Thursday, July 19, 2018

Await --- Day 7/141

Walk: Hood & Marin Driving Day
Distance: 4.3 miles, teeny stretch

Ciwt awaits inspiration.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

'Sup? --- Day 7/140

Walk: Donations
Distance: 1 mile, PT, Yoga

Living in San Francisco with all its hills, everything is at some sort of slant.  Ciwt sometimes gets confused about what's up or down.  Maybe the plants and shrubs do too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

She's Away: Two Versions --- Day 7/139

Walk: Presidio
Distance: 6 miles

Here's what will be happening with her cats when Ciwt is away in a few weeks:

Special cuddling by cat sitter

followed by sleeping securely with each other

 then more special cuddling
all the better to relax securely in each other's paws.

And, here is what Ciwt pictues happening when she's away:

So, you may ask where Ciwt is going and for how long?  Sounds like a Major excursion.
Well, no, she'll meet her brother and his wife for a weekend in Seattle. Some cat owners are calmer than others....

Monday, July 16, 2018

Are my interviews over yet? --- Day 7/138

Walk: Monday errands, Presidio Sports
Distance: 2 miles, Massage (ahhh)

Cat spent in Ciwt's office chair after day of exhausting pet sitter interviews.  Catch you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

On the Road --- Day 7/137

Walk: No - Too busy passing Defensive Driving Test
Distance: 0, Yoga

So Ciwt passed her (required) online California Traffic School (grrr*) course.  After reading all those accident  statistics and cirmcumstances, part of her is reluctant to ever get in a car again.  The other part of her now needs to open her DMV Driver Handbook and start cramming for her upcoming license renewal test. 

* See CIWT Day 7/130

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Three Different Reasons --- Day 7/136

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Three Identical Strangers)
Distance: 2 miles, Yoga

1. Interesting facts she guesses, 2. well done she guesses, 3. disheartening+ she knows, so in all Ciwt does not personally recommend Three Identical Strangers.  But Rotten Tomatoes and audience critics do, so your choice.

Friday, July 13, 2018

All By Itself This Time --- Day 7/135

Walk: Hood
Distance: 3 miles, wee yoga

Maybe part of why Ciwt finds this photo - by a 9 year old - so wondrous is that these are real stars, in a real sky, a hour or so from her home.  For so many years her San Francisco sky has had maybe 10-12 visible stars and often none at all because of our fog and/or city lights.  

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Talented Kids, part 2* --- Day 7/134

Walk: A few errands
Distance: A few blocks, a little yoga

Rene Magritte, Empire of Light, 1950, o/c

eat your heart out.  Here's one of Magrittes's paintings exploring sky, light and home.  And above is a photo by a college classmate's grandson.  He planned ahead at his grandparents' vineyard, waited until a certain hour, adjusted his new camera's speed and lens,  hoped for clear skies and shot this of the Milky Way in Northern California.  He is 9.

* Please see Day 7/3, Street Art in the Hood

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Where Do I Place My Paw Print? --- Day 7/133

Walk: Union Square
Distance: 1 mile, small yoga

Ciwt spent today enrolling her new cats in 'home pet sitting camp.'  Photos and form after form for each cat and each service.  She started off thinking "Okay, this time I'll just drop them off at a cat boarding place."  Well, the one closest to her charges - are you ready - $175 a day for her new little darlings.  The 'less expensive' places require her to bring all sorts of beds and toys that will cost a pretty penny plus the girls must arrive perfectly groomed with lovely nails and Ciwt knows what that means...( a groomer appointment).

Ciwt has her fingers and their paws crossed in hopes her adorable, clean, youngish, healthy cats will be accepted because, one of these days, she would like to take a trip.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Better Late Than....-----Day 7/132

Walk: Palace Hotel Garden Court, SF Playhouse (Sunday in the Park with George)
Distance:  None, 2 driving trips downtown to see an out of town old friend and later a play

Takes a while (30 years in this case) for Broaday to come to San Francisco, but always worth the opportunity to see plays as excellent as this Tony winner.  
                                      Georges Seurat (Fr. 1859-1891)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Studying --- Day 7/131

Walk: Hood 
Distance: 1 mile, small yoga

Busy studying for Trafic School Exam

Sunday, July 8, 2018

$CHP$ --- Day 7/130

Walk: Not really
Distance: A few blocks, a little yoga

So, a month or so ago Ciwt followed an off ramp and came directly to this:
 A huge, black dumptruck as wide as the road.  Since that is all she could see, she followed her leader until she heard thudding on her passenger window.  She looked over and saw...the highway patrol (CHP)!?

