Saturday, October 07, 2006

New York and Points South

Here's where we're staying. The night is warm, the City is jumping, though of course somewhat subdued, since the Detroit Tigers eliminated their mighty Yankees tonight. How sweet!

I think my little companion has had a good trip. We interviewed her stuffy, Hugs the dog, who revealed this has indeed been a good trip for her. Therefore, I can only assume it has been a good trip for her owner as well.

Julia is my sixth and presumably final child. She is in line to become an aunt in three months, when I will become a Grandpa. When life is kind enough to span enough decades, you get to do what I've done, and that is to take all six of my children on business trips.

How much of what they witnessed on these trips is comprehensible to them is questionable. Julia yesterday listened as Tom Hayden -- the primary author of the Port Huron Statement that launched SDS in the'60s, and who is now in his 60s -- discussed whether it is time for progressives to issue a new manifesto.

Others in the room, whose memories or at least whose studies reach back to the '30s and '40s, debated the meaning of the word "liberal." Hayden, as an elder statesman for my generation, the Baby Boomers, rejected liberals, as we all did. Instead, we were "radicals."

But, as American radicals in the '60s, we were not Communists. This is a distinction the establishment of the time couldn't handle: Unlike earlier generations of American progressives, we were not immigrant revolutionaries, but the homegrown kind. Even those among us who were "red diaper babies," i.e., the children of Communist sympathizers, identified with new ideas, the kinds of things expressed in the Port Huron Statement, my copy of which I occasionally pull out to show younger people, few of whom have ever even heard of it.

When I first visited Mississippi, 38 years ago, those of us with long hair and northern license plates could only stop for gas or food at certain select locations throughout the state. This was literally a mater of life or death at that time. Water fountains and bathrooms were still labeled "white" or "colored" and woe to he who violated this ancient divide.

My readings on those first few trips through the Deep South included W.E.B. Dubois' The Souls of Black Folk, where I learned the old slave song, "Oh Freedom!", which I have sung to all of my kids to help them get to sleep at night these past 30 years.

I suppose I'll sing it to my grandson too.

The other book I remember reading on those trips was Jack Newfield's A Prophetic Minority. This was the quintessential New Yorker telling the story of the vanguard of that revolution.

Of course, according to conventional wisdom, we failed.

Which would be one reason we are faced with the mess that is America today.


New Yorkin'

The past Presidents of the Korean-American Club of New York were on the march today on Broadway. Not so far away, the Statue of Liberty stood guard over a giant toy store. I bet you didn't hear that she's moved uptown to Times Square. I bet you also didn't know that the Danish, not the French, are responsible for this iteration of the ultimate American icon.

We ate at Times Square and met our friend there, at the most crowded place on the continent (outside of Mexico City). Luckily, my small companion has something I lack, which is an unerring sense of direction, if only I would listen to her. This being my first trip here in a few years without my chief navigator (who was also my girlfriend), the potential has existed all through this trip that I would take us in the wrong direction

Yesterday, for example, we walked from our hotel, where I've stayed before; to my meeting at The Nation, where I've been many, many times over many, many years. Yet my confidence index, as measured by the Korean presidential council of leading indicators, was low.

Amazingly, five minutes before the meeting was to start, we turned out to be just five minutes away! I'm sure my former chief navigator would be proud of me for doing this without her, but really, it's better to be lucky than good.

So, after a comical back and forth where we walked one direction, and our friend the other; then our friend walked in a new direction, us in another -- all the while exchanging cellphone messages on our approximate geo-positional coordinates. Despite the utter incompetence of one walker [ :-( ] we met our friend right where the Silver Man was performing on Seventh Avenue near Broadway.

This reminds me that yesterday I led my small companion back and forth several times before we located the uptown subway stop we needed. The same person responsible for today's confusion failed to recognize that this stop was only a block or two away from the point from which he first started searching.

If none of this floats your boat, try this on. How does a Michigan boy feel when he's New York City when his boyhood heroes -- the Tigers -- eliminate the hated Yankees in the baseball playoffs? There should be no elephant tears for the richest team in baseball.

