Monday, September 16, 2019

Mysterious Binge --- Days 8/160, 161 & 162

Walk: 1. Pickleball and Hood  2. Pickleball and Ciwt's Deck  3.  No Pickleball, Only Deck
Distance: 1. 2 Hours Pickle, Yoga  2. 2 Hours Pickle, small yoga, Read (ahhh). 3. Only Read (yes!)

With Ciwt's new "interest" (we don't want to use the 'a'/addiction word) in pickleball she'd forgotten how lovely it is to just sit out on her deck and binge on good mysteries. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Get a Website (?) --- Day 8/158 & 159

Walk: Pickle x 2
Distance: 3.5 miles x 2

Even as she sleeps, Ciwt has a website floating out wherever websites live.  Once a month she gets a total of how many people visited it.  Last month, quietly and unbeknownst to Ciwt, many thousands made the cyber journey. She doesn't quite know what to make of that.

But her head scratching is nothing compared to a friend of a friend who posted an artwork that suddnly went viral.  At last count, he had over, ready?, 80 million! viewers.  She believes he is sort of freaking out.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

No Corset --- Day 8/157

Walk: Pickleball Courts, AMC Kabuki (Official Secrets)
Distance: 3.5 miles, 1 hour pickle, some stretching

                     Keira Knightley in Official Secrets

Official Secrets got better in the second part when Ralph Fiennes entered and the movie became a bit of a legal thriller.  Up til then Ciwt doesn't remember being the least bit drawn in and occupied herself mainly with incidentals like freckles.  She didn't realize until today that George Bush had so many.  And hairpieces.  Always an interest of Ciwt's and she noticed them and how they did and didn't move on various stars.  Finally there was the wearing of the greys and tans for Ciwt to consider.  The fact that Keira Knightley pulled off these (non)colors, confirmed Ciwt's theory that you need to be pretty beautiful to wear them without having the life sucked out of your presentation.

In the non-incidentals department, she didn't know Ralph Fiennes was in Official Secrets and wondered for a few minutes "who is this charismatic man who has entered the film and I can't stop watching?"  Then she realized it was Fiennes, such a solid actor.  Knightley too.  She did an excellent job bringing her flatly written character to life (along with the greys).  She also reportedly made a quip Ciwt enjoys.  Asked why she took the part, Knightley responded one reason was that she had the opportunity to 'play a strong female role without wearing a corset.'

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Near the Top of Ciwt's Wish List --- Day 8/156

Walk: Pickle, PGCC, Trader Joe's,
Distance: 3.5 miles, 1 hr. Pickle, 1-on1 training session - all to prepare for Cat Nail Clip Session 😱

                                              If only....

Monday, September 9, 2019

Check --- Day 8/155

Walk: 1. No, Millions and millions of at home projects completed  2. Back to Pickle
Distance: 1. 0  2. 3 miles, 2 hours Pickle, bit of yoga

Yesterday Ciwt was amazed at the things she could get done when she wasn't distracted by her pickleball addiction (ooops, interest).  Today, well.....

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Subtle Signs --- Days 8/153 & 154

Walks: Hood
Distances: 3 miles, 2 Hours Pickleball

California seasons are subtle.  If you don't notice the signs, you're 'suddenly' in a new one that has actually been arriving for weeks or months.  When the afternoon light 'elongates' and  Ciwt's pet tree begins to 'crisp,' she knows winter is on the way.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

R&R --- Day 8/152

Walk: No, Day of Rest and Reading
Distance: 0, Yoga

Ciwt's cat (Puff) considers Ciwt's Chicago expenses while she reads and rests Pickleball limbs

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Millenial Bean --- Day 8/151

Walk: Pickleball (of course), Union Square
Distance: 2 hours Pickle (Ciwt may have to take a few days off to rest), 1-on-1 Training, 1 mile

Ciwt dancing around Chicago's Bean (Actually Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, 2004, stainless steel)

As Ciwt's short trip to Chicago settles in she realizes "The Bean" and Millenium Park are her favorite Chicago memories.  The Park was a nightmare getting into being, conceived of in 1997 and finally opened in 2004, four years late and $150 million over budget.  But, hopefully, its popularity and exuberant atmosphere now make up for Chicagoans' frustrations.  The public - local and tourist, including Ciwt - Loves it, and, as of 2017, Millenium Park became the most visited Midwest attraction.

