I’ve been sick all week. Still sick actually. It started off this past Sunday for what I thought was just your run of the mill hangover from the previous night’s drinking festivities, turned out to be something completely different. I started coughing on Sunday, and sorta getting short of breath which was weird, but since I don’t normally get so dehydrated and hungover, I thought it was the hangover. Well, turns out that I was sick enough to venture out and see a bloody doctor, something I haven’t done in well over ten years. Yeah, after four years of military health care, can anyone really blame me for my deathly fear of the doctor’s office? So that’s why there hasn’t been an update for a while, I’ve been laid up sick as shit. But what an update I have.

Starting three weeks ago, the 20th, I went up to Solvang/Santa Barbarbra with Jen and friends, the next day, Art, Brandon, and I hit up Big Bear. The 27th was the monthly model build gathering, and we had a really good turnout. The day after was a trip up to Silverlake for some fishing. Details after the jump.

So moving along chronologically, we headed up to Santa Barbarbra. Jen just got a new set of tires. I just got a new set of tires two days prior, and Angel decides to top us all by getting his own set of new tires, that came with his new Acura TL. We drive three cars as I have plans that evening to meet up with, wait for it… my mom’s godson’s older sister, so that she can sorta introduce me to some single women. Keep in mind that what drives me to choose most of my idiot choices in live is the potential story.

Well, enough off trackness, the three of us get gas at the corner of Brea Canyon and Colima before heading off. I take off first and get on the freeway, but drive at a leisurely pace, to see if the other cars can catch up. Weiju driving Jen’s car catches up and passes us, we’re under the assumption that they have no idea we’re behind them, but follow them from the 60 towards the 5/101/10 interchange. Art recommend we take the 5 as it’ll avoid all the traffic on the 101 through downtown LA, and from the initial looks, Weiju was doing the same. We were kinda hoping that they’d take the 101 through downtown, but it looked like they were gonna hit the 5. Suddenly, she cuts out narrowly missing the center divider between the exits and heads to the 101. Okay, they definitely didn’t know we were behind them. Art immediate texts Helen to ask why the hell they’re driving like stereotypical female asians. Regardless, we continue. I text Nicky to see where they’re at, and they too took the 101, but are not too far behind Jen, from my calculations. Once we get back onto the 101, we start texting everyone to see where they’re at; Angel’s about 10 minutes behind us, and we have no idea where Jen and co are, so we continue. We get to Los Olivios where we have a reservation at one of the local restaurants. And sure enough, 10 minutes later, Angel arrives, followed by Jen and her crew.

Lunch was damn good. I had a tangerine beer which was fairly tasty. Afterward, we headed out and strolled around the town a bit. We made the joke that we should go around touch all the house so as to drop the property values, as the group was a mix of Asians, a Mexican, a half Mexican, and a not so black, black chick. Only 1/18th of the group belonged in this town. I picked up some blood orange infused vinegar and olive oil at one of the local shops.

Art cannot seem to keep his hands to himself…

After Art touches EVERYTHING in Los Olivios, we decided to make a hasty exit and headed out to Solvang which was a few miles away. The last time I was in this town, I think I was 10 or something. I don’t remember much, but I do remember the damn windmills and other Danish things.

We wandered around and checked out some of the touristy trap shops. I found a nice glassware shop that I made Angel and Nicky accompany me in to check out. They ended up returning to the shop to pick up some cool candle holders. I liked the glass statues.

Art naturally finds something to defame. And a few other random pictures.

Hanging out for a few hours, and letting the women have their fill of rum balls; we rolled out towards Santa Barbrabra. We got there around 5 or so, and met up at the downtown open air mall. The Sur La Table shop drew Angel, Jen and I immediately inside. Art and I hung out for a little bit longer then headed back down to LA so that I can rendezvous with some fobs.

More pictures of Solvang are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/solvang2010.htm

Oh how I miss hanging out with the fobs, I can feel my Chinese slipping, I need to start hanging out with the fobs more. The drive back wasn’t too bad, we got down to Arcadia around 8, and the folks were just arriving. Art and I sat down to dinner with them. There were two choices of dialects at the table, Mandarin, or Cantonese. Art’s SOL here; but he’s there to keep me company in case things go really bad and we need to pull the ejection seat handle and punch the fuck out. Luckily, it wasn’t THAT bad. We have a few drinks and it was fairly entertaining.

