Day 19: Waiting in Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara Roasting Company

Monday, 6:30pm: I’m at the Santa Barbara Roasting Company, waiting out traffic. It’s not a bad place to be stuck, actually: weekend destination for many, close to the wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, and home to my alma mater.

I could write volumes on Santa Barbara: my love/hate relationship with the city, the good times, the bad times, and all of the friends I made over the years. Going to school and living here for years after graduating changed my life. I met a lot of wonderful people along the way, but when fate and circumstance convened years ago, I did not hesitate to move away.

Still, I’ll always consider Santa Barbara my home away from home. It’s changed a lot since I was a resident, but in many ways it’s the same. I still have friends here, but my closest friends are long gone. They were my last two roommates before I moved to the Inland Empire. We had a lot of fun together and whenever I visit this part of downtown, I think about them.

I remember one night we were downtown for dinner. Whether it was a pre-bar-hopping dinner or not, I don’t recall, but I’ll never forget what we had that night: pizza. Uncle Rocco’s was our spot then; we loved their big, thin New York pizzas. We each ordered a slice and I beat both of my buddies to the red pepper shaker, knowing that we all loved the added spiciness. I probably gloated a bit over my victory in the Great Red Pepper Race of 2006. No, I definitely gloated over getting the shaker first.

I then proceeded to dump the entire shaker’s contents onto my slice.

Thanks to some jokester who’d loosened the jar’s top, what was meant to be a few shakes to spice up my slice ended up being a single shake that unleashed an avalanche of red pepper onto my plate. My pizza was buried underneath, like a team of explorers meeting their destiny on Everest.

My buddies couldn’t stop laughing for what seemed like hours. I cleaned up my dinner and our table, laughing along with them. It’s nearly ten years later and I’m still laughing.

Day 11: Pictures for Soul Sunday


I’m feeling the effects of watching the NFL playoffs: my brain is mush and my body is antsy. I just can’t do these marathon sessions in front of the TV anymore. Unless it’s watching shows about zombies, of course.

So, today’s post will simply be three photos that make me feel good. I took each one during this past year using the camera on my Nexus 5 (thanks to HDR+ and Auto Awesome for making my photos look halfway decent).

Three pictures to rejuvenate myself; it’s good for my soul on this Sunday.

1. Latte art. Klatch Coffee, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.


2. Atrium in the Georgina Cole Library, Carlsbad, CA.


3. View from Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA.