Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Birds Have It --- Day 8/55

Walk: Presidio
Distance: 3 Miles, Yoga

Ciwt's club's Members' Photography was for the birds:

So which photo do you think is the best?  No! Not that one!  Yes, that one!  No! Yes!  (Bird on left is thinking  "Oh, Plueeze)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Parabellum on a Post-It --- Day 8/54

Walk: AMC Kabuki (John Wick 3: Parabellum)
Distance: 2 rainy miles, small yoga

    John Wick (Keanu Reeves) in Very Glam Antique Weapons Room
John Wick (Keanu Reeves in background right) in Ancient Texts Stacks of NY Public Library

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) and 'Friends' in Incredibly Elegant and Masculine Hotel

Ciwt has a friend who is a creative consultant to several successful artists and a movie buff like herself.  When she and he debrief about shows they've seen (he lives south of here), he always finds something positive when Ciwt is ready to pan the whole thing. We both agreed that the plot of John Wick 3: Parabellum could be written in its entirety on a Post-It sticker and that the beautifully choreographed but long and frequent fight scenes became mind-numbing.  But he pointed out that the costumes and settings are Excellent.  Weaving together a look that is both 1940's and futuristic the look of the film is tantalizing, especially as you try to identify their possible locations in New York.
Also riveting in its laconic way is Keanu Reeves with his tall, lean gait, dark stringy hair and non-challant am I in a movie?, oh well way.    

Of course, if you are male and younger than lets's say 40, you will love every fight scene, eat up the sparse dialogue, understand the often non-existent plot and go to Parabellum several times.

Friday, May 17, 2019

My Computer Ate My Homework - and Everything Else --- Day 8/52

Walk: No, Staring at Blank Computer
Distance: 0, Standing Behind Computer Tech with Fingers Crossed

Again and Again and Again, Most of the Day

So Ciwt's computer performed a trick her technician had never seen before: It devoured - or something - its entire contents.  In other words, absolutely everything for years on Ciwt's computer was gone.  Since she's writing this, you already know that after several hours (and many "I've never seen this.  No, that didn't work, I can't believe it, that didn't work either, etc., etc") her tech got things back and running, Ciwt began breathing again, and her computer historyless day was done.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Andy's Back in Town --- Day 8/52

Walk: SFMOMA (Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again)
Distance: 2 Miles, Yoga Somewhere

Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1961

You know the rest of these iconic images:

Ciwt has to admit there is an undying fascination with Andy Warhol.  No matter that he has been over-exposed in museums, galleries, posters, coffee cups, postcards, tee shirts, pillows, umbrellas, you name it from Here to Timbuktu. There is still no 'over' with Warhol. And honestly that is for good reason: he revolutionized the art world so completely that no one has opened new territory or topped his sweeping impact yet.  Almost 60 years later, modern art is still in the age of Warhol.

'He' just finished a blockbuster show at the Whitney in New York; now he and his show are here at SFMOMA. And it is  a emarkable exhibit: deep, informative, intimate, filled with art you haven't seen or new slants on it.  

Most of the crowd at Members' Opening Day was Ciwt's age, but this is a week/work/rain day.  Will younger generations start flocking to Warhol?  We'll see, but don't count him out. Turns out Warhol believed in resurrection, honestly thought he would live again after he died.  And maybe he was right. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Plastic Yoga Room --- Day 8/51

Walk: Union Square Dentist 😝, PGCC Photo Show Setup, Bridge, Generally Avoiding Home Invasion and rain
Distance:  A few blocks,  No place for yoga

Living Room Yoga Area in Plastic
Older homes are full of character and have great appeal.  Until they develop 'small problems;' usually there is no such thing when you pull back the top coat and look at 100+ year old building materials. Such was the case in the part of Ciwt's living room ceiling that covers her workout area. Luckily there are many people out here who know how to work on the Victorians that abound and give our city character.  Meanwhile Ciwt's character isn't quite so mellow with not enought exercise.  Ommm, this too shall pass.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Back and Forth --- Day 8/50

