Monday, March 31, 2014

How Sweet It Is --- Day 3/79

Walk: Just 6 blocks after rain, hail, lightening, fun!
Distance: Back and forth from computer, couple of home yoga sessions

This is so soothing to eyes that have spent all day at the computer with taxes, etc.:

Everything Matches!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Looking Ahead --- Day 3/78

Walk Trader Joe's for new flowers
Distance: 2 miles and 2 at home yoga

By the way, this is what Ciwt and her little family will look like when she grows up:

In this handout image provided by Jason Bell and Camera Press, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge pose for an official family portrait at Kensington Palace, ahead of their tour to Australia and New Zealand, on March 18, 2014 in London, England.  (Mandatory Credit: Jason Bell/Camera Press via Getty Images)
Getty Images provides access to this publicly distributed image for editorial purposes and is not the copyright owner. Additional permissions may be required and are the sole responsibility of the end user. Photo: Hanout, Getty Images

Saturday, March 29, 2014

And so, after a fashion, we begin again....Day 3/77

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Noah)
Distance: 2 miles 

Ciwt avoided yoga class by going to the above movie today.  Look a little over wrought?  Noah, basically the sci-fi version.  And the sci-fi continues beyond the movie which ended with the only humans on earth being:
Noah's wife
Noah's 3 sons
Noah's daughter in law
Noah's 2 infant granddaughters

Grand music plays, cameos are shown of darling animal offspring with their mothers (bear cub, fawn, chickadee, ...) and  the new-born girls are given a rousing admonition by Noah: "Go forth and multiply!"  Finis, credits, rousing music continuing.

Ciwt and the rest of the audience she's sure was like "Huh?" "With whom?!"  Aka, "Let the incest begin!" Kind of hard to get excited about that.  Sorry if this is a spoiler...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Remember when....? --- Day 3/76

Walk: Mindful Body, Fillmore Street, Trader Joe's (to replace food left in car too long yesterday - maybe due to distraction from subject below)
Distance: 3.5 miles and take yoga class

Turns out Ciwt's brother is working on a book (a memory for his children). We'll see. Nothing like a quick read through your entire childhood. Actually I laughed out loud - often.  He really seems to be capturing it.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hotel.CIWT --- Day 3/75

Walk: Legion (docent lecture on 18th C French architecture and furniture), Mindful Body
Distance: 1.5 miles and take yoga class

At Ciwt's first school, French was taught beginning in 2nd grade, so certainly she - like everyone knows what a hotel is.  Yet, when she went today to a lecture on 18th C French architecture and furniture she became confused because every example of every salon was in a hotel.   Hotel de Soubise .  Hotel Petremand:  Hotel d'Assezat

She kept trying to reason why.  Why did all the aristocrats live in hotels? Or, why were hotels so lavishly appointed?

Finally she asked a curator and turns out what we think of as town house or chateau or mansion in the 18th Century was a hotel in French cities.  Hotel particulier to be exact.  Apparently French aristocrats spent so much time in the country (if well enough established, in Versailles at court) that their townhouses were run as hostels or hotels with a permanent staff which treated them as important guests upon their occasional visits to the city.  Inns in England were originally the same thing: individually owned aristocratic residences.  Then there was evolution: hotels became our hotel but hotels de ville were town halls and the Hotel des Invalides was always a hospice for the war wounded.  And, when we add England to the equation, terms become more complicated.

Perhaps more if/when Ciwt can wrap her mind around this semantic puzzle.  For now, bon soir.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Journey with Dogs --- Day 3/74

Walk: No, Rain!
Distance: No, home yoga practice

A friend reminded me today of this always fortifying poem by Mary Oliver.

