Monday, September 30, 2013

our universal experience

After the Funeral

We opened closets and bureau drawers
and packed away, in boxes, dresses and shoes,
the silk under things still wrapped in tissue.
We sorted through cedar chests. We gathered
and set aside the keepsakes and the good silver
and brought up from the coal cellar
jars of tomato sauce, peppers, jellied fruit.
We dismantled, we took down from the walls,
we bundled and carted off and swept clean.
Goodbye, goodbye, we said, closing
the door behind us, going our separate ways
from the house we had emptied,
and which, in the coming days, we would fill
again and empty and try to fill again.

Peter Everwine

Listening Long and Late
University of Pittsburgh Press

Sunday, September 29, 2013

oh, Italy...

I borrowed this photo from Susan who is traveling with Jim in Italy. Just
one of those small cafes with outstanding food, this one in Siena. If you
are looking for some great and beautiful travel writing with outstanding
photos, do visit The All of It over there on the right. (I'm too lazy to
link it, this morning.) Anyway, tomorrow they head to Venice and I just
can't wait: Opera House, more museums, the square with pigeons ~ I
feel like I'm there and really, I should be. Great job, Fevered Brain!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

meet the grandboy

Here is Sam, the oldest grand kid, and his wonderful wife, Margot. They live
in Pittsburgh, PA, so we did the "let's go down to the ocean" sightseeing
trip yesterday. Lunch at Park Chalet after driving (and getting lost for the
445th time) through Golden Gate Park. This all-day route includes both of
MY museums, Land's End and then on down to Pathetica. Beautiful
sunshine time of year here and I wisely asked Sam to drive and that made
all four of us much more relaxed and happy. Now they head to Sonoma
to test the wine for a few days.

Friday, September 27, 2013

who knew?

There is a tiny outdoor (!) cafe across from the huge UCSF hospital on
Parnassus. My friend Joan is here while her husband undergoes some
really nasty surgery. We had lunch yesterday and are in contact via text
and email. The Bay Area is about the best place ever for innovative
treatments and they traveled from Santa Barbara for this necessary and
unpleasant procedure. All fingers crossed, please...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Alice, not in her glory...

The Blogmaid gave me Still Alice on my LindaKindle2® and I resisted the
book because it's all about a brilliant woman who gets early onset Alzheimers.
Despite the grim subject, it's really well-written and I learned a lot about
this horrid disease. It's fiction, but we guess of the thinly veiled variety. So
yes, I do recommend it and yes, I'm really glad that I read about poor Alice.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

back to Monday

SF City Hall
lovely inside elevator

first USA same sex weddings were here

one forgets the beauty
First, I need to report that my muni karma continues and I took the #49 Van
Ness to/fro without waiting for more than 3 minutes and no crazies too
close to me. We only go to City Hall for tax crap, or so it seems, so I forgot
what a glorious building it is. The Blogmaid was married here, it's THAT
pretty. Yes, I felt like a tourist here on Monday, so much better without pages
of incomprehensible forms to hand deliver and puzzle over.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

photos of photos

Thanks to my friend, Bev, over there on the right (Where-to-Guide) I was
able to see the magnificent Bay Bridge photo exhibit in the basement of
our City Hall. Joseph A. Blum is the photographer and is himself one of
those people who works with heavy things way up in the sky. Yikes! We
have not been over the new bridge yet (the East Bay is not exactly a
magnet), but these pictures are so impressive that I know I'll like it better
than expected. There are many, many full-color large photos and I was
all by myself looking at them. That is a shame. Ends this Friday, 9/27.
Free and MORE than worthwhile.

Monday, September 23, 2013

room for one more?

The baby raccoons on this anonymous back deck have all grown up now
and they look fat and sassy. The human who texted this to me can't post this
great photo on Facebook because her/his neighbors are not all (like) "we
love raccoons!" There is special raccoon food available and our mysterious
feeder likes to bond with others who purchase the dinner treat in bulk. Such
a wonderful picture, isn't it?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

my city, in the rain

from the #27 Bryant window

Grant Avenue ~ rain gone

Coffee in North Beach
My goal was to meet Dancing Jen at 3:15 at Brioche (Columbus and Kearny)
in North Beach yesterday. Sooooooo, I had to push myself out in the WTF?
heavy rain, but it miraculously cleared as I was bussing to downtown.
I stopped at Macy's for a couple of necessities and of course they were
having a 20% off sale and that is always welcome news. I love the walk
through Chinatown, crowded sidewalks filled with tourists and natives ~
no English and that's OK by me. So nice being with Jen again, she looks
fabulous, but hates having her photo taken, so I will respect her wishes.
Caught the #12 Folsom quickly and am hoping that my parking karma
has moved on to include Muni karma ~ do you think?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

delish and reasonable!

