Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Of "It's the Black Bird, Mr. Spade."~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I have been busy, and I think I may be busy this week as well, a number of children have this week off for the Easter or Spring break,  and it looks like I'll be called in.   I was yesterday morning so I am happy that my brother is going to have Easter Dinner at his house, his new/old Victorian house.

Last Tuesday evening Doyle and I enjoyed a wonderful evening out, we had dinner early, then took in "The Maltese Falcon" at the Classic Movie Series, afterwards we stopped for drinks at "Capone's".

Seeing it on the big screen gives you a better view point and understanding of all of the nuances of the film and having a bit of an in joke, knowing that Walter Huston (John Huston the Director's father) had a bit part of Captain Jacobi, stumbling in carrying the falcon and then dying on Spades' small couch.

One can see how people would think of it as the ultimate Noir Film, and so San Francisco.

Of course Doyle was looking carefully at Spade and Archer's office decor.

And it was such a HUGE Turn out for the film, the most that I had ever seen at this theater's Classic film series, and in the Lobby being admired was "The Black Bird" its self,  or at least an excellent replica.  People of all ages were crowding around admiring it as if it were a celebrity and in a way it is.  And they were taking pictures of it on their cell phone camera's, the iconic "stuff that dreams are made of"  all wrapped up in one stylized black bird.

I even heard several young people say "I'd like to have a copy of that". 

Of course Doyle had to dress up in his Fedora and Trench Coat, several people took pictures with him he looking like Bogie, and no Darklings I was not dressed up as Bridget O'Shaunnesy, although I wish I had, but I had just come back from work and didn't have time to change if we wanted to have dinner first.  My loss.

But I did find out where I could get a replica of the falcon so I'm going to order a copy of it to surprise Doyle I know he'll love it.   I mean if you're going to play then play.

This last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the start of Easter week,  I'm working my schedule out so I can be available for my brother and sister in law in case they need me to watch the children, although my brother made arrangements with his Uncle in law for the twins, but Chris and Coralline are of an age where they are more helpful than hindering.    But I will have to be called in to cover some mornings at work at least.

And Belladonna and Wiener Dog have an appointment with the vet this Thursday for their shots and general check up, they can be so fierce in other instances but for some reason at the Vet they become completely docile, I'm not sure why they become that way, Wiener Dog becomes fierce when Doyle gives him a bath but have it done at the Pet Beauty Parlor and he is as meek and mild as can be, and they say he's such a sweet boy, talk about Jeckle and Hyde.

So now its the spring festivities,  although the children are too old for Easter Egg hunts, they are not too old for chocolate bunnies, I've been up since "Oh My God It's Early!"  and I don't seem to do the early mornings like I use to, so nap time this afternoon for me while dinner slow cooks in the crock pot will be called for.

Later Darklings  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Of Rain, Monica Lewinsky, "Kingsmen" and Arsenic~~~~

My Goodness Darklings what a combination,

But it's because I've got so much to cover, in a short amount of time.

Doyle and I have been invited out to dinner tonight with some very dear friends, Brian has offered to babysit Belladonna and Wiener Dog for us because Sis has an evening client.

Well I had a chance to watch "Kingsmen" a total spoof of the Spy movies such as "Our Man Flint", "Matt Helm" and the earlier James Bond I have to admit the stunt folks and CGI got a serious work out and it was enjoyable if a bit violent, I think some folks will enjoy some aspects of it.

And it's nice to take in a matinee every now and then.  I think I'll plan on doing it more often as time and circumstances permit.

We had a shower from last night to this morning, which was helpful, the runoff from my gutters and side walks helped fill the cisterns, the walkways are sloped so that water either from rain or watering will go into the cisterns and the gutters are connected to under the surface pipes to drain into the cisterns as well, but to make sure that the pipes aren't cut or damage I use flat stones to mark where they are and it's easy to lift up and dig up any pipe that needs to be replaced, my Great Aunt thought of that years ago when there was previous droughts as bad as this.

But what has both Doyle and I concerned is that we saw on the Media about high levels of arsenic in the cheaper wines, so I've been doing some investigating and found that the wines I've purchased are within acceptable ranges, not that we drink wine every day, we don't---we couldn't afford to.  But at least we are on alert, and I plan on taking any samples of any bottle we open to be tested for future information.

It's so sad to hear about that even Trader Joe's "2 buck chuck" is affected.  It seems that nothing is safe anymore.

