Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Do I Miss About Cali?

People keep asking me if I am missing CA, or wonder aloud how I could have been so nuts to move to a freezing cold town like Seattle being a CA native & all ('cos like CA is so beautiful and perfect and sunny and like totally awesome dude...), or the most frequent Q of all; "Wow, like doesn't it like totally rain all the time in Seattle?"

The short answer to all those questions is, "Nope."

Lest you think I'm a heartless Californian who just up and left my home state in a huff, with no regard to my "roots" whatsoever, there are some things I miss. I hereby give you a list of some of those things... Enjoy my friends, as this may be the last time I admit to missing CA at all. B/c really? It's far too breathtaking here in WA to poo poo the occasional rain storm. Besides, how many times have I gotta tell you (before you'll believe me) that I actually LIKE rain?

1) Fresh citrus or avocados right from the tree - as in, walk into my backyard, or stop by a neighbors, to pick fresh fruit right there and then, take it home and eat it up. Mmmm! The cost of fresh limes, avocados, etc. are daunting up here. Also, the citrus that does end up in stores here generally tastes like a$$. To compensate, we do have fresh apples, cherries, pears, etc. here in WA that are to die for. You've never tasted an apple like the apples here. Or the Rainer cherries. Don't get me started on fresh flowers either... Peonies, Tulips, Dahlia's etc. abound. And they are as big as your head. I swear!

2) Speaking of avocados... I miss guacamole tacos at Pancho's. A locals-only joint in Long Beach that opened the year before, or was it the year after, I was born (1967-ish). My family went there at least once a week from the day they opened. My brother worked there for about a decade. I worked there for about a year. My ex-BF, his brother, his sister & several friends did too. Frank (aka Pancho), the owner, and nearly all the employees, were (are) like family. I miss taking Declan there for dinner or lunch, everyone was always so happy to see us. There is no replacing a place like Pancho's here in Seattle. Mexican food here pretty much sucks, and even if I did find a good substitute Mexican food-wise, I'd always miss my Pancho's family.

3) Speaking of limes... I miss a well poured Margarita made w/ fresh lime juice. Only fresh limes will do people, Sweet & Sour mix is a big no-no in my book. Good tequila is also a must. No Jose Cuervo will cross these lips, not on purpose anyway. Served in a pint glass, NOT frou frou stemware. On the rocks (never frozen or blended). No salt. Personally, I've had the worst luck getting a good "Cadillac" margarita in Seattle. I'm sure there may be one or two places in this city that can make 'em, but every place I've ever ordered one has been an EPIC FAIL. So for now, I'm back on the vodka my friends.

4) Speaking of booze... I miss being able to buy booze 7 days a week at any darn store I please, from the local grocery, to BevMo, to 7-11. Washington has state run liquor stores! Which means no giant economy sized bottles of Hornitos or Cazadores at my local Costco for those Cadillac Margaritas I was just talking about. I actually have to schlep to the one state liquor store in West Seattle down on Cal Ave. and they're only open from 10am to 8pm, and not on Sundays at all. WTH? How am I supposed to get my drink on?

5) I miss Trader Joes. We do have TJ's here, but the closest one to West Seattle is all the way down in Burien. A good 15-20 min drive. I'm used to doing almost all of my shopping at TJ's, and I'm also used to it being less than 3 minutes from my house in 3 directions. I was there at least 2 times a week, usually more. It was great to have good, cheap groceries (and booze!) just a skip & a hop down the road. We do have several beautiful chi chi "gourmet" markets in West Seattle and a couple of Safeways... but I can't always justify chi chi gourmet market prices. And Safeway? Sorry but yuck!

6) Kind of an oddity, but I miss in-ground swimming pools. I didn't swim much in mine, but I sure liked looking at it. All sparkly in the CA sunshine, the sound of the pump circulating the water in a soothing bubbling way when my windows were open (which they always were), or peering out said bedroom windows to see my chatty, crazy cool pool man Matt making ripples on the surface of the water with his skimmer. Something just quintessentially Californian about a swimming pool in your backyard. Le sigh.

7) Last but not least? Spanish/Territorial style architecture. We take it for granted in the Desert Southwest b/c it's everywhere. But when there is none of it to be found, suddenly smooth cocoa stucco walls, fuchsia bougainvillea blooms, exposed "vigas" & xeriscaped gardens seem an exotic & welcome relief from the zillions of Arts & Crafts, Tudors and Cape Cods crowding the architechtural landscape...

Okay folks. That's all I've got. For now. Besides, Dexy keeps interrupting me (what nerve). Hope you're having a good weekend. Peace out 'til next time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Wkd Thoughts

I'm all over the place. Busy as hell. Want to blog about it. Post pictures. Tell you funny little stories. Or, at least funny to me. But I have a few problems that are limiting my ability to get off my arse and do so.

A) I really am up to my eyeballs in house remodeling stuff... the good news on that front is that the house is really coming together & we'll actually be able to move in the 1st or 2nd week of June. Meanwhile, I'm just trying to stay sane living out of boxes & sleeping on linens that aren't mine (Ewwww).

B) There is nothing worse than slow a$ internet connections, wifi or otherwise. And let me tell you, the one here is S L O W . . . When it takes more than 5 minutes for any given page to load, if it loads at all, I'm usually long gone & on to other things. Like laundry. Sleeping. Running errands. Attending to my kid. Whatever. You get the idea. I'm a busy mom. I ain't got time for SLOW interwebs. No way, no day!

But I'm thinking about you. Really, I am. And my head is full o' useless ideas and information that you probably don't even care to hear about, but I just needed to say this all out loud b/c I feel so bloody impotent without being able to write, muse, and generally process here on this retarded blog. Or at the very least post some of the zillions of pictures from all the fun stuff I've been doing w/ Dex and our friends since we moved to Seatown in April.

So, I hope you're having a grand holiday weekend. Enjoying family time, eating BBQ, lazing in the sun, planting flowers in your garden...

Oh, and since I brought it up; try to remember what Memorial Day is really all about will ya? Go hug the widow or widower of a Veteran, or place some flowers on the grave of one you loved (thanks Dad, I love you).

War Dead

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hallmark Holidays Make Me Cuckoo Crazy

Univ of Az Move-In Day

I have been feeling profoundly sad the past 2 days or so - in waves mostly, so not all the time (which is a good thing) - but I haven't been able to put my finger on it.

Sometimes, I really am dumber than a box of rocks (*slaps forehead*)

G-d knows I can't really articulate any of it right now. Suffice to say, Mother's Day is almost upon me. Another stupid & contrived greeting card "holiday" that means jack unless you actually have someone to celebrate it with.

Big surprise, I'm missing my folks. And I'm wishing there was someone in my life that would put their arms around me to walk me through the next few days. Or better yet, how about the rest of my life? Yeah. That would be teh awesome. What more can I say, that I haven't already said here (or on twitter) a million+ times?


It is what it is. And I'm tired of talking about the same old sh*t. All I can do is stay busy w/ my house remodeling project, dig my hands & feet into the soft wet earth of my new life here in Seattle, and just put one foot in front of the other.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mamas out there (dead or alive). This crabby old broad is sending you lots of love and about a zillion ex's & oh's. Errr, I mean xoxo's.