T-Show asked what adorns my walls. Either I'm madly in love with T-Show, I'm an unmedicated narcissist, or I'm just buzzed enough to comply. Either way, she owes her readers a tour of the art on her walls!

Okay, starting in the TV room where I am right now: we have a vivid Impressionism-style oil painting of a still life done by my S.O.'s brother, Steven, when he was in high school. It looks a lot better when the camera flash doesn't bleach out the color. A drunk driver killed Steven a few years after he finished high school. He left behind four big paintings--one for his parents, and one for each of his siblings.


My aunt made this stained glass "piece" in junior high art class. It looks awful in the dark--objectively awful. But it’s beautiful when the light comes through, and I love it because it reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen. It sat on her window sill for many years. (Sidenote: If you get really close, it smells like cat pee. That's not part of why I like it; it's just a sidenote.)


added: Here it is during the day

Susie Day

A Dali print my s.o. bought a number of years ago as an investment. Apparently, there are a lot of Dali forgeries out there, but this one's been authenticated--whatever that means, or doesn't mean. I don't know.


A small watercolor painting by Koko the gorilla.


Two small collage pieces by a local artist I know that also look better without a camera flash. I have three more upstairs similar to this, but different.

collage 1

collage 2

We'd get rid of this atrocious thing if we had something to replace it with.


Moving on to the library now. (We only call it that because the bookshelves are in there. "Library" sounds better than "bookshelf room". We're not pretentious weenies.)

Some oil paintings by a couple local artists. I forget the name of the night scene on the left (Carnival of Light, maybe) but I know the artist’s name is Kate Protage and I bought it at the San Francisco Art Institute art gallery for $350. Mmm, or $450. (ADDED: Thanks for coming by, Kate! The painting is called Light Carnival.)

The three small ones are by Adam Connelly. I really need to get those framed.


My friend took this photo of a sculpture illegally inside a local museum. It’s Shakyamuni (sp?), the last Buddha before enlightenment. No, we're not Buddhist. Just workin' the Pacific Rim action, that's all. I like his hands and the expression on his face.


This is an early Ruth Bernhard. She's a San Francisco photographer from the Edward Weston school of California B&W photography. She recently turned 100 years old. The landscape is Rockport, ME. I’m a native Californian, but my family comes from Maine. How I came to own this is a long story. (Completely legal, of course.)


Another illegal Buddha. This one is Simhavaktra, a guardian of gateways.


I don’t know much about this. Someone gave it to my dad who gave it to me. It’s painted on some kind of cloth and looks old. An art history student I knew in grad school told me it's probably not that old because blue was a rare pigment color in some parts of the world until not all that long ago. Plus, my dad's friend found it at a Goodwill in San Jose.

What’s going on at the bottom of this picture?


I love this painting on board of a California Mission done by one of my grandfather’s patients. It's got a great "Arts & Crafts" vibe. (I'm not sure which Mission...if anyone knows, please post in the comments.)


The Number One Best Thing I ever bought on EBay:


There’s my granddad! It’s his graduation photo from college or medical school…not sure which. He turned 88 in January and golfs nine holes twice a week at Stanford.

my granddad

My significant other’s parents at their wedding reception. Dad-in-law served in the Pacific during WWII.

sos parents

Into the kitchen. Please excuse the white walls. We’re going to remodel in a year or two when we have some money.

This is a Polaroid of a Doggie Diner head. Very San Francisco!

doggie diner

This is an Eric White giclee.

eric white

Something by one of my significant other’s ex-boyfriends. It doesn’t photograph well, but I really like it.

sos exboyfriend

Into the foyer...

This is an old USGS map of San Francisco Bay and the nearby Pacific Ocean ca. 1960 that I found in the bowels of my grandparents’ house. I found a ton of old maps like this; I think my uncle took a geography class in college and the maps ended up back home. Anyhow, you can barely see it, but that trapezoidal area of ocean near the Farallon Islands is labeled “Explosives Dumping Zone”.

USGS map sf bay

Last but not least. This is my other favorite possession that I would grab if there was a fire. Which would be easy since it hangs right by the front door. My dad took this photograph one day at the jewelers in the small town where I grew up. It’s seems very French to me…very Cartier-Bresson or something. My father is a photographer. I like this photograph because it puts the viewer in the omniscient position looking down at man puzzling over his precious constructs designed to measure something he can barely fathom...

my dad

Geez, am I a pretentious whanker or what?!

(No need to post a comment on that one.)

Maybe next time I'll show you the upstairs.

Added: Looking at all these makes me want to go buy some new art. All this seems so flat and still. Flat images of still scenes. I want some art with some sense of movement. Color combinations that won't let the eye rest. Lines to keep the eye moving. If I had real money, I'd buy Karen Davie. Top row, fifth from the right.
Where their 1,700-square-foot San Carlos home sat on a 6,500-square-foot lot and was located on a street with some crime problems, their home in Barrington is 3,300 square feet on a three-quarters-of-an-acre lot and is one block from the Atlantic Ocean. The price tag: $650,000 compared with a nearly $1.1 million sale price for their San Carlos home.

"Everyone we run into is moving from California, the Bay Area," said Peggy Crane, 35. "I thought we'd be exotic."

Still, the Cranes say other costs -- such as property taxes and food -- are much more expensive than in the Bay Area. Ultimately, the couple hopes to move back to San Francisco after their two children, now ages 2 and 4, go to college.

"Everyone is working so hard here to pay the heating bill and the taxes," Crane said. "In the Bay Area, people work hard, but they also play hard. We miss that."



Number Two on the list of "Ten Things Evolutionists Can Do To Improve Communication": Attitude.

Whenever you condescend [...] you lose the sympathy of your audience. Plain and simple. When evolutionists call intelligent designers idiots, its fine among evolutionists, but for the broader, less informed audience, it just makes everyone side with the people being condescended towards. It’s a simple principle of mass communication. Furthermore, even though Stephen Jay Gould was my hero in graduate school nearly 30 years ago, today he is culturally irrelevant for undergraduates at the introductory level. His essays, which I cherished as an introductory student back then, are now unusable. My students at USC literally asked me to never assign them his essays again. They find his style and voice to be arrogant, elitist, condescending, verbose … the list goes on and on.



Art Spiegalman:

"A lot of what's going on with this cartoon contest," he said, "is part of creating a polarization that will make it easier to decide that America should nuke Iran. If they're so unreasonable, all we can do is irradiate them."



The Swearing Festival.

Sounds fucking righteous to me!

Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden.

The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words "Homeland Security." The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.



For the politically correct Bay Area parent, the "Curious George" children's books are a minefield of cultural horrors through which to tiptoe. Imperialism. Animal abuse. Bad parenting.

Puh-leeeeze, George's defenders say. They're children's books, whose charm has not dimmed -- 25 million books and countless swag sold -- even if ideas about political correctness have evolved since the first George adventure was published in 1941. Sometimes a speechless, mischievous monkey is just that -- a monkey, not a metaphor. Besides, George's tales are no more un-PC than those of that royalist warmonger, Babar.

Both camps are wondering how "Curious George," the animated movie that premieres today, will translate details of the popular series of children's books for the more heightened sensitivities of 2006.


From my vantage, it seems like people who get alarmed about "imperialism" and imaginary animal abuse find themselves with fewer and fewer friends nowadays.

The PC-era is dying a sad, little death. If you know what I mean.