APRIL 2014


#91 Panorama Park

01 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The glowing clouds and rainy weather made Panorama Park quite lovely in the afternoon in between a mentoring session and work. This is probably one of my favorite spots in Bakersfield. The competition is fairly low for that title, but still, it’s a nice place with a sweet view. Love the look of the tall grass being combed by the wind.

#92 Toy Story Clouds

02 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The clouds on my way home from work were in perfect Toy Story formation, so I knew I had to capture them. Got a great shot by pulling over at San Lauren Park, and that created a great opportunity to just cloud watch and take it all in. It’s nice to have a much lighter week this week compared to the one before.

#93 The Ceviche

03 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Discovered a surprisingly unlikely Peruvian place in Bakersfield and instantly fell for it. The restaurant was really small and in the middle of a seedy neighborhood, right next to nothing. Despite being super easy to pass by, I found it on my maps app and checked it out with Ben. The food was amazing, although the ceviche was incredibly hot, even by my standards. Definitely getting the mild next time, but there will definitely be a next time.

#94 Doughnut Date

04 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

After a long week and looking at a used car, I took Deanna out on a fairly spontaneous date for dessert and tea. We got to try some of the doughnuts and cronuts at Sugar Twist, which were great in my book, and then we went to a tea lounge called Tea Bar. Great tea, but the crowd was surprisingly young and obnoxious. We still had a great conversation and it was a fun evening.

#95 Six Hours of Risk

05 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

With Deanna out of town for the weekend, I joined Sammy, D.J., and Ben for a guys’ night. A bit of hot tubbing and watching the Angels game, followed by pizza. Then came watching The Godfather and most of The Godfather part two all while playing a game of Risk that never ended. The theme of the evening was “Things that last forever.”

#96 Sunday at the Park

06 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

With Deanna out of town, the Sunday felt a little bit different going to church and spending my day off by myself. I took advantage of the opportunity to do laundry, and afterwards, did some reading in the park. I finished Into The Mud, and afterwards, spent some time praying and deliberating my choice of graduate school. A few weeks ago, it seemed like Denver was such a sure thing. Now, I find myself surprised to be considering declining their offer in favor of Oregon. Decision day comes close, but I felt at peace about the process. Afterwards, I returned home to have dinner and watch Born Into Brothels.

#97 World Market

07 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna came back into town, and she brought along Matt! The three of us got some Panda Express, and before going to the hospital to visit her grandma, we killed some time by meandering around the World Market. We had some good conversations, and I found an awesome circular bookshelf I liked, for one day, when perhaps that is something I need.

#98 Sequoia Jr. High Choir

08 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Tuesday is usually my busy day. I mentor a kid after work, and then I meet up with a group of guys for a small Bible study sort-of-thing. The kid I mentor told me he had a choir performance that night, and I told him I would Love to go, but I usually met up with the guys on Tuesday night. He told me to maybe invite them, and I wasn’t gonna say no to that, so I did, and Ben and Sammy ended up going with me in lieu of our usual meeting. It was a short performance, but a decent way to unwind.

#99 Mi Peru

09 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Mi Peru has been one of my favorite restaurant discoveries in Bakersfield. The place has surprisingly authentic Peruvian food for a pretty good price. I’ve had their ceviche twice and it is awesome. (Get it mild, though, unless you have a beastly tolerance for spicy. Even I found it pretty intense.) This place is in a really small building in the most unlikely location for such a restaurant, next to nothing on the rough side of town. I guess that’s how you know it’s good.

#100 The Wall of Fun

10 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I spent most of the afternoon working on posts and other tasks in my room, so it wasn’t the most exciting afternoon- mostly busy work. Still, it was purposeful, as I’m closer to being finished with my book’s first draft and booked with my flights for the summer. The fun wall gives me fun stuff to stare at, including tributes to Argentina, LiNK, The Love Dungeon, Turkey, and UCSB. Had to capture it with my last day in Bakersfield creeping up closer.

#101 Rafer Johnson Special Olympics

11 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The class I’ve been teaching got invited to participate in a district-wide Special Olympics. I got to see a lot of the other special education classes I’ve taught for, and the event they put on was really awesome. It was great being around special ed kids and people who really care about them. My guys were pretty stoked on their five ribbons for the different events. I’m really thankful for this job. It’s taught me some very important things in life.

#102 Bakersfield Roller Girls

12 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I got to get one other item crossed off my 1,001 Day List when Deanna and I finally got a chance to see a roller derby match. Deanna has a few friends on the Bakersfield RollerGirls, and it was a pretty fun, spirited event. One of my favorite parts of Roller Derby are the pun-tastic nicknames each player gets, and I spent a lot of the match deciding that I would want a tea-themed Roller Derby squad. Team Mean Tea, featuring skaters like African Rooi-bruise, or Mo’wreckin’ Mint.

#103 New Car Adventures

13 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The saga of trying to replace Deanna’s Subaru came to a pleasant ending when we were able to buy a friend’s Volvo from him before he moved out of the country. Used it to get around over the weekend, to the roller derby game and to church, and so far, it’s been a good car. I went over to Deanna’s for dinner to have some of her mom’s shrimp stew. Pleasant Sunday to help kick off Spring Break the right way.

#104 Visiting Dee at Home

14 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Went over to Deanna’s house in the evening. It was her grandma’s birthday so the game plan was to go get her some pastries at Sugar Twist and take it over to her place at Glenwood. She got tired pretty early though, so we had to change up our plans and just enjoy the donuts we got back at Deanna’s place.

