Well, I suppose that last part is technically not that simple. Pankration is an ancient form of martial arts introduced in the 648 BC Olympic Games. It's traditionally a mix of boxing and wrestling, but in this age of Mixed Martial Arts, kicking is also incorporated, not to mention skill and brutality. Our Sacramento destination was a Pankration tournament featuring our young friend and P.R. travel companion, Matt Fields. At 19 years old and 135 lbs., Matt was certainly going to be matched up against some serious competitors.
We unfortunately arrived a little too late for Matt's first bout, a bout that he won by decision (one 5 minute round), and apparently went through untouched, Matt just whupped his poor unsuspecting opponent. You see, Matt is a very sweet kid, a kind soul if you will. Exceedingly responsible for his age, he turns that responsibility into fierce dedication when it comes to his training. You'd never know it to look at him, but there's a caged animal in there. I mean hell, the kid didn't even have a single drink at the last Casa de Lina party (dedication), yet remained calm, cordial, and a blast to be around (kind soul). Who knew?!
After arriving, we exchanged greetings with friends and watched several other kids (I don't think anyone was over 30, and since I'm 30, they were all kids), systematically and calculatingly beat the crap out of each other. Legs and arms being bent in ways they shouldn't, illegal moves, behemoths pummeling each other and unexpectedly loud smacking and slapping noises. It was all quite impressive. However, we came to see Matt, and before we knew it, our chance was at hand. Matt's second opponent was small, but looked fiery and ended up being just that. Matt controlled the entire bout, quickly reversing several holds and grapples, punishing this kid for not being fast enough, or missing a proper grip. The majority of the bout was on their feet, and some punishing kicks were dealt on both ends. By the time 5 minutes had passed, a quick decision was announced, and Matt was once again victorious! We were ecstatic, but a bit confused, it was admittedly hard to tell who was ahead when two bodies are tangled in a ball. Matt's second opponent was devastated and spent the next 30 minutes banging his head against walls and cursing under his breath. Poor chump.
Shaking hands, hugs, and goodbye pleasantries all around as Justine, Lina, Richard, Roxanne, Sunni and I left to go to a restaurant in downtown Sacramento. Zocalo was a suggestion of Sunni's, apparently her favorite "sex spot." We were confused as to why she felt the need to tell us that but it all made more sense when she clarified that it was her favorite "Sac spot." Something of a Mexican fusion restaurant, but leaning more towards traditional, Zocalo had a gorgeous and inviting interior, really swell food presentation, excellent sangria, and equally excellent food. The food was so excellent that Roxanne realized we were too busy stuffing our faces to be as boisterous as we typically are. I'm sure this pleased other patrons.
After stuffing ourselves to the brink, Justine and I parted ways from the rest of the group (they had to see the baby, remember?), and decided to go to Rubicon Brewery as it was only 4 blocks away. The decision to go here was mainly based on proximity and my dread of the 2 hour drive home. This made our visit very short, one "alright" beer each and away we went, sober of course (no, really).
The night was supposed to continue with a birthday celebration, but we were exhausted, and regrettably had to back out. Just as we began to wind down, there was a knock on the door and we knew it was Michelle, as she was coming by to pick up her car and drop off mine. I answered the door and she was all dolled up! "What's going on, where are you going?" I said, to which Michelle replied "Nowhere, it's nothing, I just thought I'd get ready just in case you guys wanted to go get food or something." She looked like she was ready for a date, so Justine and I could not deny her a proper close to the evening. After some thought and tossing ideas back and forth, we decided on the perfect place to take a young lady ready for a night out...Chili's!