Thursday, December 31, 2009


This is Tom's and my Christmas present to ourselves. Stick your phone in the top and dance! Or you can hook up any other kind of sound machine that may not sound so great on its own.

Finally we can dispense with the tons and tons of dusty black stereo equipment from ages past.

Here's my 10 for 2010 New Year's Playlist, made up of songs I can't stop listening to.

1. Soul Cake / Sting
2. I'll Take You There / Rebeca Mauleon
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight / Bob Dylan
4. Big Bad Handsome Man / Imelda May
5. Baby Lee / John Lee Hooker & Robert Cray
6. I Lost My Nature / Dave's True Story
7. Seven Steps / Cassandra Wilson
8. Sweet Home Cookin' Man / Karrin Allyson
9. Pi / Hard N Phirm
10. Love and Happiness / Al Green

What songs are you playing over and over and over?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quasi at the Library of Congress

Sketch for Quasi at the Quackadero © Sally Cruikshank

Our pal Sal's Quasi at the Quackadero was added to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry today–alongside Pillow Talk, The Muppet Movie, Dog Day Afternoon and Once Upon a Time in the West.

The Library of Congress selects 25 films each year that it considers "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant," chosen from hundreds of titles nominated by the public, members of the National Film Preservation Board and the library's motion picture staff.

A film has to be at least 10 years old to be eligible, and all movies in the registry are available for screening free of charge at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

But if you don't happen to live near Capitol Hill, you can buy the DVD here. The DVD includes even more Cruikshank movies (Make Me Psychic is another favorite of mine on the DVD.) And if you must see a tiny version of Quasi at the Quackadero right away, run over here!

You can read all about Quasi's induction into this hall of fame here. And if you'd like to find out more about Sally, this probing interview is available for your reading pleazhure.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bristlebutt McGillicudy

Namo named this guy. But my favorite comment today is from Kristin:

Oh Linda. This one is just wrong. And I say that in the nicest possible way : )

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Marin Headlands

For breakfast I had an Amy's frozen breakfast (fresh salsa) with a strong cup of Major Dickasons. Then I thought: "What am I doing? I should be having a Bloody Mary." So I made a small one and took the paper back to bed. I downloaded the The Philosophical Baby.

We rented a Yaris and drove up into the Marin Headlands. Now we're back home waiting on the turkey. Six more minutes, or so they say.

We're running a little behind. We still haven't decorated the tree.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Wishes For You

Roll your mouse over the pictures to read the wishes.

© Linda Davick

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meeting Ryan

Today I met Ryan, whose Facebook Graffiti I admire. (She did the one above, called House of the Mouse.) She gave me a lesson in drawing with one finger. She wore green nail polish on her fingernails and red polish on her toenails. She has one loose tooth.

That's Ryan, above. I got to go in her room and look around. It has one yellow wall, one pink wall, one green wall, and one blue wall. She has 40 or 50 horses and she told me each one's name.

I was glad to meet her mom, Kristin, too (on the left). Kristin and I had met over the internet through Mary Ann (middle), but we had never met in person before today. Mary Ann chauffeured me down to Half Moon Bay and we had a great afternoon which included playing with cats, Mexican lunch, kite-flying and presents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mari's in the New York Times Today

Her cookies, that is! Read all about them here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to Work a Party

Soon as you enter, scan the room and zero in on your target.

Identify a partner, someone who has your same interests at heart. Approach the situation as a team so as not to draw undue attention to yourself.

It's time to leave. Your hostess asks if you'd like to take a box of cookies and brownies and pie and gingerbread home with you. Hooray!

December 19

Anne had a couple of pieces in this show that opened Saturday night at the stained glass studio. I could not get near her paintings to take photos. But she so disliked the last photo I took of her posing by her paintings at the Tiny show that she refuses to pose by her paintings ever again.

Two special treats:
1. Diana Mangano (above), vocalist with the Jefferson Starship, sang classical music at half time. Rumor has it that opera was her main interest when she tried to enroll in a singing arts school back east. She wasn't accepted because she doesn't read music. So what does she do? She auditions for the Jefferson Starship and ends up performing with them for 13 years (just quit last year). She began the set with Ave Maria. It was amazing to hear her "other" voice.

