Sunday, January 29, 2006

ZAP 2006 (Zinfandel)

An officeworker was telling me how there was no difference after he got married. There was a big brouhahaha for six months caused by the wedding, but after the wedding, life went on. As my teacher told us a few months ago, life is a cycle. You need to create special moments every week, every month so that you continue to celebrate the life that you are leading.

Celebration is an excellent opportunity to discuss ZAP the Zinfandel Festival" in San Francisco. Held at Fort Mason, the festival attracts a lot of wine aficionados and lushes. With over 300 wineries and 10,000 visitors, one would think that this would be a recipe for disaster. Except for the slight rain, it was a wonderful tour of America's varietal.

We were fortunately escorted by the Chatelaine and her husband Tom. Now if you don't know her, you should know that along with Tom, the Chatelaine is the foremost wine connoisseur this side of the Pacific. Her knowledge of wine and vinography is extensive. Refer to her forthcoming blurb book project and search for the entries on Guiness Book of World Record holders.

On to the festival. As you walk in, you are thrown a glass and a baguette. I imagine that this is how the French are born into the world. As the baby comes out, it is given a wineglass and a baguette. And, you are left alone to search and taste over 300 wineries.

As I have learned and drank my fair share of bottles of wine, I have learned some things. More often than not, I like Cabernets. They have a wonderful body and taste. I like my wine to come forth and have a conversation with me. As a Ravenswood motto stated: No wimpy wine or "Nullum Winum Wimpimium"

Apparently, the ripening of zinfandels is notoriously uneven. In a particular stalk one might have a grape that is almost a raisin while another grape is just beginning to ripen. However, in California's long even temperate weather, the zinfandel does well enough that wine can be made from the varietal.

If you are ever going to go for zinfandels, the top two from yesterday's soiree were Rosenblum and Ravenswood.

Now, I would like to think that if I were a winemaker, I would do my best to produce the best wines possible. You would think that all the participants would do the same thing. Sadly, no. The result of course is that no one will visit the winemaker at their booth. What will happen is the winemakers and assistant end up drinking their own wine. And if the winemaker is truly lucky to find someone who is nice enough, they will get a pity tasting. That's right. A pity tasting. So you winemakers out there, listen up. You should get a beautiful woman behind that counter if your wine is bad. And pay her a lot of money if your wine is truly bad because all the sales you will get is because guys like me gave a pity tasting.

To be fair, perhaps some of the wines were meant to be used in cooking. After all, how can one make red wine sauce without red wine? That certainly is a possibility. There was another booth where the counter-man said that the wine is excellent for the bread. Excellent point! Perhaps, there are people out there who are alcoholics who eat bread with wine!!! Why ruin a steak or a BBQ with wine?

Now, this one pity taste I had almost got it. There was a good entry, but no middle and definitely, there was a blackhole at the end sucking up every good cheer I have. Now remember, I had a baguette and tons of delicious cheese. The event was hopping and skipping for opportunity. With blue cheese and brie, how can a winemaker go wrong?

I should mention that there was another booth where they described their wine as "GRUMPY WINE". I tried it and liked it for the first sip. But, on the second sip, I was flustered. What happened? I thought it was one thing. By the second sip, it was another. No wonder it was grumpy. And unlike cabernets, the smell of the majority of zinfandels that I tried were very subtle. As I said, subtle does not work in my brain.

I can't imagine having to taste really bad wine after really bad wine. It just seems like torture. Maybe I will give these winemakers some advice. Hire a really good chemist with a great nose and tongue. It really is a rare commodity. But if you find one, it will be a great year.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

For the World

Because there is so much pain and sorrow in the world, I will share with the world a secret:

St. Theresa's Prayer.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love
that has been given to you.
May you be content.
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of you.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Hula Performance

I drove into Union City on Wednesday to watch a hula performance by the wife's little cousin. Oakland to Union City can be a mad dash of insanity during rush hour. To avoid the slow traffic crawl, I left work at 4 o'clock.

The performance was at an upscale senior center that looked more like a hotel than anything else. The senior centers of my youth would be an open square room with chairs on the sides and board games by one or two tables. The entrance to the building reminded me of a gym club. Bright, airy and filled with smiling faces.

