Photographing houses and other things

We told Allison Tungseth we had 40 pigs on our mantle when it reality it turns we have 34 pigs with some elephants and cats thrown in. We were discussing the possibility of her photographing our house. We’ve met her before through Wendy and John, but this weekend Tom and I saw her deeply revealing photographs at her SFSU MFA Exhibition. I mentioned that our house is not quite ready to be photographed and she said many people tell her that. I imagine it’s a protective quality, I’d like to fix up the place, not expose too much of myself. Oh, well, the vulnerable parts, that’s what’s most interesting, now isn’t it?

Speaking of pigs, Tom sent me a great video on just the subject: A Wolf Loves Pig. Very cool!

We ended our San Francisco excursion Saturday with a trip to Kiss Seafood. What a treat. Our first time and we’ll definitely be back for their egg custard soup and other incredible Japanese delights.

Seth Godin’s blog makes my must-read list. This post inspired me today. I’m halfway through reading Chris Guillebeau’s article.

A painting at Nest on Fillmore this weekend caught my eye. Turns out it was created by Nicole Buffet. Ignorance is bliss. I had no idea who she was or who she might even be related to. But this piece definitely spoke to me.

Art, Animal and Food Fusion

“What are you going to be doing on your trip with your sister?”

“Eating and shopping for food…”

“…and what else?”

“More of that and then the art museum…”

On an average weekend, Erin and Dave go to about four markets for food. They say that there was a while when ten was common and twelve has been the record. We arrived in San Diego late yesterday morning and our first stop was North Park Market for Mediterranean feast fixins. Our lunch and dinner consisted of Greek Kalamata olives, French feta, Halloumi from Cypress, homemade tabouli, yogurt cheese with hummus, dolmas, whole wheat pitas, mint-flavored yogurt drink, Poblano peppers, fresh dates and Dave’s homemade multi-colored salad with red paprikas from Bulgaria, (I thought this only came in a powder!) grapes, walnuts, Asian pears, frisée, arugula and red leaf lettuce, feta, Mediterranean cucumbers and red onion. Yummy!

In between we trecked to the downtown location of Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for my benefit. This is one of my favorite museums. I drag my siblings here whenever I can. I really appreciated a particular exhibit entitled: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet. I couldn’t get over the story told by an artist who interacted with Kenya children and introduced them to colored pencils. What a treat!

As I’m writing this, we’re preparing dinner. It’s all about the food. This morning Dave picked up coffee for us from Peet’s and Erin cooked us breakfast: aka miso soup with a poached egg, Szechuan peppercorns and primary dashi from a cookbook Tom couldn’t put down last night called Japanese Cooking A Simple Art by Shizno Tsuji. After breakfast we headed out to the unique and fabulous Catalina Offshore Products and picked up incredibly fresh swordfish and bay scallops. Just experiencing Tommy and his antics is worth the trip. He grabbed a gift of baby abalone shells for me when he found out I was visiting from out of town. Tom commented that I’d be able to do something with them. It was really funny when we saw an art piece later that day consisting of similar shells.


Above images are the swordfish and the Bay Scallop Ceviche Erin made for dinner.

We returned home with the fish and Erin made buckwheat soba noodles with seared scallops. We dipped the noodles in a noodle dipping sauce (Tsuke-jiru) Dave prepared. (Recipes from cookbook above.) It’s incredibly enjoyable to eat and share such wonderfully different foods with Erin, Dave and Tom.

I woke up in the middle of the night, dreaming of getting tattoos on my arms and walking down streets of mismatched houses. I had such excitement, a desirous feeling of getting up and writing, documenting my experience, wanting to capture my emotion, translate it, share it… not that this excitement had much to do with the dream but it was in me just the same.

One of the highlights of our trip was Dave’s chai tea. So good… I wasn’t feeling well and it helped me feel much better.

Dave has a giant stuffed bear named Sergei and on previous occasions Dave has discussed Sergei’s need for glasses. Inspired and working with what we had, I suggested a wire hanger. (I initially suggested we go to the art store but am grateful we went this alternate route.) Dave found a hanger and Tom quickly fashioned it into a spectacle shape. I patiently removed the kinks from the wire and added some copper wire Dave found. We needed something to attach the glasses and Dave came up with some dental floss. Tom tied it around Sergei’s head. So simple and fun. I really enjoyed this collaborative process.

Erin and Dave also treated us to the San Diego Zoo. Fabulous fun and such great inspiration for art and fashion. I was really taken by the birds, something I didn’t expect. But then I imagine that might have to do with Nick Bantock or Joseph Cornell or Martha Stewart.

I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. I’m inspired to eat some different foods… add flax seed to my morning yogurt, enjoy more birds, stop more often and enjoy life.

Daily Practice


One of the benefits of blogging is that you get to meet and interact with people with similiar interests. Tom brought home some old law books that he thought I might be able to use. He suggested I could make books from them and ErinZam posted some recrafted law books on her blog which further lead to this inspiration posted above.

I get a lot of pleasure out of reading Michelle Maule’s blog about her daily practice. I aspire to write daily, at least during the week.

On a different note, Tom and I discovered Autobody Fine Art in Alameda. Pure pleasure. It’s a beautiful gallery: youthful, emerging, a little “rough” in a good way and brings it out excitement in me. I had a great therapy experience around this as well. Instead of thinking that this gallery is “outside” of me, I can actually relate to it as being “me” and “take this pill” whenever needed to bring that excitement back to my daily life. We had lunch at Burma SuperStar in Alameda. Super yummy and we’ll be back!