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Weekend Shenanigans: Too hot. Too hot lady. Merci, Kool & the Gang

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EDITOR'S NOTE:  I'm still late and lazy on posting.  This one almost went in the trash bin too, but I figured I'd just not finish it and drop it.  It's too wordy, but what the hell.  It's Friday and you might need something long to read to keep you from working as the clock ticks towards quittin' time.  This covers last weekend:



Friday was a hot one.   In the words of Kool & the Gang:  Too hot.  Too hot lady.  Better run for shelter, better run for shade.


But there wasn’t any shade this weekend.  It was hot everywhere, and it was hot no matter what you were doing.  Even if you were running for shade.


I picked up my niece, the one from Espana, on Friday afternoon and delivered her to my mom’s house.  She was to stay the weekend there which was good because I’d been keeping Monica busy the previous two weekends.  I didn’t know what all having a kid around for more than 15 minutes entailed.  I learned quickly you need an abundance of two things:  food and toilet paper.  Bonus points for having the plunger on stand-by.


Without any foreign teens around, it was a pretty chill weekend.   Hot, but chill.  After dropping off the Spaniard, I met Date Chick to check out a new French bistro that hasn’t opened yet.  The owner, Laurent, is a real live Frenchie who says ‘croissant’ like a Seinfeld character.   He’s been here for 30 years, but the pronunciation is an assault.  If I pronounced croissant like that someone would hit me in the face.  That someone would be me.  In typical French style, Laurent explained that he hadn’t decided on an opening date yet.  “Emmmm…maybe zee twentieth.  Maybe zee twenty-ninth…I don’t know…”  Yeah, what’s the rush?  It’s only thousands in rent money.  Well, Paris wasn’t built in a day.


After the unopened bistro, Date Chick went home to do some more work and finish making her chicken soup.  Indeed, it’s 95 degrees out, but for whatever reason, Date Chick felt like making chicken soup.  I didn’t question it since she’s a great cook and what the hell.  You can only eat so many salads. 


I hauled ass to C’est Si Bon to get a couple baguettes to go with the soup.  (Laurent didn’t have any lying around, regrettably).  But the joint had just closed.  The little put-upon hipsters who work there probably shut the doors a few minutes early so they could get to the tattoo parlour early.  So, I went to Sprouts to get a baguette.  But their baguettes looked too earthy.  Too brown.  I got a fat and heavy loaf of French bread instead (shouldn’t a baguette get the label of “French bread” since it’s, well, French bread?”).  The loaf was warm and thick.  It felt like my…cat.  When I pick her up after she’s been basking in the sun. 



I got home with the sun setting and sat in my backyard, trying to catch the little bit of breeze that popped in.  I busted out my lil’ radio and flipped on the Angel game, sitting there as the day turned to night.  I thought about my dad.  When I was a tyke, he would sit in the living room with my brothers and me while we watched “Real People” re-runs or whatever.  This was well before every game was on TV.  You’d be lucky to see three Angel games a season on television. 


My dad would sit in the background, his transistor tuned to the Angel game.  He wanted to be around us but didn’t want to miss any of the game, even in the years when he must’ve known the Angels would likely lose.  If there was a bit of excitement, he’d turn up the volume and we’d all ask what was happening.  Those teams of the early and mid-‘70s were full of hope; and Merv Rettenmunds, and Ron Fairlys, and Ron Jacksons.  Throw in a Thad Bosley or two and hope would always spring eternal just enough to keep KMPC tuned in throughout the summer.  By the all-star break, all was not lost, but the hope pretty much was.  Even with everything lost by September, you were invested to a point where you had to know what was happening in each game.  The Angels fan point of no return.  And then 1979 happened and my dad, my brothers, and myself were cursed for life.  My brothers and I need to know what’s going on through every season as we carry our dads’ torch.


Later that night, Date Chick and I went to a joint called Mossimo’s on 17th Street in Costa Mesa.  Because we typically get a late start on the weekend, and we hate loud places full of boozed up Friday night goombahs and their screaming entitled kids, our choices for dining are limited after 9pm.


Date Chick always gets a big salad.  I usually get a slice of limp pizza and a salad, but not tonight.  Salad only.  DR’s gained about 7 pounds over the last few months.  I need to dial it back. 


Mossimo’s isn’t the best food, but the place is intriguing.  They always have the Angel game tuned in on the two TVs.  With DR not having Directv no more, it’s fun to see the games in snippets.  The dudes who run the place are bizarro.  I don’t know if they’re Czech mafia or what.  They’re in their 20s and are mostly all muscle heads.  Their ‘friends’ drop by and talk in hushed tones.  I don’t know if they’re ordering a pizza or a hit.   The workers eye you a little as they talk to one another.  If the Angels score a run or Trout makes a good play, they yell.  Then put their heads down and go back to their quiet conversations.  None of it makes sense.  It’s an American experience.


