Confidence to Spare (change)

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Image courtesy of BrainyQuote.com

When I am feeling a bit out of sorts about life I need a sense of perspective. There is much to be thankful for in life but occasionally we all need a reminder about what truly matters and where we all fit into the greater scheme of things. My self worth has taken a few beatings of late and it is easy to lose confidence.

Confidence has never been a strong suit for me. This, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Saying this because at times in my life I have put up a facade that fooled many into believing that I had my shit together and that I was confident, if not cocky. People have been drawn to me at times and on the surface I seem to be fine. People like me.

Lies, all lies I tell you. Over the past year therapy uncorked the bottle that contained my true emotions and the stench that has bubbled out is a true testament to the lack of confidence that I have lived with.

The human mind plays terrible tricks at times. Fooling us into believing that we have no ability, when we are able. Or that we are unlovable when we are in fact loved.

Confidence falls prey to these cognitive slights of hand as well and if you were never given confidence from a young age it can be a hard belief to instill later on.

One method I am using to combat this tendency of mine to lack confidence is a process called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. This is the act of logging your negative thoughts and emotions using a process called a thought record.

After your negative thoughts are recorded, the process calls for going back and examining them. Providing facts to support and refute. You start to realize how much your thinking can become skewed and how far from truth that perceptions can stray.

Another method I use to combat my lack of confidence is to volunteer as well as to give to the less fortunate. This works for me because I get that crucial perspective about how much I have going for me.

Even when I feel inadequate I am not only worthy but able to effect positivity in others through my actions.

As an example, the other day I was getting some vegetables at the produce market down the block. As I was walking home with my bag full of food a homeless woman with a worn paper cup asked if I could spare some change. I knew I had some coins from the change from my purchases so I stopped and started digging them out.

During this time, she mentioned that she was begging in order that she could raise a few dollars for something that she needed. I stopped and listened to her and empathized with her. Telling her I understood that times are tough and then I gave her the money she needed which was not a big deal.

What happened next was, however. She looked at me with surprise at my gift to her and smiled wide. She said:

“I like you, you are good. Can I give you a hug?”

And hug we did. It was a lovely exchange and I got the feeling she got as much from the human touch and interaction with me as she did the money that I gave her.Her spirits were uplifted and so were mine. Immediately I felt better about myself and about my place in the world.

That homeless woman and her hug not only gave me confidence in myself, it let me know that I had confidence to spare.

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer Remembrances Of The Yuba River

The Yuba river

The Yuba river

 

Shadows stretch languidly
fluid rivulets groove into granite.
Time passes with no words.

Echoes reverberate against box canyon walls.
Foam spray on mossy stones.
Driftwood collects in swirling eddies.

Dappled stars twinkle and dance on waters surface.
Scent of pine duff wafts.
Calm pools teem with life as
water skeeters flit and skip about.

Breathy breezes and puffy clouds.
Cans of cheap beer chill at rivers edge.
Eyes closed but calming ripples
fill my mind.
Falling deeply into summers trance.

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Soothing Hues of Grey

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Mists blow on high.
Rustling leaves,
morning’s quiet blankets.

Soft melodies stir
unbroken loops
in my mind.

Soothing hues of grey.
Calmness and peace
wrapped in embrace.

Never to release.
Forever in your arms,
secure in love.

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I Have Created a Monster

Sometimes she gets me so angry. It hardly seems fair when she knows exactly the right buttons to push. It’s part of the challenge of trying to repair a fractured relationship. A fractured trust. My role is not that of the innocent, I admit this. At times I play into the emotions, and help to create the monster that rears it’s fangs. 

Still I wish that things were different.

Find myself longing for simpler times, when we were on more even footing. When we both had careers, and both brought home the bacon. When she could explain to her friends what I did on a daily basis without having to massage things to make them sound more palatable. When she was proud of me, of our relationship.

These days the turmoil is causing hairline cracks. Emotions bubble up at inopportune moments. What would once go unsaid now gets repeated daily, hourly. Frustrations cause mountains out of molehills. She is quick to anger and I am quick to be defensive. To survive this we will both need to learn how to relate to each other better.

The good news is that there is still love. There is still something worth fighting for. She may run out of patience with me and if she did I could not really blame her. The past few years have been very painful for us both. At times I don’t like the man that I have become but at the same time I have been forced to learn some humbling lessons about life. About what is truly important and what is not.

