Ribbon Bed v1

Many years ago, for a bed design I created, I commissioned a sketch from an industrial designer and RISD grad Erik Askin. I told him of my inspirations and guiding principles, and he made some great suggestions about its structural integrity.

Cut to many years later when I found Green Piece Furniture, on Treasure Island, to work with me on its manufacture. The founder, Nick, developed a schematic drawing based on Erik's sketch. I visited his workshop a few times to see the work in progress, and to document the process of molding the plywood and adding the walnut veneer. 

Now that I have been sleeping on the v1 prototype since Summer 2016, and enjoy its smooth lines, I already have ideas about the v2... I’d be delighted to talk with a wholesaler about mass manufacture, wink.

The sketch.

The sketch.

The schematic.

The schematic.

One side of the mold.

One side of the mold.

So I think my floors are walnut, too…

So I think my floors are walnut, too…

Poem, 9/26

gather evidence
for your vast capacity
will the work of good

Time with family

On a breezy summer August evening In Manhattan, walking around Tudor Park with my Mom, a serious thought suddenly stopped her from walking.

“I’ve never seen a Tweet,” she said.

So I stopped too, and pulled out my phone to show her. “This is what it looks like on this device. It looks different on other devices — your phone, someone else’s phone, and on the web.” 

We sat in a small and beautiful public park in an area of the city I’d never seen, and I conveyed, using simple terms, the differences between Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (where she is a user). I made it relatable: “If Gucci has 10 million followers on Instagram, how might they use Instagram to share…”

“The fall looks!” she erupted, catching on. “There goes catalogs.” 

The next morning, I received an email entirely written in the subject line: 

hi. trip home was uneventful. what a pleasure living here! 2 seconds to the train, taxis are available all nite long. very civilized. tonite was delightful, and i thank you again for a yummy dinner and great conversation. i really do hope you enjoy this coming weekend. please make sure to kiss jordan and the butchkalas for me and tell them how much i love them and miss them. safe drive down and back. looked up gazpacho recipe which i haven’t made in years and forgot how easy and appropriate it is for the summer. thanks for the suggestion. mommy wuvs you. xoxo

Small steps.

Today my Dad and I drove from New York to Washington, DC. About five hours of drive time, on a circuitous route he preferred, avoiding all major highways and cities between the two metropolitan areas. (I met him in Irvington and we took 287  > 78 > lunch at a Jamaican place in Harrisburg > 15 > 270, if you’re curious.)

Along the route, I saw only three signs I should have stopped to photograph.

A few times he pointed, slowly, gesturally, with his right hand, as if controlled like a marionette of childhood desire. Occasionally these gestures were accompanied by exhortation: “Dairy Queen!” — pronounced with just enough time to slow down without accident as the driver of his Subaru. And occasionally these gestures were silent. 

We stopped at a farm on route 15 that had great signage — great enough to entice us off the main road. Every few hundred feet there were serial messages attached to rusty bikes, leaning against miles of corn. So we bought corn, a dozen heirloom tomatoes all of the same size (lasagna on the menu tomorrow night), and sadly, too few deliciously drippy peaches. 

We talked about hip hop vs rap, and I played him a bit of Groove Theory and then a bit of Tribe. We left this particular inquiry at: “Is there any rap that’s more Barbara Streisandy…?”

We talked about newspapers vs newsfeeds. Where the news gets the news (hint: it’s Twitter). He refers to everything handheld as a “gizmo.” Even: “Is there a gizmo on that... gizmo that can tell me how the market did today?” The retired stockbroker, still checking in. I fetched it from the soon-to-be-deleteable apps I keep in a folder called Crapple. 

The most engaging of topics happened after lunch when he asked, during a long stretch of big puffy billowy cumulus clouds, if I thought that all our memories are stored in our brains somewhere. 

“Hm,” I said aloud. “Great question… Yes, I do think all experiences are stored.”

“Why?”

“Well, if you think about it, DNA has four times the computing power of the ones and zeroes that power computers.”

“Ya lost me.”

“Think of it this way: if you were cooking with just salt and pepper, you’d have limited range. Although you can do a lot with it, it’s still just two options. But instead if you had access to parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme… you’d have a different order of magnitude.”

 

Poem, 6/7

for Suzanne vega

 

to photograph a

bird in flight is like time stopped

the moment is gone

Ride highlights

I’m training for the ALC ride to LA this summer. More about that on Medium.com.