Walk: Skin Doc, PGcc
Distance: 2 miles, small yoga

     Going to Fillmore

Ciwt's favorite curbside garden.  Always a joy and a brief trip to Italy to walk by.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Stump and Spire --- Day 8/49

Walk: Monday Errands
Distance: 5 miles, yoga stretches

When Andy Goldsworthy first began creating his site specific sculptures, he was asked about maitenance programs to keep them in good repair. "None," was the Scotland-based English artist's reply.  He sees his works as just one surface layer on the many layers of the earth as it evolves and wants them to evolve (devolve actually) according to all the  unpredictable vissisitudes of man and nature.

Along those lines, on her walk today Ciwt noticed that someone has created a new 'viewing seat' to study, contemplate, enjoy, whatever Goldsworthy's Spire off to the left.  Who carved this chair, how long it will last, how many will occupy it and in what position, whether and when it will be destroyed by man or nature, these questions are now out there more or less side-by-side with Spire

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Pre$tigue? No Thank You --- Day 8/48

Walk: No
Distance:  Housework (for ailing cleaning woman), Yoga, Pedal

Ciwt is thinking actual trips these days, so she's also thinking suitcases and the fact that lifting her luggage onto the overhead compartments is getting to be a bit, well, challenging.  The gorgeous and prestigious is probably still being carried by the young billionaires around here and the world (rather by their porters).  But Ciwt recently gave away her prietty and heavy Longchamps luggage in favor of the sturdiest and lightest weight, easiest to keep clean luggage she could find.  And she likes it!


Valextra Costa Suitcase (small) $7,950

Ari and Jacqueline Onassis each owned an entire set.  There is no information on weight, but the suitcase is made of brushed, inked, lacquered leather with molded steel frame so Ciwt images it is quite heavy.  Not that its owner would be the one carrying it.

The owners probably do carry the soft (calfskin) trolley bag ($2800 and also weighty) onto their private transports.  Both bags can be and probably are monogrammed.


Ciwt's soft (reinforced nylon) Lipault Paris Suitcase (4.9 lbs) and 'trolley' bag
(backpack actually.  1.7 lbs)   Ultralightweight easy to carry on and lift.  Oh, and under $350 for both.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

No Tame Tutus Here --- Day 8/47

Walk: SF Opera House (Shostakovich Trilogy)
Distance: 5 miles

It was back - after five years!   The New York Times hailed it as '“fascinating, poetic, and enigmatic;” many reviewers called it "a masterpiece," the audience - including Ciwt - went nuts. So yesterday Ciwt rushed off again to see SF Ballet dance Shostakovich Trilogy choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky.
Stunning once again.  And so fast moving in parts that Ciwt saw one principal dancer make an astounding recovery after nearly falling. First time she's ever seen that and an indigation to her of how demanding the dances were for even the most polished (and gorgeous!) pros.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Happy to be Remembered --- Day 8/46

Walk: Hood with visiting cousin, Union Square
Distance: 4.5 miles, small Yoga

Ciwt's pet tree didn't forget her this year.  (Hint: Those blue flowers at the base are forget-me-nots.  Cute story here: Ciwt didn't plant them, so they blew in on the SF 'breezes.' These things happen out here, but usually it's some sort of weed).

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Why We Drink Wine, Part 300 --- Days 8/44 & 45

Walk: 1. Golf Clinic, Putting contest, Bridge playing, Political Lecture Attending  2. Marin Driving             Day
Distance: 1. Not far, flailing away at golf balls  2. Long Pedal, Yoga


Please remind Ciwt that she really, really doesn't like golf - or political lectures. Or obnoxious bridge players.   Then she won't feel so disspirited when she comes home from her club.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Missed the Target --- Days 8/42 & 43

Walk: 1. AMC Kabuki (Long Shot)   2. Union Square
Distance: 1. 2 Miles, 2. 4.5 miles, medium yoga

So, Ciwt has been brain dead since seeing the absolutely gorgeous, Academy Award winning actress, Charlize Theron, paired with Seth Rogen who is neither of these things nor a creditable partner for her.  No matter how much the movie tried to make her root for them getting together, Ciwt just kept thinking "Eeewww, No!"  Also it was one of those movies there are more and more of these days where the dialogue relies heavily on the F word - for two hours.  No more explanation necessary for brain deadness.

