Wednesday, July 31, 2013

what do the simple folk do?

Well, let's see. Last night we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Golden
Gate Grill on Powell (not recommended) and then we scurried for the
7pm curtain of Camelot at the SF Playhouse. Neither of us were eager
to see this tired old chestnut, but, WTF? we enjoyed it. Damn, that
Lancelot is a great singer and there was some exciting choreography
and show me a woman who would not consider a Kleenex® when she
hears "If Ever I Would Leave You" and all those memories that this play
brings back...both personal and the myth of JFK and Mrs. Kennedy.
We were delighted to see that there was a full house (!) last night ~
congrats to Bill English and Susi Damilano who have made their
dream come true after so much hard work and that audience of five
or so when we first started going to their productions. Hooooray...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

swamp goers



When I drive home from the Legion of Honor I pass the SWAMP on
Geary, around 19th Avenue. They advertise crawfish and although we
never had these creatures in staid Pasadena, Husbando claims to have
feasted on them in St. Louis, straight out of the gutters and then the
adults would boil them for him. A happy childhood memory for him,
an intriguing visual for me.

He introduced me to these fresh water lobster-like craw daddies long
ago in New Orleans. I liked them, so I decided to treat him Sunday
night and we headed to the Swamp. I didn't expect this to be a Chinese
place, but it is. We had garlic noodles (average) with our main course
and even though I ordered the mild, they were pretty spicy. And yet
we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and it was really reasonable and
I guarantee that we'll be back. Yes, we recommend it!

Monday, July 29, 2013

she's got "the eye"

When posting in a blog everyday, it's a huge benefit to have a friend who is
an excellent photographer. It is especially advantageous if this person lives
by the ocean and always carries her camera. I think this photo is worthy
of a prize of some sort and warrants far wider distribution than commano.
Many thanks, Blogmaid, this picture is an absolute delight.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

stripes of many colors

clever billboard at 24th Street and Bryant

incredible ~ real fringe!
We love this obviously pro-immigration billboard in our nabe. People
who come here from other cultures and countries add soooooo much
to the USA and nowhere is it more obvious than in SF. I love walking
down Mission Street and hearing not one word of English.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

lindakindle® perfect

From the first page any person with an IQ over 30 would know that this
was NOT written by a man. JK Rowling is maybe not the best writer in
the world, but she knows plot and applies it to grown-ups here in The
Cuckoo's Calling. Best of all, the heroine and her boss (a private dick)
dash all over London and that city is worth it all in this fun mystery.

Friday, July 26, 2013

the bay bridge

Peter Stackpole was only about 20 when the bridge workers invited him to
climb up with them and take photos (imagine!) and we benefit from his talent
over at the Oakland Museum. Yesterday we took BART out of the fog into
Oakland's sunshine, meeting Ginger and poking around this really excellent
little museum. I love the room filled with Joan Brown paintings too. Then we
had lunch outside and talked about everyone and everything. A great day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

drat, it's over

Last night we watched the final episode #13 of Orange is the New Black
and it never disappoints. We are eagerly awaiting the next season. Truly,
it's worth getting the Flix® just to watch this amazing series.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

neighborhood bounty

designed to piss off The Plotnik

I was out on the back deck and kept hearing a voice, "hello, hello," and
then he said, "I'm in the tree, do you want some avocados?" These are
the Haas avos and the tree next door is loaded this year. Husbando
found the berries at the nabe corner store ~ three boxes for $1.00.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

cats galore!

We never run out of product at the SPCA. This #4 cat would lend
inspiration to most artists, don't you think?