The cousin C has been performing hula over the last few years. Helped along by a mother with a driving passion for her children, the cousin has thrived in her hula environment. C is an eight or nine year old full of energy and armed with the ability to make friends with everyone. At last year's hula powwow in San Jose, C sat with a group of people at the front of the participants. It turned out that C was in the wrong group of kids. But she sat there with nonchalance and an air of belonging.

The hula affair itself was typical for any children's recital. When I was younger, it was piano recitals. Now that I am older, it is hula.

I must say though that I find it deeply disturbing that we as a society must apply make-up to children. I suppose you need it for the bright lights of the stage. But seeing children with rouge and lipstick reminds me of Lestat's little friend in Anne Rice's books. Was it Charlotte?

Some parts of the performance was painful to watch as little kids watched the other kids to make sure that they were in step or doing the proper sequence. It must be the perfectionist in me. In one performance, I saw a four year old's face gradually scrunch into disappointment as the other dancers ruined any chance of symmetry or coordination among the dancers. To their defense the other kids were three and four.

The hula performances did challenge my notion of beauty. Why is a fat child less attractive in my eyes than a thin child? When I was younger, I was fat. Maybe that had something to do with it. But it was also great because the children could be honest about their bodies. So you have a belly. Big deal. Show it to the world.

(God, I wish I could punish all those teen-agers who wear those low-cut jeans and those skimpy t-shirts and show off their bellies. I want to wear low-cut jeans and skimpy t-shirts!!! That should be punishment for all of mankind!)

And of course, I got to see what age does to the physical body. We begin with short stubby bodies. No wrinkles, flexible as heck, and energetic. We mature into beautiful sexual beings with bodies to match. And, we give birth to the next generation. Our bodies expand, change and wither.

Chain letters

My God! I would not mind chain letters if they were actually good poetry or literature. But halfway down this one, I was just hankering for my editing pencil. I wonder if the person who actually started this was just bored one day and decided that he should make people's lives miserable by blaming this chain letter for the death of people.

I will post the poem without the dramatics. On a scale of 1-10, the poem gets a 1.5. I will say that there is truth in the poem. It's just that it takes so freaking long for it to get to the point. And, is that iambic pentameter?

Around the corner I have a friend,
> In this great city that has no end,
> Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
> And before I know it, a year is gone.
> And I never see my old friends face,
> For life is a swift and terrible race,
> He knows I like him just as well,
> As in the days when I rang his bell.
> And he rang mine but we were younger then,
> And now we are busy, tired men.
> Tired of playing a foolish game,
> Tired of trying to make a name.
> "Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
> Just to show that I'm thinking of him."
> But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
> And distance between us grows and grows.
> Around the corner, yet miles away,
> "Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
> And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
> Around the corner, a vanished friend.
> Remember to always say what you mean.
> If you love someone, tell them.
> Don't be afraid to express yourself.
> Reach out and tell someone what they mean to you.
> Because when you decide that it is the right time it might
> be too late.
> Seize the day. Never have regrets.
> And most importantly, stay close to your friends
> and family, for they have helped
> make you the person that you are today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Togonon Gallery

A Pin@y friend is opening up an art gallery in San Francisco's downtown district. Check it out:

Togonon Gallery is located at 77 Geary Street between Grant Avenue and Kearny Street one block away from San Francisco's Union Square. The gallery is on the 2rd Floor of the Grant & Geary Building. Public parking is available at Union Square, Sutter-Stockton, Ellis-O'Farrell and Fifth & Mission parking garages. BART exits two blocks from the gallery: Montgomery and Powell.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year! Dog = 2006

A friend passed this along. So now I pass this on to you, my friends!



The year of the Dog begins on the new moon of January 29th, 2006. (Chinese new year begins on the second new moon after winter solstice.) Dog year is a time of fairness and equality. Controversial issues are given their due, revolutions are successful, politics are liberal, and social oppression is opposed. Integrity and honesty are the values that lead to success under Dog's watchful and just influence.

