Sunday, September 30, 2012

Part Two --- Day 267

Walk: Opera Plaza Theater (How To Survive A Plague); AMC Theater (Looper); Trader Joe's
Distance: 2.5 miles

HRT has two distinct parts.  Part One is estrogen which most women who elect to take would agree is all good.  The following quote from a medical website may give some insight into this: Estrogen is considered to play a significant role in women’s mental health. 

Part Two is progesterone.  Here is a list of 'commion' side effects: Bloating; breast tenderness; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; fluid retention; headache; irritability; mild hair loss; muscle pain; nausea; spotting or breakthrough bleeding; stomach pain or cramping; tiredness; vomiting.  (You don't want to know about the more severe ones).  Ie, rampant PMS plus.  A friend of mine had an agreement with her husband that they would not speak to each other during the days she was on Part Two.  Maybe a reason their marriage still stands while many of their contemporaries have gone separate ways? Anyway, such is the flare up potential of Part Two.

I'm just saying...

PS - Thumbs up on 'How to Survive a Plague' and especially 'Looper' - the latter a terrific movie even though I'm not the least bit into time travel.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Master - Maybe ---- Day 266

Walk: Mindful Body, Presidio Theater (The Master)
Distance: 2.5 miles and teach yoga class

That's me about to be shot by Joaquin Phoenix's candid camera.  It's not often that I feel quite bamboozled by a movie - particularly a movie with such supreme stars and acting.  But there you go. Before going to Rotten Tomatoes to get some input from the critics, I'll venture some guesses. It could be a portrait of insanity and the way that the insane attract others who are on or over the edge.  It could be a study of cultishness - all cults from sinology to mormonism to you name it.  Or it could be about all of humanity - our collective insanity and vulnerability to magical thinking and all organized explanations of our condition (social, political, religious).  Probably some private poetic admixture of all of the above and more ultimately known only to the writer/director.  (Paul Thomas Anderson who directed Ther Will Be Blood and seems to find more depth in powerful madmen than this viewer). Without the acting The Master would be pure shambles, but the acting holds you, and challenges you to try to make sense of what these actors are doing such a fine job of portraying.  Wonder what they thought as they played their parts; whether they questioned the storyline.

Friday, September 28, 2012

White Carpet/Green Clean --- Day 265

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 9 blocks and yoga class

It's always a whole new world around here after my windows and carpets are cleaned.  Also a slippery one where I can't let my computer chair stay too long on the damp carpet before the white carpet absorbs the stain.  So, quick blog.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Same Ocean, Other Worlds --- Day 264

Walk: de Young (Pacific Islands Art Lecture), Corte Madera/Nordstroms, Trader Joe's, Hi Tech Nails
Distance: 1.5 Miles

Something about taking tribal/primitive/whatever the p.c. term is art sort of overwhelms me.  I guess because I stretch to understand what I'm seeing but can't because it is in the context of a multi-layered ancestoral-based social order that I (and even the scholars) know little about.  So, time to veg after a busy day.  ......See you at CIWT tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Union of Opposites --- Day 263

Walk: Fillmore Street, Hayes Street Yoga
Distance: 2 miles

Went to Hayes Valley to take a yoga class from one of my main teachers.  Excellent, broad based, relaxing class.  Came out onto the the street and found it swarming with police cars, flashing lights, yellow tape.  Yellow tape; from TV and movies we know what that means: someone had just been shot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Still Processing... Day 262

Walk: USF, Mindful Body, Fillmore Street
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Still processing feelings/thoughts about "Lifelong Learning" (or traveling) in group settings...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pretty, Pretty Inverness --- Day 261

Walk: Around Inverness property of a friend
Distance: Maybe 1/2 mile

Last minute trip to Inverness which was beautiful and allowed me to play hookey from the school that I think gets me down more than it uplifts.  I'm not ready for it/Father Time quite yet.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday, Sunday --- Day 260

