Sunday, March 31, 2013

Match Report 1 --- Day 2/85

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

After one day on, I've concluded that their matching system isn't totally precise.  To wit, I specifically said I was looking for someone within 25 miles of San Francisco.  Almost immediately after I joined and my profile was published I got 10 responses - 4 were from Texas, 3 from Southern California, 1 from Minnesota, 1 from Montana and some other one from well over 25 miles from here.

And now the emails are piling in because has all sorts of things that trigger them. I've been Matched because '___is also a cat lover,' or other sensitive reasons like that.  I think if you just hover over someone's profile or picture long enough it triggers an email telling the person "She Likes Your Picture." Then there is something called a wink - "___winked at you" - which I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with and wonder if the winker even knows this has been sent.  A few men have even emailed - the most 'drastic' Match step I think - but I don't know whether/how to respond to these either.

Anyway, a far cry from Table for 6 which contracted with me  for 7 introductions and barely managed 3.  I joined for 3 months and hopefully won't run into problems when I try to stop after the three months.  Will post if there's any important news - or a huge reader demand.  Otherwise, on to 'matchless' ciwt topics.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Match Me --- Day 2/84

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

Well, since Table for 6 was so successful and fun, I've decided to (at long last) try  This has taken alll my creative energy for the day.  Now, lead me to the wine.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Students Teach the Teacher - Always --- Day 2/83

Walk: Mindful Body, AMC Theater (Side Effects)
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

Two students today really touched my heart.  One, a very long time student, will be leaving at the end of April to take a nursing job at Stanford.  This is huge - for me her teacher, for her leaving SF and me, for her career (there were 400 applicants for job and only seven were hired, so she is special), for her future.  This - saying goodbye to students - is a downside to teaching.  But parts of us will always stay with each other because of our yoga connection, which goes deep when your student has found you.

Another student is virtually new.  I've noticed her a few times and today she stayed after to express how meaningful my class is to her, how much she responds to my teaching.  Turns out she works with epileptics and feels that my empowering, deeply valuing/accepting your true self message speaks to her and will also speak to the people she works with.  Apparently she has already recommended me to some of her people.  And she says she has made an effort to locate the right yoga teacher - been 'all around the Bay Area to many, many classes/teachers.'

So now these students/their messages/beings sink in.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hello or Konnichiwa or __ from SF --- Day 2/82

Walk: Inverness,Corte Madera, JCC, Trader Joe's
Distance: 3 miles

When I was in Portland I talked with a couple who had just returned from a vacation week in San Francisco.  Right away describing the trip she said, "I didn't realize how large the Asian population is in San Francisco."  I responded politely but was thinking something like "Get over it.."

Then today I walked to the JCC to get tickets for an event I'll go to with friends (Later ciwt post probably, stayed tuned).  The JCC is about 8 blocks from my home and nowhere remotely close to either Japantown or Chinatown - but Definitely in San Francisco.  So imagine my surprise when I walked out of the building, looked up and saw this billboard:

Now I'm the one spending a moment "getting over it..."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Golf? --- Day 2/81

Walk: Peacock Gap driving range, Sacramento Street, Yoga Tree Hayes
Distance: 1 mile, hit golf balls, take yoga class

Playing (at) golf always confuses me.  (Doesn't take much as loyal ciwt readers have discovered).  As stated before, my father was in the business of manufacturing golf clothes, golf pros were often around the house, when Dad wasn't at work he was playing golf, two of my siblings are scratch (0 handicap) golfers, etc, etc.
The game is so fraught for me I have a hard time playing it - or even taking it as a game.  Seems like so much of my life, history, formative years were about golf, even just hitting balls gets me off center for a while.

It gets better...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Richard Hell and Portland Friends --- Day 2/80

Walk: Downtown/SOMA (Crown Point Press), Fillmore/Sacramento Streets, Mindful Body
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

So yesterday I was saying Portland is a young town (with not many job jobs).  Here's a case in point about how this possibly plays out.

Portland is home to a Huge, Amazing, Legendary bookstore, Powell's, and like everyone local or visiting I made my pilgrimage to it.  When I was looking through the acres of shelves there was an announcement over a loudspeaker about Richard Hell giving a talk and book signing for his new book I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp.

