Saturday, December 11, 2010
Meanwhile I watched the Ken Burns' Baseball and read a couple books (Psychology of Baseball, and Why is the Foul Pole Fair?). I learned how to score a game.
Scoring a game was, perhaps, almost the tipping point for me. I kept me busy instead of bored and I learned the game (and the scoreboard) a lot better.
Of course, Tim Lincecum was the first player I learned. But I started to have a slight name recognition of some of the others (U...ribe! Panda, etc.). I wasn't that impressed. But on Posey night we got free shirts and I learned a little about this amazing kid. Then Huff, who at the time, seemed like a washed up old player given a last chance. I wore my Posey shirt to work.
The end of the season seemed on the horizon and then we could get back into our routine of Monday Night Football. Wallgreens had discounted all its Giants gear (picked up some Lincecum tokens for .99 cents) and no one seemed very interested in the Giants chances of winning the division.
Well, it was a bad year, a terrible year, to hate baseball. I was certainly caught up in the playoffs. But I hate to call myself a fan. Fans are those who have been following the team for two or three generations. Who can cite statistics from the 50's and name names. I'm just along for the ride.
Yes, we celebrated by driving around town screaming and honking the horn and dancing and chanting in the streets with the throngs. It was all so very very exciting. (Actually, it was a hell of a weekend with Halloween, Giants WS, Day of the Dead, and the victory parade.) Suddenly Giants gear was everywhere and everyone was (and still is) wearing it. I don't know where they were all summer. I didn't see so much gear at the games!
And yes, I watched (but didn't go to) the parade. And cried and felt proud for these guys.
But I'm not calling myself a fan. Part of me still hates baseball. OK, I like/love the Giants. I like the players and their stories, the mythology. Posey, Huff & Burrell, Rentaria, Torres, The Beard... Guys I wouldn't have recognized on the street before the playoffs. But I am not a fan.
P.S. I already got my tickets for next season. Let's Go GIANTS!
Friday, May 07, 2010
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
"Don't just cry mournfully over the individuals, dreams and influences that have helped make you what you are. Dance for them; sing for them; honor them; leap into the air and kiss the sky for them."
website) with me but was in a solemn mood and didn't feel like taking pictures.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I hadn't planned on watching Ken Burn's new series on our National Parks, but now that I've stumbled upon a couple episodes, watched John Muir struggle, Hetch Hetchy drown, and the Grand Canyon's history, I'm hooked.
I'm reminded of the summer I worked at the Grand Canyon when I was in junior high, when we were between living in Flagstaff (NAU) and Austin (UT) and had no home and the rest of the family on the road places unknown, camping, site-seeing, and I was on my own at the South Rim.
I worked for a pilot program of the Youth Conservation Corp, maybe twenty teen boys from all over America, living in an old medical center (sinks you turned on with your knees), cleaning trails, building a dog run at the local pound, cementing fire rings at Angels Camp and the North Rim.
I had a carton of Marlboro's, the white and red box like an ammo box full of bullet clips. But I only smoked about six, playing basketball at 8,000 feet one immediately felt the difference, like breathing through a stir-stick, and gave the rest away.
That summer I saw thunderstorms down in the canyon, watched the lightning from above and smelled the rain on hot rocks. Ringtail Cats at night in the rafters at Angels Camp, and scorpions the size of your hand under rocks. Flash floods on a sunny day, the sound of grumbling, tumbling rocks in the water before anything else.
I learned to weld, wield an ax, shovel, and pick, cement stones, and use a fire rake. At the North Rim our shower was a hot water heater in a small shack that came out of a hole in the ceiling, blistering hot. Only one valve, no shower head; a steady stream you could only splash on yourself, but so welcome on those cold nights after a dusty day on the trail.
But what really took me back were all the family vacations, the camping trips with Tang and card games (we had Hoyle's to work through) and my parents green-plaid flannel sleeping bags that zipped together into a double. Smelly outhouses, and eating off aluminum dishes, and a five gallon collapsable water bottle with a leaky red spout.
