Might be a tad of an over statement, but if hot-tubbing, hiking, and chatting with someone counts as hanging, then I have hung with the great Sir Richard Branson. And if there is any lingering doubt about his genius, let me put that question to bed once and for all. On our first morning on Neckar Island, a group of us were given a tour by Sir Richard himself. It was not a Four Seasons kind of tour on raked pea gravel paths. It was a cook’s tour of the Island across forbidding jagged rocks and impassable ledges. The man is a true adventurer. At one point he turned to the group with a serious tone and said, “Gents that way. Ladies this way.” He pointed to a more rugged trajectory for the boys. And took the ladies on a slightly more gentle way across the craggy cliffs of his island paradise. After some serious struggle and tide navigation, we men found ourselves a bit lost until we heard the inimitable voice of none other than the man himself calling down to us from a picture perfect perch. “Excuse me. Would one of you lads be kind enough to snap a pic?” There he was, flanked by...more
I have known my wife since 5th grade, where we fell in love in our Hollywood Hills elementary school, Valley View. In college we back-packed through Europe. She was well into her passion for the healing properties of plants at that time and packed baggy after baggy of herbal medicines for our trip. Almost every border crossing was an education for the customs agents. With good reason, they were all very interested in the loose shake of herb that was in those bags. I credit those herbal blends with keeping us healthy while on a diet of brie, baguette, café, and wine.
When I turned 40 my joints and bones began to ache. I chalked it up to years of running without stretching and the general wear and tear that comes from a youth of playing sports. My wife, on the other hand, told me I was too young to feel so old. She promptly put me on a regimen of Simples. Simples are pioneer plant infusions made from the weeds we discard and poison today with Round Up. In the wise woman tradition, these plants are highly revered because they pass on their resilience to whatever creatures are...more
I grew up in a family where story was king. Both of my parents are actors. In the 1960s they were part of the founding company of a radical new reparatory theatre in San Francisco called A.C.T. I literally grew up in the wings, greenrooms, dressing rooms and balconies of the majestic Geary Theatre in the Mission district. The theatre played baby sitter to my two brothers and I as my parents rehearsed and taught and performed. By the time I was 13, I had seen over 100 plays and sat through countless rehearsals. Mostly classics. Shakespeare. Rostand. Chekov. Ibsen. Some were contemporary greats. Albee. Miller. Shepherd. I learned about life through these great works. Environmentalism through Ibsen’s, Enemy of the People. Prejudice from the Merchant of Venice. The beauty of imperfection through Cyrano. I also learned about the power of story.
Sitting through a rehearsal of King Lear at the tender age of 8 seemed like torture to me at the time. Only now do I really appreciate how story was being cobbled into my consciousness by some of the greatest story-tellers that have ever...more
I actually just have a garden. But after this video was produced about my garden, I frequently get asked about my “farm”. It must be the magic of film that created that impression. I don’t think I say “farm” anywhere in the video. But if you’re at all interested in organic gardens or farms, you might enjoy it. Fair warning. I do have a momentary geek-out over my worm bin.more