Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Busy Road

I am so used to it by now
that when the traffic falls silent,
I think a storm is coming.

--Lydia Davis
(the one, the only, the inimitable)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marimekko Nerd

Because I am a total dork, and because my love for Marimekko in general, and Chronicle Book's Marimekko publishing (which I edit) in particular, knows no bounds, I volunteered to dress in an outfit that matches the book's cover and have my picture taken by my coworker Irene Kim, who happens to be an Instagram rock-star and all-around great photographer, to make some images for Chronicle to use on its social channels to help promote the book. Here are a few of the pictures that resulted, for your gentle mockery and enjoyment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New York is Fun

Our Grandma/Mamma/Mable trip to New York this weekend was fabulous! Three ladies zipping about the big apple doing things like: eating pickles for dinner at the Carnegie Diner, taking a carriage ride through Central Park, walking on the High Line, riding the Circle Line boat (almost) all the way around Manhattan, exploring Grand Central Station, seeing the Lion King (an enraptured Mabel's thoughts as whispered to me during the show: "This play is awesome!" "It's so beautiful!" and "I've been waiting to see this my entire life!"), and visiting the Guggenheim. So great. Though I go every year for work it's been nearly a decade since I got to visit New York for pleasure. And to do so with my two best gals was such great fun!

Monday, October 27, 2014


This photo--the second-to-last weekly image I shot with real expired Polaroid film before switching to the new clone film made by the Impossible Project--would provide ample evidence for why such a film shift was needed; even if the other factor, of real Polaroid film becoming almost impossible to find at any price, had not also come into play.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Alex Teuscher's New York

I'm off for a ladies' weekend in New York City with Mabel and my Mama! The first non-work trip I've taken to Manhattan in over eight years, and the first time my mother has ever been there. We are very excited. So leaving you on Art Friday with Alex Teuscher's moody photos of the Big Apple--which lend a sort of noir-ish charm even to the most touristy places--seems especially apt. Have a lovely weekend, wherever you go!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Authorship: the Dream and the Reality

This week on the Chronicle Books Blog I got to tell the story of how I came up with the idea for the recent book I not only edited, but also authored, New York Jackie. No joke: it came to me in a dream. Above is my sketch of what the book looked like in my dream. Below is what it really looks like. You can read the whole story here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Most of the fashion and lifestyle photography on The Transatlantic is not particularly to my personal taste. But this photo of the atrium in which sits the Temple of Dendur at the Met, with white winter sunlight streaming in, makes my heart sing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brunch Pals

Mabel and her friend Margot enjoying a postprandial recline in our new butterfly chair. We did not know when we bought it that it would comfortably hold two four-year-olds side-by-side. But now we do know.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I was feeling sort of Jackson Pollock-ish today, and thought I'd post some of his paintings. Simple enough, right? Um, no. Turns out finding images of Pollock paintings is gosh-darn difficult. Normal image searches turn up way more paintings by random people purporting to "do" Pollock, than actual Pollocks, and the images on art sites are often surprisingly low res. Sigh. But here's what I did find, and I was right--they suit an autumnal Friday morning perfectly. But you'll really want to click them up bigger to get the full effect.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

And Thus We Enter The Final Third of The Long-Running Poem Series About The Spring of 2006 (Which Makes The Entire Year-Long Cycle Exactly Two-Thirds Done)

May 1, 2006
I’ve been thinking about routine

What a comfort it is
how much I like it

(there were mauve lilacs
at the farmers market
this past saturday)

but then how
it can be
a crutch

keeping me from walking straight
or making me stumble when its pulled out from under

Haven’t decided anything
about this yet
just thinking

image source is here

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bookish Girlishness

I'm doing it again. I've mentioned several times before how, over the years, one of my preferred easy-reading genres (alongside murder mysteries) has become YA novels. Every time I read one I think the same thing: man, I wish there were books like this when I was a teenaged girl! And then I immediately want to read another one. As if I can retroactively get my fill. Which is a little bit like thinking I should eat too much turkey this Thanksgiving because last year I didn't put enough on my plate. But what the heck--there are relatively few self-indulgent pleasures so harmless and benign as this one. You know you're a nerd when even your vices are bookish.

