Monday, June 30, 2014

Not Here for PT --- Day 3/168

Walk: Union Square, Mindful Body
Distance: 1 mile and take yoga class

Not much to say today except Ciwt has been thinking about what she sees as a trend in yoga these days. That is an emphasis on bio-mechanics. Which in turn translates into classes with no movement, no music, often no air circulation, and which feel to Ciwt like Physical Therapy sessions.  To her, one comes to yoga to discover oneself  through breathwork and aligned movement and leaving with a sense of accomplishment/mastery as well as rejuvenation and maybe joy. If in the process of doing that, a (nasent) physical problem is encountered, the student decides what he/she wants to do to check that out further.  Maybe a massage, rest, a private yoga session, a chiropractor, a PT.  But yoga itself is Not PT/Physical Therapy.

If the types of classes that Ciwt encounters more and more these days were what were taught 50 years ago when yoga entered her life, she would not have pursued yoga. She finds them stultifying, tedious, downright aggravating ordeals.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Whoa! Is Pride a Sin? --- Day 3/167

Walk: Opera House (La Traviata)
Distance: 4.5 miles 

A kind of Only in San Francisco juxtaposition today around the Opera Plaza/City Center convergence.  On the one hand we had Ciwt, etc. at the Opera House watching La Traviata.  For those who don't know (like Ciwt once), it is an opera that revolves around morality: social and religious pressures force a dying young woman to give up the man she loves because 1. she has been a courtesan in her earlier years and 2. she and her love are living together without - are you prepared? - being married.  

On the other hand, just a block or so away, the Gay Pride Parade 2014, celebrating sexual freedom, was just wrapping up and dissolving into a total - and well-earned - party.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Up the D**n Stairway -- Day 3/166

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

You know how you have certain things in certain places around your home for reasons that only you are onto? Well, Ciwt has A Lot of stairs up to her place, and she's mindful that visitors are probably struggling with the endless up, up, up.  So quietly she has placed artwork that she hopes brings subtle humor to the situation - or at least a sense of empathy.

There is a watercolor kite soaring in the sky above the Stimson side of Mt. Tam. 
Then just beyond an oil of a stroll on the beach.

At the top of the stairs is this print all about stairs .

Probably nobody is really getting the stairs references, but everyone loves to encounter him/her on the way up . (again a reference to heights)
                         And down: 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Well, if mice do it..... Day 3/165

Walk: Fillmore Street (Shell Service), Mindful Body
Distance: 2.5 miles and nice, deeply restoring yoga class

The New York Times has a "Fitness" column called The Well that Ciwt often finds reprehensible. Bad information, sensationalistic, relying on totally/essentially unreliable sources.  Yesterday's column is a case in point.  It lionizes the benefits of "pushing yourself" (read over-exerting, going way past your edge, endangering yourself, etc) when exercising.  The source of this recommendation is what Well declares to be "an enlightening new study."  Ie, completely unvetted study.  It goes on to say - and here's the best part: Though the study was conducted in mice...  

There you have it, a totally new study conducted on mice...Barely off who knows whose presses and Supported by The Well.

No!  Just No!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Legally Mine --- Day 3/164

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

Time may be approaching for Ciwt to update her will, etc.  (Probable explanation for some mysterious recent headaches).  Was looking unsuccessfully for old timey images of women writing their wills, but then realized, oh that's right, they weren't legally able to own property in their own names or control her own earnings.  Even as late as 1974 they weren't allowed to have credit or buy homes in their own names.

Suddenly the will task is a privilege not a burden.  (Still headache worthy though).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Housecleaning --- Day 3/163

Walk: Petaluma, Fillmore Street
Distance: 1 mile

Ciwt took time out to consider her finances today.  What about real estate as an investment?  Even if she could afford investment property she believes she'd take a pass.  When Ciwt was much younger and property was much cheaper, she took on a few small real estate investments, and oh the energy it took.  Tenant issues, repairs, the IRS combing through every line, audits, commissions.  Even as a realtor herself at the time, it was Constant commotion, wrangling, pulling things out.  She came out ahead (which she still believes is possible no matter how crazy high prices get in San Francisco) and is grateful for the earnings she could to use to buy her present home.  But, oh boy, it's a young person's - or a young Ciwt's - game. And Now it is no game at all!  Real estate is an intense, serious, stressful, competitive business - even, as I said - if you could find a good property and afford to take it on.

