Wednesday, February 28, 2018

this never gets old

Basking outside in the sunshine on a weekday when the rest of the world
is inside working. A luscious latte, my iPhone to keep in contact with
the news and my LindaKindle2 featuring Jack London's Billy bouncing
around the Oakland Hills with a woman named a horse and
buggy, of all things.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

get with it, Stein

I'm not a fan of standing and staring then darting in and out of line at
restaurants. I am however, well aware that payroll is a major expense
and we will see more and more of the self-serve and point-and-ask. So
trying to be adaptable, Hedi and I went to Lemonade in West Portal
before the movie on Sunday. Good, fresh and reasonable food and a
luscious drink at Lemonade, a SoCal company.

Monday, February 26, 2018

it's a Marvel

I know, so out of character. I hardly ever go to real movies anymore,
but yesterday Hedi from the writers' group and I went to West
Portal to see Black Panther. Great movie with all sorts of spectacular
techie 3-D excitement, but what I loved most was how they portray
the women. Strong, beautiful and indomitable. I highly recommend this!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

a poem about a poet

I found this while sort of half-assed picking up my desk. Well, moving
papers around, if you will. We all loved the poet Adrienne Rich and
here is a poem about her written just after she died in 2012.

For Adrienne Rich (1929 - 2012)

I stand here and grieve our loss, in the kitchen of all women,
my blue cup circling, aswirl in the microwave carousel,
and I say a prayer of thanks to you, dear Adrienne.

I see your eighty-two years, pixie hair, ears distinctly elfin,
I see too many women still wed to brooms and chains of pearls.
I stand here now, all too aware, in this kitchen of all women,

that too many of our husbands are wounded, angry men,
too many of our girls have suffered thorns that are unspeakable,
and I say a prayer of thanks to you, dear Adrienne.

I carry my knowledge of women with faces now hidden,
veils concealing what their beloveds did; acid to lava, unimaginable.
I stand here and grieve our losses, in this kitchen of all women.

Oxen, donkeys, horses, mules and us, yoked, downtrodden,
your words our beacons of light, you dove into the wreck for us all.
I drink my coffee and mourn your loss, here in the kitchen of all women,
I say a prayer of gratitude and hope, to you, brave Adrienne.

~ Jane Underwood (poet, teacher, friend) 2012

Saturday, February 24, 2018

take me to the sea!


Linda in the FOG

Ann and Linda in front of Nemeroff painting

First to 46th and Taraval for a lovely Linda lunch and my thanks to her
for that. Then to the FOG gallery to marvel over the oil paintings of
Jeffrey Nemeroff. Fabulous! I so love this little gallery and the owner,
Ann, also a talented artist. It was a cold, bright and sunny SF day ~ glorious.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tartine time

Hmmmm, an ugly photo of a delicious dinner last night at the Tartine
Manufactory up on Alabama Street. Those are fingerling potatoes and
then mushrooms (not the Safeway kind) and then the world's largest
ribeye steak. We brought home dinner for tonight and tomorrow night.
We sat in our favorite corner and watched all the people and had a
wonderful time.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

deep dive into the future

There are only five or so biologists world wide who wear this complicated
gear to dive down below 100 feet in the ocean. Yesterday Professor Rocha
(California Academy of Science) described his life's work which is to
save the coral reefs from plastic, algae, global warming, etc. He had some
wonderful videos of new fish he has discovered and I will get to the
Academy soon to see the exhibit there. Despite everything he remains
hopeful that the ocean will survive.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

you thought it was bad then?

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the 
environment. -Ansel Adams, photographer (20 Feb 1902-1984) 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

the young will lead us

So impressed with Emma Gonzales and her fellow school shooting
survivors in Florida. They are calling out the NRA and planning a
huge "March for our Lives" on 3/24. Articulate, courageous and
willing to fight for meaningful gun control. From Florida, of all
the gun-loving states. This just might be the tipping point!

Monday, February 19, 2018

easier every year

The rewards of a simple life. All standard deductions and Turbo Tax
makes it easy for us. It would take all day when we first started, now
it's a three hour job. Of course that doesn't count collecting and sorting
all the papers and junk we've accumulated over the year. It was a
windy day so staying in was easy except for a nice lunch break for
some Chow Fun at Wild Pepper.  Good job, Taxpayers!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

beautiful Scotland

The above looks gloomy, but there is a lot of outstanding camera work
in Retribution and I keep thinking of Dancing Jen and how much she
loves Scotland. There are four episodes and we will finish the series
tonight. Lots of blood and mystery and interesting characters ~ and
the glorious scenery makes this so worthwhile.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

lunch with friends

Eliza ~ non-stop

Yesterday we had lunch with Gini and Philipp and met their grand
daughters who now live in the flat above with their son Peter and his
wife. It's all very cozy and old fashioned in a nice way. Gini invited
me to join her book club and my first assignment for March is this
book by Jack London. I read it thirty or so years ago, I'm sure.
Or did I? Did you?

Friday, February 16, 2018

my kind of art

I'm glad I stopped at the little art gallery on Alabama Street yesterday.
It felt good to shred some lies and hate and the purses feature light-up
words ~ the top right hand corner says VOTE. Feminism is no longer
a dirty word, thankfully. The artist is Michelle Hartney.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

nation building with violence

The 1840's were messy for both Italy and Germany. All those self-centered
little states had to come together under one power-hungry ruler in each
country. Garibaldi in Italy and Bismarck in Germany. Toss in the Catholic
Church, weak economies, north-south issues, farm vs. city and the restless
poor and we can see how future problems developed for both countries.
Fascinating stuff and the professor dashes along at 100 miles per hour.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

everyday is V Day

Husbando was rather clueless yesterday when I put these flowers in
our Costco shopping cart. Then this morning he apologized for forgetting
Valentine's Day again and I pointed out his gift here on the dining room
table. When I was young I would get all pissy if he forgot this day,
but now I accept that he is perfect on all other days. Ahem.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

a silent coup?

