Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Starlight In Her Eyes...Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

...chronicles PIZZICATTO's adventures in SAN FRANCISCO's bohemian NORTH BEACH neighborhood~ perfumed by flowers, food, wine, bread and freshly brewed coffee.

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Friday, March 08, 2013

Changing Signs of Modernity

I used to blog early on, in 2004 then my life changed, I became busy. I moved house then things were not the same anymore. It used to be that people blog about their life, hobbies, discoveries, loves, family, etc. Then, facebook emerged, et voila. It put a demise to blogging; it became just a part of yesterday's history; whereas, facebook is "the now" and "the new in thing." Monumental, inter-disciplinary; iconic; seductive; enticing; demonic; panoramic; addicting; insulting; orgasmic and so forth. Facebook has married financial success and high stake in the stock market. How can this be happening? I wish my dad were still here as he would have loved it. Facetime. VDO skype. Texting. High definition. Imagery. I was hooked on facebook like anyone else in this planet. I did it to see what was up and about with my friends and family. They are from the other side of the continent and it helps me to keep afloat. I enjoyed it immensely. I get to see what they were doing and vice-versa. Random uploads of photos came by on both ends. I was addicted to it; excited about their feedback and thrilled to know what was happening next. It felt that I was in sync with those I knew existed. Yet, something was utterly wrong.Shit, it dawned on me that it is all about ego-tripping. We were all circling it. The ego. The self. "Look at me! I changed my profile! Look at my new shoes! I am here, traveling! I lost weight! I am on zumba! This is my new bf! I won this award! I went to Harvard!. Rahrahrah!" It is a case of the glorified bitch. Then, there was no privacy anymore. Type a name you know and you’d see that person’s photo at google! Scary, right? Creatures you despise, write their names at google. Lo and behold, their photos would manifest at google. Crazy! Some of them, for lack of good judgement,do not even know that their beloved photos are all over the net! Others think that it is cute and empowering, that they are somehow popular to be on the net. Morons! But do they really know its impact and implications on their personal life? On how festive these hackers are? Apart from a strangers' names that they can play up tricks on, there are even photos accompanied to add up to their identity disclosure! Let's talk about whereabouts. What with the gps on most apps these days, you can write in a person's address and get a photograph of that person's house,thanks to google maps! You are even taught how to get there,get a calculation of an ETA thru google maps! You'd be guided through! Just think about this: If someone is planning an assassination on somebody else, all that person needs to do is get thru the self help guide via facebook and google maps and all would be done without even batting an eyelash! It is because of all these absurdity that I started deleting my personal photos herewith and opted to just leave those articles I write adding my own photos. I am relieved that I have done so and it feels better knowing that I still have my privacy intact. Hey, thanks for passing by! -Pizzicatto in San Francisco city of California

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Just In Time

Rachel and I met one summer in Manila. It was March. The year, 1986. The place, Bloomfield. The establishment, education. The reason, job. The job, teaching. The discovery, work. The end thing, friendship. Look at us now, 26 years later and yes, we are still connected and kicking asses. How did it happen? I think that time and place just made it to work or should I say, destiny led us to think that way? She called in at around 9 or 10 AM last Monday, December 17th and said she was running ahead of time. Asked if she could come by earlier than planned? It was set for 4 PM as I needed to finish my office work first which was at home and with XMAS being our pick season, hubby and I max to working hard during this period. But despite of pre-planning, things just happen quite unexpectedly and changes are made. So Rachel asked if she could come at around between1-1:30ish PM?Her hubby, she said, had to drive his folks at the casino, 1 1/2 hours away from their hostel in South SFO. And this changes our agreed time frame. I said, "Ok, no problem. Come by but if business calls come in, I will pick them up, ok?" She said fine. So we were good. How was that for me? I manage a home office and whenever I have or hubby or, both of us have guests coming by, it takes off the rhythm of our rather predictable routine. Visits that are unexpected and friends who are flying over from out of state or out of the USA are welcome, so long as we can sync our schedules. When the day came by, Rachel's visit was more than what I had hoped for. Rachel called right in at around 1:45 PM. Then. I asked about her location. "Where are you?" "I am downstairs here." She answered. Then she had an outburst of laughter. Rachel, the funny gal. "Oh dear, I better buzz you in then so you could come up fast and easy!" I remarked in stunning staccato. Then, the buzzer went off; the door lock opened, she came by, went upstairs and right at that moment-
we were both screaming like insane kids again and laughing like two idiots loaded with vodka and weeds, hugging, and then finally-a asking each other on how life had been for us, these past two decades or so of our lives, initially divided by continents in the past- and now, connected by our past.
Mid 12/2012 San Francisco

