Showing posts from September, 2012

Backstage Magic

... From time to time, I write about my job at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre . It's fun to share what it takes to produce live theater. So in that spirit, here's a video showing our kick-ass stage (female) crew, working backstage magic on our current production of Chinglish .  Watch it in the largest format you can.

Rev'd Up

We are very excited.  Our fundraising ride is now eight days away.  On Saturday, October 6th we will join hundreds of cyclists to support BORP 's athletic programs for people with physical disabilities. The range of physical abilities represented at this event is truly inspiring.  There are Paralympian medalists, triathletes, world-class cyclists and local cycle clubs who will ride all day and cover a hundred miles.  There are casual bike riders and handcyclists, recumbent trikers, visually impaired riders on tandems, all of us struggling to reach a personal goal of 20 miles or 40 or 50.  There are children and adults cranking or pedaling or pushing whatever wheels they've got to cover the ten mile ride.  This is the great thing about BORP: They can get nearly anybody moving and participating. Having been there myself, I cannot overstate the thrill of propelling yourself in the open air.  To feel that wind in your face and know that you are doing it yourself when you ca


... We found this article recently while looking at Bungalow renovation websites. It's a great piece of period humor responding to the sudden proliferation of bungalows in California about a hundred years ago. We love the P.G. Wodehouse/ S.J. Perleman voice and the snarky architecture in-jokes. ... Bungle-ode by Ern. Freese first published in The Architect and Engineer of California in March of 1918.  ... A Bungalow is a species of inhabitable mushroom that springs up over night on vacant lots. It might be more comprehensibly defined as the manifestation of a peculiar style of Western domestic architecture that causes lady tourists from the two-storied East to be precipitated into involuntary and rapturous comments, such as "Oh! How cute!" Architecturally speaking, the bungalow is a composite of Swiss chalet, Japanese tea-house, Frank Lloyd-Wright leaded glass, Spanish hacienda, Chinese influence, Mission furniture, monstrous originality, disappe

Mid September Harvest

... Robb and I have both been laid low by a tenacious headcold, so there's not much going on around our place. We've been eating a lot of kale from our garden, and enjoying the late-summer scarlet runner beans. There are a lot of things we can't seem to grow in our vegetable garden, but we have great success with kale and beans. We've also started to get a few figs from the sad fig tree that our neighbors gave us last summer. Once we finish painting, we'll plant things around the perimeter of our house. We're holding off for the moment, to facilitate ladder placement. (I won't lie. The house painting project is totally stalled.) We have to exercise a lot of self control, and not pick the figs too soon. We have the same problem with the strawberries, which we usually eat one day too early. Smog's eye is better , but his digestion is still out of whack . Smog is a very strong cat, with a huge personality.  Most of the time, he's a Bit


.... Hefted from Dreamtime Film on Vimeo . Here's a lovely little film that I think blog readers will enjoy. I don't want to say too much about it, because it's really special and should be enjoyed with fresh eyes. (Watch it in the largest format you can, because the photography -- and the light -- is beautiful.)


Smog's visit to the vet yesterday was notably inconclusive. We know now that: He doesn't have Horner's disease; he doesn't have uveitis; his eye pressure is normal and there was no sign of trauma. He is not blind; doesn't have glaucoma and is in no pain. What he's got is idiopathic anisocoria which is a clinician's way of saying that his eye has gone all weird and nobody knows why. He is, however, a lot better today. His eye is slowly returning to normal and he's showing no other symptoms except the tendency to attack unseen foes and run straight up the trunks of trees.

Smog Gets In Your Eyes (or something like that...)

... I'm home, with a headcold, after a night in which nobody here slept much. Robb has just left to take Smog to the vet, because one of his eyes is hugely dilated. We have no idea what's going on, but the vets are taking this quite seriously. It's really freaky. Little Smoggy looks like Mister Teatime, from Hogfather . Maybe a bit less sinister, but still very worrying. In happier news, our young hen Isabella laid her first egg this afternoon. It is a beautiful blue-green egg, an amalgam of all the colors we've used in our house.

Pedals, Potential and the Big Push

The Paralympic Games in London just ended and I've been both intrigued and inspired by them. Unlike the Olympic games in which the only divisions in the events are along gender lines, the Paralympics has separate events for people with varying levels of physical ability. A 400 meter track event, for instance, might have eight or nine divisions for -- visually impaired people (they run with a guide), people with cerebral palsy, amputations, spinal cord injuries, etc. It's a wonderful reminder that everybody has their own abilities and limitations but the challenge is to make the most of your potential. I've been trying to keep this in mind lately as we prepare for our annual fundraising ride for the Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program ( BORP ). It was the people at BORP who first put me on an adaptive cycle and showed me I could move myself, at a time when I could barely stand and balance, or even propel my wheelchair very far. I believe I owe the recovery I achieved to

Garden Update

... Things have been quiet at our house, lately. We've been doing a bit of cycling, in preparation for our BORP fundraising ride, working on small projects, and generally enjoying the garden. I continue to stalk the green bees in our back yard. They are frustratingly flighty, never staying still for more than an instant. We're harvesting lots of kale, trading lemons across the fence with one set of neighbors (we have Meyers, they probably have Lisbon or Eurekas), and scooping up windfall apples from the other neighbors' apple tree. We eat them pan fried with butter and cinnamon, the chickens enjoy the wormier bits. Our Scarlet Runner beans seem to be winding down. I'm not seeing many more flowers. The garden continues to be a mystery. All the lettuce I planted this year bolted before it was even two inches tall. We fail at lettuce, but can grow kale like nobody's business. Beans do well, if the snails don't mow them down. We've also got some voluntee