Archive for April, 2010

Accentuate the positive

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Dr. John has a great song where he says, Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative. When I was catching up with a long-time friend who I haven’t spoken with in years, he said he was working on himself and his relationship and he didn’t put any end goal on it – as in, it is all good, it was more like I’m just being honest with myself and those I love and we’ll see where we go with this. He sent me this:

Attitudes and Limitation

To a large extent, the way we think determines who we are and what happens to us.

We cannot harbor poisonous thoughts without their effects visibly showing in our lives. If we dwell on our inadequacy and ineffectiveness, for example, circumstances will prove us correct because we will invite self-defeating events to us.

On the other hand, replacing destructive thoughts with hope-filled, optimistic ones brings peaceful and confidence-producing circumstances to us. We will radiate competence and joy.

Today I will make it a habit to continually replace pessimistic thoughts with optimistic ones. I will dwell on what is uplifting so that I may increase my courage and confidence as well as better my circumstances.

A new discovery at Jazz Fest

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I slept maybe two minutes last night in my hotel room at the Mark Hopkins – anguished because I had asked to meet an old friend and then I ditched him in minutes because I had lost all reserves of energy and had a wake up call at 3:45 am awaiting me. I also kept thinking of Tin’s eye procedure because he will have to have a local for 15 or 20 minutes while they clear his eye tear ducts. And I just thought of the traveling home and was clearly so exhausted I couldn’t sleep.

I read through the New York Times on my flight and balanced all of our checking and savings accounts except one and felt a sense of accomplishment. But I didn’t get any sleep.

Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes were playing on the Gentilly Stage at 5, so I came home and did a James Brown turnaround and got Tin in his pack and off we went with bottle and rice cracker snacks to Jazz Fest. Thursday is my favorite day, it’s local’s day, but I had clearly missed most of Thursday by now.

We sat in the grass in the way back of Gentilly and had a bottle and I had a glass of champagne. And then Tin and I went over when the band came on and stood by the side of the stage and Tin danced and ate his rice crackers and on the fence was a black and white photograph of Bo Didley and Trombone Shorty when he was a wee little boy with a horn in his mouth.

Then we made our way over to the Chouval Bwa of Martinique Creole carousel that is over by the ancestors. There before us was a wood carved old timey carousel and inside were nine musicians from Martinique playing incredible music. They had just finished the last ride but they let me and another mother with her small child get on and did one more. A friend of mine was leaning on the fence and when I came out he said, “I’ve been here four times, this is the best music at Jazz Fest.”

Glad I rallied.

The final analysis by Mother Theresa

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Packing it all in and gone

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Another day of trying to do too much – packing in a day of work, catching up with a few more people, a few in depth, a few just touching base. One of the things that is clear is that the last ten years of my life have been defining, and I mean this in a very positive way. The people I have met, the lessons I have learned, the ride has been tremendous.

I sat having wine staring across the Embarcadero at the wide bay bookended by magnificent bridges, drinking a delicious glass of Rex Hill Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and told a colleague that Apple had it right when they decided to design their user experience as aquatized – the feeling one has when staring at an aquarium. An old friend and colleague told me about a mutual friend who is still waging a war on cancer – a tough uphill battle. Then I met up with my friend who was my best man at Steve and my wedding in 1990 and found him unchanged, unaged, which I would have told him, except he said casually he thought T was 20 years younger than me, and I said what? and so I decided he needed no compliments from me. Then another friend showed up with cushy zebra plush toy for Tin he had bought in NY the day he heard the news that T and I had adopted him.

A good portion of my evening was spent speaking about Tin. One stand-out – another mother told me of her experience being a white mother with a brown baby – the challenges, the joy, the search for identity. I said it was something I could relate to as I have always been a fig newton (brown on the inside and white on the outside) and I do understand that kids are want to tease a brown boy with white parents (an oreo) and that I realize we, he, have challenges ahead and I hope that they make us, him stronger and we don’t succumb to other people’s interpretations of how the world is meant to be, instead we accept the world as it is.

I just walked back to the hotel, over the hills and dales of San Francisco from North Beach to Snob Hill and thought about everything and thought – god, I’m exhausted and I have a wake up call at 3:45 am to catch my plane. Ugh.

