Hello? Is this thing still on?
Let’s try something different and see how long it lasts. Let’s have less to say, more often. Let’s not clog your timeline with 2000 word novels. Instead, let’s aim to post a few times per week in shorter bursts. Let’s share with more frequency. Let’s talk about what has been going on and what is worth looking forward to. Let’s not focus too much on the semi-frequent setbacks of living alone on the West Coast.
Halloween weekend came and went, as did the #roaming team, visiting Long Beach for the first time en route to Sacramento. We developed a loose itinerary and I showed some restraint by not offering a list with dozens of different options where to eat and drink and see during their stay.
- Friday tipped off near the pier watching the sun go down during happy hour at Belmont Brewing. We braved the cool ocean breezes and enjoyed a variety of award-winning ales before returning to downtown Long Beach for a nickel tour of my palatial estate.
- Dinner Friday was at my favorite spot on the Promenade, one that has been mentioned here plenty: Beachwood BBQ. We sipped on a few more brews to wash down the delicious barbecue treats and shielded ourselves from the feisty, surly, cutesy banter from our friendly waitress. She did a good job making the other visitors feel welcome while exploiting my fifth wheel status.
- But wait. How many beers did we have last night? Seems like it was too many. Seems like it should have been much easier to get outta bed with our game faces for a noon tee-time. We walked right onto the first tee (Got time for a quick bucket?!) and sweated out those IPAs while racking up the steps on our pedometers. Hopefully there would be enough time for a nap before fighting the Halloween crowds.
- …Except there were no Halloween crowds. We parked in the front row and wandered into Lola’s where I feared we would endure a half-hour wait. Nope. We were one of the handful of lame parties out-of-costume, only there to enjoy delicious Mexican food and copious amounts of chips and salsa. I enjoyed some alternate version of a chile relleno that was instead stuffed with ground pork and pomegranate seeds (?).
- Second Street was also mostly devoid of Halloween hooliganism. There were some rambunctious kids jumping out from around hidden corners to scare passersby, some sexy nurses or ninja turtles, some silly adults with their faces painted. We ascended to the upper level of Saint & Second for another cocktail with bizarre company in the communal seating area. At least we could rest and giggle and gossip on the comfy couch before an Uber home.
The best new discovery of the weekend was the hiking trails surrounding the property at Trump National Golf Club. We devoured our healthy smoothies and drove aimlessly west and then north along the water. The goal was to find some navigable park with trails capturing views of the shoreline and beyond. Founder’s Park did not disappoint and will be a destination for many frequent returns. The trails seem to travel endlessly in every direction along the water and criss-cross with cart paths near the golf course property. Other friendly patrons stopped to chat or trade photo-taking duties. We got off the trail in time to take our perch near the clubhouse for the sunset over the Pacific. My weekend with the roaming team would end soon after with some decent take-out pizza and a Royals World Series Championship.
November and December will be filled with much quality time spent with family and friends. There are holidays to celebrate and trips home to be excited about. I am considering stowing away my golf clubs in favor of maximizing time spent with others and to better enjoy all that California has to offer with much more frequency.
DOLLARS TO DOUGHNUTS
The word “doughnut” is American in origin and traces its roots to the early 19th century. It is presumed to have been a combination of the words dough and nut. It first appeared in print in Washington Irving’s 1809 Knickerbocker’s History of New York
Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast an enormous dish of balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks —- a delicious kind of cake, at present scarce known in this city, except in genuine Dutch families.
The holes in doughnuts were first noted in print in 1861, when it was used to describe how little a person consumed: “Her brother James, who never talked anything but nonsense when he could help it, declared she ate nothing but the hole of a doughnut.”
The alternate spelling “donut” is said to trace its roots to 1870 and “Josh Billings,” although after doing a review of the 1870-1879 edition of Josh Billings’ Old Farmer’s Almanac, it appears to only reference doughnuts (and, incidentally refers to them as “greasy,” but in a good way).
In any event, “dollar” is a much older word, tracing its roots back to the Low German daler and first appearing in English in the 1550s. It has since been used to describe a variety of currencies, most notably for the topic at hand, the U.S. dollar in 1786.
So now we have “dollars” and “doughnuts,” but when did someone get the bright idea to put them together? “Dollars for doughnuts,” or alternatively “dollars to doughnuts,” meaning a “safe bet,” or a “sure thing,” seems to have first popped up, at least in its documented form, in a February 6, 1876 edition of the Daily Nevada State Journal:
Whenever you hear any resident of a community attempting to decry the local paper . . . it’s dollars to doughnuts that such a person is either mad at the editor or is owing the office for subscription or advertising.
It again appeared in that same newspaper a little over a month later on March 11, 1876 where it stated, “Several Benoites took advantage of the half fare tickets offered to those who were to attend the ball given by the railroad boys at Carson last night, and attended it. It’s dollars to doughnuts all enjoyed themselves.”
Given that the newspaper used the expression without explaining it or otherwise giving emphasis, it is likely the author felt that people would already be familiar with the phrase, so it had probably been around in slang for at least a few years up to this point, if not longer.
As to why “dollars to doughnuts,” beyond the alliterative qualities, it was essentially just a way to say you’d bet dollars to something mostly worthless, relative to the dollars, emphasizing how sure you are that you’re correct.
Going back to the 1840s, there was a very similar expression with the same basic meaning “dollars to dimes.” Two other similar expressions also existed in the 1880s “dollars to dumplings” and “dollars to buttons.” A couple decades later, “dollars to cobwebs” also popped up, but none of these had the staying power as “dollars to doughnuts.” In all cases, the latter thing is the worthless item relative to the value of the dollars, but you’re so sure about what you’re saying, you’ll happily bet your dollars to someone else’s doughnuts over the matter.