Bake Off!

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I enjoy cooking, and I think I’m pretty good at it. Mr. doesn’t complain. But, baking. That’s another story. It’s too complicated, too science-ey. Sure, I’ve been known to open a box and dump some stuff in a bowl every now and again, but that’s it. But if you love to bake, you might want to check out the C.A.T. Long Beach Bake Off Contest on Sunday!

It’s not too late to enter, and it only costs 5 bucks to register. Over three dozen bakers are slated to compete, so your stuff better be good! But wait! If your baking skills are as good as mine (HA!) you can still take part in the contest. By eating. After the private judging, there will be a tasting reception. That’s only 5 bucks, too. Or free if you are one of the registered contestants.

So, dig through those recipes and find your best. Who knows?! You could be the next Betty Crocker…

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Mr. Nice Guy

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I got into work today super early, so I decided I was going to leave a bit early. It’s FriYAY, after all! Before I could go home, I had to drop off a package for work at the post office. I parked my car at the curb, and while trying to manage the large awkward parcel, I noticed the man who was parked in front of me was standing on the curb. When I came back out, he was still standing there. I realized that the hood of his truck was open, and there were jumper cables laying on the ground.

But it’s Friday and I just want to go home and start my weekend! So, I did what any good person would do. I stopped to ask if he needed help. Of course he did. Apparently, his jumper cables didn’t even work anyways. Luckily, I had some in my trunk (Dad taught me well.) He told me he was going to be late for work, but now that I helped him, he’d still be able to make it in time. He was so grateful!

As we were wrapping up, he offered to give me his number, in case I ever needed help with anything. I just said, “no thanks, I’m good.” To which he replied, “so, you’re just being nice?” Yes. Yes, I am…

Treats, not Tricks!

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When I was growing up, Trick or Treat was basically a free-for-all. Sure, as a young child, we’d get the little plastic pumpkin, a flashlight, and mom’s hand (dad stayed home to pass out candy.) But as we got a bit older, it was a pillowcase and a prayer. A small clan would wander the neighborhood, collecting so much candy that we could barely carry the bag.

That was a long time ago, and I don’t have children, but I still feel safe in saying that things, well, may not be as safe. I know people are concerned about where their children may be walking, or who they’re getting candy from from whom they are getting candy. So the Belmont Shore Business Association came up with a solution. This Saturday (Halloween, duh!,) from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, your little ghouls and goblins can walk 2nd Street in Belmont Shore to gather candy from participating businesses.

BTW, if you haven’t found a costume, Billings Paint & Hardware in BS has a TON of costumes and decorations that are actually very inexpensive. So, dress up your munchkins and let them score some sweet treats in a safe environment. Or, you could be like us and take advantage of the opportunity to do some day drinking and see cute monsters, ghosts, princesses, super heroes, butterflies, and who knows what else…

Howl’oween (and more!)

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Haunted ships, zombie walks, costume contests and more! Halloween in BS is sure to be spooktacular!!! Yeah, I went there; y’all know I like cheese. Anyhoo, over the next couple of days, I’ll let you know what’s happening. But I wanted to get a head start in case you have any costumes to buy/make. Including for your pooch.

This Saturday, Haute Dogs will be sponsoring their 15th Annual Howl’oween Parade at Marine Vista Park. You can register up until the day of the parade, and all fees go to spay/neuter, adoption/rescue, and other local charity programs. Halloween costumes are pretty cool. Dogs in Halloween costumes – I can’t even! And there’s sure to be lots of them!

Pre-parade feast-ivities start at 12:30, and will include vendor booths, bobbing for Howl’oweenies, a Bulldog Kissing Booth, contests, and a pet adoption fair.  But wait, there’s more! Human adults and children are invited to dress up and lead the parade.  There’s no registration fee, but you do need to sign up prior to the parade. There’s free parking, or if you choose to ride or walk your bike, they will have chairs available to rent.

So swing by for some charming family friendly entertainment before you head out to terrorize the town…

Season Cycle

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Halloween is next week. It was in the 90s today. I’m OK with that. I remember when I was a child trying to be creative sometimes with my costume. Layering tights or turtlenecks underneath. Or, heaven forbid, I have to wear a coat over my costume! At lest one year, it even snowed on Halloween.

ahh! But not in SoCal. It was a gorgeous day today. A great day for a bike ride along the beach path all the way to the end. And a reward of a beer or three overlooking the bay. (Gotta’ be careful ’cause you still have to ride home!)

