Wednesday, February 28, 2007

sleeping with luigi

st. mark's
Originally uploaded by the omster.
Yesterday I bought a CD and small phrase book (together!) for under $10.00 at the big box. My accent is not quite authentic and I'm guessing some will know that I am not Italian. Last night I listened to Luigi help me say, "are guide dogs allowed?" along with a few other useful phrases. I fell asleep before I could learn how to camp out in a tent or trailer, but then when I awoke at 4am from force of habit, I decided maybe I should spend a little more time with my new Italian friend. Same thing! Sound asleep when I should have been learning how to get some tokens for the shower at my campsite. Drat.

Meanwhile, in my country, I went to yoga this morning and then took a long nabe walk in the sunshine this afternoon. Came back to be with Luigi and this time I actually read the phrase book and pronounced a few words with him in my absolutely perfect Italian. "Accetta le carte di credito?" Hope so!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

his pilgrimage, my pilgrimage

I saved an article from the April 23, 1984 New Yorker entitled, "Resonance", by William Zinsser. Most of you who know me realize that I do not have an ear for music, so saving and photocopying this piece, giving it to friends who are going to Venice, and reading it again now, is indeed an oddity in my life. My music appreciation is mostly about words, although Husbando always has eclectic music playing a casa (mostly jazz, Latin, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, classical), so when I listen, usually down in my office, my meager CD collection consists of Tom Waits, Joan Armatrading, Alison Krauss, Julie Fordham, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Magnolia movie soundtrack and Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys.

This article (which I will give to TGP and Mr. Z) is really a travel piece ~ the author goes to Venice with Willie Ruff, a bassist and French-horn player. Here is why Ruff was traveling to Italy. "I'm going to Venice to play Gregorian chants on my French horn in St. Mark's cathedral at night when nobody else is there," he said. "I'll take my tape recorder along and make a tape of what I play."

St. Mark's inspired innovative composers from the 1500's when Venice was the center of the musical world. Why St. Mark's? What inspired them was the richness of the acoustics in the Basilica. Now, reading Rick Steve's Italy, I see that I won't be the only visitor here (another small American joke). Thankfully the cafes on the square take up a whole page in this travel book...I have an ear for cafes.

Isn't it peculiar what we save throughout the years?

Monday, February 26, 2007

scusi, errrr, ummm, un bagno?

Nine (nove) people in my Italian class tonight and of course now I realize that I should have been doing this months ago. It felt good to learn new and different words and phrases ~ I like our teacher (Cecilia, with all those tricky Italian chs) because she forces us to speak out loud all the time. She is from a small town near Venezia and has all sorts of little "inside Italy" tips to share with us. For instance, the language is changing and the natives are using more of the familiar (tu) and less of the formal (Lei), not that I will use either I'm afraid. The other students are all set to go to Italia within the next two (due) months too, one for a 6 (sei) week stay.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

oh what a night!

tings dey happen
Originally uploaded by the omster.
It was a long hard Saturday at work after not enough sleep, but I perked up once we arrived at The Marsh for this gem of a sold out show. We have long been fans of Geoff Hoyle, so it was a pleasure to watch his extremely talented son, Dan Hoyle in "Tings Dey Happen". Dan spent 10 months in oil rich Nigeria and here he recreates the people he met while he was studying there as a Fullbright scholar. Powerful stuff.

Then we zipped up to the party to spend a hilarious few hours with the writing group and some assorted partners. How special to have One Foot back in town and to see Ms. Q again. The food was beyond description, but suffice it to say that Chef P's dessert took up most of TGP's post this morning. We laughed at each other and ourselves ~ sort of like the writing group meetings, but with some memorable add-ons. I don't think I've laughed this much since the good old days when we'd have all day together up at Wally's retreat.

I was up later than usual, but that's OK. Got the big box open at 6am for the heavenly 3 hours of quiet before customers arrive. Always lots to do because Saturday ends our week and figures need to be filled in, emails sent, and preparations made for the new week. It's all good though and we're ready for the Oscar ceremony here in Bernal Heights, but I'll miss the ending, I'm afraid as I have another 6am open domani. Italian classe lunedi notte. Prego.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

busy saturday looms

I'll be lucky if I even have a chance to check emails anytime before bed, so I'll write now so as not to disappoint anyone. (That is a mild little joke.)

