Monday, January 31, 2011

sunset at padaro beach

A fitting ending to a very healing weekend. We had rain off and on
all day, then the sun emerged and we took a long walk on the beach
right before this gorgeous sunset. Lunch at Gianfrannco's with our
friend Joan and then a nap and general laziness. Heading home at
7:30am before the Santa Barbara traffic starts looking like SF.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

tears and laughter

A long, good and yet somewhat difficult day. Beautiful weather and
setting. Delightful people. I decided that outdoor services are better
than indoor stuffy ones and hereby request Crissy Field for mine.
His ashes are near the East Beach Grill where we used to have bad
coffee. Michael would love that they now serve Peet's®. I had some
time for a solo walk, a walk with his close friend Pam and then
some really nice talks with his friends. Then we formed a circle
and buried his ashes along with a scruffy plant that he loved. We
all know where to visit him now.

Of course I was crying, but was able to show them the tiny compass
that he gave me a few years ago because I have such a shitty sense
of direction. Seems I need it a lot more now than I used to. I also
wrote a poem for him that I will share with you at a later date.

Thank you to Pam and Kris who organized this wonderful event and
to Ginger for helping me so much with all of this. Today it is foggy.
Funny how those things work, isn't it?

Home tomorrow. A little drained, but better. Yes, better.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

note nutcrackers

Ginger's friends (Bob and Dottie) brought fresh cracked crab all the
way from Eureka for last night's meal. Her v. cool friend Betsy also
joined us and we ate way too much and had some lively conversation.
I'm the first one up this morning and made espresso using G's new
machine that features those little capsule thingies and is so, so easy.

Yesterday's drive down was terrific. Chris insisted on doing all the
driving and I ignored his ageist Miss Daisy remarks. We stopped
for lunch at Novo in San Luis Obispo. Thanks to him I discovered
that there is an actual downtown here, we ate "creekside" and I
was amazed that this area is bustling with stores, shoppers and
foodies. It was a wonderfully warm day and many people were
wearing shorts. In January. I feel for my friends on the East
Coast, but they love the change of seasons. Right about now I'm
sure they are thinking Spring. Please.

We gather around noon today and the beach memorial picnic
is at 1pm. Or thereabouts. Last night Betsy was telling me about
taking her friend's ashes to Florence, Italy and Africa too,
because they had been planning to travel there together. That
was comforting to me, for some strange reason.

Thanks to The Great Plotnik for visiting Husbando yesterday.
Our friends are da best.

Friday, January 28, 2011

new and old friends

This morning I'm heading to Santa Barbara with a friend from work
named Chris. His family lives in Carpenteria, so after dropping him
off, I will head to Ginger's place where the platypus roam. She will
spoil me all weekend, as usual. Tomorrow is the beach picnic memorial
service for Michael and I look forward to meeting friends that he
spoke of so often. This will be emotionally draining, but we know how
comforting these services can be. That is something I didn't realize
when I was young, did you?

I will be back on Monday, but MsBook travels with me, so I will
check in tomorrow morning. Thanks, I take your warm wishes too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

a little family drama

I think I enjoyed this Italian drama more than Husbando did. It
stars Tilda Swinton who speaks perfect (I think) Italian ~ she is
the mother and central character. I Am Love is lush and lovely,
filmed in a villa in Milano and some lovely hilltop home in the
countryside. I guess even Italian families have some dissension.
Who would have guessed?

Today I work all day at the Legion of Honor. I can do it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

lots of incredible

First, we both thought that President Obama's speech was outstanding
and this morning I said to Husbando, "I'm currently very pleased
with our president, our governor and our mayor." Have I ever been
able to say that before? Hmmmmm, I don't think so.

After the speech, we watched Good Hair, the documentary by Chris
Rock about the black hair industry ~ relaxers, weaves, perms and
processing. A very upsetting look at how the quest for "white beauty"
is completely dominating many black women. Most of the black
hair products are from white-owned businesses, plus they are
dangerous chemicals and the average weave takes 5 or 6 hours
and can cost $1,000 or more. Chris decided to investigate this
because his very young daughter told him she wanted "good
hair." Here I thought we had all worked on this problem years
ago, but no, it is still with us. Black women are so beautiful
just the way they are, but I guess they don't see it that way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

what the doc ordered

Still cleaning up after these colds, so today we took morning naps and
then a trip to Mitchell's for ice cream medication. We stood in the bright
sunshine and enjoyed every last drop. We have both lost weight during
these past two weeks and have the enviable task of bulking up as
soon as possible. On the trip home Husbando said, "we should do
this tomorrow too." My kind of guy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