Richard Hell is a 'founder' of the Punk Rock movement of the 1970's (think Sid Vicious, Patti Smith..). If I'd heard that announcement even a week earlier, it (along with Sid Vicious, Patti Smith..) would have meant virtually nothing at all to me.  But, as luck would have it, a friend had just sent me a review of Hell's book by her friend Dean Wareham.  So, curious to see him and figuring he'd appreciate the support, I decided I'd do him a favor and attend his event. 

I walked up the stairs to the Pearl Room expecting an empty space except for maybe 10 aging people sitting in widely spaced chairs.  This is what I actually saw:

This represents maybe a third of the crowd almost all of whom were no older than 30.  Ie, the under 30's were there in droves. Apparently totally up on an older (63) punk rocker.  And I'd surmise, totally wanting to be one themselves.

Hell was heaven.  SMART, deep, sincere, personable.  Also unexpected.

He came in (rear, center walking through the door):

Read from his book which is densely and beautifully written.

Then took questions which he answered with much depth and sensitivity. Sensitivity includes having contacted every living woman mentioned in the book before publication and asking her if she was okay with being included, would like an alias or to be removed from the book.  At one point he referred to a small, private reading in New York before the book came out - which I believe was probably attended by Dean Wareham.  Small world.

It wasn't a pretty world he described.  Inexorable, his destiny but ultimately very sad, very tragic.     Good luck, kids. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Portlandia Thoughts -- Day 2/79

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

So far few worthwhile thoughts have come to mind about Portlandia. It's a nice 'city' which has grown over the years I've visited. And growth has become it. I believe if I were a young couple looking for a place to make my life, I'd put Portland near if not at the top of the list. It has many, many amenities and does not rival San Francisco, New York or probably L.A. or Seattle for cost of living. Long way of saying it is more affordable.

There's also a sort of 'realness'/kindness factor. Or that is how it seems. People right now still seem unaffected/down to earth for city types. There is an apparent effort to help those in need of various types - mostly through a lot of non-profit organizations. Not sure about how much hands on helping there is.

As far as I could see, it is a very homogeneous population with the 25-45 age group visible in droves.

Somewhere in my travels I heard there aren't many jobs in Portland. At the same time, I understand the word is out and youngish people from all over the globe are wanting/planning to move to Portland or are already on the way. So, who knows what will happen to the realness, helping spirit when there is a more diverse population and supply outstrips demand for both jobs and housing.

Overall, if you're looking to set up your family base, get to Portlandia asap. If you're older, economically sound, and require stimulation, I can't guarantee Portlandia will satisfy. But maybe...It is a very nice, attractive place.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hi, I'm home ---- Day 2/78

Walk: Portland coffee shop
Distance: 6 blocks

Back from Portlandia; thoughts tomorrow probably.  Sneak preview: it is quiet and young up there.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In Portlandia, Day 2 -- 2/77

Hope there's music at my brother's 60th birthday party tonight in Portland.

In Portlandia --- Day 2/76

Enjoying my stay at Vintage Plaza Hotel in downtown Portlandia.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Deep Preparations -- Day 2/75

Walk: Not Really
Distance: 1 mile

Portlandia tomorrow.  Preparing today.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

OR 97205+ --- Day 2/74

Walk: Fillmore Street and around the closets
Distance: 2 miles

Busy getting ready for a trip to Portlandia.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The weight of myth --- Day 2/73

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

A friend sent this, a quote from JFK.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears.  We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations.  We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
Seemed to have relevance today (and others) when holding my own small decisions/life choices up for consideration.  Hard not to bring past mores to bear instead of acknowledging the truth - which is this is new, there aren't rules, we figure much out as we go these days.

So, again...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hermitage --- Day 2/72

Walk: Yoga Tree Hayes
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

Long lunch with a friend I haven't seen for at least five years.  Still assimilating.  Such is the brain of a hermit.

