Friday, October 31, 2008

getting unstuck

This isn't my best time of year. I know it should be because I do love
the fireplace and the sound of rain, but I have to push myself to stay
positive. I read an article in the New Yorker about Arianna Huffington
(a woman who really has invented herself) and she has a habit of
asking her friends, "what have you done today to get out of your
comfort zone?" Ouch. OK, I thought, this means you/me. All I could
muster was a long walk from Casa Ladder to 16th and Sanchez to the
little coffee shop here where I meet my friend Neti every couple of
weeks. I usually drive as a steep hill is involved, but the hour long walk
yesterday did me a world of good. Time to think outside the couch
and to appreciate my life and the many blessings, etc. I hopped on
the J car to come home just as the real rain was starting. It wasn't
much, really, but I felt about a million times better when I got home
to a warm bubble bath and a little more election news.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

north beach!

We celebrated TGP's birthday yesterday at the Sotto Mare on Green
Street and even though he is not wild about oysters, these disappeared
in about 3 seconds. The 4 of us decided that North Beach is about the
most spectacular area of SF ~ the smells (garlic and onion), the views
and the fine mix of people, dogs and interesting little shops. Lovely
time indeed!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mr. McCain!

Click on this to enlarge the photo and many thanks to the blogmaid
for sending it to us for today's post.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

remember the public phone?

We still have one in the back of the cafe in the big box. How retro.
Last night a "customer" called me to tell me that he was charged
$20 for a 1.5 minute long distance phone call (he used his credit
card) and we should reimburse him. I (unwisely) said, "that is
ridiculous, call the phone company" and he took off about how
this will tarnish our company's good reputation, etc. One of those
situations that I would have handled better if I hadn't been tired,
cranky, worried and sick-to-death of people who are always right.
I have not heard the end of this, mark my words...

Monday, October 27, 2008

here's one for the queue...

The Visitor is a sweet movie starring Richard Jenkins who was
the reappearing dead father in 6 ft. Under. Remember? He is a
widowed professor who discovers two squatters in his little-used
Manhattan apartment and his life changes quickly and dramatically.
I did harm one or two Kleenex® while watching this, but it was
an extremely warm and satisfying time and I heartily recommend
this film to all of you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

therapy in the afternoon

This is a taut one act play, the kind I love, with lots of realistic
"therapy conversation" and a perfect surprise ending. John
visits Ian the Therapist after his wife dies and he is consumed
with loneliness and guilt. It was written by Conor McPherson
of Dublin (Ireland, not California) and I urge you to take 75
or so minutes for Shining City at the SF Playhouse soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

everyone present and accounted for!

All seven of us met Thursday night for our Tiapos (This Is A Piece of Shit)
writing group. We celebrated all the Oct. and Nov. birthdays first with
some coffee and luscious chocolate cake that Will picked up at Tartine's.
It was so rich that even I couldn't finish my piece. That is rare...
(The photo is not the real cake, but I needed to hook you readers.)

We all brought something to read and since I haven't been writing
much (I love to stew, it's so much more productive) I found an old
bitch-about-work write because the folks always like to hear about
my retail world. Mistress J's poem was fabulous (about her brother's
red robe), Chef P wrote about her house and some re-mo work,
Karen's vision quest piece was an eye-opener, Will's trip notes
are always engaging and Eric spent his Saturday at a computer
game and regretted that. TGP brought his guitar for a song about
love (and pie) and before you know it I had to dash home for a few
hours of sleep before Friday work. It was a delightful evening.

Here is Mistress J's email of Thursday when we do our morning
e-roll call:

I'm here, I'm hip, I'm square.
I'll wash my hair, I'll wear some clothes, be on my toes.
I've moved the chairs...and the books and the shelves, though
I've written not. OH NO! SAY WHAT?
What can I say? What can I do?
Friends, do not fear. Our Will is here. He'll bring a tome
of travelogue, and that will fill my empty space...or
....If worse comes to worse, I'll read from my blog..or
we can play with the dog.

Friday, October 24, 2008

right where she belongs...

