It was spitting when I left the Elks. They have a new door, doesn't match anything else, doesn't have anything but a handle on the outside. We enter that way, early Saturday mornings for our weight watchers meeting- they've been doing some sprucing up- railings with gates side by side. Installed by the Boy Scouts as a project, section by section- it also doesn't fit the architecture..

Last week, during the door installation period, we had to enter via the bar. The cocktail bar, right? Picture it ...rows and rows of bottles on two walls behing the L shaped bar pool tables, dark dark, sticky carpet, scuffed swivel barstools with red vinyl padded seats with nail head trim and even though I didn't see it, smears of nicotine .

The ladies room is pink, yes pink, on plywood. A wall length mirror crowns the "dressing table" and calico covered benches for the "ladies" to refresh their poochy kissers in between cocktails. Today there is a new "joke" in the frame above the paper towell dispenser. I just know that a guy is putting these jokes up, because they are all from a man's perspective, and most of them are really bad jokes, just like my dad used to tell.

It's a charming room, actually, very vintage, very I remember places like this when I was a kid. They just had some sort of big anniversary here, and forgot to remove the white plastic paint dropcloths they used to hide some of the room during the big party.

By the time the meeting was over, it was raining pretty steady. The parking lot was slick, especially in my flip flops (ww weigh in shoes- easy on /off) so I stalked gingerly towards my driver door.

I pulled out and headed for Solana Beach so that my little wheaten terrier Pumpkyn (who is really more of a punk), could get her hair done today. The Do-it-yourself dog wash is a monthly outing. I handed the punk to chris, and walked around the corner with Joey-like-a-baby-Kangaroo (my 13 year old corgi-husky mutt), my older guy, a chance to pee. This dog can hold it for days, and he likes to christen each few feet when we take a walk. Today however, he did everything I asked, without a reward, because it was raining and he isn't crazy about getting wet. When he was done, I grabbed my "do-it-myself-really-light-dog-ramp-alternative" (a milk crate) and he hopped up..

Heading North, towards my Saturday morning breakfast place- Encinitas Cafe- I passed by what used-to-be-Charlies-that-is-going-to-be-Pacific-Coast-Grill. A couple of weeks ago a friend had mentioned their new sign on the construction fence which reads "Opening Someday...." since they've been hit with delay after delay byu the city or the coastal commission or something. I loved the PCG and hope they can make it to opening day- got to be costing them an unbelievable amount of money while they wait.

Wonder if the Kook is dressed up? It has been a while since the creative pranksters have had their way. Sad really that the momentum has stalled, with all the controversy and threats from the city - and the "outrage" of the artist, and the anger of locals because they don't like the form of the boy in bronze. I love the costumes, I love the local anger and embarrassment over the art. Just as I bet the artist does too- the guy's work got so much press, internationally, that he should be thrilled, that is if he was able to take that amazing PR and actually make it work for himself.

Odd though, today it is all about some 10K run and the Cardiff Soccer Association or something. Bizarre . Or maybe not, perhaps the city decided to "lease out" the kook as an advertising/promotional vehicle. That is what it looks like today. Maybe next week we'll have casino promotions, or it'll be dressed up like someone running for office and that'll be the end of the arty , interesting, newsworthy, visit worthy stuff. In my humble opinion.

So breakfast, caught up on my email and facebook, and helped ID someone in a photo posted by another friend. At least I think i did, but am not sure. It was very exciting if I did (in my own mind). I am my own entertainment center.

Headed back for the dog wash, and as I rounded the corner onto Plaza, the woman behind me, in a black car, screeched to a halt in the "blue" zone, and lept out of her car, engine running and dashed around the corner. On significantly high heels too, in the rain . I followed her around the building, curious, and saw her bending over, attempting to pick up a little dog who was cruising towards Pizza Port, trotting actually, and making it very clear he/she was not into being picked up, or stopped from her mission. Might have nipped her, scared her straight back toward her car shaking her head, saying, I saw the dog just wandering down the street on its own, and it looked like someones' pet and I didn't want it to get hit... and.....she was embarrassed and relieved to hear it lived at the dog wash place- I told her she shouldn't be sorry for caring about the puppy, and we both laughed and she drove away. I put the punk in the back and headed home.

Next thing you know, I'm sitting in the Costco parking lot trying to decide if I really needed anything so badly that I was willing to get wet for, and decided no- but I was out of bananas, so I headed somewhere else, picked em up along with, of course, a whole bunch of other stuff I really didn't need.. As I drove out of the lot, I thought again about the tires I bought there the kind you fill with nitrogen vs air, and how they always seem to ride like they are falling off or bald- even though they aren't and still have tread. Maybe it's all in my mind, but now it's in yours!

I am very proud to say that instead of just sitting down, and obsessing over my new work droid and my iphone, and facebook, and twitter, I put in a load of laundry, and actually almost completely finished clearing out the spare room. This has been a goal for over a year now, and I have it almost done. Finally.

In one pile of papers I found my ticket to Giza, and a turkish currency note, along with a small spiral ring note pad given to me two years ago in Marrakech by my - at that time- new friend Malika, so I could write down how to make an authentic tagine. I also taped various herbs and spices in there, and she wrote the names in Arabic and French, and the phonetic pronounciation so tht I could practice my Arabic (ha ha). I found my friend Francoise's "Reflections on the Caravane du Livre 2010 to the Oasis Tighmert". I re-read it again, since I plan to be a part of the Caravane this year- mostly as an observer, but I am attempting the Rosetta Stone 5 level French course over the next few months before I leave, so hopefully I can communicate on some level with the residents of Akka, in the Tata region of Morocco- on the Saharan plain. If not, I'll just be people watching for 4 days with my friend Jamila and Francoise and the others who will be presenting workshops. I can't wait. I'm very excited to return to that magical country.

I feel calm today, and am going to turn off my personal cell phone and put all my electronics to sleep in a few minutes. And except for turning the phone back on tomorrow morning, I'm leaving it all behind until Monday morning. I need a break from technology. I've had to learn a new email system, how to work from home, and how to make my new work phone work- all since the first of the year. I'm exhausted, and think i need to chill. Don't you? I'm sure anyone who has read this far is probably catatonic or asleep. Even the Roomba is quiet now.

Think of me eating a Solace cinnamon roll with that whipped cream cheese and that yummy sauce, and a pulled pork sandwich for brunch tomorrow. Maybe a bloody Mary- haven't had one in a while. After the cinnamon roll of course.

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Ruth Newell Jan. 21, 2012 @ 7:06 p.m.

Nice read. So...whose this Kook you speak of? Sounds like a beach icon of sorts.


Tallsharon Jan. 23, 2012 @ 3:14 p.m.

The Cardiff Kook- a statue that has been in the news


quillpena Jan. 23, 2012 @ 11:41 a.m.

Seems as if you had a nice day. As for the break from technology, when the electricity went out for almost 24 hours last year, it became clear how helpless we are without it.


nan shartel Jan. 23, 2012 @ 2:38 p.m.

was it really spitting...i didn't think it snowed on the coast...

fun blog TS

have a drink 4


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