SF Bay Area folks, I shoulda said something about this earlier, because you only have through the 8th of February to check out Janet Cardiff’s cool video walk, The Telephone Call at SFMOMA. It’s easy to miss because you have to know to ask for it at the information desk. So I’m telling you: go ask for it at the information desk!

I’ve only ever experienced one other of Cardiff’s walks, her 1999 MOMA walk, but it made a huge impression upon me. Wonderful to experience another museum walk ten years later! The Telephone Call was commissioned in 2001 by SFMOMA & has actually been “on display” there twice before already, but I didn’t know about it the first time, & the second time… well… my dog ate it. Don’t let the same thing happen to you; who knows when there may be a fourth chance?



Happy Year of the Cow! Moo!


Arugula, sliced endive, mandolined Ambrosia apples (just because that’s what kind I happened to have), walnuts, Iberico (break off little nubs with your fingers). If you let this salad sit about 15-20 minutes after you dress it, the apples become rather deliciously pliable. Or just eat it slowly to experience the full range of appleness, from the first crisp bites to the last relaxed mouthful.

Truth be told, I can’t remember what dressing I used (educated guess: usual suspect red wine mustard vinaigrette), because I made this salad back in that Other Time, in the Bad Old Days, before we had a president who could not only form a complete sentence, but have it actually mean something, & furthermore, do sensible shit like shut down Gitmo. Seriously, I had gotten so pathetically downtrodden, so totally used to everything being done wrong all the time that I assumed all this “shut down Gitmo the first day” business was just some fantasy we had, one of those wistful lefty sighs that blows away with the least breeze of reality. Now? Let’s just say I’m feeling Obamalicious! Although tired. Exhausted, actually. My po little brain is working overtime to carve out new neural pathways to accommodate the fact that, apparently, I’m kinda in love with the whole First Family. Never thought I’d hear myself say such a thing in all my born days. I’m so confused, I’ve been taking way more naps than usual.

Not confused, however, about Aretha’s hat!!! (The people who don’t like it, now they’re confused.)

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Okay. Are you having a hard time? Depressed? Struggling through a rough patch? I swear, I thought it was just me, or just me & some of my friends, or how about just me & almost everybody I know? After getting off the phone with yet another pal who had recently fallen into a pit of gloom, I finally realized, hey… something’s going on here. I don’t think it’s just the economy, although they don’t call it a depression for nothing. (Recession my ass!)

I think we are all in some kind of weird anticipatory Bush post-trauma. (Anticipatory, because he’s not actually gone yet.) I mean look, the past 8 years have sucked & we’ve all tried to put a brave face on it & just keep going, because what else can you do, & really I can’t be the only one who thought that if McCain had won the election, it would basically mean the end of the fucking world, & so here we are now like in some action movie where we were dangling over the precipice hanging on by one cracked fingernail for the longest time, & someone finally threw us a couple yards of dental floss, just enough to pull us up & over where we now lie panting & sweating on the ground—just inches from aforementioned cliff, mind you—trying not to faint because [fill in your preferred action flick menace] is rapidly approaching & may end up throwing us back off the cliff anyway. Am I right? How can a person not freak out a little bit in such a situation? (I mean unless you’re Xena or someone of her ilk. Last time I checked, I most definitely was not anything anywhere near that ilk. My ilk is more like this or this.)

So cut yourself a little slack & remember the big picture, if that sort of thing helps you. Way back when we worked in adjoining offices, Michele K-Tel kept her famous Perspective Duck always near at hand. Whenever necessary, coworkers could run into her office, squeeze the duck, & it would dispense its little squeak-quack for us, along with some much-needed perspective. The original Perspective Duck didn’t sound anything like this, but why not give it a try anyway?

If that doesn’t work, make yourself some popovers.

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I’m still here….