Monday, February 27, 2006


First off lets start my little blogging session with how I start just about every blogging session, my job. Could it be that I am focus to tightly on my work? That every waking moment I have a hard time distracting myself with all the little things that I have to do, should do or could do? More than likely this is the case, there is little to change how I am hard wired, really I blame my pops for that one. I think the majority of us in my family have this drive to stay busy and concentrate on the task at hand. Sometimes that might cause us to glaze over the big picture, too occupied with the day to day to actually plan for the future. I know lots of time I am for sure guilty of this, though I am trying to change.

Enough of that, work was good. This weeks menu looks pretty good, some surprising sellers though, not what I had anticipated. It is early in the week however, I never judge what is popular on the first day sales. As the week progresses I hope the pasta dish (first non-special pasta dish) comes from behind and kicks serious booty. It doesn't really matter to me that much what is the best seller, near every item is like a child, you don't want to admit that you like one more than the rest. So if you are an item on the menu who has suddenly developed a soul and conscious thought, I swear I love you just as much as the truffled mushroom turkey burger with goat cheese, honest.

After work I had a meeting with the real estate agent, initial as it was. She took a look at my little abode, a bunch of pictures and we have another meeting set up next week. It is at that time she is going to break it down and tell me how much I should expect to get for this little south Minneapolis bungalow. She also hooked me up with this guy who is going to come out this Friday and tell me all the little things that I have to do before I put the house on the market.

The meeting went well though, I am a little optimistic about the future.

Then I took the car to a new car wash to get things nice and clean. Weird thing though, the soap smelled like bubble gum, freaky.

Made some super cheese quesadillas (blue, Brie and apple) and tried to take a little nap.

After that I was off to the Riverview to see Harry Potter, who doesn't like wizard movies?

And I guess that is about it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


I am not really able to type too much right now, there is just too much stuff going on to sit leisurely at the computer and slack. For some crazy reason work was so f'n busy yesterday that we almost couldn't keep up, must have been the sunny weather or something that brought people out from their lairs. So work was busy during the morning, I would have stayed a little long to help them get set up for the night time, but I had to book on over to the food and wine expo were I was helping out with the pe@ce coffee booth. The bakery had sent a bunch of little pasties and crap like that the night before and yesterday morning, by the time I got there they were pretty much wiped out. All that was left was a little of the onion rye bread made with peace coffee in it, people were really getting into that after spending hours sampling free wine. I was luck enough to get a little break inbetween my coffee gig to wander around and do a little sampling myself. I was most interested in the Manny's Tortas booth though, even though I have eaten there about a bazillion times.

I met lots of cool people, and did a little networking, it was fun. I have work to do now, both at home and for work, more blogging later.

Friday, February 24, 2006

All of the Sudden.

All of the sudden everything flips and I have to go into manic mode again.

Just when I try to relax for a little while, and don't stress about things, I have a million little things that I have to take care of. It would be easier if I didn't have to worry about selling the house and moving all of the crap myself, but I guess I am regaled to doing so. Do you sense a little resentment from me about that? Well perhaps a little.

Either way I am given little choice but to do what is required and call it a day. I am a bit behind at work, there are menus that I need to finalized and prep lists that need to be written accordingly. That is one of the banes of having a menu the changes every week, you are forced to do even more work to do so. You are able to do fun stuff differently all the time, but also that means you have to plan more than you would at your average restaurant. I often wish we could just change an item on the menu when we tire of it, instead of just wiping the entire slate clear time and time again. In a weeks time you hardly have enough of a opportunity to perfect a menu item before it is gone.

But I should work again, blog later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bikes, Beer and Words.

First off bikes, who doesn't like bikes anyway right??

Tonight I did a little bike minuteness, simple stuff like lubing up the drivetrain (sounds a little dirty to me), filling up the tubes (again dirty), and making sure all the parts are in working condition. I had no where near enough time to do this with all of my bikes, so I focus on just two. My normal winter beater gets the majority of my attention around this time of year, so it isn't a surprise that I got her running like a champ again. What may be a surprise to some is that I also did some fine tuning with the Trek 720 which I bought a couple of months ago. All that really was needed on that bike was some simple adjustment of the deraillers, the limits were a little off. So I got all the parts working correctly and took the bike out for the maiden voyage, the roads were dry enough today to where I didn't feel guilty riding the good bike outside.

