April 11, 2010

Anyone Have Room For Desert?

Good morning and greetings, spring break fans. For many years, the Gilbert family spent this week in the lovely confines of Palm Desert. But this year, due to health care reform, the pollen count and my agoraphobia, we decided to stay in the Cruz. They say home is where the heart is, along with the pancreas and spleen. Or in the words of Ricky Ricardo, “Lucy, you’ve got a lot of ‘spleening’ to do.”

Although we didn’t make the trip to this southern California desert oasis, we still had some golden images from a few months back. On the trip to Palm Desert over the winter break, we experienced gorgeous sunrises, spectacular sunsets and a menu at Sherman’s Deli the the size of a Buick. Since the shots of the corned beef and chocolate chip rugelach were a little fuzzy, today’s photo buffet will highlight some appetizers shot from the skycam.

As I said, there were a couple of sunrises that just blew the doors off the color meter. We featured the first one back in January, (Would You Like To See The Desert Menu,?) so here comes his little brother. It’s an awesome feeling seeing the desert sky light up along the back nine of the golf course at the Palm Valley Country Club. It’s probably quite similar to the way the early settlers must have felt when they first experienced the desert, except without the hot tubs and pools, spa and massage rooms and the Sunday all-you-can-eat-buffet up at the Clubhouse. There’s just something so basic and natural about melting ice sculptures alongside eggs benedicts and freshly carved prime rib.

So while I was having a threeway musically with Debbie Boone and Whitney Houston (“You light up my life,”) the sky starting to turn into a coloring book. This would be photos # 1-4. For the final two, we turn to the late afternoon skies as the clouds were exploding all the way from Joshua Tree to the Morongo Casino. Just a great way to end the day before heading out for a vegetarian feast at LG’s Steak House.

While on this December sabbatical from the marine layer of the central coast, we also experienced a rare desert rainbow, snowfall on the San Jacinto mountains and flying saucer-like clouds at sunset. We’ll take a look at these desert treats somewhere down the line along with my tips for desert vegan dining. Who needs tri-tip when you can rent in sprout city?

So today is Monday, April 12 and it’s a special day. My father, who supplied my mother with the initial ingredients in making me the shell of a man I am today, turns 93. Yes, boys and squirrels, 93! That’s bodes very well for me and my time share in Tuscany.

But let’s focus on the man who used to tell me in my formulative years, “Geoff, it’s easier to get an ‘A’ then it is to get an ‘F.’ To this day, I still don’t understand how that works. He also encouraged me to have hobbies, take classes and join political organizations. Well, I’m not sure if watching more TV than the Neilsons or being sunrise boy counts, but let’s put it up on the tote board anyway.

My father and his young bride (my mother, who’s 84) live one mile away from me and are constantly hounding me to take them water skiing, roller skating and to the Yan Flower for the war wonton soup. For years, over plates of shrimp and lobster sauce, my father would tell me how proud he was of me and ask if I was going to finish my soup. His words, much like my rib cage, remain close to my heart. 93, unbelievable! Years of martial arts training has left my body feeling exhausted at age 57, so I can’t imagine what nine plus decades might feel like. I’m going to need a walker with TiVo.

But his is not the only birthday that April brings. Belated wishes go out my blogging, snowboarding and gluten free brother, Brad, who celebrated the big day last Wednesday in Vail with a downhill runs in fresh powder up to his thighs and a flour free cake. When an NBA player hits the game winning three-pointer at the buzzer and the phone rings, I always know who it is. It’s either my youngest brother or one of those damn telemarketers calling from New Dehli.

But April 7 is not the only day when someone close to me came flying out of the birth canal. My pre-law son, Jason, also shares this April occasion, as my water didn’t break till late in the day. To say I’m fond of this child (and his blonde sister) is putting it mildly-when you see your child take his first step, or says his first words, or perform his first 360 spin in the lane, it’s really something special. But now he’s a young man who can block my shot and demand the car keys. So a belated happy sweet 16 to my volleyball setting son.

One more birthday shout out goes to my web designer/new age guru/right handed power hitting friend Kevin Deutsch, who celebrated his big day on April 8. Without this former CIF Player of the Year out of Laguna Beach’s help, this blog would an email with some scribbling on it, like the essay on my college application about the danger of going into the water less than a half hour after you’ve eaten.

Bring on the late nite. “You know, 30,000 people showed up for the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House today. Or as Fox News calls it, a ‘socialist free food giveaway.’” –Jay Leno President and Mrs. Obama hosted the annual White House Easter Egg Roll today. Dozens of children gathered on the White House lawn to roll eggs toward a finish line while the president cheered them on and Republicans tried to block them.” –Jimmy Kimmel “Today, President Obama threw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals’ game. Obama took a short windup and threw a high-arcing pitch. Of course, Democrats saw the pitch as moderately close to the middle, while Republicans are calling it ‘way to the left and possibly socialist.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“Next week, the president of China will be at the White House. And good news — he has no plans to foreclose. And in a major reversal of U.S. policy, President Obama has narrowed the conditions under which we would use nuclear weapons. He said we’d only use them against Iran, North Korea or Fox News. President Obama announced this week that he is opening more sites for offshore oil drilling. Do you know what that means? If we find enough oil, we could one day invade ourselves.” –Jay Leno” During a speech at the White House, President Obama said that ‘teleworking’ from home can boost efficiency. Kind of interesting advice from a guy who just flew 13 hours to Afghanistan to say ‘what’s up.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“Well, yesterday, a 7.2 earthquake hit southwest of Tijuana. They say the earthquake was felt by 20 million Mexicans, and that was just here in L.A. The Labor Department reported that the economy added 162,000 jobs last month, all of them bodyguards for Tiger Woods.” -Jay Leno “People were standing in line around the block all weekend to get an iPad. Out in Arizona, John McCain was waiting in line for an IBM Selectric. Experts believe the iPad will revolutionize the way people procrastinate.” –David Letterman “Michelle Obama held a town hall meeting on C-SPAN to answer questions from kids about her anti-obesity campaign. The most popular question from kids was, ‘Why are you doing this to us, lady?’” –Jimmy Fallon

So that’s our look at what I didn’t do on my spring vacation. Coming up next week, we’ll return to the highways and byways of the central coast. So enjoy the final few days of the NBA regular season as the playoffs begin on Saturday. I don’t want to say I’m excited, but I have my clothes picked out the thru the conference finals. We’ll catch you in the first round. Aloha, mahalo and later, Russell Westbrook fans.


  1. Yes, it is amazing that our father (who art in California) turns 93 today. Must be all that clean living and the monkeys of tuna fish from the Yankee Tower that we can thank for this miracle. I’d also like to thank my oldest brother (and all around role model) for 16 years ago instead of giving me a new tie for my birthday, gave me a wonderful nephew who I’ve had the honor and pleasure of getting to know and spend quality time with (if you’re looking for a Spanish translator to help guide you through foreign lands – he’s your man). And as long as we’re honoring birthdays, here’s to Kevin without whom I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beautiful visuals of SunriseSantaCruz not to mention the witty commentary and late night humor. Who knew we would become a family of bloggers (speaking of which, if you’re interested in seeing what skiing in 3 feet of fresh powder is like check out my latest post at http://www.glutenfreesnowboarder.com). I certainly got what I wanted for my birthday so as sure as April showers bringing May flowers and June NBA finals here’s hoping that our father’s and all your other readers birthday wishes come true this year!

    Comment by Brother from another planet — April 12, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  2. Did your Dad eat all the soup?

    Comment by Babs — April 12, 2010 @ 8:18 am

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