Tag Archives: the rent is too damn high

About last Saturday.

We’re all aware of the fact that life can be reduced to a series of what-if scenarios and dissatisfaction. Plenty of people spend their days that way. But those of us who are lucky enough to be influenced and charmed by others and their insatiable encouragement, have 40th birthday parties.

Booze is mandatory. Pizza is never a bad idea. And space to socialize is best advised for everyone’s comfort. While all the logistics were carefully considered and necessary purchases were made well in advance, space turned out to be the unexpected issue.

In the spirit of welcoming everyone—humans and canines—the park was our original destination. The green grass of Washington Square was perfectly suited for the festivities. But then the rain came.

We didn’t know what was in store until the last minute. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until we stepped out on the sidewalk—with bags and backpacks full of party-in-the-park  necessities—that we discovered our fate. Watching people rush by with umbrellas in their hands, I cursed each drop as they collected on the windows and hoods of the cars parked along the street.

It was the time to pivot, as folks in the tech industry like to say. So, pivot we did. Actually, to be fair, it was more like a U-turn as we went back into our apartment to prepare our 400-square foot, one bedroom abode for an undetermined number of guests.

As the buzzer began to send electrical signals from the gate to the third floor, a small crowd began to form. Slightly frustrated at first, I was suddenly struck by the realization that the small crowd was comprised of some of my favorite people on earth, the small space was filled with thought-provoking conversation and there was plenty of pizza to go around (there was even a glutton-free option).

Who needs space? Who needs sunshine? San Francisco is supposed to rainy and cold. City life is supposed to force people to overcome small spaces with dirty stairwells and pigeon problems. The whole event started to feel like a bit like a movie sequence. Wine, beer, dogs and adults all cross pollinating, socializing and making the most of a rainy Saturday afternoon in North Beach.

I leaned against the plaster wall and took it all in. As people churned among one another, all I could do was smile. Smile like a dork. Smile like the world is OK. Smile…and crack open the bourbon.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clean sheets.

The night is beautiful.

The dog is curled into a ball and cozy. Traffic is calm and the 39 bus is empty as usual. I washed the sheets today and there’s a lovely lady in my nightly nest. I see there’s fog rolling in over the Golden Gate and I consider the possibility that this is all like a movie I saw once.

A movie I probably cursed and called far-fetched. Now the credits roll and I sink into my San Francisco sleep.

Look West.jpg

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Farewell Friday.

Looking out over the city, I see that Sylvia’s Bakery didn’t make it. It was just open for business the other day.  No surprise, I suppose. There’s only so long you can cover the rent in San Francisco with $5 scones. I hope Sylvia had a plan B.

My buddy’s dad also passed. He was just playing golf a few months ago. I never had a chance to meet him, but from what I hear he was old and wise so I suspect we would’ve gotten along. I hope the friends and family have a chance to celebrate his legacy.

This world twists and turns—so many things come and go each day—but ultimately one has to remember to appreciate the fact that we’re even here at all.

I know. A bit cheesy. But I’ll give it a try if you do. While you’re at it, maybe send a Christmas card or two? You’ll like the way it feels to sign, seal and deliver a thank you message to the people who put up with you all year. Take my word for it.

Speaking of doing the right thing, it’s Friday again. You’d better make it a good one.

The prime real estate formerly known as Sylvia’s.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Move It: 2017 Edition

Back when all my worldly possessions amounted to a twin bed, a stack of CDs and a Mr. Coffee, I thought moving was fun. These days, things are a little different. With five bicycles, three grills and a small collection of non-Ikea, grown-up furniture, changing addresses is a stress-inducing hypothetical endeavor. Add a pretty lady, a big black dog and their stuff to the mix, and the subject of relocation is enough to inspire visions of a massive bonfire fueled by unnecessary household goods.

So when the landlord’s real estate sign went up in our yard back in June—roughly eight months after we moved in—the task before us seemed daunting. The Craigslist search. The big dog discussion. The you-want-how-much-for-the-deposit shock factor. The packing. The truck. The loading and unloading. But we did it. Mission accomplished. With a little help from a friend*. Now, as we dig our way out of the boxes, we’re up against the real-life limitations of physical space. We’ve stacked, stored, reconsidered and rearranged. I gave up on recovering the tape measure two weeks ago. I’ve come to terms with the idea of never owning a couch again. I hate shoes (other than the ones on my feet). Extra shirts seems extravagant. I find myself questioning why anyone would need more than two forks. All the things I’ve loved before are clutter and clutter is the enemy!

But one must remain calm. It’s the only option a relatively sane person has. In the end, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, a wonderful new neighborhood just beyond our front door and, of course, a magical sunflower watching over the entire process. Without the sunflower, I’m pretty sure the above mentioned bonfire would’ve been the first and only thing on my agenda.


Cut from my lady’s garden at our previous address, this sunflower has kept me grounded.

* I hired a mover who happens to be a nice guy and by the end of the process I considered him a friend

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunshine and M&Ms.




As life in the Bay Area gets increasingly more expensive and hectic, I try to frequently remind myself how lucky I am to be here. In this case, three random photos taken on a Tuesday made all the difference. Now let’s see what Wednesday brings.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,


Grab the last cup of coffee. Jealous that the burner on the stove has done its job and gets to take the rest of the day off.

Check my phone for emergency emails. Envious of the charger that just gets to hang out the rest of the afternoon.

I pass the pictures in the hallway. Resentful of the fact that my poor man’s artwork gets to just hang around, day after day.

I see the smoker perched in the backyard. I think of it just sitting there in the sunshine all afternoon, taking in the view and waiting for the next round of pork products and apple wood.

Off to work. To read and write. Where I’ll sit at my desk and worry about being busy until I return to my lazy home, full of my beloved, lazy stuff.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

No storage.

Funny how dreams can be so vivid, yet so quickly forgotten. But I suppose most things in life eventually run their course and wind up on a truck to be dumped in a remote area or living on the dusty, disorganized shelves of the local Salvation Army.

As checklists and change-of-address forms once again dominate my world, it seems only natural to question all the work that goes into temporary states. Momentary lapses of perceived happiness. So here we are.

This house is not a home anymore and I’m glad to say goodbye. The life that unfolded here was tangled and messy. But I sure am going to miss the garage.

On that note, enjoy your weekend—especially if you’re not packing. And if by some strange coincidence you are packing, try to make the most of that as well. As a recently widowed woman told me a few days back, “new beginnings are good.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,