Surprise!

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Sometimes, you have to leave BS, and journey out into the big, scary city (OK, not so scary.) And last night, Mr. and I did just that. I (successfully) surprised him with tickets to the Lakers/Clippers game for his birthday. We had a bite to eat and some adult beverages at LA Live, then wandered over to the Staples Center for the game.

Here’s the thing, I’m not really a basketball fan. I have never been to a live game. When Mr. watches games on TV, I can barely pay attention. I thought I was going to be really bored, but was willing to be because I wanted to give Mr. a great present. Here’s the other thing, I had fun! When the crowd gets going, and music is playing, and you have great seats, it’s almost exhilarating. Plus, all of the extracurricular activities they have going on during commercial breaks and such just makes the time fly by!

So, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone every now and then. But, as we recuperate relax on the sofa today, Mr. is watching the Lakers Hardball Classic from 1996. um, I don’t think I’m ready for this much basketball…

 

 

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In The Dog House

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I’m always up for a good deal, and what deal is better than free?! There’s a new “fast-casual” restaurant coming to Downtown called Dog Haus. They are having their Grand Opening this Friday (tomorrow) and will be giving away FREE dogs ALL day (11:00 am to midnight!) They’re located at 210 East 3rd Street, 90802. No catch (other than probably a long line.)

I think this place originated in Pasadena, and there are other locations in California. I’ve never been to any of them, but they have some good sounding grub! Topped hot dogs, corn dogs, topped sausages, and burger concoctions, all of which can be ordered vegetarian. Plus, the must-have sides like coleslaw, fries, onion rings and tots (“Hey! Get your own tots!”) Oh yeah, and beer.

So, this probably isn’t the healthiest place to visit, but I am definitely looking forward to checking it out for possible cheat days. And don’t forget your FREE dog tomorrow…

 

 

 

What?!

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I was scrolling through FB earlier today, and I ran across something in my news feed that made me take pause. It was an article called “How to Make a Hand-Stitched Journal.” What?! First of all, why was it on a food blog? Secondly, who has the time and inclination to make a book? No disrespect to the author, but I think someone might have a little too much time on her hands.

I journal occasionally. Rarely. OK, I haven’t in at least a year. But I like the thought of it. And, occasionally, if I see a cute journal or a sketch book when I’m out and about, I have a moment of weakness and buy it. I think I currently only have one blank one. So, it’s not like an obsession or anything. I like the thought of those blank pages and the endless possibilities they can be filled with.

Anyhoo, it made me think about writing again. Think about that blank book. Think about taking pen to paper, the satisfaction of scratching that black ink onto the pristine white pages. But for today, I’ll settle for the warmth of my MacBook on my lap and the clickety-clack of the keys…

 

 

 

Missing

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This young man has been missing from Long Beach for over a month. Please spread the word. Share this flyer on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere and everywhere. Please help if you can. You may remain anonymous, and there is a reward being offered.

Take it Easy

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I feel like certain songs, music, certain scents, flavors, and more can transport you back in time. To an era, or even to a specific day. Don’t  worry, I’m not going to turn this into an In Memoriam blog, but I do feel like I need to mention the passing of Glenn Frey. I read an article that claims (for the people who grew up in the 70’s,) “the death of Frey — and earlier this month the death of David Bowie — comes as a reality check, a resounding reminder that the days of “Take it Easy” and the promise of “One of these Nights” are long behind us. Instead, music, the blood of our youth, has somehow been replaced by mortgages, credit cards, spouses, children, divorces, alimony, expanding waistlines and diminished dreams.” I’m not sure I agree with the second part of that, but I definitely understand the nostalgia behind the first part.

I grew up listening to The Eagles. I’m not sure if it was my Mom or my Dad who was a big fan (I think Mom.) I remember listening to their early songs on the big turntable inside the cabinet that resided in our “formal” living room. Or sitting on the floor of the back seat on a road trip, with the 8-track jammed into the player. And I remember being so excited as a young adult, lounging in the grass of the amphitheater, awaiting the commencement of their When Hell Freezes Over tour.

That same article asks if, in mourning Frey, we are mourning our lost selves. I don’t feel that little girl from the 70’s is “lost.” She lives on in me, as does the music of my youth…

 

 

 

 

Soup’s On!

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I love lazy Sundays! Camped out on the sofa in my PJs, watching football. Sometimes – especially when it’s chilly – I like to have a big pot of “something” simmering on the stove. I was having a discussion with some friends yesterday about making broth/stock. And people don’t realize how easy it is. You don’t have to chop, you don’t have to measure. Just throw everything in a big pot and let it do it’s thing.

Freeze your veggie scraps (like broccoli stems, herb stems, beet or carrot tops, celery leaves, etc.) Freeze your chicken or turkey or fish carcass. Then, when you have enough stuff, gather it together in a stock pot, fill it with water until it’s about 2/3 covered, and simmer for hours and hours. I also like to add in some onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and bay leaves. Other leftover fresh herbs, if I have them. Let it go for a good 3-4 hours. Taste it, and if it needs more flavor, let it go longer. Then, just strain it all out and you have your healthy, homemade broth. It keeps well in the freezer. You can even freeze it in ice cube trays, for when you just need a bit of it for a recipe.

Now, let’s see if I can get up off of the couch to actually do this…

 

 

 

Single Dip

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Who loves the beach?! Who loves to swim?! Who loves to do it in 50-degree water in the middle of January?! WAH-WAMP. This Saturday (tomorrow) The Community Action Team is holding their annual Polar Splash at Granada Beach after the 200th Monthly 30-Minute Beach Clean Up.

A group of everyone crazy brave enough will gather on the beach and at the word “Go!,” participants will run into the water and submerge themselves into the freezing Pacific Ocean. It’s free, but you must register. And, for groups of 20 or more people, CAT will donate $5 per person in the group to a charity of their choice.

So, put on your speedo and your parka, and get out there for a nice refreshing swim! Or, if you’re like me, your sweats and beanie, and cheer them on…

 

 

 

 

Cold Feet

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Winter here in CA isn’t as severe as it is in other parts of the country, but it’s still cold (for us.) I can’t tell you how many times already that I’ve turned to slippers while I’m snuggled under my cozy blanket at home. But what about all of those people who don’t have slippers, or socks, or a blanket, or a home? There are thousands of homeless here in LB. I know you’ve seen them. There are shelters, and winter shelters, and emergency programs that can offer them assistance, but sometimes it’s still not enough.

The Community Action Team is helping through Sock It To ‘Em, a program to collect socks for our homeless neighbors. They are aiming to gather 7000 pairs by the end of the month to be distributed to homeless agencies in and around LB. There is still plenty of time. So hit up the big box store and buy them in bulk. Or, hold a sock drive at work, school, your gym, place of worship, etc.

We can’t help everyone, and we can’t do everything, but we can make a difference. Just think about how comforting something like a simple pair of clean, warm socks can be…

 

 

Let’s Dance

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“I’m not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I’m living on.” There has always been music in my life, and there always will be. Kind of an internal soundtrack playing in my mind. David Bowie has been a favorite as long as I can remember, and even before. I succumbed to his musical magic as my individual tastes were emerging in the early 80’s, and followed him backwards.

Everyone from David Jones to Ziggy Stardust to David Bowie. Classic suits to glitter, make-up and platform shoes. Man, woman, unknown. Glam, new wave, pop, punk. Fashion icon. Musical chameleon. It’s all the same person, and I know that person will live on in me…