Saturday, April 29, 2006
When I was a kid in the 60's, Cannery Row was just that, a section of town full of sardine canneries. By the time I came along the sardines had dried up and most of the canneries had closed and lay in various stages of disrepair and ruin. As a teen we used to go down to the water and crawl up under the canneries and party. We had friends that ran away from home and actually lived under the canneries. Those were fun times. I'm serious. There was never anyone down there, just a few shops, a really cool record store called Odyssey Records, and a movie theater called The 812 Cinema which had no seats, only giant pillows. I saw The Song Remains The Same there about 15 times, well at least I saw the first part, I was always really stoned and would fall asleep during the movie all the time. It was a fun and scenic place to party and hang out.
During the 70's many of the canneries burned down under suspicious circumstances, arson was always suspected but never proven. I always figured that was a good way for the cannery owners to get rid of their worthless crumbling buildings that were on prime waterfront property, so that they could build new, more profitable structures there. And that is what happened. And this was the thing that really kickstarted the touristy ruination of my beloved old Cannery Row:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium. Now don't get me wrong, I love the aquarium, it is the best, we go at least once a year, it's awesome and I have always felt fortunate to live so close to something so cool. But let me tell you, John Steinbeck's Cannery Row is gone, replaced by Bubba Gump's and TGIFriday's. It makes me sick. Yes, they have tried to maintain the visual integrity of the old Row, but inside the old looking buildings are Starbucks and tons of gift shops full of tacky stuff you hope nobody brings back to you from a visit. Here are some pictures I took just the other day, I felt dirty after taking them, too much like a tourist.
Oh, they look like the old canneries from the street, here is what they actually are.
Three Hundred Dollar A Night Hotels! Let's go further down the Row.
This is probably one of the more unchanged views on Cannery Row, but don't be fooled--
The tour buses are coming! Let's proceed. As we go further into the sick touristy heart of the beast, we start to see the shops, how can we not, for they are everywhere! Here are some interesting ones-
I have never been into After The Quake but I would like to imagine it is a store full of broken stuff, after all, it is AFTER the quake! Here is a shot of the old Monterey Canning Company building, it's original, on the outside anyway.
That's where the Starbucks is, have yourself a Grande Iced Half Caf Non Fat Caramel Macchiatto! Then go across the street and pay homage to the bust of the great author himself, John Steinbeck:
Somehow I don't recall reading about a Sunglass Hut in his book!
OK I think you get the picture. The Thing I Will Miss is the Thing I Have Already Been Missing For 20 Years.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
They serve "Mexican Coastal Cuisine", which means a lot of seafood in a tropical setting. I always get the same thing, a grilled shrimp bowl. I realize I am in a rut, but I did try something else one time and did not like it as well, and we don't go often enough for me to get tired of it. It's great! Black beans, wild rice and this stuff which I LOVE called caribbean salad, all in a bowl topped with grilled shrimp and their fantastic salsa. I took a picture but it seems kind of blurry.
I know there are a lot of good restaurants up in Spokane, I hope at least one is as delicious and inexpensive as Turtle Bay.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Every other Wednesday I volunteer my time in Leo's school selling Ice Cream during lunch. My table is set up in the back corner of the lunchroom. (I would call it a cafeteria, but they don't cook the food there.) Today at the back table sitting about five feet from me was a boy, about 3rd grade I'd guess. He had gotten in trouble during P.E. and so he was sitting all by himself. And he was crying. At first I didn't know why he was crying, but I figured it out. He was crying because he couldn't have any ice cream. And every time I sold one to the other kids, he cried harder. I sold 117 ice creams today, let me tell you, that kid was a wreck. He just kept staring at me all red faced and teary, I felt awful! Note to Principal Nelson: If you're going to punish a kid by taking away his ice cream privilege, DON'T SIT HIM RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ICE CREAM!! I can't take it!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I am in a Bunco group, and April is my month to host the game. Since I didn't want to mess up my house between real estate showings, I hosted it at another player's house. As host, it is up to me to find substitute players if any of the regulars can't make it, since there always needs to be 12 players for Bunco. Well, 2 of the regulars couldn't make it, so I had my boys substitute for them. And guess what, we all won! I won First Prize of $30, Leo won Third Prize and Pass Around for a total of $25, and Max won the Booby Prize of $10. So between the 3 of us we walked away with half the prize money. My kids earned every bit of that money, because about half the players are over 80, and it was like my kids had a bunch of inquisitive grandmas asking them the same questions over and over about school and moving. They were very good about it though, and I think they actually may have had a little fun. I just asked Max if he had fun and he said "I won ten dollars." So there you go. Next month will be my last time playing with the group I have been in for eight years. I am hoping to find a Bunco group in Spokane. If anyone has any leads let me know.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
"WHYYYYYYY DID FRIEDA BAAAAAAARF?
