Tuesday, August 31, 2010

such a glorious day...

A field of fescue.

The fort, the bridge the bay.
Yesterday we met Ginger out at Crissy Field ~ one of those rare
sunny, clear and exquisite San Francisco days. The fog of the past
few months is just a grey memory now. We had a lovely time walking,
talking and trying to identify all the dogs.

Then to Dragon Well (on Chestnut Street) for lunch ~ tea smoked
duck, noodles, beef on broccoli and chocolate (!) fortune cookies.

Monday, August 30, 2010

fountains in the park

A perfect lunch spot in Golden Gate Park.
For months "they" (city? park & rec?) have been working to restore
three glorious fountains in Golden Gate Park right in front of MY
museum. They have been dead for 14 years. The fences, however,
remain and remain. Of course there will be problems (and law suits?)
when these come down, but note the cobblestone to discourage
skate boarders. Maybe there will be a ceremony or maybe the ugly
wire fences will just stay put. So much safer in this city of wonder
and weirdness.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

who knew?

City Island is now part of the Bronx, in the extreme W. end
of Long Island Sound. It is very small, population 4,500 or so.
According to Wikipedia, quite a few movies have been
filmed here. It looks like a delightful little place to live.

Put this one on your list ~ City Island with Andy Garcia and
Julianna Marguilies is a sweet comedy about a prison guard
who discovers his son (Steven Strait) when the new inmate
arrives in jail. He brings him home to his surprised wife
and kids and chaos ensues. Oh, Alan Arkin too. Half a
Kleenex® in a good way...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

what we've lost

Dramatis Personæ

Once upon a time,
Books began this
Way—the O of once let
The reader beware up
Front that a story as
Ornate and colorful as
We are would follow—
And not for any of us
To be shocked to find
We must return and
Stand for what we are.

Aaron Fagan

Echo Train

Friday, August 27, 2010

day off report

Yesterday the blogmaid and I had lunch and it was wonderful
to see her again. It was a sort-of celebration of our 20 year
friendship and we munched on chicken huumuus wraps and
drank lattes at the Bird Cafe (Java) on Ocean Avenue. There
are loud birds in cages at this neighborhood restaurant and
they were joined by a jumpy (icky) pigeon that startled all
of us. Cool iPad, too, blogmaid.

Last night we watched this strange little Indie film about
two 20-something men in NYC. How I Got Lost is haunting
because it makes me wonder again how we all make it from
college to real grown-up life, mostly stumbling along on
hormones and alcohol, and that doesn't seem to have
changed much over all these years. Life, she be difficult.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

vacation planning

Here is a photo from our 2008 trip to Pismo Beach. The Edgewater
Inn was fabulous and we wanted to stay here again this year. Online
prices were $149 a night so Husbando called (how old fashioned)
and said, "but we paid $99 last time!" The nice reservation woman
said, "that works for us." We leave the day after Labor Day and the
day after Orsay closes at the deYoung. One night in Pismo and on
to Santa Barbara for a few nights in Summerland with Ginger,
Michael, dogs and the platypus. We are more than ready...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

next project, please

Okay, this isn't really our home. Last night we did have a little discussion
on How To Improve our beloved Casa Verde. Husbando wants to have
the kitchen painted (yes, Notthat, it looks seedy now, just as you
predicted) and I would like to hire a REAL gardener to plant things
that might actually grow without too much work or water. I want fresh
flowers every day, but living in the fog makes that a bit difficult. We
will keep the lemon tree, tomatoes and a rose bush or two, but I'm fine
with gutting the rest. No zucchini ever, of course. The discussions will
continue before the checks are written, needless to say.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

many stars, no kleenex®

We both recommend The Ghost Writer starring Ewan McGregor
and Pierce Bronsan as the ex-Prime Minister. Ewan is working
on his memoirs and a feeling of old fashioned pervasive dread
and ironic humor is constant throughout this Roman Polanski
film. Things don't add up and our interpret hero can't leave
well-enough alone. From the Flix®, of course.

