Foreigner’s hit Hinano’s

The uber almost gets T-boned coming out of the parking lot of Firestone. Good times. Somehow this triggers a jet ski conversation and Joni says that Kenny Fucking Powers is his hero. Like Otterpop is Millie’s hero (Peter’s cats). Conversation at this point is an unmappable tangent of random stream of consciousness. “She’s the smart one. I sell used cars.”

So two Finns, a Russian, a Brit and a Canadian walk into a bar…

Hinano’s is one of Peter’s favorite local hangs in Santa Monica. I’ve been here several times with him before, it’s a great spot. We roll up and the place is jam packed. Standing room only. It’s not that big of a place but still, firecode is getting busted tonight. We get a pitcher of Dos Exes (thanks Joni) and some burgers.

The burgers at this place are really excellent. Not only is the spot a fabulous dive / locals kinda joint with pool tables and the occasional band, these burgers are an absolute staple. They are always cooked perfectly, tender and juicy with onions, tomato and lettuce, simple but effective fixings. Sides of cherry tomatoes, a pickle, pepperocinis and that other tiny yellow pepper that kicks your ass as soon as you crack it. They have them at In-and-Out. Jeeeebuz, even if you’re a gunslinger I’d save it to the end. And then a bag of fritos. It’s perfect every time.

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“Dude, you’re gonna be in Leeds for the England /Sweden World Cup quarter finals”, “Oh yeah. Sweet”, “That’s gonna be a right-off I reckon. Games at 3”, “Sounds like a fun time to me”

So Peter’s dad isn’t doing so well, unfortunately. Some aggressive form of cancer has suddenly positioned him without much time left. It’s been an emotional steamroller for Peter, obviously, and so on this first part of the trip I will mostly just be in supporting patience mode. I told Peter that it doesn’t matter to me what we do in England. I’ve been there a few times already and family is much more important. Whatever works, no pressure. I think we’ll probably spend some time visiting his family and friends and I’ll just try to be as little of a nuisance as possible.

But hardened to these realities now, Peter tells me that his dad told him from his hospital bed to go down and check the basement. That’s an odd request. So Peter went to the basement and was floored to find a whole marijuana plantation down there haha. His dad told him “The harvest is 128 ounces a year for three years. I’m just doing my part for the community”. Haha wow, amazing revelation.

“Live aid?”, “Yeah sure” we wrap things up and roll back to Peter’s place to have a few Bud Lite Lime night caps and watch a live Queen vid. I’ve seen this before. Freddy Mercury is just incredible. I hope that new flick does the band justice.

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I’m in the kitchen getting another horrendous¬†delicious BLL and I overhear Peter and Joni going back and forth in Finnish. Peter speaks Finnish? They’re laughing insanely hard about something. I go back in and Joni is scrolling through a gallery of videos, pics and memes that he’s been going back and forth on forever with some mysterious contact named Sweetleaf. These are the most vile, hilarious, obscene and horrible videos I’ve ever scene. There are a lot of ‘I can’t look at it’ and ‘I can’t look away’ moments. I won’t get too far into it but suffice to say we were crying laughing at some, but we also saw 3 separate people get killed in horrific ways and each time didn’t see it coming, and I also witnessed some kind of disgusting and strange 5 girls, no cup ritual. I will never forget these things and actually feel as though I’m sort of scarred for life. I don’t think I’m a better person for it. I would just say avoid the dark side of the web by all means if you can, it’s no place for the meek.

“Mike’s not a real person” it seems Peter’s roommate is always away when people are visiting and they’re beginning to think that he’s an imaginary friend. “I’ve hung out with Mike. He’s a real person” I confirm that he exists. So does Joni, “Mike’s a real person, I’ve seen him. I’ve touched him. Not from down below. But I’ve touched him”.

It’s getting on silly o’clock so people scatter to respective rooms and I get horizontal on the couch. Otterpop and Goggles won’t leave me alone though (Joni warned me that Goggles eats fingers). Between the cats and my general excitement to finally have time to defrag from work, detach with no pressing responsibilities, and start vacation mode, I’m having a hard time sleeping. The trip is tomorrow. It’s just too awesome. It’s like a mini vacation before the actual vacation. England, Dubai, South Africa… and then we meet Drisdelle and Cooney to start the adventure. Couldn’t have worked out any better.

Nighty night kitties, happy early Independence Day. That’s a good day to get things rolling

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