Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Santa Fe --- Day 2/114

Walk: Albuquerque Airport, Sandia Shuttle, St. Francis Hotel

I'm staying here for three days.  Looks really nice.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tacoville Next --- Day 2/113

Walk: JCCSF, Laurel Village, T. Joe's, Mndful Body
Distance: 3 miles, take yoga class, teach yoga private

Busy packing and readying myself for tomorrow's first trip to New Mexico.  Think I'll like it.

lst leg: SFO to ABQ (Albuquerque)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Abroad, Me? Part II --- Day 2/112

Walk: Around the homefront
Distance: Couple of blocks and home yoga practice

Feeling better today about yesterday's yoga teaching upset (see Day 2/211) after receiving apologies and particularly after penning, sending (and receiving many 'rave reviews' on) the following (edited) all time great email:

Subject: Ooops, yesterday

Dear Dedicated Practitioners and Loyal Students,

Whew! I just received an email from the head of the yoga program at The_____, and, as suspected, our 'displacement' after class started yesterday was not meant to be. The workshop was scheduled in the front studio but something seems to have happened 'between the cup and the lip.'

You and all of The _____students and their practices are so valued by the studio and each teacher. Great care is taken by everyone at The _____ to make sure this is communicated and you are honored. The few glitches that happen are unfortunate and unintentional which you probably assume. But still they disrupt the supportive environment we wish to provide for you and your yoga, and I'm sorry for yesterday.
All future workshops have been checked as well as the Teacher Training Program that begins in the fall, and we will be nicely settled in our room from 11:30 - 1:00 throughout .

Thank you for such a focused practice even after changing rooms, and always for your attendance which is so meaningful to me.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Abroad, Me? ---- Day 2/111

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

Everyone had gathered at my yoga class this morning, I began in virasana, we all closed our eyes, the calm in the room was palpable. And Then.. the curtain was thrown open and the front desk people said "You have to move; there's a workshop in this room today. We forgot to tell you!"  Now the startle factor was palpable from everyone - teacher and students alike.

I groused, let the Mindful Body know how I felt but cleared the room and we all went into the other room and had a class.  A good one because I'm a good teacher by now.  But I am Not 'yogic.'  Even after all these years doing and teaching yoga, I am still the same me that does not react well at all to what I consider complete and unnecessary stupidity.  'My'/the 11:30 class has been in existence since the beginning of the studio (20 years), many students have been attending since then or have been regulars since I've been teaching the class (5-6 years or more, I can't remember).  What in the world were they thinking? - same thing as when they gave a 4-month teacher training and forgot until the night before to tell me it was in 'my' room.

Now the very yogic teacher right after me had her reaction.  "Oh, well," she smiled at me, "a scheduling mistake was made.  These things happen.  It's no big deal...."   "Blah, Blah, blah..." ciwt was thinking.  No big deal, but monumentally vapid and irritating to teacher and students.

I wonder what the students thought of seeing me be so definite about this little 'scheduling mistake.' Don't know but certainly it was 'authentic' and, if it was shocking for them to realize that even yoga teachers (I) get  
irritated, then there's little I can do to influence what they made of this.  But, I've been round and round the mulberry bush with the studio on this kind of stuff, so my irritation also makes me wonder how short my yoga teaching fuse is these days and whether I'm getting more and more ready to move on.

Specifically to some time abroad or travel to other places.  Specifically to non-imaginary trips, to real ones.  Callie will be leaving at an unspecified time but shortly, my birthdays will be becoming more and more 'significant,' the hold your nose and jump in anxiety is creeping and lingering...Well?...

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Artist and His Model --- Day 2/110

Walk: Fillmore Street, Sundance Kabuki (The Artist and His Model)
Distance: 2 miles

The part of me that vaguely thinks of spending a year in Europe had a reality test at the San Francisco International Film Festival this afternoon.  The movie was The Artist and His Model,  the soundtrack was French and the subtitles were randomly m.i.a..  Ie, there would be a subtitle or or two then pure French for about ten minutes then another subtitle then another lengthy return to French soundtrack.

Since I took French from 8th grade up to sophomore year in college, I was interested to experience how I would do in a prolonged purely French situation.  Turns out, I'm about as random as the subtitles, picking up a word, a phrase, even extended sentences.  But clearly a year in France would be quite a challenge - and isolating - at this point.  Good to know.

Meanwhile, back to the movie. Not having much insight into the dialogue worked both ways.  Almost from the title you have an excellent idea what the theme(s) of the movie will be. And you're correct, so you understand what you've watched.  On the other hand, since the themes - art, inspiration, old age - are time honored in literature and film, the verbal subtleties and plot are necessary to set this particular meditation apart. And of course those things were not available unless you were fluent in French.

