Friday, February 29, 2008

Hooray for Lisa Horstman

Lisa, you are a gem. You responded quickly, compassionately to Paul's plea for web site help. Not only that, but when I requested a photo of you holding your Kindle in front of your latest work, you delivered a photo that radiates your good nature and sharp wit (above). For this, you deserve a reward. You may choose your prize from the following:

1. bird eggs (for display only)
2. jeweled-encrusted evening bag
3. "I'm exhausted" beauty kit

Act now;
supplies are limited.

Roger & Me

Modern Tea.

Remember Roger? He's in town for the weekend!
We met at Modern Tea for beer and mashed potatoes. The night before we met, he e-mailed me:

By the way, do you have a cell just in case I should need to call or text you? Thanks!

Oh, sorry, yes! ... But I don't know how to text. Will you show me?

So at lunch he showed me. After lunch he went to the restroom. After he had been in there for a minute or two, I got concerned and decided to text him. He had forgotten to show me how to leave spaces, so I had to write:


Before he returned to the table, I got a reply:

I'm sorry i taught u how 2 text!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Who is Seymour Chwast?

Learning About Diabetes is an organization that Paul Tracey has developed. He needs help with his web site. Would you be interested in helping him?

A little background: he's trying to get information out to people who may have a hard time understanding how to take care of themselves if they have diabetes. They may be really young, really poor, they may not speak English–or they may be just like you and me.

One day Paul saw a picture by Seymour Chwast and thought: "That art is colorful and arresting! It might work for my project; and it would probably give the poor guy some good exposure for his work, too." So he arranged a meeting with Seymour, and it was obvious to Seymour after a few minutes that Paul had no idea who he was talking to. Seymour got a big kick out of this. He must have liked the idea, too, because he subsequently has donated hundreds of pieces of artwork for free.

To see what I mean, go here. Paul wants to make things easier to find on the site, and he has a clear outline for you to go by if you're interested in helping him and Seymour.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Guess Where I Am

1. Disney World Headquarters, Orlando
2. Ranken Jorden Pediatric Hospital, St. Louis
3. Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga
4. The Exploratorium, San Francisco

Keys to a Successful Business Trip

1. Your flights are on time and the seat between you and the person by the window is always empty.

2. You get a shuttle driver who plays the jazz station on the long drive to the hotel during rush hour.

3. You get a down comforter and 7 pillows on your bed at the hotel.

4. Your clients pick you up for dinner. In the car is a huge box of candy for you from Bissinger's. Also, a little box that you can open in the car and get started on right away.

5. At dinner there is no hesitation. They order a bottle of smooth Pinot Noir straightaway.

6. After dinner they take you over to John and Teenuh's house to see their incredible collection of folk art. Including a piece by your favorite artist, Mose Tolliver.

7. Then they show you their house! It's a jewel built in the '50's and subsequently misunderstood, that they've brought back to life.

8. You haven't seen snow in eight years, and when you wake up the next morning, it's snowing!

9. You spend the day at Ranken Jordan, one of the most inspiring places you've ever been. To give you and idea of what I mean when I say "one of the most inspiring places," here's a short list of some of the most inspiring places I've ever been:

1. Sea Ranch
2. Big Sur / Redwood forests
3. Mission Dolores when it snowed rose petals at the Christmas concert

Kids who have had traumatic injuries come to this hospital. Usually they've been released from intensive care at other hospitals, but are still too sick to go home. They range in age from preemies born at 21 weeks and weighing less than a pound and a half, to 21 years. Most live here at least a month. Not only do they get physical therapy–they also get a big infusion of heart and soul.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Incredible Dessert

I had a wonderful dessert tonight:

A small chunk of Gethsemani Trappist Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Fudge followed by a handful of Trader Joe's Oriental Rice Crackers, followed by a swig of ice cold Hanna Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley 2006), followed by a handful of Trader Joe's Oriental Rice Crackers, followed by a medium chunk of Gethsemani Trappist Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Fudge, followed by a sip of Peet's Major Dickison's Blend coffee, followed by a small mound of Trader Joe's Oriental Rice Crackers, followed by a large chunk of Trappist Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Fudge, followed by followed by followed by a just a tiny glass of ice cold Hanna Sauvignon Blanc (Russian River Valley 2006), followed by a fistful of Trader Joe's Oriental Rice Crackers, floowed by a scoooop of Trappist Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Fudge ... if you have any better ideas, please comment. The lines are open.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Love Boring

We were getting worried. We couldn't find a place to live. Finally we suggested to our realtor: "What if we could just find a little house in the Richmond?" She didn't respond enthusiastically.

"Would you live in the Richmond?" we asked her.

"Probably not."


After some prodding, she finally admitted: "It's kind of boring."

It was too windy to walk on the beach this evening, so we walked on the Coastal Trail, which is three blocks from our house in the Richmond. This is the view we had today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

David's New Site

Norm Bendell

This is my rep, David Goldman.
This is his new web site, designed by me using Flash. The smooth actionscript is by Sally Cruikshank.
What do you think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Returned to Sender

One of My Favorite Valentines

from my friend, Cheryl Phelps:

Linda, Yes you can post it:) I took the digital pic. It is a heart shaped potato that was in my Trader Joe's potato bag and I kept it and photographed it on my white art desk and color saturated it red in photoshop. I still have the potato but it's not doing too well now, sad tater is going South! I couldn't bring myself to eat it and guess when it fully bites the dust will have to throw it away:(


Saturday, February 16, 2008


Nothing looks good to me right now. I slept 10 hours last night. I spent all day pulling weeds. We decided to go see In Bruges this evening, so I got in the shower. When I got out, Tom was talking to Barbara and Larry on my computer. (Using Skype, so they could see each other.) There was a huge pile of fruits and vegetables and cheeses by my keyboard and piled up under my desk. He had been to the farmers' market this morning, and had taken everything he bought out of the refrigerator to show them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Friend Jamie

The last thing Berlin needs is another fast food place, right? Well, not necessarily—there may be room for the aggressively-named Fat Ass Pizza, just-opened on Prenzlauer Berg’s equivalent of Restaurant Row at Oderbergerstra├če 23.

