Wednesday, November 30, 2011

marriage as comedy

Last night be both appreciated a little known Tennessee Williams
play entitled Period of Adjustment at our favorite SF Playhouse
on Sutter Street. It's about two young married couples, learning
to adjust to each other and to the tribulations of living in America
during the Fifties. The men are Korean War vets and it all takes
place on Christmas Eve on a set that was designed so perfectly on
the smallest stage imaginable. Good job, SF Playhouse!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

focus on the bay area

We've kept an article from the right wing rag (SF Examiner) in
our green wicker To Do basket for many months. There's a photo
exhibit down at Pier 24 entitled HERE that consists of more than
700 (!) photographs of San Francisco. People, places, etc. It opened
in May and closes Dec. 16th. We talk about going about once a
week and finally yesterday I went online to reserve. Very few spaces
left, but we snagged a couple, thank goodness. This is my public
service announcement to my loyal, local readers. You book for a two
hour slot and amazingly, it's FREE. Do hurry...

Monday, November 28, 2011

crab boats are a crabbing!

The "girls" at Alioto-Lazio Fish Company just emailed to announce
that the fishermen (and women) are racing down to their boats
in front of their store on Jefferson Street because the crab season
is finally, officially open. 1-888-673-5868 to order. Live or
cooked. Give them a couple of days to set their gear and we're
all good to go. Hooooooray!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

saint misbehavin'

Surprisingly, we both really enjoyed the Wavy Gravy documentary
last night. He is a fixture in Berkeley, still living with his wife in a
commune and still smiling despite tremendous back pain and many
operations. There was some wonderful footage of the old days of
Woodstock, the Merry Pranksters and trips the groups would take
to every place on earth, including Pakistan. They were welcomed then
in tiny villages and remote outposts at the end of the world. That would
no longer be true, I'm sure.

Wavy Gravy appears at all sorts of events in the Bay Area. I sort of
thought of him as a doofus, but seeing Saint Misbehavin' made me
realize how much more there is to him and how much he has
contributed to the world.

I liked hearing from the children who grew up in this commune. Lordy,
they seem like such well adjusted adults. I know it might have been just
for the camera, but they would talk about how if they screwed up all
56 fathers would mention it and they quickly learned that it was easier
to do the right thing. Wavy's son lives in Philly in a traditional marriage
and he inherited his father's ready smile and upbeat persona. Good stuff.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

always carry the camera

An unexpected delight in our nabe last week. Now I'll tell you
a bit about having days off and learning to be a part-time worker,
full-time person. Let's get this out of the way first ~ no, I am not
writing and I'm OK with that right now. I love the idea of NaNoWriMo,
but it's not for me at this time. It's just too much work (1,600 words
a day, WTF?) and I can't seem to dig up any inspiration, let alone
talent. So no guilt. I will write something for Tiapos next Thurs.
night, but probably not more than 300 words.

So what do I do? Read, yes, some, mostly New Yorkers and the
Costco Connection. I walk every day with my iPhone and try to keep
my eyes peeled for little surprises like the above. I have a To Do List,
but it's so much shorter than it used to be because I have all this
time to get things done. I do the yoga every morning overlooking the
city at home and once a week I take the class where they fix every
thing I've been doing wrong since the last session.

Oh, and I cook. I make the salad every night and fix a light lunch
or dinner every 2nd or 3rd day. And mostly I try to get used to
having time and not stressing about work. I am sleeping better and
if I have a restless night I can nap in the afternoon. Husbando is
adapting to me being at home, but he doesn't mind one bit when I
head out for some reason or other. Vice versa, needless to say.
We both love our alone time.

So far so good. Thanks for asking...

