Power lunches

I had lunch in Menlo Park with a friend the other day at a wonderful restaurant called Cafe Borrone. We sat outside and split a goat cheese platter and salads. Behind us I spotted this fabulous door, and that’s when I remembered my camera bag … which I had left at home. ūüė¶ Okay, for me, this is what phone cameras are for … desperation. Some people take incredible photos with their phones, but I just have some random app on my Android phone, and it’s really not very good. But thank goodness for smart phones anyway, or I wouldn’t have been able to take this shot.

2014-05-27_13-28-51_656

I¬†didn’t notice the BBC on the door until this morning when I started fiddling with the photo for today’s post. BBC stands for British Banker’s Club, which was a rowdy bar until it was closed by the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) in 2012. Well … technically the ABC can just pull the liquor license, but I liked how that last sentence sounded, and anyway, when a bar loses its liquor license, the result is it’s closed. No great loss, IMO, after reading about some yucky history there. But now this historic building will get new life as a lovely restaurant. That’s great, but … really … I just liked the door!

Okay, the one above is still a little crooked. My eye doctor says one eye is higher than the other, and that’s why I stand with my head tilted. I was like … really?! He said look at some photos, and sure enough, yes, I tilt my head. But if I straightened this photo¬†any more, the BBC was lost.

Here are some other crops, with no adjustments other than crop.

In this one, I like the way the letters glow.

The top

The window

So … was this a power lunch? Yes, of course. Whenever two friends make time to have lunch together, there’s a lot of power.

I also just won the bid on Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes research for another power lunch–this one¬†in New York City in July!

Here’s the description:

This is a triple threat package–lunch, advice and brainstorming with NYTimes Bestselling Author Brenda Novak, one of her editors, Margaret Marbury, VP of Harlequin Enterprises, and her agent, Dan Raines of Creative Trust in New York City during THRILLERFEST, (at a mutually agreeable time and place).

Do not miss this opportunity to pitch ideas, ask about publishing trends and generally take advantage of literally decades of publishing experience!

I’m not going to Thriller Fest as I don’t write thrillers at the moment. I’m just going out for the meeting using my frequent flyers and staying with one of my very close friends. I have no idea what will come of this meeting, I just had a very strong impulse to bid on that item on the first day of the auction. I almost lost the bid during the last hour last night. It was incredibly exciting to watch the count-down on the timer. I really couldn’t bid any higher, so I watched the minutes count down with my heart in my throat.

Needless to say, I didn’t get a huge amount of work done during that last hour! Once I won the bid, I made my plane reservations and this morning I confirmed staying with my friend, who is going to take the days off and pick me up at the airport at 5:30am.

There’s that power of friendship again…. Maybe that’s what it’s all about?

Spring is coming

I’m very happy to be on a “writer retreat.” One of my critique partners moved away almost 2 years ago and is back for a visit. We’re spending a few days surrounding a Donald Maass workshop (The Fire in Fiction) to talk about our goals, projects and life. While technology has allowed us to continue meeting via Google chat, face-to-face time satisfies a human need for connection on a deeper level, I find. What do you think?

Although we haven’t earned spring or summer in California because we’ve had a long string of days like this (today):

Brisbane, California
Brisbane, California

I’m still excited by the first signs of spring. Look at this little visitor who came to our driveway a couple days ago.

SONY DSC

A Santa Cruz afternoon

My sister, a very good photographer who doesn’t set her camera on auto like me, but who has stopped taking photos because she’s not a blogger (my theory!), proved to be an excellent guide. I visited her and she took me out to shoot. What a great day.

Funny story – brought my new tripod and monopod. Really didn’t need them!

Looking back toward Santa Cruz, up the inlet.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

I just loved all the photography happening here. I was trying not to get faces but the seated pair were preparing to play music.

SONY DSC

Soft sky

I am amazed how much of the U.S. is under deep freeze right now. Many of the bloggers I follow are doing a great job finding the beauty or just chronicling the phenomenon of the polar vortex. Here are a couple, in case they aren’t in your WordPress Reader:

http://sethsnap.com/2014/01/06/cold-close-up/

http://herladypinkrose.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/a-few-hours-later/

http://herladypinkrose.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/north-pole-vortex/

Meanwhile in California, we’re having a warm, dry winter. Here are shots from my evening walk:

2014-01-06_15-51-59_790 2014-01-06_15-58-10_499 2014-01-06_16-00-49_430 2014-01-06_16-03-17_901

I just had my phone with me. Sorry… the DSLR and even the compact camera are better. But at least I could get these shots. That’s the saving grace of a phone.

I’m blogging every other day this year so I have more time to visit other blogs.

2013 retrospective part 2

As I said yesterday, through my daily blog I discovered or re-discovered my enjoyment of the arts. In looking back I discovered that I seek out art when I’m traveling.

New York is a gold mine for art. 

Day 18 072 FF Day 18 070 EE Day 18 068 DD Day 18 062 AA Day 18 044 V Day 18 040 U Day 18 027 P Day 18 014 I Day 18 013 H Day 18 005 C Day 18 003 A

Paris is amazing:

Sculpture by Cezanne outside Louvre Cathedral de Notre Dame Bust at the time of Venus de Milo Feature Venus de Milo Ain Ghazal

And Amsterdam is heaven for art lovers, too:

I didn’t go inside any museums in Australia. I would like to do that some day, but I didn’t need to go inside to find art there:

Tomorrow is new year’s eve in the United States and I’ll do my final post of the year about the people I’ve met through blogging and what I’ve learned from others through blogging.

