14 February 2011

Happy Freaking Valentine's Day

It has been exactly two years since our first kiss. I think this picture was taken some 20 hours (and countless kisses) after the landmark first that sealed our fate.

I kissed her at midnight on Valentine's Day. A few days later, I sent her a mistaken text that led to our St. Patrick's Day engagement. It's been a crazy two years, and it only gets crazier from here on out.

Happy Valentine's Day, Anne!

10 July 2010

The Cove in San Antonio

Looking for a laundromat in San Antonio? How about a car wash? Need a quick organic bite to eat? Well have I found the place for you.

It's called The Cove. At worst, it's San Antonio's answer to the clarion call for business diversification. Conversely, it's the hippest place to eat in the Deco District (that's right, San Antonio has a Deco District, as in art deco, as in don't get excited, it's just a street with a grocery store that belongs on Nick at Night). In one convenient and crazy place you can clean your clothes, wash your car, and eat a sustainable, organic, and locally grown meal (SOL food, as they call it). What'd you expect, chili dogs and Hostess Snacks?

Finding myself alone last Friday night (Anne's in my hometown visiting the people I grew up with. How's that for weird?), I did what any lonely married guy would do: I looked up places Guy Fieri's taken his show and visited the closest one.

When I arrived, the parking lot was packed and the line was out the door. I didn't check the washing machines out and at a glance the car wash seemed just alright, so I knew the crowd must have been there for the food. As I waited, I scanned the menu and read about their philosophy (the SOL philosophy), and knew that this was my kinda place. What can I say, I'm a sucker for sustainable, organic, and locally grown things. Example: as Anne can attest, I am picky to a fault about the softness of our toilet paper and will only acquiesce to something stiffer than 12-ply (ok, does that even exist?) if it is made from something recycled or sustainable. I await the day I can buy locally grown, organic Charmin Ultra, but something tells me that day will never come. And until it does (or doesn't), I'll continue fighting the mental battle I face when I go down the toilet paper aisle.

Okay, back to The Cove.

So I'm waiting in line, and everyone starts raving about the fish tacos. But this isn't just your average raving. People are breaking social norms and telling people they don't know (like me, the lonely married guy) that not only did they order the fish tacos but that I needed to order them as well. The fish taco chatter was weird but I decided to give it a go and try 'em out. I mean, how could that many people be wrong? (I don't want to get political, but this would be a great place to insert a picture of any number of politicians. Instead, I give you a picture of the tacos.)

Shortly after ordering, the tacos came, I ate, and I hate to say it but the tacos were mediocre at best. I don't know what the kind patrons of The Cove are using as their standard for fish tacos, but in my opinion they were no better than (or in other words they were worse than) Wahoo's or even Rubio's fish tacos. Don't get me wrong, they weren't all that bad--it's just that they weren't all that good either. I mean, I ate them in their entirety (not that that's ever an indication of quality, thank you McDonald's Dollar Menu). I would have finished the baby spinach salad they came with, too, if it weren't for the bee that wouldn't leave me alone. 50 people sitting at picnic tables and the bee chooses me. I had visions of Anne coming home to a swollen husband à la Bear Grylls in Man vs. Wild.

I am happy to report, however, that after my romantic dinner for one I escaped The Cove bee sting free, wishing all the while that I had done what I always wish I had done after I eat at a new restaurant: that I had ordered what Google, San Antonio Magazine, and Guy Fieri had told me to order and not what everyone in line was ordering. I always do this thing where I order the most exotic thing on the menu (or what the waiter doesn't explicitly recommend--elk and cow tongue to name a couple of mealtime mistakes). Had I followed Fieri's recommendation instead of the weird lady in line's idea of a good meal I could have left with a stomach full of organic Texas beef and no run-of-the-mill fish tacos.

On the bright side, the taco incident gives me a reason to go back. I mean, I didn't hate the tacos and I really want to try the burgers. Knowing me, though, I'll go back and get distracted by some new item on the menu or whatever the guests are raving about that day and end up not getting a burger, hating what I order, blogging about what I hated, and vowing to return to get that burger. I really only see this benefiting The Cove.

But as the French say: C'est la vie...

...and as I emphatically add: especially my vie.

04 July 2010

Happy Fourth of July

You can bet I'm wearing the same shirt I always do.

