Sunday, August 31, 2008

saturday at the park

Some peculiar ideas about tax money belonging to The People...
Yesterday morning I worked for about 3 and 1/2 hours ~ all paper
and no stress, no worries.

Then Husbando and I had some good old fashioned radical left wing
fun and sun at Dolores Park. The Mime Troupe presented Red State, a
musical comedy about an important election in Bluebird, Kansas. In
the background dogs were running, frisbees were being tossed and 3
women stayed in continual motion with their hula hoops. The weather
was perfect, as was my almost-day off.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

are you kidding me?

Does McCain think he can get MY vote by selecting this woman
from Alaska? I voted for Hillary and I would be insulted if I
stopped to think about it, which I won't. To me it shows bad
judgment on McCain's part ~ Ms. Palin is downright
inexperienced and I think this is a stupid move politically.
But I've been wrong before, God knows.

Your thoughts?

Friday, August 29, 2008

michelle and jill

I was hoping to find a photo of these two holding hands last night after
Barack Obama's excellent speech. Finally some specifics from him on a
huge public stage. We were greatly impressed and now we are ready to fight!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

it's just like summer...

Amazing sunshine here in Frisco ~ no fog at all! Very little
wind and our Early Girl tomatoes are beautiful red wonders
which we have often on mozzarella de bufala (Costco) and
a sprinkling of our own home grown basil. A little warmed
bread and that's such an easy supper. Who needs heavy
meaty meals with glorious weather like this? This is our
reward for all those June/July foggy days and nights.

I was having my latte at MY bench at the Nervous Dog on
Mission yesterday and who should almost run over my
dainty toes? The Great Plotnik ~ what a happy surprise.

More DNC on TV last night ~ too impressive. I'm turning
into a patriotic blubbering fool. President Clinton and
Vice President Biden were at their best and how special
when Obama joined our newly unified Democrats. Yeah!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

hillary shows us how...

That speech was for all of us who have ever fallen, been betrayed
or lost that promotion by just a hair. Not only women, anyone
of us who have had to do an about-switch and put on the big
congratulatory smile when we felt like crying. Oh, way to go,
Ms. Clinton, even the skeptics must have been taken aback.

One gets the feeling that the journalists love the HRC vs. Obama
schism, so now what mindless questions will they be asking?

What a fine week, we are both glued to the red/white/blue
TV with the Kleenex® box by my side, of course.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

now type in your password...

Last night Mr. Z stuck me with a phone customer who wanted to
order from I don't think she had ever used her computer
before and I spent far too much time with her and was v. testy when
I finally freed myself and threatened to use the Glock that I keep in
my desk drawer on my left temple. Mind you, the store doesn't get
a dime for all my efforts and there were other "issues" to attend to.

We had a new supe training with me and we both forgot Register 3,
so we were late getting out of there and I'm tired this morning. But
the sun is out and we are going to Costco, so life is good.

I have worked with Mr. Z for 6 years and he is moving on to some
state that I think of as being like all other states between here and
New York. It was sad saying goodbye to this clever and special man,
but I will have witty emails to share with you once he settles in
to what's-it-called-again? and works for a smaller big box there.
I wish you the best, Mr. Z, and I'll miss you. Thanks for making my
closings bearable (except for last night).

Monday, August 25, 2008

today in denver!

What fun we'll have for a week. While McCain and friends try to figure
out how many homes he actually owns, we'll hear Hillary, Bill, Nancy,
Joe, Obama and more. In the meantime, pray for nice weather for
the big outside acceptance speech and try to ignore those Karl Rove
attack snakes who are so hard at work this very moment.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the bow street runners

We finally were able to Flix® this Disc. 1 and it was worth
waiting for. In the 1750's, author Henry Fielding (he wrote Tom
Jones) convinced Parliament to give him some money to start
a police force in London. The sprawling city was a mess with
gangs and crime, but the politicians were afraid of losing their
freedom, plus they were protected by their bodyguards. It's
a fascinating period piece and City of Vice promises many hours
of history, drama and maybe a Kleenex® or two. One can tell.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

our next VP

We both like Senator Biden from Delaware, mostly because he is
pro-choice and a strong critic of our invasion of Iraq. And he is
tough and knowledgeable. I like when the VPs are actively involved
with the President, except in Dick Cheney's case, that is.