Hermit's Peak, New Mexico

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Coming and Going -- Day 2/71

Walk: No, Doing Taxes at Computer
Distance: 0 but might do yoga

Going and coming but staying with taxes after my fashion.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Uncle Sam's Due -- - Day 2/70

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

Getting to be that time of year.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dock Life --- 2/69

Walk: Mindful Body, Fillmore Street, Sequoias
Distance: 4.5 miles and teach yoga class

Went to visit my houseboat friends recently.  What a picturesque life.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Renoir Controversy -- Day 2/68

Walk: de Young (lecture: Pigments and Binders), Corte Madera, A Dock/Sausalito
Distance: 1 miles

Since seeing a soon-to-be-released movie, Renoir, at Film Club last Sunday I've had him on my mind.   As I watched the movie, I realized the paintings I was "seeing him paint" in the movie were very different from the ones that call to me, especially Luncheon of the Boating Party. His circumstances were also different from the generally known one of his near impoverishment as a pioneering Impressionist. His later property and home on the Riviera  in Cagnes-sur-Mer were sumptuous, he was surrounded by doting former model/mistresses now-servants, he was very famous and busy painting - presumably partially  to fulfill Alfred Barnes' (the  Philadelphia collector) order for 70 (!) oils.  But mainly because Renoir painted relentlessly - in spite of severely crippling arthritis -  until literally the day he died on December 3, 1919. About tenacious work to the end there is a famous quote in response to Matisse who urged him to quit the pain of painting: Beauty remains but pain passes.

But was the work Renoir was producing in the years since his trip to Italy shortly after completing Luncheon of the Boating Party 'beautiful?" (See yesterday's ciwt)  Here is an example; what do you think?
Renoir Girl Basket of Fish

                                                        Girl with a Basket of Fish, 1889
To me it is comparatively lifeless/personalityless and reads like a classic Greek or Roman marble statue.

Maybe you would be in the camp who likes it.  His late works have both supporters (certainly Mr. Barnes and Picasso owned several of his works and was said to be influenced by them - see below).  But the stronger voice is that of the detractors. For instance, in 1989, MOMA sold Renoir’s 1902 Reclining Nude because “it simply didn’t belong to the story of modern art that we are telling,” the curator of paintings, Kirk Varnedoe, said at the time.*  And As recently as 2007, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith bemoaned “the acres of late nudes” with their “ponderous staginess,” adding “the aspersion ‘kitsch’ has been cast their way.”   Here's an example):

Reclining Nude, 1892

Or as Claudia Einecke, a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art summed it up:

“For the most part, the late work of Renoir has been written out of art history. Renoir was seen as an interesting and important artist when he was with the Impressionists. Then he sort of lost it, becoming a reactionary and a bad painter—that was the conventional wisdom.”

But Picasso apparently didn't agree.  He bought Eurydice (1895-1900) seen below and was said to be influenced by it in his work. Some art historians see the same painting as utterly without merit.

Eurydice, 1895-1900

Matisse was also reportedly admiring of Renoir's art to the end. One of Renoir's final efforts, The Bathers, from 1918-19,
was deemed  an uneven, "disturbing" painting by one art critic.  But Matisse said of the same painting “one of the most beautiful pictures ever painted.”

The Bathers 1918-19

So, it appears my sense of discomfort that has stayed with me after seeing the Renoir movie is grounded in fact.  What is one to make of Renoir's controversial second act?'s Controversial Second Act 
* All quotes from this article

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Forever Young --- Day 2/67

Walk: Russian Hill (book signing party for Gerald Shea, Song Without Words)
Distance: 2 miles

Here are two images of one of my favorite paintings.  The first is more true to the colors I remember and to Renoir's words: I arrange my subject as I want it, then go ahead and paint it, like a child. I want a red to be sonorous, to sound like a bell; if it doesn't turn out that way, I add more reds and other colors until I get it. And the second is larger so you can see the joyful images in more detail. 

August Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880-81, Oil/Canvas

The painting was bought by the collector, Duncan Phillips, in 1923 and is what he knew it would be, the best known and most popular of his extensive art collection. It needs no explanation really.  Nevertheless I include a small excerpt from the Phillips website: The painting captures an idyllic atmosphere as Renoir's friends share food, wine, and conversation on a balcony overlooking the Seine at the Maison Fournaise restaurant in Chatou. Parisians flocked to the Maison Fournaise to rent rowing skiffs, eat a good meal, or stay the night....The painting also reflects the changing character of French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The restaurant welcomed customers of many classes, including businessmen, society women, artists, actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls. This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian society.

