Friday, August 31, 2007

mozzarella di bufala

Husbando and I had been messing around with the basic caprese
salad for years ~ adding anchovies, lettuce, onion. Silly
Americans. The photo above is one that I took in Florence at
the wonderful Belcore Ristorante on Via dell'Albero, near the
train station. All you need for this salad is really great cow's
milk mozzarella (expensive and worth it), luscious tomatoes, a
few basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
Keep it simple, a lesson we learned yet once again.

The bag is in the hall. We are heading to Santa Barbara on Tuesday
to stay with my friend Ginger who has a lovely home in Summerland.
I usually go alone, but Husbando watched la casa when I went to
Italy, so he deserves a nice September vacation. Ginger always fixes
me caprese salads and this year will be extra special because we
will be able to relive the Italy trip and she will regale Husbando
with some "remember that train ride?" details that I might have
forgotten. We return home the following Saturday, Sept. 8th.

I am a barista. By the time my yesterday was over I had concocted
(and tasted, unfortunately) about 400 hot and cold brewed beverages.
It's such a science now that even I couldn't screw up if I followed
the handy recipe guide and wiped the espresso machine wand after
every use.

Day off today, better warm my camera batteries...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the prolific raymond carver

This is my September staff selection ~ I am such a Raymond
Carver fan. He died in 1988, can it have been almost 20 years?
I believe this collection of his poetry was published in May
of this year. It caught my eye, I have clipped many a Carver
poem over the years and his words in both stories and poems
haunt me.

The Current

These fish have no eyes
these silver fish that come to me in dreams,
scattering their roe and milt
in the pockets of my brain.

But there's one that comes--
heavy, scarred, silent like the rest,
that simply holds against the current,

closing its dark mouth against
the current, closing and opening
as it holds to the current.

Raymond Carver

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

arabica vs. robusta

Yesterday we learned all about coffee and how to make our customers
happy. We use only the finest Arabica (I think that's how it's spelled)
coffee beans and actually I enjoyed my day in class, even if it's not
easy for me to sit still for very long. No, I didn't make those lattes
pictured above, but maybe one day soon I will. And yes, a new acronym
or two which I promptly forgot...but we do recommend 1 tablespoon of
freshly ground coffee for 6 oz. of hot water when making coffee at home.
Make that filtered water, of course.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

it had potential

I love a mystery, but couldn't get involved in this one about a
high school girl who is murdered. Her ex-boyfriend tries to solve
the case and maybe if he stops walking around with his hands in
his pockets he will do so by the end of the movie. God knows he
looks old enough ~ maybe about 12 years older than your usual high
school student. For us it fell like a Brick.

Monday, August 27, 2007

60 more miles for the cure

Dancing Jen's sister Sarah went to Chicago last weekend for the 3 Day
Komen Run For The Cure. Sarah walked to honor her boss and friend who
died of breast cancer. As you know by now, I so admire people who raise
money and then walk or run or swim or sing or scream to the rest of us.
I asked Sarah if I could publish her email which gave me goosebumps.

Hi Mary Ann-
I made it through the walk. I'm not going to lie, it was hard! But I am very happy with how well my friend Vanessa and I did. We were extremely tired and had a few blisters, but both agreed that this was one of the most amazing/rewarding things we had ever done. We met so many wonderful people, a lot of them were survivors which inspired us to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. One of our favorite parts of the day (other than reaching camp at night) was the cheering stations. We walked through numerous little towns on the outskirts of Chicago, the residents of these towns came out to cheer us on. Often they had water, popsicles and ice. Not only was this great physically, but mentally having them thank us for walking and telling us about how they were touch by these horrible disease, was indescribable. Literally after every one, we found ourselves walking faster, forgetting about the pain and actually looking forward to the miles that lay ahead.