From what I could tell, the movie was essentially a movie-maker's movie requiring patience, appreciation for older actors at the top of their craft, endless interest in the end of the old, pre-technological ways, deep admiration for restrained, artistic camera work.   These qualities are all good, but I left with a sense of remove from the movie that would have existed whether or not I'd been able to know all the words.  To a large extent, I believe this is because the main character is inaccessible; cynical, remote, vaguely unpleasant and certainly not a man whose sensitivities elicited much care or even interest.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lunch Break --- Day 2/109

Walk: Mindful Body, Union Square and Street
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga private

Cruising google images for ideas and came upon this:  

Can you imagine?!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mind Wrapping --- Day 2/108

Walk: Sausalito Houseboat A Dock, Yoga Tree Hayes
Distance: 1.5 miles and take yoga class

Boston                                                                                                                               CIWT's mind

Completely Separate - Still

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The times they change -- Day 2/108

Walk: Pets Unlimited, Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles

More and more trips with Callie to the vet and today the news that we're probably only looking at a short time.  Letting it sink in (along with Boston, etc); confusing times.

Callie getting into Matisse (beneath K. Libbey Nash in front of lilies and tulips).  All the right friends.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Out Like a Lamb -- Day 2/107

Walk: Union Square, JCCSF, Trader Joe's, Mindful Body
Distance: 5 miles, take yoga class, give yoga private

Red car, pink tree, blue sky  --  still and warm.  A rare day in San Francisco.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Word for Backup -- Day 2/106

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Twenty Feet From Stardom)
Distance: 2 miles

Today's Film Club was a real treat.  The film was Twenty Feet From Stardom, a documentary on the backup singers behind many of the greatest musical legends of the 70's and beyond.  Legends such as: The Rolling Stones, Sting, Luther Vandross, Elvis, Ike and Tina, Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder.  Really, pick any any oldie you love to sing along with, and you'll find the parts you love most and sing, sing, sing are sung (Wonderfully!) by the back up singers.  Sometimes you know their group names: The Ronettes, the Rayettes, The Shirelles, The Chiffons.  And very, very rarely you actually know a backup singer's individual name - perhaps the most famous of which is Darlene Love of He's a Rebel fame.  She has also been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and sings Christmas annually on David Letterman.  Other individual names - and voices that can sing circles around even the best performers are: Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, Judith Hill, Claudia Lennear, Gloria Jones and Dr. Mable John.

Needless to say the original footage in the movie is marvelous.  Mick, Michael, Bruce, all the above voices are the quintessence of uplifting energy.  And the backup singers' stories - almost all beginning in churches - are very well told.  It is an adult accounting talking about the usual monetary hurtles (to say the least) but then also giving an in depth view of the long (virtually impossible) psychological, physical, multi-talent journey to being out front and a solo artist.  Imparted also is an understanding of the challenges of maintaining integrity and blending in when a big part of you wants to be in front. Many backup singers describe this in a spiritual sense - the freedom to join your voice to the multitude and find with others 'the absolute truth.'  It is a long walk to this spiritual place.  Finally there is the deep, professional recognition by the likes of Springsteen that the music world is not a level playing field - people who can't sing at all become stars and people with the voices of angels die in obscurity.  A huge mix comes into play: luck, stamina, health, psychology, guts, ruthlessness at times - with talent being just a small part.  Sound familiar?  We're talking life, period, Life.

At the end of the movie they had a special guest speaker.  Her name is Melanie Demore, who is a singer, songwriter, teacher and refers to herself as a 'vocal activist.'  At one point she said "I wish there was another term other than 'backup singers' - another word.  And after seeing the movie - which will be out this summer - I totally agree. 

All the backup singers on these are old timers and most are in Twenty Feet From Stardom

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Color Wheel Goes Round --- Day 2/105

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 10 blocks, teach yoga class, work with clothes (tiring)

I've decided wearing colors is a job; you have to work at it.  As you know this spring the clothing people got it right colorwise: lots of them and happy without being shrill or washed out pastel.  So spring/summer deprived ciwt gobbled them up and brought them home to her nearly all black closet.

As I did this, the voice of irony said, "Yeh, and pretty soon you'll be craving black."  No way I thought and kept adding more color.

At some point confusion began to reign.  What color to wear? What color to wear it with?  Do they match each other? me? too much?  Is the whole profusion over the top?  Each color has its own energy you must encounter and tame - or least grasp to some degree. Very over stimulating for ciwt, all this working with color.

