My Review of My Summer, Part Two

19 Nov

from September 13, 2009

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you didn’t like my last blog I don’t expect you’ll like this one. On the other hand, if you liked my last blog you’ll like this one because I’ll very probably use the same jokes, you know, the same jokes I’ve been using for the last three years. So perhaps you may not like this one after all, as it is likely not very different from what you’ve read before. On the other hand (and I think I’m up to my third hand at this point) I’ll be writing about stuff I haven’t written about before so maybe you’ll stick around.

I do, though, start off with something I have written about before, airplane travel. You may want to skip that section and jump ahead to where I talk about the phoniest Italian food in Providence.

But if you ask me, and well you should since after all I wrote this crap, maybe you should just log off altogether and go back to your farm game or your zombie fight. It is all kind of silly.

In fact, I do something in this blog I rarely do. (Fact check? Praise Obama?) At certain points I exercise discretion. This has the twofold effect of shortening my blog (“yay,” you are undoubtedly thinking) and perhaps leaving out promising avenues of sophomoric humor. Believe me, it is very hard for me to leave a fifth grade fart joke or crude sexual euphemism out of my blog but at certain points I did it. The upside is that I get to avoid some stuff I want to avoid and I get to lean back from my keyboard, thinking “ah, how adult of me.”


I spent ten days in San Diego this summer.

To get to San Diego you’ve got some options. You can take a train across the country, but unless you are living in 1955 no one does that anymore. You can drive across the country, but I’ve seen The Twilight Zone and I know I’ll be seeing the same hitchhiker asking “going my way?” every time I stop and by the time I got to Missouri I’d drive into a lake. That left me with only one other option- hot air balloon. However, the FAA refused to give me the proper clearance to fly over Nevada and I said fuck it, I’ll take a plane.

I paid an extra $40 to get a seat in the extra legroom section. I got about two extra inches, but if you’ve ever flown in a full plane for longer than 15 minutes you’ll know how much I appreciated the extra two inches.

Know what else I got for the extra $40? I got to sit next to the emergency exit, a very responsible seat. The stewardess asked all of us next to the exits if we were willing to help other passengers out of the plan in the event of an emergency. If not we could switch seats. No way was I giving up the extra legroom so I lied and said sure I’d be willing to help. In fact I was already composing my speech for CNN explaining why no one but me got off the plane before it went down.

I took the door position very seriously. When the stewardess specifically asked me if I knew how and when to open the door, I told her “you’d better tell me when not to open this door, ‘cause I am ready!”

She then very slowly and patiently told me when not to open the door.

The flight itself was very uneventful, except for one time when we hit a spell of turbulence and I grabbed for the emergency handles. The stewardess kindly asked me to let go. I was ready, dammit!

About three hours into the flight, when it was nice and quiet, I looked out the window; turned to my brother (did I mention my brother came with me? Well I’m mentioning it now.) and said “there’s a man on the wing!” He was not at all amused, probably because I say that to him every single time we fly.

I went to San Diego for a week of training where I learned that I hate training, and especially hate it when I have training with other teachers. The highlight of the training came when my group had to turn an old poem into a sketch and I had to tie up a very attractive teacher from Seattle in a bondage position. This is true. I was not at all comfortable but she had clearly done it before. “Run this rope between my breasts” she said at one point and I really wished there were not thirty other people around. I have not found them yet but pictures of this do exist. I hope they stay lost.

Along with me from my school were some other teachers who kind of went off on their own and my AP. Every single day he told us how much he wanted to take us out to dinner and every single dinner time he was nowhere to be found.

While I was there I saw the zoo, where we watched an ape piss right in front of us.

I did a lot of touristy stuff and if you want to you can check my photos on Facebook. Be on the lookout for the one where I am wearing a stupid looking hat.

The less said about San Diego the better because it was, quite frankly, fun but not funny. Good for me to experience, bad for you to read about. (That sums up everything I have ever written in a blog, bad for you to read about. Why do you do it?)

San Diego was sandwiched, sort of, by two trips of urban exploration.

Here is how wikipedia defines Urban Exploration:

Urban exploration is the examination of the normally unseen or off-limits parts of urban areas or industrial facilities.  The nature of this activity presents various risks, including both physical danger and the possibility of arrest and punishment. Many, but not all, of the activities associated with urban exploration could be considered trespassing or other violations of local or regional laws.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This blog is a work of fiction. Any illegal trespassing or violation of local laws is intended as humor and is in no way an admission of guilt. And as for the photos I posted on my profile, I have no clue how they got there, who took them, or why I am even in some of them. And maybe that’s not even my profile. Wait, do you have a warrant? Get your hands off me, I know my rights!

I was caught in a rainstorm while Michelle and I explored an old abandoned mental asylum on Staten Island.

Read that back, there’s a lot to take in. I know it all sounds pretty Scooby Doo but that is what happened. (Maybe happened, wink wink.)

Let me go back to the beginning. In fact, let me go back before the beginning. I’m going all the way back to when I was a kid in grade school. Trust me, this will make sense. At least as much sense as my blogs usually make. (Be glad I have not come crazy with the punctuation. I haven’t done that in ages and I’m itching to go nuts with semi-colons. But I digress. You may remember I was using some discretion in this blog.)

Ten-year old me had a ten-year old friend named Michael. For some reason we would go to school and tell each other the most ridiculous lies about what we did the night before. I’d tell him I saw a UFO. He’d tell me he went into a haunted house. I’d tell him I saw a ghost on my fire escape. He’d tell me fought a werewolf. I once showed him some white paint splotches around my block and told him they were skeleton tracks and I followed them all the way to the cemetery. What does this show? It shows that ten-year old me was as big a jerk as 2009 me.

Zip ahead to July, 2009. Remember the rainiest day of the summer? The one where Staten Island was hit with a tornado? Streets were flooded, trees were down, some areas were blacked out? That was the day I could be found driving around the backwoods. Or as close as S.I. has to backwoods.

Michelle has done a lot of urban exploration and I always wanted to do some so this was the day we picked to go. Would I have done this with David Din? No. Would I have done this with Bonnie? No, she’s snubbing me. But I’d do it with Michelle. (Poor choice of phrase? Yes, but if you take your mind out of the gutter it is perfectly innocent.) If you are reading this and you know Michelle, no explanation is necessary. If you are reading this and you don’t know, that’s your loss. She’s great. Absolutely great.

First we went to the boat graveyard. No, let me start over.

First we went to the spooky, abandoned, Old Boat Graveyard, where rusty hulks decompose and die!

Isn’t that better? Sound spooky enough? It really wasn’t spooky, despite the gray skies and rain. The best place to see it was on the property of a construction company. Normally I avoid places where construction workers could beat me up and throw me into a river, but I had to man up and we took some pics until a guy yelled at us and we had to stop.

We drove around in the rain, guided by Michelle’s iPhone, and made a large number of wrong turns in the pouring rain until we got to the site of the abandoned mental asylum. At least Michelle said it was the site. All I saw was a fence surrounding a lot of trees. Michelle knows her stuff though, and after a quick duck through a hole in the fence we were in.


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