Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gale Force Winds

Anne and Peter think we're wimps. We only walk on the beach when the tide is low, and only when it's not sleeting, and only when a tsunami isn't in the forecast. Anne and Peter run six miles every night no matter what.

It was incredibly windy this evening. Tom and I started out before the sun set. We parked down by Taraval and headed north. Walking was nearly impossible! Of course coming back was a breeze.

But suddenly we realized it was perfectly calm – that the wind had stopped. That's when we ran into Anne running north, with Carmen on her leash.

"Anne, your timing is perfect!" I said. "There were gale force winds when we began." She looked around. All was peaceful. "Oh, really?" she said.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Christmas, Be Mine!

Today Publishers Weekly ran a nice review of 10 Valentine Friends. The book will be released on December 27.

Will Work for Cookies and Wine

Lucille tutors kids of all ages who have dyslexia. I tutor Lucille. She's 87. Her goal is to get a reading program for dyslexic kids into the school system – a program that works. She wants to start her own blog to talk about this particular teaching method that works. I basically just sit beside her while she figures out how to put the blog together.

It's fun visiting her because she always has cookies in the oven and wine in the fridge and books to loan.

And the clothes she wears!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Star and Bird

4:19 p.m.

 Line break
4:41 p.m.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I gulped this book down. (This is the back cover of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.) From the book:

Simplicity isn't just a visual style. It's not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of the complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it's manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential. 

...Design was not just about what a product looked like on the surface. It had to reflect the product's essence. "In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer," Jobs told Fortune shortly after retaking the reins at Apple. "But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers."

Another part I remember from the first few pages:

Even though they were not fervent about their faith, Jobs's parents wanted him to have a religious upbringing, so they took him to the Lutheran church most Sundays. That came to an end when he was thirteen. In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church's pastor. "If I raise my finger, will God know which one I'm going to raise even before I do it?"

The pastor answered, "Yes, God knows everything."

Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, "Well, does God know about this and what's going to happen to those children?"

"Steve, I know you don't understand, but yes, God knows about that."

Jobs announced that he didn't want to have anything to do with worshipping such a God, and he never went back to church.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Anne

Dear Anne,
An excerpt from one of my favorite bloggers (posted today, on your birthday):

This morning during breakfast Harriet asked me for the name of Theseus’ wife and I went up to my bookshelf to get my eighth grade book from Mr Shoemaker’s English class, Mythology and Me. (This is unrelated but I want to tell it anyway… Yesterday, she asked what albaricoque meant and on the title page of my old Spanish-English dictionary I found that there is still a drawing of a purple heart with”Trinidad y Ana son amigas” written inside. That could have been written yesterday. Time is meaningless.) After she left for school I sat with my coffee and opened up the mythology book to the middle and read:

Creativity is one way people free themselves from the limitations of conditioned responses. It is a means by which people free themselves also, of ordinary choices. It enlarges the universe by discovering new dimensions. It also enriches people by enabling them to experience these dimensions inwardly … There are some conditions or attitudes under which creative endeavor thrives. One of them is, surprisingly, aloneness, or being able to be alone without being lonely. Other circumstances that seem to promote the creative process are inactivity and daydreaming … In order to be creative, we must put what we have discovered into action.

I think this might be one reason we are such good friends: We value our aloneness.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

Hey, my husband has a new website. Take a look at some of his beautiful work, photographed by Larry and Barbara. I put the site together, and in exchange Tom ran errands and made meals and cleaned up. A win-win situation.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Little Man, Little Man

Did you know that James Baldwin wrote a children's book? I didn't.

Katy sent it to me. It's not like any children's book I've ever read.

Drugs, alcohol, violence, despair. Friendship, sweetness, and loyalty.

And the illustrations! Loose and free as can be.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wondrous Beach Finds

4:56  Right before sunset I almost ran over these snowflakes on the beach.

Maybe someone made/photographed a Christmas card and left their art for us?

This is actually the one I saw first.

This little stash of shells was nearby.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Dinner With Lucille

On Nov. 09, 2011, at 2:27 PM, Linda wrote:

Hi again, Lucille!

Just checking in to make sure tomorrow around 4:30-ish is still a good time for us to have a drink.

I think I'll bring champagne (California) instead of martini paraphernalia. We can celebrate.

Casual dress? I'll bring some more tattoos, too, just in case we feel like tattooing.

On Nov 9, 2011, at 3:37 PM, Lucille wrote: (she's just one of those people who writes things like this)

Every day's a celebration when I see you, Linda. 4:30ish sound good. I have the cheese and crackers. And maybe some dinner?

On Nov. 09, 2011 3:41 PM, Linda wrote:

Lucille, actually dinner sounds good!

Cheese and crackers is a good dinner for me ... But should I pick up something else on the way? I'd love to. Just say what.

Hooray! Just bring your dear self and the bottle.

Lucille! I just remembered. Tom made some vegetable soup last week. We froze a quart or two. Should I take it out of the freezer tomorrow a.m. and bring it?

I never say no, Linda. It will be delicious, knowing you. First course - followed by an entrée.

When I got to Lucille's place, we ran out on her balcony to take a photo before the sun set and then popped the cork. We sat down for a while with the cheese and crackers. Then Lucille jumped up and poached some fish. She stirred up an incredible sauce from the Sunset Cookbook. Suddenly a sweet potato pudding appeared next to the fish.

She sent me home with The Corrections, a jar of peanuts, and some malted milk balls.

Thank you, Lucille. I loved spending the evening with you. I'll be back soon to help you set up your blog.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Moon Up, Moon Down

5:14  (Strange! Same time as yesterday's photo.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Looking Both Ways

5:14   Looking west
5:14   Looking east

Sunday, November 06, 2011

A Website for Gina

I recently finished this website for my friend Gina.

Best known for her blockbuster book, Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?, Gina Pera is an award-winning journalist and compassionate advocate for everyone affected by Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ...

Just another day in the life of Gina: Today a couple in Australia wrote to her to say they owe their pending marriage to her book, so they've invited her to the wedding in Adelaide. She hopes to surprise them and actually show up.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Vacation Day

11:44  across the bridge to IKEA on a quest for lighting

2:27  Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek to see the Insider/Outsider Art Show

Rush hour traffic: Tom can't take it anymore. We take the exit to Sausalito.

6:22  In Sausalito we walk by this gas station which is blasting opera music.

6:32  We duck in; sit under a heat lamp. "Hot tacos, fresh oysters, cold beer"

Back home with our new lighting.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Winter Came Today

6:12 p.m: I was wearing gloves.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hey, That's Me in The Painter WOW! Book

Cher Threinen-Pendarvis just sent me a copy of her new book called The Painter WOW! Book (the Tenth Edition). I'm proud to be included in The Power of Color chapter.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy 11.1.11 Sad

5:28 p.m. Very windy and clear.
The white boat over on the left is from the Coast Guard. Six or seven police cars are parked along the trail. It's a funny feeling: at the same time we've been walking merrily along, someone has drowned below.