2. Tasty provisions that never dwindled–though it was hard to stake out a permanent post by the table–and a reservoir of good red wine that didn't run dry.

Two more special treats:
Me in a dress (with snow jacket on top) and the always elegant Anne.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Nite Owl

Just flew in from Namowal. A friend of hers makes these birds from scratch, and Namo bought it in honor of our pal Sally's "Nite Owl" animation. It is perfect! See Sally's animation here, and be sure to click the little watch-in-high-quality (HQ) button at the bottom right.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rainy Day Shopping

This afternoon I walked in the park to Bazaar Bizarre, the SF Indie Craft Fair, and then over to Wishbone on 7th Avenue.

I'm Christmas shopping, yes, but all I can think about is getting home and taking photos of my lavish purchases.

Seriously. See This.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

I thought I was going to have to move out. A door separates my studio from Tom's. Even though the door is closed, all kinds of noise blasts out from under it. I can't even work with my own music in the background. (Can you?) Symphonies and talk shows pour from his studio. I hear one phone conversation after another and sometimes it sounds as if Tom's yelling into the phone.

I've tried white noise machines. Heaters. Fans.

I was sure my problem was solved when I discovered an app called Ambiance that I could download for free. I tried Ocean Flow, Waterfall Splashing, Inside A Quiet Train, Walking In Snow, Pink Noise, Cat Purr, Sauna. In deranged desperation I tried WWII Battlefield. I couldn't take it! Any sound at all was driving me crazy.

Then Saturday I saw this gorgeous hearing aid in the paper shaped like a tiny triangle. It came in 15 different colors and not really, but I almost wanted to be deaf so I could wear one of those hearing aids (neon green). But only when I absolutely had to use my ears.

I had a brainstorm. Noise-canceling headphones! I did some research and ordered these. I knew exactly when they arrived this afternoon. The UPS guy slung the box up onto our porch: THUMP! They're made by Audio-Technica and they're half the price of Bose. They come with a tiny AAA battery that somehow simply cancels noise out. They also come with all kinds of detachable cables in case you want to listen to sounds.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I Finally Get to Meet Jean Gonick

By the way, this isn't Jean Gonick. For some reason she can't stand to have her picture taken, so I had to photograph her best friend instead.

That's Steven Winn and he spoke at the Commonwealth Club today about his new book, Come Back, Como: Winning the Heart of a Reluctant Dog. He used to review theater for the Chronicle, but it wasn't until he started writing about his terrier mutt that my ears perked up.

But enough about Winn, let's talk about Jean Gonick. She let me sit by her in the front row. I'm absolutely crazy about her writing. You remember, she wrote the magnificent Failing at Living column for the Chronicle–it was my reason for getting out of bed on Saturday mornings.

At the Commonwealth Club they passed out cards for us to write questions on for the question-answer period after Winn's talk. I wrote, "What did you have for breakfast?" Jean assured me that he was very conservative in his breakfast habits–that he ate cereal day after day. So I crossed that question out and wrote: "Do you drink? If so, how many drinks do you have per day?" When it came time for questions, I noticed that my question was being ignored.

After 14 or 15 questions had been answered, the facilitator said, "I've saved the most important question, the question that has the most relevance to all writers, for last." I sat up because I knew my question was coming:

"What will your next book be about?"

Oh well. But enough about the Commonwealth Club, let's talk about Jean. Don't you think she should have a blog?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Facebook Update

From: Aggles
Date: December 7, 2009 7:33:27 PM PST
Subject: Frogs
To: Linda

Were you aware that your little frog's back feet are facing in the opposite direction than how they are in nature? Just checking 'cuz I know you didn't take any animal anatomy classes in college. But maybe that's why he's the only creature who isn't really smiling. He has a handsome wartiness though!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Giant Cupcake

Creativity Explored is an arts center where artists with developmental disabilities make art. Last night they had their holiday sale, and look what I snagged!!! It's a giant ceramic cupcake made by Miyuki Tsurukawa.

