Thursday, December 31, 2015

two from the Blogmaid

On Christmas day I lost my Buddha car key somewhere down in
Pumpkinville and the above came in the mail yesterday. Whoooooosh,
my parking karma will remain steadfast. Then in the email blogmaid
sends the peppermint ice cream photo - I think it might be nearly
empty.  Hoooooooray and many thanks, dear friend. Today we end
2015 with a movie ("Carol") and some girl talk (blogmaid & blogger
variety) and maybe popcorn, candy. It's only right and fitting...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

my yesterday

I spent six plus hours up in the tower at the deYoung and it was packed
with locals and tourists - families and single travelers, rich and poor
and in between. By the time I got home I did not want to talk, but I
bounced back today and took a long walk this afternoon. There aren't
many free public places to enjoy city views and all the guidebooks
recommend this spot, especially on a clear and beautiful day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

lunch in Berkeley

We recommend the feisty Thai food at Gecko Gecko on Addison.
I always try to use Open Table and am glad I did because they
were busy at noon on Sunday. One short block from the Berkeley Rep.
Good choice thanks to Ginger who is a huge Rep theater fan.

Monday, December 28, 2015

disturbing, scary = great

Husbando and I had front row balcony seats for Disgraced yesterday at
the Berkeley Rep and it is indeed an amazing and disarming play about
a Muslim man, his white wife and their two friends. Oh, the young Muslim
nephew is very important to the story too. We think here in the Bay Area
that we are immune to these problems because we celebrate diversity,
but this sure made me see things differently. HBO is going to produce
this at some point and we will want to see it again. So much to digest.
It was a wonderful way to spend our anniversary, that's for sure.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 27th

Why did we get married in December, two days after Christmas? How
difficult it must have been for the guests. But we married 46 years ago
with friends and family gathered in a small room at the Highlands Inn in
Carmel. It was a blur then and is still to this day. I bet quite a few of
the guests said, "they'll never make it," but we are both stubborn and
we weathered all those marital storms that some of you might know
about. Today we celebrate with a Thai lunch and theater in Berkeley,
of all places. Bonne Anniversaire, mon mari! Lucky us...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

a merry HMB day

our host at work
with adorable grand daughter, Ceci

the blogmaid and the blogger
We had a delightful day in Pumpkinville (aka Half Moon Bay) and Mr.
Blogmaid cooked the ENTIRE meal for all of us. We walked out to the
ocean after dinner and it was indeed cold. I believe I got the Blogmaid
hooked on Mitchell's peppermint ice cream and that's a VERY good thing.
Interesting that it goes so well with apple pie, no? Such a happy holiday!

Friday, December 25, 2015

twas the night before...

moon over mullen avenue

the joyful table

the warmth of friends
Yesterday afternoon we listened to The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth,
a gift from the Fevered Brain and one of their Christmas Eve traditions,
which will now be one of ours. Wonderful and thank you. Then we
feasted on Cuban chicken, sweet potatoes, salads and persimmon pudding
at the always warm and delightful table of The Great Plotniks. Sister
Jen was there as was daughter Bron and her grade school girl friend K-dawg.
We had a very special Christmas Eve and once more we thank our dear friends.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Carlini & McEvoy

We had a festive dinner at Don Ramon's last night. Carlini (left) used to
work and party there back in the day and he had to work the room before
we could settle down for our rellenos and burritos, etc. These are the two
I'll be going to Ashland with in April - how lucky am I?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

from the Upanishads

Francesco Clemente

Here is my moment of Zen for you...

 A student asks his master when he will teach him being Zen,
So one day master puts an empty cup in front of his student
and starts pouring the tea. The cup is full, but the master
continues pouring tea and it spills all over the tablecloth,
Student tells master that the cup is full. The master responds,
"Your cup is also overflowing." Be empty before you receive.

An excerpt from The Upanishads

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

desktop speak

Mine here at home is a glorious ocean scene from my last Pathetica walk
with the Blogmaid. This one is at the SPCA and it makes me smile every
time I log in. Such detail, such fury.

Monday, December 21, 2015

all day Sunday!

