Monday, January 31, 2011

Best Internet Purchases of the Month

This month I bought three things I really liked online: two books and a roll of packing tape. Since I can't show the books because they're on my phone, I'll show the packing tape. It's covered with elegant faces drawn by Andy Rementer. This is the very package it came in, sealed with the very tape I ordered. He may have a few rolls left if you'd like some.

The two books were by Melissa Bank. She's only written two books: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Wonder Spot. Let's hope she's writing another one.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Notebook

It's always exciting to buy a new notebook. This one's for my writing class which starts tomorrow.

We receive a daily prompt, then write from that prompt for 10-12 minutes. Then we email it off–exchange writing–with our partner of the week. This goes on for 8 whole weeks.

8 weeks, 8 partners, 56 pieces of writing. One of the pieces of writing might be good. One of your partners might be someone you're happy to have met!

Here's something I copied last week from somebody's blog. Was it your blog?

Instructions for living a life 
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
–Mary Oliver

I was trying to find out more about Mary Oliver and where that quote came from, and stumbled upon this:

When it’s over, she says, I want to say: all my life / I was a bride married to amazement. / I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Colleen and Me

I got to meet Colleen Wainwright today!

Marilyn interviewed her a couple of weeks ago on La Salonniere. When I read the interview I felt an immediate kinship with her and what's more, I knew she would be able to solve all of my problems.

I asked to be her friend on Facebook even though she had posted a polite warning that asked you not to "friend" her if she didn't already know you.

We hit it right off and then she told me she was coming to San Francisco for MacWorld. I knew I had to meet her.

Today we had a divine lunch down in the dungeon at Out the Door. When we emerged back out into broad daylight (after making one stop at CocoaBella) I was pretty sure that most of my problems had been solved. I felt like I had spent four years with my life coach. But even better, I felt like I had spent much too short a time with a real friend.

Thanks, Marilyn, for introducing us.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two Bookish Creatures

Gina invited me to lunch to help celebrate her smash hit book.

In front of Pizzeria Delfina, she laid her cards on the table. She said she was going to order so many things that she was afraid there wouldn't be room for all the plates. She did, too. So just to be polite, I followed suit.

Here are some of the things we ordered: one pizza with scallions, guanciale, an egg, and pecorino; another pizza with house-cured lardo, cipolline, tomato and arugula; a citrus and walnut salad with fennel; grilled marinated brussels sprouts with ricotta crostino; a sardine special; spicy cauliflower with garlic, capers and Calabrian chilies; wine and cappuccino.

A couple of hours later we staggered out and agreed that it wouldn't hurt to go for a walk. We decided to meet back at my house. I wanted to show her the Coastal Trail. When Gina appeared at the door, what did she have in her hand but a huge bag from Tartine Bakery full of brownies for me and gluten-free treats (for Tom).

Do you like her? I do.

One of the oddest things happened. While we were walking on the Coastal Trail, she said, "I think we got married somewhere around here. Is this Land's End?" As we got closer to the Eagles' Nest, which is Tom's and my destination when we hit the trail, I said, "Do you think this might be the place?" She didn't think so at first, because they had approached the spot from Sea Cliff. But as soon as we got there she said, "This is the place!" And it was. It was the very place where she and Dr. Goat had tied the knot.

Gina at the very place where she and the doctor tied the knot.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011


I know I shouldn't brag, but this is my new wallet. I found it at Macy's on the sale table for $5.00. Nobody was around to take my money, so I had to go over and pay for it at the diamond/fine jewelry counter. The artist is Hideyasu Moto.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Way Back When Again

When we got back from saying goodbye to Peter on Saturday night, we went down to the garage and retrieved the mail. A package! Inside was a book–a real book with pages–and a bonus laminated bookmark made by Jamie. The message:

Because you, my dear Ms. Davick, introduced me to these wonderful people way back when.

People are starting to call me dear and that worries me.

I probably did introduce Tales of the City to Jamie way back when because I liked him so much. He reminded me of the wonderful people in the book. I wanted him to move to San Francisco and try the city out for me. Jamie, you did move out here for a while, didn't you? But honestly, I tried to push the books off on anyone who would listen.

The reason I started reading the series was because the cover of the first book caught my eye on the library shelf–not because I knew anything about Armistead Maupin or the San Francisco Chronicle. I was strictly judging a book by its cover. Later it was easy to find the ones that followed because they jumped off the shelves too. (The cover above is not of the same vintage or design.)

Way back when, I never thought I'd be living here. Subsequently, Mary Ann moved away from San Francisco and I moved to San Francisco. Mary Ann and I are around the same age ... but I've always been a late bloomer and I haven't even owned a pair of Ferragamos yet.

But suddenly Mary Ann is back here visiting Michael. The heels of her Ferragamos are getting stuck in the paving stones on Barbary Lane. She's stopping in at Swensen's on Hyde, grabbing a turkey sandwich at the Searchlight, and dialing Mouse on her iPhone.

When Tom and I finally decided to move, I drove out by myself and he flew with Mabel. The car was packed to the gills, and the whole way out I listened to Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, and Further Tales of the City.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It Happened Again Last Night

I'm not getting much exercise because that little pile of shells and rocks was back last night. I felt like I must have picked up 100 pieces, but when I laid them out in a grid (that's what Barbara does) it was more like a gross!

We've only had intermittent internet service since the vandalism in East Bay two days ago. I've tried to relax about it, and yesterday it was nice in a way. But there have been so many questions I've had for the internet that remain unanswered:

How to store vodka

How many calories are in a walnut?

What time does Andronico's open on Saturday?

