Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Thanksgivings will, for me, be forever associated with long road trips to California to play soccer. Or to coach soccer. For the second year in a row, Jasmine and I will be several states apart on this holiday weekend. She in Colorado to show off her belly to her grandparents, and me in San Diego for the Nomads soccer tournament. It is my last such tournament with this group of boys, many of whom I've coached for over four years now. They are good lads...all of them. Last year I made the mistake of walking three of them around Tihijuana for an evening. We only had to reject 5 or 6 offers to go into the topless bars and 5 or 6 more for smoking hash and 10 or 20 for illegal firecrackers and switchblade knives. My first trip to TJ was also on the tale end of a trip to Nomads. My dad drove me and several teammates down in our old red and grey Suburban. We ate the buffet at Ceasar's Palace in Vegas on the way down and on the way home, the transmission dropped somewhere in the high desert between Victorville and Barstow. My Pops had to hitchhike back to Victorville to rent a car while we watched football and ate pizza. Sandwiched in between was a trip across the border, my first of any kind, and I was fascinated. Phil Snyder was our goalkeeper and was literally, not approximately, two feet and 80 lbs bigger than me. He listened to Rush, taught 30 year olds how to play the drums, had a brother in prison, and made me borrow some Andrew Dice Clay tapes that I was afraid to listen because I was fairly innocent then. PhiI smuggled switchblades and M-80's and other contraband back across the border. All I smuggled was a brown stain in my extra mediums from eating tacos and being stuck in traffic for three ours trying to cross. Phil's remarkable maturity in haggling with the street vendors only highlighted the embarassement of a kid who'd just crapped his pants. No matter. I tossed my drawers in the first gas station dumpster we passed and Phil acted like crapping your pants was the norm for a trip down south.

Next time on "Fun California Road Trips" we'll explain the picture of Jasmine and I walking on what we thought at the time was I-80 eastbound but was really just a campground at Lake Tahoe.

La familia Sanchez

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Good Sunday

Today was a good day and it started with an extra hour to sleep in and cuddle in bed. We ate a good breakfast and went for a walk-trot around Liberty Park (Arthur is so nice to accompany me on such "workouts", where it takes us 30 minutes to walk-trot 1.5 miles). Our walk was especially nice because the weather was beautiful today. The sun was warm but the air a bit crisp. And the dead leaves everywhere smelled so good. Perfect for a walk. We then came home and started cleaning the house (which we usually don't have time to do on Saturdays because of soccer-now the season is officially over-sadly, Arthur's boys lost in the final yesterday) and made some good soup before we had to leave to the airport. I just got home and Arthur is probably boarding a plane to LA right now.
It was mostly a good day because I spent it with Arthur. I've been thinking about the fact that he and I only have a few weekends left of just us and to be honest, it makes me a little sad. I feel bad for having such a selfish thought but I think the more general idea behind it is that I'm really starting to realize that things are just going to be so different. Arthur is so reassurring and says that it'll still be us but better. I know he's right, and in all truth, I really can't wait to be a parent with him. We have had a great four and a half years of it being just us and now we're ready to have Astrid.