Saturday, February 28, 2009

the joint was jumpin'

Many, many people of all ages, colors and sexes in a stunning array of
costumes last night at the deYoung. The Friday night events are a
popular and inexpensive date night for a lot of folks and some just
like to head up to the 9th Floor tower to watch the sunset. The
music was LOUD and there were 4 "go go girls" dancing away
on stage ~ dressed in short sparkly silver dresses with white boots.

A lot of families with young children attend these events and
I know that can't be easy to get everyone organized and out to
Golden Gate Park on a Friday night when the parents are
probably v. tired after a week of work. I'm impressed...

Friday, February 27, 2009

oh oh, a go-go

Tonight is a "swinging 60's dance party" at the deYoung. So far
I'm scheduled up in the more sedate YSL shop, but this should
be quite the happening. Miss Trannyshack 2007 (is there more
than one?) is the host(ess) and the Bay Guardian is the sponsor. I
will report tomorrow and tell you all about it. I'm wearing my
feathers, beads, 12" wide bell bottoms and, of course, orange boots.

The left foot of Husbando is down to a manageable blue rubber
sandal and small band aid. First thing he did when we got back
home was to vacuum up all HIS cotton shreds that covered
every carpet.

Lovely sunshine today, hooray!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

the printed page

Thanks to Mr. Z, I am having the second edition of this blog
printed at Kinko's. It will be a surprise for Husbando and a fine
record of the final 4 months of 2007 and all of 2008. And, alas,
to me, no writing is "real" until I hold it in my hand ~ that is
still so satisfying to me.

Speaking of the joy of the hard copy, what will we do if the SF
Chronicle goes under? It's not like it's a great newspaper, but
it is ours and The Examiner is a right wing rag that irritates
me whenever I read it.

But wait, today is Thursday and the bale of cotton will be
removed ~ oh happy day! I actually went grocery shopping
yesterday, how tedious is that?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

big city blues

Here is one of my daily Round Robin pieces from last week:

I used to close the big Borders store at Post @ Powell every Monday
night. Of course I hated it, even though I was lucky because I didn't have
to do two or three closes a week. We closed at 11pm and around 9 o'clock
a saxophone player would start playing his mournful tunes a few feet
down from our door.

He was terrible, but I believe he thought he was quite talented. An older
Asian guy who probably saw a lot of TV and videos with Stan Getz, Charlie
Parker and Coltrane. He had the movements down (Craig called him
Bobblehead), but he was a terrible musician. He played the first few
bars of all the beloved standbys: Moon River, My Funny Valentine,
Begin the Beguine, etc. Ouch.

One night I was ringing at the registers and talking to a policeman who
was buying a magazine. "Can you do anything about the sax player?"
I asked with a big smile. "Oh, that poor bastard, they made him leave
from down at the Westfield Center", the cop replied.

Sometimes to amuse the staff I would walk down and stand in front
of him and push the button to my walkie talkie and let them hear the
pretty music. They threatened to kill me, but I thought it was good use
of my management skills.

I hope he has a day job and would just come out at night to practice
in public. He had the case to the instrument open, but in all those years
I never saw even a quarter resting in there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

taking Linda's advice

Of course a new printer was the solution and thanks to Linda over
there on the right for the nudge. So I'm all connected and
installed with MacBook and the new Espon NX400 that was on
sale at Target. Under $100 and such a nice clear print. It only
took two phone calls to Epson, some USB cable thing that they
"forgot" to provide. Thankfully we live close to Best Buy.

Notthat, the star of Souvenir is an opera singer and yes, it has
to be difficult to sing that role. Thankfully she does get a chance
to show off her beautiful voice once.

Husbando's foot is still wrapped in a bale of cotton which has
sloughed off onto all carpets in Case Verde. Thursday is the
removal date. His shower entails wrapping the leg in 3 plastic
bags. Hurry Thursday...

Monday, February 23, 2009

way to go, Flo...

