Sunday, January 31, 2016

it officially started yesterday

Super Bowl 50 ~ fanfare galore. The best part is that the Bay Bridge light
show was turned on again last night, here to stay this time. "They" gave
the local fans an extra weekend of music, $10 beer, activities, etc. before
the out-of-towners arrive tomorrow. There was a big fireworks display too,
and we watched it all on TV and yes, there were hordes of people down
there in person. The homeless population has been moved out to the
nabes and now you want to know how that is working with the people
who just spent 1.5 plus million on a tiny new home? Colorful tent
cities have sprung up and I will try to get some photos for you...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

back to the classroom

Last night was class #1 of season #3 of the Novel Continuation class. I
am not only the oldest student there (as usual), I am probably the slowest
writer known to man/woman. But I soldier on and one day I WILL finish
the first draft of Ellen Emerges and we will all rejoice. In the meantime,
how very wonderful to be back in my writing community. Now, of
course, I must actually put some words on the manuscript. Oh. That.

Friday, January 29, 2016

oooooooooh, catch this

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a mini-series on
British TV and now it is on the Flix®. It's the true story of an
eccentric ex-teacher who was accused of murder and the rotten
newspapers over there almost destroyed the poor man. We found
it accidentally while browsing Netflix and it is really excellent.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

a musical genius

We met Ginger down at Lefty's and then went to ACT to see this
90 minute play, Satchmo at the Waldorf. This is really more of a
biographical story, not too much music, but very interesting because
Louis left a lot of tapes and he was very open when he talked to
the big bulky tape recorder that he took everywhere. I had no idea
that the black community rejected him later in life, that was sad to
hear about. His manager, Joe Glasser, helped him to become a star
and then screwed him over. John Douglas Thompson does a fabulous
job in this one act play by Terry Teachout, an Armstrong fan (and white).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

mindfulness

our Buddha with Husbando's hat
House Special After the Storm Has Passed

Day after day, I’ve talked to no one,
but am not lonely,
as if I’ve gone mute with a begging bowl
into the streets and everyone was television.
A small helping of chow mein,
a sip of sweet and sour soup.
What more do I need?
Mindfulness,
the Buddha said over and over,
each segment of a tangerine,
every glance or taste.
Everything I own, owns me,
the view of Spring as it merges into summer,
the silence of it,
the rock, the heron, the bamboo hut
with no one about to call out in my seeing.

Dick Allen

Plume
Issue 54 - 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the golden girls


Subtitle: Why I Love the SPCA. Twelve not-so-young female Golden Labs
from a breeder who recently died. Perhaps we could call it a Puppy Mill?
Who knows? Anyway, the sweetest dozen came to our facility for complete
veterinary care, behavior check-ups and lots of people love. Our friend
Ginger in Santa Barbara has two Golden Labs and she almost drove up for
another few when I texted her pictures yesterday. This has to be the most
gentle dog species in history and after all their medical work they will be
adopted out to loving forever homes quickly.

Monday, January 25, 2016

down and around

Here is a photo of bustling Chinatown that I snapped yesterday before
lunch at the Golden Star with Dancing Jen. It's been too long since
I went downtown and around, just to appreciate MY city before the
Super Bowl nonsense starts. Thanks, Jen, for the fine lunch and
much needed "girl talk".

Sunday, January 24, 2016

reliving last year


The 2015 blog has been printed and we are both enjoying the posts,
photos and memories. Man, we are such fortunate people to live
here in health ~ especially reading about all the snow elsewhere recently.
And today, sunshine and I'm off to meet Dancing Jen for lunch. Hoooooray!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

London Spy

Ooooooooooh, good one! London Spy is on BBC America and we watched
the first of five episodes of this gay spy story last night It also stars Jim
Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling ~ delightful stuff, fun intrigue.

Friday, January 22, 2016

from a morning email

Too beautiful not to share.

Finally, in closing, perhaps a poem by Stephen Levine, 
who passed away this week:

Mother-of-us-all
by Stephen Levine

Mother-of-us-all prays to free us
From our image of perfection
To which so much suffering clings.

When in the shadowy mind
We imagine ourselves imperfectly,
praying to be freed by enlightenment,
she refines our prayers.

Putting her arms around us
She bids us rest our head on her shoulder
Whispering, don’t you know
With all your fear and anger
All you are fit for is love.


