Sunday, November 9, 2008

My 15 Minutes

Before my usual Saturday morning journey to Costco, I did something I haven't done in a long, long time, longer than I can remember. And that was to do something for an object that was long overdue. Puzzled?

I took my car to a car wash.

I normally wash my car myself. I can't remember the last time I went to a car wash, mainly because they never did a very good job. But seeing as how my car was looking like it was a different color and the windows were becoming opaque, I figured it was time to clean it up.

I just don't have time these days to do a decent wash so after doing a little research on I decided to take it to Faschings Car Wash, on Santa Anita Boulevard in Arcadia. It had good reviews plus it is on the way to Costco. Perfect.

They opened at 8:30 and when I arrived at 8:15 there were already lots of cars lined up. Once they opened the line moved quickly and I was out of there by 9:00. They did a pretty nice job. There was still a spot or two here and there but considering what they started with, I was happy. The interior also came out looking good. I used to change the oil in my car as well, but several years ago I decided having oil run down my arm when I unscrewed the filter, and having to dispose of the used oil properly, and just the overall headache of the whole process convinced me it was better to just pay someone to do it.

Now I think the same way about car washes.

From there, it was off to Costco. I don't have much to show you today since most of what I purchased were repeat items, but here's two things that are newbies:

First, a package of sliced, precooked steak meat for us lazy folks. I've never tried it and you can't look inside the bag but the picture of the meat on the outside sure looks yummy. And what could be easier than just heating up a few slices?

Next, olive tapenade. This stuff is pretty versatile and Costco's price is right so why not give it a try?

After Costco I went to visit my folks at Keiro. They seem to be settling in okay but my dad told me that being there was boring. I think he misses his freedom. I told him on the other hand, he didn't have to worry about taking care of the house, driving around, doing chores, etc.

He said that's true, and there are actually lots of activities for the residents. At home he would work outside in the yard then come in to eat, watch tv, then go to bed so that wasn't too different from being at Keiro. Except at Keiro, all the work is already done so all you have to do is play. He said maybe that's the problem, there's no work to do. Given how he was always keeping busy at home doing one thing or another, that's probably why he feels bored. I think it's going to take a while to adjust but at least it seems he and my mom are in good hands over there.

Several months ago I entered a contest to write the blurb for the back label of a bottle of wine produced by Twisted Oak Winery. It's a decidely unconventional place where they have events in which everyone dresses up as a pirate, and the mascot is a rubber chicken by the name of Ruben. The owner, Jeff Stai, is actually from the San Gabriel Valley. I've met him and he's a nice guy even if his winery is a bit (or very) twisted.

The winning entry appeared on the back label of the 2007 Ruben's Blend, the winery's premier white wine. Lo and behold, my entry won and on Friday I received a gratis shipment of wine from Twisted Oak. Here's the front of the bottle and the back of the bottle (click for a larger image):

I wasn't expecting them to put my name on it, though. So I guess that is my 15 minutes of fame for my adult life. I already had my 15 minutes as a kid during my sobering appearance on the Art Linkletter show. Had I written something for the back label such as, "drink this wine within 50 years because otherwise there may be a nuclear war and you won't get a chance to try it," some other entry probably would have won, haha.

Going back to Keiro, adjusting to the loss of "freedom" would be a difficult thing. It would be like not being able to close your eyes and let the music carry you away, or worse still, to not be able to play it any more.

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