Saturday, August 31, 2013

RIP Seamus (one of the great ones)


Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Friday, August 30, 2013

flora, in all her glora

flora is one month old

ah, "the avenues"
flora and lucybelle
 Honestly, since I started working at the museums five years ago, I've
spent more time out here in the Richmond (Sunset?) District than ever
before in my life. Now I finally see what Linda and all the others who
LOVE this nabe see, always the ocean in the background ~ always
changing, ever present. Yesterday I met my dear friend Lucy for a
walk to Land's End and some good old fashioned work gossip. Oh,
that ocean air, the astounding views from Sutro Park, wisps of fog
and rays of sunshine.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

basil and the bay bridge

Basil Canteen

Retail workers drinking

Carlo ~ display guy extraordinaire
Our annual Staff Appreciation Banquet was not well attended because we
have quite a few people who live in the East Bay and the old Bay Bridge
was closing at 8pm. Closing forever. Some people are nostalgic and sad
but I am not one of them. I worked two difficult jobs (Capwell's and
B&N) over there and all I wanted was to get back to SF as soon as
humanely possible. All bridges (and roads and highways) can be difficult
from time to time, but there is something about being stuck on a bridge
that makes commuting even worse than usual. I am eager to see the
new bridge in action, from a distance, that is.

Basil Canteen at 11th and Folsom was a good choice for the dinner
because it is close to Bernal Heights and the food was excellent. I
was home by about 7:30 and that I loved, along with a few laughs
with fellow workers. Until next year...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

this poem speaks to me

NOT one of our pillows
My mother gave us luxurious down pillows when we were married, more
than 40 years ago. Ot was it when I went away to college? In any event,
they are now flat, worthless and probably bad for us. But I'm always tempted
to take one when I travel because they are HOME and they soothe me. 

My Daughter

tells me to throw away
old pillows. These bags
of down have held my head,
my children's heads
for years. I've sunk
into their softness—
the inner feathers
of some poor goose—
dreamt high, improbable
adventures, odd scenarios
none so far come true.
My daughter declares
that harmful microbes live
in pillows, aggravating allergies.
These old friends must go—
along with other forms
of solace that are bad for us.

Joyce S. Brown

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

when women lunch

After I prepared the dog food yesterday I scurried to the Mission Rock
Resort to meet Neti, Pat and Kit. We had a nice time and great food on
a gloriously sunny day, but not too hot of course because it IS Frisco.
This area is getting sooooooo built up and and of course we all remembered
when no one would ever consider living or working down here ~ and
now it's packed with medical, educational and god knows what other
big buildings. Condos too, but still free street parking. That will change...

Monday, August 26, 2013

a walk before lunch

the city from Crissy Field

our local restaurant by the park
It was muggy in SF yesterday, so the fog at Crissy was most welcome. It
burned off quickly and we had sun the rest of the day. Ginger, Husbando
and I had a delightful time, ending up with a gourmet brunch at our Bernal
Supper Club, down a few blocks from Casa Verde. I never tire of Sundays
off after all those years fighting the retail wars on weekends.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

feeling romesick?

This was not Woody Allen's greatest movie, but we thoroughly
enjoyed seeing all the photography of Rome. In fact I'm going to
buy a copy to take to my women friends who traveled with me
to Italy a few (six!) years ago. We'll see them all in November.
It's worth a quick Flix® trip, in my most humble opinion...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

well, let's just see...

We are going to try to rent our home for five nights while we are away
in November. Let's just see how this works, it would be nice to earn a
little extra income and have someone who loves SF enjoy our space.
I'll let you know if anyone nibbles.