Monday, August 23, 2010

lunch with a view

Note the big Russian yacht (larger than a football field) in the
background. But even more amazing, note the blue sky! Yes, we
have sunshine in San Francisco, so to celebrate we drove over to
Sausalito to have lunch at The Spinnaker with our old friends
Steve and Marita who live in San Rafael. Very nice time and no
traffic problems. The Doyle Drive re-do is zooming along and it
was interesting to theorize with weighty questions such as, "what
the hell are they doing?" and "when will they be finished?" A
gazillion people out in SF and Sausalito ~ it's tourist season.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

filming our nabe

This film with Benjamin Bratt is pretty good and we especially
enjoyed seeing so many familiar landmarks. La Mission tells
the story of a macho father who has some issues with his
teenage son and I won't be a spoiler. They must have filmed it
here in October, because the sky was always blue and people
weren't wearing hats, gloves, mufflers, etc. Once when Benjamin
left his flat in a cotton shirt I muttered, "grab a jacket!" to
Husbando. Not a great movie, but we enjoyed the scenery.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

our city of foodies

So many people!
Tables and chairs for everyone...
Lines a mile long for each booth
Grilled, curled sausages
The one booth not busy (yet).
The San Francisco Food Fair is a few blocks from our house and you
can see that the crowds were exceptionally large. I was fortunate to
have this Saturday off, but I didn't feel like standing in long lines,
so I came home empty-handed. It is only the 2nd year that they have
done this thing (around 26th and Harrison) and it has expanded
because it's so very successful. Next year will be even bigger and
we'll get there when it opens. And, no, there was no sun.

Friday, August 20, 2010

and another e-book...

I'm enjoying Faithful Place by Ms. French, although it's not
quite as wonderful as her first book In the Woods. A young
woman's body is found in Faithful Place, a neighborhood
in Dublin. See, I don't have the book to make sure it is
Dublin, but it is in Ireland. Anyway, it's a good escape for
me at this post-vaca stage. Wait for paperback, you non
e-reader folks...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

don't miss this one!

This was the second book I read on my LindaKindle and it is
one of the best that I've read in ages. One Day tells the true-
sounding story of two people who meet during college
graduation ceremonies and remain friends for decades. It
takes place mostly in London with a few side trips to Greece
and France. Buy, rent or steal this one.

The downside for me of e-reading is not being able to go
back and read a certain passage or to clarify which acerbic
character actually said what to whom. Also, people come
up and ask me how I like the LindaKindle, but they really
want to see my bruised collar bone, I'm sure. And this
book I'd loan to my friend Ginger and look forward to
our hashing it over later. Traveling with the LK is an
absolute joy and as easy as can be. Nice long battery life,
too. All in all, a highlight of 2010 for me. Thank you
again and again, LindaFriend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

and Falco makes three

It's been too long since we visited Bisbee, Az. and my dear friend
Mary. This is her photo of a storm gathering and when one lives
in dull fogged-in San Francisco, it looks unreal. I had the privilege
of reading Mary's novel-in-works when she lived here ~ as you
can see, she is an extremely gifted writer. It's a treat for me to
share her email with you this morning.

I have a foundling kitten that was pulled from a ditch of rushing muddy water during a monsoon downpour by a woman out near a place called Elfrida. Somehow I ended up with him.

Monsoon Report from the Mule Mountains - 2010:
It is such a strange year - record heat since 1962 - we stagger under the oppressive weight of the unrelenting heat, incessantly complaining to each other and swatting at the ever-present no-seeums which swarm around us. But then the monsoon rains arrive in the late afternoon. The rain itself is preceded by a stunningly beautiful sunset and, often, rainbows, with distant rolling thunder and lightening. The rain suddenly arrives here at Black Knob announcing itself with a blinding crack of lightening and a clap of thunder which shakes the house and sends my outside cat, Jack, running home through the first heavy drops which soon turn into a fierce downpour accompanied by the sound of the rushing stream that the road in front of my house becomes. All three cats (Jack, Sami and kitty Falco ) and I huddle inside (me with a flashlight at hand, candles at strategic places) in the stifling heat as night comes, while the house lights up and the thunder rolls and the rain pounds down. (and the electricity flashes off and on). Sometime around midnight the storm moves on, the excitement is over and we all sleep. The next day when people are out and around - again in the mind-numbing heat - they exchange anecdotes with friends and strangers of the storm at their house, appreciation of the beautiful sky and gratitude for the rain - especially after last years drought. We are all looking forward with anticipation to what this evening will bring. We know we will have a gorgeous sunset, We will look for the rainbow. We hope we will have rain. I love this place!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