Friday, November 25, 2011

picture perfect Thanksgiving

Turkey cooked to perfection

Rita brought the famous Sacripantina from
Stella Pastry in North Beach

The after ~ lots of food, talking, laughter and thankfulness

And today? For probably 20 years I had to work retail on Black
Friday. Agony. Today I went to yoga ~ just me and two teachers.
I am feeling peaceful and now for my daily walk, maybe a nap
and start on that Xmas 2011 list. Well, I mean I'll set it up on
the MsBook, not actually shop.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

day of gratitude

Once again our thoughtful daughter, Nancy, sent us flowers for the
Thanksgiving table and our dinner will be at 4pm, as per usual.
Only 6 again this year and by now we have so many notes and
shortcuts that it will be easy and pleasant. Son John and his
wife (Kathy), Jennie and Rita are our guests ~ I'm not even baking
pies this year as Rita is bringing a dessert from North Beach. I'll
get a photograph or two along the way.

It's dreary and grey outside, but I do need a walk before all that
food, so I'll close and wish you all a v. happy Thanksgiving and
put on my walking shoes. Thank you, readers and friends and family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy, happy birthday!



Blogmaid and RR in 2003

RR's new birthday dress

Girls' snuggle slumber party

RR's first Thanksgiving

The turkey hasn't changed...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

answered prayers

Proving once again that agnostic prayers work too. Yesterday I
went walking on MY 24th Street. There are two distinct 24th Streets
and I love them both ~ mine is from Potrero to Church and is
filled with all things South of the Border. The smells will knock
you over because every other store front is a restaurant. Hardly
anyone speaks English. The other 24th Street is in Noe Valley
where the rents are high and there are double wide strollers, lots of
dogs and well-dressed (casually elegant) folks sipping non-fat lattes
and clicking through their iPhones without surcease. But still a
great place to walk...

OK, so I see this new green sign on my 24th Street yesterday.
Alley Cats bookstore is going to open. I can walk there, a new
used shop filled with treats for me to browse through. I went in
to welcome the owner and express my immense pleasure. It
looks like they are about a week away from opening. Imagine, a
bookstore is opening, not closing. I believe this is (like) at
Harrison and 24th, but I'll give you more details at a later date.
We need to give them lots of business!

Monday, November 21, 2011

the year anniversary

It's already a year since Michael and I said our final
goodbyes. Forever after Thanksgiving will include the
memory of the City of Hope and the immense sorrow
of losing a dear friend. I still can't bring myself to read
his many emails, but I'm glad I have them and some
day I'll open them one-by-one, precious treasures from
the past. One thing I've learned this time ~ every grief
is different and this has been one of the worst.

Michael used to ask me to send him poems because it
was probably the ONE thing he didn't really know or
understand. He loved words and word play, so of course
he appreciated whatever favorite poems I would send him.

At this point I want to thank the Blogmaid again for
driving me to/fro along stinky Freeway 5 and helping me
do the necessary, the unthinkable last year ~
the permanent goodbye.

Death Sets a Thing Significant

Emily Dickinson

Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly

To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With "This was last her fingers did,"
Industrious until

The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,
And then 't was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.

A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,--
At rest his fingers are.

Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs

Sunday, November 20, 2011

staying adaptable, SF style

Cozzolino's ~ our nabe restaurant

Blum's famous crunch cake ~ made in Japantown

Last night was the final day of our week long celebration for
me, me, me. We were going to have a cracked crab dinner because the
season opened on 11/15 this year, but the crabbers and the boaters are
having a dispute. So last night our friends were gracious enough to
hike up and down about 3 blocks (in the rain) to Cafe Cozzolino where
we wolfed down lots of carbonara, lasagne and sausage pasta and
then returned here to Casa Verde for the triumphant presentation of
the famous Koffee Krunch Cake that used to be served at Blum's
(which went out of business about 20 or so years ago, I think).
There was an article in the chronny about the guy who creates this ~
his tiny bakery is in Japantown, of all places.

Husbando and I so enjoyed our friends, the food and that incredible
cake. Thank you everyone, especially Husbando, who picked up the
tab and who keeps me sane in an insane world.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

my winter essential

A fire on a cold morning is one of life's greatest pleasures. I remember
so many wonderful weekends away in Tahoe cabins, Mendocino rentals,
Sea Ranch homes, cottages in Carmel, hotels in the wine country.
I always checked to make sure there was a fireplace when I reserved.