(Thank you, Jeff)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

General Hospital and more

I walked up Potrero Avenue yesterday and snapped this photo that you can
barely read. The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donates a lot of money
to a lot of causes, but since his wife is a doctor, much of it goes to the world
of medicine. It was a splendid walk and I kept crossing streets so I could
get into the delightful sunshine. (Leah, I was thinking about you on the walk.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

everyone out!

We had lunch at the Precita Park Cafe today - it was busy because there
is no rain and folks wanted to get o-u-t. We especially needed that as we
have been spending waaaaaaaaay too much time in our comfy home. So
now I will go for a long, long walk in the nabe. I will have a latte and a
sweet and pick up a few things for Husbando's birthday dinner tomorrow
night. He loves my fried rice ~ it's not really very good, but don't tell him, OK?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

the horridness approaches

down by City Hall ~ wake us when it's all over (2/8) ~ we hate football
   









Monday, January 18, 2016

a long winter's walk


Yesterday I hopped on BART for a vacation day out in Pleasanton
with Ginger. First we had a hearty lunch at Urban Plates in Dublin,
then a latte and a sweet at Peet's, and then a delightful (and much-
needed) walk around her nabe. We spoke of many things, the way
old friends do - joys and fears and how come people are so weird
and sometimes wonderful? You know, clean-out-your-heart kind
of talk which we both needed more than usual this week, or so it
seemed. I returned home refreshed and happy, as I knew I would.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

don't know much about...

...photography, but I remember at some exhibit the artist mentioned how
he/she would wait for rain and puddles to get more dramatic shots.
I've seen this statue a million times out at the Legion of Honor, but
somehow the grey, the rain, and  the vague reflection prompted me to
get out my iPhone and give it a try. Like.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

so very satisfying

Last night we finished Season Two of Mozart in the Jungle which we
streamed on Amizon Prime. We both love this drama/comedy series
which takes place mostly in NYC with the glorious music of the NY
Symphony Orchestra and some fabulous acting too. Makes me want
to head to Manhattan for a week or seven, and right now.

Friday, January 15, 2016

fitting tributes

British actor Alan Rickman's death was a shock and Facebook was filled
yesterday with the famous and not-so saying beautiful and touching things
about this fabulous actor. My friend Susan (aka Fevered Brain) ranks with
the best ~ check her out over there on the right The All of It, one of my
favorite blogs. Not to complain, but 2016 is a dud so far. Thank you for
everything, Mr. Rickman. RIP.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

back for another round

I read or heard that Black Mirror refers to the TV or maybe the screen of
our computers. Here we have another strange and wonderfully shocking
episode and I suggest you don't watch it right before bed. It's on the
Flix® now and it is compelling indeed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

purple works

I neglected to show you this photo of a very cool little house in our
nabe. It was obviously a December walk, not that people don't leave
wreaths and trees up for a l-o-n-g time and that's OK by me. Even
the mailbox on the bright white rail is purple.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

fuzzy puppies...


...and photos too. We had six to separate for feeding and room cleaning
yesterday and since we were a little short handed early on I helped out.
Pups can wriggle their way out of anything, especially crates that don't
secure well, and it was an active time indeed. Almost all of them had
been adopted by the end of the day, or so Marsi (above) emailed me
last night. I mean WHO can resist a puppy?

Monday, January 11, 2016

can you feel the sunshine?

I love this photo (thanks, Blogmaid) from 1995, when the Giants still
played at Candlestick. We had not yet won a World Series, but we were
full of hope. Our team raised money for AIDS research and once in
awhile a right wingish player from an opposing team (not ours!) would
get all homophobic and uptight and of course we loved that and would
boo him mightily when he appeared in the lineup. Notthat assures us
that pitchers and catchers report in 40 days and oh, hooooray for baseball.
Soon, my friends, soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

first time in the USA

Raphael's Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn is here on loan from the
Galleria Borghese in Rome. I've seen the image many times, but not
until I saw the original yesterday at the Legion of Honor did I under-
stand what all the fuss is about. Is fuss an art term? Anyway, this is
more than splendid. Much discussion on whether the unicorn is based
on a lapdog or a horse, but it would be hard to fold the front paws
of a pony, would it not? Suffice it to say this 1506 piece is so rich in
color and intensity that I urge you to come to see it in Gallery One -
on display here through April 10th.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

this? that? another?

