Litter Gitter

waterfront-trash

Ugh! Don’t you hate it when you’re at the beach or the park and you see trash laying around? It’s ugly, and unhealthy. And if it gets into our waters, it can have a huge impact on marine wildlife. Well, it’s easy to help, especially through the City of Long Beach’s Litter Free Long Beach program. It’s been designed to expand awareness of the impacts of litter, build community pride, and develop support and participation in keeping  Long Beach litter-free. They have volunteer opportunities for clean ups, or they can assist you in organizing one of your own. Or what about those nasty cigarette butts you see laying around? Check out their Can Your Butts campaign. What really annoys me are those door hangers and flyers that seem to appear almost every morning. People neglect to remove them from their doors, and they end up flying around all over the yard and sidewalks. Well, they have a plan for that too! I ordered a free “No Advertisements” sign (it’s printed in both English and Spanish,) and it arrived within a couple of days. Simple steps can help our community become a cleaner, healthier place. I’m even thinking of ordering the door hangers for each of my neighbors…

 

 

 

Knot It!

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I feel lit’s always best to have a little snack every now & then when we’re having adult beverages. One thing I love is a soft pretzel. That soft, fluffy dough enveloped in a crisp, salty crust. Usually served with some kind of dipping accoutrement. Guess what? Today is National Pretzel Day! If you’re out and about today, wondering what to snack on, why not stop in and get yourself a tasty pretzel? Riley’s makes a killer German-style soft pretzel twist, served with beer cheese (God, yes!) and Bavarian mustard. It’s even big enough to share. Brix has a yummy homemade pretzel stick, served with a jalapeño-honey mustard. If you prefer the crunchy kind, Quinn’s offers complimentary mini pretzel twists. People say that bars serve salty snacks because they make you thirsty, and it will get you to drink more beer. IDK who these people are, but they say it like it’s a negative thing…

 

 

 

oh, I See…

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I remember, as a child, we used to lay in the grass and stare up at the clouds in the sky. We’d try to pick out images from their shapes; they usually came out as animals. Do you ever see things in other things? Like a leopard in the middle of an orchid? IDK why I was surprised, but I just learned there’s a word for that. Pareidolia.

/ˌpæraɪˈdəʊlɪə/
noun

1. the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features

 

There’s this article, or just Google pareidolia and search by images. Entertaining, no? So, take some time out to lay in the grass or on the beach and stare up into the sky. You never know what you’ll see…

 

Submarines

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It’s Easter weekend. As a child, my Dad would always get my Mom a hyacinth before Easter. I’d walk into the house and didn’t even have to see it to know it was there; the fragrant scent filled the air. I was raised Catholic, and this holiday was a huge deal for us. Lots of church time starting on Holy Thursday. Good Friday meant many more hours of church, along with fasting and no TV. I remember many businesses would be closed. Holy Saturday was a reprieve from services. But it was when we’d have our Easter meal, an aromatic ham, with that brilliant hyacinth as the centerpiece on the dining room table.

Now, Easter Sunday. That was a day. The day. We’d get dressed in our finest and head out early to church. You had to get there early if you wanted a seat (a seat, not just a good seat.) Easter was one of the days the Submarine Catholics came out. Our neighbor across the street was one of those. My friend and her Mom would attend services regularly, but Mr. Ray would only come for Christmas and Easter. Oh wait. You don’t know what a Submarine Catholic is? They are the people who only surface at church twice a year. They are the reason it was SRO on those days. We’d be jammed into the pew. The altar would be flooded with glorious flowers and Spring decorations. Sometimes, the priest would bring out a live lamb, or bunnies, or chicks to accompany his sermon with a flourish. After mass, we’d spend the rest of the day traveling to visit relatives, and indulging in traditional Easter foods.

As we got older, Good Friday meant no school, or no work. It was a great reason to go out to Happy Hour, though. Church slipped away. Grandparents and Great-Grandparents passed away. And, while I still have a Faith, those past family customs are no longer practiced. So, however you are celebrating this weekend – whether at the bar, with family, or a quiet day at home – I hope you have warm memories to reflect upon. And that you remember to keep the Faith…

 

 

 

 

Great Eggs-pectations

empty basket

Easter is next week, and I know families have different traditions for Easter treats. When we were young, the Easter Bunny would come to the house at night, while we were asleep, and hide goody-filled baskets. My brother and I would wake up early, before church, so we could search the house and indulge in some chocolate before heading out for the day. I’m sure children in BS will be waking up, excited to hunt Easter eggs, or see what the Bunny left in their basket. But, there are many who will go without; who often go without. Well, you can help brighten a child’s day! Operation Easter Basket seeks to bring joy and hope to children in desperate situations through gift-filled Easter baskets. You can create baskets filled with small toys, some candy, school supplies, and more. You can take up a collection at school, church, or work. You can simply make a tax-deductible donation. You can volunteer. These baskets are distributed to local organizations such as Rescue Missions, Family Centers, Housing Developments, Child Family Services, and so many more worthy groups. I’m not really one of those people who goes around spouting famous quotes, but today, I feel like one of Gandhi’s is appropriate: In a gentle way, you can shake the world

