I'm still exhausted from this last weekend, wow, what a riot. It's not typical of me to get too worn out. I think my exhaustion is justified though and anyone in my position - except a "tweeker" on a meth bender - would feel similar. Let's suffice to say I'm feeling it after 2000 miles in a car, an Epic NYE's bash, The Rose Bowl, "Is this Love" a capella style through downtown LA (and on the subway), general shenanigans, enough one-liners to make an English major blush and day drinking on "the prom" in Santa Monica, then driving home on a few hrs of sleep. I love pushing it to the edge though, it can serve as a reminder to what we're capable of.
Here's a rough attempt at a recap of our adventure.
Brian pulled into my driveway at 5:15am, and I did what anyone with the foresight of the magic to come would do, I lit sparklers and danced like a pansy in the driveway. I think Brian was laughing too hard to work the camera on his blackberry or we'd have a pic. If you're reading this though, you probably know me well enough to create a decent visual upstairs, so that and the crappy stock photo to your right'll have to do. I was fired up and ready to go after getting the car all packed.
It's 5:30am, Wednesday, December 29th, 2009, when Brian and I set out for sunshine, leaving behind one overly soggy, nasty, depressing Portland, Oregon. I love Portland but my fine city was hit with a surprise snow disaster Tuesday afternoon. Luckily it wasnt a burden on our travel ambitions, but at this moment Portland was the equivalent of the semi-decent girl you convinced yourself to go to bed with, only to wake up next to after her breath went sour and her make-up rubbed off throughout the night. Not only is she hideous, but she made a mess out of your freshly laundered pillow case. It just aint pretty.
We loaded up the car with two guitars, couple sleeping bags, one ukulele (aka the car guitar), an adequate amount of coffee, red bull, Gatorade, cold cuts, chips, tangerines, apples and of course, the necessary enthusiasm to entertain yourself on a straight stretch of interstate for the equivalent of two days at work. Getting out of my neighborhood Brian turned to me and said "you're really prepared", I nodded, it was evident I knew this was a cant miss weekend.
So I man the wheel and we spend the first 6 hours listening to tunes. We cover most of my favorites before the loud music grew irritable. At this point BK picks up the Ukulele and we start having some fun. Brian put together a few chords and I belted out "We going to Flip Flop country, We going to Bikini's and Palm Trees" in some undesirable tone, but when BK repeated the words with his beautiful voice they fit like puzzle pieces. We took turns rapping over the uke coming up with versus for said song and another. It might sound ridiculous and silly, but that's the beauty of it. We're a couple of weirdos just trying to have fun. And in-between Brian's absent minded ability to sink into his blackberry to "tweet" some memorable quote for 20 minute intervals (that seemed longer), making up songs, and enough laughter to make watching Eddie Murhpy's "Delirious" seem like peanuts, fun we had.
I basically drove the whole way there, minus the last 30 minutes where I slipped into a cocktail and gave Brian shitty directions, via my iphone, through Los Angeles' labyrinth-like freeway system. We still had enough energy to laugh at ourselves when I pronounced our place in the universe with this gem of a quote - "We're the two biggest fucking retards on the planet. You're first and I'm second, and we wont get into the marginal disparity between ranks." Ha! We made it to Dave's in one piece though. When we got there, Mike and David were out renting music equipment for the big bash to come, once again David out-did himself dropping too much on a more than adequate set-up. We passed the time prior to their return playing guitars in the "rec room" adjacent to the lobby. Once the equipment was seized, unloaded, and the bar was scoped we scurried up to their 20th floor pad overlooking the Staples Center and the rest of downtown Los Angeles. I know I had a couple drinks, a religious experience in the best shower of my life, and some "La Confidential", before falling into the most comfortable couch in the world like an 8 year old boy into a ball bin at Chuck E Cheese. This sleep was earned.
I instinctively woke up at 7:00am, which is about an hour later than my internal alarm usually goes off. I let myself go back to bed despite excitement, and the fact that it was already warmer out than any day Portland would see in the next 3 months (if not longer), not to mention the last day of the best year of my life aka 2009.