Ginger and I went to Souvenir last night at ACT and had a fine
old time laughing and tearing up as Judy Kaye sang loudly and
completely off pitch as Florence Foster Jenkins. Madame Flo
could not sing, could not carry a tune, yet performed at Carnegie
Hall in 1944. There is a v. sweet relationship with her pianist
Cosme McMoon who was her accompanist and loyal friend. She
deluded herself and made many people happy along the way.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

the British do it best

Here is Martin Shaw as Inspector Gently, one of those tough
marshmallow-inside sort of strong men. We both love any
mystery story produced in England and this is no exception. So
satisfying on so many levels. And yes, it's from the Flix® and
yes, there are more to come in the series.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

benefitting from the stim

See, it works! Yesterday Husbando hobbled to the UPS store with
me and we had our new lower casa re-fi papers notarized and sent
them all off to Wells Fargo. 5.25% is a big savings for us and
many thanks to Himself for spending so many days on the
phone with assorted Debbies/Jasons/Denises to make this
happen right under the deadline. Remember when one person
in one office handled this kind of thing? Now it's a crap shoot
and you never know who you'll get on the phone. Faxes get
lost, phone batteries die when you're on hold and much sleep
is lost before it's a done deal. But I think it's a done deal...

Friday, February 20, 2009

big foot lives here

Husbando had a v. small thingie growing on the top of his foot and
"they" removed it yesterday. This leg wrap is the epitome of medical
overkill (so to speak) and he can't do housework or drive or even
grill cheese sandwiches. Faithful readers know that I don't do house-
work (a union contract sort of thing), but today I did the laundry
after a lot of "turn the top right hand button to the left" and I have
even done the dishes twice. We have to live with this massive leg
until next Thursday and neither of us is filled with joy at this point
in time. I'm cooking too, god help us all. Hurry Thursday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

lions and gorillas, oh my...

Our friend Ginger (Santa Barbara) is traveling in Africa and here
is some of her hurried email from last week. I'm sure she would
want me to publish it here in commano, don't you agree?

Unbelievable trip. Hopefully you will get the e-mail forwarded from Susan. Our first campsite was very close to a pride of lions who at night and in the early morning came walking right through camp to go out and hunt on the plane in front of us filled with zebras, giraffes, wildebeasts, and hyenas. Bets and I are in our tents where we were directed to stay, hearing that wild roar of a lion about 20 feet from your head!! Saw tons of animals and no other people - rather unusual in Africa but that was the purpose of the whole trip - to go where no man (or at least very few) had gone before!! Then of course the gorillas was a thrill beyond belief. The first day hike was the most challenging but made much easier because Bets and I hired a porter to carry our stuff - water, rain gear, jackets, etc. Not only did they carry our stuff but constantly held our hand to guide us through streams, over broken branches, and up steep slopes along with using a huge machete to cut down the vines and brush in front of us. Luxury hiking! Being close to a family of gorillas is wonderful. One hour was too short. Mom and Dad mostly eat and sleep while the kids play acrobatics swinging from branch to branch or wrestling with each other. The second day we were close enough to touch them especially when the big silverback charged me. Supposedly he was upset that another male was feeding in his prize area and wanted him out and I was in the way!! Those guys are huge and fast. As Bets and I are huddled in our "down" positions, he brushed by me leaving my heart racing and my brain feeling fear, fulfillment, and vulnerability all at once!! Off today to Kampala. We loved Kigali and all of Rwanda. We have met some very courageous, fine people. Kigali is one of the cleanest cities I have ever been in. They outlawed plastic bags 2 years ago.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

part comedy, part mystery...

We went to the SF Playhouse last night and even though Landscape
of the Body wasn't the BEST play in the world, there were some
great moments and terrific acting by Andrew Hurteau and Susi
Damilano (above). Playwright John Guare is most famous for
his Six Degrees of Separation and The House of Blue Leaves, but
this is still good theater and well worth supporting these hard
working actors and the whole production team.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

but does it open?

This is one of the famous Fabergé eggs (Rose Trellis design) out
at the Legion of Honor in the hugely successful Artistic Luxury
exhibit. Like bookstores, each museum has its own personality
and I'm just beginning to understand this. On Sunday I worked
at the new Lux (ahem) gift shop at it was a delightful day because
we were so busy and I didn't have even one minute to miss my
old friends at the big box. And gradually I'm bonding with a few
museum people and that is really the key to a good work world,
isn't it? The headline here refers to a small $20 egg necklace
that we sell, and I heard this question approximately 4,557 times
on Sunday. No, it does not open. Yes, it looks like it does.

