Sunday, February 17, 2019
Over morning coffee, Emily and I talk at great length about our disappointment of the end of True Detective season three. Such stellar performances hampered by an ending too clever for its own good. We celebrate the actors and curse the writers. The Southern Gothic setting for narrative is due for a flame out from overexposure.
Caffeinated, Em and I do a mini hike off of Panorama Highway. Then to the spa for a well deserved day of pampering.
Sufficiently spoiled, we take a drive to the Nicasio Resevoir to take in the sunset.
Home for dinner and to watch the director's cut of Amadeus. If you want my advice, stay away from the director's cut, the included scenes, deleted from the original release, add nothing but frustration.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
It's 12:15 a.m. and I'm at my office mildly inebriated scrawling an essay on the white board. After an hour writing and editing, I sit back, look at the work, then erase it all in the spirit of a Buddhist sand mandala.
Some creative works are meant to serve as evolutionary bridges. As such they are meant to be ephemeral, to be destroyed just after the completion of their creation.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Surprise Emily with one of those large garish helium "I love you" balloons attached to a bag from Le Labo, an epic perfume line.
Kimi is back at Oakland. Southwest has cancelled her rebooked 10:30 a.m. flight from last night. Southwest's treatment of passengers in this situation has been uncharacteristically horrible.
Lunch with Amy C at a Pho shop in Noe Valley, then to meet my dad to take him to the hospital for blood tests and other mishigas. Back at my parent's house, take a call with Kelly M. from Apostrophe. One of the most dynamic business owners I've ever known.
Back to Marin to catch the last vestiges of light for a hike. Home to make Emily dinner for Valentine's day.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
See Julie C for drinks and a catchup. Then race home to dinner with Emily.
Just got a call from Kimi. She's stranded at Oakland airport. Southwest had delays of four hours. Then cancelled the last flight to Los Angeles. Kimi is in a cab back to the San Francisco to try again tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Pick Kimi up at the ferry terminal at midday. Back at the office, I'm still trying to coordinate time zones with Gabrielle who is working from Bangkok. Some how I can't get plus fifteen hours to compute properly in my head.
Kimi and I tweak the Chaos and Creativity web site and choose a new logo. I love it. Finish writing an article about the value of free and post. Sprint through more work, exhausted at the end of the day. Drop Kimi at the ferry so she can join her friend in the city. Emily and I eat dinner, drink bourbon, and watch the riveting season three of True Detective.
Monday, February 11, 2019
Kimi arrives at the office from Los Angeles. It's go time. We immediately hop on the road and head to St. Helena for lunch with Dr. Paula about World Wide Healing. On the way, we take about five calls in a row. Can't help noticing how productive we are in transit. The lunch is delish and fabulously productive.
Head back south to get some marketing work done, and then to dinner at Kimi's favorite, The Buckeye. Run into John C and Julie C (not married, both just happen to have last names starting with the letter C) sitting at the bar. We all get a booth together and have a good time of it. Run back home to Emily while Kimi heads to the city to stay at friend's.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Wake just before ten. Emily reminds me of a pilates class I have in just a few minutes. Sprint out the door slightly out of sorts, what with having left the house without a proper cup of coffee.
The day feels a little like a Monday on a Sunday. Bit of work, a meeting, then join Emily at the house to sweep her up. We head to the pub at the Pelican Inn for a drink and dinner. It's easy to feel like I'm in England in this place. The fireplace is big enough to stand in, and the fire warms the wood floored room with low ceilings.
Well fed, we go home for a nightcap and and episode of our latest obsession, Sex Education. It's like a modern version of a John Hughes movie except it's set in England.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Hiking in the wind driven rain which turns to hail for a few minutes and then back to rain. It's wonderful, not a soul on the hill. Get to my turnaround point and head back down. It will be dark by the time I get to get the car. A pang of embarrassment, another hiker has caught me making a selfie video to send to Emily.
