Tuesday, January 31, 2017

first a sample, then buy

Dancing Jen gave A Gentleman in Moscow her stamp of approval so
I tested it on my LindaKindle2 and I was hooked. The story opens
with a trial and then we move to a hotel with this intriguing Count.
Beautiful writing gives me lots to think about. For instance, we get
so used to losing our friends and loved ones ~ shedding our "stuff"
filled with memories isn't so easy. Maybe because we are the ones
who have to make these decisions? I read, I ponder.

Monday, January 30, 2017

#74 and #77 please

Back to our Sunday spot. Lovely lunch with Dancing Jen where we had
one fine time filled with catch-up and political stuff such as "can you
believe this INSANE man named Trump?" The Golden Star is always
busy on Sunday, but they know and love Jen and we get the best spot
(the view table) and the warmest service possible. Then a walk through
Chinatown which warms my little "I love SF" heart.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Funeral Home

Maybe because my mother was raised in a funeral home in Pennsylvania,
maybe because I watched the Tony Awards in 2015 ~  who knows? I
wanted to see Fun Home since I first heard about the lesbian graphic
cartoonist and this play about her father's suicide. It was GREAT and
even though Marsha and I had the cheapest seats possible, we enjoyed
being at the newly remodeled Curran Theater yesterday.

The day was a bit overshadowed by this insane Trump guy and the
quickly mobilized Resistance crowds at airports across the country,
including SFO. And thank you ACLU ~ sending more $$$$ today.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

well worth reading

Our friend Karen is a writer and was one of Jane's best friends. She
used to live here and now she lives and works in New York.
She has a new blog called POPCORN which I adore. Karen is a
fabulous writer and she is writing everyday so there is this nice
flow and continuity.

She and Randy have formed Tiapos East. Yes!

POPCORN ~ check it out.

Friday, January 27, 2017

no more Moonbeam

Official state portrait (thanks, Susan)

Our Governor gave a strong anti-Trump state-of-the-state speech
and I sent him a quick postcard of thanks. He will be fighting for
our freedoms for the next four years. Here is his address:

        Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, Jr.
        State Capitol Building
        Sacramento, CA   95814

(I keep reading that online petitions and emails don't work as
well as a personal note or postcard or phone call.)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

if it's Wednesday...

view from inside my new coffee shop

bees don't need official nests & males don't sting

School day and I have my Student (ahem) I.D. so I can use the USF Library
and the delightfully large and quiet Atrium Coffee Shop. Yesterday we
learned about bees and how important they are to our world wide economy.
Another excellent lecturer from the California Academy of Sciences.
The afternoon was ALL about Stalingrad ~ lordy what a depressing
history there. Our professor then brought it into events today and how
Putin wants to Make Russia Great Again. Sorrowful chuckles from students.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

a poem to soothe us

...I like the line "Taking my retirement for a walk"

The Fisherman
The cowled fisherman
balances up to his waist
at the center of the Waterworks lake.
How bold was he, how tentative when
he stepped from the shore
and made the world his circle. Now he may cast
extravagantly in every direction.
Taking my retirement for a walk,
I stay to watch him make the first catch.
He raises it to his lips and kisses it,
pout to pout, I imagine, then bends,
custodian of second chances,
to release it, to give it back to itself. 

The Cincinnati Review 
Winter 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

those big blue eyes

Ruby Tuesday. I'm a little late here, but Ruby turned five recently
and in the bottom photo she is all dressed to rally and march in
San Diego. Belated Happy Birthday to wonderful, colorful Ruby.

Monday, January 23, 2017

it's a Movement

....not just a Moment

Thanks to the Blogmaid I have signed up for Further Assignments:

women's march

(yes, the fight continues)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

funny it was a cold rain...

SF City Hall turns pink 

Linda and Mary Ann ~ drenched

there were people inside the buildings waving and dancing

...and yet I felt so warm. It's been too long since I experienced this kind of hope
and love for my fellow human beings. Thanks to Linda for the Introvert sign
and for meeting me inside/outside the Library. I was so happy to see her although
I was just enjoying myself standing alone amongst all these colorful, creative
and kind people. Even my trip on the normally horrid #49 Van Ness going
to the march was filled with special gentle vibes and humor. I wanted this to
be a GREAT post, I wanted to express my love and gratitude for all the
people who rallied across the world. To the organizers, the stars, the tired
parents and children and we old folks who have marched before. Another
sign I liked on a grey headed marcher, "I can't believe we're still going
through this shit." Well, it worked against the war in Vietnam and for our
Women's Rights and we will continue to work and protest. I swear we will.
(So nice to wake up this morning and read Facebook, wasn't it?)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

888 Brannan Street

Bellota (Spanish for acorn) Restaurant
We tried to pretend that it was a normal day, that this new Monster had not
become President yesterday morning. Husbando had read about Bellota, a
new Spanish restaurant with outstanding paella so we took a Lyft to Brannan
Street and met Ginger who had made the mistake of watching the circus
in D.C. and so we tried to cheer her up with good food and wonderful,
warm service. Yes, we had a GREAT lunch, but it was also interesting to
see that outside the back door of the restaurant is a huge incubator space,
maybe four stories high. When did this happen? It appears that it is owned
by AirBnB, but I'm not sure about this. Anyway, lots and lots of young
people with their computers. Who knew? Check it out...