Yesterday was spent in a 5 hour long meeting with Bossman's Bossman and as a result I didn't get any of MY Monday work done, so I'm feeling work-related distress and didn't sleep well last night. It's so silly, really, but that's how I am.

We are going to the Marsh at 5pm to see "Tings Dey Happen" and then on to The Great Plotnik's for a dinner party with the writing group. And you thought we writers were not very social. Well, think again.

So now I'll build a sandwich, plunk in those carrots and enjoy that 1/2 grapefruit for breakfast. Blogless believes that fruit juice doesn't count in The Five, but she's wrong. Oh, and I'm buying some more Euro's today...only 6 weeks until the trip!

Friday, February 23, 2007

my exciting private life

(Here is yesterday's 10 minute write on CARROTS...)

One of the greatest inventions in the past 20 years. Small, already-washed
skinned baby carrots in plastic bags. We keep a bowl of them in water in our
refrigerator and I always grab a handful to put in with my sandwich that
I pack for work. The husbando nibbles on them throughout the day like
candy, but as attractive as they are, carrots have never been one of my
weaknesses. Nothing that's good for me has ever attracted me on a
daily basis.

I don't think these designer carrots have as much flavor as the original
version that called for peeling and scraped fingers. But to me that isn't
the point because I have to carefully plan and count my daily requirement
of the five required fruits and vegetables. I wish I cared more for fresh
veggies, but I don't. I grew up at a time when the people who lived in
California felt superior to the rest of the country because we always
had fresh produce available. But not me, I longed for See's Candy,
french fries and later, double malt scotch.

It's easiest if I load up on the fresh stuff in the morning hours, although
Chef Husbando always provides me with a dinner salad. So here is the
daily count, because I know you are so interested:
1) apple juice
2) 1/2 grapefruit
3) lime juice with hot water
4) carrots (w/ snow peas sometimes) for lunch
5) fruit juice with lunch (no more Cokes®!)
6) large dinner salad with bleu chees

ignore rare error below

Make that Daniel Craig in yesterday's movie. I was thrown off by his eyebrows during the entire film and I blame them entirely for any mistake I made afterward.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

did you say carrots?

Originally uploaded by the omster.
The rain stopped and Mollie and I were able to walk through Sutro Park and on down past the Cliff House. The air was fabulous ~ as was the ocean. As always, we had much to discuss, as walking women usually do.

Lunch with Husbando at the India Clay Pot out on Clement ~ all-you-can-eat buffet with about 10 items in big copper pots.

Then this afternoon yet another movie about Truman Capote and the murders in Kansas. "Infamous" stars Toby Jones, Jeff Daniels, Sandra Bullock and Greg Daniels. It's pretty good, but not great.

In between I wrote my 10 minute Round Robin piece on (of all things) carrots and now I'm doing prep work for the work week that starts all too soon tomorrow. It was a fine weekend and I'm feeling refreshed, thank goodness.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

happy lunch, sad movie

half nelson
Originally uploaded by the omster.
We had a perfectly delightful time with Mr/Ms Plotnik out on West Portal at Fresca Restaurant ~ eating too much and chatting up a storm. Then to visit Dancing Jen at her indie book shoppe and back home through St. Francis Woods. Many thanks to TGP and the Ducknik for picking up the check(nik). Our treat next time...

We had "Half Nelson" here from the Flix® and since I love to watch movies on a grey day, that's what we did. Very difficult movie. I guess like everyone of you, I have known too many people with too many addictions and this was excrutiatingly painful. But, my, such fine acting. These two just about broke my heart and I had to sit and think long and hard when the movie was over. Do I recommend it? I do indeed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

the view from 52 floors up

I helped sell a few books tonight in the Carnelian Room at the Bank of America. It was actually in a small private room and even though we didn't sell a lot of books, it was such a magnificent setting and the speaker was so interesting, that it didn't really feel like work ~ except for dragging 3 cartons of heavy books to/fro a few blocks.