My front wheel spun for seven minutes and twenty four seconds on one rotation, I just say and waited for things to slow down

There is a girl here right now who had the beet/chevre/carmelized onion tart yesterday at the b-wood, I should go ask her how she liked it

I am thinking about putting on some vegan lasagne next week, first though I need to figure out how to make some vegan pasta dough. Eggs are such a good binder, I will have to do some trial and error to get non-egg pasta to work.

Last but not least, it seems some other people might be keen to the idea of my opening a restaurant, not to say I can blame them. One thing I know is how to run a kitchen, I cannot think of anyone who would argue that point.

Turns Out

Well first off, it was in fact the cable modem that had soured, but RR was nice enough to replace it for not a cent of my own.

I spent the entire day trying to figure out what to do with the basement full of crap I am blessed with right now. I took one load over to my ex-sister-in-law (enough dashes?), she is going to find a place to store all of La Beck's stuff. I think I have at least another 4 loads of crap to bring over there, that isn't even taking into consideration any of the books, dishes or furniture. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. I really have to find a place to put all of my bike crap as well, but really I should figure out where I am going to be living before I go out and rent myself a storage space or something. Really both of us had way too much crap for just two people, having a house will do that to you. When you have space it is easy to just accumulate more and more.

Anyway, that said I still have more work I should be doing in the basement.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another Dollar.

Today was one of those long days, not arduous mind you, just long.

The first part of my day was spent in meetings, per regular for a Tuesday. Then after sitting through about 4 hours of talking and planning and bitching, I hit the kitchen for another 8. I think for the most part the meeting were productive, though not near as much if Tracy was still in town. Not that we are incapable of holding meetings without her, but she is usually the one who facilitates and gets things going. It would just take a little while to get accustomed to being without the Trace Miester, just another week until she returns.

Ok next.

Cooking was fun, I did another pasta special, and tonight it was probably the best selling single item. It was simple and good, just paparadelli with pimenton tomato sauce, haricot vert, organic broccoli, pinenuts and arugula emulsion. The plate looked nice with the reds and greens, reminiscent of X-Mas to a certain degree. We got a few compliments about the food, always a plus, people just aren't accustomed to the caliber of food that I know we are capable of producing. I am a little worried that when I am not around, the food just won't be as good, so I have to figure out a means of keeping things stable and consistent. I know everyone is capable of doing exactly what I have in mind, my goal is to make sure people know what I have in mind. Either way I am optimistic about the future, hell I am only 27 and I still have a few years to figure things out right?

After work I was planning on just drinking some wine and getting some household crap in line, this wasn't to be the case. As I was driving back from Chi-Lake liquors (the store that stays open till 10) I got a call from one of my peeps Jamin. We hit the Triple Rock and took liberal advantage of the 2-4-1's offered. I called up HereNT and he came down for a Kay-Sa-Di-Ya and a cerveza. I was a little saddened that the mature responsible person within my body limited myself to just 2 beers and left after. I had to drive this morning to pick up the Tuna from Coastal, and there was no way I was going to drive around inebriated.

On the subject of Coastal, when I was picking up the fish I was lucky enough to be treated with a nice fatty juicy Kobe beef burger. I arrived right at the perfect time to get myself a nice little meal, who really can turn down a Kobe hamburger anyway? I was able to talk to Blood about his restaurant, he is in the lucky position of being able to take the majority of the winter off, so he was working back throwing fish around. I should ask him next year about where he got the fundage to open his place, I really need to start thinking seriously about opening my own place, at least by the time I am 30.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting back to normal.

