Thursday, May 31, 2012

Please Don't Eat the Marigolds.. -- Day 145

Walk: R/T Kabuki Theater; R/T La Boulangerie
Distance:  4 miles

For some reason - lack of alternatives mostly - I went to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and am trying to climb out of the saccharin sump of it all.  If you have the slightest sensitivity to issues of personal aging, I say stay away. 

Here's how my favorite Rotten Tomatos reviewer (James Berardinelli) summed it up:  Those who will see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are looking for something calm, safe, gently humorous, and entirely unchallenging. And that's exactly what they get.  But I don't think it is 'safe' from inducing depression. - especially if you aren't just insipidly bumbling through life's tragedies and, wow, finding Light at the end of every tunnel.  And if you somehow doubt the promise of India. (Maybe it's just yoga teacher me that is up to my eyeballs with 'darling' 'amazing' 'all things coming' in India hype. India is not all rich colors and ashrams.  It is a Huge country with a long, intensely complicated past - including the Raj and caste system; along with a widely diverse socio-economic-political present and climate extremes which are are barely survivable North and South).   

Etc.  Anyway, if you're actually trying to grapple with life/getting a bit older, I say see this movie at your own risk.  Or just look at the poster below and you can probably figure out the plot and envision the acting.  Judi Dench even has a voice over blog.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Some Fine Art Qualifiying Tours - and Noodling --- Day 144

Walk: Around de Young and neighborhood
Distance:  3 miles

Two of my docent friends invited me to join their final (for this semester; there are 2 more plus) qualifying tours in AoA (Art of the Americas: Eskimo, Southwestern, Mexican among other cultures).  They both did really well but privately I had to also be asking myself if I wish I were giving these tours.  And the answer is still an imperfect 'no.'  Really it is as simple as that route doesn't call to me (or doesn't call enough right now). I spent many years in the art world in many capacities -studying art history in college, viewing art for decades, managing galleries, writing about art, advising/consulting,  even selling AoA - so spending virtually full time with the pieces and politics of docent culture at the San Francisco city museums is something I know too much about to sign on.  Since this is my blog, I can go so far here as to say I feel above/beyond being a docent.  There's always, always a lot of fun and interesting knowledge to be gained about art, which is one of its great draws.  As you know if you read my blog, I go often to museums and other art venues and consider myself a constant student of this vast and rich aspect of life. But as a docent trainee/docent at SFFAM it would be gained in environment where my knowledge is significantly broader than the FAM collection and  where I worked to/earned some power in the past as an art professional and now would have about as much power as the doll below - or less. (not from the SF museums).  It is more steps back than forward - kind of Raggedy Ann tumbling down the hill.  Maybe I'll find other ways to use my art business and aesthetic knowledge in the future, but that's it on this re-curring topic today. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nixon in China Preparation --- Day 143

Walk:  Various
Distance:  1.5 Mile and teach

A few years ago I saw the debut of John Adams' Doctor Atomic which was quite spellbinding in a strange but musically beautiful way.  So now I am particularly looking forward to seeing/hearing his opera Nixon in China in about a month.

Tonight was a panel discussion with most of the key 'players' - all the principal roles, the maestro, stage producer, head of our opera (Adams himself is in LA debuting a new oratorio) - and hearing them talk about the time, intelligence, heart, soul and who knows what else that has already been poured into the production heightens my interest and excitement. 

More another - or other - day(s).  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Presidio, Memorial Day 2012 -- Day 142

Walk: R/T Mindful Body
Distance:  8 blocks and yoga class

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Walk --- Day 141

Very nice energy at the touching tribute to the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge.  I'm a total sucker for bagpipes and just loved walking behind the Irish Pipers Band down Crissy Field.

Walk:  R/T Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary Celebration
Distance:  5 Miles

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yolanda's Rock on Memorial Day Saturday --- Day 140

Walk:  R/T Mindful Body, R/T USF/de Young (Lecture on American Chairs) via Yolanda's rock in meadow along side Conservatory of Flowers.
Distance: 3 miles and teach

A few of us know this to be Yolanda's Rock.  Yolanda Bain was one of the most well-rounded and gifted yoga teachers I've known in the now 40 years yoga has been somewhere in my life.  She was beautiful, graceful, strong!, deeply spiritual humble but strong-willed about the things and people that she deemed meaningful.  In yoga teaching she pioneered so much about how yoga is taught today, including writing and one of the first professional yoga teacher training manuals.  Students came to her from all over the city, and there was even a feature article with pictures in the Chronicle about her - unsolicited and waaaay before yoga teachers became publicity hounds.  One of those students was me, and you can't imagine how honored (moved and shocked actually) I felt when she asked me to take over her Saturday class - the huge, 'famous' one documented in the article.