Over the years we had, I believe, a Saab, a van my dad built into a camper, a pickup with a cabover, and a motorhome. My sister, Peggy, and I fought and read and played "alphabet" and various other games of observation that I think my dad invented to keep our focus outward (we found out Peggy needed glasses when she couldn't see all the deer in a field we passed).
Dad did most of the driving ("Are we there yet?" "Do I have to pull over and deal with you kids?!") and we shot for 400 miles a day. To keep the stops to a minimum he drilled a hole in the floor of the backseat and put in a nagahyde hose and a funnel.
But we kept track and visited every State and pretty much every National Park (also State Parks, museums, factories that gave tours, logging mills, and, occasionally, as a special treat, a Stuckeys). Most of these I have no direct memory of, but watching the Ken Burn's series stirred those deep memories, part national pride, part humility at the vast natural beauty, part boredom and indignity of using public bathrooms (if we were lucky) and being shoved together every summer (such is the life of an academic) into a car, camper, or tent; sharing a stained picnic table, sloppy joes, and mosquito bites.
Our final trip together, although we didn't know it at the time, was to Tahoe. Peggy and I, I think, were old enough to drink a Budweiser and play the slots. hands blackened by the knobs on the one armed bandit. I remember my mom smoking a Lucky Strike and drinking coffee from our hopelessly stained Tuperware coffee mugs.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In unexpected ways,
Streetlights lamp intersections,
That you can't see across,
Trees wandering off the sidewalk,
Sudden spirits scampering,
And stampeding in the headlights.
Lost on my way home,
In this ghost ocean,
I only know you when I'm near you,
Reassured by your moist kiss.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Robin and I just got back from the Oswald cartoon show at the Silent Film Festival. Silent cartoons from the 20's with live music. Ub Iwerks' (the GREAT Disney animator) granddaughter, Leslie Iwerks, introduced the films (with Leonard Maltin). VERY creative and funny and fun.
Disney didn't own the character Oswald and eventually quit/lost the rights to Oswald. Depressed, on the train back from New York, he told his wife he was going to create his own character, "Mortimer Mouse." His wife talked him out of the name Mortimer...
Friday, July 10, 2009
Happy Now Cartoon #666 is up! Some kind of anniversary...
666 is the natural number following 665 and preceding 667. It is also an abundant number. It is the sum of the first 36 natural numbers (i.e.1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 34 + 35 + 36 = 666), and thus a triangular number. Since 36 is both square and triangular, 666 is the sixth number of the form n2(n2 + 1) / 2(sequence A037270 in OEIS) and the eighth number of the formn(n + 1)(n2 + n + 2) / 8 (doubly triangular numbers, A002817).
666=(36) − (26) + 1; 6=(32) − (22) + 1; 66=(34) − (24) + 1.
666 is the sum of the squares of the first seven prime numbers (i.e.22 + 32 + 52 + 72 + 112 + 132 + 172 = 666).
The Roman numeral representation of the number 666 (DCLXVI) uses once each the Roman numeral symbols with values under 1,000, occurring in descending order of their respective values (D = 500, C = 100, L = 50, X = 10, V = 5, I = 1).
It is not uncommon to see the symbolic role of the integer 666 transferred to the digit sequence 6-6-6. Some people take the satanic associations of 666 so seriously that they actively avoid things related to 666 or the digits 6-6-6. This is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The brine churn of birds,
The cool erosion polishing the foamy waves,
The sun blistering through the clouds.
I watch and let my mind float and drift and
The lost valleys,
Silent canyons and ghostly plains,
And bottomless trenches,
Gathering all our bones.
Rain on the mountains,
Snow on the sea,
This is you
Are your headwaters the Alpine cataracts?
Or the muddy flood plains of India?
The Rockies green trickle creeks?
