how time flies

Wasn’t it just yesterday we pushed the boys down here in our twins stroller, to have kiddie cones and watch the fire trucks across the street? Now they are almost as tall as the awning.

Custard Station, Evan and Liam

I went to see a hilarious, accomplished and obviously completely badass hand surgeon today. She was very reassuring, and said, basically, “No one can make your work but you. Keep working. You are going to be fine.”

What more do I need to hear?

That Trillian Stars is coming to the Ferry show with us? CHECK!


photo, as you may have guessed, by Kyle Cassidy.

more discipline

My days now involve a predictable set of pitched battles for power, almost all internal.

Mornings bring the usual pleasure to be waking up alive, a rustle around the bed to see if there is someone next to me to kiss and snuggle and pet. Usually there is at least a cat; in the best of circumstances there is Bill: tall, clever, kind, dreamy. Full of love.

Bill and Kate at Ricardo Cat

With waking also comes a suite of other feelings, more confusing. My body is weary from two years of sitting intently over bead board, computer and camera setup, and my hands and arms are starting to show the strain. I stretch, I swim, I get acupuncture, I ice, I get massage, I drink water, I eat good food and too much ibuprofen. But still, I am drastically overusing the system. A standing desk is absurd to me, I cannot even contemplate writing at one and it would not help my hands.

Freezer packs rest on either side of my laptop and bead board, so I can ice my wrists while I read, or think. I am proactive; I have an appointment with a hand specialist this afternoon to talk to her about how to make it through the next month intact.

Temptation is equally overwhelming to cut to print and also to slow down; my problem, if it can actually be called one, is that every day of extra work now brings another layer of clarity that seems as profound as opening a curtain and letting more sunlight in. Who knew there were so many layers still to reveal? New pieces are created every day; many of them are genius.

Brenda Day Spring Helix

I probably don’t have to even tell you that Brenda Day was channelling Spring in this one; you can see the purple crocus, the pink and purple tulips, the ferns, the grass, the new leaves on the evergreens.

I’ve given up my summer break to keep working, because I cannot finish and I also cannot seem to cut the cord and say “good enough”.  I’m both proud of and disgusted at myself for this, I laugh. What the hell? But I am this close to being able to bring tens of thousands more people off of the architectural launchpad with me, all I have to do is speak clearly. It’s thrilling, exhausting, it makes me Feel Things. Mostly gratitude. It’s work that I love, work of my choice.

I am, however, also longing to seriously begin my next project, Love Letters, which has been bubbling on the side burner for over a year now. Technically I am already criminally late delivering, without even properly starting. I marvel at that. My interview subjects are actually starting to call ME, which is unheard of. Every single one of them is a person who would never dream of doing less than their best; each of them is devoted to doing original work. How can I do less than what I admire in them? How could I look them in the eye? I must keep moving forward. Surely, any week now, it will be done.

I console myself with the reminder that none of us in the next project have died. We are all only getting better, which will by definition make a better book.

I dance around to Editions Of You, testing this post, and briefly gloat over the luscious FAN of orchestra seats Doriot and I scored from TicketMonster this morning, for Ferry shows in Boston and Philly, Oct 2 and 4. Please let me know fairly immediately if you are planning on joining our party in either city, so we can make sure you get a ticket.

Just in case you wonder if he’s still got it….the answer is yes. My panties just threw THEMSELVES at the screen.

glamour and not, and Bri is a marathoner

For a few days there, my life was facing Glamour side out, as I seemed to be jet-setting around to see rock concerts, chit-chatting with geniuses, and announcing a talk and runway show of our CGB work at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC.


Now, though, I’m sitting in St. Louis, with an icepack on my typing/beading muscles, looking forward to family spaghetti dinner and MISS HULLINGS LEMON LOAF to celebrate not only Bri’s 27th birthday, but her successful completion of the Boston Marathon. All in one day!

The crown-shaped sign on her visor says “It’s My Birthday!”


Honestly, it’s hard to believe what a gentle badass she is. Running 26 miles on an ankle that she set herself, right there on the floor, when it was broken during a roller derby match. Scampering up teetery Coast Guard riggings in storms at sea. Beating me at Scrabble.

She isn’t here, but we are extremely enthusiastic about the celebration.

Miss Hullings lemon loaf


Bryan Ferry, San Diego

We had a wonderful time last night.

Bryan Ferry San Diego 4 17

The show was tremendous, the venue (Humphrey’s By The Bay) was excellent, and the crowd was excited and on their feet. No one was drunk and stupid. The weather was gorgeous, the bay was sparkly, and there were people on boats and kayaks, clustered around the harbor, watching the show.

High points for me were Remake/Remodel, Casanova, Virginia Plain and Editions Of You. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t sing In Every Dream Home A Heartache, or Prairie Rose, but we got a killer Both Ends Burning and a beautiful Tara and More Than This.

We were well-dressed for the Humphrey’s lobby.

