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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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....
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 veryfirst 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.
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.