Friday, December 16, 2005

DAY 5 Wednesday, December 7: I Don’t Even Want to Know What You Just Paid For Dinner

On Wednesday, I got to sleep in before my afternoon case. On my first day in my favorite city, I had to drive a few miles south and sit at the top of one of the huge hills in San Mateo county. It was a great view and the only productive day of my trip. I left my case in the evening and went back to my friend’s apartment.

Upon my return, M informed me we would be heading out to one of the top restaurants in the country, named Jardiniere. So, I got cleaned up and dressed in the proper attire and we headed out. After walking the three blocks to the restaurant, we were seated on the second floor, overlooking the bar(I have never seen worse plastic surgery, than the job I saw done on one woman's face, who was seated at the bar.). We decided on the chef’s taster menu, which read like this:

Plate#1-Santa Barbara Prawns with Fuji Apple and Chestnut Salad, Apple Vichyssoise

Plate#2-Washington State Steelhead with Chive Crushed Potatoes, Meyer Lemon and Oyster Veloute, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar

Plate#3-Sonoma Sqaub with Creamed Nettles and Caramelized Salsify, Sauce au Poivre

Plate#4-Loin of Venison with Bacon Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Celery Root, Huckleberry Jus(at this point, I have to give a shout out to my little brother Brad, who made a much better Loin of Venison than a 5 star restaurant. And, this one was very good.)

Plate#5-Robiollo Misto Cow, Sheep and Goat's Milk Cheese, Piedmont, Italy

Plate#6-Five Spice Layer Cake with Maple Meringue, Brown Butter Creme Anglaise, Candied Pecans

All of the dishes involved items that I had never tasted, and M and I caught up, as we rarely talk on the phone for very long and I have not seen him in at least 3 years. After dinner we walked the few blocks back to his apartment and on the way passed City Hall, the Symphony Hall, and several other landmarks that fall into those few blocks.

You can see the dome from M's balcony. That is real 23.5 gold inlaid on the dome.

When we got back home it was about time to crash as he, his sister and I all had early days the next morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

DAY 4 Tuesday, December 6: “You are the manure pile spread over the lawn that is my life.”

As with every day, so far, I got up and went to work. Back down to Orange County. I only had to put in four hours and got off in time to head back to my brother’s apartment before heading to the airport to catch my flight to San Fran in the afternoon.

B had to be at school at 12:30p to put the finishing touches on his presentation. So, I took him to the UCLA campus a few miles away and dropped him off. On my way to the airport I stopped off at the Secret Stash and picked up autographed copies of Mallrats and Dogma. Then, I drove into Hollywood again becuse I didn't have a picture of the sign.

This one isnt so good, but, wait for the San Fran pics. They turned out great.

When I got to the airport I managed to catch a flight about 2 ½ hours earlier than I was scheduled for and ended up in San Jose just in time to catch rush hour traffic all the way to my friend’s apartment in the middle of downtown San Fran. On the drive up the 101 my brother called while he was walking back to his apartment from his bus stop. This walk brings him right by the manure-covered yard. Over the few days between the first time we passed that yard and this call, I had managed to be on the phone with B every time he walked past “the yard”. He said to me, “Larry, you are the manure pile, spread over the lawn that is my life.”

I got to San Fran after a few hours of moving at 10 miles an hour on the freeway. There is nothing quite like driving around the bend in US 101 and catching that first glimpse of the San Francisco skyline at night. My friend M, his sister C and I went out to dinner. After dinner, we returned to the apartment and retired for the evening.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

When Wake Up

I will be starting my new job. I am a little nervous, but, mostly just wanting to get right to it, because the faster I learn, the more money I can make. Plus once I figure out what my schedule is going to be like I can hopefully get into a few classes.

DAY 3 Monday, December 5: Left Turn Illegal

I got up and made the drive to San Bernadino to work my file for half a day. When I got off early I ran a few errands and returned to the apartment. My brother had to work through the afternoon to finish his presentation, so, when M got off work, we went into Beverly Hills and Hollywood and drove around into the evening, until we had to pick up J from work.

I can definitely see the appeal of living in the Hollywood hills. We drove up into the hills, looked at the houses and the view of the city below. Unfortunately, my camera was running out of batteries, from the night of drunken picture taking a few nights before, so I only got a few pics.

This picture says, "Beverly Hills" to me.

Mmm Mmmm. Look at that smog. The houses in the hills were amazing. As was the view, even with the smog.

We were going to stop by Amoeba Records in Hollywood, but since left turns were illegal, we had to find a new way around. I wish my camera was working, because, there was a parking lot attendant who would hold up a sign that said LEFT TURN ILLEGAL every time a car would try to turn left into their parking garage, which was often. Unfortunately, not only, was my camera not working, but J was in need of a ride, so, we had to skip the stop at Amoeba to go pick her up.

We went and picked up J and returned to the apartment. We got B out of his cage, left J at the apartment, and went out to dinner at a small Mexican restaurant nearby. It took us quite a while to locate a Mexican restaurant that looked like it was worth eating at. It was worth the search. The food was awesome. After dinner, we were going to stop by Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Westwood but it was already closed. Since M and I couldn't convince B to go to the Seventh Veil with us, we ended up just going home and relaxing again.

