When Juices Get Stewed

THE TOWN CRIER is cranky today. Please don’t say it’s hormonal — I’m much too young for a mid-life crisis. Rather, it’s a deep-seeded disappointment in how some people behave. My sour disposition started when I found a man in a flannel shirt rifling through my recycling bin. Not just mine, but he was cherry-picking the cans and bottles (and God knows what else) from every gray can on the street.

That’s all it took to stew my juices. I started noticing everything under the sun. It was like a dark cloud was forming over my head, threatening to thunder clap me.

“I have to clear the air,” I thought, “and I’ll do it through my column.” So, dear readers, please let me indulge in a little self-medication as I endeavor to cure some of society’s ills.

Does it every bother you when cars park on blind curves, forcing motorists into oncoming traffic? It wasn’t so long ago that people actually parked in their garages. Now the garage is a room of the house that’s often too full for a car. Or, in the case of one family I know, they’re renting their house to four different people with four different cars, none of which goes in the garage.

And what’s with the constant construction up here? The Winchester Mystery House doesn’t get as much attention as the homes in the hills. Everyone I know is having a kitchen remodeled or a bathroom redone or a roof repair or a root removal. I think every neighborhood should have its own full-time handyman so there aren’t a dozen different company trucks on your block each day.

Other than this, I’m relatively happy. The trees give off plenty of oxygen, and I’m grateful for the fresh air. Maybe I just need to breathe a little deeper, to calm myself.

E-MAIL BAG: Thanks to reader David Schwoegler for telling me that Montclair’s Mike Healy has agreed to be Ron Dellums spokesman for the Oakland mayor’s race.

“This ‘pro bono arrangement should help keep Mike off the streets (and tennis courts) and may help Mr. Dellums find his way to the mayor’s office,” says Schwoegler.

Speaking of politics, Montclair resident John Bernard launched his campaign for Alameda County Superintendent of Schools last week at his old school — Maxwell Park Elementary. Reader Tina Lowden says he’s “Oakland public school educated — and reaching for the brass ring.”

And former Montclarion and Piedmonter columnist Ronnie Caplane kicks off her campaign tomorrow for the state Assembly. She’s having a party at 19 Grand Avenue from 1-4 p.m., followed by a “hit the bricks” precinct walk to work off the food and drink.

PLANT THIS: As flowers spring up all over Oakland, I’m told there’s a growing movement called the Million Plant March. And it’s happening in March, no less. You can pick up your free herbs and vegetables at 704 Filbert St. in San Francisco, while they last. If you want to call them first, it’s 415-421-4769.

SILENT SPRING: There’s a place in the Oakland hills where being speechless is a good thing. It’s the Hesed Meditation Center, in a residential neighborhood at 3745 Elston Ave. Folks come to practice Christian meditation from 7-7:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as various times throughout the day and evening. It’s a kind of “urban monastery,” and it’s open to the public.

DISCO DANCING: I was surprised to see a psychedelic flyer on the table at a Moraga coffee shop, recently, advertising a church dance in Oakland. St. Lawrence O’Toole holds its Disco Night dance from 8 p.m. until midnight on April 1. There’ll be plenty of polyester and a high time on old High Street that night.


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