Sunday, September 30, 2007

blue skies, small plates

Yesterday was a REAL day off for me! It was so clear, sunny and
beautiful down at Fort Mason that one might mistake it for a more
hospitable location ~ like Southern California, perhaps. We sat for
about 5 hours listening to the blues (I read my book) while eating
BBQ chicken and a roasted ear of corn, then a little sweet potato
pie. So relaxing and pleasant.

We met TGP for dinner, walking down 16th Street past Indian, Mexican
and crepe restaurants, finally deciding on Andalu
for tapas. Ahi tartare tacos, sliders (!), duck confit, salad, green beans
and even butterfish on mashed potatoes. Talk about eclectic. Banana split
for dessert and, believe it or not, quite reasonably priced.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the new book I'm lost in. It's terrific...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

sand dabs described

Good question, notthat! The sand dab is actually part of the
flounder family and only swims here in our Pacific Ocean. It is
delicate and tender, I don't think it's ever frozen, so right
away when a restaurant serves it, you know it's probably fresh.
It's often not on the menu because the locals seem to know
where it's served (Tadich's, Sam's) and they will run out early
on in the day. It's one of those things you just can't cook at
home because it is grilled quickly on a VERY hot stove. When
you order it, ask the waiter to remove the bone for you. The sand
dab is one of the least fishy of all fishes ~ it's exquisite.

Now, back to me. It's a rare Saturday off and we are going to the
Blues Festival down at Fort Mason, as we do every year. Photos
tomorrow. Then we are meeting The Great Plotnik for dinner some
place here in The Mish. Early and cheap, that's our style.

Friday, September 28, 2007

here's the great white

Yes, it's very embarrassing. This is the truck that Ginger drives
with her dogs. She needs it when she travels from Santa Barbara to
Big Skye, then to Eureka. She also has a nice little VW bug for
everyday use. In any event, we all climbed in this yesterday to
go (with dogs) to Crissy Field and we got some looks. It uses two
parking places, lots of gas and you have to plan ahead because
some streets won't accommodate a car this large.

Our dinner was fabulous last night. Husbando had a crab louis, I
had the sand dabs and Ginger finished every drop of Tadich's famous
chioppino. We waited about 1/2 hour in the crowded bar, then lucked
out with about the best and friendliest and most professional waiter
in Northern America. Great fun and yes, my parking karma was working.
We took Ken the Toyota, of course, not the Great White.

Now she's on her way to Eureka ~ the house is very quiet.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

tourist thursday

Ginger from Summerland, her two dogs (and one platypus) are here now
so this morning we went to Crissy Field where the Golden Gate Bridge
was covered in fog. It's b-a-c-k. The walk, however, was invigorating
and always great fun because of all the dogs and strange people. We
saw a group of 12 mothers with their babies in designer buggies, all
doing yoga and exercising with some trainer guy who was making lots
of money by barking orders at the women who are working to get back
into shape along the prettiest stretch of land in America.

Then lunch at the Cliff House grill room ~ not bad food at all and
excellent service.

Tonight dinner at old world Tadich's, where the service isn't so
warm and caring, but the sand dabs are unusually good. Actually
it's probably Husbando's favorite SF restaurant and Ginger used to
dine here often when her husband Ern was alive. We will enjoy
ourselves and you'll read all about it maƱa.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

it's only a baseball moon

Let's get the important stuff out of the way first.
One bottle of Coke® ~ $4.50
One huge Polish dog w/ too much sauerkraut ~ $7.00
(learning that the Blogmaid had to eat sauerkraut as a
child was worth the $7)
Small chocolate on chocolate ice cream bar ~ $5.00
Parking (close to Target in Daly City) ~ free
Reliving the Great 2001 Opening Day Horror Show ~ priceless
Hearing Dodger Doug say "The 280, and The 101" ~ memorable
(and having the Blogmaid correct him, even more so)
The magnificent full harvest moon and warm weather ~ unbelievable
Snowglobe Sally's new Giants shirt ~ wowza
Notthat's baseball and family patter/chatter ~ lovely background
to the drive and game

Apologies for hinting that these were mindless cell phone
yuppies in the stands. Last night it was only hard core baseball
addicts and reminded me of the lazy days at The Stick. Room to
move around (although we didn't) and time to appreciate the little
baseball details. We were winning for a long time, then we weren't.

