Chow, Brunch and BBQ – How Was Your Weekend?

Before I get to the weekend, if you missed Bugs & Cranks posts from last week:

This is a real promotional item.

This is a real promotional item.

  • Mike Trout hit for the cycle and I broke down every Angels cycle in franchise history here.
  • I gave some alternate Angels giveaway ideas, since this Mike Trout hat looks so stupid.
  • You can find all of my Bugs & Cranks posts here.


Drinks + a movie starting after 8 pm = Sleepy Seth. It’s a formula that never fails, no matter how much I fight it. From what I could tell, The Hangover III was meh. It sure wasn’t enough to keep me awake, but I’m also the guy that slept through Jurassic Park III in its entirety. Really, all I saw was the first ten minutes, if that. Surround sound and fierce dinosaurs be damned. I didn’t wake up until the credits.



I mostly stayed awake for The Hangover III but head-nodded my way through the middle. Basing a script around Chow pretty much kills any chance that I’d enjoy the movie. He’s a good bit character, but that’s it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that each movie in the series got worse as it increased Chow time. David Blaustein at ABC News is right on with his review of Chow and the movie.

Seth’s Review: Wait for it to hit Netflix or HBO/Starz/Cinemax/Showtime, or borrow someone else’s copy.Just don’t pay for it.


Lazy day. Ran some errands. Took a nap. Went out to eat since Gray and Ellie begged “to go for a ride.” Two families shared a table directly behind us with the parents on one side and kids at the other. A 7-year-old played with her parent’s smart phone and Gray picked up that Mickey Mouse was somehow involved. So for the next 15 minutes I had to keep him from turning around to watch the show. Which is irritating. Our food was out and it was time to eat but his back corkscrewed towards the hypnotizing glow. A fork finally brought his full attention to his chicken strips.

I use my iPhone a lot. My wife hates it. So I’m not one of those purists against technology or anything. Maybe it’s just the old guy in me coming out. But does a 7-year-old really need to watch a show or play a game in the restaurant, especially when she’s there with other kids her age? Say it’s a toddler or two with just mom and dad. I can kind of get it, since there’s a decent chance that toddler will scream and yell and distract other patrons in the restaurant. But a 7-year-old? It irked me.

Earlier in the year, Henry Yates, a British journalist wrote the following in The Telegraph as he questioned the use of iPads at the dinner table.

“I reckon we’ve got to fight against the easy option,” he writes. “As work’s tentacles encroach on our family time (tentacles facilitated, it has to be said, by on-the-move access to emails), our mealtimes are becoming one of the few isolated chances to really connect with our kids. You know, the old-fashioned stuff: talking to them, listening to them, asking about the school cake sale, humouring their daft little stories punctuated by endless ‘ums’ and ‘ers’. Strengthening your family’s foundations for the buffeting to come.”

The phone/tablet is the easy option. That struck a chord with me. Give your kids the chance to enjoy eating out, talking, coloring and people watching (Gray’s favorite). If that doesn’t work, then light the beautiful brats’ faces up with your gadget. Note to self: weave “daft” into my writing more often.


A day date for the wife and I. We brunched it up at Goodfella’s Cafe in Corona and followed that with a viewing of The Great Gatsby. Two movies in three days crushes my previously projected figure of two in one year. Now Gatsby is a movie to spend your cash on in the theater, as the visuals and experience are that good. Plus, Lenardo (Hi, Munky) DiCaprio is super dreamy. Did his orange face look like it was rubbing off to anyone else?

That is, unless you have a Blu-ray and a kick-ass HD TV (which I don’t). Or weed (which I don’t). Tom Long summed it up nicely.

I completely agree.

I completely agree.

Memorial Day

We went to my wife’s grandpa’s place in Pico Rivera for a barbecue (burgers and ‘dogs). She had to work at night so my mother-in-law kept the twins over night at her place so I could get to work on time in the morning.

The Angels and Dodgers began a four-game freeway series at Dodger Stadium and this guy blew a 6-1 Angels lead to snap an eight-game win streak.


Isn’t it always a bad time to have a bad game, C.J.? In a pissy mood the rest of the night, I wandered around the house aimlessly. My grand ideas of a night home alone evaporated. I just wasted three-plus hours to watch the Angels blow that game. Shit.

With work on the horizon, I’ll go nod off to Mad Men and dreams of Joan Holloway throwing airplanes at my desk.

Soooooo so hot.

