A disjointed recap of my weekend in Santa Barbara, in a nut-shell, with a few pictures, which I randomly decided to put just at the bottom. Keep in mind that these pictures were all taken with my old crappy cell-phone:
I had a class on Friday (adobe illustrator) that starts really early, and because of this gets out early in the afternoon. I always feel like I have missed an opportunity if I don’t take advantage of the earlier release, and beat traffic heading out of town.
I thought about going to one of my 2 favorite stand-by destinations, Las Vegas or Santa Barbara, and packed a bag on Thursday night, just in case I had the courage for a long drive on Friday.
Friday came, and I hit the road. Four hours later I was in beautiful Santa Barbara. I love this town. It is very relaxed, easy going, the people are mostly really nice, and it has sweet views, and fabulous restaurants and bars. Other than its political slant, seedy underbelly, and oil rigs, what’s not to love? And best of all, some of my best friends still live there. It is always a blessing to go to Santa Barbara, and always wonderful to be with my friends.
I had a lot of fun, but as usual, could have used more sleep and more time there. I wish my trips to SB could be longer, as I never get enough or any time with some of my friends there. But every trip is cherished.
I got up there, and was super tired. So I went to East beach and napped (or tried to) for an hour. I love doing that at East Beach because you have an option of watching people play volleyball (they have like 30 nets setup, and last week had the pro tour there) and also, the beach has an incline about 20 yards from the water. So if you lie there, its really comfortable, and not really “flat” on your back.
I then went downtown, to Borders/Barnes and Noble, and bought the highly recommended book, Predictably Irrational, in case i found myself lying on the beach again this weekend. I have many fond memories of this Borders. I can’t imagine however, it surviving much longer.
Following that I met Ryan who had been golfing, at the golf course for a drink. Ryan, Chase, and their friends whom Ryan had just golfed with, for a drink at the bar that lines the course while watching people play the 10th hole. Ryan is an easy going guy that I met towards the end of college. We love to laugh, talk sports, and play golf together. I had the privlege of being in his wedding, and will always have a special place in my heart for him.
Went home (to the Throops’), showered and changed, and then went downtown for dinner to a steak house. We went to Holdren’s and there was an hour wait. Ryan name-dropped the owners name, and we went to sit at the bar for appetizers and wine. About 5 minutes later, we miraculously had a table. Great work Ryan! Boy was this meal yummy, large and filling. Cajun-fried calimari, bacon-wrapped shrimp, fried jalepenos, twice-stuffed baked potato and a 24 oz. bone-in ribeye. As we were leaving there, some random foreigners was asking Chase, and then me, if we’d buy them tequila. I told them we were going down the street to Joe’s for a drink, and if they showed up there id get them some,.
At Joe’s for a drink, eventually the foreigners arrived and the four of us had a tequila shot (4 patron shots–$40). Met some people that worked for someone I knew back in college (Maury Hayashida), and one of them knew my sister and had lived on the same floor as her.
At about 11:30 we left Joe’s to go home to bed. I didn’t sleep great, and woke up tired.
Ryan was going outta town (to see his mom/family), around 7am. So when I got up around 9am, Chase and I went to a breakfast place that I had never known of. This place was right on the beach therefore it was breathtaking, and the food was delicious.
Following breakfast, I packed up my things from the Throop’s and went over to be with Kevin and the Sturm’s (sounds like a singing quartet). Kevin and I sat around on his recently swept, awesomely self-made patio and talked about life and business and the challenges and joy’s of both. Kevin was my college roommate for 2 years, and we ran college cross country with each other and have had years of shared experiences, the highs and the lows.
Kevin had some great, fortuitous news that the Wold’s were driving down from the Bay area, to take their children to Disneyland, and were gonna stop by for a couple hours for lunch. What an added bonus to my trip!. Although David is a phd, chemical engineer, and a country music loving fan, we will always be close. I value his insight, his levels of sensitivity, and his deep loyalty. We had homemade margaritas and sandwiches. I loved having time with everyone.
After they left, I was pooped so my afternoon was spent half falling asleep, half playing wii with Brody, Kevin’s 5 year old son.