So one of the women that was supposed to be one of the introductions was kinda big. I immediately call up Brandon to come join us there. He was coming over to the house anyways because we were skiing the next day, so from the last time he mentioned that he’d “take the big one for the team” I felt it was a good time to call for reinforcements. So he showed up and we just drank and played some games. We left around midnight and headed home. I was a fairly fun evening. I didn’t talk to either of the girls. So yeah, win win.

We crashed out and the next day headed up to Big Bear. Hwy 330 was closed so we took the back way into Big Bear. On the drive up, I hit a HUGE rock with my right front tire; did I mention that at this point, they were 3 days old? The hit pushed Art out of his seat, and reset all my mirrors. Car was still running good and the only thing that hit was that rock on the tire, so we pressed on. We stopped at the local McD for breakfast and Brandon checked my tire to find a small bump in my sidewall. Yeah, the tire will need to be replaced. But not much I can do about that now except drive carefully and avoid all object on the road. We hit the slopes at opening time and it’s damn icy. The warm weather has not helped and there are visible bare spots that where not there the previous trip. Hell, even the mountain across the way was completely green. Unless it snowed again, this will be it for me this season; which for the past several years, has been the most I’ve skied – so not a bad season at all.

At the end of the weekend, I had driven about 550 miles on my brand new tires, while ruining one of them. During the work week, I got the damaged tire replaced for no cost which was damn cool even when I had opted out of the road hazard options. The week was then filled with the building of the two 1/12 scale Gundam and Zaku kits as seen in previous posts, for which I had hoped to save until the build gathering so that the folks at the gathering could enjoy it as much as the folks that actually helped out, at least I think they enjoyed it.

On to the build gathering. I started work on the GN-X kit that I had picked up along with the 1/12 Gundam/Zaku pair. I got as far as the chest block completed before other errands caught up with me. Since it was spring and the weather was fairly decent, I fired up the grill. We had dogs and burgers. Damn good stuff. I think I could cook a dead rat over wood coals and it would be tasty. We had a good group of folks show up and the gathering numbers were about 20 to 25 or so. Pretty good gathering.

Now, every so often, we plan on drinking – and it never happens. So what happens when we don’t plan on it? Oh it happens. Starting off with some shots of tequila and jaeger, followed by copious amount of “clem juice” as the drink I make is now dubbed – equated to no more model building for a good number of us. The fire pit was lit and we just sat around drinking our silly asses off.

The night wasn’t a complete wash, folks actually had decent progress and completion of things. Sean’s ship work and Nathan’s Unicorn Head.

The evening ends fairly early, around 1 or 2, as folks stumble out with their designated drivers and head home. I stumble around to clean up things then head off to bed and pass out. More pictures from the build gathering are here: http://gamerabaenre.com/mbg33.htm

The alarm goes off at 8:00, I give Su a wakeup call and she heads over. I go back to sleep for another half hour, then drag my still drunk ass out of bed and into the shower. Su’s already here when I get out of the shower so I get dressed and pack up the car and we head out to Jen’s to meet up with her and Art. I’m in no condition to drive so we pile into Jen’s car and we head out. Holy crap do I feel like shit at this point. I partially sleep the trip up towards Silverlake. And feel a little better once we get to the McD for some food.

There’s an old man with nose hair longer than my regular hair screaming bloody murder because someone took his newspapers. They were just near the trash can, and this calms the creepy feller down. Oh how I love the crazy locals.

I’m no longer hung over once we get to the lake and out on the boat. The rest of the day was fairly peaceful in our attempts at catching fish. We failed miserably. I got bites, but was not able to reel anything. Oh well. The hot sun, and dehydration from the previous night’s festivities made me the perfect candidate for heat stroke, for which I succumbed. Cooling off and drinking some fluids helped, but I passed the f out the trip back… partially delirious. I had started coughing early in the morning, but by the end of the day, it had gotten much worse and I was getting short of breath. I figured it was exhaustion from the last few days of activities, so a good nights rest should fix everything. Nope. I called it in Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, I made my way to the dreaded doctor’s office. My chest was x-rayed and I was diagnosed with pneumonia – alright, fun times!

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