Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Read.Eat.Listen: Water & Weather

Some mornings are worth everything. Such was the case today, when after dropping Kwame at the airport, I stopped for a walk by "the birds" on the way home. That's what we've come to call the Elsie B Roemer Sanctuary on the west side of the east side of the island. The sun wasn't quite up, and everything was blue and pink, the only other folks on the trail were far and few between. The Sanctuary, however, was going off, a riot of Pelicans souring, Canada Geese honking, terns twittering and oyster catchers hueeping past. Alameda is a good place to be if you're not-so-secretly a bird geek.
I make a determination every week or so to get out to "the birds"  daily, but as I don't live in easy walking distance anymore, I often forget. The world is a wonder if you pause a moment to take it in. I'm reminding myself this as much as anyone else, who often forgets that all that I love is close by. Times like this morning are usually when I make the determination anew.
In the wake of the latest spate of climate change news  — thank you Obama for the Clean Power Plan — I've been reading up on sea level rise in California again. Many people have been trying to alert the masses to this eventuality for a few years now, and now word is really out. It's hard to imagine what this will mean for the place I call home. On a flood map, our little patch of island, is still that, an island, but the shore will be much closer. Then it will be easier to get out to "the birds"... if the birds are still having any of it...

Read: "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" by William Finnegan. I've only surfed (or tried to) a couple of times— alas, even growing up in Santa Cruz County I never lost my fear of the cold, changeable ocean. That said, I love the ocean, its coast and have always loved surf culture...and I LOVE this book, and have barely been able to put it down this week. I get the feeling Finnegan, a longtime writer for The New Yorker who has had a life-long push-pull affair with surfing, could rewrite a phone book so it was engaging, but this really is a notable memoir. Anyone whose spent time on the California coast or in Hawaii will appreciate the insider's view Finnegan depicts so well, from the people, to the waters to the tortures and rewards of loving something deeply. 
Eat: Japanese Sweet Potato. A humble vegetable that gives. I can and do eat them straight up. This is a recipe that splits the difference: Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Listen: We saw Ray Wylie Hubbard at The Freight last week, my first time seeing this Texas musician. Been there, seen it all, looked-under-every-rock, not-afraid-to-say-anything gritty goodness.

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