Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Out! --- Day 6/263

Walk: Flywheel (taxi), Embarcadero Cinema (reclining seats), Fillmore
Distance:  Not far (6 blocks) but OUT, 5 exercise/asana/flexion

The Florida Project

So, Ciwt's first movie, major solo outing and therefore major accomplishment in almost two months!!  Felt good to be free(ish) but she wishes she had enjoyed the movie she went out for - The Florida Project - as much as she respected it.  Certainly a must see for all buffs of high quality movie making.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Home Alone - with Books --- Day 6/262

Walk: Pad, with and without immobilizer
Disance:  Not Far, 2 x Up/Down and Beyond, 6 x Exercise/Asana/Flexion

So, former bookworm and bookstore owner, Ciwt, has taken quite a long hiatus from novels since immersing herself in the art and yoga worlds.  But, here she is at home healing, so she's been making up for lost time.  Sort of.  Lost time in the starting department but not so much in the finishing one. 

Good mysteries, yes, she reads them right to the end - in no small part because good mystery writers yank her along until she turns the page and realizes she's at the back cover.  But she's been having trouble with the more generic novel, particularly contemporary ones.  There seems to be a trend in Big, Longgggg books with a multitude of characters.  Plots are barely recognizable and buried under endless author flourishes.  Ciwt just begins following a character with interest when he/she goes into a department store or sits down at a video game or goes to a health food restaurant - you name the topic - and all of sudden there are five or six (witty) pages on whatever he/she thinks of that.  And then a friend of the character's comes along and they start chatting about their parents or favorite music or something.  And then there are the lyrics of the song or a sudden poem or recipe.  Ten pages later Ciwt has lost the plot and interest - even if she respects the quality of the writing.

Maybe long books have always been like this.  But somehow she doesn't think the Russians or Dickens or James Michener even or other writers of long books were flat, meandering, just kind of going on and on at an even and sort of bored/cynical level (like this).  Maybe the new long, 'everyday' tomes are partly due to the publishing houses working with very few editors. 

Oh well, enough of Ciwt's own flourish and back to her current 737 page book she's sure not to finish.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pooh and the 21st C --- Day 6/261

Walk:  Pad w/out immobilizer
Distance: 5 minutes, seated march x2, 6 Exercise/Asana/Flexion, The Necessary Movements cont.

"What's a Kindle?"  asked Pooh.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

kedi --- Day 6/260

Walk: PGCC
Distance: A Few Blocks, 6 Exercise/Asana/Flexion/Walk/March without immobilizer

Must See! for cat lovers.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Not Today --- Day 6/259

Walk: Hood
Distance: 1.5 miles, 5 Exercise/Asana/Flexion, Immobilizer free walking and 'marching' - getting there

Catch you tomorrow....

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Consider This --- Day 6/258

Walk: The Hood and The Pad
Distance: 1.2 miles, 5 minutes at home Without Immobilizer!, seated marching Without Immobilizer!, 4 exercise/asana/flexion

Johannes Vermeer, The Art of Painting, 1665-1668, oil on canvas

Vermeer was trained in and employed the techniques taught in the art guilds of his time and practiced by his contemporaries.  His paints were the same and only ones available during his career.  The only color he used more often than his contemporaries was the more expensive ultramarine blue instead of azure. His brushwork was by the book of his time.  His subject matter was often identical to his contemporaries and sometimes copied from them (which was acceptable practice among his fellow artists).  He most probably used the camera obscura as a tool for producing his paintings.  When he died, his reputation was such that his paintings were often ascribed to other, more well regarded artists in order to ensure their sale when they came up for auction.

So, what demarks a genius, an adjective every art viewer from the most casual to the most learned would agree applies to Vermeer?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On Balance --- Day 6/257

Walk: Hood on another v. hot day out here
Distance: 1 mile, 6 exercise/asana/flexion

Pieter de Hooch, Woman Weighing Coins, c. 1664, oil on canvas

                      Johannes Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1664, oil on canvas

In our materialistic times, Ciwt was struck by what seemed to be portraits of pure greed painted by two of the finest Dutch genre masters and now on view in Washington, DC.  She couldn't help but also by struck - as always - by the supreme genius of Vermeer.  de Hooch was an exceptionally talented painter whose canvasses radiate warmth, glow actually.  If you were to see just his painting above you would be deeply drawn in; wowed actually.  But, next to Vermeer, well...

