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Hiking Torrey Pines, Differently

20 Aug

Kevin:

Ink at Torrey Pines..Looking Good, baby!

Yep!

We did it again! Savadra is on a STRONG campaign for the two of us to hike. She even has a Hiking app in her phone! Her goal is to hit 21 trails listed in the app! I’m all for it.

It’s at the point that every Friday after work, my boss/buddy asks me where I’m hiking. He just takes it for granted that all we do is hike! I love it!

I love Stoo. I MUST admit…SHE is the reason I go outside. I say this because it’s true….I say this so YOU know…I say this because if I don’t I’ll hafta hear about it! That last one was a joke. We get to know each other on these hikes. We watch each other’s backs on these hikes. We get our EXCERCISE ON with these hikes. There’s a reason I look as good as I do compared to some of my peers!

I DO have a “beer gut“…but…SO!? It’s from this!

Well, I spoke my peace ..enjoy the video!

Comedy Palace: Carlos Azaraqui

23 Jul

Carlos Azaraqui and Me

Kevin:

This was a great night!

Savadra had tickets to the American Comedy Company and while we were on our way, I got a text from The Comedy Palace for free tickets to a show happening that same night with Carlos Azaraqui (Reno 911, the voice of the Taco Bell dog). I quickly made reservations!! The show at ACC ended in enough time for us to be there on time.

We’ve been there before for Mario Joyner which was a GREAT show! The line wasn’t that long to get in, which was GREAT, too.

The show was hosted by Zach Miller who broke down the house rules. We were veterans this time, so we knew what to expect – so we thought. He added some additional rules this round.

The first comic was Russell Hicks. THIS GUY IS HILARIOUS. The last time we were there he was the last opening act and he had us in stitches with is “improv” style, this time he was the first. I knew we were in for a good show with that arrangement. He’s skilled enough to keep the audience with nonstop laughs.

The next comic was a brother named Leo Flowers. Originally from Chicago, he was HILARIOUS, too. He covered domestic violence with grapes, his father, the audience and his light brown eyes (as well as how men deal with looking at them).This guy was as good as the headliner. He took Russell’s skills to the next level. I’d see him again.

The last guy was Carlos Azaraqui. This man was VERY funny. He talked about his 12 month old and how she keeps him up all day. He talked about being from a family from Argentina (he did an impression of his Mom – great stuff). He did sound effects, too. I plan on keeping up with him.

Quick story: While we were outside waiting to get in the club, we noticed these two guys who were , obviously, acts from the club, a tall black man and a short white-haired white man. I approached them and talked to them as if they were opening acts that I had seen before at the Comedy Palace. I’m being confident that I’ve seen them before and they confirmed I was wrong. Well, once they got onstage I didn’t realize that I was talking to Leo and Carlos. I felt like a complete dummy! I posted it on my wall that night (June 29, 2012).Wow.

Overall, the show was great!To be able to catch two shows at two venues in one night was even better!

American Comedy Company: Jacob Sirof and Freddy Lockhart

16 Jul

Kevin :

We were on our way to finding the parking garage that Savadra went to when she went to the show with my Dad. Parking was gonna be $10 and we only scraped up $9.60 because we didn’t want to go to an ATM at all. Not only did the guy take it, but he also VALET parked the car!

Savadra scored some tickets to the American Comedy Company, again (If you follow, you know her and my Father went first!). We have date nights and we use Groupon and other services to go on lovely dates. This time I went.

Nice quaint spot. When you go inside along the wall to the left are all the comics who have just appeared within the last month or so. Big names have been there. That was cool.

Once you get to the “comedy room” it opens up to seats ahead all long the stage. Some seats have a small table for food and/ or drinks. They had a two item minimum, meaning you could get food and a drink and you’ve met their requirements. We got there at Happy Hour so that was definitely “on the money”.

We had some great appetizers and I got to order a craft beer. You should know by now, I’m into the craft beers, buddy. See why here.

Anyway, the opening act was a guy named Fernando who also played host. He was funny. His jokes were about Mexicans, him being one (I found all but one comic said something about Mexicans).He also has a medicinal choice for ladies experiencing PMS. You’d have to hear him explain. Good jokes, good guy.