Imagine being an artist and working closely with colors day in/day out.  Sprong!!

Please don't let this become my living room. Or Van Gogh, here I come...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Depends on How You Cut It --- Day 2/104

Walk: Corte Madera, Union Square
Distance: 2 miles

Haircut day.  Used to be scary but about a year ago found a hairdresser I trust.  She is bald (shaved but v. thin hair when not) so, at last, someone I absolutely know understands thin, fine hair.  Most people who cut hair (the most famous included) say they do - watch out. This type of hair also grows reeeally sloooly, so it can take years to recover from a bad cut.  Take it from ciwt.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blank Again -- 2/102 and 2/103

Walk: de Young (Art History Lecture on Textile Arts), Corte Madera  -- and JCCSF
Distance: 1 mile - and 18 blocks = 2. 5 miles

Lots to think about these last few days, but nothing to say to ciwt..

Just found this image and now I do.  Remember this line of postcards?  Pot Shots from the 60's and 70's.  They were great!  Really nailed angst and other emotions of the time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shhh --- Day 2/101

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

Moment of Silence for Boston

Monday, April 15, 2013

Garry Winogrand at SFMOMA --- 2/100

Walk: Stockton/Sutter Garage- SF MOMA-Union Square
Distance: 2 miles

To me this was the most extraordinary photograph in the very extensive, worthwhile Garry Winogrand show at San Francisco MOMA. The lighting (undoctored) is amazing. You can almost imagine his reaction/awe when he saw this on his contact sheet: "Yes!"


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ballet -- Day 2/99

Walk: Opera House
Distance: 2 miles

Ballet today.  All those beautiful, athletic bodies, such great viewing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Number 42 and Rickey --- Day 2/98

Walk: Mindful Body, Vogue Theater (42)
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

I'm a sucker for 'true' sports movies and really enjoyed '42' a new movie about Jackie Robinson's early years in baseball.  Maybe because the movie was so concentrated on just a three year period I left the theater curious to learn more about Robinson and Branch Rickey (the Brooklyn Dodgers manager who made it his mission to bring a black man into Major League Baseball and scouted the country until choosing Robinson for the job).

Both men were heroic for the courage and characters.  And both - particularly Robinson - were superior athletes.  Robinson was the first the letter in four sports at UCLA before which in high school and junior college he excelled at virtually every sport he encountered - including tennis in which he was a junior champion.  Baseball was in fact his "worst sport," and he began his playing career in football.

An interesting, complex, deep man and athlete.  42, about him, the Dodgers, Rickey, early integration of baseball is not surprising (as none of these sports movies are) but is well acted, told with a lot of 'truthiness, and thought-provoking.

Branch Rickey batting for the Browns in 1906

Waist-up portrait of black batter in his mid-thirties, in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 42, at end of swing with bat over left shoulder, looking at where a hit ball would be
Jackie Robinson, #42, Second Baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1956)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Flung? --- Day 2/97

Walk: Pets Unlimited, Laurel Village, Presidio P.O., Mindful Body
Distance: 4 miles and teach yoga class

I've been wearing a lot of the happy spring colors I invested in, been teaching and doing yoga, taken long walks in the spring air, watched the flowers bloom.  But Still I don't feel brand new and spring chickeny.  Could it be because, as a friend of mine's husband said, "the fling has flown - or flung - or whatever....?"   Nah.

Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, tempera/panel, 1482 (Italian, Uffizi Gallery)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grooming Day -- Day 2/96

Walk: Union Square, Corte Madera
Distance: 1.5 miles and home yoga practice

Warning: Cat Entry Ahead. (Like Jon Carroll, one of our SF Chronicle columnists, I allow myself one or two of these a year).

For me, the only downside of big, long-haired cats (besides allergies) is that their coats can get too thick for ciwt to manage.  So, every six weeks or so Callie's groomer takes over where I fall off.  My grooming technique is to start combing and stop at the slightest whine from Callie.  So, basically, like all good cat owners, I obey. Not so with her groomer; even a Roar from Callie wouldn't stop her.  Needless to say, this always comes as quite a shock to Callie who wanders around kind of  pie-eyed after the groomer leaves. But very soon, she recalls who is in control around here and becomes groom resistant for another six weeks.

