All My Friends Move to Europe…

October 19, 2011

…and I’m sick of it!

First, two years ago, my friend Katherine up and moved to Sweden.  Now my friend Jen is moving to Germany – later this week!  What’s going on?  They both have positively revolting reasons for moving to the other side of the world:  Jen’s going to get her Master’s degree (gag), and Katherine moved because of love (barf).

One by one, my friends are abandoning me.  Just so they can be happier and lead more fulfilling lives.  Well, fuck ‘em.  I hope they choke on a meatball (in Katherine’s case) or a bratwurst (in Jen’s case) and then have horrible hospital experiences because Sweden and Germany have terrible, appalling universal health care systems, according to conservatives.

OK, two things:  1) I’m totally kidding.  2) Did I just get political?

Anyhoo, tonight I hung out with Jen for the last time in a long while (which bummed me out).  Some of you long-time readers have heard me talk about Jen before:  She appeared in my very first post (about going to Magic Mountain), and has appeared many times since, during sad times and happier ones.  I’ve known Jen since college, and she’s been a great friend that whole time, and I will miss having her so close.

I picked Jen up tonight (since she sold her car yesterday), and she came bearing gifts!  Jumper cables, a roll of bubble wrap, and a pomegranate from the tree in her courtyard:

Although I’ve had pomegranate juice and pomegranate-flavored foods, I’ve never had an actual pomegranate in my house before, mainly because I’m not a fan of pomegranate seeds.  I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do with this sucker, but it might be destined for my juicer.

Jen and I headed out for dinner, and we ended up at Phil’s Diner, a little restaurant in our neighborhood that’s both new and very old.  The restaurant, which is inside a dining car, dates back to 1926, and served North Hollywood for decades and decades, in a few different locations.  Then, 12 years ago, it closed, until an enterprising couple bought it, restored it, and opened it up again in a new location about six months ago.

Here’s the exterior (my camera didn’t capture their neon sign):

And the interior, which was beautifully restored:

That’s Jen and I way in the back (our server, Malissa, who’s one of the owners, took the photo), and another patron sitting at the counter (we got there late, after the dinner crowd, which is why it’s so empty).  The first thing I noticed when we walked in is that place would have been really uncomfortable for me when I was at my heaviest.  I probably wouldn’t have fit at the counter (those chairs are bolted to the floor), and while the little tables on the right had stools, there just wasn’t a lot of room.  But none of that is an issue now!

Phil’s Diner gets MAJOR bonus points for having Etch-A-Sketches lying around for patrons to play with:

I talked with Malissa about healthy menu options, and took her suggestion and ordered the Tuna Salad:

Malissa described the tuna as not being “wet” – meaning it’s not loaded with mayo, and I had them hold the oil and vinegar that normally comes on the greens:

It was delicious.  The tuna was very flavorful – I really liked the pumpkin seeds in it, and the lemon-lime dijon dressing was great.  A 7-screen movie theater is under construction right next door, and I look forward, in the future, and enjoying dinner and a movie all on the same block!

Here’s the Etch-A-Sketch doodle I made in honor of Jen’s impending departure to Germany:

It was pretty late by the time I dropped Jen off, but not too late to exercise.  I’ve done three great weightlifting-based workouts in a row, so it was time for some cardio.  Due to the late hour, I thought a run would be best.  I threw on some workout clothes before dropping Jen off, and went for a run in her neighborhood, for a change of pace.  She lives close to Toluca Lake, a very affluent and fancy part of town that’s been home, at some point or another, to all sorts of famous people:  Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Amelia Earhart all called it home, as have Miley Cyrus (and her family), the Jonas Brothers, Jason Priestley, Steve Carell and Eric McCormack.  It’s a beautiful part of town to run in, because of the lovely (and large) houses.  Here’s my route:

I ran for 45 minutes, and went 4.2 miles, which means I averaged a speed of 5.6 mph.  Not my fastest run, but still pretty good, especially considering it was at the end of a long day and it was kinda chilly outside.  Check out my Running Chart to see how this run compares to my other runs.

When I got home after the run, my workout wasn’t over.  I still had my burpees to do.  It’s Day 2, which means 16 burpees, and the lesson I learned today is that burpees after 45 minutes of running is exhausting!  I’m doing them first next time.  Definitely.

Keep it up, David!


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