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Archive for March 2007

Search for the Great Nevada Diner

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Coffee Cup Cafe, originally uploaded by Roadsidepictures.


“We plan, we toil, we suffer in the hope of what? A camel-load of idol’s eyes? The title deeds of Radio City? The empire of Asia? A trip to the moon? No, no, no, no. Simply to wake just in time to smell coffee and bacon and eggs.”

–J. B. Priestley

One of my favorite phenomena of American culture is the diner/cafe. There’s something simply lovely about shiny checkered tile floors, chrome-lined leatherette booths and spinning barstools combined with the smell of coffee and bacon and eggs. It’s one of my most favorite things in the world. It’s simple and unpretentious and welcomes all. I just love it.

I’m not a huge fan of the show Heroes, and I’ve also given up TV for Lent, but a few months ago I saw an episode, one of the first, where Hiro is sitting at a diner somewhere in Nevada right after he won the money at the roulette tables in Las Vegas…I don’t know where that diner is, but it looked awesome. I’m kind of on a mission to find it.

Anyway, since Vegas was spawned during the Golden Era of the US, it goes without saying that there are some great retro diners and cafes around. I haven’t tried many yet, but I’m making it my personal quest, if not to find the one from Heroes, to at least find one that I can start frequenting.

I’ve always wanted to be a ‘regular’ at a diner. The thought of waking up every Saturday morning and heading down to a sunny, cheery diner full of the happy clatter of dishes and the bright chatter of hungry people just seems so comforting and homey.

Tomorrow, after I make a trip over to the DMV for new plates and a license (very scary experience here in Las Vergas, what with like a million new people moving here every month), Andrea and I are heading back to Boulder City to hit up the Coffee Cup Cafe (pictured above) for lunch. This time, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Written by pocheco

March 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm

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Cafe con Leche, Por Favor

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, originally uploaded by Joseph Robertson.

So this morning, I decided to get some Starbucks coffee on the way to work instead of making some at home to take with me. I didn’t feel like braving the drive-thru, however, cause there was a long line. So, on my way around to the front of the store to park, I made the mistake of passing over the entrance to the drive-thru, and some old man in a giant white truck *thought* I was trying to beat him in line, and angrily cut me off so that he could get there first. Sheesh, what has become of this nation’s coffee addiction/time concerns? It’s beyond me.

Anyway, the reason I decided to stop and get some instead of making it at home is that the grounds we have at home have this weird, almost-sort-of-minty stale taste that just drives me crazy, and half the time the pot of coffee turns out poorly. Yet I continue to make it daily, and daily, I am disappointed with the results. I know it’s not the coffee maker, because the one we have is new and quite nice.

But the bigger issue that I’m left to ponder is, When did I become a coffee snob? I don’t know. I used to be able to drink whatever kind of coffee was available, whether it be the watered-down Denny’s variety, or some shitty trucker coffee I picked up on the highway, or anything I made at home was usually fine. Somewhere along the way, unbeknownst to me, my mind made a distinct division between the good, the bad, and well, the disgusting. (I am seeing, as I get older, that my mind is controlling more and more of what I want, and not letting me get a word in edgewise. Stupid brain.)

I recently bought a french press, which has improved the taste of the coffee I make at home. However, there’s always the occasional time the grounds will spill out of the filter and poison the coffee, or I’ll burn it, but I am afraid the taste really all comes down to the quality of the grounds. I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m one of those totally anal perfectionists who buys imported beans and a grinder to make fresh, exotic grounds every morning. Who knows, in ten years, it could be so bad, I might even have to move to Columbia, grow my own beans and buy a roaster.

Now while being able to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every morning has its benefits, I also realize that I become adjusted to it. Depending on a certain flavor can be limiting. Not to mention I really only truly enjoy coffee that has Half & Half and Raw Sugar in it.

What happens when I go to someone’s house for a week and all they serve is 3 year old Folgers? Will my body reject any and all coffee if it’s not absolutely perfect? You see how this is already getting out of hand. It turns out that being picky is a terrible social habit.

But for now, I have my Starbucks, which, by the way, is alright, but not the best cup I’ve ever had…If you want my advice on a good cup of coffee, and I mean a freaking fabulous cup of coffee, and you live in Oklahoma, make a voyage over to DoubleShot Coffee Company on 21st street and Boston in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The coffee there is never anything less than perfect.

So I guess the final question is: Is my relationship with coffee one of pleasure or one of necessity? I want to be able to drink a delicious cup of coffee to start my day, but some days I really just want the caffiene. Am I willing to sacrifice taste for alertness? Or should I just start eating apples instead?