Right in the heart of Chicago, it's an art filled, stimulating, spacious and just plain upbeat new kind of town square.  And one of its many first class attractions is Cloud Gate, better known as "The Bean," an enormous stainless steel creation of artist Anish Kapoor and numerous technicians and construction workers who figured out how to actually bring it into existence.  Ciwt had seen pictures, but only a personal visit could tune her into the action and energy that people bring to it.  Even in spite of its size, the swirl of people makes it difficult to find a place to take a selfie or photo of a friend.  Unlike viewing the Mona Lisa,
the people actually add to the fun of  "The Bean."    

Monday, September 2, 2019

Frankly --- Days 8/149 and 150

Walk: Pickleball (2)
Distance: 3 miles (2), 3 hours Pickleball (2), small stretches

                                          Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House Living Room, 1910, Chicago, Illinois

Even after a multi-stage $11 million restoration by the Wright Trust, the Frederick C. Robie house looked dated and shabby in parts to Ciwt on her recent tour.  The 14-month restoration included woodwork, light fixtures windows. flooring, textured plastering and coloration of the walls and ceilings.  All these were originally specifically selected and mandated by Wright himself, and eventually (for many more millions) 'jewelry' will be added in the form of original furniture designed and installed by the Prairie Master.  The house will then be close to the total work of art Wright designed and insisted on.

If he could have lived with each of his clients and told them exactly how to live in their house, that probably would have suited Wright.  He was nothing if not controlling.  And talented, inventing a uniquely American (sort of )* style of architecture whose linear horizontality was meant to echo the prairie landscape of the Midwest.

But these days there often isn't much prairie outside Frank Lloyd Wright houses. The Robie House, in Chicago 'widerness' when built, now abuts a teaching building on the University of Chicago campus.
And usually when one of the esteemed architect's buildings come on the real estate market it gets a lot of fanfare and then sits and sits and sits.  Some have been actively for sale for over a decade.  Those ones that sell usually go for fractions of their asking prices 

Given Wright's reputation this seems surprising until you understand that most are in need of the same type of renovations as the Robie House.  Ie, the Whole House.  Even if the new owner can work with the restrictive National Historic Landmark conditions most of these houses operate under, good luck finding original materials and/or the artisans who know how to work with them. For instance, when one of Wright's specially designed windows needs to be replaced, specialists must match the color, create the glass, and work on the leaded borders (which are actually copper-covered zinc).   
Each window can cost between $7,000 and $10,000.  No short cuts allowed. (The Robie House has 175 leaded windows and doors).

Historically Prairie Style houses are bought by wealthy art patrons who want to live in authentic artistically significant style and lovingly undertake the task of a long, exasperating and costly renovation.  Then, again historically, those owners find there are few if any like-minded people who will buy their beloved projects from them.  Some refer to all this as the 'secret curse of owning a Frank Lloyd Wright house.'

There's one Prairie Style Wright house that came on the market recently in Los Angeles.  It has been lavishly restored to the tune of $17 million and carries an asking price of $23.  Ciwt will be interested to see what happens.

*Wright deeply admired and was strongly influenced by the Japanese architecture style.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Even If It's Wrong --- Days 8/145,146,147,148

Walks:  Hood, Pickleball court
Distance: 3 miles daily. 2-3 hours of pickleball daily, exercise class and 1 on 1 Training

So one of Ciwt's family mottos was "Do Something even if it's wrong!"  In that vein she thinks she should write something about her Chicago trip.

