Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This Is A Pet Peeve Of Mine!

This Vehicle Is NOT
I repeat, 
A compact Car!!!!!

Pretty funny, Eh?

I Heart San Francisco

I took this a few days ago...

 A Guy With A Blind Cane Texting On BART

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Am Taking Sugesstions For My Decorating Column


I am taking suggestions for my monthly Decorating column in 

Today's Vintage Magazine. 


Spectacle (2006) by Stuart Haygarth created from over 1000 pairs of prescription spectacles
(Copyright the artist. Courtesy Haunch of Venison 2010)

I would like to hear what you would want to know or learn more about in the area of decorating with vintage items or in an old house or apartment. 




Monday, June 28, 2010

The July Article I Wrote For Today's Vintage Is Up!!!

Well, the article I wrote for the July issue of Today's Vintage is out on the news stands and on line!

It's all about sprucing up your yard...vintage style!

Bringing Vintage Into Your Yard
It's summertime, time to go outside! So, your yard might need a little work...Ok, a lot of work. When working on our yards we want to create an environment that encompasses serenity, life, and eating. At least, that is what I want, but whatever your goals are, it is important to keep them in mind as you decorate. If you are quirky and stylish, the last thing you want is to go down to a big chain home improvement store and buy furniture and decorations straight off the shelves. However, sometimes when you bring in your latest flea market find or old thing from the basement, the garden starts to look more like a junkyard than the enchanted garden of your dreams.

The difference between magical and junky lies in the subtleties of placement and execution. You can use anything to decorate your yard, you simply have to be careful about how and where you place those items. The same rules apply outside as when decorating inside your home with vintage items. For instance, if you are going to hang something on the fence, make sure it is level, just like on a wall at home. Click here for more...

Check it out at 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tobias Wolff At Writer's With Drinks!!!

While I was gushing all over Corrina Bain on how amazing her performance was, she was commenting on how many people (the place was packed) were at The Make out Room on Saturday night, when Stephen Elliot enthusiastically chimed in with, "Because, the line up tonight is OFF THE HOOK" and he was absolutely right.
Charlie Jane Anders

Writer's With Drinks, a monthly book reading in San Francisco hosted by Charlie Jane Anders, is never a let down. As far as I'm concerned it's the best show in town. However, last Saturday did boast an exceptional line up, with Tobias Wolff, Lev Grossman, Taylor Mali, Andrew Lam, Corrina Bain, and Bill Carter!

 Tobias Wolff

Tobias Wolff wrote This Boy's Life, (1989) which was turned into a movie, with the same name starring Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin,  and Leonardo DiCaprio.

 Taylor Mali

Taylor Mai Was a teacher who wrote poems, now he is a poet who writes about teaching.
Andrew Lam

Andrew Lam read his short story "The Palmist" which was read by David Strathairn on the NPR series Selected Shorts.  
I heard that broadcast while I was driving and when I reached my destination I sat in my parked car to hear the whole story. I never knew who wrote it...until last Saturday night.

Lev Grossman and Corrina Bain

If you look closely at Corrina Bain's Photo, you will see Stephen Elliot's head growing out of her neck.

Bill Carter (photo from his website)

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of Bill Carter. Here's a snippet from his bio online at http://www.billcarter.cc/, "In the last 15 years he has traveled to more than 45 countries. He is the director of Miss Sarajevo, the award-winning documentary, produced by Bono, who also wrote the theme song for the film. 

Tayor Mali reciting "What Teachers Make"
BullisSchool April 23, 2010 — 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Made Vegan Heart Shaped Banana Muffins!

I came back at around 8pm last night, after abandoning my 100 degree kitchen with melted (fake) butter spilled on the floor, baking flour that had dusted every surface, a bowl of mashed bananas, and every jar and package of baking ingredients open squeezed on the tiny counter. I figured I'd give the great idea of baking vegan banana muffins another shot...and I'm glad I did.

I took this recipe from

My modifications and notes are in red

Banana Muffins (makes 12 muffins) Mine yielded 8

3 or 4 Large bananas, mashed (the more bananas the moister, so I use 4) I used five

1/2 cup white sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I don’t like them too sweet) I used raw sugar

1 slightly beaten egg I used the product Egg Replacer

1/3 cup melted margarine or butter I used Earth Balance Original

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

Mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees F oven for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy! 
Mine were in an extra 10 minutes.

They came out looking and tasting really good!

It Seemed Like A good Idea

Last Monday, Thomas and I went to see "Exit Through The Gift Shop" a movie about street art. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the documentary. I recommend anyone even remotely interested in art, sociology, anthropology, visual anthropology, and/or film to see this flick. And it is my opinion that it should be seen on the big screen, because it is about art.

