Sunday, September 30, 2012

a girl named Lisa

Margaret is simply one of the best films ever about NYC, the teenage
years and the ironies of everyday life, especially, it seems, in a BIG city.
Anna Paguin is the star, but we also see Jennie Berlin, Matthew Broderick,
Mark Ruffalo and Matt Damon. The writer/director is Kenneth Lonergan
(You Can Count on Me) and we think he is brilliant. This movie was
produced in 2005, but due to some legal squabbling, it wasn't released
until this year. Here, from the New Yorker's review: Lonergan captures the
flamboyant expressivity and intellectual abstractions...that define the
urban bourgeoisie. And I just say, "Wowza" and "Flix® it!"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

every 40 years or so

goodbye, old workhorse

hello, new beauty
Well, those Kenmore® appliances certainly do last. Our old stove was a
double oven and they don't make those anymore, so we'll be getting a
microwave too, for the first time. Joining this century, by golly. Husbando
had the nerve to ask me if I thought I'd feel more like cooking with the
new Kenmore and of course we all know the answer to that. And yes,
that was a rude question on his part. It has a self-cleaning oven so he won't
have to do that nasty chore anymore and thank God I never had to.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Rock ~ finally

Now HOW long have we lived here? Never mind, because yesterday we finally
made it to Alcatraz. Husbando, Ginger and I had a terrific day and after a
little fog, the sun came out and warmed our hearts and hands. They do a
great job here, it's a National Park now and they have superb crowd control
and of course everyone told us to use the fine audio tour and we did. First we
watched the orientation video and that was excellent too. I don't know why we
waited so long to become tourists in our own backyard, but now finally we
can check this off our list. Next? Angel Island in 2012!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

what am I reading?

Recommended by Linda, so I'm reading it on my LindaKindle! Bernadette
has disappeared and we are searching, searching for her. Takes place mostly
in Seattle, so that's an unusual setting. Lots of weirdness, just like real life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

a short poem for Wednesday

some books in our living room ~ who has time to read?
To Whom It May Concern

This book-panelled room is moving
at a great speed throughout the universe
(and this is the kind of statement
my panelled reviewers loathe).
I am not on any drug, even alcohol.
I am not hallucinating. (I suspect I am incapable of it.)
Everything is exactly as it is.
And this panelled room is moving
at a great speed throughout the universe.

Tom Marshall

The Essential Tom Marshall
The Porcupine's Quill

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

black & white Monday


I'm settling into my weekly SPCA routine nicely now.  A little time for a cat or
two and yesterday I met Cleo, the one-eyed dog. She is sweet and gentle and
I bet she'll find her forever home before next Monday. I hope so. The breakfasts
can be quite detailed with assorted specific foods and appetizer enhancements.
Sometimes the dogs get depressed and won't eat and everyone goes into the
"what's wrong?" mode, which of course I approve of. Today I deal with
people out at the Legion of Honor ~ a whole different ballgame, post-season or no.

Monday, September 24, 2012

no one exists alone

This play by Larry Kramer takes us back to 1981, and the beginning of AIDS,
or the gay plague, as it was first known. It is very, very powerful and let us
never forget the suffering, the tremendous fear and the countless funerals
during those first few horrid years. I (and most of the audience) had two
Kleenex® going by the end of the second act. The playwright admits that
he wrote The Normal Heart to make people cry ~ in 1985, it became the
longest-running hit that the NY The Public Theater ever produced. And now,
almost 30 years later, we finally get to see it and for some reason it's
just as timely as it was then, maybe more so. At ACT, see it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

our Giant peloteros!

Winning the NL West title at home last night

Baseball camps in the Dominican Republic
What a blast to win again ~ dancing radio announcers, 49er caps (sticking it
to the tiresome NFL) and happy fans, players and our big world of Giant
followers. We'll be out of town (gulp) for the beginning of the playoff season,
but the Blogmaid will text me (please) without surcease while we attend a
wedding and socialize with family in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Details to follow
~ needless to say. Checking my Imodium® supply is on the To Do list...

Earlier in the week we watched this Ballplayer film from the Flix®. My,
the corporations love saving money in the DR where little boys start training
at age 10 or so. July 2nd is the signing date and if they are over 16 they get
less money. Hence, they often lie about their age. If a kid signs with one of
our major league teams his parents go from poverty to wealth, so any
sacrifice is worth it. But it doesn't paint a pretty picture of our Great American
Pastime or the MLB, or you and me. Oh yes, we recommend the movie.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Charlie was found

Near the railroad tracks in Nebraska. I never saw him gussied up, so I'll keep
the photo of Charlie in the Giants orange and black. We hope he died instantly
and as the Blogmaid said, he would be shocked at the many Facebook friends
he had, 4,000 or so. I have only wonderful memories of Charlie, a good and
generous man who loved to travel alone, so he was doing what he so enjoyed.
Serious insomnia plagued him for the 20 plus years that we knew him
and now, we so hope, he rests in peace. Thank you for being there for us,
Charles and I'll bring the coffee when next we meet. It's my turn...

