Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lockdown Chalkdown

September 3, 2020

We’ve spent a lot of this past six months doing chalk art in front of our house, because there aren’t any chalk events this summer, and because it entertains the neighbors, and because it’s surprisingly therapeutic. Here are some of the chalk drawings we’ve done so far, since mid-March.

What I read in 2019

January 1, 2020

Screen Shot 2019-12-27 at 4.03.53 PM

All the books I finished in 2019, plus foods. (In order, from the bottom right.)

Past editions of this list: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a very good year for reading here! Forty-eight books finished. I’m a slow reader who likes long books. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles. BUT! This is the year I finally started taking advantage of audio books through Libby. It’s been great to listen to books during walks, on errands, doing chores, etc.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  33/48 books are by female or non-binary authors this year.

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. M. R. Carey, Fellside

2. Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air BG

3. Theodora Goss, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

4. Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach BG

5. Mo Daviau, Every Anxious Wave BG

6. Rachel Khong, Goodbye Vitamin

7. Andrea Avery, Sonata BG

8. Elan Mastai, All Our Wrong Todays

9. Idra Novey, Those Who Knew

10.Dervla McTiernan, The Ruin BG

11.Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan

12. Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists BG

13. Sylvain Neuvel, Only Human

14. Claire O’Dell, A Study in Honor

15. Cory Doctorow, Homeland

16. Alex Wagner, Futureface

17. Yann Martel, The High Mountains of Portugal

18. Sam J. Miller, Blackfish City

19. Ling Ma, Severance

20. Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure

21. Peng Shepherd, The Book of M

22. Alexander Chee, The Queen of the Night

23. Esmé Weijun Wang, The Collected Schizophrenias BG

24. Lisa Grunwald, Time After Time BG

25. Emma Newman, Planetfall

26. Maja Lunde, The History of Bees

27. Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation

28. Patrick Flanery, I Am No One

29. Justin Go, The Steady Running of the Hour

30. Rachel Joyce, The Music Shop

31. Sarai Walker, Dietland

32. Stephen Kuusisto, Have Dog Will Travel: A Poet’s Journey BG

33. Toni Morrison, A Mercy BG

34. Diane McKinney-Whetstone, Lazaretto

35. Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World

36. Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery, Dear Exile

37. Charlotte Rogan, The Lifeboat

38. Mishell Baker, Borderline BG

39. Kate Atkinson, Big Sky BG

40. Tayari Jones, An American Marriage

41. M. R. Carey, The Boy on the Bridge

42. Jessie Burton, The Muse

43. Erika Swyler The Book of Speculation

44. Annalee Newitz, Autonomous

45. Lisa See, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

46. Christian White, The Nowhere Child

47. Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers

48. Robin Sloan, Sourdough

31 Flavors of Summer 2019

September 28, 2019

This month Jake and I completed another self-imposed challenge: let’s eat ice cream in 31 different places during the summer (roughly, Memorial Day to Labor Day). And take pictures, of course. We did it! Full list with links below. To see all his pictures, you can check my instagram, or I made an album at ipernity.
Summer of Ice Cream 30.  Mashti Malone's

Our 31 Flavors of Summer, in chronological order:
1. Craigers at Manhattan Beach Farmers’ Market
2. Paciugo in Hermosa Beach
3. Creamistry in Redondo Beach
4. Menchie’s in Redondo Beach
5. Big Wok in Manhattan Beach (we were having dinner, Jake was having ice cream)
6. The Baked Bear in Hermosa Beach
7. Cafe Meli Mellow in Redondo Beach
8. Handel’s in Redondo Beach
9.   -8C in Gardena
10. Desserts by Patrick in Redondo Beach
11. Oko Cafe in Gardena
12. Dahlicious (aka, Carrissa’s Delicious Bakery) in Torrance
13. La Michoacana Superior in Inglewood
14. Pinkberry in El Segundo
15. Rori’s Artisanal Creamery in Long Beach
16. Silog in Torrance (a Filipino restaurant that sells halo-halo, a frozen dessert)
17. Rolling Zone Creamery in Lawndale
18. Kansha Creamery in Torrance
19. Swirl Soft Serve in Hawthorne
20. Gelato & Angels in Manhattan Beach
21. Cauldron in Torrance
22. Churro Buzz in Torrance (Our picture from this trip won us a free churro on Instagram)
23. Pitfire Pizza in Manhattan Beach (Nell and I won a sundae at trivia night; Jake came to help us eat it)
24. Afters in Long Beach
25. Bubble Waffle in Redondo Beach
26. Sweet Rice in Gardena
27. Roman Aroma in Redondo Beach
28. Somi-Somi in Torrance
29. Scoops in Torrance
30. Mashti Malone’s in Hollywood (Persian ice cream, amazing flavors)
31. Baskin-Robbins in Lawndale (of course we ended on 31 at Baskin-Robbins!)

