Friday, May 29, 2009

Hello, I Must Be Going

So, Brian's set me up a brand new blog over at So, I guess I'll see you over there, huh?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Things I've Been Enjoying Lately

1. Sugar snap peas with hummus from our favorite corner store.

2. Tom Clark's nature poems on Beyond the Pale.

3. Sara Larsen's Novus.

4. Watching sleeping dogs dream in tandem.

5. Reading Catullus in Esperanto.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reading Recap

Yesterday, Brian and I cohosted, along with our friend Erik Noonan, the first of what we hope will be many outdoor pairings of poetry and visual art.

This first 'Reading in the Garden' featured two local poets, Sara Larsen and Jason Morris, reading alongside Brian's artwork. Jason and Sara were wonderful, and I couldn't be happier with how the first 'Reading in the Garden' played out.

Sara Larsen reads from 23 Chromosomes

Jason Morris, post reading

Saturday, May 16, 2009


So, as promised, I made gougeres for today's reading. "What's gougeres, precious?" you ask. Well!

Gougeres are a tasty French cheesy poufy thing. They look all sorts of fancy, with their puffed up and cheesy presentation, but really, they're as easy to throw together as your mama's biscuit recipe. Maybe easier, if your mama has a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be.*

Anyway. I take my gougere recipe pretty much verbatim from here (the July 1960 issue of Epicurious! How retro!).

There's only one adaptation I make: I never cook it as long as the recipe says -- they're usually done in about 25 min (and I've tried this in ovens across San Francisco, so it's not just my own oven's special quirk. Perhaps it's the altitude).

It's so easy. Simple choux** batter, plus cheese. It'll look really funny after you've added the first two eggs, but just keep stirring. It all works out in the end, I promise.

*Not my mama! You should see her biscuit recipe. Clip, clap, clop and you're done.

** Pronounced shoe***. Add sugar, you're making eclairs. Add cheese, gougeres. It's the worlds most perfect dough.

*** A man I spent time with my freshman year of college was fond of shouting "Shoes! Everybody needs shoes!" when he answered the phone. His motivations for doing so are lost to history, but perhaps he, older (slighly) and wiser (much) than I, had already discovered the transcendent adaptability of choux.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Brian's got a brand new blog

As most of you know, my Brian, in addition to being as smart and as sweet as the day is long, is also a talented sculptor. And now he's a blogger, too. You should go check it out.

Ampersand 1 detail

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

We have so much fun, my mother and I, that we are often blurry.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Next Saturday, May 16th, we'll be hosting a reading in the garden behind Brian's studio at 2221 15th St in San Francisco. Come hear readings by Sara Larsen and Jason Morris, visit with Brian's art , and have some snacks (will I make gougeres? I just might!).

Thursday, April 30, 2009


or, reason # 125 not to perform culinary chores at 2 AM. You might wake up to discover you've made one half dozen hard boiled eggs that look like this:

Also, the container is labeled 'Hardy Boys,' which is apparently 2 AM for 'Hard Boiled.' At least I amuse myself.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nasty, fat hobbit seeks same

I've been looking for part time work for some time now, and recently ran across this ad:

Relationship Assistance - Part Time
Date: 2009-04-28, 7:43AM PDT

Super busy affluent SF Arts/ Entrepreneur who travels a lot for work needs part time help finding a girlfriend/LTR. I figured that someone out there must have the skills and time to do this for me, like hiring a recruiter to help find the right employee. This is a project that might take a month or two. The pay would be $30 an hour up to $5000 with a bonus if we succeed. I am a 50 something year old fit, smart, attractive, cultured, extrovert, humorous, white guy married once no kids. And I am a quasi high profile SF person with full a biography and photos online i.e. not some closet weirdo. I’m looking for a youthful super smart stylish creative urban woman who lives in SF for LTR. That seems pretty straightforward. The job would involve finding and interviewing 5- 10 women online and in person (I am picky visually). It would take a couple months I assume.

