Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Have lots of fun while I'm gone.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Dinner With Me

Last night I decided to prepare a special holiday dinner for me, myself and I. Before I went out for my walk I took a chance. I plugged in the Christmas lights which were still in a wad by the table. Maybe the house would catch on fire, but it would be worth it in case it didn't and I could walk back in in the dark and be surprised by the lights.

The jog was great. It was cold and windy. I listened to my Beatles Pandora station. I ran into Anne and Peter. I filled my pockets with stones and glass.

I got back and was greeted by a twinkling pile of lights, and no smoke from house fire.

I had planned my mostly-Trader Joe menu before I left:


$5.95 bottle of Prosecco Sparking Wine


One of John's chocolate chip cookies

One Trader Joe's The Art of Chocolate/A selection of beautifully crafted Belgian miniatures (keep going until I get to the peanut butter one)

One ginger snap left behind by Tom (Perfect for Those with Glutin Sensitivity)

Small bowl of candy coated chocolate covered sunflower seeds for good health

One dark chocolate covered Espresso Bean

Main Course

One Trader Joe's Maryland Style Crab cake on toasted bun with tartar sauce and Romaine lettuce

10 Baby carrots, pre-peeled


Small slab Gethsemani Trappist Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Fudge

Leftover coffee from breakfast


Yo-Yo Ma / Songs of Joy and Peace

The only problem: I discovered the crab cakes were supposed to have thawed for 24 hours before cooking–and they were frozen solid. So I was forced to change the menu midstream to Trader Joe's Authentic New Mexican Chicken Chile Verde over rice. But still I would call the evening a resounding success. So much so that I wasn't even able write about it until this morning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Accidental Mysteries

I have a phenomenal treat for you today. I met John Foster, who started the blog Accidental Mysteries, when I went to St. Louis last February. This is one of the drawings he posted today. You have got to read the story that accompanies it. Pour yourself a glass of wine and go over there right now.

Accidental Mysteries is a blog about photography, design, art, architecture, ephemera, found objects, outsider art, folk art, self-taught art, illustration, beauty, esoterica, auctions, discovery, art environments, mystery, vintage stuff and the magic that can be found in everyday things.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two Nice Things

Nice Thing #1

At 4:30 this morning I took Tom to the airport. I was feeling a little strange all day. Then ... the doorbell rang, and I found a mysterious package outside on the porch. I saw Mari's name on the return address and ripped into it with a big smile on my face.

You may not know this, but Mari makes things other than cookies. And this is one example. I'm actually showing what she silk-screened on the back of the apron–but as you can see, the fish on the front are pure delight.

So my mood started to change. I knew I had class tonight ... and that if only I could strike up a conversation with someone, my loneliness might go away completely for awhile.

Nice Thing #2

On Dec 18, 2008, at 1:08 PM, Jamie wrote:

linda those beach finds in the candy cups are the most gorgeous thing I've seen in weeks. I just drug my co-worker, Dora, over to my screen to look. We are delighted here at InTouch magazine!

From: Linda
To: Jamie
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2008 13:20:32 -0800

Aw, thanks, Mr. Lipps. What's the latest from InTouch? Something special that nobody knows, that I can casually drop into conversation tonight at class.

From: Jamie
Date: December 18, 2008 1:23:19 PM PST
To: Linda

former child star Jodi Sweetin, of TV's "Full House", is accused of being a DANGER TO HER DAUGHTER.

Thank you, Jamie. Problem solved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ocean Beach Treats

I had this idea to shoot things found on Ocean Beach in little paper candy cups. I looked half-heartedly for empty candy cups.

Then in Walgreen's I spotted some candy cups with candy included: Ferrero Rocher Chocolates. I thought why not buy the candy too? It's Luci's favorite candy. And if I can't get them in the mail for some reason, it's easy enough to eat the candy myself. That way, I'll save money by having free paper candy cups to use for my photo.

Note to Luci: I wasn't able to get the candy in the mail.

He was there again this evening:

Monday, December 15, 2008


Today and yesterday Mom couldn't keep food down. This morning when I talked to her and asked her how she was feeling, she said that something was very wrong with her psyche.

This afternoon when I asked if her stomach hurt, she said no–that she just hurt all over. That what she felt was sadness.

On a day like today, it really helps to run into someone like this (Peter).

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Tom took over my computer all day to work on an arty DVD project. So late this afternoon I went for a solitary jog. It was cold. Can you tell from the photo? Windy, too. The only problem is that I returned home ravenous and by the time I came to my senses, I had finished off Barbara's chocolate pecan biscotti.

I'm really glad not to be at an office Christmas party this evening. I'm sure those of you who know me well will be shocked to hear that.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2 Confessions: TomToms and Slim Jims

Confession #1: TomToms

Mom: Journey was over here today!

Me: I know, Mom! She came in while we were talking this afternoon. Did you two go anywhere?

Mom: We went for a ride ... But Honey! Do you know what a TomTom is?

Me: Well I know Journey sings and plays the flute ... Is it a drum? Did Journey bring a drum over?

Mom: NO! (laughs uproariously). It's a little tiny thing in her car. It's called a TomTom. I can hold it in one hand. I held it in my right hand. It has a glass front. But you can't see through the glass. You tell it where you want to go and it talks back to you! It tells you when to turn right or left! How does it work? That's what I can't figure out.

Before we hung up, I warned Mom that she might not be able to get in touch with me tonight, as it's Friday and Tom and I might go somewhere. Not to mention that this was the third time we had talked today.

