IN MY OPINION
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AN APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
8 June 2006
It was actually dusk and there was a nice pink tinge in the sky, as the sun began to sink into the ocean behind the mountains in back of us. There wasn't a cloud to be seen, but suddenly it sounded like we were driving through a rainstorm. Mile after mile of heavy tapping on the windows of the car, without a drop of water to be seen.
Many mosquitos lost their lives on my windshield tonight, and I may have single-handedly wiped out the West Nile Virus along Highway 37 this evening.
It was the end to a really lovely day. Diane and I left here around 10:30 and headed for San Francisco. Through a San Francisco TV station web cam, I had been keeping an eye on the traffic going across the Bay Bridge, due to freeway construction in San Francisco and after seeing the two photos on the left, the traffic backup at the toll plaza, and the junk in the middle of the freeway, made me decide to go through Marin County and over the Golden Gate Bridge instead. I hate paying the $5 toll vs. the $3 toll on the Bay Bridge, but I figured that, given the traffic, it was a small price difference to pay.
As it turned out it was a brilliant idea. The weather was beautiful, so as we approached the Golden Gate Bridge, I swung up in to the hills so we could take some photos. It gave me the opportunity to snap a photo of this guy.
I'm always fascinated by hair like this. Even in the strong wind on top of the hill, it stayed up. How do they do that?
Anyway, Diane and I both took some good pix of the bridge and the view and I made a call to Greens Restaurant to make a reservation for us to have lunch.
Lunch at Greens, a vegetarian restaurant run by the Zen Center, never disappoints and today was no exception. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge was wonderful and the food exquisite. As Diane said, "it almost makes you want to become a vegetarian."
We each had a Mediterranean sampler, with all sorts of yummy things, and then we shared a pecan-ginger-pear cake with huckleberry ice cream. Fabulous, all.
Then we just did a driving tour--up Market St. to the road to Twin Peaks, up to the top of Twin Peaks, where the wind was so strong I could hardly get the door of my car opened, then out Haight past Ashbury to Masonic, down to the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, out GG Park past the brand new deYoung Museum (can I possibly express how ugly this newly remodeled building is???), out to the ocean beach for a look at the newly remodeled Cliff House, which has lost all of its charm and looks like a featureless prison perched on the side of the hill.
Then we completed the circle by driving past the Palace of the Legion of Honor, past Robin Williams' house in Sea Cliff, through the Presidio and back to the Golden Gate bridge, hoping to be just ahead of the rush hour traffic on our drive to my mother's house. Fortunately, we were.
We sat and visited with my mother until her friend Paula arrived and then the four of us went out to the Hilltop Cafe for dinner.
I absolutely love watching my mother and Paula together. They are so alike, have such a good friendship, and they laugh a lot. A lot. All the years when I was growing up, my father never let my mother have a close female friend and I think back over the women who were her friends during those years and how she had to end all the friendships because of my father's jealousy and her need to keep peace in the house. Watching her with Paula just warms the cockles of my heart. She's had other female friends, but this one seems special.
Dinner was OK, though not as outstanding as on previous visits. We also had a waiter who seemed to have his head anywhere but in what he was doing. It took forever to get our food, then mine came luke warm and kind of dry while Paula's was "very hot," so I assumed that the reason it took so long was that he'd forgotten to put in Paula's order and mine had just sat there--I don't know about the others. We ordered 3 cups of coffee and at first he just brought one. Then he brought the second one. He forgot to bring my mother's leftovers, which she intended to have for lunch and dinner the next day. The last time we ate there, the waitress was so wonderful, I was moved to send a letter to the cafe about her. This was not the same experience.
But the place was good for a few laughs. I went to the unisex bathroom and wondered what they had in mind when the huge room contained a toilet--and a chair. I went back to the table and said that I had no idea going to the bathroom was a spectator sport. (Actually, I suspect the chair was for nursing mothers, but my scenario was better.)
Diane and I headed home right after dinner. We had an appointment with death (for bugs) to keep and we had to get on the road. I was able to find gas for "only" $3.15 a gallon (I can't believe I can even think that is "cheap") and filled up while the getting was good.
We came home to find election returns trickling in and learned that NONE of the votes in our county have been counted yet because of problems with the brand new voting system, due to an unexpectedly large number of write-in votes (voters "went wild with write-ins," says county Recorder, Freddie Oakley), on a ballot which now makes write-ins easier. Mickey Mouse was apparently quite a popular candidate for state office here. The subversives have shut down the primary election, the local television news anchors laughed. Yay for us.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
My mother and her best friend, Paula.