Friday, January 20, 2017

friends from forever

Sam and Olga are here visiting from Albuquerque. Their timing is perfect.
We did a little sightseeing yesterday and then had a delicious dinner last
night at Sam's Grill on Bush Street. Lots of catch-up and news. The fact
that they LOVE our SF helps a lot and they stay down at Fish Wharf so
they can walk along the Bay a lot and often. And no rain yesterday helped.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

spiders in the rain

the #33 Muni carries me to school safely

Umbrellas and raincoats all day. But warm inside Fromm where the morning
lecture was by Lauren Esposito from the California Academy of Sciences.
She loves spiders and scorpions and they are amazing, especially how they
mate and the fact that some of their venom benefits our medical world
including various drugs for assorted diseases.

We spent the afternoon at the Dunkirk Evacuation (defeat) in 1939. Dr. Large
wove the French vs. English problems from then right up to the Brexit
vote last year. Call it distrust on both sides of the channel ~ even today.

Then last night was our writing group ~ Tiapos in the rain, over at the Great
Plotniks with special guest Randy from NYC. He wrote about his new life
there and how he is changing and fitting in. We all miss him so much.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

le lunch @ la note

Off to Berkeley (via BART) yesterday after dog feeding. We are all
ex-museum retail workers celebrating the EX part over a very fine
lunch at La Note on Shattuck. They serve great omelets if you ever
happen to go there, but we used up all the gossip. Sorry...

Monday, January 16, 2017

'tis a puzzle

It's been YEARS since I did a jigsaw puzzle, but this one has tempted me.
1000 pieces. Since the last time I did one of these the pieces have grown
smaller and my back is barking and yes, I am obsessed. I'll show you the
finished product in May or so...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

a dab of gravy?

looking suave and civilized, no?

Neti and Frank hosted a lovely dinner party to honor Husbando last
night. You see the Plotniks on the left, Frank and the Blogmaid at the
end and the beret-covered head of my Bill in the foreground. But what is
that brown slash in the middle of the bottom photo? And where is Neti
hiding? Anyway, we all had a GREAT time and we are v. grateful.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

my new wardrobe

The Women's March is a week from today. I will not watch the inauguration
next Friday. I read online that there are more buses expected in Washington,
D.C. on Saturday than there are on Friday. But maybe that is fake news?
We go from a President of Class to this jerk who is Trash. Lordy...sorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Valencia Street (Valensha)

I took this photo when my writing partner was Randy who now lives in
NYC ~ he used to have an office at 23rd and Valencia. I walk here often
and yes, it makes me very happy. The mis-spelling reminds me of
Tanya who pointed out that the recorded Muni bus announcements
say "Valensha" and now, of course, that is how Husbando and I refer
to this ever-changing street. But what I love about the above picture
is the unexpected Victorian reflection on the bookstore window. Oh, SF,
you are a constant source of surprise and pleasure.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

school daze

My school bus ~ the #33 Muni

My school room ~ there are 3 or 4 big classrooms here

Yesterday was my first day of Fromm Institute up at USF on Fulton. I had
a GREAT day beginning with Science in the morning (Cosmic Puzzles ~
pulsars, black holes, quasars, telescopes, etc.) and then WW II in the
afternoon. We learned about the horrid massacre at Katyn in Poland (1940)
and how this reverberates today in world politics. It was indeed a full
day of learning and Ginger was there as an old-time student to guide
me around and they offer FREE coffee, imagine. This is what I need!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

somehow I knew...

I just had a feeling that during this time of turmoil that the SPCA would
raise more money than usual because people were extra generous during
my brief two hour stint in December. Here, from yesterday's email:

Our 30th Annual Holiday Windows was one of our best yet! In just six short 
weeks, we were able to find loving homes for 257 animals and raise $97,485 
to support our year-round programs!

A big thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, adopters, and donors who made 

it a success—we couldn’t have done it without you! We also want to thank 
Macy’s for being such a generous partner, as well as our sponsors: Purina 
ONE®, Tidy Cats®, Obe Bowls, and Zoetis.

