Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Girl After My Own Heart

When I woke up this morning, look what was on the table! Michelle (our new neighbor, and Cosmo's mother) had brought flowers and a big plate of chocolate chip cookies over on her way to work. We were astounded that she'd been able to make the cookies–she barely had been able to walk the day before. We'd been trying to give her a hand, and her boss is ferrying her to and from work, as she still can't drive.

She's 37 and just began a job teaching chemistry at a local high school. She's a girl after my own heart; here's an example why:

Tom (on the phone): Michelle, I made too much salad. Would you be interested in a salad this evening?

Michelle: Well, I had a scrambled egg sandwich right when I got home from work because I hadn't eaten all day and I was starving. But I could eat again in an hour or two!

Tom: Perfect. We're going for a walk, and I'll wait til we get back to put it together.

Michelle: What are you putting in it?

Tom: About 5 different kinds of lettuce, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, a little onion, peppers, some croutons, avocado ... is there anything I should leave out?

Michelle: You can leave the avocado out!

Tom: OK. Is there anything else you need?

Michelle: Do you happen to have any of those cookies left?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

An Ironing Board Occasion

Dorothy had a delicious dinner party last night for the magnificent Jean Tuttle (above), visiting from Denver. She invited me and Janet and Bill and Ray. She even let Steve and Tom and Jim join us. Esther was there, too, curled up on my jacket on the bed. Talk about a special event: Tom broke out the ironing board and ironed my jeans (after I had left them in the dryer for 5 days).


There's a reason I've never taken a photograph of this flower before. It's because it's a morning glory. This morning we took Cosmo for a walk up at Sutro Park. These flowers were bursting out all over the place! Here we are. At least one of us is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Dog Named Bear

Bear is 4 years old and understands English. He's living in a foster home a few houses up from us and his foster mom needs to find a great home for him. He's easy to walk. He's gentle and sweet. He sounds too good to be true, doesn't he? OK, he slobbers a little, especially before breakfast!

Do you know someone who might like to meet him?

Saturday: You're too late! Bear's foster mom, Michelle, put an ad on Craig's List. The first person who came over to meet Bear loved him immediately and turned in her application. She took him home to his new family an hour ago.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cam's Car Collection

Larry's Nikon D100

My faithful Canon point n shoot

Tom's old Canon G2

Call me obsessed, but I had no idea photography was so difficult. It's hard to see much at this size and resolution, but I didn't get one good photo all afternoon. Maybe I should stick to the Wacom Tablet (below).

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Pi Song

Aggle performed a minor miracle today having to do with Mom's long-term health insurance. To celebrate, I thought I'd let you hear Aggle's favorite song: The Pi Song.

(Remember, she's an engineer-type as well as wielder of a mean telephone.) But as for the Pi Song, I love it as much as she does.
The photo's taken from the Coastal Trail this evening.

Saturday, September 20, 2008





Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From Halter Grasshopper to You

Sarah Palin has picked out an All-American set of names for her children: Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow, and Piper. Ever wonder what your name would be if Sarah were your Mom?

Visit the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator to find out. My name, Linda, would be Halter Grasshopper. My sister Margaret would be Knife Pile. My pal Sal would be Crop Schooner.

thanks for the link, Anne Lamott. (whose name would be Krinkle Bearcat).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mom Stories

Mom having a laugh at the Big Table while someone probably helps himself to a drink in her apartment

I thought I'd tell some stories about Mom since our trip to Blowing Rock, NC is off. Due to Hurricane Ike, not much gas was available in Atlanta or Chattanooga yesterday. My flight originally made a stop in Houston, which I had already changed to Newark–but in making the change, I wasn't even going to be able to leave until late tonight anyway.

Mom didn't seem too fazed by the change in plans. She was more concerned about a large white sweater that had mysteriously appeared in her apartment. Aggles says that Mom believes someone is sharing her apartment with her on the sly. Last time I was there she talked about people stopping in for drinks when she wasn't in her apartment.

Me: But Mom! Why would somebody stop in your apartment for a drink when you're not here?

Mom: Because they're thirsty, I guess. And they always leave the glass they use unwashed and turned upside down in the dish rack. It gets hard for me to keep up with all their dirty glasses.

We were leaving to go to dinner and to see Mama Mia.

Me: Mom, I have an idea. Let's take a photo of the dish rack before we go, then we'll carefully compare the photo to how the dish rack looks when we get back. Then we'll have proof."

Here's the photo. What's interesting is that this kind of logic doesn't seem to work at all.

A few weeks later, on the phone:

Mom: I'm not doing too well.

Me: (alarmed) Why not?

Mom: My apartment is a mess. I can't seem to keep up with all the papers. There are stacks and stacks of papers. Some come from underneath the door. Some come from that little machine. And there are two glasses that really need attention. (She sighs.)

Me: Mom, don't worry about the papers. And let the glasses go! Your apartment looked great when I was there.

Mom: But it changes. People come in and rearrange things while I'm gone. And sometimes they'll come in and help themselves to a drink of water. They left these two dirty glasses.