#30MuseumsIn90Days

April 15, 2019

From January to April this spring, Jake and I did a #30MuseumsIn90Days challenge. (It’s not a pre-existing challenge that I know of; it just seemed like a good number for a fun series.) We live in the South Bay and I don’t love driving, so most of our outings were nearby, but some were farther away, when we could recruit Peter to drive. We also got three museums in during a spring break trip to Santa Barbara. We skipped LACMA, the Huntington, the main Getty, the Tar Pits, etc., because we wanted to focus on lesser-known (and usually free) places whenever possible.
Here’s the list:
1.  Torrance Art Museum (Torrance)
2. Western Museum of Flight (Torrance)
3. Redondo Beach Historical Museum (Redondo Beach)
4. Flight Path Museum (LAX)
5. Torrance Historical Society Museum (Torrance)
6. El Camino College Art Gallery (Torrance)
7. California Science Center (Los Angeles)
8. California African American Museum (Los Angeles)
9. Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach)
10. Pasadena Museum of History (Pasadena)
11.Hawthorne Historical Museum (Hawthorne)
12. Manhattan Beach Art Center (Manhattan Beach)
13. El Segundo Museum of Art (El Segundo)
14. Palos Verdes Art Center (Rancho Palos Verdes)
15. Getty Villa (Malibu)
16. Drum Barracks Civil War Museum (Wilmington)
17. Banning House Visitors Center (Wilmington)*
18. Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis (Westchester)
19. Museum of Ventura County (Ventura)
20. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Santa Barbara)
21. Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara)
22. Laband Art Gallery at LMU (Westchester)
23. Automobile Driving Museum (El Segundo)
24. Madrona Marsh Nature Center (Torrance)
25. Fort MacArthur (San Pedro)
26. Korean Bell of Friendship (San Pedro)
27. Manhattan Beach Cottage Museum (Manhattan Beach)
28. Wende Museum (Culver City)
29. Petersen Automotive Museum (Los Angeles)
30. Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles)

*The Banning House itself is not wheelchair accessible. So we only visited the Visitors’ Center, which had a small exhibit on antique fans.

We took pictures everywhere, of course, and they’re all on instagram if you’re curious. Here’s one of my favorites, though, at the gorgeous Getty Villa:
IMG_1011

What I read in 2018

January 1, 2019

IMG_9512

Reading with ramen in 2018.

Past editions of this list: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a good year for reading here! Twenty-eight books finished. I’m a slow reader who likes long books; and this year my time for leisure reading continued to be limited by  carework responsibilities. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  20/28 authors are female or non-binary this year; there was a long stretch over the summer when I didn’t want to read any more books by white guys, and I’m still not that interested, to be honest. The only even vaguely non-fiction books here are Lawson’s memoir and Satrapi’s graphic novel. I probably started a lot of others; just strongly preferring fiction right now.

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things
2. Naomi Alderman, The Power
3. Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy
4. Jac Jemc, The Grip of It
5. Haruki Murakami, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
6. Richard Kadrey, The Everything Box
7. Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent BG
8. Patricia Park, Re Jane
9. Emily Fridlund, The History of Wolves BG
10. John Scalzi, Head On
11. Sylvain Neuvel, Waking Gods
12. Jennifer McMahan, Winter People
13. Marjane Satrapi, Embroideries
14. Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now
15. Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose BG
16. Yxta Maya Murray, The Conquest
17. Charlie Jane Anders, All The Birds in the Sky
18.Idra Novey, Ways to Disappear
19. Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts
20. Ben H. Winters, The Last Policeman
21. Andrew Sean Greer, Less BG
22. Warren Ellis, Normal
23. Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing BG
24. Connie Willis, Belwether
25. Lauren Beukes, Zoo City
26. Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
27. Chloe Benjamin, The Anatomy of Dreams
28. Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea BG

Our Alphabetical Tour of South Bay Cafes

November 9, 2018

This autumn, Jake and I took an alphabetical tour of places to eat in the South Bay. We only ate at accessible places (yes, in 2018 there are still quite a few restaurants that are not wheelchair accessible), open when we were ready to eat (which can be a little random for us), with something on the menu for Jake (usually dessert or breakfast items), and that were friendly (we didn’t feel uncomfortable staying to have a quick bite). At each place, we took a photograph of Jake with the restaurant’s name or logo, and a photograph of the food he enjoyed there.

We used Yelp to find places for each letter, and checked out parking and entrances on Google Streetview to avoid any confusion. We tried to prefer places we hadn’t visited before, and if we had a choice, we preferred Torrance, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, Lawndale, over Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach. Today was out last stop! Photos below. We visited a lot of interesting places, met a lot of hardworking people, had some delicious food, and generally enjoyed ourselves enormously. I will never drive past a strip mall without taking a second look at the hidden possibilities. I will definitely return to many of the new-to-me gems for another meal.