why I love baseball

I had to work yesterday so I missed the two games between all
those burly guys. But I did hear on the radio that in a 2 plus
hour game, there is actually 11 minutes of playing time total.
Is this true? Did I hear it correctly? Good grief.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

speaking of chairs

It's one of those days. First the most welcome morning email
from the Blogmaid asking what kind of chair I bought at
Macy's last week and did I bring it home on the bus? (no)
Then I read the charming blog from The Fevered Brain in
Mexico who is also concentrating on chairs, only her story
is a little more colorful than mine. Check out her blog The
All of It at the top of the blog list over there to your right.
Our recliner chair replaces Husbando's worn one and of
course it was on sale. Delivery Feb. 4th.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

back to normal

I had a wonderful QUIET day at the deYoung. Very few
customers, lots of catch-up work and talking with fellow
employees. And I am officially part-time! Only working
two days next week and that's okay with me.

Health markedly better for Husbando and myself.

Planning a trip to Santa Barbara next weekend for
the memorial service for Michael.

Friday, January 21, 2011

oh, yes, we know the feeling...

On a Drop of Rain

Late in the day, the rain abating,
I force myself outside for my daily walk.
I do not go far. Everything is doused
and diamonded with water. Even the stones
seem polished. At each bud of every scrub
roadside tree, and even on the thorns
of wild roses, hangs a drop of rain—
as if someone had hoisted chandeliers
to light the road from end to end.

I think of Marvell, how he found a story
one morning shining with meaning
in a drop of dew. A figure for the soul,
Marvell's dewdrop contained the whole
sky and, mindful of its native home,
came and went, scarcely touching
the earthly flower on which it floated,
its one aspiration the sunny exhalation
of water into air. It never seemed to feel

death's shiver. Here, it's nearly evening,
the air still rheumy enough to silver
the weedy edge of the road where beer cans
find their rest. My raindrops—tense, trembling—
really do seem to cling for dear life,
a story, I'm sad to say, of my all too earthly
wish to hang around forever in my body.
No chance, the wind says, extinguishing
with every breeze, one drop after another.

Robert Cording

Walking with Ruskin
CavanKerry Press

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I have failed

I'm proud of the fact that the Blogmaid can benefit from all that
I have learned in my life, which has been considerably longer than
hers, and yet when she asks "who is The Dude?" I am filled with
shame. The Dude is Jeff Bridges, here in the most glorious film
from 1998 entitled The Big Lebowski. He is a folk hero and
there are yearly parties in MY city where guys dress in their
bathrobes and tee shirts to drink too much and laze around.
Jeff was in our museum with his very nice wife and he was as
pleasant as could be, perhaps because not too many people
recognized him. He has admitted that he is "part Dude" with
his indolent mannerisms and soft smile. So, my cultural hint
for today is to rent this movie and enjoy. And, Blogmaid,
forgive me for not enlightening you before this.

Health news ~ The Great Plotnik predicted that as soon as
Husbando caved in and told me he would go to the doc, he
would improve overnight. When I came home last night
he said he would go and today he is way, way better. And
I feel almost-OK and I'm home relaxing today. Hooray!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

back with the family

It's Season Five (!) already for Big Love and our little family sure
needed their big family to keep our minds off our throats and lungs.
Did I tell you that Bill Paxton was at the deYoung last year? I
recognized his voice first. He was with his real wife (I assume)
and child(ren?), but I only had eyes for him. A very nice man.
The Dude was in recently too, and he was also exceptionally
pleasant. I can't say that for every customer, as you might have
noticed. So the Orsay is gone, a happy memory. Everyone on the
staff is sick, but relieved that it is over. Part-time, here I come!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

honk, honk

I worked for almost two hours this morning, opening the Orsay
shoppe on its final day. One of my co-workers told me that I sounded
like a Canadien goose (note odd spelling which has always intrigued
me, sort of) so I am taking advantage of the very generous sick pay
policy, finally, and now I'm home. Tomorrow I will be ready to work
again, I'm sure. Maybe.

