Monday, November 28, 2011

Fog City

Well now, there seems to have been a sizable gap between postings. Sorry folks but sometimes a mental slump is necessary. Especially as the holiday season gets into full stress mode. Also it's important to factor in uncontrolled weight gain, while trying to explain the the expanding slump. Boxes of delicious chocolates, elastic waist bands, inviting couch, and endless sports and movies on the idiot box, all contribute mightily to the slumping addiction. But I'll try to keep a firm grip on the wheel of debauchery, before it careens carelessly out of whack.
In the recent past, two occasions stand out as noteworthy. One; Brendan, Cassidy and myself met Ramsey downtown on a semi-rainy morning, to march in the SF Veteran's Day Parade. Ramsey was marching with a cadre of our Iraq Vets and we proudly joined the informal march. He served 10 months in harms way before being seriously injured by a random, enemy, hand held rocket. He had a long arduous recovery and still carries shrapnel throughout his body. He received the Purple Heart! A proud day indeed.
Two; My son Cassidy, his lovely wife Lauren, and their adorable daughter Ashby, hosted their first Thanksgiving extravaganza. 22 people were lucky enough to participate in this heartwarming, extended family affair. You could cut the genuine hospitality, like the moist turkey itself, with a butter knife. To be a patriarch, who knew? and see the free flow of positive genes work their magic, well it brings tears to these old eyes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fog City

Yesterday was motivational. A demonstration was called for and nearly a thousand like minded folks showed up. People would lay on colored sheets, tarps, anything visible by air, and spell out in huge letters, Tax The 1%. This lively confluence of colors and people happened on the sands of Ocean Beach. It's a mere twenty blocks from my house. Perfect. I grabbed a white sheet and walked on down. The sun was bright and warm, the sky azure, a truly glorious day. Volunteers had marked the letters in the sand and people just filled in. Everyone was in place at the appointed time, and the signal (waving a blue flag) was given to lay or lie down. A helicopter appeared from behind the Cliff House at precisely noon. It passed over the crowd several times, obviously taking photos. When the photo op was concluded, another signal was given and we all marched to the water's edge. Once in place we held hands forming a half mile human link. The scene was quite cosmic and reinforced the notion that positive energy can help. And just that quick it was over and I walked back home, with a smile on my face.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fog City

Where have I been? Recently or presently, they are the same for the most part. I cling to now, but time stretches and bends, until remembering is difficult. So I'm circling, constantly circling, inside the confines of my cranium. My mind sails like a very slow rotating tornado, much of life's debris sticks, good and bad. While it's circling I gauge and select what's pleasing and store it. Of the debris that's less desirable, I allow it to spin out and back into the never ending flow of flotsam. Of course time re-asserts itself and the now, presently, becomes recently, and I have to start again, adjusting, selecting, detaching, waiting and wondering. These processes are continuous and sometimes I have to put my foot down and say no, no more. Distractions help, like a round of golf, or a game of lawn bowling, even a walk to the ice cream shop. Here I'm lucky, grateful, to be retired, because I can ponder while wandering and give new meaning to doing nothing. Yet circling. And when I share time with my granddaughter I realize the circle has encompassed her, and I know I'm blessed!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fog City

Today is different. Why? Simple, the fickle weather has finally agreed to a performance of virtuosity. The warm sun, bright and magnetic, inspires women to sport body baring fashions and the visual is most alluring. The inanimate City itself dances a tango of sensuality and breathing this refined, perfumed air transforms one into the poet bursting forth. All of the senses can feast on a day like this. Even the sirens blaring from red racing fire engines seems surreal, and the cacophony resonates. Colors, sounds, smells, all, are heightened with an unnatural vibrancy. Simply awesome!
And this was the scene, the setting, Saturday afternoon on Potrero Hill here in the City. The views of the downtown skyline were, and are magical. The happy children ran, zig zagging through the crowd, drawn to booths with expected sweets. Local politicians waded amongst the revelers, glad handing and soliciting votes for the upcoming election. Booo! At the end of the block on stage, were the Soul Delights. This wonderful group plays smaller venues, ones that suit my criteria to a tee. As their name suggests they truly delight, covering classic soul sounds which I grew up on. I'm going to post a short video sample I enjoyed taking, for your listening pleasure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fog City

On this day 36 years ago, Christine and I were wed. What can I say, where did the time go? It is difficult to wrap my mind around all that's transpired. So many memories, great and less than great, so many changes, changes that reminded me, sometimes shockingly, that complacency wouldn't work. I'd arrive at a comfort zone, and naively think, I got it, and it would last forever. Change and adjustment. This thrust and perry through life was labeled maturity, but I still can't put my finger on it. I think it can be defined a bit more glumly as old age. Only the changes continue, slightly more excruciating because of the added effort. But the rewards are truly graceful. Three sons, who keep me laughing and crying, and living as an emotional human. They have provided me with the concrete foundation to weather any and all oncoming storms. For this I'm ever so grateful. This journey Christine and I have been treading, one of resoluteness, has been tempered with love. A loving family, hey not so bad!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fog City

