4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

If It's Spring, This Must Be Rock 'n' Roll

This column will appear several weeks after the particular Friday morning on which I am working on my laptop in the sunlight, and it is nice to think that this genuinely spring-like weather might continue through February. An unusual sentiment coming from me if you’ve read some recent entries here in which I reveled in the cold and damp earlier this winter. There is time yet for a record-breaking flood season or even a snowfall in San Diego (it has happened), but in the meantime I am uncharacteristically fine with this pleasant spate of benevolence, a prime reason why many of us came here. Not me, but that’s for another time, and I have touched on it before (that whole extradition-from-Bolivia thing and the mistaken ID — the passport photo mix-up with that Turkish war criminal — all that stuff).

And here I notice, not for the first time, that I have begun a piece with a kind of weather report. I’ve wondered why it is I tend to do this and have come to the conclusion that it is akin to ancient Greek poets invoking various gods and muses. The same impulse that probably moved Bulwer-Lytton when he opened that story with, “It was a dark and stormy night.” That sentence is now infamous and the inspiration for an annual award for the worst opening sentence in English prose. The contest is followed every year by the anthology A Dark and Stormy Night with a numeral after it and includes all the runners-up for that year.

While God has, to all evidence, shed His grace on San Diego in terms of weather, He didn’t dole out that much of any other kind. We get an unlikely amount of great days and usually a handful of those that consistently take commercial settlers along Mission Valley by complete surprise — like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football.

Another aspect of my relationship with weather these days is age and nostalgia. Like Proust’s tea biscuits (the taste buds), weather of any kind seems to be a powerful link to memory, either nostalgic or uncomfortable. At least I have found this to be so with the onset of my geezerhood.

Probably it is to overstretch a metaphor, but I have given thought to geezerhood as beginning pretty much in one’s late 50s, but certainly by 60 years of age. By extension, I’ve considered age 60 to be that Friday in the great week of life. Saturday and Sunday would, of course, be the decades of the 70s and 80s, with death being pretty much Monday morning. This final metaphor should be recognizable to anyone who has “come to” on a Monday a.m. in the wake of a weeklong bender. The comparison holds up a little further: you’re sick, shot out, miserable, and completely dumbfounded. “What the hell did I do last night? Last Thursday? And what happened to Wednesday?” One difference in death being — no snooze alarm.

Since I have just recently arrived at that still fairly blank sheet on that page on the Great Calendar of Life (Friday, or 60), I think to myself, Thank God, and realize how little mystery there is surrounding the phenomenon of gratitude for an arbitrary 24-hour period contrived by man (in our case, a guy, a pope named Greg) and the tradition of temporarily suspending strenuous and undesirable activity — that is, work — without immediate mortal consequences like starvation. Very few other man-made events come to mind that so routinely inspire thanking God. There is Thanksgiving, of course, and those things that fall into the category of firemen saving children from burning buildings, etc., but any phrase surrounding the words “Thank God” will more often have to do with the natural world.

This idea may not hold up at all in the end, but I was thinking about how odd it is, really, that we would thank the deity that we have arrived at that sunrise (or midnight) that we once long ago decided was to be called “Friday” on this scroll thing that Bob (or Greg) invented. It was this same principle 11 years ago that enabled me to maintain my composure as Y2K approached.

Another note on memory: It has been widely noted that taste and odor are memory triggers; music and colors play into it. Another one for me is associating, say, spring with rock and roll. It might be more common to partner rock with summertime, vacation, the Beach Boys, yada-yada, but I’ve found myself in late winter lifting my nose to the heavens, smiling, and saying — or at least thinking — “Ah, rock and roll weather, for sure.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

La Jolla’s Monkey House

“The site of many family weddings, 4th of July parades, holiday parties, and La Jolla Secret Garden Tours.”
Next Article

Partly inspired by Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

The Rightovers, Temporex, Jessica Sanchez, Dave Keuning, Brown Mamba

This column will appear several weeks after the particular Friday morning on which I am working on my laptop in the sunlight, and it is nice to think that this genuinely spring-like weather might continue through February. An unusual sentiment coming from me if you’ve read some recent entries here in which I reveled in the cold and damp earlier this winter. There is time yet for a record-breaking flood season or even a snowfall in San Diego (it has happened), but in the meantime I am uncharacteristically fine with this pleasant spate of benevolence, a prime reason why many of us came here. Not me, but that’s for another time, and I have touched on it before (that whole extradition-from-Bolivia thing and the mistaken ID — the passport photo mix-up with that Turkish war criminal — all that stuff).

And here I notice, not for the first time, that I have begun a piece with a kind of weather report. I’ve wondered why it is I tend to do this and have come to the conclusion that it is akin to ancient Greek poets invoking various gods and muses. The same impulse that probably moved Bulwer-Lytton when he opened that story with, “It was a dark and stormy night.” That sentence is now infamous and the inspiration for an annual award for the worst opening sentence in English prose. The contest is followed every year by the anthology A Dark and Stormy Night with a numeral after it and includes all the runners-up for that year.

While God has, to all evidence, shed His grace on San Diego in terms of weather, He didn’t dole out that much of any other kind. We get an unlikely amount of great days and usually a handful of those that consistently take commercial settlers along Mission Valley by complete surprise — like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football.

Another aspect of my relationship with weather these days is age and nostalgia. Like Proust’s tea biscuits (the taste buds), weather of any kind seems to be a powerful link to memory, either nostalgic or uncomfortable. At least I have found this to be so with the onset of my geezerhood.

Probably it is to overstretch a metaphor, but I have given thought to geezerhood as beginning pretty much in one’s late 50s, but certainly by 60 years of age. By extension, I’ve considered age 60 to be that Friday in the great week of life. Saturday and Sunday would, of course, be the decades of the 70s and 80s, with death being pretty much Monday morning. This final metaphor should be recognizable to anyone who has “come to” on a Monday a.m. in the wake of a weeklong bender. The comparison holds up a little further: you’re sick, shot out, miserable, and completely dumbfounded. “What the hell did I do last night? Last Thursday? And what happened to Wednesday?” One difference in death being — no snooze alarm.

Since I have just recently arrived at that still fairly blank sheet on that page on the Great Calendar of Life (Friday, or 60), I think to myself, Thank God, and realize how little mystery there is surrounding the phenomenon of gratitude for an arbitrary 24-hour period contrived by man (in our case, a guy, a pope named Greg) and the tradition of temporarily suspending strenuous and undesirable activity — that is, work — without immediate mortal consequences like starvation. Very few other man-made events come to mind that so routinely inspire thanking God. There is Thanksgiving, of course, and those things that fall into the category of firemen saving children from burning buildings, etc., but any phrase surrounding the words “Thank God” will more often have to do with the natural world.

This idea may not hold up at all in the end, but I was thinking about how odd it is, really, that we would thank the deity that we have arrived at that sunrise (or midnight) that we once long ago decided was to be called “Friday” on this scroll thing that Bob (or Greg) invented. It was this same principle 11 years ago that enabled me to maintain my composure as Y2K approached.

Another note on memory: It has been widely noted that taste and odor are memory triggers; music and colors play into it. Another one for me is associating, say, spring with rock and roll. It might be more common to partner rock with summertime, vacation, the Beach Boys, yada-yada, but I’ve found myself in late winter lifting my nose to the heavens, smiling, and saying — or at least thinking — “Ah, rock and roll weather, for sure.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Next Article

SCTV: the Rick Moranis years

“Back then, we were doing Bob and Doug McKenzie essentially as filler. We had no idea at all that anyone liked it.”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close