August 19, 2021

Honestly… such a waste of money, time, resources. A recall was always in the plans, even before Newsom did anything in office. It’s simply the only way republicans can worm their way into power: manipulate an election in an off year when nobody’s paying attention (certainly not dems who are relaxed for the first time in 4 1/2 years and enjoying summer), make sure reps votes in gargantuan numbers, and steal the big prize of a seat.. the governor’s. In a state where dems hold pretty much everything BECAUSE A SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY OF VOTERS ARE DEMS, the only way to get anywhere is to cheat. I mean reps could stand for something, they could try to come up with better ideas, they could try to serve the people of the state, they could EARN the vote of the majority.. but that’d be too.. I don’t know.. honorable? Decent? Governmenty?

Look at this ridiculous ballot. The voter guide was even more ridiculous because it actually included the campaign statements and biographical info on the 47 (was it?) candidates. Not an impressive bunch.

We have to wait until September 14th to see how all this comes out. In meantime, I’ll do my part to get out the dem vote. If dems turn out, Newsom will win.

Brick by Brick

August 18, 2021

Our brick got laid today. Jim, Peter and I are now sorta memorialized at the corner of 2nd and E, which is kinda cool!

Wendy Weitzel covered the story for the Davis Enterprise and says it better than I would.. so I’m borrowing her words (this is an excerpt of a longer piece):

Centennial Plaza casts light on Davis history

A beautiful city centerpiece. A historical record. An educational tool. The Davis Centennial Seal and surrounding plaza are all those things and more.

Installed May 25 in front of the Dresbach-Hunt-Boyer House at 604 Second St., it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 1917 incorporation of the city Davis. In the works since 2016, it includes a 6.5-foot circular bronze seal designed by Davis artist Susan Shelton, surrounded by landscaping and commemorative bricks.

Shelton, best known for ceramic wall murals and a bronze seal (designed with fellow Davis artist Donna Billick) on the West Steps of the state Capitol, called the Davis Centennial Seal “a crowning piece for me.”

The design encompasses scenes of “overlapping and intersecting themes” distinct to Davis’ human and natural history. It explores themes of aspiration, community, cooperation, leadership, innovation, engagement, global citizenship, stewardship, vision and optimism.

“I think because of what Davis has meant to me very personally in my life, and the love and devotion that I put into it; I think it makes it a very special piece for me,” Shelton said. “Delving into the history really gave me a greater appreciation and deeper understanding as to why this is such a special place to live.”

Though it’s on city property, the public art was a years-long culmination of work by area residents, using mostly private funds. Bill and Nancy Roe donated $60,000 and helped guide the project. They recruited 11 other donor groups who contributed $5,000 each: Jennifer Anderson and Doby Fleeman; Guneet and Bubly Bajwa; Manny and Debbie Carbahal; Camile Chan; Jim Gray and Robin Affrime; Carol and Gene Livingston; Foy and Barbara McNaughton; Roger and Claudia Salquist; Tandem Properties; Louise Walker of First Northern Bank; and Reed and Susan Youmans.

This is Susan’s bronze Centennial Seal getting lowered into place:

Photo (taken by Rachel Hartsough) courtesy of the Davis Enterprise.

It is a beautiful piece, so detailed, and worth checking out in person. And you can see our brick while you’re at it. This shot gives a little sense of the neighborhood.

Freeway Activism

August 17, 2021

Today’s activism took the form of bannering: Pelz bike overcrossing, I-80 morning commute, long banners (one about 7′ long, the other about 27′ long) visible in both directions each screaming NO to this ridiculous, bogus, sham of a recall election happening between now and September 14.

The strategy of the No on the Recall folks is to make sure democrats in the state know that there is a recall election happening (so many are NOT aware of this) and to ensure that democrats return their ballots (all voting is via mail ballots, how easy is that!). Should be a slam dunk, but it is not.

Many (most?) dems are in cruise mode right now. Biden won, the country’s in good hands… and it’s summer. People are tired of, and not paying attention to, politics. I mean, it’s been a whacky 5 years, right? Everyone needs a break from the crazy.

The republicans are taking advantage of this and mobilizing their voters like gangbusters. They are motivated. Dems, on the other hand, are blissfully engaging in life. Even if they are aware of the election, they know we are a solid blue state, Newsom won by a significant margin in 2018 (62% of voters supported him for governor), he’s doing a fine (enough) job… they can easily sit this one out.

