Sunday, July 31, 2016

oh, what a night!

Imagine, I had fun at my own retirement dinner last night. Delicious food and
very special friends and I was just watching a video of my "speech" and I
didn't even cringe this morning. Ristorante Pantarei (Columbus and Stockton)
provided us with calamari, bruschetta, cesar salad, stuffed eggplant ~ and
then the pastas: lasagna, fettuccine, duck pappardelle and tortelloni. All
really, really good food in our own private room. But of course the best part
was being with the people who have meant so much to me over the eight
years (!) that I've been at the museums. Such a happy evening, I am so grateful.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

another family day

Gavin and Katie at La Taqueria

We actually used the newly remodeled back deck with those expensive slats
required by the city. Good thing, too, as Gavin child was intrigued with the
height and he did some climbing and hiding under the stairs. Adam joined
us yesterday and we reminisced about their marriage eleven (!) years ago
and how much everything changes. As it should. We only talked politics for
a second as that would have led us down some dark hole. I love Hillary.

Friday, July 29, 2016

from Ithaca with love

g. dot Kate

great g.son Gavin
Thank goodness for Precita Park playground two blocks away where Gavin
could run and run and do all sorts of "I have more energy than any living
human being" kind of stuff for a couple of hours. G. dot Kate spent an
entire summer here once in our back room, so we had lots of good memories
to talk about. Husband Adam took the day off to go to San Jose for a
soccer match and we had an early dinner at La Taqueria on Mission Street.
They were packed at 4:30pm. That place is in all the tourist books now,
or so it seems because we saw lots of camera-carrying folks. So glad I am
retired because I need today to recover...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

oh, what a night

Yes, we felt hope and pride last night. I loved the two VPs (Biden and Kaine) and
POTUS was at his very best when he said that Hillary was more ready to be
President than either he or Bill had been. So generous and loving.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

it's official!

HRC is indeed the first woman nominated by a major party to be POTUS.
Yesterday and last night proved great fun ~ I cried when Bernie turned all the
votes over to her at the end of that historic roll call. Bill Clinton's speech
was (as always) long and provided us with insights into her caring approach
to life and politics. Tonight President Obama speaks and we know that will
be superb. I think one of the things I like most about Hillary, is that her group
of close advisors are women who have known her for a long time. That says
so much, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

front row seats

Well, I did NOT want to spend my first full retirement week watching the
DNC folks squabble and babble in Philadelphia. The Bernie people are wet
and weepy, but at least their voices weren't squished like dissidents at the
RNC last week. I didn't expect to be impressed last night, we've been
through a few of these before, but I was. thanks to: Sarah Silverman,
Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Michelle Obama (!) and Bernie Sanders.

Monday, July 25, 2016

a temporary new blog to follow

Our friend Eric is traveling now and he always writes a fascinating blog
when he's on the road. Spottywest Goes East ~ enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

yup, it's a good one

Last night we both really appreciated Straight Outta Compton, the movie
about this group of rappers that we knew nothing about. The Great Plottie
said we would like it and we did. A whole different world of music, but
very well done with an ending we really didn't expect. See it ~ DVD Flix®.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

loving Crissy Field

I know, I know ~ a million photos like these in this blog and everywhere.
But it was a day meant just for me, the new retiree. The fog burned off,
but not before it brushed along our GG Bridge allowing for fabulous
photo shots. Lots of tourists, dogs and kids and too many rented bikes,
but Husbando, Ginger and I had a splendid few hours out here. as usual.

Friday, July 22, 2016

after 40 years!

