Monday, June 27, 2011

happy the bride (to-be)

On Saturday I attended a bridal shower for my neighbor's daughter who is to be married in August. It was a brunch at a local restaurant, served out on the lovely shaded deck.

The only caveat on the invitation was that guests had to wear a hat. And everyone did.

Two generations mingled and chatted over mimosas, quiche,

scones and a big spice cake for dessert, the bride's favorite.

The party was hosted by the sister (l) and cousin (r) of the bride.

Here is the mother of the bride, flanked by her two delightful daughters. I've known the bride since she was 4 years old. In the twinkling of an eye she's grown and ready to embark on this great adventure. Tempus fugit, no?

Friday, June 24, 2011

remember Tristan?

I don't want to think about how many years ago it was that I sat enchanted before the TV watching this wonderful BBC production. All about James Herriot and his (mis)adventures as a veterinarian in Yorkshire. One of the actors was Peter Davison who played the younger, ne'er-do-well brother, Tristan Farnon, of the head vet, Seigfried, where Herriot eventually practiced. Siegfried was played by Robert Hardy, a wonderful British character actor.
Tristan is now back, or at least Peter Davison is, in a delightful BBC series called "The Last Detective." Davison plays "Dangerous Davies", the so-called Last Detective because he is the very last person anyone would ever send on an investigation. He is mistreated by everyone he comes in contact with; his boss, his associates, his ex-wife, even the suspects. But he always solves the case and never complains. I get very vexed by him; he won't stand up for himself! But it's great fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the water's great

Summer has officially begun here with temperatures hovering around 100º. I took my first swim this afternoon. The pool temp finally cracked 80º ~ it was actually 83º ~ so it was safe to dive in. Mighty refreshing. Heat is supposed to hold for the next week, down a bit but still hot enough to keep the pool warm.

Monday, June 20, 2011

i told you i was watching movies

This is a delicious little movie, especially if you love Italy. Not much meat but lots of rich sauce. The scenery is worth the rental cost and the time spent wading through the treacle. And Maggie Smith is, as always, well . . . Maggie Smith.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

a father's day valentine

To mark Father's Day I took my resident dad (Mr. C) to this marvelous, marvelous movie. Woody Allen is as besotted by Paris as I am. Seeing her in all her considerable glory made me want to go back ASAP. I encourage everyone to go see it and lose yourself in Allen's remarkable imagination and Daris Khondji's luminous photography. And you won't want to miss Kathy Bates as Gertrude Stein. I'll see it again when it comes to the Flix™ and swoon anew.

Friday, June 17, 2011

a sweet little film

I am a huge fan of Bill Nighy who stars in this quirky film, a tale of a politically-charged May-December romance that moves from England to Iceland where Nighy, a high ranking member of the Exchequer's staff, is attending a G8 meeting. I first saw Nighy in the BBC production "State of Play" in which he plays the editor of a newspaper. Then he showed up in "Notes on a Scandal" and "Pirate Radio." Each of these rolls is different and watching him move from comedy to drama and back is a real pleasure. Put it on your list.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

welcome to Whitecaps

The sun is out, the sky is blue, cloudless and fogless. And this is Carmel we're talking about! We are happily tucked up in a gorgeous home on Scenic Road. Across the street, the beach and the endless sea. This is what I saw when I stepped out on the front porch this morning.

The house is full of light from big windows, sky lights and an atrium garden. The kitchen looks out to the sea so you can do dishes while watching the surfers. Yesterday afternoon we took a walk on the beach, watched the dogs frolic and play, and thought about our Mexican beach. If the sand and sea were this beautiful in Cuyutlan the place would be a tourist mecca; as it is, since it's not very pretty it hasn't been overrun, and I don't think it ever will be. Around 6 PM last evening I looked out to the sea and it was dotted with wetsuit-clad surfers; it looked like a flock of pelicans floating just off shore. I guessed these are the 9-to-5'ers who hurried down to get in a couple of hours of surf time.

Later today our hostess and I are going to "do" Ocean Avenue, Carmel's main street. It's crammed with little shops and cafes and bookstores. A great strolling street. This place reminds me of La Jolla before big development razed Prospect Street and built high rise office buildings. It's also a little like Del Mar with sidewalk-less streets, hidden lanes with interesting houses, and wild, colorful gardens.

This bright little pocket garden is along the fence in our interior patio. In the back of the house, near the above-posted sign is another tiny garden spot bright with flowers. They love this climate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

don't miss this one

I watched this wonderful DVD today about the remarkable architect Maya Lin, she of the Vietnam War Memorial, the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery and the Women's Table Fountain at Yale, among other projects. Don't miss it. Keep your Kleenex® handy. Very moving, maddening, surprising and, in the end satisfying and uplifting.

New masseuse promising. It will take time but I think she is trainable.

Off to Carmel tomorrow, camera and LapMac in tow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

no movie today, so . . .