Luncheon of the Boating Party hangs in an interior room in the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, and I used to visit it often on my walks home from Capital Hill where I worked for a Congressman.  The Phillips Collection is in a Georgian Revival house with a series of smallish rooms, and when you are in one, you cannot see what is ahead.  Even though I came to know when I was about to encounter Luncheon.., there was always a shock of delight when I came to it face to face.  The painting is ever-lastingly new and fresh; the camaraderie and warmth of friendship eternally alive and sparking joy in the viewer.

This reminds me of a similar experience out here in my daily life: coming through the Waldo Tunnel and seeing San Francisco before me.  It never, ever fails to be stunning and stirring in its beauty.  I think I wrote once in CIWT that I was standing next to a contractor who was pointing up to the tunnel and telling visitors they should drive through it and catch the view.  He said that in the course of his work he might make 2-3 or more trips from Marin each day, and every time through the tunnel he was blown away by the sight of the city.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New K. Libbey Nash Site! --- Day 2/66

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

Still adjusting to new sun times, but K Libbey Nash's  announcement of a new website below pulled me right into the present!      Ooops, sorry, it is a great announcement.  Very attractive, arty (of course) BUT shy. The lovely art details do not want to be seen on CIWT and keep jumping off.  The words and the link aren't so skittish, so you can go to the site and view K. Libbey Nash's art for yourselves.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mamas, Papas, Mondays --- Day 2/65

Walk: Fillmore Street errands
Distance: 1 mile is all

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way........

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ......

(personal fountain of youth and note funny old lip 'syncing.'  PS, not really crying; just doing Monday errands)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Why We Buy Non-Glare --- Day 2/64

Walk: Sundance Kabuki Film Club (Renoir), Tiburon, Palace of the Legion of Honor
Distance: 3 miles

Lots of visuals today between an artsy, independent film on Renoir (my opinion: slightly informative, slow moving, so-so), art lecture/follow up discussion on Renoir by Stanford professor, and a friend's art opening.  My friend is a good watercolor artist noted for his thoughtful, mood evoking paintings of landscapes, water related pleasures and objects of interest. And the show was very pleasant viewing.  I didn't notice until I tried to capture some of the paintings with my iPhone camera that the show was also an object lesson on why those of us with lots of windows need must buy non-glare glass.

Don't hold back.  If you remember the days when non-glare was purple-grayish with visible lines and sucked the life out of the art, not to worry.  Those days are long gone, and non-glare is clear as a bell.

All that said, I want to thank my friend for his thoughtfulness in framing his work. Framing adds presence to the piece and probably increases saleability. But it is also a significant expense for the artist and a difficult economic decision to make before a show.

Here's a link to my friend's site if you would like to view more clearly.  Very lovely.  Worth the internet trip just to experience the serenity of Point Reyes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Helleborus 'Cinnamon Snow' -- 2/63

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

I came home to find my gardener has added a new plant to some of my planter boxes.  He left the tag with the plant's name: Helleborus, color 'cinnamon snow.'  Not knowing much about plants, I went on the internet to research it. In the first paragraph I came face to face with the difference between me and true gardeners.

Helleborus is a small genus in the family Ranunculaceae, a wonderful collection
of plants including many well-known garden plants. Hellebores are perhaps
closest in relation to Caltha and Trollius, and the lesser known Megaleranthis.
Eranthis has long been considered a close relative based on morphological
similarities, but cytological evidence suggests that they are not so close at the
molecular level. It is believed (based on research in China) that Eranthis may be
closer allied to members of the tribe containing Cimicifuga and Actaea et al.

Kind of blew my mind, and there were pages of more paragraphs I guess going into even greater detail and depth.  Needless to say I didn't continue on to them and will go back to just enjoying the look of the cinnamon snow Helleborus - for as long as it lasts on my deck.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Farthest Oakland --- Day 2/62

Walk: Oakland Art Galleries, Mindful Body
Distance: 2.5 miles and take yoga class

Went on an art gallery outing to Oakland today.  For those of you who don't know, Oakland is directly across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco.  Maybe 8 miles away in distance.  And on another planet.

For instance, below is a typical electrical box you might encounter on a San Francisco sidewalk.  The minute these boxes get defaced, some public utility worker is immediately dispatched to erase the graffiti, no matter how small or cute.

