Friday, May 31, 2013

artists as sailors

Caillebotte's Regatta at Argenteuil (1893)
Tomorrow the new Impressionists on the Water opens at the Legion of
Honor, but I worked out there yesterday and got to see it all by myself,
the way it should be. It's a relatively small exhibit, only 60 or so
paintings, but they are exquisite and most of the artists either owned
boats or sailed often, so they understood and loved this sport.
Monet, Renoir, Pisssaro, Caillebotte, Seurat, Signac ~ all our faves.
Through October 13th, and bound to be busy and popular, especially
during the America's Cup event here in SF in July.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

our nabe place

artichoke "stew" (use French word)

pasta with perfect egg right above this line

lamb pot pie
We can walk to/fro the Hillside Supper Club and of course we'd like to go
every week or two, but it is a tad expensive (but worth it!) and so we save
this for special occasions. Last night it was because our garden is looking
healthy and because life is pretty damn good currently. I remember when
pot pies were only chicken and now they plop in crab, lamb, beef...yum.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

better the 2nd time around

We had seen Arcadia by Tom Stoppard a few years ago. I was still working
early and long hours and I confess that I may have napped through the play.
Neither of us were looking forward to this production because it didn't start
until 8pm, and we knew it was a long one (almost 3 hours). Well, imagine
our surprise to find that we both enjoyed it thoroughly last Sunday night.
Of course we were lost from time-to-time due to our lack of education
about many topics: science, Lord Byron, Lady Lamb, etc. But really, it
is well worth seeing and not going to bed until 1am is quite an experience.
Good thing I only had dogs and cats to deal with on Monday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

down to Pathetica

the sea

the catch

the pier

the lunch spot
Husbando and I had a lovely time in Pacifica yesterday and you can see that
the sun did come through by the time we enjoyed our lunch outside at
Taco Bell. I had never seen anyone catch crabs with a pole, so that was
fun to watch on the pier. Came home in time to catch most of the game
(we won!) and then theater last night which I'll review maƱana...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

once more, please

You remember (what, how could you not?) that we saw Lincoln on the
big screen a few months ago. Of course we loved it, but we missed many
wonderful words and a few favorite actors who were so into their parts that
we didn't recognize them. So last night we watched the DVD from the
Flix® and loved this brilliant movie even more the second time around.
Wow, one of the very best.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

hi, I'm b-a-c-k!

I have always loved Flickr but somewhere I "lost" my I.D. and
elusive ever changing Password and I got pissed off and ignored
this wonderful site for a quite a few years. But I did some sleuthing
recently because Flickr sent me an email about terabytes and
megapixels and I unearthed the secret words and what a happy
surprise. Not only did I find some Friend Requests, assorted
strangers had "liked" and commented on several of my old photos.
Plus, it was special checking out my old pictures in that setting.

Friday, May 24, 2013

recapping last night

Tiapos met at 7pm and it was after 10 (eeeeee gads) when I got home.
There were nine of us and we had a great time. Special pats on the back
to The Great Plotnik who reviewed his 50th high school reunion and
to Will's poem "The Girl With the Parole Hearing" ~ also congrats to
Linda who is this close to getting another book published, Sarah's
wonderful pieces on charm school in Atlanta and egg erotica. Oooooh.
Eric read a true story about a visitor in a rental home in Florida, Randy
and Jane with their gorgeous poetry, Hedi's novel was revised a bit
and I had a piece about our neighbor. Fine, fine, fine...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

shhhhhhhh, listen...

For all of us who like hearing other peoples' conversations. The "hero"
(ahem) in By Blood listens through the wall to the therapist and her
client next door. Usually the sound machine is on, but this patient doesn't
like it, and we get to be part of the analysis. The listener has had lots of
therapy himself, so he is very attuned to the whole process. I have this
on my new not-LindaKindle® and it's a great book to read electronically.
Next I'll download The Bug by Ms. Ullman, and thanks for the recommen-
dation, Susan. I'm half way through this novel and enjoying it immensely.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the 4th and final piece

not from our garden

(from that Saturday night event ~ Jane wanted me to end with this one...)


Actually, a lot. Amazing, no? My mother sprinkled sugar on sliced tomatoes
and I sometimes long to do that myself. I have a nice relationship with
this fruit and/or vegetable, except when it's served all mushed up, stewed,
to be exact. Too yucky.

Now, growing them is a different matter entirely, especially here in SF.
My husband clipped an article out of the chronny the other day and
it suggested that we try "Early Girl" tomatoes instead of the "San
Francisco Fog" that we all buy because we think it will flourish here
during the days and months of potato soup-like summer weather.

Every summer we plant tomatoes and sometimes we have good luck,
most times not. They all seem to grow with the green stalks and the little
pre-fruit flowers, but then zilch product-wise. Very discouraging. I
think if we were to count the amount of money we spend on watering
the stubborn little shits we'd end up rushing to Whole Foods and
spending 1/2 a week's salary without regret.

