Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas '06 (Y1/M8/D24)

E and I decided it was time for a little R&R so we cashed in a hotel gift certificate his parents gave him for his last birthday. But not just any hotel. Oh no. The Ritz Carlton! We took Sid to spend the night with some of her doggy pals and headed out to Marina Del Rey to checked in and wind down. We each got massages and then met back in the room for some professional-grade napping. It was just going to be a little nap but that bed was seriously like sleeping in a cloud. Seriously, it would've been like prying me out of velcro sheets while I was wearing velcro pajamas.

Next, we walked over to Cafe Del Rey for some appetizers and sangria. They had a fabulous Autumn Spice Sangria which was essentially mulled wine with asian pears and fuji apples served over ice. I wished I'd had the recipe for the latke party. It was amazing! Afterwards, we mozied back to the Ritz for (you guessed it!) more naps.

We decided it was best to have dinner at the hotel as it would be one of the few places open on Christmas Eve that wasn't already booked to the gills. We soon found out why it wasn't booked to the gills: dinner for two at the Ritz Carlton on Christmas Eve is: $289. That does not include alcohol. Yeah. I was pretty stunned too. I mean, first off, they should've told me it was prix fix (they failed to mention that we detail). I knew it wouldn't be cheap, but still. We went back to our room to fade the sticker shock from dinner with the bottle of Veuve Cliqout that I bought to celebrate our move back on May 5 (but that we were too tired to drink after all that moving). Good thing Champagne doesn't go bad and good thing I remembered to pack it because I wasn't in the mood to fork over any more cash to our friends at the Ritz.

So there we were sipping Champagne back in our room and it hits us: the hot tub is open twenty-four hours! Brilliant! Except for the fact that while we remembered swim suits, we did not remember to pack hot-tub appropriate shoes. It was a little awkward when E & I (looking a bit like flashers in our complimentary robes and tennis shoes) joined the other hotel guests in the elevator but it was that or no hot tub so whatchya gonna do?

All in all, it was a very relaxing holiday and we're hoping to do it again next year. Well, I think we'll probably make dinner reservations elsewhere ... but other than that.

Latke Palooza! (Y1/M8/D17)

E and I threw a little coming out party for our favorite hound, El Sid. Anyhoodle, we figured we'd have a little latke party and introduce El Sid to all our friends. Though often confused for potato pancakes, latkes are actually much crispier and thinner. I tried a new recipe from Sunset magazine for herbed latkes this year and I must say I was rather pleased with the results. They were delicious with sour cream and caviar.

Sid handled all the commotion fairly well, but luckily for us two ingenious (and beloved) guests brought Sid the cutest dog cookies ever from The Wagging Tail in Santa Monica. Whenever she got a bit worked up we brought her back down to Earth with one of those tastey morsels. Did I mention that they were The Cutest Dog Cookies Ever? Because they were. Cookies shaped like stars of David and dreidels and the best ever: a dog wearing a yamulke. And made from only dog-friendly ingredients. Fabulous! Of course, there's kind of a light blue stain on the carpet which is suspiciously similar to the blue "frosting" on the cookies ... but it's a small price to pay (and likely to come out with a little Resolve).

I was so impressed with the dog cookies, that I did some digging around on the Internets and learned that The Wagging Tail also sells... are you sitting down? They sell dog beer. Calm down! Before you post about how wrong it is to get your dog drunk and how carbonation will make their stomaches explode -- it's non-alcoholic and non-carbonated. It's also beef flavored. AND, I am not buying it. I am just saying... dog beer. Who'd o' thunk? Eh? Besides, Sid's more of a Savingon Blanc girl. Heh.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boo Bruins. (Y1/M8/D13)

So today I discovered that UCLA, my beloved alma mater, failed to adequately protect my name, social security number, and additional sensitive financial information. Which means that I have the pleasure of getting Experian to add a fraud alert to my account. I'm sure this will be one non-stop thrill ride.