Monday, February 16, 2009

theater in the rain

Husbando picked me up at the Legion last night and we drove
through heavy rain to park in front of the Magic Theatre where
we ate cheese sandwiches which he had thoughtfully provided.
Man, that was a rain! I worked v. hard yesterday and was not
looking forward to this play entitled Tough Titty because it's
about breast cancer and I knew that Oni Faida Lampley, the
playwright, died last year after her difficult 12 year battle with
this monster. But of course I was wrong again ~ it was another
life affirming message of "live damn it, live every moment now!"

Elizabeth Carter is fabulous as Angela, the woman undergoing
the battle of her life. Some good news for theatre lovers, despite
the nasty weather there was a sizable audience.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

parental issues abound

This was better than we expected and W. actually painted an almost
sympathetic picture of our ex-president. Josh Brolin is terrific as
George and Richard Dreyfus really became Dick Cheney in this
Oliver Stone movie. Thank God those days are behind us, but what
a mess they left for others to try to clean up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

love and masks

Love takes off the masks
that we fear we cannot live
without, and we know
we cannot live within.
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Friday, February 13, 2009

celebrate the rain

I always love opening my morning email from the blogmaid and finding
photos of RR and her cats, dinosaurs, princesses, sunglasses, pouts
and enticing joy. This is how we all should feel about the much-needed
rain that promises to last a week or so. (Thanks, blogmaid!)

My YSL day was easy and today is an at-home with new computer and
a long list of To Do's. It now stretches out luxuriously before me, but we
know it will zip by before I can say "oh, those loathsome Republicans".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the 6-day work week

I have years of experience being boss woman, so yesterday when
my new boss asked me to work today I said "yes". My goal is
to get FT at the museums, and I know that one way to accomplish
this is not to say "no" and not to grumble. It's funny how many
people shoot themselves in the foot on their way up the corporate
ladder. I have absolutely no desire to manage again, but I do
miss the benefits, especially paid vacation days and 401(k)
programs. FT jobs are hard to find anywhere and I wonder if
they will ever return. When I first started at the big box we
wanted ONLY FT people, now their goal is 20% FT and 80%
PT. I have some problems with this concept, but it's rampant
in the corporate world. And then they worry about union activity...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

setting up the show

It's interesting to watch the installation process for the Andy Warhol
exhibit that begins next Saturday at the de Young. All very smooth
and organized ~ they plan these things WAY in advance. The gift
shop is ready to open too and I do look forward to working there.
Husbando and I went to the Warhol Museum once when we were
in Pittsburg (PA, not CA) and I bought the obligatory cat notes and
refrigerator magnets.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

welcome, little sister

Talk about brand loyalty. New one is on the right.
Funny, isn't it? When I get a new computer all those old feelings of
excitement and fear return ~ am I smart enough for this instrument
of joy and torture? What's this button for? Oh, and the many "oooops"
and "damns!" along the way. Bottom line: I love my new and lighter
laptop and I need a day or two to play with her. The battery charged
in a few hours and her keyboard and screen seem welcoming to me.
Now I need to plan a trip because this girl wants to travel!

Monday, February 09, 2009

of coal and health care

I have been reading an article in The Smithsonian about how they
"mine" coal in West Virginia. It is a disgrace and very dangerous
because they destroy entire mountains from the top down. Of
course the people living there are too poor to mount SF-style
protests, but do NOT believe those TV spots about clean coal.

Then I read an article in The New Yorker about nationalizing
health care and it was so enlightening. It is different in every
country and that is because it builds on their existing systems.
This will happen here too ~ Medicare works, as does the Vets
health care, so with the right pushes, we grow from there.
I don't belong to Kaiser, but they provide great service to many
customers too. It won't happen overnight, but it IS happening.
This article is by Atul Gawande, a doctor in Massachusetts, the
first state to adopt universal health coverage for its residents.

