On The List
Friday. A haircut this morning, then lunch with Mr. E and Mr. M at the Korean barbecue restaurant in Jack London Square, I had the smoked chicken, which was OK, but nothing to write home about. I skipped sharing the pitcher of beer with my more raucous companions, the head feeling like shit (you have a good day, you have a bad day, you have, well, whatever day the dealer delivers) and got home before two sitting here now with the fan blowing air across my body and listening to the news on NPR. Is it only old farts like me who listen to the news on NPR? Does everyone else listen to Rush Limbaugh and the administration's marketing arm over at Fox?
Now, now. Some folks listen to MTV and John Stewart.
I know, I know, but I can't help myself. It could relate to age, it could relate to sloth, it could relate to lack of alcohol.
Phil Frank, the cartoonist who created and drew the Farley strip for the Chronicle these last thirty-two years, died yesterday from a brain tumor. I didn't know Frank, met a young guy at one of our underground comix parties at the Rip Off Ranch in the seventies who said he wrote strips for Frank, but otherwise I only knew him through the thirty-two years of his wonderful comic strip. He was my age, learned of the tumor only recently.
Then today at lunch I learned Ms. Rd, who was bounced from the company with my group, has learned she has a lung cancer that's spread to her lymph nodes and brain and she is not in good shape. She had a pain in her side, went in to have them look at it, found she'd had this cancer for a long time and the prognosis was not good. I'd say she's my age, but she's probably younger. She and I were not close, but we worked on various projects together for most of my time at the company.
One of those pieces of news that drills you to the core, but for only a moment as one does not dwell on death without damage, and forces you to wonder what would be different in your life if you measured it against the fleeting nature of our existence. This was Don Juan's “using death as an advisor” lesson for Carlos Castaneda on how to clean the crap out of his life and focus on what's important.
And what is important?
A cool breeze on a hot day, lunch with friends (with or without beer), a decent night's sleep, facing the truth of things on occasion, writing a clean not too twisted sentence and the Ms. A-Z's of this existence. Photography is in there somewhere, but I suspect it's not as high on the list as I once imagined given all the gimcracks and equipment that seem to be required.