Last night we met The Great Plotnik and Ducknik at a new restaurant on
Mission Street that we quickly named Cafe Clorox® due to the strong
odor of same. Husbando immediately and persistently suggested that we
head over to Limon on Van Ness, which we did. It was quite wonderful
and we all had red meat (or fish) instead of the chicken that they are famous
for. Above you see my skirt steak ($12) and each of us was more than
happy with the food, service and price. By the time we left Limon was packed
and folks were lined up outside. So nice to catch-up with our friends, too,
they are heading to L.A. and Italy in the very near future. Plottie is going
to Dodger games because they are in the playoffs. Agony awaits him, tee hee...

Friday, September 20, 2013

a trip to the burbs

out the BART window

grilled artichokes ~ not as good as Rome, but pretty

Ginger's new FIT

Main street in P-town
Husbando and I spent a few lovely hours in Pleasanton yesterday, catching
up with Ginger who recently returned from Ashland. Her new car is very
special and we all had a fine time in the warm sunshine. Of course we
ate outside at a restaurant whose name I neglected to jot down. We all
ate too much so I fixed popcorn for dinner last night. That works...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

it's wrapping up

Once again we stayed up way too late watching Broadchurch from
BBC America. It's a fabulous program, but not easy to sleep after
all that tension. There's just something about a big murder in a small
town that's so compelling, especially with the British accents and humor.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

even more about my city

At work we are allowed to read books that we sell, after making sure
that we take care of each and every customer within a five mile radius.
Well, I tend to really concentrate when I read, so it doesn't work out
so well and I hear, "Scuuuuuuuuse me!" more often that I'd like to
admit. I quickly got hooked on this new Cool Gray City of Love and
ended up buying it. The author walks all over San Francisco and the
books is filled with history and musings, well written too.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

our adorable eaglet

Yes, it's RR's costume for Halloween 2013. Very cool indeed! And
this year we don't have to worry about those damn baseball playoffs
and all that World Series nonsense. We can watch other fans suffer
and nibble at their nails, tear out their hair, have sleepless nights.

Monday, September 16, 2013

deep breath

lunch yesterday in the Rose Garden
I thought I'd have more TIME now that I only work part-time, but it seems
like I'm still rushing about doing things and my TO DO List keeps growing.
I still prepare dog food on Monday morning, but I dash out of there and
head home to do errands. Slow down, Ms. Stein, smell the roses on your
1/2 hour lunch break. Sigh.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

man booker 2013 shortlist

Back in my book bs. days we'd be scrambling to order and display these
best-of-current-fiction. Today I haven't even read one of them, but I will:

A Tale of the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Harvest by Jim Crace
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

another busy SF day

Palace of Fine Arts - built in 1915

Pacific Ocean from Land's End
We picked Sam and Olga up at 11 am and headed first to Crissy to show them
where we usually walk. Then to the gorgeous Maybeck's Palace which we simply
forget is there, then through Golden Gate Park and on down to the Great Highway
and Ocean Beach. We had guessed correctly that they needed lots of ocean
this trip. Instead of a REAL lunch we had coffees and sweets at the Cliff
House, then a walk around Land's End, then to the Legion of Honor. Next we
zipped on towards home, showing them Valencia Street where the young
techies hang out, bringing lots of bikes, new stores and restaurants with them.
An early dinner here at Casa Verde to show off our culinary skills (salad,
pesto pasta, coffee and ice cream bars) and another drive down to Fisherman's
Wharf and our sad goodbyes until next time. It was a great visit!

Friday, September 13, 2013

and the fog cleared

the New Zealand crew arrives

view from Pier 23
I don't know if we would have made it to the America's Cup at Pier 27 if
Sam and Olga hadn't been here. But wowza, it was fabulous. Free and not
at all crowded at 10:30 when we met. I don't have time to fix these pix
this morning, but they still wouldn't show the grandeur and beauty of
all of this pageantry on the bay. It was one fine day and a great lunch at
Pier 23, then a walk down to the Ferry Building after lunch. So much
to show off here in SF. Last night we got stuck in traffic heading to the
Mission Rock Resort, so the guests saw the ugly side of our city too.

Today more sightseeing and an early dinner here at Casa Verde. I missed
Tiapos and will need a report ASAP.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

friends from the past

It's been about 20 or so years since we've seen Sam and Olga. We were
franchise owners and very close friends back in the day and we lost our shirts
at the same time and had no money or spirit left to keep in touch. But life
goes on and we have reconnected and they are visiting us now and we
laughed and cried over our mediocre dinner at Fior d' Italia down on Mason.
We were sort of raucous, so we needed space and a pretty setting. They
are staying down at Fisherman's Wharf and this morning we will meet
them at the America's Cup which we need to see before it leaves. Sam and
Olga have always lived in Albuquerque and we have enough memories
to fill several photo albums. We spent a few minutes congratulating ourselves
for climbing up out of the financial and emotional turmoil of the past.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

no getting over it...

