Monday, May 31, 2010

but,'s such a short drive

I spent several hours last night trying to book a flight to/fro Santa
Barbara that didn't first take me to Aukland, nor cost more than
$1,000. Thinking back to the days when we'd call either our travel
agent or Cheap Tickets and they did all this work. I'll be leaving
Wednesday morning and returning Friday night. So thankful to have
my friend Ginger (the one with two dogs and several platypus toys)
to stay with. I'm looking forward to seeing my friend Michael who
is in the hospital and the reason for this hurried trip. It's only a
6 hour drive to SB ~ almost that long to fly each way. OK, enough
bitching, today is a work day at the deYoung.

Thank you today to all the men, women and their families who
have served us and given so much to all of us. The longer I live
the more I appreciate them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

tony and bill on HBO

The Relationship is one of those programs that insures we'll be paying
the excessive HBO dues for awhile. Justified. This is mainly told from
Tony Blair's perspective and I'm guessing it's really based on fact. Great
acting. Hope Davis plays Hillary to a tee and these guys above are quite
wonderful too. I read in one review that it is fodder for the right wing
mills, but I didn't find that to be the case. President Clinton's warning
to Blair to be careful of Bush and Cheney was certainly spot on. It will
be out on DVD soon, I'm sure.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

not a great time

A friend of mine in Santa Barbara is very sick and I'm trying to
handle it. Failing, mostly it seems. When I wrote a mutual
friend he responded, "I don't know if I'm more afraid of living
or dying anymore."

Work does help. Friends do help. It still sucks big time as
we young 'uns say. More about this as the days progress...

Sunshine outside, at least, today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

kingston is a year old!

We haven't seen enough of Dancing Jen's nephew and she sent
me some wonderful photos today. He loves to read, just like his
mama and his aunt.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the real D' Orsay

Courtesy of the blogmaid (and thanks). Our exhibit at the deYoung
has some beautiful photographs of the old train station in Paris too.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

it's out!

The third and final volume of this unusual and enthralling
Swedish mystery by Stieg Larsson. Already about 130 times
better than The Reliable Wife. My friend Ginger sent for
it from the UK, but I think I'm going to need my own copy
of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest. (Only a couple
of you might be interested in the fact that the British version
is Hornets' Nest and the American as above. I go British.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

sightseeing (sweet)

Here we have three photos from yesterday. From the top down:
Kensington, Divvying the Spoils and Sausalito.

The details: It was a somewhat late start because the bathroom
sink was plugged up (again) and you'll all be happy to know that
the plumber will be arriving today. We started in SF with the
Castro, the deYoung and Golden Gate Park, the Legion of Honor,
Sutro Baths, Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito.

OK weather, at least it wasn't raining, but there was a little
wind and cold. We found our usual free parking spot in Sausalito
and walked all over, remembering various restaurants and
stores from the past. Ended up at Paradise Bay for a pretty
good lunch and then scurried home for reading and naps.

We females all went crazy at the Salt Water Taffy store. The
original low price of $3.79 for a 1/2 pound quickly turned into
a $25.00 purchase. Turns out there wasn't a single flavor that
one of us didn't absolutely love. Fun times.

Dinner at the middle son's (John the Good) home in the
hills of Berkeley, actually and legally known as Kensington.
BBQ chicken, asparagus and salad. No traffic problems
on the Bay Bridge which really is amazing these days.

A very special day ~ I hope "the girls" enjoyed it as much
as Husbando and I did.

Monday, May 24, 2010

paris on 34th avenue

They are setting up the Impressionist Paris exhibit at the Legion of
Honor. To my amazement a skylight appeared that no one ever
remembered seeing before. Probably because it would damage artwork,
but this little Paris park scene is a delight. The statues are from the
old deYoung outdoor cafe, vaguely familiar to me. Paris opens on
June 5th with more than 180 prints, photographs and posters.

