Look Up, Will You!

This is the time of year for majestic sunrises and sunsets.

I see them because I’m on the subway at those hours.  IMG_5728

While I’m busy clicking away, my traveling companions have their earbuds and electronic devises on.

They’re watching their shows, but missing a better one outside.

This phenomena even happens on a walk in the country. FullSizeRender

The trees are in full blossom, the creek is gurgling, the ravens are cawing in the trees, the squirrels are zooming across meadows full of wildflowers, and the hikers? They’re plugged into their music with heads down watching their feet.

Thank you technology.

You’ve made us blind.  We now prefer our inner landscape where there’s nothing to see because it’s dark in there.

If we can’t enjoy nature anymore, what makes us believe we can enjoy each other?

Calvin says, “That’s why you need a dog to watch so he doesn’t roll in that wonderful, foul smelling cow manure.” beagle

 

 

 

Go Giants & Eat a Macaron!

Fall is Giants season.

After the trouncing they got in Kansas City, which humbled them, and that’s a good thing, I’m hoping they emerge with renewed pumpkin spirit and go on to win the World Series.

In honor of the orange and black team, here are some pictures for the occasion: (those special macarons can be bought at Tout Sweet Patisserie here: http://www.toutsweetsf.com/)

Giants

 

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(C) 2003 Gateway,Inc.

 

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These are my pictures which I hope will inspire you to wear orange, root for the team, and look for ways to share the fall season with others.

Calvin says, “I’m in Giants wear all year – orange, black and white – go Beagles!” beagle

 

 

 

Spitting Baseball

Well, the SF Giants won the World Series. It was quite exciting considering they didn’t look like they could run across a park in the play-offs, let alone win the championship.

Have you also noticed how much spitting goes on among baseball players? They spit on the field, while pitching, catching, batting, or just scratching themselves.

Coaches and players alike.

What happened to manners?

I looked that up. They used to chew tobacco. Since then baseball has gone green, so now it’s sunflower seeds and bubble gum. It’s more role-model friendly.

But that doesn’t explain why they spit. Perhaps it’s a hold-over from the tobacco days, and it’s now part of the baseball culture.

Catchers don’t figure in the spitting contest unless they’re adept at flinging it from the side of their masks.

Batters and pitchers are the stars. The cameras are aimed at them. It’s part of the performance.

What puts my stomach into a twist is watching a runner slide into home base with all that spit-soaked dirt.

Who gets those stains out? That’s what I want to know.

Calvin says, “Baseball is a get-down-and-dirty-game. I’d love to roll in dirt spit.”

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.”

The Street Crazies Aren’t Always People

My everyday morning commute to work is your typical jammed-packed-full-of-bodies-on-a-train experience. Nothing romantic or inspirational about it. I serves me well for characters in a story, for recording dialogue, and for picking up nuances of personality.

This morning, however, I met a character that made me laugh out loud.

His name is Buddy.

But Buddy is no ordinary personage.

He’s an English bulldog with panache.

I’ve seen Buddy before. He’s usually on the other side of the street with his owner, in an enclosed area between two buildings, barking at an orange ball the size of a watermelon. His owner is usually on his cell phone, so Buddy has to wait to get his attention. Hence the barking. Then his owner kicks the ball and Buddy waddles after it with more barking. His barking sounds more like snapping with a smoker’s voice. It echoes down the street and commands attention.

This morning I heard the snapping before I saw Buddy. This time he was on my side of the street. I rushed to catch up to him.

Buddy didn’t have his orange ball. Instead he was cruising down the street on a skateboard. 

That’s when I laughed out loud.

I caught up to him at the curb waiting for a car to clear the street. Buddy seems to know about streets and curbs and traffic because he was waiting patiently there. His skateboard had flipped over, exposing the four orange wheels. It seems orange is Buddy’s favorite color. He snapped and gnawed on one of the wheels.

“Flip it over,” his owner said.

Buddy barked with frenzy.

“Come on, Buddy, flip it over,” the man said.

Buddy opened his mouth, bit down on the wheel he was conversing with, and with a turn of his head, flipped the skateboard onto its right side. Then he nudged it with his nose, which in his case was his entire face, and pushed it across the street, which by now was empty of cars. Once on the next street, Buddy hopped on, peddled with his front right leg, gathered speed, then climbed on for the ride.

“How did you teach him to do this?” I asked the owner, a man as strong and street smart as Buddy.

“He taught himself. One day he got on it, and it’s been his thing ever since,” he said.

I looked up and Buddy had hopped off just in time before the skateboard crashed into a tree. It flipped over.

Apparently Buddy knows about trees, too.

“He’s getting good exercise,” I said.

“Yea, I’m hoping it will lengthen his life. His breed doesn’t live long, eight to ten years. Maybe with all the exercise he’ll live to be twelve,” the man said.

Then he added, as if talking more to himself than to me. “I don’t know what I’ll do without him. I like him better than people.”

Calvin says, “Buddy sounds deranged. Skateboarding? That’s like a beagle zip-lining with his nose. I’m also not happy sharing top billing with this creature.”