~dirty martini~

August 9th, 2011

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and the view from Nob Hill… Top of the Mark! Serving a menu of 100 martinis since 1939. According to their website, John Barrymore came just to show his pet monkey the view.

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~eye of the storm~

August 8th, 2011

P1190824Broadcasting to you live from the center of the cyclone and an incongruously vacation-y afternoon (with beloved house guest) in Bolinas and Tomales Bay. Plus a nightcap at the Tonga Room–closest I’ve come to a guest spot on The Love Boat.

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~another flashing chance at bliss~

July 12th, 2011

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It was a long bus ride to Venice High from Hollywood. My mother made me take a summer school typing class though it wasn’t required and I wouldn’t get credit. I retaliated by learning as little as I could: I still look at the keys when I type. What I remember is the voice of Jim Morrison in my ears as vaporous L.A. crawled past.

Once again it seems to be a Doors summer. I’ve been thinking about the sensuality of music (and film and photography and cooking and gardening and pretty much all my favorite pass-times) and how to conjure that sense-awareness and specificity via (often analytical, abstract) written language. These days–never mind pragmatics of job-hunting or pensiveness of the impermanence of all things–somehow music, mystery insists. Then I’m dancing in the kitchen and just this: a flashing chance at bliss.

~sunspots~

July 4th, 2011

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Picnic on Bass Lake: hawks, water snakes, Prosecco, sunshine (and that looping Julian Cope song).

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~i cover the waterfront~

July 2nd, 2011

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~in the dark alleys of china town~

July 1st, 2011

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In the dark alleys of Chinatown hides…Brooklyn.

~ the year of glitter ~

June 23rd, 2011

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Opening night of the Year of Glitter:

rockin the pumpkin fairy dress sent by mom ~

being carded while buying prosecco (on 42nd birthday, I mean, please, but also: thanks!) ~

loving old friends who slice, sauté, simmer tagine, rescue caramelized frosting, snip nasturtium from trailing vines for cake top, who celebrate years of friendship, who introduce new squeezes, who bequeath skull and crossbone gloves all the better to finish manuscript ~

being so close to finishing said manuscript (bleary-eyed, grateful for a day’s holiday) ~

feeling in my skin and full of love ~

discovering a handful of glitter can reinvent everything.

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~undisguised and naked: poet pin-up~

May 31st, 2011

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“Somebody once called it a sauce-pan—said I wore sauce-pan hats.”
Happy birthday to Walt Whitman, self-described “American, one of the roughs, a kosmos, disorderly, fleshly, and sensual, no sentimentalist, no stander above men or women or apart from them, no more modest than immodest,” otherwise known as the man with the sauce-pan hat. Treat yourself to an Edison cylinder recording or dig the whole of Song of Myself from Leaves of Grass, excerpted below.

I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume;
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease…observing a spear of summer grass.
I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked,
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

The smoke of my own breath, echoes, ripples, buzzed whispersloveroot, silkthread, crotch and vine,
My respiration and inspiration
the beating of my heartthe passing of blood and air through my lungs,
A few light kisses
a few embracesa reaching around of arms,
The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag,
The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides,
The feeling of health
the full-noon trill…the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.

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~of vittles & vistas~

May 29th, 2011

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The kids have been rather nose-to-the-grindstone of late, but a couple out-of-town guests and need to look up from the screen from time to time have provided a few moments of frivolity. Above is the Cliff House–burned and rebuilt twice–where we saw two whales over french toast. Blowing water!

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Below is the Camera Obscura view of Seal Rock.

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Often when I get in the thick of writing there develops a notable need for baking bread and cooking–especially cooking new things such as ginger cilantro roasted Tilapia, Spring Rolls with peanut sauce, and Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad).

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The honey-lit view from the kitchen soothes me, as do the meditative tasks, creative but (unlike a novel) fleeting.

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We took a friend from Berlin to the Ferry Building, to The Slanted Door for Vietnamese dinner. The food is still solid in this new (to me) location, but the hectic atmosphere will keep me away. After years of dining in Europe where you sometimes must beg to pay, having a tense, over-worked waiter pick up an ignored check and firmly slap it in the middle of the table is, well, just no. Nice view though.

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Mission Chinese Food was also good, but not quite it either. In my estimation, the restaurants live on two ends of the same spectrum: self-consciously high or low brow.

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Mission Dolores is the oldest intact building in San Francisco. Our friend Maestro Urs rocked its basilica (built later, in 1918) with his Sinfonietta. Kindly note: Mary + drum kit.

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The light and air of San Francisco is something I relish. This is our living room view after a rain, plus sunset, moonrise from the roof. {click to expand}

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~paris flaneurisme by day~

May 7th, 2011

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