Thursday, June 30, 2011

another SEVEN milestone


Cheeseburger (and 4000 fries)
Last night The Great Plotniks treated us to dinner at Chenery
Park where we celebrated the fact that the Great Ducknik has
been retired for 7 years to the day. Back then they were heading
off to Peru, but currently they are here and in SoCal often,
because Doug's mom isn't doing all that well. It was a delightful
evening, but this blogger ate waaaaaaaaay too much, including
ice cream and giant cookies. Thanks, dear friends!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

did you say SEVEN?

Blogworld doesn't want me to up or download an image this morning,
so I will just type away. Several months ago we discovered the joys
of On Demand on our ooooooooh-I-hate-them (sometimes)
Comcast TV and god knows what else. And do not click the wrong
button unless you want to spend an entire day trying to figure
out how to get the damn thing working again.

But I digress. Weeds is starting and we are able to watch it whenever
we want, no longer using the Flix® for this and other great shows.
It's Season Seven now ~ who can fathom that? As I have mentioned
before, it's just like real life. The two boys are almost adults now
and the show is a little darker, OK, a lot darker. But fabulous.
The acting, and the twists and turns are amazing. Great writing
trumps everything, doesn't it? This season we get to see NYC and
isn't that 416 times better than when/where we started in SoCal
suburbia? Nice to see you again Mary Louise Parker, aka Nancy
Botwain, and friends and family.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it's just MARRIAGE now (soon)

Rainbow colored Empire State Building
In a few years we will all wonder what the fuss was about. How
come same-sex couples were denied the freedom to marry in
our country? The New York victory last Friday night was exactly
what was needed to make this a non-issue, and not soon enough,
as far as we are concerned. At this point I do need to tip my hat
to Gavin Newsom who, though not a great mayor, was the first
to take the courageous stand years ago by legalizing same-sex
marriage here in the city. California will get on the band wagon
soon, and then the midwest states will follow. All the right wing
religious rhetoric makes me crazy as soon as I hear the phrase,
"the sanctity of marriage" I want to scream. I like the folks who
say, "OK, let's not allow divorce anymore if marriage is so
damn sacred."

Monday, June 27, 2011

do something new...

Yesterday I signed up to be the Team Captain (ahem) of the
October 20th fund-raising benefit Light the Night. Our group
will be called Missing Selhorst and because I have never
done anything like this, I don't quite know what to expect.
I do know that two of Michael's SoCal friends will be here
and maybe even his dear cousin Anna from the East Coast. I
donate when friends move out of their daily lives to raise
money for cancer, Aids, Parkinsons, etc. and I hope the
karma factor is at work here too. In the meantime, feel
free to register as a walker or give your hard earned money
to a very worthy cause.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

talk, talk, talk and more talk

Hollyhocks in the community garden, Pleasanton
The downtown Pleasanton Famers' Market

I spent the entire delightful yesterday with my friend Ginger
over on her always-sunny (it seems) turf. My BART ride out
was empty, but the P-Town station was packed with folks
heading to SF for Gay Pride and also the Giants game. Quite
an assortment of fashion...

We started with a latte at Peet's, then a trip to her garden,
next a walk downtown, lunch outdoors (of course) and then
to her home because she's working on a big computer project
( and I wanted to check that out. In between
we did some gentle therapy work on ourselves because there
is nothing quite as soothing as spending an entire day with
a best friend who has known me so well (and still loves me!)
for many decades. As a result, I slept beautifully last night for
the first time in what seems like a l-o-n-g time.

This morning I toast Friendship with my fresh glass of oj.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

from another world

Here's a restaurant that no tourist will ever get to. It's waaaaaaaaay
out on Alemany and it has a big, free parking lot. We used to come
here after trips to Spain when we missed tapas, paella, gambas, etc.
On Thursday night our friends invited us to join them at Patio
to celebrate their wedding anniversary. What a treat!
The $17 full-course juicy lamb shank special meal included soup,
salad, fries and an ice cream dessert. This is a fine place for big
events, banquets and receptions. I know we'll return more often
now, even though we aren't planning any trips to Spain.

