Friday, September 30, 2016

living in the present

Ok, ok ~ I'm a San Francisco woman and yesterday I hopped on the always
colorful #14 Mission bus to meet Dancing Jen for a delicious lunch at Teo
at 7th and Mission. Chinese food, obviously, and it was yummy. But the
best part was seeing Jen before she leaves for London next week ~ she
will have a delightful time and of course I am traveling with her in spirit.
Thank you for lunch, DJ and I look forward to your texts, emails, etc.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

a quick look back

This was last Saturday morning. Top: that house that I love from across the
street. Sweet. Bottom: the Farmer's Market where every vendor gives out
a dab or slice of their product and then when you buy something ~ eeeeeek,
very high prices, but that's probably true here too, we just don't shop that
way anymore. Fun though, out in the sun with tons of people to watch and
music, strollers, carts, dogs. Ginger bought fresh and delicious mussels and
I bought bread and garlic cheese ~ all worth the $$$$$. (Time to add again
that I love my iPhone and the ease with which I can take photos.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bliss, Blister, MissBliss, Blissterooni

The thing you REALLY need to know about this 11 year old me-firster is
that she is really the Princess of the all-female household. Her right ear is
usually "open" and she is always hungry. She loves the sun and sleeps
under blankets in the warmest weather. The life of Bliss in Summerland
is everything her name indicates, maybe even more. (Thanks, Linda!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Emma and Hillary

sunset from Ginger's front room

Well, it was HOT yesterday and we took the dogs down to the ocean again
so they could cool off. Then we got ready for Debate #1 and of course HRC
knocked it out of the park. Emma came over to watch so now you have
seen all the dogs that I grew to know and love. And now I'm home and
happy to be here and it is cooled down. Yes!

Monday, September 26, 2016

all dogs welcome

Hoan and Happy

Lulu belongs to Lizzie

Most of Ginger's friends have dogs so there are usually four here. Tonight
Emma will join us for the debate and I will snap a photo of her for you.
Currently I am sitting in the Summerland Cafe, just finishing breakfast
while Ginger bikes to her tennis game. We will take the girls to the beach
later, as we did yesterday. Even the 14 year old pup needs her ocean
time. I had tea with Hoan yesterday afternoon and we discussed writing
as she has published two books and is working on her third. She showed
me her writing space and a whole shed-full of papers in boxes for her
research. She is a serious writer, but we tend to fill whatever space we
have, don't we? Hoan lives in a spacious home in Montecito ~ G, H and
I were friends at the Univ. of Colorado several (ahem) years ago.
P.S. It's hot here! P.P.S. Husbando doing great ~ it's hot there!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

apples and pickles

First to the Farmer's Market where nothing costs under $10, or so it seems.
Santa Barbara is a wealthy, all-white area. But still, beautiful, and so very
relaxing. Then to check-out Pickleball, the newest sport for those over 60.
Smaller courts than tennis, paddles and a larger green plastic ball. It just
started in our Golden Gate Park and it does look like fun. Then our other
college friend Joan came over for lunch with her dog (Happy) and we sat
outside on the back deck and that was great fun.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

two women, three dogs

downtown bus station ~ 5:30 am

You can barely see Bliss, the little dachshund, but she is always here with us.
Ginger picked me up after my very successful bus trip (I arrived early) and
we went walking before we came home and soon it was dinner and then
three episodes on TV of Longmire on Netflix®. I'm the first one up so I
am being quiet, here in the back room before coffee. Key word, that.

Friday, September 23, 2016

change is good

Yesterday I switched from an afternoon coffee latte to a chai tea latte
and felt a bit smug about how adaptable I am. I am sitting in Santa
Barbara right now, relaxing with my friend Ginger after walking
her three dogs and I want to report that I LOVED the AmTrak bus
down here. Six smooth hours, lots of room ~ easy, easy, easy. But
when I tried to post from the bus wi fi they categorized my blog as
porn. Hmmmmm, I better re-read everything I've ever written here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

a welcome Wednesday

daytime ~ a trip to Lucca's Deli

nighttime ~ Tiapos meets at Suzy's home

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

for Tiapos tonight

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

the French invasion

French Bulldogs ~ 24 of them. Yes, that's right. So another breeder dies and
this one is in Fresno and the SPCA inherits his or her beautiful and healthy
bulldogs. All colors and sizes and they seem to be housebroken but I guess
legally we have to wait two weeks before adopting them out. A few are still
in hospital for tests, but most just needed food and loving. Oh, and how to
walk on a leash, they think the breeder just let them roam in the big back
yard, but who knows? Anyway, everyone at the SPCA is working extra
hard to accommodate "the Frenchies" and you can hear them coming because
they all sort of snuffle, or maybe they just have allergies?