Combining the efforts of New York’s Jamie Lipps and Berlin’s Marcel Hellstern, this smart-looking eatery serves up ridiculously huge slices—not squares, dammit—but real, honest-to-god New York-style slices.

“I remember reading an article in the Times years ago that said the best business ideas usually come from one thing: being in a new environment, and finding that something you had every day of your life back home is missing,” says Lipps. “I love Berlin, but for me that missing thing was pizza—I’ve been coming here since the early 90’s, and it always bugged me that I couldn’t get a slice of pizza on the street. I mean, that’s real NY food! It’s fast and filling and as good as it gets! And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!”

Hellstern, owner of the popular coffee bar Lass Uns Freunde Bleiben, also in Prenzlauer Berg, agrees: “It’s definitely a food idea whose time has come in Berlin. I mean, we have good Italian-style pizza here, but that’s a whole other thing, you know? With the brick oven and the goat cheese and the waiting and waiting? Fat Ass is different—big, thick, delicious slices with a crust that you really have to sink your teeth into, these babies are pretty much a meal in themselves. And the prices are extremely tourist-friendly, euro to dollar exchange rate be damned! Plus if you don’t want to hang out, you can take them with you in about two minutes flat.”

Although hang out you will—the cozy interior manages to walk the line between trend and tradition, taking a 1930’s Art Deco feel and jerking it rudely into 2008. Don’t expect photos of the Empire State Building, but enjoy the subtle references to the city’s rich history—an authentic tin ceiling, a lamp from a 1940’s elementary school—comfortably mixed alongside a sleek, ultramodern bar. And de rigueur for Prenzlauer Berg, a sunny area out front with strategically-placed tables to take advangtage of every available ray. Great food, great staff, great vibe.

But what do a bunch of Berlin boys know about NY style? “Plenty!” says Lipps, the lone New Yorker in the group. “In the beginning I thought I was the expert, having easily put away about 1000 slices back home. But these guys—Marcel, Flo, Andi, and our culinary specialist, Frank Bornemann—actually traveled to Manhattan and spent weeks researching the traditional pizza joints. They hung out all day at Papa John’s and Ray’s Pizza in the Village, Carmine’s on the Upper West Side... you name it. And they basically pestered the dudes working there until they got all the secrets they could get!”

So... why the name Fat Ass?

“Ah, geez. Everybody asks me that!” laughs Lipps. “Yep, there’s a real story behind it, but it’s not for the weak of heart—I’m not sure you can even print it. But I’ll tell you this much: it involves a pizza place way the hell downtown in Soho, some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life, and one employee who always sported a pair of spectaculary tight, white pants! Want the rest? Come to Fat Ass, buy me a beer, and we’ll talk.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Romance Tips

Valentine's Day is coming up. Here's a romance tip for guys, and one for girls.

Romance Tip for Guys
Scenario: An unidentified couple walks hand in hand on the beach. The sun is setting.

Unidentified Woman: I can't understand it. The scale says I've gained three pounds. Do you think the scale needs a new battery? Oh well. We did order that large vegetarian pizza with sausage last night. It's probably the pizza.

Unidentified Man:
But how could that be? The pizza itself didn't weigh three pounds to begin with.

Guys, do not model yourself after this unfortunate unidentified man!

Romance Tip for Girls

As mentioned above, Valentine's Day is Thursday. How does one prepare for the sexiest night of the year? Lose the Green Eggs & Ham t-shirt, because this occasion calls for an even more sophisticated type of elegance than usual. Sleepwear with a sheer, forbidden, ineffable quality is a must (see glamorous unidentified model below).
p.s. What I'd really like to know is: What do you sleep in?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

See Spots Fly

Granted, there are lots of great dogs in the world. But Spots. She's up there.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Still Life With Oranges

Does anyone out there love stickers as much as I do? It's a phase I've never grown out of. What kind do you like and what kind do you wish you could find? What do you stick them on?

When I was a kid, I was crazy about decals. You remember–you would soak them in water, and then slide them permanently and crookedly into place on your bedroom furniture. Or your parents' car.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Go Directly to Jail

Do you ever daydream about going to prison? Me too! Whenever I run past the concrete pier (above), I think about jail and imagine what it would be like to live there. Being able to read and write and work on my computer all day long. I just googled "Go directly to jail," and the following came up:

Fortezza Medicea in Volterra, Italy is a high-security prison restaurant. In order to get a reservation you need to plan pretty far in advance, generally a minimum of two months. It’s not so much that the tables are hard to come by, it’s the time needed for a background check and for the Department of Justice to issue a security clearance.

Approaching its second anniversary, the restaurant was conceived with the idea that reformed inmates, with proper training, could find work in the restaurant business upon their release. While it’s too soon to tell how Fortezza Medicea is doing in the job placement business (they have placed only four workers to-date), there’s no doubt as to the popularity of the restaurant.

Make no mistake about it, though, the waiters, sommelier, and even the piano player, are convicted murderers, armed robbers, and worse. The decor is wooden tables and benches, there is no art on the wall, nor flowers on the table. The tableware is common — paper plates and plastic silverware, a concession to safety — but the food is all southern Italian goodness.
Mary Jo Manzanares