Tuesday, March 31, 2015

back to the play

This was the San Francisco Playhouse presentation that we saw on Sunday.
It's a take-off (and a funny one) of Chekhov's Seagull and it was very
well written and the acting is excellent. One of the memorable lines is
from the older guy (Sorn) who says if he were in his late twenties again, he
would "do it right this time" and anyone over fifty can appreciate that. It's
all about love - mostly unrequited, of course.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Macy's Easter flowers

inside - first floor

front window - yarn bombing

more yarn with reflection (sorry)
We went downtown to see a play yesterday and stopped by Macy's to enjoy
the flowers. The theme is Art in Bloom and the deYoung store has a mini
shop set up there and I believe that they are doing well. It was absolutely
gorgeous weather and not too many tourists. Next weekend, yes, the
city will be packed with visitors.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

best film 2014

We both really, really appreciated this unusual BIRDMAN movie - a
bit of a surprise to me. I had read somewhere that young people like
this more than we more experienced (ahem) movie fans. Michael
Keaton is superb, or perhaps it's because of the many references to
Raymond Carver, a particular favorite poet and story writer of ours.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

modern day sheds

Every Saturday I submit five pages (well, 4.3 or so) of my Ellen novel
to my two partners, Anna and Joanne. This week we made a fictional trip to
a storage unit where Seth's stuff is stored. I need to go to a facility near here
for some work on this scene, but that can wait until the 2nd or 3rd draft.
Anyway, back in the 80's Husbando and I had a storage unit and mostly what
I recall is the huge relief when we closed the door there for the final time.
Then I think it was $35 a month or so - I need to know what it costs today.
My writing teacher, Karen, said that Martin Cruz Smith wrote the fabulous
Gorky Park (1981) without ever going to Russia. Remember, that was before
Google or the internet or Wikipedia! I admire writers who do research.

Friday, March 27, 2015

back to Dublin

When I had lunch with Frances on Tuesday, she loaned us this 5th Season
of Love/Hate and now we are back in the world of drugs, gangs and the
whole underbelly of Dublin (Ireland, not California). Interesting use of
American music from time to time, as well as our fashions, guns, etc.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

poetic adoration

The Beautiful Librarians

The beautiful librarians are dead,
The fairly recent graduates who sat
Like Fran├žoise Hardy's shampooed sisters
With cardigans across their shoulders
On quiet evenings at the issue desk,
Stamping books and never looking up
At where I stood in adoration.

Once I glimpsed the staffroom
Where they smoked and (if the novels
Were correct) would speak of men.
I still see the blue Minis they would drive
Back to their flats around the park,
To Blossom Dearie and red wine
Left over from a party I would never

Be a member of. Their rooms looked down
On dimming avenues of lime.
I shared the geography but not the world
It seemed they were establishing
With such unfussy self-possession, nor
The novels they were writing secretly
That somehow turned to 'Mum's old stuff'.

Never to even brush in passing
Yet nonetheless keep faith with them,
The ice-queens in their realms of gold—
It passes time that passes anyway.
Book after book I kept my word
Elsewhere, long after they were gone
And all the brilliant stock was sold.

Sean O'Brien

The Beautiful Librarians

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

more on Korean canines

Dancing Jen was kind enough to send me a photo of a Korean dog she
met last weekend in Sunnyvale. He/she was adopted a couple of weeks
ago and seems to be adjusting very nicely and this gives me great
hope for our quarantined assortment of hounds. I'll update you next Monday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

imported from South Korea

meet Masha
I didn't want to cause an international incident yesterday, so I just snapped
this one photo of a new dog. This is a big and difficult adjustment for them and
so far they haven't even been walked - they have never been on leashes before.
The national SPCA group managed to shut down (buy out?) one of the "meat
farms" in South Korea and many shelters across America are receiving
these canines. They don't bark, early training I suppose. I understand that
most of them are about 35 lbs. each, looking much like Masha. They (20 or
so?) have been here a week and already folks want to adopt them, but it
will take some time and they are still quarantined. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 23, 2015

customers as art

I love when young girls dress up for a trip to the museum. These two
bought their outfits in Japan and were as nice and friendly as could
be. They said that a lot of people ask to take their photos and the one
on our right features famous artwork. Lots of wonderful detail and
thank goodness I carry my iPhone illegally when I work. One never
knows when blog material will appear!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

inspiration in a wheelchair

Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Wilde Hawking are played with
what appears to be great authenticity in The Theory of Everything, an
amazing film now available on DVD from the Flix®. Tremendous
acting and realistic British settings - 4 thumbs up from Casa Verde.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

this isn't me (yet)