I just recently saw on You Tube Monica Lewinsky do a marvelous speech about the internet and cyber bullying,  I remember those years ago when she was in the center of such political turmoil and felt that the only mistake she made was that which many young women make when impressed by a man in power, how she has turned her life around and is now speaking out on cyber bullying and how we have to take responsibility to see that it doesn't happen to others is something that should be shown in every grade school, high school and college.

Coralline came close to being bullied a few years ago but she had the courage to at least tell me and I in turn informed her parents, it was stopped quickly when her parents talked to the two sets of parents of the children that attempted to bully my niece, but Coralline became in her own way reserved about making friends, she only has a couple and fortunately one of them lives close to me so they get to visit when Coralline stays over. 

My oldest nephew doesn't seem to have that problem and the twins are just hellions anyway but their parents have told them what would happen if they even think of bullying another child.  It does pay to be pro-active.

And now Doyle is home so I'll finish getting ready.

Later Darklings.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Of a new search system~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well I just down loaded a new search system to replace Internet Explorer, it's called Firefox and I'm sure those of you who are far more computer savvy than Moi, know of it.

Well when we read that Microsoft is going to eventually no longer support I E and of late it kept freezing on me, Doyle said "It's time for a change" and frankly at both mine and Doyle's work they use it.

I'm still learning a few things with it for my home computer, some of the familiar things I use to find to use when on line have changed or have different ways of being saved, so I have to learn a few new tricks.

But I'm going to do that another time, I need to do some shopping and I'm thinking of taking in a Matinee to see "The Kingsmen"  before it's gone from the theater, so I'm going to be a bit independent for now and see what the day brings.

So my Dynamic Duo will be baby sat by my neighbor, Sis has clients coming and a couple of them are not comfortable around dogs, so my elderly neighbor has kindly offered to watch them.

Later Darklings

    Since Spring will be here tomorrow I just wanted to remind you how cold its been.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Of the Day After St. Paddy's Day~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well Doyle is still in bed nursing a "green beer" hangover, he'll be fine by this evening, tea and crackers will do him some good as well as Alka Seltzer but only after the fizzing has gone down.

I suggested that he sleep with a sleep mask and ear plugs and I have a bucket next to the bed for just in case he doesn't make it to the porcelain god's throne.  Oh well it's only once a year, and he always plans on taking the day after off.  I also disconnected the phone in the bedroom so it won't bother him.

We had a great time, corned beef and cabbage and I with gas during the night, sometimes so bad it startled Belladonna and Weiner Dog.  Yes Darklings Elder Goths do suffer occasionally from gas.

The green beer flowed, the songs were sung, the green was worn, and I was kissed a lot, especially by one young gentleman who was saying a lot of "blarney" to me, and worshiped at my feet, well actually he eventually passed out at my feet, but at least my shoes were spared any embarrassment.

I do picture a lot of headaches and people calling in sick today, fortunately not from my work, which means I will pass the day balancing the check book, paying bills, giving the dogs their twice daily walk.  Doing a couple loads of laundry.  And ordering Won Ton soup for my sick boy upstairs.

I've been catching up on the news and people are asking what is up in Napa?  In the space of less than 3 days there have been either found or newly shot no less than 5 different bodies, it seems as if there is some sort of epidemic of Murder in the Air. 

But one of my more metaphysical friends has said that as we get close to Spring there always seems to be an increase in sudden death's, as if the forgotten Ancient Gods demand it.  I'm more inclined to just say coincidence, but I do have to say that every year around this time it always seems to happen.

Fortunately I recorded last night "iZombie" my sister who decided to have a quiet evening told me this morning as she came over for coffee and eggs, before her first client, that it was quiet good, it quickly galloped into how she became a zombie, her visions how they work, solving a case, and the possibility that someone is really trying to create a zombie apocalypse.  The mixture of people making the core group of investigators appear to be very good.  Sis thinks it will be our Summer guilty pleasure and just fun Goth enough.  Well I'll watch it when I take a break, but Sis is usually pretty right about something like this.  So we'll see.

In the mean time my Dynamic Duo are demanding their morning walk and I need the exercise, so I'll just get my hat and my sun glasses and off we go.

Later Darklings

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Of Heat exhaustion and "Poizin" wine~~~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area I hope you survived yesterday!

It was very warm, up into the 80's in my area.  Poor Belladonna and Winerdog, just laid down on the screened back porch and slept, and I don't blame them.  I put out extra bowls of water for them and I also put out water for the birds, I have several rock style bird baths, they're fountains really but with the drought I turned off the pumps except to occasionally make sure the piping is not plugged, but I filled it with water.

Not only did the birds enjoy it but a few squirrels as well, poor things,  in my front yard I put in the shade several plastic bowls of water because we do have cats in the neighborhood as well.

