news of the world

Cat on the lap and it must be blogging time. I guess my sitting here with an open, available lap is nothing but an invitation. *I* think it means I’m working. Clearly I am mistaken.

The Governator came to town yesterday and messed with our production schedule. We held the paper back by two hours in order to hear his speech — in which he attempted to blame others for the budget crisis, because it’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? Getting the stories done, the paper proofed and sent took longer and the press was so mad and we were actually an hour later than all that, but we made it. There were also two fires the previous night, drama, adventure, you name it. It’s all there. Check it out in the Sun, today.

It’s Earth Day this weekend, at least here in Alameda, and we’ve got an event planned. It’s the Man’s idea: we’re gonna have a neighborhood cleanup of our little filthy beach here at the Point. It’s right on the edge of Seaplane Lagoon, which sounds so pretty, unless you consider the nickname for the place: The Navy’s Toilet. There are signs warning of toxins in the fish. Don’t eat it! Apparently there is airplane and ship fuel, probably fun stuff like dioxins and PCBs and mercury — all just waiting for us. However, there is also a lot of broken glass, plastic, an old mattress and more, so we’ll do our best to clean those things up and see how it looks afterward. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little stretch of beach that was not covered in trash? That we could sit on and smell the mercury once in a while? I think so. Kudos to Mr. Husband for thinking it up. We made a flyer and passed it to all the nay-bors and we’re all set to clean up, then potluck afterward here, on Saturday. Join us, if you’re free. Wear gloves.

I had the Tiger Cub Scouts in the newspaper yesterday afternoon, working on a merit badge, and they were so cute — but um, energetic. Very much so. I was thinking they’d be older and was unprepared for six very high-strung 7 year olds. But they were all very eager to know more and so I did my best to show them what we do and how we do it. Later I took their photo (getting them to sit still was a challenge). I told Mr. Husband that it was like dropping a jar full of marbles, trying to keep the “lesson” going. Crash, rattle, roll…but that’s how it is. Fun stuff. Look for their photo in next week’s paper. Very cute boys.

I posted a call for interns on Craigslist, sent the flyer to UC Berkeley, SF State, CSU East Bay, College of Alameda, Ohlone and I think a few other places. Laney, too. I hope to get a couple of good candidates to come onboard for the summer. I also have an eager high school intern who wants to learn the ropes. It will really help me a lot to have some interns. I just can’t keep all the plates spinning these days. I expect to spend the next few weeks interviewing and figuring out who is right for us.

Last night Ana and I baked a cake from scratch — she wanted to surprise her boyfriend for passing the proficiency exam. Good for him — yay, Vinny! I realized how easy it is to bake a cake from scratch — literally just five more minutes than baking from a mix, and the flavor is so much better that it is hardly worth it to get that nasty chemical taste and extra sugar — for five minutes’ saving? Yuk. I can’t wait to taste this one. The batter was delicious. Ten times better, no, twenty, than a box mix. A good lesson: The old ways are often the best ways.

On the list today is a meeting with a freelancer, a couple of calls to women friends from my group, continuing to clean up in prep for the Saturday Earth Day potluck, planning what I’ll prepare for that (probably a couple of salads, maybe a cake — from scratch!); water the veggies outside, and in the front, all the potted plants (they look wilty). A load of laundry, perhaps. Husband says we have to go to the gym tonight. Ugh. We just got a membership to the Bladium in trade for advertising — so it’s “free” — so I guess I’d better go (creak, moan, groan…) I guess that’s why I NEED to go, huh? To stop the creaking?

Dinner tonight: Vegetarian feast. That means salad. One daughter is sick. It’s a quiet few days at the White House (La Casa Blanca), out here at the Point. Potluck this weekend.

Next week: New York.

weekend’s end

Monday Monday, and guess what’s happening on Wednesday?

Gov. Schwarzenegger is scheduled to speak at the Bay Area Council Outlook Conference here in Alameda @ the Hornet April 16. Registration ($500 per seat) starts at 7:30 a.m., program is 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., and the Governor is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m.

Be there — I will (or one of my compatriots).

Spent the weekend in the garden (see Backyard Bliss for updates and pix). Ran around Berkeley with teens. Went to Erin’s all-chick 40th birthday party Saturday evening, then home for date night with Husband. Friday night was the home opener for Husband’s softball team, and they lost by an extreme number of runs, so we just won’t mention it here at all. I also had dinner with my women’s leadership team at California Pizza Kitchen in Emeryville Friday night (before the game) and sitting right next to us was Cee Belou, Husband’s dear friend, and her husband and daughter from Brooklyn and two grandchildren. These lovely people helped Mia find a place to live when she first arrived in NYC. They are the best — on our list of favorite people in the world. (It’s a short list, too….other folks are on the Fabu List or the CrazyPartyPeople list….) It was great to see them but impossible because I was in a dinner meeting. Oh well. Time for another BBQ…It’s coming — the Tres de Mayo party (not Cinco because that’s a Monday night, yuk). Watch for details.

