The flight to San Diego was long. I went through LA. But then there’s Cinnabon. That is the best part about flying through O’Hare. I was debating if I should have Panda Express or Cinnabon. I had both. Felt like a fatass as I shoe-horned myself into my seat on the plane but felt happy I over-ate as the evening dragged on.
The flight was pretty uneventful. Ron called right before I got on the plane to tell me that he was flying to San Diego too. But he didn’t see me. He swore I was at the same flight. This led to a minor verbal match on the cellphone as I said, yes, I was staring at my ticket and it said gate C11. Turns out he got on the direct flight and was arriving 2 hours before I was.
Landed. Called Karen. She picked me up. How fantastic it was to see Karen. She and I had dinner at Hamburger Marys – ah the joy of a smokeless bar. We pounded back a burger each and then retired back to Jack’s house (where Karen lives). Went to bed to get ready for the conference on Thursday.
The workshop was a two-day seminar in building a consulting practice that could net you a million dollars a year. I was skeptical going to the conference but really enjoyed it a lot. Met lots of people – one of whom was in my teleclass: ‘You’re Andy! I’m I was in your blogging class – I love it!’ That was really cool and made me feel good. Sorta fun to cultivate your own celebrity. Had my usual introverted obstacles at the conference. The fear of death that I’d be called on to say something and the feared ‘Introduce yourself’ segment at the beginning. I always get so damned nervous. Luckily, we went randomly by table instead of my panic attack being able to countdown to the burndown.
Thursday night we had dinner at place called Adam’s something. Jack, Karen and I. Asian marinade chicken with lemon grass – preceded by crabcakes with wasabi-powered marinara sauce. Back home to recoup and regroup for the next day of the conference.
Circle of authenticity
Wrote about this on my professional blog.
I was glad to hear the conference leader’s story about how he and his wife work and plan in totally different styles. That when they first began their relationship, he’d sit down with her and outline his 90-day plan and what he hoped to accomplish in the next 90 days. Then he’d ask her about her 90-day plan. “Stop,” she said and informed him that she doesn’t plan meticulously and that she doesn’t plan on doing so in the future. He’s the visionary one – she’s the stable one. That’s how I picture Ron and I as we continue our relationship. He’s got a job he loves and can do for the rest of his life. I’m never satisfied and will probably always be pushing my own personal envelope. But it was glad to hear someone else have that problem and that they solved it successfully.
Friday night Ron and I went to a birthday party of one of his friends. You know how in every coming to America movie or TV show they go into the immigrant family’s house and there’s always an old woman sitting watching TV in the native languauge? I walked in to the house and Nilo, the guy that hosted the party, was cooking up a storm and his mom was sitting there watchin television in Tagalog. The house was a cacophony of conversation and was packed with 24 gay Filipinos. And the place was packed with food as well. I spent most of the evening decoding looks and glances and talking to the one other white guy there. A lot of the guys are ex-Navy… a few still serving. Mostly in lab tech or nursing. There was one guy that was really quiet and I asked Ron, “Oh that’s Tony. He’s Christian’s boyfriend. Why is he so quiet? He’s Thai.” Oh. It is great to see Ron so hyped up and excited an bubbly. It reminds me how important it is to be with Your People.
We went to Rich’s – a dance club and danced till 2. You know how there’s certain “God this is fun!” moments in life that you always want to remember. One of them for me is all of us dancing to a fanatasic mix of Britney Spears’s song Toxic. It stripped the song of the bubble-gum pop and doused it in a booty-shaking bass beat that was just ugly enough. Such a good time.
Spent the night at Mark and Bill’s house and then got up early the next morning to help Karen cook up a pancake brunch. As Jack would say, “That was fun. We should have more homo-brunches.” Teddy T stopped by. Ted had gone to school with us and is truly one of the funniest people on the planet. He current works retail men’s wear at the Fashion Valley Prison. So fantastic to see him. We cleaned up brunch and then Karen and Ron and I went walking and shopping around Hillcrest.
That night, Mark, Jeff, Ron and I had dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown San Diego. I had only ever been to the one back home in Louisville – we used to call it the ‘Spag Fac’. Then went dancing at Numbers which reminded me of Spin here in Chicago with a hip-hop front room, bar and dance floor and a back room of dance music. Though there was so heinous dancing going on that kept me laughing more than dnacing. There was guy wearing low-rise jeans and underwear pulled up to his navel. I’m no fashionista but I’m pretty sure the whole point of low-rise jeans is to not wear underwear with them… right? It was on Saturday night that I started to feel a little tapped out and I realized I hadn’t been alone since Wednesday morning. I tried to keep focused and have fun and loosen up but my brain hurt and desperately needed some alone time. I just needed a day of solo time and undisturbed internet access. Came home and slept at Mark and Bill’s again.
Bill, Ron and I went walking in Balboa Park where there was a marathon of some sort. Visited an amazing greenhouse and koi pond in the park as well. I am pretty amazed at how much they spend on their parks and all the greenery all over the county and city.
Waited a long time to eat at the Hash House – which was well worth the wait. They had a group of dishes called Bennys. I the smoked salmon one which cnosisted of a slab of smoked slamon with a scrambled egg underneath it. Drizzled in chiptole sauce and buttressed by a foundation of mashed potatoes and then a big f-in’ biscuit. Good God it was good and keep me full for most of the day.
Dinner that night with Karen at Kemosabe (deep-fried brie appetizer followed by baked hallibut). Then Ron and I got on the all-nighter trek home. The flight was fine. We got to the train station and Ron was trying to put a dollar into the transit card machine – it kept getting spit out… he lost it a bit howling: nothing works in America! Dammit! I was a little on edge as well considering I had to work in five hours. Got home, parted ways, went to sleep.