Saturday, February 28, 2015

saturday at the LOH

We are between special exhibits at both museums now, but I like
this new painting at the Legion of Honor.  It will be quiet enough today
that I'll be able to visit Eugene's nephew again. Here is the official scoop:

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to announce 
the acquisition of the Portrait of Charles de Verninac, by Eugène 
Delacroix (French, 1798–1863). This is the first painting by the
artist to enter the Museums’ collection, which strengthens the 
institution’s holdings of French Romantic paintings of the early
nineteenth century.

Friday, February 27, 2015

the antagonist

I went to my novel class on Friday night and Teacher Karen spent some
time talking about how absolutely necessary the antagonists are. They
are the hero of their own lives - think about that. Ellen's main enemy is
her sister Diane, so I have spent this week exploring her life and her
motives. I had never given Diane much thought before, but now I have
her story and (oh oh) I'm starting to like her. When I typed up the notes
from this class Husbando said, "it's like all your writing books condensed
down to these important concepts." Oh, and along the way, some protagonists
will become antagonists. I love a mystery.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

thanks, Fevered Brain!

I'm so enjoying A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. This was recommended
by my friend Susan over there in The All of It blog which is such fun to
read. Susan and Jim are currently back in Mexico, in their colorful second
home by the sea. This story is so very British and yet so universal...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

our Sunday adventure

One of Husbando's doctors has moved to the gigantic new UCSF Medical
Center down at the end of 16th Street, very close to the bay. It is a maze
of new buildings and we decided to poke around on a Sunday when we
could park free and do the Stein Dry Run thing that makes city living a
bit easier. Muni has created a new bus line (#55) and Himself will take
that for his future appointments, but this worked out nicely, even though
we weren't impressed with the stark architecture which will look better
when the landscaping all evolves. And I found a coffee shop. Success.

Monday, February 23, 2015

more SF Spring

Daffies rule

Precita Park on a quiet Friday afternoon - note hill in background
I hope I can remember these glorious days when the fog roles in to smother
us in June, July, August. The daffodils were a lovely gift from the Plotniks
and now they are two years old and utter "leave me alone" when they sleep
under the back deck stairs after the blooms have disappeared. I obey.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

spring in February in SF

lemons in the back yard

flowering plum trees in front of the house

Chinese New Year's Parade practice on Geary  Street
While so much of the world is freezing and suffering with snow and yuck.
Lucky, lucky Californians! Gratitude on a daily basis here...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lucybelle's return

Jennie, Lucy and Flora at the Legion of Honor

Lucy and Flora in the sunny patio
There was much joy and sorrow yesterday when Lucy made a brief visit
to her old stomping grounds. About twelve of us met her to oooooh and
ahhhhhh over Flora who is a delightful little girl and to do our best to
catch-up with her life in Indiana, where she grew up. To say that she
misses SF is quite an understatement and of course we miss her something
fierce. Even our old boss Dennis showed up. The museum cafe picked
up our tab for lunch - how about them salads, hot dogs and lattes?

Friday, February 20, 2015

thats the ticket(s)

Yesterday Ginger and I met down at the Jewel to buy our tix for the
Giants' season. We like day games, sitting in the sun eating hotdogs and
listening to our little transistor radios. Sometimes we sit in the fog, but
that's another story for another time. Yes, baseball is expensive, but we
go for the $25 (or so) seats, but of course it's more expensive when the
blue scum-sucking Dodgers come to town. Beat L.A.! We need a rally
ice cream in the 8th inning, don't you agree?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

it's not easy

Yesterday the Blogmaid and I met to see Still Alice and although we
both would have added a few essential things from the book of the
same name, it is well worth seeing. Julianne Moore is terrific as the
brilliant linguist who is hit with Early Onset Alzheimers and how it
affects her and her family. As with many diseases, this one moves
faster when one is younger and it is indeed horrific. On the drive home
I played "try to remember" games to prove that I'm OK. There were
just a few lapses, but that's normal, right? Yes, see the movie.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

it keeps getting better call saul

Last night we watched the third episode of Better Call Saul from the folks
who brought us Breaking Bad. Starring Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks
from the original cast. Also set in New Mexico and featuring all those colorful
touches that Vince Gilligan has become famous for.  Yes, we recommend this.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

the complete brunch bunch

From the camera of the Great Plotnik. Now onward for other news and
even more fascinating blog posts tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2015