But Ciwt wanders.  No, the subject here is not 'greed is good.'  In the first painting, de Hooch's, the woman is attending to daily husbandry duties at a historical time when the value of coins was directly related to their weight.  Vermeer is painting about something more timeless and elevated: balance and humility in life.  Behind her is a painting of Christ who would be the ultimate evaluator of the worth of a person's life, and Vermeer's woman is a permanent reminder of the difference in weight between the human and the spiritual realms.

Upstairs/Downstairs, The Prequel --- Day 6/256 . (ooops, wrote but forgot to publish)

Walk: Union Square for excellent 6 week check up.  Then to Trader Joe's, omg, like dodgem-cars
Distance: 4 Blocks, Up/Down x2, 4 Exercise/Asana/Flexion

Samuel van Hoogstraten (Dutch,1627-1678), The Slippers, aka View of an Interior
(titles given in the 19th century), unknown date/in his lifetime/ca 1645, oil on canvas, Louvre

Ciwt had never seen this painting which is included in the Dutch Masters show now up at the National Gallery of Art in DC.  And it made her smile when she did.  

How daring was Mr. van Hoogstraten!  The majority of Dutch genre paintings are of women at home almost always reverently attending to domestic matters like sewing, writing, sitting quietly and patiently with dogs and children.  There is never a thing out of place or a speck of dust in sight, and the strong suggestion is that this humble, practical paragon of womanhood is responsible for all the perfect cleanliness.

Enter van Hoogstraten who shows the viewer a scene from a domestic's point of view.  Broom leaning against the waall, light in the corridor, door to the main house open.  So where is the mistress?  Clearly not cleaning.  Is she home? If so, is she alone?  Who is with her?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dutch Treat --- Day 6/255

Walk: Mollie Stones
Distance: 18 Blocks, 2 Up/Down, 5 Exercise/Asana/Flexion

Johannes Vermeer, Lady Writing a Letter, @1665, oil on canvas, 1'6" x 1'4"

So, if it hadn't been for you know what*, Ciwt would have been boarding a plane for Washington, DC tomorrow, and the next day she would have been standing in in the Mall amidst the probable throngs waiting to get into the National Gallery to see Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

This is the show's final stop.  It opened in Paris where the vast number of viewers was somehow unexpected and completely overwhelmed the guards at the Louvre.  Ciwt didn't read about the turnout at its next venue, the National Gallery of Dublin, but the fact that she who doesn't like to fly almost went, gives her some indication of how large it must have been. Ciwt was also one of the "Vermeerists" whose 'endless emails, calls and letters' were received by the National Gallery.  Probably we were all asking for the same thing: entrance tickets.

No, the National Gallery of Art belongs to the public.  Admission is free and the museum is open  every day except Christmas and New Years Day.  All are equal; unless you are a hugely important art personage Ciwt assumes, shows are first come-first served.  So the odds are very strong that Ciwt would have had a long wait - and may not have even gotten in at all.

The good news is that Virgin America gave her full credit when she cancelled her flight, so she will have an opportunity to fly back before the show closes.  Maybe by then the crowds will have thinned (?).  The other good news for CIWT readers is that Ciwt ordered the catalogue months ago, so she can give you some sense of the show from right here at home.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Earth Please and Brilliant --- Day 6/254

Walk: Around Home; weekend
Distance: Block or two, Up/Down, 6 Exercixe/Asana/Fleion (so, @ an hour)

Angels in America (all 8), Twin Peaks: Return (2), Enlightenment (1), Westworld (1)...

Ciwt is now officially living in a dystopian world. She's trying to max out her TV catch up before her free one-week subscription ends.  So far all the 'Best' shows she has checked out have plots that depend on robots gone wild, undecipherable dreams, angels and other wordly creatures, time travel - in other words, things that don't interest Ciwt in the least.

Ciwt likes Human shows with psychological depth and real world surprises.  She likes/loves Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Wire, Mean Streets, Columbo, House, Dexter. Six Feet Under, Justified, Better Call Saul and many more.  Shows about brilliantly unpredictable people on earth.  When she dives back in to her trial bingeing hopefully she'll find some shows like those...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hurry Up and Watch --- Day 6/253

Walk:  No; weekends are to be avoided: many more unpredictables on the streets (runners, dogs, kids)
Distance: 2 x Up/Down, 5 Exercise/Asana/Flexion

Homeland, Billions, Twin Peaks, Shameless, Westworld, Boardwalk, Enlightened, Americans, mini-series, made for tv movies..

