Friday, January 31, 2014

the "envelope poems"

I was overwhelmed yesterday when this book came into my life. Thank
you, thank you, to Anna at Dutch Hill Farm. This glorious book of
Emily Dickinson's actual writing on recycled envelopes was published
last year after literary historian Marta L. Werner spent about 20 years
collecting and transcribing the text so the reader can see exactly what
the poet wrote in her deliberate way. It's a visual treat too, almost like
a small (52 pieces) art gallery exhibit. The Gorgeous Nothings is a
treasure and I plan to keep it out in the living room, right next to my
very old and well-used book of Ms. Dickinson's poems. Gratitude.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

playing on The Google

Our writing group Tiapos meets tonight and here is a line from the featured
writer's piece, "Just imagine who stays at the Motel 6 on Christmas Eve in
Manteca, the working poor and the lumpen." I checked my American Heritage
Dictionary and no go, no lumpen. So on to The Google where we learn that
this word relates to the dispossessed, often referred to as Lumpenproletariat,
from German origins. So now, back to Manteca, California, on xmas eve...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ahhhhhhh, goodbye

Pete Seeger lived a good, long time ~ 94 years. I was reviewing his life
this morning and just admiring how much he gave to us all as he
fought for the common man and woman. I think Potus was influenced
by him, too, in his State of the Union speech last night. He was in a
fighting mood and I think we'll see some progress in the months to
come. Raising the minimum wage is a good start ~ it's $10.50 here in
SF and our economy is thriving. Plus that keeps out Walmart and that's
a very good thing. Vultures. RIP and thank you, Pete Seeger.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ruby sunday

Who needs hi-tech toys? There was a small puddle of water at Precita Park
on Sunday and Ruby is lucky enough to have a mom who brought a long a
change of clothes and an understanding of buckets and mud pies. A pleasant
time for all and once again the playground was packed. All this constant
news about families leaving SF ~ just hit any city park on a weekend and
you'll see tons of children. Maybe they are bussed in?

Monday, January 27, 2014

stepping back into the past

Tosca Cafe has been opened again for about three months and is now
owned by some NY chef. It looks the same inside ~ dark and romantic in
an old fashioned way. We met our friends John and Mary there last night,
no reservations accepted, so we lined up at 5pm and had a perfect corner
booth where we could watch all the activity. It was a little dark inside and
then it got a little noisy, but all in all it was a delightful experience. The
food? Very good. The chicken takes an hour and is not as wonderful as
Zuni, but the meatballs were special and the lamb ribs tasty. Luscious
salad, too, with some pungent blue cheese hunks.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Tom Hanks portrays Captain Richard Phillips in this true life story about
the four Somali pirates who take over his cargo ship. Of course Hanks is great,
but there is some fabulous acting from "the pirates" and we are able do see
how miserable their daily lives are and why they are willing to risk so much.
Captain Phillips just came out on DVD and the Flix® will mail it to you.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

the spoils of wharf visit

The freshest crab possible ~ and we know that "they" have been working
on cleaning up the Bay in recent years, so this seemed like the tastiest
crab ever. Luscious, really, especially when dipped in a garlic butter
concoction and accompanied by a green salad and Acme sourdough bread.
The good life.

Friday, January 24, 2014

did I miss the apocalypse?

Eerie, Fisherman's Wharf without tourists? This was about 10am this morning
and we went down to inspect the street remo and to buy some crab for supper
tonight. Not a soul was stirring for about an hour as we walked around, peering
into tee shirt shops and bemoaning the fact that Applebee's had moved in.
But then, where did we have lunch? In-n-Out burgers and that place was packed
by 11:30. Oh, yes, we found free and easy parking too. Still love this city!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

do-gooder with conflicts

This long play could have used some crucial editing, but George Bernard
loved wordy speeches and too many characters. But still, there were some
good lines and the actors were terrific and we are so fortunate to have live
theater that we didn't complain too much. Major Barbara is BIG in the
soul saving army and her father makes ammunitions, so friction occurs.
An ACT production, through Feb. 2nd. (The Salvation Army was established
in London in 1865 and has helped millions of people. There, a plug.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

how late it was...

We stayed up waaaaaaaaay too late last night watching the PBS
documentary on J.D. Salinger. Fascinating man and now I feel that
I need to go back and read every wonderful thing he wrote because
I was clueless back in the day. And yes, Joyce Maynard was included
and we remember when she was 19 and he 54 and they lived together
in not-so-splendid isolation. An interesting man, shaped by war and fame.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

one very nice Monday

first to the SPCA
rhen lunch and a movie with the Blogmaid

coffee with Ruby and friends on Valencia Street
Sometimes work is easier than the days off, but not as pleasant, of course.
After the dog feeding, I met Ms. Blogmaid out on West Portal where we
had a quick lunch (chicken wrap) and then this odd Her movie about a man
who falls in love with the voice on his computer. It gave me a lot to think
about and yes, I do recommend it. Then I hopped on over to Valencia
Street to meet Chris, Mark, Tanya, Ruby, Lucybelle and baby Flora.
Ruby is two now and she is a delight! I left the house at 8am and dragged
in about 6pm, but I had a lot to "share" with Husbando.