Anyhow, here's what I've been reading just lately: This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, and Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea. All highly recommended.

photo sources are here, here, and here

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Feeling Cardi

It behooves one to celebrate the little daily inspirations one enjoys, I always think. For me, one such tiny pleasure is cardigan sweaters. Nerdy? Ho-hum? Almost assuredly. But nevertheless I wear one almost every day and they make me inordinately happy. In theory I have them in just about every color there is. My yellow one--more or less the shade shown above--gets worn especially frequently. But looking through my closet the other day I realized I'd somehow developed a hole in my collection when it came to warm colors. No orange, no pink. An omission I lost no time in rectifying. Two new cardigans in those two essential shades should be arriving any day. I favor the Cropped Cashmere Cardigan from British retailer Boden. Usually it has three-quarter length sleeves, but right now they're doing it with long sleeves for Fall, which I'm thinking will make for a welcome variation in the mix. Plus they were on sale when I ordered them (though alas they no longer are right now). Can't wait to rock the pink one especially--the hue of which you can see just below, although I plan to wear it with brighter shades of skirts and tops than this here model is doing.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baby's Last Polaroid / Baby's First Spray Paint

I called this picture "Baby's last Polaroid / Baby's 1st spray paint" in honor of it being the last weekly photo taken with real Polaroid film, before moving on to the Impossible Project clone film, and it thereby forming something of a pair with Baby's First Polaroid. And "baby" of course at this point is almost purely a joke, since here is a kid big enough to help me repaint the little table that now sits, yellow, in our newly refurbished living room. Only after I wrote on the picture with my trusty indelible sharpie did I remember that actually Mabel had in fact spray-painted once before, in the course of a morning of art projects at her grandfather's house not so long ago. But it was too late. And anyhow "Baby's 2nd spray paint" would hardly have had the same ring about it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Michelle Grabner's Circles

I've talked before about how much I loved Michelle Grabner's curation of her floor at the Whitney Biennial. She was the first artist ever to co-curate the show, and lately I've gotten quite entranced by her own artwork. She makes many kinds of things in various media, but the ones that have really caught my attention are her circular pieces. One interesting thing is that, although they cohere quite closely together visually, these are actually two different kinds of works: drawings done in silverpoint (as seen above) and paintings employing tiny dots (as seen directly below). I find both sorts to be quite hypnotically beautiful.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today's Installment in the Ongoing Poem Series About the Spring of 2006 Recalls a Special Day

April 28, 2006
Today I got a promotion and a raise

from Editorial Assistant
to Assistant Editor
This is a big thing
not a small thing

Perhaps the small thing is
the gold glow of pride under my sternum
the smile that keeps creeping up on me

image source is here

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This Year's Big Book Sale

At various times in the past I've posted a poem, a polaroid, and a chunk of publishing reportage, all about how much I love the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library Big Book Sale. And here I am again. It's entirely possible no medium of self-expression will ever quite convey how profoundly I adore this event. It's amazingly vast (see above), and I each year I get lots of cool books there (see below). But a little bit like how those classic book-reports from grade-school always ended: if you want to really find out what happens you have to see it for yourself. It's every September. Mark your calendars people.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ha Ha at Tokyo Fashion Week

Through Spencer Alley, the excellent blog of my very own dad, I've just discovered the Japanese fashion brand Ha Ha. These images from their recent show at Tokyo fashion week, as provided by Fashion 156, are just the best. I love these clothes! I also love the fact that, from what I can deduce, it's the wedding gown--traditionally the final look of a show and its piece-de-resistance, that's worn by the model in the wheelchair. Oh, and there's a dress (just below) with a spot to hold a baby in, as well. Come on!