Tag Archives: San Diego

David Letterman’s fabulous tribute to Pearl Jam. Fallon comes back to “SNL” and kills it. And final thoughts from a wonderful California vacation

And a Happy Monday to you all, we got back from our fun family vacation to Los Angeles and San Diego Sunday and while we’re all exhausted, it was an incredibly fun time (more thoughts at the end of this post).

Wanted to catch up on a few things I missed, and I’d heard this was amazing and so wanted to share after just watching it.

David Letterman seems to be slowly emerging from his shell after being out of the public eye following the end of his TV show. Last week, when Neil Young fell ill, it was Dave who got the honor of inducting Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a ceremony in New York.

The speech was beautiful, touching, funny and wonderful; whether you love him or Pearl Jam or both or neither, I think it’s terrific. An excerpt:

On being hypnotized by Pearl Jam’s classic “Black”:

You know the song “Black.” There was a period in my life when I couldn’t stop doing this [mimics the refrain]. Great. Now we owe them a lot of money. Honest to God that’s all I could hear running through my head. I kept wondering how many times does this refrain occur in the song. I finally had to go to my hypnotist to get it to stop [mimics the refrain again]. One night on the show I’m doing it and the stage door bursts open, in walks Eddie Vedder. He sings the song with Paul [Shaffer] and the band. Then he comes over to me and looks me right in the eye and he says, “Stop doing that.” And I was cured, ladies and gentlemen.

The whole speech is terrific, I highly recommend watching it.

**Next up, I never liked Jimmy Fallon all that much on “Saturday Night Live,” guy cracked himself up way too much and ruined some really good sketches by doing it.

But hey, Fallon has been a huge success as a talk-show host, and so returned to “SNL” over the weekend to host. This cold open they did with Alec Baldwin and Fallon and others was really funny…

**Finally today, a few more thoughts on our trip, which proved once and forever that we all really ought to move to San Diego:

— The highlight of the whole trip for our little guy was definitely Sea World; the excitement and joy he got out of seeing the dolphins, sea otters and sharks was indescribable; he squealed and laughed and said “Whoa!” so many times I lost track. They had a terrific “Pet Show Live” performance, too, with dogs and cats and other creatures.

I know, I know, the movie “Blackfish” talked about how horrible some of the animals are treated at Sea World. But we loved it and would definitely go back.

— I learned that if ever flying to Southern California, go through the Long Beach airport. It totally rocks. Small, easy to maneuver, rental car agencies right on site, just enough food options to satisfy, tons of outlets to plug into … just an all-around great airport. Highly recommend it.

— One thing my wife and I thought about on the way home are the casual lies we tell our children; a few times on the trip we told our little guy that a certain museum or park was “closed,” but really it was just that we didn’t have time to go there like we said we would. We went somewhere else, he was happy, and never knew the difference.

Casual lies, who do they hurt?

— JFK airport at 5:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning was way, way more crowded than I ever would’ve guessed. We took the red-eye from Long Beach to JFK late Saturday night and when we landed, man, it was like rush-hour on a Friday in there. Who knew so many people fly so early?

— Best meal in San Diego was breakfast on our final day. Richard Walker’s Pancake House, with pancakes the size of Lake Tahoe. Just delicious and enormous.

—  Finally, a shout-out to the JetBlue flight attendant who, after we landed Sunday, lifted up the car seat that contained our sleeping toddler, carried it 30 feet down the aisle to the gate without waking him. You, sir, deserve a raise. (Also enjoyed hearing the flight attendants on both flights make sly jokes about United and their recent disaster; they were also thrilled it wasn’t them who got embarrassed.)

Greetings from sunny San Diego, where’s it’s always sunny (seriously that’s the law). And I vent about the cluelessness and evil of United

In honor of my trip to the Left Coast, please read this column three hours earlier than usual…

Greetings from the land of the Padres, six million fish taco restaurants, and a climate not even Oscar the Grouch could complain about (my kid watches a lot of “Sesame Street,” Oscar’s on the brain a lot these days.)

