Thursday, June 29, 2006

DAY 37

Aaaah hahahahahaha! Guess what that is! Go on, guess!

If you guessed the extra meatball that E ordered from Antonio's Pizzeria last night but could not finish -- well you would be right!

I am so pleased with myself right now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

DAY 36

Sorry. I was being kind of bitchy yesterday. I chalk it up to hormones.

Anyway, E and I went to see Superman Returns. E loves him the comic book superheroes so we had to go on opening night at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. I am totally kicking myself for not bringing my Canon along. People were actually wearing superman costumes. Grown men. The costumes with the muscles built in. One guy's date was wearing a green sequined dress (she was kryptonite). Three words: Oh. My. God.

I'm not going to review the film for you. You don't really care. And if you do really care, you've already read like 50 reviews. I will say this: Why the hell can't Lois recognize the love of her life when he's wearing glasses? Gah.

But speaking of the whole Superman thing, have I mentioned that E has the same aesthetic as say an eleven-year-old boy? E owns a (rather large) Spiderman oil painting. Oh yeah. And he wanted to hang it over the fireplace in the living room. (It's hanging in the upstairs office where it belongs).

He also owns about a dozen animation cells. Yup. He wanted to hang those all over the living room too. On this I compromised, and the Quick Draw Mc Graw & Baba Louie Show title card is hanging in the kitchen. But when I suggested that I just didn't want to live in the Hanna Barbera museum, he agreed to put the rest in his office (save the Hong Kong Phooey one that's in the stairwell). Of course, now he thinks the stairwell is too blank. And do you know what he wants to put there? Two gigantic Speed Racer lithographs. He honestly thinks there's a meaningful distinction between the animation cells and giant lithographs of cartoon characters.

At least he didn't ask me to dress up like kryptonite.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

DAY 35

Last Friday night E and I went to see Joe Jackson at The Avalon. (That's not him in the picture above, I'll get to the guy in the picture in a second.) Joe opened with Hometown. I love that song and I guess that's how I started thinking about actually being "from Los Angeles."

Then last night, E and I went to see James Ellroy talk about his work (yeah, that's him in the picture). Mr. Ellroy is from Los Angeles and, like me, he just moved back to his hometown. He talked about how he hated L.A. for so many years and that led me to reflect on the downside of having Hollywood in my backyard.

But what finally caused me to set pen to paper was something a woman I hadn't met before said to me at the Ellroy event. She said: "So you [lowers voice to a near whisper] aren't in the industry...?" [smiles tentatively] "E said that was a good thing ....?" [more tentative smiles]. Don't get me wrong. She seems like an outstanding human being. Really. But she said it the way people used to whisper "cancer" or "divorced." As though there is something bad or shameful about not being "in the industry."

It's not just her though. In industry trade journals when they announce weddings and the spouse is not "in the industry" do you know what they write after the spouse's name? "Non-pro." What does that really mean? "Not a professional?" I'm a practicing effing attorney. As in, I have a PROFESSIONAL DEGREE. But if I married E, as far as Variety is concerned, my name would be: "Mrs. E, non-pro." Like the only way you can be a "professional" in this town is if you are screenwriter or a producer or what-have-you. Maybe at the next gig I'll whisper to women I just met: "Are you a pro?" Don't suppose that'd go over so well.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

DAY 34

We're just back from the Ghetto Gourmet. At first it was a tad awkward as the people who hosted the event invited a lot of their friends. So rather than a communal we're-all-strangers kind of thing it was a bit more like crashing somebody's dinner party. But nevertheless everybody was really nice.

So we sat on the ground in the back yard on a variety of cushions (as you can see in the photo).The food though was really quite good. I understand that the Silver Lake event had lack-luster food -- but not so here! The appetizer was a wild mushroom and leek tartlet. The crust was filo dough and there was a Gruyere or something under the mushroom and leak -- it was truly outstanding.

Next came a spring green salad with smoked trout, grilled peaches, cashews, and chevre in a creamy Muscat vinaigrette. The peaches were a bit mealy -- but still flavorful -- and, other than that, a really a tasty combination.

The entree was roasted squab with cherry-fennel chutney over herbed meyer lemon risotto with grilled artichoke. They only served half of a squab, and sqaub is a mighty small bird, but it was plenty tasty nonetheless. The cherry-fennel chutney was too strong. It was sort of raw tasting and crunchy which I thought was not the best choice. The meyer-lemon risotto was likewise not perfectly cook and a wee bit sour. Not inedible, mind you, just a tad undercooked and too much lemon. The grilled artichokes were baby artichokes and likewise undercooked. They split them down the middle and grilled them for too little time. Personally, I would have spread them open like a flower and flattened them before grilling them face down until tender.