If you are interested in this job, please send me a note and let me know why you would be good at it, why I should trust you, and how you would go about it. Confidentiality and discretion on all levels is a priority. I’ve never done this before, and I am neither patient nor experienced with online dating. You need to be SF based, college educated, smart and street savvy, with a highly organized nature, great sense of humor, refined taste and an especially good eye. You can send me a resume if you want, but this is not essential.

Anyway, I thought it was a little funny and a little odd, but also I kind of like playing matchmaker and thought it might be interesting to try. So I sent the ad to Brian for his perspective. What follows is our skype chat, edited only slightly for length and clarity.

Brian Andrews
4:50 PM

I first read LTR as 'Lord of the Rings'

4:50 PM


Brian Andrews
4:51 PM

"I’m looking for a youthful super smart stylish creative urban woman who lives in SF for Lord of the Rings."

4:51 PM

confused smileys
That would be a better job.

Brian Andrews
4:54 PM

"I am a 50 something year old fit, smart, attractive, cultured, extrovert, humorous, white hobbit looking for a way to get rid of this damn ring."

4:54 PM

decompression sickness
"smoker preferred."

Brian Andrews
4:56 PM

i like um raw and wriggling

4:57 PM


Brian Andrews
4:57 PM

with taters

4:58 PM

"Civil servant seeks frigid woman looking for someone to melt her mannish heart. Must like swordplay, nursing, and Númenóreans, but be willing to settle for me."

Brian Andrews
4:59 PM

happy smileys

Edited to add: should you need a refresher on the plot of Lord of the Rings, here's some guys from New Zealand's take:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dime Store Aesop

Today, Bella, Shelby and I took our trice-weekly trip to our favorite park. As we made our way up the hill, Shelby disappeared into a thicket, following some scent or other, and emerged with a slight limp. A cursory examination revealed a thorn stuck in his front paw, which I removed. I can only hope that some day, when I am thrown into the arena to be devoured by small dogs, Shelby will remember this favor, and spare me.

Later, on our way down the hill, we ran into a boy who had gotten separated from his mother and couldn't find his way back to where he left her. After some consultation, we determined that he had two dogs at home, had been somewhere near the top of Corona Heights before he got lost, and had followed me in the hopes that I would know where to go. So, we decided we should walk back up the hill together to see if we could figure out where his people were. Then I remembered that I had my cellphone, and we called his mother and arranged for a rendezvous. And so everyone was happily reunited.

Then, when me and the dogs were making our way home, I stepped on Bella's paw, causing her to yelp like a harpooned seal. I will not be spared in the arena, after all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lemons into Lemony Things

The past few days here in San Francisco, have been hot hot hot. Luckily, we had a surfeit of lemons about the house, making for all sorts of tasty ways to cool off:

1. Tasty lemon cocktail

My cousin, Molly, and her fiancee Steve got me a bottle of Creme de Violette as an early birthday present (I'd been searching for it ever since I read about it while looking for New Year's Eve cocktail recipes). So last night, with the temperature still havering around 80, we decided to give it a try:

Blue Moon

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce crème de violette

Shake in cocktail shaker with ice, strain into martini glass and garnish with two thin lemon slices left over from:

2. Lemon Pizza (from this month's Martha Stewart Living):

Makes one 12-inch pizza

* 1 round pizza dough
* 3 ounces Piave cheese, shaved (I substituted Parmesan, and it was tasty)
* 6 very thin slices lemon, seeds removed
* 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
* 1 tablespoon small sprigs fresh rosemary
* Freshly ground pepper
* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


1. Arrange cheese evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the lemon and onion slices. Sprinkle with rosemary, and season with pepper. Drizzle with oil.
2. Bake pizza in 500 degree oven for 10 minutes or so.