Turns out Ciwt's truck was actually on the shoulder.  Who knew?  The CHP of course, and they gave the truck, Ciwt and two others behind her traffic tickets for "Passing on the Shoulder."  $248 tickets that somehow took a half hour to write.  As Ciwt sat there waiting, ten or twelve other cars were pulled over for the same PotS 'violation,' but were waived away by the other CHP guy.  Obviously there was some visibility problem or the off-ramp was feeding directly onto the shoulder.  When Ciwt asked why she'd been stopped while others had been allowed to go on, her CHP guy said "We don't have enough room on the side of the road right now.  When you leave, believe me, we will be sure everyone gets a ticket."

So, poor Ciwt.  A traffic trap.  She hadn't seen one of those since those small towns in Nevada when she used to drive to Sun Valley.  Oh well, guess even the richest counties need more income these days.

At first Ciwt felt so gypped she planned to go to court to protest.  But, you know how that would probably go. Plus they do make it easy to handle these things right from your computer these days which is what Ciwt did when the ticket actually arrived.  She's paid on line for it and for the traffic school which will take the ticket off her record if she passes the necessary test in the alloted time.  So, now she is studying her lessons on line and hopefully will pass the on line exam with the flying colors.  

Darn, and Ciwt's sympathies to the driver of the black truck who probably didn't have a half hour in his work day or @$300 to spare.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Not That Soft --- Day 7/129

Walk: Curran Theater (Soft Power)
Distance: 4.7 miles

  The gorgeous Curran Theater
Soft Power stage set from Ciwt's front row seat

Politics; you can't get away from them these days.  Ciwt didn't read about it in advance so she wasn't aware that David Henry Hwang's new play Soft Power is intensely political and personal.  It traces the full trajectory and present day scope of  his emotional reaction to the 2016 election.  Most of his views are exactly what you hear all the time - if you live in San Francisco.  But many of them Ciwt had never heard before.

These concern what it is like being Chinese American, which Hwang, who wrote the Tony award winning M. Butterfly, is.  What he had to say stretched Ciwt's world, and according to the Chinese woman she sat next to, totally resonated with the the Chinese audience members.  That would be about 85% of the today's audience.  According to Ciwt's seatmate again, Chinese people don't go to the theater for the most part because it tends to be predominately white in story and audience.

It was not a comfortable stretch but it was so original and artfully done Ciwt stayed with Hwang in spite of herself.  For one thing he put many of his thoughts to music, and for another, this music was chock full of the very best show stopping, high kicking, soul belting, love song musical theater.  The kind of music that people who go to musicals can't resist.

Soft Power worked for Ciwt.  She liked it a lot plus it made her think, and her seatmate felt the same, perhaps for slightly different reasons.  But behind her on the way out one man was telling his wife he thought it was 'overly ambitious,' 'too creative and original.'  But to Ciwt, those are characteristics of America she likes even though they can be unsettling so, okay, have them in the play.

Apparently this intensely personal, intensely political, intensely outspoken, over the top play is on its way to New York.  That should be interesting...

Friday, July 6, 2018

Calendar Those --- Day 7/128

Walk: Therapeia Massage and Hood 
Distance: 3 miles

So Ciwt had her annual massage today.  Massages feel so good (and necessary) she always vows to have them on a regular, like at least monthly, basis.  But you know how those vow things go..

It took her a while this time to locate a place for her massage.  Even in her hood there turned out to be special tub massages, group!? tub massages, body scrubs, massages with hot rocks and massages offered in Asian characters that seemed to make some mention of 'tricks' you might be up for.  Hmmm, wonder how long those last will be operating.

Finally Ciwt found the one on one, hands-on type she is used to.  It felt great, and she's definitely going to have massages on a regular basis from now on - perhaps in conjunction with her international trips....

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ever on the Way --- Day 7/127

Walk: Marin Driving Day
Distance: 2 miles, small stretch

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Properly Attired --- Day 7/126

Walk: Hood Ramble
Distance: 3.5 miles, Yoga

Dressed for the Fourth, Ciwt's second favorite holiday after Thanksgiving.  (What will she wear then?  Stay tuned.....)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Nine?! --- Day 7/125

Walk: Union Square
Distance: a few blocks.  necessary rest.