How to spell hors'edevores

If your 2nd toe is an inch or two longer than your first toe, are there special running shoes?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ocean Beach at Lunch Time

This is what Ocean Beach looks like during the day. I told you it was a city beach.

I was so thrilled with my finds last night that I planned to go back out today at lunch when the tide would be at its lowest. I thought some of the beds of broken shell and rock would still be there–but they had all washed away. I had to walk all the way down to Pacheo and back to find the glass below, but still! A satisfying pile of treasure.

The red brick doesn't really belong, but I was starving. And in my delirium it looked vaguely like a slice of pizza. Then walking back it turned into a sausage and then a molasses cookie.

Invasion of the Beach Glass

Remember the Invasion of the Jellyfish? Remember the Invasion of the Sand Dollars? Last night it was the invasion of the beach glass.

And we almost didn't go at all yesterday afternoon–it was freezing and raining a little. Soon as we got to the edge of the ocean, there were areas of cracked shell and stone that looked like this (I had to take a picture for you):

Actually there were not many blue pieces at all. Usually the areas of broken shell and rock are a mile or two down the beach. I always hear that the best time to find glass is low tide–and this was high tide!

The only frustrating thing was that it got dark fast. Tom walked on, but I didn't even leave the area between Balboa and Cabrillo. When he came back, I was still crouched down, picking up pieces in the dark with my frozen right hand.

As you may have noticed, to me there's something so elementally powerful and exciting about finding these treasures that come out of the ocean. They're like tokens out of a dream. (Tom says "dump," I say "dream.").

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not a Typo

You guys aren't going to believe this. But I just got a bound copy of the Easter book I illustrated, and guess what I read on the jacket cover. 10 Trick-or-Treaters–the first counting book I illustrated–was at some time or other on the New York Times best seller list.

When I illustrate a book I like to do patterns for the endpapers. One thing about the Easter book that I got a kick out of was this: I wasn't sure whether I liked the mint background or the violet background better for the endpapers, so I sent two versions. I meant for them to choose one. They used them both! The violet in front, and the mint in back. I thought it was hilarious and I loved it as soon as I saw it.

10 Easter Egg Hunters will be released on February 8.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Blue Sunday


The sun set at 5:08 yesterday afternoon according to my Tidelog and we were there.

Afterwards I took a shower and ironed my hair so that it would be really straight. I was treating Tom to dinner at Cajun Pacific to celebrate a work victory. We sat by the window. It felt like a date with someone I liked. I wore my cowboy boots and they made me taller, as tall as Tom. So walking back to the car, when we got to the corner, I said, "Let's kiss." Our lips met at exactly the same height.

Unfortunately life is not always this sublime. Take today, Sunday, for example.

Treasures from yesterday's walk on top of Anne's peace card.

Friday, January 07, 2011

CB2 and Creativity Explored

The glass and pottery were found yesterday, but it was too dark to shoot them when I got home. So at lunch today–after inhaling my tamale verde with cheese–I shot my found items on top of a page from the new CB2 catalog. CB2 is collaborating with Creativity Explored (my favorite gallery) and carries some great stuff by their artists, like the Robot Rug above.

And get a load of this one! It's by the charming Pablo Calderon, who I met in person 5 years ago.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Invasion of the Sand Dollars

Remember the Invasion of the Jellyfish? This evening it was the Invasion of the Sand Dollars. You could not avoid stepping on them! One woman had gone back to her car for a laundry basket, and was filling it with sand dollars.

Even more exciting, after our walk, we hit Java Beach. Tom didn't feel like cooking, and if he didn't feel like cooking, why should I have to clean up? The Java Beach at Judah was packed with laptops. There were no empty tables. We tried the one on Sloat. More laptops, but there were a couple of empty stools at the bar.

I adore my laptop and love asking it out to dinner–but I wonder how these joints stay in business when the laptops linger and often don't order much besides a cup of coffee. Of course when I'm the one sitting across from my laptop, I don't look up when a line forms. But I make sure to order a giant sub and fries, because I know in my heart that it's the right thing to do.

Mysterious Package

A very mysterious box just arrived. Inside was a plain brown paper bag. These words were inscribed on the bag in indelible ink:
Linda–Are these the right color?
Happy New Year!

The answer is: Yes. They are the perfect color. Thank you, Katy!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

After Taking Down the Tree

Ms. Maciel Interviews Me

Marilyn Maciel questioned me mercilessly over at La Salonniere: Interviews for the Creatively Curious. Every Monday she publishes a new interview, so be sure to check in again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

This afternoon Tom was driving home from Petaluma in the rain. Suddenly the window on the passenger side exploded! It shattered into a million tiny bits.

When he got home, we cleaned the glass up as best we could. But it was still raining. There was no repair place open on New Year's Day. There would be no repair place open tomorrow, Sunday, either. And meanwhile there was nowhere to park our car out of the rain.

We didn't want to duct tape plastic to the bright red paint on our precious one-year-old car which we love with all our hearts.

We had an idea. What if we cleaned out the basement? Would it fit through the doors? We measured. Two inches to spare.

You can't imagine what our basement is like and this is where the word miracle figures in. For one thing, we had a 2 ft. stack of 3/4 inch 4' x 8' plywood sitting in the middle of the floor. We never considered moving it. It had become a permanent fixture.

There was nowhere to move the plywood! We moved it. Some we leaned against the fence outside, some we stowed under the house, some we balanced on buckets and scrap wood behind the dryer. Some there was just nowhere left to put–so it stayed. We flattened the mirrors against the sides of the car and inched into the garage. It wasn't going to work. Still a foot and a half to go.

Why not just drive the right front wheel up on top of the remaining plywood? We did. It was a Christmas Miracle. There was room at the inn.