The hope is that these travails may bear sweet fruit for us eventually if we can wait it out. If only we can find the strength to see our way through these challenges. Life does not owe us anything, but if there is any justice in the universe I will get a chance to see this journey through to it’s conclusion and come to realize the greater purpose for the path that I took.

Like tempered steel, with the right mindset our relationship will emerge stronger. Everything happens for a reason. I refuse to give up my faith in this simple belief. 

 

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Weekend Chart Porn

Yesterday I actually spent a few hours looking through some of my favorite chart sets. Things are interesting to me again technically for the first time in quite a while. I updated a few charts and published some of them online on Stocktwits and TradingView. My bio has links to these sites if you are interested in following me there.

Price is Truth is many things to me, and from time to time I may post market related topics because they are of interest. Many of my newer followers found me through poems, or photographs, or writings about my life challenges and I am thrilled to have you reading my words. You may not even be aware that I started this blog to document my market thoughts and experiences. Over time it has morphed into something a bit different but deep down I still have an interest and passion for financial markets and technical analysis.

It’s like an artist that puts her brush down for a spell, eventually she gets the urge to paint again. So I feel currently about charting. To that end, below are a few that I worked on this weekend.

What am I looking at here?

To those who don’t typically look at price charts these may look like chicken scratch but many of them have some notes that you can read to try to figure out what I am doing. If you have any specific questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you. Please note that my analysis is not to be construed as investment advice. Click on charts to enlarge.

VIX weekly seems ready for move higher.

VIX weekly seems ready for move higher.

 

The first chart I have for you is that of the VIX index. This is commonly referred to as the “fear index” since it tracks the market’s expectation of 30 day volatility of prices. It is constructed using the implied volatilities of a wide range of S&P 500 index options. When the VIX is low the market is said to be complacent and when it is high there is fear among investors. This chart suggests that after a multi-year “base” or consolidation that the VIX is ready for a foray to higher levels soon. This would correlate to a corresponding market swoon. Timing would be spring-summer of this year based on the chart pattern.

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Bonds making a classic W bottom. Higher prices likely.

 

The next chart is that of the exchange traded treasury bond fund TLT. This liquid ETF blends the 10 and 30 year Treasuries into what they call a 20+ year Bond Fund. I use this as a proxy for the US Treasury market (specifically the 10 and 30 year bonds). Typically as equity prices increase, bond prices decrease. This is due to market participants wishing to gain greater capital appreciation from rising equity prices and the lower yield to maturity that bonds offer when treasury prices get high. Last summer when the Federal Reserve hinted that they would “taper” or reduce their monthly treasury purchases the bond market sold off and a parabolic bubble began in stocks. The problem is that now the average dividend yield on the S&P is under 2% and the TLT pays out over a 3% yield. At some point Treasuries become attractive again relative to equities since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Govt. and it’s ability to force citizens to pay income tax to raise capital to pay back it’s debt. Stocks hold no such backing and are much higher on the risk spectrum. When valuations in stocks are high as they are currently, this is an issue that money managers will consider when constructing their portfolio mix.

Crude completed a bullish fractal and now looks poised for lower prices.

Crude completed a bullish fractal and now looks poised for lower prices.

 

Next up is a chart of Crude Oil. Specifically WTIC or West Texas Intermediate Crude or Texas Light Sweet. This is the benchmark grade for US Oil prices. Europe has it’s own benchmark called Brent Crude. Oil prices are tied into economic expansion and contraction and only a robust economy can withstand rising oil prices without causing a natural dampening of growth through higher input and transportation costs for manufacturers, less disposable income for households due to rising gasoline prices, etc. What this chart is telling me is that oil prices have likely topped out near term and look to at least test recent lower levels around $90 per barrel. This is a chart to continue to watch- if prices break lower this could signal a slowdown in the economy and possible deflationary forces exerting upon commodities.

ES futures (S&P 500) may be carving out a topping pattern with a July low.

ES futures (S&P 500) may be carving out a topping pattern with a July low.

