Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Used Bread Store

Okay, so technically, it's not really used. Maybe I should call it 'The Pre-Owned Bread Store".

Located on Sepulveda Boulevard, just east of Cabrillo, the Oroweat Baking Co. has an outlet where they sell the bread that doesn't sell in regular grocery store - I think the bread is what is not sold by the time new bread is delivered the next day. They also carry Entenmanns, Milton Breads, Boboli and an assortment of other baked goods.

On Sundays, the outlet sells bread for a buck a loaf - given bread can be 3-4 dollars a piece, its a pretty darn good deal, plus they throw in a freebie loaf. Their typical Sunday customers are retired people. And us.

There was another 'Used Bread Store' on Western Ave. in Torrance - the Webers Bread Outlet. My mom would drag, er, I mean, we'd walk there, and we'd buy stuff, to my absolute embarrassment. I thought, why can't she just buy bread at the regular store like everyone else?

In retrospect, humility was good for me. Honestly, there is no difference between the bread you buy at these places and the stuff at the grocery store, except for one day. The stuff sits longer on my refrigerator. My mom had successfully passed on her cheap genes to me. Thanks Mom!

My husband is as big a cheapskate as I am, and took (dragged) my son to the outlet today. Son wasn't thrilled about it until the checker informed them that they could get a FREE box of chocolate or glazed donuts. Whoopie!

We're not only cheap, but we get excited about free day old donuts.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sports Museum of Los Angeles

For the two sports nuts in my family, this couldn't be happier news - a new sports museum, right down the freeway, a stones throw from the Staples Center. It's opening to the public on November 28th.

Permanent collections at the Sports Museum of Los Angeles include a multitude of sports, ranging from baseball, basketball, football, tennis, boxing, horse racing, biking, golf and swimming.

32,000 feet of goodies to drool over.

If you're a soccer or hockey fan you'll be disappointed. BUT, the collection will continue to grow, so be patient.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The title is my pathetic attempt to be cool. Anywhooo...

I've noticed our street corner has become a popular hangout for the local skateboard kids - the business on the corner is friendly (or at least tolerant) of the skate boarders who come around to use their driveway ramp for jumps and tricks. They're a disheveled crew of skinny pant wearing, shaggy mopped boys, defying gravity and scraping the ragged edge of the concrete incline. I imagine there's a lot of scraped elbows and knees in the group.

I watch them out of the corner of my eye, but I'm afraid they'll think I'm scrutinizing their activities, and they scatter if they attract too much attention.

We were exiting the Crossroads Vons this evening and watched a group of kids skating the parking lot near the Office Depot where there weren't many cars. I wondered where else there is to skate, as I suspect it would be a matter of time before they would be chased away.

In my old neighborhood we kids did lot of roller skating - I'm sure we made a heck of a lot of noise, as our wheels were metal or clay, and there was anywhere from 2 to 8 of us at any one time - KRITCH SCRITCH KRITCH SCRITCH all summer long. No one ever complained, even when we rolled over the dichondra, which was about the worse thing we did. I don't remember anyone leaping on a wall, although I do recall empty swimming pools being used for skating.

I never skateboarded - the one time I did I ran over my fingers.

Lately, I've noticed little metal tabs being bolted to every handrail, cement bench, planter box, picnic table, ledge or stair in an effort to thwart grinding. Is it a liability issue, or property destruction prevention? I'm not sure. I do suspect those intrepid little skaters will find someway to overcome.

Or, at least start a business.

And promote it, right here in Torrance:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

RMIT Best Hamburger

I'm sitting here feeling kinda peckish. So, I thought I'd write about one of my favorite foods, locally speaking.

I may be a little prejudiced - I used to work with J.K. back in the day - but I think Rascals Teriyaki Grill has, hands down, the best hamburger around - the Teriyaki Avocado Burger. Purrrrfectly whole sliced bermuda onion sliced paper thin, tomato, whole leaf lettuce, mayo, nice substantial sesame seed bun, juicy turkey or beef patty (or vegetarian, if you prefer), teriyaki sauce PLUS avocado - who could ask for anything more? It is perfection on a bun - messy, but yummy. It's reminiscent of the Thunderburger A.T.B. in Gardena, which is long gone, but not forgotten.

The perfect side is, not fries, not the chinese chicken salad, but for me, the cole slaw. It doesn't have mayo, rather, it's made with an asian dressing and little ramen noodles. Mahvelous.

It's a good thing it's so late, or I might have made a Rascal's run NOW.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Video Gewgaw, Egg Cuber


The first Video Gewgaw features my Egg Cuber, an odd, yet well made little contraption from the 1970s. Today was the first time I ever used it, and filmed it, for posterity. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gone, but not forgotten, sort of

I'm in a nostalgic mood this week. Here are some old haunts that are no longer:

1. The Shamrock Roller Rink: Located in Old Torrance, near the Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge. A popular teen hangout when I was in high school.

2. Tommy's: Located behind the Depot, next to a car wash in Old Torrance. My husband and I ate there almost every week before our son was born. Every meal was like 1000+ calories, but we were skinny. What happened? Hub always ordered the steak and eggs.

3. Old stores at Del Amo:

JK Gill: Got all my Formaline materials here, until I discovered Walsers.

Woolworths: This was located in the Del Amo mall between Ohrbach's (what is now Marshall's) and Montgomery Wards (where I never shopped). When I got married, I bought my first christmas ornaments there - white satin balls.

Ohrbach's: I did a lot of shopping there, as I mentioned in a previous post, especially after high school. They specialized in designer knock-offs (not the illegal kind.)