Ciwt has never had any cable and can't get out to her beloved movie theaters these days.  So she signed up for a one week free 'streaming everything' trial. Now she's bingeing on episodes of all the series she missed on HBO, Starz, Showtime, and other premiere channels before the meter starts ticking. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Empathy Gym --- Day 6/252

Walk: Fillmore errands and flu shot
Distance:  22 blocks, Up/Down, 5 Exercise/Asana/Flexion

The founders of the playhouse where Ciwt has season tickets call their stage the "empathy gym."  The audience sits together as strangers witnessing and gaining understanding for people and circumstances on the stage that are often very foreign, overlooked or disliked.  In the process the audience gains empathy for the actors and the fellow play-goers they are sitting with.

As Ciwt hobbles around her hoodwith her cane she feels she's in her own personal empathy gym.  Before now there are people and circumstances she's either avoided or not cared to understand. These include: why some people are so self-involved, why sick people are so narrowly focused on that, why they are edgy, angry, scared, unpleasant.  What it is like to be unattractive, avoided.  How it feels to be crossing an intersection and have a car speed through impatiently and barely missing you.  Why city people need to keep their sidewalks clean and free from hazards.  And other matters she kind of got - but not really.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

2 Minutes Later... --- Day 6/251

Walk: Another Rest Day
Distance: Not Far, Up/Down x2, Exercise/Asana/Flexion x 6

Ciwt wants to write a good post.  2 Minutes Later...   Ciwt wants to just enjoy her own thoughts.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Welcome to the Sandstone World --- Day 6/250

Walk:  Day of Rest
Distance: Basically 0, but 6 eercise/asana/Flexion sessions

So, when she finally went out into the world the other day, one of the first sites Ciwt enouncountered was this.  Having lost her sense of dates, and with all the fires and the residual creepiness from her fall, she was like "Whaaa?!" Then she remembered, oh, yah, Halloween month.

A few days later she walked by this same house with her friend who pointed out the truly scary thing about this scene.  See the skinny white poles by the thick 'Greek' columns?  They aren't decoration; looks like they are what supporting the entire portico.  Sandstone portico, that is.

Several of the early grand mansions and public buildings of San Francisco were built of sandstone, often, like the house above, emulating classical Greek and Roman architecture.  The stone is relatively soft, easy to carve into block or more artistic forms, and ages to a pleasing buff color. It has been used widely around the world since prehistoric times for domestic construction, temples and monumental buildings so it is easy to see why the new San Francisco millionaires would have wanted it for their homes (or in the case of Leland Stanford for the university he built to honor is deceased son).

Unfortunately some sandstones have been found to be less resistant to weathering then others. And in general sandstone is sensitive to repeated wetting and drying.  So, beautiful as our sandstone edifices out here in San Francisco are, many - including the columns in the Stanford Quad - show evidence of significant crumbling.  In Stanford's case, the culprit has been sprinklers but in San Francisco the deterioration is due to our near daily fog which rolls in wet during the evening and then pulls back during the day while the city dries out.

If caught in time and maintained, all will be well - with pillars maybe looking a bit more ancient with and not quite as wide.  The skinny white ones will be removed when the original columns have been repaired with modern materials.  Maybe the witch will stockpile them for rugged broomsticks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

B for Barbeque; E for Attitude --- Day 6/249

Walk: Fillmore, SF Playhouse
Distance:  2 miles, 2 stairs, 3 exercise/asana/flexion

So Ciwt's first cultural outing since you know when is tonight when she'll see a play with the unfortunate title Barbeque.  Play photo - above - looks unfortunate too; oh well, it's only 90 minutes -with an intermission when he might sneak out. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why We Eat Our Wheaties --- Day 6/248

Walk:  Mollie Stones
Distance: 1.1 miles!, Shopped for own groceries!, 2 x up/down, 5 x exercise/asana/flexion

So today Ciwt's PT came to find her feeling discouraged/depressed after 5 weeks healing and keeping herself industriously entertained in her aerie.  He had had a prolonged back rehab himself, so he understood.  But!  he would not allow it.  'Does no good.'  'Besides you are way ahead of schedule.'

Then came the music to Ciwt's ears: "You are injured not disabled.  You have the strength of a 40 year old and the flexibility of a 20 year old.  Even though you are under doctor's orders to stay at home, you're smart and agile and you can go anywhere you want.  Just don't fall - which you won't if you pay attention."  In other words (against doctor's orders) he officially set Ciwt free with her cane to begin (cautiously) reentering the outside world. And saved her from the biggest threat of all: being cooped up and getting downhearted.

Since Ciwt is a woman of a certain age, her PT may have exaggerated a wee bit.  But that's okay with her because it perked her up and got her right down her 59 stairs and off on her first independent trip to a grocery store.