Monday, July 22, 2013

we need a poem

Pleasantville, New Jersey, 1955

I'd never seen a rainbow or picked
a tomato off the vine. Never walked in an orchard
or a forest. The only tree I knew
grew in the square of dirt hacked
out of the asphalt, the mulberry
my father was killing slowly, pounding
copper nails into its trunk.
But one hot summer afternoon
my mother let me drag the cot onto the roof.
Bed sheets drying on the lines,
the cat's cardboard box of dirt in the corner,
I lay in an expanse of blueness. Sun rippled
over my skin like a breeze over water.
My eyelids closed. I could hear the ripe berries
splatting onto the alley, the footsteps
of customers tracking in the sticky, purple mash.
I heard the winos on the wooden crates,
brown bags rustling at the throats of Thunderbird.
Car engines stuttered, came to life and died
in the A&P parking lot and I smelled grease and coffee
from the diner where Stella, the dyke, washed dishes
with a pack of Camel's tucked
in the rolled-up sleeve of her t-shirt.
Next door, Helen Schmerling leaned on the glass case
slipping her fist into seamed and seamless stockings,
nails tucked in, to display the shade, while Sol
sucked the marrow from his stubby cigar,
smoke settling into the tweed skirts and mohair sweaters.
And under me something muscular swarmed
in the liquor store, something alive
in the stained wooden counter and the pungent dregs
of beer in the empties, my mother
greeting everyone, her frequent laughter,
the shorn pale necks of the delivery men,
their hairy forearms. The cash register ringing
as my parents pushed their way, crumpled dollar
by dollar, into the middle class.
The sun was delicious, lapping my skin.
I felt that newly arrived in a body.
The city wheeled around me—
the Rialto movie, Allen's shoe store, Stecher's Jewelry,
the whole downtown three blocks long.
And I was at the center of our tiny
solar system flung out on the edge
of a minor arm, a spur of one spiraling galaxy,
drenched in the light.

Ellen Bass

Poetry Northwest
Spring & Summer 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013


flowers from our garden

new kitchen sparkle

homemade carbonara

fresh oranges in the blue bowl

new Diebenkorn prints

Saturday, July 20, 2013

red of tooth and claw

Remember sweet little kitty Cody down in Pumpkinville? He's now a
sleek, beautiful grown-up cat and doing what comes naturally.

Friday, July 19, 2013

hordes of tourists

I went downtown yesterday and honestly I don't think we've ever had so
many visitors. Ginger and I donated blood and were going to have lunch,
but I was feeling a little shaky and rushed home to make sure I was fine.
I am fine, but had to miss Tiapos last night, just in case. I suspect I'm
suffering from no-baseball this week.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

beware ~ food blog!

Beet salad, classic bacon tart and snowball coconut dessert. These are a few of
my favorite things. Husbando treated me to lunch at Noeteca yesterday and
we enjoyed ourselves and the delicious food. We celebrated our many good
fortunes and then ran some errands, gardened, napped. A great day off...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

meet Smudges

This is from the Monday morning SPCA visit. Lots and lots of kittens have
been adopted (free fee special), but there are many sweet older cats awaiting
their forever homes. They are initiating a cool new Dog Foster Care Program
and I'm awaiting details before I present the idea to a certain Husbando.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

it's a zoo out there...

Thanks to the Blogmaid for organizing such a nice day with: Herself, Linda,
RR, Hannah, Gina and Jade. Here's our traditional photo with the Lemur
sign. I have fond memories of our times when RR was in a stroller and we
would walk and talk and wave at all the animals. But yesterday was special
in a different way and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Monday, July 15, 2013

yes-yes on the no-no

Buster hugs his pitcher
We almost missed Timmy's no hitter on Saturday night because the
announcers are so hush-hush (the jinx factor). We saw the score (9-zip)
and said, "no worries, let's go to bed," and I started listening to the
radio and that's when it dawned on me. Get to the TV! It was so very
wonderful and Tim is inspiring and much loved by his teammates and
the fans. Like all of us, he has had some up and down times, but his
are so public. We joined the celebration with joy and Kleenex®.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

kitchen confidential

I don't even have to do the Before and After labels, do I? We are still
busy adding color because it is really WHITE, but so clean and modern.
God, I was so sick of those old cabinets. As usual, why did we wait so long
to tackle this project?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

good friend, bad photo

Here is Ginger from Santa Barbara on Thursday last. We did the forgotten
end of SF again with lunch once more at Park Chalet. That place is never
crowded, reasonable and the food is just fine: calamari, salad, chicken
wings and more coffee. The tourists all go upstairs where they can't see
the ocean due to the fog. Of course we walked down at the beach and
talked/talked/more talking. Ginger was staying with a friend on Clement,
about two blocks from the Legion of Honor and we were happy not to hit
downtown and hordes of tourists.

Friday, July 12, 2013

piper goes to prison

Congrats to the Flix® for another hit series. Orange is the new Black
is all about a debutante who gets caught moving some drug money
around and lands in jail. The entire first season is already on Netflix,
so one can watch anytime. We also watched The Bridge (FX), another
dark murder mystery, so it was a busy TV night.

Santa Barbara Ginger was here and I'll tell you all about seeing her
again in tomorrow's post. That is a promise....

