Monthly Archives: June 2007

you are beautiful

You are Beautiful, Oakland, CA, Canon Elph SD1000

Need I say more?

What can’t they do?

Andrea and Ben at the opening of the Bandshell, Canon Elph SD1000

Panhandle bandshell opening party, Canon Elph SD1000

The boys of Rebar, Canon Elph SD1000

My husband’s art group, Rebar teamed up with another SF art collecctive, The Finch Mob to create a truly spectacular public art installation in Panhandle Park. It is a fully functional, traditional bandshell (think of the Hollywood Bowl) for non-amplified, acoustic neighborhood performances constructed out of reclaimed, recycled and repurposed materials. The stage itself is made from old wooden doors and the “skin” of the structure is made of old car hoods. The back of the shell (which looks metallic in the photo above) is actually made from small plastic water bottles strung together.

Anyone can sign up to perform at the Bandshell this summer. It will face west to the setting sun from June 23 to September 10, 2007.

feast on your life

red gerber daisies, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Love after Love

The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in your own mirror,
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here, Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored
For another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

~ Derek Walcott ~

I found this poem in a wonderful book called, “Ten Poems to Change Your Life” by Roger Housden. It is a perfect little book.

an imperfect little post

Ben, Canon Elph SD1000

I’ve been experimenting with a new little point and shoot, the Canon Elph SD1000 which I am loving! A far cry from a digital SLR, but it fits in my pocket and shoots video. And who can carry around a big hunking camera anymore?

I’ve been struggling to post lately, but wanted to send a wee transmission anyway. I notice that my perfectionism gets in the way of me sharing anything at all. I want to write something brilliant or inspiring or funny and of course, don’t write much of anything when I get in that mode! Trying to be brilliant always gets in the way of true brilliance.

So that’s what I’ll offer up today… a challenge to be less than perfect in the name of completion, and a quote from SARK on this topic: “Perfection is the enemy of done.”

out on the town

Ben and his pal Soleil, Canon Elph SD1000

I love this photo of Ben in his American Apparel man tank and karate pants with his girlfriend Soleil. He looks like such a dude!

Ben sitting up for the first time, Canon Elph SD1000

In other news, I went out last night for the first time in months! Jonatha played in SF and we had a fabulous time. As I drove to meet her, I passed by a restaurant with tables outdoors. I watched groups of people drinking and laughing and generally having a good time and I remembered that this is what people do… they go out and meet their friends and drink and eat and laugh. And I felt a bit wistful. And also very excited that I had a dinner date with my sweet friend. Here we are below!

dangerous tea parties

November teacup, Lovejoy’s Tea Room, SF, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

After my post about friendship, my friend Kalah shared something that I loved. She said,
“When you’re feeling most isolated, remember that you can always bring the party to YOU. Friends without children might not have an idea of your daily goings-on and may put off calling because they don’t want to be intrusive. Inviting them into your fold reassures them that you still appreciate their friendships and they feel like they’re saving you some time and energy when they make the effort to meet you where you are. It’s ok to let go of perfectionism when it comes to the state of your home when it comes to visitors-most people understand that you’re living the real, visceral life.

In the spirit of bringing the party to me and my favorite SARKism “Invite Someone Dangerous to Tea,” I decided to invite the owner of Speesees, Rachel Pearson for tea. (We had only “met” via email after I ordered some goodies) She is pure color, creativity, fun and talent. I was SO inspired by our conversations about business and dreams and love. She made my day and reminded me that one of my greatest pleasures is connecting with other creative women/kindred spirits/people I admire.

Can you invite someone dangerous to tea this week?

my friends do amazing things

bird and clouds, Sarasota, FL, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Jonatha Brooke just began her US tour! She’ll be in San Francisco on June 14th (I’ll be there!) and traveling across the country as well. If you don’t know her music, go out and see her and fall in love. It’s love at first sight with her.

SARK’s new book, The Fabulous Friendship Festival is now a national bestseller! I forgot to mention when I talked about it before that I am featured in the book as one of her dear ones. What could be better than SARK talking about what she admires and appreciates about you? I love and adore the Susan I call a friend and have always been deeply inspired by the SARK I know on the pages of her books.

My dear friend Sasha’s magazine Meatpaper just began accepting subscriptions! And has already won several honors including 7×7 Magazine’s ” Best Magazines for Serious Food Nerds.” This is what they said about it:
Nowhere are people more invested in the sources of their food than here—the more obscure, the better. Two new magazines are here to fuel the fire: Meatpaper and Cocoaroma. Meatpaper aims to respond to what the editors term the “fleishgeist,” an increased interest in and curiosity about meat. Issue Zero featured a world map made of Spam as well as an article by Fulbright recipient John Caserta about the annual pig slaughter in a small Italian town. Cocoaroma takes a similar in-depth approach but with chocolate as muse, including profiles of chocolatiers and stories about cacao-producing regions of the world.

