Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mamacita Restaurant Review

The biggest downside to any restaurant in the Marina, is the Marina crowds/ clientele. If you can get past that, or better yet, go to Mamacita early or on a weeknight, then you will have some of the best, most creative Mexican food in the city.

The tacos are tiny, though you do get three per order. But they are exquisite! Not your hearty, authentic Mission District tacos, but traditional with an experimental presentation. The fish tacos are some of the best I've ever tasted, even in Mexico, but each taco (pork, steak, prawn, etc...) is richly layered with flavors - a surprisingly perfect taste with each bite. Seafood dishes are top notch. The tequila selection, and the flights especially, are pleasing. The margaritas are strong - but not as good as the margaritas at former Cafe Marimba that was in this space.

For creative Mexican, you won't find better in the city - it's slightly better than Maya and Colibri. I am already dreaming about more of those tacos...

Currently reading : Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany By Bill Buford

Sunday, January 21, 2007

a long night's journey into day

"A Long Night's Journey Into Day"... beautiful title (a reversal of the classic story of the opposite name). A stirring, painful documentary on post-apartheid South Africa and the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission). Watching just four of the thousands of stories of horror and pursuit towards healing from the apartheid years was draining and challenging. The final story: a group of mothers who forgave the slaughterer of their sons - a staged death of many young men for political gain - when they weren't sure if they had it in them to even try to forgive. It was raw, and one of the most Christlike moments possible. You know when you see it in action... and it leaves you stunned.

Currently reading : Between Noon and Three: Romance, Law, and the Outrage of Grace By Robert Farrar Capon

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


some friends touch your life for merely a season or in one area of your life... others, much fewer, are lifelong and touch multiple areas.

my girl has returned to australia and there is a gap where her sweet spirit, refreshing authenticity and realism, truly unconditional acceptance and "cheering on" were. not to mention one who loves food, writing, poetry and beauty, and sought those out with me. i have a wealth of friends here and around the world - have connected with too many people to count, in one way or another. i have my lifelong kindreds, about four of them, who are the closest of the close, spread around the country, anita being the longest and most kindred of friendships over my lifetime.

but when a precious friend is lost where you live, there is a gap, a hole, that yet another long distance relationship won't assuage. there is strength from all too rare support that disappears. those nights of long meals and wine, heart to heart talks, shared poetry, tears, favorite films and shows... will have to end. no person is replaceable. there is room for more but there cannot be a replacement.

here's to the time we had and to those who have remained faithful over the years.

Currently watching : The Illusionist

A poem for Kristy before she leaves, 1-15-07
in smile and heart
She conveys openness
through arms of acceptance
when you cannot
in your own goodness,
cheering on your plans
cradling pains
sharing hopes

Unexpectedly she came
as a supporter of what is most dear
a ray of light in dark night
a partner in creative dreams
a reminder of who you are
when it feels as if no one can see

She is a gift of God
on that will never be forgotten

Saturday, January 06, 2007

dannee's birthday

the surprise birthday party and gift from friends and family all around the country is still coming. as is the flashy, 'live-it-up' vegas trip (neither of us have been there in a decade) to wine-and-dine in a great hotel (got a deal) to celebrate his big 3-0 ...

but, today, his actual birthday is a day of spontaneously simple pleasures. the sun illuminates the rich, blue bay area sky. we head to the ocean, as if instinctually. on such a pristine day, it radiates. the waves are wild and massive, crashing over every rock with a loud bang. dan's new camera takes gorgeous pictures with fine details of sea spray and water rivulets.

breakfast at the cliff house bistro is surprisingly perfect: ocean view, warm atmosphere, lots of fresh crab, an eye-opening bloody mary (for dan) and soothing pisco sour (for me).

photos on the rocks, feeling the spray on our faces, warmed by the sun, we then progress to golden gate park for more photos, more beauty - lush, green, moist.

we went to the de young museum because we still hadn't been. it was time we did: a museum to be proud of in our city. fascinating architecture, interesting layout, and top notch art collection. the current Ruth Asawa exhibit, "contours in the air", was oddly enchanting. the view from the tower of the park, bay and bridge was yet another stunning SF panorama.

as the sun began to set, we sat on the lawn in front of the conservatory of flowers, catching the last patch of sun on the grass, for a hearty cigar smoke and more photos capturing the smoke snaking through the air from dan's mouth.

though it was his birthday, dan had written me a long love letter of the old fashioned kind: heart professions, the history of our love magnified by the fact that it grows only better with time, the oneness of our souls. the perfect birthday gift to me as we sat there on the grass... always thinking of me, a heart of true unselfishness, he is a man who deserves so much. and i want him to have it all ... and more.

Currently reading : What Jesus Meant By Garry Wills

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Everybody's Waiting

The final episode of what has been the most powerful viewing experience, Six Feet Under. Dan and I watched the final episodes last night with Skylar who has likewise been dramatically impacted by it. It feels tragically sad to end it and leave these characters who have become like friends, reminding you painfully at times of your own family, your own fears.

Claire's final drive across the country from LA to New York as Sia's haunting "Breathe Me" plays is a perfect ending. Nate whispers in her ear as she takes a photo of the family, "You can't capture this moment... it's already gone". The tears flow as this evocative phrase is exemplified by the lives and deaths of her entire family, and her own self, passing before her eyes as she drives the open road. The swiftness of death. How we are old even as we are young.

Nate also says to her that morning as she awakes, "Come on... everybody's waiting." The one comfort in this brief vapor of life as we know it, is that they will be waiting for us when we cross over to the other side.

Currently reading: "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" by Paul Elie