Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chris Jackson

This article in the New York Times about Chris Jackson, the man who is--shamefully for the industry--one of the only black book editors in mainstream publishing, and who "is transmitting ideas from writers on the margins to the mainstream readers who need to hear them" is a great and fascinating read. The piece sums up some of what Jackson has done in his career so far thus: "To the extent that 21st-century literary audiences have been introduced to the realities and absurdities born of the phenomenon of race in America, Jackson has done a disproportionate amount of that introducing." Highly recommended reading. 

Photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis for the NYT.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Most of my pinboards are organized by color and I put a lot of fashion and some interior decor stuff and some art in there. But I have one, called "science" where I put amazing creatures I happen to find in my ramblings on the internet. These things astound and amaze me every time I look at them, and put me in mind of the awesomeness of nature. Of course the problem with Pinterest is that attribution can get tricky, but if you click through to the board and then onto each image you'll at least be able to follow the trail of where I found it.

Above, the helioceras heteromorph ammonite (creative rendering, long extinct)

Sea-urchins (photo by Andreas Karelias)

Argus Pheasant Feathers




Diane’s Bare-Hearted Glassfrog

Lachryphagy (butterflies drinking the tears of turtles)

Elysia Chlorotica (a sea slug that can process sunlight like a plant)

Tardigrade (creative rendering of the microscopic creature)

Monday, February 8, 2016


A very dear moment of Sunday morning Mabel/Daddy pajama snuggles on the sofa that warms my motherly and wifely heart.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Studio Visit with Tiffanie Turner

Yesterday I got to visit the studio of my pal, paper botanical artist extraordinaire Tiffanie Turner. I brought a picnic lunch and she showed me her work-in-progress and I very much enjoyed her company and the dreamy light in her studio. A magical space where big things are happening! Not only is Tiffanie in the middle of writing a book (full-disclosure: not for me nor the fine publisher for which I work) but she's also in the midst of preparations to go be the Artist in Residence at the de Young Museum in May. Damn! Girl is on fire. And the work is stunning as always. (You may recall the giant paper peony piece in Mabel's room which was a special Tiffanie Turner commission, and/or the astonishing dying flower from the Dead of Winter show (a show Ms. Turner also very ably curated--see what I mean about on fire? It's kind of perpetual with her) both previously featured here).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Long-Running Saga of Poems About the Summer of 2006 Continues to Continue

August 11, 2006
Today I decided

to make a list
of all the places I go
on my lunch hour
to run errands

Walgreens (I try not to even think about how much money I give to that chain)

various ATMs (I ought to go to Washington Mutual and save the fee
but it’s just far enough away to be inconvenient
and so I go to the Patelco credit union
or else the strange little Wells Fargo atm in the cubby next to the See’s candy store
and you can get stamps there too
I used to go to the one around the corner just a little way up the block
don’t know what it’s called
but then it was always out of cash on Fridays so I stopped going there
Once I went to the new bank on the corner of Market and Second
but it gave me fifty dollar bills which weird and caused me trouble
so I haven’t gone back there)

the bank (for when I need to deposit a check
as opposed to when I just go to whatever random ATM for cash on Fridays)

the post office (for stamps when one wants
more/better/different/cheaper stamps than the ones in the Wells Fargo atm
or when one gets the urge to eat the weird spicy crab soup at Briazz too)

Chatz (for coffee
Ground coffee by the pound I mean for making at home
Bill is still loyal to their beans after having worked there so long ago
and it is true that the coffee he makes in the morning
is pretty much my favorite coffee of all time
mild but not weak
I didn’t even know coffee could be both those things at once
until we started living together
apparently it has to do with the beans coming from South American countries)

Stacy’s Books (far too often)

the Fast-Pass booth down inside the Montgomery train station (where the people
are laboriously slow and consistently become deeply confused
by the same simple transaction I perform every month
buying two Fast Passes using
a thirty-five dollar commuter check and sixty bucks in cash
they inevitably claim they can’t give me my ten dollars back in change
because they cannot give change on commuter checks
and I inevitably patiently explain that the change is for the cash
and they say Oh! with shock and recognition
And then a month later we go through the whole song and dance again)

Patrick and Company Stationers (both locations
though not often
because at both the people are also painfully slow
almost to the point of hilarity
but not quite)

and very occasionally the mailbox on the corner of Market and Montgomery

image source is here

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Bento

I've become quite fascinated with the Instagram feed @bookbento "Books with a side of stuff." These images from their stream should quickly show you why. It's sort of a subset of the whole Things Organized Neatly phenomenon, which, I recently learned, itself comes out of the aphorism "always be knolling," one of Tom Sachs "10 bullets." If none of this is making any sense to you (it didn't at first to me until suddenly, bam, it did), read here and here and here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Goofs on the Coast

Usually I make it a point to organize my blog posts--particularly the travel-themed ones--in strictly chronological order (because I'm just that sort of organized type-A person). But for this particular trip--taken a couple of weeks ago with some of our dearest friends to one of our very favorite places, Mar Vista Cottages on the Mendocino coast--I cannot resist a more mixed-up, impressionistic image sequence. It just captures the magic of this delightful long-weekend better.