Sunday, July 16, 2006

An Oaklandish Weekend

Robb and I both agree that we are very lucky to be living in Oakland. Sure the cost of real estate is astronomical, but overall the Bay Area is a very easy place for us get around in. If we were still living in Maryland, I can't imagine what Robb's half-inch-thick plastic armor would be like in the summer humidity. Or what walking with an unsteady gait, and poor balance would be like on Connecticut's icy sidewalks. All things considered, we're in a good place.

So, what do we do on our weekends?

On Saturday, we bottled the beer that Robb brewed a while back. And we took another walk at the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, and did a little letterboxing. Robb has been pushing himself to walk and exercise as much as possible, which is admirable and also really exhausting for him. After our walk in the park, he came home and collapsed on the couch. When he gets really tired, the quality of his walking really deteriorates, and he shuffles along, hardly bending or lifting his knees at all. I find this a bit distressing, but I also believe that the exercise that tires him out has to be of value.

Sunday was a rough day, with a happy ending. Despite the astonishing California sunshine, I was in a black, bleak mood. I think I've been able to keep a good attitude throughout the past five months, and today that good attitude temporarily abandoned me. I have actually scheduled an appointment with a mental health counselor because I feel that I could use some advice with stress management and handling the gigantic changes that our lives have undergone. We'll see how this works out.

However, the day was redeemed by the picnic we went on with our friends Ashley (above), Rachel (red shirted photographer) and Becca (blonde hair). All of us have at one time or another worked in the props shop at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and with Ashley's recent purchase of a condominium, we'll all be Oakland residents.

The art collective Oaklandish was throwing an event called the Lake Merritt Radio Regatta. All the boat rental places were operating at half-cost and dj's* were broadcasting a live shortwave FM radio feed lakeside. They were sending radios out on the boats, and screening vintage films about Oakland inside the boathouse. We found a picnic table on the pier by the Gondola service, and had a lovely afternoon in the sun.

Yes, that's right. There are Venetian Gondolas wending the waterways of our own Lake Merritt. Another reason we love living in Oakland.

And on Monday?

Robb is meeting with a representative of a wheelchair company, and will be getting measured for a wheelchair fitting. Let's hope this offers more freedom in getting around. I really hate the wheelchair he's got now, and we never use it. At the moment, Robb really is only walking very short distances, with lots of breaks in between.

* Neither Robb nor I could find a "good" way to punctuate the word dj's and settled for what we call Grocers' Punctuation.


A. HADDOCK said...

Grocer's punctuation would be throw in an apostrophe whenever there's an s? I hate the 's with plural words that are really just letters (like CDs and DVDs), but if you do it lowercase, it looks goofy. So I lean towards the capitalization of the letters and omitting the apostrohe...Really, I don't sit around and contemplate copyediting...ok, maybe I do.

--dorks anonymous

Lock Wench said...

Ok. I concede the point that living in Oakland is better for you both. Good transit for Robb and plenty of seratonin for you. And the pictures really are lovely! I am happy that you are getting out and about. Really.

Today's weather map showed the ENTIRE continental US in red. That's 90 or above! They are predicting 100 here, which is rare for us and 120 for Chicago!!!! And still Al Gore gets no respect.

*grateful that she lives in Syracuse, home of Carrier air conditioning*

Anonymous said...

Oh God, I SO enjoy reading what both of you and Lock Wench post. Such honesty (and intelligence in politics)!

-CCLB (who now needs to visit Oakland)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, rub it in about the weather out there. We're looking at 98 degrees here today!

Robb looks great as a cowboy. Seems as though the West is really agreeing with you guys.


Lisa and Robb said...

Anyone who wants to swap their heatwave for our spinal cord injury, let us know, and we'll be right over!


Anonymous said...

Anyone who's been what the two of you have been through is entitled to dark moods. Frankly, we sit here in awe of your fortitude, both physically and emotionally. It never hurts though, to talk with someone who can see things from an 'outsider's' perspective. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Hey there you guys, talking with a person about your feelings is such a touchy-feely California thing. Back in the East coast, we used to tar and feather people in the old days who were in touch with their feelings, or burn them as witches, because their emotional openness made the rest of us flint-hearted Yanks feel inadaquate!

I think it's a good thing, though. But run for those California hills if the person starts talking about this all being a product of your alien implant acting up. That's usually the answer I get when I try to get myself analyzed. I hate those aliens and their shoddy, chinese-made brain implants!

Good luck to you guys, enjoy the good weather there- here it's hot and humid and the mosquitoes all have west nile virus, apparently.

- Annalisa


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