The reason she asked me is just awful.  At 45, in her beautiful, graceful youth, she was dying of ovarian cancer.  It was at her service that her husband, Matt, told all of us about Yolanda's Rock, and how she came over to the park often from their home and practiced yoga near, even on,  her rock. 

You can't see her rock because it is obscured by one of Yolanda's friend/students walking to the service.  It poured rain, then broke into beautiful sunshine for just a moment, then the rain and the tears flowed again.  Friends - including Bonnie Raitt - spoke, sang, played tributes, and you cold feel Yo's presence - maybe because she had become a part of all her students, friends, family so her presence was there actually as well as spiritually.

Today it felt good to touch Yo's rock and see the various groups of people picnicing around it on this Memorial Day Saturday, just after 'her' class. I never go into that room to teach on Saturday mornings without thinking of her.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Which camera is best? -- Day 139

Walk: R/T  JCC
Distance: 16 blocks and teach class

Do these images seem significantly different?

The top one was taken with my Canon Power Shot and the bottom with my iphone camera.  I think the focus on the top one is superior but the iphone is so handy for just pointing and shooting while I carry it with me for its other features  - also I didn't have the high definition feature turned on.  Guess if I wanted to go on a photography outing, though, it would be best to bring my cut little Canon - and maybe to get a bit more proficient on techniques. I have a feeling it might be able to  do some nice little tricks.

Here they are again:  The top is the Canon, the middle iphone high def and the bottom is regular iphone. 

See much difference this time?  I thought not.  So think I'll feel confident for blog purposes with my iphone - using the high def. setting.  And speaking of blog purposes, after 139 days, if a consistent theme beyond my life and thoughts doesn't show up, I'm thinking I will turn this year of posts into a book and have a nice record of how things looked and felt for single me with cat on Jackson Street. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

If I Were in Charge of the News --- Day 138

Walk:  car/de young (last pre-Columbian lecture), r/t Mindful Body
Distance: 16 blocks and teach

On my way back from Marin today I listened to the 3:00 Nightly News Hour as I often do.  Today's report was a solid hour of bad verging on catastrophic news: Europe finances on the brink, almost the same in the U.S., robots taking all the few remaining and future jobs and a definitely innocent man executed by the state of Texas. 

Then I had to teach a yoga class.  Sometimes it is hard for many of us to find the will to go on with any joy muchless teach or whatever one has to do next.  An hour of horrendously destabilizing/sky-is-falling news is so disspiriting that I wonder if it would be ethical/legal/whatever for the producers of news shows to always intersperse them with some bright or positively forward looking pieces - even if the news that day is all bad.

It just doesn't seem right that the listener is essentially dumped on with information he/she can do little about except get anxious or upset or even despairing. Obviously you can't make a law that there be balance in a news show, but working toward balance just seems the decent thing to do.  Run the pieces about the robots and the wrongly executed man another night or something.  Clearly those pieces had been produced earlier and were just waiting to be aired.  I say grab other completed pieces - maybe on the arts or something positively thought- or hope-provoking.  We don't need to know about no jobs for people or a massive miscarriage of justice/the malfunction of our legal system at the highest level on the same night as the world as we rely on it being onthe  economic brink.  No we don't need to know all of this right now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

City Chicks -- Day 137

After a rough night of eating, dancing and drinking, Mirabelle asks Chloe if she’d like to join her back at the coop for a nightcap.

These two hot chicks are Mirabelle (speckled) and Chloe.  The caption under them reads "After a rough night of eating, dancing and drinking, Mirabelle asks Chloe if she’d like to join her back at the coop for a nightcap." 