Monday, January 17, 2011

fresh oj, pineapple, pears, sleep

One would think that there would be marked improvement after a
day in bed (for me) and chair (for Husbando). We consumed healthy
foods and did a few little things like dishes and laundry. But I can't
honestly tell you that either one of us is a whole hell of a lot better
than we were last night at this time. But at least I don't have to go
to work until 7am tomorrow and I think I might be coming home
after a couple of hours there. We'll see. Oh, yeah, the visual. I did
a crossword and since my mind is gloppy, it took way too long, But
I finished. Online crosswords are better 'cuz those red letters pop
up telling me that I'm an idiot.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

the house of sick

My turn. But I think it's a minor cold, unwelcome nonetheless.
Maybe it was the rumpled Kleenex® left on the counter yesterday?
Or the hundreds of customers sneezing and coughing at "the
hottest show in town." It's not what Husbando has, but I will
concede that he is feeling better and we both slept last night.
Actually, we don't know too many people who haven't been
hit with this cold/flu/cough.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

there's nothing like the printed page

Finally offers a service for us to have our blogs printed
at a very reasonable price. So here is 2010 ~ all 234 pages including
photos for only $90.00. And it is very easy! I just clicked on a couple
of lines and it took about 10 days and here it is. You can find the
service under blog2print or SharedBook and I am a delighted first
time customer. Thanks to the Blogmaid for testing this for me with
her Claire's wonderful blog (Power Pony Tail). I think the photo
quality is outstanding. The writing? Well, it's there. Everyday.
Almost. We sure had a busy year.

Health update ~ Husbando's cough is better and he slept more
soundly last night. I didn't.

Friday, January 14, 2011

the muni & the miata

Ginger and I had lunch here at My Father's Kitchen on
Divisadero. It was crowded, inexpensive and not very good.
I did not see any Asians, only young white people with
cell phones and earnest looks on their faces. They all must
work around here (2 blocks from California St.), probably in
the medical world as hospitals abound in this nabe.

We decided to take the bus to the Mission for some latte
and scones at the Pie Shop. Coming down Castro St. a Miata
ran into our #24 bus and it was quite a mess. No one hurt,
but I took some good photos on my cell phone and don't
have the vaguest idea what to do with them and I think I
probably erased them. But the Miata was severely crunched
and entangled in the side of the bus. My first Muni
accident. We walked the rest of the way in the gentle
misty rain, talking about everything and everyone.
A very nice day.

Husbando Stubborno says that he is better, but he doesn't
sound or look like it. Cough/hack/ick/sleep/cough/hack.
I'm going to work ASAP with another stern warning to
call his doctor which he will, once again, ignore.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

all quiet in bernal heights

I've always been way too sensitive to noise, even music. I think it's
one of the reasons I never wanted children. I'm just a quiet person
and I need silence in order to function properly. So what the hell
am I doing in retail? Ahhhhh, the ironies of fate.

Yesterday I recovered by speaking only to Husbando (who has some
nasty chest cold) and to a barista when I went for a walk and a latte
in the nabe. Yes, a little traffic noise and maybe a dog barking, but
that was it. It was a completely restorative day and I feel almost
normal now. We watched Obama's speech to the grieving people
in Arizona and across the nation and that was calming too.

Another day off today and I will venture out on Muni (there goes
the silence) to meet my friend Ginger for lunch on Divisadero.
The next 3 days mean insanity during Orsay's final week. The
merchandise remaining (not much) is all 50% off bringing
out the worst in people, I'm sorry to say. But that's then and
today it's all OK.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

yes, I'll be back

I'm taking a day off from work and from writing. I'll be fresh as a
daisy tomorrow with gobs of insight. Life, she be difficult at times.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

gearing up for another goodbye

I'm actually able to look for and study old photos and some of my
writing about Michael from the past. It's not easy, but I'll be heading
for Santa Barbara for the ash sprinkling and I need to contribute
something other than tears. This was from 9/14/04 and we are
sitting outside Starbux in Montecito. He was reviewing films at
that time for the Santa Barbara Film Festival and to this day I'm
convinced that this particular one was porn. A woman knows.

This is one of my fave pics because he looks comfortable and the
sun is shining. Michael was not one to smile at every little thing,
so to catch him like this, in his Willie Mays tee shirt, constitutes
a true treasure. I will keep digging for more, but it is an emotion-
charged task, you know how that goes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

intrigue in the castle

Did you catch Masterpiece Theatre last night? I know the Blogmaid
did. Downton Abbey is like the old Upstairs-Downstairs series with
Dame Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern and lots of actors
that I don't know (yet) playing dukes, earls, footmen, maids, cooks,
lords and ladies. It's 1913 England at its best and worst. The costumes
are a delight and all the subtle nuances of how everyone should
behave make me very glad to be here and now where almost anything goes.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

did you say riotous?

We watched this last week ~ it's about a restaurant in Germany.
Maybe it was me, maybe I was tired, but I wasn't wild about
Soul Kitchen. Husbando liked it better, but he isn't writing
this post, so there.

