California knows how to party

Friday, May 25, 2007

Well, at least Texans know how to party in California. So, as everyone knows, Irisa made her way west last weekend to spend some time with me (and Guillaume and Scott, I guess). We had such a blast and were able to visit all the touristy places that I'd still not checked out. Gui and I ended up benefitting more than we expected from Irisa's visit, making friends with Scott and his buddies who live just down the coast in Huntington Beach. To sum up Irisa's visit, we visited Burbank where all the TV shows are made, tried to see a taping of Ellen, but settled for watching half of the show from backstage and dancing with the star (so neato!!), sat in the audience of a Jimmy Kimmel Live taping, took a walk around the Walk of Fame and Kodak Theater, had some drinks at Beauty Bar, made many visits to our local dive bar, watched the Spurs make it to the Finals with our fellow Texas fans, took a trip to the beach and the local museum, ate some delicious food at our fave PF Chang's in Beverly Center (where all the stars shop, apparently), did a bit of shopping (for Irisa, of course), and had an all-around good ol' time with a good ol' friend! It was definitely nice to have a little bit of home around for a while. Thanks for coming, Irisa!!!!! Now, it's Gui's turn to host some visitors - Baptiste arrived last night, his dad comes in tonight and Anto & Sev will arrive tomorrow!! This should be interesting!

Here are a few shots from the good times from last week/weekend.

My best friend has arrived...

Yep, IN & OUT...yummy.

PF Chang's for a little birthday dinner.

Irisa treated me to a mani at Beauty Bar (she got one, too!)

Look at those nice nails!

New friends of mine. :)

Couldn't resist.

Doesn't he look just like Gui?


Guillaume was getting into the basketball spirit.

Scott & Sonny...our new friends in HB.

Mm Hmmm...

Scott's sexy pose...the Spurs play SEXY basketball!

New friends!!

Old friends!!

Chillin' with Scottness.

Love this pic!

Hook 'em (where are the horns?)!

Red Room!


This pose is getting old. ;)

On our way to the Ellen Show!

Posing in the kids' department. Dorks.

Waiting for my discount :)

Doin' it the Cali way. Fun times!

My new favorite treat

During a quick trip to Target, I scooped up a jar of Nutella, then made my way to Trader Joe's where I came across some fresh and very cheap strawberries. I didn't realize that I'd found my newest favorite delight until I came home to savor the creation. It totally happened by accident, but I can't stop thinking about it!! The best part is that when I came home, I checked my Trader Joe's receipt before throwing it out and realized they didn't even charge me for the very sweet strawberries!! I feel a little guilty, but I figure it's just karma for all those times I've reminded people that they forgot to charge me for something or gave me too much change. It pays sweetly to be honest!

Where everybody knows your name

Monday, May 14, 2007

Guillaume and I have been finding ourselves regular "weekenders" at the little dive bar a couple of blocks from our house. We usually have a pint or 2 of PBR on tap (that's right...ON it), pay our 4 bucks a piece and walk back home to scarf on leftovers. Last Friday, though, Guillaume paid with his credit card and was forced to buy a shot (I suggested a lemon-drop since he loves lemony things) to meet the credit card minimum purchase. He seemed to not like it so much (it didn't really taste like the lemon drops I'm accustomed to), but I think it got the job done ... lightweight.

It's a pretty cool place to hang out, and the bartenders are beginning to recognize us, too, with casual "what's up, Texas?" welcomes.

Home Improvements

Since Guillaume and I moved in, we've been living with taking very low-pressure showers and a tub that sometimes decided not to drain very quickly. We also hadn't really done a thorough cleaning of the place - in areas like above the fridge, on the stove and in the bathtub, for instance. So, Sunday we dedicated the entire day (after a quick breakfast at our new Sunday hang-out that I've mentioned in an earlier blog entry) to some much-needed home improvements. We replaced our shower head with a high-pressure one, did a ton of laundry, bought some cleaning products from Target and cleaned up the the nasty little corners of our apartment (which Guillaume, thankfully, took charge of). I also managed to reorganized my clothes in a more orderly fashion and we called about a couch we found on Craigslist, which we'll have just in time for our first official visitor. Thinngs are coming along swimmingly, I'd say.

