Thursday, July 12, 2018
On location at The Buckeye Roadhouse shooting a book cover for the soon to be released Another, Twenty Years Behind Bars by Jeff Burkhart. Look through the view finder thinking that it never gets old realizing a creative vision that tells a story. We're working fast, and around restaurant staff who are readying for lunch. The wonderful Tamsen plays the role of "girl passed out on bar." The books's author does a spectacular job looking like a mildly dispirited bartender.
Out sailing wearing new sunglasses specifically for the sport. Academically I know how important good eyewear is, but wow, what a difference. Never feel my eyes squint once. Looking out across the ocean, just outside the Golden Gate Bride, a water spout reveals the location of a whale. As the boat gets closer, the sea creature breaks the surface with it's massive tale. I'm as giddy as a child.
The day finishes where it started, only this time I'm eating dinner with friends at the Buckeye's bar instead of shooting pictures of it.
Sunday, July 08, 2018
My business partner's son, William, celebrates his first birthday today. It's a wonderful affair with incredible food, good people, and birthday cake that is so rich in chocolatey goodness that after I eat a piece I find myself running around looking for conversation. Any conversation.
After the birthday party, trek down the road to the Barfly's lair for a whiskey education and tasting. The history of my favorite spirit is incredibly vast. We get to try some bourbons that can't be found anywhere except at auction for thousands of dollars. With the taste of bourbon still on our palate, the two Johns, Jamie, and myself head to dinner.
Saturday, July 07, 2018
Drive to John's house (he's got cable TV) at seven a.m. for chocolate croissant, strong coffee, and England vs Sweden. Emily, (of Swedish decent) none too happy that I'm rooting for England. England prevails and moves up to the semi finals.
The rest of the day is spent visiting my father while in a light fog of sleep deprivation. On the boat I got used to waking with the sunrise at 5:30, a habit that seems to have followed me to the shore. Totally incompatible with my owl like tendency to get to sleep on the later side.
End the day with dinner and fabulous conversation at Elaine's house in Petaluma.
Friday, July 06, 2018
Re-entry into my normal life is proving to be difficult. I swear two thirds of my brain is in revolt. Am finding it hard to focus on the things that need to get done. My legs feel like they're rocking a little, as if I were still on the boat. The best part of the day is my regularly scheduled dinner with my dad.
Wednesday, July 04, 2018
Happy birthday America.
Prepare to leave the boat to drive Kilian's son to the Sacramento airport and then make my way home. As it turns out someone else heading south-west and can easily provide an airport ride. After a tequila shot, and five minutes of peer pressure from a gaggle of kids, I cave and agree to stay another night.
Sunday, July 01, 2018
This is a view of Shasta Dam at six a.m.. We're on the patio boat motoring in to the bar on shore to watch the World Cup soccer matches. I'm not what you'd call a "morning person", but there's something to the quiet beauty of the early hours. Especially with a cup of good coffee in your hand.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Speeding up highway 505. There's a mushroom cloud in my rear view mirror. Like I've narrowly escaped a nuclear blast. It feels like an apt metaphor for the first half of my year. It is in fact the smoke from the wildfires in Lake County. Turn the music up, press on the gas, and forge ahead.
Arrive at Bridge Bay marina in the late afternoon. The lake isn't as high as last summer, but not drought years low either. At the docked houseboat it's all smiles and embraces as we wait for everyone else to arrive.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
A wave of anticipation for my annual trip to lake Shasta has overcome me resulting in a mad state of tidying up home and work so I can depart without any lingering responsibilities. The forecast for the next few days promises a heat wave peaking at 109F. Sweet Jesus, me thinks most of this year's trip is going to be spent in the water.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
It started out as small hike in the Marin watershed. It turned into a nine mile jaunt up and back to the top of the east peak of Mount Tamalpais. The distraction of fabulous conversation with my friend Tamsen kept us going to a point when Tamsen's competitive spirit continually urged us to round "one more switchback." Soon we we're in sight of the top. By the time we descended to within a half mile of the car, my legs were jello.
Monday, June 18, 2018
Celebrated Emily's birthday in spectacular fashion today. I ducked out of work early and we headed to the spa for clay masks, sauna, and a massage. Then off to Muir beach to watch a fog enshrouded sunset. Finished the day at the Pelican Inn with a delicious pint.
Saturday, June 16, 2018
A few days ago Kimi and I recorded an episode of the Chaos and Creativity podcast dedicated to discovering how the overuse of technology affects our creative abilities. Our concerns are different; Kimi subconsciously looks at her iPhone too often durring the day. I'm easily distracted by the vast myriad of content available on the internet, a mode of procrastination justified by the age old cliché; "I'm learning something new about my business, or my life, or my relationship."
Last thursday I took steps to drastically diminish my exposure to the internet. Things like eating lunch outside, instead of in front of my computer, leaving my phone in the car instead of taking it into a restaurant. I also cancelled email subscriptions to just about everything. Probably the toughest act was deleting the vast majority of my bookmarks. Even though I haven't looked at most of them in years, it still bizarrely felt like I was throwing something tangible away.
My physical and emotional reaction has been surprising. On the one hand, my head feels more free to engage in abstract thinking. The darker side is what I can only classify as classic withdrawal symptoms; urges and agitation. A real eye opener about how are existence is inextricably entangled with internet, and how insidious that entanglement can become if it is unchecked.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
I've been a bachelor this weekend, what with Emily down in LA visiting her friend. Expected I would have engaged in far more debaucherous deeds than sleeping in, catching up on reading a slew of longform articles, and writing a ton. There's always tonight. But, to paraphrase from Feris Bueller's Day Off, I just can't think of anything fun to do.
