Tuesday, December 31, 2013

how do you spell e-x-c-e-s-s?

Part of my Christmas Rant at the annual Tiapos party was about these horrid
inflatables that melt down to plastic puddles every morning. This is a hone
in San Leandro where Eric lives and the photo he sent just makes me queasy,
in a laughable Oh Lordy! sort of way.  OK, let's go 2014...we are ready.

Monday, December 30, 2013

grits is/are comfort food

Ginger, Husbando and I had a nice long walk on Cortland yesterday ~ a
bright, sunshiny Sunday in SF. Then continued walking over to Mission
where we turned our noses up at a few restaurants because of the noise
factor. Ended up, thankfully, at the Front Porch for these exquisite brunch
dishes. I had a traditional egg breakfast and Husband loved the shrimp
and grits. Ginger had some vegan dish but kept begging me for my bacon,
so we needn't worry about her. Home for a nap and cracked crab ~ does it
get any better?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

some quirky fun

We streamed this on the Flix® last night. Frances Ha is a young woman
living in NYC and trying to become a dancer. She is a delight, but not in
a cute or flirty way, she is just trying to find her place in life. It is well
worth seeing because it is so real ~ for instance she moves about eight
times in a year and flies off to Paris when she can least afford to. Enjoy...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

not quite a foodie post...

Mister Husbando and the Mrs. walked down a few blocks to the Hillside
Restaurant where he treated her to a large and delicious dinner to celebrate
their 44th Anniversary. Yes, to all you doubters from the past (most of
whom have passed on through this vale of tears) we are still married,
still laughing and appreciating one another, and never/never arguing about
stupid little things. The staff made a nice fuss over us as we enjoyed the
scallops, venison pot pie and each other. L-U-V is the answer...but we
do argue about stupid little things, just in case you were wondering.

Friday, December 27, 2013

a trilogy to admire

We watched Before Midnight on Christmas night and it was a perfect ending
to a lovely day. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy ten years later with twin girls
and loads of worries and regrets. So true to life. We loved the first two films
(Before Sunrise and Before Sunset) and this, though sometimes difficult
to watch, was stunning and perfect as the couple vacations in Greece. If
you haven't seen these movies yet, you are in for a treat. Beautiful.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

a merry, merry day!

ooops, I missed the turkey, but it was there

We had a delightful time in Pumpkinville yesterday ~ lots and lots of
delicious food, interesting people and joy all around us. Thank you to
the Blogmaid and her Bill for hosting all of us and for proving once
again that men do belong in the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

many celebrations

the mini last Sunday night

nightly glow
Today we are fortunate enough to be going down to Pumpkinville for the BIG
celebration with the Blogmaid and family ~ photos tomorrow. We decided
that we needed a small turkey of our own, however, for sandwiches and the
husband makes a tettrazini (sp?) with leftover bird. I don't care for the latter,
but what is better than a turkey sandwich with mayo and cranberry sauce
and some lettuce so we get our greens? Life is very, very good ~ take care
of yourselves, dear readers. Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

december in the nabe

I did have a fine walk on Sunday and with this last photo we remember
why artists have always moved to SF. The light, the shadows ~ the kind
of beauty that even inflatable Santas can't diminish.

Monday, December 23, 2013


I think that instead of those stupid marriage quizzes in magazines, a
couple should try to work together to install some piece of electronics
with lots of instructions ~ cords, knobs and knurls of all sizes and
colors. Over the years we have learned how to talk each other down
when it all seems impossible. It can be done and yesterday we hooked
up a new DVD player and yes, we felt quite smug and proud. I will
admit that the electronics have gotten easier over the years and now
we just have a lot of unused cords hanging out of the TV, but we
are afraid to remove anything "just in case."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

and this is final!

