Archive for May, 2009

May 27 2009

Gone Fishing

Published by under Family

I haven’t been up to see my brother and sister since Christmas, so I’m definitely overdue for a visit. Tomorrow I’ll pick up some oil and a filter so the Jelly Bean Mechanic can take care of my car, stop by Trader Joe’s for booze’n’food, bring the final boxes to the auctioneer in Petaluma, and stop off at Jessica’s mother’s shop in Boonville to say hi (and maybe have something delightful to nibble). Add in the traditional stop at Gowan’s, and you have almost as much stopping as going.

Things have changed since I was there last. Mom’s trailer has been hauled to the property*, and my brother has set up some solar panels – enough to keep the refrigerator running and a light bulb or two lit. We’ll probably have a barbecue there this weekend – my first one on the property, though my sister and brother do it often (they were celebrating the summer solstice there when the wildfires broke out last summer).

My sis and I will go to the quaint village of Mendocino on Friday to see what we can get at the farmer’s market. Cherries, arugula and spinach are in season, and I might replenish my supply of fabulous soap from Lovers Lane Farm.

Life moves slowly in the country, and so does the internet. So you’ll have to wait until Sunday or Monday to read all about it. But don’t worry: I’ll be having fun. And I already miss you.

*My brother and sister are buying some property about a quarter mile down the road from where they currently rent their little houses. The ultimate plan is to move onto the property. I’ll probably end up retiring there, assuming I can ever retire. Yes, it will be exactly like “Green Acres”.

3 responses so far

May 25 2009

Crappy Birthday to You

Published by under Uncategorized

Today is my fabulous sister’s birthday. As you’d expect, it’s a national holiday. But she’s not celebrating…

Megan’s sweet kitty Ramona decided to wake her up a couple of days ago by jumping on her face and scratching her eye. Clutching her bleeding eye, she asked her husband to drive her to the hospital. Without coffee, to give you an idea of the urgency.

There’s nothing like being an ER employee to get you expedited service. In less than an hour, she was equipped with numbing eye drops, painkillers, and a piratical eye patch (though no parrot, or Johnny Depp, for that matter). She observed later that this was the first time in the seven years she’s worked for the hospital that she’s been on the receiving end, rather than the giving end, of care.

Except, I said, when she applied for that EMT job. On her way to submit her paperwork, Megan had a car accident. Her car was pretty much totaled, but she wasn’t hurt, and, yes, she got the job.

I called her today to wish her happy birthday, and discovered that though my card had arrived on time, it was even less satisfactory than I feared. In fact, it was completely unsatisfactory.

Because it wasn’t there.

Brother In Law picked up the mail on Saturday, and when he gave it to Megan, she saw my handwriting. On closer inspection, the envelope has been torn, and then taped. On even closer inspection, the envelope proved to be completely empty. Torn, taped, and empty.

She took off the eyepatch and looked again, but it was still torn, taped, and empty.

Happy birthday, family style!

6 responses so far

May 24 2009

Lazy Day

Published by under Uncategorized

True confessions: I slept in*, and wore my pajamas all day. With a sweater, because it’s been cool and foggy all day – the perfect weather for curling up on the couch, eating cherries from the farmer’s market, and catching up on “Gossip Girl”. I love having a lazy day, and like Christopher Robin, what I like doing best is Nothing. And I’m oh so good at it!

Though I might get dressed and go to the corner store for a bottle of wine to go with my turkey burger tonight. Will laziness or wine win?

If you guessed wine, you win**! I pretty much give all the deadly sins equal time and attention. I’m back from the store with a bottle of Geyser Peak sauvignon blanc and some free incense. The liquor store clerk gave it to me for good luck – I guess even he could tell I needed it.