Yesterday Husbando and I took BART out to the far away Dublin
station and our friend Ginger met us. She had a difficult move from
a large home in Kansas to a small (and delightful) condo in Pleasanton.
It felt like another world to me, quiet and bustling at the same time.
The many outdoor restaurants in the downtown area were busy and
we too sat outside in the sun and talked about friends, family, books
and politics. There are no words to describe the balm she brings to
my troubled soul and having her back in the Bay Area must be some
sort of reward for me not bitch slapping an unusually mean customer
after my 8 years working at the big box.
Like Pumpkinville, this little city has a real downtown Main Street.
There is always parking and a ton of local merchants. Best of all, a
nice big library and coffee shops galore. Welcome home, Ginger!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

starting saturday!

Look closely. Here we have 65,000 little wooden blocks making up this
quite wonderful work entitled 2 x 4 Landscape by Maya Lin. It was being
installed yesterday in the lobby of the de Young and we talked to one
of the men crawling around with his bucket of blocks making sure he
has selected the perfect piece. Ms. Lin's exhibit will be here from 10/25
to 01/18, so we'll be back a few times to admire her considerable talent.

It was a beautiful day ~ warm and clear, so we got out from under the
ladders and enjoyed being outside in the park again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

all over in two weeks

I hope we'll be celebrating Obama's victory. (Early morning, day off,
rhetorical sentence.) Don't you love this photo? The Rednecks have
a website, and I especially love the big smile here on our worthy
candidate's face.

Please tell me that our writing group meets tomorrow night! I haven't
written ANYTHING in way too long. So much is happening on a
global and personal front, which means this is just when I should be
writing, but that isn't the case. I'm stuck creatively ~ tsk, tsk.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

kansas, hawaii, chicago...

I'm probably the only Democrat at the big box who hasn't read
this, so I book loaned Dreams from My Father and will enjoy
this perceptive book over my weekend. From the first few
sentences I already appreciate the author's smooth writing
style. It was written in 1995 ~ way before this election business
started, or was it?

We have an annoying phone customer who keeps calling and
asking for The Tyranny of Liberalism. Does it exist? When I
tell him we don't have it he snorts and hangs up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

small town urban legend

Here we have Maya Lawson (Wally's gorgeous granddaughter) in
The K of D (Kiss of Death) at the Magic. We have Sunday night
tickets this year, most of them conflicting with our Sunday night
ACT tickets, but that's another story so put a post-it on it. We
both really loved this play and Maya is outstanding! (I will write
Wally on my weekend.) This fine 75 minute play ended last night,
but if you ever see it advertised anywhere, go and enjoy. As
usual TGP reviewed it beautifully, so I won't even begin to
trample on his perfect words.

Cool weather has returned to our favorite city and we had to
bundle up last night down by the bay...and I mean that in a
good way.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

such a grand marshall

Thanks to the blogmaid for this photo of Will Clark at the don't-
ever-make-me-go-Pumpkinville parade. I never liked him and
now I question this shirt and I wonder why his wife isn't blonde.

Our memorial party yesterday was lovely, but I kept looking for
the guest of honor (Curt) to arrive. That is the little yacht club
that sponsored the Oracle® sailing ship and there were lots of
loud boat noises to startle us during the slide show and talks.
Some should have edited DOWN their thoughts, I mean who
cares about what/where the children's table was at long ago
Thanksgivings? But all in all very pleasant, Curt would have
loved it and been knocking back the wine throughout...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

short day, short life

I'm only working until noon today because we are going to a memorial
"party" this afternoon here at the St. Francis Yacht Club. Our friend
actually lived a good long life, but his last years were difficult and I
know it seemed like a short span to him. The last time we were here
was to celebrate his 80th, so there will be lots of memories and
a few tears today, I suspect. I dug up a couple of old photos for his
"memory book" and got mired down in some of those "was that us?"
kinds of thoughts and feelings. You know what I mean...

Friday, October 17, 2008

task left undone

I didn't get around to voting on my weekend because it's a daunting
task this year with 12 state and 22 (!) city propositions. We both like
voting by mail, and usually it's a snap, but this one seems excessive.
Our stack of saved articles, voter information pamphlets, etc. is about
5" thick and since we keep it all in the kitchen it's a constant reminder
to block off some time and try to be a good citizen.

Only in San Francisco. Proposition R: "should the City change the name
of the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant to the George W. Bush
Sewage Plant?" You tell me....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

photos of the times

My fellow manager (Chris) took this photo Tuesday morning outside
of the big box. Of course we get lots of street sleepers, but this guy is
wearing the new Indiana Jones hat to commemorate the special release
of the 18th sequel of this movie that came out on DVD on Tuesday.
And a chicken in every pot. Our friends John and Mary came over for
dinner last night and I used the easy Romertopf® clay pot and we did
more talking than debate-watching. The tattered, spotted recipe
booklet is dated 1974 ~ now is that possible?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

painting pictures!

