Thursday, December 31, 2015


I mentioned that I was going to take a "moderation in all things" approach to life this coming year. One of the reasons for this decision is the fact that the amount of money I spend on music isn't sustainable. I keep very good track of how much money I spend online, but I rarely add it up because I really don't want to know what the totals are. I just added up the amount spent on items I'm still waiting for (meaning they were either preorders or things I've recently ordered), and the total money involved in just these is $750.00. I'm a little afraid to add up the rest.

It's not just the money spent either, although that's a big part of it. It's also the fact that I don't really have time to listen to all of this music properly. Sure, I listen to everything I buy, and I enjoy it all to one degree or another, but sometimes months or years will pass before I re-listen to some of them. Gone are the days where something lives on my turntable (or CD player, etc.) for weeks while I listen to it again and again. I want to bring those days back. This means I have to get a lot more selective about what I buy this coming year.

I'm getting to the age where there is most likely less time in my future than there was in my past. Now that's a thought to give one pause... It's time to focus more on what I have, and less on what I want. I do enjoy supporting all of the musicians who are making great music, but damn, there sure are a lot of them.


One of my accomplishments this year was finally completing the "Walk to Mordor" challenge of walking 1,779 miles like the Hobbits supposedly did. That was months ago, of course, and I started it years ago.

This year alone, I walked 812 miles. Those are the miles I logged, anyway. I probably walked more. A while back, Jeanine got me a Fitbit that worked for awhile, and then ceased functioning. For Christmas, she got me another, better one, so I'm back in business. It really does inspire movement of all kinds. I haven't set any specific exercise goals for 2016, but I will.

My basic all-encompassing goal for 2016 is "moderation in all things". There will be multiple subsections.

Arbitrary Endings, Arbitrary Beginnings...

Weirdly, I sometimes feel like I'm playing catch-up with books and music. I buy so many that sometimes I'm surrounded by piles of one or the other that I haven't had time to enjoy. One of my goals for the forthcoming year is to consume at a more sedate pace, and produce more (when have I heard that before?, you ask). There are more musical notes and written words out there than I'll ever be able to process. Maybe I need to be more selective. I want to write more, and maybe even record some music. I've done a lot of the former already, but precious little of the latter.

Here, on the last day of 2015, is a picture of Willow, recently arisen from bed and expressing a desire not to be photographed. She is surrounded by the comforting clutter of our home environment.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Brian the Bold Adventurer

Brian knows how to get into the rafters, but not how to get down. Typical. I have some perforations around my hands and wrists.


Here are some photos taken by my friend Wayne over the weekend.



Pressed For All Time

I spend a lot of time reading, both at home and at work. Goodreads helps me keep track of what I've read, and comes in handy when I wonder exactly how many books I've read in a given year. This year I read 73 books, or 28,058 pages. It doesn't have a breakdown of how many words that is. Here's the page with the list of books. I read a lot more fiction than nonfiction. The line is often blurred anyway. There is a lot of truth in fiction, and a lot of... interpretation (to put it kindly) in nonfiction.

Speaking of reading, I recently got a 1919 edition of Algernon Blackwood's "Pan's Garden", and as I was flipping through it, I discovered that the previous owner had used it to press flowers. Considering that it's a book of nature stories, I guess it's appropriate. I thought it was interesting enough that I'm not even irritated that some of the pages are stained. It adds to the character of the book, I think.

I've got a cold right now, although it's not a horrible one. I'm not working again until New Year's Day, and then only for a few hours. Today, I'm going for a walk to mail a bill payment and get some supplies at the pet store.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Before and After

After a couple of days acting as site supervisor up at camp, I stepped aside and spent time with friends, took a trip to San Francisco with Jeanine, Eva, and Eva's friend Michelle (to eat a meal in Chinatown and do some record shopping at Amoeba), and then once again gathered with friends to eat some deep dish pizza (jalapeno and pineapple actually goes quite well together).