They belong to one of my favorite students and her husband (also a sometime student) who are raising them in the city.  Recently they added two more to the brood, three actually but one turned out to be a rooster.   They also started a new blog where they offer "friendly advice and classes on raising chickens in San Francisco."   Contact for more information. - - or just go to San Francisco Chicken for grins. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

House Lives! -- Day 136

Walk:  R/T Mindful Body (and always up/down my stairs several times - no easy feat)
Distance: 8 blocks and teach class

Okay, here's how I see it: 

1.Yes, House helped/killed the guy with Lou Gehrig's die before the pain was excruciating (for the same reason he promised to kill/help Thirteen, which is why she had the line reminding us of House's promise). 

2.No, the script wasn't perfect and in fact was disjointed which I think is just in keeping with House as a person so that is better than some smooth, perfect package.

3. The most important and brilliant line was the last one: House saying "Cancer is boring."  Because House Loves puzzles and Hates boredom and is bored after he has solved a medical puzzle, House has a Solution for Wilson's cancer!  At the very least House is going to prolong Wilson's life, and they are going to have a long, meaningful life together - possibly as a medical duo sleuthing and curing other people's illnesses.  Wilson can start at another hospital because he still has his medical license, and House will be his silent partner, the brains behind the operation.

Or something; the main thing is House is alive, and while he is anything is possible in the puzzle game of life.

Monday, May 21, 2012

All Fixed- By Me! - Monkey Paw Flower Clapping --- Day 135, Part 2


More another day, but the flower at the top is a Mexican Monkey's paw climbing up my parka on the San Francisco Botanical Garden tour today.  It's littler than it looks here; maybe about 1.5 inches.

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iphone glitches; Last episode of House -- Day 135

Walk:  Golden Gate Park Arboretum
Distance: 4 Miles 

Now all of a sudden my iphone isn't being recognized.  All was well yesterday, so of course I'm totally preoccupied - even knowing I can't fix it/have no idea what's up.  So not much of a post today.

When I do post I will probably write on the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park where I took a tour today from one of my docent friends.  Pictures are stuck on the iphone though.

Also might post about the loss of my beloved Dr. friend, Gregory House.  Tonight is the last episode of House, and I will sorely miss Hugh Laurie - as a 'person' and as an actor.  It was a great, original and high quality show. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Transportation Guilt Assuaged -- Day 134

Walk:  To bus, SFMOMA (Mark Bradford), Yuerba Buena Cultural Center, Embarcadero Cinema (Bernie)
Distance:4 Miles

Maybe it is the teenage boy car lover in me or my Midwestern driving background, but I'm not good about taking the bus. Today though was different.   I took one of the above captives which had been let out of its pen and was reminded how convenient and cost effective public transit can be.  It has been made at least 100% better by a couple of services where you can get on your iphone or computer and learn when the next bus is scheduled to arrive at the stop  you are planning to depart from. 

Today, I logged on at home, learned my bus which was 4 blocks away would be arriving in 9 minutes.  So I gathered my things - and even got out the front door in one trip instead of returning again for key, oops, bus pass, oops, iphone, oh, that's right, I have that, etc.  9 minutes later I got to my stop, and there was the bus.  What could be easier?  And if I'd driven -  and gone to the art show (Mark Bradford again before he leaves) and movie (Bernie - Jack Black just keeps getting better, and Matthew McConaughey was excellent as well.  Expected to exit laughing, but not so) - it would have cost me @$15! for parking, and there are street errands I wouldn't have run.

That said, it is always a cultural experience to ride Muni.  Since most of us live where the people around us look a bit like us, I think we're all undergoing a bit of culture shock.  Mostly though I think we do a good job of respecting each other - that excludes the people talking Really Loud on their cell phones and the ones who come in through the back door of the bus without paying.  I could live without the eating and coffee drinking (which is supposedly prohibited along with the back door entry), but can appreciate that some people have very tight schedules/multiple jobs and might not be able to eat anywere else. 

PS - Went out on my deck afer writing and the light was so dim I thought I must have lost track of time while posting.  Then realized Solar Eclipse!  Very noticable, and of course I tried to see more until I rememberd all those admonitons about not looking directly.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Workshops and Roses -- Day 133

Walk: R/T Mindful Body
Distance: 8 blocks, teach yoga class, take yoga workshop (a lot!!  My body and mind are tired)

These are my favorite neighborhood roses.  They bloom twice a year and she keeps them so clipped and clean.  You can't see their wonderful fragrance.

I see she has the downstairs for rent.  Looks like a lovely place to live (but likely very dear). 

