The Great Plotnik

Friday, January 31, 2014

How Many Lemon Bars Can You Make?

Lemon Marmalade, Preserved Lemons, Lemonade...

And let's not forget the limes. Most people harvest limes green, but leave them on the tree and they turn yellow and limey-sweet. A lime trees is small, though, at least here at GPWHQ. We'll use up every lime we can get. We've got maybe two dozen of these tasty little puppies in the picture below. Each year the tree gets a little bigger.

Lemons, that's something else again. I will try zesting them and seeing if the zest will dry and keep. I know frozen juice is just about useless, you get no lemon taste, just sourness. But I'm not sure about the zest. Maybe it would freeze?

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes, Lemon Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, Sour Cream Lemon Pie...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Be a Good Citizen versus Don't Be a Schmuck

I can take a two and a half minute shower and be clean and happy. I know because I just timed it. I just need to shave in the sink instead of in the shower.

My wife, who has been known to zone into Blissography under hot, running water, says she can do it too. If we can do it, you can do it.

But we don't dare. If we cut back now, this new level of water usage will be our benchmark when they insist on mandatory water rationing a few months from now, which they are going to have to do, because voluntary rationing never works.

Then, when we have to cut back 20 or 25%, we'll really have problems. Anyone who remains at normal usage now will be able to cut back easily next time.

Be a Good Citizen says do it now, but Don't Be a Shmuck says wait until you have to. It's a dilemma.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Round the World in My Mind

Ever played around on Indie?

SFO-New York-Azores-Canaries-Cairo-Ethiopia-Madagascar-Sri Lanka-Angkor Wat-Tokyo-SFO
for only $7,342 per person.

Choose your cities, anywhere. Pick an imaginary date. Then give up on the rest of the day.

This is not a timewaster. I call it a mind expander. Mind expander.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nice Hiding Place

Came home to find this package hidden securely under the front mat. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Saturday, January 25, 2014


Saw wonderful and very funny Marga Gomez last night. She just gets funnier and funnier, plus even more soulful, the older she gets. You can read the San Francisco Theater Blog review of "Lovebirds" here.

Tonight it's San Francisco Playhouse for the premiere of "Jerusalem." Hmmmm....seems like somebody we knew wrote a song once with that title...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Uneasy Review

"The Pornographer's Daughter" is one of those shows that is possibly not quite as good as it seemed last night. It was a fun evening, Ducknik and Plotnik loved it, and he wrote a favorable review about it (SF Theater Blog review of "The Pornographer's Daughter").

But today maybe something doesn't quite add up. It may be the pornographer's daughter herself. There is an honesty issue here that hasn't gone away. Plot would be interested to hear what others think who see this show -- through February 16 at Z Space.

(UPDATE: I changed my review, downgraded the rating. That's one of the few times I've ever done that. Probably should have waited to post the original review until I'd had a little more time to think about it...)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fourteen Inches of Snow in the Apple?

It's blizzarding in the Big Shmapple right now. These photos are from last February when Plot and Duck flew east to meet Baby Desi.

The Great PD neither confirms nor denies he had anything to do with that snowball belting his mother, though the camera doesn't lie.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Eight Days?

...since I posted a Great Plotnik entry? Is this possible? I've been right here.

I guess maybe...hmmmm. So strange. And a lot going on.

Recording with Brother Street, heart-hurting but not heartbreaking 49er loss, wonderful Tiapos meeting, progress on several projects, flippers and mask found and packed for February, and for dinner tonight: tomatillo salsa with fresh tuna.

These are all worth writing about.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


It's one of those money-suck months, January. It is always is. You have to pay for December, CHUNK, and then, if you're stupid, you pay for that too.

The Great Plotkicycle was a great bike. But Plotnik got soft, forgot how to be careful, went into a store on Mission Street outside of which he has left the bike a hundred times, keeping an eye on it, but  without locking it. Number 101 was the last time.

Laborers on the corner told Plottie two guys drove by in a car, saw the bike, one of them jumped out of the car, jumped on the bike and roared East down Cesar Chavez. Plot is pretty sure the two women who walked into the store at the same time, blocking his view of his bike, were in on it. 

Worse than losing the bike was losing the keys that were in his saddlebag. The bike is almost understandable, a brain fart, but not taking his keys into the store, when he did take his wallet and phone, is just deplorable. 

