Tuesday, September 30, 2014

bon voyage celebration

Joe and Pamela at his place

delicious lunch at Absinthe

The museum has given me some wonderful friends and here are two
very special ones. We had a delightful time gossiping and laughing
and planning our trip yesterday. Joe lives in the Hayes Valley and
we met and admired his place, then walked to/fro a delicious lunch,
stopping for French macaroons and coffee after lunch. Glorious.

Monday, September 29, 2014

metaphorically speaking


The repairman arrives at night to fix
the telephone wires fried by lightning.
He unscrews a metal box encasing a joint,
and a tangle of colored cords spills out
like a half-remembered dream. It works,
he says. But it will never be the same.
I stand in the road and watch him
drive into the gray dawn, his palm
held open out the window.

Polly Buckingham

The Threepenny Review
Fall 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

what am I reading?

Thanks to the truly Great Plotniks for recommending Americanah, a
beautifully written novel that takes place in Nigeria and America (so
far). Ms. Adichie writes so clearly that I'm immediately transported
to another world on my ready-to-travel LindaKindle2.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

OK, time to binge again

When Dad becomes a woman. Last night we watched two extraordinary
episodes of Transparent and enjoyed the show immensely. It's so current
and so very L.A. (in a good way) and I highly recommend it. Free to
all of us Amazon Primers. Dad has three children, an ex-wife and lots
of challenges along the way as he comes out to the world.

Friday, September 26, 2014

taking Paris by storm

I spent a wonderfully productive yesterday with all the clippings, emails,
reminders, don't miss!, notes scribbled on bookmarks and napkins and
always the map of Paris. A great day. I downloaded Google Translate on
both my iPhone and iPad and used The Fevered Brain's metro website
successfully. Even though we could manage without this prep work, I
just felt better making notes and getting acclimated again to Paris. I also
have our Paris diary from 1986, s-w-e-e-t. And yes, I guess I do think like a blogger...

(The Giants clinched a wild card spot, despite the way they have been
playing lately. Weirdness, but still exciting.)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

very, very special

When the Old Hats curtain came up yesterday, when the dancing and music
started, I just sat for a moment feeling overwhelmingly grateful to be there with
such talent in this wonderful setting. Bill Irwin and David Shiner are clowns
and we loved them in 2001 in Fool Moon. They have not only aged beautifully,
they have included the extremely versatile Shaina Taub as music director.
She is such an asset! This is ACT's opening presentation for this season and
really, it could NOT have been better. We loved every terrific moment -
please consider going, you won't be sorry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

and more from pathetica

inside the award-winning Chit Chat Cafe

black birds on the rocks   

At some point the Blogmaid accused me of thinking like a blogger when
we hit the Chit Chat. I'm sure that was a compliment. Then I met a woman
who fed these big birds every single day, she appeared perfectly normal
but we know better. She was proud that their feathers were so shiny and
at that point I made a polite "gotta go!" exit. Speaking of which, we leave
two weeks from today - wowza.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


the pier, the waves, the sky and the sand with sun


I met the Blogmaid at the (now) award-winning Chit Chat Cafe for the
latte avec bagel/cookie lunch yesterday after dog feeding in the morning.
It was beyond beautiful and warm - we talked of many things, some we
hadn't even covered in our daily emails. It was lovely, on so many levels,
as the Blogmaid might say.

Monday, September 22, 2014

and two more..

We had some furry, well-behaved dogs at the Tiapos meeting in Napa last
Saturday. Dexter is Randy's dog and Olivia belongs to Jane and Jackie Pie.
They added a sweet touch, in my opinion, even though they whined a lot
when I was reading. Too many adverbs? (Photos by Jane Underwood)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

food, sun, laughter

We had a great time in Napa yesterday. The traffic was horrendous, but The
Great Plotnik didn't seem to mind...well, maybe a little. We also had two
Tiapos dogs (Dexter and Olivia) and waaaaaaaaay too much food, all of it
delicious. Thanks to Chef Sarah for letting us take over her delightful home.
Oh yes, we did some reading and commenting too - how lucky am I?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

it's nice, but...

If I'm out walking in the nabe on Sunday or Tuesday (broker day), I will
stop in to see if I can find that unexpected perfect bargain place so Ginger
can move here from Pleasanton. Ha! Here is one at 26th and Mission, not
the greatest spot in SF. It is new and does feature this deck, but we know
from experience that one doesn't use a deck very often here in the wind
and fog. It's a brand new condo, bright and sunny, one bedroom - all yours
for $800,000. I despair, she despairs. And it's probably been snapped up
by now by someone with a fistful of cash. Sigh.