Now she might lift herself even higher with a more terrific story about her fall.  Instead of here:
She might begin telling people, the spectacular fall happened on an arduous hike here (with her fellow 20 yeard olds).

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Re(a)d Around the House --- Day 6/247

Walk: 2 x Stairs, Sunday House Chores
Distance: Couple of Blocks, 8 Exercise/Asana/Flexion

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On Balance --- Day 6/246

Walk:  No, Tired
Distance:  One Up/Down, 6 Exercise/Asana/Flexion sessions

This stylish, modern backpack is inspired by steamer luggage created by Louis Vuitton for cruise-ship passengers at the turn of the last century. Fashioned from precious ostrich leather, it’s a testament to the House’s extraordinary leather craftsmanship.


So, Ciwt's pt suggested that she use a backpack when carrying things instead of a bag that is distracting because it is always threaghtening to slide off shoulder.  Good idea for balance while walking, but Ciwt wonders about the totally off-balance way she has to twist and reach behind her and wrestle with getting the pack on and off.  Maybe the people who can balance their checkbooks after buying this practical LV backpack have a man servant to help them with the on/off part.

Friday, October 13, 2017

E-ling While Ailing --- Day 6/245

Walk: Up and Down a Huge Neighborhood Hill (with pt; his idea; scary but good to have done)
Distance:  4 Major Blocks, 3 x Stairs, Bunch of exercise/Flexion (also scary - and good to do)

So, Ciwt has done her own taxes for decades.  She's learned to take extensions because necessary documents arrive later and later these days.  When she does file - and this is very important to her taz ritual: she puts her forms into envelopes, takes them to the post office and mails them registered/ return receipt.

She was right on schedule this year; taxes tallied and paid, extention filed, late documents in her possession, forms in envelopes to be taken to the post office.  And then she fell, ended up in an immobilizer essentially under aerie arrest - and far, far from any post office.

The only way she could file on time - and avoid actual arrest - was the dreaded and distrusted by her E-filing 👽 . But, as the deadline drew closer and closer and she got nervouser and nervouser, she began to ask trusted tech friends about their e-filing horror stories.  Instead all she received were reports of "really convenient," "been doing it ever since it became available," "my excellent and very conservative accountant always e-files."

Now Ciwt began feeling like she did when she was late getting an iphone - kind of like those old people who don't have call waiting.  Ie, arch.  Plus, there was that deadline.  So she turned on her computer, opened Turbo Tax, closed her eyes (metaphorically), hit send.  And that was it; done; just like that; from home, on time; ahead of time actually.

When she finished, she remembered mobile banking.  She downloaded her bank's app, took a picture of the front and back of the check, she simply couldn't figure out how to deposit,  pressed the "Deposit" button and E-deposited it!  From home, lickity split.

Now, if she could only E-drive.  Come to think of it, that's in the works.  (And, of course, Ciwt is dead set against doing it.  We'll see.....)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

We've Only Just Begun --- Day 6/244

Walk: Fillmore Street, Stairs x 2
Distance:  9 blocks, Multiple pt/asana sessions


All fresh and they will grow like mad.  Ciwt's happy with her pretty new deck new deck plantings, but wondered why the pictures look so sort of sad and dreary.  They were taken in the brightest time of day.  Then she remembered: Smoke. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Under Construction: Hummingbird Heaven --- Day 6/233

 Walk: Real Street Blocks, Around Pad
Distance:  9 Blocks, 4 Stairs up and down, 6 exercise/asana sessions

So, Ciwt is having her deck refreshed, and already today these:

Have become these:

And very soon they will become these: 
                                                                        streptosolen jamesonii marmalade bush

And they will make these very happy: 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Traveling Yoga Pants --- Day 6/232

Walk:  The usual Pad/Street
Distance:  3 stairs, 2 Blocks, 5 yoga/asana

Luckily Ciwt kept some of her early yoga pants, the wide legged kind.  They are the only things in her carefully capered closet that fit over her trusty immobilizer. 

When she retired the wide leg pants, she was thinking they were a bit frumpy and heavy on the bottom.  So she switched to slghtly flared capris that were a bit more dainty and - she thought - becoming.She never liked the totally form-fitting look for yoga teaching - thought it too raunchy and revealing, never mind two pieces with midriff revealed.  But that was Ciwt, and students over the years started showing up in less and less and tighter and tighter.

Then they started wearing that look on the street, and pretty soon yoga tights became simply how women dressed for casual around town errands, coffees, mommy wear.  Not necessarily attractive to Ciwt, but becoming slightly acceptable to her.  Until yesterday! Yesterday she saw a reporter reporting on national television from a Presidental news conference in Washington, DC wearing a short hot pink tee shirt and black tights.  This presumably was her work outfit.

