Tuesday, July 31, 2012

dogs, cats, kids

I love you, Peggy Sue

Washing dog dishes



Campers in the summer sun
Yesterday was a nice change because I had some training on dog feeding
and that's a whole different world wherein each dog gets a special mix
of wet and dry food, depending on what the vets suggest from a list
taped to the refrigerator. There must be 50 or so dogs and the whole
thing took about 2 hours, including the washing of their dishes.

Then I went to the cat side where I discovered that at long last Stokely
had been adopted! Finally, that so warmed my jaded little heart. I continue
to be impressed with the staff, the volunteers and always the animals
at the SPCA. This is a very rewarding experience for me. Beats retail...

Monday, July 30, 2012

a walk on the tame side

coffee from a shipping box container

the heart of Hayes Valley

We had a lazy Sunday with newspaper and London yesterday, but we did
manage to get out for a walk after lunch. It seemed like the entire rest of
the world was eating out in restaurants along Hayes Street, then shopping
in the little stores and art galleries. Remember this nabe didn't even exist
until the freeway came tumbling down during the Loma Prieta earthquake.

This is a very young city, we always say to each other. Honestly, I don't
think we saw anyone under 40 during this walk. And it's not like Noe
Valley with the deluxe strollers and cute-cute dogs, these seem to be
single people with lots of disposable income. The techies, we assumed.

There are about 4 or 5 food places housed in shipping containers or
trucks and this pisses off the traditional restaurants with their high
overhead and payroll. Interesting times we live in...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

we've been to a marvelous party

our salad "won" 1st place and was devoured

a few of the many tables of drinks

a few of the many tables for diners

lots of food, lots of happiness

food tables after dinner

one of the 3 (or 4 ?) dessert tables

Barb and Doug

Hostess Chef P (Sarah) and Doug

a few of the miles of lights
Every two years Chef P and Sam throw a huge party for 500 of their
closest friends and with my wonderful new schedule we were able to
go last night. Sam has a home, vineyard, gardens, barn, imagination
and many, many friends who can cook. Thanks to Doug and Barb we
didn't have to drive and could enjoy ourselves as we walked around
this beautiful land in the country. It was magical, especially after the
sun went down and all the lamps and lights came on. It has to be the
party of the century, at least for us. What an undertaking, we were
overwhelmed. As you know by now, I get a tad testy and nervous when
we entertain for six or more friends, so this is spectacular indeed.

Chef P said the secret to her fabulous macaroni was "artisan cheeses"
and everyone rushed to scoop that up before it disappeared. Doug and
Barb's tomato and watermelon (!) salad was outstanding and there was some
beef brisket on top of potatoes that was worth writing about. Then a
bucket of KFC chicken (artisan?) to amuse us, but no leftovers there either.

Special thanks to The Great Plotniks for driving us, once again. I'm sorry
I didn't get a photo of Sam, but he does appear in Tiapos party and
Passover pics in this very blog. Oh, how nice to carry the little iPhone
for photos, I had a bulky camera and left it in the car, on purpose.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

the pumpkinville cat update

We can see that Cody (above, left) is growing quickly and adapting
nicely to his new surroundings. He did fall in the bathtub the other
night, but jumped out before any harm was done. RR is surrounded
by cat love in the top photo ~ how cozy is that?

Friday, July 27, 2012

my summer addiction

Thanks to Roku®, every night I stream (ahem) an episode of MI-5, the
spy story from BBC. Nothing like some bombs and intrigue before sleep.
Often they mention and bicker with MI-6, so I knew what Governor
Etch-A-Sketch was talking about one of the times he made a fool of
himself in London yesterday. I believe there are something like 80 episodes,
so along with baseball and politics, my TV life is full. Husbando is not
quite as addicted as I am, but once in awhile he'll join me to watch my
heroes once again save the day and the nation.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

view from the blimp

OK, maybe 3 rows down ~ the Blogmaid asked if we were IN the blimp
when I texted her this photo yesterday. Actually we could see the
entire less-than-perfect game easily while our noses and hearts bled.
I have yet to see a Win at the Jewel this year, but hope springs eternal
in every baseball fan's heart. Even the rally ice cream bar didn't help.

It is, however, GREAT people-watching and that gets better every year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

oh, yes, that was LOVERLY

I'm not big on musicals, but My Fair Lady last night at the SF Playhouse
was an absolute delight. We knew after reading our favorite reviewer
when this show first opened, that we were in for a treat, but even he didn't
prepare us for the power, energy and pure talent that was on stage (a
very small stage) last night. Really, this just might be the best of a season
of many, many fine productions.