 

The last chart I will post is that of the Emini futures. This is the most liquid of the S&P futures contracts that trade out of the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange). I have had these trend lines in place since last summer without adjusting them and price is looking currently like it may be carving out a head and shoulders top. This is still to be confirmed and frankly that is pure speculation on my part. However, I am basing my theories upon not just the price action in the index itself but in looking at different indexes, sectors, breadth indicators, currencies, and commodities. Only in looking at many different inputs can you hope to gain any accurate timing of the markets.

Based on everything I am seeing, I would not be at all surprised to see a 15-20% market correction this spring/summer to be followed by a decent rally. Once that rally happens we will have a greater idea if the market can make higher highs into 2015 or if the great bull run of 2009-2014 has topped out.

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Spring Rain

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Faint hint of rose
like the fresh breeze
after a spring rain.

Warm remembrances
of when we last
strolled hand in hand.

Perhaps soon
we can revisit the
space held dear
to our hearts.

To be savored
as perfumed kisses
to my soul.

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Lighthouse

image courtesy of whowillyouserve.blogspot.com

Rudderless and adrift

victim to the whims of current and tide.

 

Imminently threatened

to be dashed against jagged cliffs.

 

You are my beacon, 

Guiding me homeward to calm waters.

 

Without your hand I am a lost soul.

No sextant to chart direction in a starless sky.

 

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Introvert Celebration Inside My Head

MaxxPayme:

While I sip my coffee I would love you all to read this brief post that says a lot about how I feel as an introvert. Cheers!

Originally posted on 61 Musings:

Artwork by yoko furusho

Artwork by yoko furusho

It’s late Saturday afternoon.  The rains and high winds have stopped, at least for the moment, and the sun is shining through patchy clouds.  I’m listening to music online, exploring some new singers.  I still like folk and folk rock, hangovers from my youth filled with Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and so many others.  Voices of change, all of them.  Quietly introspective, seeing a bigger picture of a better world.

Why do I love being an introvert?  Because I think.  I think a lot.  My mind is a fascinating place full of so many things.  My interests are varied.  I explore everything.  I take time to stop, listen and understand the fullness of life.  I’m a philosopher.  The world is a beautiful place to me, filled with possibilities.

I can bring tremendous focus to anything I have an interest…

View original 535 more words

Here’s Looking At You

About to make a pot of coffee and settle in to read some of you fine folks.

courtesy of GIPHY.com

Here’s looking at you.

Here’s looking at you. Cheers!

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Weekend Micropoetry

Here’s a sampling of some of my recent Micropoetry Tweets. Micropoetry by definition is limited to 140 characters or less when using Twitter so it can be a bit of a challenge to get your message across at times.

Many of these were submitted with the hashtag #Heartsoup where a daily phrase or word is chosen to be integrated into the poem. This keeps it interesting and fresh for the various poets, challenging them to find ways to include the phrase within their words. Give it a shot if you like to write poetry and have a Twitter account, it’s fun and the community is always supportive with stars for your efforts.

If you wish to follow my Twitter account, my handle is @MaxxPayme. I hope to see some of you there.

 

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Resiliency

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Even under less than ideal circumstances

nature finds ways to push on,

to thrive.

There is a great lesson for each of us in this simple observation.

Instead of telling yourself

why you cannot possibly succeed,

perhaps

you should be telling yourself

that if you persist long enough

there is no possible way you can fail.

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Morning Prayer 3/25/14

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On this morning I draw strength and inspiration from others. Those that are kind and those that push through their difficulties and still find time to smile and greet me with warmth. Many are less fortunate than I. Realizing how blessed I am makes me happy. Cherishing my friendships and my family. The beauty around me every day is another source of inspiration. Watching the sun rise every morning is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the Universe. How can I be anything but grateful for the blessing of life and health? My wish is that today I am able to reflect these feelings back into the world and find my peace.

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Pissing On The Hydrant

My intention is to do some writing for this blog this weekend, but I never know if I will find the time. So this little post is a bit of a placeholder of sorts. My subject matter is likely to be market related as I am sensing something in the charts.

After many months where technical analysis was a waste of time, I have a strong sense that some changes are happening here and that charts will matter again very soon. 

Some of you will likely shrug shoulders and roll eyes and scratch heads. Some of you will be interested and some will not. Likely any post will be somewhat geeky and boring for non-traders but you may learn something if you slog through.