One day soon I will actually be outlining my novel. Supposedly this
is J.K. Rowling above. We had a fine class last night and I was inspired
this morning after a slow writing week. Every Saturday I'm supposed
to send out five pages to my partners and I only had two, so I did not
read any emails, just grabbed my coffee first shot this morning and
did some more writing. I'm proud to announce that I have 21,070
words - maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the way there. This is a great class and
it's good to be with other people who struggle to keep on writing. Now
off to work, but feeling just fine, yes I am.

Friday, March 20, 2015

some call this work

Here's a view from my office at the Legion of Honor. Interesting how much
working by windows makes the whole experience about 98% better. Often
the fog will roll in around 4pm and that is also beautiful, but don't ask me
about that in June or July, and do not quote me.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

out at the Legion

I only dashed through this High Style exhibit once, so I can't really write too
much about it. The Brooklyn Museum has 25,000 items and we have about
60 or so pieces. Fashions from 1910 to 1980 - Christian Dior, Charles James,
Elsa Schiaparelli, Elizabeth Hawes and more. Since I am an afficionado of
jeans and puffy vests on my days off, I can't really critique this show, but a
lot of visitors LOVE it, so there. Through July 19th.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

quite the mystery

I'm enjoying this #1 best selling novel on my LindaKindle2 -
a young woman takes the train to/fro London every day and
sees something unusual...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

on Mission Street

I snapped this huge motorcycle a few weeks ago and haven't seen it since.
Miraculously, I remembered it just in time for today's St. Pat's post. Do
wear your green and drive with care today and tonight.

Monday, March 16, 2015

worth seeing

We rented this DVD from the Flix® and watched it last night. It's the grim
true story of the Newsweek journalist held captive in Iran because he jokingly 
told the Daily Show that he was a spy. Rose Water is the nickname the journalist 
gives his interrogator because he uses this cologne too much and often. Starring
Gael Garcia Bernal who is always a pleasure to watch.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

traditional blarney

Corned beef, boiled potatoes, belated cabbage and Mitchell's ice cream
pie. So nice to entertain the Great Plotniks and their niece, Brittany,
last night. (Blogmaid, note shamrock lights on the cabinet back there.)
And now Husbando will make corned beef hash (not my fave) and we will
both enjoy a couple of Reuben sandwiches too. We remember when we
could buy the sauerkraut for those sandwiches fresh from a deli, but SF
lacks GOOD Jewish delis. I will do the google today just to see what might
be available. Happy St. Pat's - Tuesday is the official day, but you know that...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

we need a poem!

A Little Ode to Television

After the disorder of my days, and in the defeat of my evenings,
I love the quiet, revocable suicide of television,
especially British detective shows, where everyone
is driving cooperatively on the left, but the devoted detective
has broken many rules, and her superior officer
is inevitably impeding the plodding investigation,
while everyone speaks according to region and social class
and the rain tumbles down from the heavy
upholstery of the British sky.

I'm comforted knowing that the improbable murderer
will end up behind bars, or will die being captured, while the detective,
quietly vindicated, will return to her paperwork and her loneliness,
not unlike mine, isolated inside the rain-drenched black umbrella
of her nights. And I feel safe knowing a hundred more episodes are waiting
each as fateful as the sunset, and shaped by the same conventions
of order and mayhem. And I must never forget
to sing the praises of the music too—the royal
French horns, and the screeching violins of terror
at the spilling of British blood—and how all of it leads
perfectly into sleep.

Alan Feldman


Friday, March 13, 2015

a month from today

I'm excited about my trip to San Diego in April. I have been missing my
friend Tanya and I need to see Ruby and her papa Scott. Now that I have
my map and guidebook, I can really plan. That Balboa Park is huge and
filled with museums and of course I want to see my first official baseball
game of 2015. The Giants vs. the Padres, sounds good, no? And walking,
talking, people watching with latte and just getting away. "Every trip a
journey of self-discovery." (Joseph Dispenza, author)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

and more PPIE

outstanding artwork - just one of many examples

elaborately inscribed shovels
You can see how impressed I was with my Tuesday visit - two blog posts!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

