Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The cat on the couch



Rudy spends most of his time outside, but when it's cold and wet, we force him to spend time in the house. This year, he is enjoying it more than usual - perhaps he's getting older like the rest of us, and enjoys some time relaxing in front of the tube. Lately, he has gotten so relaxed around the dog that he'll look her right in the eye, or sniff her tail as she walks past.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Strange toys



We took the boys to the Haight last Monday and went to a couple of stores with "Robot" in their name that sell these limited-edition toys. The kids are crazy for these figurines, some of which look like little cigarettes smoking little cigarettes, and some which have faces and some that don't. They seem to be manga-inspired.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Things to love

Barbara on a barstool


Sidewalk tiles in Benicia


Art Deco tiles on a storefront


Spring is abloom - we have turned a seasonal corner

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Benicia

We took a "tootle" around the bay yesterday, where we drove sort of in the direction where we thought we wanted to go, and ended up somewhere we hadn't been before. I thought I had been in Benicia before, but after getting there, I realized that I hadn't. It's a charming little town where there are many Victorian homes, a nice large grid of streets around an old-fashioned main street which ends at a long pier into the Bay. We had lunch outside a cafe (our first warmish day of the season), and we were struck at the number of teens and kids that were tooling up and down the street on bikes, foot and skateboard. It seemed like a Marin town, but instead of kids being carted around in SUVs, they were actually on the street. A large number of dogs were sighted, and Lola enjoyed the fancy dog treat store quite a bit (she poured on her charm, to finagle many samples).

Some of the stores were still the older type, with hand-lettered signs. There were a lot of empty storefronts, and mixed in were day spas and bars.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Elder housing

Last night, my quartet sang at an "senior community", for some performance practice, in anticipation of a contest coming up this spring. We had a tour of the place and we were all very impressed with how nice it was. This place, like many of the newer facilities for the aging, has a variety of activities and things going on, and a lovely communal dining room. It seemed kind of like a cruise ship, with a movie theater, a computer lab, art studio and so forth.

The social director took us around and told us how expensive it was to get in there, and how, despite that, there is a waiting list. It made me think about what kinds of people would enjoy that kind of retirement.. do people want to go back to "dorm" living, with a built in community of strangers who could become friends? Wouldn't it be better if we could build our own familial groups and move in together in a shared home? But how many elders can afford to do that? Our society makes it much easier to move in with strangers than to find shared housing with those we know.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What's up, doc?

I really meant to begin regular posting here in February, but here I am, a week behind! what's up with that? The other funny thing is that my counter shows that people hitting this site have doubled in number recently... just goes to show you that the writer's strike is giving bloggers new audiences! Now if only I can generate some content.

There are day-to-day topics, like going to the dentist (yesterday) and then stumbling to the polling place, still a bit high on nitrous. You can make your own guesses as to whether the gas had any effect on my vote. The remodelling drags on, this is supposed to be the "final" week. The punch list is getting very short. We'll be very glad to have our second bathroom done. My quartet is preparing for contest the first week of April and is rehearsing more regularly.

There are more cerebral topics, like politics or what to do about an email inbox that is bursting at its seams (actually a topic at a workshop here at my office today), but others seem to be more informed than I am on stuff like this.

For entertainment lately, we discovered that the game show network is showing "I've Got A Secret", hosted by Gary Moore. It's odd to see the grainy black & white past in contrast with the current commercials. Gary is constantly smoking on screen, and we googled to confirm that he later died from emphysema. In fact, all the men on that show died from smoking related illnesses. It's strange when the men stand to greet women coming onstage, and the other women stay seated. It's strange to see how dressed up they are, and how slow the show's pace is. It's strange to think about how this era seems so long ago, and yet it's the era that made up my formative years. I was ACTUALLY ALIVE when all this was going on. It seems impossible.