RODIN Auguste, 1840-1917 (France)
Title : "Le lion que pleure" (Der weinende Löwe) 
Date : 1881

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hmmm... -- Day 2/95

Walk: Not really
Distance: 8 blocks and at home yoga practice

Know how he feels...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Hippie - Day 2/94

Walk: PPMC, Joe's, Mindful Body
Distance: 4 miles and teach yoga class

On my way to figuring out the budget that includes the Most Luxuries for ciwt, I'm giving myself full permission to do whatever I feel like for an undetermined amount of time.  Not as easy - at least for me - as you might imagine as there is always that voice that tells you what you should be doing.  I'm going to try to by-pass it for a while (forever) and see who shows up.


Monday, April 8, 2013

K. Libbey Nash and Luxuries --- Day 2/93

Walk: JCC, Trader Joe's, Fillmore Street
Distance: 4 miles and take yoga class

Just mailed in my tax money which means it is now the time of year I budget for next year.  Fortunately for the past few years I've had an opportunity to include the category: "Extras, Luxuries."

In 2012 my Absolute Favorite of those were my K. Libbey Nash* art works. They have such presence and add enormously to my life around the home front. The aspect's of Nash's art that especially call to me are two.  The first is her color sense which is amazingly sophisticated.  She is able to work in muted tones, rich, earthly tones or clear, vibrant colors, and, no matter what her palette, there is a boldness in the number of colors she works with and her ability to lay them on a single canvas (or other surface) - often in very close proximity - so that each continues to hold its own but still derives energy from the adjoining or surrounding colors.  (Hard to articulate - suffice it to say she does not come up with mud).

And then there is that Energy.  Each work has it strongly, and, most importantly, truly.  There is integrity in her vision and in how she conveys it.  This is tricky business because there are many artists whose works exude what appears to be energy - vibrant colors, squiggles, intense lines, emotional imagery - and yet their energy does not ring true.  It is all facile surface excitement. You see so much of that there is no need for examples. Then there are artists who somehow kill the energy even in their true desire to make a statement.  Again, we've all seen finely rendered landscapes which, sadly, are dull to the eye and senses.  The beauty portrayed clings to the paper or canvas and doesn't energetically reach out to the viewer.

Happily there are the true artists who can take an ordinary scene - think of the Impressionists - and convey it in such a way that you are struck with joy or tenderness or compassion or some other deeply felt reaction. These artists/their works make you think and feel; energy is released in you, the viewer.  K. Libbey Nash is in this category.  The bar has been set high for this year's "Extras.."

*  For more on K. Libbey Nash, check out these past entries: Days 154, 272, 274, 2/41, 2/42, 2/44, 2/45 and 2/66.  Or you can check out her website: 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lillys --- Day 2/92

Walk: Around Home, Back/Forth/Round/About Doing Chores
Distance: ? and 1 hour yoga home practice

Everyone who was a Lilly person has her own Lilly memories.  Mine concern a store on Main Street of our town - which was about 8 blocks long at the time.  As I recall, the name of the store was Marion Nellermoe, and it was the only one in town - or maybe in the whole metropolitan area - that carried Lillies.  And they only arrived in the summer in one or two large shipments.

As summer neared, my friends and I might drop in daily to see if the new Lillys had arrived.  Or our mothers or aunts would do it and tell us what they'd learned.  When the Lillys were in there was a virtual parade to the racks where they hung, and we'd all spend a good part of the day trying on dresses, commenting on each others' try on's until everybody had exactly the right lime green or hot pink or aqua flowered print for her.

I guess this was our comparable to a sewing circle or all the Italian women in the kitchen cooking.  There could be as many as four generations assembled at Nellermoe's because Lillys were for everybody: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, grandchildren.  Throughout the summer we all floated into and around the multi-generational 'tea dances' (another ciwt entry on those) like flower figures from Disney's Fantasia.

And we all looked like complete frumps in the boxy, stiff shifts - but we didn't know that at the time.

RIP -  Lilly Pulitzer (1931- today, 2013)


Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Place Beyond the Pines --- Day 2/91

Walk: Mindful Body, Sundance Kabuki Theater (The Place Beyond the Pines), Trader Joe's
Distance: 3.5 miles and teach yoga class

Just off of The Place Beyond the Pines which I enjoyed for three main reasons: 1. 1 hour looking very closely at close ups of Ryan Gosling, 2. the next hours looking very closely at close ups of Bradley Cooper, 3. gorgeous wide angle cinematography of upstate New York.

Starting the with last, the town (Schenectady) was often shot from a long distance at either sunrise or sunset so the sky was filled with the beautiful pink, lavender, and orange hues of impressionism. Impressionism and the Hudson River Valley school of painting with enormous romantic vistas of Perfect America with its rock cliffs, rivers and thick forests.  These are all in Out of the Pines - along with the steeples and spires of small, New England churches.  So here is Perfect, Pristine America in its updated very imperfect context: mindless births, absent/even unaware fathers, police and political corruption, the list continues.

