Friday, June 30, 2017

Drive? No; Sick? Yes --- Day 6/130

Walk: Crissy Field, Kabuki Theater (The Big Sick)
Distance: 5 miles, Home yoga

Delightful movie getaways are particularly hard to come by during the summer months, so Ciwt is happy to report that she found one in The Big Sick.  (She was hoping for the same a couple of days ago with Baby Driver but was disappointed when the rest of the ride seemed to her rather dull following a great opening car chase scene).  Maybe a tad long, but The Big Sick was never dull.  The characters are believable, likable and have depth.  The 'unbelievable' rom-com story is actually true-ish and touching.  Best of all, the humor is very funny.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Artists and Artistes --- Day 6/129

Walk: Legion of Honor
Distance: A Few Blocks, Home Yoga

Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, ca 1880-84, oil on canvas

Parisian Millinery, 1880's

Ciwt stopped in briefly at the Legion of Honor's new exhibition, Degas, Impressionism and the Paris Millinery Trade.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Blah --- Day 6/128

Walk: Vogue Theater (Baby Driver)
Distance: 2 miles, Small Yoga

Rather a blah day....

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Closet Recovery --- Day 6/127

Walk: No, Home Projects
Distance: 0, Home Yoga

                                               Wet Sink

    Office (with unaffordable dream cottage on screen)

What to do in Callie recovery?  So far, three dreaded closet capers, Breaking Bad binge - oh, and dying hair a much darker color than expected. Onward...

Monday, June 26, 2017

I Am Curious Goose --- Day 6/126

Walk: Crissy Field, Monday Errands
Distance: 4 miles, Home Yoga


Ciwt thought she saw some new geese at Crissy Field March this morning.  So, she walked through the bushes to a small pier where she thought she'd watch them.  Instead she became the watchee.  They all spotted her, and one in particular marched, marched across the field and stared Ciwt down.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Handy Around the House - I'll Say!!! ---- Day 6/125

Walk: Inverness, CA (JD Blunk Private House Tour)
Distance: Small walk around house and grounds, small yoga

Today Ciwt is feeling particularly unhandy around the house after touring the home of Northern California craftsman/woodworker, J.D. Blunk (1926-2002).  The entire house is a work of art - and virtually all that art was crafted - or just found and admired - by Blunk.  Ciwt's pictures tell a little of the story, but you can learn and see more about Blunk and his house at his website

Perfectly round rock found by Blunk in a Northern California river.  People have been looking for others for decades with no luck.

Entrance stone arch now covered in moss

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Revelation(s) -- Day 6/124

Walk: de Young Museum (Revelations: Art from the African American South)
Distance: 6.3 miles, yoga stretch

Mary T. Smith (1904-1955, Mississippi) in her painting yard and Untitled, 1987, housepaint on board 

So, when Ciwt heard that the de Young Museum had acquired a large collection of African American Art from the South, her reaction was "Here in San Francisco?  Please, how patronizing can you get?" (Yup, true confessions, that's what she thought)  The show was proudly hung about a week ago, and today, expecting very little, Ciwt walked over to see it.  Within a few minutes she was on the verge of tears where she stayed throughout the entire exhibition.

Even if any of the collection purchasers were the slightest patronizing, the pure Soul, bedrock authenticity and immediacy of each and every piece in the show overrides that or any cynical thoughts like Ciwt's in a nanosecond.  These artists are not crafting art to sell; they were and are standing in their backyards or sitting in their crowded sewing rooms communicating with their art, speaking through it - sometimes to humans, sometimes to God, much time to both.  These artists are "self-taught," "outsider," "naive" in art parlance - and their art is devastatingly powerful in person.

Even the quotes encountered throughout the show are killers.  Hear some of the hard truths of Thornton Dial (1928-2016, Alabama) : Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of world.  It can lead people through the darkness and help them from being afraid of the darkness.  Art is a guide for every person who is looking for something.

The show is up until next April at which time the pieces will be integrated and rotated with the rest of the de Young's superb American Art collection.  Ciwt will be back often - so her readers will hear more about Revelations.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Morning Arises --- Day 6/123

Walk: Crissy Field, Kabuki Theater (Beatriz at Dinner)
Distance: 5 miles, small home yoga

Thursday, June 22, 2017

David and Goliath Revisited --- Day 6/122

Walk: Crissy Field
Distance: 3.5 miles, Home Yoga

Little Red Deck Plant vs. Bay Area Heat Wave

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hopper's Hands, Part Two --- Day 6/121

Walk: Goldsworthy Loop, Presidio
Distance: 3 miles, small home yoga

There's another part of the Hopper's Hands story which Ciwt just learned about (as well as has doubts about).  It concerns the sign's connection, however unintentional, with the Golden Gate Bridge jumpers. Apparently Hopper has been among the ironworkers called upon to try to rescue prospective jumpers. As of three years ago he estimated he talked or wrestled down 30 people and lost two.  So now, according to some local runners and various online accounts, many people associate the Hopper's Hands sign with the real man's hands, reaching out to deter someone who has come to the bridge to jump.

