Ten Things That He Should Know About Me Before We Live Together

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Ten Things That He Should Know About Me Before We Live Together

“Women who say that they have met the most amazing guy in the world are only saying that because they haven’t lived with them yet.”  Heather Chapple,

Living together is complicated.  We are gradually about to discover each others irritating habits. I’m hoping that our good qualities more than make up for the nails on the chalkboard ones. We are in it together.  My goal is to find a way to get over, through, or around every obstacle. Here are some things he should know beforehand.

I need a junk drawer.  I like having a place for random things.

Shoes can go anywhere. I’m not editing my shoes to fit a closet. There is a pantry, oven, linen closet and under the bed to work with. 

I save leftovers. No leftover is too small to put in the refrigerator. You can almost always find one half of a potato, a few pieces of spinach, twelve raspberries and a quarter of a banana in mine. I don’t always eat them. 

Sweat pants, a sweat shirt and fuzzy socks are my home loungewear of choice when it is cold. I’m keeping my favorite red sweatshirt.

I leave the top off the toothpaste. I also forget to close drawers.

I like the toilet seat down,

I eat in bed. I like my side of the bed. I have certain favorite pillows that are arranged in a specific way. to help me sleep better. They are my pillows.

I cannot assemble furniture. 

I may not always know where the remote is. 

It will take my dog a long time to adjust.

But he will and then will we call it home?

Fly safe,
JAZ

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My Favorite LA Breakfasts

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My Favorite LA Breakfasts

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

The good news is we have finally gotten the message that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The bad news is many of us eat it on the go. Millennials are fully engaged with breakfast. Me too. It is my favorite meal of the day to eat out. More and more restaurants are serving all-day breakfast. I think we are living in a breakfast boom. I don’t know why but I like spending money on food that I actually know how to cook at home. Here are some of my usual places in no particular order.

The food at Gjusta is delicious but it is also a complete Venice scene. If you live in the neighborhood (as I now do), you know to show up right before lunch or after two and to avoid weekends.

You take a number and wait on line behind some hipster or famous actor. Seeing the fresh smoked fish in the case always gets to me. It is pretentious but worth it. https://gjusta.com

I like sitting outside on the back patio of the Rose Cafe in Venice for breakfast. It is both inviting and trendy. I went with the Neroni style eggs this time and was not disappointed. They don’t take reservations for brunch on the weekend and lines are long so plan your day accordingly. The later you go, the more scooters you will trip over at the entrance. https://rosecafevenice.com

Republique lives up to the hype. The old Campanile restaurant space is still beautiful. It is the place most likely to spot that actor that was in that thing – what’s his name again?

I come for the shakshouka which is of North African origin. Shakshouka is popular in the Middle East and is becoming a national dish in Israel. I’ve had it there often. It is showing up in hip restaurants all over the United States. Shakshouka is a one-pan dish of poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. https://republiquela.com

Nate N Als has a long history in Beverly Hills and is supposedly sold. It has been around since 1943 and is a local landmark. The unglamorous delicatessen is filled with locals, tourists and celebrities. It was at Nate N Als where one of the waitresses who had been there forever tied a bagel around my baby’s neck. She told me to put them in the freezer for teething. It was a big help. The food is surprisingly good and I am a fan of the potato pancakes, chicken soup, hot dogs and lox. https://natenal.com

I love all things Melrose and West Third Street.  My kids went to school here for many years. I enjoy breakfast at Toast any time of day. They have all my favorite breakfast foods and cook their eggs in butter – no matter what you ask for. I add turkey bacon, avocado and fruit which is my usual breakfast. It is always crowded and fun and I like sitting both inside and outside with my dog. http://www.toastbakerycafe.net

It is believed that Eggslut has the perfect breakfast sandwich – brioche, cheese, salty meat and an egg. It is simple and beautifully prepared. This sandwich has been the most instagrammed sandwich for a few years.

My favorite thing is a cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar served with slices of baguette. It is the best comfort food. http://www.eggslut.com

Farmshop is a very Brentwood restaurant which is better for breakfast than dinner. It is located in the Brentwood Country Market and is part take-out food and pastries. They are known for especially delicious french toast and shirred eggs.

