All posts tagged Stories

  • I’m on a Bus

    Ever have a way of doing something that seemed a to be a bit of a hardship, only to have someone show you a much easier way of doing it so that you felt like a total idiot?

    For me, that instance was learning how to get from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara on the bus. Turns out that you can hop onto the Line 24, and it goes straight down the 101 to the transit center in the heart of downtown. Your other alternative is to take the Line 11, which goes the long way by going down Hollister Avenue through Goleta until it turns into State Street.

    The 24 takes about 20 minutes or so, the 11 takes a good hour at the very least. And for the longest time, I was completely ignorant of the existence of the 24 and was taking the line 11 all the way downtown every time I wanted to go see a movie or something.

    Not that I regret it completely though, as it gave me ample opportunity to do some interesting people watching. See, only normal people ride the 24…

    The Line 11 is freak central.

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  • Laundrobat

    Let me tell you about a little place called Isla Vista.

    Isla Vista is the little college “town” that’s adjacent to UCSB. Among its more interesting claims to fame, it has the highest population density between the Mississippi River and China.  Itt’s responsible for one percent of the total annual gross domestic beer consumption (And the town is only one square mile). Two thirds of the population have an STD of some sort.  And the entire town is managed by a council of people who happen to be the slumlords that own everything in the first place.

    So what that adds up to is that the whole damned place is one big hole in the ground that’s brimming over with crap. Everything is falling apart, nothing works, every apartment is not up to code, and instead of fixing anything the landlords just up the rent by a hundred bucks per occupant every year.

    Capitalism at work.

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  • Grudge Match

    I do hereby declare the year 2002 to be the Year of a Thousand Mikes.

    Seriously, that year was absolutely surreal for me, every aspect of my life was infiltrated by other people named Mike.

    There was another guy at work named Mike.

    Every class in school had at least one other Mike. Hell, my California Flora class had a total of SEVEN Mikes.

    I was even sharing the house I lived in with another Mike.

    So yeah, as you can imagine my life was a little bit chaotic. Every time someone said “Mike!” I’d respond, even though most of the time they weren’t referring to me. And it’s not like anyone could ever pronounce my last name and call me that, so I just settled into a routine of ignoring people who called my name.

    But that’s really beside the point.

    No, actually this story is less about me, and more about that other Mike that I shared my house with.

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  • Improvisation

    There are two kinds of grocery stores.

    There’s the regular kind, like your plain ‘ol neighborhood Safeway or Albertsons, and then you’ve got the trendy grocery stores that cater to every little trend in food, be it organic food or low carb, local growers and products, etc. etc.

    We have this place near our house (Although Albertsons is much closer) called Central Market that definitely falls into the latter category. This place is huge, and has all sorts of weird and crazy stuff. They have a whole subsection of the store devoted entirely to Asian food, with aisles and freezers chock full of things that I have no idea what they are.

    “Vege Lucky Ham” for instance. My best guess was that it was some sort of tofu meat or something.

    The meat counter also has some pretty weird stuff. I only know of one other place anywhere near me where you can buy buffalo (This exotic meat store whose slogan is “From Alligator to Zebra!”). Hell, they have some stuff there that I haven’t ever even HEARD of, and I have a friggin’ degree in zoology.

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  • 28 Minutes Later

    I have a friend that we all call Q-Ball. We call him that because his last name is Quintoriano, and he shaves his head so he looks like a cue ball. So we call him


    Anyway, Q-Ball and I are fans of horror movies, and during the summer at night, we’d stay up into the wee hours of the morning thinking up all sorts of creepy things that would be awesome to see in a movie. Of course we’d do this out in my backyard where it was all dark and creepy and full of things rustling in the bushes to make sudden noises, so more often than not we just spent the night freaking ourselves out.

    At the time, I lived in Fresno. Now Fresno is a pretty large city (Second largest in the state, actually.), but the part of town we lived on was on the very far northern fringe of the city, so that we were on the bleeding edge of urban sprawl encroaching into agricultural areas. Take a two-minute drive, and you’d find yourself out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by foothills and trees, miles away from civilization with nary even a street lamp to illuminate your way.

    One night we were going down one of these anonymous roads in Q-Ball’s dad’s truck, and we were doing our usual routine of fine-tuning our hypothetical horror movie that would never see the light of day. We were coming up with some pretty creepy stuff, as usual, but it was OK as long as the light from the headlights kept the creepy crawly darkness away.

    So of course that’s the perfect time for the truck to die.

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