Walk: Kabuki Theater (The Oranges), Cantor Museum/Stanford
Distance: 2.5 miles

Busy Sunday: preview of movie and discussion after with Cinema Club and then down to Stanford for a docent tour of African Art I saw without tour a few weeks ago.  Didn't like the movie but found the discussion interesting as most people (who stayed for it) liked the movie a lot.  More and more with docent art training and other experiences I'm learning to to 'appreciate' how differently people can view the same thing.  In the case of today's movie I still believe my view is the most 'advanced,' but also think it is hopeless to bring people to my take on the movie.  It was one of those comedies that is based on very unfunny, uncute, emotionally complex situations and I kept seeing the real situation and not the humor because, to me, the director (or writer or...) didn't do a skillful enough job lifting the reality into the humor realm.  But there are often so many laughing people at unfunny comedies and I feel 'superior,' isolated and sad as I listen to them.   The movie was The Oranges with a whole slew of actors you'll know (and who do really good jobs -except, and here's the problem, the character, Nina, on whom the movie depends.  I don't know if it is her acting, directing, or whether she had an impossibly and chronically unsympathetic, unempathic and shallow character to work with).  Coming soon to a theater near you. Wonder what you'll think if you go.

Anyway, the docent tour was good and it was nice to get to the sun in Palo Alto.

                Thumbs Down

  Thumbs Up

Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts of the Benue River Valley

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hourglass - Not the Figure --- Day 259

Walk: Mindful Body, Marina Theater (End of Watch), Trader Joe's
Distance: 5 miles and teach yoga

Hello, Father Time.  I'm sort of wrestling with you in my mind right now.  Still teaching yoga where many of my students are 20-30 years younger and at the same time now taking a few classes with a 'sea' of elderly people, many of whom are on walkers, canes, or physically aged in other ways - but very mentally alert for the most part. I have a lot of solitude in my life, no children or grandchildren so not many markers of my age; meanwhile I'm still active/healthy and usually spend my time with those who are the same.  Now my sensibilities are confused for the moment/a while. A fitting season for such confusion in many ways.  And of course an appropriate confusion - unlike a website I found where people were writing about their fears of aging: thinning hair, wrinkles, being alone, losing their looks.  When I first got to the site, I thought "Oh, good, there might be some insight here or at least kindred spirits."  Then I saw the ages of the participants in the conversation:  24, 26, even 21!  And they were already obsessed with aging.

PS - Liked End of Watch (movie).  Now to Rotten Tomatoes to read what other critics thought...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum --- Day 258

Walk: Mindful Body, Berkeley Art Museum
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga
Barry McGee at Berkeley Art Museum

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Crocadile Winces --- Day 257

Walk: Legion Art History Lecture (Everyday Objects of New Guinea People), Corte Madera Center,
Fillmore Street
Distance: 2 Miles

I find New Guinea carving to be graceful, intricate, sensual.  Witness this Spirit Figure:

Although the skin carving seems quite horrific:

Sepik Scarification

The tribes living along the Sepik river in Papua New Guinea have used the tradition of scarification to mature their boys into men for decades. The ceremony requires the youth to be cut along his back, chest and buttocks in elaborate patterns, to mimic the coarse skin of a crocodile. It is thought that this reptilian divinity consumes his youth during the bloody process, leaving behind a man in his place.
Before he can be treated as a man, though, the boy is subjected to humiliation in a ritual that can take weeks. In fact, the boys are referred to as women and regarded that way in order to psychologically toughen them. The scarification, parallel to the taunts, strengthens them physically because it requires a vast amount of discipline to go through the ritual, withstanding hundreds of cuts. The raw wounds are cleaned after the scarification is complete, but the pain endured continues for days as their bodies heal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sometimes We Wait --- Day 256

Walk: Union Square (dentist), Mindful Body
Distance: 1.5 miles and yoga class

Waiting for the other shoe to drop, the next gig, etc.

Time management can be a bit confusing these days.  When I was young, I'd get in my boat, go over to friends' houses, play tennis, water ski, hang out, then get together later with friends for something like a movie and call it a really good day.  Then there was the opposite, get up, gym, exercise like mad, pull yourself together - really together, get to office on time, work all day, do necessary errands in the little time left on the way home then drop into bed.  Now, I can play tennis and water ski on my Wii or do a yoga video, work from home, do errands/shop on my computer, download a Netflix movie - and just a few hours have gone by.  So, what next?  Did I squander my time or use it well?  (Not saying I do these things; just saying it's more confusing these days to know when you can pat yourself on the back, and say, "Nice day.")