While walking back to the car, I was wondering aloud why we kept hearing Motorhead (first at Amoeba, and then blasting forth from some other store we passed), and Eva replied, "it's because Lemmy just died". If it's possible to be shocked and not shocked at the same time, that's how I felt. It's like having an ailing relative who keeps hanging in there well past all expectations to the contrary, until one day the struggle suddenly ceases. Today, I'm going to spend some time with my pile of Motorhead records.

Lemmy joins musicians Vic Chesnutt and Lhasa de Sela, who also died around this time of year, Chesnutt on Christmas Day, 2009, and Lhasa on New Year's Day, 2010.

It was cold this morning, in this new Lemmy-less world. There was frost on the roof and the yard has that wintery moistness so common this time of year. The chickens don't seem to care. Chickens are quite imperturbable, unless there are hawks around.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Quoth the...

Jeanine got me this nice raven nightlight for Christmas. She tends to buy gifts whenever she comes across them, whereas I generally do most of my shopping at the last minute. Jeanine's way is better, although sometimes so much time passes that she forgets what she has bought. This little guy languished in some forgotten corner for half a decade before being exhumed and wrapped.

Eyes On Us

Whenever I get the feeling I'm being stared at, I turn around and see this:

This clown lives in the struggling indoor foliage, malevolently glaring at us, waiting for the right moment to do something that I'm sure will manage to be simultaneously comical and terrifying.

Nearby are hundreds of little plastic eyes, staring blankly from the faces of Jeanine's other Pez people.

Saturday, December 26, 2015


The house is a mess. For the next week or so, I'm acting as a site supervisor for a meditation group who is renting our site for the week. It doesn't look like I'll have to do it every day though. Not that it's hard, but it I'd rather be doing things at home or elsewhere because this is traditionally a vacation week for me.

I could start with cleaning up the living room. Or not.

After the unwrapping festivities on Christmas, we had a meal, followed by a short trek over to eat dessert with cousin Peter and family. Yum. It's still a novelty having relatives nearby. I like it. They're moving slightly farther away in around a month though. Right now, they're walking distance away, if one doesn't mind a long walk. When they move into their new house, they'll be driving distance away.

Friday, December 25, 2015


Older kids let the parents sleep in, but they're still pretty happy when they unwrap gifts. A happy Yule to all, and to all a good night.

Thursday, December 24, 2015


Brian sure looks guilty about something. Maybe he is guilty of wanting to snack on the lizard.

Willow is spending Christmas Eva at her mom's house this year. Greg is spending it here. In true "war on Christmas" spirit, I wish you all happy holidays.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


This is the little metal guy who lives on our hearth. I guess he's kind of a steampunk house hob or something...

We've never actually had a fire in our fireplace. Jeanine's not a big fan of fires, mostly due to the smoke. As for me, whenever I've lived in a place without a fireplace, I've wanted to have one, but whenever I've lived in a place with a fireplace, I've more or less ignored it. I'm not sure why.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Keys to the Underdogworld

Yesteryear's utilitarian objects become today's decorations. I've always had an affection for old, rusty objects. I've also always had an affection for the underdog. I can trace this all the way back to early childhood. When I was in preschool, while on the playground, I could always be found riding the oldest, most decrepit tricycle. Missing wheel? Check. Loose handlebars? Check. More rust than paint? Check.

Nobody needs to speak up for the new and the shiny. Give your love to those who need it most.

Monday, December 21, 2015


A smart spider plans ahead, making a web near an outdoor light where insects are sure to congregate.

Are you a smart spider?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

So it begins...

Windows to Other Worlds

Today is a lazy Sunday, with gray skies occasionally sprinkling us with rain. I actually went to a Christmas party last night, where good food and good conversation was had. It was up in the hills of Oakland, and I had to brave rush hour traffic (on a Saturday? What the hell?) to get there, and later got stuck in traffic behind a couple of accidents on the way to drop Greg off at another party.

Willow is back from her girl scout camping/sleepover. Not sure what else we'll do today.