Meanwhile, my alma mater, Michigan, is sweeping to another win in football today. Apologies to non-sports fans, but these are the kinds of small pleasures that make a man's day.

I'm thinking serious thoughts, too, but will save those for a later post.


Midtown & Mellow

New York still has its intensity, but it also seems to have somehow relaxed itself down over the years. maybe the churn has swept in more unicultural beings. In an age of mass message saturation, we may all be turning into clones of each other, despite our wonderful diversity.

This is a city of many languages, all heard on the street. And, if you're not a native, naturally you end up around other visitors, because that's who's in hotels, certain restaurants and tourist points.


More politics. Discussion yesterday focused on why the Democratic Party has written off the south. Around a third of the electoral votes are located in the region, and that is projected to grow to 40% by 2032. Clearly, the Democrats cannot win national elections unless they can crack the solidly red south.

The good news for them is that Virginia has recently left the GOP's fold and other border states look poised to follow. The Deep South, however -- Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana -- is not likely to turn left any time soon. Is this why the Democrats are ignoring the Gulf Coast? Say what you want about opportunism, the Republicans (led by Bush) at least are making photo op trips to the region.

Where are the Democrats? Up here, in perhaps the most Democratic of cities (except for San Francisco), many people are only vaguely aware of how bad the situation is down on the coast. An exception are readers of The Nation. A new book edited by executive editor Betsy Reed collects pieces that have appeared in the magazine since Katrina smashed ashore a year and a month ago.

The book is called Unnatural Disaster published by Nation Books.Link. I reccommend it to everyone who wonders why people like me keep issuing please for help. Read this and you'll understand.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Uptown, Downtown

For me, there is nothing like being in the presence of history. The photo above shows some of the bound volumes of our oldest continuous publishing magazine -- The Nation. But it would be a mistake to think this organization is lost back in the 1860s. Please visit The Nation website and find a community of nearly a million people who, like you, don't believe in business as usual.

Today's editorial board meeting was inspiring to me. Yes, we wandered off-course now and then, as any group of people with over-active brains are prone to do. But, the main takeaway is that, despite the current monopoly on political power enjoyed by the political right, there is an alternative vision, based in populist, progressive traditions. That alternative does not wilt and go away in the dry periods, but survives to thrive when conditions again are more favorable.

Thanks to a President who has alienated his own base with a war that cannot be won, plus a pattern of corruption, not to mention a certain Florida Republican who just confirmed many people's perception that those who denounce anyone who is not a straight, right-wing, male, white, conservative Christian are in fact men so perverted that by any standards of decency, they belong behind bars. Thanks to the delicious irony of the Foley case, he faces charges under a law he himself sponsored.

What can get better than that?

I promised last night to issue a political prediction, based on what I heard today. The bad news is that, due to gerrymandering, no more than a half dozen Senate seats and perhaps 30 House seats are actually in play in next month's election. So, despite the GOP's disastrous moves while in power, the party can only lose so much this time around.

But, I predict here that the Democrats will regain control of at least one, and possibly both houses of Congress. That should make the next 2 years interesting, because the majority party gets to chair committees, and committees get to hold hearings and launch investigations.

Let's face it. There is a lot to investigate. Why are we in Iraq anyway? That's a decent place to start.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hello from New York

Midtown Manhattan
Past Midnight

Coffee Eyes

I made this image on the plane today; it is based on a slice of a photograph of a beautiful woman's laughing dark brown eyes.


So here we are, back where it all started. I expected to be somewhat down tonight, for lots of reasons, but the minute we hit this city, I started feeling much better. Sitting in an Irish bar and grill across from our hotel, my companion and I watched as the locals cheered when their Mets won a playoff game over the Dodgers.

Earlier, in the San Francisco airport, we watched the Tigers go ahead of the Yankees. Here, in the pub, I learned that my childhood favorite held on to win that game.