(yes, I was tempted to delete an exclamation point or two, but who of
us is perfect?)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Resistance begins

Last night I had a text from our Santa Barbara Ginger who asked if I
would be marching on Saturday, January 21st. Silly question. The rally
begins here at 3pm and of course I will be early and my friend Linda
will be meeting me and it will feel good to do something positive.
Ginger said that there are nine completely full buses going from SB
to the March in L.A. ~ in the meantime we read and listen to this
next President and try not to scream in public. Yet.

Monday, January 09, 2017

like a rolling stone

Grand dot Ceci was working for Morimoto in Napa, as you might remember.
Then she quit and went home to Elgin, Illinois for the holidays. She
texted us this photo yesterday while we were avoiding the great rain
storm here in SF. She is now working for Morimoto in Maui and we
see here that Chef Ceci is going to be happy for a little while, but she
gets restless and that's just who she is. Aloha!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

take us to Spain

OK, make a note of this series on the Flix®. Merli is a professor of
philosophy in a high school and his mother is an actress, his son
is one of his students. We have watched four episodes and at first
Husbando found it a bit slow-moving, but now he too is hooked.
It reminds me a bit of "Dead Poet's Society" in a Catalan setting.
We think it is filmed in Barcelona, but we aren't sure yet. Merli
is a difficult yet caring man ~ try this for yourself.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

and my next book is...

I just opened this on my LindaKindle2 yesterday and of course it
is already wonderful. I don't know how I missed The Burgess
Boys when it first appeared, but I did. The good news is that I
have it here for this rainy weekend by our warm fake fireplace.

Friday, January 06, 2017

cultivating resistance

Yesterday I walked up to Clarion Alley (next to Community Thrift on
Valencia) to see this new mural. You probably can't read the Brandeis
quote at the top: You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a
few or a democracy, but you cannot have both.  I need to not only pay
attention to the evil forces, I need a plan of action. Do NOT let me
become complacent, dear readers.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

here we go again

I'm cleaning and organizing my office ~ so much for the paperless society.
I am moving slowly and reluctantly, determined to actually toss stacks
of papers that I don't need. I also need to donate a bunch of books that
I will never read again and I like to picture someone picking up one of
my old books, plunking down 10¢ or a quarter and loving the book as
much as I once did in my life. But this is a slow process and not one
that I like very much. Ick.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

belated b.day with mussels

Barb photographs the kitchen

can you smell the garlic? have some homemade bread..

Ah, more glorious mussels and this time at the Red Hill Station on Cortland.
Doug and Barb treated us for my birthday experience and man, what a
lovely lunch we had. I should have included the salad and dessert with
coffee here also, but I was too busy eating and enjoying everything. It
was good to do holiday catch-up with our friends and yes, we are MORE
than grateful. Sitting there at "our table" looking out at the rain just
reminded me of so many happy times in the past that I smiled away
all the the remaining afternoon. How fortunate we are.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

our first poem of the year

I Woke Up
and it was political.
I made coffee and the coffee was political.
I took a shower and the water was.
I walked down the street in short shorts and a Bob Mizer tank top
and they were political, the walking and the shorts and the beefcake
silkscreen of the man posing in a G-string. I forgot my sunglasses
and later, on the train, that was political,
when I studied every handsome man in the car.
Who I thought was handsome was political.
I went to work at the university and everything was
very obviously political, the department and the institution.
All the cigarettes I smoked between classes were political,
where I threw them when I was through.
I was blond and it was political.
So was the difference between "blond" and "blonde."
I had long hair and it was political. I shaved my head and it was.
That I didn't know how to grieve when another person was killed in America
was political, and it was political when America killed another person,
who they were and what color and gender and who I am in relation.
I couldn't think about it for too long without feeling a helplessness
like childhood. I was a child and it was political, being a boy
who was bad at it. I couldn't catch and so the ball became political.
My mother read to me almost every night
and the conditions that enabled her to do so were political.
That my father's money was new was political, that it was proving something.
Someone called me faggot and it was political.
I called myself a faggot and it was political.
How difficult my life felt relative to how difficult it was
was political. I thought I could become a writer
and it was political that I could imagine it.
I thought I was not a political poet and still
my imagination was political.
It had been, this whole time I was asleep.

January 2017

Monday, January 02, 2017

a book to begin the year

I'm lost here, in a good way. The Lock Artist is a mystery within a
puzzle and it is very well written. The main character can open any
lock (door or safe) and the fact that he can't speak one word just
makes it all so much more interesting.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

a toast to 2017

It's taken me a l-o-n-g time to finally discover a good non-alcoholic
champagne, but this FRE is the best and we enjoyed it for the first
time last night, before and during our traditional standing rib roast
dinner. I miss the clink and twinkle of crystal glasses, so it was
good to appreciate all of the sparkle again. Then we watched
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin usher in the New Year in
NYC. We stayed up until midnight there ~ good for us!