We did have one tense moment, we camped out in these little tents at a Community college. On Saturday night Vanessa and I could not sleep because of the humidity. It was miserable. Suddenly at 3:00 am Sunday morning it started to rain and the most wonderful breeze started. We were so excited, finally relief. We joked about maybe now we could get a couple hours of sleep. After a few minutes the rain got harder and the wind stronger. We started to worry about our little tent holding up. We unzipped the door of the tent to look outside and as we poked our heads out, our neighbors tent went drifting by…we then started to panic. We were literally holding on to the sides of the tent so it would not blow away or cave in. After a few minutes, we hear one of the staff members yelling "I need everyone out of their tents now!". So, here's Vanessa and I trying to hold the tent together, put some clothes on all in the dark. We finally manage to get dressed, we throw on some flip flops, our rain poncho, grab our flashlight and exit the tent. We are told they are relocating us to the gym until the storm passes. We get to the gym and as we sit and wait listening to the thunder and lightening, I start to think about our tent with all our clothes and supplies, all I could think about was please let my sneakers and socks I planned to wear today stay dry. That was the moment I realized I was dedicated to this! I could care less about my wallet and cell phone, I just wanted dry sneakers to walk in. Well, the storm passed, we got back to the tent and I am happy to report all was dry. We never made it back to bed, since it was our last day we decided to get ready to finish the walk.

Thank you, Sarah for walking those hot and difficult 60 plus miles for the rest of us!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

dinner yucky, lunch yummy

Well, you don't want to eat at Julius' Castle so I won't
provide the link. It was beautiful up there right next to
Coit Tower, however, and they were friendly and Husbando
did not mind the $12 parking valet fee one bit. Not one bit.
We had an excellent visit with Jack and his brother Paul, but I
didn't get enough sleep and the 4:15 wake-up call seemed
more strident than usual this morning.

So I decided that I needed a treat for lunch. I went to Out The
Door (above) at the Westfield Center down there on Market Street. It's
part of The Slanted Door family and at 11:30 wasn't crowded at
all. I just had the 5-spice chicken sandwich, but next time I'll
experiment some more. We used to LOVE The Slanted Door when it
was here in the Mish on Valencia Street, but since then it's
become famous in its new Farmer's Market spot. And expensive
too, they tell us. But their youngest child was quite reasonable.
Oh, it's Vietnamese based food, by the way. A theme this week, no?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

a tourist in my own town

Dinner at Piperade last night was delightful ~ I took a taxi from work
and marveled at how rude the taxi driver was and once again wondered
why I tipped him (too much). You can take the girl out of Pasadena,
and you know the rest...

Tonight we are going to show Jack this famous old landmark, Julius'
Castle. The view will be spectacular, meaning the food probably won't
be, but that's OK. We haven't been here in more than 20 years. I'm
not used to this Social Ramble and work will be a little rough today
because I didn't get enough sleep last night.

Friday, August 24, 2007

off to work, out to dinner

We ended up having the writing group here last night and that was
wonderful, as always. Good thing Husbando keeps the house in order
so we can have last minute guests w/o panic.

Yes, Ms. K, I was exaggerating about the number of new University
buildings ~ but it does seem that they are using miles and miles
of formerly vacant lots down around Mission Bay.

No, Ms. K, I am not learning Vietnamese except through osmosis. I
have been going to Nail Chic or Chic Nail on Castro at 24th Street
for many years. I am always pleased with the inexpensive service,
but I note online that not everyone is. I love hearing the women
talking to each other in Vietnamese, I find it incredibly soothing.
I note online that not everyone agrees with me here either.

Husbando's friend Jack is here from St. Louis and we will have
dinner at Piperade, one of our favorite restaurants on Battery St.
It is Basque food and not too loud. It is increasingly difficult
to find a place to eat around here where we don't have to scream
at each other. Michael Bauer (to your right) is our restaurant
critic who writes about this often in his blog. We look for his
reviews that feature restaurants with less than 3 bells...and
avoid The Bombs completely.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

go ask alice

I always stop and admire this window of a smoke shop on Mission St.
near Cesar Chavez. The grey furball in the right hand corner is
usually lounging in the sun or winding herself around one of the
hookahs. Not the sort of store one sees in the malls that are far
too prevalent in America ~ but hey, I'm not judgmental, everyone
knows that.

