Tuesday, February 28, 2017

a little news, a big concept

24th Street and Bryant 

The little news is that Vans the chihuahua with the broken leg and bad teeth
was adopted and I'm guessing it was to that volunteer who couldn't put
him down. And then I do like to think about a world without borders.
Try to imagine...

Monday, February 27, 2017

off to a good start

A nice way to begin our week, isn't it? A photo of RR yesterday riding
her gorgeous George and appreciating the sunshine despite the threat
of more rain. Her joy warms our hearts.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

what the FUF?

For years we have supported Friends of the Urban Forest and yesterday
we received a delightful new tree because our old plum expired due
to age and the drought. FUF is a group of mostly volunteer gardeners
and they contribute so much to our city. Now we have a ginkgo and
we are already looking forward to Fall and some brilliant yellow leaves.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

back to Bisbee

Here, from an email from my friend Mary:

Since I don't do 'social media' I'm sending out my occasional group 
news concerning life down here at the Border in Arizona.  There are 
lots of wrong assumptions about the Arizona folks living at the 
Border in Arizona. As one woman recently put it - "We don't 
want folks in the Rust Belt thinking they know what's good for us.  
We've got it good down here.  Just leave us alone."  

A lot of us cross the Border for vision care, dental care. derm care  
and prescriptions.  Everybody on the other side has always been 
extremely polite and kind.  The hateful rhetoric coming out of Trump's 
mouth and echoed by his followers makes life tense down here and 
we don't appreciate it.  

See link below to local news

Friday, February 24, 2017

my Oakland roots

Ferry terminal at Jack London Square

When I first moved to the Bay Area after college I lived in Oakland and I
have always loved that city. Yesterday after a successful dental visit to
Right Wing Wong I walked from 20th Street down to Jack London Square
hoping to catch the ferry back to SF. Alas I would have had to wait for
two hours, so I walked back to 12th Street for BART. But it was a
beautiful day and I was in a superb mood, so I enjoyed every step on
my walk back into the past. Some things the same, many changes too.
That's how it works, Ms. Stein, accept this and rejoice.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

of caves and bulges

Burial cave is waaaaay down in bottom chamber

Yesterday in class Dr. Debra Bolter told us all about this wonderful
discovery near Johannesburg, South Africa. VERY old bones found
in a burial site so tiny that six small women anthropologists were
recruited to slide up and down chutes to the Rising Star Cave where
15 bodies were found. An important link between chimps and man,
but still a lot to learn. Fascinating!

In the afternoon we returned to Germany for the Malmedy Massacre
and the Ardennes Campaign, aka the "Battle of the Bulge". Finally
Hitler and Eva marry and for the honeymoon he gives her cyanide.
Then we covered a few post-war trials and committees and here we
meet Senator Joseph McCarthy. God help us.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

dim (more than) sum

The Great Plotniks treated us to a fabulous lunch yesterday at Yank Sing
in the Rincon Center. Dish after dish of buns, balls, pork, chicken and so
many shrimp creations that we lost count and Dodger Doug just kept
saying, "hmmmmm, one more of these, please." Once again we wondered
why the place was so packed on an almost-rainy Tuesday, but it was.
Must be the food, service and lovely ambiance. Grateful? Oh, yes...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

raining dogs and cats

Man, this rain keeps on coming down. Good thing our house is sturdy
and the roof was recently renewed. The top photo features Vans
and a couple of volunteers who adore him, as do I. The tuxedo cat
in the VW is just one that I am pre-shopping for Carlini and his
Calico who might be getting a playmate soon. An uneventful SPCA
day, all in all, except of the eternal question of why a dog will jump
into a mud hole and yet hates the rain? Bless the dog walkers...

Monday, February 20, 2017

it's Showtime

I'm a little embarrassed to confess that we decided to spend an extra
$10 a month just for Showtime so we can binge on this glorious
series entitled The Affair. We had seen the first year and missed
these characters and their love/hate relationships ~ now we are
deep into Season Two and Three is waiting for us. The writers
are great and keep adding new and colorful characters and soon
there will be a trial. We love courtroom drama...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

a trial run

I've seen a LOT of Diane Arbus and her amazing photographs over the years
and there is a big exhibit here now down at our MOMA. So I popped in
yesterday but, my lord, the museum was filled with people and the lines
were long. My eight years working in museums spoiled me because I
used to sneak in early or late and have the art almost to myself. I don't
share well, art-wise, it appears. But I was happy to be downtown with
too many people who also love art and I will get together with Diane
at a later date and during the week for some quality time and appreciation.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

with his sardonic beak

Gentleman Crow
Pacing to and fro
Along the autumn shore
Among the wrack and reek

With your arms clasped behind your back
And sporting your grey frock-coat
Trimmed in black

