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word play

If 9 televised hours a week of the Warriors still leaves you unsated I highly recommend going on line and checking out the sports section of the East Bay Times. Sports writing is a huge challenge – writing 800 words a day on athletes tossing balls around – but in the right hands it can be impressive, original, close to literature. The Times team rises to the occasion daily finding fresh ways to capture the brilliance that is almost beyond words, of our Warriors.


marin bliss

Near the top of the list of dreamy, bosky local rambles is the 2.5 mile loop around Bon Tempe reservoir on the northwestern slope of Mt.Tamalpais. It is encircled by a deep, cool forest of fir, madrones, redwoods with dense patches of ferns and irises. The lake itself is home to swooping families of mallards, grebes and ospreys. A few choice fishing and picnic sites. Leashed dogs allowed. Park in the Lake Lagunitas lot ($8) and follow the stream below the Lake Lagunitas spillway to a short bridge, then turn right on the next path.


fowl play

Just motoring and perambulating around the shores of the Bay you can catch sight of awkwardly elegant herons but if you’re curious about their lives and behaviors, meet up at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park this Saturday May 13 and 20 for a much better informed Heron Watch. These are the blue, not the white, herons with 6” wingspans who will be flying in and out of their nests, feeding their chicks. Local volunteers will lead you to the best vantage points. Free. A $10 naturalist-led walk will give you an even more informed view of these magnificent fowls.


play well with others

It’s not too late to live your fantasy of playing in an orchestra. This Friday May 5 at 7pm the Awesome Orchestra Collective will be performing in Oakland and you are invited to join in. Just bring your instrument and a music stand. They provide the sheet music. The program includes a full Copeland orchestral piece. Sign up early so you can rehearse ahead of time. You’re also invited to just come and listen. Pay-what-you-want donation.


seniors on the run

You missed the deadline for competing in the 2017 Bay Area Senior Games but there’s non-stop spectating to enjoy at this celebration of geriatric jocks over the next month. From May 7- 20 there will be 15 sports events with 1700 over-50 athletes taking place across the Peninsula. Everything from sports and field to archery, water polo, cycling, ping pong and pickleball. If you can’t compete you can volunteer to help manage the activities.



Even with no standup comedians and no punch lines expect plenty of guffawing at the Laughter Yoga event this Sunday from 1-3 in a park next to Embarcadero 4. The hilarity apparently will be triggered by yogic breathing and I’m guessing the spirit will be contagious. It’s part of a global movement of 8,000 laughter clubs who claim this merriment improves cardiovascular health, etc. Free.


far out, man

For anyone interested in time travel, you might want to venture to Howard and 2nd Streets this Sunday. From noon to 8 the 18th annual How Weird Street Fair will fill 11 stages with electronic music in another of many efforts around town to relive the 1967 Summer of Love with light shows fashion shows, an aerial circus, and cannabis related exhibits. Tie-dye costumes encouraged. Sponsored by World Peace Through Technology. $20.



I lie to anyone younger than I am when congratulating them on the exciting youth they enjoyed because the truth, the secret I keep silent about, is that for anyone growing up in the 60’s life was incomparably more interesting than it is now. We had music, art and political/spiritual detonations not seen before or since. The “Summer of Love” exhibit at the deYoung gets close to recreating the spirit of the times in San Francisco thanks to generous whiffs of incense, rock music, light shows and dazzlingly inventive posters. (If you want actual art head upstairs to the joyous Stuart Davis show). Meanwhile over at the Berkeley Art Museum’s current version of the 60’s they get it all wrong – could our youth have been so humorless and dull?

Not since my adolescence have I paid so much attention to my skin. All those hours on the beach have come back to haunt me – not just the keratoses which I have burned off regularly but the blotchy brown age spots which make me look like Gorbachev. After a winter hibernating I require heavy doses of sunshine tho my dermatologist now has reduced the length of time that sunblock works. He recommends applying it every 60 minutes, dammit. It’s annoying but not annoying enough to have my face “re-done” like Larry Ellison and Putin.

On the other hand I might want to volunteer to test one of those new “pacemakers for the brain” which promise to restore my tattered memory.

Having trouble keeping up with all the new words sprinkling current vocabularies like 1) quiff 2) prepper, 3) completist, 4) skeeve 5) clickbait 6) meme?

1) men’s pompadour hair style

2) anyone stockpiling supplies for a disaster

3) an obsessive collector

4) to cause disgust

5) content that attracts attention to a web page

6) an image, word, video spread around the internet

Embarrassed right now to be living in Berkeley. I was here when Mario Savio stirringly defended the first amendment and though every word Ann Coulter says, including “and” and “the” is a lie, [thank you Mary McCarthy for that quote] she has the same right that he had to speak. I am further embarrassed that campus Republicans endorse her mendacious views but understand they are too preoccupied being iconoclastic, rebelling against their liberal professors. As for those baseball bat wielding, black-hooded agitators I wish local journalists would do their job and find out if they are left wing wingnuts or alt-rightists who have come out of their caves and declaring war on democracy.

Open Table, which too many restaurants require as the only way to make reservations, I have found to be consistently unreliable. They tell me there are no tables available until early or late in the evening and yet, when I call the restaurant itself, my 7 o’clock reservation is not a problem. What’s the deal?

I’m still staring down the tracks waiting for that promised train in Marin and Sonoma to show up.


secret swimming hole

Let’s imagine the rain stops, the sun reappears and you are ready to finally start summer. It’s hard to think of a more perfect spot than the Inkwells, a series of small, deep, dark, swimmable pools cascading into each other amid redwood groves in West Marin. Head out Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to Lagunitas. Just before you get to Samuel Taylor Park you cross Shafter bridge, then take a right to the pedestrian bridge. The path to the pools is right beneath it.


mask media

The Day of the Dead may be seven months away but you can get a head start this Saturday from 8pm -10pm and Sunday from noon to 2 in Berkeley creating your own Mexican Sacred Heart and masks. First you build your sacred Aztec artwork out of paper mache then paint it using whatever fiery colors you like. Refreshments and a brief historical background included. $25.