Sunday, November 30, 2014

my kind of woman

I always try to sit at this bench in Golden Gate Park during my lunch
breaks from the deYoung. It takes a lot of courage to let the world
know that one is an Atheist - maybe not so much in SF, but this most
certainly would not be a popular sentiment in most places east of here.
Thank you, Barbara, whoever you might be or have been...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

a marriage celebration

We went back to Paris last night while watching Le Week-End on
Amazon Prime. It's a comedy, but when people are celebrating
their 30th anniversary, there can be some sorrows too. A few
bad memories for Jim Broadbent  and Lindsay Duncan, two
fine actors, but lots of laughs along the way. And a surprise ending!

Friday, November 28, 2014

one delightful day

g. dot Ceci at work

treasured guest Jennie
We so enjoyed our guests, the food and the added treat of Ceci helping us
with the last minute preparations. She and I did the dishes and we were
all tucked in our beds by 9pm. Children and g. kids called and oh yes,
we are more than thankful. And this morning the house still smells good...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chinese pancakes?

The Great Plotniks just loved this little restaurant out at 19th and Taraval
and now we do too. The House of Pancakes is no iHop, that's for sure. Even
though the specialty is pancakes (with beef, pork, etc. filling), we also had
some other delicious Chinese food (pork buns) and brought home a big
container of noodles and beef for our dinner tonight. Highly recommended,
cash only, lovely and friendly service.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

and back to books...

I'm almost to the end of The Other Typist on my LindaKindle2 and
yes, I am enjoying it. A young woman back in the 1920's works in
a police station, typing up confessions and smoking cigs. She starts
going to speakeasies, drinking imported champagne cocktails and
listening to jazz. Damned. It is fun to get the woman's point of
view during Prohibition, even if she has to pay the price of Liberation.

Monday, November 24, 2014

where the Sun King reigned

always lines here, but great people watching

Dancing Jen and a touch of gold

interior - a tad lavish

the gardens are the best!
Versailles is 35 min. away from Paris and well worth the quick train trip.
Thanks again to Jen for getting me here/there/everywhere. As you remember
from your history books, Louis XIV spent a fortune on this palace with
perfectly manicured gardens and a special little hamlet and palace for
Marie-Antoinette (which is a good half hour or so walk and lovely on
a sunny day) and do plan to spend the entire day here. When I visited
eons ago with Husbando it was rainy and grey, so I was grateful to return
and see this spectacular sight on a sunny day - what a difference. This
is part of the Museum Pass, but you will still have to wait in line...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

happy 11th birthday, RR!

age 6 - with Dorffie

age 11 - with Sabine
I could get all "where does time go?" but instead I'll just celebrate
Ryan Rosemary and all her animals, her parents and her sister Claire
who arrives back home next week. It's great FUN for me watching
RR grow and develop into such a delightful person. Happy!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

what I miss...

random street walks

the Seine, the sky

the cafe society feel of Paris

Friday, November 21, 2014

a poem for Friday


Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can't
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won't even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

William Stafford

Thursday, November 20, 2014

the Hotel de Ville

Let's return to Paris. Each of the 20 arrondissements (districts) has its own
city hall and this is the biggest and the best. I happened upon it just by
accident one day as I was wandering about. Now it probably has an ice-
skating rink for the holidays, but as I walked by the famous center of city
government (since 1357!) I just soaked in all the history and wondered
what the current demonstration was all about. Despite my excellent French,
I did not speak to anyone. The powerful mayor of Paris resides here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

meeting Sabine

She is adorable and the Blogmaid and I had a nice slow walk along
the ocean in Pathetica while Ms. Bean sniffed and peed. For a small
(mostly Chihuahua) girl dog she doesn't yap and loves to meet other
dogs, even though they are afraid of her. Yes, she is a winner and
I fell in forever love, as you can probably tell.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The House of Prime Rib

It had been more than 25 years since we had dinner here. Back then people
DRESSED, last night they were in jeans and the restaurant was packed.
Husbando treated Ginger and me to a luscious prime rib dinner and yes,
it was a little noisy, but the food was fabulous and so was the service.
And next time I won't overdress, or maybe I will - sometimes the occasion
calls for it. Oh, sorry I didn't photograph the huge baked potato nor the
yorkshire pudding used to mop up the au jus. Very special and not really
that expensive for all that delicious food. Poor vegetarians...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday in the City

Salvador Dali by Arnold Newman

The Golden Star on Walter U Lum Place

...and right next door

Husbando and I thought the Arnold Newman exhibit at the Jewish Contemporary
Museum was quite fabulous. Some 200 black and white photos of famous actors,
artists, sculptors, writers, etc. - well worth seeing if you have the opportunity.
Mr. Newman was famous himself back in the 50's and 60's and many of his
photos were in Life and Look Magazines. Remember those publications?