Great dinner last night with The Plotniks, Nancy and the grand girls.
Nombe again ~ 21st and Mission. Off today to go sightseeing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

grand girls at work!

Ceci is drying and Lauren washing the dishes after a sumptuous
roast pork with salad and mashed potatoes dinner. Lauren just
graduated from college. And oh yes, they are fun and just as
nice as they can be. Today they'll do some sightseeing with
Husbando and maybe even drop in to visit me at the Legion
of Honor. Thankfully, the weather is impressing them (and me).

Saturday, May 22, 2010

escape to wisconsin

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick has been on the fiction
best seller list for a while now. When I found it 2nd hand, I
succumbed. It takes place in 1907, when the hero finds a
mail order bride who isn't what she appears to be. So far,
so good, and just what a women needs who is a little over-
whelmed by retail and all that entails. Maybe not the very
best writing, but a delightful plot for sure.

Friday, May 21, 2010

heartfelt information

Many of you know that my stepson, Rob, had a heart attack at the
young age of 52. He has stopped smoking, started exercising and
added healthy fruits and veggies to his diet. He emailed this:

There are other symptoms of an heart attack besides the pain on the left
arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as
nausea and lots of sweating, however these symptoms may also occur
less frequently. Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart
attack.. The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during
their sleep, did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may
wake you up from your deep sleep.

If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow
them with a bit of water.
CALL 911
- say "heart attack!"
- say that you have taken 2 aspirins..
- phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by
- take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their
arrival and...
~ DO NOT lie down ~

A Cardiologist has stated that, if each person, after receiving this e-mail,
sends it to 10 people, probably one life can be saved!

I have already shared the information- - What about you?

Do forward this message; it may save lives!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

a Degas here, a Renoir there...

Here we have RR two years ago in Paris at the D'Orsay. First,
of course, we notice how she's grown, then I urge you to check
out the pukey beige wall behind this famous Degas painting.
MY museum has done a fabulous job of painting the walls deep,
rich colors so the artwork really pops out. I'm guessing that the
Paris museum will do the same during their renovation.

Yesterday I got to wander through the exhibit almost by myself
with my eyes inches away from the exquisite paintings. I'm
not as wild about the beginning of the show, although some
of my co-workers like angels and babies better than landscapes,
so we did the "to each his own" kind of thing. There are about
100 fabulous paintings and next time I'll rent the audio so
I can keep learning here. How lucky am I?

It officially opens on Saturday, but lots of customers didn't
read that date correctly and so wanted to go in yesterday.
You will love this exhibit, I guarantee.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

he just dropped by for supper

Thanks for the great photo, blogmaid, I won't even lecture you on
the danger of raccoon feeding.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

more musée d'orsay

This was a delightful coincidence. Summer Hours is the sweet
story of a 75 yo woman who meets with her 3 children to divvy
up her art collection. It's sooooooo French and yet all families
are alike in so many ways ~ of course. Grandma is Edith Scob
and there you see Juliette Binoche all blond(e) and beautiful.
We get to travel to the interior of the D'Orsay and that alone
makes the film so perfect for now. Commano says, "Many Stars!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

one primo sunday

Ten years ago we had season tickets to The Jewel when it first
opened and we used to go to the Patio Cafe on Townsend before
the games. Yesterday we decided to try it again because neither
of us are very good at balancing chemical-filled hot dogs and
fries, etc. on our laps. The entire patio was filled with orange
and black clad baseball fans eating jerk chicken Caribbean
style dishes. It was great ~ warm and friendly and fun.

Our Muni experience was also terrific and we were worried
because service is even worse during the dreaded drunk Bay to
Breakers. I heard that the Astros had trouble getting to the
game because the traffic is always such a mess on this day.
By the way, real SF natives hate this day and mark it in
their calendars way in advance of the onslaught.

