Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beaches, a book, a bistro & bats

An acquaintance passed away recently and a get-together celebrating his life was held at one of our bays on Friday afternoon.

After that, i decided to go on the other side of the bay (the Pacific Ocean!) for a run on the beach called South Mission Beach, something i had not done for some time.

Here's where i started...

Lotsa these around on my run:


Plenty of this, too:

Seaweed! Dinner, anyone?

... the end. (i ran about 3 miles out and then came back.)

Leaving that beach (boo! believe me, i did not want to leave!), one passes the grand, historic and fun roller coaster called The Giant Dipper.


Not far away from the coaster on the beach (how Californian, 'eh?), the next city up the coast heading north is Pacific Beach (Vicki's old digs!), where The Vegan Zone is. Peter & i ate dinner there last Wednesday night - more on that further down.

After dinner we walked to the beach and there was this tile mural there, which i somehow had missed before:

Cool octopus! Original, touchy-feely public artwork (especially when it's the likeness of an animal) like this makes me smile.


A brilliant, witty writer and super cool gal - my friend! - Sara Bongiorni, wrote a book that came out this month: "A Year Without 'MADE IN CHINA' " It's receiving rave reviews! i'm so proud of her!

Sara's childhood home is down the street from my sister. We used to live just a few blocks from one another when we wrote at a smaller newspaper together in the San Diego area about 15 years ago. She now lives with her husband and three kids (and dog!) in Louisiana.

She was actually on "The Today Show" today... NBC flew her out to NY. So amazing!! i had Peter tape the show on VHS (how old school am i?) at his parents' house since neither of us have TVs. i haven't seen the show yet...


Sara is on a book tour and made a special appearance Saturday afternoon at the Barnes & Noble less than a mile from where her mom still resides! i had lost touch w/her and was thrilled to reconnect.


i also got to meet her mom and hear Sara read a chapter from her book. It was a trip, for realz. The book is very, very good. Funny, thought-provoking, insightful, clever. i read it in four days. My mother read it in three days! My mom brought along three ladies from her book club, all of whom bought the book and had Sara autograph it.


Sara and her mom, how cute are they?:

My mom took this photo of me & the author extraordinaire:

OK, so i took Peter to Vegan Zone - self-titled "The Exotic Vegan Bistro" - and it was good the second time around for me. Nice to have company this time, and he liked it too.


The prices were decent, our waitress attentive, the food delicious and there were plenty of choices on the menu, but there was something missing... maybe i'm just spoiled by SIPZ... It was super dark inside and just not very friendly-feeling.


Especially for being just three blocks from the beach where peeps are cool and casual, it seems a little out of place. i hope it makes it though - a vegan restaurant is always a welcome thing.


A huge painted wooden face inside The Vegan Zone:

The Vegan Zone menu cover, which is a lot cooler than the odd, quixotic menu inside:

Pretty decent crispy won ton appetizers ($4):

(My *cough* great food photography striking again...)
"Garlic Lover" ($8) for me:

"Rice baked with mushroom" ($8) for Peter:

Peter also had a glass of Thai iced tea. Refreshing! No desserts on the menu, but that was just as well. We were stuffed.

(Of course later we managed to eat some Trader Joe's Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. HA!)



What do you think of bats? i think they're fairly adorable, and very misunderstood... and unfortunately feared because of ignorance.


Peter and i are going to a "Bat Talk" tomorrow at a local library, and we're both pretty excited. i was invited as part of my job at the newspaper to attend by a woman named Cynthia Myers, who is a bat aficionado with a Web page to prove it:


Last night Cindy sent me some photos and a story about her recent trip to a place called Bracken Cave in Texas. i'll meet her in person tomorrow - and some bats as well i hope!

The cave, before the bats come out (No Adam West to be found!):


Cindy likes these bat sites:

The bats emerge:
Part of the story of her experience:

"The emergence started when we were still around the back of the property and we all rushed back around to the front of the cave. It was absolutely spectacular! (local volunteer) Fran Hutchinson said that this time of year there are about 30 million bats flying out because the pups are starting to fly out with their moms, and it takes the entire colony about 5 hours to exit the cave.
"We figured that, just while we were there, we saw at least 100,000 bats per MINUTE flying out and over our heads, on their way to eat about 200 TONS of corn earworm moths each summer night! So many little wingbeats that they created a nice breeze for us bat tourists."

And away they go!!:

Bat Conservation International:

Go Dan Piraro:

May the week ahead be healthy for everyone (well, except Michael Vick & other animal abusers).

Hard to believe August is around the corner. Just like a bat, time flies.


