09 December 2015


Recently I walked down Castro, from 17th Street to 18th and a little beyond. People had chalked hundreds of names, in many hues and designs, along the sidewalks, as remembrances of loved ones dead of AIDS. A poignant and original memorial. Today's rain washed most of them away --- a reminder, if I may risk sentimentality, of how fleeting life and memory really are.


A T-shirt bore a slogan which read, "Support your local medical examiner --- die strangely!"


Recently, I overheard on a bus one young woman explaining to another that she is learning Mandarin because her boyfriend insults her in Japanese and affects not to understand her replies in Spanish. The logic eludes me.


I went to the Legion of Honor recently, to see the Berthouville Treasure, which is stunning in its magnificence. I found the votive pieces poignant; some were household objects not originally made for temple use, with dedications to Mercury inscribed on them. Did the owner of nine of them, the most splendid, Quintus Domitius Tutus, who was devoted to the god, inscribe them himself? (Unlikely; a craftsman would have done the work.) One would like to know the background to the vows he was fulfilling.


A message in a fortune cookie assures me that I will "soon achieve perfection!"