People born in Dog years (1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) possess the admirable qualities of loyalty and integrity. They empathize with the underdog, and champion fairness and rights for all. Honest and trustworthy, Dog people make excellent friends and will always take your side. They have an innate sense of fair play and honor their commitments. Dogs won't hesitate to make sacrifices for the people they love and the causes they believe in; Only a Dog will loyally stand by when others have abandoned a cause. Dogs prefer to live an impeccable life, filled with principles and dignity, always willing to be a crusader for noble ideology.

Direct and frank, a person born in Dog year does not pay much attention to superficial details and has little patience for frivolity. Yet they like to be spontaneous. They prefer to react to rather than plan for a situation. They are extremely loyal in partnership and do not lightly consider having an affair. Because of this dedication, Dogs can be quite selective in the beginning stages of courtship. But when Dogs fall in love, they fall hard! They are hot-blooded and emotional, and feel all things very deeply.

One challenging trait for Dog people is that they can, at times, be judgmental or extreme, acting as if color blind and only seeing issues as either black or white. Others are either friend or foe, good or bad, right or wrong. But Dog people's quick intelligence help them to jump to the right conclusion. By applying their keen senses, Dogs can avoid problems. Dog correlates to the Western sign Libra.


Rat: Spontaneous Dog and planner Rat are very different, so anticipate some minor conflicts this year. Rat's individuality may be curtailed because it is best to comply with the wishes of the majority. Don't overthink or fret about small issues, and avoid a pessimistic or critical attitude in relationships. The spotlight will be on you in Rat year 2008 when you will start a new life cycle.

Ox: Stay strong and steady this year. Problems with others can be resolved through honest communication and attention to duty, and Ox is known for attention to duty. At times life may seem that as soon as one issue is resolved, another problem arises. But no challenge is so overwhelming that powerful Ox cannot handle it properly.

Tiger: Strong Dog and brave Tiger are best friends (along with Horse) so expect a superb year. Tiger experiences much fun, social success, and a great year for marriage and having a child. Work is also successful with good investments and fortunate enterprise. Tiger might even find devotion to a cause under Dog's idealistic influence.

Hare: Expect a pleasant and lively year because Dog is Hare's friend and defender. Recovery from the previous Phoenix (Rooster) year difficulties is foreseen, but career still requires attention. Sensitive Hare benefits by being diplomatic, which is Hare's strongest trait. A favorable year for romance and marriage, as is next year 2007 Boar year.

Dragon: Mighty Dragon could experience an uncomfortable year because Dog is opposite Dragon. So time to lay low, or as low as Dragon can. Plans could be delayed, there could be challenges manifesting your dreams, and people seem contrary. Dragon benefits by cultivating the Dog qualities of practicality and realism, which are not Dragon traits. Not a favorable year for marriage.

Serpent: Dog and Serpent are on different wavelengths, so anticipate problems concerning values, viewpoints, and ideologies. But if wise Serpents keep their opinions and insights private, and not draw attention to these problems, much can be accomplished. Dog year can be a time for new endeavors as possibilities for advancement materialize.

Horse: Expect an exemplary year because Dog and Horse are great friends. Horses can succeed in business and academics and accomplish goals. Important and influential people offer guidance and opportunities for advancement. A great year for marriage, children, travel, or a new home. Luck is with you.

Sheep: Issues could arise from neglect and lack of support from family and friends so be stronger and more independent this year. And don't become overly involved with the problems of others. Leave the rescuing to the Dogs and avoid co-dependence. Sheep does best to remain neutral and avoid rushing in to help those who will not appreciate Sheep's sacrifice. Consider taking care of yourself instead.

Monkey: No-nonsense Dog sets the tone for this year, so not a time for risks, new endeavors, or wild Monkey schemes. Don't let Dog's pessimistic attitude darken your usually sunny disposition. If your energy is diminished, care must be taken with health. Financial difficulties can result if Monkeys overextend, so play it safe and a bit more conservative than usual.

Phoenix (Rooster): Good fortune continues from the previous Phoenix year with opportunities for a new home, career advancement, and travel. Socializing, good times, and enjoyment prevail. Financial difficulties can be circumvented because Dog's influence offers Phoenix the qualities of honesty and integrity.

Dog: Dogs benefit greatly from the influence of their own year. Endeavors are successful, career achievements are attained. and the political climate is perfect for Dog's altruistic sensibilities. Outstanding time for marriage, children, falling in love, and travel. Political involvement brings rewards.