The Journey One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 
and you felt the old tug 
at your ankles. 
"Mend my life!" 
each voice cried. 
But you didn't stop. 
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried 
with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations, 
though their melancholy 
was terrible. 
It was already late 
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen 
branches and stones. 
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind, 
the stars began to burn 
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own, 
that kept you company 
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world 
determined to do 
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

 “The Journey,” by Mary Oliver, from Dreamwork (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quick Trip from Cool to Dork --- Day 3/73

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

Yet another reason not to participate in those chain letter things:  You will feel horrible!  It will ruin at least your next week.

Ciwt got one from a friend who has recently had two cancer operations and just learned she needs another.  The chain letter asked that you send a favorite uplifting poem/quote to the person (the cancer survivor, remember) who sent you the letter and then on to 20 people (friends who wouldn't hate you as if there are even 20 people out there like that, friend or not).  The kicker was that the letter also said, if you couldn't do it, you needed to write back and say you weren't able to participate.  In my case, it meant 1. telling the cancer person I wouldn't do it thereby 2. ensuring that she would not receive 20 uplifting thoughts.

I checked on line to see if it was a known virus, my fingers kept stumbling on the keys, but finally I got the (almost) 20 copies sent. I did not dare explain for fear my original sender/friend might find out. Needless to say, I heard immediately from all my friends about 'insufficient computer skills,' 'having computer problems,' 'just do those things..'   Ie, the nicest, most politest Hate Mail.

Gawd, it was awful and Mia totally Culpa. So Ciwt says what you already know: Under No Circumstances participate in those chain letter things.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Head Trips --- Day 3/72

Walk: JCCSF, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

Busy booking some imaginary trips.  Simple ones cuz of not leaving Callie for very long: Minneapolis and New York.

Claes Oldenburg, Coosje Van Bruggen, Spoonbridge and Cherry, 1985-88 with church Ciwt used to go to as a child (St. Mark's) in background

Sunday, March 23, 2014

House Arrest (?) --- Day 3/71

Walk: Sundance Kabuki Cinema (Life's a Breeze), Dosa
Distance: 2 miles

Just the other day (literally) I was admiring all the cheerful yellow flowers on my broom tree.

Then, yesterday (literally) I looked out on the deck and saw this:

Andy to the rescue, hopefully (and literally).   Waaa..

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Untitled for Now --- Day 3/70

Walk: Mindful Body, Asian Art Museum (Yoga: the Art of Transformation), Opera Plaza Cinema (Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq)
Distance: 2+ miles and take yoga class

Bifolio from the Gulshan Album
India, Mughal dynasty
First quarter of the 17th century
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Staatsbibliothek zu Berline, Preu╬▓ischer Kulturbesitz, Orientabteilung Libri pict. A 117, ff.6b, 13a
A great day for remembering why Ciwt lives in San Francisco: a little more R. Stim book, yoga, an excellent art exhibition in the moment with a well-liked yoga student/friend/'daughter', rarified ballet documentary (which btw rated 100% across the board on Rotten Tomatoes).  Commentary anon..

'Tanny' Le Clercq assisted by Jacques D'Amboise

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Didn't Spend Much Time --- Day 3/69

Walk: Mindful Body, Pet Express, Fillmore Street
Distance: 3 miles and take yoga class

Too busy reading galleys of a new book by my favorite young adult author, Rich Stim!!

Product DetailsProduct Details

       And of course: Product Details.  

(Plus 9! Pages of (mostly) law titles on Amazon.  Wonder what it's like to be super smart and super funny and super nice, and super etc.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Fever to Follow... --- Day 3/68

Walk: Car Errands
Distance: 10 Blocks and Home Yoga Practice


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Class of _____ --- DAY 3/67

Walk: Down the block
Distance: a few blocks

Just home from First college get-together Ever tonight.  The mountain came to Ciwt so she went down the block to meet the new college president and various Bay Area alumni.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Get the Picture? ---- Day 3/66

Walk: Mindful Body, Town School Alta Plaza Park Meeting
Distance: 1 mile and teach yoga class

