Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Way Past Lunch Time

Today I was working on this little animation for "the tongue." The phone rang. It was Tom, saying he wouldn't be home for lunch and that I should go ahead and eat. (He usually fixes meals and I clean up.) Suddenly I realized it was way past lunch time–that drawing this little rat eating cheese was almost as satisfying as eating a crisp buttery grilled cheese sandwich myself.

I said almost.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What Really Happened

This story is called One Small Step for Mankind, One Giant Leap for Tom & Me.

Back from my abbreviated walk yesterday evening, I was happily downloading photos. My cell phone rang. It was Tom. He had just arrived at Safeway. If I would leave in ten minutes and call him from the parking lot, he would be ready to go.

Exactly 13 minutes later I pulled into the parking lot. I called and got no answer. So I hauled myself out of the Ford Nebulous and entered another version of hell. I found Tom in the wine aisle, oblivious to the world, holding a Wine Spectator. Five bottles of wine were in the cart. "I just have to find ONE more," he assured me. That way, we'd save 10%.

I saw that Sofia was on sale, so I jerked a 4-pack off the top shelf and plunked it in the cart. That would count as number six. Tom smiled but continued looking.

Me: Do we need anything else I can get? Paper towels? Toilet paper? Those are the things I feel expert at.

We didn't. So I let him be and walked up front to the Halloween candy display. All the recent "healthy Halloween treat" articles flashed through my mind–but too late. My hand chose a giant bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Wednesday night. I dodged my way back to the wine aisle, and there was Tom, still consulting the Wine Spectator. I began to get impatient. He was holding a bottle of Chateau St. Jean Fumé Blanc, a wine I'm not crazy about. I expressed my distaste and was instantly sorry, realizing that he'd now need another 15 minutes.

Tom: Are you sure you don't like it? The Wine Spectator gives it a pretty good rating.

Me: Oh, let's get it and go!

Tom: Wait, wait ... let's take a look at these Australian wines ...

Me: Tom! The Fumé Blanc is fine! You can drink it and I can drink Sofia.

Up front there were 3 registers open and 26 people in line.

Tom: What's going on here? It wasn't like this when I first walked in. Let's leave!

Me, looking at the wine and thinking of the time spent: "Let's leave!" Are you crazy? No! We've been here for an hour!

Tom: Are you mad at me?

Me, sweetly: No!
Then, deciding to add a thoughtful suggestion: But maybe next time you can double or triple the time you think you'll need!

I hate to be the one who comes off as a callous person. Believe me, anyone who knows me in person will agree that I'm reasonable and understanding. But right before dinner–especially if I'm starving and the house feels like an igloo and it's getting late–this is my bad, very bad, time of day.

We put up the groceries. Then I shut the door and sat down at my computer to try to pick up where I had left off two hours before. But I couldn't recapture the carefree Saturday night feeling I had had. I felt kind of rotten. I knew that Tom would be feeling bad for hours, maybe days–that's the way he's always been.

A minute or two later, Tom opened the door behind me and walked into the room. I tensed up. He set a little glass plate of thick-cut tortilla chips and salsa* on my desk. "Would you like some wine?" he asked.

* Not just any salsa, but Happy Girl Kitchen Co. certified organic spicy fresh heirloom tomato salsa (from the farmers' market).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spare Change?

I'm not really panhandling. I asked Tom if he would take a photo of me so I could "Presto" it to my mom tonight.

He said OK–if first I would remove my baseball cap and sunglasses.

I see what you mean, Tom. Removing my hat and sunglasses undoubtedly enhances the photo!

Not that anybody's counting, but this is the third week in a row I've accompanied Tom to the farmers' market. Will I be rewarded?

Maybe, because later this afternoon we hit the beach. It's been weeks since I've walked or jogged. See that dot (below) in the distance? That's Tom. It shows how annoyingly slow I was going. I turned around and drove back home, and Tom agreed to walk back by way of Safeway and buy wine. Will he come back with champagne-in-a-can? We'll see.

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Neighborhood

I haven't been able to jog lately, so I thought I would go east instead of west and show you around my neighborhood. We can walk to our movie theater. It's called the Balboa, though when we first moved here the first three letters on the neon sign were burned out, so to us it's always been known as the Boa.

We saw The Jane Austen Book Club this evening. I enjoyed it! When you walk out of the movie and look across the street, here's what you see. You can usually buy homemade tamales for $1.50 apiece at the market on the left–they make their own sauce too–but they were out of the tamales by the time we got there tonight. So we came home and had leftover pizza from last night's foray to The Pizza Place on Noriega. We had it for breakfast–well, I did–and lunch, too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh Boy!

