I’ve noticed a trend of people posting pics of their positive at-home COVID tests. It didn’t occur to me to do that when I tested positive earlier this week. And while I knew there is no good time to come down with COVID, I can now personally attest that coming down with it just a few days after abdominal surgery — when every single cough generates an entire ocean of pain — is a particularly unpleasant path.
Got out of town for three nights this past weekend, spent them down in Monterey County. Poked around Carmel, Asilomar State Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, and Seaside. Saw some of the most breathtakingly beautiful stretches of Golden State coastline I’ve ever seen. Discovered that “calamari steak and eggs” is a common item on brunch menus down there. Spent one glorious sunny afternoon learning to play bocce, courtesy of awesome friends we had not seen in years. All this and more, and yet, no pics of us doing any of this, because the few shots we took were of the gorgeous scenery. After all these years of carrying smartphones, my wife and I have yet to cultivate an impulse to pull one out and snap a pic when we are having fun.
If you ever hang out with me, and it looks like I am having fun, please take a picture!
In between: Completely reacquainted myself with the unstoppable combined powers of the dharma, meditation, and the deep and abiding love of many wonderful people who care for me so much it’s beyond humbling.
New chapters await. An overdue reshuffling of priorities. Already, this soon, excitement is overtaking fear …
Last year, I took my birthday off from work. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you can, you should take your birthday off. Period. And do what you want to do. Which, today, I did. And it was wonderful.
Among a great many other things, I returned, for the first time in years, to a place that fills me with great wonder and great emotion, a place that is, in many ways, my own personal Dark Tower. I stood at the gate today and I commanded it to open to me. It opened. And the end of the story is one that I keep to myself, but I tell you this: As with any really good ending, it was really more of a beginning.
Spotted brunching together at the table next to me this morning at La Note in Berkeley: Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon. They shared a Sunday New York Times as they waited for Berkeley’s best breakfast to arrive. Reese is a tiny little thing, and even mousier in person than on the screen. (I’ve never understood why some guys find her dreamy.) Jake is a hunk who apparently has to do battle with acne, just like a real person.
I mean, come on, it’s New York. It’s the city that never sleeps because people are up all night thinking and fantasizing and making plans. I know where my home is, but I also know where New York is. Being there was like spending time with an old friend.
I know how he feels. I have not traveled the globe nearly as much as I would have liked by this point in my life, but I have made a few dear friends that I do not get to see nearly often enough. I miss my dear friend New York City very much; my heartache over letting many years pass between visits will perhaps be lessened if the 2nd Avenue Deli is in fact reborn by the time I get back there. I miss my more remote friend Amsterdam terribly and despair at the …
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(And a wee bit of text: Today was my thirty-second birthday, and it was so, so, so very splendid. I do not have words to describe… I could tell you I walked aerily along a beach lit with the brightness of a thousand centuries… I could tell you about watching the waves roll in with a friend who has been there watching those waves with me for eons… I could tell you about the baby who looked at me with stern, trusting eyes that imparted everything he knew about where he had come from… I could tell you about the toothless old man who walked with a cane and smiled at me, knowing something about my future… And I would not have even begun. So, at a loss to convey what this beautiful day has meant to me, I leave you with four images, and this: I am so blessed. …
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On mahnamahna.net, an RFP is a Request For Prayer.
I got word this morning that a friend of some dear friends — someone I have hung out with several times, have always gotten along with, and have happy memories of — was in a terrible car accident this past Sunday as he traveled from the Bay Area to a new job and a new life in San Diego. He is hospitalized in an intensive care unit in Bakersfield with two broken legs, and unspecified internal and head injuries that my friends are hoping to learn more about soon. For now, if your spiritual tradition allows, please send thoughts, prayers, and hopeful vibes of lovingkindness out into the universe for the sake of Randy, who needs them right now.
… (among other things) hearing the ’68 Beetle that you bought with your entire life’s savings when you were not quite sixteen (which you hold onto through the years even as everyone you know insists that you sell it) fire up for the first time in some eighteen months and ROAR in its humble, unique way.
(We all have a roar. It doesn’t matter if others don’t recognize it as such. It is a roar nevertheless. Own your roar.)
The problem with NaBloPoMo is, there are some days when I am simply not inspired at all, and posting something lame feels worse than posting nothing at all. Posting becomes a chore. And I don’t like chores.
On day one of NaBloPoMo, the_lucky_duck got a free bike. I thought that was pretty amazing. But I had no idea I would be the next winner! Leaving the office on Friday, I espied a laser printer sitting atop a trash can at the northwest corner of 2nd and Bryant. A sheet of paper in the output tray conveyed the handwritten message “Free (works fine).” (Lesson: Blog daily, get free stuff! Who’s next?)
I have wanted a laser printer for some time. Inkjet printers—well, modern inkjet printers*—suck all kinds of ass, unless you print regularly. If you don’t, the ink doesn’t flow right when you fire it up after three months, and you print eighteen hideous pages before you get a clean one. I have had this problem with Epsons and Canons, and I’ve been told that Lexmarks and HPs are no better. You either …
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