Ciwt thinks this is sort of an urban legend.  Hopper himself feels people just sort of tied the sign and suicides together and says: "..When I put those hands up and the paws up, that was the furthest thing from my mind.  The hands sign is lots of things to many people.  Except that some people have made it a good thing about reaching out and stopping those people or whatever."

Ciwt still thinks of the hands as the runners' turnaround place (which she sees now can be taken on several levels).

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rising From The Mist --- Day 6/120

Walk: Crissy Field, PGCC Book Group (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Distance: 4.3 miles

When you walk/run Crissy Field in the morning, you head out toward the ocean and are completely absorbed by the shore and water activity.  Then you high five Hopper's Hands, turn around, and are startled anew each time to see San Francisco.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

(Arm)chair Traveling --- Day 6/119

Walk: Union Square
Distance: 2 miles, Small Home Yoga

When Ciwt would think about her life after Callie, she had some notion of spending something like an extended time abroad.  Now that the time is here, she thinks of possible places - then goes to You Tube.  What a resource for armchair traveling - even though Ciwt's office chair doesn't actually have arms!

Today she took a several hour Matisse pilgramage to all the places he lived and painted in: Bohain, Paris, Collioure, Nice, Vence.  And to the place, amazingly, he said he would have chosen to live his life if he had known it before he was an old man: New York City.  He was astounded by and deeply attracted to the Big Apple's energy.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pet Tree, Blue Sky --- Day 6/118

Walk: Crissy Field
Distance: 3 miles, Home Yoga

Another Marvelously Uncommon San Francisco Summer Day

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rare San Francisco Sighting --- Day 6/117

Walk: Crissy Field
Distance: 4 miles, Home Yoga

                  Perfectly blue sky - all day.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hopper's Hands. Part One --- Day 6/116

Walk: Crissy Field, Fort Point, CPMC, TJoe's
Distance: 4.2 miles and home yoga

They are still there!  Along with the paw prints just off the ground under the hands!  Ciwt's route to her favorite Crissy Field walk has been much less accessible for years of  highway construction so she was apprehensive today when she reached land's end under the Golden Gate Bridge. What if Hopper's Hands weren't there any more.

For decades it has been runners' tradition to run out to the chain fence next to Fort Point, an old military post at the windy, forlorn place the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay come together. Every runner would stop briefly and press both palms against the fence - and, if they were running (or walking) with their dog, they would lift the dog's paw and press one or both against the fence.  Then they'd turn around and head back toward the city and wherever their outing ended.  This happened quietly, unsung, day and night - a simple ritual among San Francisco runners that would often get the confused attention of tourists who had no idea what was going on.

Another confused on-looker was Ken Hopper, a bridge ironworker, one of a group of hardy souls who fix and maintain the bridge, often at dizzying heights. Day after day he'd watch runners and walkers touch the fence before turning around.  Wouldn't it be nice, he thought, if they had something more inspiring to touch than rusty chain-link of "No Tresspassing," "Men at Work" signs.  So in 2000 he had the bridge's sign painter create a small plastic sign with a pair of high-fives and affixed it to the fence.  About a week later he saw a woman making her dog touch the fence below, he had another sign made, this one with dog paws.

The original signs, 2000

Eventually Hopper's bridge co-workers insisted on adding the words "Hopper's Hands." They felt strongly people needed to know whose hands these were.  Finally Hopper just took it upon himself to paint it himself.  He also periodically replaces the signs after wear and tear take their toll, sometimes varying the colors to make tributes to the 49ers or the Giants.

Various Iterations since then

"I still get a kick out of it," Hopper says after all these years.  And so does Ciwt and an untold number of Bay Area walkers and runners who are in on the wonderful story of Hopper's Hands.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pooh Perplexed (and sad) --- Day 6/115

Walk: Up and Down Stairs carrying Callie stuff donations and discards
Distance: 1.5 miles, Home Yoga

Ciwt is catless for the first time in over 35 years.  What next?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Not Home Alone - Yet --- Day 6/114

Walk: No
Distance: 0, not yoga yet

Callie ails....Vet on the way....We'll see...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Visiting --- Day 6/114

Walk: Around SF
Distance: 2.5 miles

Ciwt is busy with a visiting friend.  Catch you tomorrow.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Flower Power --- Day 6/113

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 3.5 miles, Home Yoga

Summer of Love Flower in her Hair for Warriors 

Ciwt is rooting for NBA finals to be over tonight.  Warriors will be winners, and the Bay Area will be on to something else. Go W's!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Doc Thoughts --- Day 6/112

Walk: Presidio, Vogue Theater DocFest
Distance: 5 miles, small yoga

One reason why Ciwt lives in San Francisco: year round, quality film festivals.  The current one is DocFest in its 17th season of pre-release (if they are picked up by distributors and released at all) excellent documentaries.