Here is a picture of a collection of ideas. Books are windows to other worlds.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

While We Sleep

Despite not having to work, I more or less stayed awake all night last night, first reading and then tossing and turning until a rainy sunrise glowed through the gaps in the curtains. Then, I slept until noon.

Sometime while I was sleeping, Jeanine took these pictures. By the time I had gotten up, she had left for work, but the photos awaited me in my inbox.

On an unrelated note, here's a close-up of the freezer door. Magnetic surfaces sure end up cluttered.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A leaden blanket of clouds was visible to the north before sunset, and rain is promised. I didn't get out of bed until 5:00 PM today, and I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. I'm done with work until after Christmas.

I've been working on the caramel flavored coffee that Jeanine got me for my birthday, using a mug that she got me sometime earlier, all while bathed in the harsh light of my desk lamp.

It's already time to go lock the chicken coop for the night. I should have gotten up earlier, especially since I'm going to be on a daytime schedule for at least a couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Yule Be Sorry, Or Maybe Not

When I was young, it was always important to me to find the biggest Christmas tree possible (my reasoning went something like: bigger tree = more room for presents), and that notion stuck with me for much of my adult life. I was somewhat cured of it when I lived in a studio apartment, since a big tree meant that not only was there less room for presents, but less room to get in and out of the front door and move around the living space.

For the last couple of years, we've just been using Jeanine's little plastic tree, and strangely, it doesn't bother me. It's cheaper and easier, and when it's lit up, it looks just fine. Expediency trumps tradition. The holiday season seems shorter every year, although if one bases the beginning of the season upon when the advertising starts, it is actually getting longer and longer.

Tonight is my last night of work for the year (barring a little bit of work as site supervisor for a meditation group renting our site between Christmas and New Year's Eve).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


My photos tend to be more for documentary purposes than artistic ones. The light is usually dead by the time I get out of bed, making even the indoor photos less interesting, artistically speaking. Occasionally, one or two photos might approach being art. The photo below isn't one of them.

This is Jeanine's corner. It's beautifully crammed with all sorts of stuff, especially right now because of the upcoming holidays.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


This is the last week of camp for the year, and so far it has been a chilly one, with ice on windshields and clouds of breath surrounding our faces as we walk. I have to wake up three kids each night this week in the interest of keeping their beds dry, which is more than the average for the school year so far. It has actually been a pretty easy year, as far as wake-up calls are concerned.

One night down, three more to go. Jeanine and I both have mild colds.

Casting about for something inside to photograph, my eyes alighted upon our strange knick-knack shelves up near the ceiling in the kitchen. It's a true marriage of items from our separate pasts, and they fit well together. Whimsy dictated that I do some extreme monkeying with the contrast, making the resulting photo resemble a panel from an unsettling graphic novel.

Inspired by my friend Otter's great photos, I've got my eyes on some photo software. Otter showed me a program called Lightroom, which looks interesting. For some reason, I always dilly-dally when it comes to making these types of purchases though. I want to get some music software too. Will I? I'm not altogether sure. I probably need a new laptop first. Mine is getting cranky. Jeanine suggests that I just use Willow's laptop, since last Christmas Willow got two; one from her mom and one from me. I don't think she has touched the one I got her in months, preferring to immerse herself in her iPod and iPad.

Monday, December 14, 2015


In thinking up new writing challenges to keep me interested in regularly posting here, I came up with the idea of sharing either the most disheartening and/or the most heartening thing I come across on a daily basis. Perhaps I'll post in opposite pairs, or perhaps I'll do a whole month of the former, followed by a whole month of the latter.

I mention this because today I saw this article. It takes the grand prize for the most disheartening thing I'm likely to see today, and I've only been up for an hour now. This means that the people of the town of Woodland, North Carolina, have a collective IQ lower than that of the handsome lizard pictured below.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


I was up in Oakland for some music last night, and when I exited the venue shortly before 1:00 AM, the ground was wet. I got hit by a couple bursts of rain as I drove home too. It rained in the South Bay this morning, although I slept through most of it.