But if I lived in New York, it would be hard to resist becoming a fan of one of these two teams here. Of course, they buy the best talent. But, still, that talent has to perform, and there is no bigger stage for baseball than this wonderful city.

Never has been. The Dodgers, the Giants, the Yankees, the Mets -- all originally New York teams, of course. Three of the four are good enough that they made this year's playoffs. Only our Giants failed to do so.


New York is home to a hell of a lot more than baseball. That this is now the lowest-crime major city in America truly amazes me, because I remember a former time. But money has pushed most of the poor out of Manhattan, at least. This is now the great holding pen for America's upper middle class. It's hard to argue with them when the Dow hits an all-time high this week.

As I have kept saying for over a year, everyone in the Valley knows there is a new boom, but nobody will say it. Employment has doubled in Silicon Valley this past year! And, as we go, so goes the nation's economy.


Meanwhile, there is an election building, and tomorrow I will have the privilege of listening to some of this country's smartest political thinkers predict what will happen. Tune in tomorrow night. Right here, on this modest little node of the global blogosphere, I will reveal which party is going to prevail at the polls a month from now.

You can say you knew it first.


This is the only city in America where I feel truly at home as a writer. So I will blog from here, for the first time, and ask myself to express whatever heightened awareness being here brings. This is also a city of so many memories, professional and personal. I actually could write an entire memoir composed on vignettes from New York City. It would cover the past 39 years at this point.

My traveling companion told me something I didn't know today. (Or, if I did know, I had forgotten, which is an increasingly serious problem for me.) She had always been told her hair was "dirty blond," and, understandably, she didn't much like that. Then, a friend of hers suggested that she call her hair "golden blond" instead.

It turns out that that suggestion took root and has stuck to the point where she now feels her hair just may be a lovely shade of golden blond. Julia is not the kind of person who forgets such gifts. Even at the age of seven, she remembers, is grateful, and loyal to her friend, even though they have not seen one another for, oh, so long, especially in the mind of a little girl.


It's Indian Summer here, even as rains lashed San Francisco in our wake. The plane rocked and lurched uneasily over a troubled continent. I've rarely experienced such turbulence -- many passengers were scared. I saw a man take his screaming baby into the bathroom just before we hit the worst bumps. The flight attendants grew pale and ran for their seats. Our stomachs rose to our throats. The plane pitched and rolled. "Are we upside down?" my daughter asked nonchalantly.

When the plane momentarily stabilized, the man with the screaming baby burst out of the bathroom with eyes as big as frisbees, and dove into his seat. He fastened their seatbelts. The child continued to shriek.
Meanwhile, Julia concentrated on her movies (several by her brothers, "WeirDudes Productions," and then, Hollywoods's "The Devil Wears Prada"), while I silently congratulated myself on NOT passing on to any of my kids my earlier fear of flying, or hopefully, any of my other fears, too numerous to mention. When I think back, it is amazing I survived my own fears, as they were so numerous and so intense, it exhausts me even to try and conjure them at this point.

I was not really afraid tonight on that bouncing plane. There was none of that primal smell of sweat under my arms as I undressed tonight; in fact I can and will wear the same shirt tomorrow. I have learned there are many fates worse than death. At least for me, death pales in the face of losing love.

Why am I this way? I wish someone could tell me. But to me, loving is the greatest of all treasures. Not being loved, loving. When I do it, I give myself away without reservation, even as I open myself to a pain that is almost intolerable. I hope it is clear that I now recognize that this is a weakness, not a strength -- of mine. I have listened to all counsel, and my main mission is to be make sure I am loved in return.

Thing is, I know the women I have loved truly loved me back. With a couple of possible exceptions, they gave their hearts to me as much as I gave mine to them. But it is also apparent to me that they, as women, seem to have been better prepared for the endings of love than I have ever been.

So, I am told, if any of us, men or women, can survive the loss of love and the inevitable feelings of rejection that follow, we will heal. Then, we are given to believe, the best moments will come again -- new loves, new appreciation of our family (this one is true), new opportunities to do the simple things like plant flowers, cook meals, give a friend a gift, make sweet love, listen to great music, participate in the community around us, and ultimately persevere in this challenging voyage through life.