Many of the same things apply for Ciwt to that fantasy of a 'country property' (or city one if you live in the country). As Dustin Hoffman's Graduate advisor might whisper now,  "Rentals." Rentals anywhere in the world that interest, for as long or short as you want if you want.

Things, understandings and needs change as we go on.  There is a great poem Ciwt can't locate right now but will about the homes and possessions we accumulate or wish for when we are young that ends with a line something like "Now that I am older, give me freedom at any price.."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Good News at a Price --- Day 3/162

Walk: Pets Unlimited (2), Mindful Body
Distance: 2.5 miles and teach yoga class

Cat Somehow Absolutely Fine.  Perfect Ultrasound and Bloodwork.

Human Another Matter.  Totally spent - in several ways...

That will be $549.  Please pay at the front desk.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

------ Day 3/161

Walk: CPMC, Pets Unlimited, Japantown, Mindful Body, Fillmore Street
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class

Not much to say today.  Callie on my mind; I'll learn more tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day After "Litha" --- Day 3/160

Walk: Trader Joe's
Distance:  2 miles

Weaving in a hint of fall color. Even as summer is just beginning, yesterday's "Litha" (summer solstice and the longest day of the year) is behind us and the light has begun to dim and shorten.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Face Time --- 3/159

Walk: Mindful Body, Opera Plaza Cinema (Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia)
Distance: 3 miles

A friend recommended the Gore Vidal movie so I went.  Kind of like going to an Oscar Wilde movie - you can't get close to the person, but the witticisms are thoroughly entertaining.  Ciwt's only real question is why the handsome, vain, wealthy, very public man never had a face lift. Actually a lot of vintage movie star type men aged errrr, naturally,  when I think of it.  Guess it just wasn't done then and the state of the art wasn't as elevated as today when many men (stars and otherwise) have procedures.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meyerhoff on the Hoof --- Day 3/158

Walk: Mindful Body, Laurel Village, Fillmore Street
Distance: 4 miles and take yoga class

Autumn Gold (1957), by Hans Hofmann, featured in the exhibition Modernism From the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, at San Franciscos de Young Museum through Oct. 12. Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco   

(*I'm not usually much of a fan of Hofmann, but I really like this one).

A docent friend asked what Ciwt thought of the Meyerhoff Collection of Moderism now on display at the de Young.  Ciwt told her she'd only whizzed through once but these were her impressions:

Quickly and off the top.  

Seemed a good surveyish sampling.  Most of the examples from the Big names are good, and they are mostly all there with the exception of several Abstract Expressionists.  At least 10 (minor) names I'd never heard, but pleasant paintings by them.

The Guston, Stellas, Fischl, brighter Rothko, Albers, Rosenquist, Agnes Martin are memorable.  Definitely the Johns.

Stations of the Cross* is a very moving room seen as a whole. It's the really special moment of the show.  

I think if I had to present the show I would go for 'modernist' (Usually applied to the 30's and 40's) characteristics: new/emotional/experimental use of color, abstraction, pop images, questions about canvas shape/size/relevance, experimental mixes of media, overall experimentalism and individual artistic expression.  With so many artists, and so many of them significant, but just 1-2 examples (other than Barnett Newman), I don't know how you could give an in depth sense of the artist per se.  

OK - that's it off the top.  

Hope to see you soon,

Perilous Night (1982) by Jasper Johns, featured in the exhibition Modernism From the National Gallery of Art: The Robert & Jane Meyerhoff Collection, at San Franciscos de Young Museum through Oct. 12. 

(Obviously, this is quite something if you are moved by Johns).

* (The Barnett Newman, Stations of the Cross room doesn't photography well so its image isn't included).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Alex Sets Guinness World Record --- Day 3/157

Walk: Corte Madera, Mindful Body
Distance: 1 mile and teach yoga class

Off to watch Jeopardy.  Alex was a given award on the show recently in honor of the emcee who has hosted their TV show for the longest time.  Makes Ciwt nervous.  Can retirement be far behind?

He says (to Parade): Trebek’s contract runs until 2016, and he hasn’t confirmed whether he will retire after that.

“Everybody’s speculating on my retirement, and I don’t know why,” Trebek told the LA Times. “I’ve given thoughts to retiring…Everybody  assumes from my having said that, that he’s retiring. Well, no. I’ve been thinking about it. So allow me to think about it.”
When he does retire, he added, he’ll go quietly.

“There won’t be any fanfare,” he said. “It’ll be like the time I shaved my mustache on a whim. I’ll just ask the director to leave me 20 or 30 seconds at the end of the program to say a few words and I’ll say a few words and thank people and be on my way.”


