Thursday, January 31, 2019

a golden mini

Thanks to this very blog I see that my old mini iPad is almost exactly
six years old. I now have a new one with a battery that doesn't drain
in ten minutes. I am very happy currently ~ downloading assorted apps
and appreciating the Blogmaid and her help here. Ommmmmm.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

say it isn't so...

I see by today's Chronicle that Lucca will be closing. Bill's favorite deli
with fresh pasta, sauces, meats, cheese and all things Italian. Wonderful
guys who slice and talk and laugh with every customer. The rents are
getting too high here and Valencia Street is HIP and oh, please, do not
get me started. One of the women I met in a writing class back in 2000
named her daughter Lucca ~ after our favorite deli, of course. Damn...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

for the love of North Beach

five layer lasagna

tons of people

lots of opera

The Great Plotniks treated me to a fabulous lunch yesterday to honor
Bill and his a few days ago. He would have LOVED the
entire afternoon. Fabulous pizza and lasagna (the best I've ever
tasted) at Il Casaro on Columbus Avenue where we found good
parking Then coffee at everyone's favorite Caffe Trieste with
lots of opera on the jukebox and strange characters of all ages to
appreciate. How lucky am I to live here?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Miss Puma does Philadelphia

Carlini is off to his new job and he shot me a quick email his morning that
his cat is adjusting nicely to their new world. We can certainly see that.
This is a three month healthcare gig for our Carlini and Cat. Now Annabelle
and I check the Philly weather everyday. Brrrrrrr....

Sunday, January 27, 2019

historic block party

view from 55 Mullen Ave. 

This was a first. A block party down the street. Mary Mullen bought a few
homes here back in the early 1900's and our neighbor Jerry did a LOT of
research and produced this fascinating pamphlet ~ each home had a
history too and so we all gathered to celebrate and get to know each
other. Bill would have loved this! The entire back of the home down at
55 featured our city skyline and for the first time I saw the back side of
the neighborhood community center, there with the picnic tables. The
back yards are a hodgepodge of no planning it seems, but fascinating
to study. The entire block turned out to drink, eat and talk. A very good thing...

Saturday, January 26, 2019

another walk in the nabe

Ginger visited yesterday and we had a nice long walk. The photos are from
Balmy Alley. I also introduced her to MY cannabis store and then onward
up to Cortland for lunch in the patio at Progressive. The sun was o-u-t and
it felt wonderful to walk up and down the hills and talk about this and that.

Friday, January 25, 2019

it's all a process

Last Tuesday night in Grief Group the topic was "Who am I? 
What is next?" Today is seven months since Bill died and I am
learning through trial and error to be on my own. I, not we.
Some days I am filled with sorrow, but often I feel hope and
gratitude. I found this poem and will take it to group next week.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
~ Derek Walcott

Thursday, January 24, 2019

I heart a bit o' trash

I really enjoy Mr. Grisham ~ this is on my LindaKindle #4, but
I like that it is available in large print. The Reckoning is about a
man who kills his pastor, and not because the sermons are too
long. But maybe? This reader doesn't know why yet...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

blue skies and french fries

typical SF windows with BLUE sky background

Yesterday I met Carlini and Marsha at the Woodhouse Fish Company
restaurant (14th and Market Streets) for a happy lunch of oysters, sea
Fish food 
bass, shrimp, avocado, fish and chips and more chips. Beautiful day!
Carlini is going to Philly on Friday, so this was our goodbye and good
luck, do take care let's eat lunch day. Quite wonderful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

getting through the rough ones

I met Neti, Doug and Barb last night at SF Playhouse for the freebie
reading of The Fit by Carey Perloff.  I planned this in advance because
it was Husbando's birthday and argh, I'm tired of crying. But I made
it with a little help from my friends. The play needs a lot of work, but
there is potential and I really needed to be with the living last night.
The play revolves around Silicon Valley and the Me Too movement
and start-ups. Pot luck before with tons of Perloff fans ~ she ran ACT
for many years and now she is writing. We all wish her well...there
will be re-writes galore.

Monday, January 21, 2019

my busy Sunday

Zuni Cafe

Kittea Cafe

First, an early brunch at the Zuni Cafe to celebrate Joe's birthday with Pamela
and to continue our "we three" birthday tradition. Delicious food, of course,
and a perfect table downstairs. Then, surprise! A trip around the corner to
the Kittea Cafe where one can order a cuppa and watch the cats sleep. They
have 30 permanent cats and lots to adopt, of course. What a treat ~ this
photo was shot in between families who brought their kids to visit the
cats. If you look carefully you can see some fluff balls draped all over.

