting end to a great escape!