A few hours later we finally pulled our heads from our drool soaked pillows and dunked them in giant bowls of cold cereal. We fueled up while Mike ran late to work. David showed up after having already digested a morning meeting in his dapper pin striped suit. You could see his mind racing with the angst that only someone who's thrown a huge bash knows, while going through the check list of things to be done. Brian and I rubbed the sleep from our wide eyes and played the guitars overlooking the sun drenched city for a while before setting out on foot. I'm pretty sure we were practicing a "Juicy" cover we conceived the night before. Then wandered aimlessly around this metropolis before bumping into Matt, Dave's brother. We exchange Hey-how-are-you's before catching the bus down to USC's campus. While Brian naively ganders at the diversity on this bus I tell him there's "no better way to get the feel of a city than to ride it's public transportation" - which I believe. He give's a hollow eyed nod in response. Then we went to rapping Juicy on the bus like we were alone, stopping only to confirm with a young man decorated in USC gear which stop was campus. A lot of people were wearing USC gear around the city, which was apparently their showing of solidarity to the out of town football fans from Ohio and Oregon, respectively. Campus was dead due to the holiday, but we dicked around till Mike picked us up sometime after 4:00pm to run a few last minute errands.
The rest of the night went rather quickly, or turned into a blur rather quickly? Who knows. All I know is Mike led the charge on delicious bacon wrapped appetizers while we started in on cocktails. From here I wouldnt sober up until somewhere around Modesto on Sunday. I arrived down at the par-tay fashionably late (I need to get into guitar addicts anonymous, seriously) and Brian killed it, obviously, and at the end of the night we did our last minute cover of Juicy. It was fun but I'm sure I sounded like a cross between carrot top and Leah Remini, which isnt good. Plenty of room to improve though. Ha! I think my last memory of that night was David and Marriot jousting with gigantic stuffed animals from Africa, literally. I know the Giraffe was involved, but the other animal escapes me, as does who came out on top.
(Note: Dave recently went to Africa and has 3/4 of the Lion King's cast in giant stuffed animals. Over to your right you'll find one unkempt character singing "In the Jungle" like a clown with an Elephant on his back.)
Then, after we went to bed for less than enough sleep, some bastard got past security at the front door and broke into David's apartment and stole my right converse all star. He was good too, didnt leave any sign of forced entry, almost like a ghost. After waking up and realizing what happened, I told all my homies to look for some one legged crook running around Los Angeles with my shoe. Fucking Bastard's lucky we didnt find him too, woulda got nasty. Okay, that last part is unconfirmed, but my right shoe definitely went missing and it's the only thing I could come up with that fits, (pun intended).
The first day of 2010 felt a lot like the start of 2009, sub Los Angeles for San Francisco and me waking up on David's couch instead of Jay's. But hungover all the same with my head in a thick fog and half a bong rip away from retardation. But it's on with the show as we set out for Pasadena after everyone had adorned themselves in their Ducks gear, and me in my neutral brown. (No way I'd get caught in that shit.) The sun's out and with to-go cups in hand the metaphorical play button to our Acapella version of Is this Love by Bob Marley is hit. All join in singing and keeping a relatively decent rhythm with a mix of random sound effects and clapping.
It was like being in a music video as we took over the streets and engulfed everyone in song. Honestly, it was really really awesome. People didnt know what was going on, but smiles of approval met our harmonic haphazardness. The nonsense continued on the subway with more Bob and the ducks fight song, minus the words. Then the two mile walk from the subway stop in Pasadena to The Grand Daddy of 'em all. Well most of us walked, some of us skipped, none of us stumbled, and one of us rolled in a shopping cart. We've got plenty of company on streets of pasadena, they're either like us and headed to the game, out enjoying the sun, or there for the parade. Who cares, it's a good day to be alive though.
We tailgate post game before catching a shuttle back to the subway, and then back to Dave's. But before that Marriot is doing his very best to antagonize any and all Ohio State fans. He's way beyond drunk. He's basically a mess while shaking his fists and chanting various chants like...."You wear Jean Shorts!!" (clap clap / clap-clap-clap) and "Go back to sheboygan!!" Which isnt even in Ohio, but rather Wisconsin, thus making it even funnier, and my personal favorite, "Buckeyes suck guys!!!" This nonsense continues most all of the way home. At one point I told Ben to more or less shut up, he pulled the relative trump card with, "Really? You of all people?" Which is to say I've been far beyond obnoxious a couple of times, maaaybe.
