Bright Light of Day

    Spring quarter is a boon to those whose partying tends to linger in the realm of heartiness, and whose souls can only be salved by cool, rum-tinged drinks, barbecued meats and the soothing rhythms of a fully pumped-up stereo. Spring is rife with opportunities to indulge in the varied spectrum of joyous dalliance.

    Here at UCSD, one’s springtime thoughts tend to wander to that revered, bejeweled institution that is the Sun God Festival, a day (or week, for the foolhardy) full of fun, friends and fine, frosty refrescos. With good planning and a proclivity for self-destructive behavior, one can fit a liver’s worth of partying into a scant 24 hours.

    Personally, I plan to rise before the first hint of light appears on the horizon, don my drafting gear and head out to the traditional haunt: a tavern that cannot be named in these pages, but possesses such mythical characteristics that it has traditionally drawn me and a group of associates for a bout of eye-opening imbibery before the day’s big dance.

    An oh-so-early commencing hour, hot nuts on the wall and liquid breakfast drink specials make this joint the toast of the town. It even used to house an air hockey table! Even without the greatest of all bar games, the place retains its cantankerous, compelling atmosphere and ensures that anyone who enters its hallowed halls will leave a bit wiser, a bit more enlightened and a bit more drunk.

    Anything that follows a prolonged session here will be so anticlimactic that it almost won’t matter and you probably won’t remember it anyway.

    The Sun God experience is only a piece of the warm, sumptuous pie that is springtime here in San Diego.

    The sun-dappled coastline just beyond the UCSD campus boundary is where you should be spending most of your quarter. Class is fun and might be of some use once you graduate, but you’ll be happier spending your balmy, wistful afternoons lying prostrate in the sand, blissfully napping (passed out), after five or 12 beers of your choice.

    This approach will reap far more benefits than your typical lecture or almost anything else you might be doing. So next time you are pondering your Tuesday afternoon schedule, bypass the books for a Beck’s and head for the coast.

    Sunny days at the beach often lead smack dab into the middle of that traditional beachside endeavor: the barbecue. After an intense daylong drinking binge, nothing is as rejuvenating as a nice, juicy hunk o’ steak. Firing up the barbie is the best way to spend those last waning hours of sunlight, getting your grub on and preparing for the night’s festivities, whatever they may be.

    On Friday, some cohorts and I congregated at the Cage for an afternoon’s worth of dead animal cooking and consuming. An icy tun of Diet Coors rounded out the menu and gave us ample invigoration and substance for the ballgame later on.

    You see, following an afternoon of baking on the beach and cooking in the front yard, there is nothing like an evening at the ballpark — especially if you make a mission of it by going all-out to rouse the crowd and make a complete fool of yourself in the process.

    Such was the case on Friday eve. We took to the stands, about 30 strong, full of team spirit and distilled spirits and ready to spectate. Our scrappy Padres were prepared to stomp the hated Dodgers — their spoiled, whiny rivals from up North — and we were ready to take it all in.

    Then there was Neil. Neil Dennis to be exact, and we were armed with a thick stack of his beloved, mullet-flossing mug, ready to spread the sweet word of this charismatic iconoclast. As soon as we produced the full-sized pictures of the sassy, sullen-eyed sultan and held them aloft for all to see, a hush befell the packed crowd as everyone in our immediate area turned from the on-field action to appreciate N.D.’s prowess.

    No sooner did the silence fall than it was broken; the tranquillity shattered by the thrilling chant emanating in unison from the Qualcomm crowd, NE-IL!, NE-IL!, NE-IL! People swarmed in from all around — young, old, white, black, Dodger fan, Padre fan — it didn’t matter as all let their differences melt away and united under the omniscient eyes of our icon. Little children paraded around with Neil’s face tucked up under their ball caps and elder women waved him fervently above their heads. The air was thick with the most joyous of laughter. It was beautiful.

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