Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ocean Beach Candy Box

p.s. Whatever you do, do not go see A Christmas Tale.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Not Quite Over It

It's hard for me to write about Thanksgiving. Mary Ann can do it. She seems well-adjusted in every way. Anyone who can write about Thanksgiving and not be: 1. sappy or 2. bitter deserves a medal of honor.

Thanksgiving has been a blog-blot for me before this year. Blog-blot means it's something I've ignored on my blog. My dad died a few days before Thanksgiving and that probably colors the holiday.

I write about tiny things–not political or world issues, and sometimes I feel funny about it. I'm thankful that Obama is elected–I admired the picture in the paper of his family serving Thanksgiving dinner to people in south side. And I'm sad about other violent things going on. I texted Aggles last night to ask her how she was after having spent two days with Mom, and she texted back: Stunned by events in mumbai.

On Thanksgiving morning before Aggles got there, I spoke with Mom. She said, "This is not a good Thanksgiving." On Thanksgiving evening she told me that at dinner someone had asked her how she liked her new living situation, and before she could think, she said, "Oh, it's terrible." These are the things that throw me for a loop.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving can be a big fat duffel bag stuffed with emotions: sad and tense and happy.

Some little big things I appreciated today:

Peet's coffee (Major Dickason)
Walking on the Coastal Trail
Shirts without sewn-in tags
My Wacom tablet
Joe Pass & Jimmy Rowles CD (Katy)
My Canon digital Elph
Detective Frost DVD (Barbara & Larry)
The Bonesetter's Daughter (Amy Tan)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yesterday afternoon Mom called in a great mood. Clare had come over and taken her to Barnes & Noble. Going to the travel section and looking at books on the Galapagos Islands changed her whole outlook on life. When I hung up, I felt free to take some photos. I tried shooting things on sand.

When Mom's happy, I can work. We never used to have this kind of connection. In fact, she used to drive me up the wall. And I know I drove her over the edge.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Keeping Up Appearances

Can you believe it? One of my rock photos made it into the Tate Modern.

OK, I lied. Mean Jean did it, and then Sally did it, so I hadda do it. And now you can, too! Go to Dumpr and upload an image of your own.

And oh, by the way. Have I posted my New Yorker covers? Since you may not have seen them on the news stand, I'll run them by you.

This one is called Find Yourself:

And this one is called Feelings.


Friday, November 21, 2008


I have $500 in cash, so I took Tom out to dinner tonight at Cajun Pacific. A few months ago he had assured me that Obama could not win. He wanted Obama to win but he was sure Obama couldn't win.

Me: How much do you want to bet?

Tom: Five dollars.

Me: Oh please. Put your money where your mouth is.

Tom: OK. Five hundred dollars.

We shook on it.

Today I'm overwhelmed by happiness at this news: Word of Cabinet appointments by President-elect Barack Obama flew fast and furious late Friday afternoon: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), his archrival for the Democratic nomination, is his choice for secretary of state...

I know there's a lot of politics (ha!) involved; but still, it's my dream come true. That they'll work together.

On another note, I knew as I was straightening my hair that tonight–going out with Tom–would be one of the best nights of my life. For no reason other than we're still together after having met in Whitney Leland's drawing class in 1973, and we're both still alive. (My dad died when he was 48 and my mom was 46.) We still like each other most of the time. We're still shy. But we like wine and gumbo and movies. I'm also happy because A Christmas Tale opened today at the Bridge, at the edge of our neighborhood right down Geary.

Good night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bedtime Story: Chapter 2

© Linda Davick
Namowal asked: What mode of transportation will our friend be using? Helicopter? Flying ship? Hogwarts style train? Giant Grasshopper (with seatbelts?)

This cat will be taking the subway, as shown.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bedtime Story

© Linda Davick
Here we are bright and early at Grand Central Station in Sea Ranch, California. This cat's headed to the big city for an overnight adventure. His girlfriend Mabel is singing at the Glas Kat. He's already reserved a private room at the Pontiac Hotel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Kiss and a Hug

I bought a bag full of these charms last Thursday night ON SALE. God!!
I can't get enough of the macro setting on my camera. When I'm pushing the button down halfway to get the image in focus–and I'm seeing the image come into focus–it's like taking a bite of gooey triple-layer fudge cake. The charms are actually about half the size that they appear in the photo.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


© Linda Davick

Today I was back outside shooting close-ups of little objects and getting extreme pleasure from it. I wondered what the heck I was doing. Then at lunch I happened to read an article in today's Chronicle that offered 5 Tips for an Inviting Holiday Table:

1. Make a centerpiece from what's in your garden and refrigerator. (GROSS!)

2. Always have a light source on your table. (Yes. Candles are nice.)

3. Leave the wine and water on the table so guests can feel free to serve themselves. (YES! YES! A thousand times, YES!)

4. Mix family heirlooms and keepsakes with new things for a modern combination. (blah, blah, blah.)

5. ...have amuse-bouches waiting at the table when guests are seated... ) WHAT!!?