Work is exhausting and I'm tired of people and their silly-
ass questions and comments. Goodbye Orsay in 10 days.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

hurry, this ends Jan. 30th

Husbando has been twice to Henri Cartier-Bresson's exhibit at
SFMOMA, so yesterday I finally went and enjoyed it immensely.
Henri was so important to the history of photography and he
traveled all over the world to capture these images. I'm so used
to huge museum crowds that I was pleased to find that this
museum is "doable" and I also poked around the 75th Anniversary
Show (ends Jan. 16th) and appreciated that too.

It was good for me to remember why I love museums. It's not
all about the gift shoppes, is it?

Friday, January 07, 2011

it's a first

We met with a wonderful "financial guy" named Ira last Spring
and he recommended that we do our own taxes using this
program. I haven't tried anything new on my computer for
a long time and I'm already practicing my self-talk. "It's
OK, you can do it. Dumber people than you have done this.
How about a little snack, something sweet?" Anyway, we
bought TurboTax at Costco this morning. Step One...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

who could not...

love the face of this author?
The Finkler Question won the Man Booker Prize in 2010
and seldom have I not admired one of these winners. It
takes place in London (where Howard Jacobson lives)
and so far, after a few pages, I'm enjoying it thoroughly.
It's all very Jewish and that's always (usually) fun stuff.

I finished Solar and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

what the FUF?

We give a little money to FUF (Friends of the Urban Forest) and
their recent newsletter alerted us to their new sidewalk garden
project on Tiffany Ave., near the Bernal Hill Post Office. I included
it in my long walk on Monday. I'm all in favor of these little
plots of green which allow rainwater to drain back into the
soil and stay out of the sewer system.

Next FUF will green the bare grey sidewalks near the north side of
Cesar Chavez. Some money comes from the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, but they can always use more.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

make that two

RR is now missing her two front teeth. How cute is this?

Yesterday was an uneventful day, but quite nice indeed. First,
no rain, then a new Governor and my yoga class was terrific.
Next a l-o-n-g three hour walk up and about and over Cortland
where I stopped for a latte and appreciated the fact that my
knee pain is almost non-existent. Let's hear it for those knee
stretches from Kaiser. Not that I do them as often or as deeply
as recommended, but still and all, much/much better.

Tonight I close the deYoung and it's Free Day so don't expect
any glowing work report tomorrow. More sunshine too!

Monday, January 03, 2011

masterpiece with surprises

Last night we watched the Rudyard Kipling story about his
son Jack who was killed in WWI. Very sad, of course. Here
we have that Harry Potter guy playing Jack, along with his
mother Carrie who is actually Kim Cattrall, of all people.
This was on PBS and will be repeated and we do recommend
it because we once again see how v. wasteful war is. Rud (ahem)
was busy beating the drums patriotically before the war and
was consumed with guilt. It took a lot of time (years) searching
to confirm that Jack was killed in battle and here is the father's
heart-breaking poem that ended the 3-Kleenex® program:

“Have you news of my boy Jack?”

Not this tide.

“When d’you think that he’ll come back?”

Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Has any one else had word of him?”

Not this tide.

For what is sunk will hardly swim,

Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

“Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”

None this tide,
 Nor any tide,

Except he did not shame his kind —

Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

Then hold your head up all the more,

This tide,
 And every tide;

Because he was the son you bore,

And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

this is worth seeing

Mother and Child is a strange and believable story about a
woman (Annette Bening, who gets better and better as she
ages) who gives up a child when she gives birth at age 14.
That child is Naomi Watts who falls for her boss and I will
stop here in case you want to rent this. We had never heard
of the film, but we choose based on Mick LaSalle in the
chronny and only once in awhile does he lead us astray.
So many movies seem to be out for a week, than straight
to DVD. Changing times.

Work and weather ~ sold out days at the deYoung and
it seems to rain off and on, day and night lately.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2011 & we resolve...

RR celebrates last night
Our low key/lovely dinner

Rib roast prevails

I don't do resolutions, so you're safe here. First, happy to the
Blogmaid who adds so much to our lives.

At the last minute we realized that The Great Plotniks were in the
empty nest, so they came over to share our luscious roast beef on
New Year's Eve. We had an easy and delicious dinner with good
friends and I think that's the way it should be, don't you?
Husbando and I had our usual discussion about whether the
thermometer is really working, but the roast was rare and (in
my opinion) perfect.

Today I work, but I'm refreshed after two days in a row off.
Happy New Year and when do the pitchers and catchers
report? It can't be too soon.