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fool's Gold -- Day 3/65

Walk: JCCSF, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

Fooling around with links on this foolish day And also wondering the origin of that supposed pot of gold the Old Country Irish believed would be found at the end of a rainbow 

Turns out the saying is as illusory as that gold. As far back as the 17th C. the Irish knew that rainbows were formed by the sun and therefore circular and never-ending.  So they were fond of saying that you would be as likely to find a pot of gold as to find the end of a rainbow.  Somehow this expression was changed and became incorporated into leprechaun fairy mythology.  Maybe it was a leetle trick those devilish creatures played twisting the saying to mean the leprechauns spent all their time busily making shoes and stored away all the coins they earned in a huge pot of gold hidden at the end of the rainbow.

                                                                 A leprechaun counts his gold in this engraving c. 1900

For More St. Patrick's Day lore see CIWT Day 69

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wrong Side of the Easel? --- Day 3/64

Walk: Opera Plaza Cinema (Gloria)
Distance: 1 mile

Henri Matisse, The Pierced Rock, 1920, O/c on artist’s paperboard, 14 7/8 x 18 inches

Henri Matisse, The Music Lesson, Two Women Seated on a Divan, 1921, o/c

Henri Matisse, Painter in the Olive Grove, 1922, o/c, 23 7/8 x 28 7/8 inches. 

Seems to Ciwt, sometimes even Matisse wasn't MATISSE, the graceful, often exuberant, pattern and light-loving, colorist.  But who knows what artistic quandaries he may have been examining and working through with these works.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Say It With Flowers --- Day 3/63

Walk: Mindful Body, Food, Inc.
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class



Friday, March 14, 2014

Miniature Grand --- Day 3/62

Walk: Mindful Body, Sundance Kabuki
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

Hard to describe why, but, unexpectedly, Ciwt found The Grand Hotel Budapest touchingly, elegantly, absurdly engaging. Fiennes is Superb.  Unexpected because the trailer she'd seen numerous times didn't call to Ciwt at all.  Now, after the movie, it does.  It put Ciwt a bit in mind of her old home, Sun Valley which was modeled on grand Alpine resorts and had a bittersweet loveliness to its fading clientele and mannered grandeur while Ciwt was there. Also Ciwt thought of a few artists she's encountered who carefully, patiently create exquisitely precise miniatures for dollhouses.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

21st Century Continues....Day 3/61

Walk: Legion of Honor (European Decorative Arts), Fillmore Street
Distance: 1 mile +

Just did Facetime with my best friend growing up.  Intense.  And am trying second embedded link which 'needs to be tamed.' Now trying to relax.  Tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Special Thank You --- Day 3/60

Walk: A Dock and Cibo Sausalito, Mindful Body
Distance: 1 mile and take yoga class

Even though Ciwt has a 'thing' about people expecting people with talents to give them away for free, she sure appreciates those freebies when they come along.  A friend spent the better part of an hour helping Ciwt understand a few more of the myriad operations her computer can perform.  All the better for CIWT special effects and thank you, Rich!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How Does Your Garden Grow? --- Day 3/59

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

After a small tour of my deck this lovely day Ciwt is becoming a believer that her adorable new miniature Japanese Maple really will come out of hibernation.  (See Day 2/179)

And that the tiny azalea she reluctantly paid $18 for several Christmases was worth the money.  She found it at the local market named Grand Central but called Grand Larceny bought by the even more larcenous Mollie Stone's.  Ciwt had been on an azalea hunt, and knew the other (larcenous) stores around were charging $14 for the same size.  But this one was so beautiful with its intense magenta flowers she begrudgingly sprung for it.  It was a delight around the house during the holiday season, then replanted in a deck planter box where Now it grows like topsy, has gorgeous blossoms and is more cost effective than many of the other plants.

Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary 2 - WW Denslow - Project Gutenberg etext 18546.jpg

Monday, March 10, 2014

11 months and counting.... Day 3/58

Walk: Pets Unlimited, Trader Joe's, Pet Express, Mindful Body
Distance: 4 miles and take yoga class

Callie Says "YAY!" 
11 month ultrasound passed with flying colors.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Not Your Yoga Child's Pose --- Day 3/57

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Child's Pose), Dosa Indian Restaurant
Distance: 2 miles
Today's Cinema Club offering, Child's Pose, was a Romanian film and that country's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film. The acting is brilliant and Ciwt thought she pretty much grasped the film. Essentially a frightening and ambiguous portrayal of obsessive motherly 'love' - a la Freud. As the movie's circumstances move along, the well-coiffed, well-connected, possibly sympathetic mother reveals herself as someone quite different.  In one scene the 60-year old mother gives her 30 something son a backrub/massage that is so chilling and suspenseful Ciwt could barely breathe.

Well done psychological study Ciwt thought as the Romanian end credits scrolled down the screen.
Ciwt had noticed the Cinema Club would have a special guest speaker, a Romanian woman with a Ph D in Theater from Stanford who teaches Classical Dramatic Literature as well as Acting at two Bay Area universities.  Thinking the film was quite straight forward, this seemed like information overkill to Ciwt.  Really, what more was there to say?

Well, of course, the more to say was nearly the entire movie. Or at least half of it.  Since the 1980's there has been a Romanian New Wave of austere, realist films that delve into the ways Romania's transition from Communism to free market capitalism and democracy have shaped modern-day Romanian society. Everything in Child's Pose- from the clothes, cars, influence peddling, son's passivity and lack of direction -  is fraught with Romanian socio-political meaning.

But, the intense murky dynamic between mother and son explored in Child's Pose is universally understood. So, Ciwt did 'get' that much of the highly intelligent, suspenseful, superbly acted movie.  But there was so much more - an educational opening into some to the complexities of  life in modern Bucharest -  that would have gone right by her without the guest speaker.  Actually, without Cinema Club she probably would never have seen Child's Pose at all.

Luminita Gheorghiu as Cornelia in Child's Pose

Saturday, March 8, 2014

About the Hood --- Day 3/56

Walk: Alta Plaza Park, Mindful Body, Hi Tech Nails
Distance: 2 miles and take yoga class

It's all about the hood these days.  Today was a clean up day at our neighborhood (crumbling) gem of a park, Alta Plaza Park.
A helpful Parks and Rec landscape designer   came to hand out assignments, tools, encouragement.

There was a good turnout, and mercifully many of them were young.

Because this grass along the edge of the sidewalks may look like nothing: 
But, oh boy, is it tough.  This little stretch could take as much as 20 minutes of scraping with a heavy shovel to clear.  After an hour Ciwt's back, hips, shoulders were crying 'uncle.'  Hard work!
Makes you appreciate our ranchers, farmers, professional gardeners and all those who work in the physically demanding fields.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Save the 3 --- Day 3/55

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

If there is such a thing as a beloved bus line, we have one in our neighborhood.  It's called the
3 Jackson   It is known to be the safest, cleanest, most pleasant to ride bus around.  We on the line treasure it, and others who might get to destinations more directly on other lines voluntarily take the 3 for all the foregoing reasons.

Periodically the city tries to take away the 3.  Usually they make very public announcements with lots of lead time, and we have been able to defeat them.  This time, though, they only posted notices on the buses - shortly before they were going to eliminate the 3

When the nearly hidden announcement was seen, neighbors went into action - writing, calling, emailing, alerting as many others as they could.  Meeting after meeting was called, City officials were contacted again and again, people sported 'Save the 3 Jackson' pins - especially at meetings. 

CIWT is happy to report that at a SRO meeting a few evenings ago   we were told The City Will Keep the 3!  All those efforts, all that 3 love came through once again.
There are still important things to be worked out - hours, times between buses - so there will be more meetings, more buttons, more emails.  But the good news is neighbors came together and progress was made in a persistent, intelligent, calm, well-spoken, effective (yay!) way.    