That evening, we went out to dinner where I got the chance to celebrate Kevin’s wife, Chrystal’s birthday. Following dinner, we returned the two children home, had a baby-sitter arrive, and then went downtown to see the movie, Iron Man 2. We were about an hour early to the movie, so we walked around downtown and into some of the shops. One of the stores we walked through, I just recently reviewed on yelp, called Random. This store name completely fits, as everything in it is RANDOM! From old doorways and hinges, to neat ceramic olive plates, this store has it all covered. Iron fencing, leather chairs, old signs, knickknacks. One of the coolest stores to just walk through and look at things.
We went to the movie at the Arlington Theater. This theater was built in 1931 and seats over 2,000 people. It has an old style marquee, and an old ticket booth that leads down a large foye into the building. I would occasionally attend church in this building back in college, and it hosts film festivals, concerts and movies now.
The movie got out around 12:15 and went back to bed at the Sturm’s. They had put their 2 year-old (Mianna) in Brody’s room and I had the bed in the Mia’s room. Well, apparently Mia had been causing a stir since 4am. So at about 7:30 or 8, Kevin woke me saying he had to kick me out of the room–cause they needed for her try her own crib/room.
With Chrystal back in bed, Brody me and Kevin were now up, and off to breakfast at a lil bagel place.
Then around 9:45 am, I started my drive home. The overall trip in my car was about 440 miles, with about 125 songs played, not to mention the few I kept hitting repeat on. The drive home was relatively easy, taking me barely over 3 hours. I didn’t take a lot of pictures on the trip, but the ones I included in here were mainly the ones I had tweeted.
So I had a reaaaallly odd dream last night. I do not know what it means. But it is so odd, I thought that I would post it here.
I was at work, but it was in a different office building (the outside was Painted Rock Elementary), and the building was close enough to my home that I could walk home from work.
They had moved our desks all around, and now mine was out in the open, next to the presidents office in a classroom sized room. My desk was like teacher school desks, and not cubicles. I had people all around me at their desks. I was feeling the stress of ALWAYS having to be on my game with people looking over my shoulders at all times.
My dream spanned two days and at the end of each day, when I left work I forgot my keys. So this second day, I hitched a ride with two women who were driving a blue truck. They were going to take me to get my keys, which I thought I had left in my hotel room in Vegas. So they started driving me to Vegas. We could see the strip, and the freeway back to San Diego was PACKED with traffic. I said, “doh, I just realized, I had my keys at my office back in carmel mountain ranch. We didn’t need to drive all this way, but could have just gone a block or two. They made a u turn, knew a short cut, and 3 blocks later we were back in Carmel Mountain Ranch for my keys.
The end of the story was me telling this story to someone, and that “I needed my keys” cause ever since the break-ins in my neighborhood, I dont keep a spare key out anymore.
one other aspect, I just remembered. as I was walking away at one point, i ran into “my baseball team” that was waiting to practice. and I said surprised to see them, “I showed up to practice all those times, but no one else was there, i thought y’all had folded”
I added new songs to my home page under “Songs On Repeat.” I’ve been really digging these songs lately, and continuously hitting back on my ipod or car or itunes (too bad you can’t hit repeat on Pandora). I hope you enjoy them too.
3×5 Room For Squares
Its not a secret that I am not a huge fan of John Mayer. However, I think they guy is unbelievably talented. Not only is he an outstanding guitar player, but he has a great sense of humor. If you haven’t seen them already, you should check out the videos I previously posted. He jokingly says in one of those videos, “If I can’t get the girl, why don’t I just tell her I’m John Mayer?” He is also often witty and clever.
I have been a proponent of living with your eyes open. What I mean by that, is that often whether it be vacationing, or in real every day life, we live behind a camera. We forget to realize that we are there, in the middle. Whether it be birthday parties, concerts, or vacations, I am consciously trying to take “mental” pictures. To take in and capture the moment, so that years from now, I might remember the scent in the air, the color in the sky, the hug of a friend–the many different moments of a moment that a photograph cannot capture. Not that I am against pictures, as I think pictures are great tools to spark the memory. But it is our mental image, our mental picture of the memory that will bring joy for many years.
John Mayer talks about that in this song. And as I have been preparing to travel to Italy, it is a reminder to live through your minds lens, rather than your camera lens.