The fabulous Gabrielle from Design Mom along with a few other talented women started Sk*rt, “Sk*rt is a social media ranking platform of pure goodness. A portal to find cool things, smart scoop, clever ideas, excellent products, exceptional information. All of it. And more. In other words, sk*rt is like that friend who always finds the best stuff.”

Great resources for those of you contemplating a creative career change:
Kristen Fischer recently published a book called, Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs. This just might be the book that will help you take the leap!

A fellow coach (we did our training together at CTI) and incredible person, Keri Coffman-Thiede has been offering group coaching programs by phone on the topics of “Finding and Following Your Passion” and “Living Your Dreams in the Flow.” They are ridiculously affordable and I know firsthand what a fantastic coach she is!

6 months of Ben

Ben, 6 months, oneside made by his Auntie Deb Talan, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Dear Ben,

You are 6 months old tomorrow and you are more of a delight every day. As I write this I see the word “light” in delight and I must say that is truly what you are. A big, gorgeous light. Daddy refers to people who are really alive and glowing as people who are “lit.” You are definitely one of those people.

I know I mentioned this before, but you are still really fascinated by those hands of yours. I love watching you marvel at them (and when we’re not joking about the big stoner you are going to be) we imagine all of the things you will do with them. The things you will build, the hands you will hold, the letters you will write (or maybe the email you will type? ) all with those hands. You are wise to know what a gift they are.

I just cleaned out your dresser yesterday and was so happy to finally pack away clothing you have grown out of. You are a bit of a peanut at the moment, but your hands and feet are showing promise for serious growth to come. You look so perfect to me (and to everyone else) that I am shocked when we go to the doctor and they say you have fallen off the weight chart. They can take their percentiles somewhere else, huh Ben? You are a pioneer! and have created your very own curve…

You are becoming quite masterful at rolling over. Where the other kids are practicing sitting up on their own, you can roll any of them under the table. Given a big enough pasture, you will roll over and over and over into the sunset. This just might be your new mode of transport.

Every day we go to the big kid’s park on the corner. I know you love being there but you almost never crack a smile. It is serious business over there. A place of study. I see you watching the kids with laser focus… You know they are a different species, not baby or adult but something entirely different. We just sit there and watch. It is one of the places you are completely calm.

My attempts to fatten you up haven’t worked. You almost never cry except if I’m trying to feed you and you’re not hungry or if someone tries to give you a bottle. You are the most CHILL baby ever, the most easygoing of dudes, but try to give you a bottle and you will bat it away (with remarkable accuracy) and go on hunger strike for as long as it takes. We moved onto solid food a bit early to see if we could entice you, but no dice. I’ve been trying for weeks to tempt you with all of the wonders of rice cereal, oatmeal, carrots, applesauce, bananas…. but you are unimpressed. I think you only open your mouth so you can use the spoon as a teething toy and push the actual food out onto your bib. You are a tough cookie.

But if you’ve taught me anything in these past months it is that suffering comes from wanting things to be another way than they actually are. I think this is a basic tenet of Buddhism in fact, that whole suffering-coming-from-desire business.

When I want you to be some other way than you actually are, I suffer. You suffer. The more I can let the moment, the situation, the nap, the house, be exactly as it is… there is so much more room for joy. These are big lessons for the adult humans of the world. You have this one wired.

What else can I share that would be interesting to you?

I heard one of my favorite quotes on Oprah a while back. It is from Maya Angelou and she says, “All kids really want to know about their parents is this-Do their faces light up when I walk into the room?”

I can’t promise that we will always be perfect parents. I can’t promise that we will always be patient or wise or do exactly the right thing. But I can promise you this, little Ben. Our faces will never stop lighting up when you come into the room.

read em’ and weep

my dad, last year’s father’s day book by Shutterfly

Ever since I was a kid, I have made almost all of my gifts for my parents. What began as painted rocks and handmade cards has evolved into photo books. I’m getting a little bit predictable these days, but no one seems to mind. I am addicted to the Shutterfly photo book!

They are incredibly easy to put together, especially if you have a digital camera. Just upload a collection of photos to the site, and they will help you build your own hardcover book (complete with a die cut cover) The above pic is the a screen shot of the book I made my dad last year. It was filled with photos of my sister and me, our weddings and trips to visit them, all the way up to the birth of my nephew Caleb.

My dad must have called me five times that week in total awe and tears of joy. “This is my family…” he said over and over. “This is my family…”

I have also heard excellent things about Blurb for making books of all kinds. And if the book ideas don’t call to you, visit Mighty Girl’s Father’s Day gift guide for more great ideas.

photos by Anna Kuperberg

Matt, Ben, Andrea, photo by Anna Kuperberg, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

The talented Anna Kuperberg took some incredible photos of our little family a few weeks ago. There are so many beautiful shots.. if you’d like to see more, you can visit my flickr page.