Dazed and Fondued

A few days ago I was watching television. Nothing unusual about that right? Well, that’s not quite accurate. I don’t watch T.V. like most people, who begin a program and watch it though to the end. I’m more of a multi-tasker. In this particular case I was watching “Superbad,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Dazed and Confused,” and the 2012 Isle of Wright music festival all at the same time. Why, you ask? Because I can!

I did pull myself away long enough to go to Target however. As of this writing I have lost forty-three pounds since March. While I am thrilled to be back to a healty weight, I was forced to buy some new clothes. My original plan was to get some underwear and maybe a pair of pants. But that never happens, does it? I ended up spending $173! Oh well, at least I’ll look better. Some of you may wonder how I lost so much weight so quickly. It all began like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i0Q5EVC8Sw.

HBO has been airing several of Louis C.K.’s comedy specials over the last week. He is my new favorite comedian. His rants about the absurdity of everday life are spot on. Here is one of my favorite bits from his recent special “Oh My God.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd2sRC3K9Hs.

When I wasn’t watching the tube this past week, I was reading “The Collecter” by John Fowles. This debut novel is the chilling story of a lonely, unbalanced man who kidnaps the object of his obsession, a young art student, and keeps her in a basement room. The book’s structure is a bit odd. The first half is told from a first person perspective by the kidnapper. Most of the second half is told from the girl’s perspective through her journal entries, before shifting back to his point of view in the final pages. The story is engaging, though the more I read the more I loathed both of the major characters.

I saw a store in Downtown San Diego called Mixon, which has the following sign painted on the side:

Liquor!
Beer and Wine!
Soup and Salad Bar!

             Remember the old Seasame Street song which went: “Which of these things is not like the others?” I decided then and there that I wanted no part of this eclectic buffet. I certainly wasn’t going to eat at a liquor store! The soup ended up tasting pretty good though.

This past Friday was the tenth anniversary of the formation of the Bear Team, and we headed to the famous Gaslamp Quarter to celebrate. http://www.sandiego.org/discover/gaslamp-quarter.aspx. The Gaslamp is known as the “historic heart” of San Diego, and features tons of restaurants, bars, and clubs. The area is always packed, and never disappoints for sheer energy and excitement. I’d made a dinner reservation earlier in the week, and we arrived at the Melting Pot, http://www.meltingpot.com/san-diego-gaslamp/welcome, at 7:00 PM.

The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant. We’d been once before, in Duluth, Georgia, but this one was much more impressive! We were seated in the “lover’s lane” area, which features secluded tables for special occasions. There was a “happy anniversary” card waiting for us at our table, signed by the entire staff. We ordered the four course special, and as we waited, I decided to go to the restroom. When I got there, I realized that it was single occupancy. I tried the door and found it locked. No problem, I thought. He’ll be out in a minute. So I waited, and waited, and waited. I tried the door again in case I’d been mistaken. Still locked. Finally I went back to our table, planning to try again later.

Our waitress brought the first course, which was cheese fondue. The cheese was served with bread, vegetables, and apples. It was so good that in a matter of minutes the entire pot was empty! The next course was a ceasar salad topped with parmesan encrusted pine nuts. When I finished my salad, I decided to try the restroom again. It was still occupied, only now there was a line of people waiting! What the hell was this guy doing in there? Then again, I’m probably better off not knowing.

When I got back to our table, our waitress was just bringing the main course: seasoned court bouillon vegetable broth with a wide selection of entrees including lobster, steak, duck, chicken, shrimp, pork medallions, and mushroom sacchetti. Absolutely delicious. When we’d finished I was completely stuffed. The I realized that the meal wasn’t over yet. There was still dessert to go.

After finally gaining entry to the restroom, (and finding no evidence of the cause of the previous visitor’s loooooooooong stay, thank god!) I returned to our table just as chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, and brownies was served. I didn’t think I’d be able to eat much, but I was wrong. It was so good that we devoured it all. I haven’t been so full in a long time, but it was a good kind of full.

After dinner, we took a walk around the Gaslamp. We climbed the stairs to the top of the San Diego Convention Center and took in the view of the bay, marina, and Coronado. As we stood there, I thought about all that had happened to get us to this point: meeting at a crowded warehouse; getting married at a house which once belonged to the underground railroad network; climbing up; being knocked down; moving across the country. Now here we were, still together. Still strong. Still in love.

We ended our night out at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 10 to watch The Hangover Part III. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1951261/ There were only a few people in the theater for the 10:45 PM showing, which was nice. The movie was funny, though not as good as the original. My favorite parts were the scenes with Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow, as well as the scenes between Zach Galifianakis and Melissa McCarthy. Hilarious!

We arrived home at around 1:00 AM. I parked in the alley, and we slipped through the gate which led to our apartment complex. We rounded the corner of the cottage which stands beside our own and were suddenly face to face with Stumpy, our resident skunk. Those of you who are regular readers will remember Stumpy, and his penchant for attempting to deny me access to our apartment. He was standing on the grass which separated the two cottages, and as we stood looking at him, he turned to face us. He regarded us for a long moment. Perhaps he’d come to pay his respects and congratulate us on our milestone anniversary. Or maybe he was just trying to decide whether or not to spray us. He watched us for another few seconds, and then turned and fled, disappearing around the corner toward the street.

Finally back at home, we retired to bed. As I drifted toward sleep, I found myself thinking again about our long, strange journey. Not just our move to California, but everything that had happened before that. Could we have done things differently? Sure. But I wouldn’t go back and change anything. Everything we’ve been through we’ve been through together, and nothing will ever change that. I’ve often thought that the most valuable thing in life is experience, which is something that you can’t buy. You have to live it. You have to get out there and have experiences. Or you could just make some up. Whatever works!

The time has come once again to say goodbye, but don’t worry, (or worry, depending on your point of view) it’s only for a little while. We’ll be together again soon, sorting through the utter insanity of this thing we call life. As always, thanks for reading. See your next time!

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