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

All Fall Down --- Day 255

Walk: USF, Fillmore Street, Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Too busy filling those 1000 holes I created in my space recently to write much.  It is my favorite time to year to shop; clothes call to me now.  The fabrics, clothes, cuts.  Next comes dark black, shiny, sparkles - the Holiday clothes, and you can probably imagine if you are a CIWT regular how much need and attraction I have for these.  After that is the Cruise collection, and, you know, same thing.  Blonds, redheads, wispy women and others who look good in sleeveless, pastel and all things sheer light up when Spring/Summer arrive.  I get utterly perplexed, flail around and usually don't get it right if I add anything at all to my wardrobe.  But then, mercifully,  Fall clothes come back.

So, off to add somethings to my closets,  accumulating for the next weed out.  And so it goes....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Enter Humility --- Day 254

Walk: USF (Fromm Institute), Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class

Class Two of my Fromm Institute course on Free Speech in the 21st Century.  Oh my, so complex - but mind expanding to be presented with the nuances and considerations that go into that complexity. 
Expanding enough at this point to say, "No Comment; I'll just listen/gather information a while longer."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Some Table for Six Thoughts --- Day 253

Walk: Sunday chores around the house: flowers, deck, laundry, reading.  Nice.
Distance: Mental, Internal

Thinking a bit more about Table for 6 or maybe dating in general these days.  When I was young, the boy asked out the girl - pretty much period.  It was unfortunate if some cute guy you wanted to call didn't, but when some one did, I realize now it put me/girls in the driver seat.  He'd already indicated interest so the ball - to choose him or not - was in my young court.  This being in the thumbs up/thumbs down position was a state of mind that continued for quite a while - because, again, my generation for the most part continued the boy asks girl dynamic. 

In Table for Six, this old dynamic is absent.  We meet because we have each agreed to meet (and - supposedly* - paid for it).  There's no eye-batting or even any indication of what the person looks, acts, dresses like or their circumstances until you actually get together.  The service arranges the match, the time and the place - and you are given no contact information until the last moment.

So you meet as equals.  Each person can 'rule on' the other for whatever (undisclosed) reason(s).  This creates a weirdness that is hard to define.

First, the entire guy asks girl dynamic is gone.  It is so ingrained in me that it is hard to remember this is different, and it is hard to know how to interact.  If he asks you, you know you can be some sort of female.  But this dynamic, by necessity, is more like a business interview.  You're a woman, yup, and he's a guy, yup, and we're sitting in this arranged place for the purpose of seeing if we have any chemistry. That takes maybe a nanosecond.  Ideally, you'd just say, "Nope," and leave.  But, knowing you are sitting across from a non-candidate but also having good manners, maturity, etc., you soldier on until you've spent enough time not to insult or hurt the other person.  It feels (to me) like conversations you have with your assigned dinner partner at formal dinner parties.  A Lot of work - empty work because this is a person you will probably never see again.

In the old system, if I wasn't attracted to ----, the guy who had asked me on the date,  I remember coming home thinking, well, poor-----, he's so nice and he was really nice to me on the date, how should I handle this?  It might take a while to work things out with ----- so he wouldn't have hurt feelings. And we might talk about it several times. 

But with T46, you are instructed to report in with the T46 representative.  I forget this, and have actually tried to broach conversations about "so, what are you looking for?  what brings you to T46?, Etc" but the four men I've met will have none of this.  Something about only having to report to the representative works for them very well apparently.  That same something doesn't work for me as well.  We're on a date, So, let's talk about dating, things relating to that, our experiences in T46 or something. Being people on a date is the elephant in the living room.

Not one of these men has even asked me for my last name.  Even though we aren't going to see each other again, and know it, somehow this seems odd - and, as I say, empty.  I ask and I also usually tell the T46 representative I would be open to a friendly get together.  I do this knowing it won't happen (we don't even know each other's last names for openers!) but probably compulsively/habitually - in the old (and misguided) mindset of being nice to my date (which he isn't).  Also because over the years I've read that the 'smart' way of handling online dating is to get together more than once because, supposedly, you might feel differently as you get to know the person.

T46 I believe does weed out the liars, total creeps, etc. but it doesn't weed out the sexless, emptiness factor.  Recently a friend forwarded an article by some online dating expert who said something very sensible along the lines that when you have eggs, milk, butter and flour, you do not have a cake.  Same concept applies to matching people's characteristics, likes, dislikes and backgrounds.  Perfect matches of these variables are not the same as that elusive thing, chemistry.

