Tuesday, November 30, 2010

last night's dream

Whenever I have plans to go home to California, my nights are filled with dreams about having to come back. And food I want but never get to eat. Actually, all my dreams contain some element of food I want but never get to eat. Last night it was some sort of pie. Cream on top, and the filling was banana. There's no way I'd want to eat that in real life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


This is the order of what I found on my facebook first thing this morning:

[a link] OregonLive : FBI thwarts terrorist bombing attempt at Portland holiday tree lighting, authorities say...

[a friend's comment...] What a wonderful world. So blessed, give thanks!

To go with a link to Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole singing Somewhere over the Rainbow*

[another friend's status update] "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

That last is Willy Wonka, after Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Scene I, and the complete Shakespeare quote is:

"That light we see is burning in my hall.
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

Naughty being apparently a biblical reference--Philippians 2:15: "That ye may be blameless, and pure, & the sonnes of God without rebuke in the middes of a naughtie and crooked nation, among whome ye shine as lights in the worlde." (the Bible in the article is stated as 1570 Genevan.)

In the context of the three random things my three different friends chose to post, I like "weary."

*[i don't watch tv so the kamakawiwoʻole song hasn't been ruined for me by being used on shows and commercials.]

Friday, November 26, 2010

work songs

Music for Thanksgiving good preparation...

Saint-Saëns for chopping the oyster mushrooms and portobellos, sautéing the leeks and mushrooms, simmering the potato slices in cream. Good because of beauty but without words [or, at times, at least English words] to distract me from my recipes. [Yes, I need recipes.] Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix is especially good for the sautéing.

Then for the shaving of Pecorino Romano and the grating of Gruyère: Fats Waller. And specifically, Handful of Keys for the grating. Really, try it sometime. It's fun.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've just started listening to Suite française on my walks to and from work. Started it on Tuesday, and my brain did what it always does when I read about those times in history that seem so... full. It felt a little jealous of that fullness, that importance, and a little... what would you say?... disappointed, I guess, to be living in a time that seems so normal. Certainly a time that seems comfortable.

But then days themselves can be full. Tuesday. Full of stress and lovely moments and good things and bad things. Work day was nonstop as Powell's changed out its New Favorites displays for its Holiday Catalog titles and this year whole cases were moved and tables taken down and hundreds of books put in and taken out and mostly by me. Stress and exhaustion, and then I'm thinking about the air raid I didn't live through, that I listened to being read to me in the opening of Suite française, and then I'm walking to the cupcake store on my lunch break and presenting my morning helpers with cupcakes and I feel great, and then I'm back schlepping books.

A full day, too, because every time I popped on the computer--before work, at lunch, in the evening--it was lovely news for Stephen.

An image of the magazine cover with his art on it.

An image of a big sign outside of Seattle's Winston Wächter Fine Art gallery that includes Stephen's name.

[see it sort of in the middle, there?]

The news that they've already sold his beautiful series Les Humeurs.

In the evening it was a trip to meet up with the man who's been building my website so we could consult and he could hand me the keys and teach me to drive it around a bit. Lots of stuff packed into a thing like that--all sorts of stuff about future and ambition and hope and what a dangerous thing hope can be. Drove home in fog so thick it seemed to be carrying the car.

Then late, an e-mail, the kind with bad news, scary loved-one bad news--not the really dire kind, not at all, but it's a note equal parts reassuring and terrifying--and funny in that particular way he's always funny. Stephen standing in the doorway to make sure I'm OK.

Finally: past my bedtime, another full day tomorrow, and I go to get ready to sleep, and Stephen says, oh, we forgot the anniversary.

Five years from our engagement. It's right there on the calendar, and we've been watching it approach. We are big homage-payers and celebrators. But the day was just too full to fit it.

But, look.

Stephen and me in the kitchen, and I take my two fingers and touch the little boxes of the calendar where they have the days printed. The Tuesday box says 10. The Wednesday box says 10. I put my fingers on two November 10ths and Stephen laughs out loud. It's not our anniversary at all. The day was just so full the number on the calendar grew. We still have tomorrow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


A really creative member of my merchandising team at Powell's has decided to craft some really cool hanging decorations for the holidays out of old, damaged books. I don't have photos right now, but I do have an image to share. One of the books she used was an old picture dictionary for kids. Some of the illustrations were so funny that she had to cut a few out and save them. One so cracked me up that she cut it out and presented it to me. Check out how this dictionary chose to illustrate the word conspicuous.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the body show benefit: spotlight on b. frayn masters

Yikes, well, I never expected that one day I would be posting on here about creative - ahem - shaving. But with a theme like food, sex and identity, I had to know that my spotlights for The Body Show Benefit were going to get a little blue. I've seen a public "reading" of the below piece, and it was wildly funny. I think it needs no more introduction than that. As always on these spotlights, the next voice you hear will be Nora Robertson. Giving us a little teaser for the always-hilarious B. Frayn Masters.

Need some advice on how to groom “down there”? Check out some fresh ideas in this illustration from “The Pubic Zone.” Back Fence producer and one half of all-girl comedy duo Eastland Academy, B. Frayn writes for Girls Gone Wild magazine under the name of Cherry Daniels, a 22-year-old co-ed. See if she gets up to similar shenanigans at Wednesday’s:

The Body Show Benefit.

Someday Lounge

door at 7PM, 7:30-9:30PM,

$5-15 donation