Picture Post

Monday, May 7, 2007

After realizing how highly-demanded my pictures were (heheh), I decided to post a few to appease the crazed papparazzi! Here are the only pics of me (that I don't think I've posted) that I've had taken so far since I've been here...they're pretty random, but we'll work out some poses for future photoshoots. :)

On the way to the Beach

A random shot by Guillaume

Cute pasty boy...on his way to get a tan!

My best Blue-steal pose

Taking a stroll along the beach

Aren't we "Cool as Ice"?

Please don't make fun of my was windy, OK?

As you can see, I'm the photographer in this household.

Man, I've had that compact for years! The mirror's so great, though.

Glad to see this here ... too bad no Fireman's 4 in sight.

Our best homeade meal so far! ;)

Under the weather

So, yesterday afternoon I started feeling a little tickle in my throat. I know what this means, and it's been happening in my life more often as I've gotten older than when I was a kid. Yep, I'm coming down with something. I don't know what's up with me. A few months ago ... like January ... I had a hacking and un-relenting cough that lasted well over 3 weeks. And, in November when I went to visit Guillaume, I had the same kind of sore throat I'm having now. I still have some meds from those past 2 times being sick, so hopefully I'm on my way to recovery. The last thing I want is to be sick when there's good weather to enjoy. Not to mention, I'm really enjoying my job at the moment, too. I never knew I could work a full 8 hours (sans internet and email) and be happy with my job!! Definitely feeling lucky about that.
Anyway, I'm feeling a little feverish and trying to keep my mind off my sore throat and achy pains, hoping it will subside by the morning and I'll be as good as new. I'm taking off 2 weekdays next week for my bday and to spend as much time with Irisa while she's here visiting, so I'm not about to take another day and jeopardize that. Oh, and speaking of Irisa,
we've got standby tix to see the Ellen Show on my birthday, and if I know us persistent girls, we'll be there cheering her on while she's dancing around the audience!! We're planning to get there as early as possible to queue up for a prime place in the standby line, because I hear most early standby-ers usually get through. It's sure to be a memorable Hollywood birthday - Ellen in the afternoon, Jimmy Kimmel in the evening and Beauty Bar in West Hollywood (also know to locals as WeHo) to finish off the night.
Oh, and one more thing I'll mention in this entry while I'm a guy with a Texas cap came in with his girlfriend and we chatted a bit about Austin and moving to Cali and where we went to high school, etc. It was very cool and my first encounter with a Texan...and fellow alumnus here in Cali. I was totally stoked even though I know there are tons of us Texans around these parts.