When we finally did hang up I googled TomTom to check up on this business, and it took me straight to I saw an array of tiny instruments with glass fronts that talked to you. My 89 year-old Mom with dementia introduced me to TomTom's.

This evening instead of going to a movie or out for a drink, Tom and I went for a jog on the beach. We were stretching in the dark when my phone rang. I saw that it was Mom. The wind was howling; it was cold; I was tired; I didn't answer. When we got home my phone beeped signaling a message. (A ten-minute message!) I was too tired to listen. A few minutes later my phone rang again. I sighed and picked it up.

Me: Hello?

Mom: Honey! How are you? Say, do you know what a TomTom is?

Confession #2: Slim Jims

Our mouse was not the slightest bit interested in our Hav-a-Heart trap. When we told Larry that we put organic peanut butter in the trap he laughed. Everybody knows that mice don't like organic peanut butter! He said his professional pest control person uses a Slim Jim cut up into tiny pieces, and that Slim Jims work every time. It's a fundamental truth that rodents love Slim Jims.

So we got rid of the organic peanut butter traps and Tom came home with another trap and a Slim Jim. I ripped open the Slim Jim, and began cutting it up. Then I ate the Slim Jim.

If you have a confession you'd like to share, I'd be grateful to hear it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Only Em

We washed and vacuumed the Nebulous. And this evening we chauffeured Em and John to B* for Em's birthday (which was actually November 26). This proved to be a great little place: comfortable, friendly, delicious.

Tea Leaf Salad
Thai Salmon Green Curry Pot Pie
Sauvignon Blanc
Coconut Ice Cream
Fresh Strawberries

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another Shopping Success

This lighted sign is at the bus stop across the street from Amoeba Music, where I found the Beatles' White Album for $7.99. That's 30 songs, including Blackbird, which was the one song I just had to possess.

You still can't download Beatles from iTunes or Amazon. I'm leary of free music-sharing sites. Are you?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

House and Garden

That's our garden. It's December and we're ready to plant. We can't seem to keep track of the seasons here.

Gardening isn't my specialty. I went to Three Bees Garden Center to look at plants. Someone mentioned elephant thyme and I liked the sound of that; I realized later they had said elfen thyme. I'm wondering about starting with a base of elfen thyme. Though I think the dirt itself looks very neat.

Note to Amy Tan: In the book The Bonesetter's Daughter, the mother LuLing lives in the Richmond District, where my house and garden is. Not the Sunset. The Sunset is south of Golden Gate Park. This error upset me and I had to stop reading the book for a few days. But I'm back to it now. I enjoy reading about places I know: I had sea cucumber at Fountain Court when we first moved here; and today I was at Green Apple Annex, where Fia and Dory run out to buy a CD.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hello Again, Life

Copyright ©2008 Richard La Fond

I dial Mom's number.

She doesn't even say hello. Just loudly, indignantly: I'm watching Victor Borge!

I can't begin to tell you how Mom's newly-evolved state of mind has freed me up in every way, in play and work. She's had some backslides–but for five days now, no big ones that I know of.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Life Imitates Cartoon

No one's going to believe this so I'll go ahead and tell it anyway. Today the mouse wasn't in either of the traps. But there was some shredded spongy substance on the floor by the dishwasher and by the oven. I'm guessing that the spongy substance was probably insulation and that the mouse has two residences, one under each appliance.

Guess what I was busy animating today? A hiding mouse. He's lounging in an armchair by the fire. When Maria calls him, he jumps up and runs behind the chair. (In case you're wondering, Maria is the nice Spanish lady he shares a house with.)

Is this uncanny? YES! Tomorrow I'll do an animation of me discovering a bucket of cash in the basement and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Today I was working on another mouse animation. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I ignored it.

About 20 minutes later, I saw the thing run and squeeze under my door into the living room. It was a real mouse. In my house. I grabbed my camera first, and then a tupperware box to place on top of him, and a piece of cardboard to slide under the box.

I talked softly and reassuringly to him but couldn't get the mouse to come out from where he was hiding. So I opened the front door and left the room, thinking maybe he'd leave of his own volition. I remembered reading on Sally's blog that she had discovered a mouse in her house last year. I went back and re-read her post so I would know what to do.

It's funny how when you're reading about a mouse in somebody else's house, you don't really comprehend the gravity of the situation. I had thought at the time that her mouse looked cute! The fact that she was having company for dinner that evening and that the mouse could have jumped up into the eggplant dish never even crossed my mind.

Tom called on his way home and I told him about the mouse. I told him I had found Sally's Hav-a-Heart trap on Amazon and was getting ready to order it. He made a u-turn in the middle of Stanyon Street and doubled back to Cole Hardware. He said we had to have the trap today; and I could tell he didn't think I was the brightest bulb in the chandelier for leaving the front door open.

I put organic peanut butter in the traps. Crunchy, my fave. But I was dismayed to read that you were supposed to place the traps on your counter top and well as on your floor. Can mice really climb up on counters? I just finished a snoring-mouse animation, but I never dreamed that a mouse could climb up on a real bed and get under the covers. But if a mouse can climb up on a counter, there are no limits to where he can go. Let's just hope it is a he. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sea Change

The first day since Mom's move into the memory area that she didn't call me during the day, and then again in the evening. In fact, I finally called her this evening. I don't know what it will be like tomorrow, but this evening she seemed to be thriving. She said that Aggles, along with her friends Journey and Florita (whose names she doesn't remember until I guess) had made her feel much better.

One thing she said: I'm realizing that not everybody looks down on me for living here. Not everybody looks down on people whose brains don't work right. I'm realizing that I was the snooty one. I think all my life I looked down on people whose brains didn't work right.