The goal is to recover so you can keep going. You never know who is around the next corner, but when (s)he comes into view, you get to go back to Go and start all over again.

Isn't that fun?


That's all, just smile. Go to the nearest mirror and smile. Behold how beautiful you are and always have been. Ignore the lines of age; look through the surface to glimpse the soul within. You, and I, are beautiful. We all have the most beautiful faces.

If that makes you feel like crying, please cry. But know this world is a better place that you are here. Then, go out and do something about it!

We all fight these battles.

Just like my little "golden blond," now fast asleep on the first night of her very first visit to the city of writerly dreams.



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sometimes Life Sucks 2.0

(Note: This is reposted from a version that was written in a moment of exhaustion. When I read it early this morning, I knew it was all wrong, a first draft, as it were. All that remains now is what I can accept as accurately describing my actual feelings late last night.)

Most of what I try to write is based on the idea that if I can somehow transform my own experiences into stories, perhaps semi-fictional, that will encourage others to live their lives to the fullest. Then, this is all worthwhile, and mutually beneficial.

But my own life has its own story, only some of which I am able to share here. Tonight, I have hit up against one of my most hopeless places. The corner where I am pushed into, against my will, is the one based on listening closely to the voices around me.

Tonight, I am hopelessly lonely. I feel unloved and forgotten, discardable and foolish. Why foolish? Because I have repeatedly tried to love women who find some sort of excuse to not continue loving me back.

Thus, I am left alone in this world, without a partner. Oh, I have lots of friends, including many women friends.

But every night I spend alone is a reminder that this may well prove to be the way it henceforth will always be.

Therefore, it's best that I go forward on my own, not seeking the company of people who are not up to the task of truly loving me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Under a feathery sky

The rain forecast for this area didn't arrive today. Instead, early morning commuters were greeted with a strangely unexpected sight -- blue sky, sunshine, and the shredded remainders of a weather front hanging over us in impossibly soft and poetic loops no painter could capture. The wisps of clouds were twisted this way and that, as if landfall here in Northern California had broken them into a thousand gentle jigsaw pieces, much as the Internet breaks each new software release any company tries to launch here in our little corner of this world.

There are two broad rivers of commuters on this particular far edge of America, (called 101 and 280) and both flow both ways at all times, ignoring the laws of nature. Those of us from the City move like schools of brightly colored fish southward to the Valley, while suburbanites of various stripes cluster into their own schools and stream northward into San Francisco.

Both flows reverse at the end of each workday, and we all pass each other once again, strangers in the night, never knowing what it might be like to actually meet one another, and we probably never will. Meantime, me being who I am, I suddenly noticed the tag line advertising the phone number on a UPS truck the other morning. It is 1-800-pick-ups!

Yes. That explains that company's success. Not too subliminal that -- getting picked up is pretty much we'd all like to do, right?


It is time for me to start packing for New York. My companion this trip will be my 7-year-old daughter. She thinks she has never been to the City, and that is more or less true, because she is too young to remember her previous visits.

So we'll call this her first, and I'll try to make it special. The centerpiece of our brief visit, and the reason I am going, is to participate, as I do every six months, as a member of the editorial board of The Nation magazine. If you are unfamiliar with this special publication, please visit their excellent website, at The Nation .

One of the things I love most about The Nation is the conference room where we will hold our twice-annual meeting. On the walls are images of some of the great issues in this magazine's rich history as the longest-running political magazine in America.This reproduction dates from 1865, and includes an article by Abraham Lincoln.

How cool is that?

I also hope to show Julia that our family has a long relationship with The Nation. I started publishing there a quarter century ago, admittedly not very impressive compared to Honest Abe, but my main pride is not related to my pieces but to a certain issue in 1989, when Julia's big sister Laila Weir and her friend Cristina Martin published an interview with Jessica Mitford, the legendary muckraker.