On the other hand, here is an Oakland electrical box.  I can't say 'typical' as I'm sure each one is unique.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Concert Idiots --- Day 2/61

Walk: de Young (El Anatsui film and lecture), Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

Where is the time these days?  More later on this, but a friend sent an article from a local Marin paper about one of 'my' Grateful Dead 'friends' - Bob Weir - storming off in the middle of a concert because of the incessant loud talking in the audience.  He gave some warning and then when they didn't quiet down, he took action.

And as far as I'm concerned, it could not be soon enough.  More and more there is an unruly crowd of (younger) concert goers who show up and talk non-stop at the top of their voices over even the loudest music - Completely ruining the concert for those who are there to actually listen to the music.  Here's the link...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Most Perfect Union --- Day 2/60

Walk: Union Square
Distance: 2 miles

Did you know that Rebecca Miller, Daniel Day-Lewis's wife, is the daughter of Arthur Miller as well as a novelist?  She stands shoulder to shoulder in every way to her amazing husband.  I like knowing this.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pause after Intake.. --- Day 2/59

Walk: de Young Museum (Girl with a Pearl Earring Lecture), Mindful Body, Food, Inc. with Docent friend
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

Am a collection of input right now.  Must let things settle in.  Catch you after that happens....

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scales of Justice --- Day 2/58

Walk: Mindful Body, Yoga Tree Hayes
Distance: 1.5 miles, acupuncture, take 2 yoga classes

I've been avoiding balance poses like the plague recently so what should happen today?  I took a class that was entirely focused on balancing.  We balanced on our feet, in twists, on our shoulders (in twists), on our  hands.  If there was any way one part of us could be on the earth and the other part of us balanced on in, we were there.  Rather, attempted to be there.  A huge part of the challenge of balance is self-acceptance.  It really is at the heart of the poses.  The poses show us We where we are in our balance that day, and the work is to accept what is going on.  Holding our breath or self-criticism will not help and in fact will create even more problems.  And, probably hardest of all, we need to accept that we will probably topple out of the pose or almost topple or at best not look all that great.  So, goodbye ego/false pride.

Anyway, did and hour and half of balancing.  Or rather observed myself grappling with 1.5 hours of balance poses.  And, now how do I feel.  Well,....more balanced.  And that is good.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Django Redux --- Day 2/57

Walk: Kabuki Sundance Theater (Django Unchained)
Distance: 2 miles

I keep forgetting how Tarantino's movies come alive even more on second (and more) viewing.  His plots are usually complex, fast moving.  The first time through I appreciate everything - love it usually - but realize when I see the movie again I got quite wrapped up in the non-linear plot, the clever satirical lines, and of course, dealing with the intense but artistic violence. After the first time I can just settle back and applaud in my mind virtually every moment: the brilliant, totally original screenplay, the word/costume/carriage/perfect acting, the completely right on music/songs, the settings. 

All of it! Maybe more another day. But no matter how much I write, it all comes down to: Tarantino is an unfettered genius.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tulips and the Penny Arcade --- Day 2/56

Walk: Mindful Body, Fillmore Street, T. Joe's
Distance: 3 miles and teach yoga class

So, as I was saying, my friend Andrea and I took a walk along the Embarcadero yesterday to see this year's Tulipmania at  Pier 39. 

As we got closer we could begin to see some tulips. 
But they weren't all that dazzling so we walked on to where the beauty was.

And we saw another box that still couldn't have been what they had in mind to really bring lumps to our throats.

But actually we came to realize that what we were looking at Was the tulip display!

Huh?  Like much of the world,  I LOVE tulips and didn't think it possible for any tulip display to be a total flop - until yesterday.  Primroses and daffodils with tulips?  Weird, unpleasing elevations, just yellow and red?  Disappointment reigned.

But only for a moment because this is San Francisco - and within yards of the failed tulipmania was ...The Musee Mecanique. The Musée Mécanique, an interactive, publicly available museum that houses one of the largest privately owned collections of penny arcade games in the world. To enter is to go back at least 100 years and to have a blast!

At the Opium Den   ... 

And the Saw Mill 

And any number of ranches, barn dances, buffalo pastures, car rides, photo booths.  So we played around like we were kids at that Amusement Park we used to hang out in.  Strolling around, laughing at ourselves, having old timey fun until it was time to start walking home.

And on the way home I thought the tulips in one of my neighbor's street garden was much prettier than Pier 39.   

And my own little bunch of tulips from Trader Joe's was prettiest of all.