The young woman approaching me is one I see often during these later hours. In the past my effusive salutations have been met with a terse "hi" as she passes without altering her pace. This evening, in an attempt to cajole more than one syllable out of her, I say, "It's my favorite late evening hiker, how are you?"
Maybe next time.
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Have decided that busy work doesn't suit me at all. Still, I trudge on begrudgingly and wonder if I shouldn't have stayed a photographer and watch my career decay as I slowly aged out of the industry. That thought in mind, find new enthusiasm for tragically boring tasks and soldier on.
Dinner plans in the city are cancelled with news that a gas explosion has erupted on Geary at Parker. Watch the raw video feed from a traffic helicopter while listening to the San Francisco Fire Department radio communications channel on Broadcastify. It's much more interesting than being tortured by newscaster palaver.
First hike in days. Not a soul on the hill. The valley is positively roaring with swollen creeks and robust waterfalls redistributing the near constant rainfall of the last few days. Catch a wonderful picture of the crescent moon rise between dark clouds.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Up and four a.m. for no apparent reason. Work a bit on the novel.
Things at the office are mildly frenetic. We've suddenly caught the eye of companies and investment groups who what to buy us. I defer all this to Chantal, it's her element. I'm way too emotional for hard core negotiations. Undoubtedly a result of having had an agent for thirty years of my creative career.
Wine with Emily's friend from the advertising world, Martin R. Nicest guy you could ever meet. So smart at such a young age. Can see he and Gabrielle becoming friends.
Monday, February 4, 2019
Drinks with one of my heroes, Kelly Montez. Meet at a pub and yammer on for hours. The comfort and the fun reinforces my core thoughts on drinking, keep your fancy mixology establishments and give me a pub, tavern, or saloon.
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Realize the absurdity of last night's pledge to watch less TV, it's Superbowl Sunday. Breakfast with Em, then to John L's for the game. The most boring game in history. New England wins, w-o-o h-o-o. Was really pulling for the rams.
Used to love to watch the ads, but even those are tragically predictable and contrived. And overwhelmingly numerous.
Saturday, February 2, 2019
The wind is blowing like mad. I love it.
French this morning. I'm embarrassed to admit to my tutor that I'm a bit behind. Still the lesson goes well, and progress feels made.
A few hours at the office before a hike and I swoop in to pick up Emily for a glass of wine at Le Garage. One glass turns into a bottle and a platter of cheese. We have an incredible time as the rain falls outside.
Finish watching Sharp Objects, mildly disappointed at the ending. Then move on to a documentary about the Fyre festival. It is mind blowing how a few well placed social media posts led to one of the most profound failures and frauds in history. By the end of the evening, after four hours of movies, I swear off TV.
Friday, February 1, 2019
Sweet Jesus. It's a string of calls for BB this morning, all are enlightening as I close in on solving a development conundrum. Errands around San Rafael which are hampered by a closed road and my inexplicable ability hit ever red light in Marin county.
The day gets measurably better when Gabrielle and I lunch at Jane's tacos. Afterward, drive to Chantal's in Novato for a quick meet, then off to Barnes with Emily. Em and I stop in at new Mexican restaurant that replaced the dreadful PF Changs. We have a Mescal and then head home. Cigar, and then to my parent's for the usual Friday night dinner and British procedural.
Thursday, January 31, 2019
It's a long morning of phone calls, followed by a development strategy meeting with Chantal that goes a little sideways. I'm in a contentious mood, and my patience is short. Decisions have to be made, priorities organized, and my inbox is full of requests for BB tweaks. Today is not that day.
To dinner at Kimberley and John's. It's the best part of the day. Good wine, food, and best of all, good conversation.
Can feel something niggling in the back of my head. It's been there a while. A realization that I need to come to terms with, something that I've been wrestling with, that finally needs to be toppled and pushed out.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Chaos and Creativity has a permanent home on the Ghost blogging platform as of today. We left Medium for fear of ending up behind a paywall or continuing to be behind the self pardoning nag windows.