Anyhow, just a bit of a warning that my gut is sensing something here that I will do my best to explain when I have a moment to construct my thoughts properly.

Until then, carry on as you were.

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Live Oak

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Live Oak

Arms outstretched as if in prayer

tendrils intertwine in delightful chaos.

We have grown wise and old through the years

like the live oak by the river.

Remember how we used to picnic

‘neath her canopy in the summertime

and make love in the evening gloaming protected from view.

The quiet sentinel always willing to keep our secret.

Head resting in your lap as you absentmindedly

ran delicate fingers through my hair.

Feelings of freedom and security, wind rustled leaves

entranced us with hypnotic rhythms.

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Shadow and light

Shadow and light

Shadow and light

On a recent day this week that took me to the Union Square area of San Francisco I took some photos that interested me. Mostly of architecture since I am fascinated by the craftsmanship that was used in prior decades. It is somewhat of a sad testimony to witness what was once art melding with function whereas now buildings are rarely more than steel, glass and plastic.

Detail of a medical building in downtown San Francisco

Detail of a medical building in downtown San Francisco

The above photograph illustrates my point. This was taken outside of a medical building and as you can see an artisan created a statement of intent that functioned both as art and as a sort of advertisement of what could be found inside. Form and function.

They don't build them like this anymore.

They don’t build them like this anymore.

Why do I long for the older style of architecture over the impersonal boxes of modern design? Perhaps it is a bit of romanticism. I will acknowledge that many of these old buildings are in dire need of modernizing on the inside. However to these eyes, the style and artistry exhibited by these grand old dames has a timeless quality that I find very hard to find fault with. What do you think?

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Inky Blackness

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photo from my Instagram page: http://instagram.com/maxxpayme

 

Inky Blackness

Swirling and bubbling

inky blackness

reflecting a mood.

 

Deep absolute void

capturing all light

antimatter.

 

Absence of color

cool slab of obsidian

pitch dark night.

 

 

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The Power Of A Smile

There is much that I don’t know but I do know about the power of a smile. My journey for truth and balance in life has taken many twists and turns. Struggles often outnumber achievements over the past few years. Bouts of depression and periods social isolation have taken their toll and the results have bubbled up to the surface of my psyche. My forays down the rabbit hole have led to some strange days and strains on my relationships. Some really tough lessons have been learned, and some really difficult experiences have been my life coach.

Honestly I am still a very flawed individual and at times it is difficult for me to love myself enough to overcome some of my hang ups. The identified problem is that I know that my self worth issues are holding me back from even greater progression as an person and as a soul. My challenge is to find effective ways to mitigate and lessen my tendency to be self destructive.

That is not to say that I am not actively working on my personal development, because I am. Between individual therapy sessions, group classes in behavioral therapy, weekly volunteer efforts, a renewed exercise regimen and a recently acquired part time job with a not for profit organization, I have been making progress in overcoming some of my bad habits and recurring self destructive tendencies.

Sometimes however the simplest therapy is often times the most effective. To over think can be to cloud the truth behind layers of unnecessary complexity. One of the greatest and quickest ways that I am able to uplift not only myself and also those around me to greet the world with a smile.

You would be amazed at how well this works if you don’t do this already. All that you need to do is to make eye contact with people and once you have that connection all you need to do is to smile. A nice wave and “hi there” or “hello” is great as well although it is not necessary if your smile comes from your heart.

You see, to smile is not enough in my opinion. If you want to make your smile impacting you need to feel love for the person that you are smiling at. Even if they are a complete stranger you can feel love for them. This is the same love that you can feel for a beautiful sunset, or for a warm evening breeze, or for the wafting smell of barbeque. The love I am talking about is just a simple love of what is. A love of the fact that we exist. The love of the wonder and beauty of the universe.

One of the greatest things about this simple exercise is the immediate feedback you receive. The reaction that refracts back to you from the individual that you greet with your love is instant and usually revealing and gratifying. Often times I get the distinct impression that I have made the day of that person by letting them realize that they are not alone in the world. They are part of a community of people and that they are loved and noticed. They are valued for existing.

