Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday 8/30

As they predicted, today was about 20 degrees cooler at the Ocean. We call the fog our "instant air conditioning." I love to walk when it's cool outside which I was doing when I snapped this shot of the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I paused several times along the way to remind myself that I live in one of most beautiful places on earth. I am very blessed.
The day ended with Patricia, Carl and I watching True Blood. The finale will be on 9/13.
Tomorow is back to work. I leave in 5 days for a week at Sea Ranch.

Saturday 8/29 Sunset at Ocean Beach

Today, five of us gathered at the Park Chalet for some microbrew and munchies. It was a warm day at the Ocean with the high about 68f but in the sun it was around 76f. This was much less than on Friday which was 85 with about 96% humidity...a rarity.
My partners in crime besides myself , were Patricia, John Z, Cousin Paul, and Randy (boyhood friend visiting Paul).
After 2 1/2 hours at the Park Chalet we walked back to my condo for an hour of very necessary H2o hydration. This, I believe, is the key to no hangover...lots of water.
Those are not clouds pictured above; it is fog starting to come on shore. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be foggy and cool at the ocean. I love the fog.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday 8/7 Sunset at Ocean Beach

I just got word that my friend Sister Sharon Krenn, RSM, passed after a long battle with Parkinson's. This beautiful sunset seemed quite appropriate.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday 8/23

On Sunday evening we gathered at John's home to watch True Blood on his new 50" Samsung Plasma. He served a beef burgandy that was to die for. The dish was prepared yesterday by both John and Patricia. It was a cooking lesson for Patricia and they used the recipe from Julia Child's The Joy of Cooking.

I am at home now watching the Miss Universe contest. I love to watch beauty pageants. I can't help must be genetic.

Work tomorrow.

Saturday night 8/22

My long time friend, fellow Lamplighter, and fellow Michigan Transplantee, is Dan Yelen pictured here at the Yerba Buena Theater Marquee of My Fair Lady.

It was the 3rd time I saw this production and was by far their best! It really peaked on Saturday night. Gone were the technical problems from the 8/15 matinee. What I saw on Saturday night was a strong, fluid, first rate staging of a classic musical. Kudos to the whole company!

Seeing so many fellow Lamplighter friends also attending was an unexpected treat. Many of us had been in the 1992 production of MFL and we had a great time reminiscing.

Upon arriving home, I had another glass of that delightful 1995 Langtry Meritage I had opened the night before. It was about 12:30AM when I drifted off to sleep, "while visions of MFL danced in my head."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday 8/21

It has the Tarantino Signature stamped all over it; dark humor, violence (but done in good taste), subtle wit/humor, plot twists, great acting, editing and directing!!!!! Enough of babble; go and see for yourselves....that means you, Jerry and Denise of Page, AZ.

Ah, the nose on the Meritage is delightful. A sip brings a hint of spice, black cherry, a light tannin, and an aftertaste of oak.

The picture above is of the ceiling and chandelier at the Castro Theatre.

Friday 8/21

I just opened a 1995 Langtry North Coast is breathing even as I write this. I need something to bring me down and stabilize my psyche which has just been assulted with Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. I just realized that he spells it using ...terds instead of ...tards. That sums it all up quite nicely.

The 3:30PM showing at the Castro Theatre was filled with Tarantino philes and believe me, they were not disappointed with his latest masterpiece, including yours truly.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday 8/16

Just as the sun was setting, I ran to the roof in time to capture it's passing. The end to another perfect weekend.

On Saturday 8/15, I went with friends John Z and Patricia E to the matinee of My Fair Lady at the Yerba Buena Theater in downtown San Francisco. As I mentioned in last week's blog, this was the flow blown production I wanted to see (with sets and full staging).

It was clear that this baby would not peak until next week..probably the Saturday night performance (8/22). That is a problem that plagues huge shows like this when it is presented it 3 different venues over a short period. By the time you adjust to the peculiarities and confines of one space, you have to pack up and move to the next. And that's what happened with the matinee we saw; there were doors that didn't open, which is always frustrating to the actor who suddenly has to be creative while remaining in character; backdrops were catching on the scenery; proscenium valances would suddenly unfurl in a flurry of dust...most distracting. But those glicheses are delt with and usually corrected in time for the next show. But just when you start to get comfortable with your surroundings, the show closes. I am reminded how blessed we (Lamplighters) have been in the past when we were performing in our own theater. The peaking curve was much shorter back then and when it happened, that was when you started to have fun with the show. It was at that time when friendships were solidified, and bonding was forever.

I had great fun watching my friend Jim Campbell, the show's Production Manager, who was sitting in the balcony. He reacted to each of the technical mishaps by smacking his forhead, sinking into his chair, and hiding his head in his hands. His performance should have been captured on film and worthy of an award.