What else was in those saddlebags? Perhaps a credit card slip, or a lyric in a folder, or anything else with a name and/or address?

So CHUNK, rekey the car's ignition. CHUNK, swap out the deadbolts on the house. CHUNK, replace the 64gig flash drive that Plottie always carries with him, on his key ring, which has copies of his entire recording project on it, so that if the house burns down or is robbed he will still have the project on his body.

Uh, unless he's stupid. CHUNK.

In the greater schema of things: nothing. Inconvenience, everything else replaceable. Plot lost a few kick-yourself-in-the-rear nights of sleep, but now that's done too. He'll ride Ducknik's old bike for awhile and then buy a used one. No more new bikes, that is for certain.

49ers won again! Yahoo! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moonlight From BZ's Room

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

If You're Going to Play Bass, Size Matters

He's got a bit of growing to do before he can reach those lower frets. But the desire is there. 

Little Isaiah and his sister Stella are the children of Sarah and Jonathan. Plot and Duck can never forget how old Sarah is because on the day they were married Sarah was minus-4 days old. Somewhere in some archive there must be a photo of Sarah's mom Susan, married then to Captain Crow, with a belly out to here and Sarah T. pounding to get out, as Plot and Duck stood in the Long Island backyard and said "We Do." 

Isaiah glommed onto Plottie's travel guitar last night. It's closer to his size. We can see the future family dynamic already. Isaiah will be the musician and Stella will be the defense attorney who keeps her brother out of jail. They are great kids, with great parents, and they all live in Saint Plotniko now.

You DON'T want to know their rent. Trust me. You don't.

Friday, January 03, 2014


Bear One: My city is too cold!
Bear Two: My city is too warm!
Bear Three: Dude! My city is, like, you know. Perfect.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ninety Nine Point Four

She really is amazing.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year's Eve 2013-14

dreamed last night that I was in a one man boat, trying to pull a second boat, that had become disabled, across a large pond over choppy seas. It was getting late, I knew we should have started out earlier. The skies were threatening. I think this had something to do with flying to LA this morning.

We left Atlanta after an intense week, what with Christmas, JJ 's house flooding, and BZ needing to buy a car. She just moved to Atlanta after five years in Providence after seven years in New York and who knows what comes next. Right now she's got to drive to Colorado. She's tired of uprooting herself and moving to cities where she doesn't know anybody, but Dad can't do anything about that. He just wants to make sure she's got four new tires. 

Holidays can be lonely, or they can be fun, but they are always markers. It was hard not having Christmas with Danny and Staci and Bells and Des this year, but they ended up in Mexico. So BZ and I sat on the sofa and I rubbed my daughter's feet and realized she's getting even prettier as she gets older.

In the dream, the pond could be Atlanta or it could be LA. Or, it could just be a pond. 

We got into LAX from Atlanta a little after noon but it took half an hour just to get off the plane and almost three hours to find a shuttle bus to get to Union Station. Rose Bowl tomorrow. Lots of people in Michigan green and Stanford red, crowding the airport sidewalks, filling up the buses. We got to Mom's around four and she already wanted dinner. She had a smoke, and then had trouble breathing and felt faint. We sat on the sofa, mom and me, and I put my arm around her and we waited 'til it all passed.

Twenty five years of working every New Year's Eve, and I don't miss one minute of it. Playing the music was too easy on New Year's. People were too determined to love you, to have a good time, to drink too much, to dance too wildly, to shout too loudly. Yahoos grabbing my mike and vomiting on it. The trailer park in Carson, olive loaf on whIte. Driving home exhausted while dodging drunks careening all over the highway.

But double scale, triple scale. Too much money not to take the gigs. Hot New Year's to get you through bleak January. Most guys took the first gig they were offered then kept trading up, finding subs to fill in on the first gig. By Dec. 30 the only people available to sub were the worst players in town, which explains why you heard so many bad bands on New Year's Eve, made up of guys who hadn't worked in years and had never met each other before.

I don't miss my dyed black mustache, my tuxedo, my ruffled shirt, my little bow tie or my big bow tie or my cummerbund. Maybe I do miss counting down to Auld Lang Syne. Maybe I do miss some of the really good bands. It's possible.

But New Year's Eve is just for being here now. You dream, and then you wake up, and very little of it ever makes sense. This does. It's nice to be here. That's it and that's enough.