While I haven't been quite as busy as I usually am (married life will do that to you), the past two months have nevertheless been interesting. Here's an odds and ends post before I get to more exotic stuff (Death Valley, The South, etc. - coming soon).
On November 8th, my wife and I saw the recently reunited Afghan Whigs at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Fortunately they added a second show, because I was too busy being married to realize that they had schedule a show in SF, which was promptly sold out.
Soulful "alternative" rock at its best... this was one of my favorite bands as a teenager.
Frontman Greg Dulli has been active in recent years (both solo and with the Twilight Singers), so the question was more "how will the rest of the band do?"
They were terrific, to answer the above question.
John Curley, my favorite memeber of the band, on bass.
My long-time trivia partner and all-around buddy, Paul, was moving to D.C., so we had a last hurrah. Actually, we had two last hurrahs, but I only have photos of this one. By the way, Paul doesn't always have the caterpillar mustache (thank goodness! - ;-) ).
We took second place that night - two weeks later, a smaller group of us took 1st place, which was fitting.
I led my class on a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences. I was both impressed and a little worried that poison dart frogs were so close you could touch them (no glass). Their toxicity is no joke.
A rare albino alligator, one of the standouts in the Steinhart Aquarium portion of the museum.
On December 5th, Paul, his brother Todd, and my friend Becky went to the hyper-sold-out Sufjan Stevens Christmas Singalong show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Paul and I each had extra tickets to sell, which we did at face value. In return we were gifted with a Santa hat, which I wore.
Wheel of Christmas!
Sufjan Stevens, indie darling extraordinaire.
His costumed entourage (including Rosie Thomas, in white) was an impressive assortment of musicians.
Rosie Thomas is one of the funniest women on earth, in my humble opinion. But you'd have to be there.
Four days later, Suzanne and I went to see the San Francisco 49ers beat up on the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park. Suzanne had never been to a 49ers game before (she's been to a Redskins home game, though she's never lived in D.C.).
Sergio Romo of the (2012 WORLD CHAMPIONS) San Francisco Giants strolled by our section.
Reggie Bush (#22) jerseys were everywhere that day.
Before I forget, it was a gorgeous day in San Francisco. Not at all Candlestick-like.
Colin Kaepernick (#7) was starting again instead of Alex Smith. He and Frank Gore had a pretty good outing.
This would hold up as the final score.
The Sunday afternoon after I went on Christmas break, I drove down to Los Angeles with my buddy Adrian to visit our old college friend, and to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain. The weather wasn't the greatest, as seen in this gloom-and-doom palm tree photo.
Adrian, at right, at our friend Jason's house. Jason professionally goes by the name Asher Deva, since he's a model and occasional actor.
We all used to lift weights religiously at San Francisco State University, although the fat guy sitting at far right hasn't exactly kept up the regimen.
That night we went to Father's Office around the corner from Jason's Santa Monica pad.
Though it's hard to see, their burgers are outstanding, and have even been called one of the best in the country. That's arugula sticking out. Don't ask for ketchup.
The next day, Adrian and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the roller coaster capital of the world (sorry Cedar Point).
X2, one of the greatest coasters in the world, and the first "4th dimensional coaster" on earth. We got on X2 with only a 10 minute wait, because the park was nearly deserted. The one other time I rode X2, I waited over an hour, which was still a short wait (it's usually a 2 hour wait).
A few days later, Adrian's brother Edwin graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in journalism. The keynote speaker was Marti Malloy, a judoka who won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. She graduated from SJSU with a degree in journalism a few years prior.
Edwin, second from the podium.
Edwin, all smiles.
We went to the House of Genji for dinner after.
Edwin happened to graduate on the eve of the Mayan Apocalypse, so we took advantage of the End of the World unlimited bowling special at the local alley.
We played on teams. Edwin's team, appropriately enough, won...
...but my team lost, even though I had the second best score of our group (which was still terrible by bowling standards).
We played until they closed the alley, but there were so many malfunctions on our lanes (blame it on the Mayans...) that the bowling alley refunded half of our money and gave us each an old bowling pin, with which we could protect ourselves against the End of the World.
Coming up - Death Valley National Park over Thanksgiving. Stay tuned.