Ah, the game. Perfect. Our seats were in the arcade and the
game was two hours of pleasure. Packed house. The Giants
seem to only win by one run lately, so the 9th inning was
tense, but we can all put another W in their column.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a weekend of ballet

RR in make-up!
tutus to burn
Many hours of dress rehearsal yesterday and today is the recital.
Good luck and no melt downs from any dancers. In the meantime,
Husbando and I are heading to The Jewel to watch Zito pitch
and hoping for some sunshine. But I'll be thinking about RR,
sister Claire, Mr. and Ms. Blogmaid and all the delightful tulle-
covered little dancers. Have a blast!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

one week from today

You'll be seeing Manet's The Fifer (1866) all over the city
because he has been chosen to represent the Birth of
Impressionism masterpieces from the d'Orsay. There is
great excitement at the de Young, I can feel it the moment
I walk in any door, even the employee's entrance. What
a thrill ~ I feel privileged to be spending the summer
with Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, etc. And our gift
shop is exquisite, you won't miss it because it's located at
the very end of the exhibit. Stop in, buy beautiful things!
From May 22 to September 6, Golden Gate Park.

Friday, May 14, 2010

from this morning's chronny

Friday, May 14, 2010

Josh Levy, a longtime advocate of the power of social media, is having a crisis of faith.

Last week, Levy created a site seeking 10,000 people to pledge to quit Facebook with him to protest the social network's most recent privacy changes.

Only 100 people have pledged so far. For individuals like Levy - who has worked with several social media startups and commented extensively on Web topics - it's not easy letting go. But someone, he said, has to send a message.

Levy represents a small but growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction over Facebook's march toward turning the Internet into one giant social network, a plan that relies on its members publicly sharing what they read, think, eat, watch, listen to, like and dislike.

"What Facebook is doing is not acceptable, and its attitude is too cavalier," Levy said. "I don't want to go back to the horse and buggy days. But I want modernity to be fair."

Analysts say the undercurrent is not yet strong enough to impact the Palo Alto social-networking king, which has more than 400 million active members.

In fact, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said the site has added 10 million members since April 21, when the company touched off the latest round of privacy concerns at its developer conference in San Francisco.

But anti-Facebook sentiment is surfacing in highly visible places, from the halls of Congress to the blogs and podcasts of influential technology experts like Leo Laporte of Petaluma.

"It seems to me that ultimately their goal is to funnel all Internet traffic through," said Laporte, who deleted his Facebook profile during a recent podcast and donated money to Diaspora, a project to create a more open and private alternative to Facebook.

Ended his account

Laporte was inspired to put an end to his Facebook account by a recent blog post by Jason Calacanis, chief executive officer of Mahalo, a question-and-answer Web site. He accused Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg of trading users' privacy for profit.

"Facebook is officially 'out,' as in uncool, amongst partners, parents and pundits all coming to the realization that Zuckerberg and his company are - simply put - not trustworthy," Calacanis wrote on his personal Web site.

Facebook convened a staff meeting Thursday to discuss the backlash, although some staff members described it as a routine gathering.

"We have an open culture, and it should come as no surprise that we're providing a forum for employees to ask questions on a topic that has received a lot of outside interest," Noyes said.

Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has evolved from a collection of private networks of college friends to an Internet juggernaut with more than 400 million users.

But privacy advocates criticize the company for exposing its customers - via public information posted on their Facebook profiles - to unwanted risks, from identity theft to workplace embarrassment.

Earlier this month, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and 14 other privacy and consumer organizations filed a complaint against Facebook with the Federal Trade Commission, accusing the popular social network of "unfair and deceptive trade practices" and violating users' expectations of privacy and consumer protection laws.

And last month, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked the FTC to develop guidelines instructing social networks on how private information can be used.

All of this comes in the wake of the company's launch of a new "open" social platform designed to bring Facebook features, such as its Like button, to other Web sites, and an experimental Instant Personalization feature that gives certain Web sites the ability to access a member's name, profile picture, sex and network of friends. The company also launched community pages that made topics in a member's profile more public.

