Archive for August, 2011

It’s been an amazing trip. I’m back at the casa now, but I’ve still got a little bit of vacation that I need to cover here. I’ve had time to reflect on what I got out of the vacation too, so I’ll also get into that at the end. But let’s start things off how we usually do at this point, with some Updates and New News.

It’s becoming very interesting how often these spontaneous parties are springing up. I had intended to put this together last night, but my roommate came to me with the proposition of a party, out of the blue, and I was quite game for it.
The roommates and I went down to campus today to seek out our classes, since they start tomorrow. Now that the search team has gone to investigate, I think we’re all ready for whatever tomorrow has to bring for us.

Alright, lets now pick up where I left off with my last post. Our plan for Saturday was to wake up leisurely, then drive out and tour wine country a little bit. It’s a little bit fuzzy at this point, seeing as it’s Wednesday now, but I think we headed out at about 11 or 11:30. It took about an hour or so to get into Napa Valley, but once we got there, it was so gorgeous!

So, I’m outside of my zone here. I don’t really know what to expect when we walk into the first winery. I’ve only heard people describe wine tasting as being fun, no real concept of protocol or procedure. Now, I can imagine a couple things that would definitely be considered no-no’s. You probably shouldn’t start chugging. You probably shouldn’t ask if they have any boxes or bags of wine. Don’t mention you’re a fan of Arbor Mist. I hear there are pots filled with dregs. You probably shouldn’t attempt to drink that.
With those thoughts filling my head, I follow my parents in. My dad hands the guy behind the desk a few bills, and out pops 3 glasses of wine. I decided I was gonna fall back a little and watch how my parents tackled this before diving in. I learned pretty quick that there is a procedure for wine tasting.
1. Smell – Take a sniff of the wine. Let the vapors get in your nose so you experience the full body of the wine.
2. Aerate – Introduce air. Swirl it around a little bit, adding air will bring out more of the flavor
3. Savor – Let in linger. Hold it in your mouth a little longer before swallowing. Let your tongue examine all the different flavor profiles.
4. After-taste – Wines have an aftertaste that can be taken advantage of. After you’ve swallowed the wine, suck in a little air and concentrate on the flavor that lingers on your tongue and pallet.

You learn a lot through observation. It may not be how you enjoy wine on a regular basis, but it will certainly increase the quality of every glass. Ha ha, what the hell do I think I am? Some kind of expert. Jesus, don’t take my advice, I’m just observing and rambling over here, ha ha.

We ended up being able to make it by 4 wineries before it got late. We had to pay to play at 3 out of the 4 places, but the 3rd place we went to, Sutter Home, they let us just walk in and start drinking. No down payment or anything. That was pretty sweet. The last place we went to, Charles Krug, had a real nice selection, and also gave us some bonus tastes in addition to what we paid for. There was this bonus dessert wine that we tried here that tasted amazing. So good in fact, that we had to pick up a bottle and take it home with us. I believe it was their 2006 Voltz Vinyard Port Zinfandel. Delicious.

Well, an afternoon and 4 wineries later, I was feeling it. I probably had the equivalent of 2 or more glasses of wine at each stop that we made. So 8-10 glasses of wine, at…15-20 percent alcohol per volume over the span of 3 or 4 hours. I was a little drunk. Wine drunk. Anybody that knows me knows that wine is kind of my kryptonite. For most people, it’s tequila. Not me. Wine doesn’t get me confrontational, or angry, or anything like that…wine gets me adventurous. I’ve gone on expeditions while wine drunk before. This time was no exception. I was begging my dad to make a little detour and head out to Las Vegas. My reasoning at the time…hey, we’re a lot closer to Vegas now than we are in Texas.
Sidebar – My arguments are pretty weak when drunk. Not as bad when wine drunk, still still ineffective against my sober father, so I won’t continue spewing the logic that I tried to pass on my dad.
I was disappointed that we weren’t going to go to Vegas, but that’s why I wasn’t in charge of this trip. Wine drunk, it gets me in trouble.

We decided to grab dinner while still in Napa Valley, a place my parents were familiar with from their last trip to wine country. I ended up getting a steak, and it was one of the better steaks that I’ve ever had. Now I obviously can get some pretty dang good steaks at places like Del Frisco’s, but for a moderately priced steak, this was really good.