Then I hiked up to Portsmouth Square to meet Dancing Jen. She treated me
to a delicious lunch at the Golden Star where the owner and all the waiters
treat her like royalty. I ventured downtown too and enjoyed myself, it isn't
crazy with holiday nonsense yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

meet Sabine!

Here we have RR with her new BFF,  Sabine. I'm proud to say that
the latter is a graduate of the SF SPCA - she appears to be part chihuahua
with a dab of terrier. She is adjusting beautifully to her new home and
the Blogmaid discovered that Sabine prefers the human beds to her
cage. Now what's with that? I get to meet her on Tuesday in Pathetica
and I'm so looking forward to this. What fun for all! Lucky Sabine...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tony loves our city

I have another delightful blog to share with you:

An Englishman's Love Affair with San Francisco

This is also linked over there on the right, just in case the above
is less than perfect. Tony especially loves Bernal Heights and to see
all these familiar sights through his eyes means so much. He
feels about SF the way some of us feel about Paris, Rome or
London. And he is a fine writer - enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

what about His mother?

Seana McKenna is riveting as the grieving mother of Jesus in this short 80
minute one act play. This Mary is, thankfully, a bit of a feminist and her
level of deep despair produces some v. dramatic moments. Testament did
not get a great review in the chronny, but we three (Ginger was with us)
thought it was quite wonderful. The playwright, Colm Toibin, maintains that
if something is difficult and uncomfortable the writer needs to tell the whole
story. At A.C.T. through Nov. 23rd.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

out and about in SF

Lovely dinner with Borders friends

Calamari stuffed with cheese at Kokkari boy and his adoring wife

Husbando's pork special
I haven't been downtown in ages, but this week it's all about friends
and great food. Monday night to Colibri - lots of talk about "now
who was the guy with the bad mustache who worked in History?" and
"remember the speed freak - what was his name?" and also catch-up
in our current lives. Great evening, good food and so-so service. My
very favorite Borders friends, only missing one or two...

Yesterday was terrific food and excellent service to celebrate The
Great Plotnik's belated We all four took the #12 Folsom,
walked a bit and were still 1/2 hour before our reservation at 200
Jackson. A long, leisurely lunch in a restaurant that ALWAYS
makes me think of Europe. This one is Greek, but the ambiance
is so special and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. Oh, I had the
skewered lamb (photo too fuzzy to use) and I believe that was the
very best food choice.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ashes to ashes

Jim Morrison's tomb is the most visited in the cemetery, or so Rick Steves
tells us. There is a little enclosed grassy spot next to it and here I am (in
that tedious grey vest seen in every photo of me in Paris) giving Micheal
a  fine Parisian resting place.
Jim Morrison lived under an assumed name when he moved to Paris
in 1971 and his plan was to stop drinking/drugging - he died there
at age 27 and his friends managed to have him buried here when they
said he was a writer. And he was. RIP Michael, if possible.

Monday, November 10, 2014

back to the cemetery

Here are a few photos - tomorrow I will show you where Michael's
ashes reside. Some of them that is, you might remember that I dusted
Crissy Field and under the Willie Mays' statue at AT&T Park too.
He loved San Francisco and Santa Barbara, but Paris was #1.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Michael's favorite city

One of the major reasons that I wanted to get to Paris was to sprinkle
some of the ashes of the Seahorse. He adored this city. Our only grey
day there was right in the beginning when we walked many miles to
Pere Lachaise Cemetery. The weather seemed just right. Thankfully
Dancing Jen had a map because it is a huge and confusing place,
no cars, but lots of dirt paths and cobblestones. There are 70,000
buried here and now Michael rests very close to Jim Morrison.
It looks depressing, but it was a wonderful day for me. More

Saturday, November 08, 2014

an outstanding exhibit

Keith's car

private tour with Julian Cox (Liberty is always in danger)

Keith loved Mickey
Probably the very best thing about working at the museums is that we
get these wonderful lectures and private tours. The Curator Julian Cox
was exceptional yesterday morning and I could have stood on my
poor, tired feet for another hour just looking at Keith's work and
listening to Mr. Cox. And I get to pop back in many times while
Keith Haring is here in SF - one interesting fact, he never worked
from sketches, it was all in his head, and he was FAST.