Friday, September 21, 2012

another SF museum

WMD: Remembering Sandanapalas ~ Robert Colescott

Museum of the African Diaspora
Ginger emailed me to be sure and catch the exhibit here down on
Mission near 3rd. I have my magic museum badge which allows me
free entrance and took advantage of it yesterday. MoAD is a delight
so I went to see two of my favorites ~ Joan Brown and Squeak
Carnwath. And I loved them, as always, but then I found this piece
by Robert Colescott and I just couldn't seem to leave it. Amazing.
Next I went down to the second floor into a completely dark room and
listened to authors reading about the lives of slaves ~ one was Maya
Angelou and that certainly was moving and profound. This particular
abstract exhibit ends in two days and yes, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

dinner for four, please

When I was young (and not exceedingly bright) I liked the BIG parties
with too much food, music and booze. That could be true of all of us,
but I can only speak for me and besides, it's MY blog, so there. Now
I so look forward to close friends, good food and pleasant conversation.
I like puttering around the house all day getting strange corners and
shelves dusted, buying flowers, setting a blue table, crossing things off
my list and answering the doorbell after I put on my shoes. The Great
Plotniks came for dinner last night (putenesca, salad, many berry pie)
and it was every bit as delightful as I had anticipated all through the day. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

distracted and concerned

I can't seem to think about anything other than the fact that our friend
Charlie Dowd has gone missing from an Amtrak train. He was last seen
on Thursday, and they found his luggage and cell phone in his sleeper
room. His family is searching in the midwest currently with fears that
he might have fallen from the train, but let's try to stay positive. This is
when social media shines ~ there is a special Facebook page that his son
and daughter update constantly and there are almost 3,000 followers, many
in the small towns where the train stopped. Charlie could have been dis-
oriented from assorted medications or lack of sleep. In the 20 plus years
that I've known him, insomnia was a way of life for him. Strangers doing
their best to help, this is when my faith in humanity is restored. But, I am worried...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

no more grey buildings!

A brand new paint job for the photo business on Bryant and Mariposa
(I think). I walk by it when I go to the SPCA and I finally stopped to
snap a few pictures. There are always other awe struck people out there
with their cameras and iPhones because it is such a spectacular sight. 
There, your treat for Tuesday.

Monday, September 17, 2012

a salute to creativity

First, thanks to Paul Madonna for letting me borrow (ahem) the above.  He
is celebrating his 600th strip and his email today inspires us all. I have loved
his drawings constantly for the nine years since he was first published.

Yesterday was a quite wonderful gathering of Round Robins and I'm glad
I went to talk, read and comment. Jane and about 10 of us, and I think we
all left with gratitude and justifiable pride. The Writing Salon has forced
me to keep writing and I have met some very special new friends along
the way. I'm one of millions who just would not write unless I am pushed
with deadlines and the necessary "rah, rah, you can do it!"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

mostly from the sea



OK, back to salads today. Last night Jack took us to the Waterbar down
on the Embarcadero (at Harrison). It was wonderful ~ oysters, crab,
duck, steak, more. So pretty with the Bay Bridge in the background
and the cylindrical fish tanks right inside the restaurant. All very,
very nice and we felt spoiled in our own city.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

very special indeed

Last night Husbando's friend Jack treated us to a lavish dinner at Quince on
Pacific Avenue. It's one of those famous restaurants where little plates of
unusual perfection keep appearing and waiters explain everything and you
aren't afraid to ask if you use a fork or a spoon. See the woman standing
over in the corner? That was our table, but it's not the sort of place where
you take flash photos, so I restrained myself. And it's quiet, so we could all
hear each other. Jack's woman friend Barbara is a writer and she and I had
lots to talk about as we ooooohed and ahhhhhhed over every morsel.

OK, the food (in no particular order here): rigatoni and rabbit, tomatoes
and figs, suckling pig, crab risotto, luscious lamb chops, sorbet for
dessert and the strongest and tastiest coffee imaginable.  I could not
restrain myself and was forced to pick up the lamb bone for one last
exquisite bite. I know better and yet I'm sure the chef was beaming in
the kitchen. Really, it was a glorious evening and the glow remains today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

thanks, Mr. Paley

Woman with a Veil by Matisse
There is a small new exhibit at the deYoung ~ A Taste for Modernism,
from the NY MoMa. There are only about 60 pieces but they include:
Cezanne, Picasso, Derain, Gauguin, Bonnard and Matisse. William S.
Paley founded CBS and he purchased paintings to hang in his apartment
and then bequeathed them to MoMa with the request that they travel
every eight (I think) years. We are lucky to have them here through
the end of 2012.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chef Pickle's secret ingredient