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lines on the Horizon at the de Young --- Day 3/156

Walk: Presidio Golf Club, Union Square
Distance: 10 blocks

Navajo Serape, Wool, 1850, weft-faced plain weave,interlocked tapestry weave, eccentric curved weft, 91 x 62 in.

The de Young Museum recently received a gift of Native American art that revolutionizes its collection in very much the same manner the Rockefeller Collection of American Art did in the late 1970's.  The gift includes over 200 objects spanning over 1000 years of artistic production, and each piece is said to be extraordinary.  Ciwt does not purport to know much about Native American art, but she does know the businessman/banker donor, Thomas W. Weisel, to be an intense and exacting student, supporter and collector of a broad range of art.  If he has focused for over three decades on this collection, there is no doubt it is superior bordering on perfect.

The present show at the de Young - titled Lines on the Horizon: Native American Art from the Weisel Family Collection -  -  is a representative sampling of around 70 objects from the gift that demonstrate its depth and scope. Items are aranged according to culture and chronology and examine the long history of changing regional styles throughout the American Southwest (and beyond with a few pieces from Alaska and the Northwest).

Even with no knowledge of this art, one can easily see the quality of the pieces, and the signage is educational so in all it is a very deep, interesting and important show.  The only 'work-around' Ciwt noticed was the dominating aspect of the large and vibrant Navajo blankets and serapes.  You walk right at the one below when you enter the show, and then the entire wall to its right wrapping around to the far wall there are more of these large and visually arresting pieces.

The pottery - which is Wonderful - is in plexi-cases in the middle of that room.  They may even be more artistically and historically significant, but it takes some effort to shift your viewing attention to studying them in their small sizes, delicate materials and muted colors.  Certainly an effort worth making; these are some of the oldest or rarest pieces, and the Plains Indians painted ledgers later in the show are the first enter the museum's collection.  I don't know how the visual domination of the blankets could have been avoided, but, if you get to the show, spend time with the absolutely charming smaller artworks.

Mimbres Vessel with ring-tailed cat design, Earthenware with pigment, 1010-1130, 3 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.

Mimbres Plate, Earthenware with pigment, 1010-1130, 3 9/16 x 9 1/4 in.

Vessel attributed to Nampeyo**, Earthenware with polychrone, 1890-1910, 2 15/16 x 10 1/16 in.

Weisel Collection
Navajo Blanket, Wool, 1849, weft-faced plain weave, diagonal-join tapestry weave, eccentric curved weft, 51 3/4 x 69 1/2 in.

**  See CIWT Day 57 for Nampeyo

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

As Good-Bad As It Gets --- Day 3/155

Walk: de Young Museum (Lines (Weisel Collection, v. rapid walk through of Meyerhoff Collection)
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

True Detective is out on DVD which means Ciwt can watch the darkly, mysterious, Well Acted, all in a row on her Amazon Fire.  (Thoroughly Modern Ciwt, that is).  I'd been hearing raves all last year and now get join in. Another fun part is reading the episode recaps and reader comments. People are tracking at the deepest level and speculation and theories are all over the map. Any or none of them could be correct.  So compelling.  OK, off with Callie to watch....

Monday, June 16, 2014

At Home Birthday Party --- Day 3/154

Walk: Mindful Body, Union Square, Hi-Tech Nails
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class

Ciwt's BFF from growing up days sent a pic of her daughter's 40th.  No names, but really it is so great Ciwt had to share.  Love the amazed kids, the gnawed on corn cob, the homemade cake teetering on the edge of the table and the husband lighting the candles with a blowtorch while the birthday girl's sister watches. (They use 1 candle per decade.  Diplomatic!). Feel free to look for other uplifting details.

Happy Birthday, _____!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bear Went Over the Mountain --- Day 3/153

Walk: Mill Valley
Distance: 6 blocks

Ciwt has lived in cities so long now she'd forgotten about narrow, winding roads in the little towns near San Francisco.  As you climb toward the views, the trees, the birds, the quiet, the roads often aren't wide enough for two cars, nearly every curve is completely blind so you have no idea going around whether you'll encounter another car or a bike rider - or a deer.  It's all very quaint when you walk it, but I decided today I definitely would not want to have to handle roads like this on a daily basis.

The final decision came when I was checking out a lovely, serene cottage with light pouring in and redwoods and Japanese maples rustling outside.  It was built as a meditation cottage for visiting monks.  Normally all that Ciwt could have wished for.  