Have concluded that any article writing I do from here on out will be done on C&C. It's odd to think I have a blog again, but I do. And surprisingly am looking forward to writing for it. Not only for sheer joy of writing, but for the freedom. I honestly can't see myself writing for other publications any time soon. I just don't have the patience for the politics—or, better put, I had spectacular run for fifteen years. But now, it's time to pursue my own projects exclusively. Even writing that out-loud, as it were, is liberating.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Two weeks of not using my big screen at work. Paradoxically I get more done. I have theories. A good topic for the podcast.
Midmorning meeting at Poppy Creative in Sausalito, I love these people. Traci T is just wonderful, and fabulously smart.
Afternoon with Chantal. The amount of work we have to get done is totally overwhelming, but we plod through diligently. Wish I had more organizational discipline. It's not that I'm disorganized, but when faced with a ton of pedantic things to marshal, I'm more inclined to throw my arms up and find a bar. The only exception is creative work. Wrangling chaos in that arena comes as easy as breathing to me.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Coffee with and old friend—with whom I had a falling out—to bury the hatchet. It takes five minutes to realize there's no hatchet to bury. A myriad of missed communications, wrong email addresses, and general misconstruing had us both at silent odds for no reason. Harmony restored, 2019 can continue without any bad blood out there.
Saturday, January 26, 2019
The day starts enthisusiastically with impossibly blue skies. A few hours later the clouds encroach and the temperature drops.
In a bid to change the office vibe, store or donate two shelves worth of books and go on to shred five folders full of receipts from over thrirteen years ago. The whole process is marvelously cathartic if not mildy soul sucking. Sometimes nostalgia is mildly agitating.
Quick hike and then home to dinner with Emily. We're watching Sharp Objects which is intense and, at times, a little disorienting. The writing utilizes sudden partial flashbacks which don't congeal with any context until the end of the episode. I'm trying to keep and artist's open mind about the technique but feel the slow revelations frustrating. As I watch, my emotions stew in a mire of uncertainty. I'm unsure if the movie is about a serial killer or the emotional issues of the protagonist. Both are interesting, but the addition of the flashback layer makes me feel like I'm watching a book instead of reading one.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Pick up Kimi from her friend's house in San Francisco. We've both gotten a good night of sleep and are ebullient as we drive to get coffees from Equator in Larkspur. Text my office neighbor, Caity, to ask if she wants me to bring her a cappuccino. Hear back wile were driving so we stop at the Half Day Cafe's pickup window to get Caity's caffeine.
As we park Kimi gets a text message. She looks at her phone and says, "I hope this isn't bad news." Leave her to make a call, when I return, the news is the worst possible. One of her closest friends and partner in Play Like a Girl, Laura Peters, of Psychic Love, passed away during the night.
Kimi doesn't get a second to breathe before her phone is abuzz with calls and texts from music publications looking for a comment. It angers me how the media is so mercilessly vulturous.
The office is full, and even with the sad news, the atmosphere remains respectfully congenial. Kimi, one of the strongest women I know, is stoic, but honest, saying the reality hasn't hit yet.
Am able to sneak a hike in before Kimi, Gabrielle, and I head to dinner at Buckeye Roadhouse. It turns out to be one of the best dinners ever as the conversation gets more interesting and candid at every turn. Drop Kimi, then Gabrielle, and head home. Get through one paragraph of my book before I pass out.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
The night's sleep does not go to plan. Which is a roundabout way of saying I got too little shuteye—a bonafide word I've just discovered. Up and out at 6 a.m. to make Emily breakfast before the car fetches her to the airport. Kisses goodbye and I'm back in the sack willing another hour or two of sleep. Stare at the ceiling as all my anxieties float aimlessly around my head. Coffee.
Gabrielle and I go together to pick up Kimi from the Oakland airport, she's in from LA. In spite of sleep my deprivation, we actually get some work done.
