Monday, March 31, 2008

we went to L.A. this weekend and of course i left something behind. it seems i must lose one item a day. and that's a good day. i left behind the power supply for my work computer. i had no juice left in the machine and the computer store on campus wanted $75 for a new one.
no way jose! i'm getting linda's 96 year old stepmom, faye, off her easy chair and down to the post office tout suite.

she's 90 frickin six and still drives. she drove us to Baker's Square. she's got a pontiac or some such soul sister kind of car. it's in perfect condition except for the roof fabric that hangs in big bulging blisters above your head. there's not much room in the back seat with her walker and AARP mags. i read a very interesting article about michael j. fox during our drive to baker's square which we all fortunately survived considering she says she just aims between the yellow and white lines.

jeez, i hope she makes it to the post office okay.

we bought her dinner. fettucini something. looked okay to me. i wanted a sample but i feared faye might immobilize my hand with a fork if i poked at her plate like i did with linda's chinese chicken salad which was okay except she wanted crunchy chinese noodles and got rice. still it went well with the chilled cabernet and faye's foot abscess talk.

but i do like faye. she's got a good sense of humor and a great memory. but boy can she let 'em rip. not a little pufffft like my dear aunt margaret. no these are big nor'easter farts that blow from the bedroom, down the hallway and finally die out in the kitchen. the kind that woke me from my Jeopardy stupor on the couch.

earlier in the day faye told linda that she'd had a dream about her father. she saw him in the bowling alley, walking in with his bowling ball. and she started to cry in front of linda. we took her out to her favorite messican restaurant for a margarita and a wet burrito. we wanted a good top shelf and got a shot of grand marnier on the side which she didn't want and which we quickly drank. she didn't talk much through dinner and i felt maybe she was still a little sad.

"how's your dinner faye?"
"better than last night's."

she ate it all. we got ready to leave. i offered her a stack of napkins which she snapped up instantly. she stuffed them in her purse, then reached for the tortilla chips and lifted them by the wax paper and tipped them in her purse too. i just might love this lady.

i hope she sends my adapter soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

we rounded up all the loose change in our place and exchanged it for bills. $120 smackers it was. linda poured it into a machine at the bank that does all the counting and sorting for FREE.

driving out of the bank parking lot, i was admiring the pretty blossoms drifting across the ground like a flurry of snowflakes, when i noticed something even prettier -- a twenty flapping in the wind.

get out! get it! i cried. look for more! look for more! i shouted. greed is not pretty.

i did an interval along a beautiful winding road and asked myself for twenty minutes why am i doing this? i thought it'd be much more fun just riding along admiring the beauty but the legs kept going do it! do it! intervals are not pretty. however, there is something i like about them. the finite pain. the sense of accomplishment.

the gnocchi with brown butter sauce and mushrooms as a reward.

i found linda further down the road with the iPhone -- when is she ever without that thing? she holds it inches from her nose at night, runs her fingertip up and down the screen. she reminds me of Tom Cruise in that movie where he moves screens back and forth in front of him like he's conducting. only it's just linda's one index finger that does all the moving. it moves very fast that little finger.

i'd like to drop it in the toilet. did I say that? why yes i did.

on we rode. we sprinted for county lines. we inhaled the scent of cut grass in the wind. she talked to me from two bike lengths ahead, as is her way. i can't hear you, I shouted but she didn't hear that either. she rambled on. farm trucks and Cadillacs roared past us.

life is so very pretty. aged manure, even if it's free, is not.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what a lovely surprise came in the mail today from Flandria!

cute little wrapped samples of her raw foods. tasty granola bars, kong cookies, a garlic pumpkin seed mix, crunchy crackers.

thank you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

we were going to go to Bariani and Landpark. it just didn't happen.

so we suited up and took advantage
of the beauty around us.

oh my god, it's like a big nature competition out there with trees trying to outdo the next. they're throwing out their very best blossoms. you can do that? okay well look at this.

come here little bee. come here little buggie.

take a look at what i got.

that's nothing, take a look at this!

we had to stop on our bike ride several times just to try and capture all the beauty. and we never quite could. the iPhone cannot do nature justice. and in the back of my mind i was thinking some people never got to experience this day. this very day. it makes me sad, but i'm trying not to be sad but to appreciate.

corny but it's really an art, i think, being happy, enjoying life.

and it takes effort like intervals. focus. focus on the good. let the bad stuff go. and lots of practice. and you can't just go sit on a beach and stare out at the ocean and think, i've got this happiness thing down. no, no, no you gotta test yourself.

go shopping in the Berkeley Bowl at lunch. perfect test. try and feel happiness as a woman jams up the produce aisle sniffing a melon. not so easy. try and feel the wonder of the universe as you watch a kid pick his nose then stick his fingers into the olive bar. no walk in the park on a sunny day.

and sometimes life has a funny way of tricking you into lightening up, relaxing. the horn on my toyota pickup went caput a couple of weeks ago. i can't tell you how many times i've wanted to lay on that thing and couldn't. and so yesterday, there i sat while this bozo in a Volvo -- always a freaking Volvo -- sat at a green light not moving. we both just sat there in the glorious sunshine, bees a buzzing, trees showing off, still as can be. perfect test. i exhaled. i waited. finally we moved. who knows. maybe if i'd a honked my horn we would have moved off faster and got rammed by a semi. see -- there's a happy thought. i'm getting better every day.

Sunday, March 02, 2008