Boar: Expect a comfortable year of stability and security. Affairs are in order, although not many new opportunities for advancement are foreseen. So enjoy life and relax. Moderation is key. Next year 2007 will be the Boar year when you will begin a new fortunate twelve-year life cycle.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


I introduce from my womb...

well, from my voluminous girth....


Inspired from the hay-na-ku form, the balut-na-ku are ruminations on a Pin@y lifestyle centering on that favored of eggs: Balot!!!

In search of the True Pin@y!

4th Weekend: Balot

It's the fourth weekend of the year. 2006. It really just seems like yesterday that it was turning 2000.

The sister is over on this side of the bay visiting. As a gift, the SO has come back with BALOT! Yup, it's in the stove cooking as we speak. I am trying to figure out a way to cook the darned things without them exploding and leaving a mess in the pot. So if you have any ideas, please write.

And for those who will suggest that I cook them by placing them in a cup of water and then microwaving said cup, don't write. I've already tried it. It works about 90% of the time. The 10%, I'm left wiping bird parts from the microwave.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Small Press Traffic Poet Jamboree 2006

As I mentioned in a previous post, the first night of fundraising for Small Press Traffic (SPT) was last night. If you can, please go to the other nights. SPT has the admirable goal of helping writers to break all the rules of convention in the creation of art. As we all know, humanity must constantly revisit and recreate art in order for imagination to continue. Without the constant creation of challenging and abstract art, culture can become tiresome and irrelevant.

Now, since poetry is a subset of art, there are times when the poems that you read will not be understandable or will even be downright esoteric. As in life, you never know what you will get: Beauty or Beast.

Beauty in some ways are the accepted forms of poetry. Be it the form of poetry or the linear storytelling. Beast is the avant-garde, the unilluminable, the dark chaos of uncertainty. At least, that is how I can explain the things that I do understand versus the things that I do not understand.

The first play was written by Paolo Javier and performed by Barbara Reyes, Anthem Salgado, Dennis Somera and two others who's names I did not know. The SO stated that the play is part of Paolo's latest book "The Time at the End of This Writing."

I will not pretend to understand the play nor to review it. It was one of those plays that I could not find a discernible thread. To now, the play acts like a puzzle tickling my mind. I would not be averse to buying the book so that I can examine the play. Nevertheless, I thought that the execution of the play was fabulous. Four "reader" come out reading the poems. And what hotties those four were! Kudos to Barb, Anthem, unknown female and Dennis (actually, Dennis joins them later). The readers had a vibrancy to their voices. Nice reading tone. Very exciting. There was something for everyone. (Did I mention that I have this on tape? Maybe we'll have to give an example of this when the server project is up and running.)

The play alternated between one side of the stage to the other. As the three readers stopped, another reader (name unknown) started a soliloquy on the left side of the stage. The difficulty I had was reconciling what was being said on the left versus the right. I wanted to connect them together. Perhaps, I wanted to find the unity. But I could not find it.

Per the verses in the play, they were exquisite. And yes, I know that verses come from poetry. But can I help it that the material sounded like a poem dropped in the middle of a play? Reminds me of those Latin plays with metric rhythm. And there was rhythm in the play by Paolo.

It is one of the injustices of life that we no longer live in a time where verse is used daily. I believe if it were so, the world and people would appreciate poetry more. As it is, I had a difficult time picking out themes from the play. The verses were beautifully patterned. The triumvirate of voices nicely melded together. But, my failing is that my brain is not so quick as to absorb data from the ether.

And so, the first play ended for me with questions and later on revelations about Nietzsche and Nitchske. Whereas one was a philosopher who questioned religion, morals and created an uberman, the other is an example of an uber-linebacker with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality.

The second play was "The Laureate," which was written by the SO. Whatever I said about actors, I take it back. Remembering your lines and trying not to be blinded by the lights was difficult. I can understand why rehearsals are paramount in such theatrical undertakings. This raises my respect for many Broadway professionals. I can not even imagine doing a scene forty times over just to get the camera angles. Can someone say "Groundhog's Day"?

