Sunday, June 30, 2013

Me Sausy? --- Day 2/171

Walk: Sausalito
Distance: 3 miles

Thinking of taking out a one year lease on a furnished cottage in Sausalito.  My 'country place.'  Will keep you informed....  Wow! Just learned an old friend rented the exact same place several years ago so I can get the true lowdown.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sorry, Virginia -- Day 2/170

Walk: Mindful Body, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2+ miles and teach yoga class

Skim reading a selection for Book Club day after tomorrow.  Subject: the Holocaust in sadistic detail.  For breaks, I pick up my iPad and take in some details of the lives of my classmates since we graduated from boarding school at age 18.  Lots to process.  Of the many thoughts that come to mind, one is that, if you ever thought, as I once might have (sort of or acted like I did) that WASPiness provided some sort of immunity, you would be pretty amazed reading my classmates' bios.  They actually are helpful; part of me has always wondered if I - and maybe a few misguided others - had somehow missed the fork in the road that lead to everlasting serenity, infinite security and sublime unawareness of 'life's shadows' in big old houses with perfect horses on limitless grounds. Nope; no such road.  Whew!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Frazzled Chick --- Day/2/169

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 1 mile and take yoga class

Why do I ever think I can do anything with my day after a morning with my computer technician?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rhodie with Triangle and Rectangle --- Day 2/168

Walk: A Dock/Sausalito, de Young Museum
Distance: 1.5 miles.  Not much walking but such a beautiful day

Just back from viewing Diebenkorn again and noticed my Rhodie abstract out the window.  Can you see both geometric forms?  (If the pic prints; Picasa is having 'a moment')

Nice to see houseboat friends after a difficult recovery for her from a very traumatic event (Very).  Then met a docent friend at the de Young to find she had been hit by a motorcycle (bike) in Serbia while on a bike tour on the back of her husband's machine and has been in PTS since returning.

I think just go back to the picture puzzle for a while...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Passed Tense Singular -- Day 2/167

Walk: Fillmore Street
Distance: 1 Mile, At home yoga

The past is a bit too present in my inbox.  It contains:

1. Requests for memories/anecdotes of a relative for a eulogy.
2. Requests for attendance at an informal reunion of my boarding school class along with a bio of my entire life since then.
3. And, one by one, bios of their entire life since graduation of Every Single Person in my boarding school class.

Llllots of memories.  Kind of hard to shake...


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Midwestern Moment --- Day 2/166

Walk: CPMC, Mindful Body
Distance: 18 blocks and teach yoga class

We're having 'Why I moved from the East to San Francisco' weather: sultry, hot, muggy, humid.  Rare, startling at first and then summer memories come wafting back.  Summer when there is no point fighting the weather, just slow down, lay back, feel your clothes clinging to you, listen to crickets, hope there will be a thunderstorm, feel the world around you teem.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Imperfect Decisions -- Day 2/166

Walk: No
Distance: Continuing at home projects in the rain/drizzle, home yoga practice

For the past few days I've been trying to decide whether to attend an out of town memorial service for an older cousin I saw at holiday gatherings growing up and then occasionally as an adult.  Even though we weren't particularly close, I am a relative, and therein lies the quandary.  In the old days, Everyone in a small town and certainly Every relative and member of the social group(s) and even acquaintances would automatically attend such events.  And absences would be noted and the non-attenders scorned or at least talked about unfavorably.

So, even though the trip would be very expensive, inconvenient, stressful, etc., it is difficult (for ciwt) to totally ignore these older conventions and trust that doing the 'sensible' thing is fine.  Times have changed, people live all over the world, religious-based services have loosened their holds, etc.  Yes, but guilt and 'shoulds' are still alive and well.

CIWT's less than perfect decision is to communicate care to those most deeply touched but not fly to (and fro) the actual service.  And hope this is enough.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

MAC on my mind -- Day 2/165

Walk: No, Getting Sunday things done

While doing plants, various correspondences and other Sunday projects I kept thinking of the San Francisco boutique I mentioned in yesterday's entry (MAC).  Not in a way that flattered ciwt.  Below are the designers the store carries - many Belgians apparently.  Why aren't I more familiar with them?  How out of it am I?  Sort of came in on the same channel as expensive restaurants which I never go to.  Famous ones come and go without ciwt. 