In case you’ve been wondering about the Bonnie and Clyde movie, it was beautifully filmed (it deservedly won an Oscar for best cinematography), much of it at the real-life locations. The reality ends there – I can see why the remaining Parker and Barrow families were upset by the film’s portrayal of Clyde as an impotent wiseacre and Bonnie as a sex-starved thrill killer. But it’s very stylish and the stars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, were at the height of their beauty. And in 1967, the adventures of youth rebelling against authority and living for the moment must have been timely and appealing. It’s definitely entertainment rather than a historical re-enactment.

Fun fact: Warner Brothers didn’t think the movie would be very successful, so they offered first-time producer Beatty 40% of the profits. The film made more than $50 million.

*One of the few smart things I ever did was to never feed the cats first thing after I got up. Since they know they won’t get fed right away, they don’t try to wake me up. Of course they mill around under my feet and explain how hungry they are and how mean I am once I’m out of bed, but that’s a small price to pay for sleeping in.

**You win a trip to visit me – all expenses paid by you!

3 responses so far

May 23 2009

Bonnie & Clyde

Published by under Uncategorized

I just finished reading Jeff Guinn’s fascinating book, Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Coincidentally, today marks the 75th anniversary of their bloody deaths on a bleak back road in Louisiana.

I never knew much about them – the closest I got was Eminem’s eerie “97 Bonnie & Clyde” – and was inspired to read the book by this review in the New York Times (I feed my reading addiction by getting their Books email newsletter every Friday). I’ve always found gangsters (also spies and war movies) kind of boring, but this was a fascinating read, beautifully written and impeccably researched.

What struck me the most about this ill-fated pair is how incredibly incompetent they were. It’s surprising that such an inept pair became so notorious, though the presence of aspiring poet and fashion-plate Bonnie Parker (Clyde, too, was always well-dressed) set the Barrow Gang apart. They grew up in dire poverty in Texas, and the desperate economic conditions in the country at that time definitely resonate today.

I’ve never seen the 1967 film, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, but guess what I’m watching tonight?

2 responses so far

May 22 2009


Published by under Uncategorized

After yesterday’s session, my boss and I headed out of the office. I turned toward the BART station, and he quickly corrected me, saying, “We need a drink.” We did, and I followed him to the Mandarin Oriental’s dimly lit and welcoming bar, where the staff seemed to know him pretty well. Who has he been drinking with there if it wasn’t Me?

We ordered restorative mojitos, and before they appeared, we were treated to a dish of smoked almonds and mixed olives. Boss had to take a call, so I was left to the ministrations of the waiter and the soothing sounds of Frank Sinatra.

When he returned, we rehashed the whole thing. Boss thinks we’ll be fine, though we’ll probably get a letter explaining our faults, which are neither small nor few, as my Dad used to say, but hopefully that should be it. I hope that we won’t be audited again for a long time, but at least we now know what to expect and will be better prepared.

After our drinks, we went to face the horrors of rush hour BART together. The calming effects of Sinatra and alcohol evaporated rapidly once we descended into the dark bowels of BART. BART is the only place I ever see people lining up English-style for public transit. It does make it seem slightly more civilized – at least until you actually get on the train. I only had three stops to go, but Boss had to go to the end of the line. We hugged good-bye, and as the train pulled away, he waved at me and gave me the thumbs up.

I still wish the door had hit them in the ass on the way out, though.

3 responses so far

May 21 2009

Round Three

Published by under Uncategorized

Well, the inevitable was delayed. I got to the office half an hour before the auditrons were due. An hour later, neither they nor my boss had appeared. I called him a few times before we connected, and it turned out that the fun was set to start at 1:00 this afternoon instead of first thing this morning. So I didn’t have to get up at 6:30 after a fitful night’s nightmares, or brave rush hour BART after all.

Good to know.

Since I had time on my formerly manicured hands, I decided to pop out and get a card for my sister’s birthday on Monday and pick up a bagel for brunch. My Etsy addiction has heightened my standards to the point where nothing looked good enough for my sis, but I picked the cutest one they had. So card will probably be late and not up to standard.