Me: I have an idea, Mom. Get a marker and some Scotch tape. Make a sign that says Please wash your glass after you finish drinking! and tape it to the dish rack.

That gets good a laugh out of her, anyway.

Thursday the phone rings:

Mom: Honey, are you watching television?

Me: (slightly irritated) No, Mom, I'm working! Why? What's on?

Mom: (voice faltering) Those two buildings in New York ...

Suddenly I realize it's September 11. The only date I've had on my mind for weeks is September 12, the day I can buy my iPhone.

Mom doesn't remember that this horrible event happened seven years ago, and she's alone. I get up from my computer and walk into the other room with the phone. We proceed to have a heart-rending conversation. She's great comfort to me and I believe I am to her.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Beach Find of the Day

We thought we had gotten used to the fact that we never know what we'll see on the beach ... until this evening when we came face to face with 100 wooden Indians.

The life-size plywood cutouts lining the beach just below the Cliff House are the work of Western artist Thom Ross, who based the richly colored tableaux on a famous black-and-white photo of Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show that was taken on the same stretch of Ocean Beach in 1902. –San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Multiple Choice Question

Why is this person lying in bliss on the kitchen floor?

1. Just finished a sandwich made with the Scottish salmon John brought over.

2. Just opened a box from Larry containing a digital Nikon SLR he isn't using.

3. Just heard from 2 old pals, James T. and Penny B.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Thank You, Luci.

Just delivered. All 362 of them. Plus a bag of Kopiko! (my favorite coffee candy.)

Magnificent Collections

My idea is to do a series of photos of things kids can collect, no matter how much or little their allowance is. Buttons, bottle caps, rings, pebbles, sea shells, rubber bands, marbles, stamps, paper clips, beads, sea glass, charms, rubber bugs, rhinestones, wire, string ... even things that may not last long: tiny leaves, flower petals, feathers ...

I used to collect all these things with a passion. For the past twenty years I've taken pride in not collecting things. Except for sea glass. The project is not only to inspire kids to collect things or to inspire people to see ordinary objects in a new light. I'm afraid it's an excuse for me to start collecting again. And an excuse to take photographs!

Any ideas for things I might photograph for this project?

note from Luci:
I was reading the news, everything was so bleak, and I could not help feeling scared. I read Peony in Love and was haunted by the aching love story. I watched Au Revoir les Enfants and felt so, so sad. But, seeing you and Christer collecting ordinary stuffs but with a sweet dreamlike goal ... makes me happy. I somehow feel comforted that something simple, something engaging is still going on. And that makes life lovely.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ocean Beach Sampler

All the stones came from Ocean Beach last night, gathered in a frenzy after the sun had set. The top two photos were shot inside this afternoon, and the bottom photo was shot outside in the sun.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Collecting Fever

Subject: i have caps coming out of my ears!
Date: September 5, 2008 8:22:54 AM PDT
To: Linda
1 Attachment: penance.jpg (135 KB)

Every day I kept on bugging (or begging as Hugo said) people for caps. He asked me a few days ago, "Are you sure you don't already have a hundred?" I was so sure I did not have a hundred already. Today, after work, I decided to count all the caps. Well, how about that? I've amassed 362 caps!

I'll wash them, dry them, and send them to you this afternoon. Okay?

Two weeks ago I posted sketches for my collections idea.

Luci's comment: I love the plastic caps pictures. You allow me to see how beautiful they look. Christer used to collect bottle caps, and for some reason it drove me crazy.

From: Linda
Subject: bottle caps!!
To: Luci
Date: Sunday, August 17, 2008, 11:24 AM

'Tude! Does Christer still have the bottle caps? This is exactly the kind of thing I have in mind. Would he be willing to send them to me? I would handle them with care, photograph them, and send them right back. I can send you a big padded SASE! I used to collect bottle caps, too. I LOVED collecting things as a kid (and obviously still do).

From: Luci
Subject: Re: bottle caps!!
Date: August 17, 2008 12:59:44 PM PDT
To: Linda

Oh, I'm so sorry ... and here comes the confession ... I'm an awful mother. I'm sneaky too. I had been slowly throwing away his bottle caps. And, then when we went to Denmark, I told Dena to go ahead and throw away the rest of the caps. When we came home, Christer had a totally new room.

How soon do you need the caps? Because I can relay for bottle caps from the people at work and my students. Oh, and how many?

And, you don't have to send me the SASE. It'll be my penance. I thought I was able to get away quietly with this ... but like the proverb I learned when I was small ... buried misdeed is like smoke, it will seep out.

I was so excited when I received Luci's e-mail today with the photo! It gave me the collecting fever. This time it was for rocks. Suddenly I was burning to do a new photo sketch tomorrow. I hit the beach soon as I could, which was after sunset this evening, and started collecting rocks like mad. Here's what I found:

And then, walking back to the car with my bag of rocks, I ran smack into a rock band.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

La Casa de la Pequeña Rata

Mi Casa

gran sitio

dormitorio feliz

baño loco

I'm learning Spanish through
total immersion.