The night ended with dinner. After the ride back from wine country to the hotel we were ready for bed, and I was happily tipsy. I slept well that night.

Sunday was going to be a much more sober day. The action plan for Sunday was to head up past Sausalito and go check out the Muir Woods. This is where those giant redwoods are that you can supposedly drive through, they’re so large. After a quick and satisfying brunch in Sausalito, we continued north in search of giant trees. The drive up to Muir Woods was very scenic, and I got some pretty good shots.

Everything we’ve done on this trip has worked out pretty well up to this point. But today was the exception. What we wanted to do was take a driving tour through Muir Woods. It turns out that not only have driving tours not been done since the 1980’s or earlier, but all the parking was full up, and the side of the rode was filled up for several miles. In other words, Muir Woods was a bust.
That doesn’t mean the day was ruined, there is still plenty of cool stuff further north to check out, so we decided to keep moving. We talked about it a little bit and decided to keep heading north, past San Rafael into Point Reyes National Seashore. It’s more scenic driving to find more scenic views. I don’t mind that at all. Scenic driving is the the best kind around.

It really was a pretty drive up into this area. But once again we found ourselves snake bit by a another parking situation. There was this lighthouse that was talked about when we went to get information from the Park Rangers office. We thought that it would be pretty cool to go out there and check it out. But when we got up there, we found the same parking situation that we had in Muir Woods. Cars stretched on along the side of the road for about a mile, or at least for longer than we were willing to walk. Ugh, not cool people. Well, I guess I can’t fault all these people for having the same idea that we had.

There were some other cool places to pull off near there, and we ended going back to this scenic overlook area and do a little light hiking on a nearby trail. We called it a day after we all made it back to the car.
It sounds like we didn’t get much done on this day, but this actually took up most of the afternoon, and it was nice to still have some energy left at the end of the day to be able to pack. This was our last full day in San Francisco, so it was nice to also have that extra time at the end of the day to reflect on the week.

And now our time in San Francisco is done. It really didn’t feel like 8 or 9 days. It went by far too quick. That’s not to say that an impression wasn’t made, and that I didn’t leave with a greater appreciation and knowledge of certain things that I didn’t have before.
So what did I actually get out of this trip? What am I going to take away with me? For one, I have been developing an appreciation for knowledge that can only be gained from getting outside of your comfort zone. That little slice of life that I used to have in my parents house is not representative of how the rest of the road works. I need to get out and go exploring once in a while to figure out how what I know about the world differs from the reality of the world. This is why I have more respect for people that left the womb after high school, people that actually wanted to put roots down somewhere away from home and take themselves out of their comfort zones to see how they can make it on their own. I don’t understand people that don’t ever want to leave their hometowns. There’s a lot more out there beyond the front yard and the mail box.
I used to think that Texas was unique from the rest of the country, in respect to all the different cultures that we have co-habitating within the space of our borders. It’s clear to me now that I’d never really been to a big city and examined the culture of that city. Everything that I thought Texas was great for multiculturally, I found within the borders of San Francisco. That city bus tour that I took showed me how many different cultures actually existed within just the city limits. And the Chinatown tour showed me how rich these individual cultures can be.
Another thing that I came away with is that everybody has a story.  Most of those people don’t need much convincing to want to tell their story. Some people have stories of profound experiences that can teach great lessons. I need to start taking much greater advantage of the lessons people have to teach just by talking about the kinds of stuff they have gone through. To put that simply, it would be much to my advantage in life to be a much more social creature. It’s in my blood. My grandmother, before she died, used to enjoy coming up to random people and striking up conversations with them. Sometimes this would at strange times, such as eating dinner at a restaurant, but the point is, she wasn’t shy. My dad has absolutely no reservation about striking up a conversation with a perfect stranger in the correct social settings. It comes natural to the VanderSleen bloodline. I need to tap into this if I want to get more out of life.