Saturday was hot again.  The previous night, Date Chick and I decided we’d keep ourselves busy in places that offered air conditioning.  We took in salads at Veggie Grill.  They make a kale salad that makes you like kale salad.  And the quinoa salad is good too.  I never though I’d be a fan, but I’m down.  I just wish the Czech mafia/baseball enthusiasts club ran the place.


We saw the movie “The Drop.”  It was just what we were looking for:  the theater had the AC on blast and the film was set in Brooklyn in the wintertime.  Patches of snow on the ground made us feel colder still.  Tom Hardy wore jackets and flannel covering up everything but his accent.  The movie was a good one.   I’m more partial to noir-ish films set in L.A., the home of the noir film, but I liked how spare and character driven The Drop was. 


After the film, we drove up to Tustin.  Laurent, the Frenchy told us the most authentically Parisian croissant (insert frenchy loogie here for proper pronunciation) is at a lil’ bakery called Crème Pan.  $1.40 for a croissant and they are not ten pounds like the ones Americans expect at Starbuck$.  It’s run by Asian folk.  Not frenchies.  In the year I’ve been with Date Chick, she’s taken me to a wide assortment of restaurants.  I have learned that Asian folk are massive foodies.  They love discovering new places and going back to the good ones.  How there are not public service announcements in SoCal warning the Asian population about the threat of type two diabetes is a head scratcher.  What kind of weight loss drugs are they on and can I have some of them?!


We got several croissants (loogie) to go.  It was just too damn hot to have an afternoon carb fest.  But I ate part of one when I got home and it was fine.  It didn’t blow me away, but it did the trick and there is something to the less is more sizing that does not motivate the American palate. 


Later, when the sun set and the heat stayed on high, we met our friend for dinner.  He was Uber’ing down from LAX after just landing from Toronto.  A film he produced was at the Toronto Film Festival.  Funny, but since I’ve withdrawn from the entertainment business and cancelled my paid TV subscription, I just don’t know what’s out there.  I don’t care what the deals are.  Don’t know the players, don’t know the actors, don’t know nothin’.  I don’t miss it one bit. 


We met at the usual restaurant which my friend co-owns.  A mixed blessing.  The staff and a lot of the locals come by to kiss the ring so our dinner gets interrupted constantly.  I never remember to bring hand sanitizer so I’m often going to the loo to wash my hands.  I got back at my friend by ordering an over-priced filet.  It was damn good. 


Our dinner was interrupted by two blondes my friend, unbeknownst to Date Chick and I, had invited to join us.  So that’s who he was texting.  That interruption sucked.  The chicks were yoga and spin instructors or whatever and the conversation was awkward.  Not a bloody thing to talk about.  They squeezed into our booth on the prowl for a free meal and bottomless glass of chardonnay.  They got both.  A third chick showed up.  Then a fourth.  The word was out that the chardonnay was a-pourin’!  The fourth looked like a porn star of sorts.  All four had gobs of makeup on.  The fourth wondered where she could sit since it was stuffed in that booth.  Stuffed like the tight clothes they were all wearing.  I got up, nodded to Date Chick and said to the fourth, “Here, take our seat.  We were just leaving.”  Unlike Pete Burns, I don’t want surprises and I didn’t want to put Date Chick in a position where she had to force conversation about yoga and spinning. 


And here we are, alas on Sunday. 


I enjoy weekend mornings.  I spend them by myself.  Give the cat some grub, open the back door up so she can go out and fertilize the garden while I pour a cup of French roast.  I had a chocolate croissant (loogie).  Sat outside reading the news.  Not much of it:  ISIS, American football is back apparently (the NFL is beaten into your head by the NFL marketing machine.  It’s relentless the beatings).  And so on.  I kept moving my chair to dodge the sun.  I had an almond croissant (loogie).   More coffee.  Date Chick was busy running stairs.  She does this at least once a week.  Goes on a ten mile run once or twice a week, too.  To quote Anthony Hopkins in “Silence of the Lambs,” I however, do not. 



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I too, love my weekend mornings. Quiet sunrise and coffee.


Although I'm not much older than you I was like your dad. Always listened to those games on my radio long after the Angels fate had been decided. 


Although I grew up on the east coast and didn't get Angels games, I spent many evenings listening to radio broadcasts of totally meaningless games played by hopelessly bad clubs late in the season. Sometimes it was the Atlanta Braves, sometimes it was the local AAA (and later AA) Jacksonville Suns.

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