Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A mural, a ride (and a movie)

A week ago today, I came across this stunning WPA mural in the San Geronimo Valley Community Center, where I'd gone with Beverly for a gathering of Bill Witherup's family and friends to remember him with readings and stories.

The mural was commissioned for the Lagunitas school, the original occupant of the building, and was painted in 1934, by Maurice Del Mue. It is 7 x 15 feet, but seems much larger. It feels almost life size and is down low enough for children to see without craning their necks; a very warm, intimate mural. I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Yesterday, Theresa and I rode from Woodacre to Pt. Reyes Station and on a chance the Center would be open, we detoured hoping to see it. The Center was locked, but a man opened the door for us and we stood looking at the mural for a too brief time. It's been recently restored, and, even unlit, it glows.

As we rode on to the coast it was getting warmer. By the time we'd had our late morning, Bovine Bakery almond croissant it was downright hot. And as we turned back inland it was getting even hotter.

I suddenly remembered NOT locking my car, and my small camera was in it! I told Theresa to stop often (no point in our both getting heat stroke) but I needed to get to my car fast. And I rode as hard and as fast as I could, never stopping.

Sweat and sunscreen dripped into my eyes. I was nearly blind and out of water by the time I got to my car. It was indeed unlocked, but intact. I threw my bike inside and drove back to get Theresa; and a car with a bike on top honked coming at me. When I could, I made a U-turn, and, as I thought, Theresa had been picked up on the other side of the hill. She'd been close to heat stroke, had goose bumps, not sweating. Nick of time rescue.

So. If it hadn't been hotter 'n hell, it would have been a great ride. In the twenty or so years we've been riding together we've had more than a few misadventures and stories to tell - but they've all ended well.

And I'd like to see that mural again and again.

P.S. To avoid today's repeat heat I went to an air-conditioned movie: Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds." Whew! Incredible. It was terrific.

The fog bank is due back tonight. I can already feel it on its way.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Klaatu barada nikto

Last night I watched the remake of "The War of the Worlds," and, in spite of Tom Cruise, I was riveted, just like I was for the original in 1953. Too bad it was interrupted by television commercials every few minutes, though they did give me a chance to catch my breath. Oh, thank you Spielberg for doing it right (well, except for the silly soap opera, which was easily ignored). Just wish I'd seen it on the big screen; great special effects. I believed it. Oh the horror!

Yeah, I'm a sucker for creature features and good sci-fi movies. My first was "The Thing from Another World!" 1951.

When the dog fell out of
that bin, I was so frightened I thought my arm had been frozen. It took several heartbeats before I figured out it was just in a plaster cast.

(Earlier that week I'd had my arm straightened under anaesthesia and was wearing the cast. My arm was crooked because I didn't know I couldn't ride my little brother's push-scooter no-hands, the way I could my bicycle. Anyway, riding it down Valley Drive, the extremely steep hill we lived on---I seem to always live on really steep hills---I lifted both hands off the handle, wheeeeee, SPLAT, right on my left hand. Naturally, I cried and whined about my wrist hurting, but my mother just kept telling me to shut up. A week later a neighbor said, Edna, her arm is crooked, just look at it. So she was shamed into taking me to the doctor and of course it was broken and had to be reset.)

But, really, my all-time favorite is still "The Day the Earth Stood Still." When Helen has to remember to say "Klaatu barada nikto" to stop Gort, well, I've spent the rest of my life trying to remember that phrase, just in case.

Really, if you didn't grow up in the 50s or 60s, when they really knew how to make scary B-movies, you can't know how much fun they were. "Them!" "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" "The Blob" "Creature from the Black Lagoon" "The Day of the Triffids" Jeez, they were awful. But who knew? Scared a very young me.

Then "Night of the Living Dead," 1968, not even seen in a theatre, but on Bob Wilkins' Creature Features on Channel 2, scared the shit out of me, and I wasn't so young anymore . . .I had to move away from my window, huddling against the wall, totally freaked. I was a real Bob Wilkins fan. He was so droll. (Googling: he has a Web site; he lives on!) I usually fell asleep before a movie ended, but that was OK.

The newer B creature features are a bit gross and I don't waste any money on them, and I don't think you can ever top that first "Aliens," but maybe I'll go see "District 9" on the big screen this week. Yeah.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Bad Air day

I roped Jill into modeling for me this morning, but it was so hazy that I didn't get what I wanted, though I do like this one.

And then she turned her iPhone on us.

At some point she'll send me the picture of me taking this picture of her. We did have fun. When the air clears maybe we'll try it again.

And here it is:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

New work

The gnomes are thinking how this city has filled up with big buildings since the picture on the masthead was taken, can't even see the pyramid anymore.

I've been trying to get a good shot of three wildly different subjects on Potrero Hill. Here are a few I like so far. I have more in mind. . .except for the train station underground, they all need bright sun, and sometimes we have it, but more often we don't in the summer. Today we had rain clouds; usually it's fog.

The gnomes from my garden are now in my car. If the light is right, I stop and put them in an intersection and try to get both them and the skyline in focus. This walker was a bonus. So far no cars have been seriously inconvenienced by our being in the middle of the street - I haven't been run over yet. Now that would be inconvenient!