Monday, July 23, 2007

You can't spell evolve without love

My friend Marina, Chicago-born (like me!) but Californian at heart (same, natch), came for a visit last week, dragging her bro and & Germany-born mom, who i'm pretty sure fell in love with SoCal.

i had small parts of only two days to show 'em around San Diego County and we hit Point Loma, Coronado, Ocean Beach & more. Their fave place was La Jolla - and it's hard to blame them:

Mat was feeling in the pink (HOORAY!) and joined in on our adventures:

Is Mat smiling (above) or is it my imagination?!


Thanks to Vicki's husband, Art, for the head's up on Vegan Zone in Pacific Beach. I took Marina & co. there but they weren't feelin' the love so i was the only one to order from this fab little eatery. i got a pepper steak wrap that was divine.

i left my camera in the car so i didn't get to take a photo but i'm sure my pal Peter and i will hit this spot again and i'll def take pix. For now, here's Art's take on this place:


Sunday was Peter's mom's 86th birthday. EIGHTY-SIX! This angel of a woman wanted to go to my fave veg restaurant SIPZ so we did! Great stuff as usual there. i ordered something new to their menu, BBQ "chicken"... which was outrageous... but of course i left my camera behind (again).

i grabbed the photo below of her and Peter's dad (who turns 88 next month) on their couch at home after we got back from our delicious outing. They have four other children and two of them sent flowers from out of state. Lovely.

Can you believe that last month they celebrated 62 years of wedded bliss?! SIXTY-TWO years. Wow.

If you have a minute, this is a sweet animal-lovers Web site:

As if you didn't already know:

Dan Piraro and Bizarro, always right on:

i feel fortunate to've been touched by so many... thanks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Big hearts, some art & SMARTIES!

A big thank you for the love shown here & elsewhere for Mattie.


Your thoughts helped me, which in turn helped Mat, i'm sure!

She's doing a lot better, but still her veterinarians don't know what has been the reason for her issues, which involved some gastrointestinal woes (including ongoing infections that she's had since i adopted her four years ago) and subsequent pooping problems that were frightening.

My poor punkinhead was on six pills a day for a time, and it was a struggle having her take the bitter meds. There was no fooling her by hiding them in food. It was much like this cartoon:

Not only is my little 12-year-old girl deaf, she is, ummmm... stubborn. She's down to one pill a day - and so we press on and it is my great hope that she has many healthy years ahead.

Awesome blogger pals:

Vicki of Vegan Vice sent me this adorable doggie card and a goodie bag for Mattie (and me) filled with doggie biscuits, huge SMARTIES, lavender packets to use as a sachet and for baking cookies, lavender jelly and lavender lip balm. Plus Buddha Mints! Yes! Blew me away... typical thoughtful Vicki.

i got to bring Mattie over to Sheree' 's house last week and we had a great time! There are photos of some of our brief adventure over at her blog... it was Mat's first time hangin' out with a dog other than her best pal, Heidi, in a loooong time, and she dug Sheree' 's Shiloh big time. Must be a blonde thing!!

And again thank you to everyone who commented here (so many!!) and on Facebook (Laura!), MySpace (Bazu!), through e-mails (Melody! Candi! Emmy!), snail mail (Vicki!), text messaging (Leslie!) and everywhere (Carrie!) to lend support. What big hearts you all have...


A few weeks back, i grudgingly went to the San Diego Fair in Del Mar, which i have problems with because of their hypocrite behaviour and the way animals are housed, shown, then weighed and sold. Heartbreaking.

But... i did get to watch a couple of horses away from the main "housing" area and on a "kids' farm" play place, have a good time with one another. It was very sweet.

i had gone to see "Weird Al" Yankovic early on in the fair's 2007 tenure, but i returned about a week later, with my mom and dad (aren't they cute? just celebrated their 52nd anniversary!) to look at some of the art, and here's a small sample of what i saw.

Woodworking, file under amazing:

This painting is supposed to be scary but i couldn't help but laugh:

An artist's rendering of the "Urban Alphabet":

Turning the (picnic) tables, this was cool:

i love this painting, it was so "relate-able":

This story, called "Where's the Beef?" was cool to see, from the newspaper i wrote for in college:

Wanted to share a few comics i've been lookin' at from the "Cartoon Bank" that made me smile:


i met this sweet young lady during Peter's and my trip up the coast, in Arroyo Grande. i forgot her name but she was happy to have me photograph that bag. And even tho i can't say "hate" is a good word to use when describing meat eaters, it had a point to make:
This puts a little more positive of a spin on a similar thought:

Anyway, love makes the world go 'round...
i hope everyone has a great week. Thanks again for showin' so much compassion...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

From Mattie

Thank you for your prayers, support & healing thoughts!

It's been a "ruff" two weeks but i am on the mend...

Mommy is looking forward to visiting everyone this week.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Think good thoughts!

Mat's been quite sick. i'll be back around these parts at some point. Please keep her in your prayers!