...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The new magnets are from Jeri's refrigerator.

A souvenir magnet from
Cape Cod



* DISCUSSION BOARD *

Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

Is it hot where you are? If you have suggestions for how to beat the heat, let's talk.



WHAT I'M READING...

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

by
Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.

also

Battersea Park Road
to Enlightenment

I picked this book up in London


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

The SF Symphony



That's it for today!

HOT FLASHES

31 May 2001

"There are women in there splashing themselves with cold water," my friend said, as she emerged from the ladiesí room at Davies Hall, prior to the symphony concert.

A heat wave had engulfed northern California, and San Franciscans donít cope well. It was hotter in San Francisco than it was out in the valley, which almost never happens.

Perhaps the heat accounted for the fact that there were so few cars on the freeway as I drove down to the city in the afternoon.

It was a nice drive for me. Turn on the a/c, put on some nice music, and there you go, with no worries about using excess energy at home. Of course gas is $2.03 a gallon for the cheap stuff, but I didnít think about that.

I bought gas the other day when I was driving my newest client to the dentistís. Poor guy has been diagnosed HIV+ for 15 years and is currently living in a halfway house, after being released from prison following serving 9 months there. Heís in AA and doing a lot of AA activities, he tells me.

His numbers are good. T-cell count >400 and undetectable viral load, which is good. But he has very few teeth (and those he has are blackened). He tells me his teeth were kicked out while in prison. The dentist is going to pull them all and give him false teeth. We had driven a very long way out of Sacramento because there are so few dentists who will accept his MediCal insurance in payment for services.

While the client was at the dentist, I went off in search of gas. I saw a Chevron sign and pulled in, but this wasnít your normal gas station. It apparently was a Standard Car Wash, which also sold gas, but the emphasis was definitely on the car wash. As I sat there trying to figure out where to put my credit card so I could start pumping gas, an attendant leaped to the side of the car and said heíd pump my gas for me. I was flabbergasted. Service? In a gas station?

He pumped the gas and washed my windows. Another attendant took my credit card and went in to stand in a line in order to ring up the order for me. It was like the old days, when gas stations were called "service stations" because they gave you service. I kept looking around trying to find out how much I was paying for this extra special service, but no prices visible where I could see them.

I was certainly enjoying the attention though.

When the transaction was complete and I was given the bill, I was even more flabbergasted to discover Iíd paid $2.03 a gallon for gas--cheaper than the same gas at the self-serve pumps in our neighborhood. It was almost worth the hour drive from Davis just go buy gas!

So with my car clean and my tank full of gas, I could indulge myself in this trip to San Francisco. Walt had been working south of San Francisco, so we agreed to meet in the city for the concert.

And it was a good one. A couple of my favorite pieces--Brahmsí Variations on a Theme by Hayden (a theme which, we learned wasnít really written by Hayden at all), and Shostakovichís Fifth Symphony. We may be two of very few people who think of this symphony and immediately begin humming "How Dry I Am," which youíll find in the fourth movement. (Also "Jingle Bells" in the final passages).

When the symphony ended, it was after 10 p.m. and still hot outside. People were still fanning themselves. I saw a guy with a symphony program in his hand who was wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. Obviously San Francisco fashion sense goes when the sun starts beats down and brings triple-digit temperatures.

Today we are expecting more record heat, and another "spare the air day" (when they recommend not breathing if you go outside). Itís days like this when I appreciate living in the Sacramento Valley, where we have air conditioning and are prepared for the heat.

The poor San Franciscans are sitting there waiting for God to turn on the a/c. I could see it--a bank of fog sitting stubbornly just outside the Golden Gate, held back by unseen hands. In a day or two the fog will come billowing in under the bridge and blanket the city in blissful cold air and life will pick up where it left off, with the natives happily rushing about, clutching sweaters and smirking at tourists walking about in plaid shorts and goose bumps.

Thatís what summer in San Francisco is all about--none of this 102 degree stuff.


One Year Ago:
Picturebook Pretty


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 6/1/01 by Bev Sykes