Friday, August 22, 2008

scottish fluff

I like these 44 Scotland Street books by Alexander McCall Smith.
We are so international now with pop culture showing up (and
being made fun of) in Scotland. Yes, it is shallow summer reading,
but what I seem to need right about now. This is the 4th book
in the series, and one of the better ones entitled The World
According to Bertie ~ he is a 6 year old boy forced to take yoga
classes and see a child shrink. Fun stuff.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

don't believe the title

Last night we watched Flawless with Michael Caine and
Demi Moore. It was better than being in Beijing, but this
is a slow-moving film that was supposed to be based on
a true story. The plot is a little outlandish (make that a
lot outlandish) and other than Mr. Caine, it doesn't have
much going for it. It's about a big diamond theft in London.
Commano says, "skip it, already".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

music, color, food, friends

This is Cha Cha Cha on Haight Street at Waller ~ "eclectic Latin"
with a great vibe. The four of us all had steak fajitas, quite yummy,
but next time we will try different things for some bite-exchange. The
joint was jumping! San Francisco is not a "lunch town" like New York
or Boston, I'm not sure why. In any event, it was great fun and I have
to admire The Great Plotnik's ability to park in a spot about 1/2"
larger than Ken, the Toyota.

On the drive to/fro we admired houses of many colors and styles. Of
course we talked re-mo talk as we are all in various stages of new
paint and projects. We spoke of pipes and wires that no nowhere,
and how our painters puzzle over them, then remove them with a
satisfied "so much for that, whatever it was".

I napped away the afternoon and am 100% again today. Next? Yoga.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

oh my...

Isn't this a delightful photo from the NASA web site? We don't see
stars here due to the icky and constant summer fog. I didn't get home
until after 2am last night, because of the great carpet cleaning event,
so I'm just a tad foggy myself. A nice lunch with Mr. and Ms. G. Plotnik
should set me right. I need to make myself less frightful now...

And no, notthat, there is no we in this team. It's all-Ron only and 8 ladders.

Monday, August 18, 2008

our picturesque view

When I work the 6am shift I call Husbando about 7:30 to let him know
the I arrived safely and that the big box is a less than perfect little
bundle of hurt feelings and assorted degrees of antagonism. The
usual work place stuff.

He answered our phone on Friday morning this way ~

I counted 7 ladders the other day, but he said there are 8 if you include
the step stool that is no longer for our use. Our house painter is a
perfectionist, as I've mentioned, so every inch of wood and stucco has
to be "ready" for the paint. We have imported ladders from the neighbor
and Ron brings some of his own.

There is hope ~ some paint has finally appeared on a door frame! This
project may be finished before the Happy Holidays, or not.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

lili, lauren and frank

It was a fine reunion ~ Lili Taylor and Lauren Ambrose from
Six Feet Under are two of my faves, and Frank Langella was
outstanding playing an aging writer living in NYC. Starting Out
in the Evening explores the complicated relationship between
father (Frank) and daughter (Lili). The main storyline is the
adulation that young Lauren has for the old guy Frank, as she
works on her thesis about him. Any film with NYC as a back-
ground holds my interest and then toss in writing as the under
lying theme ~ I say "rent it!". Only one light sniffle...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

i survived

Yesterday sped by and in some ways it was good to be back at
work, but a bit of a shock to my system, as I was used to
sleeping in until 5 or 6am. I spoke with a woman heading
back to her home in Ireland where it has been raining every
day for weeks. She had a wonderful time in SF, I think
most tourists do ~ they don't seem to mind the outrageous
prices for almost everything, or maybe they expect that,
the way we do when we travel to Europe.