Today skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche
And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I’m in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
A Dustland Fairytale Day & Age
This is the second time in a row, a song from this Killers album has made it into my Songs On Repeat section. This is surprising to me. Although I love the Killers, this album as too many weaker songs. Though, as told from the last 2 S.O.R, it has some catchy tunes as well. If you haven’t seen it on these pages already, you definitely have to check out my snide of their cool light show performance of “Human” at the MTV European Video Awards. Every time I go to Vegas now, I always think of the time I saw the Killers live there at the Hard Rock, as well as the time the lead singer came on stage and sang with U2 “In a Little While.” Bono called the Killers “the swankiest band in Las Vegas.”
Dustland Fairytale is a great story told through song. There is speculation that the song was written by the Killers lead singer, Brandon Flowers, about his Mom and Dad and how they met at age 15 in a trailer park. Either way, its a catchy tune that brings back childhood memories of fairytales. I recently wrote a pensée snide with the following lyric:
And the decades disappear like sinking ships
But we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear we don’t know
The mind is poison
Crush Lipstick and Dynamite Wonder
The Violet Burning
This one is probably the heaviest musically that I have put up here yet. For a long time (and I’m not necessarily kicking it off yet), this album has been in my “fantasy five” (5 cds that you would want to have if you were stranded forever on a desert island). Part of that might because I was once stranded with this cd only. It was May of 1997 and when I reached the hotel in Greece, my case of cd’s was missing (I do not know to this day if I left them on the train, if someone stole them, or the running joke on the trip – if Ben Morookian had merely taken them. All that was left was this one cd that I had had in my cd player at the time. This cd kept me company through long bus and train rides, and it carried on for the other cds, the faithful departed. Anyway, this has always been one of my all time favorite bands. And this cd has been released twice, once as a self-titled and once as the above title. However, both cds are identical.
We are finding where we want to go
We are trying to regain control
Let the streams of light pour down on me
Let the love that heals me set me free
Come on, crush me
I spent my 3rd straight thanksgiving in Las Vegas last week. I don’t know if I will do it again next year, but you never know. Although I had great fun, I missed spending time with loved ones. But you definetly cannot beat the deals in Vegas at Thanksgiving.
The trip began with a Coldplay concert in Anaheim at the pond (honda center). For a month or two leading up to this week, I watched ticket sales and craigslist listings. A week before the show, ticket master was sold out, creating less leverage for me.
I have found in this dwindling economy, that entertainment and concert tickets are not an easy sell. A lot of people are choosing to spend their extra cash in other areas of needs. I experienced this first hand back in July. I was stuck with an extra Coldplay ticket (coincidentally) for a concert in vegas (coincidentally). I tried to sell it for weeks. Eventually I had to lower the price below face value. Even then, I had people bailing out on me and not being interested. Finally, with about 20 minutes before the concert to spare, I was able to cut my losses and sell it for less then face value. I used to be a big proponent of buying extra concert tickets for the mere purpose of trying to sell them. I would stand in line at a Ticket Master outlet and usually be one of the first 5 in line. I would pounce on as many “best available” seats I could get my hands on, knowing that that U2 concert would sell out in less then 15 minutes. At that point the demand would be high. But since those days, concert ticket supply has definetly outgrown the consumer demand.
Craigslist was over saturated with tickets being offered for sale. Most of them in the prices of $250-$500 PER ticket. There was no way I was going to spend that much on a ticket. Unless it was an amazing ticket, I don’t think I would spend that much on one U2 ticket even. Most tickets that were being offered at only $50 more then face value, were all the last row practically. I decided that it would be best to wait it out. As the time of the concert grew closer, my leverage would grow greater. I definetly had to cultivate the emotion that if I didn’t end up getting a tikcet and going to the show, no big deal. I also had to convince my friend Joey this, as he was going on this trip too. It is a tough thing to reach contentment on, because part of you is pulling so hard to go to the show, and would be dissappointed if it didnt happen. But you also have to have a belief in your negotiating skills that it will all work out.
