Grab It While You Can

With all these sexual harassment allegations popping up all over the place, it’s a wonder we can live normal lives these days.

Every day there’s a new one.

The truth is if every industry, especially the media and government, were to come clean, there wouldn’t be anyone left to make movies or run the country.

We’re all a bunch of scoundrels. It’s in our DNA. cropped-photo1.jpg

Sexual harassment is as old as the bible itself. Just read Genesis where it all began.

What floors me is how women expect to gain respect dressing the way they do with cleavages to their belly buttons, skirts wrapped around their waists and backsides like plastic wrap leaving nothing to the imagination, and stilettos like walking stilts.

If fashion returned to modesty, if women wore clothing that was attractive and decent, then men might behave themselves. Maybe. There’s no guarantee. For complete assurance of respectful behavior between the sexes everyone would require heart purification surgery.

Calvin says, “Dogs don’t have these issues. We are what we wear. We wear what we are. Simple.”  beagle

 

 

 

 

The Next Stop

I see this scene every day. A man gets on the train with me and sits in two empty seats. He’s dressed to the nines. Full piece gabardine suit with a handkerchief peeking out of his pocket, silk tie to match, pale colored shirt, stylist shoes and artsy socks. I notice these things. His dark rimmed circle glasses makes him look like a scholar who belongs in a wing back chair in a well appointed library, smoking a pipe as he bends over his large book in his lap.painting30

She gets on the next stop and smiles at him. He beams. She’s in a simple shirt, pants and running shoes. Her purse is a backpack. They huddle like lovebirds. He’s the talker, she’s the listener. Both wear wedding bands. Are they married to each other or is this a rendezvous? Perhaps they’re newlyweds. Both in their 50’s. They couldn’t be this besotted with each other otherwise.

Calvin says, “I vote for the rendezvous. That way you have entertainment for the ride home.”  beagle

 

Urban

Walking up the hill this morning to the office, I was forced to walk around a mattress and box spring, a couch, a chair, snow boots, and a lamp. Somebody threw them out from the building they once lived in.

My office is surrounded by apartment buildings, so on one level I suppose it makes sense.

On another, it’s a mystery.  cropped-image002.png

It screams “single life”, “moving on”, “take my trash and shove it.”

What’s even more of a mystery is the disappearance of all those things within hours.

I left the office later this morning and most of the stuff was gone.

Where does it go?

Who picks it up?

I never see anyone doing this.

Do gremlins emerge from the gutters like a line of ants?

Do the homeless pick it up? Except today it was raining, but things still disappeared.

The oddest thing I’ve ever seen on the street was a wig and women’s clothing.

I don’t want to guess what that meant.

Calvin says, “It meant one discarded multiple personality.” beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give Me Space

Alf and I made plans to spend the day in Carmel the weekend after Christmas.

Instead of taking the sane way, we chose the back roads that took us through the center of Gilroy and up and around and down the mountains that paralleled highway 101. That turned out to be a 30-minute detour that left Alf fuming and me hyperventilating. The day was already ruined.

What were we thinking? We envisioned a casual stroll down cobbled stone streets, lazily peering into store windows for the Christmas decor, enjoying a leisurely lunch at a French restaurant expertly prepared by the chef of many years with a fine reputation.

Instead we jostled our way down the streets side-stepping the tourists with their pedigree dogs, which didn’t want strangers petting them with gooey fingers from their over-priced pastries. Why don’t people leave their dogs at home? When did it turn trendy to wear them shopping? I can sort of understand a purse dog, if you can call that thing a dog, but a Burmese Mountain dog? There’s no avoiding him, he’s a defense tackler blocking the street.

I saw more dogs than children. Probably the kids stayed home with the grandparents and the dogs went to town. There’s something wrong here. IMG_9666

Lines were out the door at every decent restaurant. Casual wear in the stores was priced at $300 and up. And that was the sale price. Really? I can get that same sweatshirt online for $15.95.

It was cold gorgeous – sharp blue skies, piercing sunlight – boot and jacket weather. Boots were popular. Everybody was wearing them, except me. I checked the price of an elegant leather pair that caught my eye – $475. With a few more dollars, I’ll go to Europe.