Thanks to the Blogmaid for the photo above, mine didn't turn out.
I think the Polish was short circuiting me. Oh, and it was fun
seeing the iPhones® of Snowglobe Sally and Nothat ~ cool.

I had a splendid time ~ I think we are the best email baseball group ever.
Or is that the baseball email group?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

baseball tonight

It will be a long day and night, so I had better do the
blog early, while I am still making a little sense.

Just for the record, our lovely summer weather has finally
arrived, the way it does every year about this time. I
am still seeing lines at the cable car and have vowed
during the next "Spare the Air" free day to take a ride.
It costs $5 now and only tourists can afford that.

I am so looking forward to the outing tonight ~ go Giants!

Monday, September 24, 2007

blogger's block

I promised myself I would write every day, no matter what, so
let me just share with you that I have nothing to say at all.
Husbando is watching Ken Burn's War and I need to do that too.
But I will wait until the boxed DVD set comes out and spend
a few days immersed in that distressing time.

At work everyone is quite excited about Sean Penn's Into the
and I loved the article in today's chronny about the making of the movie. The lead actor lost 41 pounds (on purpose). Drat, I can't get this link to work, you'll have to check it out the hard way...sorry!

Book lovers, by the way, are also movie lovers ~ it never
fails. But people who adore films are not necessarily big
readers. There, munch on that weighty thought.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

you had to be there...

It's impossible to explain why we love Barry. It's not as though
we're blind or stupid. I guess it's that old Seinfeld line, "maybe
it's the shirt". I do know that as soon as Barry put on the Giant's
uniform our days or being embarrassed to admit we went to baseball
games at The Stick were over. The team had been saved from being sold
to Florida (imagine!) and Barry was part of the New Deal. Can it
really have been 15 years?

So the Blogmaid and I are feeling nostalgic and a little sad to be
saying goodbye to Barry. I remember the Barry growth chart she found for
Haden one year ~ was he about 7 then? He is having his 16th birthday
on Monday and he's probably almost as tall as our hero. Barry Bonds is
as much a part of our baseball past as garlic fries, free Cokes® for
designated drivers, the heavy plaid wool blanket for night games, all
those free tickets and trinkets they used to give to get us to endure
the inconvenience of games at Candlestick Park. Good God, remember
when the outfielders used to wear wet suits and long johns under their uniforms?

On Tuesday night the baseball e-mail group (can't we find a better name?)
is finally going to The Jewel to see a game together. In amongst all
those cell phone yuppies who don't know an RBI from a Quarter Pounder.
I hope we can applaud our goodbye to Barry. Honestly if you weren't
in the stands when he hit some of those home runs, nor climbed up the
fence in left field to catch a ball and save the game, then you really
can't understand our feelings. But you do know that love is irrational,
don't you?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the lives of others

It's too late for me to give this film the commano Great Review
because I have another fun 6am opening tomorrow. Suffice it to say
that you will be enthralled and lost in East Berlin during the '80s,
before the gate came down. Romance, intrigue, brilliant little plot
twists and some totally fascinating characters. Rent it, buy it,
but you do want to see The Lives of Others.

Friday, September 21, 2007

the red carpet treatment

I was born without that Good Housekeeping gene, so this is how I
take care of our home decor. When I get to the "I can't stand
looking at that fucking chair/sofa/carpet/curtain" stage I rush
out and buy. Sometimes with Husbando, but it's quicker without.
You see, he has that gene that is missing in me, and he will
actually shop and compare and discuss and (I hate this part) argue
with me. So tedious.