 Sycamore Alley

After seeing the movie I got caught up in learning more about Banksy's art and who I thought Banksy was in the film. The story is sewn together with clips of the guerrilla artist Banksy in shadow, wearing a hoody, with his voice distorted. Immediately I figured since he was the only one protecting his identity, so to speak, out of many people who were featured throughout the piece, that someone else interviewed was probably him. So, every time a new face would pop up on the screen I'd wonder if that was in fact Banksy and not who they wanted you to think they were.

 Parking lot on Mission Street

It turns out, Banksy tagged the streets of San Francisco right around the movie opened here in the theaters...what a coincidence!  OK, well I went on line and found out where they were and decided Thomas and I would go around and take pictures of them before they were painted over or stolen by art galleries looking to cash in. We didn't really have a lot of time so I just stuck with the Mission area. The first one I tried to find was already painted over. That surprised me, because it was right above Amnesia, I mean really. However, the other ones I had chosen to see were still there. After stopping and taking pictures of the first one, I realized how Bourgeois this was, but we pushed on.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Article I Wrote For Today's Vintage Is Up!

The article I wrote for the 
June issue of Today's Vintage is up on line 
and out on the news stands!

Let's Do The Time Warp Again! 
My Experience At The Oriental Theatre
Please, check it out...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Article I Wrote For Today's Vintage Is Up!

The article I wrote for the May issue of Today's Vintage is out in the news stands, mail boxes, and on line!

Of course the editor changed the title.

My title was

Would You Like A Licorice Pizza Under Your Fuzzy Navel?

I guess it was too long, or something...

I Have A Stalker!!

I am terribly sorry for not posting anything in over a month. 
It turns out I have a stalker. 
I can't really go into the details, but I felt uncomfortable publishing excerpts from my life with someone waiting for incriminating evidence to bring me down, so to speak. 

However, I don't care anymore...she's the one going off the deep end!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ananda Fuara & The SF EcoCenter

Sometimes all I want is the Neat Loaf Sandwich from Ananda Fuara. Ananda Fuara is a vegetarian restaurant on the corner of Market and Larkin, run by the disciples of Sri Chinmoy a guru. The ambiance of the restaurant is, basically a shrine to the beloved leader with all of the walls covered by his artwork, a designated area of his numerous books for sale, the music blaring through the speakers composed and performed by him, and a TV that is almost always showing tapes of him doing something amazing. The service consists of his converts shuffling around (the women wearing Saris and the men in blue polo shirts and white pants) like they were told Sri was going to speak and then realized they were actually expected to work. Dazed and confused would be a nice way to put how the staff look and act. I am sure Sri never set foot in the place before his Mahasamadhi in 2007. 
However, the food is excellent! 
My suggestion is the Neatloaf combo only available for lunch, the Neatloaf Sandwich, or the Neatloaf Dinner, which comes with mash potatoes and gravy. The Neatloaf is vegetarian made with some dairy, but now they have a vegan version that tastes pretty good also. 

Yesterday, en route to Ananda Fuara, I ended up parking on Grove Street across from the library and noticed a building I had never paid much attention to before. The big sign read SF Environment and the little sign (on paper) said it was the EcoCenter. The EcoCenter is a facility, run by the city of San Francisco that focuses on better ways we can all be more green. There happens to be a small gallery in their lobby that is showcasing Art Furniture made by Larry Berger. All of his pieces are made from found materials and recycled or milled wood.

I would like to leave you with some words of wisdom from the late great Sri Chinmoy

Be Happy
Be happy in the morning with what you have. Be happy in the evening with what you are. Be happy. Don't complain. Who complains? The blind beggar in you. When you complain, you dance in the mire of ignorance-condition. When you don't complain, all conditions of the world are at your feet, and God gives you a new name: aspiration. Aspiration is the supreme wealth in the world of light and delight.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Article I Wrote For Today's Vintage Is Up

Check it out!
The article I wrote for the April issue of Today's Vintage is up on their website at
The editor took a little creative license and changed the title of the piece from Cleaning Spring to illuminating Spring. I think she gets my humor, but she is afraid the reader's won't. I shouldn't complain, the piece is about lighting...

This is in my old store on the corner of Mission and Precita in San Francisco, which is now a BBQ restaurant 

The light fixtures are made from commercial whisks

From what I can tell, the editor couldn't squeeze in all of the photos I sent. They are all fantastic, I'm sure she had a difficult time choosing which photos to use.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Ticket For Rush!

rush needs a ticket  
Image in Public Domain. Click here to Download hi-res.  