The “Smile Game”

This is powerful medicine for both parties. For me, this feedback uplifts my spirit and soul. It puts me in a great frame of mind and encourages me to continue to engage and interact with people on a spiritual level. The great thing about this exercise (I prefer to call it “the smile game”) is how you can play it at any time. For example my favorite time to play the smile game is when I am out for a run in my neighborhood.

As I am running I invariably run into folks such as the garbage collectors, or the postman, or the UPS driver that has his route in my area. These folks get a smile and a wave from me and now they smile and wave back as well. They know me and I know them now. Random strangers walking children in strollers, or the elderly man out for a walk that I always seem to see on a certain street have become less than complete strangers because we have connected and are now aware of each other.

My sense of community and my sense of the rhythms of the neighborhood have increased. My connection with those around me has grown and my sense of isolation has diminished. Spiritually the smile game creates an immediate mood enhancement since it is hard to be unhappy if you feel love for your fellow man.

The flip side to this is that when you are feeling down the tendency is to keep your head down and maintain the isolation. Some days I just don’t feel much like playing the smile game. Those are the EXACT days that I get the most benefit from forcing myself to play. If you can flip the switch and make yourself get past your own sadness and realize how great it feels to just love a stranger unconditionally and give them a smile from your heart then your own mood will lift as well and you are well on your way to turning your day around for the better.

In conclusion, please understand that I have not conquered my demons and am not some enlightened man. My flaws are still very much a part of who I am. That does not mean that I don’t have insights and that there is not a pure expression of love inside of me (as there is in everybody). The more that you can tap into that love the happier that you can become and the greater this vibration can spread to others in your world.

Try playing the smile game the next time you are feeling a bit down and watch the magic happen for you and for those around you. It is the power of a smile!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As a postscript I wanted to mention that as of last week I had gained over 50 followers to this blog. While some of you big accounts probably get that many followers per week, this is a big deal to me and I am proud of the achievement. More importantly, I am heartened by the support and appreciate all of those who read my words, like my posts and who take the time to comment and interact with me.

A hearty THANK YOU to all of you fine folks and know that I am smiling at each and every one of you.

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Increase The Peace

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I spotted this cool message embedded into the sidewalk while out on my run today and just had to come back later and snap a picture. 

Just another example of the messages that abound for those not walking around with their face jammed up against a smart phone like so many zombies I see every day.

After I took this picture I went and volunteered for a few hours at the food bank. Doing what I can to contribute to making this world just a little bit better.

What can you do to increase the peace?

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Cluster Bombs

cluster bombs

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Swirling Interludes

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Views From The Street – S.F Mission District

Lucha Libre

Mexican wrestling masks on display in the Mission.

One of the great joys of living in a major metropolitan city are the varieties and flavors that can be sampled just from hanging out in different neighborhoods. Where I live out by the beach, there are many great trails and views of natural beauty, flora and fauna that continually amaze me and make me thankful for the lovely city I call my home.

However, just a short Muni ride from my flat brings me to whole new worlds with unique energy and their own set of values that make them special. Yesterday I found myself in San Francisco’s Mission District getting my brakes worked on and needed to kill a few hours. Besides enjoying a great lunch at at a lovely neighborhood cafe I shot a few photos of some of the street art and scenes that surrounded me.

Hearts with wings

Hearts with wings

The Mission  is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, but it’s history is firmly rooted in the Hispanic culture and street murals and street art abound that reflect those roots. It is amazing how many walls, buildings, parking lots and alley ways are lovingly painted. Worth noting is that these murals are never scarred by graffiti – there is honor on the street and graffiti artists respect the work of the muralists and vice versa.

Ave Maria

Ave Maria

Many of the murals have religious undertones and somehow that seems natural and right within this area. The Catholic church is a large part of the Mexican culture and so it makes sense that religion would figure prominently in these works.

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All of these photographs were taken within a four block radius and there were many more murals and examples of street art that I did not shoot or that came out even worse than these pictures. (my phone is old and the camera sucks. Looking to update very soon so expect an improvement in the photo quality on my pictures soon)

The area is absolutely teeming with great subject matter. Perhaps I will head back to the Mission District soon to see what else I can capture with my lens. For now, I hope that you enjoy this glimpse. Enjoy the weekend!