Today she was able to walk a couple of blocks to the Vogue Theater for two of the 100 in the festival. The first, Surrounding Game, is about the game gi (Go) - begun long, long ago in China and one of the four arts that were required of the aristocratic ancient Chinese scholar-gentleman caste.  The other three are gin (Stringed Instrument), shu (Chinese calligraphy), and hua (Chinese calligraphy).

Go is multiple degrees more difficult than chess and to call it esoteric would be a vast understatement.  It's also bamboozling for the observor if they are not Go players themselves, so, even though the filmmakers have done an outstanding job capturing viewers' attention, Ciwt wonders whether it would attract a big enough audience to warrant a distributor's investment.  Ciwt (who actually used to play (at) Go around the family game table growing up) hopes so.  It is a deeply fascinating game and highly interesting movie.

The second doc, Spettacolo, will definitely be picked up because it concerns one of Italy's most favored travel destinations, Tuscany.  Specifically the tiny village in that region, Monticchiello, population 136, which has been producing a village play for over 50 years.  The countryside and medeval architecture are gorgeous enough to make you want to live - or at least go - there, which many tourists and a few very rich second-homers do.  But, unfortunately, that urge - along with Italian bureaucratic corruption and modernity - is exactly what is killing the traditional way of life.

It's bittersweet, beautifully filmed, thought-provoking - and Ciwt is quite sure it will be in (an art house) theater near you relatively soon.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Amazing Succulent --- Day 6/111

Walk: No.  Was going walk downtown to ACT's "A Night With Janis Joplin," but decided no and took in a few of Joplin's real concerts on You Tube instead..  Maybe a future CIWT on that. 
Distance: Home Yoga

Remember the limp dilapidated Ciwt found on the sidewalk and just randomly stuck in the dirt of one of her flower boxes?  (The most exposed to the elements one, at that).  Just to see if it could possibly survive?  Ciwt was highly doubtful.

 Well, what does Ciwt know?  Today, less than a month later, here it is: maybe 5" taller
And with a whole new flower growing. She thinks its name might be Echeveria Green Prince.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Reading Rooms --- Day 6/110

Walk: Kabuki Theater (Wonder Woman)
Distance: 2 miles, small yoga

Architecturally, what is more beautiful than a beautiful library?  At least to book people?  A friend of Ciwt's sent these pictures along with the dates the libraries were established:

Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Salle Labrouste, Paris, 1868 

 Trinity College Library, Dublin 1732

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra University (Portugal), 1728

Here are more captured by Paris-based photographer Thibaud Poirer....
And here's Poirer's website

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lacemaker Perfection --- Day 6/109

Walk: Marin Driving Day, PGCC Book Club
Distance: A Few Blocks

Johannes Vermeer, The Lacemaker, ca 1669-70, oil on canvas, 9.6" x 8.3"

A rare rainy day in San Francisco June put Ciwt in mind of the indoors and the smallest of Vermeer's paintings.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Rather Boggy Myself --- Day 6/108

Walk: Golf Club for Bridge
Distance: 1 mile, small home yoga

To tell you the truth, Ciwt is feeling a bit Eeyore-ish today.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Perhaps Insane..." ---Day 6/107

Walk: Union Square, Last Straw  & Hook Fish Co on Irving Street at the Ocean
Distance: 1 mile, Home Yoga

Here is the iconic El Capitan in Yosemite:

Here is Alex Honnold free soloing* up El Capitan three days ago:

Here is a professional climber's explanation of free soloing:

To free solo is to climb without ropes or support of any kind. It is the purest, and most dangerous, form of climbing. It is you and the rock. To put it more viscerally: If you slip, or miss a handhold, or cramp up and lose your grip, you will fall for a very long time and then you will die. 

Here is that same writer's headline about Alex's feat:

Alex Honnold’s free solo climb of El Capitan was dangerous, perhaps insane, and the athletic feat of the century

And, finally, here is the writer/climber's thoughtful and hard cheese article about Honnold's essentially impossible feat:  (click underlined)