Date Night

I don’t have time for a long post tonight because Juan and I are having a date night. Today just happens to be one of those times what the planets align and we don’t have any kids at home. My teens are with their other parents and Diego is at his first official slumber party. This means Juan and I get the night off!

You know what that means don’t you? Yes that’s right. Dinner and a movie. We get to go home to an empty house. I’m looking forward to a nice evening and a good night’s sleep. See you tomorrow.

Happy Friday!

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Foodie Friday: Nicks Cafe

Today is Friday, and that means it’s time for another post in my series of restaurant reviews which I call Foodie Friday, where I get to eat out with my husband using a discount voucher.  Today’s meal was brought to us by Groupon.  A few weeks ago I bought a voucher for Nick’s cafe. The voucher was $10 and allowed Juan and I to buy $20 worth of food. $20 for lunch may not seem like enough for two people to eat lunch in a cafe, but once we arrived at Nick’s we knew we’d be just fine.

Blast from the past at Nick's Cafe

Blast from the past at Nick’s Cafe

Nick’s cafe is not located in a high rent district.  It’s situated outside Chinatown and across from a large park, in an industrial area north of the civic center where I work.  The place has been there since the 1930’s, and it looks like it hasn’t been updated in about as long. The place is kind of an institution but aside from that, the food also garners some pretty good reviews on Yelp.

Diner atmosphere and counter seating.

Diner atmosphere and counter seating.

The small cafe has only counter seating indoors, but it was so stuffy inside that we opted to sit outside at one of the few tables. The outdoor tables are opposite the park, and along Spring Street, a major street with a lot of traffic. It was an interesting view. At one point during our lunch a movie crew passed by with a camera aboard a flat bed truck, hauling a train car with passengers. Only in LA.

The service and the food were not trendy LA at all. The waitress took her time to take our order and when she spoke with us she kept calling us, “Baby,” and not in a LA kind of way. More like a familial way.  The food was classic diner food. I ordered the turkey melt and Juan had the club sandwich. The sandwiches were really good. Both our sandwiches had thick homestyle bacon slices, which was a delicious addition to an otherwise ordinary selection.  The portions were not huge and came with only a pickle and a teeny tiny taste of coleslaw. I don’t like coleslaw so it’s okay with me that the portion was so small.  We paid extra and I ordered sweet potato fries while Juan ordered regular fries.

Club Sandwich with a slab of bacon.

Club Sandwich with a slab of bacon.

Turkey Melt and Sweet Potato Fries.

Turkey Melt and Sweet Potato Fries.

I would like to come back to this place for breakfast sometime. Yelp has some good reviews for the ham and eggs and other old school breakfast items. Speaking of “old school, Nick’s doesn’t take credit cards.  It’s a good thing we had some cash because even with the $20 Groupon, Juan and I had to pay an additional $7.00. It may not be in a high rent district, but the food prices sure aren’t low.

Freak Out Friday

I called in sick from work today. It’s not that I don’t have anything going on at work. I have stacks of files to review, affidavits to draft. I just needed a day off from the usual. I hope my boss, who sometimes reads my blog, will understand. (Hi Jane!)  I had every intention of going into the office and plowing through my work. I rose at my usual 6:00 a.m, rallied the troops, packed lunches, and while I took my shower I started going through my mental checklist of Things to Do Today and Things to Do This Weekend. That is when I became aware that the one thing that I needed on my list was missing.

1. Take Care of Yourself

My eyes began to water and it occurred to me that it wasn’t shampoo in my eyes. I was wrung out. For the last few months I have been running. Summer whizzed by without me breaking my pace. I tried to carve out some time now and then, but often I would feel panicked when I slowed down, thinking of everything else I should be doing.  Today, when faced with another round of endless tasks, I lost it. That is when I realized I needed to stop. The kids are in school. Juan is at the office. The dirty breakfast dishes are in the sink and the clean laundry is in the dryer. Unfolded. Wrinkling as I write.

I decided right then–mid-shower– that I needed a mental health day. I checked in with my office. Dropped Diego at school and headed out. I know that if I go home there will be no relaxing for me. Too many unmade beds and scattered toys to ignore. So here I am. I am at a cafe lingering over breakfast and a pot of tea.  I left the house with my laptop, my gym clothes and a spa gift certificate I received on Mother’s Day. (Yes, Mothers Day.) I don’t know if I will actually make it to the gym, or if I will be able to get to the spa since I don’t have an appointment, but it doesn’t matter. I have the whole day to do what I want. Shop. Go out to lunch. Blog. Whatever. The most important thing is that I doing the number one thing on my list of Things to Do Today.

1. Take Care of Yourself.

Check. Got that.

A breakfast time-out for me and my blog.

Are you taking time out to take care of yourself? How do you manage to balance your life?

