Fruitcake Lies

After a friend confided that she loves fruitcake, I decided to make Martha Stewart’s fruitcake for her for Christmas. I like a daunting task or two around the holidays. And I’ve had success with Martha before–one year I made her caramels from scratch. I’d never made candy before and I was renting a house with an ill-equipped kitchen. But, except for a dicey moment when the basset raced past while I was juggling a big tray of hot candy, everything went just fine. I was ready to move on to fruitcake.

Let me just say this: Martha Stewart is a big fat liar. Oh, sure, in person she’s probably very blonde and charming and offers you fabulous appetizers on linen napkins made from flax she grew herself. But her cookbook? Don’t trust it as far as you can throw it. (No, I don’t know exactly how far that is. But I’m sure Martha can tell you, to the smallest fraction of an inch. Or in metric.) Continue reading

A Very Odd Day

I was having a bad day anyway. I left home without remembering to sign my housekeeper’s check, and she was leaving for two weeks that day. I would have rushed home, but the Jaguar was flat out of gas, so I didn’t have time (if there’s ANY chance of the Jaguar dying on the way, trust me, you don’t take that trip). Jack in the Box was out of napkins, which pretty much guarantees I’ll dump that giant soda in my lap, doesn’t it? And by the way, Jack in the Box announced that they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving–what the hell am I supposed to do NOW???

However, I did not expect to spend my lunch hour at a riot. Now, if you know anything at all about my life, you may find this strange. But I THOUGHT I was having a quiet lunch with LAPD officers Doug Abney and Sergio Guzman to discuss the annual charity airlift. Let me say that it is great going out to lunch with the police in the black & white car. You get to park anywhere you want, even in a red zone. Everybody lets you go first at the stop signs. Nobody cuts you off. Even when every single table at California Chicken Cafe is full, somehow they find a seat for you. Continue reading

All Together Now

All I wanted was a little lunch. Maybe a nice french-dipped lamb sandwich. There’s only one place in LA to go. Got in line at Phillippe. The guy in the line next to me leaned over and offered me a pamphlet about Jesus. I smiled politely and declined. Thought nothing of it–no doubt he hands those things out to everyone.

Except that the rest of the time we all stood in line, he chatted up everyone around him, showed off pictures of his kids, swapped menu tips. Nobody else got offered the Jesus tract. I THOUGHT I was in a good mood. I THOUGHT I was standing there quietly with a pleasant look on my face. Apparently I was the only one in the crowd in visible need of salvation, and didn’t even know it. And little did I know what crisis was looming at home. Continue reading

Insecurities and Flying Locks

I am not surprised that my front door lock exploded when Mike, the handyman, touched it. On the very day we found out the burglar alarms doesn’t work. I am not surprised that Paula had to cancel the dog’s acupuncture so she could stay home and guard the door. While Mike drove around Santa Monica trying to find the only person in town who could repair the lock (who was out to lunch). I am only surprised this didn’t happen at 4:30PM, on Friday, before a long weekend. Perhaps my luck is changing.

Paula got on the phone to our friends at Edison Security. This time she was not put on hold. Technically, this was an emergency. Because the alarm was going off when she got here and nobody from Edison called or showed up. The crack team at Edison determined that the signal wasn’t getting to them. Even though we test it every month. They said that they’ve had this problem with other people, too. Continue reading

Packing and Parking

We are just pilgrims, struggling on our paths through this world, seeking knowledge. Sometimes knowledge finds us.

Paula called me to tell me she had learned an important lesson. When taking your car to the car wash on Sepulveda, it is a good idea to remove all your drugs and guns from the trunk before turning it over to the attendant.

The reason she knows this is that the police had someone spread-eagled in the parking lot. No cars were being washed. She and the Basset were hiding in the office. Continue reading