And your black hat and your lean long-legged stride,
Up and down the strand perusing
The headlines of the tide:

Casualties and statistics, futures, stocks,
The thousand natural shocks,
You clear your throat

Inspecting the ink-black seaweed tossed among the rocks
Like obsolete typewriter ribbons, rusty widow’s weeds,
Scanning the flotsam for

Morsels cast up by the remorseless gossip of the sea’s
Éminence grise,
How elegant you are, everyone concedes,

Gentleman Crow,
With your gimlet gaze, your sardonic beak,
How omnivorous, how sleek.

Life is a joke you crack,
Wry and amusing,
And death a dainty snack.

Fall/Winter 2016

Friday, February 17, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

rain forests and 7/20

Dr. Meg Lowman of the Calif. Academy of Sciences works in Ethiopia
trying to encourage girls there to become scientists and to save the
dwindling (necessary) rain forests. Fascinating. I bought her book on
Amazon and that funds the printing of it in the Ethiopian language.
Dr. Lowman maintains that women are the stewards of the environment
and honestly, I am totally inspired. Five of the eight science professor
lecturers this semester are women ~ amazing, no?

My Fromm afternoon was spent in Germany where Professor Large
covered Hitler and the assorted attempts on his life. 7/20 (1944)
was the big one and had it worked god knows how many lives would
have been saved in the final year of that horrible war. 7/20 is
celebrated every year in Germany and Angela Merkel always attends.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day report

surprise flowers

Oyaji ~  out on Clement Street

A few years ago Doug and Barb treated us to Oyaji and some fine Japanese
food. Husbando has been thinking about the steak and onions which I enjoyed
(and he didn't) ever since then. So yesterday we both ordered this dish and
have enough left over for a future meal. I wisely wrote "surprise flowers"
on Bill's Trader Joe's shopping list, hence the flowers. We both accept his
shortcomings and work around them. Marriage 101.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

even more puzzling

Yesterday I wrote about NOT finishing the damn puzzle and here is
the response from my writing partner, Suzy:

so, does this mean you took it apart and put it in it's box and gave it away, or do you 
still have it out?  and will you do another one?  and if so, will you do one that is easier -- 
less people, more colors, less clouds?  how many puzzles on average do you do a year?  
do you do them alone or does someone help you?  how many minutes, hours a day do 
you spend on them?  do you keep records on the puzzles -- how long it took to put 
in the past 30 years?  do you obsess about them when you go to bed at night? do 
you have a certain set-aside time when you work on them?  do you ever work on 
more than one at the same time?  do you work with friends or always alone?  what 
do you do with the puzzles when they are finished?  where do you get your puzzles 
from?  do you have a favorite type of puzzle?  do you have an all time favorite puzzle?  
do you think doing a puzzle is a good thing or a bad habit?  do you ever work on 
your puzzle instead of doing something more pressing?  do you treat the puzzle as 
a treat, i.e. i'll will finish this task and then i'll work on my puzzle?

Monday, February 13, 2017

OCD conquered!

There was a time when I would have finished this damn puzzle come hell or
high water. The dear Blogmaid granted me permission to take it down
because I was getting so bored with the blue sky and endless fog and or
clouds. I loved the boats, buildings and people and the project was good
for my soul. Diego our cleaning guy comes today and I was eager for
him to polish the dining room table. And yes, Notthat, I was sure two of
the edge pieces were missing and they weren't after all.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

splendid indeed

Yesterday I met Marsha and we DID this play at ACT. This is the story
of strong women and their powerful friendship despite hardships that
most of us privileged Americans can't even imagine. A Thousand
Splendid Suns translates beautifully from the book by Khaled Hosseini
and tells the story of Rashid and his two wives: Mariam and Laila.
When the Taliban takes over Afghanistan everyone suffers, but
especially the women. The wives hate each other at first, but when
their love for each other grows it is a beautiful thing to see. Yes, I do
recommend this play, it is exceptionally well done and touching, but
not easy as there is much sorrow and violence.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

another day, another postcard

Yesterday I wrote Costco because I read on Facebook that they advertise
on Breitbart, that racist right wing Steve Bannon garbage outlet. I
gave them the benefit of the doubt, but if this is true I know they want
my opinion.
                                     Costco Headquarters
                                     P.O. Box 34331
                                     Seattle, WA 98124

Friday, February 10, 2017

this desolate small town

Kate Winslet won't let us pretend that revenge is a bad thing. The 
Dressmaker returns from Paris to her mean little town in Australia.
Judy Davis is the mama and all sorts of surprises await us in the
movie now on DVD. I believe I liked it more than Husbando did,
but at least he didn't walk out after the first scene.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

back to school in the rain

Professor Susan Lynch lectured on the Microbiome and I'm pleased to tell
you that infants raised with a dog are healthier (better poop, fewer allergies)
than those who aren't. Cats help, but dogs are better. Trillions of these
microbiomes live in our gut (a frequently used medical term in today's
Science class.) The research around these fellow travelers is amazing.