It was incredible, really ~ the star is Monique Hafen (Eliza) and we also
loved her father (Charles Dean) and Johnny Moreno as Henry HIggins.
Delightful costume and set design. You will want to see this, trust me!
But better yet, read the SF Theatre blog referenced in the above graph.

We reminisced with Susi and Bill last night, the directors of the Playhouse.
It's been 10 years since we saw Art, their first play. Bill had been handing
out flyers at my Borders store and we were in an audience of maybe 14.
But they struggled and grew, demanding perfection from everyone who
worked for them and next year they move to an even larger space and we
celebrate their success. Last night the play was sold out, how rewarding.
Congratulations and thank yous to our favorite SF Playhouse.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

cats and dogs

Spitfire stares at the wall (so cat like)

Coal imitates the annoying SW coyote

Mango avoids all mirrors

Hayward gnaws on his rope

Nice morning at the SPCA yesterday. Thunderpaws was adopted, as
were Pirate and Skeeters ~ and a BUNCH of kittens, thankfully. I
ventured to the dog side because one day soon I'll be over there,
probably next Monday, when I learn to feed them. The cat Feeding
Team (ahem) is all full, but dog feeders are needed. Anyway I fell
head over heels with Peggy Sue and let's hope she is adopted before
next week. She is the sort of dog that would follow me home.

The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should 
treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species 
in our dominant position. -Christine Stevens, activist (1918-2002)

Monday, July 23, 2012

writers in the sun (and shade)

ah, Jane in the sun

Eric's backyard ~ football anyone?

Chicken, quiche, salad ~ pot lucky

Karen is a lotus, Jane listens

Fuzzy. sorry ~ Chef P, Doug and Eric
Patio living for an afternoon ~ such a treat on a warm (but not too hot)
day at Eric's home in San Leandro. Really, it was one of those long,
leisurely days when six friends talked about everything under the sun
including the pieces that we brought to read. Just being together without
phones, iPads, computers, car alarms, television, radio or any other
distraction was so perfect. There were lots of laughs, too, sometimes
at each others' expense. Now, what?  Oh, thanks to Doug for driving!
Our next summer Tiapos will be a Chef P's home in Napa in August.
Life is even better when one doesn't work most weekends.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

our guest blogger today

I decided to earn my nap, so when we got home I went out for a walk 
first. The beach was littered with sunbathers, beach toys, volleyball 
nets, and rainbow-colored umbrellas. I had to pick through them 
carefully until I got to the stretch where the tourists thinned out, 
replaced by a few Saturday fishermen, their poles planted firmly in 
the sand while they lounged next to them, speaking in Spanish.
Thanks to the Blogmaid for her unknown contribution from her email
last night. The photo is Half Moon Bay (Pumpkinville) ~ I found
it online and borrowed it also. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

can you see Jeter at bat?

Another ballpark! This one in Oakland and what a dump, but we had great
FREE seats and it's all so easy on Bart. The Yankees were in town and
lost in late innings, but we were long gone. I can't seem to root for two
teams and found myself applauding for all the good plays and famous
players. It was very wise to get out after a day spent wondering why the
NRA rules our country and knowing we really can't fight that damn gun
lobby. Anyway, our friend Marcia's family (some of whom live in Aurora)
is all fine and yes, it is off topic, but who takes tiny children to a midnight
movie filled with explosions and violence? Just asking...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ruby Thursday

She's six months now and really, really easy to be with. Her mom
and I had lunch, then sat in the grass in Precita Park while we said
only the nicest things possible about our fellow workers and bosses.
Ruby practiced her downward dog exercises and gurgled.

A friend sent me this so-true thought yesterday:
"Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. 
Die knowing something. You are not here long."
- Walker Evans

Thursday, July 19, 2012

chess anyone?

Yesterday I met Ginger at the Westfield Center for an all girl movie and
popcorn time. The Blogmaid reported that Brave was fun and positive
and since Ginger and I have a strange history of going to kids' movies
together, this seemed like a good idea, and it was. Kelly MacDonald is
the distinctive voice of the obstinate little red haired girl.

