Monday, April 30, 2018

Berkeley brunch bunch

Here is a stock photo of Zut on 4th Street in Berkeley. Joe and I met
Pamela there yesterday to celebrate her birthday and laugh/cry just
enough to warm our hearts. We three worked at the museums together,
I'm sure you remember that...

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday sunrise thoughts

Once again, not my photo. But pretty. I was thinking right now about
how much I have grown to love my two or so solo hours every morning
when I get up. Yes, I'm on my computer ~ reading, writing and thinking
about all sorts of things. This was not possible when I was working
and now I don't think I could live without this. I half-listen to KDFC
the classical station and often read poetry along with the emails. It's
a good time to avoid the news, so I try. Time for all that turmoil later...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

who is this?

I woke up with Maria Shriver this morning. She was at the Commonwealth
Club ~ this had been recorded previously. I don't think I've ever heard Maria
speak and for the longest time I couldn't figure out who this was, this
woman with three children in college. No mention of Arnold. I liked
her and what she had to say and as a result I'm looking into attending
meditation meetings and god knows they abound in this city.

Friday, April 27, 2018

there are always more

New fiction in 2018 ~ a visual from The What List, a woman's email
publication I like a lot. I need to get reading!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

a beautiful day at the yard

Sun, garlic fries, ice cream with my friend Ginger. Lots to talk about
in our wonderful seats this season. Terrible baseball game, so far
we are 0-2 for 2018. I did not take the above photo, by the way.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

watching women listening


When I am in a restaurant or bar, I watch
women listening. They listen to men talk
about unfinished basements, art projects,
or how the land is very rocky around Sudbury.
I admire how women are resourceful in making
themselves comfortable while listening. One
cradles her chin in her palm, her spine
a deep c-curve. Another woman sits
very upright and sips her martini
while following the zigzag of waiters.
The woman to my left appears to be using
the time to memorize how her hands look
in case they are lost or stolen and she needs
to describe them to the police while a man explains
that industrial strawberry farming has created
a monoculture. The woman with perfect posture
is receiving directions to a trailhead
in another country. The woman
with the swan-neck spine stealthily adjusts
her belt as a man informs her Lolita
is really an allegory about art-making. After all
these years of listening, I am so good at it that I can
even listen to the women's listening. It sounds
like a wind over a great plain laid to waste
by a retreating army or the pages of a book
abandoned on the sand by a swimmer
whose strong arms have taken her beyond
where waves crash so she can float and listen
to the rush of her blood, the shriek of gulls.
She can hear the gulls' ribs creak as they inhale
before each cry. She can hear the rustle
as urchins pass over the decay they feast on.
She can hear silver on the sides of fish
and the loneliness of an uncoupled eel. She listens
to her own sounds as well: the current
of her nerves slowing, her hair lifting
and floating away, the sacs in her lungs
reaching greedy mouths to the sky.

Spring 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

a little mystery, please

The Punishment She Deserves is a typical Elizabeth George novel
with delightfully profound characters and exquisite location details.

Monday, April 23, 2018

my walking companion

Yup, I've turned into one of those urban little old ladies. Mind your
ankles. Should I name her? Maybe Maude? We went walking to
Safeway yesterday but she insisted that we stop for a latte first. The
only thing I have to master is the hills with three bags full.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

good women detectives

And London too! No Offence is streamable on Acorn and well worth
your time, in my most humble opinion. Wonderful humor.
(Note to readers today, Earth Day ~ check out the cartoon thingy
on Google's look-up page. Well done.)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

meeting Benny

Benny belongs to Andrea who has been my writing partner off and on
for years. She wrote when her husband was dying, when she sold her
home in Idaho and bought a new one, when she signed up for a poetry
class taught by Ellen Bass. Yesterday we met for the second time ever
in Stonestown and I finally got to meet Benny too. Andrea was on
her way to Stinson Beach and we had coffee at Peet's and talked of
many things. Round Robin writing encourages us to dig deeper and
uncover joys and sorrows in a safe environment. Andrea and I know
each other very well despite only meeting in person twice in life.
(Benny is half corgi and half Jack Russel and wanted to kill every
bird in and around Stonestown.)

Friday, April 20, 2018

train ride with tears

1968 ~ Robert F. Kennedy's memorial train. Haunting photos of single
people and crowds coming out to pay their respects. There is also a
movie from on the train and really I did not expect to be as moved as
I was because so much has happened in my life since then. SF Moma,
third floor. And don't miss Sublime Seas on the 7th Floor.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

dog appreciation

Anything but Standard
It was the two of us, wasn't it, on those steamy nights
circling the low-slung museum across the street
and lingering by the pond behind the chapel. 

It's how the southern clouds passed slowly
overhead, season after season, year after year, 

as you followed a low intricate scent
across the stately lit lawn,
and studied the squirrels in the live oaks,
and waded into the brown reflecting pool
with the broken obelisk. 

You were a descendent of water dogs
and anything but standard
when you materialized out of the sticky heat
with your dripping black forehead
and delinquent grin, a growl unmuzzled. 

It was your Russian face that steadied me
as I sat on a battered wooden bench,
lost in a night that wouldn't end,
and you lay down—calm, poised, watchful—
and stirred beside me on the simmering grass. 

Let's get up and go.
Trot ahead of me, old friend,
and shake off the watery darkness.

~ Edward Hirsch

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

our little hill

This lovely rainbow photo was in our bucolic neighborhood e-newsletter
a couple of days ago. It's all so Bernal Heights, so San Francisco, so life affirming.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

street art?

A wire podium on the Valencia Street sidewalk. Not very pretty nor
inviting, but any salute to free speech is welcome these days. I had
a huge long and wonderful walk yesterday afternoon ~ all the way
to Church and Market to meet a friend for coffee. As I have said
many times in this blog (and elsewhere) walking solves everything.