Sublime Sunday

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Guillaume & I woke up early this morning to check out a local eatery that everyone raves about as the best breakfast in Long Beach. It's a little joint called The Coffee Cup, and it's open for breakfast and lunch only, but somehow always has a line out the door when it's open. We woke up a little later than we expected, but managed to make it to breakfast around 10. There was a line along the street as expected, but we found a parking spot down the street and poured ourselves a cup of brew while we waited the short (by our standards) 30 mins to be seated at the breakfast bar. The menu was vast, and I, naturally, wanted to try everything. But, we're still on a budget, and despite this being our little treat from eating at home and taking lunch all week, we decided to keep it simple. We both got the equivalent of the "economical" that's on the Magnolia menu - 2 eggs, bacon or sausage, fruit pancakes - plus, we opted for a side of potatoes to share. The food was delicious and the service was phenomenal...everyone so friendly and cheery and excited to keep our mugs full of fresh and very tasty coffee. It was everything and more than I expected, enough to keep us getting up early on a Sunday more often!
Today was exceptionally beautiful, maybe about 85 degrees, clear skies and a slight ocean breeze. After filling our bellies and bringing smiles to our faces so early in the morning, we headed off to Trader Joe's to pick up a few essentials and some stuff for the week. I can't go on about how much I love this place, but let me tell you that I do. It's amazing how great the deals are on such yummy and practical food. We decided not to waste the sunny day, so we came home to change into our swimsuits and headed to the beach; we couldn't believe that we had already done so much before noon - it makes such a difference to your day when you wake up and start it early. We went to a beach that we had just discovered by taking a wrong turn, and it turned out to be a very nice one. Well, not nice, but certainly a good one for laying out and seeing people. There were still a few strange people around, lots of families, a few BBQs that reminded me of growing up and hanging out at Garrison Park, and even a congregation of people speaking spanish and performing a baptism in the ocean!!! WTF??
That was certainly a little weird and unexpected. Anyway, the beach was a lot better for laying out than the beach just a 10 minute walk from our apartment, but we still have a lot more to explore. We actually went to our neighborhood beach yesterday, but it was waaay too windy and chilly to lay out. So, we were glad to make up for it today. We just finished cleaning up our apartment, so now we're relishing in the Spurs' Game 1 win and enjoying the nice weather and cool breezes coming in. We'll top of this particularly super Sunday with a new episode of DH and Brothers and Sisters! Good stuff...good stuff!

Windy Saturday

Sunny Sunday

Paris Hilton is going to Jail

Friday, May 4, 2007

Starting June 5th. Isn't this sad and awesome at the same time?? And it ain't no Martha Stewart jail's LA County Jail! That's what she gets for driving my dream car. Word.

What I miss - revisited

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nearly 2 months ago, I posted an entry in my blog about what I predicted I'd miss most when I moved to LA. I figured it was about time for me to reflect on what I predicted and what I really miss most while living here. So, here's my list - reorganized a bit:

(1) 1. ALL OF MY FRIENDS & FAMILY HERE Definitely still first on my list! Miss y'all!

(2) 12. Brunches with my girl-friends that last 8 hours and the all-you-can-drink mimosas Taverna naively offers us. (Thanks, Gladys.) I didn't think I'd miss these as much as I do...I really REALLY miss these little brunches! And, it doesn't help that there are tons of amazing places to brunch around here!

7. Josie's Enchiladas from Maudie's - I'll have to find a replacement in SoCal Still no SoCal substitution!

5. Strolling along South Congress on the weekends As much as I love strolling along the beach, this weekend-after-brunch ritual is definitely missed; so are the pitchers at Doc's and the Negra Modelos at San Jose Hotel! Mmmmm....

9. Being a native (no, not a Native American...being a native of the city I live in). It's always fun to be the tour guide for folks new to town, so I'm going to have to learn to turn the tables and open myself up to a new city It's definitely a drawback to be a newbie to the area, and discovering a new city is much harder than I suspected it would be.

8. Randomly running into old friends and making new ones every single day It just makes it a little easier when you see a familiar face.

4. SXSW, ACL Fest, Bob Marley Fest, Harley Fest, Marathons (though not the traffic they create) So, I don't quite miss these, yet. There's plenty going on here...loads of concerts and big events going on all the time...but I'll be a little sad when ACL Fest comes around and I don't have a plane ticket to Austin!

10. Trudy's What I'd DO for a mexican martini and some nachos!

3. Kind-hearted Austinites - a group of us went to lunch today and there was a couple seated at the only big table in the restaurant, when only two-seat tables were available, so when they noticed our dilemma, they voluntarily decided to switch tables mid-meal...this doesn't just happen anywhere, people. People have been pretty nice here, for the most part, so I've been happy with that. :)

2. Seeing burnt orange at every turn
Hmm...don't miss this one as much as I anticipated! Hehee.

6. Texas license plates & bumper stickers (my favorite shown here). California plates are quite cool, with all their weird personalizations.

11. The Drag Although nothing can replace the Drag, 2nd street in Belmont Shores comes quite close!

TEXAS SARAH. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.