Friday, July 31, 2015

oooooooh, good one!

The Book of You is an enthralling story of a woman who is being
stalked. One of those novels where the reader thinks that the
author probably endured this at some point in her life. Scary
stuff. On my LindaKindle2 and well-written, in my most humble...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

once more with RBIs

It was an intense, quiet game until the 7th inning yesterday - mostly hot Peavy
pitching and excellent defense. Then we scored five runs and won the game.
Ginger and I had a terrific time, front row seats and a few cool sea breezes.
Oh, yes, garlic fries and ice cream, of course.  Muni behaved too - what more
could a woman ask?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

the Indiana story

So I was e-telling Lucybelle about Linda Davick who I am proud to call
my friend and then I flagrantly stole this wonderful photo from Linda's
blog and sent it to Lucy. Here was the text reply: "reading your friend's
book and seeing the photo prompted me to make a quick birthday decision
and I booked our flights to SF." Lucybelle used to live on 46th Avenue and
misses the ocean something fierce. We'll see them in November! Hooray....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Flora turns two!

Remember Lucybelle and Flora? They now live in Indiana (more about
this tomorrow) and for her Flora received this glorious "I Love
You, Nose!" book by our remarkable Linda Davick. I remember that
Ruby loved this too and, yes,  how easy Amazon makes kid gift giving.

Monday, July 27, 2015

we are not so nice

It was disturbing to watch Catching Hell because it makes us baseball
fans look like mean and humorless jerks. Poor Bill Buckner and
Steve Bartman - lives pretty much ruined because of a couple of
simple mistakes. They were both doing what comes naturally and
it is just a game, for god's sake. The movie is terrific, however, and
it sure makes us think and yes, it is time to forgive Bartman - the
Red Sox already brought Buckner back for loud hoooorahs.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

wedding ahoy!

The Blogmaid and family (and friends) went ALL out yesterday with a
shower for daughter Claire who is marrying Sydney in November. Some of
us dressed to the nautical theme and everyone had a great time. The father of
the future bride did all the cooking, delicious as always. It was a wonderful
afternoon in Pumpkinville and congrats to everyone and all their loving work.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

like coming home

The Novel Continuation class resumed last night and even though we
were hot and crowded in the small classroom, it was so nice to be back.
Every writer suffers, I'd almost forgotten that. Teacher Karen calls it
"the zen of the unknowing" and reminded us that we are in a free fall
for a long time during this process. This morning I will type up my
notes and I will remember that if I don't tell this story, it won't get told.
Oh, yes, I need to get writing again too. See you soon, Ellen...

Friday, July 24, 2015

hints from heloise

Actually I heard this recently on the radio - from a corn farmer. Use a
slice of bread to evenly butter an ear of corn. It works and I'm so happy.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

g. dot in Jerusalem

Here is Samantha (Rob's oldest) who is spending the summer in Israel
and loving it. During the rest of the year Sam studies medicine at
John Carroll University in Ohio. Smart, happy and fortunate too..

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

that Paris pull

I rented this from the Flix® because of Paris, but the viewer also gets
Rome, New York City and three VERY complicated relationships.
Third Person is filled with secrets and sorrow, but the acting is
excellent and who could pass up another trip to Paris?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

'tis the season

The SPCA is stuffed with brand new kitties and these two actually
sat still long enough for me to get a couple of photos. I'm a big
believer in the "take two" feline philosophy because it's just a little
more work and they have each other when you leave town.

Monday, July 20, 2015

good (not great) Company

Yesterday we went to see the SF Playhouse's production of Company, a
Sondheim musical that we've avoided for about 45 years. The above photo
is from my favorite number "Getting Married Today" and Monique Hafen
is truly wonderful - she's the one in the white wedding dress. The cast did
a great job! I know that Husbando liked it better than I did. But, yes, I'm glad
we saw it and proud that we didn't leave at 1/2 time.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

part-time tourist

St. Anne's (from Irving Street)

...another piano in the Botanical Gardens
I didn't start work yesterday out at the deYoung until 11am, but I went
early to park and walk. I've learned so much on this museum gig, I really
didn't know the park and surrounding area much before and now it seems
like there are colorful daily surprises and I'm always glad that I have my
handy iPhone camera. GG Park was packed yesterday, so I was pleased
to have both time and a good (free) parking place before work.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

twelve pianos

my lunch spot with piano in background
I only found one of the pianos yesterday in the Botanical Gardens,
but it was such a pleasant interlude for me and there was always
someone playing, even singing. This is the 75th celebration
for these much-loved gardens and there were lots and lots of
customers here to appreciate the music and nature. Good job, SF!

