It’s Complicated

Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. The group was composed of the usual San Francisco mix: a college professor, an architect, and a collection of software engineers of various stripes. They were single-ish. Childless. Forty-ish. Well traveled. Charming. Between them they could speak eight languages. They were old enough to be semi-established … Continue reading It’s Complicated

High Water Marks

Friends and relatives in Nebraska sent links to the floods they’re currently experiencing. The people we know are lucky enough to have homes that are just slightly above the icy waters, but many of their neighbors are inundated and the cattle are dying in large numbers. There are serious questions about whether or not many … Continue reading High Water Marks

Moving House

I spent the last week helping pack and unpack for a family as they moved to their new digs. I’ll start with the house porn since the new place was magnificently staged by real estate professionals. Then I’ll work backwards to tell this story. The new house is four stories tall and was last used … Continue reading Moving House

Big Picture

There are some serious forest fires burning all across California at the moment and the smoke from distant counties has turned the air here in San Francisco into an autumnal barbecue flavored mist. Bits of white flaky ash are drifting down from the sky like cherry blossoms. Last year around this time there were similar … Continue reading Big Picture

The Apartment Complex

Garden apartment complexes do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to suburban affordable housing. Young singles, the elderly, married couples saving for their first home, recently divorced folks starting over, and people who tried but somehow failed to move on to other arrangements – these are the inhabitants of America’s low density rental … Continue reading The Apartment Complex

Church and Plate

Yesterday I enjoyed a Sunday breakfast with friends at Wat Mongkolratanaram, a Buddhist Thai Temple in Berkeley. The Temple has been serving food in their courtyard as a community event and fund raising mechanism every Sunday for years. This is the Thai version of Lutheran church basement hot dish. (I recommend the green papaya salad … Continue reading Church and Plate