The dessert was dark chocolate almond torte with chocolate-balsamic glaze and strawberries. The strawberries with the chocolate-balsamic glaze were amazing. And they would have been fan-effing-tastic over vanilla ice cream or just with whip cream. And the torte -- standing on its own -- was likewise outstanding. But the torte with the glaze was just too sharp somehow. Too intense. In fact, the chocolate of the torte rather eliminated the chocolate in the glaze so it was a bit like a chocolate torte with a vinegar glaze which is unpleasant. Still, the glaze was pooled under the torte so it was easy to slide the tarte to one side and eat it and then just dip the strawberry slices in the glaze and that worked out nicely.

On the whole -- I recommend the experience. They should limit the number of guests the host can personally invite. But our experience may have been unusual in this regard. It was really a fun dining experience and the food was quite good.

Oh, and by the way, they mentioned another dining experience in Santa Cruz called Outstanding in the Field which features farm-fresh cuisine and I am really excited to try that the next time we visit NorCal.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

DAY 33

E and I went to the Farmer's Market at the Grove for lunch today. The Korean Barbeque is so awesome. The shortrib plate (pictured) comes with a mild but tastey kim chi; glass noodles and a cucumber salad ($9.99). Korean cucumber salad is not as vinegar-y as the Japanese, but they still use those fabulous hothouse cucumbers. E had a catfish po boy and some gumbo from The Gumbo Pot right across the way. He reports that while the po boy was fabulous, the gumbo was disappointing. We always think we'll have the stamina to scarf down some funnel cake after -- we have yet to accomplish same. I'll have to add it to my 101 in 1001.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

DAY 31

Lordy, lordy, I love me the Denny's. Especially after an unusually long day at work. I ask you: is there anything more comforting than breakfast for dinner? I think not.

(E requested that I mention they were playing Rock Me Amadeus at Denny's as we supped. Good times for all.)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

DAY 28

It's Sunday, so of course we had Chinese food. And I must say, Golden Crown Wok Palace (4722 Woodman Avenue 818.784.8287) makes some very tasty Orange Beef. Very tasty indeed. And afterward E tried to shove about 50 pounds of rice down the garbage disposal to avoid taking out the trash. I mean, sweet fancy Moses this boy has some Crazy-with-a-capital-C ideas about kitchen appliances!

If you, like E, do not know what happens when you put 50 punds of rice down a garbage disposal then let me tell you: it makes glue. Like industrial strength glue. How do you think you'd get industrial strength glue -- pounds of it no less -- out of a garbage disposal? If you googled it and found this (which is right on point), or if you just happen to understand glue, you'd know that you cannot. Luckily I caught him mid act -- before he could flip the switch -- and so he dug it all out of there before the real damage was done. Close call.

In case you are wondering, here's a brief list of things you should NOT put in the garbage disposal:

(1) More than a spoonful of rice;
(2) More than a spoonful of pasta;
(3) More than a spoonful of potato (whether, baked, mashed, or raw); and
(4) Your hand.

Some things that are okay to put in the garbage dispoal:

(1) Egg shells (they clean the blades a bit);
(2) Lemon wedges, lime wedges (for those days when you disposal feels not-so-fresh);
(3) A wee bit of scraps from your dinner plate; and
(4) Pretty much nothing else.

Random Product Endorsement

The "Mint & Refresh" Febreeze air freshner smells so great.

DAY 27

I did one of my favorite weekend things today; I visited Tapia Brothers' Farm Stand (5251 Hayvenhurst Ave, Encino, CA 91436 818.905.6155). E invited a couple over for a wee barbeque so it was the perfect excuse to go over there and load up on fresh produce and support my favorite local farm all at once.

I went to elementary school with Tina Tapia and the Tapia family supplied all the corn for our school barbeques and festivals and it was the best. It was the best then and it's the best now. The sunflowers pictured are from the stand and they are massive -- you can only see two of the five in the vase, and they were $6. Corn is 75 cents an ear (or 12 for $8). I wanted to take a picture of the corn (and strawberries!) but we ate them all before I had the chance. The farm stand is positively charming and the produce is picked that day. Get yee to Tapia Brothers' Farm! Go on. Shoo.

Oh, and here's my world famous recipe for shrimp cocktail in case you throw a wee fete yourself:

(1) Buy a bag of frozen shrimp from Trader Joe's (about $9);
(2) Defrost said shrimp;
(3) Mix up some cocktail sauce (it's just ketchup and prepared horseradish in a 60/40 ratio);
(4) Voila!