- Armand Basi (Spain)
- Dries Van Noten (Belgium)
- Engineered Garments (NYC, and MAC is one of the largest stockists in the US)
- Final Home (Japan)
- Jil Sander (Germany)
- Josh Podoll (SF)
- Robert Geller (NYC)
- Seize Sur Vingt (NYC)
- Troglodyte Homunculus (NYC)
- John Bartlett
- Cubane de Zucca (Japan)
- Tsumori Chisato
- Raf Simon
- AF Vandevorst
- Ann Demeulemeester
- Liberty
- Paul Smith

The new ciwt? 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mod or Rocker? --- Day 2/164

Walk: Mindful Body, Clement Street
Distance: 4 miles and teach yoga class

An artist friend designed canvas bags for a clothing store here in San Francisco and also had a casual show at the store where her art was just sort of around on tables or on shelves near handbags and other accessories for sale.  One of her bags was perched on the head of a mannequin who was dressed in a strapless formal.  No price tags on the art or even titles.  Very casj...Tres hip I guess.

The informality of this presentation (?) was new to me.  Even the invitation only hinted there was an art opening - and as I say no prices, no titles, no real way to purchase.  Just as new to ciwt - or revisited from Comme Des Garcons days - was the clothing offered and worn.  For the women: no sleeves, no waists, silk prints, very long, sack like 'blazers,' clunky shoes.  Kind of unisex and feminine, blue collar all at the same time.  Basically updated Vivienne Westwood come to think of it.  Mod and VERY expen$ive.

Such a look quite confuses me, and then for so much money! These aren't investment pieces - I don't think..Maybe they are. The whole event made me kind of rethink things...Happens a lot these days.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years --- Day 2/163

Walk: de Young Museum (Richard Diebenkorn, The Berkeley Years 1953-1966)
Distance: 6 miles 

Lyrical Abstraction.  Perfect!  For some reason I'd never heard that term before and just saw it in Wikipedia's Richard Diebenkorn article.  Lyrical  (def): Expressing the artist's emotions in an imaginative and beautiful way.  Lyrical (syn): emotional, expressive, songful, melodious, sweet, rhythmical.

It has been such a long time since I've seen an actual painting by Richard Diebenkorn.  Even out here in the Bay Area where he was born, educated and spent much of his career, there are very few of his paintings in museum collections.  There are many prints because he was one of Crown Point Press's premier artists and of course wonderful posters of his paintings abound.

But, just a mile or so from here are hanging at least 60 full size paintings assembled from the finest collections and museums.  And, OMG, as they 'say.'  What you cannot see in the multiples on paper is the Brushwork.  And if you can't see Diebenkorn's brushwork, you can't see his soul.

And the reverse.  The poignancy of his brushwork is incredibly touching.  You can get lost in a small (let's say 6" x 10") section.  Lost.  And then when your eye moves to the next or another section, it is as if the world moved.  He paints his deep truth - or lets it well up through his brush - stroke by stroke.  And you can see this, and it is very intimate and, as I say, touching.

Nothing false here.  'Polyanna' was his stated aversion.  In his Note #8 in the Notes to myself on beginning a painting discovered after his death, he wrote: Keep thinking about Polyanna.*

Until today when I finally was graced with this full exposure to Diebenkorn's Berkeley Years paintings I've thought he was mostly about the abstracted California-inspired landscapes and, often in front of them, flattened quasi-abstracted figures.  And exquisitely, richly but also softly beautiful colors.  Matisse colors.  And these are certainly enough.  The forms and the colors.

But they don't convey the soul of the man, the depth and spare truth he was probably compelled to seek.  This is in the brushwork.

I hesitate to put an image here because it necessarily obscures the lyricism and leaves only the abstraction.  But then the colors are so lovely and moving, so...

Interior with Book, 1959

Seawall, (Berkeley Years)
(I'm not as drawn to this one as others, but it begins to illustrate/capture the brushwork)

*The following list was found among the papers of the painter Richard Diebenkorn after his death in 1993. Spelling and capitalization are as in the original. (Via Terry Teachout.)