Friday, June 24, 2011

the fire without

My friend Mary has been emailing me about the huge fires in
Arizona and I wanted to update my readers too. They are
awaiting the rains, but the good news is that the human
spirit remains beyond amazing:

Good Morning!
The sun is up. The air is still. The fire is still burning in the Huachucas and will probably go the whole length of the mountain chain - but in some places it has leaped over canyons, leaving them intact except for the tops of trees. Since the wind died down three days ago the firefighters have managed to keep it from leaping across Highway 92 again. We are no long breathing smoke over in Bisbee. But we are aware of the burning. The fire in the Chirachauas on the east side of the county is likewise contained but burning across the whole mountain chain. Of course both these fires are going to have a long lasting effect on Cochise County. But people are in amazing spirits. When I was at the Safeway yesterday, one of the checkers had lost her home. And here she was at work. She said, "Oh, well. It's just things. We got our animals out safe. So, all we lost were things." This is one of several conversations I have had that show me a surprising side of the people that I live among these days.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

book del jour

I sampled State of Wonder on my Lindakindle® and was
immediately hooked. Ann Patchett is one of my favorite
authors ever since Bel Canto. She has had a couple books
that missed the mark, but I believe this one is a bulls eye.

So I live in an electronic morning whirl of battery checking
and plugging in and out with my iPhone and this wonderful
reading device. When people say, "oh, I love books," I say,
"oh, I love words."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

not exactly supportive

Dancing Jen sent me this list of 30 (!) author-on-author insults. Oooooh, they could be meanies. Click here if you want them all, I just gave you five. Meanwhile, the sunshine is gone this morning, but the mosquito bites linger on.

5. Evelyn Waugh on Marcel Proust (1948)

“I am reading Proust for the first time. Very poor stuff. I think he was mentally defective.”

4. Mark Twain on Jane Austen (1898)

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

3. Virginia Woolf on James Joyce

“[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.”

2. William Faulkner on Mark Twain (1922)

“A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.”

1. D.H. Lawrence on James Joyce (1928)

“My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

readers know best

Thanks to my friend with The Fevered Brain for recommending
this fun British TV series starring David Jason. We watched
the first episode last night after a glorious sunny day in the
city. Nice to have a few more episodes to look forward to!

Our day consisted of positive puttering and then a late lunch
with friends at Pacific Catch over at 9th and Lincoln. Tasty
food and not expensive, but the best part is that this restaurant
has a parking lot. Imagine, here in our very own city.

p.s. you know it's summer because I have mosquito bites. Argh.

Monday, June 20, 2011

morning delight

Here we have Salvador Dali (Adrien Brody) greeting our hero Gil,
in the do-not-miss movie Midnight in Paris. We loved it, and of
course you need the big screen for this one. It's really a love affair
with Paris ~ and the history, the people, the romance. I think our
biggest surprise was that Owen Wilson did such a fabulous job
as the lost American almost-married writer. Congrats to Woody
Allen for creating this treasure at age 75!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

popcorn at 10am

It's just like Christmas! I'm taking Husbando to Midnight in
Paris today, a rare and wonderful Sunday off for me. That
means free (and easy, I hope) parking in the City and then
a little outdoor time, maybe a picnic? It's so clear and
sunny today that it almost hurts my eyes.

Happy Father's Day to all of you!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

my (sort of) writing life

The daily writing online Round Robin course ends tomorrow,
with a thud. I don't know what's going on with me, but every
morning it was a struggle. If I don't write in the morning it
is even worse, so I forced myself to type away and shoot it
via email to my partner and to Mistress Jane. We are supposed
to write for 10 to 12 minutes, but some days I was lucky to
get 5 minutes in.

On the other hand, I did it. I did not miss a day for nine
tedious weeks. I responded to every partner's piece and some
of those were horrid. After taking so many of these Robin
courses I've come to believe that the partner makes all the
difference. At one point I wrote Jane and begged her for a
GOOD partner: Linda, Will, Jennifer, Seth, Dale ~ some of
the writers I've grown to know and love. I'm so much more
comfortable with them and it's sort of like just sending a
warm little email. Relax, I'm among friends.

And yes, I'm going to skip the next session. I've already
decided to do yoga exercises every morning instead of
writing or trying to write. There, I put it down in the blog
and that means I have to do it. Eeeeeeeek, what have I done?

Friday, June 17, 2011

best lunch spot in town

We are enjoying some truly glorious sunny days here in Frisco,
where it is usually foggy in June. Enjoy it while we may! When
I work at the de Young I have my sandwich, iPhone, New Yorker,
apple and thermos coffee right here. I like an entire bench to
myself, but often I sit with work friends too. Either way, just
about everything a working woman could ask for.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

better the stranger

(when in blog fog I can usually find a poem that impresses me.)