Once we get this week's veggie box, I'm going to try this with orange slices instead of lemon and fennel instead of onions. And then I'm going to move to Italy and become a vagabond pizza chef.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tricia Asks, I Comply

In response to Tricia's challenge

But, really, "no touch-ups, no primping?" Hardly a challenge for grubby old me. You're lucky I remembered to brush my hair in recent memory. (And if you'd like a better look at the sculpture behind me, it's one of Brian's, and you can see it here).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Beware of little dogs

So, yesterday, I was out walking two of my regular charges, Bella (aka Bella Z. Bub, aka Bella Boo, aka Queen B) and Shelby (aka Shelby Tiberius Buttlicker, aka Shelby Baloo, aka Thelonious Bucket). Here's a picture of the two:

I walk them three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), and over time we've developed a routine: I get them as wound up as I possibly can before we leave the house (not that hard), and then we race uphill for two blocks on our way to Corona Heights, where I let them off their leashes and we poke around on the trails and in the long grass and wildflowers.

Like so:

Anyway, when we left the house yesterday, Shelby started running for the hills, as is our custom, but Bella, for some reason, decided to do a funny little back and forth jig. Which sent me tumbling, yellow boots over ears, onto the pavement.

And here's my poor finger (I've included the other hand so you can compare the negligible bruise with my normal fingers). I've also got a goose egg on my knee.

Bella escaped unscathed.

Friday, April 03, 2009

You can find out more about inspiration at your local library

"Through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration."

Steve Martin, from "Born Standing Up"

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Liveblogging this little bit of nothing

We're lying in bed and my small toe hurts. Brian is watching "Law and Order" on his laptop and I've put down my reading because there's something about lights and moving pictures that make it impossible to look away. Outside the door, Hope's cats are running up and down the hall, thumps and gallops and half-Siamese yowls. The yowls are all Phoenix. Theodore is the Harpo of the two.

"Am I in trouble?" a suspect asks, and the camera cuts to a technician taking fingerprints off a paper cup.

The flowers on my nightstand have wilted.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gone Pup-Walking

I'll be back soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Leto's Children

So, last night, I participated in a reading at the Lutecium here in San Francisco. I read a piece that I've been working on for a while, inspired by the lives of siblings William and Caroline Herschel and their imagined similarity to the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. It's an odd little thing, one of those works-in-progress that never seems to get finished, but for some reason it's my favorite piece to read aloud.

This being the internet, I can't read it aloud to you. So the written version will have to do for now.

Leto’s Children

“We’ll live on the moon,” says William, “as soon as we’re able.”

He is holding on to grandmother’s front gate, his feet wedged against the base of the frame and his body bent and then straight like a windshield wiper as he pulls back then thrusts forward, making iron hinge music. It’s almost so dark that we’ll have to go in. William is thinking about this, too, because he says, “On the moon, it is never dark. The ground glows at night. During the day, too.”

From where I’m sitting, in the dark shadow of the hedges, William’s hair stands out against the darkening sky, like clouds in front of the moon. When the light shines pink through the clouds, we say that it’s the fruit trees blooming in heaven, and I wonder what makes William’s hair shine so coldly. Maybe it’s the bones in his skull.

There are thirty-one bones in our heads, but they grow together, binding as we get older. I like to think about William and I, and how we might have super powers. Like maybe we’ll never get old, or if we do, our skulls will stay flexible. We could end up smarter than anyone.

I imagine our skulls opening like water lilies, turning like music boxes. I imagine our skulls flexing, gathering light. I imagine us dead, discovered by archeologists.

“They’re perfect,” they’ll whisper. “Each like the other, the pinnacle of their age.”

Sometimes I wonder if we were even born. Will says he remembers it, that mom cried like a wild thing while she had me, then laughed as he arrived. But I don’t believe him. We’ve been just like now forever.

“On the moon,” says William, “the language is music. This fence right now is speaking Moonish.” He pulls back with gusto. The gate sighs reluctantly.

Grandmother’s house is in the country. When it gets dark here, no streetlights come on. The stars are bright and clear and go on forever. I lie back onto the grass and it looks like they’re just above me, as if there is no sky. There are just lights, an arm’s length above me, set in dark blue corduroy. If I don’t move, they’ll be inches from my eyes forever. But soon it’s dinnertime, and when I get up the sky is far away again.