2013 retrospective

Leanne Cole inspired me to use the waning days of 2013 to reflect upon the year. I want do this, particularly since this was my first year of blogging.

I do have one more award to post, but I’m going to do that on January 5, on my blogging anniversary.

I know that my blogging style has changed since I started. When I first started, I tried being edgy.

Because I blog every day, though, the “real me” came out quickly and I settled into a pattern of… the arts, I guess. Photography, digital art, book reviews, poetry. In that order, really. Well, travel too, certainly, but I think after I get the photos up from the travels, I like to settle in and spend some time working with the images artistically.

Ravenswood
Ravenswood, Queensland AustraliaRavenswood
Ravenswood, Queensland Australia
DSC00239_Painting
Port Lonsdale, Victoria Australia
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
SONY DSC
Before the storm, Saratoga
Impressions 8_Painting
Amsterdam
Bikes_Painting 3
Amsterdam
Horse at the park
Paris
Paris Impressions 1
Paris
At the park 2 Painting Paris
Paris

I’ll post tomorrow about other ways that I think my interest in art came out through blogging. Then I’d like to talk a bit about the people I’ve met through blogging and what I’ve learned from others through blogging.

A Thanksgiving day poem and highlights of a foodie

Love is what it’s all about–
but food is a close second.

Nia Simone, November 28, 2013

I was asking an Australian friend if they have any holidays that are basically about food. Not really. Okay, so I have several Australian friends, many of whom I’ve met through blogging, so pipe up if you disagree! Of course, as you know, the food in Australia is¬†amazing,¬†so perhaps we don’t need a specific holiday centered on feasting there.

Australia is my other home, and this is becoming clear as one fellow blogger thought I was Australian. ¬†I love Australia and my Australian friends. Today is an American holiday, though, and I’m going to celebrate it by starting this celebration of food off with home-grown and home cooked foods before moving on to¬†some¬†of my international culinary samples.

Home grown and home-cooked:

P1050058 P1050055

P1050083
Vegan Thai

P1050381 P1050383 P1050417 P1050418 P1050412 P1050414 P1050084 P1050062 P1050065

Getting closer
Lentil salad
Yummy ingredients
Yummy ingredients
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
Dinner time! (Very yummy)
P1070154
Vegan Thai with other veggies

P1070156

Greenwich Village Manhattan:

Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Turophilia (excessive love of cheese) Greenwich Village, sign outside the cheese shop
Day 6 GV Cheese store
A bit of cheese
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village
Octopus, beer and a dolmata at Boukies, Greenwich Village

Australia:

P1060881
Barramundi at Lorne
P1060761
Stuffed squid at a tapas bar in Melbourne, DeGraves Street
P1060975
Joe’s? I think, Sydney, by the river
P1060977
Smoked salmon at Joe’s in Sydney

San Francisco:

P1050080
Dessert at Piperade
P1050077
Appetizer at Piperade
P1050073
Piperade Restaurant

Paris:

Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Christian Constant Restaurant starters
Self portrait
I guess you could say wine was a big feature in Paris! This was dinner on the deck of our apartment.
Veal
Veal — Opera House
Deep fried Celeriac
Deep fried Celeriac — Opera House
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert
Crepe de Frites Maison Robert on Champs Elysees
Wine
Opera House
Rolls
Rolls, fresh, Opera House
Butter at opera
Butter, Opera House
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet
Tomato jam mozzarella bonito and basil sorbet, Opera House
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast
Green pea soup cold with cream and goat cheese on toast, Opera House
Opera House, Grey Goose is the house vodka
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Produce outside
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain
Rue Cler Capuccino and Cafe Americain

Amsterdam:

A waffle at Keukenhof Gardens

Bread Netherlands where I bought it

Sekiwake

P1040361 P1040359 P1040352 P1040344

Thai food

Thai food

Rijsstaafl
Rijsstaafl
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck
Appetizers ready to go out to the deck of the houseboat

Texas:

The Brush Fire
The Brush Fire
Torchy's Tacos, The Independent
Torchy’s Tacos, The Independent

More Manhattan:

Days 16 019 grilled camembert
Grilled camembert at The Eatery
Days 16 021 meat loaf ravioli mac and jack
Meat loaf ravioli mac and jack at The Eatery
Days 16 Lisas bagel
Lisa’s bagel
Days 16 018 sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Sweet italian sausage risotto croquettes
Days 20 21 050 A
At The Boathouse in Central Park
Days 20 21 052 A
The Boathouse, Central Park
Days 20 21 085 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant upper west side
Days 20 21 088 A
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restaurant, upper west side
Day4 Hot Pretzel
Hot pretzel in Central Park
Flor de Mayo
Flor de Mayo, Peruvian restuarant, upper west side
Day 19 009
Deli, lower East side
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Sesame seed crackers at The Eatery
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Shmears, continued, at a deli in the upper west side
Shmear, a deli in the upper west side
Yet more shmears at a deli in the upper west side
Pain au Chocolate at the Pushkin cafe across from the Museum of Modern Art
Pain au Chocolate at the Brasserie Pushkin across from the Museum of Modern Art
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC
Dining Room at Brasserie Puskin NYC

 

Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Blackbottom cheesecake from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop
Grasshopper (mint chocolate chip) from The Bake Shop