This is not a pan of online dating - or even of T46.  There are positives (exposure, practice, information gathering, etc.), and many of today's marriages began online.  At this point my guess is that if you have the stamina, stomach and strength for it - and are OK with having your picture out there for anyone to see, is probably the best bet.  It has the most subscribers/biggest numbers, leaves the personality 'algorhythms' up to the individuals and starts with the best predictor of chemistry: physical attraction.  It also allows for phone calls and emails before you decide to meet - at which point you might actually know each other's last name!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ides of September -- Day 252

Walk: Mindful Body +
Distance: 1 mile and teach yoga class

After class today a student who hadn't been there for a (long) while came up and said "That was a truly amazing class!"  And therein is the good news and the bad news.  Good: Teaching ability keeps growing.  Bad: Unpredictability of student turnout.  Drives me (and virtually all yoga teachers I'm willing to bet) craaazzzy.  You just can't help but take it personally plus there are other stresses all amounting to lack of control which is known to be the primary human stressor.

So, what to do? Travel?  Live in the country (where?)? I don't know, Angie.... Fall is traditionally the beginning of the school year whether or not I'm in school, so it's decision time again. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Date Four --- Day 251

Walk: JCC, Fillmore Street
Distance: 2 miles and take 2 yoga classes

For those of you following Can I Walk There, you know I am participating in Table for Six, an introduction service. After each introduction, T46 asks/demands that you give feedback.  This week I had my fourth introduction, and if you are curious, here are the emails between me and the T46 representative.

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM, CIWT wrote:
Hi T46,

Thank you for the introduction to ____. We met last evening and he is very personable, intelligent, attractive, warm hearted and many other qualities. I enjoyed my time with him, but I didn't sense any romantic attraction between us. My sense is he is definitely seeking a close romantic partner so will probably want to continue on meeting new prospects until he finds her. If he wanted to get together with me for a casual, friendship activity, I'd certainly be happy to do that. But, as I said, I don't think either of us felt 'chemistry.'

I hope this feedback helps. Please feel free to contact me if you need more.

On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM, T46  wrote:
Glad you enjoyed meeting ___. I haven't heard from him yet but I'll definitely let you know what he has to say once I hear from him! :)

On Friday, Sep 14 at 12:30 PM, T46 wrote:

Finally heard back from ____. ____ had all nice things to say about you, and really enjoyed learning more about Yoga. He didn't feel enough of a romantic spark to continue with another meeting, but really did enjoy meeting you. He thinks that you are very smart, have great values, and are a fun conversationalist so those are all very nice things. :)

I'll look out for more men to introduce you to!

Have a nice weekend!
On Friday Sep 14 at 12:45 PM, CIWT wrote:
Thank you,  T46.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Architecture like a Bird --- Day 250

Walk: Palace of Legion of Honor, San Rafael and Corte Madera shopping
Distance: Maybe a mile

Of all the art, artifacts and structures I saw in today's AOA lecture at the Legion, the National Parliment House in Port Moresby, New Guinea captured my attention.  I think it is elegant, soaring, beautiful following lines and design features that are rooted in New Guinea architectural history but unlike any buildings I personally have seen in the States.  Made me wonder if architects in New Guinea are trained differently than architects here. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Shock of the New* --- Day 249

Walk: USF, Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and restorative yoga class

New Classes, New School, New Introduction, New Haircut, New, New, New.  Too Many NEW Things!

* Thank you Robert Hughes for title of today's post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

All that Jazz --- Day 248

Walk:  USF (Story of Jazz), Mindful Body, Marina
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Today was the first class on 'Story of Jazz.'  Basically we saw a documentary with clips of all the old Jazz personages and places: New Orleans (the Beginning), Kansas City, Chicago, Harlem, 52nd Street, Louis, Ella, Billie, Fats, Charlie, Dizzy, Benny, Duke, etc, etc.  It was great although a bit 'out of sync' to be watching at 10 a.m..

Don't know that I'll stay with the classes I signed up for, but it is an enjoyable week of checking them out. 

Then....I meet my fourth Table for 6 introduction tonight.  (My contract promises seven introductions in a year).  Needless to say I'd rather be watching Jeopardy. I'm sure he'd rather be doing his regular 6:30 routine as well.  So, off we go.....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fromm Institute --- Day 247

Walk:  USF/Fromm, Western Addition Library
Distance: 5 miles

Darn, someone else already has this blog:

Must be at least as quirky as mine...