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Morning Prayer

As my feet hit the ground out of my bed I say a morning prayer:

  • May I find grace and purpose in my day
  • May I greet those who cross my path with a smile and open heart
  • May I build up my strength and confidence in myself incrementally
  • May I capture my creativity and express it well
  • May I bring joy into my life and into the lives of those around me
  • May I love unconditionally
  • May I be at peace and let this peace reflect back out into the universeImage
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Soma

“..there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon…” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Passing days, passion fades

intensity peels off in layers like onion skin.

Blunted, muffled, tamped down.

 

Stuffing cotton gauze in gaping wounds.

 

Hazy dreamy reality

smug, warm and content.

 

Nothing can penetrate the veneer

safe in the cocoon of ignorance.

 

Challenges to status quo rebuffed.

Never question, each day filled

with hermetically sealed and

sterilized packages.

 

Curiosity killed the cat.

Stay in bounds.

Color between the lines.

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Etchings

Scratches on the surface

grooves worn lightly

crisscrossing intricately and delicately.

 

Patterns evolve over time

an expression of the subconscious

let the waves flow

the magnetism will create on it’s own

 

Circadian rhythm

the natural order of things

everything is as it should be

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Adventures in Chinatown

Street art in San Francisco Chinatown

Street art in San Francisco Chinatown

Today we brought the in-laws around San Francisco. Normally I don’t dare venture to bastions of banality such as Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown but today such fare was featured prominently on the menu. Throw in a Go-Car tour, a Cable Car ride (and even an asses and elbows Muni ride – the most authentic San Francisco experience of the day by far) and a trip down Lombard Street and you are talking about a full day of the worst kind of mind numbing tourism.

As much as I could bitch and moan about playing the typical tourist in a city that I have lived in for near 30 years, once in a while it can be entertaining to just put away the holier than thou chip on the shoulder for a day. Every great while it is perfectly okay just enjoy the sights through fresh eyes and realize that people travel from many states and countries around the world to get the experiences that San Francisco offers.

Since I live here, I did not take too many traditional tourist photographs but instead shot a few whimsical pics of the tourist shops and other stuff that made me laugh or created a reaction to me. Below are a few of these. Don’t hold any lack of intrinsic artistic value against me, I was just along for the ride today and trying to make the best of the situation.

The weather was spectacular with high 60′s and clear skies for the early day. As part of our initial Go-Car ride (think two seat fiberglass body over motorcycle engine with gps audio tour through San Francisco) we ended up at Fort point where I took this black and white photo that I was rather pleased with:

Black and White of Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point.

Black and White of Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point.

Then curvy Lombard Street awaited and this picture was taken from the top right as we were about to go down. As you can see the views of Coit Tower in the distance as well as the San Francisco bay were spectacular.

View of Lombard Street, San Francisco from the top.

View of Lombard Street, San Francisco from the top.

After taking the 180 minute tour we ended up at Fisherman’s Wharf and had lunch at the In-N-Out Burger. If you have never had this Southern California born fast food experience, they always draw a crowd and the menu is very simple (although there are off menu selections that you can order if you know the code. )

The In-N-Out menu is simple but classic.

The In-N-Out menu is simple but classic.

After eating our lunch we stumbled onto a candy store with a bunch of gag gifts. One in particular caught my attention. It reminded me of the old Tootsie Roll Pop commercial – “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”.

sweet spot grab

From the Wharf we took the Powell street cable car line up the hill to Chinatown so our guests could complete the holy triumvirate of tourism in San Francisco. This is the Wharf, the Cable Car, and Chinatown. If you have never been to my fair city then that may sound absolutely incredible but for locals that is a day they would rather spend at the dentist getting a root canal. Chinatown is a mix of a few real local shops consisting of herbs and foods, some real local restaurants (that most folks would NOT want to eat in – far too authentic, trust me. No broccoli beef at these places) with the rest of the area pure tourist gift shop shlock.

These are good luck tokens that Chinese put in their stores for bounty.

These are good luck tokens that Chinese put in their stores for bounty.

It was a long day and one that I hope not to repeat any time in the next few years but still we managed to have a good time and our guests enjoyed themselves immensely. If you have never visited San Francisco, by all means see the sights and hit the tourist spots but if you are a repeat visitor, try to find some lesser known areas to explore and I am certain that you will enjoy those as well.