The neighbors invited me to a dinner party and all in all, a fine day. I'm
learning to socialize as an I instead of a WE at social events. Doable.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

my changing city

brand new billboard ~ 24th & Bryant

exciting new sidewalk in front of Precita Eyes on 24th

Anthony at work

I needed to walk 24th Street yesterday to see what's happening ~ this
district of SF is hot currently: new restaurants, stores and art. I met the artist
Anthony at the New Year's Eve party so we chatted for a few moments.
I stopped for a latte at Temo's and read my New Yorker while doing
the always important people-watching. Invigorating walk, no rain.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

breaking good

I had a fine time at The Upside movie yesterday afternoon. Kevin Hart,
Brian Cranston and Nicole Kidman in NYC. Yes, I highly recommend this
feel-good film about a wealthy man in a wheelchair and his down-and-out
helper. My kind of heart warming, life affirming, based on true life story.

Friday, January 18, 2019

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades

I brought out my old, worn Mary Oliver poetry book as soon as I read that
she died yesterday. One of my all-time favorite poets. Thank you, Ms. Oliver.

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility;

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement,
I was the bridegroom taking the world into my arms.

When it's over I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver

Thursday, January 17, 2019

books and words

The Book Club met yesterday at the Old Jerusalem and the other women are
a bit more Pacific Heights than I am, but they approved of my choice and
the book I selected (Motherless Brooklyn) too. This restaurant is very
reasonable as well as unusual, so that worked. Then a BIG Tiapos meeting
over at Suzy's in Oakland. Thank you for driving in the pouring rain,
Doug ~ our first writers' group meeting of 2019 was terrific with seven
of us in attendance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

writing, books and partnering

Dodger Doug (The Great Plotnik) is my writing partner this week. Mush
is one of my nicknames and Dandiprat (I had to look it up) was the prompt
for yesterday.

Today is the Book Club meeting and we are having lunch at the Old
Jerusalem on Mission Street. Time to get these women out of Pacific
Heights, at least that is my thinking, but I have been wrong before.

So here is from Doug from yesterday. Award-winning? Not yet...
Annabelle Cat is a Dandiprat.
She eats every morsel but doesn’t get fat.
She’d love a fresh mouse, or a tenderized rat
While she sits with her mistress for tea and a chat.
And she never gets mushy, ‘cause Mushy does that.

Annabelle is NOT a Dandiprat and she is getting fat. So there.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

another HBO winner

True Detective, season three, began Sunday night. Season one was
fabulous, the second was a bust, but the writers are back in form for this
go-round. The two detectives are on the right, working a kidnapping
kid case in some small town in Alabama. Good time travel and some
excellent acting.

Monday, January 14, 2019

one sweet Sunday



First to Pathetica to walk with the Blogmaid and enjoy a luxurious lunch
at the Chit Chat cafe. When I came home neighbor Heidi invited me for
tea and we chit chatted while she made two pots of soup. Nice to make
a new friend after living almost next door to each other for thirty or
so years. Ozzie jumped on the counter while she was chopping onions
and i was appalled. He is a beauty and (ahem) svelte.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

is that the sun?



The whole world (almost) was out walking on Valencia Street yesterday when
I met Marsha at Stuff. We poked around and then had our lattes down at
the Crepe House where the dogs can be with us outside to enjoy all the
colorful people and other dogs. The nesting dolls were in a little art gallery
that I introduced Marsha to and then she drove me home. I had planned to
walk back home but my stamina is still a bit weak after The Cold. I love Stuff,
the store. And Valencia, the street.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

movie time ~ 6am?

It's taken me a few months to realize that I have the freedom to change my
routine when I want to. So, testing this, I fed my cat and made my coffee
and we bundled up in a soft blanket in the back room to watch Roma this
morning. I had started to watch this at night but it is a beautiful, slow
moving film and soporific, as Husbando would say. This was a wise
decision and I was able to really appreciate the black and white Mexican
drama starring one family and the people who work for them. Thank
you, Netflix® and the Golden Globes too for highlighting this movie.