The speaker was Bart Ehrman and what I found most interesting was when he talked about the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas. Faithful readers know that I'm a sort of lazy agnostic, but this man is a professor with a good delivery and vast knowledge. He has written "Misquoting Jesus" (recently released in trade paperback) and about 6 other books. He thinks Dan Brown should have done some research before writing "The
DaVinci Code", but appreciates the fact that more people are interested in religion from a historical point of view now because of that page turner.

Meanwhile, back at the big box, John Amaechi drew a sizable crowd and lots of media attention. Honestly, I was happy to miss all the frenzy. I did see the basketball star and yes, he is indeed gorgeous, and Bossman said he was very pleasant to everyone.

Two late nights in a row ~ not normal.

Monday, February 19, 2007

the heart of downtown

don's heart
Originally uploaded by the omster.
Each corner of Union Square now has a distinctive heart (they raise money for SF General Hospital with these) and of course this is my favorite by the talented Mr. Asmussen. I enjoy watching the tourists drape themselves all over these hearts, taking 15 photos each of the same exact pose. Then they walk over to Powell Street and snap yet another picture of a cable car. Then they walk into the big box and buy our local interest books and maps. With all this sunny weather maybe we'll make plan for Feb. ~ bonus time?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

aunt jemima, uncle ben & the nfl

Originally uploaded by the omster.
After work today we drove down to Fort Mason to the Magic Theatre to see "Rust", a new play by Kirsten Greenidge. It could have used a bit more editing, but I'm glad we saw it because it is thought provoking and clever. Randall is a black football superstar haunted by memories of his mother as he comes to terms with his identity.

It was another warm and beautiful day and the entire world was out and about and parking was difficult down by the Bay. Good thing I had my mojo working....

Saturday, February 17, 2007

nature red in tooth and claw

This is a daily write I did back in July of 2004. Even if I
cracked 47 eggs this afternoon I wouldn't find even one
creative thought. So I regurgitate...

A phrase has been running around and around in my head for about
four days.  "Nature red in tooth and claw".

My step daughter-in-law emailed me about a baby robin that she had
been watching since it was in the egg.  She was attached to the
whole process and gleeful when the little guy broke out of his shell.
Well, something must have taken him because he wasn't quite ready
to fly when he disappeared.  The mother robin chirped and cried and
I think Kathy probably shed a tear or two also.

I wrote back to say that as bad as human beings are to each other
and to animals, nature in the raw is even more violent.  I can't
bear to watch those programs where lions chase and capture
deer or other sweet innocent animals.  Even though it is all part
of the process and as natural as can be for animals, it is very
distressing to watch. I prefer to hide and pretend that they all
get along in a nice campfire setting at night, sharing their coffee
and marshmallows.

Kathy then replied using the "nature red in tooth and claw" quote that
she attributes to Tennyson.  I had never heard it before and for some
reason I really like it. 

Friday, February 16, 2007

a belated valentine dinner

sam's grill
Originally uploaded by the omster.
Husbando met me after work and we walked up to Bush Street for dinner at Sam's Grill. Good old SF restaurant with just about the best sour dough bread in the world. The salmon was delicious, the waiters did not refer to us as "you guys" and there was no perky background music whatsoever. We are rarely downtwon on a Friday night and man, it was jumping. Of course, it was about 80º out and folks were feeling frisky.

The big box mortar store is getting a little crazy because John Amaechi (the gay basketball guy) is going to sign his books here next Tuesday night and there is a lot of interest, if I may understate here for a minute. Fortunately I am booked (hahaha) at another event at the B of A, so I won't be part of the chaos.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

plum perfect

plum tree in feb.
Originally uploaded by the omster.
This is what we see when we open the shutters in our bedroom. Like life, this blossom season is so short that we seem to appreciate it more every year. When the next rain hits, the trees will be bare. San Francisco is exploding currently with white and pink blossoms and today it is probably 70º (at least). The air is clear and sweet. Seems like almost everyone is smiling knowing what the 6 o'clock news will bring tonight with more photos of snow plows and incredible bad weather in the Midwest and East.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

two wongs and all is right

Today was the dreaded "floss more or else" visit to Right
Wing Wong, my nagging dentist. And guess what? No
cavities and the gums are looking better. Way better.
There might be something to that flossing and extended
brushing business after all. God, I am a slow learner.