The concert was on Tuesday, November 25th. As it got closer to the weekend before, I finally started to notice ticket prices on craigslist come down to closer to face value, if not slightly over. Face value was approximately $97. If you add in service charges it was about $116 or so. When coming up with the plan to attempt to attend this concert, I was budgeting that the concert would cost me about $100. On Saturday, I scoured the listings and emailed many many many different sellers. Eventually I found someone to sell me a pair of tickets for $180. They were decent seats for the price, in the upper deck, and for metaphor sake, at approximately the 50 yard line of the arena. We agreed to the price. But then, how were we gonna make the swap? Not only did he live in LA, but he lived in Lawndale–way out of the way of all my orange county family and friends (I thought, maybe one of them could make the swap for me). When I was looking at google maps to see where exactly Lawndale was located, I noticed that one of the surrounding towns was Torrance. And then I remembered that I worked with someone that used to live in Torrance…blah blah blah. I sent them a text message, and lo and behold (interesting cliche saying), they were home visiting family that weekend and could make the swap for me. I was so excited that it was working out so well. After many text messages and emails later, the details were finalized and the meeting was arranged. But then…
An hour later, I received a text message from the seller saying “Sorry Andy, I have someone coming over right now to buy the tickets, and is paying me full price. First come first serve.” I was so frustrated. I had been on the computer for hours, and had been really excited that I had found a decent deal for decent seats and that the plan was coming together. I decided to make a craigslist post and email a couple others, and then just blow off steam by going to the gym.
Later that night,I received a text message from the man in Lawndale. He said that his other person fell thru, and that he would hold the tickets for me at the previously agreed rate. Even if I had to not attend the concert, I was not going to buy from him. In buying tickets from strangers online, there has to be at least a little bit of trust.
A few hours later, I received an email in response to my post–asking for tickets for either face value or less. The lady said that she had paid $250 for her tickets but was willing to sell them for $200. I countered with an offer of $175 for the pair. She accepted. I was excited again. These seats were better seats then the previous ones, and of course $5 less. But now, how were we to make the swap? She lived in the Valley and was too busy with school or work to meet my friends closer to the O.C (don’t call it that). I of course was in San Diego. Fortunately her tickets were the emailable kind, but that also left her exposed to the risk of receiving the money. I said that I would photograph a check or overnight money etc…Joey has paypal so I offerred that method. She said she thought her dad had paypal and that she would check in the morning.
Sunday morning and I receive an email at 7:00 am. “My dad is being a f***ing a**hole and won’t let me use his paypal account.” Great. To make the long story short (too late), she created her own pay pal account and by 7pm, the transaction was completed and we received the tickets with 48 hours to spare. By the way, our tickets were section 413, row H, seats 9 and 10.
We left after work on Tuesday and arrived in Anaheim at around 5:30pm. We grabbed parked about a block from the arena, and walked to a nearby restaraunt called the Lazy Dog Cafe. Joey ate this great looking, but heavily loaded grilled cheese sandwich . I think he is still complaining about how un-gouda that was. After eating and killing time, we mad our way back to our car where Joey was insistant on having a pregaming it. So we enjoyed a wonderful Newcastle, cold from his ice cooler, in a great buisness building parking lot. Good times.
The concert was great. Chris Martin made a joke about how he was at an award show recently, and never felt as old and talent-less as he did when he met the Jonas Brothers. At one point, he tried to hit a high note that was just a tad out of his range, and mid song said laughingly, “F**k” and came back down to a note he
Coldplay sing Violet Hill on a german talk show
could hit. They started with “Violet Hill”and then continued on to put on agreat show, even had some christmas ornament shaped video screens that came down from the ceiling as well as the newest trite thing to do (I blame U2), blasted confetti from the rafters. Right before one encore, they ran off the stage to the very back of the arena right in tight with the fans, and played 3 songs, including a chilling acoustic rendition of the Scientist. They came back to the front and played one more encore, went off stage, and then came back a few minutes later for a 1 song finale of Yellow. Then as the crowd exited the building, they played the escape. We left the building to find ourselves in pouring rain and having to walk a few blocks back to our car.
After a about an hour, we finally made it thru the traffic back to the freeway and on our way to the Victorville where we arrived around midnight and spent the night. Heidi showed us great hospitality, making us coffee and bisquits in the morning that were very delicious. After hanging with Paul and the kids while waking up, we hit the road for vegas around 8:30am.