There are a lot of strange things about the wonderful state of California, things I’ve known were strange but I guess forget about since I only visit once every five years or so. Happily, I’ve gotten to experience some of them this week.

I am finishing up our third day in San Diego as I write this on Tuesday night, and our sixth day in California (the land of Steph Curry, Governor Jerry Brown, and the Los Angeles Chargers (man that sounds weird).

So far our vacation has been fabulous; we stayed with friends in Los Angeles for a couple days, made a quick pit stop to see the famous Pearlmans of Laguna Niguel, and now are at a rented house in La Jolla, down in San Diego with my family.

California has been as weird and wonderful as ever; my wife and I agree that we love this place but could never live here for more than a week a year; just not our speed.

Some quickie-thoughts from the place that loves Tony Gwynn more than anywhere else…

— So I have to lead with the most bizarre experience we’ve had out here: We’re in L.A.’s Grove Mall (famous for celebrity spotting, though we didn’t see any) last Friday, and we stopped in to the Nike store for a minute. My wife and our 2.5-year-old are riding down from the third floor and a woman (Asian, probably mid-40s) gets in on the second floor.
Within the span of five seconds, she looked at Nate, said “Oh what a cute little boy!,” snapped a picture of him, then walked out of the elevator while my wife and I just stood there, mouths agape.

I asked our friends who we were staying with about this and they just said “Yep, that happens. All the time.”

Sorry, that’s just freaking weird.

— I know the image of L.A. as laid-back is a little cliche, but popped into an Apple Store here and man, it’s like the stoner version of the store in NYC. Everybody’s chill, even the people who’ve been waiting a long time. Nobody seems to get upset, and everybody seemed to leave happy. That doesn’t happen in Manhattan.

— At our friends’ house in L.A. our boy discovered a mini-piano that their boys (5 and 7) loved to play. He barely stepped away from it in two days, except to follow the 5 and 7-year-olds around in whatever they were doing.

— The San Diego Zoo was definitely the highlight of our trip so far; it’s an amazing place, full of awesome animals like giraffes and hippos, and we got to see some leopards and jaguars and tigers up close, too. Cracked me up that all my little guy wanted to see was the monkeys and then we saw them and he immediately started talking about wanting to see ducks. I’m like “Ducks? We see those all the time!”

— Two things I’ve noticed about San Diegans so far: 1, They have lots of opportunities to buy a fish taco; seriously, there’s like 20 restaurants selling them within two miles of our rental house. And 2, nobody seems to care very much that the NFL’s Chargers have fled to Los Angeles. One woman I chatted up even said “Los Angeles? Is that where they went?”

Somehwere, Philip Rivers weeps.

**Finally today, I have to say just a few words about this United Airlines fiasco, which unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, involved airport security personnel physically dragging a man out of his seat and off the plane when he wouldn’t “voluntarily” remove himself due to airplane seat overbooking.

First of all, this practice of flight overbooking is insane and should be stopped; can you imagine if an NBA team sold 20,500 seats for a 20,000 seat arena for a playoff game, then tried to get 500 people to voluntarily give up their seats for a future game?
It’s nuts, right? And yet we all just accept that the airlines can do this and that’s just the way it is.

Second, I continue to be amazed at how badly these corporate CEO’s handle these viral video stories; this schmuck at United, Oscar Munoz, first tried to blame the passenger and didn’t get to an actual “apology” until his third try, after United stock lost $1.4 billion in value since the incident happened.
Hey CEO’s, it’s OK to get the apology right the first try.
Finally, this idea that reporters are now digging into the man’s past and finding things he’s done wrong, as if that justifies what happened to him? It’s as bad as shaming a rape-victim, for God’s sakes. So he had a felony drug conviction 13 years ago, means  there’s “nuance” and “more to the story” here?

Give me a break. Ridiculous and disgusting that this man’s past gets dredged up because he got manhandled off an airplane.

This world, sometimes…