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small orange square This morning I made waffles - I'm eating the last one now, like a cookie. I'm a bit of a waffle king, as was my father before me. He's always had a waffle iron around the house, and Saturday mornings (or sometimes Sundays) he holds forth in the kitchen, using the same sourdough recipe I use, waffles or pancakes. I started practicing the art in high school, using his electric model or the new (to him) Griswold cast-iron stove-top model with the ingenious ball & socket hinge. I have a big double-square electric with art deco grooves in its lid (naturally its old, pre-teflon - you gotta have seasoned metal for good waffles.) I've had this one twenty years now; others have also passed through my kitchen but never proved superior. The dried blueberries from Trader Joe's were not a success; no way would their grittiness be mistaken for real blueberries. I even tried with some soaked in water overnight - still no good. I've heard that some of the blueberries you get in commercial muffins & such are actually treated chunks of apple.

small green square It's already the last Saturday of April? Where does the time go? I'm listening to Garrison Keillor, as is my weekend custom. Tonight's show is broadcast from somewhere in upstate New York called Potsdam <1>. People were talking about last winter's big ice storm, when the locals (along with their trans-border neighbors in Ontario & Quebec) had no juice for several days. Lessons learned: one kid said "No matter how long the power is out, you still try the light switch".

small red square So I'm looking at this big new chunk of furniture I bought today, this geometric slab of a mattress set. There's several mattress stores near me along el Camino Real <2>; I've been scrutinizing two of the closest. The first one, larger, turns out to be an outlet for a major name (Serta) - they had many models but hardly any stock on hand - I'd have to wait a day or two for delivery. And I didn't like the clerk. Exit, and on to the next one - a hole in the wall with "Factory Outlet" in basic neon. This clerk I couldn't help liking - he was like Santa Claus in mufti. To a leaving customer he said he had ten children, twenty-five grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. I was awed to be in the presence of such a virile bull-breeder. Father Christmas, indeed. Their mattresses were cheaper, their name? Apparently "Americana", whatever - feels good. As to be expected I feel uneasy, having something I can't fit in my car, so it's a struggle for me to invest in a bed - I don't want to be out much if the thing has to be abandoned. Now it's in the living room - in a day or two I'll swap out the futon in the bedroom, in here just to roll it up against the wall as a crude couch.

small yellow square The AFI Theater is in the Kennedy Center - it's one of my favorite cinemas - the seats are getting kind of worn, but there's no concession stand! During my recent three years back in DC, I saw these films there (in this order):

Red Desert
Antonioni - walked out twice, from boredom; but returned both times due to curiosity. Later I rented the video
The Guns of Naverone and the Battle of the Bulge
They were doing this fifty-years-later WWII thing...
A Taxing Woman
Wacky Japanese fun with a lady tax collector and the Yakuza
The White Rose, Oben/Unten, Neues Deutschland, Berlin Report
Love them Deutschers!
Mata Hari
Just who was Greta Garbo? Now I know.
The Lost Weekend
I like to see this film every few years - it's so weird!
Charade and To Catch A Thief
Because it was there.
Sweet Sweetback's Baad Assss Song
"Go Sweetback!" How times have changed.
Follow Through
Some really peculiar fluff from the early 1930's involving rich people & golf
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
read the book, loved the movie
A Face In The Crowd
Andy Griffith (as an Elvis) and Patricia Neal
Baby Doll
Karl Malden, Eli Wallich, from two plays by Tennessee Williams
After a couple hours I walked out; like "La Dolce Vita", I got the idea, but it just got too wearying

small blue square So today I explored Berkeley a bit. On a whim I drove up to the City & across the Bay Bridge this morning, after the waffles. Had no real objective in mind, except to secure a map - I know so little of Berkeley, this was only my third visit. Hit four used & other bookstores - the ("Professor Pathfinder's") map came from "Shakespeare & Company", on Telegraph - I didn't know they had a branch here <3> that is, if it is related - whatever, it's almost next door to the original "Amoeba Music". (This being the center of the Telegraph Ave "action".) On the sidewalk here, the permanent revolutionary bumper-sticker salesmen - one had burlap sacks with bogus weed company labelings: Colombian, Humboldt, Mexican. Down the street a place called "Half-Price Books" looks intriguing - it has those cobalt-blue tiles I dig around its door. A big façade of that stuff can be found at Channing & Shattuck where the "Manga-Manga Cafe" lives. Also looked into "Moe's Books", a huge store (the first I knew with a web presence). Another visit, Moe needs. I wasn't spending much time at all inside these stores, because right now (unusual for me) I'm not actively hunting down any titles - I've a shelf-full at home "To Be Read". Finally located "Dark Carnival" - it's an SF bookstore with statuary and nooks & crannies - kind of like "Dangerous Visions" (on Ventura in LA, in The Valley). This was near the Clairmont Hotel, a vast place which must be like San Diego's Coronado or the Huntington in Pasadena, unknown to me until today.

AFI - American Film Institute

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<1>sudden flash of the true Potsdam - riding the above-ground S-Bahn train along the Wannsee for most of an hour, to visit the palace-park of Sans Suicci, in 1994 Back

<2>El Camino is the main drag near my apartment - find my earlier discussion here. Back

<3>The real "Shakespeare & Company" being in Paris. Hemingway, Joyce, Gertrude Stein & etc hung out there in the 1920's. Inside there's many comfy chairs & fireplaces among the books. During my 1978 London-Paris-Berlin tour I got a copy of The Fountainhead there, which upon finishing I left in a pedestrian underpass near the Ernst-Reuter Platz. I've got a "Shakespeare & Company" postcard here; David sent it to me in December 1981 - this was just a couple months after he'd abandoned LA & the States for his own Paris/Continental period. Its got a testimonial under an exterior sketch: "The bookstore Henry Miller calls a wonderland of books." Part of David's message is "Somebody told me the other day that Paris is where good Americans go when they die. Hmmm" Back