I do not totally understand the concept or origin of Fat Tuesday or Ash Wednesday but I do know that I have awoken 30 minutes before my alarm the last two days. That has made morning motivation challenging. It’s a victory to scrape myself out of bed and wearing matching socks for work. I have tried a handful of techniques to remain concentrated for the duration of the day at the office. This afternoon’s remedy included a creme-filled cookie and an energy drink. Enthusiasm and concentration are at peak levels as I pen this entry. Hopefully the blog is interesting enough to earn a few strands of Mardi Gras beads.

Spraying to all Fields…

  • Recent Sunday Pizza was at my favorite spot in Long Beach, Michael’s Pizzeria. It’s a great place to sit outside along the Promenade, but perhaps even better to enjoy the view at the counter. The chefs working the wood-fire oven are master craftsmen, full of personality, and eager to carry conversation. I’ve frequented Michael’s more than any other spot since moving and have enjoyed every visit. The server somehow talked me into the Caprino e carciofi, despite my aversion to pesto and goat cheese.
  • The walk down Pine Avenue to Michael’s was made slightly more interesting when a 30-something male walking hand-in-hand with his mate muttered his NSFW intentions in my direction. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • In what may later be featured in its own blog entry, California has an array of breweries that churn out delicious beers. My preferred pint is a lager or pilsner, but I typically order based on the most clever name. Recently I sampled Beach House by Strand Brewing and Port Town Pilsner by San Pedro Brewing. As long as I can find an empty barstool, I’ll keep trying the different local tastes.
  • How do California people stay fit and healthy? Every Friday someone at the office provides some sort of donut or bagel or pastry treat. And every day between there is an assortment of candy and cookies. I need a dustbuster to suck all the crumbs off my desk.
  • Speaking of maintaining summer body, the brisket at Lucille’s was so delicious it nearly earned best friend status. The platter with mac and cheese and cornbread was a Top-5 California meal. I don’t think the West Coast will be confused for a BBQ mecca, but Lucille’s will suffice until the next time I’m in Kansas City or Austin.
  • We did it. We are past Hump Day. Only two more days til the weekend. The goal for Sunday will be ensuring the Lakers show up at the right gym for our final two tournament games.
  • Vague shout-out to two best friends who recently committed to take the leap with someone special. Super happy for both couples and excited to party with the Supermen this summer. The date has been saved.

UPDATED (AGAIN!) Best Friend List (California Version)

  1. Dry Clean Christine – Its been a couple of weeks, so I have another full bag of goods to be washed and pressed and look forward to her warm welcome.
  2. Kat from the Laundry Room – Daily chores like vacuuming, cleaning dishes, and washing underpants have not been priority since moving. I keep my apartment tidy, but mostly due to limited time spent there. Dirty clothes were overflowing and Fat Tuesday became mandatory laundry night on the 12th Floor. I was surprised to see someone else there, and even more surprised when she may or may not have offered contraband substances in exchange for free wi-fi.
  3. Zoey the Barber – I applied her local knowledge and went for beer and happy hour at The Federal Bar Downtown Long Beach. I had tried many times previous, but was never able to get a spot at the bar. This time I had company and was there early enough to get a spot and enjoy a spread that included short rib poutine, buffalo wings, and pulled pork sliders. I’m watching my figure.
  4. Nekter Employee – I need to go back and sign up for the one day intense cleanse after consuming all of that meat and craft beer. I won’t detail how awkward it is to twice walk past a fully windowed fitness facility with women leaping, bouncing, and gyrating. Limiting eye contact is key. I’m just here for the smoothie.
  5. The Handyman – He doesn’t call. He doesn’t write. We used to have so much to look forward. Now I cant help but be reminded of those good times when looking into my bathroom vanity and seeing the gruesome hole left in the wall from the previous, larger mirror.


Dr. Dre

Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dre was previously the co-owner of, and an artist on, Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar. He is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million.

Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru and later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella, which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. His 1992 solo debut The Chronic, released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993 and to win a Grammy Award for the single “Let Me Ride”. That same year he produced Death Row labelmate Snoop Dogg’s quadruple platinum debut Doggystyle.

In 1996, he left Death Row Records to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. He produced a compilation album titled Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath in 1996, and released a solo album titled 2001 in 1999. During the 2000s, he focused on production for other artists, while occasionally contributing vocals to songs. Dr. Dre signed Eminem and 50 Cent to his record label in 1998 and 2002 respectively, while contributing production on their albums. He has won six Grammy Awards, including Producer of the Year. Dr. Dre has also had acting roles in movies such as Set It Off, The Wash and Training Day. Rolling Stone ranked Dre at 56 on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All-Time”.

Further Information at WIKIPEDIA

Happy 50th Birthday Dr. Dre. The Compton METROLINK train is a few stops north of Long Beach en route to Downtown Los Angeles. Thanks for putting this spot on the map and giving the LBC a memorable reputation:


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