I jumped out of my chair. Amuse-bouches??? The word thrilled me. Suddenly I knew what I had been shooting all this time were none other than amuse-bouches.

I looked up amuse-bouche in the dictionary. No such word. I googled it, and according to Wikipedia:

An amuse-bouche[1](\'ä-müz-'büsh, -muez-\),[2] also called an amuse-gueule, is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouche are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are according to the chef's selection alone. These, often accompanied by a complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.

The term is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser" [for bouche = mouth; amuser = to amuse, to please]. The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches.[3] The original French word, more frequently employed, is amuse-gueule (gueule is slang for mouth but in fact means animal's mouth (one word in French)), although amuse-bouche is more often used on menus in fine dining restaurants.[4]

Even though I had photographed each object on a pink tablecloth, "mouth amuser" was not quite right. But close. Mine were more "eye amusers." So I looked up eye in French and discovered that what I'm making might be amuse-oeil. Not as fun to say as amuse-bouche, but I'm on the right track in figuring out what I'm doing.

But say you were making amuse-bouches (mouth-amusers, not eye-amusers) for your guests. What would they be? Mine would be a tiny chocolate cupcake, thick frosting, with a pastel buttermint on top. A charm would be in the center of each cupcake. On second thought, I'd probably hire Mari to make my amuse-bouches. Tom said his amuse-bouche would be one garlic shrimp on top of a noodle.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Proof that Pluto is a Planet

Ava Bussman

By now it's obvious that my readers are much more interested in The Pluto Debate than in hearing me go on about my daily life. So I thought I'd post this chart I found in Ava's room to lure you back, and to prove once and for all that not only is Pluto a planet, but it's a purple planet. (See arrow.)

Today is the first day in 3 months that I haven't talked to Mom on the phone. Usually she calls during the day, and then again after she's eaten dinner.

Yesterday morning she called frantic because she couldn't get in touch with Aggles. She said she had left four messages for Aggles and had not heard back. She was worried that Aggles didn't have enough food and was convinced that Aggles didn't have a refrigerator in her apartment. I assured her that Aggles had plenty of food and reminded her that Aggles worked in an office during the day and couldn't answer her phone while she was working.

But back to today. I haven't mentioned one of the best discoveries we've made lately. It's a service called Tennessee Home Helpers run by Clare Parker. Her business provides dependable, lively, interesting people to help elderly people out. They help out any kind of people, really.

Clare recently introduced Mom to a woman named Journey, and they seem to have hit it off. Journey will be visiting Mom for a couple of hours three times a week. Wednesday Journey took Mom to the main living area to get a haircut–Mom has to have someone accompany her when she leaves her hall, which is locked–and then she stayed and ate dinner with Mom. Tonight she's taking Mom out to dinner and to see a play that her cousin's in.

But back to Clare, who runs the business. She's an amazing person: smart, intuitive, and fun. Her husband runs the part of the business that does repairs and handy work for people. Last Friday Clare and her husband John picked Mom up and took her on a drive to Monteagle Mountain to see the fall leaves and to have lunch. Folks, this is not your average sitter service.

But back to my conversation with Mom yesterday. She said, "I think tonight's the night Nature? ... No, Travel? ... is taking me out."

Me: Mom! You mean Journey! (we both laugh). No, That's tomorrow night.

From: Linda
Date: November 14, 2008 2:25:18 PM PST
To: Aggle

Aggle, Mom hasn't called today! I don't know whether to be happy or worried SICK. (I think I'll be happy.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forget Meditation, Forget Nachos

Pluto's what matters.

From: Aggles
Subject: There are 9
Date: November 13, 2008 5:52:09 AM

Don’t know if you communicate w/ StrayG other than through your blog but if you do here’s a little something for her. It’s my favorite picture from the uproar over the demotion of Pluto.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Aggles' Nacho Meditation

Aggles tailored this meditation technique especially for me:

Here’s a nice little meditation for you to experiment with. Set a length time for however long you’d like to do this – 8 to 10 minutes is plenty fine.

Sit somewhere nice and comfortable and close your eyes lightly. Let your awareness settle on any physical or emotional sensations going on. Just gently feel the sensations. No need to analyze or give words to them. (If words come just let them flit away as you go back to being aware of the sensation.) If no sensations in particular come forth just very lightly become aware of your sensation of your breath in your nose as you inhale and exhale.

