A Few of Her Favorite Things

A remote control for the Sky+ satellite TV ser...
A remote control for the Sky+ satellite TV service in the United Kingdom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our guardian (slave) has been out of commission so we jumped on the blog tonight to post a quirky and weird selection. We had to grab her camera phone to do it. A little harder to work than the TV remote but thankfully we figured it out.

Oh, who are we? Tonight you can call us the bear chorus. We will introduce ourselves more fully in another posting. Truthfully we merit our own blog but we CSheila hasn’t finished negotiating with our agents. Hey, we saw what happened with Ted. It could be big time for us.

Here she tries to get artistic as she walks along the Embarcadero or sits by the water. We’ll take her word for it since fur and water don’t mix so well. Not to mention it would screw up our outfits. (One of our biggest demands in the negotiations is fresh clothes, except for Telly (he’s not giving up the hat and coat for anything.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

She loves grabbing stuff in the neighborhood including free stuff (shudder) she later “fixes up.” Sigh, given the amount of design shows we watch with her you think the stuff would look better. But deep down she’s a hippie. Anyway we still love her even if she can’t channel a gay man or a straight woman. See below for some quick hits (both found, given, or bought).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other times she snaps the stuff you just get to see when you wander through SF. Mind you we also hit the streets but prefer clubbing.

Sometimes she just grabs nature shots from parks or neighborhood. Warning she tried the artsy thing again. We want to encourage her to get out so haven’t sat down to give her tips. It makes her happy when she goes out. More importantly it frees up the remote for us.

Finally she likes to hit museums and snap some pictures. You will see some stuff here from current DeYoung show by Gaultier. We still have not forgiven her after we found she look at some rent boy bear costing $175!!!! Of course she didn’t buy it. She wants similar action one of us will volunteer to put the ring through our nose. Most like Broom Hildie (the crazy – and proud of it — Viking Kitty).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other shots are from SFMOMA. She keeps trying to capture building shots — this time through glass. Worse she foolishly indulges her hot chocolate fetish. Sigh; we let it go since she always had one with her mom.

Our favorite shots, however, remain the ones she just finds walking in the neighborhood like the benches and gardens.

 

Who Do You Plan Your City’s Future Around?

Found a provocative article today on an attempt in San Francisco to introduce  new smaller housing limits. Essentially it will allow developers to build living spaces no bigger than 150 feet. SF Public Press printed it at http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2012-07/developers-seek-to-legalize-tiny-apartments-in-san-francisco-citing-soaring-rents  Fortunately, unlike the Comicle, SF Public Press presented an in-depth article on the pro’s and con’s.

Graduate School Blues
Graduate School Blues (Photo credit: ChiILLeica)

Essentially the ideal candidate is twenty-something techie who works all the time and merely needs a place to sleep until the IPO hits. Why most of us know the IPO fantasy is simply a fantasy, it’s not the only industry catering to disposable employees. In the legal industry, I knew any number of young college graduates in the 1990s who slaved for two to three years to earn overtime money for graduate school. Sadly when they graduated law school they found the money was much better but the hours were worse sans the overtime. The same went for future MBAs. Then with the tech boom they migrated to Silicon Valley.

These small spaces with their cute IKEA furniture would stack on top of each of other in high rises. In theory the increased housing stock would drive down rents because of course these highly educated and well paid employees would flock to live near each other. It would be a step up from the tech hostels profiled last week in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/technology/at-hacker-hostels-living-on-the-cheap-and-dreaming-of-digital-glory.html?pagewanted=all) This is of course assumes these middle and upper class youth would surrender shared space allowing for all their tech toys, parties every twenty-something enjoys, and the amenities associated with living in San Francisco.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum on the Lower E...
Lower East Side Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Opponents fear overcrowding as people flock (read share) the smaller housing to save on rent. In other words the more likely tenant candidates would be low income workers and their families. I recall visiting the exhibits associated with the New York Tenement Museum (http://www.tenement.org/) These large buildings stacked tenants like cordwood, had shared sewage (big ditch), and housed any number of work sites (piece labor). Obviously it’s a leap to say these would automatically turn into these types of establishments. On the other hand, look at the McMansions in the burbs now overrun with tweaking squatters after the foreclosure crisis forced out the original owners (http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=21179977)

Mcmansion north
Mcmansion north (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clearly this small (should be bigger than 150 feet) house would benefit many in the community. We need alternatives to homelessness. Similarly we don’t need to litter our suburbs with opulent, albeit shoddily constructed, monuments to consumer excess. Many of us headed toward retirement might choose a smaller living space, if only for the opportunity to stay in San Francisco. As the opponents astutely pointed not enough time was given the underlying decisions associated with this change.

