April 14, 2007
Along with guest-blogging for Paul, I've been in Chicago for the last week, visiting family and exploring the city while Scott has been at a conference. Highlights included seeing family, seeing the desks of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, the wardrobe that inspired C.S. Lewis (picture to come). Seeing friends, going shopping cialis price at H&M and the Levenger boutique at Macy's. The amazing exhibit Cezanne to Picasso over at the Art Institute. The Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, or the Bean, as everyone calls it. Brunch at Wishbone, where I had the crunchy french toast - simply amazing. Also had brunch at Orange, where I had orange-infused coffee as well as the chai tea french toast (tea-infused, served over a chai tea reduction, topped with caramelized apples. Also bbq pork and thai curry chicken bao over at Wow Bao.
Tonight I get to sleep in my own bed. If only I could vegetate for the rest of the weekend, but we are daytripping tomorrow to see some more of Scott's relatives who compare cialis price happen to be within driving distance.
February 21, 2007
Back from spending a long weekend in NYC. Mainly I was there to see The Coast of Utopia, which was wonderful. There were dazzling cialis prices performances and dizzying dialogue. Highlights for me were the various turns by Jennifer Ehle, especially as Natalie Herzen, Billy Crudup as Vissarion Belinsky, Martha Plimpton, and Ethan Hawke as the loud, obnoxious, unruly, undisciplined Michael Bakunin.
In the bit of spare time we had, there was a trip to MoMA, dinner at Otto (including olive oil gelato for dessert), brunch with Zeebah and Lauren, and drinks and nibbles with Paul F., who was game enough to meet up with us on a last minute's notice. There was also some wandering along Avenue A for shopping in little boutiques. In one of them I overheard the shopgirls talking about spotting members of The Strokes, including what appeared to be one of them with Kirsten Dunst on a double date. This is about as close as I'll get to spotting anybody famous, so it was a minor shallow vicarious thrill.
I was in the subway when I spotted someone reading the Daily News, whose front page headline was "Britney Shears." And every time we waited on the platform for the L at Sixth Avenue, there was a cute little blonde with a boombox, singing 80s Madonna songs. She had the right voice, but it drove me a little crazy that she was cialis price comparison messing up the lyrics. But I was happy enough to give her some change, since she's much braver than I am, singing and dancing on a subway platform.
Minor travel delays. No one confiscated my toiletries and there were no unreasonable sojourns on the tarmac, so it all worked out and we made it back home Sunday night.
Had the day off on Monday, so it was good day to recuperate and do some laundry.
February 07, 2007
Next weekend I will be immersed in nine hours of theater when I attend performances of The Coast of Utopia. The trilogy explores a group of friends who come of age under the Tsarist autocracy of Nicholas I. Playwright Tom Stoppard says it's not necessary to do any pre-theater study, but I'd like to have a fighting chance of taking in as much as I can when I actually attend the plays. Of course, I've had the tickets for some time but only now am I doing any reading.
Stoppard appears in tonight's Charlie Rose. Check your local PBS station for listings - the episode airs here at 12:30 a.m.
At some point I'd picked up a book on Russian history, but I've misplaced it during the move. It will suffice as post-theater reading.
August 21, 2006
Pictures are up
Images from my England trip are now uploaded. My Flickr set can be found here. I seem to have taken many pictures of great houses, gardens and animals, but not so many of people.
Travel summaries to come.
August 11, 2006
I've finally committed to a Flickr pro subscription. There's now a set for pictures from my trip here. Hopefully I should have everything uploaded during the weekend. Cheers!
August 09, 2006
Meeting Mr. Darcy
The bust of Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen) as featured in the latest adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Sculpture gallery, Chatsworth House, Devonshire.
July 13, 2005
Me & Mr. Darcy in Sonoma
(Click on image for the superfluous large version.)
Some of us did manage to have literary discussions about Austen, in between the wine, the divine food, the pool, the hot tub, and the film marathons, including what's known as the Power P&P - the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries pared down to two hours. It's a good thing I knew the lines, because sometimes one could hardly hear the dialogue for all the hoots of laughter and salty remarks.