But it was still a glorious show filled with enduring music, wonderful singing, wonderful talented actors, and creative staging by Barbara Herioux. I really enjoyed myself despite the technical stuff. Besides, it was John's birthday and after the show we gathered at our friend Blazen's home for a lovely dinner, stimulating conversation, and great wine. A loving way to end the evening.

On Sunday evening we all gathered at my place to watch True Blood, the HBO series that has reached cult status. Now that's entertainment!!! Sorry, Jerry and Denise, it is just simply the greatest!

To bed, to bed; perchance to dream.

Roger signing off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday 8/12 Sunset at Ocean Beach

Taken from my roof; the Cliff House, Seal Rock, the Marin Headland, and the Pacific Ocean.

Wednesday 8/12 Sunset at Ocean Beach

Taken from my building's roof.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday 8/9

Just another beautiful weekend in Paradise. Stay tuned, there are many more to come.


Sunday 8/9

There were many friends in the Napa show that I hadn't seen for awhile. Some of us went out for drinks and food after the show. It was so good to see them all.
I arrived back in San Francisco around 11:30AM and I was so releaved to feel that it was much cooler than when I left Napa which was going to hit 100f today.
Seeing the two Golden Gate Bridge towers protruding out from the fog was very comforting. I new then I was home.

Saturday night in Napa 8/8

The Saturday night performance was a musical success. All the leads were very strong musicians. I am pictured here with my dear friend Shelley Johnson who played the part of Mrs Higgins (a non singing role). She had a "Grand Dame" of the Engligh Theater approach to her character and it really worked.
The outstanding performace of the evening went to Sharon Rietkerk who played Eliza Doolittle. Her musical ability plus her acting talents combined to have the Napa audience standing on their feet. I will look forward to seeing this show again when it comes to San Francisco. This will be a full blown production with all the sets.
Guest star Geoff Hoyle was also outstanding with his comic/clown approach to Alfie Doolittle. But in my mind there will never be another Alfie Doolittle like Norman Hall's. Norman did the role in 1992 and reprised it in 1996. He is simply the best!

Saturday night in Napa 8/8

This is a shot from my balcony seat. The small performance space presents a series of challanges when a large production like My Fair Lady takes the stage. All previous blocking was drastically altered and no sets were used. Just a few necessary props and costumes...those gorgeous beautiful costumes. I was in the Lamplighter's original production in 1992 and 17 years later the costumes are still in good shape. Credit goes to Melissa Wortman who designed the show.

The orchestra is completely out of view in the pit. There is not a bad seat in the house.

Saturday night in Napa 8/8

This is the outside of the Napa Valley Opera House. It was built in 1879 and restored just a few years ago. The integrity of the original facad has been kept intact but the whole inside was gutted and upgraded to accomodate current stage technology. The only thing that they were able to keep was the balcony railing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Napa 8/8

Another picture of my upgraded room at the Avia. There is a flat screen TV on both sides of the petition with a common gas fireplace. Yes, Cheryl, I am by myself.
I'm off to explor downtown Napa. The Opera House is within walking distance so I will stake it out for my arrival tonight at 7:30PM to pick up my tickets.
Ummmm....I feel an urge to do some wine tasting. Also I need to get something to eat.

Napa 8/8

Here I am in downtown Napa at the Avia Hotel. They upgraded me to a suite, don't you just want to pee? I mean a free standing tub next to the bed!!!! I love it, of course.

Before I left San Francisco, I paid a visit to my dear friend Ellen Smith who is convelesing at the Lawton Rehab. Center. We spent a quality hour together, with 20 minutes of that in the sun (out on the patio), and the rest of the time was taken up with lunch and some good laughs.

I got on the road at 1:30PM and arrived here at the hotel at 2:45PM.

Friday 8/7

This is a view of Ocean Beach from the top of Sutro Heights. My condo is the first one in the second row.
The weekend is here and I have decided to drive up to Napa on Saturday and spend the night. The Lamplighters are presenting a semi staged concert version of My Fair Lady at the newly restored Napa Valley Opera House which is my reason for going. Of course, a little wine tasting will be in order but that is just secondary..... I performed MFL with them back in 1992 and it has always been a favorite. Most of my close friends go back to our performing days with the Lamplighters (I performed with them for 35 years) and we all remain close to this day. Attending one of the productions is like a homecoming.

Friday 8/7

Moi with Marin Headlands in the background.

Friday 8/7

Here is a picture of the Marin Headlands with Mt. Tamalpias in the background where we scattered Dario's ashes.

Friday 8/7

I made it through my first week back at work after my trip. The jet lag really took the wind out of my sails.
Today is one of the first days without our summer fog. This picture of the Golden Gate Bridge is about a 10 minute walk from my place.
The atmosphere is still a little murky but no complatints here. I love all the elements.