What if you want to donate more than $1?
You can email us to arrange that; FYI we'd love to talk, but a response might take a little while. Don't give up hope!


Friday, March 19, 2010

The Light Bulb Factory Is turning On In San Francisco!!!

An Invitation To Join

The Light Bulb Factory is a think tank for highly talented and underemployed individuals that meet once a week to discuss and spark ideas as well as pool resources in the area of making a living in the city of San Francisco.

Topics will include:
Starting your Own Business
What Type Of Business To Start
Your Unique Skill Set
How To Work With, Find, Or Get OPM (Other People's Money)
Your Fears And Dreams
(photo from Inclusive Solutions)
Are you in?
Please, send an email with days and times during the week you are free for one hour on a weekly basis to:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is This A New Thing?

Is it me or are the bike paths getting bigger?

Steiner Going Towards Oak Right Past Page.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Article in Today's Vintage

I am very happy to write for Today's Vintage, a magazine (in print and online) that features many articles about vintage items. I have a terrible time coming up with decorating tips that have to be whittled down to teeny-weeny bite size bits for easy swallowing. I have always found it easier to write twenty pages than have to say exactly what I mean in 500 words or less. To put it in perspective, five hundred words is about a page and this blog post has 784 words.

Writing this latest bit about how to decorate a baby's room with vintage furniture, kicked my ASS! I am not a baby person, per say. I think that might have come out in the article, because I could tell that it was edited in a way, as not to offend. For instance, the title of the article I submitted was not published. In retrospect, that is probably a good thing.

However, that is not the worst thing about the published article. I don't like the layout, it is very messy and they added photos of objects I would never (in a million years, even if my life depended upon it) ever use. They are far from what I would consider stylish elements, IE the lamp and S is for Sweet Pea thingy.

Other than that I am happy...the few other parts that were changed enhanced the piece. However, they didn't like my crack about eating babies...

Wait a minute...I spelled a word wrong in my original title, how embarrassing!

Here's the link for the online version http://www.todaysvintage.com/decorating/contentview.asp?c=266500

Below is the version I submitted to them...
When The Bough Breaks

Your home is finally exactly how you want it. Each room is furnished with vintage finds you have carefully selected over many years that cleverly express your unique style. It hasn’t been easy, especially when your cat decided to dig to China through the 1960 Swiss shag rug made from New Zealand wool, or when the movers reduced the 18th century corner table into kindling right before your very eyes, and even after your boyfriend moved in with all of his tools and his fourteen-year-old dog.

Now, that a baby is being thrown into the mix, you might be wondering if sticking with your vintage style may be shelved, like jogging or clubbing.  You know you will be able to find adorable vintage pieces for your little bundle of joy, but your biggest concern is whether they will be safe. Have no fear vintage can be baby friendly! 

Here are a few tips that might help you maintain your sense of style while gaining a family. 

1)    Find baby furniture with a natural finish. Lead paint was not banned in the United States until 1978. Leave it natural or choose one of the non-toxic paint or finishes entering the market.
2)    Make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned with no repairs or rickety parts.
3)    Vintage crib bedding should be in the original package, unused.
4)    Follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission crib safety measures
a)    Crib should have a firm mattress that fits tightly into the crib.
b)    Make sure that the crib is assembled properly and that no parts are loose, missing or broken.
c)    There should be no more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats of the crib and there should be no missing or broken slats.
d)    The crib should have no cutouts in the headboard or footboard, in which the baby's head could get trapped.
e)    Doesn't have decorative knobs or corner posts higher than 1/16 inch.

You might not want to go with authentic baby furniture from the early 1900’s, but if Victorian is your style you may choose a new crib and decorate the rest of the room with antiques. If your place is already decorated with classic mid century modern pieces, Knoll kids is the place to shop for the scaled down and hypoallergenic versions of the classics manufactured just for children. An iconic theme, for example, vintage Winnie the Pooh sheets, curtains, lamps, clocks, etc. never used, are very accessible. Plus, there are stores online that carry vintage wallpaper from 1950 cowboys and Indians to 1960’s Peter Max type images.

Remember, stick with styles you already have in your house and pick a theme. The pieces do not have to be from the same era, unless a particular time period is your theme. If, you cannot pick a theme, start with one piece and build the room around it. Don’t worry, I am here to tell you that it is all do-able, you can have your baby, I mean cake and eat it, too! 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegans In The Mall!

Loving Hut a vegan chain is coming into the food court at the Bloomingdale mall...Nice!

 I have been to the one on Stockton. I think the food court is a better location than China town. 


