Have I been identifying with the weather? Gray, cold and wet? Or is it simply that I (and Jane) have mild colds and one not-so-mildly-ill cat, of whom we are quite fond and whose perilous health reminds me, if not us, of the sad fact of mortality. Note that not everyone feels it is so sad. The human kind, that is. But such is the vague sense of menace and threat with which I live. I tend to take my background anxiety for granted. But recently I've been trying to shove it into the foreground. Read more [...]


Gosh, but it is a tangled neuromuscular web we weave. And on this particular day the weave has been alternately unraveling and tightening. Let us start with the small stuff, in fact, the smallest. Do I look like someone who keeps adding 's to everything? I should think not. Still, this stray character and letter keep popping up even as we speak. And we are speaking, you see, for I write this and everything else with voice recognition software. And although the software may recognize my voice, Read more [...]

Love on the Bus

Once a week I roll aboard the 35 bus for the hilly, harrowing ride to tutor Paulino. The latter is nine, maybe 10, years old. He is behind in reading. But we are under very little pressure, so Paulino and I play checkers. If nothing else, we will develop some rapport. And both of us may learn, and relearn, the rules. I had forgotten them. Paulino never seems to have cared very much. The first time we had a go at checkers, he moved the pieces forward and back, traversing as many squares as took his Read more [...]


San Francisco's jumble of socioeconomic experiences never fails to astonish. And after five years in this burg, that is, five recent years, one would think that day-to-day reality would take over. It hasn't. I can't quite accept what I see, all the time, even if this particular day seems heightened. Vive la Tarte is one of those San Francisco establishments with an industrial feel and, in this rare instance, perhaps an industrial reality. It occupies a lofty warehouse, high ceilings and exposed Read more [...]


I am supposed to speak to a class titled 'Journey to Judaism' soon, and dammed if I know why. I took this class myself a few years ago at a local synagogue. I should say 'my local synagogue' and slightly balked. But I don't know why. Yes, I joined Sha’ar Zahav, paid my dues and everything. ‘My’ is the right word. I am part of the thing. But what is that thing? Again, dammed if I know. After all, as the class title suggests, it's a journey, right? Why? Why? Well, originally, in the Palo Read more [...]


I have gone from several years of complaining of not knowing enough people in San Francisco and not having enough to do…to a pleasantly opposite state. I'm busy. Perhaps too busy. I still haven't read the exciting dénouement of  ‘Kolymsky Heights', my current mystery. And it is not because I have no interest. In fact, the hero is literally all at sea, as I write. The Bering Sea to be exact. So, yes, this blog may be short one. The Gubbio Project is among my weekly stops. And even Read more [...]