Today back to Right Wing Wong and then a little preparation for the
writing group tonight. More nice weather predicted.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

picnic by the bay

Just a quick catch-up tonight. It is so beautiful here now
with sunshine and clear skies, not hot, of course. I started
the day with yoga, then Husbando and I picnicked out by
Mission Bay there south of our Phone Ballpark. The University
seems to be taking up ALL that land there and it's scary
because it feels like a new building goes up every week.
(the photo above is just one of 754 new UCSF buildings, but
I didn't take this tiny shot)

Then I went for mani/pedi and to practice my Vietnamese.
Speaking of which, I am even more disgusted (if possible)
with Bush for conveniently changing the history on Vietnam
to try to convince us not to leave Iraq. He is an unspeakably
bad and dangerous president. Yes, I know you agree.

Last night was way more successful than I expected. Eric had
about 25 avid Maisel fans and he spoke to them for almost 2
hours and of course we sold a few books. But I got home late
and was a bit of a cranky bear, if you must know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

pardon the red arrow

I'm sure some could remove it from the book, but at least it gave
me a headline for this post. I don't have to be at the big box until
11am this morning, and I get to DRIVE, because I am the host for
a book signing with Eric Maisel. That's not why I'm driving, but
don't you worry your pretty heads about my sentence construction.

In any event, if you want to meet the man who has me crack an egg
when I am creatively stuck (we go through a lot of eggs here at
Casa Pequeña), join us:

Eric Maisel
Borders Union Square
Post and Powell
Downtown San Francisco
4th Floor (or 2nd Floor if it's an "intimate" gathering)

It's clear and beautiful here! You should hear the tourists bitching
about having to return to their HOT 'n MUGGY home states.

Monday, August 20, 2007

oh happy day!

Finally the Flix® sent us Season Two of this delightful series
that we don't get on our TV. You remember Mary Louise Parker is
the pot selling single mama who lives in some boring burb some
place (I think) in burb-filled SoCal. We'll start enjoying Weeds tonight.
When last we watched our heroine had just discovered that her new
boyfriend is a DEA agent. Drat, I really liked him too!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

sir, you have a phone call on line three

Robert Downey, Jr. plays SF Chronny reporter Paul Avery and Jake
Gyllenhall is Robert Graysmith, the cartoonist/detective/author
who eventually solves this intriguing case from our violent past.
It was probably not the best movie to see before trying to sleep,
plus it was more than 2 and 1/2 hours long, but yes, I do indeed
recommend Zodiac. My favorite scenes were inside the newspaper offices,
all those men in ties at important meetings, women outside manning
the phones. Oh, I meant to say white men in ties...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

adwoman in oakland

Last week I was interviewing a young woman and she mentioned
that her current office position was a revelation because there
was no one else to do the job when she went on vacation, and
she was surprised to find the same stack of work when she
returned. This was one of the many things I learned when I
worked at Capwell's as a young/innocent copywriter.

Now this was back when dinosaurs roamed the Bay Area, mind
you, before the internet. The good old days when smoking
was cool and we hadn't yet been jaded by politics as usual.
We were an intense bunch, hard-working and exceedingly
opinionated. Pains in the ass, I'm sure, speaking now as a
manager, and realizing that about the only controllable expense
is payroll and no, you won't be getting a raise, so sorry.

The big old grey block above was Capwell's. I'm always pleased
that the beautiful green marble I. Magnin building remains
and I do remember those haughty clerks who made me feel like
a penniless waif who didn't know shit about style. No wonder
they went out of business.

Here is a two liner that I wrote as a Round Robin exercise
last week...


It was here that I learned that friends
are more important than corporations

and that nothing is fair in business or, I'm
sorry to tell you, the world beyond

that some people work harder than others
and bosses were not promoted because

they were necessarily smarter or kinder
than others, in fact just the opposite it seemed

then, and probably now, but I don't really
think about it anymore because it doesn't matter

to me one bit and I've wasted too many precious
hours worrying about business and losing sleep

over things over which I have absolutely no
control, on the other hand, I did learn more about

myself and others during my working career
and one thing I know for sure is that, damn it all,

no matter what the job, it's always the people,
not the tasks, and delegation comes easier if

you give them a little humor and praise along
with the tedious assignment that was due yesterday.

Friday, August 17, 2007

an obituary worth reading

(from yesterday's chronny)

He privately called one of his saloons the "Risky Liver Inn," referred to his pet dachshund as "a 10-pound bladder" in a national magazine interview, and at 14 ran away from home on a funky Whizzer scooter.

