High on the Hill

One good thing about Nob Hill, it has, like other hills, altitude. Attitude also, but one expects that. What one doesn't expect on this sweltering Bay Area afternoon is a breeze. And here it is, in the city of St. Francis, actual airflow. Jane has parked her Honda in the cheapest car park available for blocks, meaning that for a mere $35 we will spend a few hours here high on the hill. High on the hog also, the Fairmont Hotel being known for that sort of thing. There are plenty of people in the Read more [...]

Another Night at the Opera

Two nights, really. Which all began at that juncture of realities, Fourth Street and Townsend Street, the place where Caltrain regularly deposits me. And much else...including the poor and the transient. Still, a terminus is really a beginning, to the optimistically inclined, and so it is with the San Francisco Muni 47 bus. It is an important line, this one, at least in my view. It links the nether purlieus of Caltrain, South of Market district, and ambient baseball and high-tech neighborhoods with, Read more [...]


As a scientific term, nothing rivals vermischt to describe much of this human's state. The body is off, the life is off, and Jane and I are off to something new. All of which has thrown me so thoroughly off kilter as to create a permanent state of anxiety, the latter being of very mixed and uncertain origin. Uncertainty being the name of the current game. And speaking of names, consider Vienna. I have asked this question before. How could the designers of the Santa Clara Valley tram system have Read more [...]


I am not terribly keen on losing neuromuscular ground, but at my age, 66, one can count on it. Which is easy to say as a sort of mental pose, but in reality I intend to stay mobile forever. Quite how this can be accomplished, well, that is another matter. There is no clear route to this sprightly future. In fact, all routes appear to be exit routes. Evacuation being the order of the day. But why generalize when one can be mercilessly specific? A pain in the butt. In a sense, that's all it is. Read more [...]


Is it true that if there is no pain, there is no gain? What if there definitely is pain, but whatever gain is all but obliterated by, well, the pain? The only thing we have to fear is the painful fear of fearful pain.... And so on. If you are of a certain interior cast, your cast of personal demons is so extensive that nothing of any importance usually occurs in the outside world. Or so the illusion goes. One thing about physical medicine...it's no illusion. The physiotherapy assistant who Read more [...]


There came a point this afternoon when I retired to my recliner. Like an old, suburban person, I was, seated in my lounger. Ahead of me, the TV screen, its vast expanse, stared at me. It was off, of course. The thing is rarely on. I have no objections, but I have no time, and even less interest. In fact, this applies to my general state. It was why I was sitting there, staring dumbly, numbly. Long day's journey into nothingness. At times, it seems that I am shifting gears, getting used to a higher Read more [...]