Training Ride 5, May 8: 58.2 miles. Tackled Mount Tam in the fog. What you can’t see can’t scare you. Brought plenty of snacks. Breathed it all in. (Not the snacks.) Paced myself and was in for the long haul. Was out all day but felt great when I got home. Legs are poppin’. Definitely got into a cyclists’ high towards the end – compelled to just keep going and going and going.  Coming down the mountain at 33 MPH peak speed is cause for laughter and elation. What a magical place to live, to bike, to be outside and alive.

Training Ride 5, May 8: 58.2 miles. Tackled Mount Tam in the fog. What you can’t see can’t scare you. Brought plenty of snacks. Breathed it all in. (Not the snacks.) Paced myself and was in for the long haul. Was out all day but felt great when I got home. Legs are poppin’. Definitely got into a cyclists’ high towards the end – compelled to just keep going and going and going. 

Coming down the mountain at 33 MPH peak speed is cause for laughter and elation. What a magical place to live, to bike, to be outside and alive.

Training Ride 3, April 24: 22 miles. Hadn’t been on the bike in two months, because moving and vacation, so in two hours I went from my new home up to Hawk Hill and back. Stopped a few times, because gorgeous.

Training Ride 3, April 24: 22 miles. Hadn’t been on the bike in two months, because moving and vacation, so in two hours I went from my new home up to Hawk Hill and back. Stopped a few times, because gorgeous.

Training Ride 4, April 30: 55 miles! Today with the incomparable and gorgeous @emmahazlett, we rode 55 miles, up Hawk Hill (without stopping, yay!), down the other side, through the tunnel, over to Sausalito for a smoothie, through Mill Valley, and halfway up Mount Tamalpais. You may be able to see that MapMyRide botched the last chunk of data between lunch in Sausalito and back home, so I adjusted it — and switched to Strava.

Training Ride 4, April 30: 55 miles! Today with the incomparable and gorgeous @emmahazlett, we rode 55 miles, up Hawk Hill (without stopping, yay!), down the other side, through the tunnel, over to Sausalito for a smoothie, through Mill Valley, and halfway up Mount Tamalpais. You may be able to see that MapMyRide botched the last chunk of data between lunch in Sausalito and back home, so I adjusted it — and switched to Strava.

Training Ride 2, February 28: 55 miles. Highlights include: 1500' elevation gain (Antelope Dam is at just over 5000'), fresh snow-capped mountain air, stopping for a sandwich on the way up and a beer on the way back at the Taylorsville market (great sandwiches, girls!), cooking dinner with the Pew family afterwards, and consuming back some of those 2600 calories I burned.

Wildlife spotted:

150 deer

40-5o cows

15-20 wild turkeys

5 geese

2 mallards

2 ducks with red bills, black heads, and white bodies

1 bobcat!

Training Ride 1, February 20: 40 miles (not pictured below: the 4.5 miles each way between my house and the origin point). Highlights include: Training with Joe and Darin, the views of the GG Bridge from the Berkeley Hills, lunch at the Oakland Farmer’s Market, taking the bridge bike path for the first time.

My books

This week I finished unpacking books I had with me since I moved to SF, and integrated them with ones that had been in storage for years. They all sit now in beautiful built-in shelves, in an upstairs fireplace’d parlor room of a 1890s victorian in the Fair Oaks neighborhood. I am happy that my books are all here.

I arranged:

  • Biographies. No surprise, I like people. Moss Hart (my namesake). Copland, Wilde, Anderson, Bernstein, Bacon.
  • Books on words. Compact OED, Handy MidEast phrases, Basque to English, The Meaning of Meaning.
  • Children’s books. Including some of my own from my childhood, and others I’ve picked up. 
  • Old books. Cute pocket sized Shakespeare, first edition Dickens, Oscar Wilde, illuminated Salome, illuminated Rubaiyat.
  • Art books. One whole shelf. Magritte, Sendak, Holzer, Sherman, Ruscha. Vernacular drawings. 
  • Design books. One other whole shelf. Tibor, Graphis, Millman, Pentagram.
  • Zines. Lots and lots of independent publication love over the years. Non. Might. Outpost Journal. Hello Mr., Jarry, Headmaster, Gum, Encyclopedia. Lots and lots of small books which I always am drawn to.
  • Fiction. Some from my childhood and other new fiction I would like to read.
  • Self. Books on spirituality in art, music, listening to the universe kinda stuff.
  • Business inspiration. Being nice, reworking, teams.
  • Poetry. Whitman, Rumi, Wilbur, Siken, Milton, cummings.