Stop by the flat to pick up a few things. A note on the table informs me the maintenance man has been by and fixed the leaky kitchen faucets. Unfortunately the shower faucet that I ask to be repaired drips on. Stop by the management office to see red faces after realizing the work order was written up incorrectly. So the mistake won't be noticed, I suggest we wait a week to put in a new order. Everyone readily agrees.
Feeling the restlessness of no exercise for the last two days, depart on a long hike alone. Get back to the car an hour later a changed man. Have a chat with Coco from the car. She's back in school at Lewis and Clark. Get back to the office, Kimi and I facetime Coco and get a tour of her dorm room and a gander at her latest jewelry creations.
Kimi and I head to Le Garage for dinner. On the way we call Tamsen, who lives a minute from the restaurant, and goad her into joining us in despite declarations of "needing to get things done." I promise up and down that she can leave after 30 minutes and she can drink sparkling water instead of wine. An hour-and-a-half and one bottle of French red later, she's still with us, laughing and having a great time of it.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Pick up mom from the hospital post hip replacement surgery. She's in good form. My parents together is another story all together, but, in the end, we all pull our weight and make it to their house after a brief stop at the pharmacy for pain meds.
Get back home to Emily who is franetic trying to make an impossible deadline on the eve of her departure back to the east coast for a job. We agree that the day is totally off and we can't wait for it be over. The Great British Baking Show lends a sense of civilized relief to a challenging day.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
Make a fancy breakfast for Emily's first morning back home in a week. We discuss the job she has just finished and her quick turnaround, she's back on plane for Maryland on Tuesday.
Tell her about my desperately mediocre experience at the Farm Shop and we decide that going out for drinks has become highly overrated. The experience of going to many of the bars in Marin and San Francisco has become an exercise in getting fleeced. We think back to our last trip to Paris and how going out to meet friends for a drink in Europe is much more of a congenial social excursion rather than a contrived Disneyland-ish outing requiring a heavy financial commitment.
By way of an experiment, and protest, we decide to cut our dinners or drinks out by more than two thirds. By our reckoning we think this will save us enough money to take a trip somewhere within a few weeks. It will also give incentive to use the Insta-Pot I purchased two weeks ago that's been sitting unopened on the kitchen floor.
To the office for an incredibly frustrating morning of distractions. Then off to the city to help my father.
Make it back to Marin just in time to catch a quick hike.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Get dolled up to attend a charity event at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. On the way a stop at the hospital to visit my mother. She's just had her hip replaced this afternoon. My father is there, he informs that the surgery has gone well.
Join Julie C and John C at the benefit event for military veterans. After the event ends, Julie, John, and I grab drinks at the hotel bar.
Stop by the hospital again, on the way home. My mother is in some discomfort as the effect pain meds diminish.
Home and immediately to bed.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
It pours with rain. A quick haircut with a substitute stylist, mine if off having a baby.
Meet Tamsen for a hike. We're hopeful that we can take advantage of lull in the weather. The storm that's coming is predicted to be torrential.
After an hour hike, we get back to the car just as the first drops start to fall. Pick up BBQ, the deluge and wind are in full force. Umbrellas are ripped from peoples hands walking the parking lot of the mall. Tamsar and I get to my house and settle in with Casino Royale, BBQ, and bourbon.
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
On grey rainy days like today we in California always say something like, "it's a good thing, we need the water," as veiled way to cover up our disappointment that the sun is concealed by cloud cover.
Come across an article that contends the use of sunscreen causes a Vitamin D deficiency. It says skin cancer comes from burning, repair, and burning, not normal tanning. And taking Vitamin D supplements to counter the compulsive sunscreen slathering that's been heavily advocated for the last three decades is all but useless and, in fact, preventing Vitamin D absorption from the sun via the sun is deleterious to one's health. The article is backed by compelling statistics of numerous studies. In light of recently reading Steven Poole's book Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas, I think that the article may be on to something and, indeed, radically important.