Ok, I will try to make this less narrative now. Im sure its dragged on about a gazillion paragraphs too long already.
Vegas was a lot of fun. Thanksgiving is usually its slowest time of year, so they often have great deals. We stayed at the Hard Rock. I love both staying and playing at the HR. Not only are the rooms spacious and includes a flat screen tv, but the casino has a small boutique feel. It is not very expansive like other casinos (tho, it may be heading in that direction). The dealers are also a selling point of the casino. It is a really chill atmosphere where the dealers have no problems reaching across and giving you high five, shooting the breeze with you, or just being funny. And of course, the best part of the HR, is they are always playing really good music, from many different genres and eras. We were there for 4+ days, and we maybe heard one song twice. Even when youre losing money, youre enjoying yourself because of the quaint hotel, the chill dealers, and the cool music.
At the Hofbrauhaus holding a liter of original and a liter of dunkels
We ate at The Pink Taco, Hofbrauhaus (twice), ESPN Zone (twice), Le Creperie, Kaizen Sushi and the Mr. Lucky 24/7 diner. All very tasty (though, the espn zone tended to ravage me–could have been all the greasy bar food). If I havent told you this already, anytime you are in vegas the Hofbrahaus is a must. At least it is for me. I go there usually once or twice per trip. It can be on the pricer side, but the good beer, and great sausages (as well as the other food items), and the kick back festive atmosphere is a good cultural experience.
We went to NY NY a couple times and spent a few hours watching the dueling pianos at the Bar at Times Square. They were a lot of fun. As usual it was a packed house. They are worth checking out if you are ever there. It inspired Joey musically. He misses gigging.
Fountains at the Bellagio from Joey's Camera phone
On Saturday night we saw the comedic hypnotist Anthony Cools. Although he can be more on the crude side, he is really funny. He has a good stage presence. Plus, it can sometimes be fun seeing people doing stupid things.
And of course, the amazing fountain shows at the Bellagio- which i contend are the best show you can get for your money. Even better when you realize its free. Such artistry and musical cooreography. Seeing the fountiains, visiting the hofbrau, and of course gambling (at the HR) are the 3 things I try to do every trip to vegas.
We gambled with someone named Richard Funk. That is right, Dick Funk was at our table. I am sure he was teased as a kid.
Another night, we were heading to the paris (an easy place to catch and exit a cab) as to head out to the strip. As we were leaving the HR, we were asked by a young lady if she could share our cab. We didn’t mind so we said yes. She then asked if we wanted any company for the night. That’s right, we were propositioned by a prostitute. We of course denied her. But it did make for some interesting small talk on the cab ride. I think I tried to ask her how many clients she desires over the course of a night, but accidentally asked I think how many clients she likes at once. I got slightly embarrased, which made it a further awkward ride the rest of the way.
Sadly, this was not my only experience of the trip with that type. There was a time when I was gambling at a table with Joey, a lady, and 2 sisters. Patti was our dealer (one of my favorite dealers at the HR). Everyone was really nice and there was the typical friendly table conversation (“Good luck with that ace,” “Where are you from,” “What do you do,” “Are you here on business or vacation.”) etc. I think we gambled there for about 20 min or so, and when the 2 sisters left they said they would look for us later that day. Well, we didnt run into them. But the next day, I was shooting the breeze with Patti when she was at an empty war table, and she asked “did you run into them again?” When I said no, she said “good, cause they were ‘working.’ I don’t think they have sex, but they definetly get money.” I could only bust up laughing that we encountered prostitutes twice, and each time by surprise and unsuspectingly.
Gary was another cool dealer that we had while there. He had us busting up everytime we were at his table. And until the final day, he was also very lucky for us. I was winning money everytime with him. Meanwhile he was telling us how he likes to grill his chicken stuffed with marijuana.
Wall of giant T.V's at Espnzone Restraunt at NY NY hotel
Another set of interesting people experiences were when Joey and I went to watch the Lakers game at the ESPNZone Restraunt at the New York, New York hotel. I do not like the Lakers. Therefore, I put money down on their opponent that night, the Dallas Mavericks.
