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New Year’s Day. First day of The Big Rollover. I’m not taking any strong stands on “New Millennium” vs. “2001 as the true mathematical heir” — it is The Big Rollover from 1999 to 2000 and that’s enough for me.
For those of you just tuning in — I’m in San Francisco, California. Today King took me and Kibble on a winding route, walking from the apartment through the southwestern end of Golden Gate Park and then — The Ocean.
The park is a beautiful green mixture of tall old trees and soft sprays of grass. Trails ranging from barely-perceptible indentations on the springy grass, to footpaths of dark cinder, to paved roads that amble and stretch and intersect — inviting you to make your own way as you make choices of paths beneath the twisty oaks and pines.
The sun was falling near the horizon (just beyond the trees!) and ever so often slanting golden rays through the canopy. Kibble shuffled along (as basset hounds shuffle), snuffling the underbrush as King commented on the curiously specific uses of the park. He pointed out the lawn bowling area, the fly-fishing casting pool, the dog runs, the remote control boat lake, the bison paddock. I guess you can’t be too specific when it comes to bison.
After a while we happened upon a large wooden windmill which is next to something I like to call the Pacific Ocean. Very windy but it isn’t very cold in any kind of bitterness — probably around 60 degrees. We walked on the grayish beach out to where the incoming surf was reduced to a thin film of water flecked with foam.
So this is the Pacific: my first sight of it or her or them. As King watched Kibble dash (as fast as she dashes) on the sand, I called my friend Trish to let her hear the thundering sound of the rolling surf (using the cool PCS phone my brother Scott gave me for Christmas); I figured Trish would enjoy the sound since she grew up on the Florida beach and undoubtedly misses it. Got her voicemail and what with the wind interference the Pacific was probably indistinguishable from static. I imagine this is the modern version of listening to a seashell.
We left the ocean and followed Fulton Street some ten to twelve blocks back to the apartment. Kibble was getting tired and I was losing the spring in my step, too. Next, King gave me an overall orientation of San Francisco by driving me in a large circle through Golden Gate Park, through downtown, along the waterfront and back to the 38th Avenue apartment. Did I mention that the weather — though crisp — is very nice? San Francisco doesn’t seem as crowded as, say, Manhattan, and the city appears clean and friendly.
Also, today I reinstituted my Plus One exercise program, wherein every day I do one more push-up and one more sit-up. So today the total is 1 (each). Sure, it doesn’t sound like much now, but jes’ wait until this time next year! When I tried this last summer I got up to the 40s before I drifted away. I like the sense of gradually building on a daily basis, and it seems to serve as a good reminder that today is a day to be reckoned with.