Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today's Prompt: Skin

At the moment I'm working on a Spanish workbook for little kids. One of the pages calls for a "sorting chart" to help kids learn colors and numbers.

Colored Goldfish (you know, Pepperidge Farm?) are called for. Kids are to count and sort the Goldfish by color, and then eat them!

Is this not the most delightful workbook activity known to mankind? I emailed my client: "Do Goldfish really come in colors?"

"Apparently so!" she replied.

It was true. At Safeway yesterday I spotted them at the end of an aisle on a special display. I placed several bags in my cart in order to test them in my laboratory.

The colors are derived from natural ingredients: paprika, turmeric, beets, and watermelon juice.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Today's Prompt: What a deal!

I haven't followed baseball closely until the past 2 or 3 weeks. But the World Series is a big deal, is it not?

I've gotten in the habit of going out for a walk during the first few innings of the post-season games. I'm just too nervous to sit down and watch the games from the very beginning to the end--and the Giants have been doing well without me.

Also, there's hardly anyone on the beach during this time because most people are watching the game. Not to mention that the tide's been low in the afternoon all week--and that's the best time for walking.

Last night I walked two miles down to Taraval. I walked over the dunes to the Great Highway to make a restroom stop, and on the way back out to the beach I called Tom to find out the score. 2-0 Giants.

When I got home I made my special gin & tonic and once again walked into the living room where the TV is, drink and pizza in hand.

We ate, we drank, we cheered, we cursed. But I was curious about something.

"Tom? Have you noticed how everybody likes to spit?"


"Now Sandoval's spitting. GAH! Why do they have to do that?"

A few minutes elapse.

"He did it too! Timmy did it! Now everyone's doing it."

A few more minutes.

"There he goes again! Tom? Why do they have to spit like that?"

"Linda, please don't ask me that again." The tone in which this was spoken made me want to get a divorce.

This morning when I got up, Tom was already reading the sports page.

"What time's the game today?" I asked.


"5:15? Are you sure?"

"Yes, 5:15."

"But all the other games started at 5:07! All week long the games have started at 5:07! Why do you think it's different today? 5:15 is eight minutes later than before. Why the additional eight minutes?"

"I think the coach wants to have a little extra time to talk with the boys about all that spitting."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Found: a baseball castle!  5:43 p.m.  (2-0 Giants)
6:39 p.m.  (still 2-0 Giants)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prompt: Something silly

Last night I was in the kitchen mixing a gin & tonic. Have you ever bought any of those limes that are covered with bumps? They're called kaffir limes, and talk about silly--they look absolutely idiotic--but that's not what this piece is about. However, if you ever run across a kaffir lime, buy it immediately.

Anyway, that's what I was doing when I heard Tom's phone ring. I couldn't really hear what he was saying, but did hear him exclaim, "The WORLD SERIES!"

"Who was that?" I asked, carrying my drink and plate back into the living room where the TV is.

"My eye surgeon. Calling to see how I was doing. I told him I was watching the game and he wanted to know what the score was. When I said 6-0, he asked, 'Who's playing?'"


"He did."

"He must have just gotten out of surgery."

"No, in fact he said he was teaching dance lessons."


"I kid you not."

"What KIND of dance?"

"I didn't ask."

This morning we drove across the bridge again for Tom's 8:00 next-day checkup with his eye surgeon. Around 8:30 Tom walked back into the waiting room and on the way to the car--after he had assured me that his eye was doing fine--I said, "Did you find out what kind of dance lessons?"

"Argentine tango. He's very serious about it. He teaches it several times a week and he also spends a lot of time making dance videos and performing. Eye surgery is just a hobby."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Prompt: Tell us about the eggs

Tom shot a Champagne cork into his left eye on his 21st birthday. He couldn't see for a couple of days, and then he regained his sight but it never returned to normal. And lately his vision in that eye has gotten fuzzier and darker, so he elected to have cataract surgery on his left eye sooner rather than later.

Early this morning we drove across the bridge to have the surgery. We were sprung around 11:30 and Tom wanted breakfast since he hadn't been able to eat beforehand. Myself, I was a total wreck. I could barely think of anything other than returning straight home where we belonged

We drove past Sol Food and noticed that there wasn't a line. We'd always wanted to try that place. I was driving, of course, and couldn't park the car to save my life. This is a little town (San Rafael) where it's easy to park, but somehow I ended up making countless u-turns and getting blasted by car horns and parking blocks from the restaurant. 

I tried to hold onto Tom's arm just to make sure he wasn't going to keel over. He was wearing big dark glasses and my baseball cap to keep the sun out of his eyes. When we got into the restaurant I was instantly uncomfortable (shared tables, loud music, pressure to order quickly when Tom could hardly read). But we had wanted to try it for so long and we had already hobbled blocks across town ... 