In this past week or so, I’ve had life experiences. I’ve encountered things that have challenged the way that I think, and challenged my pre-conceived notions on how the world works. I’ve grown, I’ve learned, and changed the way that I think and see the world. I’ve left San Francisco a better person, and look forward to putting my new knowledge and decision making paradigms to work for me.
As I have with the rest of my posts from this vacation, I’ll leave you with a drink. School starts tomorrow…or later today I guess. The next chapter continues.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw

Ni hao ma

Posted: August 20, 2011 in Free Styling, Vacation/Travel
Tags: , ,

What’s up guys? Well, as promised, the adventure continues, and it’s a big one today. I’d jump into Updates and New News, but unless something comes up, I’ve got a good break from predicaments and developments until school starts on the 25th. That being the case, I’ll jump back on chronicling the vacation.

Picking up where I left off, I…or we decided to sleep in yesterday morning. 5AM, way too early. My mom may be able to do 4:30/5 on a regular basis, but I usually don’t touch that with a 10-foot pole. Me and AM have issues with each other, so we just try to keep as far apart as possible. Once we crossed the threshold into PM we were in good territory to get out and be active.

I wish I would have checked-in to the place we had lunch at, because for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of it. It was pretty good though, nothing to write home about, but merits a positive recommendation.
The plan for the afternoon was to go back to Pier 39 and explore for a while. We’ve also been trying to get the full San Francisco experience while here, so we decided to take a trolley. Pretty cool.

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Even though we briefly toured through Pier 39 the other day, we went through it way too fast to really be able to take anything in at any less than a blur. Given the opportunity to slow down, I did see a lot more that we just blew by the first time. We found a nice little knife shop and I ended up grabbing a souvenir, so watch out now.

We never actually decided to eat dinner today, and rather just snack everywhere we got a chance. The place we ended up at was a little restaurant called Louie’s. Not much to tell here. A beer and some garlic fries later, we moved on.

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We paroosed a few more shops in Pier 39 before deciding to move further on down the wharf.
(I thought that paroose was an actual word, but my iPhone is complaining about it. Addition to my dictionary? Nah, I didn’t event it.)
After exiting Pier 39 and walking down the way, we found this bread shop. My buddy Jason had told me about these sourdough bread turtles that San Francisco was famous for, and I told him I’d be on the lookout for some. Well, I guess I found them.

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That big dark thing in the middle there is actually a huge sourdough bread alligator! (Could have been a crocodile, couldn’t see the teeth.) Even though that was particularly badass, we didn’t wanna carry around a bread animal for the rest of the week. I decided to follow the advice of the age old expression, “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.” (I’m sure if you look back in a month or so, ^that^ picture will still be there. Let me know if it isn’t though.)

We ended up getting as far as the official Fisherman’s Wharf area and getting some snacks before deciding to head back to Pier 39 to get some dessert. Besides, that’s closer to where the trolley would pick us back up, and that’s where the cool kids were. That ended up being a great decision, because we stumbled upon a thin French pancake place. (I can’t say the name; Ricky Bobby says it’s un-American to speak it.) Oh, and they were so good too! They had so many fillings you could slap in them. What to choose?

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It’s kind of hard to fight chocolate, especially Ghirardelli chocolate made right here in San Francisco. My smite for sweets be damned, I’m on vacation. Not much to tell after that, we hopped on the trolley and went back to the hotel room, fat and happy. Well, a couple of us anyways.

We woke up this morning with a pretty cool game plan in place. The majority of the day would be occupied taking a walking tour of Chinatown, one of the areas that San Francisco is really known for…well, besides Castro.

The lady who led us on the tour knew so much about the area. She actually was born and grew up in Chinatown. The area was so amazing too.