Well I think things in my life are going to be returning to some semblance of normality. What normality am I speaking of? I am not too sure that I can quantify it, but I can feel it flowing through my veins. For some reason I have not been near as worried about things as I have been in the past, things seem to be where they are supposed to be. This doesn't mean that there isn't some adversity that I am going to have to overcome, I cannot imagine setting up another life for myself is going to be a fun task, but I at least will be well prepared to deal with it. But seriously I don't know what I am even really talking about.

So Colleen is back in NYC, much to my dismay. I do not even know the next time that we are going to be able to see each other, which is pretty dang awful. Neither of us really can afford to fly half the way across the country with any sort of regularity, so we just have to accept the fact that we aren't going to be able to do much of anything together. Like I said it sucks, but that really is life right? If nothing else I have quite a few good memories to tide me over for a while.


Work was good, busy but good. The AHI BLT on the menu is big time popular, the best selling sandwich of the day, even outshining the perennial favorite turkey burger who most often holds the top slot. This is even with the price being a good 1.50 above the rest of the sandwiches. People seem to be willing and open to the idea of spending a little more for something like AHI, which is good because we are spending quite a bit more.

The Prix Fixe menu didn't go over that well tonight, a fault of it being slow more than anything. I have been thinking for a while about moving the night of the week to Thursday instead of Monday, general consensus among the management team isn't the same as mine and my wonderful idea has been voted down. My deal is that I think people on Monday nights are more interested in getting food for foods sake, and not spending a little extra time enjoying what they eat. By midweek people are already thinking about the weekend, and hence are thinking about relaxing a bit. I should just work it out to where I do Prix Fixe on both nights and compare the sales, that way I might have a leg to stand on.

I am getting more comfortable running pasta specials at the cafe, and it is getting more common as a result. People dig fresh pasta, that is just a indisputable fact.

And now to something of a little more substance.

There is this restaurant really close to my house, actually the closest eating establishment to my house. Right now it is a pretty crappy pizza place/bar, the food isn't that good and unless you like playing golden tee there isn't a good reason to even enter. The building itself is nice though, I have this vision in my head about how I would transform the blue collar trashy interior into something wonderful and bordering upon classy. I am not thinking about a fine dining restaurant, I am smart enough to shy away from that. What I am thinking is more bistro style, good food a few steps up from standard bar fare and a inviting environment where people can relax. I have a vision of how the entire place would look and how it would be run, the only hurdle being that of the monetary nature. I don't have the means to build up a restaurant from scratch right now, even if I think I would be able to make it work. The reason I am bringing this up right now, is that I think the place might be closing down right now. While waiting for the bus to take us downtown Saturday night, I noticed that it was closed, on a Saturday night that is not a good sign. What I really should do is figure out how to write a business proposal to offer to investors, of course right now I have no clue how to do something like that.

Living in fantasy world again, what can I do.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tiny Cities.

Well first off I would like to apologize for being so infrequent with my updates of late, my internet connection has been a little anoying as of late. I don't know what the problem is, but something is kicking the cable connection off whenever I care to use it. A big pain in my ass is what it is, but what can I do.

So things have been pretty dang good around here, I have been enjoying not having to stay in this big stuffy house all by myself this weekend. It is just too bad that time is so temporal, I would like things to last a little longer. So tomorrow I have to give someone a drive to the airport, which really is upsetting, c'est la vie non?

The good thing about having guests to show around the city is that you get a chance to see things from a different perspective than what you usually would. There are so many little things that you don't notice about your homebase until you are explaining things to someone else. So really having someone else provides a little bit of elightenment about my life and how I live, perspective I suppose.

Well on that note I hope I can publish this, and that my internet does not die again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Not to be down on the whole minneapolis thing, but there is a reason I omited the capitals on that word just now. So I have a visitor who is going to be flying in to these twin cities in just 2 short days, something I am looking forward to so much you cannot even believe. The problem arises that the gawd dang weather in this state just is too extreme. Saturday morning, the first full day of the visit, the predicted high temp is going to be 2. That cold of a temp just might hinder touring around this fair city, of which I am eager to show. I think Minneapolis has lots of fun cool things to offer, it is just too bad that along with the good comes such cold.