Monday, June 04, 2018
Human again. Well, almost. Still have a touch of cough which means I'm still not able to hike. Heavy breathing kicks off a hacking fit. The flu is really a two to three week illness if we're talking in terms of being back to 100 percent.
The weekend was low key with the exception of a fabulous dinner with new friends, Nicole and Brian. Their teenage son joined us after he got off work from the nearby burger joint. I couldn't help thinking what a cool job it must be to work at a diner. Fast paced, a wide diversity of people. He regaled us with stories of all the food modifications requested by the people of this high maintenance county I live in. "I'll have the meaty meat burger sans meat please." Stuff like that. What a hoot.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
The trip to Arizona, and then to St. Louis immediately following have taken their toll. Woke yesterday morning feeling mildly listless with a tickle in the back of my throat. This morning it's full blown. I feel like crap. Thankfully it's a holiday weekend, there won't be any expectations for higher intelligence.
Have just heard from Kilian, he and his wife were due for an overnight at our place, up from LA. He's bedridden as well and won't be traveling. Must be in the air.
Emily says I've been complaining about feeling low energy for over a week. Last time I had these symptoms it was walking pneumonia.
Emily ran out and got me an orange carrot juice blend from one of those fancy juice shops that require a credit-check before selling your any of their over priced brews. I avoid asking how much it cost and pour the elixir into a glass with reserved ceremony. To be honest, it's delish.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
My reverence for actors is absolute. I'm at the RGG studios in St. Louis. This is the second day of looking at a camera talking about the business of photography for an upcoming video series. I've never done anything so difficult. Mangled words, mumbling, and speaking too quickly are my crimes against the endeavor. The directors, Sean and Gary, and the DP, Seth, have exhibited biblical patience with me. I'm forever in their debt.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
An act of blatant extravagance. Fly to Phoenix to meet Chantal — in from Texas — for spa treatments and dinner at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale. Was incredibly lucky to also connect with Shannon, an old friend whom I hadn't seen ten years. Then back to California the next day to return to the daily rigors.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
I've written a speech for Dr. Paula Dhanda to deliver at MedShare's 20th anniversary event. We're at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Meet the announcer for The Giants, Renel Brooks-Moon, in the green room before the event starts. Fabulous is really the only appropriate word one can use to describe her.
The speech goes well, if not mildly more serious than the vibe of the room. One of the inherent challenges of speech writing. Another challenge, for me at least, is the detachment of not being the presenter of my work. So it goes.
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
Drive two and half hours south west to Pacific Grove for dinner with photographer Brian Smith and producer Pamela Barry. They're both here for a Sony event. Can't remember having ever been to PG. It's one of those rarities in that it still feels like a California coastal town versus a manufactured version of a California coastal town.
At dinner the conversation picks up right where it left off the last time we saw each other over a year ago.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
It's an auspicious day today. I can't put my finger on why, but everything feels different. Maybe it's due to a full moon this evening. A full, Pink Moon.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
From the lofty elevation afforded by a satellite map, this ditch looked like a crazy shortcut to the top of the east peak of Mt. Tamalpais. Had been meaning to seek it out for months when I happened on it tonight while hiking up a switchback. It's thirty minutes 'till sunset, it's cold, and I'm in a t-shirt. What could go wrong?
Following the ditch is tough. It's deep and steep and claustrophobic with foliage. But, in the end, my hunch is correct and I'm spit out on to a familiar fire road. It took a third of the time to descend, via ditch, than it did to climb up. My legs are a little beat up, nothing a bourbon and two Advil won't fix. New discoveries, no matter how trivial, are always a bit of thrill.
Sunday, April 08, 2018
The clear sunny sky at Tomales Point is misleading. The wind blowing off the Pacific Ocean and through the trees is chilling me to the bone. I love this trail. It's basically nine and half miles of spectacular ocean view that's shared with free roaming Elk. They're very polite and keep themselves to themselves.
At my suggestion Emily and I break off the trail to sit on a patch of grass and have a chin wag. As we do, I can't help looking around thinking how lucky I am to live so close to this place. I won't realize for three days that I'm sitting in a patch of poison oak that will make my lower legs look like I belong in a leper colony.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Foxes are revered in Gaelic lore. It feels auspicious to see two of them on the trail.
Truth be told, in the waning light of the day, I thought they might be mountain lion cubs. So I was mildly concerned that their mother might be lingering nearby as I approached to take the photo. It wasn't 'till I got back to the car and took a good look at the picture that I realized that I had seen a young pair of bold foxes and not cougars cubs.
Wednesday, February 07, 2018
Bob Jimenez was a San Francisco news anchor at KRON TV in the late seventies and early eighties. Through my mother's acquaintance with him, I got behind the scenes access to a news broadcast. I was a freshman in high school at the time, and my eyes just about bugged out of my head as I watched and listened to the show come together in real time.
Decades later, I'm here in New York on my way to see my friend Ellen, a producer for Good Morning America. She walks out of the door at the ABC building, and, just as we're about to walk to a restaurant, she asks if I want to see the TV studios. "Yes please," I say.
As soon a we get to the control room for Nightline, I get the same sense of awe and amazement as I had when I was a kid in San Francisco.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
On those rare days when the fog manages to linger late in the afternoon, I feel like I'm in another country. Or a Tolkien novel.