Well, it was quick, which Ciwt likes.  The Chicago Art Institute is Huge, smallish room after smallish room chock full of art, some of which is once in a lifetime outstanding.  For instance:
You know this couple.  Grant Wood's American Gothic

Gorge Seurat. The inspiration for Sunday in the Park with George and many other things.  Very uplifting painting.
Also Uplifting, Chagall's Stained Glass windows made as a gift to the Chicago Art Institute
And at least ten more.  All in all, a great art resource, and a place to go again and again if you live in the Chicago area and enjoy art.  Ciwt would probably go again only if they were having a special exhibition that she couldn't see anywhere else.  Chicago was fine, but it isn't New York where she is happy to go again and again, special exhibition or not.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Gate C28 = Home --- Day 8/144

Walk: Airports, Mollie Stones for dinner food
Distance: Maybe 1 mile and hours and hours of sitting at O'Hare and on plane

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Frank Day --- Day 8/143

Walk: All Day Bus Tour of Frank Lloyd Architecture, then around town

                          Frederick C. Robie House, Oak Park, 1908-10

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, 1889

Frank W. Thomas House, Oak Park, 1901

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A Day of Icons --- Day 8/142

Walk: Chicago Art Institute, River Walk
Distance:  4-5 Miles

The Art Institute lions are modeled on African lions, made larger than life. Since their installation, they have become icons not only of the museum but also Chicago itself, donning the hats or helmets of the city’s various sports teams and festive wreaths during the holiday season. They “speak” to passersby who scan the QR code near them with a smart phone, in the voices of actors Mandy Patinkin and Tracy Letts, plus they even have their own Twitter account– and one may even be running for mayor!

George Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884-86, o/c, 6' 10" x 10' 1"

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Chi Town Day --- Day 8/141

Walk: SFO and ORD airports, Maybe around the block in Chicago

                    Ciwt is heading East to Chicago today

Friday, August 23, 2019

Five Days in a Life --- Days 8/136, 137, 138, 139, 140

Walk:  Each Day Pickleball and Prepare
Distance: each day,  2 hours pickle, 1 hour exercise/stretch, 2 - 4 miles

So what else is new these five days in Ciwt's life? 
Well, officially extended days and hours at nearby pickleball courts.  (Oh dear....)

AND an upcoming trip to ....
Chi Town!!!  (Chicago)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sad, Sad, Happy, All Good --- Days 8/134, 8/135

Walks: 1. Opera Plaza Cinema (Love, Antosha   Honeyland) 2. AMC Kabuki (Peanut Butter Falcon)
Distance: 1. 6 miles   2.2 miles

Movie Buffs like Ciwt will enjoy these small inies in this order:

The last one is the least realistic but the most heartwarming and upbeat.  A good way to walk away from a movie binge.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Untouched --- Days 8/131, 8/132, 8/133

Walk: 1. John McLaren Park Pickleball, PGCC Bridge 2. Pickleball, Marin Driving 3. AMC Kabuki
Distance: 2 hours pickleball in Heat; 2 hours pickleball; 2miles 

Viveik Kalra in Blinded by the Light

Occasionally Ciwt has given tours of Andy Warhol's art to high school and college students.  And always she has been dismayed when she sees them staring uncomprhendingly at Brillo boxes, Campbell's Soup cans and even portraits of Brando, Liz Taylor and ....Elvis.  One touree was even googling Andy Warhol on his phone as she talked.  These icons were so out of their time frame that they couldn't really be touched beyond apprehending that the artist and the people he painted must have been important or meaningful.

Today Ciwt had an 'untouched' experience of her own.  In the opposite direction.  She went to Blinded by the Light, an immigrant coming-of-age movie completely based on The Boss.  Ciwt is just on the cusp a. knowing that's the nickname for Bruce Springsteen and b. not knowing his music enough to know Blinded by the Light is actually one of his most loved songs.  So like the young Warhol goers she stared a bit untouched as she watched a lovely young man become transformed by Springsteen lyrics, pictures, lore.