I can't believe that I will need to buy a new computer this year, but
yes, it is time. MsBook has been a wonderful friend since 2009 ~ I
really don't have a major complaint about her. Of course she is a
bit slow and that beach ball appears far too often, but mostly it is
when I want to download some program and the response is, "your
computer is too old for this." Something like Scrivener, for instance.
Pictured here is the AirMac - do I want this one? I'm not going to
rush into this purchase, so any advice will be appreciated.

Friday, January 08, 2016

preparing for Tiapos

I bought some gourmet pastries for the writing group last night. We
met at Doug's and although it was a fun and hearty gathering, we
missed our leader Jane, whose health isn't too great currently. Suzy
and Doug provided better sweets for the strong coffee and tea
and everyone contributed their written words. A fine evening, and yet...

Thursday, January 07, 2016

ah, the beauty

There are many glorious images when one googles Rain San Francisco
and I selected this one for today. Do not think that we have ventured outside
for one moment the past two days, but today we might go out between
storms. Then tonight is Tiapos over at the Great Plotniks and tomorrow
is back to work. Yes, El NiƱo has arrived ~ floods, falling trees, water!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

have you been watching?

This is a fascinating documentary - Steve Avery is in jail for a murder
he did or did not commit. We don't know yet. What we see, however,
is the justice system as messy, untrustworthy, inconsistent and hell
bent on making the facts fit without any real detective work. Sad.
It takes place in some dreary small town in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

an afternoon with the master

I had a productive day with one of the expert mystery writers yesterday -
my novel writing teacher (Karen) always mentions her and I think
I have read every book she has ever written. Elizabeth George is an
American, but writes all things British. Genius. So I'm loving A
Banquet of Consequences on my Lindakindle2. (My dictionary says
that Master is for men, but that needs to be updated, don't you agree?)

Monday, January 04, 2016

from the SPCA newsletter

Now that holiday celebrations have ended, we would like to
thank all of our supporters for another great Holiday Windows
at Macy’s! This year, in just six short weeks, we were able to
send home 261 animals, 220 cats and 41 dogs.

Not only were the animals adopted at Holiday Windows saved,
but those adoptions opened up space in our shelters to bring in
261 more animals.

“Every year I am touched by how many new beginnings come
from Holiday Windows,” said Adoption Center Coordinator
Amber Eby. “I love it when people come back to visit and
tell us how their adoptees from the previous year, or the
previous five years, are doing in their forever homes. It
really does help change lives, for both the animals and their people.”

A big thanks to all the volunteers who came in early and stayed
late, rain or shine. We also want to thank the adopters and donors
who braved the crowds to show their support, and of course our
partners at Macy’s. With the 29th annual event being such a success,
we can’t wait to see what the 30th anniversary brings next year!

Sunday, January 03, 2016

back to 2015

We have an old, simple newspaper recipe and we have marked on it every
year since 2008, when we started the roast beef tradition for New Year's
Eve. It's tempting to overcook this expensive piece of meat, so we are
very careful. We don't like Kathy Griffin, but we watch her and Anderson
Cooper on CNN in NYC until the ball drops at 9pm our time. Oh, and
gobs of mashed potatoes with the rare roast beef. Yum. The next day
Husbando slices the remaining beef (he has an electric slicer) and I
take sandwiches to work until we run out and start planning for December
31, 2016. Happy New Year to my devoted readers!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

ellen gets analyzed

Husbando is very nice about letting me use the dining room table to work
on the outline project. It has been so long since I read the first fifty or
so pages that I was amazed at the number of characters who have dropped
away, the discrepancies (is sister Diane two years older or younger than
Ellen? it varies...) and, in general, the smooth readability of this work.
I am not displeased and that is a surprise. So I am making notes and
chugging along. Novel class next week and I need to report on some
progress here and I think I will, but it is slow going.

Friday, January 01, 2016

over and out

The Blogmaid and I had a fine time at the movie Carol yesterday.
This has become her pre-b.day tradition and we met in Stonestown
and ate chocolate while drinking lattes. Yes, we recommend this
movie that takes place in the 1950's with some wonderful period
piece details and terrific acting. Good plot too, from Ms. Highsmith.
So 2015 is a wrap, it was a very good year, all in all.