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 from 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 computer 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.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Not Ciwt's Raccoon --- Day 7/107

Walk: TJ's, AMC Kabuki (Won't You Be My Neighbor)
Distance: 3 miles, small yoga

When an earthquake starts shaking, you freeze.  Time stretches and a moment is impossible to track. When, mercifully, the shaking stops, you realize the eternal trembling may have lasted a minute at the most.

This was how it felt to Ciwt when she encountered a raccoon in her kitchen some years ago.  Ciwt's kitchen is one of those "galley" ones, so when she stepped into it she was already eyeball to eyeball with the intruder.  Except the "intruder" had found stashes of dry pasta and cat kibbles for her four babies crouching behind her, so it was clear she considered Ciwt the intruder.

It was clear because she was standing on her hind legs undulating in circular movements that looked like those videos of cobras and rattlers on the verge of striking. It was also clear because this mama raccoon was hissing and making loud, eerily pitched squealing sounds. Her eyes were prehistoric,  ferocious and locked on Ciwt's.

There we stood for that earthquake eternity.  The raccoon was either going to go for Ciwt's throat or not; there was no way of telling. Instinctively we both kept intensely beaded on each other.

The raccoon broke first.  She batted at her babies, and they ran out of the galley, across the den carpet and out the back door.  When they were safely out, mama followed.  Then she led her family straight down the three story wall from Ciwt's place to the ground.  For several days after she expressed her rage by climbing up the wall again and leaving large, territorial dumps.

This CIWT story because a news story about a "cute" raccoon that scaled the wall of a skyscraper in St. Paul has been viral lately.  The city held its breath while some rescue people figured out a go-around for the sealed windows.  The little creature was saved. Everyone in the Twin Cities and beyond is still awwwing and dabbing little tears from their eyes.

Not Ciwt!  Raccoons are closely related to bears. Some bears - like the red panda - actually are raccoons. They are vicious, they will kill.

People don't want to hear this about raccoons. The members of both bear and raccoon families are pretty cute or at least fetching to look at in pictures and at a distance.  Not people like Ciwt who have been eyeball to eyeball with them and preventing their babies from getting at food.*

*In the Mama's defense, she will say the raccoon was smarter about time that day than Ciwt. This all happened the first day of daylight saving and Ciwt had left her back door open forgetting it would be pitch black when she got home.  From somewhere under the building or in the bushes the mama had sniffed out this easy food source in a nanosecond.  As the Unhelpful! animal control person told Ciwt, "They've been here longer than we have."  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Not Even a Little Bit Country? --- Day 7/106

Walk: No, Marin Driving Day, Inverness x2
Distance: 0 essentially

So today Ciwt made not just one but two trips to a ruralish town where she used to go hiking a lot and actually had a rental apartment for a while.  She took a look at the available real estate in her 'price range.'  That didn't take long because there is virtually nothing on the market - ever, in anybody's price range - up there.  One house, cottage actually, was the quintessential country cottage with picket fences, raised beds for raising raisables at will, just enough flat lawn, old timey character but open to light.  Years ago Ciwt would have sold her soul to get her hands on this place - or at least try.  But, now she realizes things like she basically doesn't garden at all so doesn't need 10-12 raised beds, same pretty much goes for major yard maintenance.  Then there is the matter of what in the world she would do if something or she broke in that adorable 1930's built cottage.  On and on the current realities came.  Things change....

Plus she loves her stimulating, every day's a new day San Francisco life, and - hate to say it - would probably be bored to tears in that perfect 'getaway' country cottage.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” Flannery O'Connor --- Day 7/105

Walk: Crissy Field
Distance: 3 miles walking, 1.3 miles run= 4.3 miles, yoga stretch

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) with a couple of her peacocks

Last night Ciwt dusted off  her ancient Norton Book of Personal Essays and was re-stunned by Flannery O'Connor's unnervingly distinctive writing. In the ten seemingly effortless pages of her King of the Birds essay O'Connor manages to make peacocks riveting, deeply funny, beautiful, proud, loveable, hateful, heartrending and symbolic way, way beyond their earthbound size.

Here are a few of Ciwt's favorite Flannery O'Connor quotes :

* The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Everywhere I go, I'm asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system. 
When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville. 
And of course: *“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”  (Ciwt isn't sure she agrees, but loves FO'C said this anyway).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Au Revoir for Now, Magritte Tours --- Day 7/104

Walk: SFMOMA (Magritte Tur)
Distance: 1.6 miles, wee yoga

This is Ciwt slipping back into the woods after her last successful Magritte tour ....

Monday, June 11, 2018

Still Beautiful --- Day 7/103

Walk: TJ's
Distance: 2 miles with some running; Pedal, Yoga

Ciwt was early for her Magritte tour the other morning, so she stopped in at San Francisco's iconic Palace Hotel. It has been years since she has had High Tea under its stunning Garden Court glass roof.  No time for that then, but she made a memo to herself to come back soon.  High Tea is especially mellow and festive in the holiday season, but one advantage of our grey, windy, fog is that we don't have to wait that long for High Tea weather. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Hello, Sunshine --- Day 7/102

Walk: No, Windless, Sunny Deck Stuff  (gardening, laundry, nice and easy)
Distance: 0, Yoga, PT

According to SF Gate's weather timetable, the wind is on its way in about an hour.  But, ahhh, what a luxury to have it away all day, the sun here and nothing to do but enjoy a good, scary book* on Ciwt's deck . 