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


I stopped blogging when Facebook hit me and began taking over my life. Haha, well- not really, but for a while it kinda did. Shameful to say this but in truth, I was not the lone human being on this planet earth who has been hooked unto it. Right? In this age of technology where everyone has access to a pc or Mac, it is not a big deal anymore to find that your six-year old neighbor has a Facebook account. Dang! How the world has changed from 9 to 5! GEE, I LOST MY SENSE OF REALITY! It was all for a show. If you think about it. Why divulge what is in you? At Facebook, we loose our sense of privacy. We tell the world everything: where we are and what we are; who are we with and why we are somewhere or elsewhere, or even nowhere. Geez. Hackers are in festive mood getting all the facts to hack you and to compliment, they even got the photos of their target! I have to admit that Facebooking has its good points but in general, it has made people to be shallower than ever and even vain. Understand that I am not perfect for I kinda spiraled in this direction as well. Then, it hit me that I really have to do something about it; to make my brain work again like a choo-choo train; or, I'd likely be a candidate for Alzheimer's Disease in a year or two! Seriously, uploading photographs online does not make you an Einstein. Oh please, remember that! Use your cognitive domain to energize your brain cells so you don't lose track of reality. As for me, I almost lost my spin on writing. But I am getting back on it because for me, writing is still my nuclear reactor to creativity. See you soon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Red Velvet Cake- Baked From Scratch!

I baked this 2 days after Thanksgiving 2010 in Portland, Oregon. Visited and stayed with my in-laws. This was my gift to husband's brother's 40th wedding anniversary! They love it!

My Little Garden in San Francisco- Summer 2010 File Photos

Friday, January 07, 2011

Look At my Veranda-Then- 2006

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ferry Plaza In SFO

Today, we had an early morning hike. We walked down Columbus and straight ahead to Stockton, and then stopped at Pacific. There, we hailed the Muni Bus Number 12, with the hope that we get into the Latino community at Mission. We wanted to check it out, eat their Mexican deli, have some margarita, and perhaps- shop, et al. The trouble was, we got into the wrong bus. Inside the Muni, husband asked the black driver about how we were to get into our destination. He advised that we stayed on inside and just to get off at Ferry building then hop into the next bus that would lead us then to the Mission District. When bus number 12 passed along Ferry building, we decided to get off instead because I needed to use the loo. Once there, we were invigorated by the hundreds of people who came in to see what's up and about in that area.

Outside the building, there were stalls of vendors that told me of the presence of the local farmers who were selling their organic harvest for the day. While last week was frustrating for us in not seeing the farmers market to be in action, today was unbelievably fascinating that it was there for us to enjoy.

At the courtyard facing the main street, the middle aged colored man was doing his gig and hitting the pots and pans in his great splendor. The spectators were amused. Nearby, was the attraction of the day. They were a bunch of anti- Bush administration who were in an ensemble of aprons in red and beige colors. They were encouraging people to throw away several pairs of shoes (sigh) on the US president's large scale portrait. This was done in the style of the Middle Eastern media man, who almost hit Bush on the head, and who later found a spot in the world news network, for striking a stateman. Did we get the shoes and joined a few of them? Nope. We were better than those imbeciles. Not that we are pro-Bush but husband and I do believe in good manners and right conduct. We advocate respecting other people regardless of race, color, age and political affiliation. After seeing this disturbing scenario, complete with a regalia of cameras, prompters and what-have-not, we had enough of it. We left shortly and headed towards the Ferry building where a battalion of people were walking excitedly. Inside, I suggested to husband to go have some coffee and pastries at Peete's Coffee and Tea while I proceeded to find the loo. Seconds later, he went on his way and I did find mine. It took a short minute, and then I was there.

Going to the ladies' restroom was frustrating because the line never seemed to end. However, after ten minutes or so, my turn came through. I entered the first available cubicle. There, time passed by so quickly. Once done, I washed my hands and wiped them out with a piece of white colored tissue paper. Later, I got out quickly, then walked past a crowd of people. Then, I noticed The Fish Store Restaurant that sells a variety of sandwiches, seafood and salads. There, I found myself getting glued to what I thought was an interesting haven for good food. Immediately, I was drawn to buying fresh oysters drizzled with cocktail dip, white horseradish, lemon and tabasco. Instinctively, I ordered two pieces of them. After a moment, I handed my payment to the young male vendor. I paid him three dollars for the two pieces of oysters which I then placed inside the rectangular box that had no cover at all. Minutes later, I was gliding and walking quickly to where husband was at Peete's Coffee and Tea.

