Getting By

Are we actually talking about this, I asked myself, lunching with a filmmaker friend. Our topic? The Americans with Disabilities Act. Now beginning its second quarter of a century, the ADA once seemed as unassailable as apple pie. But bye bye, Miss American pie. There's no Chevy. And no levy. And the cripples must die. We good old boys were eating turkey on rye…and talking about What Must be Done. Isn’t everyone? Like making a video that defends the rights and opportunities expanded since Read more [...]


There is a boardwalk behind the Cannery Row hotels in Monterey. And one particular section, oh, about 100 m, is just the right length for your aging quadriplegic to go strolling. This is what I do with every visit. In between gawking at the aquarium's seahorses and otters, I grab the wooden rail and hit the neuromuscular road. It takes about 20, maybe 25, minutes to do the complete walk. After which I am in the pink of cardiovascular health and ready to return for a look at the mangrove forests of Read more [...]


We have had enough recent rain in San Francisco to achieve a minor level of disorientation. Going to the row of shops that comprise my neighborhood's center, Glen Park, reveals that ours is not just a cityscape but also a geology. Twin Peaks, the mountain looming above us, is eroding more quickly than usual, sending the occasional cascade of rocks and rubble down the gutters. As for the main road over the hill, well, it's been closed for days. All roads lead to…home, I always say. Yesterday Read more [...]

Mad Mary II

Thing is, I have the vague feeling that I have encountered her before. Mad Mary…how does this name come to mind? Was she a fixture in someone's neighborhood? As I say, this is not a complete memory, more a fragment. othing fragmentary about this woman in bodily form. I first saw her lurching down the subway platform at Millbrae. She did stand out at this genteel and suburban end of the BART line. After all, Millbrae is a transfer point for people heading to the airport, San Jose, and so on. Read more [...]


Writing is one of those fool's errands. The only way to succeed is to remember that you're a fool and forget the errand. Take this afternoon. I was word processing away, trying to capture a particularly isolating, not to mention lonely, moment aboard a train…and not getting much writing done because my mental state too closely approximated the material. Lonely and isolated. Which is a feeling greatly stimulated by recent political events. One is forgotten. People aren't listening. Nobody cares. Read more [...]