WHYYYYYYY DID SHE THROW UUUUUUUP?
SHE ATE SOME STINKY FIIIIIIISH
AND A POOPY DIIIIIIAPERRRRRR!
OH YEAH BABYYYYYYYY!
Apparently I was laughing so hard that I could not breathe and my brother had to tell Eraya, "Stop singing, you'll kill your aunt!"
Oh God I Will Miss Them.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The Lone Cypress is in Pebble Beach, a gated community that if I, a lifetime resident of here, want to get in to, I have to pay $8.50 like the rest of the tourists or on a Saturday I could lie and say I'm going to a yard sale so the guard will wave me through. I never go to Pebble Beach. It's for tourists, rich people and golfers, and I am none of those things. I never go to Carmel either. Not even to the beach.
Look for future posts with pictures of stuff that I am actually going to miss. One thing I will really miss is the Feast of Lanterns. It's hard to explain what it is, it's a hokey little pageant that takes place in Pacific Grove in July, but I love it.
P.S. I just went to the Feast of Lanterns website, they have a photo album, and Leo and I are in the background of one of the pictures, how funny!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
So this morning I tried to figure out how to get links to the Spokane bloggers on my blog and I think I actually figured it out! Try the links if you want, hope they work for you. Maybe soon I will put links to other websites and blogs that I like.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
My ex is one of 6 kids. Therefore, there are a lot of nieces and nephews, whom I have always affectionately referred to as The Cousins. My 2 boys are in the younger end of the age range, and Leo at age 11 is the youngest Cousin. I was able to get a picture of several of the Cousins at Easter, but only 5 out of 13 total. The 2 on the left are Joe and Erin. When Joe was 5 and Erin was 3 their mom left their dad and they all lived with us for about 6 months. Dana and I were newlyweds with no kids yet, so having 2 little ones around was a fun, eye opening experience. We all look back on that time with great fondness. Well, that was 20 years ago, Joe and Erin are 25 and 23 and it Blows My Mind! I still can't get over seeing them drinking beer, how can they be old enough? So back to the picture, Max is in the middle and Leo is in front, and behind Leo is Patrick. I remember babysitting him and when you would ask him what his name was he would say "Pakick". We called him that for years. Memories are good and bad at the same time, a huge reminder of how time passes. I'm really glad I got this picture.
So I went into the photo archives and found the picture of how I will always remember The Cousins:
They have all grown into such cool people. Patrick and Joe are in front, Erin is on the right, and the toddler on the left is Max, Leo wasn't around yet. And here is another picture I found and just had to post, of my boys when they were little. It's such a goofy picture, and I am sure they will be mad if they see it on here, but so what!
They are sporting pipe cleaner hats, glasses and necklaces. Tres chic!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
So last week I was at Shannon's house and she served me a cup of coffee which was pretty good tasting and had foam on top. Yes, she has a Senseo machine. I thought, this is do-able. So I started looking for deals in stores and on the internet. I ended up finding a blue one at Target, the blue ones were $15 cheaper than the black or white ones, which Max thinks is racial appliance discrimination but I think is good for my wallet. I brought it home yesterday and have had 3 cups of coffee so far and while it will never be the cake-coffee they serve in Heaven, it is certainly good enough for someone like me who creams and sugars the crap out of coffee anyway.