Written by pocheco

March 29, 2007 at 3:32 pm

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Simpson’s Kwik-E-Mart

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kwikemart

This is the greatest movie promotion of all time. (click!)

I hope they do one here in Las Vegas! I can’t WAIT to buy Duff Beer! And a Squishy!

Written by pocheco

March 28, 2007 at 3:27 pm

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Dogs and Domiciles

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Waiting to RaceShe waits in her travel pen for her turn to race at the 2005 Mush Bowl in Fryeburg, Maine

I want a dog. I’m thinking about adopting one from the SPCA or perhaps adopting a racing greyhound. Also, I think my time to be moving out of the Clark house into my own place is now a light at the end of the tunnel…I had a few things like credit cards and switching my car over to Nevada that I wanted to take care of before I moved out. I am trying to get my car all taken care of this weekend. As long as I don’t get slapped with a huge tax bill this year, as in past years, I should be all set to move out around July, whether or not I make it full time with Taylor. I am looking forward to being out on my own, but I also really love living with Suzanne. But having the silence and my privacy will be nice again. How fast the past six months have gone.

—–
Currently listening to Finally We Are No One by Mum

Written by pocheco

March 28, 2007 at 4:33 am

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Le Weeque-End

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Boulder City, Nevada, originally uploaded by Roadsidepictures.

I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time! First, Mariah’s party Friday night was a success. There was a pack of feral hyper 12 year olds running around the house emitting strange whoops and yelps late into the night.

We had Chinese take out for dinner and then took them to see The Last Mimsy (which was OK, a bit “out there”). I helped truck some of the girls back and forth to the movie theater, and the four of us had a great time singing to the radio in the car and honking at boys in other cars. Thankfully they all passed out around 1:30 am so I didn’t have to stay up too late listening to them.

Saturday I got up fairly early and went over to the UPS store to ship out Danny’s tent. It was very very expensive to ship, but when I finally left it at the store, along with a box full of pictures, too, I walked out the door and felt great that it was done.

Andrea and Nicole came over around 11 or so and the three of us did some traveling around Nevada. We went to Calico Basin at Red Rock, and then headed to Mount Charleston, stopping on the way to climb rocks and photograph some joshua trees. We didn’t really stop at Mt. Charleston, but rather just drove through, because we still wanted to make it to Boulder City for an early dinner. There was some snow up in the mountains, and we even saw a snowman…

We headed back towards Boulder City and arrived there at about 4. We cruised down the little main street they have there to check out the sites and then we stopped to eat at one of the little outdoor cafes on the street. We ate and then checked out one of the little souvenir shops nearby, where I bought some fossilized dinosaur poop, called Coprolite.

Boulder City is quite beautiful and cute with some very Art Deco architecture and lots of neon from the 50s. We drove up around a bend where we got an excellent view of Lake Mead. We didn’t have time to stop at the Hoover Dam, however, so I think we’re going to go back next week for that.

Later that night I took Mariah, Max, Morgan and Maddie to the park for a little while when Jay and Suzanne went out to see Penn & Teller at the Rio. I was kind of tired from being outside all day, so after the park, I pretty much passed out at home while the kids watched TV. I eventually woke up to make sure they all went to bed, and then spent a few hours working on a logo project. I was very excited/nervous about my date the next day, so I didn’t get much sleep.

I woke up at 10 am and the guy called me at about 11 and we made plans to meet up at three. Suzanned colored my hair: dark on the bottom again and some super bright orangey red highlights on top. I really like how it turned out. I finished getting ready and then left to go meet my date a coffee shop.

The coffee shop was down by UNLV, and was a great place. I had never been there before, and it was nice to find a coffee shop that was fun to hang out at. When I had first moved here, Andrea and I had been on a quest to find a good coffee shop, and had little luck, so this place was a great find indeed.

Anyway I met the guy and we sat outside in little wicker chairs in the warm afternoon sun and drank coffee and chatted for about one hour and a half. I had a nice time with him…He seems like a great guy and I am looking forward to getting to know him better. It seems we may have many many things in common, so the potential for a great friendship is there, which is very pleasing to me. We have plans for next Sunday to hike through the Valley of Fire, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Anyway, Monday morning is here again, and it’s now 8 days until Mommy arrives here; Suzanne and I are very excited. I have also made tentative plans with Ariana to have her out here in Mid April. April is going to be a busy month.

I just hope it’s not as TS Eliot says, ‘April is the cruellest month…’

—–

Written by pocheco

March 26, 2007 at 3:57 pm

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Can We Get Something Straight about Aardvarks?

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.