*The Woman in the Window

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Behind the (Etching) Lines --- Day 7/101

Walk: SFMOMA, Crown Point Press
Distance:  1 mile, yoga, pedal

Valerie Wade gives Ciwt's tour members a private view of Crown Point Press
Impromptu entry into the working areas of the famed and amazing Crown Point Press made Ciwt's tour today.  Three friends gave their other friend a Ciwt art tour for a birthday present. Ciwt took them through the Magritte show at SFMOMA and found them to be fun, interesting art lovers all.  So she asked if they'd like to go to Crown Point even though the Press doesn't give Saturday tours ever because of limited staff that day.

Sure! So off we went. After we'd been rung in, Ciwt noticed we were the only ones there, so she  asked if there was any possibility we might see the press areas shuffle, shuffle, hat in hand. 'Yes,' said the founding  business partner  (Ciwt had recognized) who took us back, showed us a little of the ropes and told interesting anecdotes about Crown Point's amazing and improbable 56 year and counting success story. 

Then on the way out of the building we happened to encounter a woman funbling with her keys as she balanced her lunch, so we opened the door for her.  And Her turned out to be the renowned visionary woman who opened a small printing studio near her apartment in Oakland and called it Crown Point Press. Kathan Brown.  The word quietly spread among artists and galleries of her equipment, talent, earnestness about the etching technique and process (little used since Rembrandt's time).  Then they began to show up and inquire about how to do this etching thing - Thiebaud was first, then Diebenkorn, John Cage and Kathan's/Crown Point's 'family' of artists grew.  It's by invitation only now, but it's intimate, intuitive work and the new artists also become family.

Ciwt's tour members walked away dazzled and stunned by all they had been privy to on Ciwt's tour.  And so did Ciwt actually.  Another great and unexpected example of what Ciwt thought might be possible - but wasn't sure was possible - when she began her little art tour business.  It's about dedication to and education about art and bringing it (more deeply) into her clients' lives.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Breezily A-Sea -- Day 7/100

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Ocean's 8)
Distance: 2.6 miles

For Ciwt, Ocean's 8 was a perfect no-brainer entertainment before her 'brainy' Magritte tour tomorrow. If you're looking for a get away, she says 'Go' (and try to ignore the too liberal use of  make up and botox).

Thursday, June 7, 2018

When Do We Get To the Pyramids? --- Day 7/99

Walk: Marin Driving Day 
Distance: A Few Blocks, Yoga

Ciwt is often thankful for how much spacious solitude and beauty can be available right in San Francisco proper.  These people in the 'remote' distance have Crissy Field Beach and San Francisco Bay nearly to themselves even though they are sitting close to a major run/walk/ride pathway and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How Much is That Pigeon in the Window --- Day 7/98

Walk: Hood
Distance: 3.5 miles, PT

Our late, great columnist, Herb Caen, referred to all the pigeons around San Francisco as 'flying rats."
He hated them and groused about them often in his column!  Ciwt didn't exactly buy the 'rat' analogy but she certainly came to have a pretty low opinion of the bird thanks to Caen.

So, imagine her surprise today when she walked by a children's store in her hood and saw this window display.  Stuffed pigeons! Not the messenger variety; the plain old streetrat type. For children! Or maybe for adults who have moved to the country to raise their children and miss the city. For $34.95.

We'd never hear the the end of it if Caen was still around.  Too bad..

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Guaranteed Upper --- Day 7/97

Walk: Crissy Field
Distance: 5 miles, Pedal

The road to Crissy Field is open again.  It's been too long since Ciwt has been able to take that glorious walk.  The two guaranteed Uppers in Ciwt's accessible world are Sausalito and Crissy Field.
The light, the scenery, the colors, the smells and sounds.  Look at the blues and greens of Crissy Field Marsh today! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

N-A-I-L-S #*#!* --- Day 7/96

Walk: No, Too busy preparing for Magritte tours
Distance: Stairs, v. small yoga/pedal/pt

Cat Nail Day is Watch Out! day around Ciwt's place.  She actually has to have someone come help her and towels (ie, cat straight jackets) at the ready.  Wish her luck.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Greatish Outdoors --- Day 7/95

Walk: Trader Joe's
Distance: 2.4 miles, small yoga/pt/pedal


Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2 from Lover's Lane --- Day 7/94

Walk: Presidio  
Distance: 4 miles, Pedal, PT

Yonder Brown Hills of  Presidio Summer

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hood Craft --- Day 7/93

Walk: Hood errands
Distance: 3.5 miles, Yoga

  Memories of the 1927 Chanin Building NYC Gates she saw at the de Young's excellent Cult of the Machine show* made Ciwt more aware of the wrought work right here in her neighborhood as she ran her errands today.  It also reminded her that making one's world more alive is one of the many benefits of spending time with art.

* See CIWT Days 7/30, 7/74, 7/75