Facebook defends changes

In interviews, Facebook officials have repeatedly said the majority of their members are benefiting from the innovations, which are meant to cater to the evolving sharing habits of the community. Indeed, Web sites that have partnered with Facebook, like CNN, have reported increases in traffic.

But critics say the process of hiding personal information is overly cumbersome. And minor security breaches in Facebook's chat program have only added to the criticism.

Still, social media analysts say Facebook remains far from reaching the tipping point where it would start to lose members, especially with no comparable alternative for consumers. But the company does have a brewing public relations problem that could get worse if doesn't act.

"Are people really going to leave Facebook and go back to e-mail as a primary source of sharing online? I don't think so," said Augie Ray, a senior analyst for Forrester Research Inc., a technology research firm. "Facebook will not suffer irreparable harm from continuing to offer Instant Personalization, but they will make their job of earning consumer trust more difficult."

Explain the social benefits

Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst with San Mateo consulting firm Altimeter Group, said Facebook needs to take steps to better explain the benefits of an open social Web. And that's compounded by Facebook constantly revising its privacy policy.

"It seems like they didn't think things through," Owyang said. "They keep on doing it and pushing customers along whether they like it or not. They're going too fast, and consumers aren't educated about what's private and what's public."

The changes have already pushed several angry users to kill their accounts. On Twitter, hundreds of tweets proudly announced the deactivation - in some cases, the more drastic permanent deletion - of their Facebook profiles.

A user called JCollinsLambert tweeted: "I deactivated my #facebook account last week; will delete soon unless privacy policies change drastically."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

now on duty

It's quite wonderful to start a brand new series and know that
we have many hours of excellent entertainment ahead of us.
Nurse Jackie stars Edie Falco and she has about the most
compassionate and expressive face possible. Plus it takes
place in NYC so we not only have colorful scenery, we get
to see lots of our favorite East Coast actors playing bit parts.
Yes, it's from your friendly Flix® ~ rent it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

don't open that door!

We've seen 3 plays in the last 6 days and that's a record. Last
night was a hoot ~ 90 minutes of laughter as playwright Allison
Moore takes on the male-dominated world of the low budget
horror film genre. Our young female star has a feminist
mother who is furious because her daughter is being
exploited in this action-packed play. If the ending was
a bit odd, that's OK ~ it's a horror play after all. We both
enjoyed Slasher at the SF Playhouse.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

right up my dark alley

This is really a fun mystery for those of us who go to writing
classes because we recognize the students and the teacher.
I can tell that the author is a feisty, sarcastic and delightful
woman who has taught writing for many years. I don't want
to spoil the plot, but The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
will give writers everywhere a lot to think (and smile) about.
P.S. Jincy?

Monday, May 10, 2010

a frolic was absolutely necessary

Yesterday was a rough and busy day out at the Legion of
Honor, but we managed to close Cartier forever and then I
had to RUSH downtown to meet Husbando for a bowl of
duck noodle soup before ACT. This British sex farce was a
perfect tonic after too much retail and we chortled in all
the right places and I was able to stop asking myself silly
work questions as the crazy family went Round and Round
the Garden. Anthony Fusco and Rene´Augesen are like
old friends by now and wonderful, as always.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

roses to all mothers everywhere

My wonderful step dot, Nancy, sent me these glorious roses
again this year for Mother's Day. She and her two daughters
will be here in two weeks, the same time as the Impressionists
hit the deYoung. "Don't make any plans," she said, "we just
want to hang out." So be it. Husbando and I are eagerly
awaiting their arrival and wishing (as always) that we had just
one more bathroom. (Special Mother's Day greetings to my
esteemed reader and mother of RR, the blogmaid.)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

enough already

I told Husbando that we've "done" enough Jewish for a few days.
Last night we watched A Serious Man with Michael Stuhlberg
as the hapless teacher back in the 60's. It's dark, but since the
movie is from the Coen Brothers, there are lots of places to
laugh out loud, or smile silently. Not recommended for everyone,
but we both enjoyed it, in our own dark way.