Friday, January 11, 2019

secrets, spies and lies

I liked this Kate Atkinson non-mystery mystery novel Transcription
from page one on my LindaKindle#3 or #4. World War II in London ~
young woman hero. Excellent writing. Who can ask for anything more?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

dinner with RBG

You can see her back there by the candles ~ our revered Ruth Bader
Ginsberg. Also present at their table, the Great Plotniks who invited
me for a delicious Italian chicken with mozzarella and pasta dinner
last night. It was good to get out ~ I still have to figure out these l-o-n-g
evenings and I will, especially come Springtime when it isn't so
very dark at 5pm. I am indeed grateful to my caring friends.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

grief group redux

I was on the fence about returning to the hospice grief group yesterday
afternoon, but I did go and I'm glad I did. Husbando found me a great
parking place right in front of St. Anne's, so that was most certainly
a sign. And no rain! The terrific counselors passed out the above which
I had "borrowed" from Carlini's Facebook post and we all went over
each point and how it applied to us. I shared the Kleenex box and it
just felt right being with my fellow mourners again.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

and yet more tea

Gini (on the left) adores xmas and in order for Jennie to get the full
benefit we went for afternoon tea at their colorful Victorian home on
Baker Street. Everything was lovely including the two almost well
behaved grand daughters who still love those Linda D. books that
I gave them for xmas. A nice afternoon even though Annabelle could
not be with us.

Monday, January 07, 2019

golden to me

I enjoyed the Golden Globes last night more than I ever have before
because I've seen quite a few of the nominees. It's great that they now
include so many Netflix and Amazon Prime specials. For instance
The Americans (pictured above) was my go-to TV after Bill died
and I watched that young woman in red grow up from ten years old
to this beauty ~ even faster than in real life. And the stars (she in
sparkle grey, he in beard) are actually married so I enjoyed seeing
them again too. And here I thought they were in Russia, hmmmmmm.
And many more of my favorites were having a glittery-fun time last night.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

to the Avenues (SF talk)

Yesterday I introduced Neti to the wonderful FOG art gallery on Taraval,
(and 40th) and you will remember that I've been there before with Linda D.
There was an artist talk by Robin Stearns who painted the oil above. This
exhibit is SF only paintings so you know I was in love. Through Jan. 27th
and well worth a trip waaaaaay out to the Avenues because there are some
lovely restaurants and coffee shops in that nabe now too. And, of course, it
is just a few blocks from the ocean. I will think of Linda and Tom D. when I
go out there in the future ~ they are moving to Albuquerque next week
and I am sad. Very.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

getting to know you...

Kitty (that's her real name, notthat) lives up the block, but her step
sisters live next door ~ one of them, by the way, is our cat feeder.
The first time these two met (top photo) it was curiosity and fun.
Yesterday there was growling, hissing, loud high pitched squealing
and I came rushing down to save Annabelle from her fate. By then
they were friends again probably blaming all that noise on too
much cat nip. My girl loves her front yard, but not in the rain today.

Friday, January 04, 2019

healthy connections (or not)

This is a good escape book for me now. Nine Perfect Strangers meet
in an expensive new-age spa place and things take a turn, or a few
turns. It is not all tranquility here, but lives are transformed.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

why I write (still)

I am having Pajama Day with a slight cold. So I brought up some old files
to read and toss. I run into lots of meaningful essays that Jane used to hand 
out in her personal essay class. My first introduction ~ when I really, truly began 
writing, back in 2000. Funny, I don’t feel like tossing these anymore now than 
I did 19 years ago. So I won’t. Here are parts of an essay that speaks to me today:

A letter to Deb Clow by Terry Tempest Williams ~

I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red
in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to
uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue….

I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation.
I write against power and for democracy…

I write to record what I love in the face of loss…

I write as an exercise in pure joy. I write as one who walks on the surface
of a frozen river beginning to melt…

I write for the love of ideas. I write for the love of a beautiful sentence.
I write knowing words always fall short.

I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words,
to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how
vulnerable we are, how transient we are.


Wednesday, January 02, 2019

New Year Birthdays

Three of my favorite people celebrated their birthdays yesterday. Here we
have the Blogmaid who has not changed one iota in looks since I met
her 28 or so years ago. Then my dear Leah in New Jersey ~ we worked
together at B&N back in the day. Also Neti's daughter Nicole was a New
Year Baby and she was the reason the mom and pop couldn't come to our
wedding. Easy to remember these birthdays and many, many more!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

so civilized ~ a GMT party!

Two wonderful things about the party Marsha invited me to yesterday.
First ~ this is an earthquake shack up on Russian Hill. Tiny and
crowded and stunning inside. There is a basement and a large
patio and it is perfect. Second ~ Greenwich Mean Time dictates
that the HAPPY NEW YEAR hoopla was at 4pm yesterday, as it
occurred in London. I was home at 6pm to watch Anderson and
Andy and get to bed early. But it was not easy because we always
had the roast beef and fake champagne celebration and I was
overwhelmed by memories, all of them good. But still...