Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Voice of the River Reading! July 1st!

Did you know that Petaluma has  a river that runs through it? Come by the  Petaluma Arts Center Thursday, July 1st for an evening of poetry and prose about said river.Starts at 7 p.m. Readers are contributors to the The Voice of the River Book created by Patti Trimble and Susan Starbird as part of an ongoing P. River consciousness-raising project. Yours truly, among many others, is one of those readers. Free to the public.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer is for Bloggin'

Hotter than a pistol today. Yesterday too.  Summer's arrived, skipping right over spring, which wasn't much of anything anyway. By hotter than a pistol I mean one that was recently discharged, like at least mid-90's, probably hotter. My working-studio faces west and I can feel the air heating up in the room right now, expanding, pressing on my eyeballs, fuzzing up my brain.  I've penciled in a siesta starting in 20 minutes, so I hope to snooze through the worst of it. It's the only way to survive. Now if I could only get work to agree to this most sensible of plans.

I've been collecting the blogs of Napa Valley Writers Conference attendees past and present, faculty, staff and workshoppers. (see sidebar) I just added links for Michael Byers (Finding Pluto), Janet Miller (Persistent Unwanted Thoughts), Sandra Vahtel (The Sweet and the Sour). If any of you readers are NVWC attendee of any stripe and want to be included, let me know in the comments and I'll load you up. I'd love to get this to be about 50 blogs long.

Time to peace out; I'm breaking a sweat just typing. Catch you all on the flip side.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Under Construction....

yes. I've been messing around with the template!    please bear with me....I'll find something a little less busy, bland, neophyte, whatever...soon. I think.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Napa Valley Writers Conference Link

A very nice article about the Napa Valley Writers Conference, which is celebrating it's 30-Year Anniversary.  Includes some history and famous names.
Napa Valley Register

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Aram's Last Supper

Our favorite cafe and restaurant , Aram's, closed Friday night. We knew it was going to happen, just not when. Armenian to the core, it was my favorite place to hang out  and not just because I loved William Saroyan's work or the Armenian Coffee that arrived at the table, steaming hot, in long-handled coffee pots, waiting to be knocked down ( 3 x 3 knocks, I had been taught once) and the slightly sweetened brew poured off, leaving the ubiquitous sludge at the bottom. The food was delicious, yes, absolutely. But the atmosphere was, too. The staff (Jenny, Stephanie, Carol, Kelsey and several others whose names have escaped my rattle-trap brain) tended to stick around, the sign of good treatment by management and customers alike. It was a community affair; customers were loyal and local. We were a type, the Aram's Krew. If we weren't friends already, we'd become so over the years; we could recognize others of our ilk in any crowd. 

We changed our plans to be there Friday night for our last opportunity for Armenian Pomegranate Chicken, Shawarma and the particularly fine feta in their Greek Salad. More photos here of the place and people.  

The staff will stay on for the new restaurant, Avatar's Punjabi Burrito; as long as I can commandeer my favorite table by the windows and Pomegranate Chicken stays on the menu, I'll be there. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Random Plank

A week ago Saturday was a bright day, hot for the first time this spring (or so it seems), the sky as blue as could be, endlessly blue. A day of de-clutttering and arranging, of uprooting crap from the basement and planting tender starts into welcoming soil. I even got around to clearing a bunch of stuff out of the studio -- it's become another collecting point again, an eddy in the river of crap that runs through our house, garage, yard.

Remember that Get Rid of 100 Things a Week project? That diet plan for my Inner Hoarder? The good news is that Saturday I managed to get rid of almost 100 things, if you count  each hanger I took to Saks Thrift Avenue, that is.

But my reward for clearing out the crap was a trip with my sis to Heritage Salvage in Petaluma for garden supplies. This is like going out for chocolate cake and ice cream to celebrate losing two pounds. But we had a list and we'd stick to it, dammit: cinder blocks, a metal structure (bedframe, wire fencing) as a trellis for the clematis clinging desperately to the back deck, border-edging for the garden path. Didn't find any affordable metal trellis work, but we scored on cinder blocks and cadged a deal on edging rocks, red stone cut into long, roughly rectangular blocks.

Then a 7-foot long, 16-inch wide crappy looking plank called to me. It was splintery, weathered-grey, with surface splits and thin patches of ancient white paint here and there. The edges and corners practically ate our hands.  But to me it had charm and character; it deserved to be rescued. With a bit of scraping, sanding and filing, I figured, it would be a fine, if very rustic, bench for my backyard.

And so it is becoming. The WP* was impressed with the plank's dimensions and suspected it might be old redwood; using the full complement of power tools at his disposal, he spent a good part of the weekend sanding, smoothing, patching and and then sanding that plank again. After three coats of spar varnish this week, the old, splintered, cracked piece of redwood (which is what it revealed itself to be) will be installed as a handsome garden bench, no splinters for the unwary behind or careless hand.

So. I dumped 100 things, purchased 24, ended up with a net loss of 76 things. And if the items I brought home have an immediate purpose and are a delight to behold, they don't count as clutter, right? right?

"Why take pictures of a plain plank when such a handsome, debonair cat-about-town is close by?"

*Wonderful Partner