Peregrine flight

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Double Nickels

I am back from a long trip. It is my birthday. I am tired. I think that by necessity this post will be a long, drawn out, loosely jointed affair.  Food, politics, business, intrigue. And whining, I promise. It just isn't the same for some of you if I'm not whining.

There is a lot to talk about. I will leave the politics to the end, so as not to offend those of you who are squeamish of such topics. I see that in my absence many of you have been checking in with regularity and I want to both thank you and apologize for being remiss in my duties. You see I am trying to make a living, a task that is increasingly difficult in this increasingly philistine age.

Which leads me to my first diversion, or second if you count the girl who just walked by. Can I be appointed an official spandex policeman? With the power to issue tickets and incarcerate, if necessary? I don't need to go into the tawdry, misogynist jokes about raccoons and potatoes.  Because this was a flagrant offender. No, no ladies, don't make me turn you in. Nobody but you thinks that is attractive. Please refrain.

Did I tell you it was my birthday. Fifty five today, double nickels  Sammy Hagar, the rootinest, shootinest, AARP ready, soon to be senior citizen you have ever read. I believe that this officially qualifies me for some special movie discount or something or other.

So I guess I should try to give you a brief update on my recent doings and whereabouts, for those of you that care about such things. I guess the week started when Leslie and I were on our way down the freeway to pick up the supercargo van at Miramar Truck to get the steed that would be bearing my effects to San Francisco. I just decided to give a courtesy phone call to make sure that they had kicked the spare tire and lubed the thing. I get Wayne on the phone and he tells me that there is no van and it doesn't matter that I had reserved it weeks ago, the monthly customers had it and I would just have to take something else. Which wouldn't work for me. It would have been nice of them to call.

 I ended up taking the new.old Dodge Caravan and packed up the blue dockers suitcase that I have been seemingly living out of for the last month. This has been a lot of road. Not complaining mind you.

I powered up the five, leaving quite early in the morning and found my way to the 46, the Lost Hills Highway where James Dean met his mortal decline. The Lost Hills is usually littered with cops, the scene of my last moving violation and its near double nickels for me the whole way across.

I drove to the actual castle of my friend and pride of the Volga, the eminent russian musicologist Vlad Smythe. Vlad recently did a two hundred mile walk across England with wife Natasha and I got to see some great pictures, pubs, blood pie and Abby Road. Beautiful Norman castles. They looked happy as hell, which is always a good sign.

Missed my own photo opening this weekend, me and the boys at Fallbrook Shutters. I checked out the show today at Pinnell Gallery and it looked really good. Our third annual. But I digress.

Vlad played some choice bits from his voluminous collection, we exchanged a bit of homespun t.v. trivia, Farmers Daughter, Forsythe Saga vintage and then I took my leave, having a prior assignation at the home of one KerryB. He suggested that I steer clear of the evening San Jose morass and I took the 1 all the way up to Half Moon Bay, passing Watsonville and Pescadero and all of these other amazing coastal towns as the fog rolled in from the nearby ocean and left patches of beautiful panorama to my left. So beautiful, not much longer if at all, I look forward to driving it again soon and taking my time, stopping to take more photos. I did make one stop at Pigeon Point Lighthouse and snap these shots which I offer to you here.

Felt like I should stop by and see Ida next time I was up there but didn't have her phone number on my phone. Got the ice cream sandwich update I realize that it didn't make me a bit happier, in fact with every technologic innovation comes an equal hydrostatic push back of dread and techno fatigue. At least in my case, having to relearn all these stupid new swipes and affectations. Do me a favor, call me when it's all finished.

Oh yeah, the second thing that crawled under my craw came courtesy of the television. "Gold Miners" that bring their sluice bins and D-8's to Alaska to rent, tear, bulldoze, mercurify and plain despoil the native earth and timber like Saruman's Orcs digging under Orthanc looking for gold. Is this what we have to look forward to in a Romney presidency? Very strange consciousness.


I made a mistake and listened to advice from BigD on a shortcut off the 92 that would save me a lot of time on the cold, dark and wet night. When I saw the signs that showed I was heading towards San Jose I got the sense that something was very wrong. I swore that I wouldn't listen...

BigD was at Kerry's and we got to listen to some first class noise and sound. Many thanks.

Made it to the show and found out that the cool old jewish lady who sold christmas ornaments next to me, Barbara Singer was very sick. barbara was a sweetheart and she ended up dying saturday. Great neighbor and lady for years. Didn't make a hell of a lot of gelt but made a living. I already miss her. I know I have taken a picture of her in her black top hat and will post it when I find it.

