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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

An August Break

I’ve been fighting a cold for the past two days, and sleeping a lot. When I went to get a haircut on Saturday, my stylist had it, and passed it on to me. She warned me about her sniffles. I bragged, and replied, oh my immune system is strong; I don’t catch colds. I basically did nothing during the first few days of August. I needed to do nothing and just be. My quiet time didn’t last long as my family and friends called, and wanted to hang out. I’m usualy busy, but I rarely say no to going out because life is not just about tasks, it’s also about connecting. So, I’m including a few of the things that I did. If you live in L.A, you may want to check out some of them. 

I have a new podcast coming out on September 1st regarding the inner workings of my first book. I’m still working on the Dawn of Saudi book trailer. Also, my remodeled website is taking a longtime to do. I hate technology. I spent a lot of time putting things together. When I sign out and come back, everything shifts and becomes out of order, specially, for the mobile settings. So frustrated. I’ll make an update here when it's ready.

Update: My website is finally ready.

Since August 9 was national Book Lovers Day, I decided to start reading la bicyclette bleue by Régine Deforges, given to me years ago by a German friend. I thought it was time for me to pick up a novel. This book is popular in France, and I believe book one has been translated to English. I’m reading it in French, to practice my French which is super rusty after so many years of not speaking it. 

I attended Quincy Jones’ 90th Birthday celebration at The Hollywood Bowl. It was a full house, the crowd were singing, and the guys behind us who had too much to drink were loud. Among his many talents, Quincy produced the works of artists such as Sinatra, Lesley Gore, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson. 


The surprise of the night was Stevie Wonder and john Legend as everyone screamed and clapped when they walked on stage. Michel Jackson’s songs, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin and Thriller brought back some old memories. Overall, it was good, but there was room for improvement. 

I love my nieces. We get together as often as possible. They have so many pets that they can open a zoo. What’s funny is that their pets quadruple because they end up having too many kids. The two guinea pigs my niece is holding are the offspring of the three she bought. The pet store told her that they were all girls, but one of them turned out to be a naughty boy. She couldn’t figure out why her guinea pigs were getting fat. One morning she got up, and found a bunch of babies. I think she now has five of those and that’s not counting their parents. I have babysat for their guinea pigs once when they were out of town. They constantly whistle, asking for lettuce.

I was here with my teenage niece to celebrate her going away to college for the first time. We started with tea at the grove/farmers market, went shopping and ended up having dinner somewhere nearby. La La Land Kind café has trendy teas and coffees, sandwiches and sweets. There are chairs and sofas in the middle where you can lounge, and a bunch of tables and chairs outside. 

This was my first time here. I had the Lavendar Bloom Matcha tea because the colors were purple and green and looked pretty. I do not recommend this because it tasted meh… However, I tried my niece’s upside down matcha latte which was quite good. Their blueberry muffin is tasty as well. You can also ask for a coffee mix instead of tea and any type of milk you like. Mine was with almond milk. 

After going from store to store, we bought makeup at Sephora, and my niece purchased a pair of sweat pants from her favorite store, Alo. Off to have dinner… We had a reservation at Terroni, an Italian restaurant nearby.

My niece liked the pasta bolognese, but we ended up with a lot of leftovers. Probably because we also ordered bread. The bread is excellent, and not to be missed. I suggest sharing a salad and an entrée, and skipping the appetizer. And if you’re planning to order pizza, bring your own pizza cutter, because they will not cut it for you. Our server said that this is a southern Italian tradition. Apparently, they enjoy watching their guests struggle with cutting it. Although the margarita pizza is good, the leftover tastes much better when you stick it in a toaster oven.

I met up with a friend, and drove over to La Cañada to visit Descanso Gardens. We sat on a wooden bench under a large oak, and chatted, but then we wanted to move around and explore. 



This garden is so relaxing, but it was a hot day, and by the time the weather cooled off, they kicked everyone out. 

I suggest going there in late fall when the temperatures are cooler so that you can enjoy it more. 

I went to a housewarming in Agoura Hills. My sister-in-law’s nephew bought a condo there recently. He had a guitar there. I asked him to play, and he said one of the strings wasn’t working. I teased him and said, uh huh. I think he was too shy to play. 

The menu was Persian, the pink rice is cherry rice. We had a nice time hanging out as family. 

I caught up with a friend to see Les Misérables at the Pantages in Hollywood.


The story is depressing. However, all I have to say is Wowww!!! Well worth your time. The singing and acting were incredible. They got a standing ovation. Highly recommended. 

Last Sunday, I was supposed to meet one of my nieces in Westwood, so that she could show me where she worked and we could just hang out. But so like her to party too hard the night before. She had left her car at home, and she was out of it. I picked her up at her friend’s, and went north toward where she and her parents live. After she showered and changed, we headed up for a 15-minute ride to go to The Old Place. It was our first time there, and apparently, my brother had been there once long ago. They also have wine tasting. 

Once you get off the freeway, it’s an unusual drive as you see a whole lot of motorcyclists riding on curvy roads. This restaurant is off Mulholland HWY and there is no light where you make your left or right turn, depending on which direction you’re coming from. So, you need to slow down a bit, if like us, you don’t know where you’re going. The atmosphere is rustic with plenty of greenery and shrubs. I think there were more motorcycles there than cars. It’s a really pretty place, but the indoor/outdoor hours vary. So, I recommend looking up the times before you head out.

The food here is excellent. We went up to a counter, to order our food. The person at the window was quite pleasant and the staff are super friendly. I had the mushroom and my niece the steak sandwich. The fries here are one of the best I’ve ever had. We were both starving, but even so, we ended up taking half of our food home. It’s quite filling. I will definitely go back, after the weather cools off or make a reservation for dinner inside the restaurant.