San Diego Trip Report

So I took a not-so-well-deserved jaunt down to San Diego last weekend. These are my stories.

Friday morning I woke up craving tacos. Not just any tacos, but Tijuana tacos. If you know about Tijuana tacos, you know what I'm talking about. So I head down to TJ, and by lunchtime I am happily eating tacos at Taco Bell. "Taco Bell?" you say. Yes. Taco Bell.

There are taco stands right across the border where you can by TJ tacos for a dollar a piece, which, in Tijuana terms, is a huge rip-off. If you just walk a few minutes, over the Tijuana River and towards Avenida Revolucion, the price drops to three for a dollar and there aren't as many middle-aged gringos in Hawaiian shirts to annoy you.

By the way, Tijuana "River" is sort of a misnomer. At some point, I'm sure it was an actual river. But now, it's just an open sewer. Literally. Foul smelling, and if you look closely, which I do not advise, you can actually see some floaters. I mention this because on my way back to the US and A, I saw one of the saddest things I ever done did see. So, next time you get irritated because Gray's Anatomy was pre-empted or something, think of this:

My camera sucks, so let me tell you what that is. That is a homeless man, with only one arm, crossing the open sewer known as the Tijuana River. Under his stump, he is holding a hubcap and some hangers. Only he knows why. Upon crossing the river, he immediately threw up. Lucky for you, I didn't get that picture.

After TJ, I headed to Silver Strand State Beach. It's got a bit more seaweed than other SD beaches, but the tradeoff is that there is hardly anyone there, so my fat ass can take off my shirt without scarying everyone.

After the beach, headed up to Poway to see my friend Avery. From his house we headed downtown, picked up a German and a Lithuanian, and went to see the Hard-On's and the Queers at the Casbah. Good show. I took video, but it sucks. My camera sucks six ways to Sunday as the following pictures attest.

I was staying with my friend Karla, and last time I came down, I sort of played a part in getting her car towed. So to pay her back, I drove her down to Tecate, Mexico to see her ill grandmother. Am I a nice guy or what? Tecate was actually kind of cool. You get the whole Mexico thing without people always barking at you, asking if you want beer. Or sunglasses. Or jewelry. Or massage. Or sucky sucky. Also, I had a taco that made TJ tacos taste like a (the American) Taco Bell.

I wanted to go to the Padres game Saturday night, since there was a chance that Trevor Hoffman would tie the all time major league record for saves. But getting back over the border in Tecate took forever, so I was late. By the time I got there, the game was sold out, so I had to watch the jumbotron in the outfield from behind the gates like some shunned leper:

Trevor did end up tying the record. Yay Trevor!

After the game there were fireworks!

And midget love!

From there, headed to Valentine's to get me a San Diego style burrito. To all Mexican restaraunts and taco shops not located in San Diego, Cali For Nigh A, this is how a burrito is done motherfuckers:

Do you see any pansy ass rice and beans in there? NO! Carne Asada, Guacamole, Salsa, Sour Cream, Hot Sauce. No Filler. You may think that picture looks kinda gross. I think it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Sunday, I did manage to make it to the game, but my seats were in Bumfuck, Egypt:

The Padres had a one run lead going to the bottom of the ninth, which meant it was Trevor Time, and I had a chance to witness baseball history. If he could get three outs he would become the all-time MLB saves leader. So I headed down to a standing room area behind the plate and took some videos with my shitty camera.

This is Hoffman coming into the game:

And this is Hoffman getting the last out to break the record:

These are the things that make grown men cry. I planned my trip knowing there was a slight chance I could be there to witness it, but knowing how my life goes, I didn't think it would actually happen. Yet it did. The perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

Of course it was really hard to get on the plane back to Sacramento. But I've met a lot of quality people in Northern California since I've been up here, so it could have been a lot worse. So if you're one of those people, thanks. You're the difference between me wanting to go back to San Diego but tolerating Sacramento and me being in a hopeless state of depression until I do.