At their/our peril!

So…. bannering.

(Maril, our recall organizer, took the picture.)

I literally get eleventy-hundred texts and emails a day from Gavin’s panicked peeps. Seriously, they are relentless.

Today By The Numbers

August 16, 2021

45: Minutes spent lazing in bed reading Facebook before actually getting up

5: Every single day’s goal for number of seconds between waking up and getting up

30: Minutes spent sweating on the stationary bike

50: Minutes spent doing my stretching/strength workout

9: Number of gin-soaked raisins I consumed to minimize overall body inflammation

20: Number of ounces of cafe au lait I drank while sitting on the patio at Cloud Forest Cafe

2: pats of butter I put on my toasted doughy white bagel at lunch with Jim at Crepeville

4: Minutes I got to spend on a phone conversation that Peter was having with Jim

2: Number of tries it took to produce an adequate supply of spit for today’s Covid test

50: Number of postcards I wrote to democratic voters in Roseville reminding them to vote NO on the California Governor recall election next month

Dozens: Number of interviews and analyses I listened to regarding Biden’s messed up effort to pull Americans out of Afghanistan

2: Number of Metagrip thumb braces I ordered to deal with my increasingly arthritic trapezium

4: Number of tries it took Jim and me to finally get that super heavy mirror back up after it spontaneously fell off the wall yesterday and, miraculously, did not break

6: Number of pints of cherry tomatoes Jim and I harvested today, along with 2 yellow zucchinis, 1 green zucchini, 1 eqgplant, 1 pepper, 2 large stalks of basil, and 9 large chard leaves

1: Pretty good dinner that I winged (I’m a recipe person), consisting of cherry tomatoes, eggplant, basil (and a bunch of other stuff) served over angel hair pasta

1: Number of episodes of Offspring I will watch with Jim as soon as I’m done with this blog

Meme Mood

August 15, 2021

Feeling like meming tonight. Sometimes, the best statements on where we are at any given moment in history are memes.

Here are a bunch that I’ve collected over the past few weeks. They speak for themselves.

No order or theme.. just memes (and things):

(Referring, of course, NOT to President Biden, but the psycho before that.)

Plush Horse

August 14, 2021

The Plush Horse was an iconic restaurant on the corner of Palos Verdes Blvd and Pacific Coast Highway in Hollywood Riviera (now called, ahem, Riviera Village).

It was one of the nicer restaurants in our immediate restaurant zone.. the other really nice one was The Velvet Turtle. Later in the 60s, the Admiral Risty and the Chart House opened, but we (kids) didn’t get taken to those for some reason. Of course there were lots of others, but with four kids, we didn’t go out that often to formal places (we were more Woody’s Smorgasbord people) and when we did, our family tradition was The Velvet Turtle.

A gazillion years ago, the Plush Horse closed and was replaced by a very fancy grocery store (not sure it was in the same footprint of if they rebuilt it, or what). Now that corner’s been completely bulldozed and I am not sure what’s going in. Sad (to me) to see so much change. Sigh.

Anyway.. how much change since the Plush Horse’s heyday? Check out this menu:

So much to say about this menu. The entree selections, the after dinner drinks, the “tossed green salad” (just cracks me up), the martini stuff, the maitre d’ thing, and of course those PRICES. The whole thing. Just makes me feel nostalgic and kinda old and kinda missing a simpler life (but not all the trappings of the fifties and sixties culture).

Just… gosh. How am I 65? How is this menu so weird?

Black Fruit Matters

August 13, 2021

I don’t mean to co-opt, no cultural misappropriation and definitely no disrespect. But the first thought that wafted over me as I ate my first ever Black Mission fig from my very own garden was I like the black fruit & vegetables best. Black fruit matters!

All summer — while I’ve LOVED the chard, LOVED the green and yellow zucs, LOVED the basil and, of course LOVED the orange and red cherry tomatoes — my far and away garden favorite has been the black, bulbous eggplant.

Now I can add Black Mission figs to the short list! I hope hope hope this is the start of an ongoing, bounteous fig crop that serves and delights us for rapturous decades.

Mmmmm, figs!

As HEAVENLY as it looks. Best fig I’ve ever eaten.

And here is our current inventory of eggplant, to be marinated, skewered and grilled tonight for dinner.

And here is today’s haul… never mind the embarrassment of yellow zucs piling up in the refrigerator!

Happy (VERY skilled) farmers.

