Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ticket Rant

Anyone who follows this blog can't help but notice that I go to a lot of concerts. Music is one of my favorite things to spend money on. But why, I ask, did the revolt against excessive "service charges" never take off? I buy nearly all my concert tickets online (is there another way?) and I routinely pay $10 per ticket in "fees." We don't go to a box office staffed by a human, so what, pray tell, are we paying for? God bless places like the Fillmore where on Sunday afternoons you can still secure fee-free tickets.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Last night ... even though I really didn't feel like it ... I went to The Independent to see Emiliana Torrini. I don't remember how I first met her music, but it's wonderful. Her parents are Italian, but she was born and raised in Iceland. Her songs are lovely, not at all sleepy and her voice reminds me a bit of Rickie Lee Jones.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Feet

I need to get a pedicure this weekend. Can you sense the reluctance?

For some women, this is a treat, an indulgence, a way to pamper themselves. For me, it's torture! I am horribly ticklish and there's nothing worse than having someone touching, sloughing and rubbing my feet.

But I've got a vacation coming up (86 degrees and sun, sun, sun!) and these feet are NOT sandal-ready.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brian and Bread - Part Two

Brian is successfully feeding his bread habit. He's quickly becoming an expert, although he's decided he needs to branch out a bit -- sourdough, French, cheese. Yum.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


A week from today I begin my first "real" vacation since October, 2007. Needless to say, I'm very excited.

Molly and I will spend a few days with Mike and his family in Mexico City, then head about four hours north to San Miguel de Allende where we'll stay at Laura's house.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


On Sunday, Brian and I were in the mood for Good Movie. That's a guaranteed Good Movie -- preferably one neither of us had seen. After consulting Netflix's lists of award winners, we agreed to rent Chinatown, which, in 1974, was nominated (and won) a bunch of awards.

Well, I slept through half of the movie and Brian just gave up. It was so very slow. I worried our attention spans were not what they once were.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Concert

Comic ballet? It sounds a bit like an oxymoron until you see The Concert by Jerome Robbins. Friday's performance kept the audience in stitches. The SF Ballet is brilliant ... and more people should know.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bouquets to Art

I've seen this exhibit several times, but this year it seemed grander than ever. Florists are asked to interpret works of art in the museum, then for a week, the arrangements are displayed alongside their inspiration.

This was a massive chandelier in the lobby.

I like when the flowers replicate the colors in the paintings.

This was my favorite.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not So Lost

You put up with the bad boyfriend for weeks and you're ready to break up. Then, suddenly, he brings you flowers and makes you dinner. Maybe, just maybe, you were wrong about him all along.

Last night's was the best episode of Lost in a long, long time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Literary Crushes

When you read as much as I do, you're bound to develop crushes on certain authors.

It began in high school with Stephen Crane. I loved his poetry AND he was a journalist!

More recently, I've been drawn to Ethan Canin. A doctor AND a writer. How cool is that?

Tony Swofford, author of "Jarhead," is an intelligent, articulate, former military man. He doesn't know it, but we should be married.

But, most recently, I'm into another Tony ... Bourdain. A chef, a traveler, a writer, a renegade. Ah!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Caffe Luna Pieta

Linda and I were so engrossed in conversation yesterday that I missed the opportunity to photograph Mr. Handsome himself.

I also failed to record the incredible brunch we enjoyed. I had salmon cakes topped with poached eggs and a drizzle of aioli. Yum! Linda had crab cakes, poached eggs and hollandaise.

Oh, and the restaurant in the Castro also might have shortened its name to Luna, which is what the menus said. Check it out. Great heated outdoor patio.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Green Curry

Who needs cookbooks when you've got the internet?

I found this at the same blog I found the shrimp and grits recipe earlier this week. They call it a green curry sauce. I think it's more like a healthy, spicy, pesto. First, I sauteed some chicken and mushrooms, mixed in some rice and covered it all with this super-yummy sauce. Oh, and I skipped the lemongrass because Safeway didn't have any. Tonight, I'm going to try it with fish. Yum!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arizmendi + ANTM

After missing last week's season premiere, the gals (and Brian!) gathered at Georgia's last night to feast on Arizmendi pizza and watch America's Next Top Model. We were a bit dismayed by the show and the models-to-be, but the pizza did not disappoint.

If you haven't tried Arizmendi, you should. They only make one kind of pizza each day and they only half-bake it. You finish up at home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shrimp and Grits

One of the best thing about living in South Carolina for three years was getting introduced to grits -- specifically shrimp and grits.

I've tried a few different recipes over the years and last night's version was, by far, the best. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tina Dico

Louise and I saw Danish singer-songwriter Tina Dico perform last night at Cafe du Nord. There were 100 people there, at the most, and Tina sounded great. She was backed longtime collaborator Dennis Ahlgren and a charming boy from Iceland named Helgi Jonsson who sang, played keyboards and trombone!

Oh, and the ahi was fantastic!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Puerto Alegre

I was reminded again yesterday of what a great spot Puerto Alegre is. The food, the people, the ambience. Yum.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Stairs to Coit Tower

Yesterday, after lunch, two coworkers and I headed a few blocks over to Levi Plaza and the base of the steps to Coit Tower.

We had a lovely and invigorating walk to the top of the hill.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grand Ballroom

After the Hank III concert "experience," I promised to vent about the venue -- the Hyatt Regency's Grand Ballroom. Bottom line: do NOT go there!

Yelp spoke. I didn't listen.

A wedding or a prom or a fancy party would work beautifully there. But concerts? No.

We arrived shortly after the 8 p.m. start time to find a line that stretched for many blocks and was barely moving. I asked a security guard what was going on, he said everyone showed up at once and the folks doing the pat downs were overwhelmed. Fine. Brian and I went next door for a drink. Hour later? The line hasn't shrunk at all and we're about to miss the headliner. Luckily, I sweet-talked the same security guard who let us skip the line. Once inside, I learned there were four toilets for the sold-out crowd of about 1,000 people. Do NOT go there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reality TV

Despite some evidence to the contrary, I'm quite picky about my reality TV. America's Next Top Model? Love it. Survivor? Never miss it. (Until this season ... somehow I missed hearing about it.) The Biggest Loser? I find it inspiring. Say what you will, but you really should check it out. I struggle with 15 pounds, so I don't know how these people do it. It's terribly impressive.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brian and Bread

You learn new things about someone when you share an apartment. (And this is my blog, not Brian's, so you'll only hear my perspective on that.)

Brian LOVES bread. He probably eats two loaves a week. This is difficult for me as I try to avoid bread to lose weight, but that's another story.

I found this bread maker on Craigslist and will let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Swan Lake

When I was 15, I fell in love with Swan Lake. I watched from backstage and was completely mesmerized. That experience led to several years of working as a dresser -- helping dancers in and out of their costumes, providing a needle and thread for emergencies and doing laundry.

I've had season tickets to the incredible San Francisco Ballet Company for about eight years now, but this is the first time they've done Swan Lake and it's a totally revamped production -- new choreography, sets and costumes. It was eye-poppingly beautiful.

Hank III

Hank III is the grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams, Jr. He performed Saturday at the Hyatt Regency's Grand Ballroom (I will rant about this terrible venue later ...). If you like old-fashioned, hee-haw, hillbilly music with lyrics I won't reproduce here, Hank's the guy for you. His band was tight and well-rehearsed and Hank played a solid 1-1/2 hours of kickin' country music before starting his heavy metal set. Sorry, but two songs of set #2 was more than enough for me and Brian and a bunch of other people who left early.