At very least we will be able to find fun stuff to do while in my house, listen to records, cook good food, watch hardcore midget lesbian internet pornography that kind of stuff.

Kay, back to cleaning the house, all that is left really is moping and folding.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Smooth as Silk

The valentines proceedings flew off without so much as a hitch.

All of the food looked and tasted spectacular, and the money was quite nice. The good thing about days like valentines is that people aren't opposed to tossing down a little extra ching for that better bottle of wine or more expensive entree. That in turn make the overall sales higher than they normally would be. Then again you have to subtract the fact that the food we were using was more expensive, usually I don't use diver scallops or halibut on the menu. I wasn't really thinking that we would make much money on today at all, if we break even I am happy. The restaurant is doing pretty well on a daily basis so we aren't as dependent upon a massive valentines day to tide us over until the state thaws out. Even so I think we may in fact turn a nice little profit this year, so all is good in Felipe land.

This year we just did thing Ala Carte, and had a slightly bigger staff than usual (read Felipe), last year however things were a little different. Last year there was so much tension and bad feeling flowing around the kitchen that a couple of member of the staff started hitting the brandy early and literally were drunk and fighting by the second seating. On that, last year they were doing a set coursed menu, the kitchen manager was a little ambitious with the menu and had about 9 courses paired with wine that had to be sent out in a time span of two and a half hours. Things ran over, people were angry waiting, the food didn't turn out that good, people were wasted and crying, not a good scene. This year with half the staff, we probably served just as many people and everything was super smooth. Then again it would have been just the same if we would have done things as coursed service, that just would bring more hassle than it would be worth. The main reason we decided to change things was because Tracy flew to Kenya this early afternoon, she is the one in charge of the FOH operations most of the time. It isn't like Eli isn't capable of doing so, but why risk it when we could just slightly alter our regular service.

Poor Poor Tracy, while trying to get everything ready for her big trip, she was working late on the newsletter at around 2 am last night. She did something screwy and pasted something over the top of some text and suddenly the entire document was gone, GONE. Despite her best attempts she had to retype the entire thing, once again Poor Poor Tracy.

My night was spend working the saute station, and every once in a while helping Jamin do some plating. This meant the majority of my time was spend just cooking up my fresh pasta and searing off pistachio encrusted ahi. For a good 4 hours I was focused on nothing more than the tickets I had at hand, no schedule dilemmas, no HR difficulties, nothing but cooking. My time is so much weighted away from actual cooking nowadays, It is a nice treat when I actually get to do so. My job isn't so much to cook as it is to ensure that the rest of my staff is adequately prepared to do the cooking. I have this feeling like I would be well served to just take a step back and just get a job line cooking again, though there is now way I am going to abandon them where I work right now. I will not leave until I know there is someone in my place who is competent enough to take those reins and do an even better job than I did. I just like the idea of the fantasy of the simple line cook life of cooking all night, going out with waitresses until the early morning, sleeping till noon, and calling it a day. The pay cut might just hurt a little, but then again to me money has never been a good motivator.

On that note I have a party I have to get ready for, and yes I have to work at 6 am tomorrow morning, call me a rockstar if you care to.

FYI, just one spelling error, not bad for a hi shcool drop out.

'bout 2b werkn n stuf

Well I should be getting to work soon, first off I would like to give all you peeps a little Valentines shout out, though this last year has really soured my opinion towards the whole "love" thing. Not that it isn't possible or anything, but at best it is fleeting, the longer you stay together with someone the more complacency replaces that tangible "amour". This holiday is little more than an excuse to turn us guys into suckers forced to buy flowers and chocolates or else face the wrath of woman scorned. Regardless of my cynicism I am at very least grateful that the masses are pulled to leave the warm confines of their houses and support the restaurant steam train.

On that note I have fish waiting for me which I should pick up and watercress that needs to be pureed.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Two Months.