So, that is our family connection to that room and the stacks of past issues. Maybe someday a long time from now, Julia will return to New York and return to The Nation, which I am quite confident, will still be thriving, because no combination of forces will ever be able to kill off the essentially progressive spirit that flows through the veins of Americans. When she does go there, she can see these posters of issues past, and also perhaps locate the edition containing that interview by her big sister -- who, if I am not mistaken, was one of the youngest authors in this wonderful magazine's entire history.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Momentum 1.1 (Ímpetu )

My ten-year-old misunderstood what I said when I offered to buy him something at the Giants' souvenir shop the other night. He heard these purchases as "momentums."

Wow. That lamb and vegetables really turned out good last night. Maybe I'll do something like that again soon. Later this week, I am off to New York for my first trip there in two years without J. For our first visit, she found a nice apartment in the Village. She liked to dress up back then, in a flashy mini skirt, wild tights, funny boots, and her big pink fake-fur coat. Trust me, even under our umbrella in the rain, she was truly outrageous. She joked that the guys along the street probably thought she was a hooker I'd picked up for the night.

Ah, New York. Of course, it is our greatest city. Especially for a writer, there's no place like New York. All over the middle and south of this country, say you're a writer and people screw up their faces at you, like what kind of weirdo are you, anyway? Out west, they care a bit more, but I can't tell you how many people tell me they would have written a book by now, but they've just been too busy.

The worst is when they begin to describe it to me, not because I'm not interested, but because every writer knows the idea is the easy part. The problem comes in your execution.

So, in that regard, going back to New York reminds me I have an outstanding book contract I have not been able to deliver on yet, and I feel bad about that. Maybe I'll start experimenting here, where I seem to be most comfortable, with some of what I could put into that book.

Or maybe not; I'm just not sure.

Every now and again, someone chooses to post comments to my blog, usually anonymously, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the feedback. I also hear indirect stories from friends who've talked to people who felt something posted here helped them with what they are dealing with.

A couple across the street got married recently, after they returned from Burning Man. They hired a guy in their apartment building to play music at their ceremony. Like me, they've been listening to him for years, and he's good.

There's a little man at the corner store. He's got Down's Syndrome and he's Arabic, part of the family who run the store. He's one of the sweetest people around. I can tell every time I bring a child with me to the store, his eyes just light up when he sees them.

I wonder why we can't all be as loving as Down's kids tend to be? Maybe rather than counseling couples to always abort fetuses at risk of Down's, though I appreciate the practicality of that, some medical researchers should study this peculiar human mutation for hints how to improve our interaction with each other.

We all could do worse than learning how to express our love as these supposedly "retarded" people do. If I were of a religious bent, I'd suspect they are angels sent to show us what we are missing by withholding our feelings from one another as if this were a dress rehearsal.


New York is like Europe. There, within minutes of meeting you, many people seem to know you are a writer, just by your perspective on whatever topic comes up. Why can't more Americans outside of New York be like that?

Maybe because here, story telling has become a commodity, and writers have become slaves to Hollywood. But we were never fated to only create happy endings; our instincts are to tell truer tales than that.

After all, I could never tell you a story about love in New York, based on my experience, without finishing it as I have experienced it: with a thoroughly broken heart. Loving somebody there so much that your insides scream with pain and pleasure can lead to being dropped off back here on a foggy day and told good-bye, and please don't ever tell me you love me again.

On the other hand, I keep going back. Maybe someone will love some of my stories, if not me, myself or I. That's okay. We are what we write.


Mi diez-año-viejo entendido mal lo que dije cuándo ofrecí comprarlo algo en la tienda del recuerdo de los gigantes la otra noche. Él oyó estas compras como “ímpetus.”