DAY 2 Sunday, December 4: Diet Coke and The "Veggie" Burger

My alarm went off at about 6am leaving me still slightly drunk and having to try to get up and get to work. I made it out the door about an hour later after I started to feel sober and the world stopped spinning. I headed back down to Orange County to wait out my hangover and my claimant. While sitting in my surveillance position, I saw 3 seperate Lamborghinis, one of which was driven by a kid no older than 20. There is too much money down there.

After putting in my time, I returned to my brother’s apartment, via the PCH. The drive was beautiful until I got to Long Beach, where things started to look seedy as the road headed away from the ocean and into L.A. Upon my return, I found M and J still in bed and B trying to wrap up a big presentation he had to give to one of his classes on Tuesday.

A few hours later, J got up and came downstairs. Turns out she was feeling fine and had been up a bit earlier to post her set of pics online (that would be the aforementioned link). I let her look through the pics on my camera while I tried to catch up on my paperwork. M was up every so often puking. She did this until about 6pm., when she finally got up and sat around, still very hung over.

B, J, and I went out to dinner. At this point, I should mention that I was the only meat eater in the bunch. We walked a few blocks to a nice restaurant called Earth, Wind and Flour. I felt kinda like my old pet gerbil. There was wood shavings spread all over the floor of the establishment.

When the waiter came to take our order, he screwed up my soda, and gave me a diet instead of a regular Coke. I drink diet half the time anyway, so, I wasn’t too bothered. J ordered a veggie burger and B ordered a pizza. When J got her burger, it didn’t seem right. Being the only meat eater I tried a bite and told her it wasn’t a hamburger, but could possibly be a turkey burger. However, I had never had a turkey burger or a veggie burger, so I couldn’t be sure. My brother said it looked like a veggie burger he had received at one point and thought it must just be a different brand. After, screwing with J, telling her that the waiter got my drink order right, so she shouldn’t worry, she wasn’t feeling any better about it, but, ended up eating about half of it anyway.

When the check arrived, we found out it was a turkey burger, at which point I felt like an ass for all the comments I had been making and she and my brother were both a little upset to there stomachs at the thought of it.

On the walk home, we passed a yard that had just been fertilized with manure. Again, J and B started getting a bit nauseated. We returned home and relaxed the rest of the night.

Monday, December 12, 2005

DAY 1 Saturday, December 3: Throw Brotha From the Porch

I woke up at 5am on Saturday to catch my flight to L.A. I had a layover and connection in Phoenix. While I was deplaning in Phoenix, I recognized one of my old lead men from when I worked at a factory about 4 years ago. He and his wife had been on the flight and were also connecting to L.A. on the same flight, so we sat down and caught up while he had a few drinks and I ate lunch.

When we arrived in L.A. we exchanged pleasantries and went our separate ways. I spent my first afternoon in Orange County, south of Laguna Beach, sitting about 30 yards east of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).

This was just up the hill from where I had to sit in OC.

When I finally got off work, drove the hour to my brother’s apartment and got cleaned up, my brother (B), his girlfriend (M) and her little sister (J), and I all went out to Santa Monica, walked around and had dinner and a few drinks. After dinner, we stopped by the local liquor store, picked up some Captain and some Gin and went back to the apartment to finish the job we started at dinner.

Several hours later, we were all a very, very drunk (there are some really funny and embarrassing pictures on the web to prove it, however, only the privileged few of you will get the link). M set the record for pictures taken with her tongue in them, taking 10 in a row, using my camera (I found out when I uploaded my pictures to my computer the other day). There is a bit of video of me trying to throw B off the second story balcony. Funny, how his girlfriend took video instead of trying to stop me. I can't even remember why I did it. One thing I found out, is that it is impossible to watch Ricky Gervais perform stand up while I am drunk. Also, if you wait long enough, the other drunk will forget about not wanting to let you wear sunglasses and set them down, where it is easy for you to get at them.

I love these glasses.

After making a few late night phone calls to wake up The Steph and tell her how drunk we were the others started falling out. J fell out first, M was not far behind, and with M went B, leaving me drunkenly “watching” TV and passing out on the couch. M and B retired at about 2:30am PST and I was not far behind.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm Back

What a trip! I really enjoyed spending time with my brother and friends. As soon as I catch up and finish my final round of paperwork for my old PI gig I will be posting stories and pics from my LA/SF trip. Nothing like drunkenly trying to throw your brother off a second floor balcony(video evidence) or taking what would normally be a very romantic(with the right woman) walk through San Fran at night with a gay man.

Anyway, more on that soon. I'm going to bed.

Friday, December 02, 2005

God Loves Me(This Week)

Well, I finally quit my job, effective in about a week. I am looking forward to going back to school. I did something nice for others(myself). And to make it even better my boss decided to send me on one last road trip.

Normally, this would piss me off and I would have just said, "Screw you, I quit." But, tomorrow morning, I fly out to L.A. for three days and then on to San Francisco for four more. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. The trip I had to cancel because I have to start working for my new company, has just been served up on a platter from my old one.

Anyhow, I gotta get things together around here, and get packed. I should have plenty of pics and stuff to post when I get back. As for posting when I am on the road, unless, I put one together in my car while I am working I don't see it happening, as I will be out with my brother in L.A. every night and a friend in San Fran every night. Everyone have a good weekend(and next week).