Day 154, Art and stuff

Sunday, 5/6/2019

Did the NYT puzzle at home in hopes of being late enough to the coffee shop to get an almond croissant, but had to settle for a cinnamon roll instead. Walked along as customary admiring the  sky and thinking about being a widower, being consciously aware of being single and thus (a) free and (b) lacking a partner. The “free” part was underscored when, yesterday, I was reviewing the old Scandinavian travel blog. Its text does not mention health issues, but I remember how on that 2014 trip we were already somewhat handicapped by Marian’s lack of stamina; avoiding stairs and long walks. I swear I never felt the slightest resentment at how her declining strength limited our activities. Finding a minimum-stair route, or passing something up because it was too much walking, was just natural; we as a partnership did what we could do. But now, sometimes, I am aware of the release from those constraints, being able to climb stairs or walk up a hill without a second thought.

On the other hand, the absence of a partner shows up often. Whenever I notice some change in the neighborhood, or unusual garden item, I automatically think, must share that with… nope. That’s the the key thing about having a close partner: you validate your experiences by sharing them. Case in point: later today, driving on University Avenue, I notice a large, unusual sculpture in the front yard of a house. But there’s nobody to share this discovery with. Did I really see three, 8-foot tall crows, one perched on the garage roof? I think I did, but without anyone to tell it to, it isn’t quite real.

Did a couple of chores, including closing my YouTube channel. This is a task that has been moving from to-do list to to-do list for weeks. I have a modest channel where over the past two-plus years I’ve posted reviews of meal replacement products, Soylent, Huel, etc. Looking ahead, it just isn’t going to be practical to do this at C.H. But I feel a certain obligation to the 120 or so people who’ve subscribed to my channel. You subscribe to a channel in order to be notified when new content is posted. I won’t be posting any more, and I owe it to my tiny public to tell them so. So I recorded my 90-second farewell message and posted it. (Later in the day I got several “thanks and best wishes” comments on that video. Nice!)

Also paid a bill, and sent a form to the financial people.

About 10am I departed for Hunter’s Point in SF, for the Open Studios day. Over the next two hours I must have stepped into 75 or so studios and looked at, or at any rate glanced at, 300 images and objects. The studios are spread over several old administrative buildings for the former Naval Shipyard. I verified that I definitely prefer figurative art, although some of the abstract smooshes of color were pleasant to look at; and that I like whimsy.

I liked the work of Erik Joyner, whose thing is “robots and donuts” in every possible whimsical or satirical combination.

Unlike most of his work this one lacks donuts.

I almost bought a miniature of that print but couldn’t quite bring myself to spend $30.

Joyner is just for laughs, really, but one artist whose work I really, really liked is Carol Aust. Her studio was in a basement and I might not have gone down the stairs to it, except that this huge (5-foot wide) painting was hanging in the hallway above.

Carol Aust — “Eight Pelicans”

I really, really like that. To the point where the $4000 price tag does not seem impossible. After the house sells and I’m feeling flush again… and if I can find a suitable wall for a 5-foot painting… maybe…

Stopped at CH to check the mail and pick up a new garage fob (the first one quit working). Then came on home.




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