It actually helped Ciwt get the dreaded Nails, Yawn chore done.  Finally when they start snagging on everything within 5 yards it can no longer be ignored.  Too bad Ciwt's cats don't get as bored as she does when they have their nails done. 

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Slow and The Fast --- Days 8/40 & 41

Walk: 1. No  (inside trying to finish book group book: Asymmetry) 2. Trader Joe's
Distance: 0, Long Pedal, Long Yoga, small weights   2. 2 miles, Pedal, small weights and yoga

The Slow:  An excellent book that reads medium fast.  But its cover photo puts Ciwt in mind of the boats that sail smoothly and gracefully around Central Park's Conservatory Water .

The Fast
The Sail GP boats, F50 catamarans, which race at speeds as high as 60 mph and are electrifying to watch.  They just finished the San Francisco Event, and, if you are in New York, the next event is coming to you June 21-22.  Don't worry if you know nothing about sailing; they have come up with a way to televise the races that is almost as amazing as the boats themselves.  You will be there, and it is thrilling!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Ro - Venge --- Day 8/39

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Avengers: Endgame), Hood errands
Distance: 4.5 miles

Robert Downey, Jr. is such an acting treasure.  He makes any movie he is in, and that's certainly the case with Avengers: Endgame.  It is a star and action studded movie in which everyone rises to the occasion.  But Downey is the heart and soul of it all - playing a comic book character no less.  There already well-deserved Oscar buzz.

He deserves cuter picture, so here it is: 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Notes from Dutch Jail --- Days 8/37 & 8

Walk: 1. Union Square  2. Hood
Distance: 3.6 miles   3. 2 miles, yoga

That's where Ciwt would have been in 1637 during the days of Tulipmania after she went bankrupt
from madly purchasing tulips until the price collapsed in a single week.  She would have considered it worth it! 

and, OMG, now she reads there is Blue one!  (Maybe she'll still end up in jail...)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Beach Art --- Day 8/46

Walk: Around House Cleaning! (Ciwt's cleaning girl is sick, so...)
Distance: Not far but cleaning is hard work!, pedal, medium yoga

After a day inside (cleaning!?! - even her cats were shocked) ) Ciwt was ready for the beach.  So she let her fingers do the walking to images of the annual  International Sand Sculpture Festival in Sonervig, Denmark.*

She hopes one of these didn't come down the beach 

* Amateur sandcastle engineers will likely be happy to hear scientists have now come up with an answer to how much water to sand you need for the perfect sandcastle.  Read here if you want to learn the formula.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Back to the C -- Days 8/34-45

Walks: Mostly Hood, deYoung Museum, Legion of Honor, Finger walking through art research and
            Tour Planning
Distance: 3-5.5 miles every day, small to medium yoga every day, smattering of pedaling

Paul Gauguin, By the Sea (Fatita te Miti), 1892, oil on canvas

So where has Ciwt been for 12! days? Succumbing to spring fever after a long, cold, rainy winter, yes.  But mostly preparing for a Gigantic art tour.

The good news was that someone decided to treat her friend to an all day San Francisco Art and History Tour.  Always a pretty daunting tour for Ciwt to make both comprehensive and fun, especially when there is a major special exhibition in town.  Well, on the particular chosen day there were three special exhibitions of three of the most important and popular artists in all of western art history.

At the de Young was Paul Gauguin whose painting (which wasn't in the exhibition) you see above and Claude Monet whom you see below in his beloved, remarkable and often painted garden at Giverny.

