Living in Colorado I have an (unhealthy) fascination with IKEA. I totally dig that funky northern European furniture design. In fact, one of my Christmas presents this year originated from the Scandinavian Designs store in Westminster.

Unfortunately Those Swedes haven't chosen to build one of their stores anywhere near my home, so when I was in San Diego this summer we had to visit the local IKEA store. Because of this my friends Kara and Joe, from San Diego, brought me a pair of IKEA slippers as a gift.

Amazingly enough there are people out there who aren't as impressed with IKEA as I am. One of these critics is singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton.

Jonathon has a very amusing song appropriately named… IKEA

Back from the Coast

So, my trip out the west coast is over. This was my first trip to California, and I found it very different than I imagined.

The first thing I noticed was the traffic. Everyone always talks about how bad the Southern California traffic is. Personally I thought it was FANTASTIC. If you don’t live here in Northern Colorado, you might not understand. Our community has an incredibly high traffic cop to driver ratio. In fact I got pulled over myself just a couple weeks ago. Out in Cali it’s completely different. Everyone out there drives with a flagrant disregard for any kind of personal safety. No one even seems to notice the lines that the state so generously painted on the streets. In fact I think California could improve their budget if they just saved all that pigment. Traffic cops were nowhere to be found. It’s a free-for-all and I had a blast (of course my sister, the untrusting individual that she is, didn’t enjoy the roads as much as I did).

The other major eye-opener in San Diego was the lack of Beautiful People™. TV, Movies, popular culture in general creates this image of Southern California as being full of sun-kissed, large breasted, scantily clad, bleached blonde women and statuesque surfer men with rippling muscles wearing wetsuits during the day and Armani at night. This was just not the case. Perhaps different areas fit this stereotype better, but San Diego, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, even La Jolla just didn’t give me this impression. On the contrary, population was (generally) split into two different categories. One was the same kind of 30-40 something parents running around in mini-vans and SUVs with their kids that we have in Colorado (this includes the tourists). The other were beach bums that haven’t changed clothes in the last 5 years. You know the kind – the people that are working on (or have) killing all their brain cells with pot. Sure, there was a mix, large hispanic population, plenty of flashy/expensive cars, but overall the biggest difference from here were the bohemian style beach culture. Not what I really expected at all.

Overall, it was a great trip. I’ll probably post more comments, stories and pics in the near future. For now I’m just glad to be home.

I’m going to California (Part I)

Nearly a year ago my friend Kara, formerly of Loveland Colorado and now living in beautiful San Diego, got married. My sister and I (Kara’s actually Lindsey’s friend) were going to go. We bought tickets, had our bags packed and were headed for an early flight out of DIA (which incidentally I was in trouble for scheduling. Appearantly Lindsey thinks all vacations should start at 4pm).

The night prior to our depature I recieved a phone call from my sister. Her husband, Bob (yeah, we have the same first name – It’s not THAT strange), had fallen off a bicycle and hurt his knee. We might have to cancel the trip. I waited on pins and needles for her next phone call. When she called she had bad news. Bob had broken his knee and was going to have to surgery – she couldn’t go to San Diego. I could have went by myself, but it didn’t sound like fun, so after multiple cursing, hitting walls and yelling at the dogs I called the airlines and changed our tickets.

Later I found out the actual situation. Bob had been working late and Lindsey, as the wonderful wife she is, had taken him some food. The plant where he works is gated and one of his co-workers suggested Bob ride his bicycle out to the gate. Bob rode out to the gate and attempted to balance his supper on the handlebars of the bicycle. His balancing attempt failed and he planted his foot to regain his balance. Unfortunately, he lost more than his balance, his knee shattered, an ambulance was called, surgery was performed with multiple pins and our trip was cancelled. All this for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.

Now fast forward 11 months. Kara’s wedding is (obviously) over, but we still have tickets for San Diego. We are finally going to see her. Booked the tickets this weekend and requested the time off work. I’ve never been to California, so I am excited. Pray that there are no more freak accidents this time.