Tuesday, May 31, 2005

city holiday

Usually I work on holidays, so it was a rare treat
to have yesterday off. San Francisco is a perfect
holiday city because there is no traffic, there IS
parking and yesterday there was sunshine all day.
Today there is a thin coastal marine layer, which we
used to call fog, but that is bad for the booming
tourist industry. The dollar is way down (thank
you Mr. Bush and Company), so the city is filled
with people trying to dress like Americans (fresh
jeans and clean Nike running shoes), speaking
many different languages and taking digital photos
of everything the rest of us take for granted.

We had lunch down at the Farmers' Market on the
Embarcadero. There were no outdoor stalls and
hardly any people, so we bought sandwiches at The
Slanted Door and went out to sit on a bench on
the bay. I can't think of a better place to have
lunch as we watched the boats, tourists, city
folks and dogs. San Franciscans give up a lot to
live here - mainly sunny weather and reasonable
housing prices - but to most of us, it's worth it.

Monday, May 30, 2005

one of my faves

From an Atlas of the Difficult World

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
toward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.

Adrienne Rich

Sunday, May 29, 2005

may sarton

My friend Ginger (currently in Kansas)
introduced me to Ms. Sarton back in 1989.
I would recommend her "Journal of
a Solitude", if it's still in print.

I like this statement by May Sarton:
"One must think like a hero to
behave like a merely decent human being.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

blog fever

Suddenly my little world has ignited with
bloggy happenings and people asking ME
questions as though I speak HTML or something.
We really can only blame our Salon Mistress
who said those damning words,"some day blogs
will be bigger than emailing". Well, I
didn't want to be the last person on the
blog to jump into the template, so here I am.

Tonight we watched "The Aviator". Fabulous,
3 hours worth of fabulous. I will discuss
it with the Doctor tomorrow at work.

I do have one question. Wouldn't you think the
spell check on a blog site would know what
"blog" is and not try to fix it every time?
Same with "email". Now, really....

Friday, May 27, 2005

mysterious links appear

Check 'em out - right up here in the left hand
corner! I come home from a long (and tedious)
day at work and a miracle has occurred. And
they work. Today The Great Plotnik tells us
a bit about his family Treenik and the South
Coast Viewer features a fabulous North Coast
photo. Thank you Goleta Guy for the links.

Soon I'll add Martha's Big Blogs, I hope. She
was not born with them, folks.

On my walk home I was thinking how I no longer
feel the PRESSURE to publish now that I have NMCP.
1) the final blog product looks so professional
2) people are reading my work and commenting
3) I am writing every day
4) rejection letters (when they bother) are
Then I check out the musings of the Salon Mistress
who says sort of the same thing - only better.
I choose to write for the sake of writing at
this point in my life.

It is imperative that the Giants beat the Padres.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

neatniks and plotniks

I just finished my daily write and now I need to
massage commano here so she doesn't get stale.
I'm enjoying a blog entitled "The Great Plotnik"
and one day I will LINK (there I said the L word)
it here so you can all read it. If you wish to
comment and ask me for the blog, I will send it
to you post haste. I love getting the comments
here, by the way. Three today on last night's
baseball game. A record.

Michael de Goleta was able to link Jane's blog
on my blog, but I can't ask him to keep doing
this because that would be taking advantage
of his bloggy expertise and good nature.

It was not easy going back to work today and
the emails had piled up in triplicate. Very
important, each and every one. We are gearing
up for HP #6 on July 16th. (That would be the
next Harry Potter book, of course). Chaos.

dodgers suck big time

We had a fabulous time at the game last night.
Two home runs each: Pedro Feliz and Moise Alou.
Final score 10-2 (blue). I almost felt sorry
for Dodger Doug. Almost.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

golden days

It's unusual to have such fog-free days here
in San Francisco, and 3 in a row on my days
off is unheard of. Yesterday I finished
"Lighthousekeeping" and started "The History
of Love" by Nicole Krauss. Good so far.

The daily writing prompt is: That's Ridiculous

Some irony. Since I am unable to insert links
or photos here, I emailed a picture I took on
Monday of Sutro Baths to my friend in Goleta.
Michael posted it (quickly, I assume) on his blog
and has already had positive comments. Great.