Good morning. It's Monday. The sky is overcast and light showers are dampening the sidewalks and asphalt. That indescribable aroma of warm, moist concrete is wafting upwards. I think of it as the smell of humidity, if that's even possible. I'd like to briefly recap a couple of noteworthy experiences. Of course you probably know, the Bluegrass Music Fest was nearby in Golden Gate Park. Friday morning before the constant wave of humanity converged, the music was free after all, I walked over to hear an old crony.  Charlie Musselwhite was opening the proceedings and his classic blues style is always a treat. We had been emailing in the past about Hepatitis C. We shared medical information, treatments, resources, and side affects, and what to expect and dealing with the slow moving disease. Charlie like most of our ilk sings and lives the blues.
    Saturday was different. I was surprised by an unexpected musical performance. A preface; As a retired (euphemism for lazy) person I choose not to be serious or productive every waking hour. Consequently I've latched onto a couple of trivial melodramas on the evening TV schedule. House is one of them. Well I was delightfully stunned to find out Hugh Laurie is an accomplished musician. The night before I saw him live in the park, PBS had a Great Performances episode of he and his band playing in New Orleans. Inspiring indeed. But Saturday I was drawn out-of-doors, not only by Hugh, but some fine young family members, Lisa from LA, Isaiah, new to this world, and the effervescent Danny and Teresa. We wove our way into the throngs for a comfortable spot. The company was spot on, and Laurie played a set resembling quite closely his PBS special. A fine time.
    Sunday my focus and energy shifted completely. It was time for serious golf. You ask, how can golf be serious? Well, you gather most of your club members, drive to a neutral course, with a higher degree of difficulty, and offer a distinct prize. Yes a serious competition. We played in the bucolic Sonoma Valley, an hour North of the City. It was a beautiful day, partly sunny, and temperatures in the mid 70s. The tree lined course was in remarkable shape. Excellent for scoring or not. The only noticeable distraction was the murders of crows inundating the idyllic environs. If they weren't thieving sandwiches from the carts, they would dance on the limbs above us cawing their hysterical laughter. Back to the prize if you please. The low four scores would form a 4-man team and compete against all the other NorCal  teams, in Monterey, at the renowned Poppy Hills Golf Club. In case you are wondering, I did play rather well and fortunately qualified to be on the team. So I'm quite pleased.
   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fog City

Today was hot. How hot was it? I haven't seen the news but I would guess a record was set. But now, sitting here with the windows open, can you believe it, the golden sun is setting. Not before it reflects the soft twilight off the alabaster apartments, tiered on the adjacent hillside. I want to continue but I've had an urge to add a music video, just to see if it's possible. It sounds like a good idea to me. Boom- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvSqWvLenlU&feature=related. Now let's see if it is live or memorex, an old jingle, I'm sure no one will get it. Actually as nightfall descends I may have to turn on a light. I really don't want to disturb the mauve hues coating the Eastern sky, but I'm counting on another day to remain awashed in this natural pleasure.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fog City

My mind is reeling. It's late in the day and the sun has unceasingly radiated my cold gray world since dawn. I'm sure if this change persists the natives will be hysterically complaining about the intolerable heat. I never do. Just when the uninitiated dig their short sleeve shirts from the bottom of the drawers, the cool sea breeze forewarns of the imminent fog. Hallelujah!
    I visited the Studio Gallery to see if my auction bid was successful, but it wasn't even close. Greg Gandy the painter has a large and devout following who were willing to pay quite handsomely. I have three of his paintings anyway and frankly no money. It was an invigorating social gathering. I talked to other artists I knew, and have purchased their works. The auction was a success and the proceeds went to a worthy cause indeed.
    The Polk Street Fair was happening also. It was in direct competition with the Folsom Fair which draws the flamboyant. Polk was dead, no crowds, but the music was extremely good. Especially Kaye Bohler, a soul and blues diva who rocked. http://www.kayebohler.com/index.php All ye of young hearts check her out. Now I'm out

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fog City

It was dark. The fog lingered, moving slowly, thick like a shroud. I was leaning against the lamppost in a pool of light. No sound, not even a dog's bark. I was chilled from the moisture, searching, waiting. Waiting for what? Certainly not Godot. Anticipation, then in the penetrating fog emerged my Muse. Obviously I yearned for inspiration and guidance.
    Ah the night time is the right time, if only I could clear my mind for sleep. But alas with eyes closed, in bed, my mind is most fecund. It sorts, files, congeals, coagulates, separates, adheres, creates, reminisces, wishes, formulates, stratigizes, connives, hopes and eventually dreams. Yet to my utter chagrin upon awakening, I have no recollection of my great plans, capturing at most a rare nugget here and there.
    Sunday morning was typical. It began like so many, in the mist at Lincoln Park. Our golf club was holding one of it's championships. Contesting a golf competition at Lincoln has the disturbing affect of, not only vying for supremacy over fellow members, but vying to out battle the decrepit course conditions and inclement weather. Needless to say a fine golf shot is extremely satisfying faced with these adverse factors. Trying to maintain poise and conviviality throughout is our noble cause. Sometimes it works. I finished third, hurrah!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fog City

Another fine morning in the City by the Bay, listening to the distant fog horns serenade my solitude. I'm debating whether to venture out into the hustle and bustle, or sit staring at the street below. It is comforting watching the same people, at the same time, march off to wherever it is they go. But the Studio Gallery is having an Art Auction for a worthy cause and some of my favorite local artists have donated pieces. I may have to go and bid. http://www.studiogallerysf.com/ See ya!