Friday, June 16, 2006

DAY 26

Tonight we went to Il Tiramisu (12705 Ventura Boulevard, at Woodman Ave). The wine list was a tad dissapointing. And strangely, but pleasantly, every single member of the staff waited on us at some point.

That is, no member of the staff would pass our table and not serve us or inquire about our needs. We definitely had a dedicated waitress -- but the manager stopped by and took our drink order. Another passing waiter took our dinner order. The busboy cleared our plates and asked if we wanted more drinks or more anything. Our real waitress reappeared and asked if we wanted dessert. The manager cleared some remaining plates. Come to think of it, service here is the polar opposite of service at Antonio's (see DAY 4).

E had the Pizza Chicken. Not to be confused with Chicken Pizza. There's no bread prodcuct. In fact, I can't tell the difference between the Pizza Chicken and what I have always known as Chicken Parmesian. Oh -- there was mozzerella in place of paremsian -- maybe that was it. It came with some really nice mashed potatoes. I had the simple caprese salad. The tomatos were beefsteak (blah, it's summer -- there should be heirlooms not beefsteaks!) and the water mozzerella was fine but not unusually good.

Personally, I've been working some very long hours (7am to 11pm yesterday; 8am to 7 pm today). And there is no shortage of drama at my office this week. So I'm off to bed. *yawns*

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

DAY Whatever-the-Hell-It-Is

Okay. A certain somebody claims that Adelphia never showed up today despite the fact that Adelphia swears up and down that their service guy called at 3:30 but nobody answered. Coincidentally, 3:30 is the same exact time that E (who was supposed to be AT HOME waiting for the cable guy) phoned me from his cell phone. E alleges that he was home and that Adelphia did not call-- they are "filthy good for nothing liars" says he. Gah.

Anyway. E has been occasionally perusing the site. And after reading he says things to me like: "you're such a liar." I am not. For the record. But anyway, he complains that I never say anything nice about him on here. "Because it's not amusing to either of my devoted readers," I reply. But he is relentless. So here are some excellent things E has done:

(1) He hand washed the good steak knives that have cherry wood handles, without being asked;
(2) After his friends came over for poker night, he actually cleaned up before coming to bed;
(3) He vaccummed one of our two floors; and
(4) He has lovingly adjusted his sleep scheduled from 3am-9am to midnight-8am to match my schedule.

See? He is pretty awesome. Also he insists that I mention that he keeps himself in tip-top physical condition.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

DAY 20

I don't want you to think it's all wine and roses here at Casa Pacifica (E decided to name our house "Case Pacifica" as he thinks everything ironic is positively genius). So here's a list of some things we've 'debated.'

(1) Dog Name
E wanted to name the dog (that we don't yet have, by the way, but he is really looking forward to it) he wanted to name the dog Ruprecht (as an homage to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). Look, I thought it was a fine play (and film for that matter) I just don't see myself calling out: "Here Ruprecht! Come on, boy! Ruuuuuuuprecht!" I suggested some more dog-like names: Flash, Tiger, you know, that sort of thing. He wouldn't hear of it. We have finally settled on 'Bernie Nussbaum.' Yeah. Apparently, the dog'll be doing our taxes.

(2) House Chores
First let me say that E is faithful in taking out the trash. Of course, he wants to get a kitchen trash container that is the size of a city dumpster so it will fill up less frequently and, personally, I don't want a dumpster in my house let alone in my kitchen. In additon, he makes the bed about once a week. He considers this to be a fair share of the chores. There are 1,700 square feet of flooring alone to be cleaned in this place and he thinks taking out the trash and occasionally making the bed is a fair share. I refuse to believe he is that bad at math.

(3) Linens
I love me the one-million thread count per-square-inch sheets. I cannot tolerate that Pima cotton (which I am pretty sure is code for "brillo"). E agrees that the million thread count is nice, but nevertheless wants to keep his old sheets as, and I quote: "back ups." For the record, the patterns printed on his sheets were last manufactured circa 1973. They are made of a fabric that I heretorfore have only seen used to make tarps. But get this: they are for a twin bed. Yup. He doesn't even own a twin bed. That's when it came out -- and this is too rich -- that one of his former roommates (he hasn't had a roommate for over ten years!) was going to throw them out so E snatched them up! Oh sweet translucent Jesus. I just know he is going to turn our garage into a bomb shelter and start hording bits of string any day now.

Friday, June 09, 2006

DAY 19

We went to Spark in Studio City last night. I had the wood-fire grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and hazelnut greenbeans. E had the salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetable fries. I can't overstate how fabulous the vegetable fries were; sweet potato, onion and other tastey bites. I was thrilled that they had J. Lohr cab at $7 a glass and the bread pudding (while not as good as Ruth Chris) was quite nice.

