Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Toronto Tunes

I was looking for cheap fares to Toronto. Still reeling from an actual vacation to Mexico, I am going to go and visit Toby in July once the dust settles at work. the last few times I'd been to Toronto it was cold and winter-like. We still got out and did things. I am looking forward to a place that is Summer in the summer-time. Pretty much like the time I went to visit Jerome, Anne and the kids in Minnesota one Christmas. I got that White Christmas I wanted and then some.

So back to Toronto. When West had moved there, we went to see Ron Hawkins, the former lead singer of Lowest of the Low, a rock band of local Toronto boys. Ron's got a great voice and I managed to get hooked on him even with his melancholic leanings. Well just to make my day, I went out to do a search for some background information and it appears the band is back together. Now don't be thinking I'm going to let this go to my head. I know my desire for more of their music didn't bring them back together. I know you just can't keep good music down. Now if only I can make a Ranch 1 restaurants appear here in San Francisco, like I could in New York. That would prove that I am indeed all powerful.

Even though most of their songs rock the house, this ballad Subversives, with it's catchy lyrics is still one of my favorites. Of course you can listen to more of their rowdier songs, many performed live on their audio page.

Happy Birthday Lili

Today is Lili's birthday. Last October in my music blog, Tune Talk, I wrote about how a favorite CD came to mark the events of my life at the time. I think we all have a couple of those albums, that we listened to until we wore the magnetic tape off the cassette or the grooves off the vinyl (not sure how to wear out a CD).

A few weeks ago I get an email from Lili, who stumbled across my little piece of the Internet and decided to write back. I don't have any grand thoughts that this site will do more than it's intended purpose - to keep my friends and family up to date, more or less, with what's going on in my world and head. So you could imagine my surprise to get this email from someone whose work I admired. It's been fun exchanging email and such and getting to know Lili.

While I do try to keep this space to telling my stories and letting others tell their own, I am especially pleased that Lili has started performing again. I am hoping to get some guest writers either here or in Tune Talk, to share their songs or their side of the story. Oooh just imagine the depths this little online journal could achieve. Okay okay, back to the story.

I always hope to be able to inspire people with my actions. When it comes to my words and rambling stories, I often assume that you are all just placating me when you post complimentary comments. You are all just nice that way.

Other than being inspirational, things around here have been quiet. I've mostly stopped whining about my allergies. I did hear that the wind was up to 40 mph which is a little crazy. I can only hope that it's always blowing me in the direction I am walking. I haven't seen crazy crosswind like this since I worked in Mid-town Manhattan. Actually I stand corrected. Once we thought it a good idea to walk a few blocks to dinner in Minneapolis in February. We had to stand next to the building to avoid being blown into oncoming traffic. Now that is crazy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Too Much of a Good Thing

A few weeks ago I found myself wasting some time in the Powell St Shopping Plaza in Emeryville. Some stressed guy was debating jumping off the Bay Bridge and I was hoping to wait it out while getting a retail therapy fix. By the time I was done and with refrigerator food from Trader Joe's I attempted to leave the worst designed parking lot in the world. If you've ever been there you would agree. If not, just take my word, I'm really correct. In any case, I was heading out and encountered a group of three people deeply engaged in conversation. So deeply engaged that they didn't notice me behind them. For about 2 minutes. I wasn't in a rush, and was curious how long it would take to notice me if I didn't beep or make any noise. 2 minutes, 4 seconds. A lifetime really. In those 2 minutes and 4 seconds, I realized that it is in fact possible for intense focus to be a bad thing.

Many of us attempt to multitask on a regular basis with varying success. Chances are you are doing something else right now as you read this entry. If I focus on one thing at a time (writing distractions down on a list to get back to later) I can often accomplish more and with better results. When doing work that I dislike I will take on any task possible - a welcome distraction, but still a distraction from my primary task. But when I'm doing something I really enjoy, I get caught up in it and lose complete track of time.

If I'm working on a painting, things just happen, ideas just flow out of me and I am often more pleased with it than one I start and stop again and again. That flow is what I look forward to when I sit down to paint. Observing that same deeply engaged flow in the form of a conversation walking slowly down a parking lot is just damn annoying.

Now don't get me wrong, I love a good conversation but is it because they dragged me in on it inadvertently (for 2 minutes and 4 seconds) that makes it selfish and wrong? I mean there is no way for me to get that time back.

Okay, you all have been quiet. Engage me in conversation and tell me about times you've been focused to a fault. Was it good? Bad? Embarrassing?