One of the reasons I want to get to NYC soon is to pay my respects at the
new World Trade Center memorial. It's so hard to believe that it has been
12 years already. So many changes in all of our lives and yet the stories and
images will stay forever with us. It's good to stop and reflect today.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

our very fave TV reviewer

Tim Goodman used to write for the chronny, but now we track him
down online at The Hollywood Reporter. He writes Bastard Machine
(meaning his TV) and after we watch each episode of the unbelievable
Breaking Bad, I print out his thoughts for Husbando and then email
them to fellow addicts. Recently he wrote about how some shows are
great, but just not compelling, but certainly well worth watching.
We don't drop everything to watch Boardwalk Empire, Treme, etc.
We do stop, no matter what, for Broadchurch, Rectify, Breaking
Bad, Mad Men and a few other superior programs. Plus, Tim is
one fine writer. You'll see...

My one criticism is that he loves some of the Sci. Fi Zombie kind
of TV crap currently so popular. Ignore those reviews, we do.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Ruby Sunday

newish cafe out on Mission near Cortland

Ruby spins
For as long as we have lived here (40 years or so) we keep reading about
"family flight" and how all the young 'uns are going to the burbs, especially
the East Bay where there is sunshine. Then I meet Tanya and Ruby at
Cafe St. Jorge at 8am yesterday. and the place is packed with kids. We
head to the 30th and Sanchez playground and more children of all ages,
races, personalities. It was a really nice morning and I enjoyed getting a
good walk in early and then some fine grown-up talk with Tanya while
Ruby did the run-around thing. She is fearless!

So yesterday the chronny featured yet another article about how families
are fleeing the city. On the way home I pass our nabe Precita Park, again
filled with children and parents. Our own street is probably 50% young
families. I'm sure it's v. difficult to raise children in SF, yet many do it
successfully and at least we have pretty good public transportation and
tons of parks. Husbando suggests people come from the burbs to have
their children play here. Could it be?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

saturday, in the park

I was a little early to work yesterday, so I spent some quality quiet time up
at Stow Lake. I meant to read, but instead I was just content to sit and watch
the ducks, turtles, people ~ even SF is in sunshine mode this month. Lovely...

Saturday, September 07, 2013

talk about temptation

THOSE VOICES  (a Round Robin prompt from 8/21)

Today's Word-of-the-Day is SIREN and the description centers around those
beautiful sea nymphs who lured sailors to their deaths in the rough seas.
They used their gorgeous looks and siren voices to cause destruction.

In my youth the male siren must have been those useless teenage boys
who hung around smoking cigarettes and looking poetically doleful. In
reality they probably couldn't string more than four words together, but
they were indeed cool and so seductive.

I just finished a disturbing article in the New Yorker about Steubenville,
Ohio and those football boys who raped a drunk teenage girl and
then took photos and videos. We read about this so often. The author, a
woman, talks about the "rape culture" and how some young men feel
that they can just take what they need or want. In many small towns
everyone lives for the high school football games so these guys were
heroes, until they weren't. The town was divided on this one.
Sad and sickening.

Boozing is one of the main problems. Big Liquor would fight it, but we
need to educate people that this alcohol siren can be deadly. So fun and
warming with the first few drinks, so horrific when young lives are ruined.

Friday, September 06, 2013

e-mysterious Japan

I'm currently reading Shinju on my LindaKindle2® and it's the perfect
kind of fiction that one can pick-up and read quickly and not linger.
Laura Joh Rowland takes us to 17th century Tokyo where a couple
is found bound together in a river, a presumed suicide pact. Alas,
they didn't know each other so our hero police guy suspects something.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

it just looks like jail

In fact, it's my salvation and I spend half my home life down here in
my office. My world. There is currently deck construction next door,
but SF is always under the care of contractors and fixer-uppers. The
note up there was from my friend Michael's back door ~ the last thing
he would see when he left home.
It's a simple formula; do your best and somebody might like it.
He did his best and his many friends admired him and still miss him
every single day. Today he would loudly say, "do not bomb Syria!"

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

how can this be?

Day #1 - kindergarten

Day #1 - 4th grade
The passage of time is even more dramatic when watching RR grow
up so quickly right before our eyes. She so reminds me of her mom,
her dad and her beautiful sister Claire. Note the very cool wolf
purse and the sox that our Scattered Brain will also love. In November
she will be ten, did I say TEN? Oh, need I tell you that she is an
almost-perfect child? I thought not...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

well worth seeing

We both really liked Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine because it was not the
touristy SF kind of movie. Cate Blanchett is an amazing actor and she
deserves an Oscar for her role as the clueless, soul-less hard drinking, pill
taking ex-socialite from New York. It was filmed here last summer so the
only sun you see is when they film over in Marin. And yes, it deserves
the Big Screen, it's THAT good. (And no, Bev, that's not the Mission Rock
Resort, we both think that was somewhere in Marin.)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

not the best, and yet...

It's British and Michael Kitchen (of Foyle's War) is the bad guy, a sleezey
lawyer about to become a judge. The plot is a little weak and filled with
strange coincidences because the writer must have forgotten that London
is a rather large city, but we forgive because we hate to miss anything
from over there and at least no cars explode. The Guilty is a two disc set
from 1992, and we watched half last night. From the Flix®, of course...