Sunday Sportsblogging

  • Fresno State loses to Washington, 21-20. Special teams failed us again. Last week is was touching a blocked kick and getting burned on a fake field goal. This week, a missed extra point, a missed field goal, failing to easily down the ball on the one, and allowing a long punt return. These are two games against Pac-10 teams we should have had. That said, listening to the call in show after the game was depressing. People were calling for a new quarterback, for a new head coach. Wha? If you would have told me 10 years ago our program would ever be in the position of being expected to beat Pac-10 teams on a regular basis, I'd have called you crazy. So everyone in Fresno, calm down, we're going to be okay.
  • Chargers beat Titans 40-7. And it was even that close. Chargers have looked very good, but playing against two horrible teams makes me unsure of how good they are. Also, San Diego's backup running back, Michael Turner, could start for 2/3 of the league, I'm convinced. Also, I'm liking Philip Rivers a whole lot.
  • Padres take over 1st place in the NL West. So far in the four game series against the Dodgers, the Pads are 2-1. We'll see how it goes tomorrow, but this year we (the Pads) have owned the Dodgers. Without our dominance, we'd be in third place, rather than first.
  • There are a lot of shitty NFL teams. Oakland, Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Tennesee are looking rather pathetic.
  • Go Doormats! I realized that while I could never be considered a "fan" of any other team, I have found myself subconsiously pulling for the 49ers, Cardinals, Bengals, and Saints, while rooting against the Patriots, Steelers, and Colts.
  • Calm down, sports fans. Twice I almost witnessed fights breeakout between fans of different teams at the sports bar I go to. And considering the amount of taunting, I'm shocked it was only two. Um, it's a game? Christ almighty, do you really have so little in life that football is that important to you?
  • Fantasy football is retarded. I used to actually play, but it's gotten way out of hand. There's an inverse relationship between how enjoyable FF can be and how detailed and obsessive fantasy geeks get. I guess that's an obious point, and I blame the internets. It was far funner back in 87, when we had to get all the stats from the Monday and Tuesday papers. Plus, I like to root for my team with no conflicts of interest. There is a fantasy football backlash going on, and I am proud to be a part of it.
  • John Madden and Al Michaels still suck.


Trench Coat Qaeda

Hmmm, must be Michelle Malkin day.

The guy who went on a shooting spree in Montreal was named Kimveer Gill.

Let me run this throught the Michelle Malkin RCiST-5000 news analyzer:

Hmmm....Kimveer....definitely not an Anglo name....sounds Indian to me....what the hell, India is close enough to the Middle East, so I'm gonna make the call:


The Michelle Malkin Teacher Of The Year Award

Racist see, racist do.
A Maryland substitute teacher was arrested after an alleged anti-Islamic tirade in front of high school students.Carol Joan McVey, 49, was charged with resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.

Police said McVey became upset when she heard some students at Gaithersburg High School, who were being assisted by another teacher, practicing a speech and using some Arabic words. The Washington Post said she reacted after overhearing the group utter an Islamic greeting of peace.

Charging documents allege McVey shouted, "Islam doesn't mean peace, it means killing everyone for peace" and "Because of you, our families died in New York!" ...

While being escorted from the building, McVey allegedly yelled at a Hispanic teacher about the inappropriateness of speaking to students in languages other than English.


My New Boyfriend...

...is Keith Olbermann



Well, in case you didn't know it, tomorrow is World Hearing Voices Day (not joking).

So be sure to think good thoughts about yer president, who, when asked if he consulted with his dad on whether or not to invade Iraq, responded,
"He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength...there is a higher father that I appeal to."
Presumably, "higher father" is what Bush calls the voices in his head. It ain't God, cuz God wouldn't be that stupid.


Because Osama said so

Why does my left wing, anti-Bush ass seem to be in the minority in thinking that 9/11 should now be a day when partisan rhetoric goes away for 24 hours? No party "owns" 9/11. It should be a somber day of reflection and rememberance. Instead we get idiots using it to forward their own agendas.

First we have right wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin. Malkin reminds us to "Never Forget" 9/11 and links to video of people jumping out of windows. Classy. Does she really think we've forgotten? Does she really think people are saying, "Hmmm...September 11th....September 11th, hmmm, rings a bell....I know something happened that day, but I can't quite put my finger on it...hmmm, let me check in with Michelle Malkin....(typing)....OH YEAH, NOW I REMEMBER!"