You are probably sitting next to a celebrity with school-age children if you are there on Sunday. http://farmshopca.com

New York Bagel in Brentwood is a neighborhood place. It is dog-friendly and when I got my first dog Basquiat, we came here often. The bagels are crunchy and chewy and don’t need to be toasted. Their pumpernickel raisin bagel is my favorite and tastes of New York.

The servers are friendly and your dog’s water bowl is never empty.

When my daughter was two we used to take my son to school and then go out for breakfast. She was an à la carte orderer. The breakfast specials did not work for her. Her favorite breakfast was one pancake with a side of bacon and fresh fruit.  Walter’s in Beverly Hills, would do that for her in a reasonably cost-effective way and so we mostly ate there. They moved several years ago and I did not start going again until recently.

Some of the same people still work there. It’s totally old school with some healthy options. They refill your coffee cup. The ketchup comes on the table with the eggs. You don’t have to feel embarrassed to ask for it.  Eating breakfast there, I become oblivious to the passing of time.http://www.walters2go.com

Special thanks to my breakfast buddies – Nancy, Chris, Cindra, Elaine, Mary Jane, Neile, Banksy and Ellen.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Ranch Advice

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Ranch Advice

“These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.”Anton Chekhov

I visited my friend’s ranch and winery in Creston, California for a few days. Here are some of the lessons  that I have learned.

When you take an egg from a hen, pet her and leave one egg for her to sit on.

Have empathy for those around you even if they are chickens.

Feed the animals early in the morning. It even says that in the Bible. Feed the animals before yourself. Once you are responsible for something, you must take care of it.

Every time we went hiking or rode in the four by four vehicle. Bandit ran along side of us. The dog ran all day long, stopping to jump in the lake or horse trough to cool off. Bandit is not afraid to get down and dirty rolling in the dirt to dry off. What are we so afraid of? We don’t always have to be clean and perfect all the time. Physical exercise and activity is scientifically proven to release endorphins, making us happier. That’s why  Bandit  looks happiest when he is running.

 The white dogs, Blanche and Stanley (named after Donna’s parents) protect the house all night long and sleep during the day. They have a purpose and they are faithful. There are no ulterior motives, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, and no guilt trips or grudges.

The fourth dog Lizzie  knows the importance of family and quiet time which is something we all need. She sits in the four by four with Barry when he goes out. 

Looking at the sheep, cows, horses  and their babies, connects us back to how simple life is supposed to be.

Just assume that every gun is loaded. It’s the first rule of gun safety. Guns on a ranch are tools. It is the crazy person that was able to buy the gun legally that is the problem.There are  certain things that you should always be careful around.

You were so close. Try again. I think this one is self-explanatory.

 Pass the bush and turn right at the tree. It’s taken me a long time to learn the importance of good directions. Know when it’s time to make positive changes. Proactively make the change for yourself or they may be made for you.

An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped deposit of sediment crossed and built up over thousands of years by streams.

In dry areas they help with irrigation. Beauty and art take time. 

Hiking up a hill for me is harder than going down but going down is tricky. The secret is to be unaffected either way. 

Being in nature, deepens our human connection to the world. It just makes you feel better to pay attention to the sights and sounds of the ranch.

It helps to have a Fernando. Everyone should have someone in their life who is kind, helpful, responsible, intelligent, creative and there for you. It is good to have people around who support what you do with or without a plan. 

If a gate is closed, leave it closed. If a gate is open, leave it open.

There will always be closed gates or doors but others will be open. Have faith and keep moving forward.

Thanks to Donna and Barry whose hearts are even bigger than the ranch.

And Maureen (camper of the days) and Mike for making it such a fun trip.

Fly safe,

JAZ

March For Our Lives

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March for Our Lives

“It’s the children the world almost breaks who grow up to save it.” Frank Warren

The faces and organizers of March For Our Lives were almost all under nineteen years old. They were able to get 800,000 people on and off of Washington D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue in three hours. They attracted A-list celebrities. They turned out marchers at more than 800 satellite events held around the world.

