Saturday, January 31, 2009

Scrub. Rinse. Repeat.

It is enjoyable to clean my house after a week of work. And I have been enjoying working with Carolyn - fancy getting paid for my obsessive little diagrams! I am mainly using QuickBooks, chasing vendors, creating Purchase Orders and such, but it calls on the skills I used so long ago while renovating thousands of square feet at a time. The creative impetus isn't there of course, but the exercise of competence is pleasing in itself.

The drought continues here, and there is a killing heat wave in Australia, when I talk to family they seem to have been seeing a lot of films lately, just for the air-conditioning. We will have water restrictions soon, about time: Californians are so wasteful of water. Check this awful site on how to save water:

They don't know they are born, truly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


If anyone had told me a year ago that I would tear up for 'The Star-Spangled Banner' I would have laughed them out of court.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

You don't believe me, I hear you say
But Barack's as Irish, as was JFK
His granddaddy's daddy came from Moneygall
A small Irish village, well known to you all

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

He's as Irish as bacon and cabbage and stew
He's Hawaiian he's Kenyan American too
He’s in the White House, he took his chance
Now let’s see Barack do Riverdance

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

From Kerry and cork to old Donegal
Let’s hear it for Barack from old Moneygall
From the lakes of Killarney to old Connemara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
From the old Blarney stone to the great hill of Tara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

2008 the White House is green,
They're cheering in Mayo and in Skibereen.
The Irish in Kenya, and in Yokahama,
Are cheering for President Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

The Hockey Mom's gone, and so is McCain
They are cheering in Texas and in Borrisokane,
In Moneygall town, the greatest of drama,
For our famous president Barack O'Bama

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

The great Stephen Neill, a great man of God,
He proved that Barack was from the Auld Sod
They came by bus and they came by car,
To celebrate Barack in Ollie Hayes’ Bar

Tooral - U Tooral U Tooral U Toor a lama
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
His Mam's daddys granddaddy was one Falmuth Kearney
He's as Irish as any from the Lakes of Killarney
His Mam's from a long line of great Irish Mammas
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

He looks after his own, a true son of St. Patrick
He chose as his mate, Joe Biden, a Catholic,
Proddies, Jews, Muslims, even the Dalai Lama
Know there's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama.

Our Barack's a hero, I've heard them say
Fenian to Kenyan, the American Way
He's Cuchulainn, Liongo, not Vishnu or Brahma
But there's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

A name is a name and there's no doubt about it
Barack O'Bama's name, you can shout it
Whether apostrophe or inverted comma
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama.

Now you Hillary supporters don't you vote for McCain
And the VP needs brains, so forget about Palin
With Cheney and Bush, they are all ignorama
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

Last Chorus:
Tooral - U Tooral S Tooral A Toor a lama
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
Tooral - U Tooral S Tooral A Toor a lama
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Nature of Tomorrow

Breakfast with Mary,welcome Keelan the plumber who will replace an old cast-iron sewer pipe while dangling over low tide, re-pack the lighting case, go to Carolyn to help with the accounts, orders etc. for a large project, and plan all the gardening I want to do over the weekend.

Today was up before the dawn to shoot the ambulance sequence at St Francis in the city, all in such balmy spring weather that we drove home with the Jeep windows open, then had lunch in glorious sunshine over the water, before I offed to the other job.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


We have been busy, and I don't blog about clients in case it somehow gets back to them. Not that we don't communicate with them, but people are touchy about joint creative endeavours.

Apparently the little kingfisher who has been fishing from the top of Charlie's mast for the past two days is a belted kingfisher. Sounds a bit like a kookaburra but is crested. Three turkey vultures crowded on top of the ugly telegraph pole which impedes our view of Mount Tam this morning so there's a corpse somewhere.

Jamie is delighted with his promo, Julia with hers, and Stefan is in the middle of the WildCare fundraiser. Delighted to be able to use the footage of the two river otters and egret which we shot from the deck in high summer.

Friday, January 09, 2009

And Smugger

I have a new light in my 6' x 2'6" office, and it is so much easier to type. I just snaffled the desk light from behind my sofa, because I have six pendant lights on a dimmer above it now, don't I? It highlights the lengths I will go to not to have to cross to the East Bay to Ikea. Call it recycling.

I intend to recycle some of the four sets of nested bowls I have accumulated in addition to one-offs and salad bowls. Which ones: probably the metal ones. I love bowls but this is ridiculous.

Next is to go through all my clothes and throw out. I tend to wear things out while clinging to the concept of the garment at its best so I might need a fresh pair of eyes on this, but since my friends here to a man have vastly larger wardrobes than I do I hardly know which way to turn. Daughter?


I am feeling virtuous after going through kitchen cupboards throwing out ugly vases, dried-up herbs, and chipped things, and it didn't take long. A sort of early spring clean while the sun is so bright and low, and comes in through the window to light up everything unmercifully. Sort of a Dutch light.

We were shooting at San Francisco General Hospital on Wednesday and I enjoyed it so much. All clean and shiny, with fiercely partisan doctors. It is a Level One Trauma Unit, and it puts a mother's heart at ease knowing it is the local for my boys.

Maybe my cleaning efforts are inspired in part by the hospital's example, in part by the way Cissy unobtrusively pre-washed the cups before having tea here last weekend. And I thought I was too young to be an unhygienic old fart.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Beyond Price

1958 - 2008

Monday, January 05, 2009


I have just finished watching "The Castle" on a laptop sitting up in bed surrounded by apples and chicken broth because I caught something and want to get rid of it before it settles in. It is a perfect day for a withdrawal from the world, cool and foggy so I can't see the bridge or the farther shore. Dee sent over Scout and a stack of lovely books for company and I am lying low as there are clients over, everything is quiet and orderly.

We had dinner with Cissy and George and William last night and I just revel in having my family about me, inspiring work and lovely neighbours, since we had crab with Judy and Mel and Linda the night before, then champagne for breakfast with Mary. I'm happy to be quiet and count my blessings.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year

The glory of being home! Soup on the stove, bread proving, the second load of washing on. Stefan has a honking cold after going without his hat or jacket on a bright day with a keening wind blowing over the Hudson so he is sitting contentedly up in bed with toast and honey and his laptop, while I woke early to get milk (in a glass bottle, from a Petaluma dairy!) and walked over the hill in blessed soft mist after the drying, dry, cold New York wind.

We had three New Year celebrations: Eastern Time in the air, Central Time in Utah as we stopped to refuel because of bad weather, then Pacific Time ten minutes before we landed. I wonder about the implications of starting the New Year with both feet off the ground. Home by 2am, Suscipe sleek and plumper and very affectionate, Dee had left delicious chicken enchiladas made with Albuquerque chillies, so we glanced over the mail then happily to bed.

We were chatting with another couple in the airport and Barbara said New York smells like cooking fat. Right! More than other cities.

New York