Thursday, June 29, 2006

6/29/06 This Post May Contain Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer

My first trip to Southern California was immediately after I graduated college. At the age of 21, Professor Joe and I took a road trip from Chicago, all the way to the west coast. (Note: Joe is now a Professor. It wasn't like I was hanging out and road tripping with one of my then professors). At the time, he and I both decided that we'd bypass the sprawling megalopolis of Los Angeles and just move onto other, move scenic destinations. Which is ironic, since I now live in Southern California. The one lasting impression of California was the signs. We got an oil change and all I can remember is the guy yelling at me for having my foot 6 inches over a line as I was looking under the hood. He then pointed to the sign which read, "Do not cross the white line". I think I once dubbed the area "The Land of Unnecessary Signs". (I wish I could've come up with a more clever slogan. But, I'm really not that clever.)

There's a sign in the parking lot where I work. The parking lot is across the street from the office building. It is adjacent to the sidewalk, is well shaded by trees and bushes, and is also elevated maybe 6-8 feet. There are curving stairs in two sets of 4 stairs. You walk up the first set of 4 stairs and go around a 90 degree curve. As you approach the second set of 4 stairs, you see a sign. The sign says (c'mon, take a guess... This is California... What do you think it says?).... The sign says "Caution: Stairs Ahead". Help me with some sort of comparison here. It's like eating yogurt and at the bottom of the container reading "Caution, yogurt contains dairy." It's like making a phone call, hanging up, and then having the operator ask if you'll accept the long distance charges. It's like being a Cubs season ticket holder. I'm out of comparisons. Hopefull you'll have a better one for me. I'll have to remember to bring my camera one day and post the picture of the sign.

This post was inspired by 2 stickers on cars this morning. The first is my favorite. I was driving behind a white van at about 75 mph. A sticker on the back window read, "This is not an abandoned vehicle". Nothing makes you feel better about your possessions than having to clarify that it's not garbage. (I'm not knocking the van. It was actually in fine condition.) The other sticker is the next generation of "My kid beat up your honor student". The sticker read, "My gamer fragged your honor student."

One last Southern California story. I was having lunch at a Mexican restaurant today. My buddy and I were eating in the bar area, watching WGN. The Cubs and the Brewers were playing. The guy who appeared to be running the place (and was also our server) walked away from the bar as Mark Prior gave up a bloop single, scoring 2 runs. He muttered under his breath, "Man, the Cubs suck." The secret is out, Cubs fans. Even people in California know.

In my recent baseball discussions, I've found myself saying, "How bad is the National League?" Well, I think I have my answer. There's no reason why I'm posting this, since you won't want to know. But I was watching the White Sox play the Houston Astros last week. And Astros pitcher Taylor Buchholz was just awesome. But I kept hearing "bunghole" and would chuckle.

T-minus 48 hours until the WSOP. Meaning, this may be my last post until after the event. So again, please send positive vibes my way on Saturday. In return, I will give you a complete, first-hand account of the experience when I get back. And who knows... If I win the whole thing, we're having a nacho party to end all nacho parties.

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