home again

There's always a lot of little organizing stuff to do when we get home
from vaca, isn't there? I'm going through the photos and will send
them to Costco so Husbando can enjoy the hard copies. But I do
love this one. From the left top: Rev. Rich, Janet and Pasquale
(from Pittsburg, PA) and Bob (kneeling) lives in Idaho. I've known
Rich and Bob for more than 20 years and enjoyed getting to know
the assorted relatives. Here we are on the ferry to Whidbey, I
remember how excited I was to see the Island and yes, it lived
up to my high expectations.

It is wonderful to be home and I slept beautifully last night. I have
discovered that it hurts a little when the LindaKindle falls on my
collarbone when I doze off reading. I'm learning to slant it

I told the blogmaid in the morning email that airports and air-
planes are like dreams ~ interesting only to the person who
experiences them.

Today I'm out at the LOH and looking forward to work. Sort of.

Monday, August 16, 2010

the sun sets on Whidbey

Going home today! We all gathered down at the wharf last night
after dinner to watch the final sunset. Rev. Rich's service yesterday
was excellent and one of the chants was the same that we do in
yoga, so that was easy. I mentioned Michael's name during the
healing prayer and Husbando's as a "you are here with us" kind
of prayer thingie. And I took communion, how does that grab you?

The rest of the day was reading, walking and lunch, then dinner.
This is a food-loving group, but aren't they all?
Finished the wonderful One Day and I'll tell you more about that
later, I think. Buy it, download it...

I'm ready for home where everything is in just the right place.
Looking forward to being with Husbando again. Work tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

a lazy saturday

Husbando receives many calls from this bench
Art Fair in downtown Coupeville
I wrote the blogmaid this morning and opined that I had henna
poisoning because I didn't sleep much last night. There is a big
Art Fair and Show here in Coupeville this weekend and of course
having been to a million of these in SF, I was not impressed. If
they produced a Peet's or Starbux I could/would get excited.

My henna tattoo is calmer today, as is Rev. Rich's lion leg. He
is a Leo and will be getting a real tattoo soon. We all love our
body decorations so I won't disparage the entire Art Fair.

This morning was the most exquisite orange sunrise. I was
going to grab my camera, but the photos never seem to be
anything as spectacular as the real thing.

Yes, you want to know about my LindaKindle? I'm totally
hooked and very grateful to LindaFriend. I'm reading One Day
by Nicholls and it's even better than When Bad Things Happen
which I also enjoyed. Plus by some miracle I downloaded
the free Shuffle Word game from Amazon, so I'm all set
for airports, airplanes and a lazy afternoon on Whidbey.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

all day picnic friday

We were outside all day yesterday in glorious sunshine right on
the edge of Puget Sound in Langley on Whidbey Island. BBQ'd
hot dogs, burgers, potato salad, cupcakes, more. Lots of
laughter and love.

Today there are connectivity computer problems, so I won't
dally here. I'll just upload the photos and pray for the best.
You can see Rev. Rich's influence on me.

Today is hot and wonderful and yes, I'm happy here on Whidbey

Friday, August 13, 2010

from Seattle to Whidbey

View from my room at the Coupeville Inn
Motorcycles on the crowded ferry!
Waiting for the ferry ~ more than an hour.
Lunch spot in Seattle
Fascinating historical tour
Underground Seattle
Our tour guide, Richard, in Pioneer Square
Wonderful old building
Rich's apartment in Seattle
Meet Desi, Rich's cat
Part of a huge dinner at Christopher's, across
the street from our Inn in Coupeville

I'm drying laundry out on my balcony this morning, my, those jeans
take a long time to dry. Waiting for the knock on the door telling me
that this is unacceptable. In the meantime, I post.

