Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When I got home tonight, this man was in my house. He made me a tamale and a salad out of tangerines and avocado.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Take a Break

Make your own dancer here!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quasi at the Cathedral

Quasi's in this month's frieze magazine!

Emily Wardill is writing about movies that have made a big impression on her: Cartoons lead me to Sally Cruikshank's animated film Quasi at the Quackadero ... The characters' chewy voices emerge from felt pen on soft paper, broken up in hallucinogenic timing like the black outlines in the same way the windows at Lichfield Cathedral break the human figure up into jarring combinations ...

Important facts about the stained glass artist: Charles Eamer Kempe wanted to be a priest. But he had such a severe stammer that he decided to make stained glass windows instead of preaching. He was a shy person and had a dog named Nora.

Important facts about the animator: Sally Cruikshank doesn't even go to church. She goes to the racetrack instead. She can talk like Mae West. She has a dog named Molly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting back to basics
was our writing prompt for the day.

You know that Aggles and I helped Mom move down to the "memory unit" in October. At Christmas we spent a week with her and it was hard because she was very depressed.

I'm in Chattanooga now and spent the day with her. Before I went over there, I said a prayer (new thing for me) and also I remembered Luci's words when I told her I didn't know how I would be able to handle the move in October. She said, "Just put your boots on and go."

So this morning I just put my boots on and went. I had brought lunch for Mom and me to eat in her apartment but when I got there she was in the dining room. All the people from her hall were seated around the table in funny hats with flowers, celebrating the first day of spring. It was kind of sweet, though rather silent. I took photos of everyone.

The man at the head of the table was new, and had been asked to introduce himself. He said his first name, and then he was prompted to say his last name. Then he was asked what kind of work he had done before he retired. He said, "I worked for the Central Intelligence Agency." Some of the people around the table remained silent, a few hadn't heard, and one asked him to repeat. "I worked for the C.I.A!" he said.

I was impressed! I asked: "What did you DO???" But either he had been trained well, or had forgotten, because he wouldn't give me the time of day.

Mom and I ate lunch, took naps (naps always more for my benefit than hers) and headed out the door to buy underwear at Belk. We had a time trying on bras. She must have tried on thirty. We finally decided the best thing for her was one of those stretchy running bras with no "cups." We walked back outside with four of them (3 white, and one green that nobody wanted on sale for $5 ). It was sunny and I was fishing in her purse for her sunglasses to set on top of her regular glasses. I had a sudden inspiration. "Mom, we should walk down to Lenscrafters and get you a pair of sunglasses you can actually see out of, so you don't have to pile glasses on top of glasses when you go outside."

We made our way slowly down to Lenscrafters. Ended up having to have an eye exam, of course, which was an experience for another piece of writing.

When we got to the Piccadilly Cafeteria, down ANOTHER long arm of the mall, it was after 7:00. We picked whatever we wanted as we walked down the line, no holds barred.

All in all, it was a very successful day. Mom was much less depressed than I had seen her in years. As we were driving back to her apartment, she said, "I want to thank you. You have done so much for me. Are you familiar with my two daughters?" Then she added, "...Or do you know them well?"

Our day had gone so well that it didn't matter. I could tell she was happy, and to me that's the basics.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Writing Partner

This is why I was so excited to have Mary Ann for my writing partner this week. For the writing class we're given daily prompts. Today's prompt was "Alright, fine. Let's hear your explanation." We write for 10 minutes–12 minutes max–and hit the send button. Our partner changes every week. Here's what Mary wrote:

Alright, fine. Let's hear your explanation

I really have no explanation, except I was in a hurry and I dropped the
gun at that 7-11 store. I didn't know they had a video and I certainly
hadn't intended to point that silly Glock at the poor quivering cashier.
I was using it as a pointer and I was curious as to what kind of
candy bars they had stored behind the cash register. My sugar level
was down and candy would have helped ~ everyone knows that.