The "actors/readers" were Rona Fernandez as the Laureate, Dennis Somera as Allegorical, Caroline King as the nefarious Point Blank and yours truly, in my theatrical debut as Blockhead. The play went well with minor distractions. In our defense, memorizing lines can be difficult. Once you forget one set, there goes a whole scene. Improvisation is another matter. You can also forget other things because of the improvisation.

To remember my lines, I tried to structure the play in my head as scenes, but I was not too successful. I just could not get a handle on how fast the time flew as the readers said their lines. I thought that I had a break for five minutes. Next thing you know, I'm on stage again. Whew! That was a challenge. It's a good thing that the SO did not give me too many lines. She's very SMARTO! (Point to your heads please!)

Overall, the play was great. It allowed my family to come together. Since it occurred on my brother's birthday, he came up and my sister and her husband also came to watch. I was glad to hear that some of the play went over their heads. I was not alone.

My family went to a Chinese restaurant after the play to celebrate, along with the laureate and her SO. I believe we went to Eliza Restaurant somewhere in Sf near 18th St. Thanks for the tip Rona.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Teacher Gets Arrested

At New York's Kennedy airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. The FBI is
charging him with carrying weapons of math instruction.

Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Gonzalez said. "They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'there are 3 sides to every triangle'."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes".

Friday, January 13, 2006

Me Blockhead, Who You Again?


Well, final rehearsal was last night at College of the Arts and Crafts in San Francisco. The school is located in a desolate area of San Francisco. Right next to the school is the Greyhound terminal, where survivors from San Fran's nasty treatment can hightail it out of the city.

The whole shebang was about fifteen minutes. Right on the timer set for the play. The cue-to-cue was excellent. Of course, that was courtesy of the SO. And check out the doctoral gown! It has not been used in seven years. I decided to use it in the play because the play is something fun and different. The last time I wore the hood and garb was during my graduation. By the way, if you are wondering, that is the official garb of the University of California.

Monday, January 09, 2006

SuperVillain Am I

Yes! I am participating in the SO's play written by a poet, which is a fundraiser for Small Press Traffic. I am the sidekick villain. My name is BLOCKHEAD!!!! Tan-ta-na-naaa!

The rehearsal was yesterday, and I almost keeled over from the excitement. I was so excited that I missed the timing for my line! Well, I was trying to figure out that I needed a code for when to shoot my pistol! Whoop! Wheeep!

After rehearsal, I played host to our guests. We ended up cooking a half-cooked Zachary's pizza, warming up an aple pie and serving water for drinks. The guests said I was the hostess with the mostest.

The SO ended up cleaning the apartment for the rehearsal and rearranging the boxes from my move-in such that we now have our living room again. As a reward, I took her to a Japanese restaurant in SF's Japantown.

As a teaser, I would like to mention that in the play, I showcase my prowess with pressure activated light shows and one can see my doctoral regalia. It's our uniform for the super-evil group known as THE CANON. Tan-ta-nanaa!

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Last year, I began the process of changing my life through the big step of marriage. The marriage has certainly shown me places where I can improve myself. And I have decided to take up the challenge. After all, with the SO leading me the last eight years, I have definitely improved my life for the better.

The latest transormation I have seen is through the way of thinking. I now am beginning to realize and accept the power of the mind. It's those sayings like "You are what you think," or " Visualize what you want in life, and it will come true." Well folks, I have jumped into the bandwagon "mind over matter." I believe that I can be whoever I want to be. I just have to visualize it. Each day, I choose to be happy or sad. Each time I eat, I choose to be healthy or not. As I begin dressing, I am choosing the way I present myself to the world.

The first step I did to transform my life was to begin eating healthier. At the office, I am usually so busy that I end up snacking. I used to eat cookies, protein bars or powerbars, which are made up of a lot of sugars. While in the photofinishing place, I would also go to the Pin@y restaurants around the work place. What made me choose was that one day, a nurse took my blood and said "You better start hitting the salad bar. This blood should be clear and it is not." Well, that was because I had been eating dinuguan, adobo, kare-kare and all kinds of good Pin@y cooking. I suppose those days are the source of my current bout of gout too.

In the law firm, I am lucky enough that there are not too many Pin@y restaurants. As I said, however, I had to contend with cookies and chocolates calling from my drawers. "Tatang! Tatang! Don't you want to eat us? We are so tasty. So scrumptious. So sweet!"