I’d say that paints a nice portrait of who I am.

Poem, 4/24

death is what it takes

artists and creators birth

ideas for living

Aww & awe

The aww of giving: Today I got word from my ol’ roommate, K., that she received an antique butler I shipped her. When we lived together in 1999–2000, she let me borrow hers (in perpetuity) as she left for New York, knowing it wouldn’t fit into her much smaller apartment. This morning’s first text opened: “moved to actual tears.” It marked the conclusion of a 16-year-old promise I kept, one she never knew at what point it would be concluded (if she’d even recalled loaning me the thing). I loved starting the day with pictures of her kids playing with the packing material, a jacket draped over the jacket holder.

The awe of receiving: When I got to work, I checked my email and discovered that one of my old friends from back east, M., had donated $500 to my ALC ride. I was speechless! And then energized, feeling that much closer to the finish line.

 

Poem, 3/6

a nonchalant man
not paying attention to
the puddle, splashes

Backing and forthing

To gain personal insights on my life over the past few years, I analyzed my time traveling between NYC, SFO, and PVD from September 2012 through last month. Even though I became a full-time San Franciscan in April 2014, it’s felt like I’ve lived here longer. I’ve been coming back and forth semi-regularly for upwards of 10 years. But June 2013 marked the first time I was in SFO nearly a full month. 

Poem, 9/19

The ocean says no,
no, no, no, no, no. Do not
leave your footprints here. 

Thoughts last night and this morning after meeting Elle Luna and being in a room full of empowered attentive people

With my pals Amanda and Allie, I went to an instance of Women Catalysts last night. 

  1. Your must is a form of self-care. Doing things you must do appears to the outside world that you are being selfish. You must turn that critique off, however, and dive in. 
  2. External critique is almost as loud as internal critique. They are both imposters. 
  3. It’s getting easier and easier to be distracted; this comes in many forms. What’s everyone else reading / sketching / dribbbling / thinking / listening to? Sometimes this will gratefully spurn a new direction for something you’re working on, but it will likely detract from your flow. Focus your attention!
  4. Doing the work / showing up is the process and the project. (Surprise! Road trips aren’t just about the destination!)
  5. I love how thoughtful Elle was in her responses. That pause before speaking made us all pay attention. 
  6. Being entrepreneurial, it’s easier to listen to your must, but it takes a board / advisors / friends who’ll go out with you for pancakes (but never waffle!) to keep you on track.
  7. Walking back to Bart with Amanda, we talked about both being lifelong learners who are constantly & consistently evolving & growing. Some people are stuck in one place, and they tend to be attracted to those whose energy feels exciting, but that can be a drain. Save some chi for yourself!

Meyer Lemon Sorbet and Jarry

I met Lukas Volger, one of the co-founders of Jarry, at a StartOut event in New York. We talked about my old place in the Mission, and what I was doing with the beautiful meyer lemon tree in my backyard — making meyer lemon sorbet, of course, and crafting a cocktail I call the Mission Sunset (recipe below). I conveyed my appreciation for harvesting the fruit each time I’d go outside to pick. Lukas asked me if I wanted to write a piece for Jarry, and I was absolutely delighted for the opportunity.

The piece is a conversation with my favorite cooking buddy, Stephen Willson, about food, family, and being gay. You’ll have to purchase a copy of Issue #1 to read the full text! 

I also Kickstarted the first issue. I’m happy to be a part of first successes.

Mission Sunset cocktail

one big ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass

add a few dashes of orange bitters, then add in:

1/3 part your brown liquor of choice (mine’s usually Maker’s)

1/3 part antica formula vermouth

stir

finish with 1/3 part blood orange soda

twist of meyer lemon peel around the rim and in the glass

serve & enjoy!

Poem, 7/29

we gave good bones

and skin within

our years. 

 

slow moves 

the globe, despite

my hummingbird heart. 

 

one center, two extremes.

two paths, twice converged.

 

and yet, yet now:

is my heart where

is my body