Last week the big box gave me a nice bonus. A rare bonus. I dashed
over to Macy's and bought a new dining room rug. Then I worried for
an entire week that it would clash with the living room rug or be too
bright or Husbando would hate it. You see I don't carry swatches or
plan ahead, that would be way too normal. Actually I felt proud that
I had brought some sketchy rough measurements.

It arrived yesterday and all fears were put to rest. Also a few
muscles because we had to lug new and old rugs up many stairs, lay
the carpet pad, and I forgot to mention lots of furniture moving.
Husbando said, "good choice, I love the new carpet", about sixty
times and I beamed and walked barefoot all over, back and forth.

The old (heavy) rug had been with us so long that all 5 cats and one
Irish Setter had left their various marks. Neither of us could
remember what had been there before, it should have been replaced
about 10 years ago, if truth be known.

Now I want to have a carpet party, but we can only serve cranberry
juice and red wine.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

is it winter?

Yikes, there is rain-like moisture outside today. What the?

Last night we Flixed® this Black Snake Moan and other than my
usual criticism that nymphomania was invented (fantasized) by men,
I found it to be a much sweeter and more tender film than one
might guess from the chains and anger on this advertisement.
Samuel Jackson, Chritina Ricci and (of all people) Justin Timberlake.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

rest in peace, color, creativity and strength

Who could not love and admire Laurel Burch? Thanks to the
Blogmaid for sending me her obit. I'd always visit Laurel's store
in Carmel (with the parrot) and I loved to walk by her studio
in Sausalito. I bet every woman over the age of 30 has some scarf
or piece of jewelry or maybe even a coffee mug designed by this brave
woman who loved color and cats, and life, needless to say.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

sorry olafur

Oh, I get it. Turns out that fan at Moma is not just an
electrical appliance with a long cord. It's a sculpture by
Olafur Eliason and here's a video from someone else's
blog. Note how crowded it is here, yesterday there were
only 2 or 3 of us worrying about the fan bonking us on
the head.

Monday, September 17, 2007

18,000 used blue work clothes

Today I went to Moma on my lunch hour. I have been annoyed at
myself for not going more often and am quite aware that people
travel from all over to visit this museum which is about 5 blocks
away from the big box. So my new plan is to just pop in and
see one or two pieces, be inspired and impressed, and head back
to turmoilworld. Hey, this just might work!

Here is Ann Hamilton's Indigo Blue on the second floor...I think
it's terrific. I spent some time circling this and saw a couple
of other pieces and dashed back to work. The other impressive
item was the whirling ceiling fan in the lobby ~ go take a look.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

seven steps to serenity

Just in case you are having a rough day, here is a stress management
technique recommended in all the latest psychological journals. The funny
thing is that it really does work and will make you smile.

1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out
over a crystal clear stream.

2. Picture yourself with both your hands dangling in the cool running

3. Birds are sweetly singing in the cool mountain air.

4. No one knows your secret place.

5. You are in total seclusion from that hectic place called the world.

6. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a
cascade of serenity.

7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face
of the person you are holding underwater.

See? It really does work . You're smiling already

Saturday, September 15, 2007

what might have been

Tonight we watched Bobby ~ not an easy film, of course,
and somewhat slow and disjointed at the beginning. But
lots of fine actors including William H. Macy, Anthony
Hopkins, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone, Freddy Rodriguez...
and the Dodger game in the background. I like these
mixed vignette kind of movies like Magnolia, Grand
Canyon and others I'm too tired to remember now.

Oh, and some catch-up. The big box president loved our
store ~ how could he not? Glad that's over...too much tension
for this woman.

Friday, September 14, 2007

...and not one is demented

I think I could turn and live with animals,
they're so placid and self contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with
the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived
thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.

Walt Whitman

My friend Mary in Bisbee, Az has a new kitten named Sami.
We all remember the sad death of her last desert cat. She
sent me this poem and I do thank her sincerely. I had not
seen nor read it before.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

playing around with words again

(This was one of my daily Round Robin writes, pre-approved by
the Blogmaid, because I never know about my own work. The
prompt, as you already guessed, was "Black".)


