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Back Home

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The flight back home was not as miserable as I had anticipated. I ended up buying a new ticket, all Virgin, instead of using my Hawaiian Airlines credit. With the ticket to the Philippines and the $200 fee to simply use my credit, the new ticket ended up being slightly more expensive than the Hawaiian Airlines ticket, after I jumped through all of their hoops. The flight from Melbourne to LA was $575 and I bought a separate Virgin flight from LA to SF for $70 (which was actually $100 after I found out I had to pay for my two checked bags).

But enough of that airline bullshit; the fact of the matter is I got back home. I got through customs quick enough in LA to hop on an earlier flight to SF. I had just barely made the earlier flight that I didn’t have time to call my brother and let him know. (My phone is still deactivated, that’s a whole’nother story.) I figured that I would just BART to Civic Center and my brother could pick me up from there. And he did. I called him from SFO and told him I’d rather ride BART (for nostalgia’s sake) than wait at the airport for him to pick me up.

Pat picked me up in front of the Civic Center Burger King and took me back to his place, which is soon to be my place. He’s leaving on his own trip and I’m moving into his apartment. He’s slowly been moving his stuff into our storage unit (mom’s garage) and bringing my stuff back. He told me that Kelly was going to be coming over later to grab a few beers. I thought about calling some more people, but my phone was still deactivated and figured I’d just wait until Kelly got here to do some recruiting. Kelly arrived and we all went downstairs. I was looking for Kelly’s car and he was walking up to the passenger side of a bus that was idling in front of the building. “Let’s check this out,” he said. “What on earth are you doing?” I was thinking. “Come on,” he encouraged. As I followed him I started to realize the surprise. Inside the bus were a lot of people that I’ve been longing to see and missing for the past 10 months. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I went around saying all my hellos. I guess the plan was to pick me up in the airport in that bus and that I had ruined it by coming home early. I contended that I didn’t ruin anything; I was just as surprised and at least I got to take a shower and put on clothes that weren’t 8 months worn.

The bus took us to Zeitgeist, where we undoubtedly got shit for arriving in a party bus. “We usually don’t allow party busses…” the bouncer complained. But she let us in. After arguing our way in, I realized I didn’t have identification; I left my passport at home and didn’t have a driver’s license. This, of course, isn’t a problem anywhere except the United States. But the bouncer was cool and let me in. After Zeitgeist we told the driver to take us up to Twin Peaks because the bus was apparently too long for Lombard Street or Coit Tower. Next stop was Bigfoot Lodge which didn’t let me in. I was a little disappointed because the bouncer who worked there before I left always recognized me. So we walked a couple blocks to Shanghai Kelly’s, no questions asked. By this point there were only four of us and we were shit-faced. I woke up the next morning on my brother’s couch, in my new apartment, with my contacts still in, something I never do despite how drunk I get.

The next morning, Pat, his girlfriend and I were up early to drive to Sacramento to prepare for a “Goodbye Pat & Ashley-Welcome Back Sean” party at my mom’s house. Well, it was an originally a “Goodbye” party but then I decided that I wanted to attend, thereby making it my welcoming party too. On the way home I got to see my old next door neighbor, Ben the chef, when we stopped to pick up marinated tri-tips and chicken at his restaurant. Next I saw my good friend Alex who came by early to help set up. He made a delicious 7-layer dip and guacamole. Also driving up were some Santa Barbara friends.

Slowly the guests started arriving and I started schmoozing. I really hate hosting parties because I feel obligated to talk to everyone and I also feel like the conversations never sink to deep. It’s all small talk, chit-chat. I also ended up explaining the same thing over and over again. Throwing parties in college was fun. Step 1) buy a keg. Step 2) call your immediate friends to spread the word. That’s it. That’s all we basically had to do to have a rager. Sometimes we’d make mix CDs, but that wasn’t mandatory. Adult parties are much more taxing, both in preparation and execution. So, even though I got to see a lot of people at the party, I’d still like to sit down with each of them one-on-one and find out how they’re really doing.

The next day, after cleaning up, we drove out to my dad’s house for a labor day pool party with his side of the family. Really just my Aunt (Dad’s sister) and her husband, two daughters, two sons-in-law and two twin grandsons. And as usual, my stepmom, sister, brother-in-law, brother, brother’s girlfrind and half-brother. We swam, BBQed, drank beer and updated everyone with our goings-on. By the end of it all I was in napping in the extra bedroom because I hadn’t a break since I was on Adam’s graveyard shift radio show in Melbourne.

Sunday and Monday I finally got some rest. I helped Pat & Ashley wrap up all the loose ends before they drove to LA to leave on their trip. Tuesday I finally got my phone turned on (after paying AT&T twice!) and while at the mall I stopped in and had lunch with Ben at his restaurant, which was good because I barely got to see him at the party with him being busy cooking and me being busy schmoozing.

Tuesday I decided to leave for SF, knowing I’d be back in Sacramento the next weekend to return my mom’s car, which she loaned me. Now I’m working on a contract gig I set up on Monday, settling into my apartment, reconnecting with friends and old coworkers and applying for more jobs. The contract gig could well become a full-time thing if they like the likes of me.

I figure I’ll make one more post, a retrospective of my trip, once I organize all my thoughts. Then I’ll leave Sailust.com to rest forever on the infinite shelves of the Internet.


  1. dad Says:

    you really could mention people by name! Half brother?

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