The Giants won last night and we are going
tonight thanks to Dodger Doug. He will wear the
garish blue and we'll be in orange/black. It
will be fun watching Wilson Alverez.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


"My mother called me Silver. I was born
part precious metal part pirate."

So opens Jeanette Winterson's fine little
novel about a girl who moves from the side
of a cliff into a lighthouse in Cape Wrath.
Not only does the author skip a comma here
and there (I always like that), but she
weaves a moving story using beautiful words
and unusual phrases. Rich.

Monday, May 23, 2005

keep it simple

Tonight a friend called for some advice on a corporate
kind of problem. Of course she already had all the
answers and just needed to talk it out. During one
such time a friend sent me the following and I still
refer to it when my work life gets catastrophic.


1) Show up
2) Pay attention
3) Tell the truth
4) Trust in the outcome

18 months old!

Happy, happy birthday to Ryan Rosemary in
Pumpkinville. She's a beauty, if only I
could include a photo - maybe when she
graduates from college.

3 days in may

I won't have another little break until I head
to Kansas in July, so these 3 days off seem like
a mini-miracle. And, behold this weather. Today
is a comp for working the wretched Memorial Day
a week from now, but let's not think about that.

Yesterday my store loaned me two new novels which
I will report on later. I also bought an HTML
plastic guide sheet thingy and maybe there will
be a breakthrough on the technical front here
with commano. I would like to include a photo
or two one of these days....

My daily prompt is: make a list and give it a title

That will be easy because I love list-making:
Writing, updating, crossing-off and sharing lists.

Bill and I will drive out to the so-called Great Highway
and walk at the ocean. It will be packed on a day
like this. Don't these people work?

I will read the draft of the second chapter of my friend Martha's
novel and write highly complimentary comments in red because
it is a winner indeed.

Oh, and I'm a little late with Spring planting, but I will
work in our garden today or tomorrow.

The scumsuckers in blue arrive from SoCal tomorrow for 3 scary
games at the Jewel. Those games will take a lot of my energy.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

mind the gap

That is what my friend Michael e-said when I told him
I downloaded Firefox yesterday. It appears that this
tedious link issue (we never say "problem" in the
corporate world) has to do with the AOL browser. I
haven't the vaguest idea what to DO with Firefox, so
today I'll look for the book.

It was nice of Bruce Almighty to devote his lunch hour
to MsBook and me yesterday and I thank him. Also thanks
to Dr J for the ride home.

In "On Writing" by Stephen King, he states that if he
doesn't write every day he feels at loose ends and
has sleep problems. Or like that. It's OK, I believe,
to misquote Mr. King. I wonder if he has a blog.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

take my computer to work day

Here I am at work with my computer, trying to learn
how to do these friggin' links. I will tell you about
the Writing Salon and maybe link it here.

amber afterglow

I always feel tired and good after my writing
group meets every other Thursday night. Fridays are
difficult, due to lack of sleep, but I chuckle
during the day reviewing what was said the night
before. Tears, laughter and applause. I'm not
much of a "let's join together" kind of woman, but
I felt right at home with these friends from the
very first meeting. The group is called Tiapos
(This Is A Piece Of Shit) because we are not allowed
to give long disclaimers about our work before we
read it. "Tiapos" each of us will say, if we feel
the need to apologize or explain. On the short drive
home from Jane's, I am inevitably smiling and muttering,
"how fortunate am I?",to have these people in my life.

Friday, May 20, 2005

where worlds collide

Yesterday in the bookstore there was a woman cutting
her hair. Big globs of it. Using our scissors,
which another manager took from her citing "health
issues". That's even better than the man in the
red sweater who demanded to know if we carry guns.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

comma sutra

Many thanks to Sarah in my writing group
for the above headline today.

You will notice that I misspelled Luddites
in yesterday's post. Thanks for that
correction from a certain Mermaid.

Spellcheck doesn't know sutra or luddite
here in bloggerland.

link field = mine field

Well, let's see how this works when I praise Jane's
wonderful blog today. If it works I thank Michael
in Goleta, if not I go to work and pout all day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

ludites can't link

OK, for now I'm just going to type in Jane Underwood's
web site address. If you want to write (and change
your life for the better) visit:

I pay to write

I don't write on a daily basis because I...oh, you
all know the reasons. I belong to my mentor/friend
Jane's Round Robin group and she sends us prompts
every day. My goal today is to link her blog site
to mine, but if I don't get it now, I will one day.