100 years ago

an amazing diorama

five years before (!) we could vote
I had a wonderful time down at the California Historical Society (Mission
and 2nd) yesterday afternoon. SF is celebrating the 1915 World's Fair and
after seeing all the photos and the diorama I really felt like I was walking
around the Palace of Fine Arts and all the astounding displays and buildings
from all over the world. I highly recommend a visit here and then our
deYoung will have an exhibit in October for the PPIE (Panama Pacific
International Exhibition) too - do prepare yourself though, these were
racist and insensitive times. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

my kind of view spot

latte behind bars

A new latte place for me with a lot of gritty city flavor. Here we have
the brand new Rainbow Grocery coffee shop. No hipsters need enter.
There is limited and cheap seating where a woman can sip her maple
flavored nonfat latte (well, this might be a nod to current culture) with no
indoor tables or places to plug in the laptops. We have been coming to
the Rainbow for decades and although the hippies now have gray hair,
one can still buy all sorts of natural products in bulk, things not found
elsewhere, even at Whole Foods. I came here yesterday after the SPCA
and the barista and I talked about his devoted dog. L-U-V all around.

Monday, March 09, 2015

our delightful Sunday

We walked up Florida Street yesterday afternoon, bathed in sunshine
and eager to see another Word for Word production. And this one
was exceptional - two Alice Munro stories, both with complex
characters, humor and intrigue. Ms. Munro was the first short story
writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (2013) and this cast
of five actors certainly honored her words yesterday. Great theater!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

today (and everyday)

It's March 8th and we will celebrate and spend some time thinking
about all the women less fortunate than we are. The ones who have
no choice whatsoever in their lives, the women dominated by
men and even though we have come a long way, there is still so
much to do for so many. Today I send special thanks and love
to my women friends - I couldn't do this life thing without you.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

just a reminder

Thank goodness! I'm tired of waking up at 5am and trying not to fall
asleep until 9pm or so. Daylight Savings Time is MY time, my inner
clock works so much better starting tomorrow.

Friday, March 06, 2015

g. dot comes to town

We met in Mandalay, our fave Burmese restaurant out at California and 6th.
(I always think of my friend Linda when I go there and I did yesterday too.)
Ceci is still happy being a chef up in Napa and plans to stay for awhile.
She did have a nasty burn on her arm, one of the problems with cooking and a
good reason for me to avoid stoves, pots and pans. Ceci is a delight!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

the dystopic world

Mr. Burns is at ACT
Yesterday was a funny mix at ACT. The audience was decidedly gray, but
Mr. Burns A Post-Electric Play is based on The Simpsons, a television
series that most of us never watch. This takes place after the world as we
know it ends, and the most reassuring activity for the juvenile survivors is the
re-telling of lines and stories from the TV show so beloved by younger
people. It is a bit talky, but the music was wonderful and after we got
home to read all about it, the play made a lot more sense. ACT had invited
some high school kids to fill the seats and we hope they are doing this
for every show. Not recommended, but we are both glad that we saw this play.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

history comes alive

Here is RR in a dress that the Blogmaid's mother made for her back
in 1976, for the Bicentennial. The family is planning a trip to Williamsburg
in April and RR is learning all about those times and lucky her, our
Blogmaid is a Colonial expert. (note Sabine in the background - but
how could you not?)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Ken (the person)

I met Ken back in '92 (I think) when we trained with B&N out in Concord.
We would take turns driving back and forth. These were rough patches for
both of us and we got to know each other well;  laughing and crying on the
long drives. He was my boss once too, at the Fish Wharf B&N. Now we
are museum people - he is the manager of the Oakland Art Museum store and
you all know where I work. Yesterday was my b.day lunch (belated by
about 4 months) at our favorite Noeteca - such fun.

Monday, March 02, 2015

rosy city

When I was driving home from work Saturday night I noticed quite a few
people pointing their cell phones to the western sky and I rushed home,
hoping to get a few dramatic shots. We don't "do" sunsets here, but lately
the cloud formations have been unusual and Facebook is ablaze with much
better photos than mine. The neighbors three doors down spend a lot
of money making sure this huge tree is not a danger and even though it
blocks our view, the birds love it and trees in a city are essential, even
if some aren't official beauties.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

need your Paris fix?

My Old Lady is an unfortunate title for this rather fine movie, set
right there, right in the heart of Paris. Kevin Kline's father bequeaths
him a large and glorious apartment in the Marais, problem is the
father's lover (Ms. Maggie) is still there and complications arise.
It helps to appreciate the three leading characters, which I do...