A scalawag’s exploits

It is not at all uncommon for me to leave my house in a reasonably orderly state,

and to come home to something that looks very much like this:

Ok, perhaps I do exaggerate a bit, but I wanted you to get a clear idea of my quandary.

Bear (or ‘Goober’ as I often call him) has a fond appreciation for pulling out anything I have touched, worn, or otherwise come close to, creatively displaying it across the floor of my bedroom while I am away at work.  He never chews or mouths anything- just carefully removes whatever possible item of clothing off every shelf or closet he can manage to reach, before strewing it all very nicely across my carpet.

And then he waits.

After hours of anticipation (on his part, not mine) I’m sure you can imagine the delighted doggie grin I’m greeted with after his festivities are over and he watches me survey what he’s done.

For the longest time I couldn’t quite figure why he did this (apart from the fact that he will do just about anything to make me laugh) and finally concluded he was simply being the mischievous scalawag he tends to be sometimes, and let that be that.

As it turns out, my dog is sort of a mama’s boy, and a rather big one at that.  I knew this before, but I know it even more now.

It is, you see, I began to notice that whenever I’d come home to find him standing proudly over his inspirational piles of Jen-stuff, he always sort of had a nice girly scent about him…..on one side of his face and body, that is.

Hmmm…very suspicious.

Upon further analysis and covert observation, I discovered the prime incentive for his labored tasks:  Making a doggie-bed out of Jen.

As strange as that may sound, that is exactly what he was doing.  (I know, because I spied on him, and haha! I can still outwit my dog!)  After pulling anything that had a hint of my scent on it together into one massive pile on the floor, he did the only reasonable thing a dog could possibly do and sprawled on top of it, rubbing his face across his treasures until he smelled like my perfume and my clothes smelled like him, falling into a blissful, drooly slumber.

I still play along with his game, pretending it’s all very roguish of him, but the truth is that he simply misses his family and has found a way to keep me with him while I’m away.

There’s something very sweet about that I suppose….and also very expensive.   You don’t even want to know what my laundry bill looks like on days when I forget to close a drawer or shut the closet tight.  I think an investment in serious locks for my closets, drawers and gym bag may be in order.


Hunt for the ultimate cheeseburger

Over the course of the summer I had this ongoing and insatiable craving for cheeseburgers.  Not any old cheeseburger, mind you, just the pure and adulterated sort that still holds the right to call itself a cheeseburger.  None of that smushy mush stuff masquerading as food.

This is not a cheeseburger, my friend.

This is

So anyway, rather than fight these unquenchable cravings,  I decided to make the most of the situation and embark upon a quest to find the Ultimate Cheeseburger.  Yes yes, ‘twas a gruesome task indeed, but I was willing to sacrifice…….for you of course.


To that end, I began sampling random SoCal burger places every week or so with no real plan in mind other than to ardently avoid food poisoning at all cost.  I would occasionally stop in for a bite somewhere if it appeared somewhat promising from the outside, or else looked to be utter shambles but had been recommended to me by a decent individual who didn’t have reasonable cause for my demise.

In any case, I do believe my mission was a success and I was able to find the Ultimate Cheeseburger.  Consequently, I tasted a good amount of very decent cheeseburgers along the way that were quite worth my time, and a few that scared the begeebies out of me and made me wonder if what I was putting in my mouth was actually edible.

Or biodegradable.

Seeing that summer is now over and it’s probably time for me to cease my cheeseburgers sampling lest I turn into one, I thought I might share a few of my top stops with you.

I’m no foodie, mind you, good gracious no.  I am, in fact, probably the very opposite of such a person, as I know shockingly little about food in general and cook by taste not be sight (meaning I avoid recipes like the plague and cook by guessing and tasting).  I have good reason for this, for when I follow recipes things tend to blow up, explode, or otherwise catch on fire.   I don’t know exactly why, I think I’m just a very bad cook and should keep my arse out of the kitchen unless absolutely necessary.  The only real thing I might have to offer in this area is that I’m something of a super taster/sniffer. In other words, I tend to pick up on minuscule flavors when I taste food and I have the nose of a bloodhound.  A sensitive palette can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on what you’re putting in your mouth.

I suppose I’ll start with Fuddruckers, as it ended up being one of my favorites for a variety of reasons.  I must be some sort of weirdo, because it seems everyone and their uncle had been there but me. The day I decided to remedy that turned to be a doozy though, let me tell you. To start with, their entire system for taking payment was down that evening, so I got to order the good old fashioned way: cash, pencil, paper and calculator, or in some cases cell phone.  The server continually forgot my order and had to ask me to repeat it three separate times, growing a deeper shade of pink with each return.

I just smiled and began to wonder if people would soon be unable to retain information if it was not digital and if pencils would soon become obsolete.

I loved their ‘burger bar’ and the sense of freedom it provided in topping one’s cheeseburger with whatever the hecka one wants.

‘Hecka’ is a word, you know.

As I was making my way through said bar, I picked up the scent of BBQ sauce coming from what was supposed to be a ketchup dispenser.

Oh. This smells like BBQ sauce because this is BBQ sauce.

Easy mistake, right?  Well yes, the first time.  The funny part was that when, having alerted them of the mishap, they filled the same containers up a second time with BBQ sauce.  I knew this was happening as it happened because I could smell it, but they didn’t really believe me until they had completed the task.

Boy did I hear some colorful and creative words from the Fuddrucker family that evening.

The food itself was delish, and the, ahem, entrainment made it twice as fun.  I had the southwest burger, which had a generous amount of guac and a fair amount of pepper-jack cheese.  Can’t really go wrong with that combo.

Ok, so I’ve been to In-N-Out a million times in my life, just like everyone else in southern California, but I would be remiss not to mention it here because it never fails to give me a worthwhile cheeseburger. Animal style, regular, whatever.  They’re all good and always will be.  In-N-Out is runner up for me.

The place I found to be the home of the Ultimate Cheeseburger was an obscure little scruffy, hole-the-wall diner in Aneheim called Angelo’s.  Seriously the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had. From what I understand it’s been there quite a while and is as good today as it ever was.  It’s car-hop style with servers on roller skates, and everything is cooked to order.  It’s set up 50’s style without giving the impression that it’s been set-up at all, a charm not easily overlooked by someone like me.  The cheeseburgers were so good I hummed and danced my way through mine, a quirky and perhaps tiresome habit I have when eating extra tasty food.  It’s cash only, so if you go there be sure to bring your moolah and and your appetite. You won’t regret either.


And just for good measure, I’m going to also mention my all-time favorite Philly cheese steak place because it’s simply that good, and I tend to be a little random that way.  I used to stop there all the time coming down beach blvd on my way home from surfing, the perfect food when you’re really sandy and really hungry.  This place is one of those gems that not many people know about, but it’s so good you feel like you’re carrying around a fantastic secret simply by knowing it’s there. Unkempt on the outside, delicious on the inside.  Perfection


This program has been brought to you by Jen’s tummy.  Enjoy filling yours (: