Saturday, December 31, 2016

everyone has a secret

Last night we finished Episode 10 of The Break on The Flix®. It is a
compelling story with almost everyone either suspected of or guilty
of a murder or two. The police inspector (above) moves back to his
small hometown in Belgium and is immediately entangled in a few
suspenseful mysteries. I guess some folks binge-watched, but two a
night is more than enough thrills for us.  Happy New Year and
begone 2016. Now how about impeachment proceedings in 2017?

Friday, December 30, 2016

inspiration needed?

Well, get thee to the movies. Back in the 60's there were three genius
African American women working at NASA. Hidden Figures tells
this true story of their daily struggles in this all white male world and
how yes, they helped get John Glenn into space. The lead role is
played by Taraji P. Henson whom I knew and loved in Person of
Interest on TV (she was Joss the cop) and then we have Kevin
Costner as the Bossman. I thought I'd be alone in the theater but
there were quite a few of us and nice applause at the end of the movie.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

this quiet week with red

The Great Plotniks gave us our first Amaryllis and isn't it something?
This is a good week here in SF because all the people and traffic
seem to be downtown, the rest of the city is quiet and parking is
(get this) plentiful. I don't feel the usual pressure to GET THINGS
DONE around the house or anyplace else. I have set up a couple of
useful files on my desktop for 2017 and I have been writing everyday.
Of course I still am wondering why so many talented people died
this year and so many were way too young. Enough...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

we love Lulu

We've been going to Lulu's on Folsom Street since they opened in 1994.
But today they suffer as massive street construction (Bart? There?) is
happening right in front of the restaurant. But the mussels and pizza
and steak were just as delicious as ever and we sat very near the wood
burning ovens and had a lovely celebration lunch.

It was our 47th Wedding Anniversary! No, it does not seem possible.
Yes, I was a child bride. I recently found this quote about coupledom
and it applies to us, I think:

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder 
where you are when you don't come home at night. -
Margaret Mead, anthropologist (16 Dec 1901-1978

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

animal update!

Puma at party

New dog Noochi

Ms. Puma is settling in with Rev. Richard although she did have a bit of
a territorial dispute with a dog guest at the party. Puma won and I have
a feeling that she will always get her way. I snapped this photo of her
resting exactly where the previous cat (Desi) used to perch.

Our writing friend Will and his wife Valerie had to put down their old
dog last year. A Russel Terrier named Russel. Valerie went to Muttville
and found this sweet 12 year old and they named her Noochie because
of some fudge on the East Coast that is the same color as she is. I do
think that she is adorable and we know she found a great forever home.

Monday, December 26, 2016

one fine Christmas Day

our hosts

the Lego garage around the corner

We had a wonderful time down in Half Moon Bay with the Blogmaid and
her family. Excellent food (and lots of it) and then a quick walk to the
house around the corner with a gazillion Lego creations in the garage.
I've shown just a small portion here. It was all so pleasantly fun, warm
and relaxing ~ our gratitude runs deep today.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

a full day before

our glorious ocean

tempura and noodles

Rev. Richard and Jane

'Twas the Saturday before Christmas and there was NO traffic in the city,
so we took advantage of this and went down to Ocean Beach where it
was cold, clear and invigorating. Lots of people with kites and kids
and fun to be out by the sea again. Too much delicious food at Mifune
in Japantown (where I thought of Linda and Anna and our dinner there)
and then last night I took Bart to a gathering at Carlini's where we
had a little spiritual celebration and some food. Good to see McEvoy
again (my other Ashland friend) down from Idaho for the holidays.
Merry Christmas dear readers, dear friends far and near. Always near...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

the best season ever?

Maybe because we've been cleaning up the ocean and the bay. Maybe
because the past two seasons have not produced quality or quantity of
crab, but wow, this year the crab is not only relatively cheap, it is
sweet and meaty and succulent. Yes, sprinkle liberally with lemon
and dip those babies in a half pound of butter or so. Of course SF's
sour dough bread is a must.

Friday, December 23, 2016

so binge-worthy

Here we are again, ignoring the happy holiday season and all those sugary
TV specials in favor of OA. The Flix® has hooked us again and we are
on episode 5 of 8 and already we do not want it to end. Part mystery,
sci fi, action, romance, spiritual, etc. Go ahead, you can do xmas next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

so then, so now

I met Ginger at the Oakland Museum yesterday to see the extensive
exhibit of Black Panther art, writing, history and memorabilia. We
had such hope back then in the 70's when we were young. The
Panthers consisted of many women, I didn't realize that. We think of
the young black men with rifles, but this exhibit pointed out the
free medical clinics, school lunch programs, legal counsel and all
the education that was accomplished during this time. Very well
done, well attended and inspiring.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

a fancy burger place

We met John and Mary here for a fine holiday lunch ~ a once a
year tradition by now. They are going to the Women's March in
DC on Jan. 21st, so of course there was a lot of political bashing
and gnashing yesterday, even though we kept trying to talk about
other things. We all lived through the Nixon era and thought it
could not get any worse, but it can and will and we need to prepare.
Ah, old friends, such a blessing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

thanks, Ms. Lurie

Our American heroine is currently living in London, so right from
the beginning Foreign Affairs is interesting and I love her observations
about The Brits and the good/bad little details of living in the heart
of such a colorful city. This novel is a fine escape from holiday-mania
and all things red and green, whether finished or left undone.

Monday, December 19, 2016

topping off

balls in lobby at 343 Sansome

Marsha on rooftop at 343

OK, here is the scoop on the floating balls: L'Octagon by Belgian artist Pol Bury. 
Each of the silver balls moves on the bed of water which flows beneath them.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

the first two top stops

#1 Montgomery

343 Sansome 

#1 Montgomery ~ this public space is in the Willis Polk 1908 Crocker
Bank building. It is a bit rundown, but the views are still impressive.
A great way to see the Palace Hotel across Market Street. (The top photo
impressed me because of the reflections in the windows.)

343 Sansome ~ easy elevator ride to the 15th Floor rooftop garden.
First stop in the lobby to see the silver balls (later this week) and
then go to admire the unusual views and the tables along the edge
of this space. I could picture all the workers enjoying their lunch
breaks here beneath the olive trees on a warmer day. (Note a slice
of the Bay and Treasure Island amidst all the tall buildings.)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

nothin' like DOWNTOWN

Lobby ~ Palace Hotel

Pied Piper 

I met Marsha here in the lobby of the Palace Hotel and then we stopped
by the Pied Piper bar there to admire this famous painting by Maxfield
Parrish which was restored in 2013. Wow. We have a goal to visit the
hidden rooftop gardens in SF. Ten public spaces mandated by the
city and resented by the building owners. Just what I need during the
holidays ~ rekindled love for my city. I carried my chronny (10/3/16)
looking like a tourist from Ames, Iowa and we visited two of the
sites. The guard had to unlock the elevator in the first one. More
tomorrow ~ I want to do this up right for you and me.

Friday, December 16, 2016

as promised...

A few more photos of the Tiapos party. Note MY potatoes get center stage.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

every year ~ thankfully

Once again we gathered at Doug and Barb's ~ Tiapos in all its glory,
sarcasm,  cranky "God I hate Christmas" stuff and way too much
food. Lots of laughs, especially when Doug phoned Randy in NYC.
But hey, I'll send a few more photos and thoughts tomorrow. Yes,
it was great fun and yes, I am beyond lucky to have these people
in my life. We owe it all to Jane, may she RIP. Dear Jane.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

go ahead ~ pin your hopes

My first trip back to either museum since I retired! It was an easy re-entry
yesterday out at the Legion of Honor and this particular exhibit of the
Madeline Albright pin collection is terrific. It is well categorized and
the displays are easy-to-read and there is so much history as well as
beauty to be enjoyed. So allow some time just to read and admire the
woman and her jewelry.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

their first night

Carlini's morning email yesterday was such a delight. I know,
I will write about other things soon, but we need warm hearts
on these cold mornings. Enjoy:

Good morning Stein.

No the little darling didn't hide, yes the little darling came into
the bedroom, yes the little darling got up on the bed ,yes the little 
darling slept there all night, yes the little darling acts like she's lived 
here for all of her life. Yes the little darling is still here with me as we 
read our morning email laying in bed and I'm thinking, what is up I've 
never had a cat just like this before.

Monday, December 12, 2016

we went shopping

Back to the SPCA yesterday to show Carlini each and every cat. We
always have a good inventory there. Here he is with Puma, a two year
old Calico who went back to Walnut Creek with him and they are
settling in together nicely. He is still grieving for Desi who died about
two months ago, but these two will eventually bond nicely.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

love and hominy

Husbando spent an entire day making his famous pozole last week
and last night was the gathering of friends to thank them for being
there (here) for us. It was pretty much a Trump-free evening as
we discussed horses, fire places, Feldenkrais at Kaiser, the Sweet
Shop in Japantown and our various families. Wonderful!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

my eyes have seen...

When I Googled this image just now Zenni was somehow listed under
"cheapism" which is a new word to me. Anyway, Husbando and I now
 order our eye glasses through Zenni (based in San Rafael) and we are
delighted with the product, service and price. It takes a little time to
measure and type in all the information from the eye exam, but the
prescription glasses always come in under $100 and we are pleased.
This is an official endorsement...

Friday, December 09, 2016

who knew?

I didn't take this photo, because I don't really want to be out in this rain.
It's good stay-at-home in front of the new fake fireplace kind of weather.
It's a real rain here in the Bay Area. Did the weather people predict this
back in July? I think not. Because of the four year draught we can't
really complain, but I am soooooo happy not to be driving to and from
those museums anymore. Or taking BART to downtown Borders, for
that matter. Gratitude for the rain and the dry in between. Like maybe
it will be dry and clear today? Too early to tell...

Thursday, December 08, 2016

I like this writer

Always have. Ian McEvan writes this from the perspective of an
embryo listening to his mother, father, street sounds, TV, etc.
and it is excellent so far. The baby is in the Nutshell (I'm guessing)
and his parents are a bit nutty, and no, his birth won't make
everything OK.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

window shopping

How long have I been collecting money for the SPCA at Macy's windows?
Maybe five years? Anyway, yesterday was the BEST ever because people
were so very generous ~ $20's were the rule rather than the exception.
It was cold and I was not unhappy to leave after two hours, but it was
the shot of hope that I needed this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

fly-about Monday

Flora at her loom

SF is a very political city

First I did the dog feeding thing in the morning, then I took BART to
Oakland where Flora showed me her weaving looms and fed me lunch
and then I rushed home because Marsha was picking me up to go to the
Scott Wiener political gathering at the Swedish American Hall on
Market Street. Note dear Supervisor Peskin in the foreground. Sigh.
Six hundred people gathered to celebrate the inauguration of our new
California State Senator. Marsha introduced me to him and then we
high-tailed it out of there because it was too noisy and crowded. Please
admire me for changing clothes THREE times yesterday. Whooooosh.

Monday, December 05, 2016

a happy holiday play

Yesterday we ventured downtown to the SF Playhouse to see this
fluffy musical which takes place in Budapest in 1937. So, yes,
it is a little dated and maybe a tad too long, but the cast is so
enthusiastic that She Loves Me a real treat, especially the set
design which is impressive to say the least.  Oh, and a happy
ending which we all need these days...

Sunday, December 04, 2016

and more #13 birthday

RR and gifts 

the table and some of the 13 decor

Such a festive celebration in Pumpinville yesterday!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

a little history

It's special. I (we) have been coming to John's Grill on Ellis Street since
we moved here 40 or so years ago. It's "old San Francisco" with the dark
wood and white tablecloths, black and white photos of SF people and
international stars too. Friendly service and pretty good food. Patrice
from my museum days met me here last Thursday ~ I still so love going
downtown, checking out the stores and doing some serious people-
watching. We had a delightful catch-up time at John's.

Friday, December 02, 2016

we have resumed

Our writing group (Tiapos) is a little more haphazard since Jane died,
but we did meet again Wednesday night over at Suzy's in Oakland.
It was especially good seeing Chef Sarah ~ it's been too long because
she has to drive down from Napa, not easy. We are all bummed about
the idiot next Potus so bitching together helps us heal and prepare
to fight. It still seems like a bad dream, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 01, 2016

a tree falls in Frisco

This occurred on Church Street and backed-up the already unreliable
J street car. Good news? City workers arrived en masse and had it
cleaned up quickly. Sometimes when I go to the gym I park right
there and no people or cars were harmed yesterday. Funny, it was
rainy, but no wind ~ just tree roots gone bad from all the drought
years, I guess. I am not an arborist.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I want Jane back

I want to send her this poem.
Did she know Kim Addonizio?
I want to thank Jane for turning me into a writer.
I want Jane to push me to write again and deeper.
Complex, edgy, caring Jane.
Did she know this poem?

"What Do Women Want?"

I want a red dress. 
I want it flimsy and cheap, 
I want it too tight, I want to wear it 
until someone tears it off me. 
I want it sleeveless and backless, 
this dress, so no one has to guess 
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store 
with all those keys glittering in the window, 
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old 
donuts in their cafĂ©, past the Guerra brothers 
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly, 
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders. 
I want to walk like I'm the only 
woman on earth and I can have my pick. 
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm 
your worst fears about me, 
to show you how little I care about you 
or anything except what 
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment 
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body 
to carry me into this world, through 
the birth-cries and the love-cries too, 
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin, 
it'll be the goddamned 
dress they bury me in. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

getting to know George

Here are three girls from the racetrack day and I will start a new blog category
for George. Of course you know that RR is on the left, right?

Monday, November 28, 2016

off to the races!

Mr. and Mrs. Blogmaid and Claire (above) hosted a lovely day at Golden
Gate Fields for RR's birthday. I neglected to get a good photo of the four
teenage girls, but they had a great time roaming around. And I had just
the BEST time watching the people and horses and only losing $18
on #5 in the 4th race.