The show was very slow, a drag, a lot of regulars never showed. Beautiful weekend, many would rather play. Bought some interesting things. Made some money, sold a painting to a client whose wife apparently had a stroke and we had some sort of buddhist transference looking at each other. I sensed that there was a cognitive short somewhere and we all talked about it a little bit and I commended him for his absolute stand up love and devotion.

Saw Robert's wife Irma, a wonderful lady and EspaƱaphile and we talked about my trip. Bijou is a man of integrity and a stand up guy. We finally lost Vitanza a few weeks back, a guy I knew the whole of my art dealing life, an impish man who was excellent at his job and loved his family. I used to be one of the new guard and now I'm one of the old guard. When the hell did this happen? And check out all these people taking the final curtain.

So I scratched and cobbled and made a show out of it, happy for what business did transpire, Not enough, but my own fault for having had such a great month traveling. Now the ticket is due.

Staying with my buddy Cam is always interesting. When we finally got the lady midget wrestlers out of the room it was amazing we had any energy to even function the next day. Actually mostly food and television, family guy, modern family (Romney and Obama's favorite show) and Robot Chicken. Extended and protracted contests of flatulence, some drinking and lots of laughter.

There were two strange groups meeting at the Hyatt, an urban fantasy con who's name escapes me and an estian conference on tranformative behavior something. Both groups brought out nearly the same slightly spaced characters, steampunk, ma and pa kettle and lots of guys in pirate hats with large sallow hippie, brood mares following dutifully a few paces back.

We were walked up on two of these guys at the elevator and after a pregnant pause, I said, "You did push the button didn't you?" at which point they looked at me like they had no knowledge of any speech from terra, our particular little planet. They had not. Lots of gamers some in need of emergency hygiene triage. "Ozium, Cam, and quick!"

Not a lot memorable to report about the week. A couple decent meals, one great one at Bistro Aix, a friend of Bigd's. Brussels sprouts to kill for. Dave and Amy, Melissa and Gary. Radichio salad with slightly caramelized grilled pears and walnuts. Top sirloin and bernaise, great fries. Thought that they had split the plate and started devouring the meat as fast as I could before they came by and checked me and I realized that I was eating my friend's dinner, too.

I love Edwin and he has always been good to me but Creola was a bit of a disappointment this time. He changed the menu. No more blue note salad. Only an onion dressing. No more red drum. The filet wasn't up to normal standards, the potato overdone. Even the normally outstanding beignets were somewhat lacking. I guess everybody can have a bad night.

Had a nice breakfast at Stacks. But their bagels have always sucked, rubbery and microwavey. How hard would it be to get a toaster? Mostly ate breakfast down the street at Christy's in Burlingame, my morning stop for years. Palestinian sisters, all sweethearts.

Cam and I went to Hong Kong Seafood Lounge in Milbrae one night. Fish looked better in the tanks and we had a really nice meal. This is an authentic place where there were only a few roundeyes. Things like jellyfish and goose webbing on the menu. I had won ton and braised beef, duck and brined ribs. Delightful.

We sent the Kaplan brothers over and they freaked and left. Don't think that they were hip to the real thing. Leslie and I once got freaked ourselves at a Congee Restaurant in Vancouver. Things can get too real sometimes.

I accidentally left an expensive consignment at the show, an antique turkish silk rug. I think that I have located it this afternoon, thank goodness.

Wrapped things up Sunday night, drove up to a friend's in Marin, went out for a nice thai dinner with he and his new girlfriend, a great ex new yorker. We got fairly deep and talked late into the night.

Yesterday I drove to see my father in the nursing home. A hard day. He has ben acting out at the facility in some rather unpleasant ways which I need not describe. He didn't know my name this time. I talked about my life and his life and my brothers and sisters, searching for triggers, but not much fired.

The caregivers are fantastic, mostly filipino. What would we do without filipinos, the best and most caring nurses in the world?

He is starting to act like his father, still strong and willful and I suppose I will be the same one day.

He was a brilliant, accomplished man and I wonder where he is now journeying to inside that once powerful brain? That loved opera, sculpture, paintings and fine automobiles as well as numbers, economics and physics.

His daughter, my sister Amy, would have been 45 yesterday. She died 30 years ago next April, on a windy road in Rancho Santa Fe. Some of life's sorrows and pains fade very slowly.

I am going to Vincent's tonight with Leslie and a couple close friends for dinner to celebrate my birthday.  I was thinking yesterday, and today for that matter at just how lucky I am that this incredible woman has chosen to share her life with me these last twenty three years. You talk about a blessing. Bye.


Ken Seals said...

Great pictures. I like them all.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Sir. Nice to have you back. I was missing the reads.

Anonymous said...

Oh Robby, Im sorry about the double nickles but it will be ok. Happy birthday and I hope your move to Colorado is an easy one. Love you


Splash said...

Happy Birthday Robert!
Here is my present.