She was in a black mood
in her black dress
blinking back bitter bile
in the blistering summer heat.

He wore his black suit with
the bright white shirt and red tie.
His mood was upbeat, he
wanted desperately to smile.

They were together at the funeral
of her friend, his sworn enemy.
A couple in name only for this
particular public event in July.

The man in the casket also wore
a black suit and the grisly make-up
concealed the self-inflicted gun shot
wound in his left temple.

The woman in the black dress
dropped a note into the casket.
Her companion removed it deftly
"See you soon", she had written neatly.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

a day of harmony and joy

I spent the morning in yoga to get centered and stretched and that
was a bit difficult after two weeks without. Note how serene the
space is here, and it's always freshly vacuumed and sweet smelling.
This is the temple on the 4th floor, the nicest of the many rooms,
at the Integral Yoga Center, in my opinion.

The Blogmaid and RR came over for grilled cheese sandwiches, cooked
by Husbando, of course, and then we went over to the playground at
Golden Gate Park ~ without Husbando, of course. The photo is just one
small part of it...there was lots and lots of room for all sorts of
kid activities. We met L & L there and the two four year olds played
happily for hours on end. We grownups chatted amiably and people watched.

Then we all rode on the Carrousel! The Blogmaid fixated a bit on the
spelling of "carrousel" but it seems perfectly alright to spell it
with one or two Rs. Yes, these are the important things to word people.
I didn't do a lick of work all day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

anthony hopkins can do no wrong

We both enjoyed Fracture, a psychological thriller about a man who
kills his wife and does his brilliant best to go free.

I had an honest-to-god GOOD work day yesterday, getting caught up
on all sorts of paper and people work. Gossip too, that's such an
important part of the work world, isn't it?

And now, already, I have two days off. The schedule was rearranged
because the president (!) of all big boxes everywhere is coming to
visit our store on Friday, and my Thursday will be spent getting ready
for this monumental occasion. Yes, nerves are on edge...not mine, of
course, I'm still in my almost-vaca mode.

Monday, September 10, 2007

fly me to the magic

We both really liked Expedition 6 at the Magic yesterday. At the
intermission Bill Pullman (actor and playwright) walked by us and
I said, "good job!" and he smiled broadly and thanked me. The play
features eight trapeze artists/actors and a really interesting story
about the 3 astronauts who were left in space for an extra three
months when the Columbia didn't make it back home. They were
rescued in a less than perfect (and very tense) manner by Russia.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

a few days of bliss

Here is Ginger's black & white dachshund during her morning "I need
more sleep" routine. She burrows under this blanket until she is
ready for her day to begin. Bliss is the only dog in the entire
world who knows these important phrases:
"No Platypus"
"Where is your Platypus?"
"Find your Platypus!"
In fact we had to make a special trip to the Sea Center at Stern's
Wharf to purchase some back-up Platypus squeaky dog toys for this
cuddly little girl dog. Life with dogs (Ginger also has Auri, a golden
retriever) is so different ~ more rewarding perhaps, but a lot of work.
The house guest, of course, gets the all the fun with none of the work.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

be it ever so humble...

I needle worked this while we drove North on 101 and listened to
the Dodgers beat the Giants (grrrrrrr). It was a smooth drive
with only a couple of stops for junk food and gas. It feels like
we have been gone for a long time, not less than a week.

Yesterday we took a little drive to Carpenteria (Carp) and then
had lunch out on the grass at the Padaro Beach Grill. Then a mighty
lazy and spectacular day of sun and snooze on Ginger's back deck.
I have been reading 44 Scotland Street by McCall Smith ~ VERY light
weight and fun. So much so that now I'm reading Espresso Tales, a
continuation and just as fluffy.

We walked down to Cafe Cozzolino for salad and pasta and now are
home to appreciate our life here in Frisco.

