A Little Help From….

Bodily preoccupation must be among the most boring penchants. And yes, there you have it. It’s mine. Frequently, I do the numbers. Let’s count the working limbs. In the upper body, there appears to be one. That’s why any persistent trouble, e.g., pain in my shoulder, easily moves to center psychic stage. It is as though I am balancing on my shoulder. We’re talking Cirque du Soleil, if one wants to consider things metaphysically. Thing is, one doesn’t. This is extremely, boringly simple. Read more [...]

Strange Days

I am lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be old enough to remember that The Doors had an album of the same name. But forget being ”strange.” Try being old, I say. In fact, try being old while getting back into the driver’s seat, as it were. Which on this particular day, involves driving to San Francisco’s crowded center. Well, why not? The Commonwealth Club was hosting a luncheon in honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Philippines. A surprising topic for me, you say? Hardly, Read more [...]

Mill Valley

Fear is like a swimming pool – if you don’t jump in you’ll never learn how to swim. Sounds wise, doesn’t it? Remember, you heard it here first. You also didn't hear it from Donald Trump. Although you’ve got to hand it to the guy, he knows a lot about swimming pools. Where was I? I was driving north on a particularly hot, globally-warmed San Francisco day. I was visiting Gabriella, mishpoke extraordinaire. At 93, she was also driving – that’s right, behind the wheel of a car – to Read more [...]

The Mission

I still feel adrift in San Francisco, knowing few people and having nothing that approximates a real job. And there is that other thing that happens with time, vis-à-vis age. Whatever is happening in this town, most of it is not about me…or my generation. The boom and its consequences, including cuisine and nightspots and action is about thirtysomethings. Plus or minus. Thing is, I have decades of practice at being out of it. I have been limping or rolling so conspicuously for so long, I’m used Read more [...]

In Transit

“How terribly strange to be 70,” sang Simon to Garfunkel or Garfunkel to Simon. It doesn’t matter for the lyrics were so preternaturally middle-of-the-road and and so indefinite in their shelf life, not to mention their meaning, that damn if they didn’t pop into my head just this afternoon. Mind you, the strangest thing about pushing 70 is that it’s a lot like pushing 60, not to mention 30. Objectively, there is a demonstrable diminishment of balance, and there is a slowing of reflexes, Read more [...]