I got my bagel and repaired to the office. On opening it up, the interior was suspiciously pink. I sniffed it cautiously. Smoked salmon! Ugh! Salmon is bad enough, but smoked salmon is beyond the pale. So I packed it up and went back to exchange it.

So far, par for the course.

They’re coming back on June 1 to give us our report card. Hopefully that will be it for another few years.

2 responses so far

May 20 2009


Published by under Uncategorized

Parents, I hate to break it to you, but your kids are probably always going to hate veggies. You may think you’ve convinced little Timmy to eat his greens, but as soon as he hits the dorm room, it’ll be pizza and beer until he has to start pretending to be a real grown-up, too.

Maybe it’s because my mental age hovers anywhere from 12 to 18, but I’m still not that crazy about them. Potatoes are good, but apparently they aren’t vegetables. Disqualified by yumminess, is my guess. Artichokes and asparagus are good, too, especially with melted butter or hollandaise sauce, though that negates the “good for you” thing. Roasted heirloom beets with clementines and mint are nice, and Brussels sprouts roasted with extra-virgin olive oil and dressed with capers and lemon are also good, though you can see where I’m going with this. The yum factor is solely based on the disguise, rather than the actual vegetable.

I mean, who says, “I’d just love a carrot stick?” Who gets as excited about, say, steamed spinach, as they do about a freshly-baked baguette or croissant? The truth is, if it’s good for you, it’s not delicious.

I kind of hate salads, too, to tell you the truth, unless they’re heavily disguised with dressing and/or things that are bad for you, like croutons and cheese. Again, these negate the “good for you” factor, and you’re totally starving an hour later, just like Chinese food, only way less yummy.

Before you start mailing me vitamins and emailing me about scurvy and such-like, I’ll put your minds at ease by telling you I do eat my vegetables, and mostly unadorned at that. But I always eat them first, to get them out of the way, unless I’m in a social situation where I don’t want to display or explain my quirks.

When we were kids, our parents made us drink milk at dinner. We all hated it, and still do, to this day. Pretty much everything we didn’t like back then, we don’t like now, but then, we are a remarkably picky bunch. My method of dealing with the lactic grossness was to drink it down as fast as humanly possible and then eat something to remove the resulting milk slime from my tongue. This backfired on me once, when I was halfway through before realizing the milk was past its prime, but to this day, I still get the worst things out of the way first, whether it’s work or vegetables.

3 responses so far

May 19 2009

Guard Cats

Published by under Cats,Henry

It looks like the girls are outside and unattended, but actually the porch is screened in. It does give them the best of both worlds: they can be “outside” and keep an eye on Henry, while staying safe. It also keeps them from fighting with Henry, though they hiss at him when he walks by.

Henry seems to be remarkably peace-loving for a cat with a torn ear and scarred nose. He disdains arguing with the girls, displaying a splendid indifference to their insults, and when other cats eat his food, he lets me shoo them away.

I wonder if Henry misses living on the porch the way he does in the winter. I thought about leaving the door open for him at night, so he could sleep on the couch, but decided it would be too confusing. All or nothing is probably best in this case.

5 responses so far

May 18 2009

Barely Auditable

Published by under Uncategorized

The audit continues apace. I wouldn’t have thought that a firm which employs three people full-time and two people part-time would have all that much to look through, but I would have been wrong about that (along with many other things). Not only did we spend all day on it, but they’re coming back on Thursday, so Boss and I have that to look forward to (she said ungrammatically).

I’d really, really love to complain about it in detail, but the process has made me paranoid, and I’m afraid they’ll find my blog somehow and I’ll get in trouble. So you’ll just have to take my word for the hideousness of it all, and even if you’re someone I don’t like, I hope it never happens to you.

As I took the train in today, clinging to the metal bar in the rush hour crush and trying not to think about it, it occurred to me that what having money really buys you is time and space. Time to do things you like; to go places when it’s not rush hour. Space in the form of a house big enough for all your things and stuff, far away from barking dogs and other annoyances. Space in the form of a chauffeur-driven car*, where even if traffic is bad, you can be comfortably ensconced in the back seat, reading Vogue or The New Yorker and possibly drinking a martini.