I'm sure she renders (ahem) her own, but Husbando spotted this treasure
at the cheese store on 24th Street in Noe Valley and brought it home,
despite the price. He's usually so frugal, but Chef P has convinced us
all that it is an essential part of great cooking, especially her matzo
ball soup every Passover. She is the daughter of a Presbyterian minister
and yet all Jews everywhere think her soup is the best. We already used
it in a potato/lemon/garlic recipe and it made all the difference in the world.
Alas, I can't justify the cholesterol business yet, but I will. Maybe
walking an additional 10 blocks?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

my city at its best

First ~ a walk along the Embarcadero (Bay Bridge)

Huge new photo exhibit at Pier 24

Back to the Mish for Mr. Pollo lunch
We three (Husbando, Ginger and your intrepid blogger) had reservations at
Pier 24 for the new photography exhibit which includes Avedon, Friedlander,
Arbus, etc. ~ the best of the best. This site is directly (almost) under the Bay
Bridge and it's free (!), but you need to sign-up online. We spent about two
hours wandering around appreciating the amazing talent.

Back on BART to 24th and Mission for a lavish lunch at Mr. Pollo. The
two young guys here so love being chefs and even though the restaurant
looks seedy, the food is fresh and unbelievably delicious. Yesterday we
had chicken arepas (sort of like sandwiches) and some unusually yummy
fruit drinks. Outstanding.

We reminisced about 9/11 eleven years ago. Everyone did, and should.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

as predicted...


Cody dog was adopted last week and of course I'm happy that he is in
his forever home, but I miss him. Sort of like when we used to have
intense crushes and the object of our desire didn't appear when we had
dressed especially for him.( Not ever, of course, once we were married,
I'm talking about before.) Anyway, at least I didn't wear my best jeans
for yesterday's dog feeding. I also visited a couple of cats ~ Pooky is
the size of Michael's (Seahorse) cat, he was also named Cody. And
RR's all-black Cody kitten ~ the world is a-whirl with Codies lately.

Monday, September 10, 2012

my friend the robot

Frank Langella is terrific here as he copes with memory problems. Of
course it's not a funny subject, but there were some amusing scenes and
some very sad ones too. I had a few questions about a couple of the plot
twists and turns, but the best part of the movie is the relationship of
Robot and Frank ~ his little helper keeps Frank on schedule and makes
sure he eats healthy foods. At one time Frank was a jewel thief, so
that keeps us all on our toes, including Robot. Yes, see it!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

made in Norway

We loved the first half of this Flix® film, but then it became surprisingly
violent and some reviewers compare it a Tarantino movie. It does move
a long quickly and somehow even when we knew we were being manipulated,
it was still fun in an unbelievable way.  Here is a professional (stolen) review:

Headhunters stars the talented Aksel Hennie ('Max Manus') as Roger, a 
charming scoundrel and Norway's most accomplished headhunter. Roger 
is living a life of luxury well beyond his means, and stealing art to subsidize
his expensive lifestyle. When his beautiful gallery owner wife introduces
him to a former mercenary in the possession of an extremely valuable 
painting, he decides to risk it all to get his hands on it, and in doing so 
discovers something which makes him a hunted man.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

back to yarn bombing

The Great Blogmaid sent this photo from last Halloween and I am so
very grateful because I had NOTHING to say today. This is a mother and
her son and the costumes button in the back, just in case you think she
knitted or crocheted herself into hers. I hope they are not scratchy, but then
I don't really care because I could never wear such a thing without
feeling way too claustrophobic for words. But I admire yarn people,
I do indeed...

Friday, September 07, 2012

dinner with fellow workers

view from 2nd floor

Every year the museum treats us to a dinner party. Last night it was at
Don Ramon's (11th and Folsom) and really, the buffet food was
excellent. We had the whole second floor to ourselves and because
everyone was eager to watch the DNC, we were out of there by 7:30pm.
It's really a lovely gesture and appreciated by everyone. (I'm a sucker
for little white lights, by now you must know this about me.)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

drama in the sky, on the podium

The sunset became a glorios palette of pink and orange the moment President
Clinton hit the stage last night at the DNC. I had almost forgotten how very
persuasive this man can be. He was at his best and so, I hope, are the Dems.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

in any language...

This is a powerful story of a couple's separation and how it hurts their
child and each other. Even though it takes place in Iran, A Separation
is so universal that it will stick with you for a long time. We rented
it from the Flix® and you should too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

scenes from the SPCA

Room service food cart

Well-stocked pantry

Note tails hanging down

We still have kittens!

Black on orange

True love ~ Cody
Oh boy, Cody is just about perfect
Other than falling into the pit of overwhelming dog love, I had such a
fine morning at the SPCA. I enjoy fixing the food while listening to NPR
and then visiting the cats while the dogs are fed. Then I do the dishes
and stop for a latte at Peet's before walking home.

The most exciting Giants game yesterday afternoon and we won in the
bottom of the 10th. So satisfying, the entire Monday...