Except, that is, for the road and, even more daunting, the driveway.  My car was perched at the top of it, there was no room to turn around, so the only way out was to back down a steep blind curve to the (curvy) 'main' road below.  The owner of the serene Zen cottage said "Do you want me to back your car down?  I've done it a thousand times."  "Sure," I said and ran down to the bottom of the driveway to wait - and wait and wait..Finally I walked back up and saw my car part way down with one tire over the edge of the steep hill.  "I couldn't figure out where your brake pedal was," she explained.  Two young men were in the main house; they came out, and the four of us worked as a team figuring out how to get the car back on the driveway.  

We succeeded, and driving away I still planned to rent the serene Zen cottage (if I was chosen from the full list of interviewees).  But with each blind curve, each car I had to stop and let pass, each bicyclist reality intervened and my resolve dissolved.  It was taking all my energy and nerve to stay present - and Ciwt loves to drive.  If I rented that Zen cottage, I'd need it just to calm down from the journey there, but then I might be too calm and spacey to handle the roads on the way home. Ommm.... 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dragin Dragon --- Day 3/152

Walk: AMC Van Ness (How To Train Your Dragon 2)
Distance: 3.5 miles

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Ciwt steeled herself for an onslaught of kids and caught the early afternoon 3-D showing of How To Train Your Dragon.  As it turned out, she was one of the few people in the theater and most of them were adults.  Ciwt guesses the thumbs down must be out among the very young of San Francisco. The movie was perfectly pleasant and 'attractive,' but did little for/never involved Ciwt and sometimes rather annoyed her with its obvious attempts to be cute, or meaningful.  The best thing for Ciwt was the little, dark, green-eyed dragon, Toothless, who reminded Ciwt of her little dark, green-eyed cat, Tika.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Do I Dare? --- Day 3/151

Walk: Union Square, Mindful Body, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2.5 miles and teach yoga class

Oh dear, Ciwt was helping a friend put together an outfit the other day and happened to notice she wears the (to me) dreaded 'old lady briefs.'  Now Ciwt a little preoccupied with whether/how she could ever broach the subject.  She saw some cute things on sale at Gap Body (the go to place for simple, attractive/fun/'with it' underwear.  High quality and about 1/4 the price of places like Victoria's Secret).  Ciwt bought a couple for her friend, but then of course thought better of it. Maybe she'll figure out a way to bring up the topic.

Now she'll sit back and watch all the hate mail come in from people who Love their olbs...."None of your business..,"  "Why possibly care...,"  "Get over yourself..."  That kind of thing.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Poetry and Motion --- Day 3/150

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

Starting to teach a new yoga class, so good (and just) time for a nice, hopeful poem.

Look To this Day

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What's That Name Again? --- Day 3/149

Walk: Fillmore Street (Vitamin Express)
Distance: 2 miles

Somebody improbable - like a young country and western star - was recently asked on Fresh Air about his greatest songwriting influences.  Johnny Cash? Charlie Pride?  They may have been on his list, but the unexpected name was Shel Silverstein (?!).  Even Terry Gross was surprised.

Turns out the interviewee grew up loving Silverstein's children's books like The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends, and then he followed Silverstein into song writing.  Silverstein's songs include A Boy Named Sue (which won a 1970 Grammy), and he was post-posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

He Wrote That? --- Day 3/148

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

Raymond Carver?   A. Remembering his short stories like Cathedral, I'd forgotten he'd written poetry.  B.I never would have thought he'd have written a really nice poem about Happiness.  On-going education department.


by Raymond Carver

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.
When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.
They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.
I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.
They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.
Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.
Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.

Monday, June 9, 2014

So You Want To Be Famous? --- Day 3/147

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks and 2 yoga practices: hatha and restorative

Ciwt was really interested to hear 'supermanager' Shep Gordon interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air today.  The show opened with a quote by Gordon: If I do my job properly, it will probably kill you. 

This is what he told the people he managed before making them famous (Alice Cooper, Anne Murray, Luther Vandross, Teddy Pendergrass, Blondie, and others).  Gordon sees fame as 'fool's gold,' the industrial disease of creatively, a killer of  the famous person's compassion by necessity. (Sounds like he's talking about a kind of soul death with that last). He knew fame would hurt his clients and it was painful for him to see it take its toll on all of them.

He and Terry and Mike Myers were discussing Supermensch a new documentary about Gordon directed by his friend Myers. The movie is apparently a look into fame, how it is constructed, how it plays out.  Might be interesting.