Friday, November 30, 2007

Finally, at last, after eons of time the new Trader Joe's opened today in downtown Monterey. We all have been waiting.

The city had an opening ceremony at 8:30 this morning and this afternoon when I walked to the store I realized that once again the parking lot was filled with cars maneuvering to get the elusive parking space.

Perhaps T. J's is really owned by an auto body repair consortium and is designed to increase business.

Maybe selling cheap apples and flowers is not the point.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Driving by El Estero lake this afternoon I saw a large group of Canadian geese poking through the grass. I looked a second time and realized there were also many small fluffy babies imitating the adults. More Canadian Geese.

They live here year round, crowding the parks with their presence and their poop.

I love how they look and wish they could be welcomed into our community but they are considered pests and many people want them to start migrating again. They need to return to the Arctic where they belong.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This morning I attempted to print out the labels and it worked, the names were lined up on the label page. I don't know what I did right this time.

Last night I had planned to go to the movies with friends but as the time got closer I didn't feel I could go. I flaked out and went to bed early and slept well.

I printed, folded, stamped and labeled 120 fliers to send out tomorrow, only three days late, but hey, they are done and I am going to bed early again tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I was flooded with rage today as I tried to make my printer print the labels I needed. Over and over again I push the same print button and the same misaligned page emerged. The printer would not bow to my will and I could not see the reality of the situation.

Hours later, when I had calmed down I could laugh a bit about this rage. Where does it live in my body?

Tomorrow I will try again or maybe I will just address the many envelops by hand.


Monday, November 26, 2007

On the Hopkins marine station beach, scores of glistening harbor seals have pulled themselves onto the sand. You can see them through the chain link fence along the PG trail. I want to think they are females giving birth but I couldn't quite tell. There were some small ones and some large ones. A few were playing in the waves and the rest above the tide line.

I walked along the trail avoiding dogs on leashes, watching for Winter birds arriving from the north.

It was a beautiful day and yet my mind was restless trying to create a story accounting for the harbor seals on the beach.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sitting in a room full of people. The words brush past me and my eyes are watching the trees outside. Little boys are climbing a tree yelling dares to each other.

I breathe in and out.

Some days I just don't want to listen to anyone.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I was too early to meet with a friend in Santa Cruz. I took a walk in a neighborhood of old stately and rundown houses.

At first my body was stiff from the drive and then I loosened up and could look closely at each wonderful house.

Something about looking at homes is refreshing and endlessly interesting. I no longer wish I could live there, it's more a curiosity about the lives in each house.

Feeling satisfied I went to meet my friend.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The post card made it sound so easy, just call the 800 number and expand your cable choices. OK. today the cable man came. He had the wrong box. Just go to the office and pick up the right one. He didn't know where the comcast office was. I found the address and drove there. The sign for the office was the tiniest I had ever seen.

Picked up new free converted box. Spent several hours trying to make it work and now I have no cable TV.


I will try again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm with the crowds of shoppers at Whole Foods looking for a dungeness crab. We are not having Thanksgiving today, we are having my son's 42 birthday and all he wants is fresh crab. So why are the other people here shopping on this Thanksgiving day. Why did I think I would be the only one.

We forgot to pick up the crab yesterday.

We're celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday. Don't ask.

The clerk says that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year for Whole Foods. Don't people have leftovers.

Happy Thanksgiving and happy birthday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

crisp cool day. My friend and I went to the Monterey Museum of Art to look at an art instillation. The artist had hung 500 hundred paper cones individually from a two story tall ceiling by thread. At first I couldn't see the subtle movement of the cones in the air but as we looked the cone, threads, shadows came alive. We were both quite moved by this art.

Then we went to Lou Lou on the Wharf for lunch. We learned that neither of us are bothered by collection of flies in the restaurant. This four table fishing shack cafe half way down the wharf was perfect. We ate fish and french fires, and watched the activity on the wharf. The waitress held her 8 month baby as she took our orders and served us.