My bedroom is below William’s, and at night he drops notes and pictures through a hole in his floorboards. I can’t reply, because the knothole is too high for me to reach even if I stand on the dresser. After a while, I just watch out the window, listening to the whisper of papers dropping from the ceiling. There are deer in the meadow.
Just before midnight, I see a tree moving towards me, out of the forest. It’s massive, and moves deliberately, unhurriedly. Its branches are thick and ancient, hung with moss. I’m embarrassed. I don’t want to witness something so strange, so unique. I don’t want to be singled out by the gods, or by magic or whatever. When it pauses at the edge of the meadow, I realize that it was only a moose.

Climbing back into bed, I brush one of William’s letters to the floor. “The earth is round,” it says. “There are stars beneath us, too.”

One winter’s night, our father took me out into the street to show me the stars. The air was sharp and cold inside my nose, and the breath in my chest felt hollow and alive. He named the constellations as I watched, calling the sky into order.

“Our father was made of minerals in the darkness under the earth,” I write, alone in my bedroom, William awake above me. “He never lost his baby teeth. He was created whole.”

Because we are twins, William and I guard each other jealously. Once we had a birthday party, and a man had a balloon for William, but not for me. William handed it to me, and I drove my heel into it until it popped. “Helium,” William says, “was made by the sun god Helios. It wants to return to the sky.” I agree. There’s room enough in the sky, and no need to stay here without reason.

Our father’s father was made of stone, minerals forged deep down inside the earth. He could sand wood smooth against his cheeks. You couldn't get a straight answer out of him, and when he told you things there was a bit of sandpaper hidden inside or maybe a smooth bit of stone, so if you tried to eat it then you had rocks inside you, too.

In the afternoons, we tromp through the forest, setting traps. Once I caught a mink, and kept it as a pet. One morning William and I went to the river, and he dared me to shoot a duck that was far out on the water. I’m known for my sharp eyes, and had no trouble hitting it, even though it was little more than a dark shape. Later that night, my poor mink washed ashore.

Our grandmother is made of smallness. “Grandmother weighs less than nothing,” William says. “Literally.” Her house is in the country, and the sky is set in corduroy. At night, she looks out the window, and is she made of looking.

We play music every night after dinner. William conducts, and I sing, or he plays on the piano while I polish the mirrors that hang at the bottom of the stairs. “On the moon,” William calls to me, “beauty is prized above all things.” The piano soars up, up, up, like city lights on a hillside. I look in the mirror, and the sky falls open behind me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Great God! I'd rather be a Pagan.

Twelve years ago, I was living in Santa Fe and learning Homeric Greek from Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek: A Book for Beginners. It's funny what sticks with you. I can still recite the opening lines of the Iliad, and have used it to scare away telemarketers:

("Can I speak to the lady of the house?"

"Menin aeide, thea."

"Um... is Ms Sawyer there?"

"Peleiadeo Achileos/ oulomenen, he muri' Achaiois alge' etheken/ pollas d' iphthimous psuchas Aidi proiapsen/ heroon, autous de heloria teuche kunessin/ oionoisi te pasi, Dios d' eteleieto boule!"

"I'll call back").

But really, not all that much has survived the intervening decade plus. This morning, however, I was jolted by a comment on my last post into a half-remembered footnote in Pharr's Lesson XXIII (the subjunctive mode of verbs). The note refers to line 45 in Book One of the Iliad, in which Apollo strides down from mount Olympus, "and his coming was like the night." Pharr writes,

"It is none less than the mighty god himself who is now before unto the night, both in swiftness of coming and in the awful gloom and dread which night brings to primitive peoples who have no adequate lighting facilities."