See how Muni is helping me to stay current?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

a rare saturday off

This movie wasn't too bad, but a great relief when Kevin finally
cleans up and wears a suit and tie. The Flix® is a little backed
up with hot new releases, so we are getting some of our #5 and
#6 choices, and Swing Vote is one of those. We also watched
the Chinese New Year Parade on TV and I felt for my friends
at the big box who had to clean-up after the people who come
in just to sit or stand at the windows and use the bathroom.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

night at the museum

The entire de Young stays open until 8:45pm most Friday
nights and I was dreading my first closing shift there last
night. Who knew? The place was packed with singles, folks
on a date, families, seniors and nary one crazy person. So
different than closing the big box and I was home drinking
my Sleepy Tea by 9:30.

Here is what we (ahem) offer: hands-on-art activity for the
entire family, live (and a little loud) music in the Wilsey
Court, film screening of Belle de Jour, docent-led tour of
YSL and parlor games in the Piazzoni Murals Room. No-
host cocktail bars and the cafe was open for dining.

The music was Orkestar Sali (5 or 6 guys) playing gypsy
music from the Turkish-Romani/Bulgarian region. Little
kids were dancing and twirling and everyone applauded
wildly between sets. (I didn't even miss the pathetic sax
player bobble head "musician" at Post and Powell once
last night.) No more night closing worries for this woman!

Friday, February 06, 2009

today's round robin write

WHITE (the prompt)

I just went down to the basement refrigerator and brought up a white egg
to help me this morning. I haven't used the egg trick for awhile ~ it's
supposed to help us think creatively and focus on our writing. Other
people light a candle, but let's see how the egg works this morning.

There I just cracked it into a small bowl that we found at Community
Thrift on Valencia Street. We love that store. I managed to get some
egg juice on my fingers and now it will probably get msBook all
icky and stuck. I should call her msBook1 because a new laptop
will be appearing at Casa Verde either today or tomorrow. She will
be named msBook2. They are both white, proving once again that
I have not forgotten the prompt.

Usually the color prompts work out well for me, but today seems
to be the exception that proves the rule. Now that would be
an excellent future prompt, don't you think?

The white egg is laying here on the coffee table looking a bit
disgusting. My hands are still sticky and the keyboard seems to
be disgruntled and unwelcoming. Oh, I just remembered that white
is NOT a color, it is lack of color so that explains why I am not
going to send this piece out to the great beyond. I might just
use it in my blog because then I have killed two birds as well as
one white egg this morning.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

do you know joan?

We had an all-store meeting at the de Young yesterday morning
and the new kids had to stand up, introduce ourselves and mention
a favorite artist. I am a huge fan of Joan Brown and have loved
her work since we went to some exhibit or other over at the
Oakland Museum. She lived in the Bay Area until her too-early death.

Today I'm all about msBook and writing and answering emails.
Such a pleasure to wake up, pour a cup of very strong black coffee,
head for the living room sofa and lose myself in words. (Yours
and sometimes mine.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

out of sick bay

OK, msBook is home and all cleaned up now. I'm still going to
get a msBook2 because I can't go through this ever again.
Andrew at The Total Mac is wonderful and I know he is v.
tired of my phone calls and temper tantrums. He is also
$378 richer, but it is so worth it!

Thank you again for your many nice (and funny) comments
and now to read my emails. Not a great start for my Round
Robin class, but I'll catch up.

Monday, February 02, 2009

computer dependency

Thanks for all your good thoughts. I have rented a computer
here on Mission Street because I can't stand to be away from
all of you whether on email, blogland or Facebook. Scary,
isn't it?

MsBook should be ready tomorrow and yes, I have decided
to purchase a back-up because we all know that once these
little occurrences begin, it's a slippery slope. She is almost 5.5
years and has her own (ahem) personality. This problem seems
to be in the frame and blah, blah. I will pick her up tomorrow
out on Geary Street at The Total Mac. Forever thanks to
Mistress J for suggesting this fix-it place many years ago.

Working at the Legion was great fun and I did have lunch
outside overlooking the ocean and GG Bridge on my right.
May all our computer problems be small ones!