Ululación. Ese cordero y los vehículos realmente resultaron buen ayer por la noche. Haré quizá algo similar otra vez pronto. Más adelante esta semana, estoy apagado a Nueva York para mi primer viaje allí en dos años sin el J. En nuestra primera visita, ella encontró Colleen, un apartamento agradable en la aldea. Ella tuvo gusto entonces de vestir encima de la parte posteriora, en una mini falda llamativa, los tights salvajes, los cargadores divertidos, y su capa rosada grande de la falsificación-piel. Confiarme en, incluso debajo de nuestro paraguas en la lluvia, ella era verdad indignante. Podría fijar probablemente una foto de que ella no importaría, tan quizá yo voluntad, en el fondo de esta entrada.

Ella bromeó que los individuos a lo largo de la calle pensaron probablemente que ella era una puta que había tomado para la noche.

Amperio hora, Nueva York. Por supuesto, es nuestra ciudad más grande. Especialmente para un escritor, no hay lugar como Nueva York. ¿Por todas partes el centro y el sur de este país, dicen que eres escritor y la gente atornilla encima de sus caras en ti, como qué clase de weirdo es tú, de todas formas? Hacia fuera al oeste, cuidan un pedacito más, pero no puedo decirte que cuántos me dice la gente ella habría escrito un libro ahora, pero ella acaban de estar demasiado ocupada.

El peor es cuando él comienza a describirlo a mí, no porque no estoy interesado, pero porque cada escritor sabe la idea es la partición fácil. El problema viene en tu ejecución.

Así pues, en ese respeto, el ir de nuevo a Nueva York me recuerda que tengo un contrato excepcional del libro no he podido entregar encendido todavía, y me siento mal sobre eso. Comenzaré quizá a experimentar aquí, donde me parezco ser el más cómodo, con algo de lo que podría poner en ese libro.

O quizá no; Soy no seguro justo.

Cada ocasionalmente, alguien elige fijar comentarios a mi blog, generalmente anónimo, y no puedo decirte cuánto aprecio la regeneración. También oigo que las historias indirectas del who've de los amigos hablado con la gente que se sentía algo fijada aquí te ayudaron con de lo que están tratando.

Un par a través de la calle consiguió casado recientemente, después de que él volviera de hombre ardiente. Emplearon a individuo en su edificio de apartamento para jugar música en su ceremonia. Como mí, han estado escuchando él por años, y él es bueno.

Hay un pequeño hombre en el almacén de la esquina. Él tiene abajo de síndrome y él es árabe, parte de la familia que funciona el almacén. Él es uno de la gente más dulce alrededor. Puedo decir cada vez que traigo a niño con mí al almacén, sus ojos apenas me enciendo para arriba cuando él lo ve.

¿Me pregunto porqué no podemos todos ser tan cariñosos como abajo los cabritos tienden para ser? Quizá más bien que aconsejando a pares que aborten siempre fetos a riesgo de abajo, aunque aprecio el sentido práctico de eso, algunos investigadores médicos deben estudiar esta mutación humana peculiar para las indirectas cómo mejorar nuestra interacción con uno a.

Todos podríamos hacer peor que aprendiendo cómo expresar nuestro amor como éstos supuesto “se retardaron” lo hace la gente. Si estuviera de una encorvadura religiosa, sospecharía que ella es ángeles enviados para demostrarnos cuál faltamos reteniendo nuestras sensaciones a partir de la una otras como si esto fuera un ensayo de vestido.


Nueva York es como Europa. Allí, dentro del memorando de la reunión, mucha gente te pareces saber que eres escritor, apenas por tu perspectiva en sube cualquier asunto. ¿Por qué no pueden más americanos fuera de Nueva York ser como eso?

Quizá porque aquí, el decir de la historia se ha convertido en una materia, y los escritores tener esclavos convertidos a Hollywood. Pero nunca éramos predestinados crear solamente conclusiones felices; nuestros instintos son contar cuentos más verdaderos que eso.

Después de todo, podría nunca contarte una historia sobre amor en Nueva York, basada en mi experiencia, sin acabarla como la he experimentado: con un corazón a fondo quebrado. Amar a alguien allí tanto que tus interiores gritan con dolor y el placer puede conducir a ser caído apagado detrás aquí en un día brumoso y el ser dicho adiós, y por favor siempre no me dice que me ames otra vez.