Yesterday we drove to Sacramento to meet Susan and Alan who live in
Wisconsin. About four months ago we got a snail mail letter from Alan,
wondering if we still lived in the same old house (we do) and then we
caught up on email and arranged for the yesterday lunch. Their son
lives in Sacto. and we had a delightful time catching up and laughing
about all sorts of good and bad things that have happened to us over
the decades. An icky drive, of course, but worth it for the reunion.
So far I am loving this retirement thing.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

celebration dinner

Last night Husbando treated us to a gala happy retirement have another
slice, two salads, Coke® from Mexico dinner at Pauline's Pizza, one
of our favorite restaurants from forever. Of course we found easy parking
across the street, because this is the way it's going to be in my new
Freedom First world.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

the first day

Well, no heavy fog to greet me this morning ~ a good sign for this brand
new retiree. I must tend to the three tomato plants today. I actually have
a To Do List going, but I plan to stop that at some point. Yesterday was
fine, no big deal and no gold watch that I could sell on eBay. Husbando and
I will get used to this and we are both sort of tip toeing around each other
now. But I am way quieter on my feet, if I may say so.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

today ~ my last work day

For a woman who cries as often as I do, I have not really shed a tear about
leaving the work world. But yesterday when this beautiful bouquet arrived,
I did well up. Thank you, Blogmaid. Saturday was my final day at the
Legion of Honor and today I wrap it up at the deYoung. Tonight I will
turn on all the festive holiday lights when I arrive home. There are a
couple of parties planned with my museum friends, but you, dear readers,
need to know that this retirement decision was one of my best ones ever.

Monday, July 18, 2016

City of Angels

City of Angels at the SF Playhouse is just plain fun. It's a l-o-n-g musical
with a big cast and an amazing final scene that left us happily surprised.
The Playhouse always features a blockbuster play for their finale of the
season and this is no exception. Eleven actors, thirty-six characters and
forty scenes ~ wowza! Through September 17 ~ see it if you possible can.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saturday night movie

The Martian is on DVD (from the Flix®) and we both enjoyed watching
it last night. I have no idea if it is based on any sort of scientific fact or
not, but Matt Damon plays a no-nonsense astronaut hell bent on staying
alive. My favorite scenes took place back here on earth ~ surprised?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

where does it hurt?

(thank you, Dancing Jen, for this poem)
what they did yesterday afternoon
by warsan shire
they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?
i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?
it answered

Friday, July 15, 2016

bears beware

Tiapos met over at Suzy's and she showed us all the prep work for her
18 day hiking trip in the Sierra's. Here she is with the food container
that will discourage bears ~ it is required now by the park department.
We look forward to her safe return and all the new stories. On her last
trip the deer ate her clothing that was hanging on the line. This does not
sound like a vacation to me, as you might have guessed.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

back to Pier 24

Erica Deeman

Dorothea Lange
We met Ginger here yesterday and had a wonderful time viewing this new
exhibit. So much to see and appreciate. Pier 24 is FREE, but you need to
reserve online first because they keep tight control over the number of
visitors per day. As a result, each person has space and time to spend
with all the photographs ~ to study and enjoy them without bumping
into others. Then a nice lunch in the sun at Ferry Plaza. Living in SF ~
one of the things we did right in this life. Gratitude.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ooooooooh, good one

The Night Of  is one of those HBO specials with eight episodes to look
forward to or hide my eyes from. The story of a young man who is
charged with the murder of a young woman after she gets into his taxi
cab one night. He is an American of Pakistani heritage and there is
already a lot about race and prejudice here in the first scary episode.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

a little more Monique

Alas, a poor photo (above) of one the intricate pearl and mesh installations that
Monique does with pins, strings, pearls and wire. She follows her instincts
when she hangs her work. She said that she has tried working from a
plan and she can't do it that way. It is sort of like me and the Ellen fiction,
no plot, no plan. But, yes, I will finish the novel, I promise.

Monday, July 11, 2016

we goeth by sea

Yesterday Joe and I took the ferry from the Embarcadero to Vallejo to
see Monique's art in a delightful little gallery about two blocks from
the ferry landing. Her show is entitled "Pearls" and it was quite
amazing. Monique is our co-worker and is one of the most talented
of the many artists with whom I work. Part of the fun was the ride itself
because it was an hour each way and, as you can see, a truly
spectacular sunny day. Perhaps tomorrow I shall show you one or
two of her pieces close up.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

better than expected

I thought maybe Brooklyn would be too sappy and sentimental, but it
was extremely well done and we both enjoyed this film about a young
Irish girl who comes to America in the 1920's. DVD from the Flix®.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

what I'll miss

My museum badge gives me a lot of freebies and I got to know the
California Academy of Sciences across from the deYoung. Here you
can see that I found Nemo. But, good god, the place was packed (up
to the gills) with children yesterday and I spent less than an hour there.
I have loved working in Golden Gate Park these past eight years.

