What's New? 2005-05-16

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What's New? 2005-05-16

 Tuesday 31 May 2005
  A day at the office. On the way back from the 16th Street / Mission BART station I meet the family at the Eureka Valley (Castro) branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

Lila poses in the stacks with her two finds of the moment: a book and a teddy bear. Our library branch, though small, has almost half its space devoted to the kids. Pretty amazing.

Eureka Valley branch San Francisco Public Library

Isaac, with his finds: Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs. I know what I'll be asked on the walk home.

Eureka Valley branch San Francisco Public Library

On the way home Rose and I discuss the notice that our branch is scheduled to be renovated. We've seen how incredibly long its taken for the West Portal branch to be done, and we're underwhelmed.

The kids find a catepiller in the sidewalk tree planter box that Isaac just weeded (all on his own violition). I love having a bit of nature surrounding our house.

sidewalk tree planter box
 Monday 30 May 2005 - Memorial Day
  We celebrate Memorial Day by being out-of-doors. First we continue gardening at home. Then we do some gardening at the in-laws. It was my father-in-law who decided it was a good idea to hose down this skunk, in its hiding place by the back stairs.

in-laws' skunk

After a lunch of pastrami sandwiches, etc., we head to the south-east edge of San Francisco, to visit Cynthia and her daughter Serafina. This is their most magnificent garden.

Cynthia's garden

While we're inside, assembling a new Ikea clothing chest, the kids are outside wrangling snails.

Serafina, Isaac, Lila @ garden

On the way home we enjoy this MUNI moment of

MUNI issues

 Sunday 29 May 2005
  I like a quiet weekend. Breakfast at May's Coffee Shop in Japantown. Gardening. My Dad and the in-laws come over for a late-afternoon salmon barbeque. Celebrate Lag b'Omer at our synagogue and enjoy another sephardic feast.

Rather than tell the kids that Oma Karin died while I was away, I opted to wait until I could tell them face-to-face, since this is the first death they've experienced. And I wanted to tell them in the morning, so they would have a whole day to process it. Here's Lila, at May's, reacting to the news.

Lila: That's sadding. I miss Oma Karin.

Lila sadding from Omi Karin news

Then she hid her face on the bench for a few moments. She's been very sensitive and thoughtful about it. Isaac, 6.5-years-old, went through a period of thinking about death about a half-year ago. So he's less shaken by the permanence of the change, as Lila is.

Lila sadding from Omi Karin news

I'm even more impressed because Oma Karin was not such a big part of their lives (as Rose's parents, who live two miles away, or my Dad, who lives a thousand feet away). She visited the west coast infrequently, and we saw her at home in New Jersey even less. But there was obviously a strong connection made, as I've been reminded this week.

 Saturday 28 May 2005
  We spent most of the day in the garden. Since I didn't rake up the leaves last autumn (for the second year in a row) now as I tidy up I'm ripping up the clover which has covered things. But I'm uncovering some of the grasses I planted last year, and the tops of the lemon verbena are just magnificient (I guess snails have been eating the bottom leaves).

I clipped the peppermint sage, clipped a bit of deadwood from the fuscia (which is in explosive full bloom following my major trimming last year), ran the clippers over the hedge, and in general marvelled at how this seasons rain has energized the garden.

This morning we went shopping at Trader Joe's for many of our weekly necessities. Here's Lila lounging in a display of Gerolsteiner Sprudel (bubbly water). I had to remind her that she was in Gerolstein in 2003, where we saw naturally carbonated water come from the ground, filled containers with it, and washed our feet in the run-off.

Gerolsteiner Lila

Later in the day we went to Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park with our friends James and Adrienne and their children Una, Cameron, and baby Declan. At the beginning of our stroll, starting at the boathouse, the kids are checking out the gulls, the turtles sunning themselves on the log, and the eels which wait at the shore for this guy to come on by and feed them bread...

O'Chan Clan @ Stow Lake

Nearer the pagoda they kids come across a woman caring for her pet turtle, and chatting with people about it. Everyone got to pet the critter. And pose for pictures.

Stow Lake turtle woman

In the pagoda James and I take a geek break, chatting about hardware. Lila decides that I need company.

James & I @ Stow Lake

Isaac, on the other hand, is playing with the rental rowboats. He really likes vehicles, all kinds.

Isaac Stow Lake rowboat

At night, at home, Lila makes a nest in the middle of the walkway from the kitchen into the front bedroom. She's so proud of it. Giddy, even.

Lila's nest

A close-up of the architect.

Lila's nest close-up
 Friday 27 May 2005
  Phil Spector's hair "Music producer Phil Spector in Superior Court, Los Angeles.

A judge says he'll allow 4 of 10 incidents of evidence in Spector's murder trial that prosecutors say illustrate the music producer's history of pulling guns on women.

Spector is on trial for the fatal shooting of actress Lana Clarkson." (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Mr. Spector, evidently, is going for the insanity plea hair. I'm in awe.