Friday, August 15, 2008

back to work w/ visual

This is a salt mine somewhere in Poland. It does look appealing, but
I have never been there and I borrowed the photo from Google® with
sincere thanks. It has been 10 days since I have been to the Big Box
and I can hardly wait to read all those emails and I bet my fellow
miners are eager to hear me mutter, "WTF?" about 457 times this
morning. Wish me luck. Off we go...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

this one is queue-worthy!

A sweet film about this little orchestra from Alexandria (Egypt, not
Virginia) and their foray into the wrong town in Israel. They are
stuck for a night with strangers and what struck me most was how
the two main characters interacted so realistically (attracted to one
another, awkward, tender) and their faces are so expressive that
a lesser person would immediately reach for the Kleenex® box.
Oh, okay, I was that lesser person watching The Band's Visit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

remember the time?

We saw the "Cool Globe" heal-our-planet exhibit when we walked at
Crissy Field yesterday morning. Ginger walks very quickly, so I was
happy to stop and say, "hey, look!" every so often. We also saw a
shark (yes, one could tell by the fin) and then when we stopped for
lattes at Cafe Rulli on Chestnut, we saw Supervisor Alioto. Of course
we had a million things to discuss and the very best part was no need
to worry about when Ginger's plane was leaving and having to say our
"goodbyes with Kleenex®" as we have so often in the past.

Lunch was at the India Clay Oven on Church Street and then some
Mitchell's ice cream for dessert. We were full of food and conversation
and happy plans for the future by the time Ginger headed for BART
in the late afternoon. There's just something about old friends, we
know each other so well and have been through so much together.
Decades of joyful laughter and "oh-my-god-you-aren't-alone"...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

another day, another ginger

This morning my other Ginger is taking BART in from her new
HQ in Dublin (California, not Ireland). We will go walking out
at Crissy Field and then will pick-up Husbando for a fine lunch
someplace, probably here in the nabe.

The drive home was just long and boring, although the hills
were golden and gorgeous. The sun came out right after Pismo
Beach and I stopped at King City Starbux for a big latte and
a sweet. (I refuse to use Bux-lingo, so I don't know what they
call their damn drinks). The only interesting sight was at
a rest stop where someone was walking their big pink pig.
You don't see that everyday.

I drove in on San Jose Ave., turning right on Cesar Chavez.
Not the prettiest streets in SF, for sure. But my whole self
settled down and I sighed and smiled with that, "oh yes, I
do so love my very own city" kind of feeling. And last night
I slept the sleep of the blessed, which I am.

Monday, August 11, 2008

getaway day

This is the sweet little town called Carpinteria ~ "Carp" to the locals.
I walked here yesterday morning and bought Salt Water Taffy for the
staff at the Big Box. I do recommend the Holiday Inn Express here.
This is right in downtown Carp...verging on precious, I realize.
I've never seen the flowers so brilliant as this season ~ here is the
street leading into Summerland, where Ginger lives.
The party out on G's deck was a huge success ~ lots of interesting
food and people. I was sad saying goodbye to Boise and Joey, but if
everything works out, I'll be back again in Sept. (with Husbando) to
visit Ginger and Hoan again. And it was terrific seeing "The Italians"
again and I wish them a good flight home next week.

I wish I had slept better last night, but after a shower and several cups
of coffee, I'll be good for the slow drive to SF. I'm ready for my own
bed and all the other comforts of home. Oh, and some decent radio ~
it seems like "Dr." Laura Schlessinger is on 24/7 here. God help us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a day of walking & socializing

That's Mr. Boise holding court at the head of the table last night at
the very festive Palace on State Street and Cota. There were about
16 of us, but it was too noisy to count correctly. Everyone in the
restaurant always sings "What a Wonderful World" together and I
almost had to reach for a Kleenex® ~ because it's the truth.
This is Ginger's backyard where she gives away bushels of lemons
and oranges. Husbando and I celebrate if we have two lemons!