Now to just relax after 4.5 straight hours of yoga. Not many people (7) in class today for some reason, and it looked like all the classes were really small.  Tomorrow is Bay to Breakers; maybe people are resting for it.  Also the weather is beautiful.  Or it could be something entirely different.  You just never know until you get there to teach who will be there, and you never completely get used to that fact.  Oh well, the small class left extra energy for the Hips workshop which I didn't expect to go to - so there you are.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mark Bradford (Again?) --- Day 132

Walk: Not much - one groin muscle feeling a bit sore so took it easy today.  R/T garage and Best Buy parking lot
Distance: 6 blocks

You always need to see/encounter a work of art in person to pick up things like the energy, "feel," true colors and really all aspects of it.  This is certainly true of Mark Bradford's work whose delicate sensuousness and breadth and depth of technique and thought are extrordinary.  I believe I mentioned him in an earlier post, but if you are into modern art and geniuses, be sure to get to an exhibition of his if you can.  And if you're lucky enough to live in or be visiting the Bay Area, you can do this easily until his Solo Exhibition ends June 17. 

Here's how the SFMOMA announcement reads:
Crafting abstract paintings from fragments of the urban environment — permanent-wave end papers, billboard paper, posters, newsprint — Mark Bradford has built a body of work that is richly layered in both material and meaning. The MacArthur Award-winning artist's seductive works reinvigorate abstraction with social awareness. Often resembling aerial views, they subtly map the patterns of class, race, gender, and sexuality that structure American life, especially life in South Central Los Angeles, where Bradford works. This retrospective has its only West Coast showing in San Francisco, with concurrent presentations at SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
See More at YBCA
The exhibition continues across the street at
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). After visiting SFMOMA, take your SFMOMA admission ticket or membership card to YBCA for one free admission through May 27, 2012.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Case of the Missing Photos - Maybe this time -- Day 130 (2)

YES!!!!  There are the pictures.
Once again, these are often my dinner companions - Flowers, Callie, Alex Trebek (Jeopardy).  Relaxing, nutritious, nice.  A nice way to begin my evenings when I generally like to be quiet and let my day settle in.

Today's walk:  R/T car/Legion of Honor for art history lecture (West Mexico PreColumbian Art), Car/Apple Store for help on blog pictures, R/T Mindful Body
Distance:  1.5 Miles and teach yoga class   * At bottom of blog today because, with the pictures here, I don't dare disturb anything else

Yesterday's pictures, hopefully -- Day 130

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dinner with Callie and Alex -- Day 129

These are often my dinner companions:

It's nice, nutritious, peaceful, and stimulating.   (That's Alex Trebek/Jeopardy on the screen).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where, oh where.. --- Day 128

Walk: R/T Mindful Body
Distance:  8 Blocks and Teach

Some days I get sick of being alone/single.  Then I'm ultra sensitive to all the people who are married - and all the people who meet others at work and then have relationships of various sorts.  Sometimes it feels like work is just a dating pool, and like that is the only way to meet people - in my case an eligible man.  Only people with jobs - or who are already married and then widowed or divorced - are in a position to meet others and form relationships. 

I on the other hand seem condemned to be alone.  I never meet eligible men teaching yoga, and, frankly I did meet men - lots of them - when I did work in downtown settings in NYC, DC and SF but a relationship never came of any of these meetings.  Why?  Maybe I made a mistake in thinking I was working instead of participating in a singles introduction service. 

I've long thought if he was meant to show up, he will.  But maybe that is delusional.  So many people meet in offices, in the professions and I just wasn't the corporate, professional type.  In my fashion I'm a loner, but loners do have significant relationships.  So, I don't know.  I love my life but sometimes, just sometimes...

Dog waiting for owner outside of Mollie Stone's Market.
An option I think of but am afraid that would be the absolute
end.  I'd completely bond with the dog and cease even my
limited forays out into the world.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

In with the new....Day 127

Walk: 2 R/T Mindful Body
Distance: 16 blocks and yoga class

Looking forward to a new art piece to go here (instead of mock up for size hanging by blue tape in photo):

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Virus Avengement -- Day 126

Walk: R/T Kabuki Theater (The Avengers), Trader Joe's
Distance: 3 Miles

What would we do without movies?  They have been so important in my life.  Today I just needed something to take me away from the virus discombobulation.  And, there to do just that was
The Avengers - especialy Robert Downey, Jr.