Notes to myself on beginning a painting

  1. attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.
  2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued — except as a stimulus for further moves.
  3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.
  4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.
  5. Dont “discover” a subject — of any kind.
  6. Somehow don’t be bored — but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.
  7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.
  8. Keep thinking about Polyanna.
  9. Tolerate chaos.
  10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In a Word --- Day 2/162

Walk: Petaluma, San Rafael, Hayes Valley
Distance: 1 mile and all around the block

"Hello?!"  That's all you have to say?!  Hello??


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Downside of Bravery --- Day 2/161

Walk: not much
Distance: 6 blocks, home yoga practice, hit golf balls

I fear haircuts but not the dentist.  Never have and used to proudly get 'brave little patient' compliments from my dentist as a kid.  But sitting in the dentist chair today for a filling, I was reminded of why it is that people develop this phobia; certainly makes way more sense than hair cut phobia.

In case any ciwt readers are among the dentist phobic, I won't dwell on the length of the needles, the crunching, whirring sounds, the pressure, the vibrations, the smells.  No, won't do that.  In fact as the time went by today, I began to think the most sensible thing to do would be to join the ranks of the dental fearful.  As I understand it, those people are given pills and wonderful gases and trip right off into a lovely space reserved for the non-brave.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Right Leg Up, Higher! Now!! Ommm --- Day 2/160

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks and teach yoga class

What?  I'm teaching yoga?  No, not today, go away.

There are days when modeling calm, relaxation, rhythmic breathing, gentleness, etc. are basically out of the question - even for the best of yoga teachers.  You try, butt...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Just Sayin.. -- Day 2/159

Walk: Up and Down and Up and Down Stairs and a bit around town
Distance:  @ 1 mile, take yoga class, hit bucket of balls

Sometimes it really cheers me up to read some of the readers' comments on articles.  When they are in our local rag I often feel uplifted about the quality of the people who live around me.  For instance, today the paper had a big front page picture of a beautiful girl with the headline: Miss Utah's baffling answer.

Turns out Miss Utah was competing in the Miss USA contest.  I'll let the Chronicle take it from there: 

Asked why women comprise 40 percent of household breadwinners but continue to earn less than men, (the contestant) fumbled with her words before concluding that “We need to try to figure out how to…create education better…so that we can solve this problem.”  Then they ran a video of what they called 'the memorable blunder.'

Clearly the Chron writer was pulling for 'dumb blond' responses, boos, hisses, any number of put downs of Miss Utah. Instead these are a few samples of the type of comments they got from readers with a couple of edits from ciwt:

*  She must be humiliated. She's probably a very bright woman who just stumbled under pressure as everyone does from time to time - just not with the world watching (thank goodness)  (This written by a man)

*  um...It's a BEAUTY contest.

*  What is stupid is asking a complex economics question of these babes (oops, but the rest is OK) and expecting a coherent answer, particularly in a sentence or two. 

Personally I don't turn to beauty pageants when I want to understand such issues.

*  Ladies and gentlemen, we have a politician!

*  I'll charitably say that these young women are coached to give "smart-sounding" answers that require complex sentences that are tough for most people to construct on the fly. If she'd relaxed and just said "It's a long-lasting problem that will take a long time to fix, but it's still not fair" that would have been fine. 

Or maybe she's just dumb as a box of rocks and her answer should have been "Have you seen how my teeth gleam?"

*  Stan Fields (moderator): Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.

Cheryl "Rhode Island": That's a tough one. I'd have to say April 25th. Because it's not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

And more.  Anyway, what I really liked is that the most popular comments side-stepped the paper's efforts to drag poor Miss Utah through more embarrassment and took the high ground of compassion, common sense and humor. 

And now we could get onto to the whole topic of incendiary media, but that's waaaay over ciwt's head.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Now Refill My Imagination, Please --- Day 2/158

Walk: Presidio Golf Course, Sacramento Street (Magic Flute), Union Square, Clay Theater
Distance: 3.5+ miles and a little bit of putting

Pretty varied day, but now my creative abilities seem to have been siphoned off by the movie I just saw, Fill the Void.  So, with no input from CIWT here directly from the local newspaper is its description along with a picture of the leading actress and movie brother-in-law/maybe husband.

An intimate, insightful, respectful and moving film which follows life among the ultra-Othodox Haredim Jewish community in Tel Aviv, Israel. The well-to-do family of Rabbi Aharon suffers a tragedy when his daughter Esther dies in childbirth. A younger daughter, Shira, 18, is pressured by her mother to marry her deceased sister's husband.

