Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In Which I am Gobsmacked By A Discovery



Richie honorably and gratefully retired after36 years with a Major American Airline (MAA) and we have still flown non-revenue subsequently.  As a non-rev you are at the mercy of the gods and MAA, and all employees know the Gate Leap wherein we are sent bounding around any airport going to the next gate and hoping for a seat.  Some of us in pure desperation have been known to find a seat on a flight going Anywhere and take it!  Packed for the Caribbean and find yourself going to Nome, Alaska?  Airports sell clothing in various boutiques at twice the price elsewhere.  But you got a seat.

Comes then the advent of MAA 20 which is 20 per cent off the list price.  The very thought of actually paying for what one always got free is galling to many including us.  After 36 years of hoping for coach and getting 1st instead, it is just too delicious to pass up.

But as we will be on a fairly tight schedule in September to attend my 60th high school reunion and sightsee around Kansas City, MO, as much as possible, I called MAA20 this morning.  LAX to DFW to MCI are all short flights and we certainly ride Coach often enough not to whinge.  Including from JFK to LAX in that last two seats in the plane, backed by a toilet with the gallery cater-cornered and no window at all.  "Bat Cave" came to mind.

When I called, this morning a very nice lady responded.  After we had worked through the flights I wanted, she then said, "Do you have a seat preference?" and I said, "What?" and she said, "Window? Aisle? and gasping from shock, I bleated out, "One of each please."

Being ever more helpful, she said, warningly, "Then you will have someone between you," but I said, "Fine," and old logic, surfacing was gleefully chuckling "And if the flight's not full, we've got a table between us, heh heh!"

I tell you the knowledge that our languid asses will be draped over Row 27, A and C, is bliss.  No looking hopefully (and often) at the list of non-revs and hopeful upgrades list and finding us #17 and #18 - vanquished by spending a little money.  In this case $500 for two RT tix from LA to Kansas City and back.  But I'm still a little amazed at how far for so little, we can go.   MAA just got herself a new customer.  It's only money.  Compare that to something like $30,000 RT on Dubai Airlines.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Catering to Yacht Owners - And The Rest of Us

You don't have to own a yacht to eat at Cap'n Kidd's.  Conveniently located near the Redondo Beach Marina, at 209 W. Harbor Drive, Cap'n Kidd's offers take-out ready to eat or take-out ready to take home and cook.  If you elect to swing a leg over a bench and eat at one of the heavy-duty picnic tables, you will be facing the parking lot and beyond that a vast swoop of furled sails,

Though roofed and walled, all of the windows are generally kept open so that sea breezes can cool your fevered brow in the summer.  In the winter, bring a sweater.

However, yacht or no, lobster is a menu item that strikes fear into the heart of the wallet; (Billfolds practically quiver in fear in pocketbooks) to me at least.  "Market price" can - and in some cases probably does - mean, fork over the next mortgage payment, baby - you're gonna pay for this!

But this morning, I am caroling with glee as I have discovered a source of damned near "free lobster" which is (drum roll) the lobster roll at Cap'n Kidds.  $13.99 for a grilled roll, literally stuffed and over-flowing with lobster meat.  I quit counting after I discovered six meaty claws waiting to be devoured.

The occasion was the monthly dinner meeting of friends that go back 35 years, since we all first met in the same apartment complex.  "D" eying my lobster roll, said, "During my walk yesterday, I passed Chef Melba's Bistro (1501 Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa) and she's offering two-pound lobsters for $55 right now."  I laughed and speared another claw and said, "Why would I pay that kind of money - look at all of this!" and continued gnawing my way through it.

I never thought I would say "Bargain Lobster!" but I am now.  Go for it!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Just As Well...

That none of you came to the jazz club meeting yesterday afternoon.  Nannette and the Hotsy-Totsy guys showed up, ready to perform in their dark pants and black t-shirts made to look like a tuxedo top, details outlined in white.  I had been looking at the  phone when Our Star made her entrance and I blurted out, "Is that a birthday cake up on stage?" and Richie said, "No,but  I think a chandelier fell on her head though."  She was wearing a Cleopatra-style tinsel wig.  Her sequined ice-blue gown fitted her snugly and she made frequent, eloquent use of the 6 ft. long feather boa that accompanied all of the above.

Nannette apparently took one look at her audience and dialed it down considerably and I don't blame her - who's going to kill themselves for a 48-member audience?  That's how few we were.  June, July and August are always slow due to vacations elsewhere, guests arriving in waves (especially to homes less than a mile from the beach) and so forth.

Thus there was no parasol parade and very little "bounce" to Nannette, mainly some half-hearted wriggling seductively.

Dismayed, but understanding the circumstances, we sought to console ourselves with a libation at Hudson House, 514 N. PCH, Redondo.

Because it was early, we got a booth (of only two; the rest are little tables against the long wall and stand-up seating in the middle.)  Richie ordered a Hudson Pale Ale and when he discovered they are $3 the half pint, ordered another to go with his brown sugar pork ribs ($15.)   I contented myself with a flute of Mont Marcal Cava $9 - to go with my  brown sugar ribs.

To go with our drinks, we split an order of black pepper French fries ($5) which were a new choice to us as  haven't been in there in ages.   Black pepper instead of great swashes of salt are a very good idea.  They come with catsup or mayo in little cups.  Thus, some of our disappointment was slaked.  Further cheer - leftover ribs and black pepper French fries for dinner tomorrow night.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Gatsby Clothes and Hotsy-Totsy Boys

Today's (8-12-18) featured band at the monthly South Bay New Orleans Jazz Club is (drum roll) Nanette and Her Hotsy-Totsy Boys, who will be storming the stage around 2:30 p.m.

