This theme likes the sandwich photo much better. It’s awfully pale, though.
My last post on this subject focused on the negatives of our current domicile. That shows what we want to move away from–but what do we want to move to?
We want to live in a place that:
- we can paint.
- is more private.
- has a garage, the better to store our sporting equipment.
- has a space where we can install a clothesline.
- doesn’t require us to share the laundry room.
- has a yard in which we can start a vegetable garden.
- we can make more environmentally friendly.
That last item is a big one. We have lots of plans, depending on the house we find. But it will be wonderful to have a place that we can make our own, that will allow us to live the way we want to.
Yesterday afternoon, J and I drove down to Redondo Beach. The day before a race, we like to do a practice swim and practice bike ride, to get more familiar with the course. I suppose we could do a practice run, too, but that way lies madness.
So we got to the beach and I decided very quickly that if the surf didn’t go down by morning, I was going to skip the race. It wasn’t stormy, but the water was pretty choppy. I really didn’t think I could cover 1/2 mile under those conditions.
And I was probably right. The water was much calmer this morning–the waves were breaking fairly close to the beach, with rolling surges beyond that. It turned out, though that the rolling surges were much more rolling than I thought. In spite of the short distances, this was the toughest of the triathlons I’ve done, and that’s all due to the swim. The ocean was cold, murky, and dynamic (and it tasted bad–I don’t know what’s in the water in Redondo Beach, but it can’t be good).
When I finally emerged from the water, it was with the slowest time I’ve gotten (30 minutes in the water, and my official time will be longer than that)–and a charley horse. My calf muscle loosened up over the bike portion, but then I developed a stitch in my side. Everything evened out a bit during the run (which I walked all of, except for the finish chute), but on the whole I’m amazed that the right half of me was able to finish the race.
Of course it helped that I had a lot of support. My dad and stepmom and J’s parents came out in the wee hours of the morning to cheer us on, and after he finished his race, J walked the run with me. Interestingly, the run may have been my favorite portion. The company, of course, was excellent, but the course was fun too. It wound through the Redondo Beach pier and by the neighboring lagoon, which has been turned into a saltwater pool with slides.
After the race, we all adjourned to the Redondo Beach Cafe for brunch. The service was really slow, but everyone seemed happy with their various entrees. I was quite happy with the Kitchen Sink Omelet, which had cheese, avocado, ham, and onions; other dishes at our table included French toast, multigrain pancakes, a tuna melt, a chicken-salad croissant sandwich, and a French dip. The whole wheat orange pancakes and the crepes sounded good, but what I wanted most of all was protein.
In the end, I finished dead last with a time of 1:52:35–but I finished.
Not bad for someone who, after waking up this morning, was so tired that she couldn’t focus her eyes.
The meatball sub was delicious.
I may be a bit too content, however. My goal for the evening was to pick out clothes to wear to my luncheon tomorrow, pack swim and bike gear for our test runs tomorrow, an outfit to wear to dinner with my dad and stepmom, all of the race gear for Sunday, and another change of clothes for after that.
But what am I doing instead? Blogging.
I came home from work to find J napping on the couch–he had come home early with a mild migraine. He was still feeling poorly, so I checked e-mail and read until it was time to go vote. California seems to have a lot of elections, although the timing isn’t quite as random as when I lived in Austin. Seriously, I’m pretty sure they sometimes held elections on Saturday there. Who votes on a Saturday?
After voting, it was time for dinner. J was feeling better, although neither one of us had a specific yearning. We walked a little bit east on Venice Boulevard before deciding that we would rather head west. Eventually we decided to go to Howard’s, home of the Famous Bacon and Avocado burger. Alas, by the time we arrived (8:09), Howard’s had closed. We turned around and headed for The Ayala’s, a tiny corner restaurant featuring Cuban and Salvadorean food.
J ordered the combination plate of chicken and shredded pork, while I had the garlic chicken. Both dishes came with rice, beans, and fried plantains, which allowed me to take all the plantains while J took all the beans. (I think this may be the secret to a happy marriage.) J found his food a little too tangy, but I really enjoyed the garlic chicken.