Then there was a brother named Pritchard who did his thing, mainly, about how we as people do some silly shizz everyday. What I liked was how he explained Old Rap and New Rap. Great description AND song! You’d have to hear him, too. As a matter of fact, I told him we’ll see him again.

Freddy Lockhart was the first headliner. He was a half white/half black man who used this to his advantage with his jokes. He described the plight of being both and the differences on what both races say and do THAT ARE STUPID. I like this kind of humor! He let everyone know who stupid we can all be. He went into dogs which led him into some FANTASTIC impressions. I’d see him again.

The last guy was Jacob Sirof. This guy was on Last Comic Standing. He was an excellent comic. It seemed like his whole act was improvisational. He went in on a lady who sat in the front row. He went in on my wife because of a question he asked about Oprah. He went in on a few “Pinoy” guys who were sitting shoulder to shoulder watching the show. This guy was EXCELLENT.A must see. I’ll be following him on twitter.

Overall, the show was fun and started on time and ended on time. We were on the way to our next show at the Comedy Palace that night, so, the timing worked out in our favor.

The Comedy Palace

2 Jul

Savadra:

Anther night of comedy to add to the notches on my comedy belt lol.  We ahd the pleasure to see the comdey of Mario Joyner.  I love Aferican American comedians because they are able to say a lot that otheres cannot becasuse most races have to be politically – comically correct.  And us African Americans can take you to a whole other level when it comes to comedy.  For instance… Mario comes from a family of 8.  When asked how may boys to girls ratio… He has it classified as “3 shooters and 5 non shooters”.  Only my people!  I love my people lol. I have to say that Mario is very talented as a comedian and doing it for 20+ years makes him great at what he does.  And I have to admit that I couldn’t stop laughing the whole set.  

I also love the fact that the Comedy Palace showcases local talent.  Locals are the ones that end up making it big somewhere.  And if they choose to stay local they can still pay their bills!  I sooooo am glad that I have had the chance to see approximately 10 local San Diego comedians over the past few months (4 of which I saw at the Comedy Palace).

 From local comedians to local bands… San diego is very supportive of their own and will find a way for you to get your voice heard! 

You can always find something to do locally and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to create some great memories!!!

Kevin:

The Comedy Palace

I love comedy. I love to laugh. If you know me well enough, you know I laugh at everything.

So, a trip to The Comedy Palace to see Mario Joyner (Everybody Hate Chris, Comedy Central) hit the spot! The host started off with some “House Rules” that involved how to clap and cheer the acts. I was included in the instructions being the only “brother” in the audience, supposedly. You have to go to hear the rules because I’m not going to spoil it for anyone. The acts included:

  1. The Host – Zach Miller – This guy was definitely on point with the jokes. He kept the show flowing. A great talent.
  2. Matt Blag/Black? – This guy has a slow, “dry” since of humor for the intelligent listener. If you don’t pay attention to his slow pace, you could actually have a joke go straight over your head.
  3.  Zara Mizrahi – Female comedian who is a “Mexican Jew”. This girl was funny as hell.Very energetic. Quick witted. She has her stuff on iTunes, as a matter of fact.
  4. Russell Hicks – This guy was a regular there but hasn’t gotten popular enough to go on to Los Angeles to gigs there, too. Now this guy was extremely funny, witty and SHARP with the jokes.I can see this guy headlining, if he doesn’t already. His jokes were NON STOP!!
  5. Mario Joyner – The headliner. I’ve seen this guy all over Comedy Central and a number of TV shows, so, I knew who he was. I didn’t know he was as funny as he was. Yet, I knew he was a funny guy. On the way home, me and Savadra kept quoting him during the drive and we were cracking each other up (eve without his same delivery!).

Overall, the place had great food and drinks and the show was worth it. It also felt great to come into the show as VIPs. The line was long getting in, when all of a sudden, the line was roped off and we came in. Groupon did it again!!

Local Brews Local Grooves at the House of Blues, San Diego

18 Jun

Kevin and Savadra

 

Savadra:

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Local Brews Local Grooves at the San Diego House of Blues.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect because when it comes to bands in California they cover the spectrum. And beer isn’t really my forte.  But I must admit… I had a great time.