Mom's dog comment seemed to have ignited the imaginations of countless blog readers. Look what came in the mail today from Luci! Aside from mystery books, bunga mawar tea, nonfat brownie mix, bags of googly eyes in various sizes and colors and other wonderful things–a slew of dog charms and dog cards and dog stickers were distributed throughout the box.

Luci said she meant to send this box a long time ago, but her mom and her mom's best friend who was visiting from Indonesia found it and ate all the treats before she could get it to the P.O.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Conversation With Mom

Mom: I'm not doing so well. I shouldn't have gone to that concert last night. It just lasted too long. We were gone for hours.

Me: You went to a concert! What was it?

Mom: It was some kind of green- ... green-something music. The people in the audience just ate it up. They were so enthusiastic.

Me: They were so enthusiastic. I guess that means you weren't so enthusiastic.

Mom: Nnnnnnnnno ... I wasn't. I don't know why.

Me: hmmm ... Was it folk music? Country music?

Mom: Sort of.
Say! I wanted to thank you for that photograph you sent me. The one from the farmers' market. Do they allow dogs at the farmers' market there?

(I have to think a minute): No. I don't think they do.

Mom: Well, they don't anymore at the one here either. And it's a shame. Everyone enjoyed the dogs, the children especially. But there were complaints. Some said the dogs misbehaved. Some folks just don't realize that dogs aren't the same kind of people we are. Say, do you think you and Tom will get a dog?

Later I realized the kind of music Mom was trying to think of was bluegrass music, and she confirmed it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Miette Patisserie

Back to the Ferry Building today for the farmers' market. This is two weeks in a row.

Meitte Patisserie was my favorite stop at the market today. (Could be titled: Wayne Thiebaud behind glass, or Feeding Whinsey.)

Adventures In Therapy

Once or twice a month Tom and I go to our marriage counselor. This was our week to go. After we acknowledge that things seem to be going pretty well, I decide to ask our counselor how things are going with his marriage.

Me: So how are things lately between you and your wife?
Counselor: Good.
Me: Do you ever tell your wife that you love her?
Counselor: All the time.
Me: Really? When?
He looks at me as if he isn't sure he comprehends my question.
Me: What I mean is, when do you tell her? First thing in the morning?
Counselor: First thing in the morning? Oh, God, no!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wayne Thiebaud Comes to Town

painting by Wayne Thiebaud

This evening we went to the Jewish Community Center to hear Wayne Thiebaud being interviewed by Adam Gopnik. Every seat was taken; folding chairs had to be set up at the very back.

When it was over, I walked out the door and down the sidewalk feeling like I'd just left the chiropractor. I felt like you must feel after visiting an oxygen bar, or how you're supposed to feel when you get out of church. Wayne is 87 and full of the joy of painting–a joy of painting separate from "the art world." To him, cartooning is just as noble an activity as painting. The thing that counts, he says, is making something out of nothing. Just making a little world of your own is enough, and he didn't mean that in the good-enough sense, but in the more-than-magnificent sense.

I felt this same kind of relief years ago after seeing a room of full Mose Tolliver paintings. At the time, all I wanted to paint were big faces, but I felt that I had to paint other things. I thought that after I painted say, three big faces, it was time to move on to cars, houses, bugs.

All Mose's paintings were of big faces. The variety was astounding. The gallery owner told us that Mose used big buckets of house paint, and painted on plywood. Riding back in the car after seeing Mose's work, I felt an overwhelming sense that it was OK to paint at least 100,000 more faces. In fact, I felt like it wasn't against the law to paint only faces and nothing else for the rest of my life.

painting by Mose Tolliver

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Comment of the Year Award

© Linda Davick

The Comment of the Year Award goes to namowal. Her comment on the Cold Coffee post from Sunday:

Which came first? The coffee pot or the cold?
I can see the first one thinking "Poor me" and the second one thinks "Pour me" ;)

Namowal, you have won yourself a shiny brown bag of Peet's coffee. Major Dickason's Blend–the best. E-mail me your address and your preference (ground or whole bean), and I will send you your just reward.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cold Coffee

© Linda Davick
This was a fun assignment:

Draw something that looks like something else when you turn it up-side-down.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

San Francisco Farmers' Market

This morning I woke up and thought: I've got to do something keep Tom from working all day long. But when he suggested going to the farmers' market, I had to think about it. The farmers' market is not my idea of a good time. Nonetheless, I decided to make another sacrifice for my marriage and to accompany him.