I walked with Hoan and her dog (Hocko, aka Jocko) at Summerland
Beach in the morning, then we had lunch at Casa Luna and then I
walked with Ginger and her two dogs, so I was good and exercised
by dinner time. (And well-behaved, as a result, you'll be pleased to
know.) This afternoon is the BIG party at Chickenhead's ~ the real
reason for this self-indulgent trip. But first, some walks...

Weather? Spectacular!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

southern calif. bloodlines

Boise and Joey walking on Padaro Beach before lunch.
The Carpinteria Beach at 9am ~ families finding the best spots.

Even though I grew up in Pasadena, I considered myself a beach bum
sort of girl because we went so often during the summer. First with
my parents for a month every summer at San Clemente, then with my
girlfriends every Saturday when we were old enough to drive. I hid
behind a dark and easy tan and looked more sophisticated than I felt.

We always rode the waves and played for hours in the ocean ~ I was
never afraid of surf or sea creatures and I loved the long drive home
in a scratchy bathing suit, still smelling of baby oil or Coppertone®.
When I go to any beach now in Southern California, it all comes
back to me and I could sit for hours and just watch the surf and all
the people spreading their blankets and putting up their umbrellas.
The sun is no longer my friend, so I can't quite feel that luxurious
first sunburn of the season or my parents warning me that I can't
even think of swimming until one hour after lunch.

Tar and oil ooze out of these beaches ~ I don't know why, but it's
just part of the experience. I think it's seasonal. I am not a geo-
physicist, just take my word for this. Hence the Tar Remover here.

It was wonderful walking with my Italian travel-mates yesterday
and then we all had lunch at Zooker's here in Carp. I can certainly
recommend that restaurant. We four took up where we left off
and are already planning next year's reunion. Dinner last night
at Ginger's while we watched the Chinese Extravaganza.

Friday, August 08, 2008

why people love Santa Barbara

An ordinary parking lot right off of State Street...
Overhead decor on State, the main street in SB.
Michael and I had dinner with 788 children at the Padaro Grill. So
nice to be outside and it stayed warm until close to 8pm. The ocean is
about 12 feet away and the air was perfect.
This is the Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Carpinteria. Similar to
our own Crissy Field back-to-natural-habitat with native plants, etc.
If I go left for 1/2 a block, then turn right on Dump Street (truly), I
am rewarded with this view. This is close to where the seals work
their charm and we saw a couple yesterday.

Such beautiful weather here! I had a slow 3 hour drive from King City
and yes, there are lots of others in the right hand lane, going slowly and
arriving less stressed. Also a ton of cars and vans driving 80, but I didn't
feel pushed once. Big change!

I arrived in Santa Barbara for some coffee and a light lunch on State
Street and then I walked and admired the flowers and discovered that
this delightful little city has a bunch of homeless now. This is new
and I swear I recognize some of them from the Big Box. I mean, who
would want cold SF when you could live here? There are also a lot
of tourists and the outdoor restaurants were packed, so we take the
good with the bad, right?

Checked into my motel in Carpinteria where they provide little
packets of Tar Remover. It's a problem here, which is why I brought
my really old running shoes.

Now I will have breakfast with some fellow travelers, then I will
walk to the beach and make my phone calls to see what's up with
my Italian friends. I'm quite mellow at this moment...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

the queen of king city

This bad photo explains that King City means City of King (singular).
I am glad to know that finally.
There are a lot of flags here ~ I feel so safe.
Many gas guzzlers on sale, right here in front of my elegant dinner spot.
I drove with a feather foot yesterday, it took about 3 hours and I only
stopped for gas at $4.07 ~ who could pass that up? It was delightful as
I could listen to the Giants game that Tim Lynn-see-come (always
thankful for that, notthat) pitched and we won.

After checking into the motel (King City Inn) I walked for several hours
to discover a dead strip center and a booming $1 store. I enjoyed the
New Yorker at Denny's and tried to avoid the food. I am a snob.

King City has a Starbucks® now, filled with Highway Patrol officers and
Sheriffs, as it turns out. I told them that I drove under 60 and they
thanked me sincerely.