Blinded is a well-acted, enjoyable, heartwarming but probably most touching movie for people with deep, stirring memories of power of The Boss's anthems.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

What a Big Room You Have, Grandma --- Days 8/129, 8/130

Walk: 1.Pickleball, Monday Errands  2. Pickleball, Private Training, Tuesday Errands
Distance: 1. 2 hrs. pickle, 2 miles  2. 1 hr. pickleball, wieghts, 3 miles


Can you tell?  Ciwt's back room is suddenly larger. Hint:  It's the yellow/gold art work instead of the blue painting that stopped your (and Ciwt's) eye.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Lucid - Perhaps... Days 8/126, 127, 128

Walk: 1. Pickleball  2. AMCKabuki (Once...) 3. Pickleball, AMC Kabuki (Luce)
Distance: 3 Hours Pickleball, some stretching  2. 2 miles  3. 2 Hours Pickleball, 4 miles

So Ciwt tried to cancel her online ticket to  Luce.  But it was too late to do that - Luckily!    She'd somehow gotten the idea it was one of those that involves you deeply in a rugged plot then just stops in mid air.  No resolution, not even a clear understanding of the problem.  In other words, a frustrating waste of time.

Not so!  Luce is terrific!  Very intelligent and skillfully acted by all the talented stars.  Thought provoking, interesting, and a sort of who-dun-it that is  resolvable after you've seen it.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Turned and Returned --- Day 8/125

Walk:  PGCC, Fillmore
Distance: Exercise Class, 1.5 miles

Home and Back after birthday distraction.  Ahhhh....

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

In Which Ciwt has a BIG Birthday --- Day 8/124

Walk: PGCCSF, Fillmore
Distance: 2 miles, medium bucket of balls, small yoga

The News: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

So, at least a month ago Ciwt pulled up her armchair and began scouring the internet world for a place to go on her ultra special birthday.  Nothing seemed to meet the Big moment (plus she's no traveler) except staying put with cats in the San Francisco life she's cobbled together for many years (and that she loves).  She figured some significant event or activity would magically appear for her Enormous birthday.

Today was that day, and here's what arrived. The sun came up as usual.  She assumes, because this is San Francisco and our summer days begin with howling wind and thick grey fog.  This she braved to her club's Wednesday golf clinic which she figured she'd take until the significant event arrived. There she was reminded it is not given on the first Wednesdays (her day, today, is the first Wednesday).  Oh well, since she was at the club, she thought why not putt a bit and hit a bucket of balls .

Nothing particularly special yet, but she thought if she stayed and had a waffle, then things would pick up for her b-i-g day.

Deeelicious!  Here's what happened after that: Nothing in particular is what.  She went to her beloved home and cats, made and got a few calls, took care of some things on line, ran some errands, and did general straightening up. In other words, the world, her world at least, went on completely as usual except she was now a year older.

Well, there was a text message from a friend:  You WILL make it through the day!💝  And, as her big day closes, Ciwt realizes THAT is the BIG event: Making it through and being able to begin more days..... Happy Birthday, Ciwt and Yay Daily Life.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Helicoptering Not Required --- Day 8/123

Walk: Pickleball, PGCC, Fillmore errands
Distance: 2 hours pickleball, 1 bucket of golf balls, 2 miles

As she approaches an important birthday, Ciwt is Sooooo thankful for exercise and sports in her life.
Without trying to sound boo hoo, the bad news is Ciwt was pretty much left alone as a kid, but that became the good news because she discovered long walks, hitting tennis balls against the garage door, climbing trees in the nearby woods, riding her bike everywhere, swimming and, lo and behold,  became a healthy and ridiculously independent kid.

That was her route.  Some kids find music, writing, drawing, reading, movies, science, tech stuff or a myriad other of life's offerings.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Afternoon Highs and Lows --- Day 8/122