I think the last time I went grocery shopping was about 2 months ago, think about that. For interim I have really been subsiding on work food and eating out. I don't know how I managed holding off so long, but it was about time that tonight I actually got some food. Slowly over the past 8 weeks I have been slowly working through my dry stockpile a cup of lentils at a time. Things have gotten to a pretty critical point, nothing but vanilla soy milk and dried garbanzo beans. It isn't like I bought much food tonight, I still feel like I should be saving money. All of this traveling I have been doing lately has been breaking into my cash reserves more than I usually would have. I somehow overcame this barrier and bought myself 50 dollars worth of staples, stuff like tortillas, bananas, coffee and shit like that. Probably the real motivator had to have been the coffee, life without coffee isn't worth living. I think I came to the realization when I was sick yesterday that not having food in the house isn't the best idea. When I was afraid to even leave the house, there were not many options for sustenance. To make things more succinct, I have food now and that is good. I might still have to get some more food before my weekend guests show up, but that might just be a group activity.

That reminds me, I should probably get my house cleaned up, good to make a good impression.

First things first I have to be ready for tomorrow, Valentine's Day the Hallmark holiday that it may be is really quite busy for us in the restaurant business.

Back to 110%.

Funny, just yesterday it was like I was on deaths bed, struggling just to make my way down the stairs to the bathroom to puke my guts out.

Now fast forward to today, things are so different I can hardly believe it. I am so full of vim and vigor I can hardly contain myself. Perhaps it is the anticipation of tomorrow's festivities, or just not feeling nauseous which has caused this turn around, but regardless I feel awesome. I hope it will last a little while, at least through valentines day, lord knows I will need Felipe at full capacity for tomorrow's goings on. I am sitting decent on the prep work, but I might still find myself returning to work to roll out some pasta or something like that. Funny no matter how much I try and get ahead, there is always more I should caught up on, the never ending struggle it really is. Lucky I like the game, or else I would have quit a long time ago.

Off subject, I think I am going to work the pe@ce coffee booth at the food and wine expo on next Saturday night, that should be a good time. Usually Tracy does so and shouts to everyone who passes instilling the value and genuine goodness that the birchwood entails. This year I get to play carnie, and if nothing else I get free wine.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Not crappy followed by crappy.

Well I have been a little busy and occupied to do any proper blogging, and today doesn't feel much different.

Friday was fun, hit up two parties, played designated driver for each one, didn't get to bed till around 2:30-3:00 and I had to open the next day. Working on 3 hours of sleep wasn't that big of a deal, though if I had been drinking that might have been another case.

Then last night I was going to hit the Riverview up for some jumbo gorilla action, but the place was packed, the busiest I have ever seen it. Instead I just opted to head home and take it easy, rest a little. I went to be early at around 11, then around 2 hours later I woke up and for some reason my stomach wasn't really in a good way. The next 7 hours were spend in a waking dream, not able to get to sleep before having to wake up to vomit isn't my idea of a good time.

Now I have been sleeping all day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fit as a Fiddle.

Had my yearly physical this afternoon. I didn't mean to plan it like this, but it was actually exactly one year to the date from when I had my last physical, creepy. Everything seemed to check out just fine, the doctor even told me that it wouldn't be that big of a deal to wait 3-4 years before my next visit, unless something else goes horribly wrong with me. I got all sorts of shots and test, so it will be a couple of weeks before I know if anything under the surface is buggers. Lucky for me I wasn't subjected to the dreaded KY'ed finger probe, I am not quite old enough for that yet.

I felt pretty dang sorry for this little girl that was before me in the lab getting her blood drawn. She was kicking and screaming the entire time they were trying to get a draw out of her finger, and as a result of her being so tense no blood was flowing. There ended up being 4 people holding her down as the nurse had to poke her twice in the finger before just plugging her in the arm. This came after the same girl had two shots earlier in the afternoon. Now wonder she was crying, I damn well hope at very least her parents got her some ice cream or something.

