Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Untitled to Unable to Speak --- Day 5/103

Walk: New Apple Store (About which hardly enough good can be said.  Beautiful!), Post Street Galleries, Gagosian Gallery, SFMOMA
Distance: 3 miles

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled, 2004, o/c

Today Ciwt continued her efforts to dust off and update her knowledge of the contemporary and modern art museum and gallery scene. Since her time as an active art professional many artists have risen in popularity and price.  This is largely due to an influx of extremely monied international museums and collectors, many of whom are late to the modern scene and feel strong pressure to catch up.  One of those artists that was new to Ciwt today was Mark Grotjahn (b. 1968 and raised in the Bay Area).

She saw his painting above at SFMOMA, but she also saw others of his works at the new Gagosian Gallery SF branch.  And this means local boy Grotjahn must be doing very well indeed financially because Gagosian is the dealer who catapulted Jeff Koons among others to stardom.  As an example of what stardom looks like, Ciwt saw a smallish work on paper by Cy Twombly at Gagosian (one of the first in Gagosian's stable and an artist Ciwt likes) and inquired about the price.  Are you sitting down? $4.5 million!?!

This left Ciwt speechless.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Some Techies Are Wonderful --- Day 5/102

Walk: No, Computer/Website day
Distance: 0, small yoga

Has Ciwt told you lately how much she loves her tech support guy?  There have been so many before: the ones who barely speak English, the ones who don't speak at all or essentially order you out of the room while they work.  The ones who sneer at you, the ones who take a suspicious number of hours - and then come back the next day for more.

If you have your own tech guy/gal, you know how wonderful life can be when you find one who is polite, clearly communicative, respectful, on time, humorous, nice to have around and Flies Through the Computer Projects with the Greatest of Ease.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Carmen in Faded Mauve -- Day 5/101

Walk: SF Opera House
Distance: 5 miles

Well, as a man near Ciwt said, "They didn't waste much money on the sets."  Or on the costumes: at one point, apropos Ciwt isn't entirely sure what, there was a naked man strutting around the stage (in delicately clever lighting). And at another the chorus was happily singing about women dancing and shaking their raised red skirts.  A festive image, but everyone was dressed in grunge.

That would be SF Opera's latest Carmen which Ciwt attended today.  The disconnect between the Quentin Tarantino sets and action was disconcerting, but opera is, you know, Opera! and always imparts its own special energy.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Understandings --- Day 5/100

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Captain America: Civil War)
Distance: 3 miles and home yoga

If you want to feel as unintelligent as Ciwt, please take yourself to Captain America: Civil War.  She didn't understand anything, including, until the last 15 minutes when he was identified, that the main character she'd been watching for over 2 hours was the 'man' himself: Captain America.

Image result for love & friendship movie

The good news is she understood - and Liked! - Love & Friendship better than she anticipated.  She's not that big a Jane Austen fan, but maybe the director isn't either.  Somehow he has added to Austen's usual (to Ciwt) rather stifling mix of British social exposition a modern sauciness, raciness and humor that makes his movie a delight.

Image result for carmen opera

Tomorrow is Carmen, Bizet's opera.  He wrote it in 1875 and the Opera House will have supertitles, so Ciwt is expecting to understand and enjoy it.

Watching With Friends --- Day 5/99

Walk: Sundance Kabuki (Love & Friendship)
Distance: 2 miles and home yoga

Image result for warriors

Ciwt kind of wishes she was a long time basketball fan.  Our Warriors have had an amazing and happy season and will play a really important game Saturday.  They'll be away, but Team owners are holding a watch party at Oracle, the Warriors home arena, and selling tickets for a very affordable $20. The Warriors Community Foundation is also throwing dozens of official watch parties.

Sounds festive for many fans and like a lot of fun with some proceeds going to various community foundations.  That's nice.

PS - A few days later it is now Game 7, and tickets are going for almost $30,000 online.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Golf Anyone? Hello...Hello... --- Day 5/98

Walk: Marin Driving Day, Laurel Village, Trader Joe's, Best Buy 
Distance: 3.5 miles (No Golf)

 (Not Ciwt - ever!)
Image result for golf in the wind(His pin is to the right of the picture. Gawd).