Monday, September 19, 2016

It was Dog Patch Sunday

brunch at Just For You with Joe

A visit to the Craft & Design Museum (these are old pincushions)

Then a stop at Flora Grubb's for coffee and succulents

Sunshine, friendship and just a little art ~ a lovely Joe Day for me.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

the royals ~ what if?

Imagine King Charles ascends to the throne after mama dies. Imagine a
controversial bill which he refuses to routinely sign. It is considered
unconstitutional for the British monarch to publicly express a political
opinion. Turmoil ensues. Yesterday I had a $12 seat in the overcrowded
waaaaaaaay-up balcony at ACT and the idea of 2.5 plus hours squished
in the tiny seat left me cold (hot) but, what? Here comes the plot and
the actors who look just like Charles, Camilla, William, Kate, Harry
and even Lady Diana. Honestly I loved this play by Mike Bartlett so
much that I quickly forgot all my little American worries. GREAT theater.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Red Hill Station celebration

Friends, fish food and sunshine ~ isn't that what makes a happy day? It's been
more than a month since Barb's birthday, but we do tend to postpone these
celebrations and that's OK. The fish and chips are pictured above, but we also
had mussels and clams, Caesar salad, home made bread and one creme brûlée
in a little jar with four active spoons.  Doug's is in October ~ stay tuned.

Friday, September 16, 2016

the French Fevered Brain

Susan is just the BEST travel writer and you will love/love/love her
month in Paris which begins today with all the heart-warming, mouth-
watering details in The All of It blog. She is a fabulous writer with
her eye for detail, camera and their apartment in the (sigh) Marais.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

two good things

1) private transportation service on the #10 Muni bus
2) Amy G about two feet in front of me ~ she is quite wonderful

So yesterday was also a beautiful day at the ballpark but, as you already
know, it was a disappointing game and we lost AGAIN to the lowly
Padres. I stayed until the very end hoping we might win and then the
bus ride home was during rush hour and not so nice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

OK, one more

Here I am on Sunday, ready to devour Chef Sarah's famous fried chicken
which she brines first, then soaks in buttermilk. Ohhhhhhh, yum. We
all ate too much and talked a LOT until time to read. You can tell it
was the highlight of my week so far, but today is baseball and I need
the Sunday memory to make up for the deplorable (ahem) 9th inning
loss last night. Our bullpen needs w-o-r-k.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

from Randy in NYC

Randy was a valued Tiapos member who recently moved to New York
to marry and start a new life. We miss him so much, but he sent some
of his work for the Napa gathering. Here is a poem we all liked:

Things don't add up.
There is a fire on 34th Street.
All the frogs are dying.

A summer rain falls on 5th Avenue.
The City if full of thunder.
Tourists caught by surprise. Drenched.

The shops sport t-shirts
that shout and shout
"Let's make America Great again."

The odds are rigged.
The hypotenuse of ignorance
reclaims the right angle.

A group of women stare
into their phones laughing
"It's the Empire State Building!"

I am confused by the weather.
Lighting crosses the skyline,
90 degrees and pouring.

The bats are dying too.
The crosstown blocks are long
And seem endless in the heat.

The equation is not elegant.
For once the rich worry
about which way the winds blow.

The storm will pass,
The streets will dry again.
But the fire will burn hot.

~~ Randy Dunagan, 09/2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tiapos in Napa

We just had the BEST time yesterday at Chef Sarah's home in Napa.
Sunshine but not too hot. Lots of food, laughter and we started with a
toast to dear Jane who always loved this yearly gathering. Oh, yes,
some damn good writing too. Sarah struggles with eight feral cats
who would come in pairs to look at us from afar and lie in the sun
for a little bit. She wants them GONE, but of course she has names
for them all.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Clement Street called

Nothing makes me appreciate retirement more than getting out and about on
a Saturday. a day I always used to work. Clement Street is special ~ more
Asian than Chinatown, almost. We tried a new restaurant (Tasty Pot) for
Taiwanese soup and it was fun, but really not all that delicious and I
would not recommend it. But the walking, yes, that is a must.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

the queen of plot

I love Ms. Rowling's novels for adults because, believe me, this woman
can weave a plot. When I googled Casual Vacancy this morning I see
that it is going to be on BBC (yay) and then I discover that a smart fan
created a Character Relations Map because there are 34 important
people in this book about a small town with a vacancy on its Board
of Supervisors, or whatever they call that in England. I love my
LindaKindle2, but I miss the forwards and diagrams in hard copy
books. But I printed out the guide to help me with all these new
people in my life.