It's a busy day that goes by remarkably fast. By late afternoon my hopes for a break in the rain to take a much needed trek up the hill are dashed. The deluge continues unabated and it's cold outside to boot.
Meet Lynn C for drinks and charcuterie at the Farm Shop in Larkspur. I consistently try to like this place, I mean the interior is nice, the location is great, and the food is good, but it just misses every time. It's not welcoming. The bar is half a block long which feels like an assembly line for drinking. One is largely ignored by the bartenders. The drinks are a little overpriced and too carefully measured which gives the drinking experience an Orwellian overtone. The cocktails are are served in glasses that look specifically designed to embellish the precision measures. Kind of like drinking out of a wine glass with a horizontal hash mark half way up to demark the correct level of wine to pour. Bartenders are artists in their own right, let them splash a few milliliters more or less of the components of a cocktail according to their taste and style. I am not a number, I am a drinker.
Monday, January 14, 2019
My intention to sleep solidly through until six a.m. is handily thwarted by a nightmare that shocks me awake at four. Try all my various insomnia remedies, none work. What's really necessary is a less busy life. Leap out of bed at 5:45 to make breakfast for Em and then take her to SFO for her flight to Maryland.
Back home by seven-thrityish and pass out until five minutes before my nine o'lock UK call.
Learn that Magnum photos in the UK is going to start using BB. That means our software is used by the two largest photojournalism archives in the world; National Geographic and Magnum. It's cause for ebullient lunch with Chantal.
The day passes under rain clouds. Which is good, this state always needs the water. Inexplicably short circuit a perfectly good work momentum and piss away two hours on something daft. Mildly disappointed in myself decide that only a home cooked meal, James Bond, and a large whiskey can pull me back together. It does.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Start the day writing over breakfast. Completely trash the first two chapters of the novel in lieu of more succinct opening.
A lazy day of catching up on tons of emails. I really don't see the need for so much communication. Have a nice chat with Emily T, the youth of today, who is in New York.
See Leah, my favorite USC candidate, at the bakery. Pick up the normal fare at Joe's and head to my father's for dinner.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Spend the day wrangling various tasks to help Emily prep for her trip to Baltimore tomorrow. Make a half hearted attempt at getting some of my own work done, but decide that tomorrow is better suited for catching up.
Pick up Kira S from Mill Valley and drive to the city for dinner at the The Slanted Door with our friend Jane who's in from New York for a few days. Bridgid, Jane's daughter, makes a surprise appearance which turns the evening into a fabulous time.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Meet with producer Karen D who was kind enough to fly from Los Angeles to the BB offices here in Kentfield. It's a long day made more tolerable with lunch at Taco Janes. Chantal and I cross swords a few times. Two different styles of managing a meeting. In the end it all works out fabulously.
Monday, January 7, 2019
Start at 6:30 a.m. totally befuddled why I'm up so early. Dive into an article due by midday for Kimi, a contemporary take on a piece I did a decade ago.
At the office for an hour before the fabulous two show up, Gabrielle at ten and Chantal at eleven. Kick C and G out at noon so I record a podcast with Kimi who's in LA.
Chantal and I go through a tiresome but necessary list of decisions for the company. Gabrielle departs, feel like today was a burn for her. Lot's of stuff on her plate. Chantal runs out a bit later.
The busy day ends with dodging a personal bullet. Can be quite discouraging to go down old trodden roads, but I just about do it before pulling back, realizing that it's a tired prospect.
Quick hike just after sunset before heading home. Start a new series, Killing Eve, which is brilliant and the highlight of the day.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
At work today and it's not going well. My mind is still in travel mode and weekends, even after long holidays, are meant for fun. Outside it's dumping rain for the second day.