Who knows? Maybe she's addressing America's six-year olds, who may have forgot. But in their defense, they were one. (I will let the Alzheimer's joke pass)

And although I usually hate weepy TV specials, I think on 9/11 I could tolerate a feel-good special, maybe focusing on on a person, family, or even the city of New York itself, and how it or they or he or she has coped and moved on since 9/11. Even though I normally cringe at this sort of thing, I could probably even handle a teary Barbara Walters special or two. But instead ABC gives us "Path To 9/11", a mini-series which tries to shift the burden of blame for 9/11 on Clinton by focusing on failure. Yeah, that's the way to treat 9/11. On 9/11, I'm sure everyone wants to be reminded how badly we fucked up.

Look we have 364 days to participate in that kind of bullshit, and we do, so leave September 11th to everyone, k?

But the most egregious example of using 9/11 came from none other than the President. Instead of using the fifth anniversery of the attacks to console us, inspire us, remind us of how far we've come, and finally for once be the fucking "uniter" he promised to be eons ago, he uses the occasion to make a speech defending the Iraq war.

W. T. F.?

There is far too much to say about the debacle that is Iraq War, so for now let's just say you'd have to be a retarded ostrich to think it was a necessary step in the "War On Terrorism" or, for that matter, a good idea for any reason you want to make up. What I want to focus on is Bush's rational for its continuence. Last night he said:

Osama bin Laden calls this fight "the Third World War" -- and he says that victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's "defeat and disgrace forever." If we yield Iraq to men like bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened; they will gain a new safe haven; they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement. We will not allow this to happen. America will stay in the fight. Iraq will be a free nation, and a strong ally in the war on terror.

Read that again. I'll wait. Done? Good. Let's discuss.

Bush actually quotes Osama Bin Laden and uses his words to justify why we need to stay and fight. Do you get the significance of that? Bin Laden, as usual, is dictating the terms of our actions. And the left is accused of appeasing terrorists? Bush consistently does exactly what Bin Laden wants him to do. Set a trap, and assuredly Bush will fall right into it, now to the point of quoting him. I swear to god, given his insticts, Bush should just pull a Costanza and do the opposite.

Once again, I cannot stress enough how important James Fallows' piece in The Atlantic is. If you are at all interested in this stuff, you MUST read it (I wish it were available online for free, but a google check shows it's not). It gets to the heart of what Bush needs to do, but never will.

Anyways, it's now September 12th, so I feel fully justified in attacking these motherfuckers for trying to own 9/11 as their own. So fucking fuck the motherfuckers.


The stupidity of the human race will never cease to astound me.
Up to 11 stingrays have been found dead and mutilated on Australia's eastern coast since the Crocodile Hunter's death, prompting fears that Irwin's fans are exacting their revenge on the normally docile fish.
The fact that the tails and barbs of several of the animals were lopped off has environmentalists worried.

Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin's conservation group, Wildlife Warriors, said he feared the rays were being hunted and killed in retaliation for the TV star's death.
(By the way, while not a huge Steve Irwin follower, I think his death is sad and absolutely newsworthy. I'm not one of those people.)


September 11

I'd feel a little dumb writing about September 11. First, although I cried for a week and knew that the world had changed, I lost no one, and I witnessed from the opposite corner of the country, San Diego. It would be the height of disrespect to act like my life was altered even remotely as much as those affected directly by the attacks. Second, others have written far more movingly on the subject than I could over dream of doing. Third, I don't think today should be a day that we focus on the negative aspects, and that's probably where I would steer the conversation.

But it would also feel weird to write about something else today. And only slightly less weird to write nothing at all.

So I'll keep it brief and hopefully somewhat respectful.

About the attacks themselves:

I'm not normally one for sentimentality, and the fetishization of all firefighters and cops in the months following September 11th certainly bothered me, but I certainly feel the sacrifice of the NYPD and NYFD can never be understated. The night of September 11th, I remembered thinking there must be at least 10-15,000 dead. That there ended up being less than 3,000 is a tribute to their service.

