Long Week

It’d been a long week. I spent a couple of extra hours at work Friday evening to take care of a few extra things, and finally it was over. I went up to the roof where I always park and took in the warm, orange, purple sunset, and then I was off.

Today was probably the hottest day of the year so far. I drove by the Cal campus where scantily clad coeds were making their way out of class, but my mind was on something else. I cracked open my windows and turned off the air conditioning. I adjusted my seat-back forward, shifted into S, and grabbed the steering wheel with both hands. It was time to get ready.

The road to the starting line was paved with pedestrians, minivans, and bicycles, but as they say, nothing worth having comes easy. I made my way up the perimeter of the campus, the engine purring ever so slightly as a sign of things to come. A couple of right turns, a left turn, and then a short trip over a potholed road, and there I was. No more pedestrians, no more cars. Just me, my TSX, and the impending twilight.

I slammed the accelerator and the engine roared to life, sucking in air through the velocity stacks of the CT-E icebox and mixing it with 93 octane gasoline. One could call it sweet music (or VTEC). I quickly tapped the paddle shifter; the sweet music changed to a subtle hum. A shallow S-turn was coming. There were no oncoming cars. A line flashed through my mind and a split second later I was guiding the TSX along it, briefly crossing over the double-yellows as the pitch of the engine rose to a crescendo.

Next was some open road where I could increase my velocity. I felt the suspension stiffen as my speed increased. I took a turn thinking that I was going too fast. The Bridgestone Potenzas hugged the road while the Ebony Leather bucket seats hugged me. My body felt the Gs and my heart felt the fear, but I wasn’t even close to this machine’s limit. Another turn. I went faster, and the front-left tire screeched in warning. I pulled back a little, and for a split-second moment, everything was in balance, in slow motion: my body and arms fighting inertia, my foot keeping the tires planted on the road, the Eibach springs maintaining the low center of gravity, and the sun finally creeping below the horizon.

With the onset of twilight came the onset of traffic once again. Back under the limit, I had a chance to glimpse over to the West. The Golden Gate Bridge, living up to its name. The entire San Francisco Bay, basked in a dark orange, blue, and purple. Though it was short, I had had my fun. I shifted back to D, closed the windows, turned on the air conditioning, and the TSX transformed back into a luxury sedan. Just as it had every day this long week, my car transported me back home with a smile on my face.

Update: I submitted this story to Acura’s Owner Stories site and it got published!

Goodbye to Guitar

Tonight I packed away my electric guitar in preparation for its sale tomorrow. I’ve had this guitar since ’99 or 2000, the time that I was really into learning how to play. 12 years later, I haven’t really made any progress, my life situation is uncertain, and I think it’s time that someone else benefits from it.

My father playing the guitar
My father playing the guitar

I first became interested in playing the guitar after I found my father’s old classical guitar in storage. I had seen him play it before and he seemed to enjoy it, being able to play a few licks here and there. I’ve also always been fascinated by guitarists, how it seems that they can effortlessly move their fingers across the fretboard. Who doesn’t think guitar players are cool?

Me and My Guitar
Me during my heyday as a guitar "player"

There are some things I’m really good at, but guitar playing is not one of them. I shall accept this fact and sell my electric guitar, but I will always keep my father’s guitar.

Ribeye Roast in Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Ribeye Roast with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

My dinner tonight, shared with family. It was one of those meals where I spend hours preparing it, and then eating it seems anticlimactic because it’s over so relatively quickly. Also, with all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, it’s difficult to just sit down and eat. I kept getting up for one reason or another. Maybe in the future I’ll rest myself as well as my roast before I start eating.

Note to self: the Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles was pretty good, in case you want to get another one.