I can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am

[Warning: jumbo post alert. But this is about Julie Andrews, among other things, so I must be forgiven.]

We are all of us preparing around the house for a very important family event later in the week. Thanksgiving? Naaaaaw. I mean, that’ll be wonderful, sitting around a long table with our extended family, feeling warmed in the bosom of our mutual love and understanding, reflecting on the many blessings for which we each feel grateful. Don’t get me wrong; it’s one of my most favorite holidays. Even after becoming a vegetarian, which puts a decided kink in it.

But no. I’m not talking about Thanksgiving. I’m talking about the one, the only, the SING-ALONG SOUND OF MUSIC, people. And it’s coming to the Castro Theater. It bears noting, for those not familiar with San Francisco, that the Castro Theater is a grand dame 1920s movie palace, among a handful in the country built back then and still screening pictures. It’s home to one of the Bay Area’s few remaining Mighty Wurlitzer organs, which is in constant use (they play a rousing version of “San Francisco” before weekend shows, if memory serves, and definitely use it to accompany silent films, etc.).

And it’s smack-dab in the gay people part of town.

Read moreI can’t seem to stop singing wherever I am

Happiness is an old friend

Special Cousin and Special Auntie dote on the lil’ peanut, while the lil’ monkey takes flight.

You just never know, is the thing.

Ever so many years ago I was a college freshman, worried on the one hand about living away from home in a big smelly student co-op, yet thrilled on the other by the sensation that I was at the center of my very own intellectual and social super-nova. Non-conformity, I found to my delight, was not only not something to be ashamed of, it was actually worth cultivating.

Lunchtimes at my high school, by contrast, I’d often eat alone. I would pick my way carefully to an out-of-the way spot I’d located between two buildings, behind the cover of some ferns, down against the building and beneath a window where I could read and eat my turkey sandwich and drink from my small milk carton in peace. I’m not sure which I sought out more earnestly: the quiet, or the concealment of my solitude.

But when I came to college, not only was I a fish finally in water, but the water was an ocean, not a pond, and there were species of fish I had only read about in books, and there they were, wriggling right past me, dazzling me with the sunlight bouncing off their scales!

Read moreHappiness is an old friend