Archive for December 2010

Ravenous Brand Extension

December 22nd, 2010 — 9:38pm

Presenting, Ravenous, the apron!

Well, not really.

But I did get the most wonderful gift from my most wonderful friend Sharon, in honor of Hannukah, my love of birds, and my book.

This gift, dare I say it? … killed three birds with one, um, apron.

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Phil Wood of Ten Speed Press

December 18th, 2010 — 9:53am

Phil Wood, publisher of Ten Speed Press, died last Saturday. 25 years ago, Phil gave me my first publishing job, and what a wonderful and strange ride it was.

I was hired to answer phones and during one busy day, when I was supposed to be saying, “Good morning, Ten Speed Press, how may I direct your call?” — instead, I pitched White Trash Cooking to a producer at the Letterman show.

Phil,” I said, walking in to his then round office filled with books, manuscripts, and Asian art, “I just booked Ernie (the author) on the Letterman show. I have to go to New York.” With that, he promoted to publicist.

So I went to New York, and Ernie cooked chicken feet on the show, toenails and all. I worked on so many other amazing books: Flattened Fauna, Mushrooms Demystified (I got an unmarked package containing psilocybin with no return address one Christmas as a thank you), How to Shit in the Woods, Barbecuing with Bobby (Bobby Seale that is), Still Life with Menu, What Color is Your Parachute, and so many more.

I took Phil out to lunch a few years ago to thank him. I worked on some brilliant, warped books at Ten Speed, and it was Phil who gave me that opportunity. He was a brilliant, odd bird and I was grateful to know him.

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Teaching Writing

December 10th, 2010 — 7:11pm

I might teach a class on writing memoir. I’ve never taught a writing class before and I was thinking, if I were a beginning writer, what would I most want to know?

What I’d want to know is this poem by Leonard Cohen:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

In other words, don’t wait for perfect pearls to drop from your mouth. Speak what is real and true, here and now. We are all broken in some way, and when we know that — when we respect the places where we are broken, jagged, and raw — then we have the chance to create art.

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Ravenous the Video

December 9th, 2010 — 8:11pm

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Honeysuckle-2011 Color of the Year

December 9th, 2010 — 2:48pm

…as decreed by Pantone. Hue number 18-2120 is a reddish pink, and I have to say, I must be psychic because I discovered this color about four months ago.

I call this, my year of lips, because since I discovered pinky coral lipstick, I have not stopped wearing it. Sometimes the color is more orange (Mac So chaud) or more pink (Chanel Cambon), but I am madly in love with my bright new pucker.

Maybe it’s turning 50, maybe it’s my refusal to go gently into that good night, maybe I’m superficial, but this color makes me happy.

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Leonard Cohen

December 6th, 2010 — 9:04am

I saw Leonard Cohen last night at the beautiful Paramount Theater in Oakland. He was astonishing. He is such a generous, visceral performer. He contains a stillness that makes his words that much more valuable.

His Chelsea Hotel was remarkable. And Hallelujah, was, of course, insanely moving and deep. He also surrounds himself with virtuoso musicians, and gives them time and space to shine. No one hogged the stage, not even Leonard, who, at 76, performed for 3-1/2 hours. It is inspiring to see someone at any age be fully who they are and share that with the world. At 76, with his gifts, it borders on the miraculous. Hallelujah.

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