Friday, September 19, 2014

steal from the best

From Linda Davick's blog - last week. She and Tom live out by the ocean
and do a daily beach walk when the sun sets. This time it was later than usual
and so dramatically beautiful that I couldn't help myself. Thank you, dear friend.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

backpack size

Yesterday at work my friend Bette gave me this small (6.5" by 6.5")
book entitled Quiet Paris. I like how it's set up with the different
categories (museums, libraries, cafes, bookshops, etc.) and then in
the back the author, Siobhan Wall, indexes all the places according
to arrondissement. Beautiful color photographs. I am grateful.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

extraordinary people

Are you watching? I'm especially impressed with Eleanor, but we haven't
watched FDR push through Social Security yet, that will be inspiring.
So much history that I either had never known or had forgotten. Great!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

chef stein

I spent three busy hours preparing dog food yesterday and didn't get to
visit any kitties. But I did say hello to Nola and her four pups, only one
of whom has her markings and is clearly her fave. She is known as
Fierce Mom and we all keep our distance until her litter is bigger and
a bit more independent.

Monday, September 15, 2014

the count down

Once in a while it really hits
people that they don't have to
experience the world in the way
they have been told to.
-Alan Keightley
Yesterday I worked the short and boring morning shift at the DY,
then I met Dancing Jen for coffee and some pre-planning. We are
both getting excited. We leave on October 8th and it appears that I
won't be missing any Giants post-season excitement. We decided 
to go to the opera and the cemetery. See? We do have our list started.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

from bloodshed to sorrow

We realized that the Giants were not exactly in winning mode last night as
the Dodgers ran all over them in the eventual 17 to zip (zero, 0, nada) loss.
So we watched The Past, a sad film from the folks who brought us A
Separation. As Husbando pointed out mid-way through this French movie.
"not one smile" and alas, he was right. It's a downer  and we do not
recommend it for sane people who want to remain so. Plus they speak
muddled French, unlike myself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

the 3-Dot Lounge

by Bruce Jenkins, today's chronny

I arrived at AT&T Park Friday night in a daze, on the brink of nausea.
I’d just heard a couple of chatty guys, TomTolbert and Ray Ratto
rendered speechless on KNBR after imparting the details of Adrian 
Peterson’s assault — that’s the only word for it — on his 4-year old son.
I’d call it the most heinous development in the NFL’s worst week, but
 that wouldn’t be a safe assumption. There’s probably no end to the
madness. I do know that I’m worn out. I’ve never been more delighted 
about not covering the NFL, going on 25 years now, and even for those
immersed in the sport’s suffocating climate, there’s nothing left but Sundays.
That’s not enough. Give me a ballgame.

Setting up in the press box around 4:30, I saw Mike Krukow at his familiar
post behind the batting cage. His debilitating condition makes every 
movement an adventure these days, but he gets down there all the same, 
just to feel the game, maybe learn a little something from batting practice.
There’s Tim Lincecum in the clubhouse, wearing the confident look of 
a rotation mainstay. He’s lost that gig, but he’ll never stop believing, and 
just forget any rumors about the Giants leaving him off the postseason
roster, should they reach October. Won’t happen. He’s meant far too 
much to the franchise, and sentiment will be only a marginal factor 
in the strategy. The man has accomplished far too much when it 
matters, and everyone in the clubhouse knows it.

Talk in the press lounge turns to the half-dozen prospects who have the
Giants so excited about next year, notably JoePanik and Andrew Susac
Baseball people talk about the five “tools,” but the way Duane Kuiper  
sees it, there are additional tools for interview presence and general
demeanor. “All these guys have the seventh tool,” said Kuiper.
“Meaning, they aren’t tools.”

Yasiel Puig is a major tool, in an oddly endearing sort of way, and his 
flighty flamboyance captures the 2014 version of Dodgers-Giants. T
maybe that’s true, but Bochy is routinely handed a clubhouse full of 
selfless team players who cherish that one-for-all mentality and tend 
to come together in a crisis.

Mattingly works under the handicap of simmering discord, whether 
it’s Puig’s preposterous fundamentals (he threw home for no good
reason on Hunter Pence’s RBI single to center in the first inning, 
allowing Pence to take second), Matt Kemp allowing agent
Dave Stewart to publicly recommend a trade, at least five 
outfielders feeling they should be playing every day, or the 
notoriously temperamental Hanley Ramirez denying nearly 
every interview request for weeks as he heads for the free-agent market.
Such lovely contrast — and perhaps an indication of nothing. Try to 
locate some Dodger vulnerability when Clayton Kershaw pitches on 
Sunday. For one night, though, those “Beat L.A.!” chants proved 
 worthy accompaniment to a convincing 9-0 win. Everyone’s hitting, 
Madison Bumgarner is king, and Panik looks like Buster Posey’s
little brother. Baseball never felt so good.