I'll write tomorrow from Carpinteria, with a bag of salt water taffy
at my side. Call my dentist, Right Wing Wong.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

mary ann & ken on the road again

Yesterday Husbando washed Ken our Toyota and I applied the Obama
bumper strip ~ it isn't as pretty as this one, but you get the point. It
barely covers the Kerry/Edwards one from 4 years ago and I am hoping
for better election results this November.
(Me, being tedious and redundant.)

I'm going to yoga this morning because I'm always a little apprehensive
before taking off on my own. I'll start to relax again around Salinas
and will be into full solitude mode by the time I reach King City.

How did we travel without laptops in the past? I'll check in tomorrow
morning from King City. I love exotic places...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

we're stronger than we think

You remember how much I loved the book, right? Well the movie
is also inspiring, but they left out one of my favorite parts about
how Bauby (who has a killer stroke at age 42) received the most
inspiring letters from people he barely knew when he was healthy.
Other than that, The Diving Bell and Butterfly film is better than
I expected, capturing the poignant life, memories and thoughts
of this man who "wrote" by blinking one eye. Very sweet scenes
with his 92 year old father and his own 3 children. Many beautiful
women ~ it takes place in France, after all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

4 men in black

I usually don't write on commano until I've written a few morning emails
to get the fingers going. But I need to vent about one of the worst things
about being a manager ~ the alarm going off in the middle of the night
and the alarm company calling. Last night I didn't answer the phone
(long story, shame on me) so ATD came to the house and rang the door
bell to ask me to come downtown because there were problems at MY
store! Imagine, is nothing sacred? Husbando muttered "we're in this
together" and rode shotgun with me. The doors were wide open at the
store and there were four policemen inside. The time? About 2:30am.
(I asked where the dog was, they usually have a big ol' German Shepard,
and one cop said, "Hans gets Sunday nights off, we're the dogs". )

The police had already been all through the store, but I asked them to
come downstairs while I opened the offices and of course they did.
All the door alarms were ringing on all 4 floors, again the cops
doing their jobs, so I had to trudge around and turn those off. By
then my heart was calming down and I was waking up.

Everything was fine and my guess is that our dear neighbors (Morton's)
forgot one of their poor non-English speaking dishwashers or chefs
and he escaped through the basement that we share and up the stairs
to our first floor and out. This has happened before, but it will all be
on video today and the loss prevention folks can get the scoop. In the
meantime, I'm not thrilled with being in retail management at this
moment. King City is looking mighty good right about now...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

denziel and forest

This was a fine movie about students at Wiley College in Texas in the
1930's. Based on a true story, we follow the debate team that wins, loses
and heads to Harvard for "the big one". We can feel the Oprah touch
in The Great Debaters, but that's OK, we all need that formula from
time to time. Forest Whitaker is the town preacher ~ is there any
role he can't play? (I kept the Kleenex® close by, only a dab or two.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

two for the road

If you're like me, you spend almost as much time finding just the
right book(s) for your trip as you do on the wardrobe business.
I'm taking these two. In The Woods is a mystery and customers
tell me it's terrific. Set in Ireland by a new author, Tana French.
And finally Midnight's Children which my friend The Fevered
tells me is superb. It has won many awards, so I will give
Mr. Rushdie another try. He is a lucky man...

I'm about 3/4 finished with Divisadero ~ yes, I recommend it!

Friday, August 01, 2008

another fine East Bay day

Sorry, these photos don't reflect how wonderful the day was with all
of our writer friends (except Will) over in San Leandro yesterday. This
is an outside (!) room where we ate BBQ chicken and luscious side dishes
and read our work and laughed and talked for many hours. We also sat
on the lawn and enjoyed real East Bay sunshine in Eric's roomy back
yard. I love MY foggy city and yet...

Here we have The Great Plotnik and Eric. In the top picture you see
some women writers. If I included the one of the Salon Mistress she
would kill me. And what a treat to see Suzy Parker again!

Before all this happiness I went to work for a few hours and now I
need to fix breakfast and lunch and head to downtown Frisco again,
where God knows what awaits me.