Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Horror flick; lock-down mane

Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and David Warner together in a film is ace, but I don't think The Omen (1976) holds up terribly well. Maybe it's that I had a hard time buying Lee Remick, looking every bit 20 years Peck's junior--and then some--, as his wife. The special effects are, to our modern eyes, fairly dated as well. The film's score, however, really sells the horror and suspense of the story. Discordant instrumentation does more to set me on edge than a barking Rottweiler any day. For the uninitiated, Peck's character is tasked with killing Damien, the Satan-spawn masquerading as his young son. If he does not, then that will spell the end of mankind. 

I'm just watching the tail-end of the film now. It's Peck against the kooky nanny who was sent by Satan to protect the boy. It ends badly for her. -lots of over-the-top deaths in the film, to be honest, and hers is no different. I recall there being more than one Omen sequel, so I probably needn't have to tell you if 'good' prevails over evil' here. 

***

I have not been to the hair dresser in nearly two years and it shows. I had feathered hair when I was a young teen. My feathers always drooped in the abundant coastal fog. Because of my sad-looking locks, some bratty kid/s decided to reward me with an unfortunate nickname: Lassie. 


Like my 'shiny coat'? Har-har.

Lassie is a pretty dog, but I did not and don't resemble her...or do I?







Friday, February 12, 2021

Statler

Not much gets me excited during quarantine other than beach walks and bike journeys through the neighborhood. I do, however, take some delight in watching animal videos via Youtube. The latest sensation to come across my computer screen was Statler, a 33-year-old fruit bat with one missing eye. Statler lives at a Bat Sanctuary in Texas. He looks like a wee canine with wings. I had no idea that bats could live as long as he has. I suppose his living in captivity has prolonged his life. Sadly, his having lived in captivity has also contributed to his arthritic condition and (probably) loss of eye ball! Anyway, here is a short, 3.38 min. about sweet, old Statler and some of his elderly bat-pals. 

This short clip is worth a look (provided his global fame has not yet reached your corner of the world), if you're so inclined. What's especially heart-warming about this vid is (spoiler!) Statler's helpers assist him in 'flying' by holding him aloft as he moves his arthritic wings up and down like an animatronic Disney creature circa 1962.



Saturday, February 6, 2021

Feb. 3, 2021

Does it seem like everyone is kicking the bucket right now? I don't even think all the deaths are Covid-related, but that is the first question to come to mind when I hear of yet another person's death. 

Speaking of Covid, my nephew, N., has contracted the virus as has his partner. They are both in their early 30s, but both have compromised immune systems. She is undergoing cancer treatment and he lives with hepatitis C. To be honest, I had thought that he would have already contracted Covid given his previous 'living situation'. When the pandemic began, my nephew was imprisoned in Chino, a state facility located in Southern California, for the duration. Just before Chino experienced a rash of Covid outbreaks, N. was transferred up to San Quentin before being released last year.  

I've signed up for a vaccine notification service for the county in which I live. I should expect to be contacted re: the vaccination in April. Fortunately, my mother and other folks I know over 65 have already obtained at least their first dose of the vaccine. The waiting period between doses seems to be about one month. Mom felt fine after the first jab. Hopefully, she'll not experience any adverse effects after the second. 

***

I was out tooling around on my bike today when I rode past an tidily dressed, mask-less older man sitting on the pavement. It looked as if he might have fallen. I dismounted and, staying an appropriate distance away with mask up, asked if he needed help. He couldn't articulate clearly if he did or did not need help. I told him that I would stay an appropriate distance away from him for a moment while he determined what he needed to do for himself. It quickly became clear that he was a bit disoriented and in a weakened state and could not lift himself up to a standing position. I offered him my arm, but no avail. Then I asked him if it were OK that I lifted him up myself. (I have to say that I was both worried that I might infect him--although it wasn't probable--and I did not want to emasculate him by hoisting him up to his feet.) As soon as I said what I wanted to do I realized that I probably wasn't capable of lifting him up without potentially injuring him or myself. It was at that point that a neighbor (also on his bike) asked if help were needed. I said that it was. He came over and easily and carefully lifted the man to a standing position. I stood on the other side of the older man and held his hand while he was being righted. The fallen man lived at the other end of the block. He may have been out for a walk...? I asked if there were anyone that I could call on his behalf. He said that there wasn't. The neighbor slowly escorted him down the block to his home. If we had an NHS, then I would have felt no compunction about calling an ambulance. Those with poor or no insurance are stuck with a HEFTY bill for services, so the thought of calling was never in my mind, to be honest. It may be, however, that the older man needed medical attention. I can only hope that the neighbor cyclist made the right determination re: potential injuries when dropping him off at his residence. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Twin strangers

About a year ago, I watched a short reportage via YouTube on 'twin strangers'. Apparently, on a planet with billions of inhabitants, we all have at least one Doppelgänger running around out there. The program highlighted a few sets of 'twin strangers', but two men stood out from the rest. Unlike the other pairs, these men really did resemble one another. Not only did they look rather alike physically, but their lives had striking parallels. Both men had been married 50 years, both had trained at the same teacher college and taught the same subject initially, both had adult sons who played the didgeridoo, of all instruments, and both (now) lived in the same town in Essex. 