We had some sun in the afternoon, and I took some photos of our backyard wildlife. Right after I finished, there was a sudden downpour.

This squirrel is eating an avocado while sitting in a persimmon tree. That just seems like too much work for me.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sage Advice

This is Mexican Sage, which is not only drought tolerant, but appealing to hummingbirds. Jeanine got some cuttings from a friend, and they seem to be doing really well.

It's a good plant to have in the yard during times of drought. I can't remember the last time we actually watered them. I wish the rosemary was doing as well.

Friday, December 11, 2015


To a certain extent, we all wear masks. Jeanine puts some of hers on the wall.

Our walls are full of strangeness. Our decorating preferences aren't very "grown-up", meaning that we tend to be whimsical in our approach to our surroundings. Sure, it also means that the house is often messy looking, which may be an entirely different issue.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


It started raining in the middle of the night last night, and it is raining again now. I slept until almost 4:00 PM today, so it was already starting to get dark by the time I was vertical.

Here are a pair of photos celebrating the rain. The first is a view looking out the window in the front door. The motion sensor porch light, either activated by a package being dropped on the front step or the blustery wind whipping the nearby bushes around, provides a warm glow.

The second is a view from the back door into the yard. There is something satisfying about being warm and dry while looking out into a rainy night. I try not to take this for granted. It's always good to remember that wistful feeling one gets when walking in the rain past a warmly lit-up window.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

House of the Rising Sun

Out my window, I see a blue sky, painted with a few white wisps of cloud. A lone dove is perched on a power line, perhaps expelled from the covey lining the wires farther up and away. Brian the kitten has just been kicked out of my lap for biting.

Here is the sky at camp. I took the picture right before waking the kids up with some delicately-played trombone music.

Once I got home, I got a rare picture of Dexter and Brian sitting quietly together while they waited for Jeanine to come back in from letting the chickens out. Speaking of chickens, our one remaining rooster, Noodle Soup, finally started to crow. I heard him at midnight the other night, so not only is he crowing, but doing so at strange, random times. Jeanine immediately set the wheels turning to re-home him, and he now lives in Modesto with a flock. That leaves one bird, a chicken named Shelly, from the batch that hatched from Safeway eggs awhile back. We're keeping her because she is quiet. Loose lips sink ships, or perhaps, flappy beaks cause leaks...

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

It's Better To Light A Candle...

We're closing in on the shortest day of the year, and this week, early sunset is joined by uniformly grey skies, making the afternoons gloomy affairs indeed.

I love it.

There are not many better things than lighting a candle or two in the early evening (in this case, one candle with two wicks) and putting on some appropriately autumnal music. The soundtrack to these small flames was one of the newest Time Released Sound releases, Olga Wojciechowska's "Map and Mazes".

Monday, December 07, 2015


For this overcast Monday, I present to you a gargoyle. This is the only thing I own that broke during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It was shaken from its perch and decapitated in the fall. Note the sloppy glue job and missing chips of gargoyle skin.

I suppose this serves as a reminder that more earthquakes lurk around the corner. At least our earthquakes are natural, not like the ones in Oklahoma.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Conspicuous Consumption

Our house if full of shelves, including this one.

Where music is concerned, I never made the jump from physical to digital downloads. Being a resident of the real world, I like to hold objects in my hand. I like to look at lyric sheets and flip through CD booklets. This means there are shelves of records, CDs, and even cassettes peppered throughout the house. I plan on cutting back on my music expenditures, because it's one area of my life that is somewhat out of control. I'm also aware that, as an environmentalist, it's a bit hypocritical of me to insist on owning physical objects made of plastic and paper when I could acquire music through the aether. Humans are weird.

I now notice that this particular shelf needs dusting. The various objects sharing space with the CDs are mostly gifts. At least my CD shelves create extra space to display favorite knick-knacks.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


I got up early this morning so I could take Willow to the flea market, where she hawked unwanted items with her girl scout troop so they could fund future excursions. We stayed up sort of late last night because we were celebrating my birthday, so it wasn't fun getting up before dawn. After I dropped Willow off, I came back home and climbed back into bed for a few hours.