The request for proposals to develop Fort Winfield Scott*, the 30 acre mostly vacant 22-building mostly early 1900's property went out from the Presidio Trust in January.  They sought "mission-driven organizations" willing to work in the "unusual confines of a national park and a campus of historic buildings."  Oh,  the initial infrastructure outlay they said would be at least $200 million and climbing.  And did Ciwt mention the Trust also wants a new 'transit facility' (meaning new roads and transit hubs) as part of the project as well as 'environmental sustainability upgrades'?  And finally there's this little stipulation, it 'prefers' that the developers self-finance rather than raising money through philanthropy.

Finding such a tenent probably seemed a bit of a pipe dream even to the Trust - or at least a long term waiting game until the organization showed up.  Or maybe Ciwt is just imposing her thinking on the Trust. In any event, at the recent and very first deadline for submissions, there are NINE teams competing for the 'redevelopment' (to say the least!), seven of which are non-porfits.

Public hearings begin at the end of this month.  Oh boy...But still, Ciwt finds this a hopeful way to go into Fourth of July, 2018.

*See CIWT Days 7/5 and 7/117

Monday, July 2, 2018

"All I ask is a windy day....." --- Day 7/124

Walk: LP Nail Care
Distance: 8 grey windy blocks, Yoga

John Masefield would have had many happy days in San Francisco.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Portraits and Colors --- Day 7/123

Walk: Legion of Honor (Truth & Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters)
Distance: A few blocks in our amber sky* 

So today at the Legion it was that mid-19th century group of young Brits who called themselves The Pre-Raphaelites Brotherhood.  Their paintings are even more vibrantly and richly colored and exquisitely detailed in person than in all the pictures Ciwt has seen over the years. But, something important is missing for Ciwt. Soul; do they have it?  No, in Ciwt's opinion; ultimately they have the presence of very fine illustrations that leave her feeling quite removed.

Here's one of her 'favorites' from the show. Leisure Hours (1864), a double portrait by John Millais that hangs at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Just gorgeous colors, and every detail from the screen behind, the goldfish in front is as exact ('truthful' in PRB terms) as the fabrics, hair, skin of  the girls  in the painting.  But do they look like they are having fun? Do they even look leisurely?  Do you care?

On the other hand, here's Raphael himself painted by himself in 1506 that has human depth the girls lack. There is something soft, serious and tender about this young artist that draws Ciwt toward him.

* Smoke from several Northern California fires is having eerie effects on our Bay Area skies.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Otherwise..... --- Day 7/122

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Sicario: Day of the Soldado)
Distance: 2 miles, Yoga

Ciwt prefers this kind of 'sophisticated' picture of the two stars of the second Sicario, Sicario: Day of the Soladado.  But, unfortunately, the picture below captures the actual feeling of the movie.  Another violent semi-understandable addition to move lore that, maybe unfortunately again, captures inveterate movie buffs like Ciwt.  Go if you are a buff.Otherwise..

Friday, June 29, 2018

'..a small miracle of concision..." * --- Day 7/121

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema (Leave No Trace)
Distance: 3 miles, Small yoga

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie as Tom and Ben Foster as Will in Leave No Trace

Rotten Tomatos' 100% approval rating is back in Ciwt's good standing.  That - 100% - is the site's  rating of Leave No Trace, and it is right on.

Debra Granik, the movie's screenplay adapter/director, who also did both for the very special Winter's Bone eight years ago, is one of Ciwt's heroes. Her non-manipulative, non-hype way of talking about Leave No Trace captures some of the movie and likely some of Granik:

"People that need a high kill ratio don't have to come. It's OK because we didn't borrow so much money to make this," Granik said. "If they want to see an American who's working hard to keep his nobility intact and his daughter who's really trying to understand him and figure out her life trajectory, then they can come and rap with us. Some people have to remain at the margin so that some of the offerings are about the margin."

*And as long as she is borrowing straight talk, her headline is a small phrase she admires from The Wall Street Journal's movie reviewer, Joe Morgenstern.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Enveloping Work in Progress --- Day 7/120

Walk: Hood Errands
Distance: 3 miles, PT

So the other day Ciwt caught the de Young crew in the midst of  installing A Bright Stage by Indian artist Ranu Mukherjee. When the installation is complete it will metaphorically transform the Wilsey Atrium into a grove of banyan trees which are sacred to people of diverse faiths as a symbol of fertility, life and resurrection. Canopies of mature banyans often reach such significant scales they come to define outdoor meeting places of many Indian communities. A frequent site of public executions during the British Rule of India from 1858 to 1947, the banyan tree also came to be a symbol of India's fight against colonial power and was declared the country's national tree upon its declaration of indepence in 1947.  

