Friday, December 20, 2013

" Ladies and Gentlemen...

please pick your partners for…..the Waltz!"

And so echoes the gentle man’s voice from the edge of Fezziwig’s Dance Parlor at the Dickens Faire, perhaps one of my favorite places on the planet.  Every year I spend the month of November saying," It's almost here.  It's almost here!"  I love the Dickens Faire for many reasons – the feeling of being transported to another age.  The costumes.  Ohhhh, I love the costumes and vow to one day make a dress to wear to the Faire.  The dancing; the role play ( *not* by me, I am not a role-play gal, but I sure do appreciate the fact that there are people out there who love to play the role to set the mood).  And then there are the almonds.   Fresh cinnamon roasted almonds.  It is *well* worth the wait in line, trust me.  
Coventry Carolers at the Paddy West Stage

Fezziwig's Dance Parlor

There is something for everyone; dancing; singing; mini-plays; shopping.  And ladies, if you are at Fezziwig’s dance parlor you *will* get asked to dance over and over again, I assure you! It’s splendid. And they will teach you how to dance, so if you don’t know how to waltz or polka, it’s all good.
Spin your partner 'round and 'round
They also have dance performances.  This is where, every year, I see my super-secret-Scottish-boyfriend.  He is in the performance of the Scottish and Irish dance group.  The romance is only super-secret since he doesn’t know about it, but that’s a minor detail really, right?!  Every year we see each other from across the room and it’s like a day hasn’t passed. *sigh*
There’s nothing to put you in a better mood, and a better holiday mood than the Dickens Faire. 
Happy Christmas!

The Dickens Faire runs through Dec 22. Hurry!  More information can be found HERE

Or try any of these fun events, there are so many!

Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market, December 21-22, Concourse  Exhibition Center, FREE.

Christmas Carols and Ugly Sweater Contest -- meet at St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, 2325 Union Street at Steiner Street, at 1:00 PM to join in the Caroling Stroll up and down Union Street.  More information here

Winter Solstice Night hike and Campfire, Saturday night, December 21, Presidio, 5-6:30pm.  FREE, but you do need to register by calling
415-561-4323.  Details can be found on their website  

Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair, December 22.  Telegraph Ave between Dwight Way and Bancroft, 11am-6pm. Telegraph Fair

90's Simpson's Trivia Night and Watch Party! Sunday night, December 22, 5-9pm at the Knockout in San Francisco.  The Knockout

Friday, December 6, 2013

Frosted Window Panes

Today was the perfect day.
Why?  I had to scrape frost off my car windows before I could drive to work!

It.  Was.  Awesome.
And no, I am not joking.  I know I’ve said it before, but being from Minnesota, well, it just isn’t the Holiday season until it’s cold outside and the frost appears.  I was so thrilled to *scrape*scrape*scrape* with my trusty snow scraper, straight from the Motherland, mind you.
So now I can relax and enjoy the season.  It's here.  It’s cold.  I’ve found my mittens and scarves; happily scraped my car windows and it’s a good, good day.

December 6, 2013.  Frost to scrape.  Everything is right in the world.

There's so much going on in the Bay area, I don't know where to start! Here are a few of my favorites for the weekend -- Have fun!

The 2013 San Francisco Holiday Bazaar  ( this used to be called the Bizarre Bazaar)
December 7-8, 2013, 11 am to 6 pm
Concourse Exhibition Center, 620 Seventh St. (at Brannan), SF

2013 Jingletown Holiday Art Walk
Saturday-Sunday, December 7-8, 2013, 11 am to 6 pm
Sunday there will be live Bluegrass and a parade!
Jingletown Neighborhood, between the Park and Fruitvale Street bridges, Oakland

Snail Mail Social! Write letters to Santa on vintage typewriters!
Saturday December 7, 1-4pm.
Check this out on Facebook!

2013 Tiburon Holiday Festival
Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Noon to 7 pm
Downtown Tiburon

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hey, Mom! What's an LP?

The other day I was meandering through Bed, Bath and Beyond (or as I call it, Bed, Bath and Beyonce), when I overheard a girl who appeared to be 14 or 15 years old ask," Mom, what's an LP?" (the girl was looking at the box for a turntable that would put your LP's onto a CD.) I was saddened to think we are now at a place in time where people won't know what an LP is; they won't become nostalgic when they hear the 'scratch-scratch' of the needle being placed on vinyl; or treasure the moment you remove the cellophane from your new Xanadu fold out LP soundtrack. (yes, I do have that.)