So much in the movie is about centuries old prescribed behavior it is hard to bust out into originality to talk about it. But giving it the old college try:  An interesting look into a hermetic community, well-acted, different, not necessarily thought-provoking but thought/worldview expanding.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Suspense Story, Conclusion -- Day 2/157

Walk: Mindful Body, Presidio Golf Course
Distance: 1 mile, teach yoga class and hit bucket of balls

As I was saying yesterday, I passed all the houses at the end of Broadway and entered the Presidio Gate.


And what should I see right past the houses but(t):

Goats! Goats at the end of Broadway!?

Hungry goats. Goats eating weeds and brush and even balancing on stumps

and leaping at branches   to eat evergreen trees!

                                           Totally cute and effective goats

And goats with good taste in landscaping because they saved these pretty things..

So reassured there would always be pretty plantings and greenery at the end of Broadway and in the Presidio, I walked back down the hill

and up the steps to home.

The End

Friday, June 14, 2013

The streets where I (almost) live, suspense story part 1 --- Day 2/156

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 1 mile, teach yoga class, hit bucket of balls at Presidio Golf Club

Left home to take a walk yesterday evening..

Walked a block up to Pacific

Then another walk to the major A-List end of Broadway  

Took in the plantings up there 

And the Broadway views    

Right next to this house are gates and a lovely path into the Presidio.  So I went through the gates, took that path  and....WHOA!!

To find out what happened, tune into CIWT tomorrow.  (No charge - unlike our local paper)....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Snagged Sweaters --- Day 2/156

Walk: Presidio, JCC
Distance: 4 miles, yoga and pilates classes

Feel a bit like a traitor to my take charge girlfriends, but I think this makes its men-from-mars/women-from-venus 'point' in a pretty amusing way.  Plus the roles can easily be reversed;  several mars residents come to mind.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bobby's Back --- Day 2/156

Walk:  errands Marin and San Francisco
Distance: 3 miles

Busy watching live stream of Bob Weir's return to the stage after a rest/hiatus/who knows.  Happy to report he looks and sounds great.  Unhappy to say I missed out on tickets to be in the live audience at Phil Lesh's place, Terrapin Crossroads.  Even stopped by this afternoon just in case...Anyway, the feed is loud and clear, and so is BW.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Toe Over the Edge, Water Below --- Day 2/155

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 12 blocks and teach yoga class

Almost there, almost fishin time.  Pretty  sure I'm going to give up teaching the Saturday class; see what else CIWT might do with that day and the other days leading up to it when it occupies the mind. It's been there -on ciwt's mind - for a looong time. The resignation letter is in the Drafts box. The only and Big problem is saying goodbye - especially to the students who can only come on Saturdays and to the ones who will come to the Saturday room when Ciwt is no longer in it.   Wish me luck...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Nice Park, Lafayette! --- Day 2/154

Walk: Lafayette Park, Fillmore Street
Distance: 16 blocks

Since CIWT is now a bigger fan than ever of public parks (see Day 2/133) I walked over to see the newly remodeled Lafayette Park which had its grand reopening this weekend. A few finishing touches to go - but it is already gorgeous. 

It used to be dark, creepy, over grown, a rendezvous place for you name it, and as much as the city was understandably discrete about it , more than a few bodies were found there over the years.

                                                             Interesting plantings,

Dog area, large picnic/eating area, amphitheater, labyrinth, central plaza so meditative a musician could sit and practice his reed instrument.  Haven't seen much of that since the 60's.

And talk about pretty tennis courts!

The playground is so awesome, even Danielle Steel's (great) grandchildren will enjoy it when they come to visit her across the street.   (That's her house on the right).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Haircut: Doing Better than Bardem --- Day 2/153

Walk: Cost Plus, BBY
Distance: 6 blocks, home yoga practice

I read recently that Javier Bardem was in a full blown depression during the shooting of No Country for Old Men.  The reason: the haircut the Coen brothers conceived for his character Anton Chiguhr.  The haircut that was enough to send chills down your spine the moment you saw it if you went to the movie.

