Thursday, November 29, 2007

Coastal Trail

A brief but magical walk this evening.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dressing For Dinner

Last night was Emmy's 60th birthday. Every time I go next door, we sit in front of her new iMac and snap a photo with Photo Booth. This was our photo from last night. You can't tell from the photo, but I dressed up for the occasion. I wore black pants that weren't jeans. I wore shoes that weren't tennis shoes.

When it was time to move into the dining room, Tom stood up and one of my favorite socks fell off the back of his pants. Yesterday he told me to turn around and look. This evening I should have told him to turn around and look (in the mirror).

Footnotes: Emmy is the woman who beat me in every 5-k we ran together. She's still running them–not me!

John cooked an incredible dinner: first of all, icy cold Sauvignon blanc, garlic pretzels, cashews. Then, broiled salmon, baked potato wedges, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, bread with all kinds of seeds on it, butter, butter, butter, shrimp salad, and pear crisp with whipped cream and coffee. I even ate the Brussels sprouts.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Standing Backwards

I was shooting pictures of the ocean. Tom said, "Turn around and look behind you." Nice! Though normally I don't advocate turning your back to the ocean. We live on the side of that little hill behind the green hill. The green hill is Sutro Park.

Friday, November 23, 2007

History Repeats Itself

I forgot to make a pie yesterday! Even after Barbara e-mailed me the photo (below) of the desserts she had made. Even after reading about Sally's pie-baking adventures. To me the whole idea of pie-making is kind of a fairy tale. I was thrilled to be able to spend the day at my computer working on cartoons. But yesterday evening after our walk, it suddenly occurred to me: Oh my god! It's Thanksgiving and I forgot to bake anything! I decided to make Tom a cherry pie.

We ran into Safeway and bought King Arthur flour (that's the secret ingredient), cherries, butter and sugar. The thing that's a little sad is that exactly the same thing happened last year.
We haven't cut this year's pie yet. But as you can see above, we have our fine china and our ice cream scoop at the ready.

Barbara's bourbon-pecan tart with chocolate drizzle. The little tarts are pear-cranberry.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Thanksgiving walk

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Silly is in!

Scooping up the mail in our dark basement this afternoon I was thrilled to find this card proclaiming that Silly is in! Finally. Silly is in.

I bounded up the stairs singing:
I'm in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes
I'm in with the in crowd and I know what the in crowd knows

... only to discover when exposed to the light of day, that the card said SILKY is in.
Have a good evening.
I remain, as always, out with the in crowd.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Namowal, Choose Your Prize

1. Large, vintage-style dog house charms in assorted colors.
2. 6" Mirror Rainbow Mystic Yard Ornament
3. Lawn Flamingo Ornament with Turf & Christmas Lights.
4. Gingerbread House Kit: Preassembled and ready to decorate.

The winning entry

With his new shades, dental veneer and hair treetment, wally was keen to impress the model home across the street...

Damnitall Namowal, How does anyone else have a chance when you play?

Hint: An Old Song By The Doors

The Kindle comes out this Wednesday. (Can you guess the title of this post?)

It's a portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Thanks to electronic paper, a revolutionary new display technology, its screen is as sharp and natural as reading ink on paper—and nothing like the strain and glare of a computer screen. You can read it outside in bright sunlight. You control size of type. (Every book can be a large print book.) Wireless. No PC and no syncing needed. Using the same network as advanced cell phones, content is delivered using Amazon's wireless system, Whispernet. Unlike WiFi, you don't have to find a hotspot. No service plans, yearly contracts, or monthly wireless bills. Holds 200 books. All books are $9.99. Displays jpegs and gifs. It costs $399.

I'm sure if I owned one of these, I'd start reading again. How about you?

A beautiful article about the Kindle.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Visiting Mom: The Lighter Side

The last time Mom and I had our dinner and symphony night out, it was a fight to the finish. It took hours to get ready to go. Then with my bad sense of direction, it took me awhile to find the Choo-Choo, her favorite restaurant. We ended up in our seats at the Tivoli Theatre one second before the music started. So last night we made a resolution to stick to a meticulous schedule. We decided to start getting ready to go at 3:30.

At exactly 3:30, Mom's psych nurse knocked on the door. It was time for Mom's weekly session. (News to me.) But I was so glad to get the opportunity to meet her that I decided it was worth another fight to the finish. I asked if it was OK if I stayed. Marian said it was up to Mom, and Mom said yes.

Mom had forgotten who Marian was, and thought she had come to look at her arm, which was in a brace.

Psych Nurse: I'm not your physical therapist. I'm your mental therapist.
Mom: Can you do anything for my brain?
Psych Nurse: The question is, can you do anything for your brain. I see you get the newspaper.
Mom: Yes.
Psych Nurse: Do you get it every day?
Mom: Yes.
Psych Nurse: Do you do the crossword puzzle? Remember I told you to do crossword puzzles?
Mom, sheepishly: No. Would that really help?
Psych Nurse: Anything you do to exercise your brain will help your brain.
Mom: But I've just never been a crossword puzzle person. I like to read the paper. Does that count?
Psych Nurse: You read the paper? Marian looks at me. Does she retain ideas about articles she reads? Does she discuss what she's read on the phone with you?
I nod affirmatively, suddenly nervous that my ignorance of current events is about to be revealed.
Psych Nurse: What have you read about recently?
Mom: Stem .... stem ...oh, what are those little tiny things called.
And before I know what's happened, Mom and Marian are having a fight about the use of stem cells.
Mom: I'm for it! Our President isn't and I think he's making a mistake.
Marian: He isn't against it! He's just against using aborted fetuses! He's not against it.
Mom: He is against it. And why not use aborted fetuses? I think we should recycle anything that can be reused for the good of mankind, don't you?
Marian: He is not against it. You can't believe everything you read in the press.