In August, I do make the great tomato side dish with red onion,
vinegar and oil, lemon juice and parsley. For this we do actually break
open our piggy banks and splurge at Whole Foods. There is such a
variety then ~ reds, orange, yellow, green and even purple tomatoes.
I marinate them all day and sometimes this is our entire dinner, along
with some excellent crusty sourdough bread. Oh, hurry summer!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

kitten season begins

Some delightful color on Harrison Street

Oh, my...

Brother and sister ~ 6 weeks old
Prepare for cute. It was an uneventful day at the SPCA, other than some
unexpected hot weather on the walk back home. Dog feeding was smoother
than usual, but just like other companies that I have worked for, things
disappear: bowls, spoons, etc. In the corporate world is was always the
search for the one stapler that worked, a pair of scissors ~ you know how
it goes. Another good reason to work from home where everything is
always in its place, usually...

Monday, May 20, 2013

back to Mission Bay

Houseboats and add-ons
We avoided the Bay to Breakers insanity yesterday by heading down to walk
Mission Bay and what glorious weather we are having! The garlic fries from
the lunch truck were excellent, but the tacos were below average. It was
a delightful day and this has become our second favorite walk, after Crissy.
The rest of the day was spent reading and doing chores, but not too much
of the latter, thankfully.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

better than expected

The Flix® sent us Silver Linings for our Saturday night "there is NOTHING on
TV!" weekly movie adventure and we both enjoyed it more than we thought we
would. The Robert De Niro-as-dad role was especially believable and I think
the mental illness theme rang true. Of course the ending was contrived, but we
all need some happy silver lining kind of stuff, so there. I only destroyed 1/2
Kleenex® and I really didn't even need that, so don't be afraid, notthat.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Big Ben is prominent

Last Thursday morning I rushed to SFMoma to see Christian Marclay's fabulous
video installation The Clock.This is a 24-hour-long montage that matches real
time minute to minute using fragments from famous (and not so) film scenes.
It is fabulous, I could have stayed all day and night. This closes June 2nd, so
I urge you to see it soon. It took Marclay three years to put this together and
do hurry, time waits for no man or woman.

Friday, May 17, 2013

a special seafood dinner

the restaurant

the oysters

Ken (the car) ~ is that you?

the scallops with mushrooms

seafood risotto

lobster spaghetti
Daughter Nancy gave us a gift certificate for Pesce on Polk Street, one of the Top
100 SF Restaurants. We would never have gone there because this is Russian Hill
and there is NO parking. And yet, and yet ~ here you see Ken right in front of our
destination. The food was outstanding, service fabulous and we had a glorious
time. Pesce reminded us of those "let's try this place" kind of spots in NYC or
maybe Paris or Rome. Small, friendly, warm and unexpectedly delicious. And
really, not all that expensive, especially with a generous gift certificate in hand.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

my East Bay day

Ginger's tomato plants

Shadow Cliff Lake

Lots and lots of tables and grills

Clear and almost clean water
I hopped on BART to Pleasanton yesterday and had a fine time with Ginger. We
started with a visit to her garden (community, a great concept), then for a latte
and a sweet (an even better idea) and then the walk around this man-made (we
think) Shadow Cliff Lake and picnic area. G. said that it's packed with families
on weekends, but we enjoyed the quiet for our walking and talking time. No
engines allowed on the boats, so at least it's always pretty quiet. Honestly, it's
such a different world out there ~ refined, family-oriented. Yes, I was  happy to
get home to MY insane city.

Lunch at the Oasis in downtown Pleasanton, outside under some big trees.
Lovely, long day...truly.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

kitchen wars

(This is the 3rd piece that I wrote and read for the Writing Salon event)


Last week our friend, Ginger, was talking about how her daughter and
husband like to cook together on Sundays. I immediately made my "oh,
Lord" noise and mentioned that Bill and I don't share our kitchen space
very well.  I got to wondering, did we ever? Even when love was new and
we wanted to be together all the time? It seems logical that we would,
and yet, and yet...

We have a nice big kitchen here in our tiny SF house, but we are both
selfish about where and how we chop and cook. Our exciting kitchen
conversation usually consists of, "How much longer will you be there?"
and "I'll be finished here in a second". We have very specific ways of
doing things and I think that we both extend our elbows far out so that
the other person will retreat with haste if he/she has the audacity to
approach while the other is working.

It's not a pretty picture is it? I love the idea of Cooking Together, but
it ain't going to happen in our home. It's probably me. I am never
comfortable in other people's kitchens, whether it's food prep or
clean-up. I would have trouble with communal living, that we can
all agree on. But again, I love the idea. Quiet murmuring as happy
people do their assigned tasks amidst the lovely smells of straight-from-
the-oven baked bread, picked out of the garden basil and freshly
grated cheese.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

whatever Lola wants

The SPCA is gearing up for Kitty Season, but first we have a few older cats
looking for their forever homes. Lola here reminds me of cats-gone-by
and I think she is very special and I hope she is adopted soon. They are
using more of these window seats with four hefty suction cups so the cat
can get right up close and personal.