brunch at the supper club

Ms. and Mr. Blogmaid

Yesterday we had a rather last minute celebration down at the Hillside Supper
Club in Bernal, right across from the park. Husbando's was about a
month ago, but hey, a wife gets busy and I finally decided that I'd rather spend
money on friends (and husband) than on all this tedious tooth work, so at
the last minute I invited some friends and we had a delightful time. The food
was great and the Blogmaid was down at the other end of the table, so we
had to text. It's only rude if one texts outside the social gathering, right?
We are truly blessed with friends - I know I say this all the time...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

now streaming

We are liking this typical cop series Bosch because once again it is
so SoCal and there is a bit of humor along the way. Amazon Prime
is competing with the Flix® and doing a fine job. There is almost
too much good stuff to watch on TV these days.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


We've been doing our own taxes for five years now. The first time it took
all day, even though we are very simple people with a small income and few
deductions. Yesterday it took two hours and the refunds will hit our savings
account next week. TurboTax® has improved so much and now allows me
to quickly delete any and all mistakes as I go along.  And of course they just
import information from previous years, making it almost impossible to
forget anything. Always a relief to have those out of the way. Hooooray.

Friday, February 13, 2015

more from the work front

I was intrigued and impressed with this ultra fashionable young woman
from Japan yesterday. Man, she had it ALL together. I was shy about
asking if I could take her photo, so my colleague Sigi asked and our
Miss Adorable insisted that she join her for this delightful photo.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

call this work?

Yesterday I had a four hour shift up in the Tower at the deYoung. The worst
part of the day was finding a parking spot. You can barely see the GG Bridge
out there in the distance, could it be any prettier? I like talking to the folks
who live in the midwest and east and don't want to go home until Spring.
The most wonderful city in the world, that's how I feel, as you well know...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

no, say it isn't so...

We are both addicted to Jon Stewart's Daily Show. He will leave us at
the end of this year and what a loss that will be. I'm sure everyone over
at Faux News is rejoicing - no one does it better. Jon is a great interviewer,
too, he really reads the books and see the movies and then listens when
his guest speaks. As the Blogmaid said so wisely, "how will we ever get
through the 2016 elections?" How, indeed?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

cats, dogs, robins

I have been subbing as a Round Robin this week. Today my partner is
Linda and just knowing that I'm writing to her frees me to reflect a bit
more honestly than sometimes. Here is today's piece:

MY PET (the prompt)

I have a fictional cat named Salmon. A big orange guy who helps my
narrator (Ellen) as she tries to find out who killed her husband, Seth.
Yesterday at the SPCA I saw a Salmon-like fellow, round and profound.
He locked eyes with me and told me that he would be oh so happy
here in Bernal Heights. He said that he would never jump on the
kitchen sink or any table and that he would abide by all of our house rules.

We have had five cats and one dog here in our real house. My husband
never bonded with any of the cats, except for Uncle Junior who was
orange and very special. We thought we would be paid $5,000 to bring him
home and neither of us liked him very much at first. But, oh did he grow
on us. I can't describe exactly why he was so likable, but even Bill
warmed up to him. That special combination of independent and lovable.
Surprise, we never got one penny for rescuing him, but in the end we
were the fortunate ones. His death was a blow to both of us.

Our dog was a big Irish Setter and who could not adore him? Life is
so much easier without pets - the house stays clean(er) and there
are no huge vet bills to worry about. And yet, and yet...

Monday, February 09, 2015

a voice of reason finally

Thanks to the Blogmaid for dropping this on my Facebook Timeline.
I so agree with Mr. Moore.
Let's see... So George W. Bush is now an artist and a painter & roots for
dear brother "Jeb in 2016;" Dick Cheney now appears on many networks
as a grumpy old man pundit; Condi Rice gets to be on the board that picks 
college football's Final 4... but it's Brian Williams who's to be punished
for Iraq? Are u effing kidding me? I mean, an entire country was demolished, 
trillions were wasted, thousands of our troops were killed & wounded, 
tens/hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed, and now, 
FINALLY, someone is paying for Iraq war lies... and it's Brian fucking 
Williams????? Yes, there is much that can be said about all the network 
reporters in 2003 who were embedded (i.e., Pentagon-approved) with the 
troops and getting to "play war" instead of asking the Bush administration
 the hard questions THAT DID NOT GET ASKED, and yes there is much 
to say about how all the networks have dumbed down the nightly news 
and made it unwatchable... BUT - to let the real liars who were responsible 
for the Iraq War roam free while instead going after Brian Williams for
committing the crime of Faux Macho due to his claim of being on the 
wrong chopper, well, this just begs to be ridiculed and stopped. Sinners 
(that means you, too, Paper of Record of Judith Miller), put down your 
stones. Social media mob, put down your noose. Have the guts to go after 
the big cheese. Let Brian Williams get back to telling us about the next 
big storm that's going to drop 3" of snow on New York City and the 
 exclusive report on the lost dog who made it home to help its handicap 
master. (Note: I don't know Brian Williams personally, but I'll say this 
 about him: in the post-9/11 years, he did the nightly news hour on 
 MSNBC/CNBC, and he was one of the few people in TV news who 
would allow an opposition voice such as mine on the air. I remember 
thinking this is a man with integrity.)