Later, during intermission at the symphony having heard Peter Schickele's Unbegun Symphony and Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Me: Mom? Are you ready to go?
Mom: Are you?
Me: I really enjoyed the first half! I'd feel fine leaving now.
long silence
Me: Did you enjoy the first half?
Mom: No I didn't.
Me: Why?
Mom: I couldn't tell when anyone was making a mistake.
We stayed on for Haydn's Symphony 104, which she really enjoyed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Caption Contest

© Laurence F. Taylor

Pioneer Woman had a great idea. She held a caption contest and awarded a $350 Williams Sonoma gift card to the lucky winner. So I decided to copy her and have my own caption contest.

My friend Larry the architectural photographer shot this picture last week. The person who comes up with the best caption for it will win a magnificent prize. It won't be a $350 Williams Sonoma gift card. Good God: $350 is how much my new wedding ring cost. But rest assured, the prize will be marvelous.

The deadline is midnight Saturday, November 17. Leave your caption as a comment. The entries will be judged on Sunday. On Monday I'll announce the winner–and reveal the prize.

p.s. Just in from Georgia: a wonderful blog called Faces in Places.

p.p.s. Just arrived from Barbara Taylor! A necklace made by Laurence F. Taylor Architectural Photographer for me. After making one for every woman in the universe he finally made one for me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Buy One Get One Free ($399)

"The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During this time, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution ..."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Carrot on a Stick

Has it been worth it? All those trips to the farmers' market? This morning made 5 Saturdays in a row, and it was even raining. On our way back home, we stopped by Velvet da Vinci to pick up the ring Tom had bought me.

Me, placing my hand against the steering wheel to examine the ring, then on the gear shift, then against the upholstery, then on Tom's jeans, then waving it to a woman walking a beagle: What does this ring mean?

Tom: It's kind of like renewing a warranty. The old one was good for 30 years. This one will be good for another 30.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Migration Patterns of Laundry

Last year around this time I posted an image celebrating the migration habits of birds. This year, as the days grow shorter, my attention turns to the migration patterns of our laundry pile.

The pile begins and ends each day in the same spot. In the morning it wakes up on the little bar in the kitchen and moves into the living room, so Tom can find a place for his cereal bowl. Soon I get up. I'm shocked to find the pile in the living room–in plain view to anyone walking down the street, so the pile migrates into the bedroom. In the evening when it's time for bed, the pile settles itself back onto the little bar in the kitchen for the night. Exactly the same migration pattern takes place day after day. Sometimes the pile gets heavier and sometimes the pile gets lighter. Sometimes the pile changes color. But it always follows the same path.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Body Parts

Want to watch the parts wiggle? Step over here. Until I can put together a new illustration site, I'm going to begin using Blogger. Trying to add this section to my html site was preposterous. I ended up slapping it on top of the home page instead of gracefully integrating it.

I'll do the new site in Flash. I have someone in mind who I can ask for help. Fortunately it's someone with no business sense–none.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Eggplant is Fussy

I wanted to try making Eggplant Crisps, a recipe that Sally made up. I thought if I could make her recipe successfully that maybe I could make cartoons like hers. It's the way my mind works. In case you want to try this in your own home, Sally's notes are in black and mine are in blue.

Slice an eggplant thinly, maybe 1/3" and put garlic salt on both sides. Place between paper towels with something heavy over it for 1/2 hour at least. This pulls out the moisture. Have something standing by as a backup in case things don't work out (bag of cattle corn, upper right).

Preheat oven to 350. In blender make a paste of Parmesan, olive oil, a clove of garlic, some of those tasty small tomatoes that aren't cherry tomatoes, and chives or basil.

Don't forget to put the lid on the blender before you turn it on.

If the paste tastes good smeared on a cracker, it's good. I knew this would be my favorite part, and it was. Not only did the paste tasted good on crackers–it tasted great on tortillas and potato chips.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet right before cooking. Place slices on the sheet. Huh-oh. By the time I finish off the box of crackers spread with paste, it's gotten dark.

Place a thin layer of the topping on the slices. Don't do this in advance or the eggplant will soak up the oil and get soggy. Eggplant is fussy. Cook for about a half hour, should be bubbly on top but not burned, and if you're lucky they'll be crispy. They cooked for a half hour. They cooked for another half hour. Then they cooked some more. My paste never bubbled. Maybe I put too many tomatoes in. Maybe our oven is broken! Luckily we had leftover pizza in the refrigerator as well as the cattle corn.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Back on the Trail

Nothing I post will ever live up to the tongue movie (last post). But I did get back outside this evening! Back on the Coastal Trail for a short walk, anyway. Incredibly beautiful. Good smells, too. There's a tall patch of fennel we walk by that's utterly intoxicating. Getting out was so refreshing–I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to start posting daily still lifes from my desk.