Of course each and every American carries a gun because it is our right.
It's smack dab there in the Constitution, you can't miss it.
Martha Washington and Jacqueline Kennedy were always heading
towards the shooting range. Jackie's gun was especially fashionable
in that soft mauve color. So I brought my gun inside the convenience
store because it was more convenient for me. So sue me.

I'm a card carrying member of the NRA, even though I only own about
6 guns. Most of my fellow members own at least 20 pistols and rifles.
I so admire that. I've tried to buy more guns but ever since I was in
the mental institution I've had to resort to purchasing the guns on the
internet. What a drag. But I still go into the macho gun stores and talk
to other gun owners ~ sometimes I wonder if they have been
institutionalized too because we sure speak the same language. Cool
people in gun stores, don't you agree?

It's a shame that my gun went off when I picked it up from the floor. I
certainly didn't mean to shoot the cashier and 7 of the customers. But
I won't go to jail because it is, after all, my inalienable right to carry a gun. Do you want one of these candy bars?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Remote Outta Control

For Sally and Stray. (And me.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Assiduous and Fun

I found this on the beach this evening and stopped to take a picture. I jogged on thinking, "Is this perfect or what! Here it is, St. Patrick's Day, and I find a 4-leaf clover on the beach! And it's something Sally really needs, in the midst of her computer catastrophe–so I'm going to send her the photo soon as I get home!"

Then I got home and downloaded the photo and realized it was only a 3-leaf clover. Sorry, Sally.

I was feeling down today. I'm going to TN on Thursday and it's not always a barrel of monkeys if you know what I mean. So now I'll tell you something really nice that happened, just to make myself feel better.

Last night my writing partner told me: "It's terrific having a partner that is both assiduous and fun." He was talking about me. I had to look up "assiduous." It means: diligent, careful, meticulous, thorough.

This was a wonderful compliment. One reason it meant so much to me was because I lost my best friend ten years ago. And since then I've thought a lot about what I want in a friend. Not that I thought I could have it! My friend didn't die. We lost each other due to unskillful means. Around the same time we lost each other, I lost my nature.

I began thinking about what I wanted in a friend and came to the conclusion that what I wanted was somebody who was both wild and dependable. Fun and steady. I wasn't sure that was a possibility. I'm happy to say that it is. (Thank you, friends, for materializing.) And you can see why it gave me so much pleasure to read that somebody thought of me as being both assiduous and fun.

Another thing that makes me feel better is this: Guess who my writing partner is this week?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Photo #10

For my writing class we're given daily prompts, and sometimes the prompt is a photo. We write for 10 minutes–12 minutes max–and hit the send button. Our writing partner changes every week. This is my writing from today. Photo by Jane Underwood.

March 21, 2010

This is the photo they showed me of my skin before the dermabrasion incident. They used a macro lens right beneath my jaw bone, and the computer screen was mounted on the ceiling directly above my face. I could see right away that I needed to schedule a treatment.

At two o'clock the next Friday I was lying on the same table again, excited about the transformation that was about to occur. I had scheduled the treatment so that I could hide out over the weekend and return to the office with a radiant glow on Monday.

And I'm sure that's how it would have gone had the Fremont Earthquake not hit at exactly 2:14 p.m. I heard a noise like a bomb above me and that's all I remember.

When I "came to" that Sunday evening I couldn't see anything. And no wonder! My whole head was wrapped in bandages. My husband was there holding my hand. He told me about the earthquake. The computer screen had detached itself from the ceiling as the aesthetician was doing my nose.

Damn! It's not that I was ever in love with my nose–it was shaped like a turnip and sloped to the right–but now that it's gone I miss it. There's only a flat smooth place where it used to be. And I'll have to wait another six months for a replacement.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

TV and Me and Cheryl

by Loren King

My friend Cheryl from New York is in town and we met at Creativity Explored for their TV and Me exhibition. I bought the print above, along with two others. It was drawn on the computer in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet and pen. Then printed out on creamy smooth watercolor paper. It's lovely to behold.

