Friday, February 5, 2016

The Catch --- Day 4/251

Walk: Union Square
Distance: 5.6 miles and small home yoga

Henri Rousseau (French 1844-1910), The Football Players, 1909, oil on canvas, 39.5" x 31 5/8"

Were you as surprised as Ciwt that this painting is by Henri Rousseau, usually associated with jungle and exotic themes?  (Sleeping Gypsy, 1897)  Image result for henri rousseau the dream (The Dream, 1910)? She bets most of the throngs who are in San Francisco ahead of this Sunday's Super Bowl would be more than surprised to see the image of these nattily (?) dressed French enthusiasts cavorting around with a football. Horrified, outraged is probably more like it.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spell-like, Peaceful River --- Day 4/350

Walk: Marin Driving Day, Fillmore
Distance: 1 mile, small yoga

Speaking of George Caleb Bingham's (CIWT yesterday), his work  is a classic example of the fickleness of the art market.  When he died in 1879 his art was languishing in obscurity.  Then in the 1930's it was rediscovered and he is now considered one of America's greatest early realist painters who hauntingly evoked an era of American history.  His most famous canvases portray the hardscrabble life along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in the decades just prior to the Civil War.

Image result for raftsmen playing cards
Raftsmen Playing Cards, 1847

Fur Traders Descending the Missouri, c. 1845

Boatmen on the Missouri, 1846

The Jolly Flatboatman, 1846

Except, from the viewing would you call the scenes before you hardscrabble? Hardly. The River people were ruffians but as portrayed by Bingham they are almost genteel floating serenely along calm waters in clear weather and even dancing and playing games.  In other words, Bingham hasn't so much captured the West as tamed it and given its inhabitants and way of life luminosity and timelessness.  For whatever reason - possibly his own joyful, optimistic nature - Bingham chose sensitive, patient artifice over reality for his River paintings, and Ciwt, for one, treasures that wonderful artistic decision and each of his River paintings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One Man, ..... --- Day 4/349

Walk: Robotlike to Union Square dentist 
Distance: 1 mile and small yoga

George Caleb Bingham (American), The County Election, 1852, oil on canvas

So here we go into the primary and eventually election season. Et nos cum pace (peace be with us) as they would have said in ancient Rome.

Nobody pretends that democracy is perfect or at all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. 
(Winston Churchill, November 11, 1947)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Helen of Transcendant --- Day 4/348

Walk: Audiological people (Huh?  What's that you say?)
Distance: 8 Blocks and Home Yoga

Taking an uplifting break from taxes, Ciwt looks at her favorite look from SAG Awards:

She Who Can Do No Wrong

Monday, February 1, 2016

Saggy Colors --- Day 4/347

Walk: CPMC (Hearing Test.  Huh? Could you repeat?)
Distance: 2.4 miles and home yoga

Waiting for Caucus (whatever that is exactly) results, Ciwt began cruising some of the SAG gown disappointments.

In Sea Foam:
Unflattering: Another shock appearance on the list of worst-dressed stars is January Jones, who arrived at the award ceremony in this sea-foam green chiffon dress  Too much in the trunk: While the dress was less-than-flattering from the front, it was even worse from behind, where the gathered material made her look far larger than she is

And Pink:
Girly and garish: The combination of clashing pink and purple shades, along with the over-the-top ruffles made Nicole Kidman's dress look less than flattering on her   Top of the crops: The award for worst dressed of the night goes to Lori Petty, whose pink crop top and trouser combo could not have been more unsuitable for the occasion

And Neon:
Not-so-mellow yellow: Man Men's Sola Bamis, left, and Game of Thrones star Hannah Murray, right, opted for bright and bold designs, but neither stood out in the right way. In fact both ladies were more of the eye-sore than an eye-catching hit on the carpet  A head-to-toe horror: Musician Our Lady J, who worked as a writer on the hit Amazon Prime series Transparent, walked the red carpet in a garish green and purple mesh dress, which she paired wiht some shiny black sneakers

Even Blue:
  Still got some work to do? Similarly Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie's gown, although flattering as far as the color was concerned, looked as though it hadn't been finished by the designer, thanks to the exposed seams

Sunday, January 31, 2016

War and Peace -- Day 4/346

Walk: Cinema Club (A War), Calvary Presbyterian Church (Winter Concert)
Distance: 3.8 miles and small yoga

  Ciwt's thought provoking day began with the spring 'semester' of her Cinema Club's showing and discussion of A War.  It's the Danish Oscar contender for Best Foreign Film.  An immaculate portrait of that soul-wracking, unsanitizable thing called war.

 Then it was onto a concert at a nearby church with a strong, excellent music program.  The last movement of the last piece (Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 "Winter Daydreams" - 1860) ended with repeated dona nobis pacem, dona nobis pacem. grant us peace.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

45 x 2 --- Day 4/345

Walk: Sundance Kabuki* (45 Years x2)
Distance: 2 miles

Ciwt went to the excellent 45 Years for the second time today and found it even more penetrating. She also wonders what the age cutoff point is between those who probably feel like the movie goes on 45 years because nothing happens and those who feel everything does and go a second time. Probably at least 50.

*There's been a sandwich board poster for a while but Ciwt just noticed it today. Sundance Kabuki, one of her homes away from home, has been sold to another theater owner.  Fingers crossed. She's also of an age where the more high quality neighborhood the better.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Yoga Thoughts for the Athlete --- Day 4/344

Walk: Opera Plaza Cinema (2 Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action and Animated)
Distance: 1.8 miles and home yoga

Instead of doing yoga, would Ciwt mostly rather
  Image result for people playing tennis
Be Playing Tennis?
Or Volleyball?                                                Or Skiing?

And, if she were a guy, would she be engaged in a
Pick up Basketball game
Image result for pick up basketball rather than Image result for pincha mayurasana
Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)?

Yes to all of these sports.  BUT Ciwt is of a certain age with less collagen, elastin, tighter tendons, and ligaments, and a host of other things that happen to EVERY body as they age.  She does not want to break an ankle, throw out her back, wrack up her knees or worse.  So, she does an activity that covers all the bases from aerobic, strength training, balance, stretching to mental and emotional.  Yoga.