Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


What is?

A good hard walking sunny afternoon spent in the city on library business. A downtown farmer's market sans drama and filled with foodstuffs not normally seen in aisles of our local Mendo county markets. A vibrant and toothsome Mexican luncheonette filled with folks from off the streets and in and out of the local office buildings. A view of The Bridge, caught in sideways glance, after a looping trot through the gingerbread finery of the Fort Mason neighborhood. A bit of time spent in the galleries, dreaming of pieces we would love to own but know, that for the near and foreseeable future, are completely out of the question financially (but fun had in the looking all the same). Talks that go on and on into the night, complete with issues that are sometimes unresolvable then and there but then, after a rough nights sleep, are always handled with love, care and diplomacy in the light of the following day.

Food prepared in a kitchen that never seems to be too small in a house that lately has been filled with hard fall light in a room filled with the glee of a little boy learning the fine art of playing Go Fish. A movie that was, at the onset of this happy voyage, a source of conversation and enlightenment and has been finally watched through to the end (that makes two films now, mujer...). Walks that go into fields filled with cow patties and rough furrows and up to trees filled with gold, all taken into account with hide and go seek and bumpy bicycle rides built into their all too swift finales.

Indian food buffet chosen along side all too many different kinds of places to nosh, making us feel like country mice in the big city, no matter that the city we were visiting was a somewhat small one itself. Bookstores packed with novels and cookbooks and photographed nudes and new releases that needed to be not only on our shelves at home but back at home on our library shelves, too. A wild and wacky photo shoot on the edges of a busy tourist filled parking lot overlooking San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge complete with a stiff breeze, an almost tossed tablet and a slight loss of decorum. A Mediterranean delight of a hotel, wee and tucked away on 101 as you head onto Lombard on the way into the City, a true gem tastefully appointed, with nicely grouted tile work, a full out kitchen, comfy comforters and a enough charm to have us put it on the favorites list indefinitely (we will be back).

Dancing to songs only heard in our heads as we stood in line to take the cable cars downtown at sundown (and with the line moved up and the crowd, delighted, not telling us to move up as well...). A hard walk through the Tenderloin in the dark of night that ended across the street from the next day's destination and in a kabab place that served a delicious lamb platter, complete with fresh baked bread that neither of us could eat. Two burger baskets served up Protein style..ah, to know that this little slice of heaven will be left behind should we ever leave the state! The discovery of a decent Pinot tinged Rose, a happy surprise out of the icebox. A good morning's long distance interview that turned into another good morning's phone call today that says to me that New York is a mighty good possibility not only for yours truly but for Mi Novia, the Boy and a boat load of dreams as well.

Ah, to normal! We kicked around the idea of "normal" one afternoon in Santa Rosa and have been asking ourselves almost every day since then about what we feel would constitute normal life. Every day we look around us, see what there is to see, see something truly grand and then ask each other that pertinent question: "does this qualify as normal?". Sometimes we just declare, yeah, that's normal, lets build that into our lives. Gelato out and about. A quick trip into a new and unknown market. An afternoon nap. A simple meal made on the fly. Breaking up wood after a sweaty afternoons worth of romping. Sipping an inexpensive wine watching the sun go down. Watching Star Wars for the millionth time and knowing in our heart of hearts that it is a good thing because the Boy thinks so, too.

We are on a voyage of discovery, Mi Novia and I. We are learning, after years of riding the fence, of being out in the boondocks, of weathering sometimes not so great times with not so great people, to understand what would be considered normal everyday kinds of life. We see it, we gauge it, we talk about it, we feel it and then, if we like it enough, we vet it.

This place here, this blog, these writings, are close enough to normal to be a safe  and okay place to bounce off of. This is the place were we can vet ourselves in front of the world. We are finding out that we pretty darned normal, folks, and we are loving it.

More normal stuff to come. Bring it on.


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