Monday, August 31, 2015

brunch at the Hillside

My friends Joe and Pamela were nice enough to come to Bernal for a
get-together yesterday. We all love the French toast and bacon at the
Hillside Supper Club. A most delightful time, truth be told.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

okay, will do...

Make Your Laziness Be Real Rest

Make your laziness be real rest; why should you throw out useful sloth—
it's there because you need it; you should think about practical emptiness.
About what? Make your loafing real rest, make a deliberate ruin for it.
Make a ruin and be its anchorite in empty time; make a run for it.
Make a rune for your laziness, and now with your ears you
hear the breath of grass and wind, of stones turned to water
in lazy time. Heed the numinosity of a laziness rune; it's imperative to
see a rune with your eyes shut, holding the shaded image
in a historical light! Fallow earth is lazy and productive when we
touch it, knowing its rest in time, and as we remember it from youth.
The sun makes laziness volatile. Rays lift the air everywhere somehow,
harsh- and/or sweet-smelling, and we know it, but while lolling
about we don't register clearly, and isn't that okay. Emptier things:
a mind a blank, a mind a haze, a mind a black polished screen, turning
from meaning. Your laziness can be real rest, make it craftsmanlike, a devotion.

Caroline Knox

To Drink Boiled Snow
Wave Books

Saturday, August 29, 2015

welcome to SF, Dexter

Kelby Tomlinson is a rookie, so new that he can't stop smiling. In the dugout
they call him Dexter, after the cartoon guy above. He is also known as
Clark Kent by his many new fans. His first home run was at the Thursday
game and it was a grand salami. Then last night he hit the game-winning
single and we beat those smug St. Louis Cardinals. Our Farm Teams
don't get a lot of credit, but they sure produce some excellent players.

Friday, August 28, 2015

tradition and glory

Husbando and I celebrated Ginger's yesterday at Primo Patio, as
we do every year. Then to this ballpark that you have seen a million
times here in da blog. It was a fabulous game and we beat the excellent
Cubbies in a magnificent manner. MadBum pitched his ass off and then
two new guys (Byrd and Tomlinson) hit home runs and we won by a
score of 9 to 1. Interesting thing - when I come home on the #10 after
a loss I am very tired. Not true after a win like yesterday. So there,
some deep philosophy on a Friday morning at the end of August.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

30 years later

Pauline's Pizza is celebrating their 30th Anniversary and we have been
customers for all those years. Not often enough, we decided, as we
enjoyed the freshest tomato salad and the two pizzas (with lots to
bring home). They are known for the pesto pizza on top - yum. The
area (Valencia and 14th) used to be "sketchy" but like most of SF it
is now bustling with young singles and families and lots of bicycles.
Our city, always changing and yet somehow always the same.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

from Paul Madonna

I'm on Paul's email list and I just received this - he is a very special local artist
who was recently evicted and he has been drawing and writing about the
whole horrible experience. But now he is settled in his new place and ready
to explore new themes. And I'm ready to go out to dinner tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

bewitching bunnies

At first I thought the white one was a slipper or maybe a plush toy, but
no, he/she blinked twice while I snapped these rather bad pictures.
I have been doing this SPCA thing for three years now and when I
arrive every Monday morning about 8am, I'm greeted warmly by
staff and other volunteers before I hear the dogs barking for their
breakfasts. This has been a VERY good experience for me (and for
Ellen who ends up working at this very same animal shelter).

Monday, August 24, 2015

ten years ago

Katrina. We were in upstate New York for our's wedding and mostly
I remember watching TV in a motel room and NOT sleeping because I
was so ashamed of my government for the way they weren't helping the
citizens of our country. It was a shock to see the suffering, the ineptitude
- President Bush was at his very worst. I think there were a few family
squabbles too, but this time they took a back seat to bigger problems.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

my break spot

Traffic in GG Park is a snarl on Saturday, so I go early to park and then I
spend about an hour in front of this pond in the Botanical Gardens. I
read and reflect and appreciate the quiet. My bird friend wasn't there
yesterday and I worried, but the fish were splashing (carp?) and I felt
calm and relaxed before work, deciding that my bird was simply on a
short vacation, visiting another part of SF.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

class last night

I had submitted 10 pages for last night, wanting to get going earlier than
I did last semester. Here is some of what Karen, our teacher, wrote about
my pages:
I love Ellen so much. You do a great job with her voice - and here I
was so envious of her being in Paris. I like how determined she is to
plumb the mystery of her husband and yet how unwilling she is -
that feels right to me. The language was, as always, so fun. Keep
going. You're growing a book, and it's blossoming nicely.