A beautiful sunrise helped compensate for the lack of sleep.

On an unrelated note, here is a picture of Dexter, "hiding".

Friday, December 04, 2015


This is the time of year when the crows rediscover the neighbor's persimmon tree. Sometimes, the tree is blanketed with a whole murder, but today there were only two (or should I say, twa?) corbies. Unlike the pair in the old Scottish ballad, these two didn't even have to discuss what they were going to eat.

There are persimmons in yon auld fail tree
I wot we can have them all for free...

Oh, and happy birthday to me.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

If I Fits, I Sits

This time of year, there are more boxes than usual. Dexter takes full advantage of this.

It rained today, although I missed it because I was asleep. I got to watch a nice sunrise though, with dark clouds blowing toward a date with dissolution.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Eggs In One Basket

I'm in the middle of the first of the final three camp weeks for the year. We have 206 kids, which means an extra room has been converted into a cabin (really more of a dorm than a proper cabin, I suppose, but "cabin" sounds more camp-like). I've been telling stories in the morning because Scooby, who usually does it, isn't around this week. I keep meaning to record them, but haven't gotten around to it. One of the stories exists in written form, but it has changed enough through constant retelling that it's virtually unrecognizable from its origins.

Willow is out seeing One Direction and Five Seconds of Summer tonight. She keeps worrying about something she calls "Post Concert Depression", which is her way of describing the feeling of sadness after the concert, long anticipated, is over. It's almost like she makes up things to feel sad about. I've never once felt sad after seeing live music. Kids these days are funny.

Here is a photographic reminder to disperse one's eggs. These are real chicken eggs, and although the basket is really a miniature flower pot instead of a basket, I think the meaning is still clear. These eggs, being tiny and oddly shaped, are the reject pile. Most of them were laid by Penelope, who bequeaths us about one egg a year. Jeanine puts them in the pot, and they remain on the sill above the kitchen sink.

Here's a bonus photo of the sunrise, taken around 11 hours ago:

There was a nice sunset today too. It's nice to have a day book-ended with beauty.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


It's December now, and at the end of the week, another year in my existence will have become memory. I'll be 48 years old. This page serves as somewhat of a memory vault, a place where I can keep track of things that I otherwise might have forgotten. I sometimes find myself scrolling through previous years, laughing at little things that I've recorded here. I wonder if this tendency will increase as I age.

It is cold right now, and rain is forecast for Thursday. I love this time of year.

I've decided to post a photo every day this month. At the moment, I'm thinking that the theme will be a photos taken at home. I'll start with a benighted view of where I now sit, taken just a moment ago.

Here is a bonus photo of Dexter, taken yesterday, or possibly the day before. These days, he looks huge when compared to Brian the kitten. He also has his winter coat, which makes him look excessively shaggy. Brian has been relentlessly terrorizing him, which is odd, considering that Dexter, if he had a mind to, could take Brian apart. He shows admirable restraint in not doing so.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Future

One thing you’re excited for:

For the following year, I’ve decided to reign in a lot of my bad habits and focus more on my good ones. Rather than waiting for the start of 2016, I’m going to start on my birthday, which is in less than a week. Now that I’ve written about it, I’m more likely to not backslide. I think that I’m going to set myself some sort of challenge for December as well, probably a photo challenge of some sort. At the moment, I’m thinking of doing a photo-a-day challenge, with the stipulation that I can’t use my phone.

I’m also looking forward to the holiday season. It has faded with time, but I still retain a bit of that childlike excitement for this time of year. It's more for the cookies and less for the toys these days though. Willow finally gave me a list of things that she wants, and today I'm going to head out and see what I can find. Like always, we had nothing to do with the national travesty called Black Friday. Somebody should digitally match the voice of the radio announcer covering the Hindenburg disaster with a compilation of Black Friday scenes, and it would be comedy gold with a side helping of schadenfreude. For now, click here and here and imagine...