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We went to Portmouth Square first, it’s a park where all the old dudes hang out, play cards, shoot the breeze, whatever. Most of them still don’t get very far out of Chinatown, so they need somewhere to socialize.
After that, we went and checked out a couple of temples. I even received a blessing from one of the temple’s…I guess clergy is the best word I can come up with. Anyways, that was pretty far out there. Never done anything like that before.
From there we moved on to a tea shop. They let us try a really fresh white tea from an independent grower in China. These people were passionate like you read about. Talking about how sweeteners, milk, or lemon is a slap in the face to a really good tea. Passion, like you read about. After that we went to a couple of fish markets and a fortune cookie bakery. Apparently fortune cookie are actually a Japanese invention that just took off really huge in China. That was an interesting little Fun Fact, I’d have thought Japan would be a little bit prouder of that one. It was approaching lunch time at this point, and thankfully our guide had a stop planned for us. Again, I couldn’t tell you the name of the place we stopped, this time it’s because my Cantonese is a little rusty. I think what we ate there was a big kind of sampler of a bunch of traditional stuff. I’ll try and list off for you what we had to the best of my ability, but our guide ordered for us, never saw what was coming our way.
We started off brewing some white tea that we got at the tea shop.
Sidebar – It really is relaxing drinking an unadulterated tea at it’s purest like this. I’d say try it some time if you’re ever stressing, but finding the right tea is difficult.
We got some spring rolls and what I believe were bean curd dumplings. Then they brought out some egg drop soup(I think), and some sort of chow mein noodles. All were pretty darn good. They also brought out some shrimp balls and some other kind of meat dumplings. Those shrimp balls looked like mush, but were pretty good once you got through the exterior.

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Last but not least, they brought out dessert. I have absolutely no idea what this was, so I’ll do my best to describe it and hope that Jason can give me a name for it later. It was a rice ball with a sweet filling that had a batter on the outside, like a sweet roll, with sesame seeds on it. If anyone cares to venture a guess at what that is, go for it.

With lunch under our belts, the tour was over. We spent a little more time in Chinatown, wandering around on our own for a while getting souvenirs and what not. We’d been on our feet all day at this point, so we decided to head back to the hotel and cool our heels for a while.

Once we were well and rested again, we set out for dinner, with one nice detour along the way. We decided to make a run down the world famous, worlds curviest Lombard street. I wish I had a picture of that to put up. Maybe I can throw one up here after I get back to Denton and upload all my pictures to my computer.
After Lombard street, we headed over to the wharf, to grab dinner at a place called Scoma’s. We also decided to celebrate my mom’s birthday tonight, so we decided to indulge a little and do it well. Scoma’s was good, it was very good.

We called it a day after dinner. Went back to the hotel and proceeded to sack out for a while. It’s been a long day, but a very good one. Tomorrow will be an alcoholic expedition, some choose to call it a wine country tour though. I get crazy when I get wine drunk. There’s no telling what could happen next, wish me luck!

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw

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This post comes to you still from bed. It was a little bit of an early morning. I know I’m on vacation, but I had a little business I had to take care of at 7 in the morning. Now, that’s 7 central. I fell asleep in the west coast time zone. So yea, I was up at around 5w to deal with this business.

Well, let’s get into it with Updates and New News.
I told y’all before that UNT gave me a call and were gonna let me register a little earlier than anticipated. That was my business this morning. So I was up at 5AM, ready for registration to open up and for my holds to be released. Only 1 of those 2 things actually happened. Care to guess? If you guessed registration opening up, as scheduled, well, you’re wrong. Don’t worry, it’s not a contest. So my hold wasn’t released, as promised. What do I do at this point? Because none of the offices open up until 9c/7w. I called everyone I could find in my phone from the UNT offices, but nobody was picking up. I’m a little out of my element here, working off my mom’s laptop in a hotel room at 5 in the morning. I’m off my game and tired as hell. I had resigned myself to going back to bed for a couple of hours to wait until the offices filled up. My dad had other things in mind, and evidently has built himself some contacts at UNT(Hey, he’s retired and needs to find stuff to occupy his day). He reached out to his contact and got some magic to happen before 9c/7w, and before I know it I’m back up and finalizing my registration before the open of business.
I owe this one to my dad. He threw a hail mary this morning and hit his receiver. Thanks dad, I owe you 1…or 30.

So I’ve got my classes, at least 7 hours worth at this point. Wunderbar. I’ll celebrate a little down at the wharf and pier 39 later this afternoon.
Let’s pick up where I left off last time.