Today's prompt: Write About the Last Time you Cried

Easy, I cried on my friend Jen's last day at work. That
was Black Friday, May 6th. She is going to a far, far
better place (Europe), but it is not nearly as "fun"
where I work now. OK, I needn't write the entire 10 minute
assignment here, but it's tempting.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

is this the reason?

Forever I've neglected to take the final step
to locate my birth parents. I have enough
information now, and there is some curiosity on
my part, but truly a couple of my friends are
more interesred than I've ever been. It's not the
money, it's not fear, but I don't do it. Maybe
at last I can put a postive spin on my inaction
after reading what the playwright Edward Albee
had to say about being adopted:

"I've had plenty of opportunity to find out who
my natural parents were. The fact that I haven't
bothered indicates to me that I don't want to go
to the trouble. I know who I am. Once I figured
out who I was, whatever care or interest I may
have had in where I came from vanished completely -
I was indifferent to my past."

Monday, May 16, 2005

a slight wind blows

Every afternoon here in Bernal Heights the wind picks
up, making it unpleasant to sit on the deck and read.
Too bad, but not serious like those Santa Ana winds.
I have a friend who always says, "I don't care for the
wind", as though it's the first time he has told me this.

I'm reading Joan Didion's description of those rough
hot,dry Southern California winds in a book that Dr. J
loaned me several months ago and I just now discovered
on the stack of books on my bed stand. "Slouching Towards
Bethlehem", thoughtfully pre-highlighted by the Doctor.

Ms. Didion quotes Raymond Chandler writing about such
a wind. "On nights like that, every booze party ends in a
fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife
and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen".

According to Joan Didion, these Santa Anas usually last for
3-4 days and are common in Southern California. One,
however, lasted for 14(!) days back in 1957, and she lists
the number of unusual murders, horrific fires and peculiar
accidents during those two weeks.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

i'm a stranger here myself

I'd like to recommend "Here Lies Jenny" at the Post
Street Theatre. It's a quick 80 min. one act musical
with Bebe Neuwirth singing Kurt Weill songs. Alas,
you won't have the hefty couple in front of you, the
ones who kept chatting just like they do in their
over stuffed plaid TV room. Good that she kept her
large plastic glass and could rattle the ice around
along with the music. I wish I could be one of the
shushers, but I'm not. I'm a seether.

The basketball playing hooded piano player was in
the lobby at the Kensington Park Hotel. He obviously
has classical training and when I gave him my
$1, he gave me his usual beautiful smile. He
always makes me feel really glad that I'm alive.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

how come?

Today at work Bruce Almighty asked me why I
am blogging now. Without thinking I said,
"it's just like being published without all
the rejection letters." Thinking about this
now I will add that it's also less work, or will
be, once I really understand the things I
need to know. For instance, I want to get rid
of the profile section entirely, and I will
one day, I will.

Friday, May 13, 2005

vonnegut writes

from this week's New Yorker

True story. Word of Honor.
Joseph Heller,an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, "Joe,how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel 'Catch-22'
has earned in its entire history?"
And Joe said,"I've got something he can never have."
And I said,"What on earth could that be, Joe?"
And Joe said,"The knowledge that I've got enough."
Not bad! Rest in peace!
--Kurt Vonnegut


Today I bought Elizabeth Castro's book
"Publishing a Blog with Blogger" for
$12.99. It's says on the back cover that
she has called herself a writer since the
3rd grade. Now that's confidence.

thank you annie

"One of the few things I know about writing is this:
spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right
away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a
later place in the book, or for another book; give it,
give it all, give it now."
Annie Dillard

Thursday, May 12, 2005

thursday is monday

I try to leave the house at 5:05am to walk to BART.
I need some quiet time and now I have my Blog to
feed and groom. My writing partner's graph makes
me sad, but we only comment on the writing. I
want to invite her for coffee and counseling.
My weekend was perfect. I recommend the Robert
Cameron exhibit out at the Presidio. I would link
it here, if I knew how. Oh, good, spell check!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

beginning the blog

Just a short note to start and a quick thank you
to Martha in my writing group for sort of suggesting
the title. Well, she laughed at this line in my
email yesterday, and that's all the encouragement
I needed. And thanks to Will in the writing group
for always adding commas to almost everything I write.
I appreciate it, really I do.