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November 28, 2009

Like A Plan
Saturday. OK, good. An excellent bright sunny cold morning just now after breakfast, the head relatively clear, the lungs causing a cough now and again, but in a feels pretty good in a things are clearing up kind of a way. Which probably makes no sense, but it's better than coughing yourself into a tail spin toward perdition. I'm thinking. So. What now?

I believe the group of cousins and kids are out shopping their way around the Bay Area at the moment - a note on Facebook saying they's spotted George Lucas shopping at Best Buy - and we're due to get together for lunch, probably in San Francisco. I can do that. Otherwise a walk, I think, when it gets warmer. Missed out on walking for the last two days, a brief attempt yesterday that resulted in my returning to the apartment after maybe ten or fifteen minutes.

Just was tired for some reason. Nothing earth shattering, just tired, mellow tired, needing to put my feet up tired. I ate the cheese and crackers I'd bought at the local Safeway yesterday afternoon, but never got around to the sake. Is there a tired that feels like that? Must be. Well, if I could explain it better. Two or three attempts at the cheese and crackers over the course of that afternoon (they didn't seem to be all that tasty) and too tired or disinterested or whatever to tackle one of the small bottles of sake because, well, too tired, too disinterested? Don't know. Got to bed early, got a good night's sleep.

Later. The plan is to meet at the House of Nanking, a Chinese restaurant located on Kearny a couple of blocks from the office where I first started work in San Francisco (back in the dark ages). I think I remember it, not a restaurant we were in the habit of having lunch, but any of them will be fine I'm thinking. The reviews go from very bad to very good so it's hard to tell anything about it, but how do you go wrong with Chinese food unless you cook it yourself (as I once did many times more than you'd believe in my past)? Have I mentioned my twenty pound restaurant grade Chinese chopping block sitting unused now in the kitchen? The bottles and jars of Chinese spices and condiments I have sitting up in the cupboard, so old now they're embarrassing? The many trips to Chinatown for roots and spices? I'm sure I have, probably at mind numbing length, just not in the last eight or nine years, spilling the beans as I do about most everything.

You say very little about the people you know and your own more personal life.

It's weird enough being someone who keeps an online journal. Think about it. What do you say around someone who writes it all down and then puts it online? Best to keep mum about friends and keep a few. Bad enough I run their pictures.

Later still. Bus, BART and then a short walk to Columbus on Kearny just across from Coppola's Café Zoetrope to meet the cousins for lunch at the House of Nanking, Holly again, having heard it was pretty good. Not a large place, but people were standing in line just before noon when it opened and, although we got a table for eight easily enough, a line formed again outside. It was indeed good. Holly clearly has reliable restaurant instincts. I will go there again.

We walked then to Embarcadero, Jon having picked up lunch (I'm not sure I thanked you properly, Jon), a picture or two of Jon and Ann's family with palm trees on either side and the Ferry Building tower in the background (I could have paid more attention to the lighting), a walk to watch the skaters next to the Vaillancourt fountain (shut down for the winter, I guess) and then they headed for Ghirardelli Square and I headed back to Oakland, literally catching the train as I exited from the elevator and than caught the bus as I exited the BART station in Oakland. My, my. When will that happen again? A good afternoon. A good way to be tired.

Later still again. OK, a bit better. The evening here, a bit of sake in a cup beside me, some thought for being hungry, but no way I'm going anywhere to eat, the sake will quell whatever pangs I might have later. I'd been adamant with Jon that Enrico's (founded in 1958) hadn't been the site for the old Finocchio's (founded in 1936), the famous gay cross dressing performance venue that closed in 1999. Well, it hadn't been, but it was located right next door and, I suspect, the venue itself took the entire second floor sitting on top of Enrico's. Everyone who came to San Francisco in the 50's and 60's (whom I knew), who came to see The Committee, City Lights Book store, The Hungry I, the Purple Onion and such, visited Finocchio's.

By the time I came in the late sixties, Flower Power had arrived (and many say died) and friends who visited me when I lived on Nob Hill spent their time stoned on my living room floor, laid out between speaker columns listening to KSAN and surviving on quick runs for fish and chips, beer and pizza. I'm not sure that was a step up, but what the hell, you deal with what you're dealt in your own place and in your own time, no need for reflection. Sorry about all that arguing, Jon. Oh. A visit to City Lights was still mandatory and we did spend more than a few nights at Enrico's, Spec's and some of the others. I still drop by Spec's. As I've mentioned.

Yes, I think this sake will do it. A little television later, to sleep early. Sounds like a plan.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 Veterans Day Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor DC lens at f 3.2 at 1/800th second, ISO 200.)