Monday, August 21, 2017

busy, lazy Sunday


Joan (Hoan)


There was time to doze a bit after my long walk with Joan and her dog
(Chihuahua) Happy around the bird reserve in Santa Barbara. Then
lunch on Joan's back deck in Montecito and I walked a bit more in
Carpinteria before dinner with Marsha at the Sama Sama an Indonesian
spot on State Street in SB. Man, this has changed a lot since my last
visit. Lots of empty stores, new stores and tons of students as school
(UCSB) has started. Still beautiful, but different. Like life...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

my day in carp


the Carpinteria beach scene

Pam drove up from Whittier and we had a delicious breakfast at Esau's on
Linden Avenue. We had a lot of catch-up to do. Then I walked and read
my book and magazines and stared into the ocean. It was not too warm,
perfect weather actually. I had dinner outside at the Nugget on Carpinteria
Avenue and thoroughly enjoyed my day of happy nostalgia. I needed this.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

fog (!) this morning

I'm out on my balcony here at the Best Western ~ already on my 2nd cup
of coffee. Above you see Marsha and her two dogs (Duca and Rosa)
and they are something. Marsha drove all day and she is down at the
Motel 6 with los animales. We had a great dinner (black cod) on the
porch of Zookers Carpinteria. Off to breakfast soon with Pam, my
friend who lives in Whittier.

Friday, August 18, 2017

heading south

By now you must know that I don't care much for small towns but an
exception must be made for Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara.
While the rest of the world heads north to Idaho or Montana to see
the eclipse, I will spend the weekend here. I'm driving with Marsha
and her two dogs and will write you tomorrow between walks and
lattes and friend visits.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

this tasty website

Our friend and fellow writer is one of the chefs featured on Simple Feast.
There she is, Sarah Scott, right in with Jacques Pepin, Deborah Madison
and other luminaries. The recipes are unusual and intriguing. At some
point there will probably be a charge for this website, so I urge you to
check it out now while it is still free.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the Tartine event

Last night we celebrated Barb's birthday and ate waaaaaaay too much
great food and had a glorious time at Tartine Manufactory. Yum and
check out the clean plate club.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

mini SF travel blog


The Mission

Last Sunday after lunch Dancing Jen and I were walking in Chinatown and god,
I do love that place. Even with wall-to-wall tourists this is such a wonderful
foreign land. The shop windows show items that we used to sell at the museum
stores, but for about one third of the price. There are smells of fish and noodles
and spices that I can’t identify.

When I worked at Borders (Post and Powell) I would walk in Chinatown about
once a week. I like being places where people don’t speak English. I feel the
same way about my Mission District and although it is gentrifying I can still
walk for many blocks and hear only Spanish. And here one smells that distinct
sizzling beef odor, mixed with onions and garlic ~ all ready to plop into a burrito. 

On Sundays in the Mission the Latino families go out to eat. Maybe after church?
They dress, especially the little girls with their sparkle shoes and fluffy dresses.
Bows in their hair. I can feel their excitement as they go into restaurants that are
practically empty during the week. Even the smallest restaurant that I never pay

any attention to is jam packed on Sunday. Happiness abounds.

Monday, August 14, 2017

take a moment

I had lunch with Ms. Puma last week. She reminds us to stop and smell
the roses and appreciate life.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

avoiding Virginia

Three Scottish detectives

Man, nothing like a group of underprivileged neo-Nazi tiki torch carrying
southern boys to cause us to sit back and say, "What is happening here?"
Yesterday was so damn depressing.

So last night we played around on Acorn TV. We watched two episodes of
Loch Ness a mystery.  Beautiful country, just like Dancing Jen said.
This is about human monsters, not the famous one in the Loch. It's a
little over the top in some spots, but I think that's the American influence.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

avoid politics

An anonymous blog contributor-maid sent me these photos. Wildlife seems
sane these days. I do love when cities and towns use goat herds to clean
up all the weeds ~ so logical and no batteries needed.

My current favorite line from Facebook: ELECT A CLOWN, GET A CIRCUS.