Friday, August 23, 2013

anonymous me

I still get that feeling of happy anticipation when I know I'm going downtown.
Yesterday I was running some errands and doing some serious people
watching and I needed a latte and a sweet. This huge anonymous Cap One
coffee place on Post Street is my idea of perfection. Lots of space, light
and great coffee. Clean bathroom (downstairs) and I could sit all day
noodling on my computer, if I wanted to. There are big tables there for
meetings, cozy sofa areas and tables for two for friendships or break-ups.
I could never live in a small town where I might run into people I know all the
time. Occasionally I will see someone I used to work with when I'm downtown,
but it's a brief hello and not very often.  San Francisco is small in size, for a big
city, but it offers me everything I could ever ask for. Lucky me...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

baseball in the sun

Row SIX ~ perfect seats

should have loaned this to the Giants

happy fans (first "selfie")
The Blogmaid and I had a delightful game despite the inability of the home
team to catch, pitch or hit. There were a lot of Red Sox fans and I tried
to be happy for them because that is better for my mental health. The
garlic fries were extra good and it was just so very pleasant to sit in the
sun and talk with my dear friend. Thanks for those terrific seats, big difference.
Oh, and for being such a good sport and taking the #10 bus with me!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

halloween in august

Linda is the BEST children's book writer and illustrator in the world
and I wanted Ruby to learn to count before Halloween, so here she
is consuming my friend's book and almost counting to ten (and back).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

brilliant bad

Only six more episodes. This is such an amazing TV show ~ I didn't say
easy-to-watch, did I? In some respects it's better than The Sopranos and
4 million times better than your average drama, even BBC, and those
folks are pretty damn good. Now we know who is aligned with whom
for the Grand Finale, or we think we do. Again, terrific acting, but it
always goes back to the writing and all those little touches that most
television just doesn't seem to care about. Sister slapping sister ~ how
ingenious was that? Breaking Bad is simply The Best.

Monday, August 19, 2013

time to chill

Here is Dorf, one of the Blogmaid's cats, doing what so many cats do so
well. I'm not sure whether he's on his heating pad or not, but we can see
that he is very comfortable.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

braids a flyin'

Our Blogmaid has a new camera that will capture the action even better
than the previous one. Here we have RR and Derby flying about and having
a great time galloping or cantering or prancing ~ whatever horses do down
in Pumpkinville. Anyway, it's a wonderful photo of our favorite (almost) ten
year old girl and her horse. (No, she is our very favorite almost-ten year old
girl, not the awkward way it was first posted by our rushed blogger)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

madame potus

I love the fact that the Dems are starting early and yes, maybe we will
finally have a woman president. Exciting times ahead...

Friday, August 16, 2013

how is this working out?

Let's see. I started 24 Hour LITE back in April. I was then, and still am,
encouraged by the word LITE because it seems less imposing/serious
than terms such as "workout" or even "exercise".  Well, this is one of
the better decisions in my life (right up there with stopping smoking
and not drinking) and I'm delighted with the gym on 24th Street
because there are a lot of older people working the various machines.
I go two (trying for three, depending on schedule) times a week and
I start by biking for 15 minutes, then working assorted other con-
traptions for approximately 20 more minutes. The people who work
there are pleasant and it's never too crowded. Amazing, even on a
Saturday I can get to whatever machine I want to use. And, just like
"they" say, I feel great when I finish. Endorphin talk and all...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

thank you, young 'uns!

There are three wonderful new tech inventions that I so admire because they
not only solve immediate problems, they help so many people:
1) AirB&B ~ hotels need competition, there is money in our homes
2) Lyft and the other car share programs because taxis here are impossible
3) Crowdfunding ~ Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Here is part of a delightful
     email from the Balboa Theater, I think they will make their goal and
     be able to go digital.

Project Update #1: BALBOA THEATRE 


Posted by Balboa Theatre Like
Thank you, thank you, thank you.  We are off to an amazing start!  
Our backers are awesome and incredibly generous.  We're close 
to 50% funded with over 40 days to go. We still need to raise over 
$40,000, however, so please help us spread the word via Facebook, 
email and Twitter! 
Saturday we'll be in Union Square for Film Night in the Park featuring 
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.  We premiered our Kickstarter video at our
last film night (see photo).  With over 6,000 people in attendance 
at Dolores Park it had to be one of the biggest Kickstarter video 
premieres ever!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

hysteria on the home front

We watched Hysteria on DVD (Flix®) last night and although it isn't a
great movie by any means, it was a nice piece of fluff-based-on-fact
kind of thing. Victorian England and the invention of the vibrator and
some pleasant acting and no, not really recommended, but still an
OK flick with no Kleenex® needed whatsover.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Holly Park with Ruby...