Oh, I didn't know the girls were working on art projects ~ I thought
they each had an Excel® spreadsheet displayed. This is a lovely photo
and would be a nice full page ad in the New Yorker, don't you think?
(Not that Apple® needs my advertising help.) Many thanks to the
two mothers for their helpful comments providing me with a post
for this Wednesday. I hope TGP feels better too ~ sorry about them
Dodgers, baseball is a rough game, especially for the fans.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

this warms my heart...

Remember the first time you tried to learn the computer? Here we
have LL and RR on the girlBooks in Pumpkinville (a computer-filled
house, by the way) and according to the Blogmaid, they are playing
on which is "all the rage among the 4 to 5 year old set".
We sell a bunch of Webkinz® at the big box ~ small stuffed animals
that each have a secret number for the kids to type in on their web
site. My msBook is one of my closest friends, but it took forever to
get to this stage and we still have our falling outs now and then. For
the new generation the computer is another toy. I have been waiting
for this photo from the Blogmaid and to me it's a major step, but to
these girls it's all so natural. I love it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

better than expected

We've seen Sweeney Todd twice on stage, so I didn't think this
would be worth watching, except for Mr. Depp, but it was
quite well done and I only left the view room about 15 minutes
before the really bloody conclusion. And no, notthat, no Kleenex®
were harmed again ~ I say "into the queue for the Demon Barber
of Fleet Street".

There was a fire on Angel Island last night and the sky was so
clear that it looked like it was only a few blocks away. Eerie.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

don't buy, rent or watch this...

Well, if you like boring small towns and high school massacres,
The Life Before Her Eyes will enchant you. I know there were
some good reviews somewhere, otherwise it would not have
been on the Flix® list, but the only redeeming social value
here is that it isn't a long movie. I like Uma Thurman, but not
in this dreary story and I had a funny feeling that she didn't
really want to participate in this either...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

random saturday thoughts

1) TGP is very silent about the baseball playoff games. The blue
ones can still pull it out of the fire, but you need a better shrine
and some good luck hand wringing. Maybe a Dodger Dog?

2) The big box is having a One Day Sale today ~ let's hope it
helps business which is DOWN lately. Scary.

3) I was relieved to see McCain do The Right Thing yesterday
and tell a couple of his less than brilliant supporters that
Obama is a decent man. We reap what we sew, John, and
your campaign is a mess, but you do not want to incite the
kind of anger that is occurring. Could you get that Palin
Woman to cool it too?

4) "I have everything I need to be happy", is my current
mantra which I have used effectively before during rough
financial times. We have a roof over our heads (with many
ladders leaning on it) and plenty to eat ~ best of all we are
in good health and blessed with a fine family and very
special friends. Life is good, even when it doesn't seem so...

Friday, October 10, 2008

a fireside chat?

I confess that I have never read Sarah Vowell, but she is one of
Dancing Jen's favorite authors and this is her new book which
I will pick-up on book loan one of these days. Did you catch her
on The Daily Show this week? Sarah mentioned that she has
been reading FDR's speeches from the other Depression online,
and I got to hoping that maybe Obama would give us all a little
"stay calm, stay cool" fireside chat/speech during his half hour
TV time the last week of October. The current President pops
out every few days to make us cringe, but somehow doesn't make
us feel any better about anything. But maybe that's just me...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

horses, goats & goblins

This is Lemos Farm down on 92 near Pumpkinville. RR has spent many
happy hours here, but this was my first visit. The Blogmaid and I are
not exactly afficionados of hay and goat shit, but we did our best. It was
a beautiful sunny Fall day, as you can tell.
RR is besotted by horses ~all horses. She had been feeding these
droolers apples and carrots. Mostly her mother and I just wanted
to wipe our hands.

