1.043 city outing

Tuesday, 1/14/2020

First item today was to start the laundry, two loads. I’ve been tinkering with laundry. By custom I have always done two loads, one of my whites with bleach, one (used to be two when there were two of us) of everything else. But now my white load is very small and the other load is quite large. Today I tried balancing it out by putting the two pairs of jeans from the regular load in with the whites. After all, if the bleach affects the color of the jeans, that’s actually to the good. (In the end it didn’t, as far as I can see.)

Then I made a dumb decision. I should have waited around until 8am and cycled the loads as soon as the first ended. But I was anxious to get started on my run, and did that, which meant my second load didn’t start until 8:40, so it ran over my 7-9 laundry slot, and drew a perfectly justified annoyed call from the next resident in line.

Well, the run was pleasant and went well anyway.

Did a few computer-y things of a marginally constructive nature for the rest of the day, oh, including, finishing up a chapter in the book. Hopefully only two, or at most three, chapters to go!

The big adventure of the day was to attend a concert at SF Jazz. I had plotted out the logistics in detail. It isn’t rocket science: CalTrain, Lyft, reverse. But which train up? And will I be able to catch the 10:30 train back? I had planned to catch the 5:07 but at 4:30 decided to start walking and catch the 4:46, which I did. That worked out well; despite the usual City gridlock I got to Franklin street in plenty of time for a leisurely dinner at the Grove cafe. (I note that a year ago was the first time I used my Clipper card, to go to SFMOMA.)

The concert was by Eric Johnson, an electric guitar “shredder” (as the kids used to say back in the 90s; I wonder what they call them now?), meaning he specializes in very fast improvised sequences, lots of 64th-note cadenzas and runs. Eric had his one big public success in 1990 with the song “Cliffs of Dover” (here’s a live performance). Tonight he played a wide variety of material. He opened the first set with an obscure Beatles song, “Things We Said Today”, and the second set with an even obscurer one, “Mother Nature’s Son”. There were original songs, and one extended number was based on a Coltrane composition. Mostly providing the structure for his extended solos.

I had an excellent seat (I bought the ticket the day it went on sale) and from it I shot a teeny video of EJ doing his thing.

There were other people shooting pictures with their phones, which was mildly annoying. I took pains to not be offensive. One, I took a moment in the settings to lower the brightness, so my phone wouldn’t be a glary little fire in the darkness. Two, I didn’t hold it up in front of me to blind the people behind. Thanks to my good seat, I could hold it at chest level, below my chin. And three, I kept it short. Just enough for a taste to remember.

The sound level was high. The bass guitar, especially, was amped to well-nigh seismic levels. Certain notes resonated with the floor under my feet, giving me a foot massage; while others resonated with the frame of the seat, giving a little magic fingers butt-rub. Fortunately the guitars and keyboards weren’t that high and I didn’t regret not bringing earplugs. (Marian would have hated it. She never liked loud music of any kind.)

Eric wrapped it up with “Cliffs of Dover” just short of 10. Would I make the 10:30 train? I beat most of the crowd out to the street and dialed up a Lyft, which came in 2 minutes, and the driver had no problem getting to CalTrain at 10:20. To my surprise she took the skyway, from 9th to 4th. I’d of never thought of that.

Which got me to Palo Alto station at 11:40 (local train) with a good stiff 15 minute walk home; took my hat off just short of midnight.


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