Grey, wet, gloomy and really quite wonderful. A good stay-home day
to catch our breaths and watch the garden sop up all this much needed
rain. Forecast is the same for today, tomorrow, etc. Yes! By next week
it will be legal to start bitching about the rain. Right?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

season two

We have been watching Transparent on Amazon and although it is very,
very good, it isn't quite as amusing as last season. In fact it can
be very dark and the three grown children all have emotional problems
and we know how rare that can be. Joke.  Well worth seeing, however.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

when writers party - huzzah!

Randy and Doug and pretty cake

What a great time - we laughed and laughed, ate too much and got all
sad about this being Randy's last Tiapos holiday party. Everyone read
and we were our usual snarky "I hate Christmas!" selves and it was
just a totally delightful evening. Thanks to Doug and Barb for hosting
and of course we are messy people and there was a lot of clean-up
when we left. This much I know. But what a night and I'm glad that
Doug recorded Randy's final rendition of Fuck Christmas. Too marvelous
for words, even for writers. Oh, and Jane's poem saluting dear Wally
who died several years ago. Randy is moving to NYC and lordy, we
will all miss him so much.

Friday, December 18, 2015

happy holiday bus

Here is our basic old Muni bus all decked out for the season. Of course
the Clipper Card box wasn't working and there was a drunk sprawled
over three old-people seats, but, hey, it's pretty on the outside and Muni
gets us around without driving our tedious cars, so rejoice.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

water contraptions

I intuitively like the people who live in this little blue house on the
top of Alabama Street. I can't quite figure out how their watering
system works and the plants really aren't all that pretty, but nonetheless,
this adds a certain wonderful weirdness to the nabe. We need more
strange as the sleek, rich techies continue to move in. I almost wrote
invade - almost.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

it's been too long

I haven't walked the nabe in awhile, so I did that today after lunch with
Frances up on Cortland. It's a good cold today, the colors seem extra
bright and the hills even steeper than before. But walking solves everything
as you well know by now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ellen on the table

Yesterday I plunked my novel into a flash drive, used my 30% Office
Max coupon and behold, here we have 178 pages of mostly drivel. But
it's impressive that I have written so much. Soon I will do the outline
(now that's a project!) work out the next 130 or so pages. and hit the
NY Times best seller list. No guts, no glory.

Monday, December 14, 2015

more scotch tape, please

Yesterday, during the on/off rain, I managed to wrap all the packages
and even address a few holiday cards. I do love having Sundays off
and although I'm not yet able to just sit and read, I do accomplish a lot
and it's just plain wonderful to have a whole day to get organized.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

it's the real thing

Rain! And lots of it, just like the old days. Thankfully we didn't have
to drive (or fly) in it this morning and now the sky is clearing and I
can go for a little walk after lunch. Maybe, maybe, maybe this draught
will be over in 2016? Snow up in the mountains too - yes!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

novel continuation class

In July there were fourteen of us, last night there were four. Writers
run out of steam. Of course I didn't want to go to class myself, but
Blogmaid and Husbando gave me a push and, as always, I'm so
glad that I went out in the cold, dark night. Teacher Karen said that
now is the time for me to outline the novel. I'm not that kind of
writer (I wish I was), but she is right and I will get going on that
after the holidays release me from their merry, merry grip. I already
signed up for the class beginning in January and I will finish this
damn project in 2016. Mark my words, edit and delete...

Friday, December 11, 2015

back to Burma

Husbando and I ventured outside our comfort zone again yesterday. I
always think of you, Linda, here at the Mandalay. Anyway, we had a
delicious lunch and then ran errands (plus a doc visit) in the Laurel
Heights nabe. Also known as, You Really Think You Can Park Here?
But we did and everything worked out just fine, as it so often does.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

from an SPCA friend


1.  My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation
    from you is likely to be painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my
   well- being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me
   up as punishment. You have your work, your
   friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I
   do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never
   forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember
   that I could hurt you, and yet, I choose not to bite

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncoop-
    erative, ask yourself if something might be
    bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right
    food, I have been in the sun too long, or my heart
    might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too,
   will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me
     please. Never say you can't bear to watch.
     Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for
     me if you are there, because I love you so.  