*Whenever I see yet another Hollywood star(let) being arrested for DUI, I always wonder why on earth they don’t have a driver, when they can clearly afford it. Seems like a logical and practical idea. Don’t club-hop without it!

2 responses so far

May 16 2009


Published by under Uncategorized

Suggested additions to Oakland’s Wikipedia page:

Sounds: Barking dogs, bass-booming cars

Symbols: Shopping cart people, potholes

Mayor: McCheese

Hobbies: Homicide, foreclosures

2 responses so far

May 15 2009

La Guerre des Etoiles (et des Enfants)

Published by under Uncategorized

A Chronicle columnist recently asked readers which movie they had watched the most. An overwhelming majority picked Star Wars, a movie I have only seen once*.

It was the summer of 1977**. We were in Maine, and my father had volunteered me without my knowledge to baby-sit (or as he more accurately put it, “brat-bash”) two little French kids, Olivier and Thierry, the terrors of the Riviera.

Both parents were marine biologists, and were working at the same lab as Dad that summer. They needed someone to take care of the boys while they were at work. Unbeknownst to me, they had already gone through countless sitters. Part of the problem was their parents’ method of bribing them to behave and being thoroughly inconsistent; part of the problem was the fact that they didn’t speak English. It was a lethal combo, let me tell you.

Unfortunately for me, I had taken French instead of Home Ec when I was in 7th grade. My point was that I already knew how to cook, but I didn’t know how to speak French. Mom and Dad had to persuade the school powers that were to let me, since you weren’t supposed to take a second language until 9th grade. My parents said that if I failed the first semester, I’d go and make Jell-O with everyone else. I got a 97. But I also got Olivier and Thierry.

I was about as enamored with kids then as I am now, so I was less than thrilled with this new assignment, especially when the brattiness became apparent. However, I was mean Mary Poppins with them, and their parents pretty much considered me a miracle worker. They also paid my way to stay with them in Nice the following summer for a return engagement. Score!

Anyway, to reward Olivier and Thierry for breaking most of their bad habits, I took them to see “Star Wars” at the historic Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor. It soon became clear that this was not one of my better ideas, since the afore-mentioned lack of English became an immediate problem. I spent the whole movie explaining what was going on in whispers as they asked “Mais qui est-il?” in their piercing little voices (for some reason, French kids seem to have particularly piercing voices). I still don’t really know what happened in that movie.

I’d have to say my most frequently watched movie is Repo Man. From the Iggy Pop theme to the witty dialogue to the awesome soundtrack and just the craziness of it all, it never fails to charm me, even after 25 years.

What’s yours?

*Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person in the entire US of A who hates driving and cell phones and would only watch “American Idol” or “Dancing with the Stars” if there was a gun to my head. Also I never text anyone, ever.

**A memorable summer for me for many other reasons and other blog posts.

5 responses so far

May 14 2009

What I did on my blog vacation

Published by under Uncategorized

Hi there! I’ve missed you, too!

I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t lounging by the pool with an umbrella cocktail in my hand, or being the toast of the Cannes Film Festival, or off on a quick trip to Tahiti.

I was being audited.

Well, not me – my firm. But since I’m a partner, I figured I’d be Lucy to the auditors’ Ricky, with lots of ‘splaining to do.

First of all, auditors* like to start early, so I had to be on BART at the rushiest part of rush hour, with all the other suburban losers. We were jammed in there like a Japanese subway. Is that your briefcase, or are you just happy to see me?

The auditors were humor-free, as you would expect, and it was unnerving to have someone writing down everything I said. Sure, it’s worth hanging on my every word, but writing it down? One of my few talents is reading upside down, so I kept sneaking peeks and hoping I wouldn’t get caught.

They wrapped up the day-long session by asking for approximately a zillion more documents. They’ll be coming back on Monday to inspect them and probably ask more questions. If they have enough fun, they might even stay until Tuesday!