Such a fine evening and of course when I came home late it wasn't
easy to sleep, despite a rewarding Giant's win.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Spain in the 70's

We both really enjoyed this film from the Flix®. A lonely school teacher
worships The Beatles and travels to meet John Lennon down on the
coast of Spain. He picks up two confused young people and helps them
sort things out because Living is Easy with Eyes Closed, according to
his hero, John. A strong, yet gentle, movie to be savored.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

lunch with Linda

Well, breakfast, really, but noonish. We met out at Eats on Clement and 2nd
yesterday and enjoyed a lovely visit with just a dash or two of gossip. I'm
so lucky to know such a talented and creative woman - xo to Linda over
there on the right with all her books and her blog.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sunday last

As perfect a day as one could ask for. Warm, no humidity or fog.
We shopped for Italian basil in a Chinese market out at 9th and
Clement, bought a hanging duck for dinner and then came home 
to make pesto while watching our Giants sweep the Nats. MadBum
was at his very best - such a great game. Who can not love baseball?
As I post this today we are only two games behind the Dodgers.
How about them basil leaves?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

thank you, Zenni®

A friend-of-a-friend loves Zenni, an online optical store. I decided that I
needed an inexpensive back-up pair so I sent my prescription, figured out
my PD (pupillary distance) and selected some basic black sale frames for
$12.00. I really didn't expect much, but they arrived yesterday and they
are superior to my costly Kaiser glasses. They have clip-on sun shades
and the whole package came in for under $60.00. I'm used to REALLY
spending $$$ on eyeglasses since I wear them everyday, so Zenni makes
me really happy and they are officially endorsed in the blog too.

Monday, August 17, 2015

what would YOU say?

Here is the prompt for today's Round Robin ten minute writing exercise.
Teacher (and friend) Jane has a great eye and living in SF provides her
with a lot of interesting subject matter with her camera. But I have not a
clue what I will write about.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

soccer in Mexico

We are enjoying this 13 episode series streaming on the Flix® - 
it's in Spanish with English subtitles. A sister and brother inherit their
father's soccer team when he dies and there is a lot of conflict, drama
and humor. A good way to learn a little more about soccer too.

Friday, August 14, 2015

the Asian Art Museum

Yesterday I took a vacation afternoon and visited the exhibit (closing this
Sunday, yikes) of 28 Chinese at the Asian. There are actually 48 pieces
from 28 artists and still my favorite is probably the bottom photo entitled
To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond and it is mesmerizing. Why? I
really don't know, but I so recommend this exhibit.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

good seats, bad game

We sat 4 rows behind the Chevron cars yesterday and between innings
the kids all ran down to the front to try to catch the ball tossed by the
left fielder. Ginger and I had a great time, but the Giants could not seem
to find their bats and we lost to the Houston Assholes (saw that on some
tee shirts) 2 to 0. Yup, that's baseball for you. It was hot, but there were
some cool sea breezes for these bleacher bums.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

from Bisbee, Az

Yes, I still hear from my friend Mary who is very happy in her small but
vibrant town that is so close to the border with Mexico. She sent this
photo saying that this is rather common (the lightning and rainbow), but
not easy to capture in a photo and this one is terrific.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

we love trees, but...

For years and years our view has been blocked by a HUGE pine tree and
about a month ago the tree experts started whittling it back. And then
it was removed. The whole process took about a week and according to
Frank, our tree expert, the big problem in these city tree removals is
dragging the wood through the house to the chopper on the street (which
used up about four valuable parking places). Several of the neighbors
helped pay for this and we all love not having pine needles all over our
decks and back yards. We have never seen Sutro Tower or Twin Peaks
before - that pine tree has been here forever and yes, it was dangerous and
we all worried during big wind storms.

Monday, August 10, 2015

inside a movie theater?

