We had a great weekend that started off on a great foot. Friday afternoon James got a great job offer and will start his new job this Friday. Happy dancing may commence… He’ll be working in San Francisco and they gave him enough time to fly to Richmond to spend a few days with Kristen and Logan before he starts work. Everything is falling into place and it’s a big relief. Now we just need someone to buy their house…
Anyone looking for a townhouse in a lovely part of Richmond, Virginia? Over 1500 sq ft, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious family room with a fireplace, and a beautiful upgraded kitchen. The master bedroom is large and on it’s own floor. There’s a nice deck in the backyard. I’ll see if I can find the listing on a webpage…. for anyone who might be interested…
Alvin flew in early Saturday afternoon and the four of us headed south. We made it to Chuck and Mari’s house, near Escondido, around three and we got started preparing dinner. Mari and Chuck made BBQ ribs and corn. Bill and I made a big bowl of Hawaiian style macaroni salad. Damon bought some fruity sodas, which is his trademark. (I’ll explain sometime later) Mari also made some fabulous guacamole. Bill baked his somewhat-famous chocolate chip cookies. We found it much easier to just bring the cookie dough and bake them at their house. We had a great dinner and had a great time catching up. With all of us living so far apart now, we try and get together as often as we can. Now that James and Kristen are moving back to the Western time zone, we’re working on getting Damon and Susan to move back from Plano, TX.
After dinner we all sat around eating Bill’s delicious cookies and drinking milk… even though a few are lactose intolerant. I chatted a bit with Mari about weddings and babies. The boys went upstairs to play Rock Band. And I eventually joined them as Bill really thought I needed to take some video. If you’ve never seen or played Rock Band, be careful, it’s a lot more fun than I expected. You basically have a microphone, a modified guitar and something that resembles drums. You pick a song and play your part following the “notes” on the screen. If you can’t keep up with the song on the screen, the music starts to sound bad and your instrument can be kicked off of the song. If everyone is sounding bad the crowd boos you off the stage. It was a lot of fun to play and we all learned a new appreciation for certain bands and just how complicated their songs are. Metallica songs are pretty difficult. And we were all playing on the Easy settings where we only play half of the notes. It’s funny how a lot of fans of the game take it WAY too seriously… the game doesn’t teach you to read music. If anything, it can teach someone rhythm, and that’s probably it. It’s a lot of fun though…
I took some video too, I’ll see if it’s worth posting…
They all took turns playing different parts. James turned out to be pretty good with the guitar… as was apparent by the blister that appeared on his finger:
We stayed pretty late and Mari turned in early. I really had a good time playing with their chihuahua, Belfast. (nicknamed Bellie) He’s very friendly and really loves attention.
Sunday morning James and I went jogging and my body wasn’t very happy with me. Afterwards Bill finally woke up and we sat around talking about a guy Bill, James and Alvin used to work with named JP No one had talked to him in a while and we speculated what he was up to. Years ago he moved to the Bay Area from his home in Staten Island to try his hand in the dot com boom. JP worked at a few different companies, some with Bill, James, and/or Alvin, and when he got laid off for the last time, he decided to cut his losses and drove home to New York… by himself. He was always an odd one. We had a lot of good times with JP and lots of funny stories. We even stayed at his house in Staten Island on two separate trips we took to New York. One memorable event when we were in DC for James and Kristen’s wedding was turned into a website by Bill and Alvin: Two Turns Pignata. Yesterday, on a whim, Alvin checked to see if he was logged into a messenger program and sent him a message. He messaged back we got his phone number and we chatted for a little while. He’s living in Brooklyn now and was genuinely happy to hear from us. He was thrilled to hear that James and Kristen are moving back to California and we made sure he knew that expecting him to visit soon. Who knows, maybe we’ll have him back in our lives after all.
For lunch on Sunday we wanted to try a restaurant we’ve driven past a few times and chuckled at the name but have never tried: Schooner or Later We saw it featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network and was motivated to give it a try. Alas, the show must have inspired a lot of people to try it, when we pulled up around 2pm on a Sunday, there were probably a hundred people waiting. We’ll probably have better luck on a weekday. Instead we had lunch at a place across the parking lot called The Crab Pot. Bill and I ate there a few years ago and really liked it. Their specialty is a seafood boil where your meal is poured out on the table in front of you and is eaten with your hands. Very similar to the Low Country Shrimp Boil I’ve chosen for my birthday dinner for the past few years. It’s a favorite meal of mine where crab, shrimp, kielbasa, potatoes, and corn-on-the-cob is all boiled in a large pot heavily seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning. At this restaurant our meal included whole shrimp, Dungeness crab, Snow crab, clams, mussels, kielbasa, potatoes and corn-on-the-cob. It was delicious and poured right onto the table piping hot and served with a loaf of sourdough bread. It goes great with iced tea or beer.
What a way to eat!
After lunch we headed back down to San Diego to play. James was flying back to Virginia and he had a better shot at getting a seat flying from San Diego than Long Beach. So it gave us an excuse to hang out in San Diego. Bill spent his freshman year of college at San Diego State University, so he has some familiarity of the area. We walked around the Gaslamp Quarter visiting a large mall and debating on where to have dinner. We ended up having delicious burgers at a sports bar that was recommended to us from a former coworker of Bill’s. It’s called Whiskey Girl. After dinner we dropped James off at the airport and headed home.
We don’t have much planned for this week. I believe Bill will be working in Ft. Lauderdale a couple of days. We probably won’t do many more weekends like this past one with so much driving. With gas prices approaching $4 per gallon, I’m sure we’ll do all we can to avoid using our cars. Perhaps Bill will dust off his bicycle…
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