Dinner alone at 10 o’clock: eating guacamole and chips in bed, in a nice hotel in a town ten miles from home. That’s how I’m rocking the Friday night.
I vaguely remember how a few weeks ago I casually offered to find a reasonably priced hotel through hotwire.com and stay there during the weekend my mother-in-law would be in town. This is that weekend. And yet this isn’t exactly how I imagined things would turn out.
It’s been an odd week. I didn’t go to work. And all that time I thought I’d use doing things that weren’t office work didn’t get done. It’s amazing how you can fill your days with errands and running around: hitting the grocery store, fixing things around the house, napping, going to the pool, mailing things to your brother, riding a bike to the pizza place. Seen from a certain angle, jobs get in the way of getting things done.
It’s enough to drive me to drink microbrewed beer.
You don’t have to immediately become an artist. You have the luxury of time. You’re young. Young people are doing something even when they’re doing nothing.
I made it to the outdoor pool to swim laps this evening before sunset. It was my first time back since the fall, although now that I write this I realize maybe I snuck in a couple of visits in the winter and early spring.
It was the kind of dusk that leaves me wonderstruck. The warmth of the day lingered even as a breeze pushed in from the bay. A few families played on the tennis and basketball courts, a father threw a baseball back and forth with his son on the grass, but for the most part the park was clear. After I got out of the pool, I wandered around, taking in the scene.
On a day like this, my mind fills with plans. I want to go out paddleboarding on the bay. It involves standing up on long surf boards and paddling around. I want to take sailing classes and dart around the water on a one-person boat. I want to ride bikes in the neighborhood, pedaling to go grab dinner or ice cream. I just ordered a beach cruiser, the kind of bike that reminds me of my childhood in San Diego.
The lightness I felt as I walked around was bolstered by the fact that two good friends will have babies in the next few weeks. A year ago, I was awaiting the arrival of my baby. And something in that memory made the afternoon and coming night feel rich and excellent and overwhelming.
Life is a moveable feast.
Parked bayside looking toward San Francisco on a windy Mother’s Day afternoon.
You get to thinking about what is, what was, what will be. Then you feel gratitude.
Watching The Master last night I caught a line. “Leave your worries behind. They’ll still be there for you when you get back. Your memories are not welcome.”
A friend once told me, “There are two rules. First, don’t sweat the little shit. Second, everything is the little shit.”
I’m not sure that everything is the little shit. But I’m getting better at deciding what I should pay attention to and knowing what falls outside that circle.
Nature is persistent. The waves crash against the rocks below and throw salt water toward the car. The ocean is indifferent towards me and despite this - or because of this - it’s glorious.
Self with bees.
I survived the bees. Or they survived me. The class this weekend was much more interesting than I expected. The two-hour lecture + discussion in a classroom flew by and ranged about quite a bit. It was a refresher in biology as well as a daunting glimpse of the forces at play in the realm of agribusiness.
It was led by a recent Cal grad who was a kind of boy genius of bees and looked like he’d just gotten his driver’s license.
He described beekeeping as “punk science,” an ever-evolving craft that includes many quirks and tricks.
After the lecture we suited up then went on the roof of a building overlooking one of the rougher parts of San Francisco. Up there you didn’t see the trashed streets or the junkies. But you heard the bees and you saw them as they made their way down the flight path to the hives.
I’m probably not going to start my own bee hives. But I’ll definitely stop buying that cheap yellow crap that comes in the shape of bears.
Now I’m going after that local hippie gold gathered by the punk scientists.
Sitting outside having a beer, waiting for soba noodles.
I hadn’t planned to do this but it’s working out all right.
Give an example of an imperative sentence:
Come up and see me some time.
A quiz question + answer from a book a friend gave me last weekend. The book is filled with examples of high school students giving odd answers to all sorts of standard questions from classes. My first thought when I saw this was, bravo. Then it was, you’re going to have an interesting life, young person.
This weekend I’m heading to a Crystal Castles show. I’m not sure if there’s enough time to grow out the Cure/Robert Smith hair mess and buy a case of hair spray. Probably best to go with a giant spider on my head instead.
I’m now on a never-ending conference call that’s draining me of life. The urge to hang up will be impossible to resist in three, two, one…
* How does a person remain uncynical? How does a person avoid feeling beat down by life? How might a person make a great sangria?
* This morning I took a photo with a cheerleader for the local NBA team. I couldn’t have predicated that would happen. I was okay with it.
* I took a walk around the nearby lake this afternoon and passed a pack of people touring on Segways. I’ll never take a person on a Segway seriously. Ever. It’s like someone walking around with a duck on his head. Or a grilled cheese sandwich smashed against his face.
* The events in Boston remind me why I never watch TV news. I can’t do it. I prefer to avoid live commentary and instead get information from outlets that require even the most basic editing and review.
* I sat in on a session TEDMED yesterday where the presenters compared cancer to the way crime families work. Fascinating.
At the auto shop last week I learned that my car is burning oil. I felt the need to blame someone, anyone, but the mechanic assured me that it’s normal for engines to burn oil. You want to keep an eye on it, he said. You can get another 100,000 miles on that engine if you keep an eye on the oil, he added. That’s fine, I thought. But I still felt like blaming someone. I’ll blame physics for now.
A few weeks ago, I found a ramen place that’s the size of a walk-in closet. You can cram twenty people into it so that their faces are against the wall and their knees are scraping the knees of strangers. I was jammed next to two guys talking about wine as though they knew something. Just as I was ready to dismiss them as dirty hipsters, they offered me white wine from a bottle. A verdicchio. It was great. We toasted. Then I felt bad for thinking they were snobby hipsters. As a way of making up for it, I nearly knocked over the table with my knees as I got up to leave. Again, they turned out to be friendly. Don’t worry about it, one of the guys said, I flipped over two water glasses last time I left.
I’m starting a new trend in office apparel: X-country skiing outfit Tuesday. Boots that look like X-country ski boots, down vest, goggles. That’s me today.
I’m not bathing in dust in the Southern California desert. I’m not at Coachella. Are you?