Wonderful world and then some

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Sandra Bullock just announced that she adopted a baby boy from New Orleans who she named Louie after Louie Armstrong. She was inspired by the song What a Wonderful World.

Far from the madding crowd

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I remember in the early 90’s before the bubble took off and the depressed economy had finally caught up to San Francisco, a man who walked out of the Embarcadero Building and stood on the crowded corner of Market with everyone pouring out of the building, he stopped and put his hands to his face and began sobbing – sobbing so hard his body shook. I’ll never forget that image. It haunts me to this day.

Another image that keeps replaying is more recent, and not as tragic, was three young guys standing beside one of the food booths at Jazz Fest on Sunday. Two were not wearing shirts and were very fit and handsome, the other was much heavier and had a nice smile. One of the tall, slim ones dropped an empty bottle on the ground deliberately as if the world were his trash can. I flinched. The guy with the nice smile waited a moment then reached down and grabbed the bottle and began walking to the trash can. The handsome guy said, “Where are you going?” The smiling guy said, “I’m just going to put this in the trash.” I took the empty bottle from him and said I’d do it as I was walking that way. It reminded me of something my mother always told me, “Beauty is as Beauty does.”

Making the most of my time

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

I have limited time in San Francisco and have had to steal time here and there for me. In lieu of dinner, I ducked into the SF MOMA and saw a cool exhibit by Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, highly recommend. There was also a photography exhibit on the 3rd floor that was worth seeing. Sony Metreon and saw Date Night, which started off a little disappointing but was saved by the actors in the middle, although it is a very light movie but some of the elements hammered home – no time to be a couple when you’re being parents and working stiffs. There was one uncomfortable product placement – a Kindle – which I doubt any cabbie has in their glove compartment as one did in this movie. Monday night was Le Colonial for dinner, but last night was grabbing Sanraku Sushi and taking it over to a friend who lives right by the Mark Hopkins and catching up while American Idol played in the background – as a single woman she calls her apartment a crib, a solace for all her friends who are married and/or have children.

The not told story of Kashmir

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I met this man who runs a shop filled with exquisite wares from Kashmir. He has lived in San Francisco for 16 years and I told him I too had lived in San Francisco for 16 years. He said in a few years he would return home and so I asked him about home and told him how I long to travel to India but now that I have a young son, I might wait until he is four or five so he will remember it. The man from Kashmir said that 15,000 to 20,000 people have been killed in Kashmir but you don’t see that written anywhere. He said it is a land that is always in dispute between India and Pakistan and even China has a piece of it. He said it is a wonderful place, green and fecund, and during the blazing heat of the summer in India, it will be 75 degrees in Kashmir and lush.

He also said it is a wealthy land and no one rents, they all own their own houses and the houses are huge. I asked him what a young person leaving their parents’ home would do then, and he said they would live with the parents until they had developed work and stocked up on land and other amenities and could build their own house. He said you live with your parents for a lot longer than here in America. And also that you take care of your parents. He said he was one of six boys and that his mother now lived with one of his brothers but that every day no matter what, each of his other brothers stopped by the house to visit with her.

I told him one day I’d love to visit Kashmir and I hoped to meet others like him. He bid me good luck with my son and said that he hopes I will have a happy life. I said, oh indeed, I already do. Thanks.

Gotta get the rabbit

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Caught up with another friend over a glass of champagne and some tasty tapas and we revisited a conversation we had had in depth a few years ago as we were on a road trip together. Nothing has changed. I told her about a comment T made the other day where she was referring to a friend’s husband and said, “They have problems because he works all the time.” Gadzooks.

I likened my friend and me to racehorses who come out the gate and have to get the rabbit. That we have blinders on for everything and just gotta get the rabbit. Whereas our partners tend to be a bit more dreamy about their day’s plan.

You tell yourself you are going to change. You tell yourself you should change. But at the end of the day there is something about the rabbit that you can’t tear yourself away from. Must have rabbit.

Men On Pause

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Caught up with a friend for our once a year download of what is going on. She’s a year older than me so we’re both sort of going through similar milestones. She said Raquel Welch has written about menopause, calling it Men On Pause, as the libido just sort of dissolves into the ether after 50 (and dear readers this doesn’t mean 50 year olds don’t enjoy sex anymore, it means sex is not top of mind). I would say the equivalent happens to men around 50, they go through their womenopause.