This is the goat pen, as you can see. RR loves goats almost as much
as horses.
This is the highlight ~ RR is in a faraway cowgirl world. I will say that
Lemos does a great job for kids and I recommend the Ghost Train
Ride ($3) but don't hit your head getting in. Women who don't hang
with children are sort of oblivious and clumsy...
This is grown-up heaven. I drove up 101 coming home. You can't see
the surfers, but there are a bunch out there. I had a fine day!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

bats are big this year

It's good to be off today. I'm heading down to Pumpkinville to see the
Blogmaid and her Batgirl. Highway 92 is difficult as we get nearer to
Halloween, so this is about my last chance for awhile. Photos tomorrow.
We have a lot of new bat books and toys at the big box. This is an
amazing photo of a poor frog about to meet a messy end and some
at work compared this bat to corporate America, but not me because
I know that bats are our friends. Anyone who reads Smithsonian
Magazine knows that...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

let's head down to Bisbee...

Isn't it odd that we haven't heard a thing about immigration
during this campaign? Maybe everyone realizes that there
is no solution? Here is an e-snippet from my friend, Mary, in
Bisbee, Arizona.

Now, I'm off to cross the border into Aqua Prieta to go with a
friend to get her eyeglasses adjusted. Always an adventure.
Because the feds are requiring passports soon to return from
Mexico - and because all of us poor folks down on the border
go back and forth so much, our governor in her wisdom
(Napolitano) has arranged for there to be a Arizona/Mexico
card that we can get at the local DMV. They should be available
before the passport decree goes into effect.

Monday, October 06, 2008

rated R for rough

This first love relationship is the sweet part of an otherwise difficult
movie about small town life in the 70's. Snow Angels is very well
written and acted, so I recommend it for the brave and sturdy. No
Kleenex®, but lots of "oh no(s)!" from the audience of two last night.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

yes we can, can, can...

We liked this documentary about a group of old folks who sing
rock and roll. The average age is 80 and of course the only problem
is that the Grim Reaper joins the chorus. It's not just a sing-along,
these Young @ Heart musicians have to get it RIGHT, and that
takes a lot of practice and patience on everyone's part. Flix® it!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

mother would be proud

Twice recently people have commented on how tall I am to sit behind.
At the opera when we moved over one seat a woman behind me said
loudly, "oh, no!" Then at ACT someone moved away to see better and
her seat mate said, "not only is that woman tall, but she SITS tall".
I almost slouched after that...

Friday, October 03, 2008

with a wink here, a giggle there...

...from my morning email to the blogmaid:

The thing about Sarah ~ she is just so darn likable and I
don't think she is as stubborn as Bush and most right wing
conservatives are. She is not stupid, just poorly educated.
There is a reason why so many politicians are lawyers. One, they
know LAW (like the constitution) and two, they are usually extra
bright and can think quickly on their feet. She did a great job filling
air time last night, even though she ignored a lot of the questions,
which is something I could never do. I think the GOP feel better
about her now, but we still need to concentrate on The Maverick and
getting Obama and Biden elected. We all thought Biden was quite
wonderful and got in some subtle zingers like what the VP actually
does, according to the constitution. And I liked how he zapped Cheney
so thoroughly. I do not understand how women can wink like that and
we all "WTF?" when she did so. I don't think being a soccer mom really
qualifies one for the White House, but you will know better about that
when you actually reach that stage in RR's development.

We had a fine time at The Great Plotnik's and husbando's famous
mac-and-cheese was a huge hit. TGP had his computer on the Dodger
game and he was glowing while we were analyzing the debate and
checking out the two candidates thoroughly.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

trite thoughts

It is definitely Fall here in Frisco as I await dawn's early light.
There is conversation on the back deck next door ~ three young
people who have been chatting since midnight. Quietly. We live
in a parallel universe here and they will sleep soon as we have
our fresh oj, honey dew melon with yogurt and very strong coffee.

My strength is back after a quiet day off. No more checking the
retirement fund, no work worries today. Yoga yesterday was
exactly what this body and soul needed. Then the baseball
game and the senate vote and I have some good feelings about
the election ~ dare we hope?

Tonight a Palin Party, I just want Mr. Biden to keep his cool.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

home improvement update

Everyone here at Chez Slug is feeling better today because I spoke
to Zachary at Fidelity about our "growth fund" and because it is
my day off and the sun is shining. Soon yoga and then I focus on
the Dodger/Cubs game ~ the important things in life resurface.

The Great Plotnik's roof guy, Mr. Chun, will be here tomorrow.
BYOL I suggested. Ron will be painting still/yet after a week off
and the ladder infestation continues. (Thanks to notthat for that
clever term.) Pretty soon the rainy season begins so there is some
sense of urgency here, alas it seems to be one-sided.