You can take the top off and hide pistachios inside.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Put a Lid On It

Too tired to put lights on a tree this year?
Stuff them in a jar and plug them in next to the toaster.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

It Came! My Grand Prize Finally Came!

I'm referring, of course, to the grand prize I won in The Squawking Matilda Centre Halloween Story Contest. Talk about a treasure trove.

Below is one of my favorite details from Lisa's book, Squawking Matilda.

Note to Lisa: When we worked for the same publishing company, did you know that it was always my dream to work in the mail room? But I see now that you should have been president of the mail room. Your packing skills are unsurpassed.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Field Trip

Today we went on a field trip. We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, then walked across the swinging footbridge to the Point Bonita Lighthouse. The rangers were excited because they saw a bird they had never seen before down on the rocks. They let us use their binoculars. The bird had a bright orange beak and orange feet (not webbed), and its body was solid dark gray. What was it, Barbara?

Then we drove back across the bridge and downtown to the Metreon to see Robert Cameron's huge photos. He just died (age 98)–and 3 months before his death he was up in a helicopter shooting photos with his Pentax. Besides taking photos, he wrote The Drinking Man's Diet. The diet is "a work of staggering brilliance" according to Forbes, and I have to agree.

One of my favorite views of the city is when you walk out of the Metreon into Yerba Buena Gardens and look across toward the SF Museum of Modern Art. (That's the museum in the very middle with the round roof.)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Beach

Late this afternoon we found ourselves at the end of Sloat, so we parked and walked out on the beach there. The terrain was completely different from our beach! I think I had gotten tired of the rocks on our stretch of sand. These were different–bigger and smoother.

And it happened again. I set the camera on macro, and when I'd push the shutter halfway in order to focus, suddenly I'd see all these magnificent details that were invisible to the normal eye. It was enchanting. At the same time, the tide was coming in–so I had to be on the lookout. Very exciting.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Leftovers for Wayne Thiebaud

Tom's Pie

This pie has no wheat in the crust. I've made some terrible-tasting gluten-free pie crusts. This one isn't bad. Especially if you pile ice cream on top. Here's the recipe in case you really like someone a whole lot who's allergic to wheat.

p.s. I didn't have tapioca flour or potato starch flour or margarine or butter-flavored Crisco or sweet rice flour, or Guar gum. So I improvised using gluten-free all purpose baking flour, butter, regular Crisco, organic brown rice flour, and Xanthan gum.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Emmy! ...

and Happy Thanksgiving, too, to you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Long Shadows

Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down;
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass.
–Emily Dickinson

That poem came to my mind when I took the picture. I googled the poem so I'd be sure to get it right and stumbled upon two things I didn't realize. The first is kind of nice, the second is unfortunate:

1. Look at the first line of the poem; don't think about meaning. What do you notice about the way it looks? It's considerably longer than the other three lines in the poem; Dickinson's duplicating the length of a shadow in the length of her line.

2. Emily Dickinson died when she was 55.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Won. I WON!

illustration © Lisa Horstman

From Oh, my lard.:
What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to present the winner of The Squawking Matilda Centre Halloween Story Contest with her very own puppet illustration of her wonderful story? Linda, your artwork print, signed copy of Squawking Matilda, and Annie Oakely Action Figure are on their way to you in San Francisco!

p.s. That's me in the illustration above. I'm cutting my sister's hair. Yes, on top of winning a signed copy of Squawking Matilda and the Annie Oaklely Action Figure (which I might send to Sally), Lisa created my very own puppet illustration to go with the story. Go here to see how Lisa creates one of these illustrations. But don't expect her to make one for you too. Oh yes, and you can read my prize-winning first place story here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday School Lesson

A friend asked me if I thought life had meaning. I said yes. He wasn't sure. So I asked another friend. She said no.

This morning Elizabeth e-mailed me from her phone and attached the photo above: Can u believe that someone would sell this magnificent frog pitcher–or that I would be so lucky as to buy it?!!

I ask you: Can you look at this object, marked down to $10, and doubt that life has meaning?

note to Elizabeth: I hope you weren't at the flea market instead of being in church.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009