Will someone please wake up Ms. Hillary and let her smell the coffee?
One thing we need in the White House more than anything this time around is a President who has a grip on reality. From all appearances, Hillary is living in some kind of fantasy world, where math doesn't count, rules don't count and everything turns around the candidate's insistence that it is her turn to be President.
When she does wake up, and smell the coffee, I hope she will be offered and will accept the number two spot, since she does have many positive qualities and loads of legislative experience.
She would still be the first female Vice President and still have another chance from that position to become the first female President--so it is not the end of the world if she decided to live in the world and recognize the facts as they have turned out. Otherwise, I hope Bill Richardson will become the first Hispanic VP.
Since both Barack Obama and John McCaine know first hand what dirty politics feel like, and they seem both to be honorable candidates, we may finally see a relatively clean presidential campaign season--if the underlings of either campaign don't defy their leaders the way was done in North Carolina with that TV ad running the Reverend Jeremiah Wright--against the expressed wishes of McCaine. But don't count on it.
I defended the right for a minister to speak from the pulpit in the manner of an old testament prophet--but after seeing this particular Jeremiah clown around at the National Press Club, I have to say that Wright was Wrong to say what he said there and do what he did before the American public and the world. Dead Wrong.
OK, I just had to get those things of my chest first. Now to more important things, like life in San Francisco.
My friend Brahm has announced plans to leave the U.S. and buy himself an apartment in Teheran with the money he inherited--since there are No gays in Iran, says Ahmadinejad I cannot go there to visit him obviously, because I would be stoned to death. That will leave me with an empty chair accross from me on the coffee table at the Venue Cafe, or any other place I might find myself a cup-a-joe. The truth is that Brahm will most likely come back eventually, but since he is giving up his place in Berkeley to Marlene, he would have to find himself another spot--not that easy in the Bay area, where rents have never come down even when the house prices do.
And they don't even do that everywhere in San Francisco.
The high end market in Pacific Heights and places like that where houses sell for 10 or 20 million buckaroos is booming, with the filthy rich thirty somethings from Silicon Valley snapping up many of these choice little urban palaces for cash: High-End Housing “Booming” | SFluxe
Meanwhile, there are many people sleeping in doorways and looking for their next meal in garbage cans.
A few hours ago Brahm and I were at the Venue accross from the old Mint on Fifth Street sipping our usual beverages (he likes Earl Grey tea these days--I stick with Sumatra) when a couple of guys came around and leaning on the heavy concrete refuse receptacle on the sidewalk, one of them started to search through a lady's purse. The guy had rings through every possible part of his face and tattoos on his arms and hands, so he certainly didn't look like a lady. I assumed they had just found or stolen the handbag and were now checking out what was of use inside it. The ringed leader finally managed to open the zipper of the bag and started fishing--but only came up with a hardpack of Marlboro's, from which he immediately took a cigaret, then fished for some matches and lit up. Bingo! At least he got something for his efforts. Then the guys ambled away--and from the manner the ringed leader put on the ladies purse over his shoulder hand the way he walked my initial suspicians that the bag was captured from some unfortunate lady disappeared rightaway. I was glad I no longer had to feel derelict in not calling the cops, so the story has a happy ending.
Meanwhile I love walking around my own neighborhood and continue to find new spots to try out. Last week I noticed a fairly new Burmese restaurant: Burmese @ Larkin Express Deli (SF) - San Francisco Bay Area ... which i decided to try by buying a small take out salad with ground shrimp and a side of tamarind sauce. Burmese food reminds me a lot of Indonesian cuisine, so regardless of the quality, it always has an emotional impact--it is the kind of food my mother used to make for us --once she had lost the services of our kokkie, our cook, Mira, the mother of Kandar and Karinten--i.e. after we had repatriated to Holland.
Since this week is Mother's Day, I miss her more than usual, and lament the fact that I will never be able to taste her dishes anymore, or experience first hand the loving care with which she prepared and served them to her family. One of my non-Indonesian favorites had to be her baked macaroni! I still love to eat that anytime I can. Thanks Mam! You always made my mouth water.
Another little place that opened fairly recently is the Crepes A Go Go - Nob Hill - San Francisco, CA 94109, operated by a hunky young Frenchman. It has a few tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside the window where Frenchy makes his stuffed crepes and since it is just around the corner from the Alliance Francaise where I am doing my thing as we speak, so to say, it could be my next hang out. I just need to drum up a coffeemate after Brahm has done his quick disappearing act for the umtpieth time. The grass is always greener...but it never stays that way, for Brahm always seems to come back after a few months.
Time itself, however makes for gradual changes that are inevitable and permanent. One can only live one life at the time, and the end of each life is known from the very beginning. Every human being has had to come to grips with that (even Hillary) and once you do, it is not such a bad idea to leave this earthly realm for other pastures, where all men have gone before, over and over again. It is not so bad, that is if you have made the most of your current existence, lived life to the fullest extant you were capable of and do not worry too much about what might come next--for irrational worries are joy killers. When you have irrational fears about your fate after death, then you can use various beliefs systems to counteract the disabilitating fears. Like reason, faith is a human tool with which we manipulate the universal flow of conscious energy and with which we can construct many widely divergent 'realities' each one stranger than the next--except for those who accept them on faith or by way of reason.
The ultimate reality, however, transcends whatever human tools can construct. We ought to use our tools to best effect, but not assume they are or even accurately display in fact the ultimate reality. That reality is far greater than we are ourselves and far greater than our meager human understanding can comprehend, let alone construct. It is not faith that ultimate connects us to the ultimate reality, but love, love of that great mystery which gave us life--whatever that might be. It is love itself that binds us, heals us, and gives us our reason for being.
To countless human beings and other animals, it is of course the mother who was the first person behind which that ultimate reality revealed its love to us. Thanks again Mam, for the love you gave all of us.