So instead of focusing on the gloom and doom and assessing blame (which I am more than happy to do, just not today), I'm just going to try and remember how most of us came together. Here's to hoping it won't take a tragedy to have that happen again.

About our response:

I would urge everyone to seek out a copy of the new issue of The Atlantic. James Fallows makes a persuasive arguement that we've won the war against Al-Queda, and that the danger we face is not from terrorists, but from our reaction to terrorism, with Iraq being the best example. It's really good stuff, and Josh Marshall summarizes it up very well:
But what seems to me to be one of the greatest injuries of that day is the way we now sometimes seem to mistake optimism for pessimism and vice versa. Persistent fear and retreat from our own ideals and power isn't optimism. It is the deepest and most pernicious form of self-doubt. Yes, something terrible and unthinkable could happen tomorrow. But none of us has more than a probable claim to life from one day to the next. And as a country we are neither weak nor threatened. With apologies for a perhaps over-used line, I can't help thinking of Franklin Roosevelt's "firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

Doesn't it have an uncanny claim on this moment?

So my regret for today is that the way that al Qaida has gamed us into doing great damage to ourselves. And my feeling of optimism is the sense that tide may at last be turning.
Finally, I'd like to address all those who accuse people of being un-American or seditious by questioning the decisions of our leaders in the post-September 11th period.
The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness. But the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested. For they determine whether we use power or power uses us. Our national strength matters; but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much.
-John F, Kennedy, October 27, 1963
Tomorrow, I promise whining, complaining, mockery, and Michelle Malkin bashing, but for now, I'm going to try and adhere to some semblence of the September 12th, 2001 spirit and shut up and be respectful for a little while.


I was poisoned by the EPA and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Whoa, man. In 2004, the government pushed for a program that aimed to use babies as guinea pigs for the benefit of chemical companies like Dow. I had never heard of this until it was mentioned on the Al Franken Show on Friday.
A recruiting flier for the program, called Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study, or CHEERS, offered $970, a free camcorder, a bib and a T-shirt to parents whose infants or babies were exposed to pesticides if the parents completed the two-year study. The requirements for participation were living in Duval County, Fla., having a baby under 3 months old or 9 to 12 months old, and "spraying pesticides inside your home routinely."
C'mon, how bad could it be? I mean, gosh, the program is called CHEERS, people!

Seriously though, that is pretty twisted. Luckily, the program was killed, thanks to the efforts of "wacky" "liberal" "moonbats" like Barbara Boxer.


Al Michaels Sucks A Fat One

Seriously dude. The referee didn't see the flag. WE GET IT. Can we move on?

Al Michaels, John Madden, and Chris Collinsworth, and yes, I hate all three of them, have spent the last 10 minutes explaining that the referees didn't see Dolphions coach Nick Saban throw the "review" flag, therefore they had no obligation to consider it. Perfectly simple concept right? How long did it take you to read that sentence? Yet, they're STILL TALKING ABOUT IT.

Either they are morons (highly likely) or they think we are. I love football, but man I hate announcers.


Pennant Fever

Yeah, yeah, I know posting has been light. Blame MLB.TV. I get to watch all the Padres games, and now that it's crunch time, I'm as engaged as ever. And the games have been great. Monday Josh Barfield hits a walk-off homer Monday night, and tonight Paul McNaulty, just called up from Triple-A, hits another walk-off homer (first of his career) for another Padres win. Great stuff.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Anyways, mlb.tv rules, best $14.95 a month I've ever spent, (sorry, Playboy Channel). My only complaint is that I can't just get the Padre games, I have to pay to get all games. That's alright though, $14.95 is reasonable. I don't understand why this option is not available for college football. Shouldn't I be able to pay to see all the Fresno State games on my computer? There's money to be made here, use your brains, people!


Talking Points Memo

For the past few weeks, Josh Marshall has had guest posters fill in for him at Talking Points Memo (for you non-political blog readers, Talking Points Memo is pretty much the best of the best of political blogs). I assumed he was on vacation, even though no mention of a vacation was made. If only that were true. Unfortunately, Josh's father passed away.