There are a lot of things Ciwt could say about this - starting with ish.. Now she's even happier that she saved her wide legged pants which were made from beautiful materials that look as new as they did 18 years ago.  She respects that they were sewn with a sense of fashion and decorum.  And she loves that they fit over her immobilizer so she can go out on the streets looking somewhat together (if a bit frumpy and heavy on the bottom).

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sad, Bad Day --- Day 6/231

Walk: The (Smokey) Hood
Distance: 10 Blocks, Exercises/Asanas

The sky really is falling around here in Northern California. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

One Man's Trash --- Day 6/230

Walk: Stairs (x2), Round and About the Pad
Distance:  4 Blocks, 10 exercise/asana sessions, General puttering

Today Ciwt was thinking of one of her friends who is quite talented at mosaic work and will soon travel to a workshop in Mexico.  Mosaics are one of the most famous types of Roman art, but the first people to make mosaics were from Mesopotamia (now Iraq) thousands of years before the Greeks who then took up the art form.  As with all their art, from sculpture to architecture, the Romans adopted mosaics from the Greeks.

The Romans are credited with perfecting the mosaic form (and in fact they did raise it to a high level), but most of the recorded names of Roman stone workers are actually Greek, suggesting the highest skills were retained by the Greeks.  Probably the most skilled artists created the cartoon for the mosaic and the actual cutting and laying of the tesserai (small, cut stones) into plaster was done by slaves.

Because mosaics are intricate and time consuming (hence expensive) they were seen in the villas and town homes of the wealthiest citizens of the Roman Empire from Africa to Britain  - not in ordinary homes.  Often their scenes were copies of paintings, a far more prestigious art form.  That the most popular subject matter was mythlogical figures, hunting scenes and other pursuits of the wealthy comes as no surprise to Ciwt.  But, because she like her neighbors out here, works to understand and follow our complicated 'rules' for trash disposal, she was rather amazed to learn that one of the most sought after and copied scenes was bones and scraps of food left on the floor - presumably after a sumptous orgy.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

_______ --- Day 6/229

Walk:  To Street, To visiting friends' rented car, rie sideways in back seat to club to pik up lunch, Back up, 'host' take out lunch,
Distance: A few blocks, a few exercise sessions

Color Ciwt feeling blank after 'entertaining' and having a nice time with visiting friends..

Friday, October 6, 2017

Necessities --- Day 6/228

Walk:  Up/Down to street x 3, around
Distance: 3 challenging blocks, 2 flat, exercises-asanas

Ciwt once taught a yoga student who operated a flower shop. 

"What a wonderful business" Ciwt said to him. "Flowers are such a lovely luxury."

"No," he replied to Ciwt, "flowers are a Necessity." 

And indeed Ciwt has come to see it exactly the same way.  The first thing she did after returning home from the hospital was fill her place with the energy of fresh flowers.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Propellers --- Day 6/227

Walk:  Ciwt is becoming a regular streetwalker (shhhh...)
Distance:  8 blocks, Up/Down Stairs x5, exercise-yoga x 4

Grace Munakata, Propellers, 2011, oil on canvas     (with foot)

Ciwt has been spending many more hours than usual with her foot up across from this painting.  Even though she bought it years ago, it is always new with little passages that she hasn't noticed before.

How many flowers do you see?  Propellers?  Birds?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pawing the Concrete --- Day 6/226

Walk: Several trips up/down stairs, along street in the actual outdoors
Distance: 6 Blocks, Exercises and yoga at intervals 

 Ciwt's little red sports walker is all ready to go when her PT waves the starting flag.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oh, Yes, I See (Ha!) . --- Day 6/225

Walk:  Lots of stuff happening at homefront today, so kind of remembered a few stair trips and a couple execise sessions
Distance: A couple of blocks, some stairs, some exercise

Barely techie Ciwt spent time with her tech person today.....

Monday, October 2, 2017

Times of Simple Movement --- Day 6/224

Walk: Up and Down Stair By Stair, then Step By Step Back and Forth on Ciwt's Block 
Distance: 6 Blocks, Stairs x 3, Exercises

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dys --- Day 6/223

Walk:  Back and Forth with exercises and yoga
Distance:  8 Blocks, and all the exercises

Ciwt could tell from the pictures she probably wouldn't and then one episode into the TV version, she dydn't like The Handmaid's Tale.  Distaff, discordant and dystopian and not for Ciwt. Plus it reminded her of boarding school.  Too bad: the acting is good and now she needs to find something else to binge on.