Friday, November 30, 2007

My Home Away from My Home-Away-from-Home - Thursday 11/29/2007

Welcome to Panera, Palmdale. I came here for the reasonable soup and salad lunch, and their computer-friendliness, and this is where I got the day's writing done.

I spent too much time goofing around at home in the morning and I had to get on my Three Categories of Accomplishments for my 3rd layoff day. (Remember, we're laid off one day a week for the time being.)

House Accomplishment: gathered up two big bags of clothes, shoes, bags and toys and a box of housewares and delivered them to Goodwill; brought firewood in; did 2 loads of laundry.

Exercise: 20 minutes Pilates DVD. It was going to be 30 minutes, but I began to hurt inside near where my gallbladder used to be. The doctor said I wouldn't tear anything apart but I would know when to stop and that moment hit around 20 minutes of abdominal work. This DVD is a lot harder now than it was pre-surgery.

Writing: worked for about an hour and 15 minutes on the novel.

It was beautiful when I arrived at my home-not-away-from-home. I stood on the park bench in the back yard to take this picture.

Early Evening at the Farmer's Market - Wednesday 11/28/2007

My writing group is meeting in a different part of town now, which means the city has kind of opened up to me again! Instead of busying myself in my work neighborhood, I can do many things with the hours between 3:30 and 7:00 pm.

Tonight's choice: The Farmer's Market at Third & Fairfax. The one that's been here since 1934. I love these unusual shopping carts.

I noticed some fancy new plastic chairs and tables. These are not those. These are the old style ones. There's something lovable about them.

I like this mural. I haven't ever eaten here, but perhaps I will.

There are only two or three produce vendors left at the Farmer's Market. Now it's mostly eateries. But I bought the fixings for a simple salad (red lettuce, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and avocado) to share with the writing group, and I stopped by Mr. Marcel for a baguette.

On my way out, through The Grove, I enjoyed the Christmas lights. That's a spouting fountain on the right of the shot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Etiquette of Restaurants - Tuesday 11/27/2007

A man with a briefcase comes in and stands near the register. He is uncomfortable. He is unsure whether it’s all right to just go take a seat or if he has to wait for someone to escort him past the curved counter.

He is exposed. He is on display. He won’t look at the other patrons who could probably answer his question. He has committed to some rules of behavior.

I look up a couple of times. If he meets my eye, I’ll tell him that it’s okay to sit anywhere.

I’ve been in that position. Most recently in a restaurant in France in which my mother and I made spectacles of ourselves standing and waiting for a cue, then walking deep into the busy dining room, then walking awkwardly back to the door and waiting until we could catch the eye of one of the busy servers to get permission to enter.

Yikes. I felt like I had "AMERICANO" or the French equivalent etched on my forehead.

The waiting man gets the attention of someone in the back. He lifts his chin, smiles, nods, points with one fully outstretched arm toward the back of the restaurant and starts walking.

The rules are different in the early morning hours. Unless the back is blocked off, it's anarchy! You can sit anywhere! If you get here at lunch time, not only do you have to be seated by a hostess, but you might have to wait 10-15 minutes for a table.

A man in the black sweater and baseball cap pushes through the big glass doors. He knows his way around restaurants. Or at least around pre-dawn Big Boy. He slides into the booth in front of me with his back to me.

He orders coffee, ice water, corned beef hash with poached eggs, fruit, and an English muffin with butter on the side without even looking at the menu.

Diner Rock Star!


Oh, and here's another WGA Strike video. A really funny one. Only 2:56 minutes of your time. Free! (Sold yet?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Up Front - Monday 11/26/2007

Grumble grumble. They've been closing off the back (cozier) part of Bob's for the past couple of weeks. Because they only have one server on duty in the early morning hours. Because there are no production crews coming in before or after long days of shooting.

So I have to sit up front. It's okay. The table's bigger.

But the new waitress, who has now waited on me at least 8 times, still doesn't remember that I take milk with my tea and that I want a glass of water. I miss UT and K. And when E came in today, she was busy setting up the back station and didn't have time to chat.

That's okay.

I'm here to write.


[On a lighter note, I'd just like to say that I had a wonderful time over the five-day weekend. Wrote for an hour and a half by candlelight every morning. There is no one easier to live with than a writer who has written. We can be very nice people.]

Cool Thing: I learned how to embed a video. Very easy if someone writes the code for you.

Sirius Skiing- Sunday 11/28/2007

Hydra spent parts of the weekend putting up Christmas lights! I think the full moon is a particularly nice touch.

I took my tripod out and set it up. Which is why the photo is on an angle. I decided not to correct it with software.

Peering up the front walk.

Sirius, the star of the show.

Saturday? Sunday? - Saturday 11/24/2007

No wonder I'm confused! When I make a fire in the fireplace, I usually do it on a Sunday morning.

But ah, this Saturday I turned my wing-back chair to the flames and put my feet up on a footstool and read for an hour or more by the fire. Lovely.

Dodger sat on my knee and kept an eye on it. Looked at me when I first started it like, "Hey! There's a fire in the room. Shouldn't we be leaving?"

This is the first time I've burned larger wood from our own trees. It burned quite nicely.