Good day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I rushed out of the house for an appointment in Santa Cruz this morning. I almost missed the flattened tire on the drivers side. UGH , I got out my AAA card and called for road service.

I had been meaning to get new tires, yes I had but it takes time and I have been in a hurry but now I had to slow down.

Hours later and hundreds of dollars I had my new tires, deeply grooved and shinny, looking better then the 9 year old warn car body.

I feel safe and snug riding on these shinny new tires.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I sat in the small clinic treatment room waiting for my doctor to show up. Into the room came the sound of not seen babies screaming, yelling, gagging, louder, more intense. I tried to read but was distracted by the waves of sound.

So is this worse then dogs barking at night? a neighbor's loud rap music? My body began to tense up. Someone should help these babies, protect them from uniformed people with needles, with cold instruments, with what? What are they doing to these babies?

Finally my doctor came in sheepishly, vaccine day! Hard to listen to huh? Yep, hard to listen to.

When I left I saw a toddler hiding behind a chair in the lobby. Finally two big men came to round him up, herd him into the shot room. The mother was cringing.

It is always so exciting to go to the county clinic to see my doctor.

I would have screamed when I received my flu shot but I thought I should set a good example for those babies.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

All week I have been looking forward to going to my friend's new house for their house warming party. They build a three story home near Carmel Beach. The house glittered with candles, chandeliers , lit fireplaces, clean windows, designer paint colors, antiques, music.

I went in and became embarrassingly shy. It all looked so festive from outside.

I ate snacks, drank wine, listened to conversations about antiques, opera, silver plate vs silver.

After awhile I left and stood outside looking back into this wonderful house. I'm glad that I came and I am glad that I left.

I remember that I like to be with friends in small groups. So next time I will suggest we go out for lunch where we can talk together.

I hope I remember.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Early this morning an ambulance pulled up outside my bedroom window. Several young uniformed people were milling about looking for the key to the house. The house belongs to a 95 year old neighbor who goes to her daughter's house every weekend. They found a key and went in. Later I saw a stretcher with my neighbor on it. alive.

For years she tells us that she is ready to die but nothing happens.

My other neighbor is a 94 year old man with several older children. They frequently are yelling and cussing at each other in the back yard.

My fear is getting old and then older and then older and never dying. Become frail and frailer.

I got to think about this today during our day sitting in the small Zendo. My usual answers have dried up.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Went to the post office before noon and bought a bunch of first class stamps.

Then I went to the movies with a friend to see I'LL BELIEVE YOU, a quirky sci fi movie at the Osio. There were 4 of us in the empty theater and we all thought it was great.

Back home I looked at the stamps and realized that the clerk had made a mistake. First class stamps for 41 cents, no way.

I got back into my car and went back to the post office with the suspicious stamps. Before I could make a fool of myself I saw a sign saying first class stamps were 41 cents. Why did I think they were 47 cents. Early signs of dementia I'm afraid.

I went home and put the stamps in my drawer. Or maybe the alien from the movie got to me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Somebody is not paying attention. The sea lions are sneaking on to the docks in the inner harbor. First one comes on and then all his friends and enemies jump up. This afternoon there were only four but in my mind's eye I saw the whole wharf sinking.

Boats and piers all have temporary protective walls to keep these visitors off. Sometimes it works and sometimes the sea lions outwit the humans.

Several years ago I saw several boats slowly sink under the weight of innumerable sea lions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I had a half hour between places I needed to be. I sat in my car, windows down on the cliff overlooking Carmel Beach. Sat and read, smelled the air, watched owners take their dogs for walks, crows cawing, and diving. Large waves crashing on the sand.

I though about getting out of my car and taking a walk but I didn't.

It sometimes feels like my car and I are one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

For a long time I have been getting notices from my cable company saying that they are going digital.

So what. I don't care.

But then I lost a channel, the Book channel.

So I called the phone number and have agreed to a package of programs and a digital receiver at the end of the month.

The rates are low now but will dramatically increase in 6 months. The American way of doing business.

I am going to have HBO for free for a whole year.

