Friday, June 09, 2006

June 9, 2006
Delightful day in Frisco (residents here in "The City" hate the "Frisco" nickname, so naturally I have to use it whenever I can). We lounged around this morning and tried to clean off the wine stains on the carpet, caused by my foot kicking a glass off the nightstand, while turning around in bed to do, well, do my midnite yoga exercises.

Got out on the streets at about ten, and walked down to the Embarcadero, the old ferry building, which is like a giant train station that has been converted to hip food vender stores and boutiques. We ended up at the Perry (or Ferry) Fish Company and ate at the counter. I had the two kinds of smoked salmon and Kathy had the crab salad. Place slammed with business district lunch hour devotees. Norton's had the longest lines, both inside and out.

From there we walked through the financial district, up Market and then across to
Sutter, where I stopped at Argonaut Bookstore to talk to my old friend Bob, about the Old West and books and the biz. It was in the Argonaut that Kathy said her famous take on outlaws, and which is related in the foreword to my book, Bad Men. Bob had his "Best of The West: Best California Bookstore, 2004" award up on his wall and pointed to it proudly.

While I did my Old West thing, Kathy landed at a java joint across the street and I picked up a couple local papers to read while she drank coffee and returned calls. I picked up the SF Weekly and there were my old homies, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, listed in the masthead. Nice to see the Zonies, causing grief in Frisco. Ha.

Also picked up the Chronicle, The Examiner and The Onion. I enjoyed them all but the Onion makes me laugh out loud. Here's a couple headlines:

NSA Wiretap Reveals Subject May Be Paying Too Much For Long-Distance

Tea-Party Host Struggling To Keep Conversation Going (run with photo of small girl at toy table with dolls)

Paul McCartney's Mix-CD For New Girlfriend A Little Self-Indulgent

Caught the #2 busline ($1.50 each) out to The Legion of Honor. Rode through block after block of Asian businesses, actually thicker than Chinatown. Looked like Little Taiwan in places.

Hiked up to the Legion of Honor in a stiff ocean breeze ($5 each). Really enjoyed the permanent painting collection. Many great paintings, including a master classic by James Tissot, a self-portrait, that I could admire and stare at for hours. Wonderful Manets, Monets, Degas and a Renoir to kill for. I've been here several times but never tire of it, as it's a religious experience for me. I always leave feeling good, although I did mutter, "You Bastard!" in front of a brilliant Florence scene by Manet. Several people around me moved away, but I was serious. How could that Bastard paint that good? It's just not right.

After the Legion (and museum store gifts for the kids and family $65 cash), we walked to the Cliff House for an early dinner. Sat overlooking the ocean and watched the waves crash. Every time I come here I think of John Henry Tunstall eating at the same restaurant before decamping for New Mexico and meeting Billy the Kid.

Took a taxi from there out to Parkside to pick up a special bottle of wine to leave as a gift for the Hawkins, and caught the L-Train back into Frisco. Ha.

Got back to the condo about seven. Long, fun day. Last night here. Carole told me it's hot back in Phoenix, so I'm going to enjoy wearing a sweatshirt, one more time until November.

"Anybody who enjoys writing a book is an idiot. It's like having a homework assignment every stinking day until it's done. And by the time you get it in, it's done and you're sitting there reading it, and you realize the 12,000 things you didn't do. I mean writing isn't fun. It's never been fun. . .And when you're done people tell you 'Well, gee, I'm not interested.' Great, I'm glad I sat down and wrote this!"
-Lewis Black, interviewed in The Onion

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