So at 7:30 I hauled myself into the shower so we could get across town in time to find a place to park. The San Francisco Farmers' Market is held every Saturday at the Ferry Building. Pictured are the three things I appreciated most at the market this morning: Kettle Korn (I bought a giant bag), an octopus mosaic, and caviar (no free samples). For breakfast I had a big Mexican tamale wrapped in banana leaves with black beans and hot sauce from Primavera, and a cup of coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee.

Maps and Me

I read about Sally Cruikshank's love of maps and decided to post a map of my own. I made this map when we moved from Tennessee to California.

As I commented on Sally's blog: I was born without a sense of direction. I don't find maps entertaining at all; I find them crucial to my survival. I went to a book reading last night. In order to get there I had to pore over a map, go over directions with Tom, then write the directions down in magic marker on a big piece of paper to keep on the seat beside me. At every red light I consulted the map again. After the book reading I had to study the map for 10 minutes to try to figure out how to get home. I turned the map this way and that and finally I gave up. I eventually made it home OK, but by that time Tom was fast asleep.

I've always been really nervous around maps because I can't understand them; but favorite map book is by Sara Fanelli. It's called My Map Book and includes a map of her dog, her bedroom, and one of her stomach.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Design Inspiration/Both Sides Now

A great place to go when you're feeling uninspired is Kinokuniya, the bookstore in Japantown.

Aggles just got a new job, so this will be her New Job present. She likes to make animals out of socks and gloves, and this book shows you how. I hope I didn't bend the pages too much.

... and at the other end of the design spectrum: Mark Alan Stamaty!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Silly Spanish

LitQuake: My Favorite Week

Karen Barbour is an illustrator I love. She painted this cover

Tom's dad sent us some money for our anniversary. We decided to spend it on tickets for the opening night of LitQuake. Up in the balcony at Herbst Theatre, we watched as Armistead Maupin's friends thanked him for writing his books.

Laura Linney, Andrew Greer, Susie Bright, and Father Guido Sarducci were my favorites. They filled the space with love and laughs. Armistead and his husband sat up in a box on the side in plain view.

I had wondered if I would feel part of this celebration. I did and I didn't. All the people paying tribute to Armistead were so much themselves. Somehow, somewhere along the line, they had allowed their true selves to burst right out. There were some "coming-out-of-the-closet" stories, but that isn't what I'm talking about. These people weren't holding back any parts of their personality. I know they had rehearsed for the evening–but talk about a spontaneous and open-hearted group of people.

It made me wonder: If you really were able to be yourself, would it make you more alive and interesting and delightful and powerful? Would it make you meaner and more unpleasant as well?

I like it when people are really themselves, even if they're not-so-nice. It's freeing. You don't have to wonder. If they're artists, the art they make is theirs and only theirs, and instantly recognizable as theirs. But how does this freedom to be yourself come about? Does it have something to do with where you go to school? Armistead and Father Sarducci were talking about a grammar school teacher they had when they were in class together in Raleigh. In the car I asked Tom, "Do you think those two really did go to school together in Raleigh? What are the odds?"

Then I found out that Sally C had gone to high school with Armistead's sister in Raleigh. Sally C! So maybe it's true that both Armistead and Father Sarducci went to school there, too. Could it be that certain places, like Raleigh, are catalysts for bringing true selves forward? Or in this case, could it have been a certain teacher who taught in Raleigh?

8 years ago: Driving out to San Francisco by myself, the car loaded down with computer equipment, I would listen to More Tales of the City on tape. When I'd wake up in the morning in a Comfort Inn thinking, "Wait a minute. What am I doing?" Maupin's tapes would provide a clean reinstall of inspiration to my system.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Vacuum Shoes Clean As You Stroll


From: [[TvD]]
Subject: Vacuum With Your Shoes
Date: October 4, 2007 6:38:21 PM PDT
To: Linda

Hellooooo Linda,
I just had 2 send this 2 U knowing how u are about shoes & vacuuming [[TvD]]

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jellyfish Delight

2 tablespoons Agar-Agar
1 cup ginger ale
1/2 cup vodka
3 tablespoons simple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Mix violently. Pour into mold. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Wiggle mold. Invert. Strain. Drain. Garnish with ground cloves. Excelente! Looks like a real jellyfish!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Este es un Elefante?

I bought these African wedding beads at a shop on the square in Sonoma. Today I put them on a silver chain and made a necklace for myself.

All day I've been working on a Spanish project involving an elephant. All day I've been exclaiming, "Este es un elefante!" And then a few seconds later: "Este es un elefante!" Tom is fortunate enough to work in the room right next to mine, so he gets to learn Spanish, too.

When he stepped out of his office I showed him the beads.
Tom: Is that a safety pin?
Me: Yes!
Tom: Este es elegante!