Friday, August 11, 2017

sons of arthritis

This was my favorite tee shirt at the baseball game on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

the blue and the orange

Half the fans yesterday were rooting for the Cubs. The family in front of
us was great: father and one daughter were Giants, the mother and two
other girls were all decked out in blue for that Chicago team. The girls
in the photo had big view-blocking signs ~ one for SF, one for Chicago.
It was a fine game and we WON. Baseball solves a whole lot of problems.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

retraction (damn)

Just like Fox News I am forced to take back my optimistic pronouncement
that Ginger found a home in SF. As you all know, real estate in this city
is c-r-a-z-y and there is no such thing as a Done Deal. So our friend is
back home in Pleasanton and this is her lovely abode there. Not bad, but
not The City. She will continue to take BART and stay away from all
big ugly malls and equally unattractive strip malls.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

a treat from Tehran

The Salesman is free on Amazon Prime and it is excellent. I love seeing
how others live. The two pictured above are acting in Arthur Miller's
play, but the plot really revolves around them being forced to find a new
place to live in bustling Tehran. It's a mystery and gives the viewer a
lot to think about ~ desire and revenge to name just two.

Monday, August 07, 2017

welcome home

Our dear, forever friend Ginger just purchased a condo here in this lovely
old building on Laguna Street, a few blocks south of Geary. She sold
her place in Pleasanton where she spent most of her past nine years
going to/fro the BART station and avoiding Walmart. She too loves the
city and we are so happy that she will be back where she belongs.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

tony belts it out

We did finally see the Tony Bennett statue last Thursday night when
we went for the awful meal. This was unveiled for his 90th birthday
in 2016 ~ right outside the Fairmont Hotel. Bronze, 8 ft. tall.
Yes, it looks like him. I saw him up close at Borders once and
I felt a bit in awe to tell the truth. Legend.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

it's all about the umbrella

my strawberry something or other

bad music floats on the swimming pool

Our friend John loves the Tonga Room ~ past memories one can only guess.
Terrible food (but expensive) and horrible music. The rainstorm was the
best part. Management at the Fairmont wants to get rid of the Tonga Room
but it was busy with tourists and locals and there is SUCH an uproar when
they suggest closing it (again) that it keeps on going with its fake Hawaiian
decor. It was good seeing our friends again but hard to talk because of
the very loud music. Not our best SF experience.

Friday, August 04, 2017

yes, it's all pressed pulp

Whole villages filled with bridges, running water (blue lights), tiny
houses, hills and vales, stores and casinos. Lots of intricate little
ladders, towns and cities to ooooh and ahhhh over. Because it's the
Exploratorium there are no "do not touch" signs anywhere and we
guessed that there is a lot of re-gluing and oh-oh fix-ups every night
after the hordes of curious children. Nice to see some of our Amazon
boxes going into art. The Exploratorium is huge with coffee shops
and a fine restaurant and not once did we see a child with her/his
iPhone or computer. Only the adults (sigh).

Thursday, August 03, 2017

down on the bay

our public promenade

friends on video ~ Ginger (rt.) and Blogger (left)

If I'm not in a hurry I always love to walk on the public promenade off of
the Embarcadero. It just feels like a new place to me ~ maybe Venice or
Lisbon. So I met Ginger at the Exploratorium yesterday and we had a
great time because she is a member and we got in free. I will show you
what we saw at a later time, but think Cardboard. Yes. Cardboard.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

back to Saturday, if you will

We met here to catch the #25 to Treasure Island

The Sales Force building is on Fremont Street

We check the fog and the gigantic new Sales Force (what do they DO?)
building from our back window everyday. Sometimes it is in the fog, or
over it, or half and half. A new landmark and I had no idea where it
was until Saturday when I met Joe and Carlo down at Beale and Howard.
One cannot miss it from there. It was in the fog that morning, at least
the top 40 stories. The barista said it would be opening next year and
that explained why the coffee shop was so very large and comfortable.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

when writers gather

Every summer, as you readers know by now, we head to Chef Sarah's to
eat w-a-y too much and read our work and talk. Life in Napa is wonderful
and so different from city living. We always miss Jane who loved the
warm weather and even warmer friendships.