I’ve always loved music and as a child I had a very strong attachment to my record player. It was not just any old record player mind you, but a Hardy Boys record player.  I know, right! It even had a microphone.  I guess you could call it early 70’s karaoke.  The reason I had the Hardy Boys record player was, of course, due to my adoration of Shaun Cassidy. 

He’s looking right at me!  Singing right to me!  You know I was the one he met on a Monday and his heart stood still, right?  I know, I know.  The luck continues.

Anyway, when I wasn’t getting my Da Do Run Run on, I wore out 2 other LPs……well, a ’45 and an LP.  Sigh……’45’s. 

I would spend an inordinate amount of time singing along with Paul McCartney and Wings’s,” Listen to What the Man Said” wondering just who was this "man” and can anyone tell me please what he said?  ( I was about 4-5 years old at the time, so I was not terribly skilled with interpreting lyrics.)  Another album I wore out……..get ready……the soundtrack LP to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.   
No.  I’m not kidding.

“Oh Chitty, you Chitty, pretty Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang we love you….”  (God bless my mother who had to put up with me “singing” all the Truly Scrumptious songs).

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because THIS WEEKEND (oh, I can hardly stand the excitement, I kid you not!) is the first time they will be showing the SING-ALONG Chitty-Chitty-Bang Bang at the Castro theatre! 
I know.  It’s almost too much, isn’t it?!  My mind is spinning.

Saturday and Sunday, August 3 &4, 2pm only.  If you’ve never been to a Castro Theatre Sing-Along, well, they are so joyful and fun and everyone has such a great time I can't recommend it enough.

And remember, "…… A gentle breeze from Hushabye Mountain softly blows o'er lullaby bay.
It fills the sails of boats that are waiting--waiting to sail your worries away."

Other Upcoming fun things:

Oakland’s Art and Soul Festival!  August 3 &4.

2013 Summer Gardening Fair at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. 

12th Annual Peace Lantern Ceremony, North end of Aquatic Park, Berkeley.

Music:  Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Saturday night August 3rd, San Rafael. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rise-Up and Dance!

Valentine's Day.
People seem to either Love it, or Love to hate it.
I prefer to think of it as just a day of extra-love.  A day to be more aware of being kind and
generous and giving to everyone.  As life gets more challenging and moves faster and faster,
I think we owe it to one another to be gentler in our day to day interactions.
We are all each others Valentine's just trying to find the best way to live our lives on this planet.

So, have you heard of ' 1 Billion Rising' ?
It is a movement to bring awareness and an end to violence against women.  This is what they write

on their website 1 Billion Rising

On V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.
What does ONE BILLION look like? On 14 February 2013, it will look like a REVOLUTION.
A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being.

Let's try and move beyond this day as just flowers and candy, what someone did, or did not, give us, or do for us or spend on us.  What can we do and give each other?  It can be as easy as this.
Rise at your desk, in your home, anywhere!  Rise up and dance to the possibility of a new world without this violence.

Here is a link to local Rise-Up events in the Bay area:
Bay Area Rise-Up Events

Other activities from the 14th thru weekend:

Thursday the 14th
The Great San Francisco Valentine's Day Pillow Fight! 5:30pm-9:30pm, Justin Herman Plaza.
Pillow fight details

Friday the 15th
70's Roller Disco party!  
I can't recommend this enough! Super-fun, only 10 bucks ($5 for skate rental) and a great, fun time! 8pm-Mid-Night, details here Roller DiscoParty

Friday nights at OMCA: Night Market & Off the Grid, 5pm-9pm, Oakland Museum of California
OMCA Events

Classic movie night at the Paramount Theatre, Oakland: Casablanca. $5 admission.
Paramount Movie Classics

Bardot A Go-Go  60's French Pop and Retro Hairstyling!  9pm, Rickshaw Stop

Bardot A Go-Go

Saturday the 16th
Tulipmania Opening Day at Pier39.  Ok, I know I'm supposed to dislike Pier 39 since it's a tourist hot-spot.  But I love it, and this is really too beautiful to miss.  Thousands of blooming tulips throughout both levels of Pier 39 Tulipmania!

Lunar New Year Weekend: Dragon dances at the SF Botanical Garden, 11am-3pm
Dragon Dances

Sunday the 17th
Urban Bicycling Workshop, Traffic Skills 101.  10am-2pm, San Francisco JCC.  Free, but RSVP is required.  Bike Skills 101

Unofficial 7X7 Big Eat Crawl: 100 things to eat in SF before you die.  11am, 19th and Dolores St, SF.  Think scavenger hunt meets amazing food! 7X7 Big Eat Crawl

Have an outstanding weekend and love one another!