Walk: Pickleball, SF Playhouse (Cabaret)
Distance:  2 Hours Pickleball, 1 mile

So yesterday Ciwt went 'highbrowing' to the opera.  The featured work was a new one commissioned by the Merola Opera Program which trains performers for the future of opera.  The 'Merolini' sang and played their lovely hearts out and were superb.  So, the future is looking good for voice and insturments.  But the future of new opera book -  at least based on this one - does not bode well. Entitled If I Were You, it has a few melodic stretches, but the rest of the opera is a non-involving mess.  It is based on some old, well enough regarded literary piece and concerns transferring your soul instead of embracing your true one.  Here are some of the souls we were somehow meant to care about but don't: a college dropout who smashed his car into a tree, an out of shape sadistic boss, a cocaine dealer/murderer, a crooked cop, and Ciwt can't quite remember if there were more souls.  Because, you know, who cares?  And then there were the various transfers which happened through strobe lights and digital circles drawn around the characters by overhead lights to the tune of cacaphonous 'ancient' chants.  Like a video game.  Poof, everybody is awful and dies.  What a  forgettable trying too hard to attract young people to opera mess.

Then today Ciwt returned for the second time to a local production of 'lowbrow' musical theater.  Cabaret is also based on an oldish (8 decades) book, this time by Christopher Isherwood.  Here are the characters: 8 or so gays/trannies/lesbians, a broken down cabaret singer, her Master of Ceremonies, two very old people, a prostitute, an in the closet gay novelist, and a man you like for a while who, unfortunately,  turns out to be a Nazi.  The time is 1930's Germany; you get the picture.  None of these characters is particularly well developed but, boy, do you care.  The music knocks your socks off.  And, like with the opera above, many people die - but this time in an incredibly quiet, understated and devasting way.  

So which is high and which is lowbrow?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Doldrums Time --- Days 8/117,118,119,120,121

Walks: PGCC and Pickleball
Distances: 3 miles, exercise/private training, 2 hours pickleball

So, more long CIWT stretches?!*  What's up.  Well, there are a couple of things that interfere with Ciwt feeling terribly inspired at this time of year.

1.  Few movies that call to her.  

2.  San Francisco summer weather.

3.  Oh, and anticipatory thoughts about her early August birthday.  

Monday, July 29, 2019

QT does Hollywood --- Days 8/114, 115 & 116

Walk: AMC Kabuki (x2), Hood, Home for Cat Nails Day 😱
Distances: 2 miles x3

There's a special type of Americana that Quentin Tarantino
writes and makes movies of.  And there's a special type of viewer who digs those movies.  Ciwt is one, which she kind of hates to admit, because, above all, Tarantino's works are violent.  Violent; some say gratuitously so, but Ciwt and his other fans disagree.

To us, there is always something appealing bordering on mesmerizing about his films, even though they aren't uniformly good and often have (long), unnecessary stretches that cause even his most die hard fans to check out for a while.  His latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, is a good example of those extra minutes - and the mesmerizing appeal, particularly the acting turns by the male leads, Leonardo diCaprio and Brad Pitt.  In some ways neither of these stars needs to act to get people to the theaters, but they both turn in Oscar worthy performances for their individual roles and for the way they play against each other.

Then there are 60's music, cool 60's cars, prime Hollywood visuals, movie history, star turns by a host of well-know actors, and, of course, terrible, terrible American violence.

If you are a Tarantino fan, you will like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and maybe go more than once like Ciwt.  If not, probably just do what people who don't 'get' Tarantino do and stay away. It is vintage Tarantino.

Friday, July 26, 2019

12 Step for What? --- Days 8/108,9,10,11,12,13

Walks:  6 Days of Hood, PGCC, Union Square, (pickleball courts)
Distance: average 4 miles, exercise classes, hours and hours of pickleball

When Ciwt told a friend she'd started playing Pickleball, her friend said she'd heard the game was addictive.  Ha Ha went Ciwt.  No Way she assured her friend.  No more getting addicted to a sport for Ciwt; she was too old and there wasn't enough time for such foolishness.

So, where has Ciwt been for the past six days?  Well, 
AND Book Club

Then maybe a little .  

But then she was right off to a wonderful production  of Cabaret at SF Playhouse 

And after that just to, you know, recharge  a wee bit of pickleball.

But being ultra busy and certainly not the least addicted she went to one of the first showings of the fabulous QuentonTarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

That was after her morning game of, well, 

But, you can see Ciwt has a very full, diverse life, and there is No Way she has become addicted to 
the ridiculous game of