I'm not sure why I have to cross my fingers before I can fall asleep. Lying in bed at night, the shadow of a tree cast sharp against the wall by the neighbor's security lights, I know that I have nothing to fear from what little dark surrounds me. But something of that "awful gloom and dread" lingers in the real and irrational fears that crowd around my sleepless head.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Things I Might Never Tell You Otherwise

1. I tend to move through the blogs I read regularly in alphabetical order. This means that Dykes to Watch Out For follows Dawn Eden in my daily cycle, and those odd companions are forever twinned in my mind.

2. Every night, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and murmur, "Well, that's something," at my reflection in the mirror.

3. Before I board a plane, I pull out a strand of hair to leave behind. I feel better knowing some piece of me is still on the ground.

4. I have to cross my fingers before I can fall asleep.

5. I love the smell of dirt, basements, and motor oil.

Friday, March 06, 2009

This I Believe

1. You really should tip for take-out. I mean, sure, they don't have to clean up after you, but they went to the trouble of putting your food safely into a container and then maybe a plastic bag, didn't they? Never mind not losing your order in the first place.

2. Tips on beverages should be a dollar per. This is an extremely good deal for baristas, and a slightly less awesome one for bartenders. Which isn't really fair, come to think of it, because belligerent drunks are probably far more annoying than the insufficiently caffeinated. But drunks are also far more likely to be jolly, generous, and bad at math.

3. People who speak disparagingly of others in public should be subject to a mandatory time out, accompanied by a 'this is your life'-style montage hosted by Jon Stewart.

4. Only those who receive paid sick leave from their jobs should ever be subject to cold and flu viruses.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Thoughts While Listening to Hail Stones Falling on a Tin Roof

When we first moved to San Francisco, six years ago this past Sunday, Brian and I were completely befuddled by how green it was, when it never seemed to rain. We'd come from just outside Boston, leaving behind two feet of snow and freezing rain that seemed to blow in horizontally from underneath the railroad bridge two blocks from our house. Green was a revelation. Sunny was another.

By the time we'd lived here a full year, we had figured out San Francisco's secret: nonstop rain from November to February, leaving green hills that slowly turn to gold as the summer extends dryly into fall once again. This year, the rain's been lingering into March, with blue-sky sunny days that suddenly turn into hailstorms, and long cold days like this one, when the sun only makes the briefest appearance.

I've been doing very little lately. Freelance work has dried up, and I've somehow forgotten how to do all the things I wanted to do back when I was working a job and a half while New College was crumbling around me. Every night I fall asleep with schedules running through my head: I'll get up at eight, start writing at nine, and not stop until I've found my groove. I'll walk to the library and research Turing, or Steinmetz, or some one else who will get me excited about ideas again, get me thinking and working and doing, and not just staring at puppies and daydreaming the day away.

It's been a year since I left my job. I've forgotten what it's like to be busy, to fall asleep with a head full of ideas and to wake up scrambling madly to get them all accomplished. Is this just a part of a natural cycle of fertility and fallow-ness? Or do I need to get off my ass and start getting shit done?

At the very least, I should probably clean my room.

Friday, February 06, 2009

To do:

Nap with kittehs

Huggle puppies

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things #6 of 365

1. I'm watching my friend Jason's cats while he's in Argentina for a month. Their names are Charlie and Chester, and they are the oddest little things. Chester likes to stare at the bedpost for hours. Charlie has a nobbly little mid-length tail (he's not a manx: it's half as long as a normal tail), and a perpetually grouchy loo.

2. Brian's laugh.

3. Argyle socks and moccasins.

4. Writing an angry letter to my calendar's manufacturer. I'll probably never send it, but seriously, the thing fell apart weeks ago and it's not even February. Anyway, the writing was cathartic.

5. Cats snoring and purring simultaneously.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things #5 of 365

1. Petra Haden's cover of "Don't Stop Believin'":

(She also covered the entirety of The Who Sell Out. And she's Charlie Haden's daughter. And I'm a little obsessed right now).

