Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Prompt: What's New

The event is called Writers With Drinks and it took place last night at the Make Out Room in the Mission. Ruth Ozeki was there. She’s my favorite writer. I hightailed it across town early so I’d have plenty of time to park beforehand.

And I actually found a place to park in the same block, but still. When I burst through the door and my eyes adjusted to the darkness I realized all the chairs, tables, and barstools were taken.

I ordered an absinthe (they actually had it!) and then another, in case someone tried to make conversation with me. Not good at talk, small or large, I found an out-of-the-way spot to stand against the far wall. A disco ball spun white flecks of light through the air.

Minutes later the disco ball spun purple and a silver cage descended from the ceiling.

“Who wants a Super Power?” asked Ruth. It was Ruth Ozeki herself! In the cage! She was speaking into a Mr. Microphone so everyone could hear.

“I do!” we all shouted. There was whistling and clapping.

“Line up, then, and take a chit!” She’d hit the Chipmunks voice button on the Mr. Microphone by mistake, but we knew she was serious. Everyone lined up.

“This really works,” the woman behind me said. “My life coach got a chit two years ago that said ‘Super Muscle’ and she was able to ride her bike home all the way up Telegraph hill in two minutes flat.”

“N-no way,” I stuttered, still a little comfortable speaking with strangers.

“Yes way,” said she. “But the next day the chit flew out of her pocket while she was riding up Mt. Tam, and now she can barely pedal at all. In fact, she barely makes it out of bed in the mornings. So don’t lose your chit.”

When I finally made it up to the cage, Ruth folded her hands around the Mr. Microphone and gave a short bow. Then she looked me in the eye and handed me a chit. 

On the chit was one word, “Chat.” And with that, I headed straight for a crowded table and squeezed in between David Koehn and Rose Caraway. My chit chat was working; my Super Power would never quit; I could not shut up and I haven’t since.

p.s. This is fiction.

Saturday, February 28, 2015



 Ocean Beach   6:08 p.m.

Friday, February 27, 2015

from the Coastal Trail   5:46 p.m.

Leonard Nimoy and his dachshund

Since Leonard Nimoy died today, I wanted to post a photo of him with his dachshund. The only info I could find about it was this by Leonard: "I was raised in a tenement neighborhood, where you couldn't have a dog. The first time I bought a house, I bought a dog."
Picasso and his dachshund

The sequence starts on April 19, 1957, the day that Lump met Picasso. Mr. Duncan, who had first photographed Picasso a year earlier, brought Lump along for the ride, largely because the dog did not get along well with Mr. Duncan’s other pet, an Afghan hound called Kublai Khan.

“Lump immediately decided that this would be his new home,” Mr. Duncan recalled in an interview on a visit to Paris, noting pointedly that “lump” means “rascal” in German. “He more or less said, ‘Duncan, that’s it, I’m staying here.’ And he did, for the next six years.”

Picasso was apparently equally entranced. That very day, he did his first portrait of Lump, a signed and dated portrait of the dog that he painted on a plate while having lunch with Jacqueline Roque, his new partner, whom he would marry four years later.



David Hockney and his dachshunds

"From September 1993, I painted and drew my dogs. This took a certain amount of planning, since dogs are generally not interested in Art (I say generally only because I have now come across a singing dog). Food and love dominate their lives.

"I make no apologies for the apparent subject matter. These two dear little creatures are my friends. They are intelligent, loving, comical, and often bored. They watch me work; I notice the warm shapes they make together, their sadness and their delights. And, being Hollywood dogs, they somehow seem to know that a picture is being made."

-David Hockney, from his book David Hockney Dog Days.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

E. B. White with Minnie.
While I work on pictures for a book about a dachshund named Rosie, I love reading E. B. White's stories about his dachshunds Fred and Minnie (E. B. White on Dogs).

White made no secret of his servitude at the hands of Fred, an irascible dachshund who lived in the household for 13 years, dying on New Year's Eve, 1948, "of his excesses and after a drink of brandy."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Very Windy Ocean Beach   6:11 p.m.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Since I'm scared of plants, we're considering filling our side alley with rocks instead. We found some we liked today at Broadmoor Landscaping in South San Francisco, and might buy a ton or two.

After looking at rocks we walked at Devil's Slide, formerly part of Highway 1. We used to drive on it to get down the coast to Barbara's Fishtrap and Half Moon Bay. Now that the new tunnel is finished, this road is closed to cars––but open to hikers and bikers. Such a great idea.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A cake J. Otto Seibold painted for the front window. Giant rhinestones are glued onto it.

Today I took the most incredible field trip. First I visited the Contemporary Jewish Museum to see J. Otto Seibold's exhibit.

Then I zoomed down to 3rd and Bryant to see another show: new paintings by Tucker Nichols at Gallery 16. Inspiration overload!



Tucker Nichols / Gallery 16

Tucker Nichols / Gallery 16

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Isn't this a great t-shirt? I'd had my eye on it for weeks. Pacific View Cleaners, where I have my jeans hemmed, sells very odd (and wonderful!) clothes and shoes. Today in honor of Chinese New Year's Eve, they were selling all their t-shirts for $10 apiece, so I snagged it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Since we both worked on February 14th, Tom and I celebrated Valentine's Day today by driving down the coast. We had lunch at Barbara's Fishtrap, and then stopped by Creekside Smokehouse to buy smoked salmon and smoked cheese. The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is in the same area, and that's where I took these photos. The tide was lower there than we'd ever seen it. When I woke up this morning I didn't feel rested or in the best of moods, but as I took these photos my mood and physical being changed. (For the better.) I've noticed this good change happening once or twice before as I've looked at things close up through a lens.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ocean Beach   6:03 p.m.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Pacheco Steps at Ocean Beach  5:29 p.m.