That's Cheryl in Picaro waiting for our garlic potatoes and fried calamari. OK, we ordered a few other plates, too. And oh, the sangria!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Photo #8

For my writing class we're given daily prompts, and sometimes the prompt is a photo.
We write for 10 minutes–12 minutes max–and hit the send button. Our writing partner changes every week. Photo by Jane Underwood.

Wonder why Dr. Smith's casket was a closed one? I'll give you a clue. See that photo of me carrying the black plastic bag? Guess what's in the bag?

Ha! And I strolled right by during the service.

Every year I do two hits at $80,000 apiece. The first fifteen or twenty years were hard. But the money was good. Even for San Francisco. Even living by myself.

Fear took its toll during the early years. I would stock up on food to last a long time. Once I finished an assignment I would lay low in my studio sweating for a month or two. Gradually I'd re-emerge and get used to life outside the building for awhile ... but then it would be time for the next project, and I'd construct my plan and begin carrying bags of food up to my freezers.

The freezers come in handy for more than food, as you might imagine.

After 20 successful years I actually began getting bored. I started playing games. This is when they say you are asking to be caught. But the hits had stopped giving me that charge.

I set up a web cam in the bay window across from Duggan's, where most of my assignments end up. I began recording movies of myself carrying a portion of the injured party as his funeral was in progress. I have the precise times and dates on each frame to prove it.

I have Duggan's bugged and I wear my headset as I hike the block. When the organ grinds out the final number I stroll right by the front door with my part. In the case of Dr. Smith, his head.

I Was a Facebook Zombie

Are you?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

Many Birds

Many Birds
by Loren King © CE2009

Creativity Explored's digital prints are now available online.

CE artists' original artworks are created digitally using a Wacom tablet and Photoshop. (That's how I draw!) The artists draw their creations with a pen tablet and then the image appears on the computer monitor–a process requiring good hand-eye coordination. The final work is printed on acid-free paper.

And guess what's coming up next Thursday night at Creativity Explored?

A Gallery Exhibition: TV and Me

Dates: March 12 to April 22, 2009

Opening Reception: Thursday, March 12, 2009, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: 3245 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Thursday, March 05, 2009


This wasn't really our dinner tonight. It was a sketch for an unsuccessful illustration having to do with diversity. Half the bottle caps were collected from the beach and half were sent to me by Luci.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Linda Davick

This is the fifth week of my writing class. We're given daily prompts, and today the prompt was Intently. Good grief!
Every day we write for 10 minutes–12 minutes max–and hit the send button. Our writing partner changes every week. This was my piece today.

You can't really TRY to do anything intently, can you. It's something that just comes on its own.

I try to meditate sometimes. I try to pray. I try to use ActionScript without e-mailing Sally for help every step of the way.

When I'm shooting photos, I'm intent. All the world funnels down into one end of the lens and seeps out on the other side. Who's walking by? It doesn't matter. Once in a while a dog will put his nose in the picture. I'm mainly shooting rocks and bits of plastic. When I use the macro setting the intentliness intensifies. When I get home and hook up the camera and all the photos spill out into my screen, I'm intent. Sometimes I can see the tiny photos all at once and even if there are 60 or 70, pick out the best instantly.

But I'm not often intent.

I wasn't intent at dinner tonight. I ate the Trader Joe's Chicken Chile Verde (both servings) on rice, and some carrots, and half a pear, and a tangerine, and a margarita ... then I completely lost all focus and pulled out a chocolate Ritter Sport bar and a bag of salted peanuts, which I mixed with Trader Joe's oriental rice crackers. I poured some leftover coffee from breakfast in a cup, and pretended to read my Alexander McCall Smith book intently so I could keep eating mindlessly. That's one of the bad things about being the person who cleans up, as opposed to the one who cooks. You tend to not be intent on finishing your meal, because you know you have to clean up when it's over.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Favorite Google

Dr. Suess would have been 105 today, and Google honored him with this, the best ever Google nameplate. What was your favorite Dr. Suess book?