Sunday: Freecycle rounds, and free stuff rounds, which included EIGHT backyard stackable resin chairs (we can now seat you when you come over), a white wicker coffee table, a rolling silver rack/shelf unit (both for new store); art supplies, a load of scalloped bricks for the garden, and an orange tree. Yes, an orange tree. Which we had to dig up ourselves. While doubleparked on a one-way street. And forgot the shovel. Nice folks lent us one and we dug it out and off we went.

When I say “we” I mean Husband did the digging and I watched and made appropriate comments. Or inappropriate comments. He’s trying to protect my back, which is complaining thanks to some unhappy sciatic nerves. I’m supposed to stretch more. I will, in a little while.

I need to get to the office and do a whole lot of writing this week. I have a great food bank story in progress (watch for it this week) — Paul Russell of the Alameda Food Bank is one of my heroes. If you have $5 to spare, or groceries you can share, get thee to the Alameda Food Bank at 1900 Thau Way, Alameda CA 94501. It’s near the Kinko’s/Walgreen’s/Sbux at Webster Street. These folks are the best. They simply couldn’t be kinder or more genuine. Trust me. I know.

I also have lots of events I went to last week, like the firemen’s graduation, the volunteer appreciation luncheon at Mastick, and so on. This week seems calmer, so far. Then next week: NY! Mia! Woo hoo!

Photos and such will be posted soon. I missed the school rally last week because we just don’t have the staff to be everywhere. If I could clone myself, or hire a few…we’ll see. Maybe one day.

Happy Monday.

poppies will make them sleep

…sleep…now they’ll sleep…

Saw these poppies at Alameda Point and thought how lucky we are to live in California. Yeah, I know, lots of things about it stink, but in terms of gratitude for what we have, right here in our midst, I’m grateful to have decent weather most of the year, open space, a lively arts community, schools close enough to walk or ride bikes to, access to good food and clean water, and as much chocolate as one person can eat, pretty much whenever.

Ditto that, fair trade coffee. Ditto that, decent vino.

When we were little kids we believed that you couldn’t pick a California poppy — that it was against the law. That you would get arrested and go to prison where they only served bread and water. And sometimes spaghetti, according to our savvy neighbor, Jill Thompson.

So I looked it up just now. And here’s the deal:

“The California poppy is the state flower to California. It is not a threatened or endangered plant but it is illegal to pick California poppies from the wild; however you can buy the seeds and plant them. (Read more at

That explains why the gardeners at Alameda Point don’t mow them down.

It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Bring the washing off the line.


What a week! Blessed relief that it’s almost over. But it’s rather exciting when news happens. A nice twist from biz-as-uze. (

It’s a very cool event — bring your over-12s, and menfolk — this is for anyone but they are films by and about women. Plus there will be FREE Luna bars to eat. And lots of people. Friends and relations. You know — the usual suspects.

Also this weekend — the Boys & Girls Club Auction/Dinner — I’ve gone to this many a time and it is great fun — alas, I am unable to go this year. And. Also. Many more events. I need to clone myself to see it all.

Cool thing here in the office:
We rearranged the office in anticipation of a new salesperson who we expect to join us next week, and in doing so, created a workspace where we can make someof our products: our new stuff to be made from recycled paper. It’s all still in the works but we needed a place to make stuff. And now we have one.

I spent yesterday afternoon crawling around the office on hands and knees, cleaning, wiping, organizing, yuck. But it looks fabu now. I’m looking forward to new employee and to working inthe space.

Chicago is opening at Altarena this weekend and I am trying to make it work that I can see the show for review. But this weekend might not work. But I’d love to see how they do it in such a small space and in the round. Watch out for flying machine-gun bullets…saw Candide last weekend and it was breathtaking. Virago Theatre at Rhythmix Cultural Works did an outstanding job with very challenging music and no backstage to speak of. Not quite in the round but talk about limited space! It was fun to finally see this production live, after hearing the music for many years. Very satisfying. Like a tick-mark off the Bucket List.

If I had one. Which I don’t.

Or maybe I do, sort of. Like, I wanted to see Paris and London and Scotland and New York, and even Boston, and I have. Wanted to dip my feet in both oceans — Atlantic and Pacific. I did. Wanted to have daughters, and I did; and then a son, which I do now. Wanted to marry my Dream Guy — and I finally did (third time’s a charm). Want my kids to be successful, smart, kind and compassionate — and all of them are.

Still want to do? I want to see every Shakespeare play (done well) onstage before I die (I’ve seen about a dozen so far, and some several times). I want to visit every California mission (I’m about halfway finished). And see whales close up. And take care of my grandchildren. Write a poetry collection. Make stuff. Take a vacation someplace warm, with palm trees and fruity cocktails and soft winds. And of course, get the bestselling book published. (It’s written, but as yet, still undiscovered.)

There’s more — so what’s on your Bucket List?

welcome back to the end of the year

It’s that time. It’s that time AGAIN, I mean. Isn’t it? Why do I not feel like shopping, decorating or baking? What shall we do about that?

I think it’s because I’m still catching up from the weekend, where I did some awesome work with a group of women on personal power and transformation — which soulds like Magick but isn’t. It’s more about believing in yourself and knowing you are strong than about fairy dust and magic wands. Not about fairy dust at all, actually. Love, though. Lots of love.

Anyway. Good weekend. Busy days ahead…