#105 Talk Time

15 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Got to go to talk time for the first time in a very long while and meet some new international students on the Cal State Bakersfield campus. I had a good conversation about the Darien Gap (the most dangerous spot in the Americas) with a couple of brothers from Colombia. I like that even in Bakersfield, I can find ways to get in touch with the nations of the world.

#106 Spring Break is for Readers

16 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I enjoyed a very productive day as both a reader and a writer. The book I’ve been working on all year is now one chapter away from first draft completion. At the same time I started reading Aleph by one of my favorite writers, Paolo Coelho. It’s his most recent piece, and one of his most intriguing. A very successful day spent in.

#107 Decision Made

17 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

The long decision making process over where to attend graduate school has finally come to an end, as I decided the financial offer from University of Oregon was too good to pass up. Plus I get to move to my favorite part of the country, the Pacific Northwest, be a part of a Pac12 school (go Ducks), and work under an advisor who seems to have the exact area of expertise I want to work on. Looking forward to the fall.

#108 Cal State Campus

18 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Spent some time today on the campus of CSUB with Deanna. It has a much different feel from most of the college campuses I’m used to, but it seems to fit in well around Bakersfield. In the evening, we finally got to see Frozen, which was better than I expected, and spend some quality time talking together. A great Friday night.

#109 Snow Shack

19 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

First time getting to taste an “integral part of Deanna’s high school experience,” the Snow Shack. Apparently it’s the big sign in Bakersfield that summer has arrived. In my book, Bakersfield probably wouldn’t mind if summer took its sweet time to arrive, but I’m glad that one of the perks it brings along is the Snow Shack. We also spent the evening hanging out with family and with our friends Javier and Christina.

#110 Disc Golf Date

20 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna and I enjoyed an amazing Easter. After a sunrise service, and a more traditional service, we spent the rest of our afternoon on a much anticipated date. We discovered a new sushi restaurant, played disc golf, watched Captain America, and got some appetizers. Probably one of the best Easters I’ve been able to experience in a long time.

#111 First Draft Done

21 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

I’ve been working on my first draft of a book for nearly a year, (not in a very timely manner due to hard drive failure) but now I can thankfully and finally say, I’m done with it! With the first draft at least. I like to think of it as having written a very bad book. (I dig the mantra that no good books are ever written, only rewritten.) Lots of revising lays ahead, but for the time being, it’s worth celebrating.

#112 Bakersfield College

22 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Spent the afternoon mentoring just outside of the Bakersfield College campus. Had some time, but not a lot, to go wander for a little bit. I was really hoping that during my time in Bakersfield I would get the chance to take fun adult classes at the community college, but unfortunately, BC offers little in terms of that.

#113 Emerson Middle School

23 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

It’s official: I will be working as an autism class teacher at Emerson Middle School for the rest of the school year. I’m really liking the class I’ve been assigned, and the kids in there are a lot of fun. I especially enjoy being in a school that most people had dubbed as the “worst school in the city.” That may or may not be true, but all of its issues create a very interesting setting for me to learn about people.

#114 Domino Chains

24 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Making Domino lines is my students’ favorite thing to do. That and coming up with the best misheard lyrics to songs. The class I teach is very laid back and during recess, it’s always interesting to see what they come up with to play.

#115 Himalayan Food

25 April 2014 // Ventura, California

En route to Santa Barbara, Deanna and I stopped for dinner in Ventura and enjoyed an amazing meal at a Indian-Nepali-Tibetian restaurant called Himalaya. I couldn’t recommend this place more. Their menu was good, they had plenty of great veggie options, and the presentation was a lot of fun. Deanna and I got to take our shoes off and sit on the floor for this one.

#116 Inspiration Point

26 April 2014 // Santa Barbara, California

Deanna and I were able to enjoy a wonderful hike in the afternoon with our friends Bryce, Travis, and Corinne, while we were in Santa Barbara. Earlier in the day, we spent some time with Gabe geocaching, so we got a good day full of the outdoors. In the evening, we also got to try an awesome Brazilian restaurant where I discovered what might be my new favorite thing- cashew juice.

#117 Saloon BBQ Co.

27 April 2014 // Ventura, California

Deanna and I left Santa Barbara early to spend some time hanging out in our neighbor city to the south that we ignored too much while we were in college. Downtown Ventura had a lot of hidden treasures, including a used bookstore where I had a field day rifling through vintage maps that they had on sale. We got lunch at Saloon BBQ before heading back to Bakersfield- but not without a pit stop in LA to help her dad buy a new car.

#118 Birthday Countdown

28 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna is very sweet to me and has been leaving me these countdown packets on my windshield to discover before I head out for work in the mornings. Each one contains folded up stars with written “happy thoughts,” a hallmark in our relationship that dates back to when I first went on tour with LiNK.

#119 Interesting Fruits

29 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Sammy, D.J., and I got together for dinner and we had an incredible feast. I’m still not eating land meat, so Sammy prepared an amazing stuffed salmon and cooked it just the way I like it- fairly undercooked and full of flavor. I brought over spanakopita and grilled zucchini and D.J. fried his own steak. Sammy also picked up interesting fruits native to Southeast Asia, but we never got around to trying them.

#120 The Padre

30 April 2014 // Bakersfield, California

Deanna’s parents treated us out to an incredible dinner at one of the nicest places to eat in all of Bakersfield- the Belvedere room at the Padre hotel. I ordered a round of scallops, we shared a bottle of white cabernet, and I got some amazing salted caramel cheesecake for dessert. We also had a hilariously unexpected encounter with Aunt Sue while we were there.

Philippe Lazaro365