Sitting here with Doobie by my side on a breathtaking June afternoon on the Friday of Solstice weekend. I have not been as productive as I had hoped but the tingling all over with joy at my perfect ring has not diminished even slightly in 48 hours and I just couldn’t be more grateful to Diamond Nexus Labs.
The Solstice parade is a big deal in SB and I have never been. I don’t care for parades other than the St. Patty’s Day parade in NYC and this one is really hippie and weird but people come from all over, not just in CA but all over America. It’s a big tourist draw and hotels are always filled to occupancy this weekend after UCSB graduation and Father’s Day. June is a good time for restaurants and hotels in Santa Barbara, up there with Christmas and Labor Day.
Emma, I’m sorry to report, has little use for this behemoth of a dog and takes roughly the position of the old English aristocrat toward Charles Grodin on some shoot (the sentiment becomes the title of his excellent memoir): “It would be so nice if you weren’t here.” My sister just remarked on Facebook, that “ginenormasorous is bigger than you are!” Here we are last night (no makeup, hair in ponytail by way of disclaimer).
This French briard weighs some ten pounds less than Wendy’s Baron in Orange County, a purebred German shepherd. Both are enormous but somehow Doobie, by virtue of his head alone, seems more like a horse than a dog. I love him but he does come with several downsides. The first is of course the panting. It’s not round the clock but when he’s sitting rather than lying down or resting, he huffs and puffs like the Big Bad Wolf. Then there is of course the “wet beard,” the constantly wet long hair below his mouth which which he wants to kiss or lick you constantly. He’s also a very messy eater and the kibble ends up distributed over a one or two foot radius from his raised food and water bowls. I won’t expatiate on the crotch sniffing; briards seem more attached to this lovely activity than other breeds, though Baron is no slouch in this arena.
But I can get used to the endless panting and the intermittent barking when he thinks someone is approaching the condo or hears some noise he cannot identify outside. Doobie’s insistence upon sharing a queen-sized bed with me and J, however, leaves something to be desired. As I posted on my Victorian Chick FB page (which thank you all, presently has a weekly reach of 1800 with many posts having some 50 or 60 “viral” views and friends of friends figure of 83,000), Doobie plants his hind legs on the wood floor and places each of his paws (which simply do not look real) on each of my tits before jumping on me. I didn’t take a picture of his paws today but his head (admittedly larger here than it appears normally) should give you some sense of the scale of this animal.
As I also noted, being the embodiment–literally–of transparency, this is particularly unwelcome in that charming part of the month when a woman’s tits become incredibly sore and tender. Technically, he’s jumping on the bed. But a queen feels a lot smaller than a king when two adults are occupying it, and he can’t quite settle on a spot. His paws dig into me hard, but he’s just so damned sweet and cute that you can’t get mad at that gigantic, dopey punim.
He’s resting now, with Emma down in the master bedroom on her doggie bed, weary after just 18 hours of our visitor for the next four days. I love this dog but feel a bit sorry for our dear Emma, a beautiful labrador of 65 pounds (Doobie weighs in at 96 pounds), who looks like a Pomeranian or other rat fou fou dog beside him. She’s 10, though the vet says she has the body and spirit of a 4-yr-old, and she thinks he’s a stupid young punk with no coordination or apparent purpose in life.
I have had a full week between Father’s Day and various events in Santa Barbara, including the pre-birthday party gathering for our friend Darin Fiechter, co-owner of Jump on the Bus. Darin and Sierra Falso owned Live Culture, hands down the coolest wine bar and cafe in Santa Barbara, with a distinctly NYC feel. It was also a yogurt bar and venue for live acoustic music, hence the double entendre in its name.
You can see the bus, with its 1000-watt sound system, on www.jumpontheschoolbus.com.
They do everything from wine tasting tours to birthday parties to LA concert trips to casino romps (Chumash Casino is north of Santa Barbara and features quite famous live bands or solo singers). Saturday before I headed down to LA, I met them and their friends at the Mission Rose Garden, another large tourist attraction in SB by the SB Mission in the Riviera, at the beginning of Alameda Padre Sierra, known to SB residents simply as APS.
The Riviera is entirely residential apart from the legendary, remodeled El Encanto hotel, a favorite of Angelenos for romantic weekend getaways and of locals for anniversary or proposal dinners, and the lone art house in Santa Barbara, the Riviera. Any foreign film or Woody Allen which comes to our sleepy little beach town plays there. Other than the seats which date back to the Carter Administration (or if I were being uncharitable, the Nixon Administration), with coils that stick you in the ass, and the underwhelming sound system, it’s an reasonably tolerable and architecturally beautiful theater.
The Riviera, in spite of being 10 or 15 minutes from the nearest real grocery store by windy little streets, is among the priciest real estate in Santa Barbara due to the views, and I would bet that the gorgeous homes lining the rose garden rival many north of Montana Santa Monica or Brentwood homes of equivalent size or quality. (The parking also sucks and anyone having a dinner party needs to hire a valet parking service.)
