I promise this isn't turning into a knitting blog, but I can't resist telling you about the penguin sweater project that I missed. Apparently they have enough sweaters for the penguins now, so I won't be knitting one myself, but I just found out that someone I actually know knitted a penguin sweater a couple years ago! My opinion of her has risen quite sharply, of course.


It's raining so hard that the gutters are actually roaring. Like waterfalls roar. Like rivers roar. You know what I mean? (I am actually encouraged by this because it means my gutters do in fact function properly.) All the tiny little square holes of the window screens are full of water because of how the wind has blown the rain into them, so you can't even see out the window. The back door frame is leaking a fast drip into the salad bowl I put beneath it. And I have been freezing without heat for over two weeks now! Pity me, for I am in a wretched state of weather-induced misery!

Okay, I feel a bit better now that I got that off my chest. Also, I was able to make my computer play the Pacific Time radio segment so I could make sure I didn't sound terrible on the radio. (I didn't.) Best of all, though, is that a guy who heard me on the radio in New York wrote to me about his family business that used to print zillions of takeout menus for Chinese restaurants all over the East Coast!

So. There you have it, me trying to keep a balanced perspective as I await the heating guys who are supposed to come do an estimate for the new furnace.


Woah. Knitted feline dim sum. I'm speechless!

I almost forgot to say: good thing Kathy was listening to the radio on the way home from her own Xmas crabfest, because otherwise I wouldn't have known that I finally showed up on the radio that night. Doh! I can't make my computer play the clip, either... double doh!

Oh. I am so overwhelmed. One side effect of the furnace being busted is that we have been seizing upon any & every excuse, no matter how frivolous, to leave the freezing house for warmer locales. Since I usually do most of my work in the house, this means that I have put off a mountain (ok, I exaggerate... a small hill, really) of tasks that now threaten to fall upon my cold head. That's what I get for being such a heat ho.... so today I huddle by the little space heater, hoping it doesn't blow a fuse as I write things that must be written, pay bills that must be paid, vaccuum all these little knitting-generated yarn fluffs that are making me sneeze, & so forth. And you thought the life of an artist was glamorous & inspired all the time. Ha.

Here is some satisfaction, though: a self-described New York Jew wrote to say "how they did it in the shtetle i do not know, but we always use newspapers" for latkes.

Also very satisfying: garlic-encrusted roasted crab at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant (despite being tortured with a Christmas carol CD that got stuck on the same 30-second segment forever until we begged them to make it stop). I liked wearing crab bibs with Donna & Debra. It's a good bonding thing. Did you know that you can eat crab in any month that has an R in it?


The burning question of the moment: how did people make latkes before paper towels were invented? I mean, every single latke recipe I've ever seen involves paper towels (no, not in the latkes, you silly goose... you deliver the latkes from frying pan to paper towel), but surely there must be Jewish grannies alive at this very moment who remember a time when they made latkes with the help of... what? dishtowels? some kind of metal rack? newspaper? brown bags? what??? I feel I simply must know, so if you have a Jewish granny you can ask, will you please?

(I must say that the food processor is another Great Modern Aid to Latke-Making. We cranked our batter out in such a jiffy I could hardly believe it.)

I would draw you a Venn diagram illustrating the relevance of this topic to Chinese restaurants, but you could probably do that yourself by now, if you've been reading this blog long enough.

Anyway, Happy Hanukah!


I love this kind of geeky stuff. It makes me smile & gives me some perspective, which I really need right now because the furnace is busted & the bathroom floor is rotting & I am just totally beset by homeowner woes. Of course, there are worse problems a person could have, way worse, but I can't help fretting anyway.

But enough about me. My pal Bari gets the prize for best song lyric diagram request this past Saturday at the Art Health Fair. She asked me (in my Dr. Diagram persona, of course) to diagram Hey Joe, for which I can forgive her forcing me to come up with the lyrics myself (because she claimed not to remember them, ha).

Dan came through town on his way home from Asia, & suggested that I might want to show my Chinese restaurant pictures in Hong Kong or Shanghai. Wouldn't that be interesting? I'll think about it after the furnace gets fixed. Right now the little part of my brain that isn't frozen is completely taken up with various heating configurations, PG&E rebates, that sort of thing.


Hmm... it's come to my attention that there are some Chinese food places, the really minimal take-out-only counters, that don't have menus. How to solve this problem of non-representation in the menu collection?? I think a business card should be a fair substitution... or a picture... or maybe I just have to keep a running list of these places. Well, if you menu collectors come across places with no menu, feel free to ad lib. Jot em down on a Post-it or whatever! Can't let em slip through the cracks! That would be terrible!

In other news, I'm working on a T-shirt design so I can join the world of online commerce. The T-shirt (& lunchboxes too, if I can swing it) will be a combination fundraiser & publicity item for the project. Oh, & a cool clothing item for you! That's the most important part!

I'm trying to get it done in the next few days, but you know how these things go... especially since I'm still sick (snif) & I'd Rather Be Knitting.


Snif. I have my first cold of the winter, despite which I cleaned the studio (achoo!), put on some lipstick for once in my life (well, it has happened before on very rare occasions), & loaded up my trusty Holga for a ride around town with Evening Magazine. This little excursion turned out to be quite a lot of fun, because it meant that I got to visit some Chinese restaurants I'd been meaning to get to for a while now, including Big Daddy's on Telegraph. I didn't actually go in (too busy shooting & being shot), but a man standing on the corner outside said he sometimes went there to get ribs for something like $1.29?? How is that even possible?

At Ming's on Alcatraz they turned out to have a night-blooming cereus in the front window (hidden behind lace curtains), so I bonded with the counterman about that. Theirs is much younger (or smaller, anyway) than mine, & he said that the blooms fade by around 11 pm, which is much earlier than mine do. I wonder if it has to do with age & the size of the plant, or temperature, or what. I'm trying to remember how my flowers behaved when the plant was new. That was a long time ago! I can't believe this plant is 13 years old. It has 2 buds on it right now, which is very, very strange for December.

But I digress. Another result of today's shoot was that my menus got spread out all over the studio floor & then I was motivated to go through & organize & file them all. No, I still do not know how many I have. But I can tell you this: I have representatives from 30 states now, with the biggest stack from New York. Just today a whole tube of menus arrived from New York, which is just so fabulous. Thank you, menu senders! Keep em coming!

I don't know when the Evening Magazine thing will air. If I find out, I'll be sure to say. Same with the KQED radio thing. I don't pretend to understand how stuff gets scheduled in the broadcast world. Right now I'm mostly about trying to understand how to get well. I think it has something to do with sleep, & lots of hot drinks & soup. Renting movies is pretty good too, especially if what you're watching is Charlotte Sometimes.