Monday, May 13, 2013

blood and guts

...and a little humor too. I'm glad we watched this at home so I could get
up and patrol the house during the many violent scenes in Django. I did
like the movie more than I expected to, mostly because the acting was
excellent and there is some tongue-in-cheek-Tarantino craziness. From
the Flix® and no Kleenex® needed.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

horses at the cow palace

Getting ready for the competition

RR's papa Bill and horse Derby

Derby and RR
I had a nice morning at the Cow Palace where I hadn't been in about 35 or so
years. RR had a horse event and she did a beautiful job and looks noble on
Derby and he isn't the easiest horse in all of America. RR won some lovely
ribbons and I love how dedicated and fearless she is ~ and how patient her
parents are too. Congratulations to RR, Derby, Bill and the Blogmaid!

Happy Mother's Day to all ~ we had the nicest present from step dot Nancy
who will be here on June 9th with our Ceci for a few days.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

ducks and geese and...

a quiet inside spot for coffee and snacks

Yesterday I had some extra time before my deYoung shift so I walked around
Stow Lake and decided to check out the new indoor restaurant. There was soooo
much typical SF brouhahahahahaha (don't change anything ~ ever!) about this
new spot that I expected something ultra chic with all kinds of chi chi glamour
and loud music, but instead it's just a nice, clean spot next to the snack bar.
I am finishing up "Orphan Master's Son" so I had a cup of coffee and got lost
in North Korea until it was time to go to work. This is one fine novel, don't miss it!

Friday, May 10, 2013

words and sweets

the Mahmoul cookies

the cooking utensil
Last night The Great Plotnik brought some heavenly Mahmoul to our Tiapos
meeting. Treat yourself to his blog for some delightful back stories. He is
a natural story teller and we all hung onto his every word and you will too.
There were 8 of us around Jane's big dining room table last night and we
all had a very fine evening filled with unusual (some sad) stories and poems.
I need to stop and appreciate this writing life every once in awhile, especially
when Middle Eastern treats and strong black coffee are part of our meeting.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

a full day of baseball

part of the fun (honest)

so where's the sun?
Our second game and our second Win, but barely, and not until the 10th inning.
Ginger and I had front row cheapie seats in Section 331and we could almost
see every play, unless thoughtless fans stood right in front of our views. Lots
of Philly fans and I remembered from 2008 that these are not the nicest, most
loving of all baseball fans, especially when they drink too much. But we still
had a great time catching up on our lives and analyzing everything in and
way outside of baseball. A wonderful day! (Note to the Bombshell ~ not
every Philly fan is fat and drunk, it just seemed like it yesterday.)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

a swim poem

The Creeps
Today is just
like yesterday
except for
a swim
the lake
whose water
me out most
always has
since long ago
when I first
the rusty
devil's claws
in the shallows
under my
that seemed
to strain to leap
from the lake
bed up
to drag
me and my
tipsy craft
down in
their jagged
I jump
into the cold
water and tie
the swim
ring to my
ankle in case
of cramp
or worse what
could be worse
I'll tell you
it's when
you reach
the deep
a quarter
from either
solid shore
and that
dark beast
who's kept
to those
silent depths
will look up
and notice
above him
in the blue
a feast
two naked legs
winking whitely
in the high
of his world
and who will
surely rise
to investigate
what might
be for him
a revelation
of flavor
and swirl
to that
of an oyster
or maybe
a pearl
on toast

Sidney Wade

Straits & Narrows
Persea Books

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

pass the butter, please

(This is another piece that I read  for the Progressive gathering. As you 
already guessed, the theme of the evening was FOOD. I wrote this back
when I still worked at Borders. Since then I've pretty much switched to
Smart Balance, I'm sorry to say.)

God, I could write for hours about butter! I love it. When I was a perfect
little girl child the parents used butter to heal burns. It did seem to work,
but I'm sure that was all in the mind.

I never cut back or stopped using butter, even when the foodniks and
fear doctors told us it was as evil as communism. There was a time when
they tried to get us to switch to margarine, but after tasting it once I
said, "never again" to that unnatural taste. I believe that butter is back
in vogue again and now margarine is O-U-T.

My reward is low blood pressure and a good cholesterol count. I
start my work day with a blueberry muffin topped with a big chunk of butter.
The morning crew knows to leave me alone while I am enjoying
this along with my strong black coffee.

I stay butter-free until dinner time. We cook with butter and use it on
our vegetables and bread. There is nothing better than
corn on the cob dripping with butter, same goes for artichokes and
baked potatoes. My husband broils our steaks in butter and even uses
it on the rare occasions when we treat ourselves to bacon. That even
seems odd to me, but it sure tastes good.

Sometimes in restaurants they try to make us dip our bread in gourmet
olive oil, and I usually ask for butter which they keep hidden in the back
as a treat for the staff. San Francisco sour dough bread was made for
gobs of soft butter and I love restaurants where they give each person
a 1/2 cup or so instead of those ridiculous flea sized foil patties that take 24
minutes each to unwrap.