My lady and I had a fantastic weekend in San Diego wrapping up the first part of my west coast tour.
Friday. We wipe the crust from our eyes and head for the airport at four o’clock in the morning. We suck down coffees at a frozen yogurt stand (the only eatery opened in Concourse C). On the plane I spill the coffee all over myself and the seat. I fall asleep remaining in dreamless slumber until we land. My lady uses this time to read her book and reevaluate her decision in dating me. We check into our hotel and simultaneously agree that the view from the room overlooking San Diego Bay is the tits. After filling our bellies with fish tacos, we embark on a walking excursion of the Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village. We take a nap in the park then decide to soak in the hotel hot tub. We get cleaned up, eat a cheap dinner of Mexican food and watch the Cubs beat the Padres at Petco Park.
Saturday. We wake up early, eat breakfast sandwiches and gain entry to the San Diego Zoo. Forgoing the offer to take the bus tour (which I later referred to as “The Fatty Tour”) we see everything the zoo has to offer in five hours. We wander through Balboa Park and hail a cab to take us back to the hotel where we soak in the hot tub. For dinner, we gorge ourselves on heaping portions of seafood and meander up and down the boardwalk as the cool ocean breeze rolls in off of the bay.
Sunday. We take the ferry to Coronado where we lay down on the first beach we see. We sleep, read and turn over. Four hours later, the ferry carts our sunburned asses back to the hotel like the N2Deep song. My lady leaves for home as I weep like a little girl with a skinned knee.
For the next two weeks I will be going on tour like a trashy hair metal band in 1988. Early tomorrow morning, my lady and I are off to San Diego where we will walk on the beach, eat fresh sea bass, patronize the new Padres stadium, visit the San Diego Zoo, watch a live donkey show in Tijuana and drink our body weight in margaritas. Sunday night, my lady flies back to Denver and I will stay in the OC for the 2004 HOW Design Conference. The HOW Design Conference lasts three days and I will be attending sessions, chilling with my old boss Michael and last year’s partner in crime Scott from Minnesota (who won a free pass to the event and will be crashing in my room, assuring me he will not go all Fear and Loathing up in that bitch) and kicking it California gangsta style by the pool with chocolate honeys and bottles of Courvoisier.
After the HOW Design Conference wraps up, I will be catching an afternoon flight to Las Vegas where my good friends Kaye and Aaron will be getting married. I will be staying in Sin City for one night, winning big at various gaming tables and drinking free watered-down whiskey as I insult professional card dealers for giving me trash.
I arrive back in Denver Thursday evening, only to catch a plane to Boise, Idaho the following morning. In a state that is synonymous with potatoes and the white power movement, I will be attending my lady’s grandfather’s 95th birthday celebration.
On Sunday, May 23, I finally make my way home to Denver exhausted and battered from almost two weeks of traveling where I plan on crawling into my king size bed and sleeping until Armageddon.
I arrived back in Denver today safe and primarily sound. Aside from a wicked day-long drunk followed by a slow, mind-numbing hangover, I am in good spirits and had a great time. Last night I attended the finale party hosted by a paper company (I was too drunk to care which one) where conference goers were given free reign over a warehouse where the majority of the Mardi Gras parade floats are stored. In the midst of six foot paper-mache heads of jazz music legends, sports heroes and animals, we drank and danced the night away.
Over the course of the 2003 HOW Design Conference many relationships were established and by three o’clock this morning were solidified by toasted imbibed spirits. A design posse has now been established reaching across the North American continent. There is me, Holly and Tina from Denver, Wes from New Jersey, Scott from Minneapolis, Mark from Montreal, Dave and Beatriz from New York, Stacy from Pittsburgh, Rod from New Orleans (who gets props for taking us tourists to some of the best eating establishments in town) and whoever else I forgot to mention that I may have sat next to at a session, ate fish with at a restaurant or drank with on Bourbon Street.
Although my liver hates me, the rest of me had an excellent week.
All is well in the Big Easy on the HOW Design Conference tip. Last night’s voodoo and haunted tours were a minor disappointment. The scariest moment of the evening was being witness to a homosexual couple performing boisterous fellatio acts on each other atop a parked car on a crowded street in the French Quarter. I lost a $20 bill somewhere near Jackson Square and proceeded to drink whiskey the rest of the night. The conference thus far has been phenomenal. There is a palpable creative energy with excellent speakers like James Victore and Genevieve Gorder. This environment has not only gotten me excited about design again but has yielded two crippling hangovers.
New Orleans smells like a combination of stale beer, urine and vomit. You will be walking down the street and the pungent aroma assaults your nostrils and makes you want jackals to chew off your face. Other than the stench, New Orleans is a very cool town. Out of my hotel room window I can see the Mississippi River, and I am across the street from Harrah’s Casino and three blocks away from the French Quarter. Last night a pack of conference attendees went down to Bourbon Street and engaged in drunken revelries until the wee hours of the morning. Tonight I am touring old haunted homes in the French Quarter and watching some crazy bastards do some voodoo shit. As if becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, yesterday, the first person I met remarked on how humid it was. It has been raining for the entire conference thus far, and the weather reports indicate that it will continue through out the weekend. So the obvious response to the humidity question is yes, it is fucking humid out.
In the morning, I am off to New Orleans and the 2003 HOW Design Conference. I have attended a HOW Design Conference before, but I have never been to the New Orleans. I hear it is a fun town that smells like garbage with blended alcoholic fruit drinks on every corner. I expect it to be humid and I am comfortable with that. I will not be comfortable, however, with other conference attendees hitting me up with small talk like “This humidity is pretty bad, right?” As a matter of fact, if anybody decides to engage me with inane humidity banter, I will be sure to punt their teeth down their throat). During the day I will be kicking it Huck Finn Off The Banks Of The Mississippi Style; easy, laid back and oblivious to the world around me. At night, I will be kicking it Girls Gone Wild Style; draining Hurricanes until I give up the ghost and flashing my nipples for insignificant plastic beads.
Unless there are computers with internet access somewhere at the conference or a comely young lass will let me borrow her laptop for a few minutes, I will be unable to post while I am in the Big Easy (Unfortunately, the company laptop is being used at another conference for some work-related bullshit. Fucking whatever). Either way, I will be pimping the old school composition book and pen to capture the moments, so rest assured the five of you will be hearing all about my New Orleans adventures.
On Sunday, I am off to Las Vegas with She Who Will Not Be Named and I will not return until September 18. I will not be posting until that day. I will be drinking heavily, shooting craps, stuffing money into strippers panties and eating fish at the Rio’s all you can eat buffet while you will be slaving away in some godforsaken hellhole carving out a meager wage to support your smack habit. I shall return from my vacation like the Prodigal Son, more raw, sharp and refreshed than ever before.