Thursday, July 11, 2013


such a pretty ball park
...such a lousy team. Baseball was designed to disappoint the fans from time
to time, or season to season, or so it seems. So Ginger and I sat and talked
for two hours and that part was better than OK. We walked up 2nd Street
to downtown and my, has this area changed! New stores, cafes, energy.
Our always-changing SF. I told Ginger how much fun it will be to watch the
playoffs and World Series when we don't have the Giants to worry about.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

cars and parking

I guess we all have the love/hate thing with the auto. There is one ALMOST
in our driveway currently that could probably be used as a planter because it
has been there for more than the legal 72 consecutive hours. Way more.
And yet it isn't a monster SUV or pick-up truck, so we let it go. "It could
be worse," our usual motto for the SF parking situation.

Speaking of cars and SF, I just finished reading the George Packer article in
the May 27th New Yorker entitled "Change the World" and I recommend
it highly. All about Silicon Valley, SF, young techies and how everything
is changing so quickly ~ often for the best, often not.

(Photo above is from the recent Flora Grub Nursery visit. An Edsell?)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

a grand

Samantha at Park Chalet

Crissy Field walk
We have two Sam Stein grandchildren, meet the female, Rob's (the youngest)
oldest daughter. She is going into medicine, loves slicing up rats, etc. at a
college in Cleveland. Samantha is here with 6 girlfriends, renting an apartment
on Fell Street, and what fun they are having! Even though our "real" summer
is here (fog, some sun, much wind) they are all enamored of our city and
now Sam is thinking about going to medical school here in California.

Yesterday we showed her GG Park, the ocean, Sutro Baths, Land's End
and Crissy Field. Then to the Embarcadero where she met up with her friends
for more SF fun. They are probably going to Alcatraz today.

Monday, July 08, 2013

who knew?

I have a friend with a cat who is hooked on melon, always has been. But I
have not heard about pumpkin as animal food before. These 3 fur balls
were waiting for their breakfast ~ when they house dogs and cats together,
they have no scientific method. More like a wing and a prayer, but it
usually works out, unlike those freshman college roommate situations, right?

Sunday, July 07, 2013


Yesterday a South Korean airplane crash landed at SFO. We are both
appalled at the tragedy and exceedingly proud of all the local emergency
teams of police, fire, hospitals, etc. Two young women were killed
and about 50 people are in serious condition and we await word on
exactly what happened. It's so weird having this so close and because
we have been to this airport hundreds of times and can now picture each
and every previously safe and happy landing we've experienced there.
This tragedy is almost unfathomable.

In the meantime, Doug and Barb are safely on the East Coast (they
must have flown out early, before the crash) and we await word that our
grand daughter Samantha has arrived in SF. Last we heard she was
stuck in Chicago, but we assume she is here now. We will see her tomorrow,
if all goes as planned.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

salad days...

Those three teeny tiny Early Girl tomato plants are now larger than life.
Some small green treasures already, but no matter what, it always
seems like August is Tomato Month. And, it's time to weed out there
again, already. Gardens are a lot of work, in a good way, of course. (ahem)

Friday, July 05, 2013

a 4th to remember...

First I had a good solo morning walk, then worked on a piece for Tiapos (an
all-women writing group, as it turned out), then we had a quiet lunch with
book and magazine and then (highlight!) I met Scott, Tanya and Ruby down
at Precita Park for some play-around. That little girl child is getting very
active and honestly, she has no fear of people, objects or animals. The
parents were watchful and busy and I once again wondered how they do it.

Tiapos was a delight with Jane, Linda, Karen (!), Sarah and myself. I was
home in time to watch the legal and illegal fireworks with Husbando
from our back deck. Today I feel refreshed and ready for 3 more work days.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

a happy holiday...

...except for the noise. Thanks to Joe (who gargles with Hydrogen Peroxide)
for this cute drawing. I have very happy memories of hot Pasadena days this
time of year, then a BIG fireworks spectacular at the Rose Bowl. No cell
phones then, but every adult would flick their Zippo® lighter at the end of
the extremely patriotic event and yes, I loved it all unconditionally.

I've been working everyday lately, so it's wonderful to have today off! Happy
4th to my devoted readers.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

a huge change...

We are giving up our land line (415/282-XXXX) and it sure feels weird.
It only rings when folks want money, usually at dinner time, or so it seems.
Our iPhones are always in our pockets or on the kitchen table now and after
the painters unplugged the main phone and answering machine, we found
we didn't miss our old faithful for one minute. All our friends know that we
lack phone personalities, to say the least, so this makes financial and emotional
sense to us. But still, it has been OUR number since before we were married.