The art galleries disappointed me. Mostly touristy seascapes in glaring colors, the kind you see in every beach town from Maui to La Jolla to Acapulco. I think the same painters make a circuit. Jose takes Acapulco, Sven’s is Carmel, Max paints in a bar in Maui, and Teresa is the barracuda in La Jolla. They’re all related. These were Teresa’s last three husbands.

Calvin says, “Next time leave Alf home and take me. My nose needs an outing and I love gooey.” beagle

Shakespeare with a Spin

We just returned from the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon where we saw four plays, two of which were from the Shakespeare canon. The Comedy of Errors was ridiculous, The Tempest was great. The other two were modern dramas full of angst and despair, the kind of thing I like because it’s kinda where I live. It also brings out the best in a cast.

Alf and I have been going to Ashland for 27 years now so you can imagine how many plays that translates into – yikes we should be experts, but we’re not. Acting companies muck around with the settings and costumes and even with some of the lines so every play looks and feels different from year to year. We’ve seen Julius Caesar performed in gym outfits, The Taming of the Shrew in a boardwalk setting (right picture), and Romeo and Juliet with a Mexican backdrop.  Screen shot 2013-05-11 at 2.46.42 PM

ErrorsThis year an African-America cast did the Comedy of Errors (left picture) and the director set it in Harlem, so you can imagine the farce and mayhem on stage. The costumes were everything you’d expect to see in a Sunday church setting. Alf loathed it. I enjoyed the spin.

Our biggest adventure was missing out on the Groucho Marx play, The Cocoanuts. All the other plays were at 8 pm and I assumed this one was too, but no it wasn’t, it was a matinee, and we were at the mall shopping while Groucho was yucking it up with the audience. I could have kicked myself. We rushed to the box office, told them our plight, asked to be added to the next performance only to be told it was on the day we were going home. So Groucho came and went without us. “Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him.” Alf couldn’t agree more.

Calvin says, “All those settings, all those new smells, why don’t you take me with you? I know the hotel takes pets. I checked online.” beagle

 

I Picked Up a Little Something Yesterday

I left the office yesterday to stretch my legs. There’s something inhuman about sitting in a desk chair all day long. The experts tell us that sitting for that length of time everyday is what makes us fat. So I shoved myself out the door and took a walk.

As soon as I came out of the building I saw a woman carrying a white, fluffy dog. She was across the street, and from where I stood the dog looked like a stuffed animal because he didn’t move. She carried him like a baby. I walked down the hill and she crossed the street and we met at the corner, where an exercise class at the Cardiobarre was happening. She stopped and showed him the class through the window. The dog, a Bichon Frise, sporting red shoes and matching coat, seemed quite happy being held and shown bodies bending in ballet routines at the bar.

“May I take your picture?” I asked as I approached her.

She stared me down a second and said, “No.”

That was a first. People on the whole are narcissists and usually say yes.

“I’ll let you hold the dog and I’ll take your picture,” she said.  Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 2.53.41 PM

“That’s even better,” I said.

She placed the pooch in my arms, I gave her my phone and she clicked.

“Thank you,” I said handing back the warm and compliant beast.

“He’s a service dog, you know. He has 78 matching outfits for work,” she said.

Calvin says, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in a get-up like that. I’d be the laughing stock of all the rabbits out there.” beagle

Addicted to Orange and Black

Yesterday was Game 1 of the World Series.

Since I live in San Francisco, I couldn’t help but notice.

The city was dressed in orange and black.

The fans donned the team colors, the hats, the beads, and the mitts.

Even kids wore SF Giants earrings and band-aids under each eye in honor of Venezuelan Marco Scutaro. 

I was at AT&T Park as an observer. That’s all I could afford.

The ticket prices were enough to pay off the nation’s debt.

And I didn’t have enough cash on me to pay the $400 price tag for standing room only.

Baseball fever is an addiction.

As the fans streamed by me, I noticed the classic symptoms. Glassy eyes. Flushed cheeks. Hooting and hollering.

There wasn’t a soul in regular clothes.

Orange was de rigueur. Even police officers wore tokens of it on their uniforms.

Beer was the drink of preference.

Boozy breath was the stand-out body odor.

Oh, and the F-16 fly-by timed with the fireworks at the commencement ceremonies was stunning.

Even if I didn’t go in, I still felt part of history.

Calvin says, “Boozy breaths? Now that’s my kind of people.”