Now I am just back at work trying to finalize some menus for the upcoming week. I think everything is looking pretty good, we are going to have a tempeh sloppy joe which should be interesting. I had 2 different FOH people come up with ideas for sandwiches this week, take a little bit of the creative pressure off of me. Not that I couldn't have done it obviously, but I am already overwhelmed with trying to figure out a good valentines menu.

Back to work.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cooks and Candy

Tonight I forgot to say that I got a call from a cook that used to work with me back in the day. He was looking for a reference, I am going to oblige, even though he wasn't really the greatest of all the cooks I have worked with in my life. The longer that I am in this business, the more people I seem to know all around. It is hard to go to a party or pretty much anywhere without knowing someone who knows someone I used to work with. Worse yet I think this phenomenon is going to worsen as time passes and I get to know more people.

On to candy..

There is this real estate agent that has been perpetually blanketing my "barrio" with all sorts of propaganda for as long as I have lived in this house. Along with her little printed propaganda, she also usually includes something to set her apart from the rest of the realtors out there. Some such little gifts include flower seeds, small fake mouse pads and valentines day candy. Hooked up to my screen door this evening I found the later of the gifts, which I always look forward to. This year the candies were the normal chalky variety that we get every year, and upon outward appearances only they seemed to be the same. As I worked my way through the box, I noticed something different as I read the cute little phrases on each heart. It seems that the sweethearts people have updated their candies a little. These were marked with phrases such as "Email" and "Page me" a little step but interesting nonetheless.

Break it Down like a Shotgun.

I didn't do much today.

I guess the highlight of my day might just be right now sitting at my lil-sis(s) restaurant in the downtown of our fair city Minneapolis. I ate the bison burger with gorgonzola and caramelized onions on kaiser, simple but good. Bison you cannot find everywhere, so I jump on the opportunity when it comes to me. Too bad I scraped that sucker down in record time, I really should have savored it a little longer, that is a fault of my own. When I am hungry and I have food down in front of me, it is hard not to just devour as fast as I can.

Good news for all those visiting Baby-Skulz house, his plumbing is now in order. The last couple of weeks things have been out of whack to the point where you could not even use the toilet. Shit was seeping up through the drain in the basement, damn disgusting if you ask me. We went and had a cup of coffee at Betsy's favorite coffee shop Diamonds over in NE. Skulz older cousin was there, which was fairly random to say the least. He is a magician and proceeded to regal us with card tricks for about a half an hour. All slight of hand but silly and fun, a nice change of pace.

Oh, I got my car back from the 40k check up, everything seems to be in fine running order, no problems to speak of. Though it sucks that I went through the trouble of washing the car BEFORE I took it in, I found out that it was included in the check up. I felt bad about bringing a filthy car in to the shop, probably the same thing that makes people want to clean their houses before the maid shows up. The car seems to be about the same, I don't really notice a difference with the new air/fuel filters and what not.

Monday, February 06, 2006



Stupor bowl got me just silly, though I didn't get to the actual race, the party was fun. I had to at a point stop accepting shots from people I didn't know, there is just so much a man can take in a night.

Sunday was a long and hung over prep day.

Monday I had to fire someone (in Spanish) and that is always depressing. There is just so much I can take before I have to let someone go. No calling/showing three times is reason enough in my book.

Wax needs a new muffler.

SP Millet cakes 'r' yummy.

I have to get out of this mind set that I am able to please everyone that works for me, really my number one priority should be making sure the restaurant is running smoothly. Not that I should just discount what everyone has to say (I don't) but there is just a point where I have to step back and say enough already, go ahead call me an a-hole.

I get my first day off since Cali tomorrow, but I have to work (damn meetings).

Colleen will be here in about a week and a half, which is good so that I don't forget how awesome and hot she is, but I am realizing how much this long distance thing sucks. Makes me glad that La.Beck dumped my ass before she moved to Nihon, sadness is easier to deal with than frustration. I just hope that she likes Mini-Soda, this time of year it makes me ponder why I live here in the first place.