When I told our handsome receptionist that we’d need the conference room all day Monday and Tuesday, he started laughing. I asked him why, and he said, “You should have seen your face when you said they were coming back.”

The whole thing was so unnerving that I hadn’t eaten all day, and so exhausting that even the thought of heating up leftover pizza for dinner was out of the question. I fed the cats, drank two martinis, and went to bed.

Note: My boss/partner was there, too. Neither of us enjoyed it.

*My first job after college was as a receptionist at CDIC. I was placing a call to the Auditor General on behalf of the Chairman, and asked their receptionist for “the auditor genital”. Fortunately, she laughed, and the Auditor didn’t hear my gaffe.

4 responses so far

May 11 2009

And from the sports desk…

Published by under Uncategorized

Nothing says summer like baseball. I do love hockey*, which for those of us who still retain the attention span we had when we were three years old (the year I learned to read, and have never looked back) is the most exciting and least boring of sports, but the experience of being in a ball park is not the same as being in an enclosed arena.

Now we’re at the magical point of the year where hockey is in the post season, and baseball is just starting up, but enough time has passed to give you an idea of where the wind’s blowing. The Dodgers, artful as they may be, are chapped about Manny, and the Jays are off to the races, despite their pitching issues.

At this time of year, my eyes have to adjust from the free-for-all of hockey to the slow majesty of baseball. Nine innings? Nine? Can’t you figure it out in three? But if there’s one moment I savor, it’s the beautiful, zen-like stillness of a pitcher right before he throws the ball. And it never fails to amaze me that the human body, unaided, can throw something 90+ miles per hour. Then there’s the sweet swing of a home run, the batter’s eyes watching the arc even as he starts running for first base. I love the proud, yet casual dash of a home run hitter, joyfully tagging every base on his inevitable course.

Faithful readers may remember my endorsement of Josh Beckett back in 2003, which has been more than proven. I’m telling you: Travis Snider is a future star.

*Come on, Wings, bring it home again, the way you did on my birthday last year!

3 responses so far

May 10 2009

Mother’s Day

Published by under Uncategorized

It’s probably Psych 101, but maybe because I had such a conflicted relationship with my mother, I’ve always sought out older women in my life. Since my mother is no longer with us, I thought I might pay tribute to some of the other “mothers” in my life.

First up is the one and only Genevieve. She had the cool elegance and beauty of Grace Kelly, despite her humble beginnings. She was one of thirteen children, and never went to high school. She married and was widowed young, and when I met her, she was somewhere in her 60s. She managed the beauty salon where I worked during college, and carefully planned my work schedule around my school schedule without my asking. If it weren’t for her, I would never have gotten my degree, and my life would have been very different. It was as if, not having an education of her own, she was determined to make sure I did. We stayed in close touch, and I though I was devastated by her death, I am so glad I had her in my life. She was a gift.

Next is my beautiful stepmother, Margaret. Always on the go, always perfectly groomed and dressed, but always had time for me. She was the love of my father’s life. They were incredibly happy together, and she was as calm waiting for a broken-down bus to be repaired in the African desert as she was shopping at Harrods. She built up what we laughingly referred to as “the empire”, buying up houses in London after the war, renovating them, and selling them at a profit. She was flipping houses long before it became fashionable. She learned to drive when she was forty, bought a car – and then told her husband* about it, when it was too late for him to object. She always made me laugh. She, too, is gone, but will never be forgotten.

Now, there’s the appropriately named Joy, who really is one. We met each other through my very talented friend Mike, who is her son-in-law, and over time, I have come to rely on her unflagging friendship, cheerfulness, and good advice. I’m always delighted to hear her voice on the phone, with its charming accent, and when she’s away, I miss our near-daily e-mail exchanges and on-line Scrabble games. She’s made me a better Scrabble player, and a happier person, knowing that I have a little Joy in my life.

