May 23, 2010

Hey Babe, Take A Walk On The Wildflower Side

Good morning and grievings, stock market fans. Well, last week was another wild one for the Dow Jones, as the market has been more volatile than my stomach after a jalapeno burger and a chocolate shake. The dow lost 387 points last Thursday, and then, like many of my long-buried childhood memories, came back a little on Friday.

But as I gaze into the crystal ball with my naked eye, I think we may be headed into a bare market. The bottom line is, ten years ago, if you had invested $10 in the stock market, it would be worth $10 today. The financial unrest overseas is putting a dent in our economic recovery. Despite my love of baklava, Greece is not the word.

My family never really invested in real estate, which was a huge mistake, like trusting that British Petroleum knew how to cap a leak. I rented a house on West Cliff Drive for 14 years, and next door was an empty lot full of weeds, ice plants and sailors on leave. Because I was so involved with my missionary work and medical studies, it never occured to me that I should purchase this oceanfront property. Where was my family when I needed that intervention?

In 1989, my landlord finally realized I was having all the fun and tossed me out of there like a frisbee. I then did a ten year stretch in Hermosa Beach, studying the effects of global warming on beach volleyball players before returning to the swim in the kelp, enhance my spiritual growth and hang with gang members.

In the meantime, my landlord tore down the beach house with no heat and built himself a large white Victorian. Looking back, it was a tad nippy in this house on the ocean, or as my brother Paul told the sellout crowd at our wedding, “when I first met Allison, I wasn’t sure if she was shy or frozen.”

So it was much to my surprise that when I strolled by the old homestead last week, a For Sale sign appeared out front. I picked up the flyer and read, “when you sit on the front porch and see the panorama of white water, ocean life, pristine Bay, you should know this is paradise. This is a Beach Jewel that can be your oasis of ocean breeze, old world charm and a welcoming retreat every morning.” Now here comes my favorite part. “Yours for $3,100,000.”

Holy down payment, Batman. I almost choked on my chai tea and protein muffin. I immediately harkened back to my renting days at $850 a month and thought about how things have changed. And then I thought, if I had only bought that lot next door, I, too, could now be gouging some lucky investor for this oceanfront prize. I wanted to kick myself like Pele in a therapy session, but like every other negative thought I’ve ever had, I just let it go so I could be at peace with the universe. I then went into a Buddhist chant, repeating over and over, Om, Om, Om my God, I can’t believe I didn’t buy that lot.”

Let’s head over to the photo department. It had been a while since I had treated myself to some North Coast beauty, so I got on my Harley and zoomed up to Four Mile Beach to check out the springtime action. The wildflowers were in bloom as I searched the trails for color along with bobcat and leprechaun tracks. It was low tide, as all the sea life normally found underwater (photo #5) was as over exposed as the pictures taken by the paparazzi at my bar mitzvah.

The beach was deserted, except for a couple of surfers, hundreds of gulls and a mariachi band who got washed away during Cinco de Mayo. As walked along the sand, humming the theme from “Baywatch,” I noticed the swallows had built their nests into the cliffs (photo #6.) This was the icing on my cupcake, as the beauty of this beach always astounds me, much like every word that comes out of Sarah Palin’s mouth.

Onto the late night. “I love this. On the news today, the CEO of British Petroleum says he believes the overall environmental impact of this oil spill will be very, very modest. Yeah. If you live in England! BP has inserted a siphon tube into the well to suck up all the oil from the spill. And they’ve had a lot of experience in this area, by the way. This is the same tube they’ve been using to suck the money out of our wallets for the past 50 years. Scientists say they have developed a car that can run on water. The only catch is, the water has to come from the Gulf of Mexico.” –Jay Leno