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Playground Swing Anyone? --- Day 3/54

Walk: Legion of Honor
Distance: 1 mile and small at home yoga practice

We art lovers in San Francisco are really excited to have Colin Bailey, formerly of the Frick, as our new Director of the Fine Arts Museums.  One of his many areas of expertise is Jean-Honore Fragonard (Fr. 1732-1806), and today Bailey gave his first public lecture on same.

Except for Mr. Bailey, it is doubtful Ciwt - and most of the others in the large audience - would have been in attendance.  Fragonard and Rococo do not call to many.  But, Mr. Bailey was so charming, erudite and exuberant all at once that Ciwt is encouraged to become more acquainted with that short-lived time in France as well as Fragonard, that highly skilled and imaginative painter of enthusiastic, aristocratic hedonism.

Stay tuned - or avoid, personal taste depending.  Meanwhile here we have the mistress of the young aristocrat who commissioned the painting being pushed on a swing by an older man (perhaps her husband or 'benefactor'), while she happily exposes herself to a young lover hiding in the bushes.  Ah, yes, those Rococo decades.

Fragonard, The Swing.jpg

Jean-Honore Fragonard (Fr. 1732-1806), The Swing (also known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing), ca. 1767, oil on canvas

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Post-Oscar --- Day 3/53

Walk: Corte Madera, Calvary Church (for Save the 3 Jackson Bus meeting)
Distance: 1 mile

People are asking, "What did Ciwt think of the Oscars?"

Answer: Ciwt thought they were..fine.  The Oscars are what they are, and the enjoyment factor is cumulative - in Ciwt's case over 40 years.  Everything on the screen is compared with other Oscars, other winners, other faux pas, other antics.  Tuning into the Oscars for the first maybe five times and expecting to enjoy them is nearly impossible: it's a bloated, slow moving spectacle with unfunny jokes, repetitive thank you speeches, unnecessary songs and egregious self-adulation by the film industry itself.  And there's the fun!

I guess it is like going to a non-scoring baseball game the first few years. The old timers are sitting around the stands citing statistics, comparing a hit or a run to one the player made games or even years ago.  Every nuance of everything is fraught with meaning to them, and you are usually b-o-r-e-d.

All that said, Ciwt thought Ellen DeGeneres did very, very well as a hostess.  I laughed out loud many times.  And Ciwt was interested to see the things she thought were b-o-r-i-n-g (like the selfie and ordering pizza) were considered by far the best parts by newspaper comment writers.  To Ciwt, that goes to Ellen's sense of showmanship; she knows what her audiences like and she's smart enough to put in something for everyone.  There was much concern that younger people aren't attracted to the Oscars, and I'll bet those very people Loved the Twitter selfie and the pizza silliness.

Sizing up the Oscars correctly is nearly impossible.  As you may remember, Ciwt was nervous about either Gravity or 12 Years a Slave being runaways/winning all the 'important' (to Ciwt) categories. Well, Gravity did get a lot of awards but these were in the technical 'unimportant' (to Ciwt) categories.  That said, each film won one 'important(...) Oscar, which seemed judicious and fine.  Both films were excellent in their ways and certainly weren't completely outrageous/utterly wrong choices like Forrest Gump and Crash.  But. as I say, sizing up the Oscars is nearly impossible, and those two 'wrong' movies were probably at the top of millions of lists.

Ellen was excellent and many of Ciwt's main choices won!: Great Beauty, Frozen, Leto, Blanchette, Mcconaughy..  So that's all good.  Too many technical awards for Ciwt's interest which also raises her concerns that more and more movies will be judged on technical merits -with fine scripts and excellent acting becoming things of the past.  Too few gaffes beyond John Travolta under rug mispronouncing the only name he had to say, no outrageously terrible outfits, but, you know, next year....

(Still very sad not to see Philip Seymour Hoffman.  That is going to take a while).