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Davis, California

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Column: Spanish Flea, Part I

Within the next 900 or so words, I will systematically break down everything I do within a given day. It will not be pretty. At times, it will sound mundane. And in the end, it will be indicative of the life students lead in Davis, Calif.

Actually, I’m not going to bullshit you – this isn’t a microcosm of anything. This is the first part of a trilogy. Ideally, this column should be read with “Spanish Flea” playing in the background. If you don’t know this song, you should just YouTube it. It’s from the album Going Places by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. By the way – that is THE MOST RIDICULOUS NAME EVAR.

The Pokémon battle theme rattles loudly from my phone. I’m awake. I stare blankly at Matthew’s lead-painted green dresser that sits flush against his potpourri of various computer paraphernalia. It’s not a meaningful stare. It’s more of an “I have nothing else left to think at this ungodly hour so I’m going to stare into space” kind of stare. It’s 11 a.m. I roll over to my left and unplug the phone and iPod Touch that have been charging for nine hours under my pillow and shuffle my way into the shower. I turn on the water first and make sure it isn’t scalding. The key is to make sure it’s lukewarm, and then when you turn on the showerhead, you adjust to your taste. Usually, this means a few ticks to the left every now and then. I’m not really a hot shower lover.

You may be wondering why I brought the iPod Touch into the bathroom. Good question. Bhalendu (my roommate) rigged a little speaker system into our bathroom so we can hook up our iPods to play whatever we like. Engineers are crafty in the weirdest ways. Today, I’m playing “Mah Bahdy” radio on Pandora. It’s my Norah Jones, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat and Amos Lee radio station (basically, anybody that has a soft voice with a slight out-of-nowhere twang while playing simple chords on a guitar makes it on this list). I called it “Mah Bahdy” radio because John Mayer has an odd habit of over-breathalyzing certain words. He won’t just say “My Body” in a song. He has to add more air than necessary or else the ladies won’t swoon. Thus we have the birth of “Mah Bahdy” radio.

I get out of the shower, and leave the door open so the steam will come out – I am the REAL McSteamy. I put my clothes on, which usually consists in me deciding on a t-shirt and shorts combination. Sometimes I’ll wear my Yankees t-shirt, and some days I’ll wear my Boston Red Sox t-shirt. I usually get a rise out of people because they think I’m some diehard fan. I’m not. They were free. I have no ties to Mariano Rivera or Dustin Pedroia. In fact, I hate the name Dustin. It’s stupid. Why would you want the word “dust” in your name? You might as well call the child “Lint” while you’re at it.

After I count my blessings from the fashion gods, I head over to the kitchen. Breakfast usually ends up being Captain Crunch with 1 percent milk – I don’t want to overdo it with the milk percentages. Every time I drink 2 percent milk, I get diarrhea and I feel like an infant.

Once I’m finished OMNOMNOMING, I head out the door on my Gina. Gina is my orange Mercier fixie with blue bullhorns and blue tires. I like the name Gina because it’s only two letters away from Vagina. I always thought Gina was just short for Vagina anyway. I decided to forgo the Velocity rims because I figured it would be more hipster. Stock rims never felt this good.

I pass by the usual fixtures as I’m biking down Anderson to get to campus: Trees, people on their cell phones waiting at the church stop, and that truck that says “BORN TO FISH, FORCED TO WORK.” I get to the holy grail of all intersections (Anderson and Russell) and do that odd sort of waiting on my bike where I lean to the left on one foot. This is really awkward because my backpack is weighing me down and there are people behind me. I’m ready to go but the light takes forever. Finally, it turns green and – holy shit – it only lasted for three seconds. WTF I need to get to campus. I’m on a goddamn bicycle.

After that ordeal at the light, I make my way to campus and cruise along toward the library. I make sure to take out one earbud because the cops on campus have absolutely NOTHING to do but harass students for minor infractions. I mean, honestly, I’m just playing “I’m a Dreamer” by Amber. I’m not juggling four cartons of milk while playing chess with a floating green alien as I’m riding my bike. But if I was, then the officer should pull me over for being over the legal limit of badass.

Stay tuned for Spanish Flea, Part II! What will happen at the library? What will DAVE KARIMI’s day be like? What’s his next shitty one-liner? If you have any questions or comments, feel free to knee-mail him at dkarimi@ucdavis.edu.



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