Their story was so compelling that it recently featured in a documentary film on the subject of Doppelgängers. John and Neil aren't the only 'twin pair' to make a splash in the film. Darren and David (actual twin names, I should think) are two men, one from Scotland & one from Poland, who look so alike that's it's uncanny.

John and Neil, or is it Neil and John?

I saw my Doppelgänger once in a magazine. She seemed to be a more attractive version of me. Peering back from the page was a blonder, more blue-eyed girl with slightly more freckles on the bridge of her nose and the same rosy cheeks. It was jarring to see someone who looked so much like me especially given that my siblings and I do not resemble each other. I was at work when I made the 'twin discovery' and showed my colleagues the magazine photograph. I can't remember if they saw what I saw. -didn't matter. I saw it. 

Back in high school, I was occasionally confused for a girl called Wendy. To my eye, we did not look alike, but we did have similar hair and eye color. To some, that makes a match. It didn't matter that her nose was more pert and her eyes were more wide set. I took it as a compliment, she may have taken her passing resemblance of me as less of one. Ha. 

Have you yet met your Doppelgänger? Do people tell you that you look like someone else? If not, don't fret! He or she is out there!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Covid Closures

After 157 years (a long time for us New World Westcoasters) of business, the iconic Cliff House restaurant closed its doors at the end of 2020. The stretch of coastline where the Cliff House structure stands is controlled by the National Parks Dept. Given the building's perfect perch just above the Pacific Ocean, I can only assume that new tenants will be found by the Parks folk sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, many restaurants without the cachet of the Cliff House are gone from the city permanently. 

Here is a rather exhaustive list of SF restaurant covid closures for your viewing 'pleasure'---

  • Angkor Borei
  • Alfred’s Steakhouse
  • Art’s Cafe
  • August 1 Five
  • Badlands
  • Baker Street Bistro
  • Barvale
  • Beachside Coffee Bar & Kitchen
  • Bistro Aix
  • Blind Cat
  • Bussaba
  • Cafe du Soleil (200 Filmore Street)
  • Castagna
  • Castro Republic
  • CatHead’s BBQ
  • Cha-Am Thai
  • Chili Lemon Garlic
  • Cliff House
  • Cockscomb
  • Coin-Op Game Room
  • Dobbs Ferry
  • Dosa 
  • Estela’s Donburi
  • Far East Cafe
  • Farallon
  • Francisca’s
  • Great Gold
  • Hakkasan
  • Harrington’s Bar & Grill
  • Hillside Supper Club
  • Hinodeya 
  • Ichi Sushi
  • Indian Paradox
  • It’s Tops
  • Izakaya Roku
  • JapaCurry
  • Jeanne d’Arc
  • La Boulangerie 
  • Lefty O’Doul’s
  • Locanda
  • Los Guisados Del Patrón
  • Louis’ Diner
  • Love N’ Haight Deli
  • Lucky 13
  • Mauerpark
  • Mestiza
  • Mikaku
  • Mozzeria 
  • M.Y. China
  • My Pot
  • Naked Fish
  • Nick’s 
  • Nico
  • Nizario’s 
  • Nommo
  • Nopalito 
  • Obispo
  • Orson’s Belly
  • Ozaoza
  • Palio Cafe
  • Pasta Pop-Up
  • Pause Wine Bar
  • Pera
  • Pesce e Riso
  • Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen
  • Prairie
  • Ramen Underground
  • Recchiuti Confections 
  • Ristorante Franchino
  • Ritual Coffee (
  • Rosa Mexicano
  • Rotunda at Neiman Marcus
  • Rusty’s Southern
  • Salt House
  • Seal Rock Restaurant
  • Serpentine
  • Skool
  • Southern Pacific Brewing
  • Stacks
  • Straw
  • The Creamery
  • The Crepe Houses
  • The Grove
  • The House
  • The Little Chihuahua
  • The Riddler
  • The Taco Shop At Underdogs
  • The Stud
  • Thieves Tavern
  • Ton Kiang
  • Triple Voodoo Brewery
  • Trou Normand
  • Udon Underground
  • Velvet Cantina
  • Vive La Tarte
  • Walzwerk
  • Wish
  • Yiyi’s Mandarin Kitchen
The second Cliff House built to resemble a French chateau, 1896. 