Then this afternoon to Dr. Kyra Wong out on Taravel. The
big box does offer excellent eye insurance and I could have
splurged on another pair of $600 glasses for $30, but for
the first time in years, "no change" in the eyesight, so I
had the thorough yearly exam and an encouraging chat with
the good doctor. I'm about to email my friend Mary in Arizona,
to tell her that I believe her advice from last year was spot
on. I've been taking Lutein every day for a year and Dr. Wong2
mentioned it herself as an excellent vitamin for the eyes. Of
course I believe this is why my vision hasn't diminished this year.

Husbando and I are great fans of Ren
é Augesen who has the
leading (difficult) role in Ibsen's
Hedda Gabler at ACT. It is
not a comfortable play by any means, but worth seeing. I was
exhausted after The Audit (bleahhhhhh) and the late Monday
closing, but stayed awake through more of the play, so that tells
us a lot right there. Worth seeing? Yes indeed. The Great Plotnik
will give us all a much better review tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

back to the present with a yawn

Smooth closing last night at the big box, but I didn't get
to sleep until about 1 am last night. Then today I work with
another manager from the Westfield Center store on the
most tedious of all of my odious tasks, The Audit.  We
have an off-putting 3 page list of detailed questions about
things such as double signatures on triple forms, bank deposits
made before noon, security tags on books and DVDs (only
the shop lifters are able to remove these) and whether
all the employee files are up to date and in order. Right.
I remember both times I was trained on The Audit business
and I went to sleep both times ~ once I was standing up.

Then tonight is ACT, so it will be a long day. However I do
see some blue skies over Bernal Hill and that warms my
mean little auditor heart.

Monday, February 12, 2007

let's wrap up NYC.05

Here, for now, is my final NYC piece from 2005. It was
another Round Robin daily write after we returned. I
wrote more, back then, but the rewrite process would not
be to my liking this morning. Tonight I get to close the
store and I want to use my morning for home tasks like
de-cluttering and puttering.

New York isn't as mean as it used to be.  In a way that's sort of
sad because we used to come back from a trip there feeling
so lucky to live in a more refined place.  This time when we
came home across the Bay Bridge, all I could say to Husbando
was, "my, God, what a small city".

The natives are kinder, friendlier than they were before Sept. 11th
knocked us all out of commission.  If we were hurt out here, they were
crushed and smashed back there and everyone knew someone
who was killed in the Twin Towers.  I was surprised at the visible
number of police everywhere and when we went to see Grand
Central Station we were amazed to see so many soldiers with
guns ready and eyes surveying every inch of that magnificent space.

Not once was I afraid and our little neighborhood on the West Side
felt safe and secure.  A few more days there and we'd be chatting with
the neighbors, for heaven's sake.  People were friendly with
directions and free with advice.  The waiters all treated us well
and didn't force food on us the way they used to.  When we walked
under The Gates strangers offered to take our photo and
not for a moment did we think that maybe they were going to steal
our camera.  The car honking has died down too, not completely,
of course.  There are signs at the intersections that say, "only honk
in an emergency", and in New York there are always emergencies.

No longer do people smoke in restaurants and everyone picks up
after his or her dog.  It's getting Veddy California there in the Big
Apple.  It still has that wonderful electricity, however, and people
are walking with an air of excitement that can only be found in
(I removed the final line before my writing friends even had a
chance to say "get rid of that!". So there.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

the ellis island notes

the ellis island notes
Originally uploaded by the omster.
(gees, you make this so easy ~ here are more scribblings from my travel diary of 02/05)

It's misleading when I look at the photos from ten days ago when we took
that boat out to Ellis Island. The sky is bright blue with only a few
wisps of clouds and the sun is shining on the beautiful New York
skyline in the background. But it was cold, the wind whipped through us
as we stood in line for more than an hour waiting to get on the ferry
boat for the quick trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

We didn't disembark at the Statue this trip because we were there just
to see Ellis Island. It was redone back in the 80's, but somehow we
hadn't gotten there before. It didn't look imposing when we went inside,
but there was a solemn feel the moment we walked in the door.
There were three floors and it was massive with lots of open
space and rooms on the sides filled with photos and mementos.