However, the real problem is marketing fantasies keeps driving our  housing policies. During the boom period many bought the hype they needed and deserved an overly large home in the burbs. With many others the gentrification costs drove them to the outlying areas. Now it seems San Francisco wants to market its future around tech companies who (like many other start-ups) specialize in burning through employees for short periods of time. We need to ensure everyone has a seat at the table to discuss the future.

This does not mean we drive out the tech or bio companies. We need them. But we also needs the service employees, teachers, cops, and fireman. Perhaps most of we need to remember all of us will age.

Folks inching toward or past the half-century mark have lived through any number of recessions starting with Reagan and moving forward. Those slightly older can name more.  We need to remember things move in cycles. Thus the one thing we can’t do is tear up our social safety nets which carry us through the inevitable down cycles. Nor can we forget the ultimate survivors in nature are species welcoming diversification.

C

Supporting Actors Play a Role as Well

 

 

 

 

 

Like every great movie, play, or television show the lead players rely on character actors to provide depth and texture. Here in San Francisco its often the geography as shown by the houses on the hill visibile from the front of my apartment building. Other times its the great arrangement of trees or an older brick staircase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus we have local artists and neighbors who contribute items for the street. Check out these great benches and gardening additions.

 

 

Tickey Tackey Boxes Need Not to Apply

Image

One of the joys of living in the Inner Sunset is the variety of nearby houses. As a child I lived out near the beach – also in the Sunset –  where many of the Houses looked the same. Mind you with the embrace of mid-Century Modern those Outer Sunset Houses are now “Golden.” Unfortunately to me they will always represent the old neighborhood I fled due to it seeming conformity. As a kid I used to ride the N Judah through the Inner Sunset or the 71 through the Haight and dream of living there. Now I overpay for the privilege but willing accept it.

Ultimately, my favorite houses will remain the eclectic mix of Victorians and Edwardians dotting San Francisco. As these  random photos show their owners take tremendous pride in making each part of them look good (from the house paint to the landscaping to the political posters).

  Sometimes it’s just the entire house which lights up with color and style. I have no idea how much it costs to paint and maintain these houses. I just thank the owners.

Folks even take the effort to make sure the window treatments match the amazing trim work. I loved the entire house but decided to carve out the window due to clever use of shades.

 

Speaking of trim work check out these shots. Each honors the carpentry put into the house. Unfortunately it can get discombobulating always craning my neck to see them. I especially don’t recommend it during vertigo outbreaks. But nice (and yes, I’ll admit rare) sunny days demand the extra attention. 


 The other thing impossible to overlook is how much work folks put in to ensuring their trees become part of the house’s decoration. There is an uproar throughout the City – and rightfully so – over the local government’s demand homeowners pay for the tree upkeep. I suspect, however, many homeowners here have done it for years. Don’t get me wrong, we have some of the best gardeners working for City and County of San Francisco. (I don’t say it solely because many are mics are like me (1/2) but because it’s true.) Still they don’t have the time to put in all this extra work. Check it out. 

Behind the Blogroll

Alas, no juicy scandals or long-term breakups to reveal ala MTV. However, in assembling my magical fourteen – randomly hit number so sticking with it – I found a common theme. Most of the creators and/or contributors impose some type of order on the world as designers, pundits, or photographers. [Like the proverbial cheese, the shopping sites seemingly stand alone. But maybe not as explained below.]

As a person lacking patience and organizational skills, I have a love/hate relationship with my exact opposites. Spotless desktops, perfectly arranged collections, and tailored outfits gobsmack me with envy. Yet the same organizational principles applied to a photograph or argument fill me with pleasure. Currently trying to reconcile the two extremes by finding their commonalities.

This overwhelming desire for control probably has several sources. Family members and childhood friends will harken back to my long-held desire for world domination. (I was a seriously scary kid. Fortunately everyone else got bigger and faster or you would all be working for me. :)) More astute observers might rightfully suspect calming the world around me helps quiets my inner chaos. (However a world without some inner chaos seems highly overrated.) Or perhaps I vainly search for patterns like the blind person feeling up the elephant. (Go ahead and insert weight joke here. )

My photography passion probably exemplifies all these contradictions. Lacking skills I flounder around with unfocused shots (think missed opportunities) but tend to learn something each time. I seek to capture and hold something I find particularly dear or beautiful (however much I know such things cannot be held forever). Only now do I realize need to apply basic composition skills (both to impose order and to provide the best view). Perhaps by the time I hone my photography skills I will move onto another blog or none at all.

This post, likes its author, lacks answers. One of the most useful things I ever learned was most people are internal processors and then there are the rest of us (aka the external processors). We have to talk everything out aloud. Yes, I know the Mars/Venus arguments but don’t see them as overly applicable to a lesbian. Frankly even Sally Field at her most grating would likely strangle me for talking too much.

