How long have I been drifting alone through the night?

***No rubber chickens were harmed. All depictions were monitored by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Rubber Chickens. Lizards didn’t fare as well***

As most of you know, I headed out on Friday to the Land of the Padres. They were out of town stinking up the field in Arlington, so I was not enticed to go watch that train wreck. The BMW is in the shop getting the hood repainted after a very unfortunate incident involving some piece of crap flying off of one of those flat beds full of construction debris. So I took a rental car provided for by my insurance company down there. That was a mistake. They gave me a Chrysler Aspen. Apparently the English translation is “Monumental Piece of Shit”. They were out of normal vehicles so I got this heap o’. How bad was it? It couldn’t handle on the freeway AT THE SPEED LIMIT. I shit you not. I drove 5 miles per hour under the speed limit on the 5. Oh, you say, so it must have gotten decent mileage since it was so uh, light? Oh hell no! It got 18mpg. 18. 18!! WTF said the kangaroo. I just drove 1000 miles at 5 miles per hour under the speed limit and got 18 miles to the gallon. Chrysler, you deserve to go under. You suck for producing that piece of crap.

Next up was the real estate calls while driving. Not a problem and help pass the time. Except I was having a particularly intense one when I buzzed by the 210. That’s the left turn that helps me avoid the Los Angeles basin. Four hours later, I left Laguna Hills. It took 4 hours to get to LA and another 4 hours to get through LA. Strangely, even though I was traveling at 4mph the whole time I missed OTG and his “Welcome to SoCal PBE” sign. He must have been on the 405. I finally rolled into Vista at 6:15 that night after two more traffic jams, one on the 78 because everyone wanted to see the pick up truck that rolled.

I weighed in particularly light. Three pounds lighter than best case scenario, which concerned me. I’d been drinking water all day, but you don’t want to come in too light from normal or you might blow up in the meet. Sonofabun turned me on to a new iPhone app called Urban Spoon. It’s really really cool. So I plugged in “Escondido” and “$$” and hit “shake”. It gave me Vincent’s on Grand and Tango on Grand. I chose Tango on Grand. Good choice. I started with a MacRostie Chard and perused the menu. I started with the goat cheese soufflé appetizer. It was three little tiny soufflés. Each had something else in it but the only one I remember was the bacon. The first one was presented with a strawberry chutney, the second (bacon) with fresh strawberries and the third was presented with yellow beets. They were amazing. I had finished the MacRostie Chard, which was very nice. It had citrus and melon on the nose, nice palate with soft apples and a little butterscotch on the finish, but not much. It was so subtle I couldn’t tell if it was oaked or not. Nice touch. Since I still had a soufflé and a half to go, I moved on to the Yaluma Rosé of Sangiovese. Really. I’m not kidding. It had strawberries on the nose and was actually even better with the soufflés. Cherries trying to be tart, but not, trying to be ripe, but not. The wine tried to be sweet, but wasn’t then finished nice and dry. Now that the bartender knew my taste, I let him pick the glass for dinner. Dinner was a Sirloin thin sliced over a potato tasting with a béarnaise sauce. He paired that with a Colume Malbec. This wine had blackberries and violets on the palate. Really an amazing wine that paired perfectly with dinner. Even better, next to me chattering all night long was a tortured artist. He was great conversation, but he was one of those guys that sometimes has to be asked to go home. The bartender asked me if I was ok. Of course I was. The guy was going to make a great story some day.

