Try to Remember…

When was the last time you were in San Francisco in September with the temperature over 100 degrees?  With the advent of Labor Day and subsequent heat waves, San Francisco experienced record temperatures (over 106 degrees reported downtown??). The freak weather sparked a lot of unusual behavior–like packed parks with… what!?! people in them (See featured sketch above, at noon on 9/5/17 at the 100 First Street roof terrace).

Girls flung their normally conservative city modesty to the winds and were wearing skin-tight and flimsy almost see-through dresses. And surfers surfing at Ocean Beach without wetsuits!?! It must be an indication of the positive effect that weather has on our foggy Bay Area brains–and that we’re actually and finally capable of adaptation!

The Fall Semester has also descended. I finally consolidated my myriad choices for classes. As always, I pick more things from the buffet line than I can eat. San Francisco’s City College is free for residents starting this year, so I can gluttonize myself even more. I decided to forego the German classes this term. Instead, I opted for a purely hedonistic art and music program. I am continuing my figure drawing classes with the fantastic Ms. Diane Olivier. You may remember her from my incredible Moroccan sketching adventure in June. She continues to teach at the Fort Mason site where all the lifelong art students congregate.

As part of our class assignment in Art, we are expected to sketch daily. One of the better ways I accomplish this is joining Meet-ups for Sketchers. We draw in various parts of the city (Nob Hill, office buildings, events in the Park, etc). There seems to be a spontaneous combustion of happenings thanks to the internet. I can join several in one week if I choose to.  There are similar meet-ups worldwide, so I am really excited about these prospects in the future. Sketching outdoors has been great art therapy for me and a memorable way to view and record the city other than with a camera. Click on images below for captions.


I’m making my ginger foray into Music in two directions. First, I toyed with both introductory piano and violin. Yes, I took lessons many years ago and only enough to allow me to play in solitary confinement. The incentive for the piano class was a fleet of brand-new digital Yamaha pianos.

I decided to forego the equipment upgrade and a cast of 20+ students for a beginning violin class of only 15 students (20-15=5x more attention from the instructor). My old violin that had been left unattended for decades was finally in the money again. You can imagine the delight from the poor violin’s standpoint.  It was dripping with sound from its inner belly and oozing through the curly-que slits to the world.  I could barely remember how to tighten the bow and prep it with rosin. Forget tuning and blowing up the rest pad–I had to rely on the instructor’s help for both.

Second, my next musical class is about music awareness.  We will learn more about opera using Elektra, Turandot, and La Traviata from the San Francisco Opera season. We have access to orchestra seats for $35! This is almost as good as being a Goethe Institute student in Berlin. I thought this class would be a pushover until I had to write two papers. I discovered that I had no music theory, background, or ability to explain anything in proper musical terms. Hopefully this class will improve my musical awareness!!


Last but not least…Emperor Norton found in the stacks of the Mechanics Library in Downtown San Francisco…during a treasure hunt. You can join the private library for a nominal fee with access to many up and coming books and their authors.


In a couple of weeks, I plan to travel to Peru and Chile.  I’ll be visiting Macchu Picchu and Easter Island. Please join me for a bit of fun and adventure! As usual, my focus will be on art, architecture, anthropology, and food!  If you want to opt out of email notifications, you can change your settings in WordPress. Until then…

10 thoughts on “Try to Remember…”

  1. Oh my gosh…this is just so much fun!
    As always, mind-blowing, creative, inventive, and just darn FUN.
    Can’t wait for the next adventure…let the learning continue!


  2. Liebe Victoria,

    gewöhnlich mag ich deine Blog Post! Hanni hat die ganze Text mit ihrem Wörterbuch gelesen, aber ohne Erfolg gestern Abend, weil sie ist um 2:00 Uhr vorgestern ins Bett gegangen. Sie hat sehr viel gearbeitet, um die Reise zu vorbereiten.

    jetzt machen Carmen und ich einen Urlaub in Allgäu mit Hanni um Jens.

    Herzliche Grüße Pedro


    1. Pedro, das ist ganz toll, dass ihr mit Jens und Hanni eine Gelegenheit zusammen einen Urlaub nach Allgau machen könntet! Ich kenne nicht wo Allgau ist, aber jetzt ich sehe es in den Suden ist. Das Wetter soll noch angenehm sein. Wollt ihr auch zum Oktoberfest einen Ausflug machen? Ubrigens, hast du das Trilogie “Sea of Poppies” gelesen? Ich habe fast die drei Bücher fertig gemacht, und ich mochte alle dir empfehlen. Veilleicht du hast schon diese gelesen. Wenn du Zeit hast, können wir über diesen diskutieren. Mit vielen Grusse zu Alle, und habt einen angenehmen Urlaub miteinander! VV.


    1. Thanks for the encouragement! Sketching has been a whole new way to see the world, and an empowering way to learn by doing! Hope all goes well on your end (or top) of the world! Come see us soon!!


  3. Thanks for sharing these experiences. Your stories bring smiles to my face. Your creative endeavors are inspiring. I’m looking forward to your next adventure.


    1. Your kind words keep me motivated! It took a bit of scurrying to launch this latest trip. I am camped out in Panama City waiting for my connection to Lima. I only thought of the possblity of a tour to the Panama Canal after arrival and sitting in the Copa Airline lounge. A web post said that it’s hard to see the operation of the canal from the sidelines, so I decided to forego the hassle. Besides I needed a transit visa that requires a min. 6 hr layover, and mine is only 5! The ships take 8 hr to pass through and are charged $200k per passage!! Maybe you’ve done it on a cruise? Anyway, I’ll start posting after arrival in Lima. Hope the hurricane didn’t affect you in Fla?!?


      1. Good to hear from you. We were lucky and with the exception of losing a couple Live Oaks no damage. The company suffered no damage at all. I’m working my way out of daily management so I can begin some of my own travels. Next summer we are planning travel to Germany, Poland Russia and Finland. I hope to start with a 4 week course at Geothe. In the mean time I will continue to live vicariously thru your adventures.


      2. Hmm…sounds like an itinerary close to ours. Which Goethe? After learning so much German history we are interested in the diaspora too. I know that traveling thru many of these countries will allow us to utilize the German language! Glad to hear that the damage was minimal. Maybe now you can free yourself from work and indulge in earthly pleasures!


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