Change in the Weather

When the sky darkens, and an actual rainstorm drenches the Bay Area, something in me comfortably settles into a sense of normalcy. Yes, there is a brief 'thank God,' but not for long. Being thankful acknowledges the grave abnormality that has become normal, and I want to pretend. So what else to do with an actual rainstorm, but plunge into San Francisco Bay, more or less, aboard a Golden Gate Ferry? A long-overdue visit to the Marin Mishpacha, Gabriella and her daughter Daria. Which is quite a schlep, Read more [...]


To understand this day, consider its origins. The Quicken helpline. Which is to say, a long chat with someone in South Asia. The matter at hand being my financial management software. Not that me and financial management can logically be included in the same breath. Nevermind. One tries. And the idea is that one pays Quicken, a fair amount on an annual basis for their specialized Rental Manager manage such things for me. Which means that it is not an unreasonable assumption that this Read more [...]

Pattern Recognition

Years ago, Stephen Sondheim wrote a song for a movie (The 7 1/2% Solution) about why 'I Never Do Anything Twice.' The idea was that repetition is dull, particularly if one is performing highly repetitive tasks, vis-à-vis working in a bordello. It's an amusing, mildly racy little number. And on my way home from Draeger's haute supermarket, it comes back to me. Why? Because I can see how in ways large and small, doing things two times, or 2000 times, weaves the fabric of life. Particularly a disabled Read more [...]

Ticky-tacky Techie

What is so rare as a day in...well, February, but one that occupies its own languid space? It seems that on alternative days I sleep well, then I don't sleep well at all, with a strange checkerboard pattern of stress and relaxation. This particular day, this languid day in February, I am superbly rested. Jane and I have had a rare day at home together. Nothing particularly pressing from her congregation. No big deadlines for me either...not that I have a lot. So how can a lazy day suddenly turn so Read more [...]


I have a friend in San Francisco with a progressive disability. Timing is everything, they say, and this applies to his condition. With my disability, I have the daily illusion of constancy. With his, no such delusion is possible. Things change for...let us call him a noticeable clip. Perhaps not daily, but possibly weekly, and more certainly by the month. Still, my own disabled condition is worsening, if nothing else with age. And whatever the reality, there is the fear. How much longer Read more [...]


The best time to go to Costco, my mother used to say, is during the Super Bowl. Conversely, the best place to see the Super Bowl, I have determined, is Costco. For surely there is no better massing of enormous-screen TVs anywhere. Which is an utterly ridiculous statement, everyone knows...but everyone doesn't know what I don't know. I have not been inside a Costco for, oh, seven or eight years. And for reasons that are unclear, this fact began to gnaw at me. It seemed emblematic of my general Read more [...]