The Long View

After a last late breakfast, leaving
my lover to his renovations, meaning
I was out and she was in, I took the old route
past the boarded-up clubs of St Judes,

and in another ten minutes of chewing-gum
walked past the requisite subway bum
and down along by the floating harbour
where, on the other side of the water,

the brewery was being demolished,
and the bricks that once said Courage
then said age, and then nothing,
gave a perspective more edifying

than anything which until then
I'd maintained as my ground plan.
Coming down to earth meant losing the cause
I'd spent all my years looking for,

deciding, then and there: better the stranger
you don't know, for the devil's view is shorter
And the river-mouth said as much
as it opened out for that longer reach.

Rachael Boast


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This is the final week of Round Robin and Mistress Jane is
having us re-write and revise a few of last week's pieces.
How much do I hate this?

There is one really good exercise where we add 3 sentences
to every one we have written. I have done this in the past
and it really works, but for some reason I just do NOT
feel like doing it this week. Instead I chop a few offensive
words and phrases, do a little rearranging and call it
Done. Still stubborn after all these years...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

happy, sad and v. sweet

This just came out on DVD and we recommend it. Above:
Ruth Sheen and Jim Broadbent in Another Year. She is a
counselor and he is a geologist and their friend Mary is like
someone we have all known as the years zip by. There is
a birth, a death and lots to think about ~ just like real life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

can it be?

...tens years since I last renewed? Then we were getting ready
for a trip to London which had to be postponed due to the
911 disaster in NYC and, it appeared, around the world. We
did go the following April and it was fabulous.

So today I went to the post office for forms, to Walgreen's
for an oh-so attractive passport photo and now I have to sit
down and fill out the papers and (this is new?) mail it in.

I've heard too many horror stories from people who forget
to renew, so I thought I'd better hop on this a month early.
Oh, yes, I'm hoping to go to Paris in 2012. More about that
later. Exciting, no?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

he's here!

RR painted this one! Isn't she talented?

Picasso's Acrobat ~ one of my other faves.

I've been working out at the Legion, so I haven't seen the new
exhibit at the de Young, but there is much excitement and I
understand that June is already fully booked. The reviews
have been excellent and we will be exceedingly busy now
through Oct. 9th, when my full-time contract ends.

Tuesday morning I'll be able to tour the galleries before all
the customers arrive. One of the great perks of this job.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

when heroes die

We lost two firemen in a house blaze last week and the funeral
was yesterday. Our friend Elizabeth (with the Egyptian B&B)
sent this email last night. So beautiful...

Today I went to the funeral of firefighters Perez and Valero. Not sure why I went maybe because the funeral was nearby at St. Mary’s or that my friend Richard was part of the catering staff. I went off to do errands one of which was to return a book to the library at Geary and Pierce and because geary was closed to traffic it was easy to decide to walk along geary and view the hundreds of parked fire trucks. As I walk and read the origin of the various trucks I forgot my errands and became part of the mourning process, the here and now. There were fire trucks from Chico, Carmel, Long Beach, Diamond springs, Beneforte, Fremont, Ripon, Modesto etc etc. At St. Mary’s There were two ladder trucks that extended the ladders to form and arch from which hung a gigantic american flag and under this arch was a fire truck draped in black. The streets were empty except for a few onlookers like me...we were so quiet everything in the area instilled the feeling of somber.
I returned home to deposit my groceries but felt like something was unfinished. I returned to the funeral to view the procession. I waited as did others for more than an hour after the timed procession, we waited patiently and quietly. I was overwhelmed by the procession. I had no idea that the caskets were going to be out in the open on the fire trucks. The first one came by draped in the flag and the family followed then the second came by draped in the flag followed by the family. I then became deeply aware of their sorrow, people I never met. We all stood there and quietly watched as hundreds of firefighters in trucks passed by.
I am grateful that I was part of the city’s expression of honor and sorrow. I felt so soulfully attached to my city and thankful that the event of the day caused me to put aside my everyday concerns and feel connected to my fellow citizens.
yours in thought

Friday, June 10, 2011

guns and snakes

Any Coen Brothers movie is worth seeing and True Grit is no
exception. It just came out on DVD and although it's good,
I'm glad we didn't pay big screen prices. Texas Ranger Matt
Damon was especially fun to watch because he's older and
pudgier in this move. It reminded me of Deadwood, but
not nearly as electrifying, of course. The wise 14 yo girl is a
bit unbelievable, but that's OK, it's not a true story. Rent it!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

light British drama/comedy

In between baseball games and Weinergate we have been
watching this fun little series from England. David Jason plays
a mastermind criminal with a heart of gold (of course, what
else?), so when he steals it's always for the right reason. Rough
Diamond might not be your cup of Earl Grey, but it soothes
us at this time in our lives. From the Flix® naturally.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

reunited and complete

Here we are ~ Tiapos. Our writing group:
This is a Piece of Shit.
The Great Plotnik took the photo which I
borrowed from his blog.