Petrie's: This was a junior clothing store, cheap as chips. I worked there for 2 years when I was about 16. We had non-electronic cash registers, and had to count back change and memorize totals including tax. During the Christmas rush, customers would be lined up all around the perimeter of the store.

Hartfield's: Located on the Sears side when it was an open air mall - my sister shopped there for clothes.

Judy's: More upscale than Petrie's, I could rarely afford to actually buy clothes there, but I shopped just the same. Love their logo.

I. Magnins: Once I was gainfully employed, I started spending more time here and at...

Bullocks: I worked in the furniture department while in college. The best thing about this place, which is now Macy's, was the Tea Room. My mom and I used to go there for their crustless sandwiches and the fashion shows.

The candy and nut counter at Sears: My parents were regulars at Sears. We would shop there almost every Saturday or Sunday, and my dad would take us kids to the candy counter, where we would get free samples of toffee peanuts.

4. Newberry's: Located on what is now Rolling HIlls Plaza. My friend's mom owned a catholic gift store in the same strip mall, but facing Crenshaw. We used to eat at the lunch counter, and spy on strangers.

5. Parasol Restaurant: I think a lot of people still mourn the passing of this Googie landmark. The themed restaurant sported parasol light fixtures and all things parasol-esq. Sigh.

6. Florence Fabrics: Best fabric store in Torrance - I bought all the fabric for my wedding here.

7. Old Towne Mall: Imagine a hippy/macrame vibe blended with a bit of Knotts/Disney Main Street and shopping mall, and you have Old Towne.

8. Pussycat Theater: I never went, but a lot of my friends used to go on dates there.

9. Zody's: I really hated this store, but my mom shopped there from time to time to my complete embarrassment. I trace my intense dislike of Walmart and Kmart to this store.

10. White Front: I remember buying my first pair of rainbow striped platform E.V.A. foam slippahs at this place.

11. The Akron: A cross between a dollar store and Cost Plus. It was across the street from Zody's on Hawthorne Blvd., near what is now the Galleria.

12. Del Conte's Restaurant: Located near the Ramada Inn and under the Porche dealership. Popular in the day when people could manage to eat steak once a week, and not be 500 pounds - probably because they smoked a pack a day. Their clientele died off, or lost their teeth.

13. The Rhodium as an actual drive-in.

14. The McDonalds near Artesia on Van Ness Blvd. This was the first McD's in the area, designed with the classic yellow arches that framed the building.

15. The Begonia Farm: Once an actual working farm. Lovely spot, family owned. For my sister, conveniently located right around the corner from...

16. The Super Yarn Mart: Bright shocking pink building that sold - you guessed it. All yarn, all the time.

17. Fox Market: This was located at the corner of 182nd and Van Ness where the Nijiya market is today. I remember walking there from our home in Gardena.

18. Krispy Kreme: I'm really pissed they couldn't make a go of it in Torrance. They were at the PCH location for, what, a year???

19. The Christmas Tree Farm: On Crenshaw Blvd., north of Lomita Blvd., where a golf store is now. My hub and I would slog through the mud to cut down a lush scotch pine for the holidays.

20. The Value Village Thrift Store: This was a really good thrift in Old Torrance - I was broken hearted when it closed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ramen Song

In honor of my blog's one follower I have put together a little video compilation. The inspiration for this is here.


Taste of Torrance, Walser's

I've been going to Walser's Art Store since my college days when it was located at this charming spot off Hawthorne Blvd.

I bought my first paste up waxer there. I guess I'm just 'waxing' a little nostalgic...a little old fogy graphic design pun there...

It's still the best art store in the area, typically well stocked. It carries a range of professional art supplies you can't buy at craft stores, gifts, books, digital products, etc. Currently located at an out-of-sight location on Kashiwa Court.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mr. President

This is the first time the President of the United States is YOUNGER THAN ME!!!!!!

The Gewgaw, Check File from Ohrbach's

Remember Ohrbach's? I used to love shopping there for clothes.

This little organizer is from around the 1950s. The original price tag - a rather elaborate setup with a white string and a little metal tab - is dangling from the elastic band around the middle. Sold for 89 cents. I paid 25 at the tiny Little Company of Mary Thrift on Torrance and Hawthorne Blvds.

There's a graphic of a combination safe dial on the cover - I know my checks will be absolutely secure in a cardboard case with a drawing of a lock and an iron-clad elastic band keeping it closed.

I'm using it for coupons.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


This number is probably what some blogs get in a day - after a year, I'm finally there.

Hi, I'm an addict.

I admit it. I've come to accept the fact that I am not in control, and my addiction has taken over my life. I am ready to stand before you (rather, SIT before you) and say MY NAME IS SUSAN AND I AM A CANDYHOLIC.

My current preference is not a high quality truffle or creamy fondant. No, my candy of choice is the sugary equivalent of Ripple - Airheads®.

Here's what the company responsible for this evil has to say about it:

About 700 million AirHeads bars are consumed annually. If laid end to end, they would circle the Earth twice!

I have personally eaten enough to reach Albuquerque.

These tart little molar-rotting chews have been my secret vice. I hid them in a corner of the most remote room in the house - this was a move to 'discourage' me from eating them.

It didn't work.

The signs of addiction finally became obvious. I had been hiding the empty wrappers from my family. My tongue turned odd colors. I brushed my teeth 7 times a day not only to defy the bacterial invasion into my oral cavity but to cover up my watermelon Airhead breath.

With over 100 mini candies in the enormous sack, I came to realize I'd be dead from a sucrose overdose before the bag was empty. It took all the intestinal fortitude I could muster to give them away last night.

Damn trick-or-treaters.

The Daily Link - What, me on it?

I noticed my blog made it to the Daily Link.

Then, as I was scanning the archives, this popped up. And this.

Gee, I'm famous.