Sunday, February 08, 2015

not a happy movie

This was recommended by a fellow museum worker and since I don't
know much about Goya, I rented it from the Flix®. The ghosts in
the movie are all the poor people who suffered during the Spanish
Inquisition and the terrorists today seem to be following in the path
of the Catholic church back then. I don't know how much is true, the those
times were filled with horror and bloodshed and recorded by the artist.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

a lovely little touch of Japan

Yesterday the Great Plotniks treated us to lunch out on Clement Street,
very near the Legion of Honor. Oyaji is the name of the restaurant
and the food was excellent: the bento box, bowls of ramen and I had
that sizzling steak and onions. It was such a nice treat for Husbando's
belated birthday and we appreciate the long drive in the rain and
we always are thankful for this wonderful friendship. It's such fun to
discover small restaurants that we've driven by hundreds of times
in our City by the Bay.

Friday, February 06, 2015

a little Friday rant

Since last May we have been adjusting to a set of new bosses at the museum
stores. Let's summarize the whole experience by saying that I'm so glad that
I only work part-time. One of the things that irritates me (and others) no end
is that we don't get our schedules for the next week until Friday. How does
one plan if one is "on call"? I can request time off, naturally, but in the good
old days we had our schedules two weeks in advance and I was able to plan
my life much better. So if I'm not working on a Friday, I check the work
emails all day, hoping for next week's schedule. Rotten, I say. See, this little
irritation is one reason why unions take hold and why states and cities are
forced to make so many silly rules and regulations. If only bosses would
LISTEN to the people who report to them. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

if one must...

...see doctors, do tests, get sick, get well, vaccinate and all those other
health issue things, then I say, "oh, thank god for Kaiser." I saw my doc
on Monday, had all the bloodwork done yesterday at 6:30am (the fasting
thing - no coffee even!) and this morning all my results are here for me
to print out and compare with the previous five years. Honestly, I so
appreciate this huge organization and all that they offer for VERY little
money. When I have any sort of problem or question I email my doc
and she writes back the same day. My only wish is that all people (even
the poor) could have this kind of excellent care. P.S. I am Fine. Yes indeed.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Secondhand at Pier 24

view from Red's Java House deck

this rabbit has a very flat head

This is another huge photography exhibit at Pier 24, but this time all the art
is based on old photos - some found on Ebay and many in stores that sell
used goods. It is fabulous and Ginger, Husbando and I had such a nice day.
First "girl time" on the back deck of Red's Java House and then an outdoor
lunch after the exhibit. Pier 24 doesn't charge anything (!), but you do need
to reserve online before you go. It was foggy to start the day, then bright
sunshine for our lunch-on-bench overlooking the bay.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

SF sunset

Walking home from Bart - nothing says CITY like shoes hanging from
overhead wires. And now, finally, "they" predict rain for the weekend. Yes!

Monday, February 02, 2015

super play sunday

Yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed this one act play entitled Tree,
as in Family Tree. A white woman tracks down her black half
brother who does not exactly welcome her. Four talented actors,
but by far our award for Best goes to Cathleen Riddley, who plays
Mama Dear.  We came home to watch a little dumb football and
count the days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

beyond fabulous

After all the hype we were afraid that we would be disappointed with
Boyhood, a movie written and directed by Richard Linklater. But,
no, in truth it is even better than we could have hoped for. How did
they do this? Twelve years of joy and happiness in the life of an
adorable boy and his family. It might be the best movie that I have
ever seen, and that says soooooooo much!