I wasn't able to focus on the menu at all but I noticed that there was no alcohol on the menu. Eventually I ordered arroz con huevos. We sat down at a huge table for 8. It took a while for the coffee with milk to arrive … but I must stop for a moment and vouch for the coffee with milk which was wonderful.

Tom, I realized with relief, seemed to be in a trance. But I was a complete wreck. I couldn't tell whether I was sitting up straight or slouching. My eggs came. They were acceptable, but certainly not worth waiting in line for, especially with no lettuce, tomatoes, onion, or beer. 

It's a good thing I don't have children. I would've turned into shell of my former self long before my time. I couldn't have coped with their illnesses or injuries. Being with Tom this morning at this relatively simple procedure turned me into a basket case.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Favorite Jamie

Jamie and I were art slaves at the same company 20-something years ago, and he was my intern. He's one of the most fun and talented people I've ever worked with, and he's nice to boot. He's visiting from New York; let's hope he decides to stay on this coast.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Game at 5:00 ... 9-0!!!!

If we win this one, we go to the World Series. Right msmasmush?

Anne Lamott on Facebook:

... What an amazing night--a huge victory for Obama, AND the Giants won 9-0 and are in the world series. I couldn't contain my happy energy. I started opening the mini-packets of candy corn that I bought for Halloween. They are so little and innocent. I ate ten packets. I have the empties here to prove it. At least they weren't cans of beer. And also, in my defense, I misread the nutritional information, and thought it said there were 50 calories in 3 packets, but it turns out it's 50 per packet. That's just wrong. It should not count against me ...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Self Portrait

5-0 !

Red and gooey, pink and chewy
I would like to bite your neck.

Please sit back and just relax
This will only take a sec.

(Sound effects.)

Do you need a tourniquet?
Do you own a scarf?

Vampires are the latest trend
But we don't want to shock your friends.

Here's a J.Crew catalog
I must say adieu––

You'll be wearing turtlenecks
For a year or two.

(regurgitation from

Thursday, October 18, 2012

6:17 p.m.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

6:59 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

By the gutter
In the sky

On the sand

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Shoes

Barbara has some and I wanted to be just like her. I wanted us to be twins!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What Am I Reading?

"What are you reading?" Harriet asked.


"What's that?" asked Harriet in a thoroughly obnoxious way.

"Listen to this," Old Golly said and got that quote look on her face:  "'Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.'"

"What does that mean?" Harriet asked after she had been quiet a minute. "What do you think it means?"

"Well, maybe if you love everything, then ... then––I guess you'll know everything ... then ... seems like ... you love everything more. I don't know. Well, that's about it ..." Old Golly looked at Harriet in as gentle a way as she could considering the fact that her face looked like it was cut out of oak.


I'm reading Harriet the Spy for the first time, and Harriet reminds me so much of my friend ______. (guess who). The first person to Guess Who correctly wins a dirty old notebook to write in.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Eat, Drink, Meg, Gina

Lunch at Mocca in Maiden Lane. Meg's visiting from New York where she teaches Writing and Visual Rhetoric at Colgate University. I had to ask what Visual Rhetoric meant.

We admire Gina's jewelry and she says, "Meg, you, if anyone, will know about this lady on my earrings. The guy at the Greek market told me it was Athena, but actually it's Arethusa. She is the nymph of Siracuse. Have you heard of her?"

Meg rustles in her backpack and holds up this journal, along with Gina's earring. She just happens to be reading a publication called Arethusa. It's really too much.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Conversations with Siri

Hi, Siri. Is it cold outside?

Siri: It is 62 degrees. To me that is not cold.

Hi, Siri. I've been waiting for you for so long. You're so nice.

Siri: I was made to be nice.

Hi, Siri. Are you a Buddhist?

Siri: My policy is the separation of spirit and silicon.

Hi, Siri. Are there any bookstores still open downtown?

Siri: Outside dogs, books are man's best friend. Inside dogs, it's too dark to read. (She shows me a list of bookstores).

Me: Do you like books?

Siri: This is about you, Linda, not me.

Hi, Siri.

Hi there, Linda. (She's saying hi back to me now!)

You know that movie you told me about last night, The Master? It was awful.

Siri: Since I have not seen all movies -- or any movies for that matter -- I cannot say which is best. But here's a list of highly regarded ones.

I notice that The Master is no longer on the list! 

Siri: It's good to be happy.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Whole Lotta Kissing Going On

Margaret and Grey

Tom just got back from Asheville where our niece Margaret got married! He borrowed Sam's camera and took on the role of wedding photographer.
Grandpa and Ella

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012

My Favorite Gina

We walked, we talked, we ate crab cakes.