My Dog Is A Stalker

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One dog staring at another dog means I’m-about-to-bring-some-whup-ass-up-in-here.  At least that’s been my experience on the mean streets of Santa Monica.  If you are a well-balanced dog, you look at another dog, look away, look back, yawn, look away, and when you get the same response you move in for the ever-tantalizing butt sniff.  Staring warns my dog that you are an aggressive dog and she will either sneeze, bark or lunge at you (and sometimes all three).  Staring = no bueno.

The no staring rule also applies in the human realm where gawking at a person for an uncomfortable length of time means that you are a creepy jerk.  This same rule, however, does not seem to apply to the dog-human relationship.  Today, my dog stared at me for an hour.  First, she was on the floor staring up at me while I sat cross-legged on the couch reading home decor magazines, and then next to me on the couch where she stared some more.  If I pet her, she’ll eventually get sleepy and take a nap.  If I leave her be, the staring can go on for a long time.  She’s a total stalker.

When she’s gazing at me I like to believe she is thinking I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you can I have a treat I love you.  More likely it’s pet me pet me pet me pet me pet me why aren’t you petting me right now.

Perhaps she isn’t thinking anything,  like when people space out while fixating on an object they aren’t really seeing.

Either way, it’s a little freaky.

IMG_2141You’ll note that in this picture, she is not stalking me.  That is because the presence of any type of camera makes her look anywhere but at me.

Three Minutes Is All It Takes

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IMG_4804Breathing is so easy.  We do it all day long without thinking about it.  Look at us go!  We can even do it in our sleep – unless we have sleep apnea and require one of those crazy masks that drives our sleeping partner crazy with its wheezy noise.

The reality is WE SUCK AT BREATHING.  We take shallow breaths that barely keep us alive.  You know who doesn’t suck and takes long, deep, relaxing breaths several times a day?  A smoker.  Well, at least until they develop emphysema…from smoking.  Think about the smokers you know at work.  They go outside often for a break which the rest of never take because we (a) are not addicted to poison and (b) prefer to suffer all day under the crushing weight of our workloads.  Smokers inhale and exhale deeply several times, maybe shoot the breeze with another smoker, and stand in the sunshine to soak up some vitamin D.  You’d probably be called a slacker instead of an addict for standing outside without a cigarette; I mean, who just stands there and breathes deeply?  OK, maybe that guy with the ponytail from accounting, but he also sports a brown leather fringed vest on Casual Fridays.

Yesterday, one of my coworkers turned me on to an app called Breathe.  It’s free and it’s awesome.  He and I and two other coworkers tried the guided three minute mindful breathing mediation and it blew my mind (into relaxing).  In a soothing voice, the app lady starts you off by asking you to relax certain muscles in your body, like your face muscles.  Relax yours right now.  Were they tense?  Don’t lie, I know they were.  My entire body was so tense and I had no idea I was walking around like that all day.  She asks you to breath deep, then breath normally, then it’s over.  Three minutes later we were all feeling good.  And we didn’t have to wash our hands and pop a mint afterwards (although I probably should have gone for a mint because that Baja salsa I had for lunch was still kicking around).

Try breathing y’all.  And report back.

Happy New Year!

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According to a friend I had lunch with today, whatever you do on the first day of the new year sets the tone for the rest of it.  I’m not one to brag…but: I walked a mile to a restaurant, ate a healthy and delicious meal whilst enjoying the company of a fabulous friend, walked a mile home, did some DIY home decorating, and am now about to binge-watch the rest of Marco Polo and drink a bloody mary.  Not bad, right?  Although I did get scolded for walking in LA, which is apparently a crime.

I hope your first day was filled with laughter and friends and love.  May your path be filled with light.IMG_4493

 

Go Here, Now

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I have been going to the Central Coast of California since I was a wee fetus.  The trip there in the family station wagon was long for both kids and adults, but as soon as we rose out of the piping hot valley and smelled the cool salty air, we all perked up.

While living in NYC, visits to the sleepy beach towns that dot the central coast were few and far between.  Now that Monkey and I live in Los Angeles, we plan on taking every opportunity to enjoy long weekends by the seaside.  We have, in fact, spent the last two weekends there!

My favorite towns are Morro Bay and Cayucos.  Morro Bay has a touristy strip of shops and seafood joints along the bay, but still maintains its fishing village charm.  Cayucos is a quiet surfer town, with beach cottages (most available for vacation rental) that have yet to be torn down and mega-sized.  The main street is about 1,000 feet long with no street lights, only one bar, and one gas station.  I know a lot of people like Pismo Beach but to me it always seems a little rundown and weary.

Here are some pics from my last two visits – with more to come in the future.

P.S.  I am leaving out the pictures of the dead fish head and the gross potato bug that was sunning itself on the rocks.  You’re welcome.

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Sunshine & Rainbows

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Monkey and I have settled into our new home in Los Angeles and are enjoying every moment of the balmy November weather.  Have I been judge-y of Angelenos who wear puffy vests and Uggs when the temperature turns a frigid 65 degrees?  Maybe.  But then a ray of warm sunshine hits my face and I forget all about those people with thin blood.  (Is that a real thing?  Does your blood actually thin if you live in warmer climates?  Must use interwebs to find out.)

Enough about the weather – let’s focus on some of the other things that make LA such a liveable place: Trader Joe’s found everywhere with no ungodly long lines; hiking trails here, there and everywhere; driving apps that figure out the quickest route so you can avoid road raging; friendly neighbors who verge on nosy but hey, they’ll know if someone is breaking into your apartment to steal your underwear (this has actually occurred before, in a bizarre land known as Burbank); farmers markets are year-round; CVS and Walgreens sell booze; Monkey has become friends with a Pekingese named Tina; I can finally buy in bulk y’all!

Here is a shot of our street, one morning after a rainstorm.  Double rainbow!

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Hometown Police Blotter

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More whacked-out 911 calls as reported by my hometown newspaper’s police blotter.  Enjoy!

– A woman reported her husband was being obnoxious and squirting her with water.

 – A caller from Bank Street reported a woman had a deer carcass in her apartment to feed her flesh-eating beetles. The deer was disposed of.

 – A caller reported an unruly Asian man who claimed he didn’t speak English. He reportedly threw money at a bartender and then took a taxi to a convenience store, where he was causing a disturbance and telling people he was Bruce Lee. More than $1,200 in cash was collected from the bartender and returned to the man.

 – A caller reported a male subject walked into a fire station and claimed that blood was oozing from the ground and there were bodies all over his property. When the male subject was informed that law enforcement would be contacted, he took off down the road.

 – A caller from Pine Street reported that a person known as “Crazy Pat” stole a $6 block of cheese.

 – A man reported he was lonely and just wants a friend. He sounded very drunk. He called back at 8:12 p.m. and wanted a friend to visit him because he was lonely. He called again at 8:27 p.m. and wanted to know when a deputy was coming by. He was advised no friends tonight.

 – A man from Fairy Ring Mushroom Court reported his neighbor’s goat keeps coming over and head-butting his dog, who is injured. He told the neighbor to keep the goat off his property and was threatened.

 – A caller from the 10000 block of Broad Street reported a human traffic hazard. A woman was doing aerobics on the double yellow line in the middle of the road, and doing freeze poses when vehicles drove by.

 – A caller reported a verbal argument with another person who could be heard screaming “revolution” in the background.

 – A man demanded a stay-away order and became agitated when informed that restraining orders were issued through the courts, saying he might have been robbed. He called back to report the theft of a cupcake and was advised of the proper use of 911.

 – A caller reported a man acting bizarre, who thinks he is General MacArthur.

 – A caller from Richardson and North Church streets reported two people “cackling” on the corner.

 – A woman reported she had been fighting with a deer. The deer had attacked her dog in her garage; they are now separated. She said she has been trying to chase it away, but that it is standing at the end of the driveway staring at her.

 – A caller from East Main Street reported a woman sitting in the bushes, eating flowers. She could not be located.

 – A woman from Olympia Glade Mobile Home Park reported the theft of a laptop. She said she believed the person who had it would return it, and said she needed it to work as an Internet porn star. The laptop was returned.

My favorite is the flesh-eating beetles.  What kind of pet mother would she be if she wasn’t willing to drag a dead deer into her apartment in order to provide nourishment for her babies?

I will never complain about my neighbors again.  Ever.

Hometown Police Blotter

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For many years I have been collecting interesting and bizarre calls from my hometown newspaper’s police blotter and sharing them with friends, family and coworkers.  They are the wackiest I’ve ever seen.  As my newest friends, I thought you might enjoy them as well.  Here are some recent ones:

– A man from Sutton Way reported invisible people were stealing his knick-knacks.

– A woman reported a naked man just burst into her residence, told her aliens were there and he had just eaten someone. He was wearing tennis shoes. He then ran down the road, yelling.

– A man asked to speak to the President of the United States, and said he was going to donate one trillion dollars to the community. He called back twice, wanting to be connected the president. He then called to say he was having a heart attack, refusing to give his name and saying people who believe in God will find him. He changed his mind and said he would be waiting for the ambulance, dressed as a homeless person, and giving his phone number as 1-800-GOD.

– A caller reported a bloated stomach.

– A woman reported a burning bottom. She was advised to call her physician.

– A caller requested additional patrols after multiple complaints of off-leash dogs and “mass defecation.”

– A caller reported finding an African Tortoise approximately the size of a stop sign. The animal was later reunited with its owner.

– A caller reported a male subject laying in the driveway, slurring his speech while asking for more beer.

– A caller from Nevada Street reported odd screeching.

– A woman reported Angolan terrorists were trying to kill her with hatchets. No one was located. She was advised to stay inside for the night.

– A caller from Save Mart reported an out-of-control customer pushing a cart around the store, yelling and making sounds like a monkey.

– A woman from Sutton Way reported a man threatened her and threw corn chips at her vehicle.

– A male caller could be heard swearing and saying “stupid phone,” before disconnecting.

– A caller from Ball Road reported a doorbell ditch.

– A caller reported that every night there are people near the playground who smoke and vomit, and requested extra patrols.

– A woman reported a man on the property with a loaded gun. He could not be located. At 8:28 p.m., she called to report her lights were out and the man was outside with a shotgun. At 9:19 p.m., she asked for a deputy to walk her out to her generator, saying she didn’t want to be shot if she went outside alone. She advised that if she dies, she wants to be buried next to her pig, Ruby. At 9:34 p.m., she called to report she went outside with a rake and a flashlight, and turned the generator off. At 10:05 p.m., she advised that this was her last 911 call and she would not call back unless she knew she was about to be shot.

– A caller reported a 4-foot-tall man refused to leave a business, yelled multiple expletives and then spat his burrito at the caller. He missed and it landed on the front door. He then left on foot.

– A man reported the theft of $2,500 from a bank account. After investigating, it appeared there had been no unauthorized activity and the man over-spent.

There are many, many more available to share so let me know if you are interested in seeing additional police calls from a (clearly strange) small town in California and I will gladly post them.