Friday, September 07, 2007

no psychics, no hammocks, no wi fi

This morning I am finally here with msBook at the Summerland Beach
Cafe. Ginger's computer has the constant spinning beach ball of death
and she will soon be getting both a laptop AND Wi Fi. So I have been
suffering from withdrawal, and very gracefully, as you can imagine.

Yesterday we went to the Santa Barbara Art Museum (I try to do this
every year) and then to the court house from whence I took this photo
WAY UP on the 4th floor, in the tower. Obviously there are v. strict
height limits here (two floors?) and we could see ALL over. It is
indeed beautiful with all the red roofs and beige (ish) buildings,
the mountains in the background, the sea. Lunch in the patio of The
Arts and Letters Cafe and then to Borders (sigh) to meet Michael.

Is "whence" used correctly in the above graph?

The very shimmery sea photo is Padaro Beach where we walked with the
two dogs last night, before sunset. The weather has been grey, but
not like our "I'll get you, Missy" kind of fog kill in SF.

We head home tomorrow early and I get a rare Sunday off. I will post
more photos from the comfort of my own red sofa.

And I completely forgot to tell you about stopping at Pismo Beach
and then driving down on Highway One through acres and miles of
farm country. We forget, well I forget, about our huge agricultural
industry here in California.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

chillin' in SLO

We are at the Sands Motel (see exciting photo) here in San Luis
Obispo. Gas prices are higher than in SF. It was a pleasant drive
(about 5 hours, due to 280 South traffic jam) with a stop for a
fruit salad in Gilroy and some latte at the new Starbux in King
City (of all unlikely places). Took a walk when we arrived and
of course I felt all sorts of karmic stuff when we passed this
Psychic Center (lovely photo for your enjoyment).

Amusing dinner at Apple Farm Restaurant (see boring photo) across
from our motel. It doesn't take long to miss big city living when
they point you to the salad bar and the special chilled plates.
It was packed at 6:30 when we arrived, empty an hour later. It's
a different world here.

Tonight we stay up late for Damages and that's fine as there is
no need to rush out of here tomorrow. I do hope to sleep in for
a change, past 6am, please god.

I begged out of Round Robin daily writing for a week. This is so
unlike me because I was raised to be a good little workaholic
never-quit kinda woman, but last year Wi Fi did not exist in
Summerland and I just didn't want to mess around searching for
hot spots. I can use Ginger's computer to post on commano, so
you can all exhale now ~ I'll write every day. But no photos
until we return home on Saturday. I'm feeling quite relaxed now,
glad to be away for a few days. Weather? Exquisite.

Monday, September 03, 2007

that demon barber of fleet street

OK, this is a good one ~ it's the New York award-winning
cast of Sweeney Todd, just opening this week at ACT. With
buckets of blood and some very dark humor, it's exciting and
energetic and yes, commano thinks you'll love it too.

At the intermission we ran into some old friends that we haven't
seen in years. Their youngest son just graduated from Berkeley
and when they questioned him about those dreary things like work
and "your future" and such he responded, "Mom, twenty is the new
ten". Reminds me of some of the young 'uns that I interview who
can't imagine working nights and weekends. Or weekdays, for that

It was a perfectly delightful evening in SF ~ dinner as always at
Lefty O'Doul's. Tourists galore...soon the city will be ours again.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

the great milk wars

We use an incredible amount of milk in our cafe and if someone (not
me, honest) forgets to order it, we have to scrounge around and find
another source. Yesterday we went to Costco, but on Thursday, late
in the afternoon, we took a rolling cart and went down to Walgreen's.

It's not easy on a busy, crowded afternoon trudging up Powell Street
with 26 half gallons of milk, dodging tourists and workers trying
to get to the bus or BART and get home. As we passed the doorman at
the St. Francis, he called out, "Got Milk?" and suddenly the task
wasn't quite as onerous.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

four kleenex®

Of course I mean that in a good way. After the Wedding is a
Danish movie with some fine acting and an outstanding plot.
It's about a school teacher in India who goes "home" to raise
money ~ he becomes involved in the lives of a family, a wedding
and all sorts of heart-warming twists and turns. Rent it.