He has posted a eulogy that I think you should take the time to read. The feelings expressed by Josh towards his father eerily represent my feelings for my own late father, but upon further reflection, those feelings are probably universal, just not so articulately voiced. Anyways, read it here.

Dane Cook = Not Funny

The more unfunny Dane Cook gets, and he was never really that funny to begin with, the more popular he gets, especially among the ladies and the bro's. But knowing how I am, most people dismiss my hatred of Dane Cook as "you don't like him because he's popular." Well, maybe. But I also don't like him because he is not funny. Have I mentioned that he's not funny?

You may not agree with me, but Salon does.


Rockstar: Superdouches

Not having cable anymore, I don't watch as much TV as I used to, so I don't really know what's going on TV-wise, even on the networks. But I did catch a commercial for Rockstar: Supernove. Now, I know that last year they had Rockstar: INXS, which was meant to replace the dead lead singer of INXS. So my first two thoughts are:

1) How they hell did Supernova get on network TV?

2) OMG did the lead singer of Supernova die?

You see, Supernova is this quirky little pop-punk band from Costa Mesa, California. Like most awesomely awesome, radically rad punk bands, they never made it big (although they did do "Chewbacca" on the Clerks soundtrack), but they do have a nice little fan base who love them. They are extremely fun, live, passing out sheets of tin foil to the audience before a show. Why? I don't know,something to do with their whole science fiction theme, but by the time the band takes the stage, everyone has made thier own tin-foil Supernova souveneir: Hats, belts, ties, whatever. They were all about fun, as you can see by the songs I provided, which are about Oreos, Mentos, and complaining about how hard math is.

So I was saddened to learn that the Supernova of the Rockstar variety is actually a "supergroup" consisting of Jason Newsted (Metallica), Gilby Clark (Guns N Roses), and Hugh Jacock, er I mean Tommy Lee (Motley Crue). Now, back in the days I sported the mullet, if you told me members of my favorite bands would be participating in a glorified karoake contest on national TV, I would have laughed, run my fingers through my mullet, and told you you were high. And then I'd tuck my acid washed jeans into my hightops.

"But there's already a Supernova!" I protested, "This is not fair! No justice, no peace!" So I rioted. And by rioted, of course, I mean I googled "Rockstar: Supernova" to see if the real Supernova had called out these sell-out imposters.

And hell yes, they have.

So keep the real Supernova in your thought as the fight the man. With lawyers and stuff. Punk fucking rock!

(download: right click -> save as)

Supernova - 15. Mentos.mp3
Supernova - 14. Math.mp3
Supernova - 02. Oreo.mp3


If It's September...

...then good times are here again.

Go Bulldogs!

El Farolito, Save My Soul

Last week I had the privilege of going to El Farolito, a restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco. More specifically, it's a dirty, run down taco shop in a dirty, run down part of town. And therein lies the magic. It ain't the best Mexican food I've had - San Diego taco shops will forever hold that crown - but it is pretty damn good, and brought back a flood of memories.

El Farolito was the subject of a song by my all-time favorite band, Hickey . And since I'm feeling nostaligic about El Farolito and Hickey, I pay tribute to both here.

Oh, I should probably mention, you won't like Hickey or this song. It's sloppy punk rock that will make you wonder why people who can't sing or play their instruments even bother. That's okay. You either get it or you don't, and there is no shame in not getting it.

Hickey - El Farolito
(Click to play, right click -> Save As to download)

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el farolito save my soul, it’s a long way back to mexico
and i don’t know if I’m ever gonna make it home.
you can sell whiskey to the indians
but ya can’t sell records with lyrics that offend
the parents of rich, white, suburban youth,
you can wunk me on the head with a 2x4
you can burn down a liquor store,
but no one’s gonna care in couple of years.
(rock guitar solo B)
viver esta perder lastimar. creo llamada enfermo manana,
soy enfermo del mundo y todo mi dinero comprar.
el farolito save my soul, it’s a long way back to mexico,
and i dunno if i’m ever gonna make it home,
you can sell whiskey to the indians
you can play lotto till the summer ends,
but you’ll never win.