Let me conclude by extending some love to the current blog roll. Be sure to check out Robin Wong’s street photography site with its gorgeous take on Indonesia and life in general. He helped inspire to pick up my camera and even set up this blog. Steve Johnson’s Minimalist Photography Blog showcases some amazing photos of very ordinary things. Even more his photography tips reminded me it’s well within everyone’s abilities to capture pictures without high powered equipment (again like Robin).

Oh yes the shopping. My favorite sites reflect my loves of technology, design, and art. However, as Etsy shows I’m a sucker for vintage, handmade objects. I love when someone takes an ordinary object and beautifies it. Or someone “rescues” a clever object from years ago out of the landfill. None of these necessarily impose an order on the world. Rather they show a human being’s desire to rebel against the sameness of many lives by making the ordinary gorgeous.

Later

C

Childhood Art Taken to Dizzying Heights

Childhood Art Taken to Dizzying Heights

Amazingly good article on Jeff Koon’s exhibit of childhood inspired sculptures at Fondation Beyeler. Pictures are wonderful but author’s insights take it a step further. I found the sheer scale of the exhibits humbling. It’s hard to comprehend on how frightening the amazing can seem to a child.

But I could have done without the Michael Jackson sculpture.  

This Swiss museum hosts art dealer Ernest Beyeler’s amazing collection of modern art. Visit the website to see the diverse exhibits and cool architecture. But watch out for the moving parts (or maybe it’s just me who can’t handle cascading words). Check out http://www.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/museum/impressions/impressions

Comes from one of my favorite new design blogs: www.weheart.co.uk  Sometimes overwhelming on a large screen this blog not only provides eye candy but serves up thoughtful articles. My favorites include Stuff Crush (exactly what it sounds like for us unrepentant shoppers)  and Design Geekery (your virtual travel service for visiting new exhibits and shops).

Its impossible to list all of the web’s greatest gifts. But the ability to travel while sitting in your seat has to be among the top.  

Childhood Art Taken to Dizzying Heights

Amazingly good article on Jeff Koon’s exhibit of childhood inspired sculptures at Fondation Beyeler. Pictures are wonderful but author’s insights take it a step further. I found the sheer scale of the exhibits humbling. It’s hard to comprehend on how frightening the amazing can seem to a child.

But I could have done without the Michael Jackson sculpture.  

This Swiss museum hosts art dealer Ernest Beyeler’s amazing collection of modern art. Visit the website to see the diverse exhibits and cool architecture. But watch out for the moving parts (or maybe it’s just me who can’t handle cascading words). Check out http://www.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/museum/impressions/impressions

Comes from one of my favorite new design blogs: www.weheart.co.uk  Sometimes overwhelming on a large screen this blog not only provides eye candy but serves up thoughtful articles. My favorites include Stuff Crush (exactly what it sounds like for us unrepentant shoppers)  and Design Geekery (your virtual travel service for visiting new exhibits and shops).

Its impossible to list all of the web’s greatest gifts. But the ability to travel while sitting in your seat has to be among the top.  

Hello world!

Welcome to CSheila. Here I will capture what I find most interesting in my travels through cyber and physical space. Given I still need to sort my focus out, for a while this site will probably resemble my messy desk top – alas nowhere near as interesting as JK Rowling’s but hopefully more visually pleasant than my normal piles.

Mostly, as I begin to embark on my second half of a century, I seek to “see” the hidden beauty in everything. Time has taught me such things as beauty and love are often elusive and subjective. Fortunately beginning with my mom Sheila, and continuing with loved ones who have walked part of the path with me, I learned “elusive and subjective” doesn’t mean elitist and exclusive. Instead each burdens the traveler to open her eyes to all possibilities without precondition or ownership.

My current passion – and I always have one – is visual art. However, with the exception of my photography, I seek more to appreciate than to create. Thus I will mostly link to other sites or discuss museum exhibits I visited. Of course, like every other amateur, I will post many of my photos. But unlike the home movies plaguing us as  children you may simply turn away. (Though I welcome all helpful critiques.)

Finally, politics will find an occasional resting spot here. Hell it’s a presidential year and it’s me. However, none of it will concern my line of work or my employer. Thus we will likely talk national or international stuff. Further, after years of evolving political lines (thought), I can sum my philosophy as “mean people suck.” Thus, if and when I indulge, it will be likely be directed at bullies of all stripes.

Thanks for listening (reading). Let’s see if I can figure out how to post a movie.

C

Random Fun in Japanese Tea Garden

Here is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, which I have visited since I was a small child. Even better my mom did the same since she was a teenager.

Sigh. I can’t upload movies. So here are some random shotsEdit