And that was all before he founded the Toad Hollow, the Healdsburg winery famous for its oddball toad-themed labels - and award-winning taste.

Yes, Robert Todd Williams was a character all right, his friends and wife recalled with chuckles Wednesday. And if he hadn't died from heart failure Tuesday, they said, he would be the first one to tell you so.

"The man essentially drove his life at 90 miles an hour until it went off a cliff," said Erik Thorson, Toad Hollow controller. "He enjoyed every minute he had on Earth, and he's probably in heaven right now having a BLT with extra bacon and laughing his head off."

His even better-known younger brother, actor/comedian Robin Williams, put it this way: "Toad left a big footprint with a cork, or as a friend said, he left a great trail."

Mr. Williams, who lived in Healdsburg and was known to friends as Todd or Toad, died at 69 at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Over the past 14 years, he built a national reputation as a top-flight winemaker with the Toad Hollow Vineyards he founded with vintner Rodney Strong. The vineyard drew early attention with its whimsical wine names, including Eye of the Toad and Cacophony, and labels featuring toads hoisting glasses - but it was the taste that kept connoisseurs coming back for more, boosting the winery's sales from 3,000 cases in 1994 to 100,000 cases last year. Its varietals have won dozens of prizes, including a silver medal for its Chardonnay last year in the New World Wine Competition.

One of the key goals of the winery, Mr. Williams always proclaimed, was to keep the bottles affordable while still tasting great. Most Toad Hollow selections cost less than $20.

"He wanted to make really good wine for the masses, where you wouldn't have to think about spending a big wad," said Mr. Williams' wife of 29 years, Francie "Frankie" Williams. "He tried to take some of the mystery and snobbery out of the wine business."

Mr. Williams was born in Chicago to Susan and Robert Williams, who divorced while he was an infant. He was raised in rural Versailles, Ky., by his mother - until the age of 14, when he left to seek adventure on a motor scooter. He worked at odd jobs until he found saloon work to be his calling, and with the exception of a hitch in the Air Force in the 1950s in Greenland, he spent the rest of his life selling alcohol in one way or another, friends and family recalled.

"He was full of stories, made everyone laugh and had a good time doing it," said his wife. "You never knew for sure about the details, because Todd went to the Mark Twain school of thought, where you don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

Among these tales were recountings of running the Pink Elephant Club saloon in Oklahoma while serving in the Air Force, tending bar at 17 different nightclubs from Jamaica to California, and serving up drinks year after year with wild frivolity at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

He lied about his age in so many inventive ways that at one point he forgot how old he truly was, friends recalled. Finally, when he was an adult, his mother pulled out his birth certificate and showed him he was four years younger than he thought.

Frankie Williams said she met her future husband, appropriately, in a saloon in San Francisco in the early 1970s, and the couple soon started up the Toad Manner bar in the Marina district. Mr. Williams called himself Mayor of the Marina, and his booming laugh made the bar a magnet for a dizzying collection of characters, from bikers and cross-dressers to lawyers and writers from Rolling Stone.

"There was one guy named Beefy, who wore a pillbox hat and a black housedress and had a big black beard," Robin Williams remembered with a laugh, phoning from a movie set in Connecticut. "In San Francisco, that's kind of like day-wear."

Mr. Williams called his customers and pals at the bar his "Marina maggots," which his brother deadpanned was particularly appropriate "because if you are a toad, it's always good to have maggots nearby."

"People were drawn to that bar not because of location, location, location," said Robin Williams. "It was Toad."

After running a bar in the Calaveras County town of Arnold and working as a salesman for companies including Shafer Vineyards in Napa, he hit his true stride with Toad Hollow, friends and family said.

"It was no surprise he turned that into such a success," said longtime pal Dick Donahue, co-owner of the Marina Lounge in San Francisco, which Mr. Williams continued to visit throughout his life after leaving the city. "He could be in a room with the longshoreman or the pope, and he'd get them to laugh, but he could also read people the minute he met them."