Even as paper cutouts in the early stages of installation Ciwt felt the banyans brought a new sense of warmth and community to the cavernous de Young atrium. And to Ciwt's mind, that space has never looked better.
               Lower right shows the warm, lush colors of the finished wall

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Not So Fast, Goliath --- Day 7/119

Walk: No, Felled
Distance: 0

Ciwt is in ferocious battle against a San Francisco "summer" cold 😕  Wish her luck.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hello, San Francisco --- Day 7/118

Walk: de Young Museum
Distance: 5 miles

From the de Young Tower

Monday, June 25, 2018

Really, Really Deep Pockets --- Day 7/117

Walk: Fort Winfield Scott (Presidio)
Distance: 5 miles, pedal, PT

Today Ciwt took another windy walk to Fort Winfield Scott (estab 1912), the Presidio's 30 acre, multi-building  $200++ Million Fixer Upper.  She will be so interested to learn what worthy organization (or individual?) takes on this grand scale historic project.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Good Weather??*!? --- Day 7/116

Walk: Pet Food Express
Distance: 1.6 miles, then couldn't figure out what else to do

Ciwt can't decide what movie this is from. Can you?

After tiring herself by killing aphids on her deck and buying new food for her cats, Ciwt exhausted herself with indecision about what to do for the rest of this beautiful, sunny San Francisco summer day.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

God of Walkers --- Day 7/115

Walk: TJs
Distance: 2 miles, Yoga

Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) with his boots in 1982 photograph by Lord Snowden

A new art tour client meant a new research and an opportunity for Ciwt to spend much of the day in the company of the exquisitely erudite, impossibly beautiful, infallibly tasteful, restlessly adventuring Bruce Chatwin.

How could Ciwt not love an art (and so many other things) lover and expert who wrote:

 “I haven't got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don't need any other god.” 
― Bruce Chatwin  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Shaggy Old Dog/New Trick Story --- Day 7/114

Walk: Chinatown Social Security Office, Sloat Garden Center
Distance: 5.2 miles, yoga stretch

Ciwt has authority issues that go way back.  So when she learned she needed to go to the DMV in person to renew her license this birthday she went into a small tizzy.  Then when she learned the license was to be the new government mandated Real ID that required her to present her social security card and other intense identification, her tizzy enlarged.  Finally, when she realized she did not have her social security card, well....

Turns out to get a replacement card you have to show up at a Social Security office in person and one of the pieces of proof that you ever had a card at all is a pay stub. Naturally since Ciwt works for herself, she doesn't have one of these.  No pay stub means no social security card which means no Real ID license and therefore - in 2020 - no id other than a passport for getting on an airplane.  She almost threw in the towel and hid under the bed with one of her cats.

But she soldiered on - sure she was somehow going to end up in jail with all these bureaucratic authority obstacles ahead of her.  She grabbed her passport, current license, ancient pay stubs, Tax returns and took the 3 Jackson bus down to the social security office.  Since she couldn't make an appointment she also grabbed bundles of reading materials - including the Driver's Manual for her upcoming written test - since she was in for a long, possibly all day wait.

She didn't get arrested.  This is what happened: The bus was right on schedule and dropped her a few blocks her destination. When she walked into the Social Security building it was clean as a whistle and visibly organized, helpful people ushered her to the place where she punched in her social security number and got her waiting number, 865 - oh dear.  Then she walked over to the ladies room but it was occupied.  This was lucky because she heard "Number 865, Window C", her number ! already?! called.  So she hoisted her 'I really am me' stuff over to window C.  The social security agent  smiled and said "Hello, Ciwt.  How are you today?"  He asked for a single ID and the form she'd filled out, looked at them briefly and said, "Just a moment, I'll get you a receipt."

That was it!  Ciwt actually asked him "Don't you need to see my passport or anything else?"  He smiled, "No, you're good.  Just keep this receipt in case you don't get your new card in two weeks."  Her total time in the Social Security office was no more than ten minutes; things went so fast she forgot to take a picture for CIWT.  Everything had been clean, pleasant, efficient and completely unexpected.