Or the blood flow of the Mississippi?
What dark icebergs weigh on you?
What convoys of ghost ships,
Sail your uncharted currents?
The surf of your laugh,
You flash in the sunlight and dance in the wind,
And amaze me.
I taste the salt
Saturday, June 20, 2009
But it won't sink,
About the wind off the ocean,
And over Twin Peaks,
Sweeping the court on the hill
I can see Oakland from here.
About how the backboard quivers
The fog stained net
How good the glorious sun feels,
And even better to rest in the shade,
Of this douglas fir.
Just shooting baskets with my son,
Lay-ups and half-court hail-mary's,
And chasing balls,
While small dogs play in the lumpy field.
My arms know,
Better than a hug,
Better than writing this poem,
To put the ball through the hoop.
But they fail.
It's short, long, left, right.
We blame the wind,
And this glorious sun.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Like school kids waiting to cross the street.
Fat baskets of strawberries,
Sweet and fragrant.
Flowers in the shade,
A lilliputian forest of herbs,
Rows of plastic boxes of almonds
like apartment buildings on the hill.
A whole table of vegetables
I do not recognize.
I had my first fig ever;
Which end to hold?
Do you eat the skin?
Oh, it's so soft,
Yielding to my mouth,
Sweet and warm and subtle,
Like a first kiss.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I forget what fresh air tastes like,
Ocean churned, filtered through the trees,
And stirred by sparrow wings,
Oozing Spring's green,
And the wine of decaying leaves.
It makes a sidewalk romantic out of me,
Reading meaning in the cracked cement.
Startled by the horizon,
Ships in the bay,
Cities and roads and bridges and cars
With people in them going places,
The sky church,
Makes me a convert to the Cloud Gods,
The stars and Moon and King God Sun,
And, Nimbus help me,
The first pretty girl I see.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Today my son Robin is 21. That's drinking age in this State. Don't know what I can tell him about drinking; haven't had one in over 18 years myself.
I got him a Paperchase ice cube tray makes "cubes" that looks like jewels. As well as a couple Billy Collin's books, and a Space Pen (used by the astronauts!) that can even write underwater...
I don't like to brag, but he IS the best kid ever.
So he's off tonight having dinner with his friends.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Do I need to say that it's a bit disconcerting when the dental assistant, while attempting to place a temporary crown, keeps muttering and swearing under her breath?
"Jesus!" when she dropped the crown for the fourth time towards the back of my throat.
At one point she used her gloved hands to pull back her sleeves. So much for sterile.
Meanwhile, in the two plus hours I was in the chair, I read the latest Smithsonian cover to cover. Interesting article about forensic astronomy there.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My impression after two days of doing this is that the store looks a lot cleaner. People aren't picnicing and leaving a mess. Fewer stacks of wedding magazines piled back in reference. Fewer coffee cups on shelves.
It helped that we had four roof leaks and one bathroom plumbing leak; the floor was wet in several areas....
I don't know if it will hurt sales but I rather doubt it. It might even help.
And the manga section is once more navigable.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Meanwhile, people (well, at least one) have been buying the shirts! Looking good, Susan! Makes you look... smarter.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie gave a nice speech last night; very funny and insightful, and introduced three Writer's Corp poets, my son Robin being one of them. Robin did a great reading.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
THIS PLACE CALLED POETRY
November 7, 2008 - January 24, 2009
Location: San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery
401 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Wednesday - Saturday
12:00 - 5:00pm
Call for late hours
Closed Tuesday, November 11
mini documentary about Robin
Apparently (while I was counting drawers) the crowd swelled and became a mob which got out of hand and got quite dangerous in the crush. One woman had her nose broken being pressed up against the glass doors, another fainted and several were in fear of suffocating.
The police broke it up and cancelled the event. So with nothing else to do they came to our store. We were busy for a couple hours. A few were in tears, but generally it was a good crowd; well behaved. At the time I didn't know about the scary crush.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
My polling place is the Randall Museum, which is also some kind of afterschool program and there were lots of minivans in the parking lot and lots of kids about.