Monday, April 16, 2018

combative Comey

We recorded this Comey interview last night and Husbando is watching it
while now I get caught up here on my computer down in my office in the
garage. I don't like this man but I think he probably did a good job as FBI
Director. Many of us feel that he is responsible for Hillary's loss,
but who really knows? He does want to sell his book. Duh.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

the Chronicle recommends

London Breed for Mayor. My choice ever since I heard her speak at a rally
about a year ago. With the major newspaper endorsing London I believe
her chances are much better. I have already sent her some $$$, now I need
to get a window sign and maybe attend an event or two. It's been many
years since we had a woman mayor, back when DiFi took over after
Mayor Moscone was killed. My city.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

bountiful blooms

Faithful readers will clearly remember that we had a new garden
installed last June. New surprises keep appearing and I am now
able to snip a few beauties for the dining room table. This inspires
me to go down and weed, weed, weed. Today I will listen to baseball
and basketball and take lots of breaks. I hate to weed. Knees get ready...

Friday, April 13, 2018

a touch more poetry

Jane Kenyon, 1947 - 1995

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,

it will be otherwise.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

getting into the swing of things...

It was a sparse crowd, grey skies and the Giants lost, but other than that,
how was yesterday? Excellent new seats in section View Box 325 with
a wall behind us so no one can spill beer into our ears. Fun fans, good
hot dogs, new rookie pitcher showed promise and hope springs eternal
in April. I would prefer a hit when the bases are loaded, just saying...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

give up? never!

It's always good to remember the bravery of so many during WW II.
Darkest Hour digs deep into the political upheaval in Britain and
how so many in that government wanted Churchill to capitulate to
Herr Hitler. Sign the "Peace" Agreement, avoid a horrible war.
This is an excellent film, but you guessed that. Amazon Prime.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

billboards and bile

We watched this on Amazon Prime Saturday night. Just as good
as everyone said it is although Three Billboards could be violent
at times. Wonderful acting, painful story.

Monday, April 09, 2018

tiny, crowded, loud & wonderful

Al's Place in the Mish

Green cauliflower and cheese (I think)

We met John and Mary last night at Al's Place where people line up for
the 5:30 opening. This was our second visit and Mary and I were able
to scream across the table to catch-up on newsy stuff but the men just
ate and smiled and asked, "Is this what we ordered?" when the
unusual food appeared in front of us. Expensive, worth it.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

three for tea

the set-up
the participants

The Blogmaid and Neti joined me for tea (well, coffee too) yesterday
afternoon. We all cheered each other up and had a lovely time. Women
get it ~ don't we? The Blogmaid is learning to excel at selfies too...

Saturday, April 07, 2018

bathed in rain and water

It was a soggy day, all in all. Drizzles, sprinkles, cloudbursts, showers
and very grey skies. Relentless and yes, we know we need this and
the garden was extra happy. Not one to enjoy walking in the rain I
settled into The Shape of Water from Amazon Prime. It's a woman's
movie ~ who could not fall in love with this monster and his deep,
soulful eyes and gorgeous body? Well worth the $6 rental fee.

Friday, April 06, 2018

between baseball games

We recorded this from last Sunday night. The Child in Time is
a puzzling yet intriguing story with two great actors. You will
find it on Masterpiece Theater, PBS. Always nice to be back
in London, but hold on to that kid.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

April = Poetry

I always loved working in the bookstores during National Poetry
Month. I would put lovely poems in the end cap and feature
certain poets. Here is a new one from one of my favorites:

I Could Touch It

When my wife was breaking apart, my son was falling in love.

She lay on the couch with a heated sack of rice on her belly,
sometimes dozing, sometimes staring out the window at the olive tree

as it broke into tiny white blossoms, as it swelled into bitter black fruit.

At first, I wanted to spare him.
I wished he was still farming up north, tucking bulbs of green onions
into their beds and watering the lettuce,
his hands gritty, his head haloed in a straw hat.

But as the months deepened, I grew selfish.

I wanted him here with his new love.
When I passed the open bathroom door, I wanted
to see them brushing their teeth,

one perched on the toilet lid, one on the side of the tub,
laughing and talking through their foamy mouths,
toothbrushes rattling against their teeth.

Like sage gives its scent when you crush it. Like stone
is hard. They were happy and I could touch it.

April 2018

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

it was frankly fitting

I am a huge fan of Opening Day, as you know. Love seeing all the
old ballplayers who seem to like being without hair. Cried when
they introduced Dusty, cried during the memorial for Mayor Lee,
smiled when they introduced the chefs and trainers, applauded
when they announced the line-up and just spent yesterday in front
of the TV. Alas, we lost the game but I feel hopeful about our Giants
this year. Honest.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

the best spy ever

Reilly, Ace of Spades, is a 1983 miniseries on Acorn TV. Quite good
in that understated British sort of way. Based on the character Sidney
Reilly, a Russian Jew turned exceptional British spy.

Monday, April 02, 2018

pro or anti antidepressant?

So interesting ~ this play we saw yesterday. We have friends who swear by
the antidepressants and some who hate the side effects and avoid them like
the pill plague. The Effect at the SF Playhouse tells the story of a clinical
trial of super-antidepressants and two people who fall in love ~ or do they?
Maybe it's just the meds. Fascinating with some good laughter tossed in
and lots to think about.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

April First Fool and Easter too

I was going to buy Hot Cross Buns yesterday at Dianda's during my
latte walk, but I didn't want to stand in line. So I am defrosting some
cinnamon buns and too late I see that it says, "do not freeze" on the
label. The weather has cooled a bit and the fireplace is on again and
all is well in our topsy turvy world this morning. Happy Easter!