Gun violence disproportionately affects people of color. Their death rate is ten times higher than among white children. I marched in the westside neighborhood of Santa Monica, California. Thousands turned out to protest for serious gun control reform. Most of them were white middle class to wealthy people. It is true that some of us had been silent when it affected children of color in neighborhoods far away from ours. But many of us have never been silent when it came to stricter gun control laws. Today, no one who cares for the future of children, can afford to be silent.

Chants of Never Again and NRA Has Got To Go echoed down Montana Avenue. I don’t think anyone expected the huge turnout that showed up. The organizers had not been able to get permission to close the street but the large number of marchers just took it over. The big rally was downtown.

There were so many small children, elementary and high school students. It is their generation that has to go through the fear of school shootings and have lockdown drills. Parents, adults and seniors marched in support of the kids. We did not fight hard enough for stricter gun control laws and trusted the system. We let them down. Now students feel that they have to try to change it themselves.

A young girl carrying a sign that said Am I next? said to me, “I think it is bad killing anyone, but especially the kids.”

It is clear from these demonstrations that most of the American population are at the point where we want serious gun control laws with extensive background checks. We child proof our medicine bottles, baby proof our cabinets, have mandatory car seats for kids and seat belts. Our goal has always been to eliminate as many potential dangers from children as possible. Gun control doesn’t hurt our freedom. It protects our children.

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Fly safe,

JAZ

Ten Things That I Have Learned From Uber Drivers

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“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.” Vernon Howard

Millions of people use Uber all over the world to get a ride. But what about the people who drive for Uber? I always want to know what else they do, where they are from and why they have a job where they make their own hours. I don’t need to travel all the time to explore the world. Sometimes the world comes to pick me up at the click of a button.

There are many good Armenian authors besides William Saroyan that I have to read.

You can only work for Homeland Security for twenty years and then you must retire.

A few twenty somethings did not vote in this election.

An Iranian American legal immigrant voted for Trump because he thought that Trump would bring more jobs. He wishes that he did not but is not ashamed to say it because he now lives in country that has Freedom Of Speech. He can say whatever he wants and not worry about it.

Vladimir Putin is probably a body double. The original is dead. The KGB in Russia had body doubles for all the dictators.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors.

It is illegal to eat mince pies in the UK on Christmas Day.

Nicaragua is the most stable country in Central America at the moment.

The Hollow Earth theory – I had to look it up.

Chile has the best economy in South America now.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

Venice, California Street Art

Venice, California Street Art

“I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don’t want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall.”Cath Crowley

When I walk down the streets in Venice, California there is everything from simple tagging to beautiful complex scenes. I always see art- despite the sometimes rough locations. Cities are the best art galleries to me. When I am looking at freedom of expression or paid murals, I am forced to acknowledge their existence. It is color and expression instead of drab walls. I  have always felt  – better spray cans then guns. Here are some examples of art that I see every day.

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

Things That I Have Learned In The Napa Valley

Things That I Have Learned In Napa Valley

 “God made water, but man made wine.” –Victor Hugo

I’m not the right person to be writing about Napa wine or any alcoholic beverage. I’m a one drink one drunk kind of girl and wine just tastes like wine to me. Truthfully, I was much more interested in eating my way through the Napa Valley.  I do like the wine culture and the quiet beauty of the vineyard landscape.  I have visited them in many countries so it was fun to see it here. I learned a lot.

Four per cent of all the wine grapes grown in California come from the Napa Valley.

Ninety-five per cent of all Napa Valley wineries are family owned.

There are more than three hundred stone arch bridges in the Napa Valley.

Winemaking history began in Napa Valley in 1838, when George Calvert Yount, founder of the town of Yountville, planted the first commercial vineyards in the valley.

Napa Valley is one of the most renowned winemaking regions in the world, but it is also one of the smallest. The valley floor spans across five miles at its widest point and 30 miles at its longest point.