Monday, July 31, 2017

a roomful of writers

Saturday night was the launch party for Jane Underwood's poetry book
When My Heart Goes Dark, I Turn The Porch Light On and she would
have been delighted with the turnout and all the book sales. Four people
read their favorite poems and remembered her fondly. It was held at
the new home of the Writing Salon out on Balboa (in the fog). The book
is on Amazon and the profits go to breast cancer research.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

a treasure in the fog

my dates

a pretty setting too

I've always wanted to go to the Treasure Island Flea Market which occurs
the last weekend every month. So yesterday morning I met Carlo and Joe
(from my museum days) down at the Transbay Temporary Terminal and
we hopped on the #25 Muni for the happening. It was crowded and noisy
and only costs $3.00 to get in. Lots of food, music, shoppers, dogs and stuff
to buy, which we didn't. It was fun and exhausting and I'm glad we took
the bus because the driving and parking on that small island is not easy.
Despite the fog I got sunburned ~ grrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

my day downtown

I met Barb at SF Moma for some Edvard Munch yesterday and then
we had lunch at the Bistro in Nordie's which forever answered the
question "Where to have lunch?" Now that's a large and fine place
and it was a lovely experience. Then I went to the V Boutique
which just opened at 418 Sutter Street ~ it's owned by my
yoga teacher (from days gone by) and her goal is to give her
profits to community and charities. Fashion and compassion and
yes, of course I bought something to help the cause ~ a lovely
selection of designer clothing at discount prices. Go! Shop!

Friday, July 28, 2017

women who drown

I'm wading into this mystery novel and so far I am lukewarm. Into
the Water takes place around the Drowning Pool (cute) at some
river somewhere in the (I think) midwest. But I will try to stay
afloat and paddle onward.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

yes, worth watching

I was planning to work on a piece of writing last night while Husbando
watched Supermensch on the Flix®. I stayed for five minutes and then
I watched the entire thing. It's the true story of Shep Gordon, talent
manager and friend of many stars over the years. Fascinating life.
He pretty much invented the whole celebrity chef thing and has always
been best friends with Alice Cooper whom he also invented. An
entertaining visit to an unusual life.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

scouts' dishonor

Every single day seems to get worse with this Trump idiot. Here he is
bashing Obama and Hillary in front of 6 million Eagle and Boy Scouts.
Hitler Youth comes to mind and I hate the whole horrible scene.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

tonight we finish

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney move from Chicago to Missouri
(the Redneck Riviera) in Ozark. He has to launder money (much
like our Trump family one wonders?) for a Mexican drug lord
and there is a lot of scary stuff. This reminds me of Breaking Bad
because it can be dark and sinister and yet there is warmth too ~
and complicated family issues. Ten episodes in Season One. Go
ahead, get hooked...

Monday, July 24, 2017

we are what we are

We had such a fabulous time yesterday at the SF Playhouse where
La Cage Aux Folles was presented in all its glory and glitter.
The songs, costumes, dances, sweetness and sadness too. This
was a big time production on a small stage which makes it even
more impressive in my humble opinion. It's important to support
this kind of theater when tolerance and compassion are not
exactly supported by the national leaders.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

another park, another scene

Yesterday in Precita Park ~ it's what I call Graffiti Appreciation Day and it's for
the under 30 crowd. Someone (who?) provides paint spray cans and these big
easels. There is food, beer, sunshine and not enough rest rooms, judging from
the signs on nearby homes begging people not to pee on their door step. This
is an annual event and seems to get bigger and noisier every year. But the
participants all have a great time so I try not to be too judgmental.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

scene from a city

My friend Joe still works at the deYoung and he snapped this yesterday
on his lunch hour. I do miss Golden Gate Park and the surprises that
always seemed to await us there. Everyone appreciates this park and
it is especially wonderful with the sun and music from all over.

Friday, July 21, 2017

meet Roger Stone

Get Me Roger Stone is a Netflix documentary about this despicable man who
has wanted Trump to run for president for decades. He has no integrity, no
moral center and is just so hateful that one wonders how he survives. But,
alas, you will learn even more about Trump, our country and the whole
money game in America. Scary shit.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

view box 302

way before the game ~ time to meditate

We were forced to pay more for better tix yesterday because the Cleveland
Indians were in last year's World Series. So I bought these splendid seats
before the Giants tanked but it all worked out because not only could
we see everything beautifully ~ our team won! It was a very exciting
game and renewed my love of baseball for another week or so. When
Mighty Buster came to bat in the bottom of the 8th the Jewel was
totally silent and then, and then...