Weekly Obsessions

Things we were obsessing about on Jan. 12, 2005

Maybe the writing was on the wall for some time now, but we were still crushed by the mayoral marriage split. (Even the firing of bow-tied retard Tucker Carlson didn't brighten our day.) As we sulked through City Hall there was a conspicuous pall over the place, especially in the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services, where the secretaries whispered solemnly about how sensitive the media were in handling "the situation." (Apparently they hadn't seen the Examiner yet.) Although most people are blaming "career pressures," we're pointing fingers at that careerist chippy Kimberlybecause, let's be honest, Court TV is so fucking stupid she'd have to opine from a trampoline for us to tune in. She once claimed bitterly that "if San Francisco were a woman, [Gavin] would have married her." And if New York were a man, he'd kick Kimberly out of bed, stuff her ass in a cab, and never call again. N.C.

When our nature-loving mom saw it, she said, "At first I thought it was a vine that had died. I wonder how you would go about taking photographs of it?" She was looking at some hanging art on the chain-link fence surrounding a deceased gas station at 20th and Valencia streets. It's made of leaves, each one tied to the fencing by its own stem. Arranged in a flowing abstract pattern running the length of one side of the gas station and turning the corner slightly, the piece is anonymous, work-intensive, and for a while there, it was replenished with new leaves each night. Everyone seems to like it: Although the leaves are within easy reach of any passing pedestrian, they haven't been spray-painted, crumpled up, ripped down, or in any other way disturbed. H.S.

What's better than smoking pot out of a vaporizer? You're probably thinking nothing. Recommended by many doctors who prescribe medical marijuana, vaporizers heat herb to the point of releasing THC, but not hot enough to burn it. That means vaporizer smokers get no carcinogens, burning, or coughing. The vaporizer's only drawback is its immobility: Ours is the size and shape of an electric pencil sharpener and has to be plugged in! Enter the VaporGenie 2.0 -- a new portable alternative. The wooden pipe was invented "to help smokers avoid the harmful effects of smoking while enjoying tobacco and other herbs," and it handily heats by old-fashioned lighter. The VaporGenie 2.0 comes in oak or maple and is available from www.vaporgenie.com. L.A.

Even if your childhood wasn't marked by devotion to The Lonely Doll, a photographic picture-book series about a little blond girl-doll and her two stuffed-bear friends (more than a dozen volumes were published between 1957 and 1981), you'll be fascinated by The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright (Henry Holt, $25), the new biography of the creator of the series. Near the end of Wright's life, the children's author was found almost by accident by New York journalist Jean Nathan. Nathan was searching for a copy of the then-out-of-print first book, and became interested in Wright while sifting through stacks of memorabilia in an abandoned Upper East Side apartment. Her research uncovered the psychological underpinnings of the little doll, who eerily resembled her beautiful and chic creator: longing for the father and brother she'd lost as a child and locked in a lifelong folie à deux with her mother, with whom she shared a bed. (When she found her handsome brother, when he was 29 and she 27, "they fell in love and discussed the possibility of marriage ... they thought they might conceal their actual relationship.") An amazing and compelling document of a life of public glamour and private madness. M.B.

 
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