One of the cooler aspects of this place is the kitchen -- it's glassed off so you don't hear the noise or feel the heat but you can still see all the action. Visit Spark.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


My first strawberry blossom! Isn't she cute?

When E saw me photographing it he said: "What are you afraid your blog is getting too exciting?" He's the best.


Check out the wee limes I'm growing on our deck! You can see by the size of the leaf that they are currently no bigger than a pea. But I am really hoping that they will make a fine addition to our G&T any week now.

DAY 17

Our Subject (let's call him "E," shall we?) has discovered the blog. He was not pleased, not pleased at all. I offered to take it down. And do you know what he said? (No, of course you don't. That's the whole purpose of this blog -- to keep you in the loop. But I digress). He said: "No, keep it up. Maybe you'll convince people to move to The Valley and then housing prices in Brentwood will drop and we can move back." *harrumph* He thinks he's so smart! (Well, he is pretty smart despite the many bizarre ideas he has about electronics and such).

Oh! And get this: he wants to make celebrity guest postings! The nerve! I mean, seriously. This is so NOT an equal opportunity blog! Think about it, if I give on this, what will be next? He'll probably want to me to help take out the trash and carry heavy things. He's been eyeing the medicine cabinet lately and I suspect he is thinking he should get a shelf in there. I've simply got to draw the line somewhere. It'll be Armageddon!

[Adelphia Update: They do not think they can run a "fat" cable without drilling holes all over the place. Which would require a whole application to the HOA. I hate them. So much.]

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

DAY 16

Our Subject is easily frightened. Today, I nearly sent him into cardiac arrest by going downstairs for half an hour. Yup.

I got up around 7 a.m. and took a shower. Then went downstairs to make The Breakfast of Champions (Tab, on the rocks) and checked some email and whatnot (love that wireless router!). Anyhoo, by the time I came back upstairs Our Subject was watching TV under the misperception that he was home alone. While his heart definitely stopped beating upon my surprise entrance, he did not scream like a little girl (which would've pleased me greatly).

Keep your fingers crossed that when I get home tonight the cable will finally be fixed and I will finally be able to TiVo again.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 15

Still problems with Adelphia.

They now claim, and I kid you not, that the physical cable running through our place is not fat enough for the services to run through. The service guy will be paying us yet another visit tomorrow.

If you believe in an interventionist god, Dear Reader, please pray on our behalf.

Had ice cream for dinner; Our Subject couldn't believe his luck. I suspect he is hoping we will have potato chips and cookies for dinner tomorrow (and for the record we will not be.)

DAY 14

It's been two weeks. Our Subject has not expired from the Valley heat (as he feared) nor has he been forgotten by his friends from Over The Hill. Things are going very well indeed. Accordingly, we took a field trip. And on a Sunday, there's only one logical place for Jews in Los Angeles to field trip: Monterey Park. That's right Dim Sum all around!

We went to the supercrazyfantastic Ocean Star Restaurant at 145 N. Atlantic Avenue. I know, I know, you are thinking why go the extra distance to Monterey Park when you could just go to Empress Pavilion downton? Because Empress Pavilion sucks, that's why. Sure, sure, they'll seat you. But no carts will ever come around and nobody really seems to care if you eat at all. That's why you have to go to Monterey Park.

Ordinarily, I would make a list of the things Our Subject liked and disliked for future reference, but there wasn't anything he disliked. Well, in fairness, he wasn't exactly crazy about the dessert (but I was). I love me the mochi. Especially when it's fried in a bit of sesame oil and filled with red bean paste and almonds. Delicious! Needlesss to say, if you want to catch a glimpse of Our Subject out and about, look for us at Ocean Star on any given Sunday. We're certain to be there more often than not.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

DAY 11

Today, Our Subject received a surprise hall pass. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I found myself with keys to a suite at the Peninsula Hotel and Our Subject happily drove himself out of the Valley and over to Beverly Hills to meet me there.

Upon arrival, we immediately put on those big fluffy robes and poured two gigantic gin & tonics. (Note to self: do NOT pour the tonic into the cocktail shaker with the ice and the gin as this results in a minor explosion in the shaker -- kinda like when you add mentos to diet coke). Next we cut up one of the pears from the complimentary fruit bowl and fed it to each other. Did I mention how fluffy the robes are?

The Peninsula Hotel also has some mighty fine lavender-scented bath salts so it was off with the robes and into the bath. Which, needless to say, led us to discover that they have the most comfortable matresses in the world at The Peninsula. OH! And they actually monogram the pillowcases with your initials! Pretty fancy, Dear Readers, pretty fancy.