Friday, November 30, 2007

My Birthday

It's always my favorite day of the year, but this year it really sneaked up on me. I did, however, manage to gather a few folks at Hobson's Choice on Haight Street for rum punch and salmon skewers.

Here's the early crowd.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I went to see Jose Gonzalez perform at Bimbo's last night. It was a spur of the moment thing and I'm glad I went. Bimbo's is an old-fashioned place with lots of black leather and red velvet and it's a great place to see a show. Jose was very good. If he had a bit of stage presence or chatted with the audience a little, he could be great.
He closed his set with an incredible version of Mezzanine's "Teardrop." See one that someone else recorded here:

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I'm in the mood today for a list, so here are some of my favorite Sunday things:

1. Yoga at 11 a.m.
2. KFOG's Acoustic Sunrise. Five hours of mellow, Sunday morning music.
3. A nonfat, decaf latte at my favorite coffee shop on Hayes Street.
4. The New York Times. Yes, the WHOLE thing.
5. A walk with Gin in the Panhandle.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


This year I enjoyed a yummy, home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner with Margaret, B.Z. and Margaret's mom and Dad. Max amused himself most of the afternoon while Aiden napped.

I am thankful this year for many things _ my irreplaceable family, my intelligent, generous and kind friends and my health - which I lost for a time and got back again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One of those days

Sunny. Clear. Good for raising the spirits. Dangerous for tourists who decide they want to stay.
I went for a run this morning _ my first run outside since spraining my ankle. Treadmills suck.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Brother Brian

I just HAD to share this adorable photograph of Brian at work. As part of his program at Milwaukee Area Technical College, he works at the PBS television station. This was taken in front of the "green screen" at a recent open house.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Spa

I splurged on a 50-minute massage yesterday. It goes without saying that it was heavenly! The Kabuki spa in Japantown remains one of the most peaceful places _ and one of the best deals _ in the city. I left feeling like a wet noodle.

In the evening, Tod and Linda hosted a welcome home potluck. It was fantastic to see so many friends at once.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I came home yesterday to the kind of day that makes people want to move to San Francisco _ sunny, clear, 70 degrees. Perfect.
Georgia and I went to my favorite Mexican place in the Mission. I really missed avocadoes!
I stayed awake until 8 p.m. and then slept 12 hours. Arthur and I snuggled ... although I don't think he's quite sure about who I am and Gin and I took a nice walk this morning. It's nice to be home.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It's no secret to most of you that I'm a Sinead O'Connor fanatic. What you may not know is that I had to give up fifth row center tickets to see her at a small and beautiful venue in SF. Back in September, I had to be in London on a Monday and she performed on a Saturday. I was brokenhearted, to say the least. Serendipity intervened, however, and she performed here in London last night. Jean bought tickets in the balcony (the best seats left!) and I managed to talk my way to the eighth row. My brother, Mike, would've been proud of my schmoozing.

Today, I've been wallowing in Sinead _ watching YouTube clips and reading interviews. Here's the review of last night's show:

And a photo from last month's show in Boston. She wore a similarly mannish outfit last night.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Every Sunday evening, Jean's apartment gets transformed into a yoga studio. I was lucky enough to be here this week. Kim's class was fantastic and reminded me how much I miss yoga. Check her out at

The class was followed by an Asian-themed potluck dinner.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


In the two months since I last passed through London, the weather has gone from Indian summer to fall. It's crisp and cold, but really nice to be back in such an orderly place. Egypt seems even more chaotic in comparison.

We rode bicycles to Chapel Market and indulged in a fantastic bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard. Yum!

I later got in touch with my inner Wisconsinite and admired the freshly made cheese.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Friends

Meeting new friends ... especially when traveling in a country where many simple things quickly become a hassle ... is a REALLY good thing.

Ingrid is a nurse from Holland and Kate is a doctor from England. They met in the Sudan while working with Doctors Without Borders. A grand time was had by all!

Leaving Dahab

It's my last morning here in Dahab. It's felt like weeks since I arrived. I guess doing absolutely nothing is good that way.

Here's my room at the Nesima Resort, which has been a wonderful stay and I would much recommend it to anyone venturing out to this part of the world.

Here's my breakfast ...

... and my breakfast companion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sun. Sun. And more sun.

Dahab is a diver's paradise. Snorkeling seems to be its poor stepchild. If you do neither, you are an absolute reject. That would be me. Remember the story about the time I got seasick and threw up WHILE snorkeling? True story.

Here's the pool where I've been spending most of my days.

When I get tired of the pool, I head to the beach.

And in case you were wondering, no camels are allowed on the beach.

Monday, November 5, 2007


On to Dahab ... I'm breathing a big sigh of relief. It's MUCH better here. More my style. Slower. Prettier. Definitely less touristy.

Here's this town's main "promenade," if you could call it that.

Here's me at one of the way cool bar/restaurants along the water. And, yes, I have become a complete mezzah addict _ hummus, baba ganoush and all my other favorite unpronouncables. The bread here is most like it was in Iraq. Yummy!

I HAD to include this one. There are tons of stray cats here (and some adorable dogs, as well) and I've never seen a cat go fishing before. That's exactly what was happening while I ate. Crazy.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sharm el-Sheikh

I went from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea. I knew this town was touristy, but this is ridiculous! It's like a cross between Las Vegas and Disneyland with beaches! Insane. With relief, I'm relocating tomorrow to a town called Dahab, which should be several paces slower than here.

I spent today at this beach called Wind. It was much nicer than yesterday's beach packed with an odd mix of 20-year-old hotties and old, very heavy women in bikinis. Eeew!

One of Sharm el-Sheikh's main promenades outside my hotel, which also happens to be next door to a disco. I know, I know. I really shouldn't complain.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Old Friends

I think Adrienne and Fahr officially qualify as old friends. It was great spending the afternoon with them in Cairo. I got to see their spacious digs in Garden City, not far from the American University. We walked around, took the Cairo underground, then had drinks on the rooftop at the Nile Hilton _ spectacular views, very salty peanuts and pricey wine. We had a wonderful time!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I arrived in Cairo last night. I was here about 15 years ago, but I wasn't really IN Cairo. Katya's apartment is on Zamalek, an island in the middle of the Nile. She's on the 17th floor, high above the noise, congestion and craziness down below.