And all the items on the list are carried largely by Gosling and Cooper: each with the camera right up next to their chiseled bodies, handsome faces and clear blue eyes. The slightest bit of over acting or self-consciousness or being the tiniest out of character would have been caught and recorded.  The actors were completely vulnerable - you almost got anxious for them.   They were deeply and personally walking on eggshells the tension this brought to watching them added to the profound but understated and tragic tension of the entire movie.

It is not a movie for everyone - at all, and especially if  you don't find long looks at Gosling an engrossing treat . And it is much less than perfect.  But it drew me in, held me, had much to say and (much it was trying to say).

Friday, April 5, 2013

Roger Ebert --- Day 2/90

Walk: Fillmore Street
Distance: 2 miles and personal yoga

Like many of us movie buffs I remember Roger Ebert first as the pudgy guy  in the Shetland sweater sitting 'in the balcony' with his film critic partner, Gene Siskel.  I remember knowing I'd probably disagree with almost all of his selections because they would be 'All-American' and simplistic and his reviews would be based on facile things like 'Aww' or 'too depressing.'  (During this time, by the way, he was the first film critic Ever to be granted a Pulitzer prize for his film writing - so you might take my assessment of his film assessments with a grain of salt.  But still I believe I was right).

But, oh my, did he grow over the years - as a critic and as a deep human being.  (Also losing weight for sad reasons).  The growth was gradual, but I began to think his analyses were more reasoned and deeper than his supposedly 'more intellectual' partner.  Probably Gene Siskel's death at a young age deepened Roger Ebert more.  He'd lost a sparring partner and, by then, a respected friend.  Theoretically, with the passing of Siskel,  he'd probably also moved into complete intellectual freedom and sole stature.  There were guest critics trying out for Gene's place on the balcony, but they were Roger's guests, not his equals.

Then it was announced he had cancer.  There was 'time off' for him to recover, and for a short moment he did.  But then almost immediately there was a disastrous complication from which he never recovered.  I believe his whole jaw bone was removed and he lost his abilities to either speak or eat.

But he didn't lose his ability to write.  And with his writings and the whole amazing way he led his life from this point on, he moved into the ranks of nobility.  And so did his film activities, blog and reviews. To the end, he grew in depth and every one of his reviews became a profound, educational treasure.  From his mind, his heart and, apparently, his soul he would evaluate the acting, the film techniques, the historical context, the moral context and more in such a manner that the reader would sit at his feet and learn. All in the prescribed space of a newspaper review.  

Many of his readers were either film buffs or critics themselves.  But he wasn't particularly after them and really didn't have ego by the end.  He knew he was the best but didn't care because larger than him were Movies which he revered and which he dedicated his life to bring to buff and the 'common' movie goer alike.

I learned a lot from him - as a film lover and critic and as a person.  I will miss him.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tomorrow Probably --- Day 2/89

Walk: de Young
Distance: 8 blocks

I had several ciwt topics in mind but taxes, art lecture, phone conversation with Match person have sort of wiped me out.  So, maybe tomorrow....  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

President Up the Block -- Day 2/88

Walk: Union Square, Fillmore Street
Distance: 1 mile

The President was up the street again tonight.  But what I don't understand is why the Secret Service goes to elaborate lengths not to reveal the President's plans but the local paper runs articles on the places he'll be enough ahead of time so protesters can come from all over to demonstrate.  Oh well, it is exciting to have him so near and sense the commotion and energy that surrounds power.

President Barack Obama arrived at San Francisco International Airport aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in San Francisco, Calif. President Obama's trip agenda included dinner and meetings with supporters and fundraisers. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle

Police keep an eye on protestors gathered at the corner of Lyon and Pacific St.  Protestors gathered in San Francisco, CA Wednesday April 3rd, 2013 to voice their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline during a visit by President Obama. Photo: Michael Short, Special To The Chronicle

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Processing Again --- Day 2/87

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

Met up with a grade school best friend I haven't seen in many, decades.  Very touching.  Letting it sink in.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No details please --- Day 2/86

Walk: Mindful Body
Distance: 2 miles and teach yoga class

It's between taxes and Match for topics.  Both kind of a grind (Match sends and sends and sends and sort of traps you into responding in some way triggering more sending and sending and sending.  I'll figure it out).  So, I'll spare ciwt readers and be back tomorrow.

Details (or Aka, skull):