Real Life On Hold - these are the adventures of California native Travis Emmel, as he takes time off from the rat race to travel and see the world.

Journal Entries

Thank God Halloween Only Comes Once a Year

Friday, October 26, 2007

Most people who know me know that Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday. However, with the exception of Nik (Oompa Loompas), Al, Kevin and Michelle (Wizard of Oz), and Kurt, Nancy and Danette (assembling outfits for the Running of the Bulls), no one really knows the amount of insanity that goes into each year’s costume. This year, Dave got a taste of my annual OCD.

Come Wednesday night, I will be wearing my rendition of The Life Aquatic’s Team Zissou uniform. But that’s not where the madness comes in. That, my friends, comes about as a direct result of my need for authenticity; it’s all about the details. Ask David how many thrift/art supply/shoe stores I dragged him through over the last three or four days (12 shoe stores alone today!).

Custom Zissou Adidas + Zissou Shirt/Pants + Red Beanie + ID Badge = I’m almost satisfied.


Ash Monday

Monday, October 22, 2007

San Diego folks, my thoughts are with you; I remember how bad it was a few years ago and I've heard it's worse this time around. I hope you all come out of this unscathed...

**Update** It's been nearly impossible to get any sort of consistent news updates out here on the East Coast. Seems what little attention that is given to the fires is focused on LA. From what I've gathered however, it sounds like things are looking up and a lot of people have been able to return home. I'm glad to hear that and hope everyone is able to return home soon!

People that are outside of California and are looking for detailed updates on San Diego can check this site:


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nothing flows today. I've written three sentences describing the NY to DC adventure and I hate every one of them. I can't seem to effectively express the absurdity of boarding a bus and seeing a homemade, and clearly well-used, bong sitting next to the driver's seat. Nor can I properly relate the feeling that by opting to take the China Town to China Town express, Dave and I had inadvertently bartered a pair of front row tickets to our final demise at the cost of saving a few dollars. And, forget figuring out the best way to describe the fear of being jerked awake from a deep sleep by someone yelling "oh, shit!" and have the first vision of consciousness be the right, front fender of the bus missing a mini-van's rear bumper by mere inches. I think New York state plate number ADX-9761 will forever be ingrained in my mind's eye.

Of course, there were the positive moments that would need to be accounted for, as well, such as the game of counting the number of passing motorists who would honk or flip us the bird in recognition of the driver's inability to keep the bus between a set of white lines, a problem that was perhaps compounded by his using the dash as a resting place for his left foot. At last count, there were 14 honks and 4 visual indicators of disapproval.

And then there's the matter of wrapping everything up; I guess I'll just leave it that the adventures will continue in a couple weeks when I head over to Boston and will find myself boarding another death bus.

NYC to DC Excursion, Part I

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Hey, you gotta check this out!" Dave is frantically poking me in the ribs with one hand while excitedly pointing out the window of the bus with the other. Below us on the street, there is a young woman and an older woman in a heated debate (and by 'heated debate', I mean they are shouting at each other and putting their fingers in one another's faces). Suddenly, the older woman starts reaching for her shoe; she misses on the first attempt but is able to retrieve it the second time around. Before the younger woman can react, she is on the receiving end of a face-full of sole. The older woman is able to get a good 15-20 whacks in before a random passer-by rushes in to break up the fight. It takes him a full 10 minutes to get the women to separate and leave each other alone. Turns out they were both selling bus tickets in what must be a very cutthroat and territorial environment. Just as the bus was pulling out, I saw the older woman making her way back over to the other girl's corner.

[To be continued...]

An Intro to NYC Nightlife

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Luke Skywalker's hair becomes increasingly matted and stringy as it soaks up the sweat from his forehead. Words, not unlike "I want to put my sex on you," are absorbed into the microphone as he simultaneously grinds his crotch into the hapless female audience member who, for reasons unknown, has willingly agreed to join Luke on stage. A thin, leopard-skin banana hammock is all that prevents the song's lyrics from becoming a harsh reality. Not to be outdone by the center stage madness, Princess Leia gyrates around behind Mr. Skywalker, flapping the wings on her giant butterfly vagina, while Darth Vader bangs out bass riffs on his guitar in time with Luke's singing and Obi Wan's furious keyboard work.

Only by combining one part Star Wars, one part 80's big hair band and one part bad porno can awesomeness such as this be achieved. Did I mention the joint was running an open bar while all this was going down? Yeah, going out in New York isn't going to suck.

Things to Accomplish in NYC

Monday, October 08, 2007

This will be a post that I'll continue to add to (and hopefully cross things off) as time goes on. It's a running list (in no particular order) of what I'd like to do while I'm here out in New York.

See a Rangers game
Take in a Broadway show (I'm thinking Ave. Q)
Sample the sweets at Magnolia's or Happy Sunshine Bakery (or whatever the hell it's called)
Be in the studio audience of a TV show taping
Volunteer work, more volunteer work
Visit Boston
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Natural History Museum
Ice skate in Central Park
Visit Philly
Restaurant Tour: Dumplings at Joe's Shanghai, pizza at Di Fara, one of the celebrity chef restaurants, Pinkberry, Grey's Papaya vs. Papaya King, cheesesteak in Philly.
Halloween in NYC
Guggenheim Musem
Go to a New York club
Visit D.C.
Visit Atlantic City

Things I've done in the past that I wouldn't mind repeating but that aren't a priority: Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Seinfeld restaurant, Staten Island Ferry, Grand Central Station, and Times Square.

Feel free to offer up any additional suggestions.

A Tradition Continues

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When Kevin and I lived together, we had a long standing Wednesday night tradition of going out and catching up with each other over cheap bar food and a couple beers.  Originally, the venue of choice was Callahan's in Mira Mesa for wing night; as time progressed, we started going to World Famous in Pacific Beach for their lobster tacos.  After moving out, the weekly excursions turned into monthly affairs and gradually became special occasions whenever our schedules would align, usually on the order of once a quarter.

Last night, I took in (started?) the New York version of these outings.  Dave and I went to Corner Bistro for what some have deemed the 'Best Burger in New York'.  The burger lived up to the hype and the company wasn't half bad, either.  Unfortunately, my camera broke on the last trip to Vegas (who knew you weren't supposed to take pictures in strip clubs?) so I wasn't able to take a photo of said burger, but I found a suitable substitute on the web.  Over the course of the next six Wednesdays I hope to make my way through the better part of New York's Top 10 burger joints and I'll be sure to order up a side of good conversation at each one.

Copyright 2007, Travis Emmel