The evening started out with some buffalo chicken wings and French fried from that were really great!  And then we went downstairs to the concert hall (I think).  But when we got down there we could hear the faint sounds of music.  The atmosphere was great for a Friday night.

There were about 14 bands that covered a range of music from pop to rock and roll on 2 stages.  And I don’t think that anything was missed.  There was Latin music fused with Reggae undertones, pop with electron dance, and down home blues from the soft to the most hardcore fused with a little Rap.  California allows all artists to create their niche and I think I saw it all from the young to the not so young.  There were a few artists that stuck out in my mind for various reasons.

The Pacific Rails reminded me of the sounds and guitar riffs of Carlos Santana, Nikki Wilkins made me think of a rising pop star because she had it all… The look, the voice, and the stage presence… Nikki Wilson is definitely on her way!    Sunday Hustle blew me away with their Rhythm and Blues sound; not to be mistaken for R&B.  These 2 woman sang like it was no bodies business and they were so in tune with each other that  they even went for their water at the same time (which I thought was cute.  Alas de Mosca touched my Latin side in a great way.  And I don’t think that I can say enough about Lisa Sanders!  Lisa has soul like she invented soul herself.  Her songs told a story that you could feel as if she wrote the song for each audience member while not losing any piece of her. When I saw her coming in at dinner I was like… This lady is gonna bring it… And that she did!  There were so many bands that sang the blues that I lost count.  I had no idea I loved Blues so much.  And California has some of the best Blues singers for your money.  I look forward to supporting all of these local bands.

You should check them out for yourself: The Pacific Rails, Two Worlds, Talk Like June, Sunday Hustle, Colin Clyne, The Black Sands, Leanna May and the Matadors, Nikki Wilkins Band, Lisa Sanders, Alas De Mosca, Roni Lee Group, Jesse Nova, Lessons From Zeke, and Big Penny.  You will NOT regret supporting these local San Diegans… I PROMISE!!!!

Sorry for the grainy look.. These photos were taken with my phone without the flash! I didn’t bring my camera…

Kevin:

Umm…what she said…

Here were the acts:

  1. The Pacific Rails – reminded me of Santana for some reason.Damn sure good music.
  2.  Two Worlds
  3. Talk Like June  – I didn’t know that Blues could sound so damn good!Last time I saw Blue live was in Kansas City.They ROCKED THE HOUSE!! I like how the dude on the harmonica kicked a rap verse…with ease.Y’all go!
  4. Sunday Hustle  – Two Sexy females with a GREAT band backing them.That’s all I’ll say because my wife is blogging with me.
  5. Colin Clyne 
  6. The Black Sands
  7. Leanna May and the Matadors
  8. Nikki Wilkins Band  – A cutie with Soul.Great band backing them.Obviuosly, she has a following because some dude kept yelling out his love for her.
  9. Lisa Sanders – When this group came out, I thought , “What are these folks gonna do?”They don’t look how they sound.I have to apologize for judging the book by its cover.Lisa was a damn good singer (Brown Sugar,too).They had a great following and we even talked to her sister in the audience.Great band!
  10. Alas De Mosca – This was my favorite group of them all.They did this song called “Egun” that rocked my whole being!I’m STILL looking for that song! I hit them up on Facebook as soon as I got home!
  11.  Roni Lee Group – This woman WAS the epitome of Rock ‘n Roll.She was a lil’ time bomb who proved GIRLS ROCK!! She wrote songs for the group The Runaways ( which is a movie, by the way)
  12. Jesse Nova – This was the last group I can remember seeing. I judged this book by the cover , too.This man did hid thing.Loud and Proud.
  13. Lessons From Zeke 
  14. Big Penny

I’m not gonna lie to you. I was there for the beers! I will say though, some of the groups stood out in my mind.Which is why I have few words.Here are some pics:

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Hiking on the trails of Tamarack

12 Jun

Savadra:

Hiking with coworkers was going to be fun team building experience that turned more into a lesson of me finding out who I was. Now I love to do things that are out of my comfort zone that people to refer to as crazy.  And this turned out to be another one of them.  Now, we met up at the gate which looked almost like the entry of somewhere we should not have been.  But then it began to lead us to a path that contained some beautiful sights. There was an amazing view of the canyon on one side and a lake on the other side that had a drop that I would hate to take.

