December 13, 2008

Crashing on a tiny island.

I'm staying at my girlfriend's parents home this weekend while I hock my wares at the Holiday Gift Fair at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Their home is on the San Francisco Bay-- across the bay from San Quentin Prison.

This notorious photo of Johnny Cash was taken on stage during
his performance at San Quentin Maximum Security Prison

When the prisoners are out in the yard you can hear the guards hollering at them on their megaphones. Here is the view out of the back of the house:

The backyard is looking pretty wet in this photo,
which is not the view I'm accustomed to-- usually
the ground is a bit damp but puddle free.

The view should be inspiring. I should like to be able to sit and read or design or write in the sunroom and look at the hills, the sea birds, the water, the passing ferries. However, everytime I'm here its so friggin cold in the house that usually a chance for inspiration is quickly killed by a strong desire to sit in a running car with the heat on. The cold is due to lots of windows, consitently chilly weather on the bay, the heat ain't on all too often, and when it is, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference. I have a hoodie, thermal underwear, a tshirt, a winter cap covered by the hood and am currently freezing my ass off.

Anyhow, I've heard that high tide will bring the water up into the yard, but usually it happens before dawn and it doesn't get very close to the house-- however, this time of year the water is at its highest, and yesterday I was amazed to see the water come all the way up to and around the house. Ankle high waves came towards me on the porch, remnants of a ferry that long had passed the house.

Truly, a house on the San Francisco Bay

Unfortunately, all I have is my camera phone so these pics aren't too hot, but you get the idea. Depending on atmospheric pressure, wind, etc, the water can sometimes go all the way past the house and into the street (this only happens under very limited circumstances.) All the houses on this side of the street are built with this in mind, so the water doesn't actually get into the house, but each house along the bay has the potential to become a tiny island unto itself, if only for a few hours, which is pretty cool.

I'm pretty much killing time with this blog until the holiday fair gets underway, and now its about that time and I should get on the road. I'll holler back I find anything worth reporting.

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