Yes, Husbando and I actually ripped ourselves away from the Flix®
and Amazon Prime (AmPri?) yesterday and went out to the Boa,
as Linda (and others) call it to see Mr. Holmes. We are fans of both
Ian McKellen and Laura Linney and this film didn't disappoint, but
the story was a bit weak. We all know how I love a good plot, especially
since I can't seem to find one for Ellen, but the popcorn was great
and parking horrid. We were a little too close to the Outside Lands
mess down there at Balboa and 36th, but we eventually found parking
and did not run over any young 'uns.  Very relaxing, Sundays rock.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

we still need peace signs

Supermarket Pastoral

I saw a ground squirrel with a long naked tail
in the wilderness behind the Stop & Shop
where the brook rushes into the vortex of an abandoned dryer.

I, too, have a wasting disease
and at my core, a sinking, but I am not done

continuing, watching the old Quakers pushing their peace signs
in front of the supermarket, pushing eighty
and seeing everything in its terrible proportion.

Samn Stockwell

Summer 2015

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Nancy, beware!

(here is my Round Robin piece for today - I am a happy sub again)


I'm working on a mystery novel, one with very little blood or death. I don't
care for either of those topics. Ellen is my protagonist and her husband, Seth,
died (conveniently) before the story begins, in a hit-and-run on Cesar Chavez.
My teacher, Karen, says that I need another body and I am dragging my feet.
Since I've just developed her sister, Diane, I don't want to kill her off and her
friend Lori is helping Ellen and snooping around and would be the logical
next-death, but I don't think Ellen could stand that after all she has been
through. She would feel responsible, because she is/was/could be.

It is my belief that women mystery writers are far less violent and in-your-face
about the dead body business than the men. Sheeeeeez, so many of them
get all caught up in vivid descriptions of the bodies with eyes popping
out and gallons of blood ruining the carpets. I tend to skip right over those
paragraphs and get back to all the emotional and psychological issues.

At the end of the last Novel Continuation class a fellow student said that she
had just reread all the Nancy Drew classics. So many of us loved those
when we were girls. She said that the daring Nancy was chloroformed
in every single story. How convenient! Maybe I will try that with friend Lori,
I don't want to toss her under a BART train. Too messy.

Friday, August 07, 2015

yikes and god help us all

This is the horrid weekend when a gazillion people (mostly young and high)
descend on Golden Gate Park for Outside Lands, a music festival. There will
be no parking so Husbando will drop me off at the deYoung this morning and
I will take public transportation home. "See you at midnight," we will say
as we part. Some of the neighbors make a ton of money by parking strangers
in their driveways and the rest just bitch and complain.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

so far so good

Yesterday I was able to start organizing THE NOVEL on Version 4 of
WriteItNow. It's almost self-explanatory and I started with the characters
and that helps a lot. Thankfully I took some handwritten notes along
the way, because the writer forgets who/where/what as the pages add up.
Right now Ellen is in Paris for a few days, she needed a break.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

linda-like, no?

There is a new photography exhibit at the deYoung entitled "Portals of the
Past" and it is certainly worth seeing. Willard E. Worden made a good living
with his photography (100 years ago) and most of his work is that haunting
sepia and includes the 1906 earthquake and then the 1915 World's Fair.
In fact he sold his photos at a booth at the P.P.I.E.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

zip, zip, zip (and snip)

RR's first day at kindergarten

RR today

I love being in the front row seat watching and appreciating RR grow up.
But, good lord, it happens so fast, as all of you know. She is blessed with
her parents many exceptional qualities, and here we get to see how the
Blogmaid's hair genes will benefit RR throughout her life. Lucky girl,
in so many ways. (And note Sabine trying to kill smaller creatures in the
background.) Living a block from the ocean is pretty nice for everyone too...

Monday, August 03, 2015

writers invade Napa

We had a wonderful, wonderful time yesterday up at Chef Sarah's home
in Napa. So nice to sit outside, eat too much, talk about people and
words and just be thankful that we all have Tiapos.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

100 year old mural

Here's a not too good photo of the "Atlantic and Pacific" mural now hanging
in the deYoung. It's 49 feet long and has not been seen since the 1915
Panama-Pacific International Exposition. By William de Leftwich Dodge,
the canvas was rolled up and saved for decades, but at least some curators
checked it out from time to time. In October, the deYoung will present
a larger exhibit from the PPIE, as we insiders call it.

Saturday, August 01, 2015


For the first time in what seems like FOREVER I had a good dental
visit last week and I'm still celebrating with extra flossing. Right Wing
Wong might be difficult, but he would never kill 400 year old research
lions - at least to my knowledge. Now see me smile.