I didn't dare go out unless I was well covered and even then not until towards early evening, with long sleeves, SPF 75 sunscreen and a wide brim hat.  Nothing is going to burn my pale skin.

I told one sun worshipper "My Face, My Skin, My Hat, My Health!!"   you can have all the melanoma you want, but not for me.

So I bought Ice Cream for dessert as it slow cooked in the slow cooker, I had stew meat I had to use up, but coupled with a nice salad, and steamed rice on the side it was good, topped with berries, have you ever put raspberries on top of chocolate ice cream?  I love it, even though it turns my tongue purple.

And then I turned on the drip system in the evening to water my plants,  if this heat is anything we may have an intensely hot summer and I keep praying for rain.

I had to pass on the St. Patrick's Parade in the city but I did promise Doyle that I would go out with him to his favorite dinner for corn beef and Green Beer, but I'm only going to have a small beer, some one has to be sober to drive and Doyle always takes the day after St. Patricks' Day as a vacation day.  The Green Beer gets to him.

Well for fun Sis and I did a DNA test to see what our ethnic back grounds are, and I agreed with a lot of it, but we could not figure out why we were 2 percent Irish, but now we can honestly say "KISS ME!! I'M IRISH!!!"  

My brother and his family are still getting things settled into their new/old home.  The drapes and curtains were perfect!  Quiet a few things that they had at their old home has been donated, as not needed, redundant, out grown etc.

My sister in law hopes to be able to do something to tame her garden a bit, she did hire a gardener to mow the front and back lawns, and do some weeding as well as hacking back some bougainvillea that had seriously overgrown in the back yard, and much to their surprise discovered an old playhouse made out of wood underneath the growth. Melissa said it's large enough to be a small artists studio, but it does need work, re-doing it's roof, evicting the spiders and mice and some foundation work and painting.  My brother said the first thing will be the roof to secure the interior.   What it will eventually be used for they don't know but preserving it will be important.

Today I'm glad that the weather was mild and it may cool down a bit Oh if only that HIGH would move so the LOW can bring in much needed rain. 

I did a bit of grocery shopping today and discovered a lovely little Japanese type dollar store called Dieso,  all sort of things that one can use, I did pickup an apron that is water resistant and a couple of bags of Japanese gummy candies, it was fun going through and looking but I wish I had more time, I guess I'll have to go back.

But while I was in the market I came across of bottle of zinfandel called "Poizin"  from the Armida winery out of Sebastopol.

It is according to it label-----
A lush, delicious and "serious" wine but in a fun package! The nose is fruit driven with fresh plum, bing cherry, spicy peppercorn and zinberry. The mouth feel is soft with a hint of milk chocolate, sweet oak, and a long vanilla finish. The deep color and firm structure are enhanced by the addition of the Petite Sirah and the firm tannins softened by moderate oak. Enjoy this POIZIN with caution; it is The Wine to Die for!
So I bought two bottles out of curiosity and we had one bottle earlier this afternoon with lunch and they are right it is THE WINE TO DIE FOR!!   So I promised Doyle and Sis that I would go back tomorrow and stock up to add to the cellar.  
It is a delicious wine to have with a good expensive stake, the kind that you'd think Dracula could sink his teeth into or Bitchy Joan Collins of "Dynasty" fame would enjoy while planning her next devious move.
I do love it when I come across something to add to my cellar, and I'm going to check out their other white wine called "Antidote" it promises to be interesting.
And now I must go and check on dinner.
Later Darklings

                Sometimes it's hard to chose the right vintage.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Of Updates on the "Mystery of Vera West" and other things~~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well this is going to be a little bit of a short post.

I very recently updated a few things on my Page "The Mystery of Vera West", granted it's not much but a few things came to light, so I incorporated it into my initial essay so its a bit different from when I first posted it.

I presented to Doyle what I found and he wisely told me that given the sloppy recorded keeping in the early to mid-20th century, taking into account fires, water damage etc. that could explain such gaps, and even movie studio's back in the day never thought that their records of their films and such were of any value, so much may have been tossed out.

Granted I'll accept that, but one would think that there would be something.  Now a days its much harder to hide one's pass, but then I do love a mystery.  Doyle did like what I did present, so many options for a mystery writer.   And to bring in the Black Dahlia as well.....

I have been busy, getting the curtains and drapes over to my sister-in-laws house, the curtains and drapes look lovely Chris and Coralline will be so surprised when they come over during the weekend.

