Got some quality time in with the old dog out at the shore. Continue reading “Jax at the ocean”
Had lovely times with Will & Joanne when they came through San Francisco. And the Seattle folks. And the Copperopolis folks. A busy spring on Walter St! Continue reading “Spring family visits”
Delicious homemade Greek food by Liza and Michael (who spent half the party rolling out his justifiably famous recipe for spanikopita; so yummy I had three slices). Fun to see all of these folks I don’t run into very much. We’re still in SF, amazingly.
I suggest using a browser plugin “eye dropper” to simply grab the hex color from any item you see and wish to copy. I like to use Chrome plugin called Eye Dropper ( https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/eye-dropper/hmdcmlfkchdmnmnmheododdhjedfccka ) Continue reading “Screencaps”
I baked six different cookies and invited friends over to celebrate the season with some mulled cider and Bing Crosby tunes. Darryl, Matt, and James also baked cookies (peanutbutter-chocolate rice krispy squares, bacon-fat gingersnaps, and Mexican wedding cookies, respectively) which I sadly didn’t get photos of. Too busy gabbing with friends, old and new! It was a dry, clear evening despite being bookended by weeks of rain this year. Thank you, weather gods. Continue reading “Holiday Cookie Party!”
We spent the weekend in a lovely 4 bedroom home in Guerneville (called “Vista Serena”) just over the bridge from downtown. The gray skies didn’t dampen our festive mood: lots of home cooking, watching shows, playing Password and Cranium, the small town Parade of Lights, and plenty walking over and around the river. I baked three test batches of pecan shortbread, Linzer christmas cookies, and Parmesan cheese puffs to boot. Let’s just say it wasn’t a low-calorie weekend. But it’s always nice to get out of the city for a bit. Jax loved the change of scenery and all the extra walking around. Continue reading “Darryl’s birthday up in Russian River”
Just the good ol’ gang together again for some home-roasted turkey, gluten-free sides, cherry pie, pear-wine pie, and pumpkin cheesecake. We watched two episodes of the new season of Downton Abbey (season 5) after our post-prandial promenade. And closed the evening together by cracking a bowl of “magic walnuts” that Lee’s mom had sent over. So cute of her. Continue reading “Thanksgiving 2014 at Lee’s”
The Mello clan gathered in El Sobrante to celebrate the life of my dear Auntie Louise. My Uncle Manny was there welcoming us, still going strong and full of his sweet spirit. So great to see him and everyone who came out to remember the life of my aunt. She was a zinger of a soul and unforgettable. Continue reading “Auntie Louise Memorial Party”
Just a quick trip with Jax up to see Lee in Petaluma. A nice jaunt out of the city… not too far (50 minute drive) and easy to bring Jaxy. I had a chance to go to a wonderful nursery and pick up two lovely new succulents, too! Continue reading “Petaluma overnight at Lee’s”
Got the whole gang together on my deck for the quiet holiday. Such a treat to have everyone together — doesn’t happen often enough! Continue reading “Labor Day BBQ”
A summer visit to Mel and the lake house while Luke and Eun-ju were also up there. We ate well, taught Eun-ju the family card game “Pedro”, and Jax was in heaven as usual. Continue reading “Copperopolis 2014”
Tammy had his mom and sisters working overtime making this fantastic homemade Philipino brunch for all of us to enjoy at his Hercules home. Since it was his birthday and his cousin was about to get married, they ‘surprised’ us with a Magic Mike Moment. Everyone was hilariously embarrassed — except maybe for Tam! Continue reading “Tam’s Birthday Brunch”
What a treat: I got to attend a VIP screening of Ira’s newest film, “Love is Strange.” As always, his Q&A after the film was as great as the movie. We limo’d over to The Tonga Room for a late dinner where we just picked up where we left off from our last visit. Wonderful to see him as always. Continue reading “Ira’s “Love is Strange” screening”
My niece Anne came over with a couple of pals from good old Roosevelt High School (my alma mater). The trio was doing a last summer trip together before they each head off to college next year. We hung out a bit at my house then toured the Castro for some lunch, coffee, and truffles. Such sweeties, those three. And lucky me: getting TWO visits from Anne in one year! Continue reading “Anne & friends drop by”
I partnered up with John Angelico this year — and we rocked the Tourney. Came in 2nd place… almost a sweep. John’s damn good with a mallet. Thanks Sarah for hosting us. Really fun time (though I ate way too much at the buffet spread!) Continue reading “Croquet tournament”
Darryl hosted another of his annual Pink Saturday cocktail parties chez lui. Fun to see everyone (again) and catch up with Liza and Stacy, who I simply don’t see enough of! After the party, we braved the chaos to walk back to my place, take Jax for a walk, and see Stacy off on the J-Church train. She had to park way up at Church & 23rd. Yes, it was that crowded and crazy this year. Pink Saturday has become the new Castro Halloween, with all the attendant downsides, I’m afraid… Continue reading “Pink Saturday 2014”
Visits to family and friends in the northwestern region. What a golden, glorious summer it was up there in 2014. Continue reading “Seattle and Calgary”
I took up the offer of splitting a very low-cost condo in Kihei with my old (since 2006) Swiss friend, Reto. The condo wasn’t much to get excited about but it was very central, allowing me to wake up early and go for a long walk up the main commercial corridor of Kihei every day. Reto is a Maui veteran (his 20th year of coming to the island) so I got the advantage of having a local expert: all the best beaches, restaurants, places to see the sunset, guided tours to the volcano, and the perfect snorkel boat (the 6:30 am catamaran, Kai Nani II, for those of you going in the future). It’s a cliche to call Hawaii ‘magical’ but that’s because it’s true. Maui was an escape from all stresses and a long, warm bath in the most inviting waters I’ve ever experienced. Definitely going back. Continue reading “A first time in Maui”