Color in the Wild

August 12, 2021

I think I forgot to post this photo — taken July 30. It was a lovely thing to see down at the creek (the mighty Putah).

The red in the front is a flower we planted in our front yard giant pot, thanks to neighbors Ray and Verena who walked past our house one day and said, “What your big new pot needs is a splash of color; come by one day and I’ll give you one of ours!” And I did! It’s called St Elmo’s Fire. Ray said it would bloom bright orange for most of the year.

I don’t know what that purple flower is. Its blooming season seems very short. There are some pretty delicate raspberry colored flowers in front; I don’t know what those are either.

Honestly, I gasped when I came upon this.

No Rest for the Weary

August 11, 2021

A friend posted an excerpt from a New Yorker article by David Sedaris today. It resonated with her and most (all?) of the folks who responded to it on Facebook:

And I get it. It’s so tempting to think all is well in the capable hands of boring Joe (boring, as in: the day to day of running a monster government bureaucracy is slow, tedious and not very exciting).

It was a beyond-horrific and scary four years under the previous guy. The presidential campaign last year was brutal. The pandemic was traumatizing. AND….. the good guy won, we have (had) enjoyed a reprieve from covid, it’s summer… and everyone wants to put the worst of all of that behind us and move on, enjoy our kids, families, friends, yada yada. I definitely get it.

I think we have to be able to do that (enjoy life, enjoy the reprieve from pain and madness) … AND keep vigilant.

I responded with this buzz kill:

Thing is, the republicans have not let up and we look away at our peril. They’re busy changing election laws and cheating their way to power as we all think everything’s fine in boring Joe’s capable hands. In Calif, the reps are working feverishly to take control of the state with the smallest minority of voters ever through a bogus recall effort. Gotta keep your eyes open.

And a few people gave that a like.

As usual, I’m wrestling with that. I am desperate to not be weighed down with the negative; with the constant soul-crushing stupidity of right wing media; with immoral, power-grabbing republican lawmakers. It sucks joy right out of me and I don’t want to live in that space.

But I’m also inspired by my local peeps who continue to stay on the job. Seriously inspired. They are reading, listening, watching. They see what’s happening while the rest of the country goes about its summer fun… blissfully ignorant of some serious no-good sh*t going on out of view. Or even NOT out of view. It’s there to see, but people are tired and the bad guys know it. They are making hay while we’re looking away.

So I’m inspired to keep up the fight. I also feel a strong sense of responsibility. Not a curse, but feels like a curse, especially as I observe so many people (so many friends) ignoring it and having fun. No judgment. I’m jealous. I want bliss.

Caught between two states of mind.


Related: We, Sister District CA-3 peeps, are raising money for a couple of Virginia candidates for the state legislature. Virginia’s election is in off years and, this November, they’re having an election for governor, and a whole bunch of state delegate seats (among other things).

Here’s me, Lucas (vice Mayor) and two SD summer interns (Evan and Khalil). We met at Central Park last week to make telephone calls to members of SD to get them to attend tomorrow’s fundraiser for Finale Norton. That’s pretty in the weeds, isn’t it? We’ll raise thousands of dollars. Crazy, huh? And it’s important because state houses are critical pieces of the puzzle. It’s starts small, folks. But it’s all important.

There’s also the fight for the For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. And, so ridiculously, the bogus Gov Newsom recall effort. I’ll probably write more about that one later… but wow, it’s very possible the crazy republican effort to recall him will succeed because: DEMS AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION (and the reps are fired up). What a coup that would be.

Anyway… you have to keep an eye on what’s going on and do at least a teeny tiny bit to fight the bad guys. They really are up to no good.

Wacky Son

August 10, 2021

The theme today? Wacky Son.

This is a Wacky Sun. I ordered it from a company in Alabama called Riverside Designs. (What would we do without Facebook ads?) It arrived today and it’s exactly what I was expecting/hoping for.

I actually think it’d look really cool on the wall in the living room.. but I bought it to adorn the backyard fence. Jim put it up today and it looks great!

I might hafta buy more .. they come in all kinds of designs and colors.

Here is the other wacky son… our sweet, adorable kiddo. We’ve been having lots of Facetime calls lately. I think he’s been welcoming the distraction as he stresses over something that’s coming up that he doesn’t want to talk about… (more on that later).

(I take a lot of screen shots when we’re talking … ) (Don’t ask me what Jim’s doing …)