The only drawback so far is that everytime I look into my kitchen from where I sit at my desk, I see my little blue Senseo and it just looks depressed to me. It reminds me of those old Tex Avery cartoons from the 40's and 50's where inanimate objects are animated. It looks like it's tired and just gave up, all hunched over and sighing. See if you agree with me:
So I better cheer it up and make it feel useful by giving me another cup! Tune in for my next post, which will be titled, "Coffee Jitters"!
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I am horrified to realize that the generation of kids growing up today have no idea who the Beatles are. I was a little kid in the 60's but my sister and brother were much older so I knew all the Beatles songs back then. And I have made sure that my kids know who The Beatles are from a young age. Max could barely talk, but I would hold him in my arms and we would name the Beatles from the poster I had put up in his room, he would say "Don, Pol, Doe and Wingo, the Beetos". When both my kids were babies one of my favorite things to do with them was hold them close and sing "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" to them. Believe me, they know who the Beatles are. And Led Zeppelin, Kool and the Gang, James Brown, The Temptations, Devo, I could go on and on. I believe as parents we have a responsibility to give a sense of not just music history but pop culture and family history, as well as history book history. They need to know that their generation is not the be all and end all. Mine is. Just kidding!
Coming back from the open house this evening listening to Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothing", I commented that when I get old, the retirement communities are going to be bumping, and he said "Yeah, it'll be all, wave your cane in the air like you don't care!" He understands. My job is done.
Here is my story.
I was putting away laundry and all of a sudden my cat Dolly decided to attack my cat Grace, just randomly out of nowhere, and quite visciously at that. Grace ran towards the front door with Dolly hot on her tail. I ran to the front door, flung it open, and in my loudest motherly voice said "One of you had better get out!" Both cats froze so I upped it a notch and started yelling "GO ON GET OUT!!!".
Then I looked up.
In the street right out in front of my house was a woman standing by her car, frozen in fear from my yelling. Immediately I think, Oh God, she thinks I am yelling at my kids and she is going to call CPS on me. She very quietly says Hello, and I smile and say Hello to her. I didn't say anything else but I grabbed Grace and put her out the door, hoping the woman would see that I was yelling at cats not kids. Then I shut the door and it occurs to me, this woman is in a business suit and driving a Mercedes, I'll bet she is a realtor. Then I get a phone call. It is my realtor saying, "there is a realtor with a couple driving in your neighborhood and they want to know if you can show the house on short notice." I said ok, but they never came back, probably because they thought they were walking in on a case of domestic abuse, when in reality I was just breaking up a cat fight. I can't believe I scared away people from my house. I am so embarrassed. Please come back people, come back and buy my house, I promise not to yell at you!
Monday, April 10, 2006
Actually, they are getting better at keeping things picked up. So am I. I am fervently hoping that this is a habit that will carry over to the new house. OK, off to do laundry now!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Here is a picture of me with my brother Rick and my sister Sue in the middle. I would like to take a moment and publicly and heartfelt-ly thank my sister for helping me clean my house and make it ready for the broker's open house we had today. She came down from San Jose with her cleaning supplies and cleaned one of my bathrooms and vacuumed and dusted everywhere else while I put things away so it looks like nobody lives here. She was also here over the weekend for the Max room painting extravaganza. After we were done cleaning we went to Target and bought some new bathroom stuff like towels and shower curtains and candles to make the house more inviting. She is very domestic and knows how to decorate well, that part of the gene pool was totally watered down by the time I came along twelve years after she did. She has been totally supportive and unselfish in her help and I can honestly say that I could not have made it to today without her. Thank you Susan Lynn, I love you!
PS Also I have to give a shout-out to my grandniece Kristina, she was a big help yesterday too.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Here is a stencil he created recently, pretty cool I think!