Another busy day starting with the gathering of luggage and people
and heading to Pioneer Square for our fascinating historical tour.
It was so much more than just the underground because Seattle
was really a lumber town, providing wood for San Francisco (we
kept burning down). No gold in Seattle. Then a group lunch and
back into the vans for the long drive to Mukilteo and an even
longer wait for the huge ferry to Whidbey. Busy tourist season
with tons of cars, vans, motorcycles and people w/o cars. A v.
short 20 min. ferry ride.

Whidbey is the largest of the San Juan Islands and is a world
unto itself, it appears. We are in Coupeville which is about in
the middle of the island. I was out walking this morning and it
is quite wonderful, reminding me a bit of Mendocino, Carmel
and all the resort-type little West Coast towns that we all love
so much. It even has a bus system and some place called
Useless Bay that I am anxious to see and judge for myself.

Today is a noon picnic and then a FREE night. Five people
joined our party of 18 total last night; there will probably be
another one or two today. I'm slowly getting the names
down and I do really like the group, but you all know that
most writers are loners, so I have perfected the escape
excuses and routes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

cats and baseball first

Sweet Seattle city cat.
Ugly fish made out of baseball covers at
Anthony's Pier 66 where I had lunch (outside).

Oh, the sky...
Our friend the Rev. Rich - his 60th b.day tomorrow.
Today I'll count how many of us are here to celebrate.
Colorful street cars in the Lake Union area.
Street art ~ Lake Union again...
Part of the sculpture garden at the Seattle Art Museum.

Seattle was beautiful yesterday, today there is some fog ~ imagine
that. I walked and walked and got to know Seattle and myself again.
(It's been awhile for both.) It's clean, hilly, and overbuilt here. Many
condos, apartments and flats to rent or buy. Interesting the difference
between SF and this city, because they are so much alike in so many
ways. My Best Western is about a block away from the Space Needle,
so I can't get lost.

I walked down to Elliott Bay and had a lovely outdoor solo lunch
and read my LindaKindle. Almost finished with Bad Things Happen
and it's a good one. Walked some more, had coffee and enjoyed
myself thoroughly. My knees are only barking lightly this morning.

Skipped Rich's church service (more about this later) and met
the group at Mistral Kitchen on Westlake Avenue in the Lake
Union section of town. About 6 easy blocks from our motel
and again, lots to see and think about. The food was delicious
and the service impeccable. Nice time. Rich has an abundance
of relatives gathered here, all enthusiastic Italians. Fun stuff.

Today is the Seattle Underground Tour and then we all head to
Whidbey in the San Juan Island chain. I promised Rich I'd
attend his outdoor church service on Sunday ~ are photos

OK, time to call Husbando and pack up.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

rebus interruptus

We have to put aside this DVD because I'm hopping on a
plane and van today ~ boat tomorrow. Rebus is pretty good,
takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland with the usual prickly,
determined cop who has a whole slew of his own problems.
Starring John Hannah. From BBC and the Flix.

OK, I'm packed and ready to go. First the oj and blueberries
with yogurt. I'll report from Seattle tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

b.day celebration!

The luncheon guest of honor.
The Great Ducknik is celebrating a b.day this week and since it isn't
one of those cleanly divisible by 5 (thanks for that Plottie), it is an
easy one. Besides, we all know that any b.day after 50 (or so) is one
well worth celebrating. Too many of us have known too many loved
ones who didn't make it to our ages and we are the lucky ones indeed.

So off to Nopalito we go ~ a delightful Mexican restaurant on
Broderick Street between Fell and Oak. Duck had the mole enchiladas
and those are my eggs on black beans. We had too many luscious
appetizers, but everything was so yummy that we cleaned our plates
with ease. The mint lemonade was exquisite, by the way.

Our friends enhance our lives so very much. Couples learn early on
that it isn't easy to find other couples where all 4 are compatible.
Once again, we have lucked out!