Monthly Archives: June 2005

on a walk

on a walk, Olympus Epic

“If you never want to see the face of hell, when you come home from work every night, dance with your kitchen towel, and if you’re worried about waking up your family, take off your shoes.”
– Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav

I’ve been receiving your time capsule essays in the mail and they are so inspiring! Keep em’ coming…

I swear this dog is real

puffy dog, Canon Digital Rebel

At this same store in Chinatown, there is also a big black cat with a Hitler mustache. My friend Micki is convinced that he is actually Hitler reincarnated. It’s odd to look at a cat this way. It gives you really mixed up feelings about the cat.

A site where you can hear kids from all over the world make animal and truck sounds. {via Sarah} Have you ever noticed that when you go to a different country they have a different sound for a rooster? Cock-a-doodle-doo just doesn’t translate. In Italy they say, “ki-kiri-ki!”

My personal favorite however, is the Mexican sound for techno music. When I was traveling there, young people would refer to dance music as “Ponchis Ponchis.” I had no idea why until I said {with a Mexican accent} “Ponchis Ponchis Ponchis Ponchis…” several times in a row to a techno beat. Do you see? Try this at home people.

Nicole Socia

Nicole Socia wearing a chlorine superhero necklace, Canon Digital Rebel

This is my sweet friend and newest superhero model, Nicole Socia. Isn’t she beautiful? You will find her and the gorgeous Sonja modeling on the superhero jewelry site.

Nicole is an actress and will be performing with the brilliant sketch comedy troupe Killing My Lobster here in the Bay Area in July. Go see her!

And Sonja is from Amsterdam and has been living in San Francisco for a few months. We will be sad to see her go! But maybe she can be my personal stroopwafels dealer. (Just kidding. You guys were so kind to tip me off about the stroopwafels in my neighborhood and the idea of warming one up on top of tea gives me a sugar high just to think about. Thank you!)


My other obsession these days (besides cookies) is organizing. That’s Organizing with the Big O. It suddenly hit me last week that if I could get rid of every object, every piece of paper, every item of clothing, that doesn’t serve me, my life will feel lighter and more free. I will be, as Rob Brezsny says, “a better, smarter, happier person.”

So yesterday I went on a little cleaning bender. I recycled most of the paper in my large filing cabinet. The bag was so heavy to take out to the recycling bin, I had to have Matt help me. All I could think as we carried it out is, “This is how much lighter my mind will be.”

It reminds me of growing up and how my mom would suddenly lose it one day and threaten to throw out anything we didn’t put away (or nail to the floor). I think I inherited the ruthless I’m-going-to-throw-all-your-shit-out gene. And I get it now. I understand why she did this. We feel weighed down by our stuff. It takes mental energy and actual time to manage all the stuff of our life.

I want to feel unencumbered, free, clear and spacious. And I get excited when I imagine the creatiivity that is possible from this new space. Do any of you have a story about this?


Chinatown umbrellas, Canon Digital Rebel

“You are the light, You are the refuge, There is no place to take shelter but yourself.”
– Inscription over Buddha’s Ashes

Excellent storytelling sites and events:

Storycorps is a mobile storytelling project, gathering personal stories from across the country.

The Fray is run by the amazing and wonderful Derek Powazek. The site is full of first person stories and once a year is a fantastic live event. I love the community that this site has generated.

Mortified is a showcase of people like you sharing their most embarrassing, pathetic and private teenage diary entries, poems, love letters, lyrics and locker notes… in front of total strangers. I first heard a story from this series on This American Life when a woman named Sascha Rothchild read from her junior high school diary. I have listened to this over and over and again and laugh out loud every time.

When I fantasize about living in NYC (which I don’t actually want to do, but I like fantasizing about it) I think of one of my favorite storytelling events called The Moth. If you actually live in NYC and don’t just dream about it, go check them out!

One of my favorite things to do in SF is the Porchlight storytelling event. The third Monday of each month, a collection of storytellers tell first person, 10 minute stories on a particular theme. It is always hilarious and moving and a really wonderful way to spend the evening.

