Category Archives: Outings

Part II of last night’s big night on the town

Chris Gulker and Jim Klippert

Last night was a great evening in two parts – the meeting of the male DG and author William Gibson chronicled here and on gulker.com – and then listening to the Cafe Borrone All Stars led by Clint Baker, a group we’d covered for InMenlo earlier this summer. During that first evening, the group’s trombonist, Jim Klippert, stopped playing during a set and pointed to the male DG saying “I went to that school.” Seems they’re both old Pioneers, graduates of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, OH. Jim had spotted the male DG’s WRA polo shirt. So it was fun to check in with Jim again last night between sets and talk a little jazz. It’s the male DG’s hope the Jim and fellow musicians will liven up his memorial service with some New Orlean style brass funeral band music. Jim says Chris is the first WRA alum he’s met in the Bay Area. Small world, wonderful connections…

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The meeting of two shadowy figures tonight at Kepler’s

So the male DG was in the front row tonight at Kepler’s to meet longtime favorite author William Gibson. After reading the first chapter of his new book, Zero History, Gibson took questions from the audience including an inquiry about the author’s embrace of Twitter, which he described as “the most powerful aggregator of novelty.” Before signing books for the long line of fans, Gibson stepped around the podium to meet the male DG. Of all the things they could have talked about, they discussed Berlin. Go figure…

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First Blush: Out with the trail runners in Wunderlich

trail run in Wunderlich ParkThe male DG headed off to Monterrey this morning with friend Scott to see an Ansel Adams exhibit, so the female DG decided to alter her Saturday long run ritual with a hike instead. She choose Wunderlich as it was a place the DGs hiked in often when they first moved to Menlo, but stopped doing so with Cassie the Australian Shepherd’s arrival in 1994 due to the no dogs policy of San Mateo Country Parks.

The parking lot was packed when she got there at 10:00 am, although where the people were she wasn’t quite sure. It may be her 7-mile that took her almost to the top of the park near Skyline was more than most attempted. She would have had the trail all to herself except there was a 50K trail run going on staged by Pacific Crest Trail Runners Association. The distance itself is non-trivial but the course requires two steep elevation gains. Here’s the map. What can she say but, “Wow.”

Note to a particular Dutchman living in France, here’s your training challenge of the future…

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Chris meets real life Tinkerbell

Chris meets real life Tinkerbell

So the male DG is talking on his blog about living while dying. And yes, this is an unsettling topic for those who aren’t exactly in the situation the two DGs find themselves in. The reality is that one can’t exactly change the dying part, given a terminal diagnosis and the progression of end stage glioma (brain cancer). So, while they are able, the DGs continue to live.

And that means celebrating life events life the marriage of Lauren Levy to Jonathan Zoob. For those who’ve known him these past 35 plus years, it wasn’t really surprising that father-of-the-bride Jacob managed to step on the his daughter’s veil, yanking it off her head, just as she reached the end of the rose petaled aisle. Nor was it surprising that he tried unsuccessfully to put place it back on her head. He redeemed himself in a heartfelt speech at the dinner, as did son Zach who promised never again to call his sister “Booger.”

Meanwhile, in case you’re wondering about the title of this post, the male DG manages to get photographed with good friend Kathy who he decrees “looks like Tinkerbell. Ok. this would make more sense if you were there live…

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Sightings morning, noon and night

Hawk spotted on Big Dish area of StanfordThe female Dawn Jogger got a treat this morning on her jog of the complete washboard Big Dish (that means she parked at the Piers Lane entrance and went up, down, up, down, up and back down – completing one full circle and a dog leg). As she headed towards the Junipero Serra entrance, a magnificent hawk landed on a nearby fence and seemed as intent on posing for a photograph as hunting for its morning meal.

Second treat arrived in the form of David Perry, who flew down from Portland for a visit with the scheduled InMenlo assignment took them to the Mt. Olive Apostolic Original Holy Church of God for a community open house and then a stop at nearby Backayard for ribs. (So good.) David came equipped with his incomparable elfin spirit combined with pastoral care, not to mention a number of special David-produced treats for the male DG.

No planned sightings this evening but one never knows…

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Chronicling how we celebrate life

So, the female DG is remiss yet again about not chronicling/capturing last evening’s visit by theologian Dan Clendenin, who the male DG met at the Page Mill YMCA. Like other Y regulars, Dan had noticed the absence recently of the male DG and then gone to gulker.com to learn why. It was a good visit, the male DG reported, when the female DG returned from her dinner with friends.

But it didn’t get captured. So today, she could have posted yet another photo of Big Dish – clouded by very foggy skies taken this morning on her regular Wednesday morning jog. Or she could skip to early this evening when friends Haydi and David joined the DGs at Fremont Park for the weekly Menlo Park summer concert. What better way to say goodbye than share a dance even if it’s “geezer rock”…

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Hospice, heartache and a dollop of geezer music

Carole King and James Taylor concert at Oracle Arena

Long ago if someone had asked the female DG how endings begin, the last answer she might haveĀ  guessed was “order hospice in the morning and go to a rock [well, sort of rock] concert in the evening.” The DGs are still trying to understand – and come to grips with – what it means to know you are spending your last days together.

Today they took another step in that journey. They had decided over the weekend that, given the four tumors now growing in the male DG’s brain, there was little to be gained in continuing chemotherapy, even if it might have some palliative benefit. They talked about the possibility it could also mean prolonged suffering and no improved mobility. . “We had the good sense to put Cassie [their beloved Australian Shepherd] down when she was in this state,” said the male DG matter of factly.

So this morning the male DG called the great UCSF neuro-oncology team headed by Dr. Susan Chang and said, in slightly more words, “Enough.”

But that just started the day. They went on living. Mundane household chores. Another inspiring InMenlo interview. And finally a trip back in time when Carole King’s Tapestry was the best selling album of all time (since replaced) and Jame Taylor’s Fire and Rain was number one on the charts. Here’s the good news: Those that gathered to hear the Troubadour Reunion tour may have been long in the tooth, but the performers were in great form. And no, going to a concert after ordering hospice was not in the script…

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Filed under Brain cancer, Living each day, Outings