Robin Williams, who because of family divorces didn't know he had a brother until he was several years old, said it was only natural that his brother (who has the same father as the comedian) turned out to be funny. He cast his brother as the bartender in "Mrs. Doubtfire," but turning him into a pro was never a goal, he said. It was enough that the older Williams was just flat-out fun to hang with.

"It's in the genes," said the comedian. "Toad was outrageous, maybe even more than me. Hard to believe, but it's true."

In addition to his wife and brother, Mr. Williams is survived by another brother, McLaurin Smith of Memphis and eight nieces and nephews.

A public celebration of his life will be held at Richard's Grove and Saralee's Vineyard in Windsor on Aug. 25, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

experimenting with words and rhythm

Inspired by Will, encouraged by Maria, my writing partner this
week, I have been playing around with 2 line stanza pieces. I
don't really know what I'm doing, but it's fun to try something
new and Maria says "brava, you must do this for an entire week",
and so I am, without fear or silly pride. I am working on one
for commano now...yes, I am a woman of courage.

So first, here is Will's from last week. I wrote and asked him
if I could publish it and he said "yes", but he wanted to rearrange
a few lines. Oh, background. Will is in our writing group, but
he spends the summers with his wife, Valerie, in Provincetown. He is
a faithful Round Robin student too, realizing that we must write
every day. Will is the one who adds a gazillion commas and other
tedious punctuation marks to my work and this blog title reflects
his influence over me. 'Nuff to Will.

Prompt: THE FOG
Writer: Will Walker

He doesn’t know what to do, he says, he’s reached 67
and he finds he’s been on a path without heart,

and he doesn't know what to do now, and I say, well,
that’s a spiritual question, and I’m so pleased with myself

to have understood his plight I say it again, it’s a spiritual question,
and then I go home, and sleep and wake and walk the dogs

and ponder, and realize I’ve been talking to some version
of my father, a man who went into medicine because he thought

he couldn’t be a chemist, and I want to rush back and tell Bob
this surprising news, and all the time I’m standing with him

at the edge of the Big Empty, and I know how he feels,
you get somewhere you think is the somewhere

you’ve been traveling to, and there’s no there there,
and so you pout, and it’s painful, and then you get some lunch

and catch your breath, or maybe eat some chocolate
and later drink a beer and someone says Thank you

for holding the door and life seems okay for the moment
and you realize okay for the moment is all there is

and that’s enough, it really is, and I consider going
back to Bob and saying Kiddo, have you been channeling

Carlos Castaneda or spending too much time with the Jungians,
what is this? your path has no heart, that is just a

goddam fucking knee-slapper of a line, look at your life,
notice the beach house we’re sitting in, the astonishing

harbor spread before the many panes of fine glass
in your windows, the young wife who is smart and cool,

the bike rides you take daily, the neighbor who just brought you
cookies, this fine literate conversation we’re having

about your drunken mother and the damage done, man,
you are a piece of work, people love you, I love you,

and I don’t even know you, and I understand, we all want
to rule the world, but it’s a big world and the abyss is even bigger

and longer and deeper, so go ahead, haul out the ice cream,
I’ll have to pass--I don’t bike thirty miles a day the way you do--

but indulge, buddy, life is good, the universe is insane,
there’s no reason to weep, we can laugh at it all, we can,

we can, and then we can get some sleep or at least rest
and wake up, maybe in the fog, but still wake up

and count it a blessing, and our misspent lives will perhaps
find a use as we notice someone else limping down the sidewalk

and lend them a hand, or not, perhaps just say hello,
isn’t the fog thick today, like pea soup, let’s hope it

burns off after we’ve enjoyed it for another hour or two.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

an almost perfect day

My day started in Oakland in Right Wing Wong's dental chair
and I also used the opportunity to snap a photo of the old
Capwell's store (now Sears) to use in a future blog to amuse
certain readers. I have to return to RWW's place next week,
but we needn't discuss that any further because we live only in
The Now.

At noon we picked up The Great Plotniks and headed to Catch for
a birthday lunch for Mrs. TGP. Starting with grilled artichokes
and ending with mussels, onion rings, salmon sandwich and lots
of oooohs and ahhhhs from all four of us. Catch is located on
Market at Castro, if you're too lazy to click on the handy link.