Tuesday morning we set off for San Francisco from Monterrey. This was a slow transition day. The car ride from Monterrey was about 3 hours. I did as I usually do with car rides over an hour where I’m not driving, and passed the hell out in the back seat. Woke up several times along the way, saw parts of Santa Cruz and San Jose on the way up, but mostly just enjoyed a laziesta in the back seat.
Sidebar – Laziesta, another word from my personal dictionary. The meaning is fairly obvious. Won’t work on Words With Friends.

Sleeping in a car is always weird, because you never arrive at your destination alert and ready to be really active. So we got ourselves checked in and settled in to our hotel room. We didn’t really have anything planned for the rest of the day other than going out to eat somewhere in Chinatown, so when the time came to get out I had gotten my energy back. Thank God, because I wasn’t ready for our cab ride. This guy drove like a bat out of hell, cutting people off, zipping through the streets like he owned them, but nonetheless, he was fearless. I could learn a thing or two. It felt like nothing flat before he got us to the restaurant, Panang Garden. They say say that you can tell you’re in a good restaurant when you are surrounded by the locals. Well, we were in Chinatown, and we were the only American faces to be seen.
I did not expect to go to Chinatown and have one of the best meals that I’d had in a long time. Wow, that food was so good! Tom Yum Soup and Hot and Spicy Shrimp. I was sweating bullets, but that was so full of flavor! It’s gonna be hard to beat that for the rest of the week, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t gonna try.

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So, after a delicious meal that had me Needing a towel for all the sweat, we call it a day and get some sleep.

Yesterday morning had us getting up pretty early. We had to be down in the lobby, ready to go, at 8 for a bus tour of the city. I feel like we got a fast paced view of just about everything; Russian Hills, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Wharf, the Capital, and everything in between. We got a few chances to stop and take some pictures, but we spent most of the morning on that bus, hurricaning around the city.

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We were dropped off at Pier 33 around lunch time with about 30-45 minutes to spare before moving on to our next excursion. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and jumped on the boat. Destination: Alcatraz! I was expecting some jaded, Discovery Channel b.s. but the tour through was actually pretty cool and informative. Dang, those fools had it pretty tough in there. No climate control or anything. If it’s freezing outside, then yea, you’re going to freeze inside. I pray that if I ever mess up bad enough later in life that I have to go to jail, that it’s some white collar place with amenities(Second thought, let’s just pray that I don’t mess up that bad). Yea, after seeing that place, you count your blessings.

The boat brought us back to Pier 33, and we had some time to kill before the bus got back to take us to the hotel. We decided to run over to Pier 39 to check out what kind stuff they had out there. Talk about sensory overload, even with my head on a swivel, I missed about 60% of what was going on, glad we’re going back this afternoon.

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After that we stopped off and had a quick beer by the pier, rode our bus back to the hotel, had dinner at a place called Kuleti’s for dinner, and turned in for the night. It was probably only 10 or 11 at that point, but as y’all know, I had an early morning.

The adventure continues, and as always, I’ll try to keep you posted.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw

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Hey y’all, I’m writing to you this time with a special purpose! My quest for relaxation, invigoration, and recalibration for mental creation at the destination in the state of Californication. Güten Abend from sunny Monterrey, California! I’m also composing this on my iPhone for the first time, so let’s hope the formatting doesn’t suffer.

Let’s start off with the usual, Updates and New News.

I left y’all off while I was in limbo with being able to register for classes. Well, I got the call the other day that they were going to move my day up to the 18th, so I’ll be able to get in there 6 days earlier than anticipated. It’s still cutting it pretty close, but it’s a lot better than the day before classes start. Good news, proving patience pays off if you’re just willing to have a little.

Hmm, let’s work forward chronologically from there. After I found out that little piece of good news, I found myself staring at Saturday morning, the day of my amigo, Trinity’s bachelor party…a day which shall live deeply suppressed in his memory. Seriously, I’m told he doesn’t remember a thing, which is probably a good thing given the circumstances. I’ll leave this as one of those, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” type situations, and just tell you that you had to be there. I will tell you though, it was a blast.

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Well, after a long night filled with lots of insobrietus activity, I find myself up early on a Sunday morning. I’m still a little tipsy, smelling slightly of last nights activities, and looking at a 3-hour plane flight. I need sleep. Well, my parents decided to upgrade all of our tickets to business class, right on the spot during check-in, a nice little bonus. Now I can actually relax, and get in some of that sleep time that I lost.
Sidebar – Yes, I made insobrietus up. If you end up using it your self in the future, you’re welcome.

