Monday, September 8, 2008

On Idle

Sausalito, September, 2008.

My college is one of the very few in California that is on the quarter system, as opposed to the semester system. This leads to oddly out-of-synch feelings at two times of the year: in June (when almost everyone's school year is over, but we're still dieseling on) and September, right now. I'm still on summer vacation (and will be until a week from this coming Thursday), but just about everyone else associated with any kind of school around here has been back on the job for weeks.

That makes me feel a little strange, but it makes me feel that little strange every year, so I have developed some coping mechanisms. The first is to work on preparing for the fall quarter, and there's plenty of that to do because I'm facing some interesting new challenges this year. The second is to work on preparing the Fort for the oncoming rainy season, and there's always plenty of that to do. And the third is to play.

A lot, that third. Play a lot.

Last year, we went to Disneyland. September is great there, because very few of those annoying short, young people are underfoot, and grownups can hog the rides all to themselves. HAH! This year, though, we're staying significantly closer to home, for a variety of reasons (one of which is travel costs, of course, but another is to save up for... well, I'll be coy about that for the time being.)

Looking toward San Francisco from Sausalito, September, 2008.

We took a day trip up to Sausalito last week as part of that playing. Someone was nice enough to park a pretty sailboat right in front of our favorite park viewpoint toward San Francisco:

Why the Italian flag, I don't know.

... and other boats posed delightfully on that late summer day:

Yachts in the Sausalito Marina, September, 2008.

View from our dinner table at the Spinnaker Restaurant (notice the reflections in the upper-left of the frame) -- the food was pretty forgettable, but, hey: location, location, location, not so much so. The tops of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge can be glimpsed at upper-right.

Inside Petri's art gallery, Sausalito, 2002.

For years, one of our favorite stops in Sausalito has been Petri's Gallery, where we ogle wonderful home-decoration sculptures, mostly glass, and purchase little trinkets. Glass art has been trendy in the San Francisco area this year because of the wonderful exhibit of Dale Chihuly's work at the DeYoung Museum. We didn't expect so established and proper a place as Petri's to try to cash in on that... but we didn't expect this, either:

No dogs either, probably.

We chatted with the gallery owner, as usual, for a while, and he was very circumspect about the "No Chihuly" sign on the door -- to paraphrase, he said that, well, he didn't want people to be disappointed, but, when we asked him about what he thought about Chihuly's work, he responded, after a long pause, "He's very good at what he does."

Which is exactly what I used to say -- pause included -- when people used to ask me what I thought of the late Carl Sagan. And probably for the same reasons. (Envy ain't one of them.) So I laughed hard, and he didn't know why.

Wally Nose-On.

We bought a trinket, as usual, but this time it wasn't a glass trinket -- it was a little bronze work by Tim Cotterill named "Wally." (Wally has 499 clones out there, so we don't have the only one by a long shot.)

Wally from the Left. In this election year, I'll leave it to someone of another persuasion to capture him from the right.

We have been tickled by Cotterill's frogs at Petri's for years, from back when they cost only about 1/5th what they do now, so we figured we should stop whining about how expensive they've become and just get one for hevvinsake. Besides, we had a perfect place for Wally:

Wally in Context.

Yep. He's at eye level for some of us. Here's lookin' at you, Adam.

Note the red container on the shelf above the water tank. It's a can of Faberge men's talcum ("Woodhue") that has been stalking me for my entire adult life. It was given to me as a high school graduation present 43 years ago by a friend of the family, and has followed me ever since I moved out of my parents' house to go to college, and through all ten moves since. I don't consider it a good-luck charm, it's not a particularly meaningful trinket -- but, damn, at this point I'd feel completely weird if it weren't around. It'll probably have to go into the ground with me at the end.


Photos note:
Another thing I've been doing during this odd time off is populating my Flickr account. If you have one, please let me know, and I'll make yours a contact.



Anonymous said...

If you are hanging Wally at eye level for me, these days (more often than not) it would make more sense to place him on your shower curtain, about 3 1/2 feet above the floor. :(


Xtreme English said...

what entertaining posts you've got up...lions, tigers, frogs! i'm glad your college is off everyone else's schedule so you can play more. thanks for sharing the fun.

i'm guessing the gallery owner hung the "no chihuly" sign to let people know he did not have any works by chihuly. or to tell people who are carrying chihuly glass not to come inside....(if they break it inside the shop, would it be the shop's responsibility??)

anyway, that's a great sign. think i'll put one on my front door, too. let 'em wonder about it....

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Beautiful blue sky. Beautiful blue dragon. And Wally is delightful!

You know, that can of talc would probably bring something on ebay! Reminds me of my vintage jar of Dippity-Do which has survived about 30 years and only by coincidence. Now i can't part with it. It's part of my personal archeology.

Sherwood Harrington said...

I'm ever hopeful, Adam.

Mary Ellen, a sign I wish I had a picture of is one at the entrance of a seedy hotel in downtown San Francisco about 30 years ago, noted by legendary local columnist Herb Caen:

"No visiting
Dogs allowed."

For jollies, count the possible interpretations.

And, Ruth, I love the term "personal archeology" -- as I imagine anyone who gets "senior discounts" more often than not does.

(And what's the deal with "senior discounts" anyway? Have they been overcharging us for all the time before? Do they expect us to croak before dessert?)