If you attended UCLA during the early nineties (Hi!) you may want to call this number to see if your name was in the compromised database: (877) 533-8082.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Random Product Endorsement

Wow. I love me some Italian Christmas Donkey. Go on. Check it out. You know you want to.

It's always two to one at Casa Pacifica (Y1/M8/D11)

The temperatures dipped to a chilly 71 degrees last night so I figured we should definitely seize the opportunity to use the fireplace. E complained that it wasn't cold enough but Sid didn't seem to mind one bit. Me and Sid thus had majority vote (two out of three) and so there was fire. Of course, I can pretty much always swing Sid's vote and get a majority.

Sid say: "Happy Holidays!"

Sid: the hound who stole X-mas (Y1/M8/D10)

We got the tree up! But I don't think any major department store is going to come knocking on my door for holiday decorating advice. Turns out I am missing the gene most women have that tells them where the ornaments should go exactly. Sure, I'm not as bad as E; he'll put two of the exact same ornament side-by-side on the same branch. And then when he's in the kitchen getting another cup of hot cocoa, I have to secretly (and swiftly!) rearrange everything he put on. But I have to admit, my re-arranging is only marginally better.

Anyhoodle, once the whole thing was fully assembled, El Sid went behind the tree and chewed clean through the electrical cord (fortunately, it wasn't plugged in to the wall socket). She got away with this by slowly inching her way behind the tree with a chew toy (as a diversion, of course). We thought she was simply chewing the hell out that toy and generally minding her own business. Yeah. Not so much. She was making a meal out of the wiring.

And that's a fake tree with a thousand pre-wired lights. You can't just switch the lights if they go out. You pretty much have to just toss the whole tree, lock, stock and barrel. So it was off to the hardware store for wire-strippers and electrical tape and I'm happy to say I did a bang up job getting the lights to work again. And here's a tip for you: make sure you get the green electrical tape to camouflage the repair. The red will really draw unwanted attention.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Vamos a la Playa, Sid! (Y1/M8/D9)

So E & I took El Sid to the beach this weekend again. And, apparently, we have to buy beach-front property. Yeah. But, I mean, just look at that photo. Have you ever seen such a happy dog? Have you?!

I don't know where we are going to come up with the ten-million dollar down payment. But clearly, we have no choice in the matter. We can't deprive our dog of the pure joy that sand and sea bring her.

We bought that ball at Trancas Market because we got all the way to Malibu and realized that we failed to bring any dog toys. But, as it turns out, we didn't need to bring any dog toys because the beach comes fully equipped with dog toys and they are called: sea gulls. Also, she loves to chase sand pipers. And bits of sea weed. And dig for sand crabs. In fact, no aspect of the shore is lost on Ole Sid.

But, seriously, could you look at this fuzzy face and say no? (Click on image to experience maximum cuteness).

Monday, December 04, 2006


A lot has happened since we last visited with our heroine (yeah, that'd be me for those of you keeping score at home). First, my alma mater pulled off the biggest upset in the recent history of college football. USC was favored by two touchdowns (if you don't know football, trust me, that aint good) and we hadn't beaten SC in like seven years. It was a nail biter until the last 90 seconds and totally made my season ticket purchase worthwhile. Go Bruins!

Second, I settled that lawsuit with my "friend" so now I don't have to go to trial. I feel like I won because I paid what is known as nuisance value. Basically, you figure out what the time you are spending in trial is actually worth and then you pay something less than that. Is it wrong for me to send an IM to her with nothing more than that emoticon that rolls around on its back laughing? I suppose that would be wrong. Very wrong. But fun! And yet wrong.

My car is still sporting damage from accident. Absolutely no work has been performed. Guy who hit me is just pulling witnesses out of the woodwork. Seriously. There was one woman at the accident. And now there is a man who swears he saw everything. Amazing, no? I will, obviously, be screwed on this.

The Feds have not yet raised the interest rate so housing prices are sitting still so that means no yard for El Sid just yet. Sid sad. Woe is Sid.

Well, I guess that sums things up a bit here on the farm. Until next time...