Friday, January 03, 2014

Nouveau

A new year is upon us, and although I'm not one to make resolutions on New Year's Day alone, I am doing my best to update here much more often. I had a lot of good photo content leading up to this post, but my phone decided to wipe a good 8 months worth of photos off of my SD card when I was forced to do a factory reset, without the SD card mounted, mind you. Wonderful.

Back to most recently. Didn't have any preferred (read: quality, female, one-on-one) company nor events that I had any desire to be at at home, so my buddy Chris brainstormed that we should get out of town, so as to forego being drearily stuck at our respective houses for NYE. I was with it, so off to crash at my cousin's place in North Park we went. Chris, being an ASU alum, remembered that the Holiday Bowl was also being played at Qualcomm Stadium the same day we were headed down, so we snagged tickets and rolled over to chum it up in the parking lot.
Being that I didn't go to graduate from a big university with an NCAA Division 1 athletic program, I never got to enjoy the festivities that come with that firsthand, but through friends/cousins who did, I definitely got/still get to appreciate such things. I will say though, that tailgating with these fans is always awesome, even the opposing (Texas Tech) fans were still cool as hell. Professional league fans of all sports could stand to learn a little something, instead of incidents like what happened to Bryan Stow
Not pictured here is the dozens of other beers chugged/shotgunned and Chris' brand-new cheapo charcoal grill that ended up getting stolen, we discovered after walking back to the car after the game, lol. 
New Year's Eve started out innocently enough, at a bar a block away from my cousin's place, The Office. Good crowd, drinks were on point and not too expensive, could stand to be a little more breathing room inside though. As you can tell from this picture though, I did not end up at that bar at midnight, more like a strip club with my OTHER cousins (who I didn't know were down in SD) who called me up and invited us to partake of VIP bottle service, a gaggle of girls, and Champagne Room privileges. Needless to say, Chris and I hit the ATM and cab'ed it over. I would've taken more interesting/detailed/dirty pics, but...uh...well.....you catch my drift. If not, too bad! 
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Needless to say, good times were had at the strip joint. Getting back to/back into Tracy's place was a different adventure altogether, which involved walking through much perilous fog, stealing other people's cabs (to avoid Lyft's outrageous 200% markup for rides New Year's morning, fuckers!), only to discover that both Tracy and her roommate were passed out wasted, and couldn't hear us banging on the door/windows, nor hear their dogs howling as a result. Even more stupidity ensued when we trealized Chris left his car keys INSIDE Tracy's place, so we couldn't even sleep in the car. FUCK! 

Oh yeah, only semi-relevant to this picture, sorry. Tracy ended up scooping us up from the motel we ended up at New Year's morning and treating us to some much-needed grub. That log in front of Chris was discreetly identified as a "Pig in a Blanket". Great food all around, check out Great Maple when you're in or around Newport/San Diego! 
Also discovered a local dive bar back home in the SCV got to make an appearance on Bar Rescue with John Taffer's stroke-inducing-yelling ass. It wasn't all that bad to begin with, but it's also small as shit. Nonetheless, it does look way nicer, and the windows make it less of a dank cave. R.I.P. The Tailgate, long live The Shot Exchange. Actually, they can change the name back after the show airs, right? I know the name/concept is meant to bring in girls, which is a huge plus, but.....
Numerous noteworthy events/innovations/deaths/occurrences took place in 2013, and this illustration by Beutler Ink mashes a lot of them together pretty awesomely (click on it to get the full size version) 
Of course, had to pay my respects. R.I.P. P-Dubs, please support Paul Walker's Reach Out WordWide if you haven't already done so.
This is my cousin (yeah, I know, I have a lot of cousins, shut up) Randy's wife Alana, and the munchkin she's holding is my niece Aubrey. Until the last few years, I've always been off-put by baby girls because they seem so much more delicate/fussy/high-maintenance (ha! Doesn't change!), but "Aubby", she's everybody's princess and she knows it. 
My dad is infatuated with her. Hell, my mom (who has been divorced from my dad for over 20+ years now and doesn't much interact with my Dad's side of the family minus my cousins, since we all live nearby and hang out) is in love with her. You'd think she was my kid, which scares me even more. I still lack a lot of things to be the man I aspire to be, most of all a lovely woman to enter that venture with, I'm just trying to do me right now. In the meantime, stay little just a little longer for all of us, baby!
And then there's this. Did I regress or something, going from fixing up my 2 real-life cars to hoarding a shitload of toy ones? Yup, sorta. I somehow stupidly convinced myself that this would be a relatively cheap hobby, since the average Hot Wheel is a dollar, right? Then I got into the whole thing of finding packaged versions of the ones I raced/wrecked back in the day as a punk kid, and then found about limited-production-this, special-edition-that, and being a car guy who also knows how lucrative buying/selling/trading stuff like this is from my days as an active sneakerhead (still am, just on a scaled-back basis)....this is just an ever-changing Wall of Fame (or Shame, your choice) that displays the stuff I like the most that I have either just obtained via trade, or just haven't decided to sell or trade again. Current market value of what's there hanging, about $1K or so, no lie. Not that I spent anywhere near that amount. Motherfuck, Brian, a big SMH at yourself (not pictured: the 8 or 9 cases of other shit stashed amongst my shoeboxes!)


When worlds collide. Real-life version of the Hot Wheels Twin Mill II
And a Mattel-owned version of one of the original HW cars from 1965, a VW Bus that was immortalized as the VW Beach Bomb

The Bone Shaker: making rat rods/hot-rodding relevant to kids today.
More on this "customizing" thing later
Why lie, this is the reason I still write these posts, to express my musings about my muse. It's been some time since I took this picture, but my crappy phone camera could never hope to capture the radiant, near-radioactive heat of the moment. That smile and those eyes destroy me every time. I think about the happiest of times I have had with her, and the ensuing shittiness of not having her around like I'd want. She knows this force between us is way unlike anything you can discern in everyday life, but the circumstances of how things are laid out make it that much more heart-wrenching for me, because I can't truly say nor act how I'd actually like to, so I just go with it at the capacity it's at now, just for the sake of having her in my life still. She also likes to keep things shrouded, some of those said things I'm aware of already, some that I'm not. But the risk is part of the deal, and we've both stuck out our necks for it time and again, I just don't want her to blame me should things sour on her end, because I care about her enough to build boundaries so as to not fuck up. Yet.

I'd give anything just to have simple moments with her again, exactly like this one. We would just be browsing through nonsense on the interwebz, giggling, as she lay head in my lap. I always made it a point to try and lavish her, but she wasn't game, or wasn't willing to risk it. I want(ed) so much more, but I didn't push my luck because I knew that not only was I out of my element, I also knew that I wouldn't want to jeopardize the balance of things, precarious as they were. I just enjoyed what I could, and did my damnedest to please her. Can it be that it was all so simple then, word to Wu-Tang. Simplistically complex, as the best things in life always are.

Call me a fool, but I don't find many things in this world that interest/excite me in such a way that doesn't just fade over time; quite the opposite, she intrigues me more and more. It's like a drug: quite possibly bad, but only the user knows the euphoria is worth the risk.


But, still, here I sit. Not knowing what to do about any of this shit. Be good to me, 2014, you bitch.