Doriot at Humphreys

Kate McKinnon at Humphrey's, Bryan Ferry show April 18 2014.  photo by D. Lair

Tara Ferry was there last night as well, I believe… looking very handsome in a blue V-necked sweater. I missed Oliver terribly, but Quist was fine. Guy Pratt was excellent on bass, Cherisse was Wonder Woman on the drums, and Steve Jones was a perfect addition to the lineup, on rhythm guitar, backing and twining with Ferry on vocals. Jorga Chalmers was, as usual, gorgeous and rocking a jumpsuit that would be a disaster on almost any other woman.

Whatta night.

I’m already looking forward to the next time.

san diego

I flew over to California this morning, to catch a Bryan Ferry show (tomorrow night!) with Doriot, and then hop a direct flight home to St. Louis to spend some time with Bill and the boys. My work goes with me, as always, as do my beads.

I’m happy to say that almost all of the Basics pages for the Pattern Library are out of edit, and my new videos are almost finished… lots of progress.

This morning, after Doriot picked me up at the airport, we stopped at the amazing Tap Lighting to get a lamp fixed. What a wonderland.

Tap Lighting San Diego 2

tap lighting 3

tap lighting 4

Tap Lighting San Diego

In unrelated news, CACTUS COUCH.

Cactus Couch

I saw one of the ottomans (there are three under this couch) in Paris last summer, and wanted one badly, but little did I know that there was a whole furniture line.





strange portents

The B40 is covered in more and more golden flowers. There is a steady soft flutter of them, coming down from the palo verde tree, and a steady little golden road, a Yellow Brick Road, down into the mysterious kingdom of the Harvester ants. They could well have an empire larger than my own. I stare at the ground, trying to sense the boundaries of their beautifully engineered systems of pods, but the ants are opaque to me.

pretty and sunny

Mr. Teeth is bigger every day. The Spinies get to around 6-7 inches long, and he’s about there. With his new beefiness comes more boldness. He has become curious about me, and the odd things I do with the hose, and the swimming pool, and the equipment in the pool hut. I welcome his attention, and return it.

Still no sign of Orangelina.

Mr Teeth Is Bigger

Excitingly, we are looking forward to a lovely Blood Moon (say it like Vincent Price) tonight. I ought to have a spectacular view from Tucson, if the skies cooperate. Mars is in the neighborhood as well, and at maximum magnificence.

I think of how these events must look without knowledge of physics; two red orbs hanging huge in the night sky. What strange portent, what superstition, might brew in my mind?

Blood Moon, photo BBC/AFP


photo BBC/AFP



flowers everywhere

It’s another relentlessly beautiful day in the desert. The assorted cacti are putting on their flowers. Some people say the bloom is early this year (especially the saguaros) but I can’t speak to that.

Cactus flowers 4

I’m listening to a lot of music lately. Full records are so nice for thinking. I find I can sort of track the time I am spending on things by how many albums go by. How much TIME the work is taking to pin down is astonishing. I don’t resent it, it’s really well-spent. But I am dazed by the sheer number of hours…I thought I would be completely finished by now, but as with the first book, the ideas are bigger than the pages, and they have to fit. It’s like making a reduction sauce, drawing conclusions, or compressing mathematics; it pays to take care.

All I can do is breathe, and keep going. And be grateful, because the work is good, people are patient (but only because they know the work is good) and I feel that I’m working at potential.

Those last seven words don’t really jump off of the page, I know, but for me, there is a universe of feeling behind them.

Cactus flowers 3

The season change, from winter into spring, is good timing for my work.

When it’s summer, I remember more fully who I am. Mental lizards and psychological bears, they stretch and wake somewhere deep inside me, and wander out, blinking. Suddenly I have more facts, a longer perspective.

Cactus flower 1

Some things feel natural right now. Some definitely don’t.

Each day into the warm season sharpens my awareness and my capability; as happens every time winter is shaken off, kicked aside like a leather shackle I finally chewed off of my leg.

I feel like a person who has been taken off of a drug. The days are longer; this changes everything.


So into another beautiful day I slide, mostly willing, in front of this giant pile of work. Rewards will include a play with Bri, and dinner downtown.

And of course, it goes without saying, A SWIM. The water was 66F yesterday afternoon. Cold, still, but the warmest yet.

66 F

My friend Patty sent me a hilarious article from Buzzfeed on the situation with Tim Lincecum, who is fighting the hot with all his might. I agree with the whole white panel van situation… this is disturbing. I can’t EVEN COPE with the concept (much less the photographic evidence of) Bryan Ferry’s mustache, which he had for about five minutes several decades ago. This is a similar situation.

“Timmy, why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?”

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 7.25.43 AM


SAB: …. This mustache might as well be a face tattoo of him giving the finger to anyone even thinking about writing something moving about his season. This is the mustache of a guy who wants people to look away from his face and pay attention to someone else while he gets his groove back away from the spotlight. I don’t know if it will actually work, but I respect the IDGAFness of the whole thing.

LA: Maybe that theory is why I hate it. I have written my fair share of sappy blog posts about Timmy and what his career means to ME. I shelled out the money for good seats for what we thought would be his last start as a Giant. Our fan base is very emotionally invested in Timmy, who has never been one to pitch with a poker face. I should probably throw in a personal disclaimer and admit that my “type” is very much long-haired, lanky dudes, so I feel personally slighted by his deviation from his classic look.