Husbando had a brilliant idea and we all climbed in Ken the Toyota
and zipped over to The Presidio to see the amazing Robert Cameron
photography show there at the Officer's Club. Then Doug drove us
all around the Presidio which he claimed to know exceedingly well
and we didn't get lost very often. We had not seen the cemetery
there nor many of the beautiful homes for VIPs. It truly was a
wonderful day, beautiful and clear with just an enticing ruffle
of fog near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

acronyms at home too

Husbando tapes TV programs that I can't stay awake for.
Today I watched last night's Big Love and soon I'll
be smokin' and drinkin' manhattans with the Mad Men.
RTG he writes on the post-its: Ready To Go.
Sometimes I think being so thoughtful is one of the
most underrated of all traits of a caring partner.
Of course who wants to hear me mutter and bitch while
I rewind and try to find the opening scene? Maybe this
is more of an act of self preservation, but it's nice nonetheless.

Monday, August 13, 2007

there's a chill in my heart

The big box has been having AC problems ~ way too hot last
week and a refrigerator today. Some poor guy is up on the
roof working on the unit, or maybe he's just enjoying the nice
weather outside of our store.

A customer called today to complain that it was too cold.
He was sitting in our cafe at the time and I'm still trying to
decide if I dislike cell phones or people more.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

a bad hour

Tonight we tried to watch A Good Year with Russell Crowe ~
about the only thing of value was Albert Finney and he died
too soon. Maybe on the big screen the scenery in rural France
would be gorgeous and maybe the plot wouldn't seem so dopey,
but neither of us could tolerate this film so it doesn't get
its big photo op in commano. We turned it off after Russell fell
down for the 64th time in a row and the yappy little dog peed
on his leg again.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

a little minnesota romance

One of the reviews I read called Sweet Land an "unhurried
Romeo and Juliet love story". It is tender and loving and
not syrupy sweet by any means ~ a shy Norwegian farmer
takes a mail order bride and it's available on the Flix®,
what else?

Friday, August 10, 2007

noisy and crowded

(today's Round Robin daily write ~ the prompt was Quiet & Empty)

I normally like quiet and empty ~ like a museum that's meant just for me,
before the crowds arrive. But not a city. A city should be multi-colored
and alive and the people should be just frantic enough to spread their
their energy and share it with all of us.

My friend Michael just returned to Santa Barbara after a week in SF.
He said, "it's more than quiet here, it's embalmed". We like to have
coffee at La Boheme after I get off work when Michael's in town.
It's two blocks from his SF home and right across the street from the
BART station at 24th St. and Mission where I emerge.

La Boheme is alive, alive-o with groups of men and women playing
chess, working on their computers, not disciplining their children, writing
in their journals, bashing all forms of government everywhere and
never, it appears, going to a real job. They are beautiful, interesting
people of all ethnicities and ages and it seems like they've known each
other forever. With the Che Gueverra posters on the wall, bulletin
boards and fliers advertising everything from The Writing Salon to
the next Socialist March for Freedom, it's always busy and there's a
warm hum of talk and laughter in the background.

Is there music at La Boheme? I can't remember, but even a few
appropriate operatic arias would not be necessary because the
bohemians who live here provide enough entertainment for all
of us. Go. Sit. Stare. Drink coffee. Appreciate life.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

tma at the bb

Too Many Acronyms ~ isn't that right, Mr. Z?

The cafe has a whole new set for me to learn:
FIFO = First In, First Out (for product, not staff)
LATTE = Listen, Acknowledge, etc. (for customers)
SBC for Seattle's Best Coffee
and many more that I need to practice a bit to perfect.

The big box is awash in acronyms and you already
know many of them:
FOS (front of store)
SPO (special orders)
IPT (inventory folks)
BSS (some audit thing)
LY (last year)
MM (multi media)
TLU (title look up)

At one time IPT was known as SPT but too many of
us called it the Special Victims Unit and too
many of them were not amused. Now it's time to
MML (make my lunch)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

keeping my ears open

On BART this morning. Two young women, roommates,
but not lovers, or so I surmised:

YW #1 ~ I want to warn you that Carl is coming up
from L.A. for a couple of days. He can be difficult.
YW #2 ~ Difficult. How so?
#1 ~ Well, he takes pills and drinks too much.
#2 ~ Oh, that's OK, I'll just stay in my room.
#1 ~ But he's really nice when he's sober.