(I know, I know - this is preaching to the choir for my pet
owning friends. But it is still a sweet reminder.) 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

not very encouraging

We watched Miss Representation on the Flix® last night. And just when
I thought things might be improving for girls and women. Wrong. This
is a documentary by our own Jennifer Siebel Newsom and it is very
well done, but so difficult to accept that women are still second class
citizens here in America. I won't even venture outside our borders...
but yes, well worth watching.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

dog days of winter

And cats too, of course. Yesterday I worked my annual "Give me money
for the animals!" volunteer shift down at Macy's. So many nice people
and just what I needed during this time of red, green, stress, sorrow and
worldwide turmoil. My peaceful equilibrium returned. Happy holidays...

Monday, December 07, 2015

who knew?

A year ago, if you had told us that we'd be watching BASKETBALL on a
rainy Sunday afternoon, we would quickly and firmly say, "no way!" But
there we were yesterday, watching the Warriors, enthusiastic new fans. The
grace, the teamwork, the joy - these guys are such a pleasure to watch.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

the end of an era

chocolate cake with banana from Dianda's

Patrice with Marsha and her two dogs

Patrice and Lani

Yesterday was Patrice's last day and I will miss her a lot. She taught me
the ropes when I started and she has a wicked sense of humor which is
greatly needed when working retail. We have gone through a lot together
including a stressful management change - none of us has handled that
very well, if truth be told. Yes, you may read between the lines...

Saturday, December 05, 2015

it will happen...

...and in my lifetime. There will be effective gun control. The NRA
will be forced to give up their choke-hold on so many of our
lawmakers. It might happen city by city, state by state and then
finally, America will take action on a federal level. Who in God's
name needs assault rifles? How come the NRA gets to be in
charge of national security? I know in my heart that change is
coming - a new and strong feeling of outrage against gun
manufacturers and all the people who make money from guns
and ammunition. NYTimes tomorrow - a front page editorial, the
first since 1920. Gun regulation now.

Friday, December 04, 2015

a poem for Friday


You'd expect a certain view from such a mirror—
than one that hangs in the entry and decays.
I gaze
past my reflection toward other things:
bat wings,
burnt gold upon blue, which decorate the wall
and all
those objects collected from travels, now seen
its great, gold frame, diminished with age:
a stage
where, still, the supernatural corps de ballet
its masquerade in the reflected light.
At night,
I thought I'd see the faces of the dead.
the faces of the ghosted silver sea
saw me.

Richie Hofmann

Second Empire
Alice James Books

Thursday, December 03, 2015

the Geneva Steak House

Aren't we lucky to have friends who don't mind a seedy looking
restaurant in the part of SF that hasn't been gentrified? Down on
Mission and Geneva - old San Francisco, not pretty, but the cranes
will move in to build yet more housing one day soon. We read about
this Steak House recently and loved the one employee, a taciturn
man who doesn't eat steak. Very New York City-like. But what's this?
A nice fresh green salad, a perfectly baked potato and the steak was
big and edible, not great, but A-OK.  Belated happy to the
Great Plotnik, we had a lovely time with you and Ducknik, as always.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

NY Times bestseller

This is a beautifully written novel by Lauren Groff and I'm currently
reading it on my LindaKindle2. Fates and Furies starts slowly, in
my opinion, but I'm definitely into it now and yes, I do recommend it.
My rule has always been to test a book by reading 40 (not 39) pages,
but it's different on the beloved e-device, don't you find?

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

the butterfly lands Ceci came for dinner last night and we loaded her up with our
old Vizio TV because we bought a new Smart Samsung yesterday. She
has signed a lease for a house up in Napa for a year (!) and this is a
cause for celebration because Ceci has a reputation and a history of
flitting around from place to place, job to job. Remember that she is a
chef and can always find work, but she is happy at Morimoto's where
she works very hard. We love hearing about her daily life, her new
friends and now her new home. This also means more visits from her
mama (Nancy) and papa (Scott). Good news all around. (Sorry about
another fuzzy photo, I need to start taking more than one, but I know
you appreciate the red candles and sparkles.)