Sunday, January 15, 2006
I Ate A Big, Red Candle
Ah, San Diego. City of Lights. City of Love. City by the Bay. Old Smokey. The Big Tangerine. Rocky-top. Chi-Town.

Yes, San Diego is known by many names, most recently "Place-Me-And-My-Wife-Went-Over-The-Weekend."

It's a fantastic city. It really is. It has buildings and people and cars and streets and none of my kids whatsoever. Not one!

Don't misunderstand, they have kids in San Diego, it's only that I am not legally obligated to care for any of them. It's really quite fantastic. Sometimes I wish Riverside were that way, but alas...

We stayed right downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter, a bustling, revived part of the town where every old brick-fronted warehouse and law office is now the home to an never-ending parade of restaurants and nightclubs. Well, I assume they were restaurants and nightclubs, but mostly as far as I could tell the buildings were primarily filled with a few tables and lots and lots of speakers. Oh lordy, the speakers. Braying, thumping, pounding music, a different song coming out of every doorway as we walked down F Street Saturday night.* Apparently, though, with all the speakers and and the tables, there was no room for any people inside as they all were milling about on the sidewalks, huddling in little pods around verboten cigarettes for warmth. It looked like lots of fun and all, but we went to the movies instead.

Before we left on Sunday morning, we went up to the roof our our hotel to take in the full view of the city. I will tell you that San Diego is, geographically at least, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The view of downtown, the bay and Coronado Island in the foggy silence of the early morning, when all the residents of the thumping clubs from the night before are all conveniently elsewhere sleeping their way toward well-deserved skull-splitting headaches, is a sight to behold.

Besides that, there is the city itself, a striking modern landscape of new buildings being built at a furious pace, so it's all gleaming pillars of silver and green glass, parts of which could be yours at completely unreasonable prices. Even the older buildings have a scrubbed, lived-in look that downtowns only achieve with resident care and millions of dollars in City Redevelopment Funds. The result is fair and wonderful and uncaptured by my digital camera, which I managed to leave at home some 80-90 miles north up I-15. So instead of picture pictures, you people get my lame word-pictures instead. Instead of the picture speaking a thousand words, you actually get a thousand words. It's basic math.

The only problem I have with San Diego is that I've seen Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy more than once. So even though I know that the words "San Diego" are not German for "a whale's vagina," the only thing I could manage to think about every time I saw a sign with the words "San Diego" on it--and there were a lot of signs, let me tell you... San Diegans are either wholly self-involved or prone to geographical forgetfulness--all I could think of were whale vaginas. This is most disturbing as I have no idea what a whale vagina looks like, so that left my imagination to fill in the blanks by combining what I knew of non-whale vagina (thank you, seventh-grade biology textbook!) with the dimensions and shapes of whales. Not a pretty mental picture, especially when you're trying to sleep.

That particular emotional trauma aside, I really love San Diego. It's where Mrs. Pops and I go when we're too lazy to drive to Vegas. And for that, it's special to us. We're shockingly lazy people.

Before I leave you, I should confess something: when we went to the movies, circumstances were such that I found myself buying tickets for and the seeing a movie I had no previous intention of seeing. Look, I even chronicled said lack of intention here on this very blog!

We saw Munich. I will tell you, yes ladies and about 10% of you men out there, Eric Bana does spend some time with his taut Aussie torso unencumbered by a shirt, which is fine. But the rest of the movie, for all it's intended stress and thriller and thought-provokingness, sure was boring. Maybe this was my punishment for seeing a movie out of my MIHNIoS file, since in reading about it leading up to the blogpost, I pretty much knew the plot outline front and back before the lights dimmed. But I was surprised at the way in which this movie failed to surprise me. It did make Mrs. Pops cry, but that's only because there was a baby in it. We've had kids for over 6 years now and they're still able to get her with that soppy trick. I guess for some people the novelty never wears off.

By the time we hit the street outside, I was already thinking about whale vaginas again. I guess that's not necessarily a mark against the movie's impact as a whale vagina tends to take up a lot of processor space in the ole brain, but I could have done with a bit of distraction.

We walked back to the hotel and, with no kids around, well, I guess I don't have to tell you what happened there. But I will: we fell asleep. Mmm, romance. Look, you go 7 years without getting any kind of appreciable exercise and then go walking around some Balboa Park museums and most of downtown San Diego all day and see how revved up you are at 11 pm.

Besides, you young unmarried people with no kids, just wait, you'll see. Just being able to fall asleep next to someone after you've been together for over 10 years without drifting off to thoughts of resentment or alienation or how to slip them rat poison in such a way that those clever CSI people won't figure you out (damn you, David Caruso!) is the absolute height of romance right there.

Maybe it's contentment or happiness that keeps those thoughts away. Maybe it's a sick preoccupation with the genitalia of giant water-dwelling mammals. Who can say? The point is, that's love, baby. No murder = love, whatever the incidental particulars.

You stay classy, Bucketeers. And thanks for stopping by. But mostly, stay classy.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.985


PS- the hockey game on Friday night was fine. One observation: if you have a 4-year-old whose bedtime is 8 pm, do not take them to a hockey game that starts at 7:30 pm unless holding a sleeping deadweight 40-lb. person while crammed into a little plastic seat for three hours is your idea of a good time.

*= and no, "walking down F Street" is not any kind of euphemism. Pervs.


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