And here is The Great Plotnik ~ I do not have the
vaguest idea what he is doing, but it's music-related
and not one of those mid-eastern hookahs, I think.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

yesterday, continued...

Here is Armistead Maupin on the steps of Barbary Lane,
we presume. I met him once and he said, "oh
you aren't MY Mary Ann."
The longer I think about this, the happier I am
that we saw it last Sunday night!

And now a blog thought, it's not easy for me just to sit and
write without a photo or two to help. When did that happen?
I even included a photo in one of my daily Round Robin
pieces last week. Life, she be weird, have you noticed?

Monday, June 06, 2011

errors during upload

Blogspot is not letting me upload photos of the musical we saw
last night at ACT. Tales of the City is almost 3 hours of pure
fun: music, dancing, drama and nostalgia. It's 1976, and Armistead
Maupin has captured San Francisco with his daily column in
the Chronicle about all the gays, straights, young and old in and
and around the city. It was the first thing we'd read every
morning and we would talk about it all day. The famous letter
that Michael "Mouse" Tolliver sends his mother telling her
that he his gay is still as powerful and touching as it was all
those years ago.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

cheering us up on a Sunday

Notthat is right, we need a new photo of the most wonderful RR to
keep us balanced in this blogging life. She will be attending the
SPCA "we love animals" summer camp here in SF in August and
I'll actually be able to see her and the Blogmaid then. Yeah! We
will do a preview visit soon and poor Husbando will worry that
I'll be bringing home several dozen cats and dogs and salamanders.
But I promise not to. Honest, just tie up my hands so I can't
sign anything or reach for my credit card.

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Yesterday was the 40% off sale for museum employees (and
volunteers), so after staring and drooling over these 3 little
candle holders for two years, I succumbed. They are from the
(ahem) Imperial Collection of Fabergé which means that they
can charge way too much for colorful glass. I usually buy any-
thing candle related at Big Lot's, but I needed a reward. I'm
here to tell you that I have not one drop of buyer's remorse
this morning. Good job, MAS!

Friday, June 03, 2011

those other steins

It's a blockbuster summer here in Frisco, art-wise. We have
Picasso coming to the deYoung next week, the Jewish Contemp
Musuem has those two glorious exhibits and The Steins Collect
just opened at SFMoma.

Yesterday morning we climbed on the 27 Bryant to visit Matisse,
Picasso, Cezanne, Renoir, etc. at Moma. It's a much larger show
than I expected, so we will need to return to appreciate it all.
As everyone knows by now, Gertrude Stein and her family loved
and collected avant-garde art and their patronage helped insure
an artist's success. Through Sept. 6th ~ reserve now.

After the museum visit Husbando treated me to lunch at the
E&O on Sutter. Ribs, corn fritters, pork sandwich. Heaven.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

smile, you're an old person

Last night Husbando, Ginger and I went to see Geezer at the
Marsh. Fabulous. You'll remember that we went to the work
in progress about 2 (?) years ago. Well, this is 120% better,
completely new and different. We have been Geoff Hoyle fans
since the Pickle Family Circus days and he is a San Francisco
treasure, even though he spent a few years On Broadway as
Zasu in The Lion King. Anyway, this is a great performance
as Geoff examines his life and the fact that all of us age and
die. What? Is that fair? The show was sold out and has been
extended and I urge you to get your tickets before you are
even one day older.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

pulling teeth

This Round Robin experience has been my worst ever and I do
not know what is going on. Every morning has been impossible
and yet I do come up with 10 (maybe 8) minutes of writing
for my partner. Uninspired is way too gentle. Flat, boring,
insipid, blah-blah-blah. We really should call it typing, not
writing. I guess what I've learned once again is that I can do
things I can't or don't want to do. I think I learned this back
when I was 20, and I don't really need to re-learn it.

In any event, there are about 2 weeks left in class. Oh, I did
have a good week when Will Walker was my partner, but I
can't blame my dreary writing on dull partners. Maybe bad
weather? Working too much?

This too shall pass, hang in there.