This is on the corner of my block!

What's the point of tagging a mattress that is left out in the street?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Last Night Was Great All You Foodies!

I was a little discouraged about having to make full course vegetarian dinners. I know it is a promise I had made to myself and not something I am being forced to do. However, it started to be a little bit of a drag. Mostly, because it is difficult to be inspired on a schedule. Plus, last week's dinner was a total fiasco!

But, I am here to tell you last night was Great!!!!


Caramelized Carrots with Baked Tofu, Purple Onions, & Toasted Pecans
Over White Basmati Rice

Corn Chowder

Tomatoes  Roasted with Garlic and Dried Oregano

The entire menu was completely VEGAN with NO dairy (even in the chowder) and NO sugar or honey!

I thought everything came out great except for the tomatoes, they were just good. I Think the next time I make the tomatoes I won't use a dried herb. I like the idea of simply using one herb with the garlic, but I think fresh dill would have been the magic ticket. Also, next time I will line the pan with tin foil, because I am still soaking the pan I used. 
I followed a recipe for the corn chowder I found online at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Creamy-Vegan-Corn-Chowder/Detail.aspx. I believe, I will try that corn chowder again, but I will use less water. I created the tofu dish myself and it came out just how I had envisioned it in my mind.

PS--I did NOT forget to garnish the soup!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Full On Homemade Vegetarian Dinners On Tuesday and Thursday!

I know, I know I promised to make complete vegetarian meals every Tuesday and Thursday. 
Three veg days have passed and I only cooked once...and it came out terrible!

The menu was as follows: 
Baked Tofu With Pear Sauce Over Rice
 Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup
Salad with Red Leaf and Baby Mixed Lettuce, Goat Cheese, Raisins, Grape Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and Homemade Dressing

I have to say, I was a little bouillon cube crazy. I normally use vegetable broth or stock already made that comes in a carton. However, I  thought it would be more cost effective to just buy the package of vegan bouillon cubes with sea salt.

OK, let's start with the Baked Tofu...I had made the pear sauce before, but it was a little too sweet. This time I mixed up a bouillon cube with warm water, ginger, and the pear all fruit, hoping it would balance out the sweetness.  Then I threw some whole pieces of Star Anise into the sauce while it was simmering over the baked tofu. However, the sauce never caramelized, so the flavors never blended together. I did throw in pear slices, but I don't think it was the right time. Nothing really came together...Oh and the rice! I'm not sure if putting a bouillon cube into the rice worked or not. I was too focused on the tofu thing to really figure that one out.

Now, on to the Vegan Creamy Broccoli Soup! 
I found the recipe online at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/creamy-broccoli-soup-recipe.html#  and I added garlic and used 6 bouillon cubes in 6 cups of water instead of 6 cups of vegetable broth. I believe I might have put way too many cubes in the pot, because all I could taste was the sea salt. It was so gross neither one of us ate it. 

I really liked the salad, but in the midst of the stress related to the other dishes coming out so bad, I messed up on the dressing. I just didn't have the patience to stream in the oil and it never emulsified. Hence, basically ruining the salad. 

So, that is another accounting of my experience making full on homemade vegetarian meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

Tonight I hope it all comes out better! I'll try to take it easy with the bouillon cubes...


Monday, February 8, 2010

When the Bough Breaks

I am supposed to be writing my article for Today's Vintage about decorating baby nurseries with vintage furniture.

I seem to be stuck...I am not really a baby person, what can I say about it. "Um, lead paint wasn't banned in the US until 1978 and that really cute metal crib painted white will probably kill your kid, either slowly by lead poisoning or quickly by strangulation when his head gets caught between the really cool looking wrought iron bars on all sides of the crib."

I did however, find lots of ways to totally deck out a kid's room without trying to kill it. My problem is I have too many different ideas and now my head is spinning and I have no clue which direction to go in.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Norma's Cookies Are Not Vegetarian!

I got a lot of flack from my friend Gigi about Thomas and I making cookies for his mother that included marshmallows. As a matter of fact Gigi blogged about me and my blog on her blog Veganville. Her piece starts off full of praise concerning my efforts of making full vegetarian meals a couple of nights a week. However, it takes a turn for the worst when she stumbles and gets stuck on my post entitled Norma's Cookies. 
Basically, Gigi was freaked out that I would make anything with marshmallows. I personally didn't really understand why she'd be so upset about the Christmas Holly Cookies we had made. I guess Gigi was talking about the gelatin. To tell you the truth I was most concerned about the corn syrup.

I mean, we were just sending them to his mom--who is not a vegetarian--we weren't eating them!