Today the first classes of the Fall semester began at Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning, a "University within a University (USF)" offering daytime courses for retired adults over 50 years of age.  The courses are taught by men and women (often retired) who have expertise (and often renown) in the topic they offer.  I've signed up for a course on the Supreme Court (as well as 4 other courses) taught by William B Turner, and the first lecture today was highly intelligent and informative.  This is understandable since the professor is a retired lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court three times, graduated and taught at Harvard Law, taught at UC Berkeley School of Journalism, etc, etc..  Don't know if Fromm - or which courses of the ones I enrolled in - is/are for me, but I'll go to the first classes this week and decide.  The continuing smorgasbord of San Francisco....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Confederacy of Dunces --- Day 246

Walk: Sunday off
Distance: 0

Trying to speed read A Confederacy of Dunces for book group tomorrow.  What a brilliant book; John Kennedy Toole out-Twains Mark Twain with brilliantly complex cynical humor.  Unfortunately I am haunted as I read by the knowledge that Toole committed suicide in 1969 at age 31.

Toole had submitted A Confederacy of Dunces to several noted editors and publishing houses. At some point in the rejection process and already in the throes of depression and self-persecution, he decided to shelve the novel  Some time after her son's suicide Thelma Toole found a smeared carbon copy of the manuscript. She had been intimately involved in her sons affairs throughout his life, and now afterwards she doggedly prevailed on the author Walker Percy, then a professor at Loyola University New Orleans to read the manuscript.  When he finally succumbed to Thelma Toole's pressures he described his reaction as incredulous that the novel could possibly be so good.  A Confederacy of Dunces was published by LSU in 1980 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mesa Writer's Refuge --- Day 245

Walk: Mindful Body, Sacramento Street
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

One of my writing friends who has been a resident artist there was the first to make me aware of The Mesa Refuge, a writers' retreat in Point Reyes Station an hour north of San Francisco.  When I had a place out there I would hear occasionally about the Refuge, but it was a quiet place not seeking attention, and I respected that so never attempted to locate it. Then last week one of my yoga students, who is an author and - turns out - has spent several residencies at The Refuge, invited me to a late afternoon gathering to raise money for a new roof.  So, finally, I had the opportunity to go there on a perfect, sunny, relatively windless day.

It is a lovely place, so serene I'm not sure writers do much actual writing there.  I suspect something more important than productivity is elicited in this environment.  Deep contemplation, renewal, inspiration, profound connections - these types of things.  In some ways you can write almost anywhere, but the inspiration that can accompany prolonged, protected solitude in natural beauty is really to live in a state of grace.  And then to take it with you back to your place of writing.

From the website:

Mesa Refuge History

The Mesa Refuge was created in 1997 by Working Assets co-founder Peter Barnes, who acquired and donated the property to the Tides Foundation. Since then it has provided shelter and inspiration to over 500 established and emerging writers, including Michael Pollan, Terry Tempest Williams, George Lakoff, Frances Moore Lappé, Natalie Goldberg, Jerry Mander, Lewis Hyde, Rebecca Solnit, Van Jones and many others. Books about ecology, democracy, justice and hope have been birthed here.

A note from Peter Barnes:

I started the Mesa Refuge because, as a young writer, I came to appreciate two things:
(1) the need of writers for uninterrupted time to think as well as write, and
(2) the particular magic of the Point Reyes area, with its wild and human-shaped beauty.

I wrote my first book while living on a ranch near Point Reyes in 1969. Later, I spent time at retreats in upstate New York, Bozeman, Montana, and Bellagio, Italy. Each of these experiences confirmed for me what the poet, Mary Oliver, has so beautifully said:

"No one has yet made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen. Still, there are indications. It likes the out-of-doors. It likes the concentrating mind. It likes solitude. It isn’t that it would disparage comforts, or the set routines of the world, but that its concern is directed to another place. Its concern is the edge, and the making of form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge."