What a sweet weekend spent with my loving sister Emily and newest son Ariyeh, who flew down from Seattle to stay with me a few days. My nephew is so adorable (age 4 months) with his laughs, smiles, and sound-making! Great Uncle Steve and Great Aunt Jane came up on Friday night from Aptos and we shared dinner, wine, and yacking till they had to hit the road. Emily and I got in some quality time, catching up on life (long overdue!). Every morning making black tea with half-and-half (along with a few cappuccinos and Reese’s peanut butter eggs.) Continue reading “Emily & Ariyeh visit Uncle Patrick”
After a wonderful buffet brunch in the Berkeley Marina with Darryl, his brother Danny, wife Marie, son Aidan, nephew Zolt, cousin Jason, wife Marie, and daughter Maddie we all got a tour of Jason’s workplace: Pixar Studios. WOWZA. I would never get any work done there: all those social lounges, pool tables, sand volleyball courts, swimming pool, secret rooms, etc etc. Looks like a lot of fun though. Really cool to see all the production art on the walls. So glad to finally go inside the place where all that magic happens! Continue reading “Pixar with the Dunn Family”
My most wonderful niece Anne came down for a quick weekend stay with me in SF. She was down here checking out USF student life to help her decide which college to attend next fall. We had a sweet time — making guacamole and citrus-kale salad, catching up about our lives, going out for Middle Eastern dinner, hiking up to the top of Corona Heights, fancy coffee at Illy, brunch at Chow on Church St, gabbing about our far-flung family, and just hanging out. Come stay with me again anytime, Anne!
And so the semi-final season of Mad Men begins. Liza arrived with a totally spot-on 1970s outfit, so I duly went and found my ‘crazy pants’ to match. The show was good but not as much fun as the dinner and conversation afterwards with Lee, Matt, and Darryl in the mix. Continue reading “Mad Men Premiere Potluck”
So many old and new friends gathered to celebrate the dual birthdays of Antonio and Mark (who flew in from New York state for the occasion). Darryl played host to the party, with his newly expanded dining room. I don’t know about that cake though. Oh dear! Continue reading “Antonio and Mark’s Birthday”
Me and Dave met for coffee in downtown SF this past weekend. There’s a photo above, though it doesn’t even begin to express the spirit of that reunion. Dave and I talked only for about an hour and a half but it could have gone on much longer, no problem. It’s always amazing to discover the ease of reconnecting with BZers, even after long gaps. Continue reading “BZ reunions 2014”
I hosted a bunch of SF-bound travelers this winter under the auspices of couchsurfing.org and Darryl’s family visit. I saw so many lovely parts of the Bay Area under some gorgeous weather, despite the season (or perhaps because of it?). Plus, there was bread baking training from my baker buddy Ben to add to the mix. Luckily, all my visitors were happy to give my various loaves a fair try. Breadmaking, like hosting, is more art than science, I’ve discovered. With practice comes a kind of grace and ease that makes it all the better. Continue reading “More Winter 2014 Visitors!”
A lovely dinner at Pauline’s with John, Jon, Lee, and Ben. Darryl, alas, was struck with stomach flu and couldn’t join us this year. But it was still really fun. The food good but the company even better. Love you guys! Continue reading “50th Birthday Pizza”
Someone asked me today what I think of LOOKING, that new show on HBO about four gay men in contemporary San Francisco.
What if you had a magical mirror that was wiser than you? That could tell you things about life. A mirror that let you see how other people make mistakes — so you could avoid them? Six episodes in, that’s what LOOKING is to me. Here’s a show about four men that seem just like my friends, all very believable characters from my own life. And as I watch these guys, I recognize mistakes and missteps even as they are being made by the show’s characters. Their mistakes don’t even seem like mistakes, at first. The drama is muted. The errors hide around the edges of the action. But my mind is prickling with awareness — and interest — in their fates. Continue reading “‘Looking’ at my 50th birthday”
I got to play host to Luke and Eun-ju again this winter. We hung out, baked cookies, walked around, at out, met up with another friend of Eun-ju’s from LA along with my friend John for a lovely Middle Eastern lunch at La Med on Noe St. Sweet times.
Yes, the years roll forward but it was great to celebrate one more with Stacy. Darryl, Liza, and I drove over to Stacy’s really cool two-story studio-loft in the old Melrose neighborhood of Oakland. It’s the site of one of my old paper companies, Xpedx, ironically enough. Lots of people from all the many corners of Stacy’s life were there — and plenty of yummy snacks for all. No sign of scaredy-cat, Tinka, though! Continue reading “Stacy’s Birthday 2014”
A rare event: I host a holiday party. It’d been awhile but the mood was with me this year. Maybe it was my blue & white Xmas tree? Continue reading “Christmas Party 2013”
Held a nice dinner for eight at my house this year. Ben did most of the cooking, since he is a trained chef. But I was a good support cook! Continue reading “Thanksgiving”
The big Four Oh for Darryl tonight was a lot of fun. Friends from around the bay came by on the day after Thanksgiving to celebrate. Continue reading “Darryl’s 40th Birthday”
Traveling to see Martin O. and then south to Spain for a 12 day tour of Andalusia with Darryl. Plus a few extra days in Barcelona and Sitges.
Enjoying some world traveler guests this month: Mike and Mark from Toronto, and Ilan from Sao Paolo. Really fun times all over the bay area. Continue reading “Mike, Mark, and Ilan visit”