The club meets at the Knights of Columbus Hall, at 214 Avenue I in Riviera Village (Redondo south) from noon-ish to 5 p.m.  Park in the Wells Fargo bank lot - free.

Many of the club members are musicians who bring their instruments and engage in a series of pick-up encounters until it's time for the Featured Attraction.  After the dust settles from whoever it was, the pick-up musicians go back to work right after the 4:30 p.m. raffle winners are announced.  Tickets are a strip of five for $1 or 6 strips of tickets for $5 to win the various items members donate.  There is always a bottle of wine, usually jazz CDs and, of late, a bouquet of fresh flowers plus various trinkets which have included, stuffed toys, soft books for the grandkids, a stuffed turkey for the Thanksgiving d├ęcor.  It's 'way too big for the table.  I know, I won one and tried mightily the next year to get his cousin.

Nanette and Her Hotsy-Totsy Boys have appeared here about once a year and are anticipated with glee. Nanette is a woman of undetermined age (more than 20, less than 80 or 90) who wears flapper outfits, more beading and sequins that you'd think she can support, what has to be a wig, semi-hidden under extravagant cloche hats.  She mingles freely with the audience, cabaret style, kissing a bald man's head to the delighted screams of the rest of us.

She also issues parasols to female members to twirl as they are herded around the dance floor following her in a no-hands Conga line.  All very colorful and gay.

If you are wondering what "hotsy-totsy" could mean as I was, I looked up to find that it is a term of approval, a sign of perfection "Everything at the ball was hotsy-totsy;" well-being "Well, we had a little tiff - you know how it is with her - but everything is hotsy-totsy now."  "Oh, he ran off with this hotsy-totsy show girl."  

The "boys" attire is '20s chic to match Nanette's Gatsby era outfits.  All in all, it's a very pleasant ad amusing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Y'awl come!

P.S. full bar; member-baked goods and they are a dab hand at baking.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What Are Those Words? That's the Tune To ...

Since French is the only other language I speak, when our instructor, the late Arlette Nelson, made us study French songs with "American" tunes, I was … somewhat confused.

My head began to really spin when she explained that that all of the tunes we were hearing originated in France.  I thought, "Tell that to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin .."  Who, since they were musicians probably knew this, but I didn't.

Examples:
"My Way,"  "And now the end is near and I face the final curtain..."
"Comme d'habitude" or "As Usual"  Opening line "I get out of bed and I bump into you; it doesn't wake you up - as usual."

"La Mer" Charles Trenet singing for your pleasure … "We see the dancingwaves along the shores of clean bays"
Bobby Darin "The Sea"  "Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, my lover stands on golden sands and …"

Really diametrically opposed:
The Crystals' Da Do Ron Ron:  "Met him on a Monday and my heart stood still..."
Johnny Hallyday and Sylvia Vartan's version of "Da Dou Ron Ron" "When love goes 'Goodbye,' all is finished..."

Give the French a chance to be melancholy, regretful, victim of love, dying of love … and they'll take it every time.  Poor things.  Pauvre choses.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beat the Humidity By Sleeping Like an Egyptian

Unless you live under a large cactus in the desert, you are experiencing humidity.  And quite possibly not at all happy about it.

So in the spirit of being helpful rather than whining about the humiiidity I Googled "Beating Humidity" and happily there was lots of free advice (the best kind - you can ignore it and it didn't cost anything.)

The first to catch my eye and understandably was:  how to sleep like an Egyptian.  You will need two bath towels or bath sheets; one dry (you sleep on it) and the other very, very damp under which you sleep.  A towel sandwich if you will.  As I know no one in Egypt, cannot verify efficacy of this plan.

Other hints included such as sleep with your feet outside of the covers.

Use a wet wash cloth you fished out of the freezer as a poultice on your neck and go to sleep with it on your head.

Go to bed with wet-ish hair.

Before climbing in, hang a damp sheet or kitchen towel in the window.

Wet and freeze wrist sweat bands, wear everywhere.  In a pinch, stick your wrists under the cold water in the bathroom or kitchen until you feel the cool.

This worked for me.  While shooting off-road racing at Riverside Int'l Raceway in July and August, I would go out in the field wearing Richie's old Navy hat - the cupcake looking ones - with the brim folded back?  but only after giving it a good soak in the drinking fountain.  Pop it on, pull the brim down and drip my way to the track.    Worked a charm.  Didn't matter how I looked; as usual I was the only woman shooting the races.  As usual.

Hope that any or some of these work to make you more comfortable. This weather can't last forever.
Be of good cheer and uncap a tall cold one.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

So Now What?

Five days ago, the router that drives the upstairs PC and the downstairs work computer, took a dump on me.  (Unofficial Computer Phrase)  Because I am too bone idle lazy to write a 400+ word column on the child-sized cell phone keyboard, I said (to myself) "The hell with it."

Which was killing me because I was dying to tell local readers  about Maderos' restaurant.  I believe that when you find something good, share it!  Posthaste!

Tuesday the new one arrived from Frontier and the next morning with a minimum of effort (and bad language) it was working.

I was thrilled!  I could write lengthy es and the Madero column.

Today, however, is different.  For all of my much vaunted joy I can't think of a single thing to write about today.  The media has been singularly inoffensive for this while and I am not even moved to mild indignation let alone raging fury.  Maybe it's the humidity.