. . . instead I spent the afternoon reading old issues of The New Yorker, always a rewarding effort. I keep my subscription current when we are gone so that when we return I have a big stack of magazines awaiting my attention. I do read them online, but there's nothing like holding a real paper issue, thumbing through the contents, enjoying the cartoons and wonderful esoteric column ads. What a great idea for a magazine! I have been reading the New Yorker since I was probably 10 years old; my parents subscribed their entire lives. The also got the National Geographic and either The Atlantic Monthly or Harpers, I can't remember which. My mother also subscribed to the Ladies' Home Journal. We always had plenty to read in our household. Likewise in my own. Movie next weekend if it's still in town.

Yesterday's Belmont provided an exciting upset; Ruler on Ice was the long shot. Wish I had placed a big bet on him. I am always moved to tears by the beauty of these magnificent animals, their muscular flanks rippling as they walk to the starting gate, their massive bodies hurtling down the track kicking up the clods of dirt as they do what they were bred for. It's amazing that those delicate legs and fragile ankles can support such big, powerful bodies without snapping in the gallop. I was hoping the gorgeous Animal Kingdom could repeat his Derby win but, alas, he was foiled at the very beginning.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a new massage therapist. My long-time practitioner has closed her practice so now I have to begin the great hunt for a compatible replacement. I don't like having to do this; it's like interviewing someone for the position of new husband. I don't want to have to tell it all over again, to "train" someone, as it were. But it's imperative that I find someone to continue this vital service for my sorely compromised feet and legs. I've been having massage for 26 years and I know it has kept me off the surgical table. I'm determined to keep it that way. I'm hoping for the best.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

girls just wanna have fun

Put together two long-time friends who have a whole year to catch up on, a full tank of gas, and enough cash to get into a bit of trouble, and you have the scene on Thursday morning when gal pal Jackie came to town for a sleep-over. We headed out for serious talk and some retail sleuthing. I was looking for a shirt of just the right color. I thought it would take all day to find it. I actually found it almost at once but we didn't let that triumph slow us down. We walked, we talked, we looked at stuff ~ I had forgotten how much "stuff" there is and rediscovered how little of it I want or need. I managed to find a nice bridal shower gift, and Jackie found a bottle of Mr. C's favorite b-b-q sauce for him. We had lunch, talked some more (actually, non-stop for hours), headed home in the late afternoon. I cooked up a mess of mussels in cream for dinner, and went to bed exhausted but very content.

Jackie and I have known each other for 45 years, since Berkeley days and law school for our respective spouses. Her oldest son and my younger daughter were crib mates and are still good friends. Both families were part of the Thanksgiving group who spent the holiday together for 35 years. We go way, way back! Whenever we get together, which isn't nearly often enough these days, we just take up where we left off at the last visit. She is as comfortable, familiar and warm as a long-cherished sweater. (I could have said "old shoe" but I like sweater better.) She went back home to Concord on Friday after we met a mutual "old sweater" friend for brunch and yet more talk. I was actually hoarse when she left.

Quiet and peaceful here today. Cool again after a couple of very nice warm days. Mr. C went up to the Farmers' Market this morning; I stayed in bed reading. Belmont Stakes in a couple of hours, Tony Awards tonight, then to see "Midnight in Paris" at the local bijoux tomorrow.

Go, Anthony Weiner. Just go.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

notes to myself

1. Write on blog. It's been too long. So long, in fact, that I had to ID myself before I could get on my page. Find something to say even if it's boring.

2. Post malecón "before and after" photos. Someone might be interested in how the village has changed.

This was taken probably in the 60's. Three or four puestos, no sheltering palms, no houses along the east side, only a couple of hotels, no crowds. Thanks for sending it, Deborah.

Here it is in the 90's. I took this photo the first time we went there. Still pretty bare. Only a few more puestos. Every evening after dinner we walked up and down, greeting other strollers. This was the social heart of the town. Now that heart beats around the TV and internet Alas.

And here it is this year, in April. Trees all grown up, really ugly lighting that replaced the old-fashioned Colonial style street lamps (see top photo), all east-side beach lots built on.

3. Report on LapMac's health. Much better now, thank you, since trip to Apple Doc for check-up. No warts or tumors discovered. The tropics really do a job on that nice shiny case, but it's all polished and ready for another year of hard work. First trip away will be next week; two days in Carmel with sailing pals from DC (not the Nova Scotia pair).

4. Go shopping. Both Mr. C and I decided we needed a bit of retail therapy. Some new duds, shoes, etc. And ditch the hat. You can see why.

5. See doctors for annual checks. All well. One more 6-month check and Mr. C will be on the once-a-year rotation. Good news.

6. Watch movies. I've seen probably a dozen movies, mostly unmemorable, since I've been home ~ 4 weeks now ~ and the Flix® list is long so I have to keep at it. On hand: Winter's Bone, The Company Men, and Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision.

7. Read books. Currently reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. It's going to take me awhile. Next up: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Another long one. Not light summer reading but essential.

So there you have it. A post for the ages, no?