Monday, January 20, 2014

49ers lose - baseball soon?

Yesterday the Niners did not play as well as the Seahawks and we will not
be going to the Super Bowl. That does not upset us, I mean it's not
baseball, for heaven's sake. I worked most of the day, but got home in
time to see some messy interceptions and assorted grown man silliness.
Our Giants pitchers and catchers will report in less than 30 days...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

don't call it class warfare

We finally watched this excellent movie last night. (DVD - Flix®) and
recommend it highly. Robert Reich clearly explains the many issues
surrounding the widening economic gap in America. He is often on TV
and we remember him as the US Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton and
he is also a professor over at UC Berkeley. Inequality for All really needs
to be seen, even by the 1% who hold sooooooo much money and do
not create jobs. A strong middle class creates jobs - you'll see.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

last night ~ all dessert

chocolate pie

across the street from the SF Jazz Center

start with salad at South
Mary Stallings - so wonderful
For the tediously happy holidays I gave Husbando an evening at the one
year old Jazz Center on Franklin. We took the glamorous #49 Van Ness
bus and then had a fine dinner (fried chicken for him and oxtails for me)
at South, the restaurant inside the Center. The concert started at 7:30 and
it was one of our favorite jazz singers from our good old bar hopping days.
Mary Stallings may move a little slower, but to our ears her voice was
even better and her diction absolutely perfect. She was accompanied by
Eric Reed, a superb piano player who was one of those child prodigies
at age two. Our front row balcony seats were only $25 each (imagine)
and then we took Lyft home for $12. Who says SF is expensive? Well,
of course dinner was costly, but we deserved it, and really, it was such
a memorable evening. We will return! Oh, the concert was sold out, how
very special is that?

Friday, January 17, 2014


Oooooooh, we found a delightful new police show on the Flix®. It's
called Spiral and there are (like) five seasons or so. It's in French with
yellow subtitles and we love zipping around Paris solving crimes and
causing problems. We stream it ~ so much easier than fussing with
those annoying old fashioned DVDs. Tee hee.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

goodbye, Mr. Hockney

This exhibit closes next Monday and, as always, it is quite horrible to work
the final week of any major show. How could we be out of (you name it)
and really, do I look like I make any of those decisions? Oh, such tiresome
customers. I almost ran out of snide yet subtle ways of saying, "don't wait
until the last moment," but I tried to be nice. On the other hand, we have
done the same thing, I just try not to blame others, or so I hope. Onward...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

what did I discover?

My Monday SPCA experience wasn't all that discouraging. One
woman spent the morning heating the innards of pads in the
microwave so that the cats could have about 12 hours of warmth.
I imagine they use them for the small dogs too. I know many cat
owners who use the electric heating pads, but this invention
seems safer, especially in old SF houses with questionable
wiring from the 1920's.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

no renovation is easy

I couldn't even bring myself to take photos of the SPCA yesterday in
the temporary buildings they are using. The dogs and cats are in the
old hospital and I'm afraid it's back to cages and cement walls. Oh,
the sorrowful barking that reverberates. They have cut back on "inventory"
and because it's so cold, the little dogs (and we have many) stay in
the new hospital and then they bring them over when the people come
to adopt them. We work in one community kitchen and because we
are morning people we are not the most sociable, but oddly enough,
we are getting to know each other and that part is interesting. This is
scheduled to be finished in March, but we all know how that goes.
In the meantime I fell in love with a 3-legged dog named Sugar.

Monday, January 13, 2014

sunday morning worship

It's 10am and most of SF is glued to the 49er game (we won), while
Husbando and I and another couple are watching big screen movie
previews. Oh, heaven, with popcorn and great anticipation because
American Hustle is one of the most-talked about films this season.
We were definitely not disappointed ~ it is just terrific, and the screen
writing is almost as perfect as the acting. And then last night we got
to see all our new friends again at the Golden Globes.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

more than just fluff

I just felt like some light romantic comedy flick last night, but Love
Is All You Need had some unexpected twists and turns and it was
much more than we anticipated. It mostly takes place in Sorrento,
Italy and who can get enough of beautiful villas by the sea?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Zuni, oh my!

the generous hosts

Barb's pizza ~ thinnest crust EVER dessert - yum
Hmmmm, I was too busy eating yesterday to get photos of the luscious
Cesar salad, my burger, Husbando's sausage dish ~ you'll have to trust me
that Zuni provided about the best lunch ever. The Great Plotniks treated for
my annual déjuner and my only job was to use my karma for a parking
place. That was iffy for about 7 minutes, but then Plottie decided to read
the No Parking sign and we were exempt until 3pm. Success. We had a
beautiful upstairs table with lots of light and room to wave our elbows
about. Very wonderful, many thanks to the extra Great Plotniks.