Napa Valley was once a little-known wine region, and nobody thought that its homegrown wines could beat the dominant, classic French wines. That all changed though in the Judgement of Paris, a competition where wines were judged through blind-tasting. Two Californian wines — Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon — overwhelmed the renowned Bordeaux and Burgundy, and won the top honors.

A Mediterranean climate is characterized by long hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters, where rainfalls are most scarce. Only 2% of the world’s landmass has a Mediterranean climate which is conducive to growing wine grapes.

There are over four hundred wineries in the Napa Valley.

The most popular grape in Napa Valley is Cabernet Sauvignon,

The sloping vineyards on rolling hills make up at least a dozen microclimates in the Napa valley  all known for being amenable to certain varieties of grapes.

Robert Mondavi had their first grape harvest in 1966 and has produced fine wine ever since.The wine is rooted in family generations, passion, knowledge, and experience. Robert Mondavi Winery Tours were some of the first to exist in the region.  There are a few different tours you can take. The signature tour includes a behind the scenes look of a well-known large brand. https://www.robertmondaviwinery.com/

Most of the wine being produced here is for premium or reserve bottles and we got to taste a few. The tour guide was knowledgeable and fun and clearly loves her job.

Calistoga’s Schramsberg Vineyards is a historic estate in the forests of Diamond Mountain and home to the oldest hillside vineyards. The tour will take you through the history of Schramsberg and its 125-year-old caves. These are the first caves dug in Napa for wine storage. You’ll learn about the method of producing Schramsberg wine as well as the fact that their sparkling wines have been served at official state functions by every US presidential administration. Perhaps you’ll find someone “riddling” the bottles to move the spent yeast into their necks, or catch a glimpse of the bottling process. Schramsberg is the first U.S. winery to commercially produce sparkling wine in the traditional method developed in Champagne. http://www.schramsberg.com/

K. Laz is a by appointment only, private sit down wine tasting experience in downtown Yountville.  It appeals to a high-end crowd. There is a personal lesson/tasting geared to your knowledge and what you want to learn and try. https://www.klazwinecollection.com/

 I made it very clear that I was just company on this tasting and was quite intimidated when I walked in. My lack of wine knowledge was very evident here. Garrett made me feel completely at home. We didn’t just taste the wines but heard the stories and back stories. I ended up buying some. I highly recommend this tasting for those interesting in learning about hard to find interesting wines.

Choosing a restaurant in the Napa Valley can be a tough decision with so many wonderful choices. Luckily the daughter made me a list. We got to some of them – Farm, Redd Wood, Oxbow Market, Cook and Ad Hoc – all good. For me, Ad Hoc was the standout.

Ad Hoc is in Yountville and from what I  can see, Yountville is Thomas Keller town.  There is Bouchon, the always crowded Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc and somewhere on that road is an unassuming ivy covered cottage which houses the French Laundry.

We couldn’t get into the French Laundry so back to Ad Hoc. https://www.thomaskeller.com/adhoc

For 55 dollars you get a price fixe menu of Thomas Keller’s food. It changes every day.

The delicious food is served family style with generous portions. – tomato fruit salad, steak, barley risotto, mixed green beans, cheese plate and milk shake with an oatmeal cookie.

The most important thing I have learned about wine is that decanting, swirling and sniffing wine does not make you a pretentious Ahole. Decanting really does make most wine taste better. It is important to swish but not like you are on spin cycle in the dryer. Swirling your wine is scientifically proven to increase aromas and improve flavors.  Sniffing the wine enhances the flavor by enjoying the scent first. Sniffing with your eyes closed and a fake gratifying smile while you inhale for a weirdly long time is not as scientific. Pulling out your phone and posting a photo of you holding the wine can have the pretentious Ahole look on Instagram and Snap Chat. 

If you buy a cork screw in Napa depending on if there is a knife in it, the rule of thumb is whoever is doing the screening at the time your bag is going through will decide if it will be confiscated. if you have a strict, observant TSA screener or “paratrooper’ it will be confiscated or checked. I didn’t see that it had a knife.

I came back from Napa relaxed, refreshed, replenished and totally glad that I had gone.

Fly safe,

JAZ