Friday, August 03, 2007

Von's 5:27 a.m. - Friday 8/3/2007

You probably aren't remotely curious about what they're doing at your local supermarket before dawn. If so, you have permission to stop reading right now.

They're getting ready for the day. The aisles are littered with boxes and torn plastic wrap. It's one of the few times in life when you can come upon a man crouching with a matt knife in his hand and not hear scary movie music in your head.

The freezer doors are foggy because someone's just held them open to restock all the frozen dinners.

Someone's waxing the floor. You may run into him several times as you circle the store in your pre-caffeinated state. If so, you will feel like old friends by the time you leave.

Someone's unloading rolling 7-foot high carts of baked goods into the bins. She is inevitably the cheeriest person in the store, because the scent of new bread absolutely does inspire euphoria.

The cashier is doing some kind of paperwork because she's about to finish her night. You forgive her for being distracted by the numbers and the stiffness in the back of her neck.

The fruit is lined up like children in an elementary school choir. It wants you to take its photograph.

I've been coming to this store before dawn for years. It never ceases to kind of excite me to see the inner workings. Like being in the tunnels beneath Disneyland for the first time, I expect.

I would really like to do a series of photographs of all those things I just mentioned. But I still run into photography emotional blocks. Like someone's going to wrestle me to the ground and take my baby--er, camera--from me because I just took their picture.

I barely managed to snap this shot before the produce guy looked up--probably in response to the flash I'd forgotten in my guilty haste to turn off--to see me shoving my Nikon back into my purse.

And then, of course, I felt like I was stealing peaches.

Martino's Bakery - Thursday 8/2/2007

Hmm. Okay, you work in a research office with 8 other women. The television season is heating up and everyone's working through breaks (what breaks?) and lunch. In other words, the stress has hit the fan.

What would be the logical response?

Tea cakes! Of course!

A dozen of them, from Martino's Bakery in Burbank. Just another one of those urban delicacies that you (almost) wish you didn't know about.

OneL brought these in to share. I love the box design.

You can tell they have been made this way for a long, long time because they are a reasonable size (like they show you in Weight Watchers as an example of what a serving used to mean and it's actually--gasp!--smaller than your head), they aren't too sweet, and they haven't been embellished with some fancy squiggle or white chocolate aspen leaf.

The last lonely tea cake. Who will put it out of it's lonely misery?

Maybe you?

(Oh, and BTW, I'm pretty sure that they sell these very tea cakes at the cashier's counter at...drumroll please.... our very own Bob's Big Boy!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bob Bob Bobbin' Along - Wednesday 8/1/2007

The Elegant E gave me a Big Boy bobble head last night!

I love him. He's the perfect size for my slimline monitor!

Now it's all Bob, all day long.

There's so much to tell you about Bob's. I was in there Monday morning, and the Old Lech (trust me, I'm sure about this moniker but I can't tell you everything all the time or this would be the Big Boy Blog) was joined by a friend.

The Jolly friend was named "Man of the Month, well, Person of the Month" at a nearby country club. It was his fifth time and he was overjoyed. And loud about it. I was sitting probably 30 feet from him.

"I have five stars now. I'm a five star general at the Blank Club now! The wife and I had the haddock. It was delicious. " He pours sugar from the container into his coffee cup. "I feel just like Doug MacArthur."

Now that he's on a first name basis with the generals of World War II will he continue to patronize Bob's? I ask you.

On a less than cheery note, another guy was giving Waiter D a hard time. I found out when I went to the cash register that the customer had fallen on the freshly cleaned sidewalk out front. Luckily, Waiter D had put out the "Wet Floor" signs.

They comped him his meal, even though it really wasn't their fault. "Should I put it down to 'spillage?'" The cashier asked the manager. Sure. That's just good business. Easier to appease in the moment than to let something brew.

Ah, the high drama, the passion, the nitty gritty of life that we Morning Hawks witness...

Papoo's - Tuesday 8/31/2007

Turns out that the patio behind Papoo's Hot Dog Show is a great place to hang out between work and my writing group meeting. They're repainting and restoring their wonderful winged hot dog sign right now. I'm so glad they're investing in the upkeep. It needed it.

I'll show you the heavenly hot dog when they get done with the renovation.

Yes, Virginia. Sometimes men are hot dogs.

Evening Light - Monday 7/30/2007

This doesn't really get it, but the light from this rice paper lamp in our bedroom is so lovely. It's bright enough and soft enough to read by in the chair right below it.

It makes me happy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sci-Fi Landscape - Sunday 7/29/2007

Apparently, the people who built our neighborhood dumped excess concrete up on the hillside. It adds to the alien look of the post-wildfire landscape.

Looking back toward our house through the remains of a juniper tree. This will be an easy spot to find and photograph again as the hillside recovers, hopefully next winter.

Burned out yucca heart. Pretty in it's own way.

Farmer's Market Adventure- Saturday 7/28/2007

My first objective upon arriving at the Farmer's Market was lunch at Monsieur Marcel. Hydra was meeting an old friend for lunch in Culver City and dropped me off on the way. The food's good here, unpretentious and not badly priced especially for French food.

They really should break loose some of the salt and pepper grinders they sell in the gourmet shop, though, don't you think? The flowers are nice, but otherwise it's a diner set up!

I had a hard time deciding. I had a wonderful salmon salad when Mom and I were here last October. Thought about the Charcueterie Francaise, which include duck rillettes (my oh meat in reduced duck fat which is heaven on French bread), but it was a hot day, and all those meats seemed like a bad call.

They bring you a tiny bowl of assorted olives and a basket of breads. House chardonnay was refreshing.

It seems only fitting, after all those photos I took of meals in France, I should take a photo of the first French meal I had back in the States. Croque Marcel and fresh greens...there's turkey and goat cheese inside. I hardly ever let the restaurant dress the salad, but this was nice and light.

After the meal, into Monsieur Marcel's gourmet shop, where I sampled olives (and brought some home), found the same brand of mustard I'd bought in France, and bought an Egyptian dipping spice mix. Fun just wandering around in there.

I roamed around the market for about an hour, just snapping photos of people and things that caught my eye. Fun, for me!

If you weren't eating ice cream, you were probably thinking about it. The market's a jumble of old stands with awnings. It was uncharacteristically humid in L.A. Whew.

I was going for a photograph of this Todd Goldman painting at Jack Gallery, but I like the way the other painting in the background looks like it's printed on the reflection of the guy in the right's polo shirt.

On the way home, we missed a couple of freeway entrances and decided to check out our first L.A. neighborhood, which was near LA City College. Along the way, I saw this sign outside a Jolibee restaurant.

While I'm interested in expanding my meager experience of the cuisine of the Philippines, I have to admit that neither of these items sounds enticing.