Let’s Hitch Our Wagons to this Star

The Guster was really, really great in our movie Hanging with the Gus Man. What? You haven’t seen it?? Watch it now; you won’t be sorry. Seen it? Watch it again! It’s so brilliant*.

He popped up right when we needed him too. A little bit of cat treat on my fingers was all I needed to get him to approach at just the right moment.

All in all, it was an amazing filming experience.

So, I said to Will the other day, “Let’s hitch our wagons to this star. We’ll become cat handlers, move to LA. Get Gus an agent. It’s our destiny.” Continue Reading

the birthday party (and it’s invite) that will never be

While we were wandering through the Mission last month, my friend Sarah spotted a Super Mario pinata in a shop’s window.

It was just the seed I needed to declare that we would have a Super Mario themed party for Will’s upcoming birthday. Will, after all, loves nothing if not Super Mario, and how much fun we would have with our two televisions and two Super Nintendos–we could play in two rooms!!

I started hunting for Mario t-shirts to dress our two mannequins in.

I planned the menu: stuffed mushrooms and sugar cookies in the shape of feathers and flowers–the magical items that Mario eats to survive, spit fire balls and fly.  We would have a lot of pasta because Mario and Luigi are Italian.  And salad too, because that would make it a balanced meal. Continue Reading

Life Aboard a Chinese Junk

I got a bee in my bonnet a few years ago that life might be simpler (i.e., cheaper) if I were to live aboard a boat.

To wake up every morning to the fresh sea air on my face. To wander down the marina as I sip my morning coffee. To never pay rent again!!

I wondered with the Guster’s reaction would be, but I was sure that he would adjust to his new surroundings.  We both would.  There might be a little bit of anxiety and sea sickness at first, but ultimately we would achieve a truly sustainable way of life.  He would take up fishing with his mighty cat claws…perhaps he would catch both our dinners!  And the days he would spend sunning himself on the deck.  He would be happier there, he’d learn.  It would be a good place for him to grow old.

Imagine the sunsets we would see from our birthing spot on the San Francisco Bay.  Imagine how real the storms would be, with waves sloshing all around us.  It would be a truly glorious adventure.

I started searching Craigslist for boats for sale or rent. Most of the boats I found did not have the ethos of my romantic adventure, which had its origins in the beautiful boxy houseboats of the canals of Amsterdam.  The boats I found were small, and made of plastic. They looked more like a child’s toy then the home base for this beautiful life.

Something inside of me knew that the right boat was out there.  I searched on. Continue Reading

Potential Talk Show Names

Last year I went through a month or two where I decided I wanted to be a talk show host (still do) and would produce my own talk show.  After frantically trying to put everything together I had a moment of clarity where I realized that I could not concentrate on both running my own business and producing my talk show.  First and foremost, I needed to work on the business.  The talk show will come later.

While digging through my notes last year, I found a list of potential talk show names. Keep in mind that this list was brainstormed over a gin and tonic or two with input from three new friends and my co-producer BoAe. Continue Reading

A Lost Dream: Shit Be Gone

Once upon a time I lived with my sister Alexandra in an apartment building in the shape of a dome.

Where I met ShitBeGone

See??? You didn’t believe me, but it’s actually a dome. Google street view sure does come through in a pinch.

She was just coming back to the Bay Area from living in a cooperative warehouse space in Brooklyn.  It was a cool space; though haunted.  The ghosts danced away in the air above human heads all the way up the 40 foot ceilings just like in Magnetic Fields’ song Busby Berkeley Dreams. Continue Reading


I had this idea a couple years ago when Evite first started getting annoying. Is it still annoying? I haven’t used it in years but I remember it being exceedingly frustrating to use.

My idea was for an event invitation site called ESPvite.com. Enter your event details and guest list (no need for email addresses!) and POOF! ESPVITE would invite your guests via ESP.

ESP, or extrasensory perception, you remember, is the act of receiving information not through physical senses but through your mind. Continue Reading

Duffel Bags of Cash

I have a life coach and she’s wonderful. Lots of people ask me what life coaching is and that’s probably a question best left to her. I would describe it as “therapy with action items” except that therapy is a lot more touchy feely, and this is waaay more action oriented. I leave our sessions armed with confidence and direction–whereas I enter them most of the time feeling pulled in infinite directions and listless.

