Thursday, August 31, 2017

ten years later (still trying)

I posted this poem here in Commano back in 2007. I wish I
could report that everything is sooooo much better. I can't.

Adam Zagajewski is from Polond, now living in the USA. I don't
know much about him, except that this poem is quite wonderful.
It's from his book Without End. (By the way, it helps me to
type someone else's poetry, as well as reading it aloud many times.)


Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine,
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salted oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees going nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

~ Adam Zagajewski
(translated by Clare Cavanaugh)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

another BTS (back to school)

RR (rt.) and these other delightful girls have been friends since kindergarten
and today they return to school. It promises to be an exciting year for sure.
I was looking for an old BTS photo and discovered that I have about 100
posts with the RR label. What a joy it is seeing her grow and develop
into this wonderful teenager. I was reminded that from a very early age
(toddler) RR loved horses and had a stableful of plush ones ~ I bet she
still does. I hope so. Happy school year, girls.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

the positives

This is a depressing time what with the horrible floods in Texas and
all the racial unrest. And then this Trump idiot just gets worse and worse.
But the Capresse (sp?) salad is one of the good things to celebrate
now that it is tomato season. These are not our tomatoes, but the leaves
are from our basil plant. Mozzarella from the now lower priced Whole
Foods. The perfect supper with fresh Acme olive bread.

Monday, August 28, 2017

book talk

I like legal thrillers and Scott Turow is one of my faves. Testimony is
all about the Serbia Bosnia conflict so I learned a few things and
there is an emphasis on the Roma (Gypsies) ~ interesting, really.
International law in The Hague was especially compelling.

Yesterday I started the kind of book I love. Thanks to Dancing Jen
for this recommendation. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
had me on the edge of my rocking chair (joke) from Page One.
The sort of story that takes hold of some spot in my mind and
never really leaves until I pick up my LindaKindle2 again.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

we said NO to Hate

A rally filled with humor and love yesterday. So proud to live in SF.  

Saturday, August 26, 2017

to show up today

The Nazis canceled their Crissy Field PRAYER (oh, ha ha) event and will now
hold a Press Conference (double ha ha) at Alamo Square. "There goes the
neighborhood," as a friend posted on Facebook. I will head to Civic Center,
just a head to be counted against Hate. Got to, no choice. I told my writing
partner if I don't show up tomorrow to please call Rachel Maddow.

Friday, August 25, 2017

thursday nights rock

So glad SNL (Summer Edition) is back in our lives. How they re-created
the Trump rally in Phoenix so quickly is truly amazing. Wonderful, really.
It does help to laugh about the Unstable One in the White House.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

another WIN

Ginger is in Ireland so Carlini went to his first SF baseball game and
we had a great time and please note the blue sky above. Richard
grew up a Pittsburgh Pirate fan so I didn't have to teach him any
of the basics except things like don't leave your chocolate bar
in the sun and no, you can't take any of the baseball players home
for (um) dinner. Giants 4, Brewers 2.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

traveling with dogs

Rosa is the little one, Duca the solid guy in blue. It's been awhile since
we owned and traveled with a dog. First thing to remember: dogs
come first. These two Manchester Terriers are wonderful, both
gentle and obedient. An amazing number of restaurants in Carpinteria
and Santa Barbara accept dogs on their porches, but Marsha would
always call first to make sure. Arrived home last night ~ so nice to
be back where I belong, but it was a very fine vacation.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

the botanical garden

Margaret and Marsha

Elves need homes too

I had lots of solo ocean-watching time (missed the eclipse, drat) in the
morning and then Marsha and I met her childhood friend Margaret here
at the Botanical Gardens for a great walk in the afternoon. This was
the Children's Maze and the elf house was in the heart of that. The
three dogs enjoyed themselves too. Heading home today. Ready.

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.