The constant, howling wind, cold and intermittent fog/mist here in San Francisco these days are definitely affecting Ciwt's thoughts about her future relationship with golf. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Report from the Streets --- Day 5/97

Walk: SPCA
Distance: 9 blocks and home yoga

So Ciwt took her first Lyft ride down to her play last night.  Black Honda, mercifully NO Pink Mustache.  Maybe they've discontinued that.  Her driver was from Brazil, has been in SF for 6 months, has been a SF Lyft driver 6 months.  Very nice guy but spoke almost no English and the car smelled of garlic, and Ciwt had to direct him to Union Square, which he appreciated.  We fumbled through getting the mission accomplished, she thanked her driver, he gave her an appreciative smile and they went their separate ways.

On the way home, she decided to take a regular cab.  She went to a hotel and, even there with doorman blowing his Taxi whistle, it took a while for one to show up.  When it did, she got in, noticed the car was comfortable, clean and odorless, gave the driver her address, then sat back while he went quickly and directly to it.  When she got out she thanked him and complimented him on the ride.  He responded by saying "I'm an old timer."  And Ciwt knew exactly what he meant.

PS - The price was the same for both rides - although the ride downtown was during regular commute hours and there was more traffic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Marker --- Day 5/96

Walk: PGCCSF, Union Square (SF Playhouse - Red Velvet)
Distance: 3 miles and exercise class

So, it's come to this(?):  Ciwt took a Seniors exercise class today....and liked it (sort of)!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Gap-toothed Celebration --- Day 5/95

Walk: Garage, SPCA x 2
Distance: 2 miles

All went well with Callie's dental procedure - so back to breathing for Ciwt.

And, anyway, they say cats don't actually need many teeth .
                                                                                    (Not Callie)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Brusha, Brusha, Brusha --- Day 5/94

Walk: Trader Joe's, Sundance Kabuki (A Bigger Splash)
Distance: 4 miles


Hopefully Ciwt's Callie will be all clean smiles and lollipop after her dental procedure tomorrow.  (Older cats and anesthesia are not an optimum combination.  Oh dear..).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Stately Remnant --- Day 5/93

Walk: Palace of Fine Arts (City Guide Tour), Vogue Theater (Money Monster)
Distance: 3 miles

Ever since coming to San Francisco Ciwt has heard about the PPIE (Panama Pacific International Exposition) of 1915.  'So what?  Yawn, Yah, Yah, Yah,' she's thought.  But now that she's dusted off her American Studies BA for her little history and art tour business, she finds the PPIE fascinating and is sorry all that is left of it is the (rebuilt, retrofitted and safe) Palace of Fine Arts.

More to come....

Friday, May 20, 2016

CyberGrrrrr --- Day 5/92

Walk: No, Home Typing and Calling
Distance: 0, Home Yoga

Image result for hassles of having your credit card compromised

Grrr, those people who somehow get your credit card information.  In Ciwt's case they tried to buy some very expensive jewelry in Florida.  She got a new card by overnight express delivery, alerted all her auto payment companies, checked her credit score.  So it looks like she's not going to lose her house or total identity or anything but an entire day doing all the necessary updates.  Again, Grrrr.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Impossibly Soaring Icon --- Day 5/91

Walk: PGCC workout room, City Guides Golden Gate Bridge Tour, Garage
Distance: 1.8 miles, machines workout, small yoga 

Continuing her research for her San Francisco art and history tours, Ciwt took a tour of our Golden Gate Bridge today. It was ferociously windy, and Ciwt assumed she'd find a couple of other hardy souls at the meeting place.  But, to the contrary, the visitor area might as well have been the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was packed with bike riders, walkers, photographers - and not entirely well marked so we all had to watch out for each other.

The bridge really is an international icon, a popular one as well as an icon among architects and engineers who voted it their most admired man-made structure.  And for good reasons as Ciwt learned today: from an engineering point of view it was deemed nearly impossible, and, in the middle of the depression, so were the funds.  The architect who gets credit for the bridge (Strauss) was essentially a scoundrel whose bridge would have been ugly and collapsed if he'd actually been in charge.  Ellis, the civil engineering hero who designed every stick and detail of the bridge was unsung until very recently.

The many tales of treachery and vast achievement surrounding the bridge were fascinating stuff.  But they were learned in gale force winds.The bridge accommodates the winds by moving and swaying. If you look carefully at the middle span of the Golden Gate picture Ciwt took today, you can see it bowing out to the right/toward the City.  Experiencing that movement and howling wind and loud traffic noise was not for Ciwt, so she slunk off to safety while the rest of the tour ventured on.