Friday, September 09, 2016

blog talk

Yes, this thing is more than ten years old. I write it mostly for myself, a
way to record every single day. I do have a few readers to whom I am more
than grateful.  Thank you...

Here in my office, for some unknown reason, I have a hard copy of
commano from 2008. On September 9th, I posted a piece by Gloria
Steinem who talks about Sarah Palin who was then running for a
VP position. Ah, we remember her so well.

Here from Gloria: Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with
Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlaffly, only younger.

So now it's eight years later, Ms. Schlaffly just died, Sarah Palin is
almost quiet and we who are sane are terrified about Donald Trump.
Funny world. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

out and about

city of cranes ~ growth and chaos

city of coffee, observation and contentment

Yesterday I took the #12 Folsom down to the "temporary Transbay terminal"
at Folsom and Main because I'll be taking Am Trac from there in a couple
of weeks and I wanted to do the test run thing.  It was a lovely sunny day
and my favorite part of course was at Peet's on Market Street where I
could sit in the shade and do some people-watching and thinking. This
lower photo reminds me of Paris ~ still hopelessly in love with all cities.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

the sad, the beautiful

Little Xs

Unexpectedly this October afternoon, the telescope turns,
I see myself, made small again, through its objective lens:
I am not the widower, who recently buried my wife,
Nor the dutiful son who kept vigil while my father,
Like a punch-drunk boxer, fought to out-fox death,
Demented and enraged, hands trapped in cartoon gloves
To stop him pulling out the tube to his morphine pump.
Today we clear the house where he lived for sixty years.
In the bedroom where I was born, my siblings recall
How, as children, their only clue to my birth occurring
Behind this closed door were anxious instructions to pray.
When we open up the attic we discover the suitcase
My mother packed for her last trip into hospital:
A wash-bag and talc, clothes she never got to wear home,
A purse crammed with prayers and the folded letter
I wrote, as a ten-year-old, for my sister to bring into her.
I spend one page telling her how good I'm being, then cram
Three pages with scrawled Xs—each one to represent a kiss.
Last week a granddaughter she never knew sang on stage,
Luminous and radiant, in a band named Little Xs for Eyes.
For four decades in a letter in a purse in a suitcase in this attic
These galaxies of Xs were the banished eyes of a bewildered child.
But—unfolding them—I see myself stare out at who I am now,
Across this life I could never have envisaged as I scrawled
Untidy Xs for a woman I last saw smiling from a hospital bed,
Who sealed them in her purse when nurses shaved her head
In preparation for the operation she would never recover from:
Praying that one day I might open her purse and be surprised
To find my Xs returned to me: big Xs for kisses, little Xs for eyes.

That Which Is Suddenly Precious: New & Selected Poems
New Island Books / Dufour Editions

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

puppy feeding

It's actually a messy business, but yesterday there was time to spend with
the animals because the SPCA was closed to people for the holiday. There
are three pups in this room, not easy to photograph all of them at once. I'm
sure that they will be in their forever homes by the time I return next week.

Monday, September 05, 2016

the Sunday walk

there's a story here...

Luz de Luna gift store on 24th Street

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Chef Ceci

Our grand daughter from Napa visited last night before going to a Blue
Grass concert in San Rafael. I love that she does these things alone,
she has no fear and boundless curiosity and love of life. We fed her
salad and pasta and talked of many things, including her new pet pig
(Jade) and her friends in Napa and beyond. Good times...

Saturday, September 03, 2016

In the parking lot

I was trying to take pictures from up above on the street and some nice
Aztec invited me down for a closer look. Lovely sounds and beautiful
costumes here behind St. Anthony's Church on Cesar Chavez. I believe
there will be food and more music later, but I needed to get back home
to prepare for the arrival of the grand daughter Ceci's arrival. But, as
you know, this s just another reason to love our diverse city.

Friday, September 02, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

We have a few friends who are hikers ~ Suzy Parker having just finished an
18 day "walk" in the Sierras. A Walk in the Woods (Flix®) is based on the
book by Bill Bryson. He and a friend hike the Appalachian Trail and I must
say that Nick Nolte looks like shit. (Actually, only Emma Thompson is
aging well here.) Anyway, it's an easy movie to watch, no politics or
murders, just walkin' and talkin' and that's OK by us.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

birthday sundae

Yesterday was Ginger's and we celebrated at The Jewel with a
Giant's WIN and two glorious Ghirardelli sundaes.  A delightfully
sunny day, not too hot and no annoying kids because school has
started. Oh, we also had hot dogs and garlic fries. I need to hit the
gym today and maybe an extra long walk or two.