The ocean views are spectacular even from the lower Riviera and the roses are now in full bloom, complete with hilarious titles like Baby Boomer, X Rated and Aristocrat. I liked the Midas Touch since my nickname is Reverse Midas Touch, a name J gave to me due to my uncanny ability to render nearly all electronic equipment non-functional with the mere touch of a hand.
I got to see Darin and Sierra again, this time with J, on Wednesday night for a fun tour abourd the Land Shark, an amphibious vehicle. I will post more pictures later but we went very close to The World, a floating condominium, with a base price of a million. We passed the sea lions, unusually quiet that day, and had a really nice time. Here is one of me alone.
J and I went to Enterprise Fish afterwards and my mesquite-grilled chicken sandwich with avocado, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo was perhaps the best chicken sandwich I have had in my life. Their cole slaw is also top notch and my local Sauvignon for 8/glass whose name I cannot now recall was more than respectable.
We strolled back to the car past Hotel Indigo (www.hotelindigo.com) with whose approval J was involved. I will do a separate blog on this wonderful small boutique hotel (small in terms of the room size, not number of rooms and fully equipped with fitness center, business center and conference room, along with impeccable attention to detail throughout). The “100 non-smoking hotel” signs struck me as redundant and I couldn’t help emulating my philosophy idol, Carol Rovane, who in 1990 , would occasionally light up at Yale my freshman year under the “no smoking” sign in the SSS auditorium where she taught the “Character of Philosophical Thought.”
I have some 50 pictures from Brophy Brother’s, Crushcakes Cafe, the (beautiful) Santa Barbara Police Department, The Pan, A Tropical Affair Lingerie and Bikinis (where I bought the bra I refer to in the blog’s title but sadly did not win a bikini in the raffle of just eight women), and the SB Mission rose garden, but I will include those in tomorrow’s blog.
Dad and I had a private pre-Father’s Day dinner at Wilshire, my favorite new restaurant on the Westside of Los Angeles. It is one in their stable of nine restaurants and the only one 15% above the price point of the others, since my mother of course only orders appetizers at the Daily Grill to keep the bill down. I am overjoyed that she has finally ditched Supercuts at age 72 but one must be realistic about things. The day I see Mom order an appetizer, two drinks and an entree, I will know that hell is in fact freezing over, or coming very close.
I was Dadsitting while Mom attended the annual Mexican-American Bar Foundation awards and scholarship dinner. On Victorian Chick Facebook, I re-posted my short blog highlighting some of the inspirational stories of Mexican-American law students, may of them first-generation, who overcame adversity of all kinds to achieve at the very highest levels at top California universities and then law schools such as UCLA, Southwestern and Loyola. It’s a wonderful scholarship organization which provides assistance to students in an era when elite public law schools run about 40K.
Harvard and Yale Law run–just for tuition of course–about 55K, so while public school is still cheaper, it can hardly be regarded as “public education” accessible to the average intelligent and hardworking student from the middle, or even the upper middle, class. The only people to whom 40K a year is negligible are in the 1%. 2%-ers have to budget but they can swing it. Anyone else, even in the top 10% below that, struggles (a fact which seems quite lost on those who claim upward mobility is far from a fantasy and indeed, more accessible in America today than ever before).
J and I are going to “Regrets Only,” whose review in the Independent I posted on my Victorian Chick FB page. It is a Paul Rudnick production about an Upper East Side couple, their gay best friend–a famous fashion designer named Hank Hadley, based on Bill Blass–and their engaged daughter. I have never been to Circle Bar B, about 20 minutes north of UCSB and I’m very excited. Gay marriage is the central “theme” and the paper said that for a dinner theater audience, the only controversy revolved around which character was the funnies. Of course, dinner theater conjures in my mind Soap Dish with Kevin Kline’s hilarious and furious recurrent remark to the stage manager: “MY NAME IS NOT MR LOMAN!” [Ed. note: the food was spectacular and the theater is down a hill by the stables, with the outdoor seating on benches just outside the bar and ranch/lodge.]
I will post more blogs in the coming week. This has been a week full of drama and bullshit, amidst great fun and pleasure. I just got behind.
Happy (Solstice) weekend from Santa Barbara!
P.S. I will include more “Ordinisms” or sayings of the Ordin in honor of Father’s Day a week late in the next blog. But it cracked me up when I proudly reported the purchase of a bra. It is a running gag with FB friends that I like to “hang free,” as they say. And as a size 2 all my life, 5/8 and 120 at most, it was superfluous. I am now between a B cup and a C cup which is of course lovely, if inconvenient for sizing purposes. And I got my license after 18 months–the actual piece of plastic–and posted a picture where I am indeed at my perkiest.
At Tropical Affair, I found this bra, half off, for 34 dollars. It’s an Occhi, a “Pussycat” style or model and I love it. So I told Dad and his remark struck me as funny and true enough to character to make the title of my belated Father’s Day blog! Dad doesn’t consider anything under a D real knockers. So my proud declaration of now being a B+ or a C- struck him as laughable. I said that I was almost busty. “BUSTY?!” he ejaculated.