Here we are at Naan & Curry on Irving Street. Sure, that's Rose and Lila, with Dziadziu sitting just out of sight. What you don't see is Isaac just outside the window, jumping up and down whilst looking at the cars and the N Judah MUNI trolley cars.

Lila at Naan & Curry
 Wednesday 25 May 2005
  Home again, home again. (from Blade Runner)

I try to have a normal, productive work day. It doesn't work so well. It's really sinking in that Mom's not around anymore. Even when we didn't see eye-to-eye it was comforting having her on the other side of the phone line (except when it was infuriating). I miss even the infuriating part :-/

The Last Supper Club, SF

The Last Supper Club, recommended by many, is this evening's venue for our west coast somber get-together. (No, I didn't get the macabre component of the name. Really.) Dziadziu, Zofia, Rose, Lila, Isaac, and I enjoy a wonderful Italian-Italian (as opposed to American-Italian) dinner. The two nuns who happened to be dining there just added to the ambiance. Here's Dziadziu and Lila enjoying the gorgonzola fondue:

The Last Supper Club, SF
 Tuesday 24 May 2005
  I get up very, very early to return home to the kids. It's been a difficult trip. I want to climb back up into my sweet family tree.

I start a little weblet about Mom.

 Monday 23 May 2005
  Today we have a celebration of Mom's life at the house. The catering comes through, the guests are just wonderful, and the sadness and happiness is shared by all.

living room crowd
 Sunday 22 May 2005
  On a very busy day we arrange catering for a celebration of Mom's life (tomorrow), get together with my brother-in-law's family in Permont, NY, and then commiserate with some very close friends of Mom's; people with whom Rose and I have skiied in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1998.

Liz and Larry Schick, Marriott, Bridgewater NJ
 Saturday 21 May 2005
  In the wee hours of the morning the funeral director takes the body.

 Friday 20 May 2005
  I'm on two flights today, from SFO to LAX and LAX to EWR.

After I've left Emil calls to say that Mom isn't doing well; Felicia and family hop on a flight several hours before they expected to.

Mom dies while we're airborne, at 20:40 Eastern Time, aged 67.

 Thursday 19 May 2005
  Day nr. 4 - umm, this may not work out as planned. Let's say we'll postpone getting into shape until I can return home, on Monday. Okay?


02:08 - After booking my plane tickets I get an instant message from my uncle Daniel in Eivissa (Ibiza).


For a long time I've managed a list of people to whom I send an occasional email announcing changes to this website. That takes time. With the gracious help of Gabriel Morales I've added David Broker's PHPMailList. Please add yourselves via the Join item, at the top of the web page. Your email will never be used for any other purpose. Enjoy.

 Wednesday 18 May 2005
  Day nr. 3 - rest day.


Mom is dying of cancer. I'm heading back east to visit her.

airfare flight only

While I'm sitting in my office, on my PowerBook, Lila is in her office, working on the blackboard with Isaac. We're going through chalk like it's going out of style.

 Tuesday 17 May 2005
  Day nr. 2 - gentle treadmill workout; 25 minutes, somewhat aerobic. Next week I'll be checking my heartrate to ensure that I'm in the right zone. Then I'll add weights.


This evening we went to a fund-raiser dinner at Chevy's; Isaac's school gets 20 per cent of the profits. I begged for some other venue, but this was convenient, which was the most important item in the decision-making process. My fears were realized: Chevy's is still mediocre Mexican food for white people who have never eaten better. It's not Cheez Whiz on tortilla chips, but it's not really Mexican. Sad. So sad. Next time I'll just write the school a cheque for the 20 per cent and take the family into the Mission for some authentic fare.


Almost 2100h: just got email for a mandatory All Hands On Deck meeting first thing tomorrow morning to review the Board of Directors meeting at my newest client. I really hope this isn't to announce cataclysmic bad news. Perhaps it's just enthusiasm...

 Monday 16 May 2005
  Day nr. 1 of my "get back in shape" effort. When Rose was pregnant with Isaac in 1998 was about when I stopped exercising regularly. A bit of Aikido from time to time, but nothing approaching the mountaineering and marathoning I used to do. So today I went to the gym near my new contract, got a bit aerobic, did a bit of muscle work, and had a nice salad lunch. I'll probably spin this off into a weblet of its own, complete with pictures and data, should I find the time. Wish me luck!

At home the kids are having a good time drawing on the chalkboard, but they insist on covering their masterpiece so they can unveil it later with a flourish.

the artists at work

We love to have the kids help around the house in real-world ways. Especially when they cooperate. Here's a good moment, opening up a can to help with dinner.

Lila & Isaac open a can

Dinner having been done, Lila takes a bath and then dresses up in two towels, one as a skirt, the other as a cape. Then she runs around the house, pell-mell.

Lila's towel dress-up

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