Tracy totally copied me and bought the same phone I have, Viggo ate her last one. Also Viggo ate her computer, there are 10 keys that are missing due to him chomping on the keyboard, damn puppy. At least she has full warranty and will not be responcible for any of the costs. In the last couple of months I think that dog has cost Tracy a couple of thousand dollars, more than I would be willing to spend for a puppy... And I even like dogs.

It is late, and I cannot sleep, so I should try again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Satin in a coffin.

Haiku ode de la scone

Cream Sugar Flour
Poppy Raspberry
Absolute Blissful Pastry


Con café mejor
Hoy y mañana
Sabroso y tan suave

I wrote a little inbetween the Es-Pag-Nol and In-G-Less but I don't think any of you care to read that.

Ay dios Mio

The entire ordeal is seeming more real now, the little cogs have begun the motions.

The real estate agents have been contacted about selling the house.

The names have been taken off of the credit cards. Well actually her name was taken off of the cards opened in my name, she never offered to let me be a part of her accounts. Even though I am as punctual or better about paying my bills than she was, she still never seemed to think it was a good idea (then again I don't think I even ever asked).

The car is going in for a check up before I put it on the market to be sold. This means that I am going to be without a car for a while, and that is ok with me. Really I only drive a couple of times a week anyway, so what is the big deal right? It just seemed easier to me to eliminate all material attachment and value that we have to each other before we actually file the divorce paperwork. If there is nothing that we have to argue about, there isn't a reason to waste thousands of dollar on lawyer fees, good for both of us.

There is an account waiting to be opened in my name at the bank, all I have to do is fax in the paper work.

Why didn't anyone tell me how big of a pain in the ass it becomes when you get divorced, there are just so many incidentals that I have to worry about. Getting married was simple and easy (too easy).

On a lighter note, I spoke for 3067 minutes last month... That is over 50 hours that I spent gabbing away on the phone, probably a new record. Luckily the majority of those minutes are free, so I didn't go into that dreaded "off peak" territory. That means that I spent 7% of last month talking on the phone, I should really be a little more productive.

Oh, Minneapolis is freaking slippery and cold right now, and I am riding without brakes, wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I will not be able to post this for a while, on account that I am flying through the air. We just took off from LAX, and as I look below me I see a little lake up in the mountains right on the other side of the city. Now that we pass the mountains I notice that the landscape is changing into more desert terrain. That is something that is quite amazing about california, the topography is different in such a condensed area. The flight took off with amazing vistas of the ocean, and now I see the desolation of death valley.

Ok well I should probably tell a little about how things went in the last couple of days. The days passed very slow and all to fast at the same time. I would first like to give a shout out to Colleen for being one hell of a traveling companion, really you made the trip about a bazillion times better than it would have been all by myself. Now we have to deal with the hard reality of a long term thing, not anything that I will be looking forward to.

We had lunch with grandma and got the 411 about the wine tasting area in the Santa Ynez valley. Our first plan was to drive up to Santa Maria, where I knew there would be at least a couple of hotels and one track of vineyards to hit up. On advice of Nana and Stan, we headed to the Buelton/Solvang area instead. Probably for the best that I didn’t just go ahead and book some hotel room when I had the WiFi at the last hotel, that would have been a little depressing to be stuck in downtown Santa Maria. If you ever go to Santa Maria you will know what I am talking about.

Solvang was this cute Danish community that despite being touristy all to hell, is still fun place to hang out. We were there on a Monday, so the streets were empty save a few of the locals. I tried to find a wireless signal to search for the best hotel, after being thoroughly frustrated I just walked into some hotel and got a room the old fashioned way. Good thing I did, we found a room for just 49.50 plus tax. The most touristy place we stayed the entire trip and without question the cheapest lodging, go figure.

The luggage got dropped off in the room and Colleen and I started driving with our vineyard tasting map in hand in search of fun wines. I was being responsible designated driver boy, so for the first portion of our wine tasting I had little more than a sip or two. Different from other wineries I have been to, these charged a fee in order to try all the wines. They do give you a souvenir glass, so the fee isn’t that bad considering. The most expensive place we went was just 10 dollars for 6 wines, the cheapest was 5 dollars for the same. We hit about 4 places before we drove back to Solvang to get some food and see what else was going on in the town. I at this point had not really as I said drank much more than a couple of sips, so it was nice to see that Solvang itself had a couple of wine tasting opportunities. Fast forward about an hour, our bag is full of another 6 glasses and we are stumbling around the town. All together we got 9 glasses, this was even though one of the places that we stopped didn’t give glasses.