I loved looking at the B&W photos of the immigrants and the belongings
that people donated to the museum. The courage. Young women in
their early twenties with two and three children and old beyond their
years. Weighed down with layers of clothing and responsibility. How
incredibly difficult it must have been to leave their friends and families,
how frightening not to speak the language or know how to buy and
prepare food.

But look, these people are all smiling. They are excited and hopeful.
And these photos were taken after the humiliation of the long lines
of the immigration process on Ellis Island. The body searches, the
forms, the shortening of names because the bureaucrats didn't know
or care enough to get the last name correct. Often their luggage was
pilfered while they lined up and waited for their piece of the American
pie. They were indeed tired and poor, but they had the promise of
freedom and we in turn received the bravest of the brave.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

only two years ago?

only two years ago?
Originally uploaded by the omster.
(This is from a Round Robin 10 minute write about 2 years ago. What a trip!)

It was pouring rain last night when the Super Shuttle let us out at 87th
and Central Park West. We saw our first "Gate" after wiping off
the window for the 100th time on the long, steamy ride from JFK airport.
"Look!" I said to my husband, "oh, they didn't roll them up the way
I was afraid they would in the rain".

We thought our niece's apartment was on the corner of Central Park W,
and we couldn't wait to get out of that over-heated shuttle, but we
were wrong. She actually lives at the corner of Columbus and
W. 87th, so we dragged all our luggage along the broken pavement,
past all the movie-set brownstones for another block. Despite
the rain, it was wonderful to be out of enclosed spaces where the
entire world is sneezing and eager to pass on new germs to us.

After finding the apartment, Husbando read me the set of instructions on
locks and keys while I cursed and fumbled - still in the rain, no
free hands for an umbrella, of course. And where was that damn
thing packed anyway?

Our heavy winter coats were completely soaked as we finally
entered Jill's basement apartment. It was small, HOT and messy and
totally, absolutely perfect for our week in NYC. We are living out
of suitcases and longing for our first NY bagel this morning.
We are here to see Christo's Gates in Central Park and just to
enjoy ourselves in this world's greatest city.

Last night we walked on Columbus and marveled at so many
people being out in the rain as late as 10pm. Stopping for soup and
a salad, we decided that folks need to leave their tiny living spaces
and join the human race and get a break from their relentless
central heating. God, I so love this city.

Friday, February 09, 2007

nine times out of ten, count 'em

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about
originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply
try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often
it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten,
become original without ever having noticed it.

C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

Sometimes when I can't think of one little item to put
in this blog, I go mucking around and find a quote that
means something to me.  Our best writing is the
difficult from-the-heart as honest as we can possibly
be stuff, and that's what the reader wants too ~ it
doesn't even have to be original. Isn't that a relief?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

mind the green onions

Originally uploaded by the omster.
Last night's pasta was exquisite, but next time (like tonight) Husbando won't put in so many green onions. The key to the whole thing was the beyond belief cottage cheese. Well worth the $8. He
used the bow tie noodle, by the way.

After dinner we watched this artie Danish film "Soap" .Charlotte and Veronica are two lost souls who fall in love. Veronica is a gorgeous transexual (dark) and Charlotte a woman (blonde) who likes to bare her breasts a lot in public and private. I think I liked the movie (from Flix®) better than Husbando did, so it's time I rent a nice action or war movie for him. He did not object to the nudity, I noticed, just to all the emotional girl movie stuff...which I enjoyed thoroughly.