Friday, July 17, 2015

true balance

sand dab for Husbando

shrimp tacos for the blogger
Instead of working on the novel, we went to a lavish lunch at the Red Hill
Station up on Cortland. It's a fish place, as you might be able to tell ~
a little gem of a place with a great reputation and it was high time we gave
it a try. Delightful. Perfection. We talked about the OLD DAYS when we
used to drive to Spenger's in Berkeley for seafood, that's where Bill first
discovered Sand Dabs, I think they were $5 then.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

the New Balance project

 Here is my writing project for today. Suggested by Karen, my wonderful
Novel Continuation teacher - class begins again on July 24th.

100 Index Cards - I bought these at OfficeMax about two months ago. I'm
supposed to let my mind run wild and joyfully write down plot and character
ideas and toss them into some sort of shoe box. Then I rest for a day or so,
maybe another month, and go through them, getting rid of the ones that are
too outlandish. Some authors use different color cards or ink for each character.
I might do that. Let's play with this idea:
1) Ellen - black for mourning
2) Diane - green for jealousy
3) Keith - blue for the guy thing
4) Edgar - red for danger
5) Nabe Tim, Lori and Greg - purple
6) BFF Trudy in Paris - pink for the girly thing

Maybe I'll have a photo of a full shoe box for tomorrow. Maybe not.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

dogs keep evolving

Last night, after the (yawn) All Star Game, we watched Martin Clunes on
PBS. He loves his three dogs and did this special to discover more about how
humans learned to love them and how much we need dogs in our lives. One
segment was on some terriers who catch and kill rats (smalls) and to them
it's just a wonderful game. So the bottom photo here is of the very domesticated
Sabine (RR and the Blogmaid's doggie) who found this thing (vole) in her
field and brought it home to feast on it. Showing, obviously, that dogs can
still be wild creatures, doing what comes naturally to them. This is a GREAT
photo from the Blogmaid and I thank her sincerely...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

revenge is sweet

Six Argentine-Spanish black comedy stories and since Pedro Almodovar
is involved with Wild Tales, you know it's a great film. Nasty, untamed,
crazy and very funny. The marriage was my favorite. Available on DVD
from our friends at the Flix®.

Monday, July 13, 2015

here come the smalls

From a recent SPCA email to all volunteers:
On July 1, you might have noticed we added some new adoptable guests in our 
lobby...June and Shasta, two female Lionhead/American rabbits! We are starting 
small with our smalls, and will be slowly transferring rats and rabbits from SF 
ACC to the front condos in the MAC. In addition to cats and dogs, rats and 
rabbits have joined the SPCA's adoptable family in efforts to bring more 
awareness and attention to what wonderful companions smalls make and
increase city wide adoptions of pet rabbits and rats. Please stop by the MAC 
and welcome our newest animals!

There was a dark grey rabbit too, but she insisted on sitting on a dark grey
pillow, so I couldn't get her photo for you. I didn't see any rats and I don't
care to discuss them right now, so there. (I do remember watching a young
man and his rat at a baseball game. He spent the entire time on his owner's
shoulder and I was transfixed. There, I discussed pet rats and maybe I'll
change my negative way of thinking. Maybe not.)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

another Sunday outdoor lunch

This time on our newly painted deck. Still the occasional car
alarm. No plants due to draught, but come October we will
have rain - mark my words.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

a poem, a treat for Saturday

Something Unnaturally Fast

Once in a bar in New Orleans
the corner of my eye was caught
by something unnaturally fast
running up the wall to my right. 

It was hot, such hot nights happen
and there's not an awful lot
you can do about it. A dark bar,
candles, music, I was sitting there 

sipping a cold beer when up the wall
this thing nearly had me jump out
of my skin. To this day I don't know
 what it was but, given how the woman  

to whom I'd been talking saw nothing
but the shock on my face, there's
the theory she was quick to advance
 that it must have been something

 I imagined. You imagine so much,
she said. Maybe later you'll imagine ...
She smiled, let it drop and said, Anyways ... 
We'd been talking about art, about Dubuffet ...  

She looked like Brecht in his heyday—
the hair—back, sides and front—
the same little glittering glasses ... 
 Was she a Fellow at Tulane University?
I can tell that you're nervous. Don't be.
Then, leaning in a little bit closer,
Can I trust you to keep me a secret?  
When I tell you what to do, don't quibble.

A girl like me doesn't come often.
There are only so many of us left ...
I can tell you're a little bit squeamish ...  
You can trust me! she said, I'm an anarchist!

When she bent to her strawberry daiquiri 

the straw turned red like a vein
and I thought of that thing on the wall, 
how big it had been and how fast.  