When your 8 to 10 minutes is up, do a stretch or two for a minute or two (still sitting) until you’re ready to get up. Light activity is always nice after this. I suggest eating nachos or throwing a load of laundry in the washer.

Don’t hassle the meditation. It will be what it will be. It will take you where you need to go. Don’t be concerned w/ whether or not you are doing it right. Let it go. No need to analyze the experiment or analyze the after effects in your daily life. No need to search for evidence that this is “working.” Let it go and eat some chips and dip.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Low Tide

I've never considered myself a social person, but I'm so surprised by how good it feels to get comments from my friends when I post something sad. I think I depend on people an awful lot.

When I first started blogging I attended a get-together in San Jose. At the time I didn't know anyone personally who blogged and so I was really hungry to meet other women who blogged.

Through this conference I came into contact with some interesting women and made careful lists of their blogs. But when I returned home I found that most of the blogs I had collected were written by depressed writers who were going through crisis after crisis. I got the impression that you had to be troubled in order to write a respectable blog. I read several of the blogs on my list avidly for a few months, but the crises never seemed to let up and then I had had enough. Such an oddball introduction to blogging made me never want to be that kind of blogger.

So thanks for listening and for the comfort you give. Luci even sent me this photo of her son's new collection: paper airplanes. It knocked me off my feet! She says he makes a new one each day, so there will be more and more.

Happy Birthday, Katy

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Warning: Not A Pretty Picture

Today I woke up in a good mood and made a plan. I decided I would be happy no matter how today's phone conversation with Mom went.

Around 4:00 I was winding down, and starting to get a little anxious. I knew Mom would be calling. I was tired, so I lay down but couldn't fall asleep. The phone rang and it was Mom.

Honey, I can't find my toothbrush. I haven't been able to brush my teeth for days. My teeth feel like carpet.

Me: Mom, I know you said you found your toothbrush on the floor yesterday. I told you to wash it off. Did you?

Mom: I tried to. But now it's disappeared again. What can I do? ... And how long will I be here? Can you tell me that? And why am I here?

Me: I'm going to call the front desk and see if they have a toothbrush. I'll call you right back, OK?

I get in touch with Mona, who's in charge of Mom's hall. She tells me that she was just in Mom's apartment 20 minutes ago and found her toothbrush and put it in her hand. But that she'll go back and find it again. I call Mom back.

Me: Hi, Mom! Mona's on her way over to help you find your toothbrush.

Mom: Oh, wait a minute, Honey. Mona's here, with another grown-up.

I hear Mom exclaim: Where did you find that? And I hear Mona tell her, Exactly where I put it before ... I'm going to go ahead and put toothpaste on it for you, and get you in your pajamas, OK?

I ask Mom to call me back once she's brushed her teeth and she agrees. A half hour later the phone rings.

Me: Mom, hi! So did you brush your teeth?

Mom: NO!

Me: Well why not?

Mom: I just ate!

Me: (laughing) Oh, OK. But you know where your toothbrush is, now, right?

Mom: No! And I'm really worried because I'm afraid that bug is going to reappear any minute.

Me: Bug? What bug?

Mom: He went behind the cushions.

Me: How big was he?

Mom: Oh, about half the size of my index finger.

AGGGGHHH! You might have to pull the fire alarm and evacuate the building.


Me: Oh nothing. That's awful. Well, guess what. We have bugs, too.

Mom: I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight.

I meant to ask you ... Did you get to watch Keeping Up Appearances last night?

Mom: I'm not sure. I meant to. I had it marked. ... Oh!

Me: What's wrong?

Mom: My nose is bleeding.

Me: Is it bad?

Mom: Yes, it's pretty bad.

When I hang up Tom asks me if I'm ready to go for a walk. Then he says: What happened? Take it off and go soak it in cold water.

I look down and see that the front of my shirt has blood on it and I realize I've been digging my nails into my neck the whole time I've been talking to Mom.

Tom and I walk on the Coastal Trail. I'm in a terrible mood. Everyone's in my way. Why do people walk three abreast? I step on a little orangish poodle's foot as I'm trying to pass his family. The poodle screams and I apologize profusely. It's too late. My plan didn't work and I've fallen into the abyss.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Liver Lover

order your plush toy liver here

Do you like to have a drink or two in the evening? Does your doctor caution you about your liver? If so, here's a recipe I call the Liver Lover. I learned about this from Mary Ann last year. Since then I've made sure to knock back one Liver Lover every evening without fail, and so far my liver remains intact.