I had a nice long ocean walk with Mollie this morning, before the rains really hit. Now I need to write for tonight's group. OK, okay.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

marlena offers comfort

Marlena Spieler is one of our favorite food writers in the
Chronny and last week she wrote about this dish that we
will have for dinner tonight. Husbando made a special trip
to the Cowgirl (shouldn't that be Cow woman?) Creamery
at the Farmer's Market on the Embarcadero and spent
$8.00 for one pound of about the best damn cottage
cheese you would ever want to taste. I don't do the grocery
shopping (drat), but he who does says that at Trader Joe's
the cottage cheese is $2.59 for two pounds. (Get out
your calculators...)

Anyway, one time Marlena wrote about her feet killing her
in Europe and her sweet husband wore her heels while she
wore his big comfy guy shoes. I like that story.

Husbando says, "this is an offshoot of a Jewish dish".
Marlena's Pasta
with Cottage Cheese
Serves 4
This is my ultimate comfort food.

12 ounces to 1 pound
pasta (choose flat or twisty noodles,
  hollow penne or ditalini, elbow macaroni or shell shapes)
2 to 3 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 green onions and/or 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
Coarse grains of salt
Coarsely ground pepper
1 pound
cottage cheese

Instructions: Cook
pasta in lots of rapidly boiling salted water
until al dente. Drain and toss with the butter or olive oil
until well coated.
Toss with the green onion and/or garlic, then add your
seasonings. Serve the hot
pasta with dollops of cool fresh
cottage cheese
  The rain has finally arrived and there is a robust fire in our
  world's smallest fireplace. Life is good, very good. I'll
  report on the pasta tomorrow. You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

that friday feeling

My weekend starts tomorrow and of course the oft-delayed
great rains will be here as well. That's OK. Our friend Mollie
is in town from Portland and we had scheduled our first
Ocean Beach walk for Thursday morning, but that might
turn into coffee and chatter instead.

The fabulous Salon Mistressnik
The Writing Salon invited
me to join her Round Robin class for three days as a
substitute. I miss taking this class which forces me to write
every single day, but I didn't think I could handle that and
the Italian classes too. I'm not surprised to see that see has
an extremely long list of writers this session ~ once you take
the course, you would see why. I worry about her having to
read all those 10 minute essays each and every damn day.
And organize them for regurgitation at the end of the week.
Yikes and argh.

Eric Maisel also teaches writing via email. He offers one for
travelers that I probably should have taken at some point.
I plan to write a lot during and after my trip, but I'm a little
worried that I will concentrate too much on finding a
computer (not to mention searching for the correct word)
and will miss some to the richness of this experience. Yet
we all know that writing makes every trip at least 10 times
more interesting. Well, maybe 5.

Monday, February 05, 2007

san francisco values

Queen Mary 2
Originally uploaded by szsurge.
Where else in America would you find thousands of people gathered to watch a huge ship come under a bridge? On Super Bowl Sunday, no less? Pardon me if I'm feeling a little smug, but don't you just love it? There are tons of fabulous ship and GG Bridge photos (see The Great Plotnik's blog, for one), but I borrowed (ahem) this one because it illustrates our amazing citizens.

And yes, we did see Queen Mary 2 because we were down at Fort Mason to see "Pain and Pleasure" at the Magic Theatre. I liked it, Husbando didn't. It was the merciful one act play and we were out of there by 4pm, just in time to see the show. I didn't have my camera, but Flickr® works just fine, if you want to do a search. Anyway, when QM2 was only 27 ft. under the bridge! Amazing. And the beauty of the sailboats, fire boats spraying water, tourist boats there to welcome her was indeed a sight that I'll never forget. Yesterday was another one of those, "my god, how lucky I am to live here!" kind of days.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

speaking of creativity

Originally uploaded by the omster.
Last night we watched "Sketches of Frank Gehry" from the Flix® ~ it's terrific if you like his work, which we do. I'd like to see that Disney Concert Hall down in L.A. and of course maybe even one day to the museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Of course I enjoyed hearing that he is terrified when he sees the finished product for the first time. And I liked seeing how he works, with lots of space and talented people to exchange ideas with. Inspiring stuff.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

a genuine nice guy

Originally uploaded by the omster.
Last Sunday morning Brian Copeland was in our big box chain book store and we had a delightful chat. I told him how much Husbando and I loved his long-running play "Not a Genuine Black Man" and I even admitted that I welled up at one point. If you've seen the play, you'll know where that happens. He asked if he could sign his book (same name as the play) and of course I said yes and then I invited him to a book signing. Here I go again. I can't help myself, but I just think he is so wonderful and I bet it will be a huge success. Maybe this time I won't feel so 100% responsible for the success of the event. Maybe.