Por otra parte, guardo el ir detrás. Alguien amará quizá algo de mis historias, si no mí, mismo o I. Eso es aceptable. Somos lo que escribimos.

In case tomorrow never comes

Before I get started on this continuation of a series of short postings tonight, I have to ask whether you've visited one of my photo sites lately? If not, please check out Sidewalk Images, where tonight I decided to tell a story. BTW, these sites are ad-supported (hint...)

This is sad day in San Francisco, if only because it probably is the last time some big stars took the field at Telephone Company Park. Barry Bonds went out a winner, smashing a double to right field in what was probably his last at bat as a Giant.

This is also a happy day in San Francisco, because out on Treasure Island, our Little League Rockies won their first game of this fall season, a come-from-behind victory over the Yankees, 7-5. My left-handed batting 12-year-old started off the final inning with an infield hit, a high bouncer up the middle. As he streaked to first, I was reminded of a race horse -- you can't teach speed like he has. The throw was errant and he aggressively took second, sliding in and tearing a cut in his leg.

Then, upon my signal (a wagging pencil) he stole third, cutting his leg again. When the batter stroked a single up the middle, he raced home and tied the game. Soon after, we scored twice more and won the game. Of course I am proud of this kid -- he got on base one way or another all three times he came to the plate today and stole three bases. He is like lightening on the bases, or on the soccer field...

Here he is, yesterday, streaking down the sideline in that soccer victory. Once again, I publish this photo, and the final one below, courtesy of Brian Castagne.

Soccer, and baseball, are team sports. Note how Brian captured the perfect "orange line" in this last photo. It gives me chills just to look at it. Much like poetry, ballet, opera, or great sex, :-) , this is the precise point where art and life meet.


Our common village

My sweet little seven-year-old daughter drew and painted this image today. (If you click on it, you can see it full-size.) Lately, she has been saying she hopes to grow up to be an artist. Her equally sweet 12-year-old brother loves this painting, and told her he really belives she may well be an artist when she grows up.

You know, thinking back, I had a rough time being this kindly affirming when my little sister said she wanted to be a sailboat when she grew up. Even though I had an excessively imaginative nature, I couldn't quite work out how Kathy would transform herself into a water vehicle, though I respected her strong will enough to never be quite sure that she wouldn't pull it off...

This next image is courtesy of Brian Castagne, fellow soccer parent and a brilliant photographer. Our sons play on CRZ (Crazy Rappin' Zombies) Fusion, and they do quite well week over week. In this particular game, they won, 3-1.

Given that I am having technical issues here tonight, this will have to do it for this short post.

Party For One

Today, anticipating a night alone, I did something strange (for me). I went to Safeway and bought whatever struck me as desirable. This was really quite an exciting experience for me, much as somebody who likes to pick up people in bars must feel. A treat is coming!

So I bought all kinds of contradictory ingredients -- oysters (raw), lamb, ginger, green pepper, mushrooms, snap snow peas, garlic, zucchini, tiny sweet tomatoes, horseradish, cocktail sauce, limes, carrots...I'm thinking about whether to harvest some rosemary from my garden as well, though it's dark now, so I may skip that, though I think it would be nice with the lamb.

It is a relatively rare experience for me to shop for myself only. Usually, I am stocking up on items like Goldfish, kiwis, grapes, Cheerios, rotini pasta, cookies, salami slices, baby carrots, small water bottles and the like for school lunches. Or, waffles, pancakes, syrup, etc., for breakfasts.

Today, for some reason, I decided it was time for me to cook a nice dinner for myself.

I would prefer a different evening. One of the happiest things I ever do is go to the grocery store with a special girlfriend, pick out the ingredients together, and go back home to slowly cook a delicious meal.We shop together, we chop together, we cook together, we eat together.

Usually, I'll light candles and put on music.

Over the years, when it's been possible to live like this, I have been the happiest of happy people. Tonight, of course, I have no such option. So I guess I am making another night alone as special as I can. Does that make sense?