You may have heard of these two artists.  As she delved more deeply into the current shows, Ciwt came to have less regard and compassion for Gauguin, perhaps because the show, Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey, contained very few of the colorful Tahitian paintings the public usually associates with him and a great many fairly good but inconsequential wood carvings, peculiar ceramics, and okay prints.  Very few of these art works sold, and, if it hadn't been for the prodigious and successful efforts of Mette, the enterprising wife Gauguin abandoned (along with their five children together), even less of them would have.  Sounds judgmental on Ciwt's part, and she really isn't trying to be: people are free to pursue their own dreams, but....

On the other hand Monet: The Late Years gave Ciwt deeper respect for the depth of integrity of Monet's talent and dedication to art.  His late years were as difficult as those years can be: his cherished wife and son had both died, the ongoing blasting horrors of World War I were within earshot, and, perhaps most depressing and agitating of all, cataracts were robbing him of his eyesight.  (He was completely blind in one eye and had 10% vision in the other.  A late surgery was only mildly successful and extremely difficult).  Still he painted, probably because it bonded him with the beauty and solace of his garden but also because he had committed to the enormous paintings that were his final works and his gift to France, his beloved country.  You would know them as the paintings in Paris's L'Orangerie:

And she positively fell in love* with brilliant, erudite, supremely talented, fun, witty, businessman-diplomat-artist- loving friend and husband, Peter Paul Rubens.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), The Artist and His First Wife* *in the Honeysuckle Briar, 1609-10, oil on canvas

Really Rubens had it all, including well deserved fame and a place in art history at the level of Michelangelo and da Vinci.  The one thing he didn't have was subject matter that was of enduring interest.  At the time he was painting, portraits, altarpieces, biblical stories, fierce hunting scenes and plump women were in demand - enormous demand.  Today, well, not so much:

Peter Paul Rubens, Lion, Tiger and Leopard Hunt (detail), 1616, oil on canvas
Peter Paul Rubens, Lot and His Daughters, ca. 1614-15, oil on canvas

Then there was the rest of both museums and San Francisco history and personages to present.  Ciwt Loved the whole project, but she had CIWT on her mind the whole time and is glad to be back at C.

* Not! to the exclusion of Matisse who is still the love of her personal artistic life.
**She was Isabella Brant and sadly died many years into their happy marriage.  Several years after her death, Rubens                married again and was again very happily married until his death at age 63.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Yes, Sir, It's Museum Art --- Day 8/33

Walk: de Young Museum
Distance: 5.6 miles, Yoga

Viola Frey (1933-2004), Man Observing, Series II, 1984, Glazed Earthenware with Steel Plate
This ceramic work by Viola Frey brings a smile of recognition to Ciwt's face whenever she sees it at the de Young Museum.  You don't have to know a thing about art to know what the artist is saying here - at nearly 9' and brightly colored, more like shouting.

In the 1980's when Frey began making her monumental ceramic sculptures exploring issues of gender, past and present, you can be sure she encountered suits one after another with hands on their male hips and saying "No!"  "No, that's not art."  "No, that isn't what sculpture is all about."  "No, you can't be shown in in 'my' museum."  "No, No, No..."  

Frey stood right up to them; she had to, the museum world was completely dominated by men.  And, guess what, she stretched the limits of free-standing sculpture right into important art (not just craft) collections. Her brash talent spoke to the man, and her pieces have been standing tall for decades now in museums like the de Young, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and other first class museums all over the world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Shopping Around --- Day 8/31 & 32

Walk: Sutter Upholstery (Finally settled on couch slipcover fabric for cats to destroy), PGCC Book Group (The Address)
Distance: 2.4  miles, small yoga

Wearing her Professional Shopper Hat Ciwt stopped by one of her favorite stores to say goodbye.  Luckily it isn't closing but moving to a larger, more visible location nearby.  Ciwt will miss its more cozy, charming place on Maiden Lane where she spent many hours over the years.

How much is that shiny cat in the window?

If cat mom Ciwt allowed herself to load up on kitty kitsch, she'd defintely consider this ceramic dude.