“Busy” was most definitely the word of the year, as I got booked for a shampoo commercial in San Diego.
Fortunately, Brooke let me stay at her place, and she lives close by the shooting location, so it was a very leisurely (if early) drive to set. I usually enjoyed my film shoots in San Diego, as the weather remained generally perfect throughout the year. February… early February is a little bit of a different story. Especially early in the morning. But for this commercial, I got to enjoy a warm and semi-private room with the other principals until shooting started.
I was playing a concessions vendor at Petco Park, and let me tell you, I gained an all new respect for that line of work, as they literally have to be strapped into those harnesses. And they’re not easy to get off, either. I had to sit and stand like a pregnant women, which illicited chuckles from the other actors at my staggering about to gain balance. But goofy harness aside, it was a fun and very easy shoot to do.
But since I had free time, and wasn’t attending a wedding this outing, I thought I would revisit San Diego. I lived in San Diego for a little less than seven years, and by the time I had moved in 2008, I had just felt a little burnt out by the place. A lot of things and memories and people happened there, and while I had some great times, it wasn’t always easy, and some of my experiences never settled well with me. True to my “rebuild/reclaim” attitude, I started out at the beginning to set things right with me.
Meeting up with Brooke later, I went to eat at one of my favorite places in San Diego: Shakespeare’s Pub (their website plays Monty Python’s “Always Look On Th Bright Side Of Life”. God, I love this place). I feasted on steak and kidney pies and a pint of Guinness before going down to the Gaslamp Quarter to visit Amy at the gallery:
I used to spend a lot of time in the Gaslamp on weekends, as it just had a fun vibe about it. the same went for Balboa Park for the end of the weekend, when I just needed to relax before going into the weekday grind of working in the video gaming industry.
And so, I made sure to revisit the park with its excellent museum row to check out their Natural History Museum.
But all fun must eventually come to an end, so I made my way back to Vegas, which was now in its ungodly cold wind season. I remained clever by working on my home office, determined to bring my creative ideas to life, one way or another.
Museum life was the same, with the usual litany of tour groups. Again, I took great pride in teaching the kids in my own imitable way:
As I was taking a tour through our International Wildlife gallery (the animals in the gallery came from that final scene in the film Roadhouse, by the way), some kid looked up at the ostrich we have on display and said: “If I ever saw an ostrich, I’d go up and punch him in the face.”
“Why would you want to do that”, asked one of his classmates, confused by their friend’s unrevealed need to punch said big birds.
“Actually, no you wouldn’t”, I said as I crouched down. “See those big feet the ostrich has? He has incredibly powerful legs. If you look at his toes, those big toenails are actually very sharp claws.
I leaned in a little closer, making eye contact. “If he were to kick you with one of those things”, I continued, giving a sidelong glance, “he would ruin you.”
The kid blinked in surprise, and then mumbled “I guess I don’t want to try and punch one after all.”
“Respect the nature”, I said, standing back up.
He became one of my better behaved students that day.
It wasn’t all fun and games, as I had to dismiss my first volunteer: Some creeper with a backpack and a porn addiction that took to stalking one of the female employees. I didn’t enjoy kicking anyone to the door, but there’s my level of weird, and then there’s “not haha goofy adventures” weird. That, and he tried to contact my sister online. That would be “No” on trying that.
But I was too busy with my personal life to focus further on such matters. I got to visit Jet Nightclub at the Mirage for some private event, and went out to other museums, such as the Lost City Museum in Overton, Nevada.
Being a nice day, a drive was in order, and we passed these on the way to Valley of Fire:
Valley of Fire is a state park that gets its name from the bright red rocks that make up the area. While we didn’t stop that time, it made for a nice drive-by.
At least Spring was around the corner….