July 07, 2005
Is it the wine, or the town?
About 7:30 now, been up since 6, in spite of being tired and sated with wine. Last night Dean, Deb and I had dinner at the Cliff House. Gorgeous place near the remains of the Sutro Baths. The trees have that windblown look. Between us there was good food (garlic soup, prawns and spaghetti, macadamia-nut encrusted halibut) and two bottles of white - the second a Sonoma wine, Ferrari Corrano(?). As beautiful as the foggy view - there was a rock out in the water, a small crag of its own really, with cormorants dotting every available foothold - as great as the food, even better was the company. Is it too soon to say that I'm really happy to have made such great new friends? 'Cause yeah, I'm sappy enough that I want to say that.
Just before I woke, I dreamed I was sitting on the floor in a crowded NYC subway car, chatting with the guy who played Wesley on Buffy and then on Angel. A cute gal standing near us was taken with our vaguely flirty conversation, and suddenly she and Wesley were making out in front of all of us. I felt vaguely offended, and spent the rest of the dream thinking about why it bothered me, and how I was going to blog it. I saw myself writing about it in a journal, and then at a computer, writing a more selective, more edited version of it.
I don't remember dreaming about blogging before. And here I was dreaming about blogging a fictional experience - it's either head-junk or maybe there's some symbolism going on. Sort of a Naked Lunch dream, my brain having been saturated with a kaleidoscope of sight, sound and taste, minus the heroin.
Hmmm. I think I need some coffee.
Breaking in my shoes
I have a new pair of sandals and broke them in, walking up and down and around San Francisco. Deano is quite simply an extraordinary guide to the city. The good man did homework, for Pete's sake! We started around 10 am and it's almost 11 pm now that I'm back in my hostel. I have gotten such a taste of the city, and I find it greatly to my liking. For one thing, I LOVE the weather here. Sometimes it was warm enough to walk around without a jacket, other times I had wrapped my faux-pashmina around my neck.
And the hills. Somehow I kept up with Dean. I think I shall sleep well tonight. And all the delectable food I ate will somehow burn off, as surely I still must be burning calories from all that urban hiking.
Love the mix of architecture around here. I got to see the famous Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian houses that seem to be featured in movies and television shows that are set in SF. Bookstores everywhere. The narrowest storefront in town, in Chinatown. Coit Tower. The City Lights Bookstore. Rube Goldberg's old house. A gallery housed in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Telegraph Hill (the wild parrots were hiding out today). Hanging out in a park in Nob Hill, swinging on a swing, talking to a guy with a piebald-colored mini dachshund who fathered a litter of puppies. Walking into various hotel lobbies, including seeing a real Maxfield Parrish painting, The Pied Piper, at the Palace Hotel. Buying fortune cookies from a shop that actually makes them. (My sample fortune: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.)
Things to possibly check out: Beach Blanket Babylon (a still-running play that's become a local institution), Amoeba Records. More as I recall it.
Until today, deano and I have only been acquainted through our blogs and through email. But we walked around as if we'd known each other for ages. Later, we met up with his wife Deb for dinner at the Cliff House, and as I'd hoped, we got on wonderfully together.
On my own, I'd never have been so ambitious. I had an absolute blast. Thank you, deano and deb.
July 05, 2005
Good morning, Mr. President
I was chatting pleasantries with my seatmate when we looked up and saw a familiar face...Jimmy Carter?!? The former President, flanked fore and aft by Secret Service agents wearing their tell-tale earpieces, walked down the aisle, saying hello and shaking every person's hand. He was dressed very simply, in a subtle plaid button-down with khakis.
After registering that it was indeed Jimmy Carter, apparently sharing our flight to Salt Lake City, I thought "Oh good, this flight isn't going to crash." Not with a living former president on board.
I heard a child whisper to his mother, "You mean he was a real President?" Yes, kiddo, he was my President when I was younger than you.
I sat up straight and smiled brightly as Jimmy Carter and I shook hands. His hand was soft and papery - the skin of an elderly man - but his handshake was firm as we made eye contact and wished each other good morning.
A real President. I feel humble and privileged to meet such a great man.