Tiapos with our add-ons. Note that Susie Parker's sweater was the one given
to her by Mrs. Scott. Also note happy smiles because we had just been so
nasty-cranky and blasphemous about this tedious holiday season. OK,
tomorrow I will move onward and am taking my iPhone on a walk today,
for photo purposes, that is.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

tiapos ~ complete

Here we are, the writing group at the home of The Great Plotniks. I just
love learning how irritable these holidays can make us all and how much
we need each other for love and laughter. Thank you, Linda, for the
great photography work and to everyone who appreciates the wretched
excess that is Christmas in America. Is it February yet?

Friday, December 20, 2013

the colonel & the writers

Here are just a couple of photos from our annual Tiapos party last night ~
what a wonderful time! There were about 15 of us and I think that the
writing (2nd Annual Rant about Xmas) was some of the best ever. The
food was exceptional and after I bug Doug to send me his photos I
will show you some more tomorrow.  It is soooooo nice of Doug and
Barb to host this every year because we are a loud and messy bunch.
I do want to say that the three new people (Linda, Randy and Hedi) have
added so much to our group this year. Such a special evening, truly.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

praising the enemy

I know that Amazon helped kill Borders, but really I continue to blame
top management for bad decisions there. And yet, I'm a huge fan of
Amazon and after coffee or lunch with Dancing Jen one day, I decided
to become a Prime member too. For $85 a year I get all sorts of freebies,
including shipping and handling and now streaming of movies, just
like Netflix®. I set it up last night on our TV and only had to call the
Amazon help desk once, almost a record, technology-wise.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

this speaks to me...

not my closet, honest, this is a stock photo, as they say

Clothes in the Closet

Limp as dishcloths, they hang, useless in the backs of closets—
jackets or dresses or shifts worn in years gone by. You might,
you once thought, wear them again: that fashion might return,
you might gain or lose weight, feel as swaggering or slightly
demure. Lift shoulders, cross legs. You might try on the past
as costume just to look in the mirror to see who it was who
wore it. Some have disappeared in boxes to Goodwill. Some
have been turned into rags. But some are draped in plastic
and hang there year after year. They evoke extraordinary
days—occasions for velvet or brocade. For a while there
are the usual illusions of return, but ultimately, they are
painful reminders that they won't ever fit, not so much
because of the body's vagaries, but because even parody
is impotent against the time that time has become.

Martha Ronk

Transfer of Qualities
Omnidawn Publishing

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

red hats on 24th street


A nice surprise yesterday when I went to the gym. And the dogs and cats
are moving out quickly from the SPCA, so all is right with the world. I
work these next three days in a row, but I'm OK because the annual Tiapos
xmas party is Thursday night. Lots of ho, ho, ho there!

Monday, December 16, 2013

female friends Sunday

subtle gift-giving from Dancing Jen

Ruby is almost two...
...and her eyes are still as blue as that nearby water bottle. I had such a
nice Sunday ~ first with Dancing Jen with whom I'll be going to Paris
with (yes, in the Fall!) and then with Tanya and Ruby. Coffee, of course,
on busy Cortland and then to the park for some sand play and socializing.
Husbando baked a luscious ham for dinner so I'll have sandwiches for
the work week ahead. All is running smoothly, including Ken (the car).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

my sunday

morning ~ coffee with Dancing Jen

afternoon - walk with Tanya and Ruby
I need a new Ruby photo and hope to capture that this afternoon.
Now I need to scurry and decide whether I want Bart or bus to
get to Target. Will others be downtown? Everyone in a good mood?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

christmas light

Well, I am trying to figure out what I LIKE about the holidays and it boils
down to lights and cards from people all over,  some we haven't seen in 50
years or so. So no tree this year and, I hope a fun dinner in Pumpkinville.
Now we have our two red light districts here in Casa Verde ~ also a wreath
on the front door with a big red bow. Oh, I LOVE the fake candles (see
one in corner, bottom photo) that seem to flicker and have 5 hour timers
and suddenly xmas is doable for this conflicted woman of no faith but
boringly deep emotions. Sigh.