Since she is a party entertainer, Jeanine is already dressing for the holidays. Since he is a cat, Brian is napping:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Long Time Ago...

The night of your 21st birthday:

I truly don’t remember. I don’t drink, so the often-discussed rite of passage of going to a bar didn’t happen. I’m not much of a partier either. Sometimes I think this writing challenge was geared toward people with an entirely different personality type than mine. Turning 21 wasn’t a big deal for me.

Growing up happens in small increments, not with the sudden flip of a calendar page.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Spoken Word

The word/phrase you use constantly:

This changes with time, but lately I’ve been using the phrase, “very good”, as a default reply to anything that isn’t bad news. I think that any constantly used word or phrase is mindless filler, but despite my awareness of this, I find myself occasionally mindlessly filling. It comes with being old and lazy, I guess. I really should be more rigorous when it comes to mental discipline.

At least I don’t say “like” all of the time. Some people seem to use it as verbal punctuation. Even that isn’t as bad as this one poor guy I once had to listen to though. He was an employee of the Marine Science Institute, and he’d come to my work (which at the time was the Children’s Discovery Museum) with a Leopard shark and perhaps another critter or two. It was fun to pat the shark, which felt like sandpaper, but it was a chore to listen to the presentation because the man used the phrase, “you guys”, as verbal punctuation. It was very distracting, and I’m betting he had no idea what he sounded like to his listeners. The fact that I remember this, more than a decade after the fact, is an indication of how noticeable it was.

It pays to be aware of our speaking habits. I try to be aware of mine.

Friday, November 27, 2015


What you wore today:

It’s not even noon yet, so I’m still wearing things.

I’m wearing a whole set of clothes: T-shirt, pants, belt, underwear, socks, and shoes. On top of that I’m wearing a Lava Beds National Monument sweatshirt emblazoned with pictures of stick figures caving. I’m not concerned with things like brand names, so I’d actually have to look at tags to remember what brands my clothes are. I’m not motivated to do that. I just don’t care. There is, no doubt, something on the front of my T-shirt too, but it’s under my sweatshirt, so I’ll have to look. Oh yes, It’s a Solstafir shirt that I got for free when I purchased the CD box set version of their most recent album.

Earlier, I was wearing a jacket too, but I took it off. It was kind of cold this morning. Jeanine and I went to a harvest festival in downtown San Jose. We mostly bought things to eat. I ogled some drone flutes but didn’t buy any because they’re expensive. I did take a business card though, and I’ll probably get one online at some point.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ex Marks the Spot

Things you'd say to an ex:

This writing prompt seems to have been written under the assumption that “an ex” is one person. I suppose I could choose an ex to focus on here, and the most obvious choice would be Jen, my ex-wife, but there isn’t really anything I feel a pressing need to say to her. Pretty much everything that needed to be said was said, sometimes repeatedly, back in the initial months after our break-up. In the present, I have moved on and so has she, so mostly what we say to each other these days has to do with scheduling, since we share a child. That said, most of our conversations manifest themselves as text messages and e-mails. Ah, the impersonal nature of modern life. Truth be told, in some cases I prefer it that way.

Since it’s Thanksgiving today, I suppose I could say (and mean) something like I’m thankful for the time we had. After all, if we hadn’t met and married, there would be no Willow. I can’t imagine life without Willow. Anything else is just water under the bridge, flowing toward the sea. Besides, if I had anything else of emotional import to say to her, I wouldn’t share it publicly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Weird Traits

Four weird traits you have:

I can do a couple of weird things with my tongue, which either counts as one or two weird traits, depending on how many others I can think of. I can put my tongue above my soft palate, making it look like I’ve swallowed it. That always grosses out kids. I can also fold it in from the tip, making it look forked (actually, it makes look like there is a miniature person inside my mouth, mooning the world). I haven’t met anybody else who can do this.

