Out West Again
<img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7804/46429733404_b4819b49bc_k.jpg" alt="Twilight Over Pasadena"> <figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Twilight Over Pasadena — Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/">Tobyblog</a> on <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/46429733404/" title="Twilight Over Pasadena">Flickr</a></figcaption>
What should I say? What can I say? Perhaps a little about where I find myself these days. What I'm up to. Best keep it brief. I want to encourage myself to update these pages a little more frequently this year.
I've been something of a regular here in Pasadena over the past year or so. Lots of travel, but I don't mind. The job has treated me well. Treated us well, I should say. Pasadena is an exciting town. Lots of culture. Lots happening here all the time. Monsterpalooza will be on in April. I wonder if I'll go. My “friend” and fellow blogger Michael Cathcart, who I got to meet in person last year (a dream come true for me), used to attend the show regularly. It would certainly be worth my time just to drop in and say hello to him. He works as a lounge singer at the Top of the Rock bar in Branson, Missouri. Kass and I made a pilgrimage up there last year to meet him. A second honeymoon of sorts. Sitting there watching the sun set over the lake, drinking cocktails, talking, laughing, and listening to him play to us and for us was one of the highlights of the whole year for me. I even had him autograph a photo I took of one of my prize pumpkins set behind a wax skull, in honor of his blog, one of the primary inspirations for my own. It languishes now. Like this one, too, I suppose.
The part of town I'm in they call “Old Pasadena”. Everything is walkable. The streets are safe and clean. Not too much homelessness. Lots of stores and restaurants. Lots to see. Though I suppose it doesn't take you long to compass it all from the outside, which I have. Taking pictures of the streets and buildings like a dork. You get tired of eating out after a while.
But there's one or two spots I always hit up when I'm here. Because Pasadena has some of the best ramen in the country. 🍜💛
<img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7854/46429733134_dc4d514c86_k.jpg" alt="Hot Sake"> <figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Hot Sake — Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/">Tobyblog</a> on <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/46429733134/" title="Hot Sake">Flickr</a></figcaption>
I've featured some pics from here before. Bone Kettle. Chef owned. They do a Thai spin on ramen. I dig it.
The warm sake is expensive. But on a chill night it's so soothing. I've been into sake lately. I suppose that's something new. It's very mellowing. Very comforting on the stomach.
<img src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7902/40188167603_a0587c0907_k.jpg" alt="Broth and Noodles"> <figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Broth and Noodles — Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/">Tobyblog</a> on <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyjmarks/40188167603/" title="Broth and Noodles">Flickr</a></figcaption>
I go for the ox tail broth. It's cooked for three days. So rich. Unbelievable flavor. I go for the ox tail dumplings as well. Some of the best tasting stuff I've ever eaten. That brown sauce is magic.
I ordered it with extra mushrooms and they brought it out with a bowl of steamed mushrooms as big as the main dish.
If you're ever in Pasadena, I'd highly recommend it. In fact, I'd say it's mandatory.
Back to the hotel. I catch up with Kass and the kids. I miss them. They miss me. We say prayers and I tuck the kids in long distance and kiss Kass through the phone. Such is the life of a road warrior.
If I'm lucky (and smart) I'll afford myself a couple of blessed hours of silence before bed.
Do you ever take time to be quiet? To have quiet? Outside and in? To listen to the quiet? To be in the quiet?
For me, it's time for bed.
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