Dateline: Chicago-December 30, 2017. 12:30 pm
It's 10 degrees in Chicago. I have a plane to Los Angeles in three hours. The bus leaves in five minutes. I'm still trying to decide if I should wear my winter coat. First world problems. I decide to leave it at home. Off to the bus.
Next stop is the Blue Line train to O'Hare. It's packed with travelers. Two seats are available. One of them is empty. The other has the gloves of the rider in the adjoining seat. Talk about manspreading! I take the empty seat and avoid the conflict. That comes at the next stop when a woman enters the bus and stares down the dude with the gloves. It's an entertaining start to this trip. Oh yeah, he moves the gloves.
Dateline: Las Vegas-December 30, 2017. 6;00 pm
Made it to Vegas. It's the third time I've been here this year. BTW, I dislike Las Vegas. I Have three hours to kill in this airport. They're still playing Christmas music on their sound system. C'MON! Did you know they have slot machines here? HA! I pull out my laptop to write. NAAH! I hit YouTube and find The Band at Woodstock. It's old school music...or really just old music. I'm taking a load off with Miss Fanny. No winnings or losings at the airport "casino." Three hours and off to Los Angeles.
Dateline: Los Angeles-December 31, 2017. All day.
It starts with a trip to Santa Monica. The Pacific Ocean. My favorite spot in the world. The pier is filled with football fans from Oklahoma and Georgia. There's a family band playing head-banging music on the pier. It's foggy and a little chilly. More first world problems.
That night, we stalk the hotel where the Oklahoma fans on a trinket are staying. I stalk former OU running back great Joe Washington. I tell him I was at a game where he won it with a 75 yard run with a few minutes left. He's smiling as I tell him this. Man, I'm in a town with the biggest movie stars in the world and I'm starstruck over a 65 year old former football player. Damn.
Dateline: Pasadena-January 1, 2018. 2pm
Happy New Year! It's time for the Rose Bowl game. Oklahoma vs Georgia. This place is packed with people in red. It took hours to get here but it's game time. The winner goes to the National Championship game in Atlanta. We, and by we I mean Oklahoma, have the best player on earth in Baker Mayfield. I like our chances.
OU dominates the first half. We have a two touchdown lead. It's looking really good.
At halftime, the OU band is playing music from West Side Story. The Georgia band plays music from The Allman Brothers Band. Pretty appropriate. The Allman Brothers had two members die in 2017. The Georgia football season looks like it may be ending, too.
The second half is all Georgia. They take the lead because the Oklahoma defense imploded. Seventy-Five yard touchdowns with the runner untouched. How the fuck does that happen?
It goes back and forth with the game going into overtime.
Oklahoma has the first chance to win it...nope, nada, nothing. OT number 2. Georgia blocks a field goal. They win it a minute later when another runner scampers into the end zone...again untouched. FUCK!!!
I met the Georgia star player's mother afterward in the parking lot. I congratulated her on the victory but she didn't seem to be that happy. She was exhausted and emotionally spent. So was everyone I talked to on the way back. Long day, long game.
The good news is tickets for the game in Atlanta are going for two thousand bucks. NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I PAY 2K FOR THAT...MAYBE. Glad not to have that decision.
BTW, It's four days later and I'm still not over the loss. It may be one of those games that sticks with you forever. FUCK!
Dateline: San Diego- January 3, 2018. Noonish
Marijuana has been legal for recreational use in California for three entire days. Let's check it out. We hit a dispensary. It's jammed packed with stoners...errrr...recreational users. You have to take a number. We have 27. They're on 4. After a half hour we get to see the goods. All different kinds of pot. Brownies, cookies, gummies. Drinks, vapes and even good old fashioned buds. They have a chocolate bar that comes with a warning....eating one third and don't take another bite for two hours.
An employee tells me it's no problem to take this home on the plane. Dogs are sniffing for bombs, not drugs. Apparently this dude hasn't met Jeff Sessions.
Honestly, this stuff scares me more than a little. I can't figure out how the dosages work. My Modified Algebra class is useless. Still, where was this stuff when I was in my twenties? Hell, where was it when I needed to chill after the game on Monday?
Dateline: Las Vegas-January 4, 2018. 10:00 pm
I have another three hour layover in Vegas. Pfffffffffft. No more Christmas music...THANK GOD!!!
I'm killing time by writing this and trying to figure out how I can live in San Diego for the rest of the winter. Maybe getting a tent, living on the beach and eating infused chocolate bars. I can think of worse things.
The last time I was here they were playing Sheryl Crow's "Leaving Las Vegas" over and over and over on a loop. Here it is again. I really could use one of those candy bars. OY!!!
They're announcing boarding for my plane back to Chiberia. So long Vegas. So long Sheryl.
Dateline: Chicago- January 5, 2018. 6:00 am OMFG!
The Spirit has landed. The good news is we're ten minutes ahead of schedule. The bad news is no gates are open. They're all filled with planes trying to escape. Estimated time of first open gate is 6:30. The worst news is the actual first gate actually opened at 7:00. Hmmm...so Spirit gets credit for early/on-time arrival, when in reality it was an hour late?
During that entire hour all I could think about is how cold it's going to be in my jean jacket and wtf am I doing living here. Seriously, I really need one of those candy bars.
Dateline: Chicago- January 5, 2018. Noon
Okay...okay...okay. I survived the trip home in the jean jacket. That Oklahoma Rose Bowl stocking hat I bought for $10 actually came in handy. The train was heated. The bus was heated. There was no waiting for either. Even the walk home was fine. The four hour nap was better. I don't need that candy bar anymore. All this Chiberia stuff is overrated. Pffffft! But I am escaping again next month. We'll see what I've learned.