If a writer wants to muse, she needs the fire. When we were house
hunting back in the days of yore I only wanted two things: a view
and a fireplace. Got 'em. Of course we are stuck with the smallest
bathroom on the West Coast (and only one, alas) and a few other
obnoxious details that I'd change, but right now, this morning,
I'm appreciating the fireplace and the warmth of our home. Ah yes,
I'm fully aware of NO BURN days and I respect them ~ just not yet,
please and thank you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

it's (gulp) official

I'm happy to report that it's just as much fun (almost) to go
downtown now as it was 30 plus years ago. The tree is UP in
Union Square and I looked for the Blogmaid here, she is an
ice skater, after all. Not too crazy with people yet and of course
the puppies and kittens aren't in Macy's windows ~ but soon.
The season is upon us, adjust.

Then I took the F street car (Philadelphia, 1948) to the Castro
to meet my friend Ken (the person) who treated me to lunch
at American Chow. We had much to discuss and it was a lovely
two hours. I am handling this part-time work life just fine!

Mexican sage just smells musty, to me, Mushy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

some call them weeds

The whole bay area is awash in Mexican Sage currently. These
are relative new comers to the hill right in front of our house
and a most welcome addition to the nabe. We had one in the
back yard at some point and it quickly tripled in size in the v.
small space, so we had to yank it. But now we have these nearby
and I'm very pleased about that. Can we cook with this sage?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

some love lasts forever

Take two people, two really interesting people, who haven't seen each
other in 20 years. They share a son and lots of memories; some good
and some very bad. One had a drinking problem and the other couldn't
fix it. Just two people ~ Rod Gnapp and Denise Cormier are the superb
actors and the play by Shar White is Annapurna at the Magic Theatre.
Oh, such an intense 90 minutes of back-and-forth, sorrow and laughter.
It ends December 4th, and truly, it's a fabulous experience. You'll see...

Cheese sandwiches overlooking the Marina Safeway beforehand. Yes!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

best burger ever

When we enter this grey, industrial looking restaurant on Mariposa
(near Potrero) we tell the ever-changing 18 year old greeter-seater
that the small table to the left is OUR table and may we please sit
there? And everyone is always friendly and despite the fact that this is
one of those hi-tech kind of restaurants, it is one of our very favorite
lunch spots. GREAT caesar salad and truly scrumptious burgers,
cooked just the way we want them ~ rare for me, medium rare for
Husbando. Need I mention the thin, crisp french fries? That was
the highlight of a lovely day off yesterday that started early with the
first fireplace fire of the season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

gourmet mexican food

not a bite left over on Doug's plate (or Husbando's)

my pollo perfecto

Last night the Great Plotniks treated us to a FABULOUS meal at
Regalito (18th and Valenica) and I so enjoyed my chicken while Doug
and Husbando had pork in some sort of luscious sauce, along with
black beans, of course. Dessert was the best churrizo ever, crusty with
sugar and cinnamon, served with Mexican hot chocolate. Some bread
pudding too, with very strong and rich coffee.. Oh, yum. Next time we
go (soon I hope) I will try Barb's enchiladas verde, they looked
scrumptious, but I was too busy scarfing down to photograph everything.
Wonderful time with our friends, as always. We be thankful.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Elsa & Fred

We watched this sweet (but not cloying) film last night. It mostly
takes place in Madrid and don't forget to click the subtitle feature.
Alfredo and Elsa are neighbors and they fall in love. Oddly enough
it's not exactly a smooth nor predictable romantic comedy. Rent it.

I needed a quiet day around the house ~ running errands, reading,
walking, cooking and napping. Oooooops, I keep forgetting to write
in my novel, I'm a few millions words behind, but I think I'll add a
few hundred right about now, or after breakfast, or...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

scenes from a wedding

The famous Swedenborgian Church (Lyon and Washington)
was drafted by Bernard Maybeck. I'd never been
inside and it is a delight. The fireplace in the back of the room
crackled because our Nov. drizzle arrived yesterday.
All wooden warmth with lots and lots of candles.

