: views from the Hill

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Stress, strain and sanity

Back today to the grind, such as it is, and my first sane day in a while.

I stress out when I'm juggling -- guests, clearing out the old space, worrying about my agnum mopus, the yearbook/calendar/membership directory for the women's club, columns for Computer Bits. Oh, and other stuff. Should I finish my column or get the book to the printers? Should I make a couple trips to the Goodwill or should I go shopping for food stuffs for guests?

I finished off my obligations for the women's club. Got the booklets back from the printer and found a flaw. Layed-out, printed up, and tipped/glued in a missing page at the end of the book -- for all 300c. of the 64pp booklet -- rather than take the booklet back to the printer for re-work and risk it not be ready by Tuesday a.m. for the mailing prep.

Handed the boxes of yearbooks off to the communications chair on Friday. Gave her mailing labels (sorted by ZIP!) for all the Club members. Sent the October column off to Computer Bits. Exchanged e-mails with our real estate maven about where we were in the process of de-lousing the place.

We spent the long weekend in toasty (90 degF plus) San Francisco. Had an old friend of his nibs -- they carpooled to work together during the oil crisis of the early 70s -- over for raw beef and red wine on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, I shelved three boxes of books on Northern California subjects in the bookshelves in the living room. We wound up spending hours reading San Francisco guides from the 1800s through the 1970s, discussing which previously well-known restaurants mentioned are defunct (Blue Fox, Le Trianon, Orsi's), which have moved, and which are still where they'd always been, serving the same sorts of food -- House of Prime Rib on Van Ness, Julius' Castle, Sam's, others ...

Found some trivial bits which, once I verify them, I'll send off to the giddy folks at Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.

We went over to the Park Sunday morning to check out the Academy of Sciences garage sale. The Academy has moved temporarily to Howard Street while they rebuild in the Park, and they had a lot of stuff they didn't want to move and knew they wouldn't want once they moved back.

We picked up a 2v. set of Californiana from the 1860s describing the California coastal waters and giving explicit directions for how to get your ship out of the Bay and back onto open water without snagging on Arch Rock, Snag Rocks and their kin. Also picked up a very cool Galen Rowell poster -- all for the grand sum of $1.75.

If we'd only hauled our sluggish selves out earlier for the 8-10 a.m. members' preview, we might've had a chance to buy the cassowary that his nibs remembers standing in the halls from fifty, sixty years back. Alas, it already had a SOLD sticker on it by the time we wandered in.

"What would we do with it?" his nibs asked. "Where would we put it?"

"Who cares?" I answered. "It would've been so cool to have a cassowary, the cassowary, just hanging around, standing around somewhere in the living room.

You can see why his nibs has doubts about me giving up any of my acquired bright and shiny things, which I needs must give up if we are to let go of the Silicon Valley space.

On Monday, our walk took us down to the Financial District to check out what business was currently at 77 Front Street, where the family hardware store had been back in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. That building is long gone and the site is now a block's worth of Old Republic Bank. We stopped by to see whether Sam's (with its three versions of sweetbreads) was open on Labor Day. No. Was Bocadillos, Gerald Hirigoyen's new tapas place on Montgomery, serving on Monday, Labor Day? No. San Francisco Brewing was open, though, so I had a couple Norton's and we shared a basket of curly fries and a basket of fried calamari for a late lunch and headed home. Naptime.

By 10 a.m. this morning, I was back again to my chores. Hacked back the bracken fern in the front planters and got it stashed in the recycling bin in time for the garbage men to haul it off. Rearranged the financial empire. Caught up on my backlog.

Space clearing -- still miles to go before I sleep.

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