Chilling in the recliner with a beer waiting for my food and for the Mavericks to win me some money
We sat next to some dread-locked dude from Los Angeles. Behind us sat two couples. All were Lakers fans. The restraunt audio was on a college game and they refused to change it till that game was ove. Finally in the 4th quarter their was audio. Anyway, the people behind me kept hitting me in the head while I rooted for the Mavs. The guy next to me was cool with it, since he understood that I couldn’t root for both the Clippers in life, and the Lakers.
Another small people detail, another small world fact. We were playing blackjack and we struck up a conversation with the couple next to us. Joey thought that the guy kinda looked like Jake Peavy -or that he was from Alabama. Well the girl he was with there, flew in from California, and was a teacher at Poway High. Yep, small world.
Ok, i’ll write about one more funny experience with people in vegas. We were taking the cab back to the hotel, I think from New York (though, we later learned to only take them-when possible-from paris). Of course we had a foreign cab driver. We finally are getting back to the HR, when he pulls in the drive way, another cab is kinda hogging his lane going the opposite way, and she decides to honk at him. So he rolls down the window and yells “Up in your ass bitch. You don’t honk at me if youre in my lane.” This was of course with a different accent and had us busting up the rest of the trip.
My Lucky Ass Chip
Normally when i go to vegas and gamble, I start in a big hole before finally digging myself back to even. This time it was the opposite, and it was very enlightening and refreshing. I started out the first day, I ended up $700. I was shocked and excited as this doesn’t happen to me in vegas. Of course, I dwindled that down to end at around even for the trip. I have 2 gambling experiences to share here (cause I know that I have already gone on forever).
Joey seemed to be busting a lot at black jack tables on the number 22. He said many times that he wanted to try playing roullette and then bet some on 22 since he seemed to keep getting that number. So everytime we would walk by a table, I would ask “do you want to try it now?” He would respond with “maybe later.” So finally, after a long day of drinking, I decided that he just might need a little encouragement. So I sat down at a roulette table to give $20 a try. He also then sat and played. But this story is about me. It was a $10 minimum bet, but you could spread $1 chips all over the board. That quickly went away. I took my next stack of 10$ and put it all on red. I won that back. The next spin I spread $10 all over the board. The ball stopped on 00. One of the few places I couldn’t win. At this point, I am over the roulette experience. I figure I am losing anyway, so I take my remainging $10 in chips, and place em all on my favorite number, 5. Lo and behold, it spins a 5. This pays 35-1. So on one roll, I took in $350! I was flabbergasted. I immediately cashed in and went to bed, up $700.
I was mostly up and down on craps all weekend. But the last night, as Adam had predicted, would be
Fall themed gardens at the Bellagio
a good craps night. I think we rolled the dice for a couple hours off of $100. At went point on that craps table I was probably up about 3-400$. But like all things that go up, it eventually had to come back down. Joey picked up a ghetto roll by watching some guy who would roll and then snap his fingers. Joey kept hitting 4’s and 5’s so I kept place betting those numbers. Then, the big roller decided to come sit down. Somebody started betting $1000 at a time on the don’t pass and don’t come lines. He would even swear very loudly when we would hit points. It really ruined the mojo of the table. It was more stressful to roll now. ThenI was also rolling out of vengence. I wanted to hit points just to piss him off.
The harder I tried, the less numbers I started rolling. I eventually decided it was time to go to bed, still up about $150 on that table.
My final gambling tally:
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Ebay Slot @ Planet Hollywood
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Roulette @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Single Deck Black Jack @ HR
Up the River (black jack/poker combo) @ HR
Texas Hold em Table Game @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
NBA Game (Hornets vs Nuggets) @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ The Palms
NBA (Mavericks vs Lakers) @ NYNY
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
We went to bed about 2:30 that morning, to wake up at 5 am. We hit the road at 6am to avoid traffic. We got back to San Diego around 11 am just in time to watch the Chargers suck. It was a really fun trip. I am glad I went. I hope Joey had fun. I was ready to come home. 4 days in vegas can be really great. But it can also be really long. Also on the way back, we stopped at the Guitar Center. I bought a microphone stand so that I can do two instruments in Rock Band 2. Yes, I am offically a dork.