The haircut that wasn't a wig.  Bardem couldn't lose the look the entire time of the shooting - and and apparently it wasn't just the movie audience that got chills when they saw Bardem/Chiguhr.  Ordinary people at restaurants, grocery and drugstores, gas stations, wherever - ordinary people got very nervous wherever they ran into him.  According to his co-star Josh Brolin, "He stayed home for hours on end. He would not go out."

Bardem himself says the haircut had so much power over his psyche he was terrified for his future sex life; convinced no woman would ever want to have sex with him again. Even after winning the Oscar for Supporting Actor, he still hadn't totally forgiven the Coen brothers for the haircut.*

Bardem terrified?  Bardem thinking no woman would/could be attracted to him?!  News like this about beautiful people always amazes me.  I remember the younger Michelle Pfeiffer saying she never thought she was pretty. Apparently whenever she looked in the mirror all - all - she saw were what she thought were her big lips.  These stories go on forever but are still so difficult for ciwt to comprehend, really grasp. Maybe I should say, poor, shallow ciwt...

Guess he did relax about the weird hair concept after Oscar

*Because here's his hair as Raoul Silva in Skyfall:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

If this is Saturday (Again) --- Day 2/152

Walk: Mindful Body, Sundance Kabuki (The East)
Distance: 2 miles, teach yoga class

This Saturday-teach-then-go-to-a-matinee has become pretty much of a ciwt routine by now.  Five years of teaching this class which I took over to help out a very sick friend and expected to keep for just a year to stabilize the class after she died.  I knew/she told me the severity of her illness but the students didn't for several months and in one class I was the one who had to tell them.  Part of me still hasn't recovered from that day.  I can't imagine doing a worse job of it, but I did the best I could.

Anyway, from then on Saturdays have been this day of doing whatever at home (mostly leisurely breakfast, get ready, warm up poses) then late morning heading off to teach.  After class and talking with students it is already early afternoon and often feels like a good time to 'let go' of the teaching by going to a movie.  People who plan ahead would be doing something more formal (with friends), but I don't particularly like to plan ahead.  To say the least.

Today's movie was The East which I found (very) good, easy on the eyes in spite of a darkish subject and interestingly thought provoking.  I was, though, left wondering a teeny bit about plot details but mostly about how glitches are allowed to leave the editing room.  I wonder this often in movies which have glaring plot/visual inconsistencies.

Today's biggest one (of several) concerned a gash in the main character's arm.  (Don't worry, no spoiler here so you can read on).  There are several long scenes about this wound, it's depth, severity, etc..  And Yet, when we see her sleeveless at a point in time after the wound, there is no scar, no bandage, no nothing.

Brit Marling    Alexander Skarsgard

So I wonder how things like this happen.  Theoretically someone views the product from beginning to end (at least once).  I would think they would say, "Hey, wait, no scar!" or something and pull together all the (really big) plot glitches or visual inconsistencies.  Seems strange.  And it's unfortunate for the movie because it always knocks it down a peg through no fault of the actors or possibly the script writers.

The East was, as I said, (very) good and would have been better (I think) if it had spent a bit more quality time in the editing room.

                           The East

Friday, June 7, 2013

Haircut - Hour 5 --- Day 2/151

Walk: Union Square, Mindful Body, Laurel Village
Distance: 2.5 miles and take yoga class

Post Haircut jitters .  Good news is its over for 8 weeks.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Where's the Locker Room? --- Day 2/150

Walk: Not much; Corte Madera
Distance: 9 blocks

A friend recently sent me an article on changes in the yoga clothing industry that brought up some amusing memories. Basically no one had a clue what to wear doing yoga.  Athletic, movement oriented yoga (in hot rooms) was new to the American scene in the 1970's, and the few people who came to the yoga rooms just wore whatever athletic gear they were used to: heavy, drawstring sweats, heavy sweatshirts, loose tee shirts.  Some women thought to wear leotards, but somehow forgot to factor in tights or even underpants; same with men in speedos.  It was quite a scene with tee shirts flopping overheads in the inversions, sweats becoming almost life-threatening as they became heavy with perspiration and at the same time held heat close to the body.  I'll leave the look of the leotards and speedos in leg lifts, splits, wide legged deep forwards folds to your imagination.

The article also put me in mind of the evolution of clothes in other movement activities.

Like tennis:

And golf:

And swimming:

Of course I can't show you pictures of women's clothing in early days of yoga because they weren't allowed to practice until just over 100 years ago.