“Let’s see, it’s 5:30PM on the day after Thanksgiving. Let’s jump in the car and head down to Union Square. And if traffic is, by some strange twist of fate, backed up for blocks and blocks and blocks, I can just lean on my horn to get things moving…”


The view from my aerie in the 'Loin.

The Cat Who Came in from the Cold

After nearly ten years in my place, I’ve finally decided to turn on the radiators. They were on when I first moved in and were constantly clanging and spewing rusty water. Not cool. So I relied on a nice little space heater. Granted, it wasn’t perfect, but it generally kept the living room warm enough.

But, presumably thanks to global climate change, SF is apparently in for another bone-chilling winter. The last two winters have been uncharacteristically cold and my little heater wasn’t cutting the mustard. Of course, what with being old and infirm, I seem to take on a chill much more easily than when I was young and spry…

So, I turned on the radiators – and so far, so good. Had some clanging issues which the management company fixed quickly. And I’m still adjusting to having to keep the windows wide-open so that I’m not roasted alive.

But guess who is the happiest little creature on earth thanks to the new apartment heating protocols? Yep, the cat. Frankly, I’m a little jealous. While he hasn’t completely given up on lap-sitting, he prefers to spend his time splayed out in front of the white-hot grill. But on the up side? Good opportunity for me to find an adorable new kitty bed! And really, if he’s happy, I’m happy…

UPDATE: My mom pointed out that he’s closer and closer to the radiator in each photo – like he’s been building up his tolerance for the surface-of-the-sun-like temperatures he has to endure. Tonight one of his little paws is actually underneath the radiator. Soon, he’ll probably be sitting right on top of the thing…

Quote of the Day

As always, I remain in awe of Michael K. at Dlisted. Today, he posted something about the extremely-easy-on-the-eyes actor Michael Fassbender with this stunning lede:

Michael Fassbender (the “F” is silent)

You, sir, are a genius. And just to round out this post, here is a delightful photograph of Mr. (F)Assbender.

from Dlisted

Better Than Beige – I Guess?

I have a mild tendency to get irritated over things that are inconsequential to me. And by “mild,” I mean “pathological.” But even by my standards, this was an odd thing for me to get exercised about…

I was on my bike headed down Howard St. toward Whole Foods  and I spied several car lengths ahead of me a Bentley Continental GT – an automobile that I find, even as someone who is not a car owner or aficionado, to be among the most stunningly gorgeous machines ever made. And the sound of the engine, both purring and growling simultaneously, makes my heart beat faster. Seriously.

But there was something odd about this particular Bentley Continental GT. But what was it? Hmm, I’m a little closer now, giving it another look.  Oh, OK, I see the problem here. It’s white. WHITE. The owner of this car chose white from among the literally dozens of colors available. Colors like Havana, Midnight Emerald, Claret, Beluga, Sequin Blue (!), Kingfisher and, my personal favorite, Brewster (a lovely shade of deep green). And not even a fancy white, like Moonbeam, Silver Storm or Ghost White. Just white – like a Toyota. Or a Frigidaire.

Really, it just boggles my mind that one would spend $200,000 on this beautiful automobile and then say, “Yeah, I’ll just take the white one. It’s fine.” As my mother and grandmother have always said, “Good taste costs no more…”

The Bentley Continental GT in Brewster

Little Cabin in the Woods

I’ve been re-watching Arrested Development and this was on last night. Sorry for the poor quality of the video – be sure to turn up the volume. I swear, I’ve watched this a few dozen times and I still CTFU every time… Jessica Walter is a national treasure.

And what the hell, I’ll just throw this one in too. Michael is instructing Gob that he must sell his boat, The Seaward.

Ralph à SF

Despite my frail and poopy condition, Ralph spent a long weekend here with me in SF and we had a lovely visit as always. Since I wasn’t quite my usual lively/manic self, it was a quiet weekend, and most definitely food-centric. I didn’t even take a single photograph! Lucky for me, Ralph takes amazing photos with his iPhone.

We had dinner at Delfina Pizzeria on the evening Ralph arrived, followed by a couple of scoops from Bi-Rite Creamery. Roasted banana, salted caramel and coconut ice creams remain excellent – I realize this is quite shocking news…

On Friday, Ralph visited the DeYoung while I worked from home. We met up later that afternoon to prepare for dinner chez moi, stopping at K&L Wine and Whole Foods for the final ingredients for a meal of meatloaf. Now, I know you’re saying to yourself, “Meatloaf? He flies all the way from NYC to visit and you make meatloaf? Yeesh…” But Ralph has long insisted that meatloaf is one of his favorite American foods and I actually make a pretty good one – so, meatloaf! And, it was rather delicious if I do say so myself…

Saturday we spent a bit of time at the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Plaza before a lazy afternoon of chatting and catching up at my place. Dinner was at L’Ardoise, my favorite French bistro in the City. And it was excellent as always – in fact, probably the best meal I’ve ever had there. We both had filet mignon with pommes frites. And I don’t bandy the word “perfect” around when it comes to food – but the filet was perfect: perfectly cooked and seasoned, exactly the right size, tender, beefy. Just amazingly excellent.

Sunday we had a late brunch at Foreign Cinema with ma mère. Everything very tasty per usual, especially the Bloody Marys! Of course, since brunch wasn’t until almost 1PM, we’d made an early pitstop at La Boulange for a couple of croissants…  After brunch, a nice walk through the Mission and then home to watch a movie.

Later that evening, we ate at Locanda. Jewish-style artichoke (i.e. deep-fried!), an amazing salad with tuna conserva and then veal-stuffed casoncelli alla saltimbocca. Oh and fried dough balls stuffed with ricotta. And an Amari flight… Yes, it was good. Sooo good…

And then before I knew it, it was Monday and Ralph was on his way back to SFO (where he would soon be happily ensconced in the Admiral’s Club waiting to board business class before all the horrible peons in coach…). A weekend goes by so quickly…

Well, excuuuuuse me!

So, apparently being ill does not absolve me from posting regularly on my blog, according to a friend who shall remain nameless’ (though her name rhymes with Weena del Trampo) post on my Facebook complaining about the dearth of postings.

But yes, I have indeed been rather ill. I’ll spare my gentle readers the graphic details, but my ailments were located south of the equator. Here is a fairly accurate representation of what I was experiencing:

At any rate, I will do my best to return to posting with my usual frequency next week. Today, I have to finish writing my annual work performance self-review – a process almost as delightful as the photo above.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems…

I’ve had the opportunity to see and fool around a bit with a phone running Windows Phone 7.5. And it’s pretty impressive, especially the interface, which is smartly designed and great looking. But still, I had to guffaw at this line from a recent article re. Nokia’s new Windows devices.

The software interface, developed by Microsoft but refined by Nokia, is designed to remove as much laborious touch-screen tapping as possible.

“Oh my god! I am exhausted! Tapping my finger on this device I’m holding in my hand – it’s unbearable. This must be what it’s like to work in a coal mine or a sweat-shop!” I mean, I’m all for a better-designed interface, but I don’t believe that “laborious” is le mot juste in this case.