“In Louisiana, BP claims that it’s making progress with the leaking oil in the Gulf. They’re working on a plan to heat the Gulf up to 600 degrees and use it to fry chicken.” –Jimmy Kimmel “There is so much oil now in the Gulf of Mexico, and you can thank the folks of British Petroleum for this, you can now park on it.” –David Letterman “A family values conservative Republican from Indiana, Mark Souder, has admitted to having an affair with a woman on his staff. Apparently Souder would take this woman to remote locations inside state parks and have sex with her. See, this is what Republicans mean when they talk about opening up our public lands for drilling.” –Jay Leno

“Just in time for Christmas, the queen of ‘Drill Baby Drill,’ Sarah Palin, has a new book out. It’s called, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. And for Sarah, that’s two books in two years, or as she calls it, her trilogy.” –Bill Maher “Sarah Palin coming out with a second book in November, which is pretty impressive. This book was written almost as fast as the first book she didn’t write.” –Jay Leno

“Thousands of bees swarmed the White House on Sunday morning. And President Obama doesn’t miss a trick. He is smart. Because all these bees were worker bees, he’s now counted them as 10,000 new jobs he’s created.” –Jay Leno ” We have as a guest tonight Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I’m going to ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind: ‘As a bishop, do you always have to move diagonally?’” –Craig Ferguson “The Times Square bomber bungled the gig. So the Taliban got wind of this and they said, ‘That’s it.’ So they downgraded the guy. And he doesn’t get 72 virgins. Here’s what he gets: 72 vegans.” –David Letterman

“The Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona to protest the new anti-immigration law. The council vote wasn’t even close. The council voted, trece to uno.” –Jay Leno “Arizona passed a bill banning public schools now from offering any courses in ethnic studies. It’s funny, you know, they never say they’re targeting Mexicans specifically, but I think we get that idea. Today they passed a bill that said beans can only be fried once.” –Bill Maher

“For the first time ever, an Arab-American woman has been named Miss U.S.A. Her name is Rima Fakih from Dearborn, Mich. She says she hopes winning this title will finally help get her name off the no-fly list.” –Jay Leno “Did you see the new Miss U.S.A. pageant over the weekend. Miss Michigan won. Congratulations to Miss Michigan. And, well, it gets better. John McCain has already selected her as his 2012 running mate.” –David Letterman

That’s our show. I threw in a little extra late night action because the days are getting longer and the nights are getting funnier. I’m not sure what to say this week about the oil spill, but I’m not going to award President Obama the Nobel Clean Up Prize on this one. This environmental catastrophe is devastating the marshes along the coastline of Lousiana. The Gulf is bleeding as there is more oil in the water than fans wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys at a Dodger game.

This horrific situation leads to lots of unanswered questions, like why did CBS cancel “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” Either way, enjoy the blue skies, blooming flowers and game four of the western conference finals between the Suns and the Lakers. We’ll catch you at the free throw stripe. Aloha, mahalo and later, Amare Stoudamire fans.


  1. I don’t remember the sailors on leave but I do remember chasing a frisbee over those ice plants next door. And as long as we’re talking real estate regrets what about the empty lot next to 1061 – the last one on all of Anderson Avenue that we also passed on. Well at least we didn’t miss out on getting one of the trailers with an ocean view at DeAnza…

    Comment by Goran Dragic — May 24, 2010 @ 7:20 am

  2. Sorry to rain on the parade, but I don’t find the late night comedy about the oil spill funny. This may be the worst environmental disaster in history and BP is about as creditable as Floyd Landis. The West Cliff house for only $3.1 million? Imagine if they had built one that doesn’t look like it belongs on Cape Cod.

    Comment by Ron Guidry aka Louisiana Lightin' — May 24, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  3. If you view your star fish picture by titling your head slightly left and at a 110 degree angle, “it is dancing and waving”, right by that three million dollar real estate dream. Thanks a million, let’s make it three million, for your West Cliff coastal photography and smiles. Did you happen to get the mariachi band’s phone number?

    Comment by Babs — May 24, 2010 @ 9:35 am

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