Friday, November 18, 2011

Lean on Me

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, old and new."
-- Will Carleton

I've been thinking a lot about my friends the last few weeks and how this life would be impossible without them. The MCFL staff recently lost a treasured colleague, ( please see Miss Kitty's blog post ) and for me, I lost a dear friend. Fran and I laughed until it hurt. Laughed until we cried. She offered advice without lecture. We shared a love of music.  I enjoyed everything about her.

I am left wondering if she knew the impact she had on me. I hope I expressed that to her. I hope she knew how much I liked her being in my life.  I began to wonder if I tell people often enough how important they are to me.  I hope the friends in my life do not wonder if I could do without them.....because I couldn't. They are our chosen family.

We are (already!) coming upon Thanksgiving. It's a good time to tell the special people in your life what they mean to you, so you never have to wonder if they know.

The following video gets to me every time I see it. It may be two Great Danes; but it is the story of friendship. We lean on each other. We take the lead when the other cannot see -- see that things will get better; see that there is hope and love and goodness. We guide. We wait. We stand by their side until they can walk more freely on their own. And sometimes we are just there, at a silent distance, holding them in our hearts.

((Update: Lily and Maddison have been adopted together by a loving family))

I would like to dedicate this to the friends in my life who guide me when I can not see.

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”
-- George Eliot

Go out with your friends out this weekend!

The great Bel Marin Keys Holiday Warehouse and Studio Sale!

The San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Fest at the Palace of Fine Arts

A nice walk in the Marin Headlands

...with breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley afterward (( I highly recommend the waffle! ))

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Blog is Born

I had been sick for days last February.  Coughing. Coughing. Coughing.   I was armed with two bags of Halls cherry cough drops in my jacket pocket and several handfuls of Kleenex.  When I tried to talk, only squeaky whispers of words could be heard.  Despite this virus and against the advice of my accountant (well, if I had an accountant), I was  standing on a rain-soaked BART platform in Oakland when I struck up a conversation with the stranger beside me.  We were standing among hundreds of people who had just left the last of three Prince concerts that week at the Oracle Arena. (Yes, Prince.  Just keep reading, please.)  We were glowing with huge smiles, happy hearts…and empty wallets.  We didn’t care that it was raining or that we had just missed the train and had to stand in the cool night and wait.  We would be happy for days to come.
“Wasn’t this the best show you’ve ever been to?” he asks.
“It was the best one of the week!  By Far! There are no words.  I cannot believe I got to dance on stage. You know, all I could think was, Hey, Prince, I’m from Minnesota!! I’m your people!.......of course then I dropped a bunch of Halls on the stage!” I laugh and then sigh heavily,” I can live off of this for 6 months, I think.  I really can’t afford to be here……and yet I couldn’t afford not to, you know?”
“I know what you mean,” he says. ,"'s easy to start to go through life on autopilot….to feel almost dead inside, unexcited by doing the same thing, the same work, the same routines, the same people day in and day out.  We forget why we do what we do. This is like pushing the reset button.  Getting back to who you are and what makes you happy.  I have to do it to my computer all the time,” he laughs,” push the reset button when it freezes up, seems logical I should need to do it to myself from time to time!" 
 "That’s exactly what I mean!” I said.
And a blog idea was born.
I am the Julie McCoy of my group of friends (for those not inherently linked to the 80's, she was the Cruise Director on the Love Boat TV show  This has been true most of my life. Even as a kid I wore my mom out always wanting to, in her words," Go, go, go and do, do, do."   I am always looking for fun, different, perhaps quirky things to experience.  Always looking for little resets.   To create wonderful memories.  Sometimes all it takes is coffee with friends, a movie, a walk, a run, a swim.  Looking at the Golden Gate Bridge.  The ocean.  And sometimes it takes Prince.   Life is challenging and sometimes hectic and unfriendly and it's easy to get wrapped into all the things we see that are wrong, or at least not-quite-right with life and the world.  But as I recently heard from a friend, ‘you may be in the storm, but don't let the storm get in you’. 

Now I've made you want to see Purple Rain again, right?  We have it right here!   I highly recommend the extras.  Maybe a little music?   The Hits, 1: or maybe Sign 'O the Times: or a little Musicology

If you're in need of a little Reset this weekend, here are a few ideas:
The Rip Curl surfing competition continues at Ocean Beach in San Francisco through November 12.  and if you can't make it there, you can watch live online.
Friday night, November 11, Mary J. Blige will be at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and Ledisi will be there on November 12

Marin Open Garden Project Veggie Exchange on November 12th.  More information here:

Take a stroll through the recently reopened Palace Of Fine Arts and then wander on over through Crissy Field to the warming hut for hot chocolate!

Enjoy everything you get to do no matter what it is!