Friday, May 07, 2010

good for jews and goys

We first saw Josh Kornbluth maybe 15 or more years ago when he
wrote a play about working as a temp for a big law firm. Hilarious.
Since then we've seen every play he has written and performed,
but last night was the best in a long, long time. I learned more about
Andy Warhol than I did when I worked next to him at the deYoung,
plus all the funny and sad details of Josh's life as he grows up,
finally. Commano highly recommends this and it has been
extended, so go and enjoy for 90 memorable minutes. The Jewish
is a treat too. Andy Warhol: Good for the Jews?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

when in doubt...

go for the daily Round Robin write. The prompt: IN THE MAIL.

What mail? Let's see, mostly we get requests from charities and
the occasional invoice that Husbando pays by check. We should
probably pay those online, but I'm too lazy to set it all up. Oh,
and we do get several magazines and maybe a post card
reminding us to visit our dentist. Around birthday time
we still get a few cards and now that I moved a little money around
in my 401(k) I'm bombarded with paper-wasting nonsense from Fidelity.

Back in the day, when I was a shy and whiney little girl, my parents
lived for the mail delivery. My father wrote beautiful letters with
penmanship, and I don't think he even graduated from
high school.
Well, maybe, but certainly no college. And yet that
man could construct
a sentence. His siblings all lived in the
East and they would send each
other long letters every week
or so. He was especially close to my
Aunt Kit and they were
constant correspondents. Long distance phone
calls were an
extravagance and only used for emergencies.

During the holiday season there was mail delivery twice a day. Isn't
that amazing? Sunday too, as I recall. The mailman was our friend
and my parents always tipped him at Christmas time. A whole
different way of life back when there was real mail.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

fixed by notthat ~ thanks!!!

pardon my scanning

Here are the twins who will be a year old in July. I messed up the scanning procedure somehow and already returned the print to Neti, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

another tribute to Paris

And can there be too many? This movie, with the striking Juliette
Binoche, features many of our favorite buildings, streets, shops
and people of Paris. Juliette's brother is scheduled for a risky
heart transplant and she takes care of him before the operation.
As they bond, Paris is the omnipresent background. foreground
and illumination. City of Lights, get it?

Monday, May 03, 2010

sunday in the city

Bagels (and lox) at Katz in the Mission.

A walk in the Presidio - note the sky.

A blessing from Yoda and Mr. That Lucas.

Being off on a Sunday will always be a treat for me ~ the city is so
soft and quiet compared to the other 6 days. It helps that it was a
warm and blemish-free day. We were going to picnic in the Presidio,
but we were too full from the bagel feast, so we ended up going to
the Officers Club for the Jews in Shanghai photography exhibit
(fascinating) and then we walked and walked around the Presidio
which seems to get greener and more beautiful every time we visit.

Then we had dinner with Neti and Frank at Nombe, the Japanese
Restaurant where I had been with work friends on a cold and
dark night several months ago. It seems like it was even better
last night: sashimi, pork belly, salad, asparagus, chicken sausage
and more/more/more. Yummy! That's at 21st and Mission,
but I know you remember the address from my previous post.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

not MY Sherlock

At some stage in my life I spent about 6 wonderful months with
Sherlock Holmes ~ I think I was in my 30's. Beautifully bound
hardback books and an absolute treat to read. This movie was
fun, but nothing like my guy, although I did like the friendship
between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law. Of course it's worth
seeing, but once again we salute the Flix® so we didn't have to
spend real money on this movie. I say "rent it," but don't rush.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

back in the saddle

Yesterday I learned that I have a new nine month contract and
I'll be gainfully employed as a lead sales associate again. That's
like a Supervisor in the outside world. It's exactly what I did
before, but I know more this go-round. And oh, I start next
Tuesday and it's a 5 day a week job, some nights. Bring on those
Impressionists. (Bank accounts everywhere are rejoicing.)