When I got here on Friday, after an uneventful flight on American (my rules regarding not flying through DFW or on any subsidiary of American like Chautauqua have served me quite well), we headed to Redondo Beach where Shirioke lives and grabbed some Mexican food. I had two margaritas which were responsible for a headache unlike any other I woke up with the next morning, the kind that causes you to walk from one place to another, grabbing on to any solid object you can along the day, pondering whether someone had instead slipped something in your drink (because certainly it couldn't have been caused by the margaritas and subsequent five vodka sodas later on).
Shirioke lives within walking distance, as in two blocks away, from a dive bar called The Bac Street Lounge. With a capacity of 48 (I guess an even 50 would push them over the edge), the place boasts all of one pool table, a deer hunter video game and a dart board. The crown jewel of Bac Street is however the nightly karaoke, where Redondo Beach's most elite singers (read: toothless) come to howl at the moon.
Naturally, a little Styx was in order and after a 32-measure instrumental interlude, "Come Sail Away" never sounded so sweet. We then came back by popular demand to sing "Pink" by Aerosmith, because how often do you get to rhyme "lay on" with "crayon" in a song. We then shuffled back to Shirioke's apartment, which made me realize that if I lived within two blocks of any bar, we'd have a serious problem.
Saturday morning, after a heavy dosage of Ibuprofen (or as we say in the Farris family, Ibpukin'), Shirioke and I set off on a shopping adventure. We basically proceeded to spend the rest of the day on a mad hunt for a New Year's dress for Shirioke, and clothing in general for me. One of the positive things from the day was our trip to YogurBerry, a knockoff of the trendy Pinkberry. There's a new phenom out here with frozen yogurt. I won't get into the nitty gritty but basically a company called Pinkberry started taking yogurt and freezing it, but keeping the taste of plain yogurt the same (rather than going the TCBY route and adding sugar). Then you can add a fresh fruit or granola and basically sink into a lactose-heaven trip. If you live in LA or New York, I have just one word for you regarding Pinkberry: Go.
We selected some rolls off the menu (Cali, spicy tuna and a dragon roll) and that is when we met "AG," a Spanish-speaking Japanese sushi-chef who had an uncanny resemblance to Chuy (and sounded a lot like him too). AG served us our rolls, which were delicious. Then he started chopping up octopus to give to the people next to us. He took a large chunk of it and held it out toward me. I shook my head, saying "No thanks, I'm good" and he leaned over, dunked it in my soy sauce and said "Why notttt?" The man had a point. Why not. So he fed both of us octopus, and then started chopping up a giant chunk of tuna. He held up a large slab and Shirioke said "Why not?"
After the tuna came the salmon, which both Shirioke and I normally don't like at all. However we couldn't turn down AG and it actually was melt-in-your-mouth good. We finally had to draw the line when AG started breaking open quail eggs and making "shooters" out of them. I told him I had given up raw eggs for the year, but maybe in 2008 I'd come back and try them.
All Good "AG", the coolest sushi zenmaster ever.
We then headed over to the pier and went to Patrick Malloy's. Along the way, I passed the FFFF Bar and took a picture of the sign, for my BOS contingent.From the Best Coast, with love.
We headed into Patrick Malloy's which was like many of the usual 6th Street haunts in Austin. A few vodka sodas into the night, we came across a group of MMA fighters from No Wimps and Extreme Fighters World Championship. I started proselytizing about XFC blogging and this in turn caused them to assume I actually know something about the MMA world. I heard more information regarding names of fighters and fight records and various other details that completely went over my head. I did manage to spar with one of the fighters, a Gladiator heavyweight champ, and after my unsuccessful guillotine choke, I took him down with a foot stomp.
Manager Robert Driml, Jesse Juarez (whom I asked "Did your parents name you Jessie because you look like Uncle Jessie from Full House?") Emmanuel Newton and my sparring partner Chase Gormley, world heavyweight champ for Gladiator Challenge. In other words, a whole lotta mean.
At closing time, I demanded to walk down to the beach and feel the sand beneath my toes and walk in the waves. This seemed like a good idea until I was actually in halfway across the beach barefoot and my toes began to freeze off. So I came running back and said that I'd felt enough sand. Instead we opted for some 2 AM photos on the beach which are just as good.Not givin' a good goddamn in Hermosa. Yes, that is my shoe.
As close to surfing as my spine will ever come.
After a short cab ride back to Redondo and a phone call to Alli my cab driver back in Texas to wish him happy new year, Saturday night ended with Shirioke and me both falling asleep and dreaming of Pinkberry.
Yesterday we headed back down to Hermosa Beach to retrieve Shirioke's car, and had a great breakfast at Martha's Corner Grill. I really like the Hermosa/Redondo area, mainly because it reminds me a lot of San Diego and the Pacific Beach area there. There is a lot of old surf-shop character to the area and quiet little streets with old houses. Of course there are also the new mansions dispersed throughout. I saw a house that Shirioke said had burned down on the main drag in Hermosa, and thought it made for an ironic juxtaposition with the other newer houses on either side.We then drove to Hollywood and Highland, where Shirioke took me down Sunset into West Hollywood and I kept my eyes peeled for The Hills sightings. We made an obligatory stop at the Walk of Fame and I chose to get down with my inner tourist with the Roy Rogers & Trigger star.
I mainly took this for my dad.
We then endured more shopping (we had to validate our garage parking) and headed down Sunset to Toi, a rockin' Thai food place with a grunge-feel inside. I kept thinking Toi sounded familiar and initially thought it was because my coworker had mentioned it. But then I remembered, halfway through dinner, that Toi is where Audrina and Justin Bobby on The Hills go for dinner on one of their dates. So this was stop numero uno on my road to fame. Because of that very reason, I took a picture of the bathroom door.MeanRachel.com was here.We decided to take it easy last night in order to rest up for the big New Year's festivities tonight. Also because Shirioke had to get up early and go to work for a half-day today. After Toi we went to the Pinkberry in El Segundo and ate even more froyo. Today we got up early and headed down to Anaheim. I have since had the tour of her office, which I never knew was basically in Disneyland, in a shopping district called Downtown Disney. They are having a big event here tonight for New Year's (Slightly Stoopid is playing) and everyone is here working on scheduling and coordinating events for tonight.