We did have a bit of a busy weekend,  First thing in the early morning we went to the White Elephant Sale and we were lucky and found a number of useful things, it's a good thing we took two vehicles, Doyle's van as well as my Brother's was very useful, it did take two trips however, well three really, we kept finding stuff and then unpacking it was  like Christmas in a way even though we knew what we got, but seeing the surprise on everyone else's faces was so much fun.

Then using public transportation to get to China Town for the Chinese New years parade, the children loved it, all the pageantry and the huge dragon, and the Lion dancers, by the time we got home we were exhausted, as a matter of fact once we got into Oakland we called a cab and advised them how many passengers, and a large cab with jump seats showed up so we took it to my house, and Doyle handsomely tipped the cabbie.  The children fell asleep, so my brother and sister in law went home and we had the children sleep at my house and the next day we all went out for breakfast, banana and blueberry pancakes at our favorite cafĂ©. 

I know, it doesn't sound so Goth like, but true Elder Goths enjoy the enjoyment of living, much like the Hispanic Days of the Dead, we look at it right in the eye and laugh and enjoy things, for we don't own it, we only borrow it for a brief time and then we have to let it go, but to at least leave good memories for those we leave behind.  That is what a real Elder Goth does.

And now I have to go, I have to work this afternoon and must catch my bus.

Later Darklings.

And why not something Sweet for today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Of Curtains and hearing loss~~~

Hello Darklings,

Well the last few days have been busy but I have good things to give to my sister-in-law.  Thanks to a Friend of mine who specialized in vintage things and restoration, I was able to have the drapes for my nieces bedroom cleaned and restored with new backing and was able to find curtains with a very close match to the original pattern.

With the drapes for my nephews room she was able to find the same drapes in near perfect condition and put new sun resistant backing to them and was also able to find curtains to match as well.

I think the children will be pleased.  I know my sister-in-law will. 

At least we don't have to worry about the other curtains in the lower half of the house or the master bedroom as the elderly lady had taken care of that a few years ago, so now it will be selecting something appropriate for the Twins bedroom,  my brother said know those boys it would be best to not get anything too expensive, after they've grown up and leave the house then something better can be done. 

My brother and sister-in-law want to go and check out a few charity shops for a few things for the "club room" aka Victorian man-cave, so between the three of us and Chris and Coralline we are going hunting, we may find something and then again maybe not,  I've suggested the White Elephant Sale for starters, so we will hit that first---up early and exhausting, but may get lucky.

The twins will stay with Doyle and Brian, I pity them ---not the twins, Doyle and Brian. 

My sister has taken the train to Sacramento to visit her children up there, and they plan on driving down on Sunday and will be visiting for a week, fortunately between Sis's house and mine we'll be able to accommodate them,  it will be nice to see those nieces and nephews from Sis's side of the family it's been awhile. 

It's a working visit really,  checking out a few colleges here for the oldest boy, and my sister's son is going to be going to some sort of conference held in the city.  So they plan on taking care of several things at one time.   All in all a good thing.

Well I do have a hearing loss, I've not been in very loud environments, but in my early days I use to go to clubs that were loud and working in the city, on some of the commutes I have been and still am now subjected to loud sounds, and given my age (detestable word) some hearing loss is to be expected but it seems that it's tonal and directional as well as pitch.   Certain environments such as restaurants with hard walls and no softening are hard for me to hear like a Starbucks or Peets, the sound just bounces, outdoors in a softer area is fine.  Most movie theaters are fine. 

But in watching T.V. I'll need some assistance, so possibly a set of earphones plugs into the audio to help me, just have to make sure no one trips over the cords,  crowded places are also back and anyone or a group of people that "cross-talk" will have me lose the conversation.  People talking to me but are walking away I cannot hear, all conversations must be face to face.  I'm not ready for a hearing aid yet, but knowing about this I can compensate for. 

Being out in the woods, or a park is fine, I can hear the birds even the hummingbird when it squeaks, but it's area's with hard reflecting walls that makes it very hard to hear. 

But I've been told that there are times when hearing aids don't work in certain conditions, but my doctor is fairly certain that I'm not going to go seriously deaf as I've been over the years doing my best to protect my hearing, but that it would be more age related. 

Oh the vulgarities of old age.  But I refuse to give up or give in, I know what I can do and if I have to ask someone to repeat themselves it's because they do not know how to enunciate.  Because I certainly do understand very clearly what Sam and Dean Winchester are saying as well as Icabode Crane on Sleepy Hollow, but some of these actors ---forget it----it's all mash potatoes to me.

Oh well, now I must go, the timer went off on the oven, and I have pound cake baking.

Later Darklings.