Initially, this started out looking like this was going to be easy because it wasn’t like any of the trails of Torrey Pines so I thought.  I say that only because we only went to the top trail and made our way down and then back up; making note of all the other trails.

As we got further in and closer to the bottom of the mountain; that’s where I began to see that this was not an easy trail; but more on the moderate side.  I know I said that I wanted to step it up from easy to moderate.  But I had no real idea to expect.

The 2 hour trail started with us walking up a rock filled path.  Some of the paths started to feel like I was rock climbing because the paths were not as smooth as I thought they should be.  Instead we were trying to balance ourselves to avoid slipping and falling.  I was all in and way over my head all at the same time.  But as I got further in and saw how beautiful the view was behind me… I couldn’t wait to get to the top.

On the way up we saw a cave that we wanted to explore but there happened to be some belongings of a homeless person.  And I have learned that California is one of the best places in the world to be homeless.  So, we passed on discovering the cave and kept to the mission at hand…  Getting to the top of this beautiful mountain!  And the higher up the more breath-taking the view.

We saw some beautiful cactus like flowers that I don’t know the name of that has flowers growing out of them.  I thought they looked strangely beautiful because they were all alone.

Once high enough we were able to see way off into the horizon where I pointed out the direction of where our house was as well as some other familiar sights.  And then noticing how high we were and how I wouldn’t want to fall down there.

As we continued on our journey the trails became more challenging with bigger rocks to the point that I felt like were baby rock climbing because I was using the ground to help me take my next steps in some cases.  But to my surprise I was not alone there.  My coworker was doing the same thing.  Now my other coworker had done this trail before so she was our guide and inter mitten entertainment because she played the ukulele from time to time; which kinda took our minds off the difficulty of the trail.

Approaching the top was crazy because some of the paths became steep.  But once we were at the top we felt super accomplished and took in the views of the lake, homes, and the ocean.

After some short exploring; we headed back down.  And that’s where it got crazy for me and one other person.  We were actually walking on the edge of this mountain top and there no ropes, guards, or anything to protect you from a fall and the path down was kinda steep.  When we turned a slight corner I was ready to turn back around.  But there was no turning back.  I had to keep going if I wanted to get back to a more familiar ground.  I really had to mentally brace myself for the climb down.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  My coworker turned around and went feet first.  And I literally sat and walked down crab style.  It really made my husband laugh because he figured out how to walk down graciously.  I’m thinking part of my problem was that I was afraid of heights and doing this.

There were some fellow hikers that were behind us and we apologized for moving so slow.  They laughed at us playfully along with my husband.

Once we reached the bottom, we took a group photo as a reminder of the goal that we accomplished of standing at the top of the mountain behind us.

See ya on the next adventure.

Kevin:

The Mountain We “Conquered”

Hiking.

Now that we’ve hiked Torrey Pines, it’s an addictive case of finding more and more trails, now. As Savadra said this trip was spearheaded by friends of hers. It was presented to me and I jumped at the chance. At the same time it was an opportunity to meet some of her friends and interview on in particular – Isann.

From my understanding, Isann released an album, years ago, and the sales helped finance the building of a school in the Philippines. Amazing. Unfortunately, the video camera batteries died so I didn’t get the interview. I will, though.

After meeting up with her friends at the gate, we wasted no time and got our “hike on”. Seeing what we were up against, it was almost intimidating. There were lots of steep hills and rocks. Great amounts of plant life, too. As we were making our way up, you could see that this is definitely a popular spot. The occasional beer can here and there, a cave (which we will see on another trip out there), graffiti and other hikers.

With the spot being more inland it helped that we went at a time when the sun was blocked by the clouds. Otherwise, it would’ve felt like hell out there in the heat!

We kept seeing these flowers that grew out in the middle of some of the “gnarliest “shrubbery. It was like a rose growing in the middle of the jungle. I would look behind us just to see the beautiful horizon. You could see across Carlsbad out to the Pacific Ocean and the beaches. A beautiful sight!

I will say, I thought the hike was gonna take longer than it did. It took about 30-45 minutes to get to the top. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an easy hike.

It was a fun hike, though.

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