This is not an Aardvark:

anteater1

THIS is not an Aardvark:

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THIS IS NOT AN AARDVARK, EITHER, PEOPLE!

hedgehog

THIS is an Aardvark:

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Just wanted to clear up some confusion.

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No, sweetie.

Written by pocheco

March 25, 2007 at 7:23 pm

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No Man can Worship God or Visit His Neighbor on an Empty Stomach, Also, the Naughty Duck

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The%20Poky%20Little%20Puppy,%20LITTLE%20GOLDEN%20RECORD%205_%20Ireene%20Wicker
Yay! Childhood!

So I haven’t been blogging all that much this week, and there’s a good reason…I have got a lot of exciting things going on that are keeping me from concentrating long enough to sit down and type. But work is slow today and the boss is gone so I don’t have much to do…

The first and foremost lovely item is that Spring has Sprung. Although this particular season seems to be nothing more than a footnote for the southwestern USA, it IS in fact, the official time of year. And with this change of seasons, a few little wonderful occurrences have occurred.

The weather here has reached, in some moments, 90 degrees (I say YAY), the official temperature of “heat wave” in Boston. I heard it snowed there in Auld New England last week, to which I yell, in the general direction of the eastern seaboard, “SUCKERS!!”

The combination of the early arrival of Daylight Savings this year and the warm climes of the desert have made me want to roll in the grass in the back yard like a puppy. See picture above, from my favorite child hood story series.

Suzanne and I have been taking to our regular walks, although since it’s still dark at 6 am these days, we decided to push our walks back to the evenings. It’s hard enough making yourself exercise at 6am every day without having to walk out into a wall of darkness.

We usually bring the dogs, our little Pomeranian Bella and our large Standard Poodle Daphne. They mostly lounge calmly around the living room in the evenings, but when they see Suzanne put on her tennis shoes, they KNOW and immediately become excited. Jumping up, wagging rears, panting tongues and happy little hops because they get to go outside. Their enthusiasm is pure motivation.

Mariah turned 12 on Tuesday. We celebrated by having dinner at MiMi’s Cafe. I used to work there, years ago, when I still lived in Tulsa, and hadn’t stepped foot inside of one since 2004. It was neat to be back in there again, thank God as a customer rather than a waitress. We had a nice dinner. Tonight, she is having her birthday party, a sleep-over, and I’m almost a little reluctant to spend the night at the house! 7 or 8 pre-pubescent girls will be running around the house in a herd all night laughing and squealing. Actually, I lie….I think it will be fun.

Her party is themed “Chinese Take Out and a Movie”, so she has been buying several little Asian-themed favors, and stuffing them into the traditional take out boxes in preparation. For her invitations, I helped her learn how to make an Origami Crane, with the party information inside. Suzanne and Jay have both been enthusiastic about helping her get the party ready, complete with lanterns and chopsticks and a plethera of tchotzches for the fun evening. I am helping transport the girls to the movies, where we will be seeing “The Last Mimsy”. I love Rainn Wilson, so I’m hoping to enjoy it.

Saturday I’m going to try to send Danny’s tent back to him. That thing freaking weighs a ton and I don’t even know where I can find a box for it, but I’m going to make it a point of sending it back to him. For reasons of closure and respect. I am hoping it cost less than 60 bucks to ship. I’m also including some little souvenirs from Las Vegas (which I know he’ll promptly trash) and a note. I will feel better when it’s sent. Then I will be able to close the book on him…forever.

I’m also making a little voyage with friends Andrea and Nicole to Calico Basin and then to Boulder City, where the Hoover Dam is. Andrea’s never been to Calico Basin and I’ve never been to Boulder City, so we’re giving tours to each other.

Saturday night, I think I’m going to be babysitting while Suzanne and Jay enjoy a night on the town. That will be good because it will give me a chance to catch up on some design projects.

But the biggest and most exciting news is that, on Sunday…I have a date. I don’t want to say how long it’s been since I’ve been on a date…but let’s suffice by saying that was three whole state moves ago. I met a guy this week and we started talking and I was kind of amazed at how much we seem to have in common. He seems so genuine and hilarious and I can tell he’s going to be fun. We’re going out for coffee on Sunday afternoon and I’m a little nervous, but really excited too.

This whole weekend is going to fly by, as weekends often do. Wish me luck on the date, though.

I can’t tell if we’ve come into Spring like the Lamb or the Lion, but there has been calm and there has been wind.

PS: Today’s blog title came from Pond Patrol. Please enjoy the witty writing as well as amazing bokeh effect on the photos.

That is all.

Written by pocheco

March 23, 2007 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized