Friday, March 30, 2012

Creepy Beefus

What is a Beefus?

It is the evolution of Alice B.'s name over the 3 years we've had her.  My family is actually kinda famous for this.

One starts out with their given name (Alice B. Pinto -- because we're terribly clever giving our dog a surname and middle initial), and through a series of substitutions ("The Bean"), applicable movie characters, song lyrics, or topical figures (LaBoeuf from True Grit resulted in "The Beef".  Downton Abbey resulted in "Lady Beantham"), prefixes or suffixes ("Beeficus"), additions or subtractions, we arrive at the current alias.

The Beefus.

My father was really the king of this nickname evolution.  It is the reason my sister is known as "Boonzie" and I am known as "Bimpsy" around our family.  A number of our high school friends were also honored with a nickname, some of which have stuck to this day.  That's how you know we really like you.

Along with her strange nickname, Alice manages to be uber-creepy in photos.  Oh, we've attempted cute and cuddly photos, but that's just not how she rolls.  I am also a shoddy-at-best photographer, which only adds to her mystique.  
This is her Clint Eastwood face.

This is not her Clint Eastwood face.
The Lohan.
Wielding her Sith powers over the broccoli.

The house elf.
Google Tasmanian tiger and tell me there isn't some DNA crossover.

Waiting for the Precious

Straight chillin'.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gaffes and Gratitudes

A lot of stuff I am reading these days centers around cultivating gratitude--actively seeking and recognizing moments and interactions that make the day worth it.  Sometimes, I reeeaaaallly have to dig for the gratitude in my day.  But, I usually find it mixed up with my cynicism, unmet expectations, flakiness and tendency to embarrass easily. 

It's there. 

Under my humanness. 


  • Deciding to wear a fabric belt from a dress as a bracelet.  A fashion risk everyone should take.  In 1994.
  • Conversation with a patient over the phone:
          ME:  Ma'am, am I correct that your first name is spelled Y-V-O-N-N-E?
          Patient: No, it's spelled E-L-O-N, and it's 'mister', actually.

  • Reaching the age where foot powder is necessary.  All the better if it's "cooling and refreshing".
  • Watching an interview with Dave Grohl and realizing he and I have pretty much the same hair style.
  • Walking Alice in a ratty sweatshirt, funky scarf, sweaty post-run hair, major VPL under my running tights, and a cup--not a travel mug, but the ceramic cup--of coffee.  Serving up some 6am hot realness.
  • Whatever I am doing in this photograph.  In bowling shoes, no less.


  • D.R. recognizing that a couple hours of organizing and cleaning will set me right again when the world seems to want nothing more than to keep me off kilter.
  • A conversation with one of my doctors that was longer than all of our previous conversations combined.  We covered his childhood, how he met his wife, his thoughts on the current state of medicine and World War II.  I'm always honored to hear other people's stories.
  • George Jones.  Anytime.  If my toe ain't tappin' to "Honky Tonk Song", then I know I am way too far in my head.
  • Taking note from D.R.'s sister who--out of nowhere, and very genuinely--told me I was beautiful.  We need more random and genuine compliments.  They lift so high with such little effort. 
  • First day of spring in California.   
  • Discovering maple syrup makes a great sweetener for coffee.  Just ask Buddy the Elf.
  • Any opportunity to say, "This ain't my first rodeo."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Favorite Thing I Ate This Week

D.R.'s little sister spent a week with us in Los Angeles.  For a final send-off dinner, we took her to one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Mexico City.  I once saw most of the cast of Parenthood here, including a very tipsy Peter Krause.  They also make a perfect margarita (generous with the tequila, on the rocks with a lightly salted rim), and bring TWO different salsas with their free homemade tortilla chips.  They also usually have some delectable special that I end up ordering.  The latest special I ordered is called . . .

Umm, Chiles de Neg-something?

Pablano de Neg-thingy?

Wow--please hire me to advertise for your establishment.  Fail!

I know there was a chile involved and there was a "de" in the title.  Does that narrow it down at all? 

Anyway, this is what showed up.

It kinda looks like dessert, doesn't it?  

It's a chile stuffed with beef and pork, mixed with raisins, apples, pears, peaches and cinnamon, as well as garlic and thyme.  They roast that chile with all the goodness inside and then smother it in a walnut cream sauce (who knew walnuts were so creamy?) and sprinkle with walnuts and pomegranate seeds.  It's spicy and fresh, savory and warm, crunchy and juicy all at the same time.  It was a bit baffling for my taste buds, and at some point they gave up trying to make sense of it. 

Here's the strange thing:  I don't think I would ever order this again.  It wasn't bad by any means.  With all those flavors going on, it was quite good.  But I found myself studying it more than I was eating it.  Does that make sense?  It was like watching a really good movie that is so intense and twisty and involved that I'm exhausted afterwards.  A movie that is so good that I will recommend it to everyone I know but probably only see it once--like, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

That's what this dish is.  And I will recommend it to you . . . as soon as I remember what it's called.

I guess you'll just have to come visit.