Fall 2014 Update

Keith Haring art at FAMSF de Young

Keith Haring art at FAMSF de Young

Note: slideshow at bottom of post

My life is so busy that two things are true: 1) I can’t remember what I’ve done the previous season, except for a few highlights, without consulting my calendar, and 2) I’ve fallen way, way behind on my ideal of posting a seasonal update four times per year. My last time was Summer 2013.

  • I’m back at work as Safe Routes to School Coordinator at San Juan Unified, as of August. Funding is still flakey, but I’m still getting work done, and still enjoying it, particularly the bicyclist lessons.
  • I attended the Harvest Moon contra dance weekend in Santa Barbara, which is a weekend full of dancing and seeing friends from all over who come for the same reason I do, high level, high energy dancing and good friends, including Teralyn. This is my favorite contra dance weekend, though others come close. I also attended the 12-hour TDOGS Twirl contra dance in Hayward. Unfortunately, my energy didn’t quite hold out the entire 12 hours.
  • A lot weekends were spent in San Francisco and the bay area, five just this quarter. I go for dancing (sacred circle dancing, historical dancing, and contra dancing, mostly), museums, theatre, bicycling, hiking visiting friends, eating good food, conferences, etc.
  • I attended two Sunday Streets events in San Francisco, volunteering with both Sunday Streets and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Freedom from Training Wheels program, which is probably the most fun I have, seeing kids make that first successful balance, and then pedal, without training wheels.
  • I was lucky to find out at the last moment about the San Francisco Tweed Ride, and join them. A great group of people to hang out with, and ride, and drink beer at the end. They take costuming much more seriously than I do. I then finished the day off with SFBC’s Winterfest, a huge gathering of bicycle advocates. Some of the same people, and more beer.
  • This year I have a membership in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), which are the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and the de Young in Golden Gate Park. I saw the Houghton Hall exhibit at the Legion, art and objects from an English country manor, with a tie-in to Downton Abbey, and the exhibit of Keith Haring at the de Young, a remarkable collection of advocacy art.
  • I assisted two League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Seminars, in Rancho Cordova and San Francisco, and helped Elle instruct a Traffic Skills 101 in Sacramento.
  • I repeated my backpack of the American Discovery Trail section 8, from Walnut Creek to San Francisco, this time keeping an accurate GPS track.
  • Some Wednesdays I’ve been joining Claire Bromund and her compadres for wine at various Sacramento wine bars and restaurants. I’ve also been frequenting my favorite breweries, first Track 7, followed by New Helvetia and Bike Dog.
  • I attended Walk California’s Best Foot Forward Summit, helping develop a strategic vision for the organization and all its partners. Intense, but worthwhile.

My major project this fall has been tidying. A book review in the New York Times set me off to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I have been reducing my possessions for many years, getting down to about 1/3 of what I once had, but had run out of steam. My criteria for “if I haven’t used it in two years…” had run it’s course, with me not willing to let go of things I hadn’t used in two years, and having other things that I’d never use again but had had for less than two years. Kondo’s criteria is different: “Does this object bring me joy?” So I’ve been working through my possessions on that criteria, shedding more things but also becoming clearer about things I want to keep and why, and even replacing a few things that I need but were worn or unsatisfying. Perhaps another 1/3 is gone. I love the energy, the feeling of simplicity and ease, this brings me. I’m not done yet, but will finish within the next month.

One of the things I wasn’t sure what to do with is my slides. I have slides ranging from high school through about 2002 when I started with digital photography. About 10 years ago I went through and discarded slides that were of poor quality or didn’t tell a story, but since then they’ve been sitting in the metal slide boxes, untouched and unappreciated. I wasn’t sure whether to toss them all, or go though them again, or scan them into digital files. I had a long conversation with Jeff about this, and decided that I would both screen them again and get important ones digitized, with the goal of having only high-value scans remaining, and no slides. Of course this will take a lot of time and a not inconsiderable amount of money for the scanning, but I think I’ll feel it worthwhile at the end. I’m going to start with my slides of Escalante.

I continue to be delighted by living in midtown Sacramento. Life here is interesting and comfortable. Overall, I’m very happy with my life, the ways in which I spend my time, the opportunities I have available, and my friends.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These slides are from the fall of 2014, and represent a small part of my packed-full activities. Thanks, Howard, for the idea. More photos in a Flickr collection.

I’ve posted an update on the plays I’ve seen this season, at Theatre: Fall 2014.

About Dan Allison

Dan Allison is a Safe Routes to School Coordinator in the Sacramento area. Dan dances and backpacks, as much as possible.
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