In the afternoon Professor Large told us all about D-Day. World leaders
who hated each other, military big shots distrusting everyone, petty
arguments and major fuck-ups. And yet, after all the horrid bloodshed
on the beaches of Normandy, another positive push-back to the Krauts,
as the war finally wound down. Rough stuff. Makes today seem a
bit easier to handle.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

it is their future

If there is one thing that makes me happy during this time of depressing
news emanating from the monster in the White House, it is the fact that
so many young people are hitting the streets. Gathering to voice their
disapproval, putting down their computers and iPhones (except for some
really great photos) and protesting. I hope they keep at it to protect
their world ~ and yes, why hasn't he been impeached yet?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

what we all need today

World weary? Too much happening too quickly? Let's all heed Bansky
(genius) and take some deep breaths. Maybe a walk, some music and a
bowl of popcorn while we binge on daytime TV. Tomorrow we fight
again and do our utmost to defeat the dark and insane forces in Washington,
DC. (I stole the above from Facebook because it called to me today.)

Monday, February 06, 2017

a lot to ponder

A successful minister questions Christianity (specifically the hereafter
concept) and all hell breaks lose. This one act play entitled The Christians
is better than I expected and we took our friend Carlini (who is an
ordained and practicing minister) and he really enjoyed the play too.
A tight 90 minute one act play that even features a good choir from
the First Unitarian Universalist Society of SF. Yes, we did get home in
time to see Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

untitled photographs



There was a sell-out crowd yesterday for Alexander Nemerov's presentation
about his aunt Diane Arbus. Well, since it was a free event, I guess I should
reword that first line. Mr. Nemerov (son of poet Howard) teaches art and
Stanford students and professors were there in abundance, but I was there early
for a good seat. I wanted more about Diane, but he did show a few from her
1969 The School collection but he was only eight when she committed suicide
so he didn't really know his Aunt Diane. It was good but I wanted more...

Saturday, February 04, 2017

almost one year

Tomorrow. One year since Jane Underwood left us. Here she is with
Suzy Parket on the left and Karen Myers on the right. Dear Jane. Because
of you I know so many wonderful writers and because you pushed us
we all know each other on such unusual and often overwhelming levels.
You taught us to dig deep when we write, to take off the masks and
to be totally honest. Jane, you were a difficult task master. You changed
my life for the better and I miss you and yes, I'm still crying.  And writing.

Friday, February 03, 2017

on the streets where we live

(this is a piece I wrote and read for Tiapos last Wednesday night)

The tents for homeless people pop-up quickly in our city. One small blue one appears
and then four more the next day in assorted colors. In a week or two they are 
all gone. Moved to another location. When people pay a million or more for a 
home in San Francisco they do not want tents in their neighborhood. Period.

Sometimes when I walk up Bryant Street to the SPCA early in the morning I
hear the tent people. Honestly, it reminds me of walking down a carpeted
hallway in a motel. They talk quietly; they murmur about mundane
things just the way we do every morning:

“Is there coffee left over in the Thermos?”

“It’s your turn to take the dog out for a walk.”

“Are we out of paper towels?”

“Yesterday was colder than today, but it feels like rain.”

“Is the Water Department truck still there?”

“Have you seen my green jacket?”

“I hope they don’t hassle us today, I don’t feel like moving so soon.”

Thursday, February 02, 2017

rigatoni in Walnut Creek

Inasmuch as I was instrumental in Ms. Puma's adoption process, I felt I
needed to spend some quality time with her to make sure all is well.
Worry not. Carlini and the Calico are doing beautifully. He fed me lunch
and Puma and I purred and chatted. She is the kind of cat with those
strange and colorful markings that make it impossible NOT to look at her.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

ten great episodes

We both LOVED Sneaky Pete which we streamed on Amazon Prime.
This guy gets out of jail and assumes another man's identity. So Pete
seems to fit in with this rather strange family in Connecticut and then
he gets into some very unusual circumstances. A very clever plot with
more subplots than one can imagine. Wonderful!