The next day I headed down to lift. I didn’t set the world on fire, but I was lifting in a new class. I don’t remember the squat. I got two in, missed the third. The second was around 155lbs. Not setting the world on fire, but a proper squat is where the axis of your hip is lower than the cap of your knee, so most of the bullshit you see people doing in the gym is just that. I remember one time an older gentleman coming up to me in a gym I was visiting. He said (in a very think Louisiana accent) “How long have you been powerlifting?” (he didn’t pronounce the “r” or the “g”) I asked him how he knew. He replied “Well, you squat properly”. Next up was the bench. I’ve been rehabbing a shoulder. It’s not in great shape, but it’s better than it was. I opened with a 189lb bench. A proper bench is when you bring the bar to your chest, touch your chest and pause, the press when the referee says “press”. Try it. It’s a lot harder than the bullshit you see people doing in the gym. No momentum of bouncing it off your chest, you have to press it from a dead stop. I missed the second bench terribly and did not push my shoulder by taking a third attempt. I had a good lift, I scratched out of the third. Last up was the deadlift. I haven’t been doing them heavy at all. I took it up for about four weeks, but then it was time to taper, so I didn’t accomplish much. I opened with 100kg (220lbs). I fussed around with it all afternoon because I was afraid I couldn’t do it. Well, I crushed it. I went up to 231 and crushed that on my 2nd attempt. Third attempt 242. I struggled but I did it. Good lifting day. The lifter in front of me all afternoon was a gal by the name of Lucy Hawkins. She’s one of the ones I really enjoy. She’s part of a National Guard team that comes out here from Virginia to compete. They are well organized and lift very well. And then there’s Lucy. She’s my favorite. When it comes time for her to deadlift, she slips on her sunglasses and goes out there and nails her lift. Then she smiles and poses for the camera, all the while holding the weight. I wish I could have found a photo of her doing it, because it’s hilarious. Check out her site, she’s got a 5000 watt smile so it must be riotous from the front, it’s funny from the back. And she’s right around my age. Actually most of the National Guard lifters are older. I’m just pleased to know they’re in such great shape. And I enjoy lifting with them, they’re just good people.

That evening I had the pleasure of sharing a glass (or 42) with two awesome ladies and their spouses. I first heard about these gals a year or so ago. I was getting ready to fire up my professional blog and I was googling around looking to see what other Realtors were doing. I found an article entitled something like the 10 best real estate blogs or some nonsense. The Luxury Home Digest was one of the blogs mentioned. So when Eve Sieminski started following me on twitter, I was like “check me out”. Well, then Roberta Murphy started following me too. And I started having great conversations with these ladies about wine and real estate and an occasionally a dog. When I decided to come to the meet in Vista, which is near Eve’s territory, I asked her if she’d like to share a glass. Stupid me. How about this trio?

3agents

Roberta, Eve and me. And a couple of bottles of wine, soon to become dead soldiers. Thinking of buying a home? I wouldn’t do it without one of these three.

roberta

That’s Roberta, contemplating where to start. Eve knew. Eve started me off with a glass of Zolo Torrontes. You can get this one at Costco for nearly nothing, but it’s a really nice summer wine and went really well with her secret pepper dish that’s off the hook. I brought a couple of bottles to share and Eve went straight to the Chateau Montelena 1999 Saint Vincent Red . And why wouldn’t she? She’s a sharp gal. It was spectacular. We all had some of that. It had been in my cellar for a while and I thought it best to get to it while it was still in good shape. Original release date was 2002 so I’d been hanging on to that for a while.

evechickenme

Her husband went right to the Loring Wine Company Pinot. He’s a Pinot guy. I wish I could have the look on his face when he tasted that wine frozen in time. It was a look of surprise and joy. He was a happy man. As well he should have been. When I got to the LWC I was thrilled at it’s depth and character. I’ve always liked their wines and I was actually sick when I picked this one out of the wine club. I didn’t taste it, I just took it with me. I will still take lucky over good, every time. They poured me a glass of the Orfila Zin. Apparently it was the work of local (like Escondido kind of local) winemaker who passed away. This was from his last vintage. Too bad. He was clearly an extraordinary talent. They had two Cameron Hughes selections there. A Lot 16 and a Lot 110. I had the Lot 16 the Cab, but I didn’t get the Lot 110 which was the Pinot. That might have been one of the last bottles of that Lot 16, it was smooth and velvety, a great Stag’s Leap cab. I just ran out of drinking capacity and had to pass on the Lot 110. I also missed the La Storia Zinfandel. Don’t tell Eve, but originally that was supposed to go to dinner with me Friday night and I was so hungry I left it at the hotel room. Lucky me, I didn’t know she was a Zin girl. Always good to keep the hostess happy. She laid out a great spread of salmon (which I forgot to try) chicken wings, a beautiful baked brie thing, I mean really, can you go wrong with brie? And her pepper dish, which is freaking awesome. We talked about wine and real estate and golf and about a million other things. Roberta’s husband is a lot of fun and knows a ton about business. (And I’ll keep an eye out for a driver and a 5w)

I always spend so much of these powerlifting trips by myself. An amazing evening of great people, great wine and good food made up for a lot of crappy dinners at a lot of bar and grills over the years.

meandchicken

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