In fact, we recently exchanged views about Mother’s Day, and I said that although it may be commercial, it’s nice to thank the person who gave one life and gave up so much along the way. Being a parent is sacrifice and hard work and should be appreciated. It’s good to stop and tell someone how much they mean to you, even if takes a made-up holiday to do it.

*I hasten to add that this was her first husband, who died many years before Dad met Margaret.

4 responses so far

May 09 2009

Supper Surprises

Published by under Cats,Life in Oaktown

I was making dinner, and I heard someone calling what sounded like my name, louder and louder. You know how it is: one minute you’re peeling garlic* and the next minute some guy’s going all Marlon Brandon on your ass. I dropped my pungent peeling and went out on the porch to investigate.

The girls were all agog as a young man chased his red pit bull into the backyard. “Excuse me, miss”, he gasped as he ran past the porch, calling his dog again. Her name turned out to be Sadie, not Suzy, and as he walked past me with her, I said how beautiful she was. “She sure is!” he laughed, relieved to have her safe again.

I went back to my interrupted dinner preparations, smiling and thinking how a dog can make your whole day by just being, when I heard June making her unmistakable “Look at me, I caught something” noises. Though the inconveniences of my tiny residence are many, mice aren’t among them, so what June usually “catches” are her toys and sometimes a stray moth, so I figured it was nothing to stop zesting lemons over.

When I heard something clunk on the floor, I looked over and saw June standing victoriously over an avocado. I had put it in the sun on the porch to ripen, or at least soften up, and June had seen it, gone after it, and then brought her kill to show me. It’s so funny how wild instincts are still alive and well in house cats, no matter how tame their existence.

*I often wonder how many hours, or possibly days, of my life have been spent peeling garlic. Maybe it’s better not to know.

3 responses so far

May 08 2009

Compare and Contrast

Published by under Uncategorized

Today I dared to peep at my bank account, and the number was so tiny and pathetic I’m pretty sure it was Tiny Tim in a former life. So much for going to a baseball game this weekend (the Blue Jays are in town and they’re smokin’ hot this year) or seeing Auntie Mame* (one of my favorite movies) at the beautiful Paramount Theater. ‘Cause who has five dollars?

I think I can be forgiven for comparing the past and the present. And I think you can see which one is better:

Then Now
Spacious apartment in Pacific Heights Tiny house in Oakland overrun with boxes
1966 Mustang convertible, silver-blue with white top 1997 Taurus, missing one hubcap and stolen GPS
Walked to work through San Francisco (free!) BART station of death ($6.60 a shot, no pun intended)
Fabulous delivery food, esp. pizza No edible delivery; reduced to making own pizza
Perfect climate (I love you, fog) House is convection oven in the summer
Buying diamonds Selling diamonds
Dermalogica Oil of Olay
Buying books Library books
European vacations at least once a year Can’t even afford to visit brother & sister

*I just love Patrick Dennis’ books, which are mostly out of print due to the lack of taste of the general American public. Rosalind Russell (who shares my birthday) is fabulous in the movie, and the adult Patrick is played by none other than the swooningly handsome Roger Smith. Roger was one of the debonair stars of one of my fave TV shows, 77 Sunset Strip. And lest you question my taste, I’ll just let you know that Roger is still the gorgeous Ann-Margret’s one and only husband, after more than 50 years.

2 responses so far

May 07 2009

Afternoon June

Published by under Uncategorized

June enjoys the porch

The unseasonable rain has finally gone away, taking the frizzies with it. For those of you who don’t live in California, it pretty much only rains here in the winter, so rain in May is as unusual here as a hail storm. Sure, it happens, but so rarely that when it does, it’s breaking news and the weathermen are all excited to actually have something to report about, instead of the usual “sunny skies, with highs in the 60s and 70s”.