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Family Time

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The in-laws are in town for a few days and we are heading out to tour the city with them. Here are some quotes about family for your reading pleasure (quotes from goodreads.com):

Family Time

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” 
― George Burns

“The capacity for friendship is God’s way of apologizing for our families.” 
― Jay McInerneyThe Last of the Savages

“HAPPINESS [is] ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” 
― Jon KrakauerInto the Wild

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family. ” 
― Jim Butcher

“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” 
― Rick RiordanThe Sea of Monsters

“That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.” 
― Deb Caletti

“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.” 

― Trenton Lee StewartThe Mysterious Benedict Society

“I sustain myself with the love of family.” 
― Maya Angelou

“You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.” 
― Elizabeth GilbertCommitted: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

“Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know.” 
― Mitch Albom

Enjoy the day.

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Impressions Of Mexico City

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Our flight back to the States yesterday was a real stinker on paper. For some reason, there are very few connecting flights from Ixtapa back to San Francisco and due to this vicissitude our itinerary included an almost eight hour layover in Mexico City. 

When we booked the trip I was dreading this leg of the journey, however as time drew closer the decision was made to make the most of the situation and find an appropriate way to explore the city for a few hours rather than camp out in a foreign airport (that turned out not to have free wireless – oh the horror).

We caught a cab downtown to the historic Centro and did the Turibus for a few hours, then hopped off and grabbed some lunch at a fairly upscale shopping district before catching a cab back to the airport. Not a ton of time to see the sights but I was left with some distinct impressions and some photographs to remember the moment. Please allow me to share a few of both with you in the brief paragraphs below. 

Impressions of Mexico City

Chipped paint flakes off rusted bars.

At one time this french balcony was surely the scene of a romantic interlude.

Time has reduced the building to a mere shadow of it’s glory.

 

A pack of feral hounds rip apart a plastic garbage bag.

Bells tinkle from the ice cream vendor peddling his wares

as children play with a soccer ball in a nearby dusty alley.

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Twisting turns emblazoned with graffiti and street art interspersed with regal promenades.

Well kempt medians with palm trees painted white.

There is a certain pride displayed in the way the citizens of the poor neighborhoods

stride with heads held aloft.

 

Travelling to the west one cannot help but see the royal and cultured bones to this sprawling city.

Jazz music plays in the taxicab, public parks are plentiful with modern art and statuary paying respect to new artisans and past patriarchs.

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Once within the historic center, there is even more pomp and circumstance.

Workers are dressed immaculately, far nicer on the whole than in American cities. Even street vendors and bodega owners wear shirt sleeves and crisply pressed slacks.

 

Women are light skinned and beautiful, men are dapper and worldly. My outfit of khaki shorts, flip flops and golf shirt left me feeling shameful. I changed into long pants and shoes.

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Buildings in the business district were yet ever more impressive and there was a vibrant energy that invited one to explore the shops, restaurants and museums. 

I found myself wistful that I only was allowed a seven hour interlude in this fair city. Unsure if or when I will ever return, but left wondering what other treasures were left unerarthed and that I may never know in Mexico City.

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Ode To The Fish Taco

As I sit in the airport in Ixtapa waiting for the first leg of my journey back home to the states I reflect on my love for Mexican food in general and fish tacos in particular.

How can there be anything greater than a fish taco? After all it is bite sized, healthy and delicious.

I humbly submit the following  ode to the fish taco:

Oh happy day.
“For why?”, you say.
But the reason is clear,
as before me my dear
are a wonderful plate
of fish tacos with a date
to be eaten poste haste,
with a smile on my face.

Do not shed a tear,
I will down them with beer.
And when I am done,
I will verily run
back to the grill
for another plate to fill.

You must realize
that you don’t need fries
as a complement to
fish tacos and brew.
They would just, as they say
get right in the way.

When hunger comes to call
and the sun starts to fall.
You know where to go.
Don’t walk, that is too slow.

Fish tacos and beer
is a meal you cannot fear.
To be truthful they are
my favorite by far!

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Gone To The Beach

Gone to the Beach…see you in a few days. I will miss you all!Image

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Be Flexible

Be Flexible

This shot was taken on the corner on my block in San Francisco.

I thought it said a lot with few words. I believe in the Universe sending messages to those open enough to observe.

If you are tuned in and receptive, these types of messages abound out there.

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