2. The black jeans I rediscovered in my closet while looking for my purple plaid short pants. New Pants!

3. R.W. Knudsen Spritzers (if you'd like to offer me sponsorship, Knudsen family, I'd be happy to oblige).

4. Cartoons.

5. Randomly running across a carbon copy of an 'Authorization for Surgery' form marking my place in a long-ago abandoned book of poetry, and realizing how lucky I am to be through with all that nonsense, and how lucky I was to go through it with the people I did.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things #4 of 365

1. Allowing myself a weekend off, even if it means that this Grace in Small Things thing is protracted over 365 weekdays.

2. Finding my other orange argyle sock in the dryer, after I'd given it up for lost.

3. The way that Shelby-dog clambers up onto my chest when I lean down to greet him.

4. Listening to sad songs with poet friends after a reading.

5. A cold night in San Francisco, with luminous clouds on the horizon

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Deep Thoughts

So Brian and I have started watching the American remake of the BBC programme 'Life on Mars'. In it, Lisa Bonet plays Maya Daniels, the modern-day girlfriend of Sam Tyler, a detective who has mysteriously traveled back in time to 1973.

So my question is: if Lisa Bonet is 'Maya Daniels' in Sam Tyler's world, does that mean he lives in an alternate dimension, where the Cosby Show never existed? And if so, does Obama still get to be president there?

Take that, Bishop Berkeley.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things #3 of 365

1. Walking out of the Flood Building into the rain, feeling all film noir.

2. Letting people read my fiction, and hearing good things about it.

3. Watching my housemate's cat go absolutely nuts over one of my pony tail holders.

4. Wearing a jaunty white scarf, as if I were battling the red baron.

5. Reading Lacan, and feeling my brain at work again.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Puppies: Now Less Blurry

Grace in Small Things #2 of 365

1. The delicious fungal smell of Buena Vista Park on a foggy day.

2. Sliver gray blue gum branches standing out against the bright green leaves of the surrounding trees.

3. The normally stoic dog totally losing his mind in a pile of dirt.

4. A Christmas wreath hung from a tree beside said dirt pile.

5. Hearing a fog horn sounding from halfway across the city.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things #1 of 365

For the next 365 days, I'll be participating in Schmutzie's Grace in Small Things project, an project highlighting the small good things that happen everyday. As Schmutzie writes,

"The world we live in is loud and harsh and bright and demanding, and it is easy to slide into a less than thoughtful survival mode in which we do what we have to do to make it through the day with the least amount of strife possible. This robs us of the time and energy to be mindful of ourselves and those we love and to recognize the grace that exists in small things."

So here goes. Day one:

1. Felix Sockwell and Thomas Fuch's Deconstructing Dumbo, which satisfies some deep down humor/miniature image circuit in my brain.

2. My housemate's cat, Phoenix, who has taken to sleeping at my elbow during the day, and who has prominent fangs.

3. The sky outside, which is perfectly gray today.

4. Spelling gray with an 'a', which makes me think of my mother.

5. The jumbo box of goldfish crackers that Hope brought home from Costco the day after Nine died, just for me.

5a. Celebrating the life of a tremendously fat cat by consuming as much food as I possibly can.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Turns Out, Happiness is a Warm Puppy

Meet Shelby. He's not ours -- he belongs to our friend Shelley, and lives above Brian's studio space. The only downside is I don't think I'll ever get any work done, ever again. Oh well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Just a few minutes after our dinner guests left tonight, Brian and I heard what sounded like someone screaming. Brian ran outside, I called the police. When they arrived (4 cars!), no one was to be found. Brian says he heard someone yelling up the street from us, then nothing. We both heard them say, "Help." Brian heard them say, "Leave me alone."

Living in the city, you get used to hearing scraps of other people's lives, their drunken yells and their early morning car doors. But this cry was weird. It reminded me of the coyotes we used to hear some nights when we lived in Vermont. It was so distorted that we couldn't agree if it was a man or a woman.