Friday, December 13, 2013

'tis the season

...of too much. Where do they store these mothers during the year?
I'm about to write The Second Annual Christmas Rant for our Tiapos
party next week and I think I would like to include these overwhelming
guys. Our best holidays were way back when we would escape to
Europe and wander around in the glorious cold admiring the fact
that they didn't overdo the red and green and sparkle and on and on...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

desserts that dazzle

I met Gini for lunch at Noeteca yesterday and it was all lovely indeed.
Good walking weather here in SF, and then, later in the day, Original Ken
was returned to us and he looks and acts like a brand new car. Today I
hit the LOH and yes, I can do it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


That first faulty blogger alert was emailed to some of my faithful readers
before I was ready for anything, really. I was just fooling around with
a poem (not mine) about baseball and I couldn't get the spacing right.

Did you know that I'm going to Spring Training again? In March with
Ginger. I'm sick of football, not that I watch it, but it's hard to avoid.

Today I'm going to 24 LITE to get back onto the bike and to pump
just a little iron, as they say. It's so easy not to go and with all the Ken
(car) problems, the trip to Santa Barbara and working a bit too much.
Oh yes, then we have holiday stuff and lists, you know the drill.

I'm having lunch with Gini later and then home to hit the Grisham
novel and address a few xmas cards. So that's it, you get two alerts today!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

belated b.day in the sun

So nice being with Doug and Barb again yesterday out at the Mission
Rock Resort. Too cold to sit outside, alas, but at least we could look
out on the Bay. We all love this birthday tradition, even though it
was about two months late for Doug's actual DOB.

Monday, December 09, 2013

take me to Mississippi

There is no better author for palette-cleansing than John Grisham
and he is just what I needed after finishing The Goldfinch and loving
it so much. Sycamore Row is on my LindaKindle2 and I'm caught
up in this legal drama about a wealthy white man who leaves
everything to his black housekeeper after he hangs himself. See
what I mean? A perfect holiday treat!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

other views of this world

Last night we were both impressed with The Reluctant Fundamentalist
from the Flix®. It tells the story of a Pakistani professor who is torn by
his love for America and his experiences in his homeland where the CIA
has some (ahem) influence.  Enthralling...

(My Lyft experience yesterday was positive and I got a ride home from
Sabrina, so it all worked out and Ken goes in for open heart surgery tomorrow.)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

joining the Lyft community

Poor Ken looks GREAT on the outside, but he is having some engine
problems with two red lights going on and off on his dashboard. He is
going in hospital for surgery on Monday and we will rent a car, but in the
meantime I just joined Lyft and will ride to/fro the Legion today and this
will be an experience. I have huge admiration for the young 'uns who
came up with this community concept of ride sharing and I'm looking
forward to not driving today. Coming home in the dark and rain last
night was harrowing and I thank dear Tanya for keeping me sane!

Friday, December 06, 2013

one of the very few...

...truly great human beings who inspired us all and still does.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work 
with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
-Nelson Mandela, activist, South African president,
Nobel Peace Prize (1918-2013)
Rest in Peace

Thursday, December 05, 2013

starbux by the bay

Cold and clear here in SF. I met Ginger for coffee and chit chat yesterday
and it was perfect in the sunshine, but brrrrrrr in the shade. It's convenient
for us to meet at the Embarcadero, she BARTS from Pleasanton and I
from 24th and Mission. In the morning Husbando and I "did" Costco
and yes, we had a great time roaming about and discussing how/why they
have moved the merchandise around just to confuse us.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

birthday over

Time to take down the wonderful cards ~ that's the best part, isn't it? And I
hearby resolve to do better about sending them in 2014. Somehow it just
doesn't work as well with the internet, much as I love it for other things.
And I will decorate for the Christmas, yes I will...

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

back on the streets

I won't have as much time this year to volunteer for the SPCA at
Macy's windows, so I put in two easy hours yesterday. We are
already above Plan from last year with the adoptions ~ I don't
know about donations, but people are VERY generous and this
is the best way I know of to get into the holiday spirit.