Kind of shocking to Ciwt's sensibilities actually.  After a lifetime of essentially writing off authority, the authorities had showed themselves to be utterly reasonable, pleasant, professional.  Hard to explain, but it kind of blew Ciwt's mind.  In a good way.  Hopefully this old dog can assimilate this new working-with authorities-without-being-in-a-secret-tizzy trick.  After all, ahead lies her new license, her new Real ID and a traffic 'thing' she's considering contesting.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Postcards Not Necessary --- Day 7/113

Walk: Marin Driving Day
Distance: Blah Day - and longest of the year too

More often than not, living in San Francisco agrees with Ciwt.  The 'not' is summer when thoughts - or actual pictures - of summer houses come to mind or her inbox.  They usually arrive as Ciwt is sitting around in her turtleneck and down vest and the wind is whistling around her aerie home.  Or even when she drives a few miles across the bridge to Marin where the sun is shining, the wind is still and the temperature is 20-30 degrees warmer.

Enjoy, all you lucky campers!  Don't bother to write...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 21, 3:06 a.m. pdt --- Day 7/112

Walk: Union Square
Distance: 5.4 miles, Yoga

Summer Solstice* will happen out here in California at 3:06 a.m tomorrow.  That's 6:06 a.m. for East Coast readers, so maybe you'll be up.  Not Ciwt so, before retiring for the evening, she wishes you a lovely beginning of the longest day of the year.   

*If like Ciwt you're not quite clear exactly what Summer Solstice is no matter how many times you read about it, let a Washington Post writer explain it to you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

No Avoiding It --- Day 7/111

Walk: Union Square Apple, SF MOMA
Distance: 1.5 (windy again!) miles, small yoga

Tools of Every Trade 
Ciwt gives cozy, conversational art tours.  Totally non-techie, she thought.  Silly Ciwt!  There's the website, all the corresponding, the phone calls on various devices, the audios that have to be researched at the museums, the photos that have to be put on her ipad and be shown on tour.  On and on it goes, so Ciwt's artistic  day consisted of going to one of the local museums and practicing all her on the spot tech 'skills.' 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Week Begins --- Day 7/110

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 3 miles, small yoga

     The Mamas and the Papas said it so well  (and Ciwt liked them)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

In Plain Sight - for some --- Day 7/109

Walk: No, Sunday rest
Distance: 0, small yoga

Pooh Waiting

So, Ciwt is not one who naturally concerns herself with facts and specifics. She chooses some; many she does not unless she has to.  She can't recall ever seeing a speck of dust on one of her friend's hardwood floors.  And, she has watched with awe as visiting friend spend an entire day squishing and rolling her clothes into the teeniest, flattest shape possible.  "Voila," her friend announced when done, pointing toward the extra space in her very small suitcase.  Ciwt is a pretty good packer (for a non-traveler) but, even with an instruction sheet, her little plastic bags would have bulged with remaining air or improper folding. To Ciwt, her friend has missed her true calling - as an engineer.

Ciwt's selective eye for details goes beyong (oops) typo's and applies to large things as well.  Sometimes people. Take the time a few years back when she went to see another visiting friend at the Huntington Hotel.  She couldn't dial her friend from the hotel phone because she'd glossed over her friend's room number. So she walked over to the desk where two desk clerks were assisting an older woman in a tweed skirt, silk blouse and shoulder length hair.

Ciwt assumed one of the clerks would turn to help Ciwt, but no, there was no interrupting their excited conversation with the tallish woman. It was going to be a wait. Ciwt's attention shot inward.  Her eyes were open but her focus was on her thoughts -  "Why don't they pay attention to me?"  "Are they ever going to stop talking to her?" "God, that woman has the huskiest voice." - for at least five minutes.

At last, Ciwt heard the clerks say, "Have a Lovely Evening. It is So Wonderful to have you back!"  Finally they would be free to help Ciwt. Ciwt's attention came back out.  It was only then she took in the fact that the husky voiced woman she'd been standing behind and listening to all that time was Lauren Bacall.

This is not an isolated happening; if Ciwt had had autograph book growing up, it would have been nearly empty. When she lived in DC she only noticed Senator Charles Percy because he lived two houses down; and Bobby Kennedy because even she couldn't miss those intense blue eyes.Walks in Hollywood or elsewhere where stars abound are lost on her;

Such can be the world of the intuitive or is it the introvert?  Maybe both, the details escape her...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Different Americans --- Day 7/108

Walk: Embarcadero Cinema (American Animals)
Distance: 4 windy miles, small yoga


Ciwt is working at resting today afer seeing back to back good (enough) movies. No particular comments on either except to say it is difficult to take in that someone as Good as Mr./Fred Rogers really existed.