Imagine the men who built the bridge in that same wind, high up in the towers!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

While She Naps... --- Day 5/90

Walk: Garage, Cat errands (food, litter)
Distance: 1.5 miles, stairs galore and home yoga
Reopening of the Chat Noir Cabaret, 1896 Giclee Print

Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, (1859-1923), Reopening of the Chat Noir Cabaret, 1896, color litho

Ciwt is enjoying an excellent "I" (as in introversion) day with Callie.  Not sure she has been awake enough to notice. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chair Pose --- Day 5/89

Walk: Union Square (4 Seasons Hotel - luncheon re: Compassion and Choices), Cow Hollow Woodworks, Presidio Golf Club Book Group (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks)
Distance: 4.5 miles

The caning on one of Ciwt's chairs ripped through so she had to take it to be repaired.  She picked it up this way, then that way, thought about how to get it into her car, and finally realized why so many people around the world carry things above their heads.  It was by far the easiest solution, so she walked her busted chair down the street for a mile or so and enjoyed at all the funny comments and looks she got.  A nice, silly and highly recommended break from a luncheon about d-e-a-t-h and a book discussion about same.

Monday, May 16, 2016

In the Running --- Day 5/88

Walk: Lamp Repair, Trader Joe's
Distance: 2 miles, Home yoga

"Donald Trump" and "Hillary Clinton" run the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco, California, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Photo: Connor Radnovich / San Francisco Chronicle

These contestants in yesterday's Bay to Breakers race made Ciwt smile and reminded her how fun and imaginative San Franciscans can be.

(PS - That's Hillary in the lime green pant suit and you know who that other guy is).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

E/I E/I O --- Day 5/87

Walk: No, In with Callie.  Yay!
Distance: 0, Home Yoga   Yay!

Last week Ciwt went a bit overboard in the extroversion department and nearly around the bend. This week looks and needs to be more balanced with good old introversion.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

And Now.... --- Day 5/86

Walk: PGCCSF, Traders
Distance: 3 miles, small stretch

Image result for Love being alone  for a while.

New club, new people, new activities, new web site, .....Looking forward to solitude time - with Callie - tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Now We Are Young --- Day 5/85

Walk: Harding Park Golf Course, Fort Mason (City Guides Tour & SFAI MFA Show)
Distance: 2.3 miles

MFA Exhibition, 2016

No discouragement intended, but for some reason Ciwt can always tell when she's looking at 'young' art, art done by artists in or recently out of art school.  Then, if they stay with it and grow, she's often amazed with where they move to.  
                                                        Pablo Picasso (age 15), Science and Charity, 1897

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Cat is Soft, She Meows, Blah, Blah, Blah --- Day 5/84

Walk: Union Square (hair color), Marin (various), Presidio Golf Club (Book Group)
Distance: Mostly Car, Day of Rest

Ciwt is so busy she hardly recognizes herself.  It's good -mostly.  But not interesting to CIWT readers at the moment.  Pretty soon Ciwt will figure out how to stop thinking about logistics and how to start thinking about all those interesting topics you've come to know and love.  (Wink...)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

0 --- Day 5/83

Walk: Golf Club x2
Distance: 4 miles, golf clinic,bridge, small yoga

 Image result for zero
Input + Input + Input = 0 ideas for Ciwt today

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fore! --- Day 5/82

Walk: Van Ness, Presidio Golf
Distance: 2 miles, hit balls, small yoga

Will Ciwt make some sort of peace/resolution with golf this time?  Hard to tell; not easily done.  Stay tuned.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Just the Right Balance --- Day 5/81

Walk: Garage (car hospital; it's all well), Other Garage (where it can rest but hopefully not the battery too much)
Distance: 1.8 miles and home yoga

Alexander Calder Gallery at SFMOMA

Ciwt forgot to mention the other day when reviewing SFMOMA that the Calder Gallery is just the right balance of light, air, charm, whimsy and delight.  She thinks he would like it a lot.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Beware of Statue -- Day 5/80

Walk:  GG Park (City Guides Walking Tour), Traders
Distance: 6 miles and home yoga

See the statue?

A few times when she's been in Golden Gate Park Ciwt has attempted to take pictures of the various statues one encounters during walks there.  Mostly she's given up because the statues are so difficult to capture.  So many of them are obscured by trees and bushes and set back from convenient paths.

Today she learned the reason for this.  Yes, it is intentional.  Intention by one man, John McLaren, who presided over Golden Gate Park for 53 years and did his level best to keep the park as natural as possible.  This meant keeping politicians and developers away as well as all the many people who wanted to erect statues in the Park.  For the statue erectors he couldn't head off, McLaren had a private Plan B.  As soon as a new statue was in place, McLaren directed his gardeners to plant sapling trees and small bushes around it, and slowly, imperceptibly for years the greenery grew and grew to the point where a present day park hiker might be startled to encounter a statue deep in the woods.