So 3 hours come and go, I wake up, deboard, grab my bags, and walk outside to 67 degree weather. Oh my God! I get on the plane at 100 degree-ish temperatures and get off to a 30 degree drop. Oh hell yea. It’s gonna be a good week. 60’s all week? Only fluctuates between 10-15 degrees? Hell yea. I’ve been missing this.
We’ve got a car ready and waiting for us so we jump in and head for highway 1. Highway 1 pretty much runs all the way down the coastline. So we got about three hours of looking at beautiful beaches and strawberry stands that lead us straight do to our first California destination, Carmel.

The first thing that hits me about Carmel is that it feels so quaint, kind of like the way Crested Butte does (it’s a ski resort in Colorado, not far from Gunnison). It also felt, in the same way, that it was a small town consumed with tourism. Kind of a moronic point as this is seen through the eyes of a tourist, but hopefully you get where I’m coming from. Regardless, I’d thought up until this point that Texas was a cultural melting pot. I clearly know nothing, as my eyes were opened to more people speaking so many different languages, so far beyond my comprehension, all in one place. German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, all number of American dialects and more. It blew my mind.
This is one of the reasons that I love leaving home base every now and then, DFW just can’t expand my mind or my horizons anymore.

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Speaking of love, I may have fallen in love when we went to dinner that night. Our waitress was the most charming, witty, intelligent, funny, and beautiful girl I’ve met in a while. She wasn’t even a California bombshell, she’s from Russia, over here living out the American dream. Ugh, why did we only spend one night in Carmel? Alas, Te amo Nika.

This morning we woke up and it was feeling absolutely perfect outside.

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Perfect. We took off at about 11 and headed for 17-mile-drive, a little loop between Carmel and Monterrey where you see some real cool coastal scenery, including a bunch of golf courses. We stopped in Pebble Beach and got lunch at this little deli that had a refreshing little picnic spot.
I’m really not holding back on y’all today. This post is all sunshine, kittens, and rainbows. Isn’t this relaxed version of myself better than the potty mouth y’all got on my last post?
Anyways, delightful picnic at Pebble Beach. My golf buddies are going nuts right now(You ate at Pebble Beach and didn’t play, wtf?), but sorry guys. I wasn’t wearing the right footware.
We finish up 17-mile-drive and head for Monterrey. Carmel and Monterrey are only like 4 miles apart to begin with, so it wasn’t much of a drive. We check into our hotel and decide to go down into town and check out the Aquarium. Apparently Monterrey’s aquarium is world renowned for its…I have no idea. World renowned or not, $30 is a lot to pay for a few hours of entertainment(good clean family style fun guys). We decided to just walk around the downtown cannery area instead. Hit some shops, bought some merchandise, and stopped for a beer. Even had a nice chat with some folks from Munich, Germany. Turns out the 3 years of German I took in high school did come in handy, as I was able to tell them, in fluent sounding German, that I spoke German…very poorly. Education at work.

It’s been a good night. We had dinner, and now I’m back on our porch with a drink in hand.
More reports from paradise in a couple of days hopefully.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw

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Full-Time Retreat

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Free Styling, School
Tags: ,

The page has been turned, and another chapter has begun writing itself. What number are we on? Hell, I’m not keeping track.

Let’s jump in with Updates and New News.
Where we last left off on my previous post, I was sitting in limbo, waiting for UNT to accept me so I could get on with moving forward. Since then I have indeed been accepted. If fact, I think it happened the day after I made that post. Calling them every day may not light a fire under their asses, but certainly annoys them to the point that they just want to get you off their back. I guess my daddy taught me well. I would have thrown in a post with that little tid-bit of info, but hey, I got busy with the moving forward.

The next order of business after getting accepted was to seal in a place for me to live. I’d checked out a bunch of apartments on my second trip up to Denton, put together a selection, and did some homework narrowing down the field. After a little deliberation within myself, I decided on The Retreat, which is less an apartment complex and more of a cottage/town home complex. All these units have massive floor plans, individual leasing, all bills paid (including cable/internet), and had the choice of being furnished. Yea, sounded good to me too. I jumped on that. The move in date for The Retreat is August 1st. If anyone is keeping track of what day it is…yep, that’s the past. I’m already living and functioning in Denton.

