Monday, April 30, 2007


I took this photo at China Beach on Easter Sunday, during a traditional walk with a friend who lives nearby. She prepared a fabulous dinner for her Italian family and upstairs neighbor and me, as she does each year. There were no kids there however, so it seemed very, very quiet.

I had to interview today for the job I've been doing for four years. The management of our civil service office has "redefined" our positions and all of us had to submit applications, take a two-hour test and interview as if we'd never met the panel before. Civil service is becoming more and more corporate--which I see as becoming more and more bottom line--which equals more work for us and far poorer service for those we serve.

I feel like the old farts who sit around and talk about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and we'll all right.

But take heart! Bush has finally admitted that "climate change" may be a problem. He lectured us today on how we need to take a look and find solutions to this issue. Excuse me, I think I'm going to spit up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


My friend/neighbor/mom-of-my-favorite-young-person emailed me after reading my last blog entry:

There's a lovely sewing machine on the floor at the back of my closet in the bedroom, just calling out to you: use me! use me! Last time I had room for it out of storage was when I made the curtains for K's room before he was born [about 12 years ago] --so it may need oil, and it may not be all you're used to, but the woman I inherited it from was a passionate sewer and I loved her machine. Please use it while you wait for yours, if you like.

I have a key to her house where my son is living while she and her son are in Taiwan, so I'll check it out tonight and see what I can whip up with this machine. Thank You, Lady L., and give your precious son a kiss for me.

Mine should be back, all tuned up, on Saturday.

Last night, went to Joanne's (blah!) but even they had no unicorn fabric. I settled for Strawberry Shortcake (sugary sweet, but the granddaughter loves her) and Spongebob Squarepants prints for the kids' spring shorts when at Gaga's house.

Unfortunately/fortunately, I live very close to Poppy Fabric on Broadway and College in Oakland where they have the most beautiful fabrics in the Bay Area. I stop often to check for remnants and sales and have already acquired quite a collection of their fabulous textiles.

Again, thank you, Lady L.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I took my Brother sewing maching into the shop for a tuneup & overhaul. Now I feel like my right arm is missing. Boohoo, so much fabric and nothing I can do until next weekend. My granddaughter wants a twirly, unicorn skirt. I almost bought some unicorn fabric online, but forgot my wallet this morning.

This aging thing is the pits. And being busy, busy, busy makes it worse.

But my son took a photo of me and the angels last weekend. I look goofy but the kids are gorgeous, so I'll post it here. Especially for my big brother Wild Willy. Hi, guy.

She is either giddy or sulky. He is now walking all over and loves slinking where he's not supposed to be when you're looking the other way. He's partial to kitchens, any kitchen.

She eats like a bird, He eats like a little horse, like his Dad.

I love them to bits. I could even live without a sewing machine if I had them.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I found this photo of my home town on Wikipedia (my new love). San Francisco is so recogizable in this photo taken from a kite flying 2000 in the air, six weeks after the Big One.

Except for today's bridges, towers and buildings.

You can engage a high-res version of this photo at:

History, my other love, continues to fascinate me. How things change, yet stay the same.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Last night I watched a Peter Watkins film biography of Munch, an attempt to visually explain the creative process and to film stream-of-consciousness. It was extremely long and, for American viewers I'm sure, slow.
I found it haunting, and especially noted the characters looking into the camera in almost every scene. It's in Norwegian, of course, and has a Scandanavian intensity, probably rooted in the strong Protestantism of the place and time.
I can't help but pity poor Munch who never seemed to find love, and suffered from mental illness as well as TB. I'm still digesting the images and narration/ideas.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Being a grandparent is fabulous. You can't undo whatever mistakes you made raising your kids, but you can try to make it better with the next generation. I learned (the hard way) never to say anything negative about anyone in the family in front of kids.

My teenage son reproached me--many times--for telling him when he was a child that I was angry with his dad. Even that was too much. Because his dad is part of him, no matter what.

I love my "Girl Talks" with my four-year old granddaughter. Usually we have them at night when we're in my big bed and her baby brother is already sound asleep. She tells me her dreams and stories and jokes.

Recently I was driving them somewhere and her brother was napping. She and I were talking about the people we loved.

She will tell me she loves my house and wants to stay, but she is very shy about telling me she loves me, so I asked her, "Do you love Gaga?" She was very serious. She thought and said, "Yes, I love you."

I said, "I love you too, sweetheart, very much."

She then asked with some anxiety, "Do you love my baby brother too?" I told her, "Of course I love him. But I've loved you longer." She broke into a huge grin.

Later I want to tell her that she is special and she shouldn't give her heart or body to just anyone who comes along. She must be careful and patient and wait for people who really love her and will care for her. She's a long way from dating and socializing, but I want her to grow up with the realization of how precious she is.

My parents never told me anything like this. As a kid, I'd go to visit my Italian neighbors who called their children their "treasures". Treasures. What a culture shock. My parents were an very odd couple, Depression folks and Presbyterians, so any emotion was strictly taboo. Except anger and despair. We never would have thought of ourselves as their treasures. More like pains in the neck.

I did my best to give my only son joy and love and everything I could (and I'm still giving). He's nearing 30 now and with two kids, is realizing what his single mom went through. Goes around; comes around. As a friend told me, "Karma works."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I love this tree and finally got it together to get a photo of it.
Spent the evening playing with an old CD drive that my computer no longer has the driver for. All this craziness when you upgrade and the software companies make two-year old or older stuff obsolete. Maddening.
And maddening to be scolded by my manager today, as if I'm a five-year old child who is misbehaving. I can do one thousand things well and never get a word of praise, but let me stray from her strait gate and she's jumping down my throat.
Stopped by a fabulous little craft center in downtown Oakland called Rock, Scissors, Paper on Telegraph, but it was closed. I must go back and explore this craft revolution locus. Without people who are creative, I'd go stark raving mad.