Today we had a harder session. As my life coach, she is privy to all my current plans and happenings. She knows the extent of my desires to be an internet celebrity and a talk show host, and she has watched me falter time and time again over the past 18 months as I have been slowly building a foundation for success. When I’m in my more darker moments I can be very hard on myself for how long the process has taken, but ultimately, that’s where I am. I could beat myself up forever, but that is a debilitating mindset and one I try to escape whenever possible. Continue Reading

Like that Lucky Old Sun

I’ve been sick this week, and whenever I get sick I question my motives for being self-employed.  I remember what it was like to be able to call in sick and not worry about it.  Sure, there were responsibilities, and there were often stresses associated with taking a sick day (especially under deadlines!). Ultimately, though, my paycheck would come and the organization would survive if I didn’t show up for a few days.

Even though I didn’t feel well, I did whatever I could over the past few days.  Monday I worked, Tuesday I polished a pet portrait, yesterday I cleaned the house.  Then, in a fit of exhaustion sat on the couch for the rest of the day–arguably where I should have been the whole time.

As I sat there watching Arrested Development for probably the fifteenth time, I got to thinking about the ladies and gentlemen of Victorian England, whom I know quite well through Jane Austen’s delightful novels.  Each morning they choose what to do that day–be it wandering through expansive gardens, playing the piano, a bridge game, or taking a few days and traveling to Bath for a holiday.  I thought it was unfair that they should have so few worries, and I said so this morning at breakfast with Will.

Will pointed out that that kind of leisure time has its downsides. Without work to preoccupy this leisure class, they invented problems out of sheer boredom.  I remember well that the problem of when (and who) a lady will marry was quite an ordeal in Jane Austen’s account.

The choice, then, is whether to suffer daily from boredom, or suffer daily from the stresses and challenges associated with a working life.  The choice, that is, in a theoretical sense; as I was not born to wealthy family in the era of Victorian England, I am left to only daydream about how it might feel to be so thoroughly without responsibility.

Preoccupied as I am with my cold and daydreams of Victorian England, I have spent the day humming the song “That Lucky Old Sun”, which wonderfully captures the essence of this envy for leisure. I am hardly the first, and I won’t be the last, to spend an afternoon coveting the lifestyle of those whose days and nights are idle.

On the Subject of Ducklings

(I cannot vouch for the truthiness of this story…but it comes from a credible source 🙂 )

My grandfather was a geologist. He was sent out mapping all over the country, and dragged the family with him. From what I hear they had some major adventures–lots of camping for weeks without running water, and lots of moving around.

One day they were some place with a county fair. Most places have county fairs, actually, so this could very well be anywhere. County fairs were a very important social activity back in those days when people didn’t have a Wii to keep them locked up at home.

For whatever reason my grandfather took a job dressing up as a Native American at the county fair (???). I’m not really clear on how or why, but apparently he made a pretty ridiculous Native American as he was fair haired and absolutely coated in freckles. (I guess they didn’t have any better options?)

At the fair, there was a fellow there operating that game where you toss a coin into a sea of bowls. If you get one in, you win a prize. I’ve only ever seen goldfish for prizes, but on this occasion they were ducklings.

The fellow operating the game noticed that if my grandfather (ridiculously dressed as a Native American) hung around near the game, more people would come play it. He offered my grandfather ducklings in exchange for having him hang around the game when he could.

My grandfather earned a total of three ducklings. My mom, being the oldest, was given two. Her little sister–six years younger–was given just one to care for. Apparently it is very easy to “assign” ducklings to new moms; stick them all in a room and it just happens. This answers one of the questions I raised in my duckling documentary fantasy.

Apparently, though, ducklings will poop anywhere. Also, they will poop anytime. These facts will definitely impact how the duckling documentary will go. Zach will eventually realize he should just coat the floor of his apartment in newspaper. Those scenes where Zach and the ducklings go to the bank and the grocery store will be legendary. And I bet Zach could get them on a plane in a carrier.

The story of my foremothers’ and the ducklings ends rather sadly. Their ducklings followed them to and from, and they grew to be great friends with each one. One day my aunt put hers on a swing; a heartbreakingly fatal error. But, as the duckling documentary also relates, though the friendship of a human and their duckling may be brief, the lesson of love stays with us.