Can you find the statue in this picture?

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lots of Art --- Day 5/79

Walk: Sundance Kabuki
Distance: 2 miles, home yoga

So in case you are interested in Ciwt's first impression of our new SFMOMA, here's what she emailed a friend:

Still taking it in - after almost 24 hours.  It is A Lot of modern art - much of it quite excellent (Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, etc), some of it overly predictable (most of those huge, gloomy, corporate German Neo-Expressionists).*

Love the acoustics and think the new addition is very good and pleasant in its vast way.  The only building glitch that bothered me was the "hidden" stairways.  I walked and walked on every floor trying to find a staircase and felt claustrophobic when I couldn't.  Then, when did show up, it was some tiny thing in some unexpected place.

Two museums with many duplicate artists and periods in several different places is very peculiar and difficult/confusing/unsatisfactory for the viewer.  Maybe at some point SFMOMA won't be required to make such a separation between the collections and can blend them.  That will be a very good point, imho.

Right now it's an excellent slog.  An IKEA light, gallery-after-gallery, art-filled slog that already makes a quite wonderful/totally needed contribution to SF and its art scene.  But still a slog.  I think your "dizzy and overwhelmed by too much art" is exactly the necessary and unavoidable response.  I felt the same - probably for slightly different reasons.  Over time I'm sure SFMOMA will make many fine tunes - weed out some things, focus the corridors of galleries a bit more, add art, create viewing breaks, etc,.  And then it will be a truly outstanding and true worldwide modern art center.

So, onward.  I look forward to returning many times.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Modern Art Coming Down on Ciwt --- Day 5/78

Distance: 2 miles, wee yoga

Seems like acres and acres of modern art coming down on Ciwt after she went to member's preview of our Greatly! expanded Museum of Modern Art.  She'll sleep on the experience.  Wonder what her dreams will be like...Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tale of One Town --- Day 5/77

Walk: golf driving range, car mechanic, hood
Distance: 2 miles, hit golf balls, work out on those confounding machines

So imagine if you grew up in a lovely bay community. Not particularly wealthy but lots of lovely land, small nice houses and families who had known each other for decades.  And one year a tech company built a headquarters fifty miles away.  Ten years later the tech workers discovered all the wonderful benefits of your little bay community and started moving there.  They were all young and they began texting all their tech friends to come join them.   And the friends did.

Now the small winding roads had gotten very crowded.  There were traffic jams.  And there weren't enough small homey houses for all the young people who had arrived.  But the young people kept coming and looking at all the pretty parks land and getting furious!  "Why does this community have so much open land when We have nowhere to live?!  They need to get rid of the land,  build Up so We can be here!' they ranted.

And a few of the new ranters got articles published in big, far away city newspapers about how unfair the little bay town was being to them. The newspapers who published these newcomer ranters were in the business of selling papers and knew nothing about the realities of the bay community.  The publishers knew nothing about the small roads, the lack of public transportation, the very limited and fragile land, and even more limited water supply.  And they certainly didn't know about the lifestyle of the families who had known each other for decades because those families could not afford to live in their lovely bay community any longer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Dead Battery --- Day 5/76

Walk: Garage
Distance: 1 mile, sitting around waiting for AAA, sitting around towing company, sitting around calling mechanics and AAA. 

Image result for dead battery in car

Ciwt had great plans for today.  But, unfortunately, she suspects her car was reading CIWT the other day when she was (foolishly) writing about living without a car.*

*See Day 5/70

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Day One --- Day 5/75

Walk: New Club (provisional) x2
Distance: 3.5 miles, stretch asanas

Image result for First day

Hit golf balls, eat lunch with new people, go back later for a lecture (on the SF Giants) and eat dinner with other new people, tomorrow play bridge with more new people. Try not to lose things, forget keys, etc. Such is the life of the formerly reclusive Ciwt.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wind Resistance --- Day 5/74

Walk: Hi Tech Nails 
Distance: 8 blocks, Standing behind web design tech, teeny yoga

Image result for dog in wind
"Play golf?  In this wind?  You've got to be kidding. Arf."

Ciwt's thoughts exactly on the eve of her new golf (and other things) club venture.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Primary Matters --- Day 5/73

Walk: Cinema Club (The Innocents), Trader
Distance: 3.8 miles and home yoga