Got back in Sunday night after a 4 day trip to San Diego for a conference. Took K with me since it was a great opportunity to catch some sun, relax a bit and see his brother's family. Thursday night we hit up a nice brew pub restaurant called Karl Strauss where my friend and fellow panelist joined us later for some beers. We headed to another bar after that one closed and it looked very promising with its great number of beers on tap. Unfortunately those taps mostly poured shitty beer like Coors and Bud. Friday noon was my panel which went well but was poorly attended because it was in the alternative hotel where all the presenters boycotting the Hyatt (owner supports Prop 8) moved their panels, and because it's a huge ass conference where folks are spread out because of the sheer number of panels running concurrently. Oh yeah, and no one gives a flying shit about Asian American issues.
After the panel we went out for a nice lunch where K got to meet my conference buddies. We had Mexican food since most of us (from Washington and Illinois) are deprived of good Mexican grub. That night we went to our awkward department party where food was free but drinks were a huge rip off. It wasn't too long before I wanted to scream. Being confined to a room with a number of people whom I dislike for one reason or another (generally I can sum up as ego, power, race, gender type issues) makes me want to drink heavily, and my Ketel and tonic was $10 so that wasn't practical. Finally we got out of there and reconvened with the other graduate students across the street where an old prof of my joined us. Eventually we called it a night.
Saturday was San Diego Zoo day. The niece and nephew were a lot of fun and almost on their best behavior. K's brother is very...different, even more different than I had imagined and in almost every possible way. Overall it was a really fun day and we got to see koalas, pandas, giraffes, elephants, and a bunch of animals from Asia and Africa that I really couldn't identify or remember the names of. I just remember thinking there is a load of venomous snakes and spiders all over Asia, Africa, and South America and it scared the shit out of me to think about it. Unexpected highlight of the day was the the Asian male tour guide for the tour bus who had this extremely cheery, forcefully gay, lispy style of speech even when he announced really morbid animal facts, e.g. "...and the mother lion lays out in front of the den to prevent predators from completely destroying her helpless young!!!" It was like musical theater meets Lorne Green's New Wilderness (that 80s TV show where you got to see animals up close hunting and ripping the guts out of their prey) and it was delightful. That night was spent hot tubbing and then dining in Little Italy before I met up with some old profs from San Fran for drinks.
Sunday was our last day which we spent touring Old Town. Nice to stroll around in the sun and check out some of the old buildings. Not the most exciting place I've ever been to but perfect place to spend a few hours outdoors before heading to the airport to go home. I miss the sun and warmth already. Pacific Northwest bleh.