The standout of the meal, though, was the appetizer of fried pork and yucca. Although it arrived at the end of the meal instead of the beginning, we decided that this was the dish to revisit–next time we’re at The Ayala’s, we’ll split the pork and yucca (which is crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, as if it were deep-fried mashed potatoes) and order a couple of sides.
At the end of the meal, we were glad that we had a bit of a walk home, the better to burn some of the calories we had just consumed. We also found several other restaurants that we want to try before we move away from this part of town. Venice Boulevard is home to quite an array of multicultural eateries, including Brazilian, Mediterranean, Cuban, Salvadorean, and a whole lot of Thai. Hopefully there are more welcome discoveries to come. Just before we leave.
The punctuation is odd, but the food is great. Roscoe’s House of Chicken’ n Waffles is an L.A. institution. The original location is in Hollywood, but we frequent the Pico location. “Frequent” might not be the right word; after four years of saying I wanted to go there, we made our first trip in February, for my birthday.
Tonight marked our second trip. While we planned to go after the L.A. Marathon in March, the line was just too long. Regardless of location, Roscoe’s is immensely popular. (That day, we wound up at Johnnie’s Pastrami on Sepulveda.)
Fortunately, seating seems to be fairly open at 6 p.m. on weeknights. J has a friend/former co-worker who has been teaching English in Korea for the past year, and is in town for a visit. As luck would have it, he’s a big fan of Roscoe’s–so we headed out for some food that absolutely is not good for us.
I recommend the Scoe’s #1. In fact, it’s the only dish I can recommend, because it’s the only dish I’ve ordered. Two pieces of fried chicken, two waffles with syrup . . . excellent. Order the dark meat. Last time I really liked the macaroni and cheese, but this time it was a little dry. J enjoyed the red beans and rice, although I found them a little bland–I preferred the red beans (but nothing else) at M & M Soul Food.
There are plenty of other L.A. landmarks left to visit, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be back to Roscoe’s.
You Are a Cappuccino
You’re fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart – and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You’re the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please
Does that mean I should stop drinking lattes?
So many reasons. Here are just a few:
- The revolving crowd of guys who hang out back drinking. Who knew a dumpster could be so happening?
- The consistently and creatively failing plumbing.
- The five parking spaces for six apartments (two of which are 2-bedroom units).
- The lack of laundry room etiquette.
- The occasional lines of unidentified white powder on top of the washing machine (I’m not sure who left it there, but I know it wasn’t either of us).
- The total lack of insulation.
- The weird placement of the coat closet, which sticks into the living room and creates an alcove that is the only place to put the couch–perpendicular to the TV, meaning that only one of us can sit there to watch television. That’s right, in four years we have almost never been able to sit next to each other and watch TV.
- Most recently, the neighbor’s relatives who brought their dogs over and let them deposit nasty piles behind our car–which they left for someone else (me, apparently) to hose off.
So while the housing market may not yet have hit bottom, we’re satisfied with the fact that it’s no longer at its high point. Home ownership, here we come!
It’s time for some housekeeping, so I’ve simplified my blogs. Now that I’ve imported the posts from Cake Batter and the original Tragic Sandwich, I’ve deleted the old blogs. I haven’t been using them, and they were just sitting out there unattended. So now I’m down to this one, although it’s still lacking sandwich imagery.
Yesterday I was tired because of all of the swimming and biking during the day on Monday, followed immediately by the evening at my in-laws. J was setting up their wireless internet so that they can use the laptop with the webcam to talk to their granddaughter, who just turned two. Never mind that my father-in-law refuses to contemplate web commerce in any form (he has J make all of his online purchases, because apparently it’s not so bad if J’s identity is stolen)–the webcam has been identified as the very highest of priorities.
Today, though, it’s my own fault. I know not to stay up until 11:30 when I have to get up at 6 a.m.–that’s why we have TiVo (well, one of the reasons). And I didn’t even enjoy this latest version of “The Andromeda Strain.”