We had lattes and morning buns after the movie and watched folks playing
floor chess. There has been a redo at the Westfield Center and it was pleasant 
to walk around and check out what's new.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leo and Ken

I plum forgot to report on my v. nice lunch the other day with dear Ken,
the person, not the car. We had lunch outside at the Wise Sons on 24th
and Harrison, exactly where there was a shooting in broad daylight
the day before. I neglected to tell Ken that and since I was sitting on
the outside bench, I figured he'd be safe from the nabe gunfire.

Lox, eggs and (I guess) onion is the Leo and it was delicious because
the eggs were cooked perfectly and the onion bagel was v. thin and
crisp. Ken had the pastrami or one of those killer sandwiches and he
only ate half so he lived to see another day. Yes, I recommend the
Wise Sons. but do wear your protective vest.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

birds, squirrels, kids and cats

Tommy looks way too sweet

The ears of the Queen

Oh, Tammy...

Not the Hitchcock birds

Thin plot line here

Summer campers

Kids and kittens go together
There must be a new techie type volunteer because most of the videos
in the cat condos were working yesterday. It was the first day of
summer camp for this week and the children were sooooooo excited
and I can't imagine how they can finish the 5 days without bringing
home a little something with fur to share with the household.

The cats didn't seem too interested in the C rated movies, but I
enjoyed watching them. Thunderpaw tossed her breakfast and I liked
reporting it and having someone else rush to check her out and
make sure she is OK...and do the clean-up too. Not like real cat
ownership, is it?

Monday, July 16, 2012

breaking good, breaking bad

So nice to have Jessie and Mr. White back in our lives. Oh, such a clever
TV series and of course the lawyer is just too wonderful for words and
appears whenever we desperately need a comic break. Lots of fun with
the word "ethical" last night as they begin Season 5.

The good part refers to our Giants who have won three (3) games in a
row and the Dodgers have lost two (2), so we are in the wobbly first place
in our division. And don't I love having time to watch the games instead
of sneaking into the back office to check out the score on the computer?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

the fine art of latte drinking

...and talking with friends. One of my goals when I became a part-time retail
clerk last October, was to actually sit and converse with people I find interesting.
No quick texts or "I'm too busy, sorry" emails anymore for me. And God
knows, this city has an assortment of cafes and coffee shops to choose from.
Part of the pleasure is taking public transportation because I don't want to
have to worry about parking and tickets, and also this allows me to get in a
good daily walk too. On the trip home I think about all we talked about and
once again reflect on the sweet (and sometimes sour) mysteries of life.

The two friends I met yesterday at the Thorough Bread (yes-yes, but I didn't
select the name and it does have great pastries) know me on a level that not
many people do and the fact that we haven't seen each other for maybe 15
years means we had lots and lots to catch-up on. The tritest expression in
the world (well, one of them) is "truth is stranger than fiction" but when
we listen to how people's lives have zig-zagged and meandered over the
years, it really is fodder for a novel or a bunch of short stories.

As a result of our coffee meeting I emailed another mutual friend and it
turns out that she is in the midst of a devastating family problem and was
just about to email me, so I was able to offer her a little commiseration
and support. She will join us next time we meet.

I haven't been writing for a few weeks, but after the latte experience I came
home and put fingers to keyboard and am working on a new piece for
Tiapos which meets a week from today. I am one fortunate woman and
I know I say this too often, but it's true ~ so there.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lee Miller and Man Ray

Her lips loom large
Yesterday the new exhibit opened at the Legion of Honor and I just took my
first quick tour, avoiding a lot of the visitors and scurrying around with my
all important name tag, getting to see some of the 115 pieces, but not enough.
Man Ray was obsessed with the beautiful Lee Miller who was also exceedingly
talented as a photographer. Their 3 year love affair is interesting, of course,
but I'm fascinated now by her life after she left him when she became a war
photographer and was, of course, traumatized by that experience and fell
into deep depression, fueled by our old friend Mister Booze. I do indeed
recommend this exhibit which is here until October 14. Some of the photos
are small, so go early to avoid the crowds.

Friday, July 13, 2012

a nice long coastal day

Breakfast at Crissy Field

Lunch at Cavallo Point (Fort Baker)

Fort Baker ~ now a luxury resort
Ginger and I walked and talked for about 6 hours yesterday, there really isn't
anything better than an old friend and lots of time, is there? There was plenty
of cooling fog, but occasional patches of blue sky too. We had lunch out on the
front deck of the Cavallo Pt. Inn where neither of us had ever been before,
then we drove around the tiny fort admiring the architecture and views
of SF in the distance. Laughter and tears, ah friendship...