...and Tanya. We were lucky to get a couple of pictures with Ruby sitting
because she runs about constantly and without fear. This kid-friendly
playground is Ruby's hangout and there are usually lots of children
who appear to be the exact same age and size as she is. Seeing these
two after our Piccino lunch made for a perfect Sunday for me,
especially since I walked to/fro and definitely needed that.

Monday, August 12, 2013

out to Sunday lunch

We celebrated the Great Ducknik's birthday yesterday at Piccino's in
Dog Patch. This restaurant is terrific and yesterday filled with families
of all ages (mostly young). It's still a treat for me to NOT work on a
Sunday and we had a delightful time. Later in the day I met Tanya
and Ruby and I'll treat you to those photos tomorrow.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

a poem for Sunday

High Diver

Straight-backed, clean-limbed, freckled like a trout
she stands at the edge of the high board
defiant and ashamed at once, conscious
of our eyes on her, this diver all of seventeen
whose body is a beauty she can barely comprehend.
The boys shout insults, shove each other
in their awkwardness, half awed that she would step out
on the trembling board to risk our gaze
and the water's bright enticement, smooth but hard
beneath her. Their catcalls echo off the walls.
I cannot tell you how she looks, poised on the cusp
of adolescence, this girl fading into the woman
she'll become, sylph-like in her tight suit,
hair a frazzled halo, arms held up like a sleepwalker
trying to contain herself and blot out their cries.
Now she pivots like a dancer, gripping the board
with her toes, and rises as it quivers with her weight
then settles again. She waits until it stops,
until she gathers herself up to balance there,
tall and undeniable, her back to us in the withering light.
Suddenly her knees bend, spring up, and bend once more,
then toss her up and out into the shocked air
where she clasps her knees between her arms
like a fetus rolling backward in a perfect arc,
then lets them go again and straightens in a long fall.
And then her fingers tear the water open and her body
disappears into the pool, nothing but a splash
to mark where she once was, and the boys turn
to one another, hushed, feeling their own bodies
falling perilously through childhood, past mockery into love.

Kurt Brown

Tiger Bark Press

Saturday, August 10, 2013

our late Early Girl

It seems like we plant our tomatoes way before everyone else, and yet we
don't get our rewards until summer is almost over. But this is the first
of many, depending on the elusive sunlight factor here in our cool, grey
city of love, hate, change, weirdness, fog/fog/fog.

Friday, August 09, 2013

a primo tradition

when we arrived ~ rain?

one hour later
Every August Ginger, Husbando and I have lunch at the Primo Patio on
Townsend, then on to the ballgame. We had a fine time yesterday and we
WON the game thanks to some outstanding pitching by our Timmy. We
were surprised at how quickly the sun came out after all those heavy
and wet clouds/fog. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

BBC does it again

We watched the first episode of Broadchurch last night ~ oh, my. It's
an 8-part drama that takes in a very small town where a little boy is
murdered. Everyone has a secret here, just like in real life.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

four questions

 My friend Elizabeth sent me this ~ the last question is my favorite.

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining
of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four 

When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing? 
When did you stop being enchanted by stories? 
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

it's a hit...

We streamed (ahem) this from Roku® and the Flix® last night. Look
at Chloe as a brunette and a trained assassin. And it's a British TV series
which still, usually, means it's superior. Hit and Miss features Chloe
transgendering (is that a word?) into a female. She's tough, but then
she discovers her 11 year old son and it all gets pretty complicated
after that because he has two sisters and a brother and there is no adult
around to help them all cope.

Monday, August 05, 2013

yes, it's a strange one...