The somewhat bland 21st century Cliff House building.
At least the view is stunning.




So long, Cliff House...may we see you again soon!



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Jan. 6th

'Looks like I picked a bad time to stop drinking' my friend texted me today. I thought, what? I texted back: Aren't we winning in Georgia? She told me to turn on the radio. I went to Twitter instead & what I found there wasn't pretty. Domestic terrorists storming the Capitol. Shots fired. One fatality as of this afternoon. This is what trump meant when he told the Proud Boys to 'stand back and stand by'. Mask-less insurgents swarming to D.C. to wreak havoc. At least they'll be easier to ID by the Feds as they opted not to cover their faces while breaking the law. Morons. 

***

I may have mentioned in a previous post that a dear friend, M., was diagnosed with cancer this past autumn. After multiple recent stays in the hospital, her prognosis is now terminal. M. entered into hospice care last week. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit with her this past Monday. I sat on the sofa a good distance away from M. with mask up. M.'s ability to speak was hampered by her difficulty in breathing. I was told by M.'s sister who was there to help with M.'s care that I should expect to do most of the talking. I chatted up a storm, but would have been happy to just sit with her in silence. I really wished I could have held her hand, but Covid-19 prevented that. I told her that I loved her. She told me that she loved me, too. Then she needed her husband to administer her pain meds and I asked if it were time for me to leave. She said that it was. We left things open-ended regarding another visit. Gesturing in the direction of her husband, I told her I'd check in with the Chairman of the Board regarding the possibility of another visit (my attempt at being funny). She told me to check with her Press Secretary (aka her husband--her better attempt at being funny). 

Her husband walked me to the door and I thanked him for letting me visit. We both choked up at bit at that point. I also told him to, please, take good care of himself as he looked to be not eating well. To have to deal with illness and death is challenging in the best of times, but to have to navigate these unfortunate situations with Covid-19 looming over everything just makes it all so much more difficult. 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas mood(y)

 -just had to shoo away a motorist in a boat of a car trying to park out front of the house in a compact parking space. Why, oh why do people try to cram their massive metal boxes into a wee spot like some sort of entitled wicked step-sister? 

Look mf'ers: If it don't fits, then you don't sits.

NO.

Speaking of parking, there had been two motor-homes sort of perma-parked on this block since at least mid-November. Last week, two police officers approached the vehicles and knocked on their windows. No one answered the call, but the next day I had noticed that one of the RVs had moved along. I am inclined to think that the owners live in their vehicles full-time. Sadly, there are now areas of town in which scores of larger vehicles sit parked with occupants living inside. 

A quick google search of 'RVs in San Francisco' gave me this: 


An informal 'mixed use' stretch of roadway--Students of SF State University park alongside those who are living in their vehicles (2018). 


***

On December 24th, a small group of us convened on Zoom in order to celebrate the Xmas eve birthday of a friend. There were a handful of us on the call who had grown up together. I hadn't really known the other home-towners as they were solely friends of the birthday girl in junior high and high school. As we all caught up with one another we began to play the 'did your older siblings know my older siblings?' game when it came to pass that one of us is friends with someone who had been a rather high profile comedian in the late 80s/early 90s. I should note that neither his films nor his stand-up has ever tickled my funny-bone. Like other still marginally successful performers, this person has become a vocal right-wing kook on social media. So not only is he not funny, but his political views are shite. Just after one of the Zoomers had said that his older sister had graduated with Mr. Funny (so had mine, btw) & right before said Zoomer mentioned his friendship with Haha Dude I was *about* to talk major shit about the guy. I'm so glad I bit my tongue as I wouldn't wanted to have make the birthday celebration awkward. 

***

I leave you with a photograph given to me by my uncle (the one who has my father's wooden box) that had been in my grandfather's possession. It's a time-capsule of sorts showing my parents' first Christmas in the house they bought after marrying in 1968. Mom is 22 in the photo. Dad is only six years her senior & was a divorced parent of two. I really like this snap shot as every one in it looks cheery and festive.  



Horror flick; lock-down mane

Gregory Peck, Lee Remick and David Warner together in a film is ace, but I don't think The Omen (1976) holds up terribly well. Maybe it&...