10 June, 2008

I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane the other day...

This past weekend was one for the books, definitely one I will never forget.

On Friday I didn't have to drive in to work, so naturally I slept in. It feels great to wake up at 930am on Friday morning, brush my teeth, then sit around working in my underwear. There's nothing more liberating than working from your skivvies, I recommend trying it, but not getting fired over it. I managed to get a lot of work done, although because I was working via the internet it did take some more time.

I haven't been able to see both of my roommates, along with a few friends during the day on many Fridays, but I got to see Justin, David and Jillian before they left to ride in Tehachapi. Matt and Vanessa also came by, Vanessa was all kinds of excited for me taking my first jump. Mike and I tried to get her to convince Matt to go up with us sometime in the future. He said he'd watch us jump, haha.

The entire day I was trying my best to contain my excitement for the morrow's fun to come. I didn't want to dwell on going skydiving, for the sake of not making myself nervous. Mike and Jason came by, we loaded up my car and headed to Marco Polo's Pizza for some dinner before the drive to San Diego. We lived up to the "norm" of leaving 40 minutes late the night before a jump.

Our drive out to San Diego was sketchy as can be. First off, my car is slowly falling apart underneath me. Second, Mike had a feeling that something was going to happen, bringing all kinds of bad juju to us (haha). Third, my car wa really in need of some oil. Going through San Clemente, my car had an nodd feeling hiccup and the Check Engine light started to blink. I didn't even know that they did that, so I got off at the next exit. I checked my fluids and saw I was low on oil. We let it cool down for a while and skated around. After putting a quart and a half in, we were on our way. The light was still blinking, so I babied it. I was going to get there, no doubt about it.

Once we got to Jen's place, we said our hellos, dropped our stuff and turned back around for an 18 pack. Jen pointed out the nearest gas station, and we head off. Mike and Jason brought skateboards, so we high-tailed it to the ARCO. It was a long, sweaty half mile ride, but worth every bump in the road. Once back we finally got some quality time with Jen. After a few beers, we decided to call it a night, so that we could get up at a decent time to get to the dropzone in the morning.

I made sure to pop some Claritin the night before, so I wouldn't die in my sleep, completely worthwhile. We geared up and headed out for the dropzone, it was a nice day out, there was some haze, but it'd easily burn off. The drive to Otay Lakes in Jamul, CA was a nervous one, but my Check Engine light went back to (good ol') solid. We got to our destination: Skydive San Diego! We checked in, signed our lives away and manifested ASAP.

Within a few minutes, I was getting taught on how to properly tandem jump, getting fit for my harness and walking towards the plane. I didn't even have a free moment to get out my camera and get a pre-jump shot. Jason wasn't able to get onto the same plane, but Mike was at the front of the bus. I was excited as can be, others in the plane were obviously nervous. My instructor and tandem-mate Shawn asked if I was scared, I declined. All I'd heard from Mike about jumping just made me want to do it. Our flight up to altitude took about 10 minutes, I was looking out the windows at all that was below. We were about 2 miles from the border, Mike pointed out Tijuana.

once we were nearing altitude; 13,000 feet, we buckled in and got ready. Sitting low in someone's lap is one of the worst positions ever, but lucliky it didn't take long. Mike backflipped out of the plane, it was awesome. Then it was our turn, we lined up to the door, I assumed the position and we were on our way. Falling at about 120mph is a feeling like none other. I looked around and everything was so minute beneath us. Shawn game me the thumbs up and I gave it right back, on the way down I gave free reign to Shawn in regards to spins and twists. We were in freefall for about a minute, at about 5000 feet we pulled the canopy. The drift down was about 5-6 minutes, we did some spinning and had some fun. I was surprised how easily I could hear shawn's every word. I was even able to take the reigns and steer some spins myself. Our touchdown was the only choppy part of it, I am a bit taller than Shawn, and sitting lower, needless to say we tumbled a bit.

Mike and Jason jumped 4 times in total, I snapped a ton of photos from underneath. Amongst the jumpers, there was an 85-year old grandmother jumping. Her grandkids were so amped for her, it was awesome.

After being there a few hours, we headed out for some food. We saw a snake crossing the road, and luckily I was able to drive over it without hitting it. We stopped at In 'N Out for some deliciousness and headed back to Jen's. She was all wrapped up in studying, hanging out with a buddy and watching a movie. We wanted to grab some beer and head to the beach, but she decided to be a good student. We headed off to Ocean Beach and grabbed an 18-pack. Unfortunately what we didn't hear was that there is no more drinking on the beach there. So we caught some of the sunset and headed back. Mike was in the mood for drinking games, particularly Centurion and Circle Of Death. I knocked it for a little while, but obliged. We even picked up another 18er on the way back.

Centurion is, dully speaking; 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes. I knocked it saying that I just like to drink. We started, and first to fall was Jason. He was about 4 in, but said he was done. Mike stopped second at around 6 beers, he was out. I went to about 8 and was pretty buzzed, borderline drunk. Jen studied while we all drank our day away. She was a little bummed, but sipped off our beers. Her roomie Jackie came home and joined in with us. We all sat down for a game of Circle Of Death; a game where you balance cards on an empty bottle whle drawing cards and hoping you got a higher one than the previous person. If not, they counted the difference while you drink. By the end of this game, I was sloppy. I tumbled our tower of beer somehow and ran a muck. Sorry again Jen, haha. We watched No Country For Old Men, but I don't remember if we ever finished it. There was also a walk down some path alongside a river, eventually to a Mimi's. That turned out to be what we'd want for breakfast. I was staggering all around, I do remember meeting a dog out there though.

Fuck shirts I said, then I passed out cold. I'd wake up to Fuck being said repeatedly, oops. Jen slept in, first on purpose, then on accident and was late for work. I was still a bit drunk, she ran out of there with a quick but lovely goodbye. Thanks again for being a rad hostess. We all started to get ready to head out. I cracked another beer, hoping to avoid a hangover, it worked. We watched the Renaissance Faire episode of King Of The Hill and headed out for some food. Mimi's was completely busy, so we found some nice little Mexican place. It was also delicious. Mike and I had Carne Asada fries, Jason had a Torta, we were happy. The drive back was quick and easy. I was happy about that, because I was sick of driving my POS.

We got back home and regailed the people with our tales. I fed my snakes, fish and frogs. Then I took a nap, I was beat. Everyone got home, and we ate some good pizza, and watched some movies. Tim came over to grab some wigs for his cruise with Charlie, we shot the shit for a while. Gilbert and Nina came by too, I got to see Gilby's new ink. All in all, a good way to end the weekend. I was happy.

Oh yeah, Monday... I didn't drive to work, instead I did the whole skivvies thing and hung out with my dad. I love this schedule.

I'm tired of writing this, goodnight.

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