FYI I am flying over Vegas right now, the shade of the houses leads me to believe that Vegas has lots of Terra Cotta roofs.

The rest of the night a little of a blur, I remember going into the hot tub repeatedly and having ginourmous steaks at some restaurant with prices far too high for the quality. It could be just that I have standards to the point where I think that my filet mignon should be seasoned, is that too much to ask? I think that maybe Colleen got me to swing dance in our room for a couple of hours, not a easy task considering I am perhaps the worlds worst dancer, or at least in the bottom 5 percent. It was still fun, listening to music on the little alarm clock radio and spinning around the room, I am surprised neither of us passed out due to dizziness. I really have no recollection of going to bed but I sadly do remember vividly waking up feeling a little groggy and with my head pounding.

The drive back to LA was awesome, I really didn’t remember how gorgeous that area was. We stopped for a bit in Santa Monica and got a cup of coffee and a Bagel before hopping back on the 101 in a southerly direction Los Angeles bound. There was a slight detour in Carpenteria where we walked on the beach and Colleen popped seaweed bubbles between her toes. We spent probably a half of an hour on the beach before getting back into the car. It was fun seeing these little birds feeding on something as the wave receeded and then having to sprint back before the wave devoured them whole. I wonder why they didn’t just fly when the next wave came back, wouldn’t that have been easier? Hell they are birds right?

Kim, I did get you a little sand from that beach, hope you are happy.

We made it back to Grandpa’s house in Santa Fe and visited for a bit before driving to the airport area. Gramps seemed to be quite taken with Colleen, especially with her freckles of which he commented how becoming they were. As we were sitting on the side of the pool, grandpa also told how when he goes swimming swim trunks are optional. I don’t know if I knew that Gramps was an avid skinny dipper, but then again maybe I just forgot.

We tried to find a couple of hotels before we decided on the Motor Lodge on the side of the Adult Shop. The hotel was just like the others, nothing fancy and the price wasn’t that outlandish. From the hotel we drove back up the 405 to Ventura Blvd., where Lisa had taken me earlier in the week. It took forever to get there, and it took even longer to find a thrift store. Colleen really wanted a vintage shirt to sport out in Brooklyn, she found this cool tight aquamarine number with thick stripes, absolute Colleen style to be sure.

Back on Ventura, we drove up to Universal City, admittedly I was a little lost, at least I didn’t know the best way to get back to the LAX area. Then I saw Muholland Drive, and figure what the hell we didn’t really have anywhere to get to in a hurry. Driving up Muholland through the windy Hollywood hills was a little difficult, but we rewarded with a little turn off looking out across the valley. The sun had just set and the lights of the city looked awe inspiring as it twinkled and sparkled. Such serenity in such a busy place.

It was at this point that I got us back onto the 405 in rush hour traffic and had to subject ourselves to stop and go traffic for over an hour. Again I must state my disapproval of the LA area freeway system, too big and too many people. That is the reason I will never live in that city, the sheer distance and time it takes to get anywhere has to grate on someone's nerves so much I would not be able to stand it more than a week. Mileage on the rental car was 905 miles in just a week, or 129 miles a day, too much time in the car I say.

For our last night together in LA, Colleen and I did little more than drink 40’s, eat really bad Chinese food and bitch at each other for not living in the same city. Oh we did go into the most ghetto sex shop I have ever seen in my life, that was interesting at best.

Now I am flying back to Minneapolis where I have heard tale that there has been a little snow that has fallen which I am going to have to shovel. I now have to turn my mind back into work mode, although I am not really looking forward to it. At least I can look back and reminisce about my little LA vacation even if it was a little too short.

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