Friday, November 07, 2014

the Blogmaid has a BLOG

Now she is a true Blogmaid and this very morning she is heading
to Massachusetts to clear her great/great (or something like that)
grandmother's name. The latter was accused of killing her child
and has waited all these years for Erin and Kristin to exonerate
her. We hope for lots of photos and updates from Boston and
Plymouth and all points East.

Have a glorious time as you free Alice Martin Bishop from
this vile lie or maybe (generously) mistake. 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

from Paris to SF

The above was in an art gallery window in Paris. Tomorrow the Keith Haring
exhibit opens at the deYoung and there is much excitement in the air. We haven't
had a blockbuster in eons and we all need the energy that Keith will bring. He
lived a short (1958 to 1990) but extremely productive life. At an early age
he studied the cartoons of Walt Disney and Charles Schultz and from there
took off on his own vibrant career. There is a private walk-through tomorrow
morning and I wouldn't miss that for the world. But today, OFF! and happy
about that. Oh, yes indeed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

yup, a really dumb decision

Here was MY polling place, on Mission Street. And, they kept cutting
hair while people voted - but that was a good thing, all in all. This
democracy business is time consuming and tedious, but City Hall
does a good job with the organizing and planning. I parked right in
front and only had to argue with one parking control officer who
said he had never heard of this free parking thing and it made no
sense to him. I won. We had (I believe) a huge turnout and were
busy most of the day. Two clerks helped me and Jason is a high
school student and he was a god send - the future looks bright when
this kind of kid will be graduating from one of our city schools
(Galileo). I got home right after 10pm and actually slept nicely
last night - not one dream of Vote By Mail ballots, assorted bags
of many colors for papers of even more hues and the two cumbersome
machines to set up and dismantle. The machine for people with
disabilities is an ADA requirement and difficult in many respects
and was used ONCE for all the effort put into it. And that voter
said she would Vote By Mail next time and I encouraged this.
I am soooooo glad that is over. Patting my left shoulder with my
right hand this very moment. Whew.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

oh, ye sons of freedom

Here is my 300 lb. Inspector bag. I will head out for my 6am to 10pm shift
in a few minutes. This decision to help Democracy is one of the dumbest
in my life, at least I think so at this point. At least I get FREE parking, if
I can find a spot. Please join the Blogmaid in sending agnostic prayers for me.

Monday, November 03, 2014

TV at its very best

Frances McDormand as Olive Kitteridge - that dour, difficult, brilliant
woman. There is something so compelling about this character Olive,
she doesn't play nice and yet there is something deep, good and decent
about her. We watched two episodes last night and I believe there are
two to go. Of course sleep was not easy after something this powerful.
I need to write HBO a thank you note. Do NOT miss this one. And yes,
you should read the novel first, that is my suggestion.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

the Ellen update

 Yes, to my surprise I have kept on writing. Not everyday and certainly
not in Paris, but I push ahead. Trust the Process - meaning if I get to
really know my Ellen a plot will emerge. Unexpected twists and turns
emerge from out of the blue and that part is really fun for me.  I so envy
authors who can plot it all out beforehand, but try as I might, that ain't me.
The novel workshop helps immeasurably - I am inspired by the other students
and by my teacher, Karen. One thing I have learned is to stop writing
before ending a scene because it is easier to return the next day. And I
keep a separate hand written list of the various characters. It can get
confusing. I have almost 6,000 words and I need about 80,000. But
really, just keep moving it along, I tell myself. Also, the term NOVEL
is too intimidating, so we call them: pages, stories, pieces, words, etc.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

my three travel essentials

my new iPhone 5

my LindaKindle2

the mini iPad
Not that these didn't give me (and the most patient Dancing Jen) some
fits and starts and disconnects along the cobblestone streets of Paris.
And I understand how some feel that when we bury our noses in the
electronics we miss some of the joys of travel. But the utter convenience
of instant pictures and emails to and from our loved ones back home makes
all the difference in the world to me. And just being able to blog every
morning, look up maps on the iPhone, read on the Kindle, talk to
Husbando - how DID we ever travel before these inventions? So this
morning I salute all the techies who overrun our city...