Today, these words adorn a wall at the Mesa Refuge. And I have seen time and again how true they are — how two or four weeks of ‘writing at the edge’ can be transformational for emerging writers, and rejuvenating for established ones.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 244

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks and take two yoga classes

No more conventions for '4 more years..'   Yea!  Back to business as usual: computer tech appointment that lasted three times longer than anticipated due to glitches, windows cleaned (whole new world!), Serena in the finals again, days shorter, Jeopardy and dusk soon.  Early autumn in many ways.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Catching Double Rainbows --- Day 243

Walk: Fillmore Street, de Young (Oceanic Art Lecture), Corte Madera return (warning: watch the dye in those cheap pants)
Distance: @2 miles

General view of AT&T Park with a rainbow in the background during the first inning between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 5, 2012 in San Francisco. Photo: Jason O. Watson, Getty Images / SF

San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro, right, walks back to the dugout after an at-bat against the Arizona Diamondbacks as a rainbow appears in the sky during the first inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in San Francisco. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press / SF

Last evening, San Francisco, CA  --  Real Pictures.  Imagine being at the park and seeing this!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oh, so that's how you give a speech --- Day 242

Walk: Union Square, USF/Fromm Institute, Yoga Tree Hayes
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class





Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bye Elephants, Hello Donkeys --- Day 241

Walk: CPMC for 2 annuals, Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Here come the Democrats for three nights.  I want to hear Michelle Obama but am not sure when she will speak.  Also looking forward to seeing Bill Clinton again. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day 2012 ---- Day 240

Walk:  Yoga Tree Hayes from car
Distance: 10 blocks and yoga class

Not exactly sure what Labor Day means these days. But hope you had a good one.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mountain Lake Park Lore --- Day 239

Walk: Mountain Lake Park
Distance: 4.5 miles

There are places where San Francisco loses its coastal feel and turns East Coast or Midwestern.  One of my favorites - maybe because it is the closest - is Mountain Lake Park.  It has all the ingredients I remember from walking to watch my younger brother play Little League Baseball in a little park a few miles from our house.  Playground, baseball field with little boys swinging bats at least as long as they are, tennis courts.  It also has the largest fresh (?they're working on that right now) water lake in San Francisco (maybe beyond; I'll have to research) and a small beach where the ducks, gulls and other birds that aren't in the water walk among the picnicking/sunbathing families and children building sand castles and wading.

Among these birds for many years was a huge white swan named Myrtle who began by discreetly hiding in the reeds on the far side of the lake. But as the years went by, perhaps because she realized the beach was a bonanza of food scraps, Myrtle came out of the reeds and onto the beach much to the delight of the grownups and children. After a while, for her own swan reasons she occasionally nipped at a child or two.  This was tolerated because Myrtle was an institution by now.  But eventually she began leaving the beach altogether, running up onto the lawns and playgrounds, hissing and nipping at everything in her path.  I believe bird behaviorists were sent, but, one morning Myrtle was gone.  Turns out the powers that be relocated her, but the even more powerful powers (parents, etc) used their clout to have Myrtle returned.  So, return she did, and resume her aggressions she did, racing after children at breakneck speed until finally, quietly it was agreed that Myrtle would leave for good.  I don't know where she went; another thing to research.***

A few distinctly San Francisco aspects of Mountain Lake Park: 1. Its 14 acres were designed @1875 by William Hammond Hall who was influenced by Frederick Law Olmstead and who designed Golden Gate Park  2.It was once inhabited by a white alligator.  Nobody is sure how it got there but it certainly was a surprise, and removing it became quite a famous event because the editor of our paper, The Chronicle, a former Navy Seal married at the time to Sharon Stone, decided to save the city from this threat.  His mission was not a success although local reporters had a blast with it, and the alligator was removed by animal control whose job it actually was.  I don't know what happened to the alligator either.

- / SF

Myrtle deciding what to do with all this tranquility.

My telling is apocryphal, according to the word around the neighborhood at the time of the events. For more factual accountings, here is a 1997 biographical article about Myrtle from The Chronicle: 

And here's The Chronicle's 1996 accounting of the gator's removal:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back times 2 --- Day 238

Walk: Mindful Body, Clay Theater (Searching For Sugar Man - again)
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga

Felt good to be back teaching today.  Then went another time to a movie I think warrants that - and that I highly recommend. There is much in it that affects.  For me, the music is not that compelling, although I really like the purity of the singer's voice.  On the other hand, Variety Reviews' Dennis Harvey says:  Rodriguez's music definitely bears further exploration for fans of literate balladeering.
Maybe go yourselves and decide.