Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Warrior Monk in the City of St. Francis - Part 4: Morning Glory and Self-Fladulation

Well, walking the Sunset District was fun but it turns out that I carry such a heavy supply of tech around with me that as I had slung the bag over my right shoulder to the left hip, I was beating my hip pointer into a painful state of soreness. As such, I woke up today, rolled out of bed, and gave moan of agony that only sounds good if preceded by mutually enjoyable coitus. (TMI? Oh well, deal with it). After finally reasoning out what I had done to myself, I realized that a trip to the local Walgreens Pharmacy was in order; time for Therm-a-care Heat wraps and Ibuprofen.....

Along the way to the Blue J Cafe to get some brunch, I spied a lovely Morning Glory vine:

It was a good test of my new iPhone 5 and gives a great example of some of the beauty to be found in The City. Well after brunch at the cafe, a small walk to the drug store, and the walk of pain and stupidity back to my friend Francis' flat, I take the Ibuprofen and strap on the heat wrap.... when will I ever learn that less is more sometimes..... Oh well.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Warrior Monk in the City of St. Francis - Part 3: A Place to Rest the Weary Bones

I have walked the Sunset District and found most of it to be just plain residential, which is fine but hard on the feet and not as interesting as I had hoped. The main drags appear to be 19th Ave. and Irving Streets for most of the Inner Sunset but not much as far as interesting places to go beyond that once you get west of 19th Ave. I've tried to find some sights and places to sit and watch people using the 'Layars' app on the iPhone, but many of the interesting places are back in the Inner Sunset on Irving and I've already been there.

But as my feet began to bark vociferously at me, I decided I had to take a break for a time and rest my dogs before moving on and taking my respite somewhere down the road. I happened upon the Sunset Branch of the San Francisco Public Library. But as I was waiting, I came to a realization: I spend a large amount of time in this town especially in the summers. Why not avail myself of some of The City's services when I'm here. I mean, I already have a Clipper Card (for those not familiar, I point you to the Clipper Card web site; if you're in The City a lot and hate to drive, I invite you to get one) and use it all the time to get around The City. And so, I moseyed my way on up to the Librarian's Desk and asked if there was any requirement that I be a resident of San Francisco to get a library card. Nope, just a resident of California (I think Sacramento fits the bill) and a recent ID with your current address. Score! 10 minutes later, I'm at the stacks with my SF Public Library Card... YEAH!
Now, all I need to do is get a map with the list of library locations and (as I was told by the librarian) remember that if I reserve materials, they will be at the Western Addition Branch (and finding that will be my next task). I'm starting to feel like an honorary resident of the The City... cool.

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A Warrior Monk in the City of St. Francis - Part 2: A Journey to the Sunset

I need to start this blog post with a thanks to my friends... Francis for letting me stay at his flat, Steve for helping me keep track of my place in Sac, and Johnny for giving me comic relief and "my daily dose of start-ass." So with the thanks said, I'm off in the Sunset district, at a small cafe called Park Chow on 9th Ave., having a glass of OJ and a coffee. It's interesting to listen to the conversations that people have while your around and they don't know you're listening. A middle-aged couple were sitting next to me as I was starting up my laptop and discussing the way that companies and workers relate. There was this constant theme that 'I hope what goes around comes around.' in the conversation.... and I couldn't help thinking that it just seemed a bit too sunny an outlook on the human condition. It's been my experience that history teaches us that equity and equality only come after a great deal of strife (usually with those in power winning again) and the poor being killed outright if not just oppressed more than previously done. The powerful have a vested interest in the status quo because they have learned how to work the 'game' they are in.... they don't want the rules to change. And we, we ordinary, everyday, working Joe's just trying to get by are beneath them and not worthy of consideration except where we intersect their own, narrow, self-interests. Depressing... well, I'm note trying to be. I've come thru the interregnum in my life to write just as plainly and straight forwardly as I can without throwing smoke out my ass.

The present circumstances doesn't mean that you give up. Rather, face your situation with a sense of realistic dignity that you know the limitations of your present moment and that you'll do what you can in your own space to make what surounds you a better place as much or as gradually as you can. After mom's passing the quote I keep in my pocket from Napoleon became even more pressing for me... he wrote, "There is no immortality but the memories that are left in the minds of men." OK, I can accept that since I am staring my end in the face ever more clearly with every day that I advance through the Universe and my place in it. "But isn't that rather  nihilistic?" No, not in fact. It is an imperative instead... You have only this life and the time that goes with it. Do what you can, but don't waste it. I remember Tony Curtis being interviewed shortly before his death and he had a quote that has just stuck in my little brain, "Service to humanity is the rent we pay for the time we get to spend on this earth." This has helped me to know why I walk the Earth the way I do and why I teach. I am just doing what I can to make the world a little better place when I leave it than when I came into it.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
   -Mahatma Ghandi

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Warrior Monk in the City of St. Francis - Part 1: The Interregnum

I recognize that I have a bad habit of writing in spurts and fits and starts... It is a failing of mine I admit it. But the last year and some odd months have been trying. After my mother then my dog passed, I was in one of my longest periods between significant relationships, and the trials of working a year at school in  20% overtime capacity, I was a bit stretched.... stretched quite, quite thin indeed.

But now I find myself with some new energy, money to put plans into action, and a desire to travel to The City as often as I can. It is a supposition my many evolutionary biologists at this point in time that evolution is not as quite as smooth a process as we were lead to believe when we were taught about it in college. This notion of smooth, gradual change is not as readily accepted... and this is true of the evolution of a man in his life. This interregnum period of my life after the passing of my mother and the death of my plan to be BOTH a lawyer and a teacher has been one point of leaps, falls, fits, and depressions that has changed my view point again... a bit drastically. I will have to say not in a dark or foreboding manner, but one of resignation of the clarity of reality. Now comes the challenges of what to do with that reality.

Today, at this very instant of writing this newest blog entry, I am sitting in somewhat  familiar environs in a dessert shop named Toy Boat Dessert Co. in the Inner Richmond District in San Francisco. With my new look in clothing I walk the streets looking like a warrior monk in the City of St. Francis. My jacket with its built-in hood and my M-Frame Heater Oakley glasses give me a look that as a young man I would never have thought would have been me... Such has been my evolution from simple young geek to the man I am today; flush with experiences, training in many disciplines, and an outlook on the world that it is what it is and I must be the change that I want to see in the world.


Student: "Mr. Meredith, why are you always going to San Francisco all the time?"
Meredith: "Because, I'm trying to establish a wonderful relationship with a beautiful woman."

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