Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer in the City

I took some photos of my lunchtime walk around the Presidio. Today, I walked down by the beach, but forgot to bring my camera. The weather was just beautiful, in the upper 80s with a cool bay breeze making me wish I had a kite with me. Kids splashed in the lagoon and made "snow angels" in the wet sand. I ate some sushi at a picnic table and then plugged into my iPod and walked the length of Chrissy Field and back again. (note - this photo is borrowed from a great site called Project for Public Spaces!)

Friday, June 16, 2006

My day

The instructions:
1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the search box, type your birth day and month (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. One holiday or observance (if any).

Events:
1889 - The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.
This is one of my favorite architectural features (not technically a building, would you say?)

1937 - Hindenburg disaster: The German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people are killed.
I remember Mom telling me that she saw this explosion, or maybe just the smoke from it?

1940 - John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Do you remember when you discovered John Steinbeck? I read all his novels in one month, I was so excited about him.

Births:
1915 - Orson Welles, American director (d. 1985)
1961 - George Clooney, American actor
1955 - Tom Bergeron, American game show host - actually born the same year as me

Death:
1992 - Marlene Dietrich, German actress (b. 1901)

Celebration:
St George's Day — Đurđevdan (Serbian), Gergyovden (Bulgarian), Giorgoba (Georgian) the most famous Serbian slava, the most celebrated namesday in Bulgaria, and one of the two Giorgoba holidays in Georgia

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I wonder...

I took a lovely walk at lunchtime today, wandering through the Presidio. I had my iPod blasting the latest Acapodcast, which is my favorite new musical obsession. The #10 episode is just perfect for walking fast, with lots of rhythmic, upbeat selections. As I walked, I found myself wondering. I seem to do a lot of wondering. Is it the sign of a curious mind, or just a sign that I have more questions than answers? I wonder.

Here are just a few of the things I was wondering today-

How many fish does a pelican eat daily? (I saw a whole flock diving into the bay, in beautiful formation.)
How long will it be before Doyle Drive collapses? (the raised freeway that passes through the Presidio towards downtown S.F.)
How do you get your dearly departed pet buried in the Presidio Pet Cemetary?
How many horses do the Presidio National Park Rangers have? (I saw two walking by.) Are they cheaper to keep up than a fleet of electric cars?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Other worlds

We traveled to Denver, Colorado last week, and I snapped this oddly alien photo of a tent. It's not the Denver airport, which has a similar topping, but rather a catering tent at a private school where our nephew was graduating. I have never visited a private school before, and on this trip, we were immersed in the activities of two. Both nephews were graduating, one from 9th grade and one from high school.

At the recognition dinners and graduation ceremonies, the teachers and the students spoke at length about the wonderful educational experiences that the classes had shared, and each student was profiled with laudatory speech-ifying. By the end of the weekend, I was beginning to distrust the speeches - all the students had exceptionally happy lives and were all perfect students who had excelled in everything they had attempted?? But of course, no one would want the failures aired. We did get an odd kind of thumbnail sketch of each student, which we amplified by meeting some of them, and hearing the parents' talk at the grad party.

Among other things, we also learned about lacrosse, and that frisbee is now a competitive team sport. We saw a dvd of a school play called "Groovy", where 9th graders dressed in tie-dye shirts and granny glasses and spouted "power to the people".