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Another good, productive day at work. It was Casey's birthday, and we finished up the screen shots of the ITIM installation. About a third of the way through, we noticed the (arrow pointer) cursor was in the screen shots. Kim was cool, said not to worry about the ones we'd already done, and showed us how to keep the cursor from appearing in the shots.

The group went out to PF Chang's for Casey's birthday lunch. We all ordered different dishes and shared them all. I thought the waiter did a great job accommodating us. He was cute, and sweating a little by the end. He originally said he couldn't give us separate
checks (there were ten of us), but in the end he did break them up for us. Mehgan said on the way out, "That service service sucked." She had told them it was Casey's birthday when we sat down, but they, evidently, forgot to bring him anything.

Steve picked me up from work, and we got ready to go to the beaches for the evening. We went to Newport Beach with intentions of eating at one of the crab restaurants in that area.

Arriving in town, we took a left on Via Lido, at the beginning of time, and drove through that exclusive housing area there that I had seen during the day last weekend. It was a ton of fun looking at them with Steve, and cool to see them at night. Several of them had lights on in the inside, and you could see the huge, and perfectly decorated rooms. There really are some beautiful homes in there.

We stopped at 733 Via Lido Soud, which was for sale:

"Wonderful bayfront location with afternoon sunshine, spectacular sunsets and city lights views. Lovely covered view patio plus private courtyard for entertaining. Well located just four doors from Lido Isle Clubhouse, beach and tennis courts. Lot size: 35' x 96'; Private dock with room for large yacht; Four bedrooms (two are master suites); Four and one half bathrooms; New carpet and interior paint. Offered at: $3,450,000. (scratched out) Reduced! $3,250,000."

Wow. Almost a quarter of a million off.

We parked down by Newport Pier, walked out on the pier thinking maybe we'd eat at the cool looking restaurant at the end of the pier. By the time we got to the end of the pier, though, the place was totally empty (which is totally different from how it was last Sunday, when I was there during the day). Also, the fish smells there were horrible. We walked around the restaurant, where several (sort of seedy looking) people were fishing. One lady was sitting on the ground, back against the restaurant wall, watching a tiny little television. At first I thought she was a homeless person, but then I saw the TV --
not to mention that Newport Beach doesn't seem like the kind of town to support homeless people.

We stopped in a little shop and Steve bought some post cards. I bought some coffee nips, thinking they were carmel nips. We crossed the street in the dangerous drizzle, almost slipping a few times. (This was in reference to a weather report we had seen on the nightly news, where in the drizzle, the news reporter was reporting on how slippery it was outside. He was sliding his foot along the barely wet ground, and going, "Woah. See how slippery that is?" We were cracking up.

We went to a restaurant called "The Crab Cooker" for dinner. It looked like a nicer place from the outside than it did on the inside. We got a plastic knife and fork for silverware. Steve ordered crab cakes, and I ordered skewered scallops, shrimp, and fish. Both dishes came with some garlic (and onion) mashed potatoes, and some coleslaw. Mine was delicious. Steve's was not. We got a little loaf of bread, which was de-lish to me -- with real "buttah," of course!

We had some "issues" with the waitress there. (The people next to us got seated after us, but she took their orders first, and brought them bread before their meal. I eventually asked for our bread, and she barely stopped passing our table, but said, "sure." Then she came back with our bread and our meals. In the meantime, she had brought that other table their orders and another loaf of bread. Weird.

We left there, and took the PCH down to Laguna Beach. I wanted to stop at "See's Candies," to get a little bag of chocolate covered raisins, and to possibly get a little box of chocolate for Chris Whelan's secretary. When we got to it, however, it was closed.

We arrived in Laguna Beach pretty quickly, and stopped to gas up. There were tons of people in the galleries, which seemed odd for that hour, since it was around 8 or 8:30 by then. We surmised that it was, perhaps, something like a "First Thursday Gallery Walk."

We arrived up at the "bar end" of town, and parked. We started off in Main Street Bar. There was a black guy playing the piano, and taking requests from the audience. There weren't too many people in there. I requested "Unforgettable," and he played that. Steve wanted to hear, "Top of the World" or "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," but he didn't know either one of those. He then asked, "Are you guys lovers?" I said, "No, we're just friends." He said, "Oh, I was going to play a romantic song for you. Oh well, I will anyways." I can't remember what he played.

A one point a lady from the audience took the microphone to sing. She had the most incredible voice. She sang, "The Way We Were." I really wanted to hear more of her. She was very, very good.

We left there, and went across the street to the Boom Boom Room. It was kind of dead in there, too, but after a while filled up. This BOG (big ole girl) drag queen came in at one point. She was really fantastic (in a fantasy kind of way). Just a big, big girl; probably six-five or six-six, big boned, and on these most amazing crystal clear platform heels. It was amazing that she could balance all that on those heels, and she did it well.

After about 40 minutes, the strip show started. It was pretty much the same group that was there on Halloween night -- so a lot of smooth guys. There was an addition of a woman to the cast, though, which was interesting. We watched two strippers and then started watching the cruisy street outside the window from the games room.

Steve had gone out earlier for a cigarette, and came back in saying, "Honey, it's real cruisy out there. People are walking down to the end of the street." Then I said, "OH! I read that on-line, that that's a cruisy area!" I had forgotten all about that. I also remembered there were red warning by it that said the place is now very patrolled. That the cops were aware of what was going on there, and checking it regularly.

Also, from the window of the bar, where we were watching the street activity, I noticed a place across the street, which I thought was a video rental place that Brad and Thomas (at work here) had told me about. I said, "Let's go check out that place, so I can see if you can rent videos there."

When we got in there, the clerk was pretty excited about having just made a really big sale -- the "Rambone" dildo. This thing had to be at least fifteen inches long, and God knows how many inches around. He just kept on shaking his head and saying, "I can't believe I sold one of those." Of course, Steve and I wanted to know what the guy looked like who bought it.

We left there and walked down to the end of the "cruisy street," which ended up having stairs down a steep cliff, down to where the water was. We walked down them, and at the end got on the smooth, black rocks that was the coast there. I made a comment about how wet they were. I said, "It looks like the water comes up here."

Steve turned and looked to the side and behind us and said, "Is that a hat over there?" Just as I turned to look at it, this humongous wave splashed up on the rocks, and us. We got soaked, and squealed like two big old girls. Steve was closest to the ocean, and one whole half of his body was drenched -- complete with salt and sand. It really was a mess. We laughed, and laughed, all the way back up. We stopped back at the video store to replace a couple of the nice collection of free gay rags that we had nabbed while in the store the first time.

We left there, probably close to midnight, and took Route 133 back up to Irvine. On the way, we passed the spot where they are projecting a huge "flaayg" on the side of mountain. We stopped and took a picture of the picture of the flag.

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