Ah, the innocence of youth, I could only smile and
pretend to read my book some more.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

congratulations to Barry!

Tonight we were watching TV when Barry Bonds hit #756 and
we heard the fireworks in the background. How delightful
this experience was and Barry was so gracious to
everyone, which isn't always the case. Lovely seeing
Hank Aaron's congratulatory video too. Special!

no, august is the cruelest month

Buffalo Bill's
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

ee cummings

Tomorrow it will be 9 years since my brother died. We were
at the Giants game at Candlestick, remember Blogmaid? Evan
was such a good looking boy and man, a sort of cross between
Sam Shephard and Paul Newman. Bright and intense blue eyes,
a winning smile. Were we close? Not at all, and that is the
second worse thing about his too early death, to me.

My father also died in August, on the 10th ~ many, many years ago.
And yes, we were close, no unresolved issues there, thankfully.
A Good Death, if such a thing ever occurs...

Monday, August 06, 2007

women conquer technology

My headline today is courtesy of Snow Globe Sally who works
down on the Infinite Loop at Apple. The sketch is once again
Paul Madonna's and the mood is much lighter here now that the
spinning beach ball of death (another Sally phrase) has bounced
off to someone else's computer, and my heart goes out to him/her,
poor wretch.

I am off work today because I am getting special training in our
cafe on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I do not wish to discuss
this anymore because my lifelong dream was never to work in the
food world in a big box in the heart of San Francisco. Lordy what
we do for money...

Husbando and I had delicious noodle soups at Mifune in Japantown
and then I met my friend Michael at XO for coffee and a sweet.
I am enjoying having Monday off, but this surprises no one, does it?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

good news for the fans of ann

Which did you love most ~ Bel Canto or The Magician's Assistant?

My vote goes to the The Assistant, but of course anything our
Ms. Patchett writes is totally engrossing, even her non-fiction
Truth & Beauty.

Run won't be out until October, but I emailed Harper Collins
and snagged an Advanced Reading copy.

But first I will finish Disturbances in the Field, which I am thoroughly enjoying.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

saturday night in an english village

What a delight this movie is, second only to Alan Bennett's play,
I'm guessing. A group of unruly teenage boys trying to get into
Oxford or Cambridge ~ along with their three teachers who impart so
much more than we expect. We all know that British humor is superior
to ours and this is just another fine example. Three Kleenex®. Rent
The History Boys ASAP.

Friday, August 03, 2007

day off with laptop

Yesterday I spent far too much time either futtzing around with
msBook or worrying about her. I like this Paul Madonna sketch
right now. The problem actually seems to be related to browser
and email and blah, blah, blah. I did get a pretty good daily
write out of the whole experience, but there are too many swear
words and I'll have to clean it up if I ever want to publish it,
even in commano. My computer still isn't 100%, but I think I am,
and that's really all that counts, isn't it?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

act one, scene one

I think this looks like a set design for some theatre production
where people dash in an out of various apartments. You know what I
mean, the woman leaves her lover next door and almost runs into her
husband who is hurrying to meet his lover on the 3rd floor. Lots of
slamming doors and the audience keeps saying, "oh no" and laughing,
relieved that they are not in that predicament.

Actually this is from my walk on Valencia Street yesterday, north of
the Salvation Army (with their inflated prices). I couldn't NOT
photograph it...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

make mine the mish

We have lived on the outskirts of The Mission District for more than
30 years and a more colorful neighborhood you couldn't find this side
of the Mexican border, I believe. These are just 4 of the murals that
I've photographed these past two days and there are hundreds more ~
authorized and unauthorized ~ on fences, garage doors and walls. My
favorite has always been the red woman with those magnificent earrings,
you'll find her down on 16th and Sanchez. The others are mostly around
24th Street in the heart of The Mish. When I walk around here, as I
did this afternoon, I always think of my friend Ginger's expression
that applies to some midwestern burbs...the tyranny of beige. You
can see that we don't do beige very well in The Mish.