I work with Lucy (belle) the bride. A
beautiful and very special young woman.
She married Laszlo yesterday afternoon and
friends and family gathered together to celebrate the couple.

Lucy and Jodi

Chris drove up from San Luis Obispo

Rita (left) came from Colorado ~ remember her from
the Denver Museum visit? Jodi is next to her here.

After the wedding ceremony we all gathered at the Pacific Rod and
Gun Club out there at Lake Merced. Much light and laughter. When
I bitch about work, I need to stop and remember all the amazing
friends that I have met at the museums in the past 3 years.

Lucy's relatives from Indiana were here and her husband's parents
and sister arrived from Hungary. Delicious food and much joy. The
language barriers always make for unusual happenings, don't they?

Now this blogger needs a few days without social gatherings. Know
what I mean? Except for Sunday night, of course, when we have a
very late lunch with The Plotniks...

Friday, November 11, 2011

no opera, but that's OK

To our amazement, Don Giovanni was sold out last night, so no
bargain tix available. Drat. Instead we decided to go to the Jewish
Contemporary Museum to see the Rabbi's son, but first and foremost
LUNCH. There is a new Turtle Tower at the unusual location of 6th
and Bryant, right next to all the bailsbondspeople and the jail and
all those lawyers. Very easy to get to on many bus lines, so we
took the #27 Bryant and had a fine and v. reasonable lunch. There
was a line outside at 11:45am, but it moved quickly. Good food and
we saw a woman with her own chopsticks ~ fold-up in a pretty case.
Ellen will like that!
This is an interesting exhibit. Houdini not only knew magic, he
understood crowds and our fear of enclosed spaces, heights and
drowning. At one of his events there were 80,000 watching him
dangle from a building. Fascinating stuff.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a hard ACT to follow...

We saw David Mamet's play entitled Race last Sunday night and I
believe it closes next Sunday, so best you scamper if you want to see
it. And you should because it's so powerful, with only 4 actors (two
white, two black) and merely 90 minutes to get this story told. The
Mitt Romney kind of guy there on the right is accused of raping a
black woman and the 3 lawyers above have to defend him. The set
is that lawyer office with 370 linear feet of real law books. Mamet
points out how very awkward we all still are with the subject of race
and these actors really take it to the limit and they do excel. It's
terrific, but not easy to see.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

as I was saying...

So after the baby shower I hopped on BART to meet some very special
friends down at E&O Trading Company on Sutter Street. The oft
mentioned Dancing Jen is hiding behind me and I think you know
everyone else, right? Garber on my right, Jay-in-tie, Corriander and
the gorgeous Shauna. They are not only great fun, they picked up
my dinner because they are too wonderful for words. It was such a
fine time ~ thank you dear friends. Oh, we all used to work at the
big box Borders, in case you were wondering.

(Husbando returned home from baby shower exile and insisted on
using his Dyson® to vacuum the house. How can a woman refuse
that? Then yesterday at the DY we mostly discussed the party and
every once in awhile I'd help a customer. They ask so much, these
bosses. There, all details covered this morning? And when will I
stop waking up so damn early?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

always room for one more...

Reading our recipes

That's our boss, Dennis, perched next to Tanya

Scott and Tanya ~ baby will arrive in Jan.

Imagine ~ we could be outside!

Note sunshine in the corner

Tons of food

Tons of gifts

Special baby cake

Three more de Young friends

Our little home was a happy mix of people, food and laughter yesterday.
Tanya and I have become close friends over the past 3 years because
she lives in the nabe and we would often ride to/fro work. I have to say
that our house never looked better, my agnostic prayers for sunshine
worked. Everyone brought (and ate) tons of food, I missed the dessert
table in the kitchen in these photos, but there were cakes, cookies
and pies. Oh, another table was filled with cheese and SF bread goodies.

Then last night I met some Borders friends downtown ~ I'll review
that lovely evening tomorrow because I have to go to work today.
What? Is this fair?