Happy Independence Day, everybody.

03 July 2010

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Movies evoke all kinds of emotions in their viewers. Some make you laugh, some make you cry, and some make you realize how many weirdos there are out there. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill definitely falls into that last category: it's a movie that makes you happy you are you and you're not a jobless squatter taking care of and naming non-native parrots on San Francisco's Telegraph Hill. Oops, SPOILER ALERT, I kinda just ruined the film for you. Oh well, it's not like you were gonna see it anyway. And if you were, here's one more spoiler that might deter you. In the end, the jobless squatter is evicted and starts dating the documentary's director. Definitely a case of truth trumping fiction.

I first (and last) watched the film about a year ago with my then future in-laws in a minivan between Chicago's MDW and Traverse City, Michigan. Me being the conscientious future son-in-law that I was thought it would be nice to load up my iPod with movies for our trip to a lake house in Michigan. Of course, I picked The Wild Parrots... and Helvetica, a documentary about a typeface. Now you're getting jealous you weren't there, huh? To make it even better, I pressed play before we even left the Chicago city limits. If you're wondering what my reasoning was, let's just say I'm impulsive and didn't put a whole lot of thought into it. There, I've said it.

Though it has been a year since that fateful minivan ride, nary a week has passed where I don't at least mention the lead parrot Connor and his tragic death by hawk (look out, another spoiler). Someday I hope to make a trek to SF so I can see the birds myself and get them out of my system. Until then, I pray they aren't prey and that the people of T-hill are kind to them. After I find them, they can be deported or poached or whatever.

The closest I have gotten to living out my dream has been by living vicariously through Cody (as seen here after New Years on the Pima reservation). The Code Man is currently interning in SF and working on the laundry list of things I have sent him to do for me. Number one on the list, right before visiting the Full House house and eating Rice-A-Roni: The San Francisco Treat (numbers two and three respectively), is finding the birds and reporting back to me. I am ecstatic to say he went to T-hill yesterday but am saddened by the fact that the birds were AWOL.

I'd like to say that his trek provides me with some sort of closure, but I think closure won't come until I find (or don't find) the birds myself. Who's with me? Let's go find those birds so they can stop plaguing my thoughts on an almost weekly basis.

02 July 2010

Relaxing Getaway @ Hyatt Lost Pines Resort

As all three readers of my blog already know, Anne and I spent a few days a week or two ago on our first little getaway. Fully funded by my company--a reward for our outstanding-ness--it was extremely affordable (free always is), relaxing, and eventful.

Okay, not eventful--momentous. That's right, momentous.

All of my married life (indeed, all 11 months of it), I've been listening to Anne talk about how she hates horses, that she's scared of horses, and that every time she gets near a horse the horse can sense her fear and starts to do little things that only she can see that provoke her and make her never want to be around horses ever again.

So imagine my surprise when Anne said she wanted to go horseback riding. I guess it was a testament to her "when you fall off the horse you've gotta get back on and ride again" attitude. Or maybe she has a penchant for fear and needed her fix. Whatever was driving her, a-horseback riding we did go.

On the drive up to the corral I could tell Anne was getting a little overworked about the looming horse experience. I had seen that overworked Anne all too well when I met her on the top of the Sundance Resort in the dead of winter just six months prior. She doesn't freak out at the bottom in time to not get on the lift and not get off at the back mountain where the only way down is on your skis. No, she waits 'til the top of the mountain where I have to panic and think of asking a nice ski patrolman to toboggan her to safety.

As a testament to Anne she always overcomes and ends up enjoying herself, but those moments leading up to the event can be tense. She'll probably kill me when she reads this because the pre-horse tensity was nothing compared to the near ski-death experience/meltdown we had at Sundance. But as she let you all (all three of you, yes) know here, I live to get a rise out of her. So back to the story.

As we waited for our horses, things were getting a little tense. Anne was nervous and I was trying to assuage her fears by making jokes about the situation, which usually only intensifies the problem. (I'll have to find a better coping mechanism.) When we were finally assigned horses, Anne got the sluggish and slow Jazz and I got the former racehorse Pokey. Jazz took his own sweet time on the trail (to my chagrin and Anne's delight) and Pokey galloped every chance he got (literally). If there were five feet between me and the next horse, he would gallop and then slam on the brakes.

