Thursday, November 16, 2006

What I did yesterday

On Wednesday afternoon I went over to the Dolphin Club with the intention of becoming a member. Outside the locker there is a blackboard. Here is what was written on it:

I went for a swim anyway. The TV news cameras were still there waiting for somebody to get bitten. I didn’t get bitten. I joined the Dolphin Club anyway.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Walking in San Francisco with Cynthia

I'm sitting at Cafe Express on Powell and Sutter Waiting for Cynthia who is shopping in Walgreen's. We spent the morning looking for the best price to Cynthia from Santa Cruz to Paris then Shanghai for Christmas and back. Eventually we found a pretty good deal, except the trip back will take 2 days with an overnight in Paris. Finally got out about 12:30. At BofA, We transferred $700 to her account so she can use her credit card to pay for her Lufthansa ticket CDG to PVG (Shanghai). We bumped into Laurie a friend from Pilates class and sell hello. Then to Bill, my barber, to see pictures of his enormous personal backhoe he keeps at his house up in Ukiah.

On to Lychee Garden for dim sum. As it was after 1:30 the place was nearly empty and we got what we wanted quickly. Ha Gau, Sui Mai, Cha Su Bai, flat white noodles with stuff inside, the hairy taro balls (mentioned the other day by Doug - see below). Even sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves. They really do a very job of preparation, I'd like to see the kitchen one day. Cynthia was very happy. Her first dim sum in YEARS.

Then to Imperial Tea Court. My first visit to the HQ. Roy the famous owner was not there, but I met Grace who manages the shop. I met somebody I knew but I cannot say who it is because they told me there being in San Francisco is a secret.

On to the Chinese Cultural Center to see a superb exhibit of ceramics by Dottie Low. Outstanding work: inventive yet respectful of tradition. Great range of thought from settings to sculptures. Humor, serious, satire, it was all there. We went to this exhibit at the suggestion of Doug, her brother, who is the frozen food shelf stocker at my Safeway. Siblings with two very different paths in life.

Then we remembered that I started out with a bag but currentlly it was not with us. Cynthia dashed back to Lychee Gardens. And somehow stole it away because the man who was there kept saying "nothing here".

Then she went to Walgreens and me to Cafe Express. Now I'm sitting in the ladies shoe department on the third floor of Macy's.

The more I walk through San Francisco with people I know the more fun it is. I frequently run into people I know. Odd coincedences occur. Always familiar, always new. Walks in Paris likewise.

We've walked right by H&M and now I'm sitting in ladies dresses at Urban Outfitters. At each new place, I add more detail and thoughts to this draft.  We then went on to the new Westfield Mall on Market Street passing through American Eagle, Banana Republic and Bloomingdales. After that we took a bus home.

We went to Olivier's for Dinner. Cynthia had a splendid and tasy porck chop and I had monkfish. Fo dessert we had their incomparable chocolate soufflĂ©.  All the time we were chatting with Yassim who had just returned from Paris. He gave us both a glass of Baume de Venise as digestifs.

A nice day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Night Swimming at the Dolphin Club

The Dolphin Club is where I practiced for my Alcatraz swim. I went back today for another swim. I entered the water around 5:00 pm. By 5:30 after swimming half a mile it was quite dark so I got out because I though they might close the Club after it gets dark. As I walked up the beach, I saw a man getting ready for a swim. I asked him if the Club closed down He replied that her thought that maybe between 110:00 pm and 5:00 am the outside door was locked so people could not get in but that otherwise you could do what you wanted. So I turned around, went back into the water and swam another half mile.

Though the skyline was well lit - with the huge Ghiradelli sign illuminated just above - this time I could barely see the buoys. I could not see my hand when it reached the bottom of its stroke. So the swim was a bit eerie. If I drowned how long would it be before they found me and how well can sharks see in the dark. Of course, I bumped into somebody swimming the other way.

The water temperature was 58 degrees Fahrenheit or 14.5 Celsius which was quite OK. When I got back into the water for the second half mile the water felt warm.

The Dolphin Club has its membership committee meeting next Wednesday. I think I will attend.