Settle in for a long fabulous call with Ali. It's been months since we've caught up.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Spend part of the day at the office. A break in the rain gives me and opportunity for a short trek on the hill. Emily and I head out to the movies to see Favorite which is just incredible. Spend the rest the evening sipping bourbon, eating great food, and talking about the movie.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
San Luis Obispo—Have a chat with Diane, one of the proprietors of Petit Soleil, at breakfast. For some reason I'm having a difficult time sounding intelligent. My mouth opens and dumb words flop out like suicidal salmon leaping out of a creek onto the shore. Too many familial social interactions over the last few weeks of the holidays me thinks.
Sufficiently recovered from our eleven mile hike two days ago, Emily and I head to Lake Laguna for a farewell trek. The sky is a crisp blue owing to the winds that have been whipping around for the last few days.
Get word that my meeting scheduled for this evening is postponed for two weeks which Emily and and I take as a sign to extend our departure time. Celebrate with a trip to Montaña De Oro to see the cliffs and feel the wind. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful parks in California.
As the sun sets, we grab our bags and hit the road. Make remarkably good time home. Whip up a quick dinner and settle in for a movie before heading to bed. There's a palpable sense that vacation is over and although the week is eerily quiet because the holiday fell midweek, my calendar tells a dreadful story that tomorrow is full of calls and tasks.
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
San Luis Obispo—Meet Emily for coffee in downtown SLO. Then meander around the town a bit.
Dinner at Korberl at Blue to see one of our favorite bartenders who's in a bit of a snit. He makes us a too sweet Manhattan before he tells us that he's not actually working the bar this evening. Nevertheless, the evening is a hit under the care of Jeremy, the bartender on duty. Unable to finish the Manhattan, Emily and engage in tasting tour of bourbons ryes as we eat our way through a myriad of small plates of food.
Tuesday, January 1, 2019
San Luis Obispo—To Irish Hills for a short hike which turns into a long hike when Emily declares she wants to see the ocean. Up and up and up on the Ocean View trail without any idea how far we have to trek to see the actual view.
As the sun sinks closer to the hill tops, I check my watch; an hour until sunset, followed by 30 to 35 minutes of twilight (civil and nautical). After that we'll lose our depth perception (astronomical twilight). A mountain biker tells us that we're less than a mile a from the top. We soldier on. From what I remember of the map posted at the trailhead, we've come too far to go back the way we came with the remaining light.
At last the top. Acknowledge the view, a hug, a kiss, and a selfie, then it's time to get a wiggle on to get back to the car before dark. Confirm with another mountain biker that we're headed in the right direction. We are, but the wide sweeping gesture he makes with his hands to describe the canyon we have to walk through leads me to believe that I radically underestimated the distance.
The descent is breathtaking. The silence and the soft breeze provide an other-worldly ambiance. Through the trees, on the faces of distant hills, we see the remnants of sunset. The clock is a concern now.
Break off of the Ocean View trail to the Froom Creek trail which takes through the previously described canyon. Emily and I talk about how the pale dirt and rock feel like we're traversing a western desert. Round a point and hear traffic din which gives us hope that we might indeed make it before the light fades. But, looking at the canyon walls, I think how they're spectacularly efficient at reverberation. My guess is the soundscape we hear is actually a long long way off. Forge ahead in good spirits.
The rocky terrain and tired legs cause more missteps and stone kicking. Remind Emily to stay focused. Fatigue, haste, and rough ground make ideal conditions for ankle sprains. She chides me for speaking the obvious. Finally the connector trail which leads us to the trail we started on. To the right, across 200 yards of grass and brambles, a fence and the Costco parking lot. In front of us another three quarters of a mile of trail to the car. The silhouettes of a group of kids on mountain bikes are barely discernable. We make the call to go off trail, through the brambles, and a muddy creek to the parking lot.
Find a TJ Max. Walk in looking slightly bedraggled and smelling outdoorsy. Emily buys, for a great price, a fabulous new coat to defrost under. Next door at Whole Foods, we eat packaged sushi while waiting for a Lyft to take us back to our car. All in all we trekked just over ten miles. A fabulous way to start the new year.