March 20
4th floor
Meet Brian Copeland at Borders Union Square

I have about 6 or so weeks to get really nervous.

Friday, February 02, 2007

how are those 900 pages?

I am returning Sacred Games to the big box chain store
because it's very bloody violent (chopping and slicing of
assorted body parts is just not appealing) and I finally got
around to reading the review in the Jan. 15th New Yorker.
Seems the novel "owes much to Bollywood films" and I
have never been a great fan of those. Perhaps if I were
sitting on the beach in the Canary Islands for two weeks
with nothing to do, I'd give Mr. Chandra a better chance.

So I'm going to finish
Pompeii by Harris and also Berendt's
The City of Falling Angels before the trip. This book is
all about Venice, especially the opera house that was only
recently reopened after that terrible fire. I try to read a
graph in Rick Steve's
Italy travel book every night. For
instance I did just learn that Italy is 9 hours ahead of us
here on the West Coast. Also that artichokes (carciofe)
are in season and plentiful in April. Yeah!

Gotta run to squeeze a lime and pack a lunch.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

let the lime hug my liver every day

a cut and paste from Ms. Beetnik's Breast Cancer Adverture blog:

Health Tip #2: Limes

Every time I go to see Efrem Korngold at Chinese Medicine Works, he works on my liver because my liver, which is an incredibly important organ, is weak. Like the majority of other Americans, I've led a life of excess...too many unhealthy, over-processed foods that have had all the nutrients sucked or bleached out of them, too much work and not enough play, too much worrying about money money money... all of which overtaxed me and my poor liver.

What happens when your liver isn't working optimally? Well, its job is to rid your body of numerous nasty toxins. If that doesn't happen, you end up f....cking yourself over in oh so many ways. For example, I need my liver to get rid of excess estrogens in my body - not all my estrogen, but the EXCESS estrogen. If my liver doesn't do that, I can end up with estrogen dominance, which can, for some women, be a contributing cause of breast cancer (or breast cancer recurrence).

There are many ways to work on strengthening your liver. Efrem does acupuncture focused on just that. He also gives me herbal concoctions.

But if you don't want to do acupuncture or get the herbs, here are two simple tips for strengthening your liver: 1) Drink a cup of hot water with the juice of one lime in it every day (or as often as you want), and 2) Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. a day of lecithin granules to your diet.

Efrem said that the lime drink is like "giving your liver a big hug." My lips puckered big time, the first time I tried it. Now I'm used to it, though. In fact, I like it.

molly, you served us well...

I've clipped and emailed hundreds of columns by Molly Ivins
over the years and now she's gone. That feisty, funny
spokeswoman for the "little guy" who could see through all
the political bullshit in Texas and Washington D.C. We know
it wasn't an easy death, breast cancer just isn't. Thank
you, Molly, for devoting your life to us. Today I'll read all
the tributes and I already like learning that she used the
many awards she had won over the years as trivets on
her dining room table when she hosted parties.

Which leads me to the sell this morning. My friend Loren is
walking the walk, so today I will talk the talk. The thermometer
is up and we need to help raise $1800 so she can qualify for
"Avon Walk for Breast Cancer:" again. Go ahead, it's an
easy way to feel good this morning, and Loren's walk last
year inspired us all. We'll do this for Molly and the thousands
of other women who have died too soon from this horrid disease.

One of the best blogs around is
My Great Breast Cancer
by my teacher and special friend, Jane. She has
devoted a lot of time doing research and keeping her body
strong through diet and exercise. She has replaced ice cold
vodka shots with beet juice over assorted dried and soaked
nuts and even I have started her lime-a-day with hot water
routine. This morning I will toast her and Molly and Loren
Lenore's Diary and I promise to continue to harangue you
readers for money for the thermometer and walk.