The other night we watched this animated film entitled The Rabbi's
Cat. It's really beautifully drawn and designed and very foreign
because it takes place mostly in Algeria. It's French with subtitles
and it won all sorts of awards and prizes. We both enjoyed it, but
it's definitely not for everyone and the kitty is peculiar, to say the least.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

wolves in the wild

Sorry, I'm in a rush to work this morning, so I didn't get to straighten
the pictures. We went to see this exhibit yesterday, I wrote about it
for the Robins last week. For the record, their tongues looked dirty...

There's a photography exhibit that I want to see at the Hosfelt Gallery on
Utah Street. I guess that's Potrero Hill. It's only here through August 17th,
so we'll have to scurry.

Christian Houge is the photographer and the subject is wolves. He
roamed with these beautiful creatures in Norway and this paragraph
is what compels me to go see the exhibit, you can feel how incredibly
close he actually was to his subjects.

The ritual when you meet them is you have to be on your knees, 

and they'll have their tongues inside your mouth, and you can't 
move. They might have their jaws around your head to measure 
your cranium.  After the first time, you learn to meet them with 
your tongue. Their mouths are much cleaner than ours.

Good god, talk about giving it up for your art. He was with other people
(wildlife researchers) so I'm sure his life was never really in danger.
But I'm intrigued, aren't you?

Saturday, August 03, 2013

no stress this October

2012 parade and celebration
Now we can just relax and enjoy baseball because it is such a strange
and unusual game. "Just like life," some people say. Our beloved Giants
aren't going to get into the playoffs this year, but the last three games
have been fun, interesting, pleasant. The guys are playing good
baseball again. I heard on a national sports radio station that the Dodgers
are unbeatable this year. Much as I do not care for the blue scumsuckes,
I'm happy for their fans who have suffered these past few years and
now it's their turn to agonize over every pitch, hit, error, and rumor
from now on. We will all enjoy the World Series this year as we plan
our revenge for 2014.

Friday, August 02, 2013

one small popcorn, with butter, please

(this was the piece I presented to my writing group last night...)

The first movie I went to see all by myself was Gone With The Wind,
and no, that wasn't 1939, when it first came out.  I don't know what
year it was, but I was terrified to go alone and I really, really had to
force myself to do this. I was already married, but for some reason
Bill didn't want to see this rerun and I had lots of women friends
who went to the movies alone and nothing ever happened to them.
It was extremely important to me to become more independent because,
truth to tell, I was a scared girl/woman who talked a good feminist
game but didn't feel anywhere near as confident as I looked. I would
guess I was in my early thirties and we were living here in SF.

Of course it was a highly successful adventure for me and I have gone to
movies alone off and on quite a few times over the years. On Sunday I
treated myself to "The Heat" with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
What a fine time I had. I bought popcorn and brought cold water from home.
The theater was almost empty and I found the perfect seat with lots
of leg room and I spread my stuff out so no one would sit next to me.
We have a standard line (lie) when we don't want anyone to sit next
to us and it goes, "I'm sorry, we're saving this for our daughter ~ she's
always late." (Well, she should be since she lives in Illinois.)

I get lost in a big screen movie. I yelp and cry and warn the good guys
not to go in that room and sometimes I'm actually loud. I don't mean to
disturb others, I just can't help it. I have one movie rule and that is that
I won't go into the dark theater if the sun is out. Well, thankfully there is
a lot of fog in our city, so I'm safe here. And it has to be a GOOD movie,
I don't want to waste money and time on mediocre films.

"The Heat" was a hoot. Two women out to catch bad guys. Sandra was
FBI and Melissa a cop in Boston. Oh, the swearing and the building of
a friendship when these two started out hating each other. I guffawed
a few times and spent almost two hours with a broad smile on my face.
Great fun for women of all ages, especially those of us who swear too much.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

our colorful community

It appears that there's a working garden in front of the Cesar Chavez
Elementary School on Shotwell Street just a few blocks from our house.
I usually don't walk this way, but yesterday I did and I certainly loved
what I saw. Really, you could be in the heart of Mexico. Bright and
truly beautiful...