Mother’s Day, Beerarita and Horse Poo – How Was Your Weekend?

Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill in Trabuco Canyon.

Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill in Trabuco Canyon.


I spent half the day in bed sleeping off stomach issues and flu-like body soreness before picking up my sister and her son to go celebrate my mom for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, my wife helped her grandpa complete the patio project.

We met my parents at Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill, tucked away in Trabuco Canyon seemingly in the middle of nowhere. If you’re familiar with Cook’s Corner – aka a perfect filming spot for Sons of Anarchy – it’s right near there. If you ever wanted to go to Charming, take the drive.

The bar and restaurant filled up quickly with a mix of young and old celebrating the end of a week. Everyone was white, which gives you an idea of the flavor of the food – mild. It definitely needs a zesty boost. The atmosphere, however, is not as bland. Patio tables surround crooked trees dressed with white lights, horses strut up the adjacent dirt road and life seems slower. Simpler. The salsa’s pretty good, so go for drinks, appetizers and deep-fried ice cream and skip the entrée.

Crooked tree in the patio.

Crooked tree in the patio.

After grubbing the three kids played out front on a rock fountain to burn off energy. Two young women on horses stopped by to let the toddlers ohh and ahh over the horsies before clopping away.

After hugs and kisses good-bye the twins and I loaded into our minivan, rolled down the windows and moon roof and cranked up the stereo as we weaved through the canyon on a gorgeous night.

“Hmm,” I thought to myself, about ten minutes into the ride home. “It really smells like horse shit.”

I must have driven by a fresh load. We are in the country after all. Five minutes later I felt my right sandal stick as I lifted my foot from the gas pedal.

Weird. The same thing happened when I stopped applying the brakes and moved my foot back to the gas. I sniffed, bracing myself for a huge dose of crap. Nothing.

Now, my sandal is sticking more and more and I can imagine smushed horse dung smeared all over my shoe, the floor and the pedals. This is disgusting. I wanted to look to make sure but it was too dark and the curvy road was too dangerous to take my eyes from.

I called my wife on the way home. I’d need help bringing the kids inside as I hobbled on one shitless sandal. She was still at her grandpa’s. Crap. Gas station. I’ll go to the gas station and use their paper towels, their soaped up squeegee and their trash can. Brilliant.

We pulled off the freeway. “Gas?” the twins inquired. Yes, you observant little bugs. But we’re not getting gas. I parked the van, turned off the ignition and gently lifted my foot from the brake, fearful of spreading shit on the carpet, door or my leg. The white flourescent lights illuminated my sandal as I twisted my ankle to get a good look at the damage. I wondered if it’d be brown, yellow, green or a mash-up of the three.

It was gum. Just gum. That initial stank wasn’t in the van after all. Best news ever.


You know what doesn’t go well in 90 degree weather? T-ball and toddlers. Neither Gray nor Ellie cried, unlike a few of the other players, but at one point Ellie begged me to carry her around the bases and Gray just refused to even hold the bat in his final plate appearance. Next Saturday is the last “game.” The forecast is 89 degrees. I smell a repeat.

While everyone napped I wrote another post at Bugs & Cranks.

At night we met my wife’s family at Super Mex in Lakewood for a belated birthday celebration for my wife and I. Super Mex is the polar opposite of Rose Canyon Cantina – all flavor, no atmosphere. I enjoyed a “beerarita” which enthralled Ellie.

Ellie wanted a drink. Badly.

Ellie wanted a drink. Badly.

We drove back to my wife’s grandpa’s house for desert and presents and I left with a glorious BeerTender. I felt my liver slightly twinge when the twins ripped open the wrapping paper.

Krups BeerTender

Krups BeerTender. Be very jealous.


Sunday was weird. As mentioned before, our church is closing as a result of financial difficulties. Sunday was the “series finale” as our pastor themed it, and it didn’t disappoint. Old, familiar faces returned for one last reunion, there was laughter, tears and suspense-filled drama. I won’t get into the details as to protect other people’s privacy, but it sure beat the hell out of the Seinfeld finale. My wife alerted me to the fact that I haven’t really given justice to the impact Christian Life Fellowship made on me and what I’m feeling. I suppose at some point in the near future that’s a topic to address. Just not in this space.

And of course, it was Mother’s Day. The first Mother’s Day without Jax for my wife. She could probably fill 2,000 words with her views of Sunday, but she’s all private like and would probably spell Tearz with a “S.” That’s no fun. But it’d be infinitely more heart felt.