That night we collectively agree to stay in and party amongst ourselves. A decision I was happy with, even though I was well rested from my game-time napping. So we kick-back on a couple drinks while Brian serenades the group. The Cali boys had not yet heard all of his home-cooked brilliance -- NYE was hectic, and Brian played a lot of covers -- but they are more than impressed. It was good times indeed, and exactly what I was looking for. I didnt go down to LA for the Rosebowl, I went down to see my favorite people in the whole world. And while watching everyone bob their heads in unison to Brian's music, I find the moment that embodied what I was looking for. To me it was better than any ridiculous highlight, joke or one liner. It was that Friendship thang.
Saturday morning finds us and David's condo in a disheveled disaster. We (mostly Mike) clean the place up a little bit while they start making plans to kick it in Santa Monica. I'm fighting my angst to start getting miles behind us while Brian grows restless, still wanting to "see" more of what LA has to offer. I concede to go and hang in Santa Monica, but not for too long, while we settle arrangements to crash in San Fran for the night. "Not too long" turns from a couple Corona's to Patron shots and like that we're staying another night. I concede and decidedly practice living in the moment, but it's hard to escape the picture of spending the following day hungover in that car.
Drinks chase away my angst and the good times are again rolling. We've got an All Star line-up and we're definitely enjoying ourselves. We go from one bar to the next before taking over some Karaoke bar where everyone takes their turn being a rock star. We're all dancing and the bar fills up with an eclectic crowd composed of cute girls, aspiring entertainers and those people that live for Karaoke (you know who I'm talking about, you cant decide if they put on an "outfit" or a costume). After too many $7 beers we go back to Kirsten and Courtney's apartment (new friends) and keep at it till way too late - not sure the exact time. Brian has his eye on Court, but he blows it in standard BK style. Let me explain, after this nice young girl cooks bagel bites for all, someone compliments her "Rachael Ray" like cooking skills. Brian takes the lame joke and turns it on it's head, exclaiming that not only is she like "Rachael Ray" but she's like the "Rachael Ray that he'd like to fuck." It went over like you'd imagine and Brian goes from possibly sharing a cozy bed, to being with everyone else scattered across the available couches. I somehow find my way onto an aero-mattress for literally a couple winks.
(Shots Shots Shots sha-sha-sha Shots Shots Shots - well in this case Jager Bombs)
January 3rd, 5:45am, 2010 my alarm goes off and I hate life. The nightmare of a 15+ hour drives sets in as I argue with Brian about the fact that we cant afford to loiter any longer. We're outta time. He bitches before reluctantly rising from his upright perch on the couch and stumbles out the room. We wander around Santa Monica looking for our parking garage and find it on our second attempt. We set sail while the sun rises over the hills to our East. In fact, it pains me to even think about the reality of that moment. The ride home is far from the ride down, we're spent and lack enthusiasm. I would equate the drive to one insanely long irritable buzzing noise. The highlight was probably the worst McDonald's breakfast you've ever heard of. It was terrible, but all things considered rather fitting.
Laboring through that drive makes you understand the ambitions of Orville and Wilbur Wright.
I'll add more later, I'm still exhausted.
"I'm not talking to them, they're talking to me!" Ben Marriot dead serious, deliriously drunk, (to the point of hallucination), after talking to the stuffed Giraffe the night of the Rosebowl. (Note: this may be a condition of delusion all Duck fans experience following a loss. Perhaps a collapse of the psyche after The Worlds Greatest Team fails to deliver, much like in Hitler's finals days when fantasy replaced cognition. Perhaps even a shade of schizophrenia, I dunno? I'm not a Doctor, just a Beaver fan so I sound smart.)
"We're the two biggest fucking retards on the planet. You're first and I'm second, and we wont get into the marginal disparity between ranks." - Me being dead serious
Brian - "Did you fart?"
Me - "No. That's just what Southern Oregon smells like, that's why no one lives down here."
"Make sure to tag me in that photo, there's this girl I'm really into and hopefully she'll be checking out my profile, and ya know, I want her to see how cool I am" - Brian facetiously serious
"I hate it when a girls breast are too big, ya know when you take off her bra and they go all over the place and you're thinking....does her nipple have a lazy eye?" - 5th please
"Hey Guy, whatcha think you're my Dad or sumfin? What'd you do go back in time and fuck my Mom, huh?" - Bk in his "guy" voice