The Great Plotnik

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Saturday, May 30, 2015

The San Stiletto Valley

Yesterday I was in the San Stiletto Valley, waiting for Mummy P. to have her weekly hair appointment. After almost 101 years, her hair is thick and less white than mine, and she's got a ton of it. 

There's a reason Jackson Browne sang "standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," and not "standing on the corner of Woodman and Moorpark."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sargent, Degas, Picasso, Heron

Monday, May 25, 2015

Everything's Still Blooming

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Giants 1 or 2, I Don't Know, Doesn't Matter, Dodgers 0

Steve and Anne came in on the ferry from Vallejo and we took the J-Church to Embarcadero. Had a very tasty dinner at Mijita and then Anne and Barb went off to Sutter St. to see a reading of a Lauren Gunderson play in development while Steve and I walked down to the ballpark. The game didn't turn out so good but they've shared these season seats ever since the park opened and they're a delight for a baseball fan. You can't tell high or low, but you sure can see inside and outside. It was a display of overconfidence, however, to bring my mitt.

The game didn't turn out so good. The Giants scored their usual ways, with dinks and dunks and Dodger errors, while the Dodgers wasted opportunity after opportunity. We weren't paying that much attention though, because the Warriors were playing Houston just across the water. They were behind before the first pitch, still behind in the third inning, went ahead in the fourth and stayed ahead the rest of the way. After the Warrior game was over (checking NBA.COM constantly) we could concentrate on the silly baseball game in front of us, dink, dunk, squat, game over.

They guy sitting behind us had had quadruple bypass surgery just two weeks ago. By the ninth inning he had worked himself into a lather, not about the game, but about Floyd Mayweather. If the Dodgers had pulled it out in the Ninth, the poor guy may have needed a quintuple and a sextuple.

On the way down the ramp afterwards, two kids were walking behind us, talking about Bernie Sanders. I turned and said "Yeah, you can't help agreeing with him on practically everything, can you?" The one kid looked at me like I was insane. "Duh, I'll like agree with anybody who's against authority," he said, in a voice that said Third Grade, maybe Fourth Grade, tops.

I had the urge to ask him to turn around and walk back up the ramp, against the grain, forcing his way up past thousands of other people coming down, to prove how antiauthoritarian he was, and then I'd tell him how Bernie Sanders was just like him, going against the grain, but then I'd just be an old dumbshit, wouldn't I? Instead of a young dumbshit? There's a difference, isn't there?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Noe Valley Music Goes Under

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The French Know How to Dress

A mom and her daughter at the bar at the French bistro on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 15, 2015

After Burritos

After delicious carnitas and carne asada at La Taqueria, a walk through the smells-like-piss Mission always has to end up in Balmy Alley. Cousin Seattle and Cory Punster were in SF for only an afternoon on their way to a reserved suite at the ballpark for tonight's A's -White Sox game.

Maybe CP3 would be a good nickname for Corey -- three puns a minute, and yesterday's about Cousin Seattle choosing between red and yellow cherries ("she bought-a-Bing") was memorable.

But some Clipper basketball crybaby thug already has that nickname, right? 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rafanelli and Little Larry for Mother's Day

A. Rafanelli is the prettiest winery we know of. Only members of the Wine Club can visit, and you can't get into the Wine Club unless you get on the mailing list, and there is a wait list to get on the mailing list. Sounds Club-54ish, but, really, it's the most pleasant, low-key place. The advantage of visiting at your prescribed time is that you have the whole vineyard pretty much to yourself. Tasting wine and chocolate in the cellar, and then picknicking overlooking the lake, with the geese flying in to see what's going on and the horses grazing in the field --- every time we come up here we think more and more fondly about Sonoma County.

Of course, we'd have to have had OUR great grandparents buy the land and open the winery in 1913.

No, we're not in the Rafanelli Wine Club, but our friends The Great and Mrs. Zinfandini are, so we tag along with them.

Afterwards we took in a few more wineries: Zichichi, a name we had run into in Western Sicily, sells no current wine, only futures. This means you taste out of the barrel and if you like it you order it for pickup nine months from now. That photo above of Plottie and Zinfandini was taken on the veranda at Zichichi. The young Petite Sirah served out by the lady below was delicious already so we all bought several future bottles.

After that a wasted tourist trap spot at Dutcher's Crossing, but that led to the wonderful Mauritson, whose Rockpile Zinfandels are spectacular. You'll be able to judge soon, if you show up here for dinner, because the Plotniks are now members of the Mauritson Wine Club. With Il Gioiello, that makes two. We are SO NorCal.

We really need to start consuming more wine.

That was Saturday. Sunday Ducknik got to choose her restaurant for Mother's Day and she picked Little Larry (Le P'tit Laurent). We walked down the hill into Glen Park and ate the very best moules, with those French Fries and the garlicky buttery gravy, sacre bleu, then sea bass the way only the French do it, and braised lamb shanks. A delicious rosé, and don't forget the apple tart and espresso.

At the very end we looked through the curtain and there was our friend Liz G. having dinner with her friend. Liz's guide dog Fredericka was under the table as usual, probably scrounging any accidental bread crumbs that came her way.

It's civilized up here, y'know? And the Dodgers won, which makes me happy, and the Giants won, which makes Ducknik happy. It's Mother's Day. You're supposed to be happy on Mother's Day.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Quick Visit to LA

Da T'ree of 'em.

Friday, May 01, 2015

TIAPOS Al Fresco

The Great WantzaNewName is still under the weather, so TIAPOS met at Great Plotnik World Headquarters last night. It was so warm that we could actually sit outside on the deck and enjoy the evening while reading our stories (and one song). The whole neighborhood seemed to be outside, plus dogs and butterflies and fire engines. It couldn't have been nicer.

Sparky, Large Pants and Mushnik were here, plus Fuzzy Love. Great night.