Friday, July 08, 2016

sunday past

I got so caught up in the 4th of July that I neglected to report on lunch
with Husbando and Nurse Carlini last Sunday. We returned to the Best
Seafood Restaurant in the Sunset (Taraval) for lobster noodles, sand
dab, vegetables and more/more/more. The owner recognized Husbando
who devours her food and we received the Best Seafood Service
in the Sunset. A nice memory to counter balance all the current
horror in the news today. We need help...

Thursday, July 07, 2016

meet the beests

Be sure to see the short video about Theo Jansen (Holland) and his wonderful
Wild Beests before you view the many creatures that have some how been
transported here. Fascinating exhibit at the Exploratorium down at Pier 15.
Yes, these guys walk and the artist thinks of them as individual animals
with names and personalities. They are made of plastic tubing, there must
be eight or so of them on view and one small one for kids to walk with.
There are no motors, this is all physics, hard work and magic. Ginger is
a member so we were able to walk right in and we had lunch there too.
Delightful. I will return and I urge you to go and admire the animals.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

season three

Peaky Blinders refers somehow to the razor blades these Irish lads
(killers) store in the bill of their caps. It can get a bit violent, but the
acting, the costumes and the writing are excellent. When there is too
much blood I just go to the kitchen a fix us a spot of tea. The Flix®.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

our foggy fourth

It was almost impossible to see any fireworks last night, so we watched
Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings for a couple of hours. The Lady in the
Van was better than expected. I so admire Ms. Smith for letting them
film her looking OLD and awful. From the Flix® of course.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Sunday, July 03, 2016

what I won't miss

It's a magnet. Kids of ALL ages love this piano with the most annoyingly
awful sound. Usually I love the Legion of Honor because it's a little
more dignified, quieter ~ then came the red piano.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

big and wonderful news

I used some "sick hours" yesterday and I went downtown for a couple of
errands and then took my coffee up to the top of Yerba Buena where I like
to sit and look over MY city. Before that I wrote my official "I am
retiring" letter to my many bosses at the museums. We have given this
a lot of thought, it's a big decision. I have worked since I was in college
and this final job has been perfect for me, except for the retail part, of
course. I have made some delightful friends and I have learned so much
about art. But the idea of not going to work ever again fills me with joy.
So that is how we now that it's time, right?

Friday, July 01, 2016

my Tiapos piece...

noun: dystopia; plural noun: dystopias
  1. an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, 
  2. typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

(oddly enough, this word isn’t in my American Heritage dictionary, but is online, of course)

When I worked at Borders with the 300 or so under-thirty part-time workers, I formed a 
solid hate for the entire sci-fi/fantasy section that they all loved. I called it “Dragon Shit”
and they thought this was mildly amusing. Once in a great while an older bookstore
employee would absolutely be enthralled with this genre and want to shelve there.
“We have enough people shelving Dragon Shit,” I would say kindly (for me), please take
this cart of books to History and shelve there. These older sci-fi addicts were always
men, trust me there.

And it continues today. I learned a new term in one of my recent writing classes.
Dystopian Fiction. What? I asked him to spell the D word for me. Honestly, I’d
say that six out of eight writers in these fiction classes think that they can create
another Harry Potter or Hunger Games series and get rich and famous. They are
young and have little real life experience, maybe that’s what is going on. Maybe
they just want to create a new world after we destroy this one that we keep messing up.

The computer environment we live in only seems to intensify this. One male 
student has 700 followers on his Twitter account. He has worked in Silicon 
Valley and self-published about eight books. All Dragon Shit.