So, I’m a student at UNT, and now a Denton resident…awesome. What do my classes look like? Friggin’ hell. Friggin’ Hell I say. I tell people that this is a long story, but that’s what this is here for, so I shall continue.
I was told when I submitted my application to the university that it would be considered a late application, and thusly I’d have to pay an additional fee. I thought, “Whatever, another 30 or so bucks is a small price to pay to push my application through, given its lateness.” I thought that would be the end. Oh, I was so wrong. I was lucky that I bugged the crap out of them, and sped my application through. Since I and they did, I was able to get into the Orientation session on July 29th. Orientation started off pretty well, I even won a hat in a raffle! One of the speakers happened to mention that anyone who had submitted a late application would be unable to register for classes that day, and would have to wait until August 24th. The day before classes start.
::Raises hand::
“Um, what the crap, sir?”
So, they wait for me to turn my back and then hit me with this sucker punch, Late Registration. Well crap. Really? Fuck. French, sorry. I’ll try and watch my friggin’ mouth. I tried my same tactic as before and bugged the crap out of whoever I could with calls and emails, but this time they refused to budge on their position. So I’m gonna have to wait until August 24th, the day before classes start to get up and try to register for classes at 7 in the morning. My thinking is that the operative word in their is try. I’m looking at this from the perspective of, there aren’t gonna be any classes left by the time I get around to registering. If I follow that train of logic forward, then in a months time I’ll be a UNT student, paying rent for an apartment in Denton, and not taking any classes. Kind of defeats the purpose of moving up here, doncha think?

To add insult to injury, I find out later on in the day of Orientation that there aren’t any Radio/Television/Film classes left open. None. Null. Zip. What the hell? Meaning that even those people that could register for classes that day, their’s nothing left in my department to jump in on. I know that this department is a popular one, but Jesus’ knees dude, that’s nuts.
Sidebar – the easiest way/best time to add insult to injury is when signing someone else’s cast. Keep that in mind.
On top of that, there is this “Pre-Major” nonsense that students have to go through before actually being allowed into the RTF school. That further restricts the classes that I’m not allowed to sign up for. I want to stop swearing, but there is a big bag of fun words just ready to roll off the tip of my tongue.

It will be a miracle if I can get more than 7 hours this semester, if any. I really need that miracle too, so I ought to clean up my mouth a little.

I could be mad. My language actually suggests that I am quite sincerely. It’s more frustration than anything else though. If the last chapter of my life has taught me anything, it’s that a little positive outlook can go a long way. I can live with frustration. All I have to do is close my eyes, take a deep breath, calm down a little, and have faith that this situation will sort itself out if I don’t freak out. One way or another, this is gonna work out, and this chapter will continue to write itself.

If all else fails. I’ve got myself one hell of a party pad. Even if the parties don’t happen here all the time, I’ve been to 3 parties already, and I’ve only been here a little over a week.
Life can give you lemons, and you find yourself in a sour situation. You add a little water and sugar, the situation becomes much sweeter. Add alcohol, and panties drop. Ha ha. Well, not necessarily, but you get what I mean.

I also want to reference a post that I made back on February 3rd. I talked about being snowed in at my house, and the current temperature at the time was 13 degrees.

The majority of my followers are residents of the same great state that I am, but if anyone is reading this that doesn’t live in Texas, we’ve been having one hell of a weird weather year.
If today gets above 100 degrees, which it will, it will be the 40th consecutive day of temperatures going above 100 degrees (Maybe it’s 39 or 41, I dunno, a quick Google search tells me this). The current record in this area was set back in 1980, with 42 straight days of blistering triple-digit temperatures. Remember what I just said. In this same year it got down to 13 degrees, probably down in single digits in the early morning. What the hell. Texas is known for having some crazy weather, but this year has been ridiculus. Just saying, Satan called, said it’s freezing down there, and wants his heat back.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– The Outlaw