Thursday, April 27, 2006

Value of Stunts

The rider of the modified, no turn signals, not street legal bike kept looking back through the cars on the Bay Bridge, and I kept thinking, why? Soon I knew as my new hero pulled some of the wickedest wheelies I've ever seen, crushing the tension of the recent ooze through the slo-mo metering lights. Motor cycle wheelies on city streets impress me little, but I have a recurring dream where I pop a wheelie on a road bicycle and I am able to ride like that for as long as I want, around tight corners and everything. Wheelies on the clear blue April upper deck of the frigging San Francisco Bay Bridge, on an illegal bike, now that guy deserves a medal; forever etched in memory, me want wheelie too. Talked with Ashley, our Berzerkeley Mardi Gras parade unicyclist, about how hard is to learn since she ripped it up so sweet last Fat Tuesday. She said 10-20 hours for most folks, and that yes, she does off-road like I've seen people do at China Camp in Marin, so badass. A pursuable fantasy, pleasure + profit? What do I know? Join the circus maybe. Adolescent fantasies have solid power, less concern with consequences, vigorous maniac fun; don't know why I hear the term used in such tones of derision sometimes. Adult fantasies are OK I guess (like I've ever had a "good" one), but give me the lead singer impossible skateboard maneuver cliff climbing trip down the Mississippi on a raft fantasy again tonight please. Remember to wear your stunter shades in case any of your own stunt fantasies stand a chance of breaking into the third dimension, as will I, in stunt love unity.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

First fishing trip. Lake Anza in Tilden Park. Didn't catch anything, but we were cool with that. Much thanks to Josh for providing an extra pole for the boy and helping the trip get off it's ass. Kid ended up falling a couple feet off the edge of the trail on the way back, trying to pass me on the outside, flat on his back in very shallow water. The crying ended in less than a minute, but his clothes got soaked, and we parked a steep 10-15 minute hike away. No noticeable bruising. Came across a booming field of miner's lettuce about 100 yards from the car, and once I showed him how to eat it he stopped and had himself about a salad's worth. A diamond encrusted milestone day with a forested dusk. Rock and roll springtime, by any other name. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

I Like Crackers

The boy has been acting up some lately, just going through the standard issue "soon to be three" trips. Momma called me at work to come home as soon as I could to tend to him yesterday, so after I'd been home for awhile and he had to be separated from her for awhile, I asked him what he was feeling, just to try a novel approach. He responded in drawn out words, "I feeeel......something."

So I asked what he felt, you know, happy, sad, hungry, sleepy. He thought for a good half a minute, tossing his impressive mane from side to side before deciding on his final answer of "I like crackers." Makes sense to me.

About a half-hour later came found me in the backyard and asked "How are you?" with the emphasis on the you, showing me he knew what I had been getting at.

He learned how to spin in circles to get dizzy a couple months ago, and has got it down now, looking like a typical drunk right before he falls to the floor. I think he may have some anxiety about his soon to be born baby sister, judging by the way he can't resist crawling over Momma's pregnant middle section, much to her discomfort.

Later he had to be put to bed screaming bloody murder, and when Momma went to check on him later he said that he was sad, and wanted to see Daddy again before he went to sleep, and that he loved his daddy. I didn't get the message until later, and got a little sad myself when I realized he had fallen asleep a good while earlier. His hair was still a little wet from his copious tears. What a precious gift he is, terror roar bile twos and all.

A sample of his writing:


Our first co-written short story should be interesting, coming soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Nothing like some good old St. Patrick's day sign language. Rebecca was in fine form that night, as you can tell by the approving smiles of Mike & Ann. I've always been a fan of lewd sign language, and I must say that she has excellent bird flipping fingers. When I was 8 my friend Lynette and I would spend hours finding victims to lay big sideways skids in front of, flip them off, and then race away. This old couple sitting on a quiet Petaluma porch was the most memorable, boy did they get riled. Second most memorable was a busload of teenagers, also quite riled. Still makes me smile. Robin & Martin even gave me a giant foam hand in the form of middle finger salute. I kept trying to use it in the mustang, but it would lose shape in the wind when I stuck it out, gave up. Now I generally prefer to blow kisses, kind of Euro style, which usually pisses 'em off and makes them uncomfortable (men and women), my secret main objective in life.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Mother & Son, artfully learning along. I often daydream about all the father-son and family teams we'll have - making music, working on art projects, climbing mountains, sailing seas, wrestling gators, the usual.  Posted by Picasa


