Spring Break: A Synopsis (A Lie)

My brain hurts. Every time I bend down/over to a certain level, I get a sudden rush of pain somewhere in the middle of my head. Probably not good.

Ah, well. I just won’t bend then.

Caveat: You really don’t have to read this. I’m just writing this out as an exercise in fastidiousness. It’s humdrum stuff, I tell you. I repeat, you don’t have to read this. In fact, you really shouldn’t.

My mini-vacation began on Friday, March 26. After work I took a short ride on a jet plane to LAX, where David kindly picked me up in his leprous jalopy. Instead of immediately hitting the Fun, we cruised to the Pinkberry in Hermosa Beach for some fresh delightfulness. I requested granola, to David’s dismay. Afterward, we went on a leisurely drive through the beach cities, up through Palos Verdes, back down through San Pedro, over the Vincent Thomas Bridge into Long Beach, before finally heading back to his home in Redondo Beach. Up in PV we went on a short walk by some incredibly beautiful homes on the cliffs. Wealthy bastards.

Saturday was spent completing errands: buying birthday and wedding gifts, and random odds and ends for ourselves. We had lunch at El Pollo Inka on Hawthrone. The best lomo saltado, as far as I’m concerned. We besieged the Easter bunny at Del Amo Mall in between all that. S/he was mighty uncomfortable.

While David hung out with his best friend, Berenice and I gorged on gelato and went on a stroll around Hermosa Beach. She indulged me and just watched as I splashed around in the water and marveled at the sunset.

We met up with Cris and it was decided that we would drink because Berenice claimed that I’ve never been drunk with her. It was mostly true. We grabbed three  40 oz. bottles of Mickey’s, a case of Tecate and a case of hard cider for me. Eventually, the forties were duct-taped to our hands and we had to finish them. It was torture. I love that stuff but I just can’t chug any kind of alcohol the way many people can. Before long, my bottle was warm and the fluid seemed to get stuck in my throat. Then I was a bit tipsy. The rest of the night became very vague after that, but there are photos and a video on Facebook.

Sunday! Said hello to my brother and grandpa before David whisked me away to Vegas for a friend’s wedding. An Elvis wedding. It was mightily cheesy, which isn’t usually my thing, but it was fun. I was forced to do a bit of a can-can with the rest of the wedding party. That video may surface soon, but fingers are crossed that it won’t. I spent the rest of the evening walking around Vegas and cheering on the Dragon Knight during the Tournament of Kings. In my heart of hearts I was actually rooting for the Irish King. We left Vegas at about 11 p.m. and knocked out as soon as our heads hit our pillows.

Monday started out in fits and starts, but we didn’t leave until almost 1 p.m. because David couldn’t find his keys. For lunch we gorged on carnitas dishes at Lupita’s, my favorite Mexican restaurant in Carson. Afterward, we drove to Cerritos to say hello to my dad. A few weeks ago, he anxiously called me because he thought that my cat, Gizmo, was ravished by a male cat that somehow got into her outside playpen. As a result, Gizmo did look a bit more plump than usual. I resolved to take her to a vet the next day, after lunch with Dad and my brother. We drove back to David’s place, where his mom was watching over the corned beef we were to consume for dinner. David and Matt did their show while I read.

Yadda yadda. Dinner went swimmingly. David’s cousin and aunt came over. His aunt is… special. Nothing like his mother, who is warm and inviting. I kept getting the distinct impression that his aunt was talking over me, or around me. Certainly never directly to me, even if I did say something. I met her once before, years ago, and I remember feeling the same way. Now, I don’t want to immediately bring up the race/ethnicity factor, but I was racking my brain for explanations. I recall her not quite accepting her son’s former fiancée, who was Latina. My hunch is only that; nothing conclusive, but eh. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve experienced this.

Thankfully, she left and I only had to deal with his mom and cousin for dinner. It was pleasant enough. I’d never had homemade corned beef and cabbage before, and there were also little potatoes and carrots. After we ate, we sat there for hours. Mostly them talking about random things, TV shows I don’t watch, people I don’t know. This is something my family never really does. Sit at the table and talk. Well, perhaps the adults do that, but I still consider myself a kid, and we kids usually run off into another room to play video games. I was itching to get back to my laptop or book. But eh, in retrospect it was nice. Just unusual for me.

Tuesday was my final full day at home. I had lunch with my brother and dad at Olive Garden in Cerritos, and afterward I shoved Gizmo into a carrier and sat in a veterinary clinic for two and a half hours. I brought “As I Lay Dying’ with me to ease the wait, but all the crazy cat lovers around me kept gushing about their pets and I was distracted to the point of frustration. I ended up being the last person the doctor could see. Since it was a clinic, they had no X-rays or anything that could definitively tell me if Gizmo was pregnant, but all outward appearances led to that conclusion. She had quite a belly and her appetite had grown. The vet helped me schedule a spay appointment for the very next day, much to my dad’s relief. I thought briefly about keeping the kittens, but realistically it would not have made sense. I wouldn’t be able to find them proper homes since I live in the Bay Area, and my dad wouldn’t have time to do that either. I also hated the idea of giving them to a shelter or a rescue center, for fear that they would never find homes and be euthanized. Better now than after a few months of life.

That evening, we had dinner at Hennessy’s in Manhattan Beach for Cristian’s birthday. Can’t beat two-for-one burgers. Most of my old Union crew was there, so it was nice to crack-wise and catch up with good friends. Everyone wanted ice cream, but David and I filched Robert’s keys so we could get into his and Cris’ apartment first. We set up a piñata in his backyard and waited for everyone.

http://www.facebook.com/v/859123722020

So, that was my sojourn south. Now it’s time for me to enjoy the Easter dinner I prepared: pot roast with root veggies, roasted corn on the cob, and homemade carrot cake.

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