"Surprise! I got us each an oyster!" I said in delirious thrill.

He grinned and responded, "Oh, you just can't resist it, can you?"

"Nope." I quipped.

Immediately, he stood up and offered me his seat. I thanked him and he said his monosyllabic, "welcome."

The place was getting to be swarmed by hungry visitors. It was noisy as well and poor husband was practically situated at the very end of the counter where a young college boy was grinding the black coffee beans. Apparently, he is one of the local employees there who was doing his share of labor to pay off his college fees. Obviously, husband was sitting there for quite sometime and improvised to use the counter as his "table" for lack of having it. It was that crowded he said~ that all he wanted ASAP was to find his space, pull a chair and to sit down. Ok, so now I understand why he had no table!

Once settled, I sat down at his chair and began piercing the oyster with a cocktail toothpick. Husband remained standing while he tried to take off the meat from the shell of his oyster. Then, we were both munching our juicy delight with much satisfaction. It was delicious! But, I had to pinch my nose time again from getting headaches because the horseradish took its toll inside my mouth, sinus, and skull. Yikes! All at once was an explosion of spices insidemy head that made it seemed to be cracking in orbit. Moments later, I asked desperately for husband to please hand me the bottled water he had with him earlier. I drank almost a third of it. After that brief moment of agonizing delight, we headed and walked at the back of the building where the bay of SFO could be seen in a closer perspective. Across us is the famous Bay Bridge. And outside, people from all ages and colors were walking rapidly, while others were shopping, eating, talking, waiting, sunbathing, and glorifying the day's promise of a warm weather amid cool breeze and bright clouds. In one corner near Sur La Table, I was hypnotized to find the farmer I knew who sells my favorite arugula leaves that I find to be enticing when added to a slice of rustic bread or green salad. When I saw her, the old lady with heavily tattooed body dressed in her tank top, looked at me with warm welcome. Initially, she was pacing back and forth to where her little corner of veggies was engineered by stalls of white canvas and steel. Around her were an orchestra of green supplies: chard, dill, arugula, cabbage, rosemary, parsley, sage, romain.

"Where is the arugula?" I asked.

"Oh, it's just there in front of you."

"Oh, ok. Thank you. May I taste it?"

She answered, "Sure, go have a bite."

I told husband, "Ok, I am buying this."

Finally, I got a plastic and filled them with the Italian leaves. I paid two dollars and twenty five cents for them.

As we began to walk further, I started to feel sick.

"I am nauseous. May be it was the oysters." (We had three more each, later upon my return from the restroom).

"But that is impossible." Husband quipped."We ate exactly the same thing but I don't feel sick."

" Yes.But I am more sensitive than you."

His shoulders went up for a little bit then he said, "Oh yes."

We walked some more to check on the lavender, kiwi, jams, cheeses, eggs, and wheat flour. After a while, I was really feeling sick.

"I feel very nauseous and I don't think I could stay any much longer."

"Ok, I need to take you home now." Husband said it firmly.

We walked faster than ever. As the traffic was building up in front of us, a cab was passing by slowly. Husband gestured and raised his right arm to signal the driver to stop. In a minute, he was in front of us and then, hestopped. I was just happy to note that we had a ride and that coming home would be fast and easy. We got in, me and husband. The drive was fast. Soon enough, the driver stopped by our alley and said,

"Be sure you did not forget anything. Have a great day you two!"

That was sweet of him. He was an elderly man from the Middle East.

While walking towards our alley and then to the entrance door of our flat, I was very exhausted and was ready to drop dead in our bed. I went straight to the bathroom and relieved myself from anymore discomfort.

Then, I went to bed and hugged my soft pillows.

I said,

"Now I know what made me sick. I ate two pieces of arugula. And they were not washed and cleaned yet. People were coming to see it, as in touch and go. So, that made me sick and not the oysters."

Husband was quiet as a zombie then went on to his office to do the accounting of our business. I went to nap and woke up just now, to write this entry for this week.

"When the Torres family calls, tell them we can have coffee together. I think I am good now and could join you all later this afternoon."

So this is how my Saturday evolved from the time we left home and gone back home.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Birthday On January 13th

My birthday this year was plain and simple except perhaps for the time I spent alone when I came to hear mass at noontime. Other than this, it was unique and quiet. Husband was out at work and I was at home, doing the office management. I realized that the older I get, simplicity works best for me. I don't expect outrageous gifts anymore. Things change when one matures.
When I was younger, I had secret wishes for extravagant desires. That is over now. Age gives wisdom and I believe I have it (laughs).