Now that the rain seems to have really gone until one of the brrr “ber” months, the girls have the run (or the lounge) of the porch again. Here you see June enjoying the sun at her sprawliest best. June loves to stretch out; Audrey loves to curl up. June jumps on you like a superhero (Here I come to save the day!) and gazes in your eyes like the answer to the universe is there (Trust me, it isn’t). Audrey curls up on you and goes to sleep, refusing to move even if you want to. June claws madly at the window glass when she sees something outside she wants to chase; Audrey claws madly at the side of the washer when she uses the litter box. But they both love the porch.

3 responses so far

May 06 2009


Published by under Uncategorized

Gas Guy gave himself up about 9:00 last night. No word as to whether he was allowed to have a shower before being taken into custody. I’m not sure what you get charged with for doing something like that, unless it’s a weapons charge. Is there a law against wasting the time of police and emergency services?

The crime scene tape is gone, along with the news trucks and endlessly circling choppers. Helicopters are only fun if they’re you’re own, waiting to whisk you off somewhere fun, like the Hamptons.

Today was (fortunately) uneventful, and I hope tomorrow is, too. I also hope this out of season and out of control rain and clouds go away. It’s getting depressing and making my hair frizzy.

5 responses so far

May 05 2009

Front Row Seat

Published by under Uncategorized

All this for me?

Whenever I know I have to get up early, it pretty much guarantees me a bad night’s sleep. I lie there thinking non-sleep inducing thoughts like “If I go to sleep right now, I can get five hours” and unhelpful things of that nature. Inside my head probably looks a lot like the outside, a jumbled chaos of boxes, things, and stuff, if you throw in a hamster wheel for them to keep bouncing around in.

Of course, the one time a girl can sleep is, you guessed it, right when the alarm goes off. It’s an enduring mystery. I had an early conference call, and it went on longer than I expected. I hardly had enough time to pretty myself up and get to BART, where I discovered there were delays, which in turn delayed Me. When I finally got to the office, there was unseasonable rain outside and a Cinco de Mayo festival in the lobby. Free Mexican food (though, sadly, no margaritas) in exchange for showing your photo ID, which I had fortunately and uncharacteristically remembered in my morning haste.

Clutching my vegetarian tamale, I dropped everything off in my office and proceeded to have a fairly productive day in spite of the rushed beginning. When I got on the bus on the way home, the driver said, “Girl, you done made my day with your beautiful self!” so my prettying must have been better than I thought. Or he was being nice (free compliment with every bus ride!).

So I was smiling my way down the street when I noticed the flashing lights that meant one of Oakland’s finest was paying me yet another visit. Possibly the bus driver had alerted them to my good hair day. I asked the cop who was standing on the remains of my lawn what was up, and he said that a guy two blocks away had apparently doused himself with gasoline and was threatening to set himself and the house on fire. His possession of a rifle was making reasoning with him a little on the challenging side.

Welcome home!

4 responses so far

May 04 2009

Past Perfect

Published by under Uncategorized

Old movies always make me wish I lived in the past. Come to think of it, the news does that, too. Anyway, last night’s entertainment was The Reckless Moment (1949), starring the beautiful Joan Bennett and the always suave and charming James Mason. Bad guy, good guy, or a mixture of the two, you gotta love him.

A Columbia picture – with the original Columbia lady, back when she was a total babe instead of the hideous “updated” one – the credits included my favorite of all time (“gowns by” – in this case, Jean Louis) and went on to inform me that the screenplay is based on “The Blank Wall”, by Elisabeth Holding.

I’m a huge Holding fan, and cannot understand why she’s so unknown. I have almost all of her books, most in the Dell double book edition, where you read one story, then turn it over and get a whole ‘nother one, usually with lurid covers. But don’t let that put you off. She is a mistress of suspense, in the grand tradition of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell (though antedating them by many years), where a person makes a fatal mistake and his/her life spirals out of control.

The movie is in glorious black and white, and I have to say, if I really could live in the past, it might be in the 1940s. The cars and clothes are great, everything’s stylish, and there are important things like electricity and hot running water. Sure, there’s the dreary war, but there’s always a dreary war. At least things looked good.

2 responses so far

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