Music on storytelling:
– Deb Talan: Tell Your Story Walking
– Tracy Chapman: Telling Stories (great album)


Caterina’s shoes, Olympus Epic

My dear friend Sasha just returned this week from a sabbatical in Amsterdam and brought back the most delicious cookies I have ever tasted. They are called Stroopwaffels and they are lovely little caramel waffley treats that must be laced with illegal drugs because I cannot stop eating them. Not 24 hours after being introduced, I googled them and found a site where you can buy them. Oh, I love you internet.

{Turns out even puppies from Holland like em.}

Happy Summer!

Bryce & Dane, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel


Some great sites:
Threadbared This site is really, really funny. They find vintage sewing patterns and make fun of them. I love good simple concepts like that.
– These hand paintings make my little henna tattoo I got in San Diego look like magic marker. {via Nataline}

above & beyond

above Oakland, Canon Digital Rebel

As I flew away this weekend, I thought, ‘Holy shit. I did it. I submit my very first book proposal last week.’

This trip to San Diego was a celebration for myself. A way to mark this accomplishment and a way to acknowledge myself for the work I had done. I wanted to remind myself that no matter what, no matter who (if anyone) publishes this book, I had stretched myself. I did something bigger than I had ever imagined. I went above and beyond who I thought I was in the hope of reaching an even bigger dream-something I wasn’t sure I could create.

I hadn’t stretched myself like that in a while.

As I happily read through Oprah magazine in my airplane seat (don’t you love that magazine?!) I came across a quote. “If you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You are not a painter’, then by all means paint…and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

My eyes burned with tears and fell to the page. I realized that I wasn’t just celebrating a goal being reached, another check off the big to do list, but something bigger. I was celebrating the joy of creating in the face of that voice, of moving beyond the place where I always get stopped, and the wonderful stillness and peace that comes from that voice being silenced.


Great resources:
– The wonderful book called 2DO Before I Die will get you so inspired.
– This online workshop by my pal Denise Mihalik starts August 28th. She and Jill Badonsky {Author of The 9 Modern Day Muses} are offering an online 12 week workshop in creativity. It’s called “Online Musin: Ten Easy Ways to Unleash Your Creative Brilliance.” You can find all the info here.

Also, SARK just reissued an updated version of Creative Companion. I hadn’t picked it up in years and was so delighted to see it in its new form! SARK’s New Creative Companion: Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit is here.

Photo Friday: Sport

Vitamin water, Olympus Epic

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Sport.”

Okay, so vitamin water isn’t exactly a sports drink but what the hell.

I’m off to San Diego for the weekend so I will see you when I return!

do not lick this couch

street couch, Canon Digital Rebel

I took BART (the San Francisco subway) recently and as I waited for the train, I noticed a small boy and his dad negotiating about the appropriate way to interact with the escalator.

“Stop touching it and putting your hand in your mouth!” he said exasperated. “It’s a health hazard!”

“At least he’s not licking the handrail, right?” the dad said to me a little embarrassed.

The little boy looked at me shyly.

“It’s tempting, isn’t it?” I said.

And he giggled and said, “Yep.”

letting go

red tulip, Canon Digital Rebel

As I danced around at my Nia class on Saturday morning I had a flash of an “Aha!” moment. Suddenly I could see that I was holding back. My arms weren’t going as high as the dance demanded, my body wasn’t as expressive. I was feeling a little shy even though no one was watching me at all.

Sometimes I have trouble letting go.

The magic of that moment was that I noticed the holding back, right there in the middle of the dance. And the question, “What am I waiting for?” came to mind.

And at that I grinned, swung my hips out a little farther, felt the music a little deeper in my belly, took a big round breath, and felt more alive than I had in a really long time.

Where are you holding back in your life?

And what are you waiting for?

“Letting go is a big risk. People are scared out of their minds to let go. To really let go of everything. To let go of everything! That’s the big one, isn’t it?”
– Maurine Stuart