Something to watch on these dark evenings.

Monday, November 12, 2007

On the beach by the wharf this morning I saw a shirtless bulky man wrestle with a large salmon. He had wrapped it in his shirt and was teasing his barking dog. The fish kept arching and twisting. A group of men were cheering him on from the wharf.

In the distance was a flock of comerants preening and splashing in the water. The sky was blue and the water still.

In the afternoon driving by Berg's motel at Lover's Point, a convention of gulls and pigeons rested wing to wing on the slanted roof. I wonder if the visitors could hear these birds above their heads.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

from 7:30 to 3pm I was in meetings, sitting on chairs, listening attentively until all I wanted to do was escape.

A strong wind came up last night and now the day is clear but I was inside listening and taking notes.

Now the time is my own and I don't quite know what to do with myself. Too much time, too little time. It never just enough. Except sometimes it's perfect and I am surprised and pleased.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

An unexpected sunny day, balmy. Unexpected after days of thick cold fog.

On the wharf the "San Giovanni" fishing boat is being unloaded. Italian men standing around directing the basket of fish into the shredded ice containers.

Winter birds are here.

Crowds of people, families, friends spilling out of the downtown restaurants waiting for their turn at breakfast.

November in Monterey. I would like to come here to visit except I am already here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A friend said that silence in Japan is peaceful and full of beauty. Silence in Christianity is the absence of God and thus is filled with grief and despair.

Certainly my attraction to Zen is silence of beauty and fullness.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My friend has a bumper sticker on her car saying DRIVER SINGING. She lives to sing, she lives for music.

What do I live for? Tonight I am too tired to figure this one out. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I am struggling with getting our zen center's voice mail system working. I call to retract the messages and I am told that it is closed.

I call the number the voice says to call and the line is either busy or rings endlessly with no message.

I feel so frustrated in trying to resolve this. I suspect that there is an easy solution that I can't see as long as I am frustrated.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Today I am bored by everything I am reading, bored, bored, bored.

I am in a funk, reading 20 pages from the stack of books on the floor and then saying NO this doesn't work for me. Maybe I am just bored with my life, I don't want to think that.

My friend Ken gave me a book that he is sure to shake me out of the doldrums, BRIDGE OF SIGHS by Richard Russo. I have always loved his books. And yes I am at page 20 and I am going to continue.

Thank you Ken

A solitary Blue heron is visiting the communal nesting site down the street. Hurray.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day light savings time has started. Late afternoon walk. Warm day is becoming full of long cool shadows.

Somewhere a Taiko Drumming program is going on. Loud rhythmic drum beats, cymbals and bell sounds fill the downtown neighborhood.

Families leaving the beach, cranky kids, tired parents.

Now it is dark. For the next four months the days will end early.

Time to eat soup and turn on the lights.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Early morning walk by the harbor. Still there is a red tint to the water. Long lines of pelicans fly close to the surface. Sail boats on wheeled carriages are waiting to enter the water. A warm fall day.

In the inner harbor I see two dead grebes, white bellies floating up, necks trailing in the water.

I pick up donuts and return home to read the morning paper.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I sat in the back seat while my friend drove to Menlo Park.

I wondered again who thought of lining the 8 lane highway in the hot Santa Clara Valley with long lines of desperate looking, unhappy redwood trees.

This is not their home, this is jail for them. Tall skinny trees lined up in a row, witnessing the madness of cars roaring by.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Spent two days in Disaster preparedness for chaplains at our local hospital. Two days of envisioning fires, earthquakes, epidemics, floods, plane crashes, terrorists attacks, various ways of becoming homeless, starve, be ill. It was all so exhausting.

One story came out of the San Diego fires and evacuation of a million people. They had shelters, food, water, cots, medical care. They handed out bags of food. What no one remembered to take when they fled their homes, was a can opener to get to the food.

So remember to put in your car today, now, a can opener so if you have to evacuate in a hurry, you can open the donated food.

Now I feel like I have started training to do chaplain work in a disaster situation at the hospital.