Friday Funnies: A Play in One Act

This morning I still don’t have a 50/50 Friday post to update my list of 50 Things I Want to Do Before my 50th Birthday because, frankly, I’ve done nothing new. Life is moving too quickly right now for me to make much progress on my list. Instead, I thought I would post something quick today, something that made my morning, and which I will be sure to forget if I don’t write about it on my blog.  So, I give you a one-act play entitled Friday Funnies….

ACT ONE: SCENE ONE

Scene: The kitchen in the morning. Unwashed breakfast dishes sit in the sink. A mother frantically finishes packing a lunch box as her 7 year-old son is playing on the breakfast bar with a toy. Mother grabs her keys and begins to walk out of the kitchen.

Mother: Let’s go. We are going to be late for school.

Diego: (looks nervous) Wait. I think I have to go potty.

Mother: (exasperated) Now? You have been sitting there all morning. (pause) Okay, go then. Number 1 or Number 2?

Diego: Number 2. Or a fart.   Pause. A noise comes from the boy’s direction.

Diego:  Oh. It was a fart. Let’s go.

(Exit stage left).  FADE OUT

ACT ONE: SCENE TWO

Scene: Exterior in front of house. Beautiful Spring morning. Mother and son emerge from front door out of house. Mother carrying a coffee mug and big purse, nearly trips over a scooter that has been left directly on the porch outside the front door. Son trails behind and sheepishly looks on as his mother swears beneath her breath. Both proceed to get into a car parked in the driveway. The car is dirty, and school papers, and baseball equipment crowd the back seat as the son straps himself into a booster seat. Mother puts coffee mug in cup holder, climbs into the front seat and starts to drive away. Mother looks at son in rear-view mirror.

Mother: Wow. You look nice. Daddy did a good job combing your hair. I am glad we remembered it was picture day at school. Remember to button the shirt button before you take your picture. I’m glad you changed your shirt.

Son:  Yes, but I wish I could have changed my pants. These pants are getting short on me. I think I am growing.

Mother: You really are growing. You do need some new pants. I will try to buy you some this weekend. 

Son: These pants are a little tight too. When I grow taller, does my butt get bigger?

Mother: (Chokes on laugh. Spits out her coffee and it sprays on windshield)

CURTAIN

REPRISE

Scene: it is noontime. Mother about to leave the office to enjoy a long awaited lunch with her husband. Cell phone rings. The caller id indicates it’s son’s school. The voice on the line is one mother doesn’t recognize.

Mother: Hello?

Caller:  Hello, this is Jeff from Diego’s school. Diego is here in the office with me. He has had an accident.

Mother: (beginning to panic thinking of all the playground accidents which could have occurred, or, even worse, perhaps Diego’s  fart wasn’t a fart after all?)  What kind of accident?

Caller: It’s his pants…

(Mother looks worried, her fears confirmed. Oh no, the fart?….)

Caller: …He’s ripped them.

Mother: (He’s ripped a fart in his pants?) OH NO!

Caller: Yes, he ripped his pants. In the seat.

Mother: (Relieved. Then, it begins to dawn on her what this means. Trying not to laugh, she is thankful she is not drinking coffee.) I will bring him a change of clothes as soon as I can.

Diego's pants after bending over in a game of kick ball.

What about you? Do your mornings look like comedies or tragedies?

Circus

The Circus is in Town

Some days I make it away from my desk at lunchtime and go for a stroll around my downtown office. Sometimes, I’ll even treat myself to lunch out, instead of eating the brown bag lunch from home. Today was one of those days.

I planned to go out to lunch with a co-worker and I’m glad I did. I forget that my office will  handle cases which are quite newsworthy, like the Conrad Murray trial.  There’s been a circus just outside my office recently, a media circus.

 

The media camped out across from the courthouse.

 

And as the circus goes, sometimes the sideshow is just as interesting as the main event.

 

 

13th Juror

After we made our way through the crowd, we ended up at Coles, a  place that claims to be the originator of the French Dip sandwich. Coles also claims that the cocktail was invented there.  Legend has it that 1920’s gangster Mickey Cohen frequented the establishment.  I have had sandwiches from Phillipes, the other place that claims to have invented the French Dip sandwich, but, I must say, that I preferred Cole’s version.

After lunch, (sans cocktail), we made our way back to the office. The bus broke down so we had to walk a couple of blocks. I got to walk through another type of encampment in downtown LA—the Occupy LA movement.

 

Tents set up around LA City Hall

Occupy LA at City Hall

Mural at Occupy LA

The only thing missing on my lunch hour was running into a movie crew filming downtown.  My lunch companion did say she saw a crew filming this morning near her parking lot, but since it began to rain over the lunch hour, they must have finished for the day. I guess I will have to get out more often.