Thursday, January 26, 2006

An Old Wealthy Woman of Independent Spirit

When you are self-employed, and there is no work, it is always nervous-making.

On the one hand.

On the other hand, if you've been self-employed more or less for 30 years, you probably have a few wise ways of dealing with sudden free time, which mainly involve appreciating the freedom.

Today was my third day in a row of no work on a weekday and I was quite ready to relax completely and go with the flow.

Though I'm neither elderly nor female nor living on independent means, the entire day I felt rather as if I was an old wealthy woman of independent spirit.

It started with seeing the mostly Asian office workers doing their 10AM dancing Tai-Chi exercise routine in the middle of Civic Center Plaza.

It looked like so much fun that I joined them, though I got a few odd, penetrating looks from one of the three exercise leaders who were taking us through our very gentle paces. I finally realized it was because I was the only man among 50 women.

At City Hall acrosss the street, there was a large group of Asians waiting to get through the metal detectors. I turned to a lawyer/lobbyist who was waiting alongside and asked, "Do you think the group is political or a wedding party?" and one of the women who was part of the group turned around and laughed.

"It's a tour group from China," she told us and indeed it was.

I'm glad the ornate City Hall was worthy of all the crazed camera action.

On the second floor, the Rules Committee of the Board of Supervisors was meeting in Room 263. Aaron Peskin was beaming like a proud father over his new proposed legislation creating a new Port Commission. Sean Elsbernd looked bored and annoyed, and Mirkarimi looked cagey.

Peskin's charter amendment would explicitly call for various disciplines and areas of expertise for the proposed seven commissionners rather than the accumulation of political hacks that have worked there over the decades.

Since moving here 30 years ago, the official rallying cry has been to Save the Port and the Blue-Collar Shipping Industry, but that always struck me as absurd. Once the container cranes went up in Oakland and the infrastructure grew up around it, there was absolutely no more reason to drop off the manufactured goods of the world in San Francisco. It's time, and long overdue, to revamp the entire waterfront economy to a tourist/recreational one rather than a shipping one which left long ago.

I continued to the weekly peace vigil at the Federal Building.

Everyone was in a very photographic mood, and Larry took my photo with his new cell phone.

Wonderful articles went up on the internet this week by two of my favorite writers in the world: Molly Ivins on why she doesn't want Hillary or any other Democrat who has been an Iraq warmonger running for president (click here) and Gore Vidal relating the Fall of George Bush to grisly Roman history (click here).

Before the peace vigil, I waited for an hour for an inexpensive ticket to the Rhoda Goldman Old Ladies Matinee at the San Francisco Symphony.

The concert was an all-Russian affair (Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky) conducted by MTT in anticipation of the orchestra's tour to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

That is, if the orchestra musicians don't strike next week, which is a real possibility. Does that mean they would also cancel the special Chinese New Year's Special Concert? Yikes!

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