 

 

 

 

 

0 to 60

skid

Not much has been going on in the BS household lately. Mr. has been laid up, and I’ve been doing my best to take care of him. I’ve kinda’ been “nesting,” myself. It has been quiet around here. That’s about to change starting tomorrow. The Grand Prix of Long Beach is in town this weekend, and events start tomorrow (Wednesday,) right here in BS! Roar in The Shore is coming to 2nd Street tomorrow from 5-8 pm. It’s a fan festival featuring a variety of entertainment for the whole family. The best part? It’s free! Race cars and exotic cars will be on display, and professional drivers will be present to speak to race enthusiasts and to sign autographs. The public can test out their skills with free racing simulators located at Covina and 2nd Street, and motorcycle stunt drivers will be performing throughout the evening. It’s not exactly the weekend, but it’s Hump Day; the end of Hump Day, in fact. So it’s practically Thursday, which is almost the weekend. That makes it a great opportunity to stroll around 2nd Street, have some snacks and adult beverages, and get you geared up (sorry, you know I love a bad pun) for the races…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sail On

congressionalcup

The weather may have been a little questionable lately, but it’s coming around! It may still be a little windy, but that makes for some entertaining sailboat racing. The Congressional Cup is back, and the races start tomorrow. Internationally-renowned skippers will travel from New Zealand, England, and beyond to come and battle it out on the waters off Long Beach. World class sailors will tell you the Congressional Cup is pure match racing – a true test of sailing ability. These top sailors have traveled to Long Beach to compete in what has been called the Grandfather of Modern Match Racing. Pure match racing means boats are precisely uniform, which creates an opportunity to truly measure sailing strategy and skills. The best part is, you can view the races right here in BS. The best viewing spot is right on the Belmont Pier. Races begin at 11:30 and run through April 2nd. It’s FREE to attend, and is family-friendly. But it’s not like you even need an excuse to chill out on the pier and enjoy our beautiful SoCal sunshine…

 

 

 

Turned Off

switch-off-400x400

I think a lot of people know about Earth Day, celebrated at the end of April. But do you know anything about Earth Hour? Earth Hour was created by the World Wildlife Fund to encourage people to turn off their lights for just one hour. More than 170 countries and territories will engage in a show of support for protecting the planet. Millions of people will participate as homes, cities, hotels, universities and businesses turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time for Earth Hour — a demonstration of commitment to fight climate change. Some of the landmarks going dark this year are the Empire State Building, the Space Needle, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Colosseum in Rome, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Sydney Opera House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower.

So, at 8:30 tonight, turn off your lights, and your TV. Log off of your computer and mobile phone. Light some candles. Open a bottle of wine, and have an actual conversation with someone. You’re not going to be home tonight? Start participating now. Donate to an environmental group that supports the fight for climate change. Research ways to live in a more eco-friendly manner. Earth Hour doesn’t have to be just about the 60 minutes you spend with your lights and other electronics turned off. It could be the start of something bigger…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprung

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Happy Spring! Today marks the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, which is the point in the year when the day and the night are both 12 hours long, after a winter of shorter days and longer nights. I could get into all of the astrological, scientific, and folkloric facts, but all you need to know is that the days are going to get longer, the sun is going to stay out later, and it’s going to get warmer. Get ready for summer…

 

 

 

 

 

Protocol

 

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St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow. Are you planning on heading out to celebrate? There are so many Irish places on 2nd Street, you could build-your-own bar crawl! If you’re like me, you’ll want to start during the day. Head upstairs to Murphy’s Pub and bask in the sunshine out on their balcony. Enjoy the people-watching from above. (Side note: this is a good place for the beginning of your drinking journey, as the stairs may be difficult to navigate by the end of the day.) After that, you may want to wander over to Quinn’s. Hopefully, it’s still early enough that you can get in and squeeze your way up to the bar. You’ll be able to get some tasty craft beers here, and I betcha’ they’ll even have green Jell-o shots! By now, you’re probably feeling a bit peckish. More craft beer and some tasty grub can be found at Riley’s. You should be able to find a seat, here. If you’re lucky, you can get one out on the patio. Finally, right next door is Shannon’s Bayshore.  It’s a good thing this is the last stop, because this is where the liquor starts flowing. For some reason, we always end up in “trouble” here. After this little bar tour, your Über should be waiting to take you home.

Now, did you notice that not once did we drink green beer? Stay away from that stuff! Get a Guinness or a Smithwick’s. If you’d like something a little lighter, try a Harp. As far as liquor, I’m a Jameson kinda’ gal, but you could also try Bushmills or Redbreast. Finally, you could take this in a completely different direction. Get a case six-pack of Guinness. Cook up some corned beef and cabbage, and some yummy colcannon. Maybe even watch an Irish-inspired movie like Brooklyn, or The Commitments, or the campy Leprechaun. And be thankful you’re not out dealing with all of those crazies…