The candlelight crackled on her glasses. 
A shiver ran down my spine.
I thought of how some things resist 
by taking all the weight you can put on them.

Spring 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015


Here is the Round Robin piece that I read at Tiapos last night.

A SOUND I LOVE (the prompt)

Lately I've been thinking about computers, probably because this old
MacBook won't accept a lot of the new programs and I will have to
replace it one of these days. The Spinning Beach Ball of Death appears
all too often now and last night when I revved her up for class notes I
was not sure she would open for me.

So that's one sound I love, the boing-boing that indicates there is life
in MsBook yet. She will turn on again and even though it might take a
few minutes for the desktop to fill-out, I will be able to read, write and
live for a few more (I hope) months.

Then I remember my first bright pink iMac computer. God I loved that
thing because it almost took over my entire desk and I still to this day have
matching bright pink accessories, including the clock here on my right,
telling me to get moving. Now.

One of the favorite sounds then was the always exciting, "you've got
mail!" and my heart would beat just a little bit faster to see emails
from friends near and far. Many times I've thanked the universe that
I am able to live and enjoy this computer age, despite all the breakdowns
and subsequent cursing and fury when the inevitable technical problems arise.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

a change of theater scene!

Atlas Cafe on Market Street

The Play

The new Strand Theater on Market Street
We had a good day yesterday - our first play at ACT's small new theater
in the mid-Market area and lots of discoveries along the way. This disctrict
is cleaning up quickly with the addition of Twitter and other tech companies.
The Strand only seats about 200 and the play yesterday was odd - 57 very
short vignettes in one 90 minute act. Caryl Churchill wrote Love and
Information and the cast of twelve included a few of our favorite actors
such as Sharon Lockwood and Anthony Fusco. Lunch at the Atlas across
the street was excellent and all in all, a very good day. (Note that the three
photos above are all from Google and do not represent the author's actual
experience yesterday - she was too busy ooooohing and ahhhhhhhhing.)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

off to Paris

My protagonist, Ellen, is stuck and so I'm going to send her to Paris for a
few days to visit her friend Trudy and to recap all the intrigue here in SF. She
will be taking a mysterious flash drive and I bet the women will spend some
time sitting here at the Jardin des Tuileries,  talking about life. Laughing
and crying and maybe visiting the Louvre, maybe not.  Probably not.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Red Dog was recommended by a customer from Australia. I didn't tell
Husbando that the category was Children and Families, so he enjoyed
it too. We streamed it on the Flix® last night and you would be wise to
sit by a box of Kleenex®, even though it is mostly a happy movie.

Monday, July 06, 2015

the problem with outdoor dining

view from our table - note Coit Tower in upper right
Lovely no? Then the car alarm goes off (you can barely see the bumper of
the offending auto) and it is in a blue disabled parking spot, probably with
a fake tag and that means it can park here for days. The waitress said that
it was the 3rd time the alarm had gone off. Really annoying. Other than that,
a great brunch at Original Joe's after some superb nearby, free parking on my part.
thick cut bacon with eggs, etc.


Sunday, July 05, 2015

fences and neighbors


We have been having some much needed work done on the outside of our
home and one small project is this fence replacement between us and the
International House of Women next door. It's not a large fence, but we all
need our privacy. Perhaps I've mentioned that we've always been lucky
with neighbors. With attached homes it could be dicey, but everyone has
always been more than pleasant and we respect each others rights and
lifestyles. Only once, years ago, did we have a very active drug dealer,
but he didn't last too long and it was great fun when the police arrived.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

happy 4th

Here is Sabine, dog of the Blogmaid and RR. She will be in the parade today
unless she flings herself into the ocean forever instead.  Happy 4th to the
rest of you and do be safe and what passes for sane these days.

Friday, July 03, 2015

it never gets old

I work the next two days, so yesterday was part productive (Costco and
home clean-up) and then a fine walk with the latte and crumble cake
treat in the afternoon. I take my LindaKindle2® and when I'm not
reading I watch the strange people in my strange city. Walking makes
everything right, but you already know that.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

a difficult piece...

Cake is the story of a woman in GREAT physical and emotional pain,
impressively acted by Jennifer Aniston who is neither wholesome nor
glamorous in this movie. You can now stream it on the Flix® and yes,
we both recommend it, with Kleenex®.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

great fun indeed

We've watched six episodes of Catastrophe already on Amazon and
it is a delight. American man gets British teacher pregnant and they
decide to make a GO of it. Of course they both have an odd assortment
of friends and family to add to all the problems and the fact that they
really don't know each other makes everything worse (and sometimes
better) and you can stream this and join in the London craziness.