It started out this morning as I was sipping coffee and reading the paper and planning the work I’d be doing today. But then I got an email from my friend Dick that reminded me that, hey, today I deserve a break. Well, maybe deserve is too strong and I should just say that I stopped thinking about all the things I needed to do and started planning a day of recreation and treats.

So I made myself some more coffee and relaxed over the paper and then Segwayed down to the gym and had a nice little workout which I ended by knocking the last 45 seconds off the final stage on the Stairmaster. What a luxurious little treat

And then I jumped back onto the Segway and headed out toward the Civic Center/Hayes Valley for lunch, thinking at first of one of the pastrami sandwiches at Max’s Opera Plaza but then remembering their chopped chicken liver, which made me think of the fried chicken livers at Powell’s. Alas, even though I knew Powell’s had been forced to move a few blocks off Hayes by a huge rent increase when the area gentrified after the old freeway stub was torn down, I couldn’t remember exactly where it had gone.

But while I was looping around hunting it I spotted Citizen Kane, where I had previously eaten only their astonishing desserts, and stopped there. But as I was chaining up the Segway I got into conversation with a couple sitting out front; and it turned out that while they were waiting for another couple to have lunch at Citizen Kane, they also liked soul food and thought this other place that they couldn’t remember the name of over on Haight up from the Duboce triangle had better chicken livers than Powell’s.

Now really wanting my chicken livers, I got back onto the Segway and headed over to Haight Street but didn’t see any place that looked like it served soul food before I smelled delicious barbecue; but while I was following my nose hunting that, I spotted Raja and remembered their fabulous curried spinach with garbanzos and their excellent marinated roasted chicken and their fine naan and other good things on their all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.

So that’s what I ate…for the price of a dessert at Citizen Kane. Thirds on the spinach so as to balance out the last quarter of the naan.

And then on the way back here I stopped at the convenience store at Noe and 19th and admitted to Sami that his wife’s hummus, which I only recently discovered, is, like her baba ghanoush, the best I’ve ever eaten, and since I was right there, picked up a tub of it

Back here, for dessert, a high-acid nectarine with a spoonful of dark agave nectar and a slug of half-and-half.

When I got up from my afternoon nap, the weather had turned a bit hot; so I opened a 1.5 liter bottle I’ve been saving in my refrigerator for over a year for a Special Occasion when there were a bunch of people around to appreciate it – “Spa & Fruit lemon-cactus. Zonder Toegevoegde Suikers, Verrijkt met Vitamine C, Minder Calorieen met fruitsap en mineraalwater.” Yes, the famous “cactus sap” that I started writing about in my first Amsterdam tale. Without those added sugars, it’s not cloyingly sweet. Light and tart and delicious over ice on a hot afternoon.

To make up for not serving it to a bunch of people, I had several glasses as I listened to Gilbert Rowland playing Soler harpsichord sonatas while I surfed the Internet into the evening, scooping up much of the baba ghanoush with sesame corn chips.

And now it’s good and dark and the house is rapidly cooling off; and so I can complete the day without accomplishing a single thing, I’m going to bed early. Well, after another glass of cactus sap, this time with a shot of tequila in it. To help me sleep.

Tomorrow, back to my oars….and taking advantage of now being able to ride Muni for fifty cents, having beyond my wildest expectations somehow achieved sixty-five years of age.

Meanwhile, an arrangement for gym shoes and overhead wires:

gym shoes

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