The real clincher for my decision to eat healthier is that my gout is so bad that I have it in my hands. Most adults have gout in their big toe. I am lucky enough to get hit with gout in my wrist and elbows. Can you say "Ouch?". I have trouble brushing my teeth because of the pain in the elbow! I could not even floss!

Well, to help out in the treatment of my gout, I choose to eat healthier. And, I remind myself everyday that I have gout and that I have to choose to be healthier. I buy carrots instead of cookies. I only eat one portion of meat. The pain from the gout can be so intense that now, I have a Pavlovian response to seeing too much meat. The caveat is that I can not throw the meat away. I am still in the survival mode of an immigrant from the Philippines. Basically, my mind tells me that there are starving children around the world. I should finish and not waste food.

Guess what! I am in America. If I want to live up to seventy years old, boy, I better forget about the starving children around the world guilt and throw away the extra food.

The latest step in my decision to eat healthier is that I bought celery. The SO cut it up. And, I have been munching celery at the office and at home. The celery stalk is not so bad. There is a spicy taste to it. I remember the first time I tasted it when I was fifteen years old. Celery was nasty! The taste was so strong that I could not eat celery in pansit and other foods. I thought that the people who ate celery had something wrong in their head. It turns out that after losing thousands of taste buds, I can now tolerate and appreciate celery.

Besides changing my eating habits, I have also decided to improve my appearance at work. The decision to do so was because of my decision to obtain a managerial position at the law firm. If my other colleagues can do it, so can I.

That meant, however, that my work clothes had to be slacks, leather shoes and shirts. No more jeans. No more rubber shoes. Nope, I have to look more professional.

Tell you one thing, I feel better now that I dress up better. I don't feel as poor as before. I remember the good old days of graduate school. I wore t-shirts and shorts. And I felt that I did not have a care in the world. In fact, I probably did not care because I did not have any money. I could not buy clothes or anything that I wanted. Well, I suppose, I was a very different person in graduate school than I am today.

Today, I placed four slacks into the donation bin. These were slacks that I bought when I was in the other jobs of photofinishing retail. It's good to let go of them and the memories they hold.

So, with the new year, I guess one can say that I resolved to improve myself. I visualize what I want and I obtain it. Sorry to sound so happy and cheerful this early in the morning. But that is the path I have chosen.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Viva Las Vegas

Well, the holiday season has come and gone. Although, if you are Pin@y, it continues until the Three Kings Day. Three Kings Day is when the three magi visit and give gifts to Jesus the baby. In the Philippines, it is a legitimate holiday. And let us not forget he of the derby hat, Jose Rizal. His day was on December 30.

The holiday was preceded by a rush job at work. My group had to lower our cases. I managed to close five out of twelve, which is not bad considering the picky nature of justice. I tell you, sometimes, I wonder what I am doing in law. You work hard only to have someone tell you what is wrong with your work in the truly marginal way.

Had to take two days off without pay because of the lack of vacation hours. Not bad at all. We began the trek to Las Vegas the evening of the 22nd of Dec when Cal played some team for the Las Vegas Bowl. Yup, we missed the game by one day. We stayed up pretty late and woke up on the 23rd at 8:30 AM. Err, we were supposed to pick up our friend at 8AM. We finally managed to pack and get on the road by 11AM. I stood there and realized that we were off and will arrive in Vegas at 11PM. This was going to be long.

I have now been driving 1.5 years. This has allowed me to break my fear of driving over 65 mph. During the drive to Vegas, I was actually touching 100 mph in some stretches of the road. Of course, I would suddenly slow down after actually hitting 100 mph.

The trip was uneventful except for the fog that greeted us on Tehachapi mountain. That was a twilight zone moment. Visibility was down to fifty feet. Taillights and headlights disappeared in the fog. The fog was as thick as pea soup. I was scared. Scared of hitting another car or person on the road. To make matters worse, my penchant for speeding made me miss the entrance to the South 99 freeway. Next thing I know, there is not another exit until 6 miles. I had to drive through the whole fog again. Nasty.

We arrived in Vegas in one piece though.