When the ride was over, we took our horses to the water trough, which only made me think of the adage "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Maybe one of you horse savvy readers can fill me in, but why is that adage even necessary? Sure, you can't make him drink, but he probably will anyway. At least that was the case with Pokey and Jazz, who we found out are bitter waterhole rivals. In the picture above, I was trying to climb down Pokey's neck to recover the reins he had yanked out of my hands as he and Jazz bit each other as a show of their extreme disdain for sharing the same trough.

As we dismounted, Anne walked away a confident horse riding woman and I walked away bowlegged and saddle sore.

We spent the rest of our time at the resort winding around the lazy river, eating smores, walking the banks of the Colorado River, getting attacked by mosquitoes, buying overpriced resort bug spray, never using said overpriced resort bug spray, and bringing home a full can of overpriced resort bug spray as a souvenir.

01 July 2010

"Don't call it a comeback"

I'm back! Did you miss me?

It has been an extremely eventful 8 months, and I've got so much to tell you. So here's a top-ten list of things that have happened since my last post:

10. Anne graduated, got a full-time job as a pastry chef, and hasn't gotten in a car accident for over a year

9. J.D. Salinger died

8. Anne got her first two cavities

7. We bought a fish (as seen here)

6. I found out Nick Jonas has diabetes (three years after the world found out)

5. We dealt with my quarter-life crisis (though I'm sure I'll be having fraction-of-life crises my whole life)

4. I said goodbye to Jenny the Asian (as seen here and here) and hello to Betty and Georgio

3. I started DVR-ing Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

2. We watched Oprah today

1. Hurricane Alex hit the Texas coast and we got rained in (thus the Oprah Show)

Okay, so it wasn't exactly the most dramatic period of my life and I did struggle a little bit coming up with that list. But don't be fooled, I was extremely affected by all of those events.

I think what it all comes down to is I want to blog again, but I couldn't move forward until I made blogging closure with the past. So there you have it, my blogging closure.

Now indulge me as I quote LL Cool J:

Don't call it a comeback
I been here for years

I didn't go anywhere, I was just on sabbatical.

07 January 2010

Meet the Newest Member of our Family

Something is seriously wrong with Michael...no blogging since October! Don't worry I'll get down to the bottom of it, and until I do I will blog about the newest member of our family...

Meet Edgar

I apologize for the fuzziness, Edgar did not like the camera.

Edgar is a cichlid, but he looks like a goldfish. Michael and I received many wonderful presents this Christmas, two of them being a fish tank and a gift card to Petco (thanks mom and dad). Several days after returning home from our vacation we headed to Petco to fill our new tank. We both wanted to get an African cichlid,

but the Fish Nazi (we'll get to him later) wouldn't sell us one. So we took home Edgar, instead. It's probably for the best. Apparently African cichlids can reach up to 10 inches in length, so one probably wouldn't do very well in our 12 inch tank.

Edgar, however, seems to be doing well. We've had him for three days and he hasn't died yet. With my fish record, that is nothing short of a miracle. Every fish I'd ever previously owned died within two days.

He enjoys his cichlid fish pellets and he loves his rock. He prefers the tank light to be off and he doesn't seem to like it when I wake him at 4 a.m. as I'm getting ready for work.

Had it been up to the Petco Fish Nazi, we wouldn't have taken home a fish that night, because we hadn't let our filled tank sit long enough. He grilled us with questions about the size of our tank and the type of light it has. Michael and I scrambled for answers and probably made some up. He insisted that we purchase a background (so the fish's color would really pop) and a $30 water heater all for our $5 fish.

I was ready to give into the fish Nazi, but Michael held strong. When he wasn't looking, we ditched the water heater and headed for the register before he could take Edgar away from us.

The most awkward moment of the night was when the Fish Nazi was informing us about the different types of fish at the store. The Tetra's, he explained, needed to be purchased in groups of three. Alone, a Tetra would get so stressed that he would die in a matter of days. The thought of a freaked out lonely fish hectically swimming around and suddenly dying seemed slightly amusing to us and Michael said out loud, "Oh, that's funny." The Fish Nazi's response: "Not to the Tetra."

Until next time,