A is for Amandine Patisserie Cafe (Gardena)
B is for La Bella Napoli (Torrance)
C is for Corner Joint (Lawndale)
D is for Desserts by Patrick (Redondo Beach)
E is for Eat at Rudy’s (Torrance)
F is for Four Brothers Burger Grill (Redondo Beach)
G is for Green Temple (Redondo Beach)
H is for Happy Veggie (Redondo Beach)
I is for It’s Boba Time (Gardena)
J is for Jon’s Doughnuts (Torrance)
K is for Klatch Coffee (Redondo Beach)
L is for Leo’s Mexican Food (Lawndale)
M is for Manila Wok (Lawndale)
N is for Nagomi Cake House (Gardena)
O is for Oh My Burger (Gardena)
P is for Pie Pie Pie (Redondo Beach)
Q is for Queen Bee’s Catering (Gardena)
R is for Roman Aroma (Redondo Beach)
S is for Sacks in the City (Redondo Beach)
T is for Torrance Bakery (Gardena)
U is for Upper Deck (Redondo Beach)
V is for Village Pizza (Redondo Beach)
W is for Wanna Chill? (Redondo Beach)
X is for exEat (well, kinda) (Gardena)

And our last stops:
Y is for Yorgos Burgers (Gardena)
Z is for Zacatecas Mexican Restaurant (Hawthorne) CA8B088E-0562-42AA-A048-3802FB2DCF97

What I read in 2017

January 15, 2018

IMG_8150

A small Marge Piercy paperback and a grande coffee, wrapped in a crocheted cozy.

Past editions of this list: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008. This list is also available in pictorial format at Pinterest.

It was a good year for reading here! Twenty-five books finished. I’m a slow reader who likes long books; and this year my time for leisure reading changed with more carework responsibilities. I’m still working on how to fit more reading into the new routine. Also, I stop reading books without guilt; so assume I also didn’t finish a dozen or so titles.

BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. REV=Reviewed for an academic journal. Just because I read a book and listed it here doesn’t mean I liked it or would recommend it.  Female author/male author ratio: 17/8 (counting Angel Catbird for Atwood); Fiction/nonfiction ratio: 19/6 (counting Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age! as fiction, though a lot of it isn’t).

These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December.

1. Margaret Atwood, Hag-Seed
2. Josh Malerman, Bird Box
3. Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
4. Marjorie Harper, ed., Migration and Mental Health, Past and Present REV
5. Claire Vaye Watkins, Gold Fame Citrus
6. Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August BG
7. Matt Haig, The Humans BG
8. Margaret Atwood/Johnnie Christmas/Tamra Bonvillain, Angel Catbird #1
9. Angela Carter, Wise Children
10. Dawn French, Oh Dear Sylvia
11. Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened BG
12. Reyna Grande, The Distance Between Us BG
13. Jeff Vandermeer, Borne
14. Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
15. Lauren Slater, Welcome to my Country BG
16. Sarah Waters, Fingersmith BG
17. Penelope Lively, How It All Began BG
18. Michael Berube, Life as Jamie Knows It BG
19. Kenzaburo Oe, Rouse Up, O Young Men of the New Age! BG
20. Tana French, The Trespasser BG
21. Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
22. Maria Semple, Today Will Be Different BG
23. Ben H. Winters, Underground Airlines
24. Kamran Nazeer, Send in the Idiots BG
25. Ann Patchett, Commonwealth BG

Chalking Belmont Shore 2017

December 29, 2017

October is a busy image-making month, with Halloween and the Belmont Shore chalk art contest. This was my piece for this year’s Belmont Shore event. I based it on an Alphonse Mucha soap ad* from 1898, loosely. Then in the second half the day, I asked anyone who stopped to talk, “What’s your grandmother’s name?” That was the source of all the names written into the image. It was fun to hear their stories! People seemed very excited to see their dear one’s name included. I didn’t win a thing (never do!), but it was a fun day as always.
*Original was very similar to this one:
Alphonse Mucha - Zodiac

Our 2017 costumes

December 29, 2017

I crocheted myself an award-winning solar system costume this year, with beaded asteroid belt. The headpiece doubled as a solar eclipse costume in August (photo by Darlyn Susan Yee, taken at CAFAM). And I yarnbombed my son’s wheelchair for Opulent Mobility 2017.

Building the Daniel Tree

April 6, 2017

A crocheted wall hanging I made for a friend experiencing loss. I just wanted to post the pictures of it as it developed, all in one place. (The fourth picture turned up on Instagram, somebody caught me working on it at the Autry Museum, next to my Sequoia piece in the California Yarnscape show.)