There's this phenomenon you may have heard of called synesthesia. Your senses get cross wired and you see sounds, feel tastes, etc. Happens to me all the time, nothing too out of the ordinary, but it seems to happen more intensely lately. Listening to Amon Tobin on the way to San Jose last Wednesday I found that the intrumentals painted complex pictures. I had heard that Amon Tobin had been some kind of graphic artist before making music his focus, so it was part suggestion, but I'll be damned if that fool didn't know what he was doing. Some amazing images. I read an article in Scientific American about it awhile ago, and found especially interesting the way it relates to communication, possibly the source of speech. You know, things look like a sound? On my way to SF Thursday morning Mount Tam invited me to sing along with it's rythmic moans and vibrations, a much appreciated addition to my morning. Some strange geology going on over there, lingering magma bodies, pieces of Earth rotated, flipped, plunged 30km below the surface, and then brought right back up. That's what gives us the blueschists in Marin, like at China Camp State Park. Now tell me that I can't hear that shit. The Miwok even translated it into petroglyphs. The ultimate wireless woofer.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Down at Middle Harbor Shoreline I creep among the granite boulders used for rip-rap, imagine I'm in the Sierras. The crabs peer warily at my dream soaked eyes, scamper over barnacle covered rocks as I Spiderman about. Great moments by any other name. And if you're thinking about my time budgeting, this only took 10 minutes (or so).  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Keep Facial Muscles Loose

The words of the Dog Whisperer and Dr. Schnarch repeat themselves to me daily now. The Dog Whisperer coaches me in my left ear: "Calm and assertive", and Dr. Schnarch lectures to my right: "The biggest gift you can give to your partner and everyone else around you is to be relaxed". Those truths run deep for me these days. I find myself looking forward to adversity, interested to see if I can remain calm and relaxed through it, maintain breath control, keep facial muscles loose. A long way from perfect tonight, shooting for any quantity of progress. Writing about it helps me. The Bodhidharma (482-539), translated by Red Pine, writes "When you meet with adversity don't be upset, because it makes sense".

Spring has sprung and the green hills erupt continuous waves of yellow mustard, Scotch Broom on the rocky sections; fresh lichen growth glows bright green on the tree trunks, all in perfect time with the squashed cats adorning the roadsides. I used to think those cats died chasing other cats in heat, but now believe they've just been kicked out of their home range by family members coming of age. When I'm in a up mood, my trouble getter becomes a strong young April pup, destroying problems in the process of tasting them, surprised when the life drains out of them so soon. Then on to chasing butterflies and letting the rain wash over me without flinching, actively shrinking my ego. The details of the seasonal change I notice all around me and within me. When people tell me we have no seasons around here I know that their focus treads other places than the world around them. When I'm in a down mood the problems oppress and obliterate all else; I struggle to go through the motions to get back on the good foot (my left now, used to be my right). T.S. Eliot writes in The Burial of the Dead that "April is the cruelest month..." and he may be onto something there.

Helen Keller writes:

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

And I do love that Helen Keller, queen of unconventional communication. I feel a great peace when contemplating her deaf and blind existence, and her aggressive acceptance of it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Turns out that the tyke loves massage, like most of us. He also likes to give massage, especially if he gets to use the "oily". He giggles with glee everytime I put some oil in his hands. I gave him and Momma massages before Maria's party, just so everyone would be pre-relaxed. I had mine earlier from my brother Matt, with some help from the boy. Time for another after my recent cycling adventures. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Eat Flowers and Kiss Babies

Just another day at the homestead, chillin' on the deck with Zappa's baby Leo.

Took Ghost Dog with me to the landfill today. She loved it, riding shotgun in the old truck, letting me know who's looking at us while trying to keep her balance on the seat. The cashier had all the normal questions/comments: so big, what breed?, look at the size of her head, wow. So nice to have the soft warm soul devourer stretched across the bench seat.

Rode Joaquin Miller after that. Last week the baby ferns were unfurling everywhere, now it's these small light blue flowers, not to mention the wild orange and cream slime molds. Mother Nature knows how to plan a stunning and dynamic garden. Nostalgia smell corner hadn't lost it's charm; stopped and cleared away a patch of pine needles to partake of some of the luscious earthy smells. Helen Keller writes "Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousand of miles and all the years you have lived." Helen Keller kicks ass. Nana, who I dragged with me, decided to forego huffing big hits of wet undergrowth, but didn't give me too much shit about it. The young trees along the trail grow quickly at this time of year, and I shook their encroaching thigmotropic digits as I sped by. Once you get to know a park well, the more vocal members of the plant community greet you like old friends, cheer you through your loops. I'd been saying hi to this that and the other tree for awhile when we stopped for a minute down by Wedding Meadow, where I noticed what must be the oldest tree in the park just relaxing and staring at me from it's 11-foot diameter core. I felt a little sheepish then, having just greeted so many other younger trees, but neglected this obvious matriarch. I told Nana that I wanted see if I could climb it, but really I just wanted to give it a big hug and let it get to know me for few. Smart move; she invited me back for a full moon meditation only a fool would refuse. Nana & I made it down all three major chutes (Castle Park, Chapparal, and Cinderella) without major injury, and got back to the truck just as the rain started coming down in earnest, my palate still gritty from grinning on the downhills. Posted by Picasa