And, oh yes, Giants 9, Dodgers 0. Sorry, Great Plottie!
(Game tonight is at 6pm)

Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm 5 and 1

Yes, you are probably tired of this photo that so resembles the other five.
We won again yesterday and Ginger and I sat in the warm sun and talked
about everything until about the 6th (or so) inning when we plugged in
our radios to get some details. It's our last game in person and we are already
talking about 2015, maybe even traveling to enemy territory. I said that
I'd like to go to San Diego to see Tanya and family, so let's look forward
to that. In the meantime, the blue scumsucking Dodgers arrive for three
games and we are all very nervous. We are two games behind. Scary.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

workshop #1

We met at Karen's home in Glen Park last night, it's about 12 minutes
from Casa Verde, so that works well. Four women and four men and
Karen. Coffee, tea or water. Everyone is working on a novel and (like
me) has been for a few years. Janet said that it's too daunting to call
hers a novel and we all nodded and said that STORY works just as
well. Jeff uses Scrivener and I've looked at that and felt a bit over-
whelmed, but I might try it again. When a writer has this many words
and pages, it does get confusing.

I have been Ellen-writing every day and will present some of it
to Tiapos tonight.  So far I have 2,000 words and I'm happy with
that. Karen said to consider "a Sprint" every week or so, when one
devotes an entire day to the writing project. No internet (what?) or
other outside influences.

In the meantime, I found this quote in my Ellen file:
Find a subject you care about and which you in hour heart feel others
should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not our games wth
language that will be the most compelling and seductive element in
your style...

An aside - I feel so comfortable with other writers - thanks Tiapos!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

getting Ellen organized

Husbando is being very kind by allowing me to take over the dining room.
Yesterday I started yet another first draft, changing and adding a lot of new
things, along with some old Ellen phrases and intertwining her emails to
her friends and neighbors. I do need to figure out a timeline here, but I am
sure that will happen. Tonight is my first "finish your novel" workshop!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

posh housing

Some loving volunteer spent a few hours on these Victorians for the
SPCA. I like the resident down there on the front step watching over
the neighborhood. We all have and value those citizens in our own nabes...

Monday, September 08, 2014

currently reading

Ms. French is one of my fave mystery authors. The Secret Place takes
place in Dublin (Ireland, not California) and it's on my LindaKindle2
and I am loving it and hoping that my Ellen novel can at least be 1/8th
as pleasurable to read someday.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

don't say this...

...in Wichita:

Plenty of kind, decent, caring people have no religious beliefs,
and they act out of the goodness of their hearts. Conversely, 
plenty of people who profess to be religious, even those who 
worship regularly, show no particular interest in the world 
beyond themselves.
-John Danforth, priest, ambassador, senator (b. 1936) 

But lordy, it needs to be said, doesn't it?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

tres chic?

My big French feet. I know Dancing Jen will be eager to see these every
day in Paris. Nike® running shoes, 12 pair of black sox and Sketcher®
slip-ons for some fancy footwork in the 6th. I do NOT want to even think
about what I'm wearing on this glorious trip to the most fashionable city
on earth. Yes, we are less than five weeks away from take-off.

Friday, September 05, 2014

welcome to...

The Monkey House - and some really bad photography. The Plotniks drove
me to/fro Berkeley last night and we loved hearing our very own Eric tell a
story about when he first came to SF and lived in the Tenderloin. He was
terrific as were a couple of the other story tellers. It really was a lovely
evening and made me appreciate the writing life in general and Tiapos
specifically. Also, being in Berkeley was a pleasure.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

every single street?

I heard someone on the radio suggest that if we ever need a city flag it
should be of/with the Orange Cone. I mean we know all this work needs doing,
and we rejoice (ahem) that there is the money for repairs, but good god, this
entire city is a mess of under construction, road closed, use another street,
flashing arrows, traffic back-ups, irritated drivers and mayhem. The other
morning it took me over an hour to get to the Legion of Honor - a 25 minute
drive in the good old days of potholes and backed-up sewers. Oh, the
dreaded blue double and triple PG&E trucks too - let's not forget those...

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

did you say 5th grade?

Wowza - Ryan (RR) looks beautiful on her BTS (back to school) day.
The Blogmaid's report last night was very favorable and all went very
well - great teachers, fun classmates and then some horse riding
after school. What's not to love?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

let's party!

chicken with yummy curry sauce

Jim and the Great Plottie (host)

lot's of food and folk (taken before the crowds)
Usually I have to work on Labor Day, but yesterday the museums were
closed, so we enjoyed a delightful BBQ and social time with the Duck
and Plottie and hundreds of their friends, all connected by the Noe Valley
Voice publication. Well, we read it religiously, but others contribute with
writing, ad selling, crossword puzzles and design. A delightful group and
gorgeous sunny weather.

Monday, September 01, 2014


It's appropriate to show the clock here too. This is my Ellen file, remember
the heroine looking for her sister? Well, it is a mish-mash, it needs lots
and lots of work. But Ellen never really goes away, she has wormed a
hole in my heart and quite a few people encourage me to keep working on
this piece of (ahem) fiction. At one point I approached one of my favorite
teachers about helping me privately, but the cost was prohibitive. Well,
this teacher emailed me yesterday that she has an opening in her novel writing
workshop and yes, I will be going. It begins Sept. 10th, and I am very,
very excited. We will meet every two weeks in Karen's Glen Park home
and now I'm thinking that Ellen will be going to Paris at some point during
her sister search.  More adventure - more, more, more!