It's unlikely that the 25th Amendment will be used to get rid of Trump.
We learned all about this yesterday in Professor Rothmann's class
and we have a much better chance of Impeachment, although the
House and Senate are unlikely to oust the mean moron man through
this process either. We are stuck it seems...

Monday, February 12, 2018

eighty years later

Despite some good reviews, I wasn't expecting too much from this old
chestnut by Garson Kanin. Surprise, we both really enjoyed Born
Yesterday at the SF Playhouse yesterday. Wonderful acting and a
terrific hotel room set with a view of Washington, DC in the
background.  Favorite local actors Louis Parnell and Anthony Fusco
~ then Millie Brooks was outstanding as the not-so-dumb blond.
The story revolves around corporations paying politicians for favors,
oh, that must have been way back when, surely we've fixed that.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Her grandma
The Blogmaid's friend Scülli used to work beside her, but now she lives
in Pumpkinville with the family. They are trying to fatten her up. On
my Valencia Street walk yesterday I ran into Sculli's grand mother,
out riding around, enjoying the sun and the city. was worried
about Scülli finding another job and frankly, so am I.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

a fishy foreign country

The Sun Fat Seafood Company on Mission Street is not cheap and does
not smell good. The floors are wet and slippery. English is not easy so
pointing and smiling works nicely. The fish? Plentiful and as fresh as
can be, clearly labeled and interesting. Thanks to the Great Plotniks for
telling us about this a few years ago. Yesterday we bought some fat
scallops to grill last night and tonight I will cook some sole.

Friday, February 09, 2018

back to normal (almost)

Yesterday I returned to 24 Lite to bike for about 25 minutes. I still
can't do the push/pull machine things, but maybe in another few
weeks. My left arm grows stronger and at this point I just email
the doc once a week and she pats me on the shoulder in a virtual manner.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

another Napoleon

Yesterday Professor Large went into great and interesting detail about
the life and times of Napoleon III. He thought of himself as the Grand
Nephew of the famous Bonaparte, but there were always questions
about his birth father. But no matter ~ he came to power in 1848, and
was involved in the Crimean War, the building of the Suez Canal
and the exile of Victor Hugo. We covered a lot in 2.5 hours!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

every 13 or so years

We had two of these parked near our home yesterday. Somehow they
don't get tickets. One hipster took a photo saying, "What a cool logo."
I said, "How much will this cost?"  A new water heater meaning I had
to clear out a lot of stuff in my office where the thing is installed.
It took most of the day but I made myself absent running errands.
By now you know I don't deal well with household upheaval. But
today we are back to better-than-normal because we have real hot
water and good pressure and no worries about floods. It was under
$3,000 (barely), in case you are interested. Cabrillo rocks!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

my very favorite

Renee Fleming sang Handel, Brahms, Straus, Dvorak and other famous
composers. To me the most moving was from a modern composer (also a
violinist) named Caroline Shaw (B. 1982) who works with Kanye West.
The text is by Mary Jo Salter (B. 1954) and it brought me to tears.

Bed of Letters

Propped like a capital
letter at the head
of what was once our bed,

or like a letterhead -
as if your old address
were printed on my face -

I'm writing you this note
folded in sheets you lay
on them, but sleeplessly

night after night, a man
whose life became about
the fear of being found out.

Rarely a cross word
between us, although today
I see the printer's tray

of your brain, the dormant type
sorted in little rooms
to furnish anagrams,

fresh headlines, infinite
new stories in nice fonts.
Give her what she wants,

you must have thought, and brought
home seedlings to transplant
in flower beds, unmeant

to bloom into such tall
tales ~ which even you
can't unsay or undo.

And yet it's true that long
ago, two lovers dozed
naked and enclosed

one history between covers,
We woke and, shy and proud,
read our new poems aloud.

Monday, February 05, 2018

part two ~ Sonoma vaca

The Green Music Center

The Girl and the Fig

The concert was at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University.
Neither of us realized that it looked closer on the map, but to get there
from Glen Ellen was not easy. Long and winding mountain roads ~ ick.
We were in our seats only two minutes before Renee came on stage.
Then we relaxed and enjoyed her glorious voice. She spoke before some
of the pieces and it was a truly wonderful experience. Slow and easy
got us back to our motel. Brunch at the famous Girl and Fig in Sonoma
Square on Sunday and then home for the Super Bowl. Happy for Philly!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

one night in two parts

Sonoma Square for lunch 

Walking in Glen Ellen ~ odd art

Dinner ~ Marsha waves enthusiastically 

Marsha and I wanted to see Renee Fleming in concert so we drove up to
Sonoma on Saturday and had lunch in the square. Then to Glen Ellen
where we walked after we checked into our motel. So nice to get
away. We had dinner in Glen Ellen at Aventine ~ a wonderful restaurant
owned by Marsha's friend Adolpho, son of Angela Alioto.  More tomorrow...

Saturday, February 03, 2018

an ambitious novel

Thanks to Dancing Jen, I am now reading The Dovekeepers by the
amazing Alice Hoffman. It will be coming to TV soon so I am
happy to read the book first.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Yesterday our Science class was all about meditation.  We even had two
group sessions and everyone was quiet and calm. The Neuroscience of
Meditation ~ now there is real proof (lots of charts and graphs) that
this works. People have been meditating for 5,000 years and yet we
all know it is difficult to silence our minds for one half hour. But we
should just keep trying. Namaste.