Friday, January 10, 2014

tulips, cameras, poetry (and a cat)

courtesy of the Blogmaid
Photographs of Flowers
In the morning, the red tulips
are closed, but when I return
at night, their petals are open
and looking for light, black centers
exposed, pinprick pupils.
I want to photograph them
and the flowering trees along
the street, the pear blossoms
and the magnolias. The petals
are already tearing off
and being blown into the road.
The park is full of people
holding cameras out in front
of them like maps. How close
can they zoom in on a petal,
a bee, a stamen. This is almost
like pornography, the flower
lying there, open before
our eyes, the camera we crouch
with. The flower's stillness,
and our scrutiny, our breathing.
Those we love, we pose them
in front of flowers, petals next
to their faces. This is how we
talk to them about their beauty.

Hannah Stephenson

In the Kettle, the Shriek
Gold Wake Press

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

now on the bookshelves!

SharedBook spit out the 2013 edition of No More Commas Period for
under $100 and Husbando is currently reading it and probably making
some mental corrections along the way. I do love seeing "the year in
print" and reliving all that we did (and didn't do) and making my own
mental notes to avoid some of my more tiresome topics in 2014. It's
good that I do this daily blogging, if only for the two of us here in
Casa Verde. It was a good year, all in all...

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

our very small town

This bedraggled snowman is getting a lot of press in the SF Chronny.
I snapped his photo on xmas day in Precita Park as I was taking a
nice walk before heading down to Pumpkinville. Turns out that some
nabe brought a lot of snow back from Donner and kept adding on to
his cold frame as he melted away in the December sunshine. And now
he's the talk of the town...

Monday, January 06, 2014

a little church in The Bronx

Yesterday we went to the San Francisco Playhouse to see Storefront Church
by John Patrick Shanley.  We both loved the two act play featuring Carl
Lumbly, Rod Gnapp and a few other of our favorites. It's a story of a lost
preacher and his confused congregation and it turns out that the message
is that our job is to care about the least of our brothers and sisters. Hmmmm,
that makes sense, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

eight episodes of intrigue

Annika Bengtzon is a crime reporter in Stockholm and we have been
watching her heroics every night this week. We stream on the Flix®
and after dinner we say, "let's go to Sweden," and tonight will be
the final episode. We will miss you, Annika, thanks for getting us
over the holidays so nicely.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

movie day!

in preparation

Part of the gifting to the Blogmaid was for us to see Philomena, so we
did that yesterday in Stonestown. Not a "nice" theater, but it enabled us to
lunch at the Food Court there and do a bit of smart shopping...about 1/2
hour each. I had a delightful time and Judi Dench will probably win the
Oscar for her role as a woman searching for her son that she gave up for
adoption fifty years ago. It takes place in Ireland and Washington, DC
and yes, we recommend it highly.

Friday, January 03, 2014

blogging women unite

I first heard about this book on my dear Linda Davick's blog, so I
plunked it into my LindaKindle2 and am lost in Canada and Japan,
with a side stop in Sunnyvale, CA. A Tale for the Time Being is
a multi-layered novel about a young girl in Japan who writes a
journal that is found by a woman living in a desolated spot of
Canada. Then this very morning my friend Susan (who blogs as
The All of It over there on the right) wrote to tell me that she is
listening to this book by Ms. Ozeki and she recommends it highly.
OK, are you convinced? It's one fine and compelling story...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

starting it off just right

birthday Blogmaid and RR

RR and her cousin Jade

then a lot to see in SF

"we don't want no yuppie scum"
We celebrated the of the Blogmaid down at Tam's in Pathetica and
that was very pleasant indeed. Husbando and I ate too much and we ended
up just having popcorn for dinner. But after the huge Chinese lunch, we
came home and took separate walks ~ I discovered a minor demonstration
with more police than marchers, all anti-techie stuff that is happening
here, changing our city in ways not too many people approve of. The
landlords and developers are benefiting from that fact that SF is a small,
small big city with too many people looking for too few places to live.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

it's 2014 ~ already?

RR always adds sparkle

our New Year's Eve

As faithful readers know, we splurge once a year on an expensive roast
beef and yes, we like it rare. We love these quiet celebrations because
we have so much to be thankful for and we look forward to this brand
new year. Special wishes today for our Blogmaid ~ who could
ask for a more perfect friend?