1 cup of hot water
(or room temp. if in hurry)

juice of one lime
(or healthy squirt from screw-top plastic lime)

Mix and swallow. Uncork bottle of wine and drink with impunity.

If you're the kind of person who finds it tedious to follow a link, here's the nitty gritty straight from Mary Ann's blog, which she actually cut and pasted from Ms. Beetnik's Breast Cancer Adventure blog:

Every time I go to see Efrem Korngold at Chinese Medicine Works, he works on my liver because my liver, which is an incredibly important organ, is weak. Like the majority of other Americans, I've led a life of excess ... too many unhealthy, over-processed foods that have had all the nutrients sucked or bleached out of them, too much work and not enough play, too much worrying about money money money ... all of which overtaxed me and my poor liver.

What happens when your liver isn't working optimally? Well, its job is to rid your body of numerous nasty toxins. If that doesn't happen, you end up f....cking yourself over in oh so many ways ...

But if you don't want to do acupuncture or get the herbs, here are two simple tips for strengthening your liver: 1) Drink a cup of hot water with the juice of one lime in it every day (or as often as you want), and 2) Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. a day of lecithin granules to your diet.

Efrem said that the lime drink is like "giving your liver a big hug."

Thanks, Mary Ann–although it worries me a little that I can't seem to locate Ms. Beetnik or her blog anymore.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Still Celebrating

Happy about the election, today I celebrated by getting a blue streak. You can, too. Go to Acme Head and Body and ask for Kimberly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

Here's one of those stories that makes it impossible for me to cancel my subscription. About an architect named David Trachtenberg, I read it at dinner along with takeout from Pagan on Clement.

"I think simplicity is a virtue," Trachtenberg said of his designs. "It's hard to make things simple. It's easy to make things complicated." He never worries about creating too simple or severe a space because "buildings are the stage on which lives are lived." Simply put, human lives fill out built spaces.

Another taste:

"One of the secrets of old buildings is they have a very limited materials palette," Trachtenberg said. "Any old, indigenous building has what's locally available. They had one kind of stone and a couple kinds of trees they could use, and maybe somebody made a clay tile." In charming old places, such as Italian hill towns, people unconsciously sense and appreciate the "rightness of the buildings," primarily because of their limited palettes, Trachtenberg said. In houses built today, he said, materials from India, China and Kansas are used, creating an unworkable hodgepodge.

Monday, November 03, 2008

A Good Question

It's fun reading other people's mail, isn't it? Here's part of an e-mail message I received today: (Names have been changed to protect the lazy writer's identity)

... Today is my sister’s birthday. Andrew was busy making her gift last week. He used in conjunction to his “science” experiment. He had totally forgotten to inform his teacher that Jean does not live close by anymore. Now they are wondering how to ship her gift without it melting on the way. In the midst of economic instability, my sister quit her job and moved to San Diego. Jean has the need to accomplish more. She is competitive, driven, and focused in her goals. She knew that she had reached the highest she could in her previous job, and was not willing to complacently wait for her boss to retire to get the top spot. She moved on to a bigger field with more space to expand and endless possibilities. I did not know about this until I heard it second hand from my aunt.

I am known for my non-ambitious nature in the family a.k.a. lazy. But I do admire my sister’s boldness in taking the step to expand her wings. I understand her need to fly and soar. Every persons have different songs that they soul sing. It’s just while singing their song, they should never forget that their worth is never determined by how well they sing their song.

As a very lazy person with not much things to brag about I learned to understand my worth not from my accomplishments or my knowledge. Such things do not last. One can be brilliant, let’s say, in music. Then something happened to his playing hands. Poof, the gem is gone. One can be a genius. A nasty bump to the head scrambles his brain. Kapoosh, the gem is gone. Worth must go further than skill and talent. What do you based yours upon, Linda? What makes your soul sing? What makes you feel confident? What do you based your worth upon?

This question really bothers me. So I want to skip over me and move on to you. What do you base your worth on?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dharma Mix

I don't see how you could, but if you get tired of listening to All the Road Running after hearing it 700 times, you can download Pandora and create your own radio station. It's amazing. Or, you can make a dharma mix to listen to as you jog.

I listened to a talk by Eugene Cash this evening and have already downloaded The Dharma of Food for my next walk.

Then, when you get back home and you're starving, you can uncork a bottle of Meridian Pinot Noir and make a batch of Dharma Mix. Here's how:

Find a bowl. An empty bowl. Pour a bag of Trader Joe's Oriental Rice Crackers into the bowl. Add all the little bags of airplane peanuts you've saved. Mix well. Do you have any leftover Butterfinger bars from Halloween? Crumble and sprinkle liberally on top. Dharma!