Still, I am touched when family and friends sent in their greetings by email, text messaging, snailmails, and overseas calls.

Really there is nothing much more memorable than being remembered especially when you are living overseas away from your nuclear family you originally came from.

Sunday before January 13th, husband and I decided to workout at the gym on California St. (24 Hour Fitness) after the 9 AM mass we attended at Notre Dame. We took our time and enjoyed our cardio, stretching plus weights routine. The finale was once again at the sauna where we were able to dedicate more time to enjoy the heat in this cold winter time. After that, we headed forth and walked from California St. to the Ferry building, wishing to see more of the farmers market. To our disappointment, there was no farmers market since it is winter. However, we thought there was one since the only way people in the Marina area could shop was through here. But we were mistaken. Nevertheless, the consolation was we were able to have some coffee and lemon scones at Peet’s Coffee and Tea. Moreover, my favorite upscale kitchen shop, SUR LA TABLE was open! There, I bought my alternative birthday gift. Yes! I had a choice and I selected one, a PASTA MAKER. It is an Italian brand, MARCATO and has an interesting features of four types to create from it, like spaghetti rotondi, lasagna, tagliatelle and taglierini.

Last year, in spring I think, husband bought me online, a RAVIOLI ROLLER from Canada. It was a perfect rolling pin because in one rolling, lots of raviolis are formed! However, the sad
part was, at that time, I didn’t have yet a pasta maker so the dough made on my KITCHENAID STAND MIXER was manually rolled and it was thick. Ideally, it should be thin. And although it looked great, and tasted delicious, the individual ravioli was a disappointment for me. Now, with this PASTA MAKER, I expected better results doing raviolis and or other homemade pasta types!

At SUR LA TABLE, I was also able to purchase cake and cookie decoration stuff like colored sugars, confetti, and gel candies. I also bought a tart pan that opens at the bottom so when you serve the fruit tart, the shape of the pastry does not get cut off or distorted.

Husband’s original choice of gift for me was a personal computer, the latest mini PC of ACER and HP that I had been eyeeing for last year. I thought they were handy and practical to have, small and ready to travel with me any time and any where. So, he gave me this PC gift to choose from these two contenders. They were both cute and to my liking. But there was a catch. ACER was less than a pound in weight, while HP was a little more. Excellent. But the features were minimal except for its WI-FI go-getter, and that is it. I bailed out. Although it was designed primarily for someone on the go, still it was not perfect. There is not much to these new PCs. It has the basic word program and that is it. To utilize your media needs, you need to add the accessory DVD player which for me is a deal killer. Why design a tiny PC when you have to attach accessories and carry them with you? That's a bummer! So, I told LITTLE BOY BLUE that he could get me this mini PC next year or the year after when the industrial design/technology has already improved. Still, I was thankful for his thoughts.

For my birthday, we had dinner at home. I made eggplant parmeggiano and homemade Amish white bread. I didn’t even drink white wine as I had enough the past days. And the past evenings, we have been eating out a lot at the Italian restaurants here in North Beach. We also had our share of Chinese and Thai dinners, so for a break- on my birthday this year on January 13th, we dined at home minus the pictorial, cake and wine. But it was a day deserving of fond memories. In the evening, I still went on to volunteer and be at the Porziuncola Chapel, two blocks from my domicile, where I stay on to guard it and guide visitors and inform them about its origin and history as a replica of the original St. Francis of Assisi Chapel in Italy. That one is awesome. I have been there in the late 1990s. This one in SFO is a beautiful replica of it, ¾ in scale as compared to the original. But everything else is all there, an original rock from the chapel that St. Francis built is one highlight of it, the stones used are from Assisi, plus the woods, etc. I will write an entry on this later.

Thanks to you all who remembered my birthday: my family~ Philip and family, Franco my brother doctor who is in Tunisia as of this writing, presenting his paper at the World Health Organization conference for cancer pain management; to Balloon and Emilie, my loving sisters; to Tito and Celia, my brother and his wife; to my charming niece Ann, thoughtful as ever, to Emily Putnam, my friend in Florida; to Inday, my friend from my old neighborhood- who called me from overseas; to Lulay and Nikki; to Bernice my friend from Australia who texted me; plus-Ute, my German friend who sent in her birthday card greetings, one week in advance, and to my better half, of course~ who always is there for me in good times and bad times as well. All these people added spice on my natal day’s quiet ceremony. And before I forgot, there was Brenda in Egypt who sent in her ecard.

As simple as it is, it was colorful in my heart and eventful in terms of memories. Thank you all!