It was a subdued celebration. We met her mom, her brother and his girlfriend at Buca di Beppo where my wife said she almost punched out an elderly lady with an arm sling in the parking lot because she couldn’t wait 30 more seconds for my wife to finish packing up Gray and the restaurant supplies before slithering into her car. I love it when my wife gets fired up.

Exhausted from the day’s emotions, we all slept until 7:30 p.m. before doing dinner and showers and finished up with Dennis Rodman creaming his pants on The Apprentice.

Ice Cream, Woody and Consignment – How Was Your Weekend?


I’m notorious for falling asleep while driving. I’ve caused two rear-end accidents as a result of nodding off. Coincidentally, insane traffic on the 261 toll road in Orange County helped me ram both vehicles at about the same spot – just beyond the sensor at the peak of the hill if you know the area. The last occurrence was about eight years ago.

My commute home Friday almost snapped that streak. Fortunately I opened my eyes soon enough to slam on my brakes just before impacting that large pick-up truck. F me.

My wife picked some things up at the store after the twins went to bed and surprised me with Baskin Robbins. She got me baseball nut. It’s one of those quirky things I’ve liked since I was a kid. It’s seasonal for the baseball season, or at least used to be, with vanilla ice cream, cashews and a black raspberry ribbon. And it’s fanfuckingtastic.

Baskin Robbins' Baseball Nut.

Baskin Robbins’ Baseball Nut.


T-ball class seems less and less of an adventure every week. Gray and Ellie’s attention is slowly improving (I emphasize the slow). But we’re used to Jax. He didn’t care about water breaks. He wasn’t running away from me in the outfield. And he knew where first base was.

Gray’s been begging to watch “Buzz and Woody” for a bit, so I told him when it got dark we could watch Toy Story 3 as the wife worked. He and Ellie grabbed their Woody and Jessie dolls and settled on the couch for movie night. I pecked away on the iPad nearby and joined them for the last ten minutes. And cried like a baby.

I last saw the film in the theater when it was released in the summer of 2010. My wife and I took Jax as he was obsessed with Toy Story at the time. He sat on my lap and didn’t budge the entire time. He was in awe. I bawled my eyes out then, too, but this was different. When Andy dropped his box of toys off at Bonnie’s house the whole thing thing reminded me of Jax. How he used to want “Andy” written on the bottom of his cowboy boots. It reminded me of his own super imagination.

And when Bonnie and her mom go inside the house and the toys sit up to watch Andy drive off to college, it symbolized Jax leaving this earth. Leaving my world. The achy heart I buried clawed itself out of the ground like a Friday the 13th movie, pried my mouth open, jumped inside and was stuck in my throat.

Ellie was sitting against my stomach and looked up and back at me.

“Daddy sad?” she asked. She’s used to this. She’s used to looking at sadness. I confirmed and she turned back to the TV to watch the credits.

Woody and friends watch Andy drive off to college.

Woody and friends watch Andy drive off to college.


The twins and I left my wife alone to sleep for a few hours. We went to church and discovered the closing date will be May 12. Afterwards I made the mistake of letting them walk (while holding my hand) in Target to pick up some packing tape. Holy crap was that a bad idea. Ellie turned into a 14-year-old and refused to hold my hand and Gray at one point shrilled in my ear because I picked him up. There was mass chaos.

After finally returning home and getting them to nap, I wrote my first post for Bugs & Cranks, which you can find here.

After the wife woke up we drove out to Huntington Beach to drop off items we’re selling at the Urban Kids Consignment sale next weekend. If you or a friend are looking for good deals on used clothes, toys or other accessories for children, you should hit it up. I can’t speak for all of the items, but what we’re selling is in great condition.

When we left, Ellie kept yelling at me from her car seat for a restaurant. That’s just kind of how she communicates now. She’ll yell. It’s super fun. We landed at Red Lobster. Toward the end of our meal I felt a strong tap on my left shoulder. I turned around to find an elderly woman, roughly 80, right in my face.

“You better watch out for that one,” she said. My mind scrambled. The hell is she talking about? “He’s been flirting with me the whole time.”

It’s Gray. Okay, phew. No one’s in trouble.

“He definitely likes the ladies,” I replied with an uncomfortable grin.

At home, my wife asked Gray about girls at the restaurant. He muttered “pretty”. I had no idea he knew that word. Then I thought of that elderly woman. Gray likes cougars. Beware, ladies.