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Sunday, September 16, 2018

As the (Upstart) Crow Flies

Upstart Crow is a charming bookstore-cafe in Seaport Village, SanDiego,  where I like to write while drinking coffee.

When I Googled it yesterday I found out that it's closing this year due to redevelopment. I tried to submit a review of it to Trip Advisor, but I was politely told that, although they value my input, my most recent visit was too old to be useful for its site.

So here is an approximation of what I submitted to Trip Advisor.

Books Plus Coffee = Bliss

Since we discovered Seaport Village about 1986, we've visited Upstart Crow whenever we were in San Diego, which is about twenty times. I get a cup of coffee, sit at my favourite table by the window, and work on my novels. If my writing goes well, I treat myself to a slice of chocolate layer cake. 

Besides books and writing notebooks, I've found a delightful range of quirky gifts and cards here. I own two Upstart Crow t-shirts, as well as one that wore out, which read, "Careful or I'll put you in my novel" in black Courier typeface on a white background.

Soon I will visit Upstart Crow for what will be the last time because it is closing.

On my most recent visit, in February 2016, I noticed two crows on the hill outside the window. I like to think that one of those crows is the ghost of Shakespeare, checking on his namesake bookstore.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Of Cabbages and Kale

If  I'd ever wondered whether I was still intolerant of cabbage, I got my answer
last night.

My favourite restaurant changed its side vegetables for the salmon. Although that pretty, tasty vegetable sitting on top of the lentils looked innocent, alas, it was not.

Intolerance isn't an allergy, but it can make you miserable for hours.

Of Cabbages and Kale

The thought of cabbage makes me quail
And long to drown in Carlsberg Ale.

Repeated stabs of gaseous pain
Make cabbages my diet bane.

Although they've lots of Vitamin K
I'd rather get it some other way. 

From Antique Piano & Other Sour Notes, Deco Owl Press
Copyright Barbara Etlin, 2014, all rights reserved

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sinatra's Hat



by Barbara Etlin

Never thought much of
Old Blue Eyes.
To me he was always
just a second-rate Rat Packer.

So I was surprised to find him last night
standing in the living room
of the house where I was a child.

I was wearing my straw fedora
as I always do, for sun protection.
He wore one, too,
and Frank Sinatra said to me,

"Nothing looks stupider
than a hat worn inside."

I said that
Bogie always looked good in his,
indoors or outdoors.

Then Frankie
(he was Frankie to me by then)
told me about the time
he borrowed Bogie's new black Jaguar
and wrecked it
when he drove it
off the cliff into Topanga Canyon.

When I woke
I remembered
that I needed to buy
some rat poison.

Copyright, Barbara Etlin, 2018, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Paul McCartney

says, "You Can Drive My Car" and lots more...

when he's doing Carpool Karaoke with James Corden

in Liverpool

in this fab 23-minute video.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Mellow as the Month of May

As  self-appointed  Official Tulip Greeter

 I am ecstatic to Officially Announce



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Truth About Santa

Last Friday night, I discovered the truth about Santa.

We had been in all day and I was relieved when M suggested going out for a late dinner.

After ordering pizza at a restaurant in the mall, we started talking to a man at the table opposite us. We commiserated about the freezing weather. He offered us the use of a portable heater which the restaurant had provided.

At the far end of the mall, a choir was singing. "That's Charlie Brown's Christmas Theme," I said to M. It was one of the few Christmas songs I like. (We actually avoid the mall as much as possible at this time of year because of the repetitive holiday music.)

Our neighbour finished his coffee and packed up his laptop.

"Time to go home to my family," he said. "Keep warm and have a very happy holiday!"

We wished him the same.

After we finished dinner we asked the waitress for the bill. She said that we were only being charged for M's dessert. The rest of our meal had been paid for by the nice gentleman with the laptop!

Santa isn't that guy in the red suit at the other end of the mall, where the kids line up to ask for presents and to be photographed.

He's a middle-aged guy with a laptop and a family, who showed kindness and generosity to
strangers who don't even celebrate Christmas.

Warmest wishes for the holiday season!