I’ve always been good at meeting people on their levels. When I was younger (high school age), I often spent time with friends who enjoyed altering their consciousnesses with illicit substances, and I would sometimes find that I was the only person in the group who wasn’t drunk or high. Despite my sobriety, I would be able to successfully spend time with people who were decidedly not functioning normally. Currently, this skill helps me relate to kids at work. I’m able to put myself into their world in such a way that I can better relate with them. I can be childlike without being childish, and I guess that helps me be better at my profession.

Despite the fact that I enjoy quiet and solitude, I like making noise. Give me an object, and I’ll figure out how to make music with it. If I was more organized, I’m sure I’d have a discography (I do have a page on, but it’s solely based on my contributions to my friend Matt’s work). I have done a few live performances over the years, including one solo performance (opening for my own brother). Once I did a duet with a clarinet player. What was I playing? A plastic drinking straw. Jeanine usually just rolls her eyes at this tendency of mine.

Awkward social situations, job interviews, and even such things as routine appointments fill me with more anxiety (or at the very least, irritation) than wrangling rattlesnakes (of course, wrangling rattlesnakes doesn’t fill me with anxiety at all). I guess I could say that I both love and hate routine. I feel the same way about structure and deadlines. I don’t like them, but I seem to require them, at least to a certain degree.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Something you miss:

In my day to day life, I don’t miss anything of note. Life is good, my needs are met, and I have spare time and money to pursue the things I love, and more importantly, be with the ones I love.

One thing I miss is traveling. I feel like I missed out on the opportunity to do more of it when I was younger. There are good reasons I didn’t, of course. Young people don’t often have the resources to travel extensively, and I was no exception. Later in life, I find that I’m typical in at least one regard. I have enough responsibilities and obligations to prevent me from dropping everything and hitting the road on a whim. Up until last year, we managed to do an annual family vacation, but Jeanine’s mom needs us nearby these days, so we can no longer leave the area for overnight stays. I don’t resent her for this, but I do miss our vacations.

Fortunately, we live in an area where interesting day trips are possible. Here are some photos taken over the last few days. Saturday, Willow and I went to an upcycling event (basically, arts and crafts made from re-purposed items) in Alameda to do a little holiday shopping, and also to say hi to my friend Colin, who was selling his amazingly packaged CDs there. Among other things, we got a Lithuanian spit cake (as in turned on a spit, not spat upon) to enjoy later in the week. On the way back, we stopped at Coyote Hills to watch the sunset. Along with clouds of insects, we admired the view for awhile before deepening darkness ushered us back down the hill and back into the car. Despite it being the weekend, the freeway was bumper to bumper brake lights. These days, I really don't like getting on the freeway at all. This outing was worth the aggravation though.

Yesterday, I went with Jeanine, Eva, and Eva's friend Montana to San Francisco. We spent some time on Haight St. so the girls could wander and I could get rid of my money at Amoeba Records, and then we headed west to Sutro Baths where the low sun lurked behind clouds and the water glittered with the promise of evening. Eva had her camera with her because for her, the stated reason for our trip was photography. I only had my phone, but in a pinch, it's better than nothing:

On the way back to the car, we passed a bunch of tweens descending the stairs with selfie sticks. All is vanity, and our society seems to encourage this with products aimed at narcissists.

I'm off work this week, and the last couple of work weeks have been relatively easy, with the exception of a crucial water pipe breaking, leaving us without running water for around 24 hours. For one night, we had a row of port-a-potties at the end of one of the buildings. They were pretty high-end though, with lights and sinks.

Finally, my cousin Peter has moved out here with his family. He has been in town for around a week, starting a new job. He came over on Sunday afternoon so we could meet his twin daughters. They were very cute, and spent a lot of time exploring the house. They especially enjoyed a pair of hand-knitted snakes that were a wedding gift from our friends Jack and Jackie. Here's a picture of Willow with one of the twins:

Oh yeah, looking at the picture reminds me - Willow got braces last week.