Thursday, June 10, 2010

Burning Playgrounds of Armageddon

I was invited to Maureen’s Graduation in Moreno Valley. I figured it has been a while since I had seen her and Kristin and the gang, and it seemed like a good reason to visit. Though it does seem that I only get down there for big events. I should just visit for visiting sake. I’ll make a note of that, when I’m not so very broke.

I met up with Kristin ahead of time, and we grabbed some lunch. We hadn’t talked face to face since March(?), and it was just like old times. She’s got a lot of stuff coming up, so it would be interesting to see how all that turns out for her.

We picked up Maureen and headed to her school. After she got processed, Kristin and I found seats for everyone. “Everyone” included pretty much all of Maureen’s family, which is quite the gathering. I’m an only child, so its always like an Anthropology experiment to see how so many different people can be assembled into a living unit. And some of the siblings could not be more different, while some are mirrors of each other. They always love each other, but they don’t always like each other. That’s how family is, folks. I guess we just have to deal with that.

The Graduation was out in the open. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve been to Moreno Valley, but its in Riverside. Riverside is where you go when you want to cook eggs on your belt buckle. The place can get hot. I do not like heat. This is problematic, since I live in California. I really should move to Oregon. Not because it never gets hot there, but because its not miles and miles of raging desert.

The speakers were your usual assortment of Professors that have to speak, former students, and FBI guys that are decently funny. Okay, maybe the FBI part is a little different, but the decently funny part shows up at least once in every Graduation. You have people that don’t like to speak in public, and people who tell speeches that they photocopied from a dictionary.

And then there’s the occasional person that tell a speech that doesn’t make a lick of sense. (I like these the most).

In this case, it was a dude who used to teach at the school. His speech was… baffling, really. He started with a audio sound bite from a movie that, for the life of me, I couldn’t place where it came from. And the audio clip itself was distorted just enough for the words to not make any sense. He then started talking about trains, and how many accidents occurred. As to why, it was never clear.

And then the main theme from Terminator 2 started playing.

It was subtle at first. But it steadily grew to where it was unmistakable. It was in fact the driving drum beat and bass of Terminator 2. You know the song? It played at the opening credits. With the burning playgrounds. THAT’S the friggin’ image that came to my mind as he talked about his inspirational speech. Burning playgrounds of Armageddon.

And then from the subject of trains, he jumped right to “sexting.” Yes. The use of cell phone texts to send words and images of strong sexual content. He even went out of his way to describe what “sexting” was to the audience. He said it was “the use of cell phone texts to send words and images of strong sexual content.” Oh, wait, I said that already, didn’t I? Well, he made sure a crowd full of parents, grandparents, and children now know what sexting is. All this in a Graduation speech. Did this guy just google random things and make a Mad Lib speech?

Anyways, awesome Graduation!

After Maureen was diploma’d and took all the pictures with her family, we headed to a Thai restaurant for dinner. The food was pretty good, and I liked the Pad Thai that I bought. Maureen got a Sweet and Sour Soup that wasn’t half bad, though it had more herbs than vegetables. Kristin got a chicken dish that was really good. So good, that I didn’t like my Pad Thai as much. Oh well, such is life.

We headed back to Maureen’s parent’s place and played Red Dead Redemption. I was soon betrayed by my teammates (Alex and Maureen), but only long enough to laugh at my dead horse. Red Dead Redemption is a crazy game. Think Grand Theft Auto meets The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. You’re a badass cowboy that can do whatever you feel like you can get away with. You keep all the guns you earn. And the map is amazing and completely open to explore. It was really fun.

After a while, everyone was starting to hit the wall (at least, I was and two others were a little tired). I took my leave and listened to SModcast all the way home. Again, I must make a note to hang out when I’m not so darn broke.

Topics of Conversation: Jellyfish song, dancing birds, keeping the genetics strong, grad dust, running to Mexico, pad Thai, Red Dead Graduation, glasses, oleanders, Utah, stealing women, full-time jobs that make you want to commit full-time suicide, CSU Fullerton, uncomfortable choir songs, wacky animes, Misc. Women, soft hugs, where is the beacon?, using the stairs as a zombie chokepoint, writing critique, summoning a donkey, etc.


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