Some people like to have “seasons.” Falling leaves, cold weather, rain, snow, all that whatnot. I’ll take a sunny 90-degree day at the end of October, or even November or December any day…

Fright Fest

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It’s that time of the year and the zombies are out in full force! The LB Zombie Festival is a three-day invasion of all things undead. Hours are from 5 to 11 pm on Friday, 2 to 11 pm on Saturday, and 2 to 10 pm on Sunday. Guys, there is so much zombified stuff going on at this festival, I don’t even know where to start!

There are family friendly activities such as bouncy houses, pumpkin carving, and a (jello) “brain” eating contest. And there is also a cow brain eating contest for adults. yup. There will be live music and all kinds of entertainment. A haunted maze. Freak Show (my personal favorite, shh!) Fear Factor (no thank you.) Of course, there will be vendors, food, and adult beverages. And non-adult beverages. And TONS of zombies. You can dress up if you want, but it’s not mandatory. Well, it is if you want to participate in the infamous Zombie Walk on Saturday evening!

So, get out your, uh, worst attire, and express your inner gory-ness. IF you dare…

The End is Near!

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A month or two ago, I wrote about the Vitality and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art. I told you it was pretty splendid, and I hope you got a chance to see it. Because it’s about to be wiped away forever. The artwork was applied directly to the museum walls, and now that the show is about to end, they need a blank canvas for their next display.

Tomorrow (Friday,) LBMA is hosting their After Dark event from 6:00 to 10:00 pm. You’ll get to check out the art, plus there’s live entertainment and dancing under the stars. And – my favorite part – a full bar. For only 20 bucks!

There will be a screening of the film showing the installation of the exhibit. Plus one of the artists (Greg “Craola” Simkins) will be whitewashing his own mural, live. Seems to me, that might be a bit melancholy for the artist. But probably more so, liberating. I could get into a whole thing about the fragility of expression here, but I won’t. You’re welcome.

This will be your last opportunity to see these murals before they are painted over. So, if you’ve been living under a rock missed the exhibit, or want to visit the museum, or just need something to do on Friday night, you should probably check this out…

Cheers to Three Years!

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I know I’ve already told you about Brix, and the fabulous food there, so I’m not going to get into too much detail. But I do want to let you know that they are celebrating their three year anniversary tomorrow (Wednesday.) They want you to join in their party and are having a FREE buffet from 6-8 pm!!!

So, get ready to make your Hump Day even happier. Swing by Brix for some free grub, and maybe even have a beer or three…

NOToberfest

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ahh Oktoberfest! Brings back memories of chilly evenings dressed in jeans and flannels. Huge mugs o’beer, giant soft pretzels, brats, and sauerkraut. Dancing with strangers under a tent to a raucous oom-pah band.

um, not so much in LBC, I guess.

Drinking Buddy and I decided to check out Oktoberfest downtown on Saturday (yes, I am backtracking a bit today, but yesterday was spent sprawled on the sofa watching football.) Live music, beer, food trucks. Sounds promising! It was small, but I think it was the inaugural LBC Oktoberfest, and sometimes fewer people is better. The beer selection was a bit limited. The music was entertaining; one of my favorite local bands that plays funky ska/rock/reggae, but, alas, is not oom-pah. Add to the fact it was pretty hot and humid, and we end up at NOToberfest.

On the other hand, there was great music. Fun people and games. Beer. Yummy food. All in all, it was an enjoyable day. Truth be told, I would probably trade one of those big soft pretzels under a cold, dark tent for day drinking under the palm trees of the sunny SoCal skies any time…

Blessing of the Animals

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Animals are people, too! And the Haute Dogs non-profit believes these beings deserve a little extra help every now & then. This Sunday evening, they will be sponsoring the Interfaith Blessing of the Animals at Granada Beach. It’s free and open to the public and any type of animal. You can also bring collars or photos or toys if your pet is too elderly to attend, or even for those who have gone over to Rainbow Bridge.

I was kind of aware that this has happened in the past, but I just found out that is usually around the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He is the patron saint of animals and the environment. OK, makes sense (especially on the beach.) It actually sounds pretty moving. There will be a variety of clergy people dressed in their traditional garb, with olive branches and/or holy water for the consecration. There will be a brief ceremony before the blessings begin, and a moment of silence for animals who are involved in inhumane treatment such as dog fighting.

I love this idea. Our pets are a significant part of our lives, and this is such a special way to show them just how much they mean to us…