While I was voting I overheard one little girl asking about a million questions of the very patient poll master (or whatever they are called). Where do the ballots come from? Do they make them there? What do they do with the old ones? How much do they cost.
He patiently explained how it worked and why it was so important. I actually started to tear up a bit.
When it came time to feed the ballot into the reader I asked if the little girl could do it for me. She was thrilled (and so was I).
Sunday, November 02, 2008
A stage studded with candles it was simply four musicians weaving a night of wonder. Laurie started with a story about birds (before there was a world) and it just went onwards and upwards from there.
Darker, sadder, angrier and more political than I've ever heard her, it was also sweet and beautiful. She is a poet and a surprisingly accomplished singer and musician.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I finally finished reading Devil in the White City. I liked it, but can't say it's the best book I've ever read. In fact, I've read some books I liked better this year. Maybe I've just been lucky lately to have some good books.
I'm poking my nose into a couple books but nothing has grabbed me yet. I think I need something that's very very well written. Maybe I'll check out Billy Collin's new book of poems...
Friday, September 26, 2008
FInally I called them and they said they don't know if I've paid up or not until I call... You'd think they'd put their phone number on their website or billing emails then...!
Meanwhile, no email for most of the week. Kinda depressing.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008 marks the one-year anniversary for Happy Now? Cartoons, my daily cartoon blog. That's 365 cartoons in the past year!
It's been an interesting year learning to draw on the computer, to write funny on a deadline, and to spell.
Ignored by religious leaders and clergy, overlooked by philosophers and poets, and unceremoniously snubbed by major and fringe American political parties, yet Happy Now? continues to delight a handful of disturbed fans, coerced friends, and deeply-concerned family members.
Here's to another year of pushing up daisies!
Thank you for your patronage!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
One Big (heavy) TV
Four computer monitors
A big box of cables, etc.
That STILL leaves us with four tv's, four monitors, five computers, two printers, and much accessories...
No sooner was the dining room pretty much cleared out than the stuff for the Salvation Army rushed in to fill it. Nature abhors a vacuum.
Monday, July 28, 2008
My biggest project has been going through old computers. What's on these hard drives? Which monitor (I have at least five extras) goes with which computer (three in various state of cannibalism).
What's hard is you just can't chuck them. They either have to go to a special dump or be dropped off at a special charity location. Sheesh! And these things are big, taking up a lot of room.
I want my dining room back.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
off the ocean churn
Raptured from deep dark salt caves
in prehistoric canyon trenches.
This great atomic hive
a million buzzing hydrogen wings
on fat oxygen bumble bees
Now dancing around your head
like ecstatic angels
on a pinhead godhead
Our greatest effort to blossom
is only the courage to stand in it and laugh
with cold wet faces
and salty lips.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
One of those lazy weekends mostly messing around on the computer. Watched a couple movies, neither worth noting.
Worked on my cartoons and cleaned up my desk and did some writing.
Played a few rounds of Age of Empires.
Did some grocery shopping.
Back to work tomorrow.
Friday, June 20, 2008
But it doesn't hurt. Unless I'm eating, drinking, talking, smiling, brushing my teeth, shaving... Which are things it turns out that I do with some degree of frequency. I've been drinking coffee with a straw and eating the mildest of foods (bread and butter, etc.).
I finally tracked down some goop that forms a nice coating over the divet and have been able to eat again. It's not noticeable (although if feels like it should be) except at work people notice I'm not smiling...
Here's some friendly advice. Don't eat yourself.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Robin took me out for dinner for Father's Day.
We went to Fuzio, a crazy mix of Mediterranean and asian food.
We had two appetizers; onion strings and pesto focaccia. Yum!
Robin had the Firecracker Pork and I had the ahi tuna.
We were two happy, full boys last night.