The police didn't find anyone, though. Which makes me wonder if we made the whole thing up. Maybe it was someone who'd had too much to drink, and didn't want their friends to walk them home. Maybe it was a couple having a fight. But the weird thing is how strange it makes the nighttime street seem no longer like a friendly block of people and dogs and stained-glass makers, but instead a wall of houses, where every dark window could hide a secret danger.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodbye, Monster Cat.

Late last night, 9 started acting strangely -- his back legs became very weak and he was obviously in distress. We rushed him to the animal emergency room, and it turned out to be an issue with his heart. He had an enlarged aorta, and a blood clot broken loose and cut off circulation to the lower half of his body. By the time we got to the vet, his back legs were completely paralyzed.
The vet advised us that treatment would be very painful, would have only a slim chance of working, and would not prevent sudden and serious relapses which in all probability would be fatal. After going over all the particulars, we decided that the kindest thing to do would be to let Nine go, and minimize the amount of pain he had to go through. It was a hard decision, but the vet agreed that, if it were his cat, he would do the same.
The good news is that it happened very fast, and that Nine didn't seem to have been in pain until the very end. He spent a good portion of the day on my lap, and the rest out in the yard lying in the sun and being mean to the other pets. He was happy, he seemed perfectly healthy. I don't think I could have planned a better day for the guy.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


So I was in my kitchen this morning, making broth and drying sprouts in the convection oven (look at me! So domestic!), when I realized just how much Xmas loot I was sporting. This year's haul seriously upped my sartorial awesomeness. Let me show you!

First up, we have the gloves I got from my parents. Aren't they rad? And you can get your own through their church's website! Just click on the link for Miss Pam's Mittens. Yay church lady crafts!

Oh, and it's backwards because I took these photos on my computer, but you can see I'm wearing the t-shirt my darling seester sent to Brian. I stoled it. Too bad I didn't grab the other one before Brian toddled off to his studio with it on, cause then you could see that my kitchen now has wifi. Say hello, kitchen!

(What did my seester send her seester, you ask? Why the ever-awesome Star Wars cookbook, that's what! And soap. Why did everyone in my family send soap this year? Do I look that stinky?)

Speaking as we were of the Brian, want to see what he got me? Sure you do!

Moccasins! From an genuine 'Native Arts' store in Canadia! They're very warm. Which is good, since as you can see, I'm wearing winter outdoor wear in the house. And yes, I'm cooking in my pajima pants. So you can't see the lovely belt my cousin Claire sent. But rest assured it's very cute, and single handedly makes the jeans-and-sweater I throw on before leaving the house like deliberate components of a genuinely thought-out outfit.

Last but certainly not least comes the gift from my Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Bill. This gift is one of those gift that brings with it the warm fuzzy feeling of being understood absolutely. Can you guess what it is?

That's right: it is a fuzzy muppet-like faux mink. It is also a visible manifestation of my inner core. Paging Phillip Pullman!

And on the non-sartorial front, I'm currently listening to the Choir Practice CD that my Aunt Carol gave me for Xmas. I've been playing it constantly ever since I got back from Vancouver, which means I've pretty much had it on repeat ALL YEAR. Here's a taste:

Christmas: Awesome.

And now I'm worried that this is a tacky display, a philistine reveling in the material side of Christmas. But really (honestly!), this is just a post about moment in my kitchen when I looked at the world around me and realized how lucky I am to be surrounded by so much love. And loot.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


1. Take more walks.

2. Be a better friend.

I knew it.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Highly Reccomended: Train Travel

Blizzard optional.

I honestly don't know why I don't travel by train more often. Well, yes I do: it's not that much cheaper than flying, it takes a long time, and there's no direct route from San Francisco to any of the cities I visit with any regularity. But all that aside, it's just so much more civilized than flying. There are parlour cars and dining cars, dinner reservations and wine tastings, private rooms to lie down in (if you fork out enough cash), and an endless stream of vistas out the windows. I could totally see Brian and I becoming one of those train-nerd retired couples someday. Assuming there's such a thing as retirement when we get old.