Intense Times in the Bay Area


This is a crazy post. For your reading pleasure, I have created a table of contents!

Table of Contents
I. Hiking Whitney
II. Friends, Games and Losing Money
III. Xenophobic Dentists
IV. Beat Boxing
V. Bloody Dancing

I returned back to the Bay Area on Friday after spending the last two weeks in Southern California. The first week was spent roaming around the Eastern Sierras in preparation for our Mount Whitney climb. Unfortunately, the day before we were to begin our climb, Dan sprained his knee on a practice hike.

So that rendered him unable to carry out the climb and I didn’t want to leave him behind at camp while I spent the day hiking it by myself. Instead, we decided to explore some good old dirt roads in Owens Valley and camped out one final night in the desert near Lone Pine.

Our wonderful shrine of fire to Mount Whitney the last night we were in Lone Pine. 😉

We returned back to the Inland Empire to meet up with friends for BBQs, baseball games, and playing all manner of crazy games (Catch Phrase, Would You Rather and Cranium). Dan and I apparently have the world’s most awesome Cranium team, but we’ve never won the game. This is because every time we roll, we advance about 1 space while all the other teams blaze on by ahead of us. So we probably end up answering more questions correctly than all the other team’s put together, but it still does no good. Ah well.

We also played various Poker games (since the guys have a weekly Poker night back home that I don’t get to participate in due to my “remote” location). Fortunately, between the infrequent opportunities I play down there and playing up here with friends, I was able to continue my year long streak of LOSING MONEY in Poker. I’m quite good at it! This might also have to do with me having some form of A.D.D., where I can focus on playing the game for an hour or two and hold my own… even doing well on occasion. After that first hour though, I stop carrying and start betting frivolously when I hold a pair of 2’s in my hand. It’s awesome.

Xenophobic Dentists
Another highlight of my week was getting to visit my dentist. I know, you must be thinking, “What in the hell is wrong with you if visiting your dentist is a highlight?” Well, funny you should ask! I shall explain.

I haven’t seen her since pre-New Zealand trip, so of course she asked about it. Naturally, I start excitedly talking about how amazing and beautiful that country is, as well as the friendly people. She asked if I would ever consider moving there and I wasted no time saying “Providing my financial situation was in order, yes!” Then I went on the explain about their emigration (with an “e”, not with an “i”… meaning people leaving the country) problem and how they want young professionals and such to move there.

So far it’s a happy, friendly conversation. Cue the comment from out of left field.

My dentist gives me a concerned look, leans in close and says, “I think we should send some of our ‘South-of-the-Border friends’ there then if you know what I mean. We must get 10,000 a minute coming into the country.”

Umm… excuse me?

No, I can’t say I know exactly what you mean because I am not an irrational xenophobe. It was really nice to interject screwed up political beliefs and racist views into my otherwise happy conversation about my trip. It’s really sad that some people feel that way.

I happen to think I’m extremely fortunate for living up here in San Francisco, an amazingly diverse city in terms of religious beliefs, cultural backgrounds and ethnic heritage and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

But of course they are all savagely “stealing our jobs” and “taxing our resources.” Oh wait! Don’t forget that their skin is a different color too!

Of course it’s especially embarrassing that San Bernardino(where I originally went to school and the neighboring town to where I grew up) has decided to propose one of the toughest anti-immigrant proposals in the country. City councilman Chas Kelly (Republican of course) is proposing this legislation for a variety of reason, among them: He hears little English spoken in his supermarket checkout line!

Oh no!

What a sad state of affairs.

Beat Boxing
Anyway, back to more exciting things! This past Friday, David and I went to a beat boxing competition in Berkeley. 24 performers that would be narrowed down to one winner based on who the audience voted for. It was INCREDIBLE. For those not in the know about beat boxing, it’s basically all about creating beats, melodies and other assorted rhythms by simply using your mouth. The sounds some of these people can make are AMAZING.

The MC of the event was Kid Beyond, who is apparently one of the most famous beat boxers around. He performed for people between rounds and the sounds he could make were absolutely unreal. I found a video of him on youtube:

Absolutely amazing!

Bloody Dancing
On Sunday night, David and I hung out once again and met up with a friend of his from Berkeley to check out an Asian American dance performance. Definitely fun to see. And the things people can do with their bodies are just phenomenal and beautiful.

Of course they also had some weird skit thing in the middle that was rather intense.

In the middle of the stage a table was setup with a white table cloth, a microphone and platter containing assorted items. In front of the table, facing the audience was a large television connected to a camcorder that was placed on the table (which was on and offered an exclusive “Table-Side” view of whatever action was about to take place).

Two ladies came out dressed in nothing but white shirts. They sat down across from each other on the table and started some random small talk. One of the ladies attached a small rubber tourniquet to the other’s arm. Then she pulled out a needle and proceeded to draw blood. After filling up a vial, they pulled out the needle and switched roles… this time pulling out a new needle and filling up another vial.

All the while, they had just pulled the needles out and left them, so blood is flowing onto the table. And we have a close up view thanks to the camcorder that one of the ladies is now holding!

Then comes the intense part…

They pull out TWO SHOT GLASSES. They pour half of each vial into both glasses, count to three and DRINK IT! Then the lights went out and that was the end of the skit.

It sounds gross… and it was. But watching this live, happening not more than 20 feet in front of you was intense! Oh. my. god.


Anyway, this was definitely an eventful weekend full of crazy things to see and experience. Now that I’m back in town, the primary focus is to secure a job and finish working on my thesis! Excellent!

Until next time my friends.